| DistroWatch Weekly
1 • Your doin it on purpose huh... (by sn0n - rob douglas on 2005-04-04 11:56:58 GMT from United States) |
Making it go back a few hours each week.. making me stay up later.. :-p
Did you just wake up late? :-p
2 • On AutoPackage... (by sn0n on 2005-04-04 12:06:19 GMT from United States)
As a user.. i love it.. im not much of the developer.. just tinker here and there.. as a ArchLinux user.. eh.. no need.. i got pacman.. LoL..
I would love to see new programs goin this route.. and then when distros start picking up and making packages for said program.. ok.. kewl.. but there is still the installer for the other guys.. :-)
i think thats the windows user in me talking thou.. :-x
note the word USER in this post.. im not a hard core terminal only vi pushing programmer.. im a gnome desktop user who prefers the freedom of free software outside the windows world.. :-D (i am a bit of a geek thou.. :-X)
so yeah.. i like it..
3 • autopackage (by pp on 2005-04-04 12:10:50 GMT from United Kingdom)
The little that I understand form autopackage, I think it is a very good and promising idea that should be supported.
Maybe Ladi should have linked to their FAQ:
4 • about AutoPackage (by Peter on 2005-04-04 12:31:12 GMT from Romania)
Could someone comment on why do people talk sooooo much about AutoPackage and not at all about 0install?
why is there no distribution based on 0install?
why is it so overlooked?
5 • Autopackage (by Jack Malmostoso on 2005-04-04 12:34:00 GMT from Switzerland)
As stated in their FAQ, I see autopackage very suitable for distributing commercial software or any software that stays almost on its own (i.e. Nerolinux, for example). It is just not a good idea for distributing software that relies heavily on system libraries or worse, that provides those libraries. That stuff should be handled exclusively by the distro's package manager.
My 2 cents.
6 • ranking (by Roland on 2005-04-04 12:49:47 GMT from United States)
Is it possible to make rankings by downloads? Downloads indicate intent to use, which may be more accurate than mere views.
7 • Unbuntu (by magictang on 2005-04-04 13:17:14 GMT from China)
A great system,I hope I can input Chinese on it someday......
8 • AutoPackage vs. 0install (by *v* on 2005-04-04 13:21:37 GMT from Germany)
One interesting thing in the AutoPackage-FAQ can be found in the last paragraph:
Q: This approach feels way too complicated. Is there a simpler alternative?
A: Sure. Check out Zero-Install.
I know, of course, that these are two quite different approaches to solve two similar - but not identical - problems. It just sounded funny, when considering 0install as an alternative to autopackage.
9 • is this mandrake/conectiva new name?? (by pp on 2005-04-04 13:33:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
"whois mandriva.com provides some interesting results:
owner-address: Mandrakesoft SA
owner-address: 43 rue d'Aboukir
owner-e-mail: email@example.com <<<=====
nserver: ns1.moondrake.net 188.8.131.52 <<<=====
nserver: ns2.moondrake.net 184.108.40.206
reg_created: 2005-02-28 07:11:42
expires: 2006-02-28 07:11:42
created: 2005-02-28 13:11:42 <<<=====
changed: 2005-03-24 12:03:37
Considering the timing:"
Paris, France; Curitiba, Brazil; February 24th , 2005 - Mandrakesoft, today announced a definitive agreement to acquire Conectiva.
And another points this out:
"and it seems Mandrakesoft has been busy registering many names
that may be used since mantiva.[com/org] are also registered
the same day as the above...
there is more movement on the "mandriva" front...
Mandrakesoft now has registered even more versions of mandriva,
either directly or indirectly...
They currently owns atleast: at, be, biz, ca, ch, cn, co.nz, co.uk,
co.za, com, com.tw, cz, dk, fr, info, net, nl, li, org, pl, .info
and most of them are registered around 25 march 2005...
10 • RE: ranking (by SFN on 2005-04-04 13:42:24 GMT from United States)
No distros are downloaded from Distrowatch so there's no simple or even simple-ish way to keep track of that.
11 • RE: Ubuntu Linux - the new number one distribution (by SFN on 2005-04-04 14:31:22 GMT from United States)
Here's a nifty little tie-in to this story:
12 • To the "Debian" with them... Autopackage an the like... (by Big Moron on 2005-04-04 14:45:09 GMT from Puerto Rico)
I don't know why, BUT it ANGERS me a lot that some developers from many diferent distros see's Autopackage like an evil thing. WHY?
Have any of them made any attemps to get comercial software developers in to Linux? Few have tried. I understand their (those against this types of proyects) fears thougt, but I feel they should get involve in it wile they can, because if they don't they will regret it...
Why you may ask?
Because then we could make "those who say linux is a mess and not standarize, shut the @#$% up" by helping proyects like this and making shure that those proyects stay secure, keep secure and work in tamdem with any system... fork them if need be, but give us that choice or you will be let out one way or the other...
Help the users, help your selves (developers)...
13 • RE: To the "Debian" with them... Autopackage an the like.. (by ladislav on 2005-04-04 15:09:14 GMT from Taiwan)
I don't know why, BUT it ANGERS me a lot that some developers from many diferent distros see's Autopackage like an evil thing.
I don't think you've read Joey's explanation very carefully. He is not opposed to Autopackage per se. He simply points out some glaring deficiencies in its implementation, that's all. He has been a Debian developer for 10 years so I'd imagine he knows a thing or two about package management. Ignore his advice at your peril.
