| DistroWatch Weekly
1 • FOSS Level (by pcninja on 2015-07-06 00:23:43 GMT from North America) |
I have a mix of FOSS and closed-source software on my PC.
2 • What non-FOSS? (by mcellius on 2015-07-06 00:40:35 GMT from North America)
Since switching to Linux four years ago I have used only FOSS and haven't purchased any software. I run Ubuntu (two desktops and a laptop) and an IPFire firewall, and have never had any trouble finding any FOSS software that I might need or want. I'm not ideologically opposed to buying software if I need it, but I just haven't found the need.
I'm curious, though: for those using a mix of FOSS and non-free software, what do you need that you're buying? Are you paying for Windows or Mac software to run on those systems, or are you buying games? I know everyone's needs are different, so I'm curious as to what the needs are that aren't met by FOSS software.
3 • FOSS (by tdockery97 on 2015-07-06 01:01:27 GMT from North America)
@#2 mcellius: I believe you are looking at FOSS as involving free price vs. monetary cost. FOSS is also a philosophy regarding free as opposed to proprietary software (such as video drivers, codecs for multimedia use, etc.). I have come across very few people who use strictly free and open source software. I use some free open source software, but I need the proprietary fglrx driver for my video chip to work well, and I do like to watch movies and listen to music, but I rarely purchase software.
4 • FOSS/some non-FOSS (by Corbin Rune on 2015-07-06 01:10:06 GMT from North America)
In my case, I still buy games on Steam, and some music and games from Amazon. I also spend regular time in a couple of MMOs from my Windows days. I''ve also got a need for fglrx ... although, if the FOSS driver were to get to even 85 - 90% of Catalyst's functionality, I'd save myself *that* proprietary headache, at least. (Hell, especially with how often kernel or Xorg updates break the S.O.B.)
5 • I use a mixture of FOSS and non-free software (by Gustavo on 2015-07-06 01:21:51 GMT from South America)
I use Linux (Mint Xfce) exclusively, but Chrome browser is almost obligatory nowadays. Except from Chrome and rarely Skype all I run is FOSS.
6 • FOSS poll (by Thomas Mueller on 2015-07-06 01:33:45 GMT from North America)
I use only FOSS operating systems: FreeBSD, NetBSD, Linux, Haiku, FreeDOS, but need some binary firmwares for wi-fi and HP LaserJet printer plugin, also some multimedia codecs, maybe some MS-Windows applications when I get wine better set up. I still have no Adobe Flash player installed.
On previous computer, I found PLoP boot manager (plop.at) useful: free download but closed-source, practically useless on new computer with more sophisticated boot selection from UEFI screen.
7 • Alpine Linux (by Theodore on 2015-07-06 01:38:48 GMT from Europe)
Alpine is aimed at creating service machines, not desktops, thus saving even some megs in manpages is useful.
It's big like it is, compared to OpenWRT or TinyCore!
8 • Crunchbang-Monara (by vaithy on 2015-07-06 01:46:58 GMT from Asia)
I use puppy based distros,Crunchbang,Arch-bang and AntiX distros for reviving my friend's death end old PCs with 128 RAM and give re-life to them..But sadly Crunchbang stop its developement or slowed down, so when I downloaded Monara Linux.. 64 bit version tested it in my VBOX, got my surprise..Despite the OpenBox limitation everything set up already..Even I can install cairo dock..it give me complete freedom to change therms wall papers, whatever the Jobs that I requested..In my opinion Monara can stand on its own leg.. instead of prefixing Crunchbang before their name...Now they come with 32 bit version ...
9 • FOSS usage (by Joe on 2015-07-06 01:51:51 GMT from Oceania)
I only turn to proprietary software when I have to. At the moment it would be NVIDIA Drivers, Steam, Music codecs, Skype (Although i never use it), Adobe Flash Player.
I run Windows solely for the portions of my gaming library that do not support Linux. I have nothing against Wine but I just find it simpler to just dual boot Windows.
10 • FOSS - Free or Freed? (by Kragle von Schnitzelbank on 2015-07-06 01:55:57 GMT from North America)
Does this week's survey refer to zero-price OSS (Open-Source Software), or Liberated-License OSS?
11 • Multiple Subjects (by Chris on 2015-07-06 04:02:34 GMT from North America)
Last Week's DWW Poll: While unscientific, and excluding the ARM and Other categories, the results show:
1. x86_64 = Approximately 80% Usage; showing a significant adoption rate.
2. x86_32 = Approximately 50% Usage; showing a significant continued use rate (a.k.a., its "not dead yet" (cue Monty Python, Holy Grail)).
The poll shows that both currently have a place and hopefully OS developers/maintainers keep both around for some time - hint, hint!
Review: Alpine Linux 3.2: Thank you for reviewing Alpine Linux 3.2. I was one of the people requesting such as I think this unique minimal pre-hardened distro has a lot of potential as both a server and a minimal secure desktop (potentially as a VM Host or Guest; and it has X, Gnome, Openbox, Xfce, and various desktop apps in its repos).
One addition to your review. While not ideal, the various download links on the website do have descriptive hover-bubbles which somewhat describe each (e.g., Standard..., Mini..., etc.). I too would however like to see them provide a full description in their wiki.
Unlike you, I had no problems getting the system installed to hardware or VM, but like you, I could easily install and run various servers but not get X to run no matter what (followed wiki and checked forums). Unfortunately, I could not spend too much time on it then and bailed; but once time permits, I plan to spend a weekend on it as necessary. I don't know why, but I just really have a good feeling about this little distro.
