| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 320, 14 September 2009
Welcome to this year's 37th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! With so many great distributions available today, how do you go about choosing one for your brand-new, state-of-the-art desktop computer? In the second part of his "distro odyssey", Michael Raugh delves into Arch Linux, a rolling-release distribution that is always up-to-date, even though it takes some work to install and set it up. But how did it fare in the test? Read on to find out. In the news section, Oracle hints at new investment into the recently acquired Solaris operating system, Phoronix takes an early look at OpenSolaris 2010.2, openSUSE releases a new set of 11.1 installation images with the latest KDE desktop, and Softpedia presents information about one Ubuntu issue that everybody seems to have an opinion about - the distribution's default artwork. Also in the news, Free Software Foundation expands its list of free distribution, while Debian developer Meike Reichle urges girls and women to join the development teams of free software projects. All this and more in this issue of DistroWatch Weekly - happy reading!
- Reviews: A distro odyssey, part 2 - the Arch way
- News: Oracle's Solaris plans, early look at OpenSolaris 2010.2, updated openSUSE 11.1 images, new artwork for Ubuntu, interview with Debian's Meike Reichle, Kongoni and Trisquel on FSF's free list
- Released last week: Linux Mint 7 "Xfce", Absolute Linux 13.0, DesktopBSD 1.7, moonOS 3
- Upcoming releases: Mandriva Linux 2010 RC1, Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 6
- New additions: Incognito LiveCD
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (41MB) and MP3 (42MB) formats
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
|Feature Story (by Michael Raugh)
A distro odyssey, part 2 - the Arch way
Having established a comfortable baseline with Ubuntu (64-bit 9.04, "Jaunty Jackalope"), I now had the freedom to begin experimenting in earnest on my new machine. The first candidate, chosen after reading a lot of feedback and comments from DistroWatch users, was Arch Linux.
Arch is very different from distros I've worked with in the past in a couple of ways. It's not based on or derived from any other distribution, for one. It's also a rolling-release system, meaning that packages get updated continuously -- there's never a need to upgrade to a newer version to get the latest versions of applications as there is with most distros. As a result, Arch is very much a cutting-edge system, which can be a good thing or a dangerous thing.
The tone and feel of Arch is also very different from those of most mainstream distros I've worked with. Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, et al make an effort to embrace novice users and ease their transition to Linux. Arch doesn't. It's not hostile to newbies by any means, but the documentation and the community web site make it very clear, in a polite and reasonable way, that Arch is intended for "the competent Linux user" and that people who use Arch are expected to take responsibility for how they use and manage their systems. In return Arch gives them a system that is streamlined, current, and does only what the user configures it to do. The philosophy of Arch is called The Arch Way and is explained clearly on the project Wiki. Put simply, the Arch Way emphasizes clean code with no functionality hidden from the user (even if sometimes the user might prefer it that way) and a strong respect for openness and freedom in the choices and distribution of software. Reading and understanding that goes a long way toward preparing a new Arch user for what they are about to experience.
My first attempt at installing Arch Linux on my new system was a failure. I booted from the network install CD and ran through the text-based installer only to have it fail to connect to any of the mirrors. I was able to ping the mirrors from the same command line that the installer dumped me out to, so it wasn't a simple network problem. In the end I chalked it up to unexplained weirdness and tried again using the "core" CD, which installs a basic system without downloading from the network. Arch puts out fresh core images periodically, with the most recent one being released in August 2009.
Booting from the core CD got me to a text login prompt. Yes, Arch expects you to log in as root (even gives you the password information before the login prompt) and start the installer by typing the command yourself. The text-based installer is well laid-out and flows logically from step to step, but it explains nothing; if you don't know how to partition a drive, don't recognize the names of packages that you want and don't want, and aren't sure where or how to configure a bootloader, this installer will not help you. If you do know -- or if, as I did, you have a laptop next to you with a browser opened to the Arch Wiki for consultation -- you'll find that the installer is extremely flexible and not that difficult to follow.
The basic sequence is linear. By navigating text menus I set the time zone and system time, created a new 100 GB partition (/dev/sda2) to hold Arch, and configured it for an ext3 file system to be mounted as the root while using the existing 8 GB swap partition on /dev/sdb1 that Ubuntu had already set up for me. I selected both of the available package groups (core and core-dev) and made a few manual package selections: adding sudo, xinetd, and OpenSSH, for instance while removing the pcmcia and Bluetooth packages since the machine has no such hardware. I probably installed some things I don't need just because I didn't recognize the package names or know what they did, and the installer wasn't giving me any clues, but in general the installer's defaults will do no harm. The actual installing of packages went blazingly fast.
Next came a step no other installer that I've seen includes: it presented a list of vital configuration files and had me edit them right then and there. I edited /etc/rc.conf, which controls the BSD-style init system, basic configuration files like /etc/hosts, /etc/hosts.allow and /etc/hosts.deny, and configured networking all through file entries. At the bottom of the list of files was an option to set the root password. Most of the files didn't need much in the way of editing as Arch's default settings are perfectly fine for general use, but the process is educational because most other distros make these same edits under cover of a GUI installer.
The last installation step is to install a boot loader. Arch comes with GRUB, though LILO is also available for those who prefer it. The installer assumed nothing; it examined the system, presented me with a grub.conf file to edit to my liking with the detected settings already in place, and then had me choose exactly where to install it. Heeding advice from Landor in the comments section of DistroWatch Weekly issue 318, I chose /dev/sda2 so that my original Ubuntu boot loader would not be changed or disturbed. Later, when everything was working, I modified menu.lst by adding a few lines to the end:
title Arch Linux
That gives me a menu item on Ubuntu's boot menu that passes control to Arch's boot loader so that I can still boot into Ubuntu if I want to.
With that done I rebooted into my newly-installed base Arch system. The base system is exactly that. There is no GUI at all and no services running beyond the bare minimum that you need to boot, log in, and run a shell. This is the Arch Way -- you take this base setup and install what you want to build the system you want with no bloat or waste. So on the laptop I opened up the Arch Beginner's Guide -- in this case "beginner" means someone new to Arch, not new to Linux -- and I stepped through that to construct my system.
First off, I had to configure the system for the mirrors I would use. Arch provides a template configuration file with every mirror listed by country, which is a good start. It also provides a Python script called "rankmirrors" that will test the mirrors you select and order them by speed of response. Using that script got me a good mirror set that made for quick downloads and package installs, which is important when you're downloading pretty much everything. I ran an initial update in just a few minutes and noticed that it updated the kernel. I created a non-root account for myself, configured OpenNTPD and sudo, and rebooted to seat the new kernel and to continue working from my non-privileged account.
Following the Beginner's Guide, I quickly had sound working and started setting up X. Arch provides access through the repository to the binary drivers produced by NVIDIA, so I was able to install that using the Pacman package management utility. I set Xterm as my graphical shell and succeeded with testing X. Now it was time to install a desktop environment.
The desktop environment I chose was KDE 4. I'm a recent convert and still very happy with it, though it does contain a lot of pieces that I don't use. Arch, being a cutting-edge distro, has KDE 4.3 and I was interested in trying the newest version. I installed the "kde-workspace" package, which, according to the Wiki, installs the basic KDE desktop but not all of the extras like KDE PIM and KMail, most of which I don't use. It took less than five minutes to download and install the package and its dependencies and then I was ready to start KDE.
KDE came up on one screen in the default 4.3 look. The Arch version, as advertised, contained very little in the way of extra items -- no Network Manager, no Folder View, no Dolphin file manager, not even the Konsole terminal emulator. Adding the pieces I wanted was quick and simple, though, with Pacman. Now, what would it take to get my second screen working?
Okay, I cheated. The GUI settings manager for NVIDIA depends on GTK+ libraries, which I hadn't installed, and so it wouldn't run. I could have installed the GTK+ libraries but I didn't want to since I don't intend to use GNOME. Instead, I mounted my Ubuntu file system read-only on a temporary mount point and copied the xorg.conf from that to Arch's /etc/X11 directory. When I restarted X, KDE came up beautifully on two screens, ready to work.
Next I explored the applications menu. Normally, after installing a new distro, there are dozens of applications in that menu, many of which I don't use and may not even recognize. With Arch, though, every single item on the menu was either something I'd installed myself or a clearly recognizable component of KDE. That was when I really started to appreciate the Arch Way.
I went to work with Pacman in a terminal session and installed some applications: Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice.org, and my multimedia things. Firefox was only version 3.5.2, I noticed, which surprised me considering the cutting edge reputation of Arch. Finding the codecs necessary for my multimedia needs was relatively simple with a little help from the Wiki and soon I was listening to music and watching test videos from the Samba shares hosted on my home CentOS server.
VMware posed a bit of a challenge. The VMware installer assumes that the host machine uses the SystemV init system that is normal for most Linux distributions: a series of directories containing symbolic links to service scripts located in /etc/init.d, with each directory defining what should be started for a given runlevel. Arch doesn't work that way, though. Arch uses a BSD-style init system, where the services to be started are controlled by a single configuration file (/etc/rc.conf). This required some extra steps to fake out the VMware installer. Those steps are outlined neatly in the Wiki, though, so the challenge was minor. VMware installed, found my existing virtual machine, and ran it without a hitch.
With the system fully functional and all of my must-have applications working, I set about the fun task of decorating. KDE 4.3's new Air theme is okay but I prefer the Oxygen theme from KDE 4.2, so I changed that and put on a new wallpaper image from my favorite art site, Digital Blasphemy. I needed to add a couple of more packages to get some of the plasmoids I like to use, like the Folder View. And then things got more interesting.
I'm a big fan of the window decoration theme called "skulpture". This theme doesn't come with KDE. SUSE, Mandriva, Fedora, Ubuntu, and others provide packages in the repositories for it but Arch doesn't -- a Pacman search turned up nothing. Ditto for the customizable weather plasmoid I like (though the source code is available on the AUR, a repository of user-provided packages of source and compile scripts). So, in the Arch Way, I downloaded the source code and compiled it myself. The process was simple and painless once I added a couple of libraries that were needed, and allowed me to set up a pretty and highly functional desktop, as shown in the screenshots below.
A customised Arch Linux desktop with KDE 4 (wallpaper (c) 2009 by Ryan Bliss, Digital Blasphemy)
(full image size: 600kB, screen resolution 1680x1050 pixels)
There you see the Desktop folder view, which contains links to document folders on the local machine and on network shares, and a modest set of useful plasmoids. The extra panel on the lower right is something I set up to mimic the icon bar in Xfce or Enlightenment 17 and gives me more convenient access to my most-used applications without having to keep going to the K menu. This is a stopgap while I wait for KDE 4.4, which will restore the ability to click anywhere on the desktop to get an application menu.
More KDE 4 desktop customizations using Arch Linux (wallpaper (c) 2009 by Ryan Bliss, Digital Blasphemy)
(full image size: 1,280kB, screen resolution 1680x1050 pixels)
My Arch installation is now functionally at parity with the Ubuntu baseline setup in terms of applications and creature comforts. I can do all of my daily activities in Arch and have been using it that way since I finished the setup. Even after just a few days I can recognize and appreciate some distinct differences.
On the plus side, Arch has done away with two glaring annoyances that I've been putting up with in Ubuntu. The first is slow USB writing: shortly after configuring "Jaunty" I tried to copy some video to an SDHC card and wondered why it took 20 minutes to copy 2 GB of files on my brand-new Quad Core system. Googling the issue turned up numerous posts pointing to a known bug in 64-bit Ubuntu kernels. The bug has been there since the 8.04 ("Hardy Heron") version and there's no fix yet. The Arch kernel doesn't have this bug; I copied the same 2 GB to an empty SDHC card under Arch and watched it complete in under 3 minutes. That was highly satisfying.
Another minor annoyance I'd been living with on Ubuntu involved rebooting. I normally mount several Samba shares from my server -- Samba is convenient and accessible to almost anything, whereas NFS has well-known management issues -- and with Ubuntu I had to remember to "umount" those shares before rebooting or the system would hang on the way down. It appears that Ubuntu was halting the networking service before "umounting" the file systems, which then caused the Samba shares to be lost and the system to hang. Arch shuts things down neatly and without that problem.
I can also say with certainty that Arch boots and runs faster than the Ubuntu system I set up on this hardware. That is largely because I'm running a lot fewer services, of course. In all fairness, Ubuntu would also boot faster if I'd go into it and disable the default services that I don't need. KDE loading is the same, with Arch getting me to a working desktop much faster than Ubuntu because it doesn't have to load NetworkManager (why bother on a desktop machine with one network card?), the PIM services, or any of the other things that come by default on Ubuntu. I could go through the package manager in Ubuntu and comb out as many of those things as dependencies will allow to improve the performance, but with Arch I didn't have to.
Another plus for Arch is the currency of the software. Aside from Firefox, every application I installed is the current version: OpenOffice.org 3.1, Thunderbird 184.108.40.206, KDE 4.3, etc. Because Arch is a rolling release system I can expect to receive Thunderbird 3, KDE 4.4, and newer versions of Firefox as they are released instead of having to wait for an upgrade release. With Ubuntu, which came out in April 2009, I had to install Firefox 3.5 and OpenOffice.org 3.1 myself from alternate repositories and if I want KDE 4.3 or 4.4 I'd have to do the same. The more of that you do, the more likely there are to be incompatibilities.
