| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 73, 1 November 2004
Welcome to this year's 43rd edition of DistroWatch Weekly. We have the pleasure to report that last month was our best ever in terms of visitor interest, as we served over 4.5 million pages and transferred nearly 240GB of data during the months of October - up some 250% from a year ago! But don't stop visiting - the upcoming releases of Fedora Core 3 and FreeBSD 5.3, as well as those of many other distributions, should provide enough interest for everybody. Thank you all and happy reading!
SimplyMEPIS in the spotlight
Last week's comprehensive review of SimplyMEPIS by DesktopLinux.com, which declared SimplyMEPIS the best desktop Linux distribution ever created, attracted much interest in the Linux community. The story was promptly published on OSNews, Slashdot and several other popular Linux news sites, which quickly transposed to an unusually high number of page hits on this site's SimplyMEPIS page. It also resulted, no doubt, in a high number of new SimplyMEPIS downloads, as many users wanted to try out this "wonder" distribution for themselves. A live CD, with a supported, graphical installation procedure, pre-configured with all popular multimedia plugins and Java, this distribution does indeed take the pain out of configuring a fully functional and enjoyable desktop. Add to it several custom graphical configuration utilities for further tweaking and it is not difficult to see why this relatively new project has garnered so many followers.
Have you tried the latest release of SimplyMEPIS? If so, what are your experiences? Is it really the perfect desktop distribution or is there something that could have been done better? Please discuss below.
* * * * *
The Official Edition of Mandrakelinux 10.1 was finally released last week: "Mandrakesoft announced today the release of Mandrakelinux 10.1 Official, the latest version of its leading Linux operating system. Notable new features include extended support for mobile devices, better hardware compatibility, and major application upgrades. Following a successful "Community" release, 10.1 Official will be the basis for a large part of Mandrakesoft's range of products. The value-added packs (Discovery, PowerPack and PowerPack+) are available now for pre-orders and through the Mandrakeclub on-line service. Prices start at €44.90/US$49.90." Read the full press release and visit the Mandrakesoft's product pages for all the details. To obtain Mandrakelinux 10.1, you can either join Mandrakeclub and download it for free, or buy it from Mandrakestore.
The Official Edition of Mandrakelinux 10.1 was finally released last week.
(full image size 181kB)
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According to this message published on its mailing list, SourceForge has decided to upgrade its servers from Debian "Potato" to Fedora Core 2: "The SourceForge.net team is pleased to announce the long-awaited upgrade to our project web service. SourceForge.net staff are currently in the process of completing hardware procurement and system build-out. The official date for this upgrade has not yet been set; once our hardware build-out has been completed, the date will be announced on the SourceForge.net Site Status page. Old configuration: Debian Potato, Linux kernel 2.4.x. New configuration: Fedora Core 2, Linux kernel 2.6.x." Although the email does not specify the reasons for moving from Debian to Fedora, the upgrade of what is the largest repository of open source development projects in the world should give users a boost of confidence in the Fedora project. As we all know, there are circles of sceptics, who consider Fedora Core an experimental (i.e. not well-tested and potentially unstable) edition of Red Hat's flagship product - Red Hat Enterprise Linux, not suitable to power mission critical servers. If the SourceForge migration is successful, it will prove them wrong once and for all.
* * * * *
An evaluation edition of Lycoris Desktop/LX 1.4 was released for free download late last week. This edition only contains GPL software and the license prevents its use after the initial 45-day evaluation period. A retail edition of the product was released on September 13 and can be bought directly from the Lycoris Store (starting at US$45). You can find out more about Lycoris Desktop/LX 1.4 by reading the press release and by visiting the sneak peek pages created during the beta testing period, but the company's product pages have not been updated. If you are thinking about ordering the product, be aware that the Lycoris community forums contain a significant number of complaints by users who ordered it several months ago, but have yet to receive the product, or any response to their enquiries. Nevertheless, the product is well worth the download, especially if you are new to Linux and need a gentle introduction to this operating system.
Lycoris Desktop/LX 1.4 - a great distribution marred by company's poor customer service
(full image size 952kB)
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Finally, it appears that the popular Gnoppix project is about to merge with Ubuntu Linux, or more precisely, with Ubuntu's live CD edition: "There have been some big developments in regards to Gnoppix that I'm excited to report. Recently, I've been contacted by developers working on the new Debian derivative 'Ubuntu' about collaboration between Ubuntu and Gnoppix. ... As a result, and barring any major objects, my current plan is to merge the two projects; in future, Gnoppix and the Ubuntu Live CD will be the same project. Gnoppix will benefit from Ubuntu's work on a highly integrated Debian-based GNOME desktop and Ubuntu will benefit from a solid live CD base." Read the rest of the announcement here.
|Featured project of the week: OpenBSD
There is little doubt that OpenBSD is one of the most remarkable development efforts in the history of UNIX. Initiated by Theo de Raadt back in 1995, after splitting from NetBSD, OpenBSD aims to be a highly secure operating system designed for mission critical operations. Although there seems to be a school of thought claiming that its best use is on firewalls and routers (rather than, say, web servers where it would be outperformed by FreeBSD), the truth is that OpenBSD is a full-featured operating system that can be deployed in any server environment and even on desktops or workstations.
What makes OpenBSD so highly secure? Several interesting ideas, some of which have since been incorporated into other operating systems. Among them, file flags, securelevels and systrace deserve a special mention.
File flags are a concept enhancing the traditional UNIX file system permissions. Once applied to a file, the flag will either prevent a user, including root, from removing or modifying the file in any way, or will only allow appending new lines to the file. A good example of the effectiveness of this concept is making the entire /bin directory recursively immutable, preventing a potential attacker from placing a Trojan into the directory. On the other hand, the append-only flag is often used on log files - this makes it impossible for intruders to cover their tracks. Both system-level and user-level flags are available.
The concept of file flags works in conjunction with OpenBSD's securelevels, of which there are four: -1, 0, 1 and 2. As soon as a file flag is set, it cannot be removed unless the system is in securelevel 0 or -1. To extend the example from the previous paragraph about making the /bin directory immutable, what happens if an executable file in the same directory needs to get a security patch, but the system is in securelevel 1 or 2? In this case, the system administrator will have to lower the securelevel in the BSD kernel by rebooting the system (while the system is running, the securelevel can be raised, but not lowered). As this example illustrates, the introduction of securelevels can prevent some common security exploits, but as a trade-off, it makes the system less flexible, especially when it comes to patching or upgrading applications.
OpenBSD's systrace, a policy-based system call access manager, is conceptually similar to SELinux. Like SELinux policies, the systrace policies define which users and programs can access which files and devices in a manner completely independent of UNIX permissions. Proper use of systrace can greatly reduce risks associated with poorly written or exploitable applications. While defining systrace policies is not a simple task, it has been made more palatable by the fact that systrace has been around for a long time and there are many online repositories with systrace sample policies. Also, systrace includes a policy-generation tool listing every system call available to the application for which the policy is being generated. Although an experienced system administrator could probably still tighten the security of the system by refining the default policy generated by the tool, the defaults are often secure enough for most uses.
Of course, the above tools will mean little in the hands of an incompetent system administrator, but through its intelligent design, OpenBSD has a proven ability to pass valuable skills onto anybody willing to think and learn. And that's perhaps the project's greatest contribution towards better and safer computing on the Internet.
Find out more about OpenBSD on its web site, then get the recently released OpenBSD 3.6 CD-set from the project's online store.
|Released Last Week
Debian GNU/Linux 3.0r3
A new revision of the stable branch of Debian GNU/Linux ("woody") is now available: "This is the third update of Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 (codename 'woody') which mainly adds security updates to the stable release, along with a few corrections to serious problems. Those who frequently update from security.debian.org won't have to update many packages and most updates from security.debian.org are included in this update. Please note that this update does not produce a new version of Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 but only adds a few updated packages to it. There is no need to throw away 3.0 CDs but only to update against ftp.debian.org after an installation, in order to incorporate those late changes." The announcement, changelog, detailed list of updates. Existing Debian "woody" installations can be updated with "apt-get update" from the main server or one of the many mirrors.
SimlyMEPIS 2004 has been updated to version 2004.04: "MEPIS LLC has released SimplyMEPIS 2004.04. This latest CD adds international support for Swedish to the previous support for British, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. Other CD improvements include an updated GRUB bootloader for better hardware compatibility and a more permissive 'failsafe' boot configuration. The JVM has been updated to work better with the Mozilla browser engine; kphone has been preinstalled for the convenience of VOIP phone service users; and configuration problems were resolved to enable remote printing in CUPS and LPD." Read the rest of the release announcement and changelog.
Feather Linux 0.6.1
Feather Linux 0.6.1 has been released. From the changelog: "Fixed pon and poff; updated aMSN script to 0.93; changed user in emelfm fpkg link to root; added 1400x1050 to list of available resolutions for certain laptops; changed user in mount.app mount command; tweaked knoppix-autoconfig and feather-loadram.sh; added openvpn - a tool to access VPNs; added tmsnc - a very usable text-based MSN client; made some space-saving changes to rm-dpkg; easy 'remaster' script can now save to hard drive instead of using RAM."
A new version of Co-CreateLinux (formerly known as OpenDesktop) is now available for download. Co-CreateLinux is a Chinese desktop Linux distribution based on Fedora Core and strongly resembling Windows XP. Version 2005 features an updated Control Centre with improvements to login, printing, networking, user and display configuration. Resource management, especially the desktop and network neighbourhood, have also undergone numerous changes. The Firefox browser was hacked to resemble and behave like Internet Explorer, with support for Flash animation, Chinese language CSS attributes and MIME types. More details, as well as download links and a screenshot, are listed in the release notes (in simplified Chinese).
ZoneCD version 0.5 has been released. ZoneCD, created by PUBLICip, is a Morphix-based bootable CD with a collection of GNU/Linux software pre-configured to create a WiFi gateway. From the ZoneCD 0.5 release notes: "Recompiled the kernel (2.4.20) to support bandwidth shaping, PPTP, and IPsec. A new section for bandwidth management in Zone control that will be visible when you select ZoneCD version 0.5-1. Pump is no longer used to get an IP for eth0, dhclient is now used to obtain an IP for eth0. Replaced rdate with ntpdate. Added better validation/errors to boot dialog."
Damn Small Linux 0.8.3
A new version of the Damn Small Linux mini live CD is now available. What's new? "New for 0.8.3: new control panel GUI; new Xvesa video setup GUI; new smbclient GUI; improved mydsl GUI now groups applications according to category; new autorestore of backup files, with boot time 'norestore' override; updated prism2 to support autodetected USB ethernet card; updated mc colors when issued from CLI; added mkdosswapfile script; fixed restart window manager - bbpager." See the release notes for a full list of changes.
Ubuntu Warty Live CD
Although available for several days, the final release of Ubuntu Linux Live CD has now been officially announced: "Ubuntu 4.10 -- Warty Warthog -- released on October 20th has gotten great feedback so far. The Ubuntu Team is now pleased to announce that the companion Warty Live CD is released as well! The Live CD contains a snapshot of everything in the Ubuntu 4.10 but in a bootable trial form. It will allow you to try out Ubuntu before installing it, without repartitioning or overwriting any existing software or data. To use it, just place it in the drive and reboot your computer. It also contains a small collection of Free and Open Source software shipped in Ubuntu that you can install on your Windows system. The Live CD is only available for Intel and compatible 'i386' processors."
Source Mage GNU/Linux 0.9.3
New ISO images of Source Mage GNU/Linux for x86 and PPC architectures have been released: "A new ISO has been released and for the first time, it's available on x86 and PPC at the same time. It has been built entirely with scripts using the stable sorcery and stable grimoire. Boot loader (lilo/grub/yaboot) configuration has been rewritten from scratch and has been tested with or without a separate /boot partition. Both ISOs use the 126.96.36.199 kernel. The PPC ISO takes care about loading the temperature driver to avoid overheating (and thus damages)." Read the announcement and this readme for further information.
A new version of the AUSTRUMI mini live CD is now available. New in version 0.9.0: "Added Ugunsvarti - firewall/router; added gkdial and ppp - dial-up support; added vsftpd - ftp server; removed axyftp, added gFTP; updated Nmap, X.Org, cdrecord and some libs; removed Gyach, xwhois; updated kernel (2.6.9); fixed bugs in installer, CUPS server, USB2 mount script." Visit the distribution's news page to read the complete changelog.
