| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 360, 28 June 2010
Welcome to this year's 26th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The great variety of free operating systems available today makes it possible to satisfy every user scenario; from extremely conservative to bleeding edge - there is a distro for everybody. Today we'll focus on the former. CentOS, a clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, is a product designed for those who prefer stability and reliability over cutting-edge features. But as explained by Karanbir Singh in our interview, CentOS can be used in surprisingly varied deployment setups, including VoIP servers, high-performance computing or development workstations. Read on to find out more. In the news section, Mandriva finds investors and promises a new release early next month, Oracle continues its secretive attitude towards OpenSolaris, Linux Mint releases a tool for easy localisation of its distribution, and NetBSD publishes a strategy guideline for testing the popular multi-platform operating system. Also in this week's issue, an explanation about TRIM on solid state drives (SSD) and a final list of new packages that will be added to the distribution tables on DistroWatch. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Interview with Karanbir Singh, CentOS project
CentOS, a Linux distribution built by compiling the source packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), has emerged as the most popular RHEL clone available today. Although often perceived as an operating system for mission-critical servers where stability and dependability are far more important than cutting-edge features, CentOS can be used in other deployment scenarios, including specialist servers or development workstations. Today we talk to Karanbir Singh (pictured on the right), a CentOS developer, about the reasons behind the project's continued success, attempt a comparison of CentOS with other similar distributions and enterprise operating systems, and describe the process of building CentOS from the source code that Red Hat makes available with every new release.
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DW: Karanbir, thank you very much for your time. Let's start with the usual. Can you please introduce yourself? How old are you? Where do you live? What do you do for living?
KS: Hi, my name is Karanbir Singh. I am 35 years old, love Belgian beers, enjoy travelling and a good steak. Born and brought up in India, I moved to the UK in May 2001. I am currently based in South East London working as the Infrastructure Lead for a major on-line services company.
DW: When and how did you get involved with CentOS?
When Red Hat moved from the Red Hat Linux to Red Hat
Enterprise Linux (RHEL) model it left my work place, of the time, in a dilemma. We had a lot of in-house experience on the "Red Hat" platform which also meant that we were very capable of self supporting our internal requirements. The RHEL platform, on the other hand, was and still is targeted primarily at people who need both business and technical support - neither of which was high on our priority list. The options at the time were to rebase to an alternative like Debian or SUSE or to hedge our bets with the faster moving target that was to become the Fedora
However, none of those options seemed natural and would all require a fair bit of effort. Plus, introducing a drastic change in our work process is something that I didn't want. Luckily, it was at that point that I came across the White Box
Enterprise Linux (WBEL) distro and we saw the third option - to continue to use a Red Hat platform, while being able to self-support our own requirements. So after a bit of testing, we started moving out production base over to WBEL, and then actually started doing the package rebuilds in-house.
It was a few months later, while talking with Johnny Hughes Jr, that I realised that WBEL was being too specifically targeted at an internal requirement that the only developer had. So we came up with a grand plan of starting our own project with a more open set of goals, better defined and easier for people to identify with. Our driving force was not the implementation goals that people had. Our driving goals were more along the lines of making sure we get a stable and well-managed platform together and the technical depth that people who already used this platform could bring into a common pool. But it was Donavan Nelson who pointed us at CentOS, which had already got a release for CentOS 3 out of the door. And after a bit of deliberation, Johnny and I decided that rather than start our own project we would adopt CentOS 4, and the two of us became the "CentOS 4" team.
Now almost six years later, we are still involved with the project and doing a lot of the work within the CentOS core team. Of course, personal life needs to take a priority and we all need to take breaks every now and again from CentOS "efforts".
DW: At times it seems that you are the main PR guy of the project, announcing most of the CentOS releases and providing information to third parties. Is this now your official function or is it just your own initiative to make CentOS more visible to the big world?
KS: I think it's a bit of both, official role and my own desire. Helped along with a case of implied visibility. There are quite a lot of people contributing in their own ways. And many of them, including me, put in dozens of hours every week towards CentOS and the various efforts in and around the project. It just so happens that things I'm working with at the moment has been that much more visible publicly, so plenty of people see and hear quite a lot from me.
There is every effort to make CentOS more popular and we all like to get the word out there about the platform. If you say that the small things that I do have been making an impact, it makes me feel good. Along the same line, one thing I would love to do more of is be able to travel to various open-source and business-centric shows to be able to talk to people about CentOS. But the day job gets in the way! The necessity to earn a living means that I can only do two or three such events every year.
DW: Although there have been several attempts at recompiling source code for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and create a "new" distribution, CentOS is now by far the most successful of these. What do you attribute this success to?
KS: There are a couple of things that contribute towards this. Firstly, there is the whole issue of trust. We have demonstrated over a long period of time that the userbase can expect a consistent, reliable and stable platform. And a large part of that comes from the extensive efforts we make in being and staying true to our upstream, Red Hat. As I mentioned previously, the goals within CentOS are not to target implementation, but to target this platform. What this means for the user is that they can trust the product that comes through CentOS and know they get the accrued benefit of the applications in the distro having been through the Red Hat testing process as well.
Another factor that contributes towards our popularity is the idea of peer recommendations. It has been a long and hard road, but we have always encouraged new industry segments to evaluate and grow with us. For example in early 2005, with CentOS-4/x86_64 we were able to reach out to the VoIP industry in a big way. We tried to make sure that the opinion leaders in that industry were aware of CentOS, knew what our goals were, had a route to provide direct feedback and know that their feedback would matter. End result was that most of them went out recommending CentOS. I've heard rumours recently that CentOS might be the largest installed platform for VoIP providers worldwide now! The hosting industry is another place where we had similar success. Both of these market segments are areas that I worked on personally; let's not forget that there are many other people who have had similar success with CentOS in their own respective areas of interest.
A third factor that has helped spread CentOS is availability. We have always tried to make sure that we have plenty of mirrors, plenty of bandwidth to those mirrors and spread them out all over the world. Today there are more than a hundred machines that are managed by the CentOS Infrastructure team and more than 500 external mirrors. Pretty much every major open-source mirror network in the world carries CentOS. It was a lot of effort getting there; in many cases it was one of us having to repeatedly badger the administrators in order to get them to carry our content.
Another major issue, and perhaps the most underrated aspect of CentOS, is that it makes for a fantastic platform to build emerging technologies and to host rapidly changing targets. I know many people will be surprised about that. The general impression is that CentOS is a stable platform, with a strongly reliable ABI tracking application base that does not divert from its core functionality during the course of a release. And they are all right. But because it does all this, it also makes for a fantastic platform to change a couple of specific applications that are important to you, and be able to rely on the fact that the other programs in the distro will not change drastically. And to be able to do this, yet receive security and bug-fix updates for the platform is of immense value to developers.
For example, if you want to build and host a Ruby on Rails application, CentOS is a great choice. It allows you to use whatever mechanism you want to build, test and deploy your application, while assuring the user that the environment and platform are secure, dependable and stable. And it is this feature that contributes in large portions to the fact that almost every emerging technology today has some level of roots in CentOS. Cloud computing, messaging, high-performance clustering, virtualisation, appliances, VoIP, commodity level hosting, etc are all areas that CentOS has been involved with.
Then there is the huge community around CentOS - an extremely capable and knowledgeable pool of people who all work to achieve different things using the same platform. So if you run into issues, there are usually quite a few people who would be very ready to help out over the lists, IRC, forums or even direct email. This does come with its caveat of community level support so one does need some level of awareness and an interest to learn about things in order to best use such a resource pool. If you need a phone number to call when things break, and prefer to pay someone to answer that phone and know what they are talking about, you should be talking to Red Hat!
Of course, many of these points are not specific to CentOS and would apply to any rebuild, but I feel we have had the right level of juice and focus to make all of them applicable to us.
DW: Do you have any ideas how many people out there use CentOS? As an example, Fedora tracks the number of unique IP addresses that connect to its update servers, perhaps CentOS has something similar? With CentOS being offered for free, it wouldn't be entirely unimaginable to think that CentOS servers now outnumber RHEL servers? Or am I completely off the mark?
KS: There are really two questions here. Firstly the idea of numbers. I have no idea how many people use CentOS, but we know it's lots! Six figures for sure. Seven figures? Maybe. Tracking IPs works for Fedora due to the demographic and the install roles they target. With the CentOS userbase, it's not that easy. For example, many organisations and universities run their own local mirrors, and CentOS installs from inside there will never hit the YUM repositories that we run. Similarly we know there are large installs in China and Japan, and we rely entirely on external mirror hosts to serve those areas.
The second part of your question is about how our numbers stack up against RHEL's. In my opinion, that comparison isn't really worth doing. We are not competing with or trying to hurt the business that Red Hat is in. I know there are edge cases where people who could potentially be using RHEL are using CentOS, and similarly people who might be better off with CentOS are using RHEL instead. But in the grand scheme of things what RHEL targets and what we are doing are quite different. If a user needs business and technical support, along with a SLA and an assurance that they can get that support at any time for their application, they really should be talking to Red Hat. On the other hand, if there is enough expertise in-house to self support your application and be able to have the flexibility to rely on community for support then CentOS is a real option.
Then there are areas where people just need a stable platform to host an alien application or role, which will need a minimal level of involvement in administration, like HPC and appliance machines. Again, CentOS makes for a good fit here, since that would allow you to change as much or as little as you like with no implications on support availability. It's also not uncommon to hear about hybrid CentOS / RHEL setups where people use CentOS in development roles, with RHEL hosting their production role. So I don't think the number comparisons with RHEL and CentOS matter. What matters is that people have a choice, and the ability to pick something that works best for them on a platform that they are familiar with.
