| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 330, 23 November 2009
Welcome to this year's 47th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Chromium OS, Google's long-awaited entry into the operating system market, finally made a tentative appearance last week. Although it created much excitement on many technology news sites, the new Linux-based distribution doesn't target general desktop computers; instead it attempts to kick-start a new era of cloud computing on netbooks and other portable devices. Fedora 12, the latest version of the popular distribution and the other big topic of discussion last week, has been hit by an unprivileged package installation controversy, while its unofficial LXDE edition has been withdrawn due to a nasty bug. But other than these two issues, the new release looks great - read our first-look review to find out more. In other news, Ubuntu removes GIMP from default installation, FreeBSD prepares for the imminent arrival of 8.0-RELEASE, openSUSE re-evaluates its decision to remove the DHT technology from the Transmission BitTorrent client, and founders of Qimo 4 Kids, an Ubuntu-based distribution for children, discuss the beginnings of their project and the motivation behind using open source software to start a charity. Also in the news section we link to interviews with Fedora's Paul Frields and Mandriva's Buchan Milne. Finally, this week's Questions and Answers column considers the pros and cons of rolling versus time-based distribution release models. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First look at Fedora 12
I've been using Fedora (and Red Hat Linux before that) on and off for about seven years now and I would say that Fedora is a distribution consistently on the cutting edge of open source software. This means that I've been regularly wowed by new technology and occasionally left virtually bleeding and scrambling for alternative install media. Overall, my experiences have been positive, especially with the project's version 11 release, and I have been looking forward to Fedora 12 for the past few months.
The Fedora distribution comes in various flavours, depending on your needs. There's an all-in-one installation DVD for 32-bit and 64-bit Intel machines. The DVD also has a PowerPC edition. If you'd like to try before you install, Fedora has live CDs. These live CDs feature either the GNOME desktop or the KDE desktop and I decided to try my luck with the KDE live CD. While my download was in progress, I took a look around the web site. The Fedora Project, being a cutting-edge testing ground for new technology, has a technically geared website. It's easy to navigate for people familiar with computers in general and Linux in particular, but for newcomers to the open-source scene, the terms and information are likely to be overwhelming. The site gives the impression of a project run by open source enthusiasts for open source enthusiasts.
To test Fedora, I ran it on my trusty desktop system (2.5 GHz CPU and 2 GB of RAM) and my LG laptop (1.5 GHZ CPU and 2 GB of RAM). To see how the operating system would perform with fewer resources, I also ran it in a virtual machine. The live CD booted up and presented me with a fresh, modern KDE 4.3 desktop. A folder plasmoid (widget) was open, presenting a single icon: a short-cut to the installer. Also on the desktop were the usual taskbar and application menu. Right away I started the installer and got down to business.
The Fedora system installer hasn't changed much over the years. It's a simple, powerful, point-n-click interface that guides the user through the necessary steps. I confirmed my time zone, keyboard layout and set up my partitions. The partition manager was where I hit my first snag. Both of my test machines have fairly small (by today's standards) hard drives and I tend towards tried-and-true over latest-and-greatest where my file systems are concerned. For those reasons, I decided to format my root partition as ext3. The installer refused. I went back and wiped my drive and started from scratch and, again, the installer refused to use any file system other than ext4 for my root partition. My swap space was created without complaints. From there, I configured GRUB and was prompted to create a root account password. Then the installer copied all of its packages to my local drive. It's interesting to note that the DVD edition of the installer allows the user to select which packages are set up on the system, but the installer on the live CD does not. Once all the packages were installed, I was prompted to reboot the system.
On first boot, the user is asked to go through a few more steps, namely reading the license agreement, creating a regular user account and confirming the correct date and time. The final step is the system asking for permission to send a hardware profile to Fedora. This is, in my opinion, an excellent idea and one I always opt into. The process is fairly anonymous and it gives the developers an idea of what sort of hardware they should target.
Fedora 12 - the system installer, KDE help center and power management pop-up
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At this point, all the questions are answered and the user is presented with a graphical login screen. This is fairly standard, except that the text labels for the menus have been removed and replaced by graphical icons. The icons blend into the background a bit making the design nice on the eyes, but the part of my brain used for technical support cringes away from the idea of explaining to a user, over the phone or via e-mail, that they have to click on the "third white dot from the right".
Desktop and applications
The Fedora desktop is a pleasant blue and devoid of icons. By default, Fedora sets up KDE to use the Desktop view, which does not display regular icon files. It is possible to get a more classic desktop, with regular icons, by changing the desktop settings. The application menu uses the Kickoff style of grouping by default. This is easily changed, for those who prefer the classic grouping. The menu is full of useful items, most of them fairly typical to a KDE desktop. There are a wide variety of useful administrative tools, which make changing authentication methods, managing user accounts, altering network connections, configuring the firewall and managing SELinux easy tasks. There's the usual collection of fun KDE games, along with some image viewing and drawing applications. There are applications for managing downloads, web browsing and instant messaging.
Also in the menu, we can find the popular K3b disc burner, along with a video player and an audio player. The Office section has the complete KOffice suite and things are rounded out with a wide range of simple apps, including a standard calculator and text editor. The contents weren't so much a surprise of what is available, but what was not installed by default. Notably there is no GIMP, no Firefox web browser and OpenOffice.org has been traded out for KOffice. I was inclined, at first, to believe these choices were made because of space restrictions. However, the total install size from the Fedora 12 KDE live CD is 2 GB. Comparatively, a Mandriva 2010 KDE install contains 3 GB and includes all of the software I've listed above as missing from Fedora. I'm left wondering why the CD images of both distributions are close to the same size, but Fedora includes a third less software. Of course, these packages can all be downloaded from Fedora's repositories post-install, but it would be nice to have them on the disc.
To be fair to Fedora, where its CD lacks some popular software, it makes up for it in performance. I found Fedora booted up quickly, requiring about half the time Mandriva 2010 takes. Once on the desktop, the system continued to perform well. For a Linux desktop, KDE has a reputation of being heavy, yet the Fedora setup is very responsive. When testing the operating system in a virtual machine with 512 MB of RAM, the performance was sluggish, but still usable.
Hardware and system configuration
Fedora continues to be one of the leaders in out-of-the-box hardware support. My video cards were detected and set to their maximum resolutions and sound worked flawlessly without any tinkering. My network connection was detected and enabled by default as was my laptop's wireless card (Intel 2200). I was also happy to note that my laptop's USB mobile Internet device (Novatel wireless modem provided by Rodgers) was detected and used properly. My only complaint about hardware was with my laptop's touchpad. The pad would respond and move my mouse pointer, but tapping the pad wouldn't act as a click without some work. This isn't a big deal, but it's a short-cut I've grown to like. After adding a few packages and editing a configuration file, my touchpad returned to its typical behaviour.
The System Settings control centre is a handy way to manage the Fedora system. From here, the user can adjust the desktop look and feel, manage updates and associated settings, configure sound and tweak networking aspects of the operating system. There are also tools for handling fonts, printers and accessibility options. The controls are well laid out and I especially like that moving the mouse over the categories gives a break-down of what's included in that section. This makes it easier for new users to determine, at a glance, whether they need to be adjusting things in the Display or Desktop category, for example. There's an Advanced tab, which allows the user to configure all the gritty details of the KDE desktop. The KDE specific services, login screen, file associations, hardware interaction and desktop searching can all be handled from this location with ease.
Fedora 12 - the KDE Control Center and Add Widgets dialog
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The Fedora team is dedicated to free ("libre") software. This means that proprietary plug-ins, such Adobe's Flash and MP3 codecs, are not included in the distribution. At least not directly. For users who want access to restricted codecs, Flash and other additions, there is the RPM Fusion repository. The RPM Fusion group provides a huge amount of software which, for one reason or another, cannot be included in Fedora. Fortunately, the YUM package manager makes adding third party repositories as easy as clicking the proper link on RPM Fusion's web site.
In the past, the YUM package manager has taken criticism for being slower and less powerful than other package managers, such as apt-get. However, in the last few releases, YUM has made a great deal of progress. For one thing, it's fast now. Installing new software is really just limited by the speed of the system's Internet connection. The YUM software has also become more flexible and helpful. If updating a group of packages fails for whatever reason, YUM will offer to try to work around broken packages to make sure the rest of the system is kept up-to-date. In a similar fashion, installing new packages is also more fault tolerant.
My favourite feature though, which was introduced as a plug-in for Fedora 11, is "presto". The presto plug-in, now installed in Fedora 12 by default, enables YUM to download only the required pieces of new updates. Let's say, for instance, a minor bug is found in Firefox and one file is patched. Previously, YUM would download the entire new Firefox package to replace the old one. With presto, a smaller package containing the updated data is downloaded. Testing this feature showed that my downloads were reduced to about one quarter of their previous sizes on a regular basis. (On one fresh Fedora 11 install, with presto enabled, the size of my updates was reduced from 1 GB to 150 MB. One of my Fedora 12 installs had its updates reduced from 45 MB to 27 MB.) This may not seem like a lot to home users with fast connections, but it will save dial-up users days over the life of the release. Small office networks without an update proxy can save multiple gigabytes of data transfer in a very short time.
Security and services
The Fedora team has generally taken security seriously and great steps have been taken to lock down the distribution without getting in the way. The system installer will allow partitions to be encrypted from the start, making the process nearly transparent. This is especially handy for laptop owners. I tried this on my own laptop and found there was no noticeable performance trade-off in exchange for the encryption. Another security feature that has become more polished is SELinux. In earlier versions of Fedora, I found myself disabling SELinux as it would constantly get in the way. Now it has been tuned enough that regular tasks aren't blocked and the configuration tools are getting better for end-users. I hope this trend toward user-friendliness continues as SELinux can be a very powerful asset when locking down a system.
Fedora 12 - the SELinux Administration dialog and K3b disc burning application
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On Fedora 12, most network services are disabled by default, the exception to this is Sendmail which is blocked from outside access by the firewall. In previous releases, OpenSSH has been running by default and I think this is the first time I've found it disabled on a fresh install. Though these steps have been positive, Fedora has also taken a step backward on the security front. Fedora 12 allows unprivileged users (users with non-root accounts) to install packages from the Fedora repositories. This can be done using the graphical package manager and poses a serious security risk to any system running with multiple users, since any local user can now install thousands of software packages, introducing vulnerabilities or possibly filling the root partition. As of the time of writing, the Fedora team had been contacted regarding this issue and refused to revert to a more standard behaviour. There is a workaround for those who wish to return to the more commonly accepted behaviour.
Though not new in Fedora 12, I'd also like to comment on the MinGW compiler. The function of this compiler is, in essence, to make it possible to take source code for Linux applications and build a Windows executable binary from that source. I tried this on a few applications and found the complier worked well for small projects, but medium-sized projects wouldn't compile properly or wouldn't run once compiled. I'm not sure how much these failures were due to missing dependencies, problems with the WINE compatibility layer or how much was a result of the compiler. I think this is a handy tool and I hope it's something that Fedora continues to support as it may greatly reduce the time cross-platform developers need to spend running Windows.
After spending several days with Fedora, I find that I'm happy with this release. The live CD by itself was a bit underwhelming, but the distribution as a whole has been excellent. This is probably the most stable and most polished release the Fedora team has put together to date. Security is strong over most of the system, though the hole introduced in the software management system is a concern. Package management is fast and KDE feels like it's getting the attention it deserves. The system is responsive and I have yet to run into any serious problems. Due to the distribution's cutting-edge nature and fast support cycles, I probably won't recommend Fedora to Linux newcomers. Fedora is for those who have some Linux experience and want to explore what the future holds. For distro hoppers, this is a solid release and well worth experiencing.
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A quick note about the graphical package manager issue. In the above review, I mentioned an on-going concern with the graphical package manager which would allow regular users to install software from the Fedora repositories without knowing the root password. My review represents the situation as I saw it up until Friday or Saturday, depending on your time zone. Realizing that things would continue to progress after that point, I asked Adam Williamson to keep me informed as things changed. He kindly did, and by the weekend the developer in question had made the choice to require regular users to input the root password in order to install packages. Shortly afterwards, an update was made available to implement this new behavior. In total, the time from the official release of Fedora, to the time the issue was brought forward, to the time the software was patched was less than a week.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Chromium OS sources, Fedora LXDE update, Ubuntu and GIMP, FreeBSD 8.0, openSUSE third-party packages, interviews with Paul Frields and Buchan Milne, Qimo 4 Kids
Much of the excitement on many Linux news sites last week centred around the new Chromium OS (yes, that's the correct name, not Chrome OS - at least while it's in development), Google's new Linux-based operating system, which saw its first public release in the form of source code. Intended for netbooks and other mobile devices, this long-awaited entry by Google into the operating system market is a rather different piece of software that some might have expected. In fact, this early release is really just a browser through which one can access to online applications. So before you get too excited, it's important to understand two things - firstly, it's just a very early developer's release and secondly, it isn't intended as a general desktop system: "Chromium OS is unsuitable as a desktop operating system because it is not intended to be a desktop OS. Chromium OS is for netbooks and other portable internet devices, and it is not meant to replace the likes of Linux and Windows on your desktop computer." The above comes from a first-look review of Chromium OS as published by MakeTechEasier. For those who aren't deterred, here is a link to the building Chromium OS page that provides detailed instructions on how to create a bootable Chromium OS USB image. Have fun!
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For many of those who prefer to run final releases instead of testing early development builds, the focus was on Fedora 12, the new release of the popular distribution sponsored by Red Hat. One of the new "features" in this release, the unprivileged package installation policy, which received much media attention, has been reverted and users will now have to enter the root password in order to install software packages. Another issue, concerning those who prefer the lighter Fedora with LXDE, is ongoing though: "I have just asked the web site administrators to remove the Fedora 12 LXDE Spin from the BitTorrent tracker because we found a major bug that makes the images unusable. The problem is a crash in lxde-settings-daemon that triggers abrt, the automatic bug reporting tool. Because lxde-settings-daemon gets restarted by lxsession, the bug reporting tool goes into an infinite loop, consumes all CPU power and makes the computer crash when the overlay image of the live OS is filled up." The author promises to deliver new images in a few days.
Still on the subject of Fedora's latest release, here is a 3-page interview with Fedora project leader Paul W. Frields: "We've got something for just about everyone. If you're a desktop productivity user, we have better mobile broadband and we have dead simple Bluetooth tethering to your 3G phone. Web sites are able to publish Fedora packages using a simple HTML object tag, and we now support a number of Broadcom chipsets out of the box. For people who are developers, we have the latest Eclipse, the very popular integrated development environment that's a little more powerful than it was before. It integrates with the new release of System Tab, which hardcore developers can use to diagnose problems, or to diagnose places where their code may be making numerous system calls where they could get by with only one. For system administrators, we have a huge assortment of virtualization features -- things like the Kernel Shared Memory (KSM) feature. If you have multiple copies of very similar environments running on guest machines, KSM will actually go and find memory pages that are identical from one guest to the other, and it will eliminate the duplicates and point all the guests to a shared copy of the page."
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For many news sites specialising in reporting about Ubuntu, the prime topic last week was the upcoming removal of GIMP from the default installation: "The decision has been taken, and it seemed pretty final that GIMP will not be included in Ubuntu 10.04 by default. The decisions behind this are based on a few factors: the general user doesn't use it; its user-interface is too complex; it's an application for professionals; desktop users just want to edit photos and they can do that in F-Spot; it's a Photoshop replacement and Photoshop isn't included by default in Windows; it takes up room on the disc." While some of the above reason behind the move seem a little feeble, it goes without saying that GIMP will still be available for installation through the usual channels so anybody who does use the popular image editing application can easily get it. Still, the more nostalgic among Linux users will remember that GIMP, originally released way back in 1997, was the first "killer" desktop application created for the Linux platform. Ruthlessly banishing it to an online repository might evoke a sentimental tear or two...
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This week will see the final release of FreeBSD 8.0 (some of the project's mirrors already carry the CD, DVD and USB images for certain architectures), a new major release of what is probably the most widely-used free UNIX available today. For many FreeBSD users this will mean another upgrade. This article, entitled "Update your FreeBSD software with care", comes at the right time: "Certain operating systems make upgrading easier than others, as do certain applications. FreeBSD in particular offers specific explanations of gotchas and difficulties that might affect users when software is updated, and also makes it easy to audit installed software for vulnerabilities. In cases where a test network and the resources of research in depth are unreasonable expectations, the key to ensuring upgrades go smoothly without breaking things is to have a step-by-step process for updating that makes minimal research easy to perform and directions for solving updating problems before they affect your system easy to find and follow. Thanks to the UPDATING notes provided by the FreeBSD Ports system, such a process is easy to develop."
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Our first-look review of openSUSE 11.2 briefly mentioned the possibility of adding third-party repositories and packages to openSUSE. For those who would like more information on the subject, here is an excellent article entitled "Enhancing openSUSE 11.2: Adding Repositories and Packages" by openSUSE community manager Joe Brockmeier: "openSUSE comes with an enormous amount of software in the official repositories. But, sometimes you just need something that isn't in the default release. Either because the package isn't offered through the official repositories, or because you want to track software that's ahead of the current release. Adding a repository is a piece of cake. Just go to YaST (and give the administrator's password) and then select 'Software Repositories' from the Software group. You'll see the list of configured repositories you have already. Click "Add" at the bottom of the dialog. Here you'll get the Media Type dialog, where you can start the process of adding a repository."
If you've been using openSUSE, but found that you can no longer download torrents from torrent sites, here is the reason - the BitTorrent's fallback DHP technology has been stripped from openSUSE, apparently due to possible legal issues in Germany: "The tracker closure has spurred several discussions about DHT, BitTorrent's fallback technology for when central trackers are unavailable. According to some, DHT has some problems of its own. Novell, for example, decided to ship openSUSE with the BitTorrent client Transmission, but not before stripping DHT support." However, as the article explains, this decision is likely to be reverted in the next openSUSE release: "After discussion with Novell's German lawyer, it was agreed to include Transmission with DHT in future releases, but with an added pop-up informing users that they should only use the BitTorrent client for legal transfers. This means that the next openSUSE release will include a fully-functional BitTorrent client."
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It is always interesting to read interviews with those hard-working developers who help delivering all the great new distribution releases year after year. Last week, the official Mandriva blog talked to Buchan Milne, a Mandriva Linux contributor and package maintainer of several popular server components: "Feature-wise, I think Linux is doing well, especially in terms of catching up with features compared to proprietary UNIX, and current distributions allow more flexible and cost-effective solutions for problems where the answer was previously 'Big iron' or expensive proprietary software. However, the challenge (for 'generic' Linux distributions) in making products that provide easily configurable but advanced features available remains. Standards such as CIM/WBEM need to receive more attention, as they would allow projects to maintain configuration interfaces for their own software that could be exposed to other tools. Another natural weakness is the low penetration into the desktop market, which means that even if Linux servers provide a better solution for managing Linux desktops and equivalent features for managing Windows desktops, the primary motivation for implementing Linux servers over Windows servers is financial."
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Finally, a fascinating look at Qimo 4 Kids, an Ubuntu-based desktop distribution for very young children - through the eyes of the project's founders, Michael and Michelle Hall: "QuinnCo is a very small not-for-profit located in central Florida. In fact, it's just the two of us, Michelle and I, operating out of our house and garage. We take in second-hand computers, fix them up if they aren't working, then put Ubuntu or Qimo on them and give them out to kids and families in need. We have given out approximately 50 computers this year." How did it all start? "When our son Quinn was 4, he was already showing an interest in our computers. I had an old tower that I wasn't using, so I installed Ubuntu on it for him along with some games, and he took to it like a fish to water, teaching himself how to do things I never showed him. Because of that, I bought another computer from a yard sale, set it up the same way, and gave it to his daycare facility. About 3 months later, I had one of the kids from his class run up to me out of the blue and thank me for their computer. Talking about it to Michelle that night, she convinced me that we should start up a charity to do this on a larger scale, and QuinnCo was born." A truly exciting story showing the possibilities open source software can provide to those who look for them...
Qimo 4 Kids 1.0 - an Ubuntu-based distribution for children with games and education software
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|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Rolling versus time-based release model
Keep-on-rolling asks: Why don't more distributions move to rolling releases instead of starting over and breaking things every six months?
DistroWatch answers: By a rolling release, I'll assume you mean having a package repository that steadily updates, rather than having a base repository for each version of a distribution and then adding updated packages in separate repositories. In that sense, a rolling release sounds a lot more simple, doesn't it? It must be more straight forward to maintain one pool of software packages, instead of separate branches for each release and their updates. So why don't more distributions use the rolling release concept?
Perhaps, if I may, it would be a good idea to flip the question and ask: "Why DO distributions use separate repositories for different versions?" There are two reasons which spring readily to mind. The first is that having a fixed "release" repository and a separate "update" branch for each version insures there is a safety net. If an update breaks something on your computer, it's nice to be able to go back to a previous safe point. Granted, some package managers will do this with rolling releases, but it's nice to know you have that firm base. The second reason is that a lot of people, server administrators for example, prefer stability over "latest and greatest". This approach is also good for your average end user, most developers and anyone else who wants their operating system to be predictable. In short, a lot of users like having a solid base and applying only required bug fixes and security updates to their machines. They like stability over the latest features and the separate repositories for each version provide that for them.
What I'm driving at here is that a rolling release is fairly easy to manage and it's great fun for hobbyists who want to stay on top of things. However, it's probably what enthusiasts and cutting-edge developers want and not what anyone else wants. For those reasons, I think you'll find most distributions will continue to supply fairly static release branches.
I'd like to add that the two concepts are not completely exclusive of each other. Fedora, for example, has the constantly changing "Rawhide" repository, Debian has "Unstable" (Sid), Mandriva has "Cooker", openSUSE has "Factory" and Slackware has "Current". While the usability of these repositories may vary a lot, they are essentially constantly rolling releases. As the Mandriva Wiki says: "[Cooker] is an entire distribution unto itself, that is constantly in progress..." My point is that most of the big name distributions do provide rolling releases, if you want to try them.
|Released Last Week
Bluewhite64 Linux 13.0 "LiveDVD"
Attila Crăciun has announced the release of the "LiveDVD" edition of Bluewhite64 Linux 13.0, Slackware-based live DVD (not installable) for 64-bit systems: "I'm happy to announce that a new version of Bluewhite64 Linux 13.0 'LiveDVD' is ready for download. This new version brings the option to boot the DVD into KDE 4.3.2, Xfce 4.6.1 or to the command-line interface. The live DVD is powered by Linux Kernel 220.127.116.11 with advanced features and optimized for performance. Also, you will find the award-winning K Desktop Environment version 4.3.2 and the Xfce 4.6.1, Firefox 3.5.5 and SeaMonkey 2.0 (including Flash and 64-bit Java plugins), Thunderbird and KMail e-mail clients, OpenOffice.org 3.1.1, newly added SuperTuxKart and FooBillard games, Blender - an open source, cross platform suite of tools for 3D creation, the IA32 emulation to run 32-bit programs, Gambas, KMyMoney2, Scribus, WINE...." Here is the full release announcement.
Bluewhite64 Linux 13.0 "LiveDVD" - a Slackware-based live DVD for x86_64 systems
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Parted Magic 4.6
Patrick Verner has announced the release of Parted Magic 4.6, a specialist live CD designed for disk management and data rescue tasks: "Parted Magic 4.6 is a mostly a bug-fix release with some usability improvements. Key changes: many fixes and changes for Netbooks; GNU Parted bug 'ERROR: Current NTFS volume size is bigger than the device size!' is fixed; Parted Magic Save Session uses xz instead of 7-zip; ClamAV was added, but you have to download the definitions yourself; Flash Player can be downloaded and installed from the panel's application launcher; a simple program to change the keyboard layout was added to the desktop; a new program added (lxrandr) to re-size the display while running inside of X.Org; ROXTerm was replaced by an svn build of LXTerminal; Clonezilla was removed from the main Parted Magic image because it's not possible to make a rescue ISO without downloading a template." Visit the project's home page to read the full release announcement.
