Unity Linux 2011 Alpha 2 Released

The developers at the Unity Linux project are pleased to announce a brand new alpha snapshot of the upcoming 2011 release. The 2011 alpha 2 release provides a few big updates to core packages, but the emphasis on the 2011 release continues to be maintaining stability during structural changes that will accommodate a move toward Mandriva repositories.  This release shows our new aim which is to provide JEOS (Just Enough Operating System) to give users a core to build upon.  The Unity developers are aiming for an Arch-Linux-Like approach to things with future releases:  Provide a stable core on which users and developers can build while keeping updates rolling.  Therefore, Unity will only be released in a cli only version (command line interface) from this point on.

Installation of a desktop can be accomplished by following the Unity Linux Getting Started Guide.


The 2011 alpha brings the following to Unity Linux core ISO:

  • Kernel – version preserved for stability – other kernels available in testing/unstable repositories
  • Major DE and core updates as well as numerous package updates

The core structural changes slated for the 2011 release (previously noted in alpha 1 notes):

  • All dynamic dkms kernel modules to be converted to static kernel packages. [DONE]
  • NetworkManager to completely replace drakx-net [DONE]
  • Fully implemented unity metapackages [DONE]
  • Removal of HAL, and updating Xorg [DONE]
  • Move to rpm 5.3.x [DONE]
  • Move to python 2.7.x [DONE]
  • Update toolchain to GCC 4.5.x [DONE]
  • Update kernel version to 2.6.37.x or higher for better KMS support [IN PROGRESS]
  • Move toward Mandriva Repositories [IN PROGRESS]

We’ve also fixed bugs with create-basesystem, our script for ISO creation:

  • Guest account bug fixed
  • Finish Install bug fixed

The 2011 alpha 2 release is a test release to show the viability of the new direction of development for Unity Linux. As mentioned above, we have developed an in-house script (create-basesystem) to easily and reliably recreate snapshot ISOs of the Unity Linux package repository at anytime. The idea behind this is that using the create-basesystem script and unity metapackages, while also creating a <BRANCH>-desktop metapackage, one could easily recreate reliable and good branch ISOs.

The past practice has been to take a fully loaded ISO install it and go about customizing the packages installed to your liking, then create an ISO with mklivecd. While this is a great option for people that would like do their own remasters, for branch distribution developers, this option is not very clean nor is it very repeatable. Especially for branches that want to offer both i586 and x86_64 ISOs. The create-basesystem script along with unity metapackages and <BRANCH>-desktop metapackage will simplify and streamline the process for branch developers making it even easier to create your own distribution of Linux based on Unity.

Known issues:

  1. There is an acpi error toward the end of install…it will error out on it’s own.  We’ve found this bug and will have it eliminated before our next release.  The next release will be release candidate 1.
  2. udev has been upgraded to the most recent snapshot and you will see loop errors display after install as well as /run/udev errors during bootup.  These are merely cosmetic currently and we’re working on a resolution.

Install Notes

Please note that this is a command line only release.  You initiate the text installer with the command unity-installer as root.  Login with the password root and the user root.  See the Unity Linux Getting Started Guide for more information.



  1. i think you should reconsider to create an iso with a simple graphical interface for the newbies, maybe with icewm. i think the size of the iso image are not too much differ from the cli one.

  2. Kagaro Nopal

    Login??? Password???? why???? I did not understand the reason,
    Anyway WHERE DO I FIND THIS???????

  3. Congrats on your release.

  4. Mandrivian

    “[...] structural changes [...] will accommodate a move toward Mandriva repositories.”

    When Mandriva moved to KDE only approach, is there a reason to build custom Unity KDE?

  5. Somewhat Reticent

    What repositories are used by Mageia?

  6. At the moment, Mageia has its own repositores.
    It used to be about 6,200 packages at Mageia1 release time.

    Yesterday, Mandriva had 14571 SRPMS packages. 7512 weren’t maintained.

  7. MageaJeOS Wanter

    This project could be turned into a set of scripts to read a Mageia ISO/FTP/HTTP source and install a JeOS with optimal filesystem tuning, sysctl.conf, vmware-tools, etc. CLI only –though people who want it could maybe contribute a script to add the minimum components to give them the minimum GUI (beyond that they might as well just install Mageia. This project could be called “Mageia JeOS” –otherwise, eventually someone will build that and then there’s no reason for Unity Linux

  8. Will try this on a VM and hope for an environment that doesn’t shut down the system upon the installation of a DE.


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