DW: Last year CentOS gained further momentum when not one, but three different CentOS books from major publishing houses appeared in print. Do you see this as a springboard to further expansion into, say, CentOS certification? Are there any plans to offer a CentOS training that could find some attraction among companies that are put off by the high cost of the Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) certification?
KS: It was great to see CentOS specific books out on the shelves; made sweeter by the fact that some of that content come from people who are deeply involved with the community. With respect to certification and training if there is a process that can be put into place which can guarantee, within reason, the level of competence of a "graduate", I don't see any reason why we could not do that. On the other hand, given that the product base is so similar, I imagine the best value in a CentOS certification would be as a compliment to a Red Hat certification. Based on what I've seen in the last few years, most people who ask for an RHCE expect the candidate to be working with RHEL. So one needs to keep that in mind as well.
DW: The CentOS project prides itself for having an excellent relationship with Red Hat. Can you expand on that? Some might find this relationship rather surprising given the fact that CentOS effectively undermines Red Hat's business model by offering the same product and long-term security support without a charge.
KS: Because the target audience is so different, RHEL and CentOS interests don't overlap too much. Think of it like this: RHEL is a service and support contract you get a Linux distribution with. CentOS on the other hand is a Linux distribution that you can download and install, and expect to put in the hard work yourself in order to support. The CentOS community has a very good and functional support mechanism in the mailing lists, IRC and forums. But no insurance company is going to give you business liability indemnity against that. Similarly, if you need to run the latest kernel for some specific function, doing that on RHEL will invalidate your support contract with them.
So when one uses the "support" word, exactly what we support in CentOS and what support one gets from Red Hat are quite different. Although, don't be surprised if a CentOS mailing list can help you get the solution to the problem faster than Red Hat tech support can :)
DW: On the enterprise Linux scene there are two major players - Red Hat and Novell. Both offer the source code of their products, but only on the Red Hat side we have seen efforts to create something out of it. Why do you think there is no "community" edition of Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES)?
KS: The big difference between Red Hat and Novell is their attitude towards the sources. Unlike Red Hat, Novell does not publish all their sources. Till very recently they also didn't publish a complete set of tools that would be needed to make a community SLES possible. And as far as I can tell, they seem to prefer working through the openSUSE effort rather than accepting an open source community rebuild effort around SLES. Further highlighted by the fact that sources for their updates in SLES are not published publicly at all. I accept that it has been about 18 months since I looked last, so they might have changed their attitude now.
Then there is also the lack of interest. I am aware of at least two groups of people who have considered going down the route of building up a community SLES-based distro, and abandoned the idea when they found little or no interest. Most people who want to use the SUSE platform seem happy with openSUSE. I can only imagine that this hurts Novell overall, since there is very little openSUSE penetration into either the business or academic setups.
DW: On a more technical note, can you describe the CentOS release process? Once you see a new version from Red Hat, what happens next? Is the process of building new ISO images for release mostly automated? How much internal testing is done before the DVD images get uploaded to FTP servers and an announcement goes out to the media?
KS: Our process is fairly automated at this time, but still relies on people doing the actual approvals. It would be nice to get to a stage where the process could run end-to-end completely automated, but we are not quite there yet! Hopefully soon we can start looking at that, at the moment it's just not a major target.
When a new release is announced at Red Hat, we would download all applicable sources. Step one is to rebuild all the sources against the same targets used upstream and try to use the same build order as much as possible. Once this is done, we do update / upgrade testing against these packages. For example, for the 5.5 release, we did extensive tests for upgrades from the various 5.x releases and also from 4.x releases. Once we are satisfied with the results, and are reasonably sure that we produce the same results with our packages as upstream would - we move onto the building ISO stage. Which are then handed over to our QA team.
Our QA team is small, but focused and works in a private group. This allows us to have a very high rate of churn and rapidly fix issues. During the 5.5 release, it was not uncommon to have four sets of ISO builds on the same day and yet have a relatively good level of QA feedback. At the moment our QA effort is limited to installation scenarios, upgrade and repository testing. What we would really love to do is expand this to include application functionality testing, but lack the manpower to do so. If anyone wants to adopt some applications and can devote some chunks of time a few times every year, please come and talk to us.
Our target is to get a new release out of the door within 4 weeks of upstream.
DW: CentOS is often seen as solid and stable, yet outdated operating system suitable as something that can be installed on a server and that will work for years without much maintenance. And yet, the CentOS community is making a solid effort in providing unofficial up-to-date software packages for the desktop. Is this the result of a demand by users? Does CentOS as a desktop system have some attraction in certain user scenarios?
KS: Yes, CentOS makes for a great desktop and workstation distro. Like I said before, since its a stable platform you can freely add and remove components from the system using either your own builds or third party repositories, yet feel secure in the knowledge that the base operating stack isn't going to break or change on you in a long time. This really does transfer the upgrade cycle over from what is enforced by faster moving distros like Fedora and Ubuntu, over to the user where you can then choose when and how you want to upgrade what. It has been over three years since CentOS 5 came out, but I still find users running CentOS 4 happily with the latest versions of Firefox, MPlayer etc. Also, one needs to keep in mind that Red Hat do a lot of kernel backports, so while the main kernel version number does not change, new and better hardware support is always going in.
I know the existing repositories spread for CentOS isn't ideal at the moment. Users still need to make some efforts to locate the right ones for them, then might still need to contend with conflicting packages, etc. Putting in place a better system is quite high on the agenda, if anyone has ideas on what and how we could do that, please get in touch!
DW: Karanbir, thank you very much for your answers and keep up the good work!
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Mandriva and OpenSolaris updates, localising Linux Mint, NetBSD testing strategies
Many members of the Linux community eagerly await any news about the future of Mandriva which has been rumoured to have serious financial difficulties. Last week, a French web site published an exclusive report claiming that the company has been "saved by investors", or sauvé par des investisseurs (article in French). Subsequently Caitlyn Martin published a short summary of the story at O'Reilly Community: "After weeks of concern about the 'catastrophic state of its finances' and an indefinite delay in the release of version 2010.1, the French website LeMagIT is reporting that Mandriva has been saved by new investors. The article quotes Mandriva Director General Arnaud Laprévote: 'Today the company found investors who decided to invest in the company, in order to give balance to the organization and to find a good economic model.' He added that 'the community and users no longer need be concerned.' Due to regulations regarding confidentiality the identity of the new investors was not disclosed. Laprévote went on to explain: 'we were aware that the existence of Mandriva was threatened, and today that is no longer the case.'"
There is further good news on the release front. According to this mailing list post by Anne Nicolas, the delayed Mandriva Linux 2010.1 should be out on 5 July: "As announced on IRC on Friday, we will release final ISOs for 2010 spring in coming week. As a matter of fact we are pushing the last packages tonight. Official release is planned for 5th of July." Unfortunately, there is also some bad news to report. Pascal Terjan, a kernel developer in the services of Mandriva for the past six years, has left the company to take up a new position with Google: "Mandriva was a great experience. I have worked here for almost six years (and contributed for a few years before), met a lot of great people, and worked on a lot of different kinds of software. This experience also had wrong sides, like commercial side where most motivated and competent people have left quickly or became demotivated. Engineers tend to resist more but for some reason it seems that the top management has always tried to demotivate everyone. I hope Mandriva has a long life and that I can still use it and contribute to it, but feel quite pessimistic currently."
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The state of OpenSolaris, following the recent takeover of Sun Microsystems by Oracle, continues to puzzle the developers and users of this open-source operating system. Last week, The Register's Timothy Prickett Morgan fired up the Google search engine in order to do some serious detective work on the situation. The result is an interesting article entitled Solaris, OpenSolaris, and the Oracle wall of secrecy: "Foxwell reiterates what Oracle's top brass was saying back at the end of January, which is the last time any official communications came out of Oracle regarding either Solaris, the hardened, commercial-grade UNIX, or OpenSolaris, the development version of the platform not really intended for data center production. Back then, a day after Oracle closed its US$7.4bn acquisition of Sun, Larry Ellison, Oracle's co-founder and chief executive officer, heaped praise on Solaris while still talking up Linux, but no one said anything about plans for Solaris 11 (which was due around the middle of 2010, according to Sun's plan from 2009) or for OpenSolaris. This freaked out Solaris shops enough that Dan Roberts, a director of product management at Oracle who is responsible for OpenSolaris and Solaris as he was for a few years at Sun, had to reassure the Solaris community that Oracle was not going to kill off the open source project underpinning Solaris."
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Creating re-spins of popular distributions has become so easy that virtually anybody can build a new variant and offer it for download. Now a new tool, created by the developers of Linux Mint, makes it possible to respin Linux Mint ISO images localised into an alternative language: "A new command-line utility called 'iso-localize' is now available. With this tool, users, magazines and communities from various parts of the world can now produce official Linux Mint ISO images in their language and distribute them as such. From a technical point of view, the utility reads from an existing ISO file, downloads the language packs for the selected language, sets that language as defaults and asks the user to translate the labels found in the live CD/DVD menu. It then creates a new ISO file, which behaves in every way like the original and boots directly, with full support, in your language. ... Images created with iso-localize can be considered official and distributed as such, using our name and branding. To know more about iso-localize and how to use it, please read the dedicated tutorial."
