| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 329, 16 November 2009
Welcome to this year's 46th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! openSUSE 11.2, one of the oldest and most popular Linux distributions, has kept many users on Linux web sites throughout the past week. What are the new features? How does it perform? Does it come with any major innovations? What packages does it ship with? For answers to all these and other questions please read our feature article - a first-look review of openSUSE 11.2. In the news section, Fedora developers give a green light to the release of version 12 later this week, openSUSE announces an upcoming release of a special edition for children and educational establishments, Mandriva moves swiftly to update a vast number of packages in its "Cooker" development branch, and pfSense celebrates its fifth birthday with a launch of a book dedicated to the FreeBSD-based firewall distribution. Finally, if you are wondering why the latest Ubuntu fails the Shields up port scanning test then read on - there is an easy fix. All this and more in this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Caitlyn Martin)
First look at openSUSE 11.2
When Ladislav asked me last week if I'd like to review the new release of openSUSE I jumped at the opportunity. After looking at much improved releases by Ubuntu and Mandriva over the past two weeks I had very high expectations for Novell's community distribution. The upstream problems with common Intel video and audio drivers, which created so much grief in releases from earlier in the year, seem to be solved. In my work I support Novell's enterprise operating system offerings, including both SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Novell NetWare. The releases of Mandriva 2010 and Ubuntu 9.10 both installed smoothly and work nearly flawlessly on my hardware. I had no reason to expect anything less than that from openSUSE.
For this review I used my two usual systems, an HP Mini 110 netbook (1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 CPU, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB SATA SSD storage) and my nearly 7-year old Toshiba Satellite 1805-S204 (1 GHz Intel Celeron CPU, 512 MB RAM, 20 GB HDD). The Toshiba laptop barely meets the published minimum RAM requirement for openSUSE 11.2. Both systems are 32-bit Intel architecture so this review does not include the x86_64 edition.
openSUSE offers eight different operating system images for download. live CDs for GNOME and KDE are available for both i686 and x86_64 Intel architectures. A 4.7 GB installation DVD image is available for i586 and x86_64 Intel and a 110 MB network install image is also available for both i586 and x86_64 systems. I downloaded both live CDs and the network installation image for 32-bit systems and decided to try out all three.
Running as a live CD
My initial attempts at running the live CD image on the netbook proved to be problematic. I tried both the dd command as described in the release announcement and the latest version of UNetbootin to create a live USB stick. The resulting image would start to boot but fail fairly early on in the process. I next used an external USB CD/DVD drive and that also failed. The failure was much deeper into the boot process and occurred when attempting to load the wireless drivers for the Broadcom 4312 chipset which HP uses in the Mini 110 netbook. I had seen something similar when I first attempted to install Pardus Linux 2009. This was caused by a wireless driver conflict and the fix is to pass "ssb.blacklist=1" to the kernel as an option when booting. I tried the same thing with the GNOME live CD and I was up and running.
openSUSE 11.2 with the GNOME 2.28 desktop
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I had very little reason to expect that either of the live CDs would run acceptably on the old Toshiba laptop. Some lightweight live CDs do work well on that system despite its very slow DVD-ROM drive, including the Ubuntu-based Debris Linux and a number of Slackware-based distros. Both Ubuntu and Mandriva live CDs run incredibly slowly on that system, to the point of being really unusable. The openSUSE live CD was a truly pleasant surprise. Performance was crisp and was every bit as good as the smaller, lighter distributions. Kudos to the openSUSE developers for successfully optimizing their live CD for maximum performance.
Installation and configuration
Most recent distribution releases I've tried on the HP netbook have installed smoothly without any sort of special process required. Unfortunately that was not the case with openSUSE 11.2. The live CD installer simply would not run. No error message was displayed and I never have figured out why. I was able to use UNetbootin to successfully copy the network installer image to a USB stick. I expected that the documentation for a network installation could be found in the openSUSE Wiki but clicking on the Wiki link from the distro home page yielded an error: "your desired Wiki was not found. the incident was reported. we will contact you." I have no clue how they could possibly contact me or anyone else without an e-mail address or any sort of interaction. A Google search did get me to the correct page in the Wiki which describes an FTP installation of openSUSE 10.3 using the network installer. The address for the mirror in the example is no longer valid but I was able to ping the main openSUSE download server, obtain an IP address of 18.104.22.168, and use that plus the correct path to the repository to do my installation via HTTP.
The installation process, once you start the GUI portion of the installer, is fairly straightforward. I chose to use the Expert disk partitioning option to allow me to install openSUSE side-by-side with Ubuntu. I found it strange that the "Edit" option for partitioning actually is the one that erases your hard drive and gives you a new partitioning scheme. What you are actually editing is the suggested layout provided by the installer. The "Create" option, on the other hand, lets you choose which existing partition(s) to use. This is precisely the opposite of the language used by other Linux distributions and seems counter-intuitive to me.
The installer offers a choice of GNOME, KDE, or "Other" for the desktop. If you choose "Other" you are presented with three further choices: Xfce, minimal X, or text-based server installation. The default choice is KDE which is what I chose on the netbook. A network installation of openSUSE 11.2 with a KDE desktop requires downloading 2.27 GB of packages. Even with my fast Internet connection it took several hours to download and install the necessary packages.
The first stage of the installation completed and when the system rebooted I saw that the installer had also failed to detect and include my Ubuntu installation in the GRUB menu. Therefore I booted into my new openSUSE installation. The boot process hung when the system tried to activate wireless networking. The installer correctly detected both my wired and wireless network interfaces but installed an incorrect driver for my Broadcom wireless chipset which caused the problem. Passing "ssb.blacklist=1" to the kernel produced an error claiming this was an invalid option. Despite the error, it successfully prevented the ssb and b43 drivers from loading and my system successfully booted into the new installation. Wireless networking was non-functional but at least I was up and running to some extent.
The installation on the Toshiba laptop was somewhat easier. I tried the network installation again in order to install a minimal system with an Xfce desktop. It hung at 60%, just after downloading GRUB. I booted the GNOME live CD again. The live CD installer warned me that I had less than 1 GB of RAM and that it might fail as a result. I decided to try it anyway and the second attempt at installation on the old laptop proceeded without a hitch. The only problem I experienced was one I had seen many times before with this particular laptop: I was left with a small desktop surrounded by lots of black space, the same result I had with Slackware Linux 13. Since I had an X configuration that I knew would work from my VectorLinux Light installation I just copied that to /etc/X11/ and I was up and running. Otherwise I would have had to manually create an /etc/X11/xorg.conf file or modify the one used by the installer.
Finishing the configuration of the netbook so that it would no longer hang when booted required me to edit the /etc/modprobe.d/50-blacklist.conf file to properly blacklist both the ssb and b43 drivers. I then researched my wireless chipset in the openSUSE forums. Unlike the recent Ubuntu, Mandriva or Pardus releases the broadcom-wl driver I needed is not included in openSUSE 11.2 repository. I had to obtain it from a third-party community repository called PackMan. PackMan is to openSUSE what Slacky.eu is to Slackware: it's a relatively large and well-trusted source of additional packages. openSUSE actually makes adding PackMan and a number of other community repositories easy by listing them in the YaST2 graphical package manager. Installing the broadcom-wl package also added a new "debug" kernel and required a reboot. Once I booted into the new kernel my wireless was working and configuring my WPA2 encrypted network was easily done in NetworkManager.
I should note that the 3G modem built into the HP Mini 110 is still disabled at this point and, once again, the driver is not in the openSUSE repository. I don't have 3G service as yet so I didn't take the time to track down, install and test the required driver. All in all, getting openSUSE 11.2 working properly was the most challenging Linux installation I've done in a very long time. I'm an experienced, knowledgeable and decidedly stubborn Linux user so I tracked down the information I needed and made it work. I expect a lot of users, and not just newcomers to Linux, would have given up in frustration.
Running openSUSE 11.2
As expected, openSUSE has recent versions of most popular applications. Since Novell is based in the United States they must comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and also avoid including software which may be patent encumbered. The net result is that multimedia support out of the box is quite limited, with even basic MP3 playback functionality left out. If there are no such restrictions where you live the Restricted Formats page on the openSUSE Community website allows you to add this functionality with SUSE's One Click Install. The YaST2 metapackages offer all the missing codecs and libdvdcss for DVD playback. Non-free software, like Flash and the Opera web browser are also included. I also was surprised to find Fluendo codecs and plugins for GStreamer and Flumotion, the Fluendo streaming server, in the PackMan repository. Fluendo products are properly licensed for use in the U.S. I can only assume that Novell has paid for the license necessary to make this product available to the openSUSE community. A Fluendo license came with my netbook in any case so this provided me with a legal option for adding multimedia capabilities.
openSUSE 11.2 with the KDE 4.3.1 desktop
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openSUSE features a KDE 4.3.1 desktop. I've been impressed with the look, feel and also the performance of KDE as implemented in Pardus 2009 and Mandriva 2010 so I expected it to work well with openSUSE as well. Instead I've been treated to applications crashing and occasional hard lockups of my system, mainly when running KDE apps.
Kaffeine has crashed on me on several occasions when trying to start playback of an MP3 audio file and locked up my system when I tried to play a FLAC file. I've given up on it since other media players are readily available in openSUSE. YaKuake also locked my system once when I hit the F12 key to roll up the terminal window. This is particularly frustrating to me as I really like YaKuake on systems with limited screen space like my netbook. I've also seen the KDE panel crash and burn once but it promptly restarted. I've also had problems with one non-KDE application. The AbiWord 2.6.8 package for openSUSE is completely unusable. It consistently crashes after typing just a few lines of text. I normally write my DistroWatch Weekly features in AbiWord and then add the HTML in Bluefish.
I've found that running openSUSE 11.2 with KDE is generally unstable to a greater degree than any Linux distribution I can remember. I ended up installing an Xfce 4.6.1 desktop environment on the HP netbook and so long as I religiously avoid AbiWord and KDE apps (with the exception of K3b, which is a must for me) the system mostly behaves as it should. GNOME 2.28 on the Toshiba has been stable but AbiWord crashed regardless of which system I use or what desktop environment I select.
openSUSE 11.2 with the Xfce 4.6.1 desktop
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One other complaint I have is that it seems like the openSUSE developers really didn't do much testing on netbooks in general. Many of the dialog boxes are just too long for a 1024x600 or 1024x576 screen resolution. I find myself using the ALT key and my touchpad to move the oversized boxes around. Both Ubuntu and Mandriva don't have this sort of problem and do seem to understand just how popular netbooks have become. On a more positive note I must say that performance, even on the limited, old Toshiba laptop, is very good with openSUSE 11.2. The developers have done an excellent job of optimizing this distro for speed with what subjectively seem to be the best results I've seen in one of the "big four" distros.
One of SUSE's great strengths has always been its incredibly large, complete and very functional suite of graphical system administration tools. That tradition continues with openSUSE 11.2. There are graphical tools for almost every imaginable system configuration process under the sun. All work well, many are unique to SUSE, and almost all of them are very well thought out and intuitive. For those who prefer working at the command line there is no lack of tools to administer the system from a terminal or the console as well. A user who isn't comfortable at the command line will find they probably have more control over even small details of their system configuration with openSUSE compared to any other distribution I've tried.
The YaST2 control panel
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The repositories for openSUSE 11.2 are reasonably well stocked but are not nearly as large as either the Mandriva or Ubuntu repositories. I found myself relying on the community repositories heavily, especially contrib and PackMan. The net result does include some package conflicts. Both YaST2 (graphical) and zypper (command line) do an excellent job of alerting the user as to what conflicts exist and offers one of three solutions: 1. remove what conflicts and replace it from the repository chosen for the new package, 2. ignore the conflict, or 3. don't install the new package. I've not chosen to use the second option at all and I have had no breakage resulting from the conflicts I've found. It's pretty easy to see how someone could end up in dependency hell using multiple community repositories and ignoring the errors.
Even with the community repositories all enabled I still couldn't find everything I normally use on my system. Mostly I found myself missing highly specialized packages but the Bluefish web editor, which I think is quite popular, was nowhere to be found. Another developers' editor I like, medit, is also missing. In the case of Bluefish I ended up using a Fedora package and installing it with rpm using the --no-deps option. That actually worked without a problem but I am well aware that Fedora packages are often incompatible with SUSE packages. Under the hood openSUSE sports a 2.6.31 kernel and X.Org 7.4. As previously mentioned I've had no problems at all with my Intel 945GME graphics chipset.
Internationalization and localization
openSUSE offers a very complete collection of dictionaries, language packs, and other internationalization and localization packages for all the supported desktop environments and applications. The selection is as extensive as any I've seen. YaST2 includes a graphical tool which allows a user with root privileges to select both the system's primary language and install support for a number of secondary languages. GNU FriBidi is installed by default so openSUSE has bidirectional language capabilities right out of the virtual box. This is important for those who need to support languages written right-to-left including Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Yiddish. An impressive selection of international fonts for languages written with non-Latin glyphs is also available.
If a KDE desktop is installed the default display manager is KDM which does not allow for changing languages on a session-by-session or user-by-user basis. A GNOME-based installation will install GDM which has that functionality. It is possible to install GDM after the fact and change the default display manager if language flexibility is important. What is not included in the openSUSE repositories are some specialized applications for languages included with distributions like Fedora, Mandriva and Ubuntu. I'm most familiar with Hebrew and I found that there are no packages for any of the Hebrew-specific applications I'm used to finding in major distribution repositories. From what I can tell the same is true of some Arabic applications. Users of languages who are not comfortable building from source may wish to investigate which applications they need are available before installing openSUSE.
While SUSE has never been my favorite I have always found it to be a solid distribution in the past. Sadly, at least on my hardware, that simply isn't true of openSUSE 11.2. Installation on my netbook, which is extremely well supported by a half a dozen other distributions I've tried, was exceptionally challenging with openSUSE. While installation on the old Toshiba was less problematic it still didn't "just work." Once installed the KDE desktop environment was pretty enough and performance was very good. Stability, however, was a major concern. Within an hour or two I would run into an application crash or even a hard system lockup (no, not just X) which is simply unacceptable in a modern operating system. GNOME and Xfce are considerably better so a user who has little interest in KDE or KDE applications would likely be able to use openSUSE 11.2 without many problems once installation and configuration were complete.
Some of SUSE's traditional strengths, including a fantastic suite of graphical administration tools and rather good internationalization and localization support, are still present and do offer some compelling reasons to consider openSUSE. The front ends to RPM package management (zypper at the command line and the YaST2 GUI package manager) are the best I've seen. The forums show clearly that openSUSE has a very large user community and I found answers to all my issues without having to ask any questions. Some documentation (i.e.: for the network installer) proved to be somewhat dated but was still adequate for me to figure things out.
I must say I found openSUSE 11.2 to be a major disappointment. I've come to expect better, much better, from Novell. If it weren't for the stability issues with KDE and relatively poor netbook support this distribution would have been a keeper for me. There really is a lot to like. Perhaps the results will be different for people with different hardware. For me, though, openSUSE 11.2 just doesn't compare favorably to the other major distributions and I can't recommend it at this time.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Fedora 12 hits mirrors, openSUSE releases Linux for Education, Mandriva Cooker updates X.Org and desktops to latest versions, five years of pfSense
It's official: Fedora 12 will be released this week. There was a slight chance that it would be delayed due to problems with finalising the release, but the developers have put in extra hours to squash the last remaining bugs. As a result, Fedora 12 has been given a release go-ahead: "We have just completed our Go / No Go meeting for Fedora 12 and have reached the decision to Go. Fedora 12's package set is golden and we're ready to stage things for shipping. Great work all around, I'm very proud of this release. I'm sure there will be more back-patting and hand-shaking to come, but Will Woods would like to remind everybody that it's just 11 weeks until Fedora 13 Alpha freeze!" Fedora is a highly innovative distribution, often incorporating various bleeding-edge features into the final product. This sometimes gives an impression that it is more of an experimental distribution for knowledgeable users than an operating system for general public. Nevertheless, Fedora 12 promises to be a solid, stable release, although we'll have to wait for the first reviews to read the verdict. If you can't wait, download the last test build (labelled as "RC4"). It can't be very far off from the final release and you can always use the yum package manager to update it, if necessary, once the final Fedora 12 is formally announced.
Fedora 12 will be officially released on Tuesday, 17 November
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openSUSE 11.2 has been out for a few days and while the initial reaction seems to be mixed, at least it has managed to avoid the kind of bad press Ubuntu received shortly after the "Karmic Koala" release. One of the most pleasant improvements in the latest version of openSUSE is that you can now update the distribution online, without having to download any installation media. Of course, there is a lot more, including KDE 4.3, GNOME 2.28, OpenOffice.org 3.1.1, various new social networking features, netbook-specific improvements, and many under-the-hood updates: "Storage improvements include the ability to encrypt the entire hard disk, for users concerned about data security. Users can also take advantage of the next generation of file systems for Linux with ext4 or btrfs. Users can also install the first technology preview of WebYaST - a web-based remote administration tool for openSUSE systems." One other interesting item in the release announcement includes the upcoming availability of a special "Linux for Education" spin: "The 11.2 release will be followed closely by a very special spin, Li-f-e: Linux for Education. Li-f-e contains GNOME, KDE, as well as the award-winning Sugar learning environment for children. With packages from the PackMan repository, Li-f-e provides everything required to get rich multimedia experience too."
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Less than two weeks after the release of Mandriva Linux 2010, the development of the distribution's next release, version 2010.1, is now firmly under way: "One week ago, Mandriva Cooker, which will lead to version 2010.1 in about 6 months, was opened again. In eight days, this has resulted in almost 1,100 package updates. Some noteworthy changes: all X.Org related packages have been updated to X.Org 7.5, inclusive of X.Org Server 1.7.1; development snapshots of Qt 4.6.0 and KDE 4.4 are now included - when you add a Plasma widget, you will be presented with a much more beautiful overview of all available widgets; KTorrent 3.3 is now available - the most important change is a redesigned GUI, which should be less cluttered and easier to use; Firefox 3.6-beta2 is now available in testing - its engine has undergone lots of work to improve performance; NetworkManager has been updated to a recent version and it includes the GNOME notification applet; Cooker’s GNOME has been updated to 2.28.1, which contains lots of bug fixes." No development schedule has been published as yet, but based on past roadmaps, Mandriva Linux 2010.1 final can be expected in late April or early May of 2010.
In last week's review of Mandriva Linux 2010, Jesse Smith reported a problem he experienced with sound on the two machines where he tested the distribution. Fortunately, the problem was later solved, thanks to two Mandriva developers who offered help. Here is Jesse's report in his own words: "After my review of Mandriva 2010 last week, I was contacted by two members of the Mandriva development team, Colin Guthrie and Christophe Fergeau. They politely requested information from me which would help them solve any future sound problems in the Mandriva distribution. We did some tests, talked it over and did some more tests. What we discovered is that I had been reviewing a copy of Mandriva 2010-rc2, with updated packages to bring it into line with the final release. It seems the release candidate had a minor error in the sound configuration which was fixed in time for the final release. This means most users will not experience the sound problems I did. It also demonstrates the willingness of the Mandriva developers to seek out and correct problems for the benefit of their users." Very nice, especially coming from the developers of such a large project!
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We don't often talk about the various small and highly specialist distributions, but today we make an exception. pfSense, an excellent, minimalist firewall project based on FreeBSD has recently celebrated its 5th birthday: "Five years ago today, the pfsense.* domains were first registered. The project actually hit five years since its inception about 2 - 3 months ago, living the first part of its life as projectx (some history here) with no web site. We've come a long way! Thanks to everyone who has supported the project in any fashion over the past five years." pfSense has received an extra boost earlier this month when Reed Media Services published a book entitled pfSense: The Definitive Guide, written by pfSense co-founder Chris Buechler and developer Jim Pingle. The first reviews on Amazon.com are positive, including the one from well-known author of BSD books Michael W. Lucas: "Security updates? Just click a button and reboot. You need new features? Just turn them on. pfSense handles clustering, traffic shaping, load balancing, integration with your existing equipment through RADIUS, IPsec, PPTP, monitoring, dynamic DNS, and more. ... Personally, I don't build firewalls from scratch any more. When I need a firewall, I use pfSense."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Why Ubuntu "fails" Shields Up port scanning and how to fix it
Trying to fly under the radar asks: Earlier today I ran the "Shields Up" service ports test on my Ubuntu PC and was a bit surprised to see that it "failed" the test. Although the first 1024 ports were correctly reported as being closed (or blocked) Shields Up complained about the fact that Ubuntu responded to the port scan, announcing that the ports were closed. Apparently it is much better if a PC stays quiet in such a case. I'm not sure how relevant this is. But I think it would be better if a system didn't respond to a port scan at all. Is Ubuntu alone in this or is this sort of behavior standard in Linux?
DistroWatch answers: For those who haven't tried it, "Shields Up" is one of the many products offered by the Gibson Research Corporation. It's a web-based service which scans your computer for open ports. It then displays a summary, stating which ports it found open, closed or which parts of the scan didn't return any results. The "Shields Up" port scan is free of charge and very helpful for home users who want to check their security settings.
I agree with you in that I also think a typical home computer should not respond at all when someone is trying to scan its ports. In my mind, if you're not running any services (such as a web server or OpenSSH), you don't want anyone out there to know you exist. Now, to answer your question, it's hard to define what is and isn't standard behavior with an operating system like Linux because Linux distributions are so diverse. I can tell you that the distro I'm currently testing passes the Shields Up test. But the important thing to consider is that you have the ability to alter your distribution of choice to work the way you want.
Ubuntu, the last time I checked, didn't have any firewall rules. That is, there is a firewall in place, but it doesn't try to block any incoming connections, which is why your Shields Up test "failed". However, I don't think Ubuntu runs any Internet services (such as FTP, web or SSH) and this means there is nothing for an attacker to connect to. What it boils down to is Ubuntu isn't putting a shield between you and incoming connections because there are no services running. It's difficult to remotely exploit a service which isn't there.
But you'd feel better being stealthy and so here's how to make your Ubuntu box disappear: Open up the Synaptic package manager and download the packages "ufw" and "gufw". If you prefer using the command line, the command is "sudo apt-get install gufw ufw". Once the packages have downloaded, run the command "gufw". This will open a program that will allow you to set up firewall rules with a fairly simple point-n-click interface. Assuming you're not running any network services, you should be able to simply click Enable Firewall and call it a day. Doing this on my Ubuntu machine allowed it to pass the Shields Up test.
|Released Last Week
DEFT Linux 5
Stefano Fratepietro has announced the release of DEFT Linux 5, a Xubuntu-based distribution with a collection of open-source applications dedicated to incident response and computer forensics: "DEFT Linux 5 is based on the new Xubuntu kernel 2.6.31 and DEFT Extra 2.0 (computer forensic GUI) with the best freeware computer forensic tools. It isn't a customized Xubuntu like the previous version, it is a new concept of computer forensic live system that use LXDE as the desktop environment and Thunar as the file manager. Other features: an advanced file and directory search tool; Foremost, Scalpel and PhotoRec carving tools; complete support for most file systems; support for Logical Volume Manager; powerful tools for network forensic, such as Xplico, Wireshark, Kismet, Ettercap and Nmap...." Read the release announcement a detailed list of all new features and improvements.
DEFT Linux 5 - an Ubuntu-based distribution for forensic analysis and penetration testing
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Stefan Lippers-Hollmann has announced the release of sidux 2009-03, a desktop distribution and live media with KDE and Xfce desktops based on Debian's unstable branch: "We have the pleasure to announce the immediate availability of sidux 2009-03 'Momos', shipping with Linux kernel 2.6.31 and KDE 4.3.2. For 'Momos', the development had to take massive upstream changes for SysVInit, insserv, X.Org and device detection into account, but it also concentrated on furthering the KDE 4 integration into sidux and upgrading to Linux kernel 2.6.31. Subsequently, it is the first sidux release to ship without KDE 3 or Qt 3 packages. Linux kernel 2.6.31 doesn't only improve and stabilise hardware support for newer devices, it also provides initial support for USB 3.0 devices and the Sound Blaster X-Fi sound card." See the detailed release notes for further information.
sidux 2009-03 - a new version of the desktop distribution based on Debian's unstable branch
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Novell has announced the immediate availability of openSUSE 11.2, the latest version of the popular Linux distribution for desktops and servers: "The openSUSE Project announced today that openSUSE 11.2 is immediately available for download. openSUSE is a secure and stable Linux-based operating system that is easy to use and includes everything needed to get started with Linux on the desktop or server. Some of the new and interesting features of this release include: KDE 4.3, a major update to the KDE platform, which offers improved networking support, and better integration of Firefox and OpenOffice.org with the KDE environment; GNOME 2.28, the latest release of the popular GNOME desktop, which includes a brand new theme, improved software update application...." Read the press release and visit the openSUSE 11.2 page for further information.
VectorLinux 6.0 "KDE-Classic"
Robert Lange has announced the release of VectorLinux 6.0 "KDE-Classic" edition: "The VectorLinux crew is proud to announce the final release of VectorLinux 6.0 KDE-Classic. This release is not about bleeding-edge technology. On the other hand, it is not about nostalgia either. KDE 3.5.10 gets the job done. It is a mature and solid product with a large user base. Many of us are comfortable with it, and are not yet ready to leave it behind. We thought it only right to make a robust system with KDE 3.5.10 at the helm. The classic text installer will quickly have you up and running with the expected KDE tools. The KOffice suite is fast and suitable for everyday word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. Multimedia capabilities have been enhanced with the inclusion of VLC, xine and the MPlayer application and plugins." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
Ultimate Edition 2.4
Glenn Cady has announced the release of Ultimate Edition 2.4, an Ubuntu-based live DVD with media codecs, eye candy and -- the kitchen sink: "It has been out for about a week, but I have had a lot happening in the meantime. A burnt power supply, a smoked 1 TB drive, painted a house and caught the flu. Ultimate Edition 2.4 was built off Ubuntu Ubuntu 9.10, all upgrades pre-installed as of current. This release is the largest release to date and is absolutely loaded with excellent tools, many new to Ultimate Edition. This distro is lightning quick on boot-up. I must apologize, the usplash does flicker on the screen when live; once installed it works as expected. Please enjoy ladies, and gents, a ton of work went into making this distro, more then any previous." Check out the release announcement and release notes for additional info and screenshots.
Ultimate Edition 2.4 - an Ubuntu-based live DVD with a substantial quantity of popular software
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Leszek Lesner has announced the release of ZevenOS 2.0, a Xubuntu-based distribution and live CD featuring the Xfce desktop and BeOS-like artwork: "We are proud to announce the release of ZevenOS 2.0. ZevenOS 2.0 is based upon Ubuntu 9.10; it brings big changes like a completely new audio subsystem (PulseAudio), switch from HAL to DeviceKit, MagiKit - a standard application management layer, Remaster-Kit for easy ISO re-mastering, Encode and Super Encode - an all-in-one multimedia converting application, MAGI 2 - an application launcher, installer and configuration center. The typical BeOS like look has been improved with changes to Deskbar, icon theme and GTK+ theme. Disk Manager now supports auto-detection of BFS (BeOS) partitions and allows to mount them. The contact manager got an improved VCard filter." Read the detailed release announcement for a full list of new features and screenshots.
ZevenOS 2.0 - a Xubuntu-based desktop Linux distribution for BeOS fans
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
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New distributions added to waiting list
- ABC GNU/Linux. ABC GNU/Linux is an Ubuntu-based distribution that allows building of Beowulf clusters automatically - either in a live mode or by installing the software in the front-end.
- GhostBSD. GhostBSD is a FreeBSD-based live CD that boots into the GNOME desktop. Currently in development, with a graphical system installer on the to-do list.
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DistroWatch database summary
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And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 23 November 2009.
Caitlyn Martin and Ladislav Bodnar and Jesse Smith
1 • Opensuse 11.2 review (by Chris on 2009-11-16 07:20:58 GMT from Germany) |
I was disappointed too.
2 • @ Caitlyn Martin Review of Open Suse11.2 (by Henning Melgaard on 2009-11-16 07:34:33 GMT from Denmark)
Interesting to read your review of the latest Open Suse, especially the problems you found with hardware compatibility. Interesting because your experience is the opposite of mine.
I have had a lot of trouble running Ubuntu 9.10 on my pc (Intel Celeron D 2,66Ghz; Intel Graphics 82865G). Maybe you can clear up some things for me?
-The Intel driver IS included in the Linux kernel, isn't it?
-Then how come different Linux distributions using the same (or almost the same), versions of the kernel perform so differently on the same hardware?
3 • DWW 329 + Shields Up?+Block Spammer (by D1Knight on 2009-11-16 07:49:22 GMT from United States)
Thank you for another excellent DWW. Though this week's edition did have a distro, that I would not want to talk about, let alone read about, at least for now. Oh well, take the good with the not so much. You did have other distro write up that I read and found very interesting. Thanks.
My shields up question, to Jesse. I did like you wrote about intalling ufw, gufw and setting them, but when I run the "Shields Up" test. it fails. All ports show stealth, put I failed because of a "Ping" reply. Is there something else, I need to be doing to pass the test? (FYI-I have default set to Deny All) Thanks.
A big "Thank you" to Ladislav for blocking the address (from last DWW 328) that was a culprit for sending spam.
4 • re #2 (by alie at 2009-11-16 07:53:33 GMT from Singapore)
Same here, i got a lot of problem with Ubuntu but not with openSUSE 11.2. openSUSE 11.2 works like charms, very fast and stable on my Lenovo v100
5 • openSUSE 11.2 (by zygmunt on 2009-11-16 08:06:57 GMT from United Kingdom)
The ext4 file system would not work for me caused by udevd. I tried ext3, but then there was a booting problem, which I could circumvent with the command line in grub. Couldn't get KDE4 to work at all. GNOME worked OK apart from the scrappy fonts. Not what I was expecting from a distributiuon that completed 8 milestones, 3 release candidates and a gold DVD. But of course my motherboards are 3 years old and running onboard graphics. Nevertheless they do run Debian (Lenny & Etch) Fedora 8,9,10,11 & 12, Sidux, Ubuntu 8.04 to 9.10, openSUSE 10.3 & 11.1, Mandriva 2010, PCLinuxOS 2009 (and others) effectively. Motherboards are ECS RS485M-M & ASUS K8V-MX with AMD Sempron/Athlon X2, 500GB RAM, both fairly lowly systems. Maybe I have been unlucky this time with openSUSE 11.2, but I have reinstalled thrice to little effect. Maybe time will heal the the rift.
6 • opensuse (by andb on 2009-11-16 08:21:38 GMT from Denmark)
funny the problems expressed in the review i found in mandriva, thought it was absolutely dissaster release... however opensuse was flying high on my computer, best distro i ever used so far. Hardware seems to do much....
7 • openSUSE 11.2 Vs. Ubuntu 9.10 (by Ambleston Dack on 2009-11-16 08:24:31 GMT from United Kingdom)
Very interesting article and an almost exact experience I had with openSUSE, which is the opposite of Karmic for me. I found the Gnome version of openSUSE somewhat lacking polish, with much of the spit and polish in the KDE version.
OpenSUSE was very unstable on my hardware, AMD Phenom 9850 Quad Core, 8GB RAM, and would constantly lock and crash doing the most simple tasks, such as installing software or browsing the web.
I found Mandriva much more stable and a joy to use compared to openSUSE. With all the bad press about Ubuntu Karmic, I have been using it with no hassles since I installed it a week before its release, no crashes or lockups, boot speeds quite good (anyone seen the boot speeds in 10.04? Boy it's fast ;) ). I'll keep SUSE around on my PC and play with it for a few weeks, but it will have to turn on the shine as its a poor competitor compared to Karmic on my hardware, your mileage may vary though ;)
Another excellent Distrowatch, well done Ladislav and the team.
8 • openSUSE and reviews (by Xtyn on 2009-11-16 09:12:12 GMT from France)
Seems 11 months were not enough for openSUSE 11.2. :))
It's nice that DWW publishes reviews of every big release (except Ubuntu).
For 9.04 there wasn't a review until Michael Raugh's distro odyssey, many months later. At least there was a review, for which I am glad but 'buntu bashers made a lot of noise about that review. I think eventually there will be a review of Ubuntu 9.10 on DWW.
Ladislav, I still can't access distrowatch.com from my IP. Did you block my IP by any chance?
9 • where to find Bluefish for openSUSE 11.2 (by ava__ on 2009-11-16 09:22:12 GMT from Romania)
about hardware problems - it's strange, i have 3 different platforms (atom netbook EeePC 901 with Ralink wifi chip, P4 desktop and a geode LX 800 mini server) and no problems at all with opensuse, live USB image boots correctly, install went smooth, no crashes. Have you, by any chance, forgot to checksum the images after download?
10 • No subject (by jg on 2009-11-16 09:32:58 GMT from United States)
What is this "minimal X" install of OpenSuse? Is it OpenBox, or something? If so, does it come with YAST (and all the GUI configuration utilities)?
11 • No subject (by jg on 2009-11-16 09:36:55 GMT from United States)
Ok, from some searching, it appears that the "minimal X" configuration uses IceWM. It would be interesting to know what sort of GUI features are available in this configuration.
12 • ShieldsUp... (by KevinC on 2009-11-16 09:37:06 GMT from United States)
Ubuntu/ Kubuntu Karmic pass Shield's Up with my hardware...all ports Stealth and Gibson reports "Passed." Perhaps it could be my Linksys router which has Cisco security built in...but all of my Windows installs pass as well & always have. Have not tried OpenSuse 11.2, tho I dl'ed the LiveCD and dvd...have read in other forums that the dvd install is better. I have had no problems with Karmic & Mandriva 2010(KDE) was nice as well. I installed Ubuntu Karmic 64 on one system and Kubuntu Karmic 64 on another (similar hardware: AMD AM2; NForce chipset; NVidia 9800 gfx; 8 gig & 4 gig ddr2. No issues with either...tho, surprisingly, Kubuntu seemed smoother (subjectively, of course). IMO, Kubuntu Karmic is the best iteration of KDE that Canonical has put forth.
