| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 426, 10 October 2011
Welcome to this year's 41st issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
The OpenIndiana project, under one name or another, has had an eventful couple of years. The project has passed from Sun to Oracle to an independent community of developers. This week Jesse Smith takes a look at the project's latest release and reports on whether OpenIndiana has managed to land on its feet. In the news section we cover Red Hat's latest acquisition and Ubuntu's new attempt to attract application developers. We also celebrate the return of kernel.org, the home of Linux, and share some security tips from the kernel.org team on how to detect if your system has been compromised. We also talk with Fuduntu developer Andrew Wyatt on the philosophy of the project and how the Fuduntu team plans to handle packages once the distribution moves away from its Fedora base. We wish you a pleasant week and, as always, happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
OpenIndiana - back and better
The last time I took OpenIndiana for a test run it was back when the project was first getting up and running. At the time they'd just moved away from the OpenSolaris project and were in the process of moving things over and getting their infrastructure in place. Predictably running a development release of a new project in the midst of a major change wasn't a smooth experience. At the time some applications didn't work properly and, though the project's work with file system snapshots was coming along nicely, the newborn OpenIndiana wasn't yet ready to face the world. Well, some time has passed, a new stable release (version 151, Desktop edition) is here and it's time to see what a fully formed OpenIndiana can do!
OpenIndiana's live disc is approximately 800MB in size. Booting off the DVD causes the drive to whir for a while and we're then presented with a text menu asking us for our keyboard layout. Next up we're asked for our preferred language. With this information entered OpenIndiana brings up a GNOME 2.30 desktop. The background is a pleasant blue and we find our application menu and notification area at the top of the screen. On the desktop are icons for launching the Device Driver Utility (more on that in a second), the system installer and GParted. The Device Driver Utility is one of my favourite aspects of the DVD. Launching the DDU shows us a list of hardware on our system. Any devices which do not have working drivers are highlighted, letting us know there is a problem with using the hardware. The Utility also allows us to specify the location of a new driver, if one is available, in order to get the device working. Under previous releases we could additionally send our hardware profile to the upstream project (Sun Microsystems). However, since the switch from Sun to Oracle to the OpenIndiana brand it seems this feature has been dropped, at least for the time being.
The project's installer should feel familiar to Linux users, especially those using novice-friendly distributions such as Ubuntu and Mageia. The graphical installer begins by showing us a welcome screen and advises us that the installer can be used for fresh installs only, upgrades are not supported. The partitioning screen is fairly simple. We can either create partitions or hand our entire disk over the installer. OpenIndiana's installer only supports one partition type, so there is no decision to be made in regard to file systems. We then set the system time and select our preferred language. The next screen asks us to set a root password and create a regular user account. I found the whole process to be smooth and painless with the install taking about the same amount of time as a similarly sized Linux distro.
OpenIndiana 151 -- System Installer
(full image size: 599kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
My first impression of OpenIndiana, post-install, was that it has a feel similar to, for example, Red Hat Enterprise Linux. We're given a classic GNOME desktop, a few application and some administrative tools. There are a few services running, including a mail server and a secure shell server. The desktop is quiet and uncluttered.
In the application menu we find a fairly basic array of desktop software. A copy of Firefox 3.6 is included, as is the Pidgin messenger client and the Thunderbird e-mail program. There's a document viewer, disc burner and CD ripper. We're given the Totem movie player and the Rhythmbox audio player. A screen reader and virtual keyboard are included as accessibility options. The operating system provides the usual collection of GNOME configuration apps for changing the look and feel of the desktop and small, useful applications, such as a text editor, archive manager and calculator. OpenIndiana also comes with a set of administrator utilities. We have a package manager, an application to update software on the system, a user account manager and a firewall configuration app. We're also given a configuration tool for handling Time Slider, which we will touch on later. Java is included in OpenIndiana. I didn't find any compiler on the system and it was no surprise that Flash is not included as I am fairly certain Adobe doesn't make a plugin for OpenIndiana/Solaris. Users looking for a multimedia experience will be disappointed to find the operating system doesn't support popular audio or video codecs out of the box.
OpenIndiana 151 -- Running Firefox
(full image size: 499kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
One quirk of the system I ran into early on is that, upon installing OpenIndiana, the root password expires. This means trying to use any of the graphical admin tools won't work because we are prompted for the root password, which then isn't recognized. We're not told why it doesn't work, only that our access is denied. This can be a bit frustrating since we created a root password at install time and, when we go to create a new one post-install, we can't use the same (or a similar) password. At any rate, once a new password has been set on the root account most of the admin tools work smoothly and I found them pleasant and intuitive. All, that is, except the firewall app. For some reason the firewall application refused to acknowledge either my regular user password or the root password, insisting I didn't have the proper access to change the firewall.
Package management on OpenIndiana is handled about the same as it is on the mainstream Linux distributions. For adding and removing software there is a graphical package manager which bears a resemblance to Synaptic. Software categories are displayed on the left side of the window and a list of packages in that category are shown on the right. Clicking on a package marks it for installation or removal. Updating software also works much the same way as on Linux. A small update app, when launched, will search for available updates, display them for us and grab the fresh packages. It's pretty much the same interface we see on Ubuntu and Fedora. The big difference when dealing with software, for me, was seeing what was (or was not) available. For instance, I didn't find any productivity suite in the repository, nor any popular multimedia software and no alternative desktop environments. When I went looking for a compiler I found a package labelled "gcc-3" ("The GNU C Compiler"), which is several years old. In total, OpenIndiana features just over 3,100 packages, about a tenth of the total found in Debian and its derivatives.
