| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 305, 1 June 2009
Welcome to this year's 22nd issue of DistroWatch Weekly! OpenSolaris 2009.06, the third official release of the increasingly influential UNIX alternative for the desktop, is here! With a large number of new features and updated applications, it is bound to excite everybody interested in free operating systems. But will it also entice the average desktop user? That remains to be seen. In other news, Fedora slips the release of version 11 "Leonidas" by another week, FreeBSD gets set to enter code freeze in preparation for version 8.0, NetBSD receives a new binary package manager to offer a more APT/YUM-like package management experience, Debian gets improved support for Eee PC netbooks, and the openSUSE community announces Goblin - a new Moblin and openSUSE-based distro for netbooks. Also in this issue, the feature article takes a look at a minimalist, yet highly usable and well-designed Debris Linux, while the tips and tricks section returns with an article on running "Factory", the openSUSE development branch. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the May 2009 DistroWatch.com donations is SliTaz GNU/Linux. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Caitlyn Martin)
Taking a look At Debris Linux
It seems hardly a week goes by without an announcement of a new distribution based on Ubuntu. Among them perhaps only a handful stands out for doing something innovative or significantly different from the parent distribution. Debris Linux is one that really caught my eye.
The name Debris Linux first appeared in May 2007. Prior to that the distro was known as BeaFanatIX (BFX). Debris Linux 1.0, the first stable release under the new name, was announced on April 5th, 2008 and was based on Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon). Debris Linux is a live CD with a custom installer called DebIthat supports traditional hard drive installations or the creation of a live bootable USB stick using a frugal installation similar to Damn Small Linux. The distribution fits on a single ISO image that is always less than 200 MB, allowing Debris Linux to fit on a mini (3" / 8cm) CD, despite providing a completely functional GNOME desktop.
The goals for the distro include keeping it small, compact, and keeping hardware requirements as modest as possible to allow Debris to run well on older hardware. Recommended system requirements are a Pentium II or better processor, 128 MB RAM, and 2 GB of hard disk space. A fully installed system takes up just 850 MB of disk space, making Debris ideal for low-end or first-generation netbooks and nettops with 2 or 4 GB of SSD storage as well as legacy systems with storage limitations. In many ways Debris Linux is to Ubuntu what distributions like Slax and Wolvix Cub are to Slackware. A relatively small but active community has grown around the distro and there is an active user forum.
Current stable release - Debris Linux 1.0.4
The most recent stable release of Debris Linux is version 1.0.4, which was announced on January 17th. I tried it on my 6.5-year old Toshiba Satellite 1805-S204 (Intel Celeron 1.0 GHz CPU, 512 MB RAM, 20 GB HDD) and was favorably impressed by the little distro. Ubuntu live CDs generally are slower that molasses running uphill in the wintertime on the old Toshiba to the point of being pretty much unusable. Debris Linux took time to load but once it was up and running it was quite responsive and functional. The developers' claim of improved performance on older or limited specification hardware was immediately proven. There was also one obvious bug. I had a small desktop displayed surrounded by black space. This was something I had seen with Slackware and some Slackware derivatives. Clearly whatever Debris Linux 1.0.4 was using for video hardware detection didn't come from Ubuntu. I also knew from experience that this was easily fixed if I installed the OS to the hard drive, which I did.
The Debris custom installer, Debi, is text-based, but it is also simple, straightforward, and well thought out. The version in Debris Linux 1.0.4 offered the option of using the whole hard drive, choosing partitions that currently exist on the hard drive, or repartitioning with your choice of GParted or cfdisk. I chose to use existing partitions and selected a root and home partition. I was not given a choice of file systems; the DebIinstaller always uses ext3. I was given the option of keeping my /home directory and not formatting it.
Once installed, I had a functional GNOME system but I did still have the display problem described above. I used a known good xorg.conf file from Mandriva Linux and the problem disappeared. As you'd expect, I had a very limited choice of applications installed, including Firefox, Evolution, gFTP, Pidgin, AbiWord, Gnumeric, Leafpad, GQView, and Audacious. Ubuntu's Network Manager handled network connectivity and both wired and wireless networking were functional immediately after install. The installer did not configure my sound card and ALSA, while installed, was disabled by default.
I didn't find many bugs in Debris Linux 1.0.4 which is what I would expect by a fourth maintenance release. One rather obvious but trivial bug that did show up was that two icons rather than one were displayed for removable media such as a USB stick.
Unfortunately, Debris Linux 1.0.4 developed a rather serious problem in late April. Only a small repository of customized packages is maintained specifically for the distro. Otherwise Debris Linux depends on upstream Ubuntu repositories. Last month Ubuntu 7.10 reached end of supported life. If you go to update your package listing, you will get lots of 404 errors as the repositories are now gone. The recommendation from Stephan Emmerich (Renegat3), the lead developer, is to run the most recent development build for the forthcoming Debris Linux 2.0.
The road to Debris Linux 2.0
The first public alpha of Debris Linux 2.0 was released on October 4, 2008. After five public alpha releases, the first beta, version 1.7.0, was released on May 4. The Debris Linux team has made clear that the goal is to get to a final 2.0 release relatively quickly now that Ubuntu 7.10 is no longer supported.
Unlike Debris Linux 1.0, which was based off the most recent Ubuntu release, moving forward Debris Linux will only use Ubuntu Long Term Support (LTS) releases as their base, which should prevent the problem of Canonical ending support before the next major release is ready. The other benefit of basing on Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron), rather than 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope), is that 8.04 has already had three maintenance releases and most of the known significant bugs have been fixed. LTS releases are what Canonical offers to corporate enterprise customers who want maximum stability and reliability. Some of the problems that some distros have had with the latest video drivers are also avoided by using Hardy Heron as the base code. The trade off is that sticking with the LTS release means that, other than applications that have been backported or specifically packaged for Debris Linux, the distro will not include the most recent cutting-edge software. It may also sometimes lack support for the very latest hardware on the market. Debris Linux gets around a lot of the hardware support issues by providing a recent, customized kernel.
Matthias Gaiser (MoonMind) describes the Debris Linux philosophy: "The concept behind Debris could be described as 'as simple, straightforward and efficient as possible'. This means we don't put in everything - we only integrate what really needs to be there, and while you may not always be able to witness it, we discuss options and choices extensively. [...] We don't want to be a full-featured distribution - we're a streamlined one with a strong focus on basic desktop use. Neither do we want to pack in everything but the kitchen sink and reduce size by only using super-slim applications (there are other distributions which do exactly that - take Puppy Linux or Damn Small Linux). What we do want is to offer a pleasant, if a bit limited desktop experience with everything in place to do the most important things a person would want to do with a computer. Since not everyone has a machine that performs well when confronted with modern multimedia applications or content, we've chosen to integrate only the most necessary features."
Current beta release - Debris Linux 1.7.0
I installed Debris Linux 1.7.0 to both the Toshiba laptop and to my 4-month old Sylvania g Netbook Meso (1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 CPU, 1 GB RAM, 80 GB HDD). I found that DebIhasn't changed much at all since version 1.0.4. Installation went smoothly on both machines. The video issue I described above on the Toshiba laptop with the Trident Cyberblade XPi chipset hasn't been fixed yet but was easy enough to work around. On the Sylvania netbook, the system was correctly configured for the default 1024x600 pixels resolution. On both systems everything "just worked" with two notable exceptions. In both cases I needed to install additional packages from the Ubuntu repository, including PulseAudio, to get fully functional sound. On the netbook, there were no webcam drivers or applications installed. That would be too much to ask from a mini distro like Debris Linux. CUPS is installed by default, but is not configured.
Debris Linux with the default Aeryn (GNOME + Openbox) desktop
(full image size: 403kB, screen resolution 1024x600 pixels)
Once installed, the new Debris beta now offers three choices for your desktop:
I found that when I chose the nicely configured standalone Openbox desktop, performance on the old Toshiba laptop was very good indeed. I'd need to do some benchmarking to see if it's as fast as Wolvix or VectorLinux Light, but it is at least very close. All in all, it's nicely done, both in terms of a nice, simple, visually appealing desktop and in terms of optimizing for speed. All the applications have been updated to the latest and greatest and there is one new addition: Brasero, a graphical CD/DVD burner. Evolution has been replaced by the lighter Claws Mail.
- Aeryn: GNOME with Openbox replacing Metacity as the window manager
- Traditional GNOME with Metacity
- Standalone Openbox with fbpanel
Debris Linux with the stand alone OpenBox desktop
(full image size: 293kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
The Debris Linux repository remains very small, but does offer a development meta package, Kazehakase, a Webkit-based lightweight browser, and packages of additional kernel modules not included in the slimmed-down default kernel. The excellent and very well-stocked Ubuntu Hardy repositories are also all enabled by default.
I won't do a full review of Debris Linux until version 2.0 is released. I generally consider it unfair to judge a distro based on beta or development code. What I can say now is that while I've found a few relatively minor bugs (which I will document and report, of course), I believe Debris Linux 1.7.0 is surprisingly close to being ready for prime time. For a newcomer to Linux, the only issue that might be challenging is figuring out what to add to make hardware that isn't supported out of the box functional. Debris Linux is already worth a look if you want a small, simple Ubuntu-based distro that performs well. The developers are successfully sticking with their philosophy and meeting their goals for a compact distro while providing the basic functionality most people will look for.
|Running openSUSE "Factory" (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Running openSUSE "Factory"
Continuing our series of tips about how to run development branches of major distributions (we have so far covered Mandriva "Cooker" and Slackware "Current"), today we'll take a look at openSUSE and its "Factory" repository. Previously called "Edge", this development repository offers interested beta testers a unique opportunity to try a product as it evolves, including the latest versions of many popular applications, and to help improving the distribution by reporting bugs. It isn't for the faint of heart, however; in fact, the project's Factory page warns that "Factory is not guaranteed to be in a consistent and installable state during the full development cycle." That said, most of the time it runs just fine, but if a disaster strikes, it's always possible to re-install the system from any recent milestone release.
Updating a stable or a milestone release to "Factory" requires modifying the repository files, then running two zypper commands. Unlike the Fedora or Ubuntu development releases, both of which come pre-configured for updates from their respective development trees, openSUSE milestones don't automatically point to "Factory" for future updates. This needs to be done manually. Follow these step to turn your stable or milestone release of openSUSE to a bleeding-edge distribution with the very latest software:
- First, back up your current repository settings: # copy -rp /etc/zypp/repos.d/ /etc/zypp/repos.d-backup/
- Update repository files *: # sed -i '/^baseurl/s/distribution\/11.2/factory/' /etc/zypp/repos.d/*
- Update repository names: # sed -i '/^name/s/11.2/Factory/' /etc/zypp/repos.d/*
- Disable the update repository **: # sed -i 's/enabled=1/enabled=0/' /etc/zypp/repos.d/
- Update the package list: # zypper refresh
- Upgrade to openSUSE "Factory": # zypper dup
- Run # zypper refresh && zypper update once or twice a week to ensure that you are always in sync with the openSUSE development.
* Note: The command assumes that you are updating to "Factory" from a 11.2 Milestone release. If you are updating from a stable 11.1 release, you should replace 11.2 with 11.1 in the above code.
** Note: Unlike a stable or milestone release, "Factory" doesn't get updates in a special directory.
That's all. Once you are done and everything went as planned, you'll be running a system with Linux kernel 2.6.30-rc6, glibc 2.9, GCC 4.4, X.Org Server 1.6.1, KDE 4.3-beta1, GNOME 2.28-beta1, Firefox 3.5-beta4 and many other applications in their latest versions!
openSUSE "Factory" - follow the development of the popular distribution on a weekly basis
(full image size: 123kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
|Miscellaneous News (by Chris Smart)
OpenSolaris readies 2009.06, Fedora slips 11 again, FreeBSD 8.0 enters code freeze, NetBSD gets a new binary package manager, Debian gets improved support for Eee PC, openSUSE community develops a new Moblin distro, Ubuntu User magazine
The sale of Sun Microsystems has not yet hindered one of its most important community projects, OpenSolaris. Due for imminent release, version 2009.06 is a much anticipated improvement to the well-received 2008.11. Peter Dennis has released a paper showing what's new, which includes: an automated installer, improved package management graphical user interface, support for hardware drivers via a graphical tool, improved desktop interface, intrusion protection, support for the SPARC server architecture and more. Perhaps taking a leaf from the openSUSE book, OpenSolaris now supports installing packages via external sources using a "One Click Web Install" method which should help garner wider support for the distro. On the storage side, 2009.06 supports the ability to boot from iSCSI storage devices and has a better CIFS implementation. Sun has also improved the implementation of their Zettabyte File System (ZFS), one of the most popular components. Still, the release notes show no less than 22 known major bugs for the installer, with 33 in total for the release overall. What would it take for you to install OpenSolaris? If you're enticed, some online guides may help get you started.
The official release announcement of OpenSolaris 2009.06 is expected to be made later today (Monday), after the start of the CommunityOne West development conference in San Francisco, but some of the OpenSolaris mirrors already carry the final CD images. Download the i386 edition from here: osol-0906-x86.iso (677MB, MD5, torrent).
OpenSolaris 2009.06 - the third official release of OpenSolaris bring a host of new features
(full image size: 472kB, screen resolution 1280x800 pixels)
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The latest version of Fedora has been delayed yet again, slipping another week and is now due for release on the 9th June. Jesse Keating wrote to the Fedora announce list: "A late discovered and just potentially fixed Anaconda storage bug has necessitated another week slip of our schedule. The change is important but invasive enough to require re-validating our storage tests." As they say, "good things come to those who wait" and Linux distributions are no exception! Unlike other commercially-driven distros which often ship on time, major bugs or not, it is good to see Fedora stand up for quality over commercial deadlines. Keating continues: "As much as we regret slipping, we also wish to avoid easily triggerable bugs in our release, particularly in software that cannot be fixed with a 0-day update." The project is renowned for high quality packages and a supportive community, so this slip will likely be seen as a positive move. Nevertheless, it may still be bitter sweet. Bitter because users want to get their teeth into the latest technology the Linux world has to offer, but sweet because they know when its ready, it will truly be ready. Is the slip a sign of weakness, or great strength?
* * * * *
One of the big players in the open source world has just pre-announced a code freeze in preparation of its upcoming version. Yes, FreeBSD 8.0 is due in August 2009 and naturally we can expect many popular derivatives of the project to follow soon thereafter. Some of the big changes include the adoption of the LLVM compiler as an optional replacement for GCC, which migrated to the GPLv3 license post its 4.2 release. Ivan Voras writes: "As the GCC compiler suite, it was re-licensed under GPLv3 after the 4.2 release, and the GPLv3 is a big disappointment for some users of BSD systems (mostly commercial users who have no-gplv3-beyond-company-doors policy), having an alternative, non-GPLv3 compiler for the base system has become highly desirable. Currently, the overall consensus is that GCC 4.3 will not be imported into the base system (the same goes for other GPLv3 code)." Major improvements include support for the Xen virtualisation system as a guest (not host), better support for removable devices, higher memory limit of 6 GB for AMD64 systems, lightweight kernel threads, a new SMP optimised scheduler, support for booting from GPT partition tables and much, much more. The release will also include updated ZFS and DTrace support from Sun's OpenSolaris operating system. It's looking to be a big year for FreeBSD!
* * * * *
Still in the land of BSDs, Emile Heitor has posted about a new binary package management tool for NetBSD, called pkgin. Heitor says the lack of a decent binary management tool may be a hindrance to the operating system's adoption: "From the day I began using NetBSD I felt that there was a need for a binary package manager. For many years, Linux has had tools like APT, YUM and Pacman that are able to handle package installation properly using remote repositories. With such tools, package installation, removal and upgrade are really simple, there is no need for CVS checkout, make or worse in order to have a usable environment within a few minutes." The project is fairly young, but holds a lot of promise: "That's why I started the pkgin project 3 months ago. Pkgin (pronounced "pay-kay-djin") is aimed at being an APT/YUM like tool for managing pkgsrc binary packages. It relies on pkg_summary(5) for installation, removal and upgrade of packages and associated dependencies, using a remote repository." Is this something that other NetBSD users will approve of, or is it a slight against the ports way?
* * * * *
Netbooks are definitely here to stay and the Debian Eee PC team has announced completed support for Lenny. The custom installer focuses on complete support for all Eee PC netbook modules out of the box" "We are pleased that Lenny released with good support for the Eee PC and are now turning our efforts to make Squeeze even better, while continuing to provide support for our Lenny user base. The standard Lenny installer can install Debian on all models of Eee and our custom installer provides the ability to install over wireless networks for almost every model from a very small image." If you're after a custom, supported distro for your netbook, take a closer look at this powerful Debian option. It also supports installation over wireless networks: "The latter continues to be our recommended install method, since in addition to being wireless-ready, the custom installer also handles a few other small Eee-specific configuration chores to make as much as possible 'just work' right after the install." The Debian community is very large, so it is great to see such a positive project gaining support. Will there be a Moblin addition down the road?
* * * * *
Speaking of Moblin, with the release of beta 2, numerous distributions are rolling their own Moblin editions. First, openSUSE released its own and now a new unofficial project, called "Goblin", has been created. Project creator Andrew Wafaa says Goblin is a cross between the openSUSE Gecko mascot and Moblin. He writes: "This is not an officially sanctioned project in any shape, form or matter (not yet at least). I am not trying to fork Moblin at all, I am purely allowing people to get the Moblin experience running on an openSUSE base. I am in the process of getting some installable images (both USB and optical) but there are one or two issues that need to be overcome first. Hopefully I can get it out the door soon." Whether Goblin will attract much support remains to be seen, especially after Novell announced their own official supported version. Either way, it's good to see variety in the Linux ecosystem.
* * * * *
Ubuntu, the ever popular Linux distribution continues to win over fans around the world. In a time where more and more information is moving out of the paper world and into the online realm, one publisher is bucking the trend by releasing a physical magazine. Ubuntu User is dedicated to all things Ubuntu: "Ubuntu User is the first print magazine for users of the popular Ubuntu computer operating system. The power, style, and simplicity of Ubuntu are winning followers around the world. Ubuntu User offers reviews, community news, HOWTO articles, and troubleshooting tips for readers who are excited about Ubuntu and want to learn more about the Ubuntu environment." The magazine does offer some excellent sample articles from each issue on their website. With so much high quality information available online, would you pay for a monthly paper magazine about your favourite distribution?
