| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 300, 27 April 2009
Welcome to the 300th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Naturally, the biggest news event of the week was the release of Ubuntu's latest version - 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope. Reviews have started pouring in and users are busy upgrading. How well will the latest version be received? And does the success of Ubuntu mean, as some are beginning to wonder, that Debian GNU/Linux is no longer relevant? This week's feature article provides some answers in an interesting comparison between Xubuntu 9.04 and Debian 5.0.1 with Xfce to see how well each performs. We also post links to an interview with Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth, while Tux Radar takes a look at the last ten releases of the world's most popular desktop Linux distro. Of course that's not the only thing that happened this past week - Debian has announced the availability of Lenny kernels with no closed-source firmware, the Fedora community has received up-to-date images of version 10, and the openSUSE online build service looks set to receive support for a Git version control backend, thanks to a Google Summer of Code project. Happy reading!
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Xubuntu 9.04 vs Debian 5.0.1 Xfce
Yes, it's Ubuntu release week and yes, we'll be looking at Ubuntu for our feature article. Instead of a review of what everyone already knows, this week I thought we'd take a look at how the newly released Xubuntu 9.04 compares to Debian Lenny with an Xfce desktop. Xfce is a desktop environment built using the GTK+ graphical libraries, similar to GNOME. Unlike GNOME however, its focus is on being lightweight. Creator Olivier Fourdan writes: "Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment for various *NIX systems. Designed for productivity, it loads and executes applications fast, while conserving system resources." Xubuntu is based on Ubuntu, but instead of providing a GNOME desktop, they provide Xfce. They also include much of the functionality that its larger parent offers. Debian, on the other hand, is based on, well, itself and offers a multitude of desktop offerings, one of which is Xfce. How do the two compare?
I've played with most of the Xubuntu releases which have come out, but haven't found them as lightweight as I had hoped. Xubuntu tended to include much of the GNOME desktop applications and services to provide richer functionality, at the cost of system resources. I got my hands on an old Dell Dimension 4500 desktop machine, with an Intel 2 GHz processor and 384 MB of memory. Not the most powerful machine in the world these days, but it seemed suitable for this task.
First comes Xubuntu. I downloaded the Xubuntu alternate install CD for i386 architecture and completed an installation using ext3 as the default file system. Some time later I had a full Xubuntu desktop installed and was ready to boot into it for the first time. The system looked really good. I know people hate it when reviewers discuss looks, but it really did look good. From the splash screen to the desktop, which was nicely arranged and used lovely looking icons, it felt like a classy desktop.
Xubuntu Xfce desktop
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Using the system is very straightforward, with the layout being relatively close to Ubuntu's GNOME environment. Unfortunately, I ran into a few annoying issues. Firstly, I kept having issues with the package manager. For some reason it kept throwing errors about a problem in the package database and wanted me to run apt-get -f install, which I did several times. I did a re-install and this error went away. One bug that was not solved after a re-boot was HAL crashing when rebooting the computer from Xfce. It only happened when I was also logged into /dev/tty1, but it was consistent. The system would log me out successfully, but then throw an error about being unable to perform the shut-down. Another problem I experienced was the computer freezing. The kernel would print an error about CPU lock and not being responsive for 30 seconds. After another install, it didn't come back though. Also, sound didn't work out of the box, even though the card was detected properly. It turned to be a simple fix, the mixer didn't present any controls by default, I had to manually add them. Once I selected Master, PCM and Front, un-muted them and turned them all up, sound worked. Yay.
Xubuntu package manager error
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Xubuntu would not play any files which required proprietary codecs. It did, however, prompt me to search for and download codecs through the package manager. When you try and play a file, the tool pops up and recommends a package to install, then it's as simple as selecting it and agreeing to install it. I noticed it seemed to do some files in two steps, first the audio and then when it still couldn't play, it popped up the dialogue and then searched for the video codec. All in all, this is nice and simple, and works well. The files I tested were MP3 and WMA audio files, as well as Flash, H.264/MPEG-4 AAC, WMV and DivX video files. When it came time to playing Flash in the browser, I was re-directed to the Adobe web site where I had to select and download the Flash plug-in. I selected the one for Ubuntu and told it to open with gdebi, the graphical DEB package installer. This pulled down one more dependencies and installed them without any hassles. After restarting Firefox, I was able to view Flash videos online.
Xubuntu codecs manager
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After using Xubuntu for a while, just for browsing the Internet and installing a few packages, it became very slow and non-responsive. It took a long time to open small applications like Terminal and Mousepad, and drawing windows became slow. It was obvious I had already run out of RAM and was starting to use swap space. Considering I wasn't doing very much, this was rather disappointing.
Debian Lenny Xfce
For Debian, I downloaded the Debian 5.0.1 Xfce+LXDE CD image for i386 architectures. I performed an installation which was similar to Xubuntu, once again choosing ext3 as the default file system. Naturally, I chose to install Xfce so as to perform a reasonable comparison. It wasn't too long before I had a Debian environment booted and ready to go. It's fair to say that Debian's environment was not as nice looking as Xubuntu. Yes, I know you readers will argue that people keep the default for less than 5 seconds before changing it, but not everyone does and first impressions can count towards a lot. Frankly, I'd probably stay with the default Xubuntu desktop, but the Debian one is horrendous by comparison. Yes, I know it's the default Xfce icons and layout, but it's just not as pleasing to view and work with. If this is something Debian wants to be able to compete with the likes of Xubuntu, it needs improvement. What's wrong with having a xfce4-desktop-default-settings package that people can install to make it more pretty?
Debian 5.0.1 Xfce desktop
(full image size: 8.5kB, screen resolution: 471x258 pixels)
The one 'issue' I had was that Debian did not install the HAL service by default. This meant that removable media was not automatically mounted. Simply installing the hal package solved this problem. I assume it was not included due to its ability to consume extra resources. When it came to the codecs, Debian was the biggest surprise. Of all the test files I tried, Lenny played every one out of the box! It also streamed YouTube in Iceweasel using the open-source Swfdec plug-in, while Xfmedia played the Flash file on the desktop. Sound also worked out of the box. Using the system itself was much more responsive than Xubuntu and although I browsed the net, edited images in GIMP and ran commands on the Terminal all at the same time, I never ran out of memory. In fact, with two instances of Iceweasel open, Terminal, Mousepad, GIMP, Xfmedia, Thunar, Xsane, Orage and Settings Manager, the system was only using 146.72 MB of RAM!
So, how did the two installs compare? I tested both systems by timing how long they took to complete the boot process, and measured the amount of RAM used at each step. These included booting to single mode, booting to the desktop login manager (GDM), loading the Xfce desktop and loading the desktop and Firefox/Iceweasel. I also mapped the boot processes with Bootchart for both the Xubuntu and Debian installs (get the results here and here, respectively).
Here are the results of the tests I ran.
Debian is certainly far from dead. The overall system feels much more stable than the Xubuntu 9.04 I installed, but the Xubuntu system provided more functionality for new users, like the ability to easily install proprietary drivers. Debian was also faster and more lightweight than Xubuntu and, as a result, ran much better on this older hardware. Compared to Debian, Xubuntu was slow and sluggish, even to the point of being frustrating. Debian, on the other hand, remained snappy and responsive. When it came to codecs, Debian played everything out of the box, while Xubuntu resorted to using their manager to install codecs as required. Debian is now superior to Xubuntu in this area. The one thing Debian didn't have is the automated tool for installing proprietary drivers. Everything is there at the command level, just not in the user interface. Part of the reason Xubuntu takes longer to load and uses more RAM is that it includes extra utilities, like the proprietary driver manager. The other thing to keep in mind is that Xubuntu 9.04 comes with a much newer kernel and includes numerous booting speed improvements, while Debian does not.
While some may be touting that Debian is obsolete now that Ubuntu rules the roost, I have to whole-heartedly disagree. Debian provides a solid, stable environment that you can really trust and rely on. Ubuntu, on the other hand, appears to have put more priority on a timely release over stability and, as a result, seem to rush out half-baked releases. There's nothing that Ubuntu can do that Debian can't - it's just a matter of how simple that task is. Certainly Debian takes a long time to release more up-to-date stable versions, but they are just that - stable. If you are looking for something more up-to-date, try Debian testing. It's still very stable, with the added benefit of being a rolling release. I can't help but feel that while Ubuntu is shouting their achievements from the rooftops, Debian is silently plugging away in the background making things work. Please Debian, don't go anywhere!
Ubuntu releases Jaunty, Debian Lenny gets free kernels, Fedora released re-spun images, openSUSE considers Git for its build service, interviews with Linus Torvalds and Mark Shuttleworth
Ready or not, here it comes. The latest version of Ubuntu has arrived, 9.04, dubbed Jaunty Jackalope. This new release does improve upon previous versions but, more importantly, it includes a USB image for Low-Power Intel Architecture Mobile Internet Devices (MID) and an official netbook version. The netbook remix is essentially a modified version of Ubuntu with an alternate interface to make better use of small screen resolutions. The MID edition is based on Moblin and therefore optimised for Intel's Atom processor. It is also optimised for 7"+ screens and is much more lightweight than the netbook remix. Will Jaunty be the version that will start cropping up on commercial netbooks? Time will tell! Certainly Canonical has put a lot of effort into getting Linux running well in this space, as revealed in a recent interview. Tux Radar also has an article which looks back at almost 5 years of Ubuntu. If you're upgrading to Jaunty, or installing for the first time, take a look at the unofficial Installation guide and cheat sheet from Make Tech Easier.
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Debian GNU/Linux often gets overlooked in the Ubuntu release week, but without it, there would have been no Ubuntu. At least, that was then. Now, people are starting to ask whether Debian is irrelevant. Leigh Dyer writes: "The release last month of Debian 5.0, code-named Lenny, has certainly been a success, but Debian has always been seen as a distribution made by geeks, for geeks, and has had trouble attracting new users. In a world where Ubuntu combines Debian's package management technology, up-to-date software and a fixed six-month release cycle, is Debian still relevant as a distribution?" In a completely separate article, Sean Kerner writes: "The great 'failure' of Debian is also its great strength. Debian hasn't been able to put out releases in a regularly scheduled format in years - something developers will commonly attribute to not making a release until it's ready. While Debian has struggled on release dates (getting better lately), Ubuntu comes out with its releases like clockwork. Though Debian has made tremendous strides since Sarge with its desktop installation, Ubuntu has become one of the most popular Linux distribution for the desktop, period."
In other Debian-related news, developers voted last year to include proprietary and closed-source firmware with release 5.0. Now, Robert Millan has posted to the developer list that images, which contain only free software, are available for Lenny. He writes: "As you probably know, back in December last year it was decided that the Linux package shipped with Debian Lenny would include non-free code in it (so-called 'blobs' of binary-only firmware). While the majority of the project supported this decision, it is still true that many of us users and developers feel strongly committed to freedom, and would rather reject the practical benefit of that code than submit ourselves to the restrictions that come with it." Is the mentality to only include completely free code in Debian a strength or a weakness in relation to the popularity of Ubuntu? Is Debian truly just a distro for geeks and those crazy about freedom? The Jaunty release of Ubuntu comes with the option to install only free software, so it seems that, on some level, it can compete on both sides of the fence.
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It has been five months since the release of Fedora 10, known as Cambridge. Now, the Fedora Unity project has released re-spun images for i386, x86_64 and PPC architectures. Ben Williams posted this to the announce list: "The Fedora Unity Project is proud to announce the release of new ISO re-spins of Fedora 10. These re-spin ISOs are based on the officially released Fedora 10 installation media and include all updates released as of April 14th, 2009 (saving about 650 MB in updates on a default install)." He continues: "Fedora Unity has taken up the re-spin task to provide the community with the chance to install Fedora with recent updates already included. This is a community project, for and by the community. You can contribute to the community by joining our test process." The ability to install Fedora from secure, up-to-date images is a great service to the community.
* * * * *
The online build service from openSUSE has gained a lot of attention recently with the ability to build packages for ARM processors and for the support gained from the Linux Foundation. Now, Peter Libic is developing support for the Git source code manager, as part of Google's Summer of Code. He writes: "Currently OBS (openSUSE Build Service) uses a custom MD5-based relational database called BSDB for storing project revisions. It works well for OBS but using a Git backend could improve the entire service. Git is one of the best revision control systems currently available. Present OBS makes extensive pressure on the backend when using basic revision control commands, like diff or log. Git can move these actions to the client which may lower the server load." The project will be mentored by openSUSE developer Pavol Rusnak. In other news, the latest openSUSE newsletter interviews community member Jan Engelhardt, who is responsible for making a real-time Linux kernel available to users.
* * * * *
Finally, here is a link to an interesting interview with Linus Torvalds, conducted by Linux Magazine: "Linus Torvalds has led the development of the Linux operating system since its inception nearly 20 years ago. In that time Torvalds has had the opportunity not only to witness the positive cultural and economic changes brought about by Linux but has also been a direct participant in making those changes a reality. And though many things have changed greatly since 1991, one thing remains constant: Linus is still at the helm. In this interview Torvalds looks back on the operating system he created, the impact of new hardware, and the ubiquitous OS on everything from cellphones to desktops to supercomputers."
|Released Last Week
Easy Peasy 1.1
Jon Ramvi has announced the release of Easy Peasy 1.1, an Ubuntu-based distribution optimised for the ASUS Eee PC and other netbooks: "We are proud to announce Easy Peasy 1.1! This is how the first Easy Peasy release really should be: No stupid bugs, no Ubuntu logos. You will be able to upgrade from tomorrow, but you can get the full ISO image today. A brand new look: new icon theme, a modified version of Victor Castillejos's GNOME Colors; new wallpaper which is part of the new visual profile (i.e. on Twitter); new splash screen and login screen. Fixed bugs: lots of bugs fixed; many upgrades, like Songbird and Flash." Here is the brief release announcement with a screenshot of the home desktop.
Ubuntu 9.04 has been released: "The Ubuntu team is happy to bring you the latest and greatest software the Open Source community has to offer. This is their latest result, the Ubuntu 9.04 release, which brings a host of excellent new features. New features: Ubuntu 9.04 RC includes the latest GNOME 2.26 desktop environment with a number of great new features, including Brasero 2.26.0, an all-in-one CD burning application and the default disc burning utility in Nautilus, and improved handling of multiple monitors; X.Org server 1.6; Wacom tablet hotplugging; new style for notifications and notification preferences; significantly improved boot performance; Linux kernel 2.6.28; optional ext4 files system support...." Read the release announcement, release notes and feature overview for further information.
Ubuntu 9.04 - the project's 10th official release
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Jonathan Riddell has announced the release of Kubuntu 9.04, an Ubuntu variant featuring the latest KDE 4 desktop environment: "The Kubuntu team is proud to announce the release of Kubuntu 9.04, the Jaunty Jackalope! Kubuntu 9.04 includes an upgraded desktop containing many bug fixes, new configuration options, as well as many new and updated applications: KDE 4.2, containing many new features, including significant refinements of Plasma and KWin, the KDE workspace, many new and updated Plasma widgets, new and improved desktop effects (enabled by default), the return of the optional 'Classic Desktop' motif as an option; new in System Settings are tools for managing software and printer configuration; Quassel, a new IRC client; Amarok 2.0.2, KTorrent 3.2, Digikam 0.10.0...." See the rest of the release announcement for a more detailed overview of the release.
Mythbuntu 9.04, a distribution designed for home theatre systems and featuring MythTV, has been released: "After a long and exciting development cycle the Mythbuntu team is proud to introduce Mythbuntu 9.04. Features: Mythbuntu Log Grabber - this application grabs specific log files into a single area and can upload them to pastebin for easy troubleshooting; auto-partitioner creates separate partitions for root, recordings, and swap (ext3 and XFS); Mythbuntu Control Centre - used to modify settings on a Mythbuntu system that are not necessarily MythTV specific; MythTV 0.21-fixes20403 included; MythNetTV 7 (and GUI) are now packaged and available in the official repositories." Read the release announcement and release notes for further information, system requirements and known issues.
Next, it's the turn of Xubuntu 9.04, an Ubuntu variant featuring the Xfce desktop, which was also released today: "Xubuntu 9.04, code-named the 'Jaunty Jackalope', is the latest and greatest version of Xubuntu. It integrates the latest Xfce (4.6.0) desktop with the high-quality and feature-rich core of Ubuntu, resulting in a light-weight and easy-to-use Linux distribution. Highlights: faster boot times; a new Xfce Settings Manager dialog with better integration of each of the settings modules; a new configuration system - Xconf; a new desktop menu that follows the freedesktop.org menu standards; an upgraded notification-area; Gigolo, a new application to allow access to remote file systems; new Xubuntu artwork...." See the release announcement and release notes for upgrade instructions and other information.
Ubuntu Studio 9.04
Luis de Bethencourt has announced the release of Ubuntu Studio 9.04, a multimedia variant of Ubuntu built for the GNU/Linux audio, video, and graphics enthusiast: "The Ubuntu Studio team is proud to announce its fifth release - Ubuntu Studio 9.04. With this release, Ubuntu Studio offers a pre-made selection of packages, targeted at audio, video and graphics users. Ubuntu Studio greatly simplifies the creation of Linux-based multimedia workstations. For Ubuntu Studio 9.04 we have continued to update packages and fix critical bugs to improve the Ubuntu Studio user experience. Features, fixes and improvements: heavily-tested 2.6.28 real-time kernel for low-latency audio work; Jack Connection Kit upgraded to 0.116.1 (a major improvement); Ardour upgraded to 2.7.1; fresh Ubuntu Studio looks improvements; addition to Ubuntu Studio Controls to allow users to maintain Ctr+Alt+Backspace behavior." Read the rest of the release notes for additional details.
Ubuntu Studio 9.04 - a distribution for audio, video and graphics enthusiasts
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iMagic OS 2009.5
Carlos La Borde has announced the release of iMagic OS 2009.5, a commercial desktop Linux distribution based on Ubuntu: "The new iMagic OS has arrived. With a newly retouched interface, intuitive first-run wizard, multiple problems patched, much better integration with magicOnline (a new tool that allows you to install hundreds of programs with just one click) v2, included MP3 decoding, upgraded programs, enhanced multimedia programs including Exaile and Cinelerra, instant desktop search with Google Desktop, better Photo management with magicPhoto and Picasa, better Microsoft compatibility, magicEssentials (a suite of six desktop applications created by iMagic OS), and magicGuide (created with the beginning Linux user in mind), to give your computer the power it needs to do what you want it to do and a whole lot more." Read the complete release announcement for further details.
Kai Hendry has announced the release of Webconverger 4.7, a live, Debian-based web kiosk designed for deployments in places like offices or Internet cafés where only web applications are used. What's new? "Added iptables firewall; fixed UA string for Hotmail; file:/// disabled in the latest kiosk extension; removed previous wireless default to join any open network; Iceweasel 3.0.9; CUPS printing support re-instated with a firewall rule to allow for printer sharing broadcasts; Linux kernel 2.6.29 backport, which means even better hardware support; Xpdf dropped in favour of a working printing dialog with Acrobat Reader - there are some embedding issues when you first run it, [Ctrl+q] is needed to close the PDF viewer. Known issues: spelling language has to be manually chosen and doesn't respect chosen locale boot options; the Debian installer which only worked on the ISO version is temporarily disabled until the Debian installer uses 2.6.29 which supports Squashfs 4...." See the full release notes for more information.