OpenIndiana 151 -- Managing Packages
(full image size: 613kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
OpenIndiana got along well with my desktop system (2.5GHz CPU, 2GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card). The desktop was fairly responsive, even with effects turned on, and my screen was set to its maximum resolution. Audio worked out of the box, my network connection was detected and everything ran smoothly. In fact, the operating system reminded me that I have a dial-up modem in that desktop machine. It's been quite some time since I used the modem and I tend to forget it's there, but the Device Driver Utility let me know it had found the Conexant modem and didn't have any matching driver. Moving over to my laptop (dual-core 2GHz CPU, 3GB of RAM, Intel video card) the experience was fair, but not quite as smooth. OpenIndiana was unable to work with my Intel wireless card and it had a little trouble with the Intel video card too. Most of the time my screen was displayed normally, but I would occasionally get some flicker, which I don't usually see when running Linux distros. Otherwise performance on the laptop was good and, as long as I had a wired Internet connection available, there weren't any serious problems.
For most OpenIndiana users, who are more likely to be interested in using the operating system as a server rather than as a desktop, this probably won't be an issue, but I found the operating system was slow to boot on both of my machines. The OS would take a few minutes to go from boot menu to usable desktop, about four times slower than Linux on the same hardware. When running in a virtual environment I found OpenIndiana would run fairly well as long as it had at least 1GB of RAM with which to work.
One of the features included in the operating system I am really pleased with is the Time Slider. OpenIndiana allows us to set up automated file system snapshots, which is fairly normal for operating systems running ZFS. Where OpenIndiana takes it a step further is the way in which we can access those snapshots. The user is able to open the file browser, click on the clock icon and see a sliding bar showing existing snapshots. We can easily "slide" backward in time and see the file system as it was at points in the past. It's really quite intuitive and I found it easier to get used to than the equivalent commercial products from closed source vendors. Another aspect of the system I enjoyed was the accessibility program, which keeps an icon next to the desktop clock. Clicking on the icon brings up a menu allowing us to enable such features as large fonts, high-contrast colours, key press delays and sticky keys. No doubt these features will make the environment more attractive to a wider audience.
OpenIndiana 151 -- Administrator Tools
(full image size: 533kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
I have a soft spot in my heart for Solaris and, by extension, the OpenIndiana project, so I will admit to being biased. That being said, I do think the current release is the best we've seen to date from the open source branch of Solaris. The bugs I encountered in past releases have been fixed and I ran into very few problems. The Time Slider is great and the Device Driver Utility is helpful in checking hardware compatibility and I would very much like to see clones of these tools appear in Linux distributions. On the other hand there are some issues which I suspect will keep people in the Linux and BSD camps from rushing to adopt OpenIndiana. Hardware support may be an issue for some people, at least it was a problem on my laptop, and the software repository is quite small and lacking many popular packages. While using this operating system I got the impression it's directed at people who want to run a server with a graphical desktop component, rather than people who want to run a desktop with a server component. In this way it is similar to products like Mandriva's Enterprise Server. OpenIndiana may not appeal to a lot of people, but I do think it's the easiest way to gain familiarity with the ZFS file system and it's a free way to get hands-on experience with Solaris.
Red Hat has its head in the clouds, kernel.org is back on-line and Ubuntu is trying to attract more app developers
Red Hat has decided to increase the company's stake in cloud computing. Last week the leading commercial Linux company announced they will be acquiring Gluster, a "provider of scale-out, open source storage solutions for standardizing the management of unstructured data." In regards to the purchase Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens stated, "With unstructured data growth (such as log files, virtual machines, email, audio, video and documents), the 90′s paradigm of forcing everything into expensive, single-system DBMS residing on an internal corporate SAN has become unwieldy and impractical." The deal is said to be costing Red Hat approximately $136 million and places the open source vendor in a position to offer more cloud-based solutions.
* * * * *
The kernel.org website is back on-line after a month of down time for maintenance. The site is home of the Linux kernel and is used both as a place to download vanilla kernels and as a host for developer git source trees. Back in August it was revealed the security of kernel.org had been breached and services were taken off-line. The site administrators have used this time to "rearchitect the site in order to improve our systems for developers and users of kernel.org."
When we talk about security we often deal with preventive measures, strong passwords, small attack surfaces and security patches. However, half of the battle is knowing when your walls have been penetrated and what to do about it. To that end, in the wake of the kernel.org security breach, this how-to was posted detailing steps one can take to check their system for infection. The steps range from fairly simple to more involved checks. It's a good, practical guide for the curious and the concerned.
* * * * *
The Document Foundation, the organization behind LibreOffice, is celebrating its first anniversary. The project lists over 300 contributors with code commits coming from a variety of areas, including SUSE developers, Red Hat and former OpenOffice developers. Engineering Steering Committee member Norbert Thiebaud says of the project, "Thanks to a very welcoming attitude to newcomers, to the copyleft license, and to the fact that it is not requesting any copyright assignment, The Document Foundation has attracted more developers with commits in the first year than the OpenOffice.org project in the first decade." It's a big claim, but the download numbers indicate The Document Foundation is doing something right. According to project member Italo Vignoli, they "have just exceeded 6 million [downloads] from our mirror system and get to 7.5 million with the addition of external sites (like Softpedia) offering the same download. Over 90% are Windows downloads, while MacOS
is around 4%. Linux is a different story, as most users do not download LibreOffice but get it from the distribution repository." He goes on to estimate that approximately 15 million Linux users have installed LibreOffice in the past year.
People interested in getting involved with The Document Foundation, the OpenDocument format or productivity software in general may be interested in the upcoming LibreOffice Conference in Paris. The conference will run October 12-15.
