Interview: Gael Duval

A few weeks ago, Gael Duval lifted the veil of secrecy surrounding his new project a little bit by ‘leaking’ some screenshots and information. Obviously, a lot of questions remained, and hence we contacted Gael Duval in order to ask him some basic questions about Ulteo. Read on for the mini-interview.1) Ulteo will be based on Kubuntu, which gives you an already fairly solid base to work from. However, Kubuntu has also turned into the ‘de-facto’ standard KDE distribution. What exactly will set Ulteo apart from Kubuntu?

We base Ulteo on Ubuntu and Debian packages. Since April, we have developed a complete and automatic new builder which takes various sources, apply possible patches and puts all of that together to release an installable Linux system.

The first alpha of Ulteo will actually have more in common with Kubuntu than with Ubuntu, but anyway we won’t put only KDE packages in this version of Ulteo, which makes a first difference.

Aditionally, Ulteo will have different behaviour than this Linux distribution regarding the way it installs and the way you administer them.

2) Will Ulteo be a KDE-only project, or will a GNOME-based Ulteo also be available?

Our plans are to release a K-based project to start, and then the G-based. Later, we even plan a release with Enlightnement and XFCE.

3) Will individuals or companies be able to run their own Ulteo Connected Desktop servers, or will the client only be usable with Ulteo’s own servers?

Yes, we plan to release the Connected Desktop server for both individuals, and possibly corporates. Anyway, it will have to be consolidated and documented first. So there will be a delay.

4) Will there be a free (as in, freely downloadable) version of Ulteo?

Absolutely. In fact, the Ulteo OS (the one that is installable) and the Connected Desktop will be freely downloadable and installable.

5) And in relation to this, will Ulteo be Free, or will it have non-Free packages such as graphics drivers, Flash support, etc.?

We will offer the choice to users to use them or not, anyway the Sun JRE and also the Flash player are incorporated by default within the standard Connected Desktop web browser.

6) If you had to name one single feature or strong point of your former project, Mandriva, that you would like to see in Ulteo, what would that be? Also, what specific feature of another distribution would you like to see in Ulteo?

Well… most of the features that have been brought by Mandrake Linux in 2000, such as the graphical package manager, the graphical installer, or the security layer have been adopted by most modern Linux distributions.

So of course we want to offer at least everything that is already available in modern Linux systems 🙂

But with Ulteo we plan to go further.

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