| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 132, 2 January 2006
Happy New Year and welcome to the first issue of DistroWatch Weekly in 2006. An unusually high number of interesting releases have kept us busy during the Christmas break. We'll take a quick look at FoX Desktop Linux 1, a nice-looking distribution designed in the style of Mac OS X. We'll also discuss the increased acceptance of non-free software packages in Mandriva, point you to a resource about updating a SUSE 10.0 installation, and reveal the processor architectures that will likely see full support in Debian "etch". A quick tip to make it easier to switch between open applications on KDE and some end-of-year statistics complement the issue. Finally, our December 2005 donation goes to the Cacti project. Happy reading!
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
- Miscellaneous news: Christmas releases, Mandriva and Skype, SUSE's YOU, Debian shelves architectures
- Tips and tricks: Switch between open applications with Komposé
- First Looks: FoX Desktop Linux 1
- Donations: Cacti receives US$375
- Statistics: The best distribution?
- New additions: NepaLinux
- New distributions: AlienDrive Live CD, BinToo GNU/Linux, Cosmogonia Linux, fNux GNU/Linux, FrogDev LiveCD, Hacao Linux, Phantomix Live CD, Trinity Rescue Kit
Christmas releases, Mandriva and Skype, SUSE's YOU, Debian shelves four architectures
Christmas was different last year. While previously most distribution maintainers had a healthy habit of taking a break during the festive season, the number of releases within the last few days of 2005 was astonishingly high. Granted, some of them came from countries where Christmas is not widely celebrated (e.g. ASP Linux in Russia, Pardus Linux in Turkey), but several distributions developed in Europe and Americas also produced new releases. In fact, one of the best-known Linux companies, Mandriva Linux, released a new set of test ISO images right on Boxing Day! For some reason, BSD projects were especially busy, with a major new version by NetBSD released just before Christmas, but MirOS, DragonFly BSD, FreeSBIE and m0n0wall all put out new ISO images last week. Is this never-stopping work a sign of increasing competition among Linux distributions and other free operating systems? Whatever the reason, it seems that we can look forward to a very busy 2006 here at DistroWatch! Hope you can join in the fun!
* * * * *
In a pre-Christmas interview with Yahoo France, François Bancilhon, the Mandriva CEO, defended his company's decision to mix free and non-free software in the commercial editions of Mandriva Linux. That's what the market dictates, he claimed, and that's what he believes is the best for the users. The commercial editions have been shipping with Acrobat Reader, Flash, Java, RealPlayer and proprietary graphics drivers for some time now, but the recent addition of Skype for Internet telephony is a new application. The CEO also talked about the acquisition of Conectiva, the company's current financial status, and breakdown of revenue by geographical regions. He considers China and Russia as the most important Linux markets of the future, perhaps hinting at a potential future acquisition or two in those countries. Several big domestic contracts that the company received recently should assure a healthy growth of Mandriva for some time to come. The full interview (in French) is available here.
In recent issues of DistroWatch Weekly we talked a bit about keeping your distribution up-to-date with new packages. The users of SUSE Linux have had this task simplified considerably since the launch of openSUSE and the updates can now be installed from within YOU (YaST Online Update). Although YOU was always a useful utility to perform package management tasks on SUSE, its ability to add third-party repositories used to be limited (and poorly documented), so many users preferred APT over YOU. Luckily, this is now changing. If you don't know how to use YOU to update your SUSE installation, this article at Novell's Cool Solutions explains the process in detail and provides screenshots to illustrate the steps.
The controversial decision to drop certain less popular processor architectures from the development of Debian's "etch", the project's next stable release, is now taking effect - after a two-month architecture re-qualification period. Despite the hard work of all involved, four architectures have not met the set criteria and are likely to be dropped from "etch"; these are: ARM, Motorola 68k, S/390 and Sun SPARC. The good news is that the increasingly popular AMD64 architecture will be included and officially supported for the first time - together with Alpha, HPPA, i386, IA64, Mips, Mipsel and PowerPC. See this mailing list post for further information. Debian GNU/Linux "etch" is currently scheduled for release in December 2006.
* * * * *
Switch between open applications with Komposé
If you are anything like me, you probably run several applications at the same time, spread across multiple virtual desktops. In my case, it's KMail, Liferea, Konsole, Firefox, Opera, Kate, gFTP, The GIMP, Amarok, RealPlayer and GKrellM that are permanently ready for input or display on one of the four KDE desktops. Although I have them organised in a logical manner, with each virtual desktop given a self-explanatory name, it sometimes may take several mouse clicks and serious concentration to bring up the correct application window with as few mouse clicks as possible.
Is there anything that can simplify the process of switching between different programs? Obviously there are other people who face a similar problem and that's why they invented Komposé. Komposé, which labels itself as a full-screen task manager for KDE, is a clever application that takes a screenshot of all your currently open windows, then groups them into one for easy access. Click on any of window presented and you'll be taken straight to that application. As always, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here you go:
KDE's Komposé allows you to access all open applications from one convenient place
(full image size: 558kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Once you start Komposé, it will take screenshots of all currently open windows on all of KDE's active virtual desktops, then place an icon into the system tray. You can activate it in one of three ways: 1) by clicking on the icon, 2) with a (configurable) shortcut key combination, and 3) by moving the mouse pointer to one of the corners of the screen (also configurable). Komposé can be further configured to group application windows in a certain order and to display them with various effects.
Once you start using Komposé, you'll wonder how you've ever managed without it. A great time-saving tool worthy of a presence on every KDE user's desktop.
|First looks: FoX Desktop Linux 1
First looks: FoX Desktop Linux 1
When you install dozens of Linux distributions every month, the first impressions of a product become very important. With FoX Desktop Linux 1, these were a lot better than those of most other new distributions I installed in recent months, so I decided to spend more time investigating this new product. The brainchild of Glauco Zuccaccia from the town of Montefiascone near Rome, Italy, FoX Linux has been in development for over a year. Although the English pages of the distribution's web site are somewhat less fluent, don't let that stop you from trying out FoX - it is certainly one of the more interesting efforts of the past year.
For system installation, the developers have wisely resisted the temptation to re-invent the wheel and stayed with the tried and tested Anaconda. Once installed and the system rebooted, the user will be presented with a good-looking KDE desktop, all dressed up in a Mac OS X-like desktop theme. This is what makes FoX Desktop an interesting alternative to the major Linux distributions - not only it is nicely designed, it also gives an impression that much thought has gone into creating a pleasant working environment for the user.
FoX Desktop 1 - a nice distribution with a Mac OS X-like KDE desktop theme
(full image size: 371kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
But that's not all. Upon investigating the KDE menus, I came across an item called "FoX Control Center". This is a collection of shortcuts to KDE modules or custom-made applications for administering various aspects of the computer. I was particularly intrigued by the tab called "Security Center", which offers a number of useful options, including password management, cryptography, firewall configuration, and authentication. All the buttons are accompanied by brief descriptions of their functions so even non-expert users can configure many important security aspects of their distribution with relative ease.
Also available in this application is a software management tab. FoX, derived from Fedora Core, uses the RPM package format with a difference - it employs a package management tool called "smart". This works both from the command line and from within a graphical application that can be invoked by pressing the Remove/Install button in the FoX Control Center (you might have to close the KSmartTray icon first if you get an error message). There is also an option to upgrade the entire system to a new version.