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Finally, a link to a rather technical article by Antti Kantee which talks about tools and strategies for testing NetBSD. The story, published on the project's official blog, is entitled Testing NetBSD: Easy Does It: "In a software project as large as NetBSD the interactions between different software components are not always immediately obvious to even the most skilled programmers. Tests help ensure that the system functions according to the desired criteria. Periodic automated runs of these tests with results visible on the web ensure both that tests are run in a regular fashion and that the results are available to all interested parties. This short article explains the NetBSD test strategies and provides a brief overview of the enabling technologies. It also details how effortless it is to run the test suite and why doing so is in every developer's, patch submitter's and system administrator's best interest. The intended audience is people with a keen interest in testing and quality assurance, and a desire to reduce personal headache."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
TRIM on solid state drives (SSD)
Keeping-things-TRIM asks: I've heard that without TRIM SSD performance will degrade over time. TRIM is now supported in some SSD firmware, and recently has been enhanced to support RAID systems. But TRIM does not work without OS support. Some TRIM support is available in the Linux kernel, but people are having trouble figuring out what is going on. So what's happening with TRIM?
DistroWatch answers: The issues facing solid state drives (SSD) and TRIM can be a little difficult to explain, but I'll try to give a quick overview here. Hard drives tend to be fairly dumb devices as far as hardware goes. So, traditionally, when an operating system decides to delete a file, it removes references to that file rather than telling the hard disk that the data should be removed. This is a bit like going to a library and destroying a book's index card without actually removing the physical book from the library. This means that, in some cases, it's possible to get your data back after a file has been deleted by carefully searching through the physical drive. Trying to find the contents of a deleted file is a little like searching through an entire library looking for a book which no longer has an index card.
Treating the hard disk as being dumb has worked fairly well for us up to this point because it means the operating system can keep track of things while the disk simply reads or writes to certain areas without concerning itself with what was there before. To a traditional hard disk, over-writing existing data isn't really any different than writing to a blank part of the disk. But then solid state drives came along and they work a little differently. To an SSD, over-writing data is different (and slower) than simply writing to a blank area of the drive. Much the same way it takes longer for a person to erase a chalk board before writing something new.
The problem is that if the operating system is still treating the SSD as a dumb device, the drive doesn't know which parts of its storage have been used before (and can now be erased). This is where TRIM comes in. It's a way for the operating system to bring the solid state drive up to speed on which blocks aren't in use and can be wiped. This way the SSD can perform house cleaning and we don't run into cases where the drive is trying to wipe data immediately prior to writing.
Now that the Linux kernel has TRIM support, this should all fade into the background, right? Almost. Except in cases where the feature has been backported, only the most recent kernels (2.6.33 and above) have TRIM support. Likewise, I think FreeBSD users will have to wait for FreeBSD 9.0 to get the same feature. Linux users who are on older kernels can get TRIM support via a program called hdparm. The hdparm program (versions 9.17 and up) will search for free blocks in the file system and let the SSD know which areas should be cleaned. If your distribution doesn't supply a recent release of hdparm, you can get a copy from here.
So now we have kernel support and, as a backup, hdparm, so we're covered? Almost. Older SSDs may not support TRIM commands. In those cases, you'll either need to get updated firmware for the SSD or buy a newer drive. When in doubt, check with the manufacturer to see if your device supports TRIM and, if it does not, ask if the device can be upgraded.
|Released Last Week
Superb Mini Server 1.5.2
Superb Mini Server 8.1 is a Slackware-based distribution for small servers. A new release, version 1.5.2, was announced earlier today: "Superb Mini Server version 1.5.2 released (Linux kernel 184.108.40.206). This minor release clears the name of SMS to Superb Mini Server and brings new graphics and logos. Some packages upgraded and two new packages added, hfsutils and Tcl. In this release we switched to Postfix with no vda patch as the default MTA for SMS. A version with vda patch is available in SMS.Native.CD. NDISwrapper, dahdi-linux and iptables_l7 rebuilt for new kernel, don't forget to run LILO after the upgrade. A brief changelog: kernels upgraded to 220.127.116.11; upgraded to Dovecot 1.2.12, CUPS 1.4.4, Postfix 2.7.1, MySQL 5.1.48; added Tcl 8.5.8; bootsplash kernels upgraded; Openbravo upgraded to 2.50MP18; optimize Netatalk configuration; added lost cURL 7.20.1 package in SMS64...." Read the rest of the release announcement which includes a full changelog.
Ronald Ropp has announced the release of wattOS R2, an Ubuntu-based distribution and live CD featuring the LXDE desktop, GNOME Office and some Mono-based applications: "wattOS R2 is finally done and released. It is based on Ubuntu 10.04. Changed the music player to Rhythmbox from Exaile; added the 'extras' package that offers support for MP3 support native as well as DVD playback - it does make the live CD larger, but makes the end user experience easier as the support for Flash, Java, fonts, and the things people like to do; added LXDM to add a lightweight login manager and replace SLIM; updated all packages to latest 10.04 supported versions; removed GIMP and added F-Spot; removed NetworkManager and replaced with wicd; updated Jockey GTK+ so it will be easy for folks to add proprietary drivers...." See the release announcement for further information and changelog.
wattOS R2 - an Ubuntu remix featuring the LXDE desktop
(full image size: 421kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
MoLinux 6.0 "Zoraida" is a new version of the Ubuntu-based distribution developed by the regional government of Castilla La Mancha in Spain and designed for use in public offices and schools around the region. The release comes with the following enhancements: new login, splash and start screens; new icon theme (GNOME-wise) as well as panel and window theme (New Wave); improved hardware compatibility; latest versions of applications included in the distribution; new software and utilities, such as Nanny (parental control), Hamster Applet (time management), KeePassX (password management), Sinadura (an application for digital signing of PDF documents), Prism (for launching web applications independently of a browser); also included are MolinuxSync (an application for synchronising group work), XBMC multimedia centre, Ubuntu One.... Read the rest of the release announcement (in Spanish) for more details.
MoLinux 6.0 - an Ubuntu variant optimised for use in Spain's Castilla La Mancha region
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Peppermint OS One-06172010
Kendall Weaver has announced the release of an updated respin of Peppermint OS One, an Ubuntu-based distribution with LXDE and integrated web-based applications: "We're proud to offer the second official Peppermint OS respin, featuring a fully updated system as of June 17 and a few other things including bug fixes and new features. Here are some of the highlights. all Xfce applications and dependencies have been removed; the notifications are prettier; we've gotten rid of pyNeighborhood; the default IRC client, XChat, has been updated to version 2.8.8 and now automatically connects to #peppermint on irc.spotchat.org; the boot splash no longer has that weird blue tint to the background; all package updates as of June 17 have been installed and tested, this includes lower level updates that the update manager will skip over due to potential stability issues." Visit the project's news page to read the complete release announcement.
Mehdi Magnon has announced the release of Sabily 10.04, an Ubuntu remix with Islamic software: "The Sabily team is proud to announce the release of a new version of Sabily 10.04, codename 'Manarat'. What's new? New 'Manarat' pictures and wallpapers, Zekr 0.7.6, Thawab 3, new offline recitation - Al-Muaiqly (48 kbps); new parental web control application - nanny. New from Ubuntu 10.04: new look (new theme, window management buttons on the left); better interaction with social networks (built-in integration with Twitter, identi.ca, Facebook and other social networks with the MeMenu in the panel); 2.6.32 Linux kernel, GNOME 2.30; improved support for NVIDIA proprietary graphics drivers; removal of the previously deprecated HAL package (faster boot); OpenOffice.org office suite 3.2 (now branded as Oracle); Firefox 3.6.3; Simple Scan, a new simple scanning application; PiTiVi movie editor which can trim and combine clips, add transitions." Here is the full release announcement.
Sabily 10.04 - an Ubuntu variant with Islamic software
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Package database update|
After two weeks of feedback, here is the final list of new packages that will be added to the package database tracked by DistroWatch: Deluge, Google Chromium, lzip, MythTV, Privoxy Shotwell, Tor and Wordpress. F-Spot, DeviceKit and Zope will be removed. Many thanks to everybody who provided suggestions for the annual update.
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New distributions added to waiting list
- OpenELEC.tv. OpenELEC.tv (Open Embedded Linux Entertainment Center) is a free embedded source-based operating system providing a complete media center software suite. OpenELEC is a small and fast-booting Linux distribution, primarily designed to be booted from CompactFlash or other Flash memory card or solid-state drive, similar to that of the XBMC live distribution but specifically targeted to a minimum set-top box hardware setup based on an Intel compatible x86 processor (ARM port is in development).
- Utopia. Utopia is a Slackware-based distribution with KDE 4 and GNOME.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 5 July 2010.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
1 • Education distro comparison (by technosaurus on 2010-06-28 11:24:18 GMT from United States) |
I keep hoping to find a good comparison of educational distros before the end of summer (when most IT systems are updated). Edubuntu, Skole/Debian-edu, Karoshi, & SLED to name a few... but yet again disappointed with another PR interview.
2 • It's sad to see ... (by Karl Kochs on 2010-06-28 11:31:30 GMT from Germany)
... how fast you integreted anonther ubuntu remix like peppermint one into your distro list and a long waiting since aurora os, formerly known as eeebuntu and eb 4.0, is still unrecognized.
Well, the auroaos is really doing a lot for netbook users with there os.
Hopefully you'll integrate them at last!
3 • archlinux livecd (by godane on 2010-06-28 11:45:28 GMT from United States)
I have released a new archiso-live release this past weekend. I don't have a installer in this update cause its a rewrite of the offical archiso i call archiso2.