Warren Woodford has announced the release of SimplyMEPIS 8.0.06, a minor update of the project's recently released version 8 "MEPIS LLC has released SimplyMEPIS 8.0.06, an update to the community edition of MEPIS 8.0. SimplyMEPIS 8.0 uses a Debian Lenny stable foundation enhanced with a long-term support kernel, key package upgrades, and the MEPIS Assistant applications to create an up-to-date, ready to use desktop computer system. The updated components on the SimplyMEPIS ISOs include recent updates from the Debian 'Lenny' pool and also Linux kernel 220.127.116.11, Firefox 3.0.9, JBidwatcher 2.0.1 and Gutenprint 5.2.3. In addition, some minor tweaks have been applied to the MEPIS installer and the MEPIS utilities. Recently, the MEPIS package pool has received new updates for Thunderbird 18.104.22.168, Shorewall 4.2.6, TightVNC 1.3.9, Openswan 2.6.20, QEMU 0.10.2 and Webmin 1.460." Read the brief release announcement for further details.
Tiny Core Linux 1.4
Robert Shingledecker has announced the release of Tiny Core Linux 1.4, a minimalist desktop Linux distribution in 10 MB: "Team Tiny Core is pleased to announce the release of Tiny Core Linux 1.4. Changelog: new virtual disk support; updated watcher, now supports no swap option; replaced Busybox losetup with GNU, for cryptohome support; moved start-up script processing to occur before restore; fl_picsee replaces imlib2_view; update .jwmrc screenshot menu option; update appbrowser loads .list and .dep upon demand; update .xsession for easier use of other X start-up utilities; update mousetool now makes output script executeable. Files that have changed and are likely in your backup or other persistent store: .jwmrc, .xsession." Visit the project's user forum to read the release announcement.
Joern Lindau has released a new version of Toorox, an i686-optimised, Gentoo-based live DVD which boots into a KDE desktop using KNOPPIX hardware auto-detection and auto-configuration technologies: "A new release of Toorox is done and available in the download section. Now you can simply make a live USB pen drive with it. The KDE was updated to 4.2.2 and OpenOffice.org speaks German and English. There are no significant changes to the prior version except package updates and small bug fixes. Changes: contains Iceweasel 3.0.9 web browser; the Windows emulator WINE was updated to 1.1.19; VLC media player 0.99a; Clam antivirus 0.95.1." Here is the brief release announcement.
Toorox 04.2009 - a Gentoo-based live DVD featuring the latest KDE 4.2.2
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
The openSUSE project has published a roadmap leading to the upcoming release of openSUSE 11.2. The development kicked off last week with the first "Milestone" release (previously these early snapshots were called "Alpha"), with regular development releases scheduled for the upcoming months. If everything goes according to the plan, there will be a total of eight milestones, followed by two release candidates and the final release on 12 November 2009. This means that more than 11 months will have passed between openSUSE 11.1 and 11.2. For further information and some development goals please consult the Roadmap/11.2 page on the openSUSE Wiki.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 4 May 2009.
1 • Wrong links (by Marco on 2009-04-27 11:27:05 GMT from Italy) |
Some links in the Debian section of "Miscellaneous News" are wrong.
2 • Lin-X looks great (by Anonymous on 2009-04-27 11:30:43 GMT from United States)
Lin-X looks great!
I would like to try it.
3 • Permission to access /images/screenshots/... (by Magic Banana on 2009-04-27 11:39:14 GMT from France)
The link to the two bootcharts are not accessible!
BTW... I feel happy about the linux-libre kernels in Debian GNU/Linux. Freedom does matter! :-)
4 • ub vs. deb (by m1k on 2009-04-27 11:41:17 GMT from Italy)
And the winner is.........................
5 • Feature Article (by Sertse on 2009-04-27 11:44:21 GMT from Australia)
Did Chris write it? It seemed quite...out of character; too cursory/amateurish a review in my opinion. Especially compared to previous articles (like the LVM stuff, or just reviews of distros) which have always been knowledgeable, and fleshes things out...
Putting it down as an off week.
6 • Debian is relevant (by SlaxFan on 2009-04-27 11:45:01 GMT from United States)
I use Debian on my laptop and love the net install. The only thing it needs to be perfect is better guidance for new users as to what packages to install to get what functionality. Maybe it's not intended for new users but it is fast and stable. If there were a list of suggested packages such as "hal - install this to get automounting of plugged in USB devices" it would be awesome.
7 • linux-libre (by Greg on 2009-04-27 11:47:20 GMT from Greece)
So Debian isnt free? What a shock.
I always thought that because of their social contract. I guess that doesnt matter anymore.
If they followed it the all kernels would be libre.
So much for ideology.
8 • The biggest event of the week (by kazekami on 2009-04-27 11:57:41 GMT from France)
It's not the release of *buntu, it's the 300th DistroWatch Weekly !
Thanks for all the good work you're doing, I love monday morning at work since DW exists
9 • XFce 4.6 (Xubuntu 9.04) vs. XFce 4.4.2 (Debian Lenny) (by chemist on 2009-04-27 12:02:56 GMT from Germany)
Xubuntu 9.04 with the brandnew XFce 4.6.0 is compared with the stable XFce 4.4.2 in Debian Lenny.
Therefore, a test which compares only XFce 4.6.0 and XFce 4.4.2 on the same distribution, is missing.
It could be that XFce 4.6 is slower than XFce 4.4.2 and that XFce 4.6 needs more RAM than XFce 4.4.2.
10 • Good article (by Ricardo on 2009-04-27 12:10:11 GMT from Brazil)
It's a long time ago I'm using only Debian, with another partition where I test other distros. Yesterday I tried out Ubuntu Studio and, no surprise to me, it was freezing after a few minutes of use. Compiling my own real-time kernel solved the problem though, but I can't trust a distro which delivers a self-proclaimed stable system that can achieve to be even buggier than a Microsoft one.
Regarding Debian, what now works best for me is to install debian stable (am doing this at home and on the computers at the audio lab of my university) and compile newer packages of software I rely on (exclusively audio ones) by hand, although I could also get 64studio's, musix' or pure:dyne's ones.
11 • Severe Kernel Bug? (by chemist on 2009-04-27 12:23:12 GMT from Germany)
"Another problem I experienced was the computer freezing. The kernel would print an error about CPU lock and not being responsive for 30 seconds."
This could be related to a severe kernel bug which came into the kernel approximately from 2.6.18 onwards:
Even a machine with a 2GHz PIV and 1GB RAM can be brought down to its knees with one "heavy" process (e.g. large file backup or kernel compilation). The system becomes unresponsive and (almost) freezes.
But it is not a cpu problem, it is a I/O problem.
The "mighty" 2GHz processor used in the "XFce test" above possesses obviously enough power for completing its tasks.
12 • Xubuntu 9.04 vs Debian 5.0.1 Xfce (by Abhijeet on 2009-04-27 12:26:04 GMT from India)
Agreed 100% with you! Xubuntu is just horrible in comparison to Debian Xfce. On my P4 768 MB machine, i actually got much faster response from both ubuntu (gnome) and kubuntu (kde4) than xubuntu. I think if you are looking for a lighter ubuntu based distro, crunchbang linux is the way to go.
13 • Xubuntu -- no surprise (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-04-27 12:33:22 GMT from United States)
What Chris reported, that Xubuntu is neither lightweight or fast, parallels my experience with the last several versions of Xubuntu. Some folks will remember that Xubuntu Dapper and Edgy were my primary desktop OS for a time. Since then a combination of bugs and poor performance have kept me away. I always try it during each new release cycle and I am always disappointed. I'll stick with Wolvix or Vector Linux for an Xfce desktop that both works and performs well.
14 • Re: xfce distribution (by alex on 2009-04-27 12:35:09 GMT from Russian Federation)
>> I've played with most of the Xubuntu releases which have come out, but haven't found them as lightweight as I had hoped
Zenwalk. The best of XFCE distributions i've ever seen. Lightweight enough for PIII 1000/192 mb ram (my config). Nothing similar in terms of perfomance/experience. Take a look, if you didn't.
15 • Debian AND Ubuntu, not Debian vs. Ubuntu (by David Smith at 2009-04-27 12:35:53 GMT from Canada)
The only conclusion to be drawn from the feature article is that debian 5.0 is better than xubuntu 9.04 for older, underpowered pc's (and speaking as one who owns several such pc's, this is nothing to sneeze at).
However, running xfce on kubuntu 9.04 (upgraded from intrepid), on a more recent rig (X2 4850e / 2g ddr2 800), I did not experience any of the bugs or slowness reported by the author. In fact, it runs a hella faster than kde 4.4x, and is quite a looker too, so I may may well wind up using it for my default de.
I think both are interesting and quite viable projects in their own right. Nevertheless debian remains focused on the serious geek market and must therefore sacrifice considerable share to the ubuntus, which cater (or pander depending on your pov) to gui-dependent users.
16 • "Debian is certainly far from dead." (by maconulaff on 2009-04-27 12:39:52 GMT from United States)
Considering the hundreds of distros that draw from Debian, we should all hope this remains true. There seems to be a fundamental difference between Debian and the rest of the "ready for prime time" distros, including the various Ubuntu flavors, that many seem to miss. An analogy of the difference could be made by comparing the difference between building your own computer hardware platform or buying one fully assembled.
When using Debian, you start with a very generic install so you can customize and add features as your needs dictate. This is similar to building your own computer where you can select what components want in your computer. There are a vast array of options and directions you can go with that freedom.
When using one of the "ready for prime time" distros, it is like buying a prefab computer system. It may have many of the features you want, but you may have to spend some time ripping stuff out and replacing it with what you want to get the system you really wanted.
I have worked with both and each has their place, but I personally more often opt for the Debian approach as I consider myself a more experienced user who prefers my own customizations and the freedom such a system offers from the beginning.
This is not to be interpreted as any kind of a slam of the other distros - just as millions of prefab computer hardware units are sold each year, there are millions of users who just want a pretty package out of the box. (Think about your typical Apple user - they overpay for hardware and software and are perfectly happy with their situation).
Those of us who like to build our own systems and to put in the work to customize our OS specific to our needs. Debian's flexibility is this area is unmatched in my humble opinion.
17 • Debian is the Daddy (by DeniZen on 2009-04-27 12:40:46 GMT from United Kingdom)
Nice articles! - happy 300th anniversary DWW ;)
Debian _is_ the Daddy ;) (or Momma ;) )
The biggest remaing myths 'out-there' are:
* Debian is 'hard to install'... It is absolutely not, if yo uchoose the GUI installer ('installgui' at the installer prompt)
* That Debian does not have great hardware detection ..- it does (though may not always wrap the control interface up for the user like *buntu does)
* And that Debian wont play much multimedia without mucho, mucho tinkero... Not true either!
Considering that users of Fedora, OpenSuse, Mandriva and to some extent *buntu's have to enable third-party repo's for Multimedia support, Debian does rather well straight off the bat nowadays.
If you also then add the 'Debian Multimedia' 3rd party repo you pretty much all you would ever need.
Tip: - If doing a net / DVD install you can set a 'tasksel' command at the outset for a default KDE desktop instead of a Gnome DE
KDE 3.5.x :) (unless you are tracking Testing)
Debian is a beautiful, solid, flexible, vast , fast Distro, that many will find to be surprisingly nice, and easy to live with.
Long may it be the Daddy/ Momma !
18 • Debian (by Jesse on 2009-04-27 12:45:28 GMT from Canada)
As an end-user, I've never really been interested in Debian. But that's probably because I like trying new things as they come out and run desktop boxes. However,Debian is obviously still important. Without it, we wouldn't have such great distros as Knoppix or Ubuntu.
In other words, the foundation of the house might not be the prettiest or most interesting part, but it's still darn important.
Debian isn't the sexiest distro on the block, but its infastructure is important to much of the Linux community.
19 • Xubuntu 9.04 vs Debian 5.0.1 Xfce (by john on 2009-04-27 12:49:42 GMT from Greece)
Debian rocks , on old hardware celeron 800MHZ & 384MB is fast and stable like Slackware . With a huge repository for packages & Marillat's debian-multimedia . Than you Debian people !
20 • Debian (by Celettu on 2009-04-27 12:50:47 GMT from Luxembourg)
Debian irrelivant? I've never used Debian and I'm an Ubuntu fan, but without Debian there IS no Ubuntu, or any of the million distros based on Debian/'buntu.
21 • Debian not Sexy?! (by DeniZen on 2009-04-27 12:56:56 GMT from United Kingdom)
Debian can be err.. 'sexy'!
To may folks that means a bit of candy by way of bootsplash / usplash I'd wager? :)
OK, there is no bootspash by 'default' on Debian but its a cinch from Lenny onwards.
Install usplash from synaptic or via apt, and it will pull in the debain uspalsh theme and update the initramfs.
You may need to add splash argument to your kernel line in grub, and possibly add your resolution to /etc/usplash.conf
just intall ' StartUpManager' ( packagename ' sum ' ) and configure ypur installed usplash via an easy gui.
OK< admittedly the XFCE shots in this weeks DWW may not look that amazing, but regardsGnome or KDE , then the default Debian GDM / KDM and DE candy / wallpaper is all actually rather funky.
And will again surprise many not expecting it.
Treat yourself, give the big D a shot ;)
22 • my apols! (by DeniZen .. again on 2009-04-27 13:02:28 GMT from United Kingdom)
a: gushing a bit ;)
b: all those terrible typos (see a: ;) )
23 • Debian remains. (by nightflier on 2009-04-27 13:06:44 GMT from United States)
Debian may not provide a tweaked interface for the various DE's and WM's out there, but more than makes up for it in the CLI/server role. Starting with a bare bone install, then using apt to add what you need, you get a fast and secure system with up to date, pre-configured services. Then you just keep it running and running and running...
24 • Is Debian dead? (by Anonymous on 2009-04-27 13:10:48 GMT from France)
Is that a joke? Does ANYBODY think Debian is dead? Debian is THE biggest open source project, it has more than 1000 developers, it supports 15 architectures, it is available with BSD and it is probably the only distribution that is available with the Hurd. Man, if debian is dead then open source is dead!
Ubuntu is a subset of debian with a focus on desktop computers for the i386 platform with linux with some tweaks to make grandmother happy. A pretty nice project, but a debian killer? I've never seen an Ubuntu server (I've only heard that is exists), but in my job I've only seen Debian, some Red Hat and 2 or 3 Suse and I've seen a lot of servers. Ubuntu is pretty much only a desktop distro.
25 • Eh? (by Nobody Important on 2009-04-27 13:15:17 GMT from United States)
Xubuntu and Debian w/ Xfce are for different users.
I used DebXfce for a while but ran into problems (like, say, no automounting, that sort of thing) and I as a Linux newb had no way of figuring out how to solve my problem. Plus, DebXfce comes with Firefox, OpenOffice and the GIMP. Besides that, maybe a few Xfce ultilities. To get it to work for you, you're going to have to know how to run Aptitude or Apt from the terminal, because that's all you get.
DebXfce is fast, and it's very "prettiable." I loved it. It's made for a different kind of user than the Buntu's, however. Xubuntu is usable out of the box, a bit more polished, and has programs to make the ease of installation easier.
I still agree, however. If you want Xfce, Xubuntu probably isn't for you. If you want to learn Xfce, Xubuntu works, but the training wheels drag the distro down. I'd suggest Zenwalk here, but xorg crashed (something that hasn't happened since 2007); odd computer problems aside, it's a promising distro.
26 • Custom install (by Mean old man with no legs on 2009-04-27 13:15:25 GMT from Ecuador)
I've installed some very lightweight Gnome systems from the command line with both Debian Sid and Ubuntu. If you carefully watch what you install, Debian and Ubuntu differ by somewhere about 15 MB of RAM usage. And both are actually viable on a 128 MB system running a lightweight Gnome system.
27 • But appending (by Nobody Important on 2009-04-27 13:17:51 GMT from United States)
But I do have to add that Debian 5.0 with KDE 3.5 is one of the best, bar none. Fast, pretty, usable out of the box. (I know that Deb+KDE is MEPIS - I'm going to give that one a try sometime soon)
28 • debian vs xubuntu (by chris on 2009-04-27 13:30:31 GMT from United Kingdom)
Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment but there's nothing lightweight about the Xubuntu 9.04 implementation of it. Once installed, it consumed 299mb of RAM on my laptop. By comparison, Slackware, Zenwalk, Debian implementations consume around 95-120mb. XFCE developers probably cringe at the bastardization of all their good work to keep things lightweight.
You know what's great about a vanilla Xfce desktop? Terminal as a quick launch application in the bottom panel.
29 • Debian is obsolete? (by Omari on 2009-04-27 13:35:46 GMT from United States)
Yeah, folks have been saying that about Slackware for years too...obviously, the many users disagree.
30 • I - P - untu'S (by DH on 2009-04-27 13:43:42 GMT from United States)
I wasted more disks and time this weekend only to get a non-working system. Oh it worked for a short time, but soon after fluxing around trying to get things the os didn't regonize working it was dead! For the most popular Linux O-system it lacks the most ease of use and congifuration I have grow acustom to on much less popular distro's. Go ahead defend it, it just means you ok with spending more time teaking it then using it.... Those will be the last disks wasted at my house....
31 • deb vs. ubu (by counterpoint on 2009-04-27 13:51:18 GMT from Finland)
"The Jaunty release of Ubuntu comes with the option to install only free software, so it seems that, on some level, it can compete on both sides of the fence."
I haven't looked at this feature, but I kind of doubt that Ubuntu would have an option to install an alternative kernel where binary blobs have been removed. Software Freedom just isn't that important to your typical Ubuntu user. I think it's a good thing we have different options available for different kinds of users.
Oh, and I also think the Debian Lenny installer will prompt the user with an option to install additional non-free drivers if those are needed for hardware support. And Debian has also the non-free repository for proprietary software, which users can include if they want to. So, also Debian can "compete on both sides of the fence." ;-)
"Xubuntu 9.04 with the brandnew XFce 4.6.0 is compared with the stable XFce 4.4.2 in Debian Lenny.
Therefore, a test which compares only XFce 4.6.0 and XFce 4.4.2 on the same distribution, is missing.
It could be that XFce 4.6 is slower than XFce 4.4.2 and that XFce 4.6 needs more RAM than XFce 4.4.2."
I agree that a comparison that uses the same version of XFCE might be interesting. However, on my computer Debian has always consumed less resources than Ubuntu, so I doubt the results would be very different.
I think the latest XFCE is currently available from Debian's "unstable" repository, along with most other new stuff that the latest Ubuntu release offers. It should also become available in Debian's "testing" repository within a few months. It's possible to boot Debian's installer using the "expert" mode that allows you to install a "testing" or "unstable" Debian system instead of the stable release.
32 • xubuntu (by matthews at 2009-04-27 14:02:26 GMT from United States)
I'm running the Xubuntu right now... I had the audio mixer bug but it wasn't 15 seconds to fix it. I have to wonder if a new users first experience of XFCE was through Ubuntu would they even like it. Its not that its terrible just it doesn't have the niceties of Ubuntu Gnome or the lightweight profile of other XFCE configs. So unless you just like XFCE it kinda ends up pointless.
33 • Ubuntu Bloat (by Alex on 2009-04-27 14:03:51 GMT from United States)
I'm a fan of Ubuntu myself, but I would never recommend the stock image to anyone running old hardware. It's far too demanding resource wide to run on something like a Dell Optiplex GX110 (Pentium III 600 mhz to 900 mhz, 512 meg RAM max). Debian 5 LXDE shines on old equipment like this in my experience; I haven't tried the XFCE version yet. I'll admit that I don't quite understand the relevance of Xubuntu, unless you just want to run XFCE on top of the Ubuntu core experience. It's certainly not lightweight at all out of the box.
34 • Missing Feature Article (by Peter Gunn on 2009-04-27 14:08:32 GMT from United States)
"Did Chris write it? It seemed quite...out of character; too cursory/amateurish a review in my opinion..."
