Category Archives: ubuntu kylin

Ubuntu’s Chinese Spin ‘Kylin’ Adds Custom Icons, Tweaked Theme

Ubuntu Kylin, the newly-sired Chinese edition of Ubuntu, is already starting to mould its own identity.

Aside from shipping local-specific features, like Baidu search integration and a Chinese calendar app, Ubuntu Kylin also provides its own tweaked theme.

Ubuntu Kylin Theme

If you glance at the image of Kylin’s GTK theme embedded below this paragraph you’ll probably not spit any different.

Indeed, aside from placing the buttons to the right (a disorientating decision as, when windows are maximised Unity shows them in the left) the changes are minimal.

Ubuntu Kylin Tweaked Theme in 13.04

Ubuntu Kylin Tweaked Theme in 13.04

That’s not to say that there aren’t any changes in its theme, just that right now they’re hard to spot. The Ubuntu Kylin theme folder has a stack of marginally different window button icons – though these don’t yet take effect when the theme is applied.

Icons, Panel & Other Tweaks

Subtle theme tweaks aside, Kylin provides its own set of icons for folders and device items by default. It also sets the top panel background opacity set to 0.7 – a subtle nudge on the transparency scale but one that better matches the overall look of the Unity interface. Well, until you open an app indicator menu that is!

Kylin’s theme package also adds Plymouth and Unity Greeter logos.

Ubuntu Kylin will be released on April 25th. Ubuntu 13.04 users will be able to install various parts of it – including its theme – directly from the Ubuntu Software Center.

Ubuntu To Become The Official OS Of China

China Ubuntu

Canonical, the makers of Ubuntu have announced that they will be officially affiliated with the Chinese government to bring a new Ubuntu based OS to the Chinese population.

In a recent blog post on the Canonical blog, they went on to explain that Ubuntu Kylin (the official name of the new OS) will go way beyond just a version of Ubuntu with Chinese language packs installed. The blog post went on to say:

“Ubuntu Kylin goes beyond language localisation and includes features and applications that cater for the Chinese market. In the 13.04 release, Chinese input methods and Chinese calendars are supported, there is a new weather indicator, and users can quickly search across the most popular Chinese music services from the Dash.”

It doesn’t stop there

This isn’t just a one off release, it’s going to be a completely separate version of Ubuntu that is designed specifically for the Chinese market. Much like Kubuntu, or Xubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin will have on going development separate from the core Ubuntu build. The blog post goes on to say…

“Future releases will include integration with Baidu maps and leading shopping service Taobao, payment processing for Chinese banks, and real-time train and flight information.

The Ubuntu Kylin team is cooperating with WPS, the most popular office suite in China, and is creating photo editing and system management tools which could be incorporated into other flavours of Ubuntu worldwide.”

This is a very big move for Canonical and Ubuntu as a whole. We all know how huge China are, and for the Chinese government to push an official Ubuntu build onto the population can be nothing less than an amazing bonus for the Linux world.

What do you guys think? Is this a good move, or yet another way of the Ubuntu development team to be spread more thinly? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

Kev Quirk is the creator of technology blog, RefuGeeks. He is a self confessed geek, blogger & Linux advocate. You can also find Kev on Google+ & Twitter.


Chinese Linux Distro Seeks Place in Ubuntu Family


A  Chinese Linux distribution is looking to become an official sibling of Ubuntu.

Ubuntu Kylin, built using Ubuntu 13.04, is a loose continuation of China’s Kylin OS – one of the country’s most popular operating systems.

If approved Ubuntu Kylin would join Edubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Kubuntu (and a few others) as ‘official Ubuntu flavours’.

Flavours benefit from engineering, server and other indirect support from Canonical.

But what is Kylin? And doesn’t Ubuntu already have a separate Chinese spin?

Let’s take a look at the details…

Ubuntu Kylin – More Than A Language Setting

“Our commitment is to ensure the integrity of the platform while at the same time facilitating local engagement.” – Mark Shuttleworth

Since 2010 Canonical has provided its own local-language spin of Ubuntu in Simplified Chinese called, unsurprisingly, Ubuntu Chinese Edition.

Alongside a different default language being set as default, the localised edition ships with some minor user-facing modifications, such as support for the Microblogging service Sina in Gwibber.

But Ubuntu Kylin, which Mark Shuttleworth describes as being ‘the successor’ to that work, aims to go further by ‘…providing a desktop user interface localised in Chinese and installing common software that Chinese users commonly use by default.’

For 13.04 the Kylin team will include:

  • Baidu Music Scope
  • Chinese Calendar
  • Weather Indicator (Using China meteorological administration data)
  • Easy installation of the WPS Office Suite

For 13.10, by which time they hope to have official spin status, the Kylin team will introduce further features, apps and services for the benefit of not only its own users but the wider community as well.

Significant Backing

Ubuntu Kylin is not typical of most community spins.

Kylin and its team boasts some serious backing behind it., including support from National Software and Integrated Circuit Public Service Platform (CISP); the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT), and indirect funding of contributors working on the OS from the Chinese government itself!

Furthermore Canonical will provide the team with ‘engineering support’ in a joint effort to build a better Ubuntu for Chinese users.

And this does make sense.

Ubuntu is fast picking up steam in China, with companies like Dell not only selling Ubuntu pre-installed on PCs but ensuring that Ubuntu has a noticeable retail presence.

And Ubuntu Kylin, if it gains backing from Canonical as an official spin, will be better positioned to offer Chinese consumers and device makers, an OS tailored better suited to them.


  • Kylin, a popular Chinese Linux OS, is switching to Ubuntu
  • Kylin has a significant presence in China, Chinese business and the Chinese government
  • Will integrate Chinese-specific services & websites into the Ubuntu desktop
  • Aiming to become an official Ubuntu ‘flavour’ by 13.10

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