Momonga Linux 6.1
Takaaki Tabuchi has announced the release of Momonga Linux 6.1, a Japanese community distribution modelled on Fedora. This is a minor bug-fix and security update to Momonga Linux 6 (released in July), containing minor kernel and application updates, with most of the base system remaining unchanged. Among the updated packages are Linux kernel 18.104.22.168, X.Org Server 1.6.5, KDE 4.3.2, OpenOffice.org 3.1.1, Firefox 3.5.5, Apache 2.2.14, Postfix 2.6.5, and Emacs 23.1. Some additional packages and hardware devices, such as KDE devinfo, iwl1000 and iwl6000 firmware, LXDE desktop and x3f-tools, were added to the distribution. Users running Momonga 6 can update to the latest version with yum, but upgrades from earlier versions are not supported. See the release announcement and release notes (both links in Japanese) for more information.
openSUSE 11.2 "Edu Li-f-e"
Jigish Gohil has announced the release of the "Edu Li-f-e" edition of openSUSE 11.2, an openSUSE variant designed for children and students, with educational applications, Sugar desktop environment, LTSP server software, and out-of-the-box support for multimedia playback: "openSUSE Education community is proud to announce openSUSE-Edu Li-f-e - Linux for education based on openSUSE 11.2. The Li-f-e flavor bundles the best software openSUSE has to offer, such as popular desktop environments, educational application, development suites, multimedia, and great out-of-the-box user experience. Some highlights of what makes this a very special distribution: latest desktop environments - GNOME 2.28 (default), KDE 4.3.x, Sugar 0.86, IceWM; applications include tons of educational applications, graphics, development, office suite, and complete multimedia support; LTSP server...." Read the rest of the release announcement for further details.
Fedora 12, the latest version of the popular open-source operating systems for desktops and servers, has been released: "The Fedora Project, a Red Hat, Inc. sponsored and community-supported open source collaboration, today announced the availability of Fedora 12, the latest version of its free, open-source operating system distribution. Fedora 12 includes a robust feature set for desktop users, administrators, developers and open source enthusiasts alike. New enhancements available in Fedora 12 include next-generation Ogg Theora video, virtualization improvements and advancements to NetworkManager, among numerous others." See the press release, release announcement and release notes for further information.
Klaus Knopper has released KNOPPIX 6.2, a new version of the popular Debian-based live CD/DVD with LXDE as the default desktop: "The current version 6.2 has been completely updated from Debian 'Lenny', 'Testing' and 'Unstable', and uses kernel 22.214.171.124 and X.Org 7.4. Microknoppix is a complete rewrite of the KNOPPIX boot system from version 6.0 and up, with the following features: high compatibility with its Debian base; accelerated boot procedure; LXDE as graphical environment - a very slim and fast desktop with extremely short start time and low resource requirements; amount of installed software greatly reduced in the CD edition; network configuration handled by NetworkManager...." Read the rest of the release notes for more details.
KNOPPIX 6.2 - a new release from one of the pioneers of Linux live CDs
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Thierry Nuttens has announced the release of NuTyX 2009.1, a French desktop-oriented distribution based on Linux From Scratch with a hybrid (binary and source) package management borrowed from CRUX. The new release comes with a number of new features, including the first-ever GNOME edition, the ability to install the distribution into LVM volumes, a simplified text-mode system installer, and a new graphical package management front-end. Please refer to the release announcement (in French) for further details.
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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
- VENENUX GNU/Linux. VENENUX GNU/Linux is a South American desktop distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux and intended primarily for Spanish-speaking users. It adheres strictly to the principles of free software as defined by the Free Software Foundation.
VENENUX GNU/Linux 0.8 RC2 - a Latin American distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux
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- Zorin OS. Zorin OS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution designed especially for newcomers to Linux. It has a Windows-like graphical user interface and many programs similar to those found in Windows. Zorin OS also comes with an application that lets users run many Windows programs. The distribution's ultimate goal is to provide a Linux alternative to Windows and let Windows users enjoy all the features of Linux without complications.
Zorin OS 1.0 - an Ubuntu-based distribution for new Linux converts
(full image size: 1193kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Asturix. Asturix is a Spanish general-purpose Linux distribution based on Kubuntu.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 30 November 2009.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
1 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-11-23 08:38:59 GMT from United Kingdom) |
It's only Chromium OS while it is in development, much like the browser. Once released it will be known as Chrome OS.
2 • VENENUX? (by Anonymous on 2009-11-23 08:43:14 GMT from Spain)
Really weird choice of name. "Veneno" means "poison" in spanish. So, will this distro poison your PC or something?
3 • Images (by Dave on 2009-11-23 08:44:10 GMT from Australia)
Am I the only one who always gets a 403 Error when trying to view images on DW?
4 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-11-23 08:46:23 GMT from Spain)
And yes, I know the name probably comes from "Venezuela"+"Linux". Still, ask any spanish speaker what the word "VENENUX" reminds them of.
5 • Fedora (by DigitalVampire at 2009-11-23 09:27:14 GMT from United States)
Another great Fedora release...If you haven't tried it out, now is the time. Great community as well. And for those of you STILL (funny, isn't it?) under the misconception that Fedora is just a testing ground for RHEL, I can assure you it is not. Add rpmfusion and you're ready to go. So SMOOTH it is almost sickening. Oh, and it looks good too. :) Props to Fedora's Art people.
6 • Good news (by Mahmoud Slamah on 2009-11-23 09:32:13 GMT from Egypt)
Conclusion on Fedora 12 review
* This is probably the most stable and most polished release the Fedora team has put together to date.
* this is a solid release and well worth experiencing.
7 • Fedora12 (by Greg on 2009-11-23 09:41:48 GMT from Australia)
5 • Fedora (by DigitalVampire at 2009-11-23 09:27:14 GMT from United States)
Another great Fedora release...If you haven't tried it out, now is the time. Great community as well. And for those of you STILL (funny, isn't it?) under the misconception that Fedora is just a testing ground for RHEL, I can assure you it is not. Add rpmfusion and you're ready to go. So SMOOTH it is almost sickening. Oh, and it looks good too. :) Props to Fedora's Art people.
Fedora is just a testing ground for RHEL an always will be.
8 • No subject (by Anonymous at 2009-11-23 09:53:26 GMT from United States)
Just for the record, the default install is NOT KDE. The author apparently used the Live KDE version, but the default install is Gnome. I'm not sure why the review was written as though KDE was the default. Hmm.
9 • @ #8 RE: Default Fedora desktop (by Mark on 2009-11-23 10:06:12 GMT from Australia)
> Just for the record, the default install is NOT KDE. The author apparently used the Live KDE version, but the default install is Gnome. I'm not sure why the review was written as though KDE was the default. Hmm.
Just for the record, the default for the Fedora 12 Live KDE iso is indeed KDE.
You may be getting a bit confused because it is true that the default for the Fedora 12 Live GNOME iso is GNOME.
10 • @8 (by david on 2009-11-23 10:13:50 GMT from United States)
Did you read the whole review or is it just to early for you? The second sentence in the second paragraph clearly states the reviewer choose the live KDE version.
Pay attention please!!!
I agree Fedora is by far one of the best reasons to use Linux and is getting better each iteration.
11 • Thanks! (by Ian MacGregor on 2009-11-23 10:52:17 GMT from United States)
Hey, thanks for the "First look at Fedora 12" article. I was waiting for it (knew you'd include something like this) before ordering a dvd.
12 • RE:9 -- Defaults (by Béranger on 2009-11-23 11:08:45 GMT from Romania)
"Just for the record, the default for the Fedora 12 Live KDE iso is indeed KDE."
Just for the record, the default LiveCD is the GNOME one -- KDE4 fans have to click on "KDE Fans, Go Here!" first. The default downloadable item is "Get Fedora 12 Desktop Edition Now", which downloads the GNOME one.
Tiny note: has anyone else noticed how the Fedora GNOME LiveCD only comes with a tiny subset of 5 GNOME Games (or amusements, if you don't agree they're true games), whereas both Ubuntu and Xubuntu squeeze the full set of 16 gnome-games on the LiveCD?
I personally can't live w/o gnotravex :-)
13 • GIMP (by Balu at 2009-11-23 11:12:15 GMT from India)
Its sad that GIMP will be left out of the default install of Ubuntu :(
14 • Fedora 12 (by michael King at 2009-11-23 11:21:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
I always give Fedora a try each release and was very impressed with the Gnome live cd, install went smoothly
On my laptop previously I had trouble with audio on Ubuntu, both on skype and audacity, both of these worked fine after installation on fedora 12
My own Broadcom wireless 4312 wasnt detected but installing the driver wasn't hard(in Ubuntu 9.10 it had to be enabled after the desktop by clicking to add the "proprietary software") For now Fedora 12 is replacing Ubuntu on my main laptop, Its has been fun playing with the command line again to set it up, I think I am becoming a Yum convert....
15 • fedora 12 security (by cornel panceac on 2009-11-23 11:42:05 GMT from Romania)
the security bug was fixed:
16 • Gimp-buntu (by Gene at 2009-11-23 11:50:55 GMT from Sweden)
If they want to save space, they should kick Gnome out the door and use XFCE (which works great even on poor quality alpha releases which Ubuntu is famous for).
17 • fedora live cd filesystems (by sisko at 2009-11-23 11:51:51 GMT from United States)
The live cd can only install ext4 because thats the only filesystem on the disk. If you want ext3 you have to use the DVD.
18 • Fedora 12 & Wifi On My Laptop (by Ronald Gibson on 2009-11-23 12:00:08 GMT from United States)
I was amazed to see the wifi on my HP R4000 laptop working after booting up on the CD. Ubuntu 9.10 didn't ask me this time if I wanted to install the Broadcom drivers for the Wifi.
I tried Sabayon and PC-BSD but the fonts where so big that could hardly navigate the menus to install them. I finally got Sabayon to install but the font size in some applications looked like 72pt. I looked at what fonts are used and their size and they are all at 10pt Even changing the font didn't work.
I also tried Ubuntu Studio. The installation would halt just before it went into the graphical installation. Text mode didn't work either. I ended up installing Ubuntu with stuff from Ubuntu Studio using Synaptic. I installed the RT Kernel but had no option to choose which kernel to boot up into.
19 • Fedora moblin (by Michael Fox on 2009-11-23 12:02:16 GMT from Canada)
I had heard good things about the fast booting of Fedora and was anxious to try the Fedora moblin version, which is presently in beta. Unfortunately, it would not boot on my MSI Wind U100 netbook. Hopefully this will be fixed soon. But following Jesse's review, I'm thinking of trying the LXDE version once it is fixed.
20 • DWW Logo (by Sean at 2009-11-23 12:03:06 GMT from United States)
Congratulations on the nice logo on the front page for the Weekly.
If it was there before this week, I never noticed it. If it was always there, I'd better start having my coffee earlier. ;)
21 • Fedora12 (by h2s on 2009-11-23 12:07:03 GMT from China)
i started with the beta release since Ubuntu-9.10 didn't love my hardware this time round.updated to Fedora12 and i must agree that the experience is very good.maybe i'll end my exile with Ubuntu-10.04.
Another must have package is the yum-fastestmirror which assists in finding the fastest repository whenever one is installing packages such that minimal time is used always..
22 • Knoppix (by John on 2009-11-23 12:14:31 GMT from United Kingdom)
I Downloaded Knoppix last week. For the last few versions I have been unable to load the system or the screen resolution has been wrong. But this one is great. And it's with LXDE too, with wireless networking on my Thinkpad 600X! Heaven!!!
23 • RE: 14 • Broadcom wireless (by Béranger on 2009-11-23 12:17:36 GMT from Romania)
So, you mean the broadcom-wl (STA) wireless driver from RPMFusion does work as expected with Fedora 12?
In Ubuntu 9.10, the bcmwl stopped working with 2.6.31-14, one has to revert to 2.6.31-13:
24 • chromium OS image (by greenpossum at 2009-11-23 12:20:06 GMT from Australia)
You can get a VMDK image of this which you can run in VMWare or VirtualBox. Just search Slashdot a couple of days ago (21 or 22 Nov I think). About 300MB to download. I played with it for a few minutes on VirtualBox. You login with your gmail ID, then in a few seconds it brings up a Chomium browser on your gmailbox and calendar. Quitting the browser just respawns it. There is no desktop manager with icons for apps. The browser is the centre of attention.
As mentioned, it's not a general purpose OS. It's meant for cloud surfing gadgets.
25 • The GIMP (by Duhnonymous at 2009-11-23 12:50:54 GMT from United States)
The GIMP is my go to application for odd jobs. I can't see using it every day, but I certainly use it far more than I would ever consider using F-Spot.
I think this move will encourage people to consider using Xubuntu, as I have now for the past year and a half. The whole philosophy of Gnome seems to be that they should appeal to the computer-illiterate, not just people who shy away from CLI.
KDE has recently become more appealing than Gnome, also. I love how versatile the latest KDE is, but more often than not, that just means I spend a lot more time configuring things than I would with Xfce.
Speaking of Xfce, I can't wait for the 4.8 release (which will hopefully be early next year). That will have some long-awaited improvements.
26 • Fedora 12 on MSI Wind (by Ray Baquirin on 2009-11-23 12:58:19 GMT from Philippines)
Ran into 2 issues: (1) couldn't get wireless working (a workaround that I used on Fedora 11 didn't work for 12), and (2) Adding the Rpmfusion repository caused yum to hang. Just reinstalled Ubuntu Karmic for now.
27 • KDE Fork (by burdicda on 2009-11-23 13:03:15 GMT from United States)
Wow has the whole KDE dev group lost their minds...
It's like windows now
I recently installed a new release distro and it had
KDE 4.**** and wow everything about it was alien
and Dolphin whoa who's been smokin crack on that one?
There was sooo much user configurability missing
I spent hours bangin away trying to setup my desktop
like I want not how they want it.
I finally found a group who had thrown
out the anchor and said we are not with them..
3.5.*** and I installed it and even then had to put up
with all kinds of locks and bars...from 4.***
Somebody call ahead and catch KDE and ask em
just where do they think they are going....
It's like your kid running off ahead of you....
28 • Re: Fedora 12 (by silent at 2009-11-23 13:07:35 GMT from France)
Yes, excellent. Huge improvements of hardware support, fast, quite stable. Best Linux today.
29 • Knoppix 6.2 (by phedlund on 2009-11-23 13:09:29 GMT from United States)
I have been a long time Knoppix fan and was disappointed with this release. Mainly the screen resolution that was mentioned before.
Its hard to go to the menu to change the screen resolution when its off the bottom of the screen. I spent more time trying to set the screen size then using the os.
Once running it was just fine.
30 • Fedora 12 devels (by F12 at 2009-11-23 13:11:16 GMT from United States)
Great release but I have to admit, I am sicken by the attitude from the Fedora developers. Thanks but no thanks. I will no longer use this distro. I don't need the hassle to deal with my issues and this kind of attitude.
31 • RE: 30 • Fedora 12 devels (by Béranger on 2009-11-23 13:19:26 GMT from Romania)
"I am sicken by the attitude from the Fedora developers."
By "attitude", you mean this arrogance (c) Richard Hughes?
«I don't particularly care how UNIX has always worked.»
32 • 23 • RE: 14 • Broadcom wireless on fedora 12 (by michael King at 2009-11-23 13:49:51 GMT from United Kingdom)
Yes! The driver from the rpmfusion repo worked splendidly (yum install broadcom-wl) following the guide on Fedora Unity was very simple, though it needed a wired connection to get the wireless working whereas the ubuntu cd seemed to have two drivers on disc but not installed, one of which worked, one that didn't.)
33 • About Qimo (by alb3rto on 2009-11-23 13:51:38 GMT from Spain)
What a good project.
I Have a nephew who´s almost 4 and showing interest in computers, will try it.
Such a good thing to do, keep up the good work Michael & Michelle.
34 • Xfce satisfaction ! (by Caraibes on 2009-11-23 14:00:49 GMT from Dominican Republic)
Just a quick word to say I am very happy with Xfce those days (Xub 9.10), on various PC's... I still have Nautilus at hand for browsing home network PC's, and still use Fluxbox on very much older hardware, but I am seeing improvements from "the mouse"... I expect a lot of good stuff from Xfce 4.8, especially "connect to server" on Thunar (!!!!!!)
I simply can't take KDE... I just don't like it...
As of Gnome (my DE of choice since 2005), I still enjoy it a lot, but Xfce opens a new door, that might be useful when we hit the Gnome 3 days...
35 • RE: 27 (by zak89 on 2009-11-23 14:10:51 GMT from United States)
Interesting take on KDE 4. I can't say that my experiences mesh with yours, but I suppose that's why Linux doesn't have only one desktop environment. If we are speaking in terms of pure "configurability" (is that a word?), KDE 4 has more configuration options than the 3.5 series ever did, and I can't think of any major features or options that are missing (can you jog my memory?).
I honestly can't tell what your real "problem" is with KDE 4, so I won't comment further.
About Fedora's package installation policy; I don't use Fedora much, but from what I can tell, it only allows normal users to install software from trusted sources; presumably, nothing terrible should be done to your system by software from a trusted source (like the official Fedora repositories). Also, you must provide the root password to remove software and/or install software from third-party repos. So while I agree that this a strange move, especially for a distro that is apparently aimed at advanced users familiar with Linux, to "go Ubuntu" farther than Ubuntu ever did.
36 • E-mail address and file system (by Jesse at 2009-11-23 14:18:49 GMT from Canada)
As someone else pointed out, Fedora will let you pick the file system you want if you're using the install DVD. The ext4 limitation is for the liveCD only. I found this strange as most other liveCD installers will let you choose the file system you want. I'm hoping the ability to select a file system is introduced in the next version to bring the live installer up to speed with other distributions.
Some people have been e-mailing questions directed at me, but e-mailed to Ladislav. And some people have e-mailed me wondering where to send questions for appearance in future DWW. Please send any comments or questions to jessefrgsmith AT yahoo.ca. I try to answer all e-mails within 48 hours, so if you don't hear from me within that time, please post a comment here telling me to check my spam filter. Thank you.
And a comment above asked why I used KDE in this review. There were a few reasons.
1. In the past, Fedora has been accused of treating KDE as a second-class desktop. I wanted to see if this was true in Fedora 12.
2. I'd used KDE for my Mandriva review and wanted to compare how the two distributions compared with similar settings.
37 • @ Dave #3 (by rel at 2009-11-23 14:32:40 GMT from United States)
You're getting the 403 on images because you have your browser set to NOT send referer headers.
in Firefox, go to about:config, then find network.http.sendRefererHeader and set it to 2 or higher and you should then see the images.
38 • Removal of GIMP from ubuntu (by Sagar on 2009-11-23 15:04:33 GMT from India)
U is really dissappointing that GIMP the ultimate Image Editing tool is bieng removed from Ubuntu 9.10.
I am against the decision.
39 • RE: KDE 4 dissatisfaction (by SilverBear on 2009-11-23 15:04:54 GMT from United States)
RE: comments #27 & #35:
It all depends on WHICH VERSION of KDE4.xx a user tries!
I hated 4.1, dislike 4.2 and _love_ 4.3. Most distros carrying KDE4 up to this time have been KDE4.2 or under, in which configuration options, and the versatility of Dolphin in no way measure up to the expectations of people used to using KDE3.5.x My first trials of KDE4.1 had me in complete agreement with Burdicda.
KDE4.3.2 is the starting point of the true KDE4 experience that (with a half-hour's study and practise) will make KDE users happy about the massive change to a new code base and new UI look.
40 • #3, #37, and rolling releases (by megadriver at 2009-11-23 15:10:20 GMT from Spain)
If worried about referrer headers and privacy, just use the RefControl extension for Firefox. You can configure the referrer sending policy on a site-by-site basis. It's great!
On the subject of rolling release distros being "unstable", what exactly stops a "stable" distro from using the rolling release model? "Rolling release" doesn't have to imply "updated daily, absolutely bleeding edge and broken". It's just a release model.
Small, gradual changes are much better for stability than big, sudden changes every 6-8 months, IMHO.
41 • Desktops: (by zygmunt on 2009-11-23 15:10:41 GMT from United Kingdom)
Like a good OS a good desktop shouldn't be obstructive. It's not central to the task in hand but a background tool which is better if it's helpful rather than self imposing. KDE4.x suffers all the worst features. It gets in the way and is too complicated. The command line is mush preferable. Future users are going to be damned by KDE4.x just as MS Windows users are by its point and click. To copy is flattery that is ill deserved. MS now have better command shells to vie with, for instance, bash. A good example of MS to follow a [Li,u]n[u,i]x strength. Soon MS will sort out its kernel mayhem. Win7 is becoming more scalable than was Vista. One good OS will win over many disparate distros forking socially, nationally, religiously, artisanesquely etc.
A path to self destruction presently exists. There will be WINdows and LOSEnux. No wonder there are so few Linux desktops. But there are also advantages to being a minority: which Linux will remain. Genius plays well to itself, but not to the other 99%.
42 • @40 Rolling release (by Jesse at 2009-11-23 15:40:53 GMT from Canada)
The problem is that as software moves forward, it isn't always compatible with previous versions. Sometimes it doesn't even look or behave the same way. Let's say you're running a rolling release distro a few years ago and you're using KDE 3.5. Then one morning you wake up to find that the repository has updated to KDE 4.0. Granted, that's an extreme case, but the point is, lots of software projects go through major changes. What if you were running a database (like MySQL) and a new version changes the way a database is handled? The rolling release model requires you either keep up or stop getting security patches. Either your functionality is going to break or you'll get left behind.
Also, the "big, sudden changes" you talk about happening are really just snapshots from rolling release repositories. And you have the option to try and accept (or reject) these snapshots. If you were using the rolling release (rawhide, -current, cooker) between snapshots, you'd see the same changes, just over a six-month time frame.
43 • #40 & rolling releases (by Anonymous at 2009-11-23 15:41:44 GMT from United States)
@ #40, I've heard great things about the stability of PCLinuxOS and thought the same thing. I've also often wondered why the rolling release distributions don't let you pick an update speed, like a separate setting for extra sable, stable, semi-stable, and bleeding edge updates. If you required root authentication for the more edgy updates then the experienced users could take all the flack they could handle and report back on issues to make big updates easier for others later on. They might also be able to test little things a few days ahead of everyone else and a list of compatible hardware could be made that your system could check against. just a thought.
44 • GIMP (by Jimbo at 2009-11-23 16:14:48 GMT from United Kingdom)
To all the people saying Ubuntu shouldn't remove GIMP, ask yourself this question... as someone who writes comments on distrowatch are you really an average computer user? If you were an average user you might realise that GIMP is waaay overkill for correcting redeye before you upload a picture to your facebook, which is about the level a typical computer user might want to edit their photos.
Fact is, Ubuntu is not aimed at the people who post on Distrowatch Weekly and who love using the Gimp, it is aimed at people who just want to correct red eye as easily as possible.
Not only that, but Canonical have actually made plans to make more effort to promote Gimp and the other creative apps found on Linux to media professionals. They realised that dumping it on the liveCD did nothing to promote it. So really you are going to get the best of both worlds... new users will have a simpler way of editing pictures, and media professionals will be more aware of the GIMP and what it can do.
45 • Fedora (by hotdigettydog on 2009-11-23 16:22:25 GMT from Germany)
I was really impressed with Fedora 12 gnome till I tried to install Nvidia drivers. Which has failed btw so I presently have a non-usable Fedora install.
Moving on ...
46 • Fedora 12 (by Scott on 2009-11-23 16:30:34 GMT from United States)
Fedora's live CD is a bit different than some others, using an actual image that is copied over. Whether that's best of not is a question for the developers.
There have been some NVidia problems. Fedora forums has a great many posts that might help people with NVidia issues. (I don't have an NVidia card on my Fedora machines, so have been unaffected.)
Re the developers' attitudes--it's not quite fair to lump them all together--like any group of people, some are nicer than others. Generally speaking, if one asks one of them a polite question, they get a polite answer with an attempt to explain the logic. If you come at one of them with, Hey moron, why'd you do such a stupid thing? then for some odd reason, some of them may become defensive. So, @post 30, I'd say, in the words of the old Jackson Five hit, "One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch..." (whether it's only one, or more than one, the fact remains that many of the developers are happy to work with users and responsive to their comments.)