I agree. He used words that were found elsewhere, like "half baked".
It's a though he read several reviews and then gave an opinion bases on their views! It even appears cut&paste review. When one reviews anything that one uses, it's hard not to be biased.
For a 300th DWW, I was expecting much more.
What should have been compared was Ubuntu(GNOME) with Debian(GNOME). XUbuntu is an off-shoot. Apples and oranges.
35 • Debian Vs Ubuntu (by JD on 2009-04-27 14:20:19 GMT from United States)
well i agree Debian is far from dead and i enjoy using it! however it needs to be more "out of the box" ready for new users i believe. some people i know get frustrated and switch to ubuntu because it's not setup 100% ready to go. (neither is ubuntu but it is closer)
xbuntu worked fine for me.. on older hardware too . that's strange.
Hey people with bandwidth! someone should help mirrior the new Lin-X distro ! its awesome looking, it needs help though ! desperately mirror wise! i couldn't even download it :(
36 • @ 30 (by DeniZen on 2009-04-27 14:21:50 GMT from United Kingdom)
I may have misinterpreted your post - but it looks like you are saying that you have had some difficulties with the latest Ubuntu?
Well, it can happen with any Distro, and apparently you are not alone with Ubuntu / 9.04.
But for sure, your experience is not the norm.
So, as for - quote: "Go ahead defend it, it just means you ok with spending more time teaking it then using it.... "
Well..I didnt need to do very much at all TBH, aside from my very slight personal, habitual tweakings.
It all worked, and has continued to work.
So I might reserve the right to 'defend' it - without insinuation that my experience must be some kind of sham if I did!
But I'm not about to do so, as I'm no 'fanboi', but I would simply point out that your experience is _your_ experience .. and mine is mine, and others' will be others'.
Ubuntu undoubtedly works/works well for _most_ people, or it would not continue to be popular would it?
37 • Ubuntu vs. Debian (by davemc on 2009-04-27 14:26:31 GMT from United States)
Chris, I am really confused as to why you, or anyone would compare these two. Debian = Ubuntu = Debian. I know some will disagree with that, but Ubuntu has VERY strong hooks in Debian and is entirely based upon it. It reimages with Debian every 5 - 6 months so it is much more closely tied to it than I think most folks even realize. Without Debian, there is no Ubuntu so why would anyone even waste the time to think about, or consider, whether Debian is no longer relevant since Ubuntu is the more popular?..
Here is point #2 --
Ubuntu is based entirely upon completely unstable code. True enough that Canonical and the Open Source Community work their collective butts off to stabilize it and make it great, but the underpinnings of Ubuntu are unstable, and there will always be bugs in every release. Nature of the beast with a rapid fire release schedule combined with very unstable code elements so everyone can get the latest and greatest from Debian. Yea, thats right, Ubuntu gets the latest and greatest software tech from Debian. Not the other way around!
Point #3 --
Debian has a much larger and well supported developer base infrastructure having been around much much longer, it has had the time to mature and for all those pesky organizational issues to work themselves out and become streamlined. Its release cycle's are based around developer and community concurrence rather than some corporate time table and Debian is truly governed democratically, rather than by one authoritarian dictator. All these things play major roles in the final released product and fairly guarantee the desired outcome of stability and usability.
In short, you always know that if your favorite distro fails you, there is always Debian. Tried and true, grand daddy Debian, who has always been around and always will be. To think that Debian could be replaced or go the way of the dinosaur is simply unthinkable, and unrealistic.
38 • this week (by dave on 2009-04-27 14:30:35 GMT from United States)
Thanks chris for another wonderful distro test and comparison.This is why I come here to see whats new and see a review of something new this week,excellant job guys and keep it up.I found the article to be professionally done and straightforward.
And the winner is....Debian.If it were a baseball game it would have been 22-2."Xubuntu became very slow and non responsive"Ahhh Ubuntu on a computer more than 4 years old.Just imagine if it were jaunty you were testing on that machine.Whats popular aint always whats best.Very slow and unresponsive....yeah thats what i want in a distro.Imagine a new user with that experience.Debian was the first distro i ever installed, on an old lappy and at the time I was a linux newb..and I had no problem.Sure Xubuntu can be fast and lightweight as they claim...on a dual core.I also have to strongly disagree with Xubuntu having a better desktop look.In comparison imo debian looks better and more interesting.Okay enough of my Debian rant.
Toorox looks very interesting and I'd love to see a review on that one.
Lin-x and SuperOS also look interesting.I,m going to try all three of these.Some interesting distros this week!!
39 • Debian Out of the Box (by Alex on 2009-04-27 14:31:40 GMT from United States)
Just my 2 cents, but I expect to have to add software to a PC before it is a suitable tool for me to do any real work. On my PC at work, I run Visual Studio and Abobe Creative Suite on top of Windows XP. At home, I use Gimp, python, and various tools for the LAMP stack on either Linux Mint or Debian 5. Some of these packages came preinstalled with Mint, but others did not.
I think most computer users know you have to add software based on your needs, and I'd rather have a lean, efficient OS (Debian 5 XFCE) that I build on top of if I had old hardware than a more feature-packed distro like Xubuntu that will perform poorly.
40 • debian lxde (by raymundo dionicio flores siord on 2009-04-27 14:34:13 GMT from Mexico)
Try Debian lxde. It is much smaller than xfce. It includes hotplug out of the box. It is insanely stable in spite of being included for the first time.
I just like the easy way and installed synaptic from the command line. Then everything else from there: k3b burner, krename bulk file renamer, gqview photo viewer, vlc h264 viewer, geany editor, ATI privative driver following the 4 line instructions of http://wiki.cchtml.com/index.php/Debian_Installation_Guide.
Quite good feeling to have Debian as an OS.
41 • Release Cycles (by Cliff on 2009-04-27 14:36:20 GMT from United States)
In contrast to how some others may feel, I actually appreciate the fact that the Debian team doesn't strictly adhere to release dates. It'll be ready when it's ready. I love it! The last thing I need is another operating system that rushes and pushes to meet deadlines without making absolutely certain that their offering is ready for prime time. One of the most compelling reasons for my switching to Linux was stability. If I need to set up a server, you can bet it's a network install of Debian Stable. I sincerely hope that the Debian team continues to do what it does for a long time to come!
42 • XFce 4.6.0 vs. XFce 4.4.2; Impact of Different Gnome Versions (by chemist on 2009-04-27 14:51:49 GMT from Germany)
There has recently been a bugfix release for XFce 4.6.0:
When you read through the changelog you'll find the comment "Plug various memory leaks" under the "Window Manager (xfwm4)" section.
So one should test XFce 4.4.2 and XFce 4.6.0 on the same distro to get "true" results.
If you use e.g. OpenSuse 11.1, this is possible without wasting too much time: On the one hand you have XFce 4.4.x in the main distro and, on the other hand, XFce 4.6.x is in the Buildservice repos:
One more important point:
In both distros two different versions of Gnome are involved and this has a big impact, because in both XFce implementations Gnome programs are used, e.g. GDM and even the gnome-powermanager.
43 • Comment 42 is for 31 ("counterpoint") (by chemist on 2009-04-27 14:53:34 GMT from Germany)
Sorry, in my comment I forgot the "@31".
44 • Debian VS. Ubuntu VS. Kubuntu (by Notorik "Great Wolvix Warrior" on 2009-04-27 15:10:23 GMT from United States)
45 • #44 Debian VS. Ubuntu VS. Kubuntu...... (by anticapitalista on 2009-04-27 15:21:21 GMT from Greece)
Yes it does seem rather pointless. As mentioned, there are plenty of excellent and light xfce distros out there which are fully customised to aid the users experience and are thus an improvemnet on both what Xubuntu and Debian offer.
Wolvix, Zenwalk, Dreamlinux, Vector, sidux,
46 • Ref#40 "Try Debian lxde. It is much smaller than xfce" (by Nameless on 2009-04-27 15:37:15 GMT from United States)
I didn't realize that Debian had LXDE. I also prefer LXDE to xfce. Much faster, smaller, and prettier.
47 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-04-27 16:25:39 GMT from United States)
Timing Ubuntu 9.04 , it took 29 seconds to desktop. A u-tube video showing LXDE. The guy was proud of his 37 seconds. He has a Intel dual-core , I have a P4!
So it's either fine tuning of Ubuntu 9.04 Gnome kicks some serious butt.
48 • Debian now and forever (by LongShot on 2009-04-27 16:31:40 GMT from United States)
Ubuntu is illuminating to the uninitiated, but Debian is enlightenment to those willing to learn. Its flexible installation process and package management allows you to create any system you want. My current Debian-based systems include:
1. A full-blown office and development workstation (KDE, OpenOffice, Quanta, XAMPP, etc.)
2. A console-based server slice running a LAMP stack with SSH, FTP, etc.
3. My "$12.95 netbook," an abandoned 500mhz ThinkPad with 128mb RAM and a 1gig CF card as a hard drive. I've got Debian, Xorg and XFce using just half of the RAM and disk space, leaving plenty of room for Iceweasel, AbiWord, Gnumeric, xpdf, PuTTY, ProFTPd, etc., when needed.
Mmmmm, Debian. What can't it do?
49 • Debian (by Juarez on 2009-04-27 16:32:22 GMT from United States)
Why would people move from Windows which is a half-baked, poorly tested, eyecandy system to a Linux distro which is poorly tested and eyecandied?
50 • Debian (plus Sidux!) (by Gene Venable on 2009-04-27 16:32:59 GMT from United States)
Sidux runs an advanced version of Debian and the current version with Kde 4 is stunningly beautiful out of the box on my $200 Shuttle desktop system. It's a great way to try out Debian if you want something nicer than the bland basic setup. Although Sidux is supposedly for the sophisticated user, I find it quite simple when used with the smxi script that has been mentioned here before. Sidux and Debian are great!
51 • XFCE 4.6 VS 4.4 (by Julio Cesar Bessa Monqueiro on 2009-04-27 16:39:39 GMT from Brazil)
The XFCE version of Debian 5.0.1 is 4.4.1. The XFCE version of Xubuntu is the new 4.6. Isn't an injustice do the test with two different major versions of XFCE environment?
And, second question: why to not install the XFCE image of Debian?
Sorry for the poor english.
52 • Xubuntu vs Debian (by Anonymous on 2009-04-27 17:01:41 GMT from Spain)
No color, Debian wins.
zxy-buntu is not for daily work (serius work). Is for massive consum OS.
I am a Debian (Sidux), Mandriva and Arch user -ocasionaly slack and openSuse), never xyz-buntu, very inestable.
53 • Deb v Ubuntu (by 6r00k14n on 2009-04-27 17:09:54 GMT from United States)
A year ago, I realized that Ubuntu does use more resources than Debian (actually, I compared it with sidux), and with each release, Ubuntu seems to get worse; so much, that I can't use it on a 660MHz P3, with 192MB RAM, even after using the alternate install disc. It is just too slow.
I admire the community effort and monetary commitment behind Ubuntu, but I think that Ubuntu no longer provides one of Linux's most appealling benefits, running on older hardware.
Now, that same machine runs Debian Lenny, with a greater degree of usability. It is not lightning quick, but running GNOME it's faster than WinXP, and with something lighter (IceWM, Fluxbox, Openbox) it blows the doors off Win9.x and Win2000.
I think Ubuntu needs to address the performance issue; otherwise, they grow to Vista like system requirements.
54 • UNR (by Leo on 2009-04-27 17:15:53 GMT from United States)
Talking of light interfaces, I gave Ubuntu Netbook Remix a swirl in my eeepc 701, and boy is it fast. Fast to boot, fast to run, and it's running from a rather slowish SDHC
55 • Ubuntu V Debian XFCE (by Dave R on 2009-04-27 17:27:25 GMT from United States)
Interesting comparison , thank you for the effort. Wish you had included Vector Linux in your comparison though it Std 6.0 Release comes with XFCE as the default Desktop , think you'd like it.
56 • Xubuntu vs debian (by black_codec on 2009-04-27 17:54:57 GMT from N/A)
Hi, this is the first time that I write on this site, I'm sorry for my bad English. I want to say only one thing: it is impossible to compare the two distro, for a real compare you should build an Xfce Ubuntu not use Xubuntu. I want to say that if you install Ubuntu core (server) and then install Xfce (not the xubuntu-desktop only xfce package) you can see that the two system are similar and on an not so old machine Ubuntu is faster. I think that you aren't wrong when you say that Ubuntu is more user friendly, but also for that is not fast like a Debian and not all people know how to install hal for example.
I think that Ubuntu is great for noob, Debian is more difficult at the beginnig but also Ubuntu can be "a better Debian" if you build it on your own.
I'm sorry for my English, I hope that you can understand what I am trying to say.
Good job but I hope you try my suggested test :)
57 • No subject (by Ricardo G.H. on 2009-04-27 18:00:56 GMT from Brazil)
#41 - I totally agree with Cliff's comments. One of the most important arguments that I use to convince Windows users to try Linux out is, along with the free concept, it's stability. That's why I only trust distros that really manage to deliver a stable system. Most people seem to advocate that newbies want a bleeding-edge distro, that's simply not true. I recommend Debian to newbies, it works, has a tasksel with complete Desktops for the newcomers, is secure and fast.
58 • Too much infighting in this community. (by Cindy on 2009-04-27 18:03:52 GMT from United States)
I have heard so much about the tightness of the Linux and open source community but I just can't see it here. All I see is people fighting about which is the best computer system. What really surprises me is that linux people hate Ubuntu so much even tho its listed at #1. Everybody seems so confused about everything. My late father use to call Microsoft evil and linux good. Things must have really changed since he died. I really wanted to use something else because I feel guilty about using MS after the way my father felt about it but I don't need this much hate in my life. If the people who use the software can't get along like civilized people how can the software be solid. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't see it here.
59 • the Pedants are revolting (by DeniZen on 2009-04-27 18:16:53 GMT from United Kingdom)
Really, some people need to lighten up, and get some social perspective.
The DWW article re Xubuntu vs Debian XFCE is valid and interesting to many.
Particualrly, perhaps, to those who have not much experience outside of *buntu, and would not know what to expect.
For many readers it is an interesting comparision of where Debian is now, and where (x)ubuntu is now.
Its got people talking about Debian, and sharing some thoughts.
All useful stuff surely.
Was the article supposed to avoid every last shred of 'apples and oranges'?
Well, if not, what would be the point of _that_ sort of comparison?
Was it a Phoronix style benchmark? No.
Anyway, well done to those that found lots of 'anomalies' to froth over.
And the negative critisism of the author's style.
All fine, freedom of speech etc, but I look forward to your article(s).
Secondly, XFCE or not (and whatever the Xubuntu devs might suggest) does anybody really think that Ubuntu is the best choice for old hardware?
In its 'vanilla' form, it is not.
Debian might well be a consideration though.
Clear enough from the articles conclusions eh?
60 • Re: Too much infighting in this community. (by Wolven on 2009-04-27 18:26:00 GMT from Norway)
Cindy. Please don't take the comments here as general rule for how the "Linux/FOSS community" is. Yes there is bickering, slandering and 'distro wars', but there is also a lot of teamwork and collaboration. It's like life in general and the most vocal and rude minority is what you notice.
I'm not sure what type of distribution you are looking for and it might take you a few rounds of trail and error to find the one that suits you and your needs. I'm sure you'll find the community spirit you're looking within the distro community you choose to use, but the larger the user base the more rude and ignorant people you'll come across. It's just a fact of life or simple math, depending on how you see it.
I hope you find what you're looking for in the GNU/Linux world, and I'm sure you will if you give it a chance. Best of luck to you.
61 • @ Cindy , post 58 (by DeniZen again . on 2009-04-27 18:26:54 GMT from United Kingdom)
My comments were not directed at you, just realised it may have looked that way.
In fact, I think we were agreeing in part.
62 • REF# 58 • Too much infighting in this community. (by Sam Spade on 2009-04-27 18:53:16 GMT from United States)
You are very right! Ubuntu is #1, but reading some comments here you would think it was last.
It's really a case of 12 people logging on here with different names, running some wannabe distro and bashing the greatest distro ever made.
Ubuntu isn't #1 for no good reason. Everyone wants to challenge the best. That's why you here stuff like, try my distro or worst. Trying to discredit Ubuntu.
There's millions of people running Ubuntu. Don't get discourage. Go to Ubuntu forum. Yoy will be welcome.
63 • Use xfce AND gnome (by lee on 2009-04-27 19:27:51 GMT from United States)
XFCE supports vertical panels better than most window managers. If you are using Ubuntu with an HDTV or wide-screen monitor, adding the XFCE desktop to the stock Gnome will free up more precious pixels top-to-bottom by placing menus out at the left and/or right. Meanwhile, Gnome apps (notably NetManager) are very useful in XFCE.
64 • RE: 58 (by HH on 2009-04-27 20:13:23 GMT from Canada)
I too have watched the growth of linux haters (that is those who use linux because it gives them an excuse to espouse hatred against others) here and elsewhere online with dismay and disbelief. When I was introduced to linux in the mid-90s there was no shortage of internet tough guys, but their voices were far more often drowned out by the positive people who championed the OS during those years. I'm sure those people are still doing the same, but their voices are much harder to distinguish from the rabble babble these days.
Ubuntu-hate is just a surrogate for Windows hate for some people here. They need something to hate, and they don't see anything wrong with that.
Free your software, free your minds. Hatred will only hold YOU back.
65 • re 62 (by smasher on 2009-04-27 20:31:22 GMT from Australia)
why dont you just go back to ubuntu boot camp, i have tried most ubuntu's since 2005 and have not kept one on my hard drive they have always been buggy and tough on the computer, don't you remember the burnt out hdd
66 • Meh (by Anonymous Swedish Coward on 2009-04-27 20:37:34 GMT from Sweden)
I recently noticed that I hadn't visited DW for some months. So I got over here, looked over page and the last DWW issues, and my reaction was a "meh".
I don't know what has happened but there really isn't much worth reading this anymore. The articles are shallow, relatively pointless or superfluous more often than not, unless you're a lover of Ubuntu I guess. The comments aren't particularly interesting either: some indignation driven by needless moral superiority, some angry comments about DW having turned into UbuntuWatch, etc. There also seems to be a small cadre that's made this place their turf and clings to notions of localised aristocracy.
I guess this is the nature of all things, that they fade over time. I can't even honestly say I'm sad about DW's apparent decline since that'd entail feeling anything at all. Oh well... "Meh".
67 • #58: Cindy, don't judge Linux by the argument page :) (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-04-27 21:05:30 GMT from United States)
#58: DistroWatch Weekly comments section often devolves into the argument page. There are usually a selection of insightful comments and interesting and informative information as well which is what keeps me coming back. That, and of course, the excellent articles that usually go into the main part of Weekly.
Many Linux distributions have forums filled with friendly, helpful people who aren't interested in arguing about anything. They are interested in helping people use Linux and are polite about helping newcomers work through any issues they may have. The LinuxChix Techtalk list (see: http://mailman.linuxchix.org/mailman/listinfo/techtalk ) also has a strong reputation for being friendly and helpful. For the guys reading this, the list is definitely gender neutral and you will also find it welcoming.
One of the reasons I recommend Vector Linux and Wolvix are the community around those two distributions, which are extremely positive, and the fact that those two distros just work for me. They also perform well on older hardware. If you have newer, state of the art hardware I find Mandriva to be extremely user friendly and it also has a solid community. Mandriva is usually what I recommend to newcomers to Linux. I don't think you'll find any bickering or hate there either.