This Week's DWW Poll: I try to use FOSS but am not religious about such. On my PCs, I use and selected "mostly FOSS with some exceptions." Each PC of mine is loaded only with Linux but each has need of some proprietary drivers (video and/or wifi) that I cannot avoid and I choose to load proprietary fonts (work functionality), Flash (browser functionality), and media codecs; although, I don't know why I continue to load the proprietary media codecs as I cannot even remember the last time I used them, and the Flash enabled sites I visit may now be covered by HTML5 in Firefox/Iceweasel. [Note to Self: Evaluate Flash need and reconsider only proprietary codec installation on all PCs.]
As for other devices, I currently have to use an iPhone with Apple's proprietary iOS for Facetime use (please don't ask). If I didn't require Apple's Facetime, I would only use the dumbest pre-paid flip-phone I could find for security, privacy, and battery life reasons. As for Google, Android, etc., that is a whole 'nother post for another time...
Speaking of iPhone: Starting this past week, when visiting distrowatch.com with my iPhone, I find that I am now regularly getting redirects and Apple's AppStore is launching. I have no problem with DistroWatch posting adds, but could you please find and eliminate the culprit(s) doing this? Thanks.
12 • Why Non-Free Linux Software (by Michael on 2015-07-06 04:17:19 GMT from Oceania)
TDockery97. I use and pay for turboprint and jpdb_admin. Turboprint solved some problems with my Epson printer (Duplex problem and quality photos). jpdb_admin is the only decent database manager for use with MariaDb V10. I use FOSS extensively but don't mind paying for well written and supported software.
13 • "easy and intuitive to use (like Linux Mint or Mageia)" (by gregzeng on 2015-07-06 04:23:59 GMT from Oceania)
Dw in its distro reviews, seems unaware that Mint shares the same installation setup with Ubuntu-based distros, with slight variations for KDE, or the very new Ubuntu-bases.
On Ubuntu's "Snappy" trials, it seems to me similar to Windows use of "msi" type of installs, instead of the usual "exe" or "bat" installations. Decades later, the newer type of installation process works reasonably well with the older. It's not either-or, but BOTH.
14 • FOSS & closed source (by M.Z. on 2015-07-06 06:59:38 GMT from Planet Mars)
I use a lot of FOSS & a fair amount of proprietary stuff. My main desktop runs the drivers made by nvidia & I stream a fair amount of video through Firefox & Chrome, though I only use Chrome for Netflix & see no other need for it. If it weren't for the drivers & codecs nearly everything else would be open source, but I still use the proprietary bits a lot.
As #3 hints at FOSS means 'free as in speech' software. You can pay money for FOSS solutions as is the case with those who want the peace of mind that comes with support from Red Hat & you can pay nothing for proprietary freeware. See also:
15 • FOSS (by Jozsef on 2015-07-06 07:11:00 GMT from Asia)
I never bought a software for Linux. So I use all free software, on Linux. But I use Windows too and the software I have on Windows is not all free. I would use the same software on Linux if it would work on it. Like Adobe CC for example.
16 • Non-FOSS programs (by SuperOscar on 2015-07-06 07:39:59 GMT from Europe)
There are yet situations when a decent or sufficient FOSS program cannot be found for a given task. I have continued to pay for Qoppa Software’s PDF Studio Pro (PDF editor) and have considered buying WordFast Pro (a TM app) if I’m ever going to be a real translator instead of just a localizer.
17 • FOSS and non-FOSS survey (by far2fish on 2015-07-06 08:06:38 GMT from Europe)
I must admit I wasn't completely sure about which category to put some of the software I use in, so I voted "I use a mixture of FOSS and non-free software"
- Audio and video codecs. Some of them probably non-FOSS. It is not legal to apply for or enforce software patents in my country, and since these codecs are both free (as in cost) and easily available, I could not care less if they are FOSS or not.
- Chromium. FOSS I guess. Until recently I was using Google Chrome though.
- Dropbox. Probably non-FOSS.
- VirtualBox. Probably FOSS except for the VirtualBox Extension Pack, which I also use. And 'yes' I prefer VirtualBox over qemu/kvm any day.
- Windows XP running in VirtualBox. non-FOSS. Used to upload data from a sports watch connected through USB cable.
18 • Crunchbang-Monara (by Xelron on 2015-07-06 08:10:06 GMT from Europe)
Not too fond about the guy behind Crunchbang-Monara a.k.a Monara Linux who thinks he can take emails from Distrowatch, mailing random people asking them to try out his distro. That's just not the way to go imho.
19 • To FOSS or not to FOSS (by Sondar on 2015-07-06 08:15:18 GMT from Europe)
Is there some ambiguity about respondents interpretation of FOSS? Surely the topic has been done to death? Most of the software I use incorporates some form of restrictive license but no funds have changed hands. At the end of the argument, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Some greater erudition might be welcomed whenever this subject arises?
20 • FOSS (by kc1di on 2015-07-06 09:26:03 GMT from North America)
Seems from several of the comments that DW needs to post an article on what FOSS means ;)
Use mostly FOSS here but like others have to use proprietary Drivers and some codecs to get all my work done. Without the Nvidia and broadcom drivers my machines would not be able to run Linux well.
Nouveau. just won't quite cut it on my machines. but other than that I find almost everything else is FOSS.
21 • 18 • Crunchbang-Monara - Xelron (by porkpiehat on 2015-07-06 09:36:31 GMT from North America)
>Not too fond about the guy behind Crunchbang-Monara a.k.a Monara Linux who thinks he can take emails from...
It doesn't matter, if you are fond of the guy (or the gal), who created Crunchbang-Monara, but whether that Monara distro is good or not.
