Deepin

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Deepin
Deepin logo.svg
VirtualBox Linux Deepin 20.1 LARGE 17 03 2021 11 00 50.png
Deepin 20.1 desktop, with the Qt-based Deepin Desktop Environment
DeveloperWuhan Deepin Technology Co., Ltd.
OS familyLinux (Unix-like)
Working stateCurrent
Source modelOpen-source
Initial release28 February 2004; 17 years ago (2004-02-28)
Latest release20.2.4 / 29 September 2021; 17 days ago (2021-09-29)[1][2]
Latest preview20 beta / 15 April 2020; 18 months ago (2020-04-15)[3]
Marketing targetPersonal computing
Available inMulti-lingual (more than 30)[4][5]
Update methodDeepin Software Center
Package managerAPT, dpkg[6]
PlatformsAMD64
Kernel typeMonolithic
Default
user interface
Deepin Desktop Environment (Qt-based)
LicenseFree software licenses
(mainly GPL)
Official websitewww.deepin.org/en/

Deepin (stylized as deepin; formerly known as Linux Deepin and Hiweed Linux[7][5]) is a Linux distribution based on Debian's stable branch. It features DDE, the Deepin Desktop Environment, built on Qt and available for various distributions like Arch Linux, Fedora, Manjaro and Ubuntu. As of version 15.10 it also uses dde-kwin, a set of patches for KDE Plasma's window manager.[8] In 2019, Huawei started to ship Linux laptops pre-installed with deepin.[9] Deepin's userbase is predominately Chinese, though it is in most prominent Linux distributions' repositories as an alternative desktop environment. It is developed in Wuhan, China by Wuhan Deepin Technology, as of 1 January 2020, a wholly owned subsidiary of UnionTech (统信软件).[10][11]

History[edit]

The distribution began in 2004 as Hiweed Linux.[5]

In 2011, the development team behind Deepin established a company named Wuhan Deepin Technology to support commercial development of the operating system. The company received business investments the same year it was founded.[5]

Wuhan Deepin Technology joined the Linux Foundation in 2015.[12]

Overview[edit]

Deepin ships a mix of open-source and proprietary programs such as Google Chrome, Spotify and Steam. It also includes a software suite of applications developed by Deepin Technology, as well as WPS Office[13] and CodeWeavers' CrossOver.[14]

The development of Deepin is led by China-based Wuhan Deepin Technology Co., Ltd. The company generates revenue through the sale of technical support and other services related to it.[5] As of 1 January 2020, Wuhan Deepin Technology is a wholly owned subsidiary of UnionTech (统信软件).[10][11]

The distribution is widely praised for its aesthetics in various reviews,[15][16][17] while it has also been criticized for various perceived breaches in user privacy.[18][19][20]

Deepin Desktop Environment[edit]

Deepin features its own desktop environment called Deepin DE or DDE for short. It is written in Qt.[21] The distribution also maintains their own Window Manager dde-kwin.[22] The desktop environment was described as "the single most beautiful desktop on the market" by Jack Wallen writing for TechRepublic.[23][24] The DDE is also available in the software repositories of Fedora 30.[23]

UbuntuDDE and Manjaro Deepin are community-supported distributions, that feature the Deepin Desktop Environment and some of the deepin applications.[25]

Deepin applications[edit]

Deepin comes with a number of applications built via the DTK (Deepin Tool Kit), which is based on C++ and Qt.[26] The following is a list of Deepin Applications created by the Deepin development team:[27]

  • Deepin Boot Maker
  • Deepin Installer
  • Deepin File Manager
  • Deepin System Monitor
  • Deepin Package Manager
  • Deepin Font Installer
  • Deepin Clone
  • Deepin Picker
  • Deepin Store
  • Deepin Screen Recorder
  • Deepin Voice Recorder
  • Deepin Screenshot
  • Deepin Terminal
  • Deepin Image Viewer
  • Deepin Movie
  • Deepin Cloud Print
  • Deepin OpenSymbol
  • Deepin Music
  • Deepin Calendar
  • Deepin Remote Assistant
  • Deepin Manual
  • Deepin Emacs
  • Deepin Presentation Assistant
  • Deepin Calculator
  • Graphics Driver Manager
  • Deepin Repair
  • Deepin Editor

Deepin Installer[edit]

Deepin comes with an installer named "Deepin Installer" that was created by Deepin Technology. The Installer was praised by Swapnil Bhartiya writing for linux.com as having "the simplest installation procedure" that was also "quite pleasant."[28][29] Writing for Forbes, Jason Evangelho complained about the installer requiring the user to select their location from a world map, though concluded by saying, "Aside from my little time zone selection pet peeve, the installer is beautiful, brisk and very intuitive."[30]

Releases[edit]

The release cycle has followed various schedules but currently aims at four releases per year.[31] Releases are delayed if the work of development and testing has not been completed.