47 • Feedback on the Fedora 12 review (by Rahul Sundaram on 2009-11-23 16:31:44 GMT from India)
Good review. A few comments:
* Fedora Live CD is a preformatted Ext4 image. Some other Live CD distributions are including non-upstream kernel patches but they are beginning to drop it in favor of the device mapper solution that Fedora is already using
* Fedora includes a very comprehensive amount of locales out of the box. This includes fonts, input methods etc and this is what takes up space in the Live CD. Fedora 13 will likely have a 1 GB Live image targeting USB keys out of the box so the out of the box experience should be better than now.
* Sendmail is configured by default to not listen to the network at all in additional to the firewall. OpenSSH is disabled by default in the Live CD and has always been that way
A reverse engineered open source broadcom firmware is included by default which supports certain wireless chipsets out of the box. Fedora is likely the first distribution to do so and that explains why Broadcom wireless just works atleast for some users
http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Fedora_12_Announcement for more details
48 • @41 - One desktop is not Linux (by Rarsa on 2009-11-23 16:32:45 GMT from Canada)
You are confusing several issues here:
KDE is not Linux. It's just one option.
KDE is not close to Windows.
Other than that I agree that it's too much in the way for my liking.
Winning is relative, it depends on the value system you use to evaluate.
If you use number of users. Windows is winning but so is functional illiteracy.
If you measure based on freedom then Linux / FLOSS is very well positioned.
49 • Re: Venenux (by macondo at 2009-11-23 16:33:36 GMT from Panama)
Venenux at the beginning came from Venezuela, thus, the name.
50 • @45: Nvidia driver (by Rahul Sundaram on 2009-11-23 16:34:19 GMT from India)
I assume you meant the proprietary Nvidia driver. Nouveau which is what Fedora provides has got a lot of improvements including kernel mode setting and suspend/resume support of the box.
If you must use the proprietary driver, carefully follow the instructions at
51 • Fedora faster than Mandriva? (by KBill at 2009-11-23 16:38:23 GMT from Argentina)
I´m looking for a KDE 4.3 distro that also has large repo and is at least relatively stable. Gave it a try at Mandriva but it wouldn´t boot in my system... in the past I´ve not been too impressed by Fedora (nothing BAD really, just not my fav, neither is Mandriva thou) but if this release is performing well in speed I might give it a try.
Is it really?
I mean, if you are not a fan of any of those distros, would you honestly say Fedora 12 is performing better than Mandriva 2010??
52 • Broadcom firmware effort included in Fedora (by Ssl on 2009-11-23 16:46:09 GMT from Serbia and Montenegro)
Rahul: This about broadcom firmware effort is fantastic news,! However as you said it works for certain cases, here is bug report some people have "hang|" experience:
53 • Fedora and nVidia (by KBill at 2009-11-23 16:46:12 GMT from Argentina)
*...shrug..* I just read ~#45 about issues installing the proprietary nVidia drivers... that´s the kind of things usually keep me away from Fedora.. all this hype and brand and backgroud support and still requires tinkering for such a common task, when many way smaller distros do it right... It becomes twice as frustrating when a "big" distro lets these things happen.
I do acknowledge its many other strengths though, I don´t mean to just bash it...
54 • #47 Broadcom (by susan at 2009-11-23 16:54:59 GMT from United States)
I believe Mepis was probably the first at least two years ago. They were followed by PCLOS, Sabayon, and several others.
55 • freebsd 8.0 is out (by celle at 2009-11-23 17:00:01 GMT from United States)
Freebsd.org has had the isos since yesterday.
56 • @44: GIMP (by Balu at 2009-11-23 17:08:14 GMT from India)
I missed an explicit 'IMHO'.
However I agree that the such decisions are aimed at pushing Linux(Ubuntu) to 'average computer users'. And it may be a good decision for the cause of Linux. But as of today 'average Linux user' is not an 'average computer(read as windows) user'.
And on the flip side there will be quite a few Linux starters who will not get to know that there is actually a great free photoshop replacement! Frankly how many 'average computer users' know about GIMP?
57 • No subject (by Anonymous at 2009-11-23 17:16:09 GMT from Canada)
Fedora has always been one of my favourites, and has had the best hardware support on my system since F8 was released. This release is no different.
Kudos to the developers.
58 • #53 - FEDORA (by ZBREAKER at 2009-11-23 17:23:48 GMT from United States)
Took the words right out my mouth. Tried again to like Fedora, but
it's just too painful to try to do a simple thing like Nvidia...and I'm a fairly seasoned linux user. Other distros just make it so easy. I'll stick with my friend Slackware.
59 • @45, 50, 53, 58 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-23 17:32:21 GMT from Canada)
@53: it's not a question of it being 'right' or 'wrong'. Fedora, by policy, does not ship, support, or bend over backwards to work with proprietary drivers, because Fedora believes in and supports free / open source software. It's a policy decision, not a problem of implementation.
Aside from that, the best reference for installing NVIDIA drivers on F12 is currently:
it's slightly more complex than on other distributions because of the need to inhibit the nouveau kernel module and tweak SELinux's policy. Which is a fine example of my first point. The Fedora project would not go nerfing up a valuable free driver (nouveau) or security mechanism (SELinux) just for the benefit of a third-party proprietary driver.
60 • Fedora 11 to 12 (by xaer0knight on 2009-11-23 17:35:20 GMT from United States)
I have to say the only problem i had with Fedora is its upgrade application. i had a lot of issues with ATRPMs and RPMFusion repositories after my upgrade... Its all sorted out now but it still not as streamline as 'sudo update-manager -d' The only thing I can recommend is wait a few days (or weeks) after a new Fedora release because the Repositories have to catch up.
61 • Fedora 12 (by Landor at 2009-11-23 17:37:56 GMT from Canada)
When I tried Fedora 12 with KDE I had said it was the best so far of any of the releases. Though I still don't really like KDE4.
That said I thought I'd give it a shot on my latest netbook. I returned my Aspire almost instantly and finally picked up an ASUS 1005HAB. I much prefer the ASUS over the ACER.
To the point, I went to create a usb install for the netbook and couldn't. Fedora released 12 with a version of the live-usb-creator that didn't work. I may have liked the KDE4 implementation but I have 0 patience for something pre-installed that doesn't work at all. I tried updates to see if that would get me the version that "worked" and it didn't.
Very disappointing and it's this kind of thing that reminds me of why I don't use specific distributions on a day to day basis.
Keep your stick on the ice...
62 • Fedora 12 KDE4 (by xaer0knight on 2009-11-23 17:39:12 GMT from United States)
its nice and fast almost 100% bug free. occasionally a crash or error (around once a week). The only problem i have with KDE4 on Fedora 12 is its Kick Off style menu and some widgets (Digital Clock's Calender, Lancelot) takes a lot longer to load then it did in 11. I just switched to Classic KDE menu and all is fine.
63 • Fedora (by KBill at 2009-11-23 17:46:22 GMT from Argentina)
@59 Adam Williamson
well, yeah, I understand it is a decision and they are of course entitled, my comment about nvidia was more of an example, not so long ago I had to spend so much time fiddling with a broken package manager I could not believe it, I can accept totally broken stuff when we are talking about bleeding edge or even too-fresh-stuff, but when we are talking basics I would expect reasonable quality coming from the big distros, whether it Fedora, Ubuntu, Suse, Mandriva, etc.
64 • no big deal (by Matt at 2009-11-23 17:52:43 GMT from Canada)
Why does everyone make such a big deal out of Chrome and Fedora being released? Chrome is no big deal because it's nothing yet, and from what the developers are saying, it's never going to be what we hoped it would be. It's not going to be the desktop Windows killer we thought it would be. And Fedora? I didn't even bother getting much into it, checking out the live Gnome CD revealed how few programs it had installed by default, essentially they force you to download the stupid big DVD which I refuse to waste so much time and bandwidth on, so IMHO, Fedora gave us a useless release. Next time maybe try and fill the live CD with something useful that people can actually use. Somehow Ubuntu fits in the Gimp (although maybe no longer), OpenOffice, Firefox, etc. etc. etc. but yet Fedora can't manage to put in more than Firefox and AbiWord? Waste of my time.
As for comment 16... have you ever heard of Xubuntu?
65 • @51 (by Anonymous at 2009-11-23 17:52:55 GMT from United States)
You should try Chakra! Easy 20 Minute Arch install with modular KDE. Currently Alpha 4 but very stable and FAST!! on this old P4 3.2 MHZ, Intel 82865glc using onboard sound & graphics. Kde 3 0r 4 + 64bit version available. Blows anything else away!!!
66 • @ 44 + 56 (by smarty pants at 2009-11-23 18:04:32 GMT from United States)
Media Professional, Photoshop Replacement, and gimp do not belong in the same sentence unless that sentence is similar to: The gimp cannot be used by a lot of media professionals as it is not a Photoshop replacement.
Please stop the outrageous claims being made for software that simply does not have the features of Photoshop 5.5 let alone CS 4 :)
67 • GIMP @44 (by dragonmouth on 2009-11-23 18:10:45 GMT from United States)
Average Computer Users do not use Ubuntu or any other Linux distro. They use Windows. Canonical has been making their products more and more Windows-like with each new release. Their attitude is that since Windows does not include Photoshop, why should Ubuntu include GIMP. Before long Canonical will remove all the packages that we have become accustomed to getting for free but are not absolutely essential to running Linux. Goodbye Open Office, Amarok, firewall, etc.
68 • My take on rolling releases (by morgan on 2009-11-23 18:13:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
First of all, here is my review of FC12 = Fail !
As soon as I found out my Nvidia driver would not work (at present) I gave up and tried opensuse 11.2.
It's crazy as the drivers work fine in Arch linux which has the same xserver version, etc...
I did post to reddit (an unpopular) suggestion, that at the moment on most distros it is easier to get the latest version of FOSS software on Windows than Linux unless you are using a rolling release distro.
Here is the bulk of it:-
Firstly let me say I am not a Windows fan, have been using Linux exclusivly since 2003 on my desktops.
Obviously installing Openoffice/Mozilla/Gimp, etc on Linux is usually easier than in Windows as you use the distribution's package manager, the main problem is that the package manager version of the software soon becomes out of date.
As an example, in Ubuntu Jaunty if you stuck with the distributions version of Firefox you did not get the 3.5.x version but were left with 3.0.x (Debian Lenny 3.0.8 ..). Why ?
I know that packages have to be tested, etc but not upgrading Firefox to 3.5.x means that it is easier to upgrade to latest Firefox in Widows (happens via firefox updater) than in Jaunty - the same goes for openoffice, etc.
I know I could get the binary from mozilla.org, that version would update to the latest but many people will just use the distros version (and not get the latest.)
The same goes for nvidia drivers (i know there are not Foss), usually there are many fixes introduced in a driver release but for example Ubuntu will generally stick with the version that original came with the distribution in the name of stability (even though the new driver introduces various fixes..)
Again with nvidia if I use the driver from www.nvidia.com instead of the package manager then I can choose what version to run.
In my experience the only distro I have used that make it as easy as windows to keep up to date is Arch linux (a supposedly hard distro), this is due to it being a rolling release meta-distro.
I can understand that a distro wouldn't want to upgrade the kernel/xorg/kde/gnome version in a release but I do think that the distros should make certain desktop packages rolling release to keep their relevance. i.e firefox/openoffice, etc
Fedora is not too bad in this respect, they will sometimes upgrade to a later version, I know with ubuntu for example you only have to wait 6 months for the next version (and updated packages) but seeing as Linux is seen as beacon for FOSS the distros should really be running the latest desktop apps.
A similar thing occurs in the server world also, for example upgrading PHP to the latest version in Windows is easy, if you run Centos you are stuck with PHP 5.1.6, I know centos is based on long term support but why not make PHP, Apache, MySQL (i.e the main tools used) into rolling releases?
Yes I know I can add repos to opensuse / ubuntu to get later versions but I think that by default it is madness that (for example) debian Lenny uses firefox (or ice wesel) 3.0.8 .....
69 • @61 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-23 18:14:03 GMT from Canada)
What do you mean by 'it doesn't work'? I've heard multiple reports of unetbootin not working with F12, but yours is the first I've heard of problems with liveusb-creator. What's the issue exactly?
70 • @68 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-23 18:15:11 GMT from Canada)
"As soon as I found out my Nvidia driver would not work (at present) I gave up and tried opensuse 11.2."
This is, um, not true. Please see the link in my post #59. It works fine if you follow those instructions.
71 • @71 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-23 18:16:05 GMT from Canada)
Ah, actually I may be doing you a disservice - if you mean you need one of the legacy drivers, yeah, those won't work at present I believe, because NVIDIA hasn't ported them to X server 1.7. Again, my point about Fedora not compromising its releases in the interest of proprietary software applies, in that case.
72 • @64 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-23 18:17:42 GMT from Canada)
As Rahul explained, Fedora live images have fewer packages because they have more support for multiple languages. This is as inherent trade-off, with a few approaches possible. Ubuntu just doesn't support as many languages. Mandriva ships multiple variants of its live editions, with different languages on each, so there's more room for software but you have to find your way through the process to find the right image for your language. Whichever way you go, there's a trade-off (software, languages, or complexity).
73 • @66 (by Balu at 2009-11-23 18:17:54 GMT from India)
I know, I never mentioned 'Media Professional' :) We were still talking about average computer users.
Lets give it a rest now.
74 • about gimp (by gimpit on 2009-11-23 18:22:11 GMT from Portugal)
Of course that a tiny 700mb distribution can only afford to include the most popular, useful and light applications in it. Image manipulation is surely a must have in any CD, and gimp is the right choose to go with it. A photo manager is also needed, but that's for a few different purposes. My suggestion to the developers would be to create a lite version with a new GUI, making it lighter and more user friendly. This may do the trick to restore it's popularity without going with heavy changes. imo.
75 • 66 gimp (by mandog on 2009-11-23 18:30:54 GMT from United Kingdom)
The major difference between Professional, Photoshop, and the non Professiona gimp is £1,000 which make the Gimp a steal.
76 • Fedora & Opensuse (by MacLone at 2009-11-23 18:36:28 GMT from Mexico)
It does not matter how Fedora and Opensuse evolve, they are 12 hour distros for me because is the time they will last in my computer. Opensuse keeps YAST2 very bloated and problematic installing a lot of things i didn't request and fedora's YUM is far far away compared to other rpm and debian installers. So are they getting better? yes, but not enough.
YAST is particularly annoying for me with all those packages i don't care about and has no use for me and the use of the system itself...damn, i just wanted to install a coumple of stuff...hehe...and i got hundreds of megabytes of i don't know what... + the constant library problems.
Fedora's YUM is getting better but i have seen much better packagekit software managers...and RPM fusion is almost empty in my point of view.
77 • Jesse's review, #23: Broadcom drivers in Fedora (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-23 18:38:06 GMT from United States)
First, I agree with Jesse's review this week. Fedora 12 is a nice release, and it is definitely much better than the last few Fedora releases I looked at. Like Jesse I started with Red Hat Linux back in 1995 and Fedora was my primary distro at home (and Red Hat at work) until 2004. I've played with it on and off since then but generally preferred something else (first Red Hat on the desktop, then Xubuntu, then Vector Linux, and recently Pardus). I may have to come home to Fedora after all.
FWIW, I have no problem with a distro not including a proprietary driver like broadcom-wl by default. I only complain when the distro misidentifies the Broadcom card and tries to load the wrong driver with disastrous results. I understand the philosophical and practical reasons for avoiding proprietary drivers whenever possible. Just so long as I can make it work after installation, which I can with distros like Fedora and Slackware, I'm a happy camper.
@ Béranger: On my HP Mini 110 Fedora 12 does work well with the broadcom-wl driver from RPMFusion. I was surprised by your post and link regarding Ubuntu. I checked and I do have the 2.6.31-14 kernel and the broadcom-wl and b43-fwcutter drivers installed and wireless is working brilliantly on the same HP. (Yes, the system is dual boot Fedora/Ubuntu at present.) I'm not saying the problem isn't real but for some unknown reason it hasn't proved to be an issue on my system. Just lucky, I guess.
78 • For Adam Williamson (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-23 18:46:42 GMT from United States)
First, I can confirm that unetbootin doesn't work with Fedora, which is a shame. I wanted the network installer on a USB stick and I never did make that work. However, using the live media and copying to the USB stick as described in the installation guide does work and work well. That's how I did my two netbook installs (first to an SD card, later to the hard drive) and I had no problems.
Also, Adam, you were right. Fedora 12 produces the same result as Slackware 13 and openSUSE 11.2 on the Toshiba laptop with the Trident CyberBlade XPi chipset. No great surprise there. I will post a bug report over the holiday weekend with the workaround.
I still have to finish posting my openSUSE bug reports but the big one, the installer/live CD wireless driver issue, was reported on Saturday. Despite what some people have said I really do want openSUSE to succeed and I'd love to be able to report that the issues are fixed and that my review no longer applies.
79 • linux (by willinux on 2009-11-23 19:16:17 GMT from Portugal)
Hi Caitlyn. I saw you've used Pardus, wich is not so well known as many other distros. I myself once found one named paldo, witch seemed to me to be a true gem, just needing some final polish (p.exp. grub does not see other o/s's) witch maybe didn't happen because being quite unknown, the reduced user base is not enough to gear for further development. I thought you could appreciate to give it a look, so I dropped this lines here to let you know.
80 • @78 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-23 19:17:47 GMT from Canada)
can you poke me with the URL of the bug report once it's filed so I can make sure it gets appropriately triaged? thanks.
81 • gimp (by bugs at 2009-11-23 19:29:52 GMT from United States)
gimp, nice app, who cares
i use mtpaint 99% of the time
i prefer small apps that get the majority of jobs done, i'll add bloatware if and when i need it
[give me abiword or give me death]
82 • #80: Bug report (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-23 19:30:52 GMT from United States)
Will do, Adam. I have your e-mail address.
83 • RE: 23 • RE: 14 • Broadcom wireless (by Béranger on 2009-11-23 19:33:18 GMT from Romania)
Broadcom STA (bcmwl) started working again with 2.6.31-15-generic.
84 • @81 (by Matt at 2009-11-23 19:44:51 GMT from Canada)
"[give me abiword or give me death]" The problem with views like this are that Abiword is a small download from a package manager or something and so if a user installs Ubuntu for instance, notices that it contains OpenOffice rather than Abiword, he/she can quickly download and install it. However, for many people, OpenOffice is a necessity and Abiword just can't do the trick, and so for them to have to go into the package manager and download a 100MB+ package is annoying and will turn many users off. I'm picking on you and your example here but I don't mean to make it into a personal attack, it's just a good example of the flawed logic shown by giving users a minimalist setup with very few useful programs. If you want something like this, download and use Puppy or DSL, Ubuntu and the other major distro's like it ought to try and retain as many killer apps like Gimp and OpenOffice and Firefox rather than a feature limited paint program, Abiword and a minimalist browser like Midori.
Just my 2 cents worth, I know there are going to be people who disagree but in my mind, if you want a minimalist setup, use a minimalist distro like Puppy. If you want a fully featured setup use a fully featured distro like Ubuntu. Ubuntu's goal should not be to change from a fully featured setup to a minimalist setup. That's what they have Xubuntu for and the other spin off's. Don't screw up something that's good. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".
85 • #83: Thank you, #84: Agreed (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-23 20:40:32 GMT from United States)
#83: Thank you, Béranger. I knew I had an updated kernel. I checked and you are correct: it's -15 not -14.
I will say that Ubuntu 9.10 has been pretty much flawless on my netbook. On my hardware it's the best Ubuntu release since 7.04. It's nice to have an Ubuntu build that just works rather than one that makes me work just to straighten out the mess.
#84: I agree with you. The live CD should have the sort of apps most Ubuntu users would want. GIMP is quite popular, is not all that hard, and really does a good job. Nothing else comes close in terms of photo editing.
If Ubuntu users want lightweight there is always U-lite, Debris Linux, and Crunchbang. All are good alternatives.
86 • The Gimp, OpenOffice, Firefox (by Wilson at 2009-11-23 20:50:03 GMT from Canada)
I am kinda glad that the *KDE* spin of Fedora 12 didn't include these apps. They are all GTK based and stick out like a sore thumb on a KDE desktop. I'm glad they went with native look and feel KDE/QT apps instead of providing two competing look and feels out of the box.
It is easier to install these apps themselves, than it is to remove them and all their dependencies.
I can see allot of people sore about no Firefox. They probably would have been better off using the KDE extension OpenSuse uses (replaces large parts of the browser with native KDE dialogs).
87 • Re: fedora faster than Mandriva? (by KBill at 2009-11-23 21:16:20 GMT from Argentina)
>> @65 (by Anonymous at 2009-11-23 17:52:55 GMT from
>> United States) You should try Chakra! Easy 20 Minute
Yeah, actually I did try Chakra 2 alphas ago and found it a very nice distro :D .. I intend to get the lastest one, but I am unsure about what are my chances to find the apps I need in their repos (theirs or Arch´s)
The other great distro I playig around is Sabayon (Very fast too!), but so far I couldn t settle on either one due lack of time.
I was checking more "mainstream" distros to see if I could find one that was not so slow but required little tinkering... but if I DO have to get my hands dirty then I will choose one that is worth it, Sabayon, Slack, Chakra, Vector, something like that :)
88 • @59 (by Jac at 2009-11-23 21:30:52 GMT from France)
"The Fedora project would not go nerfing up a valuable free driver (nouveau) or security mechanism (SELinux) just for the benefit of a third-party proprietary driver."
Nouveau seems rather limited: try Google Earth ... oops! sorry, it's proprietary.
89 • Rolling updates and stuff (by davemc on 2009-11-23 21:59:12 GMT from United States)
The rolling release model, at least on Arch is VERY bleeding edge, and as far as I know, has the least amount of lag time from upstream than any other Distro offers. This has some great benefits, but also some "gotcha's" that have the potential to kill your system if your not paying attention/know what your doing. Case in point - the latest MythTV updates last weekend not only broke my client, but also broke my server when it force upgraded the mythconverg database on there. It took me the whole weekend to get everything sorted out, but the whole time I was fixing it I was kicking myself in the butt for being so stupid to just accept a bleeding edge upgrade of a package that is well known for instability like new MythTV releases always are. Thats Arch though, and they are quite up front with letting you know that upgrades are 100% your responsibility and to accept at your own risk or after doing a wee bit of research each time to ensure your updates are trouble free. I guess that's why Arch is definitely NOT for beginners, but the benefits of Arch far outweigh the trouble you could cause yourself for being lazy.
There are other rolling release models out there that are far more stable at the cost of bleeding edge, and I don't see a reason why a rolling release control method could not be put in place (stable, unstable on some hardware, untested, hot off the presses, etc.) - its a very good idea and I hope some Arch Dev takes heed to this. In my experiences, rolling release is definitely the way to go so long as the users needs are met with stability, but still have the option to go screaming edge if they want to.
90 • Typo! (by balgior on 2009-11-23 22:03:51 GMT from Greece)
"The decision has been taken, and it seemed pretty final that GIMP will not be included in Ubuntu 9.10 by default."
Obviously, the author wrote "9.10" by mistake. It is now corrected in the original article.
91 • @88 Nouveau (by Rahul Sundaram on 2009-11-23 22:03:51 GMT from United States)
Nouveau has replaced the nv driver in Fedora for a couple of releases and has made rapid progress already including kernel mode support and working suspend/resume out of the box. 3D support is coming as well. Ben Skeggs, a key Nouveau driver is working on it full time from Red Hat on this and many other improvements.
Fedora is focused on the long term benefits of a free and open source driver. The legal and technical hassles of proprietary drivers are not something we would users to be pointed towards. Fedora's focus would benefit not only Fedora but every single Linux distribution in the future. Look at how Ubuntu is looking at adopting Nouveau as well as a recent example of this.