Anyway, why should anyone wait for a non-existing distro, which would never see daylight as a live CD to use Crunchbang on Debian 8, spacexew aka Xelron? Isn't it better to download and use freely available Monara_x86-64 and/or Monara_32?
22 • linux and distrowatch are boring (by LinusEvilTwin on 2015-07-06 09:42:07 GMT from Europe)
After many years of reading and using linux, the scene becomes so boring and the realisation that most of its goals into desktop usage are pointless and flawed. Windows is no option, leaving only OSX, which is a nice balance of "just works" and power. There is no point to beat a dead horse anymore. Distrowatch is the same every single week and provides no useful information at all, in stark contrast to what it used to be.
23 • @22 (by far2fish on 2015-07-06 10:04:15 GMT from Europe)
- Linux is still a niche player on the desktop. True.
- Linux is one of the major server operating systems. Perhaps even the most used one depending on which segment you look at. Hardly a dead horse.
- Android is using a customized Linux kernel, and powers most smart phones in the world.
- Linux or BSD derivates used as embedded OS in a lot of devices like NAS stoarge, wifi routers and so on.
Thankfully no one is forcing you to read anything you don't like :)
DW rocks, but that is my opinion :)
24 • reply to @23 (by LinusEvilTwin on 2015-07-06 10:15:00 GMT from Europe)
Yes i am well aware of all your points, which is why i said desktop linux. Servers are a different kettle of fish entirely, there i would ask what is the point of windows server or OSX server. Very little imo. Nobody is forcing me to read, but is an old habit going back a very long time. Linux will always be a nich market for home desktop computers, sad but true. I wont even lower myself to discuss android here.
25 • FOSS Survey (by Reed on 2015-07-06 12:31:05 GMT from North America)
Fine article Distrowatch, as always. Thanks!
I indeed enjoy using Free and Open Source Software because it "fits with [my] ideals about how technology should be developed and shared." Typically now, I use a mixture of Free Software and closed source software, because I share a computer with my wife (who doesn't need to worry herself with flash not working properly), and because my course work requires some specific closed source applications. A few years ago I was a bit more zealous about it, and used gNewSense, and a couple other Free Software only distribution, but I no longer feel compelled to keep my systems completely "pure."
That being said, I research computer hardware before I buy, so as to avoid buying something that would require closed source software on my system, both because I don't want to support companies that shun the Free Software community (e.g. Nvidia), and also because I find the Free Software typically works better on my systems for my needs (e.g. HP printers with HPLIP). Consequently, I really do have very little closed source software on my systems. Really the only noteworthy offenders are the Adobe Flash pepper plugin installed in Chromium for my wife, and the software I need for school.
26 • @22 (by Simon on 2015-07-06 13:11:39 GMT from Oceania)
@22: Actually, I agree with some of what you've said. I yawn every time another idiot slaps a new wallpaper on his Ubuntu desktop and calls it a "distro". Many of the ridiculous vanity projects listed on this site could be replaced by smallish BASH scripts, telling the package managers of real distros what to install, what custom wallpaper to download, etc. And yes...a few hours on OS X and it's painfully obvious how tossed-together and unprofessional many of these GNU/Linux desktops are. I like DistroWatch, but it's a great example of the "it's better to have lots of different options!" mentality that runs through so much of the FOSS culture. As someone who teaches and supports IT professionally, I can assure you that that's a steaming pile of manure in practice: in practice you want one excellent, highly functional, reliable, well documented solution that actually works...or at most a small handful of excellent alternatives. The last thing you want is a massive garbage pile of hastily released, inadequately documented, largely pointless (often replicating the functionality of existing projects) vanity projects to sift through in a vain search for a tool that actually does the job reliably and well.
27 • FOSS poll (by solt87 on 2015-07-06 13:52:00 GMT from Europe)
I mostly use Free (as in freedom) software, the exceptions are the Nvidia driver, mp3 stuff (or is dat free?), and Steam games, maybe some other that I don't really realize is non-free.
28 • Freedom (by Linux Apocalypsis on 2015-07-06 14:24:17 GMT from Europe)
This may help:
29 • @26 (by mandog on 2015-07-06 14:54:59 GMT from South America)
Well I totally disagree with that statement Linux is about freedom to do and use what you want and share. When I use OS X I feel like I'm using a system designed for followers or sheep the most restricted OS on the planet Unix code locked down dictated to what you can use to do any task, Spied on by apple to see to make sure you comply with what they dictate. What enjoyment is that I ask?
And all the rubbish it just works is just sales talk.
Linux is what it is, the the Linux Kernel and the freedom to make it into what ever Server, desktop, ATM, home theatre, its endless and you get the satisfaction if you move on from Mint/Ubuntu of building your own to your speck and stop being a sheep.
30 • @ 26 and @ 29 (by LinusEvilTwin on 2015-07-06 15:08:04 GMT from Europe)
@26 agreed whole heartedly. Choice in this community just equates to nothing more than a wallpaper or a worse dsktop environment than the last. Very little innovation going on at all. Choices yes, choices that help workflow or make linux more viable option, no- not at all. :)
@29 well i expected very little OSX love here, but there is nothing about a fluid, simple and very functional desktop which speaks to me of sheeple or followers. This is just a myth. As for "spied on" by apple, you mean spied on like ubuntu, or "whoever" so chooses to add malicious intent to any FOSS software and repackage. Nobody seriously audits the code your running, and the fact the code is open makes it very easy to modify for nefarious means or look for security problems and exploit them. Sure linux is far safer than windows, but that is not BECAUSE it is open source. Its is safer because it is hardly worth to target at desktop level. Security by oscurity. I no longer want to fiddle in the guts of an o.s to make simple daily tasks work correctly, i want an o.s to stay out of my way. Linux fails in this.