On the negative side, it was certainly more work getting Arch set up and running. I actually did four installations in total: one test install in a virtual machine just to get a feel for the installer; then the ill-fated network install; then a core install that I aborted when I got frustrated trying to follow the official instruction guide, which is more general and less helpful than the beginner's guide; and finally the install I detailed in this piece, which is what I'm working on now. The Pacman package manager is command-line only; there is no GUI for searching or browsing the package lists, so Arch users have to get familiar with Pacman's search ability to locate what they want. Typing "pacman -Ss <search term> | less" has become second nature already for me.
Is the extra work and effort worth it? I think so, at least from what I'm experiencing so far. Arch is nimble and solid, and the rolling release means I don't ever have to go through the installation process again on this machine if I don't want to (barring a hardware catastrophe, of course). Arch has become my new home base from which I'll continue the odyssey.
|Miscellaneous News (by Chris Smart)
Oracle's Solaris plans, early look at OpenSolaris 2010.2, updated openSUSE 11.1 images, new artwork for Ubuntu, interview with Debian's Meike Reichle, Kongoni and Trisquel on FSF's free distributions list
Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems may not have yet been completely finalised, but other than some concern from the European Commission about the future of MySQL, it's certainly looking that way. News website CNET discusses an advertisement which Oracle placed in the European edition of the Wall Street Journal. In it Oracle spells out their plans for Sun's technology claiming they will be spending more on developing the products than Sun does now. It's sending a clear message to the European Commission that the merger will be good for the consumer and provide more competition with IBM. In light of this, will Oracle dump their Linux offering in favour of Solaris? If these claims are true, then the near to far future of OpenSolaris looks assured. Solaris 11 is due next year and will be the first version based directly on the OpenSolaris project.
* * * * *
Speaking of OpenSolaris, technology website Phoronix has taken a very early look at the next version, 2010.02, which is scheduled for release in February next year. The project is supposed to follow a 6-month cycle; however, this will be delayed by two months and as such there will not be another release this year. At this stage, nothing revolutionary appears to be on the horizon. Kernel-based mode setting is coming to Solaris at some point, but it's not known whether it will be ready in time for the next release. No doubt there are numerous "under the hood" improvements, but the preview builds appear to only include updated core packages such as X.Org, GNOME and Firefox.
* * * * *
The upcoming version of openSUSE is due out in two months, with the project moving to KDE as the default desktop. This will naturally include the latest version of KDE 4, but in the meantime users of version 11.1 are stuck with the much older and far more buggy 4.1.3 version. To address this, a KDE remix has been announced which includes the latest version of KDE as well as all recent openSUSE updates. The install is recommended for those wanting to test version 4.3 of KDE and have the latest updates already included at the time of install. Those are not the only advantages however: "Compared to openSUSE 11.1 KDE 4 desktop, the images include the latest KDE 4 version of applications like Amarok, Digikam, KNetworkManager and the new Qt 4-based YaST Control Center. Some additional applications like Choqok, Kompare, Marble and Okteta could be added thanks to a more efficient compression algorithm."
* * * * *
Ever since the very first version of Ubuntu was released, its default colour scheme and artwork has been subject to a reasonable amount of controversy. Along the way various releases have promised a complete overhaul, but it hasn't ever quite happened. Ubuntu 9.04 "Jaunty Jackalope" saw a breakaway from tradition with a red and black login screen and also introduced some new GNOME themes such as New Wave, which utilises darker grey colours over the usual brownish-orange. So while Ubuntu 9.10 "Karmic Koala" will be mostly the same in terms of appearance, it will see even more themes introduced. Softpedia takes a look at some of these and shows what they will look like. The ability to easily select a more pleasing theme is a great benefit to users who don't like the more traditional Ubuntu colours. Do you stick with the default theme?
* * * * *
Debian continues to remain one of the most popular distros of all time, even though it has a reputation for using older software packages. It's the world's largest completely community-driven free software project, which means most developers need day-time jobs. Linux Magazine has interviewed one such developer, Meike Reichle, who at 27 years of age works for both the University of Hildesheim in Germany and a local company developing embedded Linux products. She discusses her involvement within the Debian project, including a sub-projects she works on which tries to encourage women to get involved in free software. She says: "A topic that is also very special to me is girls and women in IT and in free software in particular. I find my work in free software very gratifying and wish more girls and women would take up the opportunity and join it. Also I think that free software would benefit greatly from a higher number of girls and women in the community." Meike also provides some tips on how to get a job working for an open source company.
* * * * *
Finally, an announcement by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) where it updates its list of completely free GNU/Linux distributions to include Kongoni. Kongoni is a Slackware-based distro and live CD from South Africa, whose name means "gnu" in the Shona language. The package manager is a BSD ports style and only includes packages which comply with the FSF's definition of free software: "They reject non-free applications, non-free programming platforms, non-free drivers, non-free firmware 'blobs', and any other non-free software and documentation. They uphold a commitment to remove any such components as they are discovered -- a commitment most well-known GNU/Linux distributions do not follow." Also in the announcement was information regarding the release of Trisquel GNU/Linux 3.0, which is the first in a series of short term bi-yearly support releases. Trisquel comes from Spain and is based on Debian GNU/Linux and Ubuntu.
|Released Last Week
Peter Hofer has announced the release of DesktopBSD 1.7, a desktop-oriented operating system based on FreeBSD 7.2 and with KDE 3.5.10 as the default desktop: "I am glad to announce the immediate availability of DesktopBSD 1.7. This new release comes with FreeBSD 7.2-RELEASE as base system and KDE 3.5.10 as desktop environment and includes a large number of pre-installed applications. The easy-to-use graphical installer and utilities allow for a simple installation and configuration process. Notable changes include: OpenOffice.org 3.1.1 as feature-rich office suite; pre-installed Java SE 6 environment; X.Org release 7.4 with extensive graphics hardware support; large number of enhancements and fixes." According to the release announcement, this is the project's last release.
DesktopBSD 1.7 is based on FreeBSD 7.2 and contains KDE 3.5 as the default desktop
(full image size: 93kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Easy Peasy 1.5
Jon Ramvi has announced the release of Easy Peasy 1.5, an Ubuntu-based distribution designed for netbooks featuring the Ubuntu Netbook Remix interface: "Easy Peasy one-point-five (or as I would say it: en-komma-fem) is finished, and it finished up real good. We've taken our time to iron out bugs and put in new features to again give the netbook community a great Linux distribution. New in Easy Peasy 1.5: a new, green visual look; awesome Linux kernel (2.6.30) optimized for netbooks with faster start-up built; support for more netbooks; upgraded software (Google Picasa, OpenOffice.org 3.1); built off Ubuntu 9.04; smaller hard drive footprint; uses the new ext4 file system as default; UXA by default - the first distro to deliver real composite desktop which means it's possible to run 3D in 3D (i.e. the netbook interface and desktop effects); Banshee as default music player instead of Songbird...." Here is the full release announcement.
Easy Peasy 1.5 - a new version of the Ubuntu-based distribution for netbooks
(full image size: 323kB, screen resolution 1024x600 pixels)
GoblinX 3.0 "G:Noblin"
Flavio Pereira de Oliveira has announced the release of GoblinX 3.0 "G:Noblin", a Slackware-based distribution and live CD with GNOME and GTK+ applications: "The GoblinX Project is proud to announce the release of the new stable G:Noblin distribution. G:Noblin is GoblinX GNOME. This edition is ideal for those users who prefer the GNOME desktop environment. The G:Noblin edition includes the latest packages of GNOME 2.24 and several improvements and modifications in the core of the system. Some important changes are: several bugs and errors have been corrected, added Vuze and Java JRE, some duplicated applications were removed, and some interfaces were rebuilt to look better inside netbooks. Another major change is the release of a distribution without removing any files and locales." Read the complete release announcement for further details.
Tilman Sauerbeck has announced the release of CRUX 2.6, a lightweight, i686-optimised Linux distribution targetted at experienced Linux users: "CRUX 2.6 has been released. Release notes: includes glibc 2.10.1, GCC 4.4.1 and Binutils 2.19.1, Linux kernel 220.127.116.11 and X.Org 7.4; XZ/LZMA support has been added to libarchive, it's possible to use .xz and .lzma source-archives in our ports now; libusb has been updated to version 1.0, to keep compatibility to version 0.1 a new port libusb-compat has been added to core; libblkid, blkid, findfs, fsck, libuuid, uuidd and uuidgen are now provided by util-linux-ng instead of e2fsprogs; using modprobe.conf to configure modprobe is deprecated, use *.conf files in modprobe.d instead; rdate has been replaced by openrdate; lvm2 is now available during install." See the release announcement and release notes for additional technical details.
Bluewhite64 Linux 13.0
Attila Crăciun has announced the release of Bluewhite64 Linux 13.0, an unofficial 64-bit port of Slackware Linux 13.0 with up-to-date KDE: "Bluewhite64 Linux 13.0 is released. This new version of Bluewhite64 brings many new and interesting features, improvements and packages updates. The first major change is a new and improved package format, we have switched to the LZMA compression algorithm to reduce the packages size and to improve the decompression speed. We have updated the X.Org Server to version 1.6.3, along with the drivers, libraries and utilities. Other important changes include a new generic Linux kernel 18.104.22.168 with more modules enabled; the new KDE 4.3.1 and Xfce 4.6.1 desktop environments; the Mozilla products (the latest versions of Firefox, Thunderbird, SeaMonkey)...." Read the release announcement and release notes for further details.
Chanrithy Thim has announced the release of moonOS 3, an Ubuntu-based distribution with Enlightenment as the default window manager and interesting, original artwork: "This 3rd release of moonOS comes with numerous bug fixes and many improvements. Based on Ubuntu 9.04, Linux kernel 2.6.28 and X.Org 7.4, moonOS 3 comes with a new tool called moonSoftware, XMPP video support for Pidgin and many other improvements." Some of the new features include: "moonControl with a new and clean interface; new interface for moonGrub with a feature for theme creation; moonSoftware - to quickly browse through available software, view screenshots and sort by various criteria; EFL Keys - a virtual keyboard for touch-screen application; Firefox 3.5 with Moonlight plugin and support for Silverlight 1.x; OpenOffice.org 3.1.1...." See the release announcement, release notes and what's new page for all the details.
moonOS 3 - an Ubuntu-based distribution with Enlightenment
(full image size: 907kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Trisquel GNU/Linux 3.0
Rubén Rodríguez Pérez has announced the release of Trisquel GNU/Linux 3.0, a 100% "libre" desktop distribution based on Ubuntu: "We are proud to announce the Trisquel GNU/Linux 3.0 release. It is the first of a new series of short-term support releases that include highly updated software, improved performance and better hardware compatibility. The 3.0 version will be upgraded to 3.5 in six months, and will get updates for another six months. The 2.2 LTS version will get security updates until 2013. Trisquel 3.0 includes: Linux-libre 2.6.28, GNOME and Evolution 2.26, OpenOffice.org 3.0, Trisquel web browser (Mozilla-based) 3.0, GIMP 2.6. It also packs many utilities like Pidgin, Inkscape, Transmission, Brasero, the GNOME set of games and even the media center Elisa. Trisquel provides support for almost every audio and video format including copy protected DVDs, and is compatible with Java and Flash technologies, using just free software." Here is the full release announcement.
Absolute Linux 13.0 and 13.0.1
Paul Sherman has announced the release of Absolute Linux 13.0, a Slackware-based lightweight distribution using the IceWM window manager: "Absolute 13.0 released. During the large number of changes from 12.x to 13 lots of things were broken as I kept up with Slackware and pounded out customizations for IceWM and PCMan File Manager and scripted helper utilities. Focus since end of July, however, has been on making everything work. I managed to get all quirks and bugs out. PCMan File Manager crashes were isolated to thumbnail image use, so that option has been eliminated and integration between ROX and PCMan File Manager has been increased (quick thumbnails and resizing, among other handy features). K3b (Qt 4 version) now closes multi-session disks properly. AbiWord prints without crashing. A log of applications now fit on the CD using the new TXZ packaging; OpenOffice.org is the most noteworthy base install inclusion." Read the rest of the release announcement for a few more technical details.
Absolute Linux 13.0 - a Slackware-based distribution with IceWM
(full image size: 149kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Hymera Open 20090910
Hymera Engineering has announced the release of Hymera Open 20090910, a desktop Linux distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux. The most important changes in this release include: introduction of a driver manager, a graphical application for managing device drivers; Hymera desktop recovery provides a simple way to instantly restore the default settings and desktop screenlets; Hymera video recovery, an innovative procedure for the recovery of the video driver; IMobile, an advanced Internet connection manager via USB keys and mobile phones; a new language manager, personalized and easy to use. Visit the distribution's news page (in Italian) to read the release announcement.
Hymera 20090910 - a Debian-based distribution with GNOME and a number of custom enhancements
(full image size: 517kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Linux Mint 7 "Xfce"
Clement Lefebvre has announced the release of Linux Mint 7 "Xfce", a community edition of Linux Mint featuring the Xfce desktop: "The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 7 'Gloria' Xfce. Based on Xubuntu 9.04, Linux kernel 2.6.28, Xfce 4.6 and X.Org 7.4, Linux Mint 7 Xfce features many improvements and the latest software from the open source world. What's new? mintInstall improvements - featured applications, pre-filled information, seamless screenshots downloads, improved GUI layout; mintUpdate improvements - changelogs, package sizes, usability; mintUpload improvements - ads-free, GUI improvements, graphical service manager, SCP/SFTP support; mintWelcome welcome screen; command line goodies - APT version, RTFM; new artwork; Moonlight plugin and support for Silverlight 1.x, signed repositories...." Read the release announcement and release notes for a detailed list of all improvements.