Turbolinux 10 Server
Last week marked the official release date of Turbolinux 10 Server in Japan, as announced earlier this month: "Turbolinux will release three packages of 10 Server for the Japanese market only starting on October 29, 2004: Turbolinux 10 Server for US$360.00 includes 90-day unlimited installation e-mail support; Turbolinux 10 Server, with support, for US$890.00 includes one-year unlimited installation and configuration support; and Turbolinux 10 Server, Developer Edition, for US$89.00 includes 90-day unlimited e-mail support, though new user creation and user password modification are not available with this option. Customers worldwide will be able to purchase Turbolinux 10 Server, International Version, for USD$299.00 beginning on December 3, 2004." Read the press release and visit the product pages (both links in Japanese) for further information. Customers in Japan can order the product from the company's online store.
Slo-Tech Linux 2.1
A new version of Slo-Tech Linux, an easy-to-use Slovenian live CD based on Morphix, has been released. Version 2.1 comes in two variants - with either kernel 2.4or 2.6. It also includes KDE 3.3.0, Firefox 0.10.1, Evolution 2.0.2, Gaim 1.0.2, Xchat 2.4.0, and other popular applications. Due to bandwidth limitations, the two ISO images are only provided as BitTorrent seeds. See the complete release announcement (in Slovenian) and a screenshot of the distribution's desktop.
OpenBSD 3.6 has been released: "We are pleased to announce the official release of OpenBSD 3.6. This is our 16th release on CD-ROM (and 17th via FTP). We remain proud of OpenBSD's record of eight years with only a single remote hole in the default install. As in our previous releases, 3.6 provides significant improvements, including new features, in nearly all areas of the system. New platform: OpenBSD/luna88k; expanding the mvme88k porting effort by supporting Omron's line of 88100-based workstations. SMP support on OpenBSD/i386 and OpenBSD/amd64 platforms. New functionality: a cleaned up DHCP server and client implementation, now featuring privilege separation and safe defaults...." The announcement, release notes. Download the installation ISO from one of the OpenBSD mirrors or order the full CD set from the project's online store (US$45).
gnuLinEx 2004 Live
A "live CD" edition of gnuLinEx 2004 is now available. All bugs reported by beta testers have been fixed and several new applications have been included - that's according to the release announcement (in Spanish). The live CD includes a video (in AVI format) of a recent news coverage of gnuLinEx by the EuroNews TV station, showing people in schools and public terminals using gnuLinEx. Last year, the regional government of Extremadura in Spain replaced all Windows workstations in the provice's schools, government administration offices and public terminals with gnuLinEx - a Debian-based distribution with the GNOME desktop environment.
gnuLinEx 2004 - one of the most successful projects encouraging wide-spread adoption of Linux.
(full image size 226kB)
The LinEspa distribution, a Spanish live CD with XFce, has been updated to version 0.21: "Version 0.21 of LinEspa has been released. The ISO image has been zipped so that its download size is only about one third of the complete ISO image. We have fixed some problems with the installation script, updated icons on the panel, and included several new packages that many of the users requested in our forums and the IRC channel; these include Wine 20040716, Wireless-tools, APMD and ACPI." Here is the full release announcement (in Spanish).
The first revision of Skolelinux, a Norwegian Debian-based distribution developed specifically for use in Norwegian schools, is now available. Major changes since version 1.0: "In first stage installer: more translations; re-inserted new manual partition option; upgraded from kernel version 2.4.26 to 2.4.27 in the installation system; auto-partitioning is now using the whole disk, and scales LVM volumes with the disk size. Fixed bug breaking installation for all locales not using ISO-8859-1. Updated nagios configuration. Added support for enabling Polish and Turkish language settings. Added Finnish KDE translations on the CD, but not yet installed by default. Security updates to: apache, courier, cupsys...." Read the full announcement (with a changelog) for further details.
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Slackware Linux 10.1
The Slackware Store is now taking pre-orders for Slackware Linux 10.1. There is no information about the possible release date and the distribution has yet to enter a new beta testing cycle, so the final release might still be a few months off. The 4-CD set costs US$39.95 and can be ordered here. (Many thanks to Danny for submitting the news).
The final release of FreeBSD 5.3 has been postponed once again. The reason? Two serious showstoppers: "The first issue deals with TCP SACK problems that result in a livelocked system. The second involves GDB leaving threaded processes in an unkillable state. Fixes for both are under review and will be committed to RELENG_5 in a few days when preliminary testing is complete." The final release is now scheduled for Friday, November 5.
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Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Web Site News
DistroWatch donations: Arch Linux receives US$300
Your votes have been counted, which means that the recipient of our October donation is the Arch Linux project. Those who follow this site know that these donations are a part of the DistroWatch donations programme, where 10% of this site's income from advertising and sale of merchandise are donated to various open source projects. The programme is a joint operation between DistroWatch.com and LinuxCD.org, an online store selling low-cost CDs of many BSDs and Linux distributions at highly competitive prices. If you don't have a fast Internet connection, visit LinuxCD.org to get the latest distribution releases by mail.
Arch Linux has been around since early 2002, but it has only risen to stardom earlier this year. It has a reputation for being a neatly designed operating system, with highly up-to-date packages, yet very stable and easy to maintain. Although its main work concentrates on maintaining a repository of binary packages for users to download and install with its "pacman" utility, it also provides a very simple way to compile packages from source code. The project's founder and lead developper is Judd Vinet whom we happened to interview just over a year ago. With the release of Arch Linux 0.7 just around the corner, we hope that the donation will help with offsetting some of the costs associated with hosting and maintaining an increasingly popular project.
Here is the PayPal receipt for our donation:
This email confirms that you have paid jvinet [at] zeroflux.org $300.00 USD using PayPal.
Total Amount: $300.00 USD
Transaction ID: 2LP86966ND421272Y
Item Title: Arch Linux
This is the list of projects that received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme:
New distribution additions
New on the waiting list
- GoblinX. GoblinX is a bootable live CD distribution based on Slackware Linux. The primary goal for GoblinX is to create a more pleasant and functional desktop, standardising all icons and themes to make it easy for novice users to learn about available applications.
- Knopperdisk. Knopperdisk is a Gentoo-based rescue system (available on a floppy disk or USB pen drive) containing various utilities, such as network-related tools.
- Xarnoppix. Xarnoppix is a Knoppix-based live CD with support for Catalan and Spanish.
DistroWatch database summary
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 347
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 9
- Number of discontinued distributions: 42
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 77
That's all for today; see you again next Monday!
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 0, value: US$0.00)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Lycoris evaluation (by Jim K on 2004-11-01 11:34:35 GMT) |
I have a question about the announcement about the Lycoris Desktop/LX evaluation edition.
"An evaluation edition of Lycoris Desktop/LX 1.4 is now available for free download. This edition only contains GPL software and the license prevents its use after the initial 45-day evaluation period."
If it only contains GPL software, then how can the license prevent its u se after 45 days when the license is the GPL? I don't believe the GPL allows additional restrictions.
2 • Question on Lycoris license... (by SyntaxError at 2004-11-01 11:42:38 GMT)
IF the download edition only contains GPL software, then how is it possible that "the license prevents its use after the initial 45-day evaluation period." ? Isn't the GPL is a license to allow the users to use the software for as long as they wish?
3 • RE: Jim K (by SyntaxError at 2004-11-01 11:44:02 GMT)
Oops! You beat me to it :)
4 • RE: Lycoris evaluation (by ladislav at 2004-11-01 11:45:06 GMT)
If it only contains GPL software, then how can the license prevent its u se after 45 days when the license is the GPL?
I believe it contains non-GPL artwork which makes it possible to impose restrictions on its use and redistributions. There is some discussion about this going on at OSNews: http://www.osnews.com/comment.php?news_id=8729
5 • On Gnoppix attitude (by Peter at 2004-11-01 12:13:19 GMT)
Let me say just this:
I've been waiting for this kind of news. I knew it was only a matter of time till something like this popped up. Let's hope that more projects join the movement.
6 • mepis (by Anonymous on 2004-11-01 12:19:29 GMT)
Between mepis and ubuntu, debian based distros are on fire. I predict half of the distrowatch top 10 will be debian based before the year is out.
7 • save the last! (buffalo) (by manchine on 2004-11-02 21:10:13 GMT)
Buffalo is a nice mammal on the brink of extinction after severe casualties caused by decades of outruled hunting.
About the distro... I would just say that i usualy do not pay too much attention to derivations of derivations. I can finetune my own using MEPIS and bootcd :)
An elemental exercise.
"BuffaloLinux is based on a Slackware derived distribution called VectorLinux."
Now replaced this with:
"Manchinix is based on a Debian derived distribution called MEPIS."
8 • SimplyMepis (by Psionides at 2004-11-01 12:47:53 GMT)
I've been using [Simply]Mepis since few months, and I have to say it's really good. It's easy to install, looks quite good by default, it's stable and not too bloated. It was also the only distribution that (after some work) accepted my graphics card and lcd monitor :) It's also important that it's based on Debian - I planned to install Debian before, because I had heard it's got a great packet system, but I gave up as it was not user-friendly, hard to install and had all apps in some ancient versions.
One thing I don't like in SimplyMepis is that it's too "simply" sometimes ... I had to download and install a lot of useful packets, like gcc&binutils, kaffeine, amarok, beep, devel packets for qt and kde. I'm still waiting for the Pro version, but there are no signs yet when will it be available.
PS. My proposals of projects for the DistroWatch donation: Kaffeine media player, and Krusader file manager.
9 • No subject (by San on 2004-11-01 13:05:03 GMT)
Tried SimplyMepis but there wasn't any sound....SuSE still works best for me.
10 • OpenBSD's file flags (by Kim Krecht on 2004-11-01 13:20:58 GMT)
It should be noted that file flags are hardly unique to OpenBSD: Equivalent ext2 attributes ("Immutable", "Append Only") do exist.
Apart from that, I always like to point at Felix von Leitner's research results on the scalability of several Unix clones: http://bulk.fefe.de/
11 • SimplyMepis (by viuks on 2004-11-01 13:24:05 GMT)
I have been used mepis for about half year. It was only distro, wich I had no problems with detecting of hardware on my Dell Inspirion laptop. I think, SimplyMepis is the best distro, but still not so perfect yet. I would be happy to chose software druring the linstalation process (like Mandrake) and boot time is still wery long. I think 2 minutes for this machine is too much. Ubuntu was better in this. But for now Mepis is my distro... and will be.
12 • OutDate System (by simataempat at 2004-11-01 13:34:45 GMT)
For my out date system i use Slax., but it still a pain for sharing my files trough network. Any other distro that i can use?
13 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2004-11-01 14:06:22 GMT)
I've been into Linux a year this month (Knoppix interested me; PCLinuxOS kept me--til it broke). I've had Mandrake 9.2, Knoppix, Debian (did the network install--that was a great install), but the one that has been on there the longest is SimplyMepis. Of all the things a noobie who moved further into Linux would want, it does it--detects hardware well, full Debian repositories available, Flash and Java preinstalled and working, Mplayer plugin for WMP and Real Player too, as well as the stuff people usually look for--Open Office, etc. As a kicker, Warren started shipping the LiveCD with MPPE (for connecting to the office MS based VPN), and Skype too. Plus, when a new version comes out, the HDD installer sees an earlier installation and lets you keep your settings, favorites, etc. I have managed to break SimplyMepis a time or two, but have always been back to my workspace within 20 minutes or so (after a reinstall). Very good work.
14 • Mepis -- Slow Boot (by Michael C. Barnes at 2004-11-01 14:26:24 GMT)
I have a laptop that is funky about Linux. Mepis would run but the USB ports would not work. In order to improve the performance, I recompiled the kernel. You can probably tune Mepis and make it even more attractive.
The problem is that Mepis doesn't include the kernel source. You can get the kernel source using apt-get, synaptic or just downloading from http://www.kernel.org.
Mepis' website has a forum and there are some instruction on one way to download the kernal source and then recompile. Once you do this, I think you can remove your remaining doubts about Mepis.
15 • Mepis - very good for users new to Linux (by William Harris at 2004-11-01 15:14:33 GMT)
For a year and a half I have been trying many distros of Linux and BSD, each time returning to Mepis because it is so friendly to users without command line skills. A skilled Linux user can shape any of the distros to the way they want it. New and intermediate users will feel comfortable with Mepis.
16 • SimplyMepis (by Declan O'Byrne on 2004-11-01 15:16:14 GMT)
I loved SimplyMepis.
Very intuitive. The install couldn't be easier (unless of course it was pre-installed). Great selection of software, and so easy to add to.
