After months of testing the first stable release of Ubuntu-based Linux distro Deepin (previously known as ‘Linux Deepin’) is now available for download.
Deepin 2014, based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, doesn’t use GNOME Shell, Unity or Cinnamon as its desktop environment but a custom shell written in HTML5 and Go. The result is a desktop that is responsive, relatively resource friendly (excusing the Compiz dependency) and highly distinctive.
The Deepin Desktop Environment 2.0 adds some notable new features including hot corner settings and the ability to uninstall software directly from the application launcher.
The Deepin Control Centre is another headline feature. It puts system settings into a new desktop panel accessible from the right-hand side of the screen and features improved modules for configuring display, network and theme management.
The OS is famed for more than forging its own direction. The 30+ strong team of developers also maintain a varied set of desktop applications. In Deepin 2014 these have all been updated to their latest and greatest versions.
Of particular note is the fantastic Software Centre, which puts Ubuntu’s own offering to shame, while the music and video player apps excel at being user friendly and the Games Centre makes finding free, fun programmes easier than Mario Kart SNES on 50cc.
Download and Install Deepin 2014
Want to try it? Deepin 2014 is a free download and should (no promises, mind) work on any hardware Ubuntu does. It also supports installation on dual-BIOS and UEFI/Secure Boot devices. If you’re thinking of using it in a virtual machine you may want to have a rethink: the use of Compiz means performance is subpar.
Users of Deepin 2014 alpha, beta or RC can upgrade to the final release through the update manager. But users of older versions, including the previous stable release, Deepin 2013.1, will need to perform a fresh install.
Weighing in at a mammoth 1.5GB, and this being release day, prepare yourself for slow downloads if grabbing a copy from the server. To help speed things up for everyone I suggest using the official torrents:
If you give it a whirl don’t forget to let us know what you think either through the comments below or on Twitter, using the hashtag #deepin2014.