| DistroWatch Weekly
1 • The status of Intel video drivers for Linux (by Mahmoud Slamah on 2009-08-17 09:27:59 GMT from Egypt) |
Very useful information , many thanks
2 • Ubuntu is NOT the only "major" Linux distro due out in next few months! (by Observer on 2009-08-17 10:43:55 GMT from Australia)
"...The operating system market is certainly heating up with key releases from Microsoft, Apple and Ubuntu due out in the following months..."
I am not Ubuntu bashing (I have a partition with 8.10 installed) but I don't like to read biased reporting. As most informed people know, ALL the major commercially backed distros (Fedora, Mandriva, openSUSE and Ubuntu) are releasing about the same time in the next few months and I see no reason why Ubuntu should be seen as the only one competing with MS and Apple.
IMO, any serious Linux candidate that competes with the major commercial desktop OS offerings of MS and Apple should as a minimum support patch/delta updates, which Ubuntu does not.
3 • Running Rawhide (by Barnabyh on 2009-08-17 11:15:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks for the warning, I'll rather stick to Slackware-current then. Is that the new wallpaper in Fedora 12 or Ladislav's own? It somehow seems to keep in Fedora-style.
Have a good week everybody-
4 • Xorg Xserver problem not just Intel, and re: #2 (by Solo on 2009-08-17 11:19:07 GMT from United States)
It's not just the Intel graphics that's affected with the changes, ATi graphics fail with the new Xorg, as well as motherboards with VIA chipsets. Granted I have an ATi 9800 series graphics card, but such drastic problems shouldn't have been in place to "happen overnight"upon upgrading. I've tried to "downgrade" back, but have lost 3D support and OpenGL compatibility. Since editing xorg.conf has been pretty much removed to HAL (somewhere), even an Intermediate end user, such as myself, can't figure it out. I feel for the true beginners, who now have a new reason "not to switch". It hurts to know that those would-be converts to Linux, who are trying to save money by keeping 5 year old computers running, are currently being disappointed. I hope it all gets ironed-out soon, as I'm not at an expert level to be able to figure it out, and I refuse to give-in to going back a few years to using "that other OS". I also want to feel confident again to be able to continue my "I don't do Windows" and "Do you want to keep your broken windows patched together, or do you want your computer to work right?" way of doing things.Re #2, I have no idea of what a patch/delta update is (showing my non-expertness). Could you, or someone point me to where I can find easy-to-understand general info on this? Thanks!
5 • re # 2 (by simon on 2009-08-17 11:26:07 GMT from New Zealand)
I agree that on Distrowatch, a bias towards Ubuntu is not really appropriate. In addition to what you've pointed out, this week kernel mode setting is discussed, and we're told that "Kernel Mode Setting (KMS) is now enabled by default in the most recent Ubuntu 9.10 alpha release." But why tell us about this in a yet-to-be-released version of Ubuntu, when it's already enabled in the last release of Fedora? I'm not knocking Distrowatch, you do a great job: I'm just saying if you're discussing a feature, why not report on the distro that already has it, rather than reporting on Ubuntu just because it's Ubuntu? Yes, it's top of your page hits list, but don't forget those same page hits tell you that most of us are NOT using Ubuntu! And I'm not knocking Ubuntu either (nor using Fedora!)...like "Observer", I just don't want to see Distrowatch turn into Ubuntuwatch.
6 • RE: 3 Running Rawhide (by ladislav on 2009-08-17 11:26:28 GMT from Taiwan)
It's just one of the several wallpapers available in Rawhide. There are others and they even rotate in regular intervals!
7 • #2; #4 delta (by Xtyn on 2009-08-17 11:28:55 GMT from Romania)
#2 "IMO, any serious Linux candidate that competes with the major commercial desktop OS offerings of MS and Apple should as a minimum support patch/delta updates, which Ubuntu does not."
#4 I have no idea of what a patch/delta update is (showing my non-expertness).
When you do a delta upgrade, you don't install the whole application again, you just download the portion that has been changed, that's a delta. The only advantage is smaller downloads for upgrades.
8 • re # 5 (by simon on 2009-08-17 11:34:55 GMT from New Zealand)
...actually I should add that the little bit I was whining about was part of a very nice article! Thanks!
9 • Ubuntu Bias (by Jimbo on 2009-08-17 11:45:57 GMT from United Kingdom)
Fact is, when Windows 7 and Snow Leopard are compared to Linux this Fall it wont be Fedora Vs Snow Leopard, or SUSE Vs Win7, it will be Ubuntu. So is Distrowatch showing a bias or just reflecting the wider world?
I agree with the sentiment that Distrowatch should not treat Ubuntu differently from any other distro, but at the same time, whether we like it or not Ubuntu is the poster child for Linux and mainstream desktop adoption is going to depend on Ubuntu doing well.
10 • Kudos (by Michael Raugh on 2009-08-17 11:58:20 GMT from United States)
Kudos to Caitlyn for the state-of-the-drivers update. She confirms what I've experienced with my Intel-945-based laptop but added in a lot of the backstory that I really hadn't had time to research.
An interesting water-cooler question, though: why aren't Windows users affected by this? Is it because the video subsystem in Windows hasn't changed in half a decade while X evolves constantly? Or is there some other reason?
11 • Fedora and KMS (by Rahul Sundaram on 2009-08-17 12:10:04 GMT from United States)
"Setting graphics resolution, which has traditionally been done as part of the X server, has also been migrated to the kernel. Kernel Mode Setting (KMS) is now enabled by default in the most recent Ubuntu 9.10 alpha release."
It would only be fair to note that Intel and Red Hat has done extensive work on KMS and it is enabled by default for ATI cards in Fedora 10, by default for ATI and Intel cards in Fedora 11 and also for Nvidia in Fedora 12 (Rawhide) as well. Plymouth depends on it for the smooth graphical boot.
12 • Ubuntu, etc... (by Adam Drake on 2009-08-17 12:42:25 GMT from United States)
For once, I agree with the talk about too much attention going towards Ubuntu this week. Good catch on #2, Observer!
I installed and tested Windows 7 Ultimate this weekend. It runs much better than Vista on my 3 year old Dell with a hyper-threaded P4 and 4 GB of ram. It's about as quick and snappy as Mint 7 with Gnome. The only downfall is that it's so expensive and you have to scour the web looking for software to get the capabilities that come freely with Mint. Oh and the fact that it takes a DVD instead of a CD. Other than that, not too bad. :)
I would not have even tested Windows 7 were it not for the MSDN membership provided by my employer. It's not worth upgrading from XP and especially not worth the money with all the wonderful Linux distros around...
13 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-08-17 12:46:53 GMT from United States)
[Rawhide] is nowhere near as trouble-free as Debian "Unstable"
Since when is Sid trouble free? That is dangerous to imply to a new user as evidenced by the recent "fuss" with the not so successful bi-arch transition in dpkg
14 • Oh dear lord (by Nobody Important on 2009-08-17 12:49:10 GMT from United States)
Whether you like it or not, comments #2 and #5, Ubuntu is the posterchild for Desktop Linux. The mainstream technology press will be analyzing it. Not Fedora. Not OpenSUSE. Not Puppy. Not Arch. Not DistroX. UBUNTU.
GET OVER IT.
This is why it was included in the short list. Those three OS releases are what will be reported on by the big networks. Not just our little Distrowatch. This is big. Do you think Windows 7 was an accident? Do you think that the "advancements" the two big OS' are making are just coincidence? Think again. If Windows 7 is just a minor upgrade from vista, you can bet the tech websites are going to compare it to the average Ubuntu release (which would look bad for Microsoft because they make you pay for their stuff!). Competition for the monopoly has arrived.
Ubuntu sets the standard for the rest of the Linux world, in a nutshell, so if they enable KMS on their alpha build, that means everyone else is fairly close behind (and Fedora probably already did it, but bug-fixed issues for everyone else). As for me, I use it, Debian and Fedora.
Dear lord, it's like people sit on this comments section just for the sole reason to get their underwear stuck up their rear. Grow some skin, people, or realize that every goshdarn time Distrowatch mentions and goshdarn distro in an example that your distro will not get mentioned most of the time.
Why is it that every time I look at a story about Ubuntu there is always someone posting about how "Ubuntu hogs the spotlight, use my distro instead lol." No wonder Linux fans get made fun of.
Please, settle down. You're really embarrassing the adults here.
15 • Intel cards (by Jesse on 2009-08-17 13:02:43 GMT from Anonymous Proxy)
Unfortunately the Intel issue is a good example of how running Linux can be a rough ride, if someone wants to stay up to date with the latest and greatest. It makes a good case of "release when it's ready" rather than a fixed development and release cycle.
I was hoping to write a review of Arch Linux this week (their new 2009.08 version came out recently). Sadly, I couldn't get Arch to boot on either of my machines. It also refused to boot in a VM. I checked and rechecked the image's md5sum and tried different media, but Arch plain refused to boot, always crashing right after starting udev.
16 • No subject (by Hodzic Anis on 2009-08-17 13:04:17 GMT from Germany)
Cant wait for ubuntu 9.10 hopefully they will make gnome so it look good i mean compare it to win7... kde 4.3 in my opinion looks great and im running right now.... i love gnome so please ubuntu pimp my gnome....hehe
gonna go try this new firefly linux sounds cool
17 • GMA500 (by Leo on 2009-08-17 13:04:53 GMT from United States)
Caitlyn: excellent read. Let me just add that the amount of open source code that Intel has been contributing is simply outstanding! Kudos to them.
You forgot to mention the GMA500 fiasco though, that IS a BIG deal: a chipset, not only with no open source drivers, but also with almost no support at all. Folks beware before buying your next netbook!!!!!!!!!!!
18 • @4 (by Adam Drake on 2009-08-17 13:17:30 GMT from United States)
"It's not just the Intel graphics that's affected with the changes, ATi graphics fail with the new Xorg, as well as motherboards with VIA chipsets."
Not all the ATI graphics fail with the new Xorg. My X300 runs better with the changes in Mint 7. I no longer have to enable the restricted driver to get desktop effects working...
19 • No subject (by forest on 2009-08-17 13:21:21 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref Ubuntu remarks.
The main reason you read more about Ubuntu is because there is more about Ubuntu to read, LOL. Were you to examine the number of Ubuntu clones available then it is inevitable the U word will feature more often.
Apropos the notion of page hit lists, they simply tell you that there were more page hits for a particular distro...nothing else can, or more to the point, should be inferred from those lists.
20 • Intel hardware (by kilgoretrout on 2009-08-17 13:48:49 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the nice update on intel graphics; it was very informative.
I've seen a similar mess with intel integrated sound since kernel 2.6.29 on every distro I've tested. Affected chipsets seem to be ICH8 and above. I'm talking absolutely no sound here on mandriva 2009 and 2009.1, Fedora 11, sidux and pretty much anything else that uses a kernel 2.6.29 or greater. I'm having a hard time understanding why ALSA is having such difficulty with intel sound on moderately recent intel motherboards(ICH8 motherboards have been out for over two years). I thought intel was suppose to be reasonably open source friendly. Perhaps I'm misinformed.
Does anyone have any insight on what's going on with ALSA and intel sound? I've had to resort to using OSS 4.x instead of ALSA. OSS 4.x has reasonably good drivers for recent intel sound but is very difficult to integrate into the usual DEs of kde or gnome.
21 • Re: 15 (by silent on 2009-08-17 13:56:48 GMT from Hungary)
Well, then I am fortunate because for me Arch sometimes only crashes after several hours. Unfortunately, sometimes after a couple of minutes. Anyway, Arch is my favourite playground for the latest developments and it is very fast. And I had problems with Ubuntu 9.04 and Fedora 11 as well. On the other hand, Opensuse 11.1 with the 2.6.27 kernel and also Puppy 4.21 with the 2.6.25 kernel are rock solid with my Intel card.
22 • Intel driver (by octathlon on 2009-08-17 14:00:35 GMT from United States)
Thanks for that excellent article Caitlyn!
It's ironic that when back I bought my laptop I specifically chose one with Intel graphics so I wouldn't have to worry about problems.
23 • Intel Video (by srschifano on 2009-08-17 14:05:31 GMT from United States)
"Distributions like Debian GNU/Linux, openSUSE and Slackware Linux did not have a final release during the past six months and have avoided the problems which plagued distributions with faster release cycles."
Actually, the Intel video issue affected openSUSE 11.1 as well, even though it hasn't released within the last 6 months. When it was released last december, I was having a tough time trying to figure out what the heck was wrong with my laptop (that has a GMA965 graphics chip) b/c at that point the problems weren't as widely known (maybe a forum thread here, a mailing list entry there). Going by this, I would say openSUSE 11.1 was one of the first distro's to suffer from this issue. This is exacerbated by the fact that, since they haven't had another release, users with those graphics cards haven't been able to use the latest version without troubles.
The issue was known during development of 11.1, since there was a discussion amongst the developers to delay the release until a stable Intel video driver was available. They decided against it, and instead released with a buggy driver; there are plenty of threads about it on the openSUSE forums about it. The popular tactic of getting around it was to use 11.0, since its still supported and fairly up-to-date.
24 • No graphics issues with Ubuntu 9.04 on Dell Latitude 2100 (by Zac on 2009-08-17 14:07:41 GMT from Australia)
Comment #14: Well said. My sentiments exactly.
Intel Graphics? I just purchased a Dell Latitude 2100 netbook which came with Ubuntu 9.04 pre-installed. I have no problem with the Intel graphics on this. It was going to come with 8.10 installed but Dell may have added a patch to 9.04 to cater for the Intel graphics problem. ?? Anyway 9.04 is nice on this netbook, oh and the netbook hardware is also very good.
25 • #13 (by Donald A. Tevault on 2009-08-17 14:11:44 GMT from United States)
You're right, Debian unstable (Sid) is extremely troublesome. But, the article didn't refer to Sid. Rather, it referred to Debian testing, which is currently code-named "Squeeze".
26 • Slackware12.2 on Lenovo 3000 N200 (by Mahmoud Slamah on 2009-08-17 14:16:31 GMT from Egypt)
lspci -v | grep VGA
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile GM965/GL960 Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 0c) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
I not have any problems with Intel Graphics on my laptop Lenovo 3000 N200
where i install Slackware 12.2 and work fine :)
27 • Gobolinux (by Peter on 2009-08-17 14:16:42 GMT from Slovakia)
Does their approach mean that you have some files/libraries multiple times in your system when several programs use the same files/libraries?
28 • Intel Video Owner (by mistert on 2009-08-17 14:28:00 GMT from United States)
I think the Intel bashing is just like the KDE 4.0 bashing. People should just stick to older versions until a known good version comes out. For example, people wouldn't dare touch KDE 4.0 and swore they would never want to use the newer KDE. Well skip a couple releases later, and the same people that said they would never use it, have 4.3 as their main DE.
29 • BACKPORT of 2.8 Intel driver for Mandriva 2009.1 Spring (by killer1987 on 2009-08-17 14:41:16 GMT from Italy)
these days there are some interesting news for mandriva users related to the intel driver. It has been provided a 2.8 version of the driver for mandriva 2009.1, and now it is in testing phase. Until now the impressions and comments are more than positive:
30 • #5 Ubuntu market share (by Xtyn on 2009-08-17 14:48:52 GMT from Romania)
"Yes, it's top of your page hits list, but don't forget those same page hits tell you that most of us are NOT using Ubuntu!"
On the contrary, most of us use Ubuntu.
From the current awstats statistics, 40.6% of the visitors use GNU/Linux.
Of those 40.6%, 11.6% have an "unknown or unspecified distribution".
So that leaves 29% specified distros.
Ubuntu has 14.3%, almost half.
Mint has 4.3%.
These statistics are based on the browser user agent.
An interesting detail is that after the release of Firefox 3.5, Ubuntu's percentage dropped while "unknown or unspecified distribution" percentage grew, because when you install 3.5, it doesn't say in the user agent string the distro you're using.
Another thing is this: http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/what-your-favorite-linux-distribution-desktop
There, Ubuntu + Kubuntu have 40%, Mint has 12%, that's 52%.
Ubuntu and Ubuntu based distros have more than half of the Linux (desktop) market share in my opinion.
31 • Intel working perfectly (by Vincent on 2009-08-17 15:20:05 GMT from Belgium)
#28: second that. IIRC when AMD/Ati opensourced their driver, lots of people were complaining because they were having trouble with it. I'm not quite sure, but the AMD/Ati-driver is still rocky. I bought a new mobo with Intel IGP (G45) and installed Debian stable onto it. I had to enable the unstable repo for the newest kernel (2.6.30 with 2.8 driver) and xserver-xorg and that was it. Pure and Simple. No hangups, good performance AND an open source driver with good support. Nobody can deny that the Intel-driver has had a real overhaul recently and they're still working on it to make this the best driver available.
32 • RE: 14 & 30 (by Landor on 2009-08-17 15:21:02 GMT from Canada)
You're not helping and kind of admonishing the people for the same thing you're doing, expressing a view point, with exasperation.
As Ladislav has stated many times, page hit rankings are not that accurate. Before you start saying that's not what you're talking about, I'll explain.
The same can be said for any browser's user agent. I have "1" box with Ubuntu on it and I "normally" only use Ubuntu when posting here (like now). All my other systems are Debian Lenny or Mepis(and AntiX). What the awstats cannot tell you is how many of those users are booting up a livecd only, distrohopping/testing at the time out of curiousity. It does not tell you what is installed, or used on a daily basis. Only the fact that it was in use (for whatever reason) during that visit.
