| DistroWatch Weekly
1 • ReactOS (by Jon Wright on 2015-01-19 01:57:13 GMT from Luxembourg) |
Interesting to read about ReactOS - although I don't think writing up one's experiences running something inside a virtual machine is worthwhile.
I've decided either Ubuntu MATE or Mint MATE is where it's at for the foreseeable future, so I'm not interested in tracking progress of the mainstream distros or their respins. But very interested to read about the BSDs and the more esoteric Linux (and other) projects. And I think the next DW donation should go to sending Jesse a used ThinkPad (or two).
2 • Donated hardware (by Jesse on 2015-01-19 02:08:33 GMT from Canada)
If we are talking about sending me hardware, I vote for a Raspberry Pi B. That could result in some interesting experiments.
3 • Android-x86 (by Gustavo on 2015-01-19 02:20:01 GMT from Brazil)
One "alternative" operating system that is running very well is Android-x86 4.4. I've been using it as my main "desktop" OS on my Acer notebook and i'm very satisfied with the results so far. Good keyboard and mouse support, *very* fast display drivers (now I see how Xorg is obsolete), full Google Play access, good hardware support, updated software, good notification system and BASH shell. You can print directly to USB printers using 3rd party software. Most Linux distros feel very slow and "clunky" when I boot to them. Of course you can´t run GIMP or LibreOffice yet, but it´s getting there.
4 • Desktop Previews (by GuntherT on 2015-01-19 04:13:00 GMT from United States)
I am in favor of the desktop previews on the home page. I do not feel the thumbnails clutter things. I find screenshots illustrative and helpful when evaulating software. Thank you for your hard work, Jesse.
5 • Re: Donated hardware (by dicktater on 2015-01-19 05:53:44 GMT from United States)
Put a Banana Pi or an Odroid on your wishlist instead.
6 • Changes (by Milo on 2015-01-19 05:56:41 GMT from Poland)
I think my biggest qualms with the thumbnails are that they force dead space between "Latest News and Updates" entries where there is no text, spacing the entries out more, and that the thumbnails are too small to really convey much about the default look of the distribution. I prefer the project logos alone for the "Latest News and Updates" entries. As I said last week, it doesn't really bother me, it's just a preference. If they remain, so be it. It might be worth experimenting with adding them to the right of the text, rather placing them underneath the project logos.
"NewsDate" 2015-02-30 "NewsHeadline" Distribution Release: w00titis "NewsScreenshot" Screenshot
"NewsLogo" img src=☺ "NewsText" Hurty flurty schnipp schnipp! "NewsGUI" img src=pretty picture
Also as I said mentioned week, I would like to see screenshots added for the database entries which currently lack them (ex FreeNAS), where there is a default DE/WM/Web interface. Are reader submissions (if they meet certain criteria) accepted?
7 • Fedora on wayland (by Shishir on 2015-01-19 06:06:34 GMT from Ukraine)
I have been using F21, since its release date. Initially, GNOME on wayland didn't work for me. But, now it's quite stable (may be because of some update). Drag and drop still doesn't work well. Also there are problems with logging out and in. Apart from these problems, the system is quite stable.
8 • alteration (by Milo on 2015-01-19 06:18:43 GMT from Poland)
Actually, instead of generic "Screenshot" name, it might worth telling people what they are looking at, like
img src=pretty picture
9 • reactos (by greg on 2015-01-19 08:58:35 GMT from Slovenia)
the interesting part is hardware compatibility - if the OS is supposedly Windows compatible, shouldn't the drivers also be compatible?
10 • Desktop screenshots (by Jozsef on 2015-01-19 09:58:29 GMT from United Arab Emirates)
In my opinion the screenshots are too small. And also, I think only 1 thing should be enough, no need for both logo and screenshot. Doesn't looks good to me as it is right now.
Maybe only the name of the distro in plain text, above the screenshots? Many screenshots already got the logo on it.
What I would do, if the screenshots can't be larger, I would make them as links to the larger view of the screenshot instead of the link pointing to the distro's page. Name of the distro could be a link to distro's page.