13 • openSUSE editions (by Kurt_Aust on 2009-11-16 09:39:35 GMT from Australia)
The section in the review describing the various images available for download could be better phrased.
One really should use x86-64 rather than "64-bit Intel architecture" or "ia64" as that terminology generally is used to refer to the Itanium processor series.
14 • SuSE 11.2 (by sprat on 2009-11-16 09:45:07 GMT from United Kingdom)
Caitlyn's review is most instructive, especially regarding HW detection and functioning. in contrast, I have had to completely abandon Mandriva's latest OS because it will not run on half my century of machines at all and runs so slowly on the others as to be useless. Somewhat contrarily, the latest SuSE runs fast on everything I own, unlike some previous releases. There is a simple explanation - I never use wireless (it is switched OFF in all my routers in favour of hard wiring) and I use MIPS-based netbooks with their own customised SW. The inevitable conclusion is that even the major distros have failed to master the entire ambit of HW out here in the field, unlike, remarkably, several of the compact distros, who's developers seem to able to grasp the extended range of possibilities in a fraction of the code. Caitlyn may have a natural aversion to PuppyLinux, but she will find that the myriad of derivative developers this project has spawned seem able to provide solutions to virtually every eventuality that punters throw at them. Indeed, they include a quite remarkable bunch of accomplished coders whose skills eclipse those retained and remunerated by the much larger houses.
15 • opensuse 11.2 installed on a lenovo S10e = AWESOME (by Dimble on 2009-11-16 09:58:21 GMT from United Kingdom)
I have just installed opensuse 11.2 on my netbook, and it was amazingly trouble-free, i'd recommend it to you to try.
The bluetooth and webcam worked out the box.
The wireless required only a single rpm to install the broadcom driver from the suse packman repository, and was installed by yast with one click.
It detected the odd 1024x576 resolution correctly.
And i didn't even need to borrow an optical drive, as the livecd is a hybrid iso that can be unpacked to a USB key and installed from there.
Kwin 3d desktop effects work great even on intel integrated graphics and atom.
The only thing that has failed was the install of World of Goo, but that may be a resolution problem.
I do agree about ill sized dialogue boxes which don't fit entirely in the 576 pixel height.
Nine out of ten.
16 • openSUSE 11.2 (by Lily Shu on 2009-11-16 10:00:12 GMT from Indonesia)
im new to linux, my first distro was ubuntu 8. 04 LTS (the Hardy Heron), i never change my distro. 'til now im using KARMIC both on desktop (p4, 1gb ram, 7200gs) and netbook (1000HE), it's quiet stable except GRUB2. i understand that the team will give more focus on the next Lucid Lynx released as the LTS.
and now i have a little courage to try another distro, so i download suse 11.2 KDE live and try it on my desktop and netbook. unfortunately suse doesn't really impressed me, it's slow. confusing but what can i say? i respect openSUSE for their release, but i think 11 months is not enough for the team.. they really need more time and maybe doing more survey to end user like me. i'm not really into KDE but i understand a lil bit about configurations especially on kubuntu. i found it's difficult for me to adopt suse 'cause ive always been ubuntu user.
congratulations for openSUSE for their release and i hope that 2010 will be a bright day for SUSE, when everything is stable and work OOTB :)
17 • Ubuntu's bad press (by Johannes on 2009-11-16 10:02:02 GMT from Germany)
Hello and thanks for this new DWW - as always very interesting.
I just wanted to give one voice more in favor of Ubuntu 9.10, which was really good, stable, and just works on 3 laptops installs.
I don't understand all this bad press...
I have also updated my Ubuntu guide "Eva's useful guide to Ubuntu 9.10", I hope it can be useful to some of you :-)
Now I'm going to test Mandriva and OpenSuse...
18 • suse mandriva and ubuntu (by ritch on 2009-11-16 10:25:03 GMT from United Kingdom)
i had no problems with suse or mandriva, will down load fedora when it hits the mirrors
finally someone has offered a glimmer of light of why grub 2 in ubuntu was failing on my hardware
its a beta release ?
so is presumably known too still have a few bugs to squash
i don't get why you would have something so critical as beta grade, and if it is true that to me is quite shocking and a majorly bad dessision...
though it would explain why a huge number of people are having quite different experiences with ubuntu this time round,
they must of thought on the majority of hardware it functions well, but for a few user such as myself! it has completely failed
hope there is a 9.10.1 release soon, either rolling back to grub from grub 2 or a grub 2 that isn't beta quality!
don't think they can really this time round hold off till 10.04 and im hoping that promts a 9.10.1 release to clean up the few bugs, that are affecting a few people
19 • Wrong footed (by Vinny O. on 2009-11-16 10:31:39 GMT from Netherlands)
Distrowatch.com is regarded a respected site, even one with some decent authority. People behind it should be aware of this position and therefor withdraw from obscurities. Testing a newly released version of a major mainstream desktop linux distribution on an old, if not antique, laptop that hardly meets minimal requirements and on the other hand on an Atom-netbook, is an obscure act to me.
To be seriously valued by the Distrowatches of this world, a modern mainstream distribution deserves be tested on a fairly modern, equally mainstream system - for which it is intended to be used on in the first place. Departing from there, experiences and judgments with all other sorts of hardware and systems can be given.
Ladislav, Caitlyn I really hope you acknowledge your mistake and give openSUSE another, fair, chance in the near future. Now it smells like Suse-bashing. Like breaking the horse's leg upfront and afterwards complaining it didn't even finish the race.
Off course there always is the other possibility to change the direction of Distrowatch.com and turn it into a site which focuses on minimal, portable machines.
20 • re 14# (sprat) (by ritch on 2009-11-16 10:35:53 GMT from United Kingdom)
on your comments on mandriva running slow, i too have noticed that!
i have a 3.2ghz dual core 4 gb of fast ddr2 ram and if i put my extermal harddrive in takes an age to bring up the files... too many things on screen and it is starting to crawl
it is very sluggish, mandriva is rock solid on my hardware and dependable as useual but yeah slow....which it should never be on my hardware, even playing flash files slower
suse speed, seams quite good, never really got on with suse but think i will be sticking that on my harddrive, unless the new fedora is a goody
21 • openSUSE-11.2 reviewer's strange choice of hardware (by curious on 2009-11-16 10:41:40 GMT from United States)
I think that choosing an 7-year old Toshiba Satellite laptop for a review serves little purpose, for only a tiny fraction of users will use such a hardware. I wonder why not to test it on a decent modern laptop in addition to a netbook.
Reading a review I got an impression that it covered two corner cases and ignored the main stream.
22 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-11-16 10:48:10 GMT from United States)
I have installed openSUSE 11.2 this weekend and have to admit my results are not in line what you report here. For now, openSuse has been extremely stable, I have not experienced any crashes at all. However, the speed of the system is not what I'm used to.
Firefox, Opera, take ages before they first present me with a requested site. Installing the restricted packages proved to be difficult. The one click install didn't work. Installing the avast anti virus rpm proved difficult, because I had to use google to search for a solution because something like libexpat.0.so could not be found (who said rpm based distro's are on par with deb based?)
My amd64 system is running a tripple boot configuration with Ubuntu 9.10 amd64 (upgraded from 9.04), pclinuxos and my favourite Linux Mint 7 KDE edition i386. However, Ubuntu 9.10 is crashing and even Linux Mint 7 doesn't look all that stable. So I decided to install openSUSE 11.2 i586 in stead of pclinuxos.
The installation went very well and the only issue I had is that Grub did include entries for both Linux Mint and Ubuntu, but I haven't been able to boot into my Ubuntu 9.10 partition. I think it's because it's on an extended partition, but haven't looked into that very well.
So I will continue using openSuse 11.2 for the time being but will need to find a solution for it's slow speed. Hope it stays stable, though.
23 • Re #19 (by curious on 2009-11-16 10:48:25 GMT from United States)
Well said. I am also found this openSUSE review lacking and looking forward for a second take on it using some main stream hardware.
BTW, I am currently a Kubuntu user but I am looking with some interest to openSUSE. Unfortunately, the DWW review gives me little guidance if at all.
24 • Recent releases (by Raphael on 2009-11-16 10:48:44 GMT from Switzerland)
Thanks for this interesting DWW!
I have a three years old Dell Inspiron laptop (you could buy exactly the same laptop with Ubuntu on it, but unfortunately only in the United States) and just tried the recent “stable” releases of Ubuntu, Mandriva and Open Suse. In the past Ubuntu worked very well on it (nearly all worked out of the box in all releases) and the releases were quite stable for a distro that includes current software. Open Suse was a bit less stable but I had only minor problems in past. The wireless didn’t work out of the box but it was very easy to make it work with Ndiswrapper. On the other hand I remember that Mandriva did never work well on my laptop – I had serious problems with X server, the control center and some applications that didn’t work as they should (and crashed very often).
Surprisingly I had the exact contrary experience with the recent releases: Ubuntu didn’t work at all (it crashed shortly before or after the X server started so that I wasn’t able to find out what the problem was) and Open Suse was extremly slow and the the system once crashed during installation). On the contrary Mandriva worked well and I didn’t remark one problem! Also it was very intuitive (even the control center) so that I can recommend the recent Mandriva release to all Linux newbies. However for more experienced Linux users looking for a stable distro I still recommend Debian – I installed Lenny on February and after installation and configuration the only thing I have to do now is to accept security updates and to use this distro; I didn’t have one annoying problem with Debian – that’s extremely time-saving! Hope to see that in future there will be a easy distro (like Mandriva) that sets a bit more value on stability than the Ubuntu and Open Suse developers are doing now, because I think that stability (just after ease of use) is the point that prevents many Windows and Mac users to give Linux a try.
25 • Problems with 3 out of 4 Gnome based 64 bit Linux distros. (by Peter F on 2009-11-16 10:55:14 GMT from Australia)
OpenSuse 11.2 and Ubuntu 9.10 fail to display any of my DVI-connected LCD monitors' native resolution of 1920x1200 from a Nvidia Geforce 6150 onboard GPU. This both with or without NVIDIA's own driver.
In direct contrast, both Mandriva and Sabayon succeeds at the same task perfectly well.
I wonder why!
Sabayon, however, is the only distribution (of the 4 being compared here) that does everything (that is of major importance to me) well enough.
This because Mandriva does not allow the full access to a hard disk formatted with LVM. Ubuntu also did not allow this, by default, but at least I could get it to do so by simply downloading this functionality using Synaptic.
Changing permissions to allow myself access to my own files was a major problem/buggy function in Mandirva, too. I had to google for quite a while before I came across a solution.
26 • RE: 19 Wrong footed (by ladislav on 2009-11-16 11:03:18 GMT from Taiwan)
Ladislav, Caitlyn I really hope you acknowledge your mistake...
And we hope that you take a more active part in this web site; instead of complaining about us being unfair, why don't you test openSUSE on a modern hardware and submit your review?
27 • re#24 (by ritch on 2009-11-16 11:07:14 GMT from United Kingdom)
think your very right that stablity is the reason that many windows user give linux a try and say not for me
if you look at these forum there is someone saying somethings broken or not working in every distro or just slow
and a whole load of people saying my distros been faultless
x failing like u and i have been experience as x is starting in ubuntu and speed issues in mandriva etc...why would a windows user give up on windows...
and we need to rember that many off us still dual boot with windows
linux need to consolodate the core as in grub audio x- etc into a unified linux standard, so we can safely say linux just works and if i goes down easy to recover
let each distro refine around thoughs standards and add there own touches
but its true as things stands we are not going to make big inroads
i feel the linux netbooks has did more damage than good, the distro were extremley limited and babyish (asus eee poor xandros based installation) and saw very high return rates from windows user's so much so some very big linux supporters pulled out completely (asus and acer recently)
i avoided them wanted to buy a linux netbook but felt the os on them were not worthy of the name linux, and were a bit of a fisherprice toy joke
28 • openSUSE-11.2 (by Rob on 2009-11-16 11:13:14 GMT from United Kingdom)
This review was almost pointless, obviously frustration was had installing onto a Toshiba 1Ghz/512Mib laptop, and an HP netbook.
On machines I've tested openSUSE on x86_64 & i586, it has been rock solid and extremely performant. The one failure occured on a Toshiba Satellite 1130 laptop with 1.8 Ghz CPU, which also occurs with other distro's based on 2.6.31, interestingly starting OS-11.1/KDE-4.3.1 it crashes but updating to the Open Build Service KDE:43 repository (clearly documented) and it then works reliably (swap partition on a cheap flash drive). zypper command line & yast in ncurses mode, support excellently remote management.
For me OS-11.2 is also running very fast, many openSUSE other users have alrady run 11.2 very happily for quite a while, as can be seen on the forums, with the 11.2 official repo's useable on mirror's since weekend before the ISO's were available.
The Administratation tools are far better than Kubuntu-9.10 and 1-click Install makes getting multi-media working very, very simple. Yes, the Website was down for a few hours around the release day, these things happen and it was fixed soon enough.
Rest assured, even if 2.8 GB software packages are installed by Netinstall-er, the packages are compressed, and it is very simple to avoid large things like OOo, hplip, gimp, MozillaFirefox which aren't wanted or you expect to upgrade from OBS (Open Build Service) after install. Furthermore you can use a proxy cache to avoid re-downloading, or mount via NFS the DVD ISO (or disk) from a server.
There has to be questions about the value of DIstrowatch's review here, it appears rushed and using borderline hardware which is obviiously having issues., Something like the Toshiba 1 Ghz 512MiB RAM is just not typical of a machine anyone really wants to use late 2009, openSUSE is not focussed on old hardware.
openSUSE-11.2 rocks, and yes I have tried Kubuntu-9.10; I must say, I found Distrowatch's review a major disappointment, as it does the community a disservice focussing on hardware issues, and burying the features of a typical user experience.
29 • Some replies (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-16 11:27:03 GMT from United States)
#2: The Intel driver is NOT part of the kernel. It is a separate package.
The kernel is the core of Linux but it can be configured and built in a number of different ways. However,, a myriad of packages are then added and no two distributions do things the same way, hence the variety of results.
#19/#23: I made no mistake. 25 million netbooks have been sold over the past two years. Of the 11 million sold in 2009 approximately 95% have Intel Atom processors, which are also used in nettops (small desktops). This is the fastest growing segment of the PC market. Right now you can't get any more mainstream than an Atom processor.
#19/#21/#23: If you read the DWW comments section regularly you'd know that we do have an awful lot of users running older hardware which is why I always include the old Toshiba in my reviews. If you read the review closely you'll note that I had far fewer problems with the Toshiba than with the netbook. DWW readers with older hardware often want to know if a distro will work for them and OpenSUSE will.
I'll also add that writing honest reviews, not just fawning fan pieces, is not a way to win friends in the Linux community. Honestly detailing my experiences, when they are less than brilliant, always brings out the defenders of a given distribution who circle the wagons and cry foul. This isn't SUSE-bashing. It's honest reporting. In any case, DistroWatch Weekly is an opinion column. It says so at the top each and every week. The authors, myself included, are entitled to our own experiences and the resulting opinions even if they are not popular with some readers.
Please also note that a few people have already commented that they had similar problems to the ones I reported on very different hardware. I stand by this review.
30 • To Anonymous with openSUSE 11.2 & slow FIrefox etc (by Rob on 2009-11-16 11:28:35 GMT from United Kingdom)
If you have slow networking with openSUSE 11.2, try disabling IPV6 in the YaST System Network settings, and rebooting. Otherwise try the forum with relevant details of your hardware. There are included BIND & Power DNS recursor , as well as dnsmasq; it may help 11.2 has far fewer serious issues on it's release, than 11.1, 11.0 or 10.3 did but that doesn't mean there aren't things that won't need to be fixed by an update within a few months of release. If stability & avoiding bugs is important to you, it's best to wait a while (10 weeks) after initial release, and run an Online Update as part of the installation.
31 • openSuSE 11.2 Review (by Karl Kochs on 2009-11-16 11:30:38 GMT from Germany)
After two years, starting with Ubuntu 8.04, over 8.10, 9.04 and now 9.10 - I switched back to openSuSE 11.2.
I've installed the Gnome-Editon first, tested it - and then switched to the KDE Version of openSuSE 11.2, which is fantastic for me. I stopped using KDE, when Version 3.0 came out - and went over to Gnome.
The Installation of openSuSE 11.2 was totally easy - without any problems. Every bit of hardware runs, even the touchpad can now be disabled (on Ubuntu / Debian it is reactivated after seconds) and S.M.A.R.T is not only installed but working (on Ubuntu you have to enable it be editing /etc/default/smartmontools.
I shrink the Textheight from 10 to 8 (like on Debian/Ubuntu, Mandriva before) - and then most of the Textboxes (except the one of Evolution ... well Gnome still ignores netbooks, doesn't it?) are within the Range of the 1024x600 screen.
Wifi was working from the start on.
AbiWord runs without any problems - even after 50 pages of text. The Bluefish editor can be found via the openSuSE Build Service (http://software.opensuse.org/search?baseproject=openSUSE:11.2).
What is even more cool ist, that an exotic software like Iris2 runs and UO is playable again under Linux ... try this with Debian/Ubuntu and have fun.
Compared to old versions of openSuSE, Yast and Zypper are working excellently fast. Yast can even be compared to Synaptic (well it is still missing previewscreens yet, but most in Synaptic are still empty).
The stability problems of the RC versions are gone on my netbook. I've seen the KDE Panel crash two times - but reloading it at once.
Maybe a bit more testing would be fair this time?
32 • Two more points (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-16 11:33:36 GMT from United States)
Yes, I checked the md5sum and yes, I ran the media test in the installer. All passed with flying colors. Please also note that I tried three different images. The results were always the same.
#27: I completely disagree with your assessment of Linux netbooks. The most common preinstalled Linux distribution is Ubuntu Netbook Remix which works very well indeed and is in no way limited. According to ABI Research Linux recaptured 32% of the netbook market this year and with good reason. It works a whole lot better than Windows on netbook hardware.
#28: You blame the hardware for my issues with OpenSUSE. If that is the case please explain to me why Ubuntu 9.10, Pardus 2009 and Mandriva 2010 all work flawlessly with the exact same hardware. If the distribution isn't to blame then what is? If the hardware is the same and the results are different then the issue has to be the software.
All: Yes, this was a rushed review which is why I called it a "first look". More testing time would have been nice but I doubt it would have changed the review much. In any case Ladislav asked for a first look review for the week of release and that made a longer testing period impossible.
33 • No subject (by Sertse on 2009-11-16 11:36:52 GMT from Australia)
Post 19's point is still correct, regardless of a "why don't you do it" response. The limited resources of the reviewer while unfortunate, does not make it less true.
That said; one review does not make a distro. For a complete picture,you look at other reviews, you look at response on irc, mailing lists and forums. After that, consider perhaps it really IS "just you", in which case bad luck, but accept it and move on, - people sometimes have unreasonable standards, a bias to their own experience and can't judge objectively..
Personally, Ubuntu and Mandriva have worked for me, I haven't tried Suse yet. "Objectively" (from all those sources I mentioned above), I think Mandriva had the best release.
34 • RE: #26#29 (by Vinny O. on 2009-11-16 11:50:54 GMT from Netherlands)
Ladislav, you obviously missed the point, dear friend. From where the need of such a rather aggressive reply when being criticized a bit? Being _fairly criticized_ even, as I'm not the only one making about the same point (see #4#6#9#20#21#22#23#28)
Caitly, I don't doubt your experiences, nor your integrity. I just point out to you guys that maybe you should reconsider the way you review the latest version of a mainstream linux distro. Not just openSUSE, no any modern, full blown distro.
As I said, I regard DWW as rather authoritative - as a lot of other people do. Your site often is the starting point for people new to linux or who want to try another flavor. I just can't see the point in unnecessarily giving them a general distro-impression that might be dubious, for possibly only true in regard to specific hardware.
35 • DO NOT USE UNETBOOTIN (by shamaz on 2009-11-16 11:53:15 GMT from United States)
Well, I think it's very unfortunate to read that using Unetbootin you had problem with installing and running opensuse...
Is this review about opensuse 11.2 or a recent version of unetbootin which is _supposed_ to be usable with opensuse 11.2 ??
Installing from an usb stick is explained in the release annoucement
"dd if=image.iso of=/dev/sdX bs=4M"
there's also a page in the official wiki about this :
Maybe if you had use an _official_ way of installing things would have gone better (or maybe not... but that would have been more fair)
36 • RE: 33 (by ladislav on 2009-11-16 11:58:38 GMT from Taiwan)
Post 19's point is still correct
No, it is not. What poster 19 is saying that we should do our reviews on modern hardware and ignore everything else. But if we agree with him and start doing that, there will be heaps of complaints saying - hey what about older hardware? Not everybody has the latest, why don't you test distributions on something other than state-of-the-art boxes?
My own test machine is even older than Caitlyn's. It works fine and runs most (if not all) modern distributions just fine. But according to the logic given in post 19 I should have thrown this thing out of the window long time ago and get a new machine instead.
I think there is a reasonable balance in DW reviews. We alternate Jesse's reviews (done on modern hardware) with Caitlyn's reviews (done on older machines). Jesse reviewed Mandriva 2010 on a new machine, while Caitlyn previously reviewed Mandriva 2009.1 on her older hardware. We'll try to alternate reviews of other distributions in a similar way.
I welcome positive criticism, but saying that we should do our reviews on modern hardware only is ridiculous.
37 • Explain OS "Minimal X Install" to those ask in feedback & Reply to Caitlyn #28 (by Rob on 2009-11-16 11:59:02 GMT from United Kingdom)
1) Minimal X Install
When you Install openSUSE from Netinstall or DVD, you have choice of system type, text, minimal X, GNOME, KDE, XFCE plus Others (like Windowmaker and icewm lite).
You can install graphically a server, which will not have X installed; and it is a good option for keeping VIrtual Machines small.
Yes, Caitlyn it looks like some part of your hardware configuration was causing problems. Perhaps if you run hwinfo & can submit a bug report, it can be narrowed down.
I really do not think your experience is typical. The Forum Feedback on RC's & Gold Master of OS-11.2 has been generally very positive. Your focus on "blame" seems unproductive. Rest assured, the release & KDE 4.3.1 (plus updates) currently defined as KDE:KDE4:STABLE in the openSUSE Build Service, is well liked and working very well for most. I do not know how thorough you were eliminating possible causes, but the impression from your review, is that something was very wrong for your laptop install, and yet you pursued it, until you apparently sort of got it working, and then are writing about application instability, as if it were surprising, when the installer had trouble on your machine.
It just seems a shame that your review ended up focussed on hardware specific issues, rather than the actual things that openSUSE does offer. I agree that light distro's for old machines are popular on Distrowatch, but that is not what openSUSE is targetted at, so whilst such hardware may work, it is less likely to than more mainstream kit which have issues reported earlier.
38 • @22 (by Anonymous on 2009-11-16 12:00:42 GMT from United States)
you encountered a ipv6 issue and turning it off should solve your problem BUT the yast option to do this does not work
To disable IPv6 permanently
1)add a line to /etc/sysctl.conf:
net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6 = 1
2) Append ipv6.disable=1 to your boot parameter either by using yast or
edit /boot/grub/menu.lst manually
39 • Bluefish nowhere to be found ? (by shamaz on 2009-11-16 12:01:27 GMT from United States)
To find something on opensuse, the best way is :
And as you'll see, there are packages for Bluefish, with 'one click install' links.
I admit that this could be more clearly stated in yast or somewhere else...
40 • Ubuntu bad press (by Dylan on 2009-11-16 12:01:33 GMT from Ireland)
I think that the reason Ubuntu is receiving such bad press is because people expect it to work and work well. Many have installed the new release and it all works fine so they see no reason to voice their opinion.
The others who have had problems voice their opinion because they expected Ubuntu to work for them and they are disappointed it does not.
41 • @19 + 32 (by Anonymous on 2009-11-16 12:02:43 GMT from United States)
I thought one of the major "selling" points for desktop Linux was the ability to run on antique hardware. If old hardware is no longer being targeted by the Linux distributions, are they admitting that the consumer desktop does not matter and they are only targeting workstations?
You blame the hardware for my issues with OpenSUSE. If that is the case pleased explain to me why Ubuntu 9.10, Pardus 2009 and Mandriva 2010 all work flawlessly with the exact same hardware.
Probably because of the kernel modules being loaded during boot, but you already knew that. ;-p
42 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-11-16 12:07:34 GMT from Taiwan)
From where the need of such a rather aggressive reply when being criticized a bit?
Admittedly, my reply was a bit harsh - sorry about that. But after your own unfounded suggestion that the author was possibly "SUSE bashing", did you expect anything better?
Besides, I still think that you (and all those who agreed with you) are wrong in suggesting that we should do our reviews on modern hardware only.
43 • OpenSUSE (by rif on 2009-11-16 12:18:50 GMT from Romania)
You can test OpenSUSE (any version) on any hardware and it will still be a disappointment. About its "complete and very functional suite of graphical system administration tools" you will inevitable get to the point where you are forced to edit the configuration files directly and then the chaos begins: you will never know when the files get overwritten.
I am only sorry that the non linux people expect SUSE (Novel) to provide top linux quality and will draw the conclusion that other distribution are the same (or worst), which it not true. From my point of view SUSE is giving gnu linux a bad name.
44 • re 32 (by ritch on 2009-11-16 12:23:55 GMT from United Kingdom)
yes ubuntu remix is great and moblin
but how many netbboks in the uk are sold pre installed
ive never seen any at least here in the uk
infact last year it was easy to find a linux netbook! know its getting extremly difficult
yes you or i are capable of removing the defacto garbage that acer and asus put on these things
but my point is for new users to linux, that wouldn't know how to, espesially since these devices have no optical drive.
hense why the high returns and the biggest missed and lost opertunity in linux history so far to go main stream.
netbook installation of linux are going down! FACT
the returns are much higher on a linux machine! FACT
there are very good reason for this,
a lot of the people buying these are not technical user like me or you and are coming from the windows world,
its a very bad introduction, and that is my point, plus i have no wish to pay money for something i have to strip down and make to work like it should have, so i continue with my large laptop
take the xandros installation in asus, the worse distro you could choose, very stable but its repositries are poorly updated and it has the highest cost applied to it than any other desktop distro! the interface look like a computer toys for a 5 year old even to a windows user....... and makes it far harder to use, a complete and utter joke!
i was ready to buy one took a look at the distro on it and thought is this a bad joke and bought a windows laptop and installed ubuntu on it
45 • No subject (by forest on 2009-11-16 12:35:37 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref age of hardware in #19.
I can see both sides of the argument; CM tries her best to get a "spread" of machines, albeit thin, in order to cover as much of the readers as possible.
But, I can appreciate too the argument Vinny O made that in his opinion modern distros should really be tested on "modern" machines.
A point was made, last week as I recall, that, pre-installed distros are much better behaved than "after market" installations. To me this implies the computer manufacturers have done their homework to find a distro which is as compatible as possible with their machines' specs...and consequently a machine will have lower complaints/returns...not to mention being better supported ref the long term...and consequently less bad PR, etc, etc.
It will not have escaped folk's notice that following a road test, of any distro, there's always a proportion of folk who agree with the findings and probably an equal number who found quite the opposite, with a sprinkling of comments somewhere in between both camps.
Sometimes there are comments from the devs, of any distro, who write in and politely ask about the test machine/conditions and make a suggestion or two.
(Or, if you include Adam W, a virtual book correcting folk's alleged misconceptions...lol)
From this I wonder if doing the road tests on "a" machine is actually worth the effort. From the first Law of Linux, we all know not every distro works on every machines...which renders the whole testing exercise a tad pointless.
What might be a better notion is for distros to be tested on "chipsets", ethernet/wifi hardware and so on and so forth. It can only be the work of moments (? lol) to discover which machines have which chipsets. It may not even be relevant to know the make of a machine, other than defining the chipset.
Naturally in that instance it would be impossible for one person to test a distro on their (her) own unless they had access to quite a few machines and a lot of time.
Therefore it seems to me the best people to do this would be the devs themselves and their mates, who do this anyway I presume. If a distro is found not to behave as expected on a certain chipset then mention should be made as a sort of "caveat emptor".
There's no shame in doing this and at least the devs would earn the gratitude of folk who try in vain to get a distro to work on an unsuitable collection of hardware, before arriving at the inescapable conclusion that their kit won't ever run "a" distro very well, if at all.
Or, more importantly perhaps, being advised the install will require a lot of time and patience. This last does get included sometimes I will concede.
I would have thought also this sort of testing would be grist to the mill for dedicated hobbyists, who would be contributing a great deal of information back to the "community".
Now, some readers will exclaim that this is what the forums and Launchpad are for...but if this was the case why do we keep hearing, month after month after month the same litany of woe from frustrated Linux user manques?
If you do resort to visiting a distro's help forum then you will know that one of the first things in reply to your request for help is a detailed inventory of your machine's hardware specs.
If you consider this for a moment, there is, already in existence, a stupendous amount of data in the forums...it is just not being managed very efficiently, nor is it being mined effectively.
My cousin tells me that database management is very, very far from being the dry exercise I had imagined hitherto...it seems we "know" far more than we think we know...we just don't know the right questions to ask to extract the information we want to know, lol.
So, if anyone out there is determined to bring their star to the ascendant over Linuxland I would imagine sorting out how to exploit the aforementioned data would probably do it.
46 • #35: I tried the official way FIRST, #37 Hardware again, #41 is right (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-16 12:42:07 GMT from United States)
If you reread my review a bit more carefully you will note that I linked the Release Notes page and tried the official way, the dd command first. Install failed. Only after that did I try UNetbootin. I will also point out that it was UNetbootin that did, in the end, create a working USB stick. If you read carefully before coming out with guns blazing you would have known that I, in fact, followed your advice before I ever received it.
Let me repeat the point that is being ignored. The identical hardware was used with Ubuntu 9.10 and Mandriva 2010. Both installed flawlessly and work flawlessly. The only conclusion anyone can possibly draw is that the other major distros support this platform well and OpenSUSE does not. BTW, I have a Fedora 12 release candidate on an SD card and it also works well but, as with openSUSE, the Broadcom (proprietary) driver has to come from a third party source. In the case of Fedora that is a conscious philosophical decision by the project and is expected. Still, add driver and all seems to work.
Second, my netbook is less than two months old. This IS modern hardware; one of the most popular types of modern hardware out there. The Fedora Project is touting how Fedora 12 has been optimized for netbooks. Why would they bother if this isn't popular, modern hardware?
The bottom line: 3 of the "big four" work well on this hardware and one does not. I also keep seeing comments added from other people with problems with different hardware so it can't be just me or just my hardware.
Of course you are absolutely right. What the people who are criticizing me for including the Toshiba seem to be forgetting is that the review would have been much more positive if I only used the Toshiba. OK, I the KDE issues would have cropped up regardless, but the fact remains that openSUSE 11.2 worked better on my antique system than it did on the new one.
47 • No mention of Mint? (by pashabear on 2009-11-16 12:48:42 GMT from Estonia)
I find it very strange that you didn't mention Linux Mint 8 "Helena" RC1, even in the "Released Last Week"! This is the number three distro on your list! A glaring omission, imho. It's a great release, working very nicely.
48 • Oops (by pashabear on 2009-11-16 12:51:25 GMT from Estonia)
Sorry, somehow I missed the mention of Mint 8-rc1 in the Development section. Still, a little more comment would have been nice...
49 • RE: @36@42 (by Vinny O. on 2009-11-16 12:52:42 GMT from Netherlands)
Ladislav, whether we like it or not, hardware _does_ matter.
I must stress "that you should do your reviews on modern hardware only", really is just your false interpretation of my words..
My point: if a site like yours reviews the latest and greatest release of a modern, mainstream, full blown linux, distro aimed at today's needs and today's hardware - well than that distro deserves to be tested on a fairly modern machine as well, in order to avoid misjudgment.
Next to that all distro's maybe better be reviewed on fairly equal machines. Now the latest Mandriva has a head start over oSUSE just because being reviewed by Jesse on a modern machine. "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others" - we don't want that, do we?
So maybe you guys could categorize the reviews a bit, in order to give your readers a more clear view.
50 • OpenSuse11.2 (by Ron March on 2009-11-16 13:00:06 GMT from United States)
I anxiously started reading the review of OpenSuse. I have not been much of a Suse user since it was taken over by Novell and especially since the release of KDE4. I decided to give it a try with this new release in light of the pre-release hype. I installed it on my Fujitsu Lifebook A6010 Notebook which is several years old and has an intel centrino duo processor. I am not too much of a computer geek but, I have been using Linux since the early days of Red Hat. My first experience was with SuSe back in the 5 days. I remember they had this great installer with a partitioner that I used to use to partition my hard drive to install other distros. Anyway, I downloaded the latest version of the live cd with kde and was impressed with it enough to give it a try. No problem with the setup. It worked as easy as any other I have used and in no time at all I had a new distro. It automatically picked up my wireless and the setup for that was simple and I have been running it ever since and have no complaints. I sped up firefox by doing an online search and doing the about:config thing. It has been running perfectly ever since. I am no expert but, I really think the review by Catlyn was kind of a letdown for anyone reading the article. She should have chosen something more compatible. I am sure I could use any older machine and get the same problems with any distro. I am impressed with this latest version of Suse and will keep it on my laptop. I am equally impressed with the latest version of KDE and what Suse has done with it. It is encouraging to me because I am a longtime KDE user by preference although GNOME has come a long way lately and I am using it on Linux Mint. I have come to expect over the years that Suse may not be the fastest distro out there but, I like it and am really impressed with their latest offering. I am anxious to see how they improve on this one next time aroung. Sorry Catlyn I could not disagree with you more. I am hardass and to impress me it has to be good. I have never written to any comment section but, I just had to. Ron.