* * * * *
In April this year DistroWatch published a Weekly newsletter where we discussed the idea of a centralised bug tracker for all open-source projects. The concept was reasonably well received by the DistroWatch regulars with numerous suggestions offered on how it might work. Now, the idea has a chance to spring into life. Jesse Smith wrote in to say: "Recently the folks over at Bugzilla have been nice enough to set up a Bugzilla database for me to test the theory of a unified tracking system." The idea is still in its infancy, but Smith is looking for administrators who are interested in having their project listed for testing purposes. Smith writes: "I'm hoping to hear from project maintainers who would like to have their project listed in the One Stop bug tracker. An empty database obviously isn't much good; I need people willing to check it for bugs against their projects." If you are involved in a project or know someone who is and the idea appeals to you, consider nominating it for inclusion in the database.
|Released Last Week
Nexenta Core Platform 2.0
Anil Gulecha has announced the release of Nexenta Core Platform 2.0, a base operating system combining the OpenSolaris kernel with Debian utilities and Ubuntu packages: "The Nexenta team would like to announce the immediate availability of the Nexenta Core Platform 2 release. Release highlights: OpenSolaris build 104+ with critical patches; over 13,000 packages in the repository; smooth upgrade path from NCP1; community-driven efforts bringing X.Org, Xfce and GNOME Core into the repository; based on Ubuntu 8.04 repository; this includes latest dpkg/APT, GCC, Binutils, Coreutils, Perl, Python, Ruby, Qt and GTK+ libraries; SMF support added for server applications like Apache, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Exim; 100% native Debian environment, easy to upgrade, easy to use. Includes Vim and screen by default; addition of latest devzone version to the CD; includes apt-clone which brings ZFS power to apt-get." Here is the full release announcement.
Linux Mint 7
Clement Lefebvre has announced the release of Linux Mint 7: "The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 7 'Gloria'. The 7th release of Linux Mint comes with numerous bug fixes and a lot of improvements. In particular the menu system, the application manager and the upload manager now provide new features such as 'Suggestions', 'Featured applications', 'SCP and SFTP support'. The underlying base of the operating system was also strengthened with a new adjustment mechanism which makes Linux Mint more robust and less vulnerable to Ubuntu package upgrades, and the introduction of virtual and meta packages which simplify upgrade paths and the installation of multiple desktop environments." Here is the full release announcement and features overview for a detailed list of new features and screenshot.
CentOS 5.3 "Live CD"
Karanbir Singh has announced the release of a live CD edition of CentOS 5.3, a distribution built from source packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux: "The CentOS development team is pleased to announce the availability of CentOS 5.3 i386 live CD. This CD is based on our CentOS 5.3 i386 distribution. It can be used as a Workstation, with the following software: OpenOffice.org 2.3.0, Firefox 3.0.6, Thunderbird 188.8.131.52, Pidgin 2.5.5, XChat 2.6.6, GIMP 2.2.13. It can also be used as a rescue CD with the following tools: Memtest86+ 1.65, full set of LVM and RAID command line tools, Nmap and NMapFE, Traceroute, Samba 3.0.33 with CIFS kernel support to connect to Windows file shares, system log viewer, GUI hardware device manager. The following packages were removed to reach the 700 MB target: Emacs, K3b, Scribus." See the release announcement and release notes for more information.
PC/OS 10 "Open64 Workstation"
Roberto J. Dohnert has announced the release of PC/OS 10 "Open64 Workstation" edition, a desktop distribution based on Ubuntu 9.04 and designed for 64-bit workstations: "Today we are pleased to announce the availability of PC/OS Open64 Workstation 10. This release targets specifically 64-bit hardware systems. It is based on the Ubuntu 9.04 base system and has been updated with all the security and bug patches as of May 25, 2009. Some of the new features include: Xfce 4.6, OpenOffice.org 3.1, Qt 4, MonoDevelop, VLC, Exaile, Sun Java, 64-bit Flash plugin; multimedia and development tools and libraries; all multimedia codecs. Known issues: no usplash; on the live DVD the panel launchers do not work, this is due to Xfce including a working directory structure to panel launchers." Read the rest of the release announcement for further details.
Calculate Linux 9.6
Alexander Tratsevskiy has announced the release of Linux Desktop 9.6 "KDE" edition, a Gentoo-based distribution for the desktop: "Calculate Linux Desktop 9.6 KDE released. This is an anniversary version of Calculate Linux Desktop, the first version of which was released exactly 2 years ago. The main changes: to boot from the DVD using isolinux; added a choice of keyboard layout when booting from the DVD; graphical network configuration tool wicd has been added; the setting of video card during download from DVD has been made through the X.Org video drivers; the installation image will not be distributed, the system can be updated without recording to DVD; improved the support for booting from USB DVD. Main components: Linux kernel 184.108.40.206, X.Org 7.4, KDE 4.2.3, OpenOffice.org 3.0.1." Here is the brief release announcement.
Hacao Linux 4.21
Truong Nguyen Quang has announced the release of Hacao Linux 4.21, a beginner-friendly, Vietnamese desktop Linux distribution based on Puppy Linux and supporting Intel Classmate PC and other low-cost portable computers. This version is based on the recently released Puppy Linux 4.2.1, but has been modified to include full support for Vietnamese and other enhancements designed for the local market. The release comes in two editions - the 120 MB "Standard" edition includes Unicode support, Unikey, Font and Stardict, while the 319 MB "Pro" edition also contains OpenOffice.org 3.0.1, a Vietnamese spell-checking utility, Skype with video support, the GIMP image manipulation program, WINE for running Windows software, and other popular software applications. Read the detailed release announcement (in Vietnamese) for further information and a handful of screenshots.
Hacao Linux - an easy-to-use desktop distribution designed for Vietnam
(full image size: 1,093kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
May 2009 DistroWatch.com donation: SliTaz GNU/Linux receives US$200.00|
We are happy to announce that the recipient of the May 2009 DistroWatch.com donation is SliTaz GNU/Linux, a minimalist, independently-built distribution that fits on a 30 MB live CD. It receives €140 in cash.
Although a relatively recent addition to the ever growing list of Linux distributions, SliTaz GNU/Linux has risen to prominence with it extremely small, yet functional and extensible desktop, as well as its custom package management system. As a mini distribution and live CD designed to run speedily on hardware with 256 MB of RAM, SliTaz uses BusyBox, a recent Linux kernel and GNU software. It boots with Syslinux and provides more than 200 Linux commands, the lighttpd web server, SQLite database, rescue tools, IRC client, SSH client and server powered by Dropbear, X window system, JWM (Joe's Window Manager), gFTP, Geany IDE, Mozilla Firefox, AlsaPlayer, GParted, a sound file editor and more. The SliTaz ISO image fits on a less than 30 MB media and takes just 80 MB of hard disk space.
SliTaz GNU/Linux 2.0 - a small, yet highly functional desktop Linux distribution in 30 MB
(full image size: 90kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
As always, this monthly donations program is a joint initiative between DistroWatch and two online shops selling low-cost CDs and DVDs with Linux, BSD and other open source software - LinuxCD.org and OSDisc.com. These vendors contributed US$50.00 each towards this month's donation to SliTaz GNU/Linux.
Here is the list of projects that received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the program (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$20,933 to various open source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NdisWrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200)
* * * * *
New distributions added to database
- Debris Linux. Debris Linux is a minimalist, desktop-oriented distribution and live CD based on Ubuntu. It includes the GNOME desktop and a small set of popular desktop applications, such as GNOME Office, Firefox web browser, Pidgin instant messenger, and Firestarter firewall manager. Debris Linux ships with a custom kernel, a custom system installer called DebI, and a script that makes it easy to save and restore any customisations made while in live mode.
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Foxy Linux. Foxy Linux is a new beginner-friendly, Brazilian desktop distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 8 June 2009.
Caitlyn Martin, Chris Smart and Ladislav Bodnar
1 • Fedora 11 (by Dave Jones on 2009-06-01 08:26:16 GMT from United States) |
It's was a very bold and brave move for Fedora to delay its original release date to fix a major bug, and not buckle to pressure to release it on the original date promised. This is important because many other distros base themselves off of Fedora and it shows how committed Fedora is to putting out the best software possible. Bravo Fedora Team!
2 • delay (by Xtyn on 2009-06-01 08:35:18 GMT from Romania)
"Is the slip a sign of weakness, or great strength?"
If there are problems, it's good to delay the release.
It's even better if they manage to solve all the problems and remain on schedule.
Of course, Fedora and other distros will still have some bugs when they release.
3 • Enjoying the SUSE Factory builds... (by Muhammad Fahd Waseem on 2009-06-01 08:42:23 GMT from Germany)
Never been much of a Slackware or Mandriva fan, but when Distrowatch teaches you to install the cutting edge openSUSE Factory builds, it's time to get excited :)
4 • delays (by Chauce on 2009-06-01 08:54:24 GMT from United States)
In the overall scheme, when it is some time from now, waiting weeks or months for a new release of Fedora will not seem vastly important.
It has been this way with PCLOS and things get expressed negatively about it, but when it arrives all is forgotten and the business at hand becomes the focus.
5 • Which distro? (by Pumpino on 2009-06-01 09:00:18 GMT from Australia)
Ladislav, which distro are you running on your main partition now? Factory? You using KDE4?
6 • 5 Which distro? (by ladislav on 2009-06-01 09:05:42 GMT from Taiwan)
Sorry to disappoint you, but no, I wouldn't use a development branch of any distro on a production system. I am perfectly happy with my Lenny and KDE 3. On the other hand, on my test machine there are quite a few distros running KDE 4, including openSUSE, Mandriva and Pardus.
7 • Ubuntu user magazine (by PP on 2009-06-01 09:09:53 GMT from United Kingdom)
Subscription fee (4 issues/yr): UK GBP 24.90
That's £6.15 per magazine, which is a bit high for a subscription price. Hopefully they're thick issues at least. For comparison, Linux Magazine with DVD would be
12 issues: GBP 49.90 = £4.15 per issue...
OTOH, if you're into Ubuntu, it's probably nice to have a mag focused on your distro.
8 • No subject (by stargazer on 2009-06-01 09:13:54 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the write-up on SuSE, which I use prominently.
Also good to hear the Fedora team isn't afraid to cave into media-hype (unutnu, anyone?) and to have the guts to delay their release a week or two to make sure everything is right.
9 • No subject (by sertse on 2009-06-01 09:26:39 GMT from Australia)
The continuing delay of PCLOS lead to a release that was mired with developer conflicts, which imo, places continuing questions on the future of PCLOS as whole. I don't think that's the best example...
Fedora made the right choice here though.
Nice review of Debris. Hope people aren't so disparing Buntu' remixes. Something good does come out sometimes ;)
10 • fedora delay (by macias on 2009-06-01 09:27:02 GMT from Poland)
I would like to see other distros to ship when they are ready, not when they are scheduled to ship. The best counterexample is opensuse 11.1 -- what benefit is having such release that introduced quite amount of serious _new_ bugs.
I opt for quality, not quick releasing new versions.
11 • Fedora 11 delay (by tester on 2009-06-01 09:29:06 GMT from France)
It is better to wait and have a distro that works.
When I installed ubuntu 9.04, the next day I had 118 MB of updates and fixes...poor me with my low speed connection
12 • Ubuntu User website (by Tim on 2009-06-01 09:42:40 GMT from New Zealand)
Sure you know this, but Full Circle is another Ubuntu mag site, with a free pdf of it's magazine...
Great reading again this week!
13 • No subject (by forest on 2009-06-01 10:09:45 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref the Fedora delayed release...
Perhaps the Fedora release was delayed to prevent the "egg-on-face" scenario, which is no bad thing and of course does wonders for one's credibility...I wonder if ext4 has any bearing on the matter?
Personally I shall be interested to see what the default file system is...I am trying to test a personal theory or hypothesis to be pedantic, that Linux is rather picky about where/how it lives.
14 • Ubuntu User (by Andrew Yeomans on 2009-06-01 11:05:26 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ubuntu User issues are being synchronised with the Ubuntu 6-month release cycle. So they should be a convenient way of getting the latest release, and hopefully will be on sale in leading newsagents.
15 • @ sertse #9 (by mark on 2009-06-01 11:09:31 GMT from United States)
PCLinuxOS is alive and VERY well! Tex is back and has continued his outstanding work. What happened there is all just water under the bridge and the community is stronger than ever before in my opinion!
LONG LIVE PCLINUXOS!
16 • #11 (by Xtyn on 2009-06-01 11:25:35 GMT from Romania)
"When I installed ubuntu 9.04, the next day I had 118 MB of updates and fixes...poor me with my low speed connection"
That can't be right. I just loaded the live cd and it asks for only 46.3 MB of updates, that's after one month and a week.
I distinctly remember that the next day after release there was very little to update, under 5 MB.
17 • No subject (by Slacker on 2009-06-01 11:46:35 GMT from United States)
Top story about ubuntu or ubuntu-based distro again. No surprise. I'm sure this story was planned for this day with no delays unlike the poor Mandriva "review" on the 25th.
18 • Fedora 11 delay (by rich on 2009-06-01 11:47:18 GMT from United States)
I've been anxiously awaiting the release of Fedora 11. The delay to fix 'bugs' is acceptable and reflects the overall quality control of their distro. I'm currently a happy user of Fedora 10 and it is excellent overall. The additional wait is well worth the time spent if the final product reflects the overall quality as I continue to see with version 10 of their distro..
19 • Fedora 11 slip (by Slacker on 2009-06-01 12:09:39 GMT from United States)
Why would the release date slipping be a sign of weakness? Fedora is one of the best distros out there. I want a truthful answer from Distrowatch, though I fully expect this comment to be deleted like all the other non-favorable ubuntu comments. If it was ubuntu instead of Fedora slipping in its release date, would you have put that "sign of weakness" part in?
20 • Thanks for the ink! (by Jesse Smith on 2009-06-01 12:28:19 GMT from Canada)
To DWW -- Thanks very much for posting the follow-up to my bug tracking idea! Anyone wishing to reach me about the bug tracker or FOSS projects can do so via e-mail at jessefrgsmith AT yahoo DOT ca.
As a Fedora user, it's nice to see them slip the release back a week or two, rather than push buggy software out the door. Actually, I think nearly every Fedora release has slipped a week or more. It's become almost a tradition.
21 • re 17 (by corneliu on 2009-06-01 12:40:34 GMT from Canada)
Top story about ubuntu or ubuntu-based distro again. No surprise. I'm sure this story was planned for this day with no delays unlike the poor Mandriva "review" on the 25th.
I had the same feeling when I read this edition. If I may suggest a donation, how about donating to Ubuntu? Canonical seems to spend a lot on marketing. Not much left for development.
22 • No subject (by Sertse on 2009-06-01 12:47:12 GMT from Australia)
Hope you can bear on the conscience that you're attacking DW because the review that the audacity to be hit by RL issues (Heavy storm that cut the Internet connection). It was explained in DW 303 post 1. Unless you're outright calling DW lying?
And honestly, I don't see the problem with this article. It's actually an Ubuntu derivative that's actually...meaningful. Ubuntu, GNOME fitting in 180mb, as in itself an amazing achievement.
23 • RE: 17, 21 (by ladislav on 2009-06-01 12:53:40 GMT from Taiwan)
Aah, here comes a bunch of Ubuntu haters again! Even if we write an article that is only very remotely connected to Ubuntu, all the conspiracy theories come out. No surprises here either.
So just to repeat the same old story that I've said many times before: Canonical does not sponsor and has never ever sponsored DistroWatch in any way whatsoever.
Now if you guys want to continue with your anti-Ubuntu talk, please go to i-hate-ubuntu.com and relieve your frustration there, thank you.
24 • ubuntu magazine (by m1k on 2009-06-01 13:00:57 GMT from Italy)
Deleted my previous post,let's put in these terms...
NO,I am not gonna buy this magazine...it is too expensive.
Politically correct that time?
25 • Ref#23 Thank you (by Verndog on 2009-06-01 13:25:13 GMT from United States)
I'm a happy Ubuntu user. I do like to read reports of other distros with a positive view. Making unfounded negative remarks benefits no one.
Thanks for DWW. Always a welcome read on Monday mornings.
26 • @23 (by Slacker on 2009-06-01 13:27:29 GMT from United States)
Again, anything negative about ubuntu, and that person is immediately called an ubuntu hater. The Mandriva review was poor, the Slackware story was poor, more quality-control is put into ubuntu stories on DW than other distros.
I never said DW was sponsored by ubuntu. It would be nice if people would actually read & comprehend before responding.
You never did answer my question: If ubuntu was delayed would you have put the "sign of weakness" part in. Can you answer that? Will you answer that?
27 • does all this "distro bickering, bashing & following" really matter? (by Brad on 2009-06-01 13:29:54 GMT from United States)
I help people in windows chatrooms.. cause 1. i'm really good with windows, and i'm an EXCELLENT googl'r too. I never say (when someone says they have this problem or or that crash blah blah blah in windows) "use linux" ..
Linux itself will NEVER be desktop of the year, and the year of the linux desktop will NEVER COME ..why do you ask? glad you asked..
for 1. windows has to satisfy EVERYONE and EVERYTHING(all the different computer configurations out there) , thats why so much can and has gone wrong with it , why its so easily targeted and so easily hacked, smacked, cracked and hi-jacked
2. Linux is a "CHOICE" the average person that "chooses" to use linux of any distro/variety, knows they are in for a NON-windows experience.. whether they chose a distro that JUST WORKS or one that they have to WORK just to make it WORK, is THEIR CHOICE.
my first distro was pclinuxos, an incredible distro, never crashed, very stable..,then ubuntu, ubuntu ultimate, mint, zenwalk(didnt like it), installed slackware, but wasnt "ready" for the work involved at that time, tried pcbsd, didnt like the "feel" of it, then back to ubuntu 64bit since pclinuxos2009 is not 64bit, and I like using all my ram, but seriously..(i mean isnt linux actually JUST A KERNEL?) the package manager, philosophy of the devs, and the lil perks and tweaks that come with it all are all just "window dressing" (pardon the word "window")?
with over 500 choices for linux , itll NEVER EVER be the "YEAR" of the linux desktop, cause "choice" being linux's BIGGEST strength, is also it's even BIGGER weakness..
when people even bash people cause of their distro choice, this is an internal type strife thatll turn more people off of linux(this along with RTFM,go back to windoze, and try a kiddy distro, or my personal fav, "what don't you use a REAL distro like "distro X" blah blah blah), then all the malware,viruses,hi-jacks, bsods, registry and ID10t errors that windows can throw at you!
in closing i say "Use what you can AFFORD, "CREATIVELY ACQUIRE" or figure out" and leave everyone else's choices ALONE unless you are actually HELPING THEM use linux and respect the choice(S) they've made.
that was my .02 now i'm broke
28 • RE: 26 (by ladislav on 2009-06-01 13:32:46 GMT from Taiwan)
The Mandriva review was poor, the Slackware story was poor
You are welcome to submit your high-quality reviews and stories for publishing on DistroWatch. You know my email address right? I'll be watching my inbox.
