| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 97, 25 April 2005
Welcome to this year's 17th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! This week we'll start by introducing you to what is quite possibly the first user-friendly, desktop-oriented BSD operating system ever created - with a graphical installer and a (planned) graphical package management utility. We'll also take a brief look at the newly released Momonga Linux 2 and tell you how to obtain the full installation CD of Linspire 5.0 for free. Finally, there is good news for those of you who enjoyed Robert Storey's DistroWatch Weekly over the last two weeks - see the Web Site News section below. Happy reading!
PC-BSD - a user-friendly desktop-oriented BSD system
Have you ever wondered why there is no easy-to-install desktop BSD operating system with automatic hardware detection and setup? If so, you'll be pleased to learn that things are about to change in this respect - courtesy of PC-BSD. Designed as an "easy-to-install-and-use operating system", this FreeBSD-based system comes with a graphical installer and automatic hardware detection - features that have never been seen in the BSD world!
We installed the current beta release of PC-BSD, version 0.5a, and were immediately impressed. The installation CD is essentially a live CD that boots into a Fluxbox desktop and uses a simple, Anaconda-like graphical installer. It allows you to select your preferred partition for installing PC-BSD, configure the root password and users, set up the boot loader, and install the system. Upon reboot, you will be presented with the KDM login manager to take you to KDE 3.4.0. The hardware auto-detection module correctly detected our graphics, sound and network cards and all were immediately available and usable. Although the number of included applications is rather minimalistic (until you reach for the cvsup tool, that is), PC-BSD has to be by far the easiest and most automated BSD-based operating system available today!
If you've ever wanted to install a BSD system, but were scarred off by the seemingly "geeky" nature of all BSD projects, give PC-BSD a try. This one is considerably different!
PC-BSD - undoubtedly the most user-friendly BSD system ever created
(full image size: 285kB)
* * * * *
Not long ago we reported about an initiative at BSDCertification.org to create a BSD certification program that is recognised as the industry standard for administering BSD systems. One of the initiators of the program is Dru Lavigne, the author of the excellent FreeBSD Basics column and BSD Hacks book. She was recently interviewed by ZDNet: "Until now, there hasn't been an accredited method for proving competency in BSD systems administration. This is in contrast to, say, a developer who has the ability to gain recognition and prove skill by writing code and possibly gaining a commit bit for third-party software or even one of the BSD operating system code bases. However, many administrators find that employers are sometimes hesitant to choose BSD solutions as they’re concerned that they won’t be able to find and hire competent BSD administrators. BSD Certification is one way to start to address those concerns."
* * * * *
And still on the subject of BSDs, the developers of OpenBSD have released the theme song and lyrics that will accompany the upcoming OpenBSD 3.7. As explained by Theo de Raadt, the founder and lead developer of OpenBSD, "the artwork and lyrics for each of our releases relate to something big we have been dealing with over the last 6 months of the release -- our fight to get programming documentation and redistributable firmwares." The song, called "The Wizard of OS", together with the lyrics are available on this page. OpenBSD 3.7 is expected to start shipping around 19 May 2005.
* * * * *
A new version of Momonga Linux was released over the weekend. For those who have never heard of Momonga, this distribution is being developed by the former developers of Kondara MNU/Linux, a Japanese distribution which, at one stage, competed on the US market. The company behind Kondara later discontinued the project, so the developers moved on to create Momonga Linux.
Although Momonga is loosely modelled on Fedora Core (it uses the Anaconda installer and its development tree strongly resembles that of its better-known counterpart), its RPM packages are built independently of Fedora and are optimised for the i686 architecture. Don't be deceived by the fact that the distribution is developed by a community of developers mostly located in Japan - Momonga Linux supports a large number of languages and its web site is published in both Japanese and English. The distribution also includes a comprehensive range of pre-configured and easy-to-use input methods for several languages, including most Asian ones. As such, it is well-positioned to generate strong following among users who need to type documents in Asian languages.
Momonga Linux - one of the best distributions for users who need support for Asian languages
(full image size: 69kB)
* * * * *
According to this story at Flexbeta, it is now possible to obtain the latest release of Linspire for free - by visiting the company's online store and entering a coupon code: "I have tried this and it works fine. First, select 'Buy Linspire' from the product page here. Click on 'Buy Now (Digital Download Only)' for Linspire Five-0, and select 'Apply Coupon'. The coupon code: linspire4RA, will give you a free copy of Linspire 5.0. Enjoy." Linspire seems to be doing a special promotion - it gives away the base operating system for free and hopes to entice users into joining the (non-free) Click-N-Run application warehouse. Not a bad strategy; if you are new to Linux and interested in trying it out, Linspire 5.0 is an excellent choice. Correction: Apparently, this coupon expired last Sunday and is no longer available. Nevertheless, Linspire has a history of announcing similar promotions so we'll watch out for the next one.
|Released Last Week
Libranet GNU/Linux 3.0
The long awaited new version of Libranet GNU/Linux has been released: "It's here! At last the long awaited Libranet 3.0 is released. Libranet 3.0 represents a considerable investment on the part of the Libranet developers. We hope you will be able to show your support for Libranet and purchase this most excellent distribution." The announcement was made on the distribution's newsletter and can also be read on its user forums. Libranet 3.0 is available for immediate purchase and download from this page (US$89.95 for full edition or US$64.95 for upgrade/student edition).
Libranet 3.0 with IceWM and Adminmenu - it looks like YaST has some serious competition
(full image size: 165kB)
A new release of PaiPix, a scientific extended remaster of KNOPPIX, is now available. From the release announcement: "It includes several improvements and bug fixes and as well as the French and Italian editions. The new packages incorporated include support for the afs distributed file system; drivers for the modems ADSL USB; drivers nvidia; some new games; integration of the Z39.50 service for libraries; the video editor cinelerra; the animation editor k3d; the vectorial editor sodipodi; the field visualization system vis5d; the geographical information system Grass; planner for project planning. This release is the reference for the future version 3.8."
