| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 169, 18 September 2006
Welcome to this year's 38th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! It's a Mandriva week, no doubt. With the imminent release of its brand new version 2007, all eyes of the Linux community are now on the French distribution maker whose new product is likely to raise the usability and eye candy bar for desktop Linux distributions significantly. Can Mandriva regain its former glory? We'll find out soon. In other news: the development of the venerable RPM Package Manager is in deep trouble, Terra Soft announces Yellow Dog Linux 5.0, NetBSD continues its round of negative publicity, and a trial edition of Xandros Desktop 4 is now available for free download. In our "Tips and tricks" section we'll let you on some secrets about extracting package lists from various distributions, while the "Statistics" feature looks at the DistroWatch visitor numbers from the Middle East. A couple of site updates follow before the usual database summary concludes this issue. As always, happy reading!
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
Mandriva 2007, RPM troubles, Yellow Dog 5.0, memory usage comparisons, new distributions from China
It's the busiest time of the year for Mandriva as the Paris-based company prepares for the launch of its brand new Mandriva Linux 2007. A press release announcing the second and final release candidate went out late on Sunday, indicating that the company's developers and public relations personnel gave up on the weekend, focusing instead on delivering the best Mandriva experience ever. This is good news. Based on the first impressions of many beta testers, Mandriva Linux 2007 is going to an impressive release, especially once all the new 3D effects are configured and turned on.
When will the new product be out? If the release process of the previous Mandriva Linux is anything to go by, the product will at first be made available to early seeders, then after a couple of days it will be formally released to the members of Mandriva Club. About a week or two later the complete installation tree should start appearing on Mandriva mirrors, making it possible for everybody to perform an FTP/HTTP installation. Then, in about 2 - 3 months, the complete CD and DVD images of the product's "Free" edition will also be released for public download. If you don't want to wait that long and are not interested in joining the Club, then the second release candidate is about as close to the final release as it gets. Of course, the above timeline is just a guess, since Mandriva prefers to keep things secret.
We really hope that the new release is a great success and that Mandriva Linux 2007 becomes an interesting alternative to the current desktop distro leaders - Ubuntu, openSUSE and Fedora. As a distribution that once was the undisputed king of desktop Linux, we know that Mandriva has the talent and resources to deliver fantastic products to its users. As soon as Mandriva Linux 2007 is out, give it a try - even if you've already settled on another distribution, chances are that you'll be quite impressed with the latest from Paris.
* * * * *
The RPM Package Manager (RPM), originally developed by Red Hat, but later also accepted by openSUSE, Mandriva, Turbolinux, Yellow Dog Linux, Ark Linux and dozens of other distributions, remains one of the most popular package management systems on Linux. But is it still being developed? LWN.net's Jonathan Corbet investigated the status of the venerable utility and summarised his findings in an entertaining and well-written article entitled Who maintains RPM? Apparently, the RPM Package Manager is currently being developed by one Jeff Johnson, a former Red Hat employee, who has turned out to be a rather difficult fellow to deal with - as witnessed in the many bug reports and related discussions linked from the above article. As a result, most major distributions have decided to stay with an older version of RPM instead of upgrading to the most recent one (version 4.4.6); the current stable and development releases of both Fedora Core and openSUSE ship RPM 4.4.2, while Mandriva Linux is the only major distribution that has updated its RPM utility to version 4.4.6.
Is the development of RPM Package Manager in danger? Or is an uncooperative developer a good enough reason to fork a project? Please discuss below.
* * * * *
Speaking about Yellow Dog Linux, those readers who still enjoy using the only dedicated distribution for the PowerPC processors, will be excited to learn that a new version of the product is now under heavy development. In a mailing list post entitled A letter from Terra Soft's CEO, "One year later...", Kai Staats discusses the impact of Apple's switch to Intel on Terra Soft and Yellow Dog Linux. The good news comes in the following paragraph: "As promised, Yellow Dog Linux is refocused on the desktop with a pending fall release of the consumer v5.0 product. Built upon the Fedora Core 5 base, YDL v5.0 will be made available through YDL.net accounts and the public mirrors with less emphasis on a shipping, box product. While we can't let the dog out of the bag just yet, we can state that YDL has never looked so good." So don't throw your PowerPC-based Macs out of the window just yet - there is still plenty of life in them!
* * * * *
The Ubuntu Marketing Team has launched a survey with the objective to find out more about the distribution's potential, current and previous customers and users. The idea is to evaluate their responses and determine what needs to be done to attract new customers and users, to retain existing ones, and to re-capture previous customers and users who had once used Ubuntu, but later switched to a different operating system. The four survey question sets are devised for different groups, depending on their present and past relationship with Ubuntu. To find out more, please see the Ubuntu Surveys page on the project's Wiki. The survey is conducted by GeekoSophical.net and interested readers can now fill it in online. No personally identifiable information is collected in the survey.
* * * * *
Xandros Corporation has announced that it started offering a free 30-day trial edition of Xandros Desktop 4 Premium for free download: "Xandros is now offering free 30-day evaluations of the all new Xandros Desktop Home Edition - Premium. Now you can discover for yourself the benefits and features of the new Xandros Desktop." To get the download link, please visit this page and click on the "Free 30-day Trial" link in the right column. After registering your name and email address you will receive a download link by email. Xandros Desktop 4 is an excellent beginner-friendly distribution with a customised version of KDE and a host of intuitive desktop utilities designed to ease migration from Windows to Linux. Originally released in June 2006, the product's latest version is based on kernel 2.6.15 and includes X.Org 6.9.0, KDE 3.4.2, OpenOffice.org 2.0.1, Firefox 22.214.171.124, and other popular open source applications.
* * * * *
It is often said that the two most popular open source desktops -- GNOME and KDE -- are rather heavy on resources and require reasonably modern hardware. But has anyone ever done a comprehensive comparison? Lubos Lunak, a KDE and openSUSE developer, has decided to find out for himself by designing a series of benchmarks on KDE, GNOME, XFce and WindowMaker, with various (native and non-native) applications open for input, to compare memory usage in a variety of situations. The results are quite interesting. As an example, running AbiWord (a GNOME application) on KDE is considerably less memory intensive than running the same word processor on GNOME. While KDE certainly is more memory hungry than either XFce or WindowMaker, it seems to have a significant advantage over GNOME. Nevertheless, the report might have been somewhat biased by author's own preference, but even so - it's worth a read, especially if your computer is already a few years old or low on RAM.
* * * * *
Many readers interested in the future of NetBSD have been alarmed by recent bad publicity and accusations brought up by one of the project's founders - Charles Hannum. After being promptly relieved of the task of working on the popular multi-arch operating system, the former NetBSD Technical Lead has talked to BSD DevCenter about the beginnings of the project, the subsequent OpenBSD fork, current issues with driver development, XFree86 vs X.Org concerns, and a number of other interesting topics. Asked to compare the developments of NetBSD and Linux, Hannum continues to attack his former project: "I think the first thing to do is have a firm set of commit standards. ... The Linux kernel effectively has such standards now because everything is filtered through a small set of people with reasonable taste. That's not to say I agree with all of their choices, but they seem to do a good job of enforcing their standards and principles, and I have to respect that. NetBSD today does a very poor job of setting and meeting standards." The very interesting, 3-page interview starts here.
* * * * *
One of the age-old annoyances affecting FreeBSD -- at least from the desktop user's point of view -- is the effort required to keep the installed applications current. A useful, hands-free method to achieve just that is by combining the power of "portupgrade" with a few bash scripts to automate the process. Although upgrading ports in this way is not without its dangers (you should always read the /usr/ports/UPDATING file before launching any ports upgrading utility), it can be a good way of keeping a non-critical FreeBSD system up-to-date. This article, called Strategy For Updating Ports, explains the details and provides instructions for setting up the update mechanism, complete with a couple of bash scripts to automate the process. Read it and decide for yourself whether you want to use it, or whether you prefer to baby-sit the upgrade process of each and every port.