29 • oh yeah, tried "arch" linux too (by Brad on 2009-06-01 13:35:35 GMT from United States)
used the "beginners manual" , "installation manual" and somebodys "perfect installation manual" 71-89 pages for EACH ONE to try to install ARCH.. one i couldnt get past Xorg, the other wouldnt boot (mouse and keyboard wouldnt work) and the other kernel panicked.. and being on my ONLY computer, I had no idea what I did (i read, read, read, re-read and read again) I printed out the entire manual (all 3 that i mentioned) and still couldnt get it installed.. and i'm FAR from an idiot and yes I RTFM(was told this on arch's forums, heck I was even told "go back to ubuntu".. with attitudes like that, no wonder linux is "free" if it cost, no one would actually buy it if they had a choice..
It's a shame with all the great attributes of linux, for the average person checking email, burning a cd, watching a dvd, doing word processing, and even some "higher end stuff" its' the OBVIOUS choice.. until someone asks for help, then its in many cases the worst choice any person can make....
30 • SliTaz (by David Smith on 2009-06-01 13:50:20 GMT from Canada)
Congratulations to SliTaz for winning the "May 2009 DistroWatch.com donation".
SliTaz is easily one of the most original distros out there. It's quirky enough to be really fun, and conventional enough to easily understand and adapt to its quirks, after spending a few minutes on the documentation, or popping into the forum for some friendly, and usually quite speedy help.
The custom d-e, artwork and underlying philosophy really set it apart.
I have been running it in VirtualBox, as a hdd installation on an old K6-2 (along with a couple of other linux distro's, Win98se, and 2K -- SliTaz is the fastest), and I've often used it as a partitioner, partition-imaging and rescue CD, for well over a year now.
It boots faster (much) than dedicaterd rescue/partitioner live CDs, is relatively full-featured, runs in RAM (if the optical drive is needed during recuse operations)
During this experience I've learned to shy away from dist-upgrading hdd installs, which is risky, and not really necessary, as individual package upgrades work fine. When you want to step up to the latest release, a clean install is best, and is amazingly fast too. Anyway, that's my experience. Note I run the "cooking" version, so I can't speak to dist-upgrading their stable releases.
31 • No subject (by @28 on 2009-06-01 13:50:38 GMT from United States)
Did you even read the whole comment? You only chose to respond to one part of it.
I'll take your lack of response to my question as confirmation that if ubuntu was delayed, there would have been no "sign of weakness" in the story.
32 • @23 y d'autres choses (by Manolo on 2009-06-01 13:55:15 GMT from United States)
The bottom line is that Shuttleworth is not in this for the good feeling. He envisions making a profit from Linux whether it is from home users or businesses. Since the former is seemingly unlikely by his own admission, then it will be the latter. But the point is that making a profit is the end goal. I don't want to debate whether that is right or wrong, it just hits ME the wrong way. I thought the purpose of Linux was to have fun and bring a free operating system to the masses.
What really gets to me is that Slackware is a much better operating system. Where Slackware falls down is in not putting out a simple, user-friendly distro to compete with Ubuntu. Now obviously this is not their goal to do this and they seem proud of that fact.. I have heard and read the endless arguements attempting to defend the indefensible position that Slackware is user-friendly. No matter how eloquently you may state that case, the fact is that to the newbie, it is not. user-friendly. Why won't they officially endorse one of the excellent Slackware derivatives already out there? There are many choices, Zenwalk, Vector, Wolvix, etc.
I would like to see DW take a 3 month (or 2, or, 1, anything) hiatus from doing articles on Ubuntu or it's derivatives. We all know about Ubuntu and probably actually like it a little bit, but there are other lesser know distros out there that are very interesting as well. I give you Kongoni as an example(kudos for doing an article on it a couple of weeks ago). Absolutely fantastic that Slitaz got this month's donation. It is a great distro that keeps getting better. Well this was kind of a rambling post but that's how I roll.
33 • RE: 23 & 26 (by Zac on 2009-06-01 13:58:02 GMT from Australia)
23: Well said.
26: I agree.
I am also a happy Ubuntu user.
Ubuntu User print mag: I prefer reading things in print, I may give it a try.
Full Circle Magazine is excellent and available online in PDF.
Please people don't go whining about other distros.
Instead of wasting this energy, can you please harness this and direct your energy to improving Linux. There are many things to improve. Thanks.
34 • delays (by m1k on 2009-06-01 14:00:05 GMT from Italy)
Ubuntu never dalays...
is always released "as it is"...
Sign of ...business!
35 • RE: 32 (by Zac on 2009-06-01 14:00:43 GMT from Australia)
RE:23 And how do you know? Wasn't so much a rambling post as a whinging one.
36 • Delayed, does not matter. (by Zac on 2009-06-01 14:04:02 GMT from Australia)
Fedora delayed. It don't matter. Just wait a week or two. No big deal.
37 • Pacakge list update - put in Iceweasel (by NK on 2009-06-01 14:25:45 GMT from United States)
I missed last weekend's call for comments of the package list update, I very much would like to see "Iceweasel" the web browser added to the list, separated away from firefox. The reason behind this is that Iceweasel *is not* really a functioning browser (unlike Firefox) and *is not* the same as Firefox. It has a separate release schedule and has many *showstopper* bugs that simply do not get fixed.
It is not really a usable browser, and I would like to know which distobutions use it as it's default browser.
38 • development branches (by relativ at 2009-06-01 14:27:32 GMT from United States)
I really am enjoying the articles on running development branches. On my main system I run Sidux (Debian unstable) in a rather strange configuration... instead of ever updating the system, I just drop the most recent snapshot iso onto the HD, boot to grub and run from the iso on the hard drive with persistance.
Persistence saves all changes into a seperate file. I have a fat32 partition to share files between windows (sorry, I need it to make a living) and Linux. So when a new snapshot is out (4 times a year) I download the iso, switch it out and boom! I have a brand new version with all my settings (/home folder) intact. I can backup the whole setup by burning my changes file to DVD (it's 2 GB), so I will never lose everything to a HD failure. I think it's the most convenient way to stay bleeding edge.
That said, I'd like to learn more about the Sidux update methods. I have read about the update scripts and admit I'm a little afraid when I read things on Sidux's website like "you might not want to update now, were adding package X and it might take your system down." This is why I just run the iso.
So how about a nice article on running Debian sid (unstable) devel branch by way of Sidux with a tutorial on how to perform system updates via smxi without hosing everything.
Thanks Ladislav (and others) for keeping this great website alive and kicking.
39 • Fedora - worth the wait (by Muhammad Fahd Waseem on 2009-06-01 14:31:16 GMT from Germany)
Fedora is late. So what? If we get a perfect distro, it'll be worth it.
40 • Re: 29. - Brad try Archiso-live (by tmc on 2009-06-01 15:12:18 GMT from Hungary)
If you would like an easy way to test or install Arch (with Xfce) try this liveCD: http://godane.wordpress.com/2009/05/28/archiso-live-20090528-release/ then tell us your experience... As for myself, I was amazed, even if I use the classical Arch (with Gnome).
41 • Goblin versus Goblinx (by Anonymous on 2009-06-01 15:17:04 GMT from United States)
I guess Suse forgot to check existing distro names when they named Goblin. D'oh!
42 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-06-01 15:35:00 GMT from United States)
Maybe Suse should have named it Soblin :)
43 • #37 & 35 (by Manolo on 2009-06-01 15:41:57 GMT from United States)
@35 How do I know what? Slackware is better than Debain or Ubuntu? There is a difference you know. However, IME it is better than both. What does "whinging" mean? Is that like I'm being mean or something?
@37 I used Iceweasel on Zenwalk and it worked just fine.
44 • A brief response (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-06-01 15:48:09 GMT from United States)
First off, I agree with those who say that it's a good thing that Fedora Project delayed the release of Fedora 11 by another week. They are, IMHO, doing the right thing by making sure the distro works properly before letting out to the user community. Kudos to them for making a sensible decision. I honestly believe that if Canonical (Ubuntu) and Mandriva had done the same with their last two releases we might not have seen the problems that have been reported with both distros. I've been a Mandriva or Mandrake fan for a very long time and it really pained me to have to write a negative review of their latest release.
I can't speak for DistroWatch but I can speak for myself. I wrote both the Debris Linux review this week and the Mandriva review last week. I did NOT write the "sign of weakness" comment, Chris did. You are mixing up two different authors who work independently. I will say that if Mandriva had delayed to squash bugs before releasing 2009.1 I would have praised them for it just as I am praising Fedora this week. I, personally, don't have different standards for different distros.
My choice to write about Debris Linux wasn't because it was an Ubuntu derivative. I wanted to cover a distro that had not been covered by DistroWatch before. Debris wasn't even in the database before this week. I also feel that, unlike many if not most Ubuntu derivatives, it brings something new, different, and impressive to the table. Show me another pocket distro, any distro, that gives you a fully functional GNOME desktop in a <200MB iso. Their optimization work on what starts out as Ubuntu code is also impressive.
One thing I intend to do with my opportunity to write for DistroWatch is to cover lesser known, smaller distributions that people may not have tried. I also want to find those distros that truly bring something new and different to the table. Debris Linux does both.
45 • Goblin (by m1k on 2009-06-01 16:04:19 GMT from Italy)
Maybe Suse should do something new....
everybody just modify....
very few innovate
46 • #44 (by Manolo on 2009-06-01 16:04:56 GMT from United States)
Now I get it. Nice DW this week, good solid reviews. Thanks Ladislav, Caitlyn, and Chris.
47 • No subject (by Davey on 2009-06-01 16:16:02 GMT from United States)
Tried Ubuntu, didn't like it -- partly because it didn't do well with my hardware at the time, partly didn't take to the interface (I much prefer KDE). Tried some derivatives since, which were OK but didn't become my distro of choice.
The reality is, though, that Ubuntu has done more to bring Linux to new users than any other distro. It is a major force in the Linux world, so what it does, and how its products perform is important and interesting. I want to know what's going on in FOSSland, so Ubuntu, along with all the other major and innovative distros, is something I want to read about.
I'm really sick of the whiners on both sides of this idiot religious war, the fanboys and the haters. Nobody cares about your mental illnesses. Take it up with a therapist or take some better pills. If you conquer your sick obsessions, just go away and let the rest of us enjoy the great and irreplaceable work that DistroWatch gifts us with.
It might help a little if DW went to a registration/password comments system to at least slow down the driveby yappers.
48 • @47 (by Slacker on 2009-06-01 16:26:32 GMT from United States)
Comment deleted (off-topic).
49 • @47, @48 (by Patrick on 2009-06-01 16:47:30 GMT from United States)
@47: 100% agreed
@Slacker (@48): You just can't let it go can you? It is not your opinion that makes you mentally ill, it is your insistence to repeatedly throw your opinion in everyones face that makes you mentally ill. We have heard you. We know your opinion. We don't care. Let it go.
(Sad to have to threat anyone here like a 3-year-old.)
Just a couple of weeks ago people were moaning about how Distrowatch should be called Ubuntuwatch. Last week, Caitlyn's article was attacked for being Ubuntu-hating. Now this week there is moaning again about it being "about Ubuntu".
And that while the article is actually about an independently developed, interesting, original, full-Gnome-in-200MB distribution. And all that matters to some idiots is that it happens to use Ubuntu as its base. WHO CARES?!?
50 • @13 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-06-01 16:50:23 GMT from Canada)
No, the bug we slipped for had nothing to do with ext4.
51 • @44 (by Slacker on 2009-06-01 16:53:42 GMT from United States)
I understand you wanting to do lesser known distros. I have no problem with that, even if it is *gag* ubuntu-based. It's just that many people, not just me, are tired of "ubuntu this" & "ubuntu that". The problem is, when we voice our opinions, we get labeled "ubuntu haters", we usually have our comments deleted, IPs get banned as well as usernames. Ladislav doesn't seem to understand why everyone doesn't agree with him.
52 • #50--It's still anaconda issues, right? (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-06-01 16:54:45 GMT from United States)
If I read the piece on Fedora 11 correctly the hold up is because of issues with the anaconda installer. Do I have that right? I do trust that the Fedora devs will fix any other bugs they can fix in the meanwhile as well.
53 • #44 Caitlyn (by Xtyn on 2009-06-01 16:56:52 GMT from Romania)
Mandriva was delayed 2 weeks, nobody noticed because it was before the RC. Look here, at the "Upcoming Releases and Announcements".
You should review Fedora but I think it will suffer from the same problem as Mandriva and Ubuntu (intel driver).
54 • ups (by Xtyn on 2009-06-01 17:00:02 GMT from Romania)
Here was there. :))
55 • @49 (by Slacker on 2009-06-01 17:00:20 GMT from United States)
I was simply asking for clarification, nothing more. I will not let it go. What gives you the right to talk to me like that?
56 • nice (by winsbe on 2009-06-01 17:07:17 GMT from United States)
great DWW, as per usual. I agree with everyone else that Fedora made the right choice by delaying the release. Just means that next week, we have a very solid distro release to look forward to!
Personally, I'm psyched about the new opensolaris release (no one else seemed to comment on it). I think it's a neat distro, but 2008.11 did some funky stuff on my hardware. i'm looking forward to better package management along with the rest of the improvements in the latest installment!
Keep up the great work DW!
57 • #53: Fedora review (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-06-01 17:15:13 GMT from United States)
Xtyn: Yes, I want to review Fedora. With a major distro I like to run it for at least a couple of weeks after release so that I can really go through it and understand the strengths and weaknesses.
There are now workarounds for the Intel driver issue. They aren't perfect but at least they exist. Ditto the SiS driver, at least in Mandriva. Hopefully the Fedora Project devs are aware of that and will include them in the final release. It should be possible to have both Intel and SiS chipsets working properly out of the box.
The proprietary ATI and nVidia drivers are an entirely different matter. I think, long term, the answer for supporting older ATI and nVidia cards will have to come from the FOSS community and, in the case of nVidia, become part of nouveau or nv.
58 • @55 (by Patrick on 2009-06-01 17:20:01 GMT from United States)
Of course you will not let it go, I didn't expect you to.
You have a short memory. Read 17 again. In what way exactly were you "asking for clarification"?
The review was about Debris Linux. Not about Ubuntu. So why do you insist on arguing that it was about "Ubuntu again"? This distribution is very much UNLIKE Ubuntu. Don't you have any respect for the developers of Debris Linux? It took them a lot of hard work to start from Ubuntu packages and turn it into the lean, mean distro they did. You also have no respect for DW, who work hard to provide us with interesting articles every week. No matter what they do, they can't win: either an Ubuntu hater or an Ubuntu lover will throw a fit.
As what gives me the right to talk to you like that - um, free speech maybe? Your behavior just reminds me so much of my 3-year-old. He will repeat the same thing over and over, you acknowledge him, he keeps repeating it, you tell him to let it go, he will throw a tantrum, you will put him to bed, two minutes later he will call you and say he'll be a good boy now. You follow the same pattern, except that I don't expect you to be mature enough to perform the last two steps.
59 • No subject (by forest on 2009-06-01 17:25:09 GMT from United Kingdom)
OK, Adam, thanks for your speedy response...I have a thing about file systems as in if one experienced a duff install was/could the choice of file system be a factor?
Anyway, good call not to release a distro that might have been "talked about" 'cos it was buggy...as opposed to universal acclaim and consensus..."it just worked "...
60 • @58 (by Slacker on 2009-06-01 17:37:55 GMT from United States)
Comment deleted (disrespectful).
61 • Debris (by Supernatendo on 2009-06-01 18:16:31 GMT from United States)
Debris Linux looks promising. I have been using Nimblex on a thumb drive for years and while I do like the module style of program integration it would be awesome to be able to have access to some of the ubuntu packages.
Caitlyn, while I understand the desire for Debris and other distros to automatically detect your Laptop's Native resolution from the LIVE-CD, you can easily prevent the problem from happening in the future.
On your Toshiba in the BIOS, there should be a setting labeled something like "LCD Display Stretch" with two options "enabled" or "disabled" When enabled, the video should now fill the entire screen. When disabled, the video output will be squashed into the central portion by your BIOS, giving you those large black borders.
Basically the "LCD Display Stretch" forces the display to output using the native resolution of your LCD no matter what resolution the OS is set to use. So, if native resolution is not detected properly by the distro, it will force those borders to appear.
It is frustrating that it only detects the proper resolution after being installed to the hard drive though.
62 • RE: haters and the like (by ew on 2009-06-01 18:26:39 GMT from United States)
I have an idea..
you can get your own distribution website and review any linux/unix distribution you want..
This website has done a few reviews on a very popular distro. 5 years ago it would have been fedora, fedora, fedora...
it really is just that simple.
63 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-06-01 18:26:42 GMT from United States)
With so much high quality information available online, would you pay for a monthly paper magazine about your favourite distribution?
64 • Re: Reviews (by smasher23 on 2009-06-01 18:32:55 GMT from Australia)
Comment deleted (disrespectful).
65 • This week's comments (by Untitled on 2009-06-01 18:33:05 GMT from United Kingdom)
People read too much into things. I don't think it matters who wrote the "sign of weakness" sentence, I just read it as a starting point for discussion, not a suggestion that Fedora is weak.
Personally I'm not much of a distro hopper and I like reading reviews about distros I haven't tried (and probably never will), so I like Caitlyn's idea (promise?) to focus her future reviews on the smaller lesser-known distros.
Anyway, I would like to thank everyone who is involved in making DWW every week. I personally enjoy and learn from it.
66 • Chill (by Shawn on 2009-06-01 18:38:08 GMT from United States)
Slacker, chill out bud. You seem like a fairly reasonable and intelligent person, so why not do what Ladislav suggested and write a review on what you feel will be a good article, send it in and let DW post it? Ubuntu's popularity is what it is and it's only going to get worse (for you) until something better than Ubuntu (for the new-to-Linux users) comes along. It's certainly not Distrowatch's fault that those creating "new" distributions are basing their distributions off of Ubuntu because it's something that's easy to do to get the framework and then tweak it to whatever you want it to be. I've written my fair share of reviews before, one even got Slashdotted (Xandros 4.1 Professional).
Personally, I like Caitlyn's mentality in trying to cover something new and undiscovered that might be worth a look. It's reviews like that that led me to using Zenwalk, Arch and Sabayon Linux (formerly RR4), Yoper and Linare when they were in their infancy.
67 • #58 (by Vladamir on 2009-06-01 18:49:01 GMT from United States)
I agree with Slacker. Ladislav, please delete comment here. Please as well delete posts of Patrick which are attack on person of Slacker. Slacker has good opinion, I like to hear.
68 • Fedora Review (by Jesse on 2009-06-01 19:03:28 GMT from Canada)
I, for one, would very much like to see Caitlyn review Fedora.
69 • RE: 64 Why don't you all buddy up. (by Eddie Wilson on 2009-06-01 19:18:11 GMT from United States)
I've got a great ideal. Let Slacker do the review and then Viadamir can proof read it and then you can put it on Smasher23's website. Don't forget to give us the address.