BLAG Linux And GNU 30000
BLAG Linux And GNU version 30000 has been released: "BLAG Linux and GNU is a 100% Free Software distribution. BLAG is a single-cd distro with everything desktop users "expect" from a desktop, plus a collection of nice server apps. BLAG30000 is based on Fedora Core 3 plus updates, adds apps from Dag, Freshrpms, NewRPMS, and includes custom packages." This is the release announcement.
Scientific Linux 4.0
Scientific Linux 4.0 for i386 is now available: "It should be possible to upgrade from Scientific Linux 3.0.x via the anaconda installer. Yum is known to NOT work. See SL.documentation for the vendor release notes... Rsync access available upon request." Read the announcement here.
Tao Linux 4
Tao Linux is a distribution rebuilt from source RPM packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), and Tao 4 has been announced to have gone 'gold': "Changes from the beta: Fixed mod_perl, httpd wouldn't start; Fixed glade, wouldn't start; Corrected comps.xml to always install tao-yumconf; GDM theme artwork from Ben Cobb; Included lots of good free html documentation, included in a 'graphical internet' install." Here is the release announcement.
Minislack 1.0 has been released: "The Minislack project's team is happy to announce the availability of the 1.0 version. 1.0 includes lots of updates: kernel 18.104.22.168, XFce 22.214.171.124, GNOME 2.10, Thunderbird 1.0.2, Firefox 1.0.3, AbiWord 2.2.7, Gnumeric 1.4.2, Gxine 0.4.1, Grip 3.2.0, Leafpad 0.7.9, Libglade 2.5.1, and more... This release also includes security enhancements (firewall, inetd tuning), and good cpufreqd support for laptops. Minislack provides all needed GNOME libraries to run most GTK+2 Gnome applications. KDE users will find an optimized KDE 3.4 distribution in the packages section of the Minislack website." Read the release announcement for more details.
K12LTSP Linux 4.2.1
The K12 Linux Terminal Server Project (K12LTSP) has updated their distribution to version 4.2.1: "At long last, the final release of K12LTSP v4.2.1 is available for download." What's new? "Preliminary PPC support - most New World Macs boot as thin clients; LTSP 4.1.1 for Intel-based clients; improved USB key chain support; SchoolBell 1.0 added (SchoolBell is a free, open source web application to allow groups and organizations to coordinate the sharing of calendars); Fedora Extras repository enabled by default, makes it easy to add many new software packages such as Inkscape (try 'yum install inkscape')." See the release announcement for more details.
Momonga Linux 2
The second release of Momonga Linux is out: "We are pleased to release 'Asuna', Momonga Linux 2." Some of the more interesting features include the following: "Architecture: i686. 'Asuna' supports Reiser4 experimentally, in addition to ext2, ext3, ReiserFS, JFS, and XFS; please note that a separate partition for /boot is needed to have Reiser4 for your root filesystem. Integrated package management systems: supports yum and mph. Desktop environments: GNOME 2.8.2, KDE 3.4.0, and XFce 126.96.36.199. CUPS printing system, Apache 2.0.54, security considerations, SELinux, kernel 2.6.10, installation from CD/DVD or FTP/HTTP...." More details can be found in the release announcement.
SLAX 5.0.2 and 5.0.3
Hot on the heels of version 5.0.2, here is another bug fix release of the SLAX live CD - version 5.0.3. From the changelog: "Fixed PS/2 mouse; this is fixed now in all special SLAX releases too; added boot option changes=/dev/? to save changes on device instead of RAM."
SLAX 5.0 is the first Linux live CD that allows users to save their data to a remote online location
(full image size: 1,059kB)
CRUX 2.1 has been released: "I'm happy to announce that CRUX 2.1 is finally here. See the change log for a complete list of changes since the last release. Go to the download section to download the ISO image. Please use a mirror." See the release announcement and changelog for a complete list of changes.
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
The developers of FreeSBIE, a FreeBSD-based live CD have announced that work has started on a new release, version 1.2. Although no release road map is given, they solicit some input and feature requests from FreeSBIE fans and users: "After a long period of silence, time has come to start and develop a new ISO. So, just a few questions: What do you want us to add in FreeSBIE 1.2? What do you want us to remove from FreeSBIE 1.2? What do you want us to improve in FreeSBIE 1.2? Suggest it now, or use GNU/Linux forever :)" Follow this mailing list thread to read some of the readers' suggestions.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Web Site News
On DistroWatch Weekly and Latest News
Those of you who follow these pages regularly noticed that the last two issues of DistroWatch Weekly had been compiled by Robert Storey. As many of you will agree, Robert has succeeded in raising the standard of the DistroWatch Weekly newsletter to a new level, which was clearly reflected in many of your comments last week. Although naturally jealous of Robert's knowledge and writing abilities, I thought that it would be in the best interest of this publication and our readers if Robert continued writing (or at least contributing to) DistroWatch Weekly regularly.
I spoke to Robert this morning and the good news is that he agreed! Somewhat surprised, he didn't have enough time to write today's issue, but you can look forward to more great analyses, mini-reviews, and tips and tricks starting next week. If you have any requests to cover a particular issue or wish to express your opinion privately, feel free to send your email to robert (at) distrowatch.com.
And while on the subject of maintaining DistroWatch during my absence, I would like to express my gratitude to Dr Zhu from Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing who was maintaining the news section for the past two weeks. Although suffering from the caprice of the Great Firewall of China, which overzealously (and often incorrectly) identifies any forbidden web sites, you have to agree that Dr Zhu has done a great job keeping you informed about the latest BSD and Linux distribution releases. Well done!
New distributions addition
- PC-BSD. PC-BSD has as its goals to be an easy-to-install-and-use desktop operating system, based on FreeBSD. To accomplish this, it currently has a graphical installation, which will enable even UNIX novices to easily install and get it running. It will also come with KDE pre-built, so that the desktop can be used immediately. Currently in development is a graphical software installation program, which will make installing pre-built software as easy as other popular operating systems.
New on the waiting list
- HostGIS Linux. HostGIS Linux is a GNU/Linux distribution specifically made for handling GIS information. HostGIS Linux saves hours or days of installing MapServer and its components, and will have you serving GIS maps in minutes. Being a Linux, HostGIS Linux is of course completely open source and may be downloaded, modified, and redistributed free of charge.