* * * * *
The Ubuntu team has launched a new app developer website. This site exists to help and encourage application writers to develop new software for Ubuntu's Software Centre. The site welcomes open source and proprietary licenses as well as both free (as in cost) and commercial software. The new Ubuntu developer site includes instructions, mailing lists, FAQs and a video tutorial on how to create, package and publish new apps. With the site's statement "Ubuntu is the third most popular operating system in the world" it seems Canonical is hoping to both entice new developers to publish software on Linux and use the Ubuntu Software Centre to generate revenue for the company and software writers. The move has the potential for a three-way win for Ubuntu, users who want a wider range of software on Linux and developers who want to get their projects included into a major distribution without jumping through licensing hoops.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
A look behind the curtain, part 2
A few weeks ago I received the following question:
"I'd like to know more about how a distribution works. I suspect the
answers differ across the spectrum, but how are they organized, why do
they do what they do, what are the costs and how do they meet them? I
guess I understand Red Hat, as a commercial venture, but what about
Last week we shared an answer from Linux Mint founder Clement Lefebvre. This week Fuduntu developer and founder Andrew Wyatt steps up to the mic to share his insight into how and why the Fuduntu developers do what they do. He has also agreed to explain how the small Fuduntu team handles their large repository of packages and how they will continue to do so in the future as they move away from their Fedora base.
Andrew "Fewt" Wyatt (Fuduntu) answers: First, a little history about Fuduntu. When I created Fuduntu, I didn't do so with the intent that it would ever become a very active Linux distribution with many users and contributors. To be honest, I didn't expect it to be used by anyone other than myself.
The very first version was nothing more than Fedora 14 with a few tweaks and packages that I normally installed on my computer(s) wrapped up into a live DVD for me to use to install everything on my second computer. My only goal with the creation of Fuduntu was to learn more about the process of building live media by building a live DVD. During this process I also created a repository to host package changes that I knew I would make in the future.
Once I had finished the installation, I had the thought that it may be useful to others that used similar settings so I created a new project and uploaded it to SourceForge expecting it to remain idle.
Surprisingly, people started showing some level of interest almost immediately. This lead to the creation of a simple website, a forum, and a lot more work to bring the distribution to a level of maturity necessary for use by many people rather than a distribution intended to be used by a single person.
As the distribution grew so did the team, we brought active forum members on as moderators, and posted a public invitation for contributors to join the team.
During this phase of growth the team decided that a democratic approach to distribution development was important, and we crafted a few rules of how we govern things. In the process we decided that we would not brand some team members as "moderators" and others as "developers", as we were one team.
Fuduntu follows a few simple guiding principles in order of importance.
Falling in line with those principles are the rules under which we build and maintain Fuduntu.
- Have fun. If we aren't having fun, we are doing it wrong.
- Every voice counts - Our community is our most important asset, Fuduntu without users holds no value.
- Build a great Linux distribution that people will want to use.
In the beginning stages, Fuduntu was developed in a rapid series of short sprints each of which were followed by a release. This helped fix a lot of problems very quickly and deliver those fixes to users.
Over time the distribution matured, and this process was re-evaluated and deemed to no longer be necessary. A quarterly release approach was adopted, and Fuduntu now releases installation media quarterly. Our most recent release being Fuduntu 14.11, released September 20th .
We standardized and automated parts of the build process, and we utilize a hybrid waterfall approach to package delivery. This means that all packages delivered to a Fuduntu repository are built on servers dedicated to building packages for Fuduntu. Several physical servers (and a few desktops) all configured to the same "version" of Fuduntu are available to the packaging team who follow a standard process to build and promote software through multiple tiers of development and testing before landing in our stable repository.
When a request or other notification is received by a Fuduntu team member that a new version of software is available:
This allows the majority of bugs to be found and corrected before releasing software to the wider Fuduntu population. Once a server is determined to be idle for N minutes with zero users (or screen sessions) it will automatically power off.
- The Fuduntu team member powers on one or more servers over the internet (WOL/I).
- The team member pushes the new source code in some format to the server(s).
- Changes are made if necessary, and the software is compiled.
- The software is pushed to a "development" repository for localized testing on multiple computers.
- Once the software is deemed ready for testing, it is moved from the development repository to a testing repository.
- A notice is posted at Fuduntu Forum that new software is available for testing, with a request for comments.
- Once tested by at least two other members of the team or community, the software is pushed to "stable".
Major package changes are documented, and available for any team member to be able to pick up a package and build a release should new source become available while the formal maintainer is unavailable. We have several automations that inform us of new software as it becomes available allowing us to react quickly.
As we move towards a rolling release, many automations will be developed. One technology we are designing will:
- Watch for new source
- WOL an idle server
- Initiate a build
- Stage built software packages for internal review
Fortunately, Fuduntu is relatively inexpensive to maintain. Our normal costs include things like hardware, power, domain registration, and other small expenses. We utilize Google Adsense which covers the costs of domain renewals, power, and any other small expenses; and we hold donation drives for larger purchases. For example, we hosted a donation drive in April to fund procurement of two "out of service" IBM 1U servers to use as build hosts, earning the needed funds in less than one week.
To keep utility costs low, we have a lights out policy with automations to power off systems when they aren't needed.
Fuduntu packages and web content are hosted by SourceForge who recently updated their FRS service to allow hosting yum repositories directly within their file replication service itself. Their project web service provides web hosting for the primary website and forum, and they offer an internal MySQL service which hosts the forum back end.
These free services have been critical to the success of our project, and we can't thank them enough for providing them to the community.
