ArtistX 0.7 http://www.artistx.org/site2/
ArtistX is touted as a “free multimedia live Gnu/Linux distribution for audio, 2D and 3D graphics and video”. It’s based on Ubuntu (Intrepid 8.10) with Gnome and KDE desktops and featured literally 2,500 software packages in the media, graphics, and video space. In fact, ArtistX claims to have included all currently available Linux software in the multimedia space, and therefore can turn your computer into a full multimedia production studio.
When I read the blurb from their website, my initial reaction was, why not just stick with Ubuntu and toss in whatever apps from their distro looked interesting. For starters, how much time would it take you to carefully select and add 2,500 new apps (many that are not available on the Ubuntu repositories)? There is an amazing number of useful tools all packaged up nicely here into one distro. Have a look at the gallery below to see the screenshots of the menu categories.
Here’s the main desktop.
Pleasant, neat, very Gnome… The desktop background is a bit too much in my opinion, but we get the idea of what they are trying to accomplish. ArtistX has a KDE desktop as well, but the real action here is in the multimedia packages.
The download is about 3.3 GB, which I decided to take from the Torrent listed on their website. The iso file download is then burned to a DVD, and voila, you have a Live DVD to either run ArtistX or install to your USB drive without ever touching your hard drive.
Is ArtistX the Uber Linux?
The menu structure is very pleasant, and well organized. It’s actually easier to use than Ubuntu. Considering the large number of applications to choose from, you can see that they gave a lot of thought as to how to display them and make it easy to access all your favorite (and never seen before) tools.
This distro really has a lot of good things going on. ArtistX is based on Ubuntu (which itself is based on Debian), so you know you’re starting with a solid base. The polish of the site is evident. Likewise, they have compiled an enormous amount of software tools into one flavor of Linux. It would take many days (and weeks) to go through all of the thousands of tools included in ArtistX.
Despite their ‘calling card’, ArtistX is not just about an enormous number of graphical and multimedia tools. Have a look at the Games and Education section. It looks like they tossed in Edubuntu as well. There’s also about 50 internet tools, 30 office tools, 40 programming tools, and needless to say, a seemingly unending number of graphics, sound, and media tools.
ArtistX is still in the early stages and may not be your workhorse desktop distro just yet (they are still on v.0.70), but there’s a great potential here. If you are interested in using Linux as your multimedia workstation, then you’ll definitely want to give it a try. The only question that I have is, what can they add for the next release, since everything is already included!