What will eventually show Linux usage in a proper statistical light is actual sales from major companies like Dell, and stats on returns or asking for another OS to install instead of the Linux choice. Here I'll stick my neck out over the chopping block. Until we see numbers from companies like that I'll go as far to say "Desktop Linux" is only an Internet Community "Niche OS Alternative".
Believe me when I say I wish that was not the case.
Keep your stick on the ice...
33 • re: 15 (by Roman on 2009-08-17 15:42:26 GMT from Ukraine)
@15: from your description it appears that you hit a known bug in VirtualBox. It is fixed in their SVN (future 3.0.6). Arch just happen to trigger the bug because it uses the latest kernel and udev.
34 • A few responses (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-08-17 15:43:45 GMT from United States)
First, thanks for those who had kind words about my article.
#10: Michael, I think you hit the nail on the head. The Intel and X.org developers tried to push the envelope and deliver next generation performance. Windows drivers for Intel have been pretty well static.
#15: It's only a "rough ride" if you insist on staying cuttiing edge. Using Ubuntu as an example, the 8.04 LTS release is still considered current and available for download from the Ubuntu website. It's had pretty much all the bugs hammered out of it for some time now. It's what came preinstalled on my netbook and it has been flawless. The same could be said for Red Hat/CentOS/Scientific Linux or Debian or Slackware or Zenwalk or a host of others who have stayed with the older code so far.
#17: The GMA500 chipset uses a unique and separate driver and was beyond the scope of this article. Leo, you do give excellent advice. Whenever considering a laptop purchase (including a netbook) you really should research compatibility if you're buying one preloaded with Windows. OTOH, nowadays it is very easy to buy one with Linux preloaded, at least here in North America. That should avoid compatibility issues.
#23: Thanks for the information. I skipped OpenSUSE 11.1 and I had read in a number of non-distro specific forums that it worked well. I guess I should have taken a little extra time and checked the SUSE forum.
#24: As noted in the article, some users have problems and others don't. I listed the factors involved. Clearly Dell found a combination of hardware and settings that works as it should. What you've written is a perfect example of why buying a system preloaded with Linux is usually a good idea.
#26: As noted in the article Slackware 12.2 uses the older 2.2.1 driver. There were no problems with that version. Slackware 13 with the 2.8 driver may experience some issues though I expect, much like Pardus 2009, that they won't be severe.
#28: Let's just say I disagree completely. The Intel issue is a known regression, well documented and publicly discussed by the developers. A severely flawed hardware driver was rushed to market. That is far more serious than the KDE redesign and hugely impacts a large number of users of potentially every distro that has a new release. Comparing Intel driver issues to KDE4 is like comparing apples to bricks.
#29: That should help Mandriva users but as I note in the article it's not a panacea. There are still some issues to be worked out.
35 • Feature article / Driver for Intel X4500MHD ? (by DG on 2009-08-17 15:45:07 GMT from Netherlands)
Interesting feature article on the difficulties of providing drivers when there are so many options to support.
By sheer concidence, I was toying with the idea of buying a new system at the weekend, and the choice was between an own-brand box with Intel Pentium Dual Core T3200 processor and Intel X4500MHD graphics card, or an HP Pavilion Slimline s3820 with AMD Athlon X2 Dual-Core 5000+ with NVIDIA GeForce G100 graphics card.
I was tempted to go for the all Intel system, but resisted. Then I searched the web trying to find the appropriate driver to use for the graphics card under Linux, but what I found instead was various reports of user problems in general, but not with this particular card. So I'm none the wiser at the moment :-(
36 • Ubuntu & Reality (by Moe on 2009-08-17 15:45:53 GMT from United States)
Ubuntu is a good OS and it's great to know that a first rate Linux project is rapidly becoming a perceived threat by major corporations. Everyone should be proud of their contributions. But.... Is the idea of being a strong market competitor the primary motivation for going forward? I certainly hope not.
I still get a kick out of booting up with a live CD built by a some small project located in some remote region from some distant planet. I will never forget the first time I boot up with Kanotix. Wow!
37 • #30: Dell and Linux return rates (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-08-17 15:55:01 GMT from United States)
...from major companies like Dell, and stats on returns or asking for another OS to install instead of the Linux choice.
I can't help with sales figures but we do have some new information from Dell on return rates:
"Todd Finch, Dell senior product marketing manager, said the number of Linux returns are approximately the same as those for Windows netbooks. He categorized the matter of returns as a “non-issue”.
Finch went on to say that Microsoft “are making something of nothing”.
38 • # 30 Ubuntu Marketshare (by kilgoretrout on 2009-08-17 15:57:37 GMT from United States)
I think people see what they want with these market share numbers. What I see is that over half the people using linux that visit this site apparently use ubuntu or a ubuntu variant. I'm not surprised by that figure. Ubuntu is very popular among those new to linux; is targeted to those new to linux as an easy to use linux; and is aggressively marketed by Canonical and is thus probably the only linux distro that a lot of newbies know about. I would guess this site draws a lot of newer linux users so the tilt toward ubuntu is not surprising. I believe that click through preference poles have about zero validity,i.e. they prove nothing and no conclusions can be drawn from them other than that's how many clicked for a given preference.
Estimating linux market share is an intractably difficult problem but the last time I looked at the issue, the market share for desktop linux was estimated at from 1% to 3%. Bragging about having half that market with a bunch of dubious statistics is like bragging about being the world's tallest midget. It severs no useful purpose other than validating someone's distro of choice and why that's important to anyone is beyond me. Ubuntu is a fine a very popular distro but the constant PR and marketing hype rubs a lot of people the wrong way.
39 • Intel issue (by VernDog on 2009-08-17 16:10:34 GMT from United States)
I have an Intel i865 integrated video chip, so:
Using Ubuntu jaunty, I had to revert to the older intel-2.4 driver.
On Ubuntu koala, I had to also revert to using intel-2.4 driver and because KMS is turned on, I needed to use "nomodeset" in the boot string.
My fear is when this Intel issue is all fixed, us with older Intel chips will have to stay with older drivers.
The odd thing is, Fedora 11 works perfectly! No change anywhere. I thought whild reading the article that perhaps KMS is not turned on. Someone pointed that is is. Not sure why my i865 works under Fedora without any changes. Some other change. Perhaps xorg.
40 • RE:37 & 39 (by Landor on 2009-08-17 16:20:13 GMT from Canada)
In my opinion (only), I never truly believe that as a measure of facts. I read his comment somewhere else and drew the the same conclusion. A "senior product marketing manager" will say anything at a conference where he doesn't have to provide any info supporting his comments. I'm not saying it isn't true, but until I see actual legit figures I usually take stuff like that as I would the PHR here.
Good to see you back posting these last couple weeks VernDog. Glad to see you're enjoying Fedora too. I found it very favourable when I used it. I still pop into the one partition it's on from time to time. Very clean and very clean that release is.
Keep your stick on the ice...
41 • #2,#4, #7 and Delta RPMs (by Anony Moss on 2009-08-17 16:31:12 GMT from India)
The aforementioned posters (yes, I'm dated) raise a question that is very relevant to some of us- the size of security/ system upgrades. Can someone knowledgeable on this topic list the distros which offer this method of upgrading? AFAIKnow, SUSE and Fedora but one is resource hungry and the other too cutting edge. Any distro with a manra of 'stabilty' that also offers delta rpms method for updating? PCLOS, by any chance?
And how much do the delta rpms typically reduce download size, in percentages?
42 • Graphics drivers (by JD on 2009-08-17 16:43:54 GMT from United States)
This is sad to hear! , I myself
43 • estimated arrives hemisphere (by walworthno on 2009-08-17 16:45:58 GMT from United States)
Comment deleted (spam).
44 • china occur increased (by palmerenat on 2009-08-17 16:47:13 GMT from United States)
Comment deleted (spam).
45 • Graphics drivers (by JD on 2009-08-17 16:49:45 GMT from United States)
... Think They should Release all graphics drivers Open Source and stop being stupid! no ones gonna steal your "trade secrets" ATI Nvidia Intel! stop being stupid and just release them gpl! it'll save you time and money! I Tend to prefer Nvidia cards because hey actually work! as with ATI ones get 'Unsupported" eventually as has happened to me 2 times already! thanks Nvidia Keep making 96X drivers please!
46 • Wow (by JD on 2009-08-17 16:51:24 GMT from United States)
Comment deleted (off-topic).
47 • FreeBSD (by BlueJayofEvil on 2009-08-17 16:51:57 GMT from United States)
I'm glad to see FreeBSD taking its time (as usual) to make sure the big 8.0 release will be solid and stable. I'm excited about the new features it has in store for us!
48 • No subject (by Matt on 2009-08-17 16:54:39 GMT from United States)
Please don't stop with the Ubuntu news. I rather enjoy it. The anti-Ubuntu crowd here is just a bunch of distro-haters trying to be relevant.
49 • RE: 21 & 34 (by Jesse on 2009-08-17 16:58:13 GMT from Canada)
@21: You said Arch stays up and running for hours before it crashes? Just hours? I would expect a system to stay up for days or weeks unless I wanted to shutdown.
@34: My original post said running Linux could be a rough ride if a user was running the latest and greatest. You countered by saying it's only a rough ride if the user is using bleeding edge software. I don't see how those statements differ. (?)
50 • No subject (by forest on 2009-08-17 17:07:08 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ubuntu stats...were anyone interested enough to google up how many Uxx based distros there are then prepare to astonished and gratified at the same time.
One example is from the Spanish "administered" Canary Islands off west coast of Africa:
The Canary Island copy describes an educational project under "Medusa":
I mention this as an example because it has nothing to do with a commercial application per se, and may, possibly, not be classed as a sales "statistic".
To paraphrase earlier remarks, waiting for sales statistics from major companies is a tad ingenuous and bears no resemblance to "actual" usage...or reality come to that.
So, if you were to factor in this sort of usage, I suspect this mythical 3% GNULinux desktop usage is yet another piece of nonsense from some press office in a place called Redmond...
51 • @41 delta rpm's (by Anonymous on 2009-08-17 17:37:30 GMT from United States)
@41 openSuse as far as I can tell only uses delta's on the update repo (not any of the KDE, Gnome or Mozilla ones), though they announced expanding it's use I've not seen any updates to when they would actually implement it (assuming they do, and I do hope so). As to performance all I can say is that when they provided kernel updates (inc. the source rpm) the dl time was minimal - delta rpm's are amazing when you don't have super fast connections.
52 • ready? (by joe on 2009-08-17 17:44:16 GMT from United States)
Caitlyn Martin has written another excellent article. Except for the conclusion - the part of the conclusion that implies that Linux is ready for the desktop.
I have used and supported Linux at home for years. My employer and coworkers use more popular software. IMO, in terms of the great majority of desktop users... Linux is not ready! There are very few distros that just work on my PCs (common hardware). Most do not.
Linux fans don't expect enough from their software. Too often, they promote software that does not "just work".
There is plenty of FOSS that just works. Unfortunately, across the web there are so many articles promoting FOSS that doesn't just work, that it's hard to identify the software that does. I suspect that the reason that it's rare for a developer to release a distro composed solely of software that just works is that half of the team is pushing software that does not.
(In the Linux world, you can't simply say "works" because fans expect "works" to include software that *often* works, or software that needs to be tweaked to truly work. Here you have to say "just works". The need to make this distinction is a symptom of the underlying problem.)
Distrowatch has found a fairly honest compromise between criticism and catering to the fans. Personally, I'd like to see more criticism, but I don't have a feel for how much you could get by with. Overall, your judgement is unmatched anywhere in the Linux community.
53 • @52 (by Nobody Important on 2009-08-17 18:02:38 GMT from United States)
The common formula is often
"Doesn't work on my one (or more) machine I tried" = "Not ready for the desktop."
Not the case.
54 • No subject (by Nobody Important on 2009-08-17 18:21:03 GMT from United States)
@32: I'm not doing any better, huh?
Do you think people are going to stop posting fanboy nonsense without being told? Besides, we've been looking away at every time someone posts the idiotic "Ubuntuwatch" meem on this forum for the past year. There's only so much you can take.
Personally, I wish there were more people who started laughing and making fun of Linux fanboys. Especially the anti-Ubuntu ones. There are more important matters to discuss, such as whether a distro should risk becoming outdated or introduce regressions into their drivers. There are also the stereotypes of Linux users (that these fanboys qualify asvery easily) that if Linux wants to get anywhere in the professional realm it's going to have to discard in the near future.
@38: Constant marketing and PR? What on earth are you talking about? Where have you ever seen an Ubuntu advertisement or marketing campaign?
I see a lot of stories written on the project in the press, but they choose to write about Ubuntu; they're not being paid to. You can subscribe to the announcement mailing list, but then again, most distros have one of those. Canotical does no more or less than any other agent in the Linux community, which is to say, practically nothing.
I, personally, like Ubuntu, because it makes things easy. Newbie friendly is not a bad thing. OS' need to be more friendly in general, and I like the steps it is taking to get there. While I do like to tinker and solidify with Debian or Fedora, when I need to get things set up and done quickly I use Ubuntu. It's an excellent product, as you said.
@28: Well, that's more of an issue of projects labeling new releases as stable when they shouldn't be. Both KDE 4.0 and the Intel driver were released, "ready to go." Uh, no, i beg to differ. Both were late alpha/early beta quality. you can't blame the users for becoming confused and not liking what they see.
@Caitlyn: I will also add to the comments praising your write-up. You discussed the issue very well.
55 • @41 delta-rpms (by sd on 2009-08-17 18:53:29 GMT from Germany)
You can find a lot of examples for comparison e.g. here:
A few examples for a size comparison between an update-rpm and its corresponding delta-rpm :
OpenOffice_org-188.8.131.52-1.2.i586.rpm 49056 KB
OpenOffice_org-184.108.40.206-1.1_1.2.i586.delta.rpm 795 KB
koffice-1.6.3-157.2.i586.rpm 2565 KB
koffice-1.6.3-157.1_157.2.i586.delta.rpm 51 KB
libopenssl0_9_8-0.9.8g-47.8.i586.rpm 649 KB
libopenssl0_9_8-0.9.8g-47.6_47.8.i586.delta.rpm 74 KB
56 • Not a bad thing (by Rarsa on 2009-08-17 18:55:01 GMT from Canada)
I was a casualty of the Intel drivers. My solution (which is not available to everyone) buy a cheap video card with Nvidia chipset.
For those that complain that Linux is not ready for ... whatever. I'd just say: There is a list of stable distributions that wait until the water has settled in any new development to include in their main release.
The advantage with so many people working with "current" distributions is that, by reporting issues, we are helping those stable distributions to get better.
Do you want stability over the latest and greatest? go to an stable version of Debian, slackware, etc.
Maybe if we are of the idea that all software is beta until it gets released in a stable distribution we'll be happier.
57 • Is there a "Stable" desktop distribution? (by Rarsa on 2009-08-17 19:06:02 GMT from Canada)
After reading my answer #56, I started wondering.
Is there a end-user targeted desktop distribution based on one of the stable distros?
I mean a Ubuntu/Mint/OpenSuSE-like distribution, for users that don't want the latest and greatest or a short release schedule, just a desktop system that works and don't pull the rug from under their feet.
I for one wouldn't be using such system but that would be the right system for many people I recommend Linux to.
58 • Some more responses (in reverse order) (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-08-17 19:08:28 GMT from United States)
@52: By your standards Windows is not ready for the desktop. Take a system with a blank hard drive and try installing Windows to it. Most of the time it will not "just work". Linux supports much more hardware natively than Windows does. By your standard Linux is more ready for the desktop than Windows is. Of course, by your standard nothing is ready for the desktop :)
Seriously, now that Linux can be purchased preloaded on hardware from major vendors it is every bit as ready as Windows is. The software has been ready since 2000 or so. The hardware vendors are now just catching up.
#50: @forest, even Microsoft doesn't believe those numbers. There was a story a while back where Steve Balmer had a pie graph showing market share. The Linux slice was slightly larger than the MacOS slice and appeared to be around 12%. Considering Linux netbook sales numbers and the fact that vendors like Dell and HP have been increasing their Linux offerings I expect the real number is probably close to that.
One Belco netbook with a 400MHz MIPS processor running a Debian derivative and a Matchbox desktop was sold to schools recently here in the U.S. The quantity purchased: 200,000 units. That is one model of one relatively obscure netbook that most people would find underpowered. Of course the press on that, outside of a few Linux blogs, was nearly nil.
The fact is that it is nearly impossible to get accurate numbers. One thing we can be sure of is that the minuscule numbers touted by Microsoft fans simply aren't correct which is why I don't quite agree with Landor in #32, though I suspect this disagreement is more semantics than anything else.
#49: @Jesse: You're right, I either misread your original comment or didn't read it closely enough. Mea culpa. Hey, look at it this way: at least I reinforced your opinion.
#5: @simon: You are correct that Fedora has had KMS enabled for some time and I could have mentioned that. Fedora, in general, is often the distro that brings new technology to the Linux community first. Having said that the fact that Ubuntu has just decided to enable KMS by default is news. The article was supposed to be focused on recent developments. That note probably should have gone down lower into the section of the article describing progress Ubuntu is making for better continuity but it most definitely deserved to be included.
