I have to admit, I'm a total dork. I like fucking around with various apps and operating systems, so naturally, I've learned to love Linux. I can't tell you how many different distros, both good and bad that I've tried. There's been one distribution of Linux that I won't forget, though, and to this day, I'm shocked, disturbed, and confused as to how it exists, and why anyone would want it. Meet GLinux.
I first came across it when trying to find a new distro on various torrent websites. I came across a file that simply said "GLinux10.iso" (Presumably the latest edition, 2010). I was weirded out when I noticed that the ISO was 6GB's. Most distributions are less than 1GB. I thought nothing of it. I was excited, really. I thought that this was a distro I heard about that featured an assload of video games and emulators/ROMs on it, hence the name "GLinux".
G for games. I popped in the CD, and booted up my computer, installing it. I was met with a low-res red logo, and various different questions like the date, my location, etc. I got to a question called "Favorite War", which creeped me out. I had no idea what to do, so I clicked the most recent one in Iraq. The PC restarted, and I was greeted with what may be the most disgusting, disturbing thing I've ever seen.
When I logged in, the welcome chime sounded like a woman shrieking. The OS looked very much like older versions of Ubuntu, albeit the font was in Comic Sans, and all of the selectable wallpapers were that of weapons, or nuclear explosions. I decided to explore the OS and see default apps. All that seemed to be there were the typical Pictures/Videos/Downloads folders, FireFox, RythmBox, and Vuze. When loading FF, I was shocked to realize that the app was themed, and had dozens of bookmarks, all leading to various "shock sites", like The YNC, Rotten, SharonBoat, and more.
I made nothing of it, and thought that it was simply a compiled .ISO of what some random guy was using. When downloading a song, I opened up Rhythmbox to play it, and noticed a selection of tracks already loaded with numeric titles. Each of them seemed to have been low-quality recordings of what seemed to be an interrogation. I didn't bother listening to them all, as some were upwards of an hour long. The later songs (6-10) scared me shitless. It was nothing but 10 minutes each of someone screaming while being hit with that sounded like something metal.
I instantly knew that something was up. Looking in the folders, I honestly felt my heart skip a beat, and my soul shatter. The pictures folder had THOUSANDS of pictures of corpses, crime scene photos, or war photos. The videos folder was worse. It had dozens of videos of people standing in front of a white cloth background, as a hand appears from the left, and shoots them in the face. As I looked at the thumbnails, I noticed that in the background there was a pile of decomposed bodies that grew larger and larger. Other videos seemed like they were filmed specifically for the OS, one of them being a first-person view of someone lighting a homeless man's makeshift shelter on fire. I officially had enough. This was some sick shit, and I couldn't take it.
I quickly clicked the top right of the screen to shut off the computer. Before it began to turn off, a popup appeared with a 1990's-styled clipart of a smiley face giving the middle finger, with the message "Didn't like it did ya? Not many people do. Well, at least we have another IP address thus ANOTHER FAN OF GLINUX!!!", and the computer turned off. I made sure to take the OS off, and physically destroy the DVD-R I burned it on.
I tried finding answers, but to no avail. The torrent was gone, and the only places that I could find traces of the OS were by finding weird Russian-language forums through Google and Bing. I didn't use my desktop for at least a week afterwards. I wanted to call the police, but how do you explain all of this?
A week ago, I got a letter in the mail from someone in Oregon with an obviously fake name and address. The stamp was a yellow ribbon, commemorating a fallen soldier. I opened it up, and read this message:
"Dear (My name and IP address),
Thanks for trying out the latest edition of GLinux! It's a shame that you tried deleting some of the wonderful, educational content we've provided on the disc. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for future additions to GLinux, please contact (Name of sender) at (His phone number)!"
I instantly grabbed my phone and gave this man a call. I wanted to know what would make someone release such a sick, surreal thing. When I called him, I got a voicemail message which said the following:
"Hey! You've reached (His name)'s mobile phone. By calling me, you have agreed to participate in the upcoming Pacific Northwestern GLinux film festival. This year's event will be held on (Date) at (A motel in Portland, Oregon). Please provide at least two different video submissions. We are not responsible for any legal or health-related issues along the way. Thanks for listening, and when I can get back at you, I will!"
Needless to say, I changed my phone number.