70 • tracked packages and Slitaz (by john frey on 2009-06-01 19:18:52 GMT from Canada)
After the discussion last week one of the things I was looking for this week was the final list of packages added/removed from the list. Could we have a recap of that please. Just for informations sake (I promise I won't complain that this or that package should not/should have been removed/added).
I always enjoy reading about distros that are doing something really original. It confuses me what a 80MB distro wants with an http server and a sql database engine but I'm sure there are clever people out there already finding uses for it:)
71 • Reviews (by octathlon on 2009-06-01 19:36:48 GMT from United States)
I am one who appreciates the reviews of these innovative distros that I might not otherwise hear about, such as Debris, Slitaz, TinyCore, etc. Regardless of which distro they may be based on. I'm not as interested in those of the major distros that we all know about already, but I still read and enjoy them as well. Thanks to the authors for all their work!
72 • @52 / 57 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-06-01 20:02:12 GMT from Canada)
Anaconda's storage code, yeah. The chunk of code that deals with partitioning and LVM and RAID and all that good stuff. It was entirely rewritten for F11, which is why it's been so problematic.
I think people are really over-simplifying things when it comes to Intel (Caitlyn says "the Intel driver issue", as if there's just one. The intel driver has been massively overhauled, kernel modesetting has become the default, DRI2 and UXA and GEM are all in there, and all these massive changes have various effects on various bits of hardware. There isn't one 'Intel issue', there's zillions of the things. Just go look in the Red Hat or fd.o bug trackers.
We've fixed a couple of significant Intel bugs in the last week or so. Others remain. It's not as simple as 'is Intel fixed or not'.
Fedora doesn't have the SiS imedia driver, I don't think it ever has. As I said in last week's comments, Mandriva is to my knowledge the only major distro with the driver in its official repos (Ubuntu has it as a PPA or contributed package somewhere, I think).
73 • @ 57 + 72 (by Anonymous on 2009-06-01 20:20:44 GMT from United States)
The proprietary ATI and nVidia drivers are an entirely different matter. I think, long term, the answer for supporting older ATI and nVidia cards will have to come from the FOSS community and, in the case of nVidia, become part of nouveau or nv.
Considering the dire straights that AMD as a company is in, anyone purchasing their graphics hardware had best learn to fix their own problems. There is no telling how long they will keep paying people to work on the free drivers (Their idea of "linux support" for pre-HD2xxxx graphics chips).
The intel driver has been massively overhauled, kernel modesetting has become the default, DRI2 and UXA and GEM are all in there, and all these massive changes have various effects on various bits of hardware. There isn't one 'Intel issue', there's zillions of the things.
There would be fewer "intel problems" if certain people would just pick one thing and stick with it until it actually worked rather than working on an idea for half a release cycle than moving to something else leaving everyone down stream wondering WTF?! Just sayin...
74 • Great (by Nobody Important on 2009-06-01 20:27:57 GMT from United States)
Here it comes again.
MY DISTRO IS SO AWESOME AND MY TEH COMPUTER CANNOT DISPLAY DWW ISSUES OF UBOONTU RELATED PRODUCTS BECAUSE MY EGO IS SO LARGE THAT IF YOU PUNCTURE IT BY CLAIMING THAT ONE DISTRO IS MORE INTERESTING THAN THE OTHER WHICH YOU MOST OBVIOUSLY POSTED BY MAKING THE LASTEAST ARTCILE ON UBOONTU THEN MY ENTIRE COMPUTER WILL CRASH BECAUSE MY DISTRO IS SUDDENLY DEVALUED AT THE HANDS OF PEOPLE WHO KNOW WHAT THEY'RE "TALKING ABOUT" blah blah blah.
Okay, whiners? Shut up. Nobody cares (and by that I don't mean _I_ care. I mean there is a lack of caring people). I proved it last time that we had this discussion that the Ubuntu stories were roughly proportional to the hits Ubuntu gains on its little "hit stats" here on Distrowatch; please review that issue for further information.
If you care enough about whatever operating system you use to become offended when the latest Distrowatch Weekly does not run a story on your OS, you have some problems to work out before you should be anywhere near a forum such as this.
And if you really can't handle any Ubuntu related stories, get over yourself and grow up. Honestly. Just last week we had a user come on over and say, "Boy, what a nice community." This week all these new users will see is a bunch of idiots foaming at the mouth over the OS of discussion is even remotely related to Ubuntu.
OH THE HORROR. Oh what pain and agony.
Shut up and go away, whiners. You're embarrassing the adults here.
Good DWW, but that was overshadowed by the poor comments section this week. I hope you're all pleased with yourselves.
75 • Oh, and (by Nobody Important on 2009-06-01 20:29:31 GMT from United States)
Oh, and good for Fedora. It's about time a six-month release distro starts loosening the chains.
I look forward to Fedora 11.
76 • #72/#73 Intel, SiS video issues (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-06-01 20:46:18 GMT from United States)
Adam: You are correct that, to a certain extent, I am oversimplifying the Intel issues. GEM has been moved to the kernel so that isn't part of the driver per se at this point. However, here is the way most users look at it: it either works well or it doesn't. The distro I looked at this week (Debris Linux) uses the Intel 2.2.1 driver so it just works. The same is true for most of the Slackware derivatives. I really, really feel that the massively rewritten Inetl drivers may result in goodness later on but they were rushed into production now. The distros that include them are suffering as a result. It's good that the delayed release has allowed Fedora developers to fix some related issues. It's not good that a very popular chipset is so broken in some major distros. It hurts the image of Linux as a whole and the process of having Linux adopted by more mainstream users. The Anonymous posted who wrote #73 has a very valid point.
Ubuntu does indeed have the SiS imedia driver.
77 • Debris (by Somebody Important on 2009-06-01 20:47:43 GMT from United States)
Debris (And there custom kernel) Rocks! All the Ubu goodness without the bloat. It's a great base to customize for clients and I would use it myself if I hadn't discovered Arch. Aside from that I am more interested in the mini and micro distros now. I would like to see more in depth DWWs focusing on them in the future.
Keep up the good work!
78 • Debris (by anticapitalista on 2009-06-01 21:06:19 GMT from Greece)
I'm glad to see Debris getting some well deserved publicity. The fastest and lightest gnome in less than 200MB. Well done to the Debris team (the beta still works very well) and to CM for reviewing the distro.
Too bad she won't review mine ;)
79 • ubuntu user (by dirtprof on 2009-06-01 21:11:34 GMT from United States)
Great issue, as always. It's the bright spot in my Mondays.
I clicked over to check out Ubuntu User, and possibly subscribe. Basically, it's $40 for 4 issues each year. That's a pretty prohibitive pricing structure, and I don't see how they're going to attract a viable subscriber base with it.
80 • Debris Linux Very Nice (by Alex on 2009-06-01 21:27:28 GMT from United States)
I'm glad to see coverage of Debris from Caitlyn and DWW. It deserves the attention frankly since targets the older PC market that most distributions seem to have abandoned.
81 • Future reviews (by Tervel on 2009-06-01 21:29:47 GMT from Austria)
Bring some reviews of the mini and micro distros too if possible please.
82 • #78 (by Vladamir on 2009-06-01 21:37:23 GMT from United States)
What distro you have? Why not review? All talk, talk, talk too much. I not understand what #74 point has? Is good to know different ideas. Sorry for English.
83 • RE: 51 (by ladislav on 2009-06-01 22:01:28 GMT from Taiwan)
many people, not just me, are tired of "ubuntu this" & "ubuntu that"
I don't know if anybody has told you, but you don't HAVE TO read DistroWatch. It's entirely optional.
84 • UPDATE!!!......Re: all the distros I ever ran and whether I liked it or not. (by Ultra on 2009-06-01 22:36:36 GMT from N/A)
I have been running Debian Testing for a well over a year now and am virtually 100% satisfied. I now only think of Linux infrequently and am over my distro-hopping days!! Yayyyy!
P.S. I'm ok with Iceweasel now too. :-)
1. First I ran Mandrake 10 or something but didn't like it. I had Windows XP too and I didn't like it.
2. Then I ran suse 9.1 pro and liked it. (I think I ran it but I can't remember for sure, but if I did I'm sure I would have liked it)
3. Then I ran suse 9.2 and liked it.
4. Then I ran suse 9.3 and liked it.
5. Then I ran Debian 3.0 and didn't like it. Later I would realize I should have liked it.
6. Then I ran Fedora 4 and didn't like it.
7. Then I ran FreeBSD 6.1 and liked it.
8. Then I ran Slackware at the same time as FreeBSD and liked it. I was also running Suse 10.0 at this time and I liked it. That was the only time I liked 3 different operating systems on my computer at the same time.
9. Then I only ran opensuse 10.1 and I didn't like it.
10. Then I panicked and ran Ubuntu 6.06 and thought I didn't like it. I later realized that I was being protective of my favorite suse 10.0. I was just jealous that it worked faster.
11. Then I ran Kubuntu and I didn't like it.
12. Then I ran Vector and I liked it.
13. Then I ran Yoper and didn't like it.
14. Then I ran Solaris and didn't like it.
15. Then I ran dynebolic and didn't like it.
16. Then I ran Zenwalk and I liked it.
17. Then I ran Pardus and didn't like it.
18. Then I ran Fox Desktop and didn't like it.
19. Then I ran open suse 10.2 and liked it.
20. Then I ran Ubuntu 7.04 and I liked it now.
21. Then I ran Debian and liked it this time. But now I was tired of configuring my computer.
22. Then I ran Ubuntu 7.04 and liked it again.
23. Then I ran opensuse 10.3 and liked it. But Firefox opened 0.4 seconds slower than Ubuntu so I didn't like it as much.
24. Then I remembered Firefox didn't open as fast on all my suse installations so I retroactively didn't like them as much. Except for suse 9.3 which I still liked.
25. Then I remembered I ran PCLinuxOs between 19 and 20 and I liked it a little but I was still protecting opensuse in my mind.
26. Then I remembered I ran Damn Small, Puppy, Frugalware, Xandros, SymphonyOS, and some other distros and some I liked and some I didn't like, but I mostly didn't like them.
27. Then I realized I was spending way too much time on the computer so I didn't like Linux anymore.
28. Then I installed windows xp on a spare partition and I kind of liked it again.
29. Then I contracted a virus on widows xp the next day and didn't like it anymore either.
30. Then I realized I tried to run plan 9 somewhere in the teens, and thought I would have liked it except I couldn't get it to run.
31. Then I realized I had wondered occasionally about running Gentoo but was glad I didn't because of some off-the-wall humour site that poked fun at Gentoo users because they thought they were the coolest.
32. Then I realized that at one time or another I had thought about installing Netbsd, openbsd, dragonfly bsd, centos, sidux and a bunch of other distros and retroactively hated myself for spending way too much time thinking about linux and bsd's.
33. Then I thought about getting rid of my computer.
34. Then I decided to just run Ubuntu because I liked it.
35. Then I stopped thinking about linux so much and started living more day to day.
36. Then I realized that I didn't want to be a geek anymore.
37. I didn't like the name Iceweasel so that's why I liked Ubuntu better than Debian. But I like Debian's logo better. A decision had to be made.
38. Now I like linux again.
39. I like traffic lights.
40. But only when they're green.
85 • No subject (by Untitled on 2009-06-01 22:48:21 GMT from United Kingdom)
That was an extensive list... items 23 & 24 are my favourite.
86 • Fedora delay, a double edge sword (by Anonymous on 2009-06-01 23:00:47 GMT from United States)
People will slam it for being late and yet some of those same people will slam it for being released with a critical bug. The ugly truth is you will pay $0.00 (zero dollars and zero cents) for Fedora. Isn't that worth waiting for a distro that isn't a spinoff of another. Fedora is solid, with Red Hat behind it there isn't any weakness at all with Fedora because of the delay.
Red Hat Enterprise is in the class as Oracle and IBM and Fedora benefits from the experience of Red Hat Enterprise and the countless volunteers for the Fedora Project. Fedora isn't a one man operation. It draws its strength from volunteers, the open source community and the Red Hat Enterprise and many skillful and Knowledge people in between like Adam W. who is an experienced, knowledgeable, brilliant and skillful survivor in the Linux and Open Source community.
I think Red Hat has triumphed over that double edge sword because they did right thing even though it may not have been popular. No distro is ever going to be bug free but at least Fedora has shown courage and commitment to strive in that direction of perfection. So what you got to wait, or what, you are going to Windows 7? Good Luck!
87 • Question. Which Distro Are You Currenty Using Now ? - Why ? (by Distrowatcher on 2009-06-01 23:10:50 GMT from United States)
This is not to start a debate on which distro is best and why.
If you're using Windows, fine. If you're using FreeBSD, great !
If your using PCDOS or OS/2, well then, not so good.........ok, fine, if it
meets your needs.
Not asking for an in depth technical review, just would like to know peoples preferences and why. Not going to use this info for anything other than satisfying my own curiosity’s sake, or any other reader's curiosity.
88 • F11 Anaconda bug (by Thor on 2009-06-01 23:24:22 GMT from United States)
Oh come on. How can Fedora not delay when it's a show stopper bug? With the Anaconda buggy, how would you expect to install it? If it's really that buggy :=;
But my hunch is they are waiting for KDE4.2.4 -coming out 6/2 and/or some of KDE4.3 B2 - coming out 6/9.
It must be the silly season as some are quick to say Ubuntu would have been better if delayed, or F11 is perfect because it's delayed a week. Why not make it 2 or 3 or more. Maybe then it's even more perfect??? But then again there is no such thing as perfect distro.
89 • Fedora has to delay (by Thor on 2009-06-01 23:31:08 GMT from United States)
If it's the Anaconda that's having issues, then Fedora has to delay. They have no choice because if it's that buggy then how else can you enjoy it if you can't install it, or mess up your drives?
But my hunch is they are waiting for KDE4.2.4 -out 6/3 and/or some of KDE4.3 B2 - out 6/9
90 • RE: 70 tracked packages (by ladislav on 2009-06-01 23:44:42 GMT from Taiwan)
For the final list please see http://distrowatch.com/packages.php. I wanted to write something up, but I ran out of time. It was a bit difficult this year, because there were too many requests and I didn't want to add more than 10 new packages.
Packages added: avidemux, DeviceKit, dillo, ffmpeg, gstreamer, lxde, NetworkManager, openbox, openjdk, wicd
Packages removed: beagle, blackbox, metisse, modutils, pan, xdtv, XFree86
I will update the tables later today or tomorrow.
91 • RE: 37 Pacakge list update - put in Iceweasel (by ladislav on 2009-06-01 23:52:12 GMT from Taiwan)
Why exactly do you say that Iceweasel isn't a functional browser? I've been using it on my Lenny machine extensively and I don't see any problems. In fact, it even seems much more stable than "proper" Firefox on some other distributions I used.
92 • @87 (by stuckinoregon on 2009-06-02 00:02:35 GMT from United States)
Debian Lenny and Testing
Linux Mint 7
93 • re 90 (by corneliu on 2009-06-02 00:35:29 GMT from Canada)
Glad to see beagle removed. How about Mono?
94 • @ 84 (by southsnow on 2009-06-02 00:36:36 GMT from United States)
I have been reading distrowatch weekly for a couple of years now and Ultra's post gets my vote for best post I've ever seen!
Funny, insightful, and from my perspective, a little close to the bone (as on my main box I'm running Debian Testing)
Though I do have add, I'm running Ubuntu on the "family" box for the most important reason there is: my wife likes it!
95 • Oh I'm just fanning flames now but... (by Sertse on 2009-06-02 01:46:26 GMT from Australia)
Ubuntu has only ever been delayed once, and that was Dapper Drake 6.06
Here is what DW had to say about it from http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20060320. DW Issue 132, 20 March 2006
"Ubuntu The controversial decision of the Ubuntu developers to postpone the final release of Dapper Drake by six weeks has met with mixed reactions. Although the decision-making process was democratic and the reasons for the proposed delay sound, the decision has its critics. Up to this point, Ubuntu Linux was about the most trustworthy Linux distribution on the market, with the reliable 6-month release cycle as one of its stated goals. Suddenly, a big part of this trust is gone and users have every reason to question the validity of Ubuntu's other promises. Besides, six weeks sounds like a long time to reach that ever elusive goal called "polish". The delay will also put more pressure on the developers - with so much extra time, the expectations will rise considerably. But let's not judge the product too early. If the extra six weeks turn Dapper Drake into the most amazing Linux distribution ever built, then be it!"
Is the attitude any different from Fedora's one in this week's issue? I don't think so tbh. You decide.
96 • Fedora slip is definitely a strength (by Jim Shunamon on 2009-06-02 02:13:58 GMT from United States)
Although I am not a Fedora user, I think that the decision to delay the release on the basis of this problem should be applauded. This speaks volumes to the commitment of Fedora to quality, and I believe that there are other Linux distros out there that could learn a lesson from Fedora here. Well done, Fedora! Perhaps I should be taking another look at this distro after all :)
97 • #95: Dapper delay (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-06-02 02:14:27 GMT from United States)
@Sertse: I think back in 2006 that Canonical made absolutely the right decision. Dapper ended up being a very good release. Unfortunately they took a lot of, unwarranted criticism at the time and they seem to have decided to get it out on time no matter what since then. I think Ubuntu has suffered for it at times. It's unfortunate. Oh, and you are absolutely correct that Fedora is taking some of the same unwarranted criticism, probably from some of the same people.
98 • Ref#94 yes, it was Insightful (by Verndog on 2009-06-02 02:38:56 GMT from United States)
That is a funny and insightful post - number 84. Showing us how we feel, think and interpret our many thoughts. How we move about in our daily lives. Doing this and then analysing why we did it only to do something else and wonder again.
I like the idea that he no longer thinks about Linux....but then again, maybe that too will change.
Of all the bickering and complaining going around here, that post was a refreshing look at what we can do when we don't follow the crowd and think for ourselves. Not being lead by "herd instinct", but rather bringing something new and insightful.
99 • Some distros just are what they are. Let them be. (by Duncan Snowden on 2009-06-02 03:52:05 GMT from United Kingdom)
I always have to laugh when someone comes along and says Arch is too... well, too Arch.
Y'see, folks, some - most - distros aren't commercial propositions. They aren't trying to gain market share, or new converts to the Cause of desktop Linux. Don't get me wrong; that's a great thing to do; it's just not what they're doing.
The Arch devs make it quite clear they're just producing the OS they want to use themselves. If other people like it and want to use it too, that's fine, they're welcome. But if you don't like it, well, it's not for you. That's not an “attitude”, just a simple statement of fact. Don't bitch about it and moan that it's not something that it it was never meant to be; try something else. We Arch users like it the way it is. You might prefer Ubuntu. Or SUSE. Or any one of the dozens of distros listed here on DW. Isn't it great that we have the choice?
