| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 357, 7 June 2010
Welcome to this year's 23rd issue of DistroWatch Weekly! It was a busy week with a plethora of new releases (of mostly smaller distributions) to delight any serious distro tester. Hopefully, we'll be able to cover many of these products in upcoming issues, but today we'll turn our attention to a new version of an old favourite - Yoper Linux 2010. Now available as a set of installable live CDs with KDE 3, KDE 4, LXDE and Xfce desktops, does the new version deliver on its promise to be one of the speediest distributions around? Read on to find out. In the news section, openSUSE developers work on a new product strategy for future releases, Robby Workman introduces Slackware Linux 13.1 and its features, and Ubuntu streamlines the Firefox support model. Also not to be missed, an interesting interview with Ian Weller, a winner of the 2010 Fedora scholarship award. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the May 2010 DistroWatch.com donation is the FileZilla project. Happy reading!
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Taking a look at Yoper 2010
Yoper, which is short hand for Your Operating System, is a project aimed at providing users with a fast, up-to-date distribution. The project's web site mentions that the distro also tries to give users top-line hardware detection and support. The Yoper distro is independently developed, meaning that it's not based off another Linux distribution. While I was writing this review, the project's web site was alternatively on line and off again. I suspect this may be related to traffic due to their recent release. When the site was on line, there was a good supply of information about the distro, recent releases and a support forum. The site displays in either English or German.
The Yoper live CD boots into a curses-based menu which provides the user with the options to boot into the live environment, install the distro to the local drive or reboot the machine. Taking the live option brings the user to a bright KDE 4.4 desktop with no icons and a pleasant blue background. The user is logged in under a non-root account and administrator tasks, such as mounting volumes or installing software, can be performed via the "sudo" command. I encountered only one problem when using the live CD environment (more on that later) and rebooted to try the installer.
The Yoper installer was probably the first indication that the distribution is aimed at people with some prior Linux experience and shouldn't be considered novice-friendly. After displaying the license agreement and offering to perform a media check, it asked me to partition the hard drive. This is done using the cfdisk program, a useful partitioner with a primitive interface. Once partitioning is complete, the user is asked to select which partition will be the "system" partition (/). The user can then, optionally, select a partition to be mounted as /home and, again optionally, select a swap partition. The user is asked which file system should be used and is shown a menu containing popular choices, such as the ext family and XFS. The last two steps are to select which bootloader (if any) should be installed, GRUB or LILO, and then the user is asked to confirm their settings. All of this will be easy enough for someone with some experience installing Linux under their belt, but the combination of curses interface and technical questions will likely put off less advanced users. Really, my only complaint about the installer was that there's no option to return to a previous screen. Moving to the next screen is a one-way trip.
After the installer finishes copying over its files, the system reboots and the user is asked to create a root password. The next step is to pick a time zone from a series of text screens and then create a non-root account. The whole process is a bit strange in that it occasionally switches between interfaces. We start with a curses installer, move to a graphical boot menu, set passwords in a text environment, create a new user in a curses environment, select a time zone via a plain text menu and end up with a graphical login screen. It's quite a trip, but the bottom line is that we do eventually reach a login screen.
Yoper's application menu is piled high with software, including Firefox 3.6, KOffice 2.1, an image viewer, document viewer, blogging client and KMail. We also find a video player, audio player, the K3b disc burner and both VNC and SSH network browsers. The distro is equipped with GParted, Java, Flash and a collection of popular multimedia codecs for playing MP3 files and videos. There are the usual text editors, calculator and address book. One pleasant surprise was the Kleopatra certificate and encryption tool, encouraging users to protect their data right out of the box. Yoper additionally comes with the GNU Compiler Collection pre-installed, making life a little easier for developers and people who like to build their own software. For the most part I found the applications provided by Yoper worked well and the only problem I ran into was with Java. Attempting to run any Java program, even just running Java to check the version number, would cause the virtual machine to crash with a class exception error.
Yoper 2010 - media player and certificate manager
(full image size: 331kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
As mentioned previously, I ran into one issue with the live CD. During my test drive of Yoper, I ran the distribution on two physical machines, one generic desktop PC (2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card) and my HP laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card). I also tried running Yoper in a virtual machine to see how it would fair with less memory. On both physical machines, I found that Yoper would refuse to boot with the default settings. Turning off ACPI from the boot menu allowed both machines to boot, but prevented them from shutting down properly. Otherwise, I encountered no hardware issues on my desktop machine. My screen was set to its maximum resolution and sound worked without any configuration. My laptop didn't come through quite as well. Its screen resolution was placed at a reasonable setting, and my touchpad worked as expected without any issues. Sound worked, though unlike my desktop, it was muted at start-up. My Intel wireless card was not picked up, nor was my Novatel mobile modem properly detected. Combined with the ACPI issue, this made my laptop a poor match with Yoper.
While the web site claims that Yoper is for people who are "looking for a little bit of extra speed", I didn't find the default desktop to be noticeably faster or slower than other modern KDE systems. To be fair, the Yoper project does offer other desktop environments, such as Xfce, which may be more competitive, and I haven't tried those editions yet. I also found that the default KDE setup takes more memory than other KDE 4-centric distros I'd tried recently. When running in a virtual machine, I found Yoper needed about 1 GB of memory to function smoothly, or at least 512 MB with some swap space to run at all.
Yoper 2010 - staying organized
(full image size: 403kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
The Yoper distribution uses Smart as its package manager. The command-line interface for Smart is fairly similar to that of other package managers, such as YUM or APT. While using the command-line interface, I was able to easily find, install and remove the distro's RPM packages. I found using the graphical front-end for Smart a bit less pleasant. The default layout for the package manager GUI displays a list of software categories. The user is able to click on a category to expand it and show the packages which fit into that category. Performing a search for a specific package name likewise provides a list of categories which contain packages with matching names.
My issue with Yoper's graphical front-end to package management is the number of categories listed. There are dozens and dozens of categories and some of them have very similar names. For instance, it's not immediately obvious what the difference between "System/daemon" and "System/daemons" is, or "Network/filetransfer" as opposed to "Network/file transfer" (note the space). It seems that each package appears in only one category, so selecting the correct category can be time consuming. A search for "kernel" returns five categories, only one of which contains binary kernels and drivers.
Yoper 2010 - smart package management
(full image size: 313kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
Speaking of the kernel, the developers, perhaps in an effort to offer better performance across a wide range of situations, have provided a number of pre-compiled kernels. There's the vanilla, general-purpose kernel package and kernels with PAE support. There are also kernels with the alternative scheduler, BFS, and kernels with both BFS and support for PAE. Also, Yoper is a rolling-release distro, making the project's releases more snapshots of the repository than a base point from which security patches may be applied. While this means that Yoper users will be able to receive the latest software as the developers add it to the repository, it also means that they will need to be careful not to introduce version incompatibilities to their systems.
The security practices of Yoper didn't leave much to complain about, at first. The distribution runs off the live CD as a non-root user, the first-boot procedure sets passwords and creates a regular (non-root) account. From what I've seen via the package manager so far, the project provides regular updates. The big thing, which caught me by surprise, is that I found my regular user could become root via su without using a password. My root account had a password and it was required for logging in from the welcome screen, but my user could become the administrator simply by typing "su". A little poking around led me to discover the so-called regular account created during the setup process was granted special privileges, but accounts created post-setup were not. This may not be immediately apparent to people setting up their machines because the first account created acts like a regular user (unable to delete system folders, install packages or create users, etc) on its own, until the user runs su or sudo, At which point the user becomes root without requiring a password. This strikes me as a large oversight or a very unusual design.
I went into this review hoping for good hardware support and great performance, as advertised on the Yoper web site and found neither. The installer works, though it's a bit crude and the graphical package manager is one of the least friendly I've encountered. Despite the issues I ran into, ranging from web site availability to getting Java working, there are some things I feel the project is doing right. For instance, Yoper offers modern kernels in various flavours, covering a wide range of use cases. There's a good selection of software pre-installed which will probably appeal mostly to developers and system administrators. The project seems to be doing a good job of balancing a rolling release with stability too. All in all, I think the project could use some polish, but it's got some good points in its favour, especially if you like to tinker.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
openSUSE strategy meeting, interview with Slackware's Robby Workman, Ubuntu's new Firefox support model
In recent years openSUSE's popularity has seemingly fallen behind Ubuntu and Fedora which have emerged as the leading Linux distributions available today. Is there anything that can reverse this trend? Last week, the openSUSE developers concluded a strategy meeting which attempted to summarise the strengths and weaknesses of the distribution while estimating future changes in computer usage: "Beside of the usual meeting things (introduction, ground rules, goals of the meeting) we wrapped up the stuff we did over the last months during our weekly IRC meetings. So we concentrated on our users, the strength and weakness openSUSE has, the competition we face and our expectations for future changes in the way we use computers. When building a strategy, you acknowledge that you can't be the best everywhere, you can't be everything to everybody, if you want to be successful, so you need to choose your focus -- the already existing strength might be a good start to focus on." Some of the ideas that came up during the strategy meeting are being turned into concrete proposals which openSUSE promises to present to the public later this week: "We ended up having 3 possible strategies which should be worked out to our community in smaller groups during this week and be published on June 8 for further discussion."
* * * * *
Slackware Linux is often perceived as a one-man distribution built largely by Patrick Volkerding. But going through the project's changelog it's hard not to note the presence of many active contributors who help with compiling packages or fixing bugs. One of the names that show up rather often is Robby Workman, a long-term Slackware developer who is probably Patrick's right hand in the distribution's hierarchy at the moment. Last week, the Slack World web site published an interview with Robby who introduces the recently released Slackware 13.1 and talks about other popular topics, such as the ever present "no dependency resolution feature" of Slackware Linux: "I happen to think that complaints of 'missing dependency hell' are rooted in expecting Slackware to work like $other_distro, and those individuals should just use $other_distro instead. Ultimately, I don't recall ever having any real problems with missing dependencies, and before anyone brings the 'but you're an advanced user' argument to the table, I have to point out that I've not always been an advanced user -- I was a brand new Linux user in 2004, and I started with Slackware; even then, I don't recall experiencing anything remotely similar to a 'missing dependency hell.' IMHO, that is because I didn't approach my Slackware experience expecting it to do things that it wasn't designed to do; instead, I learned how Slackware works and used it that way."
* * * * *
The Ubuntu developers have announced changes in their support model for Mozilla Firefox. Up until now, new minor versions of the popular browser were made available as part of the distribution's update procedure, but once Mozilla's official support for an older version ends, the Ubuntu developers have to back-port any security fixes to an older version of the browser themselves. This cumbersome procedure is about to end. In future, all supported Ubuntu releases will receive the latest Firefox versions as these become available: "Firefox 3.0 (and XULRunner 1.9) are now unsupported by Mozilla. Rather than back-porting security fixes to these now, we are moving to a support model where we will be introducing major new upstream versions in stable releases. The reason for this is the support periods from Mozilla are gradually becoming shorter, and it will be more and more difficult for us to maintain our current support model in the future. Next week, Mozilla will release Firefox 3.6.4 as a minor update to the 3.6 series. This will be rolled out to Lucid, Hardy, Jaunty and Karmic (along with XULRunner 184.108.40.206)."
Still on the subject of Ubuntu, a reader has emailed to tell us about an open source friendly hardware vendor based in Sydney, Australia, which sells computers pre-installed with Ubuntu: "I thought I'd pass this your way as I've seen it crop up in the comments section of the Distrowatch Weekly - there's a company (I'm not associated with this company, by the way) that's offering not only Ubuntu 10.04 as an option on all of their machines, but also an Ubuntu gaming pack that consists of some FOSS games (namely Nexuiz, Warsow and Battle for Wesnoth). These are listed side by side with Windows 7 + close-sourced games so it's cool to see Ubuntu in the mix. The link: pcg4m3r.com. I'm all for supporting any company that support Linux and especially Linux gaming -- I don't suppose you're able to mention this in the DWW?" Sure we are. So if you live in Australia and have a need for a new Linux computer, why not consider giving the pcg4m3r guys some business?
|Interviews (by Jesse Smith)
Chatting with Ian Weller
In case you haven't heard of Ian Weller (pictured on the right) before, please allow me to introduce him. Ian is this year's winner of the 2010 Fedora scholarship. The scholarship program is set up to recognize college and university students (or soon-to-be students) who have contributed to open source software in general and the Fedora Project in particular. Ian has been working with Fedora for the past two years, designing, packaging and working with the Professors' Open Source Summer Experience (POSSE). He's a part of the new generation who not only understands the importance of using open-source software, but is also dedicated to working with, and giving back to, the community. I had a chance to exchange e-mails with Ian and find out how he got involved with Fedora.
DW: Let's start with a little background on yourself. Where did you grow up, and how did you first become interested in Linux?
IW: I grew up (mostly) in Salina, Kansas, USA. (For those people who don't know anything about Kansas, it's about 90 miles north of Wichita.) The reason I became interested in Linux was two-fold, and both of those reasons came from two different people. The first told me of the existence of a free (as in price) operating system, which came in handy when I wanted to build a computer. The second taught me about free software, in terms of freedom, and introduced me to the GPL. At this time I was on the family iMac (which is now proudly entering its tenth year of service) and I needed to expand.
DW: What caused you to select Fedora as your desktop OS?
IW: Both friends explained above had used Red Hat-based systems before, so I think Fedora was a no-brainer. (It was also a no-brainer since both of these guys would be able to help me get started with it and start understanding Linux. I had a bit of help already by spending about 95 per cent of my time on Mac OS in a Bash shell.)
DW: As I understand it, you first started working with the Fedora Project by packaging software for Fedora. And then you started taking on other tasks. Could you tell us a little about your initiation into the project? What was the process for becoming a contributor?
IW: Yeah, I started out with packaging. I like concrete things that can be picked apart and understood, and packaging seemed to match this ideal for the most part. A lot of people within Fedora laugh at me when I tell them about this because I undoubtedly picked one of the hardest sub-projects to join. This was also pre-FAS2, so signing up to be a Fedora contributor required that you knew how to generate both an SSH key and a GPG key (as opposed to the 1-click process to sign the Contributor License Agreement we have now). I picked a way through with a fairly high bar of participation and then proceeded to work on lowering that bar.
DW: You have also taken part in the Professors' Open Source Summer Experience (POSSE). Could you explain what that is and what your role was?
IW: POSSE is a project sponsored by Red Hat where we teach computer science professors how to teach open-source software. It's a lot better of an experience as a student when you join a large code base like Fedora or Mozilla and can say, "I did that." (Mozilla especially, because you can hack on a small feature that makes its way into a browser that almost everybody knows about.) I think professors realize this, too. So we help them understand the open-source process.
DW: It must be quite thrilling to be awarded this scholarship. Where are you going to university and what will you be studying?
IW: I'll be going to the University of Kansas, studying computer science. My college selection process was somewhat influenced by my peers within Fedora. Some of them told me they wanted to see me go to a university like Oregon State or Seneca (Toronto) where open source is a huge part of the computer science curriculum. Others told me they wanted me to go to places that seem open-source friendly and push them over that edge. I think KU is part of that last group -- they teach programming languages that are fairly standard in open source (C++ and Java) and are generally Linux friendly.
The key is learning something new, and I know only enough C and Java to get by. (I can only write Java in an IDE because I don't understand the language at all.) I already know about open source, I already know about Linux -- it's time to round out what I know.
DW: You've done work with packages and with the Fedora Project's Wiki. Are there other challenges you'd like to take on, either in the Fedora Project or in the open source community in general?
IW: One thing we're missing is updated brand guidelines. We have some usage guidelines for the Fedora logo (a trademark managed by Red Hat), but we're missing guidelines for all of the other bits you've probably seen around -- the four foundations artwork, the FUDCon logo, etc. That's one of my goals for this summer specifically.
People who read this might also have seen my work surrounding statistics within the Fedora Project. This is extremely fun -- I love being asked a question and being able to turn around in 45 minutes with a dataset that supports a wider question (such as "do we need to require a contributor to be in Fedora for a certain amount of time before they become an ambassador").
There's also mw, which is an attempt to abstract MediaWiki Wikis into version control systems like SVN and Git. It's a hack to let you use an interface more friendly to yours truly (the terminal) to work on Wikis. It has very few features other than that alone, and people are already using it just because they hate using a browser to edit a Wiki. Enough so that they've run into bugs and have been writing patches. Some serious problems have been fixed without my lifting a finger -- open source is friggin' great.
DW: What is one thing you'd like to see improve in the Linux community? Hardware support, more cross-distro collaboration, something else?
People are jerks sometimes. I can barely read the devel [mailing] list any more without wanting to punch somebody for being inconsiderate or making an ass out of themselves. Before people say something, they need to stop and think what it's like to be in someone else's shoes for a moment. I know, it's a concept we all learned in kindergarten, but sometimes it needs a little bit of re-learning. A lot of people are turned off from a lot of communities because of the people in them. (xkcd.com/438
comes to mind.)
DW: Ian, thank you very much and best of luck at the U of K.
|Released Last Week
Parsix GNU/Linux 3.5
Alan Baghumian has announced the release of Parsix GNU/Linux 3.5, a desktop-oriented distribution based on Debian's testing branch: "We are proud to announce that the final Parsix GNU/Linux 3.5r0 ISO images are available for immediate download. This release provides a stable computing platform for your daily uses and tasks. Package repositories are synchronized with Debian testing repositories as of April 7, 2010. Frankie ISO images will not fit on CD and a DVD is required to burn them. These images are compiled using Squashfs 4.0 with LZMA compression and for the first time GRUB 2 is used as default live DVD boot loader. The kernel build system has been modified and improved vastly to produce better kernel packages. Our brand new Linux 220.127.116.11 kernel with improved configuration is patched using the latest TuxOnIce suspension / hibernation and Kon Kolivas's BFS patches." See the release announcement and release notes for more details.
Parsix GNU/Linux 3.5 - a desktop distribution based on Debian's testing branch
(full image size: 1,296kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
François Dupoux has announced the release of SystemRescueCd 1.5.5, a Gentoo-based live CD with tools for data recovery and disk partitioning tasks: "SystemRescueCd 1.5.5 comes with new installers for Linux and Windows that make it easy to install SystemRescueCd on a removable device. In other words it will be possible to just download the ISO image and run the installer. They come with up-to-date copies of the programs required during the installation so that it works even on system where recent versions of these tools are not installed. If you are running Linux on your computer, you just have to execute the script called 'usb_inst.sh' which is stored at the root of the CD-ROM ISO image." Other changes: "updated standard kernels to 18.104.22.168 and alternative kernels to 22.214.171.124; updated NTFS-3G to 2010.5.16...." See the release announcement and changelog for further details.
Tony Sales has announced the release of Vinux 3.0, an Ubuntu-based distribution designed for blind and visually impaired computer users: "On behalf of the whole Vinux community I am happy to announce the 3rd release of Vinux - Linux for the visually impaired, based on Ubuntu 10.04. This version of Vinux provides three screen-readers, two full-screen magnifiers, dynamic font-size and colour-theme changing as well as support for USB Braille displays. Vinux is now available both as an installable live CD and as a DEB package which will automatically convert an existing Ubuntu installation into an accessible Vinux system. In addition, we now have our own Vinux package repository (from which you can install our customised packages with APT or Synaptic) and a dedicated Vinux IRC channel." Visit the project's home page to read the full release announcement.
Jay Klepacs has announced the release of aLinux 14.0, a desktop distribution and live CD featuring the KDE 3 desktop. What's new in this release? "aLinux now uses a graphical installer; tons of bug fixes and many system init script updates to make the boot process quicker; RPM Manager now defaults to LZMA compressed archives aka XZ; while we fully transition to LZMA which is fully supported as of aLinux 14.0 there are still a few GZIP remnants that might not work as they once did, like in earlier Midnight Commanders; system - X.Org 7.5, KDE 3.5.10, KOffice 1.6.3, Linux kernel 2.6.34, GNOME 2.14.3, Perl 5.10.0, glibc 2.5, GCC 4.1.2, PHP 5.2.0 and MySQL 5.0.33; by default aLinux on X Window / KDE can view most common and not so common Unicode, UTF-8, ISO-10646 font/glyph locales in applications such as Konqueror, Firefox, SeaMonkey, GVim, Kedit, Konsole." Here is the brief release announcement.
aLinux 14.0 - one of the few distributions that has stayed with KDE 3
(full image size: 608kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Untangle Gateway 7.3
Untangle, a Debian-based network gateway with pluggable modules for network applications, has been updated to version 7.3: "We are pleased to announce general availability of Untangle 7.3. Our latest version has many feature enhancements and fixes. It also includes the capability to completely 'white-label' Untangle for OEM purposes. Enhanced download and upgrade UI progress meter - when Untangle applications are downloaded or when future upgrades occur, Untangle server will now display more details about the download / upgrade as it happens. Platform enhancements - our commitment to support different kinds of hardware and network interface cards (NICs) continues unabated, we now have much broader support for practically all Intel NICs and select Broadcomm cards. With this release we have also made performance improvements in Untangle to consume less memory." Read the rest of the release notes for a complete list of changes.
Pardus Linux 2009.2
Onur Küçük has announced the release of Pardus Linux 2009.2: "The second update release of the Pardus 2009 family, Pardus Linux 2009.2 is released. The newest member of the Pardus 2009 series comes with advanced driver support, enhanced desktop environment and updated versions of packages in our repositories, providing enhanced stability, performance and easily installable environment with thousands of open-source software. One of the highlights of the new release is the latest stable KDE, version 4.4.4, and Qt 4.6.2, coming with many bug fixes, new netbook mode and new features of the Plasma system. Firefox 3.6.3 to safely browse the Internet, GIMP 2.6.8 for graphical work, the OpenOffice.org 3.2.1 office suite and programming systems like Python 2.6.5 are only a few of the updated packages of the new release." Read the complete release announcement and release notes for further details.
