Here’s a quick review of UbuntuDDE Remix version 22.04, released a few days back.
UbuntuDDE Remix 22.04 Review
UbuntuDDE Remix is an unofficial & community-contributed Ubuntu spin featuring the Deepin desktop. Deepin desktop (DDE) is the most beautiful Linux desktop by default which brings a well-designed desktop with its native applications.
This distribution is fairly new, with the first release during Ubuntu 20.04 LTS released a couple of years back. And now, with the release of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish, this distro emits another great release.
Why should you use it?
If you really love the Deepin desktop, its looks, and native applications with an Ubuntu LTS base, then this distro is for you. That means you choose this distro just because of Deepin Desktop.
Other than that, it’s identical to Ubuntu LTS at its core (except for some minor modifications).
Chinese users may find this distro compelling because it’s the only distro based on Ubuntu and features Deepin. It’s worth mentioning that Deepin Linux is based on Debian’s “stable” branch.
For non-Chinese users, I don’t think anyone would use this distro unless you really love Deepin desktop and its 20+ native applications.
It probably needs more fine-tuning & testing. I will come to that shortly. Before that, some usual review items.
Download, ISO size, installation
The download was fine for UbuntuDDE Remix 22.04, and the iso file size was similar to Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, i.e. ~3GB.
UbuntuDDE Remix uses Calamares installer, configured for its purpose. For example, if you are using a Virtual machine environment (such as VirtualBox, GNOME Boxes or virt-manager, etc.), it would prompt you to choose a performance or minimal effect version.
Other than that, the Calamares installer is straightforward, and I found no issues while installing.
First look & New Features for 22.04 Release
Deepin desktop is indeed a beautiful desktop. In this version, you get to experience the Vanilla Deepin desktop flavour. At the bottom, you have the standard panel with an application launcher (like KDE), a middle dock section and a system tray.
The panel itself is very productive. The default shortcuts are well placed, and the usual tray options are easily accessible (sound, battery indicator, calendar.
One of the new items you get in this release is the Deepin Desktop Grand Search. It’s a desktop launcher like KRunner. When activated via SHIFT+SPACE, a popup appears with a search box. You can search for installed applications. However, it doesn’t search inside the app Or the file names/contents. It’s kind of a minimal launcher.
In addition to the above changes, most of the applications that you may need, apart from default ones, are pre-installed in UbuntuDDE Remix 22.04. These are separate apps from Deepin’s native applications.
For instance, the below essential apps are installed by default, which is good. Because otherwise, you end up installing them anyway.
- Synaptic Package Manager
However, the team did an excellent job with the native deb version of Firefox instead of the Snap version, which is the default for Ubuntu 22.04. Yet another distro follows the deb version.
Software installation is easy with Deepin Store, which really looks good. It’s a nice straightforward software installer that gives you easy access to applications via its categories.
However, you can also use Synaptic package manager for advanced installation.
Performance & System Requirements
UbuntuDDE Remix uses a modified version of the KWin window manager. Overall the performance is good, considering the heavy use of graphics to make it shiny. Deepin desktop environment performed well.
The minimum recommended requirement is 4GB of RAM with a 2GHz processor and above. You can run it well in modern hardware not less than five years old.
It uses around 7 to 10 % CPU and 1.4GB of memory in the idle phase. Most of the resources are consumed by the Deepin desktop, followed by KWin.
If you run more applications such as web browsers, graphics programs, etc. – the resource consumption would increase in that ratio.
A default installation takes up 8GB of disk space, which is slightly higher because of pre-loaded apps.
Things that didn’t go well for UbuntuDDE Remix 22.04
During my day-long test of this distro, most of the things worked out of the box. That includes audio, Bluetooth, printer and other peripherals.
However, some of the items I feel require little polishing in the future.
First of all, the built-in dark mode completely crashes KWin. When I selected the dark mode from the settings window, KWin kept crashing, which looked like an infinite loop. I had to somehow shutdown and re-install. Because next time you boot, Deepin’s desktop picks up that dark theme which is already in error. So, there is no way out of this without reinstalling. Hence, don’t dare to change the theme to dark if you use this version.
Second, the design of windows and tabs seem off for some dialogues. For example, in the below window, you can see the main window doesn’t have rounded corners – whereas the toolbar buttons and tabs have them. Also, the fonts to icon ratios are off.
Third, the terminal theme is not set correctly by default. You can’t see the errors at all because of the white text with white background.
In addition, there are some minor errors in some places, which are not that a showstopper to use.
To summarise, UbuntuDDE Remix 22.04 brings the following features.
- Linux Kernel 5.15 LTS
- Based on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS
- Includes all the Deepin desktop native apps
- Introduces the Deepin grand search in this version
- Additional apps are included in the ISO, reducing your effort post-installation.
However, it does have some annoying errors, as I described above. If you can get past those, it can act as a daily driver since there are no other distro offerings with Deepin and Ubuntu LTS.
Finally, do let me know your opinion about UbuntuDDE Remix 22.04 review. Are you planning to give it a try?
You can download this version on the official website.