Kai Hendry has announced the release of Webconverger 5.5, a live, Debian-based web kiosk with Firefox: "Webconverger 5.5 is a much delayed release which is not as polished as I would have liked. Instead of delaying any further, I would appreciate you giving these experimental features a try and giving feedback on them: allow ICMP ping replies so that you can check the machine is up and running; allow for several home pages to be specified which get opened in separate tabs; noclutter added, which hides the mouse cursor after a couple of seconds of inactivity; several new experimental hooks to upgrade and setup CJK locales; a new PDF viewer based on ePDFView, which has a decent printing dialog; experimental option to install Webconverger onto a hard drive." Read the rest of the release notes for further information.
Thierry Nuttens has announced the release of NuTyX 2009, a distribution based on Linux From Scratch and CRUX, designed primarily for French-speaking intermediate Linux users. The release is built of top of a brand new Linux kernel 2.6.31 and includes GCC 4.4.1, glibc 2.10.1, X.Org Server 1.6.1, KDE 4.3.1, Xfce 4.6.1, OpenOffice.org 3.1.1 and Firefox 3.5.3, just to name a few of the more popular software packages. Five bootable ISO images are available for download: the "Mini" edition (a 11 MB network installation image), the "Base" edition (a 172 MB base system without X window), and three editions with the choice of LXDE, Xfce or KDE as the preferred desktop. For users who have installed the second release candidate or an earlier development release, a fresh installation is recommended. Please refer to the release announcement (in French) for additional details and installation instructions.
NuTyX 2009 - a French distribution for intermediate and advanced Linux users
(full image size: 517kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Karl Goetz has announced the release of gNewSense 2.3, a 100% free distribution as defined by Free Software Foundation, based on Ubuntu 8.04 LTS: "The gNewSense project is pleased to announce version 2.3 of its FSF free GNU/Linux distribution, in the form of a point update to the release, code-named 'deltah'. Users of earlier gNewSense 2.x releases can update to 2.3 with a standard system update. A short list of relevant changes for this release is: freedom bugs fixed - several packages freed, over 15 packages removed, over 20 sourceless files removed from Linux; install CD changes: removed Tomboy and F-Spot, added gNote, gThumb, JFS and XFS. This release contains all security updates made up to 2009-09-11. As with other 2.x releases, this gNewSense release is available as a live CD for x86 (i386) systems, using GNOME as the default desktop environment (others, such as Xfce or KDE, are available post installation)." Here is the brief release announcement.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 21 September 2009.
Michael Raugh, Chris Smart and Ladislav Bodnar
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
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|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Kongoni, you said? (by mioriticus on 2009-09-14 07:41:29 GMT from Romania) |
2 • Arch way and mainstream impatience, look and feel (by viktor on 2009-09-14 07:51:23 GMT from France)
Nice review of Arch, I never tried more than twice to install and try it and I'm sticking with Ubuntu 32-bit LTS on my production machines, with a partition to test and enjoy the latest 64-bit delivery.
Speaking of Ubuntu the new themes look fine, but the real change would have been to make "New Wave" the new default theme. I think that would still give Ubuntu a fresh look after 4 years of the old brown and orange (and grey gnome) appearance.
BTW why is Easy Peasy included in the Distrowatch database and not Eeebuntu? Jon's work is great but I have had better success with the latter, especially since it is possible to install a lighter base system on pre-Atom netbooks.
3 • RE: 2 Easy Peasy and Eeebuntu (by ladislav on 2009-09-14 07:57:54 GMT from Taiwan)
why is Easy Peasy included in the Distrowatch database and not Eeebuntu
At the risk of repeating myself, any project that includes the word "buntu" (or any other trademarked word) in their product name will have to show me a permission from the trademark holder. Failing that, they won't even get on the waiting list.
4 • Arch and what next? (by Xtyn on 2009-09-14 08:22:04 GMT from Romania)
Michael, was Arch for 32 or 64 bits?
I think Sidux is a good potential candidate for your next review. :)
5 • Arch has a great gui frontend (by Arch user on 2009-09-14 08:29:48 GMT from Israel)
6 • Debian developer Meike Reichle (by michael on 2009-09-14 08:33:41 GMT from Germany)
Just like to point out, that Meike is a female name - which might explain, why SHE is involved in the Debian-woman project :-)
7 • openSUSE users can easily get latest KDE4 via repos (by SuseUser on 2009-09-14 08:42:41 GMT from Australia)
The upcoming version of openSUSE is due out in two months, with the project moving to KDE as the default desktop. This will naturally include the latest version of KDE 4, but in the meantime users of version 11.1 are stuck with the much older and far more buggy 4.1.3 version. To address this
The "default" desktop is merely having the kde radio button preselected on the DVD install disk - nothing more.
Secondly openSUSE 11.0/11.1 users are NOT stuck with the KDE 4 version their OS shipped with (though it will be the only version officially supported, as is the case with other major distros such a Fedora, Mandriva, Debian, etc.!) and can choose to enable KDE4 repos for their version of openSUSE and EASILY have the "latest and greatest" installed.
openSUSE users can find all the KDE repos at following link: http://en.opensuse.org/KDE/Repositories
8 • Arch way to go! (by Alec on 2009-09-14 08:47:18 GMT from Estonia)
Nice review, summarizes well common problems that new arch users have.
Too bad you didn't get to Yaourt - pacman extension that handles AUR source packages seamlessly. It puts every linux program at your fingertips, no repo can beat that.
9 • GUI installer for Arch Linux KDE4 (by Mark on 2009-09-14 08:49:43 GMT from Australia)
The Chakra-project is a GUI installer for Arch Linux and KDEmod (KDE4).
Even though it is still "beta", I found it to work very well, and it removed most (if not all) of the awkwardness of the standard Arch Linux installation method.
The current official version is Alpha 2, but Alpha 3 is almost ready and can be found here:
This makes Arch Linux KDE4 a lot easier to install, almost on a par with the likes of an Ubuntu LiveCD.
10 • Pacman GUI (by Arch user 2 on 2009-09-14 09:06:11 GMT from United Kingdom)
There are a few community written GUIs for pacman. Check out the wiki (shaman is one).
11 • arch (by mandog on 2009-09-14 09:17:59 GMT from United Kingdom)
Nice piece on arch Linux. yes the beginners guide is much better than the official guide. The latest Firefox version is in the repros perhaps your mirror is not updated yet.
12 • Disk partitionning (by Wikimig (archer) on 2009-09-14 09:28:25 GMT from France)
Wow! 100Go for the distribution and 8Go for swap?!?!
I am not going to run into a troll but 15Go for the distribution and 1Go for the swap (or as much as RAM) would have been sufficient.
13 • Arch Linux not that hard (by Felix Pleşoianu on 2009-09-14 10:12:58 GMT from Romania)
Funny, I found the Arch installation very easy and trouble-free, and I'm an average Linux user at best. Granted, installing in a virtual machine did boost my confidence more than a little. As for resources, said VM has 128MB of RAM and a 4GB (emulated) HDD, and Arch sits comfortably in it. Didn't install everything I normally use, though.
14 • Arch (by Travis B on 2009-09-14 10:35:44 GMT from United States)
I would first off like to say 'thank you' for posting an article that _didn't_ involve Ubuntu. I would like you for being one of those weird people that _don't_ stick with Ubuntu as their Godsend distribution, and are open to _attempt_ something else, and can see that just because a distribution doesn't provide everything out there in the bloated-open, it can be good.
I would also like to say 'good job' at getting your Arch GNU/Linux system set up. My first attempt at Arch went the same way yours did a few years ago. I was quite happy when I had it set up. I actually was using it as an intermediary, since I originally wanted to set up an LFS or Gentoo and had not had the required knowledge [funny too, I had a few Gentoo's setup before, but could never configure GRUB until after I setup my Arch system]. I used Arch for quite a while, and learned most of my CLI habits from it. Believe it or not, it's actually _easier_ to have a one-answer to everything (terminal). I don't need to open an entire new application just to update my repositories, search, and install packages!
I would also like to mention that GTK isn't necessarily a GNOMe-thing (on the contrast, Qt is pretty much a KDE thing). GTK is used in many non-GNOMe programs, such as the NVIDIA graphic tool, Inkscape, and Pidgin. Fear not about installing GTK in that case then :P
Up until now, my laptop actually used to run Arch (well, 'my laptop' is just a variable for "what portable computer I'm using at the time," it's not necessarily one machine), until I got this nifty netbook with a 16GB SSD. I do love the SSD, but I figured I should squeeze as much space as I could out of it, and setup a Gentoo with -Os -- figured it was my best option :D
15 • Arch (by alb3rto on 2009-09-14 11:05:57 GMT from Spain)
Well, a good review of Arch, i´m a Zenwalk and Arch user, but lately, i boot Arch most of the time. It´s a little bit difficult at the beginnig, but hey, it lets you do things the way you want.
I´m learning a lot about Linux from using it.
Plus, it´s fast as hell!
16 • Tell us in a few months (by Omari on 2009-09-14 11:15:04 GMT from United States)
I'm more curious to see how you feel about Arch after using it a few months. I often see people complain that something broke while they were doing an update.
17 • Arch (by Ariel A on 2009-09-14 11:15:15 GMT from Argentina)
It's a quite good distro to know how do packages look like on their lastest version, although I don't advise it for production use, with the spend of the time you'll get a lot of *.pacnew files on your /etc dir which will tend to mess up your system regarding with settings issues and might end up with big headaches (own experience) and also living on the edge may expose you to stability problems.
18 • Re: #14 (by DG on 2009-09-14 11:20:31 GMT from Netherlands)
I actually was using [Arch] as an intermediary, since I originally wanted to set up an LFS or Gentoo and had not had the required knowledge
You might also want to take a look at Lunar or SourceMage. Both are source-based, rolling distros aimed at the knowledgable Linux user, or someone willing to learm. Both sit between the minimal LFS and the use flags of Gentoo, and allow you to install only what you need.
19 • No subject (by Grobsch on 2009-09-14 11:35:52 GMT from Brazil)
G:Noblin already uses the new Netbook Remix, is strange to see Easy Peasy using the old one.
20 • RE:16 • Tell us in a few months (by asshur on 2009-09-14 11:42:43 GMT from Spain)
I have Arch running for two years on my main desktop system (and my 6yr old daugther's) and have barely suffered any hiccup (well, once with an xorg update, and a second in a KDE update, but both were solved pretty easy ...) But well, after 5 years of (open)SuSE, it was -and is still- a breath of fresh air and freedom (and damn bleeding edge "fun" ...)
It's true though that for a server (read long term stability needed) machine the "rolling release" system might not be what you need
21 • arch desktop livecd (by godane on 2009-09-14 11:48:40 GMT from United States)
If anyone wants a easier to install livecd of archlinux then you should try my archiso-live project.
This will give you a xfce desktop though. Not a kde one. But its a maybe a better way for some people to get there way into archlinux.
22 • Arch package for skulpture theme (by Anonymous on 2009-09-14 12:02:08 GMT from Canada)
This package is available in AUR : http://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=20546
Welcome to Arch by the way. Hope we will keep you with is !
23 • Arch (by Michael Raugh on 2009-09-14 12:02:08 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the early comments, gang.
@4: Xtyn, I used the 64-bit Arch to get the full use of my system RAM (4GB). That may have something to do with the slightly outdated Firefox, since Mozilla doesn't provide a 64-bit executable. Still researching on that.
@8: I just started digging into ABS and the AUR this weekend, Alec. First impression: holy cow, and I thought Debian had huge repos! ;^)
@14: You're welcome, Travis ... and thank you back. ;^) I'll confess that one of the reasons for this project is to break out of a 'buntu rut. When I started with Linux I promised myself I'd be as distro-neutral as possible so that I'd be able to work effectively with anything instead of becoming a "Red Hat guy" or "Debian guy". Mastering Arch and living with it a while will be a pleasure.
@16,17: I noticed in reading about pacman that the wiki advises being very conscious about using it. It's safe and easy to just put a daily "yum -y update" or "sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get -y upgrade" in the crontab for Fedora/Debian style systems but from what the wiki says I think I'll be running pacman manually and reviewing what it wants to install before I tell it to go ahead.
And for clarification purposes: the two screen shots are, respectively, the left and right sides of my KDE desktop. The wallpaper is (c) 2009 by Ryan Bliss of http://www.digitalblasphemy.com .
24 • pacman -Syu (by KimTjik on 2009-09-14 12:26:26 GMT from Sweden)
Michael Raugh wrote: "running pacman manually and reviewing what it wants to install"
Yes, that's for sure the best way to do it. Don't forget to glance through the pacman output as well after upgrade. I suspect that most complaints about "pacman broke that or that" is caused by impatience. Read the output and adjust accordingly will in most scenarios result in zero extra work in troubleshooting. Ignoring why you suddenly have some new *.pacnew, or not bother to check whether some syntax have changed could of course lead to disaster.
25 • @23 - Re: firefox (by Allan at 2009-09-14 12:44:31 GMT from Australia)
The Arch Firefox package was updated on Sunday (four days after release), so it is probably on its way to your mirror if not there now. It has nothing to do with Mozilla not providing a 64-bit binary as the Arch package is built from source (hence the Shiretoko name).
26 • Arch review (by Jesse on 2009-09-14 12:54:51 GMT from Canada)
I really enjoyed the review of Arch this week. I have to admit, I've become spoiled by modern installers and package managers. The idea of going through all that just to get a basic install sounds like a huge pain. A rolling release really appeals, but I don't want to spend more than half an hour setting up a fresh install. At this point in Linux development, is it really too much to ask to have more distros include a simple point-n-click-n-done installer?