Salix OS 13.1
George Vlahavas has announced the release of Salix OS 13.1, a Slackware-based distribution with Xfce as the preferred desktop: "Salix 13.1 has been released. Available in both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, Salix 13.1 is fully backwards compatible with Slackware 13.1. Salix 13.1 is built on top of a Slackware 13.1 base and offers a streamlined Xfce desktop environment with selected applications following the 'one application per task' philosophy. Salix 13.1, can be installed using three different installation modes: 'core', 'basic' and 'full'. The 'full' installation mode installs all software that is included in the ISO images. Mozilla Firefox and Claws-Mail are the applications chosen for your web browsing and email needs, accompanied by the Pidgin instant messaging client, the Transmission torrent client and the wicd wired and wireless network manager. A complete OpenOffice.org suite is provided for all your office work." Read the rest of the release announcement to learn more about the features of this release.
Salix OS 13.1 - a Slackware-based desktop distribution with many user-friendly enhancements
(full image size: 570kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Andrew Gillis has announced the release of VortexBox 1.4, a Fedora-based Linux distribution for music servers and jukeboxes: We are pleased to announce the release of VortexBox 1.4. Continuing with our goal to make VortexBox the universal server for any media player we have added full DLNA support to VortexBox. DLNA is the future of media sharing and many players such as PS3, Windows 7 Media Player, and Samsung televisions support DLNA. Now you can easily serve your music and video files to all these devices. We have also added Bliss to the VortexBox web GUI. Bliss can find cover art for even the most obscure albums. As usual there are also many other fixes and updates requested by the VortexBox community." Here is the brief release announcement.
Ylmf OS 3.0
Ylmf OS is a new Ubuntu-based distribution from China with the GNOME desktop tweaked to resemble Microsoft Windows XP. Version 3.0 was released early this week based on Ubuntu 10.04, with the major components being Linux kernel 2.6.32-22.33, X.Org Server 1.7.6, GCC 4.4.3, and GNOME 2.30.0. It allows for a live CD mode, and one can log in with username "ylmfos" and an empty password. The live CD employs Squashfs LZMA, which combines one of the best compression algorithms, LZMA, and one of the best compressed file systems available nowadays, Squashfs, so as to include as much software as possible. Ylmf OS 3.0 also supports several approaches for installation. It includes a number of classical Linux applications for both newbies and veterans, and supports Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese and English. Here is the full release announcement (in Chinese) with screenshots.
Ylmf OS 3.0 - a Chinese Ubuntu-based distribution with a Windows XP-like user interface
(full image size: 566kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Barry Kauler has announced the release of Quirky 1.2, a fast, minimalist desktop Linux distribution with many characteristics of Puppy Linux, but built with a different toolkit: "Quirky 1.2. This continues bug fixing of 1.0/1.1, but also many packages are upgraded and new packages and ideas incorporated. In particular, a wider range of video/audio formats are supported, which is the main reason the live CD image file is a little bigger. There is now a very small HTML viewer for displaying local help files - this has basic CSS support. Release notes: many utilities and small applications upgraded; multimedia packages upgraded; many bug fixes; simple local-help HTML viewer with libgtkhtml. This release is supposed to play just about any audio/video file, DVD, embedded or streaming media, but not yet WebM/VP8 - I am targeting that for Quirky 1.3." Read the complete release announcement to find out more about the latest release of Quirky.
Sabayon Linux 5.3
Fabio Erculiani has announced the release of Sabayon Linux 5.3, a Gentoo-based distribution for the desktop with custom package management and many cutting-edge features: "The best, refined blend of GNU/Linux, coming with bleeding edge edges is eventually here - say hello to Sabayon 5.3, available in both GNOME and KDE editions. Features: based on the new GCC 4.4 and glibc 2.10; shipped with a desktop-optimized Linux kernel 2.6.34; provides extra server-optimized and OpenVZ-enabled kernels in repositories; installable in 10 minutes; fast boot time and lightweight default system; official Btrfs file system support; features X.Org 7.5 and up-to-date open-source, NVIDIA, AMD video drivers; contains GNOME 2.28 (with GNOME Shell) and KDE 4.4.3...." Read the rest of the release notes for a full list of changes.
Ultimate Edition 2.7
Glenn Cady has announced the release of Ultimate Edition 2.7, an Ubuntu-based distribution on a DVD with several desktop environments and extra software packages: "Ultimate Edition 2.7 was built off Ultimate Edition 2.6 (Ubuntu 10.04). Major difference being that it has been fully updated and has the following environments, user selectable at the login screen: KDE, Xfce, GNOME, LXDE, Openbox. I am not going to do a huge write up on this operating system, I am sure it will be downloaded more then Ultimate Edition 2.6 was. I have said in the past, I am not a KDE man, it looks too much like that 'other OS' I will return to Ultimate Edition 2.6. That does not mean our users are not interested in exploring and using these environments. I have included a Conky script I wrote that will generate as per each computer. This script will be in your home folder when installed (your choice to run it or not)." Here is the brief release announcement for a full list of changes.
Ultimate Edition 2.7 - an Ubuntu remix on a DVD
(full image size: 1,176kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
May 2010 DistroWatch.com donation: FileZilla receives US$300.00|
We are happy to announce that the recipient of the May 2010 DistroWatch.com donation is FileZilla, an FTP client. It receives US$300.00 in cash.
FileZilla offers an intuitive, easy-to-use graphical interface for transferring files using the FTP, FTPS and SFTP protocols. Some of its most interesting features include: "Cross-platform - runs on Windows, Linux, BSD and Mac OS X; IPv6 support; available in many languages; supports resume and transfer of large files; tabbed user interface; powerful site manager and transfer queue; bookmarks; drag & drop support; configurable transfer speed limits; file name filters; directory comparison; network configuration wizard; remote file editing; keep-alive; HTTP/1.1, SOCKS5 and FTP-Proxy support; logging to file; synchronized directory browsing; remote file search." For further information please see the project's feature page.
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$24,478 to various open-source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NDISwrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300)
* * * * *
New distributions added to database
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- SECmic. SECmic is a Kubuntu-based security distribution containing over 200 pre-installed security-oriented applications.
- TasOS Linux. TasOS Linux is an Ubuntu remix with a modified set of applications which include Avidemux, Bluefish, GIMP, Inkscape, Ubuntu Tweak, VLC and WINE.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 14 June 2010.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
1 • Donation (by Anonymous on 2010-06-07 13:44:41 GMT from United States) |
to follow in FileZilla's donation why not donate to CloneZilla?
2 • FileZilla & VLC contributions (by Verndog on 2010-06-07 13:51:45 GMT from United States)
I see FileZilla won the award. Good for them. I don't use the product, but it must be worthy.
Also in 2008 VLC won the award. I just recently installed VLC to see if it could run my copied DVD movies as a DVD player would, and it does. Not only that but it also plays anything else I throw at it! I don't remember in the past that VLC worked it well. It does now!!!
3 • BolgenOS (by Tom on 2010-06-07 13:53:34 GMT from United Kingdom)
A Russia schoolboy has created (yet another) Ubuntu clone but appears to have stirred up a lot of fuss in mainstream news-reports
or translated into English
Now the question appears to be whether Cannonical should push their copywrite position or allow BolgenOS to continue to be installed on school systems in Russia.
4 • Losing interest (by Gene Venable on 2010-06-07 14:09:48 GMT from United States)
Maybe this is just the path of a typical DistroWatch reader, but I am drifting away. I wonder if it's your apparent coverage of an increasingly fragmented Linux community? Somehow, I just can't get particularly excited about a distro called Yoper for example. I used to eagerly turn to DistroWatch every Monday morning. Now I sometimes forget to read it at all... Hopefully I will change or Distrowatch will change.
5 • RE #4 (by AC on 2010-06-07 14:15:49 GMT from United States)
since I'm sure the editor will accept community content, why not write a short piece to be included into distrowatch weekly?
it might be fun, and hey, you could always learn something :)
6 • BolgenOS (by TRF on 2010-06-07 14:17:21 GMT from Ukraine)
BolgenOS deal is total crap. The boy totally fulled everyone, he presented the GIMP as developed analog of photoshop without any mentions on real authors, they indeed appeared on his blog only few weeks later. He also modified Aurora and so CREATED a new-browser, which is totally untrue, anyhow he didn't mentioned on this either.
What he indeed created is so called Popov's anti-virus, there is no apparent need in this feature since you're using *unix. Else you may use Clam ...
Canonical should sue him ... because his moto was "New operating system with fancy wallpaper and antivirus" ... any mentions on ubuntu? they've appeared only 2-3 days ago...
7 • DreamLinux (by Harry Barracuda on 2010-06-07 14:18:02 GMT from Bahrain)
One of my favourite distros, but they have exceeded bandwidth on their only download site.
Which means people have either been eagerly awaiting the new version, or they aren't exactly rich.
8 • I disagree, but maybe because im new hear (by David Trotter on 2010-06-07 14:19:16 GMT from United Kingdom)
Conserning Gene's comment on DWW i feel that any and every distro has its place. Also i don't see what you want ...Ubuntu, Debian, OpenSUSE and Fedora reviews over and over again. I find DWW intresting and informative everyweek (some weeks more than others granted). But where else on the internet can you get a quick run down of the last weeks news in the open-source world.
Thanks Distrowatch you have helped me alot while i was finding my feet in linux and picking a right distro for me. I will continue to read DWW.
9 • #4 (by Unome on 2010-06-07 14:28:43 GMT from Israel)
Some may find this interesting, an Arch version of Wolvix by Godane:
Unfortunately he doesn't have a "proper", Distrowatch approved website so you probably won't hear about it unless someone mentions it here in the comments section.
Oh I agree with #4. And before someone "witty" suggests it, I might just write my own review of a distro and submit it to Ladislav.
10 • RE: 9 (by ladislav on 2010-06-07 14:42:38 GMT from Taiwan)
I might just write my own review of a distro and submit it to Ladislav.
Or better still, just create a new distro then send me the ISO image by email and ask me to list it on DistroWatch. A web site for a distro? That's so nineties....
11 • Haven't Lost Interest (by Tony on 2010-06-07 14:50:12 GMT from United States)
I agree with David's comment regarding DWW content. Some weeks seem to be interesting and some are not so much. However, I still enjoy this web site even if some weeks they are not of interest to me. I'm a fan of all the Ubuntu variants, and that where my interest mostly lies, but I also like being exposed to the other distros as well. I second that motion! Thanks Distrowatch!!!
12 • the buntus and Ylmf OS (by meanpt on 2010-06-07 14:56:49 GMT from Portugal)
Still keeping my YLmf 2.0, based on Ubuntu 9.10. Against my experience with Ubuntu 9.10 and other buntus of then, Ymlf OS did work fine and better within the minimum required 384 MB RAM. It did it better than Xubuntu and even Mint LXDE. Against my believe, it proved I could use and recommend to friends a buntu to run in a virtual machine for 1GB RAM MS Window's hosts. Now Ylmf OS 3.0 is based in the Ubuntu 10.04. Again, the 10.04 is a pain to run in my virtual (and virtually minimum required) 512 MB RAM environment while Ylmf OS 3.0 still make it smoothly, but much slower than the Ylmf OS 2.0 did and does with 384 MB of RAM. Unfortunately, it seems this will be my last Ylfm OS ot keep.
Which brings me to another area of discussion. Some good distros are not exposed to the DW audience because they are not listed in the first 100s. The first time picked Ylmf it was listed in the waiting list, well under others that seem to be on that list since 2004 (making me wondering if they still deserve to be there), which is a nonsense. Moroever, some good distros (Paldo and others), which are better (imho) than Yoper are still striving to get some exposure, while lying in what I call the always going to be second tier hidden list with nice gems. From time to time I think they should be appreciated. And here goes my idea. One of these days I found the DW hitting list on the front page completely jerked, with the first positions taken by the least ranked offers. So, why not do it again and, for some days in a week, or a week in a month, to invert the list, or alternate the first 100's with the second 100s, and those with the most recent additions lists?
13 • DistroWatch (by Tom on 2010-06-07 14:57:01 GMT from United Kingdom)
It is great to see another week at DW.
@ Gene. I too used to be in here a lot and an avid reader eager to read and join in early on a Monday morning. Partly the competition was not great at all but mostly i found myself very much better informed about issues in forums or ways of dealing with quirky hardware or even improved my understanding of the OS i do use. My advice is take a break for a few weeks. I tend to find things grab at me as i scroll by and suddenly time has flown or not. Choices choices
Really good to see FileZilla win the prize at DW this week and great to hear that DW made possible all that is VLC today ;) One of the main reasons i am reading this week was spotting Vinux on the front page a couple of days ago. Also Untangle interested me but VortexBox grabbed me. It is fantastic to see Quirky. Puppy is really great but generated a really strange following of clones. Often with Ubuntu clones we think \"Why bother, just install Ubuntu and tweak it\" or something. A local pub landlord made his own jukebox using a different OS but VortexBox would have made it much easier. A new band arrive and hand their Cd over the bar and we get to listen to their latest songs. Sometimes a nightmare.
14 • Re: @2 • FileZilla & VLC contributions (by Osoloco on 2010-06-07 15:03:58 GMT from Ecuador)
Good for FileZilla receiving the donation, it is a fine solution, indeed (I thought a project can get a donation only once...). Anyway I suggest again a future donation to GCompris ( http://gcompris.net/-Order-Donate- ), since free software educational projects usually don't get the support they deserve/need.
VLC has always worked well :) It is one of my favorite multimedia applications.
15 • style (by Tom on 2010-06-07 15:04:33 GMT from United Kingdom)
I can understand people trying to copy the style of Ubuntu, or Apple and claiming it as their own but trying to copy the style of Windows?? Just install DVL and have done with it.
16 • #10 (by Unome on 2010-06-07 15:04:38 GMT from Germany)
Ahhhh sarcasm. Well I don't speak for Godane but he does actually have a very nice website on WordPress and I admire his work.
Just for the record, I am not quite like #4. I criticize but I still look forward to Monday and reading DW.
17 • Bogus OS? (by Eric on 2010-06-07 15:05:17 GMT from Germany)
The names says it all.. One big bogus
18 • #16 (by Unome on 2010-06-07 15:06:26 GMT from Denmark)
I said "website", I meant blog. Sorry for the double post.
19 • RE 14 FileZilla donation (by ladislav on 2010-06-07 15:15:36 GMT from Taiwan)
Yes, I was too quick with the donation - I only realised after I pressed the "donate" buttion that FileZilla had already received one. Never mind, GCompris will get the next one.
20 • RE:18, Location? (by Eddie Wilson on 2010-06-07 15:17:46 GMT from United States)
Unome are you using TOR or something similar? I noticed that your location keeps changing. I'm just curious.
21 • Re: #2 & #14 VLC (by Sly on 2010-06-07 15:25:17 GMT from United States)
I agree with your assessment of VLC. I use to love Amarok, but they did not include 'shoutcast' (internet radio) in their latest version. Also Amarok took out a variety of other user customization options which IMHO gave them an edge. I'm extremely dismayed the fact that for Amarok 'progress' seems to mean dropping extras that users love. I think the've digressed instead of improved.
I've latched on to VLC and I find that the fidelity of VLC when playing music is head and shoulders above Amarok.
22 • TOR (by Unome on 2010-06-07 15:27:08 GMT from Denmark)
Yes. It is running from a flash drive:
23 • DWW - Keep up the good work (by Ken on 2010-06-07 15:54:22 GMT from Canada)
I still tune in every Monday! I don't have time to search for the latest info in the *nix world, plus that invariably leads to WWILFing and many wasted hours.
Have the folks at distrowatch considered a streaming radio channel? Many years back, soon after the dawn of the interwebz, maybe getting close to coffee break time, a fellow started BeOS radio, that mixed royalty free music (of just about any conceivable genre) with news bits about developments in the BeOS world, and occasional notes about other OS/computer news (copyright, EFF, DRM issues, etc)
That way I could do my regular work routine, while remaining current in linux info.
24 • Robby Workman interview (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-06-07 16:10:58 GMT from United States)
Robby Workman is correct that Slackware is not like other distros. Many things are done differently and many things that are considered basics in other distros, i.e.: automated dependency checking and resolution, are not included. That is part of the Slackware design philosophy and that's fine.
Where the Slackware community often misses the mark is in understanding that reviews of Slackware aren't intended for dyed-in-the-wool Slackware users. They are written so that folks who don't know Slackware or haven't tried it in many years will know what it offers, it's strengths (and there are many) and it's weaknesses. As such, comparisons to distros readers are likely to be familiar with are inevitable.
I always take a lot of heat from the Slackware community when I review their distro and I fully expect 13.1 will be no different in that regard. It isn't that I expect Slackware to "do something it wasn't designed to do" but rather I feel that the design rather deliberately lacks things other distros have. Pointing that out for non-Slackware users is part of what a review should be.
As far as Slackware being easy for new users, well... on that neither Mr. Workman nor anyone else in the Slackware community will ever accept a standard definition of usability. Their idea of ease of use is unique.
25 • shopping pc's (by forlin on 2010-06-07 16:39:13 GMT from Portugal)
I liked the pcg4m3r's pricing policy: "Operating system: w7+$180, Ubuntu+$0. All clever retaillers should do the same. Dell, Alineware, Acer or HP, too. Competition is good for the consummer's pockets and W7 would soon be given away for free... as in price. As in freedom, Linux will allways remain a supperior offer, due to the consumer abillity to change, improve or adapt it at he's own needs.
26 • UCC -> MCC clone ? (by glyj on 2010-06-07 16:45:53 GMT from France)
27 • +1 (by forlin on 2010-06-07 17:03:53 GMT from Portugal)
Comment deleted (for corrections please email me directly).
28 • Slackware (by Omari on 2010-06-07 17:24:39 GMT from United States)
Hi Caitlyn @ 24,
Having read your previous reviews of Slackware, I think the way you characterize your reviews in your above comment is inaccurate. For instance, your review of Slackware 12.1 at O'Reilly spent several sentences knocking the lack of "sane package management including dependency checking." Indeed, you do expect Slackware to include a package manager like those in other distributions and you criticize Slackware for not having it. You criticize Slackware not because it does not do something it promises to do, but rather, because it does not do something that you want it to do. It's fine to be that way in your reviews, but neither Robby Workman nor the Slackware community are "missing the mark" here. You are right when you say "I don't like Slackware because it doesn't do X," and Workman is right when he says "well, go use something that does X," but you seem to be saying that "every distributor should do X." That's why your reviews are getting such criticism.
29 • re 28 (by The Juggler on 2010-06-07 17:32:35 GMT from United States)
Comment deleted (off-topic).
30 • Cheers for Yoper (by Anonymous on 2010-06-07 17:37:22 GMT from United States)
Yoper, like Fedora and Slack, is using 2.6.33, which offers superior support for important, affordable, and increasingly common new hardware. Pardus, Vector, Ultimate, Mint (and other distros based upon Ubuntu) have chosen to use an older default kernel. So what?... So, consumers purchasing new PCs are not going to get competitive performance out of their new hardware unless they use the newer kernel.
The level of support the Linux community provides for newish hardware might give us a clue as to why some vendors are reluctant to support Linux. To make newish hardware work with Linux, vendor support staff would have to be familiar with a variety of Linux infrastructures.
It's a good thing that Linux continues to support older hardware. However, cheers are also due to those Linux developers who make an effort to support newish hardware, including Yoper.
31 • Slack (by Anonymous on 2010-06-07 17:59:35 GMT from United States)
Ms Martin often gets criticism from single-minded Linux enthusiasts who don't like to consider views that differ from their own. Sure, she pisses me off too sometimes, but she wouldn't piss me off if her opinion wasn't important.
She does have the guts to clearly articulate issues that others bypass to avoid confrontation. Slack and all distros benefit from constructive criticism and informative comparisons. Some need to be pushed to progress.
32 • @30 cheers for 2.6.34 kernel ... (by meanpt on 2010-06-07 18:09:32 GMT from Portugal)
:) ... and guess where? ... on Paldo ... and so, in yours perspective, it turns to be the most hardware supportive and the most or one of most advanced distros ... way ahead of Yoper, Slack, Fedora ... you name it :)
33 • Responses (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-06-07 18:32:20 GMT from United States)
#28: Let me tell you this in advance: my review of Slackware 13.1 will have very similar language to the O'Reilly review of Slackware 12.1 when it comes to package management. Most every other distro, major and minor, includes automated dependency resolution. That includes distros targeting advanced users, including Arch and CRUX. Slackware is unique in not including it and, IMNSHO, it is a major failing in the distribution when compared to almost anything else. As I said earlier comparisons to other distros are inevitable, indeed essential to a good review, and this is one area where Slackware stands out.
I do feel that the Slackware community is way off the mark but you are entitled to feel differently. I also feel what ails the Slackware community and, indeed, many other distro-centric communities within the wider Linux community, is what I wrote about at http://broadcast.oreilly.com/2009/11/the-problem-with-the-linux-com.html #31 hits the nail on the head. I am not about to start mincing words to deflect that sort of criticism either.
#29: They most certainly are reviews whether you like them or not, so spare the quotes. You don't like what I write? It's about time I say this: you are under no obligation to read my columns, reviews, articles or whatever.
34 • @32 There's always something newer... (by Fred Nelson on 2010-06-07 18:38:59 GMT from United States)
2.6.34 isn't even all that new anymore. With that view, the author of 30 really should be running (K/X)Ubuntu Maverick, which has 2.6.35-rc1 already. ;) Or just compile directly from git sources (especially on a distro like Gentoo, that has a package for the latest git kernel snapshots that's updated every few days).
IMHO, 2.6.32 (the LTS kernel used in RHEL 6, Debian Squeeze, and Ubuntu Lucid) and later kernels are all plenty good for the vast majority of computers that exist today; if you have the rare piece of uber-cutting-edge hardware that really needs 2.6.34+, you probably know it.
35 • #33 (by SSSam on 2010-06-07 18:44:49 GMT from Austria)
Which is why SalixOS is filling a niche that (vanilla) Slackware refuses to acknowledge. Last week someone suggested downloading SalixOS and I believe the very next comment was something like, "SalixOS"? Why not just go for the real thing and get Slackware? Implication: you're a wimp if you use a Slackware derivative. I get so tired of these little jabs but I understand that it makes some people feel superior. Slackware is fantastic but I would rather be lazy and use SalixOS or one of the other many great, more user friendly, distros that are available.