This week Ladislav, Chris and I are accused of a pro-Ubuntu bias. A few weeks ago I was being accused of being an Ubuntu basher or hater. The fact that we, the DWW writers, get flack from both sides of the argument tells me that we are doing a good job of finding middle ground and being balanced.
Ubuntu is unquestionably the most popular desktop Linux distribution right now. (Red Hat holds that honor on the server.) Based on my reading of the DWW comments over the past few years the majority of the readership here is desktop-oriented. As a result Ubuntu is always going to get significant coverage.
I think Chris has done a fantastic job of digging up news items about smaller distros. His pieces about rPath/Foresight Linux and Gobo Linux this week are excellent examples. If you look at the Linux press and blogs you will find that Ubuntu does get a huge amount of coverage compared to anything else and that tends to be reflected in the weekly news summary. If anything Chris has balanced things more in favor of wider coverage of as many distros as possible than the Linux/tech press at large.
Sorry, folks, I don't see a pro-Ubuntu bias here.
59 • Re: #54 Really!!! (by kilgoretrout on 2009-08-17 19:19:47 GMT from United States)
You seem to have mistaken marketing and PR with paid advertising. I'm talking about the never ending barrage of press releases and pr puff pieces relating to ubuntu. You know the type - "How to install <insert common application> on Ubuntu" - Answer: apt-get install <insert common applicationi>. Then you have the unceasing Mark Shuttleworth pronouncements which are always in the press along with his interviews; the unending press releases from Canonical/Ubuntu on one trivial topic after another; and you have things like this:
which tries to pretend that ubuntu is some big player in the enterprise space(it's not). It's fairly relentless and does what all good pr is supposed to do, mold public opinion by keeping your company's name in the press in a light that the company wants regardless of the underlying reality. If you are consistently portrayed as a market leader in the press, you have a better chance of becoming a market leader, even if that portrayal is deliberately manufactured and less than accurate.
This didn't happen by accident; it's a calculated attempt to build brand recognition by Canonical with the hopes that that brand recognition will somehow give them credibility in the enterprise. As RH realized a long time ago, no one is going to make any money on the linux desktop; you have to be in the enterprise market if you want to be profitable. Canonical knows this too and has been desperately trying to break into the enterprise side of the linux business for some time. I don't fault them for doing so; it's the only way to survive. However, I think it exceedingly naive to pretend that Canonical is not aggressively marketing their ubuntu brand; you would have to be blind not to see it.
60 • latest and greatest (by Xtyn on 2009-08-17 19:26:02 GMT from Romania)
#56 I have to agree with you.
I think that using the latest intel driver was the right thing in distros that bring the latest stuff.
They did what they are supposed to do, bring the latest kernel, Xorg, drivers etc.
Did anyone expect the people from Ubuntu to say: well, it seems we have some problems with the intel driver, we'll wait untill the intel guys solve it, we'll all take a vacation. Meanwhile, the software from 9.04 will get outdated.
They are not Debian. If you want all the problems solved, use Debian, a RHEL clone, Slackware or the LTS from Ubuntu.
I tried Ubuntu on two different intel cards, 915GM, 945GM. Oddly enough, they both worked well.
61 • Popularity (by Leo on 2009-08-17 19:34:48 GMT from United States)
Another number to look at is Google Trends:
Sure, it is unscientific and what not, but it is a number after all, and it goes in the same direction.
62 • Ubuntu as Linux poster child (by 1369ic on 2009-08-17 20:03:49 GMT from United States)
Those (like #14) who claim Ubuntu is the poster child and we should get over it are missing two very important and related points.
First, the contention that Distrowatch is right to cite Ubuntu over other distros because it is the poster child for Linux means you think we should accept the understanding, and OS-world view, of people who know pretty much jack squat about Linux. I mean, if they need, or believe there should be, a poster child for Linux, their opinion should carry no weight here on Distrowatch. On Windows-related web sites or general computing fora? Sure. But that kind of poster child is a convenient placeholder for an other you either don't really understand or care much about. If you understand it or care enough about it, you'll take care to speak carefully about it. Assigning a poster child to stand in for a whole community is not speaking carefully. Even if you go with the "bigger market share" argument you're accepting Microsoft's definition of relevancy and legitimacy. You can't be proposing that.
Second, if Distrowatch readers (your audience) were any good at accepting that kind of OS-world conventional wisdom, they'd all be using Windows. Telling the scrappy underdogs to accept the terminology of the evil, undeserving "experts" from the outside world is doomed to failure, and rightfully so.
Citing Ubuntu is handy for the Distrowatch writers, I'm sure. Personally, I read Distrowatch for more in-depth discussion than "and Ubuntu is doing this." And I get it, in the comments if not the articles.
My humble proposal is that you cite the status of Slackware instead, based on the fact that it is the oldest surviving distribution, and therefore has seniority. Nice neutral answer in no way influenced by the fact I think it's freaking awesome and have it on both my machines. Really. I wouldn't lie to you.
63 • Intel Graphic Drivers (by Jose Mirles on 2009-08-17 20:22:14 GMT from United States)
My Dell PC uses the 945G graphics chip and Slackware 13/Absolute 13 and Mepis do not have any problems with it.
Must be like Ms. Martin stated, for some it just works without problems. There are so many variables to figure out. I knida feel sorry for those whose job it is to figure out why it works on some PC's and not others.
As for Ubuntu, well, I don't use it. It's alright, but it just doesn't feel right for me. Fact is, I don't know of anyone that uses it. But I accept that it is the most popular distro. Hopefully it will bring more intelligent users over to the good OS side!
As for Ubuntu setting the trends, I don't think so. If that was so, there would not be any Mint, Crunchbang, so on.
Ubuntu just seems to be a well put together distro for those that want a simple to use OS. I think Mepis and PCLinuxOS do the job better, but Ubuntu is definitely a very nice Gnome based distro.
Mandriva's Gnome based version surprised me in how good it was. I thought it better than their flagship KDE version. And I am not a Gnome fanboy!
64 • Very nice reading this week! (by exploder on 2009-08-17 21:03:00 GMT from United States)
I really enjoyed the article about the Intel graphics situation. I agree withe the conclusions that were drawn at the end of the article. I should hope that Developer's have learned something from all of this.You simply can't put a release schedules priority above quality. Had quality been put first, many of the popular distributions would have enjoyed a greater level of success with their releases.
65 • Re: #35 • Feature article / Driver for Intel X4500MHD ? (by DG on 2009-08-17 21:11:33 GMT from Netherlands)
"an own-brand box with Intel Pentium Dual Core T3200 processor and Intel X4500MHD graphics card"
I've been told by an Intel person from Lunar Linux that the X4500MHD is really a gma450 and that this should work fine with the xf86-video-intel driver...
66 • @4 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-08-17 21:13:00 GMT from Canada)
"Since editing xorg.conf has been pretty much removed to HAL (somewhere)"
No it hasn't. Current X servers fully support xorg.conf and its format has not changed at all. The only difference is that you can now run X _without_ an xorg.conf, and it will auto-detect the necessary settings.
If you need to have one for some reason, you can use one - use the same one you used on old releases if you like - and it will do what it's supposed to do, same as it did before.
67 • @20 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-08-17 21:20:57 GMT from Canada)
You're under-informed, rather than misinformed.
The problem is that the HDA audio codec is a rather ill-defined standard which allows for a huge range of variations on the part of the manufacturers who actually _implement_ it. There isn't just one standardized 'HDA audio' chipset OEMs stick on their motherboards; it's a rough standard that they can implement using any one of several dozen actual chips. The more technical / patient readers can have their eyeballs assaulted by this:
that's the quirk file for HDA codecs based on Realtek chips. It covers all the variant ways in which various implementations of various Realtek chipsets behave. That's just one of _eleven_ source files which each contain the quirks for a different type of chipset - all with the snd-hda-intel driver. You can see the full set here:
what you're experiencing is a regression specific to whatever particular implementation you have on your specific motherboard. You should file a bug with your distribution against the kernel, including detailed information on your hardware. If your distribution includes the alsa-info.sh script, include the output of 'alsa-info.sh --no-upload'. If it doesn't, the output of 'cat /proc/asound/card?/codec#?' contains the most important info to actually identify your implementation.
68 • re#66, @Adam Williamson (by Pearson on 2009-08-17 21:21:06 GMT from United States)
Yes, xorg.conf is still supported, but I've had poor luck finding a good example of one. Usually, I just had to "tweak" an xorg.conf to get what I wanted, not write an entire one by hand. I couldn't find a template to work from, nor could I find good docs on how to start.
It'd be good if X had an option to "dump" a working xorg.conf based on what it "discovered." Of course, now that I've said that someone will tell me the option exists. That'd be cool, I guess.
69 • @68 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-08-17 21:22:33 GMT from Canada)
You may wish to feast your eyes on https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/How_to_create_xorg.conf . I wrote it with Fedora in mind, but one technique should work on any distro (from a console without X running, run 'Xorg -configure' as root, this will create a basic xorg.conf with the appropriate information for your system as /root/xorg.conf.new).
70 • @39 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-08-17 21:27:11 GMT from Canada)
We did actually work some patches for i8*5 chipsets into F11 very late in development (that work was partly what delayed F11's release). They've all gone back upstream though of course, so they should be in other distros' updates by now, unless they haven't been updating.
71 • Problems with linux (by Glenn Condrey on 2009-08-17 21:40:54 GMT from United States)
This video issue with linux has been going on for awhile now.
I first noticed it with the issue of Ubuntu 8.10. (I have to stick with 8.04)
It simply will not load. It always crashes out my computer...which isn't new.....pentium 4 HP 2.8 ghz puter with onboard video.
It has no PCI-Ex or AGP slots...so I use a ATI X1300 PCI card. There is no way to disable onboard video in my BIOS. I must leave at least 32negs of video memory for linux to boot....even tho I have a seperate video card.
Newer versions of Sidux or Ubuntu crash after installing when I reboot....leading me to order a 256 meg NVidia 8400 PCI video card (Vista and Windows 7 capable) to see if that alleviates the problem.
72 • Ubuntu the posterchild (by Kiki Novak on 2009-08-17 21:46:55 GMT from France)
So, #14, if I get your argument right, I should stop listening to Charles Mingus only because your favourite artist (Britney Spears) sells a hundred time more records.
KN (CentOS 5.3)
73 • Good article (by Joe on 2009-08-17 21:51:05 GMT from United States)
- Caitlyn, thanks for a good read on the Intel video driver situation. The systems I typically use have ATI or Intel graphics chipsets, so I had an opportunity to experience the video problems first hand.
- Any chance of getting an article on the sound problems that seemed to crop up at the same time?
- By the way, I tried Vector Linux (light and standard) and like it so far. Not sure it will displace Mandriva 2009.1, Mepis8, or Pardus 2009 (which has been pretty stable for me since it's release). But, I'm intrigued enough to want to try the 5.9 SOHO version.
74 • Re: Foresight (by 6r00k14n on 2009-08-17 21:55:30 GMT from United States)
I am not too familiar with Foresight, and I know nothing about rPath, but I think the story about Foresight speaks volumes about making the right choice of distro for what you want to do.
I only disagree with the suggestion of using Fedora. He may only have thrown it out as a more suitably based, but I don't think a fast moving target is the best choice. I would recommend the latest stable release of Redhat/CentOS, Debian, or Ubuntu LTS (not the latest release, but the latest LTS release). Why? Stability.
With a stable underlying base, maybe Foresight can branch out into the latest and greatest in more than just GNOME and KDE (I know Enlightenment could use all the help it can get).
If you disagree, you are entitled to be wrong.
75 • More responses (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-08-17 22:10:56 GMT from United States)
First to Adam Williamson, thanks for answering the question on xorg.conf. I actually had meant to do that. Obviously I described using an xorg.conf from another distro in the brand new Pardus release last week so I can confirm from experience that what you wrote is spot on. The link to the doc you wrote on how to create an xorg.conf file should help quite a few people.
Oh, and thanks again for the link to Keith Packard's blog you provided back in late May. It was obviously an essential read again in putting this week's article together.
@57: Actually there are a lot of good choices that fit the bill for you. First, if you are an Ubuntu fan you could just stick with their LTS releases which come out every couple of years. LTS means "long term support", as in three years on the desktop. The last LTS release was 8.04 (Hardy Heron) but if you go to download it today you'll see that you actually get 8.04.3 as there have been three maintenance releases. The most recent one came out on July 16th and updates continue to show up regularly.
I also wrote about Debris Linux some time ago It's a mini distro based on Ubuntu LTS. The current beta, version 1.8.3, really is remarkably stable. It's a great base for building a lighter, more customized Ubuntu style system.
If you're not wedded to Ubuntu another good possibility would be one of the Slackware based distributions that makes ease of use on the desktop a primary goal. Vector Linux 6.0 Standard would be one good choice. Once the final version is released Wolvix 2.0 would be another. Zenwalk is a third possibility. The advantage to basing off Slackware is that Slack tends to be very conservative about upgrading and often holds back a release or two on things to insure stability.
I'm sure other people will have other suggestions and other favorites.
#59: I absolutely agree. There is a lot more to marketing than television advertising. Canonical has done a fantastic job at gaining mindshare and media attention. I can assure you the reason they are the number one choice for preloaded Linux systems is that they did market themselves to Dell and other OEMs.
#62: I could certainly cite Slackware in my articles as I've used it or its derivatives for years and years, since well before there was an Ubuntu. The problem with doing that is that Slackware isn't a reference most desktop users can related to. Ubuntu is, precisely because it is so popular.
One thing I can promise you: so long as I write features for DistroWatch we'll be covering smaller and lesser known distros, much as I did with Pardus last week. I certainly can't speak for Chris but his track record of covering lesser known distros in the news section is excellent, IMHO.
76 • Re: 7, 18, 66, 68, & 69 (by Solo on 2009-08-17 22:21:36 GMT from United States)
#7 Thank you
#18 I guess I'll have to do a fresh install, and wipe some of those ".directories" in the Home partition to see if the probs go away.
#66 Xorg hasn't auto-detected any settings since the "upgrade". And I'm left with a basically blank xorg.conf.
#68 Thank you for posting, nice to know I'm not alone with the probs.
#69 Thank you for the resource, I'll take a look.
77 • RE: 50 (by Landor on 2009-08-17 22:26:57 GMT from Canada)
You could tell me that 1 one million are being used in the schools and that wouldn't make a difference, seriously. It's apples and oranges. You are representing an example based in commercial use, not end-user desktop use. It doesn't matter if it's desktops used by students or not. Even if it's a million, and it was not in some educational/commercial application of the systems, when you start to think about the sheer numbers when it comes to "personal computers" used by end-users the numbers are staggering. One million would be extremely small.
Now in my opinion only, this is where a good project drops the ball. Why not set up some deal with a large OEM and distribute systems at a reasonable cost with that specific distro only to the Canary Islands. But they don't do this, so what are these students going to buy and/or use when they're not in school or finished with school?
My point is, and was, when we start seeing "Major" OEMs selling systems with Linux (to end users) on them in the millions that's when we'll have a verifiable set of stats to actually measure usage by. I meant nothing more.
Any server, or commercial/industrial, government usage of Linux has 0, let me say it again, 0 bearing on Linux usage for the "end-user". In the computing world, to get anywhere, you have to have both to be considered a force to be reckoned with, since the end-user market is always at the fore driving the need in the other areas.
Keep your stick on the ice...
78 • No subject (by forest on 2009-08-17 22:30:03 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref the percentages, what MS believe and what MS concedes are two entirely different matters...destined never to meet. LOL. I cannot imagine MS admitting to 12% GNULinux desktop usage in case their share/stock holders get nervous.
Look what happened to another company when Jobs took ill...
Having said that I recall Steve B had to file some stuff about whom MS considered were their main competitors...guess who?
Reading the gen here on DW - ref "national" distros - and then googling for more info on a subject - and reading the google distro alert stuff - leads me to believe, or more accurately, speculate, that taken overall, GNULinux desktop usage is much, much more numerous that even the 12% Caitlyn alludes to.
If we are to believe the Brazilian educational authority's (to name but one) claim they have a "captive" audience of 52 million, rpt, 52 million school kids who are going to experience (ignoring truancy, LOL) some form of GNULinux based distro, then this must affect the percentages to a certain degree over and above the 12%.
Mind you, these stats might be skewed even more if you define the percentage as GNULinux desktop USERS, rather than the number of machines running a distro...hmm, I know which method I'd be using...
79 • @77 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-08-17 22:59:55 GMT from Canada)
a third of Dell's netbooks are sold with Ubuntu. That's got to add up to quite a large number.
80 • No subject (by forest on 2009-08-17 23:06:01 GMT from United Kingdom)
There will always be school kids year on year, and rather more than a million...and there will always be school kids (or rather their parents) who buy machines outside of school. If these GNULinux machines are cheaper to buy than MS equipped machines...
I now believe, following various posts above, and, from other forums, it is more realistic (certainly a higher figure, LOL) to cite the GNULinux desktop usage percentage as the number of distro USERS.
Even if a machine is dual/triple booted with an MS product it is not unreasonable to suggest a distro might get used on occasion, although you could argue there is a cancellation effect...
You can see why statisticians get large salaries...
