| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 295, 23 March 2009
Welcome to this year's 12th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! This week we interview Robert Shingledecker, a former Damn Small Linux developer and now founder of Tiny Core Linux, a new mini-distribution and probably the smallest desktop live CD ever created. In the news, Ubuntu's upcoming release, version 9.04 and code name "Jaunty Jackalope", hits beta freeze and gains an as-yet unreleased AMD video card driver, Gentoo releases automated builds for the ARM processor, Mandriva helps to port KDE's premier optical burning software to Qt 4, and openSUSE updates its online build service. We also link to a brief interview with Jono Bacon, the Ubuntu community manager. Finally, three new distributions have been added to the DistroWatch database last week; these include the Fedora-based Bee Linux from Algeria, the independent Igelle PC/Desktop with a lightweight desktop, and Privatix, a distribution that allows anonymous browsing and storing of data on encrypted USB drives. Happy reading!
- Interview: Robert Shingledecker, Tiny Core Linux
- News: Ubuntu Jaunty in beta freeze, Gentoo releases for ARM, Mandriva assists with K3b port, openSUSE announces updated build service
- Released last week: Zenwalk Linux 6.0 "GNOME", Frugalware Linux 1.0, Parsix GNU/Linux 2.0
- Upcoming releases: Ubuntu 9.04 Beta
- New additions: Bee Linux, Igelle PC/Desktop, Privatix Live-System
- New distributions: cp6Linux, Denix, FAN: Fully Automated Nagios, JUX, Linux DaVinci
- Reader comments
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
Interview with Robert Shingledecker, creator of Tiny Core Linux
You would be hard pressed to find someone who had never heard of Damn Small Linux (DSL), the tiny Linux distribution which aims for a nearly complete desktop at under 50 MB. It's not the only mini distro, however. This week we interview Robert Shingledecker, former DSL developer and now founder of the new kid on the block - Tiny Core Linux. This distro is just 10 MB small and, as the name suggests, it boots to a core graphical environment. The possibilities don't end there, as Robert explains.
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DW: Hi Robert, thank you very much for your time. Could you please start with an introduction about yourself - where you live, what you do for a living and anything else interesting for our readers?
RS: Hi Chris, thanks for giving me this opportunity. I have been a DistroWatch fan for many years and look forward to every Monday for DistroWatch Weekly.
I am in my sixtieth year, retired, and reside in Fullerton, California. I received a BA degree in mathematics in 1971 from California State University. I am disabled and in the later stages of Oculopharyngeal Muscular Dystrophy (OPMD). It affects my eyes, speech, and I have difficulty swallowing. OPMD is genetic. I know what lies ahead for me. When I am able, I like to write and share code with others. It keeps my mind sharp and away from becoming depressed with thoughts of my health issues. It is also the reason that I am not enclosing a recent picture. I hope you will understand.
DW: Of course. Can I ask, what is your background in computing and how did you get into free and open source software?
Both my work and hobby has been toying with computers and languages.
My first computer experience was with Burroughs Corp. in 1971. I hand-coded machine language, yes, hexadecimal, accounting programs on punched paper tape. A year later, I had the luxury of having access to an actual assembler. Most of the seventies, I wrote large integrated accounting packages, all in assembler. I had customers across California, from San Diego to Fresno. A few years later I was required to write COBOL. I was an independent contractor, mostly for Burroughs Branches in Southern California. The Burroughs B20 micro computer was just coming onto the scene when I closed my business. The first computer that I owned, was a Burroughs B80 mini with my own COBOL compiler!
I got involved with micro computers by writing 6502 assembly on an Ohio Scientific. I hated Basic. I chose COMAL and got very involved in promoting it. I had several articles published in a little magazine called COMAL TODAY. I own a rare Dutch-language official IBM COMAL for the IBM PC. I personally met Børge Christensen, the creator of COMAL, and was actively promoting COMAL in Southern California.
I had Minix running when it was only a floppy-based system and I hacked in hard drive support. I enjoyed Coherent OS and was a member of a UUCP network.
When I opted for a regular 9 - 5 job, I went to the City of Garden Grove, California, where I introduced the City to Samba (and later Linux), hosting a Windows 3.11 network. It was the first large-scale deployment of Linux in the United States. I had visitors from around the globe come to see the deployment. I met many free software luminaries, Linus, Stallman, Maddog, Bob Young, Gaël Duval, and was an invited panel speaker at the first Linux World Expo in San Jose regarding the exposure that our deployment created for Linux. I had many such speaking events after that. Typically to debate against Novell Networks. My biggest speaking event was COMDEX.
I left the City in January 2000, to become the CTO for a dot-com. Actually I was the CTO for several dot-coms. It was there that I and one other programmer created Linux live CD-ROM appliances including a live CD-ROM desktop.
You can visit my web site
, for much more detail in regards to my Linux projects.
DW: You were a lead developer of one of the most popular mini-distributions, Damn Small Linux (DSL). Could you provide us with a look into the history of the project, how you got involved and what your main contributions were?
I write everything down. What I mean is I always have a composition book to make notes of what I am working on. Man, do I have a collection of them covering DSL!
My first notes concerning DSL are dated 3rd September 2003. I had found DSL listed on DistroWatch and, like many I suppose, made my own remaster. Many may not know, but founder John Andrews started DSL by using the KNOPPIX
50 MB rescue business-card CD-ROM. He removed the rescue type applications and replaced them with a desktop, GTK+ and applications, some of which were from DeLi Linux.
I joined the DSL forums in September 2003 and emailed John with some patches and suggestions. Initially, these were for USB pen drives and NFS client. Over the next several months, I contributed a backup and restore option, a functional bash_profile, bootlocal.sh, and a writeable /opt directory. By January 2004, I was given the task to create and maintain the DSL ISO image. After that, I personally created every release since version 0.5.3.1 on January 15, 2004. Every major structural improvement to DSL was my creation. I was trying to bring new features to a live CD-ROM so that there would be little to no advantage of performing a traditional hard drive installation (this was well before Unionfs). I penned an article titled "Not Your Father's Operating System", in which I explained much of my philosophy.
I went on to create the frugal install, used GNU's Coreutils to replace BusyBox, wrote the "Getting Started" documentation, created and introduced the MyDSL extension system, as well as mountable compressed loop extensions which later became UCI. I introduced Lua/FLTK (Flua) to create some 50 or so GUI front-ends for DSL. I also integrated QEMU with DSL and created a separate SYSLINUX version. I added the single or double-click icons, an icon layout manager, and introduced a drag-n-drop desktop. I added Winmodem support for the popular Lucent devices, support for adding users, implemented Unionfs and the UNC extension type, set up the repositories, created the PXE version, created the boot floppies with USB support, and included PCMCIA support. I coded and implemented many new boot codes like secure, protect, legacy, desktop, icons, and waitusb. I created the libraries used by Bash scripts and Lua, as well as the pen drive install scripts, both ZIP and HDD. I created the dpkg-restore capability, the multi-user support for hard drive installation, and the web backup and restore. I also stripped KNOPPIX twice (v3.3 for DSL v0.6 and later v3.4 for DSL v2.0) and compiled the 2.4.31 kernel and all modules to keep DSL updated.
The DSL you are using today whether it be 0.6+, 1.x, 2.x, 3.x or 4.x, was primarily the result of my efforts with the requirement that I was to bring forward John's GTK+ desktop applications. This was so that DSL always looked like DSL. In other words, I was to leave the application side alone.
DW: You appear to have made many contributions to DSL and have been instrumental in making it the popular distribution that it is. Why did you leave the project?
There were many reasons why I no longer work on DSL, a culmination of personal attacks and accusations against me, disagreements and irreconcilable differences. Actually, I didn't ever leave, I was in fact exiled and locked out by John Andrews. My posts in the DSL blog consisting of all I wrote was deleted. A list that others were constructing of all customizations of DSL, showing mostly my name as the creator of said innovation, were also deleted. It was messy.
The idea of a tiny core distribution, which John had rejected many times, was what I was working on while continuing to develop DSL. John was not happy that I had hosted my new work elsewhere, so he disabled all access that I had. As such, I could no longer continue to support the project.
So the question becomes, why did I decide to host my newest project elsewhere?
The answer is for many reasons. It is like the "straw that broke the camel's back" story. So much discord, lack of response, lack of participation, basically abandonment of the project.
Kent Porter was a member of Team DSL. His contributions to the MyDSL extensions were enormous. He handled hundreds of submissions, rebuilt them to specifications, and assisted new users with the new concepts that I had brought to DSL. His help and participation helped propel DSL. Chris Livesay was also a member of Team DSL. It was 2005 and Kent and Chris were trying to help perform tasks that would free up John from the "DSL Store" so that I might have some help on the development side. There was a strong disagreement regarding the use of donations for the benefit of DSL, and Kent and Chris were immediately dismissed. To my dismay, I still did not get the help I needed, but was instead tasked with the duties of Kent. But this is only the beginning. Talk about removal of attribution, when I was writing "The Official Damn Small Linux Book", I had included a section to acknowledge Kent's contributions. John demanded that I remove Kent's name from the book. I just couldn't do this and still wanted Kent's name to somehow be in the book, so I purposely used a screen drop displaying his name.
As time went on, John was less and less available. No more did he perform quality assurance for me. When I asked for help with the extensions there was no answer. Not him saying "no", but rather just ignoring me. As my health condition impacts what I can do, I again asked for help. I never received any help with tasks like handing extensions, and moving extensions from "testing" to their proper categories. John stopped updating the "Milestones" section of the web site. He deleted the DSL blog
and posted that it would be back up. A year later... still nothing. He stopped updating the web site, and also stopped updating the "notes" section. Instead of getting the help that I had been requesting, I was left with more and more, actually, everything to do, no longer just development, but now web site administration and extension processing. It was more than I could handle.
At some point, the DSL forums were being spammed with porn posts. John set up a procedure to require new users to be approved, but he rarely approved new accounts. Meanwhile, I saw the number of users waiting for approval keep climbing. I began to see users starting threads on other web sites complaining, and asking how they get approved... how can they post? The list grows to over 23,000 users. Some users have waited for over a year to be approved.
By this time John had become totally non-responsive to me. This continued to get worse. I posted in a thread but John did not answer me. I left phone messages and sent numerous emails. I thought, as many on the forums did, that he must be on vacation. Later, even the domain name registration itself was allowed to lapse.
Then there was the DSL store. I had separated myself from any revenue based on store operations, but would still receive emails of complaints about no merchandise ever being received. I would respond by CC'ing John and informing the user, that I was a developer and had no affiliation with store operations. I was never an employee of John's operation. Originally we have a profit sharing arrangement, but too often it was reported that there were no profits after paying store employees. Later I requested and was granted a royalty arrangement based only on Google ads and donations.
