1 Apr 2012

Hsiloof Linux: The Real Breakthrough, No More Wine!

There are plenty of things that you can do when you have plenty of money.

Mark Shuttleworth, for example, spent some of his fortune for the privilege of being one of the first space tourists. Another part of his capital is involved in the company named Canonical, which works on the famous Linux distribution, Ubuntu.

Russian oligarchs have not been enrolled in the list of space tourists yet. But, they spend money generously, too. There are football (Chelsea, Arsenal, Monaco, Anzhi) and basketball clubs (NJ Nets), yachts and other expensive projects.

Breaking news came today. Russian oligarch Stepan Biladidze took a role as a presenter, personally, on the forum in the Russian capital of Moscow today. The forum is dedicated to free and open source software, and was specially called for the announcement of the new Linux distribution: Hsiloof Linux.

Hsiloof is not a Russian name, he explained. It was taken from the language of the African tribe Bamba, and translated into English as “Something extra”.

What is offered in the distribution?

First of all, it is not based on any other distribution, but was rather created “from scratch”. Even the Desktop Environment is not a standard one. Unity, KDE, GNOME, XFCE and LXDE lovers will certainly admit they’ve never seen anything like this before. Although the developers admit that they got a certain part of the code from the KDE project, most of the functionality was adapted and adjusted. The Desktop Environment’s name is the same as the distribution’s own: Hsiloof. Most of the people who have tried the distribution on the forum admitted that Hsiloof DE is nicely integrated and intuitive for everyone, from newbies to Unix experts.

Other than the DE, the default distribution contains Libre Office 3.14, Chromofox browser, VLC player, Qutim instant messenger, GIMP graphical editor and lots of other more or less standard stuff.

Apart from applications in the default distribution, Hsiloof Linux allows you to install lots of other applications. Some of them are available in the repository. The default package format is .deb, and Synaptic is the default package manager. Although there are more options available for people who prefer graphical blips and blops. Ubuntu Software Centre can be installed to work as a software package manager in Hsiloof Linux.

And here is the place where the greatest benefit of Hsiloof Linux comes into play. Once you have Ubuntu Software Centre installed, you get an option to install… Windows applications! Yes, you read it right. No more separate Wine installation and configuration, no more tweaks and tricks!

Wine, or some derivative of it, is built into the distribution itself. It means that you can install and run both Windows and Linux applications in this operating system, and they will work like they are in their native OS. That’s a real breakthrough!

I tried the distribution, and I can confirm every single word in the official announcement.

Unfortunately, I have not found any screenshot utility anywhere in the default distribution or in the repository. Even the GIMP built-in screenshot utility did not work for me. Let’s write this off due to the early stage of the distribution's existence. Because of that, there is no screenshot in this review.

Anyway, the distribution has started its life. And its future seems promising. Let’s wish all the best to the newcomer, and monitor its future. Stay in touch, and there are is a good chance that I will write a more detailed review of that OS sometime in the future.

And for those who took this article seriously: please scroll to the top of it and check the date.

This post was edited by djohnston.


  1. Given the use of .deb etc. not basing on Debian seems a little....foolish!

  2. Great news,pls update every point about this distribution!
    When it is getting release?

  3. another retarded lame april fools article.... getting a bit old

  4. Dang! I was looking for a download link! Good one!

  5. I've been had.

  6. Read the name backward.

  7. On April 1st, always with a ton of salt.
    Great stuff.

  8. Thanks to everyone who got the point. And also to those who did not.

  9. You got me! April Fools

  10. Ah. Jape of the decade. The scary thing about April Fools day is that if something strange does happen such as an asteroid heading to earth we are all going to fold our arms and say "yeah right, of course it is".