Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Underground Desktop

Filed under
Linux
Reviews
-s

Underground Desktop is a Debian "unstable" based Linux distribution consisting of apt-get/synaptic, kde 3.4.0, gcc 3.3.5, and kernel 2.6.11.3.. Their focus seems to be on the desktop user. The earliest release I could find was March 29 at beta version 012, with an upgrade patch being released on or about April 17. Distrowatch welcomed them as a new addition to their database last week as announced in the June 27 DistroWatch Weekly. I'd been trying to find a Debian that I could get excited about and have yet to have much success in that area - until today.

Its main features are:

  • Ease of installation.
  • The graphical installer will guide you through the installation in a simple and effective way.

  • Debian based.
  • Underground Desktop is based on Debian unstable, so you can install bleeding edge software easily.

  • Fast.
  • The desktop environment, KDE, is compiled with optimizations for modern processors.
    The linux kernel is optimized in order to improve desktop performance.

  • KDE powered.
  • KDE is the most advanced desktop environment in the linux world.
    We include a recent release of KDE.

One of my biggest problems I've had with most Debian based distros has been the antiquated versions of applications and the kernel. Underground Desktop is based on the unstable branch, allowing it to bring its users a more modern up-to-date distribution.

Another wonderful thing about Underground is its easy installation. It may not have an abundance of features, but it's easy and it works. Underground uses the Debian Anacoda installer. It walks you through partitioning if needed, or just naming your / if not. It asks a few config questions like which video driver and monitor setting you might want to use and where to put grup or lilo, then it precedes to just install its entire image. No package selection offered - or needed I guess. Then one can set up a root password and an user account.

Upon first boot, it runs some hardware detection and set up. It did a pretty good job detecting my hardware and loading the modules. It sets up a fstab based on the partitions it finds, but does not mount them automatically. Good on them for that! However, it boots straight into a graphical desktop as root. tsck tsck. But what a nice desktop it is! Log out and re-log in as user and go about your business. ...until next boot when it logs you in as root again. I'd have to fix that if I was gonna run it everyday.

Its only offering is KDE and that's alright with me. It's a nice default setup as you can see in the thumbnail above (click for closer look). Transparency is enabled in the menus and panel adding a nice touch. The desktop looks like they are almost trying to look like symphony, but as you can see below, all the configurations and applets are just regular kde applets. I'd never thought of doing that with the clock before. I thought it looked nice.

    

The kernel source is included and the nvidia graphic drivers built for me with no issues. The desktop looked great under vesa, but it looks even better under nvidia. The fonts were the most noticeable improvement and the greater resolution is always appreciated.

Your network connection isn't set up automagically, which is almost a standard feature these days, but after setting mine up at the commandline, I then noticed the network configuration in the menu. Yet there is a downside to that menu configuration method as well. You can set it up static or dhcp, and then it puts an Network Connection icon on root's desktop to connect or disconnect.

Another item found in the menu is the synaptic frontend to apt-get. Upon clicking and entering the root password, it opened and asked if I wanted to refresh the source list. Unfortunately there didn't seem to be any updates or additional packages available to test that aspect. However, I have no reason to doubt it'd work just fine.

So, all and all I found Underground Desktop 012/013 to be a wonderful early effort. It looks nice and allows one an easy modern Debian installation. Included apps are a bit sparce, I really missed ksnapshot. It's mostly stable tho I did experience a few konqueror crashes. It's really nice to look at and speed is above average being optimized for i686. It has a few issues to work through, but I think Underground Desktop is another one to watch. Seems I'm not the only one that thinks so.

My Screenshots.

Their Screenshots.

Download.

More in Tux Machines

Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Phone - With Android

I ever so slightly regret the "upgrade" to Android. With a version less than the tablet, the UI changes are extremely noticeable, and the transition isn't as smooth. The device lags, and it just doesn't have enough processing power to give the necessary feel of goodness and elegance. On the other hand, you get tons of native applications that you can actually use, as opposed to the Ubuntu Touch idea. Shame really. For 'tis a compromise. If you ask me, I wholeheartedly embrace the M10 tablet upgrade, but on the phone, you might as well keep Ubuntu unless you need the device for serious use. If it's just an opportunistic call/SMS thing for when abroad and such, or to loan to friends, the original combo is adequate. If you need apps, then Android is the way to go, but do not except any miracles. It won't be speedy, and it won't be too pretty. All in all, an okay player. It is silly attaching sentiments to software or hardware, but I do guess I will fondly remember the Ubuntu phone attempt as a noble idea to make something great and fun. I could have kept the device in its original state, perhaps, but in the end, it would have ended in a pile of ancient stuff you keep around for a decade until you decide you need to throw it away to leave room for fresh memories and less ancient stuff. Having a flawless Android experience would have helped soften the edge, but as it is, it remains the bittersweet attempt at what could have been a revolution. The end. Read more Also: Ubuntu Desktop weekly update – February 23, 2018