* * * * *
IPCop is without a doubt one of the best free firewall distributions available today. Created in 2001 by several ex-SmoothWall developers, the project has been around for long enough to achieve a reasonable market penetration among the more security-conscious Linux users wishing to deploy an extra layer to protect their networks. But what are the future plans for the popular firewall project? Italy's OSS Blog has published an interview with Gilles Espinasse, the IPCop release manager: "Q: The 1.5 release will bring some important new features. Could you give our readers some information of what users can expect? A: Mainly 2.6 kernel (that means drivers that are only on 2.6), multiples interfaces in the same category (red/green/blue/orange), new installer. We will also include some of the most important add-ons, such as OpenVPN, block out traffic, advanced proxy and URL filtering." Read the rest of the interview here.
* * * * *
How popular is Linux in the world's most populous country? With the ongoing crackdown on media freedom and other restrictions on news reporting, it is encouraging to see that many technology enthusiasts in China are increasingly joining online communities that develop Linux distributions and other open source software. Recently we reported about Dubuntu, a simplified Chinese edition of Ubuntu, while earlier this week we learnt about another new community distribution - Everest Linux (see the new distributions on waiting list section below for further details).
Given the increasing number of Chinese visitors reading DistroWatch, we thought it would be interesting to find out which distribution-specific pages our Chinese readers visit the most often. As can be seen in the table below, the list is rather similar to what readers from most other countries view. Somewhat unexpectedly, China's own domestic distributions scored poorly in this statistic, with Red Flag Linux barely making the top 50, while Asianux is only just inside the top 100 most visited pages. The right-most column in the table represents the number of visits from unique Chinese IP during the 6-month period between 1 March 2006 and 31 August 2006.
|Tips and tricks
Extracting package lists
Here at DistroWatch we spend a fair amount of time getting package lists out of distributions and presenting a partial list in a visually structured manner on the relevant pages. But what if you are interested in a particular package that is not listed in the DistroWatch tables? In that case you need to extract the package list yourself and look up the version of the package you are interested in. Here is how we do it in most distributions.
Debian and Debian-based distributions
Extracting package lists from Debian GNU/Linux and its derivatives is relatively simple. In case of a standard installation CD or DVD, all you need to do is to visit the root directory of your CD or DVD image (or a mounted ISO image - more on this later), navigate to the main/pool/ directory and execute the following:
find . -name *deb
This will give you an unsorted list with directory paths. To obtain a more refined package list -- without the directory paths and sorted in alphabetical order -- execute the following:
find . -name *deb | cut -d/ -f4 | sort -f
If a Debian-based distribution is already installed on your hard disk or if you are running a Debian-based live CD (e.g. KNOPPIX), the easiest way to extract the list of installed packages is with:
Depending on the size of your screen it can happen that a package version field is truncated in such a way that you can't see it in full. In such cases, you can use the COLUMNS variable to re-define the column width:
COLUMNS=200 dpkg -l
Fedora Core and other RPM-based distributions
The RPM package manager is used by a large number of popular distributions, including Red Hat Linux, Fedora Core, openSUSE and Mandriva Linux. All these distributions provide installation CDs or DVDs with a complete listing of all RPM packages conveniently placed in one directory. On Fedora Core, this is in Fedora/RPMS/ directory, on openSUSE it's in suse/i586/ (and/or in other suse/[arch]/ directories) and suse/noarch/ directories, while on Mandriva these are listed in the media/main/ directory. Navigate to these directories and execute the following to obtain a (case-insensitive) alphabetical list of all RPM packages:
ls | sort -f
If your RPM-based distribution is installed on a hard disk or if you are running a live CD, you can obtain an alphabetical list of all installed packages with the following command:
rpm -qa | sort -f
Slackware Linux and Slackware-based distributions
Obtaining a package list from Slackware Linux or other Slackware-based distribution is very straightforward. Simply navigate to the slackware/ directory on the installation CD and execute the following to obtain an alphabetical list of all available packages and their versions:
find . -name *tgz | cut -d/ -f3 | sort -f
Once Slackware Linux is installed on your hard disk or in case you are running a Slackware-based live CD, (e.g. SLAX) the list of installed packages can be found in the /var/log/packages/ directory. All you need to do is to navigate to that directory and list its content to obtain a list of all installed TGZ packages and their versions:
Gentoo Linux and Gentoo-based distributions
Extracting a complete package list from Gentoo Linux is somewhat more complicated than obtaining the same information in other distributions. Since nowadays Gentoo seems to promote its live CD as a preferred method of installing the distribution, the list of packages included on the live CD can only be extracted after the distribution is installed. Here is the code:
find /var/db/pkg/ -mindepth 2 -maxdepth 2 -printf "%P\n" | cut -d/ -f2 | sort -f
Gentoo provides a number of alternative methods for obtaining the list of installed software, including "epm", which is a clone of the "rpm" command and takes many of the same switches, but these tools are rarely installed by default. The above-mentioned command is about the most reliable method of finding out which packages are installed on a Gentoo Linux system.
Arch Linux and Arch-based distributions
Arch Linux has a wonderful and extremely fast package manager called "pacman". Using it to extract the full package list of installed software applications is very simple:
pacman -Qii | sort -f
In case of an Arch installation CD, all packages are conveniently placed in the arch/pkg/ directory and can be viewed with a simple "ls" command.
FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD and other BSD systems
The BSD family of operating systems uses a "ports" system to compile and install software directly from source code. As an example, on a recent FreeBSD installation CD, all available packages are stored in the packages/ directory. Once FreeBSD is installed on a hard disk, information about all installed ports is stored in the /var/db/pkg/ directory. All you need to do is to list the content of the directory with "ls".
The above information covers a good 95% of distributions available today. There are exceptions - rPath Linux has come up with an independent package management solution (now also adopted by Foresight Linux) and so have some regional distributions, such as Pardus Linux or UHU-Linux. Nevertheless, these are comparatively rare and the vast majority of new distributions still prefer to use one of the well-established package management utilities.
Mounting ISO images on a loopback device
One final tip. If you wish to find out if a certain package ships with a distribution, it is not necessary to download an entire CD or DVD image to get the information. In most cases, you can download just a small part of it, then mount it on a loopback device with the following command:
mount [iso-image-you-want-to-mount].iso /mnt/loopback/ -o loop
The above command assumes that there is already a /mnt/loopback/ directory available (if not, create it with "mkdir /mnt/loopback") and that you are in a directory that contains the ISO image you want to mount. You also need to be "root" to mount ISO images in this way. As an example, let's mount a recent Fedora Core DVD:
mount FC-6-Test3-i386-DVD.iso /mnt/loopback/ -o loop
Usually, downloading just a couple of megabytes of an ISO image is sufficient for the above command to work. Once the CD or DVD image is mounted, you can simply navigate to the /mnt/loopback/ directory and take a look around. While you won't be able to view the content of individual files, you'll be able to browse the directory listing of the partially downloaded ISO image.
DistroWatch in the Middle East
How much interest is there in Linux and open source software in the Middle East? If our visitor figures are anything to go by, this is a region where popularity of open source operating systems seems to be growing at a rapid pace. During the time between 1 January and 31 August this year, the main index page of DistroWatch.com received a total of 241,728 visitors from the region. Also, judging by emails we receive from developers and users residing in the Middle East, as well as by the number of distributions developed in the area, it's safe to say that there are fairly large Linux communities in Israel, Turkey, Egypt and Iran. Further adding to our perceived popularity of open source software in the region was the fact that when we issued a call for volunteers to help us with translating the site's menus and frequent phrases into Hebrew, Arabic and Persian, we were quickly flooded with offers of help.
But let's not speculate much and take a look at some real figures instead. As expected, Israel has supplied the majority of visitors to DistroWatch, both in absolute terms and in "per capita" terms. Turkey came at number two in the total number of visitors, but the comparatively wealthy Gulf states of Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait were ranked higher once the population figures were taken into account. Not surprisingly, Iraq ended up at the bottom of the list, with an average number of only 19 visitors per months reading DistroWatch. But even this figure can be considered progress - just three years ago this site never received a single visitor from Iraq.
Detailed numbers can be found in the table below. The index figure in the right-most column represents the number of visits per month per one million inhabitants. For reference, this number stands at 2,883 for the USA, 1,773 for Italy and 6,291 for Finland, the world's highest ranked country in terms of "per capita visits".
||United Arab Emirates (AE)
||Saudi Arabia (SA)
Disclaimer: The origin of visitors is generated by using Maxmind's GeoLite Country database, which claims 97% accuracy of its data. As always, please don't take the data too seriously. They are simply provided as an indicator of interest in DistroWatch (and, by extension, in Linux and other open source operating systems) in various countries, but they certainly don't represent physical installations or distribution downloads.