31 • @30 (by Hoos on 2015-07-06 16:09:56 GMT from Asia)
I agree that just changing wallpaper, themes and icons do not make something a new distro. On the other hand, there are indeed choices that help workflow, even if it's merely because different people have different preferences. We've all read here strong debates between those who hate Gnome 3 desktop environment and those who love it. And the latter actually say it improves their workflow. Not me, but to each his own.
As for OSX, hmmm. I administer my parents' iMac and I was the one who bought it for them, thinking that it would be simpler and safer for them. However, I find that I myself have absolutely no interest in using it. Do my parents find it easier? Don't know about that. They had a Windows XP machine before that, and I think they are still more comfortable with that type of interface. The Finder.... taskbar for each application at the top.... quite different for them.
So maybe it's more what one starts with and becomes used to?
As for an OS staying out of my way, I wouldn't say that Linux in general fails in this. I would say certain Linux distros fail at it while others are good at it.
It does depend on a person's usage, of course, so I'm not disputing that you may find the Linux distros you've tried get in your way. However, your statement is pretty sweeping and over broad, and won't apply to others.
32 • Snappy packages (by AnklefaceWroughtlandmire on 2015-07-06 16:21:15 GMT from South America)
I am extremely excited about the possibility of transactional delta updates and isolated packages for Ubuntu. But the only thing that worries me is how to install the random DEB file from some vendor that is slow to adapt the new format. I know this is still a theoretical situation at this point, but I can definitely foresee users being stuck with some critical piece of software in DEB format that they can't install on Ubuntu Snappy (Desktop). For this, a simple DEB->Snappy converter GUI would be nice, allowing it to pull in dependencies for the DEB and rolling it all into a tidy Snappy package. It might even help devs to convert their software as well, facilitating Snappy adoption.
33 • @ 31 (by LinusEvilTwin on 2015-07-06 17:09:14 GMT from Europe)
Sure, my statements were entirely sweeping, i admit that. I have personally used lots of distro at length, from gentoo, arch, debian sid, slackware etc and tested many, many more over the last 10-15 years. It was my hobby, my love, my work. I installed it on 100's of machines over that time- for all manner of purposes, but as a windows replacement for family/ friends, it rarely was trouble free or intuitive for them. I wouldnt install it on my dog's home computer these days. Sad :(
34 • software mix (by jaslar on 2015-07-06 17:13:29 GMT from North America)
I use a mix of platforms - iPad, Windows laptop, Linux box, Android tablet and phone. I've settled on a core group of apps: Chrome, Gmail, Simplenote, Workflowy, Notecase Pro, and Haroopad. Most, I guess, are not truly FOSS, even when I didn't have to pay for them. Notecase started out FOSS, then moved into a proprietary product. But it's feature-rich (significantly better for me than the free alternatives), has responsive developers, cross platform (except for iOS) and I have no problem supporting software (and developers) I depend on.
35 • Alpine (by a on 2015-07-06 17:34:08 GMT from Europe)
As it turns out I also tried Alpine in the past week under VirtualBox, and it also failed to start Xorg with a "no screens found" error, which cut my test of the distro short.
36 • Linux vs Windows vs OSX (by slice on 2015-07-06 17:54:16 GMT from Europe)
Personally I find both Windows and OSX to be cluttered. I hate the fact that there are a myriad of ways to do every one thing. The same goes for DEs like Mate, Unity, KDE, etc. Elementary is my favorite. Minimalism and an intuitive interface. Lubuntu is acceptable as well.
37 • Too many choices vs Too few choices (by Pearson on 2015-07-06 18:23:11 GMT from North America)
Like many things, there are extremes where the "right choice" is usually somewhere between them (and is different for different types of users).
Too many choices: this leads to incompatibility, documentation variances, rough edges (in many cases, not all), etc.
Too few choices: this leads to a "one size mostly fits all, fits none perfectly" solution. Likely "good enough" for the general user, but leaves many users wanting more. See Windows. It also provides an illusion that "changing wallpaper" is a meaningful difference, possibly leaving the less technical users misinformed about what is truly different, maybe even distracting that user from accessing security updates.
Middle grounds: I personally don't enjoy the Ubuntu approach, but I must say that they've done a good job of providing multiple solutions to cover a broader base of users, with a good common base for documentation.
There should *always* be a place for the "niche'" distos. For one, they might serve a specific purpose (e.g. Point Of Sale, embedded control, etc.) and for another, they provide a fertile ground for ideas to go into the next mainstream distro.
38 • Is Alpine "rolling release"? (by Pearson on 2015-07-06 18:25:46 GMT from North America)
I looked briefly at the Alpine Linux site, and it wasn't obvious whether they are rolling release. I presume that they are, but I just wondered. I also wonder about their policy of security updates. Since they consider themselves a secure foundation, I would presume that they keep up to date with CVEs. It would be nice to see that policy documented.
39 • Poll (by a on 2015-07-06 18:32:21 GMT from Europe)
I’d say 100% FOSS if it wasn’t for…
- the nvidia driver
- probably a few firmware blobs, I have no idea
- VirtualBox? (dunno if it’s FOSS or not)
- the occasional use of foobar2k under Wine
- and of course Steam and games in general.
So no I’m not strict about it. Way too much pain. But as far as applications go, I rarely feel restricted by sticking to FOSS.
40 • FOSS (by George Boguslawski on 2015-07-06 18:35:54 GMT from North America)
Those people who use FOSS exclusively are obviously morally superior in their sanctimony to those minions among us who don't mind "dirtying" their typing fingers with proprietary software. A cheap way of making oneself feel GOOD. At least have the good sense not to overwhelm these minions with your high standards.
