| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 139, 20 February 2006
Welcome to this year's 8th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu Linux and one of the most prominent personalities of the Free Software world, is the focus of today's issue. The featured article is then followed by a news round-up quoting Mandriva's position on Xgl, discussing the current delays in the development of both SUSE Linux 10.1 and Fedora Core 5, revealing "Ebuntu", a new Ubuntu derivative with Enlightenment 17, and monitoring the career path of Daniel Robbins, the founder of Gentoo Linux. The issue concludes with the usual sections detailing the upcoming releases and new distributions. Happy reading!
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
Feature: DistroWatch meets Mark Shuttleworth
It doesn't happen often that representatives of a major Linux distribution call on this part of the world. But a favourable moon constellation at the start of the lunar new year, combined with the ongoing Ubuntu Asia Business Tour meant that, last week, Mark Shuttleworth and his small team of Canonical business people arrived in Taipei for a brief, 3-day visit. Although the main purpose of the trip was to establish contacts with hardware manufacturers, system builders, integrators and localisation teams, the Ubuntu leader did not shy away from meeting with local Linux communities. As part of the visit, Shuttleworth also gave a speech at the Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering of the National Taiwan University.
And what a speech it was! Dressed in a tie and suit after a day of meeting with local business leaders, the 32-year old South African multimillionaire delivered a lecture combining topics as diverse as space travel, entrepreneurship, and of course, Ubuntu Linux. Looking energetic and motivated despite the gruelling 5-week tour of 13 Asia Pacific countries from Pakistan to New Zealand, Shuttleworth explained the reasons for launching a Linux-based operating system: "We are at the beginning of a major revolution in the software industry," he said, "a revolution that will bring down many established empires and create opportunities for new ones to rise to the top."
By building a new and free operating system, the founder of Ubuntu is attempting to grasp an opportunity which fundamental changes in any industry invariably provide. "Before launching Ubuntu, I asked myself: where do I want to be? Do I want to be on the sidelines, reading about these changes, or do I want to jump straight into the action and help shaping the future?" Commenting on human potential behind any undertaking, he added: "A small group of passionate people is all it takes to change the world. In fact, if you look through the history of humanity, they are the only ones who have ever changed anything." Shuttleworth used a simple analogy to explain the timing of his involvement: "When is the best time to plant a tree? Twenty years ago. When is the second best time? Now."
What are the fundamental goals of Ubuntu Linux? Firstly, it should be available globally. Secondly, it should provide free security updates for a reasonable period of time. Thirdly, it should be commercially viable. While Ubuntu Linux is currently being driven mostly by philanthropy and volunteer work, the ultimate goal is to make the distribution self-supportable through sale of services and custom solutions. And lastly, a Linux desktop should have compelling technical advantages, similar to what Linux has achieved in the server space, for companies and individuals to deploy. Other important goals of the project include community governance, transparency, predictable release cycle, and a clean, clutter-free desktop, with additional software available in extra repositories.
Shuttleworth also stressed the importance of having a close relationship with the maintainers of upstream software packages and other distributions, especially Debian. "Distros are doing a lot of excellent work, but the upstream often doesn't know about it." He used this opportunity to promote Launchpad.net, a SourceForge-like collaboration tool for tracking bugs and providing patches in distributions and upstream packages. Launchpad.net is designed to accelerate the exchange of information between all major distributions and remove the overhead associated with allocating developers to fixing bugs that have already been fixed elsewhere. On the subject of Launchpad.net not being open source software, the Ubuntu leader explained: "Launchpad.net will be open source. It is not yet open source, because it helps generating revenue for the company."
The upcoming release of Ubuntu Linux, code name "Dapper Drake", will mark the distribution's transition to appeal to a wider audience by providing an operating system supported for an extensive period of time - 5 years on the server and 3 years on the desktop. "This is a good time to launch such a product," Shuttleworth explained. "The 2.6 kernel series has been out for several years and is now very stable, GCC 4 has matured, X.Org has also proven itself, and OpenOffice.org 2 is a really great office application capable of competing with other similar suites on the market." The new release will also provide an opportunity for software and hardware certification to ensure mutual compatibility.
How do you spell "Ubuntu" in Chinese?
After the speech lasting for an hour, an open discussion ensued, often spiced up by humorous stories, such as those surrounding the infamous Ubuntu wallpaper or how Ubuntu once shipped their CDs to an uninhabited island. But answering a question about why Ubuntu doesn't just follow Red Hat's well established business model of providing a subscription and a support contract for its enterprise distribution, Shuttleworth once again regained his entrepreneurial seriousness: "Because then people would just buy Red Hat, and Ubuntu would always be 'second best'. And I refuse to build a distribution or run a company that is only 'second best'." He also denied that there was any truth in recent news reports about 'Goobuntu', an Ubuntu-based distribution rumoured to be developed by Google.
After the speech, it was time for a party, or more precisely, an Ubuntu InstallFest, organised by the Taipei Open Source Software User Group (TOSSUG) in a nearby coffee shop. Although visibly tired and probably wishing for an early night, Shuttleworth was overheard saying: "I want to go and see what kind of issues people here have while installing and running Ubuntu." Once in the more relaxed atmosphere of the coffee bar -- and after accepting a gift of a Chinese calligraphy roll from the organisers -- the installation walk-through could begin. This was followed by a lively discussion between the Ubuntu project leader and those TOSSUG members who were lucky enough to get close to his table. It was also the most enlightening part of the evening; after all, which other Linux distribution leader (or CEO of a company producing an operating system, for that matter) goes out to meet with ordinary users to listen to their complaints and suggestions?
In the joyful atmosphere of post-speech interaction between the Ubuntu founder and his audience, your DistroWatch maintainer stole a moment to introduce himself to Mark Shuttleworth. His first reaction? "You guys are amazing! You get the news out so fast! How do you manage that?" (Thank you for the compliment, Mark.) Does he read DistroWatch? "Yes, I read it for the news. Because you publish it before everybody else!"
All in all, it was a great afternoon and evening. As you've probably guessed by now, your DistroWatch maintainer was highly impressed by the man who has clearly set out to change the world and who is convinced that he will succeed. The speech itself was not only informational and entertaining, it was also very passionate and inspirational, frequently interlaced with words of wisdom. While it is a well-known fact that money and fame can spoil a person, it would appear that, up until now, they have had little negative impact on the founder of Ubuntu.
With so much passion and determination behind it, don't be surprised if Ubuntu Linux becomes, one day, a truly global, widely-used operating system.
* * * * *
Miscellaneous news: Mandriva and Xgl, SUSE and Fedora delays, Ebuntu, Daniel Robbins leaves Microsoft
Last week, we reported about the speedy adoption of the Novell-enhanced Xgl (X over OpenGL) graphics subsystem by several distributions. The latest development releases of both SUSE and Ubuntu now include Xgl, as well as Compiz, a new OpenGL compositing manager, while adventurous Gentoo users can also try the new features. Mandriva, on the other hand, has decided not to adopt the Novell-backed technology: "Mandriva is not going to officially adopt the Novell Xgl server (Xglx). Instead, we are trying to push the Xegl development." However, those Mandriva users who still wish to install Xgl on their systems can do so by following these instructions by Matthieu Duchemin.
After a long wait, the fourth beta of SUSE Linux 10.1 was finally released late on Saturday. While some users have welcomed the news and enhancements that have gone into the latest release, the accompanying stern warnings in the release announcement resulted in uneasiness among others. Why introduce major changes in the package manager and installer so late in the development cycle? By releasing a new beta with a large number of known bugs and no longer supporting upgrades from previous versions, SUSE's latest development release was effectively relegated to an early "alpha" status! As such, it will almost certainly take much longer than expected to stabilise the enhancements, with the result that the final release date will likely slip by several weeks. Will the new SUSE be worth the wait? Let's hope so.
Those SUSE fans who are disheartened by the current state of affairs in their distribution's development process can take heart in knowing that users of the Fedora distribution are not much better off. The third and final test of Fedora Core 5 has been postponed once again and is now expected on Wednesday, 22 February. However, the final release, scheduled for 15 March, has not been affected by the change. While waiting for the new test release, Fedora fans might find it interesting to read about the evolution of their favourite distribution, with a good collection of links to further reading material.
After Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Xubuntu and Nubuntu, it seems that a new product is about to join the growing family of Ubuntu-based sub-projects and derivatives. Called Ebuntu, the new initiative is designed for those users who enjoy the spectacular desktop effects of the latest Enlightenment E17 window manager: "Ebuntu aims to provide an enhanced and attractive user interface. The secondary aim of Ebuntu is to show off the eye-candy capabilities of the Linux operating system in general and Ubuntu in particular." Although the project is still in an early development stage, the integration of Enlightenment with "Dapper Drake" has been completed and a first live CD demonstrating Ebuntu should be released for download later this week. For more information please see the initial announcement and the Ebuntu Wiki page.
