Distro Astro is an open source and completely free operating system created especially for astronomers and astronomy enthusiasts. It is based on the world’s most popular free distribution of Linux, Ubuntu, and built around the MATE desktop environment.
Distributed as 64-bit and 32-bit Live DVDs
It is available for download as Live DVD ISO images, designed from the ground up to support both 32-bit and 64-bit computers, which must be written on DVD discs or USB flash drives of 4GB or higher capacity in order to boot them from the BIOS of a PC.
A boot prompt customized for astronomers
From the boot prompt, the user can start Distro Astro directly from the Live DVD with default drivers or in safe graphics mode, install Distro Astro on a local disk drive, run a memory diagnostic test, as well as to boot an existing OS from the first disk drive.
Super fast, familiar and traditional desktop environment powered by MATE
It appears that MATE is in charge of the graphical session inside Distro Astro, providing enthusiast astronomers with a super fast, familiar and traditional desktop environment that uses a single taskbar located on the bottom edge of the screen, from where they can launch applications or interact with running programs.
Includes a plethora of open source applications designed for astronomers
The distribution is packed with a plethora open source applications designed for astronomers, among which we can mention XEphem, Astronomy Lab 2, AstroCC Coordinate Converter, Cartes du Ciel, or SkyGlobe, KStars. It also provides telescope control, supporting most common telescopes from Celestron, Meade, Orion, and many other useful tools.
In conclusion, Distro Astro is a great distribution of Linux that features free software dedicated to astronomy use, from planetariums, observatories and professional researchers, to amateur enthusiasts and astrophotographers.