51 • The Big 'Four' (by Rich on 2009-11-16 13:00:09 GMT from United States)
Initially Ubuntu 9.10 had problems on some of my older equipment. After installing updates to the software everything has worked out flawlessly. Mandriva 2010 works very well and as expected the updates made some improvements to the OS. OpenSuse will have the same problem. I'm awaiting Fedora 12 now for my 64-bit machine. 11 works flawlessly after many updates to the software. It seems all developers are under pressure to make the release time schedules. I suspect this is the case in every instance. I was once a Suse follower but have all but given up on them. Biggest issue is the non-use of proprietary codecs and drivers which make it a hassle to get everything to work. Mandriva and Ubuntu's make it very easy to install Nvidia drivers and that's a plus for me. Also the wifi connection is the same.
52 • Reviews (by Celettu on 2009-11-16 13:01:15 GMT from Luxembourg)
I've done my fair share of reviews and of course, sometimes I could not get a distro to install or I had all kind of problems when most other users' installation was troublefree.
Or the other way around, sometimes everything worked flawless when in fact popular opinion states that the distribution in question is a heap of <insert expletive here>. Cough cough Karmic cough.
Never once though I have started arguing with other people because their mileage did indeed vary from mine. It happens!
To all the people that somehow feel like it's absolutely impossible that OpenSuse 11.2 is in any way flawed, and are grasping at reasons to blame the review, not the distribution...please don't. The hardware is not the problem otherwise other distributions wouldn't work just fine on it. The age of the hardware is not the problem otherwise the more recent system would have been more troublefree than the older one.
Fact of the matter: on Caitlyn's hardware OpenSuse disappoints. Note how she didn't write "OpenSuse SUXXORZ! KARMIC FTW!!" but indeed posted a well written review about how and why it disappointed.
Also note how others have described similar problems with e.g. Mandriva, while on their hardware OpenSuse works just fine. I did not see Caitlyn jumping at this and screaming "Your experience is different than mine, ergo it cannot possibly be right!"
Really people, your mileage may vary. If OpenSuse works for you, enjoy it. Don't start bashing Caitlyn, Ladislav or Distrowatch because it doesn't work as well for them.
53 • Distros (by sprat on 2009-11-16 13:11:54 GMT from United Kingdom)
Yup - CM is right on the money, as usual. One always sees these criticism from a small fraction of readers. More often than not, there is a hidden agenda - they just want bragging rights to tell the world they have a quad core state-of-the-art, all-singing-dancing machine with go-faster stripes that they paid far too much for down at the corner store, yesterday. Spare a thought for the other half of the world still using W3.1 on a 286 and grateful for it. Frankly, Caitlyn, your 'old' Tosh is far too modern to be representative of the real world. Can I interest you in a slightly used Cx300?!
54 • @3 Shields Up (by Jesse on 2009-11-16 13:17:14 GMT from Canada)
If you want your firewall to block ping requests, check out this page:
The same question was asked and answered there, along with some trouble shooting and clarification. Best of luck in staying stealthy.
55 • Netbooks and Linux (by Gene Venable on 2009-11-16 13:18:28 GMT from United States)
I would like to repeat the comment made above: Netbooks ARE modern hardware. Of course, Suse could evade criticism with regard to hardware by simply saying that it doesn't do testing with netbooks and doesn't guarantee it works with them. If that is the case, let Novell say so.
The first distro I ever actually bought and paid for was Suse 3.0 or 3.1. I used it for several years, but ever since, I have run into mysterious problems that I didn't bother to solve. Now I am so used to other distros (currently I'm running Ubuntu on one computer and Sidux on the other) I am unlikely to return to Suse.
Someone said that linux has a stability problem and that people are always reporting problems with one distro or another. That's funny, I see the same problem on Windows forums. I think that Linux is perfectly stable, you just have to find the distro for you. I find myself always in Linux though I have three copies of Windows 7 I bought, paid for, and installed.
56 • RE:44. Where do you get your facts, Microsoft? (by Eddie Wilson on 2009-11-16 13:19:52 GMT from United States)
"the returns are much higher on a linux machine! FACT"
Asus and Dell does say that is not true. Microsoft will say that it is. It is just a normal FUD campaign that Microsoft always resorts to when things are not going their way.
57 • RE: 49 (by ladislav on 2009-11-16 13:26:53 GMT from Taiwan)
distro aimed at today's needs and today's hardware
I am glad you mention that, because the openSUSE 11.2 release announcement specifically states "numerous improvements to make openSUSE 11.2 much better on netbooks" as one of the features. So here comes Caitlyn in good faith that it will work perfectly on her modern, state-of-the-art netbook she bought two months ago and it fails miserably. Perhaps the netbook was too modern and she should have tried it on something that was 2 - 3 years old? Sorry, I still don't see your point.
So maybe you guys could categorize the reviews a bit, in order to give your readers a more clear view.
For a more clear view you can always read other reviews. I make an effort to add each new one to the openSUSE page at http://distrowatch.com/suse as they are published so everything is listed neatly in one place. All you need to do is click and read.
58 • Unrealistic Expectations? Nah... (by Patrick on 2009-11-16 13:36:25 GMT from United Kingdom)
> The others who have had problems voice their opinion because they
> expected Ubuntu to work for them and they are disappointed it does not.
Why some of us are unhappy with the krapulous koala is that it shipped with /known/ bugs -- hitting the release date was more important to Canonical than the user experience. In these circumstances I think that any disappointment is entirely warranted; not just at the state of that particular distro, but also at what such (publicised) problems do to Linux's wider reputation...
59 • re 55 and 56 (by ritch on 2009-11-16 13:38:37 GMT from United Kingdom)
you are living in denial,
you just don't boot into a blank screen when installing windows, the comments people are posting are above and beyond the failures in windows systems
and the netbook manufactures are taking linux off there netbooks because users are returning them
they are not intrested in about the petty squables in linux in calling people fan boys and fud spreaders like children !
they are intrested in selling a product, and making money
linux is not making money, so they are installing android
(which i know is technicaly linux looking at goggle chrome and going back to windows)
you try walking into a uk high st store and buy a linux net book!
easy thing to do last year ! nigh on impossible this year! WHY?
instead of realising linux is not a great infalable god! but has some problem that need addressed like every other operating system does
x is a major problem, it fails for a lot of people on live cd on a lot of distros, all it would take is make x default to the basic mode the same mode windows xp defaults to in safe mode supported by every chip in the world, if x has a problem..
but we don't do it because if someone raises a problem in linux the witch hunt comes out and says there a fan boy of x or a fud spreader or something so after 6 years of using linux very little of the main issues every get delt with
we need to grow up, and except the failure rate is higher than windows and there are major problems, or we will never solve them,
i for one would never disrespect anyone enough to call them a fanboy or a fud spreader, but unfortunately the linux community has too many who do
60 • RE: 59 (by ladislav on 2009-11-16 13:49:03 GMT from Taiwan)
netbook manufactures are taking linux off there netbooks because users are returning them
And you know this because...? Let me guess - because Microsoft said so. And because the ASUSes, Acers and Toshibas, the hardware companies that "recommend Windows for everyday computing" on every page of their web sites, said so.
No, it has nothing to do with the fact that Microsoft has made a deal with hardware manufacturers that seriously punish those that do not comply with Microsoft's restrictions. No, of course not. It's because because people are returning Linux netbooks. Riiiight....
By the way, what's wrong with your Shift keys? Broken?
61 • My openSUSE experience (by Ed on 2009-11-16 13:51:03 GMT from Croatia)
I've put openSUSE 11.2 on my laptop, installed it from usb disk, GNOME edition. Everything worked fine for me. Not one crash, not one problem.
I must say that I was quite surprised how easy it was to setup everything, adding repositories, software, nvidia drivers, multimedia support.
So I think that it should be noted that your problem was mostly hardware specific, which is of course bad, but I hope that more people will try it, because it's not a general rule that problems will happen.
62 • Linux vs Windows (by Gene Venable on 2009-11-16 13:51:43 GMT from United States)
Hey, Microsoft says I'm a Certified Professional, whatever that means, so my opinion should impress you! The typical Linux user doesn't boot into a blank screen. There are choices in Linux and most of them can be made at no cost. If you don't want to have the fun of running in Linux and feel safer in a Windows straitjacket, have at it.
The Linux way is to have lots of choices and make the best ones for you. The Windows and Mac ways are to force you to go the way they want you to go. Take your pick.
63 • re 60 (by ritch on 2009-11-16 14:01:24 GMT from United Kingdom)
look i know people who ive recomended linux to returning net books!
so yes microsoft is making more out of it but it is still happening
and are we going to be so increadibly childish to blame every problem on microsoft,
fud spreading against microsoft is just as bad as fud spreading against linux
grow up !
the problem can't be blamed continualy on microsoft,
linux needs to take owner ship and except its own problems and deal with it.
instead of every negative comment or every manufacture than doesn't support it being part of the world wide microsoft conspiracy
its not real life and it is the attitude that keeps linux seen as a geek only operating system, i for one hope that changes, but with comments like yours, i won't hold my breath for that day or a mature conversation
64 • You have a choice (by Dylan on 2009-11-16 14:09:25 GMT from Ireland)
>Why some of us are unhappy with the krapulous koala is that it >shipped with /known/ bugs -- hitting the release date was more >important to Canonical than the user experience.
If you want a more stable Ubuntu then you can always use the LTS version as Canonical have clearly advertised. However I partly take your point about it affecting peoples first impressions of Linux. The user is presented with a choice between the two but are more likely to choose the "Latest Version".
65 • RE: 63 (by ladislav on 2009-11-16 14:12:16 GMT from Taiwan)
No, I don't blame Microsoft (Microsoft only does what it knows best - destroy any competition by any means possible.) No, I blame the hardware manufacturers that don't have the guts to stand up to the big bully.
Please, fix your Shift key. My tired old eyes find it very hard to read text that is typed all in lower case.
66 • No subject (by forest on 2009-11-16 14:13:01 GMT from United Kingdom)
So cynical...so true. You were forgetting too that more things go wrong with the MS kit...which is an earner for the retailer/shop/store when they are brought back for the annual...monthly(?) debugging session, and I don't mean the ones a machine came with.
Ref your last comment...that was a bit typist...my boy has a very creditable set of academic qualifications...but when it comes to computering let me just say that you can at least understand what ritch is writing, lol...
67 • Re: #57 (by Vinny O. on 2009-11-16 14:25:02 GMT from Netherlands)
So - oSUSE is not for netbooks/ atom platform, that's clear. Does that make oSUSE a half baked x86_64 desktop distro? Well, you don't know -you haven't tried it properly.
Despite that, you confront your readers with a generally negative judgment of oSUSE 11.2. That's my point.
So, to tackle this maybe it's not a bad idea to categorize your reviews (or whatever works)
1) and by far most important: common pc and laptop hardware/ systems
2) older hardware (>5 years)
3) atom and alikes
68 • #59/#63: Check your facts (by Caitlyn Martin at 2009-11-16 14:31:07 GMT from United States)
@ritch: Linux is regaining market share on netbooks, not losing ground. The current figure for 2009 is 32% according to ABI Research. Dell pus the figure for their own netbooks at 33% Linux. See:
In an earlier comment you claimed that it was becoming impossible to find Linux netbooks. Also not true. Please see my article at:
Plenty of links there to Linux netbooks for you. Also, the front page of DistroWatch always has an ad for Linux netbooks at Amazon.com:
Amazon's selection is just a small sampling of what's out there.
Dell and ASUS both claim that the return rate for Windows netbooks and Linux netbooks are the same. You say otherwise because you know people. How many, exactly? How big is your sample size? Is it a scientific sampling? What do you know that the manufacturers don't know?
69 • Grub 2 hullbaloo (by KevinC on 2009-11-16 14:31:59 GMT from United States)
I don't really get all the criticism of Grub 2...there are plenty of resources (read, guides) both in the Ubuntu Wiki and the forums proper. If all you want to do is change the default OS, the screen res, colors, or boot splash, just install Startup Manager (it's in the repos). Very simple to use GUI tool. Another advantage of Ubuntu and its brethren is its popularity...e.g., I am using the "unstable" Google Chrome & really like it. I would argue the only reason that Google is providing it as a .deb package only is the end result of Ubuntu's said popularity. As I've said I like the new Mandriva well enough, but one issue that bothers me with it is that the fonts in Firefox just blow, both in KDE and Gnome. I can recall I had 2009 install on an HP notebook and I tried every fix I could find (a Google search will show that I'm not alone with this complaint). I tried the MS True Type fonts, Mac fonts, and so on, & never got the fonts looking anywhere nearly as good as Ububtu's "out of the box." And yes, I know fonts are subjective...so I shall add this is all IMHO. Further, I am not an Ubuntu fanboy...I enjoy other distros, including Debian, Arch per Chakra, Mepis, Vector, Pardus and others...and I don't dismiss others' claims of issues with it...but for me Ubuntu has been problem free since I started using Linux again (circa 8.04).
70 • OpenSUSE 11.2 Review - Yes, KDE4 SUCKS BIGTIME (by Burpus on 2009-11-16 14:39:03 GMT from Canada)
I'm a (very, very) long-time Suse user, and have used PC's since 1984. This past weekend I installed 11.2 KDE and Gnome on my bog-standard desktop PC. The good part is that all devices were recognized and, in the most part, configured correctly. The bad part is that:
1. KDE4 is, to me, still totally unusable, unstable, and the personification of over-controlling developers gone amok. The panel disappears, or goes wonky, and only a re-install will fix it. Dolphin, while finally approacing usability, still sucks bigtime in comparison to 3.5.x-version of Konqui (the 4.3.x-version of Konqui has been neutered/wimped down to remove competition to Dolphin, obviously). Where else can you enjoy a seemingly 40-point size digital clock in the panel, while the rest of the panel is about 10 or 11 point, because the KDE "Gods" decided they know the best size for a clock, and removed (3.5's) feature to specify your own size. Want an "am/pm" time versus the KDE Gods' "intelligent design" iof 11:12 or 23:12? Tough, that 3.5.x feature was removed too ... musn't let users touch the "design goodness "of KDE4. And so on, even ignoring the KDE crashed multiple times/hour, KDE's "snappiness" imitation of a snail on valium, etc.
2. Switching to 11.2 Gnome, sucked less, and that's saying a lot since I generally regard the Gnome design/manifesto as "Big Brother Run Amok". At least it was rock solid, but the fonts were ugly, (let me repeat, UGLY!!), fuzzy and totally unusable. And that was before I looked at Firefox, which was worse. And, yes, I added and updated with the sub-pixel repository freetype2 packages, and the OBS Cairo patches. No difference ... Suse Gnome font display sucks major time.
Back at when I was testing KDE4.0 or 4.02 or so, I said that the new KDE wouldn't be worth using on a productive, stable basis until at least version 4.3. Mea culpa, I admit I was wrong. At the rate the KDE Gods are going, version 4.9.9 should be the first such sterling release. And Suse should bring back 3.5.10 as a new installation option until KDE4 is totally usable.
Suse has always been a major distribution and a delight for me. But ever since KDE4, it (and other KDE4-using distros), it has sucked and been a prime showcase for developer ego and user despair. And I'm just appalled at the garbage font situation in Suse 11.2 Gnome. I thought that Gnome might be my 11.2 escape from the KDE4 madness, but nope ... I guess I stick with 11.1 KDE 3.5.10.
71 • Suse review, distro reviews in general (by Joy on 2009-11-16 14:49:21 GMT from United States)
I'm glad the reviewer included machine specs a bit, this helps with people who have machines with similar specs (most of the time).
By the posts in here now from those with differing equipment, some similar too, it appears that the reviewed distro is quite hardware bound as to its successes and failures (as so many seem to be).
This makes me question the who review notion in the first place. All it can be is some paragraphs and included data regarding that distro and that particular machine (two machines in this case as the reviewer notes for us).
I read reviews of distros all the time; and I find myself using Google and Bing to try to find more reviews, something closer to my hardware.
72 • bad typo in above post. sorry (by Joy on 2009-11-16 14:50:39 GMT from United States)
"..who review.. " should be "..whole review.." :(
73 • Linux reviews on old and new hardware (by merlin on 2009-11-16 14:52:22 GMT from Canada)
I think Ladislav et al are doing a fine job of reviewing distros on a variety of hardware, both old and new. Considering the vast number of distros and available hardware, it would be a huge job to cover every possibility. For those that eternally complain, I suggest you attempt to 'ghost' the current review on the hardware that you think it should be reviewed on, and submit your findings in the comments or email them to Ladislav. Perhaps Ladislav can include a short summary at the end of the main review, perhaps in a chartlike form, which lists your hardware and success. Maybe it would help to know one week in advance what distro is going to be reviewed?
74 • #67: Read more closely (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-16 14:52:37 GMT from United States)
@Vinny O. and the others who are bent out of shape: If you read the first paragraph of the review again you'd know that I specifically said up front that the review only covered the 32-bit version. I made no judgement whatsoever about the 64-bit version. I think most of our readers understand that.
To echo what Ladislav has said, if openSUSE isn't good for netbooks why is Novell touting it as a netbook distro? See: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/13/opensuse_11_2_released/ Were you aware that HP sells netbooks preloaded with SLED (commercial SUSE) as part of their offerings for businesses? Considering those two facts isn't testing the claims made for openSUSE on netbooks a reasonable thing to do?
If openSUSE isn't for older hardware as you and others have claimed why does the openSUSE website claim minimum specs of a Pentium II 500MHz processor and 512MB of RAM. My Toshiba meets those specs, doesn't it? Didn't I even point out that it is "marginal" in terms of RAM? Didn't I also compliment and give kudos to the openSUSE developers for the surprisingly good performance on that system? So long as you stick with GNOME or Xfce my personal opinion is that openSUSE is a pretty good choice for hardware of that vintage. Was it wrong of me to say so? Why is that an unfair part of the review?
When I uploaded the review to the DWW server last night I sent Ladislav an e-mail as I always do to let him know the article was ready to go. My last line said: "I wish I could have written a more positive review." As a Linux advocate I take no joy in pointing out flaws in a distribution. As someone who supports Novell's business offerings I've come to expect excellence from their products including openSUSE. Trust me, I was expecting a very different outcome.
75 • #46 Installation Anecdotes Do Not Paint A Fair Picture (by Rob on 2009-11-16 15:01:57 GMT from United Kingdom)
46# "Let me repeat the point that is being ignored. The identical hardware was used with Ubuntu 9.10 and Mandriva 2010. Both installed flawlessly and work flawlessly. The only conclusion anyone can possibly draw is that the other major distros support this platform well and OpenSUSE does not."
Your point is not ignored, it was suggested you use tool to document the hardware and submit a bug report. The hardware is not "unsupported", the installation on YOUR machine failed, it appears as you know very well that the cause is 1 kernel module, and the fix is likely to be as simple as loading an updated driver, which the openSUSE install supports, or using a workround for initial installation, and then getting update.
One of the strengths of openSUSE is the Kernel Team ppl, who may submit patches to test, before they go into Mainline sub-system Maintainers code base, and then percolate on into other distro's.
Caitlyn, you seem unable to understand, that you are reviewing an experience on your machines, and then generalising that result in a widely read website. If you looked (as you did) on the Forum, you could have seen the many regulars who had been running 11.2-RC's and were upgrading, and the general high level of satisfaction for this release. Many other reviews confirm his.
The way you reviewed this, gives the casual reader the impression that openSUSE's new release 11.2 is less stable than 11.1, when in fact it is far more satisfactory than 11.1, 11.0 or 10.3 was. There were only 7 Kernel bugs open for 11.2 in Bugzilla over the weekend for example. In the last hour I installed 11.2 on a AMD Dual Athlon MP 1GiB machine, and it is running perfectly.
Yes, the Installer partitioner does mis-label the Create/Edit Proposals and actually I pointed that out in bug report for 11.1. However it runs efficiently, and fast, whereas the Kubuntu 9.10 partion tool seemed to be scanning my 250GiB disks on Athlon 64 X2 machine, making the configuration process very slow and long winded. There was also no facility to edit mount options, under Kubuntu, and it's proposal would have destroyed my data if accepted.
Things like, very easily installing and configuring NFS server in GUI in a couple minutes, without reading any man pages, is ignored by your review.
There are reasons why many people are happy with this distro release, it is the best made for years, yet the casual reader comes away with a totally different impression. Yes it's unfortunate you had issues, but if you'ld researched the extent of them and found alternatives that worked, it would have been more useful, than complaining about Wiki being (temporarily) unavailable.
76 • So-called "stealth mode" of firewalls (by Lars on 2009-11-16 15:02:08 GMT from Germany)
Sorry, but I completely disagree with this trend of configuring a firewall to not respond to connection attempts on ports without listening demon. The simple reason is that it doesn't give you any added security. No really, it doesn't.
Let me clarify by a simple analogy: Let's assume you have a house and a thief comes to your (locked) door. He tries to open (not force) the door. Because you are home, you have two possibilities, you can either play dead, not respond and let him try the door for a little while longer or you can simply yell "go away, this door is locked". In both cases, the door is locked and the thief can't get in (cf. there is no demon listening on a port). Now, usually the argument is, that if you do nothing, the thief won't even know that there is a house (i.e. your computer). But that is simply not true. If there really was no computer at the IP address being probed, then the router before would answer with "no route to host".
So, just let TCP or UDP do it's configured behavior if there is no process listening; security wise, if you don't offer any demons to the outside world, there is no reason for any port filtering. And especially not for any magical "stealth" configuration, although this myth keeps coming back.
77 • OpenSUSE (by Ray on 2009-11-16 15:03:27 GMT from United States)
Good review of OpenSUSE. I don't know if I am the only one but the look of the OpenSUSE graphical installer is great, it is beautiful and looks very professional. The look of the desktop is alright but not as cool as the installer, but in KDE or Gnome the desktop look is easily changed.
Unfortunately the Package Manager is quite slow compared to other Distros, the truth is if your using the package manager too much you are probably a Distrowatch reader trying to break your installation. Normal people would seldom use a Package Manager once the distro is doing it's job.
Apart from that this release is quite good, I prefer OpenOffice over Abiword, but haven't used it intensively so far.
OpenSUSE is working great on a Gateway with a single core P4.
78 • No subject (by forest on 2009-11-16 15:08:50 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref # the Vinny O debate. CM, I think perhaps you may have interpreted his and other's remarks as criticism not comment. As a result you do yourself an injustice; your reporting is as you find it, you call a spade a spade (as in UK shovel btw) and report what you find, warts and all.
In fact you could not be doing GNULinux a better favour...someone with your background and experience is more likely to suss out any probs quicker than most and then say so.
I believe VO simply gave his opinion...the same way you give yours.
79 • openSuSE review (by Dorin on 2009-11-16 15:17:44 GMT from Romania)
I tend to disagree with the conclusions of the review... I installed openSuSE 11.2 and it works better than everything I had previously installed. For the first time my laptop doesn't heat up like crazy when running Linux and everything is as expected.
I want to see if Fedora will do better, although historically speaking it's unlikely. Ubuntu 9.10 doesn't boot on my machine.
80 • #74 (by Rob on 2009-11-16 15:28:10 GMT from United Kingdom)
"openSUSE website claim minimum specs of a Pentium II 500MHz processor and 512MB of RAM".
Caitlynn, perhaps because it can work well on such machines with "icewm" example provided as a login option in the Session menu. KDE4 is unlikely to run fast enough for most ppl on 500 Mhz single CPU, and such minimum specs are likely to be less well tested as the community tend to use newer machines.
Such a machine is simply less likely to install smoothly without a hitch. On distro's focussed for older & less powerful hardware you would be more likely to be successful.
Can I find machines and configurations which give install problems, or work unreliably, YES of course! Could I do that with Ubuntu 9.10 & Mandriva? Undoubtdedly.
HP - As for the Netbook issue, as I have not installed via USB drive on an HP, I could not really make any useful comment. That article is by "The Register" not a press release which I believe was of a more general nature. There are many updated & new drivers, but of course that is no guarantee that you'll not see any installer issues. People have installed via USB key though.
The effect of reviewing on set hardware, is that you've successfully turned a Review of a general distribution, into a "Distro X.Y" crashes/wont install on my machine. That helps noone who's reading the review to understand why people use it, but as can be seen above, by some of the comments plays to those on net who are decided and have axes to grind.
81 • UE, SuSE, Studio, Ubuntu (by Sam on 2009-11-16 15:32:06 GMT from United States)
Ultimate Edition: Is it me, or did anyone else gasp and wonder aloud if that horrible screen shot REALLY is the default wallpaper for that distro? Good Lord, hire a graphic designer!
SuSE: Strange - I installed the last release candidate for 11.2 on my Thinkpad R61i and almost everything works great - quite the opposite of the review here. Two niggling problems: 1. Shutting down via the GUI doesn't really shut down, it logs off and dumps you back at the log-in screen where your only option is to reboot. 2. The openSUSE community-contributed GEO repository (good crunch GIS stuff) isn't available for 11.2 yet and there are some package conflicts (at least YAST claims there are) between packages in the repository and 11.2. So I'm sitting on my hands and not GISing until that happens.
SUSE & Ubuntu: From the couple dozen reviews I've read over the past couple weeks, it seems a lot of people who have problems running Karmic Koala on their laptop have no problem running openSUSE 11.2, while people who've had no problems with Ubuntu's newest have problems running SuSE's newest. Odd... or just a quirk of my attention span?
SUSE STUDIO: Simple solution for netbook installs? Get an account on susestudio.com and roll your own minimal version. Worked great for me on my old school (can I call it that yet?) Asus EEE700.
82 • No subject (by forest on 2009-11-16 15:36:08 GMT from United Kingdom)
Just read #75
CM your views are still pertinent in that you described what you found, on the day, in the time you could afford, with your kit. In hindsight it is easy to say you could have done this or you could have done that but the review is valid for your hardware.
Not everyone would bother to research more deeply or could do as such on a technical level anyway.
It only reinforces my view that testing a distro is largely a waste of time, given the valid points made by Rob, post review.
In other words had you used other hardware and searched for newer drivers...NOT included in your review version, say...the implication being a different conclusion.
Ref #71, Joy I agree by and large; the only drawback with seeking out even more reviews via google is the time spent (wasted?) when you could just have piled in and installed anything to see what works for you. (and I knew instinctively you were not referring to the band...)
83 • #80/#82: Reviews in general (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-16 15:58:03 GMT from United States)
Every review out there is written by someone after testing Distro X on their limited set of equipment. I have yet to see one that is done differently. Rob, by your standards nobody could write a review because they are all unfair by nature. I disagree and clearly so does Ladislav. As this is his website he has the right to decide what does and does not see publication. My editor at O'Reilly has the same decision making authority regarding what I write for their website. Both, at present, want reviews.
I don't think my issues are limited to my hardware based on two things: 1. the comments here, and 2. the fact that the hardware in the HP (graphics chipset, audio chipset, wireless chipset, ethernet (wired) chipset, etc...) are all very common and are used in laptop and desktop systems as well.
Rob's comments re: filing bug reports are very, very valid if I want to see these issues fixed... and I do. I hope to find time this week before I replace the installation with something else, probably Fedora 12.
84 • released this week (by Matt on 2009-11-16 16:05:17 GMT from Canada)
I was rather disappointed with the distro's released this week, however, I realize that 2 of the 3 I tried on my testing computer were still in Beta. I tried OpenSuse and was annoyed because I checked for updates, there were none, so I went to install some programs from the package manager and after selecting 2 packages (I think it was one of the gstreamer packages and AbiWord but I'm not sure, either way they were ones I have installed before on Ubuntu and know they're not that big), it sat there and started downloading a million things I never clicked on and couldn't possibly be dependencies of the packages I'd selected (again, I know because I'd used them before), and the total download size came to over 600MB. I have a fairly slow Internet connection (download speeds max out at about 32KB/S) so 600MB would have taken hours. If Suse wanted to download a few extra things I didn't actually want, fine, but 600MB worth? I'll wait till next release.
I also tried out the Fedora beta and the Mint RC and was disappointed in them too. How does a newly released Fedora ISO have something like 400MB of updates? Again, it comes down to my Internet speed and comparing it with my Ubuntu install. When Ubuntu releases a new ISO whether for a beta or an actual release, they include all the updates, and even when I installed Ubuntu 9.04 just days before the Ubuntu 9.10 release, there were maybe about 250MB of updates, and that was over a 6 month period so I can accept that.
As for the Mint beta, this is what I'm hoping is a bug but when you download any of their .Mint packages to install them, it simply opens them up in an archive manager rather than installing them. Hopefully this is as bug as .Mint files are the best way to install things on your system.
So for Suse I am complaining but for Mint and Fedora I guess I just have to wait for the final release, I'm just not impressed with what's been released this week... oh well, wait for next week!
85 • Mileage may vary (by ColinP on 2009-11-16 16:07:57 GMT from United Kingdom)
Once installed, the KDE desktop is stable and full-featured. Proprietary codecs and drivers are easy to install and everything seems to "just work". I haven't had a single crash of any kind since intallation, with hours of continuous uptime already. YAST is getting better all the time, and configuring a system using a text editor is becoming a distant memory.
The openSUSE community do a lot of work that deserves credit. Their work on integrating Firefox and Openoffice.org with KDE has been of great benefit to the wider Linux/KDE community. Their KDE 4.x desktops have lead the way when it comes to useability and stability. And the forums are very helpful on those odd occasions when things do go wrong.
I feel that CM's review fails on a number of accounts.
One, it is based on troubled installation attempts and so it isn't a review of the desktop experience. It's a bit like a film reviewer panning a movie just because the projectionist failed to load the film correctly.
Two, if an installation doesn't go as planned, then this is an opportunity to test the strength of the community. While CM isn't a Linux newbie, you should review the distro as a standard user. If you have problems, then go to the forums and test the helpfulness of people there and see if the community is a credit to the distro.
Three, what people are looking for in a review is some indication of how their experience might be. A failed installation is the exception, not the rule for most distros, but you wouldn't get that impression from this review. Why didn't CM try to install on a Virtualbox system to at least give the desktop a decent try-out on a trouble-free intall?
86 • OpenSuse 11.2 (by Eric on 2009-11-16 16:11:37 GMT from United States)
I tried installing Opensuse 11.2 on an HP Pavilion dv8000. 1 GB RAM, Broadcom 4318, I believe, not at it right now, and an ATI Xpress 200 graphics card.
OpenSuse would not boot properly at all. The login manager failed, I got this message "Failed services in runlevel 5: earlyxdm" I could CTRL+C to get to the console. Using startx, I had read permission errors on my home folder. I used chown to make sure my user owned the home folder and afterwards I could use startx to get to the KDE desktop. Once there, everything worked fine.
Mandriva 2010 failed to install altogether on the same machine.
Ubuntu 9.10 worked perfectly. Arch Linux also works perfectly.
87 • Linux has ALOT of growing up to do... (by brad on 2009-11-16 16:11:48 GMT from United States)
I guess it will NEVER be the much yearly touted "Year of the Linux Desktop"..
With all this tremendous choice, comes tremendous heartache and headaches. Until linux has a package manager to rule them all, X works on every system, Killer apps for each task show up, instead of different apps/egos/ "philosophies"(thats the catch phrase for linux dev choices these days) for each "task", and rolling releases for the top 10-20 distros, so people can stop complaining bout how bad the GREAT linux is.. EVERY blog you see some linux zealot/fanboi yell about windows xp crashing over and over again, or win vista giving this problem or that one.. I've personally installed xp, xpsp1-3 , even slipstreamed editions and vista on many computers, NEVER had to install over and over again on the same machine.. I've had live cds (should work with almost everything) freeze up, die, black screen, even white screen on machines xp went right on.. so much for Moment of the Linux Desktop, let alone an entire YEAR of it.. and what's funny yet, is these self-proclaimed linux fanbois, that complain endlessly about ms products how they crash, bsod, blah blah blah, you'd figure with the amount of endless intelligence of a fanboi linux user, how can they NOT get something as they proclaim so simple and bad to "just work".. makes me laugh.. It's really sad, Linux will never get any real market share.. ive read everywhere from 1%-5% (oh wait there's the almighty server market) of desktop users.. with the egos, philosophies, fanboism's, and lack of intelligence enough to even install a microsoft product, it'll NEVER be the YEAR of the Linux Desktop.. maybe the moment of it, the hour of it, or at most the WEEK of it.. Choice, while being linux's greatest asset , is also it's even greater weakness. maybe 2011 will be that year.. once everyone can get their egos' in check. By the way, i'm an UBUNTU user (flame me please.. i've installed and didnt like "slackware, freebsd, openbsd, vector, zenwalk, mandriva, suse, and failed 9x at installing Arch linux , you should see the comments I get on their forums.. 'read the wiki', 'rtfm', 'go back to windoze' , 'go back to 'buntu' )cause ubuntu to me just works.. I did install gentoo once, but 1 hour to compile pidgin, just ruined it for me.. for what? an extra fps, or chatroom, forum, irc braggin rights to use a distro that's about exciting as flies having sex or paint dry , NOT for me.. I'll continue to tout linux to friends, NOT the ones that JUST want a distro that works, cause reading here, NO DISTRO seems to JUST WORK, but to the friends that are willing to PUT IN the work to get it to work.. if not there's always windows xp/vista, they JUST work too, in my experience.. thats my .02, now i'm broke.
88 • all the probems with all the distros when upgrading point to: (by Anonymous on 2009-11-16 16:16:53 GMT from United States)
1) too many distros and not enough testers which could be alleviated with 1 core base
2) less frequent release cycles
3) rolling updates
Why do the larger distros not use rolling updates?
89 • Re #85 (by Glenn on 2009-11-16 16:19:33 GMT from Canada)
My thinking is that testing on a Virtual Box system is good to verify the functionality of the software but does not give a complete indication as to how well it will interact with actual Hardware itself.