Well, you get the picture. It is obvious. Why would I want to release, yet again, my sole efforts in such an environment? Obviously many others were being ignored by John, not just me. I was desperate to find a new home for my efforts. I even posted such on the forums. Kent Porter and Chris Livesay kindly offered me hosting and for me to select a development team. I accepted their offer and then selected my development "dream team".
Finally, a light at the end of the tunnel. Finally help. Finally a team who appreciated my efforts, understood my philosophy on how Linux can run. Finally a team that could and has extended my design, improved boot times, improved and enhanced my extension concepts.
The best decision that I have made was to host my new project elsewhere. As for DSL, it was a pity it had to end like it did, but I truly believe it is for the best.
DW: Your latest project, Tiny Core Linux, is a new mini-distribution for the Linux world. What are the main reasons behind creating yet another tiny distro? Who is this distro aimed at and what does it have to offer? Is it based on DSL and how does it differ?
When I am asked "why yet another distribution?", it makes me recall Linux World 2005. It was there, that when I tried to show DSL, I was dismissed with an offhanded remark of "oh yeah, you and every thirteen year old boy has their 'own' Linux distribution". But when this vendor saw what I had, he realized it does not swim in the sea of sameness. My philosophy is to offer a unique way to run Linux. I do not promote traditional hard drive installations. I now call that method, the "scatter mode" of installation. You will not find it listed in the core concepts methods of operating Tiny Core.
Over the years, I have seen all operating systems, suffer from "system rot". Over time the performance is impacted or becomes corrupt. Whether it be from system software or hardware malfunction, user/operator error, sun spots, solar flares, whatever. I believe that booting a computer should be fast. It should always start from a known pristine state. I believe that one should have control of the processes that are running at boot time and the collection of applications that one wishes to use. Whereas, most distributions become larger and larger. Mostly offering more eye candy than functionality and dictating the runtime environment and application selection. I find these too slow, too many unneeded processes, and not my desire of applications. The other tiny distributions still dictate a collection of applications. Most I never use.
Tiny Core's genesis was from a meeting at Linux World 2005, with myself, Kent Porter, and Chris Livesay. We discussed what we all thought would be an ideal environment. One that would easily support the concepts and philosophy that I had introduced to Damn Small Linux, but without the added burden of those GTK+ applications. Let the user decide; GTK+, or GTK+ 2, command line for servers, minimal desktop, or specialized appliance. When this concept of a tiny core was presented to John, it was rejected. I then stripped KNOPPIX 4 and made a tiny core, called DSL-N. John again rejected it. He again did the application side of DSL-N, so that the core would not be released. John soon abandoned DSL-N and so, then, did I.
With not much more that I could do with an ageing 2.4 kernel, I once again sought to find a new base. It wasn't until I saw SliTaz
that I was reminded of the talks by Rob Landley at OLS 2006 about Populating Initramfs with BusyBox. I studied this, together with the kernel development logs and saw how a simple initial RAM disk and BusyBox could work with my original ideas and concepts of add-on extensions. I booted Finnix
, a small and powerful Debian-based distribution, and followed Rob Landley's kernel and BusyBox docs to create the first prototype, then I started to layer on the code that I had created during the last five years, to make the first desktop. The next iteration was a conversion out of (re-factored) murgaLua to C++/FLTK to arrive at a working prototype of Tiny Core.
Tiny Core is not a fork of DSL. It has a completely different base and is neither Debian nor KNOPPIX based. Tiny Core is also not a remaster of SliTaz, but was made based on the new capabilities of the 2.6 kernel together with the features that BusyBox provided. Although it is small (10 MB), Tiny Core is not targeted at any particular era of hardware. It is unfair to say that because of Tiny Core's size it must be for older hardware. It may be said that Tiny Core is for advanced users. But I have tried hard to present an easy-to-use interface to add applications, modules, and libraries. Try it out for yourself!
Being only a core implies one will be faced with many choices. With many choices come many decisions. To make effective decisions means taking the time to learn what Tiny Core is all about.
DW: Could you explain how Tiny Core works? What are its principles?
Tiny Core is entirely contained in a compressed cpio archive that populates the initial RAM disk upon booting of the Linux kernel. So basically Tiny Core consists of two files: bzImage (the Linux kernel), and tinycore.gz. Because Tiny Core loads entirely into RAM, it is very fast and also allows us to offer several options for persistence. These are all documented online at our web site in the core concepts
section of our web site.
The idea is a separation of static versus dynamic data. All static data, typically applications, are packaged up in either a TAR archive (TCE) or compressed images for loop mounting (TCZ). These packages -- we call them extensions -- are available in our online repositories. Now add to those two files, bzImage and tinycore.gz a level one directory named "tce" and Tiny Core will boot and merge in or mount an entire directory of extensions upon boot. The result is a custom desktop based on your choice of applications. Dynamic data, typically your personal data, located in your home directory is persisted with a backup and restore. This too can be automatic and is driven by two files .filetool.lst and .xfiletool.lst. Those that are familiar with the tar archive command will recognize that .filetool.lst is for the "T" option and .xfiletool.lst is for the "X" option. These two files are pre-populated for ease of use, but can be easily edited for very fine-grained control.
This is just one mode of operation for Tiny Core. We offer several others, all consisting of different levels of persistence. An example would be installing the extensions into a loop file or directory, thus eliminating the load upon boot time. Or using a persistent home to avoid the backup and restore.
DW: How does Tiny Core prevent "system rot" and ensure starting from a pristine state, as you mention?
RS: As promoted, Tiny Core always boots from a compressed cpio image. So each boot is like the first boot from a CD-ROM. Actually we suggest that the files of Tiny Core be placed on a hard drive, a frugal install. Doing a frugal install is tiny and tidy. In fact Tiny Core can easily co-exist with an existing Linux distribution. Just copy bzImage and tinycore.gz onto your hard drive and adjust your GRUB boot loader. Add a tce directory and you are ready to go. Even using persistent home will use an existing /home directory and will simply add a "tc" directory under home. So upon each boot the system is in a known pristine state. We don't promote doing a traditional hard drive installation. I call it "scatter mode", because it is not tiny and tidy, you end up with files scattered all over your hard drive. It means that you have to allocate a partition to install. It means that you cannot co-exist with another installed Linux distribution. It means that those scattered files are not loaded fresh upon each boot and thus are susceptible to "system rot".
DW: So, Tiny Core is designed to be a "start small and build your own system" binary distribution? How does this differ to installing a basic Debian system and adding programs as you see fit? Would someone use it as their primary desktop? Can it work with multiple users?
RS: I am not aware of anyone doing what I have set up in Tiny Core. A very quick boot and loading of extensions. Tiny Core is a very dynamic and extensible from applications, to modules to libraries. Starting with a base Debian install, means allocating drive space, not be able to co-exist, adding packages to "scatter" over the file system. That is very different. Also consider the dependencies of Debian would dictate a size that would be much larger than Tiny Core and its optimized extension model. A base Debian install would translate into more resources to run and is not meant to be dynamic upon each boot.
Tiny Core in any of its several runtime modes can easily be your desktop. I eat my own "dog food". My desktop is Tiny Core. I run with some 60 extensions. I personally prefer the tcz mount type. I have two netbooks both have tiny SSDs. I use the tidy and tiny frugal to co-exist with Xandros on the Eee PC 900A and with Ubuntu on the Dell Mini 9. I always boot to Tiny Core. Booting, even with loading extensions, gives me a wireless working netbook that is much more responsive than the natively installed OS. Tiny Core also works well with old computers, of course, modern features like GTK+ or the latest Flash have huge requirements. At the recent Scale 7x conference I was demonstrating Tiny Core on some of the newest netbooks as well as legacy 300 MHz 128 MB framebuffer mode laptops. All were running wirelessly.
Tiny Core currently supports adding users but primarily for the purpose to allow SSH access. Tiny Core is still in its infancy. December 1, 2008 was our first public release candidate and has been on DistroWatch for only two weeks. Many features are still to come.
DW: What do users do if they cannot find an application or a particular version of a program they desire in the on-line repositories? Can users request packages or build their own from source? Can users build and maintain their own packages and repositories?
RS: Our development group is outstanding. Not only do they assist me in core development, they are all very active in creating extensions and assisting the user community. The user community can post a request for an extension to be built. Extensions can easily be built from source using the toolchain that we provide. Fact is, the development team uses that very toolchain for all of our development. Note also, all sources, be it for core, or extensions are readily available on our web site. Users can contribute their extensions for us to host. We require source. We don't just distribute binaries.
DW: Where do you see Tiny Core going in the future? Are there any particular areas you wish to expand into? Do you have anything else new and exciting in the pipeline?
Tiny Core already has great features, like the ability to boot over the network, see TC Terminal Server from our Tools menu and Netbooting
for instructions. Tiny Core is a perfect fit for the XAMPP project. With our persistent /opt directory, the LAMP stack from the XAMPP project works great. It too, was demonstrated at the recent Scale 7x conference. What is exciting about Tiny Core is the extension model. Via extensions, we can go in just about any direction. We will keep the core current and will strive to keep it small. We will add infrastructure as needed to improve the support and interaction with our extension model. We are a young distribution and have only just begun.
Tiny Core is fun. It is challenging. It has many possibilities which I hope you will visit and explore.
DW: Sounds like you have a fantastic project to continue your great work on. Thank you for taking the time to share with us, good luck for the future!
RS: You're welcome. Thanks again for giving me the opportunity.
Tiny Core 1.3 RC1 - desktop
(full image size: 88kB, screen resolution: 1024x768 pixels)
Ubuntu Jaunty in beta freeze, Gentoo releases for ARM, Mandriva assists with K3b port, openSUSE announces updated build service|
Development of the upcoming Ubuntu 9.04 release is well under way. The first beta is due this week and as such, Jaunty has entered the freeze. Steve Langasek posted the news to the mailing list: "During the freeze, all uploads to main must be approved by a member of the release team, so if you have fixes which are important to get in, please do get in touch as soon as possible. Uploads to universe require a manual push through the queue, but are not subject to release management approval." Development will now focus primarily on fixing bugs and stabilising current versions of the applications scheduled for release. One such issue has been the proprietary video driver for ATI cards. The latest release of the closed-source driver is not compatible with the X server Jaunty will ship, version 1.6. As they have done previously, Canonical has been able to secure a pre-release version of ATI's upcoming graphics driver, which is reportedly working well. This new driver drops support for older ATI cards, however, which means that owners of R5xx and earlier models will need to use the open-source driver shipping with X.Org. While the ATI proprietary driver has not been open sourced, it is good to see vendors starting to put Linux drivers on a higher priority.