92 • Some experiences (by Glenn on 2009-11-23 22:19:45 GMT from Canada)
I tried a few of the distros on two of my systems. One is a Thinkpad T60, the other is a 64 bit Gigabyte MB, 4 gb ram, Sapphire Radeon 2600HD, etc.
1. OpenSuse 11.2 I tried it under VBOX and it looked good. I installed it on one of my partitions on my Gigabyte system and directed the Grub to install in the root. When I rebooted, my MBR was pooched and I got a "no operating system" message. Very interesting but Opensuse and Dreamlinux have a habit of doing this to me so I tossed it rather than proceed further.
I fixed up my MBR and then I next
2. Fedora 12. I used the DVD and when presented with the option to either Upgrade my Fedora 11 or to do a fresh install I got daring and decided to do an upgrade, fully prepared for a fiasco... On that system I have my work applications, Lotus Notes, Lotus Sametime, Ericom, etc. The upgrade proceeded smoothly and when I rebooted I was amazed to find that everything worked except a dependency for Lotus Notes which I resolved. Everything worked. Impressive... Now I'll do a clean install because I think this is a bit cludgier than I thought it would be so I'll customize it better. Then
3. I installed Linux Mint V8 RC1. It went on in the usual manner of installs. It is very quick and I was impressed as always with mint, here is the kicker. I run multiple monitors and have to play around with downloading ATI Catalyst, edit xorg, run ati config and If I'm luck I get it to work after one or two attempts. With Linux Mint RC1 it gave me a message saying there were proprietary drivers. I said ok, install them. Then I went to the Settings/Display and selected multple Monitors. To my surprise and delight it worked first thing. I was impressed.
So far I have not found any problems with Mint for my use of it. Nor for Fedora.
Of the 3 I tested, I like fedora for my commercial stuff, for myself, Mint has a place in my home long term. To my wife, Linux Mint (V5) is Linux and no other system (doze included) can compete with it... Hmmm guess I'm good in the brainwashing field. Next time I wont be so convincing She wont even let me update her system (Intel Mobo, 64bit)
I did not and never had a good experience with Opensuse. It does not mean its bad, it is only bad for me. I lack the patience to get it working when there are other Distros that work right off.
Hope this is useful to some of you.
93 • @64 (by Reuben at 2009-11-23 22:46:30 GMT from United States)
Of course chrome isn't the "deskstop windows killer". It's meant to be the "desktop killer".
Also, to the reviewer, mingw32 isn't just for compiling windows apps. You can use it to compile reactos.
94 • @92 Linux Mint Rulez!! (by djangoxl on 2009-11-23 23:57:23 GMT from Netherlands)
I think your wife is much smarter then you:-)
Ok, it' s a joke, really, but I haven' t come across a distribution so polished as Linux Mint. It's the only Linux distro I'm comfortable, giving to windows users in my neighbourhood. If it' s not possible on Linux Mint....I'll advice them to consider paying for Windows. That shuts them up very fast:-)
Have a nice day.
95 • DWW 330 (by D1Knight at 2009-11-24 00:29:23 GMT from United States)
Another excellent DWW! Thank you, to everyone.
Jesse, your review was spot on. I had similar results of Fedora 12, even though I used the GNOME desktop (After the next update release of KDE4, as long as no major bugs, I shall start using KDE again). I use a HP Pavilion dv1629 laptop, with 1.7Ghz Intel Centrino M, 2GB Ram, WD 160GB HDD 5400rpm, and Intel graphics card.
I also had the same issue with the touch pad. I changed the mouse click settings for the touch pad, works just fine in desktop (GNOME), but setting do not carry over to login/out screen.? Do you have any other suggestions? I would say, IMHO that F12 is a better/improved release over F11. Overall a positive release. Thank you Fedora team & Red Hat,too.
Gimp removed? OK, at 1st I thought not good, but after I reconsider. My use of Gimp is limited, I like Gimp a lot, but I see that Ubuntu is trying to simplify (not overload CD). I mostly use something like Mirage for editing/cropping/resizing photos or Viewnior is good too and light. Bottom line- After Ubuntu install, Gimp is still available in repositories. 2 Cents
Have a great week everyone.
96 • momos (by Woody Oaks on 2009-11-24 00:33:59 GMT from United States)
I erred two weeks ago in disparaging this release. Actually, it's great. It even runs KDE4 smoothly and briskly on my old 550MHz Pentium III machine where I am using it now as the main installed operating system. By the way, when I earlier tried to install Fedora 12 on a preformatted partition on that same machine the installer insisted on scattering an LVM all over the harddrive making such a mess of things that I eventually had to shred the entire HDD.
97 • LXDE (by Woody Oaks on 2009-11-24 00:56:03 GMT from United States)
Klaus did well to replace KDE with LXDE on his new release. The value of a Unix system lies in the utility, speed, and efficiency of its applications and not with spinning cubes or wobbly windows. Sidux Momos, as I mentioned, runs KDE4 well, but one shouldn't need to shop through distributions to find one that can run its basic functions on greying hardware. Let's hope that the LXDE developers continue their good work.
98 • gimp (by nix on 2009-11-24 01:13:27 GMT from United States)
Sorry to see the gimp leave the install CD. It's not that tragic as long as the Ubuntu Developers keep it under their umbrella for support. Just another in a list of apps that get installed.
Just my .02 cents worth.... Yes, I do a lot of photo touch ups. :-)
99 • @95 Mouse (by Jesse at 2009-11-24 01:22:30 GMT from Canada)
If you want your mouse settings to carry over, check out this page:
100 • RAM - How big is yours? (by Simon on 2009-11-24 02:20:44 GMT from United Kingdom)
A couple of years ago that I finally forked out the bucks and upgraded to an impressive 512Mb of RAM. Now, I thought, I could run virtually any Linux system out there!
This summer I built a super-duper system with a 64bit processor and installed a massive 1Gb of RAM - ready to take on anything the Linux world can throw at me - and more RAM than I will probably ever actually use (I'm not a gamer).
But Distrowatch reviewers and even some commentators seem to have 2, 3 or even 4 Gb's of RAM !!
Is it because they are 3d gamers? (which requires tons of memory I am told)
Is it because they buy they systems ready made with Windows installed? (which also requires big RAM I am told)
Is it a question of masculine pride? (mine's bigger than yours)
Since a swap partition would never be used for if you had a Gb or more of RAM available - do big RAMMERS even bother to set swap partitions anymore?
101 • VENENUX - name? - Free/Libre/OpenSource software ONLY Distro (by Angel Arce on 2009-11-24 02:53:02 GMT from Belgium)
VENENUX? Good to see another "ONLY Free/Libre/OpenSource software" Distribution. In my view is very important to have Distributions with EXCLUSIVELY "Free/Libre/Open Source software". Actually, I think all, or most Distros should follow
this policy. Therea are very solid reasons for it. If not Linux and other Free/Opensource Distros will become one day like Windows. I will comment it a little bit, below, in another paragraph.
Related to VENENUX?, I have downloaded it and tried in a PC for a moment. I will have to try it more to take some conclusions, but at first sight it looks a nice work: good idea, well done and in the good way...
There shuld be more Distributions with just Free/Libre/OpenSource software"
Only that the name of the Distro is not very afortunate for computing. It does not sound nice, solid, or serious for an IT project. I know it comes from "Venezuela"+"Linux" = "Vene + nux" = "Venenux", but having a name that reminds you or sound like "VENENO" in spanish, or VENOM, in English, is not very fortunate.
Maybe they should try to choose a beeter name now they are still a young Distro. Wheter we like it or not name branding is very important. An why sholud it not be important for Free/Libre/OpenSource software too?
If the aim is to reach the more people and users possible, a good name is crucial for the marketing of the product. Some Linux Distros have really very innapropiate names, and bad, naif logos... all that doesnt look solid and professional, and in the end is bad marketing for the Distro.
Anyway , whatever the name, i think that Venenux is a good product, with potential to be an excellent Distro.
102 • Gimp no Ubuntu (by Alex Góes Fuhrmann on 2009-11-24 03:06:29 GMT from Brazil)
Af, o Ubuntu não deve remover o Gimp da instalação padrão. Há de mante-lo para incentivar as pessoas à usá-lo. Eu não sou profissional e uso para editar minhas fotos. Vem dizer que o Gimp apenas ocupa espaço e que não vai vir mais por padrão porque no Windows o Photoshop não vem instalado? A pior desculpa que já escutei! E desde quando Windows serve de base para alguma coisa? O Ubuntu deveria remover aqueles jogos inúteis lá que ninguém joga, isso sim.
Ainda não estava sabendo disso, mas foi uma péssima notícia!
Af, Ubuntu should not remove the default installation of Gimp. There's keep it to encourage people to use it. I am not a professional and use to edit my photos. Come say that the Gimp just takes up space and will not come over because by default in Windows Photoshop is not installed? The worst excuse I have ever heard! And since when Windows is the basis for something? Ubuntu should remove those pointless games that nobody plays there, so yes.
It was not yet aware of it, but it was a bad news!
103 • First look at Fedora 12 (by Jeffersonian on 2009-11-24 03:27:18 GMT from United States)
I have been using Linux for over a decade, now.
My favourite distros have been constantly Rehat/Fedora and (open)Suse
In recent times, since Fedora 11, Fedora has been the best compromise of performance and stability I could find: fast, reliable, very good in my view!
But the Fedora team has chosen to pretty much not support non-open source drivers, decision that I understand, and even support: in the future I will try to purchase only hardware with chips from companies "playing fair game" in this area.
But this is easier said than done: my excellent HP notebook, has both an Nvidia "Go 7150M" graphic chip, and a Broadcom 43 series wireless chip.
And neither has very good open source drivers !
I had no problem to install the drivers (RPM's from www.dnmouse.org/autoten.html ) for both Nvidia, and Broadcom on Fedora 11, and everything worked as a charm!
For Fedora 12, it is a different story.
The Fedora 11 RPM for Broadcom WIFI works flawlessly on Fedora 12 (86_x64) : this is good!
For Nvidia chip,it is a very different story, and in spite of all my efforts, so far I could only get a black screen...at boot time, and was happy to be able to "rescue" my system successfully!
I have tried several methods, including the driver from the NVIDIA web site.
Still no success!
The rpmfusion repository does not seem to have what it takes, and also there is a lot of confusing and conflicting information on the internet.
Like others, I believe that Nvidia as a company should allow open source integrators to use the proper information to create RMP or DEB (or other..) packages easy to install.
Also NVIDIA should modify its license scheme to implicitly allow integration of the software you download from their web site in any open source software distribution. After all the hardware has been paid for!
The current situation seems to demonstrate that many VP of marketing do not have a good understanding of their customers, or simply the market, and rely on end users license agreements written by attorney with even less desire to allow things to work!
So next time you purchase a computer, try to know what is in it (chipsets).
So far AMD and Intel have good open source drivers support, and some others are on their way.
For Nvidia, and Broadcom, things are less clear.
Note that so far (to the best of my knowledge) the Open Source driver for Nvidia does not support acceleration, so programs using OPEN GL like Google Earth, perform extremely poorly!
ps: Beside this isssue, Fedora 12, seems to perform just as well, possibly better than Fedora 11. A bit faster it seems (FC11 was very good!), everything seems to work well, but I will wait one month of use for a full assessment.
104 • Free Libre OpenSource software ONLY inside the Distros (by Angel Arce on 2009-11-24 03:30:32 GMT from Belgium)
As I said before, in my view is very important to have Distributions with EXCLUSIVELY "Free/Libre/OpenSource software". Actually, I think all, or most Distros should follow this policy. There are very solid reasons for it. If not Linux and other Free/Opensource Distros will become one day like Windows. I will comment it a little bit, below, in another paragraph.
I have checked the Search page in Distrowatch to see how many Distros contain "exclusively" "Free/Libre/OpenSource software".
So, choosing the "Search by Distribution Criteria" Free software in "Distribution category" the result is that only 9 Distros contain only "Free/Libre/OpenSource software". And, now, if we count Venenux" also, we have 10 Distros.
These are the results:
The following distributions match your criteria:
1. BLAG Linux And GNU
2. Dragora GNU/Linux
5. GNUstep Live CD
6. Kongoni GNU/Linux
7. Musix GNU/Linux
8. Trisquel GNU/Linux
This list coincide very much with that of the FSF in their WebSite. Still there are some Distros like Fedora, Debian... that include only "Free/Libre/OpenSource software" in the releases. Only that they fail to meet all the requirements the FSF demands. For instance they have some "NON Free/Libre/OpenSource software" in their repositories that can be installed via internet.
There is, obviously, the fact that if you believe "Free/Libre/OpenSource software", you should install and use, and make Distributions that contain "ONLY Free/Libre/OpenSource software".
But the fact is that most of the Distros include many code portions and applications that are not Free/Libre/OpenSource.
Is clear that if it was not for the licence models of the "Free/Libre/OpenSource software", Linux would have never reached the status, quality and diversity it has now. Using only free software in the Distros is more important than using Linux itself.
Here is a small text, part of an article in writing, about the need of using ONLY Free/Libre/OpenSource software:
"Adding non Free/Libre/OpenSource software to Linux would make Linux more and more similar to Windows every day. Having as much viruses, malware, spyware, rookits, and becoming as heavy, bloated, untruthful and risky as Windows is.
There are already some bloated stuff in Linux nowadays; and Linux, certainly, does not need the Windows bloat and peril besides.
Proprietary "closed source" software inside Linux Distributions, little by little, will bring to Linux all the risks and perils of the Ms Windows Operating System. What would be the essence, the sense of Linux in that case?
I we bring all the defects from Windows to Linux, Why not to use Windows instead, then?
For the shake of all, let's keep Linux a better, safer and quicker Operating System, while trying to improve it, to catch up in those aspects still needed of improvement. And let not spoil it making it become another Windows..."
In the near future it will be, probably, possible to make a popular Linux Distro with the Linux kernel, and some Free stuff, and all the rest being "Proprietary/closed source" software. Would it be Linux then?
NO, I don't think so... It would have lost all the essence, the soul, and the interest that Linux have now.
P.S. Funny talking that proselytism about "Free/Libre/OpenSource software" ONLY, when I am sending this post from a "Windows PC", that I have to use at work. :) My vengeance is using thier their mail service to recieve receive all the spam.
105 • random thoughts (by shady on 2009-11-24 03:34:57 GMT from United States)
What is the vital importance of having gimp on the cd or not? It is in the repo, and I find it odd that somebody would pass over a distro because the live disc didnt load something. Just go get it after.
Fedora 12 is a nightmare if you have any kind of modern video card and you care about effects. I wonder it would benefit from a rolling release schedule like Arch... I could envision Fedora Extreme and Fedora Stable.
Opensuse 11.2 ate my MBR too even though I put GRUB on a different partition. Thank God for GAG bootloader.
Ultimate Edition is beyond awesome if you love the eye candy and you have an overbuilt Windows box that gets bored with Linux's meager RAM usage. It comes with gimp, if that matters..
Mandriva is the easiest distro to run in virtualbox.
I'm terrible at networking. Samba hates my face.
106 • No subject (by Sertse at 2009-11-24 03:41:15 GMT from Australia)
lol, and we now have two posts right after another, one saying it's too free and the other no free enough ;)
I've only tried the Fedora Xfce spin, and it's ok. I like it that is actively tries to be a Xfce desktop, rather than in Xubuntu. Though for some reason, it wouldn't recognise my touchpad fdi file which works in Arch, Ubuntu/Debian and..Pardus. =/
107 • The GIMP (by ddalley on 2009-11-24 04:04:54 GMT from Canada)
"Ruthlessly banishing it to an online repository might evoke a sentimental tear or two..."
Not from me.
What Linux really needs, though, is one of two things (or both):
- Krita needs to be distributed with Gnome distributions (and improved).
- Someone needs to port Paint.NET to Linux.
Thanks for listening.
108 • Free (by Nobody Important at 2009-11-24 05:08:53 GMT from United States)
I will use a completely Free OS the day it starts working with my hardware as well as one that is not Free. While freedom is important to me (which is why I use OGG files and stay away from Windows AMAP) functionality does come first. An OS that cannot operate my hardware is no better than no OS at all!
Fedora 12 was a good release. I like it a lot.
109 • the gimp (by Reuben at 2009-11-24 06:00:19 GMT from United States)
No, the gimp is not suited for the work of a serious media professional. The lack of adjustment layers doesn't fit with my workflow. (No, I am not a professional, just a student.) However, I see it as valuable tool for posting images to places like flickr. I think the gimp is good enough for most users who would be using ubuntu. I can't comment on f-spot, since I've never used it. Either way, the easiest way to sidestep the issue is to fill a set of trays with LPD, vinegar, and fixer. Then turn of the lights and start printing. ;)
As for rolling releases, they each have their own policies in terms of close they get to the bleading edge and the risk of breaking things. Arch linux clearly states that things will break. It seems like debian testing takes a more cautious approach. Gentoo impliments 2 types of masking to shield users from new software. I think most users care more about the desktop software being up-to-date than core libraries, and would be better servered by enabling a backports repository on their system.
110 • RAM (by Anonymous at 2009-11-24 06:47:29 GMT from United States)
Yes - just what is the need for all this RAM?
When a system has 4GB of RAM does it use 4+GB for disk buffers?
Does a single user desktop machine use 1,2,3 or 4GB for running programs?
Has compiler programming gone totally lax and simply waste RAM?
Consider 4GB RAM on a 2Ghz machine... that would take two seconds to either
access or refresh all of 4GB.
How much is too little, how much is too much?
What is it used for?
I'll keep reading DW for the answers.
111 • @95 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-24 07:34:30 GMT from Canada)
Making mouse settings 'carry over' is actually a slightly tricky issue. Consider - when the login manager's running, it's obviously not running as your user (or any other user who's set up any touchpad settings), because it's...well...the login manager. It's where you pick a user. =) (Technically, it runs as its own user - gdm runs as the user 'gdm'). So, what settings do we use in gdm? Yours? root's? Some other user's?
The current proposed idea is a 'make these settings system-wide' button for things like input settings and monitor settings, which would obviously be subject to the system security policies, I guess by default you'd need root authentication to do it. But even that's something of a problematic interface. I don't know if anyone's come up with a really awesome solution yet.
112 • @100 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-24 07:36:29 GMT from Canada)
1GB was not 'huge' this summer. Your average $400 box from Best Buy had 2GB by that point. I built a system in February and put 4GB in and felt like I was cheaping out by not buying 8GB. I don't think it would've been practical to put less than 2GB in really, my supplier doesn't sell any single stick of RAM smaller than 1GB and just using one stick is a waste of the dual-channel capabilities modern motherboards have...
having said that, my HTPC runs fine on 512MB, has done for years. But then, all it runs is Freevo.
113 • @103 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-24 07:46:07 GMT from Canada)
There's no legal reason Fedora could not include the NVIDIA and AMD/ATI proprietary drivers.Well, depends if you consider proprietary kernel modules to be intrinsically against the GPL, which is a complex debate. Aside from that, no reason - NVIDIA's and AMD's licenses specifically allow it (and other distros, e.g. Mandriva, do this). Fedora chooses not to include these due to its philosophy.
114 • @104 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-24 07:47:28 GMT from Canada)
Fedora, both the images and repositories, contains only F/OSS software. The only point where Fedora's and FSF's philosophy diverges is on the topic of firmware. Fedora allows non-free firmware - that is, code which is executed not on the host system's CPU but on a processor on a peripheral (e.g. a wireless network card). FSF does not consider this okay. But that's the only point where they differ. There is no non-free software in Fedora at all.
115 • @103, @105 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-24 07:49:53 GMT from Canada)
105: saying "Fedora 12 is a nightmare if you have any kind of modern video card and you care about effects." is really an overstatement. For a start, if you have any kind of modern Intel adapter (Poulsbo excepted...heh) it works out of the box. If you have a Radeon up to a 1xxx, it works out of the box. If you have a later Radeon, it will likely work simply by installing mesa-dri-drivers-experimental.
If you have an NVIDIA, you need to install the proprietary drivers if 3D support is really critical to you. Yes, it's slightly more complex than on other current distros at present, due to nouveau and SELinux. No, it isn't 'a nightmare'. It's really fairly simple, and explained neatly at http://www.mjmwired.net/resources/mjm-fedora-nvidia.html#f12 .
116 • @99 (by D1Knight at 2009-11-24 08:13:40 GMT from United States)
I thank you kindly for the link. I shall give it a go! Have a good one.
117 • @111 (by D1Knight at 2009-11-24 08:24:20 GMT from United States)
Adam, thank you. As always your comments are most insightful. Just some "food for thought", I noticed other distros: Mandriva, Ubuntu, etc have touch pad settings set up proper from Live CD to installation, through to login screen. Is this something to do with, in regards to hardware detection? Have a good one. :)
118 • No subject (by forest at 2009-11-24 09:20:20 GMT from United Kingdom)
Now there's another "one", Jolicloud it seems, unless it's a spoof:
119 • FreeBSD 8.0 (by LAZA on 2009-11-24 11:13:57 GMT from Germany)
out or not?
--> says it done but not yet announced...
120 • Xandros 4.5 in development (by pol mac on 2009-11-24 11:22:28 GMT from Ireland)
awful i know , but lets admit they done a great job at making linux for beginners v simple , heres a link to the Xandros 4.5 OCE , for anyone interested , i was told its not supported but there seems to be a lot off hush hus in development , is this because of there pact with microsoft ? hmm, freespire planned towards end of year also i hear
121 • 77 • Broadcom drivers (by Béranger on 2009-11-24 11:36:50 GMT from Romania)
FWIW, I have no problem with a distro not including a proprietary driver like broadcom-wl by default. I only complain when the distro misidentifies the Broadcom card and tries to load the wrong driver with disastrous results. I understand the philosophical and practical reasons for avoiding proprietary drivers whenever possible. Just so long as I can make it work after installation, which I can with distros like Fedora and Slackware, I'm a happy camper.
Caitlyn, just how exactly do you get broadcom-wl in Slackware without building it by hand? Is there any repo anywhere? It would be nice to have broadcom-wl with SalixOS, you know...
122 • possibly develop there own office suite in next release (by pol mac on 2009-11-24 11:41:37 GMT from Ireland)
might be possible lets consider that xandros purchased both Scalix and linspire ,
scalix is an e-mail client , im sure most people know linspire for c n r ,funny thou ubuntu now have the software repo gui ,is that 100% o s or is it linked to the idea of using c n r ?
123 • synaptics touchpad / fedora 11,12 (by lucky13 on 2009-11-24 11:56:50 GMT from United States)
If your touchpad is synaptics (dmesg | grep -i synaptics), you can use synclient to customize how your pad works. Typing "synclient -l" in a terminal will list the variables you can adjust; for basic tapping, try "synclient TapButton1=1" and for vertical scrolling "synclient VertEdgeScroll=1" (same for horizontal but use Horiz instead of Vert). While there may be tools for managing at least some synaptics settings in certain desktops, not every window manger or desktop environment does. Sometimes familiarizing yourself with command line tools will give you more control over your hardware so it behaves exactly as you want it to rather than as developers do.
124 • NixOS & Nix: rolling and time-based release model combined (by Anonymous at 2009-11-24 12:49:52 GMT from Finland)
Could you please consider adding NixOS to DistroWatch? It was once added to the waiting list, see http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20070604 , but seems to be missing from DW currently.Typing NixOS to the search box leads to wrong place. The distribution is active, having KDE 4.2 in the stable release.
I just noticed that the package manager Nix is available also for other
distributions in addition to NixOS allowing user of other distributions to install packages from NixOS. As Nix allows installing old and new versions of software side by side without dependency conflicts, I think it should be easy to mainly use packages from the newest stable release but take some pkgs from newer (rolling) or older releases. (Nix resembles fairly much Zero Install which is interesting too).
NixOS homepage: http://nixos.org/nixos/
125 • How much RAM (by Jesse at 2009-11-24 13:48:38 GMT from Canada)
My last PC had 1GB of RAM and it served fairly well for a few years. However, with the software I use, I was running into situations where Linux would start swapping. I've upgraded to 2GB of RAM and things run very smoothly. I'm not a gamer, but I find that running, say, the GIMP, OpenOffice, Ktorrent, Firefox and a few other minor apps will use more than 1GB of memory. Memory usage seems to vary a lot between distros too.