- ISlack. ISlack is a Linux distribution based on Slackware Linux. The goal of ISlacks is to build a secure system with no servers and closed ports and services. Several programs for penetration testing are included.
- KnoMAX. KnoMAX is a KNOPPIX-based live CD designed for users who want to approach the Linux operating system without installing it on their hard disks. The main Linux features are left untouched while KnoMAX differs from the other distribution in that it uses the Italian language and Italian keyboard by default. KnoMAX can be used as a Linux operating system, for data retrieval from other machines, or for a safe Internet access.
- Network Security Toolkit. Network Security Toolkit (NST) is a bootable live CD based on Fedora Core. The toolkit was designed to provide easy access to best-of-breed open source network security applications and should run on most x86 platforms. The main intent of developing this toolkit was to provide the network security administrator with a comprehensive set of open source network security tools. What we find rather fascinating with NST is that we can transform most x86 systems (Pentium II and above) into a system designed for network traffic analysis, intrusion detection, network packet generation, wireless network monitoring, a virtual system service server, or a sophisticated network/host scanner.
- pfSense. pfSense is a m0n0wall-derived operating system platform with radically different goals such as using Packet Filter, FreeBSD's (or DragonFly BSD when ALTQ and CARP is finished) ALTQ for excellent packet queuing, and an integrated package management system for extending the environment with new features. As with the software itself, this website is still a work in progress, but we're actively working on improving and completing it.
- PosityLinux. PosityLinux is a new GNOME-centric, Spanish live CD based on Debian GNU/Linux.
- Slamd64. As the name suggests, Slamd64 is an unofficial port of Slackware Linux to the AMD64 processors. The first release candidate of Slamd64 10.1 is now available for download and testing.
- Ufficio Zero. Ufficio Zero is a new, beginner-friendly Linux live CD based on Arch Linux. It is completely translated and customised for Italian users with the pre-installed software targeting office environments.
DistroWatch database summary
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 399
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 11
- Number of discontinued distributions: 49
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 110
That's all for today. See you all next week!
1 • Linspire for free (by elv on 2005-04-25 10:22:24 GMT from Iceland) |
Coupon Linspire4RA expired on Apr 24, 2005 08:38 AM PST and is no longer valid
Just so you know
2 • Bittorrent link for slax (by Rich at 2005-04-25 10:27:43 GMT from United States)
Slax' Bit torrent link goes to the page for Momonga. Thought you'd like to know. Although I connected to the torrent from Slax site's own download page
3 • PC-BSD (by reddazz on 2005-04-25 10:29:46 GMT from United Kingdom)
Very interesting project. Hope it gives Linux distros some competition, which is good for helping opensource operating systems become more innovative.
4 • Damn Small Linux review in newsforge (by pp on 2005-04-25 10:34:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
5 • SUSE "Review" (by Anonymous on 2005-04-25 11:01:17 GMT from Germany)
That newest entry about SUSE in the review box is no review but an uninformed flame.
6 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2005-04-25 13:05:11 GMT from Sweden)
"Designed as an "easy-to-install-and-use operating system", this FreeBSD-based system comes with a graphical installer and automatic hardware detection - features that have never been seen in the BSD world!"
hmm... i think i have seen this somewhere... but that wasn't on a pc though...
7 • RE: SUSE "Review" (by SFN on 2005-04-25 13:45:54 GMT from United States)
Well, it IS a review. Unfortunately, it appears to have been written by someone who lacks the ability to read. He refers to himself as an "ignorant user" but, as is the case with most people who refer to themselves in derogatory terms when in the presence of computers, he simply doesn't pay attention.
Although I don't use SuSE anymore, I spent quite a bit of time using it in the past year and one of the very good things you can say for SuSE is that it is well-documented.
One could make the arguement that the average person doesn't want to read anything in order to make their computer work. While true, that's just one of the many things wrong with the average person.
Anybody else having a problem editing comments as they type? A couple of times now, I hit backspace and end up deleting characters a couple of lines above where my cursor is.
Or could it be that I'm just an "ignorant user"?
8 • staff (by x on 2005-04-25 14:18:00 GMT from United States)
Many thanks to Dr.Zhu and Robert Storey for their contributions. I am looking forward to reading more of Roberts submissions. However, I hope this does not mean that you will cease writing, Distrowatch has a 'flavor' that I would hate to see fade away. I am sure the permanent addition of Robert will benefit all of us and allow you some much needed free time. Keep up the good work.
9 • No subject (by FlS on 2005-04-25 14:22:23 GMT from Belgium)
Nice to hear Robert is joining the team.
You're both excellent (weekly) news-writers!
10 • PC-BSD : the FUD factor (by Andrew on 2005-04-25 16:35:21 GMT from Canada)
On PC-BSD website, I've read another rehash of the same old anti-linux FUD :
"Linux is not an OS in the true sense of the word, but rather a kernel with a collection of various packages and software, combined to form distributions"
"FreeBSD on the other hand is a proven platform that is created to be a complete UNIX based operating system at its core."
Apart from the fact that the linux kernel is maintained by an individual, can somebody explain to me how FreeBSD is more complete than Debian or Gentoo for instance ? What PC-BSD calls a FAQ is a list of shortcomings that only apply to the distributions maintained by a small crew.
11 • Welcome, Robert (by DaveW on 2005-04-25 17:02:32 GMT from United States)
Robert Storey's writing was much enjoyed, and I look forward to seeing more (as well as more of Ladislav's). There have been a number of Tips columns that are worth referring back to. Any chance they could be archived in a special section to make browsing easier? I realize one could do a search, but if you just want to see what you might have missed or forgot, it's easier to just click on a section link.
In any case DW just keeps getting better and more essential, even when we thought it was about as good as it could get. Congratulations to all involved.
12 • Forgot to say.... (by DaveW on 2005-04-25 17:04:40 GMT from United States)
In the comment above on Robert Storey, I meant to suggest that it would be cool if each Tip could have a comment section. Then readers could share experiences trying to use the tips, and maybe expand their usefulness or better approaches they've discovered.