FoX Desktop 1 ships with an innovative control center
(full image size: 99kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
FoX Desktop Linux 1 is based on Fedora Core 4, but it includes many up-to-date packages. The Linux kernel is at version 2.6.14, and it also offers the very latest KDE 3.5.0 and related applications, such as amaroK 1.3.7 and K3b 0.12.10. Firefox 1.5 and OpenOffice.org 2.0.1 are also included. KDE, the only available desktop environment, has been slightly customised, while the Konqueror file manager comes with interesting default settings and several common folders in the user's home directory. It is clear that the developers have attempted to tailor the product to better suit recent Linux coverts and non-technical computer users.
So what's the business model? The freely downloadable edition of FoX Desktop Linux is labelled as "Lite", while a "Professional" edition is expected to be released shortly. Details of the differences between the two are a bit sketchy at this time, but it looks like the users of the Professional edition will be able to take advantage of extra drivers, add-ons and software via "PowerUP". FoX's PowerUP is a custom application that promises, for what it's worth, to "easily increase the power of your system". Details about the pricing have not yet been announced.
Overall, I found FoX Desktop Linux to be a very pleasant operating system with powerful security features, good custom system administration utilities, intuitive package management with "smart", and a great-looking desktop theme emulating the style of Mac OS X. Worth a try, especially if you are new to Linux or if you enjoy the look and feel of the Mac.
For more information about the FoX Desktop Linux please visit the distribution's web site at FoxLinux.org.
|Released During the Last Two Weeks
Debian GNU/Linux 3.1r1
The first security and critical bug-fix update to Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 "sarge" has been released: "This is the first update of Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 (codename 'sarge') which mainly adds security updates to the stable release, along with some corrections to serious problems. Those who frequently update from security.debian.org won't have to update many packages and most updates from security.debian.org are included in this update. Upgrading to this revision online is usually done by pointing the 'apt' package tool (see the sources.list(5) manual page) to one of Debian's many FTP or HTTP mirrors." As usual, this Debian update brings no major package upgrades, but it does incorporate security fixes into existing packages. See the release announcement for a detailed list of changes.
The developers of the BeleniX have released a new version of their OpenSolaris-based live CD: "A new version of the live CD has been released, containing several new software packages and enhancements. The highlights: Perl Curses hard disk installer ('hdinstaller' utility) that can dump the contents of the CD to a Solaris2 partition; enhancements to speed up the booting process; based on OpenSolaris build 27 with the new 128-bit ZFS filesystem; included a very minimal package file registry in /pkgs to support an ISO remastering tool; a missing driver in earlier releases caused Creative SB audio cards to not work, this has been fixed; included the 'ae' driver from Masayuki Murayama so the network now works in VMware...." Read the full release announcement on the distribution's home page.
NetBSD 3.0 has been released: "The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce that release 3.0 of the NetBSD operating system is now available. NetBSD is widely known as the most portable operating system in the world. It currently supports 57 different system architectures, all from a single source tree, and is always being ported to more. NetBSD 3.0 continues our long tradition with major improvements in stability, performance, networking, security, also includes support for two new platforms (iyonix and hp700), and many new peripherals." More details can be found in the release announcement.
Linux Netwosix 1.3
Linux Netwosix 1.3 has been released: "After the second Netwosix release of 2004, Netwosix 1.2, Linux Netwosix 1.3 continues its tradition of reliability, stability, and security. This is the present-release for Christmas 2005. Among the many program updates and distribution enhancements you will find a stable, complete and cleaned GNU/Linux box for your network security related jobs. Linux Netwosix 1.3 uses the latest 220.127.116.11 stable kernel bringing you advanced and reliable performance. We could consider the latest release like a good GNU/Linux alternative to *BSD secure systems." Read the release announcement for full details.
FoX Desktop 1
The first stable version of FoX Desktop Linux, a Fedora-based desktop-oriented distribution optimised for modern processors, is now available: "After a lot of work by the FoX Linux Team, FoX Desktop 1 has been released. This is the first stable version of FoX Desktop, based upon Fedora 4, recompiled for better optimization. Here are the best features of FoX Desktop 1: FoX Desktop repository for updates and software installation; a tool that finds updates; a new Fox Control Center completely redesigned for better usage; a better looking style; 'smart' is the default software manager; many users can use the system simultaneously through graphical interface." See the complete release announcement for additional information.
Kurumin Linux 5.1
An updated version of Kurumin Linux has been released. Version 5.1 is a minor update, except for the replacement of XFree86 with X.Org 6.8.2 with support for the 3D desktop; other changes include an update to KDE 3.4.2, addition of Nmap, amaroK media player and Synergy (for sharing a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers), update to OpenOffice.org 2.0.0 (Brazilian Portuguese edition), various bug fixes, script updates and application upgrades. The development of Kurumin Linux 6.0 has also started and the first alpha release should be available in early January. Find out more in the release announcement and changelog (both links in Portuguese).
The ever pretty Kurumin Linux desktop
(full image size: 1,080kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Pardus Linux 1.0
Following the release of a live CD edition earlier this year, the developers of Pardus Linux have now announced the first official release of the Pardus installation CD. Developed by the Uludağ Project in Turkey and designed for desktop use, the distribution is an interesting effort providing several custom utilities, including a nicely designed graphical installation program, a configuration manager, and a control panel. It uses a unique package management called "PiSi". Although developed primarily for Turkish speakers with several Turkish utilities and a dictionary, the system installer and user interface also support English. See the release announcement on the distribution's home page for further details about Pardus Linux.
MirOS is an operating system based on OpenBSD, but with a number of notable differences (listed at number one is "no hot-tempered head developer"). A new version has been released: "The MirOS Project is proud to announce the immediate release of MirOS XP, consisting of MirOS BSD #8 and the MirPorts Framework. This release is the first in the MIRBSD_8 branch and still highly experimental in some parts, especially ports, but has been thoroughly tested and deemed stable." For more information and a detailed list of changes please see the release announcement. A bootable ISO image of MirOS #8, inclusive of the sources and ports tree, is available for download via BitTorrent: MIR51223.ISO (image size: 354MB).
Puppy Linux 1.0.7
Puppy Linux 1.0.7 has been released. What's new? "The big news is the move from the Xvesa Kdrive X server to the sophisticated X.Org X server (6.8.1). However, Xvesa is retained as a fallback. The Xorg Video Wizard has been written from scratch to give a very pleasant experience setting up and modifying X.Org. Gaim is upgraded from version 1.0.2 to 1.5.0. Puppy has the full set of plugins supplied with the source package. There is now a very nice little program to graphically view the sizes of directories and files, called Gdmap. Xarchive archiver replaces guiTar, and there is a desktop icon called PupZip that is a drag-and-drop frontend to Xarchive...." More details can be found on the project's news page.
The first news item of 2006 is the announcement of the much awaited new release of KANOTIX, a live CD with a reputation for having the best hardware auto-detection and auto-configuration on the market. Released in the dying minutes of 2005, KANOTIX 2005-04 features: "kernel 18.104.22.168 with numerous patches; udev 0.079 and new hardware recognition (hwsetup-ng) - no kudzu based recognition anymore; new graphical installer with update feature; ACPI and DMA are activated by default; kernel optimised for modern CPUs - i586 and x86_64; X.Org 6.8.2 for full support of NVIDIA and ATI cards; KDE 3.4.3; Firefox 1.5; OpenOffice 2.0.0; Unionfs support; AMSN 0.95 instant messenger with video support...." Read the rest of the release announcement for further details.
m0n0wall, a tiny firewall and server based on FreeBSD, has been updated to version 1.21: "m0n0wall 1.21 released! m0n0wall 1.21 greatly improves the captive portal (better and more RADIUS options, file manager, stability), updates all components to the latest version and fixes several bugs." The release is based on 4.11-RELEASE-p13. Other changes include stability improvements to mini_httpd, captive portal RADIUS improvements, and various package updates (PHP 4.4.1, Dnsmasq 2.23). See the release announcement and changelog for a complete list of changes.