​Docker and Red Hat News

  • ​Docker has a business plan headache
    We love containers. And, for most of us, containers means Docker. As RightScale observed in its RightScale 2018 State of the Cloud report, Docker's adoption by the industry has increased to 49 percent from 35 percent in 2017.
  • Mycroft Widget, Atos and Red Hat's New Cloud Container Solution, npm Bug and More
    Atos and Red Hat announced this morning "a new fully-managed cloud container solution - Atos Managed OpenShift (AMOS) - built on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform". The press release adds, "Because AMOS is built on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, a container-centric hybrid cloud solution, it can deliver the flexibility customers seek from cloud-native and container-based applications."
  • Red Hat Decision Manager 7 Boosts BPM with Low-Code Approach
    Red Hat is perhaps best known for its Enterprise Linux platform, but it has been a player in the Business Process Management (BPM) suite for over a decade too. On Feb. 21, Red Hat Decision Manager 7 was officially announced as the successor to the company's JBoss Business Rules Management System (BRMS) product. Red Hat first released BRMS back in May 2009 which itself was an evolution of the JBoss Rules Engine.
  • Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) – Active Stock Evaluation

FATHOM releases Crystallon

  • FATHOM releases Crystallon, an open-source software for lattice-based design
    Lattice structures are integral to 3D printed designs, and Aaron Porterfield, an industrial designer at additive manufacturing service bureau FATHOM, has developed Crystallon, an open source project for shaping them into structures.
  • FATHOM Introduces Open Source Software Project for Generating 3D Lattice Structures
    California-based FATHOM, which expanded its on-site managed services and announced important partnerships with Stratasys and Desktop Metal last year, is introducing a fascinating new open source project called Crystallon, which uses Rhino and Grasshopper3D to create lattice structures. FATHOM industrial designer Aaron Porterfield, also an Instructables member, developed the project as an alternative to designing lattices with commercially available software. He joined the company’s design and engineering team three years ago, and is often a featured speaker for its Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) Training Program – and as the project developer, who better to explain the Crystallon project?

Kernel and Graphics: Machine Learning, Mesa, Wayland/Mir, AMDGPU

  • AI-Powered / Machine Learning Linux Performance Tuning Is Now A Thing
    A year and a half ago I wrote about a start-up working on dynamically-tuned, self-optimizing Linux servers. That company is now known as Concertio and they just launched their "AI powered" toolkit for IT administrators and performance engineers to optimize their server performance. Concertio Optimizer Studio is their product making use of machine learning that aims to optimize Linux systems with Intel CPUs for peak performance by scoping out the impact of hundreds of different tunables for trying to deliver an optimal configuration package for that workload on that hardware.
  • Pengutronix Gets Open-Source 3D Working On MX8M/GC7000 Hardware
    We've known that Pengutronix developers had been working on i.MX8M / GC7000 graphics support within their Etnaviv open-source driver stack from initial patches posted in January. Those patches back at the start of the year were for the DRM kernel driver, but it turns out they have already got basic 3D acceleration working.
  • SDL Now Disables Mir By Default In Favor Of Wayland Compatibility
    With Mir focusing on Wayland compatibility now, toolkits and other software making direct use of Mir's APIs can begin making use of any existing Wayland back-end instead. GTK4 drops the Mir back-end since the same can be achieved with the Wayland compatibility and now SDL is now making a similar move.
  • Mesa 18.1 Receives OpenGL 3.1 With ARB_compatibility For Gallium3D Drivers
    Going back to last October, Marek of AMD's open-source driver team has been working on ARB_compatibility support for Mesa with a focus on RadeonSI/Gallium3D. Today that work was finally merged. The ARB_compatibility support allows use of deprecated/removed features of OpenGL by newer versions of the specification. ARB_compatibility is particularly useful for OpenGL workstation users where there are many applications notorious for relying upon compatibility contexts / deprecated GL functionality. But ARB_compatibility is also used by a handful of Linux games too.
  • AMDGPU In Linux 4.17 Exposes WattMan Features, GPU Voltage/Power Via Hwmon
    AMD's Alex Deucher today sent in the first pull request to DRM-Next of AMDGPU (and Radeon) DRM driver feature material that will in turn be merged with the Linux 4.17 kernel down the road. There's some fun features for AMDGPU users coming with this next kernel! First up, Linux is finally getting some WattMan-like functionality after it's been available via the Windows Radeon Software driver since 2016. WattMan allows for more fine-tuning of GPU clocks, voltages, and more for trying to maximize the power efficiency. See the aforelinked article for details but currently without any GUI panel for tweaking all of the driver tunables, this WattMan-like support needs to be toggled from the command-line.