See also: Linux in the South Pacific, DistroWatch in Central America.
|Released Last Week
A new version of trixbox, a CentOS-based distribution that enables the home user to quickly set up a VOIP Asterisk PBX, has been released: "It's time for another release of trixbox. We have fixed a lot of bugs. SugarCRM should work without any blank pages now. All the latest software is in this release, Asterisk 1.2.11 and CentOS 4.4, etc. We also have some cool new features. The goal of trixbox is to be the easiest Asterisk install. We now have a service provider wizard that sets up service providers for you. The coolest new feature is the Endpoint Manager. This new endpoint auto-configure system will scan your network for SIP phones and add them to your trixbox!" Here is the full release announcement.
Frugalware Linux 0.5
Frugalware Linux 0.5 has been released: "The Frugalware Developer Team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Frugalware 0.5, our fifth stable release. Here are the most important changes since 0.4: up-to-date packages: GNU C Library 2.4, GCC 4.1.1, KDE 3.5.4, X.Org 7.1, OpenOffice.org 2.0.3 (a native version for x86_64 users, too); security support: as of Frugalware 0.5, security support is provided until the release of the stable Frugalware 0.6; created a new tool called 'setup' to collect the available configuration tools; localized the package manager (French, German and Hungarian translations are available); installer improvements...." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
Puppy Linux 2.10
Puppy Linux 2.10 is out. From the release notes: "A massive upgrade of most package versions - AbiWord 2.4.5, Gnumeric 1.6.3, SeaMonkey 1.0.4, GTK+ 2.8.17, X.Org 7.0...; most of the packages now compiled using the T2 build system; the 'devx' module is a simple method of converting Puppy into a complete C/C++ compile environment; SquashFS now has LZMA compression, allowing us to put more packages into this release, yet the live CD ISO file is smaller; the Smartlink and Lucent soft-modem drivers and support utilities are now in the 'standard' live CD; Sweep replaces mhWaveEdit sound recorder and editor...."
SabayonLinux 3.0 has been released: "The SabayonLinux Team is proud to announce SabayonLinux 3.0 x86 and x86-64 editions." Some of the new features found in this release include: "Out of the box Intel Mac support and Intel video cards Direct Rendering support; Quake4 Demo; added the possibility to configure boot settings using SabayonLinux Installer; X.Org 7.1.1; KDE-meta ebuilds using Kopete 0.12.1 (KDE 3.5.4); SabayonLinux 3 now uses gentoo-sources, currently version 2.6.17-r7; early Compiz initialization for KDE and XFce; GPT partitions support and A20 gate fixes for GRUB legacy; new GTK+ Cairo enabled theme and SLAB menu for our GNOME users; completed the SabayonLinux KDE theme (colours and ksplash)...." See the release announcement and changelog for further information.
DeLi Linux 0.7
Henry Jensen has announced the release of DeLi Linux 0.7, an independently developed distribution designed to run on very old computer systems (those with a minimum of 8 MB of RAM): "I am proud to announce the release of DeLi (Desktop Light) Linux 0.7. DeLi Linux is a distribution made for old hardware. Machines from i386 to Pentium I with 8 to 32 MB RAM are considered as target systems. DeLi Linux uses lightweight software wherever it is possible. Nevertheless, it also provides a graphical desktop with an office package, web browser, e-mail client, PDF viewer and games. The most important changes: based on uClibc 0.9.28; kernel 126.96.36.199; a 'stripped-down' X.Org 7.1; a BSD-like ports system (borrowed from CRUX)." More information can be found in the release announcement and on the project's home page.
StartCom Enterprise Linux 4.0.3
StartCom Enterprise Linux AS-4.0.3 has been released: "With the fourth release of the Advanced Server 4 series, StartCom confirms its commitment for the continued and free distribution of the StartCom Linux operating systems and the updating and maintaining of their software packages - which results in a range of secure, stable server and multimedia platforms. The just released AS-4.0.3 ('Barak') features more than 300 updated packages in addition to other minor changes. One of them is the dropping of the popular Ethereal network sniffing tool, instead the forked version of Ethereal, called Wireshark was added." Here is the brief release announcement. Download: Barak-i386-u4-DVD.iso (2,048MB, MD5).
* * * * *
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Miscellaneous updates: Translation into Ukrainian, T2 snapshot|
Two quick site updates. The basic browsing interface of DistroWatch is now available in Ukrainian. If your browser's preferred language is set to the East Slavic language, the site will automatically load the localised interface, otherwise you can select it by clicking here. Many thanks to Olexandr Kravchuk who has done the translation. On a separate note, we have added a "snapshot" column to the T2 page. The new column tracks the project's development branch and is now updated automatically once per day.
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
And that concludes our latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next issue will be published on Monday, 25 September 2006. Until then,
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 • Excellent Distrowatch Weekly (by Mark South on 2006-09-18 09:53:54 GMT from Switzerland) |
An excellent Distrowatch Weekly. The best is when DW tells what's happening, reports the latest, and explains - nonjudgementally - the diversity of approaches in the Linux and BSD worlds.
BTW, my personal cool award of the week goes to Zenwalk 3.0. You once asked, who would miss Zenwalk? Me. I would miss it a lot! Please add it to the list of projects nominated for the Distrowatch Weekly Award.
2 • Paldo & Olive (by Ariszló on 2006-09-18 09:57:23 GMT from Hungary)
I was testing several waiting list distros last week and found Paldo & Olive interesting.
Paldo is a nice and very fast Gnome-based distro following the "one app for one task" philosophy:
Although using it is easy, installation is slightly geekish:
If you have a static ip number then you should issue the following commands before bootstrapping paldo (using your own numbers, of course):
echo "nameserver 192.168.1.1" >> /etc/resolv.conf
ifconfig eth0 192.168.1.123 netmask 255.255.255.0 up
route add default gateway 192.168.1.1
Olive is a live cd with Enlightenment, MPlayer and UniPKG:
It is one of the new mini distros in MultiDistro 2.5:
3 • Hiweed (by Michael Bannier on 2006-09-18 10:05:20 GMT from China)
Very nice reading indeed.
A little up to Hiweed Linux, a chinese distribution based on xubuntu, that make life easier for my chinese friend.
Delivered with chinese input, lumaqq, all codecs and plugins, using dapper mirror.... A very nice adaptation!
4 • RPM maintainer (by ou_ryperd on 2006-09-18 10:20:36 GMT from South Africa)
I believe it's the same person that wrote this:
5 • RPM? (by Anony_mouse_Cow_hurd on 2006-09-18 10:30:20 GMT from United States)
fork it, dont put up with people that are hard to deal with just because they have a controling hand in a package, either fork it, or find something else like Conary, or deb, or something like Slackware's .tgz package system...
just like a troll or spambot in a chatroom they can be blocked and ignored indefinitly
6 • memory test (by George on 2006-09-18 11:03:38 GMT from United Kingdom)
Interesting memory test piece. However, my impression is that WM is a lot faster than either Gnone or KDE, and it will run, and run well, and run applications well, on low end hardware that none of the others will run at all on. So the question might be, what about speed? The difference in memory is maybe not catching all of the really meaningful differences?
7 • RPM (by werner on 2006-09-18 11:52:41 GMT from France)
The RPM is of big importance and should be forked immediately if the 'project' sticks. There are necessary certain BASICAL improvements - such as, clean an installation from double versions of the same package; clean an repository with downloaded rpms from older versions and keeping only the most new ones (whats doing another prog called # rpm-update), the possibility to anyhow include source-code compiled packages in the package/dependences database (inclusive possible updates by different format's packages, or vice-versa, updates of .rpm/.deb/.tgz packages by a source-code-compiled newer version, etc), principally however the option to let searche dependencies on file (not on package) base. Also, problems and sometimes even the loss of the whole package database comes from incompatibilities of db3 and db4 databases, and sometimes it happens that on the same installation suddenly one has the both (if one f.ex. install some packages from 'outside' with #rpm ... --root=... i.e. from another distro like Slackware existing on another partition, using an older version of #rpm) These problems have to be repaired urgently.