126 • @120 Xandros (by Jesse at 2009-11-24 13:58:10 GMT from Canada)
Those posts about Xandros are about a year and a half old now. The files linked to were released back in April of 2008. Do you have anything more recent?
127 • @117 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-24 14:59:06 GMT from Canada)
Well, 'proper' is a matter of perspective. It's a configuration choice. The newer upstream driver for touchpads defaults to having tap-to-click disabled and we didn't really see any reason to override that default, we figure the user preference for having it enabled vs. disabled is pretty even. Other distributions are either still using the older driver (which defaulted to having it enabled) or decided to adjust the default, for whatever reason.
The only time you can definitely say having it enabled is 'correct' is when the system has no hardware buttons. If you have a laptop with a touchpad that has no physical buttons, and Fedora doesn't enable tap-to-click, that's a bug that should be reported.
128 • @ 100, @108, @118, @120 (by Matt at 2009-11-24 15:01:56 GMT from Canada)
@100 - I have a system with 1GB of RAM running Ubuntu and I am just counting the days till I have the money to upgrade it. 1GB is no longer enough to run things. Obviously Microsoft Windows wants more than that, even the new release I have seen running on 2GB of RAM and I am not impressed, MacOSX is fine on 2GB but that's totally different and I probably shouldn't have even brought that into this. 1GB is not enough these days, 2GB is probably acceptable, even 3GB if you just have a 32bit machine, but my next machine is certainly going to be 64bit, hopefully with a mobo to handle 8GB at least, and I'll put 4GB in to start.
108 - I fully agree with you, I tried gNewSense a while back and was annoyed when things like Flash didn't work. I know that's the point of the OS and I should have realized that before I got into it, but something like Flash is a requirement for so many websites and the free alternatives are all buggy and didn't work right for me so I switched back to Ubuntu. Once free software is able to work on hardware and have the right software for things like Flash, I'll be first in line to download it.
118 - Yes, there are other ones out there, Jolicloud, Moblin, Ubuntu Netbook Remix, but just like Chrome, for the majority of people they won't work. Moblin only runs on a few kinds of netbooks, UNR and another one called EasyPeasy are difficult to install and require some weird transfer to USB program which I have tried many times with many different USB keys and it never works, and Jolicloud is in a very early alpha state. Wait a year, then Chrome will be released, and maybe some of these other things will be useful to more than just a few netbook users with just a few kinds of netbooks.
120 - Xandros makes deals with Microsoft and therefore should not even be considered by Linux users to run. Just my 2 cents worth but enough said on that one. And Freespire, I'll be interested to see what they come up with but they haven't done anything in a LOOOONG time, whatever happened to them? It's good to see they're back making stuff though!
And now a question rather than responding to other people's posts... if I'm in the market for a new computer, what are some sites that I should check out that will tell me good hardware to buy in order to run Linux well? Or could other people give me advice just on here? I don't have a credit card so I just go to a store like BestBuy and purchase a machine there but I'm wondering what kinds of hardware I should be looking at. I'm looking at a laptop so should I go Intel or AMD? NVIDIA or ATI? Just some basic advice for me here folks, it would be greatly appreciated.
129 • re#128 hardware (by hab on 2009-11-24 15:29:15 GMT from Canada)
For decent hardware recommendations see arstechnica's guides here: http://arstechnica.com/hardware/guides/2009/10/ars-system-guide-october-2009-edition.ars
They publish these about twice a year. I have built a few boxes based on these and have always had good results. I personally lust after their god box.
130 • #121: Broadcom 43xx in Slackware (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-24 16:04:35 GMT from United States)
@Béranger: I built the driver myself following the instructions at http://beginlinux.com/appsm/wireless_m/1419-slackware-13-wireless/ and patched my kernel accordingly. I honestly haven't looked to see if anyone has built a Slackware for broadcom-wl recently. I know Vector Linux didn't have one the last time I looked.
How do you like SalixOS? I just started looking at it for a future review. (I have two others ahead of it.) I know you are a demanding user so if it satisfies you...
131 • 130 • #121: Broadcom 43xx in Slackware (by Béranger on 2009-11-24 16:08:39 GMT from Romania)
SalixOS is quite satisfactory, actually. That is, if you do like Slackware. I personally find the [huge] Slackware kernel the slowest [to uncompress/boot] of all the major distros, and SalixOS is practically Slackware wrt the kernel, but otherwise it's a very polished distro!
I have not tested whether it suspends/hibernates with my Acer though.
The major caveat for lazy me is the lack of broadcom-wl. Once you get used to broadcom-wl (NOTE: you do NOT need b43-fwcutter when you use broadcom-wl!), you want it everywhere...
132 • GIMP (by Antony on 2009-11-24 16:11:43 GMT from United Kingdom)
For uncomplicated use Picasa is hard to beat. The web album component is well integrated and speedy. The included adjustment tools will cater for the needs of most people I think. A lot of consumer cameras aim to enhance the shots anyway.
For me, I have found the Lens Correction tool in ShowFoto to be really impressive. My camera (Fuji S9600) has pretty good specs but I have been a bit frustrated with overall pic softness. Having adjusted camera sharpness and contrast, experimented with usual tools in Gimp, ShowFoto, F-Spot etc., I was still not really getting there. I think the Lens Correction tool has finally provided me with the solution!
For those unaware of ShowFoto, it is the image editor element of digiKam - though it can be used as stand-alone. digikam also has some powerful image management tools.
I do use Picasa as well and it is one of my must-haves. Gimp also has a role, but I would not need to resort to using it frequently.
133 • re#129 (by Matt at 2009-11-24 16:17:21 GMT from Canada)
Thanks for the link, that God box would be unbelievable but who actually uses something that powerful? Even the mid range one struck me as overkill, so if I would get something I would certainly get something along the lines of the Budget Box. However, I'm leaning towards laptop, and although it mentioned Linux at the bottom of the article, I was unsure as to whether or not they were saying that the hardware mentioned would work more or less out of the box with popular Linux distro's like Ubuntu for instance. I enjoy Linux and trying out different distro's but my skills are not in going to great lengths to find drivers for my machines. Basically, if a distro does not support my machine out of the box, then I ditch it and move on to something else. Ubuntu has never failed me for hardware and so I'm assuming it would work on something like the Budget box, but Ars was not clear on whether their buillds would work, out of the box, with major Linux distro's.
134 • #87: Relative speed of distors (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-24 16:20:35 GMT from United States)
@KBill: Which distro is fastest is somewhat hardware dependent. I know that Fedora 12, for example, includes optimizations for Intel Atom CPUs that other distros may not have. To be honest, on my hardware, I don't see a significant difference between Fedora 12 and Mandriva 2010 performance. Both are very fast on the HP Mini 110 netbook and both are relatively slow on my old Toshiba. It appears the 64-bit Gateway (out of service for a year) may be salvageable, or at least a friend of mine thinks so. If we get that up and running again I'll have a nice 64-bit test box as well. For right now, though, I've only tried the new releases on the HP and the Toshiba.
You included Vector Linux on your list and that is a distro that is very much faster on the old Toshiba. It lacks some things the bigger distros have (PAM, at least up to 6.0, SELinux) and does include proprietary software which may make it unsuitable for some people. As far as "getting your hands dirty" the 6.0 releases (SOHO beta especially) are much more user friendly than previous releases, right down to the graphical installer.
Vector Linux 7.0 is going to be very interesting since it will be the first release built from scratch and not based on Slackware. The core is available to volunteers/developers in the community already and I may just have to take a look.
Zenwalk is another you may want to take a look at.
135 • #121: Broadcom 43xx in Slackware (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-24 16:22:16 GMT from United States)
@Béranger: I built the driver myself following the instructions at http://beginlinux.com/appsm/wireless_m/1419-slackware-13-wireless/ and patched my kernel accordingly. I honestly haven't looked to see if anyone has built a Slackware for broadcom-wl recently. I know Vector Linux didn't have one the last time I looked.
How do you like SalixOS? I just started looking at it for a future review. (I have two others ahead of it.) I know you are a demanding user so if it satisfies you...
136 • #100: RAM (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-24 16:47:08 GMT from United States)
@Simon: I don't think it's about ego or "mine is bigger than yours" in most cases. Machines just come with a lot of RAM for not much money nowadays. Even adding RAM can be inexpensive. My netbook came with a choice of 1GB or 2GB RAM from the factory. I chose 1GB because they wanted an extra $50 and my local big box computer retailer had it for $32. The extra RAM is nice when pushing the system to its limits which I sometimes do. Keep in mind that the machine was just under US $300 (excluding the RAM upgrade). I've seen some well equipped larger laptops and desktops as low as US $199 at stores lately.
512MB should be enough to run any modern Linux distro. KDE 4 is slow in half a gig but if you use Xfce or LXDE that's still more than enough memory to get most work done.
137 • #114/#104/#108: Free software only (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-24 17:06:48 GMT from United States)
@Adam: I thought Mandriva Free was essentially the same as Fedora in that regard, meaning it contains no proprietary software or drivers. Yes, Mandriva has proprietary drivers in the repo while Fedora forces you to go to a third party repo. For the end user there really isn't much difference. It is, as you say, a philosophical issue.
@Angel Acre: Many of us do not share the Free Software Foundation's philosophy or claim that proprietary software is somehow "unethical". We choose F/OSS because of the distinctly practical advantages the choice offers. Bruce Byfield did an outstanding article that touts the advantages of Free software without going into ideology of philosophy. See: http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/opinions/6902/1/
I don't believe using proprietary firmware (as Fedora does) or proprietary drivers or even some proprietary apps or plugins (i.e.: Flash, Acrobat Reader, Opera) will somehow turn Linux into an OS with the problems that Windows has. In some cases, Flash for instance, the FOSS replacements don't deliver the needed functionality just yet as "Nobody Important" pointed out in #108. When they do then, of course, I'd rather run gnash than Flash. The real danger of proprietary drivers is that if the hardware manufacturer drops support you are just plain out of luck. Look at ATI's decision to stop supporting their older cards for a perfect example of this.
Having said all of that it is entirely unlikely that I will ever use one of the distros you list. BLAG is listed as dormant by DistroWatch and has gone close to three years without a release. The others simply don't support all of my hardware. I've also come to feel that a distro with major corporate or government support is best. You know they will likely be around for years to come. Yes, I know Slackware has been around for something like 15 years and even Vector Linux is almost 11 years old. Too many good projects have started off strong and then just disappeared.
138 • #131: SalixOS (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-24 17:08:22 GMT from United States)
@Béranger: That's good to hear. One of the forums I frequent has a lot of Slackware users and they have also said very good things about SalixOS. I'll definitely have to give it a try.
139 • @137 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-24 17:13:40 GMT from Canada)
Kinda, yeah. But as we were talking about FSF rules, FSF explicitly considers it much the same to have non-free drivers in repositories as on media, so FSF considers Mandriva and Fedora differently (they've said that they basically consider Fedora almost-free, recognizing that the difference over firmware isn't a big one).
Indeed, you can quite trivially run a completely-free Mandriva setup - install Free, and do not enable the non-free repository.
140 • #128: Netbook distros, USB keys (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-24 17:14:09 GMT from United States)
@Matt: If you are referring to unetbootin, it works perfectly with the current releases of Ubuntu Netbook Remix and Kubuntu Netbook Remix. It really is pretty simple to use. Another alternative is a USB CD/DVD-ROM drive.
Regarding Moblin, by itself the hardware supported is very limited as is the selection of software. Howoever, Moblin is offered as an alternative desktop environment for Fedora, Mandriva and Ubuntu. That makes it easy enough to install and you no longer have much in the way of limitations.
I'm not sold on most of the desktops designed for netbooks but that really is a matter of personal preference. I find a conventional desktop, nicely configured, works just fine for me. As always, YMMV.
141 • @133 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-24 17:15:23 GMT from Canada)
The most common uses that really stretch high-end modern hardware are gaming and media work (video encoding especially). Beyond that, there's compilation and scientific computing. If you're doing 'typical desktop' stuff - none, or not much, of the above - the higher end ars rigs would be overkill, yeah.
142 • hardware &c (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-24 17:19:48 GMT from Canada)
Typical RAM usage on my system is around 1.5GB, it's at 1.65GB right now. Most of that is Evolution and Firefox, I have very large email boxes and Firefox is just a hog. Note that's on x86-64, which typically consumes somewhat more RAM than ix86 for the same code (around 33% more, smart people tell me).
I'd say you could reasonably well run modern GNOME or KDE in 1GB, but 512MB is starting to push it, if you want Firefox and a couple of other apps open. If I had 512MB or less I'd be looking at LXDE with some slightly lighter apps.
I think the whole idea of arguing about 'which distro is faster' is pretty absurd; for the vast majority of cases, all distros will be very, very close in observable performance if you run the same desktop and apps. I've run a lot of different distros with the same basic GNOME desktop and app selection, and never observed a really significant performance difference between any of them. Performance just seems to be such an absorbing, and easy-to-comment-on, issue that people love to obsess about it, but I really think a lot of the discussion's overblown.
Even the Atom optimizations we stuck on the Fedora 12 feature list are no big deal (and the same thing as Ubuntu's lpia 'architecture', note). The measured performance difference to the old compiler flags is on the order of 2-3%. Which is a very hard difference to observe in typical use.
143 • #142: Performance (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-24 17:26:07 GMT from United States)
If you ever have the free time please do me a favor, Adam: Run Fedora on an older machine with <=512MB of RAM. Then try Vector Linux. Same desktop (your choice), same apps and tell me again there is very little difference. Somehow I don't think you will.
I don't ask anybody to take my word for it. Try it yourself.
144 • re#133 (by hab on 2009-11-24 17:26:12 GMT from Canada)
The hardware ars suggests is pretty mainstream, bog standard and pretty well supported in linux. Most/all? mainstream distros should play nice here. But YMMV.
Laptops are more of a corner case. If i were looking for one i would probably take the desktop hardware recommendations as a decent guide to what i wanted in my lappie. But lappies can be/are a total PITA so again YMMV!
145 • RAM and speed (by anticapitalista on 2009-11-24 17:34:29 GMT from Greece)
Well if someone has a very new box, then there really is very little difference in speed from distro to distro using the same desktop.
However, not everyone has the latest box (nor wants/needs one) and this is when you will notice speed and RAM usage differences, even using the same desktop (or lack of).
If you have 512MB RAM and want a kde desktop, then the latest sidux beats KUbuntu, Fedora ans OpenSUSE hands down in terms of speed and RAM use. Vector is also very fast and slim. Mint kde is heavy, MEPIS with the latest kde4 is better.
(All tested on my box, YMMV)
146 • @140 (by Matt at 2009-11-24 17:36:06 GMT from Canada)
Yes, I was referring to unetbootin, I tried it with EasyPeasy and didn't have any success, and I found some complaints online that the same sort of issues happen with UNR (I didn't even know KNR existed!!). But I don't actually own a netbook, I have an older laptop that I would love to turn into a netbook, run netbook OS's on it. So it bothers me that EasyPeasy and UNR don't have CD ISO's, or at least none that I could find, but if there are some I would appreciate it if you could shoot me the link!
Could you explain a bit more about Moblin as a desktop environment for Ubuntu? I have never heard of that before but I'm intrigued!
147 • @144 (by Matt at 2009-11-24 17:40:53 GMT from Canada)
Thanks hab, I'll probably just print out a condensed list of what ARS suggests and take that to my local Best Buy or equivalent and check out the laptops there. I suspect that you're correct and that most mainstream distro's will support most mainstream hardware, I would be surprised if a typical laptop from Best Buy would have driver issues, but you never know, I just really don't want to get a machine and be stuck running Winblows on it because Linux is too difficult to get drivers for.
148 • #146: unetbootin, UNR, KNR, UMR (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-24 18:09:42 GMT from United States)
@Matt: unetbootin works well with some distros and not with others IME.
The latest Ubuntu Netbook Remix and the Kubuntu Netbook Remix preview release both come as isos. I had assumed that meant they could be burned to CD. Is that not the case? In any case I've installed both with unetbootin and they just worked. I downloaded the iso to my system and ran it locally rather than using unetbootin to do the download.
Ubuntu Moblin Remix is exactly what the name suggests. It's actually built by Dell for their netbooks. You can get it at: http://linux.dell.com/files/ubuntu/moblin-remix/dev-edition-2.0/ It's still in development and there are some rough edges. It also only comes as an img file, not as an iso. However, Dell has a media builder utility that should be able to turn it into an iso if you don't want to use unetbootin.
149 • performance (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-24 18:15:47 GMT from Canada)
well, very low memory situations can affect it, yeah, as different distributions may load different services by default. Obviously if one distro just exhausts available RAM while one hovers just below the redline, you'll see a significant performance difference. you can still configure most distros appropriately for low memory situations, though.
I don't have any system with less than 512MB of RAM to test with.
150 • re#147 (by Glenn on 2009-11-24 18:22:08 GMT from Canada)
Burn a live cd of a distro of your choice and bring it to the store. Ask them to let you boot it on their demo model and then check out the hardware. I've done that a couple of times.
I have no problems running Linux on my Thinkpad T60 nor my Gateway 7315u (64 bit).
151 • re#150 (by hab on 2009-11-24 18:39:01 GMT from Canada)
Not having ever bought a whole comp new, i roll my own, that makes perfect sense! Hadn't even thought of that.
152 • Performance (by Jesse at 2009-11-24 19:11:46 GMT from Canada)
I have to disagree with Adam's comment that most distributions have similar performance. Even with the same desktops and similar services enabled, most distros I try have very noticeable performance differences on the same hardware. I generally install a new distro every week or two and rarely is the responsiveness of one equal to that of another.
153 • @152 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-24 19:17:47 GMT from Canada)
I hate the word 'responsiveness'. it's so un-actionably vague. but, sure, experiences differ.
154 • New hardware (@147) (by Luke at 2009-11-24 19:19:29 GMT from United States)
I know you probably aren't able to do this unless you know a local shop that sells Linux computers, but by far the best thing you can do is buy from a supplier that sells Linux systems. This benefits us all in two important ways:
* Establishes demand for ready-made Linux systems.
* Keeps money out of Microsoft's hands when you don't want to use their OS.
Many people encourage the purchase of a Windows system, denying the Windows EULA and getting a refund from the seller. This does *not* keep your money from Microsoft. The seller already paid Microsoft, and they eat the loss because happy customers are return customers.
Anyway, with laptops, you only really need to worry if your laptop has some brand new hardware in it. This was the case for the last laptop I bought from Best Buy several years ago: none of the distros I tried would even boot up. The processor and the very first version of Windows Vista came out at the same time, so I was forced to use the Vista until one of the Ubuntu 7.04 Alphas finally supported my hardware. I'm still scarred by the experience. But I don't think there have been any radically new hardware developments like that recently, so anything you get from Best Buy should work.
Personally I'm going to go with something from system76 or ZaReason, because I want a reasonably priced laptop with a discrete video card for gaming (Dell SB and HP SB only offer laptops with workstation graphics cards, which are far more costly).
155 • #152/#149 Performance (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-24 19:19:42 GMT from United States)
My experience is the same as Jesse's. It's not just about the services or daemons loaded by default. I believe kernel performance tuning can make a difference. I remember the Vector Linux devs changing compiler flags and finding very different performance results. I also believe there is some (probably small) overhead for the security features (PAM, SELinux, etc...) added to major distros like Fedora but left out of Slackware and many of its derivative distros. The bottom line is with a lot of work tweaking a distro some developers have managed to squeeze out every last ounce of performance from certain distros while others clearly don't. Sometimes it's a tradeoff between performance and features.
156 • #147: Buying preloaded Linux systems (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-24 19:21:59 GMT from United States)
I agree with Luke about buying with Linux preloaded. That's what I did with my HP Mini 110. (Ladislav bought essentially the same machine.) Even if I change the distro at least I know that the hardware is entirely supported by Linux.
157 • Arch Linux @89 (by Anonymous at 2009-11-24 19:34:58 GMT from Netherlands)
About Arch Linux
"There are other rolling release models out there that are far more stable at the cost of bleeding edge, and I don't see a reason why a rolling release control method could not be put in place (stable, unstable on some hardware, untested, hot off the presses, etc.) - its a very good idea and I hope some Arch Dev takes heed to this. In my experiences, rolling release is definitely the way to go so long as the users needs are met with stability, but still have the option to go screaming edge if they want to."
I would love the option to choose between stable, unstable or testing for Arch.
That will be a good reason for me as noob to switch to a Arch-based distro like Chakra or Kahel.
Good idea. Thanks ;-)
158 • @147, Matt (by Barnabyh at 2009-11-24 19:48:36 GMT from United Kingdom)
Hi Matt, if you want to make it easier on yourself look for a laptop with atheros chip for wifi. I hyave found it easy to set up for the last two years and recently support for it was added to the kernel so you-re ready to connect out of the box, no messing about like with broadcom fw necessary.
Hope you find something you like with good specs -
159 • Linux preloaded on Laptops. (by glenn on 2009-11-24 20:19:40 GMT from Canada)
I do not disagree with buying pre-loaded Linux systems at all and wish there were more options to do so. Unfortunately here where I live the selection is quite sparse.
Personally I prefer to not limit myself but to run my linux CD to test the system I'm interested in.
Also you can tell the vendor you do not want windows with the unit and they'll drop the price (not always, depends where you go).
Anyway, to each their own.
You have to be happy with your Choice Matt, either way you go, its your $$. If you find a preloaded system attracts you then fine . if you cannot find one then burn your CDs and happy hunting.
160 • @ Matt RE: UNR, KNR, laptop (by Untitled at 2009-11-24 20:23:46 GMT from United Kingdom)
You don't need to specifically download and burn URN or KNR, you can install Ubuntu or Kubuntu and then run:
aptitude install kubuntu-netbook
this will install KNR for you, or
aptitude install ubuntu-netbook-remix
which will install UNR for you.
As for laptop, you can check out which Dell models are available with Linux on them, and then just buy the same model in the shop. Who knows, they might even be able to order a Dell laptop pre-loaded with Linux for you. Worth asking, in my opinion.
Other than that, I've always had ThinkPad T series laptops and they always work great with Linux. Lenovo test some of their laptops to make sure they are Linux compatible. T60s are relatively cheap these days but they're really good machines.
161 • Zepto Computers (by Anonymous at 2009-11-24 21:23:16 GMT from Finland)
Sad news: one of the very few computer manufacturers (Zepto Denmark) who deliver laptops without any preinstalled operating system has gone bankrupt just a week ago.
There is still Zepto computers available to buy, however. At least the Finnish Zepto site advertises the possibility to save money with Linux even though they do not offer Linux preinstalled.
162 • ram (by bugs at 2009-11-24 21:44:35 GMT from United States)
i have 512 mb on my computer
but then again, i eat out of garbage cans
163 • laptops (by Scott on 2009-11-24 21:52:36 GMT from United States)
I believe ASUS just announced (I think it was ASUS) that from here on in, they will only give $6.00 USD on laptops.
Re Atheros cards, they seem, for many, to lately be problematic.
Possible solutions (that haven't worked for all, but at least for some)
Upgrade to 2.6.32 kernel
Use compat-wireless http://linuxwireless.org/en/users/Download
As per Adam last week, sometimes, setting your router to use G or B/G rather than G/N or N can also help.
Re computers presold with Linux--harder and harder to find, at least here in the US. Stores in my area (NYC) that used to carry a few now only show netbooks with Windows. Somewhere, some Acer person did admit that they'd been pressured by MS.
The whole proprietary driver thing is difficult. As it is, as long as something can boot, whether Fedora (for example) has the drivers readily available or not, at least you can easily install them, though it takes a bit more knowledge than downloading and clicking on a file.
Re memory--every O/S seems to require more and more. I don't have anything with less than 1.5GB around, and everything runs about the same. However, I tend to favor fluxbox over Gnome and KDE, which is probably a factor.