Still on the subject of Ubuntu, popular Linux forum and community site, LinuxQuestions.org, has published an interview with Jono Bacon. In the interview, the Ubuntu community manager discusses the role he plays in the community, Ubuntu's relationship with both Canonical and Debian, the distro's strengths and weaknesses, and their ability to give back to the open source community. Bacon writes: "I think our biggest strength are the people who form our community... We have some amazing people in our community, across a diverse and wide-ranging set of contributions. When I say 'amazing people', I am not just referring to productivity though, but also general outlook and culture. There is a very positive, family-like atmosphere and culture in the Ubuntu world, and it is the personality and perspectives of our contributors that drives that. It is this positive and fresh perspective combined with a range of skills and technical ability that has helped Ubuntu to carve out its reputation. Waking up every day to work with such an inspiring group of people firmly puts them in the 'single biggest strength' category for me. As for a weakness, I am probably not the best person to comment as I am in the thick of our community. I think one area we can improve on though is how we can grow and optimise our user community. While there is some excellent work going on in the Ubuntu forums in this area, I feel like we could do more with our consumer user community."
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In September last year, Gentoo Linux, a popular source-based distribution, announced a plan to create more up-to-date releases. The plan included automated weekly builds of their minimal install CDs and system snapshots, known as stage tarballs. Now the project has announced plans to release frequent updates for embedded architectures. The announcement reads: "The Gentoo embedded team would like to announce that we will be automatically building and releasing stages for ARM and SuperH/SH. We hope these stages will help out people interested in developing embedded Linux applications." The project is using ARM hardware to build these stages and, as such, will aim for monthly or bi-monthly updates. Currently, ARM 4 and 5 processors are supported, but the project wants to expand this to support 6 and 7. They continue: "We would like to thank QNAP Inc. and Marvell Technology Group for providing us with support and hardware for ARM-based chips. However, we would like to expand our ARM support to the armv6 and armv7 processors. If you or your company can provide us with some hardware, we would greatly appreciate it. Please contact the Gentoo ARM team if you or your company are able to assist us. We would like to also thank Renesas Technology Corp. which has graciously provided us hardware and support for the SuperH platform." Gentoo is a powerful and flexible distribution for building custom systems from source, and these more up-to-date releases should help ease problems when building the latest packages.
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There are many KDE-based distributions which have struggled with the migration to KDE 4. One such distribution is Mandriva, a long term supporter of the popular desktop environment. KDE continues to improve, with their latest 4.2.1 release widely regarded as being almost ready for everyday users. KDE 4 is built on the latest implementation of the Qt library, also at version 4. This new desktop was re-written for Qt 4 and, as such, all previous KDE applications also need to be ported to the new library. While KDE steams towards their next release, there are some fundamental pieces still missing from the puzzle. One such program is Amarok, which has released a Qt 4 version but has not yet gained much support and the previous Qt 3 version dominates most distros. Another is KDE's premier optical burning program, K3b. The port to Qt 4 has been underway for at least a year, with a limited, but workable version available in the source tree. Now, however, it appears the new release may not be far away with Mandriva assigning two of their engineers to assist Sebastian Trueg with his project. By doing so, they hope K3b will be ready for the upcoming 2009.1 release: "Linux users will finally be able to make K3b use the full power of the KDE 4 platform through Solid, Phonon and all the Plasma environment." If all goes to plan, this could be one of the last pieces missing from a complete KDE 4 experience.
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Last week we reported on the problems openSUSE had with hardware failures on their main download server. This week, however, they are bouncing back with an upgrade to the online build service software. The latest release of openSUSE, 11.1, was built using the build service and now this is available to the wider community. Starting with this version, developers can not only automate the building of their own packages, but also of an entire distribution! Joe Brockmeier writes: "The 1.5 release makes it possible to build entire releases within the build service, and export ISO images and FTP trees. All users can create images locally using 'osc build', and permission can be granted to build images using the hosted build service as well." It doesn't stop there, however: "In addition to ISO images, OBS 1.5 can also create images for installable USB sticks, Xen images and VMware images." This new release also includes some experimental features, including, cross-architecture support, package download on demand, and filtering of build results via the web monitor. Will the ability to create entire systems using the service encourage more openSUSE derivative distributions?
|Released Last Week
Adonay Sanz Alsina has announced the release of K-DEMar 4.8, a Debian-based distribution and live CD with language support for Catalan and Spanish. This release arrives after a delay caused by uncertainties over possible data loss when using the ext4 file system; as a result, ext4 is available for selection during installation, but it isn't the default. Some of the changes in this release include: addition of "kdemarcenter", a multi-functional system tray utility; updated CADI, the configuration centre, which now offers a possibility to change screen resolution on the fly and a new network configuration module; miscellaneous improvements to the system installer; new AudioConversor 5, an application for encoding and decoding a variety of audio formats; support for creating bootable USB storage devices; new desktop artwork; KDE 3.5.10; the latest stable kernel 184.108.40.206. Read the detailed release announcement (in Spanish) for further information and screenshots.
K-DEMar 4.8 - a Debian-based live CD with support for Catalan and Spanish
(full image size: 268kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Luca De Marini has announced the release of OpenGEU 8.10, an Ubuntu-based distribution and live CD featuring the Enlightenment 17 window manager: "OpenGEU 8.10 live CD released. As we already said in the previous announcements, this is not a major release. Luna Serena has been considered by our team as a development and testing playground for the upcoming version, 'Quarto di Luna', which will be based on Ubuntu 'Jaunty'. Nevertheless, while working on this version we developed a big number of improvements to OpenGEU. Here's a list of changes: OpenGEU is now using our own E17 settings manager; the OpenGEU themes manager now controls even more parts of the desktop look; the Places module shows and auto-mounts any device connected to your box; new wizard will help customizing your Enlightenment session...." Read the rest of the release announcement for a complete list of changes.
Igelle PC/Desktop 0.6.0
Igelle PC/Desktop is an independently developed Linux distribution featuring the usual applications found in a modern desktop operating system, in an attractive and lightweight configuration. The project announced the release of version 0.6.0 earlier today: "A new version of Igelle for the PC (Intel x86 and compatible) has been released. Some notable features: distributed as a live CD that can be used without installation; can be installed to a local hard drive, flash memory, USB disk, or other storage media attached to the computer; lightweight graphical desktop that does not use much memory and runs fast; standard desktop applications; easily install other third-party applications such as Skype, Flash player and OpenOffice.org. Key software components: Linux kernel 220.127.116.11, glibc 2.8, GCC 4.3.2, X.Org Server 1.6.0...." See the release announcement and features page for more details.
Igelle PC/Desktop - a lightweight distro with an attractive desktop
(full image size: 362kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Absolute Linux 12.2.2
Paul Sherman has announced the release of Absolute Linux 12.2.2, a lightweight desktop distribution with IceWM, based on Slackware Linux: "Absolute Linux 12.2.2 released. This release brings kernel 18.104.22.168, auto-install defaults to ext4 file system. (Regular install allows for ext3 and ReiserFS as well.) The kernel, for now, is the Slackware 'hugesmp', so it is Slackware 'stock'. Waiting for feedback to see if users like this or would rather get specific configuration tweaked. The large number of changes along with imminent bump in X.Org led me to go with the flow for now in order to allow easier input from Slackware-compatible repositories. In addition to the new kernel there was a very large number of applications, as well as library updates -- so installing via GSlapt is not advised." Visit the project's home page to read the release announcement.
Scientific Linux 5.3
Troy Dawson has announced the release of Scientific Linux 5.3, a distribution built from source software packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, but enhanced with additional applications and tools: "Scientific Linux 5.3 has been released for both the i386 and x86_64 architectures. Intel wireless has been updated and works much better. We have added the iwlwifi 3945, and 5000 ucode (firmware), as well as updated the 4945 ucode. Scipy has been added to the release, along with fttw and suitesparse to support it. Numpy was already in the release. Scientific Linux release 5.3 is based on the rebuilding of RPMs out of SRPMs from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 server and client, including update 3. It also has all errata and bug fixes up until March 17, 2009." Read the brief release announcement and the detailed release notes for further information.
UTUTO 2009, a 100% free, Gentoo-based distribution and live DVD made in Argentina, has been released. This is the first time the distribution is provided as a live DVD with a graphical system installer. Other major new features include: support for Apple MacBook and Mac mini laptops; support for ASUS Eee PC and MSI Wind netbooks; support for GPRS and 3G network connections; Linux kernel 22.214.171.124 with improved hardware detection and better suspend and hibernation support; modified the graphics rendering algorithm for the X server in order to improve performance; improved detection of video cards with support for graphics acceleration; various minor improvements in the boot system and graphical installer. For further information please see the release announcement (in Spanish)."
UTUTO 2009 - a 100% free distribution based on Gentoo Linux
(full image size: 196kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Parsix GNU/Linux 2.0
Alan Baghumian has announced the final release of Parsix GNU/Linux 2.0, a desktop distribution based on Debian's testing branch: "After several months of testing and development, the final version of Parsix GNU/Linux 2.0, code name 'Boss Skua', is out. Parsix 2.0 ships a brand new kernel based on Linux 126.96.36.199, with extra patches and drivers, the live CD compression system has been upgraded to version 3.4 which brings higher compression rate, Unionfs is default for live CD mode, several bugs have been fixed and several packages updated. Highlights: GNOME 2.24.3, GNU Iceweasel 3.0.7, GParted 0.4.3, Pidgin 2.4.3, OpenOffice.org 2.4.1, Compiz-Fusion 0.7.8, VirtualBox-OSE 2.1.4, GNU Flash Player 0.8.4 and xFarDic 0.11.5." See the release announcement and release notes for more details.
Parsix GNU/Linux 2.0 - a new version of the Debian-based desktop distribution and live CD
(full image size: 430kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Zenwalk Linux 6.0 "GNOME"
George Vlahavas has announced the release of the GNOME edition of Zenwalk Linux 6.0, the first stable distribution shipping the brand new GNOME 2.26: "We are proud to announce the release of Zenwalk 6.0 GNOME edition! As always, Zenwalk features the latest Linux technologies, with Linux kernel 188.8.131.52 and the GNOME 2.26.0 desktop environment. One of the main changes over previous Zenwalk releases is the inclusion of a lightweight variant of OpenOffice.org 3.0.1, replacing AbiWord and Gnumeric. Other significant changes in this release are: faster boot; new Zenpanel with integrated disk manager, WiFi and wired network manager; GKSu-based desktop granting system; PAM authentication; new Netpkg with orphan dependencies and offline operation support; powerful Exaile music jukebox; GTHUMB for viewing images and importing them from a camera; new artwork...." Read the full release announcement for further information.
Zewnalk Linux 6.0 "GNOME" edition - the first stable distro shipping with the new GNOME 2.26
(full image size: 497kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Frugalware Linux 1.0
Miklós Vajna has announced the release of Frugalware Linux 1.0, a complete, general-purpose distribution designed for intermediate Linux users: "The Frugalware developer team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Frugalware 1.0, our tenth stable release. The version number 1.0 does not indicate anything really special, the new release will bring as many new features and bug fixes as usual, but it's still a milestone in the development of the last five years. Here are the most important changes since 0.9 in no particular order: support for ASUS Eee PC models; new PPC port (though security support will not be available for this architecture in this release cycle due to lack of resources); support for having a 32-bit chroot on x86_64; having '/boot' on a RAID1 device is now supported; gService, a new graphical tool for enabling and disabling services; Java plugin on x86_64; support for the ext4 file system." Here is the full release announcement.