14 • ubuntu (by ray carter at 2005-04-04 15:09:58 GMT from United States)
I've found ubuntu to be an interesting development. I first installed it on my P4 tower system some time ago. I evaluated it and was nearly ready to make it my main system. About that same time, I developed an interest in doing panoramic pictures (made from overlapping several photos to 'stitch' together for a panorama). In downloading the panorama tools and supporting software, I hit a dependancy issue on Ubuntu which I didn't feel like expending time to resolve. The same packages installed on Mandrake with no problem, so Mandrake 10.1 became my new 'standard'. Somewhat later I attempted to install Ubuntu to my old Compaq 7470 and found that the install hung on attempting to install the NIC driver - happened with the downloaded version as well as the officially delivered Ubuntu. I filed a trouble report, but that was never resolved. I recently tried the Kubuntu offshoot, and found that it installed cleanly. It also detected not only the Win98 which I keep on that machine, but also the five or six linux distributions I've installed (the linux distros are on another drive, by the way), and offered to set up the complete multi-boot scenario - must say I was impressed by that - it's a feature I've not seen before, and one I felt was badly needed.
Anyway, in a few months, I'll get the urge to explore again, and Ubuntu/Kubuntu will be at the top of my list - hopefully the panorama programs will install this time.
15 • ubuntu (by paul at 2005-04-04 16:01:47 GMT from United States)
i though of a idea... why cant the admin of distrowatch block/drop the requests to use distro watch to help fix the poles and to help YOU so ur not paying for useless bandwidth useage....... just a thought
16 • autopackage: I'll use it whenever possible (by dukeinlondon on 2005-04-04 16:12:01 GMT from United Kingdom)
A lot of the objections are about installing system stuff. I don't see it that way. I see it as an opportunity to have things like oo.org and other self contained application as a USER !
It also resolve the nonsense of a whole distro community forever repackaging the same things !
Also, a lot of the objection circle around the location of the files and libraries but I am sure that it they can be adressed in later releases.
17 • ubuntu (by tdjokic on 2005-04-04 16:29:43 GMT from Yugoslavia)
Ubuntu is OK, nothing against it. But, this is diferent project, it is sponsored by one man (whom I wish long and healthy life!) who can change his mind tomorrow.
18 • Why not a real "core" linux + autopackage (by Dara Parsavand on 2005-04-04 16:29:44 GMT from United States)
Not having tried autopackage, I can't comment on its potential to install more than a few add ons to big distro, but I'd much rather use a very small Linux distro that has no character and add all my programs from a repository that is common to all distros. I know there are lots of technical details about library versions that I don't understand (nor will I make any effort to), but if a large amount of software such as openoffice, firefox, gnome, kde, etc. were all more commonly used from a single point of distribution, this would help in terms of reducing user confusion and avoid the whole issue of deciding if bug reports go "upstream" or not.
Of course Windows is a completely different type of system, but I often (not always) have an easier time installing certain apps in Windows than Linux. My guess is that something like autopackage will soon negate this difference (for me anyway).
19 • No April fools this year? (by EEDOK on 2005-04-04 16:44:08 GMT from Canada)
I'm disappointed :(
even I made something for AF http://eedok.voidofmind.com/linux/af_fakereview.html
20 • "concerted efforts by several Ubuntu user" (by Anonymous on 2005-04-04 17:40:34 GMT from Germany)
I read that as forged statistics by polling the Ubuntu page once per day/per dial-in, right?
21 • Puppy 1.0.0 (by Scott on 2005-04-04 17:43:50 GMT from United States)
Anyone tried the new Puppy?
The Opera Version is OK but the other two (Mozilla, Firefox), have a broken link to Opera and and a Opera logo on the desktop. I've tried 3 different mirrors and checked the puppy site for any problems.
22 • Change his mind (by poofyhairguy on 2005-04-04 18:11:20 GMT from United States)
"Ubuntu is OK, nothing against it. But, this is diferent project, it is sponsored by one man (whom I wish long and healthy life!) who can change his mind tomorrow."
True. Mark could change his mind tomorrow and the party is over. But why would he? He is the founder of one of the fastest growing distros of all time. He is successfully doing what he originally planned to do- save Debian from oldness and bring excitement back to the Debian community. Mark could pull the plug whenever he wants, but instead he seems to REALLY like the way this thing is going. So much that he has throw his own resources at getting Kubuntu on the ground so the biggest gripe about Warty can go away. If you don't like Ubuntu- hey thats your business. But for many it is the distro that we have been waiting for. A reborn Debian.
23 • @Big Moron (by Gustav IV on 2005-04-04 18:51:58 GMT from Singapore)
You call yourself most appropriately there I must say. I bet you have not even taken a look at what Joey Hess (man behind the D-I) finds problematic about Autopackage. I suggest you critically examine and evaluate the techical bits he raised again. Thanks.
Blog Entry in Question:
Mon, 28 Mar 2005
autopackage: designed by monkeys?
Please note that this weblog entry concerns itself only with the autopackage file format, and not the software used to build or install autopackages. It would help to keep this distinction in mind when reading it.
From my point of view, the autopackage format is mainly notable for being an executable shell archive type format with as far as I can see, no formal design documentation. So to extract it without running it (for something like alien, or just because I didn't feel like trusting random code downloaded from the net today) will mean looking for magic values in a shell script and hoping they've not changed the shell script layout too much. Yuck. Didn't we learn anything from shar files?