I had to abandon the thing, however, since getting control of my laptop fan seemed to require too great a degree of expertise on my part. I simply didn't have the time to be re-configuring kernels, or whatever it was that was required. I wasn't interested in allowing my CPU be fried from overheating.
But I'd love to get back to it, whenever it becomes more laptop friendly (maybe it's just my laptop, I don't know). Great distro!
17 • Mepis (by mdl at 2004-11-01 15:38:50 GMT)
I have tried the last eight versions of SimplyMepis (since 2004.rc.2) but have had hardware recognition problems every time. I read somewhere that Mepis does not do a good job of detecting and setting up monitors and video cards. This is certainly true in my case as the screen was offset several inches to the right and had severe "barrel" distortion.
I emailed Mepis advising of this problem early with no response. I posted to their forums and got no help. My hardware is very common and works with every other disto I have tried (Mandrake, Kanotix, Ubuntu, and several others). I finally fixed the problem by copying the XF86 Config-4 file from Kanotix to Mepis.
Otherwise, I like Mepis and it has great promise, especially for newcomers from Windows. However, problems like this need to be solved and the developer/community could be a little more responsive, in my experience.
18 • We finaly have a competitive desktop (by manchine at 2004-11-01 16:17:07 GMT)
SimplyMEPIS addresses many issues previously missing in major "wanna be" desktop oriented distros. Warren has done a great job developing a feature-rich distro that just works out of the box, with many handy graphic tools and enhanced multimedia capabilities. Definitively, this is THE pathway to go through IF we want linux to conquer broader audiences. Besides, among all Debian based distros i have put my hands on (quite many, belive me), MEPIS is the most standard, unlike Ubuntu, just to mention the most fashionable debianite offspring these days...
Throughout the past year and a half i have been tightly commited to some migration projects, both with individuals and small business, and in all cases it was aborted because of "irrelevant" details, most of them annoying from a Win user viewpoint, which MEPIS superiorly solves in a blink of an eye.
If you are just concerned about being productive, you have no interst in going down to the dullness of a command prompt (a very respectful attitud;)), you are seeking for a safer and more reliable way of carrying out your day to day affairs without the need to become a geek/nerd, MEPIS is meant for you.
Some power users could easily label my opinion as being heretical and groundless. Let them moan :) As a self-considered average linux user who is not afraid of the commandline at all, i must stress that i might be in position to better realize what Win end-users seek for (i have been one until 2002).
Effectiveness in a GUI friendly environment.
MEPIS offers that in less than 20 minutes.
Manchine, a forefront GUIk :)
PS: Of course there are some drawbacks yet to be develped. Fortunately :)
19 • Ubuntu + Gnoppix (by EdCrypt(Eduardo OP) at 2004-11-01 16:22:11 GMT)
I used Gnoppix to see how was Gnome2.4, and i am going to see how Gnome 2.6 is on Ubuntu. This merge is very opportune.
20 • SimplyMepis (by nameles on 2004-11-01 16:31:00 GMT)
I tried about a dozen distributions before settling on Mepis. I found it to be very usable and stable with few issues. Very stable if you stick to the default settings and very flexible and configurable if you choose to live on the edge. I have been thinking of trying Ubuntu simply because it is based around Gnome while Mepis is based on KDE. Personal preference. I have added Gnome, Xfce4, Fluxbox etc to Mepis but it really is built around KDE and works best in that environment. One of the best things about Mepis is the support available at mepislovers.com. The folks there are extremely friendly and helpful.
21 • Ubuntu? Mepis? (by titiv69 at 2004-11-01 16:31:14 GMT)
To be or not to be?
Ubuntu or Mepis, Mepis or Ubuntu?
Kde or gnome gnome or kde ?
After a long try of Mepis , easy install easy hard detection, I have tried the so called Ubuntu I I was not lost, I guess both came with the same philosophy with two ways to explore it.
For me Mepis is more mature but is only in the shoulder of one single person (keep it up Warren), even if the community is large this put this distrib in a very fragile way of developpement.
Ubuntu have made a choice of simplicity, too much? and finaly fail in this version to give to gnome some eay tools to perform some basic param. (by exemple: sound system working and then stop= so then what do I do?, menu so closed that it is not fully updated automaticly when you install a new soft,etc..)
Try to find an answer on theire site, unless you have a half day off (lol)
Why not asking them to work together for a better user-friendly Debian so they are close .
They will maby solve my problem of an hd connected by usb on a HP mediacenter ?that they fail both to recognise.
( The funny of that is; I use a dualboot with Win xp just for this purpose !!!!)
22 • Mepis too (by DaveW on 2004-11-01 16:33:22 GMT)
Mepis is the distro I stuck with after a few other tries with Mandrake, Libranet, and others. It was the only one that detected all my hardware out of the box, and everything just worked.
It's time to upgrade to a newer kernel, so I've been hoping for the a new release of the full version, but there's still no word on the timing of that. My only problems with SimplyMepis is that I love Firefox and would have liked to have it ready to go without having to download and tweak it. And it would be nice to have an option for an optimized Gnome. Maybe the answer will be to dual boot with SimplyMepis and Ubuntu.
Anyway, I think Mepis has probably done more to make GnuLinux accessible to a wide range of users than any other recent distro. I nominate it for a DistroWatch contribution.
23 • Mepis (by tdjokic at 2004-11-01 16:33:38 GMT)
I have Lucent winmodem. It works under Mepis Live "out of the box"! Same for hdd installed, nothing to install or change and you are on net. Great job.
24 • Mepis User (by Randal Smith at 2004-11-01 16:45:46 GMT)
I downloaded and install SimplyMEPIS about a month ago, and have been using it on my testbed machine (an old Gateway P500 w/160M RAM) and have been very pleased at the speed, stability and ease of upgrade. I'm a "distro tryer", having used everything from Mandrake 7.2 to RedHat8 to PCLinuxOS to Ubuntu. I had been considering installing Slax to my HD, but MEPIS makes does everything I need with speed and ease, and I have decided to make it my distro of choice. Of course, this is subject to change with the introduction of new distros, upgrades of older distros, the weather, the price of tea in China, etc. I will continue to use Linspire on my family computer (my stepdaughter loves PhoneGaim, and the new Internet Suite is feature-rich), but MEPIS will be installed to my work computer to run my business, and for recording and editing sound files. At this point, I really believe I have found a distro I can live with.
25 • DistroWatch donations (by Colnago at 2004-11-01 18:33:02 GMT)
Arch linux was a great choice for this weeks donation.
26 • SimplyMEPIS is Simply the Best (by TKS at 2004-11-01 18:42:24 GMT)
After using Linux for about 9 years now, I've come to accept two truths...
1. Slackware is the best developmental distro
2. MEPIS is the best Desktop Linux Distro
I've tried over 30 distributions of Linux in the last 9 years..I hadn't found any favorites for desktop linux until MEPIS. I felt so good about it that I made an enthusiast site for it. I'm not one to be gung ho about any ONE distro...but when it is as good as MEPIS...
Not much can compare to MEPIS. I've even tried Ubuntu (currently installed on one of my computers) and I just have to say that it doesn't have what MEPIS does. MEPIS is more professional and ready to hit the masses than Ubuntu...Ubuntu just feels...too simplistic. Even though I do like the distro...MEPIS will continue to be my #1 choice. I challenge anyone out there that talks bad about it to give it an honest try. If you have problems with it, stop by my website and I will personally help you resolve them. Before you criticize...give it an honest try! You'll be pleased!
27 • Simply MEPIS (by CJ on 2004-11-01 19:07:19 GMT)
[quote] Tried SimplyMepis but there wasn't any sound....SuSE still works best for me [/quote]
I had the same problem with my motherboard's sound and even a Sound Blaster. Finally got sound to work in Knoppix, so I installed it to HD. Thinking of going back to Suse for a while tho. Can't play 3d games with my GeForce MX440 cuz I can never get the Nvidia drivers to install.
28 • Mepis and security (by tazor on 2004-11-01 19:13:26 GMT)
It seems that MEPIS don't provide security updates (please correct me if i'm wrong). I've scoured mepis.org for any security related information, but I haven't been able to find much. I did find this thread, http://www.mepis.org/node/view/2375, on the forums, which only strengthens my concern.
29 • Mepis (by mdl at 2004-11-01 19:13:50 GMT)
Sorry for the multiple posts. I only hit "submit" once so I don't know why that happened.
Although my post was somewhat critical of Mepis hardware recognition, I certainly did not mean to post it muliple times.
I do like Mepis and think it will be a great distro once the kinks are worked out.
30 • Simply MEPIS (by CJ on 2004-11-01 19:17:38 GMT)
[quote] Tried SimplyMepis but there wasn't any sound....SuSE still works best for me [/quote]
I had the same problem with my motherboard's sound and even a Sound Blaster. Finally got sound to work in Knoppix, so I installed it to HD. Thinking of going back to Suse for a while tho. Can't play 3d games with my GeForce MX440 cuz I can never get the Nvidia drivers to install.
31 • Mepis and Video (by Ian Struthers on 2004-11-01 19:37:23 GMT)
Although I love all computers I'm basically a Macintosh person. I have found Mepis to be by far the easiest Linux to use. Like most, I had problems running it on machines (Dells) with Intel integrated graphics chips. What I discovered is that Dell ships their computers with only 1 mb of reserved shared video memory. Going to integrated devices in the bios and changing the on board video buffer from 1 mb to 8 mb solved all the video problems on black Dells like the Optiplex GX270.
Mepis is easy to use, install, and it correctly discoveres my network at home and work.
32 • Mepis (by Jball at 2004-11-01 19:40:32 GMT)
After using mepis, I dumped XP. I won't look back.
33 • Mepis on Laptops (by Jeff McCoy at 2004-11-01 20:05:49 GMT)
I'm a longtime Slackware user; I've recently purchased a laptop (Toshiba A75) and am trying out different distros. Mepis is really, really good - the hardware autodetection is excellent and it supports atheros wireless out of the box. However, the fan is always on, and laptop seems to run hotter than Slackware.
I've posted more comments on mepis (on this particular laptop) at http://jmccoy.sdf-us.org/computer/mepis.php.
If you have comments/suggestions on how to better set up Mepis, or other distros that would be good on this laptop, let me know!
34 • Mandrake 10.1 (by Rob at 2004-11-01 20:14:49 GMT)
I downloaded and installed mandrake 10.1. I was disappointed, I don't see much difference between 10.0 and 10.1 except that it is now uglier. I wish they would do some work on creating a visually unified and appealing look. GTK-QT would help. I did not care for the gnome icons in openoffice, I would prefer the KDE version of OpenOffice because the theme used should match the default desktop, you should only use the Gnome Icon theme if Gnome is your default desktop, but not if its KDE. All-in-all Mandrake 10.1 visually looked very un-finished and un-polished to me.
There are some good things about 10.1, there are not as many bugs. The Master Control Center is now easier to use. Some nice Openoffice splashscreens (its not all ugly). The menu structure in 10.0 and 10.1 is one of their best features, well laid out in my opinion.
I also tried the just released Suse 9.2 live cd, It is more like I hoped mandrake 10.1 would be. very sharp. I'm thinking of switching.
35 • Time to Open the FloodGates! (by john on 2004-11-01 20:40:25 GMT)
ladislav, I asked you 1 year ago and before that 2 years ago, but I think now is definitely the time for you to add a comment section like this to every news items. Why, because I would really like to talk with others about about their experiences with a particular distro/version release!
36 • Slackware 10.1 (by Joel Ebel at 2004-11-01 20:41:53 GMT)
I just talked with someone at the slackware store, and she said Pat was supposed expected to deliver the CD's to them on the November 11th, and that I would likely receive my set in the mail during the third week of November. This sounds pretty soon to me based on the lack of anything in the changelog, and the fact that it has barely been 4 months since the last release, but nonetheless, it will be welcomed.
37 • followup (by Michael C. Barnes at 2004-11-01 20:43:54 GMT)
I have read all the comments here and I am quite happy to seem my article has created so much discussion about Mepis.
Many people wrote me to tell my I wrote my article prematurely because Ubuntu was now out. I loaded Ubuntu and didn't see anything I hadn't seen before. There are plenty of sparse distributions based on Debian using Gnome. Ubuntu seemed no worse or better than the others I have tried.
Mepis is simple but it installs a fully functional system. Out of the box, Mepis has Macromedia Flash, Real Player, JPilot and Mplayer installed.