Frugalware Linux 1.0 - KDE 3.5 remains the default desktop
(full image size: 141kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
- Bee Linux. Bee Linux is a Fedora-based desktop distribution and live DVD made in Algeria. It supports French, English, Arabic and Amazigh, and it features automatic hardware configuration (including USB ADSL modems), advance security management system, integration of WINE, popular Google applications, NVIDIA and ATI proprietary graphics drivers, and Xfce as the default desktop.
Bee Linux 1.0.3 - a Fedora-based desktop distro with Xfce, developed in Algeria
(full image size: 980kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
- Igelle PC/Desktop. Igelle is an open source software development project that develops a Linux-based operating system that is intended to be portable, and is designed to work on various hardware devices and architectures, including laptops, desktops, mobile phones, mobile Internet devices, netbooks, etc. It was designed from ground up to be cross-compiled and cross-configured. Igelle is not a derivative of any other distribution and all packages are compiled straight from upstream sources. Igelle uses the DEB package file format, together with a lightweight package manager (Ige) to install, remove and update software packages.
- Privatix Live-System. Privatix Live-System is a free, portable, encrypted live CD which can be installed on an USB flash drive or an external hard drive. Based on Debian GNU/Linux, it is designed for safe editing and carrying sensitive data, for encrypted communication, and anonymous web surfing (with Tor, Firefox and Torbutton).
Privatix 9.03.15 - a Debian-based distro with focus on privacy
(full image size: 36kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- cp6Linux. cp6Linux is an Ubuntu-based desktop distribution and live DVD developed by the Faculty of Electrotechnics at the University of Belgrade, Serbia. The project's web site is in Serbian.
cp6Linux - an Ubuntu-based distribution from Serbia
(full image size: 1,468kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
- Denix. Denix is an Ubuntu-based desktop distribution and live CD designed for home and office users. The project's web site is in Russian.
- FAN: Fully Automated Nagios. FAN is a CentOS-based distribution with a goal to provide a Nagios (an open-source monitoring solution for hosts, services, and networks) installation, including most tools made available by the Nagios community.
- JUX. JUX is a German KNOPPIX-based distribution and live CD designed for children. The project's web site is in German.
- Linux DaVinci. Linux DaVinci is a Slax-based Italian distribution and live CD/USB designed for software developers. The project's web site is in Italian.
Linux DaVinci r4 - a Slax-based Italian distribution for programmers
(full image size: 138kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 30 March 2009.
1 • Parsix Reporitories (by Saleem Khan on 2009-03-23 08:31:47 GMT from Pakistan) |
i JUST installed Parsix latest version. the project release notes create a little confusion about the repos.
Important Notice About Parsix Reporitories
it insists on keeping the repos as mentioned in above link but cd comes with
# Debian Testing
# deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian testing main contrib non-free
# deb-src http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian testing main contrib non-free
enabled by default
are we supposed to disable the debian repos? and if yes why to keep them enabled in first place?
the project IRC room is dead like a graveyard as usual !
anybody knows what to do with this issue???
2 • Interview with Robert Shingledecker!! (by vaithy on 2009-03-23 08:41:19 GMT from India)
I really enjoyed the interview with Robert(even it is more lenghty).But his utterness against DSL 's John is unnecessary..It 'll be worthwhile if you published John's response also..
3 • Tiny Core Linux (by Didier Spaier on 2009-03-23 08:44:10 GMT from France)
Very interesting interview. I'm eager to try Tiny Core Linux and wish the best to Robert Shingledecker.
4 • Wolvix down-load (by Tom on 2009-03-23 08:48:50 GMT from United Kingdom)
The Wolvix website is undergoing some changes but Wolvix 2.0-beta1 and the 1.1.0's, both Cub and Hunter can be downloaded from
For information about Wolvix and the new(ish) beta release see
Thanks Ladislav & Chris Smart too. I enjoyed reading the interview with Tiny Core's creator, thanks all for another great week at DW :)
5 • Headline article (by Rob on 2009-03-23 08:49:39 GMT from United States)
Nice job Chris, little more confrontational than your traditional Distrowatch article, but perhaps a better read because of it.
6 • Tiny Core and RobertS (by Sport on 2009-03-23 09:12:12 GMT from United Kingdom)
Wow! Fantastic interview. One of the best reads ever, anywhere. All human relations are there as well as the technicalities. More like this, please, Chris.
7 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-03-23 09:25:05 GMT from United States)
Nice interview and this makes Linux so amazing, that no matter who or how you are, you can still make a difference. I will try to use Tiny Core @home.
The "fighting" however that seems to take place at the back office of DSL reminds me of the "fighting" that takes place in any office, where people who don't fit are exiled.
Privatix looks promising. I would try to install it on a USB device. But everhyting is in the German language, it seems.
8 • Robert Shingledecker interview (by steven lawson on 2009-03-23 09:43:33 GMT from United Kingdom)
Interesting interview - but I think it warrants a detailed reply from John Andrews as he comes in for a lot of criticism. Right of reply is only fair - and good journalistic practice ;-)
9 • Not impressed. (by AbacusMonkey on 2009-03-23 09:50:21 GMT from Australia)
No matter how bad in fighting is on a project the removal of contributions by such a core member is never acceptable. Regardless of the reasons John Andrews did these things, Robert still played a major role in the project and deserves to be credited as such.
Pull your head in John. Credit where credit is due.
10 • thanks for the interview with Robert (by greenpossum on 2009-03-23 10:39:38 GMT from Australia)
It's nice to "meet" the people behind the distros and let them speak about their passion. Perhaps a semi-regular feature for DW, an interview with a distro developer?
11 • No subject (by Sertse on 2009-03-23 10:44:27 GMT from Australia)
Hope DW will try to give John a reply...
Oh look, it's Igelle; *Not* a derivative for once. Just drawing people's attention to that. You can't complain now :P
Though it say it's using debs?
12 • Tiny core (by Matyas on 2009-03-23 11:34:19 GMT from United States)
Loved the imterview. Best of luck to Robert.
13 • @11 (by arno911 on 2009-03-23 11:42:06 GMT from Germany)
it could also use rpm and wouldnt neccessarely be a RedHat.
its making use of debians package format .deb, but it doesnt use Debians package management tools (apt-get, aptitude), nor its repos.
Igelle would be the first thing to look at, if there was no tiny core this week :)
14 • Cost of Windows to computer seller ? (by Theodore Dreiser on 2009-03-23 11:51:11 GMT from United States)
When you go to CyberPowerPC.com to purchase a laptop or desktop and get your
computer with no operating system installed ,just a formatted hard drive, they DEDUCT
83$ from your price. So is this what Microsoft is charging the various computer makers?
I certainly did enjoy buying my laptop for $83 less and putting PCLinuxOS 2009.1
on it in just a very short time.
15 • Zenwalk Gnome (by Chris on 2009-03-23 11:55:21 GMT from United Kingdom)
The posted screenshot would appear to be XFCE rather than Gnome.
16 • Linux DaVinci & Borland C++ 3.1 (by oithona on 2009-03-23 12:03:26 GMT from United Kingdom)
Wow, Linux DaVinci comes with my all-time favourite C++ compiler/IDE
From Package list:
Categoria: IDE CC++ per Ambienti DOS
Commenti: Emulato con DosBox.
Did I miss Borland's release of this to the public, or have Linux DaVinci obtained a special deal to distribute it?
17 • RE: 15 Zenwalk Gnome (by ladislav on 2009-03-23 12:11:57 GMT from Taiwan)
It just show you how customisable GNOME is - it can even be turned into an Xfce lookalike ;-)
18 • Mandriva and KDE4 (by David on 2009-03-23 12:15:12 GMT from United Kingdom)
"There are many KDE-based distributions which have struggled
with the migration to KDE 4. One such distribution is Mandriva"
I completely object to this. Mandriva's KDE4 migration strategy
has seemed to me to be perfect.
2008.0: KDE 3.5.7 with an experiental KDE 4 preview
2008.1 KDE 3.5.9 with 4.0.3 available in contrib
(release notes rightly state, "The new KDE 4 series is not yet
considered quite complete and bug-free enough to become
the default desktop for Mandriva Linux 2008 Spring")
2009.0 KDE 4.1.2 as default desktop, 3.5.10 provided in contrib
("We do recognize, though, that some users will prefer to stick
with the familiar KDE 3 environment for now.")
2009.1 - to provide KDE 4.2 only
Only now with the release of KDE 4.2 to many people think that
KDE4 is ready as a KDE3.X replacement; witness Debian staying
with KDE3 for Lenny and Slackware only just now moving to KDE4.
Contrasting with the often abysmal experience of early KDE4 users
in e.g., Fedora - where they had no choice - I'd personally say that
Mandriva have done EXACTLY the right thing.
So where is the "struggling" ??! - sounds more like a sound strategy!
19 • Tinycore and DSL (by jeffcustom on 2009-03-23 12:27:30 GMT from United States)
I did some googling and actually found where Robert responded to John's comments. You might want to have a read. I don't see any reason why DWW needs to rehash this. Looks like John made a post in the DSL forum then locked the thread.
20 • re 14 (by corneliu on 2009-03-23 12:49:56 GMT from Canada)
No, the 83 dollars include the work of the guy that installs Windows and the proper drivers on that machine. So Microsoft gets less than that. Sometimes they get nothing, sometimes they even pay the hardware manufacturer to install Windows. Remember when Microsoft bribed the Nigerian Government ($400 000) to replace Mandriva with Windows on some 15 000 computers?
So it all depends on what deals Microsoft has with the hardware manufacturers. I'm hoping they will get less and less until they die. The sooner the better.
21 • Re: Linux DaVinci & Borland C++ 3.1 (by johkra on 2009-03-23 12:56:41 GMT from Germany)
@oithona The Italian part says: Category: C/C++ IDE for DOS environment
Comment: Emulated with DosBox
22 • DSL and Tiny Core (by busybody on 2009-03-23 13:18:37 GMT from United States)
I have enjoyed using DSL for many years. There is always a copy in my toolkit.
Tiny Core looks to be the next generation of that work.
It is awesome to read the inside scoop, from the developers side.
Thank you DW for a great interview.
Thank You Robert S. for years of outstanding work and generous contribution.
It will always remain in my toolkit, and has saved my butt more than once.
Best of luck!
23 • Realistic information on KDE (by Anonymous on 2009-03-23 13:32:05 GMT from Australia)
When KDE 3.x came out, how long (and which 3.x.x.x) version was it, before it had become really usable / stable ?
People all seem to forget this, in regard to KDE 4.x.x.x etc. same deal folks.