FWIW, I am not anti-Ubuntu. I just don't feel that distro lives up to the hype. I think the rapid and rigid release schedule forces them to release with bugs that should be fixed before release. I also fully understand that a bug can be cheerfully ignored by people who simply aren't affected by it. It all depends a lot on the hardware you are running. Please don't confuse an "it doesn't work well for me" post with hatred. It's more often an expression of legitimate frustration. Ubuntu's own press and PR efforts set the bar very high for that distro.
Anyway, again, this is the argument page. It doesn't reflect the Linux community as a whole. I could easily point you to Microsoft-centric pages that are far worse.
68 • Xubuntu vs. Debian : Fruit Salad vs. Apples (by Duhnonymous on 2009-04-27 21:17:56 GMT from United States)
Sorry, but if you gave Debian all the same features as Xubuntu, I think you would find that it boots slower and uses more memory.
How about you reviewers actually do your homework before you start to "review" things? Or, like Mark Twain so aptly put it: "It is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." I wonder if that's been mentioned on this site before?
69 • blobs - sad but necessary for some (by desktopuser on 2009-04-27 21:26:43 GMT from United States)
Excellent and interesting article on Xubuntu vs Debian Xfce!
Aren't the "freedom" people the ones who made it possible for us to use this terrific Linux/Gnu software? It seems that there is no justice in failing to provide what the freedom people want.
On the other hand, my family uses computers to support active lives. We need the blobs.
Got to have options to have it either way.
70 • Why (by Nobody Important on 2009-04-27 21:39:31 GMT from United States)
Why is this stereotype of Linux users not only used, but perpetrated almost nonstop? It seems like every time a non-Linux fan talks to a Linux fan, they always start toning them out and accusing them of flaming, or being a zealot.
And if the Linux community starts discussing or arguing, oh, it's just the Linux community "at it again." Those "Slashdot clowns" stirring up trouble, so to say.
I don't think that's fair at all.
71 • RE #33 & 53 Deb vs. Xbuntu (by Anonymous on 2009-04-27 21:41:45 GMT from United States)
#33 & #53 Hit the nails on the head.
Everyone else, Chris was highlighting the fact that it is hard to find a lightweight setup that doesn't lose anything.
You have the bloated slow, vs the fussy intaller that doesn't get anything right unless you resort to the command line vs the one that doesn't want to get anyone mad and use a messed up xorg.
I've run into the same problems with a old desktop and laptop. Both PIII 650-700mhz and 256mb of RAM.
I ended up with a slightly different route as neither of them would make it through the debian installer and Xbuntu too slow since after 7.x.
On that my question is, if network is working before you create a user account don't futz with it when you log out as root and back in as a user. Then maybe it won't lock up so much looking for updates after you create a user account. Either put the screen back up to put the IP address back in or let it bypass and I'll get the updates done after I reboot the install and run from the HD.
The desktop computer is currently aniously awaiting the above mentioned to get their kinks worked out or upgrade its current version of SAM.
The laptop (it uses a dock) was not happy with the new Zenwalk and the Wifi quit working. It is now using Mandriva One XFCE and OpenGEU. The Mandriva One XFCE is worth a try and I was staying away since Mandrake 9. It continues to impress. I've added some Gnome bits back and it didn't slow down one bit. I also installed some alternative windows managers with it and they are even faster (JWM etc.).
72 • Linux Community (by desktopuser on 2009-04-27 21:47:04 GMT from United States)
MS is not evil. It simply has a criminal element mixed into it's decision making process.
A fair comparison of the communities would require some considerable effort. Still, it's fair to say that a healthy community would be full of disagreements.
I play a musical instrument. In a couple forums, which are full of people who love that instrument, there is more abuse than you will ever find on this DWW page.
If I found myself in a Linux forum without disagreements, respectful disagreements, I'd probably move on without participating because I'd probably end up being banned.
73 • Brilliant feature artical! (by exploder on 2009-04-27 22:39:13 GMT from United States)
I was very impressed with the feature article and the comparison that was made! It is refreshing to read an article that does not claim Ubuntu to be the best thing since sliced bread! The last two releases were full of regressions, the issue with Intel graphics is inexcusable for a final release. The phrase "half baked release", sums up current Ubuntu builds to a tee. Ubuntu releases half finished work every six months. Intrepid was released with problems with ATI graphics, Jaunty was released with Intel issues. Was the world going to come to an end if they took the time to fix these kinds of problems and it took longer than six months?
When Ubuntu releases new versions I notice all of the regressions rather than new features. When are system sounds ever going to work again? Will my graphics card work in the new release? Ubuntu has no problems introducing new critical components that are not mature yet but yet they claim updating bug fixed versions of packages like Gimp could break the system. Ubuntu really needs to make quality more of a priority rather than releasing on time.
Thanks again for the great article!
74 • This week's comparison (by Landor on 2009-04-27 23:00:44 GMT from Canada)
I don't find the article very accurate based on information provided. I did a desktop/standard install of Deb's XFCE from the same cd a couple weeks ago, well the 5.0.0 and I just booted into that install and used free -m as well as top to check ram used and it was 114 mb used at the desktop with the terminal open only.
So that tells me that the install was done very specific, I'm guessing for both systems. But it's very misleading to not state such in the article and also since it's a very specific install not to state which services were turned off and on for each distro, specifically.
I don't doubt many people reading the article (not just the small number who comment here) are jumpin' up and down and goin', "Wow! I'm gonna install XFCE from Debian right this moment", based on the low ram usage which was obviously tweaked to get there.
I have to say for the first time for a bit now there's a poor/misleading article.
Keep your stick on the ice...
75 • Comparing apples and oranges (by ladislav on 2009-04-28 00:09:34 GMT from Taiwan)
I don't understand why so many people complain when someone compares apples with oranges. What's wrong with that? They are both fruits, so of course they can (and should) be compared!
Chris has taken two ready-made products - Debian with Xfce and Xubuntu. Yes, the two distributions have different components and different versions of many software packages, but that would be the case with any two distributions he would try to compare. I am sure there are people who like Xfce, but are wondering which is a better option. Moreover, the review has brought in a few suggestions from users who have experiences with different Xfce distros. All in all, I think the article is useful.
For those who only like to compare apples with apples, what do you suggest? Comparing Xubuntu 9.04 with, well, Xubuntu 9.04?
76 • Another reason to appreciate Distrowatch (by 1369ic on 2009-04-28 00:17:41 GMT from United States)
People coming into Linux from the *buntus (or Suse, Fedora...) and looking for something better will have an easier time of it thanks to Distrowatch. Having all the choice all those Linux distros give us wouldn't mean as much if we didn't have a place like this to check them out.
And if you want a fast distro for an older machine and don't want to attempt Slackware (always my first choice), AntiX is the deal. I just went from Slackware to Ubuntu (had to try it out) to Vector to AntiX. The Mepis utilities and polish combined with AntiX's speed, really makes it something. I'd easily put it with Zenwalk or Vector, though it only comes with IceWM and Fluxbox (and synaptic, so getting XFCE is easy).
77 • In reply (by Chris on 2009-04-28 00:17:42 GMT from Australia)
I did write every word in that review personally, except where I quoted someone. I confess that I'm a little disappointed that people are describing it as poor and misleading.
For the benefit of Landor and others, I explained what I installed and how in the opening paragraphs of each distro. I booted the Xubuntu CD and said "Install". I booted the Debian Xfce+LXDE CD and selected "Install Xfce". I did not do any tweaking, I just followed the installer through. I didn't disable any services. The only change that I made as to install HAL on Debian as mentioned in my article. Absolutely everything else was exactly standard as the developers chose to install.
Yes, the two systems are different and yes if you installed a base system and then just picked and chose what you wanted they might be more similar. Yes, if Debian had all the extra stuff that Xubuntu has it might also be just as slow (I think I even mention this in my conclusion?). But I was looking at the two products, each as a solution. Someone will give a Xubuntu CD to a friend and say, "Run this on your old PC". Someone else might give them Debian Xfce+LXDE CD and say, "Install this on your old PC". Both of these products offer a solution for older hardware and I presented how they compare. Seems perfectly legitimate to me.
As for the comparison, well it depends on which level you are claiming this is not an "apples to apples" comparison. These are two distros who use Xfce as their default desktop. On that level it is apples to apples. But of course there are differences, so if you take it down a level it might no longer be apples to apples. It depends on your view point. I did not compare Debian Xfce with Ubuntu GNOME for example.
78 • RE: 74 (by zero on 2009-04-28 00:19:21 GMT from China)
The same distro can use different amounts of RAM on different computers. For instance, Intel's graphics controller uses the system RAM while Nvidia's uses its own in-built RAM. So, if you have one computer with Intel's graphics controller and another with Nvidia's, then you'll see that the same distro installed on these two computers will use more RAM on the computer with Intel's graphics.
If you want to refute the article, you need to install both Debian (from the XFCE/LXDE installation image) and Xubuntu, and then see which one consumes more resources on your hardware.
79 • Dell Dimension 4500: More RAM is the better way (by chemist on 2009-04-28 00:22:10 GMT from Germany)
The problem is still another one:
What would you do if you own such a capable Dell Machine (Intel 845E chipset) with a 2GHz PIV and 384MB RAM?
You would remove those two (?) RAM sticks and put in two new 512MB RAM sticks. Even DDRI RAM is not so expensive these days, it does not cost much at the moment (25 to 30 dollars for one 512MB RAM stick).
Then you would have a 2GHz machine with 1GB RAM.
With this computer you could run every GNU/Linux desktop environment you want, a full bloated Ubuntu Gnome desktop would run like a charm.
80 • Ref#78 & 79 (by VernDog on 2009-04-28 02:27:17 GMT from United States)
Ref 78 - That's good to know regarding nVidia. My Intel chip does consume more ram, like you stated. Also, the "proof is in the pudding", so to speak. Install both distros and compare for yourself. Wow, what a concept.
Ref 79 - I also have a Dell. Optiplex GX270, P4 2.5Ghz, Intel integrated 82865G chip.
I did just what you've done. Installed 2megs ram. It made a world of difference.
81 • RE: 77/78 (by Landor on 2009-04-28 03:37:17 GMT from Canada)
I've yet to see a computer (out of literally 1000's I've come into contact with) that the "total physical ram" is available to a system "after" the initial boot. You're talking about shared memory. Memory which is unavailable to a system (and from my experience) not available to any operating system. So when a command like free -m is done or say Top, the shared memory has "0" to do with used ram.
I don't like to believe I've been ignorant to anyone, and ignorant on what I've been talking about. So, I installed Xfce, via the ncurses installer option instead of graphical, under Virtual Box and my personal use system, as well as my son's older machine after reading your reply. The differences in ram were too small to even mention. This is across three completely different systems, and one virtual. All instances were over 112 of ram used at the desktop with only the terminal open (far lighter than firefox/iceweasel) . A far cry from the 50 mb difference you state you have with 64 mb of ram used with services running and an instance of firefox/iceweasel? running. I just don't believe it, and my personal tests, along with my experience which is quite far from a noob, where you could get that kind of performance from XFCE on a distro that has services untouched, just straight out of the box.
Keep your stick on the ice...
82 • RE: 81 by Landor (by Chris on 2009-04-28 05:10:21 GMT from Australia)
I could have made a mistake, I'll double check and get back to you.
83 • Xub. vs Deb (by Plume on 2009-04-28 05:40:06 GMT from France)
Firefox using less than 25 Mb with both Xub and Deb? Incredible! How was this measured?
84 • "Better option"? (by Duhnonymous on 2009-04-28 05:42:09 GMT from United States)
Well, if all you care about is memory usage and boot times, then feel free to rate Debian as better, but if you're like me and you actually *use* your computer, you might want to do a little more thorough a comparison than was given in the above article.
85 • RE: 81 by Landor (by Chris on 2009-04-28 06:31:07 GMT from Australia)
OK, I have re-installed Debian 5.0.1 Xfce from the 'Xfce+LXDE' CD as mentioned in my article. This time however I have installed under VirtualBox (as I see you have also done this) and specified only 384MB RAM as per the physical machine I used for the article. As mentioned before, I didn't change anything, I just selected "Xfce" and hit "Install".
Once again I measured the amount of RAM in single user mode, with the Xfce desktop loaded and with the Xfce desktop loaded plus Iceweasel. I could not get the stats for GDM as I couldn't switch to tty1. One more thing, because I couldn't switch to tty1, I had to load Xfce's Terminal to run the free command, so that will add some more memory usage. Here are the results, as the output of 'free' this time so you can see in full.
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 386252 25268 360984 0 2844 14096
-/+ buffers/cache: 8328 377924
Swap: 409616 0 409616
Loaded full Xfce desktop and Terminal:
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 386252 112736 273516 0 7280 56540
-/+ buffers/cache: 48916 337336
Swap: 409616 0 409616
Loaded full Xfce desktop and Terminal Iceweasel:
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 386252 159448 226804 0 8088 82036
-/+ buffers/cache: 69324 316928
Swap: 409616 0 409616
Let me know what you think. More than happy to put the Debian VirtualBox image online somewhere, it is 435MB compressed.
86 • debian vs ubuntu (by hcman on 2009-04-28 06:36:16 GMT from Sweden)
Thanks for an interesting article! I've used debian on all my desktops for 10 years now, at work and at home. It's nice to see a review that gives it some credit. I also think that many users who never tried debian would be pleasantly surprised if they did.
I don't understand the whole "old packages" argument against debian stable. There is rarely any important differences between one or two program versions, and when there are, it is even rarer that you absolutely need those new features. It has happened a few times during my time with debian stable, and in those cases, I've simply installed a package or two from unstable, or -- lately -- used backports.org. If you wanna keep the stable install absolutely clean, use a chroot jail.
I don't understand "debian is for the geeky" either. I was a perfectly ignorant english teacher when I started using debian in -99. I had no trouble with the installation nor the desktop even back then. In fact, the very first computer I installed debian on is still ticking, now as a firewall though. It has never been reinstalled -- only upgraded. It's now running lenny and is stable as a rock.
I couldn't even imagine not using debian on my computers now. The very thought of broken upgrades, instability issues, sluggish response etc makes my skin crawl. I'm a productive computer user who don't like to have to work to keep my computer working :). So I use debian. Maybe you should too!
87 • Made me switch to Debian (by r3 on 2009-04-28 07:39:17 GMT from Ireland)
Aarrgh... you just made me switch to Debian ;)
88 • No subject (by Ricardo G. H. on 2009-04-28 12:13:38 GMT from Brazil)
# 86 - Agree with you hcman. Another option to get newer versions of some apps is simply having a deb-src entry of unstable on sources.lst and compile what one needs using apt-build. Just grab it's compile dependencies first using apt-get build-dep. For me it works better cause the packages are this way adapted to my stable system.
What I realized after trying practically all major and many of the "minor" distros out there, is that I don't really need a whole system upgrade after 6 months or so, but only newer versions of a few audio related applications I rely on. For those, there are also some third part repositories out there, mainly 64studio's, musix' and pure:dyne's (I compile by hand though). For more general apps, like hcman pointed out, backports.org is an excelent resource.
89 • More Debian 'funky-ness' - cutting edge DE (by DeniZen on 2009-04-28 12:14:47 GMT from United Kingdom)
I thought I'd re-post this link - for *illustration only*.
Though it looks perfectly 'do-able' for the mildly adventurous
Debian 5.0 ('Lenny') can be made to be as up to-date as any Distro.
KDE 4.2. on Debian 'stable'?
Can be easily done.
See here ;)
' apt pinning ' is the technique employed to do this.
i.e. including the unstable or testing repo's but 'pinning' them so that the stable repos are still always 'prepended', but the additional repos are pulled in to play only if, and when, a lib or file etc is not present in the stable repo, or a newer version is required.
The method in the link would be best tried over an existing Debian KDE (3.5.x) install.
I'm not advocating installing KDE 4.2 on Debian stable - just a good example of how relatively easy such things can be, even with 'conservative' Debian.
TBH, I prefer to stick with the stability of using Debian 'as intended' , and avoid (eliminate even!) any potential future difficuties.
Cannot resist the occasional 'just because I can' project though, but this one best avoided by anyone not comfortable with the practice of 'apt pinning', or if all risk must be entirely eliminated.
Maybe a bit of fun for anyone wanting a truly cutting edge DE on top of a fast, lean, solid system.
It's often touted that Debian 'unstable' is more stable than most other Distro's 'stable' ;)
90 • For comparison (by @85 on 2009-04-28 12:54:12 GMT from Germany)
I installed Debian Lenny 5.0.1 on real hardware and tested the Xfce4 and KDE3 desktops with regard to the consumed amount of RAM. GDM as well as KDM were disabled.
The computer is a PIII 1,13GHz with 1GB SD-RAM.
Here are the "free" results:
Xfce + Terminal:
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1036092 130708 905384 0 9948 63092
-/+ buffers/cache: 57668 978424
Swap: 1445756 0 1445756
Xfce + Terminal + Iceweasel (one website opened):
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1036092 193900 842192 0 10960 94204
-/+ buffers/cache: 88736 947356
Swap: 1445756 0 1445756
Xfce + Terminal + Iceweasel (five websites opened):
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1036092 217372 818720 0 11112 96956
-/+ buffers/cache: 109304 926788
Swap: 1445756 0 1445756
KDE3 + Konsole:
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1036092 200724 835368 0 14092 136572
-/+ buffers/cache: 50060 986032
Swap: 1445756 0 1445756
KDE3 + Konsole + Iceweasel (one website opened):
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1036092 225776 810316 0 14260 137184
-/+ buffers/cache: 74332 961760
Swap: 1445756 0 1445756
KDE3 + Konsole + Iceweasel (five websites opened):
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1036092 242292 793800 0 14348 139084
-/+ buffers/cache: 88860 947232
Swap: 1445756 0 1445756
Init 3 only:
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1036092 125208 910884 0 11348 92308
-/+ buffers/cache: 21552 1014540
Swap: 1445756 0 1445756
What does this tell us?
KDE3 is lightweight. :-)
91 • Do not agree (by Antonio Ferraro on 2009-04-28 14:22:18 GMT from Belgium)
I have used Xubuntu for 3 years on a P3 500 256M RAM with no problems. Went from 0606 to 0610 all the way to 0804 through successive upgrades and not problems at all. It plays all multimedia files and detects all HW I trew at it (not much, USB wireless adapter, card readers, cameras). The setup issues you detected are not normal, I never experienced them.
For me the key to performance is to choose the right apps. I would not go through the self imposed pains of Debian after having ditched Suse, Fedoras, Slackware and the likes and finally settled to a distribution that just works.
92 • Debian - The one true faith! (by stuckinoregon on 2009-04-28 14:46:59 GMT from United States)
@91 - "I would not go through the self imposed pains of Debian"
Doesn't make a whole lot of sense since that's what you've been running under the lid the whole time.
Debian is not difficult, it IS sexy in the same way as an Iowa farm-girl can be, it can be very user friendly (depending on the user) and it will never die.
93 • No subject (by Xtyn on 2009-04-28 14:56:56 GMT from Romania)
Chris, you couldn't just make an Ubuntu review, could you? You had to pour gas on the fire.
94 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-04-28 15:31:29 GMT from United States)
Xfce + Terminal:
total used free
1036092 130708 905384
KDE3 + Konsole:
total used free
1036092 200724 835368
What does this tell us?
KDE3 is lightweight. :-)
Are you trying to be funny. 70,000+ more ram running under KDE
95 • @94 (by chemist on 2009-04-28 15:52:34 GMT from Germany)
These are my results with XFce and KDE3 (see 90).
There is nothing funny about it.
Obviously something is running on your box that takes too much RAM. Or there is something wrong with your installation, I do not know.
Please pay attention to the fact that I do not use a displaymanager, i.e. no GDM and no KDM.
