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"I'm happy to announce that AriOS 4.0 final has been released. Built upon the solid base of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, AriOS comes with GNOME Shell as the default desktop, carefully modified and enhanced using a number of extensions to offer a better and more familiar user experience. AriOS is not a yet-another Ubuntu remaster. It comes with a slew of features, some of them unique. A beautiful, productivity-oriented desktop session using Avant Window Navigator + Compiz/Metacity; a script to auto-detect NVIDIA Optimus chips and install Bumblebee software; a GUI to turn on/off auto-mounting of partitions at boot; a handpicked selection of multimedia, graphics and office software."
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 7
Arios is basically a respin of Ubuntu, with no repository of its own. It chiefly differs in offering the Gnome desktop and a customised Arios one; itís therefore very similar to Pinguy. But it comes from Iran, and so has excellent support for the Persian language.
The website warns that a few computers may boot to a blank grey screen, which happened to me, but the solution is simple. Once the live session is running one can use the standard installer, Ubiquity. As is often the case, this will lock-up if you try to encrypt /home.
The selection of software is generous: LibreOffice, Firefox & Chromium, Thunderbird & Geary, Xchat, Pidgin, Choqok, Gimp, Mypaint, Inkscape, Shotwell, Audacious & Rhythmbox, Audacity, Cheese, Openshot, Totem & VLC & Smplayer! Of these, only Choqok, Audacity, Rhythmbox, and Totem left warnings when run from the CLI, but Audacious wouldnít run at all. You also get Wine, Virtualbox, and dial-up internet. Codecs are installed and work perfectly, even on my Ďmp4 from hellí, but the Flash plugin has to be installed using a tool on the desktop. Unlike Ubuntu, Arios accepted my USB speakers. This was the first distro Iíve used that defaults to zsh rather than bash. For some reason, Arios seems a little bloated ó itís larger than Pinguy and even OpenSUSE ó so 1GB is advisable.
If you like Ubuntu but prefer Gnome 3 to Unity, this probably has the edge on Pinguy.