Independently, # synaptic needs urgently an improvement that one can include pkgs from an internal folder of dowmloaded .rpm/.deb/.tgz existing already on its hard-disk. Theoretically it should work already -- in the practics it dont work. The program is too stupid to make or update a necessary (?) hdlist, similar like # genhdlist --nobadrpm [--norecursive] is doing, and also to input the path of that local repository is so stupid that one seldomly have success. This project also need to be forked.
8 • Zenwalk & Blag !!! (by Caraibes on 2006-09-18 11:56:22 GMT from Dominican Republic)
Good read, Ladislav, as usual I am enjoying my monday morning coffee with DWW !
Yes, I am also waiting to test Mandriva 2007, haven't had the guts to install any of the betas...
I have been experimenting last week with the most recent Debian testing, and it gives me the same problem as Ubuntu 6.06 with my ATI video-card : flickering display... Don't know how to fix it...
In my workshop, most of my boxes are running Blag or Zenwalk, and I must say those 2 distros (very different from each other) are the most interesting to follow in my humble opinion. I am mentioning it since you where asking :-"who would miss Zenwalk ?" My answer is :-"I will !".
Both Blag & Zenwalk are based on major distro, that is Fedora for Blag, and Slackware for Zenwalk, but they are "better" (personnal opinion), "easier" (personnal opinion)... You pop-in the cd, follow the installer, and have a nice system, ready for a wonderfull desktop experience.
Now, I do realise that I could either install Fedora or Slackware, tweak it, and end up with a similar experience, but that would require time, knowledge (I wish I learn everyday, to get more !). But nothing beats downloading an iso, burning it to a cd, and booting it, to have a "ready to go" desktop...
This is why I want to give 2 thumbs up to the leaders of those 2 distros :
Jebba (Jeff Moe) from Blag
JP Guillemin (Hyperion) from Zenwalk
They are doing a great job for the community !
9 • forking (by AC on 2006-09-18 12:22:51 GMT from United States)
It took a licensing issue that made the package effectively illegal to distribute for Debian to fork cdrtools, but it's been needed for some time, given Schilling's intransigence and uncooperativeness. I don't follow rpm development, but it seems to me that if their are comparable difficulties, a fork is called for. FLOSS is about cooperation and people who cannot or will not cooperate may be better off left behind.
10 • Zenwalk (by Daniel on 2006-09-18 12:27:05 GMT from France)
I'm not a geek and testing distributions is not my hobby or something I do when I have some more free time. I'm on Ubuntu the 2 last years and I'm happy with that. But I don't know why (maybe XFCE, sorry but Gnome is mission impossible on old machines), Zenwalk somehow catched my attention and I installed it on one of my old Toshiba laptops. I have to say that this is one of the distros to watch in future on Distrowatch.
BTW: another great issue of DWW, It's now a habbit , monday on my lunch break I read It, real pleasure.
Keep up the goot work Ladislav.
11 • Mandriva Beta (by Troy W. Banther on 2006-09-18 12:58:10 GMT from United States)
I finally upgraded my old-and-cranky computer with a Mandriva RC from an earlier version. I am impressed. Based upon what I see I think the completed product will be spot on.
12 • Slackware 11 (by Edo hikmahtiar on 2006-09-18 13:01:47 GMT from Indonesia)
Slackware 11 is near release... :)
"Mon Sep 18 05:33:24 CDT 2006
Slackware 11.0 release candidate 5. This is the last one, scout's honor."
13 • rpm fork (by ray on 2006-09-18 13:16:57 GMT from United States)
Just like the Xorg fork. If it is needed, do it.
14 • Tips (by tom on 2006-09-18 13:39:33 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the tips section. I hope this becomes a regular feature on DW. Nothing fancy, just a short tip of the week. Very nice "cross platform" approach.
Ex Zenwalk refugee, moved to Arch. Zenwalk is moving away from Slackware and, IMO, package management is becoming an issue. Arch is fast and has a very nice repository. It does take some effort to install, but once installed it is very easy to admin.
15 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2006-09-18 14:20:10 GMT from Iran, Islamic Republic of)
Zenwalk Linux has a bright future as both a fast, bloat-less distro for older hardware and it's suitable for Linux Gamers since they even have their own gaming website with precompiled Cedega and other goodies on the tap. Please don't say nobody will miss it.
As for RPM, fork it!
16 • Extracting package lists (by Chris on 2006-09-18 14:35:02 GMT from Canada)
Great resource! Thank you.
17 • Xandros 30 day trial (by Fotokor fm Montreal on 2006-09-18 14:48:20 GMT from Canada)
I just wonder what will happen after 30 days ? Presuiming I do not pay :-)
Did not fin any info on their web-site......
18 • Mandriva (by Johannes Eva on 2006-09-18 15:15:12 GMT from Spain)
Good luck for Mandriva - i used to use Mandrake, 4/5 years ago, if it's a great release, i'll give it a try. It's very important that old great distros stay on top! Bonne chance !
19 • Agreed (by 1c3d0g on 2006-09-18 16:03:15 GMT from Aruba)
Well said, #13. It's a shame things have to turn out this way, but hey, that's life. Some people_just_aren't cooperative.
20 • No subject (by anon on 2006-09-18 16:17:50 GMT from Russian Federation)
> Extracting a complete package list from Gentoo Linux is somewhat more
> complicated than obtaining the same information in other distributions.
Well, OK (but not that much more complicated).
> Since nowadays Gentoo seems to promote its live CD as a preferred method
> of installing the distribution, the list of packages included on the live CD can
> only be extracted after the distribution is installed.
Well, yes, but you really care about the packages in portage (since the live CD
doesn't have all of the binary packages you want to check for). Look in the
snapshot directory for an archive of the portage tree for the live CD.
> Gentoo provides a number of alternative methods for obtaining the list of
> installed software, including "epm", which is a clone of the "rpm" command
> and takes many of the same switches, but these tools are rarely installed by
> default. The above-mentioned command is about the most reliable method
> of finding out which packages are installed on a Gentoo Linux system.
Bleh! Install gentoolkit (also not installed by default, but definitely the preferred
tool for this), and then just run "equery list" from the command line.
21 • Xandros 30 Day trial (by Egon Spengler on 2006-09-18 17:19:52 GMT from United States)
Apparently, according to one who installed the trial and ran into a problem, the trial says "This version has expired, and will shut down in 3 minutes" without writing anything out to disk.
22 • Zenwalk all the way! (by Incer on 2006-09-18 18:14:15 GMT from Italy)
I've got to add myself to the ones who praise Zenwalk. It's a great distro, I am not an expert, but I played with Linux many times in the past, and no other distro ever successfully kept me from going back to windows and forgetting about the linux partition on my hard disk. There always was something that didn't work, and I didn't manage to make it work, also. I always liked Linux, but these problems never allowed me to use it for long periods of time. So I tried LOTS of distributions, until I found Zenwalk. Now I don't even have windows installed anymore. It's fast, it looks good and it works perfectly. Thunar is a great file manager and XFCE simply rocks. The program selection is quite good.
Simply put: I LOVE IT. And I would encourage anyone to try it. Satisfaction guaranteed (or almost :P)
23 • Forking RPM? (by Joe on 2006-09-18 18:18:37 GMT from United States)
Forking may certainly be an option, but considering that Jeff Johnson is no longer a Red Hat employee and may have other interests at hand, perhaps a proposal for a small but effective RPM development team is in order. It's supposed to be a community project, right?
24 • Mandriva 2007 (by luddite on 2006-09-18 18:20:33 GMT from United Kingdom)
The first linux distro I successfully installed on my PC was Mandrake Linux (8.2?).
I have been waiting for Mandriva 2007, but got a bit impatient & have installed Mandriva 2007 RC2, which is what I am using right now. So far so good, smooth install, no hiccups (yet!). I hope Mandriva can offer linux dektop users a real alternative to the very small clutch which currently dominate Distrowatch rankings ;)
25 • why fork RPM? (by Patrick on 2006-09-18 18:56:45 GMT from Luxembourg)
The rpm distros could just as well adopt dpkg and apt, and the world would be a better one.