* * * * *
Development and unannounced releases
- Magic Linux 2.0-rc2, the release announcement (in Chinese)
- VectorLinux 5.1-rc1 (SOHO edition), the release announcement
- rPath 0.99.3, the release announcement
- Mediainlinux 4-rc5, the release notes
- NepaLinux 1.0-beta, the press release
- ASP Linux 11-beta, the release announcement (in Russian)
- Mandriva Linux 2006.1-0.3 (Cooker snapshot), the changelog
- RR64 Linux 3.0-beta0, the changelog
- STX Linux 1.0-rc3, the release announcement
- Guadalinex 3-rc1, the release announcement (in Spanish)
- Linux Netwosix 2.0-rc1, the release announcement
- Berry Linux 0.66
- Mutagenix 22.214.171.124-2
- DragonFly BSD 1.4-rc2
- Ututo 2006-test2
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Web Site News
December 2005 donation: the Cacti project receives US$375|
We are pleased to announce that, based on the reader feedback during the past few months, the recipient of our December 2005 donation is the Cacti project.
If you've never heard of Cacti, it is a web-based front-end to RRDTools (Round Robin Database Tool), a data storage and graphing utility. Cacti is written in PHP and uses MySQL to gather data, create graphs and populate them with data. It is often used for generating graphs about network traffic and performance monitoring, such as CPU or memory usage (see screenshots). Cacti is the brainchild of Ian Berry and the project has been around since 2001. Besides creating a great open source application, Cacti also deserves a donation "for having such a super clean website that many other open source website should follow," as put by one of the readers who nominated the project for the donation.
As always, our monthly donations programme is a joint initiative between DistroWatch and two online shops selling low-cost CDs and DVDs with Linux, BSD and other open source software - LinuxISO.co.uk and LinuxCD.org, each of which contributed US$50 towards this month's donation. Both stores have an excellent selection and latest releases at very reasonable prices. Next time you need to order your favourite Linux or BSD CDs, get them from LinuxCD.org or, if you are in the United Kingdom, from LinuxISO.co.uk.
This is the PayPal receipt for the donation to Cacti:
This email confirms that you have paid iberry -at- raxnet -dot- net $375.00 USD using PayPal.
Transaction ID: 76R6786838650180X
Sales Tax: $0.00 USD
Total: $375.00 USD
Item/Product Name: Donation to the Cacti project
Message: This is a donation by DistroWatch.com as part of our monthly donations programme to support open source software development. Keep up the good work!
Here is the list of projects that received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the donations programme:
Since the launch of the DistroWatch Donations Programme in March 2004, we have donated a total of US$6,230 to various open source software projects.
* * * * *
Which is the best?
With the end of the year 2005, let's take a brief look at the changes in the popularity of Linux distributions as measured by our Page Hit Ranking statistics. As you can see from the table below, Ubuntu Linux was a clear winner over the last year, with SUSE, MEPIS, Damn Small Linux and FreeBSD all climbing in the ranking. Of those distributions that dropped only four have shown declining numbers of page hits over the last year - these were KNOPPIX, Gentoo, Slackware and PCLinuxOS. Among the new entries in the top 20 there are Kubuntu (the highest ranked newcomer at number 14), CentOS, KANOTIX, Puppy Linux and, perhaps surprisingly, PC-BSD.
As always, don't read too much into the numbers. They are provided for entertainment only and they almost certainly don't correlate with market share figures.
* * * * *
New distribution additions
* * * * *
New distributions added to the waiting list
- AlienDrive Live CD. AlienDrive Live CD is a new i686-optimised distribution, but that's about all the project's web site tells us about it. It seems to be based on SLAX.
- BinToo GNU/Linux. BinToo GNU/Linux (the word was created from "Binary" and "Gentoo") is a new Gentoo-based distribution, currently in early alpha.
- Cosmogonia Linux. Cosmogonia Linux is a new Italian live CD distribution based on Fedora Core.
- fNux GNU/Linux. fNux GNU/Linux is a new linux distribution project which intends to grab "some of the best ideas around". It is currently in the planning stage with a rough feature list.
- FrogDev LiveCD. FrogDev LiveCD is a Gentoo-based, laptop-oriented live CD distribution localised into French.
- Hacao Linux. Hacao Linux is a new Vietnamese live CD based on Puppy Linux.
- Phantomix Live CD. Phantomix is a Knoppix-based live CD. It is configured to use the Tor and Privoxy software for anonymous Internet communication. Using Tor can help anonymise web browsing and publishing, instant messaging, IRC, SSH, and other applications for better privacy and security on the Internet.
- Trinity Rescue Kit. Trinity Rescue Kit 3.0 is a Mandriva-based bootable Linux distribution aimed specifically at offline operations for Windows and Linux systems such as rescue, repair, password resets and cloning. It has custom tools to easily recover data such as deleted files, clone Windows installations over the network, perform antivirus sweeps with two different antivirus products, reset windows passwords, read and write on NTFS partitions, and edit partition layout.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
That's all for today. See you next Monday!
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 0, value: US$0.00)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Happy New Year! (by IMQ on 2006-01-02 07:41:52 GMT from United States) |
2 • happy new year (by reddazz on 2006-01-02 07:42:37 GMT from United Kingdom)
Happy new year all you opensource loving folk.
3 • Happy New Year! (by d00m3d on 2006-01-02 07:51:06 GMT from Hong Kong)
Happy new year to all open source developers and users.
Look forward to seeing another leap of success in Year 2006.
4 • Distrowatch weekly (by LinuxISO.co.uk on 2006-01-02 07:52:11 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks for another great Distrowatch weekly. If I had known about Cacti earlier it would have saved a lot of time :)
I tried one of the early Fox Betas several months ago and was quite impressed then, looking at the review of the release I am about to try that out. Could RPM based releases be taking the top spots back? Only time will tell.
Happy new year.
5 • Puppy (by klhrevolutionist at 2006-01-02 08:45:34 GMT from United States)
Puppy climbing ranks without commercial support very nice.
Great job once again ladi, hope you enjoyed the festive season. Don't be a stranger on the forum over at puppylinux.
6 • Happy new year (by Morten Juhl Johansen on 2006-01-02 09:05:57 GMT from Denmark)
Happy new year to the distro watcher and the Distrowatch watchers. DW keeps it's place as the central Linux reference point.