Nine months after the controversial decision to take up a position at Microsoft Corporation, Daniel Robbins, the founder of Gentoo Linux, has reportedly left the world's largest software company: "Robbins told ZDNet UK in an e-mail Monday that he decided to leave because he was not able to use all his technical skills in his role." Although the former Gentoo leader is no longer with the company which has been trying to discredit Linux and other open source software in recent years, he remains firmly entrenched in the Windows world as he joins ABC Coding Solutions, an independent software company providing information and consulting services for the health industry. For more information please read this news report at CNET.
|Released Last Week
Berry Linux 0.67
A new version of Berry Linux is now available. The latest release of the Fedora-based live CD ships with an upgraded kernel 188.8.131.52 (with SMP support, ndev/udev and bootsplash patches), KDE 3.5.1, Firefox 184.108.40.206 and Thunderbird 1.5. The lightweight Fluxbox window manager has been replaced with what looks like an alternative developed in-house and going under the name of "Rasp-UI". Wine 0.9.2 has been added to Berry Linux for the first time. Other updated applications include GIMP 2.2.10, Inkscape 0.43 and Sylpheed 2.0.6. See the full changelog for further information.
Openwall GNU/*/Linux 2.0
Openwall GNU/*/Linux 2.0 has been released: "After many Owl-current snapshots, Owl 2.0 release is finally out. Owl 2.0 is built around Linux kernel 2.4.32-ow1, glibc 2.3.6 (with our security enhancements), GCC 3.4.5, and recent versions of over 100 other packages. It offers binary- and package-level compatibility for most packages intended for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (RHEL4) and Fedora Core 3 (FC3), as well as for many FC4 packages. Additionally, Owl 2.0 uses our new installer, making installation a lot easier than it used to be for Owl 1.1 and below." Read the release announcements with relevant links on the project's home page.
rPath Linux 1.0
The first ever stable release of rPath Linux is out: "rPath Linux 1 available (x86 and x86_64). rPath Linux is a freely-available Linux operating system distribution, built with the Conary distributed software management system, supported and maintained by rPath, Inc. The rPath Linux distribution contains high-quality, up-to-date software, and is the base development platform for creating software appliances and purpose-built distributions using rBuilder Online." Read the rest of the release notes for further information.
Zenwalk Linux 2.2
A new major release of the Slackware-based Zenwalk Linux is out: "Zenwalk 2.2 has been released! This version introduces many improvements at system and desktop levels. Zenwalk 2.2 runs atop Linux kernel version 220.127.116.11, introducing an improved hotplug subsystem, fully based on udev. This is a major change in the way Linux handles hotpluging and coldpluging, thus resulting in faster boot times. About 140 packages have been updated, including the Mozilla Firefox web browser, Mozilla Thunderbird email client, AbiWord word processor, Gnumeric spreadsheet.... Like before, the Zenwalk desktop is based on XFce (version 4.3.0)." Read the full release announcement for further details.
LinEspa is a Spanish Linux distribution and live CD based on Knoppix and optimised for Spanish and Latin American users. The latest release, version 0.32, has been specially prepared for the International Conference of Free Software in Málaga, Spain, where some 1,000 CDs containing the distribution were given away. The most important changes in this release include a new kernel 2.6.15, addition of the AMSN messenger 0.95 with support for webcams, and new versions of Firefox (1.0.7) and Thunderbird (1.0.7). See the release announcement (in Spanish) for additional information.
Elive 0.4, featuring the latest development builds of both Enlightenment 16 and 17, has been released. New features: "This version is a stabilization of 0.3, a better release with all bad things fixed, but also with many of new features; new installer, with more file systems supported and a cleaner installation; Elive mounts automatically USB sticks and CD-ROMs, Debian-based kernel 2.6.12 + udev; Firefox with Java and Flash; ELPANEL - the new control panel of Elive with many features; easy printer configuration; Cinelerra 2.0; Elive is now much faster - DMA enabled; driver modules updated and new ones added; new version of AMSN with webcam support...." Visit the distribution's download page to see the complete list of new features, bug fixes and known issues.
A new version of Annvix, a security-enhanced, server-oriented distribution based on Mandriva Linux, has been released: "Annvix 1.2-RELEASE (Cerberus) is now available! Most of the changes since 1.1 were made to the development process; however it includes some updated software and security fixes. It is recommended that everyone using 1.1 upgrade soon as it is no longer supported. Some of the features include: 2.4.32 kernel with the Openwall Linux kernel patch and RSBAC support; updated services including OpenSSH 4.3p2, runit 1.3.3, PostgreSQL 8.0.7, PHP 4.4.2, and Apache 2.0.55...." Read the release announcement and release notes for more information.
* * * * *
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to the waiting list|
- GNX.IN Linux. GNX.IN is a multi-purpose distribution combining the Linux kernel with the NetBSD package management system - pkg_add.
- OliveBSD. OliveBSD is a live CD based on OpenBSD with graphical environment and various software packages.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
That's all for today. The next issue of DistroWatch Weekly will be published on Monday, 27 February 2006. See you then :-)
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
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|Reader Comments - Jump to last comment
1 • Ebuntu and Xubuntu cool (by Greg Weber on 2006-02-20 09:38:27 GMT from Canada) |
I find it wonderful that people have started work on versions of Ubuntu with lighter desktops. I have always wanted something I can use on all my machines no matter what the age. Gnome and KDE may be great but they can be bog slow. I think it would be killer to skip the multiple distributions that you normally need because they don't offer all the software to make them work on varying hardware (power management for laptops, light programs for the less powerful, wireless support, different architectures, etc...) This is another step to help me simplify my distribution choices.
2 • Mark visits HK today? (by Small Potato on 2006-02-20 09:52:52 GMT from Hong Kong)
It seems nobody really cares here in HK... >_<
3 • Ufuntu (by Lobster on 2006-02-20 10:08:32 GMT from United Kingdom)
Another great distrowatch weekly, good to hear from Ufuntu. As Linux develops it is clear that commerce and service charging will be available. At what cost to the little guy? Free I think because the little guys make and break. I was very happy to receive the latest Ubuntu but did not find it fun (maybe that is just me) The previous one was also not fun but it worked.
Worked is good. We get to expect that these days.
MicroSoft stopped being fun a long time ago - wait a minute - they never were fun.
The Linux beards need tweaking. The specs need a twinkle. When will we have Linux for Laughs? Who said, "we have BSD for comedians?" Have you no shame . . .
Are we having fun yet?
4 • Ubuntu takes on the world (by Vectrox on 2006-02-20 11:08:35 GMT from Netherlands)
I have a bad feeling about Ubuntu. I think and hope that Linux will become mainstream in a couple of years. But I do not want Ubuntu to become mainstream. This is because everything will be commercial, even if they dont say it..
I think that Ubuntu is just another distribution with a limited time of popularity just like Mandrake was.
5 • Shuttleworth (by Bunsen on 2006-02-20 11:28:16 GMT from Germany)
Ubuntu will always be free of charge (until they decide otherwise). Support for Ubuntu apparently not. So Shuttleworth is cleary trying to build up his own software empire (imho) and one of Mandrivas staff (don't remember his name) comment, that in a worst case scenario, Shuttleworth plans to bully out all other distros from the market is not so far fetched, although last week, many many people disagreed.
It is better to be overcautious and watch others closely, as long as you don't really know what they are up to. And I must admit, I don't know Shuttleworth's final aim (I guess only he knows it and won't reveal it).
I was once a happy follower of Ubuntu (it was a nice alternative to my Debian system), until they started to put their fingers in every place. Edubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu... all I hear is "...buntu". I dont really like the path, things are going there. I don't want one distro to be overly dominant, even if they propagate they they won't strangle us (until their business plan shows us something different).
I simply distrust Shuttleworth and his group. Maybe I am unfair, but, like Han Solo always said: "I have a bad feeling 'bout this".
6 • Ubuntu (by Artis_Gilmore on 2006-02-20 11:31:26 GMT from Italy)
I am from Italy...
In my experience I must admit Ubuntu works!!....then I switch to Kanotix.....it works and gave me a better feeeling.....
Really funny amd rock solid....
So....that's always an alternative.....
Tubes or T-Amp.......;-)
7 • Ubuntu with lighter desktops. (by Anonymous on 2006-02-20 11:31:27 GMT from Brazil)
Instead of releasing several flavors of ubuntu -> (you-name-it)ubuntu, why not include several WM in one CD?
fluxbox, qvwm, icewm, wmaker, to name a few...
They do not use so much space...
8 • Ubuntu (by Caraibes on 2006-02-20 11:37:00 GMT from Dominican Republic)
I am back with Ubuntu and Kubuntu as main distros since 3 months now, and I am sooo happy with it.
I understand Mark's vision, and I am glad his OS is as good as it gets.
Don't take me for a fanboy, as I have tested most distros around by now, and also enjoy others, such as GenieOS, PCLinusOS, Puppy... But now that I am using Ubuntu, I feel it's the right choice.
I don't think it's a trend, Ubuntu will only grow, sorry for the folks who hate mainstream...
9 • there is no one true distro (by wildpossum on 2006-02-20 12:06:15 GMT from Australia)
Yes, repeat that after me, like a mantra. This talk of yes it's the best, no I don't trust it, has been played out before, substituting other names. The GPL allows multiple distros to exist and not destroy each other, but compete on their own merits and spur each other to improve. And specialised distros can inhabit their own niches.
I've been through all the major distros, you name, I've deployed it. Does that mean I am jaded and disillusioned to pledge my allegiance to none? No, each was a choice for the time. But other distros came along and did better.
Rejoice in the variety of ever improving tools that are available, but always keep your skills honed, particularly with the CLI. You'll never be short of work.
