Funduntu 2012.3 is somewhat unique among Linux distributions. While you find many Debian and Ubuntu spins and forks you do not find as many Red Hat spins and forks that are user friendly, and more, optimized for laptops and netbooks.
It seems not only optimized for netbooks and laptops, it is also very "Google friendly" having the Chromium browser, the Gmail application on the dock, and only having Google Docs for a word processor. I get this as Fuduntu is a distribution aimed at being light weight, and I credit the developers for having updated versions of Firefox, Thunderbird, and LibreOffice in the repository.
Having recently spent some time with Fedora 17, it is interesting to compare Fuduntu and Fedora. Fuduntu is a fork of Fedora 14, so the Fedora user will find themselves on familiar ground. There is no question in my mind that Fuduntu is much more user friendly out of the box. The fonts look good, unlike Fedora's fonts out of the box. Many of the things you must hunt down and add repositories for in Fedora are there by default in Fuduntu, such as Flash and codecs.
I first came across Funduntu about a year ago when I was test driving every Linux distribution I could find to decide which ones I liked best and wanted on my computers. Fuduntu was one of about four or five on my short list. I found it one of the most attractive Linux distributions. I still find it attractive with its simple user interface using Gnome 2 and having a nice dock.
Andrew Wyatt's work on the Jupiter app cannot be praised highly enough. I use it on both a Kubuntu 12.04 install and a Fedora KDE 17 install, without the Jupiter app both of those installs run too warm on my netbook. Andrew Wyatt is also the creator of Fuduntu. So it is not surprising to see that he has brought the same skill to creating his own Linux distribution.
OK, enough praise, what don't I like about Fuduntu? As a Fedora fork some of the software made for Fedora may not work on this distribution. And usually if you have to go outside the repositories for a program you get the choice of: Debian, Ubuntu, or Fedora based applications. This can limit your choice of programs, for instance, I wanted the Xiphos application and it wasn't in the Fuduntu repository, so I tried installing both the Fedora 14 and 15 versions with no joy. A fork can be a good thing, especially if you don't like where the main distribution is headed, or wish to take your own path with a distribution, but forking can also mean a loss of some of the good things and the popularity that brings in applications and new programs that a small team may have difficulty keeping up with.
A couple other minor complaints, even writing this article I find the "Fuduntu" name annoying. I find myself either wanting to write "Feduntu" or "Fubuntu". The only good thing I can say about the name is that it gets across the idea of Fuduntu being a distribution that tries to be a cross between Fedora and Ubuntu as far as usability. Another issue that is a minor complaint but still a bit annoying is that I find launched applications cut off at the bottom on my netbook so that I have to maximize the window to reach the buttons. One final annoyance is that when apps are running sometimes "the lights dim" as if there has been a big power drain on the system. The screen darkens until the load decreases. I'm guessing that might have something to do with the Jupiter app but I haven't seen it happen with other distributions running Jupiter.
But let's end on a positive note: Despite my few complaints I find that Fuduntu is sent down from the gods as the perfect distribution for netbooks. It looks good on a netbook, runs good on a netbook, you wonder why the major Original Equipment Manufacturers of netbooks are not knocking on Andrew Wyatt's door to get this operating system on their netbooks. It beats the hell out of the crippled version of Windows 7 that came on my netbook. Anyone with a netbook or other small laptop who does not give this distribution a try is doing themselves a disservice. For despite a few quirks this distribution is impressive on the small screen. I think it would be awesome on a tablet as well.
Conclusion: Just as back when I tried this Linux distribution about a year ago, I really like Fuduntu. I think this one is a winner. It is the most user friendly Red Hat based distribution I have ever tried. The Jupiter app is priceless on a laptop/netbook for saving the battery and keeping the hardware temperature down and comes by default on Fuduntu. If Andrew and his team can keep the repository for Fuduntu going strong with updated applications, and keep this fine distribution rolling along, I suspect Fuduntu has a very bright future.