Just an opinion.
90 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-11-16 16:20:33 GMT from Netherlands)
So - at a given moment in time you're aware that you realized something. You met this girl/ boy and now you have this three little children. You left university with (or without..) your degree and now you find yourself with big budgets and a lot of people working for you. You had this great idea and know your company does > €20million. Or you started this website that by now is "widely read", to say the least.
With all that comes responsibility. Responsibility to feed and educate your children or to meet your goals or to keep this business on which so many people rely on, together. Or whatever responsibility it might be that comes with life..
To a certain amount the same is true for that small but successful website called Distrowatch.com. You guys have reached the point from where you should be aware of your responsibility when reviewing the 4-5 big distro's.
So please, step up one level. Or two.. "If openSUSE isn't for older hardware as you and others have claimed why does the openSUSE website claim minimum specs of a Pentium II 500MHz processor and 512MB of RAM. My Toshiba meets those specs, doesn't it?" - that's the kind of talk we normally hear coming from Redmond when criticized.
Linux distro's have really grown up - so should the review methods of DW. Grow up, or be forgotten about in remarkably little time. What again are the names of all those long forgotten but once very popular distro's that didn't make it?
Please open your mind and free your brain again - instead of reacting like children in kindergarten to comments on your website. A website that I like and has been the first thing I read on Mondays, for years now.
91 • #85: Failed install? There's much more than that (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-16 16:27:04 GMT from United States)
@ColinP: First, if you read DWW comments week to week you know there are a lot of installation failures out there. Letting people know what pitfalls they may run into during installation and how to work around them is a very valid part of any review. IMNSHO any review that doesn't adequately cover the installation process is lacking.
Failed installs? The installation on the Toshiba from the GNOME Live CD went off without a hitch. The network installer also worked precisely as it should on the HP netbook. What makes you think my post-install experiences have anything at all to do with the installation process?
Why didn't I do more? Well, let's see... my editor wanted a completed review three days after release. That was a limiting factor and I acknowledged that already. Also, in my experience, Virtualbox is not the same as an actual system and the results can be very different from what people actually get when they do a normal install.
Regarding the forums, I mentioned that I found all my answers there. I complimented the forums. The stability issues could have been raised there if I had more time. In order to write a sane, useful question and to eventually file a bug report I need to be able to document a pattern of failure so that developers have a place to start. There simply wasn't time.
The issues you raise very much explain why I like writing reviews of distros that weren't just released. OTOH, I can understand why Ladislav or any other editor wants a piece on the latest and greatest. That's what a significant part of the readership wants. The net result is that some compromises have to be made in terms of testing time and really getting under the hood. To that extent the concerns you express are very valid.
The one thing that you and others are ignoring is that the HP netbook is a new system made up of very, very common components which are widely used in new systems of all sorts. If the stability problem is, at least in part, caused by the kernel module for the Broadcom chipset as some have implied then it's an issue a lot of people will run into, not just netbook users. If that is the case it raises another question: why does it work so well on Mandriva, Pardus and Ubuntu and work so poorly on openSUSE? I think it's more likely that several different issues combined to cause the problems which are unique to this release on the HP.
I think the real reason my review "fails" to you is that it says something less than complimentary about your personal favorite among distros. That's the issue I am really reading here in a lot of the comments. Instead of shooting the messenger how about rolling up your sleeves and working on the problems described?
Years ago I wrote a very mixed review of VectorLinux with some fairly harsh criticism. I was amazed when the forum comments by the developers acknowledged what I had written as fair and said that these were the problems they knew they had to tackle. That is what really turned me on to VectorLinux: the attitudes of the community and the developers. You know what? Almost everything I complained about in my reviews of Vector Linux 5.1 and 5.8 has been fixed.
There are two possible responses to a less than stellar review. The first, the one demonstrated by Robert Lange and co. at VectorLinux, earns the respect of everyone involved. The second, circling the wagons and crying foul, tends to cause less than wonderful feelings all around. Think about that.
92 • Re #87. (by Glebb on 2009-11-16 16:32:06 GMT from Canada)
Hi Brad .
I see what you're saying but I think instead it is more Linux factory pre-installs have to be done. Also the Windows mindset is formidable.
People prefer to stick with the known vs the unknown unless there is a real advantage to them to change.
Most windows users do not install their OS. Most Linux users do. Thats a big difference.
Windows does not just work either, drivers et al have to be installed.
Unfortunately a manufacturer will have difficulty deciding which Linux distro to pre-install should they decide to do so. DistroWatch commenters have not reached any consensus so we certainly cannot expect a manufacturer to do so.
Linux is evolving beautifully. We users of it may not be (said with a wide grin)
93 • sorry for Name typo in msg 92. (by Glenn on 2009-11-16 16:33:08 GMT from Canada)
Monday, what can I say
94 • Dissapointed (by okubax on 2009-11-16 16:34:13 GMT from United Kingdom)
this week's DWW serves to reinforce the fact that some people would go to any length to make disparage statements about what they feel(personally) about some issues.
Iadislav and Caitlyn Martin just lost my respect
95 • #90 is not anonymous - it was me again (by Vinny O. on 2009-11-16 16:37:42 GMT from Netherlands)
sorry for that
96 • @2 @29 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-16 16:42:16 GMT from Canada)
Congratulations, you're both wrong. ;)
Quite large chunks of the code necessary to drive graphics cards live in the kernel these days, as a result of KMS and DRM. The Intel driver won't get very far without the i915 kernel module loaded, you'll find. But it's not _all_ in the kernel, #2, and even if different distros have 'the same kernel version' they have very different kernels. All distros customize their kernel builds rather a lot; the DRM / KMS code in a Fedora kernel 2.6.31 may be rather different from that in a SUSE or Ubuntu kernel 2.6.31, thanks to backported patches and even backports of the entire drm-next branch (as Fedora uses).
97 • openSUSE and modern hardware (by trotter1985 on 2009-11-16 16:55:21 GMT from United States)
As an addendum to the discussion about
a review of openSUSE based on a netbook and
an older laptop, I've tried to install openSUSE 11.2
on my fairly modern machine (NVidia FX 370 LP,
24 GB Ram, 2 Intel Xeon E5520 processors, two 1-terabyte
sata drives) and could not get past the blank screen after the
reboot. This problem seems to be an NVidia issue and
the workarounds I've seen on the web involve
interrupting the install process to fetch and install the
On the other hand, openSUSE 11.2 went on without a
hitch on another machine with a somewhat older NVidia 6800 card.
For what it's worth, I got Ubuntu 9.10 to install on the
first machine by toggling the video mode at the outset of the installation process but this didn't work with openSUSE 11.2.
98 • @22 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-16 16:57:39 GMT from Canada)
"Installing the avast anti virus rpm proved difficult, because I had to use google to search for a solution because something like libexpat.0.so could not be found (who said rpm based distro's are on par with deb based?)"
Why would you assume that probably has anything to do with the dependency management system being bad? It has nothing to do with that and everything to do with your ill-advised attempt to install an unnecessary piece of useless commercial software. Anything that's trying to build against libexpat.so.0 , when the library major was bumped to 1 ages ago, is sorely obsolete.
99 • OpenSUSE 11.2 (by Anonymous on 2009-11-16 16:58:39 GMT from Italy)
Hardly any problems on my desktop (I haven't tried it with on laptop, but I know this laptop is problematic with every distro).
Only, after a hard freeze, due probably to power issues, I booted from DVD and started a repair. The program told me that Ext4 wasn't clean, but it couldn't repair it. Also, it told me several times that the packages database needed to be rebuild, but in the end no package was verified.
Even so, when I booted back into my system, everything was fine.
I am not a great fan of KDE4 (but the Mandriva implementation is better) or their GNOME implemantation.
However, I find Xfce very nice.
Also, I installed KDE3 rather easily.
Here is how I did it:
1)Add an openSUSE 11.1 DVD as installation source (pattern KDE3 will reappear)
2)Add http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/KDE:/KDE3/openSUSE_11.2/ (mantained by the openSUSE KDE Team)
3)3)You can also add http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/KDE:/Community/openSUSE_11.2 (packaged by the commnity)
And now install pattern KDE3 through the package manager.
100 • @37 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-16 17:05:42 GMT from Canada)
Rob, here's a free PR tip for you: when a journalist on a rather influential site experiences problems with your distribution that they do not experience with other distributions on three identical systems, it's a really bad idea to tell them that "it looks like some part of your hardware configuration was causing problems" and then imply that they're incompetent at performing Linux installations. It's just not the best way to phrase the issue to make said journalist feel the warm fuzzies about you and your project. :)
Next time try something like this:
"We're sorry you had some problems with OpenSUSE, but we can tell you that (issue A) doesn't seem to be a general problem - we have reports from many users who aren't experiencing it. Perhaps if you file a bug report we can work to determine why the issue did occur in your testing and fix any bugs to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else."
Same message, sounds much nicer.
101 • Sorry, typos in post #99 (by Anonymous on 2009-11-16 17:06:09 GMT from Italy)
"I haven't tried it with on laptop" should read: "I haven't tried it on my laptop"
102 • @76: Stealth (by Pinger on 2009-11-16 17:10:36 GMT from Canada)
I think your comparison between firewalls and locked doors is a bit off. If your computer doesn't respond to pings, that is the packets are dropped, there's no response from your machine. The same thing happens if you try to ping a machine that isn't there.
So far as I know, ping doesn't have any way to tell the difference between a non-existance host and one that is dropping pings. Now, if you rejected packets, that is sent them back without allowing a connection, then I'd agree with you.
103 • suse 11.2 (by Anonymous on 2009-11-16 17:22:34 GMT from United States)
"...Please also note that a few people have already commented that they had similar problems to the ones I reported on very different hardware. I stand by this review."
It sounds like you were hoping others had a similar experience to support your review. That's sounds very wishy washy to me.
suse 11.2 kde4.3 installed and ran flawlessly on MY hardware. It's as fast as my ubuntu karmic.
suse 11.2 was one of the best experiences I've had so far.
104 • openSuSE 11.2 (by Embedded on 2009-11-16 17:34:32 GMT from United States)
One trick that is available to yast users or on opensuse.org is to use the webpin package search.
Bluefish is found in the education repository. I have used it for some time with 11.1.
The other point is that http://opensuse-community.org/ has one click installation of many features that might be found in the restricted repository's for Ubuntu. However since this is NOT a Novel site (quite intentionally).
Typically one click installs of restricted packages are not available on the first release day.
A Canadian or EU server are used normally because of DMCA.
105 • suse 11.2 (by hotdigettydog on 2009-11-16 17:39:20 GMT from Canada)
I took the live, gnome, 64bit version for a spin the other day.
I really liked the fast bootup and simple but pleasing desktop.
I did not like the installer. I found it confusing to set up for my multiboot situation but I suppose it is fine if you let it do its own thing.
I was NOT pleased that grub was installed to mbr when I chose root partition. 11.1 had grub problems too but worse - like creating a no- boot- into- anything scenerio.
Package management still sucks except for zypper but the graphical tools are pitiful. I found package manager jobs to be NON cancelling. Despite choosing "cancel" and closing down the operation package management was still trying to download software. These jobs had to be shut down via command line.
Think Synaptic people.
I will pass on suse.
106 • @58 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-16 17:40:19 GMT from Canada)
"Why some of us are unhappy with the krapulous koala is that it shipped with /known/ bugs -- hitting the release date was more important to Canonical than the user experience."
All distributions ship with known bugs. If they didn't, none of us would ever ship anything. The trick is in deciding which bugs it's okay to ship with.
(The more advanced class is that there's a tipping point: changes beyond a certain degree of complexity are more dangerous in the new breakage they can introduce than the old breakage they might fix, and the longer you freeze a release to fix bugs on old platforms A, B and C the more new platforms X, Y and Z you miss support for. There's always a balance to be struck).
107 • OpenSUSE review (by Petr Topiarz on 2009-11-16 17:43:04 GMT from Czech Republic)
I have tested the opensuse 11.2 for the last 4 days too. Though I do not like the SuSE concept generally, I have to say, that on my desktop - a regular mix of components under the table in a box, it all worked well and even a problemic wifi canyon cnp-wf511 worked in client mode very well. Also the picture of the YAST controll center is different from reality - have you not tested it or did you not posses the right snapshooting utility? It creates a bad picture of your review, it seems you have reviewed 10.2 not 11.2. Now, that would explain why things did not work on your laptop. Have you tried to add their community one-click software? They offer very wide variation.
And I am saying this, being a fan of Ubuntu and CentOS, not SuSE at all.
108 • Ultimate Edition 2.4 (by So Ben on 2009-11-16 17:43:37 GMT from United States)
I enjoy Ultimate Edition 2.4. Some say it is bloated; that is what makes it fun.
I run the gamer distro on my main rigs as an alternate OS. I can easily show off Linux Games and groovy Desktop junk.
109 • @84 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-16 17:48:11 GMT from Canada)
"How does a newly released Fedora ISO have something like 400MB of updates?"
Because the release repositories were frozen weeks ago to ensure the release images are stable and properly tested. The update repositories have been open for a week or so for appropriate updates to be pushed, just as they will be post-release.
110 • @88 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-16 17:53:08 GMT from Canada)
"Why do the larger distros not use rolling updates?"
Because the rolling updates model is not the panacea its proponents paint it as. It's a perfectly legitimate model with its own advantages and disadvantages. The advantage of the rolling model: you don't have to deal with a big disruptive update every X years. The disadvantage: you have to be ready to deal with a potentially disruptive update every day.
This model works relatively well for a home user on a non-critical system (they can live if it's down for a day or two). It does not work very well in many other situations; someone running a 1,000 machine server farm does not want to wake up on a Wednesday morning and find a new udev got shipped as an update and broke everything. People with big installations much prefer to do one big upgrade every X years as they can have procedures and testing in place, over a few weeks, to ensure the transition goes smoothly, and then not have to worry for the next X years as they know that only stable and necessary updates will be needed, not brand-new-version-of-foo every two weeks.
111 • Fluendo software mentioned in the OpenSuse 11.2 review (by cba on 2009-11-16 18:01:29 GMT from Germany)
As far as I know, Packman has no official relationship with Novell or OpenSuse and is completely independent. Moreover, no Packman server is located in the USA, so Packman does not have to obey the U.S. laws with regard to U.S. software patents in any way.
The Fluendo software which is included in the packman repository is built from the following sources:
112 • @84 (by Fred Nelson on 2009-11-16 18:04:33 GMT from United States)
Fedora 12 Beta isn't newly released; it's about a month old now. If you had downloaded RC4 (the truly most recently released ISO, just not publicized enough), it would only have 21MB of updates to download. The final release is tomorrow; at this point, I would just wait for it.
(BTW, kudos for the Fedora team on what's looking to be a very successful release!)
113 • OpenSUSE 11.2 Live CD-- Definite Issues (by M. Martin on 2009-11-16 18:08:05 GMT from United States)
The install routine ran, albeit slowly, about 95% of the way thru the install--then hung disastrously in the middle of re-writing the boot loader. Fortunately, I had other bootable partitions and was able to recover the system... but I can only imagine what a newly-curious Windows user would've thought.
I'm going to hang tight until the DVD boxed set is available for purchase in the U.S.
114 • Quoted for truth (by Anonymous on 2009-11-16 18:13:34 GMT from Seychelles)
From #75: "You are reviewing an experience on your machines, and then generalising that result in a widely read website."
From #76: "The review is valid for your hardware." Also: "Testing a distro is largely a waste of time."
Reviews should be taken with a grain of salt (except if you happen to have the EXACT SAME hardware the reviewer used). I much prefer a detailed explanation of the changes from last version than a single-user single-hardware review.
From #88: "Why do the larger distros not use rolling updates?"
Why, indeed? "Releases" result in lots of publicity (good and bad), I guess. No publicity from the much logical, vastly superior rolling release system.
115 • Some random thoughts (by Patrick on 2009-11-16 18:21:47 GMT from United States)
Funny how some people keep saying that CM's results would have been different if she hadn't been testing openSUSE 11.2 on old hardware... while it was the old hardware where it worked best and the new hardware where it failed worst. Do people read before they write???
Dialog boxes that are too big to fit on a small netbook screen are one of the most stupid turn-offs a user can encounter. And new users don't know the Alt+mouse trick, so they get very exasperated. This is a problem nobody should have to deal with, since it is very easy to spot during testing and not dependent on external variables: it fits or it doesn't fit, very straightforward.
@Sam in 81: Yes, I too just about barfed when I saw the background in Ultimate Edition. :)
116 • Distrowatch & reviews (by John on 2009-11-16 18:41:06 GMT from United States)
Thank you. Nothing else, just my thanks.
117 • SalixOS (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-16 18:43:13 GMT from United States)
Nice to see Ladislav added SalixOS to the database. I've read some very positive comments about this rather new Slackware-based distro. It's one I may just had to try out for myself and possibly review.
118 • No subject (by suse on 2009-11-16 18:55:22 GMT from Portugal)
I don't like Suse, for "political" reasons. I downloaded it, burned it, and booted the live CD. Then, I did not see any strong reason to proceed with a hard drive install. I'll forget it and wait for the great Fedora, that coming tomorrow . How is it possible that so many people can cope with a distro owned by a company that is paying to microsoft$ to sue other distros or their customers, in other words, want to kill everything linux that's not Novell? Don't count with me.
119 • #100 @ Adam - Thanks for Advice (by Anonymous on 2009-11-16 19:03:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
Yes, I agree, though the Jornalist in questiondescribed the hardware as 'borderline', she appears to know that there was something wrong and atypical in her experience.
The Phoronix Benchmark Centos (clone RHEL) v openSUSE 11.2RC1 and Ubuntu 9.10 http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=14332 is rather interesting. From the hardware, an OS-11.2 desktop kernel would have been used yet server throughput marks remain respectable and in some of the tests, OS 11.2 Release Candidate performed significantly (long way) faster than Ubuntu 9.10; suggesting issues to resolve there.
In my Personal Opinion, I think the Journalist should have disclosed at head of her article that her HP Mini 110 was sold by HP with an Ubuntu variant pre-installed, and that the machine receives Cannonical TIer 1 support. It would be very surprising, if the install was not nearly flawless in Ubuntu. And when responding to feedback, she really ought to have disclosed it.
For OS-11.2 unfortunately it is too late to affect mastered disks, so I suspect the only thing that can be done now, is to document the work round not available with Live CD, but Net & DVD install which is "brokenmodules=X" boot param, where X is the name of the suspect module.
Good luck Fedora in your coming release! I hope the work put in, is reviewed in a more reasonable fashion with time to work round glitches.
120 • openSUSE 11.2 (by Ed Borasky on 2009-11-16 19:21:31 GMT from United States)
Full disclosure: I'm an openSUSE fan and think 11.2 is wonderful.
So let me weigh in here. I've been testing openSUSE 11.2 for several months (since Milestone 4) on three systems
1. A custom-built Athlon64 X2 desktop with 4 GB of RAM
2. An HP Pavilion dv4 (Turion64 X2), also with 4 GB of RAM
3. A Compaq Presario 2110US (Athlon XP) with 512 MB of RAM
So I had all of the rough spots (Wireless, sound, display, desktop RAM usage, etc.) worked out *long* before the release last week. And I've been using openSUSE since the 11.0 release, when I migrated the Compaq from Gentoo.
I don't think *any* of us - Ladislav, Caitlyn, or just about any of us who posted on this thread - is really representative of a "naive user" or can project how such a user will react. In fact, the way those users behave is described by the desktop/laptop market share numbers: Windows 90%, MacOS X 9%, *all* Linux 1%.
On netbooks, last thing I heard was Windows 66%, Linux 34%, MacOS X 0%. I expect those netbook numbers to change, once a Mac netbook appears, to something like Windows 74%, Linux 17% and MacOS X 9%. In fact, MacOS X might not even be in the list, in which case it would probably end up more like Windows 80%, Linux 20%, unless Intel or Google buys a Linux vendor. ;-) (I'm guessing MacOS X really needs a dual-core 64-bit processor and more RAM than netbooks currently have.)
I've posted at length (http://borasky-research.net/linuxcapacityplanning/2009/11/04/whats-the-best-version-of-linux/) why I prefer openSUSE and why I like 11.2. I think if my use cases were different and I had less experience, I might be using another distro. But I don't think Caitlyn's testing is at all representative of major Linux use cases - even desktop/laptop/netbook use cases - and I think it underestimates *drastically* the resourcefulness, patience and dedication of "typical" Linux users.
Yes, some of us prefer Ubuntu, Fedora, Gentoo or Mandriva, or even an "enterprise distro" like RHEL/CentOS, SLES/SLED or Debian Stable to openSUSE. But the differences really are minor, and if I owned a netbook, you can bet
a) I'd have been beta-testing openSUSE 11.2 on it and would have had it up and running as soon as the developers had fixed my show-stopper bugs, and
b) If I was a fan of some other distro, I would have done the same with it.
121 • ABC GNU/Linux (Automated Beowulf Cluster) (by hackercasta on 2009-11-16 19:39:55 GMT from Spain)
Try ABC GNU/Linux to build a beowulf cluster, woks in live mode or installled mode. Uses diskless nodes.
122 • Biased? (by Anonymous on 2009-11-16 20:01:41 GMT from Germany)
I'm beginning to think that Caitlyn just specializes in putting down distros. She is making a mockery of the review process. Perhaps people might take up looking at the big picture instead of deciding that their own personal experience has some overblown value? Especially when that experience is negative? A thousand people not being able to run 4 minute miles does not prove a thing. But one person doing a 4 minute mile (and this example is historical) proves the possibility forever!
123 • Funny Linux, HA HA! :) (by Xtyn on 2009-11-16 20:07:09 GMT from Panama)
The comments are like this:
"openSUSE works great for me, Ubuntu and Mandriva don't work"
"Mandriva works great for me, openSUSE and Ubuntu don't work"
"Ubuntu works great for me, Mandriva and openSUSE don't work"
We're waiting for Fedora 12 to complete the family.
I'm always laughing at optimistic estimations of Linux desktop market share. I'm more realistic. The fact of the matter is that even Linux users are mostly dual booters (with windows).
"United we stand, divided we fall"
Ladislav, I can access distrowatch.com from my IP again but I'm starting to like proxyes, they give the impression I'm travelling a lot. :))
124 • @119 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-16 20:09:39 GMT from Canada)
I read 'borderline' as referring to the hardware's performance. Personally I think it was perfectly sensible hardware to review a distribution on, FWIW. Atom-based systems and two to three year old laptops are extremely common targets for Linux installations, in my experience. It _can_ be a bit tricky to convince developers of this, though. Try convincing Intel to care about 8x5 adapters in their recent driver work...sigh.
125 • My 2 Cents (by TheBullDog on 2009-11-16 20:22:04 GMT from United States)
Another good DWW read. Thank you.
I like the mix of reviews on older and newer hardware; and, the reviewers describe the hardware they're using right up front. Pretty straight forward if you ask me.
I don't want white-washed reviews. If that's what you want, just read the release notes on the distro's web site and ignore everything else.
Because we don't all have the exact same hardware, we have to expect that our experience with a given distro may differ from Caitlyn's, Jesse's, or Ladislav's.
If you have a different experience, I personally like to see what hardware you're using, a description of the problem you encountered, and the solution you used to resolve the problem. I'd be willing to bet there's someone out there who will benefit from your contribution (and I've been that someone on more than one occasion). If you haven't been able to resolve your problem, there are plenty of highly experienced linux hobbyists and professionals that would love to lent a helping hand (assuming the problem is linux related ;-)
126 • Open Suse (by Anonymous on 2009-11-16 20:48:48 GMT from United States)
#105 got close to hitting the nail on the head with open Suse.
Caitlyn said the rest and these issues are old and could be simply fixed. The partioner, the package manager and the boot loader need work. I wonder if the boot loop is still there from the last time I tried to use it on a machine with 256mb of memory.
It is funny how the MS fud comes out everytime a new Open Suse comes out in very strange ways. I've seen it on here before and it always makes me go hmmm?
Also, I think the netbooks are going to be going more to Linux not less and they won't be using anything Suse. It is because after they can not return their XP home netbooks, MS will pull the plug on their support for XP home on their netbooks now that 7 is out.
It is the cycle that they seem to like to go through.
127 • ultimate edition 2.4 (by Dennis on 2009-11-16 20:52:50 GMT from United States)
Downloaded iso file.Burned to dvd but does retain image.
DVD don't show any file.Tryed 2 iso burners.
128 • Is Linux developping at random, or is there a direction in all this? (by Henning Melgaard on 2009-11-16 20:53:12 GMT from Denmark)
"OpenSuse is crashing on my hardware"
"OpenSuse is working like a dream on mine"
"My graphic card used to work with Ubuntu 9.04, with 9.10 I get a lowsy screen resolution."
"I used to have a lot of problems running Ubuntu on my hardware, but with 9.10 everything just works. Best version ever!"
"Mandriva is slow an sluggish"
"Mandriva is the most beautiful and stable distro of them all".
Many of us, my self included, have been posting experiences like theese.
It makes me wonder if there is any direction at all in the development of Linux?
If you cannot pick a distro and stick with it, thoroughly learn the way it works, and then recommend it to friends, and family and show them how it works, because the latest version is suddenly no longer compatible with your hardware, how are you supposed to advocate the use of Linux to others?
When you have no idea where the development is going, how will you know what hardware to buy?
Of course, you can always buy a new computer with a Linux distro preinstalled.
But why should a Windows user do this, if what you have to show them, before they eventually invest their money, is a handfull of different distributions, each with their own strong points and setbacks.
In one you will have exelent performance watching videos on the internet, but the spellcheck in Open Office wont work. Another has Open Office almost "working out of the box", but but browsing the net is slow, and video performance is miserable. And you cannot even tell people, if the distribution they choose will keep working on their hardware.
Right now it seems to me that "The Year of The Linux Desktop", is still a bit far away.
129 • Netbooks (by Scott on 2009-11-16 21:05:05 GMT from United States)
Recent kernel devleopments, around 2.6.30, IIRC, caused problems with the ath9k driver, used on the common, at least at the moment, AR928x N card in many netbooks.
Unfortunately, this is the sort of thing that frequently happens--if it isn't the kernel, it's an outside vendor. If Linux is going to be more popular on netbooks, such things really have to stop. One can argue it, but if trying to convince someone to switch, giving them a system where their wireless is dropped every 5 or 10 minutes isn't the way to do it.
So MS won't have to do much if Linux shoots itself in the foot like that. The experienced can find a solution, the potential convert, however, will just give up.
130 • OpenSuSE 11.2 -first thoughts (by NoCaDrummer on 2009-11-16 21:06:32 GMT from United States)
I downloaded both the CD and the DVD, and did an installation on 2 home-built PCs. Both had been using 11.1, but both were wiped for a clean installation, although I'd backed up all my data. Both were "AMD" motherboards, and neither had difficulties with installation.
Beside the odd wording for the disk formatting part of installation (I prefer XFS, so I had to edit) the only other installation comment has to do with setting the Date & Time. Although there is a choice of getting the time from an NTP server, it never works during the installation. I'd love to see that corrected in future versions. Sure, it's easy enough to run YaST later & set up the NTP service, but it would be nice to have one click at installation.
The only other gripe I have so far is that Gnome now doesn't seem to remember window position, size, or whether there's a Compact layout or not when browsing the files. It used to be that I'd open the home folder and it would appear in the position & size I'd last closed. Not so after the change to 11.2. (I noticed the same problem on 11.2 RC2 - I knew I should have downloaded sooner to report the problems!
The "cure" was to copy each of my home directories from their backups to replace the newly-created home directories (both "/root" and "/home/my_name") Then, the file-browsing windows opened just like they used to, properly-sized and with the layout I'd preferred.
I assume this is a relatively easy fix, so I'll be looking forward to that in the near future. Obviously, the information is stored someplace in the home directory, it's just that the Preferences doesn't change it as of 11.2.
The only other quirk I noticed was that only about 2/3 of the pictures on my camera seem to have been downloaded in "f-spot", and the browser doesn't seem to see any pictures in the folder at all, whereas my old backup HD of 11.1 had no problems in either case.
I must say, it seems to be faster at starting up and some programs seem to be running slightly faster. So overall, I'm pretty happy. I'm sure that these glitches will be worked out very quickly - they're not "show-stoppers", but still annoying.
131 • OpenSuSE 11.2 -first thoughts two more (by NoCaDrummer at 2009-11-16 21:12:54 GMT from United States)
I should note that I was pleasantly surprised that I can easily get to my (Windows server) files at work with 11.2 - something that 11.1 seemed to have difficulties doing. And wireless (a $12 Rosewill card) worked right off the bat. So that's two big pluses too.
132 • @128,129 (by Henning Melgaard on 2009-11-16 21:52:32 GMT from Denmark)
Perhaps one solution would be if distributions split their releases up in two:
1.One that aims for stability and backwards hardware compatibility.
2. One for those who want the latest and greatest, both in hardware and in software.
133 • @129 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-16 21:56:52 GMT from Canada)
I use ath9k on both kernel 2.6.30 and 2.6.31 (F11) and haven't had any problem with it.
134 • @102: Stealth (by Lars on 2009-11-16 22:03:37 GMT from Germany)
Actually, the comparison I made isn't that far off. Your argument is the one that is usually given in favor of dropping packets. However, as I tried to explain in the second part of my comment, it is not valid: (the following explanation assumes TCP SYN or UDP packets; ping is a different beast as it is ICMP. Also, while ping could be used for a DoS attack, there is to the best of my knowledge no way to take control of a remote machine by pinging it.)
If a filter simply drops a packet I know that the computer is there, even if there are so-called security experts who will try to tell you otherwise. Granted, I have to wait for the timeout and retry maybe a few times, but in the end I can be sure that the machine dropping packets is indeed there. Why? Simple, because if there wasn't a machine with that IP address, the router before that machine would tell me so. So, if I don't receive a reply from either the machine or the router before it, that means one of two things: either all replies got lost (therefore, I have to try again a few times to rule that out) or a packet filter is configured to drop packets.
So, if a computer is dropping packets, I get the same information as I would if it didn't drop packets. It might take me a few seconds longer, that's all.
135 • No subject (by twodogs on 2009-11-16 22:06:31 GMT from United States)
Ubuntu 9.10 runs great on my eeePC 1005ha (2 months new) and I love it! Where is Linux Mint mentioned? I can't wait to see the final Mint; it looks so sweet!!
PS: I might try Sidux ;)
136 • Opensuse 11.2 review is missing a lot (by Bharat on 2009-11-16 22:24:48 GMT from United States)
For the first time, opensuse can be upgraded from an older release without going through the normal installation procedure. For my machine, the upgrade from 11.1 to 11.2 went very smooth with no troubles. Also The speed is improved a lot. One click install available for nearly all software. The review did not cover any of these.
137 • Re: # 128 (by Oncle Jean on 2009-11-16 22:28:04 GMT from Canada)
Right and our comments are far from being objective. Linux distros are like cars: we all have the best ! :o)
This is human, when we like something, we try to convince the whole world to have it too. And when we don't like...
Things must not be easy for those who develop operating systems and I'm glad I'm not one of them. We all know what a lot of people think of Microsoft and I feel it won't be very long for some companies behind Linux distros to be the target of the same "treatment"...
138 • Suse 11.2 and Ubuntu 9.10 (by Ron on 2009-11-16 22:30:57 GMT from United States)
I want to say that I don't comment too much, or at all, when it comes to distro's in general. I am not a fan of any specific distro over another. I just love linux, any kind.
Now for me I have a dual core 64bit Athalon AMD computer with an 8400GS nvidia card, plus 4gb of memory.
The two most used desktop distro's for me right now are Ubuntu and Suse. I lvoe them both equally. However I found the opposite true for my experience's installing both. Suse 11.2 installed fast and even boots faster then it did with 11.1 for me. I added certain repo's for me and got everything running fast and easy. (I downloaded the full Suse 11.2 DvD image that had both KDE and Gnome. I am running KDE currently.)
However Ubuntu 9.10 for some reason gave me headaches. It was hit or miss if the livecd would even boot. I am not sure why but I had to try it a few times before it would even get to the point where I could install it. Also twice during the install of Ubuntu 9.10 it just stopped. After the install I kept getting that annoying pop up window giving me a false positive on defective hard drives. I say false because I downloaded the diagnostic tool from Western Digital and tested it several times in XP and Windows 7 and all my WD HD's are fine with it. Honestly I trust the manufacturers diagnostic tools more then others right now.
So over all for me, with a desktop PC, Suse 11.2 works great and Ubuntu 9.10 not so good right now.
I will be installing Ubuntu 9.04 again on my PC, that one seemed to work great. What I liked about 9.10 is the fact that the drivers for my Pinnacle card are right there. I don't have to do anything extra, yeah I am lazy sometimes, lol, to get it working.
I am still a fan of Ubuntu, don't get me wrong. I am just stating my experiences with 9.10. But right now for me Suse 11.2 is working better and adding the repos needed for what ever is very easy to do.
139 • It' (by Anonymous on 2009-11-16 22:36:23 GMT from United States)
Please stop this nincompoop Caitlyn Martin. I don't want to read anymore of her reviews on here.
140 • @54 Jesse (Shields Up) (by D1Knight on 2009-11-16 22:43:46 GMT from United States)
Jesse, firstly I thank you kindly for the link/page. I followed the recommendations on the page (FYI-I am running wireless). I have still failed to pass the test!?