10 • clubuntu (by truth machine on 2006-02-20 12:07:43 GMT from United States)
"one of Mandrivas staff (don't remember his name) comment"
You're clueless; it was Mandriva's CEO. Funny how you trust him but not Shuttleworth.
"in a worst case scenario, Shuttleworth plans to bully out all other distros from the market is not so far fetched, although last week, many many people disagreed."
You're clueless; they disagreed because it's absurd, and they gave the reasons why.
"I was once a happy follower of Ubuntu (it was a nice alternative to my Debian system), until they started to put their fingers in every place. Edubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu... all I hear is "...buntu""
You're clueless; all the major distributions have forks and variants -- that the ubuntu variants are called "...buntu" is just a bit of verbal fun.
"Maybe I am unfair, but, like Han Solo always said: "I have a bad feeling 'bout this"."
You're clueless; Han Solo was a fictional character facing a fictional threat.
11 • Sigh... (by 1c3d0g on 2006-02-20 12:32:35 GMT from Aruba)
Vectrox and Bunsen, quit being so paranoid, mkay? Thanks. :-/
12 • Leaders can just start! (by Bill Savoie on 2006-02-20 12:35:21 GMT from United States)
When Mark Shuttleworth spoke "A small group of passionate people is all it takes to change the world. In fact, if you look through the history of humanity, they are the only ones who have ever changed anything." He was quoting a line from the famous anthropologist Margaret Mead. I can't seem to find the reference online, but I have a UU church tee shirt with the quote on it.
Being alive has such great oppertunities as both Mark and Ladislav are living examples. Diversity is only allowed if you go your own way. The door to freedom opens inward. You get the idea, now live it.
13 • Ubuntu (by Juan Pablo on 2006-02-20 12:36:16 GMT from Germany)
I don't fear Mark Shuttleworth, he is sometimes a bit too pathetic, but why not?
I don't use Ubuntu, because I never had any problems with Debian SID and it gives you bleeding-edge software.
14 • Ubuntu on DVD (by ozonehole on 2006-02-20 12:57:35 GMT from Taiwan)
Instead of releasing several flavors of ubuntu -> (you-name-it)ubuntu, why not include several WM in one CD?
fluxbox, qvwm, icewm, wmaker, to name a few...
They do not use so much space...
Which is why Ubuntu on DVD is so much better. Indeed, that would apply to almost every other Distro. I realize that not everyone has a DVD drive, but if you do then this is the way to go.
15 • What Ubuntu really needs. (by Roy Stefanussen on 2006-02-20 13:03:51 GMT from United States)
I keep trying Ubuntu as it develops. It has great hardware support, but it is very slow. Too slow for me. I'm waiting for SpeedUbuntu!
16 • Re: What Ubuntu really needs (by Ariszló on 2006-02-20 13:26:11 GMT from Hungary)
Replace the default kernel with the i686-optimized kernel and it will be fast enough.
17 • Ubuntu <--> Mandriva (by Marco on 2006-02-20 14:07:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
I used Ubuntu a couple of months ago but switched to Mandriva (unfortunately). Since then my system is crashing quite often and urpmi is just a nightmare in comparison to apt-get. I will reinstall Ubuntu tonight, because it just works and every application I need is available in the universe repository.
18 • Margaret Mead quote (by truth machine on 2006-02-20 14:10:29 GMT from United States)
"He was quoting a line from the famous anthropologist Margaret Mead. I can't seem to find the reference online"
Sometimes I wonder how people manage to make it through the day.
google margaret mead quotes
and you'll get a billion links.
19 • the beauty of linux - pick and choose (by Jose on 2006-02-20 14:23:01 GMT from Puerto Rico)
the beauty of linux is that you can choose the distro that fits your needs. in my case, I have a laptop with Kanotix, this one runs Kubuntu, a server here runs Debian and my server at my work runs Ubuntu. All tailored for my specific needs. Yes, they are all Debian based, but again, that's the distro that serves my needs. And I've gone thru Red Hat, Mandrake (back in the day), Knoppix, PCLinux OS, Mepis and Gentoo Linux.
20 • Ubuntu (by Michael on 2006-02-20 15:15:12 GMT from United States)
I think that Mark Shuttleworth is a talented person with energy, money and a vision. I don't use Ubuntu but it's a good distro and I hope it grows and prospers. My concern is that some of Ubuntu's actions appear to undermine Debian. Ubuntu's support of Debian should be total and unwavering and I am concerned that it isn't.
21 • One more word on Ubuntu.... (by Poiema on 2006-02-20 15:17:01 GMT from United States)
Why can't we just take Mark Shuttleworth at his word? Has he ever given us any reason not to? I am quite sure his desire is to see Ubuntu and its derivatives as dominant against the likes of Windows and Mac. I don't believe he has any plans to do away with the rest of the Linux world. If for no other reason than the innovation coming from other distributions that could find its way into Ubuntu. And he is probably as aware as you and I are that many of us in the Linux world will always just prefer another distro for whatever reason. Maybe Ubuntu will provide a formidable challenge to Windows and Mac or maybe it will be just another Mandriva, etc. Let's just see what happens and reap the benefits either in Ubuntu directly or through whatever our favorite distro is doing to keep up or surpass.
22 • dial up - winmodem (by towsonu2003 on 2006-02-20 15:23:58 GMT from United States)
As long as Ubuntu is the only distro that figured out a way to work with my hardware (it is the ONLY distro where my winmodem is working at all!!), I'll keep it and love it. I don't think they need to strangle other distros or make ubuntu commercial to make a profit out of it. I'm not even sure that guy needs to profit with all that money.
In my case, although Ubuntu does not support winmodems out of the box (see: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=82608 ), they have a very nice and helpful wiki for those of us (winmodem users) who are left out of the Linux heaven (see: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DialupModemHowto )
My only wish right now, is for Ubuntu developers to work with Linmodems.org developers and be the first distro to solve our winmodem nightmare.
23 • opensource (by ubuntulinuxboy on 2006-02-20 16:24:24 GMT from United States)
I'll believe Shuttleworth on Ubuntu so long as his actions match his words. He has a great vision. If Ubuntu goes closed source (very unlikely) or adopts a tiered pay system, I am sure that other distros will pick up the slack.
24 • Give 'em a break !! (by Rohan Dhruva on 2006-02-20 17:05:39 GMT from India)
Great DW weekly, as usual :D
Guys, give ubuntu and mark a break. They _cannot_ take over the linux distro scene. As long as other distros like slackware, fedora, debian exist, there will _always_ be people who use them. Get off the necks of the ubuntu and mark. There have been enough rants, enough flames. Why not just use what you want and let other people be ?
I like ubuntu, but it is not my first choice. When it runs sufficiently fast on my PIII 550mhz with 256mb ram, i will use it without question.
25 • No subject (by towsonu2003 on 2006-02-20 17:13:13 GMT from United States)
if network is working: try a server install and
"sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop
(which will give you xfce4, which runs better than gnome in older hardware)
26 • ubuntu (by tommyboy on 2006-02-20 17:17:40 GMT from United States)
I am not a hudge Linux compiler, but I use Linux for everything. 6 months ago i found Ubuntu and loved it. Now i have it installed on my pc and laptop. worked right out of the box. no configuration needed. So since then i have put it on my parents pc, my brother and 3 co-workers. They all love it. They don't have fast pc. Put for what they do. its 200% better then windows option. I told my mom and dad no spyware and no viruses, they did not belive me. now my dad is using ubuntu. 1 year ago i would have not done that, but ubunt made this possible. I don't care about politics, but as long as i get what i need at the best performance i will use that. Oh and belive me i have tried almsot every other distor(including nexenta os) if you are first time linux user comming from windows this is the best.
27 • give them a break !!! (by Anonymous on 2006-02-20 17:33:02 GMT from United States)
"They _cannot_ take over the linux distro scene"
They have stormed out of nowhere to take over the top stop(Statistics: Distrowatch). Mandrake(now Mandriva) went down to third place after being number 1 here at Distrowatch for quite some time. Fedora was always in 2nd place with Knoppix and SUSE following.
In any case, if Ubuntu starts charging, they will go down and another distro will climb up and claim that space. SUSE is behind, but too many hits per day behind.
Will they take over the position that Micro$oft has? Bundle new computers with linux so that users can have linux instead of windows? It would make great strides but to see it happen, we will have to wait. Micro$oft is not ready to be taken down yet.
28 • Paranoia (by Rob on 2006-02-20 17:43:10 GMT from Canada)
'Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they are out to get you.'
I agree that we need to keep an eye on software providers so we don't get into another trap a la Microsoft. But think about how tenuous the MS grip has become in spite of financial capacity that makes Mark Shuttleworth look like a kid with a lemonade stand.
Ubuntu, in the end is based on freely available software and there is no way he can strangle the open source community if MS can't manage it.
Finally, believe it or not, there are companies (my own employers included) that are more comfortable paying for stuff like software and support and etc. Why don't we trust, for now, that Mark Shuttleworth will both nurture the open source community AND provide an essential service to organizations that feel better spending money?
29 • WinModem and Linux (not only Ubuntu!) (by Radek at 2006-02-20 18:21:38 GMT from Poland)
I don't know which winmodemis mentioned, but if I'm not mistaken my Lucent is a winmodem and I easily found an rpm that worked with it!