Why we do what we do
This is simple, we do it because it's fun. Members of our team all came together with a common goal. That goal is that we believe we can improve "Desktop Linux" in a way that makes it better for ourselves, and others that choose to use it. Ultimately, we are putting our money where our mouths are. That said though, we don't have any particular purpose, agenda or mission other than to have a lot of fun, oh and by the way, we build a Linux distribution too.
|Released Last Week
Parted Magic 6.7
Patrick Verner has announced the release of Parted Magic 6.7, a new stable version of the project's specialist live CD designed for data rescue and disk management tasks: "Major enhancement release with many updates. Most notable updates include Linux 3.0.4 and GParted 0.9.1. We have dropped the legacy PCManFM for PCMan-Mod, and man is it nice! Lots a little PCManFM bugs that have existed for years are now quashed. Xfburn replaces SimpleBurn for burning CD/DVD media. Chntwd was added to the boot menu. Adding Luxi fonts improved international language support. Although it's not the newest release, Firefox is updated to version 6.0.2 and is compiled for i486 (official branding included) with permission from the Mozilla Foundation. OpenSSH is updated to 5.9p1 with the ECDSA key created by default. People have been complaining about Parted Magic being hard on laptop batteries, so CPU frequency scaling on anything with a battery is now set to 'on-demand' at boot." Visit the distribution's home page to read the release announcement.
AgiliaLinux, formerly known as MOPSLinux, is a Russian distribution with roots in Slackware Linux, but equipped a custom installer and package manager. Today the project announced the release of AgiliaLinux 8.0.0. It features Linux kernel 3.0.4, glibc 2.12.2, GCC 4.5.2, X.Org Server 1.10.2 and Mesa 7.10.3, while supported desktop environments and window managers include KDE 4.7.1, GNOME 2.32.1, Xfce 4.8.3, LXDE 0.5.0, Openbox 3.5.0 and Fluxbox 1.3.1. With this release the project has also officially changed the development style of the distribution to a "rolling-release model with periodic stable releases". The software updates are fully automated without the need of any manual intervention, but for those who need new ISO images for fresh installation new point releases will be made available every three months. On a lighter note, the project has now also chosen a mascot - a girl nicknamed Sammy. If you understand Russian you can read the entire
release announcement here.
José Antonio Calvo has announced the availability of an updated release of Zentyal 2.2, an easy-to-use server distribution designed for managing network services, based on Ubuntu: "The Zentyal development team has published a new compilation of packages including all the bug fixes and system updates from Ubuntu since the release of the first 2.2 installer. There are also two changes in this new installer: the 64-bit edition now uses the server kernel by default instead of the generic one; adds the new secondary packages repository, allowing us to release important bug fixes without waiting until Launchpad builds and publishes them." Read the rest of the release announcement to learn more about the new repository and how to set it up.
Salix 13.37 "Ratpoison"
George Vlahavas has announced the release of Salix OS 13.37 "Ratpoison" edition, a Slackware-based distribution showcasing the rather unusual Ratpoison window manager: "Salix Ratpoison 13.37 is released. This is probably the first-ever Linux distribution release featuring Ratpoison as the main window manager. The aim of the Ratpoison edition is to create a system that is fully usable with the keyboard only, no mouse required! For everyone that is not familiar with Ratpoison, Ratpoison is a window manager for X 'with no-fat library dependencies, no fancy graphics, no window decorations, and no rodent dependence'. Ratpoison uses a workflow that is similar to that of GNU screen, which is very popular in the terminal world. All interaction with the window manager is done through keystrokes." See the complete release announcement which includes hints on using Ratpoison and a link to a start-up guide.
Parsix GNU/Linux 3.7r1
Alan Baghumian has announced the release of an updated build of Parsix GNU/Linux 3.7, a desktop-oriented distribution and live DVD based on Debian's testing branch and featuring the GNOME 2.32.1 desktop environment: "The first updated version of Parsix GNU/Linux 3.7, code name 'Raul', is available now. This version comes with updated GTK+, Grisbi, GNU Iceweasel and Chromium browser packages. It also merges all the published security updates into a new set of ISO images. You can easily update your existing systems using APT. Major components: Linux kernel 126.96.36.199, X.Org Server 1.7.7, GNU Iceweasel 7.0.1, Chromium 13.0.782.220, OpenOffice.org 3.2.1, glibc 2.11.2, GParted 0.8.1, GIMP 2.6.8, Grisbi 0.8.8, VirtualBox 4.0.4, VLC 1.1.3...." Check out the detailed release notes for more information and upgrade instructions.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 17 October 2011.
1 • Not a stable release, yet (by Jeppe on 2011-10-10 09:54:35 GMT from Denmark) |
I just thought I would bring a correction to the review of OpenIndiana b151a. It is not a stable release yet, please see the announce e-mail: http://openindiana.org/pipermail/openindiana-announce/2011-September/000011.html
2 • OpenIndiana (by klanger on 2011-10-10 10:09:06 GMT from Poland)
Great review, that makes you open OI web site and download their live-DVD :)
Good job OI & DW!
3 • OI 151a (by Mathew John Roberts on 2011-10-10 11:22:57 GMT from United Kingdom)
OpenIndiana is getting there. It seems that when they finally release the stable version most of the hard work will be out of the way. One of the biggest things they have already tackled, to a great degree, is the transition to Illumos.
I have a few gripes though. The installer doesn't let you set usernames larger than 8 characters long (apparently some compatibility thing). Also, it uses gnome2 by default. That is likely no longer supported. There is mate (https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=121162) though if they want to stick to gnome2 (I prefer xfce). I'd prefer it if they went the way of pcbsd 9 and offered a choice of desktops at install time.
Anywho, I'm really looking forward to their next release.
4 • This is not a "quirk", it's severe flaw. (by os2_user on 2011-10-10 13:23:09 GMT from United States)
"One quirk of the system I ran into early on is that, upon installing OpenIndiana, the root password expires. This means trying to use any of the graphical admin tools won't work because we are prompted for the root password, which then isn't recognized. We're not told why it doesn't work, only that our access is denied."
Don't keep accepting these as charming bits to puzzle out when cripples the system.