Only my opinions :)
11 • Waiting list (by e on 2015-01-19 10:29:27 GMT from Germany)
Long time visitor, but never went through the waiting list.
275 distros are waiting and some of them since 2007...
It doesn't seem very efficient...
12 • ChaletOS (by Joe on 2015-01-19 11:42:39 GMT from Mexico)
Oh my God! the recent incorpored distro named ChaletOS is a wonderful OS. Gased in LTS Ubuntu (xubuntu) very easy to configure with an exquisite design. speedy an bug free. for me it is the best distro in many many years.
13 • UberStudent (by Jake Mills on 2015-01-19 11:52:47 GMT from United Kingdom)
UberStudent looks to not only provide a system that I want as a tool for learning, but also as a tool for development. I often have to make notes on new pieces of research, languages, projects... All these applications in one place - I look forward to looking through the list and finding a lot of new and exciting tools.
Providing the system works following install, you can bet I will be donating to this project to keep it going. It's been many years since I have been so excited to install a new Linux distro.
14 • RE1 : testing a package manager is worthwhile for many readers (by dbrion on 2015-01-19 12:41:52 GMT from France)
and an emulator is enough for that .
I qemulated a RPi before buying a real one : I could notice every package I needed was installed and worked (and emulaters are going to emulate more and more hardware). If I had seen broken packages, I would not have bought (or would have tried Pidora instead of Rasbian).... Then, once I had a RPi, it was very easy to have things working (an Internet café landlord, who installs lots of XP/7 computers when he is rich, was amazed because it seemed very easy to install and I answered "its is because I trained myself with arm-qemu").
15 • Thumbnails get the thumbs up (by Mike on 2015-01-19 13:31:26 GMT from United Kingdom)
Really like the thumbnails under the news section, gives the site a more modern feel (rather than a wall of text).
16 • Enjoying Gnome 2 again. (by Bill on 2015-01-19 14:23:33 GMT from )
For those of you who long for the good-old Gnome 2 days, there is a way to enjoy what once was. I installed a Mint 9 Isadora 64 bit iso on a Quad-Core i7-4771 CPU with 16 gigs of RAM and an SSD Hard Drive together with a Nvidia Geforce GT 650 graphics card.
Granted it took some hacking to find the kernel which would play the original Ubuntu login and other sounds like radiotray music correctly on Internal Audio Stereo Duplex, hint: (Kernel: 2.6.34-020634-generic), and I had to struggle to get the NVIDIA accelerated (version current) installed so that the video could be 1440x900 or better (thanks to Mint's Hardware Driver locator), but, I installed all of my favorite apps and dressed the system up with an Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy look and installed all the original COMPIZ bells and whistles and wow!!
I now have the worlds last best OS/DE and it is blazingly fast!
Everyone to their own for sure, but I really enjoy my Gnome 2 System!
Here are the screenshots:
Put The Fun Back Into Your Linux!
17 • Thumbnails are GREAT! (by Jim on 2015-01-19 14:41:32 GMT from United States)
Another +1 on the implementation of desktop thumbnails next to the logo!!! I'm a bit of a distro junkie who is always trying out new and interesting distros in a VM. My level of interest is often dictated by the appearance of a desktop that is implemented in a new & interesting way!
I know what a "standard" Gnome, KDE, XFCE and LXDE desktop look like, so there's really no compelling reason to see what I've already seen...unless there's a new & interesting twist on those DEs. But I still need to click on additional pages to see if there's an interesting twist. A small task which usually leads to the disappointing conclusion that "I've seen this before..." Conversely, what's a Deepin? What's a Pantheon? What is this Elive?
I used to have to click on the distro page, then possibly, the screenshot page in order to learn more. Now I can do the majority of aesthetic assessment right on the home page, with no additional clicks! It definitely makes my surfing easier and more enjoyable. I hope you decide to keep it!
18 • Thumbnails - MORE! BIGGER!! (by Sam on 2015-01-19 16:07:04 GMT from United States)
I like the addition of thumbnails of the default desktop of each OS, but as currently displayed, they seem a)a bit small and b) a bit squished against each distro's logo. I'd suggest increasing the screen shot size, off-set and space the logo away from the thumbnail. This would make each distro's "text description" need to be narrower and taller, but would balance the graphics nicely.