As for Ubuntu - it is nice, but the strange su-behaviour - I couldn't get over it... Gave away almost all my Ubuntu original cd's and at least one of them seems to have caught the attention of a linux newbie, so who knows, perhaps it can appeal to desktop-mainly/only users. My advice to Ubuntu developers: have a tip on what to do to gain the "traditional" su-action in a terminal pop-up when people try to log on as a root "the usual way".
30 • Ubuntu is the new Mandriva (by Nick at 2006-02-20 18:22:26 GMT from United States)
Ubuntu is the new Mandriva, except better. I personally don't use it, but I have tried it a couple of times and it's nice (except for it's name).
What I don’t understand is why everything that gets too popular in the Linux community becomes a target for criticism.
31 • Mark is for real (by Dhonn on 2006-02-20 18:41:42 GMT from United States)
Mark is the most giving person. He's doing everything he can to help society, education, open source, even advanced the internet with Thawte. He even donated 10 million dollars to the ubuntu project and hired people to work on it full time all the help build our Linux.
Check out his foundation:
I think Ubuntu linux is a the best vehecle to getting linux to the hands of everyone. The cds are free.
32 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2006-02-20 18:45:13 GMT from United States)
"What I don’t understand is why everything that gets too popular in the Linux community becomes a target for criticism."
Probably the reason why Linux doesnt get any better. Plus everyone switches and changes distro's ever week. There's no focus on advancement of the platform.
33 • No subject (by Rohan Dhruva on 2006-02-20 18:48:08 GMT from India)
Thanks a lot tommyboy, i have heard about xfce. Did not like it much, i must confess :D
Anonymous on 2006-02-20 17:33:02 GMT from United States :
No, canonical can never be "microsoft of linux" because of the open nature of linux. If i dont like ubuntu, i will not use it. In windows there are not choices apart from micrsofts offering.
So what if they are bundling computers with ubuntu preinstalled ? Microsoft, Linspire, Mepis all do that.
Radek : C'mon now, how hard is "sudo -i" as compared to "su -" ? And sudo -i will not prompt for password either :D
34 • drobbins (by Chris C. on 2006-02-20 19:47:12 GMT from United States)
Amazing to see all the pointless hand-wringing here about Ubuntu and not a peep about the Daniel Robbins news ...
35 • Fedora Core 5 test3 has already been released (by Jordi on 2006-02-20 19:59:26 GMT from Spain)
Take a look here:
And also here:
So ...happy downloading! :)
36 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2006-02-20 20:00:35 GMT from United States)
nice. but there is one thing missing. like you always do, you forgot/didnt have enough time to do a small review and a screenshot of a randomnew linux distro. still a great read
37 • Why flame? (by benplaut on 2006-02-20 21:54:55 GMT from United States)
As for ubuntu 'taking over' the linux world, what's the matter with that? If you personally want to use a different distro, go ahead.
People choose distros primarily based on their merrits (secondly by what people recommend to them). If they choose ubuntu, then that's their choice.
Ubuntu is released under GPL (duh), and the goal is to remain complketely free. I can't forsee ubuntu becoming closed, at least not it the near to medium-range future. In ten years, if it's still around, maybe. Until then, you can count on it being completely free
38 • amaze yourself (by truth machine on 2006-02-20 22:06:48 GMT from United States)
"Amazing to see all the pointless hand-wringing here about Ubuntu and not a peep about the Daniel Robbins news ..."
I wonder what's wrong with the brains of people who write "Why isn't anyone talking about X?" without saying anything about X.
39 • Ubuntu --- Advancing Linux (by Some Stupid Canadian on 2006-02-20 22:55:57 GMT from Canada)
Last week it was "Ubuntu is evil for taking donations"
This week "Shuttleworth is evil for trying to make the best distro"
One of the reasons I enjoy Linux so much is because you can see evolution happen right before your eyes.
I feel that Ubuntu is helping to advance Linux by trying to be the best.
The "best" will always be criticized no matter what.
Even if something did happen, and we had to pay for something, all the work that is goind into Ubuntu will still help Linux in the long run.
It is open source and somebody can take it and fork the project like eveyother project.
And yes, I'm sure a "new" idea will be introduced and some other linux versus will become "mainstream" for whatever reason.
But right now I feel Ubuntu is heading in the right direction. It just keeps getting better every 6 months.
40 • ubunt-or-not (by titiv69 on 2006-02-20 23:21:30 GMT from France)
First I must say that Mark, likes to keep the lead !
not a week without his face or his belive or his Ubuntu novelty.
That said I realy think there is a before and an after Ubuntu,
I am not a computer specialist but it seems that since Ubuntu is "on the spots" a great step have been made for the end-user desktop.
I guess Mark is not the only person to blame (when I say Mark I think as well his team) Mandrake, Suse....etc have tried theire own way, and lost it, Now it's just a matter to see how they will react, the fact is not on what Ubuntu does but as well what others will do, (by the way I have seen somewhere that Mandriva will not post officially XGL...great move!!).
By this I just mean that Ubuntu needs us actually (us= users, programers, contributors etc..) so not to worry for the moment, but for sure if none of the main actor shows it's inovative capacity, we will create a new "Xgates".
41 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2006-02-20 23:31:56 GMT from United States)
One thing that people discussing the possibility - or lack thereof - that Shuttleworth will go commercial is this: not only will many of their users, drawn to the free software marketing, jump ship in droves, but many of Ubuntu's developers, many of whom are also Debian and GNOME developers, projects noted for their share of Free Software activists, will leave as well. It would be suicide for Shuttleworth, even if that were something he'd intend. I am no particular fan of Ubuntu, but I do take him at his word.
42 • Paranoia over 'buntu (by Misty on 2006-02-21 00:11:47 GMT from United States)
"in a worst case scenario, Shuttleworth plans to bully out all other distros from the market is not so far fetched, although last week, many many people disagreed."
So what if he does? The 'buntu distros are currently completely GPL, so if he were to put out a closed source version tomorrow *anyone* can simply take Ubuntu as it is today and make a completely GPL version under a different name. So what's the big deal here?
I really don't get this fear of Ubuntu. Yes, it's very popular, but so what? Will that drive all the other distros out? Exactly how could that be accomplished? Thinking Shuttle worth can somehow get rid of other distros is just silly - this is open source, not closed.
You want to know why Ubuntu is so popular? Ease of use and stability. It has everything Mandriva, SuSE, Mepis, and other distros that make commercial editions have but you get everything for free. There's no business edition, no club, nothing. It's like Debian and Slackware in that regard but you don't have to pay a cent for the extra goodies. And exactly why is this bad? Judging by the posts I've been reading here this seems to terrify some folks. Why are you frightened of a foundation giving you a really good OS for free? That makes no sense.
Are you afraid Mandriva, SuSE, Mepis, etc,. will cease to exist because of Ubuntu? At worst they would have to change their business model, perhaps being a bit more generous with the software included in their free edition. If they're too tight to do that then what do you need them for anyway? Quite frankly, I never liked those distros for exactly that reason and I really don't care if they can't handle the competition from a distro that's just as good or better and gives you everything for free, rather than charging for everything beyond the basics included with most every distro. And besides, isn't that a bit hypocritical, claiming that Ubuntu is going commercial and how terrible that is, but it's okay for other distros?
43 • not afraid (by winsnomore on 2006-02-21 05:13:49 GMT from United States)
not afraid .. no one is !!!!!!!
I myself thing xxxxxbuntu is pig with lipstick .. lipstick is a lot of forced pumping. Many people beleive distrowatch's ratings are pumped by xxxxbuntu .. they do it, it's not illegal .. .. let them do it.
But xxxxxxbuntu is just not as good as it is claimed. I have tried iftoff and on for a year and never could stand the nuances
For looks Suse is much better.
For completenesss .. Mepis and PCLinuxOS are much better. ( I know the Mepis rumors .. and let them be .. there will be others)
For fun knoppix and kanotix are unbeatable ..
so there .. don't be afraid just explore and thou shall find::-))
44 • clubuntu guy (by henry on 2006-02-21 09:42:16 GMT from United Kingdom)
This is to the "clubuntu" guy. "You're clueless...." etc.
Get a life mate.
45 • Ubuntu comments - I don't like them (by Tomcat on 2006-02-21 10:53:44 GMT from Germany)
It is somewhat amazing... two or three guys critisize Ubuntu/Mark Shuttleworth and IMHO, what they get back is a bunch of overly-aggressive remarks from the Ubuntu base. I get the impresion that "Ubuntuists" can't stand that anyone dislikes Ubuntu or Shuttleworth. Isn't Linux also about the right to criticize things without getting flamed immediately?
"I simply distrust Shuttleworth and his group. Maybe I am unfair, but, like Han Solo always said: "I have a bad feeling 'bout this"."
I think he has every right to distrust anyone. I guess he will have his reasons for being distrustfull, even if he stated them rather poorly. But if he wants to tell us about his distrust, he should clearly point out what causes this deep distrusting.
"... in a worst case scenario, Shuttleworth plans to bully out all other distros from the market"
This sounds unlikely, but let's put it another way. In a worst case scenario, Shuttleworth plans to bully out all other commercial (!) distros from the market. Now this would make some sense to me. The first one not really, as we have many free distros that you can't kill off that fast, my beloved Fedora is e.g. one of those.
"One thing that people discussing the possibility - or lack thereof - that Shuttleworth will go commercial is this: not only will many of their users, drawn to the free software marketing, jump ship in droves, but many of Ubuntu's developers, many of whom are also Debian and GNOME developers, projects noted for their share of Free Software activists, will leave as well. It would be suicide for Shuttleworth, even if that were something he'd intend. I am no particular fan of Ubuntu, but I do take him at his word."