7 • mouse wheel (by solsTiCe on 2006-01-02 10:08:36 GMT from France)
i use my mouse wheel to switch desktop in kde. it is easier than to find the virtual desktop viewer and click on the right desktop
Happy new year al
8 • error ! (by solsTiCe on 2006-01-02 10:38:00 GMT from France)
if g++ -DHAVE_CONFIG_H -I. -I. -I.. -I/opt/kde/include -I/usr/lib/qt/include -I/usr/X11R6/include -I `imlib2-config --cflags` -DQT_THREAD_SUPPORT -D_REENTRANT -Wnon-virtual-dtor -Wno-long-long -Wundef -ansi -D_XOPEN_SOURCE=500 -D_BSD_SOURCE -Wcast-align -Wconversion -Wchar-subscripts -Wall -W -Wpointer-arith -Wno-non-virtual-dtor -O2 -O2 -march=i686 -mcpu=i686 -Wformat-security -Wmissing-format-attribute -fno-exceptions -fno-check-new -fno-common -DQT_CLEAN_NAMESPACE -DQT_NO_ASCII_CAST -DQT_NO_STL -DQT_NO_COMPAT -DQT_NO_TRANSLATION -MT kompose.o -MD -MP -MF ".deps/kompose.Tpo" -c -o kompose.o kompose.cpp;
then mv -f ".deps/kompose.Tpo" ".deps/kompose.Po"; else rm -f ".deps/kompose.Tpo"; exit 1; fi
kompose.cpp:88:23: kompose.moc: No such file or directory
make: *** [kompose.o] Error 1
make: Leaving directory `/tmp/build2yAseg/kompose-0.5.4/src'
make: *** [all-recursive] Error 1
make: Leaving directory `/tmp/build2yAseg/kompose-0.5.4'
make: *** [all] Error 2
9 • Cacti - good choice! (by RyanM on 2006-01-02 11:18:13 GMT from United States)
A tool that will be appreciated more once all the people who need it but don't realize it yet figure it out already. And yes, primo design of its website.
10 • Overall hits per day (by Matt (TLMP) on 2006-01-02 11:20:19 GMT from United Kingdom)
Wow looking at the HPD for 2004 & 2005 looks as if interest in linux overall seems to be growing.... from 10,864 HPD in the top20 in 2004 to 15,286 HPD in the top20 in 2005.
I think 2005 was a great year for linux because there were lots of distributions making the installation process easy, and software management simple.
Im glad that Ubuntu has climed the way to the top of the HPD ladder..... i think this distribution is responsable for a lot of windows users making a switch over to linux full time...
Having simple to use linux distributions is a great way for users to build up the confidence in an operating system, and not throwing them straight into the deep end with a harder distro where they might just think "is all this effort to install/configure something really worth it?".
11 • Way to go Puppy!! (by Andy on 2006-01-02 12:05:20 GMT from United Kingdom)
Well done Puppy!! Looking at a top ten position for 2006. Well done to all those involved. This is what Linux is all about.
Happy new year Distrowatch. Keep telling us about those new versions and updates.
12 • Kompose (by Uncle Peng on 2006-01-02 12:14:56 GMT from Germany)
"Once you start using Komposé, you'll wonder how you've ever managed without it."
Exactly. I wonder how KDE users have managed so long without a decent desktop pager (that in GNOME and XFCE does what Komposé does in KDE). :-P
Happy GNU year!
13 • 2006 (by Andrew Hutchings on 2006-01-02 12:21:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
It is this year we will see how far Linux can succeed in the desktop arena. Vista will undoubtedly obsolete a lot of machines that are still quite powerful, on top of this it will be expensive for the minor gains.
I'm looking forward to some killer releases this year.
14 • LinuxIso.co.uk wrote... (by Popeye the Sailor Man! on 2006-01-02 12:29:02 GMT from United Kingdom)
"... Could RPM based releases be taking the top spots back? Only time will tell."
Nope! Unless rpm (commercial) distributors decide to create and support or maintain in common a universal rpm repository; but because eventually they all are companies and want only $MONEY$, debian-based distro (either commercial or not) will continue to achieve better ranking either individually or cumulatively.
Happy New Year!
15 • hit rankings (by pp on 2006-01-02 12:47:03 GMT from United Kingdom)
"As always, don't read too much into the numbers. They are provided for entertainment only and they almost certainly don't correlate with market share figures."
Just a little correction... They certainly correlate, but certainly don't correlate perfectly. Correlation is measured between 0 and 1, where 1 is perfect correlation (linear relationship) and 0 is no correlation.
16 • RPM vs. DEB (by LinuxISO.co.uk on 2006-01-02 13:16:06 GMT from United Kingdom)
I must admit I was a fan of RPM for quite a few years. Then I actually installed a distro using DEBs and have never looked back! :)
LinuxISO's server runs Debian, my home server runs Ubuntu-server and my laptop runs Kubuntu.
There are some distros around that would benefit greatly from a switch to DEBs.
17 • Komposé (by Julien on 2006-01-02 13:21:29 GMT from France)
I just wanted to correct something. The people behind Kompose didn't invent it "from scratch", as the news reports, but implemented what is known as expose in Mac OS X.
See : http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/expose/
Anyway, it's a good thing such a tool exists for linux ;). Happy new year.
18 • RPM Distros (by Anonymous on 2006-01-02 13:51:15 GMT from United States)
I haven't had any real issues with RPM distros. I'm using the PCLinuxOS Gnome Remaster off the GenieOS website and it's the easiest system to upgrade that I have found. Everytime I did a dist-upgrade on Debian or Ubuntu, something always seemed to break. When I do it on PCLOS, it all works fine.
19 • Puppy (by David on 2006-01-02 13:55:28 GMT from United Kingdom)
Right on, Andy. Seems that BarryK was working over the holiday for the benefit of us all and published Puppy v. 1.0.7 on New Years' Eve. This is what it's all about. Let's hope Vista proves the Kiss of Death for 'doze and all those accolytes.
Brilliant job again, Ladsilav (but your email portal keeps rejecting my missives).
Happy New Year all penguin lovers.
20 • link error ? (by pat on 2006-01-02 14:33:33 GMT from France)
Huh ? When i clic on http://distrowatch.com/images/screenshots/kompose.png
You don't have permission to access /images/screenshots/kompose.png on this server
21 • RE: 20 • link error ? (by ladislav on 2006-01-02 14:59:19 GMT from Taiwan)
What browser/OS are you using? Is anybody else getting this error?
22 • link error (by pat on 2006-01-02 15:28:11 GMT from France)
it's ok now.
usually i save DWW on my HD before reading
Maybe it is the explanation?
My config : Win2k + Firefox 1.5
23 • H N Y (by Rohan Dhruva on 2006-01-02 15:32:05 GMT from India)
Happy new year to you all :)
Great issue, ladislav, thanks :)
And no, i am not getting that error about that image on Konqueror in Kde 3.5 on arch linux.
24 • I can't live without it. (by Kensai on 2006-01-02 15:48:10 GMT from Puerto Rico)
Distrowatch weekly newsletters are an addiction for me. Anyways I was a Gentoo hardcore fan that always used Gentoo and nothing more. As time goes by I'm working studying and lots of things I have to do like giving time to my Girlfriend. So I wanted something n00b's friendly that would made me feel powerful at the same time. The answer was SuSE 10.0 man am I enjoying this distro? I love it. I have 10.0 fully upgraded with kde 3.5.x and firefox 1.5. I see this is the only distro I would buy, I think when 10.1 comes I'll buy it.
25 • Happy New Year (by ray carter at 2006-01-02 16:16:36 GMT from United States)
Just wanted to say 'Happy New Year' to everyone and thank Ladislav for performing a great service - I'd be lost without the news from distrowatch. I'll try out 'cacti' - I was not aware of it before. Interesting how our preferences change over time. Last year at this time I was firmly entrenched with Mandrake - even installed it on the public access internet computers at the local library (that project has gone very well, by the way - no complaints after nearly a year, a results of a customer satisfaction survey were better than you could ever hope - several patrons unaware they were not running MS); and using Gentoo on my mini-itx box. Today, I'm running (K)ubuntu on everything except the mini-itx - it's still using Gentoo. I really like the ease of upgrading with the Debian derivatives. Installed Ubuntu recently from the 5.04 CD and quickly and easily upgraded it to 5.10 kubuntu.