100 • Debris, son of Ubuntu, son of Debian (by Paul yearwood on 2009-06-02 06:00:39 GMT from United States)
I am glad that Debris has its own listing now. I found it first about a year ago while reading the previous incarnation of it. Believe me, that was hard to track down because of that name. Never could remember it. Any way, I have tried it off and on since on my 10 y/o Compaq and like it. But, by the time I add back in the apps and features I want, and since it did not update when the base system went obsolete at Ubuntu, I just ended up loading Ubuntu back on my system. I'm trying again. This time in Virtual Box.
I read all the anti-Ubuntu postings with a smile. Ubuntu, as you may guess, is my distro of choice. And I try many of the variations that have come out. Mint and Ultimate are my favorite. I just have one question.
Why is there no backlash against Debian? Look at all the distros that came from that? "OMG! Another variation of Debian. Why?" If the editors of Distrowatch were to be complete in their geneology of a Distro's lineage, they would have to say, "I am reviewing Debris which was developed from Ubuntu which was born from Debian." So, if you want to vent your hostilities on some distro, make it Debian. because about half of all distros are from that gene pool. Look at how many come from Red Hat or Slackware. But when it comes to Ubuntu, you would think it was part of Microsoft.
Wait a minute. I get the real reason for the ABU (Anything But Ubuntu) attitude. It is because it is backed by a billionaire. It is put out by a mega corporation. Sometimes reading DW, I get confused and think I'm reading another online publication that is often accused of being in the pocket of the Evil One from Redmond. I'll sign this the way I sign off in ZDNet.
It's an Operating System, not a religion.
PS I dual boot with XP. Guess that puts me on the Dark Side of the Force.
101 • Fedora 11 release delayed. (by Andre G- on 2009-06-02 06:33:38 GMT from United States)
Having used, more than once a distro which just was then "not ready for prime time", I would salute Fedora to be driven more by having reached a quality standard milestone, rather than a fixed date artificially set by marketing (See how Mandriva, and OpensSuse screwed up by releasing poorly tested and completed before it was ready).
Suggestion to Ladislav: it would be good to have a readiness grade for each distro.
Starting with 10/10, what would reduce most the grade, would be
a) Basic functionality issues, like devices drivers (video, and LAN, Wi_FI on top of list)
b) Major components (Like Browsers, Office like suites, etc...) failure to install.
c) Major software packages failing to be usable.
Please post here on this, if you (dis)agree...
This will help in the decision making, of installing a recent distro.
102 • #87 Which Distro Are You Currenty Using Now ? (by Xtyn on 2009-06-02 06:42:42 GMT from Romania)
The visitors of DistroWatch have this:
Ubuntu 15.9 %
Mint 4.3 %
Debian 2.9 %
Mandriva 2 %
Fedora 1.8 %
openSUSE 1.7 %
More details here:
103 • I like it (by ghostdawg on 2009-06-02 07:29:35 GMT from United States)
I like distrowatch...it helps me decide to try out new distros or not. I like reading reviews it offer also.
Keep up the good work.
104 • distros (by m1k on 2009-06-02 09:59:53 GMT from Italy)
It would be better just inform about new distros...
try one or not is up on You,not in others "feelings"...
105 • @84 : Posterity (by Andrew on 2009-06-02 10:08:16 GMT from South Africa)
I vote post 84 be kept forever, given its own special link in a Distrowatch hall of fame.
It's IMHO the best comment post I've seen. Made me smile greatly!
Thanks Ultra. Great post!
106 • @ 99 - absolutely agree. (by DeniZen on 2009-06-02 10:29:30 GMT from United Kingdom)
Arch is Arch, and should not need to be compromised.
If it is not to taste, move to another, where community collaboration is a stronger element.
Its all about choice.
It's not as if anybody's arm is pushed up their own back!
Nothing wrong with a strong vision and an agenda, even if not wholly inclusive, as long as thats clear from the outset, and its clear enough with Arch.
I wonder, how would Van Gogh's paintings have turned out, if ol' Vince kept running down the local coffee-house, and asking the locals, 'what now?', 'shall I put some yellow flowers in the pot, or blue'? 'Do they look OK on a chair'? - 'one ear or two'?
OK .. Arch isnt high Art...or ..is it.. ;)
@ 100 re: "It's an Operating System, not a religion"
Still theres some cult-ish behaviour evident here and there - for sure.
Talking of which (or predicting ..)
Not long until Fedora 11 now.
Because of the delays to 'get things right' I'd bet that the predants will go over it with an extra,extra fine toothed comb once released.
And undoubtedly 'find terrible things' - which is fair go, but probably that would be (and have been) passed over - with relatively little comment - in other recent Distro releases.
I'm sure it will stand up well.
2009 has been interesting for me already
From using (and still using/liking) Debian/KDE for so long, this year I 'discovered' the joys of both Ubuntu - in 9.04 guise, and I've really developed a soft spot for Fedora (11 Preview).
" Thats me in the corner .." etc, etc ;)
107 • Re post #84 (by DeniZen on 2009-06-02 10:35:09 GMT from United Kingdom)
Funny! _and_ some uncomfortable secret familiarities for a few of 'us' in there, at some time or another, I'd wager.
Err, . tho' .. not for me of course .. nope .. ;)
108 • BSD (by Silent on 2009-06-02 11:56:50 GMT from France)
It is nice to read good news about BSD. I am a bit surprised by the remark about binary packages in BSD at the end of the article. As it is pointed out in the original announcement of Pkgin: "Of course the esteemed pkg_add(1) and pkg_delete(1) can handle binary packages installation, but when it comes to upgrades, binary packages manipulation is far from being straightforward"
109 • OpenSolaris (by PhantomTramp on 2009-06-02 12:04:42 GMT from United States)
Does anybody know if the new version of OpenSolaris has a "shutdown" button? The last version did not have one.
110 • Hacao (by Tom on 2009-06-02 12:34:45 GMT from United Kingdom)
Wow a puppy i like the look of! Has anyone tried it? Also wondering if anyone has seen any reviews of Wolvix Cub 2.0 beta1 yet? I found this posting
curious - commercial dvd's running fine but music cd's not working on this persons hardware. I usually find it's the other way around with most distros i've tried. Apparently there is a review of Cub 2.0beta1 here
but i couldn't see it.
I'm off to my dad's boat again in a couple of days. I found a forum that has advice and stats about using solar panels but it seems that the technology isn't really quite ready at a low enough price to make it viable
Also this post about using a little portable generator rather than running the engine to charge the main boat batteries
and this about a voltage reducer
There's also been quite a debate about whether to avoid having a fridge onboard because they use up so much power! Given that advice about this sort of thing is best left to other forums i wondered if anyone in distrowatch could help with the other end of this and suggest linux distros, preferably main fork of distros (eg debian, slackware, redhat/fedora etc), might be better for using less power on pre-quad-core type laptop?
111 • re 109 (by answer on 2009-06-02 12:39:26 GMT from United Kingdom)
I tried 06.09 but could not find the shutdown button too. Neither in the gnome menus nor in the login screen (gdm). May be it is somewhere there but I just didn't put enough effort.
112 • distro slut (by Tom on 2009-06-02 12:59:50 GMT from United Kingdom)
post 84 reminds me of
which i still think is quite hilarious and have carefully book-marked :)
Thanks good luck and regards all from
113 • My distro (by Nobody Important on 2009-06-02 13:59:13 GMT from United States)
I use whatever OS meets the job.
If I need a stable and fast base, Debian. If I need Wi-Fi, a fast installation and/or ease of use, Ubuntu. If I need something small, Puppy.
It depends on the hardware, as well, and a few other factors. The laptop I'm using has Ubuntu on it because everything works without any hassle or effort. I'm trying not to break something that's already fixed. I might switch to Crunchbang when that one gets a new release; I liked the last version.
I've tried Fedora, Pardus, Mandriva, PCLinuxOS, CentOS, Slax, Wolvix, Zenwalk, DSL, Fluxbuntu, Xubuntu, OpenSolaris, Absolute, MEPIS, Crunchbang, AntiX, Mint, Sabayon, Arch, Vector Light, PC-BSD, sidux, TinyMe, Tiny Core, and a whole bunch of others I'm forgetting. Most of them were fun (when they booted, that is...Zenwalk, I'm looking at you).
Most of the time, my experiences mix the above poster, wherever they are. I forget I'm using Linux. I'm off to do whatever I need to do, like price a new computer build or chat on an IM. The OS doesn't and shouldn't matter, after the initial "woah different" is gone. At this point, I cannot see myself ever using anything other than a Linux-based OS, but I don't think about it too much. The only time I really bother to let the satisfaction sink in is when I can price a computer and delete a hundred dollars that Windows would have taken up.
Speaking of which, my mother needed to use my laptop when her (XP) desktop's Wi-Fi went down; I gave it to her, forgetting that it was set to boot to Ubuntu by default. I asked her about it the next day, and she said, "Yeah, I noticed something was a little different, but it didn't matter that much. It worked just fine."
All I did was combine the top and bottom bars to put them on the bottom, and then of course ubuntu-restricted-extras. The whole family used it for a few days without saying a word: the younger siblings played their flash games, Mom shopped and checked her e-mail. If it passes my mother and the rest of my clueless family, Ubuntu can pass anything.
Linux is ready for the desktop. I have seen it for my own eyes.
114 • where in the world is bobby button (by Denizen on 2009-06-02 14:01:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
well it tickled me for some reason
where's that confounded shut-down button? ;)
Solaris is very much of server orientated underpinnings.
Traditionally it is a root only, cli task in Solaris
A 'desktop version' ought to look at things a little diffeently though, admittedly.
Is there the option to add an applet to the panel?
115 • @32 So many people miss the point (by Rarsa on 2009-06-02 15:08:22 GMT from Canada)
On post #32 Manolo said:
"I thought the purpose of Linux was to have fun and bring a free operating system to the masses."
On post #29 Brad said:
"no wonder linux is "free" if it cost, no one would actually buy it if they had a choice."
I could pull many other examples but these are good.
The purpose of Linux and other FLOSS software offerings is to be free. that makes it Free for people tht want to have fun and want to bring it to the masses, but it also makes it Free to use it seriously and comercialize.
And once again the word FREE refers to freedom. FREEDOM is the keyword here and Distrowatch does a great job showing it.
116 • distro raving (by hab on 2009-06-02 15:28:25 GMT from Canada)
After my comment about vanlug last week, the whole linux user group thing has been rattling around in my thoughts.It strikes me that some of the, shall we say 'incompletely socialized posts' are coming from people have had very little 'face' time with other people running linux.
Perhaps some interaction with people in user groups might be a good thing! After all, when you hate debian/ubuntu/fedora/mandriva and the person you are affably having a discussion with is running debian/ubuntu/fedora/mandriva and you are 5'10" 160lbs. and he's 6'8" 280lbs., maintaining your argument may be somewhat problematic!
Go out and visit a lug in your area if you can. Meeting other 'real' people running linux and is probably the best way to gain some perspective on linux' wide spread and on its usage. By the way, they could care less what distro YOU are using, they only care that you run linux!
117 • #61 - Debris bug: not a BIOS issue on my Toshiba (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-06-02 16:07:07 GMT from United States)
@Supernatendo: That was a good suggestion but I was pretty sure that wasn't the issue. I checked my BIOS and screen stretch was enabled. That isn't the cause of the small screen surrounded by black in Debris or Slackware. It is actually caused by an incorrect refresh rate in the Monitor section of /etc/X11/xorg.conf I reported the bug and the lead developer says he has now fixed it. The next beta or release candidate of Debris Linux should "just work" as far as X is concerned on a system with a Trident CyberBlade XPi chipset.
Again, thanks for keeping me on my toes and making sure I'm not reporting user error as a bug.
118 • RE: Which Distro Are You Currenty Using Now ? (by glyj on 2009-06-02 16:35:49 GMT from France)
Well, I'm running Mandriva 2009.0 PWP.
I know there are many distros that I could use for what I'm doing with it.
I'm not a distro "tourist".
Once I moved to Mandriva, I stopped there, trying to know how to use the distro the best I can.
Sometimes, I try to run some other distros (mainly live CDs), but it's often to pick up ideas and bring them back to help me using Mandriva.
Of course I like many things in the distro:
- The control center (X and ncurses versions)
- The good amount of packages (~30,000 rpms)
- The drakwizards (to configure web & ftp servers in a few clicks for example )
- The community : Polite and helpfull with/to new users.
- The company : a good way to develop a distro GPL-friendly and keeping the idea to make money to live.
119 • The problem with intelligence (by Bill Savoie on 2009-06-02 17:46:33 GMT from United States)
Some of the hardest working people, the coders, are driven by their egos. So on one side we get such good products, that we can all use. On the other side, we get their bashing of other people, other distro, and just anything that is not their creations.
I wonder if they recognize this paradox? The ego is built on hatred (rejection is the friendly way to say this). We all want to appear 'nice' so we don't admit our hatred. The core of this hatred is self hatred which then gets projected out on others.
As we enjoy Linux and the community of people who are willing to share, Distro-watch gives us a place to see our ego underside, our motivation. It is a great place to study anthropology among a native culture. It is also a great opportunity to learn about programming and at the same time to enjoy programming.
120 • No subject (by forest on 2009-06-02 21:13:12 GMT from United Kingdom)
Well, that's one take on the matter...but one sincerely hopes the alleged software failure on the French aircraft was NOT Linux based...
121 • @84 re. #40 as long as green is your color (by Anonymous on 2009-06-03 02:20:59 GMT from United States)
M*I*N*T is your destiny, stay true to your path...oh, worthy one..
122 • this week (by dave on 2009-06-03 04:07:55 GMT from United States)
#37...Iceweasel is the current default web browser for Elive! and I must say it works great.I haven't had any problems with it at all,and I actually like it quite a bit.I have used it regularly for over 3 months now and have no complaint.
Debris is a great little distro and im glad you chose it for a feature article.I have never really classified it as just another Buntu spinoff.
Slitaz! an incredible choice for this months contribution.I love it.its a great little distro that I play with on a regular basis.Ladislav,you never cease to amaze me with your excellant choices for contributions.
thanks for another wonderful DWW guys(and gals)and of course another outrageous (sometimes) comments section as well.
123 • tracked packages and Slitaz (by john frey on 2009-06-03 05:13:04 GMT from Canada)
Thanks for the update on the package list Ladislav. Much appreciated.
I've been playing with Slitaz for the last couple of days. Can't remember when I last had so much fun with a distro. Very snappy. I've never tried OpenBox WM before and I like it a lot, not just for the speed. The desktop just loads, no spinning cursor or progress bar needed.
I want a lot on my desktop so I've been checking the package repository and compiling anything else that I need. The package manager is really good and intuitive. If you're used to apt then tazpkg is simple. Got Audacity installed and running but had to compile in a bunch of extra packages and libs and install the svn, still, seems pretty stable so far. Installed Tilda from source because I couldn't get Guake to compile.
Even with all the added software I installed it's still blazing fast. I think it's going to replace Sidux as the working distro on my laptop. Just have to take it out somewhere to test the wireless before I know for sure. This is a distro that works really well. I like it better than either Puppy or Damn Small, but that's just me.
124 • Caixa Mágica (by Tom on 2009-06-03 08:54:48 GMT from United Kingdom)
Wow, Caixa Mágica sounds like it does a great job! Good to hear of a country having widespread use of a linux. I hope they feel comfortable with a variety of distros for different occasions because i think the way different distros can interact and the way that different distros appear so similar are three of the main strengths of *nix over Windows :)
Last week someone read my comments about grub vs lilo vs windows boot-loaders as a condenation of lilo, it wasn't. Lilo is excellent, i use it and it's miles ahead of the Windows one (imo) because it usually automatically detects the presence of other OS's on the system. The Windows one is hard-work but can be forced to accept other OS's, if you know what you're doing, but it's not easy for a noob. Grub seems a little better than lilo but the difference is not as huge as the difference between both of these and the Windows one. Grub is the one i'm more used to using, even on a slackware distro. The eye-candy improvement may be a minor issue to most of us but may be something that some Windows users see as attractive and might pull more people into using linux/gnu - who knows? Windows users baffle me nowadays as do people that prefer seeing an orange blob moving to & fro rather than using verbose boot-up. Each to their own tho ;)
I was wondering if anyone here uses the hurd kernel rather than the linux one, is it usable yet? I've heard it is (pardon the pun) but just wondered.
Anyway, great to hear about Caixa Mágica being widely used in schools and offices.
Thanks and regards all from
125 • The grass is always greener on the other side (by Tom on 2009-06-03 09:11:51 GMT from United Kingdom)
I find this old english saying very relevant to 113 by Nobody Important. While there almost always is a distro that's better suited to a particular hardware setup + task required of it + personal foibles. I tend to find the best one is either Ubuntu or Wolvix but often find myself using something else which also works quite well, usually. However i often feel that perhaps there's another distro that might have suited the task better, if only i knew more about all the different ones. If Wolvix or Ubuntu weren't quite so good then maybe i would be forced into hunting around the distros more seriously but they do so i dont ;)
126 • 114 (by Tom on 2009-06-03 09:25:05 GMT from United Kingdom)
Aaargh, sorry for the triple post.
Maybe the 'off button' is called "Start" like on a certain other OS? Quite how you're meant to use the "Start" button i'm not quite sure because it doesn't appear until AFTER the computer has finished starting lol.
If you're really pushed then surely you can add your own command-line task to the panel and choose a suitable (or copy or make one) icon for it? I think you'd want something like "sudo shutdown -a now" and "sudo reboot" as 2 choices? I agree they should be there already but i don't remember having this trouble with openSUSE, i had completely different problems with it :) (probably user error with me tho)
Ahah @ 122 & 123, yeh i'm glad that sliTaz won the award this month :) I often find it useful, especially when i need to download something and use it fast in a place that doesn't have broadband access or plenty of computer time - both of which are often needed for most other distros
127 • Compile (by Azzorcist on 2009-06-03 10:15:00 GMT from Indonesia)
I want a lot on my desktop so I've been checking the package repository and compiling anything else that I need
I don't see source packages for the masses. I think it is just for the one who need the source. Installing packages should use binary packages.
I compiled wine source in my computer for hours. OMG, I don't wanna do that again. I'll use the binary instead.
128 • Ubuntu ongoing popularity (by Sean on 2009-06-03 11:00:27 GMT from United States)
Can anyone explain why Ubuntu is the #1 in page hit rankings at this site and at the top of the list on other polls as well?
I honestly do not know and it is not because I have not tried Ubuntu. I sort of liked it a few releases ago, and I'm sure it's a fine linux distribution.
I just don't understand how it almost immediately took over. It rules the linux world, it seems, and by a large margin.
129 • #128: Ubuntu popularity, Red Hat popularity, SUSE popularity, etc... (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-06-03 11:42:25 GMT from United States)
@Sean: Ubuntu is almost certainly the most popular Linux distribution **on the home desktop**. The home desktop is not where Linux has the most penetration nor is it where Linux companies generally make money.