Now this is a good argument against Shuttleworth taking over the market IMHO. I would be tempted, though, to see if this really happens if they make Ubuntu closed source. :)
Now, my dear Ubuntu users. Yes, you have the right to claim that Ubuntu is a good distro and in your opinion the best there is. For me, it is Fedora, but that is only my very personal experience, based on my hardware mix. I won't tell anyone that Fedora is better than distro X because it is not. (Others might run into trouble with Fedora with their hardware). Unlike the Ubuntu followers, I don't force my vision of "which is the best distro hands down" upon anyone else. IMHO the Ubuntu userbase does just that.
The rather aggressive nature of the Ubuntu camp in this respect ("nothing is better than Ubuntu"), together with their apparent problem of accepting any criticism on Ubuntu and its "Mark-Messiah" is something that, sadly, really puts me off. Are those Ubtunu-users the same users that once defended Windows fanatically against any criticism? It looks a bit to me like that. The constant "battling" against any differing views by Ubuntu users hurts not only the image of Ubuntu, but of the whole OSS movement in general. (Again: My peronal impression) A bit more respect towards differing views, even if stated in a rather "unlucky way", would be nice.
Final note: No, I am not telling that all Ubuntu users are that way, but those who don't accept any negative comments on Ubuntu seem to be almost the only ones who speak out loud in forums such as this.
PS: I hope my comment can be understood a bit. English is not my native language, so please bare with me. :)
46 • At least, there's no club !!! (by Caraibes on 2006-02-21 13:00:43 GMT from Dominican Republic)
I understand very well that one might distrust a successfull rich man.
However, he made possible a great distro, and it's all for free. The wiki is really straight-forward and easy to follow for assistance. You don't have to pay for a club or anything to get help, and it's only fair for Canonical to do sell support to big companies, with deep pockets. The end-user don't have to pay all these big bucks, he just has to read the wiki !!!
Mandriva and Suse are quality distros, but I must say that Mandriva Free is a pain in the b*** to configure, versus a basic Ubuntu config...
Yes, I wish Ubuntu would stick closer to the Debian community.
If I started disliking Ubuntu for any reason, I would go back to Debian Sarge, or should I say GenieOS...
I don't think Mark is half as arrogant as Steve Jobs, and half as treacherous as Bill Gates !!!
Anyway, it's healthy for the Linux comunity to debate, and disagree a bit, I don't see it as a problem.
No one's an angel... But I am writing you that from Opera 8.52, in Breezy !!!!!! Loving it big time !!!!
47 • Don't let the paranoids get you (by bystander on 2006-02-21 13:59:42 GMT from Finland)
GNU/Linux world is evolving all the time (especially on the desktop) and a distro that releases fast and often is regarded as leading the others. But this kind of lead is more or less an illusion. The latest Ubuntu release will soon be obsoleted by a newer release from Fedora/SUSE/Mandriva or some other distro. Any distro that packages the latest software will be the hottest and sexiest thing for a month or two but once some other distro packages a release with newer versions of popular software, the older attraction starts fading quickly. And there are a lot of distros out there competing for a place in the spotlights.
Ubuntu has a well-thought release strategy -- they take a snapshot of another distro (Debian), add some new stuff plus their own modifications and then release the result every six months. This strategy allows Ubuntu to concentrate on the desktop stuff that matters most to their target audience. But there are several other distros that manage to produce just as good releases (if not even better) without building their system on top of another distro.
So Ubuntu has chosen the easy road and it seems to be currently quite popular (although Ubuntu may manipulate the DistroWatch page hit counter to make it appear even more popular than it really is, as some people have suggested) but Ubuntu is certainly not something extraordinary in the GNU/Linux world. If Mark Shuttleworth should go bankrupt and Ubuntu would cease to exist, then Ubuntu's current users could switch to some other distro with little inconvenience. Also, the development of other distros or Free Open Source Software in general is happily independent of the success or failure of Ubuntu. IMHO, the only potential future threat to the Free Software community that Ubuntu/Canonical presents is the proprietary nature of its LaunchPad project. But I guess that's the way it has to be if Mark Shuttleworth wants to make his business plan successful.
All in all, I wish all the best for Ubuntu and its users. Enjoy while it lasts -- sooner or later some other distro will take Ubuntu's place and become the latest fashion. Meanwhile, development goes on as usual in the GNU/Linux world.
48 • Knoppix on the Intel-based Macintosh (by Anonymous Penguin on 2006-02-21 14:42:16 GMT from Italy)
Hardly a surprise considering that Knoppix and its derivative have always had the best hardware detection.
49 • RE: #47 (by Anonymous Penguin on 2006-02-21 14:59:39 GMT from Italy)
Generally speaking I agree with you.
However sometimes distros which were once popular for a very long time, seem to take an unstoppable downwards trend. It is especially Mandriva that I have in mind: just have a look at how it has done over a year, 6, 3 and 1 month.
50 • RE: 45 (by SFN on 2006-02-21 15:07:45 GMT from United States)
"Isn't Linux also about the right to criticize things without getting flamed immediately?"
Free speech means you get to say whatever you want. It doesn't mean that once you've said it, other people aren't allowed to say what they want.
51 • RE: #45 (by Anonymous Penguin on 2006-02-21 15:40:21 GMT from Italy)
"PS: I hope my comment can be understood a bit. English is not my native language, so please bare with me. :)"
Tomcat, I hope you don't mind a bit of humor :)
"In Reply to: bare with me posted by prof d'anglais on January 18, 2005 at 19:24:51:
: I asked my French students to "bare with me" and realised I couldn't explain it's origin, meaning or even certain of it's spelling. I'm also aware "to bare" occurs in many other phrases eg "to bare in mind" etc
Unless your students are nudists, you were likely to be asking them to *bear* with you. One of the many meanings of the verb "to bear" is to "To press, force one's way against resistance; to move with effort, with persistence, or with a distinct bias in some direction" (from the OED). So "bear with me" means persist in me in something, a line of reasoning, perhaps. It's also to "bear in mind" as in to bear or carry some though in mind.
But be of good cheer. At least it's a funny spelling mistake. Personally, I can not spell to save my life, and I've spelled it "bare" (to lay bare or disclose) on occasion. You could always claim it was a Freudian slip."
52 • #51 (by Tomcat on 2006-02-21 16:04:14 GMT from Germany)
"Tomcat, I hope you don't mind a bit of humor :)"
I don't mind :)
53 • RE: #52 (by Anonymous Penguin on 2006-02-21 16:08:54 GMT from Italy)
"I don't mind :)"
54 • Re:paranoia (by Misty on 2006-02-21 16:09:24 GMT from United States)
I never said Ubuntu is the best there is - actually, I still think Debian (via GenieOS) is the best there is. Sure, it has a fairly steep learning curve, but it's worth it in the end - you get a completely customizable system and you can have everything you want with it. Debian Sid is currently pretty stable which isn't always the case, but Debian Testing has never given me a problem with broken packages or anything. Bleeding edge software often means your system bleeds; I'd rather have a more stable, problem-free setup than the very latest everything. Many feel the same way about Gentoo for much the same reasons. However, even Debian and Genie OS aren't perfect; they'd be even better if they used Knoppix's hardware detection.
As to aggressiveness, well - Mandriva's CEO is just another Bill Gates! Pretty soon there won't be any other commercial distros because he's going to take them over. That is, if Novell doesn't beat him to it! They're trying to get rid of all other distros too. They'll just buy them out - think about it, they have the money. And Mepis is the worst rip-off ever! Just you wait, those three will kill all other distros and charge you an arm and a leg for theirs!
There, how did you like that? This is EXACTLY the same crap I've been reading every time I look at the DW comments for the last two weeks, people spewing nonsense about Ununtu taking over the Linux world - an impossible task if there ever was one - and you say Ubuntu's defenders are aggressive? I won't even say "pot, meet kettle" because Ubuntu's defenders haven't been as aggressive as you guys. And frankly, it's still just silly at best. Windows and Macs are far more of a threat to your fave distro than Ubuntu or any other flavor of *nix. I would think that was obvious.
55 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2006-02-21 16:19:22 GMT from Netherlands)
It's the fear of change that makes people say and think strange things...
56 • RE: #54 (by Anonymous Penguin on 2006-02-21 16:51:38 GMT from Italy)
"As to aggressiveness, well - Mandriva's CEO is just another Bill Gates!"
I know you are only joking, but God no, what comes from the Mandriva management is only never ending stupidity: make a chimp the CEO of Mandriva, you might get better results!
57 • Re: Ubuntu (by Who cares who I am? on 2006-02-21 17:03:13 GMT from United States)
"Ubuntu will always be free of charge (until they decide otherwise). Support for Ubuntu apparently not. "
Since when was support free with Mandriva? It sure wasn't when I tried it. Hell, from what I heard at LinuxQuestions Novell won't support you with the pro version of Suse although they're supposed to. You call them with problems and they're like we'll get back to you and then don't. Wait do you mean their forums? I don't suppose you've noticed that Ubuntu has forums too? Many distros do. Asto untilt hey decide otherwise you can say the same thing about Debian and Slackware. Oddly enough they've remained free a long long time.
