When Shuttle unveiled its low-cost kPC desktop at CES in January, word was that the machine would come pre-loaded with a copy of the popular Ubuntu Linux operating system. However, Shuttle has now put out a press release to say it has settled on a different distribution.
Shuttle says it has selected the little-known Foresight Linux to complement its affordable small-form-factor machine. Like Ubuntu, Foresight comes pre-loaded with a host of popular open-source software, including Firefox for web browsing, OpenOffice.org for productivity, Pidgin for instant messaging, Banshee for music playback, Totem for video playback, and F-Spot for photo albums. Unlike Ubuntu, however, the distribution uses the Conary package manager, which Foresight's developers claim is "much more powerful" than the dpkg/apt-get package management system featured in Ubuntu. Shuttle elaborates, "With the Conary Package Manager, the system updates only the specific files in packages which need to be updated so updating takes little time and bandwidth."
The Foresight Linux-powered kPC is scheduled to become available soon. For $199, users will get an Intel Celeron 420 processor, 512MB of RAM, Intel GMA 950 graphics, an 80GB hard drive, Gigabit Ethernet, 5.1-channel HD audio, one PCI expansion slot, and a 100W power supply.