Moreover exim4* is not present on my Lenny box, which is installed by default.
96 • @94PartII (by chemist on 2009-04-28 16:03:04 GMT from Germany)
Maybe there is another reason for your higher KDE3-RAM value in "free".
When the freshly installed KDE3 starts there is a so-called KDE3-O-Meter.
Here I deactivate everything besides anti-aliasing for fonts.
97 • Controversy? (by davemc on 2009-04-28 16:08:27 GMT from United States)
Maybe I am blind, or skipped past the massive wall of text in the comments section here, but I don't think think there is any real flame war or controversy here. Most folks just seem to be pointing out that Debian will never be replaced by anything, and nor could it ever. The worst possible thing that could happen would be that Debian loses support and dies out, and I think its a safe bet to say that that is not going to happen any time soon. Debian, Slackware, SuSE, Fedora/RHL, and Gentoo are the big dogs and are the darlings of the Linux world, so is it any wonder that folks get real protective and touchy when anything negative is said about them? I think you know that Ladislav, and I have seen you post inflammatory articles that incite controversy, particularly about Gentoo, so don't act all surprised about the outcome when I am sure it was as you expected it to be.
@Chris. I thought your article was fantastic. Keep up the great work!
98 • No subject (by Sertse on 2009-04-28 16:20:09 GMT from Australia)
I wonder what I am doing wrong?
This is a "real" system... I actually use it day to day, as opposed to just installing it to compare benchmarks in a comments thread =P
Pentinum 4 2.6Ghz 512 RAM. Debian Sid, Xfce 4.6, sidux Kernel (But not "sidux", just a min install but using the sidux kernel. I use Sidux on other comps though, lovely distro *plug*). Login though GDM.
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 506660 245704 260956 0 8888 123488
-/+ buffers/cache: 113328 393332
Swap: 1461872 0 1461872
Autostarted apps include gnome-screensaver and power manager, tilda and wicd.
99 • Lin-X (by Bobby on 2009-04-28 16:27:29 GMT from United States)
Guys I'm one of the heads of the Lin-X design team and if you want more success then just tell distro watch you want them to review Lin-X! remember it's FREE at our website...just check it out!
100 • Re: 98 to myself, debain xfce startup usage etc (by Sertse on 2009-04-28 16:30:51 GMT from Australia)
Those specs comes from typing "free" into tilda (which is autstarted on startup...). The specs are straight after login and autostart, not other apps open.
101 • re#99 lin-x (by hab on 2009-04-28 16:50:31 GMT from Canada)
Snagged a copy yesterday (c. 950meg dvd image) and banged it on a machine. First install attempt ended with a cd copying error. Fired the installer up again and this time all went well. The installer perhaps, needs a little tweaking. Some functions are hidden under text with no obvious button to activate functionality. It looks good, but it has no centralized control panel yet. All configuration is done from individual windows.It seems to be competent in network detection. Both wired and wireless configured pretty much automatically with minimal manual intervention. It does look very mac like at first blush but dig a little deeper and it is of course pure linux underneath. Looks like an excellent effort and i'll keep it around for a while.
If you want the look of a mac but the advantage of running linux you could do worse than lin-x.
102 • some guys can't wait.... (by glyj on 2009-04-28 17:15:41 GMT from France)
...like me !
Those anounced the upcoming Mandriva 2009.1 spring (in french ):
103 • RE#58 Hang in there Cindy, Don't be afraid to try a distro. (by Eddie Wilson on 2009-04-28 17:49:36 GMT from United States)
@ Cindy, Its true that you get a lot of extreme people and comments here at DistroWatch. Its true also that you can find very friendly and helpful Linux users in different distro forums and ever sometimes in this comments section. You really can't believe the bashing that you hear about different distros and on the other hand you can't really believe the praise that some people give different distros. Its all relative to the user's hardware, needs, preferences, experiences, and even how they feel about software freedom. Those items are different for all of us. For example, some people say Ubuntu is not a good distribution because they may have some problems for whatever reason. Thats good enough but it doesn't mean that Ubuntu is not a good distro. One of the distros that I use is Ubuntu. I've done it for years on different hardware without any problems. I've also used Mepis, Mandriva, Mint, Knoppix, Xandros, Linspire, Arch, PCLOS, and the list goes on. I've never used Debain but I'm sure that its a great top quality system. The point I'm trying to make is that all distros will have some problem sooner or later and that's okay, Don't be afraid to try different ones. I know that there are a lot of them so I'm sure you can find what is perfect for you to use and there are a lot of good ones. Remember that most of the help you can get with a certain distro will be with the distro's forums. So happy computing and good luck.
104 • No subject (by forest on 2009-04-28 17:53:12 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref the usual debate about which distro is best, better, bestest, it all comes down to whether the kit you have will "allow" installation in the first place...say what you like about the Us, but they can be installed very easily on older hardware...depending on what it is...my oldest m/c is nearly 8yrs old...and runs U8. Granted I have not, as yet, tried with U9...
When Chris does a distro test it is a given he has only a limited amount of time and resources...we all KNOW that a real test would involve all sorts of machines and specs, not to mention peripherals...and we all know the reports would be different.
Obviously Debian is not dead and it's ludicrous to even dream it could be...but naturally someone, somewhere needed a strapline/byline/copy so desperately and dropped that nonsense onto a forum to amuse themselves. I wish they wouldn't...it only upsets folk and causes no end of pointless speculation.
I have never managed to get a Debian to install easily, despite me having no probs with Uxx...but if you want a fast, no fuss install on a Toshi Sat c2002 with 256MB ram, say, then look no further than Mepis 8. It really was a pleasant experience and was "easier" than a Uxx! It "just" installed.
Wifi was found, sorted and online in a minute or two, on an oldish Edimax b/g MIMO card, although it did not accommodate TP Link draft n or TP Link g usb dongles.
Come to that do any kernals support draft n yet? If anyone knows of a distro that does...
And, when folk crack on about "A" v "B", it might be a notion to drop a hint about the m/c the "favoured" distro is working on.
Perhaps "Cindy of the USA" might not then get the impression we are just a bunch of bloodthirsty, distrobitching, grammargrumbling Linux louts...and find that comments and criticism are carefully crafted for the benefit of all...
105 • @ #7 (by Pseudonym on 2009-04-28 18:53:38 GMT from United States)
I've always taken Debian's Social Contract to mean that non-free would always be there for the people that need it. However, the firmware issue is bordering on the silly as it is licensed in such a way that it can be distributed freely making the companies distributing it the good guys, right?
They've released source and licensed it under the GPL v2, just because that source code is a table of hexadecimal numbers doesn't make it any less free for the end user, it meets the letter of RMS's 4 freedoms as you can study it to learn how it works.
So why does every piece of code have to be human readable to be free? The MD5sums for the firmware are usually available from the manufacturer so the security "issue" of someone using your wireless NIC or soundcard driver to create a GNU/Linux bot net is next to nil.
Anyway, now that there is a "free" kernel maybe the argument against why my hardware shouldn't be allowed to run as intended can be retired to the area of the internet where all silly arguments go to die ;-p
106 • the 'free ' command (by DeniZen on 2009-04-28 18:56:37 GMT from United Kingdom)
Re Memory usage stats,
When using the ' free ' command.
Makes life a lot easier on the eye if used with the ' -m ' argument (in Mb)
$ free -m
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 503 187 315 0 11 105
-/+ buffers/cache: 71 432
Swap: 511 0 511
BTW, as it goes, that machine above is a 1.2ghz oldie, 512mb ram and shared graphics memory.
Its running Debian 5.0 with KDE 3.5.10
The only 'mod' is ' 'TastyMenu' applet replacing the standard KDE Menu, and 'cups' is the only Service disabled from Debian default.
It does use KDM as a login manager
The command above was run in Konsole, no other app running.
I think thats pretty damn good mem usage - thanks Debian ;)
CPU usage at idle in KDE is miniscule, and it genuinely flies along.
A joy to use
107 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-04-28 19:09:01 GMT from Canada)
I am unbelievably disappointed with the new Ubuntu release. First of all it's a million times slower than 8.10. When you get past that annoyance, try and install software... first of all the Add/Remove Applications program is significantly slower than the one in 8.10 and takes forever switching from category to category. Then, when trying to install software it always bugs you and tells you that you have conflicting software.
Anyone involved in the creation of this horrific OS should be ashamed of themselves. Ubuntu was supposed to be the Linux that bridged the gap between Linux and Windows and allowed normal Windows users to feel comfortable with Linux. Well there is no way that any noob could stand this terrible release. This shouldn't be called a release, it should still be in Alpha stage. Come on, stop releasing this trash before it's ready.
Yet again, I must return to Windows because Linux still can't figure out what it's doing. I hate Windows but I have no choice, the world of Linux is just one big disappointment.
108 • Re 107 (by Anti Troll Squad on 2009-04-28 19:21:14 GMT from United Kingdom)
You are either trolling, or unlucky to have found it that bad all round.
Some folks do report some issues - Intel graphics etc, or just wont boot.
But perhaps something is just borked with your workstation.
In my experience 9.10 has been without any drama - whatsoever - for me, on the hardware I have installed it on.
And its the swiftest Ubuntu I have experienced yet.
Odd that you call it 'trash' then..
As you have already given up on 'Linux on the strength of your .. umm .. horrific Ubuntu experience, I guess I'm probably wasting my time replying to a troll?
Cheer up. , and have fun.
109 • @ #107 (by Xtyn on 2009-04-28 19:31:50 GMT from Romania)
Ubuntu 9.04 is, in my opinion, the best Ubuntu release until now. On my PC it runs very fast and it is very stable.
You can always try other distros or even switch back to windows, the choice is yours. Be happy you have a choice.
110 • Xubuntu versus Deb (by Claus Futtrup on 2009-04-28 19:35:13 GMT from Denmark)
Thank you for DW300 and the material.
I understand from several other commentators that Xubuntu is relatively heavy and several suggest Zenwalk as a better Xfce alternative - but not based on Deb ... it is based on Slackware.
Chris, I hope that next week you'll compare Slackware versus Zenwalk :-)
111 • re#107 (by hab on 2009-04-28 19:48:12 GMT from Canada)
Seems to me that this is the kind of thing that cindy was commenting on in #58 above.
This individual (while hiding behind a anonymous post) slags off ubuntu in HIS perception. No helpful commentary, no advice, just criticism! Now, while ubuntu is not my favourite distro it does seem to work very well for a very large number of people so that does seems to negate the veracity of his claims.
Perhaps somebody like this is more suited to run windows! or mac! Great crowd to run with there!
112 • next week's article (by corneliu on 2009-04-28 20:07:07 GMT from Canada)
Here is an idea. Mandriva will release a new version at the end of this week. PCLinuxOS has just released a new version. How about an article featuring Mandriva vs. PCLinuxOS?
113 • RE: 85 - 106 (by Landor on 2009-04-28 21:00:24 GMT from Canada)
Just to point out, I did install it to two other boxes, then an extra was virtualbox only. I thought adding VB would be a comparison to throw in. So three actual installs, then one of Virtualbox.
Anyway, that said you're Virtualbox did come up pretty well bang on to the one I did and close to the ram used on a Desktop/Standard ncurces install.
I should have pointed out my findings of course, based on Free -m and Top and "discussed" why yours differed.
I'm running Lenny, from netinstl (built after base via aptitude) with a number of services turned off and KDE. It's floating at 168 mb used. I was using preload and eventually turned it off. I found it too resource hungry. I'm guessin' a lot of people like the performance of it, but for me I like resources available and don't mind a couple seconds of extra wait time.
One of the best resources right here for tweaked systems, albeit a small footprint wm or DE, especially in regards to Debian is Anti in my personal opinion. The man knows his stuff.
In fact, Anti, if you're watching. I've never looked into it would it be possible to use LXDE with Fluxbox, and would it be a benefit to over say Icewm or Openbox? Any thoughts on it?
Keep your stick on the ice...
114 • Wide screens & vertically-oriented web pages - grrr (by Dave on 2009-04-28 21:00:46 GMT from Canada)
re 63: Ubuntu Gnome allows vertical panels at left and right sides. What is better with xfce? Either one is a good way to free up vertical space on the ridiculous wide-screen monitors, netbooks, and laptops. Thanks for the idea.
/rant on/ Don't the designers know that web pages are VERTICALLY oriented? /rant off/.
115 • #107 Ubuntu == Linux (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-04-28 21:43:06 GMT from United States)
Ubuntu isn't Linux. It certainly isn't the best Linux distribution for me. To write off Linux based on your experience with Ubuntu is silly. Try another distribution and move on. Speed is apparently a big issue for you so use one of several distros known to be relatively easy to use which offer superior performance on more limited hardware. That would include Wolvix, Vector Linux, and Zenwalk just to name three. There are others.
Is this post a troll? Maybe, or maybe just a really impatient person who doesn't realize that Linux was around a long time before there ever was Ubuntu and that Ubuntu, while popular, is hardly a gold standard for Linux.
116 • #114 Xfce, widescreens (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-04-28 21:45:55 GMT from United States)
Xfce does support vertical panels, floating panels, and hidden panels. Any of the above can save vertical space on a widescreen monitor.
I like my widescreen netbook. I use littlefox to give me more vertical space in Firefox (highly recommended!) and I guess I just don't mind reducing the size of the text or else scrolling to read long, vertical webpages. Obviously you feel differently.
117 • A labor of love (by Theodore Wirth at 2009-04-28 21:51:02 GMT from United States)
Thank you Chris. You have provided a valuable service to the PC community. Keep up the good work!
118 • xfce-debian vs. Xubuntu (by jnw222 on 2009-04-28 22:23:20 GMT from United States)
i have been tracking ubuntu (with some flavors) since 7.04 and debian from 4.0r2
i have to say, ubuntu has made a bad trade-off, ease-of-use over performance. 8.04 was the first major sign, slower boot with more memory usage (mono maybe?) with 8.10 following it with even more problems. I have yet to test jaunty (except for Alpha2), but i have quit ubuntu
nowadays, i use debian. Thing is a rock, i have yet manage to make a severe break (habit when messing with /etc and gconf when compiling src) though with one consequence, in stable, software can be almost 2 years outdated. This is fixed using testing or unstable.
debian, no matter what, has massive performance benefits. on ubuntu (gnome) with a gimp window and firefox open, i use 600 Mb of ram (have only 512 mb ram and a 1gb swap). Debian uses only 400 or less. debian boots on a clean install, 4 seconds faster and uses almost a gigabyte less hd space
in other words, ubuntu needs some trimming down. Debian, don't go away, keep as you are.
having a choice is the best thing about linux, saved myself many times
119 • Last Post (by Notorik on 2009-04-28 22:23:49 GMT from United States)
Comment deleted (off-topic).
120 • *buntus = meh... - Debian = Woohoo! (by JWJones on 2009-04-28 22:25:06 GMT from United States)
I've tried all the *buntus, and I just don't like 'em. I'd prefer Mint or Crunchbang. I've got Debian on the desktop, and Crunchbang on the laptop. 'Nuff said...
121 • 113 lxde and fluxbox (by anticapitalista on 2009-04-28 22:30:56 GMT from Greece)
Landor, to be perfectly honest, I don't know whether lxde and fluxbox or icewm would work out better than lxde and openbox.
Come over to the antiX forum and we'll have a chat about it. I say that as others on the forum have asked the same question and it would be good to get a few people together who want to test this out on various boxes.
antiX-base plus xfce is pretty light as well. just use the meta-installer app and you get the vanilla xfce on a streamlined Debian Testing base (antiX) for those that want to give it a try.
122 • Ubuntu 9.04 speed (by Verndog on 2009-04-28 23:06:29 GMT from United States)
From Grub to desktop it takes 29secs! It runs almost perfect for me. Then I have to add, my specs and a slew of other things for comparison.
It's a Dell Optiplex Gx270, P4, 2gig ram, Intel video chip - I said that because that needed tweaking.
Regarding the boot-up speed. I just realize that running Ext4 under the hood might be a big reason for the speedup. I've never used the FS before. It is by far the fastest Ubuntu I've installed.
So in the end everyone not only has an opinion but also with regards to their hardware, a different experience.
I also had Lenny installed and it was one of the fastest. I think my Mandrive was the fastest until Ubuntu 9.04. Maybe I'll try debian again with Ext4, if I can.
123 • re 122 (by corneliu on 2009-04-28 23:55:58 GMT from Canada)
Mandriva 2009.1 supports ext4 too and this is one of the reasons it boots faster than before. Another reason is speedboot which has been introduced in 2009.1. Here is more info: http://blog.crozat.net/2009/02/speedboot-explained.html
IMHO boot speed is not relevant but if that's what you want then Mandriva is one of the fastest.
124 • Re:121 AntiX (by Sertse on 2009-04-29 00:01:45 GMT from Australia)
I don't know if you read my post, (might of been lost in the AntiX naming rants) last week, but possibility of an Icewm version with AntiX CC, but no extras? (games etc). AntiX CC seems to only come with Antix full.
I don't think the currently AntiX base offers that (just fluxbox). Correct me if I am wrong
125 • RE 113 by Landor (by Chris on 2009-04-29 02:00:35 GMT from Australia)
Thanks for double checking. So you're now saying that my Virtual Box image had similar results to your Virtual Box and other installs?
My Virtual Box image backed up the results I posted in my article, yet you originally said that ALL of your four test installs (including Virtual Box) were using much more RAM. I think you said something like:
"All instances were over 112 of ram used at the desktop with only the terminal open (far lighter than firefox/iceweasel) . A far cry from the 50 mb difference you state you have with 64 mb of ram used with services running and an instance of firefox/iceweasel? running. I just don't believe it.."
So I'm confused. Are you now saying that all your machines back up my findings?
Whether you're running 'free' or 'free-m' the results should be the same. Are you sure that when you read the output of 'free' that you took buffers and caching into consideration? It's an easy mistake to make.
126 • Xubuntu...speak the truth about it people (by Shaggy S. Shagwell on 2009-04-29 04:36:33 GMT from United States)
On my older hardware (Dell i386) Xubuntu has blown every thing I tried away and then some. The Xfce project is the one that has ballooned, it is almost keeping pace with Gnome in size and performance. The Ubuntu people always put the most current software at the time build into their distros. It is unfortunate that Xfce has gotten so big and a bit slower. At one point it was as sleek as IceVM and LDXE based distros. Still I find faster than that dolphin linux distro And when I install it, it installs fast and easy and everything, (wifi, sound, video, etc.) works without hardly and re-working and tweaking. Boots faster than ever. Xubuntu...NICE!!!
127 • Debian Forever! (by Loki on 2009-04-29 04:40:07 GMT from United States)
Debian is big, functional, and influential. Ubuntu might be winning friends with its ease of use, but Debian will always be there to make sure things work properly. If people like Ubuntu want to make it fancy later they are welcome to do so. But I'm gonna keep running Debian on all my machines!
128 • Debian Xfce 4.6.1 stats (by Chris on 2009-04-29 08:07:56 GMT from Australia)
Some people have been suggesting that a comparison between Xfce 4.4 (Debian) and Xfce 4.6.1 (Xubuntu) is not fair.
So I've upgraded my Virtual Box machine to Debian Sid (unstable) and done a re-run of the memory tests. From the results you can see that there is practically no memory increase between the versions. So Xfce is NOT becoming more bloated with the newer release.
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 385760 27052 358708 0 2788 14268
-/+ buffers/cache: 9996 375764
Swap: 409616 0 409616
Desktop with Terminal:
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 385760 118048 267712 0 7768 59356
-/+ buffers/cache: 50924 334836
Swap: 409616 0 409616
Desktop with Terminal and Iceweasel:
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 385760 165524 220236 0 8656 87760
-/+ buffers/cache: 69108 316652
Swap: 409616 0 409616
So there is basically no difference between Xfce 4.4 and Xfce 4.6 in terms of memory usage.