My article was not just an article to praise Mepis. It also showed people the sort of functionality they can add and also showed functionality that many people might not know they had.
I got lots of e-mail from people who didn't realize how to hook up their Palm Pilot or make their digital camera work with Linux.
It really doesn't matter whether you use Ubuntu or Mepis. Even Xandros or Knoppix users can take advantage of the ease of using the apt-get system to enhance their distribution.
38 • Mepis (by slw at 2004-11-01 21:34:18 GMT)
I've had Mepis installed at home for six months (at least). I've also distro-shopped (Ubuntu, Gentoo, Mandrake, Debian, Red Hat, Fedora, etc., etc.). I've always come back to Mepis.
Mepis works. Straight off a single CD, it works, like advertised. I didn't have to do a bunch of monkeying (unless I chose to). I had a working desktop within 20 minutes, even the 8 times I broke the distro while playing and learning. I haven't been able to find a distro that installs as quickly, works as smoothly and is as tolerate of new linux users as Mepis.
The Mepis community is great at answering questions, when they come up (I've only seen one person's questions not get answered - that because he didn't ask a question, he demanded a solution his way and wouldn't hear of anything else - probably will earn me a flaming, but true). The Mepis community is extremely supportive of new linux users as well as old-hand linux geeks.
I can modify my system the way I want, when I want, from modifying and recompiling the kernel to adding any software available on the internet . I'm also free to "keep the pieces" when it breaks, but with a distro that's back up running in 20 minutes, how hard is that?
The lack of coverage for security is a Debian issue, not a Mepis issue - Debian does not support security updates for any release other than stable. Mepis is built from the testing and unstable repositories.
Great distro, Warren. Keep up the good work!
39 • Arch Linux (by Lukas Sabota on 2004-11-01 21:41:15 GMT)
That's awesome, I'm so glad the donation was made to Arch. Arch really needs it :-P Arch is a wonderful distro would the best package manager IMHO...
40 • Ubuntu (by Cal on 2004-11-01 22:24:53 GMT)
Ok I haven't tried Mepis (and I won't because I don't like kde. don't know why but I loath it). Anyway people are comparing Ubuntu to Mepis already. Ubuntu is on it's first release, Mepis is not. I say people wait on the comparisons until at least the second Ubuntu release. Anyway incase anyone wants to know I use Slackware and Ubuntu (more like play testing Ubuntu due to the awesome python support).
41 • Mepis ROCKS! (by jmirles on 2004-11-01 22:29:27 GMT)
I use Mepis simply because it works. Whenever I have a question, the fine folks at Mepis.org and Mepislovers.com are always quick to answer and help out until the problem is resolved.
I have tried this distribution on numerous PC's with different video cards and monitors from crt's to flatpanels, with very little problems. If you have an older nVidia card, you have to manually make adjustments to your X configuration file. With the newer stuff, it just worked.
On lower powered PCs, I prefer Vector Linux (Slackware based). I have it running at work on a 733mhz Dell GX200 with 265mb of ram. It serves as a Samba server. Runs perfectly, with ZERO problems.
42 • 45 Day limit and differences between retail and evaluation versions. (by Sef on 2004-11-01 23:40:56 GMT)
Lycoris' Desktop L/X will work beyond the 45 day limit.
Below was stated by Pelly, a community member:
"1. No support for Eval ver,
2. Update Wizard disabled in Eval ver,
3. Screen backgrounds (wallpapers) state it is an Eval ver,
4. Unable to enter a valid Lycoris Product ID Number into Eval ver.
This is an 'evaluation' copy for people to test-drive before they buy. There is a 45-day eval period that has no time limit encoded in it. The people at Lycoris like the "Honor System.""
43 • Sound Card problems in Mepis (by Jibz at 2004-11-02 00:07:58 GMT)
I have not had quite the experience that apparently a great many people have had with mepis. My success with sound cards in this distro has been lousy. I have a soundblaster live sound card and have not been able to get it to play nice with ANY Mepis distro. Sound quality is abysmal and I need to reload it with alsaconfig frequently as it will just crash at the drop of a hat. I'm a little miffed at the problem since this is hardly a "fringe" sound card. What's more perplexing is that through various forums I have found that this has been a problem for others since the begining: yet they fail to address the problem. WHAT UP !! It's to bad because I love everything else about the distro and would jump back to it in a second if they would just address the problem. Until then, I will be looking forward to th next release of PCLinux.
44 • Re: MEPIS (by Joe on 2004-11-02 00:39:01 GMT)
Hopefully my experience is rare, but I gave up on SimplyMEPIS (RC4) because it is extremely unstable on my system. kwin, kdesktop, kicker, konqueror, kmail, GIMP, and the X server itself crashed constantly on my system. Sometimes it crashed almost immediately after bootup, sometimes after a few hours of use, but at any rate unacceptable. I lost my work time and time again. I also wish it had some sort of "supermount" feature so that you don't have to explicitly mount and umount CD's, floppies, and USB storage devices.
On the bright side, the default application configuration really is superb, especially for multimedia of all sorts. Hardware detection is very good. And the installer is about as difficult as installing MS Office. Also great rescue utilities. If only the stability would improve, I'd use it in a heartbeat.
45 • Debian Unstable and Security Updates (by JoeLinux on 2004-11-02 00:55:37 GMT)
Contrary to what many are led to believe here (from insinuations by a few casual users), Debian users tracking Unstable do get their security updates/patches albeit not from a separate security repo like it is the case with Stable or Testing. Besides, with the rapid development cycles most GNU/Linux applications have, new upstream releases come thick and fast and include all the patches/updates. An eg of what the changelog from a recent apt-get run produced (i.e. security fixes > NOTE the CAN bits ;)) :
tiff (3.6.1-2) unstable; urgency=low
* Included security fixes for:
+ CAN-2004-0804 (but this one is already applied upstream, it seems)
Thanks to Martin Schulze for forwarding the patches.
-- Josip Rodin Thu, 14 Oct 2004 16:13:11 +0200
46 • Donation (by Ricky on 2004-11-02 01:07:58 GMT)
I think that since so many great distros are based on Debian, a donation to them (thru the Software in the Public Interest) would be in order. They are the premium community-distro and it would be nice for them to be recognized as such.
47 • Mepis (by John at 2004-11-02 01:20:35 GMT)
I will stick with Arch, thank you. It is better by a country mile. Mepis was so dumb it could not contact the DHCP server to set up my networking. It found the right card ( I think ) and the module was there ready ( via-rhine ) but dead in the water. The rest follows. It was straigh out damm useless on my hardware, which is nothing special.
40G hard drive
Via 82xx sound
OH, it did discover my USB mouse and that worked.
After I modprobed and route -add and all that stuff it was still useless and I am pleased I used a CD-RW
48 • SimplyMEPIS - Simply Overrated (by Anonymous on 2004-11-02 01:58:37 GMT)
It may work on many other hardware but still cannot beat Knoppix. I have use SimplyMEPIS 2004.02 on my Compaq Presario 2131AD laptop and it is unable to connect to my office network, the touchpad does not work either, not sure whether the wifi connection works.
But it does have well organize menus compared to Knoppix.
49 • My nomination (by Alex on 2004-11-02 02:46:39 GMT)
I nominate AUTOPACKAGE.ORG for the next round of donations. DistroWatch visitors most of all should know the pain of finding/installing software, creating software installers for multiple distributions, and especially installing proprietary software on Linux.
Autopackage can solve all of this and also make installing software on Linux a breeze on any distribution, in a unified way. It's the Napoleonic Code for Linux :p
50 • Scribus (by Alex on 2004-11-02 02:57:21 GMT)
If there is no way to donate to Autopackage.org, than I very strongly support a nomination for Scribus. I use this program almost everyday and it is the best Linux has to offer. The developers are also great, very committed and meticulous.
Check out http://www.scribus.net and more importantly, check out Scribus 1.2.
51 • ubuntebiamepis damn whassop fanboys! (:D (by escapenguin at 2004-11-02 03:47:22 GMT)
Comparing Mepis and Ubuntu is kind of silly to me, they both fall from the same tree, and Ubuntu is quite a bit younger. Everyone was doing this same comparison months ago, only it was against Texstar's PCLinuxOS Also, if you haven't tried the latest version of Ubuntu, or kept it up to date, it would serve you well to before you anchor yourself to an opinion.
52 • Mepis (by cblue at 2004-11-02 04:09:16 GMT)
I find the comments above about via rhine and DHCP server problems in SimplyMEPIS ridiculous. I have used SimplyMEPIS and the older Mepis with the via rhine module and DHCP server working fine for several months now. Plus I have the via82xx sound card and it works great with ALSA.
As for the guy complaining about the RC4 version of SimplyMEPIS being unstable, well have you bothered to try the official release of SimplyMEPIS? The RC4 was a release candidate and a testing version, not an official release. And then to read some people saying sound doesn't work yet they don't say why? Maybe it's just that you didn't open Kmix and unmute the volume controls and move the volume levels up.
I have tried many distros before I found my perfect one and that is Mepis. I've even checked out other distros since using Mepis and none of them were good enough to make me want to stop using Mepis as my operating system. I don't even use Windows anymore because I don't need it. Mepis provides everything I need in an operating system.
Thank you Michael C. Barnes for your wonderful review about SimplyMEPIS and thank you Distrowatch for posting this review and all the other reviews you have posted also. You have done alot to help new users find out about Mepis.
53 • ubuntu? mepis? (by outsane on 2004-11-02 04:24:18 GMT)
i've used both distros, and i still say they both fall short of another debian-based livecd distro, kanotix. kanotix has the sharpest package set, is truly ideal for HD installations, and is developed by just the most friendly and helpful guy one could imagine. viva kanotix
54 • What makes Simply Mepis so good? (by G. Rennie at 2004-11-02 04:34:44 GMT)
It's the detailed "tuning" of the OS to run the Debian applications in harmony with simple configuration and installation.
This is what the freeBSD people have done but yet have to develop anything easy to install as Mepis. Warren at Mepis is amazing. How could the "commercial" distros fall short and not get this point is beyond me. A solid base foundation the user can build upon. With an easy to use gui (it could have been Gnome or Xfce etc. if Warren had so selected) a user (or a rushed IT person) can focus on using the desktop, building a server or development work station with phenomenal speed. I did a complete web server in just a few hours. The Debian package system is nice and similar in some ways to the "ports" system of freeBSD. Most details are already cared for, you just select and install your level, stable, testing or "un-stable".
Ubuntu could be also heading in the Mepis direction. Mepis just seems to have the right balance of applications, easy install, and fine tuning (hardware detection and configuration). Ubuntu is new and will have to catch up to the refinement of Mepis to call it an equal play. The book to be released this month, "Point and Click Linux" including a Mepis CD may offer surprises as it is received by the general public. Now if the freeBSD folks could offer a similar distro in philosophy similar to Mepis, they would also have a flood of praises and new users on their hands. Are any BSD people listening?
Mepis isn't perfect, I still have to sim link to the smbspool to have the CUPS backend use a shared Windows printer on my network, but that's minor. I've done about 10 installations of Mepis on various hardware including my dual-boot T30 Thinkpad. Mepis as a base, has allowed me to configure (even difficult Midi file support) faster since I know the base is solid with everything important working.
Using Mepis as a live CD is an outstanding data recovery tool for corrupted directories. I recovered digital photos from a corrupted CF Card. WIndows could even detect the card, but mounting in Mepis, the files were seen, even though their names were garbled! Live Mepis is just right for data recovery or as a paranoid wireless PC traveler. Kanotix is also a favorite here. Mepis really showcases the fact we CAN TAKE CONTROL BACK of our computer hardware, we have freedom to choose. MS has become increasingly nervous about Linux as noted by recent actions and statements. They finally see users and corporations are serious about Linux. It's too bad MS is foucsed on control of their monopoly more than on it's products and customers.
All Linux distros have their high and low points and giving us Linux users plenty of choice. For the OS I want, Mepis has the focus just right, a solid working base. One may or may not agree, fortunately we have the freedom to select which distro that best fits our needs.
55 • Mepis Simply great! (by james e. thompson at 2004-11-02 07:09:05 GMT)
have been reading the posts about the problems some experience with sound etc. in Mepis . i on the other hand havent had any of these problems . i have lost count of the successfull installs, some times several betas on one test machine without a problem , that wasnt caused by my absentmindedness , a bios setting or something of that nature . it has allways just worked !
when you think about it a bit , hardware in linux has been a problem for a while . wasnt too long ago hardly any thing i had would work in more than one distro . couldnt find any thing that worked in all flavors for me . seems those days are gone thanks to distros like Mepis !
i too am a linux junkie , got to try them all . but im hangin tough with Mepis it fits better than any thing ive tried .
just the tools on the cd are worth admission not to mention all the apps.
try it you might just like it!
