After going through the Home Page of Ubuntu Kylin, I rather find no considerable difference between Ubuntu Kylin and Ubuntu with Chinese language set as default.

There are of course some special Chinese apps (Chinese lunar calendar, for example); but can't these apps be installed on Ubuntu as well?

So if I get an Ubuntu, customize it to have all the same apps as Kylin, and set Chinese as default language, what will be the difference between both?

What was the need of kylin, when ubuntu is itself so customizable?

There is no bad in bringing an custom Ubuntu for Chinese people.But there seems to be no reason for making it official.If we look at other official distros like lubuntu or xubuntu, they have a significant difference than ubuntu.This is not the case with kylin.It would only take, say 15 minutes to convert Ubuntu into Ubuntu Kylin.

  • At least to me personally, none of the answers on this page provided satisfactory info. Too much opinion, not enough actual research Mar 1 '16 at 2:57

It's just to be used as a national distro. Really deep there is no main differences between them but just to meet the needs of the Chinese government.

The Kylin OS was formerly developed by academics at the National University of Defense Technology in China. It was based on FreeBSD and was intended for use by the Chinese military and other government organizations. In 2013, the Chinese Government reached an agreement with Canonical for them to release a Chinese version of the popular Ubuntu distro and it will be used as a national OS.

For more information and check this.

  • @adityapatil Canonical head office is in London and there are branches in US, China, Brasil, Taiwan and UK,,,
    – Maythux
    Feb 14 '14 at 12:18
  • I find it a bit doubtful that a system originally developed from FreeBSD and intended for use of Chinese military could have much to do with a Ubuntu distro with slight differences with other Ubuntu. Maybe there was much more than that or the original "Kylin OS" is actually not that related to Ubuntu Qilin?
    – xji
    Aug 15 '15 at 11:48
  • 2
    No, those two aren't related, only in naming. The underlying system is different. Package management is different. Apps are different. Mar 1 '16 at 2:55

ubuntu kylin is basically made for chinese people so with every software chinese language is prefferd and some of the default software and framework has been changed.

  • some of the additional software like kingsoft office
  • Kingsoft Kuaipan cloud storage service, complete with 100GB of free storage for every user comming soon
  • lotus messanger
  • chinese lunar calander
  • youker assistant for easy windows to ubuntu migration.
  • customised interface

for more information go to : http://www.ubuntukylin.com/index.php?lang=en

  • I have already said that doing all this just takes few minutes.Is there something which cannot be added to ubuntu or takes long time to do so? about the cloud storage, it's just an alternative to Ubuntu one, I suppose. Feb 14 '14 at 11:52
  • It gives 100 gb free storage buddy
    – kashminder
    Feb 14 '14 at 12:10

I think you are right; you can install standard Ubuntu and 'make it be Kylin' afterwards. One difference you don't mention is that fcitx is the default input method framework on Kylin (instead of IBus).

Kylin was of course created for the convenience of Chinese Ubuntu users.

  • even fcitx should be usable in ubuntu,isn't it? And I do think customizing ubuntu to look like kylin would take 15 minutes less or more. Feb 14 '14 at 11:29
  • I could make a custom ubuntu with hindi language, an "shaka calender" and hindi keyboard.can it become official one? Feb 14 '14 at 11:36
  • @adityapatil: It's great that you can do that so quickly. Yes, of course you can install fcitx on a standard Ubuntu installation, if you want to. Anybody can make their own distro, if they want to. I don't know the criteria for having it 'officially' recognised, though. Is there any special point you want to make by questioning the need for the Kylin distro? Isn't it good that it's there and that there are people working to making it a great choice for Chinese users? Feb 14 '14 at 14:51
  • @adityapatil: Posting this link specially for you: insights.ubuntu.com/news/… ;) Feb 14 '14 at 15:26
  • So basically, kylin is a cover over Ubuntu so that it may seem more friendly to Chinese users. Feb 16 '14 at 8:07

If you are really looking for anythng that you cannot tweak on a pure Ubuntu installation to get the same end result as a Ubuntu Kylin installation, then there is not much. This is actually the same for other flavours, which you can install the related packages and modify the system to achieve the same thing. Just to make it clear, all flavours use the same repositories and so packages of all flavours have to be available to the whole Ubuntu family.

In addition, the purpose of Ubuntu Kylin is to create an image that users don't need to do those package install and tweaks to get a usable desktop. There are also a lot more than selecting the correct set of packages, to name a few:

  • out-of-box experience: Simplified Chinese as the default language, installation slideshow specially designed for Ubuntu Kylin. These things you can't achieve by package install since the changes have to be in the ISO image.
  • upstream issues: let's say there is a localisation issue which is caused by the upstream code that has not been properly internationalised. Ubuntu Kylin tries to fix this kind of bugs as well for a better overall user experience. You can argue these fixes will be in Ubuntu ultimately, what I want to say is there is work of a flavour that's not just about package selection.
  • applications geared towards China users: many of the applications you mentioned are actually developed or co-developed by the Ubuntu Kylin team.

Anyone can do the above without obtaining the Ubuntu flavour status, just start a whole new distribution and here you go. But the Ubuntu project does not object someone to start a flavour to achieve these goals, and being a flavour means Ubuntu Kylin will always follow Ubuntu guidelines and rules, play nice with the community and stay closely with the Ubuntu ecosystem.

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