19 • raspian (by ray carter on 2015-01-19 16:13:27 GMT from United States)
It would be interesting to see a review of raspian linux on a raspberry pi - a very interesting platform for learning electronics
20 • LMDE (by Barnabyh on 2015-01-19 17:16:01 GMT from United Kingdom)
Good to hear there'll now be another alternative for people wanting to run Debian, or at least pull from their repositories, and stick to the current sysvinit system without having to mess around and recompile networkmanager and others or be presented with 'Broken Packages'.
So people on Debian now have three options:
2.) Waiting for Devuan to materialise
3.) Start from a Grml base and avoid packages that would pull in youknowwhat. I suppose this may be difficult to do, in particular for people who want a convenient network management console and VPN, dongle support etc.
Of course one can stay on 'Wheezy', still very good with backports. But already no updated Chromium any more since 37, although the spat behind it will affect newer Debian versions as well until resolved.
21 • @2 Raspberry Pi B (by Ron on 2015-01-19 18:01:10 GMT from United States)
:If we are talking about sending me hardware, I vote for a Raspberry Pi B. That could result in some interesting experiments. "
Awh, go for the Pi B+. Its the latest and so inexpensive, everyone should get one. By the way, a previous DW by Jesse prompted me to not only get a Pi B+, but also a BeagleBoardBlack. I have been experimenting with both and learning lots more about Linux because of them.
The BeagleBoardBlack costs a few dollars more, but either one is great. The BBB is probably more useful and easier to startup than the Pi, but go for either.
22 • #20 sysvinit on Debian Jessie (by anticapitalista on 2015-01-19 19:21:18 GMT from Greece)
I'm sure there are a lot more than the 3 available options you mentioned.
Here are 3 others.
23 • Debian choices (by Barnabyh on 2015-01-19 20:08:05 GMT from United Kingdom)
Is antiX not going to be using systemd 215 as suggested by the listing for 14alpha here on DW? Please tell me more. Are you only implementing a placebo/shim or how will it work?
24 • Your Announcement of Parted Magic 2015_01_13 on your Site. (by Halil I Celik on 2015-01-19 21:16:41 GMT from Turkey)
I have seen the mention of your pmagic_2014_01_13 distro on your web site. I followed their Online shopping web link. But I had bought pmagic_2014_11_19.iso instead of pmagic_2014_01_13. Because Online shopping link was not updated by partedmagic.com.
25 • Your Announcement of Parted Magic 2015_01_13 on your Site (continued) (by Halil I Celik on 2015-01-19 21:22:07 GMT from Turkey)
I downloaded the correct version of Parted Mapic after my e-mail warning. Thanks to Partedmagic.com for quick response.
26 • Debian choices (by anticapitalista on 2015-01-19 21:59:03 GMT from Greece)
The latest alpha5 of antiX is 99.9% systemd free. No systemd-shim, no libsystemd0, and various apps like cups have been de-systemded (is that a word?)
The only thing remaining to remove is udev, but that is almost impossible at the moment in Debian.
27 • ChaletOS (by Carlos on 2015-01-19 22:36:12 GMT from Portugal)
@12: that XFCE menu looks like Windows 7.
That's not how I want linux to look like.
Btw, I love Mageia's XFCE.
28 • Bluetooth (by Carlos on 2015-01-19 22:39:06 GMT from Portugal)
I hate Bluetooth audio on linux.
It needs Pulseaudio. Which I hate even more. :')
29 • antiX (by Barnabyh on 2015-01-19 22:45:15 GMT from United Kingdom)
Desystemd'ed, nice one. That will certainly put it on my shortlist for install media alternatives for Debian 8 when the time comes.
Thanks for all your work on this btw, I like antiX more than it may sometimes seem, in particular fluxbox is elegant.
30 • Front page (by dbrion on 2015-01-19 23:24:02 GMT from France)
" We want to hear what you think of having desktop previews on the front page. Is it helpful, is it a welcome splash of colour or are the previews visually distracting? "
* Desktop previews are too tiny : it is only a splash of colors, uninformative for my old eyes -or for "net""book" screens- .