*Example (one recommendation that should have worked):
Here's the part of the file /etc/ufw/before.rules:
# ok icmp codes
-A ufw-before-input -p icmp --icmp-type destination-unreachable -j ACCEPT
-A ufw-before-input -p icmp --icmp-type source-quench -j ACCEPT
-A ufw-before-input -p icmp --icmp-type time-exceeded -j ACCEPT
-A ufw-before-input -p icmp --icmp-type parameter-problem -j ACCEPT
# Don't allow ping requests:
# -A ufw-before-input -p icmp --icmp-type echo-request -j ACCEPT
**Just a FYI-https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UFW?action=show&redirect=Uncomplicated_Firewall_ufw
This link, states on the page that "Note: Security by obscurity may be of very little actual benefit with modern cracker scripts. By default, UFW blocks ping requests. You may find you wish to enable ping to diagnose networking problems."
Ping should be blocked by default?
Any other suggestions?Peace
141 • E-mail received (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-16 22:47:51 GMT from United States)
I received a very nice, polite, and respectful e-mail from Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier of openSUSE. I will most certainly post bug reports as he asks and do all I can to sort out the issues for future releases. Thankfully some of the nonsense seen in the comments section today is not representative of the openSUSE developers. Mr. Brockmeier showed the true nature of the development team today and it does reflect well on openSUSE.
142 • @Caitlyn Martin (by Not Bob on 2009-11-16 22:56:13 GMT from United States)
I think you were _nice_ in the review. Thankfully for the openSUSE fans, you did not touch on some of the other serious "bugs" in this release. Shameful that it took 11 months to make it this far.
The default Gnome theme is Sonar - yet the Sonar icon them is not installed, and you end up missing many default icons. Installing some of the other Icon themes does not remedy the situation 100% either. Of the 4 or 5 extra Icon themes I installed, each was missing different icons for the default entries in the stock Gnome Menu groups.
There are far too many menu entries entitled "Software".
Seriously!!?? are all of these needed? Adds up to confusion.
With Add/Remove Software there is no progress bar, no indication as to what is happening. It doesn't tell you if other dependencies will be brought in as well. Just "Downloading packages" "Installing packages". Which packages? How many of them? Where's the queue list?
So I click "Cancel" to "Cancel" the operation. Know what the prompt read?
Sometimes it asked "Cancel" or "Quit" ummm aren't they the same? Or it did nothing, as if I did not even click the button.
Sadly, all of the GUI package managers are this way. They are just not functional enough to be used. If zypper is the preferential method, then when I click on one of the many "Software" applications, is should just launch X-Term and give me a prompt.
I stopped using openSUSE shortly after this point. It's a released product, not alpha-beta-testing, no one should have to search, ask questions to fix seemingly meaningless bugs of basic functionality. Considering it's posted everywhere about the improvements to this exact troublesome group of software, I'd be afraid to see how bad it was previously. And - if they put this low amount of QA into something so essential, what else did they skimp on.
I applaud Caitlyn for the honest review. It's time we as Linux users stop accepting these half-assed QA'd distros on the heels of 2009. openSUSE is not a "project" from a group of part-time users. openSUSE has PAID Novell devs on board. We need to hold these companies (Canonical, Novell, and Red Hat) to a higher standard, and stop allowing almost works, mostly, for some people, some of the time, on some of the hardware, with some features. These companies also need to stop pushing mediocrity out the door and think it's acceptable.
143 • openSUSE (by Pumpino on 2009-11-16 23:22:24 GMT from Australia)
I downloaded the openSUSE 11.2 Gnome live CD last night to test drive it. While openSUSE has previously had one of the best implementations of KDE I've used, Gnome left a lot to be desired. Clicking on "more applications" in the kick-start like main menu brought up a huge box with a dizzying array of icons to sift through. Why couldn't it just display a normal main menu in Gnome like every other distro? The colour scheme and icons looked very ordinary.
As for package management, why spend so much time developing a package management system that appears inferior to yum and apt-get? It means new users have to learn a new way of doing things that doesn't offer any advantages.
Lastly, my main frustration with openSUSE is their packaging system. For example, let's look at SquirrelMail. If you do a search, you will get results such as the following - http://software.opensuse.org/search?baseproject=openSUSE%3A11.2&p=1&q=squirrelmail
SquirrelMail 1.4.19 has more than half a dozen builds, built by different developers, in different repos. How is a user supposed to know the difference between these builds and why are there so many? At least when you search Fedora's build system, you simply just grab the more recent build for the version of Fedora you're running. http://koji.fedoraproject.org/koji/packageinfo?packageID=473
Please enlighten me!
144 • #139 (by curious on 2009-11-16 23:25:03 GMT from Canada)
Quote. Please stop this nincompoop Caitlyn Martin. I don't want to read anymore of her reviews on here endquote
We're looking forward to your reviews to replace hers.
They're bound to be of stellar quality.
When is your first one due?
145 • reviews/hardware (by bugs on 2009-11-16 23:46:14 GMT from United States)
i like the idea of just slapping the distro on a box and seeing if it sticks
after all, the mass of users all have different computers, and there will always be some random chance that the install will go well [or not]
some lucky distros will get lucky, play nice, get high marks, others not
just like they will when YOU try them at home...
146 • The whole ping thing (@140) (by Jesse on 2009-11-16 23:50:18 GMT from Canada)
It can be hard to tell without looking at your specific set up, but since you're on wireless, I have to wonder if your router might be responding to the ping requests.
As for Lar's comment, I'm sorry, but I don't think your statement is accurate, unless you can prove otherwise. (If you can, I''ll happily admit I was wrong.) If I ping a host that isn't up, ping tells me the packets were lost. If I ping a host that is up, but dropping packets, I also get a message that all packets were lost. No where does it say that the host is there, but unreachable. There may be other ways to tell if a host is there, but hiding, but I don't think a regular ping is it. Do you have a way to tell, with ping, if a host is merely turned off for the night or dropping ping requests?
147 • Good review (by tiredofbs on 2009-11-16 23:59:55 GMT from United States)
Thanks for another great review. I can't emphasize enough how grateful I am that DWW includes honest well-written reviews by credible experts.
Condemnations of the review may have some traction from certain perspectives, and may not. From my perspective, it's easier to find fault with the condemnations than with the review.
The Linux world needs more critical reviews, not excuses. Blaming MS and manufacturers is easy and fun, but not constructive. Drilling Martin here is absurd (to say it politely).
148 • re 68 (by ritch on 2009-11-17 00:13:37 GMT from United Kingdom)
It maybe very different in the us!
but here in the uk it has been reported quite a while ago that asus has removed the option of linux from the eee pc, and acer will be droping linux and look to put an alternative like android ....and maybe chrome
(and yes i know they run on the linux kernal, but these companies are selling them as a google product and not mentioning the word linux)
Various reasons have been given and a higher return rate of linux on netbooks has been reported in the british computer press, with reported statement from thoughs companies...
This link tells you dixons in the uk had a 40% return rate of linux netbooks
i can find a hundred more links...
Do some research before you start coming on and mouthing off at me
And i have had various people come to me with problems with window machines and recently linux based net books,
How can i get this dumded down linux distro, that is dumed down to the point of beign useless, working
The last one was a girl in my work who had an acer with linpus on it, showed her how to bring up a terminal, to get a proper desktop up....
She thought it was better to return it rather than mess with the terminal and change it from default settings
I can not walk into any store in Central Scotland and buy a linux net book anymore...
The only store i can think of is maplin who stock a very cheap and nasty one
As it may be different in the US but here in Scotland unless you order one from dell there real isn't any choice
As about your comments about my SHIFT key..only show you as an increadibly RUDE individual... i have dyslexia and find it takes me long enough to write these comments! maybe you should have a bit off
DAMM CONSIDERATION FOR OTHER PEOPLE!
OHH!!!! and by the way i know my grammer is not perfect either!
And your attiude show you are not only rude! BUT TOTALLY INCORRECT! WITH YOUR INFORMATION, at least, off what the situation with the linux net book market is over here!
PLEASE DO NOT REPLY IF YOUR GOING TO BE RUDE!
149 • to brave 139 (by Ray on 2009-11-17 00:23:06 GMT from United States)
What is the matter with you, you have no excuse to be disrespectful to Caitlin. She did a fine review and said what she experienced.
On my computer OpenSUSE worked better than on hers.
This happens, the most important thing is that you have the liberty to test what ever distro and come to your own conclusions.
You know the comments you have made reflect poorly on yourself.
150 • @ 112 (by Matt on 2009-11-17 00:42:33 GMT from Canada)
Well I'm glad to read that there are a lot of people on here in addition to me who don't like the new Suse release, but notice that I did say before I complained about Fedora and Mint that they were beta's (or RC's... whatever.) so I know that they aren't the final product and should not be criticised as such. That wasn't what I was trying to do. I would try the full release when it comes out but the other problem I have with it is that I don't have the ability to test releases that are on DVD's due to the drives and burning abilities in my various machines, burners in some, readers in others, others only have CD capabilities. So I only can test CD products and Fedora was a disappointment because of how little it put onto one CD. Yes, I know that a CD is a lot smaller than a DVD but I compare what's on the Fedora CD to what's on an Ubuntu CD and it's amazing how little they manage to fit on there. They should certainly try harder in there, so I'm putting that alongside Suse as something I need to wait for the next release. Mint on the other hand I will test out the final product, I just hope that their management of .Mint files is better with the final.
151 • Review (by Landor on 2009-11-17 00:55:12 GMT from Canada)
I'm finding the reviews quite tedious at best as well. We can basically gauge what is going to happen with a review from the current reviewer. There will be issues, and unless it's a lightweight, or Slackware based distro (for the most part), there's going to be ample problems and issues, thus making the review negative.
I may be wrong here too since I haven't researched it, but regarding the netbook, I haven't seen openSUSE make any official statement that their distro supporst netbooks and works quite well with them, speed, functionality, etc. So in essence (unless someone proves that there was such a statement made by the team) I find any criticisms against the release to be nothing but nonsense when it comes to netbooks.
The days are gone when we've seen good solid reviews here from Ladislav, Chris Smart and Susan Linton (though hers are at random times and greatly appreciated).
What we need to see in reviews are:
1) The exact hardware listed each review.
2) If that hardware is recommended
3) The time spent working on the distribution or software the review is based on.
4) What changes came about since the previous release. Stating what the new versions bring to the table in functionality, responsiveness.
5) How the overall aesthetics fit and blend. Themes, Fonts, Icons, splash screens.
6) How the community receives queries in their forums, irc, mailing lists. Not just that either, a bit of time spent looking through those mediums to see if they are hostile or not. Opening a few doors to see what's inside.
7) Lastly, leaving personal opinions and views at the door when it comes to a review. The review is about the software and not just about how one person views it, but how well it would be received by the community on a whole. This type of integrity I personally believe is lacking in many reviews and it touches on what Adam said about approaching things in a far better manner.
Just my two cents, which will get you about nothing in this day.
Keep your stick on the ice...
152 • @151 (by TheBullDog on 2009-11-17 01:34:13 GMT from United States)
Looks like you're trying to set a new standard Landor. Looking forward to your review. ;-)
153 • Review and @147's comments (by MIchael Fox on 2009-11-17 01:37:44 GMT from Canada)
I couldn't have said it better than 147 did. I am grateful to the people who put out DistroWatch, and especially the reviewers like Caitlyn Martin who give me something interesting and informative to read every Monday morning. Thanks to all of you.
Unlike Caitlyn, my experience with openSUSE 11.2 was pretty positive, but she was much more thorough in her testing and has been more than fair in her review. We all know (or should know) that your experience of a Linux distro is somewhat machine-dependent, and that's why distro a works better than distro b on machine x but the opposite on machine y. Criticizing the reviewer for the particular hardware they used to test it with seems ridiculous in this context, especially when one of the test machines is a recent-model netbook. At any rate, I find the reviewers on DistroWatch to be more than fair in their assessments, and always indicating the good with the bad.
154 • RE: 151 (by Landor on 2009-11-17 01:38:01 GMT from Canada)
I'm guessin' you'll see it not long after yours.
Keep your stick on the ice...
155 • #151: Response (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-17 01:54:53 GMT from United States)
@Landor: If I only give positive reviews to Slackware based distros and lightweights how do you account for my review of Pardus, which was neither? If I were asked to review Ubuntu 9.10 it would be a positive review. Ditto Mandriva 2010. How do you account for that? If you read my past reviews for O'Reilly you'll also find positive reviews of Fedora, Xubuntu, etc... Sorry, no, you cannot make assumptions about what I will write.
What is true is that all distros have positive and negative points. I personally believe they should be reported on.
The top of every DistroWatch Weekly column reads as follows:
"DistroWatch Weekly is a weekly opinion column about the current happenings in the world of Linux distributions."
It's an opinion column. Unless Ladislav changes the rules of the game and asks me to exclude opinions my reviews will continue to include them. Providing opinions does not, IMNSHO, compromise my integrity in any way, shape or form. Once again, DWW is defined as an opinion column. Ladislav is up front about that. Reviews, by their very nature, are opinion pieces. Nobody is truly objective.
Since the aesthetics of any modern, full-featured Linux distro can be tailored to individual tastes I have always found going on about colors and themes and icons to be pointless. You disagree and that's fine.
The time using the distro was pretty obvious. It was released on Thursday. I do dislike writing about what's just been released because I can't give a distro the type of in-depth treatment I'd like to. That's why I didn't have the opportunity to get involved with the community as I usually do. (Yes, that was a valid issue you raised.) I'm still running openSUSE at the moment and I am having further problems.
Some people, apparently including yourself, object to reviews on netbooks. Others understand that this is the fastest growing segment of the PC market. They are increasingly turning up in business as well. I believe including them is not only valid but essential. I respect the fact that you disagree.
The bottom line is that you don't like my reviewing style and the criteria I use. Some people do and some people don't. I can't please everyone.
I think #152 hit the nail on the head: write better reviews and I am sure Ladislav will be interested in publishing them. I sure won't stand in your way.
156 • RE: 151 Reviews (by ladislav on 2009-11-17 02:01:07 GMT from Taiwan)
Landor, you've been around for a long time so you should know better: there is no such thing as a "universally-praised reviewer". Some readers like reviewer1, but can't stand reviewer2, while for others it's the exact opposite. Generally speaking I find your opinions here well-presented, but your frequent criticisms of anything Caitlyn writes does get tedious too. Don't like her? Fine. But I really don't think it's necessary to repeat it every opportunity.
As for openSUSE on the netbooks, you are indeed wrong - the support for them is touted quite prominently in the release announcement for 11.2 as well as the more formal Novell press release.
157 • Packman US Mirrors (by Ed Borasky on 2009-11-17 02:08:05 GMT from United States)
Fluendo software mentioned in the OpenSuse 11.2 review (by cba on 2009-11-16 18:01:29 GMT from Germany)
"As far as I know, Packman has no official relationship with Novell or OpenSuse and is completely independent. Moreover, no Packman server is located in the USA, so Packman does not have to obey the U.S. laws with regard to U.S. software patents in any way.
"The Fluendo software which is included in the packman repository is built from the following sources:
Actually, there is a Packman mirror in the USA:
I have no idea if it has fewer packages than the main repo in Belgium, however.
158 • ath9k (by Scott on 2009-11-17 02:20:19 GMT from United States)
@Adam, didn't you say elsewhere that you too were having issues with it?
(For what it's worth, so far, it seems to be working far better in the 2.6.32 kernel.)
I do know that I'm not the only one who had issues, but, regardless, the point is that for Linux to succeed on netbooks, when aimed at potential converts, as opposed to the experienced, it will have to handle hardware without issues. Whether it's a particular wireless card, sound, or even a printer that doesn't work, it's the sort of thing that will deter the person who isn't determined to make the switch.
159 • article on Ubuntu and bugs (there's 74823 of them) - but relevant to other distr (by Anonymous on 2009-11-17 02:21:54 GMT from United States)
160 • RE: 156 (by Landor on 2009-11-17 02:22:26 GMT from Canada)
In the past I have been somewhat zealous in my opinions and of course you know that well since many were directed towards you, though always in a decent manner, or at least I believe so. That said, I can honestly say from my opinion of then until now that any bias and being outspoken towards CM has not flavoured my criticisms in the reviews.
A point here. Sure CM knows a lot about Slackware and distributions based up on it. Yet many times we see references to Slackware in reviews or comments here. A bias in my opinion, that grows old.
Nor did I state that there was a universal reviewer. What I did state was the reviews had become almost tedious repeats. If you like, I'll research the reviews state back how many reviews were negative in regards to specific hardware which many would agree said hardware is a very minor component based on systems used.
What I was mainly stating is that reviews are poor, not a universal reviewer. I agree that each person brings something different to the table for us. It's come to the point where I personally just skim the reviews here and only really read the news sections. That's an honest fact. I find very little "meat" in the reviews. You may not like that opinion of it, but it's an honest one none the less.
I think many here want to know what new functionality has been brought with a release. Does Open Office have something new? Was there a security fix in Firefox that only Distribution-X has currently? Did the overally aesthetic feel compliment the Distribution, or make it awkward? How about the fonts, were they clearly read? What new features are in the kernel? Are the devs approachable? Were all their goals met during their current release cycle?
What we basically have right now, and yes, I know the space is limited are "Oh it worked well for me, or, Oh it didn't work well for me". In essence, that's really what a lot of it boils down to.
I did e-mail you regarding this fact as well. Unless you never received it since I never received a response. I stated that your writing style was missed, as well as Susan Linton's, the current reviews not being at par with the two of you. I should have included Chris in that as well. Though I did dog one of his reviews, or a part of it, he wrote very well and a reason I believe he's doing well all over with his writing. Not once in that e-mail did I even mention CM at all.
To be honest, in the above respect. I take offence to you stating that my criticisms are frequent. But, also, in that regard, if they were really good reviews there wouldn't be any way to be critical, logically anyway.
I look forward to your reply.
Keep your stick on the ice...
161 • ref - 151 • Review (by Landor) & suse 11.2 (by Joe Cocker on 2009-11-17 02:48:36 GMT from United States)
I find Mr Landor's comments spot on. I only wish I could express myself in his manner.
I find the latest reviewer either lacking skill sets or went into the review with a bias opinion.
I had none of the issues with regard to suse 11.2. In fact the exact opposite. How so? Hardware? Hardly.
We need less critics giving reviews and more true professionals.
This was a long winded review of a great release of suse 11.2
The interesting fact is this was the fist suse I have installed in years! I can hardly believe we installed the same distribution.
162 • 159 • BOGUS article on Ubuntu and bugs = 74823 (by Tom Carnes on 2009-11-17 02:53:06 GMT from United States)
That 74823 link that the guy gave is bogus. If you had bothered to look at it there were more "confirmed" than open bugs. Meaning they were either fixed or upstream.
Check your facts next time.
163 • @146 Ping (by D1Knight on 2009-11-17 02:59:39 GMT from United States)
Yes, Jesse, I do believe it is looking like the router is culprit with "the whole ping thing". I definitely need to check into it, and hopefully get and stay healthy. Thank you much.:)
164 • Bias (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-17 03:12:36 GMT from United States)
It's true. I came to writing this review with a strong bias about Novell/SUSE. I came with a strong pro-Novell bias. I've supported their products since the mid '80s, starting with Novell NetWare 286. I'm a big fan of NDS and I've always liked ZenWorks. In general Novell products have been stable, reliable and robust.
I've also always liked SuSe, going back to well before Novell acquired them. I've supported SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server) in high availability 24/7 environments. Once again, I've found it to be reliable and stable. That's why I had high expectations for openSUSE 11.2. There is a long history of excellence both at SUSE and Novell in general.
I had to put my bias aside to objectively report what I found with this release. It wasn't fun to write but honesty and integrity had to come first. So... those who charge "bias" because I criticized their favorite distro are right. There is bias. Everyone has bias. It didn't affect this review.
165 • Harsh on Ms. Martin? (by D1Knight on 2009-11-17 03:40:54 GMT from United States)
I don't see why there are some, that are being so harsh to Ms. Martin? Over that last few months, I have read her reviews of some distros and well as other reviewers here at DWW. I would say for the most part the reviews have been fair, balanced and most importantly honest. I personally don't have a problem with her reviewing style.
This weeks current distro review, I choose not to read at all. It has nothing to do with the reviewer. It has to do with the distro itself, I have zero interest in it. If that distro changes it's ways....well then that's another story altogether.:)Peace
166 • 43, by rif (by Barnabyh on 2009-11-17 04:17:55 GMT from United Kingdom)
Absolutely agreed, +1 up if we could
167 • Reviews (by Barnabyh on 2009-11-17 04:45:59 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks to Caitlyn for an honest review of the problems she found on her particular set of hardware, bearing in mind the short time frame she had available. However that's all it is, and I too found the review a bit, shall we say, incomplete.
For the future it would be good to complete installs for a review on at least one desktop and one piece of mobile equipment, may that be a laptop, or netbook, TomTom or whatever next, the latter could vary between reviews, but I feel that a traditional desktop machine should still be part of the mix as it most likely will produce quite different results.
For the format of a review here on DW, Landor has set out a good recommendation in my view in #151. I realize everybody has their own style and would not want to be kept religiously to a format, but it is a good base to bear in mind and would make reviews somewhat more comparable.
After last weeks comments I could not resist to try and install Xubuntu 9.10 over an old Zenwalk 2.6 and no problems so far while certainly being slower than Zenwalk and faster than Debian Etch w/ Gnome on this same machine. This is about 8-9 year old hardware with an Ati Rage 32MB from about 1999. (So much for subjective unscientific benchmarking).
As for openSuSe, I'll stick with Debian and Slackware 13 for now.
Now what am I doing up at 4.am writing comments here?
Everybody have a good week.
168 • RE: 165 (by Landor on 2009-11-17 04:52:04 GMT from Canada)
I always find this whole Anti-Novell thing totally ludicrous on many fronts. The least of which many will tout this whole "Novell is in bed with MS" flag, yet for some unknown reason you never hear Novell has a law-suit against MS.
For some odd reason, that doesn't really sound like a company that's in bed with another. Not at all.
Keep your stick on the ice...
169 • no love for netbooks? (by Reuben on 2009-11-17 04:57:58 GMT from United States)
I probably use my netbook just as much as my desktop. Although, I still have the Ubuntu Moblin Remix installed on my netbook, I'm very interested to know how other distros work on netbook hardware.
As for SuSE, as soon I saw that it included Amarok 2.1.1, I restarted and ejected the CD. Obviously, this release isn't being aimed at anyone wanting a bleeding edge desktop. Nothing wrong with that at all.
170 • @157: Packman/US server (by cba on 2009-11-17 05:00:40 GMT from Germany)
I did not know that packman.unixheads.com is US-based.
Even the w32codec packages are there.
And if you look here:
you'll find a pseudo-package called "libdvd...nosrc.rpm" which is part of a little howto in order to give linux users the capability to watch DVD's on their linux systems and to make the installation as easy as possible, as the Packman crew says. This is done in a way that complies with German law.
So it seems to be that the original Packman has been mirrored in total.
But is this "dangerous" in the USA? Maybe, but I am no lawyer.
171 • Hmm (by Nobody Important on 2009-11-17 05:10:44 GMT from United States)
Popping in briefly.
I am with Landor. I find the average review on the internet less and less useful as a Linux user who has stuck with a single distro. I think the more pertinent question is why I should switch or why I should test it out. Not saying the OpenSUSE review didn't do this - just discussing the theoretical side of the issue.
Maybe it's because most distros are grabbing at straws trying to find new ways to get users to upgrade to their fancy new edition? Who cares when Debian 5.0 supported your hardware months ago, right? The jump from Debian 5.0 to Fedora 12 isn't nearly as large as the equivalent jump was in the past, and maybe that's why writing on these new developments and distros are becoming difficult. Can you say much more than whether or not it worked anymore?
172 • Please! Stop the personal attacks! (by RollMeAway on 2009-11-17 05:30:22 GMT from United States)
Personal attacks are unnecessary and unwanted.
If you disagree with someone else's opinion,
WHAT makes you think YOUR opinion is any better?
Try simply skipping over the comment or review if you don't like it !
Many others probably do like it.
Try discussing distros and linux, not other people. Please?
173 • Whatever happened to hardware compatability checks? (by Andy on 2009-11-17 05:33:18 GMT from United States)
Maybe I am just an old-timer, but I thought the first law of Linux installation was always check your hardware compatability before attempting an install. What is the point of this review? You tried an install on some unusual and/or old hardware without doing a compatability check, forced it to work without examining the issues closely or sending questions to the community, and then complained about lock-ups and crashes. Seems like whatever trouble you ran into, you had it coming.
Your attempt at a review seems more like a lesson in how not to install a Linux distribution.
174 • Shields Up (by nix on 2009-11-17 05:41:07 GMT from United States)
" Earlier today I ran the "Shields Up" service ports test on my Ubuntu PC and was a bit surprised to see that it "failed" the test. Although the first 1024 ports were correctly reported as being closed (or blocked) Shields Up complained about the fact that Ubuntu responded to the port scan, announcing that the ports were closed."
I have used nmap on Windows PC, Linux Machines and BSD machines with all ports closed; and they all respond to letting people know that they are alive. It's actually part of the TCP/IP specification. Depending on the port scanner in question there are various ways to tell if a machine is up and running. The response from your machine will either be a RST or ACK (reset or acknowledgement).
It's normal behaviour for any machine that uses TCP/IP ; but it is better to run in stealth mode vs closed mode.
175 • Ultilex (by GrzegorzW on 2009-11-17 05:54:56 GMT from Poland)
There is another one 'distribution' which releases this week missing:
Ultilex - released version 5.0.0.
Ultilex is very handy LiveCD which contains few small distributions - just to fill up full CD Rom size. Version 5.0.0 comes with:
- Slax version 6.1.2
- Puppy Linux version 4.3.1
- Tiny Core version 2.4.1
- System Rescue CD version 1.3.1
- Parted Magic version 4.5
- boot.kernel.org (BKO)
176 • Software doesn't exist. (by jake on 2009-11-17 06:26:46 GMT from United States)
Seriously. Software doesn't exist. So-called "software" is merely the current state of the hardware, as intended by the programmer(s). I'll give you a minute to contemplate that.
Are we ready yet? See where I'm coming from? OK, onwards ...
The above premise made, reviewing the current state of hardware, on hardware that doesn't support the programmer(')s intended state, is not only pointless, it's disingenuous.
In plain terms, if the hardware doesn't support the distribution you are reviewing, you are no longer reviewing the distribution, rather you are reviewing the hardware.
I've been using UNIX since ken was lecturing at Berkeley. My first home personal computer was 3B1, prior to Linux I was running Coherent at home, and I've been a Slackware user since Mark Williams Company closed it's doors. In all that time, I have always spec'd the hardware to fit the OS+ tools that I needed. I never, not once, expected a given OS+tools package to run on generic hardware.
BSD4.3 built for a DEC VAX wouldn't build on Sun's Motorola gear. Or on NeXT. For obvious reasons. Yet all ran BSD4.3 ...
It's ALWAYS about the hardware. If the distribution you are trying can't enter into the hardware state required by the programmer on the only hardware you have available to you, that particular distribution won't work for you. Don't gripe about it. Life's too short. Move on. There are many other options.
Likewise, if you want to review a distribution, at least give that distribution the respect of running it on hardware that the distribution supports.
Note that I do not run the distribution reviewed, nor do I intend to run it any time soon (yes, I've tried it, as I have all of the top 20 or so, as they have made major releases, over the years). This is supposed to be a fairly generic rant, not a personal attack on anyone in particular ... And maybe an eye-opener for a few folks ...
177 • Linux was intended for older hardware, too (by Shawn on 2009-11-17 06:51:42 GMT from United States)
I know openSUSE is probably the "heaviest" distribution out there. I'm not even exactly sure what the minimum specs are for running openSUSE today. Running openSUSE on a netbook isn't out of the ordinary. I have an MSi Wind (U100) triple-booting Ubuntu 9.04, OS X Leopard and Windows 7 and all work flawlessly. Before I had Ubuntu on that machine, I was running openSUSE 11.1 and it worked perfectly. I doubt that much has changed regarding minimum hardware requirements between 11.1 and 11.2 but I do know that the hardware in Caitlyn's HP was sufficient to run openSUSE, especially since she's got 2 GB of RAM in it. I only have 1 GB and openSUSE flew on my machine and I was using KDE 4 to boot.
To get back on track here, Linux as a whole has become heavier and requires more hardware than it has in the past. Still, the minimum specs required to run most modern distributions not named openSUSE were popular in computers made between 7-10 years ago. I'm really thankful for distro's like Debian (and it's derivatives), Slackware (and it's derivatives), Fedora, Mandriva, Sabayon and Arch. I'm kind of impressed with the new Mandriva 2010. Anxious to see what Fedora 12 will be like when it's released. So many good distro's out there today it's hard to pick just one.
178 • @176 (by reuben on 2009-11-17 06:52:10 GMT from United States)
Except the caitlin was reviewing this on a system that met the recommended specs:
179 • @178 (by jake on 2009-11-17 07:10:41 GMT from United States)
"openSUSE supports most PC hardware components. The following requirements should be met to ensure smooth operation of openSUSE 11.1"
"most" and "should" aren't exactly what I would call exact specifications ... hardware is VERY specific ... Pretty much my point, no?
180 • @168 In Bed Together? (by D1Knight on 2009-11-17 07:40:48 GMT from United States)
Landor, I respect your opinion. 2 cents-The terminology "In Bed Together", as a reference to 2 companies, I thought it would be unusual "IF" they were to have lawsuits against each other? Oh well, maybe I don't know enough of those companies histories. That is all I have to say about that.
Like I said, I do respect your opinion. Have a great week.:)
181 • 143 (by Pumpino) (by Observer on 2009-11-17 07:48:24 GMT from Australia)
>>I downloaded the openSUSE 11.2 Gnome live CD last night to test drive it. While openSUSE has previously had one of the best implementations of KDE I've used, Gnome left a lot to be desired. Clicking on "more applications" in the kick-start like main menu brought up a huge box with a dizzying array of icons to sift through. Why couldn't it just display a normal main menu in Gnome like every other distro? The colour scheme and icons looked very ordinary.<<
Novell did a usability study and they worked out the Slab and Block are the way to go. I don't know where they are up to in 11.2 but I did not like ( in 11.0/11.1) the lack of option to clear the used apps menus that appear on the slab or the poor functionality to freely organise the favourites, like one can in Mint (Mint Menu). But there is a simple solution - just add a panel to the top with classic Gnome menu. The classic Gnome menu provides an options to clear used menu icons, which also clear the ones appearing on the Slab menu. As for colour scheme preferences, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
>>As for package management, why spend so much time developing a package management system that appears inferior to yum and apt-get? It means new users have to learn a new way of doing things that doesn't offer any advantages.<<
If you want it, Yum is available to use but YAST and Zypper are excellent, IMO. You just need to read up a little and get familiar with their functionality. Suse's delta rpms are a great feature that has been there for about 5 years whilst RH (Fedora) just caught up recently and Debian/Ubuntu have yet to overcome the technical challenges and implement similar functionality. Another great feature in openSUSE is the keeping of all update package versions in the (official) Update repo, which allows a rollback to a prior package version should an update cause an issue.
>>Lastly, my main frustration with openSUSE is their packaging system. For example, let's look at SquirrelMail. If you do a search, you will get results such as the following - http://software.opensuse.org/search?baseproject=openSUSE%3A11.2&p=1&q=squirrelmail
SquirrelMail 1.4.19 has more than half a dozen builds, built by different developers, in different repos. How is a user supposed to know the difference between these builds and why are there so many? At least when you search Fedora's build system, you simply just grab the more recent build for the version of Fedora you're running. http://koji.fedoraproject.org/koji/packageinfo?packageID=473
Please enlighten me!<<
On this point I suggest you try a bit of logical thinking and pick the first option:
The rest of the results are (seem to me to be) developer's individual development repos and may or may not workout. Speaking from recent experience (and I am no technical expert on Linux or openSUSE), there is no guarantee that individual developer repos will workout, as I found out when I tried a Chromium browser build for openSUSE11.0.
The major repos that will satisfy most people are found at following links:
Anyone new to any OS should do some prior reading and the following are good starting points for openSUSE:
182 • @158 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-17 08:40:33 GMT from Canada)
Sorry, yeah, I probably should have mentioned that. I do have a problem with ath9k, but it's not specific to 2.6.30 or 2.6.31 - it happens with 2.6.29, which is the earliest I've run ath9k on. It only happens with my router set to 802.11n-capable; if my router's in 802.11n mode and my ath9k system is running, _all_ wireless connections on the network will be a bit slow and tend to fall over randomly. With the ath9k machine off, or the router in 802.11g mode (no n support enabled), it works fine. But that's the same in 2.6.29, as I said.
183 • OpenSuse Rocks on My System (by Dedguy on 2009-11-17 08:45:18 GMT from United States)
I agree with everyone who is saying that OpenSuse didn't get a fair review. I have an 3 year old Nvidia Mobo 4gigs of ram desktop, and 3 year old HP laptop 2 gigs of ram, and both work great with OS 11.2.
I do try other distros, but I keep coming back to Suse for my main system cuz it's stable but not out of date.
184 • opensuse 11.2 KDE liveCD fails (by Zac on 2009-11-17 08:55:47 GMT from Australia)
opensuse 11.2 KDE liveCD has failed to render correctly, the desktop icons are absolutely huge, scrolling on the mouse fails, and CPU is at about 80%. I have tried a couple a burns and also tried the betas, and still no go. '
I am yet to try Mandriva and Fedora releases. I generally have problems with opensuse for some reason on my garden variety 3yr old Dell. Ubuntu, Mandriva, Fedora all work fine.
I still stick to my trusty and reliable Ubuntu 8.04.
185 • @128 I agree (by Anonymous on 2009-11-17 09:02:46 GMT from Australia)
I absolutely agree.
So far all three releases of Ubuntu, Mandriva and opensuse work for some and not for others. Distros, and releases within distros are still very hardware dependent. I wish the Linux developement model made it easier to logically progress, not one step forward and two steps back.