36 • re 33 (by The Juggler on 2010-06-07 18:47:00 GMT from United States)
Criticism is a two way street.
It seems that you can dish it out, but cannot take it.
And ..... you are under no obligation to read or respond to anything posted here.
Furthermore, it seems that you have forgotten your VI(M) posts from several weeks ago.
Just because you like or dislike something doesn't mean that everyone must jump upon your ricketty old bandwagon.
37 • Chatting with Ian Weller - ndiswrapper (by midia on 2010-06-07 18:47:28 GMT from United States)
Kudos to Mr. Weller. Did anyone ask him why, oh why Fedora doesn't include Ndiswrapper as part of their install CD? I was pleased to install the latest version of Fedora on my Win7 machine, but could not get wireless networking working - typical for me, a semi-newb to the distribution. That's why it is easier to use Ubuntu for me.
38 • RE: 4/8/9/11/13 - 2 - 30 (by Landor on 2010-06-07 18:48:26 GMT from Canada)
@ Articles Lacking.
I commented on this many moons ago now. Reviews are lacking, not just here either. I just read a mini-review or article (who knows what you'd call it) about Slackware 13.1 on Linux Journal's site by Susan Linton whose writing I actually look forward to and it was horrible. One thing I'm not sure of though (except in the case of the Slackware article, that I'm sure of...) is whether or not the reviews and articles are getting bad or is it that they've become humdrum from reading so many of the same over years. I've seen differences in the level of the review and key points missing that at least "I" felt were important. That said though, would the review still have interested/excited me? Probably not. Only if it was a pretty well perfect review about something completely new or ground breaking in some way.
This is one of the reasons I'm so lazy about putting up my own site/blog. When I think about force-feeding everyone the same regurgitated crap as everyone else, I go read or watch a movie. :)
I've been using VLC since around 2002, give or take a few months, and I've always found it far more compatible than anything else out there. If I remember correctly you used Skype (maybe I'm wrong), I use aMSN and VLC will even playback the saved webcam sessions which is really nice after talking with family and such, someone you don't get to see up close or often. But, that alone just shows what it will play, pretty well everything.
You almost lead yourself the truth of the matter then you still stay on this one track mind. If an OEM is going to consider any Linux Distribution for their systems, they're not going to care too much about one kernel release over another. That's what they all have their own developers for. Also, if you understood some things, they're more worried about LTS than the latest and greatest, as I said, they have developers at the ready to make things work, but they don't have 5000 developers to extend support to a product that has a shelf-life of 12 months or just slightly more (which is the case of a couple distributions you mentioned). But if the kernel was their main goal, there's always the mainline kernel ppa for Ubuntu. You see, things are quicker with gas.
One of the logical reasons why a lot of vendors shy away from Linux is the above. They need a static, reliable state for their products operating system. That's in the form of LTS. Not in the form of a release by say Fedora that pretty well is overhauled one release to the next (or could be, with little warning) and as I said have a minimal supported shelf-life. Dynamic doesn't appeal to companies that want to attract a consumer base.
Keep your stick on the ice...
Keep your stick on the ice...
39 • Slackware minus dependency (by Claus Futtrup on 2010-06-07 19:05:28 GMT from Denmark)
It is well known for the informed Linux guy that Slackware does not include tools for resolving dependencies. I personally find critique hereof to be OK. Dependency resolving may not be perfect at other distros, but it does neatly resolve a lot for users at other distros. Why not continue to mention this when doing a Slackware review? I'd assume most users take this as being important. If Slackware some day would include dependency resolving tools, the hardcore Slackers can still choose not to use them, if that's the way they prefer to use their (Slackware) Linux installation. Just my 2 cents.
40 • boring reviews (by Petr Topiarz on 2010-06-07 19:14:34 GMT from Czech Republic)
Gene Venable above has mentioned he loses interest, I agree. I have the same feeling. The reviews are sauceless. While a year ago every monday I felt like I must read distrowatch, this year I feel like: "is there finaly going to be anything interesting?" In fact, the only interesting point was when someone introduced OpenBSD live cd with gnome environment, but then all the OpenBSD "would like to be gurus" damned him. And then, when another guy attacked the promoted security of OpenBSD. But other than that, I have the feeling that either there is nothing new in the many distros, just names and icons and background, or the person who writes them cannot put things the right way.
The other fact is, that using anything but main distro with large support (debian, ubuntu, centos, fedora, slack etc etc...) is useless in real production. So I recommend Ubuntu on laptops and centos on desktops and no Yoper or Sidux will make me excited.
Tell me I am wrong and I will be happy!!!
41 • RE: 33/39 (by Landor on 2010-06-07 19:21:43 GMT from Canada)
I'm all for dependency resolution but when I started using Linux back in the mid-90's we didn't really worry about dependency resolution all that much. That's where a lot of the Slackers still keep the mindset. The reason we didn't was simple, when you built a system the way you had back then you kept things lean and tight. Dependencies were at the minimum, in fact, at least I know this is true for me, for that very reason I sought out applications that had no, or the fewest, dependencies. What I'm saying is that for a long time Slackware user they have no issues with dependencies normally and the above is one reason why.
Also though, I can pretty well say that even though some may seem almost feral in the Slackware community, most probably won't care what anyone thinks about it lacking or not lacking anything.
Keep your stick on the ice...
42 • Dependencies, slackware (by fernbap on 2010-06-07 20:00:20 GMT from Portugal)
I've been testing Zenwalk 6.4, installed it on one of my "distrohopping partitions", and i must say i'm impressed with its speed and stability.
For installing applications, you have an installer that works very well, and you have a checkbox that you can check or not, "include dependencies".
Is that so hard for slackware to realize that it costs nothing to the purity of the distribution to add that as an option? Don't use it if you want, but what's wrong in including it as an option?
Zenwalk installer categories are idiotic, to say the least. Want to look for multimedia apps? Search on "graphical applications" or on "console applications". Want to look which browsers are available? Search on "graphical applications". What about inkscape? Search on "graphical applications". What about gedit? Search on "graphical applications". WTF? Sometimes i just don't understand how certain minds work.
Anyway, I'm enjoying Zenwalk a lot and considering using it a lot in the future.
43 • BolgenOS & Slackware (by Tom on 2010-06-07 20:07:44 GMT from United Kingdom)
An update (in Russian) just going to air. An apology from the news crew ...
I'm told they even explain a bit about linux and there are screencasts(?) of various different distros. Apparently Dennis is hiding which seems a good plan right now.
While we have some distros that increasingly cater to the whims of mainstream users i think it is important that we have other distros that keep pushing at other boundaries. I was disappointed at the withdrawal of the BSD with a usable DE but if the BSD community is too tiny and scared of the outside world then they did make a good move in retaining an elitist attitude with such anger. Much the same as the BolgenOS case. Something that does seem good to me is the increasing number of BSD distros that are listed in DW and the increasing number of reviews & comments about Slackware and BSD.
Moving away from Windows is/was scary for a lot of us and we should remember that fear when dealing with noobs and show them LiveCd sessions or dual-boots. Fairly soon people become over-confident and need reviewers to "fire a warning shot across their bow" when they start reaching for slackware too early.
44 • @34 • @32 There's always something newer... (by Anonymous on 2010-06-07 20:10:48 GMT from Portugal)
"IMHO, 2.6.32 (the LTS kernel used in RHEL 6, Debian Squeeze, and Ubuntu Lucid) and later kernels are all plenty good for the vast majority of computers that exist today; if you have the rare piece of uber-cutting-edge hardware that really needs 2.6.34+, you probably know it."
:):):) and guess what, I couldn't agree more :) ...
45 • Article content (by Jesse on 2010-06-07 20:37:41 GMT from Canada)
A few people have commented on here this week that they're less than thrilled by the content of recent articles. Fair enough. But in the criticisms there haven't been much in the way of suggests as to what those people would like to see instead.
I don't think "If you don't like it, write your own review," is a valid response. If I had a problem with my transmission, "Design a better one," wouldn't be helpful at all, would it? I feel the same applies to my writing, if you don't like it, tell me what you do want to see.
Telling me the articles are boring or lacking is half of the process. Okay, something is missing, then let me know what you think would improve it. I may or may not agree, but I promise to read your suggestions. Even give me a link to a recent review by another author you did like.
I had two people contact me directly this morning, one told me they loved what I had just written and the other said they thought it was terrible. Both are valid points, in my opinion, but if you want to see me improve, you've got to give me some specific feedback. A lot of the reviews I write are based off reader suggestions (as was the Yoper review) so if you want to see something different, speak up. My inbox is always open, firstname.lastname@example.org.
46 • @ 45 • Article content (by meanpt on 2010-06-07 20:54:19 GMT from Portugal)
For me, it has nothing to do with your writing nor the way you do yours reviews. After all, a review is a review and honesty is what it requires. Putted simply, it seems the Linux planet is lacking breakthroughs. Or haven't it?.
47 • @ Jesse (by LinuX FroG on 2010-06-07 20:58:42 GMT from United States)
I am in agreement here. The articles posted have not had enough "pizazz" to catch the readers eye.
I'm not sure IF it's due to reading the same old review of the same old stuff or what it is. I used to be an avid Monday reader, but I fail to come by weeks at a time to read anything.
Maybe try changing your writing style. Make a joke or 2 within your review. Review some obscure distro that just isn't making headlines due to their being a small distro. Or just do a "slap in the face" review once in awhile. I just don't know.
Some of the things I have read, just seem to be written by a robot. No feeling within.
48 • RE: 45 + 46 (by Landor on 2010-06-07 21:04:39 GMT from Canada)
From my perspective I don't see you at fault. After I made my initial comments months ago, and even Ladislav commented, I thought about it all. As I said, it's more in line with just everything becoming so similar and very mundane (meanpt expressed the same).
So, I would just take it with a grain of salt. There's nothing wrong with reading your reviews or the writing of them. It's just that as a community we've grown to a point where it's the same old, same old.
The only reason I can see for putting up my own blog/site/etc would be for opinion based articles. Unless of course I read a review of something that someone totally botched.
Others may have a different opinion and probably do, but that's just how I see it.
Something to consider here for both you and Ladislav. I know the site's about Distributions but why not review some bleeding edge applications from SourceForge or the like every now and then. I don't know, just firing ideas off the top of my head.
Keep your stick on the ice...
49 • Reviews (by anticapitalista on 2010-06-07 21:43:50 GMT from Greece)
Maybe do a review of a distro running frugal for a change.
50 • Distros (by ghostdawg on 2010-06-07 23:20:58 GMT from United States)
I believe if you have the time you could do reviews of some of the lesser known, but popular distros, such as Unity-Linux.
I do look for the weekly info coming from DW every monday. Keep up the good work.
51 • Review blues (by Luke on 2010-06-07 23:46:55 GMT from United States)
I'm in the camp that says it's not the reviews, but the readers at fault. At a certain point, everything loses its novelty. I was an avid reader of Distrowatch all the way back when it started. Before it started I used to visit every day, and I was thrilled when the idea for the weekly came up. Then my interest slowly waned until I fell back to checking weekly, then at one point I completely forgot to even check distrowatch for months. Not because the quality of the weekly went down (indeed, it went up while I was away), but because the Linux world wasn't so new to me anymore.
Now, I usually just skim the reviews before heading to the news section, which to me is the meat of the thing. The links provided are almost always worth a read. I always enjoy the interviews, Q&A sessions, and the monthly donation section as well. I only briefly scan the recent and upcoming distros and the first few comments.
That all said, it might be useful to draw eyes to the important parts of the review, maybe with bolded sentences or perhaps a quick, bulleted rundown of pros, cons, and other notes. The odd security design in Yoper is definitely a point of interest - not just a subjective issue. Also that Yoper takes more memory than other KDE-centric distros, has trouble with laptops, and lacks a mature GUI front end to the package manager are some of the important points that anyone interested should be taking into consideration.
52 • Ylmf OS (by Carl Smuck on 2010-06-08 00:00:13 GMT from United States)
I recently was waiting for Ylmf OS 3.0 to come out and I thought that it should be really good and that it would work really well on my compaq presario CQ60 laptop. Well, it did except that when I tried to activate the proprietary driver for the broadcom wireless card in my laptop it would not activate and work. Linux Mint 9.0 does not have this problem and works much better. One reason I do not use Ubuntu 10.04 is that the final release of it would not support the soundcard in my laptop. I would think the Ubuntu developers would do a better job of things especially since 10.04 is a long term support release. The people who made Ylmf OS for starters need to start making a 64 bit version of their operating system. Also, the Ubuntu people need to consider making all of their releases ending in .04 into the normal releases and the versions ending in .10 should be the long term support versions. I am willing to bet that Maverick Meercat is going to be much better than lucid. If the developers at Canonical are supposed to screw up anything it is supposed to be on the normal releases and not the LTS versions.
53 • lack of pizzazz (by Martin Luther on 2010-06-08 00:09:19 GMT from United States)
I agree with those who say Jesse is not the problem. The problem is the lack of excitement on the open source scene. I'm involved in open source for two reasons: (1) I support open hardware and software standards, especially file formats. (2) I believe there is substantial room for improvement on the consumer-oriented systems put out by Wintel and Apple. Getting something for nothing is not what I'm after, and I'm happy to pay for a distro to support the project.
In the context of those motivations, it's hard to find a distro that gets the blood pumping. There are a lot of compromises on point (1) that hopefully will diminish over time. But the real issue is point (2). There simply isn't a compelling reason to use open source right now because the overall experience for ordinary users isn't demonstrably better. Having a cost of zero or near zero has been a detriment. (How can you complain about the substandard apps if you're getting it for free?)
What we're looking at is Linux being a niche technology on the desktop -- different story in embedded devices and the server space -- with an emphasis on light software that breathes life into older hardware. For an OS that takes the latest hardware bells and whistles and makes you go 'Wow!', it falls to KDE 4 and Gnome 3.0. And based on what I've seen of those two, it's hard to be confident.
54 • pcg4m3r.com (by Andrew on 2010-06-08 00:39:55 GMT from Australia)
I'm really happy that this company is operating in Australia. As much as I build my own machines I might weigh up the costs next time I plan a build and see what they have to offer as I'm happy spending little bit extra to support them.
55 • Distro Reviews (by capstone on 2010-06-08 00:41:01 GMT from United States)
Thank You Distrowatch for being here, some weeks there is not much to read, other weeks make this site well worth checking in on.
Distro reviews seem to have taken on a rather narrow mentality of late. The ongoing debate over Slackware and dependency resolution is a good demonstration of the narrow minded my way or the highway opinions that are injected into so many of these reviews. I'm sure the the writers of such reviews could site a stack of credential and some cool preprinted sheepskins that would impress us all into submission. To that I'd say keep your unique opinion to yourself, no one cares about your opinion except you.
Very sad that these reviewers miss the entire point of the Linux community that has been created. Something for everyone, from beginner to advanced user you have a choice despite the so called advice of poor reviewers. And if you just can't find the right distro for you go ahead and create your own, most of the community welcomes any attempt to improve the mousetrap.
The inclusion of a dependency resolving package manager, or non inclusion is something that should be included in any review. The reviewer should be responsible and knowledgeable enough to advise potential readers of the challenges so that people can decide for themselves if they wish to use a distribution like Slackware. There are some good reasons to check dependencies for yourself. To inject the opinion that the distro is not of any use because a feature they feel is absolutely necessary is not included is not in keeping with the freedom our community enjoys.
Television news channels are always looking for narrow minded individuals go write for them. Actually these reviews would suit the Windows community where you don't get a choice and no one listens anyway.
Happy computing to you all, keep those electrons moving.
56 • Linux User & Developer (by DigitalVampire on 2010-06-08 00:47:20 GMT from United States)
I read this in the current issue of Linux User & Developer (issue 87) in the "Fedora vs Ubuntu" article and I just thought it was a pretty good metaphor.
"Ubuntu is pushing to take the raw gems of open source and cut and polish them for end users who don't necessarily share the open source ethos or technical skills of the traditional Linux user. To borrow a musical metaphor, Ubuntu is the indie band that's landed a major label contract and spent ten weeks recording with Jeff Lynne to produce an album full of top ten singles. It's going to annoy some of the original fans, but bring in a boatload of new ones."
57 • #55 Making it up as you go along (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-06-08 00:48:04 GMT from United States)
Who said Slackware is not of any use? I haven't seen that opinion offered by anyone. I certainly never wrote or said any such thing. Methinks you are reading something that isn't there. From that you are accusing people of narrow-mindedness. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, as the old saying goes.
Oh, and I doubt you will convince anyone of anything by hurling insults or telling people to go to the Windows community.
58 • RE #56 (by Andrew on 2010-06-08 00:57:01 GMT from Australia)
Freaking fantastic quote!! I'm going to use that in the future when explaining distros to people.
59 • distros (by Joe Bridgehouse on 2010-06-08 01:00:15 GMT from United Kingdom)
Why is it I can not get any distro to install and run on my PC except ubuntu and it varients, I would love to try other distros but they just wont run, sabayon,free bsd, solaris, you name it,. If ubuntu can build a user friendly install that work, why the hell can't others. it enough to make you use windows 7
60 • Dependency checking (by Tonio on 2010-06-08 01:21:18 GMT from United States)
I will post my $0.02 with respect to this issue.
I am a Linux/FreeBSD user. I have used multiple distributions.
I see posts about Slackware, and although living in America, a democracy, and Slackware is a dictatorship according to some, by PV. I like his philosophy, I liked Slax since version 4.0.4 (2004) a Slackware Based livecd by Tomas Matejicek. I used Fedora as my installed systems and Slax as Livecd. I never used official Slackware. At one point, I installed Fedora and forgot about it, left it as it was added mplayer, xine, from source and most things worked). I tried to get packages like DVDRip, and it was a task at hand, back in the day, did not know/want to know about yum and dependency checking :(, but I managed. Now everything is much simpler and one does not have to compile(if we don't want to)
On Slackware, things are different, you are in charge, you want a package, you may build it from source, use slapt-get, src2pkg or slackbuilds. I like slackbuilds. I build my packages using them and am successfull. I run Fedora at work(where I have decent connection and at home I have one Fedora 12 machine and two Slackware machines). I am happy this way.
On FreeBSD, things were working better several years ago, now many ports are broken, and hopefully things pick up. I hope that they also consider TeXLIve as a port like NetBSD/OpenBSD. Slackware does not provide TeXLive, but Robby Workman's texlive.Slackbuild creates the texlive packages nicely and we can't complain. On FreeBSD, there are several things one can do, but it is not straightforward :(, Romain Tartiere's google-code/port does not work, the other build(s) to use to install are cryptic not as nicely as slackbuild :(
Will someone cut TeXLive to be like TeTEX so FreeBSD/Slackware can include it?
61 • Reviews? (by Anonymous on 2010-06-08 01:28:47 GMT from United States)
Reviews here are to me usefull and allow me to know about unknown distro's.
But a major reason I stop here is following the comments section.
While there is a lot of just talk going on and lots of it more like bickering.
These commenters usually pull up gems of information, which may not have been mentioned in a review.
And all that aside, if someone asks something, I have always as long as I have watched here;seen someone try to help them out.
As for new (old) topics.
How about X-window window-managers, not tied into Gnome, KDE, or XFCE?
I myself use as pure as possible WindowMaker which runs fine even on a 386.
Can anybody still use a desktop without all the so called intergration?
Thanks Ladislav for this wonderfull place to frequent!
62 • re:40 • boring reviews (by Anonymous on 2010-06-08 01:36:39 GMT from Canada)
You are wrong!
But, some distros are just different names and icons and background. :-((
btw.I enjoy the variety of reviews here!
63 • Dependency checking (by Tonio on 2010-06-08 01:47:09 GMT from United States)
Comment deleted (duplicate).
64 • @27 • +1 (by forlin on 2010-06-07 17:03:53 GMT from Portugal) (by forlin on 2010-06-08 02:19:44 GMT from Portugal)
"Comment deleted (for corrections please email me directly). "
Agreed, thanks for the guidance.
I commented it here because I know comments are closely followed up.
It was not the first time it happened. A couple of weeks ago, I pointed another correction. You deleted the whole comment, witch I think it was ok to be done. Be sure that I would have emailed today, in case you had advised me, that week, to do so. I'm sorry.
Please notice also that only those who do nothing, do never make a mistake. And I'm aware that everybody behind this site, are doing a great and hard job, since a long time ago. The correction I pointed, was in a spirit of community/family, and far from intended to be a criticism, as It was too petty to deserve criticism. Keep up the good work.
65 • OpenSUSE? (by Anonymous on 2010-06-08 03:27:56 GMT from Italy)
Here are some reasons why openSUSE has been losing ground:
1)Too many changes, too often. OpenSUSE devs are hell-bent on experimenting and changing all the time. Example: 11.2 YaST gui was a big step backward, IMO.
2)Bugs. Too many bugs are marked as "won't fix", meaning they wont devote time to fixing them. Some are quite annoying. One of the best "features" openSUSE has is booting from DVD and repairing your system. It keeps getting worse all the time.
3)Too many abandoned programs, on a regular basis. Debian or Mandriva don't do that. I understand they don't have Debian resources, but they could try and do better.
66 • Reviews, Slackware, Usability, & dependency checking. (by jake on 2010-06-08 03:33:10 GMT from United States)
Reviews: Me, personally, I skim them. In all reality, most distros are re-hashes of the same-ol' same-ol'. This isn't a bad thing in my mind ... People are learning about FOSS, and over the long haul commercial OSes will go away. Might take awhile, but that's OK. During the meanwhile, reviews probably help newbies. Carry on, all.
Slackware: Slack is built for one reason & one reason only. To provide PV a desktop OS. That's it. Really. It's HIS version of Linux, built for him, by him (and his Wife, these days ... Last I heard she was in charge of compiling the kernel). Don't like it? Don't use it. Personally, I'm happy that he chooses to share it with the world ... It works the way I want a un*x to work.