5 • OpenIndiana admin passwd (by Alexandru Popa on 2011-10-10 14:09:49 GMT from Germany)
The best way to set up OpenIndiana admin password after installing it is to open a terminal and to type su command. OI will say your password is expired and ask to set up new one. Once it is done, no admin password issues will be.
6 • Flash available, SFE repos, password bug (by Fred K on 2011-10-10 14:49:29 GMT from United States)
Good review. "and it was no surprise that Flash is not included as I am fairly certain Adobe doesn't make a plugin for OpenIndiana/Solaris." Adobe does have a Flash player plugin for Solaris and Acrobat Reader too. http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ Copy libflashplayer.so to the default Firefox plugin directory /usr/lib/firefox/plugins
"Users looking for a multimedia experience will be disappointed to find the operating system doesn't support popular audio or video codecs out of the box." OpenSolaris previously used Codeina & Fluendo for multimedia codecs. Some of the codecs conflict with US patents and the paid Fluendo was used by OSol. Fluendo no longer supports Solaris and Oracle is removing Codeina from Solaris 11.
OpenIndiana now has two Spec Files Extra repos. Additional software is being added. The encumbered repo includes mplayer2 and VLC media player
Instructions for adding the repos can be found here: http://wiki.openindiana.org/oi/Spec+Files+Extra+Repository
The expired root password is a known bug. https://www.illumos.org/issues/1055
7 • OpenIndiana (by Jesse on 2011-10-10 15:04:15 GMT from Canada)
Thank you for pointing out that Adobe does indeed have a Flash player for Solaris. That's a pleasant surprise. And it's good to know extra repositories are being added for OpenIndiana users.
@4: "This is not a "quirk", it's severe flaw"
We have very different ideas of what makes a severe flaw. A file system bug that corrupts data I'd say is severe. An update script that wipes out the boot loader strikes me as severe. An expired password that can be fixed by typing "su" followed by a new password is a minor inconvenience.
8 • Flash player permissions (by Fred K on 2011-10-10 15:31:41 GMT from United States)
I just remembered the past couple of Flash plugin updates did not work. You can test here: http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/ You may need to chmod 0755 libflashplayer.so and possibly chown root:bin libflashplayer.so
This issue was asked in the illumos help forum: https://www.illumos.org/boards/3/topics/722
9 • Openindiana (by GeekBoula on 2011-10-10 15:38:02 GMT from Canada)
Good small reviews of OI! I have been using a version 148 for 7 months without any problems on my netbook. At this moment I have too the problem with root password. We just open a terminal and change it. the process Installation is simple even for a beginner. Adobe Flash may be installed by the terminal. For me, this is difficult for the beginner do it. I also install cairo-dock from the terminal. My experience
about 7 months of OpenIndiana 148b was no crash. The difference between version 151 and 148b is important that the look has not changed. The boot is more
fast what is good. On my desktop Openindiana 151 does not support my hardware. the
148b version at this level had no worries.
I think the next version of OpenIdiana will be true for desktop use. Suggestion: Why
to have an icon on the desktop that would allow the installation automatic Flash in one click after read licence and accept the user clic ok and flash is install.
Good big work OI team.
10 • Lubuntu Beta 2 MultArch Support (Sweet) :) (by Roy H Huddleston on 2011-10-10 21:23:44 GMT from United States)
Just three more days to the distribution release. It has been like watching the Big Bang theory at work form the Alpha 3 release to the stable developer's version. The system has really evolved so to speak. Help coming from Debian, Ubuntu, OpenSuse, and even Red Hat recently pitched in. What a work in progress. Simply amazing the transition from 11.04 Lubuntu with Ubuntu to what might be termed the Ubuntu version of Lubuntu with all the input that has come in. Only thing I noticed to be added since the LxPanel now lets you put the panel on top like the old Maverick version is to get the read-only kernel 3.0.0.-12-20 recovery menu to work. I wouldn't wanted to miss all the what I would call radical changes for the better. :)
11 • Ubuntu third most popular OS? (by Jb on 2011-10-10 23:16:40 GMT from United States)
Ubuntu third most popular OS? At first I thought, "yeah, it is, isn't it?"
Then I thought .. wait, the most popular linux distribution (and third most popular operating system) is Android isn't it?
12 • Popularity (by Jesse on 2011-10-10 23:26:37 GMT from Canada)
Which OS is the most popular depends a lot on context. In this case I think the Ubuntu team were referring to the netbook/laptop/desktop/workstation market. This would make Ubuntu the third most popular OS behind Windows and OS X. In the phone market Ubuntu would be practically non-existent, but Android would probably be number one (based on units sold). In the server market we would see very different numbers again.
I think they're trading accuracy for a decent slogan. "Third most popular desktop/workstation/lnotebook/netbook operating system" doesn't roll off the tongue.
13 • MultiArch Support and MultiDistro Support (by Roy H Huddleston on 2011-10-10 23:58:19 GMT from United States)
I would take it that MultiArch exist and MultiDistro doesn't when comes to support? There really isn't a multidistro support? But I have seen some OSes with variations of others in them like Fuduntu and Zorin. I guess they would be called hybrids?
14 • Re: #10 • Lubuntu Beta 2 MultArch Support (Sweet) (by Candide on 2011-10-11 02:13:54 GMT from Taiwan)
Hi Roy, I'm a little confused by your statement: "Simply amazing the transition from 11.04 Lubuntu with Ubuntu to what might be termed the Ubuntu version of Lubuntu..."
Did you mean "LXDE" when you said "Ubuntu version of Lubuntu"? Not trying to be a troll or anything, I just wasn't sure what you meant. Maybe there have been some big changes introduced in Lubuntu 11.10, but I don't know because I haven't tried that version yet. I am looking forward to it.
