The Uruk Project includes many useful applications and a GNU/Linux distribution based on Trisquel. I've interviewed Hayder Majid, one of their creators, to find out more about it.
Can you please briefly introduce the Uruk Project and the Uruk GNU/Linux distribution?
The project was born in 2016 but the story began along days ago from that year. My friend alimiracle and me were thinking about creating a fully free distro to fulfill our needs and share it with others, so we met a small team with the same idea, and we quickly joined it. The team divided the work in a wrong way and the project failed. After that, until 2016, we made some apps like Uruk cleaner, Masalla icon theme, UPMS and some other stuff, so we decided to make these apps under one umbrella. We called it Uruk Project, and made a fully free distro with the same name that respects the users' freedom and privacy.
What is the background of the project contributors and their motivations?
We have many people who help us in Uruk Project and who share our goals and motivations about free software, but mainly we have two types of contributors: First one, the project team members. They have projects under Uruk Project, or developed in one or more of Uruk subprojects, that made a substantial change in Uruk Project, the active team members are the following:
- Ali Abdul Ghani (Ali Miracle): programmer and founder of Uruk Project, developer of Uruk GNU/Linux, and many other projects.
- Hayder Majid (Hayder Ctee): computer engineering, programmer and designer, founder of Uruk Project and Uruk GNU/Linux, and many other projects.
- Rosa: Programmer, packager, server manager and developer of Uruk Project and Uruk GNU/Linux.
- Ahmed Nourllah: Programmer and developer of Uruk project and main developer of Uruk Wiki.
Second one is the other type of contributors, who may support the project translating or writing code, packaging, etc.
As a user of Uruk GNU/Linux, I run it on an old Lenovo Thinkpad X60 laptop and still have a smooth user experience. Thank you for making the Masalla icon theme you mentioned before. Being Uruk GNU/Linux a distribution based on Trisquel, I wonder why you didn't choose Debian to base upon or contributed directly to Trisquel instead of creating a new distro.
Like Rosa said, "you can’t make all people eat one type of cake".
We chose Trisquel because we believe in free software philosophy. Trisquel is a fully free distro which meets our goals but not our needs, so we made our distro. If you tried Uruk and Trisquel before, you will find some differences between them because Uruk is more customizable and has lots of apps created by the Uruk team (like upms, ucc and other apps). We also take the community opinion as the basis of our releases, and I think we influence Trisquel, but indirectly: after all, you can see it in Trisquel 8, which uses the MATE desktop as the default desktop environment and VLC as a media player [Uruk did that before].
Are you taking steps to gain recognition from the Free Software Foundation and be added to the list of distributions that are entirely free as in freedom?
Yes, we are taking serious step to add Uruk GNU/Linux to the GNU free distributions list, but it takes a long time, or like my friend Ali said "one thousand years [smile]".
The last release was GNU/Linux Uruk 2.0, based on Trisquel 8. What are your plans for the future?
We have many plans in future, like adding some new flavors in our Uruk GNU/Linux releases, improve Project infrastructure, new apps created by the project team, and some other surprises [wink].