back to article China's openKylin 1.0 arrives. Our verdict? Not a bad-looking, er, Ubuntu remix

Version 1.0 of the openKylin Linux distro for the domestic Chinese market is here – and it works pretty well in English, too. As The Reg reported last year, openKylin has been in development for some years. The FOSS desk took openKylin 0.7 for a spin soon afterwards. It reached version 0.9.5 at the start of 2023, and now the …

  1. BPontius

    And how many trojans, backdoors, keyloggers and viruses is this thing loaded with? Not going to happen!!!!

    1. Martin Summers Silver badge

      I don't know why you're being downvoted, the idea that there *wouldn't be* a considerable amount of Government spying and backdoors going on would be unthinkable.

    2. Dan-K

      You're prejudiced, are you proud of that? How about actually trying it in a VM first?

  2. 3arn0wl

    Now comes the hard part...

    Persuading the people to adopt it. The success of China2025 depends on that. No country, as yet, has had much success in weaning their citizens off proprietary software, but I wish China every success in doing so.

  3. Roopee Bronze badge
    Big Brother

    Looks nice, but...

    My first thought was “looks nice, and a lot like iOS”, my second thought was “does it do any phoning home”?

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Looks nice, but...

      My second thought was more "how much effort would it take to stop it phoning home?"

      I suspect the answer is "a lot"

  4. Roland6 Silver badge

    Playing fast and loose with the GOL?

    >” we think it's the latest UKUI 4, but it reports itself as version 1.0 in the system's Settings app.”

    Does this mean the originating project(s) are not being correctly and fully recognised?

    One of the benefits of accreditation is that it gives some idea of what might be compatible .

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Playing fast and loose with the GOL?

      Almost certainly not. All they have to do to comply with the original license is to include the license terms including the copyright statement somewhere in the system. I'm sure there's a file in /usr/share that does that. It doesn't even have to be unusual to do that, because that is what forks are likely to do; they no longer use the original name because they might make breaking changes and don't guarantee compatibility, so if this is going to be made into a new version by the Kylin team, they might have done the new version numbers to make that clearer. That doesn't guarantee that they have done what they need to, but their obligations are pretty easy to do and don't require them to produce useful compatibility statements.

  5. train_wreck

    Can’t imagine the CCP being too thrilled about VPN being right there in taskbar by default. Not that it makes a huge difference. Life finds a way and all.

    1. alain williams Silver badge


      That depends on who provides the VPN. It the CCP can get what it wants from the VPN servers ... why not ?

    2. Mostly Irrelevant

      If it's there, the CCP wants it there.

    3. Dan-K

      Actually it's called the CPC not CCP. CCP is a misnomer, most likely derived from CCCP which is the Cyrillic abbreviation of USSR.

  6. Mostly Irrelevant

    Looks like the Kylin team convinced the government to give them enough money to build their own distribution, then the just took their existing Ubuntu remix and slapped a coat of paint on it and pocketed the rest of the money.

    Sounds like how it works in China.

  7. Bartholomew

    Ubuntu vs Microsoft vs openkylin

    I would love to see a comparison in bytes and packets sent and received daily for each for of the above Operating systems for miscellaneous-phone-home/telemetry/telemetry-plus-spyware.

    1. 3arn0wl

      Re: Ubuntu vs Microsoft vs openkylin

      I'd be very interested to see the results of that experiment too.

  8. Mockup1974 Bronze badge

    "Copyright 2023, all rights reserved". is this just standard legalese or are they trying to weasel out of the GPL? sorry if that's a stupid question!

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      The copyright line is required and is present even when the GPL applies. The "All rights reserved" isn't required and was probably put there on autopilot by someone who has seen it after nearly every copyright line. It has relatively little meaning anyway, but when the GPL explicitly applies, it cannot counteract any of that license's provisions. Unless they've also changed the GPL, it has no effect on what the user can do. If they have replaced it, things get more complicated but we'd have to look at the specific changes.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No swapfile? No problem...

    ... when you have enough RAM. Which most PCs do these days.

    I've not checked it, but if I were writing that installer script, it would check how much RAM you actually have and make a sensible decision as to whether or not a swap file is likely to be required.

    Unless of course you want to be able to suspend to disk (not just suspend to RAM) when suspending a laptop. But that takes time, so who wants to do that these days?

    1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: No swapfile? No problem...

      [Author here]

      > No swapfile? No problem...

      You know what? Actually, that's a fair point. On the other hand, I ran it initially in a 4 GB VM, and it did not run well at all. When I doubled that to 8 gig things got much better.

      Sadly, the suspend the disk functionality seems to be broken on a lot of modern hardware, which is why Ubuntu disables it by default.

      It's interesting to note that somehow, between Windows 2000 and Windows XP, Microsoft did something in windows – I don't know what — that made not only boot up and shut down much quicker, but also dramatically sped up suspend to disc and resume.

      It is the nature of computer software design that once somebody has done something, usually, others can come along and recreate that with very much less work. I wish that somebody from the Linux world could recreate that acceleration in suspend and resume… but sadly I think that it is largely unused functionality these days, so it's not gonna happen.

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