81 • No subject (by forest on 2009-08-17 23:33:54 GMT from United Kingdom)
Well Adam, let's hope Dell risk their arms (groan).
82 • intel driver problems (by ben on 2009-08-18 00:18:07 GMT from United States)
The Intel driver saga kept me from upgrading past Ubuntu Intrepid. I've always upgraded within a couple weeks of a new release since I first started using Ubuntu in 2005. All of my computers use Intel graphics, which I have chosen specifically because it's usually the best option for 'it just works' graphics (especially since I don't want to use binary drivers).
I just upgraded my laptop and desktop (both of which have 965 chipsets) in the last week, more than three months after Jaunty was released. So far my graphics experience has been flawless. I don't play any 3D games, so my experience is limited to 2D and Compiz effects. Still, it was well worth the wait. The big thing I was missing out on was the newer Virtualbox, which has some features that I really need.
Anywho, I guess the point of this whole comment is that yeah the Intel driver / kernel fiasco was an embarrassing mess. Yeah it was a pain in the butt. Yeah it was big black eye for those of us who tend to evangelize Linux and FOSS. But it also taught me that the world won't end if I stay with a perfectly good release for 9 months instead of 6. I guess I'm a little smarter now. On the plus side, my graphics performance is noticeably better than it was in Intrepid and I haven't done any tweaking or anything. apt-get dist-upgrade and away I went.
(yeah, i know, tldr, sorry)
83 • Re: intel sound #67 (by kilgoretrout on 2009-08-18 00:46:56 GMT from United States)
Adam, thanks for your clear explanations on the source of the intel snd-hda problems I've been experiencing. As always, it's a breath of fresh air my friend. However, I'm not willing to let the ALSA devs off that easy when the OSS devs seem to be doing a better job with intel HDA sound issues. However, I will follow up in the future with detailed bug reports per your suggestion. I didn't really think that my chipset was that odd, but it may be:
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 02)
It's on an intel 965 desktop motherboard and I've come across many other unhappy ICH8 and ICH9 users with no sound on kernels greater than 2.6.28. Between the sound issues and the graphics driver issues, it's been a rough year for those with intel hardware.
84 • No subject (by Nobody Important on 2009-08-18 02:43:20 GMT from United States)
@59: I think you give Ubuntu's marketing campaign, if there is one at all, way too much benefit of the doubt. They do no more than any other distro. You think having a blog with the project leader's decrees is a new thing? Ubuntu only succeeds because for some reason or another, it became popular, and so the mainstream press like to pick up on every nugget. Like it or not, the "struggling underdog" gets some pretty good clicks for advertising on tech sites.
@62 + 72: Did I say that we should discard anything but Ubuntu? No.
But, in a story, if you're referencing a music of a certain type, you would be more apt to use an example of something people know. for example, The Fray, while not very good in my humble opinion, is a popular band. If I were toi make a metaphor around rock/pop music, I wouldn't cite something like The New Pornographers, TV on the Radio, or Belle and Sebastian, even if I consider them vastly superior. People wouldn't understand what I'm talking about, whereas with a Fray you get those catchy radio tunes stuck in your head, and there's an immediate connection.
the same is with linux. Like it or hate it, people know how Ubuntu works around here. If you want a simple, easy connection with your readers about how a certain way is done, you can say, "much like Ubuntu" or "also in Ubuntu." A lot of reviews on Fedora 11, for example, were based around the differences from Ubuntu 9.04, because that's the basis everyone knows. Slackware, not so much.
Does that make sense?
I'd also like to amend my former comments and state that I dislike any comments that disparage another distro. Sure, they all have weaknesses (Ubuntu is plenty guilty, yes), and it's good to discuss them, but going out of your way to cite bias for one thing or the other is a waste of time.
85 • YMMV ... (by ROC on 2009-08-18 03:02:14 GMT from United States)
Re #70/Adam: Odd how F11 went blank after booting the install CD on my Fujitsu Lifebook P5020 with its Intel 82852/855GM. It worked fine with Ubuntu 9.04 as embodied in Mint 7.
On another note, I had been using Ubuntu 8.04 on the p5020 until one of the more recent periodic update bundles made the Atheros wifi unable to connect to my router. I had been having trouble like that only upon resuming from standby since about the 8.04.2 update, which seemed to coincide with similar difficulties with Ubuntu 8.10 which never could get the Atheros working when I gave it a try on the p5020 (similar to what I experienced on a p1120 with Prism2 wifi - 8.10 wifi was bad news for my Lifebooks).
I seem to recall reading that the Network manager code was backported from 8.10 to 8.04 twice(?), and both times my 8.04 Network manager became less reliable. 9.04 with Mint 7 has performed almost perfectly in connecting within a few seconds (vs almost a minute or more with 8.04 when it was working at all) whether from initial bootup/login, or resuming from standby.
Linux updates/upgrades are always so ... "interesting" ;-}
86 • Intel and X-files (by Yosef on 2009-08-18 03:24:05 GMT from Canada)
If you look deeply, you will find that Microsoft operatives/developers were embedded deeply in Intel for the sole purpose of shaking up the Intel graphics drivers and causing huge problems for the open source community. The headaches were purposely timed to coincide with the release of Windows 7 with the express intent of making Linux look bad and repatriating AWOL windows users. This is the pitfall of open source when a large corporation controls such a major component of the operating system.
87 • ready to just work (by joe on 2009-08-18 03:30:45 GMT from United States)
#58, Caitlyn Martin: Agree that desktop Linux has had the potential to be competitive for years - years ago it appeared to be one year away. However, in the real world, Linux distributions typically have not achieved the "just works" status that is needed to prevail. There is ample evidence in forums.
Not sure that it's important whether Windows meets my standard. In any case, the challenger should expect to be required to work better than the marketplace standard. The marketplace isn't fair. If popularity is important, then the goal isn't to meet fair expectations, but to meet marketplace expectations.
#53, Nobody Important: There continue to be well-documented problems about such basic software as video (Intel, AMD/ATI, and nvidia) and audio (Pulse), as well as about common applications that depend upon this software. The evidence too often conflicts with glowing reports of some articles.
#56,#57, Rarsa: IMO, the short answer to #57 is, "yes", there are rare stable, user-friendly desktop distros that truly just work, providing functionality expected by typical desktop users with little effort. It is tough to identify the distros that truly just work. The distros (on my particular list) do not get the recognition that they would get if desktop Linux fans insisted that software that reportedly "works" truly just worked.
Tinkering with some of the distros that you may prefer is fun. But it is unfortunate that web articles (that appear elsewhere) often fail to completely describe the nature of these distros.
Further comment. There are at least two important considerations ignored by #52 (my post) about software that just works...
1. A "Linux" distribution includes a large amount of application software.
2. A Linux distribution is often installed by a home user, not by a professional.
These considerations tend to emphasize that, for desktop Linux to advance towards success with typical computer users, the software would need to truly just work.
88 • #70 Intel bug, Grub2 bug, Hello Landor :) (by VernDog on 2009-08-18 03:34:47 GMT from United States)
"We did actually work some patches for i8*5 chipsets into F11 very late in development (that work was partly what delayed F11's release). They've all gone back upstream though of course, so they should be in other distros' updates by now, unless they haven't been updating."
There not. Or at least not part of Ubuntu's updates. Do you know exactly what updates were involved, or were there just too much to mention. Hopefully, it's the intel driver only and/or xorg?
Just to make sure, KMS is active on Fedora 11 kernels?
By the way, I just found a nasty bug in Grub2. I updated Fedora 11 kernel twice now, and each time issuing "update-grub" the initrd was missed by os-prober ! That brough! on SELinux to the forefront once I discovered the error.
Finally, grettings to you too Landor. Vern
89 • Intel drivers (by Lizard on 2009-08-18 04:42:29 GMT from India)
The problem is that Intel's drivers are just technically open-source. They are not open-source in true sense because the public doesn't have enough hardware documentation. The only Intel IGP to have public hardware documentation is the i965. And those docs too don't cover all details exhaustively.
Freedom comes with open hardware documentation, not just open-source drivers. Because so long as there are no open docs, you are bound to use the drivers released by the manufacturer and nobody else's.
And by 'documentation', I don't mean the hardware design or any information about internals. Just the interfacing and programming information.
90 • @86: Microsoft and Intel (by Lizard on 2009-08-18 04:45:40 GMT from India)
BTW, I fully agree with Yosef. And the only solution to this is people understanding that Intel's drivers are not open-source in true sense.
91 • Re: 23 (by silent on 2009-08-18 05:43:24 GMT from Hungary)
For me, updating from the "Opensuse update" repository has solved the problems with Opensuse 11.1. But updates from other repositories (eg. Xorg or any Factory) caused problems.
92 • @83 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-08-18 05:51:34 GMT from Canada)
It doesn't _have_ to be a very odd one to get broken, even - sheer weight of numbers means it's very hard to avoid some kind of regressions between ALSA releases :/. That info isn't enough to categorically identify your particular codec; as I said you need the output of alsa-info.sh (or, at a minimum, lspci -nn, which gives the subv and subd at least).
I've seen a few bugs on Intel ICH boards too, but by the same token quite a lot of them got resolved. It's really hard to talk in general terms, I'd just like to see the specific ID of your chipset then I can go look it up.
93 • @88 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-08-18 06:14:30 GMT from Canada)
The fixes in question were just part of the driver, nothing else. Yes, Fedora enables modesetting (RH engineers have done most of the work on implementing modesetting, so we've been using it longer than anyone else :>)
94 • Some stats on distro usage - Fedora (by Observer on 2009-08-18 07:03:40 GMT from Australia)
Who uses Fedora?
Lots of different people. Millions, in fact -- many millions!
Giving accurate Fedora client counting the 115% effort it deserves.
If you are not familiar with the Fedora Client statistics effort take a moment and read:
I'd like to take a moment and talk specifically about how to do a better job at interpreting the total unique IP connections listed here:
There are two competing factors which influence how unique IP counts can be interpreted as client counts. On the one hand there is the effect of private subnets which map multiple clients to a single IP address. This would lead to the unique IP address count to be an undercount of the actual number of clients. On the other hand we know we have clients which roam across networks and those clients could easily be counted multiple times in the unique IP logs, leading to the unique IP counts being an over estimate of the actual number of clients.
So which is it in reality? Is the 14 million+ unique IP counts sitting in the Fedora MirrorManager logs an over or under count of reality?
I'm here to tell you friends, that its an undercount..by about 15%. There are probably about 16 million Fedora clients in the wild in reality. How do I get that?
95 • #94 Fedora statistics (by Xtyn on 2009-08-18 07:21:10 GMT from Romania)
I don't think they are correct for several reasons:
1. many people have dinamic IP's
2. the statistics are over a lot of time, meanwhile those users might have switched to another distro or OS;
3. it counts distro hoppers too, I have never really used Fedora but I'm pretty sure it has 3 different IP's from me
One interesting thing is that unique IP's go down after Fedora 8.
If Fedora 8 had 5.350.000 unique IP's, Fedora 9 and 10 each have only 3 million.
What does that say?
96 • Fedora Stats (by Rahul Sundaram on 2009-08-18 09:18:46 GMT from United States)
You are saying nothing new. It is right there in the wiki page linked to in the earlier comment. On dynamic IPs and their impact, you should also consider the impact of NAT as counterbalance.
The repository connections have actually grown and so has website hits and smolt profiles. Fedora 8 had 5,342,628 and Fedora 11 has 855,456. This is despite the way mirror manager has changed to distribute the load.
97 • No subject (by forest on 2009-08-18 09:48:48 GMT from United Kingdom)
I say that you can "try" to prove anything by statistics.
In post #78 (mine) the Brazilian figure for school kids (in school attending age bracket) is 52 milion. However, millions could be removed from that figure owing to some kids NEVER getting a chance to attend school because in rural areas they are "always" part of the workforce...or as mentioned last week, said rural areas lack adequate energy supplies to run enough machines anyway.
Still, that leaves many millions who could benefit from GNULinux software.
I just take satisfaction in learning there are numerous projects rolling out across the planet using GNULinux stuff. Sometimes the statistics/figures may not be entirely accurate...but even so they would appear to have had the effect of making Steve B taking his competition a tad more seriously.
According to AW, post #79, Dell ship a third of their netbooks with a distro, and stated, that's got to be a lot. It could be said that the adoption of GNULinux, albeit slow in some quarters, is nevertheless increasing. With any luck the previous posts ref drivers will become a thing of the past, who knows?
98 • @ #87 (by Kiki Novak on 2009-08-18 10:51:25 GMT from France)
"A Linux distribution is often installed by a home user, not by a professional."
Yeah, like the NSA, the NASA clusters, IBM, Chrysler, Texas Instruments. Or the world's greatest supercomputers. Funny thing the machine in Jülich (Germany), currently the world's most powerful machine (73.000 processors) is running... no, not MS Windows, but curiously enough the same OS than the one powering the laptop I'm writing thses lines on (CentOS Linux). Or, to take some examples from the country where I live in, 70.000 desktops from the Gendarmerie Nationale (police force), every politician's laptop in the Assemblée Nationale. Or, on a much smaller scale, the network of public libraries here, all running 100% GNU/Linux and free software (I know it, I installed them).
Linux not ready for the desktop ? Well, hear its knuckles crack. My job for the last three years has been replacing rotten Microsoft systems - only thing "professional" about it is the horrid license prices - with something truly industrial-strength, e. g. Linux.
99 • Re: On the popularity of distros (by Sertse on 2009-08-18 11:30:24 GMT from Australia)
Ubuntu is arguably the most well known desktop linux. Yet one wonders why Fedora and OpenSuse aren't more popular? Why aren't they the standard?
They are the spawn from Red Hat and Novell respectively, two companies that are itself, more well known than Canonical in the wider world. Sure, the relationship isn't so direct as Canonical -> Ubuntu, but you'll argue that could of leveraged off that brand identity it more then what it is atm...
On the subject on whether institutions in country X pushing linux Y actually mean anything, did we already forget about Pardus, the distro from last week? It's pretty much the poster child of a successful Govt-related distro having a genuine impact on users and the wider community. It's used in Turkish govt institutions, it's talked about in universities and technical conferences there, and for a Govt related distro it's well known enough globally that DW knows about it, your other linux reviews/press sites know about it, "you", your forum and irc buddies know about it, and it's judged as on it's merits as a distro (and a fine one); The "Govt" aspect is only a minor afterthought. Pardus is probably the "Ubuntu", 3rd alternative OS that talked about in Turkey...
Anyway, I'm rambling, but I'm just trying to say, sometimes institutional pushes sometimes, do actually mean something.
100 • intel chipset on archlinux (by akurach on 2009-08-18 11:54:42 GMT from Poland)
i would be appreciated if anybody could add some comments how intel drivers works on archlinux
101 • No subject (by forest on 2009-08-18 12:01:49 GMT from United Kingdom)
I love to hear this stuff. And, without teaching your Granny to suck eggs, I recall the French agricultural ministry/authority uses Mandriva.
Knew about the police but not the Assembly bods nor bibliothèque municipales (as we say in UK).
102 • Thanks Caitlyn (by Wil Barath on 2009-08-18 12:56:38 GMT from Canada)
Thanks for the concise snapshot of the state of affairs with the Intel graphics driver.
Like you, I was really impressed with Mandriva 2008, shocked with Mandriva 2009, and sad to see nearly every release or beta this year be virtually unusable on most netbooks. Considering the rampant growth of this sector, the choice by the Intel folks to push their incomplete code, and the adoption by Xorg and the Kernel folks was what I can only politely call "poorly timed."
Thanks for all your hard work, look forward to next week's installation. ;-)
103 • Re:#72 - Ubuntu as a Poster Child (by Leo on 2009-08-18 13:00:34 GMT from United States)
I think some folks are missing the big picture: I don't think anyone is suggesting that _you_ should use Ubuntu because it is the most popular operating system in the planet after Windows. No. I admit that fact, and use Kubuntu. And no one, I think, is saying that it is not worthwhile developing other distributions. Neither is anyone saying that Ubuntu is universally better than the rest, for everyone, for everything.
Of course, they must have gotten some things right to go from nothing into what they are now, in a relatively short time, amid well established distributions as RedHat, SUSE, Debian ...
104 • Is Linux Ready for the Desktop? (by Elder V. LaCoste on 2009-08-18 13:10:29 GMT from United States)
My father who is 80 years old just installed Ubuntu on his laptop. He set up his email and has a working system. True, he did accidentally wipe Windows off his hard drive in the process :-) He called me and asked me how to access his Windows files. Oops!
#52 I reluctantly agree with what you said about the quality of Linux software. Perhaps we do need to be a little more vocal about this. By the same token we must remember that this work is being done, for the most part, by people in their spare time for free. On the other hand you would be hard pressed to find a better example of quality than the Open Office Suite (with the exception of Presentation).
@Caitlyn - Very nice article. I was unaware of these issues. I have had trouble with several of the major distributions like openSUSE and others and didn't know why.
105 • Re # 98 (by Rex on 2009-08-18 13:19:25 GMT from United States)
In February 2009 it was announced that JUGENE wil be upgraded to reach petaflops performance in June 2009, making it the first petascale supercomputer in Europe.