4 • Package database update (by Pumpino on 2010-06-28 11:49:43 GMT from Australia)
Thanks for the additions to the package database.
How often does your script check for new versions of packages? Does it check the package website directly or somewhere else?
5 • Great interview! And Hope oracle keeps opensolaris alive (by JD on 2010-06-28 12:02:59 GMT from United States)
Wow that was a great interview this week! Centos is run by great guy and community of course! Glad to be useing it. I thought it was awesome how he actully took time to give full and meaningful responses. He's a Cool dude.
Oracle sure does suck. I wish they never bought sun if there going to act like such jerks (we all called it though huh?)
6 • @2 Notice that Peppermint is no. 73 on the list and rising quickly? (by sirkit77 on 2010-06-28 12:13:32 GMT from United States)
For a distro that isn`t even two months old and wasn`t in the top 100 list less than a week ago? That the forum has grown to 260 members and grows more each day? There`s a reason for that. It`s the fastest, most elegant distro out there, and it works perfectly on netbooks. Just that simple.
7 • How does CentOS feel about.... (by Bob on 2010-06-28 12:25:13 GMT from United States)
Red Hat closing off their kbase to a paywall? I would think this will bring a lot of CentOS users to the CentOS forums looking for answers.
8 • #! 10 alpha 2 (by LAZA on 2010-06-28 12:27:04 GMT from Germany)
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
* PC-BSD 8.1-rc1, the release announcement
* ClearOS 5.2-beta2, the release notes
* CrunchBang Linux 10-alpha2, the release announcement
Has anyboy tested this version?
I'm very interested in this distro cause Ubuntu gets worse and worse... :-(
9 • Free online book based on CentOS (by Niki Kovacs on 2010-06-28 12:41:16 GMT from France)
Thanks for the interesting interview with Karanbir Singh. I'm a happy CentOS user on both servers and desktops since 2006. Last year I published a book about Linux, based entirely on CentOS. It's in French, and it's online here:
10 • Educational distros (by Shane on 2010-06-28 13:06:25 GMT from United States)
I wouldn't mind seeing a comparison of educational distros myself. I've used Edubuntu only, but have looked at the other.
11 • @8: Tries this one? (by Mike on 2010-06-28 13:40:38 GMT from Netherlands)
@8 Have you ever tried Archlinux?
12 • Trim support (by Miron on 2010-06-28 13:48:43 GMT from Poland)
Is hdparm/wiper.sh unnecessary now (with new kernels) for executing TRIM commands? Could someone clarify it, plase.
13 • Archlinux (by LAZA on 2010-06-28 14:23:39 GMT from Germany)
But as a linux newbie (3 years with Ubuntu) I prefer likewise distributions.
But thanks for the tip, if I got a bit more time I'll try it out...
14 • @8 • Crunch Bang #! 10 alpha 2 (by meanpt on 2010-06-28 14:40:48 GMT from Portugal)
I did try the i686 version, as after tasting also the alfa 1 i486 version I found the later to be slower on my system.
By default, Crunch Bang comes with a multichoice bar icon for pre-configured keybords covering the English (GB and USA), German, French and two more country layouts I can't remember, but I don't know which variations are being made available.
Unfortunately, to set up my keyboard I was forced to opt for the Portuguese default system language which I usually skip as it makes systems slower. And yet the worst was still to come. Despite having to use other than english system's default language, I ended with a layout showing similarities with the USA layout but Portuguese latin 1 or 9 it ain't. Finally, I did my debian download testing, using the "down them all" firefox extension. In the lighter, mostly live CD's versions of Debian or debian based, I usually experienced a complete freeze in the system as soon as the download speeds reached the 3 MB/s and up. This time I couldn't do much too with any other application while the download was running, the active mouse pointer wasn't available for some minutes but after the download was completed, everything came to normal and didn't have to force the shutdown. The test was done with 416 MB of RAM on virtual box machine, hosted by a XP Pro, 1 GB of RAM and an intel pentium M 1.384 Ghz (i686) and must be considered inconclusive as I don't know if this behaviour remains with the default installation. One thing is sure: since crunch bang announced the fork from the buntu, to be directly based on debian, only one thought came to my mind: let the light be with you, guys. :)
15 • #! 10 Alpha-2 (by Seacat on 2010-06-28 14:51:58 GMT from Argentina)
@13: being newbie, you should test the Xcfe version of #!, because in openbox many tasks aren't automatized. It's fast on my 7-years machine and worked without any aditional config from the liveCD or when was installed on HD.
16 • TRIM (by Leo on 2010-06-28 15:12:49 GMT from United States)
Great article about TRIM! But let me note:
"When in doubt, check with the manufacturer to see if your device supports TRIM and, if it does not, ask if the device can be upgraded."
Sure, but more importantly, can it be upgraded WITHOUT WINDOWS? In many cases, the firmware upgrade assumes you have a windows system, which I find incredibly irritating.
Incidentally, I am looking into adding an SSD to my desktop for speed up (everything else is ridiculously fast). I enjoy an SSD in my Dell Mini (Vostro A90 running Kubuntu). Boot times are faaaaast. And the mini has a low end ssd. :)
17 • @12 TRIM support (by Jesse on 2010-06-28 15:51:08 GMT from Canada)
In response to the question in post 12, the TRIM support in modern kernels should mean you no longer need hdparm or wiper tools any more. If you're running the latest Linux kernel and have a modern SSD drive, then everything is suppose to work quietly in the background.
18 • Mandriva (by Steve on 2010-06-28 16:25:19 GMT from United States)
I'm glad Mandriva has found someone to support their efforts. It's a great distro that somehow seems to left out of many discussions / comparrisons where it qould shine. IMHO. Of course, someone will point out some flaky release, like (place any/all distro name here) hasn't done the same.
19 • @8/LAZA (by Anonymous on 2010-06-28 16:34:57 GMT from United States)
Your a little all over the place in the distros your interested in, ClearOS being for server firewalls and the other two being for desktops. If you want something Ubuntu like I did enjoy Mint for quite a while, though am now very happy with PCLinux and it combination of rolling release and ease of use. I did try PC-BSD 8 as a live DVD but it hated my screen and made it flicker for some reason. I've been meaning to try the 8.1 RC for PC-BSD but haven't found/made the time. Has anyone noticed version 8.1 amd64 working better on AMD/Nvidia hardware than version 8.0?
20 • TRIM (by Martin on 2010-06-28 16:36:11 GMT from United Kingdom)
Jesse, many thanks for that informative article on TRIM - very helpful!
21 • re: 2 Aurora OS (by Rafe on 2010-06-28 16:36:43 GMT from United States)
Where can I download aurora os (formerly eeebuntu). I couldn't find a download link at the home page.
22 • @16 (by Patrick on 2010-06-28 17:19:24 GMT from United States)
"""Sure, but more importantly, can it be upgraded WITHOUT WINDOWS? In many cases, the firmware upgrade assumes you have a windows system, which I find incredibly irritating."""
A good example of a case that shows the FSF should start to pay attention to devices with built-in firmware and the problems it causes for users of free OS's (see http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20100614). Users of a free OS would be much better off if the firmware would be loaded from the kernel in a case like this (even if the firmware is binary-only), instead of built-in to the device and not upgradeable from a free OS.
Couldn't let such a nice example slip by, sorry. :)
23 • 21 • re: 2 Aurora OS (by Rafe (by meanpt on 2010-06-28 17:29:43 GMT from Portugal)
Got from http://auroraos.org/
... and ... ehh ... hum ... it seems the verb is still in the future sense:
"Aurora GNOME edition will be the Primary Release from the new Aurora development team."
"Exogenesis : A Feature Filled Installer
Exogenesis is our own installer which is currently in development."
To give it an end:
" 4 beta
We released a very early snapshot of the Aurora build under the name EB 4.0 beta. We will soon be replacing this with an updatedAurora 0.5 beta release once the installer has been completed. In the meantime your welcome to download the original beta iso from here (http://eeebuntu.org/eb4-b1.iso - be prepared for low downloading speeds) or here (http://linuxtracker.org - only found a torrent)."
24 • re:23 (by Rafe on 2010-06-28 17:37:32 GMT from United States)
Thank you, I'll try the beta.
25 • OpenSolaris (by Buzz Lightyear on 2010-06-28 17:57:02 GMT from Netherlands)
Maybe here was given more info today about OpenSolaris:
26 • CentOS and stuff (by davemc on 2010-06-28 18:13:28 GMT from United States)
Awesome article. You cant help but have a soft spot for the guys that run that excellent and worthy project. Nobody could do a better job. Kudo's!
Mandriva Shmandriva! Who cares if the company behind it dies or not? Its not like the project would die with it. A fork would be spun off and the core project would live on through its community. Sure, it sucks to not have financial backing, but so many other great distro's out there today suffer from the same issue and still do great things, so I shall shed no tears for them. Also, did it occur to anyone that perhaps the company behind Mandriva may be the very thing holding back its success and innovative spirit?..
27 • SSD TRIM (by Anonymous on 2010-06-28 21:28:46 GMT from Canada)
Thanks for the great article. But I still have some questions.
What file system should be used on SSDs. Some say the old ext2, because journaling file system like ext4 will shorten SSD's life span.
Could somebody enlighten me or It could be another subject for "Questions and Answers".