27 • Arch and *BSD (by Gustavo on 2009-09-14 13:05:51 GMT from United States)
Great review of Arch!
I tried it out, but in the end stuck with FreeBSD... absolutely NOTHING is pre-configured. It gives you ultimate freedom of choice.
Why don't you give it a spin on a next review?
28 • BeOS (Haiku) reaches alpha (by co on 2009-09-14 13:09:35 GMT from United States)
Haiku (http://www.haiku-os.org/) has just been released to alpha -- maybe DistroWatch could give them some coverage.
29 • Switched to Arch (by BJ on 2009-09-14 13:23:20 GMT from United States)
Just last week, after using Debian as my only desktop OS for 3 years, I've switched to Arch. It's quick, stable and the wiki is wonderful You read just a few articles there and you'll know more about the guts of Linux and the packages you are using.
30 • A distro odyssey (by Schultzter on 2009-09-14 13:41:51 GMT from Canada)
I love these distro reviews where someone actually uses the distro. Any schedule for your odyssey? There's far more distros out there than I actually care to read about, but there are a few I'm looking forward to (Slackware, FreeBSD, and TCL in particular). I hope you'll start the odyssey with the "base" or "independent" distros - not the distros that just re-package another distro.
Thanks again - I look forward to the next installment of the odyssey.
31 • Qt (by AU on 2009-09-14 14:12:33 GMT from Germany)
@14 (Travis B):
"on the contrast, Qt is pretty much a KDE thing"
That is not really true. Take a look:
32 • @28 (by Jesse on 2009-09-14 14:53:15 GMT from Canada)
I will certainly be looking at Haiku once they hit a stable release, or even a beta. Test driving an early alpha doesn't appeal.
33 • Suggestion for a distro odyssey (by Anonymous on 2009-09-14 14:55:35 GMT from Canada)
It would be interesting to compare Arch with Frugalware since it also use pacman and share some ideas with Arch (although Arch is a fundamentally different system).
Before creating Arch, Judd Vinet admired and used CRUX, a minimalist distro. As version 2.6 was released on 2009-09-09 it could be another very interesting review.
34 • Arch and X (by Arch Fan on 2009-09-14 14:56:57 GMT from United Kingdom)
Good review of Arch.
Once you get Arch installed it is great, you can pick and choose, which bits to add and so have a system that has just what you want and no baggage.
That's once it is installed.
Getting there should be easier.
Having installed it many, many times, I do wish for a smarter, X based installer.
Something that would allow an install in about 5-10 minutes without much extra thought.
larchin is a poor substitute.
It would be far better if an X based installer were modeled along the lines of MEPIS's or PCLinuxos's, something to get the basics installed and then allow the fine tuning.
That's what is really needed.
35 • Arch community (by Anonymous on 2009-09-14 15:13:01 GMT from Canada)
One of the strongest positive point of Arch was not mentionned in your review : the Arch community
As you can see, other comments to this DW show the nature of the Arch community though, they're so helpful and friendly (at least in my experience). This comminity is very active and it is always a pleasure to write or read to their forum.
36 • Arch commitment to Free Software (by Ricardo on 2009-09-14 15:18:54 GMT from Brazil)
The biggest issue I noticed last time I tried out Arch and also the reason why I never turned back to it was it's lack of a serious commitment to the free software movement. The way the arch system mixed non-free and free stuff was IMHO unacceptable. Don't know if that has changed though.
37 • Arch (by Snig on 2009-09-14 15:20:29 GMT from United Kingdom)
Terrific review, thanks. Helped me to confirm that this is one I should avoid at all costs. It does absolutely nothing I would wish for. But good luck to all who sail in her.
38 • Re # 36 (by Anonymous on 2009-09-14 15:27:19 GMT from Canada)
The vast majority of distro (even Debian) are unacceptable from this point of view. Only a few, listed on this web page are strongly commited to only include and only propose free software
If you are really interested to follow such philosophical view, you have no choice, but use one of them and forget about the rest.
39 • the freedom to be a hypocrite... (by Anonymous on 2009-09-14 16:01:40 GMT from United States)
and any other non-free software and documentation.
So Kongoni remove all of GNU's documentation? Or does GNU still make the exception that it is perfectly alright to distribute non-free documentation as long as it is their non-free documentation*?
*The GNU documentation is licensed under the GFDL with invariant sections, making it impossible for anyone to edit, as you can't edit the documentation it does not meet GNU's definition of freedom and as such is non-free and does not belong in any "Free" software distribution.
40 • @14 RE: Arch (by zak89 on 2009-09-14 16:18:04 GMT from United States)
Keep in mind that sourced based distros like Gentoo require a lot of compiling, which translates into a lot of disk writes, and that can shorten the life of your SSD significantly. A binary-based (like rpm, deb or even pacman) would be a lot easier on the disk.
Loved the Arch review. I'd love to use it again; I used Arch for a few months, but I switched back to openSUSE, particularly for it's KDE options. The openSUSE build service KDE repos allow me to install either the current KDE version shipping with openSUSE, or the latest stable version (like Arch) or the weekly snapshots from the KDE devs. I tend to like running the unstable version, at least as it comes within a few months of release.
With KDE 4.4 a good ways off, I may try Arch again; the long setup period is a issue for me, however. I just got openSUSE installed and completely configured on my netbook in about an hour's worth of work. Arch takes a bit more of a time commitment.
41 • life on arch planet (by tmc on 2009-09-14 16:36:12 GMT from Hungary)
Life on arch is so boring...
When I installed it first time was amazing. I hat to build it step-by-step like big puzzle. I was novice (and I'm still) but going along the way shown in the Beginners Guide gave me a lot of knowledge and joy. It took some days (and nights), but I enjoyed each step of the trip. What a difference between the Yes-Yes-No-Gimme your name/password-Ready and the Arch Way. Can't compare fast food with a restaurant meal.
Then I installed it again on my girlfriend's desktop and was a still a huge pleasure. Fast and clean, logical and beautiful. It worth reading guides and learning CLI, spending many afternoons on polishing the install because was the end of my distro-hoping era
Then came a period of rest.
42 • FSF (ref#36,38) (by Freed on 2009-09-14 16:36:41 GMT from United States)
Why not install your distro of choice and then only include FSF approved software. Instead of complaining that this distro or that one violates FSF rules.
You have the freedom to choose what software gets installed anyway.
If someone wants to install mp3 codecs, for example, what does that have to do with you and FSF?!
43 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-09-14 16:51:31 GMT from United Kingdom)
Arch has done wonders for me over the last 6 months. It seems like I've finally found a distro I'm happy with.
In terms of broken updates, well that can happen if you don't to a global update of any out of date packages. This can happen. I did fall into the trap of doing that early on and for a few minutes had a non-bootable Arch. However, a quick Google found the answer in the Arch forums and I fixed it from the Arch CD. Any rolling release distro is really supposed to work this way too.
44 • life on arch planet II. (by tmc on 2009-09-14 16:52:51 GMT from Hungary)
(sorry, I pressed submit button unintentionally, before ending the story)
Now I am here with a laptop and one desktop in the house and I don't have to install any distro because we have the evergreen-Arch. I just update them daily and use. When comes to updating I agree with KimTjik:
"Read the output and adjust accordingly will in most scenarios result in zero extra work in troubleshooting."
I do not have any reason to switch for another distro, I don't have to reinstall and configure each six month. I'm just updating and using it. Any piece of software about I've read here and there was found in the repos. Any piece of info needed in the past years was found in ArchWiki or in the Forum. What do I need more?
So, the life on planet Arch is boring, but beautiful ;)
(the next install will be when I will change my laptop)
45 • State-of-the-art review (by Davey on 2009-09-14 16:54:49 GMT from United States)
Nice going on the Arch review. It really does have the feel of an odyssey -- a journey for which one has prepared oneself, but which brings new experience to those approaching with an open mind. Just the right balance of new eyes and enough experience to know what's different about a particular distro. Plus enough time working with the distro to provide more than just a quick impression of the desktop and a few apps.
More like this, please.
46 • Mandriva:IRC training 13:00 CET the 15th of september (by Anonymous on 2009-09-14 16:54:55 GMT from France)
If you a interested to join IRC lessons about packaging rpms for mandriva,
Join the channel : #mandriva (freenode network)
This is for new volunteers without any particular knowledge.
47 • @46 erratum (by glyj on 2009-09-14 16:57:18 GMT from France)
the dedicated channel is #mandriva-rpm on freenode.
48 • a gift for heavy arch users (by archlx on 2009-09-14 16:58:16 GMT from Hungary)
49 • Disto review (by JD on 2009-09-14 17:06:50 GMT from United States)
That was a great in depth review! I really do think next you should check out freebsd in depth as it would be very interesting to many people how the preformance fairs compared to arch and other Linux distros. I prefer Linux myself but bsd has always been a "wonder" you could say. Charka Linux is a great GUI based arch distro. Despite it's "alpha " release name that scares people away. Btw I like the hymmara open Linux ad. "free and funny!" yes hymmara you are rather funny in your use of English but that's ok it's your secound langauage. (it's my first but I still manage to screw it up) Great distro though!
50 • #21 (by Elder V. LaCoste on 2009-09-14 17:30:25 GMT from United States)
Thanks for that link Godane. I discovered your distro a while ago when you were on a different website, I think it was Blogger. I just downloaded and tried out your latest version and I must say it is very nice. If I recall you used to have Enlightenment as the wm. Anyone who is interested in Arch should check this out(see the link at #21).
The last couple of weeks DWW has been riding a sustained high as far as the commentary and reviews. This week is no exception. I really enjoyed the foray into the Arch Linux world. It has made me want to experiment more with this distro. Thanks Ladislav, Michael, and Chris.
51 • Re: Kongoni you said ? (by A.J. Venter on 2009-09-14 18:08:03 GMT from South Africa)
I believe you did not fully study the Kongoni distribution's nature.
First point: Nearly all the binaries on the ISO images are installed from slackware packages, users who desire the sources from them can obtain these by downloading the slackware source ISO's. In other words, they are available, in a clearly stated location - it seems a complete waste to spend precious bandwith mirroring them for no good reason ?
Second point: Where our packages DIFFER from slackware, this is always done via the ports tree, the ports tree includes all the code for it's own operation inside it's own git tree, and includes the source for the ports themselves (the install scripts in other words) obfuscated and easily located. The sources they download to build from are all free software.
Finally: regarding all code we develop ourselves - ALL such software is also distributed via the ports tree, as source code. All such source packages and any patches we develop and any other code not readily obtainable else where IS distributed across our download site and relevant mirrors:
We do in fact therefore, comply clearly and fully with the GPL and should the FSF respond to your claims - we will happily tell them the same facts pointed out here. Should they request any changes to this operation, we will make those as requested.
52 • Small correction to the above: (by A.J. Venter on 2009-09-14 18:09:51 GMT from South Africa)
I meant of course: UNobfuscated.
53 • HAIKUOS (by Anonymous on 2009-09-14 18:22:04 GMT from Spain)
54 • Kongoni Nietzsche ???? (by Anonymous on 2009-09-14 18:24:45 GMT from Canada)
Interesting to see that the lastest release of Kongoni was named after a nihilism philosopher that made a "Campaign against Morality" and harshly criticizes the prominent moral schemes of his day. From his perspective the free sofware movement is witout doubt part of what he called the "slave morality" since its values emerges from the contrast between good (FSF, GPL, RMS) and evil (Microsoft, BSD, Torvald).
Nietzsche called to break our self-imposed chains (GPL v3 contain a lot of self-imposed chain). So it is funny to read from #51 that "Should they (the FSF) request any changes to this operation, we will make those as requested."
55 • RE:#2 Easy Peasy (by Anonymous on 2009-09-14 18:29:02 GMT from United States)
I've been testing Easy Peasy 1.5 and everything looks good on my old 8gb eee 900. It does take a bit longer to load from the USB than the "full version" and wifi appears to be a bit weaker like eeebuntu. It doesn 't appear to thrash the usb drive so I think the SSD will be happy. It does have the latest web plugins for Firefox available which may drive me to put it on the SSD. The xandros eee repos do not appear to be updated lately. So, I may backup the 3 SSD partitions (with pupeee) and take the plunge.
56 • A special Arch Way: CHAKRA (by cga on 2009-09-14 18:30:58 GMT from Italy)
really nice and objective review of Arch Linux.
I would however suggest you give Chakra a try. It is Arch Linux w/ KDE 4 (and kdemod too) with GUIs for pacman and some configuration aspects of the system.
it is done by Arch, KDE and KDE-Mod developers. really worth it.
57 • Arch (by Xtyn on 2009-09-14 18:59:21 GMT from Romania)
There's absolutely no advantage to using Arch compared to Debian unstable, which is rolling too and as bleeding edge as Arch. The Debian netinstall is similar to the Arch install.
Yes, there are differences, Debian is much smarter, I can configure it in no time, whereas Arch is a nightmare to configure and there's no performance or speed gain.
Yes, I did install Arch, configured it, installed everything I need for a working system, I don't like it, I don't like "the Arch way".