The other interesting bit is that since they do full relocatability, the binary payload itself contains no path information.
joey@dragon:~/tmp/data> tail -c 98791 ~/autopackage-qt-1.0.x86.package | tar jvxf -
Where is the path info hidden? Why, in another shell script, deep in the package metadata, of course:
joey@dragon:~/tmp/meta> grep autopackage-frontend-qt *
apkg-install-script:installExe ./autopackage-frontend-qt ./autopackage-manager-qt
apkg-install-script:installDesktop ".hidden" ./autopackage-frontend-qt.desktop
apkg-install-script: copyFiles --silent ./extractinfo "$PREFIX/share/apps/autopackage-frontend-qt"
Of course there is no formal design for how any of these shell functions work, and no guarantee that they'll not change the names or add new ones later. Therefore, an autopackage package cannot be reasonably extracted by anything except autopackage or a reimplementation of it. And you cannot extract a package fully without executing it. And they'll have to keep all these unspecified bits working the same way, forever, if they want to keep supporting old packages. Didn't we learn anything from shared libraries? Worst. Package. Format. Ever.
In summary, autopackage is not a real package format, it's a bunch of shell scripts that depend on other shell scripts in the autopackage program to work, and Alien will never, ever support autopackage unless at least this last bit is changed
24 • Re: Puppy 1.0.0 (by Guest on 2005-04-04 19:04:49 GMT from Canada)
Puppy doesn't mess with your desktop icons if they are already setup. If you ran the Opera version of Puppy, and it setup a desktop shortcut to Opera, that shortcut, and all your other shortcuts will still be there if you switch to Firefox or Mozilla Puppy.
25 • Ubuntu (by GWJ Mateo on 2005-04-04 19:48:29 GMT from United States)
After trying the Hoary Arrays, I felt like Ubuntu was going in a wrong direction. Seemed like it was mem-leaking somewhere, because it ran like a dog on my normally Ubuntu friendly laptop.
Then I tried the RC. Nice. Runs like a charm, has lots of nice features, and you can cross install Kubuntu. That's like 2 distros in one.
I'm dual booting it on all my machines. Windows XP for gaming and the missus, Ubuntu for everything else.
If the Ubuntu team ever does change their mind and want to charge, I have to say, I wouldn't mind plonking down some money for it. First distro I can say that about.
26 • Beatrix claim to be more popular than Ubuntu (by Galen Thurber on 2005-04-04 20:37:21 GMT from Canada)
Seems like Beatrix has been claiming to be the fastest growing distro, even surpassing it's mother Ubuntu. Under closer observation those claims are of course fraudulent; but why isn't anyone writing about the fraudster's claims, not to mention his bogus credentials. Beatrix is worthy of community scrutiny and scorn!
As far as Ubuntu goes, frankly, Mepis and Vector outclass, outperform it
27 • Slax 5.0.0 (by Ariszló on 2005-04-04 20:37:24 GMT from Hungary)
Slax 5.0.0, based on Slackware-current with KDE 3.4, has just been released.
28 • Re:... Replies (by Big Moron on 2005-04-04 20:44:54 GMT from Puerto Rico)
Well... I din't spesefy anyone actually... and I gues I used the word "distro" is out of contex in my critical tinking :P...
Plusss... the thing of "to the "debian" with them" was just a bit of lame joke... my bad...
Asides from that... you migh understand my meanning...
Yes thats why I have not made a review out of a linux... I write BAD... but I ponther the posibilities... it is just that I migth not make sence... or sentencess for that matter... :)
"Ignore his advice at your peril." ... Good one! I think? I like it when I get heard, even if it is because I made a fool of myself...
29 • Ranking by Downloads of Distros, autopackager (by Antonio on 2005-04-04 21:36:04 GMT from United States)
I second the motion of Roland. Which distro is the most downloaded? And also from Linux CD's, SpiderTools.com, all Online CD vendors? Which distro(s) is/are sold the most? In reality the number one distro is kind of meaningless because if you take other factors under consideration, like get the communities involved (Fedora, Mandrake, Slackware, Debian, Mepis, Ubuntu,etc,...), they would vote for thier distro to be number one. It would just create chaos and unrealistic results. The real number one is simply Linux!!! I love linux. I like Fedora, Slax, Kanotix, Knoppix, SystemRescueCD, etc, ...
Autopackagers can be nice and easy, but some may say that they already have it: apt-get, yum, etc., rpm -ivh packagename.rpm, etc, ... .
The old fashioned way of tar -jxvf, tar -zxvf, ./configure, make, make install, work pretty nicely for me so why should I worry about it.
30 • ranking, ubuntu (by im_ka on 2005-04-04 22:19:17 GMT from Sweden)
you can't really make a scientific ranking. how do you measure how many times let's say gentoo has been downloaded from its many mirrors? dw's phd is one way of measuring popularity, and it's a good one, at least not less scientific than anything else...
i've just installed hoary on my ibm thinkpad t23 (my laptop just got fixed and i couldn't wait for the release :)) and i'm impressed. everything works well. power management, x, ndiswrapper... all the usual laptop stuff works. even the thinkpad specific buttons like sound volume. and before i forget to mention: gnome 2.10 rules.
ubuntu doesn't come with non-free stuff but everything you need is installable without much hassle. i prefer having a FREE os that i can extend with non-free stuff i really need (java), and leave the rest for linspire, xandros, pclinuxos, mepis...
respect FLOSS! if there wasn't free software, there would be no distrowatch, remember that.
31 • Autopackage (by Kanwar on 2005-04-04 23:29:17 GMT from Australia)
As apparent from apt, yum and urpmi, a covergence towards apt-like package management is the future.
The key is to build on these technologies rather than "invent" a new package format, no matter how user friendly. Smart companies and communities do not alienate existing customers to get new ones!
On the other hand, I found autopackage's user mode install convenient. It is a good way to try out a piece of software on your desktop before asking your sysadmin to install it system-wide.
Maybe the existing package managers can take this leaf out of autopackage and add it to their features.
