Distro Flashback: What happened to Cub Linux?

Do you remember Cub Linux? Or Chromixium? Yes, we are talking about the Chrome OS look like Linux that made waves a few years ago. What happened to the project?

If you’re a hardcore Linux enthusiast, the chances are that you would have at least heard of Cub Linux at some point in your life. However, if that’s not the case and you feel like learning more about it, allow FOSSLinux to tell you guys all about what Cub Linux stood for, its history, and what it had to bring to the table.

What was Cub Linux?

For learning more about Cub Linux, we first have to know about ChromeOS. Basically, this is a Linux-based distribution whose user interface is similar to that of the Chromium browser. Moreover, as for its supported applications, you have to either for the Chrome Web Store or Google Play Store, as the OS can run Android apps as well.

Cub Linux
Cub Linux

Powered by Ubuntu LTS 14.04 “Trusty Tahir,” Cub Linux was there to give users a substitute to Chrome OS, but with a similar user interface and functionality. Other than that, this operating system had Openbox as its window manager and came with tools from XFCE, Gnome, LXDE, and several others. Like ChromeOS, Cub Linux also ditched using hard disk drives and saved most user data on its cloud. As you might have noticed, Cub is short for Chromium and Ubuntu since the operating system is a combination of their different elements.

What happened to Cub Linux?

The operating system wasn’t always known as Cub Linux. In actuality, when it first got announced back in 2014, Chromixium OS was what it was called. After a year of its announcement, its first stable version hit the open-source world as a 32-bit live ISO.

With that being said, this release didn’t go as smoothly as planned. There were several bugs reported by its users, which included slow menu generation and screen tearing. On the bright side, the developers soon got to solving these issues and released a service pack in addition to various updates. However, what really took Chromixium OS to the next level was the release of its 64-bit version in November 2015.

All of this development hit a roadblock when the owner of Chromium and Chrome OS, Google, sent a request to the operating system’s developers to give up the name ‘Chromixium’ and other related social media presences websites. However, that couldn’t stop the head of this project, RichJack, as they soon addressed this issue and renamed their OS as Cub Linux. These events took place in late 2015 and ended on a positive note, but the project didn’t know what was approaching its way in 2016.

When 2016 was nearing its end, Cub Linux users started noticing one big thing: the official website had been missing. This turned out to indicate the demise of a project that could have done wonders in the future. Even though their GitHub page is open to this very day, the development had stopped, and there was no point in keeping up with Cub Linux anymore. According to a developer, this project’s sudden end could be attributed to “private life restrictions,” which is as vague as a statement could get.

With that being said, as far as the future of Cub Linux is concerned, many other developers got interested in this project and wanted to pick it up. Accordingly, the Feren OS developer announced in 2017 that he would give Cub Linux a major overhaul and “bring back Cub” with the name of Phoenix Linux. This might seem like good news to some, but honestly, the future of Phoenix Linux doesn’t seem too bright since the project hasn’t received another update since March 2018. If we’re really hopeful, we’ll get something as soon as 2021, but waiting any longer wouldn’t make much sense.

Was Cub Linux actually good?

Cub Linux was generally well-received by users, and this is why the operating system is known to this very day. A good rule of thumb to whether you’re likely to find the OS worth it or not depends on your computer usage. So, the people who mostly use their computer for browsing the Internet are sure to love Cub Linux.

With that being said, you can also get more uses out of this operating system with several methods. The only downside is that you’ll have to put in extra effort to make this OS do what other operating systems can do right out of the box.

Cub Linux Control Panel
Cub Linux Control Panel

However, we have to remember that Chromixium was only able to reach v1.0. Accordingly, the developers would certainly have many more features to integrate in the near future. Nevertheless, considering the operating system in its original form, Cub Linux provided an opportunity for users to benefit from a web-based environment while at the same time allowing them to use locally installed applications. Although a lot could have been improved in the OS, it was only in its initial stages, and there’s no way to tell what the future had in store for Cub Linux.

Conclusion

Cub Linux was a one-of-its-kind option in the world of Linux-based distros. However, even though the sky was the limit for this operating system, it unluckily met its fate just a couple of years after its initial release. On the bright side, this project was picked up by the developer of Feren OS, so there’s still some hope that this project’s development could pick up some pace once again.

Zohaib Ahsan
Hi! I'm Zohaib Ahsan, contributor to FOSS Linux. I'm studying computer science, I’ve learned a thing or two about operating systems that are based on Linux. This has made me join FOSS Linux where I can share what I have learned with the rest of the world. Not to mention — some major tea is going to be spilled as well — as I share with you the latest developments in the world of Linux.

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