On May 26, 2009, the newly configurated JUGENE was unveiled. It includes 294 912 processor cores, 144 terabyte memory, 6 petabyte storage in 72 racks. With a peak performance of about one PetaFLOPS, it is the third fastest supercomputer in the world, ranking only behind IBM Roadrunner and Jaguar. The new configuaration also incorporates a new water cooling system that will reduce the cooling cost substantially.
JUGENE is operated with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11.
106 • #104 (by jack on 2009-08-18 14:00:49 GMT from Canada)
"...True, he did accidentally wipe Windows off his hard drive in the process :-) He called me and asked me how to access his Windows files. Oops!
How lucky your father is to have a son that is experienced with Linux.
The expression ..wipe the hard drive" sounds so insignificant.
But to some one who has been using Windows for years and has accumulated thousands of family photos, emails and perhaps articles about things that are important to him ; wiping this is a DISASTER equivalent to the death of a close friend.
A few years ago the forums were full of posts about this and how to avoid it. (advice that , fom subsequent posts) often did not work or were too complex for noobies.
There are still posts about this.
Try to imagine how a "father" would feel about linux if this happened to him
And there are very few computer shops that are competent with linux
107 • @106 Collection of files (by Backup guru on 2009-08-18 15:49:50 GMT from Canada)
If someone has collected so much data that losing it (due to wiping a drive or a crash) hasn't backed up that data to another location, it's their own fault. I'm pretty sure just about every installer I've used has warned that all data on the drive will be lost if it's formatted.
It continues to amaze me how many people still refuse to make copies of their data.
108 • Interl workarounds: Arch and Fedora (by Ariszló on 2009-08-18 16:24:26 GMT from Hungary)
Arch offers a choice between xf86-video-intel for new hardware and xf86-video-intel-legacy for old hardware.
Fedora 11 works fine if you add nomodeset to the kernel line in /boot/grub/grub.conf like this:
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-220.127.116.11-217.2.8.fc11.i686.PAE ro root=UUID=[...] rhgb quiet nomodeset
109 • @108 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-08-18 16:29:39 GMT from Canada)
That's only going to help if the bug happens to be to do with modesetting.
The Fedora Common Bugs page has a more comprehensive collection of information:
110 • No subject (by forest on 2009-08-18 16:58:11 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref backups issue...I'm sure EVL had sorted the backup thing for his old dad, LOL.
Lesson being back up onto at least one hard drive and several DVD or CDs...and keep them separate, preferably in someone else's place.
Online storage is probably OK providing you have a very fast connection and trust the outfit your files are stored with.
I suspect computer shops are far more interested in being competent with MS OSs owing to the cash they rake in from cleaning out the nasties from MS systems.
111 • No subject (by capricornus on 2009-08-18 18:51:52 GMT from Belgium)
The contribution on Intel Graphics really was outstanding, I learned a lot. Now I understand how a recent laptop without NVIDIA (and thus 100 euro cheaper) was so stubborn not to accept Ubuntu 9.04 and alikes (except Antix). Thank you very much, Caitlyn.
112 • Thanks (by joe on 2009-08-18 19:43:22 GMT from United States)
#104: "we must remember that this work is being done, for the most part, by people in their spare time for free."
Thank you Mr LaCoste.
My criticism of desktop Linux ignores the efforts of thousands of volunteers who have contributed far more I. Clearly, I have forgotten something very important.
To the extent that these have toiled in vain, gaining no self-satisfaction or recognition, I offer thanks, but suggest a change in hobby.
To those who write man pages... well I know, intellectually, that you have made huge contributions, and I do thank you, but still you piss me off.
My understanding is that much of the kernel work and other work too is by paid staff. I offer thanks to these people also for their excellent work.
My most sincere thanks and apologies are directed to those volunteer experts who have applied their skill to give us FOSS. You who help those who lack your ability and expertise are certainly worthy of high praise.
You who man the forums and work together to help others daily, you are truly incredible people - no exaggeration - I am in awe of your patience, your analytical ability, and language skill.
It was good, Mr LaCoste, to be tactfully reminded that I have benefited greatly from the contributions of others. Your understatement hit me like a brick.
113 • Linux on the desktop (by Mike Thomas on 2009-08-18 21:37:05 GMT from United States)
I read quite often that GNU Linux is not ready for the desktop. IMHO, it is every bit as ready for desktop usage as any of the commercial offerings. They all have issues regarding stability, hardware interaction and user friendliness. Detailing these issues would require an article itself. Yet the primary problem is with the computer users. More specifically their lack of the desire to learn something new and/or the drive to create new computing skills.
I have been around computers over 25 years. In all this time I still find myself learning something new. I enjoy this, even actively pursue it. Sadly, most people want their computers to be as easy to use as any other appliance they own. The computer however is not, nor should it be, an appliance. It is a tool albeit a very complex one. Using a tool one does not understand, to even a small degree, can lead to disastrous results.
Many users entrust their computers with some valuable data yet they know very little about how the computer will handle said data. In fact many of them don't want to know. It gives them the option of blaming the computer when something goes wrong. They may be concerned that others will view them as incompetent or ridicule them. Even worse, they may see themselves as inferior to the machine.
Until the average computer user realises that some knowledge of their computer is the key to better usage, GNU Linux will never be ready for their desktop.
114 • No subject (by forest on 2009-08-18 23:06:38 GMT from United Kingdom)
Good point Mike T...but..IF the machine owned by the average user (wotever that means of course) was loaded with MS or Mac then what incentive do they have to try GNULinux stuff? Their computer runs OK for them, most of the time, so, as far as they are concerned, what's the problem?
If managing the eradication of nasties is beyond some folk then getting a successful install of even Uxx could be a challenge too far...even if they were to buy a burned CD rom it could still be too difficult, let alone download an ISO file...burn to an optical disc...partition the hard drive...change the file system... choose where to put GRUB...dual boot...migrate email adds...don't even go there!
From personal experience, Mac users, nevu and his mates, all graphic artist, creative types...and son, creative type manque, are too far up their own fabulousness to concede there ARE other OSs.
This is because they have bought into the "World of Jobs", run Adobe Photoshop, claim it is their industry's standard, and are slightly incredulous that there might be...could be...anything better. Mind you they could be right, I gather Gimp is not quite there yet.
The MS crowd are slightly different, possibly more venal, not perhaps such style victims, My mate has had his ears bent, on more than one occasion, by me extolling the virtues of a distro, any distro...yet his response is, and he can't be a lone voice in the wilderness of MS/viruses/trojans/worms, "I paid for the OS and i want my money's worth." This is said with only a trace of irony...
He even PAYS for AVG and Zone something, runs Spybot etc etc but still won't run a distro.
I suspect too there is a certain timidity or perhaps herd instinct effect.
On the other hand in some places you are given no choice...your work/school machine is loaded with a distro...now get on with it, LOL.
In other places there might be a cost penalty if you opt/buy a machine running anything other than a distro.
The conclusion might be that GNULinux OS will only work if folk are simply given no choice in the matter, ie MS products are subject to all sorts of taxes or levies on top...so you opt for the govt sponsored distro at a nice price...actually looking back...it IS a challenge to install a distro. Damn.
115 • misc praise (by bgryderclock at 2009-08-19 03:31:55 GMT from United States)
I have been visiting Distrowatch.com at least once a day for about 5 years. This is a great site and if it ever disappeared, I would be total bummed out.
Thank you for the great articles, news, and distro stats.
116 • @113 and 114 (by Joe on 2009-08-19 04:02:07 GMT from United States)
Mike, @113, I tend to agree. I think that the average computer user has a comfort zone based on experience with a particular OS (perhaps the one they use at home or at work); recommendations they get from friends and family; and, the experience of the "experts" that they rely on to help them with their hardware, software, and to recover from disasters (often self-inflicted). In my experience, I found that I spent a considerable amount of time "training" users to help them make the most of their hardware and software, and to show them how to avoid problems or how to troubleshoot their own problems (the old "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life"). I think the latter was missing during the initial rollouts of Linux systems. No trainers or Linux experts to help with the transition to a new OS.
Forrest, @114, I agree. If computer users have a good incentive (such as their employer or school switching to Linux) they tend to be more open to the new experience (especially when employers arrange/pay for training). Two years ago, my nephew contacted me to see if I would send him a laptop for school. Although he'd only used Windows, the school had just transitioned to Ubuntu. So, I sent him a laptop with Linux installed and now he's as comfortable with Linux as he was with Windows. The school's IT staff helped with the installation of software and applications. And, it helped that all of his classmates were in the same boat, so they helped each other make the transition.
117 • Some People are so scared of computers... (by dedguy on 2009-08-19 05:21:33 GMT from United States)
Honestly, a lot of people are afraid of appearing dumb, even to themselves, and so a reluctant to change to new software, when they may have just finally learned how to use the old software after five years.
My company is going through a major Change Management nightmare because we are moving from Lotus Notes 6.5 to Lotus Notes 8.5. Really, there has been at least 3 month invested on how we are going to help people transition....from What!?
While the interface is nicer, it's still Lotus Notes, but we are already receiving push back.
I can't imagine what would happen if we went to Linux.
118 • Pidgin 2.6.1 released (by René Leonhardt on 2009-08-19 09:37:06 GMT from Germany)
Pidgin 2.6.1 has just been released, I can't wait for the cross-platform XMPP audio and video support.
119 • PenaOS (by marked on 2009-08-19 14:52:37 GMT from United Kingdom)
"New distributions added to waiting list
PenaOS... Its most important feature is the integration of OpenOffice.org with Zotero, a powerful, easy-to-use research tool that helps gather, organise, and analyse sources for a research paper and then share the results."
If that were the whole story, it would probably a big deal for a few people. Given that Zotero is also available as a firefox add-on, for many people there is an easier way of getting this useful facility.
120 • Re: #133 Linux on the desktop (by DG on 2009-08-19 15:05:46 GMT from Netherlands)
Until the average computer user realises that some knowledge of their computer is the key to better usage, GNU Linux will never be ready for their desktop.
Most computer users are just like most car users, or television users, or hifi-users. They want the functionality without having to know how to build one, or what the component parts look like. Most people don't buy something for the shiny case with the intention of changing its internals. So until users can buy a selection of computers with Linux already installed on them, they are going to stick to the pre-installed system from MS or Apple that they already know. Joe the plumber -- remember him? -- is unlikely to take the time and effort to install a new system from scratch without OEM-type installation CDs tailored for that hardware.
Some Linux distros are ready for the desktop, but until those distros come pre-loaded on a system, they aren't going to get many converts as they could.
121 • Linux converts @120 (by Sean on 2009-08-19 16:01:27 GMT from United States)
"Some Linux distros are ready for the desktop, but until those distros come pre-loaded on a system, they aren't going to get many converts as they could."
Of course not.
Imagine if OEM was say, Vectorlinux on all models of HP machines, laptop and pc. Selling HP machines would take marketing of a very different nature than HP machines are marketed now. Competitive (with Microsoft and Apple) marketing, not just competitive with IBM and Vaio, etc.
And that would take marketing tactics that would leave HP and Vectorlinux enthusiasts to explain to the purchasing public what advantage(s) linux has over Windows, etc.
And in my opinion those advantages are already shrinking as we watch linux vulnerabilities become more and more prevalent, i.e., more and more security patches, etc. I, like most here, love the advantages that exist, but usage is what brought those advantages to me, not marketing.
It looks very difficult to me.. the notion that Linux might one day be OEM OS on a big name company, successfully and in the face of Microsoft. Mac has not even really done that over the years, even though they have their nitch.
122 • No subject (by forest on 2009-08-19 19:00:19 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref ongoing desktop debate. A thought occurs...
It is not just the MS bods who will suffer when GNULinux stuff gets rolled out across the planet, it will be all the security companies who flog off AV, firewalls, anti this, that, and another. I daresay tho' some of these concerns could diversify (?) despite staff "reservations" LOL.
I've not heard the term "push back" (dedguy, #117) before but I'm assuming it's a reference to staff dripping on and on about how their professional lives will be blighted for ever and ever if they have to contend with all these "quite unnecessary changes" together with "I cannot imagine what Management was thinking of..."
And, slightly tongue in cheek, the IT/computer education establishments might find a record leap in MS engineers enrolling in GNULinux courses. So there could be a silver lining to this particular cloud over MS.
I can only echo both Sean and DG in that until "the" distro is in fact the de rigeur OS installed on company/school/machine-in-the-Mall then the conversion of the innocents will take some time.
However, I see a certain irony here...imagine if there was a symposium/conference/exhibition/wotever where old established business mateys met the young turks (not to be confused with Turkish folk BTW, LOL) from the emergent nations/industries who praised the cost savings, security, efficiencies of using GNULinux OSs as one of the reasons for their unforeseen (by the old school) success in whatever business.
123 • For Linux to go Mainstream (by Joe on 2009-08-19 19:19:57 GMT from United States)
For Linux to go mainstream, I think several things need to happen.
1) The public will need a compelling reason to switch to Linux (marketing, cost savings, etc.) Why should they switch? What software is available and how does it compare to what they're currently using?
2) The hardware manufacturers and OEM Linux vendors need to do a better job of providing support for the provided OS. In the past few years, we've seen numerous examples where customers gave up, or were left looking to the online communities that cropped up around various distributions for support. Support directly from the manufacturer and/or Linux vendor was non-existent or slow in coming.
3) The retailers that are going to sell systems with Linux pre-installed need to make sure their sales staffs are trained.
They're the faces the customers see.
4) Package Managers need to be very easy to use.
5) Repositories need to be well-populated.
6) Dependencies need to be managed.
7) Cleanup of orphaned files needs to be automated.
8) Security updates need to be made available quickly.
9) When updates are provided, Linux vendors need to make sure their updates are ready for use. The public won't accept the problems that many of us on this forum have experienced and/or discussed. They're not likely to have our level of patience. ;-) DO NOT RUSH YOUR OS TO MARKET. Make sure it works first.
These are just a few of the things that I thought of in the minutes it's taken me to write this. I'm sure you can add to the list. Perhaps someone out there is listening.
124 • @123, Apologize for the formatting (by Joe on 2009-08-19 19:23:43 GMT from United States)
It looked better before I hit the submit comment button (really it did ;-P )
125 • No subject (by forest on 2009-08-19 19:40:25 GMT from United Kingdom)
Joe, you are a genius, a toff and scholar to boot...not to mention the epitome of tact...you said all that without mentioning the "U" word, LOL.
126 • OEM OS (by Untitled on 2009-08-19 19:51:43 GMT from United Kingdom)
"[it] refused to recognize any of the drivers I tried for my ATI graphics card (I'm using a standard VGA driver instead)."1
Test yourself: about which operating system the writer is referring to? You must have heard something like that on many Linux forums in the last few months, but the operating system in question here is Windows 7.
Windows end users have mostly not had the pleasure of upgrading their operating systems for quite a few years now since XP is still the operating system of choice for people as most of them decided not to upgrade to Windows Vista due to the bad press it received. If, as expected, many of them will now upgrade to Win7, it will be the first time for quite some time that end users will have to do the upgrade themselves and I wonder just how smooth the experience is going to be for them.
Linux, on the other hand, is almost always installed by the end user and most distributions are upgraded quite frequently so the memories of upgrading and the issues that arise when upgrading are always fresh in our minds.
In the office where I work I am the single Linux user amongst 10 Windows user. If you ask the people who sit nearby me they will say that Linux is ready for the desktop -- when they struggle with their computers -- printing PDFs, scanning, corrupt word file -- who do you think they ask for a favour? My boss actually asked me if I could install Linux on his machine as well but I declined the as I don't really want to do any more IT support than I already do.
1. http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9136192/Windows_7_How_low_can_you_go_?taxonomyId=89&pageNumber=2 (Computerworld: Windows 7: How low can you go?)
127 • AMD 64 (by Paul B on 2009-08-19 22:11:57 GMT from United States)
I just got a new (to me) AMD64 3200 w/1GB ram. I came with no drives, so I used my old drives. XP, Mandriva, and Fedora didn't like that. I spent a day reloading XP. Then, since I put Fedora on my laptop, I opted to install Suse64. It went fairly well until I tried activating mouse buttons. It seems that SuSE 64 doesn't have Imwheel, Xbindkeys, or Btnx. I have found nothing that can map a mouse button in Suse64. So, I thought I would load Mandriva64 and see what they do. Apparently Mandriva64 is a join the club, or else, proposition? So It appears I am down to Fedora and Suse for my new 64 bit machine (because I am restricting myself to rpm-friendly distros on account of my retarded printer) as I am too cheap to actually pay for a system I do not need. Has anyone been able to get a multi-button mouse working in Opensuse 11.1-64?
128 • Two comments (by Nobody Important on 2009-08-19 22:32:36 GMT from United States)
1) At mostly 123: The day that I can click a button that says "Linux 64-bit" on a webpage and install a program seamlessly in both Ubuntu and Fedora, using the same package, will be the day I delete Windows off of my laptop.
2) There are already advantages to using Linux. I'm discovering that a lot of the new students around here are using Windows Vista in a university install that really leaves a lot to be desired. After saying "Ubuntu takes ten seconds to boot," they're wondering where they can find a piece of paper to scribble this funky OS' name down.
There are difficulties involved (mostly trying to convey Linux' differences in operation), but Linux is definitely getting mind share.
129 • No subject (by forest on 2009-08-19 22:46:02 GMT from United Kingdom)
Can't disagree with Pt 1 and Pt 2 is encouraging.
Then you read this:
What on earth is he on about...and he gets paid, LOL.