26 • Hit rankings (by BreMac on 2006-01-02 16:26:27 GMT from Canada)
Either way, the hits show a definite all-round increase, which means distrowatch is becoming more popular.
On another note, I wish we'd known about Cactai before... and that site ought to be in the web development textbooks (and references, and UI design guides... etc.). (Note to self - remodel own shabby-looking site.)
27 • H N Y (by Rohan Dhruva on 2006-01-02 16:34:12 GMT from India)
Happy new year to you all :)
Great issue, ladislav, thanks :)
And no, i am not getting that error about that image on Konqueror in Kde 3.5 on arch linux.
28 • Kensai wrote... (Just in the humour for teasing you!) (by Popeye the Sailor Man! at 2006-01-02 16:34:23 GMT from United Kingdom)
"The answer was SuSE 10.0 ... I see this is the only distro I would buy, I think when 10.1 comes I'll buy it."
So, what you're telling us is that once upon a time you were a man with IQ Gentoo and you have decided to downgrade yourself to IQ $u$E :-) .
I hope in the future you won't downgrade yourself further to IQ M$WinBlow$XP.
Come back to the light my son and don't try to hide yourself into the darkness! ;-)
My best wishes for a Happy New Year to the beautiful Puerto Rico!
29 • Kubuntu vs Mandriva (by Leo on 2006-01-02 18:11:41 GMT from United States)
Happy New Year to y'all !
I spent a few hours this weekend trying to setup Kubuntu side by side with Mandriva (my current OS). Here are a few thoughts:
* (K)Ubuntu is the future, Mandriva is the present. Both are TERRIFIC OS's
* (K)Ubuntu is more polished/integrated, Mandriva is more mature.
*(K)Ubuntu will keep growing its Mindshare at the expense of other distros including Mandriva. It has the open-ness of Debian, the user-friendliness of Mandriva, the professional polish of SuSE, the newbie friendliness of Mandriva/Ark/Mepis/YouNameIt. And it has some big cash behind, to start out strong.
But as I said, Mandriva seems all in all more mature than Kubuntu at the time. (Almost) everything works. And (almost) everything is configurable in the Control Center. Kubuntu is getting there, but not quite yet.
As an example, despite my experience, and several hours of work, I could not get the network to run (neither during nor post install). Ironically, the Live CD DOES configure DHCP properly through my router, and it does it automagically, as every other distro I tried. But the install version does not do it. No matter what. Another problem I had was that Grub does not recognize the / partition, it just does not load the OS. Fortunately I still kept the boot sector in another disk with Mandriva's Lilo. I load Kubuntu from there.
I wonder why (K)Ubuntu does not allow installation from the LiveCD, like many other distros do. You get the best of both worlds, and a "graphical" installer for free. Oh well.
Despite all this, the OS (Kubuntu's) looks more polished, more professional, better integrated to KDE and generally more thought-out than Mandriva's. Of course we are comparing great with greater, let me stress this one more time. Both are great options. But if I had to hand out a CD to a Newbie, right now it would be Mandriva. In a few months, it looks like it wlll be (K)ubuntu.
30 • expression of gratitude (by william johnson on 2006-01-02 18:28:02 GMT from United States)
As the new year begins, i would like to thank the makers
of PCLinuxOS .92 and Mepis 3.4 for providing the only
two distros that justify and enable me to use Linux as i
would Windows. Certainly if neither of these existed, i
would be using Windows on my AMD64 powered computer.
I listen to a lot of streaming radio stations who offer
Rush Limbaugh,Michael Savage,Mark Levin,and Laura
Ingrahm. None of the 64bit distros that i evaluated had any
Firefox plugins that would allow this. Where as both Mepis
and PcLinuxOs ,although being 32 bit, easily install and
function fully on my AMD64 system. With them i can listen
to any radio stream i want,be it Real Player or Media player
Of course if someone can point me to a 64bit distro with
full browser functionality, it would appreciate it.
Bye till next time
31 • Popeye the Sailor Man wrote... (Maybe you are right) (by Kensai on 2006-01-02 19:44:53 GMT from Puerto Rico)
Yes I am a gentoo lover and has always liked it an used it but, time changes and I don't have much time for gentoo now, and my sytem athlon-xp 2000+ can't affored to suffer more compilations. I put my system to arest with SuSE and I give myself a little more spare time. Gentoo was adicctive to me you know? I couldn't stand up from the pc screen as I always were inventing something new. Now I put all those things aside, I have to egt time to study work and my girlfriend. :)
32 • 30 (by Anonymous on 2006-01-02 19:47:59 GMT from United States)
You'll find that 32 bit versions of other distros also enable you to listen to right wing whack jobs. The problem is that in many cases the codecs just aren't available for 64 bit. Of course, Mepis and PcLinuxOS are noted for including the non-free codecs by default while you may have to do a bit more work with the others, even 32 bit versions. There's also a trick to running 32 bit apps with a 64 bit distro. Google "32 bit chroot". Then you get the performance of 64 bit kernel and the convenience of 32 bit apps when necessary.
33 • Re 30 and other waffle (by mikkh on 2006-01-02 20:15:34 GMT from United Kingdom)
If you want to listen to lots of streaming radio, try streamtuner
It has access to hundreds of stations and doesn't need a browser.
Ok, here's my new years honours list
Well first, a big thumbs up to distrowatch for promptly bringing up-to-date news and opinions on the latest distros to me and thousands of others
Best Distro (install only)
Vector Soho 5.1 (despite still having problems getting GLX to work)
Honourable mentions to OpenSuse and Conectiva, now sadly out of date since being swallowed whole by Mandrake - I'll miss you
Best Distro (live, but installable from the CD)
Joint first place for... PClinuxOS and Kanotix
Honourable mentions to Mepis and OneBase
Best Distro (live only, or as good as without extreme fiddling)
Honourable mentions to Berry and Elive
Best Micro Distro (sub 75 MB)
No honourable mentions, nothing comes close to puppy IMO
Biggest surprise of the year
Best Gnome only distro
Biggest turkey of the year
(dis)honourable mentions to Ark
Worst idea of the year
That one with the 3D desktop - sorry it just didn't seem natural
Most wasted time on one distro
34 • Kensai wrote... (31) (My humble objection) (by Anonymous on 2006-01-02 21:03:05 GMT from United Kingdom)
I don't lodge an objection to your very respectful choice of changing distro; but have you ever thought about insted of buying a commercial distro to download some other distro/flavour of your choice e.g. Debian, Fedora, FreeBSD, Kanotix, Knoppix, Kubuntu, Mepis, NetBSD, OpenBSD, OpenSuSE, PC-BSD, PCLinuxOS, Slackware, Ubuntu (in alphabetical order) and many other and donate this $60 to gentoo project/organisation which has already given you so much fan and used to be your girlfriend before you find a new one! Have you ever thougth about that Playboy? :-)
Hey, be careful, don't donate this $60 to your present girlfriend (that would be a great mistake! Remember me...) but to your ex-girlfriend named Gentoo! False LoverBoy!
When you find a new girlfriend, then you could donate to the present one! Hey, hey wait LADIES and gentlemen, that's a joke!!!
35 • About donations (by kensai on 2006-01-02 21:40:01 GMT from Puerto Rico)
I see the only reason I want to buy Suse 10.1 is because Novell is a company that had $61 millions in revenues this year from Linux. Not that much if you think about other companies. And if someone needs money to fight the giant company the one in redmond it is novell which has won cases against Redmond Company and has won demands of over 500 Millions to Redmond's company. I believe Gentoo has great donations by now. And aren't in that much of need since they are not an stablished company. When I get my AMD64 system I'll only have Gentoo and SuSE on it and yes after buying Suse my next donation will go to Gentoo.