56 • Ubuntu (by deeLer at 2004-11-02 07:42:28 GMT)
Been runnign Ubuntu now for about a month, it is VERY snappy on my old hardware (PIII 600 - 128 RAM). The interface is very intuitive, but the greatest feature of all is definetly the Synaptic package manager. Installing software is very easy.
Nautilus is also very flexible with network connections, although there are some stability problems with drag-and-drop across multiple network shares/mounts.
I'm impressed that a distro this young is already very advanced and yet simple to use.
I've tried a lot of distro's, among Ubuntu I can also recommend others like: Lorma Linux, VidaLinux and Mandrake.
Ubuntu ROCKS !!!!!
57 • SimplyMEPIS - Flawed Installer (by Dan MacDonald on 2004-11-02 08:19:22 GMT)
I admit that I haven't tried MEPIS out since the first stable release of SimplyMEPIS (2004.01) so maybe things have changed since but the reason I don't use MEPIS over KANOTIX is the installer.
I'm surprised this major downside hasn't been brought up already- like many Linux users, I have my /home directory on a separate partition to my root. The MEPIS installer only lets you pick which partitions you want to use for swap and root. I tried installing MEPIS and then modifying fstab afterwards to mount my /home partition but KDE refused to start after the change.
I'm a big fan of Debian based live CD distro's- it's just a shame that none of them have a good HD install program (that I've tried). The Kanotix/Knoppix installer does the trick but you shouldn't need to save your settings, exit installer, edit a text file, reload the installer + settings and THEN install. I'd like to see a live debian distro which uses the excellent Mandrake installer- it's GPL isn't it? Why has this not been done already?
58 • Next donation nomination (by Dan MacDonald on 2004-11-02 08:36:21 GMT)
Sorry for posting twice- I just thought about the best project for the next donation.
Some people say that what Linux needs most now to gain widespread adoption is a standardised packaging format. What's wrong with Debian + Synaptic? I don't see a problem here. Just boycott RPM based distros and all is well :D
Seriously though, the thing holding Linux back now is DRIVERS. I can't remember the name of the project but I'm sure someone here will know. It aimed to make the installation of new hardware simple by using external modules that could be downloaded of the net- I presume that no kernel re-compilation is involved- THAT is the most important thing.
Compiling a kernel is WAY too much messing for the average user. If they have to wait for a whole new kernel release to get support for their new hardware and then go through all the configuration, compilation and messing about that it involves then Linux will NEVER become a mainstream desktop contender. If this project (whatever it is called) is successful then surely it will mean that manufacturers would be able to bundle (x86 at least) Linux drivers with new hardware on the same CD as the Windoze and OSX drivers.
59 • Mepis affords REAL End-User Control? Myth or Reality? (by JoeLinux on 2004-11-02 08:58:33 GMT)
Do not get me wrong. Mepis is a fine distro. I had it (the 2003.10 and some of the betas) for awhile but somehow the pull of the REAL thing itself - Debian GNU/Linux is just too great a force to resist. REAL END-USER CONTROL is both the end user as well as the OS he/she is using affording the ability to CONTROL what gets installed, what doesn't, provision of source code and end user possessing the knowledge to know what files (e.g. the postrm file) and which lines to change if e.g. a dpkg/apt-get upgrade/install run fails . NO GUI package manager has ALL the possible remedies for every concieveable difficulty (e.g. segfault) any package upgrading/installation run may produce.
Sadly, one has no choice but to delved into the package's configuration files and insert/remove stuff. This then is REAL END USER CONTROL i.e. NOT some GUI facility/facilities offering eye candy and some "user comfort" (which may later turned out to be a bane rather than a boon e.g. dpkg processing errors when apt-get --purge remove, dpkg -P, dpkg --force overwrite -i, etc are of NO help). REAL END USER CONTROL comes about when the end-user has the know-how, the aptitude, attitude to take over CONTROL of his computer which REQUIRES the availability of SOURCE CODE and licensing terms that does not in anyway hinders the distribution, modification and redistribution of modifications to the original SOURCE CODE and programs. I may be wrong but I think not that the source code to Mepis Installation Center, Mepis System Center, meauto are FREELY available or GPLed.
Of course the move by Mepis to provide its own repos are an indication that it is NOT entirely compatible with Debian pool itself otherwise WHY the need? We ALL recall the problems many had with KDE 3.2 and X 4.3 in March/April i.e. visit the Mepis forum to know what they are or ask M Yates. ;) Those running Debian Sarge and Sid at that time experienced NONE of those issues and headaches.
60 • OpenBSD file flags (by sanitys3j at 2004-11-02 10:14:40 GMT)
Uumm, is this the same thing as using lsattr & chattr in Linux? Please give me a comparison &/or a good explanatory link.
It seems as though OpenBSD's file flags are being made out to be unique when GNU/Linux does the same thing. Is this the case?
61 • But Dan... (by JoeLinux on 2004-11-02 11:02:13 GMT)
...I',m not sure what project is it that you have in mind but knowing Debian, any package that is not deemed to be FREE according to the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) has little chance of ever getting into Debian. Maybe it is time to bugger those hardware vendors into releasing their SOURCE CODEs eh? =0)
62 • Ubuntu? Mepis! (by gommans at 2004-11-02 12:56:51 GMT)
After the Ubuntu hype that has been going on for a few weeks, it is good to read about Mepis. I tried Ubuntu and have come to the conclusion that the product is not as good as you might expect based on the place in the distrowatch chart. I had issues with Unbuntu I have never had with Mepis. DHCP was not configured correct. Never had a distro before where this didn't work right out of the box. I really miss a good official forum (like mepislovers.com for Mepis). I tried IRC to find a solution, but noone there could help me. Mepis on the other hand is a great product with a fantastic community. Warren and his team have make a marvelous product. Thanks guys!
I have only one question for JoeLinux: Ever compared the installation process of Mepis with that of Debian? Try to get Debian to work the way Mepis does and you will find out it will cost you many long hours to get there................
And if Warren makes enhancements to make Mepis a better product than Debian and it needs it's own repository for that? I don't mind! If the Mepis enhancements are not GPL at this moment? I do not care. I am sticking with Mepis. Period.
63 • Lycoris (by gabbman at 2004-11-02 13:25:22 GMT)
Joseph Cheek, has announced some major changes in operations and control.
64 • Ubuntu (by Alan Moser at 2004-11-02 13:44:37 GMT)
I don't think that it is fair to be comparing Ubuntu to Mempis, sure they are both based off of Debian, and aim at easy of use. But you people have to rembere that Ubuntu is on only its first release, and I have been running Ubuntu after I dumped Yoper. And I have to say, that I am very pleased with the way Ubutnu is setup. And I have a question to you MEMPIS people, do your guyes project have the Utopia Project built into it? Maybe you should start comparing Ubutnu and MEMPIS after Ubuntu gets a few releases under its belt.
65 • Utopia Project and Ubuntu (by cblue at 2004-11-02 14:32:57 GMT)
Alan Moser, what the heck is the Utopia Project? I don't see it mentioned on ubuntu.org. I seriously doubt any Mepis user gives a (fill in word) what this project is.
66 • ubuntu as it is: an urban myth (by manchine at 2004-11-02 16:20:03 GMT)
To test any product before post comments on it is still the best policy to avoid being ridiculous.
Among my hobbies, to test distros, regardless of their religious background, is the one to which i devote most of my spare time (when i am lucky enough to enjoy it). I could say that, from about 300 and something distros currently listed here, i have tested at least 40 to 50, some of them quite minoritary and obscure. On my boxes all main flavours have been at least once installed and, to some extent, probed. RPM based distros, Slackware, Gentoo, Debian based...
MEPIS has been parked for quite a long time in my agenda, mainly because i didn't find the website and related marketing material, including verbose, attractive.
Last August i finaly came across it, since i was still looking for a distro that could finaly bring some of my Win32 acquitances in, after a whole year of frustrating half-migrations.
The first time i got SimplyMEPIS to run (i thibk it was the 1st official release), i could not belive what was happening before my very eyes. I was like in the mood to call all the people with whom i have trried unsuccessful migrations, all of them OFFICE/DESKTOP/GUI USERS who legitimately seek for effectiveness, not pain, and tell them the good news. "This is it, fellows, i found the suitable means to free you out from those thick Windows". No other distro caused me an impact of this magnitude.
Lately i have been encouraaged to dl Ubuntu and give it a try. Since i am an open minded GUIk, i have decided to proceed accordingly. The installation process was not too new, neither difficult nor the easiest, it booted just fine afterwards, GNOME 2.8 came up and... what can i say about it? Boringly predictable, regular, neutral, no outstanding feature to stress and a few oddities, like the package rebranding (something their official web does not adress properly). For a distro this "community driven" it seemed to have too much corporate/property traits for my taste. Rebranding deb packages means that any integration attempt with standard apt repositories might be at least tough to achieve.
Is there any need to re-invent the wheel when it seems to spin so breezly?
Is there any community need to rebrand/suffix (or prefix) packages that already exist and are widely availabble from standard debian mirrors?
From my viewpoint, Ubuntu brings nothinng more than suspicious hidden economical interests behind, boosted by a wise and aggressive marketing campaign, a neat and politicaly correct Logo (featuring all people, all races), a superb looking and persuasive website and lots of buzzing.
Their platform is the usual "we promise to" speech, does not convey a single new approach. In brief: Ubuntu is the fakest phenomenon i have ever seen after SUSE and Fedora.
Have you ever asked yourselves why the hell is Canonical settled in the Isle of Man? Do you know what a tax/duty free paradise is? It could be Gilbraltar, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco or the Cayman Islands as well :)
Ubuntu is "yet another" debian based distro. Only competent, average and with an influential lobby worrking on it.
It will have a proper place in my private collection, alongside with Yoper, Aurox, Lunar, Puppy Linux (at least an amusing toy), Mandrake, Onebase, Gentoo, Knopppix, Feather (another playful tiy i truely enjoy), CentOS...
MEPIS is lightyears ahead, folks. Wether you like it or not, reality is unaware of marketing candylights.
Portuguese popular wisdom says that "against facts there are no arguments".
For the newbies, for those who are just about to get rid of M$ garbage with no other interest but to go ahead with their daily production, once again i state: MEPIS IS THE CHOICE TO PICK.
Manchine, an empircist GUIk.
67 • Mepis doesn't work with USB key fobs or RAID (by bob at 2004-11-02 16:55:21 GMT)
Mepis is one of the easiest Debian distros to install.
But it seems I'll have to be patient with it.
Mepis 2004.1 to 2004.4 do not work with USB key fobs out of the box.
Mepis also doesn't give you the choice to install RAID kernel modules on the default install. (RAID 1 uses 2 hard drives which are duplicates of each other, so that if one fails, the other will take over). If you ever had a hard drive wear out and lose all your data under MS Windows 98-2000, you'll appreciate Linux ability to handle RAID drives. In case your wondering, I used to do tape backup, but every tape drive I've used was unreliable after a couple of years and could only backup 15 GB data at the most.
I was hoping that Mepis would do RAID 1 out of the box. I did do my homework and went to the Debian web site and still no joy. I'm not griping, just warning. I guess I was spoiled by Mandrake Linux 10.1 which can set up an IDE RAID in the standard installation.
Why not just use Mandrake? I am. But I like Debian based distros because adding/installing new software is a no brainer, I have been traumatized by RPM conflicts. Also I can always get free, unrestricted updates.
I also realize that a one-man linux distro is no commercial company. Even if Mepis doesn't do RAID, if it can just recognize my key chain fob, I will pay Warren for a registered copy.
68 • Mepis affords REAL End-User Control? Myth or Reality? MYTH! (by anon on 2004-11-02 17:02:17 GMT)
If you want end user control, get a source based distribution.
I use Gentoo. I have about twenty packages that require my
own patches to fix something in the source code that I don't
like. Impossible to do any other way.
69 • Neither Mepis, nor Ubuntu (by Ariszló at 2004-11-02 18:08:12 GMT)
Both are extremely slow compared to i686-optimized distributions like Arch Linux, Buffalo, CCux or Yoper.
70 • optimization and martyrdom (by manchine on 2004-11-02 18:54:25 GMT)
Extreeeeeemly slow, in deed.