13 • Robert Storey (by macondo on 2005-04-25 17:25:49 GMT from Panama)
I've learned most of what i know about Debian from Mr Storey, he has a way of instructing that really does the job. I predict your readership will increase. Those tips are invaluable.
14 • website (by terry l on 2005-04-25 17:26:15 GMT from Ireland)
I look up your website every day and want you to know it is greatly appreaciated. Keep up the good work!!
15 • pfSense link broken (by fixitplease on 2005-04-25 17:33:32 GMT from United States)
16 • new ppc Live CD (by anonymous on 2005-04-25 18:17:19 GMT from Greece)
Has anyone tried this one? Will it work on my ibook? Has it been submited in distrowatch?
17 • Robert (by jared on 2005-04-25 18:41:43 GMT from United States)
I love Roberts tips and tricks too.
I would also like to it archived with a special search.
18 • site needs something else (by Paul H at 2005-04-25 18:56:00 GMT from United States)
i feel / think that distrowatch having its own forum would be a good way for linux and bsd users to become more active and able to communiate. that is if only u have the HDD space and bandwidth
19 • Robert Storey & PC-BSD (by gnobian_ken00bie on 2005-04-25 19:50:05 GMT from United States)
First, great news about Robert writing more regularly. Congrats, Robert. And Lad, I hope you'll continue offerring your interesting opinions and commentary alongside Robert's informative tips. That will make a great mix.
(As an aside, Robert, I hope you've been spared more kidney stones. I've had several but the combination of Allopurinol and Urocit-K with an oxalate restrcted diet seems to have prevented more.)
Second, a comment on PC-BSD: learning a BSD has been and remains on my todo list. Not inimtiated, just wanting to master more of GNU/Linux first. PC-DOS might have made me reconsider that with its easy entry, but the anti-Linux FUD just turned my stomach. Do they have Steve Ballmer writing for them? This is ridiculous.
Note that a M$ advocate could just as easily say that the BSDs aren't "true" operating systems, because the GUI isn't integrated. But we know better, don't we? Part of the beauty of UNIX is the modularity. The fact that it's possible to mix and match kernels and userlands is a reflection of that.
20 • PCBSD (by squiffles on 2005-04-25 22:28:21 GMT from United States)
I think this looks really excellent and want to run it on my laptop, I hope the booting AMD 64 issues with ACPI and laptops is resolved soon because this looks like an excellent BSD to use.
21 • PC-BSD: Software must be available, and easily installed. (by 808 on 2005-04-25 22:36:47 GMT from United States)
["One of the biggest headaches for casual users and even more skilled technicians is the challenge of adding software to their *nix system. On Linux this process can be a nightmare, since every distro seems to be running different versions required libraries, and as software developers have found, it is near impossible to write software which supports all of them. FreeBSD has one of the best port systems in the world, and while powerful, it still is not user-friendly enough for the huge majority of desktop users. To accomplish the goal of easily installable software, we feel that a program must be created that allows users to download and install software, all within a GUI interface, and with no knowledge of the system, dependencies, required libraries, etc. This has been one of the factors that has made systems such as Windows® and even the Macintosh® operating systems so user-friendly in the past, but for some reason the various Linux / UNIX distributions can't seem to find a way to duplicate it. PC-BSD hopes to solve this problem, by building software which can be used to package, install, and remove software in this method."]
I totally agree with what they say. It has to be like that, but too bad Linux developers fail to see such a vision.
22 • GNU/Linux has an easy base... (by r_a_trip on 2005-04-25 23:13:40 GMT from Netherlands)
To accomplish the goal of easily installable software, we feel that a program must be created that allows users to download and install software, all within a GUI interface, and with no knowledge of the system, dependencies, required libraries, etc.This has been one of the factors that has made systems such as Windows® and even the Macintosh® operating systems so user-friendly in the past, but for some reason the various Linux / UNIX distributions can't seem to find a way to duplicate it.
Debian and offspring with Apt/Synaptic. Nuff said...
23 • Re: GNU/Linux has an easy base (by 808 on 2005-04-25 23:18:44 GMT from United States)
Apt/Synaptic for SOME software. Plus, you need to wait for new releases to be packaged for EACH distro. Redudancy only derails further advancements.
24 • linspire five-0 (by anonymous on 2005-04-25 23:20:30 GMT from United States)
Coupon Linspire4RA expired on Apr 24, 2005 08:38 AM PST and is no longer valid.
25 • linspire (by anonymous on 2005-04-25 23:29:16 GMT from United States)
I have a torrent for linspire if anyone's is interested. but I don't have a place to host it. if someone wants it, please provide a username and password to a folder where I can upload it.
26 • PCBSD FUD (by gnobian_ken00bie on 2005-04-26 00:03:38 GMT from United States)
The only way one could honestly agree with the passage quoted by 808 would be if one's only experience with GNU/Linux were Slackware and one had never heard of - or by warned away from - tools like swaret or slapt-get. (This is not Slackware bashing. Die-hard Slackers seem to eschew such tools as straitjackets that limit their control. More power to them.)
Or maybe someone acquainted only with rpm-based distros, though from what their users tell me, tools like urpmi, yum, and up2date have come a long way.
Certainly, no one who'd used a modern Debian-based distro could agree with it. My mother has never had her pwd in /usr/lib or edited a config file, but she has had no problem whatsoever using Synaptic to get Abiword when she heard it loaded faster than OOo and could handle Word docs from work or Frozen Bubble when she saw it and it looked like fun. She finds it easy to browse for things she wouldn't have even thought to look for as well. And since she gave up Windows, she doesn't get adware or viruses or find her system crashed because a new program replaced a .dll with another of the same name but a different function. Unfavorably comparing software installation on GNU/Linux with that in Windows is pathetic and the PCBSD folks ought to be ashamed.