Usability: Operating systems are dependent on the installer when it comes to usability. MS provides the Windows installer on semi-generic hardware, Apple provides the OSX installer on proprietary hardware ... and I am the Slackware installer, on the hardware that I purchased for my 70+ year old techno-phobic Mom, 90+ year old computer illiterate Great Aunt, and not-quite 40 year old techno-don't-care-less Wife. Support calls from all have dropped to near zero since I installed a custom variation of Slack on their computers.
Dependency checking: The last time I had dependency issues with Slackware was around a decade and a half ago (I was trying to get a VLB SCSI card to cooperate in 1996ish ... I haven't purchased hardware that isn't supported by Slackware Linux since). But then I (we) use the machines, I (we) don't play with them. The Wife, Great Aunt & Mom have systems designed specifically for each of them, and my personal systems are (usually) designed for specific reasons. If you purchase hardware to match the OS and software you are planning to run for a targeted environment, dependencies suddenly become a non-issue.
But that requires thinking. If shovelware works for you, follow your bliss. Who am I to suggest you should learn about the tools you are using? Microsoft and Apple and AOL (and now Google, MySpace, Facebook & Twitter) have made US$Billions proving that it's not necessary to know what you are doing ... and to hell with the consequences when it all goes pear-shaped. Consumers will just purchase another box/contract/screen-name, right?
67 • "off-topic" deleted posts (by The Juggler on 2010-06-08 03:34:14 GMT from United States)
Comment deleted (off-topic).
68 • Re: 67 (by jake on 2010-06-08 03:47:09 GMT from United States)
Juggler ... There is a difference between "opinion" and "ad hominem".
Unfortunately, they don't teach Latin or Logic in high school anymore ... Sad, that.
69 • @66 (by fernbap on 2010-06-08 04:06:31 GMT from Portugal)
"But that requires thinking. If shovelware works for you, follow your bliss."
Who is talking about shovelware? I am talking about installing a distro and adding me preferred apps to it without too much work. What is the point of making me work more for installing audacious, for example, because i don't like amarok?
I'm not even proposing making you do it the easy way, but i like not wasting my time.
70 • RE: 66 (by Landor on 2010-06-08 04:13:31 GMT from Canada)
I can't tell you how many times I've "discussed with consumers" their computer's problems and their one and only solution: buy a better one..lol I've come to the point where I just laugh when they hand me their perfectly fine computer after they bought their new one. Then I drop Linux on it, tweak it perfectly and hand it off to a community centre that makes sure it goes to a family in need.
My sister had an old P-!! 233 she bought hot off the presses in 98 I do believe and used that old workhouse with 98 on it until 3 years ago, simply because it got the job done. She handed it off to me due to needing another system based on a work requirement (and they paid for the it). I used it as a server, eventually replaced it after just over a year and put a Linux distribution on it with some very well thought out applications, then donated it. The oldest one I donated to date too. The family that received it only contacted the centre once in that time, which contacted me and that was roughly 6 months ago. I gave them a call, fixed a minor issue and it's still in use. In fact on the phone (an immigrant family no less) they couldn't stop thanking me for what I did for their family, then to freely help them too. Makes you feel good your effort was worth it. It just goes to show you that the latest and greatest means doodley-squat when you put something together right, it'll be the "real" energizer bunny.
Speaking of well thought out applications and to tie in with dependency checking. I miss those days at times. Anyone remember when your hard drive was so small you made sure you got the most bang for your buck on the applications installed? The sheer enjoyment of the effort from looking for, and finding the programs that offered the most in functionality, in the smallest size, while using the least memory and having the least dependencies? I sure as hell do. Sad thing about today? Most of my apps, I can't even tell you what dependencies they have, well, some of them I can still, but only some. I still look for lighter apps though, in size and memory/cpu usage. The times they are a'changin', seems.
Keep your stick on the ice...
71 • Re: 69 (by jake on 2010-06-08 04:25:03 GMT from United States)
"I'm not even proposing making you do it"
Good thing. This is FOSS, after all. I'm free to do it my way, right?
"the easy way,"
Easy is subjective.
"but i like not wasting my time."
Me too. That's why I set it up once, the right way for the situation at hand. And then my users and I just use it, without any further headaches. Easy, no?
72 • Distro revew concepts (by forlin on 2010-06-08 04:42:51 GMT from Portugal)
Among many other valuable characteristics, Linux is a great o/s because consumers are offered with plenty and diversified choices.
As a dear Latin fellow commented before (DWW354), Linux is like the human being "there isn't (still) such thing as the perfect lady (or man) neither.".
This may be one of the various reason why many Linux users dual or multi-boot.
It's dead simple to create partitions and install a set of specialized distros that in the whole will better accomplish each of its particular kind of demands.
Following the same logic, I understand that different Linux reviewers will valuate different distros characteristics, according to each of their target audience and "Sui Generics" sense of value.
This is a very sensitive matter, due to some of the subjective "value concepts" implied.
A good approach to reduce the chances that from 2 reviews of the same distro, the results are 2/10 and 8/10, where both are fair and true conclusions due to the different targets and different perception of "value", from each of the reviewers, could be the linking of "reviewer target/distro finality".
This is a very peculiar Linux aspect that couldn't be ported to windoze reviews as it lacks diversity and variety because its made to serve every purpose and everybody.
73 • @71 (by fernbap on 2010-06-08 05:04:55 GMT from Portugal)
"Me too. That's why I set it up once, the right way for the situation at hand."
Now, please explain me how doing exactly the same thing in 4 or five steps is better than doing it in one.
"I'm free to do it my way, right?"
Of course you are. However, i am absolutely sure that most users (and i am referring to IT professionals, not the general public) prefer my way. They have their reasons as i have mine. As you have yours.
Does the term "shooting your own foot" ring any bell? Apparently, some people (and communities) look at it as a virtue.
However, most people are not masochists. Auto-flagelation has a long history in mankind, but that doesn't mean it is healthy.
74 • RE: #65 (by Anonymous on 2010-06-08 05:33:43 GMT from Italy)
It is still me.
I forgot another point: SaX2 is crap, absolutely. No serious attempt has ever been made at improving it. It needs rewriting from scratch, IMO.
Look at the Mandriva or PCLinuxOS equivalents, that is how it should be.
Overall YaST is much inferior to Mandriva or PCLinuxOS control center.
Another example: sound doesn't normally work out of the box.
Printing and WI-Fi can also be a pain.
I believe I have given plenty of reasons why people prefer other distros.
75 • @73 (by jake on 2010-06-08 06:06:25 GMT from United States)
"Now, please explain me how doing exactly the same thing in 4 or five steps is better than doing it in one."
Because when I take the time to do it right, I don't have to re-do it next week. Mom's computer has been maintenance-free for over two years. Think about it.
"However, i am absolutely sure that most users (and i am referring to IT professionals, not the general public) prefer my way."
Uh ... no. First spec computer operator needs, then spec the OS that supports those needs, then spec hardware. (Hint: There is no such thing as "software", software is merely the current state of the hardware ... if the needs of your userbase can't run on your hardware of choice, you have purchased the wrong hardware.)
"Does the term "shooting your own foot" ring any bell?"
Yep. Sure does :-)
"Apparently, some people (and communities) look at it as a virtue."
Not I ... Make it work, then forget about it. It's just hardware, like the bits & bobs that make up your kitchen. Don't get me wrong ... learn to feed yourself, and how to tidy up for tomorrow's food preparation, but once you have the proper tools for said work you don't have to think about 'em day-to-day. I see computers the same way.
"However, most people are not masochists."
No? Then why do they refuse to learn/understand their tools of choice? Why do people (as a group) allow multi-billion dollar international corporations tell them what they are supposed to do with (supposed) general-purpose computers?
"Auto-flagelation has a long history in mankind, but that doesn't mean it is healthy."
Personally, I think it's a genetic thing ... Some of us rise above it.
76 • @75 (by fernbap on 2010-06-08 06:26:21 GMT from Portugal)
"Not I ... Make it work, then forget about it."
So do it. But i prefer making it work wasting less time.
"Why do people (as a group) allow multi-billion dollar international corporations tell them what they are supposed to do"
Not me. I don't see any relation between multi-billion dollar international corporations and installing an open source application of my choice with all its dependencies without having to install all dependencies separately.
"No? Then why do they refuse to learn/understand their tools of choice?"
Who said anything about refusing to learn/understand? You are just basing all your arguments on creating a false choice, "either/or". What about "and"?
I have news for you. The world is not black and white. it has a lot of shades of grey.
The choice is not between being an ignorant idiot in the hands of multi-billion international corporations or being a superman (at his own eyes) that knows it all (so he thinks) and likes doing everything from scratch.
I bet that, when you buy a car, you don't buy it without a motor so that you can install the motor of your choice yourself.
77 • Re: #14, #19 (by Vukota on 2010-06-08 06:48:49 GMT from United States)
I'll second suggestion for donating GCompris. It is one of the few packages (platform or suites) for young kids on Linux (if we disregard closed source widows games under wine).
From my experience, this is under developed area of Linux and one of the important ones if we would like to get our children to abandon Windows and start adopting Linux from the beginning. Habit is usually hard to change.
78 • Re: 76 (by jake on 2010-06-08 06:59:42 GMT from United States)
"I bet that, when you buy a car, you don't buy it without a motor so that you can install the motor of your choice yourself."
You'd lose that bet. I'm sorry if I upset your concept of reality.
(Currently in the works: an .030 over 351W with a 400M crank, making for a 409ci Ford small block. It has 4V Cleveland heads, and a modified Dolphin/Coventry injection system with cam to match intake/exhaust capability (we are hoping for a reliable 475HP at the rear wheels on pump gas). The rest of the story is a T-10 transmission and a Ford 9 inch with 4.11 gears ... in a 1964 Ford Fairlane convertible. It'll be my Wife's daily driver, probably starting in late July. We bought the car sans motor.)
79 • Pardus Calisan 2009.2 - faulty image via ftp??? (by gnomic on 2010-06-08 07:25:21 GMT from New Zealand)
Anybody had trouble with the live Pardus 2009.2? Downloaded a copy soon after release which was good by checksum, yet won't boot on any of the three usually reliable machines I tried it on. Stops announcing a BUG: with a bunch of tech stuff of the sort associated with a GPF. Was there a known problem with the Calisan image, or has anybody else seen anything similar? Have lost track of where exactly it came from, maybe Netherlands. Burned at 4x speed etc etc.
80 • @ 75 ... oh ... Jake ... Jake ... Jake ... (by meanpt on 2010-06-08 08:44:47 GMT from Portugal)
"Because when I take the time to do it right, I don't have to re-do it next week. Mom's computer has been maintenance-free for over two years. Think about it."
... come on ... does Mom need to edit and cut the family videos? Does Mom need to change video and audio formats? Does Mom WANT to do it? Does Mom need to use mindmapping? I believe MOM isn't the current young or not so young type of user who wants and needs more every day ... or am I wrong?. I don't think so.
"Uh ... no. First spec computer operator needs, then spec the OS that supports those needs, then spec hardware. (Hint: There is no such thing as "software", software is merely the current state of the hardware ... if the needs of your userbase can't run on your hardware of choice, you have purchased the wrong hardware.)"
... oh, no ... not again ... the last time I heard that was from a sys admin ... oh ... so squared ... in short: sys admins has to cope with corporate, divisional and deparmental budgets and try to stick with it or otherwise bonuses will shy away. They got a bunch of current and expected short term requirements (always very well documented to "proove they did it right and according to the corporate policies" to be on the safe side if anything goes wrong), by askink users (who usually can't see prety much beyond the next quarter and have to cope with decisions taken by the management in the very short run), and "devise the hardware requirements rationally", In my long working experience I KNOW that them and division, department or any other type of the organization's directors never learnt that hardware redundancy, in these days, pays in the short run. It happened to me all the time. But even if you got used to some statbility in your user base, you should recognize that applicatons and needs are evolving and changing everey day and new stuff, either applications, new releases, new devices to cope with, are made available and being adopted so quickly that your today's applications and machine get obsolete in two days ... so to speak. I wonder if Mom understands this real world bit ...
It comes to my mind that a system (the hardware, the OS and applications that run over it) is something like a car (not your Ford model T without a motor). You may understand a bit of it but what you need is to drive it to cope with your changing world and it's not your mission to tweak the motor anytime you transport yourself or Mom, to a new location. If that is a pre-emptive requirement, none of us would drive anything else than a byke. Well ... maby mom wouldn't bother ...
81 • To #79: Pardus (by Bob on 2010-06-08 09:56:27 GMT from Austria)
Tried the Live CD version - no problems. I just use it to run Veetle on a temporary basis. Pardus always appeared to be more dependable than most other distros. Too bad that they still do not have 64-bit hardware in Turkey ;-)
(If you have enough RAM try the 'copytoram' feature - pretty cool as compared to other Live CD experiences)
82 • Noob-friendly distros (by Tom on 2010-06-08 10:49:53 GMT from United Kingdom)
I think we already have somewhere between 'far to many' and 'far to few' noob-friendly distros. Most of which work very easily on the majority of machines out there, certainly most machines 'the average user' (does such a person even exist??) is likely to have at home or find in an office or internet cafe. Some work still needs to go on to push more hardware manufacturers into working with us rather than against us, but things are getting better, even with small temporary set-backs such as Sony's idiocy (just my opinion)
We definitely need distros such as Slackware that do not make such an effort to be noob-friendly. Increasingly we need the BSDs too to stay out of reach of 'the average user' unless we want to stagnate.
While most people seem to like using Windows, Mac or increasingly Ubuntu and most distros seem to be aiming to copy the idea of 'being all things to all people' i think it is important that we have distros aiming at specific markets and building the unique qualities of their community. This does already happen but i think we need to celebrate our diversity more. The Windows world often decries us for our variety and demands that we reduce down to 1 distro but that would be such a heavily bloated distro few would really enjoy using it.
Being very fast and light and very focused on your own needs for that machine at that boot makes a system much more exciting, interesting and a pleasure to use. Lets all stay diverse, please
83 • RE: 43 - BolgenOS (by KimTjik on 2010-06-08 11:11:41 GMT from Sweden)
In short: news broadcaster apologizes for not having done proper research before sending the first report about BoglgenOS. A couple of Linux users contacted and explained that basically it's just a Linux distribution, but worse that Denis simply erased copyrights and exchanged it for his own, as exemplified by the Arora browser being re branded, and "his" anti-viruts software. One commenter told that Denis had talked about writing his own more optimized word processor - we understand what that means - and he better stop because otherwise he'll be sued for theft.
At the school teachers obviously didn't have a clue. One teacher told that he continuously showed them new programs and stuff (they didn't ask themselves how one student would be able to even print the code?), and didn't question its source. They regret that Denis talked about "his program" and "his inventions", but still thinks he's a bright student but in need of some guidance.
I don't know what Denis did think, because I don't doubt he could get good grades without using dishonesty. Good thing though: it's practically not possible to get away with such stunts even if you live on the other side of Ural.
84 • Addition to my post above (by KimTjik on 2010-06-08 11:29:34 GMT from Sweden)
Denis himself has been out of reach and hasn't commented the incident.
85 • BolgenOS (by Anonymous on 2010-06-08 12:18:12 GMT from United States)
I think that Denis needs some guidance to help him along. I mean he is 16. He probably never even read the GPL. I know that being 16 isn't an excuse, but I would say that most everyone has done some really stupid things around that age trying to impress people. Maybe not quite along those lines, but stupid anyway. Eventually you back and say "What was I thinking." I don't think he needs a public beating. I think he needs to have his errors shown to him. He needs to correct them, and he needs to be shown how he can contribute in a positive manner that doesn't violate anything. The thing to remember is that they liked what they saw.
86 • @ 82 • Noob-friendly distros (by meanpt on 2010-06-08 12:29:34 GMT from Portugal)
"We definitely need distros such as Slackware". -- "We", Who?
"we need the BSDs too to stay out of reach of 'the average user' unless we want to stagnate" --- I can't see what is the underlying reasoning for such a relationship here ... is it some kind of code? I can see everyone using Windows, from the child in the school to the rendering farms in 3D animation studios, and they all use the same pretty common Windows. They don't use BSD. Maybe they're too "average". Or are they "still to young" to appreciate a good old wine?
"but that would be such a heavily bloated distro few would really enjoy using it". It happens and it's not the end of the world. I do enjoy getting my Windows faster and un-bloated after tweaking them with informative software without needing to be a geek but I can't find that same software n the linux community world (ubuntu teak is not informative, it doesn't explains nothing about what may happen if I'll disable the X or the Y service). Maybe that's one part of the problem. The other would be the competency in the engineering of the solutions. Moreover fastness may have no direct relation to "bloated". I can have the same desktop and applications in two different distributions and have one running them faster than the other.
"Being very fast and light and very focused on your own needs for that machine at that boot makes a system much more exciting, interesting and a pleasure to use". What accessibility through a well designed and reliable package management has to do with fastness on booting?
87 • @86 (by Brandon on 2010-06-08 12:39:57 GMT from United States)
"We definitely need distros such as Slackware". -- "We", Who?
Those who enjoy Slackware. It has a good following, and has lasted. Obviously there are those that see merit in it.
88 • R (by Anonymous on 2010-06-08 14:16:18 GMT from United States)
"... come on ... does Mom need to edit and cut the family videos? Does Mom need to change video and audio formats? Does Mom WANT to do it? Does Mom need to use mindmapping? I believe MOM isn't the current young or not so young type of user who wants and needs more every day ... or am I wrong?. I don't think so."
Keyword there is "wants" ... that word "needs", I don't think it means what you think it does.
"the last time I heard that was from a sys admin"
Yeah? Your point? As a sysadmin, my job is to make my job go away. Again, think about it.
And as a side-note, Mom does edit the family videos. Using the variation of Slackware that I built for her. She doesn't give a rat's ass about your so-called "real world bit", all she cares about is that it works without her having to think about it. Hopefully that concept doesn't rock your world too much ...
89 • #78 - Wife's daily driver by Jake! (by Jon Iverson on 2010-06-08 14:21:23 GMT from United States)
... in a 1964 Ford Fairlane convertible. It'll be my Wife's daily driver, probably starting in late July.
More power to ya Jake on your auto build project! The only thing that seems a bit "much," at least to me, unless of course you intend to run the car at the local drag strip, is why in the world your wife would need 475hp to go to work or to the grocery store and back!! ..Regardless, post a link to photos as your build project progresses. Any number here would be interested in seeing what you're putting together!
90 • Re:80 (by jake on 2010-06-08 14:24:11 GMT from United States)
"... come on ... does Mom need to edit and cut the family videos? Does Mom need to change video and audio formats? Does Mom WANT to do it? Does Mom need to use mindmapping? I believe MOM isn't the current young or not so young type of user who wants and needs more every day ... or am I wrong?. I don't think so."
Keyword there is "wants" ... that word "needs", I don't think it means what you think it does. I mean, seriously, "wants and needs more every day"? Sounds like an addiction to me. That can't be healthy ...
"the last time I heard that was from a sys admin"
Yeah? Your point? As a sysadmin, my job is to make my job go away. Again, think about it.
And as a side-note, Mom does edit the family videos. Using the variation of Slackware that I built for her. She doesn't give a rat's ass about your so-called "real world bit", all she cares about is that it works without her having to think about it. Hopefully that concept doesn't rock your world too much ...
(Never, ever, turn your back on your computer when there are cats about and you have unfinished posts on-screen ... )
91 • RE:Slackware is needed. (by Eddie Wilson on 2010-06-08 14:36:03 GMT from United States)
Slackware is still needed as is Gentoo. These are some of the best learning tools that exist for Linux systems. I call these type of distros "elementary" distros. Even tho it's not necessary and I wouldn't suggest a normal or general computer user to dive into these type of distros they could be perfect for a person wanting to learn the inner workings of a Linux system. There is nothing wrong with a person hanging on to distros of this types however it should not be a requirement that a person learn the inner workings of a system before they truly start using a linux operating system. I'm not saying a person shouldn't be "familiar" with another os before using it but not to the extent of Slackware or Gentoo requirements or what their users perceive as requirements. I would gain nothing by using Slackware, Gentoo, Arch, or any of the other so called advanced (elementary) distros. (Maybe I should say I wouldn't gain enough) What I do use stays very stable with little maintenance and no down time to speak of. If you are a person that is happy using Slackware then that is great. If you are a person that is happy using something else then that is also perfectly fine and dandy. As long as you like what you use and it works well for you, what is the problem?
92 • Re: 89 (by jake on 2010-06-08 14:41:00 GMT from United States)
"The only thing that seems a bit "much," at least to me, unless of course you intend to run the car at the local drag strip, is why in the world your wife would need 475hp to go to work or to the grocery store and back!"
My wife works here, at our ranch in Sonoma, CA. The car is a business card, not a grocery-getter (although it'll be used as the later). It will be run at Infineon^WSears Point on most Wednesdays. Hopefully it'll be as fast, or faster than, my 10.50 second '70 Mercury Cougar, which is also street driven (occasionally), although not quite as legal ...
Life's all about hacking. Don't let your OS or your cars get in your way ... and don't get me started on cooking! ;-)
93 • Slackware etc (by Jesse on 2010-06-08 15:12:20 GMT from Canada)
I think something the Slackware fans tend to overlook is that there are plenty of novice-friendly distributions which can also be set up once, properly, and left alone to run for years. One of Jake's recent posts said with Slackware you can set it up once and never touch it again. ("That's why I set it up once, the right way for the situation at hand. And then my users and I just use it, without any further headaches.") Which, if you think about it, also applies to any other long-term support, stable distro. The difference is that some of those LTS distros make the set up process more novice-friendly.
To be fair, it's not just Slackers, Arch fans (among others) seem to have this idea their distro of choice is different because you can install it once and it'll run for years. Really, that's not any different than Debian Stable, RHEL, FreeBSD, etc. But the nice thing about the latter systems is that they take a lot less time/manual reading to get up and running.