"Shuttleworth plans to bully out all other distros from the market is not so far fetched"
You people keep saying this. Tell us how it could be done cause I sure can't think of how. If it could be done Mandrake would've done it long ago. Believe me, they tried. I was around then and they were about the only easy to use distro there was and they seemed to be takign over. But what happened? New easy to use distros sprang up. Thing is you newbies haven't seen the sensation over a good easy to use distro yet. This makes like 3 times i've seen this sort of thing happen. It's nothing new. As someone else here said development goes on as usual in the GNU/Linux world.
58 • Re: # 56 (by Misty on 2006-02-21 17:05:23 GMT from United States)
Lol, of course I was joking. I wouldn't truthfully say that about, well, anyone. ;)
59 • Re: 51, 52, 53 (by Anonymous on 2006-02-21 17:11:12 GMT from United States)
Nice! 3 comments in a row that don't mention the u-word.
Can we talk about something else besides you-bun-2 ?
Anyony try the new Elive? I haven't had a chance to check out enlightment 17 but 16 was great looking.
Re 54 - Misty, I agree, Debian is my choice, although I would not say it is the 'best'. There is no 'best'. But having tried more distros than I can remember, I stay with Debian. It feels more 'complete' than the others.
60 • Re: 359 (by nameles on 2006-02-21 17:21:19 GMT from Canada)
I tried the new Elive and I think it shows great promise but still needs some work. I was dissapointed to find that this version does not automaticaly detect and enable my network connection like the prior version did. I also experienced several errors in E17. On the positive side, it looks cool and the new control panel is a great addition. I'm going to continue to watch this one closely.
61 • a non-Ubuntu fan speaks again (by Anonymous on 2006-02-21 17:22:57 GMT from United States)
I'd better make up a name soon, but my previous post was 41.
Anyway, the reason I don't use Ubuntu is that it doesn't fit as well into my various needs as Debian's various branches. For the machines that need stability and security: firewalls, servers, desktops used by friends an family, I prefer sarge because it's new enough (I backport Firefox and Openoffice.org on desktops) and it's stable across the board, no supported main vs. unsupported universe. My other machines run varying configurations, from etch beta 1 to sid with pinning from experimental, each tailored to different requirements. And Ubuntu doesn't seem to serve any of those functions better, though my roommate's lone machine runs that. It meets his needs I suppose, though I have teased him a bit to encourage a switch. (I'm omitting the NetBSD and Solaris boxes from this story.)
Apparently, Ubuntu fits some people's needs very well. Just not mine. Thought from what I've seen, it would certainly do in a pinch. I'd prefer Debian compatibility, but I understand why their model makes that unfeasible. Looks? er, brown? It's not bad, I suppose. I do like the menu layout. Wallpaper is easily changed. Someone mentioned SuSE's looks? ewwww. But then, I actually think the GNOME defaults in sarge are very, very nice. midnightblue wallpaper and Simple theme. Easy to read but soothing. I think it's the nicest looking default desktop around.
But if we all had the same views on such things, we'd all live in taupe houses with magnolia interiors.
Debian's hardware detection was mentioned and compared to that in Knoppix. I agree to a point as prior to sarge my way of putting woody onto a newer machine was to boot Knoppix then debootstrap. But Debian certainly shouldn't switch. Knoppix hardware detection (which is actually a customized kudzu taken from Redhat) won't work on all of the many architectures that Debian supports. In fact, with many of the things people criticize about Debian's installation routine, the issue is that Debian supports so many arches and is designed as much for servers as for workstations and desktops. For that, Debian has created the most powerful, most flexible installer around. But not the most user friendly.
Again, choose what suits your needs.
And don't fear Shuttleworth. keep an eye on him though but remember the boy who cried wolf. If Shuttleworth does go astray, save your credibility for calling him on it at that time.
62 • No subject (by pilpilon on 2006-02-21 18:34:14 GMT from Israel)
Ubuntu differs from other company-supported in that that it have no commercial version. If there would be commercial version, so it would be one difference less.
One like sudo -- Ubuntu is good choice.
One don't like sudo -- Ubuntu is bad choice.
That is it
63 • 62 (by Anonymous on 2006-02-21 18:45:32 GMT from United States)
sudo is probably the worst reason not to choose Ubuntu. If you're experienced enough to have a well-formed preferences, you should be experienced enough to use sudo -s -H to get a root shell or to use sudo passwd to get a root password and use su.
64 • Here We Go Again (by kilgoretrout on 2006-02-21 19:21:00 GMT from United States)
Re my Canadian friend's comment #39, please do not misrepresent my comment in last weeks DWW. My criticism of ubuntu was not solely directed at their solicitation of contributions. Rather, I merely pointed out to those members of the ubuntu community that have drunk the koolaid some ucomfortable but indisputable facts complete with link citations from ubuntu's and Canonical's websites. These included the following facts:
1. The Ubuntu Foundation is not now and never has been, a charitable, nonprofit organization. They expressly state as much on their website. I know this really bothers the ubuntu fanboys when I point this out, but it's an undeniable fact.
2. The Ubuntu Foundation was set up by Canonical, Ltd with a funding commitment of 10 million dollars. Canonical is a private company wholly owned by Mr. Shuttleworth. The precise nature and extent of that funding commitment has never been revealed except in press releases by Canonical. In particular, the legal documentation setting up the Ubuntu Foundation has never been publically disclosed and any contract between Canonical and the Ubuntu Foundation dealing with that initial funding commitment has not been publically disclosed. As such, no one can know what, if any, termination rights Canonical may have with respect to that funding. Similarly, the finances of the Ubuntu Foundation are a closed book. You can find out more about the finances of mandriva, ibm, novel and RH, all publically traded companies, than you can about the finances of ubuntu.
3. Canonical is a for profit entity that does a lot of good things for open source but they also clearly want to make a buck out of all this. Canonical states on their website that:
"Demand for the commercial services offered by Canonical to users of Ubuntu continues to grow. We welcome the very large number of companies that have announced support for Ubuntu both regionally and globally, and expect to continue to create additional partnership, certification and support programs in coming months,"
In short, Canonical hopes to make a profit off of it's funding and promotion of ubuntu, not unlike novel, ibm, mandriva, RH and many others hope to make a profit off of their continuing and substantial financial and technical support of open source. This is another fact that really upsets the ubuntuistas. They should also note that the lead story this week was about the "Ubuntu Asia Business Tour" led by "Mark Shuttleworth and his small team of Canonical business people". It was not on the "Ubuntu Peace and Love Tour" led by members of the Ubuntu Foundation. Ubuntu/Canonical is clearly a commercial enterprise with commercial aspirations, as distasteful as that obvious fact is to many in the ubuntu family.
4. And finally, The Ubuntu Foundation is not a democracy. Rather it describes itself as a "meritocracy" with Mr. Suttleworth being the "Self Appointed Benevolent Dictator For Life"(SABDFL). This is an obvious attempt to equate Mr. Shuttleworth's role in the UF with Linus's role in the linux kernel. Linus is often referred to as a benevolent dictator as well. However, if linus quit tomorrow, kernel development would go on just fine although it would raise PR concerns. If Mr. Shuttleworth stops funding ubuntu tomorrow, it would probably not survive. Mr. Shuttleworth effectively controls the UF, not by virtue of any merit, but by virtue of the fact that he controls the purse strings.
65 • Re:64 (by Anonymous on 2006-02-21 20:47:32 GMT from United States)
Anyone offended by the facts you present shouldn't be using Ubuntu. And probably should have done their homework before choosing Ubuntu. But I imagine many would be quite justified in taking umbrage at your innuendo and your insulting tone ("kool-aid", "fanboy", etc.).
And the original cause of debate last week was the laughable FUD put forward by Bancilhon that Ubuntu might "put all other community-based distros out of business". True community-based distros, like Debian and (from what I understand) Gentoo, have nothing to fear, because they aren't IN "business". And besides, sabotaging Debian would be Ubuntu biting the hand that feeds them anyway. Whether Ubuntu itself counts as community-based is tricky. The development process is in the open and largely volunteer-based, but undoubtedly corporate interests of Canonical may take precedence in some decisions, just as the relationship between Fedora and Red Hat. Is Fedora community-based? If so, then Ubuntu certainly is. And they've promised - for whatever thats worth (I imagine its worth a lot if they want to preserve the goodwill of their volunteer developers and even their employees who also work in volunteer projects.) - to keep the fruits of that development available free as well, unlike RHEL.
Apparently Bancilhon considers Mardrake - whatever it's called now - a "community-based" distro. I don't know enough about them to comment except to say that needing to pay to join a club to get the latest releases raises questions. Like: Is Mandrake community-based in the same sense that Windows is because people can go to forums to get answers to questions about the software they bought and its possible to become a beta tester for Vista?
That said, I still wouldn't donate to Ubuntu myself. Even if I used it, I'd probably rather continue donating to SPI, the GNOME Foundation, the Mozilla Foundation, and, of course, the FSF, all of which still benefits Ubuntu as well.
66 • Ubuntu (by Anonymous on 2006-02-21 21:45:06 GMT from United States)
Although Ubuntu is a fine product, it can never hope to ever capture serious market share in the desktop world. Mark Shuttleworth may have deep pockets, but he is no match for the budgets of Microsoft and Apple. As for Ubuntu taken over the Linux world, that will never happen. No one in the Linux world can agree on anything so there will always be distros and forks.