58 • Zenwalk Core update (by Claus Futtrup on 2009-09-14 19:10:23 GMT from Denmark)
Hi all. Last week someone mentioned that they miss the Core edition of Zenwalk. Well, here's the latest about that - from Zenwalk Main mailing list:
I'm glad to announce the rebirth of Zenwalk Core ;)
Thanks to lzma compression, the iso weighs no more than 168 MB .... so I hope you'll all test it and report (especially the ones who claimed ZWC was dead) :)
So here you go :
59 • No subject (by Ricardo on 2009-09-14 19:29:41 GMT from Brazil)
=) Ok, first, I purposely didn't mention FSF cause I know the discussion could go in another direction. Actually I agree with you, if one want's to install non-free stuff, that's not my problem and it's on his rights to install it. Maybe I'm making a big mistake here and overlooked it, but as far as I remember Arch doesn't make a clear distinction between non-free and free stuff, like debian for example does. So, one might be led to install non-free apps without knowing about that, and that's IMHO a moral problem. Sure, one can grab the licenses, read one by one, but that get's really complicated if we are dealing with apps with complex and exotic dependencies. Anyway, please disconsider those observations if I misunderstood Arch here.
#38 About debian being non-free, IMHO the biggest problem nowadays is lenny's current kernel that came with some blobs, but even that had to undergo a votation since it goes against debian's social contract. Fortunetly sid's kernel is already being cleaned, so we can hope squeeze will deliver a free kernel. About the another complain that debian mentions and offer non-free stuff through it's repositories, well, I think it's clear to the user what is going on, non-free stuff get's a "non-free" label, and not something vague like multiverse =)
60 • #58 (by Notorik on 2009-09-14 19:35:51 GMT from United States)
I was trying to use Zenwalk a few weeks ago and I had some trouble. I try to go into the forum but no way to go in. I sent a email and the response was about why did I want to join? I don't like that way of doing it.
61 • Hymera english install (by RollMeAway on 2009-09-14 20:08:58 GMT from United States)
Installed grub to MBR without notice or question.
That wiped my partition table on hda as well.
Had a backup and recovered ok.
Could not post here over the weekend, as comments were disabled.
Hope this saves someone. Installation otherwise was clean and easy.
Hymera has a EWLA , similar to ms, you have to agree to.
No reverse engineering their stuff, yada yada. Guess it isn't GPL.
Take and no give?
Seems to be based on debian stable going by application versions.
Only hymera repo is enabled.
I got a nice Gnome desktop with nvidia and compiz automatically enabled.
Not fully translated for English, and Keyboard default is Italian.
62 • openSUSE and KDE 4 (by eco2geek on 2009-09-14 20:20:16 GMT from United States)
As #7 said above, users of openSUSE with reasonably fast Internet connections have a lot of choices with respect to KDE 4. Users can add repositories to update to the latest bleeding edge version (4.3.x), update to v4.2.x, or simply update v4.1.x packages. Note that, in all cases, packages are available for openSUSE 10.3, 11.0, and 11.1. In my experience, these repos are all being constantly updated.
The one downside to this is that if you use openSUSE 11.1 and you've done a lot of updating through the repositories, it's likely that using openSUSE 11.2's upgrade option won't work very well and you'll have to do a clean install instead. But that's what separate /home partitions are for.
63 • @57 Debian is SMARTer?! (by ARCH3TYP3 on 2009-09-14 21:13:44 GMT from United States)
How smart is it to automatically configure all services to run on boot, whether I want them to or not? Each time a daemon is installed in Debian, the system makes assumptions that are not optimal for me, resulting in undo-ing what has been done. Is this 'smarter than Arch' ?
As for advantages, it depends on what you are looking for. Some advantages for its target userbase:
* A ports system (Debian's checkinstall is a hackish afterthought.)
* An available, simple, easily customizable bash build script for each official as well as community maintained package; more than 26,000 total, with AUR included.
* Arch offers a faster package manager, with _meaningful and readable_ output.
* Wiki is better than the convoluted and unkept Debian docs, in fact better by orders of magnitude. All documentation is thoroughly complete and up-to-date.
It may not be for everyone, but then neither is Debian unstable which breaks more than a 1974 Fiat in my experience.
To say that there are no Arch advantages is just plain fanboyism. Arch has plenty to offer competent users who want a simple BSD-ish system with powerful package management, rolling releases and offers a ports system.
64 • #63 Debian unstable versus Arch (by anticapitalista on 2009-09-14 21:50:53 GMT from Greece)
Your experience may be that Debian unstable has broken a lot, but my experience is that it has had minor problems. I have been using Debian unstable repos on antiX (and before that Mepis 3.4.3) for at least 3 years. But I use fluxbox and icewm and no DE so that may explain why.
The other 'problem' with Arch IMO (and in my experience) is that is starts out small, but if you then start adding stuff, the super fast boot disappears to what you get with Debian and/or other distros.
C.Smart wrote an article somewhere where he installed kde4 on Arch and was really pleased with the boot time and low RAM use (relativel to other kde4 distros).
antiX (base) was able to match the low RAM usage and boot up time. (Yes I did test the Arch way and the antiX-base way on my box). antiX advantage is that a base install takes around 3 minutes on a modern box, Arch took a lot longer and needed more effort to configure.
65 • No subject (by Ricardo on 2009-09-14 22:38:57 GMT from Brazil)
Most of the time I install a daemon in debian it's because I want it running at boot time. If it's not the case, it's just as simple as renaming the S* file in init.d. Really, I don't see any pratical disadvantage here. But I'd also not say that Arch hasn't any advantages, the Arch way has it's merits, like any other KISS distros.
66 • Gui for pacman (by jabol at 2009-09-14 22:42:39 GMT from Poland)
There is great gui for pacman called shaman. Its written in qt4 and its capable of getting most tasks done. I usually use it to upgrade selective group of packages (when not want to upgrade them all) and finding more info about packages (dependencies for example). Stiil pacman is my primary way to manage packages. On the downside, as You mentioned, there is a danger of using the rolling-release. I found that the hard way, when I updated system and ended up reconfiguring xorg, video driver and kernel, cause ati moved my driver to legacy mode not supprting xorg 1.6 and kernel >2.6.28. So in rolling-release distro always check out what you're about to upgrade, not always hit "y" "enter".Nice work on article. Keep up Your good work. I always thought of Arch as Slackware with good package management. I used to work on slackware but package management and compiling everything from sources was sometimes pain in the arse.
67 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-09-14 22:58:51 GMT from Brazil)
Naturally I meant renaming the /etc/rc*.d/S* file, sorry.
68 • Simple Arch - Chakra-Project (by Phil Miller at 2009-09-14 23:25:19 GMT from Germany)
Michael Raugh, Ubuntu is well known. Arch is for the competent Linux user, yes. To close the gap there is the chakra-project. We are still in alpha state, but we have a GUI for pacman, an nice live-cd with or own KDEmod and tribe as graphical installer. You might call it the Kubuntu for Archlinux. Do you know, that we start the split-packaging for arch? Check it out when you like.
69 • Chakra-PreReleases (by Phil Miller at 2009-09-14 23:28:47 GMT from Germany)
Oh, I forgot to mention my new prereleases of our chakra-live-isos:
You can grap them here: http://chakra-project.org/bbs/viewtopic.php?id=1089
70 • No subject (by Sertse on 2009-09-14 23:39:38 GMT from Anonymous Proxy)
We've been through this in an derailed DW a few weeks back, but since this is actually that topic this week, I'll thought to repeat it.
Arch isn't for everyone. It is also OK for someone to not like Arch. You are not an inferior being for not using Arch ;) Autoconfiguration is not the devil, and it was created for laudable reasons. It is simply a providing choice, some users find one is better then the other for them. :)
My experiences are similar to Anti's with using Debian Unstable. It's quite usable if you know what you're doing. Sid isn't as unstable as Rawhide, or even Ubuntu+1.
71 • RE: 49 Free and funny (by ladislav on 2009-09-14 23:41:03 GMT from Taiwan)
I actually emailed Hymera and suggested they might want to change it to "free and fun", but their reply was no - they prefer "free and funny". I think the original Italian word probably means something along the lines of "amusing", but as is so often the case, a direct translation of a word into another language can sometimes produce unexpected (and funny) results.
72 • debian unstable VS Arch (by Anonymous on 2009-09-15 00:04:00 GMT from Canada)
== Difference ==
Arch : always stable, smaller repository, only 45.0% obselete*
Debian : unstable (dahh...), larger repository, more than 75.0% obselete*
So Debian unstable is less bleeding edge than Arch
 This is not an experimental/testing repository
 Probably similar in size if we include AUR.
* According to OsWatershed.org
73 • Breaking Distros (by Anonymous on 2009-09-15 00:20:28 GMT from United States)
Everything occasionally breaks like my Mandriva 2009.0 Xfce install waiting for a XFCE upgrade right now. All the menu bars are gone and sometimes it hangs on a right click and has got quite sluggish. I just rolled back to a previous kernal and it came back and I just ignore the upgrades for a while.
The hard part is finding which package in a upgrade that is blowing up the windows manager and making sure you don't select it again until the dependant package is available. Sometimes you have to wait for a new Live CD to come out.
74 • RE : 70 (by Anonymous on 2009-09-15 00:37:01 GMT from Canada)
You are totally right ! In the past I was a huge Debian (slink to woody) fan (now converted to Arch).
I do not know if you are an old Debian user ? if yes, you probably remember 10 years before when we had this kind of derailed discussion. I remember that Mandrake folks said :
"Debian slink isn't for everyone. It is also OK for someone to not like Debian. You are not an inferior being for not using Debian ;) Autoconfiguration is not the devil, and it was created for laudable reasons. It is simply a providing choice, some users find one is better then the other for them. :)"
Arch is today what was Debian in the past (with a different philosophy). This is probably an important reason why I am in love with Arch !
75 • Always loved Arch (by Shawn on 2009-09-15 00:54:08 GMT from United States)
The install of Arch isn't slow or hard to do, it's setting it up to what you want your system to be that's the challenge or, a better description, more time consuming. The Chakra project was meant to simplify installing Arch to make it easier for new users, but even when you install Chakra, you still need some sort of rudimentary knowledge about Linux and how to fix problems and update the system without breakage. The problem with Linux nowadays is that it's like comparing apples to oranges to pears as all distributions are geared towards different users, so there's always going to be some kind of hurdle(s) in one form or another.
76 • RE: Hymera Open (by IMQ on 2009-09-15 01:11:11 GMT from United States)
Which version did you try?
I tested Hymera Open 20090618? and I observed the followings:
- English support was weak. Two programs I could recall Adobe Reader and OpenOffice.org both had Italian menu.
- Keyboard, as you said, is default to Italian. I had to reset the password via another distro before I could log in.
- You must have miss the option to install GRUB elsewhere, if you use the same version I did. Carefully looking at the screen for each step or you will miss it. I would have stopped the installation if I didn't see the option to install GRUB where I wanted.
This was the second time I testdrove the Hymera distro. Although I'd only spent a short time with it, IMHO, it's not ready for the English speaking population yet.
Debian is still very high on my list.
77 • Time to chime in... (by Landor on 2009-09-15 01:24:08 GMT from Canada)
First, Michael, thank you for the mention in this week's article. It wasn't needed though. I was just trying to help out with some knowledge is all and very glad it helped you.
Regarding Arch vs Debian. I don't really see much gain in the way of using Arch as opposed to Debian Sid... There's many reasons. Firstly, one of the key issues the person who commented at # 63 said was about services. If you are that "attuned" to Linux I'm quite sure no matter what the distribution you are quite able to deal with services or not. What is the difference between turning them on or off. In Arch you "HAVE TO" turn on wanted services, in Debian you "HAVE TO" turn off unwanted services. Kind of a no-brainer in my opinion, same effort either way.
Also, for the most part, Arch is a binary install. Other than doing some specific things with configuration (again if you're able to do this in Linux, guess what, you can do this in Linux), there's not much difference from any other distribution.
I believe the real performance distributions are basically purely source based distributions. I've installed Arch and I can say without a fact that it didn't compare to a number of source based distributions in the way of speed and configuration. BSD is another one that hands down makes the difference.
I'm not too keen on the community either. We can see here that there have been a multitude of posts over and over about Chakra, etc...I see this as fanatical in a sense, posting the same info over and over. I always place Arch users in the same category as I do/did Puppy/PCLOS/Sidux users.
I liked the point Anti made about speed when you add things and it's totally accurate. Not rocket science here, you have kid's wagon with a 454 LS7 strapped to it, it's gonna be "literally" hell on wheels. Start turning into something functional and you'll end up with a sedan, a fast one, but not much more special than anyone else's really.
Keep your stick on the ice...
78 • Ref#64 Arch speed vs others (by VernDog on 2009-09-15 02:12:26 GMT from United States)
Your experience with Arch and speed is the same as mine. When I first installed it, it was amazingly fast. Then I added needed programs like Gnome, or LXDE and then support software.
Not surprisingly , it slowed down. At the time Xubuntu was faster!! I asked about this on Arch forum, and did all the tweaks and configs from the user guide, and any other guide available. Still slower than Xubuntu.
I did enjoy reading Michael Raugh's intriguing review of Arch.
79 • @76 Hymera engllish install (by RollMeAway on 2009-09-15 02:28:15 GMT from United States)
I used the version announced over the weekend: Hymera-Open 20090910-En
A list of the step sequences was on the left of the screen. Grub was last on the list.
I was prompted at each step, and expected to be prompted when it got to grub.
Instead it finished the install, including grub, too late then. Already messed the MBR.