* Logos remain a good idea (one can find easily ones favorite distribution(s)); at least for graphical mode browsers.
* Release announcement, too (one can find out what the authors think of their distribution if they feel necessary to write about that).
* linking to the distribution description is (remains? I do not know) a _very_ good idea: it makes faster to find selected packages, reviews ... before thinking about downloading.
31 • Tails no burn? (by George on 2015-01-19 23:37:56 GMT from United Kingdom)
I realise it's a niche poduct but is anyone else unable to burn an ISO of Tails to a USB stick and /or a DVD?
I have burnt many Linux ISOs over the past ten years to CDs and DVDs but I just cannot burn a copy of Tails, even though the MD5 checks out.
I have just burned a copy of Tahrpup to my USB stick and tested it so I know the stick is OK, so it must be something wrong with Tails.
I have tried it with 1.2 and 1.23 with constant failures though 1.1.1 burns normally.
32 • @31 -Tails USB (by Pedro on 2015-01-20 01:38:18 GMT from United States)
It is recommended to use the Tails installer - within Tails - for installations on USB sticks. This way, you will be able to make use of incremental updates.
If you prefer manual USB installs using "dd", the Tails iso has to be modified first, using the "isohybrid" utility. The exact command can be found in the install instructions on the Tails website.
33 • Desktop previews (by Alberto5 on 2015-01-20 02:10:18 GMT from Uruguay)
I'm also in favor of the front page previews. Nice new feature. Both the thumbnails and the logos help us have a glimpse of the distribution's character (in the case of Makulu, for instance, which I consider to be a good distro, it is immediately apparent its childish -or too naive at least- spirit. Sorry, Jacque Raymer)
34 • Thumbnails (by cykodrone on 2015-01-20 02:14:50 GMT from Canada)
They're OK but maybe move the distros' icons to the right of the text? The way it is now looks a little clumsy and cluttered.
ReactOS, I had relatively the same experience. It's an interesting project but I divorced MS, so it kinda creeped me out, lol. Before anybody asks why I tried React, because I was curious, I test things, that's what I do.
35 • Thumbnails (by Will B on 2015-01-20 02:53:11 GMT from United States)
I like the thumbnails, but I propose the direct opposite of @34...put the distro logo on the left of the description as in the past, but put the desktop previews on the right of the text. :-)
36 • childish spirit??? (by frodopogo on 2015-01-20 04:51:10 GMT from United States)
@33- What about Tux???
(the Linux Penguin...)
37 • @11 (by Milo on 2015-01-20 05:51:03 GMT from Poland)
Operating systems do get removed from that list from time to time (as well as readded, or even occasionally duplicated). For example, Arch Hurd and LSD (Less Systemd) GNU/Linux are gone. Perhaps there should be a set time period (4 years?) after which an OS is removed from the waiting list if it has failed to meet the criteria for addition to the database, and then perhaps the developer(s) can reapply. I wish the waiting list "submitted on" dates were hyperlinked to the appropriate DWW "Distributions added to waiting list" descriptions.
For example, for the waiting list entry for Edu * Ro, "submitted on 2015-01-14" could be linked to distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20150119#waiting. Sometimes project pages do a poor job of describing their respective projects, and succinct DWW "added to the waiting list" descriptions cut through the cruft.
There are some decent operating systems or otherwise interesting startups on the waiting list, a few of which are more solid than some of the me-too listings currently in the database. Bitrig finally saw a 1.0 release. Bedrock Linux, noop, Maui, Void, Arch BSD, VyOS and OmniOS seem to be surviving. As far as Fedora remixes fly, Chapeau and Viperr are worth ackowledging. Speaking of ReactOS's Windows-esque reimplementation that holds appeal for some, Icaros Desktop should bear a familiar feel for anyone who's used AmigaOS (particularly circa 3.1). Some distros remain unsung, and fade away. Speaking of which, does anybody know what is going on with Progress Linux (developed by the guy behind the discontinued Unofficial Maintainers repo for Debian)? In December, the home page read, "We're currently reorganizing our homepage.. stay tuned for 2014-12-15." Now it reads, "We're currently reorganizing our homepage.. stay tuned for 2015-01-15." Given its SourceForge page, livarp seems to be dead again. I'm pretty sure Ascendos is a ghost ship (check the mailing list). It was supposed to merge with GoOSe Linux, but the GoOSe Project disbanded before than happened. I also think Pardus Anka failed to become its own thing separate from Pisi (if it ever was intended to be; that's still unclear).