Version Release date Desktop environment Underlying system
Hiwix 0.1 28 February 2004 IceWM Morphix
Hiweed Linux 0.2 3 March 2004
Hiweed Linux 0.3 22 July 2004[32] Xfce Debian
Hiweed Linux 0.55 25 September 2004[33]
Hiweed Linux 0.6 24 February 2005[34]
Hiweed Linux 1.0 25 September 2006[35] Ubuntu
Hiweed Linux 2.0 17 November 2008[36] LXDE
Linux Deepin 9.12 30 December 2009[37] GNOME 2
Linux Deepin 10.06 20 July 2010[38]
Linux Deepin 10.12 31 December 2010[39]
Linux Deepin 11.06 4 July 2011[40]
Linux Deepin 11.12 30 December 2011[41] GNOME 3
Linux Deepin 11.12.1 29 February 2012[42][43][44]
Linux Deepin 12.06 17 July 2012[45][46]
Linux Deepin 12.12 19 June 2013[47][48] Deepin Desktop Environment 1.0
Linux Deepin 12.12.1 7 August 2013[49][50]
Linux Deepin 2013 28 November 2013[51][52][53]
Deepin 2014 6 July 2014[54][55][56][57] DDE 2.0
Deepin 2014.1 28 August 2014[58][59]
Deepin 2014.2 31 December 2014[60][61][62]
Deepin 2014.3 28 April 2015[63]
Deepin 15 31 December 2015[64][65][66] DDE 3.0
(based on Qt)
Debian (unstable branch)
Deepin 15.1 29 January 2016[67]
Deepin 15.1.1 9 March 2016[68]
Deepin 15.2 1 June 2016[69]
Deepin 15.4 19 July 2017[70][71]
Deepin 15.4.1 21 July 2017[72]
Deepin 15.5 30 November 2017[73][74]
Deepin 15.6 15 June 2018[75][76][77][78][79]
Deepin 15.7 20 August 2018[80]
Deepin 15.8 20 November 2018[81]
Deepin 15.9 16 January 2019[82]
Deepin 15.10 28 April 2019[83] Debian 9 (stable branch)
Deepin 15.10.1 17 May 2019[84]
Deepin 15.10.2 1 July 2019
Deepin 15.11 19 July 2019
Deepin 20 (beta) 15 April 2020[85] DDE 4.0
(based on Qt)[citation needed]
Debian 10 (buster)
Deepin 20 11 September 2020
Deepin 20.1 30 December 2020[86]
Deepin 20.2 31 March 2021[87]
Deepin 20.2.1 13 May 2021[88]

Reception[edit]

The distribution is generally praised for its aesthetics by users and reviewers alike, such as linux.com,[15] Fossbytes[16] and Techrepublic.[17]

CNZZ incident[edit]

When Deepin was accused in 2018 of containing spyware through the use of statistics software within their App Store, the company made an official statement clarifying that it did not and would not collect private user information. According to Deepin, CNZZ is a website similar to Google Analytics that collects anonymous usage information such as the screen size, browser and other user agent information to "analyze how the Deepin store was being used, in order to improve it."[89]

On 20 July 2018, Deepin removed CNZZ statistics from the Deepin App Store website due to the backlash.[90]

Performance[edit]

Deepin's reputation was that it had relatively high CPU and memory demands when it was still based on GTK and HTML technologies, even when the system was idle.[91] After switching to the Qt-based desktop environment, performance improved, as was noted by Linux.com in its September 2018 review of Deepin 15.7.[92]

Concerns about connections to China[edit]

Radware's head of threat research has commented on concerns about analytics collected by Deepin, and whether these are sent to the Chinese government: while the CNZZ analytics service has been removed, analytics are still collected, now by "Umeng+".[19] According to cybersecurity lawyer Steven T. Snyder, due to the sheer size of Deepin's codebase, it is impossible to really scrutinize all the code comprising it to be sure the Chinese government doesn't have backdoors.[19] Deepin also has connections to Huawei, a controversial china-based company in some countries, where its products have been banned.[20]

References[edit]

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