26 • Mandriva (by Riklaunim on 2006-09-18 19:03:52 GMT from Poland)
How much did mandriva payed to get that juicy news? ;) The distro changes shows that it want to target bussines/corporate/commerical audience. And why should I try it? I don't want any distro that is a jump-upgrade type (vs rolling release of arch or gentoo) and which keeps all the goodies to those who pay... and so on....
27 • RPMs & Desktop Blowout (by |TG|Mateo on 2006-09-18 19:22:14 GMT from United States)
Yes, I believe that an obstreperous (to quote Mrs. Slocum) developer is more than reason enough to fork a project. As noted: it's about competition-with open source, there are no barriers (save your own skill set) to taking some code and beating you at your own game with more features, better service, etc...so it behooves you to be nice to people and get their help, otherwise you will be irrelevant.
As for the desktop blowout...it's nice to see some numbers around this, and even if he is somewhat biased, the conclusion about KDE was: it depends.
I do quibble about the "WM is a different thing"...window managers like Windowmaker, FVWM, and *box (how many are there now?) all integrate fairly well with KDE and GNOME apps, and end up on the lower end of the resource usage spectrum while often providing a pleasant desktop to look at and work in.
So because they are not full application environments like GNOME or KDE they get a quick dismissal from the author? That's not exactly fair.
But then he acknowledged the bias, so it's all good.
28 • Zenwalk Comments (by Auronandace on 2006-09-18 19:40:15 GMT from United Kingdom)
I have to admit that Zenwalk has certainly caught a lot of attention, even if its not mentioned in this DWW.
I am also a user of Zenwalk (ever since 2.4) and I really like the way its going. I've noticed that AxXium plays a large part in the work on the various websites and forums linked with Zenwalk and really appreciate the effort put into these sites and the focus on its community. I've found the community really helpful and the distro simply fills all my needs.
Zenwalk is great stuff. My personal favourite about it is that it focuses on Xfce, not Gnome or Kde (although they are available in the repos). I really think Zenwalk is climbing on DistroWatch and its here to stay for a long while.
Keep up the great work people!
29 • comment #26 (by kojak on 2006-09-18 19:54:04 GMT from Germany)
"How much did mandriva payed to get that juicy news? ;) The distro changes shows that it want to target bussines/corporate/commerical audience. And why should I try it? I don't want any distro that is a jump-upgrade type (vs rolling release of arch or gentoo) and which keeps all the goodies to those who pay... and so on...."
I'd say: They didn't pay anything. It is a fact that this is gonna be a very fine release. I am running cooker and although there are still some hiccups here and there, the overall image I get from 2007 is that it will perhaps be the best release they ever made and real competition to the other big-leaguers.
If you would take a closer look to things, you would know that they offer a 100% free system, too and all proprietary things that you get with the powerpack are available from online repos. In this respect there is not a big difference to Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu or SUSE, who don't ship with proprietary stuff either.
Why should you try it? Nobody says you have to, but taking a look at other distros doesn't hurt, right?
Just to mind you: I ditched Gentoo for Mandriva and haven't regretted the move. :P
30 • RE: why fork RPM? (by Luk van den Borne on 2006-09-18 19:57:43 GMT from Netherlands)
Well, there's nothing inherently wrong with RPM, except that apparantly the maintainer is hard to live with. You should compare RPM to DPKG, as APT is just a frontend that can be used for both DPKG and RPM. Imagine what it would be like to admin a Debian install with dpkg only...
The so called RPM hell is from times when there was no decent RPM frontend (except maybe Madrake's urpmi), and there were many distro's that used this package format. The former problem has been solved many many times, but the latter still exists. But again, that's not inherent to RPM.
For example, look at Debian and Ubuntu. There too have been problems regarding package compatibility, even though it uses the "superior" package format. The only reason that the impact hasn't been bigger, is that Debian and Ubuntu are the only large players in the field (easier to coordinate), and that the devs have started to communicate about it to each other.
31 • Adult Swim mentioning Open Source (by cheetahman on 2006-09-18 19:58:21 GMT from United States)
One of the bumps went like like this they use Windows it crashes,next they use Mac OS X it crashes then they say ahh ****** were switching to Open Source
32 • Yellow Dog Linux for PowerPC (by rexbinary on 2006-09-18 19:59:26 GMT from United States)
"So don't throw your PowerPC-based Macs out of the window just yet - there is still plenty of life in them!"
There are many better reasons to keep your PowerPC Mac other then Yellow Dog Linux. Most all popular distros are available for PowerPC based Macintosh computers, such as Fedora, openSUSE, Ubuntu, Debian, etc.. Personally, I think Yellow Dog is the worst distro for PowerPC, and if it was the only game in town I would just run Mac OS 9. :)
33 • Domain change? (by djohnston on 2006-09-18 20:19:56 GMT from United States)
On Sunday, the 17th, after being unable to reach distrowatch.com, I was finally able to connect and noticed that it was, in fact, distrowatch.cz. This seems to have been a temporary situation, but I'm curious as to what happened.
34 • 30 day evaluation ? (by Marius Cirsta on 2006-09-18 21:08:13 GMT from Romania)
This sounds a bit silly to me . I mean I understand it and all but an evaluation for a Linux distro sounds funny . I think Xandros should wake up and notice even Linspire made Freespire available for free . It's now the only important distro which offers no alternative but to buy it . I wish them good luck but with so many free alternatives out there it doesn't look too good .
One thing is for sure though , I'm not going to get a pirated copy of Xandros like I did with with the WindowsXP I somethimes use . Thanks but no thanks .
Oh and one more think rather then pay for Xandros I think my money would be better put to use if I were to donate to an OpenSource project ( Kdevelop , KDE , GAIM ) .
35 • Elightenment (by Andrew on 2006-09-18 21:54:27 GMT from New Zealand)
Does anyone use Enlightenment?
I have noticed the lack of distros that specialise in using Enlightenment as the main Window Manager.
If you check out Elive, it is based on Debian and is very fast. I use the live cd on my desktop - everything is detected and runs well.
36 • printer frindly (by bhrich902 on 2006-09-18 22:04:43 GMT from United States)
i think i've posted this before, but im not if im missing this somewhere in the page, is there or can there be a printer-friendly option for the distrowatch weekly?? things like this i prefer to print out and read and avoid some horrible monitors at work. thx.
37 • RE: 33 Domain change, 36 Printer friendly (by ladislav on 2006-09-18 22:24:52 GMT from Taiwan)
I don't know what happened. The network provider's web site became unreachable for several hours on Sunday, so I changed the DNS record to point to distrowatch.cz until the problem was resolved. Things like this happen from time to time.
As for a printer friendly option, no, there is none at the moment. If there is anybody who'd like to help with implementing it, please raise your hands.
38 • Enlightenment (by Anonymous on 2006-09-18 22:37:12 GMT from Iran, Islamic Republic of)
I haven't tried Elive but it certainly sounds interesting. The previous stable version of enlightenment by default looks horrible with pretty shaky functionality too (Installed on ubuntu and opensuse). However the developmental version DR17 looks absolutely fantastic. If it's fast to boot I'll give it a try.
39 • Zenwalk & Vmware; not so Zenlike for me (by Paul on 2006-09-18 23:19:02 GMT from United States)
Blag? I totally agree. Very nice, easy to like, and easy to keep current.
I run everything as guests in Vmware Workstation (as do a few other people). I run these usb-drived-guests on many different hosts... both 32 bit, 64 bit on both Windows NT/XP and Suse at home and at work. The results are always a mixed bag with some distros, like Blag, performing flawlessly as a guest everywhere I run it. It has really gained my confidence.
Zenwalk surprised me. I had serious problems moving from 64 bit Suse to 32 bit XP hosts and retired it after 3 tries (I discourage easily). Of course, few people run OS's this way, so it hardly matters. And it's in very good company because even some of the big distros are no better behaved.
BTW: if you need to run XP 32 bit as a guest on Suse 64 bit, I've had zero problems. I have to run XP for work and must use a rather abusive Cisco VPN to connect from home using DSL. The VPN neuters an ordinary XP host by seizing control of all network ops and firewalling all ports except 1. But VMware keeps that barking dog in a cage.
40 • NetBSD will not die (by ghl on 2006-09-18 23:52:13 GMT from Venezuela)
After seeing http://bsd.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/31/0348243 I became sick again.