In North America the enterprise server market and the enterprise desktop market is ruled by Red Hat. The last figures I saw had Red Hat's share of the corporate/government Linux server market in the U.S. at 91%. The enterprise is where the money is made.
In Europe SUSE is by far and away the most popular enterprise distribution. The percentage isn't nearly as high as Red Hat in the U.S. but it is somewhere around two thirds of the market.
In Japan and much of Asia outside of China the enterprise leader is Turbolinux.
Ubuntu doesn't rule the Linux world. It rules a niche within the Linux world and the folks at Fedora, who claim they have an equally large user community, would even dispute that.
Why is Ubuntu popular? The perception is that it is easier to use for a newcomer to Linux than other distributions and that, in general, it's easy to deal with. Ubuntu is relatively user friendly. Is it more user friendly than Mandriva? I don't think so. Than OpenSUSE? I'm not at all sure that's true. Other folks would tout Linux Mint or PCLinuxOS as extremely user friendly as well. (I've never used either for any length of time so I can't really comment.) Canonical has done a great job of marketing Ubuntu both inside the Linux community and to the world at large. That has helped them secure a significant share of the desktop.
130 • Debris and eLIVE (by vic on 2009-06-03 12:36:47 GMT from United States)
As per post #77: Debris (And there custom kernel) Rocks! All the Ubu goodness without the bloat.
I tried Debris. It's good and fast BUT doesn't have synaptic or does it?.
I also tried the latest elive - also fast but doesn't seem to have a shutdown button. Anybody had same experiences? Now, I'm running Crunchbang (easy to configure); and Mint.
131 • to Caitlyn's post #129 (by Sean on 2009-06-03 12:52:01 GMT from United States)
Thank you for taking the trouble to answer my question.
The page hit ranking here and the polls elsewhere then reflect only home desktop use of distros. I did not know that at all.
I'll have to look more at the Canonical marketing schema. That may be the answer to my question anyway. Also wondering if they have an enterprise version planned, or now under another name.
(We have Mint, Sabayon and Vectorlinux on our machines, btw)
132 • re#131 (by hab on 2009-06-03 13:10:57 GMT from Canada)
Canonical, (the co. behind ubuntu) has a pretty simple business model.
Give away desktop and server software and sell support packages for them. Same like redhat, mandriva and others.
Redhat, i think, has done this best 'cause i believe it has the lions share of the market. Mandriva, not doing so well, others i don't know about and don't much care.
Canonical has a LOT of work to do before they threaten redhat in size and market share! I wish them well. After all is said and done (*)ubuntu is still linux and anything that advances linux is a good thing.
133 • #132 Canonical business model (by yelamdenu on 2009-06-03 13:57:01 GMT from Netherlands)
It's not entirely the same thing though. Red Hat does not supply binaries for free, you have to recompile the sources to get a free (of charge) version. Canonical's model is to support their single distribution, branded the same whether for the "enterprise" or for home users.
Given many people's distrust of things that are "for free", there is a risk that the Canonical offer may be seen as of second ranking.
That's one of the reasons why Red Hat carefully distinguishes between RHEL and Fedora (on which many on Red Hat's payroll are working).
134 • ubuntu marketing (by Tom on 2009-06-03 14:04:40 GMT from United Kingdom)
Often a page hits will be from people curious about linux in general, so just hit the top one and see what the fuss is about - this inevitably means whichever is in the number 1 slot will get a whole heap of people clueless about linux but willing to find out more. With this theory you'd expect the page hits to follow a similar curve to a resistor-capacitor discharge cycle.
Also Ubuntu and Cannonical put a huge amount of work into marketing and into building their community bigger faster. Mark Shuttleworth popping off on a quick jaunt into space and then talking about Ubuntu while everyone is watching is a bonus ;) We see Ubuntu being mentioned everywhere, even in the mainstream press sometimes.
Mostly we are not at all good at going out there and drawing new people's attention to linux in a positive way. Some of us even struggle to get other linux users to look at our favourite distro, let alone outsiders!
Take for example a commercial research project that uses a certain distro to good effect
Now where in that write-up do you see any mention of which distro is used? If this had been done by Windows then the whole thing would be covered in their logos and would have been used on tele in their advertising. In the linux world we try to hide all this sort of stuff too much imo
Hope this helps ean 128
Regards all from
135 • popularity (by dave at 2009-06-03 14:16:19 GMT from United States)
Ah why is ubuntu so popular.I can add a few more reasons.When people consider a linux distro they google it.Up comes Ubuntu or distrowatch.A new user glares at the Distrowatch home page,and what does he see?Ubuntu is #1.Okay i guess thats the one that I will try.If its #1 and its free surely i should try that one first.This is exactly how i entered the Linux world.
Ubuntu is available on a dell netbook.Nuff said
Ubuntu is available on other netbooksI would think a lot of first time users were introduced this way.Personally for me,I had trouble getting Ubuntu to go on my older machine and in my search for one that would(with better screen resolution I might add)I found Pclos.Wich okay imo is better for the first time user.From there my interest just spread everywhere and I became a true distrohopper,but only because I like computers where as others are truly just looking for an os that just works.
136 • Ubuntu, etc (by Sean on 2009-06-03 14:17:19 GMT from United States)
I did a quick, in-the-ballpark count of postings in Ubuntu's forums (numbers as listed this morning), Mint's forums and the main forums for Fedora. I think others could take a look at the differences and maybe draw a conclusion or two from it (of course we're again limiting ourselves to desktop use, for the very most part).
Well, also, the Big Question has been answered: How is "Ubuntu" pronounced? if Mr. Shuttleworth actually said it aloft. :) How did he say it? How did he say it? lol
137 • re: 130 Debris and Synaptic (by sbcc on 2009-06-03 14:31:13 GMT from N/A)
Debris will ask if you want to install extra packages when completing the hard drive install routine. It will automatically install Synaptic and the update notifier. Very cool implementation.
138 • re: 137: Debris and Synaptic (by vic on 2009-06-03 14:39:53 GMT from United States)
Thanks, sbcc for the reply. You see, I simply tried the live cd (re: 130) and thought it was the same as when installed. I suppose this information might be included by the guys at Debris for testers to know. Otherwise they might, like me, jump to conclusions and throw away what could be an awesome distro.
139 • re#133 redhat buisness (by hab on 2009-06-03 14:45:53 GMT from Canada)
First off, greets from an expat. Hope things on the 'auld sod' are reasonable.
I am familiar with redhat and i believe if you look at their history the way it is delivered now is a modification of their original behavior.
We are what, 14 years into the redhat era, canonical/ubuntu has been around since late 2004. So, redhat has a good ten year head start on them. It will be interesting to watch what canonical does and changes as it tries to survive.
140 • #134 (by 50/50 on 2009-06-03 15:57:06 GMT from United States)
I agree. Even while there are other distros that don't get much coverage here on UbuntuWatch. Just kidding about UbutuWatch! Just take a look at the donation list and that should tell the story. I can't argue with one name on there, all great choices. Has anyone considered that open source flash program for a donation (I can't remember the name...)? Tom, I have been reading your posts for some time and I can't help but notice that you seem to be obsessed with Ubuntu and Wolvix. I tried Wolvix a while ago and, not to knock it but it looked very unpolished and it doesn't even have a control panel. Now Ubuntu on the other hand looks like an operating system. Why such extremes? Are you involved with Wolvix in some way? Just curious.
141 • #140: Wolvix has a control panel and has had for some time (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-06-03 16:19:52 GMT from United States)
I don't know when you tried Wolvix but it must have been *years* ago. Wolvix has a control panel and it is an excellent one indeed. It's so good other distros have picked it up and used it. Ultima Linux comes to mind immediately.
There was a huge improvement between 1.0.5 and 1.1.0. Perhaps you need to look at Wolvix again.
142 • #129 (by Xtyn on 2009-06-03 17:31:39 GMT from Romania)
"The last figures I saw had Red Hat's share of the corporate/government Linux server market in the U.S. at 91%. In Europe SUSE has somewhere around two thirds of the market."
Would you be so kind as to provide a link for your statements?
143 • Ubuntu popularity (by DeniZen on 2009-06-03 17:53:44 GMT from United Kingdom)
Well, it may be that - all things considered - Ubuntu does pretty well for pretty much most people who try it, and once something becomes popular, it almost becomes a by-word for a whole genre of similar offerings.
And it has a reputation - fully deserved or not - of being noob friendly.
And big, friendly fora. And most times, for most people, on most hardware, most things just work.
The 'add/remove' software menu is right there in the first dropdown. Easy.
And it comes in several 'flavours', with a distinct identity to match.
Even seasoned users regularly warm to it.
'Informed' minds, like many who post here (as opposed to visit the front page) may find a hundred reasons, or alternatives to not like/prefer Ubuntu, and some will post tales of genuine woe (and some just immature rallies against 'the populist one' / 'the man').
'regular' people - the 'humans' to which Ubuntu is primarily pitched, generally seem to like it .
They may move on. Many do. There will be others following.
When something becomes popular, it becomes a more obvious choice, and that will continue to snowball. And thats probably what has happened.
No rocket science really IMO.
I have come round to liking it, and I'm far more of an 'oldie' than a 'newbie'.
Now, what I wouldn't like so much is if 'Ubuntu' becomes an euphemism for 'Linux'
Like - 'to Google' is now 'to search' in many peoples language.
In the UK, a carpet Vacuum Cleaner is nearly always called a 'Hoover' (unless it is a Dyson ;) ) - after the most familiar brand, even if few are now actually 'Hoover' branded.
I hear folks over 40 often call (any) digital music player an 'iPod'
Now, I already hear folks say, 'why not just pop Ubuntu on it?' - when referring to some spare / acquired Machine with a vacuous space looking for an OS.
I dont think they necessarily mean 'Ubuntu' but rather they mean 'a Linux Distro that likely just works'. Or. . they might mean Ubuntu for definite.
Not so sure i like that aspect!
144 • @ 140 (by DeniZen on 2009-06-03 18:24:57 GMT from United Kingdom)
Why assume someone is involved, or has an agenda simply because they are enthusiastic or even a little evangelical about something? - in this case a preferred Distro.
From Tom's exposure, and your comment, and now Caitlyn's response, you have learned something you didnt know.
i.e Wolvix :
a: has a very good Control Panel (very good indeed as it goes)
b: is considered an excellent OS by many people of diverse experience. (and it is)
All good ;)
145 • to Xtyn #142 (by Sean on 2009-06-03 18:43:32 GMT from United States)
Well I trusted what she said, especially the "Ubuntu doesn't rule the Linux world. It rules a niche within the Linux world and the folks at Fedora, who claim they have an equally large user community, would even dispute that."
That seems to make sense. But yes, people can come in here and state anything to make a point or to back one up. It would be prudent now to *search* (not "google" lol) on a few ideas/terms to see what is up around the world wrt linux, desktop as well as enterprise, etc.
Turbolinux in Asia? Suse in Europe? Ubuntu everywhere else? I guess I've got a lot to learn.
146 • @145 (by 50/50 on 2009-06-03 19:00:47 GMT from United States)
I have indeed learned. I visited the Wolvix website and was very impressed. I just might give it another spin. Apologies to Tom. Is that Wolvix running on that buoy aparatus? (see Tom's link above)
147 • Suse in europe? (by Tom on 2009-06-03 19:25:24 GMT from United Kingdom)
I'm in europe, well england - is england in europe? lol, many yea's and many nay's t'that one one usually ;) Some would even dispute that it's in Great Britain - what's so great about it anyway, the rain? And what's 'united' when we all bicker constantly? Hmmm, sounds familiar ;)
Anyway, in england i've mostly heard of Unix (notoriously big, old and scary here, inextricably linked with big grey corporate cement office blocks), RedHat (arty quirky companies servers, if they're not on Macs) and that's all. I stumbled into linux because of involvement with an anarchist (true, not as portrayed in 'popular' media) organisation, mostly thanks to my neighbour tbh.
Portugal seems to have Caixa Mágica, again not Suse.
Yes i do like what works, weirdly. I still do use others but keep finding the easiest time is from my 2 favourites, that's why i like them. lol
148 • not ubuntu (by Tom on 2009-06-03 19:28:45 GMT from United Kingdom)
lol, yes apparently they are quite happily running Wolvix in their years at sea. Interesting because i'd been looking for something that'd be good in calmer waters and again get pushed back into one of my favourite distros
149 • Suse in Europe (by Sean on 2009-06-03 19:41:06 GMT from United States)
Well as "enterprise," as was posted by another then referred to be me sans inclusion of that important qualifier.
I guess we're in many catagories of linux in this discussion, in danger of bagging it all together, especially wrt the desktop interest vs servers and enterprise.
It requires a careful study, and my notes on the page hit rankings here, as high as I held them, are of little value it is turning out.
150 • @127 (by john frey on 2009-06-03 19:42:45 GMT from Canada)
"I don't see source packages for the masses. I think it is just for the one who need the source. Installing packages should use binary packages."
I am a big advocate for installing software from a distros repositories. Not binaries, using the distros' package management system so I can be assured the software has been tested with my distro and is (hopefully) digitally signed. That's as safe as it gets.
My laptop with Slitaz is not my primary computer. My primary computer has exactly one program compiled from source, IEs4Linux, because it is not in the distros repository. Well sort of compiled from source. It's really an install script for the IE binaries. The laptop is useful sometimes and testing software is one of it's uses, so compiling on it is acceptable to me.
151 • re#147 big, old and scary Unix (by hab on 2009-06-03 20:21:38 GMT from Canada)
I comment here from the position of computer hobbyist. I would like to think, a somewhat knowledgeable hobbyist but a hobbyist nevertheless!
My interest in computers was originally fed by copious quantities of read science fiction and more latterly by movies and television's depiction of same. That and in the mid sixties my then employer was computerizing their retail and wholesale operation. An ibm mainframe, can't recall the model. Anyhow that got me interested in comps and i bought a paperback book on computers and that fired off literally a life long interest and hobby. I bought my first atari 400 in 1981 and the damned/damnable machines have been around me since.
Anyhow by the time i bumped into linux (oct95), thanks to friend of a friend, i was well aware of what unix was and represented. I figured if any body else could learn a new os i prolly could too and away i went. One of the early unix flavoured books i read had a quote that has stayed with me to this day "Unix is hard, there's just so fucking much of it." This in the day when a typical dos directory had 70, maybe 80 commands. Equivalent on a typical small nix box then .........250.
So anyhow the comment about big old scary unix did cause me a moment levity!
152 • #151 correction (by hab at 2009-06-03 20:53:31 GMT from Canada)
Please substitute isn't for is in the offending/offensive? sentence.
What can i say?
153 • #143: Enterprise market share numbers (by Caitlyn Martin at 2009-06-03 18:10:56 GMT from USA)
OK, some links and numbers as requested:
http://searchenterpriselinux.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid39_gci1319966,00.htmlThis article claims: "Red Hat's 80% market share of the Linux market gives it an edge in working with hardware vendors to optimize their chipsets to work with the latest operating system improvements, he added." That was a year ago and doesn't specify what portion of the world they are talking about. Is this global market share? If so the number sounds too high. If it's US/Canada it shows significant slippage from the 2006-07 numbers I was quoting. 80% is still huge.
Global/worldwide numbers, not broken out by continent like the numbers I first quoted from http://www.thevarguy.com/2008/11/11/novell-attacks-red-hat-with-linux-migration-offer/here: "From Novell: The company points to market share numbers from IDC, suggesting Red Hat's worldwide Linux server market share was 62.1% in 2007 down from 64.2% in 2006. In contrast, IDC says Novell's worldwide Linux server share rose to 29% in 2007 from 26.1% in 2006." This actually is consistent with the numbers I quoted.
Sadly the link to the article I was originally quoting now returns this. It has been pulled. It was a couple of years old so it may just be that ZDNet thought it was time to let it go. Sorry, circumstances beyond my control and all.
I don't think anyone would dispute that Red Hat is far and away the market leader in the enterprise. I also don't think anyone would dispute that SUSE's strength is in the European market.
154 • Desktop distro usage (by ladislav on 2009-06-03 22:17:01 GMT from Taiwan)
For those who enjoy voting for favourite desktop distro, here is your chance:
155 • hmm.. is "enterprise" what the issue is here? (by Sean on 2009-06-04 00:03:35 GMT from United States)
I haven't seen anything to totally dislodge me from feeling that Ubuntu rules the linux world, Caitlyn. I wasn't talking about "enterprise," you brought that up. Enterprise is not what linux is about anyway, at its core. If it is, tell me. Then I'll maybe adjust my thinking I guess. Reluctantly, because selling linux still bothers me. I donate to developers, voluntarily.
But I never bought Suse when it was on the Best Buy shelves, alongside Turbolinux and Red Hat and Windows.
I'm not referring to "non-free" vs truly free software. I'm referring to enterprise vs open source operating systems for the world.
I am not an Ubuntu fan; I don't use it, I find it half-baked compared to other distros. But it rules in popularity. Ubuntu is sometimes twice the numbers of its second place, month in and month out, year in and year out.
156 • No subject (by Sean on 2009-06-04 00:07:16 GMT from United States)
(wish I could edit here)
... Ubuntu is sometimes twice the numbers of its second place, month in and month out, year in and year out.
I was just wondering why.
157 • Enterprise vs. home Linux (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-06-04 00:37:20 GMT from United States)
First, enterprise distros are free as in freedom. The software isn't what's sold. Support is.
Second, it's the enterprise sales of Linux support that fund the development of Linux that you enjoy on the desktop. It's why FOSS developers can earn a living.
Third, the server room is where Linux has made inroads which in turn leads to more desktop adoption. The server room is every bit as much as what Linux is about as my netbook is.
158 • Thanks for the link (by Shawn on 2009-06-04 01:52:43 GMT from United States)
Ladislav, thanks for the link. Unfortunately, my "favorite" distribution varies from time to time so the numbers might be skewed. I've been using Ubuntu as "THE" Linux for my main systems, but with what Fedora has been releasing lately, I might be jumping ship back to Fedora sometime in the near future. The only thing that's been stopping me from using Fedora exclusively is its speedy end-of-life and non-support after 13 months. This is why I like openSUSE so much, not so much because it's "better" than other distro's, but because I have support for 2 years for each release of openSUSE. I still sit back and wonder why I'm not on board the Debian wagon, but then I realize why I'm not when I use the Live CD's - just too old for me, then I get more annoyed when I'm mad at Ubuntu or Fedora for not being as stable as Debian. Nothing like going round and round on an endless trip. That's what it feels like when trying to determine which one is "best" for me because from my point of view they're all good. This is the main reason I'm running Ubuntu 8.04 LTS since the day it came out on my system. 3 years support, hard to beat that without shelling out money!
With that being said, as someone who's tested every release of OpenSolaris, I am pretty impressed with that distribution and can't wait for it to reach the maturity level driver-wise with that of the typical Linux kernel. I'm watching them very closely.