38 • ChaletOS for ones coming from Windows XP (by Garon on 2015-01-20 13:05:54 GMT from United States)
@27, I really doubt that this distro was made for you. I have not tried the distro but the screenshots look very good and useable for a person new to the Linux landscape or really for anyone who is not a "I hate Microsoft" zealot. They would prefer something that they are familiar with and not something from 10 or 15 years ago. Sad to say tho that most people in the Linux community and here really don't want new people walking in the Linux landscape and for the most part they are successful in keeping them away. It's distros like ChaletOS, Ubuntu, LinuxMint, elementaryOS, Zorin, PCLinuxOS, and many others that will keep Linux a name that in general people may be able to relate to.
39 • Mint and Android-x86 (by Georgia on 2015-01-20 13:38:43 GMT from Canada)
I am now running Mint 17.1 XFCE on my ARM notebook, in addition to 17.1 with Cinnamon on my desktop computer. Both are flawless, both are faster than 17.0. So thank you to Clem's team of hardworking people, you folks really sweat the details. I will donate again.
Incidentally, I tried Android-x86 on the notebook before I did the Mint update, it also ran well, but I wouldn't give up a fully featured and functional OS (Mint) for the skeletal Android. Still, if you have and an ancient notebook gathering dust in the closet, it might just worth giving it a whirl.
Note to Jesse: I like it, and I notice and appreciate all the little changes you've made. Even small changes can mean a lot of work. Thank you.
40 • Front page (by bfl on 2015-01-20 14:39:21 GMT from Austria)
My opinion to the front page previews:
1. The page takes pretty much more time to load.
2. With the previews less information fits on the page than before, and if someone visits the page once a week, important news might not reach him/her.
3. From an artistic view, the previews are visually distracting - they do not really fit in the picture of the whole page.
41 • Front page format (by Pearson on 2015-01-20 15:42:50 GMT from United States)
On a related note, are there any plans on a more phone-friendly Distrowatch and DIstroWatch Weekly? It is "usable enough" for me, but requires a fair amount of horizontal scrolling on my phone.
42 • ReactOS and ChaletOS (by Pmulax on 2015-01-20 16:06:20 GMT from Spain)
The first thing I wondered when I first heard about ReactOS was if it was so compatible with Win32 as to also be a potential virus/malware victim. If so, there might even be the case in which it could be infected by basic/old virus, but no recent antivirus was installable because it's not completely Windows.
And talking about "not being completely Windows", I recently tested ChaletOS on a USB HD, and was quite satisfied. As an experiment, I asked a Windows user to fiddle with it and he found no problems getting a grasp of the basic usage (I've long suspected some people start doubting on somethings workings the moment it has a different appearance). Though I wasn't able to switch locales (the author said he would look into it) the rest was trouble free, probably one of the most important aspects when introducing Linux to a Windows user (though ironically they are quite forgiving with MS's flaws).
43 • ReactOS (by M.Z. on 2015-01-20 19:06:48 GMT from )
"One might sarcastically quip that ReactOS completely captures the legacy Windows experience."
It sounds like Windows ME, which was the first OS I installed by myself. It caused so many crashes in Command & Conquer, and always right as I was about to vanquish my enemies! Still ReactOS has always sounded like an intriguing project. If it ever enters beta I might have an excuse to dust off all those old Windows games I have sitting around.
44 • @ 32 (by George on 2015-01-20 22:07:30 GMT from United Kingdom)
[... use the Tails installer - within Tails...]
How can I use the Tails installer (within Tails) when I can't burn a working copy of the distro in the first place? As it is, it's just a waste of my download bandwidth.