Slackware is a great system, but having it run for years without maintaining it isn't a particularly special feature in the Linux/BSD world.
94 • Romans (by Tom on 2010-06-08 15:13:36 GMT from United Kingdom)
Slackware, BSDs, Gentoo & Arch of course, perhaps Fedora slightly too?
Yes, some people find these easier to use than the Ubuntus of this world. That might seem beyond incredible to a lot of us. Most of the distros built up from them or forked off from them might seem easier to a lot of us but is easier always 'better'.
I don't quite understand menpt. Simplifying things a little and moving it to a natural setting i hear something like this from him/her. 'Sharks are the top of the sea's food chain. Therefore all other sealife should be wiped out.' I can't agree with this sort of argument because the sharks would also die as they no longer had anything to feed on. I must be missing the point.
The post from Brandon hits 1 of the points but again it is from an isolationist standpoint. The point about 'linux' (sorry BSDers, herd kernel users and others) is that most distros do not develop independently of each other. People get inspiration from even odd tiny things in other distros or get the chance to explore other options in other distros (such as Fedora) before trying to drag them into elsewhere. Was it newton that said he 'stood on the shoulders of giants' but what practical applications ever arose from his ideas?
Is it just me or is there a lot of testosterone in here this week?
Regards to all from Tom :)
95 • #92 by Jake.. (by Jon Iverson on 2010-06-08 15:14:28 GMT from United States)
That explains it! ..And your're right Jake, life is all about hacking!!
96 • RE: #66, #70 (by Roachboy on 2010-06-08 15:15:37 GMT from Kenya)
Great posts guys!
97 • In Praise of unsung IT people (by Tom on 2010-06-08 15:23:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
Something i thought might be very relevant to everyone reading and posting (sometimes even both!) in this this week (or any other) is this from ZdNet
Particularly Ladislav & the rest of the DW team
The original article that inspired it was
which is good for a laugh and perhaps a wince or two for some of us. I really must apologise to Ladislav for my actions while he was busy trying to 'get to print'
Regards to all from Tom again (i might close the DW tab & go home now) :)
98 • @93 Slackware, etc... (by Fred Nelson on 2010-06-08 16:00:16 GMT from United States)
Ah, but the difference between setting up a LTS distro (Ubuntu LTS, Debian Stable, RHEL/CentOS, FreeBSD, etc...) and running it for years, and setting up Arch and running it for years, is that with the latter, you are running with *current* packages always. The stereotypical grandmother that everybody trots out as an example may not care, but many, many other people do care whether they're running ancient versions of software or not. So you can't dismiss Arch as merely more painful to set up but with no advantages. The fact that you can keep up with the latest software without ever having to reinstall is in fact its big selling-point.
Slackware can be run either way. You can use it as a stable distro and only install the security updates (manually AFAIK), or you can use slackpkg and track Current (in a cron job even if you want), and it seems roughly as current as Fedora (stable, not Rawhide) if you do, which isn't too shabby.
And I'm not a Slackware fan BTW; I lean more towards Fedora myself, though I like Debian and Arch quite a bit too. Slackware's big weakness is having a small package selection (thanks to its Cathedral development model I suspect), and slackpkg, while it works just fine, is a bolted-on extra instead of something more integrated like apt, yum, or pacman. I have no desire to manually keep up a large number of packages from SlackBuilds (the officially-blessed third-party repository) and several just in /usr/local, neither the former nor the latter which can be kept up-to-date with slackpkg, because they can't be arsed to attract more developers in order to have a larger official repository.
99 • Re: #65 OpenSuse & KDE/Gnome Desktops (by Sly on 2010-06-08 16:18:23 GMT from United States)
I agree with your comment. I like KDE and 11.0 which used KDE 3.5, is/was good. Support for 11.0 ends this month I believe. If you want to upgrade, use only every other version. 11.1 was horrible, 11.2 is somewhat better. I'm reserving my opinion on 11.3 until it is released in July.
In general it seems like both the KDE and Gnome desktops have progressively gotten more and more bloated and hardware requirements are increasing. It's forcing users to upgrade machines.
100 • BolgenOS (by Tom on 2010-06-08 16:50:52 GMT from United Kingdom)
Apparently pictures from a 'local' computer hardware shop
101 • RE: 98 Arch and others (by Jesse on 2010-06-08 17:03:01 GMT from Canada)
>> Ah, but the difference between setting up a LTS distro (Ubuntu LTS, Debian Stable, RHEL/CentOS, FreeBSD, etc...) and running it for years, and setting up Arch and running it for years, is that with the latter, you are running with *current* packages always.
Which again shows that Arch isn't all that different. With Debian, Ubuntu LTS, FreeBSD (and some others) you aren't stuck with the last stable release. Each of those systems can be updated in place to the next version without performing a fresh install. (I haven't tried this with CentOS, but I know Fedora contains the update feature.) Arch may be more bleeding edge, but it's hardly unique in letting its users stay current.
102 • @ 90 Jake ... you prooved my point ... (by meanpt on 2010-06-08 17:19:26 GMT from Portugal)
"... Using the variation of Slackware that I built for her. She doesn't give a rat's ass about your so-called "real world bit", all she cares about is that it works without her having to think about it. Hopefully that concept doesn't rock your world too much ... "
That concept do rocks in my world. We first need things that work out of the box, not to hobby-hacking with what may turn to be impossible installations. Now, ask your mom to build it herself, instead of being you who builds it for her. How many out there have someone to "build it" for them? Unless, of course, it already comes pre-built.
103 • @98 (by Fred Nelson on 2010-06-08 17:29:13 GMT from United States)
>> Which again shows that Arch isn't all that different. With Debian, Ubuntu LTS, FreeBSD (and some others) you aren't stuck with the last stable release. Each of those systems can be updated in place to the next version without performing a fresh install. <<
Wrong. It's only the same on the very day that the LTS distros are released, and usually not even then due to the time spent stabilizing them to extra-strict standards first. In between, you are stuck either with the older versions of pretty much all the software, or use backport repositories to try to get updates in the meantime (thus negating the "stable, supported, no work" aspect of the LTS's).
(BTW, when I tried to update my Hardy partition to Lucid, the result had some problems that I don't remember now; I just did a fresh install of Lucid and it worked much better. That said, I would expect Red Hat to be better, as that's more their market.)
>> (I haven't tried this with CentOS, but I know Fedora contains the update feature.) <<
Fedora isn't a LTS-style distro. ;) With the non-rolling 6-12 month distros, you are expected to update the entire distro rather frequently, and thus have relatively current packages all the time, even if not quite as fresh as in Arch. Close enough though, unlike RHEL 5.5 or Ubuntu Lucid now, for instance. So then it becomes a matter of opinion on whether upgrading the whole distro once every 6-12 months or upgrading frequently with the very slight risk of breakage on every update is better.
Come on, Jesse, you're experienced when it comes to Linux distros, having written lots of reviews and all (good reviews, no less :) ); shouldn't you of all people know the basic differences between them?
104 • @101 that is for my previous comment (by Fred Nelson on 2010-06-08 17:31:04 GMT from United States)
[This comment intentionally left blank]
105 • @94. Romans (by Tom (by meanpt on 2010-06-08 18:08:24 GMT from Portugal)
"I don't quite understand menpt. Simplifying things a little and moving it to a natural setting i hear something like this from him/her. 'Sharks are the top of the sea's food chain. Therefore all other sealife should be wiped out.' I can't agree with this sort of argument because the sharks would also die as they no longer had anything to feed on. I must be missing the point."
:) ... you didn't get it right. I just don't like big WE(s). I don't need the original slackware the way it works. I don't need BSD either if it doesn't fit my out of the box need for critical usability. I'm not stating they should disappear. My point is: some basic maintenance actions like installing the OS and installing applications are not fitted for this world of PERSONAL computing but for old school linux users who, either in school, in years of professional life or in both, or even in IT hobbying/hacking, learnt to use it that way. OS's aren't the kingdom of geeks anymore. No one expects a desktop distro that do not adapts, to survive. Sharks and the other sea life did adapt to the changing environment.
106 • GnoBSD ? (by Equimanthorn on 2010-06-08 18:13:03 GMT from Italy)
What's happen to GnoBSD ? the sites is down
107 • @103 Updates (by Jesse on 2010-06-08 18:18:23 GMT from Canada)
>> Wrong. It's only the same on the very day that the LTS distros are released, and usually not even then due to the time spent stabilizing them to extra-strict standards first.
So to you, a current package is the one with the higher version number or the one closest to upstream? I think much of our debate springs from different views there. I regard current software as software which is still supported. For example, Firefox 3.5 isn't the most recent upstream version, but it's still supported on several distros, so to me it's "current".
If you're chasing versions numbers, there are plenty of distros which keep up with Arch. Remember that almost every distro has a rolling development repo. Slackware and FreeBSD have -current, Fedora has rawhide, Mandriva and Suse have cooker and factory, Zenwalk has snapshot, Paldo has Unstable, etc etc. So if you really want to have the latest version number you can use any of those and point your package manager at the proper repository.
Granted, most people don't want to be that close to the edge, so users will tend to stick with one supported version to the next. That doesn't mean you can't keep those distros on the cutting edge day-to-day.
108 • Latin and logic post 68 (by Johnny Come Lately on 2010-06-08 19:18:55 GMT from United States)
Comment deleted (off-topic).
109 • @107 RE: Updates (by Fred Nelson on 2010-06-08 20:11:58 GMT from United States)
I'm sorry, but I just don't see how you can conflate "supported" with "current". Those are two entirely different concepts. By that view, Windows XP (released in 2001) will still be current in 2014, as it will still be supported then. I guess we could just chalk it up to the ambiguities in the English language, but to me your definition of "current" is a bit of a stretch IMHO.
As for the development versions of the distros, I actually have both a Rawhide and a Cooker partition, and they're both actually relatively stable, despite the dire warnings about installing them. What they are not, however, is supported. As opposed to Arch, where the officially supported repository *is* the rolling one. Can't you see the difference there?
As for "chasing version numbers", keep in mind,that version numbers are not completely arbitrary, at least with respect to the same program; new versions usually have new features in them, and often bug fixes too. Think about it: Why doesn't everybody just run a perpetually-supported KDE 1.0 or GNOME 1.0 with OpenOffice.org 1.0 on an uber-LTS distro that never, *ever* changes, but just receives security fixes? Why doesn't a distro like that even exist? While I'm sure a segment of people would be happy with just that (though not the "silent majority" or anything like some people claim), most people actually do want new features. Whether they want them all the time (rolling), often (normal distros), or rarely (LTS distros) varies by the person, but nevertheless most people actually do want them, and it is not "chasing version numbers" to do so.
(I myself actually am happy enough with both the six-month model and the rolling model, BTW, hence having Fedora as my "main distro" now and Arch and Debian Testing, which is for all practical purposes rolling except when it's in a freeze, as my secondaries.)
110 • Re: 102 (by jake on 2010-06-08 20:30:58 GMT from United States)
"Now, ask your mom to build it herself, instead of being you who builds it for her."
Strawman. Mom's a technophobe. I'd have to buy/build it regardless of hardware and OS. Linux makes my life easy due to the built in security model (Mom doesn't even know root exists), and the lack of malware. Slackware is easy (to me) because I've been using it for a decade and a half ... and it works the way un*x has worked for me for around 30 years.
My Great Aunt calls it "the new version of Windows my Nephew gave me".
It's true that my users are a niche in the great scheme of things. But my point that Linux can be made usable on ordinary users systems stands. (Even the supposed "difficult" Slackware.) The trick is getting the correct hardware for the job, and then doing a proper installation for that particular niche.
*NOTHING* works out of the box for all users in all cases. Ever set up a new Windows system? How long does it take just to lock it down? To update the OS? To update the drivers? Even Apple OSX machines require tweaking "out of the box".
111 • RE: #99 OpenSUSE and change (by Anonymous on 2010-06-08 20:58:34 GMT from Italy)
Thanks for your comment. It reminds me of something else, about openSUSE and change just for the sake of it: GNOME!
I like GNOME, even if my all time fav is KDE 3.5.
Now, what's wrong with GNOME as it comes from gnome.org?
But standard GNOME isn't good enough for the openSUSE devs.
I don't know you, but I hate their implementation.
I know, one can revert to the standard GNOME layout.
But I don't get exactly the same result. And why bother in the first place?
112 • Rolling (by Jesse on 2010-06-08 21:10:13 GMT from Canada)
>> I'm sorry, but I just don't see how you can conflate "supported" with "current". Those are two entirely different concepts. By that view, Windows XP (released in 2001) will still be current in 2014, as it will still be supported then.
To each there own, I suppose. But I do find it interesting you chose to use XP as your example, which is still the most commonly used desktop OS in the world. It's two versions behind other desktop MS systems, but still supported and used by the highest number of people. I would argue that makes it, for all practical purposes, current.
>>As for the development versions of the distros, I actually have both a Rawhide and a Cooker partition, and they're both actually relatively stable, despite the dire warnings about installing them. What they are not, however, is supported. As opposed to Arch, where the officially supported repository *is* the rolling one. Can't you see the difference there?
I can, but I'm not sure how that relates to our discussion? We had been talking about the differences between setting up and maintaining Slackware (or Arch) vs other distributions. Though if we're looking at rolling _supported_ distributions, sidux should probably be taken into consideration. They do a pretty good job of staying with the latest and greatest.And their installation process is relatively painless.
>> As for "chasing version numbers", keep in mind,that version numbers are not completely arbitrary, at least with respect to the same program;
I didn't mean to suggest they were. I like to keep up with technology as much as the next person. Where I think chasing version numbers becomes a bad thing is when people automatically jump to a new version of a program because of the number, not because the new version contains a feature/fix they need. We see a lot of that on many a forum where people demand higher versions numbers simply because of the number. I didn't mean to imply that was your view point. So I think we agree on that point? Upgrading for useful features is a good idea, but upgrading because of number is pointless.
113 • @112 RE: Rolling (by Fred Nelson on 2010-06-08 21:46:18 GMT from United States)
>> To each there own, I suppose. ... I would argue [the popularity] makes [Windows XP], for all practical purposes, current. <<
I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree about the definition of "current" then as you say; I picked XP on purpose specifically to show that something can be supported and used by large numbers of people without being current (or recent, or however else you would term that instead).
>> I can, but I'm not sure how that relates to our discussion? We had been talking about the differences between setting up and maintaining Slackware (or Arch) vs other distributions. <<
It all started when I was correcting a point you made in terms of that discussion, and it branched out from there. I still stand by my statement that you were wrong that there's no benefit for going through the work of setting up Arch compared to a LTS distro. You may not see any value in keeping up with the latest software in a rolling fashion yourself, but other people see value in it nevertheless.
That said, somebody could put together a supported rolling distribution that is very user-friendly and requires little setup. Those are orthogonal concepts. There is Sidux as you said (even though it's not my cup of tea), and Chakra was going to do that for Arch before they decided to branch out into their own direction instead.
>> Though if we're looking at rolling _supported_ distributions, sidux should probably be taken into consideration. They do a pretty good job of staying with the latest and greatest. And their installation process is relatively painless. <<
They only really offer any support if you do things like going to runlevel 3 for all updates. Lots of other little rules like that too. If I'm going to forgo their support anyway, I might as well just run vanilla Debian Sid instead (which tends to work just fine too, despite upgrading from within the DE ;) ), And it may be shallow of me, but I also just don't like the whole scorpion theme they have going on. Yeah, you can change the background, and maybe even the KDE theme, but their tools still all have it.
>> So I think we agree on that point? Upgrading for useful features is a good idea, but upgrading because of number is pointless. <<
Yeah, I agree there. For example, I could care less whether a distro has coreutils 7.5 or 8.5, but I dislike 7.4 and below because it doesn't have the 'sort -h' (human readable) functionality. Exaile 0.3 has been rewritten and generally works better than 0.2 or below. And so on. One or two programs like that I can just compile separately and install into /usr/local, but it gets to be too much work to manage lots of software like that. For instance, maintaining a local version of KDE would be a nightmare, and KDE4 below 4.3 was simply too immature to me.
Thus I like rolling distros as it's pretty-much guaranteed to have the functionality I want (assuming it's already been coded), but most non-LTS distros keep up well enough I don't have to worry about that. I just am too much of a technology junkie to be satisfied with software that's too stale as is the case with the LTS distros, though. YMMV, and nothing wrong with being the LTS kind of person either. It just seemed at first that you were attacking people *not* happy with the LTS-style distros; sorry about the misunderstanding.
114 • Tired (by Mike on 2010-06-08 22:03:31 GMT from United States)
I am so tired of all the Ubuntu based distros out. Basing another distro that is based off another distro seems like trying to make spaghetti from ketchup. Being creative is one thing but putting a new label on a box of fruit loops doesn't make it a creation.
115 • Reviews (by Anonymous on 2010-06-08 23:31:27 GMT from United States)
As the audience matures here, the less relevant reviews become. A good portion of the readership has their Kool-Aid of choice, so anything short of groundbreaking garners little interest.
Maybe I missed it, I used to read every week... but, do we have a review of the real deal, Debian? Squeeze is a good compromise, just enough new stuff to keep interest, with a minimal amount of blood-letting you may experience with Sid. If there is a review, I don't see it on the Debian page here. Looks like the last review was 3.0! How insulting...
@114- Don't worry, Ubuntu is just a gateway drug. When the newcomers build up their tolerance and need a real fix, Debian is waiting.
My Kool-Aid of choice has been made pretty clear, eh?
116 • Debian, LTS and Rolling (by Jesse on 2010-06-09 00:37:57 GMT from Canada)
>> It just seemed at first that you were attacking people *not* happy with the LTS-style distros; sorry about the misunderstanding.
Sorry, perhaps I wasn't clear. I'm all for people who prefer something other than LTS distros. At the moment, I'm not using an LTS myself. The point I was originally trying to make is that some people claim Slackware (or Arch) are their preferred systems because they can take the time to set them up once and then not worry about them ever again. My view is that there are other system, which are faster/easier to install, which can also be set up once and not fiddled with again. I was using some of the big name LTS systems as examples of distributions which are both easy to set up and should be able to run for years without admin intervention.
117 • Reviews (by Anonymous on 2010-06-09 01:21:54 GMT from United States)
Why (although I already think I know) does a review always focus on the desktop?
Isn't a distribution basically the OS and then Xorg is run on top of that?
Basically most reviews are describing applications running on top of X, which are on top of the operating system.
Maybe if they focused just a little bit more on the underlying OS.
Besides, does anyone care about a text based distro?
Better yet, does anyone know of a very internet useable browser that does not require the X window system?
I personally haven't found one yet.
118 • 117 (by Anonymous on 2010-06-09 01:36:13 GMT from United States)
I believe lynx would work for you.
119 • Jesse, reviews, and Slackware (by Not Bob on 2010-06-09 01:48:28 GMT from United States)
Jesse, your writing style is fine. It's the distros that are boring. It seems everyone if just duplicating each other. If you/we want an interesting article, write about some applications, or another great how to!
We all have our favorite distro's, and there's more than enough copy and paste bloggers/fans that write their own biased reviews. Granted this is DISTROwatch. But how many times can "you" write a review of -another- debian, red hat, ubuntu, Mandrake, Suse, Slackware, respin? They all look and act pretty close to the same. Oooohhh look it's Ubuntu with fluxbox as the main enviroment instead of Gnome, with a different back ground. Let's call it fluxbuntu. Ooooh look it's Slackware with an installer that adds two options and takes away 20, plus installs slapt-get by default, joy (yawn). The only reviews I constantly look forward to reading, are Fedora. They tend to break new ground with every release. Get the new 'tech' out there, be the guinea pigs, fix the bugs, so other distros can then package stable software. We run Slackware, but thank Fedora, Red Hat, and Suse/Novell for their commits and bug hunting.
Reviews are nothing but opinions. From time to time, people's opinions differ. For instance, my opinion is a stark contrast compared to Caitlyn's. I don't "disrespect" her opinion, I just disagree with it. My opinion is that a package manager should only install or remove a package. That's it, nothing more. I don't want it telling me what I would, could, should or must install. That's what ./configure --help is for. Too much emphasis is placed on installation. As long as you can partition the hard drive, tar xf a few packages, and install a boot manager, what more do you need. If a person has an issue figuring out how to partition the hard drive, either Google it, or walk away. Linux has been great so far because it kept stupid and/or lazy people away. <-- Wonder how many people will admit that's true, compared to how many will complain about it being 'wrong'.
Slackware has the best dependency checker there is -
Of course that's my opinion, and I'm sure many would disagree. It's too hard, everything else is easier, what do you mean I need to think, I'm too busy to learn, life is too short to spend 10 minutes reading documentation, can't I just blindly click through a bunch of options that someone else chose for me because I lack all traces of common sense and the ability to think for myself?
Funny how Arch, Gentoo, LFS, and a few others have just as steep - if not more - of a learning curve, yet they receive 1/3 the flack Slackware does. Perhaps people are just mad they can't figure it out.
120 • #38 (by Anonymous on 2010-06-09 02:11:01 GMT from United States)
And back to you... "if you understood some things... you almost lead yourself to the truth"... that vendors need a stable base that is friendly to their hardware.
"They need a static, reliable state for their products operating system." I will choose to believe that you don't really mean static in an absolute sense, as the most popular OSes aren't static - OSes evolve. The more popular OSes issue periodic releases that incorporate new code often enough to satisfy vendors (more accurately, placate vendors).
The LTS did not incorporate new code that some in their user base had observed would eliminate issues with newish hardware. The code includes support for important stuff (including what will shortly be some of the most popular CPUs sold, as well as SSDs that have been selling briskly as prices plummet). Some Ubuntu users suggested that the newer kernel be used, but Linux developers of a single distro evidently don't always feel that they have the resources to quickly develop a stable system that incorporates newish code.
Actually, we have a variety of recent Linux releases that don't incorporate the now not-so-newish code. There is enough incompatibility between distros that some vendors might shy away from the effort to develop and test their own enabling code that just works on enough systems that they can advertise it as "Linux compatible".