28 • Great DW Edition (by Sly on 2010-06-28 22:20:14 GMT from United States)
This week's edition was very informative, both the Centos and TRIM articles. I'm persuaded to download and boot Centos, even though I haven't been a big fan of Fedora. Fedora was my 1st distro when I migrated to Linux, and I've tried out each release thereafter. IMHO it is a good distro, but it doesn't have the 'wow' factor of other top distros.
Anyway, keep up the great work DW!!
On another note, the RC for Mint 9 KDE is out. The release announcement promises some great improvements. I can't wait to give it a spin.
29 • RE: 16 - 22 - 27 (by Landor on 2010-06-28 22:24:38 GMT from Canada)
I don't know about SSD firmware files but if there's a DOS executable from your SSD's vendor then possibly using Freedos to boot your system help you out? There's tons of options to use Linux to find a way to flash different firmware. Most of it depends on how the firmware is delivered, binary, some form of image file, etc. A quick google search after finding out how your vendor ships the firmware would help you out. Along the lines of "linux ssd firmware update" or even try "linux bios firmware update" (the solution(s) should be no different for your firmware file)
Such a shame that you're so bent on taking a poke at the FSF that while responding to the person you couldn't offer him any type of advice/help. In my opinion that just really diminishes the validity of/your position in regard to the article you wrote here. Truly a shame.
It's my understanding that modern file systems coupled with a newer SSD should be no problem at all and. It's only for older or super cheap SSDs that you need to turn journaling off and worry about the file system itself. Some of the original EEE's had drives like those that would need journaling turned off. Anyway, as long as it's a new good quality drive and you're running a recent kernel you can just use your file system of choice without worry or special configuration.
Keep your stick on the ice...
30 • RE: SSDs Again (by Landor on 2010-06-28 22:38:05 GMT from Canada)
I should have explained how to turn journaling off for an ext4 file system if you're still worried about it.
You create the file system with this command that effectively shuts off journaling:
mke2fs -t ext4 -O ^has_journal /dev/sdXX
That will give you pretty well the speed of an ext2 file system but with the other benefits of the ext4 without journaling of course.
Hope that helps someone.
Keep your stick on the ice...
31 • My last post (by Landor on 2010-06-28 22:41:55 GMT from Canada)
Comment deleted (off-topic).
32 • post # 29 (by Will on 2010-06-28 23:16:07 GMT from United States)
"Such a shame that you're so bent on taking a poke at the FSF that while responding to the person you couldn't offer him any type of advice/help. In my opinion that just really diminishes the validity of/your position in regard to the article you wrote here. Truly a shame."
Well, I didn't see you offering any type of advice or help.
Therefore, by your "logic" that diminishes the validity of your
postion criticising anither. Truly a shame but par for your course.
33 • #11 trying Arch Linux - substitutes for the real thing (by gnomic on 2010-06-28 23:18:09 GMT from New Zealand)
Haven't tried Arch directly - it's a real man's distro with some assembly required, and by most accounts takes some time to get setup (cue hordes of Archies saying they had their Arch going inside half an hour) - at any rate safe to say from scratch you'd have to read the manual. It also requires a broadband network connection for anything beyond a very basic install. However I have used the archiso live CD and generally found it reliable. Some people seem to have problems around video drivers, localisation, installation to disk, and so forth. Not what you'd call a full-blown distro as it is one man's project, however it has been going for a couple of years now. As a live CD it runs well, and as it is refreshed at least once a month the application set is always fresh.
There is also ArchBang (archbang.org) of late, which was initially a spinoff from Crunchbang. The latest version runs OK, though there are little quirks such as not including any wifi firmware. Overall direction of the project seems to change frequently.
Also see nFluxOS-ARCH at multidistro.com though I haven't tried this one.
34 • LINPUS (by jean afcidec on 2010-06-29 00:55:45 GMT from Philippines)
I bought one computer with pre installed Linpus Os
I used it one time without internet connexion.
When i would like to use it again with internet connexion
it was impossible to registered.
I wrote more than one time on their customer service.
But they seems to don't care of their customers...
Then i replace it for Mint running well !
35 • writing to ntfs - anyone confident with doing this? (by gnomic on 2010-06-29 07:09:47 GMT from New Zealand)
Some say that it is possible to write to NTFS from Linux - for myself I have tended to regard this as a myth. Anybody out there who can convince me I'm in error on this point? It would be interesting to to know what tools were used with what distro, did it work once or many times, why was it being done, and so on. I'm aware various tools exist, and I have only made very occasional attempts in this direction, without success. It almost seems one needs an NTFS volume available for possible trashing, and somehow I rarely seem to have one around.
Just by the by, it's my personal belief that women hold up at least half the sky - just in case anybody was wondering ;->
36 • @2 @23 and "verb is still in the future sense" (by forlin on 2010-06-29 07:25:48 GMT from Portugal)
Going for a ride by the DW "waiting list" will quikcly show that many new projects soon become dormant or are descontinued even before releasing any final version. This gives an answer for the reason why ther's different timings to include different distros at any of the DW database.
37 • NTFS & Linux (by jake on 2010-06-29 07:31:35 GMT from United States)
Personally, in the last couple years, I have had no issues with NTFS-3G, both read/write ... But then I'm in the business of moving Redmond users to FOSS, not vice-versa.
Samba works nicely, if you need to share filesystems across a network (even if the network is a standalone box with multiple partitions & filesystems).
"it's my personal belief that women hold up at least half the sky"
The fair sex always hold up their half, and hopefully the guys hold up their share ... Me, I'm absolutely convinced that my Wife carries me on her shoulders ...
38 • On CentOS and RH (by meanpt on 2010-06-29 07:59:26 GMT from Portugal)
Despite being a real newbie, I can understand (...well, I think ...) some conservatism from corporate oriented products, with backported updates to an older kernel for new hardware when and as needed. In those environments reliability of the whole system's picture is at a premium and should be. If it was my company, my clients and "my" regulator's reporting that would be at a stake, and for sure only tested ok and retested applications would be allowed in production. What I can't understand is the lag in the update of the desktop applications, unless they are not supposed to belong to the company's wide desktop environment. But then, why are they included? When OO 3.2.1 have been already offered to the linux community, why stay with the 3.1.1? As another example, can anyone justify the old ffox version being offered? I'm still trying to make a sense from all this, if there is any.
39 • @36 • @2 @23 and "verb is still in the future sense" (by forlin on 2010-06-29 07 (by meanpt on 2010-06-29 08:17:25 GMT from Portugal)
Hi, forlin. I'm still trying to make a sense of the waiting list. It seems some of the distros have been jailed for life in there ... or are still in the death block waiting for the execution ... there is stuff from 2004 ... 2005 ... 2006 ... reminds me Bob Dylan ... "how many roads must a man to walk down, before they call him a man" ...
40 • @ 38 (by Anonymous on 2010-06-29 08:20:46 GMT from United States)
The issue is the number of people in charge of packaging.
I was shocked to learn a MAJOR distro has one person in charge of firefox packaging. Assuming there are no bugs or conflicts, the latest version will land in your friendly neighborhood repository. If push comes to shove, we are always free to roll our own from source.
(Hope this post is acceptable to the DWW overlords...)
41 • ZorinOS 3.0 (by Carl Smuck on 2010-06-29 08:42:12 GMT from United States)
I have tried ZorinOS 3.0 64 bit on my Compaq Presario CQ60 laptop and it is off the hook. On this laptop regular Ubuntu 10.04 has no sound but ZorinOS 3.0 and Linux Mint 9 rock. Both of them have three things in common. Both of them are based on Ubuntu 10.04. Both of them are from Ireland. Both of them have great multimedia capability built into them. I like the look changer in ZorinOS 3.0. I prefer the classic gnome look over the Windows 7 style default gui. With the fact that I had been so used to the older versions of Microsoft Windows the Windows 7 and hasta la vista baby gui's seem more complicated. Windows 7 is much harder to use than Linux Mint 8 LXDE. Windows 7 requires the latest hardware with a whole lot of memory. Any Linux distro with an LXDE gui is much easier to use than Windows 7 and will run real fast on old Pentium 3 and early AMD Athlon machines with 256 MB of RAM which is nothing these days. Anytime you get an old computer you do not need for your own use put something like Linux Mint LXDE on it and then give it away to a charity so it does not end up in a landfill.
42 • Writing to NTFS @35 (by fernbap on 2010-06-29 09:15:00 GMT from Portugal)
Wow, you must have a very old or perhaps a very "professional" distro!
Every major modern desktop distro has writing to ntfs built-in. I use a ntfs partition on my disk to use as a backup that can be seen by windows, if needed.
If your system doesn't support it, well, i think it's time to use a decent distro...
43 • @38 (by Anonymous on 2010-06-29 10:12:57 GMT from United States)
When OO 3.2.1 have been already offered to the linux community, why stay with the 3.1.1? As another example, can anyone justify the old ffox version being offered? I'm still trying to make a sense from all this, if there is any.
Since when do you want the latest and greatest bugs on your workstation?
44 • #38/#43: Older apps (desktop and others) in Enterprise distros (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-06-29 13:21:42 GMT from United States)
meanpt wrote: But then, why are they included? When OO 3.2.1 have been already offered to the linux community, why stay with the 3.1.1? As another example, can anyone justify the old ffox version being offered? I'm still trying to make a sense from all this, if there is any.
It's really simple. Red Hat Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise, Ubuntu LTS and Debian Stable all have the same policy: once a major version of their product is released they will not change the version of any of the software components of that version unless it is required to maintain security of fix a serious bug. Even in those cases they will, where possible, backport the fix into the existing version.