It takes me about 2 days to boot SimplyMepis, several hours to open a browser session... My gosh... I am even wondering about a conversion to Zen Budhism, so i can meditate on the paradoxes of life while SM struggles to work.
Fortunately, it comes the saving grace of Yoper (a third class buggy RH derivation) Arch and CCux, the best options for any novice user to get rid and doom linux just a bit after the first screen splsashes :)
Ariszló, you could advise Gentoo or other source based distro instead. When it comes to optimization purity, there is nothing so rewarrding as to wait 3 days to get a decent distro from scratch.
LFS itself could also be an alternative for the audience MEPIS is targeting :)
I think some people Simply misconceive the goals fueling MEPIS.
PS: "Arch Linux is an i686-optimized linux distribution targeted at competent linux users (read: not afraid of the commandline)". Wow. Finaly i feel myself as a competent user. Such a bliss!!!
71 • MEPIS (by Rogee at 2004-11-02 18:55:35 GMT)
MEPIS is the only Linux distro that doesn't configure my video card correctly, and I've tried dozens. My video card is a perfectly normal 64mb Geforce card.
I'm rather surprised at the amount of people praising MEPIS. It's very decent, but I didn't see anything that made it stand out. Hopefully with the next release they can sort out the video issues.
72 • Fedora Core on servers? (by anon on 2004-11-02 19:07:03 GMT)
Fedora Core is a nice distro and all, but why did Sourceforge migrate production servers to it? It's a distro that features frequent releases (2 to 3 releases a year). Any release two versions old is end-of-lifed and gets moved to the Fedora Legacy project for support. Now Fedora Legacy may end up providing bug fixes and security updates for years to come... or it may not. It wouldn't be my choice for a server distro, but apparently, Sourceforge is aware of this limitation (from linked message):
"It should be noted that the frequency of OS upgrades
will be increased as part of this new plan. "
73 • it configures mine (by manchine on 2004-11-02 19:13:50 GMT)
Quite strangely, i seem to own the same standard geforce2 64mb card and did not notice anything abnormal, really.
This makes me guess that graphics cards might keep some sort of commitment to what their owners think :)
74 • Re: optimization and martyrdom (by Ariszló at 2004-11-02 20:46:54 GMT)
Well, "extremely" was an exaggeration but Ubuntu's i386 optimization is a little outdated IMHO. Nothing wrong about Buffalo?
75 • SimplyMepis no sound (by mrbass at 2004-11-02 22:06:53 GMT)
Quite a few tried SimplyMepis and dumped it after having no sound. Well it is muted (long story why that is) anyway all you have to do is unmute it.
One of my major pet peeves is it doesn't recognize monitors and does say a 1024x768@70Hz. 75Hz is miminal for going easy on the eyes. Hopefully someday it'll do auto recognition of monitors like most other distros nowadays and that'll be one less thing for the novice user to configure.
76 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2004-11-02 22:19:48 GMT)
manchine may I ask you when did Mepis as a distro first got off the ground? And when did Ubuntu came about? So are we being fair in comparing the 2 here? If so can we then say why hasn't Mepis bettered Debian i.e. developed some suite that outperforms APT + dpkg + debconf + update-alternatives yet? Or a Mepis of the 18,000 plus packages in Debian Unstable but audited line-by-line and thus optimized to suite Mepis needs.
What many here failed to see is that UNLIKE Mepis, Knoppix or what have you, Ubuntu lives up to its promise of feeding patches back into the Debian project itself. Show me otherwise i.e. show me that Mepis, Knoppix, Damn Small have the mutually-beneficial close-knit relationship Ubuntu has with Debian i.e. Martin Pitt, Matt Zimmerman, Colin Watson, Jeff Waugh, Seb Bachler, Fabio are the devels working on BOTH Ubuntu and Debian and for some GNOME as well, patches, updates gets moved around between the 2 distros pretty often e.g. > from a recent 'apt-get -t experimenta upgradel' run's changelog:
apache (1.3.31-7) unstable; urgency=high
* SECURITY UPDATE to fix a buffer overflow in mod_include
* added patch 000_stolen_from_HEAD_CAN-2004-0940, backported from upstream
* Same security update as for Ubuntu, Fabio asked me to upload and add
myself to Uploaders.
-- Martin Pitt Fri, 29 Oct 2004 10:18:38 +0200
NOTE this line " * Same security update as for Ubuntu, Fabio asked me to upload and add myself to Uploaders."
We know that X.org will be in Hoary i.e. the next Ubuntu release for fabio is packing it and we know from discussions on #ubuntu on freenode.net that it is only a matter of time before Fabio does the same for Debian as well. We all know what Fabio deals with don't we? If not don't call yourself a true Debianist. The same goes for those who knows not Watson, Zimmermann, Fog Heen, Pitt, Waugh, etc. ;)
The thing about Ubuntu is that there is NO package like meauto or Mepis System or Mepis Installation Center i.e. ALL packages in the default Ubuntu install are GPLed or BSDed software. There ain't NO proprietary shit in Ubuntu.
Gommans, you should know better than machine but no. What you have shown here is but spouting a ton of complete nonsense. FYI I'm rajasun aka Qo-noS. You are comparing apples to oranges here. I recall the Mepis in 2003 had issues with some hardware too if you are interested. Ubuntu is but a project that has its official birth but barely 2 months ago!!! Ubuntu isn't there yet but for a distro this young, it sure shows a lot of promise. :)))
CBlue howdy man, long time no see, will drop by #mepis or #debatewithme (Gomman's pet :P) when I have the time.
77 • Re: ubuntu as it is: an urban myth (by Ariszló at 2004-11-02 22:38:20 GMT)
"In brief: Ubuntu is the fakest phenomenon i have ever seen after SUSE and Fedora."
I can't imagine why you have so low opinion of SuSE and Fedora. Both of them are decent, user-friendly, reliable distros. Personally, I don't like that they deviate too much from a default desktop (KDE or Gnome alike) but they are not the only ones. And of course they are slower than Yoper ;-) but as I gather from your posting you don't mind using a slow distro.
78 • with subject (by manchine on 2004-11-02 23:51:59 GMT)
Anonymous or whoever you are. To leave the "subject " field blank was the only accurate thing i could get from your less than chaotic sequece of characters, which i can hardly call a "text".
You have no subject to talk about, that is quite clear from the very begininng.
Just a few filtered/rebuilt remarks, though.
"And when did Ubuntu came about?"
Well, the main problem with Ubuntu is not the time it has been under "development" (rebranding suits better what has been done). Since it is a derived distro, that argument makes no sense, as most of the hardwork is already accomplished (through Debian). Let's be serious. The problem with Ubuntu is WHAT IT PRETENDS TO BE AND IS NOT. So, such kind of "reasons" sound a bit like fairytales to me, quite frankly. I'll go further in my heresy. Ubuntu's written propaganda contains enough elements to be considered as "vapourware".
Dude, an ordinary Debian based distro is something that even an average skilled GUIk like me can pack each day.
I would just then need to be called Mr Someone (a respected developer), raise some funds to support my cause, set up a fashionable webportal in an offshore paradise, find the proper channels to spread my "brand new" baby (could not be more literal) under some unsual hiting name, and i'd have half of the community in a rush to find out my cute banality.
"What many here failed to see is that UNLIKE Mepis, Knoppix or what have you, Ubuntu lives up to its promise of feeding patches back into the Debian project itself."
I do not discuss faith. It is a private matter. Next.
"show me that Mepis, Knoppix, Damn Small have the mutually-beneficial close-knit relationship Ubuntu has with Debian i.e. Martin Pitt, Matt Zimmerman, Colin Watson, Jeff Waugh, Seb Bachler, Fabio are the devels working on BOTH Ubuntu and Debian and for some GNOME as well, patches, updates gets moved around between the 2 distros pretty often e.g. > from a recent 'apt-get -t experimenta upgradel' run's changelog:"
Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis. Laudamuste. Benedicimus te. Adoramuste te. Glorificamus te. Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam.
I don't know who these gentlemen are and, honestly, i am not quite interested abut their civilian labels, though i am sure they are capable professionals.
I can work in 100 projects at the same time and still that gives me neither Divine Authority nor carismatic leadership over any.
Furthermore. If i was contributing, let's say, to a CMS project and started a fork out of it, REBRANDING most of its components, would i be steping ahead into something new or just betraying my counterparts in the default branch? I mean, to be commited to both mainstream Debian (which, afaik, is a HUUUGGEE democratic and complex community of developers, hackers, beta testers, end users, etc) and the newborn Ubuntu really adds something to the state-of-the-art or just opens ANOTHER side shortcut towards a corporrate highway?
Still my main challenge to Ubuntu advocates remains without a proper answer.
IS THERE ANY TECHNICAL JUSTIFICATION TO REBRAND EXISTING .deb PACKAGES AND DRIVE UBUNTU USERS TO EXCLUSIVE REPOSITORIES?
Like "Hancom Office" and "SOT Office" (shameless rebranding of OpenOffice.org), Ubuntu is built around FRAUD, around a false idea of something new. I praise more their marketing skills than their practical results, despite their names and pedigree.
You could even post 1000 examples of "beneficial" inter-relationship between debian and ubuntu (which i do not see at all, btw). To demonstrate the squarenass of a circle requires a load of bravery, ma boy :)
While empirical evidence shows me that MEPIS is vastly superior to any other distro PURSUITING THE SAME GOALS, even if the author has not the same credentials as Ubuntu's Godfatherrs, i'll remain skeptical about establishment opinion makers buzzing.
Fortunately, my relationship with Linux excludes any form of idolatry or worship.
PS: The exotic geographical location remains quite enigmatic too... :)
79 • Simlpy Mepis (by Morten at 2004-11-03 00:00:02 GMT)
I have tried a lot of distros simultaneously including Simply Mepis. Each of my hardware units work well in at least one of these distros, but none of the distros have yet succeeded in getting them all to work properly. Mepis is middle of the road in this respect.
Comparing Mepis and Mandrake, Mepis is far ahead on speed, but not as polished as Mandrake. One thing I really miss is a unified system administration tool like the Mandrake Control Center or SUSE's yast - I feel an enhancement of Mepis System Center in this direction (but with more online help) would make Linux much more accessible and simple to use it's my hope for the future. I tried Webmin briefly, but resorted to hacking text files and using the decentralised tools instead.
If I could figure out how to prevent my keyboard from going back into US mapping after every reboot I would probably use Mepis as my main distro (it's Vector Linux at the moment).
(The man that hopes that one day all his hardware will work on a single Linux distro)
80 • Forget Scribus and Autopackage.org (by Alex on 2004-11-03 00:32:19 GMT)
Neither of these have the ability to process donations. Therefore I vote for KILE, the integrated LATEX editing environment.
This is by far the best tool in its class., even when considering Windows. It's really a killer program!
Check it out: http://kile.sourceforge.net
81 • MEPIS (by SFSouthpaw at 2004-11-03 02:07:27 GMT)
While a determined hacker can make just about any distro useable on their system, for those who don't have the time and/or interest in getting everything recognized, Mepis is THE distro to use (IMO). Mepis is great for getting people weened on windows to try out linux.
IMO, One of the main advantages of windows over linux (besides a huge gaming library) at this point in time, is the ability to correctly detect most PC hardware. So far, out of all the computers I've tested it on (at least a dozen), only sound has been a problem (on 3 of the computers, was muted for some reason). This is a big step up for Linux on the desktop.
One last thought to ponder: Mepis is a relatively new (compared to RH,SUSE,ML, etc) and is already ahead of the curve. If you've tried it before and it didn't do something correctly, try it again in a month.
82 • I'd LOVE to try MEPIS..... (by CurlyChris at 2004-11-03 12:58:16 GMT)
.... but it just won't load on my laptop. At the MEPIS forum a few others have experienced this problem, where booting the machine results in the messages:
Booting from ATAPI CD-ROM
Then I'm left at the GRUB> prompt.
Same thing happens with the SUSE 9.1 Live Eval cd but not the 9.0!? I haven't yet tried the 9.2 Live Eval - it's on my to-do list....
I wondered if it was a 2.6 series kernel problem but Knoppix 3.6 works fine, so is it down to Grub and if so, why?
I know it'll run Live on my 4-year old desktop machine but I've been looking for a distro to test on my 1-year old laptop with XP as this is my main machine with all the hardware I need. I like what I've read about MEPIS as I'm a COMPLETE novice to Linux and would really like a distro that runs everything out of the box. Having been bitten by the FC2 dual boot bug on my desktop, for which the recommended fix didn't work (so a full re-install was required), I'm reluctant to just load a distro on without having the opportunity to check that it'll just work first.