159 • @158 (by stuckinoregon on 2009-06-04 02:11:38 GMT from United States)
Understand what you're saying about Debian. If someone is wanting to run more bleeding edge stuff, then just a standard install could be discouraging. Have you thought about doing something like running the "Testing" branch? In my experience, it is pretty rocksolid and still has the nicer features of Debian. Also by specifying Testing instead of Squeeze, you basically have a rolling release. Anything that makes it into Testing becomes available to you regardless of the actual release that is current. Just something to think about.
@155 Sean, what exactly does this statement mean?
"I find it half-baked compared to other distros."
I hear, every so often, from people that don't like Ubuntu similar statements. I realize you're not necessarily saying anything really derogative. I'm just trying to get an idea of what people are trying to get at. Kinda like people stating that KDE4.2.x is so much more feature rich than KDE3.5. I must not be using of these new wonder features, as I just don't notice that much of a difference beyond the cosmetic.
160 • re#155 enterprise vs. desktop linux (by hab on 2009-06-04 02:45:48 GMT from Canada)
Desktop linux is probably disproportionately viewed by the audience here. Especially in terms of influence. Desktop usage has a far greater mind share than enterprise usage, but enterprise linux has a far greater influence on development.
I agree that enterprise usage is not entirely in line with original linux philosophy (software that sucks less) but neither is it contrary to it. That ubuntu is in a leading position may be so on the desktop but that doesn't make it so in linux. Redhat's market capitalization was $2.62b last nov. Shuttleworth said a while back that Canonical would be be self financing at $30m revenue. They are not there yet and they have a bit to go to catch redhat.
161 • Re: 159 (by Shawn on 2009-06-04 05:24:26 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the tip, I think I am going to try that method soon as well. That's one of the main reasons I'm a huge Arch Linux fan - up to date software with a rolling release system. I'll have to give it a try. I just downloaded a recent Debian Live CD, so I'm half way there!
162 • #153 (by Xtyn on 2009-06-04 07:34:03 GMT from Romania)
Red Hat's worldwide Linux server market share was 62.1% in 2007 down from 64.2% in 2006. In contrast, IDC says Novell's worldwide Linux server share rose to 29% in 2007 from 26.1% in 2006.
I'm not saying that this is not true but I have a hard time believing that Debian, Slackware, Ubuntu and all the other distros account for less than 9% of the Linux server market share (62.1% RHEL + 29% SLES = 91.1%).
163 • Market share (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-06-04 08:52:20 GMT from United States)
Actually, I think the three you mention account for far less than 9%. I've worked as a consultant doing corporate Linux for quite a few years. I have yet to see even one Slackware system or Debian system deployed. Ubuntu is starting to make inroads but they are still a very small player.
Ones I have seen: CentOS (which doesn't count as Red Hat), Connectiva (a Brazilian company with US offices, probably on Mandrive by now), Gentoo (and management wanted it ripped out), and Mandriva. Of those three I've only seen CentOS more than once.
164 • some comment-commenting (by arno911 on 2009-06-04 09:38:35 GMT from Germany)
ultra really made the best comment ever, this was very reflective, a wise comment, and it was funny as can be.
about a rolling release brand new Debian experience, testing gets packages 2 weeks after they came into Sid, the unstable branch. sidux does a great job in offering a distribution based on that. you cant have a more current Debian experience, and its rolling release.
sidux and Arch have the same "attitude" the devs make it because they want it - and if people dont like it, they can run their "pure" Debian Sid or any other Distribution out there.
sidux is released, when its ready, not when the clock says: its time! thats how it always should be, i commend fedora for doing the same. if its not ready, dont release. good move!
yes I cant hear the word Ubuntu anymore. but I also cant here the whining about it anymore, i just cant stand it. the latest Ubuntu "silly name" 9.04 is great, imho the best Ubuntu ever. people who use it on a server have my compassion - its for Desktops. running a server is a better idea with redhat, debian or even slackware.
Xorg problems come from Xorg. dont blame the distributions for it.
I wonder why the donations made by DW are not always the same. some projects get 150 Dollars, others get 400, I cant see why, and nobody ever explained it, if I remember correctly?
RedHat does the most work for Linux as a whole. I dont use it, but I benefit from their hard work and everything else but cowardly ideas.
England, or GB in whole is not part of Europe, only using it for a profit or destroying vast parts of it since the Times before Napoleon lol. I have to mention Gibraltar, which is indeed in Europe, tho. lol
please feature grml, it has surely deserved it, in a future review.
Brad, I offer to send you 2 cents, even euro cents, I dont like it when you are broke :)
Debris Linux made me laugh.I mean the name. sounds like its broken by design. but the short "review" made clear that its a nice Distro for those who want small gnome DE and use it on older hardware.
165 • Re 163 Market share (by DG on 2009-06-04 10:24:50 GMT from Netherlands)
The department I work in escaped from the strictures of the corporate mainframe by moving
technical analysis work to Unix with VT100s, and then NCD X-Terminals. With the advent of
cheap PC hardware, we avoided the central corporate PC Windows configuration by going
for RedHat. Under a new sysadmin we moved to Lunar Linux because he also happened to
be the project leader for Lunar and therefore had complete control over the configuration.
Since he left, the new sysadmins have switched to CentOS because they saw that most of
the commercial analysis packages we use are usually only officially supported on RedHat
or SUSE, and CentOS is basically RedHat without the support.
So I can understand why people might consider switching to CentOS.
166 • Re: 150 (by Azzorcist on 2009-06-04 11:17:35 GMT from Indonesia)
I am a big advocate for installing software from a distros repositories. Not binaries, using the distros' package management system so I can be assured the software has been tested with my distro and is (hopefully) digitally signed. That's as safe as it gets.
As far as I know, almost all distros' package management install binary packages (already compiled source packages).
My point is I don't want to compile packages for myself on my machine. I wanna use binary packages like .tgz, .deb, and .rpm because compiling is time consuming and confusing for newbie.
167 • error in Ladislav Bodnar's mail address (by Matteo at 2009-06-04 12:11:58 GMT from Italy)
Hi, there is an error in Ladislav Bodnar's mail address, the mailto points to "firstname.lastname@example.org".
Thanks for your great work
168 • #160 (by Sean on 2009-06-04 13:27:16 GMT from United States)
Well Hab, it seems that what we're viewing here at distrowatch is pretty close to what we were viewing on that great day in the Windows-only era when the word "linux" came up as an alternative to Microsoft products for computer users.
The ones who were crowing about were not home desktop users then, as I recall; they were at work. And they wanted to make better use of the resources available on their work machines.
Of course those of us in jobs where using computers was not a factor began thinking of the possibility of a faster, more efficient, less crashy and non-spoonfed operating system for our 1.2 Gb hard drive at home. :)
169 • re#168 who does what to/with whom (by hab on 2009-06-04 15:10:42 GMT from Canada)
Somewhat apropos is this study from the linux foundation here: http://www.linuxfoundation.org/publications/linuxkerneldevelopment.php
and a overview of the results here: http://www.aiti-kace.com.gh/?q=node/476
It appears that the most popular desktop distro apparently has not contributed back in a significant fashion. This is an observation, not commentary or criticism.
It could well be they are not yet in a position to do so. With < $30m coming in things could well be very tight.
Nevertheless for doubters of the value of contributions back from the enterprise community, understand it is significant. Redhat, mandriva, novell and ibm are all significant contributors back. This may not directly affect desktop users but it certain helps advance the overall gnu/linux software ecology. And that is a good thing!
170 • Re 166 (by john frey on 2009-06-04 15:52:45 GMT from Canada)
You are right, most package management systems install binaries. I appreciate you prefer to install binaries from your distro's repositories. I agree entirely with that.
There is a reason I promote using the package management system and not binaries. Binaries can be acquired from many sources, just one of which is using a distro's package management system. Installing binaries can include going to a web page and clicking on a link that downloads a binary to install. That is not the Linux way and I hope to never see that become the Linux way. It's unreliable and a security risk. It could make your system unstable, unusable or infected with malware.
Compiling from source is entirely optional and no one has to do it. It is not necessary to compile software to run Slitaz, either. Don't ask me why but I have fun compiling sometimes. Crazy, I know.:)
171 • xfce (by thomas on 2009-06-04 18:55:30 GMT from Germany)
what is a good xfce-distro for a newbie with an older laptop? 1.13 ghz 512 ram
arch live doesn't work, it's a shame!
172 • #171: Xfce desktop/distro (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-06-04 19:15:08 GMT from United States)
I'll probably get slammed for recommending these again, but for an older laptop the two best choices for a distro with an Xfce based desktop, in my experience:
Vector Linux 6.0 Standard
Wolvix 2.0 beta 2 (Hunter)
The beta of Wolvix is very close to ready for prime time. The bugs are minor. I don't recommend Xubuntu because the performance on older hardware is not nearly as good as these two.
Others will undoubtedly have different suggestions :)
173 • @172 (by capricornus on 2009-06-04 19:23:43 GMT from Belgium)
As for XFCE I fully support the 172 advice. Even Wolvix Hunter revived too old laptops, only hardly running NT4 with a just as old PIII.
As for alternative GUI's like IceWM, I must admit that Antix8 is a fine and modern competitor. I use both, so don't start a flame on me.
174 • #171 (by yelamdenu on 2009-06-04 21:10:39 GMT from Netherlands)
Vector, Zenwalk, and some others based on Slackware are great, but if you want masses of packages I'd go for a Debian netinstall, choosing XFCE as a desktop environment (check that out very early on after starting up the cd, it's somewhere in the options).
175 • @172 I agree (by Paul on 2009-06-04 21:25:51 GMT from United States)
I have one major gripe with the *buntu family of distros on older systems. I have a 1998 era Compaq with 400 Mgz PII and 312 Meg ram and onboard sound chips, es18xx class. Ubuntu does not recognize or have a simple way of setting up these onboard ISA sound chips. I have to hunt for the script in the forums to make it work. I tried other distros on it that have ALSAConf that works but usually find other reasons not to keep them.
I had Debris on the Compaq and no sound. I remembered that VectoLinux SOHO 5.9.1 had ALSAconf and I liked it. I loaded VL Standard 6 on it now and i like it. I have sound!!! I don't remember trying Wolvix, may have at some point. VectorLinux is now my distro of choice for older machines. I find Puppy good, too. I can load it into RAM and free up the cd drive. And it has ALSAconf for the ASI ex18xx sound chips.
176 • another one ofr @171 (by john frey on 2009-06-04 21:35:00 GMT from Canada)
I use Sidux with xfce. I've got a 1.4Ghz Celeron and 512MB ram. Sidux runs very fast, but not as fast as Slitaz. Has a larger package repository though.
177 • #174/#171 - Good point about package repositories, but... (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-06-04 21:53:00 GMT from United States)
yelamdenu makes a great point about the relative size of the package repositories. The fact is that no Slackware based distro comes anywhere close to what Ubuntu, Debian, Mandriva, and Fedora offer in terms of number of available packages. Having said that, one of the reasons I list Vector ahead of Wolvix and Zenwalk is the size of the repository. They have lots of volunteer packagers nowadays and among the Slackware based distros they almost certainly have the largest repository. It's still nowhere near the major distros but it's outstanding compared to other Slackware derivatives.
178 • Wolvix/Zenwalk (by Han on 2009-06-04 22:47:00 GMT from United States)
The Wolvix and Zenwalk repositories are very good for many peoples. If you need "special" application they are pretty good about get it for you. Also if you want different window manager like Fluxbox, LXDE, Openbox, Enlightenment, they have in repository just click for installed.
179 • No subject (by forest on 2009-06-04 22:47:26 GMT from United Kingdom)
Crikey Paul, ref your '98 Compaq, that's not older systems...that's Antique Roadshow stuff! You might have seen Caitlyn's definition of "old" kit as being older than 5yrs...
I presume tho' you are playing devil's advocate? I presume also this older kit is for your hobby or pastime...nothing wrong in that but you can't really be serious to suggest Canonical/Ubuntu (and derivatives) should spend serious wedge on trying to support kit that old...it's not as though we are awash with 10 yr old Compaqs/whatever...
GNU/Linux is the heart of a "serious" OS for "serious" computing, it's not really aimed primarily for hobbyists, who have yet to grasp this point.
If Linux is to gain consumer confidence, or interest, it seems a retrograde step to write code for a tiny percentage of near obselete machines/chip sets.
You might have observed recently that Ladislav has included, on the home page, several distros written, exclusively, for a local market. Those markets number potentially millions and millions of "new" computer users. These new users are not going to "play" with Linux...they are going to use it as an OS to drive their machines.
On your side of the Atlantic you are indeed fortunate, you really are, in having a very competitive (read very affordable) market in used business machines....some of the kit being "only" 3 yrs old.
Why not explore that kind of kit and consign your Compaq to your display shelf?
180 • re #179 (by anticapitalista on 2009-06-04 23:02:06 GMT from Greece)
There are plenty of modern distros that will work well on a 10 year old box, so don't retire it to the shelf.
Having said that, don't expect miracles either.
181 • #179 (by Nelly on 2009-06-04 23:04:43 GMT from United States)
Forest, do you believe in recycling and protecting the environment? If you do then you understand why someone would not want to just dump a computer. I can't see why these machines shouldn't be made to run as they once did. We don't need more computers in the world to grow obsolete in a couple of years and end up in a landfill. We should be thinking about how to develop closed loop economies that don't rely on the continual cycle of planned obsolescence, production, and conspicuous consumption. Some of us don't care about driving the market forward.
182 • post#172 (by Sean on 2009-06-04 23:15:27 GMT from United States)
Why would you get slammed for your recommendations for XFCE linux?
This place seems very docile compared to many other forums on distro agreements or disagreements.
We do have Vectorlinux on two of our units now, one PC and an old Thinkpad. It works pretty good, although we are always keeping our peepes peeled for efficient distros on older hardware.
Wolvix, huh. Ok.. I'll bring that up with the faculty and see what they say; that's one name that has not come up. We've toyed with antiX and Zenwalk and Berry and others, but had the perennial networking issues as well as surprising sluggish behaviors on the Thinkpad until we slung Vector in there.
183 • Thank You! (by thomas on 2009-06-04 23:22:42 GMT from Germany)
Hey, i've just installed Vector Linux and must admit that it is great. Absolutely everything works out of the box.
All the great ones, like debian, fedora, suse... had really weird probs with this old thinkpad, and if it ran, then very slowly.
I never would have thought this laptop to be so beautiful and fast!
Again, Thanks a lot!
184 • #183: You're welcome, #182: Why? (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-06-04 23:57:51 GMT from United States)
#183: Thomas, I'm glad it worked out for you. Vector has a reputation for excellent support of older hardware. If you do run into problems it also have a very large, friendly, and helpful community. Don't be afraid to ask questions in the forum. You'll find lots of people willing to help with any issue you may have.
#182: Why would I get slammed? Oh... because I have been before. I used to volunteer a fair amount for Vector before a conflict of interest made continuing impossible. Some people here felt I was doing too much Vector advocacy. Two weeks ago I recommended Wolvix and someone accused me of being "obsessed" with the distro.
The reality is that these are just two distros I've had great success with on my hardware. When people have equipment similar to mine I recommend them because they work for me. I realize that there may be different results with different hardware and that won't be true for everyone but IME it is true for most people. Thomas' result on a machine with specs very similar to my old Toshiba is a common outcome.
185 • Funny story (by Nobody Important on 2009-06-05 00:07:36 GMT from United States)
It's been a crazy weekend, but finally the Wi-Fi was fixed.
I was talking about the Wi-Fi system in our house to my new step-grandfather. We chatted for a few minutes about computers, and he dropped this line, I quote to the best of my memory:
"I'm using...what's it called...PCLinux. It's better than Windows, that's for sure. No viruses."
Did you hear me correctly? Step-grandfather. A man that I needed to describe the concept of my Wi-Fi to. I don't know him all too well, but that was still a surprise to hear him say he was using PCLinuxOS.
Just warms your heart, doesn't it?
186 • post#184 (by Sean on 2009-06-05 01:05:59 GMT from United States)
Some people will always point fingers of suspicion; that is just their lifestyle. But the tried and true remedy for avoiding the unprovoked, strange hair-trigger accusations sent your way is simple: merely change your forum identity to that of a male.
That way when a dart comes your way you can bet it's a bit more likely got something behind it other than fear of the accuser's nuts shrinking to raisins.
Worked for me. ;o)
187 • #186 (by Manbo on 2009-06-05 03:10:45 GMT from United States)
Comment deleted (spam).
188 • RE: #179 follow up to #175 (by Paul on 2009-06-05 05:00:52 GMT from United States)
forest is right about Ubuntu and older machine. I was just saying that while Ubuntu works on my Compaq, and there is a work around to get the sound chips working, why do they not have the ALSA configuration utility? It works on PNP and other systems also. It is available in other distros. They push Xubuntu for older systems because of the smaller footprint. I'm saying that it would not hurt to have it in the distro's repos. I believe Mandriva and I know Puppy has it as part of the standard distros. Why can't the reportedly number one version of Linux/GNU?
I do have a more modern box. A Shuttle K45 with a Celeron 430 and 2 Gig RAM. I have 64 bit Ubuntu 9.04 and 32 bit Win XP on it. I have had Ubu 9.04 on the Compaq too. Just, no sound. They both run off a KVM switch. And if I leave the Compaq running, my wife complains about the computer being slow.
As for retiring the Compaq, it still works. Plus, as the old man said about his rusting pickup truck, "It has sentiment value." It also reminds me of how much computer I can get for half the price I paid for it. A bargain in 1998 for a PII 400 with 32 Meg of RAM, 8 GIG HDD and a 100 Meg ZIP drive at $900. The Shuttle I set up is running with new and on hand parts for $230 ten years later. I almost got a VIC 20 and a C-64C a few weeks ago for $2.00 each at Goodwill. Think I could get Linux to run on those?
Thanks for the feedback. That helps "put the fun back into computers".
It's only an Operating System, not a religion.
189 • #171 Wolvix and lightweight distros (by Xtyn on 2009-06-05 06:30:16 GMT from Romania)
I recommend Puppy Linux or Debian netinstall for older hardware.
After all this talk about Wolvix, I made the mistake of actually installing it on my Dell C610, with Pentium III at 1GHz and 128RAM.
I installed Wolvix Cub 2.0 beta. I used fluxbox but it was still very slow.
Even Debian (with fluxbox) was faster, gobbled up less RAM.
Just to make a comparison, Wolvix booted from grub to login screen in over a minute, Puppy, from grub to full desktop in 30 sec. Wolvix loaded Firefox in 16 sec, Puppy in 6 sec. I won't even go into details but it was an awful experience for me.
I'm not saying that everyone will have the same experience I had.
190 • No subject (by forest on 2009-06-05 08:26:20 GMT from United Kingdom)
Well Nelly, there's recycling and there's recycling and there's protecting the environment!!!
