Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at 16:29

Uruk GNU/Linux is a complete, user-friendly desktop operating system with strong commitment in free software that is derived from Trisquel. Uruk 2.0 is derived from Trisquel 8 Flidas (that is still in Beta now) that is derived from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. Uruk features MATE Desktop as its interface, with LibreOffice and VLC there, plus Emacs and GIMP preinstalled, and completed with Ubiquity to easily install the system. If you kindly want a 100% free distro (despite for now, it hasn't been recognized by FSF) that is user-friendly and actively developed, I wish you'll be happy with Uruk. So here's a quick look to its live session. Enjoy!

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This article is about Uruk. If you need review about another 100% free distro, read Trisquel review.

System Info

In case if you don't know, every 100% free distro is using Linux-libre kernel. It's not Linux, it's Linux-libre. It is a liberated version of the original Linux kernel (hence the name: Linux-libre) that is all binary blobs/proprietary components removed. Here's the details of Uruk 2.0 Beta 1:


1. Desktop Overview

This is the user interface of Uruk. It features top panel, bottom dock, with icons-on-desktop, and menu is accessible via Super key. Basically, this is MATE Desktop, the same desktop used in Trisquel GNU/Linux (or Ubuntu MATE).

2. Emacs

Yes, Uruk features GNU Emacs, the legendary file editor. To complete the happy news: it brings Org-Mode preinstalled. A FSDG-based distro to bring Emacs is a clever decision I think and I'm happy with that!

Emacs showing Org-mode

3. VLC Video Player

To fill the multimedia needs, Uruk features VLC. You can play any audio and videos (including MP3) with it. So with Uruk, you can play all your movies and audio files without having to install anything more.

VLC showing video about Emacs

4. GIMP Image Editor

GIMP is featured to assist you edit and retouch photos. GIMP is a libre and excellent replacement for Photoshop. So with Uruk you can do your graphic design jobs as well as teaching it in schools.

GIMP 2.8.16 showing single-window mode

4. Applications

Uruk is desktop-oriented OS (just like Ubuntu and Windows) so nothing strange if it includes complete set of applications for home-office needs. Uruk brings you internet suite (browser, mail, IRC, and bittorrent), office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentation), utilities (archiver, PDF reader, task manager, disk management, etc.), and many more. You can expect a just-work OS with Uruk.

Clockwise order: Abrowser, Engrampa (archiver), Calculator, Thunderbird (mail), Atril (PDF reader)

5. File Manager

Caja is featured for managing your files. If you come from Ubuntu, it's easier to understand because Caja is a descendant of the old Nautilus. If you come from Windows, it's not that hard to accustomed with, just switch "Places" to "Tree" on left panel and try it.

Caja showing double column (F3) and multitab (Ctrl+T)

6. Synaptic Package Manager

To add/remove programs, Uruk includes Synaptic for you. With this you can find any packages and applications, then install, upgrade, or remove them easily without having to learn command line. Synaptic is detailed when giving information so you can have better understanding to each package and even if any error occures, and also it has complete settings such as Fix Broken Packages and authenticated proxy.


Wait, Uruk also includes GDebi Package Installer along with it. This way, again, you can install package files (.deb) manually by clicks without knowing command line.

Don't stop at that! Uruk also provides Uruk Software Center. What, you ask, a software center besides Synaptic? Yes, Software Center is more colorful and icon-centric, with simpler interface, less buttons (and also less configurations). This one adds the number of "Software Center" ("SC") programs known for GNU/Linux after Ubuntu SC, GNOME SC, more and more, and now Uruk SC. The main feature is it won't ever promote proprietary software to you.

7. Settings

Control Center on Uruk helps you to easily alter all settings, from Mouse/Keyboard to Networking, Monitor to Bluetooth, and from Themes to Icons. For example, you can add new keyboard shortcut (such as Shift+Printscreen) in Hardware > Keyboard Shortcuts > add it.

Control Center


Uruk looks so promising as desktop OS that is free-software-only. Uruk is already user-friendly and complete for daily use. If you're looking for such OS or don't want to wait Trisquel 8 final, then Uruk is for you. If you're regular user who are new in free software movement, then feel free to join Trisquel Forum first and have chats there (alimiracle, the Uruk developer, is there too). I'm waiting Uruk to be recognized by FSF soon. And finally I hope you all enjoy Uruk GNU/Linux!