I see 808 has backpedaled now - conceding Apt/Synaptic after saying he "totally" agreed with the quote - then trying to preserve some shadow of the position with these red-herrings:
So Synaptic is good for "SOME" software? Whereas FreeBSD ports has everything? Get real. No package management system has every conceivable item of software. And you have to wait for new releases to be packaged for your distro. Well, yes of course. And new releases don't need to be packaged for FreeBSD? I think you need to wipe the FUD from your face.
There are good arguments for choosing FreeBSD or another of the BSDs over GNU/Linux in certain situations. Most particularly high-load servers, old or exotic hardware (NetBSD), or situations where security is absolutely critical (OpenBSD). although GNU/Linux can perform quite adequately in many of those situations. And the BSDs are quite capable of being used on the desktop too. I'm not disputing that. But bashing GNU/Linux with patently false claims makes PCBSD look petty and feeble.
27 • Re:PC-BSD : the FUD factor (by Andrew on 2005-04-25 16:35:21 GMT from Canada) (by Anonymous on 2005-04-26 00:33:59 GMT from United States)
"Apart from the fact that the linux kernel is maintained by an individual, can somebody explain to me how FreeBSD is more complete than Debian or Gentoo for instance ? What PC-BSD calls a FAQ is a list of shortcomings that only apply to the distributions maintained by a small crew."
It basically works like this:
1) Linux and crew develop the Kernel
2) GNU/FSF devleop the tools
3) Various distributions combine them to make a distribtuion.
The BSD folks make the kernel and the tools.
Its just a different philophsy.
28 • re: swaret (by McMuffin on 2005-04-26 00:41:10 GMT from Sweden)
hmm... 1.5 years i do update my system with swaret and it works flawless for me... i never had any issues, sorry but i can't say that 'bout apt-get. no bashing, just personal experience...
die-hard slackers?... sure, i can compile everything by myself, ok sometimes i do that, but i really need to live my life as well ;)
29 • Some FUD and Truth (by Anonymous on 2005-04-26 00:43:22 GMT from United States)
"There are good arguments for choosing FreeBSD or another of the BSDs over GNU/Linux in certain situations. Most particularly high-load servers, old or exotic hardware (NetBSD), or situations where security is absolutely critical (OpenBSD). although GNU/Linux can perform quite adequately in many of those situations. And the BSDs are quite capable of being used on the desktop too. I'm not disputing that. But bashing GNU/Linux with patently false claims makes PCBSD look petty and feeble."
Acutally Open and Net support some of the latest and greatest hardware. And yes, Net can power my toaster, I think. I will let you all know when I get my new BSD totaster working. :-)
And yes, Linux can preform on the same grounds as *BSD.
Now reviewing some of the comments, there is some truth and some FUD in some of the comments on their web pages. Sometimes package management can be a hassel for some distributions (smaller distros). Debian and Slack do quite well on the upgrade aspect. But I think that some of the comments are overly ciritical of some of the issues. Its all based on package management and user skill, is what it boils down too.
Don't take this as a troll. Its based on some of my experiences.
Just my humbile opinion.
30 • RE: PC-BSD (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-04-26 00:51:54 GMT from Italy)
"Have you ever wondered why there is no easy-to-install desktop BSD operating system with automatic hardware detection and setup?"
Very much so. I always wondered why nobody had done to BSD what Libranet did to Debian.
Except for their linux criticism, they are extremely welcome.
31 • FUD factor (by gnobian-ken00bie on 2005-04-26 00:55:17 GMT from United States)
It's a different development model, certainly. Yes. Whether they can even be compared it another matter. One can certainly question whether the BSD development model is scalable to produce a distribution the size of Debian. One may equal question whether the Debian model is scalable to produce timely releases while supporting so many packages and arches. The evidence suggests otherwise.
The unfied base (kernel, toolchain, and other basics) faster development and easier QA for stability and security. But as the FreeBSD handbook points out:
"...there is only so much one can do before needing to install an additional third-party application to get real work done..." and later, "...while FreeBSD releases advisories for the base system, doing so for every third party utility is beyond the FreeBSD Project's capability." Of course, portaudit ameliorates some of the problem, but the whole unified development model is no panacea.
(Note that one can achieve similar results by running Debian stable with extensive use of backports. But that's not ideal either.)
You won't catch me bashing either BSD or GNU/Linux. If it's UNIX and it's Free (as in speech), it's A Good Thing.
32 • To anon penguin in Italy (by gnobian-ken00bie on 2005-04-26 00:59:39 GMT from United States)
And unlike Libranet (but like Ubuntu) it's free (as in beer) and unlike MEPIS (but like Ubuntu) its additional tools are Free (as in speech). So overall, this looks quite promising.
I just wish they didn't feel the need to resort to the rhetoric.
33 • one more thing (by gnobian-ken00bie on 2005-04-26 01:11:52 GMT from United States)
Does/will PCBSD have scripts to run portaudit automatically for the user?
34 • To gnobian-ken00bie (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-04-26 01:30:21 GMT from Italy)
"And unlike Libranet (but like Ubuntu) it's free (as in beer)"
Fair enough. I meant only that, to my knowledge, Libranet was the first one to make Debian user-friendly, at times when Debian Proper was far from user-friendly.
In any case Libranet has (almost?) always made their previous version a free download.
And, being Libranet 100/% Debian compatible, you install it once and you keep it up to date for years.
35 • swaret, truth, and FUD (by gnobian-ken00bie on 2005-04-26 01:34:49 GMT from United States)
If I used Slack as my primary distro, I'm sure I'd use something like swaret too! For me, Slack is more a learning tool, like LFS, which I've yet to take on. (But then, I'm sure there are people who use LFS as their desktop or even on production machines.)
And no, recounting bad experiences with apt-get isn't trolling in my book. Different distros/OSs are often often more suitable for some hardware, some applications, and some temperaments than others. None is perfect for all. And we can all learn from one another's experiences.
As for the truth and FUD: yes, I'd agree the problems described on the PCBSD site have been true in the past and for some distros, so to that very limited extent there's truth to it. It is only the framing such criticisms in such global terms which I most earnestly reject.
