Ozone OS: The Promising Linux Distribution from Numix and Nitrux Team That Never Saw the Light of the Day

You probably are aware of the Numix themes and icons set. Though it is not as actively developed these days, it is still one of the best icon themes for Linux distributions.

But did you know that Numix once tried to launch its own Linux distribution? It was called Ozone OS and it even had a beta release but the stable release never came.

This article provides a few insights on the now discontinued Ozone OS distribution.

Numix’s Linux distribution

New Linux distribution announced from Numix

Back in 2013, Numix icons and themes were all the rage. They gave a modern new look to the otherwise dull looking Linux desktop.

Another popular theme at that time was Nitrux. Its developer Uri Herrera had also developed several other popular themes like Flatter and Compass.

Encouraged by the popularity of their artworks, Numix and Nitrux teams decided to create their own Linux distribution.

In the beginning of the year 2014, Numix and Nitrux team jointly announced their decision. This new distribution was named Ozone OS.

The focus of Ozone OS was on design and the developers wanted to pitch it as a gaming distribution. They also planned to charge a certain fee for downloading the distribution in order to support the development.

They even created their own Atom shell based on GNOME Shell.

“We are basing our shell on Gnome-Shell and we will use Gnome apps. Our shell will be made from extension for Gnome-Shell. That means we are NOT forking Gnome-Shell and we’re not moving away from Gnome as a base.”

Ozone OS features and screenshots

Some of the main highlights of the Ozone OS were:

  • GNOME based with GNOME apps and shell
  • Look and feel of the OS will be as per Numix designers
  • Less customization options
  • Focused on gamers, will be pre-installed with Steam
  • (most probably) it will be a paid OS

Here are the initial mock ups of the Ozone OS:

Numix Linux Distribution

The beta version was released in the first quarter of 2015. Here’s a video showcasing the beta release:

Things didn’t go as per plan for Ozone OS

The Nitrux and Numix team were all in different geographical location ranging from Mexico to Italy to India. The developers were primarily graphic designers with no OS development experience and this caused a big problem.

Some volunteer developers tried to contribute but they soon lost interest due to the complexity of the Atom DE.

Ultimately, Ozone team decided to drop the project.

Ozone was merged with Korora, a Fedora based distribution in the end of 2015. The new artwork helped increased Korora’s popularity as a beginner-friendly distribution based on Fedora.

Alas! Korora project was also discontinued in the mid of 2018.

The themes, icons and other artworks for Ozone OS can still be found at its GitHub repository.

The Nitrux team went on to create their own Nitrux Linux which is under active development. Nitrux has added some innovative features that are not found in other distributions.

Not sure how the desktop Linux scene would have looked like with the Ozone OS. Beautiful perhaps. What do you think?

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