Ultramarine Linux 40: A Well-Crafted Fedora Spin

3 min

A new release of Ultramarine Linux 40 is now available & we did a test drive for a quick review.

Ultramarine Linux, which is a fairly new Linux distribution based on Fedora, has out with its latest version 40 a few days back. This release brings a refreshed package set based on the Fedora 40 release at its core, with some key changes.

This distribution was initially in focused on providing Pantheon desktop with Fedora. But due to slow development of Pantheon & maintenance burden, the team has dropped Pantheon from this version onwards.

In addition, the flagship version with Budgie desktop is offered with options to choose GNOME, KDE Plasma and Xfce desktop environment.

Let’s have a quick run through.

Ultramarine Linux 40: Review

Installation & ISO

Ultramarine Linux 40 uses the same Anaconda installer used by Fedora. However, the team is working on a new installer called “Readymade” in the coming days. While that is being worked on, you can use the current installer for seamless installation. During my test, the installation went smooth for this release.

Furthermore, you get separate ISO files for each desktop environments – Budgie, KDE Plasma, GNOME and Xfce.

Core updates and Looks

Ultramarine Linux 40 is powered by Linux Kernel 6.8 as of publishing this. Since it is based on Fedora, you should get the upcoming Kernel in its lifecycle of 6 months. Thanks to the latest Kernel, the hardware, drivers are auto-detected during my test including printers, graphics cards.

This distribution packs Flatpak by default and enables you to install hundreds of Flathub packages by default. In addition, Ultramarine Linux also features its custom repository “Terra” on top of Fedora 40’s default repositories. Hence, you get a few custom packages tweaked to its style.

Ultramarine Linux 40 - Xfce Edition
Ultramarine Linux 40 – Xfce Edition

Overall, the looks are well crafted on top of the default Fedora looks for GNOME, KDE Plasma, Budgie and Xfce desktop. A new combination of dark/light wallpaper is introduced for Ultramarine 40 which complements its looks. The default shell is Zsh which is customized with a nice theme for all the terminal fans.

Zsh shell
Zsh shell

Default Applications

Ultramarine 40 brings usual default applications offered by Fedora Linux. It does not have any native apps to offer anything extra. Common applications include Firefox (v126) and LibreOffice (v24.2) which are pre-installed in all the desktop environments.

The additional apps such as text editor, image viewer, and software manager are based on the desktop environment you use. So, if you use KDE Plasma desktop, you have GWenview (image viewer), KWrite for text editing. For Xfce desktop environment, you get Mousepad and Ristretto image viewer.


The performance of Ultramarine Linux 40 is almost identical with the Fedora 40. In an idle system which is running for 12 hours in virtualbox, it uses 1.4 GB of RAM. Most of the resources are consumed by systemd and Kwin (for KDE Plasma edition).

The default installation takes around 5 GB of disk space for KDE Plasma edition. Xfce and Budgie edition should be a little less.

Ultramarine Linux 40 Performance
Ultramarine Linux 40 Performance

Wrapping Up

Overall, Ultramarine Linux 40 is mostly identical with Fedora at this moment. Since it is under the Fyra Labs, you may get some more stability on top of Fedora. Deprecating Pantheon desktop with Fedora is unfortunate due to its slow development.

The Pantheon desktop offering was one of the uniqueness of this distribution. Because there is no distribution today which offers Pantheon with Fedora base. Since that is now gone, it is almost identical to stock Fedora. A few more customizations or native apps probably would make it a little different from the stock Fedora experience.

You can download it from the official website.


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