And I want to clarify: specifying contexts in which a BSD may be particularly advantaged, e.g. older and exotic hardware, was in no way intended to suggest that more current hardware isn't supported. I realize that sometimes the anti-BSD FUD makes it out as if it's impossible to get drivers for any recent machines and I'm sorry if I seemed to be suggesting that.
36 • Libranet (by gnobian-ken00bie on 2005-04-26 01:40:36 GMT from United States)
I wasn't aware that Libranet was the first. Being a relative n00b still, I wasn't acquainted with that bit of history. Nor of the free download of the previous versions. Thanks for the info!
37 • pcbsd (by AQ on 2005-04-26 01:40:40 GMT from United States)
I've got to say that Auto-package will likely take care of that type of comparison. Not that I'm a major proponent of autopackage, but I really doubt it will be stopped or die out. There is a recent Lugradio with one of the people developing it who also works at Codeweavers.
I like BSD, though my computer runs linux and my preference is with the GNU GPL. I will find time to play with pcbsd when it hits 1.0.
38 • FreeBSD (by gnobian-ken00bie on 2005-04-26 01:46:19 GMT from United States)
Has anyone tried FREESBIE? I have to say, there's something cool about any distro that calls XFCE4 a "heavy" desktop!
39 • PCBSD (by AQ on 2005-04-26 02:30:25 GMT from United States)
"PC-BSD License Info
All software custom developed for PC-BSD is released under the GNU General Public License, and may be downloaded from sourceforge.net.
The OS portion of the software developed by the FreeBSD team is released under the BSD License, and may be obtained from www.freebsd.org."
After writing my last comment I surfed around the pcbsd site and found this licensing bombshell.
Hmm... maybe this is a BSD I can support afterall.
40 • Ignorance about Freedom (by PCBSD on 2005-04-26 03:26:10 GMT from Singapore)
BSD license does not attact many developers like GPL. Because, when developers contribute to the community, they like to be recognized and when their work is developed further and they like to have it back to the community. This creates a lot of parrellel distributions and the best distrbutions wins & being recognised. This is kind of distribution competion not going to happen in BSD.
So, GPL2 license is good for evolution of the the Free Operating systems.
With all the completeness of core & apps, taking Freebsd is still an uphill task. A simple example: I tried to install the Freebsd and create a dialup connection it is not working. With all the RTFM, tips here and there still I couldn't figure what went to wrong. With Linux, I can use pppconfig, or wvdial utilities and create the connection immediately instead of handcoding the config files in Freebsd.
Now, it is time for Freebsd to learn from Linux Live-cd distributions.
I guess, PC-BSD will be active and competitive to other live-cd distributions.
41 • Re: PC-BSD : the FUD factor (by Ariszló on 2005-04-26 07:09:13 GMT from Hungary)
"Blame" Richard M. Stallman and GNU for that "FUD":
42 • SLAX (by Mr X on 2005-04-26 07:11:31 GMT from Australia)
The SLAX guy must get a life
Can't handle his bugs and puts out a new version out every 2 days.... DUH
43 • RMS & PCBSD FUD (by gnobian-ken00bie on 2005-04-26 08:04:12 GMT from United States)
Stallman and the PCBSD FAQ are most assuredly NOT asserting the same thing, unless the PCBSD FAQ ia also guilty of some equivocal use of "Linux" in their arguments. Where the FAQ says, "Linux is not an OS in the true sense of the word, but rather a kernel with a collection of various packages and software," the description in the second clause is of what some call "Linux" and what RMS would have us call "GNU/Linux".
"Linux", in the use to which RMS would restrict the term - that is, the kernel - is not an "operating system" as he would have us use that term. But others would disagree and some dictionary definitions of "operating system" would support them in that - that is, would support them in calling the kernel by itself an "operating system".
The PCBSD is not denying, pace RMS, that the kernel alone constitutes an operating system, although their use of "Linux" would agree with such a position. Rather, they are making a broader claim: that the hybrid, which RMS and Debian call "GNU/Linux" and Torvalds and RedHat call "Linux", is not an operating system either, not "in the true sense of the word" at least.
(For more on this hedge http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman )
While there may be arguments to support either side of whether or not to call a kernel alone an "operating system", I know of no dictionary definition nor of any precedent in common usage to claim that the word "operating system" is limited to systems built as a single piece. But if that's not the basis for the "true sense of the word" remark, there's no indication what the basis would be.
(Personally, I don't like the latent Platonism in the presuppositions of some advocates on both sides of the "Linux" vs. "GNU/Linux" debate - and perhaps there's also some Platonism here: the PCBSD have somehow gleaned the essence, the Platonic Form of operating systems. I'm enough of a Wittgensteinian that I'll have none of that. Words are tools and "GNU/Linux" is a tool that serves two functions. It describes and it informs or reminds people of the contribution of the FSF. "Linux" alone will do the first job just as well under present circumstances, but it won't do the second.)
44 • About the Niktarix LiveCD (by Jack Malmostoso on 2005-04-26 08:32:58 GMT from Switzerland)
It does not boot on my iBook G4. I guess it only works on Pegasos as for now.
45 • PCBSD (by McMuffin on 2005-04-26 11:10:27 GMT from Sweden)
Has anybody here already tried to install it, if yes than what's the first impressions?
46 • re: FREESBIE (by McMuffin on 2005-04-26 11:29:21 GMT from Sweden)
yeah, i did... it was quite a long time ago, so i don't remember much 'bout my impressions, sorry. so they call xfce a heavy desktop?... i can only say that slack current + xfce compiled on the box from os-cillation.com installers is fast as hell for me. i really don't need faster than that, prolly noone does really...
47 • FREESBIE (by gnobian-ken00bie on 2005-04-26 11:46:47 GMT from United States)
Perhaps running a P1 might call for something lighter. Or running an OS inside of an emulator like Bochs. But yeah. I checked and the phrase was "heavy environment" and opposed to Fluxbox, which was the "light environment". http://www.freesbie.org/doc/1.1/manual/envsel.png
This cracked me up:
"The fluxbox environment is a light environment that could be useful if you have not-so-recent hardware or if you like a minimal desktop :)
The xfce environment is a complete Desktop Environment full of icons, bells, whistles and beautiful women."
