Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fuduntu 14.10: An interview with Andrew Wyatt 'Fewt'

As I recently mentioned, I will soon post a review on Fuduntu 14.10. I can already share with you that I am loving this release and that the Fuduntu Team's hard work is showing, but I will leave details for the review itself.

It was around 6 months ago that I got in touch with Andrew Wyatt (a.k.a. Fewt, lead developer for Fuduntu) to REVIEW release 14.7 of his distro FUDUNTU. Fewt kindly answered a number of questions which provided context to why Fuduntu was shaping up the way it was. I think that interview is still relevant, specially because it makes the evolution to 14.10 even more obvious when compared to current Fuduntu. In fact, Andrew was kind enough to answer some more questions about 14.10, so it's interesting to compare what his take was back then and where he stands today.


I now noticed how Jupiter is making a difference in my battery consumption and also how it automatically applies different power schemas depending on whether the PC is running on batteries or AC. Can you quickly explain what the latest changes in Jupiter are about?

The only recent changes to Jupiter revolve around enabling power savings in hardware devices like your SATA or Audio. I revised Jupiter for kernel 2.6.38 as well where I started managing things like NMI Watchdog.

Are there plans to bring an administration console to Jupiter, so profiles can be tweaked in detail by users?

No, the idea behind Jupiter is to set it and forget it. Since Jupiter uses CPUFreq, the frequency change would be made there. For the dynamic kernel tuning feature, that lives in /usr/lib/Jupiter. Just apply the kernel tuning there and it'll manage it automatically.

There is no default Torrent app (personally, I wish there was, I use em so much!), is it because of a CD size limitation?

It's based on my assumption that not everyone uses torrents. There hasn't really been a demand for it, so we left it out for space purposes, yes.

I see you took a step forward embracing cloud services, specially from Google, which I personally think is the way to go. What do you think are the benefits of offering these services through a desktop application wrapper instead of a browser tab?

The only real benefit is to inform new users that they have the ability to use this service. Kind of like a bookmark. That way they don't feel as though we have given them a desktop without the tools needed to perform their needed functions.

AWN over Docky. Any particular reason?

Yes. We tested AWN and Docky heavily, and found that AWN was lighter on resources which improved battery life and reduced memory consumption.

After introducing Gmail and GDocs, why a heavy audio player like Banshee? I think perhaps a wrapper around a service like GrooveShark would have also worked?

I don't think Banshee is terribly heavy. In addition, I like how they have integrated the music store, and feel we should support that.

VLC is the default video player, but I noticed that several video formats don't default to it, so sometimes I was getting Banshee trying to run them. I think it would be great to have VLC as the default player for all. Any plans to make that happen?

It's on my list of future improvements. If you run the 64bit version of Fuduntu it doesn't seem to have this issue. I'll fix it soon.

I have noticed an improvement in font rendering since the last time I tried Fuduntu. What has happened behind the scenes for such improvement?

I integrated Infinality's font rendering patches. They aim to improve fonts without violating patents. They look great, don't they?

You do mention many other improvements in many areas which, among other things, improve performance. Can you provide a bit more background here?

Certainly. We utilize cgroups to manage terminal processes. We reduce swappiness so the kernel doesn't write memory out to disk as often. We also move /tmp and /var/log to memory which reduces latency when opening and using applications in addition to improving battery life.

There are more changes too but those are some of the most important changes.


As I said, Fuduntu 14.10 is a great release. Expect more on it in my soon to come review...



  1. Oh wow, I didn't realize that this was an interview. I thought I was answering questions related to your review. Sorry about the short answers, I just tried to answer your questions really fast before I left for work. If you have more questions though feel free to shoot them my way. :)

  2. I'M ready fr the reviews...