186 • @146: the whole ping debate (by Lars on 2009-11-17 10:29:30 GMT from Germany)
You start by saying that you "think" my comment is not accurate and then you ask for proof? Really?
If you want proof, I recommend any good text book on computer networks for details on how TCP or UDP actually work and how they interact with IP and ICMP. Regarding ping, which you cited, if you would kindly reread my comment, I explicitly stated that what I wrote didn't apply to ping. Ping is part of ICMP (ICMP echo request, to be precise) and is not evil. In fact, it's a valuable diagnostic tool and if anyone wants to block it, they should feel free to do so. However, ping never let anyone take control of a remote machine and I am glad that I won't be the one to debug any network trouble they might run into.
In fact, anyone who wants to "stealth" their machine because it "makes it more secure" should feel free to do so. All I am saying is that, security-wise, it is roughly equivalent to riding a motorcycle into a wall at 100 kp/h while wearing a condom and thinking that will protect you. (That was a hyperbole, BTW, but not by much.)
That is actually my main point, a false sense of security is a very dangerous thing. Security always depends on your attack scenarios; simply applying anything some self-proclaimed security expert recommends and then feeling "secure" is dangerous because it might lead to people neglecting important things such as security updates, since their machine is so very protected by not responding to ping.
I hope this clarifies my position on the whole "dropping packets is more secure than simply letting TCP or UDP handle incoming connections to non-existent servers in the way they were designed to".
187 • @186 Ping (by Jesse on 2009-11-17 13:06:57 GMT from Canada)
I'm not sure what you're trying to say, Lars. You claim you can detect whether a machine is dropping packets or isn't there, but you've yet to provide any information on how. You object to the idea of dropping ping requests and then said you weren't talking about ping. I've books on networking, I know how ping and ICMP work. What I'm asking for is some form of demonstration or evidence to back up your point. Maybe you could offer a link so the readers here can gain more knowledge on the subject, rather than saying go find a "good text book". Which book would you recommend?
I agree that ping isn't evil. In most networks, I think it's a very important tool. You also said that "ping never let anyone take control of a remote machine" and I mostly agree. Though anyone who was around in the 90s surely remembers Windows machines being taken off-line with custom ping attempts? Sure remote code execution isn't the same as a DoS, but it's still a pain.
I don't think anyone here is going to block pings and think, "Now I don't need to patch my machine." So why do you object to droping ping requests? I'm not trying to be offensive, just would like to find out why you think a home user, who isn't running a server, shouldn't drop ping requests.
188 • All of this... (by hyperspace on 2009-11-17 13:17:07 GMT from United States)
People, please remember one thing. It's all just hardware and software.
And what you want to do with these tools, is up to you.
189 • No subject (by forest on 2009-11-17 14:23:42 GMT from United Kingdom)
LOL, but hyperspace, you have forgotten folk like to discuss what they are up to with these hardware and software tools...ad nauseum (?).
As an example look at the "ping or not to ping" discussion...it's all pretty esoteric to most of us, but some folk are getting genuine enjoyment out of such a subject...and if any of us learn something along the way then good for them I say.
Especially if is adds a little to our knowledge on the security front. Slightly t-i-c, after we read of the security "breach" at Puppy HQ Master Control Dog (geddit?) of the Universe website or wotever, there has not been one comment from a dog lover about folk being paranoid about security.
Personally I suspect some brainy bloke or blokess, fed up with the bragging, decided to teach them the error of their ways...and demonstrated the kennel was not as well defended as imagined.
190 • OpenSuse 11.2 (by Simon on 2009-11-17 14:38:57 GMT from United States)
A bit dissapointed really.I couldn't log in after I'd installed it - after entering username & password I just got returned to the log in screen.Totem kept crashing.....Ubuntu 9.10 worked like a charm however.....
191 • @169, @177, @181 (by Anonymous on 2009-11-17 15:23:58 GMT from Canada)
OK first off, to 169, I am annoyed at the state of netbook versions of Linux. It's not only netbook's that want small, Internet application oriented versions of Linux that will be unbelievably light. I have an older laptop that is useful for very little other than Internet applications because of how slow it is, I would love to be able to run UNR or Moblin or some other similar distro but they don't release ISO's of it, and I can't be bothered to go through the long process to get the information on a USB key that will go super slow through my USB 1 speed ports. Also, the hardware support is dismal for those. They'd get a lot more users if they would make it a little easier to use.
Secondly, for 177... you're running OSX on an MSI machine? Maybe I'm stupid but... how!?
@181, I fully agree, the Gnome menu should be an actual Gnome menu... at first when I opened it I thought it would be similar to the way Mint does it... but no, like you said, it opens a new window and it's so complicated to find anything there. Try again Suse.
192 • Suse 11.2 Doesn't Work (by Ron on 2009-11-17 15:42:51 GMT from United States)
Ok. That's it. I am tired of Suse and Linux in general. I tried it on my brand new IBM 8086, just bought it last week for 799.00 USD, monitor included. So yes it is brand new. I put the Suse 11.2 Livecd in the big cd slot that didn't open but even the CD wouldn't fit right (A hammer fixed that problem.) After the CD was in that big slot I turned on the computer and..... Nothing. I tried rebooting, nothing. So I took the CD out, which was now in pieces (Thanks Novell.) I got another Suse 11.2 CD. And yet again this didn't fit right, so out with the hammer again. It was a small hammer of course. I didn't want to damage my new 8086 computer. And yet again it wouldn't boot at all. So I just gave up and took the cd out, and yet again it was in pieces.
So if Suse can't even make a CD that stays together and works on the latest and greatest computer hardware, I want nothing to do with it or Linux.
Now if you will excuse me I am going to install Windows 7 on my new 8086.
193 • Shields Up! Ubuntu 9.04 vs 9.10 and anything else I can think of (by Paul Yearwood on 2009-11-17 16:04:53 GMT from United States)
I went to Shields Up and ran the scans. I got nearly all blue with a few greens and a mixed grade. I read all the suggestions and had an Eureka Moment. I went to my router, changed a few settings and ended up with a green board. I know that security is a layered defense. It was a layered defense that kept the Indy Colts and New Orleans Saints both at 9-0 this week. Enabling the router firewall and changing the passwords are the two easiest ways to get started. Checking updates for my Ubuntu and Windows, when I use Windows, are two more ways of keeping secure. Remember, the only really secure computers do not connect to the 'Net.
I had Ubuntu 9.10RC 64 bit on my Shuttle K45 (Intel video/audio on board with 2Gig RAM. Celeron 430.) I updated the RC after the release date instead of using a release ISO. It just did not feel right to me. The major drawback to me was that Ubuntu in 9.04 disabled ctrl+alt+backspace but I found that dontzap was in the repo to re-enable the above. 9.10 did not offer dontzap. I found a copy of 9.04 and reinstalled it. Later, I did reinstall Karmic onto an old hard drive and worked with it some more. (HARD DRIVE NOTE: The old hard drive I used was 4.3 Gig. Had about 1.8 Gig free after install. Window 7 RC took 9Gig with no useful apps.) I used a fresh download and I am coming around to Karmic after doing a few updates. I am thinking about doing an inplace upgrade in a few days. But, a clean install is always best.
The reason I like to use alt+ctrl+backspace is that I also have icewm and afterstep installed. I like to use different window managers just keep things interesting. In Jackalope, using Logout did not always change the desktop sessions.
As for the reviews, I will say right up that I do not always read them from start to finish. I look at the screen shots, scan the text, read the conclusions. If something in the conclusions picques my interests, I go back and find what was written. I learned long ago watching Siskel and Ebert, that reviews are just opinions and not gospel. And that movies those two did not like were usually movies my wife and I enjoyed. The same goes with distro reviews. They are the opinion of the reviewers and subject to what ever whim, prejudices, and hardware restrictions that belong to the reviewer. I also check out the review links provided on the distro's pages of Distrowatch. A software review is like the news. If you depend on only one source, you surrender your will to that one source.
One last word or more. If the flamers would only take to heart the Mark Twain quote below the response box, it would be a major blow against global warming.
194 • Reviewing the reviewer? (by Patrick on 2009-11-17 16:55:37 GMT from United States)
Sigh. Quite sad if most comments seem to be about the pros and cons of different reviewers now... instead of distro's.
1. The review had the heading "first look". Don't complain that it wasn't in-depth, that the reviewer didn't use the distro long enough, etc. The review delivered what it set out to do. If there wouldn't have been a review, there would have been complaints. Now there was a review, there are complaints. So you wanted an in-depth review, by someone who had been running the distro for a while, a distro that has been released just a couple of days ago. But you want the review now, and only on the gold release version, not an RC because that would be unfair. Are you willing to share your time machine so the reviewer can do this?
2. The review used hardware that was within the specifications set out by the manufacturer. It those specifications are vague, don't blame the reviewer, blame the distro.
3. Netbooks rock. I never saw the point in getting a laptop, but I use my netbook all the time, and I hardly ever used a laptop when I could use one. I think a review done on a netbook is just as relevant or more so than a review done on a desktop.
4. I thought the reviewer was as positive as she could be, considering how broken things were for her.
5. The reviewer tried the distro, and wrote about her experiences. They weren't good. You tried the distro, it is awsome. Good for you. Let's move on. What did you say? You want her to say the distro is awesome even though it didn't work for her? I don't think so.
6. You want the review to be done differently. Okay, go ahead and read another review somewhere else. No one is forcing you to read this review, right?
7. You don't like my comment, I know. No need to tell me. Or do you want to start reviewing commenters too now? That's what I seem to be doing, so I'll get back on topic now.
I tried openSUSE in Virtualbox, but I was having problems that the window didn't fit on my screen. I couldn't find how to change the desktop resolution so I could actually see the bottom bar. Any ideas? (I know, stupid question, but I haven't used KDE in so long, last time was KDE3...)
195 • openSUSE (by Skeptic on 2009-11-17 17:23:02 GMT from United States)
I didn't plan to try openSUSE 11.2 but, always having the opposite experience from that of Caitlyn Martin, I tried it and I wasn't dissapointed.
Let me say this again, it's really good. :)
I've had problems with previous releases but this time everything works on my hardware, it's stable, KDE 4.3 is great.
196 • Distrowatch (by John on 2009-11-17 17:33:23 GMT from United States)
Hope there's a Fedora 12 review comming
197 • @192 (by Andy on 2009-11-17 17:33:58 GMT from United States)
@192 - You had me at "my brand new IBM 8086" - hilarious! I suggest you purchase an even smaller hammer. Let us know how it works out.
198 • Caitlyn Martin (by .X.t.y.n on 2009-11-17 17:44:12 GMT from United States)
Comment deleted (off-topic).
199 • can't wait for Fedora 12 review and the usual ...... (by Anonymous on 2009-11-17 17:56:34 GMT from United States)
1)complaints about the review
2)complaints about the reviewers methodology/hardware/what was tested
3)complaints about the reviewer
4)complaints about the complaints about #'s 1, 2 & 3
and of course they'll more of the same love/trashing of the other major releases *buntu and openSuse and Mandriva (though it doesn't seem to evoke the emotions the other big ones do).
Sort of surprised anyone would want to write a review for an audience as strongly opinionated as the reader here - so kudos to the reviewers for willing to take the heat.
200 • re: 198 - way out of line with the comments - please delete (by Anonymous on 2009-11-17 18:00:32 GMT from United States)
Comment deleted (off-topic).
201 • RE: 176-180-189 (by Landor on 2009-11-17 18:09:09 GMT from Canada)
Jake, gone are the days of bytes and kilobytes and if you were lucky your cpu's power was measured in the single digit, eh. Thank you though for bringing up a key point that I was taught so long ago and forgot. It isn't software, it was only a term created.
My use of an OS varied from time to time, and depended on the machine at home. It was usually between three, though one computer always had UNIX. The other two could be found to be installed from time to time were BSD and PC-DOS. Though any time I'd be running the latter I'd always feel limited due to my experience with the other two.
Knight, I hope I didn't come off as belligerent. Novell has filed a number of suits against MS. Off the top of my head one was in regard to WordPerfect which they one, another was in regard to MS breaking US anti-monopoly laws. I'm not sure if that one was resolved but I do believe some Novell vs MS lawsuit is currently ongoing. My point was that many don't trust Novell and spew how closely tied they are to MS. How could that be with such lawsuits? I think many just follow the hyperbole that others create without looking at all the facts.
You always find a way to make me smile, Forest :). I know I'd never have such abilities to do such a thing to those that bark, but it is possible that someone may have. Let's just hope they didn't. Those kinds of lessons are never really worth teaching because someone would lower themselves to such a level that maybe they lost something of their own.
I too have been enjoying the ping topic from the cheap seats, which is what made me smile when you pointed it out.
Keep your stick on the ice...
202 • @187 (by Lars on 2009-11-17 18:27:45 GMT from Germany)
Thank you, Jesse, for a sensible discussion. I'll try to clarify my point.
It seems we are actually arguing from different approaches. Your argument -- correct me if I'm wrong -- is basically why a regular user not running a server *shouldn't* drop ping requests. This is probably based on the assumption that dropping packets provides some kind of security. I am arguing that ping is a tool, in itself not harmful (and I do remember the ping of death, I am that old). With the premise that it doesn't add any security I am questioning why anyone *should* disable a harmless diagnostic tool. And you demand proof for this premise. Fair enough.
Now, the above paragraph contains some simplifications and some fuzzy terms (such as "security"), so before I can argue the premise, I need to be a little bit more formal. Please bear with me.
I mentioned previously that "security" is an empty term without some kind of attack scenario. For the following argumentation, let's assume we have a computer A, directly connected to the Internet via a dial-up connection with the IP address 22.214.171.124; the router it is connected to passes packets on to it unchanged and unfiltered, there is in particular no NAT taking place (which would complicate the argument but not invalidate it). Let us further assume we have one demon, X, listening on (arbitrary) TCP port 100 (again, we don't lose anything here by restricting the protocol or the port number). We also assume that a carefully crafted packet to this demon could cause a remote execution of arbitrary code.
Then, in this context, "security" means protection from this kind of vulnerability; also, the scenario is consistent with the fact that usually crackers exploit vulnerabilities in demons, rarely in the kernel or the network stack itself. The tools we can use in this discussion to improve our security is a packet filter that can drop or reject packets. I hope you agree with me so far.
Now, for the argumentation, we need to distinguish two cases: #1: you have to provide service X to the whole (or at least a sizeable part of) the Internet. In that case, there is nothing you can do, really. Except for chrooting etc., but we are talking about packet filters and dropping packets would mean not allowing connections to the demon X. #2: you don't need to provide X to everyone, maybe simply to an internal network (samba or cups are examples of such services). In this second case, we can actually prevent this exploit from the Internet and thus provide security from that attack by using one of three approaches:
2a) We simply unbind X from the network interface connected to the Internet. We do not configure a packet filter to handle TCP packets to port 100. Now, if a packet arrives for TCP port 100, without any corresponding process listening on that port, the OS will simply send back a TCP message with the RST flag. Problem solved (since we assume the network stack to be OK). (For completeness, the same is true for other ports while a UDP message to an unbound port would cause an ICMP destination unreachable.)
2b) We configure a packet filter to drop packets to port 100, TCP. In that case, we also prevented the exploit because no packets from the Internet can reach the demon X (assuming that the packet filter works correct, but we assumed the same thing for the network stack in 2a).
2c) We combine methods 2a and 2b, i.e., unbind the demon and drop packets to its port.
So, all 3 solutions prevent the exploit we defined, but is there one which should be prefered? IMO, 2a is completely sufficient, b and c add nothing to the security of a. In fact, 2b might be more dangerous since a misconfiguration of the packet filter would allow packets to reach X. Now, usually the argumentation is that 2c is better since the computer is then invisible or "stealth". But as I have argued all along, it is not: In 2a, the computer responds with a TCP RST. In 2c, at first glance, it does not respond at all. However, and this is where the nature of the Internet as a system of interconnected routers comes in, if the computer really wasn't there, another router would respond in its place. In particular, if we send a packet to 126.96.36.199, it would eventually reach a router of our ISP, which is responsible for some IP range including 188.8.131.52. If A is really not there, the ISP would respond in A's place with an ICMP "destination unreachable" (cf. RFC 792). Otherwise, if A is up and connected, the ISP routes the packet on to A, where it is dropped by the packet filter. The source will then retry the packet after a timeout, but after a few tries, it can pretty reliably determine that A exists (no other router replied in its place with an ICMP error) but is dropping packets (since we haven't received a reply). Since we have established that 2a and c are both "secure" solutions, i.e., prevent the specified attack scenario, I now vote for KISS: 2c offers nothing more than 2a (since in both cases an attacker can deduce A's existence, either from a direct reply or the lack thereof), however it introduces a packet filter, which can have its own security vulnerabilities.
After this lengthy argument, we can finally come back to ping: If we can determine all this from a packet to an arbitrary port, what is the advantage of dropping ping requests? It should be clear by now that we get no added security: If we get no reply to ping, simply send a TCP SYN to port 25 and apply the logic I sketched before.
I hope this answers your questions. If it doesn't, there are always text books, which go into more details than I have (and even this comment is much longer than I wanted it to be). Have a look at Tannenbaum's "Computer Networks" or Kurose's "Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach" for two standard books on computer networks. However, Tannenbaum's book doesn't have much information on ICMP and I can't check Kurose's because it's at the office. If you need more information about that, I would recommend RFC 792, which includes all the little details. If you are interested in firewall design, Suehring's "Linux Firewalls", is probably a good starting point. IIRC, it also has a good part about connection establishing and all the little details involving ICMP; but it's been a while since I read it, so my memory might fail me.
I hope this finally clarifies my position on packet dropping.
P.S.: If somebody still thinks that packet dropping and "stealth" is the way to go, go ahead, I won't lose any sleep over it. Just as long as they also respect the other fundamentals such as keeping your OS and applications up to date.
203 • @197 (by Ron on 2009-11-17 18:35:24 GMT from United States)
I did just that but I dropped the hammer in my coffee. The coffee was good and I drank it. This is really going to hurt later....
Anyways. The Windows 7 DvD cost over 300USD for the full version. And they can't even make a disc that doesn't fall apart. I did the same thing with it that I did with Suse 11.2 and it wouldn't fit right so I got the hammer out, the small I had used previously since I drank the other new smaller one.
I have an idea. I think I am putting the disc in upside down in that slot on my 8086. So I can't really afford to spend another 300+ USD on Windows so I am going to just get another Suse 11.2 disc and try it again since it is free. Before I do that though I am going to see if I can duct tape one of the other Suse 11.2 discs together, I even have my staple gun out just incase I need it. I know it will work. A friend of a friends brothers dogs cousins owner did the same thing and it worked for him.
(For those that are wondering what on earth I am talking about you can read my other post, post 192. If you are still not sure what I am talking about you are probably not alone, lol.)
204 • Speed bumps (by pfb on 2009-11-17 18:38:32 GMT from Anonymous Proxy)
I had the most difficult time getting Mandriva 2010 (64b) to install. Finally, I gave up and downloaded and new copy of the DVD. Surprise! Everything worked -- almost. I cannot get 2010 to list itself in zeroconf. It will read other machines, but not itself. And other machines cannot read it. A lot of web searching proved of little help. Not a big deal, as I think samba is faster.
OpenSuSE 11.2 (64b) installed like a dream. No problems. Samba was still a major set up. Although Yast now allows "share", it still requires a lot of doctoring smb.conf to get it working. But, I am getting good (or lucky) at it. Success is how I know that samba is faster than zeroconf.
Abiword doesn't print in openSuSE. I thought it was because the Abiword version was 2.6.8 which I know from previous experience won't print. But I upgraded to Abiword 2.8.1 (which works OK in Mandriva 2010) and although I could kinda-sorta print, I have to do it through print preview. Boo-hiss! I think I would conclude that this is a SuSE problem. Ducking leaping lizards.
Both distros are fine for my purposes. Now I have to try the Suse upgrade (11.1 to 11.2) on my main machine (32b). I also plan to put Fedora 12 (64b) on my laptop. Woe is me, why do all the new distros come out at the same time? Just kidding.
205 • @200 (by Henning Melgaard on 2009-11-17 18:39:15 GMT from Denmark)
I agree. Post nr. 198 is way out of line!
Remarks like that should not be allowed.
206 • re:198 (by Anonymous on 2009-11-17 18:46:47 GMT from India)
This comment is a personal attack on someone and is in very poor taste. Another vote that the comment should be deleted. Xtyn wins no one's favour by providing this sort of cruft.
207 • @202 dropping packets (by Jesse on 2009-11-17 18:58:26 GMT from Canada)
Lars, Thank you for expanding on your point of view. I think you're right in that we were approaching the question from different directions and I appreciate you taking the time to explain your ideas.
I don't think I disagree with anything you've written, and I would like to add one comment, mostly to the forum in general. That is that some attackers (or automated attacks, such as worms) will try to ping a machine before launching a full-out attack. So, while I agree with Lars that running in stealth mode doesn't gain us much, in those few cases it can prevent an attack from being launched. it's not much protection, like running network services on non-standard ports, but it can cut down on the cracking tools taking pot shots at your computer.
But, as Lars said, ping is also a very useful networking tool. Each person should weigh the pros and cons for themselves.
Lars, thanks again.
208 • No subject (by forest on 2009-11-17 19:04:54 GMT from United Kingdom)
Quite right, HM, before you know it we'll be having cartoons next...
209 • @203, (please see also @192) (by Andy on 2009-11-17 19:11:36 GMT from United States)
@203 - I believe your experience now qualifies as an official distro review for DWW. You'll probably get credit for reviewing both openSUSE 11.2 and Windows 7. Nice work, and brilliant use of the duct tape and the staple gun!
The 22% of DWW readers who are still contemplating purchasing their first IBM 8086 are very appreciative, I am sure.
210 • @209 (by Ron on 2009-11-17 19:17:45 GMT from United States)
I am so glad I could help. But maybe holding off on that 8086 and waiting for the much anticipated, state of the art, 286 might work better.
Now if I could just get this ethernet cable to fit in this winmodem of mine. Where is that hammer...
211 • Ladislav - how about a reader review section w/ a set format like: (by Anonymous on 2009-11-17 19:27:21 GMT from United States)
Media - live/dvd/net
Install type - upgrade/clean
- Yrs using Linux
- Number of distros used
- Experience level
- mb & chipset
- Running Performace
- Hw issues w/found fixes
- Sw issues w/found fixes
- what's missing (packages/hw supprt)
- reader rating
212 • The post that was an attack (by Landor on 2009-11-17 19:40:51 GMT from Canada)
Comment deleted (off-topic).
213 • No subject (by forest on 2009-11-17 20:55:44 GMT from United Kingdom)
Comment deleted (off-topic).
214 • RE: 213 (by Landor on 2009-11-17 21:20:52 GMT from Canada)
Supposedly Xtyn is now using a proxy, Forest. Which would be the reason for the different posts from different countries.
Who knows who is who though. Who even said they are posting from a proxy, was it Xtyn?
No, I'm not wearing a tin-foil hat by the way..lol
For some humour I read this in Mad Magazine this week. I hadn't bought one for years and it made me smile.
5 reasons why MS thinks you'll love W7:
1) It includes even more useful features stolen from Apple.
2) Your computer will run much faster because you won't be able to load most of your old programs.
3) Less use of the word "Vista" means less instances of involuntary twitching amongst PC users everywhere.
4) Newly designed front screen is cleaner, so it's much easer to read Fatal Error messages.
5) PC users will enjoy a "virus free feelings" for two weeks while hackers prepare major security breaches for Windows 7.
It's a toss-up between 1 and 4 for my favourite. :)
I hope all's well in the UK.
Keep your stick on the ice...
215 • Hooray! In-fighting FTW!!!11eleven (by stuckinoregon on 2009-11-17 21:42:16 GMT from United States)
Just my $0.02.
OpenSuSE 11.2 KDE installed from DVD running great on T60. Both live cds failed for me as well. md5sums were off though so, not necessarily fair to blame OpenSuSE for that. Other than that and with the DVD, smooth sailing.
Ubuntu 9.10 - Working great on an older machine with AthlonXP and NVIDIA card. It also worked great on the T60.
Caitlyn - It's really unfortunate that we have to go through this crap all the time. She reviews on the hardware she has. She posts what she's testing on. The reviews are her findings under her conditions only. What's the big deal? Seems that a bunch of people just want to get their panties in a knot over something, and she provides a good target. She's a tough cookie and doesn't shy away from much of anything. BRAVO!
If you don't like it, change the channel.
216 • Fair?(by Antony on 2009-11-17 23:25:16 GMT from United Kingdom)
Some may not like Caitlyn's style. I am ok with it.
Her truthfulness, though, can not be denied - and I value her reviews and comments. I guess what some can't handle is the way in which CM might respond to feedback - well, to me her responses mirror her review style, that is, to be unconcerned with agenda or pettiness and just give the facts as she finds them, and forsake the popularity/ego contest.
See, some people mistakenly take CM's straightforward (honest) comments personally.
It is a shame that some will time and time again accuse CM (or others, for that matter), for not being fair or not doing a proper job when it is so obvious that the person has not even bothered to read the review properly :(
There is a good percentage of people here who have READ the review, and have accepted its usefulness in the proper context.
I don't want it to seem that I do not appreciate reviews by Jesse etc., but feel that CM cops a lot of unjustified flak - simply because she, by nature, is not interested in pussyfooting around, and just desires to fathom things...and by extension, there is the same desire help others in that regard.......in a simple, matter-of-fact way. As I said earlier, this is (I think) often misinterpreted as arrogance/ego etc. This is a shame.
Anyway, thanks to the Distrowatch team for you efforts, and to the readers who try to remain balanced. Also, much appreciated also, is the valuable (and sane) input from Adam Williamson - good luck with f12.
217 • Linux Mint And Suse (by JD on 2009-11-17 23:47:26 GMT from United States)
Once again i must go off on how linux mint is not a separate distro! it's just a custom Ubuntu for people who don't know how to setup Ubuntu or are to lazy too. If only we could overcome this license BS so there would be no need for mint! , the Mint Developers are good people though i wish them the best.
Opensuse is great , you just gotta disable all the junk you don't need then you'll see even greater speed! and you cannot always trust the results to be accurate when running on celerons , i've had pcs with the same configuration one with a celeron one with a Sempron , the celaron effects your system horribly things crash die and burn, and the sad part is you don't know why it's happening ! the Sempron ? not so much.
218 • @217 (by Matt on 2009-11-18 00:03:21 GMT from Canada)
Mint's relationship to Ubuntu is the same as Ubuntu's to Debian. They're all just based off of each other. If you want to classify things like that then we have only a few actual distro's out there, Debian, Slackware etc. But I would like to suggest that Mint is it's own distro, based on Ubuntu yes, but these days, what isn't!? It's separate in so many ways, .Mint files, the menu style, updater, it's not just Ubuntu with a few more codecs and a green theme. I would ask you JD... have you ever actually tried Mint?
219 • 11.2 possibly best Linux release yet (by oldcpu on 2009-11-18 00:33:01 GMT from Germany)
I have openSUSE-11.2 w/KDE-4.3.1 running on 4 desktop PCs now, and I experienced none of the problems the reviewer experienced. The PCs are:
(1)Intel Core i7 920 w/6GB RAM and PCI-e nVidia GeForce GTX260 – blinding fast
(2)32-bit Athlon-2800 w/2GB RAM and PCI nVidia GeForce 8400GS – snappier than 11.1.
(3)32-bit Sempron-2600 w/1GB RAM and AGP legacy ATI Radeon device – snappier than 11.1 but some driver hiccups preventing special desktop effects
(4)32-bit Athlon-1100 w/1GB RAM and AGP nVidia GeForce FX5200 – snappier than 11.1
All 4 PCs are subjectively snappier than openSUSE-11.1 with KDE-3.5.10 or openSUSE-11.1 with KDE-4.3.2 (using community updates). I believe EXT4 file system may be the reason for the snappiness.
openSUSE-11.2 was the first Linux release (of any) that I was able to configure a Linux PC to be a printer server using IP protocol (so both WinXP and Linux PCs could print) by only using the YaST GUI configuration tool. On all other Linux versions, I had to hand edit the cupsd.conf file. Not this time. All WinXP and Linux PCs can now easily print via this openSUSE-11.2 PC.
OpenSUSE-11.2 was the first Linux release (of any) that automatically configured my wife's Epson scanner on her PC. All other Linux releases required me to hand edit various config files and/or mess with user permissions.
I provide support for basic sound for openSUSE on a support forum, and I note for sound support requests, we are getting about 5% of the help requests that we normally get. That is a phenomenal and undeniable reduction in help requests. I credit the 1.0.21 version of alsa that is in the 2.6.31 kernel and also 11.2's KDE having Pulse Audio disabled by default.
Reference the Distrowatch reviewer looking for applications less than a week after a release hits the street. IMHO those comments over look the constraints of the open source world and those comments in the review are out of place at this time. Such comments would have more an impact if made and if still true one month after a new release of a distro. As for installing an rpm from Fedora, … come on ! Ever heard of “rpmbuild –rebuild < application-spec-file.src.rpm > “ ? Or even better, search here: http://software.opensuse.org/search and one immediately gets a hit of an 11.2 bluefish rpm. The rpm is there already packaged for openSUSE. If one can not find it, ask on the openSUSE forums and help can be provided.
The biggest hiccups I've noted on 11.2 based on complaints in the forums is users struggling with the ATI graphic driver, most of the problem not being an openSUSE fault, but rather an ATI decision to drop legacy graphic support. This puts a lot more pressure on the open source community to produce a good openGL driver for ATI, and unfortunately there are some bugs in that openGL driver impacting openSUSE-11.2 for some ATI cards.
There are also, still, some hiccups with Network Manager under KDE for controlling wireless. It can still be made to work, but requires extra mouse clicks, which is irritating for some. There was a time (and still is for some of us) where to avoid excessive mouse clicks and/or command line typing, we would create (and some still do create) a simple script and link it to a keyboard function, which is VERY easy and intuitive to do on KDE-4.3.1. But that self configuring skill appears to be lost in today's point and click world.
Everyone's Linux is different, but on my 4 PCs it appears 11.2 is shaping up to be the best openSUSE release yet. However the jury is still out, and a few more weeks are needed until last minute bugs are patched and the masses provide their comments before a good recommendation can be made.
So while I enjoyed reading the openSUSE-11.2 review, my recommendation to friends is not to listen to the conclusions of that Distrowatch review but rather wait until the jury reads its verdict in a few weeks, and only then come to some conclusions.
220 • Suse edu-li-f-e edition (by mikkh on 2009-11-18 01:21:57 GMT from United Kingdom)
In word - impressive
I've got a fast connection with no silly bandwidth restrictions, so the 2.9 GB download didn't put me off. Been 'playing' with it for an hour or so now, and so far I can't fault it.
As a recovering 'distroholic' I find each impulse download less and less satisfying and pick the tiniest hole in any new distro I try, so I can justify sampling the next one.
I already tried the Gnome live CD last week and took no pleasure in tossing the thing binwards, as Suse 8 was my first introduction to Linux. That's why this one ( edu-li-f-e) was such a pleasant surprise.
Before I get too nostalgic and try to justify my credentials by naming my current distro of choice, just try it yourself, it's definitely a 'keeper'
Thumbs up to those involved
221 • *FYI-Fedora 12 Checksums* (by D1Knight on 2009-11-18 01:58:33 GMT from United States)
Just to be clear, after I downloaded Fedora 12, I attempted to run checksum as a "SHA1" as listed on file. The results did not match. A bad download, I thought, but I remember back on Fedora 11 it was a "SHA256" checksum. The same for F12-SHA256 is correct.Peace
222 • RE: 221 Fedora 12 Checksums (by ladislav on 2009-11-18 02:06:10 GMT from Taiwan)
I've checked it again, but the CHEKSUM file does say it's SHA1:
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
223 • RE: 221 Fedora 12 Checksums (by ladislav on 2009-11-18 02:10:33 GMT from Taiwan)
Now that I look at it again, the string does indeed seem a bit long for SHA1. Maybe you are right; I am going to download one of the files and run sha256sum on it to make sure.
224 • RE 222 Fedora Checksums (by D1Knight on 2009-11-18 02:14:43 GMT from United States)
I apologize Ladislav, I probably was not clear enough. The checksum results are for SHA256, not SHA1. I just wanted to give the DWW readers, a "head's up".
I thinking, I should sign up at Fedora's Forum, to inform them over there. Yeah, that is proper. Unless, Ladislav is there a easier way? Peace Have a great week! :)
225 • Checksums and Fedora (by Jesse on 2009-11-18 02:21:22 GMT from Canada)
I noticed the checksum problem too. When I ran sha1 on the Fedora iso file, it didn't match.
For those who have asked, I hope to have a review of Fedora 12 into Ladislav by the end of the week.
226 • Rules reminder (by ladislav on 2009-11-18 02:33:24 GMT from Taiwan)
I've deleted an awful lot of off-topic posts this week, so here is a quick reminder - please treat this place as a comments section (not as a general forum). If you wish to comment on the stories covered in this week's DistroWatch Weekly, by all means do, but if you just want to have a general chat with someone then please consider exchanging emails instead of posting irrelevant topics here.
Another reminder: the topic here is free operating systems. Any posts that don't fall under this umbrella will be deleted.
227 • @223 Fedora checksum (by D1Knight on 2009-11-18 03:06:01 GMT from United States)
OK, I e-mailed Adam Williamson, he was kind enough to clear it up for me.
The Fedora 12 SHA1 is for the signature of the checksum (SHA256).
Well, that is my noob (Dohhh!) moment. My apologies to everyone.