A unified front-end, such as Synaptic (of course you'd have to de-jargonise it from technical names etc), is the ideal solution.
32 • No subject (by Marc at 2005-04-05 01:54:30 GMT from Canada)
With the addition of Kubuntu's release, the Ubuntu team
should start a Xubuntu project base on XFCE4, so we the
owners of low cpu machine can share this well done distro.
Just a wish !!!
33 • Re: No sbject ...err oh well (by Big Moron on 2005-04-05 02:02:41 GMT from Puerto Rico)
Read the recent interview that distrowatch links to Slashdot, interviewed Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu Linux and be happy cuz it might happen...
sweet dreams... and Xubuntu is a better name than the XFCE-buntu or something he said... have not read it all...
34 • RE:Marc (by GWJ Mateo on 2005-04-05 02:11:44 GMT from United States)
Xubuntu? Not sure it needs a dedicated distro, since XFCE 4.2.1 and the XFLD files are in the Universe repository. It's my primary desktop.
Maybe you are thinking somthing like SAM (mandrake + xfce), but even then, sooner or later, you are going to be installing KDE or Gnome libraries to run some app.
35 • Re: Ranking by downloads? (by Ed Borasky on 2005-04-05 03:44:32 GMT from United States)
"• Ranking by Downloads of Distros, autopackager (by Antonio on 2005-04-04 21:36:04 GMT from United States)
I second the motion of Roland. Which distro is the most downloaded?"
Well ... an easy way to do a variant of this would be to fire up the Azureus BitTorrent client, open up torrents for Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, Gentoo, Mandrake, etc., then sort by number of seeds/peers. What I've seen is a burst of activity for a particular distro immediately after release, but on the whole, during non-release periods, Fedora and Mandrake seem to be the most popular, rather than Ubuntu.
36 • Why Gentoo 2005.0 Took So Long (by Ed Borasky on 2005-04-05 03:54:58 GMT from United States)
I've been tracking Gentoo 2005.0 more or less since 2004.3 had its second release. Much of the extra effort was required to make the transition from the 2.4 to 2.6 kernel as seamless as possible. And, as is widely known, a few hours before the scheduled release, the Gentoo team discovered serious vulnerabilities in both FireFox and GAIM, two of the most popular packages. It was unthinkable to release something like that to Gentoo newcomers, and the Gentoo regulars simply updated their systems and went about their day.
I now have two machines running 2005.0. One of them was squirreled up enough that it was faster to rebuild than to try to debug, and the other I did just to see how much the install process had changed.
I'm running KDE 3.4 on one of my systems. I'm not sure what it offers over 3.3.2. And I'm really starting to get used to XFCE4 :).
37 • Kubuntu Xubuntu / RE: no subject (Marc) (by Another Ubuntu user on 2005-04-05 04:16:48 GMT from Malaysia)
If I'm not mistaken Kubuntu was started by the grassroot level. Seeing the genuine effort done by this group (rather than complaining in the forum/mailing-list) Canonical later decide to support Kubuntu.
I think if XFCE users, developers, fanboys and etc put the same effort. I'm sure Xubuntu will become a reality one day and a fine addition to the Ubuntu family.
38 • Re: ranking & broadband (by Leandro on 2005-04-05 04:47:06 GMT from Argentina)
The download-based ranking would be just perfect ...if it was the only way to get your distro. (Remeber: not everybody has access to broadband - there is also life beyond the first world :-)
39 • misguided effort (by Another Ubuntu user on 2005-04-05 05:32:37 GMT from Malaysia)
I'm a user of Ubuntu. But I believe that every distro has its own strength and weakness. As a user we choose the one that suits us best for our situation.
Now, I'm delight to see that Ubuntu has reach #1 ranking. But I am not delighted about the rumours about "concerted efforts by several Ubuntu user communities around the world to drive their favourite distribution to the top as fast as possible".
If this is true. I wish and plead these communities to stop this misguided effort. Doing so will only tarnish the good name and image of the distro. And diminish the value of the ranking.
Maybe your efforts manage to increase the hits only by few percent. But still it is enough to destroy the credibility and integrity of such ranking. And all that has been achieved is worthless... the image and effort done by the developers, MOTU, forum moderators, and even other fellow users to create such a wonderful distro will have gone down the drain.
I don't mind if the hits for Ubuntu goes down after this. But please, lets play fair and keep it clean. Remember, our dream is in the "software" not in this ranking.
40 • Wake up Linux developers! (by vega on 2005-04-05 05:38:54 GMT from United States)
I'm getting real tired of Linux developers making it hard for software companies and average users to enter the Linux market. They don't embrace installers such as autopackage,Zero install, klik, etc.
Oh no, apt get, rpm, deb, command line, etc does it fine is what they say. Such stubborn people who insist programs be made available that way, but it's REDUNDANT to package programs for each flavor of Linux. Does a software company really want to have a build for each one? Or do they want to provide it on some repository?
If you find something wrong with easy to use installers, then stop barking and do something about it. Help it so you can make it better.
I can't believe there are great developers in Linux, but they can't provide an efficient and easy to use installer.
OS X seems to be doing it better. Oh where art thou easy to use Linux?
41 • Ubuntu success (by Scott on 2005-04-05 07:28:50 GMT from United States)
I don't understand all the hoopla and hype surrounding Ubuntu. Yes, it's nice, but it's not THAT nice. I really don't think they're doing anything different than any of the other scads of distributions out there. Maybe I'm wrong. Nevertheless; any new operating system that is getting as much attention as Ubuntu is can only be a good thing. ;-)
42 • No reviews anymore on main news page? (by Anonymous on 2005-04-05 07:32:39 GMT from Germany)
Why are all reviews now only hidden in the small "Latest Reviews" box?