130 • Re: #133 Linux on the desktop (by DG on 2009-08-19 22:46:51 GMT from Netherlands)
To follow up to the points people have raised after my followup...
The advantage of having a Linux distro pre-installed on a system by an OEM is that all of the driver issues for that hardware would have been already hammered out. This is where OEM-Windows wins at the moment: it's already tweaked for the hardware where a vanilla Windows install would probably give problems. Of course it doesn't mean that all old hardware would automatically be supported, but give the idea time to work...
And I didn't mean that (re #122) "the" distro will be de-rigeur [not my words] implies that there is a particular distro that will/should become the de facto standard. What I really meant was something along the lines of there being a distro, any distro, that had been tweaked to work with a particular manufacturers' hardware offering. This is Open Source/Linux, guys, so it's a sort of group memory, once one distro has demonstrated that drivers are available for that hardware, all other distros could use the same drivers for that hardware. It would be great if hardware manufacturers would donate one of their latest product lines to a "top 10" Linux distro, or to all of them, so that users could see that there was proof that drivers were available for that hardware.
Once one hardware manufacturer wakes up to the idea that providing hardware to one distro would provide a sort of viral support and availability on other distros, potential support for Linux on their systems would increase.
But it's pre-installed Linux on hardware that will make the difference to Joe the Plumber. The rest is a pipe-dream that will help increase market penetration of all distros within the geek community.
Sorry for rambling, but it's way past my bed time :-)
131 • No subject (by forest on 2009-08-19 23:26:19 GMT from United Kingdom)
Apologies DG it is the old semantics again..."the" simply meant any that worked for whomever. It was not intended to allude to a particular distro.
132 • re #127 (by Anonymous on 2009-08-19 23:29:04 GMT from United States)
the packages (all 3) reside in the openSuse build service, just not in the official repos. Search using http://software.opensuse.org/search
133 • A distro for all, or OEM (by Landor on 2009-08-20 03:13:30 GMT from Canada)
One factor as said here is stability. Every OS is unstable to some degree. Also, you have to look at the core of an OS. Linux is loosely based on a 3rd party userland. That in itself requires caution from OEMs, and what about beyond the userland? There's many reasons why an OEM would be slightly apprehensive when choosing any Linux Distribution to be sold pre-installed. We have to remember, in the end, Linux really is the Kernel only.
Then there's the release schedules. Our community admonishes really long term releases. Take a look at Debian. Sure, many enjoy the stable release, how many prefer testing or unstable? What about 6 month release cycles? Could you imagine the utter chaos/uncertainty an end-user would have with little experience regarding Linux when they find out that the box they just bought has a new version out already for the OS, and also, the next version is about to be released in a couple months (this is depending on how long the box sat on a shelf). Now, think about the OEM itself, having to make a choice with the myriad of distributions, then deciding on this release, or the next, or a previous? and what, 3 within a year (given the time frame the OEM is looking at it of course).
Tons of factors in what is considered stability. There's a lot more.
In one area that I mentioned BSD has Linux beat, that's in the userland. It's not third party.
Anyway, just my two cents on this whole topic. Maybe some distros need to follow either the Debian release schedule a bit more, or Ubuntu's LTS. Might create a bit more interest from the corporate sector if a Linux Distribution is working at providing long term support for at least some of their releases.
Keep your stick on the ice...
134 • Foresight Linux (by RollMeAway on 2009-08-20 04:25:11 GMT from United States)
I've had a partition devoted to Foresite since 10/05/07.
Originally installed it trying to appreciate Gnome. I found nothing special about their flavor of Gnome.
Package management has been the biggest problem for me.
I find conary very confusing. Kind of like Xorg is right now, if it works as intended great, but,
if it has problems (and what doesn't) , I'm totally lost.
It is advertised as being a "Rolling release", but every time I try upgrading the system breaks so bad,
I end up reinstalling. Installing a few packages after a fresh install usually works ok. The gui for package management is still a work in progress.
I last installed and used this installation on 05/17/09. Tonight upon booting into Foresite, it automatically
ran /PackageKit/helpers/conary/conaryBackend.py update-system, (80 upgrades acording to tooltip on tray icon)
After about an hour it crashed with a memory allocation error. The computer only has 512 mb ram with 900 mb swap.
I know that is light, but 23 other distros, many running Gnome, do not crash when upgrading or otherwise.
I did notice Firefox was upgraded to 3.0.11, I believe this series is now at version 3.0.13.
Perhaps a Foresight user can tell us what they like about this distro,
and why anyone would choose it instead of one of the dozens available?
135 • RE my own comment about BSD and their userland (by Landor on 2009-08-20 04:31:53 GMT from Canada)
I've been watching the progress of FreeBSD a lot since I'm a very long time BSD user. The info in this week's DW talking about their next release which is coming down the pipe is phenomenal. Think of the scope of that project, the leaps and bounds it is making, it's really getting a whole lot closer to where Linux is on the desktop in my opinion.
Who knows, maybe they'll even surpass Linux one day in hardware recognition/configuration, and still provide their own userland, which is something Linux will not do unless they start controlling their own as well.
Keep your stick on the ice...
136 • A newbie updateing / upgrading linux (by RollMeAway on 2009-08-20 04:41:51 GMT from United States)
@133 Landor, I totally agree, the times they are a changin' to damn fast.
A newbie will NOT be able to cope with updating or especially upgrading linux.
Ha ! Most don't even update that other OS. Even if you enable "notify when
updates available" they will ignore the icon and the notice!
Just imagine a newbie, you've just setup, and you turned on silent automatic
updating. Now imagine Xorg and their 3D video card both upgrade. The next
time the system boots, black screen.
Welcome to linux, who ya gonna call?
137 • Red Hat 'pleased' to be top Linux contributor (by Linux Telegraf on 2009-08-20 04:51:43 GMT from Australia)
Red Hat had 12 percent of all change contributions, led by their key kernel contributors Ingo Molnar and David S. Miller. I reached out to Red Hat to get their take on their status, and they were somewhat humble in their position as the leaders in Linux.
"We are always pleased with these numbers, and given the large scale of resources we put into making Linux enterprise-ready, the numbers are not too surprising," Nick Carr, Red Hat marketing director wrote in an email to me. "We track activity numbers internally on an occasional basis, and know that Red Hat has been the leading contributor to the Linux kernel for many years."
138 • Ref#135 BSD (by VernDog on 2009-08-20 05:37:50 GMT from United States)
The few times I've tried BSD, I was very impressed. I think the last one was PC-BSD and it had an early version of KDE4. It felt very stable. I just need to understand more on how all the pieces fit together before I take a deeper plunge. Also, not a whole lot of forum info.
139 • Delta Debs/Patches highly requested feature (by Observer on 2009-08-20 05:42:53 GMT from Australia)
Idea #13: Delta (patch based) updates
Summary: Ability to download only changed bits of files and use much less bandwidth.
Scope and Use Cases: Ann has slow internet connection. She sees that there are 150MB of updates and decides not to update at all leaving her with vulnerable and buggy system.
Implementation Plan: Adopt it from Debian? <<
>>1682....Votes....#1: Auto-generated solution of idea #13
>>18...Votes....Solution #2: develop DEBs similar to deltaRPMs
only the actual changes need to be downloaded, reduces energy, money, time, bandwith, hardware etc MORE THAN A HUNDREDFOLD<<
Delta debs and using zsync for package updates
140 • Comfusion2.0 (by Eric Fillon on 2009-08-20 06:00:12 GMT from Canada)
i have tried so many linux variants, development releases, betas, and final releases but this Comfusion2.0 is the best for me yet so far....best regards to the development team of Comfusion linux... hope you will make my sony viao laptop run comfusion to replace the preloaded windows vista in it. i am running all my desktops and toshiba laptop with this superb OS.
141 • change in page layouts (by Tom on 2009-08-20 07:03:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
Wow i like the screenshots that have been added to the distro pages such as
While the Wolvix one is for one of the older 1.1.0's for wolvix it does seem to show something of the difference in size between the wallpapers. The wolvix screenshot is 7kb while fedora, openSUSE and Ubuntu are much heavier. It's not proportionate, i imagine that would be too difficult anyway, but it does hint at one reason why the old wolvix's chose such a simple design. It's nice to have the screenshots and makes a significant change to DW's main focus and main advantage over other similar sites (ie the distros comparison pages). As similar sites rely on flashy effects and eye-candy to mitigate against their general lack of useful info i think the screenshots averaging at around 16kb do a great job of closing that gap too :) Nicely done! A huge task!!! Thanks DW people :))
I have just finished a week on the boat but had to leave early because the stress of it was driving me up the wall. It's good to be back at my regualr machine :)) Hopefully now i'll be able to read the articles for this week. Again thanks to Caitlyn for the article about the intel graphics, I have already been able to usefully point someone to it to help them deal with their slight graphics problem.
So thanks Caitlyn, thanks all at DW and great to see everyone again :)))
Thanks and regards from
142 • logo (by Tom on 2009-08-20 07:06:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
Hey, pleeeease can we have a DW logo back at the top of the page? Either the old one or the new one would be fine as i liked both. I can send a copy if you've lost it.
143 • RE: 142 logo (by ladislav on 2009-08-20 07:51:07 GMT from Taiwan)
Check your ad-block add-on. Maybe it thinks the logo is an advertisement.
144 • @129 and @139 (by Anony Moss on 2009-08-20 08:15:30 GMT from India)
129, whatever be the quality of Chrome OS, and I do think it will bring new ideas to fix much of what is wrong with current linux distros, there remains a crucial difference. Ads. Google will likely take away that freedom from the OS user to block ads when online. And who's to say there won't be an ad daemon process even when you are offline? I really like chrome, but can't use it since it does not have adblock plus. That to me is the single most important piece in a browser- the ability to block those intensely annoying and processor cycles consuming ads.
139, some of us raised that issue earlier. I do think this is a very important issue for the end user. Even for testers and developers. If I'm on a dev branch, I can't always afford to download the latest kde packages that run into ~200 mb. Bandwidth costs a lot in some places, and if it isn't the download capcity that's limited, its the download speed that's capped.
I hope PCLOS guys start on this- they have the best of both worlds- synaptic and rpms (with delta feature already available). As a stabilty focused distro, and a good control centre, if they build this feature, they will be the numero uno choice of many.
145 • Re:#127 (by Anonymous on 2009-08-20 08:43:04 GMT from Spain)
There is the Mandriva 2009.1 X86_64 Free DVD downloadable for free (mandriva-linux-free-2009.1-x86_64.iso).
Also, there is the Mandriva dual CD: you can boot the CD, select the architecture and install. You have an LXDE desktop, but, after configure the repositories, you can install a KDE or Gnome desktop.
Nobody must buy Mandriva Free or One.
146 • Logo is back :)) (by Tom on 2009-08-20 10:06:54 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks Ladislav for post 143 :))
147 • getting the "oh I tried linux once" folks back (by Sean on 2009-08-20 11:13:02 GMT from United States)
Our facility sent a squad of students out to several universities and malls/student hangouts several years ago to do a survey on OS usage.
The results were complicated, but did show us how Windows is dominant on the desktop, but with regular and ongoing challenges by users wanting an alternative.
They nearly all (87.2%) went back to Windows (ME/XP and Vista) after an attempt at installing and using a linux distribution (of those on school-borne Macs there was a bit more staying power to linux: 78.3% said they still use "linux on a daily basis").
OEM linux would be the obvious way to retrieve those already exposed to a linux distro and lost. And that sales guy or gal mentioned up there in Joe's clever and insightful post 123 would be nearly a hero to hordes of those who just have to move away from "trying" linux because they need a working computer and don't have time or inclination to keep distro hopping.
148 • @141, the new Distrowatch page layout (by Coffee on 2009-08-20 11:54:17 GMT from France)
... couldn't agree more. Although there was nothing wrong with the old style of the individual distribution pages I find the new layout much more appealing. Very nice, Ladislav. Thanks!
149 • sponsor (by Tom on 2009-08-20 12:46:33 GMT from United Kingdom)
Hi again, I think it takes a few goes with linux before being able to get used to it enough to use it. I think we should be encouraging and publicising dual-boot scenarios so that people aren't up against a dead-line in trying to get something usable.
Also i think we need to be better at publicising that Linux has become radically easier in the last few years to encourage people to try again and to avoid saying that they failed because they were too stupid. I think it's important to let people think they had trouble legitimately because it used to be a huge challenge and take the heat out of their arguments against trying linux again by saying they will undoubtedly find it easier now. Whether that's entirely true or not is not the point - the point is to try to get more people using linux.
One thing that greatly helped me was my neighbour acting a bit like a sponsor from an AA meeting - helping to guide me into new ways of approaching finding answers and tapping in a few lines into the command-line to fix things i had broken or not set-up right.
At the moment i am having huge difficulty in getting my dad to move to linux "counter culture". He likes to buy books and read up on a subject rather than to ask people questions, whose advice he sneers at - questioning their motivations in providing help. Apparently he has used Windows forums and when i launched off into how rubbish Windows ones are, for example
he sees that as (anti)fanboyism. Having a quick look at the link there should make it easy to understand why he has such a low opinion of forums and community help generally. Just as i was leaving the boat he said that now i had got the usb wireless working he would buy a book about Ubuntu and i really should have just had another rant about how rubbish that idea is - just to balance out my anti-Windows rant but i had a train to catch. I'm totally convinced that Ubuntu is perhaps the most unsuitable distro for him and is also the most unsuitable for his machine and also for his circumstances. If he buys a book at all it needs to be more general linux, perhaps a strong focus on command-line or on some of the DE's such as Xfce although he's using Gnome at the moment.
I now have another friend having trouble with Windows on a very swish machine so i am really tempted to go for a dual-boot with Kubuntu even tho i can't stand KDE (only because it's blue tho). A *buntu is perfect for her as she's a cross between a carpenter craftsmen, currently working as a Cabinet Maker but she can also be a fairly typical girly girl and doesn't even have the famous technical skill we associate with those stereotypes! The only problem i can foresee is that she doesn't have broadband access but even so i still think that *buntu is going to be ideal for her because it's so famous. I guess i will LiveCd Kubuntu and take it from there ;) At least she will be quite happy asking people for help which seems to count for more than having a degree in computer sciences ime so far.
It definitely helps to have someone around, such as a drinking buddy, to help make the move to linux. I guess the only problem is when that buddy is someone like me whose knowledge is still very limited and still largely Windows based.
Ideally through personal contact we could help people install with a separate /home partition so they could have one that 'just works' 'out of the box' (with a nudge or 2) and then take their time hopping and hunting down something more appropriate for themselves. It is superb to have professionally printed and very smart looking official Cds pre-made and free from Ubuntu
Even though not many of us like it at least it is easy to get different types of familiar support for it to help people migrate slowly.
Please feel free to use my email address to respond,
Thanks and regards to all from
150 • Anonymous Help @132/145 (by Paul B on 2009-08-20 13:36:58 GMT from United States)
Thank you, thank you. The Suse problem was solved immediately. I must remember the build service (making a mental note). Now on to find the Mandriva ISO.
151 • kernel development (by hab on 2009-08-20 16:29:17 GMT from Canada)
Some info here: http://blogs.computerworld.com/14576/who_writes_linux_big_business, about who contributes to linux kernel development.
Most of the usual suspects, ibm, novell, etc. are involved. The co. behind the big 'U' appears to be absent.
152 • Re # 151 (by Rex on 2009-08-20 17:56:18 GMT from United States)
If you go to the same URL and read the first comment I think they make an excellent point.I would add to their point that the kernel is not what users "actually" experience as Linux computing, Perhaps I am wrong here, however it seems that even if the kernel never ever changed again, there would still be room for great "Linux" computing enhancement.
Yes the next commenter poo poos this pointing out that Linux is the kernel type of obviousness, but I still think the first commenter is on the money.
153 • @127 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-08-20 17:57:37 GMT from Canada)
Nothing in Mandriva is 'join the Club, or else'. There isn't even a Club any more, in fact. The 64-bit editions of Free and One are exactly as free-as-in-beer as the 32-bit editions. Easiest place to get them is probably http://torrent.mandriva.com/public/ .
Yeah, unfortunately moving a hard disk with a Linux distribution on it to a completely different computer doesn't work as well as it used to. Back before 2003 or so it used to work pretty flawlessly in most cases. The big culprit these days is custom initrd: most distributions build the initrd for your system dynamically at the time the kernel package is installed, using mkinitrd, and it only contains the drivers for the hardware in your system (particularly for critical bits like drive controllers). Move the disk to a machine with a different drive controller, and bing - it won't boot up.
Fedora's switching to dracut rather than mkinitrd/nash with Fedora 12. Among other things this will result in a return to a generic initrd image with all common drivers in it, so you should be able to move an installed system to a different machine and have it work, again.
154 • @14 (by Misfit138 on 2009-08-20 18:49:04 GMT from United States)
Mainstream media can analyze Ubuntu all they want, with its poor, convoluted documentation, useless 'bikeshed ' thread after useless thread on their forums, breakage, unfixed bugs and regression with each new release, and massive, incompetent community.
The 'posterchild for Desktop Linux', as you call it, is an achingly mediocre product.
Wake up; don't be a deluded fanboi.
The progress that Microsoft is making with their omnipresent operating systems is not driven in any way by Ubuntu. To even hint or suggest this is laughable.