"If you understood some things..." you'd see that the relatively slow adoption of enabling code, along with the lack of compatibility between distros, is a barrier to some vendors who might like to see Linux users become part of their customer base.
121 • Slackware (by Barnabyh on 2010-06-09 03:00:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
It's good to have at least one distro that is different. Actually there are several more like Arch or Crux but they each serve a different niche.
There is a place for what Slackware does. It's fair to point out the lack of 'automatic' dependency resolution to newcomers so they know, OTOH it does not appear fair to me to judge and criticise it for that.
Particularly when there's also an issue with blindly accepting every (security) update that comes down the pipe.
Somewhere in the middle would be nice, but, in management speak, 'there is no magical bullet'. You either have automatic management or you don't. Slackware comes pretty close though, slapt-get pulls the official updates in.
The handful of other apps like Virtualbox I can keep track of by hand. And not to forget, why update to the latest number if it works for you now?
122 • Static Binaries to Avoid Dependency Issues? (by RO on 2010-06-09 03:14:20 GMT from United States)
It seems I run into a number of "interesting" programs that have dependency issues that could be avoided if they would not be so "architecturally correct", and eschew concerns with saving bits and bytes on disk and in RAM with shared libraries, and just put together a self-contained all-in-one binary that can be unpacked into your execution path and run as-is (assuming basic kernel functions and display characteristics like a character terminal or VESA-level graphics if needed).
It seems I run into those every once in a while, and I do it for myself a bit with shell scripts for various little utilities, but what do the rest of you think of that basic concept to at least reduce dependency hell? How feasible would that be?
123 • RE#118 (by Anonymous on 2010-06-09 03:32:55 GMT from United States)
I have tried lynx, links, links2, elinks....
Only X window browsers like Firefox can show me the modem pages and allow me to click on things.
That's one big reason I like this site, it renders very good without all that web 2.0 automation stuff.
Also the earlier mentioned browsers don't do much with all the web's pictures.
Even though I use Firefox, I do consider it bloated and growing more so with every release.
It just works good for me. I don't let it pre-fetch anything; when I visit a site I don't expect it to load anything more than the page I am viewing.
But this all requires a heavy browser application running on top of another large Xorg application, along with several large(?) libraries (XUL,etc).
And that's after I manually delete all the packages from Debian stable that I can without removing the X and browser apps.
Currently with this page up the system shows 38% ram (of 512M) & 0%swap in use.
That's a lot of memory just to see one web page.
Thanks for the reply.
124 • Bloated? (by GoofyNWild on 2010-06-09 05:03:48 GMT from United States)
Did a comparison of 2 os's. XP Pro comes in at 9.2 gigs.
PCLOSGnome even adding a coupla extras came in at 5.3.
Maybe some should just run live cd's so there is no "bloatware" on a hardrive.
125 • @119, Slackware (by Fred Nelson on 2010-06-09 05:45:15 GMT from United States)
>> Funny how Arch, Gentoo, LFS, and a few others have just as steep - if not more - of a learning curve, yet they receive 1/3 the flack Slackware does. Perhaps people are just mad they can't figure it out. <<
As you already admitted, somebody who can figure out Arch, Gentoo, or LFS could handle Slackware just fine, so that can't be the reason. I agree that dependency resolution isn't *that* big of a problem in Slackware, as the default and recommended install is just just install the whole DVD with most normal dependencies already installed. IMO, the real problem with Slackware compared to Arch and Gentoo is how much time you have to waste. Gentoo has a large repository, which seems somewhere between Fedora and Debian in its breadth (remember, don't count the -dev or -debug packages if you try to verify that, as Gentoo and Arch include headers in their normal packages, and debug info is handled differently). Arch has fewer, but still a very respectable amount. And at least there are tools to help manage packages installed from the AUR, which includes most of what it is missing compared to other distros.
With Slackware, if the package you want is in the repository, it's still pretty easy, thanks to slackpkg, or even just installpkg after manually downloading it from a mirror. However, there's a very good chance that it simply won't be there, thanks to Slackware's small and closed development team. So off to SlackBuilds, or see if AlienBOB has a package cooked up. If that fails, decide if you can trust a random package you found on the 'net, or just give up and install to /usr/local. Oh, and those are now all going to be static and without even security updates, so make sure to subscribe to the mailing lists of all those packages. It's not hard at all. It's just a huge waste of time.
If you have the time to keep up your own ad-hoc repository of random packages found on the 'net or installed to /usr/local, or your software needs are simple enough to stay within the Slackware repository (no OpenOffice.org even!), then Slackware is a fine distribution. If not, though, it's simply not worth the effort, even for those who know perfectly well how to run a Slackware machine.
As for why there are no complaints about LFS, which entails even more effort than Slackware? Most people who install it are probably doing it for the educational value rather than to use as a day-to-day system, and the five users who actually *are* using it as their main operating system knew what they were getting into and thus won't complain. ;)
126 • Kanotix 2010 (by Barnabyh on 2010-06-09 08:57:12 GMT from United Kingdom)
Nice to see Kanotix coming out with a release, it seems the first final since 2005. I thought it was dead after the split that lead to sidux. The difference is that Kanotix is based on stable. Also nice to have the choice between Kde3 and 4 images.
127 • 115, 122 (by Jesse on 2010-06-09 11:22:08 GMT from Canada)
Why haven't we done a Debian review in a while? Well, Debian only comes out around once every 1.5 years. I keep telling myself I'll give it a spin when it gets released. Whenever that is.
RE: Static packages
Some systems do use static packages, or modules, to wipe out dependency hell. If I remember correctly, LinuxConsole uses these all-in-one modules and they work really well. PC-BSD also uses self-contained modules to avoid dependency problems. There are others, but those are the options which come to mind. It does make the downloads a little larger, but otherwise there isn't much difference to the end user.
128 • #127 (by Unome on 2010-06-09 12:09:34 GMT from Austria)
Do you really, honestly, think a Debian review will spice things up? Maybe it's time to just stop doing reviews until something new or interesting appears. Why not just write something Linux related that interests you and might be of some interest to the rest of us?
#115 IME, and in my oh so humble opinion, Ubuntu 10.04 is the best Ubuntu/Debian based distro out there. I am a recent convert. I just got burnt out on spending a lot of time getting a machine set up properly and Ubuntu makes it easier. Seriously though, is there something you want to tell us about your Kool-Aid? Have you been putting something in there?
129 • kanotix2010 (by distrojumper on 2010-06-09 12:22:12 GMT from United States)
>> Conky showing only 119mb ram memory usage with LXDE on Excalibur 003
Kanotix. It runs clean and FAST on an old Dell desktop.
130 • Reviews (by meanpt on 2010-06-09 12:26:46 GMT from Portugal)
:) ... Jess, I like DW reviews. You disclose the testing hardware specifications you use and you point the more or less user friendliness of it, the . Nicely done. Many of the reviews out there (usually blog stuff) doesn't even bother doing it. Against what I've read in magazines that try to sell the most of distros they review and include in the out of date grand pup good ol' times free stuff DVD, you DW don't buy on that. Which is perfect. However, you can improve your comments by trying to not be so politically correct, for that we already have the mags. I don't buy either on those sort of vanity fair interviews about who I am, how did I start and so on. Just keep focused on what they try to achieve for the distro, their claimed strength points, check everything against what you tested.and call them here to justify the gaps. That will make the difference between men and boys. For instance, I think you should add a piece of crap old non tweaked hardware still running on a i386 or i486 and check if those fastness claims on old or low resources computers remains true. Additionally, I believe all the new desktop additions deserve a short testing trial. There are many people around here that could cope voluntarily with it as you may lack time for it and it would make the DW weekly much more community driven, and always under your control. Those sort of DW community "linux illuminated" to be reviewers could also gather the inputs from other users who tried the distros at home, on pre-defined reviewing parameters. More than the reviews, you could also have breaking news stories as I believe you are pretty well positioned to have them falling in your hands without having to look for it.
131 • Salix OS (by meanpt on 2010-06-09 12:42:11 GMT from Portugal)
:) ... I wonder how many out there did try this slackware based distro that I like and use.
132 • Reviews (by Tom on 2010-06-09 12:55:09 GMT from United Kingdom)
As noobs to 'linux' (increasingly a bad name, with BSD on the rise) i think a lot of us were initially perhaps dismayed and bewildered at the amount of choice available. Perhaps some of us skipped that and just went straight to being excited at the variety & radical nature of it all.
A bit like stepping off the boat or aeroplane when you go on holiday. Wide eyed with the wonder of it all. Those that have explored and adventured far and fast enough may now feel differently and will probably find it difficult to rediscover that excitement when all the world is new. For others of us we have just stepped off the boat. I find helping in the forums and seeing new, new people arriving and getting all excited about it brings back some of the sense of adventure to me again. I'm already at the point where some of the supposed "new" people are extremely expert and competent and also helping people or developing or just using in ways i wouldn't have expected. All good to see.
"It's not like the old days" is true as we all get older and sometimes perhaps wiser. Welcome in and offer to mentor noobs and you may re-find some of that thrill you first found in 'linux'
133 • Wolvix & the rest (by Tom on 2010-06-09 13:06:38 GMT from United Kingdom)
I wonder how many have tried my favourite distro ... (insert name of distro here). We could have 600 more posts like that without getting anywhere.
How does it compare against other Slackware distros or a distro from another family? Give us 3 main reasons you prefer it and maybe we will learn a little about you, SalixOS and the one you compare it against. Is this possible in a positive way?
Regards from Tom :)
134 • Reviews (honest this time) (by Tom on 2010-06-09 13:16:52 GMT from United Kingdom)
We asked for more distro reviews and dictated the style and now we aren't happy with the result. Hmm, typical huh?
I thought the angle Jesse was originally trying to bring to distro reviews was that of a noob in linux-land? We had reviews from Caitlyn giving us an expert and slightly corporate view and then it got opened up by balancing that against the views of a weeu. Clearly Jesse is now something of an expert but please don't expect everyone to be all-knowing or all-wise, not even Caitlyn.
Why read the review on Monday? Savour the moment and save it for reading on Tuesday or even Thursday. Perhaps try to avoid reading the reviews and see how long before you 'cave'
In my first week here there was an excellent article (2nd of a 2 part-er) from Chris Smart about Logical Volume Management which i kept linking to people where relevant. They seemed to enjoy it a lot. The next week there was a different kind of article and the 3rd week had something different again. The first week i read a distro review in here was fantastic (for me) and the follow-up comments were also enlightening. People do get bored of an all ice-cream diet and sometimes we need 'meat and potatoes' (or V equiv) & no i am not a skilled writer
Regards from Tom :)
135 • Idea for reviewing a linux application, MOC (by Jan on 2010-06-09 13:34:08 GMT from Netherlands)
One application I considered essential for me, using/trying Linux, was MOC.
This is a directory music player, a sort of clone for 1by1 under Windows.
I dislike hugely the drive of established music players to generate a playlist, causing my PC to frequently endless searching/working resulting in bullshit playlists.
1by1 is a relief of over-viewability, originally only for mp3, however I found the dll's for other codecs.
MOC is a clone under Linux however text-based, so it looks rather ugly, however it plays almost all music-codecs out of the box.
Installing MOC gives a strange result: in some distros no icon or menu-item can be found. Starting MOC succeeds then through the command line (terminal) with the command MOCP (so the addition of P after the program name, the idiot who programmed this should be shot).
And because the program is text-based you need to know the hot-keys for the control of the program.
However if you succeeded in getting familiar with the above, MOC is very nice.
Maybe MOC can be reviewed in comparison to other music-players for LINUX ?
136 • Reviews (by SilentSam on 2010-06-09 13:57:40 GMT from Canada)
How about some benchmarking comparisons between distros? Or comparative reviews between similar linux software (Kino/Cinelerra/avidemux) etc? I agree that recently most distros are pretty similar, but being exposed to software that we don't use everyday and seeing which is the victor would be new and fresh.
137 • Kanotix (by M1k on 2010-06-09 14:52:45 GMT from Italy)
Well done Kano!!!...
Rock solid distro...as ever.
138 • Reviews (by Fred Nelson on 2010-06-09 15:25:09 GMT from United States)
Well, no matter what other people think, I enjoy the reviews from both Jesse and Catelyn (among others). I read DWW for the news about the distros and the reviews, both about well-known and lesser-known Linux/BSD distributions, not for a general "Linux How-To" column that some of you seem to be clamoring for. That's what blogs, forums, IRC, and Google are for. Re @136, if you want benchmarking, look into Phoronix; that's what their speciality seems to be.
139 • Nice MOC Review @135 (by RO on 2010-06-09 16:06:31 GMT from United States)
Thanks, for the pointer, Jan. Oh... you were ASKING for a review? ;-)
Seriously, this could be a new feature of DW to collect/index such quicky user application reviews that we could search as we do for distros. Lightweight music players appeal to me, also.
140 • MOC, Audacious (by fernbap on 2010-06-09 16:50:36 GMT from Portugal)
I always liked non-intrusive music players (i hate amarok, for instance), that's why i use audacious.
If a distro doesn't have audacious in its repos, then it sucks (just kidding).
It can even use winamp skins, for those that like that kind of thing.
141 • Beautify moc (by anticapitalista on 2010-06-09 17:06:40 GMT from Greece)
some themes to beautify moc.
142 • @141 MOC (by fernbap on 2010-06-09 18:23:10 GMT from Portugal)
They certainly look nice :)
143 • Just a thought and a suggestion (by Forlin on 2010-06-09 18:39:02 GMT from Portugal)
@20 "Unome are you using TOR or something similar? I noticed that your location keeps changing. I'm just curious."
At a place where people do comment and change ideas about Linux, I wonder what would be more relevant: to link the commenters to the o/s he/she are using, or to link them to the country where they are coming from?
Tear and wear at some in this week's comments, made me think that the first option is better, to keep people on topic.
In fact, there are not different "Linux Land" users,. What we have are different Linux o/s users. If it becomes relevant for a user at it's own comment, to tell where he's coming from, he is free to mention it.
144 • Caitlynn and stuff (by davemc on 2010-06-09 18:46:37 GMT from United States)
Its not that what you write about is disagreeable, its the way you write it. Here is an example from your own posts here..
"24 • Robby Workman interview (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-06-07 16:10:58 GMT from United States)
Robby Workman is correct that Slackware is not like other distros. Many things are done differently and many things that are considered basics in other distros, i.e.: automated dependency checking and resolution, are not included. That is part of the Slackware design philosophy and that's fine.
33 • Responses (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-06-07 18:32:20 GMT from United States)
#28: Let me tell you this in advance: my review of Slackware 13.1 will have very similar language to the O'Reilly review of Slackware 12.1 when it comes to package management. Most every other distro, major and minor, includes automated dependency resolution. That includes distros targeting advanced users, including Arch and CRUX. Slackware is unique in not including it and, IMNSHO, it is a major failing in the distribution when compared to almost anything else. As I said earlier comparisons to other distros are inevitable, indeed essential to a good review, and this is one area where Slackware stands out."
I bet you cant see what I am pointing out here, can you?.. Your ego wont let you!
For one thing, you contradict yourself. For another, you assume that your opinion is important enough to PV and friends that they would actually ~listen~ to anything you say, or why else bother? Waste of time, IMO. I am quite sure that PV knows his distro lacks Package Management and not you or anyone else is going to change that no matter how much virtual space you waste ranting about it. The rest of us know about it too and either use or dont use it based upon the conscious decision of whether having a Package Manager is important or not important.
You did the same thing with your last Ubuntu rant when discussing their supposed lack of bug fixing. Again, you would have us all believe (because you say so!) that Mark and crew are abhorrently negligent in fixing critical bugs. Linux has bugs - all distro's suffer from them. Some more than others, but Ubuntu is just more visible than virtually all others and so gets the lions share of the PR for them. You know this too, but you wont get many page hits from being neutral. No. Being neutral and objective gets you criticism for writing bland reviews, like this weeks Yoper column, for example, which I thought was actually a great piece.
145 • RE:143, Location has nothing to do with comments. (by Eddie Wilson on 2010-06-09 19:09:26 GMT from United States)
I'm not sure what your comment was about, maybe it was about keeping on topic, or about comments being tainted by location. Really location doesn't or shouldn't have anything to do with how we perceive someone's comments. It was just something I noticed. I use TOR sometimes and I was just interested in what he was using. Sorry for causing other people to stray. :)
146 • MOC Re 139,140.141 (by Jan on 2010-06-09 19:26:53 GMT from Netherlands)
Woepie, thats nice.
Additional usable information, thanks.
I hope that more usable fun comes again through this site.
No need for text-blurp.
147 • #144 (by Anonymous on 2010-06-09 19:33:43 GMT from United States)
Kudos to davemc. Well said. Extremely well said.
148 • @145 (by forlin on 2010-06-09 19:58:41 GMT from Portugal)
It's all about comments being tainted by location and also because the location may not be nor relevant for the exange of ideas about Linux, neither accurate due to the use of TOR. I used @20 as example of it, because it was "at hand", but nothing else. Sorry for not explaining it there.
149 • Slackware dependency resolution (by Reuben on 2010-06-09 20:08:40 GMT from United States)
I don't think the lack of dependency resolution is a feature. Pretty much every package manager has an option to ignore dependencies. I like slackware because it offers an up-to-date and stable distribution. It's good for a server where the installed packages are unlikely to change that much. However, I'd go with SalixOS for a desktop system, but to each his own I guess.
150 • @ 133 • Wolvix & the rest (by Tom (by Anonymous on 2010-06-09 20:19:07 GMT from Portugal)
1. Booting speed: Wolvix wins
2. Running speed: Wolix wins
3. Running with 256 MB Ram: The damned Wolvix wins.
4. Installation Frindliness: ehhh .... Salix is text menu driven and allows for a better installation with the default settings while Wolvix has a far better interface (a truly graphical UI).
and yet, Salix works quietly and smoothly without hanging from the 350 MB RAM onwards.
4. Salix also has and runs more updated applications which are not available in Wolvix, e.g. OpenOffice and Firefox 3.6 to mention a few.. With heavier applications things runs slower.
5. Wolvix doesn't install virtual box guest additions, nor is downloading the stuff (kernel-source, etc. etc.) needed to compile the vbox guest additions modules, as mentioned in their wiki, due to an http 404 error in the wolvix repositories. For Salix, what's in the wiki works, all you need is to download the kernel-source (other things than that are already available in the distro) which is available in the repositories and then we go. Of course, with the vbox extensions things always runs slower. But run.
6. Strangely, if you login into Wolvix either with the fluxbox or the openbox desktops, other applications are "menuized",, meaning they are on the menus but do not run. For instance, the heavier open office seems to be logically available in the lighter fluxbox desktop but unfortunately it's only a menu item and it didn't run, Again, in the openbox desktop, despite opera being menunized, it does't run either.
7, Gslapt manager in wolvix do not list more updated applications.
So, I go for the thing that works minimally updated, provides folder sharing, the correct screen resolution and seems to be cared, instead of using what seems to be much faster but abandoned, The faith of DSL comes to my mind.
151 • @ 137 Kanotix (by meanpt on 2010-06-09 20:48:34 GMT from Portugal)
... what's the hype? The installer doesn't even work. Try to use the "back" button and see what happens.
152 • buy low cost (by haybarci1978 on 2010-06-09 20:51:49 GMT from Luxembourg)
Comment deleted (spam).
153 • RE: 120/123/125/135/140 (by Landor on 2010-06-09 21:41:44 GMT from Canada)
You're correct, since nothing is absolute, except maybe the fact that I'll either skip words I meant to type and/or fill my posts with typos..lol :) Static was in the opposed relation to our community and it's, hmm, ever changing varied landscape. LTS is static when viewed from this "angle" and let's use Ubuntu as an example, a name that is slowly becoming synonymous with Linux on the desktop as RH is synonymous with Linux in the Enterprise.
You skipped to talking about users of Ubuntu. Current users are a given wanting X, Y, or Z. Vendors are a different story. Vendors look at a consumer base that doesn't like change or surprises dumped in their lap every six months or so. It's a completely different barrel of pickles. :)
I agree with you a 100% on the fact that vendors will look at compatibility and find it chaotic at best. That's why the fractured state of Linux is a detriment to it's progress of adoption as much as it is a boon to it's ingenuity. But in rides the Paladin, once riding the "Brown" Horse..lol, waving it's LTS banner for all the vendors to rejoice in its majesty and feel safe. :)
It sounds like the biggest problem you face is really Xorg and not the browser really, since you're semi-happy with Firefox, except for it dependencies. Have you thought of looking at DFB as an alternative to Xorg and attempting to run Firefox that way? I've read only small amounts about the project but it's far lighter in resources than Xorg (built as an alternative I believe for embedded systems) and I understand there is a Firefox port for it, though I have no idea how well it works.
Here's the site's link for DFB at least: http://www.directfb.org/
"As for why there are no complaints about LFS, which entails even more effort than Slackware? Most people who install it are probably doing it for the educational value rather than to use as a day-to-day system, and the five users who actually *are* using it as their main operating system knew what they were getting into and thus won't complain. ;)"
I represented that remark at one time! (how sad is that) lol! Vive LFS! :)
I can't live without XMMS! Forget MOC or Audacious..lol :P (Well, I don't know how much of a footprint MOC has) Audacious uses even more memory than XMMS and pulls in more dependencies, if I recall correctly. :)
I think we can all get along with one another and have opinions/views without taking the time to attack someone on any level. There's far more productive ways to communicate your opinions/thoughts/views.
I think I should mention too, which I haven't as of yet, I actually did enjoy the Yoper Review as well. I'm a huge fan of the independent distributions and the review was done right Jesse. My comments were in no way a reflection of it. My apologies for not stating that up front.
Keep your stick on the ice...
154 • xmms (by anticapitalista on 2010-06-09 21:51:20 GMT from Greece)
How many modern distros still use xmms?
I love it (and moc) and yes antiX still includes xmms.
155 • Yoper Review and future columns (by Jesse on 2010-06-09 21:58:36 GMT from Canada)
Glad you enjoyed the Yoper piece, Landor. I think you were actually one of the people who brought it to my attention a few weeks ago.