43 • Ranking (by Mike on 2005-04-05 10:53:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
I think you should change the whole distro ranking thing. It is always being manpiulated and even when it isn't, the stats it provides are fairly random. With that in mind it seems ridiculous to me to have such a powerful tool for handling it. I can examine stats over periods from a month to years, I get exact HPD figures for every distro, and a chart showing whether a distro has risen or fallen recently. Stats are updated (daily?). There's no point in all of this - it's like running a statistical analysis of the picture from an untuned TV. Just update weekly, show only stats for the last few months and remove the HPD column. Then people might not bother about trying to manipulate it, and visitors will get an idea of how accurate it really is. Seriously - the DW hit counter has become a bizzare source of fascination in the distro community and a great friend of the troll. It's high time you took steps to reduce it's importance in peoples minds.
44 • Installers (by Mike on 2005-04-05 10:56:48 GMT from United Kingdom)
We don't need a special installer for commercial programs. Just stick your prog in it's own subdirectory of /opt and symlink it's executable in /usr/local/bin. That's what all the commercial games I've got do.
45 • @Dara Parsavand (by gnobuddy on 2005-04-05 16:56:14 GMT from United States)
[quote]... but I'd much rather use a very small Linux distro that has no character and add all my programs from a repository that is common to all distros.
Gentoo comes as close to this as any Linux available today. Unfortunately the repository isn't common to all distros - which I agree would be much better than the current mess of incompatible packages and package formats - but it is huge, and contains almost anything I've ever wanted to install. In fact, the one major reason why I continue to use Gentoo is the Portage package management system, and the Gentoo repositories.
46 • FreeBSD RC1 - heads up (by Anonymous on 2005-04-05 19:59:46 GMT from Finland)
FreeBSD RC1 has hit the mirrors.
47 • ubuntu & universal installer (by Franky on 2005-04-05 20:21:25 GMT from Belgium)
Hi, i have been testing the last years several distro's from suse, redhat, caldere, etc. on different machines but got tired to download in most case more then 1 CD and stopped working with linux due to the disappointed overall speed of the GUI linux system compared to windows. Since summer of 2004 I tried opensource soft like firefox and openoffice for windows. I enjoy working with those prg's and I decide to give linux a second try. So I tried last summer LIMA which is good and since a couple of months ubuntu. I like the basic idea of just 1 (live)-CD to setup a simple workstation version of Linux. Ubuntu warthy works smoothly and fine but when it comes to the latest available software (and this is the same problem with most popular distro) I can't give the maximum points.
I am used on win systems to update my opensource software every time it needs and I find out that this is difficult on linux, because the repository doesn't contain the latest update or because of dependency problems. What I want to say is that a universal package system like autopackage or zero install or maybe a new one is really needed to convince win users to choose, install and use a linux distro (ubuntu, lima or something else) and that he should have not worries about chosing rpm, deb, ... packages but just one universal linux package file.
A linux and opensource lover.
48 • RE: • Ranking (by Mike) (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-04-05 21:05:21 GMT from Italy)
I am not sure if your suggestions are the best way of going about the issue of rankings, but what I know is that something needs to be done.
DistroWatch rankings seem to reflect either the hype of some new, fashionable distro, or some other reason even more difficult to understand. Do you people remember when Yoper was #1 here a couple of years ago? At the time I found it only a wasted download and CD.
Then came Gentoo: now it has been in constant decline.
Next came Arch, although it was never really ranking very high.
And now Ubuntu. I want to second what Scott from the United States says about it: "I don't understand all the hoopla and hype surrounding Ubuntu."
Neither do I: it is just a slightly modified Sarge installer with a (heavy) modified DE on top of it: nothing else.
Now if I want Debian I'll use Debian Proper, if I want something nicely modified I'll either use Kanotix (very undervalued, IMHO), Mepis or, when released, Libranet 3.0.
Mandrake has ironically lost its #1 spot when it is getting better: try 10.2 RC2 if you don't believe me.
And then we have rock solid, very complete distros which have always been there and never failed us in any way: Debian, SUSE.
In an ideal ranking where every possible factor was taken into account, those two should always be first and second (or both first), IMHO.
49 • rankings (by Gnobian_Ken00bie at 2005-04-05 23:29:51 GMT from United States)
I think that any rankings system needs to be taken with a grain of salt, but I'm not sure what alternative would be superior.
As for Ubuntu just being a slightly modified Sarge installer, etc. ...
Um, X.org, Gnome 2.10, KDE 3.4, all with security updates and support, as of tomorrow's Hoary release. You get that in Debian? I think not. Official support for amd64? Nope. And building a live CD infrastructure that works with the Sarge installer - one that has been adopted by two other projects already, something Debian has wanted for awhile but got stalled with the Debix project... Plus they give their bug fixes IMMEDIATELY back to Debian. Comparing this to MEPIS, et al, is just absurd.
That said, Kanotix is VERY good, I agree.
50 • a bit more (by Gnobian_Ken00bie on 2005-04-06 00:02:37 GMT from United States)
I don't want my previous remarks to be taken as denying that MEPIS is a suitable distro for some, much less that Debian is a magnificent distro and project. There wouldn't be an Ubuntu - or a MEPIS - without Debian.
But there's a distro out there for just about anyone's needs - with a bit of tweaking perhaps - and there's always the option of building your own. (Of course, I'd say Debian - or Gentoo or Slack - are a good place to start for something really customized. But you can always go the LFS route.)