41 • 64 bit torrents (by a on 2015-07-06 18:38:35 GMT from Europe)
I was surprised to see torrents only for the 64 bit version of each distro this week, since the previous poll shows 50% of the Distrowatch readership still uses 32 bit.
42 • Alpine and FreeBSD GUI package app (by Will B on 2015-07-06 18:54:43 GMT from North America)
> I did not get X to work properly as it seemed to be
> missing the necessary drivers to work inside VirtualBox.
I've been looking for a very lightweight Linux distro that doesn't use systemd and tried Alpine. Like Jesse, I could not get X to run properly in VirtualBox and added a comment to an existing bug on their tracker . I don't have a DVD/CD drive and tried burning their ISO to USB, but the setup-alpine kept flaking each time I tried it. (sigh)
> In other FreeBSD-related news, some users of the
> operating system have been asking for a graphical
> front-end to the young pkg-ng package manager.
The people who are asking for this probably would be better off using PC-BSD. FreeBSD is not very beginner-friendly, but pkg-ng is super-easy to use...in my opinion a GUI would just clutter it up. My opinion, of course.
43 • Alpine Linux (by bison on 2015-07-06 19:33:11 GMT from North America)
> Apparently we have the option of running Alpine from live media and accessing our data from the hard disk.
Or perhaps one can run Alpine from a RAM disk?
44 • Free as in freedom (by jimt on 2015-07-06 22:23:16 GMT from North America)
I try to keep to wholly free software if it's at all possible to do so. It's really unfortunate that schools and places of work often don't respect that, or only recognize the existence of proprietary tools - especially when learning free software alternatives isn't anywhere near as difficult as it once was.
As for games and music, I'm a fringe case - I don't play much of either on the PC and my music player supports Ogg Vorbis, so there's no need for proprietary drivers or codecs.
As for price, sometimes I buy free software or give a donation when I really like a project. I would urge others to do the same for three reasons. One, projects of any appreciable complexity require enormous time investments, and free software developers often do all this work in addition to other jobs that pay the bills. Two, social contribution deserves to be rewarded, and all the more so if the software is high-quality. Finally, there's nothing wrong with offering to pay for an added feature or fix to a piece of free software, and if others like the change, you may help the project move in a positive direction.
Do you live under a bridge and feed on less riddle-savvy children? 'Cause that was a painful level of trolling.
45 • Dog's Computer (by NOLA on 2015-07-06 22:46:46 GMT from North America)
@33 What do you install on your dog's home computer? My dogs have been pestering me for upgrades.
Also, the hackneyed expression "it just works" is a reference to a myth. If Windows or OSX "just worked," many here would be unemployed. Obviously, they don't. I've had great success weaning clients from Windows and providing them with Linux alternatives that reduce their overhead while maintaining their productivitiy. The fact that there are numerous half-baked Linux distributions available does nothing to alter this fact.
46 • @38 (by Chris on 2015-07-06 22:48:15 GMT from North America)
I am no expert on Alpine Linux; however, based upon my research they appear to have three different repositories: Standard, Testing, and Edge. Standard being the current stable release, Testing being a location for apps under review, and Edge which appears to be rolling. The repos used may be changed in the apk package manager, Debian like.
While their wiki explains Edge is rolling and may be unstable and to beware, there is no mention about their release cycle or how packages go to/from Edge, Testing, and Standard. Again, maybe Debian like; anyone know? We may need to get one of there community to chime in here...
47 • @46 Continuation (by Chris on 2015-07-06 23:02:11 GMT from North America)
I forgot to add to my comment, it almost seems like Alpine Linux is an original development hybrid of an extremely stripped-down Debian with apt-style repos and package management (apk) and a hardened Gentoo with OpenRC. Their wiki even makes Alpine comparisons to both Debian and Gentoo.
This combination is one of the main reasons why I am so interested in the potential of Alpine.
48 • OS X, Windows and Linux flame-war (by Will B on 2015-07-06 23:21:37 GMT from North America)
Okay y'all, really? Let's just use the operating system we prefer and let others use what they like. Good gravy! :-P
Each OS has good points and bad points. Each OS has certain characteristics that work better than others in certain workflows. Each user is different and will want and prefer something different than the next person. Jacques may want an anime-themed Ubuntu distro while Carol wants Windows 7 so she can run all of her company's business apps. Abjit may use OpenBSD because he wants a very secure OS and doesn't mind the lack of certain features while Timmy appreciates the artistic and 'simple' appearance of OS X.
Just like one size of ring or pants doesn't fit all, same goes for operating systems, desktop environments, etc.
Let's now all have some coffee and listen to soothing music. ;-)
49 • 'just works' (by M.Z. on 2015-07-07 00:38:06 GMT from Planet Mars)
The whole OS X 'just works' thing is an inherently bad argument because you have to shell out big $ for special Apple hardware that was designed around OS X. There are virtually zero driver issues until support ends & you get shafted into buying at least another $1000 worth of new hardware from Apple. That's fine if you want to waste that much money on more Macs, but don't come here & start trolling about how much better it is than Linux.
Given the sheer variety of hardware supported by desktop versions of Linux I think the 'just works' factor is excellent & my problems are few & far between. I get a a lot of things out of Linux that I never could out of OS X or any other OS for that matter. There is generally good support for almost any hardware I can through at it, there is better security than nearly any other desktop system, OS X included, & I get virtually all the software I want or need for no cost in a centralized, safe, & easy to maintain manner. I also get a jaw dropping level of customization options & power user features in KDE & a lot of slick features & customization in Cinnamon, not to mention hardware flexibility with lighter weight DE options. If you care about many of those sort of things then OS X is worthless despite the exorbitant hardware costs.
