Yesterday a new distribution of Linux that's designed for media production was released: Ubuntu Studio. Unlike the distribution it's based on, Ubuntu Studio is not a "Live CD" distro. Rather, it's designed to run close to the metal and take as much advantage of your hardware as possible. It sports an impressive list of bundled applications for audio production, graphics creation, animation, and even some video. Of course, Blender 2.43 is prominently included.
Ubuntu Studio was originally envisioned as an audio production distro and it shows: a low-latency kernel, JACK, Ardour, Hydrogen, Audacity, Rosegarden, and even a really neat beta of a super-sequencer (my terminology, not theirs) called Wired. Fortunately, they didn't stop at audio and pushed further on the graphics side as well. Blender, GIMP, and Inkscape form the foundation of their graphics and animation tools, as well as the very excellent DTP app, Scribus, and Synfig, a very promising 2D animation tool.
The video tools are the only area where things seem to be conspicuously missing. Ubuntu Studio includes the likes of Kino, CinePaint, and Pitivi, but arguably the most feature-full (albeit somewhat flaky) non-linear editor, Cinelerra (neither the official nor community version), is not included. The reason for this revolves around some ambiguous licensing on some of Cinelerra's source code. Once that's hammered out, it will likely be included in future updates. In the meantime, you still have the option of downloading binaries or source installing it, as well as any other of your favorite apps, yourself.
Stay tuned as BlenderNation will likely be posting a test drive review of Ubuntu Studio some time in the near future. Until then, you're welcome to go and download it yourself. One note, however: the Ubuntu Studio website is taking a beating right now, so please use one of the following mirrors:
And there should be a torrent at the following location soon:
Also, since the main Ubuntu Studio site is swamped, there is a lot of information available at the "unofficial" Ubuntu Studio blog. Have fun!