80 • #64 Anticapitalista (by stuckinoregon on 2009-09-15 03:11:40 GMT from United States)
Bravo on the latest antiX release. Have been having a ton of problems with this little Latitude C400 and it's Intel video and other quirky hardware. The M8-2 release is, hands down, the best thing I've been able to get running on here. Wireless works flawlessly, resolution and color depth was detected perfectly. Not to sound sycophantic, but this really is amazing. Here's to hoping that some of the issues some of the reviewers here have had in the past, can now be set aside and this excellent piece of work can get some good press.
Thanks again for all of your effort and keep up the good work!
81 • #72 Arch vs Debian unstable (by Xtyn on 2009-09-15 06:49:56 GMT from Romania)
"Arch : always stable, smaller repository, only 45.0% obselete*
Debian : unstable (dahh...), larger repository, more than 75.0% obselete*"
Arch "always stable"? LOL
If you think Arch is stable, what about RHEL or Debian stable?
About the "obsolete" part: it's wrong because the comparison is between Arch and Debian TESTING, not UNSTABLE.
Debian unstable is as stable as Arch and as bleeding edge as Arch.
In Debian you have the choice: stable, testing or unstable.
Yes, you're right about the smaller Arch repo, I couldn't even find mingetty in there.
82 • Zenwalk Core (by alb3rto on 2009-09-15 07:55:39 GMT from Spain)
Well, that is a magnificent news!
I´m liking XFCE less each day, i think its bloated, so Core Zenwalk is a good news form me :p
83 • Haiku-OS (by Alexandru on 2009-09-15 08:21:05 GMT from Germany)
I tried Haiku before it reached Alpha1. Its quality is really better then Alpha status suggests. I downloaded also Alpha1 and installed it, however it has (in my opinion) some regressions. I am sure, it has also many improvements but I didn't have much time to play around.
Knowing the Haiku team and their approach to release quality, I suggest anybody interesting in Haiku to give it a try.
84 • RE: Arch isn't Chakra and Chakra isn't Arch (by KimTjik on 2009-09-15 10:25:55 GMT from Sweden)
"I'm not too keen on the community either. We can see here that there have been a multitude of posts over and over about Chakra, etc...I see this as fanatical in a sense, posting the same info over and over. I always place Arch users in the same category as I do/did Puppy/PCLOS/Sidux users."
To have an opinion about a community you have to interact with it for a reasonable time. I've no opinion about any community, except BLAG's back in the days and that was/is a friendly community, because I've only sporadically interacted with them. Reading a couple of threads here and there doesn't give any insight either, because it could well be you stumbled upon some saints or devils, who doesn't tell squat about the total atmosphere.
I don't judge the intention of Chakra users, maybe they're too enthusiastic to notice the already done comments, just like we you're very fond of you stick on the ice. However you have to understand that Chakra isn't Arch. It's a fork and its audience isn't necessary the same one as the Arch one. Hence if you have any input on the matter address the ones it concerns.
Someone had objections to Arch not being a true FOSS distribution. I can't talk for Arch but my impression is the following:
- Arch is designed for users and not as a ready product telling you how to compute
- therefore the user might mould Arch to become strictly FOSS or "tainted" as he/she wishes
The Arch vs. Debian debate is totally unnecessary. Two different distributions with some common ground and some fundamental differences. Use whatever you like. Even if you would post in the Arch forum about "I like Debian better", the reaction wouldn't be anything else but "then use Debian". I've in my years of using Arch not noticed any real interest among Archers to compete with any other distribution. Who cares about a toolbox appearance if it gets the job done?
RE 81: Mingetty is in the AUR repository of Arch. Takes a few seconds to build and install. I'm using it only for multimedia solutions.
85 • Arch NOT quicker than Debian? (by Travis B on 2009-09-15 10:42:02 GMT from United States)
Debian is able to run on 486 processors, thus it cannot use instruction sets not available on _all_ 486s. I don't have a copy of the actual CFLAGs they compile Debian with, but we know it must not use anything higher than -march=i486 and i486-pc-linux-gnu for CHOST.
Arch's compile flags (which are actually easy to find, unlike Debians!)
CFLAGS="-march=i686 -mtune=generic -O2 -pipe"
Support i686 for the arch, which turns on things such as sse(,2), mmx, and other fun toys which _will_ increase throughput somewhere!
Not saying that makes Arch better, I love Debian and will continue to use it in any server environments (when I don't want to set up a Gentoo, and even sometimes I'll still use Debian for simplicity :P), but because Debian _supports_ more, it will not be able to optimize as much as Arch could. Yet, then again, you won't be able to _run_ everything on your Arch!
86 • Hymera Open (by Pollick Tically Korreck on 2009-09-15 11:10:02 GMT from United States)
What you say here could potentially harm a good distro. Hymera Open got my interests because it seems very promising like one that could rise out of the ashes of the hundreds of other fine distros out there and distinguish itself as a alternative linux market leader or something.
I no longer have a testing box due to budget cuts. Okay, so you say the installation process went okay but the Grub part had some issues. Also because it's an Italian made distro you feel the English support is lacking. Some of the OS menus and including Open Office seemed to be localized for Italy you said.
Well I wish I could verify your claims but for now I'll hold off until I can get a testing box again. Your comments could potentially hurt a good distro.
87 • No subject (by Sertse on 2009-09-15 11:48:06 GMT from Australia)
Perhaps it's because I already use a decent machine, running an extremely light setup, that Arch's improvements is not worth the effort for me.
Re 84: Have you read the Ubuntuforums? The segue to Arch in every 2nd convo there, no matter what topic is crazy :P It's such to a level that mentioning Arch is joked as some sort of Godwin (since it inevitably leads to flamewars where no one wins). lol
88 • RE 87 (by KimTjik on 2009-09-15 11:58:09 GMT from Sweden)
No I don't read Ubuntu forums. I did once some years ago in behalf of a friend, but didn't come across any Arch related stuff. Thus I can't comment on that. Maybe you're observation is objective, if so I hope those users become more mature.
89 • Archiso (#21) (by Elder V. LaCoste on 2009-09-15 13:32:36 GMT from United States)
I just installed Archiso. This was one of the easiest installs I have ever done, and it only took about 15 minutes. Everything works. Nice Xfce desktop.
There is this thing called "Shaman" which appears to be a front end packaging tool for the Arch repositories. There is a button that says "Update", I was wondering if anyone knows whether or not I should click on it...I'm frightened :)
90 • Catching up 2 (by Michael Raugh on 2009-09-15 13:37:52 GMT from United States)
Lots to respond to, apologies if I miss anyone.
@the many Chakra mentions: Sounds like an interesting project; thanks for bringing it to attention.
The idea of making an easier GUI installer for Arch seems to be a popular one, and having been through the installation ordeal recently it's tempting to agree that Arch "should" provide one ... but I can see why they don't. A GUI installer that gives the same direct control/responsibility over the process would just be a prettied-up version of the text installer and would introduce issues of detecting and pre-configuring graphics hardware just to do the install. One that simplifies the process would have to make assumptions and perform configuration steps for you automatically. Neither of those options fits in with the Arch Way.
While I was struggling with the installer I got into a couple of email threads with Arch users who offered suggestions and insight. One joked that the installation is deliberately difficult so that anyone who isn't willing to actively maintain their system (for example, by reading the pacman output vs. just running it blindly) will give up and go use something else. He was kidding, but the point is valid nonetheless.
@30: No particular schedule, Schultzter, no. I'm basically working these in as my work/life schedule allows, making sure that when I do pick up a new distro I can give it the proper time and attention and get to know it before doing the write-up. It'll be a couple of weeks before I even select the next one to try, during which time I'll be working in Arch.
@35: Yes, the Arch community is outstanding. The piece was already getting a bit long or I would've gone into a bit more detail on how existing community posts got me through the VMWare installation issue, for instance. As long as you do your homework and ask specific questions they are a most friendly and helpful bunch. I saw a couple of cases where people just posted, "Hey, this doesn't work!" and basically got told, "Then troubleshoot it. If you need help, try providing some detail as to what doesn't work, what error you're getting, and what you've already done to try and fix it." Which, when you come down to it, is a very sensible response.
@66 (and others mentioning GUIs for pacman): Thanks. I'll admit that I tend to use package managers like file managers -- that is, if I want to do something specific like install a package/copy a file I prefer to do it from the command line, but if I just want to browse around and see what's there I like a GUI option.
@75: You're right, Shawn. The Arch install process isn't really difficult (as long as you bring a certain amount of knowledge to the table) so much as just tedious. Like baking a cake from scratch vs. using a mix: for those who have the skill/knowledge to work from scratch it can be enjoyable and satisfying even if it is "the hard way" to bake. Whether the result is "better" than a mix or not depends on the baker.
@77: Any time, Landor. I believe in giving credit where it's due.
Thanks again to everyone who commented on the review and to Ladislav for accepting it. The odyssey will continue. ;^)
91 • Arch (by Elder V. LaCoste on 2009-09-15 14:11:45 GMT from United States)
Chris Smart has been keeping busy:
I clicked on the "Update" button and it told me my system was up to date. Now I have to figure out how to create a new user since there does not appear to be a control panel.
92 • Ref#87 - Ubuntuforums flaming Arch (by Anonymous on 2009-09-15 14:55:34 GMT from United States)
"Re 84: Have you read the Ubuntuforums? The segue to Arch in every 2nd convo there, no matter what topic is crazy :P It's such to a level that mentioning Arch is joked as some sort of Godwin (since it inevitably leads to flamewars where no one wins)"
I have no idea what ubuntu forum your talking about, but I have yet to come across any Arch comments! Maybe in the cafe section there might be comments.
You have to be more specific.
93 • Arch Linux Visual Installer instead of Pacman (by Spiros Bortzis on 2009-09-15 18:55:06 GMT from Greece)
If u use KDE 3 or 4 there is an alternative visual package manager, a front-end if u like which uses Pacman. Open a shell (konsole) and download from the repositories the package ''shaman''.
# pacman –Sy shaman.
94 • RE: 90 (by Landor on 2009-09-15 19:20:52 GMT from Canada)
Well, as I said thanks. I don't see myself as anything but a normal Unix/BSD/Linux enthusiast.
I forgot to say that I enjoyed your article, and should have. One thing I (personally) like seeing is the hardware defined. Although not accurate of course, it gives me a baseline for comparison against my own hardware, which is "somewhat" high-end as well.
Enjoy your time spent with Arch. I'm anxiously rubbing my hands together waiting for the FreeBSD 8.0 release. I may even go full-time with it, depending on hardware.
Keep your stick on the ice...
95 • #60 (by Claus Futtrup on 2009-09-15 19:36:59 GMT from Denmark)
I was trying to use Zenwalk a few weeks ago and I had some trouble. I try to go into the forum but no way to go in. I sent a email and the response was about why did I want to join? I don't like that way of doing it.
... Please email this response to me ... it sound unbelievable, but if it is true I can take action when you forward these emails to me.
96 • #95 (by Notorik on 2009-09-15 22:57:01 GMT from United States)
Thank you. I think it was a spam problem. Everything seems good now. I went to the forum and it is fixed. I do not have the email because I put on many distros since that time.
97 • BeOS - Linux killer ? (by reynoord on 2009-09-16 05:51:40 GMT from Netherlands)
Tried BeOS alpha. It would not boot on a dual core laptop, but it did boot on a P4 desktop. The apps and demos all operated OK, although there was a temporary screen freeze at one time. I did not find it particularly fast to boot or to use, except for the shutdown which was almost instant. It is similar to the old BeOS 5 personal edition. Since it took 8 years to recreate that, you have to ask what is the point?
Still, Linux has been going for 15 years(?) and produced over 300 distros and still has not made a significant impact on the desktop. So if BeOS can attract a lot of keen developers could it do any better than Linux? Will they also create 300 distros (or should that be bistros?), or will they all contribute to the one main edition and be more successful than Linux on the desktop. Either way don't hold your breath - it may take another 10 years to find out.
98 • freebsd-live image - download problem (by gnomic on 2009-09-16 06:36:07 GMT from New Zealand)
Last week there was mention of a live CD version of FreeBSD at freebsd-live.org. I downloaded this but a usable iso did not result. The checksum of the d/l did not match that shown on the site. Can anybody confirm that the iso on the site is in fact good? (Of late I have encountered several corrupt iso images where the source file was bad).
99 • Re #84 (by michael on 2009-09-16 07:18:50 GMT from Germany)
>Chakra isn't Arch. It's a fork<
That´s not true. You can´t run Chakra without the core Arch packages. It´s more like an addon for users that want an nice KDE desktop.
Some time ago the Chakra (or kdemod) packages of KDE were even closer to the original Arch philosophy than the Arch-KDE-packages, because they were very modular (hence the name kdemod), leaving you the freedom to install only the programs you wanted to (and not for example the whole kdegames bundle). Now that Arch has split the KDE packages too, there may no longer be an need for this.
But the Chakra installer is still very beautiful (e. g. using Marble for selecting your timezone).
100 • #85 386 vs 686 (by Xtyn on 2009-09-16 07:53:38 GMT from Romania)
I've heard that before, that compiling for 686 makes it faster but I haven't seen any difference.
When I installed Debian testing, for the kernel it gave me a choice between 486 and 686. I chose 686, look:
xtyn@debian:~$ uname -r
Most of the software for Debian seems to be compiled for 386.
I tried once Swiftfox (686) and I didn't see any difference compared to Iceweasel (386).
I've searched for benchmarks and found nothing conclusive.
Anyone is welcome to explain what the difference in performance and speed really is, with benchmarks, if it's not too much to ask for.