45 • Lets see some review of linuxes for the blind! (by Baltazar on 2015-01-20 22:18:54 GMT from Puerto Rico)
I have been trying to help a friend for some time now with visual limitations and have not been able to reccomend anything concrrete... none of the systems I hae tried are adecuate. Eider because of hardware requarements or dificulties with inconsitencies with the system overal... And no, puting a person with a totaly command line interface is not manageble for a computer iliterate person...
Orca has been practicaly abandomed... like many things gnome... even the page is incomplete... it is sadening to see practically no interrest for this area in Linux besides hardcore uber ccommannd line tools... and the sometimes asanine abreviations that are used... ad to this the language barier...
Am still trying to get something more funktional but I would like to see some focus shined to this... even if just once or twce a year...
lately part of my dificulties lie with managing the desktop with the keyboard and using descktop zoom... features that may work to some extend but I have enncouter problems with... imagine a newbee... Also, since she is limited with the hard ware anithing Genome 3 is trash... it might work but not in such and old hardware...
One thig that wories me is security... so I have tried to stay with resent stuff... but I find more and more abandoment from some progects...
sorry ffor my horible writing ... am on a celphone..
pleace review some apps or relevant linuxes!
46 • ChaletOS (by Carlos on 2015-01-20 22:41:10 GMT from Portugal)
@38: Garon, you misunderstood me, I was just giving MY opinion, yes, it is not for me and I understand that others may think otherwise and like it.
Instead of copying Windows, Linux should be user friendly but have a "style" of its own.
I understand that some people coming from Windows may want something similar to work with, and there is choice on Linux, that's the beauty of it.
Sometimes I ask myself why can Microsoft turn everything upside down (like in Windows 8) and Linux can't. Now please guys, don't try to copy the Windows 8 desktop, just for the Linux newbies to feel at home. The mistakes are not worth to copy.
Personally, I'm tired of Windows, too many years working with it, since the early 90's, way before 95.
You or anyone else's mileage may vary.
I'm not a Microsoft "hater", they are actually improving and Windows 10 may become something interesting. And bring stuff to the desktop that Unix and Linux already has, for decades (like virtual desktops).
You know, sometimes it's the other way around, :')
47 • DW front page layout, proprietary-system refugee interests, ReactOS (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2015-01-21 02:48:36 GMT from United States)
Perhaps the logo should not be so much smaller than the screenshot thumbnail, which does aid recognition and enhance presentation, and ought to link to a full-size image/slide-show ... and thence possibly to the distro page? Low-res (for dial-up) and columnar (for small-screens) versions would certainly be in keeping with modern adaptability.
What Apple/Windows refugees need is not so much a familiar appearance (it helps to look a bit different; themes are popular) but familiar functionality - similar organization is obviously a step in the right direction, and not just for the less-technically-inclined. A GUI is preferable, should best communicate function and avoid distractions like typing or syntax, and have a separate 'advanced' level (or two). Many users are nonetheless acquainted with Command-Line-Interface and basic plain-text batch/script files. Descriptive labeling of 'apps' is as important as unique naming, of course (Truth in Labeling).
As noted in the ReactOS review, they're likely already acquainted with lock-ups, errors (and related witless messages), and other imperfections - but the system has been beaten into a sufficiently reliable platform that a robust market has emerged. Backup procedures allow driver regression, software-package removal, and system-snapshot recovery; recently system portability is also available. It works predictably (not "It Just Works" until it doesn't) and is reasonably complete and robust. Minor updates do not break tools, development tools should not face an incompatible "upgrade" for years.
Speaking of ReactOS, the review took my breath away - it took a while to recover after ROFL! Just what I'd expect from (InMyOpinion) a primarily academic project which should always be in a VM/LXC/Qube. It's an educational demo of Retro Tech and Why We Don't Do It That Way Any More, though. Potentially, of course, it could could also show what could have been, had a long-term view prevailed.
48 • Q4OS (by Jan on 2015-01-21 10:46:56 GMT from Netherlands)
I have tried the latest versions of Q4OS on an older PC and notebook.
They all failed to find my WiFi hardware. So a no-go.
Maybe a point of attention for the distroa maintainers?