And to the rest of the people who have commented and e-mailed, even if I haven't had time to reply to each e-mail individually, I have (or will) read them all. There have been some great observations and suggestions made. It's been great to see how much though people have put into the subject of what you'd like to see in future DWWs.
156 • Kanotix (by Anonymous on 2010-06-09 22:25:54 GMT from Italy)
Kanotix was my main distro for a couple of years.
It was sad, in a sense, seeing so many people going with Sidux (I didn't).
However, after "the Sidux people" left, there was a friendly atmosphere in the Kanotix forum again.
Now I am so glad a new stable release is available, after such a long time (although RCs were also very stable, but often "hidden", you had to ask for a link).
157 • @153 (by fernbap on 2010-06-09 22:36:12 GMT from Portugal)
Well, Audacious is a fork from XMMS, after XMMS 2 went to the wrong direction, according to audacious developpers.
Audacious is, though, a development of the concept of XMMS 1 and, according to my opinion, how XMMS should be today.
Most distros no longer have XMMS 1 in their repositories, and so Audacious is a good choice (and it includes a pulseaudio output plugin that works really well, amongst many others).
About its footprint, i don't really care, we are talking about peanuts here, comparing to the big league apps, like Amarok.
158 • RE:153 (by Anonymous on 2010-06-10 00:02:11 GMT from United States)
PID TTY STAT TIME MAJFL TRS DRS RSS %MEM COMMAND
4222 ? S 0:00 0 663 2420 1368 0.2 /bin/bash /usr/bin/startx
4241 ? S 0:00 2 9 2850 800 0.1 _ xinit /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc -- /etc/X11/xinit/xserverrc :0
4242 tty7 SLs+ 2:48 197 1632 45475 29804 5.7 _ /usr/bin/X11/X -nolisten tcp
4254 ? S 0:00 30 576 4979 1120 0.2 _ /usr/lib/WindowMaker/WindowMaker
4274 ? Ss 0:00 0 80 4671 568 0.1 _ /usr/bin/ssh-agent x-window-manager
4275 ? S 0:04 29 576 6723 4688 0.9 _ /usr/lib/WindowMaker/WindowMaker --for-real
4280 ? SNs 0:21 1 24 3259 1376 0.2 _ /usr/bin/wmtime
4281 ? SNs 0:01 1 23 3060 1236 0.2 _ /usr/bin/wmcpuload -a 76
4282 ? SNs 1:17 1 50 3217 1428 0.2 _ /usr/bin/wmnd
4283 ? SNs 1:44 1 27 3068 1280 0.2 _ /usr/bin/wmtop
4284 ? SNs 0:02 5 23 3608 1672 0.3 _ /usr/bin/wmtemp -f -sf temp3
4285 ? SNs 0:13 4 249 3066 1424 0.2 _ /usr/bin/wmCalClock -24
4286 ? SNs 0:01 1 23 3060 1224 0.2 _ /usr/bin/wmmemload
4287 ? SNs 1:12 1 23 3060 1312 0.2 _ /usr/bin/asmon
4288 ? SNs 0:00 2 92 4667 1832 0.3 _ /usr/bin/wmbiff
4291 ? Ssl 4:02 428 24 180495 65900 12.7 _ /usr/lib/iceweasel/firefox-bin -a iceweasel
159 • RE:153 (by Anonymous on 2010-06-10 00:13:19 GMT from United States)
Oops, pushed enter when I should have used tab.
But RE:158 is my ps command of my desktop as it is.
Some what hard to read as it renders here for me. Seems to lose formating here.
Note X using 45475 and 29804
Note Firefox using 180495 and 65900
which is bigger?
I am using the classic Nvidia driver, because it works fast & well.(99.99% uptime).
Oh I too miss Xmms since Lenny dropped it.
Now I use Alsaplayer for all my audio playback, except video which is either Xawtv or Mplayer currently.
Thanks for your reply.
P.S. did you ever get time to play with a simple WIndow Maker desktop?
160 • #150 (by Bjork Gustav on 2010-06-10 00:48:18 GMT from Germany)
I find SalixOS actually boots up in less than half the time compared to Wolvix. Also SalixOS get my screen rez right. All around I have been getting a better experience with SalixOS than with Wolvix. I like the whole wolf theme and artwork better in Wolvix but that's no reason to stay with it. I have under 200 MB RAM and a PII processor. Wolvix is a great Slackware spin but on my machine SalixOS runs better.
161 • KANOTIX again. (by Chris H on 2010-06-10 01:58:40 GMT from United States)
Love this kanotix.
It threw me a curve ball and I handled it quite well, thank you.
My first boot after the install presented me with a black screen, distro hung.
Edited the grub stanza to remove 'splash' and insert '3' and 'single'.
Go to /usr/local/bin and run the kanotix script to install an nVidia driver.
'init 5' and up came kde4.
Do a dist-upgrade and only two packages were upgraded.
162 • RE: 154 (by Landor on 2010-06-10 02:58:14 GMT from Canada)
I know Fedora 13 has it. I was quite pleased to see it still there. I looked for it in openSUSE not long ago and found it's available, unofficially. But a better answer is, not enough as there should be, which should be all of them! :)
I have to laugh at myself sometimes. For a lot of the applications I use people must find the system I run absurd. There's always a method to my madness though. I have a higher-end system for resources available and the fact that what I do run, will run on this system for a very long time without needing to upgrade (we all know that horrible concept fostered by Windows and the like). But there's nothing like the right tool for the right job eh. XMMS does what it's supposed to do, play music. It does it well and with an absurdly small amount of memory and cpu cycles used. :)
I'm glad you wrote it. Yoper could use the exposure given the fact that it's rolling release.
I really like my SourceForge idea, of course..lol There's so many gems out there just waiting to be discovered. Look at today, someone brought up MOC, though I might not use it since I love XMMS, but I never heard of it before and I'm definitely going to peek at it now.
The sad thing about people like myself that get something for free, we often believe that it's our just right to expect nothing but perfection from it with little to no constructive input/support of our own. It didn't sit right with me that the comments this week left me feeling that was the case when discussing your reviews. I know this site provides financial incentive for all involved in its operation, but that doesn't mean at least from my view the work and effort isn't appreciated, far from it.
A peanut can make the difference to enough protein in your diet, or not. :) I know you made the comparison to the big boys but XMMS really does use a fair bit less than Audacious, not just in memory, in cpu resources as well. Doesn't matter though, never does. What works is what works, for you or me, that's all. :)
I was just recently thinking about you, seriously. I'm currently on a WM kick, installing and tweaking every WM I can find the time to install and Window Maker is literally next on the list for installing. I'm looking forward to spending a fair bit of time with it. I'm doing a lot of comparisons of them for my own personal reference and learning some of the unique differences some of them have. It's been on my netbook too, which makes me smile. I was out with it a week ago and tweaking OpenBox while I was waiting for an appointment. People were looking over at the netbook's screen and probably wondering what in the hell they were looking at and if I was hackin' their bank account or something..lol :)
Have your tried to lighten the load with Chrome (if it even is lighter, I personally don't know, even though I use it from time to time)?
I might even take a look at DFB myself and see how it fairs. Might be a nice alternative to X on the netbook.
Keep your stick on the ice...
163 • @162, Music Players (by Fred Nelson on 2010-06-10 04:08:57 GMT from United States)
Fedora 12 also has, and Fedora 13 has everything required to build from the .spec file, what is in my opinion the best old music player ever: Amarok 1.4. Though on other distros, I'm mostly happy enough with Exaile these days. (Tangerine has promise as a Qt 4 port of Amarok 1.4, but it was still a bit spartan-feeling last time I tried a couple months ago.)
164 • 160 • #150 Salix / Wolix (by meanpt on 2010-06-10 08:52:24 GMT from Portugal)
:):):): ... I wonder how did you manage to run applications (firefox opening and running a youtube video) in Salix within 200 MB RAM. Anyway, it's good to ear Salix managed to do it, cause in my virtual machine hosted by a Pentium M (i686 of the former times) it doesn't move as snappy as Wolvix does. Again, I cannot compare things with and without box additions. Let me make a new machine of Salix without those and I'll post the results here.
165 • Audacious (by SilentSam on 2010-06-10 16:42:28 GMT from Canada)
Audacious has a very laggy refresh rate running on my Arch Linux Pentium III 733MHz w/ 768 MB RAM tower.
XMMS and Beep Media Player (the old one) are very snappy on this system. Audacious to me seems pretty resource heavy if it's intended to be lightweight. The downside to XMMS and BMP is that they don't render id3 tags properly for me.
Really I use mpg123 and ogg123 to play music on this system anyways.
166 • RE: 163 - 165 (by Landor on 2010-06-10 23:03:19 GMT from Canada)
For one of the bigger ones, I have to agree with you on Amarok 1.4 being amazing. My son is/was a diehard 1.4 fan and can't really stand anything else. It's a shame that the newer releases have become what they are for it. I don't see the changes as intuitive and well laid out as 1.4 was, from the times I've checked out the differences.
If I remember correctly mpg123 was the engine for XMMS. I think it was the engine for a few of them. It's had a long history in *nix.
I've often wondered what people have considered the best overall theme+background for a Linux Distribution. This might sound odd, but I always considered the DSL background for the 3.1 series really nice. For some reason it just caught my eye. It had that green/kind of pinkish suede look to it. I actually still have the background on a disk somewhere. :) All the blues and stuff just make me think of Windows every time I see a distribution using blue. Even more so when the panel, menu, windows, etc are in a greyish theme.
Keep your stick on the ice..
167 • mini Reviews in Comments (by Tom on 2010-06-11 00:30:33 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thank all :) Some great stuff in here again this week :))
The multimedia stuff doesn't mean much to me right now because i seldom listen to music so the standard player in my distro is fine. Great to see this being discussed tho.Apparently digital sound is very badly handled in linux? analogue is better?
Salix vs Wolvix, weird about the problems you have been having with Wolvix [shrugs] some distros work better on some hardware sets then others. Crucially you have found one that sounds good on your system. I agree that booting faster to a non-functioning distro is not much of a plus! Anyway, thanks for the mini-review/comparision, it is making Salix intriguing. I have usually found Wolvix Hunter to be excellent at hardware detection on older hardware. I heard that Wolven & co had a new-born about last year sometime? So i am guessing that Oithona is more likely to be mre responsive out of the few of them?
I thought part of the point of Slackware distros was the minimal tweaking required to pull packages into their distros? I thought it was supposed to be easy to run packages as the package developers had envisioned? Wouldn't this mean that repos become a bit superfluous? I get the feeling i am missing something again.
Regards from Tom :)
Ps Have a good weekend all :)
168 • @167: Slackware and repos (by Jesse on 2010-06-11 01:04:18 GMT from Canada)
Slackware (and some other distros, like Paldo) try to run packages with as little patching as possible.So, as you said, the product the end-user sees should be very similar to the product the original developer was trying to create.
Even without dependency checking being a factor (and some Slackware-based distros do have dependency resolution) there's still the question of getting software compiled. A lot of upstream projects just release source code and let the distributions build it. I haven't seen many projects offer Slackware builds.
This means it's still important to have a repository of pre-compiled software for the user (Saving them the compile step.). It also allows the distro to apply security patches or distro-specific patches that need to be there.
Without a repo, users would have to be able to find, download, compile and patch all the software on their system (from different project websites) and keep up to date with security fixes.
169 • Page Rendering Problems in Chrome and Firefox (by C_h0use on 2010-06-11 02:14:25 GMT from United States)
I've noticed over time that no images, when going to your site through Chrome or Firefox, load. This really takes away from the reading experience and would really appreciate it if you look into the problem.
170 • re 166 - the 'look' thing (by gnomic on 2010-06-11 02:26:36 GMT from New Zealand)
The design aspect of the various distros is quite an interesting arena - apparently it seems inside a lot of nerds there is a sensitive designer poised to break out ;->
Just off the top of my head, I think the PC-OS guy has had a nice look on his Xfce base of late. A chappie who is turning out an obscure Linux version called Refracta has some nice themes for Enlightenment. The Archbang people have been doing some nice things on Openbox. A wee project called Madbox which lurks on the Crunchbang forums has a nice look imho. All a matter of individual taste of course. GoblinX stood out at one stage for design sensibility, though there hasn't been anything new forthcoming for a while now. A new edition may be imminent. Dpup has a look which caught my eye - it might be too blue for some . . . .
One thing that does puzzle me is the obsession with black which seems to have been a trend over the last couple of years, perhaps particularly amongst the younger set and smaller projects. Maybe I am just too antiquated to get it. However it can have an adverse effect on usability with black on black - just where is that slider or interface button?
171 • RE: #161 (by Anonymous on 2010-06-11 04:04:20 GMT from Italy)
If I am correct you are one of the Sidux founders. With other words, one of those who betrayed Kano and before leaving, made the Kanotix forum a hell for many users. So you have no right whatsoever to criticize Kanotix.
Look at your own distro instead, which has always been buggy as hell and is *far* from being a success.
At least people have fond memories of Kanotix and Kano, even if the distro is no longer what used to be.
172 • SalixOS vs. Wolvix... and repositories (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-06-11 05:42:29 GMT from United States)
I've had very good results with both SalixOS and Wolvix. I think both are very well done Slackware derivatives. If someone has a preference for one or the other then I would say go with whatever you like. The net result is about the same.
The only downside I see to Wolvix is the fact that they haven't had a final release in a very long time. The last beta build I saw (build58) was awfully close to ready for prime time and is very usable so hopefully there will be a final 2.0 release in the not too distant future. SalixOS seems to have a larger development team and has had regular releases.
Both Wolvix and SalixOS include automated dependency resolution and graphical package management using Slackware Apt (slapt-get and gslapt), as do Vector Linux, Absolute Linux, and a number of other Slackware derivatives. Zenwalk has it's own package manager but also uses Slackware compatible packages. SalixOS and Absolute Linux stay pretty close to vanilla Slackware with stuff added while the others do a lot more variation from the Slackware base. Both Wolvix and SalixOS offer everything in the Slackware repository plus other packages built specifically for their distro.
Both SalixOS and Wolvix have custom graphical and command line tools which simplify some administrative tasks and avoid the necessity of opening up config files and editing them. The Wovix control panel is particularly well done. As a result the learning curve is considerably shallower than vanilla Slackware. Having said that, anything you could do in Slackware you can also do in both SalixOS and Wolvix in terms of configuration and system management.
I think both SalixOS and Wolvix do a very good job at offering the stability, performance and reliability of Slackware while adding some tools and packages that make configuring and maintaining a system quite a bit easier and less time consuming.
173 • I almost forgot to mention... (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-06-11 05:49:48 GMT from United States)
I almost forgot to mention that SalixOS has a 64-bit version. Wolvix, Absolute Linux, VectorLinux and Zenwalk do not. Since I have a 64-bit CPU in my desktop system that is a huge advantage for SalixOS. It's one of the main reasons I no longer run VectorLinux on the desktop.
174 • "looks" (by jake on 2010-06-11 07:53:25 GMT from United States)
The first thing I change when checking out any given distro is the desktop.
And I mean the FIRST thing (right-click, select anything other that the artwork d'jour, save) ... To date, I haven't ever seen a single "stock" Linux desktop that doesn't scream "I have no clue about design!!".
This is probably the single biggest problem Linux has ... Too many egos, and not enough folks who understand what is needed on desktops.
Hint: Your so-called "art" is NOT important to my Mom.
175 • Suggestion for reviews (by DG on 2010-06-11 09:19:11 GMT from Netherlands)
Rather than have an "installation" review each week, I would be interested to see
a [monthly?] high level comparison of particular types of distro, with brief pros and
cons of the main packages provided. One review could cover Kids distros, another
would be audio/music editing, another photo/video editing, TV/PVR type distros, etc.
DW could announce the next topic in advance, and ask for brief contributions.
176 • @ 150 Bjork Gustav Wolvix v. Salix - booting times clocked (by meanpt on 2010-06-11 12:39:32 GMT from Portugal)
To those who might be interested,
Both distros were installed with their default values, (ext3 fwith everything else equal, regarding the parameters of the virtual machines, either during the installation and after it.
I ran 10 measured trials for each distro separated by 1m rest of the host machine.
Results are the modal values with a minimum frequency of 4.
Results for Salix:
- from the booting menu to the loging menu: 1:30m
- from the login menu to the desktop: 13'.
Results for Wolvix:
- from the booting menu to the loging menu: 45' (that's right, 45 seconds)
- from the login menu to the desktop: 13'
Which one do I use? ... squeezing the virtual machines to 200 MB of RAM, and despite the Wolvix's firefox version being the 3.0.8, Wolvix completely freezes and had to be shutdown, when opening the DW front page. Salix hangs but manages to move on and keep running. In general, even with higher RAM (256 - 416 MB), Salix keeps offering a better behaviour and never had to be shutdown.
177 • Hot on the heels of Robby Workman (by Barnabyh on 2010-06-11 12:56:36 GMT from United Kingdom)
Slack World has published another interview with Eric Hameleers on the development process for 13.1.
They are basically the same questions that were put to Robby to get a second view on it.
Eric is they guy who's responsible for the fact that we now have Slackware64, he is also dealing with the KDE packages in Slackware and with wireless.
Happy reading for those interested!
178 • Zenwalk (by Gustavo on 2010-06-11 13:43:28 GMT from Brazil)
Zenwalk, also a Slackware derivative, works well with 128MB of RAM.
It actually runs Firefox just fine with that configuration.
179 • Zorin OS 3.0 (by Paul Bailey on 2010-06-11 15:39:46 GMT from United States)
Very very nice.
And no, I'm not an Ubuntu fan.
I'm not an Ubuntu derivative fan.
180 • #144: Missed the point. No contradiction, no ego (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-06-11 16:31:07 GMT from United States)
@davemc: You seem to have ignored what was perhaps the most important point I made. Slackware fans are NOT the target audience when I review Slackware, Ubuntu fans are NOT the target audience when I review Ubuntu, and so forth. Of course Patrick Volkerding knows what is in his distribution and what conscious design choices he has made. Commenting about automated dependency resolution or the lack thereof is most decidedly NOT an attempt to change his mind or influence Slackware development decisions. It simply is informing people who don't know about Slackware about one of the things that make it different.
There is also no contradiction between the two posts and I am not at all sure how you can see one. You seem to entirely forget that a review is an opinion piece. It will, by definition, reflect the opinions of the reviewer. I am perfectly fine with the fact that you or others, including some in the Slackware community, disagree sharply with my opinions. That's part of the territory. However, to claim that my ego gets in the way or that I am trying to change Slackware simply because you disagree with me is arrant nonsense.
Yes, I write opinion pieces. I also write purely technical articles. The technical articles are neutral. The opinion pieces are anything but. A review is always an opinion piece IMNSHO. When people don't like my opinion and I turn around and defend what I wrote I suddenly can't accept criticism or my ego gets in the way of my seeing the obvious truth of the conflicting opinion if I don't do a 180 and reverse myself, at least in the minds of some of my detractors. Here is a huge clue: I accept criticism just fine. I am not obligated to agree with it.
The Ubuntu rant, which I wrote for O'Reilly Broadcast, is something entirely different. Yes, it is a rant rather than a review. It bemoans the fact that Ubuntu makes a conscious decision not to fix serious bugs withing a release cycle. Ubuntu has been abhorrently negligent in fixing bugs. My article says exactly what you read in it. I also, in that article and the follow-up as well as the comments section, detailed a long history of precisely that and provided supporting links. It's a completely different sort of article than a review.
181 • RE:179, Really? (by Eddie Wilson on 2010-06-11 16:47:15 GMT from United States)
Now you are. :)
But seriously folks, I did check it out and they have done a nice job with this distro. Furthermore I don't have any problem with them charging for the special versions. You're talking less than 20USD. I see the market they are going after and they may be on to something. I wish them the best of luck.
Everyone have a great weekend.
182 • Reviewing styles (by Barnabyh on 2010-06-11 17:49:12 GMT from United Kingdom)
And here I thought reviews were supposed to be as objective as possible. Obviously we all got an inherent bias that we cannot escape but should endeavour to keep as minimal as possible.
I see a big difference between simply pointing out and slagging off.
183 • Review styles (by Jesse on 2010-06-11 18:34:42 GMT from Canada)
Some reviews are opinion pieces, others try to be objective. Usually when I write reviews I try to do them as close to neutral as possible and provide observations more than opinions. I do offer some opinions in my review pieces but I try to make it really obvious that I'm stating an opinion, not a fact in those cases.
For example: "Zenwalk boots in half the time Fedora does on my hardware." is an observation. "I find the yum interface more intuitive than Netpkg." is opinion.
Unfortunately a lot of people have trouble telling the difference. I quite often get messages from readers saying things like, "I really liked your glowing review of distro A." Or "I didn't like your sarcasm when reviewing distro B." Which I find interesting because I try to avoid gushing reviews and I don't think I've ever intentionally used sarcasm in a review piece. But people will generally read what they want into things.
184 • #183: Great points (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-06-11 18:55:33 GMT from United States)
Jesse makes some great points here. I have been accused of being a biased Slackware-loving person and a Slackware hater in the comments here on DistroWatch. I obviously can't be both, can I? The truth is that I am neither. I think Slackware has some very strong points and some weaknesses. People, do, indeed read what they want into a review, or sometimes they read one line that causes a strong emotional reaction and all the rest becomes a blur.
185 • Communication (by Barnabyh on 2010-06-11 19:56:11 GMT from United Kingdom)
between humans can be very difficult, actually probably one of the most difficult aspects in life. You're both right IMO that most people read/hear whatever they want or only latch on to certain things while disregarding the context. It is also my observation that only a minority of people are able to differentiate.
Reminds me of school days and the model that stated anything can be interpreted in four different ways, depending on a person's predisposition. One person will take a statement more or less exactly like it and not interpret any other meaning into what was said, while another person (from personal history, inferiority complex or what not) may feel attacked by the same statement.