36 • webcam, linux and IM (by Caraibes on 2006-01-02 22:16:10 GMT from Dominican Republic)
Hi folks !
It may not be the right place, but I am becoming very fond of video-conferencing with a mike, a webcam, some speakers, thru any kind of IM´s, such as Skype or Yahoo...
I dual boot PCLinuxOS and winxp. So far, it´s my only reason to re-boot to winxp, because Skype for Linux doesn´t (yet) support webcams, and neither Gaim nor Kopete...
Do any of you have an idea (appart from abandoning the video in IM, or waiting that Skype offers version 2.0 for Linux...) ???
Thanks in advance for your insights...
37 • sad to say (by Anonymous on 2006-01-02 22:52:24 GMT from United States)
its sad that people get so pesonal about choices
it time to start moderating this weekly
I hate to say this cause I love to read it
but people are over the line
Happy new year
38 • off topic, but... (by Darkbird on 2006-01-02 23:07:19 GMT from United States)
Russian's DO celebrate christmas, but they have it on the 7th of january
(Most are christians!)
39 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2006-01-02 23:13:56 GMT from United States)
I agree the new puppy 1.0.7 rocks for a USB distro.
Loaded it and played a troublesome viral Disney DVD no problem off a 256mb key in about 10 minutes.
Couldn't get the new DSL or MSNLive to fly on a new USB install, they would lilo "99" or black screen. Even when I tweeked the partitions on the key with Zenwalk 1.4 running cfdisk. I did get a exsisting DSL install to upgrade from 1.0.3 to 1.0.5. I could not find the specs for Mepis mini so I have not tried it yet. I got MandrivaMini to go on a 512mb card but was running with XFCE lite and Firefox only. There doesn't seem to be any good HD install distros that take less than 1gb any more and have some small useable apps other than the 60mb mini distros. I hope that puppy upgrades chubby puppy into this realm. I bet they could even slim down KDE into it.
Puppy just works and gets better. I wish it didn't always force to use swap and take the drive even when you chose HD install though. When it takes it as swap it won't let you install or the install doesn't load a boot loader (I'm guessing).
Speaking of swap, why can't all the distros play nice together and use the same seperate boot loader/boot partion and use a shared user and swap folder to save the settings and data. Why can't they add to a found boot loader instead of distroying the one on the first sector even when you tell it to install its own boot loader to the partion you installed the software on (RH) or hide itself from the other (Mandriva). Shouldn't rescue have a function for this? I'd love to have a APT-GET distro and a RPM based distro on the same box.
On the big size independent distros I agree, at the beginning of the year SimplyMepis was the better but at the end PCLinuxOS really suprised me.
SuSe is the only major distro I can never get to load, it either boot loops or hangs with a halt. The Live DVD is no better.
40 • Re: webcam, linux and IM (by Leo on 2006-01-03 00:34:40 GMT from United States)
A few links:
I played with both, but I have no msn account. I like the kopete interface much better, but msn has been around with video for longer. Kopete introduced it lately and they are working it out
Buena Suerte !
41 • Video IM (by Jose on 2006-01-03 01:33:02 GMT from United States)
Amsn supposedly has video but problems with sound. Kopete is still a work in progress, but so close. If you want video and sound right now, the best place is Qnext.
It is an all in one messenger, but only video with other Qnext clients.
It is free and pretty good. I use it now while waiting for GAIM, Kopete and AMSN to get video working reliably.
42 • video chat (by wouter on 2006-01-03 03:21:16 GMT from Belgium)
Caraibes: Gnomemeeting works great for both audio and video. It also connects to Netmeeting clients. The program should have IM facilities, but I never tried them. You probably need Gnomemeeting on both sides for IM to work.
43 • christmas (by wouter on 2006-01-03 03:36:48 GMT from Belgium)
Many people are home during the holidays. It's quite logical that some opensource projects are more active in this period.
Besides, christmas is just a pagan celibration that the christians stole (like most 'christian' holidays) and has overal little to do with christianity (every year less and less, when I look around) and even New Year isn't quite as universal as many seem to think... at least the exact date isn't. Add to that broken homes, family fights and the typical antisocial feeling of the average geek, and you've got loads of time to spend on improving the world with better software.
After all, I think the bulk of opensource software is still made at home or in dorm rooms rather than in offices and cubicles, even those projects with corporate backing.
44 • Komposé (by wouter on 2006-01-03 03:40:59 GMT from Belgium)
Enlightenment has (had?) a sizable pager with active screenshots.
I don't know if something will show up in the 'upcoming' DR17 though...
45 • apparently supports webcam for yahoo chat (by Anonymous on 2006-01-03 03:45:27 GMT from United States)
46 • 3D-Desktop for switching virtual desktops (by reader on 2006-01-03 07:55:36 GMT from Singapore)
Check this program out
47 • Happy New Year and thanks for all the fish (by Lobster on 2006-01-03 08:04:33 GMT from United Kingdom)
Linux has given me back my computer. I have developed a penguin fetish. Every Linux user seems friendlier, smarter and more helpful. Every distro creates new ideas and potential. I would like to thank all those who contribute, develop and endourage. Happy New Year and thanks for all the fish . . .
48 • What I don't like about Puppy. (by Will on 2006-01-03 09:13:12 GMT from Tunisia)
runs as root
installs everything into /root
Mounts your hard drive without telling you!
Creates a huge file on the hard drive without telling you!
Seems like a security risk.
49 • re 48 Puppy bashing shock horror (by mikkh on 2006-01-03 09:53:25 GMT from United Kingdom)
Runs as root
That's a plus IMO. You won't be using Puppy as a mission critical server, so why does that matter? It's main purpose in life is to breath life into old hardware that can't run more bloated operating systems.
Installs everything into /root
Apart from the stuff you get from pupget etc which goes into roxapps that is
Have you actually used this for more than 5 minutes?
Mounts your HD without telling you
Really? how come I have to use the mount tool then?
Creates a huge file blah blah
256 MB is not exactly huge, and allows you to keep personal settings if you only use it as a live CD
Seems like a security risk
Hmmm seems like you're not impressed with puppy and clutching at straws to me
50 • 49 (by Anonymous on 2006-01-03 13:08:43 GMT from United States)
For old hardware, the aim of Puppy, 256 MB IS a huge file. Never used Puppy, I'm just saying...
51 • 49 ps (by Anonymous on 2006-01-03 13:11:10 GMT from United States)
I hope by that you don't mean that only people running mission critical servers should avoid running as root. I was debating the FUD that Linux will be just as vulnerable to expoits as Windows when it gains market share recently. But if increased market share means more users who think like that, the claim may be right.
52 • Re: 49 Running as root (by Leo on 2006-01-03 14:35:03 GMT from United States)
This is no good. User should need to provide admin (root) password to do admin stuff. It is not hard at all, and it reminds the user that they are doing something potentially dangerous. This is handled gracefully in most distros. I like the way it is done in (k)ubuntu particularly. They ask you to sudo, and you need to provide your regular passwd. But you are already warned you are doing some admin stuff
This way everything runs more secure, and there is no impact on usability. Running everything as root is insane, I agree with #50
53 • Re 52 (by mikkh on 2006-01-03 17:48:41 GMT from United Kingdom)
Running everything as root is insane?