164 • Reason to buy Linux preloaded & where to find them (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-24 22:13:35 GMT from United States)
#160: @Untitled: Microsoft loves to tout how large there market share and how small the Linux market share is. Why pay for a Windows license and contribute to Microsoft's inflated claims? You can often find systems cheaper online than in shops anyway and many vendors, i.e.: Amazon, offer free shipping, at least here in the U.S. Companies offering laptops, notebooks, nettops, desktops, and netbooks with Linux preloaded include: Dell, HP (business products only), Gdium (French OEM), ZaReason, system76, Acer (dual boot only), and, on a couple of models only, Asus is still there.
165 • broadcom in slack (by stuckinoregon on 2009-11-24 22:20:43 GMT from United States)
It appears that there's also a slackbuild for the broadcom issue.
166 • @164 Reason to buy Linux preloaded & where to find them (by merlin at 2009-11-24 22:37:46 GMT from Canada)
I was going to buy a Dell mini with XP for $299, install GNU/Linux and then sell the XP CD for $10-$20. The mini with Ubuntu preloaded is $329...crazy. I've done that with all the previous Dell's I purchased because Linux was not an option then. Although after reading your post, maybe I'll wait until the buntu mini goes on sale and rob MS of a stat.
167 • @61 (by merlin at 2009-11-24 22:45:22 GMT from Canada)
"Very disappointing and it's this kind of thing that reminds me of why I don't use specific distributions on a day to day basis. "
Which is why my distro-hopping days are over and I am sticking with Debian, thank you very much. I'm too old for playing games with installers and fiddling with hardware configuration issues that should work right out of the box. For the older crowd such as myself, there's something to be said for a well-tested and unhurried release such as Debian.
168 • @148, @150, @154, (by Anonymous at 2009-11-24 22:54:36 GMT from Canada)
@148 - Well maybe I just haven't looked enough, I seemed to recall that I couldn't find ISO's for UNR/KNR but I will check into that later today if I have some time or else another poster said I could simply use the CL to transform an existing Ubuntu/Kubuntu install into a netbook remix one, but more on that later in this post when I respond to that person... And as for the Moblin version that Dell put out, if it's in development I'll wait a while before I try it, I would rather have the full Ubuntu (or another full desktop distro) running on my machine rather than a buggy netbook distro. Just my personal preference, I know a lot of people don't mind things with bugs in them but I don't have the time or interest to deal with that kind of stuff.
@150 - Great idea, thanks a lot!
@154 - Good idea to buy it from a Linux vendor, but that is usually online, or at least in my city I would have to go online for it, and I don't have a credit card so I am limited to going to a physical store and buying whatever they happen to be selling, which I have yet to see a Linux box on the shelves, it's either Microsoft garbage on PC's or OSX on a Mac.
@160 - Thanks for the advice, I installed Ubuntu a few days ago on my laptop just to test out some software that I didn't feel like mucking up my desktop install with, and then if I liked it, I would then install it on the main desktop. I'm basically done with testing and so I was just going to wipe the HD and let the laptop lie dormant till other programs or another distro is available to test, but before I do that I will test out the command you suggested. I will for sure ask when I go into the store though if they have any options for Linux, and I will for sure keep Lenovo in mind, I had no idea that they tested all their stuff to make sure it was Linux compatible, but that's good to hear and because they care about the Linux community, that bumps them up on my list of which manufacturer I prefer when I go in to check out laptops.
169 • @ 164 + 166 (by Untitled at 2009-11-24 22:55:15 GMT from United Kingdom)
I agree with you Caitlyn, but Matt said he has to buy it in the shops since he hasn't got a credit card, that's why I suggested he asks if they can order a Linux pre-loaded Dell laptop for him.
Merlin, I'd gladly pay $20 more for a Linux pre-loaded system, even if it's not the one I like and will end up removing it just because I'd rather have my money go to Linux. Unfortunately Lenovo doesn't offer any ThinkPads pre-loaded with Linux and I can't see myself using anything else, but when I bought my current laptop I did make a few enquiries just in case (and so they know some people will buy such laptops).
170 • previous post! (by Matt at 2009-11-24 22:56:04 GMT from Canada)
Sorry, I clicked send before I could add in @160 to the subject line, and put my name in... so yes, 168 was actually from me!
171 • About credit cards (by Jesse at 2009-11-24 23:17:57 GMT from Canada)
There are other ways to buy on-line if you don't have a credit card. The easiest is probably to find the PC you want on-line, give a friend who DOES have a credit card your money. Have that friend purchase the computer of your choice. (I'm assuming you know at least one person with a credit card.)
A lot of my friends don't have credit, but have cash and buy things through me. It's actually a mutual benefit as my credit rating goes up and they get the item. Worth thinking about.
172 • Chrome OS, webconverge and moblin (by RollMeAway at 2009-11-24 23:22:38 GMT from United States)
I still believe webconverger http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=webconverger
is what Chrome OS wants to be. It is firefox based, and has been out for a while. What is the big deal?
I'm a little disappointed to find moblin requires an intel atom processor to run. That is like KDE4 only running on a AMD64 (ha, that may be a future requirement, the way things are going).
173 • Linux Laptops (by RollMeAway at 2009-11-24 23:29:35 GMT from United States)
A quick web search for
will get you ample leads.
Do read this one also:
Perhaps you could send a money order, or cashiers check to order online?
174 • @ Matt - 168. (by Untitled at 2009-11-24 23:47:13 GMT from United Kingdom)
I haven't tried ubuntu-netbook-remix but I did try the kubunt-netbook and it was nice, but I do prefer the normal KDE. Anyway, it's worth trying and even if you don't like it running aptitude purge kubuntu-netbook removes it.
The great thing about ThinkPads is that they seem to be popular with developers as well, so in 99% of cases things work out of the box. The remaining 1% is a question of tweaking some settings.
With a bit of luck you might even find (online) a ThinkPad preloaded with Suse Enterprise.
175 • TinyME (by C Solis on 2009-11-25 00:22:18 GMT from United States)
Wonder what this is about?? You would think he could get his page updated or something since he's no longer with PCLinuxOS, or he'd have a stable release...
Last Update: Thursday 5 November 2009 03:41 GMT
* Based on: Mandriva, PCLinuxOS
* Origin: USA
* Architecture: i586
* Desktop(s): Openbox
* Category: Desktop, Live CD, Old Computers
* Status: Active
TinyMe is a PCLinuxOS-based mini-distribution. It exists to ease installation of PCLinuxOS on older computers, to provide a minimal installation for developers, and to deliver a fast Linux installation for where only the bare essentials are needed.
176 • Knoppix 6.2 DVD installed to HD (by RollMeAway at 2009-11-25 02:26:21 GMT from United States)
First, Knoppix is meant to be used as a live CD/DVD, not installed to HD.
I was curious how apt-get and updates were setup using packages from stable, testing, and unstable. I even see experimental pkgs!
This install was on a Dell gx270 with a 2.8GHz P4 and 2 GB ram, using the DVD:
The live gui installer: (Menu/Preferences/Knoppix HD Install) is very particular.
You must create a formatted reiserfs partition =>10GB and mount it, before the installer will run. A swap => 1GB is also required. Took about 15 minutes to install 2772 pkgs, used 8.77 GB of HD space.Grub (legacy) would install to MBR or none.
I chose NONE, dropped to a terminal and manually installed it to the root partition successfully. The kernel contains reiserfs drivers, so an initrd is not required.
KDE4.3.2 and Gnome 2.28 were both installed, but LXDE is the only desktop accessible. Gdm and kdm are installed, but neither is used.
The debian sysv init system is bypassed and several knoppix scripts are used instead.
All the kde and gnome apps are accessible from LXDE desktop. This makes the resource requirements low without loosing applications.
Think about it. None of the kde overhead:plasma, kwin, akonadi, nepomuk, etc. krunner normally gobbles about 50 Mb of ram, just so you can do Alt/F2 to run an app not in the menu.
I did figure out how to enable kde or gnome desktops, but decided to stay with the default LXDE.
I did a comparison with Sabayon booted into LXDE with Firefox and Thunderbird as well a a terminal opened.
Ram used on knoppix was 314 Mb, on Sabayon 794 Mb.
WOW, what a difference.
Over 233 upgrades are already available. I'm not ready to tackle the stable, testing, unstable conflicts expected, YET!
177 • @176; RE: Knoppix 6.2 DVD; other desktops accessable (by Fred Nelson at 2009-11-25 02:42:39 GMT from United States)
The other desktops on the Knoppix 6.2 DVD are accessable. Simply type 'knoppix desktop=kde' (without the quotes, with any desktop you want instead of kde, as the DVD has them all, and with any other options you want before/after the desktop=kde) and you can boot up into a full-fledged DE of your choice. IMHO, KDE should have stayed the default on the DVD version (but LXDE was a wise choice for the CD version), but it's easy enough to choose whatever you want at the boot prompt, thankfully.
178 • Knoppix 6.2 DVD installed to HD other desktops (by RollMeAway at 2009-11-25 03:20:04 GMT from United States)
@177 yes and for the HD install:
Create a file 'desktop' in the directory /etc/sysconfig
In that file add:
with the quotes.
You can comment them out by adding a # at the beginning of the line,
to switch desktops.
179 • Alternative to credit cards (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-25 03:41:47 GMT from United States)
Wal-Mart sells reloadable prepaid Visa debit cards for $3. That would allow you to purchase online.
180 • Fedora USB Creator & RE: 180 (by Landor at 2009-11-25 05:05:30 GMT from Canada)
I don't remember the "exact" problem but will check it out asap. I do remember it didn't support anything other than 11 and if I'm not mistaken the whole issue revolved around the live cd being EXT4. As I said though, I will check it out again.
I think you need a bit of a break. You are at a point where you're so incensed with comments made to you that you're quoting them from previous issues/sections, not just once or twice either.
Also though, your first point about Jake regarding "software", he was and is, perfectly correct. All a program (software) is in reality is the state of the hardware at each given moment as designed by the programmer(s) for all the functionsr. So to denounce someone further, and your initial point was in regard to something you couldn't fathom only shows the real truth behind your post.
Keep your stick on the ice...
181 • UNR (by Matt at 2009-11-25 05:07:19 GMT from Canada)
Thanks for the advice about credit cards and all of that, I will consider using some of those options but it seems slightly easier for me to go to a BestBuy or something and pick something up there, and I'm not all that concerned about adding to Microsoft's numbers, one number won't make much of a difference, and Microsoft is headed for ruin with or without my help, they are killing themselves.
As for UNR, I used the command line to install it on top of my Ubuntu install and I wasn't very impressed with it, it doesn't seem much faster to me, and the interface is not for me. OpenOffice lost all my toolbars which I miss, and I know I can get them back but I dislike having to go to the work of customizing it all again, all the programs are missing the Minimize, Maximize and Close buttons at the top, the entire top bar is missing from all my programs... in general it just doesn't appeal to me. I know it may appeal to other people, and I'm sure it does, but for me personally I'm going to keep my Ubuntu the normal way. I am still interested in trying other netbook distro's in the future, either on an actual netbook or on my normal laptop, but UNR isn't for me. Thanks for the advice though, I had been wanting to try it for a while and just hadn't been able to until now. At least now I know what it is.
182 • @127 (by D1Knight at 2009-11-25 05:13:51 GMT from United States)
"Well, 'proper' is a matter of perspective. It's a configuration choice." Yes, I should have worded my statement in a better way. I thank you kindly. I now have a better understanding of what is going on, in regards to the driver.
"If you have a laptop with a touchpad that has no physical buttons, and Fedora doesn't enable tap-to-click, that's a bug that should be reported." I do have physical buttons, so I believe I am set as far as the newer upstream driver defaults to no 'tap clicks'. Thanks. :)
183 • @nippo (by jake at 2009-11-25 07:47:19 GMT from United States)
Back in the mists of time, when I was teaching kids at Stanford & Berkeley how to use talk, email and Usenet, and how to efficiently transfer files between machines (via UUCP, this was before The Great Renaming, or even Flag Day), the very first rule that we taught the kids was "Lurk for 4 or 6 weeks before contributing to any given forum". It's a culture thing. Learn the local culture, or get run out of town, tail between legs.
The second thing we taught the kids is that the net's not private. Including private data in messages available to anybody online is probably not a good idea. And yet the poster has included the complete names of a couple of young teenagers, with basic geographic data useful for any online pervert who wants to track the newbies down. This is NOT cool, in fact it is really, really stupid. Hopefully the message in question will get deleted shortly. (I blame !GooMyFaceYouTwit and the like ... People are really being stupid, all the personal info they are sharing with the planet).
The third thing we taught the kids was that insulting the owners of the MUD, MUSH, or MOO that they wanted to join was just plain daft ... and yet here the poster is calling the owners/operators of Distrowatch "PSYCHOPATHS", because they have tested not only the top 50-100 distros, but all of them on the list ... Never mind the fact that most of us don't burn CDs or DVDs when checking distros ...
I won't go into quoting conventions, or other misc. errors of judgement ... One asks ones self "Can it catch a clue?" ... we shall no doubt see ... Hopefully it won't be too painful to watch.
As a side note, yes I've done more than my fair share of trolling over the years. Not here on Distrowatch, though. Not intentionally, anyway. Hell, I've only posted, what, three or four dozen times in the last ten years?
184 • RAWHIDE (by max at 2009-11-25 08:03:02 GMT from Korea, Republic of)
Does anyone here have any experience running rawhide as a daily / main OS? I have run Debian sid with no issues, and was wondering with rawhide would be similar...
185 • What is ChromiumOS? (by Plume on 2009-11-25 08:05:02 GMT from France)
The VMWare/VirtualBox image of ChromiumOS, once uncompressed, is a virtual disk of 2.7 Gb (which for my own I failed to load in VirtualBox). Due to this rather high size, I hardly believe that ChromiumOS is "just" an embeded browser able to launch apps on a server. So I wander what ChromiumOS really is.
186 • Once again, wrong icon (by Béranger on 2009-11-25 09:17:45 GMT from Romania)
Once again, Distrowatch is using the wrong icon to announce Scientific Linux 5.4. Folks, that's the icon meant for Scientific Linux 6! (Hint #1: count the electrons. Hint #2: check the SL homepage, they use the "old" icon.)
That is, of course, if RHEL 6 will ever be released...
187 • Ubuntu Ultimate 2.4 (by Paulo Jaime F. M. Silva on 2009-11-25 09:48:09 GMT from Portugal)
I`m truely desapointed with last version of Ubuntu Ultimate 2.4 based on Ubunto 9.10 ( a very good version ).... There are a lot of bugs , some aplications crash or don`t work ... example : amsn , Empathy and others, a lot of time waiting for aplications openning....
Estou muito desapontado com a ultima versao do Ubuntu Ultimate 2.4 baseado no Ubuntu 9.10 ( óptima versao ) . Tem muitos bugs , algumas aplicaçoes travam ou nem sequem funcionam ... exemplos : amsn , Empathy e outros , e um longo tempo de espera para abrir aplicaçoes ....
188 • Ubuntu's newer kernel (by Caraibes on 2009-11-25 09:49:41 GMT from Dominican Republic)
Since a couple of days, *Buntu updated to kernel 126.96.36.199... On most of my PC's, it has been just fine... But on my main box (64bit, with Nvidia video), it just hangs at boot time while flickering... I have to keep on using 188.8.131.52... No big deal, as the previous one just works, but I am curious to see if any other user is having the same issue...
189 • @184, RE:RAWHIDE (by sisko at 2009-11-25 12:11:14 GMT from United States)
Rawhide was more like debian experimental for me. Try using updates-testing instead. See https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/QA/Updates_Testing
190 • Netbook distros (by KevinC at 2009-11-25 15:42:53 GMT from United States)
UNR and KNR are both .iso files that can be burned to cd / dvd, respectively. Also, the Easy Peasy dl found here:
is an .iso. I think Easy Peasy has to be burned to dvd due to size (as Kubuntu Netbook Remix). Also, don't forget eeeBuntu, it's a nice distro and offers a lightweight base install (w/ a standard Gnome desktop, which I prefer to the netbook remixed iterations). eeeBuntu also offers a beta LXDE version, which I haven't tested---they're still based on Jaunty, boot everything worked "out of the box" with my netbook. Also, eeeBuntu is shifting from an Ubuntu base to Debian unstable with version 4.
191 • Simply Mepis 8.5 Kde 4.3 (by Henning Melgaard on 2009-11-25 16:19:13 GMT from Denmark)
I have tried the new Simply Mepis 8.5 alpha with kde4.3.
It works like a dream on my (old) hardware: Celeron D 2,66 Ghz. , 1 Gb ddr ram, Nvidia Fx5200 128Mb.
I am particularly impressed with the way it performs when I am watching videos on the internet.
Generally it makes my system run fast and stable. Which I find almost unbelievable, considering that this is an alpha release.
Maybe that is what you get, when you base your distro on Debian stable, instead of Debian sid. It is certainly much more stable than many of the final releases of other distros I have tried lately :-).
Perhaps an idea to check it out, for those who have posted about limited amaounts of ram etc.
192 • @185, @187, @188, @189, @190 (by Matt at 2009-11-25 16:27:15 GMT from Canada)
185 - ChromiumOS is, as far as I can tell, just the browser basically. I'm not sure why it's so large but in all the reading I've done that's basically all it is. I was rather disappointed when they released it, I was hoping it would be more than that, but it seems that they're really focusing on netbooks only and just putting the browser in there. Personally I would have liked to see slightly more desktop focus, at least enough that you have some installed apps like OpenOffice or whatever, because online word processors are not at the point yet where they can replace a full fledged office suite, and even Google has admitted that GoogleDocs is not at the point yet where people should stop using MSOffice (insert OpenOffice here for Linux users!).
187 - I've never been a fan of things like Ubuntu Ultimate and the other Ubuntu derivatives that simply add in more packages like codecs and eye candy. If I wanted something like that I would do it myself through a package manager. Something like Linux Mint on the other hand is different enough from Ubuntu that it's worth using, with it's superior package managing system, updating system, menu, and then it also gives you a better visual experience IMHO, but I've always hated the distro's that just basically add in a few codecs and release it as a whole new thing. I don't see the point in it.
188 - Ubuntu 9.10 has always worked fine on all my machines, none are 64bit so maybe that's the issue, but on the machines I've tried it on for myself and for friends/family it's always worked just fine. That's why it's my main distro for now is because it so rarely screws up with hardware.
189 - Now I had never heard of Rawhide before, and never used actual Debian, just things based on Debian, and I have very little experience with Fedora, but I am just wondering why, if the user is talking about Rawhide and Debian, why the recommendation is to try Fedora... It just struck me as odd since there are countless other Debian testing or experimental distro's, including allowing update testing in Debian itself, without switching bases altogether. I'm not attacking you or anything so please don't get the wrong idea, I'm just curious why you recommended that, in all likelyhood I'm the idiot here and I'm totally missing the point.
190 - Well UNR was not a pleasant experience for me, but EasyPeasy can't work for me via CD/DVD as the image is too big for a CD (825MB or something) and I can only burn CD's at this point on my machines rather than DVD's. Once I get a new machine I will be checking out all the DVD distro's out there but for now it's not really an option unless I bother other people to burn it for me and at this point I'm happy enough with Ubuntu to not bug people about that. And I seem to recall seeing eeeBuntu somewhere but I've never ran it, is it worth using at this point or if they're going to release a new version soon with a base change should I just wait for that?
193 • @191 Mepis (by Matt at 2009-11-25 16:32:05 GMT from Canada)
I was thinking about trying this release but the Alpha tag scared me off. Is it really as stable as you seem to be saying? Obviously I know there will be bugs and such but if it's fairly stable maybe I'll give it a shot. Are they still on CD releases or have they upped it to a DVD release for 8.5? And what's your opinion on KDE4.3? I've heard a lot of negative things about KDE3.x but supposedly the 4.3 is a big improvement.
My testing machine would be slightly worse than yours, 1.6 Celeron M, 512MB RAM, 40GB HD @ 4200 I think, and just barebones integrated video (64MB I think? Possibly less, I bought the machine recently off a friend for $10 because it was about to go in the garbage so I don't know the specs perfectly offhand), but do you think it would work OK on those specs as well?
194 • @193. (by Henning Melgaard on 2009-11-25 16:40:33 GMT from Denmark)
Well it IS an alpha, so I wouldnt install it on my main computer, or on any other critical system.
I havent seen any chrashes yet though.
It comes as a live cd, so pretty safe to try...
On my system it takes 160 Mb of ram to get up an running without any applications open. So I would guess your 512 Mb should be enough.
How it will perform with your integrated graphics card I dont know.
But why not give the live cd a spin?
195 • @194 (by Matt at 2009-11-25 16:50:49 GMT from Canada)
I will download it tonight... slow Internet means that if I start downloading during the day I will end up making the rest of the people in my house VERY angry :) but I'll download it tonight and give it a shot tomorrow likely. Thanks, and yes I do realize it's an Alpha so I don't expect it to be a perfect system, and I certainly don't expect it to be lightening fast on my slow system but I'm hoping that it will at least run. But you can never tell till you try!
196 • Rawhide=Fedora (by Anonymous at 2009-11-25 17:22:04 GMT from United States)
Rawhide is Fedora testing. That's all. Nothing mysterious about it.
197 • Laptops & Knoppix (by ClayThedill at 2009-11-25 17:46:19 GMT from Australia)
@181 (Matt from Canada):
here in Australia, PayPal lets people use credit cards, debit cards *or a bank account*! i'm sure Canada would be the same. (& i love your comment about ms headed for ruin with or without help, but please don't add to their numbers anyway...)
@Klaus Knopper: Klaus-Baby! a new LXDE Knoppix! woohoo! i'm purchasing that dvd, yay!
lxde & knoppix: the go-to rescue disc rocks on...
198 • @184 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-25 18:01:19 GMT from Canada)
Well, the official position on Rawhide is given on the Wiki page:
and I'd say it's pretty accurate. In practice, I use it day-to-day (except around release times, where I stick with the release for a short while to do support) and haven't had a huge problem yet. It really is an unstable branch, though, and you _will_ find stuff getting broken from time to time. You need the flexibility to be able to deal with that; if you're in a situation where, if one application (or desktop. Or, occasionally, all of X...) stops working, you're screwed, then it would be a really bad idea to run Rawhide. I have quite a flexible setup; if someone breaks Firefox I can switch to Midori without too much trouble, if someone breaks Evolution I can switch to Thunderbird, etc. So it's manageable.
It's significantly more risky than using sid, and slightly more risky than using Mandriva Cooker, I'd say. If you're flexible and adventurous and have a spare system or dual-boot for the worst case scenario, give it a shot. Otherwise, don't. :)
199 • @196, @197 (by Matt at 2009-11-25 18:34:04 GMT from Canada)
196 - OK, I was confused by the mention of Debian in connection with Rawhide but if it's connected to Fedora then it was my mistake!
197 - I guess I should check out PayPal for debit card, I obviously have one of those, and so maybe that would be a good alternative, and you're right, I probably shouldn't add to their numbers but it's still not that big of an issue for me.
200 • RE: 192 (by Landor at 2009-11-25 19:44:41 GMT from Canada)
When it comes to Chromium you have to take in how much people jump on hype. Take a look at the whole "Linux year of the desktop" belief. Every year since the late 90's we've seen articles/opinions that Linux was going to do this or that and just scream ahead. Remember, since the late 90's.
So now that Linux had to compete against MS in the netbook market and such and that people consider Google this monolithic computer oriented giant they're obviously go to swarm to that concept of Chromium as the new "Great White Hope" for Linux that will vanquish MS..
When you read deeper you find out that the only aspect of the OS is really going to be the kernel making it boot and that's about all anyone will know about Chromium and it's association with Linux.
As I said, it's all media hype and it sells, it sells well. Just like the whole "Linux year of the desktop" sells.
Keep your stick on the ice...
201 • RE: my post at 200/Ladislav (by Landor at 2009-11-25 21:03:02 GMT from Canada)
Speaking of the year of the desktop thing. I wonder, Ladislav, you do a year end article every year and I'm sure you'll be the one writing this year's as well. You always talk about what we seen happen over the past year(s) how about expanding on that a little bit this year? I mean, instead of all these predictions that people make about this being the year and such, why not give us some brief insight into little known projects, or even big projects. That way it's possible to see what this year did in review and maybe a bit more than usual about what we can, or could expect for the year coming.