I am using two recycled machines at present, a 6yr old Compaq Evo, which i lugged all the way from OZ back to UK but it was so heavy it probably burned a lot af avgas flying it 12000 miles, so perhaps it sort of cancelled out the energy saving thing.
The second machine is a recycled Optiplex 280 and only travelled a further 200 miles or so from London to me.
Both theses machines run just about "all" distros without any tweaking from me, and probably conform to the later RoHS regs etc etc. But they are in no way as efficient as new tech...remember, as supplied they would possibly have been supplied with glass screens...
But, you could question, not unreasonably, why I (personally) run two machines, when in our household there are at least another half dozen machines, PCs and lappies, which are used infrequently and only for leisure activities, surfing, facebook, email. etc etc.
Now, as for protecting the environment...yes very much so...but there is very little incentive when you consider that on one hand the "authorities" enact all sorts of laws about compulsory recycling, especially tech kit (I refer more to UK here 'cos I live here and am more familiar with our legislation, but no doubt you have equally tough legislation where you live).
But, on the other hand said authorities are quite happy to dump "our" not inconsiderable amounts of nuclear waste over other countries...one with a very large sandpit and another rural idyll in easternish Europe in the form of DU (depleted uranium munitions).
These "other" folk are almost certainly using Linux of one flavour or another and by definition are part of our "community"...it's a funny old world...
191 • #189 (by Artificial Intelligence on 2009-06-05 09:36:13 GMT from United States)
Have you tried Austrumi? DSL, Tiny Core, DSL, Slax, Vector, Slitaz? Wolvix Cub is still in beta. I found it is slow to boot on my machine too but once running it is pretty good. I attribute the slowness to it's beta status. Might try it again on final release. The Hunter version beta 2 is good.
192 • general observations re old pc's / recycling (by DeniZen on 2009-06-05 09:53:41 GMT from United Kingdom)
Re comments above on Environment / recycling / old machines / expectations / size of repo etc ..
I'm all for recycling.
I also consider 'getting an old PC/Lappy to do something useful' to be a fun thing to do, and it feels good / right once 'achieved'.
And of course, Milage may vary regards what 'achieved' may actually constitute ;)
We do need to keep it within the realms of common sense
I do ssee (or interpret) some odd observations in this regard!
It is not realistic to expect an ancient machine to 'do everything' or work flawlessly with every Distro - popular ones or otherwise.
Nor usably run all current apps.
Therefore, while a large repo is nice - and why not - just getting an 'ancient' machine to be functional and useful ought to be an achievement - e,g, get online, browse - light office tasks.
Thats functional, and its a fair goal.
Depending on vintage, much more may be possible of course.
But that is a bonus, not a 'right', nor realistic expecation.
So after all that is said on the subject,
How many people actually choose to use (only) 'old' hardware for most, if not all of their tasks?
i.e. Not 'project completed', and then sitting on the shelf - That is not recycling!
Personally, apart from my Mac (which is far from new now TBH , and which I employ only for very specific tasks), all my Linux boxen are pretty darned old - one is very long in the tooth indeed.
But all are used!, usable, & functional (and rescued) and would otherwise have become landfill.
I just dont expect tooo much of the oldest ones ;)
193 • Older PC's (by Jose on 2009-06-05 12:25:23 GMT from United States)
I tend to stick with Slackware or Slackware based distros for anything below a dual core box. On a Dell Optiplex GX150 (PIII, 1GHZ CPU) with 256mb of ram, VectorLinux ran great! It was fast, responsive and totally usable. The buntu's were much slower as was Mandriva 2009 with LXDE. I imagine if I tweaked them, trimming the services starting on boot, it would have helped.
I didn't have to do anything to VectorLinux. It found everything and just worked.
I use KDE 4.2.4 on my main box. If VectorLinux had a distro based on it, I would switch to it on my mainbox which is a Dell Optiplex GX620 with 4GB of ram. It can handle the full distros, but I like the Slackware way of thinking.
BTW I run Mepis 8 64bit Cano remaster on my main box. It is very well done, but KDE 4.x is NOT for older boxes!
194 • AntiX (by Abby on 2009-06-05 13:18:28 GMT from United States)
Don't forget AntiX. This one should get the Distrowatch donation sometime. I use it on my business machines.
195 • Citrix (by Dave R. on 2009-06-05 13:38:12 GMT from United States)
Ok, here is the problem, my wife needs to use Citrix. Her company just upgraded to some kind of zen.msi thing. Has anyone used Citrix on Linux, which distro and how did you do it? Wine doesn't support the .msi thing. She often works from home which is where it is installed on a WinXP laptop. I would like to get rid of XP.
196 • but KDE 4.x is NOT for older boxes! (#193) (by Anonymous on 2009-06-05 13:49:09 GMT from Canada)
Linux forums used to have comments about the Windows Os requiring more computer power with each new version.
If the above comment (NOT for older boxes) is correct it should eliminate those comments.
Personally I am waiting for a 17 core cpu with a "Babel-17" (Samuel.R.Delaney) os.
197 • Hmm (by Nobody Important on 2009-06-05 14:16:37 GMT from United States)
When discussing distros for older computers, I usually start to laugh when someone mentioned an Ubuntu OS of some sort. They have never advertised themselves to be a distro that works for, what is being discussed here and to be completely honest, legacy hardware.
If I need an OS on an older computer, and I KNOW it's older, I install Debian with LXDE. If that doesn't work, FreeBSD. If that seems like a bit too much work, Puppy Linux. If it doesn't work with any of those, I'm not going to bother trying to get it to work.
I, personally, refuse to use any computer that can't run Unreal Tournament through Wine. That's my minimum requirement. Anything over that seems like an over-extension, unless it's making sure UT2004 can run as well.
I was still looking at a few computer components and wondered how easy it would be to make a low-powered system. Combine a low-end AMD processor (like the 4850e, which was reviewed favorably for its ridiculously low power usage), a good AMD motherboard with integrated graphics, a stick of RAM, a case, a hard drive, and a DVD Drive (if needed). Easily under $200 if you watch sales, much better than anything you could "save" for that price, and will run quiet and low-powered every time.
198 • @ 195 Citrix on Linux (by DeniZen on 2009-06-05 14:19:58 GMT from United Kingdom)
I use it a lot.
Download the Citrix client from here:
I'd suggest the one on the top of that page - whether you have an rpm based system or not.
Unpack, and run the setup script, as root, or as user - see below for difference between the two approaches.
Or, install the rpm, of you wanted to use the rpm based version
You can install the ICA client as root, for system wide Citrix capapbility, or a an user to install to your home directory 'per user'.
Ensure you have the ' openmotif' package installed on your system.
Now, this is the tricky bit, and not often mentioned in documentation!
You will need to copy your mozilla CA Certificates into the Citrix ICA keystore, or you will get a 'You have chosen not to trust certificate' type error.
It looks like a Firefox error, but it is on fact Citrix that is complaining
You can eitther export the certificate from Firefox (if you know which one)
Preferences > Security > Certificates [export procedure]
(make sure you append .crt to the exported Cert file)
Or you can search your system for *.crt
(probably /usr/lib/mozilla/certificates - or something) and copy them to the Citrix ICA keystore (copy as root if installed globally)
The Citrix keystore is usually something like
(or the equivalent path in the users Home folder , if not installed system-wide).
Should then 'just work' .
Thats from memory , so the locations I gave may be a bit wrong, but you should be able to work it out I'm sure
I know that if you use Fedora, you will have some further fiddling to do, and you will have to search for specific Fedora & Citrix tips. but it is do-able I can vouch for that, as I use Citrix on Fedora 11 Preview.
(Fedora repos dont have openmotif for example - and there were other fiddly things - nothing major).
If you use Ubuntu or Debian etc it should be straightforward, and as per the rough guide above.
Let us know how you get on.
199 • apols - (by DeniZen on 2009-06-05 14:32:27 GMT from United Kingdom)
apols, I realised after posting, wrong kind of forum really, for that kind of long-winded how-to style of reply post above.
200 • #193: KDE on Vector, #191: Austrumi (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-06-05 15:54:49 GMT from United States)
#193: Jose wrote: "I use KDE 4.2.4 on my main box. If VectorLinux had a distro based on it, I would switch to it on my mainbox"
Keep an eye out for Vector Linux SOHO 6.0, currently in development. It will be just what you are looking for.
#191: Austrumi is nice but it doesn't include wireless support which is essential to me. Yes, the Slackware packages can be added but I don't see the point in reinventing the wheel when a number of very nice Slackware derivatives already offer both the basic wireless packages and nice graphical front ends for easy configuration.
Those of you who prefer Slackware derivatives may find next week's DWW interesting... Think Slackware derivative not yet mentioned in this week's comments :) You'll find out which on Monday.
201 • re: Debris Review (by Eyes-Only on 2009-06-05 16:05:12 GMT from United States)
A huge thanks to Caitlyn for her review this week of Debris! I had played around somewhat with the 1.0.4 version - I think? - or perhaps it was an even lower version, back when it first forked off from "Beatrix"? It doesn't matter... what *does* matter is that back then I didn't care for it though I forget the specific reason(s).
I think at that time I was going through my "kitchen sink" phase. I think everyone here has perhaps at one time or another gone through that? When you've hopped from distro-to-distro searching for that particular one that "had it all", or at the very least, the right combination of programmes to suit your fancy?
I've since then learnt that I especially love distros that are light-weight and have fairly large repos, or at least everything in their repos I want/could ever use. ( i.e. "VectorLinux Light", or "Wolvix Cub" for two examples here. ) This then allows me to start from a minimal system install and build up to a system which I like - after someone else has done all the difficult work of making sure my video, sound, and the like, works like a charm. ;) ( Hey! I'm basically lazy and my time is short for experimenting. )
Enter Debris! After what had to be an install quicker than any Puppy install, all of 5 minutes or less, and easy enough that my 7 year old grandson could do it ( "y/n, 1/2/3" answers in a semi-ncurses CLI environment? ), I was ready to use Synaptic to take my 1.7.0-beta version of 800megs and flesh it out just a little. Now it has a couple more text editors, all-around media player, a couple of graphic editors/viewers, not to mention the few browsers I like the most ( and all tied into my default bookmark files, cache & email directories, etc. ), and still the system remains lightening-fast with Galeon opening in around 1 1/2 seconds!
Thank you once again Caitlyn for bringing to light this wonderful little gem named "Debris"! Talk about "Putting the fun back into my computer!" Woohoo! :-D
202 • @200 (by AI on 2009-06-05 16:10:17 GMT from United States)
203 • #200 guess the slack-based review ;) (by anticapitalista on 2009-06-05 18:31:02 GMT from Greece)
My money is on Absolute or possibly GoblinX
204 • #203 guess the slack-based review ;) (by anticapitalista on 2009-06-05 18:32:41 GMT from Greece)
Sorry for doublt post.
Just to add to #203 that a review of either Absolute or GoblinX would be very useful (I hope)
205 • Absolute (by Nobody Important on 2009-06-05 19:55:44 GMT from United States)
Absolute is Absolutely my favorite.
It's like Puppy, but not a pain to install. Just kidding, Puppy fans, joking.
206 • #200 Astrumi (by anticapitalista on 2009-06-05 22:49:46 GMT from Greece)
I think you'll find that Astrumi is older than some popular Slackware derivatives (though not your favourite)
207 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-06-06 00:41:53 GMT from United States)
Austrumi or Kwort I would say, hopefully Austrumi
208 • #198 (by Dave R. on 2009-06-06 00:56:36 GMT from United States)
Appreciate the tutorial DeniZen. It seems complicated but I'm going to give it a try.
209 • Slack Based Review (by Jose mirles on 2009-06-06 01:39:39 GMT from United States)
I hope it is GoblinX.
I used to love the way they made Windowmaker so beautiful.
Anyone remember another Slackware distro from Germany? SaxonOS or something like that. It was small and really quick. Hadn't heard anything about it in a while.
When SOHO comes out with KDE 4.x, I will test it and if it is as good as before, I will switch to it. Back when Tigger had control I used to buy it to support the distro.
Would love to go back.
210 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-06-06 01:57:01 GMT from United States)
We're so bored that it's down to guessing what feature article will appear on next DWW?!
Find a good book to read - linux of course. Go for a walk...
211 • Debris (by stuckinoregon on 2009-06-06 02:41:37 GMT from United States)
I know I could ask this in the forums but since it pertinent to your review, I'll ask it here. Where were you able to get software? Unless I'm doing something drastically wrong, I can't pull any packages. Gutsy, since it's reached EOL is gone from every server I've searched. Leaving me to either try and wing it and do something like a dist-upgrade to hardy or just not install software. I'm wondering why they would put this beta release out on May 4th based on Gutsy when it was already defunct (as of April 18th). Just seems strange.
212 • Sorry......my RTFA broke for a minute there. (by stuckinoregon on 2009-06-06 02:45:35 GMT from United States)
Don't know what happened I completely skipped over that little paragraph regarding the repositories twice. stupid stupid stupid!
213 • Slackware based distros (by TheOneThatWontGoAway on 2009-06-06 03:20:21 GMT from United States)
For Slackware based distros, my absolute favorite is Slax. The others are OK, but for me Slax is the best of them all. Wolven started with slax and modified it to make Wolvix, it is now independent, but still uses linux-live scripts by Tomas Matejicek. Zenwalk also uses linux-live scripts or modified them also, NimbleX, Vector, SLAMMP there are many Slackware based distros out there. They are very good, but for me I like Slax. It has mostly everything I need and there are modules for the things I can live without. I hope Slax gets mentioned here since it is my favorite. GoblinX also uses linux-live scripts by Tomas. It is also based of Slackware sorry Grobsh for not mentioning you . There is also one by Quax and Flux called Slack2Go, it has been quiet but they also have something nice going.
214 • #213 Slax (by Anonymous on 2009-06-06 04:34:06 GMT from United States)
Slax, yes! In fact that's the only Slackware I use to like. I completely forgot about it. There was a period of time when development stopped. I used "Kill Bill" and a few others. The reason I stopped using it was that Parted Magic had better tools.
I really miss those sneakers , they made me smile :)
215 • @163 re. Gentoo (and management wanted it ripped out) (by Anonymous on 2009-06-06 05:36:19 GMT from United States)
We're at that phase now, it's been decided not to wait until the machines die to upgrade. Maintenance issues caused by inconsistencies and Tom-foolery of the Gentoo Devs or lack there of, is coming to a head.
The new distro that got the nod, -Mint.
216 • Mint 7 x64 RC (by awong on 2009-06-06 07:08:48 GMT from Canada)
Speaking of Mint (from #215), I noticed the latest x64 RC is available on the DW homepage - no mention yet on the Linux Mint homepage...
217 • Re: 211 (by Azzorcist on 2009-06-06 08:42:00 GMT from Indonesia)
You might want to look at:
But, read the bold sentence:
There's no update at all.
218 • Re: 211 Debris Beta is HArdy, not Gutsy (by Sertse on 2009-06-06 10:24:21 GMT from Australia)
The May 4th beta release of Debris is based on Hardy LTS, not Gutsy. That's one of the differences mentioned in the review.
Debris will be based on LTS on all future releases as well, I believe so this problem won't occur in the first place.
219 • @213 about Slax (by Sean on 2009-06-06 12:23:20 GMT from United States)
Wow thank you for the informative blurb about Slax there, TheOneThatWontGoAway. I had no idea it was so influential..
Time for a disc burn. :)
220 • @218 (by stuckinoregon at 2009-06-06 13:54:30 GMT from United States)
My brain had apparently checked out for a bit last night. I had in fact initially grabbed the 1.0.4 release thinking that I had the 1.7.0. After seeing that I had completely missed the paragraph in Caitlyn's article I discovered where I was in error. The Mark Twain quote really does still ring true.
221 • Slax (by Sean on 2009-06-06 14:19:01 GMT from United States)
lol that was fun.
This is a case of "should have read about the distro before downloading and burning and running the live CD."
There's no installer, and it appears to be meant to run alongside an existing, internet operating system before it can be installed hard drive. I am not certain of this, but all I know is there is no installer in the menus; likely there is a script somewhere in a folder on the CD.
Also, the only (visible) networking tool is the one that scans for networks; nothing to actually detect hard ware and then to set up a connection.
I did take a quick look at the forums at Slax's website and discovered a thread started by a rather apologetic newbie asking how to install Slax. He was advised to use his Windows 98 to download certain scripts etc and run this in command line and then run that in command line, etc. His responses were more apologies for being a newbie along with "I don't understand any of that."
We need to be able to just pop a CD or DVD into the machine and either run the live CD and then install or just install as a choice from the initual menu; then we need to be able to go to a networking tool in the menu and set up our router/network easily.
Slax is not for folks with those needs. :)
It appears to be an insightful, bright little distro for those with the need to build almost from scratch, though. But I buy stuff already made; I don't build stuff. It is good to see the nitch for those who like to build being filled by distros like Slax, and I remember when that was the majority of linux users.
222 • #221 Slax (by Xtyn on 2009-06-06 15:05:55 GMT from Romania)
Slax is not made to be installed. It's just a live cd.
223 • Slax live CD (by Sean on 2009-06-06 15:24:29 GMT from United States)
It was my bad not checking on that before heading to the download page, getting coffee and then just burning the disc and booting up Slax, as mentioned in my post there.
I think there is a provision in most live CDs for hard drive or other media installation.. but I should have looked into that wrt Slax.
224 • GoblinX (by Cal Cutta on 2009-06-06 17:39:42 GMT from United States)
It does not have Flash Player. Distros without Flash Player are no fun.
225 • No subject (by forest on 2009-06-06 19:58:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
...but how difficult is it to find one...and only a moment or two to d/l and install.
I suppose it's all very well not to include one in the original distro packaging, but one can take this purity thing rather too seriously...as mentioned by others earlier, not just this week...it's only an OS...
In fact there's a great deal of moralising goes on...not just here of course, that is rather pointless when balanced against real life, LOL.
226 • Wolvix (by Sean on 2009-06-07 00:27:47 GMT from United States)
Trying Wolvix for the first time here on a Toshiba laptop.
This distro screams. For a beta it seems to have a nice, mechanical, well-oiled sort of feel to it as I use the XFCE menu and tools.
Glitches abound, of course, being a beta. Only partial downloads in Gslapt's upgrade utility, with error messages galore. For some reason a half-rezzed Firefox appears at each login which has to be Xed out to see the desktop.
I'll be reporting these bugs and more at the website.
But it is running ok. I can see that it is likely on its way to being a solid distro.
227 • #226 (by Maori on 2009-06-07 01:33:39 GMT from United States)
You need to update Gslapt and your whole life will be sweet. Please go here for directions:
228 • 227 (by Maori on 2009-06-07 01:48:21 GMT from United States)
...that is if you are using Wolvix Hunter 2.0 Beta 2. For Cub, well it's still pretty new.
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