50 • "Just works"? Hah! In your dreams! (by Ben Myers on 2015-07-07 01:05:00 GMT from North America)
None of the OS software "just works". No matter which one you pick (OS X, a Windows release, a Linux distro), none of it just works. You have to spend some time learning how to use the desktop or user interface or whatever you want to call it, and maybe customize it to your liking.
I see very little of OS X around here, but I make a decent living because Windows "just does not work." Sad thing is that Windows is the most flimsy house of cards ever, and that Microsoft has done so well selling it. Unfortunately, part of my work is the same boring repetitive tasks to fix Windows, or to update it, or to remove some malware that has infested it, even Microsoft's own Windows 10 malware.
Nobody ever ever ever please use Windows and "just works" in the same sentence, as I have done with this sentence.
51 • Boring? Since when is Distrowatch supposed to be entertaining? (by frodopogo on 2015-07-07 03:43:42 GMT from North America)
It's supposed to be educational. Learning new stuff is fun, yeah, but once you've learned it, well, yeah, going over it again is likely to be boring. I admit Distrowatch is less interesting now than when I started learning about Linux, but that's not really Distrowatch's fault. That's MY fault!
Still, there are tidbits here and there to be gleaned. I now mostly read now to see if there are any developments that might happen that would possibly keep Linux Mint from "just working".... things like the Bash bug, things Ubuntu might do to make life far too interesting for the Mint developers (like Unity did). Or ways Microsoft is trying to threaten Linux like Secure Boot, etc.
Also, "just works" can be boring. Volvos and Toyotas are generally cars that just work, and many of the models are kind of boring, but people will gladly forgive them that... because them "just working" is so important.
I think there are interesting developments on the Linux desktop scene. It is possible to buy new computers with Linux already installed, and the computers are so small and relatively cheap, that it's easy to get into Linux. The price of the desktop hardware is so low, that the cost of the operating system is a huge proportion of the cost.
I admit, many of the Linux versions you will find pre-installed on new computers are boring.... because they "just work". You want boring? Read a Linux Mint review!!! It's boring because the reviewer usually finds no problems and nothing to criticize... IOW, it "just works!" I think reviewers have stopped doing Linux Mint reviews, because everybody knows unless Ubuntu throws something tricky at them, Linux Mint will just work. There are things I don't like about Ubuntu and Fedora, but you can find them preinstalled on new computers too- because they also "just work".
Being able to boot off of a thumb drive, especially a persistent one is so cool... can Windows or OSX do that? (I honestly don't know) Linux is easier to try than ever.
Yeah, it's from Google, but there are laptops with Chrome OS installed on them... a Linux laptop, available in consumer oriented department stores in the US... I never thought I'd see the day.
I used to help friends and relatives with their Windows computers for free, but it could be VERY stressful. It's nice to know I can offer them Linux, and once they are going on it, they might never need my help again. Yes, Linux just works!
I'm not a gamer, but I recognize that Steam being available for desktop Linux is potentially a huge development. It will increase the user base, and increase pressure on video card makers to keep working with Linux.
I'm a musician. If I had enough money to buy a mac, I wouldn't.... I'd probably buy music stuff... that would be a lot less boring than a COMPUTER. Linux is boring, but it allows me to spend more money on what I really love, because (the better distros at least) just work.... and very cheaply, too.
52 • Monara (by frodopogo on 2015-07-07 03:46:08 GMT from North America)
I think Monara sounds interesting, but the e-mail thing steps over a line.
I'd much rather read about it HERE on Distrowatch than in my mailbox.
53 • @ 48 • OS X, Windows and Linux flame-war (by kendee on 2015-07-07 03:46:43 GMT from Europe)
One just cannot discuss the good, bad and the ugly of 48 • OS X, Windows and Linux, if at all only about Linux and Windows, because OS X is not an operating system anyone can use in any machine as Linux distros or Windows.
OS X comes married to a machine, so if you want to discuss machines with OSes, you'd have to find, use such machines and then argue. If you are nutty enough to buy a machine to use the OS, then what can anyone do about you?
54 • @ 52 • Monara (by kendee on 2015-07-07 03:55:51 GMT from Europe)
> I think Monara sounds interesting, but the e-mail thing steps over a line.
I'd much rather read about it HERE on Distrowatch than in my mailbox. <
Mailing list is a way of passing information.
Yes, Monara is interesting! Actually, it is excellent, rather than just interesting. Looks like the guy had looked thoroughly in to Crunchbang, before creating Monara.
Have you tried it? Maybe, you'd write a review, frodopogo?
55 • @50 (by Smellyman on 2015-07-07 03:56:31 GMT from Asia)
Ben Myers: "but I make a decent living because Windows 'just does not work.'"
Ha. Me too!
I slo had a Mac back in 08. I was surpised how much I just saw a stupid spinning beach ball with the whole thing locked up. I know it is anecdotal but it drove me crazy.
56 • @44 FOSS, donating and @33 (by Hoos on 2015-07-07 04:58:42 GMT from Asia)
My desktop was specifically chosen to run Intel graphics so I could keep to free drivers.
However, there is still Adobe Flash. And while I use Libreoffice, I also have WPS office suite installed for a few pesky documents that display better in WPS. My Brother printer runs on Brother's own driver for colour printing and scanning, but I use a free driver for black and white printing.
For codecs, I'm not in the USA and in any case disagree that pure software patents can even be legally valid. So I don't see mp3 codecs, which I use, as proprietary. That said, I'm using flac (no patents) more and more and re-ripping my CDs to flac instead of mp3.
Everything else is FOSS. I'm practical and realistic but I do try.