Anyway, some food for thought.
Keep your stick on the ice...
202 • fedora 12 (by shady on 2009-11-25 21:38:11 GMT from United States)
@115 Adam Williamson..
I guess it isn't really Fedora's fault for my proprietary video card needs, so I don't want to come off as whiny. I tried the mesa experimental drivers but they didnt work well either. Radeon HD4770 doesn't seem to like much outside of Opensuse and Ubuntu. I downgraded back to F11 which is working fine so all is good.
203 • @100 & 136 RAM (by merlin at 2009-11-26 00:41:42 GMT from Canada)
And with the larger amount of RAM you don't really need any swap space unless you plan to use the hibernate or hybrid-suspend. I'll qualify that by saying for the average desktop user you don't. For a laptop you probably want to keep it so the system can hibernate on low battery. A few years ago, on my Debian Gnome system, I had 1GB ram, and I set up 1GB swap space. Then I monitored the swap usage over the course of several months....guess what? Never accessed once, even with GIMP, open office, firefox, and several others running at the same time. So I decided to ditch the swap completely and I have never run into any problems since. Now that I have 2GB RAM, it's a total non-issue. To me that's a real indication of how efficient Linux and the Gnome desktop is.
204 • @203 (by Matt at 2009-11-26 00:53:32 GMT from Canada)
You can ditch swap?! Sorry I'm just a relatively new convert to Linux from Winblows and whenever I've tinkered around with swap sizes in Windows I've always screwed things up and I've been told countless times that unless you absolutely have to, that there is no other alternative, that you should NEVER touch your swap. So I just naturally left it alone in Linux all the time. I guess I'm likely not going to end up doing anything with it ever, because with large HD's these days it really doesn't matter if a few GB's go to swap, but it would just be interesting to know that you're able to do those kinds of things in Linux without consequence whereas in Windows it probably doesn't actually affect your system any, the OS just breaks to punish you for going where you "shouldn't".
205 • re#203,204 swap (by hab on 2009-11-26 01:57:20 GMT from Canada)
If your ram outgrows the need for a swap partition but you want to have a little back up, just in case one can always add a swap file in place of (or in addition to) a dedicated swap partition. See here http://www.redhat.com/docs/manuals/linux/RHL-8.0-Manual/custom-guide/s1-swap-adding.html for gory details.
206 • Re: #138 (SalixOS and other pets) (by NippoNoob at 2009-11-26 03:03:40 GMT from Brazil)
> ... One of the forums I frequent has a lot of Slackware users and they have also said very good things about SalixOS. I'll definitely have to give it a try.
Ms. Martin, this guy must love you:
But I'm your #1 fan. I read with extreme attention every bit of information you write in your HONEST reviews. You made me love VectorLinux even though I still haven't tried it. SalixOS may be an option, too... My anxiety for a future review can't be higher!
Since I've always used Debian based distros, now the Slackware derivatives are atracting my attention. I will certainly test both Vector Standard and Wolvix. And it's nice to know that, just like Dreamlinux and MEPIS, they don't have Mono (an "infectious disease" to be erradicated from Debian, Ubuntu/Mint and PCLinuxOS).
I'm also willing to test NetSecL 2.4, another very interesting Slackware variant. Unlike Puppy or SliTaz (in which the user is root), that gem was built for security: It's provided with Grsecurity, chroot hardening, /tmp race prevention, scanners, sniffers, no server running by default, etc.. Unlike Mint, it got no useless crap as "fortunes". Unlike antiX, it's made by somebody who doesn't wanna piss people off. (Just kidding, anticapitalista! :^D
Before some furious fanboy starts an "intifada" against me, I'll give antiX newbies a tip on how to create an icon for Dillo in IceWM's panel: Open user file '~/.icewm/toolbar' as root, then add the text line 'prog "Dillo" dillo.png /usr/bin/dillo' (character string "Dillo" is the icon's name, and may be changed to "Fast browser", including quotes).
And last but not least, I beg your pardon for eventual English grammar mistakes. A buddy told me I wrote "payed" in place of "paid", "thead" in place of "thread", and made other elementary mistakes. But I'm a Portuguese-speaking guy. Incredible is what I saw in a screenshot of the new graphical installer of VectorLinux: partition spelled as "parition".
I hope the Grammar-Nazis aren't reading this thread...
Mr. Ladislav, please ask Caitlyn to review NetSecL 2.4 also. It seems to be quite fine!
207 • Memory & Swap (by Anonymous at 2009-11-26 05:21:35 GMT from United States)
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 516300 390276 126024 0 55224 167916
Low: 516300 390276 126024
High: 0 0 0
-/+ buffers/cache: 167136 349164
Swap: 999416 0 999416
Total: 1515716 390276 1125440
This is my Debian Lenny with Window Maker and Iceweasle.
12 partitions using LVM2 & Luks
Cups is running
Notice that swap useage is zero.
How do other OS setups compare?
208 • @202 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-26 06:07:26 GMT from Canada)
That's odd, I actually have a 4770 here myself - it's actually in my partner's machine so it doesn't get extensive use, but I did test F12 on it - including the experimental mesa drivers - and it seemed to work pretty well, compiz was fine at least, and it seemed stable. What problems did you hit?
209 • FreeBSD 8 (by M Dillon at 2009-11-26 06:42:13 GMT from United States)
Wow, the new FreeBSD is blazing fast! ZFS, new USB, new NFS, new TTY, superpages, XEN, multicast, and much, much more!
If you are prepared to read the manual and like to learn, it might just be for you!
Get your torrents here: http://torrents.freebsd.org:8080/
210 • @208 Adam (by shady on 2009-11-26 06:46:46 GMT from United States)
mesa experimental drivers ran kinda ok, but I had a lot of strange menu discoloration and the effects weren't particularly crisp. I kept having a kernel crash notification and package kit kept locking up, making YUM the only way I could install updates. Unpacking RPM files graphically was impossible and basically the deal-breaker. I tried a few things, but nothing worked. I'd reinstall if I knew it would work but it is hopeful that you managed to get it running.
211 • No subject (by forest at 2009-11-26 09:31:56 GMT from United Kingdom)
Matt, if you are up for it, and are running 2GB ram say, try Puppy off a usb stick and disconnect the h/d...see what happens.
212 • is charging really the way of the OS (by pol mac on 2009-11-26 10:09:33 GMT from Ireland)
hey jesse i just e-mailed xandros to find out any release dates , unfortunately they sent me the message below , which is the same link that i posted earlier , have not
looked at link yet to see if it is updated , something tells me the next release of xandros should be a very interesting one indeed , if they do work on getting the freespire community back "if the community is willing to after all the its greedy xandros + the whole linspire issue " but one question i ask this community i know xandros breaks all regarding steeling from the open source community , use scaremongering their users with "xandos antivirus security software" and just charging hilarious prices for what is just a standard linux os with a few added Proprietary software pieces, but is it really what is needed to battle off the Microsoft monopoly and to take a small piece of the microsoft cake, i mean after all non linux / mac users dont tend to look a weather an os is free or not , to the point that they "non computer literate" think that free in os is probably just useless software that is unreliable and not for everyday use, so along comes xandros it says for $90 + $40 for a xandros security suite , to a beginner or usually ms user that seems a v good deal ? so is charging to make a point actually worth it? be greedy seems like a good choice well if you want to make it in the os market it seems the only choice, linux os's just seem for the hobbiest to use when free :( , sad but true. this message may start fire but instead i hope it will start a debate over why "still" the linux os only holds 3%-4% of desktop users world wide?
below is the e-mail from "evil" xandros
Johnson via RT
Xandros Desktop 4.5 is on development mode, You can have an OCE
version of this OS downloaded from the below link.
But this is not an official link and we do not support it.
We will let you know when there is an official version of Xandros
Desktop 4.5 getting released.
Xandros Technical Support
213 • Fedora 12: too buggy for me (by Pinguinus at 2009-11-26 13:14:00 GMT from Finland)
I've been using either Debian or Ubuntu usually, but have tried other distros occasionally too. I've always been attracted to Fedora especially. However, every time I've tried it, there have been some pretty irritating bugs that have prevented me from becoming a full-time Fedora convert. Unfortunately, it seems to be the case with Fedora 12 too.
I had been reading positive reviews of recent Fedora releases, and after a long break thought that maybe I should give it a serious try. However, although I'm still writing this from Fedora now, I've already decided that I just have to give up. Too many bugs and I have no idea what might cause them or fix them. For example, trying to simply change some Gnome settings causes the whole X to crash here. The same happened just a few minutes ago when I tried to use the Distrowatch distro search page's drop down menus (something related to Java script in that case?).
The Fedora features, and especially those related to security, are great. But I need a stable OS and desktop, that doesn't have all these odd bugs. Maybe I should try CentOS or other Redhat derivative as it might be more stable than the bleeding edge Fedora? But might be that I just go back to Ubuntu or Debian that I'm used to and that seem much more stable to me.
214 • #206 and icewm tip. (by anticapitalista on 2009-11-26 13:43:21 GMT from Greece)
About that icwm tip.
Don't open the ~/.icewm/toolbar file as root, but as user.
Apart from that the tip stands :)
215 • Linux market share (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-26 14:15:52 GMT from United States)
@pol mac: why "still" the linux os only holds 3%-4% of desktop users world wide?
You´ve been reading too much Microsoft propaganda or articles by tech journalists who are in Redmond´s pocket. According to ABI Research the market share for Linux on netbooks is 32% and 11 million units will ship this year. See:
The second article, the interview with Jeffrey Orr of ABI, makes clear that dial boot machines (i.e.: the ones from Acer) and machines that are purchased with Windows but later have Linux loaded do not count in the 32% number. That number is pure Linux sales. Dell has reported that 33% of their netbook sales are Linux as well.
11 million units works out to between 8% and 9% of the total desktop market, which includes desktops, nettops, laptops, notebooks, and netbooks. When you add preloaded desktops and full size laptops to the equation the best guess is that Linux holds about a 10% market share, or about the same market share Apple holds with Mac. Windows is down to 80%.
A strange piece of confirmation came from Steve Ballmer recently, who, in a talk, used a pie chart to show market share. While it did not have numbers on it the slices for Linux and Mac were the same size and appeared to leave just over three quarters of the pie for Microsoft.
Why is Linux only at 10%? It´s more profitable for vendors to sell Windows so most do absolutely nothing to promote Linux. Why have a system on your shelf if it means customers won buy boxed software like Microsoft Office and Norton AntiVirus? Linux adoption equates to less profits. Add some well documented strong arm tactics by Microsoft and it is very easy to see why the numbers are what they are.
I actually find it amazing that Linux is where it is, particularly on netbooks, in spite of all the obstacles in the marketplace. It appears the prediction earlier this year by Stephen Lim of Linpus Technologios that Linux would reclaim leadership in the netbook market wasn´t so far-fetched after all.
216 • @211, @215 (by Matt at 2009-11-26 15:05:27 GMT from Canada)
211 - My highest powered computer in terms of RAM has only 1GB at this point and so I would be reluctant to try and run Puppy off that although it probably wouldn't end up being too bad. However, I have used the Puppy Universal Installer and absolutely love it on old hardware but I guess that wasn't the point of your post!
215 - Wow, great post! The facts you mention are really quite interesting, and encouraging for the Linux community. I was talking with a friend last night who has a netbook running XP (one of those little Acer Aspire One's), and he was talking about how stupid it is that people want to run Linux on them because Linux never works and XP is just fine on there, and that with Windows 7 coming onto netbooks Linux is totally dead. Obviously I didn't believe him but it's interesting to note that there are facts to back up my disbelief.
217 • @194 (by Matt at 2009-11-26 15:08:44 GMT from Canada)
My download of the Mepis alpha just finished this morning and so I am going to test it out in the next few hours before I have to go to school. I'm anticipating bugs in it but I'm hoping it will be stable enough to run for a bit, if not just keep running it on a testing machine until I find something else to test or until the full version comes out and just keep updating/upgrading it as we go along.
Just wondering though, if I come across bugs for it, where should I go to report them? Probably most of the bugs I find will have been found by other users but I might as well do my part if I'm running the alpha... that's the point of an alpha or a beta or an RC after all isn't it?! lol thanks!
218 • Red Hat, Fedora and stability (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-26 15:15:46 GMT from United States)
@Pinguinus wrote: Maybe I should try CentOS or other Redhat derivative as it might be more stable than the bleeding edge Fedora?
Yes, IME, Red Hat and it´s clones, including CentOS, Scientific Linux, and Oracle/Unbreakable Linux are very, very stable. However, much like Ubuntu LTS, the trade off is that you will be using older applications. Also, you may need to find drivers (particularly any proprietary ones) from third party repositories after installation. That will also be true of a lot of desktop apps.
The main advantage of Red Hat over Ubuntu is that the long term support is seven years long rather than five on servers and three on desktops, something which is important in the business world but probably less of a consideration for desktop users. Like you I find their security model to be a bit better. It´s certainly more comprehensive by default.
I´ve been impressed with Scientific Linux. CentOS also seems to have mostly straightened out the problems that caused some very long patch delays earlier this year and last year. Either one would be a good choice for a rock solid, stable OS.
Are these choices better than Debian or Ubuntu? It depends what you do with your system. There is no right or wrong answer.
219 • No subject (by david long on 2009-11-26 16:21:46 GMT from United States)
Happy Thanksgiving!, Linux Users.
220 • No subject (by forest at 2009-11-26 17:05:33 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref discussion on GNULinux usage.
CM, thanks for links, I presume your underlying message was beware all things statistical, especially when based on Redmond research.
And, of course, the stats, by definition are based on collectable and processable data. The 30% usage figures are almost entirely useless owing to the qualifying parameters...one of which was sales.
It is impossible to know how many users of GNULinux there are worldwide because nobody knows how many machines might be loaded, so to speak, from a single CD/DVD...even if you knew how many discs were sold or sent out as a freebie those figures would again be meaningless.
I noted a comment from last week about how "most people" ran a distro in virtual mode, really? How on earth would you know. Sounds like nonsense to me. I always burn a disc and I always pass it on to anyone who wants it after I've played with it.
I have given over a hundred, rpt a hundred, CDs to the IT bloke where I do volunteer work; I know he passes them on to his mates in turn...who knows what those blokes do with them...can't all be trashed(?).
I can't believe I am the only person on the planet to do as such, so, how could you factor that into a reliable stat? Answer: you can't, not ever.
Similarly, when we read of 53 million or so nippers in Brazil having access to GNULinux equipped machines in their schools and "outreach" educational facilities, how can you define usage? By machine or user?
Or what about machines which are dual booted? Is the machine to be counted in the MS heap or the GNULinux pile?
I like to believe the percentage of GNULinux users is rather more that Redmond would admit and a great deal more than we hope.
221 • Buggy Fedora! (by zygmunt on 2009-11-26 17:42:46 GMT from United Kingdom)
Addressing Pinguinus' comments about Fedora.
I totally agree with your "analysis" of Fedora IF you just install from the "Gold" DVD/CD. However I have found that persisting with each release and accumulating the updates over the year, which is about the support period, the installation usually becomes stable and "mature". Most (but not all) problems have become solved during the release's support lifetime. I say this with ample evidence from Fedora releases 3 to 11. It requires a certain dedication and involvement, but it has proved to be worth the effort so far. It is a pity that support is curtailed so early, but I understand the philosophy and reasons for that. True that a more stable distro is dictated by long term projects where it would not do to sit on shifting sand. I have adopted the policy of running several different distributions: presently Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, Centos, Mandriva and Fedora, with others more as tests. And as with Fedora, I run the last three releases of each so that I have past, present and future covered. The most frustrating things are broken packages, X stability, non-free drivers and proprietary codecs that regularly plague open source. When time is of little consequence it is all possible. Have Fun. Who wants a boring MS box.
222 • @210 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-26 18:27:53 GMT from Canada)
Huh, that's odd. Seems a bit tricky to pin down what's going on there. Can you do an 'lspci -nn' and give me the PCI ID of your Radeon? There's *two* IDs for the 4770 (even though they're both called 4770s and ATI only officially lists one of them), maybe you have the other and it behaves differently from mine somehow...
I didn't really have to 'get it working', all I ever did was boot live CDs on it and play around, didn't have to do any kind of configuration, it just worked fine. I only played with it for half hour at a time or so, but didn't see any of the issues you mentioned while doing that.
223 • @213 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-26 18:30:03 GMT from Canada)
If X crashes then what you have is an X bug, always. There may be a contributing bug in the application that _triggers_ the X crash, but no app should be able to make X fall over, hence any time X falls over, there's a bug in X that needs fixing.
It would be great if you could re-try Fedora and file a bug on the problem, though we understand if that's too much hassle for you. Instructions on reporting X bugs and what info to include are here: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/How_to_debug_Xorg_problems . You may want to try the common workarounds listed at https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Common_F12_bugs#intel-misc-gfx and https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Common_F12_bugs#radeon-misc-gfx to see if any of those work around your issue, also.
224 • @222 Adam (by shady on 2009-11-26 20:33:56 GMT from United States)
I have a second drive that Im going to format tonight and put a clean install of F12 on (I downloaded the master DVD just in case I had a goofy burn or something). I'll post what you wanted to know.
225 • Mepis Alpha (by Matt at 2009-11-26 21:45:54 GMT from Canada)
I'm posting this from the Mepis alpha that I downloaded and I'm not all that impressed. It's not that it's a development version that makes me angry but the fact that it's KDE. I knew that I didn't like the early versions of KDE 4 but I had heard from other users that this latest version is a lot better. I haven't found it much better, I still dislike how they make you jump through so many hoops to change the default clock from 24hour time to 12hour time whereas in Gnome you can do it by simply right clicking on the clock. I also find it next to impossible to get used to the K Menu, it is so annoying to accomplish anything in there... what could have possibly made the developers change from KDE 3.x menu style!? I'm also annoyed at the KWallet application, I put in my password and stuff for it because I thought it could be useful but now as soon as I type in my password to log into the OS it makes me enter my password to my wallet as well. It just gets annoying to have to do that extra step everytime I boot my machine. I'm also annoyed that you can't line up icons on the desktop, even Windows has that!! I just get annoyed with looking at a desktop with jumbled icons, no matter how hard I try to line them up exactly, I never get it exact and it just bothers me.
Most of these things are just my own annoyances and nothing against Mepis itself, I just find it more difficult to use than something like Ubuntu and I see little to no advantages over Ubuntu so I'm probably not keeping it around. Ubuntu (or whatever distro happens to be on my main machine) is always my comparisson. If I test something on my testing machine and it's better than what I have on my main machine then I'll change over the main one and that new distro becomes the comparisson. So far I have yet to find something that beats out Ubuntu.
Again, all of this is just in my opinion, I'm not going to suppose for a second that because I don't like Mepis that other people don't, I know it has a huge loyal fanbase and so I really don't mean to get all the loyal Mepis boys angry at me! No offense to anyone!
226 • @224 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-26 22:01:26 GMT from Canada)
You don't need an install of F12 to do the lspci, it's a standard command available on every Linux and will always return the same info, since it's just a hardware query. The lspci output from any other distro would be fine for this.
But it would be good to have the f12 install around anyway to help diagnose :) thanks!
227 • 225- Mepis (by Barnabyh at 2009-11-26 22:47:00 GMT from United Kingdom)
An advantage in my opinion is that in Mepis you are using Debian repositories. Before you chuck it out why not purge KDE4 and "install gnome-desktop", then you can compare it better to Ubuntu.
Just a thought. Happy tinkering.
228 • Mepis and SSD vs SATA (by Matt at 2009-11-26 23:56:00 GMT from Canada)
Thanks for the advice about Mepis, I may give that a shot and then give a fair comparison to Ubuntu, but I have a question for all of you out there. I'm looking on Dell.com for a new machine (yes, I found someone who will allow me to use their credit card!) and it gives me the option of 8GB or 16GB SSD or 160GB or 250GB SATA drives. I know SSD is significantly faster and that ChromeOS will only run on that and so presumably other netbook OS's will follow suit, and I also don't think I would miss the space as most of my stuff is done in the "cloud" anyway even on my non-netbook machines. I'm wondering how similar SSD is to flash drives. I know that they have some similarities and I know that flash has a fairly short lifespan with a lot fewer reads/writes to it before it dies than a normal hard drive. I'm also wondering about S.M.A.R.T. technology, I know that on a normal hard drive S.M.A.R.T. will get rid of bad parts and not allow you to store data on them. Does SSD's use the same technology or would it be the case that if I get one bad part that I have to buy a whole new drive?
229 • RE: #27 (by Anonymous at 2009-11-27 00:21:58 GMT from Italy)
"I finally found a group who had thrown
out the anchor and said we are not with them.."
Why don't you tell us who those people are, please.
I am interested. Thanks.
230 • @226 Adam (by shady on 2009-11-27 01:10:57 GMT from United States)
Ran the lspci, more to come after install...
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller : ATI Technologies Inc Radeon HD 4770 [RV740] [1002:94b3]
231 • No subject (by forest at 2009-11-27 01:55:21 GMT from United Kingdom)
Matt, you will probably get all the info you need from googling and reading a wiki possibly. Just to get you started:
( I got interested despite myself...)
SSD (a misnomer btw) is a whole "new" universe and is quite complex. Ref the r/w lifespan and "wearing" out of the memory elements is, again, a whole new sub topic and will need to be read at least twice, lol, before it sinks in.
I am intrigued by the notion Chrome OS will only run on an SSD...suggest you research that info before you buy...some folk report it can, at the moment anyway, be loaded and run off a usb stick...so you may be able to keep your "ordinary" machine with mechanical h/d...if you want to run it off an older machine just make sure the BIOS supports booting from a usb device.
Lastly for now, it's nearly 2 am in UK, would suggest also you consider buying some ext storage ie, an hard drive. It may be that one day you cannot get online...and you need to finish that essay...you see where I'm going on this?
Once you have completed said "essay" it is only the work of a moment to save it to your usb stick if the essay has to be portable.
In any event. a prudent (wo)man would back up their stuff on at least one other medium...wouldn't they?
232 • paldo (by subg at 2009-11-27 02:42:18 GMT from Canada)
@79 Yes, paldo is another good example of a rolling release style of distribution, although it has frequent (3-4 months) stable 'releases' as well. Not well known and not really for the Linux novice with its UPKG package installer and hybrid binary/source features. But fast, stable and close to bleeding edge if you want to be.
233 • @231 (by Matt at 2009-11-27 03:54:07 GMT from Canada)
Thanks for the reply and the links... they didn't answer my specific questions but they helped me enough that I at least know that SSD's are probably not too bad of an idea for something like a netbook. They seem to be quite reliable and it almost seems to me like my questions about reads/writes and usage of S.M.A.R.T. technology aren't even relevant, they are too reliable for that kind of stuff. Descriptions such as that they eliminate the possibility of mechanical failure seems to say that I shouldn't worry about that kind of stuff.
And yes, I currently have all my data like school files at least (obviously not music as it's close to 30GB worth) but important documents I have on both my hard drives, my flash drive, Ubuntu One cloud storage and I email them to myself. So I have very little chance of ever being without my important stuff no matter where I am, it's so unlikely that the Gmail servers, Ubuntu servers, both hard drives and my flash drive, will ever be down all at the same time.
Maybe I'm going a bit overboard on the backups!?
234 • @231 (by KevinC at 2009-11-27 08:21:56 GMT from United States)
Forest brings up an important point r/t the cloud: what if internet access is broken? IIRC, Google does not offer any means of local access to one's data. What happens if one cannot connect to the cloud? I live in the mid-south of the U.S. and last winter we suffered from an unprecedented ice storm---I can recall one night filled with loud snaps as large limbs from trees came crashing down & we were all crossing our fingers that it wouldn't hit the house or take out the electricity. While I got lucky, many were without power for days, even weeks--and internet was even more patchy. My worst experience was that I was without internet and digital cable for a couple of hours...but for many not having local access would've been a disaster within the confines of the cloud model. And further, storage will be a pay-for-play model, with a free starter amount offered and then a monthly or annual fee for larger chunks. Another issue with the Chrome OS, would be the situation wherein the Google apps don't offer an alternative for a user's needs....then what???