From past experience with 11.04, I'm in agreement with you that Lubuntu is great. It's my favorite Ubuntu variation. Much more lightweight than even Xubuntu, and doesn't suffer from the recent Xfwm4 bug that has plagued Xubuntu 11.04. My understanding is that Lubuntu 11.10 will be the first Lubuntu officially incorporated into the Ubuntu family - All previous releases were a separate distro and not found on the Ubuntu servers or mirrors.
15 • @12, popularity and what is an OS (by Jb on 2011-10-11 02:14:44 GMT from United States)
These days, when people think of the phrase "OS" they tend to think of a netbook/laptop/desktop OS.
The lines are going to get blurry though. Tablets with keyboards, phones with mini projectors, etc. I love that Bodhi Linux (which is a child of Ubuntu) offers a version for an ARM tablet device designed to work with Android -- next I want libreoffice on my smartphone (with a screen projector and a keyboard)
16 • Ubuntu Third (by azurehi on 2011-10-11 02:14:49 GMT from United States)
I use a desktop primarily. Ubuntu was number one for me until unity. Zorin Lite LXDE meets all my needs now.
17 • OI, parsix (by walter on 2011-10-11 03:47:54 GMT from Canada)
I was always curious about OI - but perhaps mainly because of zfs. I also tried a live cd of open solaris at one time too, but couldn't get into it. Maybe if i get real desperate in finding a replacement for ubuntu 10.10 I'll give it another whirl.
I'm trying parsix and think it's a possibility. I'll have to do some tweaking to get it to look like 10.10 though...
Knoppix 6.7 really runs great. kde apps seem to work better then kubuntu 11.04 - and maybe look better too. It's moving to the top of the pile of cd's of distros I've looked at so far. I keep hoping distrowatch can help me find a replacement for ubuntu, but so far - no. What will you use jessie?
I'm definately going to give lubuntu a shot
18 • Chakra Linux (by FitzLT on 2011-10-11 06:23:40 GMT from United States)
I HIGHLY recommend chakra linux. Surprisingly stable and faster than most of the distros I have ever used. It is an amazing distro!
19 • Salix Ratpoison (by 狄文 on 2011-10-11 07:49:36 GMT from United States)
So far I really like the new Salix Ratpoison, the first distro (to my knowledge) that has my favorite wm as default! Never tried Slackware before but it's very solid, wireless works well unlike in Arch Linux, where i first tried Ratpoison. Slackbuilds are simple and very similar to the AUR; I can see how users would easily move between the two distros. The application selection for Salix Ratpoison is top-notch, all chosen to be used sans mouse, especially vimprobable2, the browser. I haven't figured out how to get flash to work on it yet, but maybe that's for the better. All in all, very commendable. I was planning on switching back to Arch, but I think I'll keep Salix a little while longer.
The only real problem I have with Salix is the /usr is a mess. I assume that is all legacy stuff (I admit ignorance so don't castrate me) but Arch has fewer directories floating around in /usr. This is not a deal-breaker but when I am installing from source I'm used to Arch, and so the standard install directories are different, and I haven't yet learned where to put what. But that is part of the learning curve I suppose.
20 • DVL updates? (by Chuck Hejkal on 2011-10-11 09:31:53 GMT from United States)
per thier website DVL2.0 was expected 'at the end of summer 2011'. Needless to say it hasn't shown up. Does anyone have info about when/if we will see it?
21 • Re: #10 • Lubuntu Beta 2 MultArch Support (Sweet) (by Candide on 2011-10-11 02: (by Roy H Huddleston on 2011-10-11 13:16:13 GMT from United States)
LXDE common and LXDE core are still there but plain LXDE was dropped. 11.04 wouldn't let me take the Ace of Penquins and similar games out but 11.10 does. I like the Gnome games. Xfburn is on it. I found that LXDM doesn't have to have LXDE in it. The Nvidia driver is now 280.13. It has 5 different wallpapers to choose from. It has the Lubuntu Software Center which is quicker. It was a PPA. You have the option for Canonical Partners for source code and one for Canonical Partners packages under Software sources left unchecked. The two for Lubuntu are PPA there. Then there are two for third party listed as Independent- one source code and one Independent regular. I hope that helps. :)
22 • RE: 21 and other stuff (by Landor on 2011-10-11 15:49:59 GMT from Canada)
I'll be looking at Lubuntu for sure. I did give it a look last release, but found myself amazed by the Xubuntu release and lost my focus on Lubuntu. This time around I'm going to make sure I give it a good look and try it out a bit longer.
Lately I've been testing some different projects. I'm finding the GNOME 3 Shell pleasant to look at and am more than willing to give it a try for a bit. I'm also trying out the very latest KDE, I find it mature enough for me to finally use it since the 3 series.
I'll have to look a bit more into Unity as well, it's hard getting to everything when there's so many amazing releases coming up, and just great projects in general. Good times ahead for GNU/Linux.
Keep your stick on the ice...
23 • Arch & OI package failure (by me on 2011-10-11 17:01:56 GMT from Thailand)
In my opinion Arch's poor Wifi support is a showstopper but otherwise it's so good.
So try CTKarch linux which has arch but a properly configured base with good wifi out of the box. As with any arch system you can install any arch package.
Slackware is sold and oi disappointed as I could not install the extra package for codecs - got some message saying they had been disabled. This is so typical of the difficulty of using any solaris system as a desktop I am tempted just to stop trying
24 • 22 • RE: 21 and other stuff (by Landor on 2011-10-11 15:49:59 GMT from Canada) (by Roy H Huddleston on 2011-10-11 22:34:42 GMT from United States)
Two days to the release and the recovery menu still doesn't work. I was mystified by the translation-en in the updates and upgrades. I am wondering how the translation-en is different than the translation index. Xubuntu stuff has been included in the changes I noticed as the updates and upgrades progressed.