Why is it? just because you give an admin password before you do something potentially dangerous doesn't make the danger go away
If you balls your system up, knowing that you gave a password to do it, is little comfort to me.
Traditionally Unix/Linux was/is used in a multi PC environment with less knowledgable users being overseen by admin to prevent wrecking the system. In a home desktop where you are both the admin and the user, you are responsible for your own mistakes. With an average install taking about 15 minutes on my main PC, I frankly don't care if I wreck it, and it's just another lesson learnt and stored for future use.
If I had played safe over the last few years, I wouldn't have half the knowledge I now have
54 • running as root (by Leo on 2006-01-03 18:09:09 GMT from United States)
here is the rationale for not running _everything_ as root. It's not so much about preventing you from "rm -rf / " - It's rather about preventing the programs you run, fromhaving high enough privileges so that a malicious intruder/cracker can screw your computer, and maybe put into risk some other people's computers.
The point is, if only 1% or less of the time you are running as root, it is less likely to see a vulnerability of your code screwing your whole system and other systems as well. It can only screw things that it has access to according to its privilege, i.e. you own personal files and settings. This IS good.
Running everything as root is like giving every civilian a military tank to drive, and not expecting any big trouble ...
55 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2006-01-03 18:14:26 GMT from United States)
Next, people will want scripts to be executable by default because typing chmod +x is too inconvenient. If increasing popularity for GNU/Linux means adopting (in)security models from the more popular operating system, then maybe it's better to have a small but informed user base.
If the hard-earned knowledge you have now doesn't include the fact that administrative priviledges don't just protect you from making mistakes with mv and rm, but also from the malware and exploits endemic in other OSes, I'd say you haven't learned that much. But keep at it. I just hope users like you don't reach the critical mass to allow those sorts of outbreaks to affect GNU/Linux.
56 • re 54 (by mikkh on 2006-01-03 19:09:15 GMT from United Kingdom)
A rather over the top analogy, don't you think
I'm not a naive idiot who is unaware his system might be part of a zombie network. I take as many precautions as I feel are justified and are not just the paranoid ramblings of a doom and gloom merchant.
I sit behind both hardware and software firewalls, check for rootkits and other vulnerabilities on a regular basis and avoid the seedier corners of the internet. I don't do any online transactions because I'd rather shop locally and complain face-to-face if something is not right or broken.
So I'm going to continue 'playing with fire' partly for the convenience of not logging in and as root and also because I resent the 'micosoftesque' way of assuming you're a half wit and not competent enough to manage your own security like the monthly 'malicious toolkit' they want you to accept as a security fix
Dear windows user, we are grateful for the extortionate price you paid for our OS, but we believe deep down, that you really aren't that bright and need a helping hand from us. Please feel free to brag about how many updates you have had in the last month on MSN newsgroups and make sure you put a little aside each week
so you can afford Vista when it finally hits the shelves. It won't be long now, honest, and it's really rather pretty with ultimate street cred points guaranteed. Windows update will now be automatic with no choice of turning it off, because we noticed a few of you naughty people had done just that ...... Love and kisses Billy Boy
57 • Running as root? (by Anonymous Penguin on 2006-01-03 19:09:57 GMT from Italy)
I am with mikkh here. The "don't run as root", else you'll have hair loss, heart attacks, impotence... is one of those old wives tales which just refuse to go away.
I have always run as root since i realized that running as user was too much trouble (and it really was then, much more than it is now), and that is a long time and several hundreds distros ago. I have never had any problems except for my own mistakes, that regardless of typing a password or not.
Here is a user that probably you wouldn't regard as naive:
and this is what he had to say about running as root:
[quote] I have a different perspective on that, Jasper.
The "don't run as root" mantra dates from the days of timesharing servers. When you run on a single user PC, your most valuable resource is your data, not the integrity of the system.
If your system is compromised, the attacker can do all the things he wants to do in your user account, equally well as a root account (store files, send spam, run zombie software). Being or not being root doesn't hinder him at all.
On a server it is bad to be root all the time because a mistake by you could affect many other people. On a single user PC behind a firewall there is no compelling reason not to run as root, I believe.
58 • Caraibes, skype does support webcams (by Anonymous on 2006-01-03 19:42:07 GMT from United States)
it is a NEW feature of skype
59 • Puppy 256 mb (by Me on 2006-01-03 19:54:18 GMT from United States)
Can anyone point me to more info about the 256 mb file Puppy supposedly creates? I haven't found anything on any of the Pup pages. Thanks.
60 • Peter van der Linden (by Anonymous on 2006-01-03 19:56:59 GMT from United States)
Naive? No. A shill for Linspire? Perhaps.
61 • No subject (by RE: #60 on 2006-01-03 20:24:52 GMT from Italy)
"Peter van der Linden...A shill for Linspire? Perhaps."
If Peter van der Linden supports Linspire it is not because he is not geek enough to use any other distro or OS, for that matter.
More likely because he is in favour of a more user friendly linux, just as I am.
62 • Puppy useless in the classroom because everyone is root (by Gnobuddy on 2006-01-03 20:26:00 GMT from United States)
I have great admiration for Puppy Linux (and its creator, Barry). It is a wonderful little distro that somehow gets better with every new release.
But the fact that the default (and only) user is root, keeps me from running it on the old obsolete PC's I have used to set up a network for my students in my classroom.
The school has a Windows site license, so using Linux does not save anybody money. I want to switch from Win 98 (that's the newest Windows these old machines will support) to (a) reduce problems with viruses, malware, spyware, etc, and (b) keep the odd malicious student from messing up the system for fun, and (c) because I love the philosophy behind Free software - how could an educator not love a philosophy that is aimed at sharing the knowledge with everyone?
Since Puppy logs everyone in as root, requirement (b) is not met; and requirement (a) is met less well than any other linux (except Lindows or whatever it calls itself these days). So I cannot use it in my classroom.
Too bad, becaues Puppy is an outstanding piece of work.
63 • #61 (by Anonymous Penguin on 2006-01-03 20:27:58 GMT from Italy)
Sorry, the post above is mine
64 • re #62 - classroom (by ray carter at 2006-01-03 20:43:28 GMT from United States)
Have you tried Elive? I have put it on several old computers and find it quite useable. The interface is definitely different from MS, but not really difficult to cope with.
65 • re: 48 & 49 (by Anonymous on 2006-01-03 20:47:21 GMT from United States)
Regarding the huge file...
Are we saying Puppy is a 256 meg installation, or are we saying that running the live cd/usb creates a 256 meg file?
66 • re 59 (by mikkh on 2006-01-03 20:56:58 GMT from United Kingdom)
Puppy only puts it pup001 file on a suitable (writable ) partition
If you're running windows on ntfs partitions with no linux file systems either, it won't write the dreaded 256 MB file - because it can't
In answer to an earlier poster who thought 256 MB was lots for older hardware. The answer is simple, fit a bigger HD. There are thousands of old sub 10 GB drives out there going for peanuts mostly.
One of my boxes is an old Celeron 300, I can't upgrade the CPU because of the crappy motherboard, but I've treated it to several hundred MB of RAM and a 10 GB HD. It runs Puppy and Vector with iceWM very nicely
67 • re: Puppy 256 mb (by Anonymous on 2006-01-03 21:13:54 GMT from United States)
Good answers here:
including why it's done (customization/downloading updates) and how to put the pup001 file on NTFS, if you want. I'd be interested to know if anyone does this with a family/work/school Windows machine.
More about package management:
68 • How to? (by Dave on 2006-01-04 00:30:41 GMT from United States)
How do I make my own installable distribution? LFS is not what I'm looking for.