Google does intend to maintain data on 3 discrete servers, with different locales, which is probably way better backup than most ppl, utilize. Still, what happens if you decide the cloud is not for you? Will Google simply allow users to dl their data? Copy to some type of media and snail mail it? And this doesn't even cover concerns of privacy advocates claiming that the cloud will be the biggest data mining operation undertaken (technically Google will own this data, so an implicit trust would have to be assumed that Google wouldn't misuse it).
Personally, I don't intend to be an early adapter (read, guinea pig) of this model...as it matures perhaps I'll change my mind---for now the old school, tried-and-true way works for me...i.e, choosing my apps for my needs and having my data on my hard drives/ usb flash drives, etc.
I should note one caveat emptor: I have not extensively researched Google's Chrome OS, so if I mis-reported anything r/t it, feel free to correct me.
235 • Google Cloud, etc. + Matt's KDE experience (by Untitled at 2009-11-27 09:03:29 GMT from United Kingdom)
Google are not stupid and I'm sure they've thought about all the questions raised here about cloud availability and my guess it will be something like what Gmail offers today.
For those who don't know, if you want you can access your gmail account offline if you set it up. It installs Google Gears and then it downloads all your email and synchronises the local database while you're online. When you're offline gmail is still accessible and you can read your emails, reply and write new ones, but they will only be sent when you're back online. Going back to my first sentence about them not being stupid I'm sure they will expand the offline capabilities to other services.
Matt, about KDE, just a few notes:
1. Right click on the menu icon -> Switch to Classic Menu Style will change the kicker menu to what you're used to. Some people love the new menu, some people (me included) not. But we have a choice.
2. Wallet. They should make it more clear but you don't have to set a password to the wallet when you first use it, and then you don't have to enter your password again when you log in. Some people like the extra security it offers, some people (me included) don't.
3. You're right about setting the clock to 24H.
You might still not like KDE, but just so you know for future reference. And also, not a mepis user here, but I understand that 8.5 is exactly like 8 but for people who prefer KDE 4 since the official Mepis release still uses KDE 3.
236 • No subject (by forest at 2009-11-27 09:48:51 GMT from United Kingdom)
Looks like you may need to dig deeper in the google dept, Matt...such research is seldom wasted. Ref internet connections, it would be the ISP you might need to worry about, quite apart from concerns about google itself.
Consider if the "cloud" does take off, traffic loads may increase dramatically and does/can your local infrastructure have the capability to handle the increased load.
Most folk in UK have learned that broadband speeds, as claimed by ISPs, bear no relation to real life. The sales folk of any ISP have no idea what sort of connection "a" customer has.
In the rural area where I live we still have lengths of aluminium and lead cable, really, yet in some new developments it's nothing but shiny cable and in some business parks there's a glass pipe/loop.
Not all exchanges are tricked up for high speed broadband anyway. Some communities enjoy "free" blanket wifi. So, in essence, cloud computing may not be a practical option given the above...and did I mention contention ratio?
I infer from your ref to school files Matt, you probably walk without a stick and have all your own teeth and don't need to get up in the night...lol. Most of us really ancient folk on this forum have wide experience of "new" technology...so we adopt the "suck it and see" option. You could consult your grandad on that one, but be prepared for a lengthy lecture...it's one of the perks of old age, going on at length, I know I do...
Chrome OS is, as described in other places, a tool simply for getting online (to access google services...?) it might be worth trying to sort out a usb drive and see if Chrome OS will run off the stick and more importantly works for you in the way you expect.
Might save you buying that Dell...
237 • More cloud concerns... (by KevinC at 2009-11-27 16:10:58 GMT from United States)
Another factor many may not have considered is upload speed...most broadband connections are fine concerning speed down (mine is 10 megabits per sec down), but the upload speed is much less (~500 kilobits/sec). Most ppl. have this asynchronous disparity, unless you wanna pay out the arse. Now consider one wishes to edit all the 10 mega-pixel .jpg files on the SDHC card...that's gonna take awhile to upload to the cloud just to edit said photos...esp. as the # of files increases.
And I did not say Google was stupid...in any way shape or form. BUT, Google is a corporate entity...in business to make $'s...so why automatically assume that Google is altogether benevolent in motive??? Another corporate entity oft discussed here would never get that benefit of doubt...and as far as I can tell they're in business to make money as well...
Anyways...it's all speculation at this point as Chrome/ Chromium is just an alpha at this point...only available as source code (or some pre-built Virtualbox images are floating around)
238 • clouds (by hab on 2009-11-27 18:06:15 GMT from Canada)
In my perception/understanding cloud computing has so far modeled the real world in that real clouds are made of water vapour. Vapour being the operative concept here!
Wikipedia see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ChromeOS says due second half of 2010. Excuse me for expressing a tad of skepticism but i have watched too much of the last twenty-thirty years of computer history go down to get all hot and wet over something like this!
Time will tell.
239 • hannah montana like distros (by thosebuntus on 2009-11-27 19:46:41 GMT from Portugal)
My suggestion today to DW is not to promote the hannah montana like distros out there. Users not aware, will be lured to try them, only to find they're nothing more than a buntu with a different wall paper. For those who only copy other distros, make an iso with a different name and one headline of it, it's enough to put them in a separate listing outside the front page, adding the information about what they're based on, and a link to their site.
240 • RE: everything lol (by Matt at 2009-11-27 20:46:33 GMT from Canada)
234 - I had never really thought too much about the pay-for-play model because the amount of data I store online never comes close to what my limits are. I'm rarely over 5% in my Gmail account, I don't know about my Ubuntu One account but it basically just has contacts for Evolution and a few documents... I just never come anywhere close to full, and then I look at the offers of extra storage space for a fee and so I'm hoping that these companies will continue to offer large free storage spaces, and then for the people who need insane amounts of space then sure, charge a fee. Also, keep in mind about ChromeOS that you aren't just limited to Google web apps. There are thousands of web apps, many not made by Google, that can acutally accomplish many everyday tasks all within a browser, and many for free. Yes, I admit you're not going to find a high powered video editor or a Photoshop equivilant but for the basic needs of the average user, online apps can certainly do the trick. And as for data mining, something tells me that laws will be drawn up to prevent that as cloud computing becomes more widely used.
235 - I agree that Google isn't stupid, but with Gmail outages like we've seen numerous times in the last few years, they are going to have to get better at keeping access available 24/7. Thanks for the suggestions on KDE, I'm don't think that those tips will change my opinion on Mepis right now, just because I also had some issues with the package manager and so maybe it would be a good idea for me to wait for a while, maybe wait till beta or something, but thanks for the tips, they will be useful for me when I do run it again, and likely for other users as well.
236 - Yes the ISP has to be taken into consideration as well, but Google just has the history of advocating cloud apps and then being down for extended periods of time. And it seems to me that if the cloud does seem to start taking off, that the ISP's will quickly make the necessary changes, especially the ones with a smaller user base, as the big companies will be less likely to change because they won't feel the pressure, and that will lead to the smaller companies capitalizing on this opportunity. Just my prediction, I guess only time will tell. And yes, I don't have that wide range of experience with new technology, it has changed a lot in my 19 years of being alive but I started to use computers with Windows 98 then 2000 then XP then Linux then Mac then Vista then Linux again. So I have a wide range of experience but more or less all with desktop OS's of one form or another, I was not around to witness the birth of the desktop OS from DOS or any of that kind of stuff so cloud computing is revolutionary to me as it's the first major change in computing. The differences between Windows 98 and Vista, between Mac and Linux, are really not all that different.
237 - Yes, Google is a corporate entity, who wants to make money, but have you noticed how rich they are getting and how few things they charge for? Their business is the ad business. The more people they have using their FREE OS with their FREE web apps in their FREE browser, the more people will view their ads and that will generate income for them. They are such a household name that a free Google OS is going to attract a lot of users and they will be exponentially increasing their income... OK, maybe not that much but they're going to be making a lot more this way. I'm just saying that no, they're not benevolent in motive, not one bit, but their methods of making money are different than that of Microsoft and Google's methods are sure to work whereas Microsoft is getting greedy and shooting themselves in the foot, I mean compare the close to $300 for Windows 7 to the $40 for OSX Snow Leopard, to the free price tag on most Linux distro's, it's actually kind of comical. Google knows that they can't charge an arm and a leg for things, so they make it free and make a killing on advertising, costing the end user nothing except what they spend on buying stuff from the ads, costing the companies nothing because the more they spend on advertising the more income they generate, and then the money goes to Google who pays their increasing numbers of workers to create free software. This is a positive cycle rather than with Microsoft where every dollar I spend goes into Ballmer's pocket! lol, exaggeration a bit there but you can tell I hate Microsoft!
As for the Dell that I was going to buy, I've decided to hold off on that a bit, a huge car repair bill just came in so I'm not even thinking about SSD's anymore, I'm just going to stick with my older machines because when one Linux becomes too heavy, I'll switch to a lighter one!
241 • Fedora vs. Ubuntu: Are you really safe? (by NippoNoob at 2009-11-27 23:39:12 GMT from Brazil)
For a die-hard paranoid, "strong security" is not yet enough security. What to say about Ubuntu security?
The fact that Ubuntu 9.10 doesn't have a rule-set for the iptables firewall and also doesn't pass the "ShieldsUp! port scanning test" at Steve Gibson's website (www.grc.com) is simply SHOCKING, ABSURD, INTOLERABLE. Who could now consider Canonical as being a serious player in the corporate market?
Frankly, I think Fedora has big advantages over Ubuntu: It's reasonably secure, uses Delta RPMs (wonderful stuff when doing a "yum update") and is sponsored by Red Hat, the consolidated leader in FOSS technology. BTW, RHEL is the "de facto" standard in corporate Linux.
Fedora got SELinux along with a marvelous iptables front-end. Canonical doesn't even include gufw (the ufw front-end) in the Ubuntu CD, unlike Mint developer does. But why not replace it with a decent firewall GUI (Firestarter for Ubuntu, GuardDog for Kubuntu)?
Ubuntu got many drawbacks in comparison to some other popular distros. An experienced Linux user who tested Ubuntu for two years told me:
"__ In what concerns to security, Ubuntu is too badly pre-configured. By default, it gives sudo a 5-minute period during which a malicious Trojan would get root privileges and could exploit the system. See how you can change that stupid setting: Type 'sudo visudo' in the terminal. Add the text line 'Defaults:ALL timestamp_timeout=0'. Type 'Ctrl+X' to exit. Save the change to '/etc/sudoers'. Then sudo will no more remain active for 5 minutes, asking for the user password every time you open another program."
I CONFIRMED that problem in the old Ubuntu 5.04 (the only release I tested), but I don't know whether it persists (or not) in the modern version 9.10. Somebody can provide any information? Why Linux vendors make so much hype about features, but remain dead silent about quirks?
Anyway, both Fedora and Ubuntu are suitable to experienced users ONLY. Joe and Jane Sixpack should avoid like the plague any cutting-edge distro! They just don't know what to do when the things go wrong...
242 • Linux Mint 8 Helena (by Paul Gibson on 2009-11-30 02:20:32 GMT from United States)
I just purchased a new Dell Inspiron laptop: 3gb RAM, Core 2 Duo 2.10 Ghz and Windows Vista.
I got this computer instead of the Ubuntu Linux version Dell offers because I was able to get more hardware for the money. Don't ask me why this is.
I fired it up to be sure all worked as expected then I downloaded the new Linux Mint 8 (Helena). I liked what I saw so I decided to install it. The installation took about 15 minutes. The graphical installation process was simple enough even for a novice like me. I mean, in the past I had already needed to reinstall Windows on various computers. Who hasn't had to?
The installer gave me the option to install Helena side by side with Windows. Since I had hardly touched Windows, I gave it a try. It resized my Windows partition and set my Linux Mint next to it without having to mess up my factory Windows installation. Really slick.
I'm fairly new to Linux so I took notes about the rest of the setup process as I went. Below are the notes about my experience:
Upon logging into me new installation, I notice the sound works and the screen resolution is correct. Nothing to do here. I also notice that in the panel notification area is an icon (looking like an internal PC card) notifying me there are “Restricted drivers available”. I click on the icon to see what is available. The available drivers are needed to get my onboard wireless working. It informs me that I need a Broadcom B43 wireless driver as well as a Broadcom STA driver. I click on the first but it fails to work because I don't have the necessary Internet access required to download the necessary drivers. Hummmmmm. That makes some sense anyway.
I decide to plug in the Belkin “Myessentials Wireless G”, USB network adapter I use on a computer downstairs. No drivers required here. My USB adapter is recognized and tells me there were networks available. I click on my network and enter my WPA password and am connected to the Internet.
Now that icon has vanished so I go to the menu and then to “administration” to find the “restricted drivers” area. I click on it to find the dialog box for installing my onboard drivers. After downloading the first driver, I also download the second Broadcom driver. After downloading, I'm prompted to shutdown and restart to make this driver work. I shutdown, remove my USB dongle, and restart. My onboard wireless connects automatically to my network.
Now online, with my internal wireless, I noticed another icon (looking like a padlock) notifying me there are “96 recommended updates available”. Clicking on this starts an “update manager” that advises me about the level of importance of each update and prompts me to download these files. Pleased by the speed on my new fiber optic DSL, these updates take about a minute to download.
Now, off to setup a printer. Back to the menu, “administration”, “printing”. It is nice to find a PDF printer driver already installed by default. Though I'm connected to my home network wirelessly, (nothing had to be done to setup a home network at all, by the way) I simply have to click on “network printer” to reveal my HP Photosmart 3300. One click and it is my default printer. Easy.
Onto my HP Photosmart R827 camera. Plug it in and it works. Nothing to do here.
Onto my SanDisk Sansa c250 MP3 player. Plug it in, Rhythmbox opens. Files transfer . . . Everything works.
How about the scanner? I plugged in my HP Scanjet 3100C and it performs without any further work.
It was nice to see all the programs like Java and multimedia codecs included. The last Windows install I did took me over 3 hours to get to the point that I'm already at with Linux. So where is the lack of hardware support I've heard about? I'm supposed to need to use the command line? Never have. Thanks to Linux Mint and the GNU/Linux community, I thought Linux was supposed to be tough.
On a side note, I was especially pleased to see the new default wallpaper. Not only was it nice looking, it didn't try to remind me of the obvious by having the printed words, “From Freedom Came Elegance”. Just one more touch of elegance as far as I'm concerned. Thanks to all.
Paul Gibson (A pretty average but curious computer user)
243 • #241: Oy! Just oy! (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-30 04:18:06 GMT from United States)
Anyway, both Fedora and Ubuntu are suitable to experienced users ONLY. Joe and Jane Sixpack should avoid like the plague any cutting-edge distro! They just don't know what to do when the things go wrong...
NippoNoob, Joe and Jane Sixpack also don't know what to do when things go wrong in Windows. They call for help. Things go wrong, seriously wrong, much more often in Windows than in Linux.
Joe and Jane Sixpack can't install an OS. Not Ubuntu or Fedora or Windows or MacOS. They use what came on their computer or maybe, just maybe, they let a trusted friend install the OS. If that computer comes with Ubuntu or if that friend installs either Ubuntu or Fedora they will get a system where everything just works. Unlike Windows it is highly unlikely that it will become infested with malware. It won't slow down due to hard drive fragmentation or break due to registry corruption. It will likely just keep working for a very long time to come.
Using Linux isn't harder than using Windows. Getting updates in Fedora or Ubuntu is easier than running Windows Update. It's all automatic. No need to reboot and rerun. Adding new software is easier, too. It's one stop shopping with a point, click and install process.
Simply put, if Joe or Jane Sixpack get their Ubuntu or Fedora or Mandriva the same way they get their Windows they are likely to find that Linux is just plain easier yet you advise them to avoid it. In my culture to such advice we say "Oy!" with a pained look on the face. Just oy!
244 • Clouds (by jake at 2009-11-30 04:37:54 GMT from United States)
Clouds are basically a management & marketing term meaning "the network that I know absolutely nothing about, but I understand that I don't have to pay actual human beings to understand and operate".
The term comes from 1980s and early 1990s textbooks, which portrayed "the network" as a cloud, distancing the student from the actual bits that allow the transportation of data, thus allowing them to focus on what the OSI model calls "the presentation layer" and "the application layer".
People who use the term "cloud" today are, for the most part, either completely clueless about networking in general, or marketing companies looking to separate fools from their money and/or data. Or both. And they either don't care, or they don't know about the potential for privacy issues. Much less the hazard of actually putting corporate data onto servers owned by another corporation.
Seriously, kids ... You have an internet connection. It comes with email. And Web/ftp space. Why, for the love of all that is holy, do you need a hotmail/gmail/whatever email address? Much less a !MyFaceYouTwit account? With the low cost of CPU, memory, storage, and bandwidth, WHY, exactly, would you want to put any personal data on computers maintained by individuals who only exist to pay off the corporate shareholders? They don't care about your personal privacy, all they care about is the bottom line!
It's much cheaper, easier, and more secure to roll out your own data center, be it a home or a Fortune 50. Now, if IBM, Microsoft, Google, HP and Yahoo start sharing "cloud services" I might change my mind ... but they never will for the simple reason that "clouds" don't scale. There is a reason we've moved on from mainframes for day-to-day computing ...
Ah, well. People are sheep. Carry on as you were, rant over ...
Number of Comments: 244
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|• Issue 508 (2013-05-20): Review of Debian 7.0, interviews with Clement Lefebvre and Gaël Duval, scripting with xdotool|
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|• Issue 506 (2013-05-06): Ubuntu and Kubuntu 13.04, Debian "Wheezy", Slackware on systemd, distros for Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 505 (2013-04-29): First look at PCLinuxOS 2013.04, Saucy Salamander, Remastersys and System Imager, Linux containers|
|• Issue 504 (2013-04-22): Look at Bodhi 2.3.0, Ubuntu 13.04 features, building OpenBSD ports, opening large files|
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|• Issue 502 (2013-04-08): Look at Mint 201303 "Debian", Ubuntu versus openSUSE, comparing ZFS and Btrfs file systems|
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|• Issue 500 (2013-03-25): Look at openSUSE 12.3, Ubuntu release changes, Debian backports, growing divide|
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|• Issue 496 (2013-02-25): Review of Chakra 2013.02, The Book of GIMP, Ubuntu and privacy, FreeNAS vs NAS4Free|
|• Issue 495 (2013-02-18): SparkyLinux 2.1 "Ultra", Fedora 19 schedule, Xubuntu on DVD, cloud privacy|
|• Issue 494 (2013-02-11): FreeBSD 9.1, web server stats, Anaconda, rolling-release PC-BSD, fixing broken packages in Arch|
|• Issue 493 (2013-02-04): UberStudent 2.0, OmniBoot 1.0, MariaDB, Enlightenment 0.17|
|• Issue 492 (2013-01-28): Fedora 18 review, systemd, Kali Linux, Ubuntu Unleashed|
|• Issue 491 (2013-01-21): Fuduntu 2013.1, Fedora 18 desktop choices, Consort, accessing encrypted drive|
|• Issue 490 (2013-01-14): Look at Manjaro Linux 0.8.3, openSUSE on Chromebook, Able2Extract 8.0|
|• Issue 489 (2013-01-07): PC-BSD 9.1, Arch spin-offs, rolling-releases, year-end PHR stats, removing applications|
|• Issue 488 (2012-12-24): Reviews of Unity and Puppy Linux 5.4 "Slacko", FreeBSD 10|
|• Issue 487 (2012-12-17): Cinnarch 2012.11.22, OpenMandriva, Fedora Magazine, Tumbleweed, OpenJDK vs Oracle Java|
|• Issue 486 (2012-12-10): Linux Mint 14 review, Ubuntu "spyware" controversy, Haiku overview, troubleshooting Linux servers|
|• Issue 485 (2012-12-03): Kwort Linux 3.5, Mint bug-fix update, Fedora's new Anaconda, defining a distribution|
|• Issue 484 (2012-11-26): Look at SMS 2.0.1, Fedora pre-beta report, Illumos, Secure Boot update|
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|• Issue 482 (2012-11-12): Review of Zenwalk 7.2, Clang in FreeBSD, Omniboot 0.5, priorities on external drives|
|• Issue 481 (2012-11-05): Look at Tails 0.13, EFF on Ubuntu and privacy, Debian installer changes, ext4 data corruption bug|
|• Issue 480 (2012-10-29): Review of Ubuntu 12.10, Wayland 1.0, FreeBSD's pkgng|
|• Issue 479 (2012-10-22): Look at Zentyal 3.0, Debian bug reporting, initiating a halt|
|• Issue 478 (2012-10-15): Slackware 14.0 review, Ubuntu donations, connecting to multiple machines behind router|
|• Issue 477 (2012-10-08): Review of ODROID-X, OpenBSD's anti-Linux song, interview with Vincent Untz, Linux as operating system|
|• Issue 476 (2012-10-01): Review of openSUSE 12.2, Slackware 14.0 features, accessing home computer with SSH|
|• Issue 475 (2012-09-24): Look at PCLinuxOS 2012.08, Ubuntu and Amazon, SolusOS and PiSi, ownCloud|
|• Issue 474 (2012-09-17): Bodhi Linux 2.0.1, OpenIndiana interview, Frugalware history, update notifications|
|• Issue 473 (2012-09-10): The Linux Command Line, Slackware documentation project, Debian's new primary arch, Goobuntu|
|• Issue 472 (2012-09-03): Kororaa Linux 17, OpenIndiana and SchilliX, Ubuntu GNOME remix, home server tip|
|• Issue 471 (2012-08-27): Linux Mint 13 "KDE", Ubuntu 12.10 features, Slax update, folder quotas|
|• Issue 470 (2012-08-20): Liberté Linux 2012.2, Arch and systemd, NetBSD's sysbuild and sysupgrade, 19 years of Debian|
|• Issue 469 (2012-08-13): Peppermint OS Three, SUSE on Secure Boot, GNOME OS, moving email to Linux|
|• Issue 468 (2012-08-06): First look at CentOS 6.3, Debian installer beta, Fedora and MATE, Libtrash|
|• Issue 467 (2012-07-30): Ubuntu Made Easy, Debian "Jessie", OpenBSD on Secure Boot, Rawhide troubles|
|• Issue 466 (2012-07-23): Fuduntu 2012.3, Linux in PC-BSD jails, secure boot on older computers|
|• Issue 465 (2012-07-16): Netrunner 4.2, Mandriva's two codebases, firewalls and window frames|
|• Issue 464 (2012-07-09): Zorin OS 6, FSF's views on secure boot, Virtual PDF Printer|
|• Issue 463 (2012-07-02): TurnKey Linux 11.3, Red Hat and Btrfs, Sabayon's MATE spin, ZFS on Linux|
|• Issue 462 (2012-06-25): Sabayon 9, "Wheezy" freeze, Zorin OS overview, Vinux interview, mounting network shares|
|• Issue 461 (2012-06-18): Linux Mint 13, openSUSE 12. delays, Debian Multimedia, Mageia 3 roadmap|
|• Issue 460 (2012-06-11): Look at Fedora 17, PC-BSD and Slackware interviews, Openfiler and FuguIta|
|• Issue 459 (2012-06-04): Impressions of Mageia 2, Fedora updates, Debian or Raspberry Pie, improving software performance|
|• Issue 458 (2012-05-28): Impressions of SolusOS 1, Linux kernel 3.4, encrypting home folder|
|• Issue 457 (2012-05-21): Linux accessibility, Fedora 17 overview, MultiSystem, launching tasks|
|• Issue 456 (2012-05-14): Look at OpenBSD 5.1, Debian Installer 7.0 alpha, UDS news round-up|
|• Issue 455 (2012-05-07): Review of Ubuntu 12.04, "Quantal Quetzal" plans, Debian infographic|
|• Full list of all issues|