The purpose of doing it this way is to maintain a known, stable code base that hardware manufacturers and ISVs (independent software vendors) can certify against. If Dell certifies that server X or workstation Y or laptop Z will work with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, for example, the continuity and stability of the included software guarantees that will almost certainly be true of 5.x releases.
Another advantage of this system is one that has already been suggested in #43: the software in question is tried and tested. You don't get all the latest bugs but rather a version that is known to work and work well within the rest of the given release code. Most corporate/government/organizational customers are uninterested in a slightly upgraded office suite. New features or changes can mean increased productivity in the long run but almost always also means a relearning curve and lost productivity in the short run, particularly if new bugs are also introduced. By making such changes infrequently or only when really necessary reduces costs.
The desktop applications are included because all of the enterprise distros are available for the corporate desktop as well as the server. In most companies the latest versions of desktop applications are not rolled out right away. Rather they use whatever is the corporate standard. Large companies and government agencies often take a very long time, as in years, to approve a new standard. This is every bit as true for Windows applications as it is for Linux ones. The older applications are also maintained because they are the ones which are supported and guaranteed to work by the distributor. Vendor support is seen as vital in enterprise environments.
The short summary of all of this: the older desktop software is there because that is precisely what the large enterprise customers want. Large enterprise customers are the folks who actually pay for Linux development. Linux and indeed all major FOSS projects are written by developers whose salaries are either directly or indirectly paid by enterprise customers. Yes, that includes Linus Torvalds. Look at who is behind the Linux Foundation if you doubt this. The folks who pay the bills always come first.
45 • #35/#42: NTFS support (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-06-29 13:27:32 GMT from United States)
NTFS writes have been supported in Linux for a long time. @fernbap: the current releases and even most of the legacy releases of what you termed "professional" (I assume you really mean enterprise) distros support NTFS writes. They have for many, many years. The tools are the same (or should be) in every distro. They certainly are the same in all the major distros.
In my experience NTFS and CIFS support under Linux works well.
46 • SSD (by merlin on 2010-06-29 13:37:27 GMT from Canada)
I have an 32GB OCZ core series SSD which I believe is their 1st generation SSD. I've had it for about 2 years. It doesn't have TRIM support either. Well, let me tell you...these drives are the future once the prices come down. This SSD is ridiculously fast. I've noticed no degradation so far and I haven't been kind to it either. When I built my fanless rig, energy efficiency and low sound level were my main requirements, so the SSD met my needs, speed was an extra bonus. It takes longer for my desktop to go from power-on-to-grub than it does from grub-to-desktop.
You can find lots of tweaks for SSD's and I've tried many of them, but for the most part I didn't find anything that made the drive go faster than using system defaults.
The only SSD-specific tweak I've stuck with is using the NOOP kernel scheduler (the default scheduler on most desktop distros is CFQ). The other schedulers were designed specifically for various I/O scenarios on rotating disks. Using NOOP basically means don't schedule disk I/O, just read/write as requested by the kernel. SSD's don't need to wait for the data to come around to the disk heads, so scheduling I/O in this way is really an unnecessary waste of CPU cycles. To implement, just add elevator=NOOP to the end of the KERNEL parameter in your GRUB file. Some recommend using the DEADLINE scheduler, but that uses CPU cycles and I didn't notice any improvement in performance.
These new SSD's are robust with life expectancies well beyond traditional rotating drives. Don't get fooled into thinking you should run without a journalized filesystem, unless you're running a multi-disk RAID or something with data redundancy. I'e tried ext2, ext3 and now ext4, with and without journals, plus all the SSD tweaks I could find. For desktop usage I didn't find any real killer combination so stuck with ext4 and a journal and the default options. I use the NOATIME mount option but I don't consider that specific to SSD's. I'm looking forward to trying Btrfs as I've heard it's the future of Linux filesystems and has SSD's on it's development radar.
Also not really specific to SSD's but if you're really concerned about the lifecycle of the device and you have a sufficient amount of RAM, you may want to consider not using SWAP space. I have 2GB ram and never had an issue running without swap. However if you have a laptop you may want the swap space so you can hibernate the system. In that case you may also to tune the kernel to avoid swapping (i.e. set vm.swappiness=0 in your sysctl file....Google it).
Tried hdparm tweaks, waste of time. The only major tweak I haven't tried is aligning the partitions to SSD blocks...I'll try that one when I try btrfs.
47 • @1 & @10 Education distro comparison (by Osoloco on 2010-06-29 14:23:57 GMT from Ecuador)
I would also like to see an analysis of Education oriented distros. I would add Trisquel Edu to the list (+ Edubuntu, Skole/Debian-edu, Karoshi, & SLED...)
48 • @44 • #38/#43: Older apps (by Caitlyn Martin (by meanpt on 2010-06-29 16:15:22 GMT from Portugal)
"New features or changes can mean increased productivity in the long run but almost always also means a relearning curve and lost productivity in the short run, particularly if new bugs are also introduced. By making such changes infrequently or only when really necessary reduces costs"
True, true, but that's not always the case. Firefox is just ... firefox. You don't need to re-learn anything, it keeps staying plain vanilla. The same applies to OOffice. Same interface, same features as the release before, plus improvements. These things have been incrementally evolutionary, not revolutionary. When renegotiating a contract, an sla or whatever may be at stake, the impact for these applications is null, there is no re-training costs for the legacy features, this isn't like changing from M$ Office XP to the dreaded (hey there! where is my menu?) Office 2007 stupid blue ribbon. Moreover, it could provide the vendor with potential sales as soon as some corporate users get interested in the new features and start showing them off and others want to achieve the same and reach the same competencies. Not even legacy file formats are the problem. If they were, CentOS and RH would still be offering some OOffice 2.x. Moreover, hardware able to run OO 3.1.1 is still capable to run OO 3.2.1 and the same applies to firefox 3.6.x.
Now, lets take a look at this:
"Another advantage of this system is one that has already been suggested in #43: the software in question is tried and tested. You don't get all the latest bugs but rather a version that is known to work and work well within the rest of the given release code".
Remember, we are discussing some desktop applications and not core server driven applications. But, in the end, we may not find so glamorous things when analyzing this duality. On what you wrote, I can't identify the trigger of change. What you are saying may imply that while their customers don' t change the server hardware and/or applications, everything else will be frozen in time. But, if they keep the OS as it is, they must refuse new clients wishing to use modern hardware as the old crap will not be available anymore,or ... they find a way to keep selling old 70's motors for brand new and shinny cars or ... they stop selling services to clients that don't want to upgrade hardware or ... they are competent in managing different technology generations. Right now, unless anyone could explain it better, the later seems more adequate as a description. Lets suppose I'm wrong (I must be, I must), but then, where is the new stuff? Isn't it still stable enough for the free community ... ? ... ehhh ... hummm ... something isn't right ...
By the way, can anyone identify the kernel being used by CentOS 5.5, throughout their release notes. The only thing I found, searching the keyword "kernel", was "A patch introduced in kernel -194". I wonder if they forgot the kernel they are using. Oh, my fault, of course, it is the famous "UpstreamKernel-5.5-194". Gee ... I'm so dumb.
49 • @46 • SSD (by Kaptain Krunch on 2010-06-29 16:21:46 GMT from United States)
Thank you for the wonderful insight into the world of SSD. I've been wondering about getting one of those drives.
50 • @48 "UpstreamKernel-5.5-194" (by meanpt on 2010-06-29 17:09:27 GMT from Portugal)
Oh ... I think I discovered the ""UpstreamKernel-5.5-194"" formula. Of course, I had to go "upstream" ... It must be the kernel-2.6.18-194.el5. There we go ... taht's where the "-194" came from. At least, it's a 2.6.undernineteen's.X ... pfffff ... what a relief ... for their desktop clients ... that's already a grown up teenager ...
51 • 46 • SSD (by merlin) (by Leo on 2010-06-29 18:05:33 GMT from United States)
Fantastic post, I agree with all observations, and that's with very entry level SSD's in my two netbooks. I also run with ext4, noatime, and no swap. My only difference is that I also use tmpfs for /tmp ... (but this one could be questionable, one program decides to write some huge files there and you are toast)
52 • @48 newer versions (by Jesse on 2010-06-29 18:07:19 GMT from Canada)
In the examples given in post 48, there are a few details skipped over. For instance, the idea that Firefox doesn't change. Does anyone else remember the huge backlash against the Firefox devs when the "'awesome bar" was released? Or the recent complaints with the new processes/plug-ins system? The Firefox we have today is different in a lot of ways to 3.0 or 2.0 or 1.0. Even 3.5 has a lot of little changes when compared to 3.6. To the end user at home, it may not seem like a big deal, but if you're running a intraweb on a large corporate network, things work a bit differently. You have to make sure everything still works the way it did before. The same for OpenOffice. You may not see a lot of changes in the interface of OOo between 3.1 and 3.2, but there are changes, ones which may affect compatibility. When you're rolling out a package to thousands of workstations, you have to make sure there aren't going to be any surprises. You don't want to find out you just threw off the diagrams used in the Engineering department by upgrading from 3.1.1 to 3.2. That's why enterprise distros are so conservative and just back-port things people really need, like security patches. You might think Firefox is Firefox, but that kind of thinking doesn't fly when in enterprise environments.
Big companies tend to upgrade when they have to, whether for speed or compatibility with other businesses or for a special new feature. Not just because there is something newer available.
