The official Chinese version of Ubuntu: Kylin !

Ubuntu Kylin is an official Ubuntu flavor whose primary goal is to create a variant of Ubuntu optimised for Chinese users (using the Simplified Chinese writing system), although it also supports other languages.

Photo by zhang kaiyv on Unsplash

Ubuntu Has Seven Official Flavors

  • Kubuntu — KDE Plasma, QT toolkit
  • Lubuntu — LXDE, lightweight, LXQT
  • Xubuntu — XFCE, lightweight, elegant
  • Ubuntu Budgie — Budgie, simple
  • Ubuntu MATE — MATE, classic
  • Ubuntu Studio — Multimedia, audio, video, graphics
  • Ubuntu Kylin — Chinese speaker

Out of which this article focuses on Ubuntu Kylin.

Kylin was originally developed in 2001 by academicians at the National University of Defense Technology in the People’s Republic of China. The name is derived from Qilin, a beast from Chinese mythology.

Chinese people like kylin, so we call our operating system Kylin.

~ Dr. Jonas Zhang

The first versions of Kylin were based on FreeBSD and were intended for use by the Chinese military and other government organizations. Kylin 3.0 was purely based on the Linux kernel, and a version called NeoKylin which was announced in December 2010. The first official release, Ubuntu Kylin 13.04, was released on 25 April 2013, on the same day as Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail). Features include Chinese input methods, Chinese calendars, a weather indicator, and an online music search from the Dash.

The Ubuntu Kylin is a major retooling of the desktop compared to MATE. The default desktop is called UKUI (Ubuntu Kylin User Interface) which is based on the MATE desktop and is developed with the Qt toolkit. UKUI strives to adhere to the friendly-and-simple design concept. The distribution also includes more than 20 applications developed in-house, including Kylin Assistant, Kylin Video, Kylin Screenshots, and Software Center.

Now, let’s talk about its working environment its a little hyped but things are genuinely great:

The Ubuntu Kylin Software center is strictly in Chinese and available in simplified-Chinese too

Here’s a gist of it which looks pretty versatile. Clicking on the expander icon in the upper right of the menu expander transforms into a full-fledged simple and intuitive interface

Powerful and Concise
Search and address bar combine to create a new file viewing experience. New identification function, providing more diversified file screening mechanism.

1. Mergeable and separable tabs
2. Document sorting with marking function
3. Multi-condition intelligent search

Youker Assistant

Version 14.10 introduced the Ubuntu Kylin Software Center (UKSC), and a utility that helps common end-users with daily computing tasks called Youker Assistant.

Youker Assistant supports flexible management for the Toolbox with plugins. Users can add their code to that of Youker Assitant, as a separate plug-in so that it can generate so library and load the plugin when starting the software. The plugin can also be started by clicking the corresponding plug-in logo in the toolbox.

How is Ubuntu Kylin different from standard Ubuntu?

Ubuntu Kylin is a recognized flavor of Ubuntu and it takes Ubuntu as a base and reference.
As said in an interview with Dr. Jonas Zhang, vice professor of the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT), he said that the work spreads a wide range of the OS, including UI/UX, language support, and system applications.

What’s more, that they have cooperated with several popular Chinese software providers, such as Kingsoft, Xunlei, and Sougou, to develop the Linux version of their products. All of these works make Ubuntu Kylin more suitable for Chinese users.

The UKUI is also available in several other distros such as:





The Ubuntu Kylin LTS(Long term support) version continues to improve and has a maintenance cycle of 5 years and STS(Short term support) is 9 months

[1] Photo by zhang kaiyv on Unsplash. Used with permission

[2] Video used from official website

Source & references :


Interview with Dr. Jonas Zhang



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