Perhaps somebody with a degree in communication sciences or just more involved in this could chip in here, it's so long ago. But sure interesting, as communication makes up such a big part of our life and determines our relation to other people and to a large part our success.
186 • #185 (by Barnabyh on 2010-06-11 20:10:38 GMT from United Kingdom)
that should be
"...only a minority of people are able to differentiate *well*."
187 • @178 • running Zenwalk on 128 MB RAM (by meanpt on 2010-06-11 20:44:42 GMT from Portugal)
:) ... it seems it does. I'm posting from a 6.4 standard edition virtual machine and not having any issue. I thought only tiny core would achieve this. Nicely done.
188 • 184 Great points (by LeBlanc on 2010-06-11 21:08:07 GMT from France)
They are great points because they defended you. You seem to mistake anything that criticizes your words as a personal attack. Someone with your background should know better.
189 • Virtual? (by Anonymous on 2010-06-11 23:58:08 GMT from United States)
I downloaded Ubuntu-10.04-desktop-i386.iso
I setup qemu using the kqemu accellerator module.
My Qemu launcher was setup for 128M ram and snapshot temp files.
I have a 1.6G 32bit Athalon CPU 512M ram running Debian Lenny, very stripped.
This means no Gnome or KDE or Dbus or HAL, simple just the OS & X.
On this is Xorg using Nvidia classic driver and simple Window Maker.
After 45 minutes past clicking launch. The ISO was still booting and I had no desktop as yet.
Sorry but it was late, I got bored and canceled the virtual machine.
Taht is all I can offer so far.
Knoppix 6.2 boots in a few minutes for comparison.
Thanks for your time....
190 • Ubuntu going backwards (by Verndog on 2010-06-12 01:57:54 GMT from United States)
This probably has no meaning here, but I'm upset that Ubuntu has decided once again to remove "Aptitude", in favor of using apt-get. Yes I know the response..."you can install it
". That's not the point, and in fact I use it many times on the LiveUSB when I boot up without having to access the internet.
Also they are doing this nonsense because they need more room for a CD size CDROM disk!? WTF! They stopped making CRDOM drives a while ago. In fact try and buy an IDE DVD burner. Their all SATA now. The point is why struggle to reach CDROM 700mb size when DVD size disks are now cheaper, faster, and can leap tall buildings in a single bound.
191 • Ubuntu (by Jose on 2010-06-12 04:30:55 GMT from United States)
Ubuntu isn't the only distro that has been forced to remove some applications in order for the ISO to fit a CD. The fact is, as kernels become larger and larger, distros are forced to make choices to get the ISO in under 700mb. The reason CD's continue to be used as opposed to DVDs is due to the fact that in many parts of the world, particulary in Africa, DVD players are not nearly as common as in the western world. Personally, I think Ubuntu and many of the other distros have far too much crap on them out of the box as it is.
192 • #184 (by Baby Brain on 2010-06-12 05:04:49 GMT from Denmark)
You are not well received in the Linux world because of your inflammatory and biased views.You go off on rants that have little or nothing to do with Linux, not to mention your delusional paranoia and "non-reviews". Go away and "write" some crap about ham radio and how the ham radio world magically sent beams into your head a stole your ideas.
193 • @150 Regarding Salix GUI installer (by Akuna on 2010-06-12 06:28:20 GMT from France)
[quote]4. Installation Frindliness: ehhh .... Salix is text menu driven and allows for a better installation with the default settings while Wolvix has a far better interface (a truly graphical UI).[/quote]
It seems this compares Wolvix which is a LiveCD with the standard (non-LiveCD) version of Salix.
Just for info, Salix also does have a LiveCD which features its own GUI installer. ;)
194 • @72 (reviews) - about target audience (by forlin on 2010-06-12 08:36:49 GMT from Portugal)
"linking of "reviewer target/distro finality", in the sense of comment @72, is about the audience of the media where the review is going to be published. Some media are more generalist, some are more specific. Here in DistroWatch it may be more difficult to choose a distro to be reviewed and have everybody happy, because there is a mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced users. More reasons may contribute for that difficulty here. One example is that many will complain in case the reviewer choose a Bunto derivative, even that some of these are heavily modified Buntu derivatives. I understand that a review of any Distro focused on multimedia, would be well regarded on a media targeting HTPC's. The same is true about secutity distros/security media, forensic distros/forensic media, gamers, etc. Distros like Slakware, Gentoo or Arch would have their most interested audience on media addressed for geeks, and a review about, lets say, Ubunto or Fedora fans, would find their right place at the unofficial media related to these two distros.
195 • @194 (by forlin on 2010-06-12 08:59:34 GMT from Portugal)
oppss... I did mean:
"and a review about, lets say, Ubunto or Fedora, for their fans,"
196 • @193 • @150 Regarding Salix GUI installer (by Akuna ) (by meanpt on 2010-06-12 11:34:37 GMT from Portugal)
:) ... you're absolutely right. Salix has one of the best GUI installers I've seen. For some reason I did that part wrong (I remember to be installing zenwalk at that time and maby ... oh ... awfull ... ). I wished I could edit that post to correct it.
197 • @189 • Virtual? (by Anonymous) (by 189 • Virtual? (by Anonymous) on 2010-06-12 12:02:22 GMT from Portugal)
:):):) ... the 10.04 with 128 MB's? ... :):):):) ... the only 10.04 i'm able to use within 400 MB is the UNE and even then things get too calm ... too calm ... it break my nerves ... on the other hand, I have an image of the minimal CD laying around and waiting for a huge ammount of paitience to explore it, but I don't think it will help you much ... if interested, go here ... https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/MinimalCD
198 • reviews (by Anonymous on 2010-06-12 13:36:20 GMT from Canada)
I want reviews that emphasize the "warts". If I want a gushing, glowing evaluation I can read some of the comments at Amazon.com.
One of the biggest oversights is the lack of information about "dual booting".
It seems, from comments over the years, that many readers of DWW have more than one computer, and that this is an "extra" computer that can be borked with impunity.
The average user does not have more than one computer; and if there is more than one in the family it is needed by some member of the family.
A computer with no apps is a doorstop; yet apps are not reviewed. It is all too easy to accidentally press the wrong button and then not be able to get out of the mess, And even have the problem spread to other apps.
Caitlyn's reviews are fine for me.
199 • @192 • #184 (by Baby Brain (by meanpt on 2010-06-12 14:11:26 GMT from Portugal)
I like reviews biased towards GUI's and newbies. I like inflamatory reviews, I like spicy stuff, I like diversity, I like debate, I like difference. I vote for what has been written. I don't like rude people, neither those who entitle tehmselves as representing the linux world. Small world your's.
200 • keyboard woes (by Anony Moss on 2010-06-12 15:31:05 GMT from India)
Looking for some help here :-(
My notebook's 101-keyboard (US layout) is never correctly recognized by X. Normally I wouldn't bother much but this particularly aggrieves when using the Ctrl++ key while trying to increase test size in Konsole (more of a KDE user these days).
Any pointers on how to (easily, if possible) solve this problem, ie, correctly map the keys. Links appreciated.
201 • @198 - dual boot (by forlin on 2010-06-12 17:50:15 GMT from Portugal)
Dual booting and "The average user does not have more than one computer"
I think you made a very pertinent observation. I have been distro hopping and I lost a few times the option to boot my other o/s in different partitions. There is an application named SuperGrub that is able to restore the boot loader from different partitions, but in good truth that may be complicated and scary to the average user. Even for those who have all their backups updated, if something wrong happens it's a pain to reinstall everything.
To be in the safe side, the best procedure, in case of doubt, is to use a separate disk and unplug the current used disk, during the installation of a new distro. But again, this would only be a temporary measure and the regular user may not want to open the pc to unplug the disk, more so in case it's a laptop.
202 • @Anony Moss, 200 (by Barnabyh on 2010-06-12 17:52:50 GMT from United Kingdom)
Hi there, which window manager or desktop environment are you using? You can set keyboard layout in most DE's very easily, like in Xfce under Settings/Keyboard/layout tab funny enough.
Alternatively go and edit Xorg.conf and change layout in there to your country (you may just have to uncomment one line for your US keyboard). Strange though as mostly US keyboard is the default and people experience problems wanting to switch to something else.
203 • @202 (by Anony Moss on 2010-06-12 18:03:29 GMT from India)
I need to check up on your suggestion. My problem lies in the fact that the keyboard is correctly recognized as a US keyboard, but not as a 101-keys keyboard (at least thats what I think the problem is). In particular, the '+' key is not recognized correctly. I'll get back with a message here if your suggestion helped. Oh, and i' using KDE as the DE right now.
204 • re 190 and the drift to distros on DVD (by gnomic on 2010-06-13 01:42:30 GMT from New Zealand)
I observe that more and more Linux distros are on DVD only. That's fine and dandy for those with good broadband speed and unlimited data. Alas some of us live in countries where it is usual for ISPs to impose data caps; some of us even struggle to keep up from networks which sputter along at dialup speeds and impose a limit on the size of files able to be downloaded. DVDs with releases from some months back come off the covers of imported magazines retailed at prices which make the eyes water.
Just as well there are still some distros able to release CDs providing a serviceable range of applications. I for one am grateful for that.
205 • SCO vs Novell (by Georgina on 2010-06-13 02:11:09 GMT from Canada)
Novell won. Does this mean SCO will lose it's secret funding?
206 • @ 205 (by Anonymous on 2010-06-13 02:28:06 GMT from United States)
Novell has already accepted the "secret" funding...
207 • hacking (by anon on 2010-06-13 03:53:28 GMT from United States)
#192 (by Baby Brain)
Maybe you could explain how hackers - ham or PC - magically steal other people's ideas. What's the thrill for them?
208 • #207 (by Baby Brain on 2010-06-13 04:16:38 GMT from Germany)
209 • a good reading for Sunday (by forlin on 2010-06-13 06:58:35 GMT from Portugal)
For those who may find the time on sunday, between leisure and football, there is an article at "theinquirer", dated the 1 June, titled "EC comes out for open source" that may be an interesting reading.
This is the first paragraph:
"THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION has come out solidly behind increased use of open source as a means to boosting interoperability and improving procurement throughout the Eurozone."
Lets wish the EC to keep up the good work.
210 • @ 209 • a good reading (by meanpt on 2010-06-13 08:03:35 GMT from Portugal)
:) ... will see if the EC will adopt some kind of Eurinux for their burocrats and staff ... I doubt M$ will let it to go ...
211 • @ 198 & 201, 2nd machines (by Tom on 2010-06-13 08:31:54 GMT from United Kingdom)
Yes, scavenging, acquiring or even buying a 'new' hard-drive can be a huge help.
Often offices and even a lot of home users have old machines lurking in cupboards, under-stairs, in attics or basements. Usually these are complete machines fully functional with certain distros.
Occasionally some sundry 'repairs' (such as getting a new Cd/Dvd-drive for your main machine and putting the older one in the old machine or buying apci- card to add the new-fangled usb 2.0 slots) is all that is required. Sometimes smart users have taken the old drives out of these machines but soemtimes that might be the 1 item that is still salvageable.
With such machines it is wise to try a few different LiveCd/Usb sessions of a few different distros just to see if you can bring the old hardware 'back to life' or it might be a total non-starter. If you can get as far as the bios then you are in with a good chance. Occasionally it might take 2 or 3 machines that people have (or are about to) chuck onto the scrap heap in order to get 1 machine fully working.
The beauty of this approach is that with minimal spending you can often get a few good 2nd machines working quite fast and often end up with back-up or added parts for your new machine. I have a work-horse of a cd-drive that i prefer using to the newer dvd-drive to reduce wear&tear on the more expensive device.
Another advantage is that while messing around inside an ancient old machine that was just about being thrown away it really doesn't matter if something goes quite badly wrong. Just take care not to electrocute yourself and try to avoid cutting yourself. The dust inside machines is unusually choking but a cuppa tea, coffee, milk, mango juice or possibly even water or something quickly settles that.
Such a strategy can eventually lead to everyone having a sufficiently new or at least fast machines, perhaps a few shared ones (ie sitting room, kitchen), perhaps a dedicated file-server, perhaps a dedicated internet gateway or router. Server/router type machines can often be very low spec because they don't have to directly deal with pesky erratic humans and don't really need to run a gui desktop (nor the latest games & movies)
Alternatively you could always try a virtual machine by simply installing "VirtualBox" or something.
Good luck and regards from Tom :)
212 • @ 200, 202, 203 Keyboard troubles (by Tom on 2010-06-13 08:44:29 GMT from United Kingdom)
There is an excellent forum for general linux advice at
Often people in DW are helpful but tomorrow we start a new week and a new thread so people wont be looking in at this one after today. Often people in here give their email addresses, just wave your mouse arrow over peoples name if it's a link.
Regards from Tom :)
213 • @212 (by Anony Moss on 2010-06-13 11:48:49 GMT from India)
Thank you, Tom, shall search that site- looks good. Also the Arch docs have some current documentation about kb configuration but I still have to see whether it applies to other distros like Suse and Fedora.
214 • grub2 (by Tom on 2010-06-13 12:10:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
Does anyone know how many distros have moved to grub2 or could fix grub2 issues easily from their LiveCd without internet connection?
Was Ubuntu the first distro to use grub2?
Regards from Tom :)
215 • @ 213 keybUs (by Tom on 2010-06-13 14:30:42 GMT from United Kingdom)
Generally i think it is better to find the documentation for your own distro. Easiest route is to use the DW front page
To find your distro's DW either in the list down the bottom right-hand side or using the search tool. Scroll down below the screenshot and find the "Documentation" line in the table.
It is worth realising that an enormous amount of documentation for a particular distro works almost identically with another distro. Sometimes things only need a little tweaking, such as using QtPartEd instead of GPartEd in KDE distros but the packages are almost the same to use or fairly easy to figure the differences in the gui. On the command-lines things are generally the same although again some of the packages might have slightly different names. Anyway, the point is that documentation for a completely different distro is often a good starting point for figuring your own
Good luck and regards from Tom :)
216 • Is this serious? (by Jan on 2010-06-13 21:00:11 GMT from Netherlands)
Something to worry about?
217 • RE: 216 (by Landor on 2010-06-13 21:15:06 GMT from Canada)
No Jan, to a point.
That kind of thing is by an untrusted application that was poorly maintained. If you keep to your distribution's own repositories that actually go through a testing process and the quality of the packages is scrutinized then you'll have no problems. This could easily have happened to any OS because they're installing from source. That's another point here. When installing tar files from source it's always, always intelligent to NEVER install them as root. That kind of thing leads to trouble.
It's just hype jumped on by Anti-Linux advocates who are fear-mongering. This is no similar to a theme I believe it was that was found on kde-look.org or gnome-look.org that had some nasty code in it. That was dealt with, near instantly. As I said, keep to your distribution's repositories or make sure you can trust the source, as well that it is a trusted source, then make sure you don't install as root regardless and you won't have any concerns that these fear mongers are trying to spread.
Hope that helps explain things and gives you a head's up on how to be a bit more safe with what you install.
Keep your stick on the ice...
218 • Ed Bott of ZdNet (by Tom on 2010-06-13 21:41:43 GMT from United Kingdom)
He is a good fun read and unlike most Windows fanboys is actually quite well informed about some aspects of Windows. In fact he is apparently THE leading authority on MicroSquish Office having made a tidy profit from his books about it.
A lot of these sorts of people are beginning to get very scared, or so it appears, about the increasing threat of linux as we reach nearly 1% of the desktop market.
Ghandi said "First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win"
Ed Bott does have a point about complacency being a bad thing. Running anything as root is risky but we minimise doing that. Imagine how much trouble an OS that almost always ran as root would have or that allowed packages to freely dip into being root at whim. Oh wait, we don't have to stretch our imaginations - there's DVL and Windows.
About security i found these links about SSH
Regards from Tom :)
219 • #218: nearly 1%? Microsoft propaganda, not fact (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-06-13 22:16:30 GMT from United States)
The 1% or 2% numbers thrown out in the tech media for Linux desktop adoption are inaccurate at best and deliberately misleading at worst. They are derived from one of two sources: sales of preloaded Linux systems (sometimes exclusively in retail outlets) as compared with Windows or MacOS, or usage as reported by web browsers on sites which pay to be counted. Such sites generally don't include ones frequented by Windows users but do include microsoft.com. It should also be noted that many Linux users get around websites that try to be Windows-only by deliberately misreporting their OS.
The real numbers are almost impossible to determine since many if not most Linux users will take a system sold with Windows and reload it with their OS of choice. Many in the Linux community eschew Windows entirely. I know I do :) I've read estimates anywhere from 4-8%.
In general, when someone in the media assigns a very low number to Linux penetration in any part of the market, not just the desktop, take a very close look at who paid for them to write that number.
220 • Correction to #219 (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-06-13 22:18:12 GMT from United States)
"Such sites generally don't include ones frequented by Windows users..." should read Linux users instead of Windows users.
Note to self: Proofread first, click Submit later.
221 • Linux numbers post 219 (by deRuud on 2010-06-13 22:39:44 GMT from United States)
If "the real numbers are almost impossible to determine" then you saying that you have " read estimates anywhere from 4-8%"
is equally inaccurate as the "1% or 2% numbers thrown out in the tech media for Linux desktop adoption."
Please ..... please stop making such contradictory and ridiculous statements.
222 • Trusted Packages (by Landor on 2010-06-13 23:04:30 GMT from Canada)
To further the topic a bit, I think this is another good reason to go with one of the bigger names when it comes to Linux. A lot of people look at the daunting task of contributing to a distribution, especially a larger one more so than a smaller project. There's a good reason and this is one of the reasons as to why it's hard to say, become a packager. Not only do you have to be good at it, you have to become trusted as a packager and why for a larger project you normally have someone in a mentoring/supervisory position above you and go through a probationary period so to speak. They have to trust that you won't inject some kind of malicious code into the packages.
Let's face it, we can say how great this community is and how everyone works together but even as readers here we've seen people who posted at time with nothing but ill intent towards others. Would you then trust such a person that said, "Hey I just created X-ix, check it out!"? I know I wouldn't. Common sense and critical thinking go hand in hand with anything, but especially when it comes to making sure your personal information isn't abused by someone of said ill intent via your computer.
Keep your stick on the ice...
223 • #221: Say what? (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-06-13 23:27:52 GMT from United States)
@deRuud: My statements were not inaccurate, not contradictory and not ridiculous. The 1% number is bogus. Many, many people have written on that subject. It is nowhere near accurate. The roughly 6% number is the best educated guess available which, once again, I have read in articles by respected Linux writers. The precise number cannot be measured accurately. All those statements are accurate and none are mutually exclusive. Please try reading what I actually say rather than extracting them, taking them out of context, and spinning them.
I also don't believe you have any right to dictate what comments I can or cannot make.
224 • @223 (by deRuud on 2010-06-14 00:27:27 GMT from United States)
Your claim of 4-8% (or 6%) has no more credibility that someone else's claim of 1-2%
However, if it seemed to you that I was trying to dictate anything, you are mistaken and I apologize.
Please feel free to continue to post your contridictory, ridiculous, and nonsensical tripe.
225 • Linux Statistics (by RollMeAway on 2010-06-14 01:15:55 GMT from United States)
No survey knows how many installations of Linux I, and other readers here,
have installed and use.
No survey know how many Linux installations we have make onto friends and family computers.
Given most of us are not included in such reviews, here are a couple to browse:
And where the developer go the users will follow:
226 • Reply to Anonymous, #171 (by Chris H on 2010-06-14 01:50:39 GMT from United States)
My comment, nr.161, was not irony.
It was meant to be taken at face value.
I've done more Kanotix installs,
and have found that removing the 'vga=791' cheat code
will allow Kanotix to load.
If that wouldn't work, I'd remove the 'splash' cheat code.
Those cheat codes are set in /etc/default/grub.
Edit that file and run /usr/sbin/update-grub.
This is a problem that comes with grub2.
I've had it happen on another computer.
227 • estimates (by Tom on 2010-06-14 06:43:09 GMT from United Kingdom)
Missed the point
Most companies have a business model that gives a healthy profit to shareholders even when the company has a very small segment of the market. Various countries have established organisations to ensure some level of healthy competition. Democracy and "market forces" are generally described as a good thing for consumers and companies alike.
I have read reputable people make statements such as "linux is only 0.1% of the computer market", compared against Caitlyn's 'estimates of 4-6% of the desktop market' which does at least use the crucial word 'estimates'.
If every time we wanted to buy a certain brand of washing powder we were forced to first buy and discard a rival's washing powder and washing machines all had labels saying that using anything but the rivals powder would cause damage then people would surely be outraged, especially if the rivals powder was more expensive. How could meaningful stats be collected about usage when nearly 100% of our brand's users are first forced to buy the rival's? Usually buying a product means not-buying the rivals, not contributing to the rival's profits.
Can we legitimately claim users that have bought a Windows licence as not contributing towards Windows when they have already given Windows the only thing Windows is really interested in?
Even if we add up all the users of different operating systems and compare against the numbers of Windows users i think there is no doubt that Windows is a long way over 50% of the desktop market. Even if we give linux the people that have already bought Windows but then not used it we still all have to agree that Windows dominates the desktop market.
My point with quoting the spurious 1% figure is that it is the figure that our rivals quote. Often they go on to say that means 99% of the computer market is therefore owned by MicroSquish, conveniently ignoring non-desktop markets and Apple and others.
If we take them at their word then why do they need to keep quoting figures like that? Are they saying that the desktop market is unhealthy and needs more competition?? If Windows can legitimately claim 99%, or even anything over 50% then why does it seem so afraid of the competition and why does it use tactics that bear such a striking resemblance to a wounded and cornered animal? At over 50%, market dominance, a profit making company should be making quite a healthy profit surely?
Regards from Tom :)
228 • @218 (by Anony Moss on 2010-06-14 08:06:21 GMT from India)
Somewhat offtopic, Tom, but ...
the man quoted was named Gandhi. I've heard Ghandi is a surname in Afghanistan but definitely not used in India.
see you in the next edition of DWW!
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