Donations: I agree that if we can afford to, we should donate to support our favourite open source projects, and I do. Even a small amount helps because it all adds up if more people do it.
@33: I sure hope you weren't installing "gentoo, arch, debian sid, slackware etc" for your family/friends as Windows replacements
57 • 28 • This may help - or not (by Kragle on 2015-07-07 05:08:11 GMT from North America)
Hint: GNU.org can't own (trademark) the phrase "Free Software"; the meaning of this phrase isn't subject to their control. As much as Marketing loves to mis-use language, such abuse is a refusal to communicate clearly.
Extremist licensing rarely helps - either a monopoly suppresses distribution, or (some of) society thinks they're entitled to steal. Progress is often made in spite of, not because of, such extremism.
58 • @54 Re-Monara (by Maik on 2015-07-07 08:42:02 GMT from Europe)
>Mailing list is a way of passing information.<
This isn't about a mailing list, it's about taking random Email addresses from Distrowatch and sending people unwanted mails asking to try the distro. The guy from Monara told me that in a reply after asking him two times where i should know him from and where he got my email address from. I'm glad that i am not the only one thinking the way i do about the matter looking at comment 18 and 52.
I was one of the 21 people who got such a unwanted email and after not willing to listen to me i mailed Distrowatch about this matter. They weren't to happy about this matter either and found it plain rude what he did.
I still have the emails to prove it if you like.
If you want to promote your project, may it be a new distribution or whatever, then go through the appropriate channel like Distrowatch, Facebook, Google+, Twitter or Blog about it.
59 • @56 installing "gentoo, arch, debian sid, slackware etc" for your family/friends (by ken on 2015-07-07 11:23:36 GMT from Africa)
Once you have a fully installed and configured system with the same same DE and the apps that are needed office suite, multimedia, internet and printing, does it matter to the new windows person whether whats behind is the screeen is gentoo, slack, Ubuntu or Debian? I guess no. So you can install anything that will work for the the people coming from windows as long as you do the right configuration for them. If their intention is to learn how to do somethings on their own, then it might matter and gentoo will not be a good choice.
60 • Weekly poll (by cykodrone on 2015-07-07 11:34:40 GMT from North America)
How about a 'are you avoiding systemd like the plague' question? Just because it fell out of the news doesn't make it OK or the greatest thing since sliced bread. I'm curious how many 'Borg' resisters there are. You can probably guess what my vote would be. ;D
61 • @59 installing "gentoo, arch, debian sid, slackware etc" for your family/friends (by Hoos on 2015-07-07 12:27:24 GMT from Asia)
It does matter. Unless you're going to be at their beck and call to install updates and administer the system, your friends are going to update their machine themselves (hey, installing updates isn't that unfamiliar a concept to Windows users, you know). And sometimes updates are urgent due to security concerns.
I can't imagine expecting someone just coming from Windows to initiate updates on a rolling arch or debian sid system.
You yourself have said Gentoo is not a good choice (I admit it intimidates me and even Sabayon was not my thing). As for Slackware, I have no knowledge beyond the fact that it:
" provides no graphical installation procedure and no automatic dependency resolution of software packages. It uses plain text files and only a small set of shell scripts for configuration and administration. Without further modification it boots into a command-line interface environment.... Slackware is considered to be most suitable for advanced and technically inclined Linux users" (from Wiki)
That doesn't sound like something you throw a newbie at.
If instead of Slackware he had said Salix or Vector Linux, which I have tried before with positive results, it would be different. However, I was taking the author of @33 at face value.
62 • FOSS me more!!! (by tom joad on 2015-07-07 13:19:18 GMT from North America)
I started with Ubuntu about ten years ago, give or take. At the time I anticipated that I would have to buy an amount of software. I was thrilled with the idea of FOSS but thought it would be limiting.
Lordy, was I ever wrong. I was not even close on that one.
Ten or so years on I only use the Ubuntu Restricted Extras and Parted Magic. I was truly bummed by Patrick Verner charging for P.M. but I gotta have it. I like it. It works. It has save my 'cookies' a number of times.
So I use very nearly all FOSS apts. And GIMP is out of this world good. Wow!
P.S. If I could write code I would be adding to the pile of free stuff. I would.
63 • 58 • re-Monara - by Maik (by spacex on 2015-07-07 14:23:46 GMT from Europe)
>I was one of the 21 people who got such a unwanted email...<
Only 21?! You must be a very important guy, Maik!
64 • Snappy packages (by Haider Rehman on 2015-07-07 15:21:22 GMT from Asia)
For those wondering, Ubuntu is working on deduplication support, so that dependecies can be shared.
65 • I was 'monara-ed' twice. (by Tom Joad on 2015-07-07 17:30:30 GMT from Europe)
Yup, I checked my email and sure enough I have two 'Monara' email in my in box. I don't need or want any of that. I would be nice for it to stop. Hint, hint.
66 • Manora-proof (by Pearson on 2015-07-07 19:13:26 GMT from North America)
I cheat. I don't list my email or other contact information when I comment on Distrowatch. :-)
67 • A little more in Alpine Linux (by Pearson on 2015-07-07 19:26:19 GMT from North America)
After poking around on the Alpine Linux website, I saw a few things:
* as someone above said, they support releases for about 2 years, and have an "Edge" version that is rolling release.
* According to their "Comparison with other distros" page, "Alpine is compiled using Gentoo portage but Alpine itself uses its own apk-tools binary package"
* Their forum doesn't appear to be very active. I'll see how quickly my question about CVE documentation gets answered (I asked a couple of days ago in their security forum).