And BTW - Ladislav should have this documented (how long + which 3.x/.x.x etc.) before it is likely to be really usable for EVERYONE (ie. not for just the few)
Perhaps all computer writers should start telling their readers things like this ? instead of glossing over things with a "Talk it up - regardless" which is the normal practice.
PS. KDE 2.x.x.x to KDE 3.x.x.x was exactly the same - it takes long time :-(
24 • Tiny Core (by My LInux Page on 2009-03-23 13:41:44 GMT from United States)
Great interview I really enjoy reading them. Keep up the good work DistroWatch.
25 • Nice interview but quite over on criticising others (by LiQuid Kermit on 2009-03-23 13:41:45 GMT from Indonesia)
this is the first time i read in depth interview at dww
A nice read really, but slightly over on criticising john. It's okay criticising him when answering one or two questions, but again and again is too much.
26 • Re: Parsix Reporitories (by Ariszló on 2009-03-23 13:51:54 GMT from Hungary)
If this is what you see:
# Debian Testing
# deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian testing main contrib non-free
# deb-src http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian testing main contrib non-free
then the Debian Testing repository is disabled. Lines beginning with # are ignored by apt.
27 • JUX (by Eugen Labun on 2009-03-23 14:08:39 GMT from Germany)
Thanks for adding JUX to the waiting list!
A small correction:
the last version (JUX lala 2) is based on grml-distribution (http://www.grml.org),
previous versions (JUX 1.0, JUX^2, JUx lala 1.0) are based on Knoppix.
28 • DWW Interview (by Brian B on 2009-03-23 14:08:53 GMT from United States)
Very interesting. I will now be trying Tiny Core Linux because it sounds like a great distro, and because this interview has to be one of the best I have read in a long time. Thank you Chris!
29 • re DaVinci (by oithona on 2009-03-23 14:12:14 GMT from United Kingdom)
I know what the Italian bit says, thanks.
Just curious to know if it's legal or not.
30 • DSL & Robert (by davemc on 2009-03-23 14:23:22 GMT from United States)
Wow! What an interview! That was amazing and Roberts responses were simply outstanding. Sadly, this is nothing new, and it happens to pretty much every major project I know, eventually. Although the implications of impropriety on John's part may turn out to be unfounded, everything else Robert spoke about I am sure is 100% accurate, at least from his perspective. For one thing, DSL was an open project and any contributions or profit from the store should have gone back into the project to further development rather than "profit shared", but whatever the deal was, it was. Look, things of that nature are best settled in court anyway.
31 • Tiny Core (by Robert A. Eiser on 2009-03-23 14:24:04 GMT from United States)
Hi, I thought I would remove all doubt. The article about the demise of the team from DSL reads like the clash of several large egos! I'm just glad the 1.3 RC1 no longer includes the Firefox tce. I'm writing this from 1.3 with the Opera browser download and it has good resolution. I like the ideas behind Tiny Core and will follow further develpment. Please give us a working firefox, jre and flash 10 Once I get these, the internet is my oyster. Bob Eiser
32 • Tiny Core (by Moose on 2009-03-23 14:32:01 GMT from Canada)
The interview was interest. Mr Shingledecker comes across as very brillent, but also a bit angry. No doubt he wanted to get his side of the story out, but it comes across like bad office politics.
KDE4 is coming along nicely and I really enjoy it. Just wish they'd kept the traditional (or similar) desktop icons. It really puts newbies off when they can't easily create icons to commonly used documents.
33 • this weeks issue. (by dave on 2009-03-23 14:42:50 GMT from United States)
Excellant interview with Mr.Shingledecker.I found it to be very interesting.It has all the aspects that make a great read.Awonderful idea to get his side of the story.It appears he has been done a terrible injustice.I have nothing but the utmost respect for you Robert.your contributions to dsl and the linux community are absolutely incredible and should not go unoticed.Your roots go all the way back to the beginning.It's men like you that have made computing what it is today.I truly wish you the best and hope that you are comfortable in your"older age".I personally believe the user community owes a debt to you.That having been said an interview with John Andrews is what im waiting for now.I would love to hear his side of the story.How and why would he do those things to you? I see this week we've got Jux a release developed for children.What a great idea!I have a 5 year old daughter who loves to use the computer and ive got a machine set up just for her currently running Quimo,and she loves it.She cant spell and cant read but navigates the os and the net with ease.She has learned to use the google searchbar to get too her favorite website pbs kids.she types pbs in the bar and away she goes!The interesting thing is she learned to do it on her own!If my 5 year old can run linux surely anyone can.I dont understand why windoze users are under the impression linux is so difficult,how hard is it to click on an icon?
34 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-03-23 15:12:32 GMT from United Kingdom)
Wots an icon?
35 • Icons (by Robert A. Eiser on 2009-03-23 15:26:21 GMT from United States)
Answer: A command line for morons. If Frank Zappa was still alive, he would approve this message! Bob
36 • excellent issue & request (by Michael M. on 2009-03-23 15:50:50 GMT from United States)
Terrific interview. Maybe some of the issues Mr. Shingledecker has with Mr. Andrews could've been de-emphasized in favor of more about Tiny Core Linux, which sounds like an amazing project (though, probably too advanced for me at this time). Personally, I'm just not interested in the inevitable personality or organizational conflicts that develop whenever more than one person works on a project. We all know they happen, we've probably all been involved in our share (if we're over the age of 12, anyway), and we probably all know that it's impossible to assess the merits of conflicting claims and reported injustices without getting steeped in the particulars. So I, for one, am not interested in reading a rebuttal-type interview with Mr. Andrews, nor do I think I'm in a position to judge Mr. Andrews based on what Mr. Shingledecker says or judge Mr. Shingledecker based on what Mr. Andrews might say. I'd rather just focus on the positive outcomes of the contributions they've made to the OSS ecosystem, especially in the face of (in Mr. Shingledecker's case) significant challenges.
My request is for more information about Igelle, which looks like a really interesting project. I'd love for it to get some in-depth coverage about the developers and their overall goals, not just for the desktop distro but all the related sub-projects as well.
As always, great work!
37 • 5 year olds (by trumpcouptimmy on 2009-03-23 16:41:28 GMT from United States)
re 33. Your 5 year old can probably open the "child proof" prescription bottle caps for us :). Let her learn Linux. When presented with a M$ machine, she won't want to use it.
38 • Very interesting read (by Tervel on 2009-03-23 16:55:24 GMT from Austria)
Great interview! Keep up the good work, DW-Team!
39 • I have to agree... (by Nobody Important on 2009-03-23 17:04:02 GMT from United States)
...the interview was a stunning read.
I've been using DSL heavily for the past few days, installing and reinstalling several different distros and then using DSL to help hack away at my xorg.conf's. It's a pity that the project as-is is going away (or won't be in the state it is now) because 4.4.10, I can say without a doubt, was one of the best pieces of software I've used in a long, long time.
Hopefully the Puppy community comes through with a good 4.2; I need a tiny distro like DSL that can read ext4.
Tried Tiny Core and loved it. I hope that project the best!
40 • RE: 7 (by Alan UK on 2009-03-23 17:36:11 GMT from United Kingdom)
Privatix website, top right corner, choice of English or German.
41 • Another good interview (by Frisco on 2009-03-23 17:43:55 GMT from United States)
The questions were great, and the responses quite candid.
Fortunately the substance of each question and response offset most of the angst and bitterness expressed by Robert.
I do agree, though, that a posted response from his opponents in that "office struggle" seems appropriate.
42 • Tiny Core - and Zenwalk (by Claus Futtrup on 2009-03-23 18:30:14 GMT from Denmark)
Hi there - thanks a bunch for the interview about Tiny Core. It is truly amazing that a Linux (w. kernel 2.6) and GUI can be packed into just 10 Mb. Maybe a distro also worth considering for GUI installers - since it runs entirely in RAM.
Regarding Zenwalk GNOME looking like Xfce. It is the profile of Zenwalk to have a uniform look across the different versions, and to look clean and uncluttered. For some, this is a preference. Admittedly not eye catchy at first.
43 • Distros? (by Tom on 2009-03-23 18:37:13 GMT from United Kingdom)
Last week we inadvertantly got the other side of the story and this interview redresses the balance. While John's side seems easy to find this is the first time i've seen Roberts side. Hopefully we can move on and just appreciate that we now have an additional great new distro that sounds worth exploring. Take care tho or you might suffer just like this poor lady
Another chuckle here
G'nite all :)
44 • Bee Linux (by gord-s on 2009-03-23 18:44:28 GMT from United Kingdom)
Amazigh - * o * wow, maybe it's time I loaded a Fedora-based distro for the first time in years
45 • No subject (by john frey on 2009-03-23 19:14:11 GMT from Canada)
Tiny Core and DSL stand out head and shoulders above a sea of Ubuntu clones. While all those clones certainly serve a purpose it is far more exciting to me to hear about projects that are truly different in aim and scope.
While Tiny Core may be viewed as an evolution of DSL it is not the new DSL. There are plenty of people who want a tiny distro with prepackaged apps and a fully functional desktop. There is still a place for both. DSL is no longer alone in their space but certainly pioneered the tiny distro idea.
Tiny Core sounds similar in many ways to rPath Linux. The same sort of modular approach. Built much smaller than rpath and different in some fundamental ways, of course.
I don't care if we hear any more about the interpersonal conflicts in DSL. We get enough of that on DWW that we are all familiar with the process:)
46 • Pasix installer (by MacLone on 2009-03-23 19:15:42 GMT from Mexico)
Does Parsix 2x has a new installer? or it is the same simple one which you could not format and select a /home partition the easy way?
47 • Re: Cost of Windows to computer seller ? (by nix on 2009-03-23 19:40:09 GMT from United States)
"So is this what Microsoft is charging the various computer makers?"
MS has various deals with various OEM's. The largest OEM's get the better deals because they deal in volume. So to answer your question; this may be the approximate cost from cyber power and MS. You never know if cyber power tacks on a few bucks for Redmond and bills it as hardware costs.
48 • Re:Parsix installer (by zbreaker on 2009-03-23 19:53:43 GMT from United States)
+1 here.....never could understand why they wouldn't want one to be easily able to create a separate /home. Other than that, it is a lovely use of Gnome.
And of course...another tasty issue...makes my Monday worth it.
49 • KDE 4 (by Scott Dowdle on 2009-03-23 20:13:38 GMT from United States)
I started using KDE 4 with the 4.1.0 release. I'm now on KDE 4.2.1 on both Fedora 9 and Fedora 10 as Fedora has upgraded to each version after it was released.
I still don't understand why people think KDE 4 is just becoming usable. I've been using it for quite a while now. Regarding K3b not being a QT4 application... I didn't eve notice. I use k3b almost every day and haven't had a problem with it. If the QT4 version of k3b has more features, fine... I'm just not sure what was wrong with the existing k3b.
There are a number of KDE apps that are still using QT3 and that isn't much of a problem other than some additional space having additional libs installed.