101 • RE: 99 Where to draw the line? (by KimTjik on 2009-09-16 08:27:42 GMT from Sweden)
It's not a bad thing to be a fork. A fork could might be equally good or even better than the original one. My comment wasn't intended to downplay Chakra, but in my understanding it's still two different communities (even though some for obvious reasons are active in both) and two different distributions. That Chakra depends on Arch core isn't unique in the world of Linux.
102 • Oracle (by Tom on 2009-09-16 10:29:07 GMT from United Kingdom)
Wow, how does the Oracle distro's new release look? Has anyone tried it?
103 • No subject (by Sinbad on 2009-09-16 11:33:14 GMT from United States)
Debian with 686 kernel gives you 2 Gig of memory instead of limiting to about 870M.
104 • Forking difficult distros (by Sinbad on 2009-09-16 11:37:37 GMT from United States)
I'm puzzled why partent projects don't just use Debian installer (they share, right?). I'm in the too much choice might not be so good crowd.
105 • #98 (by Elder V. LaCoste on 2009-09-16 12:27:54 GMT from United States)
I went to the site and looked around for 5 or 10 minutes and didn't find the "live" image you are referring to. Can you provide the direct link? You can email me if you like.
106 • RE: Arch (by krtekz on 2009-09-16 14:45:22 GMT from United States)
Great review! Just my 2 cents: skulpture is in AUR. You can use yaourt to seamlessly install it.
107 • Re: 33 • Suggestion for a distro odyssey (by greenLegs on 2009-09-16 16:46:34 GMT from France)
AFAIK, Frugalware's pacman is (and has been for some time now) a fork of Arch's pacman.
108 • RE Arch (by KFH on 2009-09-16 21:55:37 GMT from United Kingdom)
After reading the review on Arch I decided to have a pop at installing it myself in a virtual machine. I have been using linux for 2 years and have always stuck to PClinuxOS and Kubuntu before so thought it would be a challenge. I have to say it actually wasn't that difficult to set up if you just follow the beginners guide. I am seriously considering giving it a proper run on my machine when the mood next takes me for change. I also had a look at chakra, the installer looks amazing, it will be interesting to see what this is like when its officially released as the alpha seems quite polished to me.
109 • September! (by Sean on 2009-09-16 22:46:45 GMT from United States)
Wow, what an exciting month this is turning out to be for open source distributions. Ubuntu based projects, BSD, Slackware based stuff, and on.
I just finished the Dragonfly download; it's headed to an HP desktop for evaluation.
I'm just expressing the excitement of all this. Nothing else to contribute yet. :)
110 • Arch (by Nnyan on 2009-09-17 00:05:13 GMT from United States)
I keep coming back again and again to try Arch but I always walk away and end up with a different distro.
For my last few attempts I was actually able to get it installed on my T43 and test desktop but there are just too many "steps" required to get everything working. Even if I do find howto's for 80%+ fairly easily it just takes way too much time and effort. I realize Arch is not for noobs and you're "learning" but at a certain point I just want a working system. I'll spend time on it doing things and I'll "learn" that way.
Anyway one of the reasons i keep trying Arch is b/c I like the clean and mean philosophy, I don't want crap that I don't use running.
111 • Ojuba 3 أعجوبة لينوكس (by Mahmoud Slamah on 2009-09-17 00:34:59 GMT from Egypt)
نظام التشغيل أعجوبة لينوكس
Ojuba 3, a Fedora-based distribution with Islamic utilities and support for Arabic:
Hash: sha256sum not SHA1
الحصول على "أعجوبة الرّباط"
Download from :
or mirror ( unofficial )
112 • #109 (by Elder V. LaCoste on 2009-09-17 02:10:59 GMT from United States)
Don't bother with Absolute (if you were ever considering it). Caitlyn's review was spot on. 13.0 still has the same problems she discussed in her review. I am sad that I wasted a cd on it. It looks beautiful but it's still broken. I couldn't create a secondary user account either with the menu option or with the instructions provided from the command line.
113 • Dragon Fly BSD (by Albert Hall on 2009-09-17 02:43:07 GMT from United States)
From the Dragon Fly website:
"Unfortunately, a Flash plugin is not natively available for DragonFlyBSD. When you want to watch Flash sites, you must install Linux versions of Firefox and the Flash player to run under emulation."
114 • FreeBSD live cd - the web address - ref #105 (by gnomic on 2009-09-17 04:50:21 GMT from New Zealand)
Hullo there, that address in full. This should be straight to the iso, 170MB.
I heard from the maker, he said nasty people had been trying to do bad things to his website of late. Recommended a download using wget -r. Haven't had a second try as yet. Would be interested to hear what your result is.
115 • RE: 98/105 & 113 (by Landor on 2009-09-17 05:01:14 GMT from Canada)
I downloaded the live cd and it installed fine under VirtualBox. I'm gonna tinker with it there for a bit then see how it boots up live on my system via an RW
The link is on the page, though not "completely" visible.. Here's the link: http://freebsd-live.org/FreeBSD-Live.iso
"True" Slackware based systems it's very easy, or very hard to set up a non-root account. The easy way, drop to the command line and run the adduser script. This worked flawlessly in Absolute (which I just tried) or you can do it the hard way and use the standard "useradd" command, but be warned, there's tons to configure, home directory, permissions, etc, manually. As I said, the script is flawless. I don't know if CM tried adduser or not in the last release, but if you had ran it in this one from the cli it would've been a piece of cake.
Though I can't verify for the version used, the review has 0 bearing on this release and there is actually no problem at all creating a user account, the easy, or hard way. (I did both).
I don't want to be rude, but you must have done something wrong and to say it's a waste of time is completely uncalled for, given that it's easily done.
BTW, don't waste a cd, buy RW's, they're far more green, and keeps green in your wallet.
Keep your stick on the ice...
116 • RE: 105 (by Landor on 2009-09-17 05:29:09 GMT from Canada)
Update to my comment # 105
I just went to Menu-System Tools - Configuration - Add A New User and that worked flawlessly as well.
I'm also currently downloading 12.2.5 the version the review was based on. I'm rather curious now to see if I'll run in to any problems with that one or not.
Keep your stick on the ice...
117 • DragonFly BSD (by Anonymous on 2009-09-17 11:25:41 GMT from Canada)
I loved the way DragonFly works. It is not as bloated as FreeBSD, it does not incorporate half-baked stuff (except of hammerfs, but it's understandble) and I had fewer problems with DragonFly, than with FreeBSD. I had to admit the failure of FreeBSD - IMO it went a wrong way. Most of the things in FreeBSD are overcomplicated to me at some point. DragonFly does not lack simplicity, so I find it perfect alternative for FreeBSD.
Do you plan to review DragonFly on DW ?
118 • re 117 3D acceleration in DragonFly (by Anonymous on 2009-09-17 11:34:31 GMT from Canada)
The only issue that keep me running linux instead of DragonFly is using my Nvidia 8800GT with 3D acceleration
119 • 115 & 116 (by Elder V. Lacoste on 2009-09-17 11:50:14 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the link to the BSD. Now, about this Absolute business. I suppose it is possible that I did something wrong but when all you have to do is go to the menu and click on "Add User" it is hard for me to see how I could have made a mistake(I tried it 4 or 5 times). I slow burned the cd at 4x and it installed easily. I was excited by the new updated "look" and had high expectations. I followed the instructions provided on manually adding a user and that did not work either. I don't know a lot about command line use or Slackware in general so my only logical option was to use the documentation. Caitlyn's review referred to an earlier release but I felt that it was relevant to note that I experienced exactly the same problems she mentioned in her review regardless.
"I don't want to be rude, but you must have done something wrong and to say it's a waste of time is completely uncalled for, given that it's easily done.
BTW, don't waste a cd, buy RW's, they're far more green, and keeps green in your wallet."
Ok, lol points taken!
120 • Dragonfly BSD (by Sean on 2009-09-17 13:21:53 GMT from United States)
Well this is on a Compaq (HP) here which everbody hates. lol But we're not so sure it'll be on that machine long because Mint and Sabayon are no battling it out at our facility for dominance, with Vectorlinux running a close 3rd.
I selected Dragonfly as an experiment for the machine (DC-7600 with Pentium 4). Absulute would not be a consideration for a box with that modern a processor, we plan to try that on our old Gateway 2000 with it's 1.2 MhzIntel.
The Dragonfly install went well, but we had to start over twice because of unexplained freezing during the partitioning. We did finish the install and now it's time to configure the browser, etc. Flash and Java work but we needed Greasemonkey.
121 • @119 (by Jose Mirles on 2009-09-17 14:15:58 GMT from United States)
I found this on Absolute Linux's Website
Absolute 13.0.1 released
Bug fix release corrects two issues:
Add user utility corrected (had failed to start due to importing module that is no longer used.)
New auto-start daemon (for audio CDs, movie DVDs and PTP cameras) installed to replace non-working ivman. New app is halevt. New user/group needs changed to accommodate this daemon as well as icewm startup changed, and gdm updated to kill daemon between graphical logins (.bash_logout if not.)
If you downloaded version 13 and did not update it first, you would have gotten the add user error. It is funny since it worked perfectly in his Release Candidates.
Absolute Linux is pretty good even on more modern PCs. I ran it on my Dual Core PC with 4 GB of ram. It ran beautifully. I have since removed it from my main box and installed it on my old laptop and a 2.6 Ghz P4 PC with 1 GB of ram.
BTW PCLinuxOS resumed it spot as my OS on my primary PC.
Try out Absolute Linux 13.0.1
P.S. Next time you have a problem with a distro, ask for a fix in the distro's forum. Then PLEASE let us know how the forum responded. I think a distro should also be judge by how willing their Community is to new users.
122 • Absolute on "modern box" (by Sean on 2009-09-17 15:56:20 GMT from United States)
Just to clarify my, "Absulute would not be a consideration for a box with that modern a processor.."
I meant that it would seem a waste of a P4 to use a distro with a reputation for being "old machine friendly." Not that it wouldn't work great on a fast computer.
123 • #122: Fast distros, new machines (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-09-17 16:54:43 GMT from United States)
I meant that it would seem a waste of a P4 to use a distro with a reputation for being "old machine friendly." Not that it wouldn't work great on a fast computer.
Old machine friendly usually just means optimized for performance. It means not loading tons of cruft by default. Even the most powerful boxes can be pushed to their limits by power users. Some apps can still max the CPUs or the memory. The more you use for the OS or desktop eye candy the less there is available for real work. IMHO it still makes sense to run an efficient distro, one that may be labeled as "old machine friendly" on new hardware so long as functionality you need isn't left out.
124 • @123 (by Sean on 2009-09-17 17:54:22 GMT from United States)
It would be a waste of a Pentium 4 here to load a light OS on it. We use that machine to its capabilities with "heavier" loads, graphics and multi-tasking.
Absolute, as I say, will be better suited on our 1.2 Gateway.
125 • Arch (by Barnabas Collins on 2009-09-17 18:48:21 GMT from United States)
Thanks for your review of Arch, I really enjoyed it.
I am a recent convert from Debian testing, and have been in love with Arch for 6 months. Its clean design, multitude of packages, pacman and versatility keep me coming back for more. The wiki is excellent, as I found out while still using Debian. After checking with the Arch wiki so often, I finally just decided to try it, and I'm glad I did.
Arch feels right, and doesn't make any assumptions. It waits for my input, which is exactly what I want my OS to do.
Hope you continue to enjoy Arch as much as I have.
126 • VMWare... Partition Schemes (by Matt on 2009-09-18 02:35:07 GMT from United States)
Any chance for an article (guidelines, suggestions) about setting up this up?
I have an ASUS M4A78T-E motherboard... AMD 810 quadcore... 8 gig ram... 640 gig hard drive. ATI 3300 integrated graphics. Just built it! Running Ubuntu 9.04 currently.
I have plenty of room on the hard drive, and I would like to "test" other distros, but noobiness sometimes gets in my way. I usually just wipe and install.
In addition, maybe an article for partitioning... (I mean... /, /boot, /home, /usr... blah, blah... I sometimes get get confused about how you folks do it without losing everything. Sizes... where to keep photos and such, where programs go...)
Hope that's not too much and thank you!
127 • #98 freebsd-live image (by Elder V. LaCoste on 2009-09-18 09:51:56 GMT from United States)
The iso is good. I am posting this from the live cd.
128 • Salix OS (by Caraibes on 2009-09-18 10:53:54 GMT from Dominican Republic)
Here's another Slackware derivative, actually a fork of Zenwalk, but its particularity is to be 100% backward compatible with Slackware...
-interesting, no ?
See more here: http://www.salixos.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
I guess this is material for Caitlyn Martin, and would enjoy a comparison between the "heavyweights" such as Vector, Zenwalk, and this new one...
-Would Salix OS be the "Mint" of Slackware ?
129 • Arch & KDE (by Paulo Fino on 2009-09-18 12:22:49 GMT from Russian Federation)
Thank you for this review of Arch. I'm slightly drifting off Ubuntu myself and inclined towards Arch. It's just a question of time now.
Just wanted to point to you the Chakra Project (http://chakra-project.org/) which specialises in modding KDE packages exclusively for Arch. And they also have come up with a graphic installer for Arch and a GUI for Pacman, called Shaman.
You might find their work useful.
All the best!
130 • Puppy (by Notorik on 2009-09-18 13:25:18 GMT from United States)
The new Puppy 4.3.0 now has a version that is able to boot and run from SCSI devices.
131 • Re 129 Paulo Fino and else (by greenLegs on 2009-09-18 14:28:34 GMT from France)
The regulars here read the feature articles AND the comments section before posting. When non regulars come here because a favorite distro of theirs is featured, many skip reading the comments and post their tip straight away. And that's how we finished the week with 50 recommandations of Chakra. Ultimately it is a disservice to the (Arch, this week) community.