The esoteric UNIX methodology and rapid, fragmented, almost 'schizophrenic' development model of GNU/Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, is fine for engineers, hobbyists, do-it-yourself users* and enthusiasts. Everyone else will use Windows and OSX.
* "..the Linux(sic) philosophy is..'Do it yourself'. That's it. -Linus Torvalds
155 • Microsoft / Novell Linux ? Windows Linux Interop Zone (by Distrowatcher on 2009-08-20 19:14:31 GMT from United States)
Just doesn't seem right.......................
156 • @154 (by Nobody Important on 2009-08-20 21:27:16 GMT from United States)
A troll this obvious deserves a post.
You can continue to disparage what is an excellent product that works perfectly for me and millions of other users as well, but I have the proof right in front of me that Ubuntu simply works where all others have failed.
Is it laughable that Windows 7 was moved to quality by its competitors? No! Windows Vista was a sinking ship! Microsoft would have no reason to patch Vista's holes in a real, true monopoly; it's money either way. With Apple more interested in closing their ecosystem even further rather than releasing an alternative to Windows, the real "jumping the Windows ship" action is Linux. Now that Linux is slowly gaining mindshare (and it is, don't doubt that) and becoming easy to use, Microsoft is forced to backpedal and fix Vista to public demand.
Don't be a deluded "fanboi" yourself. Everyday people can use Linux. Saying that they can't or shouldn't is a stupid, arrogant, and idiotic thing to say.
Ubuntu, as well as the other friendly desktop Linux distros such as Mint, Mandriva, MEPIS, Zenwalk, and Vector are all excellent products that have only failed to gather enthusiasm in the public arena because the average user does not consider computer skills to be necessary in everyday life, a notion which is becoming less and less true. Non-techies, which is a label usually foisted onto people by their own request, do not want to learn how a computer works.
I consider this a dangerous mentality. As someone has said earlier, a computer holds more valuable, sensitive information than the average file cabinet in your home. But while most people lock the file cabinet and take great strides to keep it under control, their computer becomes a mangled, virus-laden nightmare.
What needs to change is thus: Ignorance cannot be treated as a virtue.
People have the ability to learn Linux. For some strange reason they don't think they do. But they have the ability. It's a matter of making sure that they understand the benefits of Linux in realistic terms - terms that don't make their "non-techie" stereotype seize up in their minds. Oftentimes this boils down to money - fewer hardware and software upgrades means less cost overall.
Does the Linux ecosystem have steps to take? Absolutely. First off, installation of software, while good, should be better. There needs to be a unified way to install programs outside of the repository. Without this, companies will never port their large, propitiatory apps to Linux, such as Photoshop or Dreamweaver. The way most desktop Linux distros do it is getting better, but it's not unifed and gets very difficult to manage. Just look at Opera's full list of packages for an eyesore.
Second, it needs OEM support. With Dell's computers, you get a working Ubuntu installation with codecs, drivers, and programs preinstalled. For a fair fight with Windows, this is how they need to be pulled up. This sort of thing is moving, but very slowly. The mangled netbook distros such as Linpus Lite don't help much for the public and private perception of Linux in general.
Thirdly, it needs promotion. It needs education. It needs to have a motion to fight apathy and ignorance. This doesn't have to promote Linux specifically, but it should emphasize that computers need to be understood in this day and age.
157 • Experts (by Nobody Important at 2009-08-20 21:55:39 GMT from Seychelles)
"Using the wrong tool for the job and then boviating about it helps no one and in the end may just show ignorance."
158 • No subject (by forest on 2009-08-20 21:59:34 GMT from United Kingdom)
Canonical may not, allegedly, be on "that" list, however they do produce the most used distro(s), assuming of course you buy into the stats that say so...but there again you appear to accept the gen published in Computerworld.
Ref other perfectly valid remarks about new users being (un)able to cope with updates and the like...perhaps you might consider that you speak as interested hobbyists and appear to have ignored the enormous, non hobbyist, "experiment" being rolled out across the planet with more than just a few distros for your "average user".
Were we to learn of wholesale wailings and gnashings of teeth owing to wotever distro suddenly becoming unusable, owing to said failure of newbie(s) to accomplish the update procedures then your perfectly reasonable concerns would be justified.
However, IF a distro was installed off a CD rom, say, then the person who did manage to install it would be capable of getting thru' the updates process...granted some adventures, as mentioned above, are not for everyone.
In the instance where the distro was pre-installed on a machine then let us presume, for the sake of argument, that any updates are going to be installed...it would not be the skill of the user but the the will of the user...which could apply to MS users who do not do the anti-nasties update scan thing anyway.
In the case of schools, business, local authorities, the French police even, we can, most probably, take it as a given their IT mateys will be on top of the support issues anyway.
I would say it is rather easier to update a distro from a known reliable source that get updates for MS apps. It is a LOT easier to get other apps from a distro's repository than install an MS app either from a bought (shudder) package or from a download.
So, we will soon see if these experiments are successful by the amount of feedback we read from the pro MS news hacks...ever a reliable source of disingenuous misinformation on Linux topics...
159 • No subject (by forest on 2009-08-20 22:33:19 GMT from United Kingdom)
You are a very, very, very naughty boy...how is CM ever going to live that one down...if folk keep finding references all over the internet.
160 • Review Checklist (by LLO on 2009-08-20 22:44:21 GMT from Hungary)
This article is a brave and bold step toward to judiciously deal with a sensitive issue that affects the computer experience so many of us.
If based on past observations one believed that the Intel graphic processors were the far the least troublesome ones, the new reality is rather disturbing. If one got comfortable with some features/configuration issues, one surely has to realize that would not necessarily last forever. Even formally identical procedures may not bring the same results anymore. Burning ISO images to CD-s meant no challenge for me for years. But last year something happened, and my recently burned CD-s just refuse to boot!
In Windows Explorer the old CD-s show the file structure including the BOOT directory, while the new ones show only one single xxxx.iso file. One has to utilize winrar to see the same details. The issue here however is not on the internal details, but on the end result: that used to work does not work anymore! It is extremely frustrating when one exactly knows what to do, but cannot get to it because the rescue discs that one is so desperately dependent on refuses to boot! I do not know whether this is only one item on my bad-luck list, or others have also experienced the same or similar unexplainable phenomena. Or, if one has an explanation, I definitely like to know it.
There have been a number of less severe issues such as unacceptably small letters in xterms, or a transparent terminal in which the sun rays severely interfere with readability, or the Xwindow starts with a rather limited resolution, etc., etc., that would suggest that for the Distrowatch reviews a Checklist should be set up to consistently deal with all significant frequently and/or repeatedly occurring issues regardless of the personal style of the reviewer. And, one more thing: the mistakenly frequently used expression of "works out of the box" by itself is not enough. It is only a necessary criterion. The sufficiency also requires that it does what I want to do the way I like to do it. Therefore, for a broad cross section of the population, the checklist can considerably longer than one would first imagine. It would take a significant effort to set it up, but the experience of number of programing and engineering shops proves that it is worth of the effort.
161 • @156 (by Joe on 2009-08-20 22:53:37 GMT from United States)
I tend to agree with most of what you've said.
I think that Windows 7 came about because Vista was perceived to be a disaster and customers were not happy. Individuals and corporations refused to upgrade. That cost MS revenue. Windows 7 is an attempt to revive that OS revenue stream. I tried Windows 7 beta, but it didn't knock my socks off. At the moment, I don't really see anything that compelling/so cutting edge in Windows 7 that would make me want to upgrade. And, I think their "license" fees are too high.
I agree that people would be well-served to learn more about computers. Especially since, as you so aptly pointed out, they use them to maintain sensitive personal and business data. Unfortunately, most users are like drivers. They learn the basics so they can drive the car (some better than others), but don't care how it's put together, how to maintain it (other than putting gas in the tank), or fixing it. They just take it to the local mechanic to fix anything that might be wrong.
And, I have an Acer Aspire One with Linpus Lite, so I'm well aware of it's support issues (or lack thereof). The default desktop was just -- too basic. I modified the OS to give me the semblance of a XFCE desktop (as well as numerous other tweaks to improve performance). I like the boot times, but I'm limited as far as upgrades go, and I'm stuck with packages that can't be updated because of dependency issues. If I move to another distro, some of the Aspire One's hardware won't work (wifi light, speakers, speakers not turning off when a headphone jack is inserted -- to name a few). And, Windows isn't an option because it's just too darn slow on a solid state drive (speaking from experience here).
So, I can honestly say that your comments struck a chord with me. Good post.
162 • Uh oh. (by Nobody Important on 2009-08-20 23:14:34 GMT from United States)
Hopefully most people realize that my comments are usually from United states. Post number 157 is not me.
163 • Re #162 (by Rex on 2009-08-20 23:33:17 GMT from United States)
You mean somebody in #157 (Somebody Important?) laid two rotten eggs with one squat?
But since the Seychelles are apparently lovely tourist sites surely no one there would have time to go Kook Kook? A Tor job perhaps. :)
164 • No subject (by forest on 2009-08-21 00:31:28 GMT from United Kingdom)
Joe, I was intrigued by your micro review of the Acer Aspire One. I haven't got one so I have no experience of that class of machine.
Before you carried out your mods to the Acer did the machine behave exactly as promised so to speak. Are the upgrades you wanted to install related to Linpus Lite, or did you rootle around in another repository? Also, are the dependency issues to do with Linpus or a "foreign" package.
What really intrigued me most tho' was the spkrs not being muted when the jack plug was inserted.
I'm tempted to say that IF the jack skt was switched ( ie. the electrical audio circuit to the spkrs being broken by the physical insertion of the jack plug) then there must be a mechanical problem as opposed to a software issue...but possibly the switch IS entirely in the software.
I have an aged Toshi Sat which has a switched headphone skt, muting the spkrs when the headphones jack plug is inserted, hence my interest/surprise. If you can be arsed it would be interesting to to know more.
The thrust of my interest being, is the Linpus Lite so lightweight it performs only a very limited set of activities by design, hence only lightweight support, or, is Linpus Lite just a not very good distros anyway?
Which leads me to query if it is purely a bad choice/implementation of a distro have Acer sussed out their error and what are they going to do about it?
165 • No subject (by forest on 2009-08-21 00:42:16 GMT from United Kingdom)
I presumed you were on holiday, via a really, really, fast flight, had sampled the local brew, the devil had entered your lappy and your fingers just followed the keys...perhaps this "issue" might benefit...ahem... from "least said...soonest mended [forgotten]"...if someone out there reads the post/thread before it gets deleted.
166 • Chris Smart:The state of web multimedia on Linux is pitiful (by Linux Telegraf on 2009-08-21 00:48:16 GMT from Australia)
Linux Needs Open Multimedia on the Web
The state of web multimedia on Linux is pitiful. Proprietary codecs, plug-ins and closed standards are helping to keep Linux a second rate citizen.
Keep On Dreaming
Like many other standards on the web, multimedia should be open. It should work on any browser, on any platform and not rely on plug-ins or any third party software. Imagine a world where websites such as YouTube used royalty free codecs with open technology to deliver media content. Imagine that this worked with any standards compliant browser, on any platform. Such a place would bring Linux up to par with other operating systems and would do away with the need for third party proprietary applications which are holding Linux back.
167 • openSUSE to default to KDE  (by Linux Telegraf on 2009-08-21 00:59:46 GMT from Australia)
"....Therefore, with openSUSE 11.2 release, the KDE desktop will be installed if the user accepts the default setting. Users can also choose the GNOME desktop at this stage.....
....We want to make clear that both desktops are considered equal citizens within
the openSUSE Project, and this will not have any impact on the quality of the
GNOME desktop within openSUSE. GNOME will continue to be offered as a top-
level installation choice, and we will continue to strive to provide the best
GNOME and KDE desktop experience...."
168 • @160 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-08-21 04:16:50 GMT from Canada)
I'm afraid that, well, you're doing it wrong. You're burning the image file (the .iso) as a *file* to the disc, you should be burning it as an *image*. All burning programs that I'm aware of make this distinction and explain it in their documentation, so I'm afraid this is just pilot error.
169 • @164 (by Joe on 2009-08-21 04:42:38 GMT from United States)
I found a Mandriva fix for /etc/modprob.conf that shuts off the Aspire One's internal netbook speakers when a headphone jack is plugged in.
The Arch Acer Aspire One wiki has been helpful, as well as other sites dedicated to distros that have been ported to the Acer. Not sure what flavor of Linux that I'll ultimately settle on, but I hope to have the majority of hardware problems resolved.
Linpus Lite, as delivered, would do for some. But, for me, I want a few different apps, dependency issues resolved, and an upgrade path that doesn't seem to be in place for Linpus Lite on the Acer Aspire One. I ran Mandriva 2008.1 from a flash drive for a while and the netbook definitely has potential, so I'm trying to find the distro that provides the best fit.
170 • OpenSuse to default to KDE in 11.2 release (by VS Dude on 2009-08-21 05:29:07 GMT from United States)
View one of the articles covering this here: http://lxer.com/module/newswire/ext_link.php?rid=124527
171 • Aspire One (by Sertse on 2009-08-21 07:21:01 GMT from Australia)
I dare say the latest versions of major distros, work more or less with the AAO. At this stage, it been over an year since it was originally out, and it was fortunate that it is the most popular netbook, (along with the eee) thus development from distros on getting it supported was very active.
I have no issues w/ linux on my AAO. That said, I have been running Debian Sid(ux) Arch, (both which focus on the newest support) and Pardus (which came out just last month, and thus has the hardware compatibility that was developed till then).
As I've eluded to earlier, that fact it is an Aspire One is a very big advantage. I'm wouldn't be so confident in comptabiliy if it was a lessor known netbook.
172 • @164 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-08-21 07:30:46 GMT from Canada)
"I'm tempted to say that IF the jack skt was switched ( ie. the electrical audio circuit to the spkrs being broken by the physical insertion of the jack plug) then there must be a mechanical problem as opposed to a software issue...but possibly the switch IS entirely in the software.
I have an aged Toshi Sat which has a switched headphone skt, muting the spkrs when the headphones jack plug is inserted, hence my interest/surprise. If you can be arsed it would be interesting to to know more."
It is partially in software these days. The HDA codec allows for what's called 'jack sensing', where the driver can actually discover whether or not a jack is plugged into each output/input, and adjust its behaviour appropriately. ALSA's support for this is quite basic at present, on some chipsets it works, on others it doesn't, on others it requires a little configuration persuasion, as 169 suggests.
173 • iso burning (by Tom on 2009-08-21 07:31:33 GMT from United Kingdom)
@160 LLO Here's a guide from Ubuntu although it works about the same for all the rest
174 • graphics (by Tom on 2009-08-21 07:35:21 GMT from United Kingdom)
So the only graphics cards worth getting at the moment are nVidea ones unless you go for the ultra latest ati range and hope that ati change their policy and start supporting linux a lot more?
175 • No subject (by forest on 2009-08-21 09:40:59 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref the Switched Jack Issue...
Thanks to all above for interesting comments on mechanical mute vs software mute. I had no idea. I presume there is some sort of impedance range sensing? I see a google session...
Thanks also for gen on distros runnable on the Acer.
I would consider tho' that a mechanical mute is a lot "safer" cf software switching, in that switched jacks very rarely go wrong, and, slightly tongue in cheek, the extra code simply adds to the bloat...
That such code is incompatible (for wotever reason) and does not work with some kit is proven from Joe's #161 remark, mind you I don't suppose that will always be the case.
Of course, the cost price difference between switched/unswitched jack skts, including the extra tracks and holes on the circuit board, in those production numbers, is probably too small to calculate....certainly it would not mean the kit would be priced beyond anyone's means...
And, of course, the mute would ALWAYS work, regardless of the software.
176 • #157/#159: Nothing to "live down" (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-08-21 12:42:01 GMT from United States)
@forest: I have nothing to "live down." Whenever a writer, any writer, posts anything in the least bit negative about a distro there are always fans who will circle the wagons and/or go on the attack. I am very used to that by now. The piece linked was more than a little clueless and I responded to it. Fortunately the author has some integrity and let me do so.
I stand by what I wrote about CentOS and Scientific Linux. CentOS now has to prove they can get patches out on a timely basis. Their track record in that area over the past year has been atrocious. It wasn't one Firefox package. It was a year of things arriving late, sometimes months late. I also feel that the whole issue with Lance Davis called into question how that distro is being managed. That one issue may well have been solved and I certainly bear the CentOS devs no ill will.
Scientific Linux has done a better job with getting patches out on a timely basis. It is not dependent on a few volunteers and has the backing of and funding from major laboratories and universities all over the world. From a business perspective that makes it a safer choice for an Enterprise Linux clone.
A netbook is nothing more than a small notebook. The author is completely off base when he claims otherwise. Machines like this have been used in business for about forever. I remember the CEO and other senior execs of a company I supported when I contracted to IBM Global Services using the itty bitty Toshiba Libretto with a 7" screen for travel back in 1999. Nothing has changed all that month other than the fact that you no longer pay a premium for tiny and that has helped make small machines popular. Linux makes them more productive.
Enterprise Linux is marketed for the desktop. See: http://www.redhat.com/rhel/desktop/ To claim that CentOS, an EL clone, is only for servers and that my experiment was somehow invalid because it was done on a desktop/notebook/netbook is patently ridiculous.