49 • No WiFi support (by Jeffersonian on 2015-01-21 18:28:49 GMT from United States)
You omit to mention which WifI chip does your PC have.
And also which WiFi chip it has (Command "dmesg" after booting will tell you).
I guess it is a Broadcom chip, supported by "closed source" driver, unfortunately.
Because Atheros, Realtec, and Intel WiFi chips are part of the kernel "main tree" usually work out of the box.
You may try Linux Mint 17.1 which allow support for Broadcom chips, ideally booting from USB flash drive if your system BIOS support it.
An other possibility is to use the TP-Link USB TLW821N (USB Wifi dongle, with Atheros Chip), inexpensive, works on any recent Linux "out of the box".
Because Broadcom never "allowed" an open source driver, Linux supporters should stop purchasing PC's with a Broadcom chip, at least until the Kernel "main tree" has open source support for Broadcom.
50 • If only the selection of wifi in a computer was easy (by Ben Myers on 2015-01-22 02:18:06 GMT from United States)
One can install most any wifi card in a desktop computer, if the card fits one of the slots inside. But choosing a wifi card to go inside a laptop is not so easy. Well, maybe it is. Many name-brands offer a more expensive Intel wifi card as an option. If it's an Intel wifi card, go for it. As previously noted, AND the name-brand company bothers to tell you, Atheros or Realtek are OK. That apprarently leaves two wifi chips, Broadcom and newcomer Ralink (now Mediatek). Broadcom? Fogeddabout it. Ralink? I dunno.
So this leaves the possibility of buying a laptop, often at a big box emporium like Best Buy or Walmart or Staples, where you have no idea what the wifi card is inside. The sealed package doesn't tell you. And the uninformed sales person sure does not know. So now, the computer comes home, one puts in the trusty distro install DVD or USB stick, runs the install and (H-E-L-P!) the wifi card is a stinking Broadcom. What next? Well, if you can get the drivers elsewhere and install them, you are home free. If your distro does not even have Broadcom drivers, you have to replace the wifi card.
Here is where it gets dicey. A USB wifi stick is messy because it sticks out the side of the laptop, where it can get damaged and so can the laptop. So now you go for an internal wifi card. Well, the combination of the laptop BIOS and factory customization of laptop wifi cards poses obstacles.
1. Obstacle #1 - The laptop BIOS has a white list of allowable cards, customized to the specifications of the name brand company. At the factory, wifi cards get a vendor ID and card ID burned in. Your card has to match the white list on both IDs.
2. Obstacle #2 - No white list in the laptop BIOS, but the BIOS does make sure that the vendor ID of the wifi card is the same as the name brand. If there is no match, the laptop probably won't boot.
Yes, you can reprogram the vendor ID on a wifi card with some low-level software code that accesses ports on the card. But it's not worth the effort. I've investigated. Wifi cards are inexpensive.
So the punch line here is to make sure you are getting a Linux-compatible (not Broadcom and maybe not Ralink) wifi card when you buy a system, desktop or laptop. Saves a lot of effort.
51 • Ralink (by Somewhat Reticent on 2015-01-22 03:01:15 GMT from United States)
Per WikiPedia: (acquired by MediaTek 2011May)
+ "While Linux drivers for the older RT2500 chipsets are no longer updated by Ralink, these are now being maintained by Serialmonkey's rt2x00 project"
+ "drivers for MediaTek Ralink wireless network interface controllers were mainlined into Linux kernel version 2.6.24"
+ "Ralink provides GNU General Public License-licensed (GPL) drivers for the Linux kernel."
? "Current Ralink chipsets require a firmware to be loaded."
(see also: wikidevi.com, wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers)
Note: presence of a driver does not imply complete/reliable functionality; NO brand guarantees anything.
As always, Version/Vintage Rules; Do Your Homework FIRST.
For example, research specs for the given model online - sometimes at a store kiosk.
52 • @51 Ralink - Good to know (by Ben Myers on 2015-01-22 05:33:50 GMT from United States)
I've run into very few Ralink wifi cards. Installed one today and it fixed a client's wifi problem. So it's good to know that the odds are pretty good of a Ralink wifi card working with many Linux distros, as is.