50 • Gentoo release engineering (by Larry Gearhart on 2009-03-23 20:19:33 GMT from United States)
Gentoo's release engineering project has been fast asleep for about a year, yet they're creating spin-offs? How does that make sense?
51 • DWW , DSL & Tiny Core (by Verndog on 2009-03-23 20:36:31 GMT from United States)
This was one of the better DWW that I've read in a long time. I have recently been using Tiny Core. I have issues with no sound and trying to find a fix. Interesting is the fact that's the reason I wanted to use Tiny Core. It's blazing fast boot time and XMMS use for music.
As far as the negative attidudes of bitterness expressed by John and Robert. I didn't get a chance to read John's side, but then it doesn't really matter. I think this sort of thing happens with brilliant people. It does seem that Robert is still angry over what happened. Sad, really. We may never know the whole story. As the saying goes, no matter how flat you make a pancake there's always another side!
It's a wait and see regarding DSL. If it blows up in John's face then we may find out who really was the brains behind the operations.
52 • re 49 KDE (by corneliu on 2009-03-23 20:37:21 GMT from Canada)
It's not only a space problem. It is actually more of a performance problem. If all but one of your applications use QT4 and that single application uses QT3 then the system has to load the Qt3 libraries just to be able to run that particular application. It means that the Qt3 application starts slower than the other applications that share QT4 libraries because part or all of those Qt4 libraries may be already loaded in RAM.
So your system has to load two sets of libraries: Qt3 and Qt4. If you don't have much RAM this could be a problem. Also the garbage collector has to run more often when RAM tends to get full, so the general feeling is that the system is slower because the garbage collector is CPU intensive.
You won't notice any of this stuff if you have enough RAM of course.
53 • No subject (by forest on 2009-03-23 20:55:31 GMT from United Kingdom)
Re #36 Can only agree with your sentiments, good tekkie stuff (what I grasped of course...) but the office politics/infighting...we've all been there and worse.
Certainly agree with notion of keeping size down and doing away with all the 3D effects...(pure fluff of course, LOL. Do I really need the jelly like pages or the 3D cube?)
Particularly like the "Tiny Core" notion of DOAS...I have been playing around with yet more usb installable distros and latest is the KdeMar. It is, subjectively speaking, a very pleasing setup and works quite well...and on a usb stick at that. (P4, 2GHz, 1Gb ram.) Ideal for distrohoppers if you don't want to mess about with partitioning h/ds.
One caveat re usb sticks...have not had any views on how portable the DOAS are...some of my experiments would only boot on same machine that "made" the stick; some gave limited functionality, (not a complete desktop say...) and some just flagged "boot error" or somesuch.
If anyone has any thoughts ref a stick "burned" on a 32bit m/c working off a 64bit m/c or vice versa. Or even if it matters?
Ref your thoughts on igElle, simply try it for yourself...you'll soon see if it was worth the CDrom, to you of course. I found it less intuitive to use than say my preferred U8s. Don't know about the goals, etc...if it does what you want it to, who cares about the theology...it's the technology that does the biz.
54 • None... (by smartjak on 2009-03-23 22:58:46 GMT from United States)
35 • Icons (by Robert A. Eiser on 2009-03-23 15:26:21 GMT from United States)
Answer: A command line for morons. If Frank Zappa was still alive, he would approve this message! Bob...
I love this post. First good laugh I've had all day.
55 • Tiny Core, Future of DSL (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-03-23 23:03:16 GMT from United States)
Like others, I am in no position to judge the relative merits of claims made by Mr. Andrews or Mr. Shingledecker. Tiny Core is impressive. DSL has been a useful tool for a long time but the limitations of the 2.4.x kernel are making it less and less valuable as a utility partition or live CD. It's still great for really old, limited legacy hardware.
I'd like to see an interview with John Andrews of DSL. First, I do feel it's only fair to give him equal time. I am less interested in his rebuttal than in where he sees DSL going from here and what he is doing with it. I'd like to know what we can expect from the next release and when he thinks we'll see it.
In any case this is an excellent DWW. Kudos to Chris and Ladislav. Lots of interesting releases this past week, too. I'm just not sure if or when I'll have time to look at them.
56 • Nice interview (by Anonymous on 2009-03-23 23:32:08 GMT from United States)
But there is obviously more to the story, so is the rebuttal planned for next week?
57 • Older kernel (by Anonymous on 2009-03-24 01:42:34 GMT from United States)
"...DSL has been a useful tool for a long time but the limitations of the 2.4.x kernel are making it less and less valuable as a utility partition or live CD..."
Just what are the limitations of kernel 2.4.x ???
I keep hearing that but no definitive answer.
58 • Tinycore install (by Johnston on 2009-03-24 02:08:04 GMT from United States)
"Just copy bzImage and tinycore.gz onto your hard drive and adjust your GRUB boot loader. Add a tce directory and you are ready to go. Even using persistent home will use an existing /home directory and will simply add a "tc" directory under home."
This is what I wanted to do (on my hard drive, no partitioning, no usb drive). So I went to the install page of tinycorelinux.com (to get details like where to put the files and what the grub line(s) should be) and I see nothing like this. It's just the same old partitioning that I thought he was against. Anyone know how to make it work like he states in the quote?
59 • re#57 older kernel (by hab on 2009-03-24 02:40:20 GMT from Canada)
See here: http://www.2cpu.com/articles/98_1.html and here: http://kerneltrap.org/node/1790
60 • RE: 57 (by IMQ on 2009-03-24 02:43:40 GMT from United States)
From my understanding, the kernel 2.6.x series supports more hardware than the 2.4.x, especially wireless and newer hardware, which is one of the limitations of 2.4.x.
Also, I think, the support for some lagacy (or very old) hardware are dropped.
But that was just my recollection from reading about the 2.6.x sometime ago.
61 • #57 - Another example of 2.4.x limitations (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-03-24 03:07:32 GMT from United States)
Let's say you have a system with no bootable CD-ROM and no bootable USB slots. This could be a modern device, some sort of black box or appliance system, or a piece of legacy hardware like my old Toshiba Libretto. I used DSL for a long time as a maintenance partition. I could boot into it and do a hosted install to upgrade the main OS or, if there was some sort of problem where the main OS (assuming a *nix system) would no longer boot properly I could boot into DSL and chroot into the new system to work on it. Nowadays DSL is not up to the task. If you try either of the above scenarios it will fail with a "kernel too old" message. Meanwhile, something with a 2.6.x kernel and sysadmin tools (i.e.Finnix) can handle it just fine. The problem, of course, is size. If you are working with limited storage, like a small SSD or an old, small hard drive you want to keep the maintenance image as small as possible. DSL used to be perfect for that. Nowadays TinyCore or SliTaz would be much better simply because of the newer kernel.
62 • #58 Poorman's install (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-03-24 03:20:29 GMT from United States)
@Johnston: Those instructions describe a Knoppix poorman's install, which also works on DSL and TinyCore. What confuses me about your question is the "no partitioning" part. You still need to create a small partition to install TinyCore into. The instructions at: http://www.tinycorelinux.com/install.html#5_Copy_over_TC_system_files cover it well. I can also point you to instructions for working from DOS/Windows if you need them. The point is that the OS has to live somewhere on your hard drive and generally that would mean a separate partition or a partition shared with an existing OS. Is that what you want: to share the partition with an existing OS?
63 • re#61 kernel (by hab on 2009-03-24 03:27:41 GMT from Canada)
Apropos to your post Caitlyn, linus has just released kernel 2.6.29 adding more improvements, bug fixes, etc.
See here: http://lkml.org/lkml/2009/3/23/449 for the official announcement.
Ya gotta love free software. Anything else locks you into the box.
Of your own choosing, no less!
64 • REF#58 TinyCore on a HD (by Verndog on 2009-03-24 04:49:25 GMT from United States)
I discussed this on last weeks DW comments.
You can use a FAT32 partition. Get "grub4dos" install all files on the root directory and then the two TC files bzImage and tinycore.gz. Make sure you have formated the partition with msdos, then on boot and at the dos prompt type grub.
The menu.lst file needs to have something on the order
title Tiny Core
kernel (hd0,0)/bzImage vga=773 tce=hda1 restore=hda1/tc_backup
I've done it both ways, using EXT3 and FAT32. In fact I used the "frugal" method for installing on a usb drive and then was able to install that same HD on my laptop. My laptop has defective cdrom drive.
65 • re#63 booting usb (by hab on 2009-03-24 07:02:49 GMT from Canada)
Here is another really nifty boot utility unetbootin, wikipedia description here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNetbootin, and home page for the project here: http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/. Can make usb installs and such.
66 • No subject (by Johnston on 2009-03-24 12:30:32 GMT from United States)
@Caitlyn #62: yes that is what I want. No where in the quote does he say anything about partitioning and in the interview he was pretty against it. Also in the quote, he says it'll use an existing /home. Thanks for the tip. I'll investigate the Knoppix poorman's install. Just think since the guy was so anti-partitioning/system rot, this method should be on the tcl website's install page.
67 • Denix. (by nickispeaki on 2009-03-24 13:00:04 GMT from Ukraine)
I congratulate you with adding to waiting list.!
Удачи, Ден! ;-)
68 • Parsix' installer (by eco2geek on 2009-03-24 13:35:53 GMT from United States)
re: 46 & 48: You're right, Parsix still uses a version of the Kanotix installer that's, shall we say, a bit long in the tooth. In order to tell the installer to use a separate /home partition, you have to save the installer's configuration file and then edit it manually. (It's well-commented.)
There's also a bug to be aware of that's still open (see http://bugs.parsix.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=99). In a nutshell, the new fstab isn't written correctly and specifies your /home partition over two lines instead of one. So it's important to edit your newly installed distro's fstab *before* you boot into it, i.e. while you're still running the live CD, and make any necessary corections.
Parsix is a Debian testing-based distro with GNOME 2.24 as its default UI and distinctive artwork, so don't let the above keep you from trying it.
69 • Very good interview (by Ninad Bapat on 2009-03-24 13:50:13 GMT from India)
It was a great interview, quiet detailed
Maybe you should feature such detailed interviews often.
Will try Tiny Core
70 • Wesnoth (by Nobody Important on 2009-03-24 14:25:15 GMT from United States)
Battle for Wesnoth had a stable 1.6 release. I mention this because Wesnoth is one of the better open source games out there, and I'm sure most Linux users who enjoy a game or two have gave it a go.
Nice to see a free project come together so nicely.