The only way any distro has a chance to compete with Windows and OsX is if a large corporation puts serious dollars into a single distro. Someone like Google who invests billions of dollars. Otherwise, it will never gain real traction in the desktop world. And very few will be willing to pump that much money into something that has an uncertain future from the start. It may be technically superior, it may even be easier to use, but these things mean nothing in the real world. Cable TV still holds a massive market share when compared to Satellite even though Satellite beats it in virtually every curve including price. People still buy Ford (Found on Road Dead; Fix or Repair Daily) cars over superior products in the same price range or even less expensive products. Many of these people have reasons for doing these things, others just don't like change, and people in general are pretty dumb. I use GenieOS as my Linux distro, but my main desktop is OsX which wipes the floor with any distro out there today. Sure it costs money, but the day I worry about spending $129 for an operating system will be the day I kill myself. Linux is my hobby and it will remain a hobby OS until someone bets the farm on it.
67 • Re: 359 (by nameles on 2006-02-21 17:21:19 GMT from Canada) (by Anonymous on 2006-02-21 21:56:31 GMT from United States)
I too tried Elive and thought it had promise, but the HD installer needs work. I could not get it to work. I did a lot of trial and error with fdisk just to get the installer to complete and even then I wasn't sure. I couldn't get it to boot. A USB install would be nice too. Didn't try the package manager but on the old version it would crash.
68 • RE: #66 (by Anonymous Penguin on 2006-02-21 22:34:47 GMT from Italy)
"my main desktop is OsX which wipes the floor with any distro out there today. Sure it costs money, but the day I worry about spending $129 for an operating system will be the day I kill myself."
The problem aren't the $129 you need to spend for the OS, but the thousands you need if you want to run it on semi-decent hardware (the Mac mini doesn't count as semi-decent).
Linux a hobby OS? There is only one program (a game) I miss in linux.
69 • vector :-) (by ema on 2006-02-21 23:05:07 GMT from Italy)
I have been using linux since 4 years and have tried most of distros,I used ubuntu as it came out ( there were many problems storing dns and ppp,i'm sure it works great now),i change distro usually every 3-4 months..i may be kind of crazy..:-) I bet that anyone ends up following deeper needs..for me is semplicity,speed,stability,packaging..I went back to vector and i got all these. Linux is a great world because we can play,change and chat in completely freedom.. Let's export this model out in the real world :-)
70 • hobby OS (by Anonymous on 2006-02-21 23:27:23 GMT from United States)
I think that businesses like IBM, Amazon, and Wal-mart might disagree. OS X? meh.
71 • Ubuntu (by Slacker on 2006-02-22 03:43:42 GMT from United States)
Ubuntu - noun
Definition - I don't know how to configure Slackware.
(The precediing statement is comical in nature and is not meant to, in any way, shape, form or fashion, offend or degrade Ubuntu users. I mean after all, it's not really their fault, is it?)
72 • hits per day ranking doesn't equal best distro...... (by mikkh on 2006-02-22 06:00:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
.... so why do people think it does?
QiLinux just released a beta 2 version, but it's not even in the top 100
and lots will not even try it, because of that - their loss. It's a very good distro and only the first CD is needed btw, the rest you can download after you've done the base install which includes KDE. All Linux distros are essentially never ending betas, so don't let that put you off, and it seems rock solid to me.
Anyway, back to the subject in hand. Look at the top 100.
Red Hat still in the top quarter - why? As a home desktop it's dead, out of date and artificially maintaining it's position IMO. Then we have Centos, a free Red Hat enterprise clone, raised to dizzy heights by budget concious IT pros looking for a bargain? We have Yellow Dog nicely mid table, because it's one of the few choices for MAC owners.
There are more than a few still in there, that haven't released a version for 6 months or more, and without disecting the list totally, it seems to be simply a guide to who can get more publicity, rather than produce a decent distro. And I'm not even going to mention the U word
73 • Ubuntu and stuff (by Scott Wilson on 2006-02-22 06:12:41 GMT from United States)
I used Ubuntu, I love it.
I am using Dapper Duck test flight 4? Everything works. Including Enlightenement. just needs a little tweeking.
Icons dont work in Evolution. Fonts are little to big.
Would I use strictly Debian again, Fedora, or Suse, dont know, but then again Linux is Linux, no matter which distro you use.
The Ubuntu bashing, its happen to Red Hat, Mandrake. why do you think Ubuntu would be exempt?
Slackware or Gentoo, No not even, I am done configuring Linux, I have a life, things to do. I want to install it, and use it, maybe a tweek here or there. Which one will I point regular endusers to or even in a small business, Red HAt, Novell/Suse.. Slackware, Gentoo, Debian, no ( I work ing the IT field)
Fine lets keep this stupid infighting, Flavor X linux bites mine is better, and let MS continue to domiate teh market.
Mac OS X, Its OK, i like it but, who cares unless you have an expensive Apple computer, Jobs stupid plan of OS X on MacIntel only has doomed Apple to their ever shrinking market share, they better hope the Ipod sells dont start dropping.
Daniel Robbins, who cares?
74 • Proof read your posts! ouch! (by Scott Wilson on 2006-02-22 06:16:59 GMT from United States)
Should of proof read last my post.
Anyway, Why do we need seperate flavors of Ubuntu? Because of egos.
Look Ubuntu has 4 to 5 spin offs. Starts from the top and works it way down.
75 • re: 64 - Here we go again (by Skeptic on 2006-02-22 14:04:19 GMT from Canada)
Tinfoil goes shiny side out dude.
I like (k)Ubunutu best so far after messing with Gentoo, Arch (close second choice) and etc.
I am not a hard core propellor-head but I'm not a techo-weenie either. I'm just married with a house full of kids. I have to compete with the kids for computer time and I don't have the energy to stay up late tweaking my kernel.
My 'contribution' to the Open Source community is a whole two bug reports. Oh yeah, I also evangelize Linux at work with moderate success and keep trying to wean the kids of the Redmond teat. Kubuntu has come closest so far to making this possible.
I say 'closest' because it still isn't quite there and unless we all agree that success is a BAD thing, why are we trying to tear down Ubuntu? This distro, like a few others, has attempted to reach out to that huge populace that still *trusts* Microsoft of all things and is willing to give Bill gobs of money for no good reason. Unless we want Linux to remain our dirty little secret, it must be accessible to the plebians. I welcome efforts to accomplish tis goal.
Is Ubuntu perfect? No. Is Shuttleworth the consummate humanitarian? I doubt it but he seems like an okay guy so far and less a concern than Billy Boy.
As Dathon said to Picard, ""Darmok and Jilad at Tanagra!"
76 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2006-02-22 14:30:58 GMT from United States)
"Linux a hobby OS? There is only one program (a game) I miss in linux."
Good point. I guess I meant that it's a more of a niche OS and not mainstream on the desktop. Of course, the server market looks very different.
"Mac OS X, Its OK, i like it but, who cares unless you have an expensive Apple computer, Jobs stupid plan of OS X on MacIntel only has doomed Apple to their ever shrinking market share, they better hope the Ipod sells dont start dropping."
Expensive Apple computer? Are you telling me a Mac Mini for $499 is expensive? Granted, you can build a better PC for the money, but everyday, average people want something simple that they can buy, use, and be done with it. As for your comment on MacIntel's dooming Apple, Apple sales of Macs are up, not down. Their Itunes will eventually fade, but they always find a new cash cow. Jobs switch to Intel may be stupid to you and he has made mistakes in the past so this switch may very well be one of them, but Jobs was a billionaire in his twenties and just made another fortune with Pixar, and he brought Apple back from sure disaster in the late 90's. I'd hardly consider him a stupid man. It's more likely he knows something you don't.
"As Dathon said to Picard, ""Darmok and Jilad at Tanagra!"
I remember this episode of Star Trek Next Generation. I watch it all the time on channel G4. See, I'm a geek afterall!
77 • Re: 71 (by Anonymous on 2006-02-22 19:38:21 GMT from United States)
Quoth Volkerding, "GNOME-heads, there's this thing called Ubuntu..."
An ancient African word meaning, "Pat stopped officially supporting GNOME."
78 • More Ubuntu fun (by Chip on 2006-02-23 00:05:28 GMT from Germany)
Everybody loves Eric Raymond. : D
79 • ELive (by Tom on 2006-02-23 00:46:51 GMT from United States)
I have tried ELive. This distro suffers from poor hardware detection on the Live CD. I was able to boot the CD on 2 systems, but unable to boot or configure X (yes, I know how to configure X in Debian and Slackware....). On my 3rd system I was able to get the CD to boot into the Live mode and run and then install. On the third system best resolution I could obtain was 800 X 600. I was then able to remote login (putty/ssh) (yes from M*soft) and obtain much better resolution via Cygwin. Very beautyful desktop. System configuration is different and seemed to have less GUI options. No problem with command line interface. Speed/performance seemed reasonable.
Overall impression: Still in Beta testing. Why not install teh desktop onto a live CD distribution with better hardware detection (knoppix)? Why re-invent the wheel?
80 • #79 (by Tim on 2006-02-23 03:06:36 GMT from United States)
I too have tried Elive 0.4
I have it on my main system and though I love the eyecandy on the desktop, it still seems "not quite right." Perhaps as I gain familiarity with the Evolution 16 desktop...