68 • @ Xelron, Maik and others...on Crunchbang (by Crunchy on 2015-07-07 20:09:42 GMT from Europe)
These guys have an axe to grind, it appears. Its about Monara coming out with an excellent Crunchbang lookalike on Debian 8.1 as a live DVD. Even though Crunchbang forum was buzzing with energy, Crunchbang was practically dead from 2013--it never released another distro, not even a development one.
Some guys had taken over the Crunchbang forum and "sort of" promised a new iso, but such a live iso never appeared. Whoever really spoke about a live iso was pushed out from the forums. In the mean time #!++ developer released an installable iso, which would pull from Debian repos and install a real Crunchy distro on your computer. This Crunchbang++ is an excellent iso.
There was still the lack of a live DVD, and that was filled by Monara. The 64 bit live dvd was released first. The Monara guy made THE mistake of letting the new Crunchbang forum guys and that angered the so-called moderators of bunsenlabs forum. Actually, there is no bunsenlabs forum, it is still the crunchbang forum, but still they got angry that someone cared enough to create a Crunchy distro for the use of all, and free.
Usually, Debian is quite stable, and Jessie will be reliable until its EOL, and maybe even after. Crunchbang-Monara is based on Debian 8 + Openbox + some tweaked for systemD #! scripts. Openbox is highly configurable and elastic, and scripts are just scripts. You can see everything within. I looked in the live iso, so I know. It installs in a jiffy too.
Monara is not asking anything in return, does s/he? "This Crunchbang-Monara is offered to users as a spiritual (Distrowatch suggestion - 2015-07-06) continuation of Crunchbang."
69 • @68 (by Hoos on 2015-07-07 20:22:14 GMT from Asia)
From what I can see, Maik's point was that Monara trawled Distrowatch for email addresses and emailed him essentially spam or promotional mail to try his distro.
Your post does not explain how that can be regarded as appropriate behaviour here.
I stopped using Crunchbang close to a year ago and I don't take part in their forum. My Openbox Debian distro of choice is Semplice (sid).
I'm just offering a neutral observation.
70 • installing for family friends (by LinusEvilTwin on 2015-07-07 21:19:05 GMT from Europe)
I listed distros i used personally, at no point did i mean to imply i installed arch or gentoo to noobs machines. Would it suprise you to know ubuntu and mint did not always exist?
71 • @68 (by Maik on 2015-07-07 22:38:01 GMT from Europe)
It is as Hoos said and if you don't believe me go ahead and ask Jesse here from Distrowatch, he can confirm i contacted the DW team about the matter with included screenshots of the emails.
I certainly don't have a axe to grind. On top of that i have never used the former Crunchbang and have never been a member of their community, team or whatever. I also don't mind that Monara delivers a, for you and other users, excellent Crunchbang-like distro based on Debian 8.1 and wish the one(s) behind the project good luck with it, really.
But picking out emails from here (DW) and sending people unwanted emails is unacceptable. As i mentioned before, there are other more appropriate ways of promoting a project.
I rest my case.
72 • @68 & @69 (by Chris on 2015-07-07 22:48:28 GMT from North America)
@68 - It is a shame that #! is gone. It is great that others have stepped in to try and fill the void (#!++ first, then Monora, and maybe someday Bunsen Labs). But even if Monora is the greatest thing since sliced bread, spam as a marketing method is not acceptable! As such, I wont even consider giving Monora a try. #!++ appears to be doing it the right, responsible, and polite way; but even they caught hell on the #!/Bunsen Labs forums for introducing their distro (legit misunderstandings, egos, & territoriality, I don't know???).
@69 - I have to say Semplice 7.1 looks like a very promising, yet colorful and unique #! alternative, without even trying to be a #! alternative (existed pre-#!'s end). My only major issue with it is it's based on Debian Sid (personal preference, YMMV); however, I understand from their forums their developer is looking to release a Debian Jessie spin sometime this summer. I look forward to giving it a try once available.
73 • monara crunchbang++ (by lowrider on 2015-07-07 23:37:36 GMT from Europe)
stop using the name crunchbang for your own spins. corenominal the one and only developer of crunchbanglinux put crunchbang to definitive end with cb11 aka waldorf and he made clear to anyone to not use the term crunchbang ever again.
respect this, call your own spin of openbox+conky whatever you want (like semplice or viperrlinux or archbang...) and from this point i take you serious and just start to think about installing /testing what you have to offer in virtualbox. in the meantime i go with the wonderfull crunchbang community who are trying to put together the real sucessor of crunchbang called bunsenlabs (praise the muppets.
74 • @73 (by Chris on 2015-07-07 23:57:39 GMT from North America)
Quote: "corenominal...he made clear to anyone to not use the term crunchbang ever again."
While Corenominal, in his #! termination post, did state he did not want the name Crunchbang (#!) continued as part of any respin, he later publicly blessed the name Crunchbang plus plus (#!++). I would not call that "clear."
Quote: "crunchbang community who are trying to put together the real sucessor of crunchbang called bunsenlabs..."
While I look forward to what Bunsen Labs ultimately offers (whenever they finally get around to it), this is FOSS and therefore there is no "real sucessor" (SIC) to anything.
These are both examples of the "(legit misunderstandings, egos, & territoriality, I don't know???)" I mentioned in @72. Again, I vehemently disagree with Monara's marketing strategy and therefore personally discount them, but why can't Bunsen Labs and #!++ get along and find away of working together to provide, in a timely fashion, the Linux community a product for which there is obvious demand?
Please Note: I am not affiliated in any way with Crunchbang (#!), Crunchbang plus plus (#!++), Monara-Crunchbang, Semplice, or any other Openbox distro other than my custom Debian Jessie build on my PCs.
Number of Comments: 74
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