71 • Wesnoth (by Tom on 2009-03-24 14:54:20 GMT from United Kingdom)
Is excellent. It's one of the main things that stopped me using the dual-boot to go back into Windows all the time. That meant i stumbled on how to fix my multi-media apps and now i haven't been back into Windows for yonks :D
Thanks, will try this 1.6 :D
72 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-03-24 16:35:41 GMT from United States)
the point robert made about the partition is that tinycore can co-exist nicely with another distro on the same partition. it's just an advantage of frugal, and not the sole alternative to a full "traditional" or "scatter install." frugal is still an installation, a simple, modular install that produces the same boot every time- unlike my ubuntu install that puts core files everywhere. like anyone that recommends one distro over others, he has his own ideas about what's "better" and why.
the choice to use the ideas is always the user's, but i've never seen a place where he was against a partition, that's a misunderstaning. it's nice to have options instead of "you have to create a new partition for it and unpack the files before you edit the bootloader." you don't. not for live (naturally,) not for frugal (if there is a partition,) not for usb, there's many options that boot without setting up a partition for tc. the live option is more relevant too when there are few distros that offer a livecd that performs comparably with a full install. tinycore isn't the first distro that does it, but robert's been promoting the idea of frugal for a very long time.
73 • Robert Shingledecker (by Jon Mason on 2009-03-25 02:01:56 GMT from United States)
The article about Robert was absolutely beautiful and inspiring. This man has made numerous outstanding contributions to free software while enduring numerous physical disabilities. He will leave the world with a wonderful legacy that I will never equal. Robert is a true model of kindness.
If I only had more brains, I would give his distribution a try.
74 • Microsoft strategy (by Azzorcist on 2009-03-25 03:30:58 GMT from Indonesia)
No, the 83 dollars include the work of the guy that installs Windows and the proper drivers on that machine. So Microsoft gets less than that. Sometimes they get nothing, sometimes they even pay the hardware manufacturer to install Windows. Remember when Microsoft bribed the Nigerian Government ($400 000) to replace Mandriva with Windows on some 15 000 computers?
So it all depends on what deals Microsoft has with the hardware manufacturers. I'm hoping they will get less and less until they die. The sooner the better.
It's Microsoft strategy. They just gave Windows licenses for free for Indonesian schools. What are they trying to do here is make those kid have usual preference to use Windows. And when they get older they only want to use Windows simply because they usually use that and prefer not to chose another.
They want to work with their computer and just use Windows simply because that is the only OS they know better.
And when they became parent and get child they teach their kid use Windows and the pattern goes on...
This is the place that Linux should conquer first, schools. But, before that Linux must strengthen it's position first.
75 • The Article & RE Wesnoth (by Landor on 2009-03-25 03:36:06 GMT from Canada)
If I read 6-12 months ago what Robert said about a scattered install, and "rot" I would have honestly wondered where he was coming from and how could he base what I considered an MS flaw only. But recently, after trying a number of recent releases of a few distros using the 3.5.10 series of KDE, I agree with the man. I don't know if it's KDE itself, or the distros, but I can say matter of factly from my personal experience across a number of different machines with varied hardware that 3 distros, two of which are Sidux and a distro I thought I'd never try, PCLOS. Both have become less and less responsive over their use, and about the same time frame it for it to happen. I hope this isn't something that I keep seeing in the future of GNU/Linux, it would truly be a shame.
Also on the subject of the article I see a number calling out for an allowance of a rebuttal to the article. This reminds me of exactly what happened when Ladislav posted an article about his experience with Puppy. There was a rebuttal article and I'm quite positive you'll see it this time around too. Drama unlolds sadly.
I wasn't a big fan of Wesnoth, just not my cup of tea, I'm a huge FPS fan though and love OpenArena! Another great game that just blows my mind for the detail and functionality is Danger Deep, sub sim, great game indeed. That game to me is truly a model for what open source is capable of!
Keep your stick on the ice...
76 • lua/fltk (by cb88 on 2009-03-25 03:42:45 GMT from United States)
actually John Murga created murgalua which you seem to be calling Flua here for some reason which is the combination of lua and fltk in DSL... you may have implemented it and extended it but he created it.
77 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-03-25 08:35:11 GMT from United States)
"I introduced Lua/FLTK (Flua) to create some 50 or so GUI front-ends for DSL. I also integrated QEMU with DSL"
i'm guessing this should be read: "I was the first person to add the combination of Lua/FLTK (Flua) to DSL and created some 50 or so GUI front-ends. I also integrated QEMU with DSL"
not: "I invented Lua/FLTK (Flua) and added it to DSL. I also recreated QEMU and added DSL to it."
and not to be totally pedantic but http://sourceforge.net/projects/lua-fltk/ was registered 2001-08-08 and murgalua's own site says "24th of July 2006 Initial release" so john murga doesn't claim to have invented the combination either. but he implemented it usefully as murgalua and it was (and is) an excellent fit for dsl.
78 • No subject (by forest on 2009-03-25 09:46:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
I don't know if this would be considered in exactly the same way but, having played around on my latest hobbyhorse, to whit, DOAS, I find a reduction in function. Namely getting online.
I have had no problems with "normal" h/d mounted distros but after a while, (few days) the usb based stuff fails to work, so to speak, in the dhcp department. Plenty of signal but the address is not forthcoming, at all. Even if you attempt the static address procedure.
It looks as tho' a re-install might be required.
I found also that if you attempt to update, via the apt routine in auto mode, a subsequent reboot does not happen.
I am considering the pitfalls of whether the persistent memory allowance is too large?
I discovered also there is some difference in the notion of "bootable" and simply having the distro on a stick which then offers you the usual options of "live" or " install to h/d".
I think more experiment is on my horizon.
Anyone else found similar?
79 • Open source games (by Anonymous on 2009-03-25 10:46:12 GMT from India)
How about a DWW with an article on open source games?
80 • #77 (by jeffcustom on 2009-03-25 12:08:29 GMT from United States)
I think you may be misunderstanding Robert's words.
"I introduced Lua/FLTK (Flua) to create some 50 or so GUI front-ends for DSL. I also integrated QEMU with DSL"
He is saying he introduced Lua/Fltk. I believe he's saying he introduced Flua to DSL. I don't see any reference that he "created" Flua.
He also says he integrated QEMU with DSL. This just means that he provided a downloadable ready to boot Qemu version of DSL. I don't see any mention of him saying that he created Qemu either.
I hope this is just a language difference here.
BTW - if you go to Robert's website link I posted before, you will see that John took his opportunity to dig at Robert and then Robert posted his rebuttal. I really see no need to rehash all of this at DWW. You can search the DSL forum, as I have, if you want to read most of the story. I understand John deleted some things so we probably won't, or need, to know everything.
I hope that ladislav just lets this go. It's done, history...move on.
81 • roberts (by john b on 2009-03-25 12:43:00 GMT from United States)
It felt bad how your treated at DSL. You did great work there. Looks like I'll be trying Tiny Core next!
82 • comparison with Puppy? (by Shankar Gopalakrishnan on 2009-03-25 13:18:29 GMT from India)
I found the Tiny Core interview interesting and definitely going to try it out. I am interested in one questino though - the design model that Tiny Core uses, including the frugal install and the use of extensions, is (with name changes) the same as that used by Puppy Linux. Of course Puppy's core is much bigger because it includes a great deal of apps (which is presumably exactly the objection), but while that may be a problem in terms of the core philosophy, it does mean that the chief problem that Rob Shingledecker identifies (scatter mode, deterioriating performance over time, no pristine system) is also addressed in Puppy. Indeed this is one of the main reasons Puppy has been my workhorse system for almost four years. Would be interested to know how people feel Tiny Core compares with Puppy, and with Barry Kauler's new project, Woof (which basically is a build system for people to build their own cores).
83 • Correction to my post #75 & RE: 78 (by Landor on 2009-03-25 14:07:39 GMT from Canada)
"This reminds me of exactly what happened when Ladislav posted an article about his experience with Puppy."
Should have read:
"This reminds me of exactly what happened when Ladislave posted an article about Mark South's experience with Puppy."
Not Ladislav's experience. Major faux pas there of course.
I'm finding that the whole DE is sluggish, and any apps running while in it. As stated too, it's been across a number of different systems. It just seems the whole system is like a marathon runner on the last leg of the race.
Keep your stick on the ice...
84 • @ 79 (by Nobody Important on 2009-03-25 14:51:59 GMT from United States)
That would be great to have a games article or two. I know that Nexuiz is coming out with a new stable version within a few months, so I would definitely read an interview by those guys. They do some great work.
Heck, Wesnoth, OpenArena, FreeCiv; any of those would be a fun article to read!
Mellowing experience with Linux, however: I've finally met the fabled computer that just won't work with Linux. It's the graphics card. Or it's the network card. Or it's the monitor. Or the CD drive. I'm thinking of just installing Absolute Linux, nailing the configuration files down, and saying, "Ha! Mess THAT up, why dontcha!"
85 • Tiny Core, DSL, Puppy (by Kaiz on 2009-03-25 15:22:58 GMT from United States)
DW rules, once again! Great interview and I won't comment on the issues between Robert and John, many have already said what I'd say. By the way DW is a disease... I check a couple times per day when I'm online and have downloaded and burnt some 250 isos from you by now for a load of very old boxes and lappys which you have largely helped me keep out of landfills.
I'm using TC as I type now, and it rocks, pure and simple. In fact that's the deal- pure and simple. And FAST. Robert is indeed a genius and a gift- Kudos to him and of course the DW staff who make so many wonderful 'nixes available!
I've loved Puppy and used it a great deal since Barry first publicized it, DSL has long been my go-to distro on ancient lappys and boxes of indistinction- and it has nearly never let me down where frankly, Puppy (in it's various incarnations and I have used about 22 of them- no exageration) has in a fair number of lappys and boxes just -not- worked. And I like the various offerings including DSL-N a great deal, but this is my experience. I can recall about 2 instances of DSL refusing to boot.
Finally, people such as Robert, Barry and yes, John are forward-thinking techs who clearly have vision with skills to match. Many of us (include Kaiz please) are simply officiandos who love Linux and use it daily for all tasks, and we stand in awe (fanbois are us, I admit it) of the usefulness, especially of these "Lttle 'Nixes That DO" -not only "could".
86 • @84 - The machine that wont take linux (by Tom on 2009-03-25 18:24:02 GMT from United Kingdom)
Try Wolvix, seems to work everytime for me, even if nothing else does and even, apparently, in at least 1 case where Slackware normally wouldn't.
87 • No subject (by forest on 2009-03-25 18:44:08 GMT from United Kingdom)
Re # 83, last part.
Whilst in experimental mode I found I had installed Knoppix (as an example...nothing wrong with Knoppix at all I hasten to add, LOL) to an SD card...obviously a very late night session, (propped up by a couple of pints)...totally forgotten the next day...what it is to be old...
Anyway, found that Knoppix booted without any issues off a "single card" card reader but no way on a multicard reader...obviously too much circuitry in the way... Found the wifi (my own particular yardstick and the first thing I try) without any effort and was away once the PW was supplied.
As you mentioned above usb based distros do rather slow the system down and an SD card is even slower. Typing emails...the cursor vanishes and reappears...anywhere.
I am using the SD card as I type and the cursor has gone for a walk...offscreen somewhere.
I suspect DOAS have some way to go and although the idea is interesting, and will work for occasional away from home use, that's about it...thus far.