Ok, so that'll probably attract loads of abuse cos it sounds like I'm not willing to learn. I am keen to learn but I need to know I won't have to spend a whole day reinstalling my XP system because of my currently limited technical ability. I'm not IT trained and have many other demands on my time - this is definitely a hobby interest. Sorry - drifting off-topic, there...
Anyway, I first tried the 2004.01 release and have downloaded the latest release 2004.04 in response to the updated Grub, wireless support and hardware detection improvements but still no joy. And yes, I've confirmed the md5sum for the download.
I'll probably post the problem at linuxquestions.org and again at the MEPIS site in due course but any ideas from Distrowatch readers would be greatly appreciated.
83 • ... but now maybe I can!? (by CurlyChris at 2004-11-03 15:00:19 GMT)
Serves me right for not having searched the MEPIS site for a solution to my problem for a couple of weeks!
If anyone else is having trouble, the suggested solutions are here:
I'll be trying this later today. Who knows, I may even be dual-booting by the weekend!!
84 • Mepis & Yoper? (by Abraxus on 2004-11-03 18:49:35 GMT)
I've been running Yoper for about a month now. It's the distro I've found that fits me best, but...
I haven't really tried Mepis.
So my question is: Have any of you tried both distros and decided on Mepis? If so, why?
I'm not looking to start a flame war - I'm only interested in finding out if I've perhaps missed something in Mepis that ins unavailable/not as good in Yoper.
85 • Mepis & Yoper (by nameles on 2004-11-03 19:37:40 GMT)
I am a Mepis user but I did try Yoper very briefly. If I recall, the main issue that had with it was that the access to the repositories was very, very slow and their package selection was limited. With Mepis on the other hand you have all of the Debian packages at your fingertips and at reasonably fast download speeds. I think there was another major technical issues I had with Yoper but it does not come to mind at the moment. It looks slick and has some good features but in the end it was just another one of the many distros I tried and rejected for one reason or another prior to Mepis.
86 • Ubuntu and i386 (by Dave on 2004-11-03 19:56:19 GMT)
Apart from being Debian based, is there any reason why Ubuntu should be i386 optimized? I thought it was mostly a desktop distro, so why optimize for a platform that can't run Gnome smoothly?
I think Mandrake's policy makes a lot of sense, they've been targeting the i586 platform for a long time, and it gives the distro a nice performance boost.
And anyway, why isn't there a i586 (or i686 for that matter) optimized Debian based distro? I mean, it's all GNU/Linux, so you should be able to just download and recompile, right?
Not that I know how .debs work, I'm just asking. :)
87 • i686 distro (by Abaxus on 2004-11-03 20:16:55 GMT)
"...why isn't there a i586 (or i686 for that matter) optimized Debian based distro?"
Actually, there is: Yoper
It's optimized for i686
88 • Ubunyu younger than Mepis? (by gommans at 2004-11-03 21:27:44 GMT)
It has been mentioned a few times here that ubuntu is younger and it is the first release. I would like to point out that Mepis is mainly the work of one man, and ubuntu is created by a team. When we look at manhours put into these distros, I do not think there will be that much difference between these distros. Although I believe Warren is used to spending many (nightly) hours working on Mepis.
89 • i686 distro (by nameles on 2004-11-03 22:41:37 GMT)
Yoper is an RPM based distro. I don't think it has much to do with Debian. It does use apt but that does not make it Debian based.
This is from their web site:
The base system is built from scratch.
Packagetools come from Slackware (installpkg, removepkg).
Raidtools from Red Hat.
Kudzu Hardware recognition from Red Hat.
Startup scripts from Red Hat.
Mozilla from Netscape Ltd.
OpenOffice from Sun.
Hwsetup from Knoppix.
Sax2, Yast2 from SuSE
Apt tools from Debian.
Synaptic from Connectiva.
90 • @Manchine (by Anonymous Penguin on 2004-11-03 23:50:10 GMT)
Manchine, you are great (even if you could be a bit more careful with your spelling, LOL)
You are saying very loudly what I have been saying in a much more subdued way: what does Ubuntu bring us that we didn't have before? Gnome 2.8 deb (sorry, "ubuntu")? Available from Debian experimental and soon from unstable.
And what else apart from an incredibly dull, boring, depressing even, desktop OS?
I couldn't agree more: Ubuntu? Vaporware, hype and smart marketing.
But much worse: A DEBIAN FORK (and it is extremy rare for me to shout)
Mepis might not be my favorite distro, but at least it is the work of one man and the outcome of love and sleepless nights. Keep it up, Warren.
91 • Re: i686 distro (by Ariszló at 2004-11-04 08:44:04 GMT)
According to its DistroWatch page, Mepis is i586 optimized, which makes it a little faster than Debian proper. Not much faster though.
As for the small number of Yoper packages, it's true that you can't get any outdated apps or apps that simply repeat the functions of other apps (like an nth text editor). The number of Debian packages is also misleading: they break every package into runtime and devel (so you need to double the number of Yoper packages for a fair comparison) and they also like to turn a single large package like kdebase into several smaller packages (no guess how much this increases the number).
92 • Kernel 2.6.9 (by Anonymous Penguin on 2004-11-04 18:05:05 GMT)
Ladislav, the Debian page needs a quick update: kernel 2.6.9 is now available for sid. Thanks.
93 • My vote (by Dan on 2004-11-04 20:47:05 GMT)
I vote KIle also
94 • Re: i686 distro (by Dave on 2004-11-04 21:39:06 GMT)
IIRC, Yoper is based on LFS and Red Hat (7.x?). Also, I though Mepis had a i586 kernel but used Debian i386 .debs for the rest of the system. There are i586 kernel images for Debian, too.
But no distro has i686 optimized Debian packages. I think packages like KDE would greatly benefit from this. And going by what I've been reading, optimized Debian packages are something people would really like to see.
95 • Re: i686 distro (by Ariszló at 2004-11-04 22:36:22 GMT)
Yoper uses the rpm package format but it does not mean it is based on Red Hat. Yes, it is based on LFS and LSB but not on Red Hat.
96 • re: LINUXTODAY.COM (by William Roddy at 2004-11-05 01:51:50 GMT)
"We urge our visitors to boycott LINUXTODAY.COM. LINUXTODAY.COM is currently sponsored by Microsoft Corporation and displays anti-Linux messages on its web site. We consider this practice immoral and hypocritical for a web site that acts as a Linux advocacy resource.
PLEASE DO NOT VISIT LINUXTODAY.COM.
Your DistroWatch Team"
Thank you for keeping us abreast of the news. For my small part, consider your request done.
97 • 1280x1024 video failures (by fractalguy at 2004-11-05 01:52:29 GMT)
I have explored many distros, live and installed including Mandrakemove, MEPIS, KNOPPIX, PCLinuxOS, SuSE, slax, Quantain, Lindows, Linspire, systemrescuecd, feather, dsl, SAM, kanotix, gnoppix, userlinux and finally SimplyMEPIS. I find that video support for my nVidia with ViewSonic E70 (at 1280x1024) comes and goes with each release of some of these. Why is this?
Latest releases of SuSE and PCLinuxOS (last winter's version works, which I run as my installed distro) fail completely. An earlier release of MEPIS failed totally while the current release "almost works". I find the latest batch under discussion here, SimplyMEPIS, Ubuntu, userlinux and even kanotix all bring up no better than1024x768 video resolution.
I have several friends who I'm pushing Linux to and this doesn't help. Once someone has figured out the drivers (KNOPPIX 3.6, Linspire, etc. has), can't the rest incorporate the solution? And how is it that SuSE "forgets" how when SuSE 9.0 Live works but not 98.1 and 9.2?
98 • No subject (by Xyz on 2004-11-05 07:50:16 GMT)
I'd like to nominate The NetBSD Foundation for the donation. The BSDs are good operating systems, but the projects have a relatively tight budget, because the BSD are (still?) less popular than Linux. Besides that NetBSD doesn't have the same sort of stable income as OpenBSD (thanks to the CD sets) or FreeBSD (FreeBSD Mall).
99 • LINUXTODAY.COM - USELESS MORALISM (by doodle at 2004-11-05 14:30:49 GMT)
We all see a zillion adds each day. Do you believe them all? can't you separate an add from content?
Come on Ladislav, such moralism is ridiculous. Linux does not have to be sooo anti-Microsoft.
Let all flowers bloom. This is market economy.
Besides, I'm sure that some of the idependent TCO-measures surely end up in favor of Windows. Depends how you weight the sources of costs. Still many choose Linux! Well, can't Linux handle some competition? Boycotting is so pathetic, it feels cheap. Linux should just compete harder, and make sure it wins the TCO competitions.
Microsoft has all the rights to publicise some TCO studies with it's own money. Even in a Linux website.
It should be the content of LINUXTODAY.COM and not the adds that determine whether we visit it or not! Please Ledislav & distrowatch, keep your distance to the politics and concentrate on facts. That what I'm here for.
100 • SimplyMEPIS 2004-04 (by Gianfranco at 2004-11-05 14:43:26 GMT)
I've downloaded SimplyMEPIS 2004-04 few days ago and I've installed on some different PC's, included an old 366 MhZ LapTop. I had no one single problem...! Everything perfect..! I'm using SuSE 9.0 Prof. for my job, and I've also tried at least other 20 different Distros Including FEDORA, and UBUNTU...
SimplyMEPIS is, according to me, the most complete, and easiest Distro I ever tried (tried.. repeat... not yet fully tested..)
Try SimplyMEPIS... If you don't you can't believe it.
101 • I vote for Kile (by Adrian on 2004-11-05 17:46:54 GMT)
Now that I was reminded of it, it is by far the best Latex editor I have used. These guys deserve a donation.
102 • SimplyMEPIS / PracticalMEPIS (by T. J. Lewis at 2004-11-05 18:00:01 GMT)
I bought a used 866Mhz PC with 128M of ram for 80.00. Needless to say I was not going to use Windows OS which would have cost more than the hardware (the hard drive had been erased). SimplyMEPIS was installed in 20-30 min total with no issues, it really is automatic. All my hardware was detected and an HP printer easily configured. I have installed and upgraded Windows XP and MEPIS was much easierand faster. On my relativly limited hardware the OS runs fine and looks great and I think anyone used to using XP would easily convert. (Though it's not as fast as DSL running on a similar PC-You gotta love Fluxbox) . I am very impressed. I am no Windows hater but MEPIS is at least as good as XP and probably better. I think this is especially true on used hardware.
103 • Ubuntu lives up to its promise of feeding patches back into the Debian project i (by distrowatch reader at 2004-11-05 18:38:34 GMT)
I am a Debian fan that did not know this. I currently run Woody with backports. When upgrade time comes I will try Ubuntu ( gotta learn to spell it).
104 • The Age of MEPIS. (by Phor0x at 2004-11-05 19:19:44 GMT)
For those of you wondering how old MEPIS is...
The first public release was in OCTOBER OF 2003. It's the youngest Distribution on the top ten list and in the major distros list on this site.
Comparing Ubuntu to MEPIS is valid because they are both young in their development cycles.
105 • resolution (by Staggerforth at 2004-11-05 19:36:37 GMT)
Unbuntu picked up 1280 x 1024 on my old monitor. I didn't need it, so I took it out of /extX11/XF86config-4. Now I get the default I want.
I know that if your mointor will handle it, you can add 1280x1024 to the same file, in MEPIS, KANOTIX, UserLinux, others. Been there, done that.
As for the distro you want, just add the repositories you want. Save the apt repository file from every distro you install. Try the repositories on any of the other DEBIAN destros. Mix and match. Sometimes it's amazing what you get. Also, Synaptic has become an excellent GUI for making a lot of these changes. That's the first file I download after I install a MEPIS (I think they left out because of space considerations). Have to add the marillat repository to Ubuntu, but not to MEPIS, etc., etc., etc.
Hope that's fun for you. Because Linux is fun!! Damn, the election's over. Hope folks stop beening so edgy. Got to read some of this stuff with thick gloves and a welder's mask, so you won't get cut or burned.
"Conventional people are roused to fury by departure from convention, largely because they regard such departure as a criticism of themselves."
Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness
Guess that mean, be unconventional, be happy.