Sorry if I'm preachy...
(And I do like Arch).
132 • Puppy! (by Sean on 2009-09-18 14:33:12 GMT from United States)
Wow, the excitement here continues: Puppy is being experimented with on an ancient machine, while the full-blown, Pentium 4 worthy, KDE version of Sabayon has been successfully installed on our Compaq pc.
I'm not kidding, what a grand array of possibilities linux and bsd have to offer. Especially for those of us with many (mostly donated) varied machines to get the most out of.
Hoping that many here donate donate and donate to their distro-makers of choice.
133 • gecko laptop--$200 (by jack on 2009-09-18 15:28:07 GMT from Canada)
Saw a reference t this on the OLPC forum
Uses AA batteries for 4 hour run time
Has anyone tested this?
134 • this week's article (by DW Fan on 2009-09-18 17:09:36 GMT from United States)
I’ve been an avid reader for some time; this is my first post. I really enjoyed this week’s article, nice job. I have enjoyed reading the comments section from time to time. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Landor was mentioned in this week’s article. I have appreciated reading what he has had to say (for the most part). I would like to suggest that Landor write an article about Gentoo (as Ladislav previously requested, if I’m remembering correctly). Thanks for all the hard work!
135 • Shana Tovah! (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-09-18 18:34:00 GMT from United States)
Comment deleted (off-topic).
136 • RE: 119 & 134 (by Landor on 2009-09-18 18:44:38 GMT from Canada)
Let's see if I can actually get the number right that I'm replying to, that's what happens when you're ultra-multi-tasking!
It's seems we were both right and both wrong. I was a little hard and kinda, sorta, but not really had a reason to be. Linux under the bridge though, as they say.
I found the FreeBSD live cd pretty snappy (in VirtualBox thus far). The other release of Absolute was taking forever via torrent, and, well, I'm just not that curious..lol
Thank you for the compliment (I think..lol). You're right, Ladislav and I didn't fully agree on a few issues regarding Gentoo ( I think that since it's still continuing and all the "digital hyperbole" has disappeared that my point was proven) and he wanted me to write an article about Gentoo.
I wouldn't write one for a couple reasons. The main reason was the simple fact that I believed given my "almost" fanboyish position at that time I wouldn't be able to write an unbiased review or article about Gentoo.
I also said I wouldn't write articles for here, or think I did. I've mulled that over, over the last couple years and have considered it. I'm currently firing up my own site where I can do just that, ramble on, voice my opinion. It's either going to be in a CMS format or Blog style. I want something simple and easily maintained, it would be a hobby for me. Plus the simple fact I really only know the bare minimum of html, css, etc. I already have the domains. So, it's just a matter of time and choice now. The site will run without ads for as long as financially viable too.
Back to writing here, I still don't know if I would. If I did write one here one thing I'm certain of, any monies I would be given per article I would have Ladislav donate to the project the article was about. I don't know if I would write any though and I'm almost certain they wouldn't be about Gentoo since I still consider myself biased.
Keep your stick on the ice...
137 • #136 (by Elder V. LaCoste on 2009-09-18 19:24:11 GMT from United States)
I actually went back and re-installed it(Absolute 13.0). I then ran the update with gslapt. The add user worked from the menu after updating. It was a rather strange interface without many options. I rebooted and logged in with high hopes. To make a long story short, I am back to running Wolvix. Everything worked but it just seemed unfinished and ran very sluggish on my machine. I am sure there are many people who will find that it runs well on their equipment and it will be perfect for them. It just didn't work well for me. I will keep trying the future releases though.
138 • Reply to 136 (by Anonymous on 2009-09-18 20:58:39 GMT from United States)
When you put up your site I hope you let all of us here know the link to it.
I don't agree with post 134 about not liking what you type most of the time. I always have. I agree that I'd like to see you write an article about Gentoo or some other distro. I remember when you and Ladislav were fighting and bet that's another reason why you won't write articles here.
Whatever the reason I hope you write one and Ladislav allows it to be in DWW and would like both of you to consider it.
139 • Addition to 138 (by Anonymous on 2009-09-18 21:03:46 GMT from United States)
I forgot to say, I also think it's very cool that your site won't have any adds and that if you wrote an article for DWW you would have the money donated to the project you wrote about. That's a really good thing for somebody to do!
140 • RE: 137 & 138/139 (by Landor on 2009-09-19 02:20:30 GMT from Canada)
That's a shame. I ran it under VirtualBox and had no problems. Obviously though the hardware that I'm running still accounts for a lot. I just picked up an Acer Aspire One tonight and I'm gonna give it a shot on it.
I'm not a huge fan of Slackware and its offshoots but I can say I always liked what Paul Sherman brought to the table with Absolute. A distribution I recently enjoyed a lot and am going to go even deeper into it was Frugalware. Very nice distro indeed.
I don't think my writing quality is up to DWW snuff. I don't have a problem with DWW or Ladislav personally. I just didn't agree with his views on Gentoo is all.
The whole ad thing is no big deal either, just a person choice is all. My way to give back, nothing special in my opinion.
Keep your stick on the ice...
141 • Does anybody know of a general aritcle... (by Alex on 2009-09-19 10:46:37 GMT from United States)
comparing Linux, BSD, Solaris, or other unix based operating systems?
142 • Re: Article (by James on 2009-09-19 10:51:22 GMT from United States)
There's a _lot_ to compare and contrast between three or more operating systems, but if you're looking for a broad article I found this by simply googling it: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/200733/alternatives_to_microsoft_windows.html?cat=15
143 • The article is incorrect about Ubuntu (by Please stop deleting my posts on 2009-09-19 14:33:46 GMT from United States)
Firefox 3.5 IS available in the repos.
144 • @141 (by stuckinoregon on 2009-09-19 15:07:52 GMT from United States)
Just know this is a very dangerous question to ask. You will get a million (ok, slightly hyperbolic) answers and some may even be correct. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. I have never seen anything that really delineates the similarities or differences. You just have to kind of immerse yourself in them to really start to see for yourself. Only you will use them exactly the way you will use them. (Very deep an profound. Need coffee.)
145 • Salix: Mint? (by capricornus on 2009-09-19 17:54:49 GMT from Belgium)
Don't confuse yourself: Salix is a tree, it produces Salicylic acid, and that's it. LILO b+++sh++. NVIDIA unknown. Rep's extremely slow and inefficient. This distro is worthless. You want Slack, go Wolvix. But you want real Mint? Go Mint. GNOME or XFCE, it will be better than Salix, no question about that. Oh man, I'm frustrated, expecting a Slackware Mint.
146 • Remastersys and remastersys-LXDE-Lite CD (by RollMeAway on 2009-09-20 02:48:26 GMT from United States)
Great tool for creating a live CD of your current debian or ubuntu hard disk installation. It can even exclude your personal data, but include all packages you have added to your installation.
So you could easily make a live CD for your friends and co-workers customized for your environment and locale, with all the apps your friends would appreciate.
I see Tony "fragadelic" Brijeski has been working on this since before Oct. 2007.
I nominate it for future Distrowatch consideration.
To really appreciate what this entails, here is a link for a "how to" do it manually:
I discovered this after someone last week suggested an LXDE distro to try:
I just installed it on an old Toshiba laptop, limited to 512 MB ram. Very impressive.
I have been looking at every LXDE disto I could find recently, just for this use.
It uses far less system resources than any of the others I've tried.
Also included is custom GUI "control panel" to configure most everything.
147 • Retro DWW (by Albert Hall on 2009-09-20 03:17:37 GMT from United States)
From October 8 2007:
It is always a sad occasion when the founder of a distribution decides to leave the project he created. But such is life - the developers' interests and availability of free time are factors that can change easily throughout a person's life. Arch Linux's Judd Vinet has not been involved with the distribution for several months so his resignation came as no surprise to most of his co-developers: "I plan to step down as leader of Arch Linux and pass the torch. The reason for this is that I do not have the time to devote towards a leadership role in a project the size of Arch Linux, and Arch deserves someone who does. It needs some work, it needs some unification, and it needs someone at the helm who can devote a lot of time to it. I've given it a lot of thought, and based on the state of things, all-round competencies, initiatives, and willingness, I would like to pass this leadership role on to Aaron Griffin, also known as 'Phrakture' on IRC and the forums." Besides the formal announcement, the founder of Arch Linux gave a few hints about his future plans on his personal blog. So thanks for a great distribution and let's hope that the project will continue to go from strength to strength despite Judd's absence!
* * * * *
It was, by general consensus, one of the most entertaining posts for some time. Answering the usual "what is the best distro" question, a poster in last week's DistroWatch Weekly came up with the following parody (reprinted here for those who don't read the comments, but who enjoy a good laugh every now and then): "This is an interesting meta discussion, but I just have to post here to mention the Greatest Linux Distro out there: (fill in the blank). I just can't believe everybody is not using (fill in the blank) and so many crappy distros like (fill in the blank), (fill in the blank) and (fill in the blank), are still ranked high in the page hit rankings here. Before I discovered (fill in the blank) I was always trying to get my (fill in the blank) to work properly and my (fill in the blank) to at least (fill in the blank) let alone (fill in the blank). Now, everything just works! I've even decided to contribute several dollars to the developer(s) of (fill in the blank) even though I can't afford it with my part-time job as a (fill in the blank) at (fill in the blank), but at least it is a token of my (fill in the blank). For those of you who have not yet tried (fill in the blank), I urge you to go to www.(fill in the blank).com and download the ISO and let the magic begin. (fill in the blank) for President!"
148 • What doesn't kill you makes you... stranger ;-) (by Crow on 2009-09-20 03:34:25 GMT from Mexico)
Maybe I'm a fool by opening my mouth but it is strange how distrowatch notifies the different versions of several distros but no PCLinuxOS versions, right now it has 7 but the "news" just shows KDE, Gnome and MiniMe http://distrowatch.com/index.php?distribution=pclinuxos&month=all&year=all
I don't want to suggest some ill intention, I just want o point out the fact.
149 • Linux vs. FreeBSD vs. Solaris (by VernDog on 2009-09-20 03:57:23 GMT from United States)
There's an older compare found here:
but its incomplete...
Try this one:
150 • #141 Ubuntu vs freeBSD vs openSolaris (by Xtyn on 2009-09-20 05:45:36 GMT from Romania)
Here's a benchmark comparison for them from Phoronix:
As I know, the BSD's and openSolaris support less hardware than Linux.
Number of Comments: 150
Display mode: DWW Only • Comments Only • Both DWW and Comments
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|• Issue 674 (2016-08-15): Zenwalk Linux 8.0, Ubuntu phone follow-up, Lubuntu transitioning to LXQt, Steam running on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 673 (2016-08-03): noop linux and EasyNAS, Debian's GnuPG switch, Fedora "Flock", using "nice"|
|• Issue 672 (2016-08-01): Ubuntu Phone 15.04, Solus embraces rolling release model, interview with Jane Silber, FreeBSD Quarterly Report|
|• Issue 671 (2016-07-25): Slackware 14.2, Point Linux 3.2, OpenBSD disables usermount, KaOS releases significant changes, Fedora 22 reaches end of life.|
|• Issue 670 (2016-07-18): Linux Lite 3.0, Bodhi team plans 4.0.0, pfSense changes licensing, running software across distributions, Linux Mint upgrade path|
|• Issue 669 (2016-07-11): Linux Mint 18, proving a system is secure, LibreSSL in FreeBSD, Ubuntu plans phasing out 32-bit, pfSense status report|
|• Issue 668 (2016-07-04): Fedora 24, Linux Mint plans for 18.1, FreeBSD and DragonFly BSD improve their file systems, comparing Flatpak, Snap and AppImage|
|• Issue 667 (2016-06-27): GeckoLinux 421, Fedora supports Flatpak, Solus unveils new features, running GNU/Linux on tablets|
|• Issue 666 (2016-06-20): Comparing more live update methods, Ubuntu's snap packages, Antergos drops 32-bit media, GeckoLinux unveils Rolling edition, learning Linux resources|
|• Issue 665 (2016-06-13): BunsenLabs Linux Hydrogen, Fedora 24 delayed, NetBSD grows in size, Clonezilla questions|
|• Issue 664 (2016-06-06): Sabayon 16.05, Debian updates install media, the cost of free software, Qubes explains secure build process|
|• Issue 663 (2016-05-30): Comparing live update methods, Ubuntu MATE's progress, distros debate systemd change, DistroWatch turns 15|
|• Issue 662 (2016-05-23): Clonezilla Live, new Fedora community repository, DragonFlyBSD runs Wayland, a live edition of Slackware and kernel components|
|• Issue 661 (2016-05-16): FreeBSD 10.3, OpenMandriva adopts Clang, Debian adds ZFS packages, PCLinuxOS drops 32-bit and comparing CentOS with RHEL|
|• Issue 660 (2016-05-09): Ubuntu MATE 16.04, Mint's xapps, FreeBSD Quarterly Report, Debian updates 32-bit support, addressing GPL violations|
|• Issue 659 (2016-05-02): Ubuntu 16.04, compiling custom kernels, Cinnamon 3.0, Sabayon launches ARM build, Devuan ships Beta release|
|• Issue 658 (2016-04-25): Kali Linux 2016.1, elementary OS 0.3.2, Debian elects Project Leader, Fedora 24 feature preview, Nard reaches 1.0|
|• Full list of all issues|
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