129 • Its not dead Jim (by DeniZen on 2009-04-29 10:20:23 GMT from United Kingdom)
Some coffee break thoughts .. ;)
It seems fairly clear that Debian is far from waning.
I dont think anybody _actually_ suggested that it is 'withering',
To my eye, Chris's article may have used the hypothesis as a starting point for debate, and a good reason for a comaparison in 2009,
Here follows mild, but unabashed advocacy ..
Having tried a lot of Distro's, I feel the most comfortable with Debian, or a Debian derivative (and I like some Slack derivatives)
Some of that is down to familiarity now maybe, and clearly I have a preferential bias.
As it goes, I genuinely feel that Ubuntu has made a great job of providing a warm, easy 'should just work' Distro, suitable for Newcomers, or regular users, providing a positive experience for most people that try it, (clearly not all! - but what Distro could).
Debian provides a great platform for more confident users to build upon their experiences.
Wherever I seem to roam, I find myself coming back to Debian or a derivative, and recently I find that I'm enjoying the Ubuntu 9.04 experience too.
Thats not to discount many other excellent Distro's that could illustrate the same claims.
Debian is not 'difficult' at all, but maybe due to its maturity, and historical 'geeky' underpinnings it has a reputation stretching back over the years the myth exists, but which is pretty much a myth nowadays.
It's far, far easier to install and set up than say, vanilla Slackware, or Arch, IMO, and no harder than, say Fedora, IMO
Something I have noticed about using Debian -
It may somethimes be the case that certain functions that are handled in other pop Distro's 'automagically' or via a wizard or gui tool, may appear to be absent from stock Debian.
(again, not as much as might be imagined tho' !)
But , where I have often found that the 'magic stuff' or GUI's or Custom admin tool in other Distros may look a funky feature, it often may fail to work, or failt to accomplish it's intended task.
And then be a swine or a bafflement to fix thereafter...
In Debian. it is generally 'all there under the hood' and usually in an *unmolested* state.
That bit is the important bit! - and IMO the 'hidden' advantage that you dont really get to see in a review - i.e.
Debian userbase is of such a size, and perhaps of a certain 'demographic' different from the 'demographic' of many other Distros.
So, a quick online search will almost always provide a *quality* solution, or a How-To.
It further seems to me that almost always the guide/solution will have been written by someone who understands what they are doing, has put thought and experince into it.
(OK, Slack users could make a similar point no doubt, as could probably CentOS/Redhat users, or maybe Gentoo or Arch afficionado's, from a different angle ).
What that means to me as a Debian user is that, in recent years, I cannot recall a situiation where I have not been able to (easily) find a solution or guide to get anything (within sense and reason) that I have wanted working on a Debian system, and likely without ramifications.
But then, usually it 'just works' in the first place - and keeps working ;)
Coffee is over - I'd better get 'just working' now too ;)
130 • #115 (by Xtyn on 2009-04-29 11:51:12 GMT from Romania)
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 994 311 683 0 19 153
-/+ buffers/cache: 138 855
Swap: 0 0 0
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1002 300 702 0 8 60
-/+ buffers/cache: 231 771
Swap: 0 0 0
Those results are with the desktop and terminal, that's it.
Ubuntu uses 138 MB RAM, Zenwalk 231 MB RAM.
131 • Ubuntu & Debian Xfce usage (by Anonymous on 2009-04-29 13:21:51 GMT from United States)
Hey Chris why not give us a process status report on both Xfce distros, so we can see what's being used on both .
It's very obvious that Ubuntu has used extra processes on boot up. If we knew what then we could determine why the extra mem usage.
132 • MANDRIVA 2009.1 (by corneliu on 2009-04-29 13:54:00 GMT from Canada)
Some mirrors received the new Mandriva 2009.1 ftp://ftp.free.fr/mirrors/ftp.mandriva.com/MandrivaLinux/official/iso/2009.1/
133 • No subject (by forest on 2009-04-29 14:02:54 GMT from United Kingdom)
Re #115, 107
Alas, Ubuntu IS Linux IS Ubuntu. From the myriad computer forums, news sites, etc, etc. Ubuntu IS, at least on the surface, the face of Linux for the general public at large.
Canonical make the effort to advertise their presence wherever they can, so to all intents and purposes those NOT in the know, so to speak, would naturally come to regard Ubuntu as the definitive distro...the only distro...
We might be aware of other computer magazines at the newsagents specialising in Linux, but in my experience in UK said mags are, on the whole, tucked behind more populist computing stuff usually on the lowest shelves so you have to get down to see them.
Around my way, small town in Cornwall (pop10k), we have no less than three, repeat three, computer shops. I patronise (as in buy stuff) them all...the proprietors are not ignorant of Linux, especially Ubuntu owing to the plastic window (?) stickers which are carefully concealed under shelves, or anywhere away from where a customer might see them...
The core income, in these shops, is derived from repairs, specifically the removal of malware. From casual conversation I found that to a shop their main work...99% in one case (allegedly...) was the removal of malware. All the shops LOVED MS OSs because of the problems associated with it/them, LOL and the consequent work it produced.
In the UK it is suggested that 98% of all personal PCs do not have anti malware software, or, if they do, the notion of regular updates is an alien concept. And if we are to believe the main surfing destinations are iffy sites...
I would hesitate to say there is a "conspiracy", LOL, against Linux but certainly these specimen shops carefully avoided any overt connection to Linux products...they could not make money on a sale, except perhaps for the work of installing the OS and testing it afterwards...they could make no money from "cleaning" a machine, and owing to Linux being able to run very well on older machines there was little incentive for folk to buy a new machine (cos' Vista needs a lot of ram, say).
One might consider Linux to be a victim of its own success, security, whatever. And, until "you" started reading about Linux, whenever tyat was...did you have any idea of how many distros there were?
134 • XFCE (by alb3rto on 2009-04-29 14:28:45 GMT from Spain)
In my opinion XFCE 4.6 is a little heavy, if you want performance, go to a DE like OpenBox.
135 • Xfce distro-specific builds? (by Pearson on 2009-04-29 14:39:39 GMT from United States)
I've read in a couple of places, most recently inferred from a post by Chris above, that Xfce seems to consume more memory (and/or be slower) in some distros than others (notably XUbuntu vs. Debian). What would cause this difference? Would the difference be because of compile-time patches and options? Or might it be the number of widgets or other things that are being automatically started and counted against Xfce?
Just a curiosity question, please don't turn this into a distro-bashing (or distro-bragging) discussion.
136 • The Light Light 'buntu Show, with LXDE (by DeniZen on 2009-04-29 15:32:29 GMT from United Kingdom)
This looks like it could be good fun, and probably very practical and 'modular' - anyone tried it?
Note that since the article above was published, the Netboot Mini ISO link would now be 'Jaunty' not 'Intrepid' as in the article -
i.e. this link:
If anyone fancies giving it a go, - or already did, let us know how you do.
137 • ref - 136 (by Verndog on 2009-04-29 16:28:41 GMT from United States)
I was looking for something just like that link, thanks! One could also apply the same idea to a Debian net install also.
138 • Toorox (by Ion ANCA on 2009-04-29 17:53:52 GMT from Romania)
Why can't download TOOROX ? or access TOOROX site ?
Help me !
139 • general (by ingolf loeffler on 2009-04-29 18:40:55 GMT from United States)
i read the distrowatch page now since 1997 and enjoyed it ever since. i wanted to express my appreciation and respect for the work of all the teams envolved. i started out with debian and the early versions of suse and came back to debian now having tried a lot of commercial and customized distributions. my special interest: small, lean and fast systems with just one application per category. I am just a user in the end, still using a 360 MHz PC purchased 1996. cheers, Ingolf.
140 • Ref - 133 (by kf4bzt on 2009-04-29 19:30:59 GMT from United States)
Forest, thanks for the comments. I think you hit the nail on the head. I think if most computer shops in the US were to admit the same thing that you mentioned then it would explain with most stay with MS business. Me personally, I have switched to Linux based business because there are so many MS based repair business's around.
"I would hesitate to say there is a "conspiracy", LOL, against Linux but certainly these specimen shops carefully avoided any overt connection to Linux products...they could not make money on a sale, except perhaps for the work of installing the OS and testing it afterwards...they could make no money from "cleaning" a machine, and owing to Linux being able to run very well on older machines there was little incentive for folk to buy a new machine (cos' Vista needs a lot of ram, say)."
This just shows how stable Linux has gotten. You are right, the money isn't great but I think that there is a certain satisfaction instead.
141 • Re 135 (by Chris on 2009-04-29 21:52:29 GMT from Australia)
135 by Pearson
It's generally because of the extra things they package. Xubuntu uses lots of GNOME services and packages to provide extra functionality which use up more resources. Debian's Xfce however sticks mostly to the things included with Xfce to handle things like auto mounting, etc.
142 • wow (by Geoff on 2009-04-29 23:24:04 GMT from United States)
I reloaded the home page and Mandriva appeared!
143 • Ubuntu 9.04, Intel graphics chipset, cpu/ram hog. Other distrobutions? (by Doug on 2009-04-29 23:50:11 GMT from United States)
I didn't want to ask on ubuntuforums, so this seemed like a good place. The new ubuntu is pretty good, but the graphics regression for intel graphics (gma 945) is extremely annoying. I've tried a couple of the different possible fixes with no avail (changing rendering to uxa in xorg.conf), upgrading to 2.6.30. A lot of people seem to be affected by this (or maybe not?), and it seems a bit flaky to release 9.04 with known aggressions. On my part, though, I didn't read the 'known issues' part assuming only small bugs would pass the RC.
Do other new releases (fedora, mandriva, sabayon, open suse -- i realize fedora and open suse aren't final yet; and mint uses an older gnome, kernel, etc.) have the same problems with intel chipsets? If not, can someone make a suggestion? I prefer an easy-to-use desktop.
144 • Mandriva 2009.1 (by Paul B on 2009-04-30 01:47:32 GMT from United States)
Well I downloaded early and it looks like a good system. But, it took me half a day to get the dual monitor setup correctly for nVidia. Lots of trial and error. It never ceases to p me off how the designers think that everything needs to be covered by sixteen levels of secret handshakes. For those who have the same problem, try this:
In a terminal, su root, then type nvidia-xconfig. This sets the system to be vulnerable to actions by the great unwashed. I am not sure whether or not you must hurry, but I would not waste much time in typing nvidia-settings. This brings up the GUI for nVidia, and you may now set and save your settings without the usual blocking effects created by small minds.
I like Mandriva, but it is trying at times.
145 • Ref# 143 - 144 - Intel chip for both Ubuntu & Mandriva (by Verndog on 2009-04-30 02:30:49 GMT from United States)
I too just downloaded Mandriva. I also hd issues with my video card, which brings me to comment # 143.
There are three know fixes for the now infamous Intel chip, which ALSO effects Mandriva. I'll have to research Mandriva if and when I actually install it. Not use to RPM stuff. Couldn't locate xorg-xservers-intel.
Back to Ubuntu. You have a newer Intel chip "gma 945". I have an older integrated 82865G chip. The rollback to version 2.4 works perfectly. If you haven't already read the post over at Ubuntu forums, here they are.
But first read this:https://wiki.ubuntu.com/X/Troubleshooting/IntelPerformance
(This one has a new update on first page reflecting X updates found here:https://edge.launchpad.net/~ubuntu-x-swat/+archive/x-updates/)
Don't be dishearted. I have read several people having success with your Intel chip. There's associated wiki's with known Intel chips that you can review. Just follow the trail.
146 • sho' is perdy (by DeniZen on 2009-04-30 07:58:50 GMT from United Kingdom)
Kudos to the Mandriva bods, they have made a fine looking Desktop, IMO / FWIW etc:
Obviously its possible for any of us to dress any DE up to look good, given time and motivation, but first impressions do count and that KDE dress-up is smart, the LXDE desktop looks great - bet that flies too.
Tho' the Gnome DE looks about the same as it did in the days of Mandrake!
Not tempted to install it, but fair go there Mandriva
147 • @146, 'boot speed' rant (by Anony Moss on 2009-04-30 11:44:45 GMT from India)
Thanks, 146- nice link there.
From the same linked article- "Boot speed should be improved by 25% or more on most systems."
So what do they mean- rate of loading the operating system and shell? And what is 'improve' anyway? Wish they were more precise. It would be more iformative to read something like this 'the boot-up time was reduced by 20 per cent' rather than vague statements like 'boot performace improved by 25 percent'
And yes, increase of 25 percent of 'speed' does mean reduction by 20 per cent in time taken. But I guess 25 per cent is a higher number, so more impressive.
sorry, just had to get this off my chest.
148 • Re: 115 • Ubuntu and Linux (by Anon on 2009-04-30 13:31:41 GMT from Norway)
Caitlyn Martin wrote:
"Ubuntu isn't Linux."
Of course Ubuntu is Linux. Whatever else might it be? :-)
You probably mean to say that Linux isn't Ubuntu (only).
Caitlyn Martin wrote:
"Ubuntu, while popular, is hardly a gold standard for Linux."
Possibly not, but it is undoubtedly a great offer to a Linux newbie. Having used Mandriva and then Ubuntu, I went on to Bluewhite64 (Slackware offspring). Night and day, or rather: from day to night! Slackware is fine, if you want to spend a few months in agony and despair trying to figure out how to tame the beast and half the rest of your life rolling your own packets.
Well, some people don't or can't. For them, the vast majority, Ubuntu is, if not the gold standard of Linux, probably as close as you can get.
149 • More on beasts and gold standards (by Anon on 2009-04-30 13:51:51 GMT from Norway)
Having earlier complained about MPlayerplugin's poor performance on my system, I can now say: Try GeckoMediaplayer!
With Firefox v3.0.10 under Archlinux it works beautifully out of the box! :-)
150 • REF# 147 Follow the trail... (by Verndog on 2009-04-30 13:53:18 GMT from United States)
"Wish they were more precise. It would be more iformative to read something like this 'the boot-up time was reduced by 20 per cent' rather than vague statements like 'boot performace improved by 25 percent'" If you had followed that link to its conclusion you would have found your answer. Hint "here"
Anyway, read this :
151 • No subject (by forest on 2009-04-30 16:28:58 GMT from United Kingdom)
ref #140 (re #148)
Well done...but hopefully you do a very brisk trade in hard drives...owing to them being worn out by all the installing/uninstalling/partitioning/repartitioning/formatting/reformatting...which seems to be a prerequisite of Linux...not to mention usb sticks which appear to be de rigeur at present...
Actually, taking your comments further, it is just as well Canonical do a lot of advertising and lobbying of computer manufacturers, otherwise Linux really might never (slight hyperbole...) have gotten past the hobbyist or pro sections of the computing public at large...who would surely be knee deep in MS equipped machines swamping their local PC hypermarket type emporium.
It might be said that if Ubuntu is "not the best", it begs the question then why there are so many derivative distros out there hanging off some version of Ubuntu...
I allude of course to the many distros developed for "nations", as in "my fellow citizens...you WILL be using this distro, developed by our nation's finest programmers...and you WILL enjoy using it..."
( I now have visions of all the various Liberation Armies of so and so or the Freedom Fighters of wotzit insisting their supporters use capitalista, running dog type commercial OSs...)
It has to be sort sort of oxymoronic thing when you are "obliged" to use "free" software...can you imagine these poor souls will never be privileged to glimpse the blue screen of death...
I got lost, anon, surely Gecko is just a front end to Mplayer anyway...but if I have got that wrong please put me straight!
152 • Huh (by Nobody Important on 2009-04-30 18:07:03 GMT from United States)
If Ubuntu isn't the "gold standard" of Linux, what is? You can measure any other linux distros in terms of how many Ubuntus it is. Debian with KDE 3.5? An Ubuntu and a half. Vector Linux Light? Three-fourths of an Ubuntu. Like Ubuntu, this scoring system Just Works (too good of a pun to pass up, sorry).
I for one enjoy Ubuntu and its nice fat repository (gleamed from Debian). Sure, it's slow out of the box on older computers, but 9.04 seemed a bit snappier than usual. I strip it down quite a bit on my boxes - they say perfection is achieved, not when there is no more to add, bit when there is nothing more to take away.
You can keep getting faster and faster, but is it worth it? To some, yes. For me, Debian KDE is the level where I can trade functionality and speed. Other people can't handle a box unless they've compiled their own kernel. Your preferences may vary.
153 • #148, #133, #145, #143 Responses (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-04-30 18:25:29 GMT from United States)
#148: Funny, when I point out that Slackware isn't user friendly and certainly isn't newcomer friendly I get pounced on, called a Slackware hater, etc... There are user friendly Slackware derivatives. What you describe applies to vanilla Slack and the 64-bit clones.
What I meant when I said that Ubuntu isn't the gold standard is that it is NOT, IMHO the most user friendly or newcomer friendly distro out there. It also always releases with really annoying if not show-stopping bugs, at least since Feisty Fawn. IMNSHO it is an unfortunate choice for introducing people to Linux for just that reason.
Better choices, IMHO, include Mandriva (my first choice for newcomers), OpenSUSE, and even Fedora. I would even argue for some Slackware derivatives like Wolvix. The only issue with Wolvix is the relatively small package selection compared to bigger distros.
#133: Canonical WANT Linux to equate to Ubuntu. Just because they've sold the idea so well in your area doesn't make it true. For the reasons I've listed above (bugs, poor support for older hardware, less than wonderful performance) I believe that Canonical does almost as much harm as good by giving that impression. If you have problems with Ubuntu, problems you might not have had with another major distro, you are going to assume that Linux is the problem when it simply isn't.
#145 Vendog wrote: "Not use to RPM stuff. Couldn't locate xorg-xservers-intel." That has nothing to do with rpm. It has everything to do with how distros name their packages. No two major distros do it the same way. The package manager isn't the issue. The lack of package naming standards is.
#143: Doug, the way to avoid the issue is to use a distro that doesn't insist of having the latest and greatest kernel. Being cutting or bleeding edge isn't always a good thing. I can tell you that Wolvix, Vector Linux, Zenwalk, and the last Moblin I tried didn't have the issue. I do have an Intel 945 graphics card in my system. The first three I mentioned are pretty darned easy to use.
154 • #151 - GeckoMediaplayer (by Anon on 2009-04-30 19:41:30 GMT from Norway)
"I got lost, anon, surely Gecko is just a front end to Mplayer anyway...but if I have got that wrong please put me straight!"
GeckoMediaplayer may well be a frontend to MPlayer for all I know, but for use with Firefox it is an alternative to MPlayerplugin. Yes, I have MPlayer installed :-)
155 • #154, #151 GeckoMediaplayer (by pearson on 2009-04-30 19:46:42 GMT from United States)
Gecko Media Player is a browser plugin that uses GNOME MPlayer to play media in a browser. It should work with all browsers on Unix-ish systems(Linux, BSD, Solaris) and use the NS4 API (Mozilla, Firefox, Opera, etc.).
156 • #153 (by Xtyn on 2009-04-30 19:48:24 GMT from Romania)
You have a fixation with this obscure distro, Wolvix. I see that the latest stable release is from 2007. :)
You just keep on bashing Ubuntu but Ubuntu keeps getting better and better.
Zenwalk 6.0 is more bloated than Ubuntu 9.04.
Mandriva won't live long, it just can't compete with Ubuntu.
It's evident you are biased.
Have a nice compiling and configuring while I'll just enjoy my PC.