25 • @23 (by Thomas on 2011-10-12 03:23:35 GMT from United States)
Suggesting an arch derivative to fix a PEBKAC issue is not the way to go. Arch's power comes with being able to understand and set up your system perfectly.
What happens if he has an issue with CTKarch on another laptop? Avoiding the issue will not fix it. Pick a distro you like and stick with it *not* ignoring the bugs. This is also one of the strengths of arch and why it has been more stable than at least fedora and ubuntu for me.
26 • @25 (by me on 2011-10-12 07:09:00 GMT from Thailand)
So let me get this staright. I have only wifif access to the internet at home but as arch cannot connect I am supposed to understand and fix the issue how? Remember Arch may need to download the wifi drivers for your card as they are not on the dvd. Hmm download how?
This is a little bass akward no? And I am all for configuring an setting up my system once I can do so.
The derivative is arch with wifi set up so we can use it..
Surely getting on the internet must be the first priority of any desktop distro. Fedora and Mint come out winners here.
27 • @22, Surprised and Pleased (by Eddie on 2011-10-12 13:26:23 GMT from United States)
That is one of the most mature comments that I've read in a while. Sometimes people are too fast to judge a project before trying and learning it. It's good to see someone willing to give something a chance. You are correct that there are good times ahead for GNU/Linux, and even the BSD's. :)
28 • Sabayon 7 and Vectorlinux 7RC3 (by geekboula on 2011-10-13 00:21:49 GMT from Canada)
I would like to acknowledge the big work of the Sabayon team has the gnome 3 version 7. I test this version yesterday and I must say congratulations for your great work. Also This is a good move with the new version XFCE production. Great Job.
VectorLinux 3.4 RC 7 IS Simply WoW! Really fast, support for WiFi driver is excellent! A new installation tools for selection games work perfectly. The upcoming release of version 7 will be one of the major lines. Really great work too !
29 • Re#26 (by 123 on 2011-10-13 01:05:43 GMT from United States)
"So let me get this staright. I have only wifif access to the internet at home but as arch cannot connect I am supposed to understand and fix the issue how? Remember Arch may need to download the wifi drivers for your card as they are not on the dvd. Hmm download how?"
If you only have wifi and can't connect, then how did you get Arch in the first place?
Arch had to come from somewhere. Wouldn't the wifi drivers for Arch be much smaller than another distro ISO cd? And therefore easier to get or aquire?
I do agree that a lack of network connectivity is a major show stopper.
But how would the first part of getting a new distro be accomplished?
For me I used to buy pre-made cd's back in the 1990's.
Then I later had friends download and burn cd's for me.
Now I have internet access and can download what I want.
I see the convenience of having built in drivers, but surely downloading drivers is way quicker and easier than downloading another distro's ISO.
Perhaps my mistake is the intended audience is turn-key only, not knowing or wanting to know how to setup wifi drivers. I am sorry if I misunderstood this.
30 • how...arch (by @29 on 2011-10-13 06:52:28 GMT from Thailand)
I had an aprtmentment with ADSL built-in. I downloaded arch and derivatives from there.
Then I movied to an apartment with only wifi service. And arch is a no-go.I think having extra drivers would not add signifignatly to the size of arch(see CTKarch for proof) and yes we would still configure some things should we want or need to.
That's how and why.
31 • Re: 25-30 (by bwd on 2011-10-13 12:36:09 GMT from United States)
Not sure if this is a defense of Arch or not, but their documentation is very clear about preparing ahead of time to configure wifi drivers. Their assumption appears to be that you have _some_ kind of access to the internet at some point before installation. At that stage, it's smart to either cache the installation guide, or print it. They also assume you know what your hardware is, and have checked to see if/how it is supported. This may be a pain, but if there's criticism of Arch, _that's_ where it is. But 'being a pain' to one person is 'having control' to another, so...
32 • Re#30 (by 123 on 2011-10-14 00:49:53 GMT from United States)
I now understand your Arch adventure.
I know Arch by itself is a no-go.
But what i was referring to, is to simply download the additional wifi driver as needed.
Surely this would be a very tiny download to add the needed functionality.
Since you are posting here, then I am assuming that you already have a working distro.
Good luck & have fun.
33 • Beginner's guide (by tom on 2011-10-14 10:19:31 GMT from Finland)
I have been trying to find a gnome 2 guide for an absolute beginner, i.e., someone who does not how to use any computer.
(Linux for Dummies is for not for beginners, it is for Windows users.)
34 • @32 (by me on 2011-10-14 11:47:41 GMT from Thailand)
Yes I have a working distro because I am distro hopper and was lucy enough to have burned CTKarch(atch with wicd and drivers setup in the install cd) before miving. I still don't fully understand your point.- if you only have access to the net via wifi then how can you donload the driver? And if you are on ADSL why would you want to download wifi drivers?
35 • @34 (by TobiSGD on 2011-10-14 15:45:25 GMT from Germany)
"if you only have access to the net via wifi then how can you donload the driver?"
Since you are a distro hopper I bet that you have one or more Live distros available, so downloading drivers should really be no problem.
36 • Seems abckward (by Jesse on 2011-10-14 20:30:41 GMT from Canada)
>> "Since you are a distro hopper I bet that you have one or more Live distros available, so downloading drivers should really be no problem."
If you have a distro which just works with your hardware and does what you want it to do, why would you continue to run a distro which makes you jump through hoops to get basic functionality up and running? That seems awfully backward. Especially if they're in the same family, like CTKarch and plain Arch. That would be like booting Parsix so I could download non-free firmware for a Debian install.
37 • Sabayon 7 Gnome (by John on 2011-10-15 02:20:09 GMT from United States)
I must say that I did not hate Fedora's Gnome 3 but was not crazy about it either. I will say this, Sabayon has definitely made a nice version with 3.2 Gnome.