53 • tails from thumbdrive to thumbdrive ? (by Roland on 2015-01-22 12:16:21 GMT from United States)
@31 @32 @44:
You need to modify the ISO before dd'ing it:
isohybrid [tails-isohybrid.iso] -h 255 -s 63
dd if=[tails-isohybrid.iso] of=[device] bs=16M
I did not use this method, but they claim it works.
Debian family ISOs all have problems with USB install. Optical media are
cheap, but that eliminates most laptops these days. I used a desktop with
an optical drive make a DVD, ran it to make thumbdrives.
54 • @53 (by Uncle Slacky on 2015-01-22 17:06:27 GMT from France)
Unetbootin also works for TAILS, I've found, though obviously it's not recommended. You need to select the "Live" option on booting, rather than just the "Default" option, however.
55 • @50 WiFi Options on a Laptop (by Rev_Don on 2015-01-23 00:05:17 GMT from United States)
You can always get a NANO sized usb WiFi dongle. They only stick out about 1/4 of an inch so the chances of doing any damage is extremely remote. Unless you have to connect under really crappy conditions they should work just fine. I've seen GOOD ones for as little as $10 US.
Or you can do some homework prior to purchase. Find out what's available locally, then check the manufactures support site to see what WiFi chip it uses. I've never had a problem being able to determine what chipset brand is used, although the specific model can sometimes be more difficult to determine.
Also try taking in a live CD/USB and get the sales people to allow you to boot into it or help you look in device manager of the display models to see what they have. Except for WalMart (and I would never purchase any computer from them) I've never had one of those requests turned down. I have had to wait around a bit until the right person became available as not all of the sales people have access to that, but that is just part of what you have to deal with to run Linux.
56 • USB WiFi (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2015-01-23 03:10:45 GMT from United States)
Potentially effective if you avoid mixing 2.4GHz and USB3, right?
57 • Desktop Environments; Wikipedia is always wrong? (by gregzeng on 2015-01-23 05:46:09 GMT from Australia)
By design, Wikipedia, like all recorded "reality", is always outdated & incorrect. But coders who use Wikipedia are too self-absorbed to properly monitor/ care about the noobs who use Wikipedia. Active Chief Information Officers (CIO, which I used to be before my medical-aged-frail forced retirement), are too busy-incompetent to worry about noobs as well.
is very wrongly outdated. It misses others in our DistroWatch room: Enlightenment, KDE Plasma, & LXQt. Android & its many derivatives are often avoid; perhaps because by USA-legal restrictions, these are not considered free". Pity the noobs who think that this planet is limited to only the laws of the USA.
The Wikipedia url above is used in other discussions of Desktop Environments. Ignored are many other operating systems in our DistroWatch room:
Microsofts' (many), Apple (many), Nokia, Blackberry, ... and of course, Android & its many derivatives.
Surprisingly, it seems that only Android enthusiasts seem to believe that Android is a Linux distro. Apple people try to hide the fact that they are really a BSD distro derivative. Both Apple newer operating systems & Android, like Linux, are based on Unix.
Microsoft seems to be dropping their very primitive, illogical operating systems, very slowly moving to a Unix-based system, like the rest of the planet. Google pays Microsoft much in legal fees; hence the Android derivatives entering the markets.
Is there some way that Distrowatch's spreadsheet data base include the D-W "popularity" ratings? Or a way that Wikipedia's spreadsheets be interogated, like DistroWatch's can?
58 • WiFi Linux (by Jan on 2015-01-23 14:01:43 GMT from Netherlands)
Interesting and constructive, practical comments on my point on WiFi and Q4OS.
Thanks for that.
One additional remark:
I have tested a few other distros for older hardware/notebook (just for fun of distrohopping).
AntiX + LXLE + Lubuntu detect the WiFi obvious in a good way. So detecting WiFi in Linux seems probably not a big deal?
59 • Xorg (re #3) (by Jorday on 2015-01-23 16:33:48 GMT from United States)
How does "good display drivers" render Xorg "obsolete?"
It's about more than the display servers. Seems weird to have to say that.
Number of Comments: 59
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