106 • SimplyMEPIS.....Simply the Best! (by Jim McEvoy at 2004-11-05 20:50:49 GMT)
SimplyMEPIS is simply....well the best. I have used slackware, mandrake, suse, debian (woody and sid), ubuntu, knoppix, and a few science-specialized distros. Nothing compares with the ease of use and power of MEPIS.
107 • RE: USELESS MORALISM (by Anonymous on 2004-11-05 21:02:32 GMT)
"Come on Ladislav, such moralism is ridiculous. Linux does not have to be sooo anti-Microsoft. "
Gates, Ballmer & Co. are spending lots and lots of time and money trying to make sure that Linux fails. They've made it quite clear that their goal is not coexist in the marketplace with Linux but to wipe it out of existence.
Linuxtoday giving Microsoft a space to pimp anti-Linux proaganda is a case of a member of an oppressed group telling the rest of the group that the oppressor is not so bad. That never flies.
108 • LINUXTODAY.COM (by doodle at 2004-11-06 00:54:04 GMT)
Concerning the "boycott" of LINUXTODAY, Anonymous wrote:"Linuxtoday giving Microsoft a space to pimp anti-Linux proaganda is a case of a member of an oppressed group telling the rest of the group that the oppressor is not so bad. That never flies."
"oppression" is a bit too strong word here. This constant anti-microsoft rallying and emphasising of the supposed "open source community morals" smells like small town patriotism and for sure is one factor that keeps Linux small.
I use linux but I don't want to be part of any "us versus them" war. I'm sure that most old linux users are in the spell of this magical "open source movement attitude". Well I'm a relatively new user and I honestly don't care about it and actually it disgusts me. And if linux wants to grow, it must draw more people like me (ie the dumb, unenlightened majority). People who don't contribute to OS projects, who can't write shell scripts or whatever.
And when I enter the distrowatch page I get this red text with some moralistic sermon. Well, this is NOT the way to expand linux user base. We don't want to be any OSS enthusiasts, and will never be. It's just software to us. That's the future of linux, or then it just remains a geek toy.
109 • Doodle - please go back to your WWF re-runs (by Greg at 2004-11-06 02:55:39 GMT)
Pray tell, what exactly makes you think anyone capable of coding cares what a self-described member of the "dumb, unenlightened majority" thinks?
FOSS developed as a viable alternatve in large part because the people who actually know what they're doing got tired of putting up with M$'s dumbing everything down in a doomed attempt to placate the willfully ignorant.
Linux is part of a solution, a solution bulit by a community of capable, generous people. You just walked in the front door, hit the fridge, sat in their chair, took your shoes off and started complaining about their taste in beer. You epitomize the problem FOSS was designed to solve.
110 • Thanks and concern (by William Roddy at 2004-11-06 03:08:18 GMT)
I am a medically-retired, ill, elderly veteran. Yet, as a hobbiest, I have always been made to feel at home in the open source community, even though I am not as a contributor, but just a user and admirer. I read DistroWatch regularly, often between operations. Many of the posts here offer useful opinion. But, of late, I have become increasingly uncomfortable, as I seek recommendations from fellow users when they write to this section of the Web site. It is this growing discomfort that moves me to write.
In 1925, in the tiny, obscure Tennessee town of Dayton, a trial took place. Officially, it was called Tennessee v. John Scopes. To the world, it became known as the "Monkey Trial."
I have visited that small, hot, humid courtroom, where once, two of the most famous orators of their time, Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan, confronted each other to settle, once and for all, the absoluteness of either the creation of humans by a god, or the evolution of humans into their present form, as a function of natural processes. Even though the reporting of the events that transpired there came from the pens of some of the best writers of that time, including H.L. Mencken, the questions were not settled there, nor, perhaps, will they ever be.
All of the scholarly reasoning, fiery rhetoric, passionate homilies, recitations of Biblical and philosophical quotations, and calls to the rules of law of that point in history were only successful in further polarizing an already-polarized country. Some quietly went back to their churches, classrooms, and laboratories, to live their beliefs. For others, these arguments continue to be the full-time preoccupation of people who seek to keep them active.
The rhetoric here has, in some cases, this similarity: Intelligent people with keen minds sometimes use words to wound, rather than to inform, to question character rather than issues.
My small point is this: I came to Linux first, not because it was a superior operating system at the time, but because, like humans, it seemed to have endless possibilities. I still believe that and have been allowed to enjoy and benefit from the multiple fruits of the work, passion, and even obsession of far more people than I can estimate.
As will now become evident, I believe that all existence is a process, not a finished creation. Nothing is finished. Everything is changing. To that end, I submit that Linux -- and other endeavors that have come to include far more than just software and hardware -- is a richly-embroidered fabric of quality and creativity, one that continues to be woven by many hands, for many purposes. What began as patch-work now holds the possibility of blanketing the world with its warmth, security, and beauty, and it still has the possibility of becoming the finest example of how many needs can be filled by intelligent people's intentional, collective efforts.
It is doubtful that any single operating system will become a final social and philosophical resting place for any of us, nor do I think that is the goal of any developer. We have long ago been put on notice that we should be prepared for change, for opportunity, for the possibility that something wonderful will happen when we least expect it.
I am elderly, hardly a "geek, and I have never been employed in any aspect of the computer industry. Yet, by listening to you, I am able to have been able to cause seven completely different operating systems to simultaneously coexist on two home-built computers, all running well, all giving me immeasurable pleasure. If asked, I would really be hard pressed to tell you which one I would leave on a hard drive, if a tyrant were enforce a rule of only one. They are all wonderful. They are all changing. Each time I upgrade one or add one, it's like watching the birth of a child.
I will not live to see the ends of these processes and possibilities. Many of you will live on, to witness wonders tat are akin to magic now. But I hope I do live long enough to see the end of belligerent confrontation as an ingredient in the process of human achievement.
Like some of you, I have been in the midst of real war, and that legacy has tainted my life to its end. But our struggle for freedoms was, among other things, for the right to say and do what we choose. We have voluntarily defended everyone's right to drive the car that makes us happy, read the book that makes us happy, and yes, use the Linux that makes us happy. No one's character should be questions because of any legal choice they make.
Many of you have been very good to me. You have taught me a pastime that makes me happy, and I have learned fro you things I could have learned nowhere else. Thank you. I wish all of you health, peace, prosperity, and possibilities. Kindness is the greatest strength any human can possess and many of you have strength beyond measure.
111 • Donation Suggestion (by Matt on 2004-11-06 11:31:16 GMT)
Kile is one of the best programs I have come across for LATEX editing. These developers definitely should be rewarded. I vote for a donation to Kile.
112 • No subject (by billg at 2004-11-06 13:23:56 GMT)
Mr. Roddy's post is a breath of fresh air. This, and so many other Linux and open source fora, are poisoned with endless vicious attacks on the characters and ethics of those who express differing opnions. This is the way of children, not adults. As a long-time Linux user, I am offended by it and increasingly dismayed to be associated with a community that produces such behavior.
113 • ubuntu/mepis (by im_ka at 2004-11-06 16:34:05 GMT)
please stop this "distro war"
ubuntu and mepis are both debian based... ok, there are many debian based distros.
both have a good hardware detection system. you can come with examples to prove that one or another is better or worse, but both distros will detect most hardware in most cases, i think we can agree on this one
mepis focuses on kde, ubuntu on gnome!
the kde/gnome debate has been going on forever. kde has some features gnome doesn't have, and has k3b, one of the "crown jewels" of linux (gnomebaker is coming up though)... but i personally have all the features i need in xcdroast, but that's another question.
BUT imho it's a matter of taste, some like kde, some like gnome... for me gnome just feels better.
i'm using ubuntu, and i'm happy with it.
i don't care if they eventually wanna make money with ubuntu with professional support to businesses or whatever (what's wrong with money? lol), as long as i'll always be able to get it for free. afaik there'll always be a free version of ubuntu:
check out what daniels, an ubuntu dev had to say!
mepis is great for kde lovers. why do you always have to be bashing some distro? i love them all. even if they don't fit my needs, they make users happy, people do they daily work with the different distros...
we all use open source, don't we... so let's be cool :)
114 • Re: Thanks and concern (by im_ka at 2004-11-06 16:44:31 GMT)
thanks for your postings will, it's always a great pleasure to read them.
it seems like listening to my grandfather (a very wise man who has made a lot of good and bad experiences on his journey through life), who has died 11 years ago.
115 • Re southpaws strange assumption (by mikkh at 2004-11-06 18:37:51 GMT)
Apparently windows main advantage is it's hardware detection? XP might be better than previous versions but here's what I went through recently.........
Boot from CD
Reboot twice in the process
Install motherboard drivers for LAN and sound
Install graphics driver
Install virus checker and firewall
Install updates from security CD
ooh no reboot needed!
Install 'burning' software
Install anti spyware
Tweak windows to be useful
Install other 'essential' software
etc. etc. ad nauseum
total time 3 hours+
Install Linux distro
Boot from CD
answer a few relevant questions
reboot - once !
Al my hardware is detected, and all programs I need
are already installed.
Total time 10 - 30 minutes depending on the distro
unless it's Suse of course, then I get my flask of tea and sandwiches out
116 • Re: mikkkh (by William Roddy at 2004-11-06 19:28:00 GMT)
Bravo! Well done. You have captured the essecne.
117 • Your kindnesses (by William Roddy at 2004-11-06 20:21:21 GMT)
To billg: You are incredibly kind to say that.
To: im_ka: Though you use much more contemporary words that my rather old-fashioned ones, I am sure that we both say essentially the same things. Thank you.
As for your second posting, I am sorry that you lost your grandfather but you keep him alive with such memories of him. You, too, are generous with your compliments.
To those of you with the strength of kindness: I hope that you will call upon that strength to exert moderating influences in the open source community. That would be a great service to worthy endeavors.
As I continued to think about this last night, it occurred to me that if someone's goal was to disrupt the progress of Linux, their best tactic would be to subtly disrupt the sites where users gather to share information, and the sites potential users might visit to form their opinions. Disruption would be a simple process: make each site increasingly uncomfortable for non-confrontational people -- which is most of us -- to visit. That is easily enough done. Simply question the good sense of those who ask questions or offer their experiences. Make everyone defend their point of view.
All that would be left to do would be to set off chain reactions of politicizing, eulogizing, sloganeering, and create battle fields that pit brothers and sisters against brothers and sisters. I believe the process is still known as, "Divide and conquer."
Have some of us unwittingly played into the hands of those who might not wish the open source community the success so richly deserves? If we have, it is just as easy to stop as it was to start. If this is not the case, we lose nothing by moderation, because kindness and generosity have always appeared to me to be among the founding motivations of GNU/Linux and open source.
I'm sorry I went on so long. I'll now shut up and return to my retirement and wait for the pleasure of improvements induced the next upgrades, or giving the next version or a new distribution a test drive. And if I need help, I always know where to turn.
Again, thank you.
118 • FreeBSD 5.3 torrents........ (by mikkh at 2004-11-07 04:33:34 GMT)
........ don't appear to work
The good news is the ISO links seem speedy enough though
On an unrelated note Buffalo 1.5 is looking good
I like the default iceWM desktop and obviously, being based on Slackware , means it's pretty nippy too. Not exactly for beginners, but if you're looking for a slack variant to run on older hardware, this is well worth a look at
Runs great on my main box ( Athlon 2600+) too
The Quantian live DVD is also worth downloading if you have a fast connection
119 • Distro updates (by distrowatch reader on 2004-11-07 13:40:29 GMT)
There are recent and impressive updated releases for both hiweed and iBox but they don't seem to be reported in distrowatch.
I think both hiweed and iBox are distro-'watch'-ed, am I right?
120 • MEPIS/Ubuntu (by Mark Tomlinson at 2004-11-07 23:47:05 GMT)
Having tried both distros, I come down on the side of Ubuntu - between KDE and Gnome, I much prefer Gnome. To those that have flamed either one - lighten up, willya? This is not about religion, or national elections (yeah, I live in the U.S.A.) or anything like that.
To my (fairly) experienced eye (I speak as a "distro junkie"), both MEPIS and Ubuntu fit the bill as fairly easy-to-install Debian-based distros. I have, in fact, given a CD of each to my boss, who is fair-minded, has no love for Microsoft and lives with somewhat older technology at home. When he comes back with a verdict, perhaps I'll have more grist for the distro mill. In the meantime, just enjoy the luxury of choice...
121 • bashing (by plasmo at 2004-11-08 01:11:48 GMT)
lets stop all this distro bashing.
linux is all about choices. you can choose wat u want to use.
Number of Comments: 121
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