69 • 68 (by Anonymous on 2006-01-04 02:09:12 GMT from United States)
Remaster Knoppix or some other live cd that also has an installer? What specifically do you want to do?
70 • Puppy myths (by Lobster on 2006-01-04 08:21:47 GMT from United Kingdom)
Dear Fellow Penguins,
As Puppy runs best from Ram and is under 64 meg ram it prefers 64 or more ram - but with 32 meg ram will swap to HD.
On booting you are given several options including one to not use your HD (Puppy saves settings and files in one 256 meg file which can be made larger)
Puppy can be run as a user other than root - no one bothers because by default Puppy does not load any vulnerable servers (as other distros do) Running the Linux firewall wizard further protects Puppy which is designed for single desktop usage - not network - but Puppys are keen to network now too . . .)
Puppy files can be saved in /usr as well as /root and I tend to store things on /mnt/home/ (the hard disk) Puppy boots so fast it is more convenient to always run from CD and have a secure Linux on the HD
Puppy has spawned grafpup.com and a Vietnamese distro. Our forum is one of the busiest and friendliest of any distro.
If any mistakes are made one HD file "pup001" is deleted or renamed and a fresh Puppy is available from CD
Puppy includes PuppyBasic programming language. If your distro is as much fun as Puppy you are lucky indeed . . .
71 • RE: Running as root? (by gzip on 2006-01-04 12:55:55 GMT from Finland)
>>The "don't run as root" mantra dates from the days of timesharing servers. When you run on a single user PC, your most valuable resource is your data, not the integrity of the system.>>
This is why you should run a backup program that automatically saves the contents of your home directory to some other directory that attackers without the root password cannot access.
>>The "don't run as root", else you'll have hair loss, heart attacks, impotence... is one of those old wives tales which just refuse to go away.>>
There's an old Chinese saying: "Newborn calves don't fear tigers."
72 • #71 (by Anonymous Penguin on 2006-01-04 16:17:22 GMT from Italy)
[quote] >>The "don't run as root", else you'll have hair loss, heart attacks, impotence... is one of those old wives tales which just refuse to go away.>>
There's an old Chinese saying: "Newborn calves don't fear tigers." [/quote]
Except that the person who wrote the first sentence (me) is far from being a "Newborn calf"
73 • Thanks to you all for the comments... (by Caraibes on 2006-01-04 21:04:40 GMT from Dominican Republic)
I checked all the links you posted, and will look further into it.
Yes, I do use Skype 2.0 under winxp, or Yahoo messenger/MSN...
I also use Googletalk, but it´s voice only (too bad, I like it, it works great when calling friends who are still using dial-up...)
I really enjoy Kopete, so I am getting ready to fiddle around to find if my webcam works with Linux (it´s a cheap Kozumi, so I doubt it...)
Anyway, when in PCLOS, I skype-talk, and when in Puppy, I gaim-write !!!
Hapy New Year to you all, especially folks from GenieOS, PCLOS, Puppy and Kanotix !
74 • Subscribe to DWW (by Kishore Ramnani on 2006-01-04 21:43:36 GMT from United States)
I want to subcribe to DWW. But you do not provide that option. Could you provide us that option please?
75 • Umbuntu (by Distrowatch Reader on 2006-01-05 01:08:53 GMT from Germany)
I installed Umbunto kind of a steep learning curve.
I added Kde, better now
I added Kbuntu better still.
I added some Mephis Best so far.
I actually like NO ROOT NOW.
I believe I am now running Mubunto.
76 • run root never good (by Mr. Pink on 2006-01-05 02:27:27 GMT from United States)
On a single user PC behind a firewall there is no compelling reason not to run as root, I believe.
Well, package that didn't go through rigorous QA process (and there are many of those) can wreck havoc if run by root. With regular user's privileges system would stop it from inflicting damage.
77 • Which is the best? (by silky99x on 2006-01-05 05:00:54 GMT from United States)
I wouldn't say the Ubunta Linux is the best distro just by keeping tabs of the total of Hits per page. This just means that the Ubunta Linux website was visited the most. I've visited many Linux websites but didn't download the particular distro everytime. Frankly, I've tested over twenty different linux distros and Xandros was the best distro I have tested by far. Everything worked great in Xandros. Just my opinion.
78 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2006-01-05 11:57:04 GMT from United States)
Mepis. M-E-P-I-S. Ubuntu. U-B-U-N-T-U. Jeez!
79 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2006-01-05 15:10:00 GMT from United States)
"I've tested over twenty different linux distros and Xandros was the best distro I have tested by far. "
Give PCLinuxOS a try or the Gnome remaster of it on the GenieOS website. I too like Xandros, but I like PCLinuxOS better because of the free repository which has all the goodies like flash, java, w32codecs, and libdvdcss2 in it.
80 • switching from gentoo (by Misty on 2006-01-05 19:04:57 GMT from United States)
It's very easy for me to see why someone would switch from Gentoo to another distro - it takes a lot of time. Now, I think gentoo is a great distro, probably one of the best (I'm one of those who think there is no absolute best one) but it takes time to compile everything you want to run it, even after they've cut some of that back with pre-compiled apps. People who have lives often don't have that much time to spare; you need your computer up and running now, not three days from now.
This is the problem with some geeks in general - they seem to have all the time in the world for this kinda stuff, and not only forget that not everyone else does, but get all macho and insulting about it. So, guys, you're not doing anyone any good ego-tripping on how much more of a geek you are than other people, especially not by making assumptions you shouldn't to begin with. I don't particularly like SuSE, but gimme GenieOS over Debian any day - I don't have the time to put up with all that trouble installing. So I know where he's coming from, although with me it's the husband and learning guitar.
81 • Linux Distribution chooser (by Geert on 2006-01-06 11:31:09 GMT from United States)
Did you test the Linux deistribution chooser yet?
Is it any good? http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/
82 • Distro to add? (by Jim Worrest on 2006-01-06 13:50:16 GMT from United States)
Harv, hasn't done to much to this, but it is a specialized distro. It is for Ham Radio operators. Being an Amateur Radio Operator myself, I'm partial to it.
He includes a lot of information on his site about Knoppix, and so the information could be useful to non-Hams as well. You might give it a look. ---Jim
83 • Re: Linux Distribution chooser (by Ariszló on 2006-01-06 15:00:09 GMT from Hungary)
Still biassed and inaccurate but not as bad as it used to be. For some reason, they don't list the oldest surviving package type, Slackware's tgz. Perhaps they still don't know the difference between source tar.gz and Slackware's binary tgz?
84 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2006-01-06 17:50:24 GMT from United States)
They probably know what tgz is and don't care because it's an obselete format just as Slackware is an obselete distro..
85 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2006-01-06 17:59:04 GMT from United States)
Seriously, it's no obselete. Just it serves a tiny niche. If Slackware is for you, you don't need a web app to tell you. Some questions they should ask if you want a Slackware result:
Are you interested in the internals of your system, but too lazy for LFS?
Do you enjoy a traditional BSD feel, but you're not smart enough to use a real BSD?
Are you comfortable with grasping at straws to make out that dependency checking causing you endless pain so you can feel comfortable using a backward distro that doesn't have it when even the BSDs it imitates do?
There ya go.
86 • Linux chooser (by warrens on 2006-01-08 04:45:25 GMT from United States)
The Linux chooser made the right call for me. :) The first on the list was Gentoo and the second was Slackware. I have Gentoo on 3 machine here and I love it!!!
Number of Comments: 86
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