48 • re: FREESBIE (by McMuffin on 2005-04-26 11:58:45 GMT from Sweden)
bells, whistles and beautiful women... that's probably why it's my favorite, lol...
49 • To McMuffin . (re: PCBSD ) (by wayne040576 on 2005-04-26 12:26:47 GMT from United Kingdom)
"Has anybody here already tried to install it, if yes than what's the first impressions?"
I downloaded the iso last night. I didn't have time to mess around with it so I ran it under qemu from within Kanotix. It boots up into a fluxbox desktop from which I was able to access the installer. The installer seems ok but I didn't complete it. I've found the standard FreeBSD installer to be easy enough to follow and have used it on test machines every now and then. But I'm interested in seeing how they handle packageports installation on PCBSD as I reckon that would be a lot harder for a new user to use than the actual installer. From reading their site, they are still working on this so I am assuming that currently you have to handle the ports collection the same way as Free BSD? I think they may do somthing like vida's graphic interface for Gentoo portage.
50 • DWW: why not split tips and tricks (by Leo on 2005-04-26 12:35:08 GMT from United States)
IMHO, Ladislav's and Robert's are both excellent (and similar if you ask me). But I wouldn't like to miss Lad's writing.
What people seem to have enjoyed particularly is the Tips and Tricks section by Robert.
I'd suggest to split the tips and tricks from DW Weekly. Ladislav keeps writing DWW. Gives a summary of the week, etc. He is in the best porition to do this.
And Robert takes over a periodic (maybe weekly) Tips and Tricks. This would also make it easier to search for older tips and tricks. Old material could be added to the section.
Also, DWW can be keep being published Mondays, but Tips and Tricks some other day,. say Fridays, or Wednesdays. To keep us, DW hooligans, entertained :-)
51 • re: PCBSD (by McMuffin on 2005-04-26 12:43:58 GMT from Sweden)
thanks for reply! i gonna give PCBSD a try this evening... will post i i'll find something interesting.
52 • PC-BSD has caught my attention. (by Dhav211 on 2005-04-26 21:04:57 GMT from United States)
I really hope they continue on this project and release a stable (non-beta) soon. In the mean time I'm waiting for a torrent to be released, whenever I try to download by HTTP my download always corrupts due to my unpredictable connection.
I think the PC-BSD team should use a different style of forums, I really don't like that source-forge forum system they are using. I'd suggest them to use phpBB, or at least PunBB.
Anyways, I'm hoping for PC-BSD to make it on Distrowatch's Top 100 soon, if it's not already. I'm interested in that project.
53 • PC-BSD - At last! What a great project! (by Gnobuddy on 2005-04-27 23:07:56 GMT from United States)
I began messing around with FreeBSD about four or five years ago, about the same time I started dabbling with Linux. I very quickly grew to like many things about FreeBSD - it ran faster than Linux on the same hardware, bootup and shutdown times were much shorter, there was no dependency hell, and no incompatible RPM versions to deal with, and FreeBSD gave me a complete working system, not just a kernel and some poorly integrated and sometimes buggy tools flying in loose formation like some of the Linux distros of the time.
At the same time, some things about FreeBSD were such a royal PITA to a newbie like me. Configuring X by hand wasn't so bad, but having to recompile the kernel just to get sound working was a surprise, and I *never* succeeded in getting printing to work - there was no Kcontrol -> Kprinter back then to make it easy!
As Linux distros got better and more user-friendly, while FreeBSD remained very much as it had been, I eventually settled on Linux rather than FreeBSD, and over the years found my way to Gentoo, which avoids the software installation hassles of RPM based systems by mimicking FreeBSD's own ports system. But I often wished for a FreeBSD based system as easy to use as, say, Mepis Linux.
So I'm happy to hear of the PC-BSD project, and wish it every success. Apple has already shown that a decent desktop system can be built on FreeBSD. PC-BSD, with the advantage over Apple's proprietary OS that the rapid evolution of open source software brings, might easily become better than OS X in all the ways most important to me. I wish PC-BSD every success, and look forward to its future.
54 • SLAX 5.0.0 -> SLAX 5.0.1 -> SLAX 5.0.2 -> SLAX 5.0.3 -> SLAX 5.0.4, ... (by Mr Y on 2005-04-28 03:00:03 GMT from United States)
To Mr. X,
I agree with you, but on behalf of SLAX developer, Tomas, he works very hard to make SLAX the way we like it. He acknowledges all of the bugs and works to fix them. In the Slax webpage, the contact section you write what is not working and he'll contact you and tell you how to fix the problem momentarily and then he checks and modifies the linux-live scripts to correct the problem(s).
Previous version of Slax was running kernel 2.4.28pre4, and the move to kernel 188.8.131.52 in the form of live cd was a hard one. Also ovlfs to unionfs and squashfs to make the directories writeable.
I personally like SLAX very much even despite these bugs. Hopefully, the bugs will become less and SLAX runs the computers like it normally does, GREAT!!!!
SLAX, even with some bugs still ROCKS and flatly beats out other live cd's.
Favorite Distros of mine,
Fedora Core 3, SLAX, Kanotix, Knoppix, SystemRescueCD, FreesBIE, and now deceased distribution(Mandrake -> Mandriva)
Regards to all
55 • "linspire (by anonymous)" (by Ric de France on 2005-04-28 13:23:21 GMT from Australia)
I have a torrent for linspire if anyone's is interested. but I don't have a place to host it. if someone wants it, please provide a username and password to a folder where I can upload it.
Have you seen this site?
56 • BSD vs Linux (by relativ6 on 2005-04-29 15:16:30 GMT from United States)
To all who are interested, read this about the differences between these 2 OS's.
The PCBSD guys are trying to do something new and interesting. I think the intentions of the author at PCBSD's website are being misunderstood. They don't want to bash Linux, they are trying to explain why they think their work is important. FreeBSD is a different animal... so much so that they can barely be compared. So let's lighten up on the PCBSD folks and see what the offering looks like after it's out of beta.