I imagine the speed may be increased with the promised usb.3 standard and I suggest the minimum size stick, if you want to update, store stuff and add other apps is rather more than 1GB.
88 • re: #87 (by Eyes-Only on 2009-03-26 13:38:19 GMT from United States)
A big "Thank you!" is in hand for you Forest for keeping us---or at least myself anyway---informed about your progress here with the "DOAS" idea. :) I, for one, have really appreciated reading about this and have found it to be a fascinating subject, especially where I happen to have a small hard drive ( 80gigs ) taken up with my three fave distros at the moment. So you can imagine that when you first coined the acronym and started out on your "wee adventure" my ears picked up with interest thinking this might possibly be a future viable alternative for myself.
Again Forest: Thanks for the updates on the "Project"---along with all your other comments as well. I glean so much from reading of everyone's experiences here, yours, Notorik, Tom, Caitlyn, Landor, Ladislav, Chris, and all the rest. You ALL deserve a good pat on the back for the knowledge you folks so freely dispense here!
Fab interview this week! I'd love to see more such in-depth interviews with such "Greats" in the field of Linux, who were there in the beginning and who are yet STILL actively participating to make our experiences so enjoyable today. What a pillar to the Community-at-Large Robert has been, and what struggles he faces on a daily basis! Just that alone is inspiring enough to keep someone like me going as well! ( I likewise have several "health issues". )
Thanks for the bandwidth.
89 • RE: 87 (by Landor on 2009-03-26 17:37:16 GMT from Canada)
I don't put much stock into flash/SD drives. About all I use them for (operating system related) is to insall or test out a live cd via that medium. Even that is rare to happen.
Personally I think a mini-cd (210 mb version) would be a far better venture as a portable medium, for a light distro of course.
Since my friend spoke to me about their own need for a portable system I've decided to revamp my old personal build of one. I'm considering a switch to either LXDE or maybe even E17. Why not try to throw a little eye candy the way of people lookin' on when they see it. You get to see their face and hear, "What is that!" :)
Oh, this reminds me, Anti? If you're reading, I didn't see a "base" install for your latest release the last time I looked. Are you stepping away from that?
Keep your stick on the ice...
90 • AntiX (by Landor on 2009-03-26 18:11:55 GMT from Canada)
disregard my comment about the base system...I found it for M8....Maybe I didn't look hard enough..
91 • WTF ? Anyone Watching The NCAA Basketball Tourament Online ? Not On Linux..... (by Distrowatcher on 2009-03-26 21:15:57 GMT from United States)
Wanted to check out my alma mater's game online using a liinux box, but received this very kind message below. Really wanted to watch the game, but not 'that' much.
In order to use the college basketball GameChannel, users will need Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher and a Windows operating system.
If you do not meet the minimum requirements, you can check out the NCAA Men's Basketball Scoreboard for live scoring.
If you are trying to access audio and are not using IE, see our full list of College Broadcasts available on our College Broadcast Player.
92 • @ 91 Distrowatcher (by Tom on 2009-03-26 21:30:15 GMT from United Kingdom)
Firefox has a AddOn called "User Agent" or "Switcher Agent", something like that - it fools a lot of sites into thinking you're using IE (&therefore must be using Windows?)
Hope this helps, good luck and regards from
93 • NCAA @91/92 (by newhere on 2009-03-26 22:47:54 GMT from United States)
The nerds over at slashdot say to install a windows VM to solve that issue... They also say if you use Linux, you have never heard of basketball, or any other sport for that matter.
At any rate, it's very annoying to have this Silverlight junk hurled upon us, but it's nice to see at least one other linux user who appreciates March Madness. btw, I am 14 of 16 on my picks this year. Yippeeeee... Just watching it on the broadcast and at their mercy, however. Not installing any microsoft just for the sake of sport (pun intended). Good Luck!
94 • No subject (by forest on 2009-03-26 23:24:30 GMT from United Kingdom)
Very decent of you to say so. Thanks. And as for real uses see down page...
I am beginning to see things your way...OK for for trialing stuff but limited as yet for real application on a long term basis.
I recall there was an experiment...on an MS platforn some 2 (?) years back where a somebody brought out a 3U or U3 setup on a usb stck (Kreutzer?).
The stick was tricked up with a browser, FF2 I think, and other apps. I have to say I have little or no interest in MS these days so have no idea if it is still going...and I would not trouble to google it...for fear that it was proved to be waste of time...and I could have saved said time by research first, LOL.
I think therefore DOAS is probably pronounced, now, the Homer Simpson way...with a silent "S"...
95 • Austrumi (by Notorik on 2009-03-27 02:59:52 GMT from United States)
I'm not really interested in the DSL guy (Tiny Core is genius). instead, I would like to see an interview with Andrejs Meinerts of Austrumi. Apparently Latvian's have a different way of doing things that I would like to know more about. See the English forum (unless you speak Latvian obviously...).
96 • Other Distros (by Tom on 2009-03-27 10:58:56 GMT from United Kingdom)
I agree with Notorik. In a Law Court we should now hear from both sides again and listen to a judge summarising and perhaps both sides summarising and the judge laying out the options and then the jury go off to deliberate. Big yawns for us and a lot of pain for the people involved. We have heard both sides already and it's obviously still painful for both sides. Please can we move on and talk about something else. I don't think it's fair of us to ask Robert to endure any more about this and dragging people through the mud is not my idea of good manners.
I'm also getting tired of just hearing about TinyCore, Dsl and Puppy in various forums. I'm sure there are a couple more distros out there somewhere. Wasn't there some site that listed them? Perhaps we could hear from a few other main developers on their distros.
I think i got out the wrong side of bed and still haven't had my coffee. lol
Good luck and regards to all from
97 • DOAS (by Notorik on 2009-03-27 12:14:07 GMT from United States)
Opera + Tor. I would like to see this on a stick for Linux:
Does anyone know if there is something like this out there? I know Sabayon has an option to use it, so do Freesbie 2.1, Tor Pup, and Incognito (Gentoo). But these are all distros that include Tor as part of the distro. I am wondering if there is a Tor browser on a stick (BOAS)? It would probably work with Wine but never really like going that route. There was an article in the Linux Journal a few months back stating that Tor should be included in every distro because of the increasing risk of privacy violation issues. If you live in a country with a snoopy/repressive government (we know who we are) then it is almost essential. If you don't have privacy concerns, paranoia is always fun so give it a shot.
98 • #97 (by Notorik on 2009-03-27 12:24:10 GMT from United States)
Sorry for double posting. I think my previous comment was a little confusing. I meant to say, I think the Opera Tor would probably work with Wine but it would be better if there was a native version for Linux.
99 • No subject (by forest on 2009-03-27 15:47:11 GMT from United Kingdom)
The only fly in the ointment to me was that Tor is run by "volunteers" around the planet and on the principle of quis custodiet ipsos custodes See here:
And, you might have heard of the phrase..."Welcome to my parlour said the spider to the fly..."
Despite my not quite as enthusiastic support of DOAS, if you did, heaven forfend, want to keep your h/d squeaky clean in whatever environment...ahem...it so happens you can dis the h/d completely and boot off the stick. You can work it out from there...but that still leaves the problem of ISPs and recourse to Tor.
Which means using public hotspots...I see you are there already...
I suppose there are Tors on a stick trials...TOAST..you just have to make sure you don't get burned...
100 • #99 (by Notorik on 2009-03-27 18:23:43 GMT from Germany)
Indeed. Actually I have had much the same experience as you running DOAS. However, running a browser from a stick occasionally shouldn't be a problem. In some lines of work you need to do things in places that aren't receptive to what you're doing. The advantages of being able to pop in a stick with a browser is enourmous when time is a crucial factor and there are no other viable options.
101 • #97: Tor + Privoxy (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-03-27 19:20:35 GMT from United States)
Notorik: Tor and Privoxy are both in the Vector Linux 6.0 extra repository. They aren't preconfigured for any browser --- you still have to do that, but it's pretty darned easy. It should be noted that Tor also slows down browsing quite a bit. I use it with Firefox and I have the Tor Button extension to shut it off when I really don't need it.
102 • Donation (by anticapitalista on 2009-03-27 21:19:59 GMT from Greece)
Just a reminder to my suggesting (amongst others) a donation to the smxi project.
103 • Tor/Mepis/AntiX (by Notorik on 2009-03-27 21:38:13 GMT from United States)
Thanks Caitlyn. Will that work with Vector Light? Tiny Core with Tor might be interesting too...
Unrelated note: I just had a chance to test both Mepis 8.0 and Antix on a Dell Inspiron laptop for several days. The wireless was a bit of a trick to get working but that is because of my learning curve. Both distros have worked flawlessly so far with wireless.
104 • #103-Tor/Privoxy (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-03-27 23:07:11 GMT from United States)
@Notorik: Anything that works with VL Standard should also work with VL Light. Please remember that VL Light 6.0 is at RC1. There are probably still a few bugs to be worked out. Also remember that Firefox isn't included in Light so you'd have to get that from the repository as well.
105 • Thanks @ 92 & 93. (by Distrowatcher on 2009-03-28 00:40:51 GMT from United States)
Thanks @ 92 & 93.
Yeah, you're right on the money.
Only 14 of 16 ????? What's your secret ?
Grew up in ACC country.. hint hint .......
106 • Wolvix beta1 in the press! (by Tom on 2009-03-28 14:54:14 GMT from United Kingdom)
Wow at last an article about Wolvix 2.0-beta1 in the press!
Only posted up a couple of hours ago but already DW has got it linked on the Wolvix page
and other appropriate places. I'm truly impressed. Nicely done Ladislav, Chris and all :)
Thanks and regards from
PS @105 DistroWatcher - you're welcome, glad it worked :)
107 • No subject (by forest on 2009-03-28 20:17:12 GMT from United Kingdom)
Anyone tried the latest Puppy 4.2?
Just d/l, burned off and thence to usb...very slick. In fact as these go it looks very attractive indeed and I'm not especially susceptible to looks. I have no doubt at all it will be just as functional as the other Puppies...so job done...a pleasant evening ahead, aided and abetted by a couple of jars...distros on the back burner and so to bed.
108 • @107 (by Notorik on 2009-03-28 20:54:20 GMT from United States)
I tried it. On one computer it worked fine (no such luck with the other 2) . Screen resolution seems to be a real problem. A lot of widgets. I'm looking forward to the community edition. Also that online desktop is very interesting.
109 • @88 (by Notorik on 2009-03-29 01:00:52 GMT from United States)
I just saw my name in there with some others that are on a much higher level. But, I'm glad if I contributed something useful.
110 • Latest Puppy (by mikkh on 2009-03-30 01:24:15 GMT from United Kingdom)
Yes, they've done a great job with the look of it, and it's brilliant as a live CD or installed to a USB stick, but the full install to HD is still dodgy - I guess that's why they recommend the 'frugal' install method.
Can't fault it as a live CD though - good work Warren and co
Number of Comments: 110
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