Of course, the great thing about true community based distros, like Ubuntu and of course Debian (as opposed to certain "community" distros that are little more than free QA for "enterprise" versions) is that you can always participate and contribute and guide it more toward something you like. That's part of what FOSS is all about. Responsibility as well as freedom. Look at Kubuntu growing out of Ubuntu because enough people liked ubuntu but wanted KDE and you'll see a perfect illustration of that.
51 • Ranking (by John Coombes on 2005-04-06 03:10:33 GMT from Australia)
Ranking (by Mike on 2005-04-05 10:53:17 GMT from United Kingdom) wrote
the DW hit counter has become a bizzare source of fascination in the distro community and a great friend of the troll. It's high time you took steps to reduce it's importance in peoples minds
I would like to add my vioce of support for this comment - however you want to do it - some thing should be done to reduce the sence of importance of the hit rate counter
NOTE: no matter how may time it is said "read hit rate counter with pinch of salt" or what ever fancy way you write it. The fact is that many have elevated it to some thing that it is not (EG: elevated it to imply "my distro is better than your distro")
There for I agree that "if" DistroWatch wants to remain a creadible source of info to many people ? Then some thing must be done to reduce the Hit Counters sence of importance in peoples minds.
Just my 2 cents worth Lav ? think good and hard about it
52 • Ranking (by John Coombes on 2005-04-06 03:16:39 GMT from Australia)
Sorry - to stop any confusion in my message above
For where I write " hit counter " = read = " Page Hit Ranking "
53 • RE: Gnobian_Ken00bie (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-04-06 05:06:46 GMT from Italy)
I suppose what really upsets me is that Ubuntu and Debian are not fully compatible with one another.
I suppose that if I could install Ubuntu and dist-upgrade it to Debian or, on the other hand, install Debian and add the Ubuntu repositories without any fear of compatibility issues, all my objections to Ubuntu would disappear.
54 • Ubuntu for anon penguin in Italy (by Gnobian_Ken00bie on 2005-04-06 05:40:40 GMT from United States)
Actually, there is an upgrade path from Woody to Ubuntu but just pinning to Ubuntu would require replacing so many libraries that you'd pretty much be running an Ubuntu system before long. Full compatibility with Sid or Sarge would be great, but those are moving targets, whereas Ubuntu is a snapshot with refinements, some of which get taken back into Sid. The basic development model makes full compatibility impossible. I don't know what alternative there is though. And of course, as Warren has regularly advised. dist-upgrade will break a lot of things in MEPIS too.
Ubuntu does have Universe and Multiverse though, so most of Sid is available and much else besides. And just as KDE is now in main with hoary, one can expect that a lot of other Universe packages will be in main with the next release.
55 • Ubuntu Ranking on Distrowatch (by Travel Agent on 2005-04-06 09:08:34 GMT from Philippines)
Congratulations to the Ubuntu Team!
56 • RE: Ranking (by ladislav on 2005-04-06 10:29:35 GMT from Taiwan)
I am not going to make any changes to the ranking, for the following reasons:
1. Last time I tried to implement major changes or even remove the ranking from the main page, many complained.
2. It's just page hit ranking, that's all. If anybody takes it for more than that it's his/her problem, not mine.
3. The ranking ads spice to the site. Even if I don't consider it a serious barometer of popularity, I can't deny that I feel a sense of achievement every time I learn of someone referring to the ranking. As an example, it was mentioned in a major Austrian daily newspaper a just few days ago. If it helps driving traffic to the site, it would be foolish of me to remove it.
4. Ranking is a big help to those who are coming to the Linux world for the first time - at least they can see all the major distributions and start evaluating one of the top ones. Imagine if I replaced the ranking with an alphabetical list of all 400+ distributions! If that wouldn't scare of newbies then I don't know what would.
In short, ranking is going to stay. If you don't like it, tough!
57 • Rankings complaints (by Anonymous on 2005-04-06 12:18:01 GMT from United States)
Let's quit whining about the 'Ranking' column. Ok, it is not 100% accurate. So what? It's meant to be an interesting sidebar, not the gospel truth.
I often flip back and forth between the 'views' (1 month, 6month) to get a general feel for trends. And sometimes I pick a distro from the rankings to try if it looks like it is getting some activity.
Feel free to put up your own website with your own rankings if you don't like it here. Be sure to let us know the link. I'll take a look when you're done posting it.
58 • RE: Ranking (by Mike on 2005-04-06 16:49:23 GMT from United Kingdom)
Maybe the problem is that there's nothing else like this available, so when lazy journalists who don't really know much about linux want to produce some stats, they turn to DW. I'm not sure who else would be in a position to do something like this. I guess it's the old F/OSS problem - you may not like how something is done but unless you're prepared to produce your own replacement, you're stuck with what you've got.
I disagree that it's helpful to Linux newbies, who would be better directed to the section on "Major Distros".
I still like this site though. :)
59 • ranking (by im_ka on 2005-04-06 18:30:34 GMT from Sweden)
well written, ladislav. i absolutely agree with your every word.
60 • RE: Ranking (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-04-06 18:42:03 GMT from Italy)
Nobody said that you should get rid of the rankings altogether.
We were just wondering if there was some way they could be improved so that they were a more accurate reflection of a distro popularity, also considering that you have repeatedly said that they are pumped up by overzealous fans.
Evidently you feel that nothing could or should be done, so end of story: it is your site after all.
61 • mandriva (by im_ka on 2005-04-07 16:48:26 GMT from Sweden)
62 • Linux Weekly News Article (by William Roddy on 2005-04-07 20:14:36 GMT from United States)
Ladislav wrote an extremely interesting article about Red Hat-based distributions in this week's Linux weekly news. Thank you, Ladislav.