157 • Long Live Mandriva (by corneliu on 2009-04-30 20:09:44 GMT from Canada)
Mandriva won't live long, it just can't compete with Ubuntu.
That we'll see. Ubuntu is a newcomer in Linux ecosystem. Mandriva has been around for more than 10 years and counting. Distros come and go but Mandriva is one of the few that has been around since the beginning. A few years ago everybody pronounced Mandriva dead. Yet she's still one of the popular distros. Ubuntu will survive exactly as long as Mr. Shuttleworth is willing to pump money in Ubuntu marketing machine. IMHO the marketing thing is the only thing where Ubuntu is better.
Remember the discussion on how Ubuntu contributes to Linux kernel? Mandriva was in the third place among Linux distributions (the first two where RedHat and Suse). Ubuntu was nowhere to be found.
Ever used K3B? Thanks in part to Mandriva, K3B is for the first time usable in KDE 4.2. If you don't believe me just try the latest Mandriva 2009.1.
158 • #157 (by Xtyn on 2009-04-30 20:19:09 GMT from Romania)
Don't get me wrong, I don't want Mandriva to die but I've looked at the financial results and it's losing money.
Ubuntu is self sustainable and will go on even without Shuttleworth.
Look at awstats in distrowatch, Mandriva has 1.3%, Ubuntu 16%, Mint 2.9%.
159 • re 158 (by corneliu on 2009-04-30 20:31:32 GMT from Canada)
Don't get me wrong, I don't want Mandriva to die but I've looked at the financial results and it's losing money.
Ubuntu is self sustainable and will go on even without Shuttleworth.
I have no doubt that you don't want Mandriva to die. No sane Linux user would wish the death of any distro. As for Ubuntu being self sustainable that's simply not true. Mr. Shuttleworth himself declared not long ago that Ubuntu is still loosing money. He also said that it is a metter of years before Ubuntu will become self sustainable.
Yes Mandriva is loosing money. Ubuntu's financial reports are not available because Canonical is not a publicly traded company, it doesn't have to publish anything.
160 • #159 (by Xtyn on 2009-04-30 20:35:05 GMT from Romania)
"Canonical’s annual revenue is creeping toward $30 million, Mr. Shuttleworth said.
Mr. Shuttleworth contends that $30 million a year is self-sustaining revenue, just what he needs to finance regular Ubuntu updates."
161 • Debian and noobs (by debster on 2009-04-30 20:41:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
The main problem with Debian is the documentation and the website. They should go through their stuff with a scissor ,cutting out all that info-crust that has gathered over the years. Apply their high standards to the docs and visuals. The BSD's are great in this regard.
If they did that it would be noob ready. I once found downloads for the *testing* net install, needed them again a week later... could not find it.
162 • #156 Bias? Who? (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-04-30 20:53:33 GMT from United States)
It's evident I'm biased because I recommend a distro you don't know or like. Hmmm... The second beta of Wolvix 2.0 has fewer bugs on my system that Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope. It just works. Seems a lot of people on here are having the same result as I am with Wolvix.
I wish I could say that for Ubuntu but I can't. Did you read Ladislav's article last week about Intel 915 and 945 chipsets and the bug in Jaunty? The need to go back to a test kernel? Guess what I have in my netbook? Yep, an Intel Express Graphics 945 chipset. These are very popular graphics chips.
Did you read Chris' article this week? Yep, my experience parallels his.
Did you read my comment earlier about my Toshiba laptop? dexconf produces a blank screen. If I didn't have an xorg.conf file from an "obscure" distro getting Ubuntu to work on that machine would be painful.
I don't want to have to do lots of extra compiling and configuring for my hardware to work. That's precisely why I don't like the current release of Ubuntu and do like the current beta of Wolvix. Who is being biased here? My bias is for things that "just work". It's not a bias for or against a specific distro. It's a bias I suspect most users in the Linux community share.
I'd like you to explain to me how Zenwalk is more bloated than Ubuntu. I just don't see it. At least the current Zenwalk just works **WITHOUT EXTRA CONFIGURATION** on my systems. I wish I could say the same for Ubuntu.
You have come to a judgment about Mandriva that I don't agree with, sorry. They have had financial issues before and their death has been predicted every year for as long as I can remember. They keep surviving and putting out a quality distro. They've had a couple of buggy or substandard releases in the past. On my hardware that description fits Ubuntu every time since Feisty. Edgy Eft was perfect on my hardware so I really, really thought Ubuntu was going to get it right and truly be the leader in desktop Linux. I'm still waiting for that to happen. When it does I will gladly join you in praising Canonical and Ubuntu. I just can't do that now.
I have to compile enough software for my work, thankyouverymuch. I have no desire to spend time doing the same in my free time and zero desire to spend extra time doing configuration. That is PRECISELY my point.
163 • I am biased (by corneliu on 2009-04-30 21:18:04 GMT from Canada)
I think all of us are more or less biased. Accusing someone of bias in this forum involves a substantial dose of denial. Xtyn, you are biased even if you don't know it. I am biased (not sure, but I think I am :)). Caitlyn is biased, ladislav is biased, the readers of this very post are biased. We are human. In our logic 2 + 2 doesn't always equal 4, sometimes it equals 4.1 or even 4.01
164 • No subject (by forest on 2009-04-30 22:05:11 GMT from United Kingdom)
Caitlyn, I apologise if I confused you...judging by your response to my post #133. I did in fact say that in my area Linux was NOT really wanted owing to it being too reliable, secure, naturally resistant to germs, etc, etc, and therefore was not regarded as a "cash cow" in the same way MS stuff was.
kf4bzt, (#140) finds that this notion applies in some measure in "your" area too.
Ref your comment that Canonical want Ubuntu to mean Linux to mean Ubuntu...well of course they do and they appear to have succeeded admirably in terms of the general public's perception.
When I allude to the general public I meant across the planet...I first met Ubuntu in Australia when on holiday in Brisbane last year. (Little did I know then that OZ is very much into Linux and some pretty good stuff was born in the Uni of Queensland.)
So in fact Ubuntu IS the "desktop standard" by which distros are measured simply because it is the best known outside Linuxland...(primacy and recency...sort of...)
Now, by extension, "standard" implies there are "better" distros and "worse" distros...although how you would actually qualify better or worse is not something folk could ever agree on...
I would add to this by suggesting Ubuntu is the "entry" level to Linuxland, and to be absolutely fair there are other distro-on-a-DVD (magazines) to be found in High Street newsagents...Suse and Mandriva say but they are nothing like as well known.
Were you to look at the "hit-o-meter", in DWW itself, it is very rare for Ubuntu to fall from grace, generally the ratio of hits between itself and the second on the list is 2:1.
I infer that for this to be so, "someone" has worked very hard to raise the public awareness of Ubuntu. Now, I cannot see this is a bad thing, because if you take into account the "bait and switch" scenario you would see that Ubuntu is the "hook" for other distros...
On occasion...we see the odd dig against Ubuntu...yet, for all the anti Ubuntu feeling a lot of distros developers manage to fight down their repugnance and nausea and base their own offerings on Ubuntu.
Sometimes, you can be too close to an industry to see the wood for trees, if you follow me...and sometimes that wood is so dense you cannot see what is happening in the next clearing...
165 • #153 - Ubuntu is golden (by Anonymous on 2009-04-30 22:06:57 GMT from Norway)
Caitlyn Martin wrote:
"What I meant when I said that Ubuntu isn't the gold standard is that it is NOT, IMHO the most user friendly or newcomer friendly distro out there. It also always releases with really annoying if not show-stopping bugs, at least since Feisty Fawn. IMNSHO it is an unfortunate choice for introducing people to Linux for just that reason."
I agree with your kind words about Mandriva and Wolvix. Besides, all honest Linux efforts deserve respect.
However, in my not so humble opinion, several things make Ubuntu stand out:
1. Profiling and advertising - 'branding' - on a professional level. Shuttleworth is clearly an asset to his distro and Linux in more ways than one.
2. Newbie friendliness. Not only technically, but in its approach to newcomers. They mail me on my birthdays! :-) Yes, there be bugs, but that has been known to happen to other distros also, if I am not mistaken. However, I agree that the latest was more than a bug; it was neglect...
3. The community. Granted, mostly ignorants like myself, but enthusiastic and helpful. Isn't that something? I remember a certain lady emphasizing the community the other day... ;)
4. Well stacked and reasonably updated repositories.
Oh well. I am running Archlinux. Keeps me on my toes...
166 • Ref#162 (by Verndog on 2009-04-30 22:28:12 GMT from United States)
If you would have followed my links from comment#145 you would have fixed your Xorg issue in Jaunty.
If you just want to find fault with Ubuntu, for whatever reason, that's okay also. Just be aware that there are work arounds. I've had issues with Zenwalk and was able to find a solution. Do the same with Ubuntu
I'm experiencing the exact same thing with Mandriva as I have with Ubuntu. You keep blaming Ubuntu. It's not Ubuntu's fault. Mandriva has the same issue it's either the newer Intel drivers or Xorg 1.60. The kernel again is not the issue.
The older 82865G Intel chips work perfect with the older driver 2.4
The newer ones require a little more effort...there is a newer Intel driver just introduced, but it still doesn't work with the older 82865G chips.
167 • #164, #165, #166 - Responses (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-01 00:21:58 GMT from United States)
#164 Forest: There is little doubt that Ubuntu is the most popular desktop distro in DW. Fedora has some data to claim they are even or close in the wider world. For the sake of discussion let's assume that the DW hit rankings are an accurate reflection of the community as a whole. Does popularity equate to quality? If most popular meant best then Windows would be the best OS on the desktop by a wide margin. I think most of the Linux users here feel differently :)
I see a lot more than the odd dig against Ubuntu. Some of the criticism isn't warranted or fair. An awful lot of it is, IMNSHO.
#166-Verndog: Yes, most bugs in Ubuntu have workarounds. Certainly workarounds are found quickly and the large community around the distro makes that happen.
OTOH, often Ubuntu workarounds (i.e.: for the no sound through external speakers or headphones bug in 8.10 with the snd-hda-intel driver) require downloading downloading source, compiling, and patching. That is no big deal to the experienced Linux user who is comfortable at the command line. To the less experienced user this is difficult and often way beyond what the user is willing to learn to do. The response is to throw their hands up in the air and head back to Windows. These are the folks who write about how they tried Linux once, it sucked, and Microsoft rules. If it was just one significant bug or one release I would write it off to something slipping through the cracks. The problem is that it seems to be every release with multiple significant bugs.
"Mandriva has the same issue it's either the newer Intel drivers or Xorg 1.60. The kernel again is not the issue."
First, the driver is a kernel module. If it's the driver it IS the kernel. I suspect it's actually the interaction between X.org and the kernel. Oh, and yes that is Ubuntu's fault. They can patch the kernel, back level the driver, use a slightly older kernel or slightly older X.org, etc... I haven't tried the newly released Mandriva yet but if they have that same bug then it is Mandriva's fault within their own distro.
Bottom line: there is NO EXCUSE for releasing a distro with a known bug that negatively impacts a large number of people, period. Either the release should have been delayed or they should have stepped back a version in the code. The fast, fixed, rigid release schedule used by Ubuntu is a big part of the problem.
So, yes, I found solutions that work for me in Ubuntu. Already done, thankyouverymuch. My point, which you seem to miss, is that this isn't acceptable for a distro that touts itself as "Linux for human beings", as in non-geeks who don't want to get under the hood and fiddle.
#165: A couple of years ago I would have hailed the Ubuntu community as a model of a friendly Linux community that hasn't lost anything despite growing in size. Today I can't say that. There is an awful lot of defensiveness and blaming the user nowadays. Don't stray off the "Ubuntu is great" line. This was my complaint about the Zenwalk community. It now applies to Ubuntu as well. They did the right thing when Dapper Drake was delayed. Unfortunately they no longer are willing to tolerate delays.
Yes, other distros have bugs. All distros have bugs. All operating systems have bugs. I just see Ubuntu as having more, bigger, nastier ones than the other major distros more often than not. No, they don't affect everyone. If everything "just works" on your hardware then you can cheerfully ignore those bugs. If not then you can't.
All: I think what Chris Smart writes on all his distro reviews applies here. I judge a distro based on the claims the distributor, in this case Canonical, makes for the distro. My criticism of Slackware not being user friendly, for example, is a response to the claim on their website that it is supposed to be easy enough for everyone to use. Other "advanced" distros like Arch Linux or CRUX make no such claim. They claim exactly the opposite so the criticism doesn't apply. Ubuntu also makes claims about their distro that other distributors just don't make. They set the bar very high for themselves with their marketing. That's fine but that also mean that they are going to be judged on their ability to meet those claims. IME they fail to do so.
Does that make Ubuntu a poor distro when compared to other distro? Not hardly. Not even close. What it means is that the claims made for Ubuntu just don't hold up.
168 • @162 (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-01 03:02:34 GMT from United States)
The plural of "anecdote" is not data.
169 • Eh. (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-01 03:26:43 GMT from United States)
Similar to last week, Caitlyn makes a comment that someone misunderstood, except that this time it has come to full throttled trolling. I would encourage Ladislav to be rather liberal with his butcher knife censor button. There are some comments (not naming names) around here that are rather embarrassing.
Ubuntu works on my machine, and Zenwalk failed, burning on the side of the road miserably. Our computers are finicky creature; nearly as finicky as we as people are. I certainly would not blame Zenwalk. It's just how things happen.
Everyone looks for different things in their distro. I look for a powerful package manager, a goods set of apps in the repos, good Firefox performance, and (easily installed) 3D support for the occasionally OpenArena match. Ubuntu does this very, very well for me, like no other distro does (though Debian is close, though it takes a bit of effort post-install). I personally have never run into a major Ubuntu bug in my two years of using it, and never had an issue with the community once.
Lucky? Perhaps. Pleased? Completely.
It's all personal taste, people. Take a breath, read the Mark Twain quote, and lets not let this turn into an Ubuntu (or whatever else) troll-fest. The bytes stored on Distrowatches servers have better uses than some of what I've read so far.
170 • @144, 145 etc (by Adam Williamson on 2009-05-01 05:25:33 GMT from Canada)
OK, there's some misinformation flying here.
First, the intel driver is not a kernel module. X drivers are never kernel modules. Some rely on kernel modules for some functions - all X.org drivers rely on a kernel module for 3D acceleration - but that's all. The intel X.org driver isn't a kernel module.
945 and 865 are extremely different chipsets. There are some significant known issues with 8xx chipsets and recent versions of the Intel driver that don't affect 945. So advice that's useful to one is not necessarily useful to the other.
There are also many different implementations of the 945 chipset, which don't all have the same issues. There are also differences depending on what kinds of monitors (and how many) you have connected. You can't treat all 'intel problems' as the same problem to be treated identically.
If you have a problem with the intel driver in a recent distribution, I suggest you check the bug tracker for your distribution to see if it's already been reported - make sure, if it seems like it has, that the reporter has the same hardware as you, and the symptoms are *exactly* the same - and if not, file a bug on it. You may then be asked to report it upstream to the freedesktop.org bug tracker.
171 • #162 (by Xtyn on 2009-05-01 07:30:33 GMT from Romania)
I have a PC and two laptops around here and Ubuntu works perfectly on all 3.
"Seems a lot of people on here are having the same result as I am with Wolvix."
That's funny, are there "lots" of people using that distro?
Zenwalk is the only distro that you mention that I've tried and I have problems on all 3 computers. On one laptop I have serious problems with ACPI, it actually freezes every time it should make a beep (a system sound) so I have to put acpi=off but then other things don't work, like complete shutdown, battery etc, on another laptop it does not recognize my network card and on the third one I have problems with xorg.
I've made a small comparison between Ubuntu 9.04 and Zenwalk 6.0 here: http://skeptic4ever.blogspot.com/2009/04/ubuntu-904-vs-zenwalk-60-performance.html
172 • about Mandriva (by Xtyn on 2009-05-01 08:04:07 GMT from Romania)
I know Mandriva had some financial problems and managed to survive but that was back in 2003, Ubuntu didn't exist back then. Now Ubuntu competes directly with Mandriva on the desktop and Mandriva has no chance.
According to awstats, the distrowatch visitors today have:
I really don't believe Fedora has anywhere near the market share that Ubuntu has.
173 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-01 08:30:47 GMT from United Kingdom)
Read the blog you posted, Xtyn, and, as far as I understand the item, it seems to me the underlying point is that the developers have chosen different coding to produce the same "result", as in a distro. Would it be fair to say the Ubuntu coding is more "elegant" do you suppose...in this particular comparison?
Perhaps it all comes down to the number of devs on any one project and whether they are fresh out of college, say, or have been in the industry for rather longer, and whether they have a marked preference to a particular "base"?
Perhaps I have stated what everyone thinks but are far too polite to say...as in we can all try to drive a car...but some of us will take longer to learn and some of us may have more accidents than others...and some of us will learn to drive a car but never pass their test...
Ref the earlier comments re pros and cons of various distros, take a squint as this:
This is not a dig at other forum users BTW...
174 • Mandriva 2009.1 (by kaprikornix on 2009-05-01 10:00:57 GMT from Belgium)
Ik looked well, installing without problems, and then again: VLC streaming but no sound, and Streamtuner giving sound but no recording, because of a missing Streamripper, not to be found in the update system's list. What a pleasure! While Mepis8 and Mint6 do the same job on the same test-pc...perfectly.
175 • Barry Kauler Returns for Puppy 5.xx (by Lobster on 2009-05-01 10:07:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
Friday 1st of May 2009
Barry will head development of 5.xx series of Puppy
Warren Wilson (Whodo) will coordinate some of the effort
Available today is an alpha 6 woof build from Barry
'Jaunty Puppy' is an Upuptu or Upup
which utilises elements of the best of Puppy
and the latest Ubuntu streamlined with Puppy magic
Puppy 4.2.1 Final release is also imminent
176 • @ 171 Xtyn (by DeniZen on 2009-05-01 10:14:15 GMT from United Kingdom)
While not a comprehensive test, it is your findings on your equipment, and it is interesting, as it flies in the face of .. erm ..'lore'.
Other users will still have a different experience, which is why the 'who is best at being fast' debate will run and run.
Genreally, for most users that try it, Zenwalk _is_ a 'swift' distro - always has been - there is no 'doubt' (etc, etc)
Something (good) happened with Ubuntu 9.04 in my own experience (but not in some others' experience it seems)
Jaunty is geuinely snappy on my (not so new) Laptop, though the release notes for Jaunty only mentions the boot time improvements in this respect.
And, I'm using ext3, not ext4.
Your experiences with 9.04 seem to suggest that it is the same for you on your hardware.
I'm gob-smacked by 9.04 TBH, I never expected it to perform so well - in every respect - on _my_Lappy.
Others Commenters I read have described 9.04 as 'trash', 'an abomination', 'slow', ' worst-ubuntu-ever' etc. and they must have their good reasons.
(excluding those suspected of being fat-fingered, ham fisted, impatient , over-reactive, trolling owners of borked hardware that is ;-P )
I'd be willing to bet that if you conducted the same tests with U. 8.04 and/or 8.10 you might find it to be like wading through treacle compared to the previous release Zenwalk (and ZenWalk 6.0)
But then that's an irrelevence really now eh? :)
177 • @176 (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-01 13:00:44 GMT from United States)
I've seen a few people say that 9.04 was faster on their machine. Mine ran better than 8.10, no question, but not quite as fast as 8.04. Kind of odd, considering 9.04 uses less RAM out of the box. Ubuntu is no Debian in terms of reliability, but it could be much worse.
I'm certainly glad that the Ubuntu team is thinking about performance, at least somewhat. It's not their fault my processor is a Celeron.