It's funny to see people saying "Linux has taken BSD" and bringing up those "survival of the fittest" arguments when all they do is expect other people make the decissions and never involve themselves.
I use both FreeBSD and NetBSD on the desktop. True OS innovation does not happen in OpenBSD but they deserve respect for PF, OpenSSH, etc. They'll never unleash a SMP kernel, they'll never offer ISO's on their website and they'll never use bzip2 to compress binary packages.
41 • ELive (by tom on 2006-09-18 23:59:13 GMT from United States)
Yes, I installed Elive as a primary OS. I have been happy with it. Wish there were a few more themes.
Biggest problem I've had with the ELive CD has been hardware detection.
42 • elive (by ray carter at 2006-09-19 01:04:09 GMT from United States)
I happen to think that Elive is really cool. For one thing I heartily recommend that folks with 'older' equipment check it out. I've installed it on a P166 with 64MB ram and it runs quite nicely. I have it installed on several other computers though I don't use it regularly. I will certainly install when the new stable version comes out. It is definitely worth a look.
43 • I take that back (comment 20) (by anon on 2006-09-19 05:23:18 GMT from Russian Federation)
>> Since nowadays Gentoo seems to promote its live CD as a preferred method
>> of installing the distribution, the list of packages included on the live CD can
>> only be extracted after the distribution is installed.
>Well, yes, but you really care about the packages in portage (since the live CD
>doesn't have all of the binary packages you want to check for). Look in the
>snapshot directory for an archive of the portage tree for the live CD.
You don't need to install anything. Just download:
(x86 only) and run (a very slightly modified) the script on that file.
44 • Another Enlightenment-based distro (by Ariszló on 2006-09-19 06:02:18 GMT from Hungary)
Olive is another Enlightenment-based distro I tried last week (see Comment #2 this week).
It is also one of the 9 distros on the Multi Distro live cd:
45 • Tipps & tricks [gentoo] (by fdavid on 2006-09-19 07:57:45 GMT from Austria)
For getting all installed packages on gentoo:
The eix utility is really powerful and worth to take a look at.
The latter is not a complete list of installed packages, since it doesn't contain packages installed as dependencies, but most of the time it's more useful than the complete list.
46 • Not illegal, but license-Nazism (by Beranger on 2006-09-19 08:40:25 GMT from Romania)
>>package effectively illegal to distribute for Debian to fork cdrtools
NOT ILLEGAL, but not in line with DFSG. That's license-Nazism, to believe it's illegal just because, even if it's a free license, it's not free enough.
>>Just like the Xorg fork. If it is needed, do it.
It was NOT "NEEDED". Just another license-Nazism.
>>As for RPM, fork it!
No need. RPM *BELONGS* to Red Hat, no need to fork IMHO.
47 • Desktop Linux done right...well, almost! (by RoachBoy on 2006-09-19 08:47:34 GMT from Kenya)
Freespire is almost my idea of Desktop Linux done right! It’s based on a stable platform, floppies can be supermounted (but more on this later), and it does not aspire to be a totally dumbed-down Windows XP replica. Freespire installed in just 12 minutes (not counting the preliminary stuff), hardware detection was flawless, and the Startup Wizard is quite snazzy...
I say `almost’ because there are a few bummers. For one, it’s not rock-solid yet and you are likely to experience the occasional crash. Second, the version of KDE is rather old (3.3.2). Third, it takes painfully long to boot (and shutdown). Finally, while supermounting of cdroms is on by default, I haven’t had much luck with supermounting of floppies. On the other hand, the next release later this year is expected to have a faster boot time and will feature KDE 3.5.4. In the meantime I've killed some of the startup scripts in /etc/rc2.d/. With respect to supermounting floppies, maybe it’s the module for the 2.6 kernel, or maybe I just haven’t got the skills. Probably the latter. Gotta put in some more work.
Moving on, since they both target the same market and both provide access to proprietary add-ons (Mepis with TaFusion and Linspire with CNR), one can’t help wondering whether Mepis can hold out against Freespire. It was Warren Woodford himself who observed that the Linux distro scene was ripe for consolidation. I think that he might now be the one in danger of being consolidated right out of the picture. On the other hand, Linspire should consider hiring Warren. I think he would be an asset to the company. First of all, he’s a good fit because he uses Debian, and now *buntu, as his platform. Second, anyone who can maintain a major distro essentially on their own is not only smart, but also very passionate about Linux. In any case, it would be a crime to squander such talent. On the other hand, Warren could build a better product than Linspire, but for a one-man operation, that seems a stretch...
I’m looking forward to the next Freespire release and I’ll probably get hold of a copy of Linspire 6.0. I hope Linspire will consider releasing a DVD version for those of us on the wrong side of the Digital Divide who can’t rely on CNR...
48 • Arch (by lumiwa on 2006-09-19 12:45:49 GMT from United States)
I was very long time SuSE and Debian user but one year ago I had a problem with SuSE, formated disk and installed Arch Linux and I am Arch user still. It is fast, it is not difficult to install and what is the most important is that Arch users are very friendly and helpful.
49 • 46 (by AC on 2006-09-19 14:56:16 GMT from United States)
>quoting me>>package effectively illegal to distribute for Debian to fork cdrtools
>NOT ILLEGAL, but not in line with DFSG. That's license-Nazism, to believe it's illegal just because, even if it's a free license, it's not free enough.
No. Illegal. Although I suspect that the CDDL is in line with the DFSG - that has not been officially determined. I chose my words deliberatetly. Cdrtools combines CDDL code with GPL code and those licenses - whatever their respective merits - are mutually exclusive, creating a legal conunudrum. It is not possible to distribute it while honoring both licenses.
And Godwin's Law has been demonstrated here. You lose.
50 • Freespire (by Anonymous on 2006-09-19 16:05:51 GMT from United States)
As #47 mentions, Freespire is pretty good, but does take painfully long to boot. And I do mean painfully long. They should either fix the booting time or make it be able to suspend by default.
It's also stuck with a lot of old versions of software. For example, its Firefox is at 188.8.131.52...which wouldn't be so bad except it won't upgrade past that, even with a root account. What have they done to Firefox so it doesn't actually contact mozilla.com anymore when you choose "Check for Updates..." from the Tool menu? I don't want to be a Freespire hater, but left a bad taste in my mouth.
Anyway, the real exciting thing for me is the Kanotix release candidates. Now that a 2006 Kanotix is almost here... I think it's about time for me to say a partial goodbyte to Windows.
51 • 49 • 46 Illegal, thus forking (by Beranger on 2006-09-19 16:34:16 GMT from Romania)
>> Illegal. Although I suspect that the CDDL is in line with the DFSG -
>> that has not been officially determined. I chose my words deliberatetly.
>> Cdrtools combines CDDL code with GPL code and those licenses -
>> whatever their respective merits - are mutually exclusive, creating
>> a legal conunudrum. It is not possible to distribute it while honoring
>> both licenses.
>> And Godwin's Law has been demonstrated here. You lose.
Only the binary is not redistributable in this case, because of GPL.
I'm sorry to say that (and only Joerg Schilling will agree with me), but in this particular situation, GPL is *harmful*, not CDDL, nor Joerg Schilling!
I don't lose anything. The humanity loses. Already, too much energy is lost in debates related with GPL (binary kernel modules; forks because of non-GPL licenses, etc.).
Don't tell me that Linux couldn't have existed if it weren't GPL'ed!
Apache is not under GPL and it *is* #1!
But please, let's not pollute this DWW, you may argue with me here:
52 • Use the Linux installer (by Rykel on 2006-09-19 17:33:41 GMT from Singapore)
Instead of using RPMs only, why not use the official Linux installer (http://www.autopackage.org/packages) for user software?
Leave RPM for the distro maintainers to upgrade your system files, without them trying to create a distro version of every Linux program out there. (It is just impossible and impractical.)
If Linux distros adopts the Linux installer as the official Linux installer, every future Linux user simply download/install FavouriteProgram.package from the program website, like what the majority does in the world of Windows.
And the best part is: Anyone using the Linux installer can simply install his/her desired program WITHOUT Root Password! In other words, the Linux installer CAN install software into /HOME, rather than somewhere in the filesystem such /opt, /usr etc.