63 • Scientific Linux (by William Roddy on 2005-04-07 20:27:06 GMT from United States)
If you need a rock-solid distribution, in use on thousands of computer, with a proven track record, use Scientific Linux.
This Linux has been around for a long time, but has made no effort to become widely know. Only a recent announcement on DistroWatch brought it to the attention of a wider community.
What is now called Scientific Linux began as Fermi Linux, a vendor-cleansed version of the latest Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The latest version of the 3x tree is called Scientific Linux and still bears all the earmarks of the Fermi craftsmanship.
The new and exciting aspect of this Linux is that the world-famous CERN Lab in Switzerland is now a direct part of the development and maintenance of the very Linux both these major scientific facilities use as the primary operating system of their facilities.
Of late, a number of leading U.S. and European university physics research laboratories have joined in the project.
The latest stable version is 3.04. It is made and used in both i386 and x86_64. At CERN, at least 100 the x86_64 version. Fermi's entire facility, "banks and banks" of computers, run on this Linux and it is used in servers and workstations.
When the ITs first receive a new distribution, or new ERRATA, from the vendor, they check the code thoroughly for any problems that might be inherent in it, and fix them. In general, this means that every stable release, or subsequent ERRATA addition, leaves the distribution rock-solid. After all, this is the tool that is part of the driving force behind the largest linear accelerator in the world (I understand CERN is building, or has built a larger one).
The nature of the facilities at which this Linux version is used is such that security is of paramount importance, so that is something you can count on with this distribution. It is built with the purpose of being functional and secure for years to come.
The latest test release is 4.0-rc2, both i386 and x86_64, and with the speed at which Fermi and CERN work, the final release is expected quite soon.
Red Hat is aware that this Linux version exists. Fermi, nor CERN, pays not one dime to Red Hat, though it is used on banks and banks of machines, a fact that nonplussed the SuSE salesman when he took a tour of Fermi. The developers of Scientific Linux have been fastidious in their removal of vendor identifiers, and precise about using open source program. They feel they have created a stable base that can be easily customized by pointing at one's own repositories, or by using it "out of the box."
They are the first to say that many of the vendor's codes do not work "right out of the box." So they fix them. I would imagine the vendor is or could be helped by such precision.
I am a disabled home user of Linux, with relatively little scientific or programming knowledge, but I have followed with great fascination Fermi/Scientific Linux as best I could, because I admire scientists and the scientific approach to problems. Their Web site is immaculate, simple, straight-forward. Their mailing lists are useful, intense, and absent the deviations from the project at hand that result in other distributions' attempts to move forward. Their servers are blazing fast, for download and updates.
The latest release candidate features the latest Firefox, and Thunderbird can be "yummed." OpenOffice.org and Helix media player is also included. Scientific Linux also recognizes the usefulness of APT, and has included it in stable versions. I suspect that the 4x versions will, at some time soon, also include this feature, making it possible to apt, yum, or up2date.
For me, it was immediately useful, right after a simple, quick installation. The addition of five easy-to-find xine-related rpms to my Scientific Linux allows me watch any DVD I chose, and stream media. I know that's an indulgence, but heck, I'm an old shut-in.
If you want a rock-solid Linux that has undergone the scrutiny and use of some of the world's foremost scientists, you could do no better.
My advance apologies for such a long post, and to the people at Scientific Linux for any errors I might have induced into it. They have been warm and encouraging to me.
64 • RE: Scientific Linux (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-04-07 21:05:30 GMT from Italy)
Thanks for your very informative post, William. You have made me extremely interested :)
65 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2005-04-07 22:55:04 GMT from United States)
Hello I am a "one man army" (sinks into thought) possibly with one buddy lol to create a distro. I have printed the manual for linuxfromscratch. I am thinking of using autopackage instead of rpm - apt-get (Distro). Want to try athene desktop instead of kde, gnome, xfce not sure on licensing. (we might use gnome though if athene is out of reach)
Right now we both have some plans on some things. But it is all thought now and not totally well thought out yet. What would you all think on my idea? btw I visit distrowatch often and lurk not comment. This would be my first public post outside of emailing distrowatch.
At this point is not an established idea in life.
66 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2005-04-07 23:11:19 GMT from United States)
to add reasoning behind possibly using athene is for its "3" GUI's support.
1. minimal similar to xfce GUI ( guess for barely passing machines)
2. Clean desktop version GUI where no icons are on desktop. All shortcuts are to your right (bar like) on the desktop leaving big wallpaper area.
3. Windows look we all know how it looks.
67 • Handhelds (by Alistair Baty on 2005-04-08 14:10:25 GMT from South Africa)
I try hard to follow the developments of the Linux OS and DistroWatch is unmatched as a source to do so. Because of time constraints I use plucker to download various weekly news issues (Mandrakenews/Mandiva, Ubuntu ...). Due to the setup of your Distrowatch news page I can't download it without additional mess. Is it possible to have a link to a single page DWW (Include the Logo, the DistroWatch Weekly title and the Issue details, but no width-wise tables/ or no tables). This will make for a really great mobile accesible page. (See http://www.mandrivalinux.com/en/fnews.php3 versus http://www.mandrivalinux.com/en/pda/ as an example)
Thanks again for an excellent resource!!
PS. I have Pluckered the current page as is and it's actually not that bad! The links in the top right cell ("HomePage" "DistroWatch Weekly" ... "Related Links") just clutter the top of the page and you need to manually scroll down to get the start of the News articals and the respective hyperlinks. A bit frustrating, but I can live with it until something better comes along. Thanks again
68 • Ranking Method and Ubuntu/Linspire?Mandriva (by Robzilla-L.A. on 2005-04-08 16:31:27 GMT from United States)
I just want to say that I echo some of the sentiment that the best way to determine a ranking of distro's would be by counting the number of downloads-even just from distrowatch. I do feel that is probably a harder number to actually quantify and think all linux distros are better than the other choices out there so as long as new distros are getting press than I think distrowatch deserves a pat on the back. Regardless of ranking new distros get a shot on the front page when there is a new release.