Again, I expect this sort of response. Linking the article was no big deal. I'll undoubtedly anger someone else the next time I have something less than wonderful to say about a Linux distro. If I am to have integrity and report what I find honestly I can't worry about what the fans of a given distro might think or how they might react.
177 • No subject (by forest on 2009-08-21 13:43:09 GMT from United Kingdom)
Well, that's your opinion Caitlyn; personally, I suspect you were being teased very gently...simply because your middle name is "Integrity"...and of course you never fail to respond in a decent, forthright manner.
Hence my remark, along the lines of "Life of Brian",aimed at "Nobody Important" from the Seychelles, the location alone might have tipped you off.
And, if you absolutely insist there is no difference between a netbook and notebook other than scale, then you must.
Other people might think differently however, and, if you employ hyperbole..."for about forever"...folk might believe you were being facetious...and were, ahem, simply putting the fun back into computing.
178 • Full response to the Cooking With Linux blog post (link in #157) (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-08-21 14:03:04 GMT from United States)
I've taken my comments in #176 and expanded them into a full blown article. I though I had put this issue to be two weeks ago. Silly me.
If anyone is interested you can read the full response at: http://ever-increasing-entropy.blogspot.com/2009/08/circling-wagons.html
179 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-08-21 14:15:32 GMT from China)
Oh!that is why laptops having that card make are going for a good bargain here!
180 • Re: @92 Intel Sound (by kilgoretrout on 2009-08-21 14:16:57 GMT from United States)
Adam, FYI here's my lspci -nn output for my intel audio:
00:1b.0 Audio device : Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller [8086:284b] (rev 02)
And the beginning part of cat /proc/asound/card?/codec#? which appears to be most relevant:
Codec: SigmaTel STAC9271D
Function Id: 0x1
Vendor Id: 0x83847627
Subsystem Id: 0x80862504
Revision Id: 0x100201
No Modem Function Group found
It's on an Intel® Desktop Board DG965WH.
181 • @157, 159, 176, 177, 178 (by Joe on 2009-08-21 15:03:14 GMT from United States)
I'll have to side with Caitlyn here.. CentOS is an enterprise class OS which aims to be 100% compatible with it's parent. And, it's scalable, as is it's parent. So if installing it on a desktop, laptop, or server is acceptable, why not a netbook? The specs of many of today's netbooks are better than some of the desktop/laptop workstations that I used just a few years ago. And, I can see corporations and small businesses looking at low end alternatives as they try to trim costs. So, why rule out the netbooks?
Why, I've just decided to use my trusty Acer Aspire One as a workstation (temporarily at least). And, I think in my quest for the best distro to replace Linpus Lite, I'll just have to try CentOS. I'll let you know how it goes. ;-)
182 • @175 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-08-21 15:29:21 GMT from Canada)
The point of jack sensing is it's more flexible than just muting. For instance, it can sense when you plug something into the line-in port and enable that input automatically.
183 • No subject (by forest on 2009-08-21 15:52:19 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref #172 and others,
Ref the software switching, if anyone is interested see here:
I blush to say this technology was around in 2004...and, the chip involved can do more too.
184 • Caitlyn Martin (by Xtyn on 2009-08-21 19:28:57 GMT from Romania)
I always found it funny that you try modern heavyweight distros on an antique notebook and a netbook. The big problem is that the hardware is NOT representative.
The average distrowatch reader does not use that hardware and definitely will not install a full blown kde4 distro on a 6 year old notebook with a Celeron at 1 GHz and 512 MB RAM. Maybe a sadomasochist would, I definitely would not. On that hardware, I would use fluxbox.
The average user won't install a kde4 distro or an enterprise distro on a netbook. The average user probably prefers a netbook remix (Ubuntu or Mandriva mini) or a lightweight distro.
Practically, on the netbook you should review distros specifically made for it.
On the antique notebook you should review distros specifically made for it.
Sometimes your articles are too personal, you should try a little more objectivity.
Some other times you make a big deal out of minor things.
Netbooks are NOT smaller notebooks. Notebooks have much better hardware. Netbooks have specific needs, because of small screens, CPU, graphics etc.
I think we all loved the first part of Michael Raugh's distro odyssey simply because it was an experience we can relate to. It's nice to know how a modern distro handles modern hardware.
P.S. Don't take this too hard. I have nothing against you. I just believe some feedback from readers is necessary for improving future articles.
185 • RE: 184 (by Landor on 2009-08-21 22:33:57 GMT from Canada)
I'll bite, since I've honestly come to the opinion that this, and some of your other posts are meant to incite.
So in the reverse your hypothesis regarding the selection of distributions to review would exclude ones such as puppy, antix, dsl, tiny core, slitaz, etc, etc, etc, for any system that has new hardware, even Debian Lenny (since the kernel is older).
I find that absurd. If that really was the case then anyone with a "fairly" recent system should only be doing reviews with say compiz running full blow on Gnome, or KDE4 with full effects and every single service running on both.
What one of the strongest points about Linux is the fact that it can do so much on less resources than other OS'. So, in essence you're saying that for the majority out there that have meager resources available (cpu, ram, hd space) they should only see reviews for Puppy and DSL and the like since they "just have to" stick with the very lightest of all distributions. Regardless of the fact that it just may work on their system if they're willing to take a bit of a performance hit.
Totally wrong in my opinion.
Oh, and I bit once for this topic. It's done for me now :)
Keep your stick on the ice...
186 • OpenSUSE Milestone 6 available (by Anonymous on 2009-08-21 23:00:28 GMT from Italy)
187 • Scientific Linux and CentOS Release dates (by Johnny Hughes on 2009-08-21 23:37:06 GMT from United States)
@176 - Caitlyn: You are certainly entitled to your opinion about release dates ... but here are the facts:
Release SciLinux CentOS
4.0 2005-04-21 2005-03-02
4.1 2005-08-06 2005-06-12
4.2 2005-12-03 2005-10-13
4.3 2006-05-08 2006-03-21
4.4 2006-10-10 2006-08-30
4.5 2007-06-26 2007-05-18
4.6 2008-03-10 2007-12-16
4.7 2008-09-03 2008-09-13
4.8 2009-07-21 2009-08-21
5.0 2007-05-07 2007-04-12
5.1 2008-01-16 2007-12-02
5.2 2008-06-28 2008-06-24
5.3 2009-03-19 2009-04-01
188 • CentOS followup (by Johnny Hughes on 2009-08-21 23:40:35 GMT from United States)
Scientific Linux is a great distro, no doubt.
However, the Longest ever release of CentOS after Scientific Linx was released was 30 days. There have been several close to 90 day (after CentOS) delays from Scientific.
I am not bashing, just setting the record straight.
189 • Re# !85 (by Rex on 2009-08-22 00:11:08 GMT from United States)
"So in the reverse your hypothesis regarding the selection of distributions to review would exclude ones such as puppy, antix, dsl, tiny core, slitaz, etc, etc, etc, for any system that has new hardware, even Debian Lenny (since the kernel is older)."
No Landor, your idea of the reverse hypothesis is a complete understanding of what Xtyn said. Obviously this is so since Netbooks have recently developed hardware on them. It has nothing to do with the "newness" of the hardware.
And while I don't want to go back and read CM's review, I recall that the CentOS install was far from wonderful. That alone might be a hint that Netbooks might be a tad different. Not to mention that I seem to recall that people are writing distros specifically catered with the advantages and limitations of Netbooks in mind.
And your idea of the reverse is silly to say the least. One can run puppy on a SuperComputer. Or an analogy: one can install a toy plane engine on a real plane, wasteful as that would be, but one cannot install a real plane engine on a toy plane.
190 • RE: 189 (by Landor on 2009-08-24 00:10:01 GMT from Canada)
You can choose to take what I typed as the "literal intention" of the word, it just doesn't mean that your choice is accurate.
I'm quite sure you fully understood and looking as (Xtyn was) for a bite. I will not consider a 1.6 mhz system new by any margin.
Your comment about people writing distros specifically for netbooks is silly to say the least. Debian Lenny was tuned for the eeepc. Mandriva, the same. Any Linux Distribution can be used.
Ever see an RC plane (a toy basically) with a fully working jet engine, albeit a miniature?
Keep your stick on the ice...
191 • #185 #190 representative hardware (again) (by Xtyn on 2009-08-24 05:13:29 GMT from Romania)
"So in the reverse your hypothesis regarding the selection of distributions to review would exclude ones such as puppy, antix, dsl, tiny core, slitaz, etc, etc, etc, for any system that has new hardware, even Debian Lenny (since the kernel is older)."
The problem with doing a review on modern hardware of a distro specifically made for older hardware is that it will not prove that it works for what is meant for. Very few people will use puppy, antix, dsl etc on a core2duo or i7 so why review it on such powerful hardware?
"If that really was the case then anyone with a "fairly" recent system should only be doing reviews with say compiz running full blow on Gnome, or KDE4 with full effects and every single service running on both."
A reviewer with modern hardware should definitely try gnome and KDE4 with compiz, at least to say how they worked for him, even if he does not use them. When you do a review, you do it for others, not for yourself. About the "every single service running", that's silly and I didn't say that.
"Your comment about people writing distros specifically for netbooks is silly to say the least. Debian Lenny was tuned for the eeepc. Mandriva, the same. Any Linux Distribution can be used."
OK, I'll be more straightforward: if you review a distro on a netbook, you will know if it works or not ON A NETBOOK. You will not know how and if it works on a desktop or laptop because of the different hardware. So when CM reviewed Ubuntu and Mandriva on her netbook and came to the conclusion that they pretty much sucked, that's on her netbook, not on the average desktop or laptop. It can be more or less representative for a netbook but not for the others. She should have tried them on hardware that actually works, beside the netbook. Yeah, they have intel driver regressions but they have good stuff too. What about that? Well, all that has been shadowed by her intel driver problem. That's a very subjective review.
About Pardus on the netbook and antique laptop: very few people care if it works on that hardware or not because they won't use Pardus on that kind of hardware. If it didn't work, her conclusion would be: "stay away from Pardus, it didn't work on MY HARDWARE, so it won't work on yours", as she said for Mandriva and Ubuntu. A lot of people disagreed and said that Mandriva 2009.1 and Ubuntu 9.04 are great, just look at the comments.
192 • #191 - Response to Xtyn Caitlyn Martin on 2009-08-24 05:52:52 GMT from United States)
@Xtyn: I completely disagree with what you've said here. My reviews will NOT be to your liking now or in the future. The fact is that the hardware I have available to test distros is the hardware I'm going to use.
The fact is that no system is representative of all other systems. However, the issues with Mandriva applied to thousand of users running Intel graphics chipsets on desktops, laptops, and netbooks. Netbooks are just small laptops in any case. The Intel issues have been well documented as I've covered here. Your argument just doesn't hold water.
I do take constructive criticism. Someone who always, without exception finds fault with what I write is not being constructive.
193 • #187/188 - Factual but irrelevant information (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-08-24 06:13:50 GMT from United States)
Mr. Hughes: I saw your name on the CentOS release announcement. I've also seen you post the same information on other sites. As I stated on LXer.com I have no doubt that the information you provided vis a vis release dates is accurate. Of course, I never complained about or criticized CentOS for late releases. Your data has nothing to do with what I wrote on my blog, in my article for O'Reilly three weeks ago, or in DistroWatch Weekly last month.
My complaint about CentOS is the fact that your distro has been erratic when it comes to releasing security patches. Another user pointed out that at times you have been prompt but at other times we've seen two months go by with no updates. An older release if always fine if it's supported by the distributor. However, when the distributor fails to patch known and severe or critical vulnerabilities it becomes a major security problem. It's certainly not acceptable in the enterprise and, quite honestly, it shouldn't be acceptable to anyone. That has been the main issue with CentOS.
On LXer.com you pointed out that for the last three weeks patches have been prompt. That is absolutely true. The problem is that your track record has been horribly erratic at best. In contrast, Scientific Linux has been consistently prompt with their patches. Be prompt for the next year and I will certainly reconsider my recommendation that Scientific Linux is the better choice for a free Enterprise Linux clone.
There is also the issue of governance and management. The issue with Lance Davis was blown out of proportion by the tech media. There is no doubt about that. However, by airing your dirty laundry in public you forced people to take a good hard look at CentOS, who runs it, and how it is run. The fact remains that CentOS is run by a small, volunteer team. You recently lost Dag Wieers, someone I greatly respect, from your team over management issues. I think, under the circumstances, CentOS does not compare favorably to another RHEL clone which is backed by major universities and laboratories around the world, namely Scientific Linux.
Instead of being defensive all over the internet and circling the wagons you need to demonstrate to the Linux community, and especially the enterprise users, that CentOS can get patches out consistently over time and that it is now run in a responsible and professional manner. You may also wish to consider attracting corporate or institutional underwriting which will give the business community a greater sense that CentOS will be around for a long time to come and that it can be depended on.
I have recommended CentOS several times here on DistroWatch in the past. I've deployed many CentOS servers and some workstations as well. I'd like to be confident that I can do so again in the future without doing a disservice to my customers. Right now I just don't feel comfortable doing that. Nothing you can say will change that. It will be your actions that can change my opinion over time.
I never take any pleasure writing something less than positive about a Linux or BSD distribution. It's much easier to write something that makes people feel good about a distro. Having said that, I have to report what I find honestly if I am to have any credibility at all. If that means writing something negative and taking the heat from the fans and developers of a given distro then so be it.
194 • #192 (by Xtyn on 2009-08-24 06:19:56 GMT from Romania)
"The fact is that no system is representative of all other systems."
No, but some are more representative than others. A netbook won't be representative for desktops or laptops. I'm glad you don't have a PS3, because you could have made reviews on it.
"Netbooks are just small laptops in any case."
Yeah, and PC's are just small supercomputers... :)
Number of Comments: 194
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|• Issue 544 (2014-02-03): Netrunner 13.12, openSUSE future, Ubuntu Touch in emulator, running commands in multiple places|
|• Issue 543 (2014-01-27): Review of Korora 20, FreeBSD 10.0, DNF, ZFS rescue CD, Bridge Linux interview|
|• Issue 542 (2014-01-20): QupZilla, Ubuntu with MATE, Arch on Raspberry Pi, best applications|
|• Issue 541 (2014-01-13): openSUSE 13.1 and Zentyal 3.3, CentOS joins Red Hat, Bodhi on Chromebooks|
|• Issue 540 (2014-01-06): SMS 2.0.6 and SME Server 8.0, Hawaii desktop, PHR statistics 2013, more on multi-part archives|
|• Issue 539 (2013-12-23): Centrych 12.04.3, Fedora 20 and its spins, dividing archives across multiple discs|
|• Issue 538 (2013-12-16): Mint 16 review, RHEL and CentOS 7 plans, SteamOS, Windows XP replacement suggestions|
|• Issue 537 (2013-12-09): OpenMandriva 2013.0, Gentoo developer interview, project Neon, Linux Mint and security|
|• Issue 536 (2013-12-02): Impressions of openSUSE 13.1, Ubuntu Touch, FreeBSD 10 delay, troubleshooting OS lock-ups|
|• Issue 535 (2013-11-25): GhostBSD 3.5, Debian and MATE, Ubuntu 14.04 features, security updates|
|• Issue 534 (2013-11-18): Review of OpenBSD 5.4, Fedora on ARM, menu names vs command-line names|
|• Issue 533 (2013-11-11): Point Linux 2.2, Pisi update, Debian and Xfce, Bruno Cornec interview|
|• Issue 532 (2013-11-04): Ubuntu and Kubuntu 13.10, Debian's init, FreeBSD's PKG-NG, Linux on ARM|
|• Issue 531 (2013-10-28): PC-BSD 9.2, openSUSE testing, nftables, upgrade pros and cons|
|• Issue 530 (2013-10-21): Kwheezy 1.2, DPL interview, Zenwalk's future, keeping up with vulnerabilities|
|• Issue 529 (2013-10-14): Ubuntu's Mir, dmesg and photorec tips, Tiny Tiny RSS|
|• Issue 528 (2013-10-07): Semplice 5, Haiku package management, Klaus Knopper interview, making custom distro|
|• Issue 527 (2013-09-30): Tiny Core Linux 5.0, SteamOS, moving operating system to new computer|
|• Issue 526 (2013-09-23): Look at ArchBang 2013.09.01, BSD Now, kernel stats, command-line tips|
|• Issue 525 (2013-09-16): The Official Ubuntu Server Book, FreeBSD 10 and OpenBSD 5.4, Skype alternatives|
|• Issue 524 (2013-09-09): Look at LXLE 12.04.3, Ubuntu's new package format, Secure Boot and dual-booting|
|• Issue 523 (2013-09-02): OpenIndiana 151a8, openSUSE "Evergreen", GNOME and DuckDuckGo, running apps from RAM|
|• Issue 522 (2013-08-26): Look at gNewSense 3.0, Ubuntu Edge fundraising failure, exploring GPL|
|• Issue 521 (2013-08-19): Review of Korora 19, Fedora considers return to "Core", Haiku package management|
|• Issue 520 (2013-08-12): Salix OS 14.0.1 "KDE", Xubuntu experiments with XMir, managing passwords with KeePass|
|• Issue 519 (2013-08-05): Review of Porteus 2.0, Kubuntu lays out plans for Wayland adoption, adjusting system swappiness|
|• Full list of all issues|