If I am honest to goodness, this is security at the highest level. Everything you install happens in the HOME folder.
Try Inkscape, AbiWord, GAIM, Mission Photo and other pioneers and see for yourself how you can now install these great programs as User, rather than Root.
Let my Linux users have CHOICE!
P/S. Imagine what Microsoft would be like, if it tried to create a Microsoft version of every single Windows program out there! LOL ... yet, this is exactly what Debian, Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, Fedora Core and basically all the popular Linux distros are trying to do... no wonder MANUALS and WIKIs have to be written pages after pages to teach newbies "how to" install Linux software...
53 • Plug for Puppy (by hiwayman on 2006-09-19 18:40:04 GMT from United States)
Puppy is a solid little distro with lots of advantages, and its rising again in the ratings. I don't usually nag Distrowatch, but why do you always use that obsolete old icon? They've had a new one for a while now...
54 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2006-09-19 20:14:08 GMT from United States)
#53: Puppy is cool, but I think your Puppy spam turns people off.
55 • Well said! (by 1c3d0g on 2006-09-20 01:40:17 GMT from Aruba)
I concur #54, the Puppy spamming is getting out of hand.
56 • 51 • 49 • 46 (by AC on 2006-09-20 03:31:54 GMT from United States)
>But please, let's not pollute this DWW, you may argue with me here:
I don't waste time debating people who evoke "Nazism" in discussions having nothing to do with them and who change their claim without acknowledging that their initial claim was incorrect. B'bye.
57 • 52 (by AC on 2006-09-20 03:51:01 GMT from United States)
>Instead of using RPMs only, why not use the official Linux installer (http://www.autopackage.org/packages) for user software?
Has Linus Torvalds announced that he endorses autopackage? Has RMS (although you called the OS "Linux")? If not, you have absolutely no business making such a claim as that autopackage is "official".
> If Linux distros adopts the Linux installer as the official Linux installer, every future Linux user simply download/install FavouriteProgram.package from the program website, like what the majority does in the world of Windows.
The fact that things are done a certain way with Windows is surely no selling point. This way of doing things might arguably be a big part of various MS problems, such as DLL hell and rampant malware.
>Let my Linux users have CHOICE!
No one is denying anyone the freedom to use autopackage if they so choose. Or Klik. Or whatever that thing is that Rox wants people to use. Or whatever else.
> P/S. Imagine what Microsoft would be like, if it tried to create a Microsoft version of every single Windows program out there!
What would it be like? I truly have absolutely no idea. Do you? So much is different in the Windows world, with licensing, etc., that for them to want to do it and for them to find a way to make it worth their while to do it would make things very different indeed, I am sure.
58 • RE: 46 & 51 (by Rölli Peikko on 2006-09-20 09:21:32 GMT from Finland)
If you don't like GPL or software licensed under its protection, just don't use it. No-one is forcing you. Just please try to refrain from calling other people Nazis if you disagree with them -- such name-calling is uncivil.
IMHO, GPL is doing an important job in trying to ensure that people can freely share with their friends and modify the software they use.
59 • Your comment on Mandriva in the Weekly News #169 (by Wolfgang "wobo" Bornath on 2006-09-20 13:44:40 GMT from Germany)
As a Mandriva user, deeply involved in community work, I'd like to thank you for the last paragraph of your comment on the upcoming release.
I haven't read much lately like this mixture of realistic acknowledgement of the current situation and hope for the things to come. You pointed out that Mandriva is not what it used to be and that the former king himself has to fight for a place on the Round Table. You also pointed out that this was mostly because of his own doings because the talent is still there. And last not least you pointed out that this former king can do it again - if he really tries.
Thanks for this "hitting the spot" comment.
60 • Mandriva 2007? (by Anonymous Penguin on 2006-09-20 19:18:09 GMT from Italy)
Unfortunately I am finding RC2 extremely buggy for such a late stage of development: random freezes, trying in vain to disable services, problems with cups...
However I can see the potential once the bugs have been ironed out.
A non club member will not see the final for a couple of months.
Based on RC2 I wouldn't spend money on the boxed edition or on club membership. That is why I have always believed that the club business model as it is now is wrong. And that is one of the reasons why Mandriva is not the top linux desktop any longer, IMO.
61 • How to make a Lifeview FlyVIDEO 2000 TV-Card work in Linux : (by Caraibes on 2006-09-20 21:53:15 GMT from Dominican Republic)
I am quite satisfied that I made my TV-card work in my Blag box, so I posted a little how-to for other users who were just like me, lacking the proper information.
Here's the link :
62 • Re: Mandriva 2007? (by wobo on 2006-09-21 02:51:52 GMT from Germany)
You may have your opinion, but let's get the facts right:
1. Non club members will see the final's installation tree 2 weeks after the release. They'll see the free ISO images around end of October, 4-5 weeks after the release. Far from "a couple of months".
2. Nobody buys a box or a club membership based on a RC. You buy the box based on the final's quality as tested with the free edition. Or you buy the membership after you decide for yourself that you want to support Mandriva (based on various reasons).
3. The club helped Mandriva out of chapter 11 real fast and the club still generates an important part of Mandriva's revenue. It was and still is one of the most successful business models in the market. Go read the figures. Mandriva's position in user's ranking of desktop distributions has nothing at all to do with the club business model.
Everybody is free to have his/her own opinion but it should be based on facts, not on hearsay or rumours.
63 • Mandriva moving quickly toward final release (by agendelman on 2006-09-21 02:58:53 GMT from United States)
I'm amazaed at the furious pace at which bugs are being squashed at Mandriva. I'm running Sunna. It's a release candidate, but at Mandriva, release candidates are really betas. Just a few days ago I had to manually configure my mouse, cups wouldn't install, no streaming video in either firefox, konqueror, or seamonkey, and 3D acceleration and 3D desktop effects, which had been fine, stopped working.
With a few updates using urpmi and smart my wheelmouse and hpdeskjet are humming. Cups now loads without issue. We're all waiting for the flash update to the 9.0 series, but I found a partial workaround. Mplayer plugins let me enjoy streaming sound and video in all browsers. Nvidia proprietary drivers conflict with mesa and are not the way to go. For both nvidia and ati cards, use dkms from plf. Both dkms-nvidia-8774-1 and nvidia-8774-1 from plf are the current problem. I filed a bug at plf bugzilla yesterday. It was confirmed the same day, and plf is reporting a fix. I'll download and install the new versions as soon as they're available. Probably a matter of hours.
MDV 2007 has an attractive theme and looks formidable. It's configuration tools are second to none. My computer, linuxbox, is acting as a print and file server for several windows computers on a small home network. It was all set up with a few clicks of the mouse in Mandriva's marvelous Control Center without having to resort to the command line once. For an old timer suffering from geek burnout and fatigue, that was a wonderfull treat.
You don't have to buy a boxed set or be a club member to use Mandriva.99% of what you find in a boxed set is available on Mandriva's free public mirrors. The rest is available on plf mirrors. Now we're down to three or our rpms like java, flash, adobe etc. If you can't download an rpm, open it in konqueror and click to install, you shouldn't be allowed near a computer.
At the current pace, 2007 cooker will be good to go very soon.
64 • RE: #62 (by Anonymous Penguin on 2006-09-21 05:12:27 GMT from Italy)
"Everybody is free to have his/her own opinion but it should be based on facts, not on hearsay or rumours."
I don't believe that is the case here. I was a paying member many years ago for the first time, I have read countless complaints about club membership (right in the club forum), I have been testing 2007... And besides 4-5 weeks is not that different from a generic "couple of months"
65 • RE #64 (by wobo on 2006-09-21 07:41:52 GMT from Germany)
I was part of many of those discussions you mention. And the actual complaints which were not solved were not countless, they range somwhere between 30 and 40, all with the same reason: the way Mandriva dealt with the promised club updates for MDV2006. I will not enter that discussion here, there are 2 different opinions about it anyway.
But this has nothing to do with the ranking of Mandriva in the desktop survey or anywhere else. The number of people involved in the club is much too small to make a difference in this question and that some people are not content with the way they are treated as clubbies is not responsible for the overall downslide of Mandriva from the top 2 places of 2004/2005 to #6 or #7 in this years survey so far.