53 • @52 • @48 newer versions (by Jesse (by meanpt on 2010-06-29 22:00:38 GMT from Portugal)
Jesse, engineers do not sketch with openoffice. Anything I created with OO 3.1.1 is still available witoutt a glitch in 3.2.1. Legacy have been kept. Regarding firefox, I would like to know what they (either centos or rh) did when deployed the firefox 3.0.19, to make sure ALL the damned extensions were ported. But as far as I know from my experience at work, deployments are phased and go through groups, departments and divisions, They don't run at once, Then, you have the corporate backups on a server, that's what the policies are made for. Nothing is irreversible.
54 • @53 (by Jesse on 2010-06-29 22:17:13 GMT from Canada)
I was giving an example, I know most engineers aren't going to sketch with OpenOffice... most people wouldn't. I was just trying to demonstrate that some documents you don't want messed up because of a version change. Anything _you_ have created may have stayed the same, but that doesn't mean anything anyone creates will be maintained across versions. Keep in mind we're talking about roll-out of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of workstations and servers. Even if it is possible to roll-back after an update, that's not something you're going to want to do. It takes time and money and could bring work to a halt on a large scale.
And again, where is the need for an upgrade? There probably isn't anything corporate-related you'll need Firefox 3.6 for if you already have 3.0. There probably isn't anything a corporate office needs that's in OOo 3.2 that isn't in 3.1. Upgrading means testing and planning and, again, time. It's not something to do just because you can. A good IT person in an enterprise environment upgrades because they have a reason.
55 • 46 • SSD (by Anonymous on 2010-06-30 00:22:09 GMT from Canada)
That's what I was looking for. I got intel 160GB and OCZ Vertex 60GB and both were lots of fun to play with, but now I'm ready to put linux in them.
56 • RE: #14 (by Anonymous on 2010-06-30 00:54:08 GMT from United States)
I haven't had the download problem you stated.
I use FF (Iceweasle 3.0.6), DTA extension
Debian Stable running Window Maker for my desktop.
1.6Ghz 32bit old Athalon (won't work easily with current KVM,etc) w 512M RAM
Actually I have been quite impressed with kernel 2.6.26.
When doing some CPU intensive things or the mentioned large downloads (3Mbs), the system seems very responsive.
No freezups, no crashes, just keeps going as usual.
Due note this is my main system, it is not running in any virtual machine.
Unless you consider the actual PC to be the virtual container...lol.....
And also while FF is the big memory user, I rarely see over 50 percent RAM usage. Swap is virtually there just to take up drive space.
Hope this helps.....
57 • @52 newer versions (by Pumpino on 2010-06-30 02:07:29 GMT from Australia)
If enterprise distros providing the latest Firefox is such a big deal, then why was Firefox 3.6.4 available on my CentOS 5 install a few days ago? It seems they no longer feel it's necessary to stick with 3.0. :)
58 • waiting for 2.6.33 (by Anonymous on 2010-06-30 04:14:35 GMT from United States)
Some individuals (#46) may find that, without TRIM, SSD write performance does not degrade over time. More generally, however, the weight of evidence that is that write performance will degrade at some point.
Forums have descriptions of how to get TRIM support with 2.6.32, as well as occasional reports of issues and cautionary language. The information is there; making sense of it might be a challenge.
If SSD write performance is important to the user, those distros that offer ootb TRIM support - 2.6.33 or higher - should be considered. Especially if the user won't have a vanilla system.
59 • crunchbang-alpha2 grub2 warning! (by RollMeAway on 2010-06-30 05:28:54 GMT from United States)
This was the worst disaster I've experienced in my 10 yrs of distro addiction.
I run multi operating systems on 8 older computers. Grub2 will not install to the
root partition on 5 of the 8. Three of them work fine with grub2.
The usual failure is silent. That is, it appears to install the the root partition OK,
but upon reboot, no grub. I have learned that pattern and expected it this time.
Instead, I got a lengthy failure notice that grub had failed to install.
Now the bottom line:
My EMBR (extended master boot record) on both HDs were wiped !
I was targeting a single existing partition on sdb!
This happened Sunday morning, and I have been struggling since to recover.
I have permanently lost a Solaris10, and two BSD installations. Most others
have been recovered enough to image to an external USB-HD before I wipe both
drives and start over.
Yes, I know alpha IS in the name.
60 • arch linux (by pergilah sayang on 2010-06-30 12:41:34 GMT from Malaysia)
kahel and chakra is user friendly arch linux. Give it a try.
61 • Upgrades (by Jesse on 2010-06-30 16:13:19 GMT from Canada)
"If enterprise distros providing the latest Firefox is such a big deal, then why was Firefox 3.6.4 available on my CentOS 5 install a few days ago? It seems they no longer feel it's necessary to stick with 3.0. :)"
I don't think you're thinking about this over the course of a time line. It's not that having a particular version of an application is a big deal, it's the upgrade process from a known good version to an unknown newer version. People who feel they need to stay on Firefox 3.0 (or application X version Y) will stay on that version. People who want to upgrade to newer versions can do that. If an organisation is firm on staying with an older version, chances are, they're not upgrading to CentOS 5.5 anyway. They're probably still on CentOS 5.4 or previous.
People installing a new OS _today_ probably aren't using RHEL 4. They'll probably install 5.5. People who already have RHEL 4 will probably stick with it, rather than upgrading to 5.... if they are being conservative.
62 • Grub on multipartition disks (by fernbap on 2010-06-30 17:37:13 GMT from Portugal)
I always have a couple of partitions on my disk for checking distros. That means that disk also has the partitions for my main working environment.
When installing a distro on my "trial partitions", i never install grub (or lilo, in slackware's case).
Then, all you have to do is reboot into your main working OS, and run update-grub as root (or using sudo).
It will detect your just installed distro and add it to your grub menu. This way, your main working distro will also remain the first choice in the menu.
63 • Enterprise (by Landor on 2010-06-30 20:33:29 GMT from Canada)
"People who already have RHEL 4 will probably stick with it, rather than upgrading to 5.... if they are being conservative."
It seems some don't really understand Enterprise when it comes to their operating systems. It's not just about change either that they'd decide to be conservative, it's also about cost. There might be only 20 machines total but when those 20 machines go down that means nobody is working, that's 0 income while it's pure cost.
Also when do they get done and the cost... Sure, upgrades can be done by the tech department after hours and from my experience this does happen a lot, but also, most companies don't want to pay the overtime involved, nor does every employee want to work it, so upgrades happen during normal office hours in many cases.
So when you consider any Enterprise install you never think about using Linux for the latest and greatest which is your pass-time, instead you think of a business that has one desire, to use that computer as a tool to make money and forget about what it needs to run to do that. Just to make it clear, "to make money".
The Firefox comment for CentOS. I'm not running RH 5.5 but I'm guessing it's a pretty good chance that it doesn't have the latest and greatest Firefox and that's a CentOS specific update option, which doesn't really lend anything to your argument since CentOS is not a business, where RH is. I could be wrong on the RH update though, but I really doubt it. I'll probably check later.
Keep your stick on the ice...
64 • Diehard KDE3 fan? (by RollMeAway on 2010-06-30 20:50:05 GMT from United States)
If you are still a KDE3 fan, you might want to lend some support to this project:
65 • Enterprise updates (by Jesse on 2010-06-30 21:08:41 GMT from Canada)
As an update to the topic of Firefox in CentOS (and RHEL), both 3.0 and 3.6 seem to be currently supported in the repositories. So people can get the newer version if they want or stick with the older version depending on their needs.
66 • @61 Upgrades (by Pumpino on 2010-07-01 02:42:24 GMT from Australia)
"If an organisation is firm on staying with an older version, chances are, they're not upgrading to CentOS 5.5 anyway. They're probably still on CentOS 5.4 or previous."
That's just crazy. Minor point upgrades occur automatically by running "yum update". It's impossible to stick with CentOS 5.4 and have a secure system, since downloading security updates will naturally update an existing system from 5.4 to 5.5. Why would an organisation not update its systems with security patches?
67 • @ 2, @ 16 (by Landor on 2010-07-01 04:45:46 GMT from Canada)
Comment deleted (false identity).
68 • chakra linux dropping Arch as base (by gnomic on 2010-07-01 05:40:08 GMT from New Zealand)
#60 above mentions Chakra in connection with Arch - there seems to be a move afoot to stand alone, though the web site presentation does not reflect this. On May 22nd it was written thus on the news page:
'There has been a lot of stuff going on here recently which is a good sign that the project is still alive. We're about to take the next big step. We will split from Arch. Arch has been served as our base since this project started and we were glad to be a part of this community. Sometimes though we think that we can do even better, especially we think we can serve a better KDE SC than the usual distribution. That's where the idea about splitting from Arch started.' A quick look at the forums suggests this change in direction is underway though not yet fully implemented.
69 • #66: Upgrades (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-07-01 07:04:57 GMT from United States)
@Pumpino: Most enterprise clients run the real Red Hat Enterprise Linux, not CentOS. RHEL does not use yum; CentOS does. If you are running Red Hat then security patches to 5.4 are most certainly still available through RHN and there is no need to upgrade to 5.5 to remain secure.
As Jesse correctly pointed out, Red Hat is the company with the big enterprise clients. CentOS is a community project based on Red Hat for people who can't or won't pay for the real thing. It most definitely contains some compromises. That isn't a criticism. It's a necessity since Red Hat (the company) won't provide RHN to anyone other than paying customers.