Ubuntu to the top. What is all the bickering about? Yes Ubuntu spends money on this or that and markets their product. Isn't that what any company does to be successful-part of a business plan? Ubuntu is still free and a damn good distro. Maybe they have more resources but is that a bad thing. What ever moves the community in a good direction is positive. I think Ubuntu is a great distro. It is not my favorite but they have come a long way and are a solid choice. Who knows the day may be coming where I will switch. Debian based distros seem to be all the rage. Mepis 3.3 Linspire and many others all use Debian which I commend Mepis for acknowledging that fact.
As far as package management it is hard to beat the Debian repositories!! Apt-get and bam a new package installed and ready to go! If autopackage is close to apt-get but standardizes packages for all Linux distros it has to be a good idea, Just don't know if it is feasable??
Linspire Five O.
I have read a lot of positive reviews of Linspire and I have to say I am not impressed. I really do not think that they are moving in a direction that will get people to switch from M$. Their ideas, some of them, are good, but I think the cost involved is not really justified. I can use just about any Debian based distro and get all of the software offered on Linspire and many more for free? Not $89.99 for a year and $49.99 a year after that. And then if you want additional sowtware say to play a dvd then you will have to pay more. Now I do not mind paying for a linux distro at all but having to pay around $130 or more for a fully functional distro is pretty close to and in some cases more than the compitition. Until Linux is established as a popular supported widely alternative to windows or apple then the price should be one of the motivating factors to get you to try Linux. And I think Linspire has got to have about the slowest boot time of any distro I have ever used!! Sure click and run is nice but apt-get or synaptic are just as easy. And in other Debian based newbie friendly distros you don't have to sacrifice security by running as administrator-Haven't we learned from the Windows security failures that runnings as the administrator is not the best idea. Yes there are only a few virili now but if Linux gets as popular as lets say Apple or Windows then you know there will be more. The main security advantage that Linux has is the use of password protection for key system settings. Lets not get rid of that?? Linspire just ins't all that and to take a whole year to develop it?? Why?? So lets summerize, not free or even close, limited software, less security does this equal new and improved??
Now to make more people angry-got the Linspire crowd upset and now to MAndrake or I mean Mandriva?/ What kind of name is that? Linux distros need to think about the names they use and think about users saying hey I am running ,blah blah. I don't really like the sound of MAndriva- sounds like a disease or a condition I need to get rid of. No complaints about the distro just think they need a better name. There are more I could name and even the distro I use has a pretty bad name. I know it is not the name but the function of the O.S. but can't we have both? I mean Apple is cool. Windows at least describes at the time it came out the new type of system that was icon based-got to give it to them there. But Mandriva?? Come on guys lets put our heads together and come up with some cool names to with our cool systems and make em catchy so people will remember them and not be afraid to say them. I know we are mostly focused on the system and results but most for people a name will go a long way in peaking interest.
69 • Libranet New Release (by Mike Mack on 2005-04-09 10:35:00 GMT from United States)
You indicated a few months back that Libranet would be introducing a new release. Have you received any indication when this might be. Earlier thoughts suggested early April. Everyone is very "Hush-Hush" about the new release.
I was just woundering if you had an idea of when the new distribution would be released, or what the hold up is?
70 • libranet release... (by im_ka on 2005-04-09 10:51:47 GMT from Sweden)
it will be released when debian sarge goes stable. noone knows when.
71 • About Download Boten Linux (by China Linux on 2005-04-11 12:35:49 GMT from China)
I can't download Boten Linux at
Could anyone tell me a site to download BotenLinux?
72 • Good Article (by Wesley Hamel on 2005-04-11 15:32:45 GMT from United States)
It was a very good read
73 • Is this the same one from last week? (by Abel at 2005-04-11 17:25:07 GMT from United States)
Isn't this the same Distrowatch weekly as last week?
74 • Kate Linux code name ZYKLON. (by Andre-G on 2005-04-11 17:49:03 GMT from United States)
you must know that Zyklon B, was a hydrogen-cyanide gas used by the 3rd reich to gas to death millions of jews... and other "unter-men" (under-men) and women.
So I find it offensive that you publish about the Kate Linux Zyklon version....
Would you please consider to remove this reference?
Also after this is done, I suggest you also remove this posting after a day or two, to gather some more reactions...in order to put this issue to rest.
It could make sense to keep Kate Linux out of your very good web site, which I am sure never intended to offense anyone.
75 • This is issue 94 (by Keffin on 2005-04-11 19:05:04 GMT from United Kingdom)
76 • Re: This is issue 94 (by Keffin on 2005-04-11 19:10:12 GMT from United Kingdom)
I mean to say that you have linked this again today as issue 95. When I saw no comments as I scrolled down I assumed the whole thing hadn't been linked and my post would make sense, but no it just decided not to show them because there are too many already. I assume.
77 • Kate Linux (by mikkh on 2005-04-11 23:20:14 GMT from United Kingdom)
I really don't think anyone would be so mindless to name a distro
such knowlingly. I'd never heard of it, and one of the main hits in google reveals a heavy metal band of the same name, which is probably where the name comes from.
I was going to post about this distro myself, but not for that reason
This so called light distro, doesn't contain KDE or Gnome
but needs 2 CD's to install it - what's that all about?
Number of Comments: 77
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