178 • Re: 162 (by Anonymous on 2009-05-01 15:27:26 GMT from United States)
If I didn't have an xorg.conf file from an "obscure" distro getting Ubuntu to work on that machine would be painful.
It isn't Ubuntu's fault that X.org is moving to a new "user friendly" mode of configuration. Blame the real culprits, the X developers.
Of course they'll blame you, the user, but that is besides the point.
179 • "gold standard of linux distros" (by Adelantah McFop on 2009-05-01 16:12:16 GMT from United States)
We'd better be grateful for the plethora of distros available, I say. The could all very well have been 'buntus. Kiwibuntu, Sababuntu (Buntuyon?), PCbuntuOS, Vectorbuntu, ad infinitum.
180 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-01 16:29:07 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref the ongoing debate..."U9...was it good for you?"
Nobody, bar one, DeniZen, as far as I can recall has mentioned anything about the file system they used, as in ext3 or ext4.
This came in a little while back and will probably mean more to you brainy blokes, and young lady, so see here:
It would interesting to know if indeed it is only a matter of which file system you chose which decides what works or won't.
i used ext3 and had no probs.
181 • Mandriva Spring (by Paul B on 2009-05-01 16:44:52 GMT from United States)
Here is a first. On my old Asus A7V333 that never, ever will shut down without doctoring the boot instructions, the latest Mandriva got it right without any help. Usually each distro requires some investigation as to how to get automatic shutdown. The only thing I did with 2009.1 is uncheck ACPI at the boot install instructions. Then it just worked. Cool!
182 • simplicity:Ubuntu versus Kubuntu (by Anonymous on 2009-05-01 17:13:57 GMT from Canada)
There have been a number of comments in the past about how Kubuntu was complex(lots of choices) and how Ubuntu was simple.
Well I d/d both 9.04 vesions.
The updater in Kubuntu does not seem to give any details of the apps that are being updated (which it did in previous versions) whereas Ubuntu gives the names of the apps.
Perhaps there is a way in Kubuntu to get that information which I am unaware of.
183 • No subject (by Xtyn on 2009-05-01 17:18:30 GMT from Romania)
I think I'm getting tired of controversies and flames. I love linux but I just hate linux users (most of them). I love Ubuntu and Debian, Fedora, openSUSE, Mandriva and PCLinuxOS, Slackware, Arch, Gentoo and Puppy.
Can't we all just get along?
I hate the way linux users bash other distros. It always comes to: "my distro is better than yours".
I hate it when linux users are jealous on the success of distros like Ubuntu.
I think some linux users feel like they are in a elite and don't like it when linux becomes accessible to everyone.
Yes, the geeky distros are faster than the user friendly ones, what a surprise...
Chris Smart, Caitlyn Martin, Susan Linton and Steven Nichols, I'm sick of all of you...and Chris, your name doesn't suit you. :)
Ok, I've taken that off my chest.
At least Linus is a great guy, kinda crazy but a great guy. Can't forget Stallman, another great guy. Maybe Stallman exaggerates a little bit but I don't know where would Linux (I know, GNU/Linux) would be without him.
Good luck and have a happy life.
184 • @ 182 - Kubuntu package management - alternatives (by DeniZen on 2009-05-01 17:37:51 GMT from United Kingdom)
I am guessing that you are saying that you miss the 'Update your System' pop-up app that you have in Ubuntu?
' sudo apt-get update '
(enter your password) , then, if all seems well:
' sudo apt-get upgrade '
That will list everything about to be installed, and deps, and any recommendations also.
As I recall , Kubuntu 9.04 dropped the Adept package tool, in favour of (K)PackageKit. - not sure, just my recollection.
But, if thats the case, does PackgeKit not detail the updates?
Alternatively, if you dont mind just a few extra gnome/gtk libs taking space up on your system, you could install Synaptic.
Or probably Adept, though , if it has been dropped from default install, I guess there may be a reason for that (KDE 4.x ? maybe?).
Do excuse me if, I have misunderstood, and that you already knew all that ;)
185 • re 184 etc. (by rview on 2009-05-01 18:33:20 GMT from United States)
I'm running 9.04 Kubuntu, updated from beta to current as of now. There is an update notifier with packagekit, and it does have a detail list of everything that is going to be updated when clicked on. Sorted by bug fix categories, etc. Unless they changed it with the final release. It sits down by the clock when there are updates. You either double click on it, or right click on it to get the menu to get the details (never paid attention, and I don't have any updates now to check).
It does not list how "big" the updates are, or how long they will take, which is not good for those of us on limited/metered/capped/or slow connections.
186 • re#183 (by hab on 2009-05-01 19:59:32 GMT from Canada)
I pretty much have to agree with you. The endless angry/vitriolic energy expended on what........? From my own experience the anger and venom are frequently a reflection of one's frustrations at personal lack of knowledge and/or experience.
So i guess in some kind of way these posts are a bass ackward plea for help. Help me, help me, (a particular image from a Fly movie comes to mind here!) i can 't get xxxxxx to install or this hardware doesn't work or that software is borked. The admonition RTFM, comes to mind. Many people throw up their hands when actual reading is suggested to them and say no time, no energy, whatever!
The reality is that virtually every question in human existence is addressed by a process of education.
Oh well, the sometimes deep hilarity of some these posts make them almost worthwhile!
187 • RTFM (by Paul B on 2009-05-01 22:22:03 GMT from United States)
Sometimes RTFM results in WTF! Not all manuals are comprehensible. Some are downright hyper-complicated. Take either Samba or Cups. A simple sharing setup results in a tribulation from hell in trying to defeat 1792 levels of nazi passwords to accomplish simple functions.
Here's a clue to the devs. I have two computers sitting side by side. I wish to print on the computer with the printers attached. I can unplug the printer and move it to the computer I am working on, or, I can use Samba to print through the attached computer. This is called "share"!
I have a file one one computer that I wish were on the other. I can burn it to a CD and transfer it by reading said CD on the other computer. Or, I can transfer the file by Samba. This is also called "share", and it doesn't require two thousand levels of nazi passwords.
I guess what I am trying to say, is that, when I select "share", I would like all the password nonsense to disappear. Is that too much to ask?
188 • #187: Yes, it's too much to ask (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-01 23:00:45 GMT from United States)
Paul, yes, it's too much to ask. Linux, unlike Windows, is designed to be secure, hence the need for security systems. Please remember that Samba is designed to be used in the corporate enterprise (and government installations as well). Allowing it to go through with no passwords isn't secure at all. It also means that if someone cracks your system they can print as well.
Why are you using Samba for print sharing anyway? Is the printer on a Windows machine? If not why not just use CUPS? It's a lot easier to setup than Samba using the web interface,
189 • Share (by Paul B on 2009-05-02 00:38:12 GMT from United States)
Caitlyn: "Paul, yes, it's too much to ask. Linux, unlike Windows, is designed to be secure, hence the need for security systems. Please remember that Samba is designed to be used in the corporate enterprise (and government installations as well). Allowing it to go through with no passwords isn't secure at all. It also means that if someone cracks your system they can print as well."
Paul: Well, "share" is advertised kinda sorta the way I expect it to work. I suspect I would not be so disappointed if my expectations weren't simple. And while corporations may need to conserve paper, I seriously doubt that many folks are trying to run off 72 copies of the latest PTA meeting, or print thousand dollar bills on my printers.
Yes, I have windows computers. I am in the process of weaning myself from this nasty system. Printing is one of the last things to be done. Next, it will be replacing the MS LAN with a Linux equivalent. And, I suspect a new level of frustration. My point was not so much that security is overblown (which I still believe it is), but that RTFM is often as productive as jabbing yourself in the eye with a pencil.
This is because, those things are written to make sure Carrie the Clerk doesn't print out Aunt Tillie's recipe for blueberry pie on the corporate computer and bankrupt the corporation. That is what happened at Chrysler, right? I am finding security to be anywhere from 3 to five unrelated levels deep. I seriously doubt the Carrie the Clerk ( unless she is secretly Harriet the Hacker) is going to defeat the system. Her main problem may be the same as mine -- just getting it to work.
190 • #189 -- One place we agree, and one thing that will make your life easier (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-02 04:27:15 GMT from United States)
Samba is designed for file sharing as well. It is anything but the easiest way to share printers. Once you move to Linux and just use CUPS I think you'll find the web interface pretty intuitive. A number of distros including Ubuntu and Mandriva also have user friendly print configuration tools besides the web interface. With CUPS the security issues will be much more straightforward. All you will need is the admin password for the box you are working on, or, alternately, your own password if sudo is setup, which is pretty much done by default in Ubuntu.
Using Samba for printing only is kind of like trying to fix a watch with a hammer. OK, that's an exaggeration but it does more than you need by design. CUPS should be easier.
I completely agree with you that RTFM is anything but a friendly or helpful answer. This is why I tend to stress the important of the community around a distro. If folks in the forums are friendly and helpful and halfway decent at explaining things your life will be much easier. I don't know what distro you are using. Among the major ones I've found that Mandriva forum are quite good. Ubuntu's forum is also very decent and quite helpful so long as you don't complain too much :) I haven't been in the Fedora or SUSE forums in a long time so I can't comment on how they are today.
It's probably a good thing that you expect frustration. Linus Torvalds once compared changing operating systems with performing brain surgery on yourself. Six months from now it may all seem simple and second nature to you. The learning curve is real and nobody should minimize it. The only positive thing I can offer is encouragement. Stick with it. In the end I believe you'll be happy with the results. I know quite a few people who now wonder how they ever made do with Windows. It just takes some perseverence to get there.
191 • I tried Mepis (by I tried Mepis on 2009-05-02 05:24:21 GMT from United States)
If you are unsatisfied with Ubuntu, or want to try a very nice stable distro, then give SimplyMepis a try. To me it's a good combination of stability and reasonably updated software. Mepis is back and it's better 'n ever. I really do not need KDE 4.2.2 at this point. Maybe you don't need it either.
192 • updates (by joline on 2009-05-02 14:20:27 GMT from United States)
antiX runs well and does not need many big updates now that I got rid of those pesky "testing/unstable" repos.
193 • RE: 187 189 (by Alan UK on 2009-05-02 14:54:26 GMT from United Kingdom)
Maybe what you need is a USB cable designed for directly connecting two computers. I'm sure I saw such a device somewhere. I think it only worked in Vista.
I presume Vista supports this feature?
194 • #192 • (antiX) updates (by anticapitalista on 2009-05-02 15:09:59 GMT from Greece)
antiX default is to use stable and Testing repos (not unstable - though I prefer it myself ;) )
Testing is there so antiX is a rolling release. Just apt-get dist-upgrade fairly regularly to keep it up to date.
195 • answering anticapitalista in #194 (by josie on 2009-05-02 20:14:00 GMT from United States)
the "apt-get-update" is used on this just before "apt-get-upgrade."
wondering if that's similar in results. "..dist-upgrade" I've never used.
196 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-02 20:34:25 GMT from United Kingdom)
Might be a few answers...
197 • Ups and Downs (by Anon on 2009-05-02 21:44:38 GMT from Norway)
I just used GParted to fix a partition destroyed by ( lest I be accused of distro bashing) and fired up Lenny.
Lenny said: "Superblock last time write is in the future. FIXED.
Filesystem last time checked is in the future. Check forced."
Any Linux OS might have done the same, but Debian Lenny has just scored a few extra points here.
What to say about GParted? Is my system og GParted Live to blame for the erroneous time-setting?
198 • Security (by Paul B on 2009-05-02 21:45:18 GMT from United States)
In the heat of frustration I think I made a mis-statement. I talked about 3-5 levels of security when I actually meant 3-5 levels of frustration. For example, Slackware will ask if you have other drives/partitions added to fstab. Cool. Some distros do this automagically. Unfortunately they really add them to mtab. Mtab doesn't always add them to the same place. So, if you set everything up and then go on your merry way, you find that mtab plays musical partitions.
So, then I add these things to fstab and start all over again. And then, some distros come up with very creative ways to load vfat and nfst files to mtab/fstab and you have to go and create new masks/permissions etc. While this is a good learning experience, it gets old in a hurry.
I hate to be an old crab... Well I am old (64), but I don't really mean to be a crab. Yet even a sweet old buzzard like me runs out of fuse after a while.
So If I have one or two beers, and vent, I apologize. I really like Linux (and BSD, too). Thanks for putting up with me.
199 • @191 (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-03 00:34:46 GMT from United States)
At your suggestion I tried MEPIS, considering my love for Debian w/ KDE (and a disdain for all of the work downloading programs, codecs and drivers along with it).
I was less than pleased. MEPIS had the same odd issues AntiX had - a huge shocker there, I know - and a few of its own. It refused to mount anything I plugged in and there was lag everywhere. I liked the program selection, though, and everything seemed well organized.
Just goes to show you that no two computers are alike. Linux Distros are like a pail of cookie dough ice cream - sometimes you get the motherload of cookie dough, other times, you're just licking the vanilla of your chin in disappointment.
200 • Good article explaining Intel driver issue in Ubuntu 9.04 (by Anonymous on 2009-05-03 07:52:32 GMT from United States)
Here is an excellent article explaining exactly what's going on with the Intel graphics driver in Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope):
#170: Adam Williamson: You accused me of spreading a little misinformation. One of the recent changes is that the Graphics Execution Module (GEM) has actually migrated into the kernel as of 2.6.28.x So... Part of what used to be handled externally by X.org is now part of the kernel.
Sorry, it wasn't misinformation this time. Please do keep me honest though and I'll gladly correct any technical mistakes I make.
201 • Sorry, #200 was me (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-03 07:53:14 GMT from United States)
It's past my bedtime. Sorry, I didn't mean to post anonymously.
202 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-03 09:24:26 GMT from United Kingdom)
Where do they get the stats from?!
Still, the second and third bloke seem OK, LOL
Ref the file formats...anyone had some experience of ext4 replacing ext3 and causing probs thereafter?
203 • Linux market share beyond 1% (by Azzorcist on 2009-05-03 13:54:40 GMT from Indonesia)
I read from OSNews that Linux market share just got beyond 1%.
It's good for the Linux Community.
But, IMHO it is not going to get more and more market share.
Linux is good for server, no doubt for it.
How many computers in this world that is server computers? And how many desktop computers? Maybe 1% : 99% and that's why Linux got only 1% market share.
204 • XFCE Comparison - UXA? (by Sertse on 2009-05-03 15:58:02 GMT from Australia)
I don't see what type of system it was, but on my own one, enabling UXA acceleration (I use intel) dropped by Ram use from 120 (it was posted earlier in the thread) right down to 75. I can also now composite without any lag.
This is with my machine which enables several things in addition to stock xfce...
205 • #203 - Flawed numbers (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-03 16:43:45 GMT from United States)
The 1% number is severely flawed and has been debunked over and over again since Network Applications claimed 0.1% some years back. Linux market share preloaded is greater than 1%. Before the netbook craze more realistic figures put Linux at 4-5%. Right now it is certainly higher than that. Linux is growing and growing rapidly as more and more companies offer Linux preloaded.
Network Applications only counts hits to sites that purchase their hit counter. Those tend not to be FOSS or Linux related sites. It's a very selective count that leans very strongly in favor of Microsoft.
Market share is usually measured in dollars, not units. The big money is in the server room,, not on the desktop.
206 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-03 18:37:25 GMT from United Kingdom)
Reference 203, 205.
I think "severely flawed" is putting it too nicely, Caitlyn. Saying that Linux has only 1% of desktop share is very possibly the biggest understatement (note ironic oxymoron) going this week.
When you discover from the article (#202) the "statistics" were sponsored, we are informed, by none other than MS...
Obviously these statistics are produced to stop twitchy share/stock holders phoning their brokers first thing Monday morning, LOL.
We all know that nobody has any idea whatsoever of the figures or the criteria used to evaluate them...as anyone who has heard the term "post rationalisation" will know all too well.
207 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-03 18:42:53 GMT from United Kingdom)
Forgot to mention/suggest...do those figures reflect all the distros (desktops) being pushed around the planet, in the venaculars, by nationstates...?
All these figures suggest MS is getting very concerned...you can't compete with "free" for very long if that's all you've got and there are divvies to pay.
208 • linux usage (by hab on 2009-05-03 19:10:00 GMT from Canada)
These kinds of stats have always been of rather spurious origins! That's the beauty of linux and the gpl .......no registration required, no reporting, nada! I certainly hope it stays that way. I can run a desktop or a supercomputer and no one need know. It keeps m$ and others on their toes cause THEIR guess is as good as any other!
209 • I mislaid 30 Pounds in 30 Days (by How I Lost Thirty Pounds in Thirty Days on 2009-05-03 19:37:27 GMT from Canada)
Hi, good post. I have been pondering this issue,so thanks for posting. I will definitely be coming back to your posts.
210 • mepis 8.0.06 (by Anonymous on 2009-05-03 20:03:35 GMT from Canada)
I d/l Kubuntu 9.04 and had some problems and also had difficulty in understanding some of the distinctions ( and lack thereof) in the menus.
I d/l Ubuntu 9.04 and then saw "the perfect desktop":
Very impressive, but I am used to kde; so d/l Mepis .
There have been a couple of posters praising Mepis but none have mentioned the Mepis Users Manual.
This kind of manual should be present in all OSes
there is a "perfect desktop" for Debian; which should make it a lot easier for newbies
211 • Flat Panels an New Distros (by Charles Wilson on 2009-05-03 20:05:49 GMT from United States)
My system is a Home Brew System with absolutely nothing special. It does however use an Acer Flat Screen Panel Display. I have used PCLOS for a very long time. I upgraded to the new Big Update 2009.1 and found that it was very slow. The Fora contained hints about making Firefox faster, etc., but nothing helped. It just got slower as time moved on.
I have since downloaded Mepis, Mandriva, Kubuntu and they all lockup where the screen management appears.
A reload of 2009.1 reloads the slow stuff BUT 2007 PCLOS loads and runs fast as the wind.
I have run all combinations of "Safe Boot" etc. and they all will NOT load. The interesting thing is that I took out and old CRT montior (with no base!) and, slanted monitor and all, Kubuntu loaded.
Is...uhh...somethin 'goin' on here with the new loaders?
212 • @211 (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-03 21:00:33 GMT from United States)
I upgraded my monitor temporarily about three months ago. At first nothing would load correctly. Then I realizes the cable connecting the monitor and the computer was old and somewhat useless. Once I replaced the cable (a $11 investment) it worked better than fine. The problem there was that the monitor wasn't giving the computer enough information to go by (the dreaded "No screens found" on xorg).
I nabbed a monitor to upgrade permanently just a few days ago, and had no problems. All monitors work basically the same nowadays.
So, from this anecdote, I ask you:
-What is "the screen management" you speak of? Technical terms (or at least a better description of what "screen management" is, because I have no idea) might help.
-Have you tried replacing the cable? You are now a scientist. Eliminate all variables. Variables here include: the computer in general (try other computers with the monitor and distro at question), the video card, and the cable.
-Have you asked any forums for help? The Ubuntu forums have always given me a very quick and helpful answer within a half an hour. MEPIS looks fairly friendly as well.
I agree that PCLinuxOS 2009.1 was extremely bloated, or something simply wasn't right (my computer or their distro, take your pick). A fresh install took up 400 MB of RAM at startup!
213 • X-off (by Verndog on 2009-05-04 01:29:35 GMT from United States)
You may have read the X wiki, but have you read this section regarding it's criticisms :
214 • No subject (by capricornus on 2009-05-04 06:15:07 GMT from Belgium)
Flawed Numbers. I just wonder how a dual boot pc comes in the statistics? Could it be a source of bias?
Number of Comments: 214
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