Welcome to the Centrych OS project.
The Centrych desktop is a reliable, easy-to-use system that provides a unified look & feel, and support for both KDE/Qt and GNOME/GTK applications. Centrych has one desktop environment, based on Xfce with two distinct profiles as shown in the above images; one that has the Oxygen/Qt look of KDE, while the other that provides the Greybird/GTK look of Xubuntu. Of course, either can be tailored to your liking if you prefer something different.
While the combination of GNOME and KDE is decidedly non-minimalist, Centrych is not a memory hungry beast. The initial memory footprint of Centrych is less than half way between that of Xubuntu and Kubuntu. This is largely because Centrych prohibits many KDE services from running. It also disables the much maligned Akonadi and Nepomuk services by default. Additionally, Akonadi has been further modified to use SQLite, not MySQL, so that keeps total memory use down if you want to enable that service.
Because Centrych is an Ubuntu derivative, you also have access to all of the applications available for Ubuntu. Both Synaptic and Software Center are included for locating and installing this additional software. Centrych also provides additional applications, such as DiceWords and DiceTables, the unaltered TrueCrypt binary (which uses a custom installer due to licensing restrictions), SMTube for YouTube video browsing/downloading, and the PasswordSafe password manager.
Besides applications, Centrych has features not found in other Ubuntu-based distributions. For systems installed with full disk encryption, we've added the ability to do simplified-sign-on and quasi two-factor authentication, all our kernels are optimized for desktop use, and we've automated TRIM as well as added additional changes that can help improve the performance and longevity of solid state disks. You can review the release notes, to find out more about these and several of the other unique features in Centrych.
While Centrych is based on the Ubuntu Long Term Support (LTS) release, it is more correct to think of it as an LTS+ system. The "plus" is for features added from interim non-LTS Ubuntu releases. The most notable additions being:
Full disk encryption
This first appeared in the graphical installer of Ubuntu 12.10. Centrych now uses the graphical installer from Kubuntu 13.04, which has a much improved look & feel as well as support for several Centrych features and customizations such as the System, Options, and Root Account panels.
Centrych aims to provide newer releases of applications that are appropriate to release schedules of an application, not the OS. For example, GIMP 2.8 was an eagerly anticipated release that added a single-window, multi-tabbed capability. Another is Wine, currently the 1.4 release, which gives you the ability to run software written for Microsoft Windows. Both are available in Centrych.
LibreOffice is representative of applications that are geared to a frequent release cycle. In Centrych the default install includes 3.6.7, the last maintenance release in the 3.6 series. We also offer the 4.0.6 release, which can be obtained by turning on the updates repository, and the 4.1.3 release via the upgrades repository.
We also add applications that were added in later Ubuntu releases, like the GNU Privacy Assistant and the openclipart libraries.
We hope you take the time to give Centrych a try and look forward to your feedback, regardless of your experience with it.
The Centrych Development Team
Although Centrych is a derivative of Ubuntu, it has not been approved/sponsored by, nor is it affiliated with, Ubuntu or its related projects. Additionally, while Centrych uses the Ubuntu repositories, it uses modified versions of some Ubuntu packages and also includes packages that are not part of the Ubuntu repositories.