38 • @36 (by KevinC on 2011-10-15 02:45:47 GMT from United States)
Amen, brother. Could never have said it better. And what is incredibly ironic to me is those who want to give someone s**t for running a "unpure" version of Linux. Who really gives a damn? They're not running Windows. I think it's this attitude that really keeps Linux from becoming bigger than it is. If Arch or Gentoo or LFS is your thing, great for u. But if you love Ubuntu...good as well. It's all Linux.
39 • minor bug-fix releases of DEBIAN (by LAZA on 2011-10-15 07:02:32 GMT from Germany)
Today i'm surprised to read about the 6.0.3 release from Debian.
Hope, to hear something about it in the next DW weekly news...
Have a nice and suntrap WE
40 • Re#34&36 (by 123 on 2011-10-15 17:53:30 GMT from United States)
A Clarification Example:
First you had an ISO CD for Arch Linux, several hundred mega-bytes.
Now since you moved to a wifi only location, Arch is useless.
I merely assumed that downloading via another machine or friend's help:
Simply, just the wifi driver for your wifi card for Arch,
would be much smaller than an ISO and quicker online access,
than downloading another several hundred mega-byte distro.
Since the wifi only location is useless without distro wifi connectivity,
if you only had an Arch CD,
then you would either have to get a wifi driver or another whole distro's ISO CD.
Either option requires one to have access to a way to obtain the necessary data.
I myself would have pursued the smaller wifi driver and continue on with my original distro.
Once the driver worked then I could utilize my current distro's package system to expand it to my liking.
As I previously said, apparently you are already way past getting something working with wifi.
Therefore enjoy it.
Sorry for the distractions...
41 • @35 @40 (by me m on 2011-10-15 18:48:13 GMT from Thailand)
I think @35 that is exatly my point. Why would you? Well thanks to ctkarch there were no hoops to jump through so I've kept with it.
You could do that. From my broadband in myold home CTKarch downloaded very fast despite being somewhat biggger than standard arch. Arch would be better for someone with just a modem to connect to the internet I suppose.
42 • @41,38,36 (by TobiSGD on 2011-10-16 13:10:05 GMT from Germany)
Arch is known to be a distro that isn't "install and forget", so I wonder why you were using Arch in the first place. If you don't want something that is built up from scratch and is known to require some work, then simply don't use it, simple as that.
Would be the same if using a source based distro, but complaining that you have to compile.
If you are fine with CTKArch, OK, use it. But I don't see a reason to complain about Arch.
43 • Arch wireless (by Barnabyh on 2011-10-16 13:28:07 GMT from Germany)
The secret is planning ahead of time, and getting wifi working even if you don´t need it yet, cos you surev will need it one day if you keep the distro around.
You need wireless_tools and wpa-supplicant. You may already have the drivers. I don´t know what chip you have, but editing rc.conf to enable it to load at startup may already be sufficient if it is there. Similarly, you can have all the drivers in the world installed, if the module is not loaded it will not work. Take a look at the wiki link above.
44 • @43 (by KevinC on 2011-10-16 17:14:27 GMT from United States)
Fair enough and reasonably put...if one takes on Arch or Gentoo or LFS, then it does require some effort and forethought. I've done the 1st 2 back in the early part of the 'aughts when they 1st came out and Linux, across the board, was a much more difficult proposition. I can recall setting up Arch and getting everything working...was quite proud of the accomplishment. Did have a working Gentoo install as well, but quickly tired of waiting for large packages (read KDE 3.x) to compile. Anyway, the main thing I learned was that, as an educational experience I think Arch is overrated. By this I mean, an Arch install is not a great way to learn about the inner workings of Linux/ Unix...but a good way to learn about Arch and the Arch-way of doing things. When I tried to translate what I had learned to other distros at that time...it often-times was not helpful (i.e, Fedora, Mandrake/ Mandriva, Ubuntu, etc would place system files in different locations, config files were way different and so on). Though I did enjoy the experience. I have dl'ed Arch and perused the Wiki w/ intentions of installing Arch again, but simply lack the time. My point being is not that Arch (or other so-called expert distros) are bad. I think they're great and it's great we have this choice. It's just counterproductive to slam ppl. who use, for example, CTKArch and it works for them. I, myself, have never tried CTKArch, but have used ArchBang and Chakra w/ success. My life is pretty full w/ work, the gym, family and just getting outside and doing s**t. For me it's nice to have distros that work oob. Right now I'm playing w/ Kubuntu 11.10 and Xubuntu 11.10 and so far liking what I see. For me (and I stress this part), if I only had the choice of distros like Arch or Gentoo, then I'd be using Windows. And how is that a win for the community? IMHO, the more ppl. using Linux, the better it is for all of us and I think it's silly to judge, whether one uses a plug and play distro like Zorin or prefers LFS or Crux. The beauty of Linux is this wide spectrum of choice and variety. How does MS counter that? The only choice is a crippled to less-crippled version of their OS.
45 • X11 (by ringzero on 2011-10-16 19:27:00 GMT from United States)
Slightly off topic, but relevant to the usual reviews which involve fiddling with xorg.conf (Caitlyn seems to have all the bad luck with xorg), xkcd.com comic about X11:
Number of Comments: 45
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|• Issue 549 (2014-03-10): ClearOS 6.5 and UCS 3.2, Gentoo interview, Ubuntu app contest, Into the Core|
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|• Issue 539 (2013-12-23): Centrych 12.04.3, Fedora 20 and its spins, dividing archives across multiple discs|
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|• Issue 535 (2013-11-25): GhostBSD 3.5, Debian and MATE, Ubuntu 14.04 features, security updates|
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