228 • #173: Hardware compatability (by Caitlyn Matyin on 2009-11-18 05:09:57 GMT from United States)
@Andy: You are correct about the importance of hardware compatibility checks. I chose the HP Mini 110 because it was an excellent value in a system preloaded with Linux. I also read Ladislav's review of the unit (see: http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20090928 ) which helped solidify my decision. Prior to trying openSUSE on the machine I had also tried Pardus 2009, Slackware 13, Ubuntu 9.10, and Mandriva 2010. All worked well with the hardware involved. Granted, the wireless driver is not included in Slackware. I knew that up front and had the required documentation on building and enabling it before I installed Slackware. See: http://beginlinux.com/appsm/wireless_m/1419-slackware-13-wireless/
As a general rule what is supported by one of the major distros is supported by all. Based on my success with the four distros I listed above why should I have had any reason to believe openSUSE wouldn't work? Also, what makes the HP Mini 110 "odd hardware"? It's a current model by one of the largest PC makers in the world that is sold worldwide. It explicitly supports Linux and was advertised as such by the manufacturer. I now know Fedora 12 works well on the machine as well.
On my older hardware I had relatively few problems. Why is the older hardware an issue at all?
So, would you care to explain to me how I "had it coming"? Can you explain to me why a machine that works well with Fedora, Mandriva, Pardus and Ubuntu not working with openSUSE is my fault? Maybe I'm being a bit thick today but I really do not understand how you reached your conclusion. Please explain it to me.
229 • @228 (by Andy on 2009-11-18 06:42:09 GMT from United States)
Example: a hardware compatability search would have shown that the Broadcom wireless card may give you a problem under openSUSE. Instead of asking the community for help, you passed an option to the kernel that you thought would work. You noted that your installation appeared broken after reboot, but you proceeded with your test and review of the system.
Example: You copied an X configuration from Vector Linux Light to /etc/X11 on openSUSE and expected (or hoped?) it would run without problems.
Later, you complained about various lock-ups and crashes, without questioning your own installation procedure. Were the lockups and crashes related to the attempted wireless work-around or the X11 configuration? Maybe, maybe not - how can I tell from reading the review?
A quick search of the openSUSE forum reveals that several users have recently been guided step-by-step through the correct process with Broadcom wireless cards. Yet, your own words indicate that you preferred not to avail yourself of the community assistance that was readily available to you: "I found answers to all my issues without having to ask any questions". You did not ask questions - but I would disagree on the idea that you found answers to all the issues that were plaguing your installation.
openSUSE has graphical tools for configuring X11, and there are excellent documents available on how to manually configure X under openSUSE - why would you copy a version from Vector Linux instead of availing yourself of the built-in configuration tools?
A hardware compatability check is not as simple as trying to install a distro on a machine that worked with other distros. A user should take an inventory of their hardware elements, and research them for problems prior to installation. If they see that they are going to run into a problem, they should research enough to find out if there is an adequate work-around, or to determine that the hardware itself is not supported by the distro and simply will not work, in which case they would not want to install that distro with that hardware.
I was initially very concerned about your reports, but I later found an excellent, in-depth review by Jason Brooks at eWeek (11/11/09) that made me feel better about trying openSUSE on my laptop. So far it has been working very well - no installation problems or crashes. I installed abiword (zypper is amazing - actually easier for me to use than apt) to see if I had the same crashes as you, but I was unable to replicate your problem.
I think you are probably a fine person, but your review nearly scared me away from trying this excellent distro. I'm no SUSE apologist - the last I used it for any extended period was about the 9.3 version, and I've recently been using Ubuntu. I'm glad I read closely and observed the trouble you ran into, as I am growing to like this version, and am glad I tried it despite your negative recommendation.
230 • @221-225, 227 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-18 08:15:13 GMT from Canada)
Just to clear it up - the SHA thing is a bear trap we leave in there just to watch people stumble into it, because we're evil that way. ;)
SHA-1 isn't actually *wrong*, but it's hilariously misleading. It refers to the algorithm used for the _signature_ on the checksum file, not the algorithm used by _the checksum itself_. The signature is SHA-1, the checksum is SHA-256. Clear? No? Good. :)
This is actually surprisingly hard to 'fix', but we are aware of the bear trap and do intend to do it when possible.
231 • Good for you, Caitlyn (by Anon on 2009-11-18 08:56:39 GMT from New Zealand)
Love the review. Not a SUSE fan, but even my favorite distributions have plenty of problems that deserve to get ripped by reviewers.
It seems pretty clear from your experiences that the VARIABLE (between working and non-working) was the DISTRIBUTION (and nothing else).
Can't believe the complaints about the netbook hardware. How many reviewers would even try (in three days) installing a distribution on two different machines?
People using anything other than the latest hardware don't deserve to get thrown under the bus (as happened with the Intel graphics fiasco), so keep those reviews on the Toshiba coming.
232 • Knoppix 6.2 (by Anonymous on 2009-11-18 10:54:57 GMT from United Kingdom)
There is a warning not to download versions dated before today (18th Nov) because of a wrong keyboard layout installed
Having searched through a lot of mirrors, this is the first one I found with the required date
233 • LinuxCD (by Ash on 2009-11-18 11:21:52 GMT from India)
I know many would not say it the correct forum for issues like this. However I recently followed links from Distrowatch to LinuxCD and paid them 10 dollars to receive 2 defunct DVDs and now no reply to any mail. Also none of the email IDs works given on their website.
I guess it would be much better to pay to your ISP for the downloads then to the LinuxCD and request everyone to pay attention where you are spending your hard earned money.
234 • Ubugtu 9.10 (by biter on 2009-11-18 11:31:59 GMT from Germany)
Ubugtu's aptitude program crashes along with system if I press the "n" key repeatedly. Half-arsed quality when the main console has woes.
235 • Fedora (by Tim on 2009-11-18 13:22:53 GMT from United States)
How does the new Fedora handle dependancies? Are the repositories any different. The reason that I am asking is that I use Red Hat ES5 at work and it does not work well at all when it comes to dependancies. As a matter of fact, when I attempt to do updates I get error saying that the files are already installed and it stops the rest of the process. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
236 • SuSE? (by pfb on 2009-11-18 13:43:27 GMT from Anonymous Proxy)
The combination of openSuSE 11.2-64, Opera, and yahoo mail works very poorly to not at all. However the combination of Mandriva 2010-64, Opera, yahoo mail works almost normal. Because it isn't fully up to speed in Mandriva, I am thinking it is a yahoo problem. They tend to be really snotty about the kind of browser one uses. But Opera is also new. So I am not sure. It could even be SuSE.
Am I alone? Or do others have this problem?
237 • @233 by Ash in India (by Sean on 2009-11-18 13:56:42 GMT from United States)
LinuxCD was quite reliable for us up to this past August; we used to get our distros exclusively from them as we did not trust our download, burn abilities here.
Since then we have learned to do it right. ;o)
But, yes, that outfit began to ship us non-functional discs along with no customer support at all (read: silence in the face of requests for info and complaints). It is disappointing to see them still advertised at Distrowatch.
Forget your money and just move on, is my advice. Sadly.
238 • @236 (by Cristian on 2009-11-18 15:14:06 GMT from Romania)
No problems for me with openSUSE + Opera + Yahoo!
239 • My Previous Posts and My Point (by Ron on 2009-11-18 15:14:32 GMT from United States)
I am not sure if anyone understood the meaning of my previous posts.
1 - In them I talked about ancient hardware.
2 - In them I talked about insane ways to fix problems and none of them had anything to do with asking or looking for help in the appropriate places.
3 - I talked about the price's of Operating Systems
And so on. I just did it in a, my, weird way, lol.
The reason why I am making this post is for this reason. A reviewer is a reviewer. My first post mentioned that I had a great experience with Suse 11.2 and did not have any issues. Others have said the same. Then some have said they have had bad experiences. So who is right? We all are. There is no operating systems at all that works perfectly. Not Linux, BSD, Windows, Macs, etc.
I have bought a few computers in the past that came bundled with the latest MS Windows. Now the bundled software on the computer worked just fine. Guess what happened when I got rid of the bundled software and just installed the latest MS Windows... Half of the hardware would not work at all.
Why is that? Well MS Windows adds support after the fact. New hardware doesn't just work without drivers from the manufacturer of that hardware. And these manufacturers keep up with things for Windows a lot better and faster then they do with Linux, if they even bother at all with Linux.
So what this means for Linux in general is that those working on various distro's have to get it all together on their own. Suse, Mandriva, Ubuntu, Fedora, etc. And a lot of times there is so much that needs to be done that these distro's have to prioritize it seems. This is understandable.
And Linux is free, BSD is to of course, Windows is not. Mac's are not.
I think it is better for all of us to talk about the over all usefulness and stability but keeping in mind that hardware support should be taken to that distro's forums so they can eventually get things working with it. Or better yet start sending emails, politely of course, to the manufacturer asking if they can make a linux driver.
As far as reviewing reviewers. I think that is idiotic. They are stating their experiences as I stated mine in my first post (the following few was me making that point I mentioned earlier in this post.) No ones experiences are right or wrong. Sometimes things work for some and sometimes they don't for others. Same thing goes for Windows and Macs, so this is nothing new.
Well these are my on this.
240 • @236 - Yahoo mail, Opera (by Andy on 2009-11-18 16:00:36 GMT from United States)
I've gotten Yahoo mail working in Opera on 11.2, but I notice that the mouse selection actions are a little jumpy, and sometimes select the wrong item on the page. However, I've been able to send and receive messages OK. Seems more stable with Firefox on 11.2. I used zypper to install Opera version 10.01 from the main 11.2 repository.
241 • SUSE 11.2 KDE is almost perfect. (by Glen Dean on 2009-11-18 16:01:10 GMT from United States)
I glad I installed suse 11.2 before I read the review. Suse installed without any problems. Puzzled that so many have issues using suse.
Could it be they wanted it to fail. Further up the comments section hinted at that. They wrote , "...I'm GLAD to see others had same experience as me, blah,blah, blah" GLAD, meaning wanted suse to fail. Why?
I have test for Ladislav Bodnar. sometime. Have three reviewers review the same distro without either knowing about the others. Then you would have a decent review of a distro.
Now that I think about it, make SURE the others know someone else is also reviewing the same distro. You would most assuredly have different points of view.
This review was so far off the mark that it's hard to say where the problem lays. Maybe its experience level. Because she is good at writing doesn't equate to technical expertise.
This wouldn't even come to mind if I had even remotely similar results as the reviewer. My suse 11.2 installation went without incident.
Here's the real mind-boggler. This was my very first suse installation. I have used Ubuntu, Debian forever.
From that perspective alone I would question her future reviews. She can't install or has so much trouble with such a simple task. It's really hard to believe. It was as though we were installing different OS's.
Any further reviews by Ms Martin I will have to take as a grain of salt.
242 • #229: Clarifications (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-18 16:08:00 GMT from United States)
@Andy: Thank you for taking the time to engage in a discussion rather than being dismissive. There are some points you made which indicate that either you misunderstood what I wrote in the review or else I failed to clearly communicate what actually happened.
re: the Broadcom card on the HP netbook, yes, I am very aware that most distros, including openSUSE, have had problems with some of the Broadcom chipset. I had a 64-bit Gateway netbook which died that used a similar (possibly the same) Broadcom chipset that worked correctly with an older version of openSUSE using ndiswrapper. I am NOT a SUSE newbie. Based on my previous experience with openSUSE I had good reason to believe I could work around the issue which, in fact, I could. Once I installed the correct driver from PackMan it worked just fine.
The issue for which I am filing a bug report is in the installer itself. When it detects a Broadcom 4312 chipset it should leave it unconfigured rather than loading an incorrect driver. That's what causes the lockup during the installation process. It's a genuine bug and it should be fixed.
Regarding X on the Toshiba laptop with the Trident CyberBlade XPi chipset, here I am guilty of not communicating all the intermediate steps in the interest of keeping the length of the review reasonable. I did try the X configuration tools provided with openSUSE and they did not work. The flaw here is in upstream X code. I reported the identical bug to both Ubuntu and Vector Linux developers. In the case of vxconfig, the Vector Linux X configuration tool, they had to add code to force specific settings in order to have that non-VESA compliant card work. I don't know for sure what the Ubuntu devs did but I'd bet dollars to donuts that it's something similar. The problem here is that the chipset in question is a bit of an odd duck and the new autodetection routines for X.org which made xorg.conf files unnecessary in most cases just do not work with that chipset on ANY distribution. What distributors end up doing is adding a workaround to an upstream bug. I'm fairly confident that if I file a bug report the openSUSE developers can do the same if they are interested in supporting legacy hardware.
What I don't understand is your objection to my dropping in a known good xorg.conf file. That's a quick and easy fix that is not distribution specific. Why do you object to my using a workaround like that? I had no X problems at all afterwards.
Regarding the installation on the netbook: I must point out that blacklisting the ssb driver is also not distribution specific and, once again, it worked fine. The installation was flawless and routine after that. The additional flaws I reported: the odd language used by the partitioner and the outdated docs, are real issues, albeit minor ones, that I honestly believe should be fixed.
I do not believe the instability with KDE is related to the one install. I have received a very courteous e-mail directly from a KDE developer and I will be sending him specific information this evening and filing relevant bug reports. I did NOT have instability in the Xfce environment so the issue is KDE-specific. I also get the impression from my correspondence so far that my problems are not unique.
My usual reviews are written weeks after release. Ladislav asked for a first look which limited my time severely. That made extensive correspondence within the community and extensive research impossible. Your points on those two issues are certainly valid but I feel you are failing to consider that I was working under a tight deadline and, as a result, had to take some significant shortcuts.
One thing I am certain of: I have at least four and possibly five bug reports to file, all on legitimate issues that I discovered. The Broadcom chipsets are popular and a lot of people will be impacted by that one. The installer issues, though not serious, are also real. The stability issue is serious and I am willing to invest the time to work with developers to solve it.
The fact that the hardware works with three of the "big four" and at least two other distros in the DistroWatch top 25 tells me that the failing here is largely the openSUSE code, not anything I did. I also feel I have an obligation to report that. I did say, right in my conclusions, that different results on different hardware were very possible. I also made clear up front that my review only applied to the 32-bit release. Nonetheless, even with the constraints I had I do believe that the issues I ran into are real and that the review was fair.
An excellent release? As many other people have commented that depends on the hardware involved. The plain fact is that Novell and the openSUSE community did tout this release as offering improved netbook support. I tested it with a popular netbook and found it wanting both in terms of hardware support and in terms of the way the have the default KDE desktop and the Xfce desktop configured. One important part of any review, as Chris Smart so clearly stated in his review or Arch Linux, is to test the claims made by the distributor.
243 • @235 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-18 17:48:47 GMT from Canada)
You're going to need to be a lot more specific. Dependency resolution isn't some kind of scary voodoo, it's pretty simple logic. All dependency resolving package managers 'handle' it pretty much identically, minus some screwy corner cases. What exactly is your problem with RHEL? By 'exactly' I mean 'please pastebin the console output. ALL the console output'.
244 • @241 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-18 17:49:02 GMT from Canada)
You, sir, are a complete numpty.
245 • #242 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-18 17:49:14 GMT from Canada)
does the CyberBlade work on Fedora?
246 • @242 - My closing argument (by Andy on 2009-11-18 17:50:42 GMT from United States)
It would appear that we must agree to disagree. What you espouse as a "quick and easy" work around of dropping in an xorg.conf from another distro would be unacceptable on the work computers in my office.
I am sorry about your tight deadline. I can see how that might force you to make some of the decisions you made. I think DWW should give more than 3 days for a proper review - it sounds as though this one was doomed from the start, so to speak. Interesting to read Jesse's Mandriva review last week - apparently Jesse does not have the same time and/or hardware constraints, and was able to give a fairly in-depth review. Interesting that Mandriva was reviewed with newer hardware, whereas you were asked to undertake this seemingly doomed mission. Reminds me of how I had to complain early last year when DistroWatch linked to an openSUSE 11.1 rant as a review on a rant site - the author stated in his first paragraph "my rants won't help you choose which distribution is right for you", and referred to his rants as "cheap entertainment" (TechieMoe.com). Distrowatch refused to remove the link (still there today), leading me to believe there is a bit of an anti-SUSE (pro-Debian and Ubuntu?) bias going on at my favorite distro website. Your review did nothing to allay my concerns.
As I said, I am glad I found the openSUSE 11.2 review by Jason Brooks at eWeek. He seemed to take the time to install properly, and gave a great deal of advice on how to get the most from the system. I am testing it on a laptop and in a virtual environment right now, and getting excellent performance.
I'm going to have to check-out from the DWW correspondence now folks. Got a bit of a project in front of me today. Best of luck to everyone who tries this install this week. I'm looking forward to trying the new Fedora 12 as well - that should be interesting to compare side-by-side with openSUSE 11.2. I hope DWW gives Fedora a fair shake when it comes to the "First Look" review. Maybe throw in a post-2005 laptop or desktop?
That's my closing argument. Over to the jury now - but keep in mind, if I am found guilty, I am a flight risk, so the judge better set that bail pretty high.
247 • #242: Adam, I'll try it and let you know (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-18 18:21:49 GMT from United States)
Adam, it's been a long time since I had Fedora on the Toshiba laptop. I'll try and install 12 and let you know. I do know that RHEL 4.x works :) Of course, that predates the current X.org autodetection code. FWIW, when I did my consulting stint with your employer I used that laptop for work until my company ThinkPad arrived.
I've also never seen you call someone names before. I'm not saying the guy didn't deserve it. It was just unexpected from you :)
248 • #219 - Some responses, clarifications (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-18 18:58:49 GMT from United States)
@oldcpu: First, I do agree with you about the improvement, at least subjectively, in performance with the 11.2 release. I even went so far as to give kudos to the developers in the review for that. I was very pleasantly surprised at just how well openSUSE 11.2 performed on the old Toshiba, both the live CD and installed. While ext4 may be a factor once the OS is installed I think more optimization had to be done beyond that. The live CD performance absolutely blew me away. I expect that from some lightweight distros but not from one of the "big four". In that respect this release is impressive.
I also note that all your machines are 64-bit. Are you using the 64-bit version? Please note that my review did not cover that.
I also did note a lot less sound issues in all the major distros new releases and I believe you are correct about the improvements in ALSA. I've had good luck with PulseAudio myself but I do know others have had issues.
Regarding your comment (and those others have made) about Bluefish and medit (the two apps I looked for) and the search function on the openSUSE web page, perhaps a clarification is in order. The two apps are quite popular and seem to be included in most distros main repository, hence my surprise at not finding them. You are correct that I could have gone beyond the repositories listed in YAsT and found them. That takes me into a world of myriad small unofficial repositories -- a world I desperately try ot avoid. In my experience many of the developer and user repos do have duplication and conflicts and that is a sure road into dependency hell. I've talked about why I think depending on third party repos, especially multiple third party repos, is a really bad idea and have complained about it before in reference to Slackware and CentOS when used as a desktop OS. Yes, it was a solution that would have delivered a Bluefish package but, IME, it's not a good solution at all.
I really shouldn't have mentioned where I got the Bluefish package from in the review as it was irrelevant. You are absolutely correct that using a Fedora package in openSUSE is generally a bad idea. I am very familiar with Bluefish as I have maintained that package for another distro. It has very few dependencies and the ones it has are generally part of any standard install on a major distro. I new up front that the Fedora package would almost certainly work properly. That was a cheat to save time and it definitely should not have been included in the review. That was definitely fair comment.
Should package availability and repo size be part of a review of a new release? When it comes to popular packages IMHO the answer really is "yes". Comparing the relative size of major distribution repositories, particulary when all are being looked at immediately after a release, is also fair game. I respect that you disagree but for many users the repository size and available packages impacts their choice of distribution.
I agree with your comments regarding legacy ATI drivers. There is absolutely nothing the SUSE developers could do on short notice. I also agree with you about the solution: the development of FOSS drivers should be a priority now as a lot of those cards are still out there.
Finally, interestingly enough, KNetworkManager has worked just fine for me. Once I had the correct driver installed wireless wasn't a problem. The Atheros 5212-based card in the Toshiba worked without a hitch.
I'm not sure that scripting and old school network configuration are a "lost skill". Rather they are a relatively advanced skill and Linux is attracting more non-technical users than ever before. openSUSE does a particularly good job in providing a wide range of graphical administration tools to make controlling the system more accessible to a wide range of users. I also like that YAsT provides the option to turn off NetworkManager and do "traditional" network control.
I'm also uncomfortable with your idea that we should wait weeks before rendering judgement on a final release. I though the months of alpha, beta, and release candidate testing were supposed to iron out most of the bugs. At least that's the theory that's been used in any project I've been involved in over the years. If the release has too many bugs it should be held until more are fixed. openSUSE has delayed releases before, most recently 11.1, and I approved of their decision to do so. Running into a situation where hardware which is very well supported under other Linux distributions just does not work without difficulty is significant and needs to be reported.
In any case, thank you for providing constructive feedback and criticism. I always respect and try to take in such criticism. The stone throwers, OTOH...
249 • suse netbook support (by 2c on 2009-11-18 21:05:37 GMT from Canada)
151 • Review (by Landor on 2009-11-17 00:55:12 GMT from Canada)
"I may be wrong here too since I haven't researched it, but regarding the netbook, I haven't seen openSUSE make any official statement that their distro supporst netbooks and works quite well with them, speed, functionality, etc. So in essence (unless someone proves that there was such a statement made by the team) I find any criticisms against the release to be nothing but nonsense when it comes to netbooks."
74 • #67: Read more closely (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-16 14:52:37 GMT from United States)
"To echo what Ladislav has said, if openSUSE isn't good for netbooks why is Novell touting it as a netbook distro? See: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/13/opensuse_11_2_released/ Were you aware that HP sells netbooks preloaded with SLED (commercial SUSE) as part of their offerings for businesses? Considering those two facts isn't testing the claims made for openSUSE on netbooks a reasonable thing to do?"
250 • Straight from the horse's mouth (by RollMeAway on 2009-11-18 22:10:58 GMT from United States)
"Under the Hood:
openSUSE 11.2 also includes new and updated drivers for your hardware, meaning more and newer devices work with openSUSE. In addition, special attention has been paid to the netbook market, and new drivers enable openSUSE to run better on a wider range of netbooks. "
251 • @246 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-18 22:21:36 GMT from Canada)
TechieMoe calls all his reviews 'rants', and Distrowatch has linked to similar reviews he's done of many different distros. Nothing SUSE-specific going on.
(I don't recall Moe ever rating anything above 2 stars :>)
There's nothing distribution-specific about an xorg.conf file. If Caitlyn has one that she knows produces a working configuration for hardware known to be problematic it seems a perfectly sensible thing to do, I really can't fault her for it.
You still seem to be working on the premise that reviews done on higher performing hardware are intrinsically more valid. I'm having difficulty understanding why. netbooks are phenomenally popular, and many many people run Linux distributions on older systems. I just cannot see any logical reason to consider it more valid to review a distribution on a brand new high-end system than on a netbook or a slightly older system. Both are perfectly typical usage scenarios that all mainstream distributions expect to encounter. I know several people who work on SUSE and none of them have ever given me the impression that SUSE only cares about running on brand-new, high-end hardware.
252 • @247 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-18 22:23:29 GMT from Canada)
Oh, believe me, it got revised downwards in profanity quite a lot until I hit on 'numpty'. :) I considered writing several paragraphs explaining exactly _why_ that poster is a numpty, but really, I think it'd go to waste. It's just...sigh.
From what you've written I rather expect the Cyberblade to fail on F12, but if you can test it and give us useful logs that explain why, we will likely be able to fix it in a way which is _not_ a distro-specific workaround but which winds up upstream and benefits all distros in future. This is one thing I find awesome about Fedora.
253 • Old? (by Anonymous on 2009-11-18 23:22:34 GMT from United States)
I use Debian.
I basically see only one big problem on old hardware.
The files used by apt (aptitude) currently make a 32Meg machine swap to death.
Once one gets past the installation and all the swapping, the experience is o.k.
I don't see many problems with carefull package selection on even a 486.
Just use a light weight window manager and applications.
Why do many people think that you must have only the latest hardware.
Linux is supposed to keep old hardware usefull unlike the Windows & Macs.
So far the largest reason I have to upgrade is gaming, and mostly a good video
card with proper GL support can make even an old machine seem fast.
If Linux or anything else requires one to trash old hardware and upgrade,
well that is like the last straw; why should anyone do that just for an OS?
However support of new hardware is also important, just don't forget the old stuff.
As for bloat...
Does anyone ever wonder what a minimum 512 million bytes of memory is actually being used for? Will we be talking Gigs or Teras soon?
254 • Knoppix (by just_me on 2009-11-18 23:42:27 GMT from Spain)
I'm glad to see a new Knoppix release. It was my very first expierence with linux and loved it. I could use it as a LiveCD so I did't worry to mess with my system, and then I was confident enough to install some linux distros on my hard drive. This is "my story" with linux, but I think I'm not th e only one :)
255 • OpenSUSE 11.2 (by TheBullDog on 2009-11-18 23:48:52 GMT from United States)
- I installed OpenSUSE 11.2, Gnome, on my trusty M700 laptop. With the exception of sound, everything seems to be running as expected, although a bit slow on this older hardware (PIII, 576MB RAM, 12GB HDD, ATI video, ES-1978 (Maestro-2E) sound card). Sound was unacceptably scratchy (like playing a scratched record with a worn out needle/stylus).
The problem affected playback through the internal speakers and the headphones port.I tried removing, reinstalling, and reconfiguring the sound card as well as other recommendations per the sound troubleshooting guide on the OpenSUSE web site. All to no avail.
While testing, I found the problem would go away at specific volume percentages if I slowly moved the volume slider (I found sweet spots at 100%, 94%, 89%, 63%, 59%, to name a few.) Any setting (other than these sweet spots) left me with scratchy audio. To confirm it wasn't a hardware problem, I booted the laptop with hard drives configured with Mandriva 2010.0, Vector (Light and SOHO), Ubuntu 9.10, and Xubuntu 9.10. In each case, sound was good and I could move the volume slider to any percentage without encountering scratchy audio.
Unfortunately, the last OpenSUSE release that worked well on this hardware was 10.3; but, given their 18 month support policy, 10.3 probably isn't being supported any longer.
To be fair, I'll try this release on a couple of generations of newer hardware as I have time to see if I get better results. I'll even give the KDE4 version a go on the faster hardware.
256 • #248 @ Caitlyn Martin (by oldcpu on 2009-11-19 00:22:14 GMT from Germany)
Just to re-iterate, I did enjoy reading your review, even if I disagreed with aspects, including disagreeing with the conclusion.
3 of the 4 PCs I installed 11.2 on are 32-bit, I did say so in my post #219 above. Only one is 64-bit (the Intel Core i7 920 on an Asus P6T Deluxe V2 motherboard). I have a 64-bit openSUSE-11.2 on that 64-bit PC and it is blindingly fast. I am truly spoiled with that PC. It renders video using the Packman packaged applications for openSUSE-11.2 very very fast.
Reference your view that package availability should be a criteria immediately upon distribution release, thats your view, and I respect that view, but I do not agree with it. I believe a month is a better time frame. If "upon release date" will always be a criteria of yours, then IMHO you will never recommend openSUSE. Hence why write a review if you know the answer before because of a fundamental difference ? OpenSUSE packaging is structured with community volunteers providing many of the packages, and one needs a few weeks AFTER a release before the openSUSE 3rd party repositories are mostly populated. Now the release could be delayed to allow many 3rd party packages to be created, but SuSE-GmbH prefer to provide openSUSE release to the community earlier. I like it that way. So do many openSUSE users. Anyone who has used openSUSE for a while KNOWS that one then has to wait a bit for all 3rd party packages (although many are available even during the milestone phase). That need to wait is just the way it is with the open source free software volunteer environment in openSUSE. The build service that openSUSE has now means more packages are available within the early days after the release than EVER before, which is DEFINITELY true for 11.2, but it still does not eliminate the basic fact that many 3rd party packages will only come later.
As long as one understands that need to be a bit patient, then I don't see the problem. Anyone who posted on the openSUSE forums, or anyone who had asked on the openSUSE chat channels on freenode, or anyone who asked on the openSUSE mailing lists, would have been advised to have some patience. They would have been advised the packages are coming. Anyone who has used openSUSE extensively would also have known that, and they would then have said so in a review (I would hope). ... Also anyone who asked, would have obtained a reply in a very short time - so IF you had asked on the forum/chat/mailing list as to where the package could be found, you WOULD have obtained an answer relatively quickly. You did not ask.
You decided to ignore the community because of a tight time frame for the review, ....... But IMHO the community could have met your time constraints in some aspects. Thats my view. Your view probably differs.
Reference atheros working for Knetwork Manager, yes, I have seen that nice functionality too on my wife's PC running 11.2 where her wireless is atheros. I have also seen Intel WiFi 5300AGN fail with the Knetwork Manager on one of our PCs, and one need to use YaST and the tradition ifup to connect. Work is still needed on knetwork manager IMHO. Hopefully SuSE-GmbH packagers will be able to work with the Knetwork Manager developers to sort this. One only needs to surf the openSUSE forums to read of the users who have had success, and those who have not, in this area.
Glad to see other distributions are also reporting less sound problems with the 2.6.31 and 1.0.21 alsa implementation. I think it shows that those alsa/distribution developers and packagers who are submitting their sound fixes upstream in a timely manner, are having a positive effect that is benefiting all Linux distributions. I wish all distributions could figure out a way to contribute their fixes upstream in a timely manner.
Thanks again for the review. As noted, dispute our different views, it was for me an enjoyable read.
257 • #259 @ TheBullDog (by oldcpu on 2009-11-19 00:32:31 GMT from Germany)
Hi TheBullDog, ... as a volunteer I wrote that openSUSE audio troubleshooting guide. Its definitely a work in progress, as the entire Linux audio implementation is moving relatively quickly. If I can improve it, please advise.
I hang out on openSUSE forums, and if you visit http://forums.opensuse.org/ and post, I'll work with you to solve your sound problem.
And if I can not solve it with you, then by writing a bug report on openSUSE sound component (guidance here: http://en.opensuse.org/Submit_a_Bug ) , you get the immediate attention of an openSUSE sound packager, who is also a well known alsa developer. If anyone can solve your sound problem, he can. And any fix he finds necessary to implement is typically immediately forwarded up stream and it benefits all distributions IF it is needed.
The fact you note some distributions have a fix, and openSUSE does not, suggests to me some distributions have not forwarded their fixes upstream. I seriously doubt the alsa developers employed by SuSE-GmbH would not be including basic alsa fixes that are available upstream.
258 • Suse disappoints (again) (by Jordan on 2009-11-19 01:55:30 GMT from United States)
Tried the new one on new HP lappy. Live cd ok for about an hour, then lost internet.
Choppy connection after hd install. Suse looks bad, fonts "cookie cutter."
Did forum advice and found a little, but struggling with it is not worth time.
Old distro such as Suse yet still problematic? On new portable computer? Had high hopes for better.
But many distros so will take advice in co worker envirronment and move away from Windows with try of Mint next. :) Seemed ok on several portables and desk machine here.
259 • #258...openSUSE (by Chris H. on 2009-11-19 02:12:47 GMT from United States)
Try the DVD.
It's a 4.2 gig download,
but it installs well and runs well.
260 • Post 36 & 43 (by Arturi on 2009-11-19 02:14:32 GMT from Indonesia)
Post 36 : I agree with Ladislav.. older specs should have been considered too.. otherwise we can go all Vista
Post 43 : As many people said, your mileage will vary. I am pretty satisfied with Ubuntu Karmic, but I also have no complains about openSuSE 11.2. Both run very well on my computer (which are not bleeding edge hardwares).
The thing about openSuSE and Mandriva is I have to try the full DVD version. Installation results from LiveCD of openSuSE 11.2 and Mandriva 2009.1 are proved to be quite problematic.
I am still looking forward to test Fedora 12 though.
261 • Fedora 12 Sound Issue (by TheBullDog on 2009-11-19 05:27:26 GMT from United States)
Funny. I'm running into the same scratchy sound issue in Fedora 12 that I encountered in OpenSUSE 11.2. Why isn't it happening with other distros? Is it something that OpenSUSE and Fedora have in common that's different from the others? Or is it a separate problem entirely? Too tired to troubleshoot tonight. Will mess with sound preferences tomorrow to see if I can figure this out.
262 • Re 251- xorg.conf not distro specific (?) (by SuseUser on 2009-11-19 05:40:57 GMT from Australia)
>>251 • @246 (by Adam Williamson
There's nothing distribution-specific about an xorg.conf file. If Caitlyn has one that she knows produces a working configuration for hardware known to be problematic it seems a perfectly sensible thing to do, I really can't fault her for it.<<
I have Ubuntu 8.10 and openSUSE 11.0 installed on my laptop, do you think it will be OK to swap xorg.conf files and that both distros will continue to work as before?
I don't think that is the case and I am going to experiment a bit to prove my case. IMO, "Andy" @ 246 is right to point that out.
I have used openSUSE 10.2, 10.3 and 11.0 for last 3+ years and I am very impressed with its usability, quality, configurability, and especially its YAST tool set. As I am solely using (UMTS) Mobile Broadband, its delta rpm updates stand clearly ahead of any other distro and make using Linux practical on such a service. Also, openSUSE has, IMO, the best laptop power management utilities and have always worked for my Acer Aspire machine (whilst Ubuntu,and others, have provided a very basic generic gnome applet/utility that in past caused my notebook to run very hot).
For me. distro reviews are meaningless and very subjective, in most cases, and I always do my own test by trying out a live cd of any given distro to see how it performs on my hardware. I have also learnt that live cds are not always the true indicators of how a particular distro will install because older (or having origins in older) established distros, e.g. openSUSE, as has been mentioned above by some others, always perform much better when using install DVDs (previously also install cd set) media. The first live cds used by openSUSE were for 10.3 (about 2 years ago) and were pretty poor at that. The 11.0 version were not much better and I began to distrust their live cds ever since.
