pure:dyne is made by artists for artists. It is used by artists to create and display or perform their own work, and to run workshops and events at galleries, educational institutions and media labs. This means that its design has had to meet the needs and tastes of artists in real-world situations.
Which means that:
- It’s based on a robust base GNU/Linux distro, Debian. Anything that the standard pure:dyne installation lacks can usually be found available for Debian.
- It has a real-time kernel and a lean and resource-light window manager. This means that the system is faster and more responsive, which is vital for live music and video or for intensive media editing.
- It includes all the most popular media art packages, some from Debian, some packaged by the pure:dyne team. The pure:dyne packages will be pushed back upstream to Debian.
- It has a minimal desktop UI that is intuitive and empowering while taking up the minimum of screen real estate and avoiding distracting, resource-draining visual bling.
- It is available as a very reliable live CD or USB system as standard. This is important for workshops, where the hardware available may be old, heterogenous, flaky or all three.
pure:dyne may not be for the likes of Jeff Koons or Damian Hirst, but it has the support of the Arts Council in England and an international team of developers for whom it is part of their practice and livelihood as artists. It has evolved through real-world usage into a very usable tool that looks, feels, and performs well for its chosen user base.