There are much more serious things like the 2006 desaster with Xorg and kat, the way Mandriva deals with updates, and the not existing or rare visibility of Mandriva in public. Bodnar here is a special fan of Mandriva's information policy! :)
Maybe the long release cycle is not for the typical easy-desktop user who was the main target of Mandriva so far. For this user a monthly feed of news and new versions is of the essence. He did not get that from Mandriva for a long time (nearly 1 year), so he turned to other pastures. His place was taken by other users who want a more reliable and steady way the distribution moves. But those people do not crowd around surveys. I'd make a bet, that if you could really count all user installations of Linux, you'd be surprised how different they are to those surveys.
Example: The click rate on this website here. In all my Mandrake/Mandriva life I haven't clicked more than 2 or 3 times on the Mandriva link but I visit this site at least once a week. I don't think that I am a total exception.
BTW: if taken seriously, 4-5 weeks is 1 month, not a couple of months. But that was a minor point, just one of those indifferences you can find everywhere. :)
This was my weekly allowance of written words, sorry, 'til next week! :)
66 • 30 day trial (by RoachBoy on 2006-09-21 10:12:33 GMT from Kenya)
A 30 day trial. What’s up with that? I wonder if Xandros have ever contemplated giving their software away for free? A popular gimmick in marketing is to sell something below cost in the hope that people will buy something else from you, often at a premium. It’s called the “loss-leader” strategy. However, it is one of the peculiarities of libre software that you can also develop a community around your loss-leader (Freespire, Fedora, OpenSuse, Mandriva Linux Free Edition) which may help to enhance the commercial product (Linspire, RHEL, NLD, Mandriva Club/Enterprise).
Commercial Linux distros may get a lot of flak from the Community, but there’s nothing wrong with earning an honest buck. Even the Bushy One himself is always reminding people of this. In fact, I think he’d be more concerned about whether Xandros is contributing code back to the community. Will Xandos ever create FreeXandros? Maybe, maybe not. Right now they seem happy to portray themselves as the system that offers Windows usability with Linux peace of mind - for a mere $79.99!
67 • 30 day trial (by pedcol on 2006-09-21 14:52:11 GMT from United States)
I don't think any commercial distro such as Linspire, Xandros, Linux XP Desktop, RedHat, Suse, Mandriva, etc. should even be mentioned or listed in distrowatch. Commercial distros should be able to advertise for themselves. Other distros such as ubuntu and it's forks, debian, gentoo, etc; there is the real spirit of linux and open source.
68 • Re 66 - 30 day Xandros trial (by rglk on 2006-09-21 15:20:58 GMT from United States)
"A 30 day trial. What’s up with that? I wonder if Xandros have ever contemplated giving their software away for free?"
They have not only contemplated it, they have done it. The Open Circulation Edition (OCE) is free and has been available for Xandros v.3 for one and a half years. An OCE v.4 is in the works and will be available soon.
The 30-day trial may just be a stopgap. I haven't tried it as I own XS 4 but I would think it's the full Xandros 4 Home Edition Premium, and after 30 days you simply lose your access to their updates server which is the only part of Xandros that requires activation. If my guess is correct, you could still use Xandros and use apt-get to install additional software, it just wouldn't come from their server.
69 • Re 67 (by Lanx on 2006-09-22 06:52:24 GMT from Germany)
Linspire, Xandros, RedHat, Suse, Mandriva, etc. all have free versions of their respective distro which everyone can download.
70 • Re 68 (by RoachBoy on 2006-09-22 12:56:58 GMT from Kenya)
You’re right rglk. Xandros do have a free version – OCE. However, it is my understanding, and I stand to be corrected, that you can’t compile packages on it as it lacks gcc or something of the sort. In other words it has been crippled so that you have to get hold of the commercial version. Perhaps as you say the 30-day trial version doesn’t prevent you from installing regular Debian packages and packages that you can install from source…
71 • RE: #70 (by Anonymous Penguin on 2006-09-22 19:09:51 GMT from Italy)
1) The kind of people who buy Xandros wouldn't even dream of compiling.
2)Debian compatibilty: it seems very poor, but I tried with testing, not stable.
I recommend everybody Freespire instead: it has much better Debian compatibility, you can get dev tools from CNR...(and personally I find it much better overall)
72 • DreamLinux (by Anonymous on 2006-09-22 20:35:08 GMT from United States)
I just tried the newly DreamLinux 2.1 yesterday. It's visually stunning. Beautiful! They clearly haven't a coherent vision.
But why would a newly released distro only include Firefox 184.108.40.206? Is that what Debian chugging along with or something? I don't get it.
73 • RE: #72 (by Anonymous Penguin on 2006-09-22 20:59:20 GMT from Italy)
"But why would a newly released distro only include Firefox 220.127.116.11? Is that what Debian chugging along with or something?"
Running Debian Sid right now: About Firefox: version 18.104.22.168
Why do some derivatives use very old software? I noticed it with Linux XP (Gnome 2.8.0???) and with Linpus Linux, which was being advertised yesterday (but at least that was released one year ago)
74 • Ooops... major type (by Anonymous on 2006-09-23 01:12:26 GMT from United States)
>DreamLinux 2.1 yesterday. It's visually stunning.
> Beautiful! They clearly haven't a coherent vision.
Ooops... I meant "they clearly HAVE a coherent vision". I made another type later too. It must be Friday.
75 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2006-09-23 01:14:43 GMT from United States)
Oh my... I can't type anything correctly today. I better just shut up. *hiding his head in shame*
76 • #67 (by 1c3d0g on 2006-09-23 03:22:48 GMT from Aruba)
That's ridiculous. FYI, it's Linspire, SUSE etc. who pay salaries for a lot of the Linux developers, who in turn program Gizmo, iFolder etc. If you have a problem with people who pay a minor monetary contribution to these excellent distro's, that's YOUR problem, not DistroWatch.
77 • Re 66 & 70 - 30 day Xandros trial (by rglk on 2006-09-23 04:02:25 GMT from United States)
Xandros OCE 4 isn't out yet, hence we can't discuss it.
Xandros OCE 3 is identical to the paid for version except that the CD burn speed of Xandros' own CD burning utility (which is part of the proprietory Xandros File Manager) has been reduced to 4x which renders it pretty useless. But plenty of people who use OCE 3 have installed k3b which works fine, at full burn speed. Also, with the free version you don't get Xandros' tech support but you can get very competent technical help in the Xandros User's Forum.
gcc is not part of the default install of Xandros 3 but you can easily install "C/C++ Development Tools" (which includes gcc v.3.3.4 & g++), "KDE Development Tools", kernel sources and kernel headers from Xandros repositories which are open to users of OCE. In fact, you can install everything from a standard Debian repository. I've installed more than a hundred packages from such a repository on Xandros servers (Xandros calls it "Debian unsupported site") without running into problems with them.
Since so many Debian packages are available under Xandros as binaries, one doesn't have to resort to compiling from source very often. I've installed perhaps two dozen programs that I've compiled from source, and I've run into other Xandros users who have compiled programs from source.
78 • "Commercial Offerings" (by Videoguy on 2006-09-23 16:42:03 GMT from United States)
Once again, thanks Robert, for clarifying the Xandros "cloud". Once again, the blurring of "free as in speach" and "free as in beer" creeps in to the discussion around here. Oh well.......
79 • Elive (by tom on 2006-09-24 14:44:49 GMT from United States)
80 • LADISLAV (by MAX on 2006-09-24 16:15:53 GMT from Brazil)
Distrowatch is TOO brownish!!!!
We are geeks but we like a nice green and blue now and then.... ;)
Number of Comments: 80
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The Debian Project is an association of individuals who have made common cause to create a free operating system. This operating system is called Debian. Debian systems currently use the Linux kernel. Linux is a completely free piece of software started by Linus Torvalds and supported by thousands of programmers worldwide. Of course, the thing that people want is application software: programs to help them get what they want to do done, from editing documents to running a business to playing games to writing more software. Debian comes with over 50,000 packages (precompiled software that is bundled up in a nice format for easy installation on your machine) - all of it free. It's a bit like a tower. At the base is the kernel. On top of that are all the basic tools. Next is all the software that you run on the computer. At the top of the tower is Debian -- carefully organizing and fitting everything so it all works together.