I am posting from a very old P3-450 PC that has a openSUSE 11.0-Kde3 install, which has not been used much and was not updated for several (4-5) months, and a full update (kernel, acrobat, firefox, java, flash player, opera browser, etc) amounted to no more than 30 MB. Try doing that with Ubuntu and see if you can manage with less than 150 Mb.
263 • RE: 249/ "re"stating the obvious (by Landor on 2009-11-19 08:10:11 GMT from Canada)
What to points did you miss when you read my statement and quoted them?
This one: "I may be wrong here too since I haven't researched it"
This one: "(unless someone proves that there was such a statement made by the team)"
Which then you pointed out, so you read it, Ladislav did indeed prove that the information that I clearly stated I didn't research and made an assumption on, was wrong.
So, seriously, the point to your post?
To rebut though, have you owned an HP Netbook with SUSE preloaded? Think there's a possibility that maybe, just maybe, Novell does some extra driver support and such for those machines since they're putting an Enterprise product on it? Any chance that's possible? I bet it is possible. Not stating it as fact, since again, I'll admit it, I don't know. I'd take the bet without pause though. So your example with SUSE doesn't hold well.
Keep your stick on the ice...
264 • @263 (by jake on 2009-11-19 09:10:06 GMT from United States)
Breathe, Landor. Breathe.
There is no right or wrong, all distributions are good, yet sometimes current hardware isn't quite up to it ... but it's OK ... we'll whip these kids into reality, eventually :-)
Keep your broom (plus duct tape) on the ice.
(I'm getting old ... my knees & ankles can't handle skates anymore.)
265 • xorg and delta. (by Antony on 2009-11-19 10:27:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
I'm not an expert, but I am confident in offering the following:
Properly incorporating a known good xorg.conf for the corresponding hardware is perfectly legitimate practice. xorg.conf is not distro-specific, it is 'distro-agnostic', if you like. Its use is completely generic. The important thing is that the configuration listing is appropriate for the hardware.
SuSE are not unique in delta rpm use. (Or, you may know that, and are stating that the implementation is better). This, from the fedora 12 features list, (and fedora use of deltas) may be of interest to you:
"RPM in Fedora 12 has switched to using XZ compression (http://tukaani.org/xz/) in its packages to allow for better compression and smaller downloads for users."
266 • "Fedora 12 allows users install privilege" - now here's something to discuss (by Anonymous on 2009-11-19 15:04:03 GMT from United States)
267 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-11-19 16:16:25 GMT from Canada)
new top linux distro released today - real year of linux -plus google of course
268 • @267 (by Matt on 2009-11-19 16:47:46 GMT from Canada)
Which Linux would you be referring to? You mention Google, but Google is not releasing their ChromeOS today, they are simply showcasing it and giving people an actual preview of what it will be like. The final release date is sometime in the second half of 2010 according to Google reps. They are simply showing it off and we will finally get an actual view of what it is rather than the months of fake screenshots and stuff that have been posted online. The only thing we really know right now is what the browser will look like, the revamped interface of Chrome itself for the OS.
269 • REF-252 and SUSE moving up in the charts (by Sam Shepard on 2009-11-19 17:00:47 GMT from United States)
A.Williamson, wouldn't it be you better to try to answer questions in your own forum(Fedora) instead of calling people names.
You should be serving the Fed community instead of trying to comfort a bad review.
SUSE is moving up in the charts. It's now #3.
What does that say about it's user base, regardless of any negative opinions.
270 • Re: 269 • REF-252 and SUSE moving up in the charts (by DG on 2009-11-19 17:29:30 GMT from Netherlands)
SUSE is moving up in the charts. It's now #3.
What does that say about it's user base, regardless of any negative opinions.
All it shows is that some DistroWatch Weekly readers have read the review, and have been curious enough to click on the link to find out more. No more, no less. This usually happens for any distro that has just been released and reviewed.
271 • @269 (by Andy on 2009-11-19 18:33:41 GMT from United States)
SUSE has been in the top 2 or top 3 for many years now. Nothing new - it is a very popular distribution.
272 • @271 (by Sean on 2009-11-19 19:41:14 GMT from United States)
"SUSE has been in the top 2 or top 3 for many years now. Nothing new - it is a very popular distribution."
Often the most "popular" things are not the highest quality in their field.
Windows is the most "popular" operating system.
273 • @256 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-19 20:56:05 GMT from Canada)
"OpenSUSE packaging is structured with community volunteers providing many of the packages, and one needs a few weeks AFTER a release before the openSUSE 3rd party repositories are mostly populated. Now the release could be delayed to allow many 3rd party packages to be created, but SuSE-GmbH prefer to provide openSUSE release to the community earlier."
Why? Can't third-party repositories follow the development repositories during development and hence have everything ready for release day? That's how RPM Fusion works for Fedora (more or less...) and PLF for Mandriva.
274 • @262 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-19 20:57:09 GMT from Canada)
I wouldn't be at all surprised if that works fine. I wouldn't _guarantee_ it - it's perfectly possible for a parameter to make sense on one distro but not on another because one is using an older X server than the other, or something - but I'd expect it to work more often than it would fail.
275 • @266 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-19 20:58:24 GMT from Canada)
Fedora will be releasing an official statement on the issue on fedora-announce-list shortly, and it will also be discussed at the Fedora engineering steering committee meeting tomorrow.
276 • @269 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-19 20:58:48 GMT from Canada)
Amazingly, I actually read _both_ DWW and the Fedora forums. :)
277 • VectorLinux 6.0 KDE-Classic (by TheBullDog on 2009-11-19 21:32:42 GMT from United States)
If you haven't had time to try VectorLinux 6.0 KDE-Classic, released this week, I would highly recommend it. Installation was easy. I simply created three partitions (swap, root, and home) and ran through Vector's easy to follow installation screen and I'm now working in a very nicely laid out (clean) KDE 184.108.40.206 desktop environment. For those who are still using older hardware, this distro is definitely worth trying. So far, it's performing very well on one of my Armada M700s, PIII, 512MB RAM, ATI video, and ES1978 audio. IMHO, it's rock solid.
278 • Vectorlinux KDE Classic (by Sean on 2009-11-19 21:43:41 GMT from United States)
We have Vector running on several boxes and a laptop here, but we're worried about going to the KDE Classic because in the release announcement the word "yet" was used when saying that they were not letting the older KDE go; we took that to mean it might become unsupported at some time in the near future.
We love Vectorlinux here. But we're using other small window managers now. KDE's older one would be nice, but again, we're not sure if it's a good move for us if they are just experimenting with it as a base for their fine distro.
279 • No subject (by forest on 2009-11-19 22:26:41 GMT from United States)
In the style of Adam W...and LB did say the forum is for opinions...
Oldcpu, your comments fail the test of practicability. In the first instance CM certainly has the wit to research any probs but from a practical point of view if CM (or anyone) could not get the distro up and working online then she could hardly have trawled thru' the help forums for help. How could she? Fortunately CM has at least two machines.
I am confident you will be aware not everyone is the proud owner of two or more machines, to maintain an internet connection, so your comment is not at all helpful. You forget it is the customer's subjective views that matter here, not yours.
And, unless you state absolutely that some experience is necessary, a newcomer to Suse, or just newcomer to GNULinux is likely to believe this allegedly wonderful, new to them, OS is going to be the cat's pyjamas (think coyote's cojones) and they will be able to install it on their machine.
It is, before you attempt to say read the notes first, unlikely said newcomer will have any idea how to recognise all faults and engineer themselves around it.
Also, the newcomer is led to believe this new OS "should" work on kit older/less well specified than his or hers. Trouble there is a newcomer may have no idea at all about the ins and outs of hardware of a similar vintage.
In any event a newcomer is hardly likely to jump thru' hoops to get help for what is clearly, to them, an unsatisfactory product...'cos it was free anyway and unless it works, valueless.
Suse is NOT a hobbyist distro, given its parentage, and should be fully equipped with all the packages up and ready for serious use by anyone, rpt anyone. Your view that Suse regulars don't mind the wait is neither here nor there. CM is perhaps not a Suse regular, perhaps she did mind.
Excuses such as yours simply won't wash, and why you should imagine folk would swallow such nonsense, demonstrates a complete disregard for your customers, or more accurately, those folk who would like to try it. Ref CM's remark about Suse getting back without an email address...
People don't expect to buy a new car and get told by the salesperson, "Sorry, we can't inflate the tyres for a week or two...we need customer feedback on what pressure to run them."
Commercial customers would not find it acceptable and simply because a distro is free is, again, not an excuse for a unsatisfactory product.
Whether or not you, or any other devs, feel it is acceptable to launch a distribution and then wait for a few weeks to get it sorted, from feedback from early adopters, most folk don't...and have said so, in this very forum. Granted a very few bugs may not have been found or fixed, nobody's perfect.
IF you were to state a "distribution release" was published on a provisional basis, as you do with the alphas and betas, and therefore newcomers to GNULinux would be best advised to wait for a month, then you would not, in all likelihood, attract the bad PR which is becoming inevitable, and not just to Suse.
And you would not have had to pen a damage limitation statement where amongst other things, you say yourself it is best to wait for a month or so. A cynic might believe, wrongly no doubt, Suse was rushed out as a spoiler to Fedora 12.
It is a given to me and no doubt others, that alpha, beta and release candidates are really the province of the experienced GNULinux user, more especially the alphas of course.
Reading between the lines it appears, however, that too few folk actually bother with fault finding on the alphas, etc. Everyone else waits in joyous anticipation for the distribution release...in the erroneous belief everything has been sorted and the distro will just fly.
The reality of the situation is that the final testing per se is done post the distribution release, as evidenced by your remarks. This leads to all sorts of complaints and the inevitable mud slinging.
We get absolutely useless comments from some folk ( but probably spoofers) who state "it worked fine on my machine...duh...I don't understand what all the fuss is about".
That's absolutely correct, they don't understand, full stop. Such folk generally forget to mention what hardware they are running which makes the statement even more idiotic.
It is as idiotic to say you don't agree with CM's review because you can't accept her findings. CM qualified her findings so what are you complaining about?
You should be more than pleased because her review discovered what the devs did not, namely the sort of hardware the distro did NOT run on in a wholly satisfactory fashion and thereby give you an opportunity to get it sorted.
By that reckoning it was an excellent review.
So, verb sap, to employ the car industry's getout, "Mileage may vary." All you need do is to state the following caveat at the head of every advert for yours/any distro..."May not work on your machine."
280 • @279 (by Anonymous on 2009-11-19 22:48:18 GMT from United States)
"You should be more than pleased because her review discovered what the devs did not, namely the sort of hardware the distro did NOT run on in a wholly satisfactory fashion and thereby give you an opportunity to get it sorted."
- Laughable. So, the devs will suddenly "find out" from Caitlyn that openSUSE does not install easily on hardware (Trident Cyberblade video card) that is clearly not compatible, from the well organized and easy to read openSUSE Hardware Compatability List? They would have to be some awfully stupid devs if they did not know that already.
281 • newcomers (by Anonymous on 2009-11-20 00:26:30 GMT from United States)
Some people simply obtain a book with a CD-Rom and try to install.
Sometimes these people do not have access to the internet or know of anyone else who can help them with Linux.
These types of people may just give up when the installation fails.
Has anyone seen a help telephone number in any of the type of Linux books which come with an install disc for Linux?
How would that type of person get help?
282 • newcomers (by TheBullDog on 2009-11-20 00:58:16 GMT from United States)
If they're lucky, they'll find a phone number for the book publisher. The only web sites they're likely to see are to the publisher's errata pages, the distro's web site, or to a web site provided by the author(s). Hopefully they have access to a second computer.
Of course, if they purchased the OS directly from the OS publisher or an authorized vendor, they may have been provided with a support phone number. And, if they're really lucky, it won't be a phone number that requires them to pay for technical support.
283 • #280 Didn't even bother to read the review or all the comments (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-20 01:39:53 GMT from United States)
Mr. Anonymous blasts away at me for testing openSUSE on the Toshiba with the Trident CyberBlade XPi chipset whech he claims is "incompatible". He or she ignores the fact that what happened with the video was common to a number of distros and easily fixed. He or she ignores the fact that I have said, repeatedly, that openSUSE worked pretty darned well on that machine. If I had only used the Toshiba the review would have been quite positive. The Toshiba with the Trident chipset is NOT where openSUSE failed. Yet he blasts away at me for using that system. He or she found one item from which to base an attack and blasted away.
What's your excuse for all the failures on the new HP Mini 110 on a distro touting itself for its improved netbook support?
This is typical of what I am seeing in the openSUSE forum as well. Blame the reviewer, blame the hardware, blame anything but the distro. Blast away, even if the criticism has nothing at all to do with the content of the review. After all, anyone who dares criticize the favored distro deserves whatever they get.
284 • No subject (by forest on 2009-11-20 01:41:35 GMT from United Kingdom)
Well, that's me told, then.
I don't imagine the devs are awfully stupid at all, in all probability they overestimate a newcomer's ability compared to their own.
In light of all the comments about problems with Suse, it begs the question why it took so long (#280) for anyone to mention the Suse (and others) hardware compatibility website.
Mention was made in #178 about system requirements and a link provided. Where it states: on that page
"Sound and graphics cards: Supports most modern sound and graphics cards"
It might have been helpful to then say, "But see here:
That info might have prevented a lot of angst, and been more useful for some folk as comment #1.
285 • Yeah (by Nobody Important on 2009-11-20 03:45:52 GMT from United States)
@251: TechieMoe has indeed scored several distros over two stars. He scores them based on how much of his hardware functions. So while Slackware got three stars, he gave it a somewhat negative review.
His rants are astoundingly good.
Also, Fedora 12 rocks. the whole PackageKit thing that was reported around has been patched. You now need a password to install packages. Now that this issue is cleared up, I have no issues running this baby full time.
286 • @285 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-20 05:13:30 GMT from Canada)
Minor correction: it hasn't been patched yet. It _will_ be patched, probably tomorrow. The PackageKit maintainer lives in the UK, where it is currently the middle of the night :)
287 • Fedora 12 package installation debate (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-20 05:16:18 GMT from Canada)
For those who have heard about the Fedora 12 package installation authentication debate, please read:
the short version - the policy in question will be changed to the more restricted one many users have requested, likely with an updated to be issued tomorrow.
288 • @279 by forest (by Henning Melgaard on 2009-11-20 07:01:17 GMT from Denmark)
I completely agree, that to few people bother to test the alphas of an upcoming release. But I understand perfectly well, why few people bother. I tried reporting a bug. I got a lot of response from other users with the same problem, but the developers behind the distribution were noisily silent. So why go through the trouble?
289 • No subject (by jake on 2009-11-20 08:42:06 GMT from United States)
"What's your excuse for all the failures on the new HP Mini 110 on a distro touting itself for its improved netbook support?"
Uh ... Maybe because the HP is "new"? Maybe the hardware support isn't quite there yet? Try to understand (I know it's hard for you), but "Improved" doesn't mean "perfect".
Hardware is sometimes released before distributions are finalized.
If you are supposedly reviewing a distribution, but going on at a great rate about the hardware instead of the distribution, I submit that you are reviewing the hardware, not the distribution.
Note that I don't run the distribution in question ... I have no horse in this race ... but if I were grading the reviewer, I'd rate the review+replies to replies D-, must do better ...
290 • SuSE, Ultimate Edition, and Fedora - comments from a techno-peasent (by Simon on 2009-11-20 11:06:21 GMT from United Kingdom)
I'm one of the those technically-challenged schmuks - but still love to use and dabble with Linux (having abandoned the M$ fiasco years ago). I'd guess I represent the silent majority of new Linux users.
Every week I'll usually try out a new distro - more out of curiosity that anything else.
Here's my take on the latest offerings from the biggies.
SuSE has alway had the most attractive and eye-pleasing desktops IMHO. But I stopped downloading it and test-driving it ages ago. It's always been too buggy for my taste. On top of that, the YAST program has the abilty to take the simplest configuration and turn into the most confusing and overwelming procedure. I long ago classified SuSE/openSUSE as a distro for uber-techies only.
First Impressions on Ultimate Edition
I did try out the Ultimate Edition and indeed it was very ... glitzy? "Ubuntu on steroids" perhaps with a lot of eye-candy. However some basic things seems lacking. Like a shutdown/reboot button. This gives me the impression that the distro got compiled too quickly with too much emphasis on style and not enough on substance.
First impressions of Fedora 12
Fedora 12 was my first look at Fedora since I had Fedora 4 on a box a few years ago. The F12 desktop looks a lot slicker than the F4 version if my memory serves me correctly. Also my wireless was detected and configured without fuss. Kudos.
On the downside, the Gnome system administration menu list has been severly pruned and basic functions I have come to expect in a Gnome Desktop are no longer present. Also the "add/remove software" application is not up to the functuality and clarity of use I've come to expecct from using synaptic on Ubuntu and Debian based systems.
One last moan: when I was installing F12 it refused to allow me to use Ext3 file system stating that it could only install into the file system it uses on the CD - Ext4. The problem with that is that the only other OS I have on this box (Mepis 8) can't read Ext4 file systems - so there can be no file sharing!!
But I think I'll keep Fedora 12 around for a while. It's time I got familiar again with RPMs.;-)
291 • What is really important? (by Antony on 2009-11-20 11:50:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
Look, ALL the reviewer did was to report her findings - I utterly fail to see what is wrong with that.
IF this fact, and the clear context in which the review was carried out, then there is no sane argument against the review/er.
There is too much fanaticism in the world, people getting all exited over nothing - over stuff which is meaningless. The really important and relevant stuff is ignored.
But the reason is clear - the real issues are ignored because what is most important to me? ME.
So, forget the real issues - you better watch what you say about MY distro (religion, team, car etc., etc.) because what you are saying, you say about ME.
Remember, this is MY distro (religion, team, car etc., etc. ) I have chosen it. Therefore, if it is less than perfect then I am less than perfect......and THAT I can't bear.
So, rather than the review being taken IN CONTEXT (which was immediately clear and apparent), it has been taken PERSONALLY :(
I repeat, how can there be ANY rational argument against reporting the facts as you find them? Remember, the context of the review was crystal-clear - and if the review was considered within that context, then - no problem whatsoever.
As forest @ 279 said: "CM qualified her findings so what are you complaining about?"
So, where is the insult, the injury, the injustice eh? To MY pride/ego.
The reviewer has needed to remind people that the review did relate (not insubstantial) positive findings as well. But, again that doesn't seem to be relevant to some.
This isn't a pop exclusively against certain users of distroX - this kind of nonsense is widespread, unfortunately.
Finally, aren't WE more importantly, first and foremost, Linux users rather than distroX users? What is completely missed/ignored by certain people is that the reviewer CARES about Linux. In reality, I reckon she was actually more upset with some of her findings (and having to publish same), than a lot of the people who have taken offence. Consider that.
The greater picture here is Linux.
292 • Edit to my previous (291) post. (by Antony on 2009-11-20 11:55:30 GMT from United Kingdom)
2nd line should read:
IF this fact, and the clear context in which the review was carried out is considered, then there is no sane argument against the review/er.
293 • Post #283 at Caitlyn Martin (by oldcpu on 2009-11-20 15:05:02 GMT from Germany)
wrt post#283 comments about openSUSE forum, are you not now getting away from the review, and let other viewpoints of yours that have nothing to do with the review of openSUSE-11.2 come into play?
Did you not say in a response to a post after your review that you refused to ask for help in the openSUSE forum because you had no time? And now you blaime the forum for an attiute, where your attitude was to refuse to post ? Given you made no post, how could the forum know what to say? What next? Blast the openSUSE mailing list and IRC chat channels ?
CM, I think you have lost the way in your viewpoint.
294 • REF - 289 • No subject (by jake) (by Mr Smith on 2009-11-20 15:09:04 GMT from United States)
That's my take on this whole week of reviewer - poster debate.
I tried suse 11.2 kde 4.3, and found it amazingly fast and the installed worked as advertised. Of course you can blame my hardware for that, correct :)
295 • Amen to Antony @291 ! (by Patrick on 2009-11-20 15:19:27 GMT from United States)
I wouldn't be able to say it any clearer than that.
I love Linux, but I sometimes hate the community. I think often the community is Linux's worst enemy. Let me clarify that: I do love the development community, where the focus is on collaboration and making things better and sharing those improvements for the benefit of all. But I can't stand the "user community", at least the vocal part that have nothing better to do that going around with "mine is better than yours" nonsense.
Think about it: the code that makes your Wifi card run great on Ubuntu might have been developed by someone at Red Hat. On the other hand, the startup system that makes your Fedora boot up faster might have been developed by Ubuntu. Your slick new Mandriva is based on the Red Hat package system and your awesome MEPIS is mostly Debian. Under the thin skin distro's are responsible for are upstream components that are common for all of them.
Why can't this positive development spirit be extended to the user community? Why do some in the user community need to "defend" their distro? Why do some, as Antony brought out, take criticism to "their" distro personally?
If you really need to yell at a reviewer because they reported THEIR EXPERIENCE, then please, for the benefit of all in the Linux community, get yourself lost somewhere else.
296 • opensuse (by iceycooler9 on 2009-11-20 15:44:12 GMT from United States)
idk why everyone was going after Caitlyn Martin, its just a review of her personal experience, not like she slapped ur mother
i think that instead of 2 laptops you should of reviewed one with a netbook (like the intel atom one) and then review a mainstream reasonable system (2gb of ram, 2.4 ghz core2 duo at least) a laptop that barely meets system requirements should still be thrown in, giving a view of 3 experiences (min, mobile, normal desktop)
I switched to Suse from Mandriva because although 2010 is a masterpeice ballpark hit, Mandriva the company with their hypercritical policies and their getting out of hand community has made me flee as well as many others, a shame but its complete bullshit there.
im straight, im not gay in any way,shape, or form, but i can't stand by a community who bashes and makes fun of the gay/bi people as if they are beneath them, like the trash of the community. Many of those they are going against have asked them to stop but they take it as a joke, and now some of have helped them in defense (like myself), and now they go after us as "PC cops" And combined with mandriva supposedly a "professional" company has their new policy "you're sh!t if you are racist, but if you're gay, good luck. " and by going with the flow we are tolerating/going with the flow/ OKING what is going on (just like the hypercrites at mandriva are ) and i can not do so for justice of all human beings, and our only option is to just leave the community altogether, and i am not the only one, and its not even just a few (mandriva finally as taken partial action as deleting the threads, but its just another one of those quick lazy fixes they do like they did when racism was a problem in the community) i know they won't make any long term plan to fix the community's trolling/fighting ect, they make rules http://forum.mandriva.com/viewtopic.php?t=118716 but don't enforce them. I have had enough of that community, for 2 years of being there they always are hateful, they COMPLETELY demolished my world food program thread i was doing out of good for the sake of starving family in 3rd world countries!!
Suse 11.2 i have a lot of pet peeve's with, but i believe if i try i can work out with the little nip picks, especially with a really great community, probable one of the best linux ones right up there with fedora's.
297 • Ref 295 @ Patrick (by oldcpu on 2009-11-20 15:52:07 GMT from Germany)
Patrick, I agree that in many cases the Linux community is its own worst enemy. I say that with myself being a big (Linux) free software open source community fan. Unfortunately in many of the comments, from both sides in discussing the reviews in this distrowatch weekly, there have been comments which are only part of the technical, and appear to have been posted either out of ignorance, or posted only designed to hurt.
Where I work we have engineers who use WinXP, Vista, Windows-7, MacIntosh, and various Linux distributions (Red Hat, openSUSE, Ubuntu, Mandriva, Debian, Sidux, etc ... ). We enjoy telling each other about the neat things we can do, and enjoy listening to the stories of others. We like to check if we can do similar things, and we compare notes in a positive fashion. People with negative perspectives are not wanted where I work.
But there is far too much negative bashing in Linux in general, which I agree in some respects reflects badly on the Linux community as a whole, and many of the 294 posts before yours in this Distrowatch thread illustrate some of the things that are sad to see in the community.
298 • @290 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-20 17:05:34 GMT from Canada)
For the missing GNOME admin tools, you may want to install the 'control-center-extra' package.
If you wish to install Fedora to an ext3 partition, then use the DVD or network installation rather than live CD install. As the live CD tells you, it's a technical limitation - it really doesn't 'install' things so much as dump the entire live CD filesystem image straight onto your hard disk. And that's an image of an ext4 filesystem. Hence the restriction. The traditional installer can of course use whatever filesystems it supports for installation.
Thanks for reporting your experience!
299 • @296 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-20 17:12:54 GMT from Canada)
It's rather off-topic here, but in all the references you cite both here and in your MDV forum thread, the only person I can actually find making comments that would violate the MDV forum policies - Andrey Bondrov_0 - has been banned. Is there an outstanding issue that the current forum mods haven't addressed? I also see admins posting things like "However, that is enough of the 'gay' comments and trash talk. Stop it now." It certainly doesn't seem like they're ignoring any issues.
300 • community (by Matt on 2009-11-20 17:51:30 GMT from Canada)
Yes, the Linux community in general is very similar to the Mac community, very self absorbed, not welcoming to noobs, with huge egos that think that their way, their OS, is better than anyone elses. This is wrong, it's not a good way to further the cause, but what choice do we have? Regardless of how lousy the Linux and Mac communities are, at least out of them comes quality software. If we switch to Windows where the communities are often nicer, we realize that the reason for it is that they all feel genuine sympathy for each other, having to go through such hardships to send a simple email for example. This is why I put up with the lousy communities, the self absorbed pricks that frequent the forums. I do draw the line somewhere though and I agree with some of the above posters that Mandriva has long since crossed that line which is why I refuse to run it and even shy away from it's derivatives like PCLinuxOS just because I hate the thought of supporting people like that. IMHO, Mandriva is right up there with Microsoft in terms of corrupt organizations.
301 • @ 295 (by Anonymous on 2009-11-20 19:13:25 GMT from United States)
"If you really need to yell at a reviewer because they reported THEIR EXPERIENCE, then please, for the benefit of all in the Linux community, get yourself lost somewhere else."
Might yell at a reviewer because the reviewer's experience does not count for anything and they should know that! This reviewer also seems to have a habbit of producing negative reviews and having an extremely stuborn and self centered attitude. This reviewer "reviewed' Puppy Linux by not reviewing it with the totally bogus attitude that if she could not install it herself, well she'd ignore the thousands who do use it successfully by treating her own experience as if if it meant something. And then she rationalizes that she was forced to do her crazy "review" by Puppy users. Yeah right; such a weak willed reviewer has no bussiness doing reviews. And she can't understand why they might get peeved at her. LOL!
And then Ladislav "forced" her to do a review of Suse 11.2 when she didn't have time enough to do so? Somethings very wrong there!
302 • #301 (by 1 on 2009-11-20 19:53:14 GMT from United States)
100% correct. Her politics influence everything she does. To refuse to do a review (aside from the "non-review review") of a distro in the top ten because of some demented fantasy about her being threatened is nucking futs.
303 • Muddying the Distrowatch Comments Area (by Sean on 2009-11-20 20:27:52 GMT from United States)
I am expressing the hope that the IP addresses of those with repeated attacks on a distro reviewer here are banned, and soon.
I'd also like to see the offending posts removed.
There is information here, and debate, but to have to scroll past attacking posts is not just annoying, it is challenging to the sensibilities when we come here for other reasons.
304 • My take on this week's comments (with some quotes from the best) (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-20 20:38:32 GMT from United States)
Some of you might like: http://broadcast.oreilly.com/2009/11/the-problem-with-the-linux-com.html
305 • Some people can't leave well enough alone (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-20 20:40:43 GMT from United States)
You know, I would NEVER, EVER even mention Puppy Linux or voice an opinion about it if I wasn't hounded by that community, week in and week out. I won't add fuel to the fire here. I was going to but then calmed down and decided that DistroWatch is NOT the right place for that.
I have gotten to the point where I feel a response is necessary and that will appear in my personal blog.
306 • No subject (by @ 301 et al on 2009-11-20 21:26:15 GMT from United Kingdom)
Comment #321 from last week:
"Hope in a next DW weekly, we'll be able to read about OpenSuse 11.2."
Comment #301 this week:
"And then Ladislav "forced" her to do a review of Suse 11.2 when she didn't have time enough to do so? Somethings very wrong there!"
No, it's not Ladislav that forced Caitlyn, it's everyone. If OpenSUSE wouldn't get a review this week then there would be complaints about how OpenSUSE is being ignored. I don't envy Ladislav and Caitlyn, especially Caitlyn since she takes it so personally and I feel some people this week took advantage of it.
It's an operating system, not the future of the free-world that we're discussing here and as a non-OpenSUSE user I thought it was overall positive -- yes, it also mentioned a few problems but if you read it and you feel like your blood pressure is rising you:
A. need to see your doctor as this might be a more serious problem.
B. Find a review that is totally positive and read it repeatedly until you've calmed down.
When I read the review I thought OpenSUSE was worth trying but after reading most of the comments I decided not to bother. I'd rather remain a Kubuntu user with inferiority complex than a paranoid OpenSUSE user.
You're really doing a disservice to the distribution you are using. Please, relax. We actually all love (and envy) you. Peace?
307 • Another openSUSE review (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-20 21:42:23 GMT from United States)
308 • @ 370 (by Untitled on 2009-11-20 22:21:28 GMT from United Kingdom)
What was interesting to me in that review you linked to was the second comment from Will Stephenson, who mentions what machines he uses. Perhaps some of the people who commented here should drop him a line telling him that he's working on hardware which is too new/obscure.
309 • RE #298 (by Anonymous on 2009-11-20 23:25:21 GMT from United States)
If the live CD is a real OS, then why can't one Partition and/or Format manually?
Actually do a manual install from said live CD to one's HD.
This actually may require the Dreaded Command Line; Oh No!
Does this particular live CD have any partition or formatting tools?
Better yet do they have a graphical user interface?
Just because the install to HD Icon only does something like dd cd to hd...
I don't see that as a show stopper, unless it really is a newby using it.
I might be missing something but even if simply copied to HD, isn't the next step to rename all relevant references from /dev/cdrom to /dev/hdx?
Perhaps I'll just have to play with this CD and find out.
Number of Comments: 309
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|• Issue 606 (2015-04-20): Linux Mint 2 "LMDE", Matthew Miller, Debian's new Project Leader, Evolve OS name change|
|• Issue 605 (2015-04-13): SuperX 3.0, HAMMER2 features, Linux 4.0, Vince Pooley, Google Code closing|
|• Issue 604 (2015-04-06): Void 20150221, Haiku's commercial partners, Debian release date, Tumbleweed features|
|• Issue 603 (2015-03-30): Tails 1.3, LibreOffice Online, Linux Firewalls book review, Kubuntu with Plasma 5|
|• Issue 602 (2015-03-23): Bodhi Linux 3.0.0, distro popularity, OpenBSD's new web server, GNU Manifesto turns 30|
|• Issue 601 (2015-03-16): Ubuntu MATE 14.10, modern distros for old hardware, AppArmor in Debian, Fedora 22 Alpha|
|• Issue 600 (2015-03-09): Korora 21, distro diversity, Ubuntu gets systemd, PC-BSD security features|
|• Issue 599 (2015-03-02): Sabayon 15.02, creating good passwords, new YaST modules, LMDE preview
|• Issue 598 (2015-02-23): Netrunner 14.1, Vivaldi web browser, Debian election, Cinnamon improvements|
|• Issue 597 (2015-02-16): MakuluLinux MCDE 2.0, Ubuntu phones launch, m0n0wall ceases development, live Linux updates|
|• Issue 596 (2015-02-09): ArchBSD 2014.09.04, encrypted e-mail, Fedora upgrade stats, FreeBSD's support policy|
|• Issue 595 (2015-02-02): ExTiX 15.1, Destroying encrypted data, openSUSE election, OSDisc statistics|
|• Issue 594 (2015-01-26): KaOS 2014.12, Commercial distros, Snappy Ubuntu, PackageKit fixes|
|• Issue 593 (2015-01-19): ReactOS 0.3.17, Unity on Mir, Bluetooth support, openSUSE election|
|• Issue 592 (2015-01-12): Mint 17.1, load averages, binary logs, GNOME Software|
|• Issue 591 (2015-01-05): Manjaro 0.8.11, systemd, Devuan, Torrent Corner|
|• Issue 590 (2014-12-22): Fedora 21, Ubuntu phone, expanding ZFS storage, Able2Extract|
|• Issue 589 (2014-12-15): Parsix 7.0, Ubuntu "Snappy", PC-BSD upgrades, How Linux Works|
|• Issue 588 (2014-12-08): PC-BSD 10.2, rolling-release Ubuntu GNOME, Bitrig, systemd|
|• Issue 587 (2014-12-01): Trisquel 7.0, Kubuntu 14.10 "Plasma5", FreeBSD on 64-bit ARM, Jolla and UbuTab|
|• Issue 586 (2014-11-24): Scientific Linux 7.0, Debian and systemd, Ubuntu MATE, application-level firewalls|
|• Issue 585 (2014-11-17): openSUSE 13.2, PC-BSD's "roles", MATE + Compiz on Mint, cleaning package cache|
|• Issue 584 (2014-11-10): OpenMandriva 2014.1, Debian freeze, trickle, systemd and boot times|
|• Issue 583 (2014-11-03): Ubuntu 14.10, ownCloud, Kylin interview, The Book of PF, Elive's commercial ways|
|• Issue 582 (2014-10-27): GhostBSD 4.0, Tumbleweed and Factory merge, systemd and fork of Debian|
|• Issue 581 (2014-10-20): SparkyLinux 3.5, Fedora's graphics stack, Debian and systemd, OpenBSD 5.6|
|• Issue 580 (2014-10-13): Rolling releases, Arch as best distro, GNOME on Wayland, MINIX 3.3.0|
|• Issue 579 (2014-10-06): PC-BSD 10.0.3, Debian's Jessie freeze, setting up home server|
|• Full list of all issues|
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