But... I tried to install on my brother's Toshiba 7160 (200 MHz Pentium I, 96MB ram, S3 Virge onboard video, 4GB available partition) and I ran into problems.
At the GRUB screen I selected 800x600 (the highest resolution his monitor is stable at), and then later in the install, selected that resolution again. Then X started and apparently is running the video at something higher than 800x600, as it will not sync.
I tried again and selected 640x480 both places and got the same results. Something is not right yet. I'll continue to look for a Linux distro with a decent package set and desktop for him. Elive seems not to be it at this time. Puppy & DSL don't interest him. He liked the way Elive looked on my system, though. Are there any other distros with the Evolution desktop?
I'll keep playing with Elive on my system for a while.
81 • RE: #80 (by Anonymous Penguin on 2006-02-23 15:48:14 GMT from Italy)
"Are there any other distros with the Evolution desktop?"
I suppose you mean Enlightenment :)
You could use Kanotix 2005-04 and then install Enlightenment with this howto:
82 • Ubuntu (by James on 2006-02-23 16:40:39 GMT from United States)
I use Ubuntu and like it. I see no reason to haul out the tinfoil hat and worry about conspiracy theories, and no way that the makers of any one distribution can coerce its users, given the sheer number of Linux distributions.
Now, if you want something that is gripeworthy, how about gnome-screensaver, and the way it deprives the user of essentially all control over it: you can't choose the screensavers you want random choices to be made from, you can't set options on any screensavers, and you can't do a fullscreen preview to see whether you really like the screensaver or whether, at full screen, they run too slowly to be attractive.
83 • Apple Expensive, Hell Yes! (by Robzilla on 2006-02-23 16:57:04 GMT from United States)
Let me see a Mac mini starts at $499 and for Grandma sure it will do as long as you get all the accessories from a cheaper source than apple or use your old equipment. For most of consumers they want something that is responsive and fast as well as easy to use. So when you go in to an Apple store you are going to be dazzled by either the new iMac or the new iBook or is it a Powerbook, which ever is running the new intel chip. At a minimun you are looking at $1200 for the desktop and around $2000 for the laptop. Then you add software and you are talking some reall serious money that I and most others simply can't afford.
That being said I have no problems with Apple. I think Steve Jobs is a very smart man. Would I do things differently, yes. Could he sell a gazillion OSX cds if he made them for all pcs. Probably. However, when you look at Apple and their business model they have done things very smart. Controlling the line of production and sales and every step in between maximizes profit and quality. Is Apple out to make serious profits-You bet!! Are they greedy like Microsoft-somewhat. The difference I see is that Apple is expensive but it is a product worth having. It is a reliable OS and the hardware is equally reliable. If you own a Mac you keep it for years and you set it and forget it! My wife has had her iBook going on four years and she has never had an issue with viruses or spyware, never had a crash, an occasional freeze in I.E.!!! Other than that it has been a dependable workhorse. So don't say Apple is cheap it isn't and price is not the only thing you consider witha Mac. You get a quality product that is very well designed and something you will keep for a while.
I know a lot of people will say my pc lasted a long time and has been trouble free. And I am sure there are many cases. On average Mac owners keep their machines longer than pc users. Now take my wifes computer against my Sony which I have had one month past the warranty(1 year,1 month) and the dvd drive will not work. I have babied the machine, kept it in a case while not in use, cleaned the drive never even close to dropping or giving it a shock. My wife has put her Mac through some abuse.
Do not get me wrong I am not paid by Apple and I love Linux and BSD but I think you get what you pay for when comparing a pc to a mac and the extra cost is not really an issue when you realize the total cost of ownership.
I think people who say Linux is better or OSX is better are missing the point. Apple and Linux are two very different animals. With the high quality free software available for Linux based OS through the Gnu movement Linux has a very distinct edge over Apple or Microsoft. Linux OS are getting more user friendly and are some of the most secure and stable operating systems in the world. Speed and hardware support gets better every new release.
It is a lot of fun to be a part of the Linux movement and to see the evolution of Linux unfold before my eyes. I think when the time comes and Toshiba offers notebooks with Suse pre-configured they will run M$ in to serious trouble. If Linux has dominated the mission critical server market then it is only a matter of time before the same thing happens to the desktop/laptop market. Don't forget the BSD's with PCBSD and FreeBSD getting easier to use and more driver support they are also coming into the desktop/laptop market. The future looks very exciting for open source.
I have to admit if I had the cash I would buy the new Intel Mac Laptop in a heartbeat! They are cool and if you ever used a Mac you got to like it. Windows makes me run for an alternative. I hate looking at it and using it sucks equally while I get a happy feeling when I use a mac or Linux or BSd. So don't hate. Mac is great for the market they have. I think the future will bear out to dominate players, Linux and Apple. Microsoft will fall to the side. M$ will fight and drive the comeption out as much as they can and with the market share they have it will take time but at some point people are going to get fed up with inferior software and security vulnerabilities and lack of choice.
Anyway that is my 3 cents. I love all the *nix flavors!!
84 • Quoth Volkerding [Was: 77 • Re: 71] (by Ariszló on 2006-02-23 18:13:30 GMT from Hungary)
Anonymous wrote: Quoth Volkerding, "GNOME-heads, there's this thing called Ubuntu..."
An ancient African word meaning, "Pat stopped officially supporting GNOME."
And AbiWord is likely to be removed, too, because of its new dependence on libgnomeprint.
Thu Feb 16 14:01:26 CST 2006
85 • re:84 (by Anonymous on 2006-02-23 20:01:21 GMT from United States)
Wow! That sucks. I use GNU Emacs for my text editing and LaTeX for text processing, but when I need to view .doc, Abiword is always my choice. But the dependency sucks too. I'll looking into that issue myself for my boxen that eschew GNOME.
86 • RE: #81 (by Tom on 2006-02-24 23:10:18 GMT from United States)
The install of Evolution is too time consuming. I feel they are being Lazy, I mean how long does it take to release evolution on a RPM or Deb package management? I do not have the time or energy to read, follow, and download all these files. And then what?? configure the icons, give me a break. ELive should package the desktop, with icons wallpaper, themes that would save us all a lot of time. Untill then I consider Evolution an interesting possibility but not ready for prime time.
87 • Kanotix (by Tom on 2006-02-24 23:19:19 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the tip. I would otherwise never have tried this distro.
Very easy install, only troubble was to configure my network card post install. Well worth the troubble, nice to have an alternate to Mepis, Xandros, PC Linux, as this is based on Debian and no obvious "hidden costs" or clubs. Does anyone know of any such costs with thsi distro??
I have had troubble with Debian in the last few months but this has solved the problem.
88 • Firefox (by Tom on 2006-02-24 23:20:52 GMT from United States)
Not to sound uniinformed, but I recently noticed on the Firefox web page a tab to install various plugins. Does anyone have any experience with this on any of the various distributions?
89 • RE: #87 • Kanotix (by Anonymous Penguin on 2006-02-25 01:26:15 GMT from Italy)
Glad you liked Kanotix.
"Does anyone know of any such costs with thsi distro??"
There aren't any, I can assure you. Donations of course are always welcome.
90 • Distro Watch Reviews and Articles (by d00m3d on 2006-02-25 02:44:19 GMT from China)
It seems most reviews and articles in http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=reviews are rather dated. Should those outdated stuff be stored in some sort of archives and replaced them with more recent one?
91 • SUSE 10.1 beta5 (by Anonymous Penguin on 2006-02-25 16:39:06 GMT from Italy)
Another scary list of bugs comes with beta5.
I am sorry to see my second favourite distro in such a state. I mean, I couldn't use 10.0 because it refused to cooperate with my hardware.
Now so much uncertainty about 10.1
I hope that at least that they take all the necessary time and give us a stable release.
92 • RE: 90 • Distro Watch Reviews and Articles (by ladislav on 2006-02-26 02:07:23 GMT from Taiwan)
If I understand you correctly, you volunteer to write new reviews to replace the old ones, right?
93 • ubuntu is not free (by petr bren on 2006-02-26 12:16:33 GMT from Czech Republic)
Some people have repeatedly mentionted here that Ubuntu is GPL, that it is free and open source software etc. Actually only the "main" component is free, but there's the "restricted" component which includes proprietary drivers and there are also non-free packages in the "universe" component. You can remove the "restricted" component after installation but it is installed by default.
Although it may not appear that way after a first look, this is actually very different from Debian, which is completely free by default (except for cases where Debian's ideas differ from those of the FSF, e.g. fonts). The "main" respository includes several times more programs than Ubuntu's "main" component and installing non-free programs in Debian via apt requires that you explicitely allow this in the config file.
And this is still very different from the approach of distros like Blag and Ututo, which have a policy of not including or distributing any non-free software at all. So this is what we should call a "completely free distro". Ubuntu definitely doesn't fit. (Others have said here that it's the only distro in which their whatever crappy winmodem works. That's due to drivers from the "restricted" component. It prooves Ubuntu is not fully free.)
94 • Mike Shuttleworth (by Gabriel on 2006-02-26 16:35:04 GMT from Canada)
I truly enjoy reading the article about Ubunto's founder.
What a fascinating man he indeed is.
I would like to thank DistroWatch for it and hope you can have a 1on1 interview with for us sometime.
Meanwhile you're invited to read this interesting article "Free Software Out Of Africa" on the following link:
Number of Comments: 94
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