StartOS 6 is a Linux distribution developed by the Wali Network Technology Co., Ltd., Dōngguǎn China.

The very first edition of what is now called StartOS were based on Ubuntu, but the distribution has since dumped Ubuntu to become one that is not based on any other distribution. In other words, it is now an original or independent distribution, with its own package management system.

This is my first look at this distribution and the following screen shots are from a test installations of the GNOME 3 and KDE editions of the first beta release of what will become StartOS 6.

Like almost every other distribution, StartOS 6 beta is made available as installable Live ISO images. The boot menu is shown below. Supported languages are English, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional).
StartOS 6 Boot menu

The installer seems to be a highly modified version of the old Ubuntu Desktop installer. However, unlike Ubuntu’s installer, all configurations are done from one window. There’s no support for disk encryption, home directory encryption, and LVM, the Linux Logical Volume Manager.
StartOS 6 Installer

The GNOME edition runs GNOME 3.8.3, with an extensions-modified GNOME Shell. Aside from the top panel, there is a bottom panel or task manager at the bottom edge of the desktop.
StartOS 6 GNOME 3 desktop

System details.
StartOS 6 GNOME 3 system info

Activities overview.
StartOS Linux 6 GNOME 3 activities overview

Using the installed GNOME Tweak Tool, an application menu can be enabled.
StartOS 6 GNOME 3 app menu

This shows a partial list of installed applications.
StartOS 6 GNOME 3 apps

More of installed applications.
StartOS 6 GNOME 3 apps

Applications can be managed from the command-line using the ypkg (ypkg2), the package manager’s command-line tool. No apt-get here.
StartOS 6 package manager

There is also a beautiful graphical interface that looks like a fork of an old version of Deepin Software Center, the graphical package manager of Linux Deepin.
StartOS 6 Software Center

There appears to be very few (compared to other distributions) applications in its repository. Calligra Office suite is available, but LibreOffice is not.
StartOS 6 Software Center

The KDE edition runs KDE 4.10.4, the latest stable version available. The Kickoff menu is the default.
StartOS 6 desktop KDE

There is also the Lancelot menu, which is much better than the Kickoff menu.
StartOS 6 desktop KDE lancelot menu

This is an interesting distribution and it is one that I’ll keep an eye on. Would love to see what the final version will look like, especially in the area of applications available for installation.

Want to test StartOS 6 beta yourself? Download a 64-bit installation image for the KDE or GNOME 3 edition from here.

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3 Responses

  1. “Wellcome to StartOS”

    Chinese open source software is really kicking off, until recently I’ve always considered their code to be at the quality of many imported products. But they have the man power and drive to make some truly brilliant things the Chinese.

    MIUI, some other Linux distro recently released with their own Gnome based DE was very polished with a brilliant looking repo browser, Kingsoft office!!

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