57 • GNU/Linux vs PCBSD (by gnobian_ken00bie on 2005-04-29 16:44:43 GMT from United States)
With all due respect, I'd read that webpage some time ago (I actually agree with some amount of it) and am fairly well acquainted with the history of various Unix operating systems, free and non-free. And what the PCBSD people are doing isn't all that particularly new nor all that interesting, though it will certainly be A Good Thing to Have a BSD with the ease of use that many GNU/Linux distros have reached.
And really, running FreeBSD on a desktop with KDE, the differences are negligible, as I recall the author of the website you posted points out. Administrating FreeBSD on a server, yes, there are significant differences. As a desktop, hardly at all.
To suggest that the PCBSD folks aren't trying to bash Linux is simply ludicrous. Did you read the thing? And it is hardly an edifying "explanation" of the significance of one's project to attack another, particular when the attack is loaded with misrepresentations. You won't encounter that sort of nonsense on the FreeBSD website. And it's quite unnecessary, which is why it's so disheartening.
58 • P.C. BSD- B.S. (by Robzilla-L.A. on 2005-04-29 16:47:33 GMT from United States)
My opinion, well if it worked on my system I could give an opinion. It would not install and froze soon after boot up. All there talk about gui and easy instalation. Great idea if it worked. I have a P-4 i386 running at 512mb ram and a 60 gig harddrive. I partitioned the drive with ext. 2 partitions, formated them and set them up for the bsd to install. Nothing. I tried a few times. Even downloaded another iso from another mirror. Same problem. I have had issues with installing Linux, Like Gentoo but I knew it was going to be difficult. All of the easy to install Linux distros that I have installed-installed easily!!
What is PCBSD talking about when it comes to packages?? All of the Debian based distros have to be the easiest to upgrade and obtain new software. It is easier than windows!!! Either check and mark install in Synaptic or type apt-get install (package) and it is installed and placed in the menu in the right place. Windows doesn't organize a new software program like Linux!! Using Vlapt in Vector Linux makes package management in Slackware easy. Linux in general needs to coordinate efforts more in terms of new packages and distros but that is not a flaw just a decision that may someday be made. And what about choice? I did not see a lot of choice of programs or software on pcbsd. Aren't they running Linux programs on a Unix platform??
PCBSD stop the BS and make a product that works and gets a huge following of linux users and then you can say what you want for now your words are just that, words with no substance or meaning. BSD has potential and it would be great if there were a few distros that made instalation easy but the whole open source movement is based on teamwork cooperation and new ideas not bashing one distro or another or Linux or BSD. I hope that PCBSD does improve and I will try it but I hope they also have a little less of an air of superiority when for now on my box it won't even install!!
59 • a positive note! (by gnobian_ken00bie on 2005-04-29 16:49:36 GMT from United States)
The PCBSD site still has some remarks in their "overview/vision" section, but they removed the Linux bashing from the FAQ. I imagine the other is harder to edit, but I applaud the direction. This is a very positive thing for Free Software. Clearly, they've become aware of the problem and they're addressing it.
And i certainly won't hold grudges. We can all get overzealous about projects in which we take a great deal of pride.
60 • Installing software in PCBSD (by gnobian_ken00bie on 2005-04-29 21:39:39 GMT from United States)
Apparently, the way that PCBSD characterizes package management in Unix appears now, from reading the cursory description of their approach, not to be a result of wilful ignorance of things like apt-get and Synaptic, but rather an admittedly subjective idea that installing software in a more Windows-like way is "easier".
(To my view, this is a matter of experience. Once one gets used to the different way of working, it becomes much easier to use apt/dpkg - and I'd imagine ports or pkgsrc or portage - but it initially requires a different way of thinking.)
It appears that dependencies and conflicts will be avoided by installing each app in its own subdirectory under /usr/local. This seems similar to how /opt is meant to be handled in the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard. Interpreting FHS is a subject of holy wars, but I'm not certain this squares very well with it. Are apps that come with the distro also in /usr/local? And will upgrades affect that directory?
The other issue is that this is likely to unnecessarily consume disk space as many different apps may each carry with them similar or even identical libraries, installed multiple times. Not good.
Worse, one may find one's RAM filled with multiple versions of the same library if each library carries its libraries with it. Then one of the chief strengths of Unix over Windows, the ability to efficiently share libraries, is lost.
I hope I've misunderstood this. We shall see.
61 • correction (by gnobian_ken00bie on 2005-04-29 21:41:28 GMT from United States)
The second to last sentence ought to read, "...multiple versions of the same library if each application carries its libraries with it."
62 • Old hardware distributions (by Geert on 2005-05-01 16:14:18 GMT from United States)
One of the arguments for linux is that it runs on old hardware.
However, I can have Windows 2000 up on a 166 Mhz computer with ISA sound and 126 Mb ram. Windows 98 runs even fater. With a antivirus, an Opera (faster than fox) a feasible netbrowser.
All linux distributions I tested did not run at an acceptable speed.
Is it possible to have in your listings also a top 5 old hardware?
63 • distros for old hardware (by im-ka on 2005-05-01 16:55:25 GMT from Sweden)
basically, it depends on the desktop environment. some distros might be faster or slower, but generally it is gnome and kde that need fairly new hardware to run nice.
try something with a lightweigth desktop/window manager. vector for example. you can install a not-so-resource-hungry wm on any distro. xfce is a great example. if you need something lighter, try fluxbox or icewm
check out xwinman.org
64 • for Geert (by gnobian_ken00bie on 2005-05-02 01:27:16 GMT from United States)
How old were the distros you tried? I imagine they were more recent than Windows 2000 and certainly more recent than 98, since even Debian Woody is newer than those. Do you actually think it's reasonable to compare the performance of a new GNU/Linux to an old Windows on old hardware?
That said, the point about window managers is absolutely correct. New GNOME and especialy new KDE can be quite demanding on old hardware. But Xfce4, Fluxbox, Icewm, and a multitude of other lightweight window managers will do admirably.
Now, go try installing XP on that 166. Then try installing one of the many alternative window managers Microsoft provides for people with older hardware.
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