70 • 65 • Enterprise updates (by Jesse (by meanpt on 2010-07-01 09:52:30 GMT from Portugal)
:) ... there you go ... if I was the paying customer, I could and would not expect anything else, as the right way to do it is to offer both options, despite thingking that a refinement in the operation system should allow me to run more than one release of the same software. That's the kind of refinements that makes a distro corporate or entreprise oriented, instead of a mainstream distro. And this is true either for mission critical either for not mission critical applications. The former may imply doble inputing for the time needed and will only end when a user acceptance agreement is signed off. For the mainstream desktop applications things do not need to be so formal, the user as the decision on wether or not got rid of the old release.
71 • distros information updates (by forlin on 2010-07-01 13:06:07 GMT from Portugal)
@ 39 DW waiting list
@ 67 DW ignored distros
I understand that it's hard for the DW team to pick up all new distro projects, specially in the case that they do not sent any information about their progress and new releases.
The same happen about the current situation of distros that are still part of the "waiting list". Many links drive to sites that no longer exist, others to distros that are dormant since a long time. Writing them off, would lead to a shorter list, but worth to be browsed, if they only include projects that are still alive.
I think that for both cases, it would be a good help if the readers do email the DW team about any update they think its worth to be made.
72 • @ 2 & 67 There`s a reason why Peppermint is no.68 and climbing the DWW list. (by sirkit77 on 2010-07-01 13:13:36 GMT from United States)
And the other ones aren`t mentioned. It`s called being a great distro. If anyone cares to find out why, download the iso and see what all the fuss is about. If you`re not impressed then remove it. That simple. I installed Peppermint on my dad`s Acer Aspire One 150Z5 netbook after XP went belly-up. It detected all of his hardware "out of the box." Same thing for my Compaq CQ60. I`m sending him the disk so he can install it to his desktop. Being a total Linux newcomer, he should have no trouble at all. IT`S GREATER THAN THE SUM OF IT`S PARTS. It isn`t just Lubuntu meets Mint plus Prism. I am "just" the DNA of two people combined. Am I not a completely separate, unique being? You just have to try it before you can really comment on it either way.
73 • 72 • @ 2 & 67 (by meanpt on 2010-07-01 14:50:39 GMT from Portugal)
Comment deleted (off-topic).
74 • @71 • distros information updates (by forlin (by Anonymous on 2010-07-01 15:01:05 GMT from Portugal)
forlin, since early in the morning the only thing you get from the waiting list page is:
"The page you requested is no longer available or it is currently being redesigned. Our apologies for any inconvenience caused.
Return to home page"
... so ... no news is good news :)
75 • @67 (by Patrick on 2010-07-01 15:02:46 GMT from United States)
I just cannot believe your reply to 16, especially after you felt it necessary to chew me out for my "unhelpful" reply to him! *lol*
Seriously, putting it all together it seem to me you care more about defending the FSF than you care about actual software freedom and what the FSF stands for.
"""For the tiny Linux user base out there, it would take them far too long to program the updates so that it works on all different versions of Linux. Most of the world runs Windows, and so you can't blame the devs for writing things assuming their users are running Windows..."""
Ok. Do you realize that you just said: "Hardware devs, don't bother with Linux drivers in the future." Nice one.
"""99% of the time their users are running Windows, it's just too much wasted effort for them to write for Linux."'"
SSD's go quite often into servers. Your 99% number is way off the mark.
"""The Linux users that complain about this ought to write themselves a program that fixes this problem rather than bothering the devs of the firmware updates themselves."""
Haha, good one. Anyone know if there are specs available from manufacturers on how to do this? It IS closed source firmware after all, so you can't really look at it and find out how it's done. But who cares, the firmware is locked up into the device, so we shouldn't worry about it, right? That is, until you need to update it and it doesn't work in your free OS. The FSF has figured out THAT much when it comes to the BIOS at least. I hope other devices like these SSD's are next on their to-do list. Unless they follow your advice of course, in which case they'll just tell manufacturers to just keep doing what they're doing and ignore Linux users.
76 • @74 @71 (by meanpt on 2010-07-01 15:18:42 GMT from Portugal)
... sorry ... that was my coment ... and my fault ... has nothing to do with RH kernel 2.6.18-194 (... I suppose it is a "-195" by now, as there is already a 6 beta 2 announced to the gents) which fits fine either server side either on the desktop that only connects to it ... oh ... I promise not to return to the subject so soon ... ... by the way ... does anyone knows where can I still borrow one of those 2.6.18-xxx? ... it happens the waiting list is down for maintenance and I suspect I'll miss the opportunity to grab one of those 2004 and 2005 fine "informatics" models still lacking in my collection ... cause I I do have a 128K ram Spectrum ...
77 • GoblinX (by winlinosx on 2010-07-01 15:28:50 GMT from United States)
It looks like GoblinX has ressurected itself as Imagineos. I have always enjoyed GoblinX especially since its based on the "most excellent Slackware".
78 • #69: Clarifications and corrections (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-07-01 18:48:56 GMT from United States)
A couple of corrections/updates to my #69. (Thanks for the e-mail, BTW). RHEL 4, which is still in heavy use, uses up2date for updates natively. RHEL5 uses pirut in the GUI and yum at the CLI so my statement that yum is not used is not quite accurate. In many enterprise environments we use none of the above as Red Hat Satellite Server pulls from Red Hat Network (RHN) and distributes updates at specified times to specific classes of machines. RHSS can be used to maintain local repositories and often individual servers have no access through the firewall to RHN. In those cases yum/pirut/up2date don't work.
In RHEL 5 if you pull all the updates to 5.4 from RHN you will end up with a 5.5 machine. Most enterprises just don't ever do that. Even security patches are examined and deployed on a case-by-case basis after it is determined what they likely impact (if any) is on the systems the way they are deployed. In most enterprise clients only critical security updates which can impact their machines are actually distributed so you don't ever truly go from 5.4 to 5.5, for example, but rather end up with a hybrid system (i.e.: 5.4 plus selected updates). The base installation point (i.e.: 5.3 or 5.4 or 5.5 or whatever) is often determined by what the ISVs and/or hardware vendors support. Very often what is officially supported by proprietary software vendors like Oracle and IBM is the deciding factor.
Jesse has hit the nail on the head with the critical points here. Upgrades are done on an as needed basis. If there is no need then the upgrade does not get done.
Business Linux use, whether in the server room or on the desktop, is often miles away from what typical home users do. As a result an enterprise distro, tailored to enterprise needs, may seem to "not make sense" in a home environment.
79 • @ 75 (by Landor on 2010-07-01 20:28:48 GMT from Canada)
Comment deleted (false identity).
80 • distros (by forlin on 2010-07-01 21:57:42 GMT from Portugal)
@ 74 -"no news is good news"
I know and it's why I'm suggesting that readers can cooperate to improve that.
@ 72 - "Peppermint is no.68 and climbing..."
It's too early to take definite conclusions.
There's always a big popularity jump after every distro release announcement in DW. The real popularity can only be seen after around 6 or 12 months. I think Peppermint is a good distro, but they need to be more focused on the developing effort than in the marketing area.
81 • BIOS updates under Linux (by Job on 2010-07-01 22:24:19 GMT from Canada)
I recently did some troubleshooting on a friends old Dell PC running ubuntu and ended up flashing the Bios to the latest and greatest version to solve a problem. In doing so I discovered that Dell has pretty good Linux support for updating the Bios. Here are the two projects I discovered. I ended up using the first method BIOSdisk which uses freedos because the second method (using native Linux app) didn't support the older PC.
Anyways, it worked perfectly.
BIOSdisk: a utility developed by Dell to flash your BIOS under Linux on Dell desktops and laptops using freedos.
There is also a package called firmware-tools to update your BIOS on a Dell via the internet from within Linux.
I have an Intel mobo and Lenovo Thinkpad and noticed both vendors are supplying BIOS updates now via .ISO images. Personally I don't have a CD drive so in the past I've kept an image of an HP DOS rescue disk that I 'dd' to a USB flash drive whenever I've needed to flash a BIOS. I'll look into "grubbing" the ISO image or the Freedos alternative too.
The Thinkwiki (http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/BIOS_Upgrade) describes some ways to flash the bios of thinkpads under Linux.
82 • @ 72 (by Landor on 2010-07-01 23:46:46 GMT from Canada)
Comment deleted (false identity).
83 • @ 78 • #69: Clarifications and corrections (by Caitlyn Martin (by meanpt on 2010-07-02 10:11:37 GMT from Portugal)
"Business Linux use, whether in the server room or on the desktop, is often miles away from what typical home users do. As a result an enterprise distro, tailored to enterprise needs, may seem to "not make sense" in a home environment."
:):):) ... well ... not quite ... there are basic requirements dictated by some core corporate applications and IT infrastructure, imposesing some common features to all of the desktop but that's all. After that, you name it. I had the best of my working time experiences (and also the worst) in a global bank. At some point I had to kick off the BCM at some departments , and found applications geared to creativity work pretty specific to some departments that could belong as well to advanced home creative users or students. Those applications were only installed in those laptops which, in turn, ran much advanced (read "expensive") windows editions an were technologically much more advanced and out of the grayish Dell standard color. Front office has totally different needs from the financial control areas. Marketing department has to deal with absolutely gorgeous graphics and was buying last releases of whatever they were using. But of course you don't find these needs in small accountant offices. For sure the guys at Marketing charged to maintain some web pages at the official site usually had also the latest betas of all the browsers you think off in order to identify possible issues in page rendering and request code adaptation to comply with. You know, clients or the "to be" clients want to use whatever they want. in their computers. :)
84 • @77 • GoblinX (by winlinosx (by meanpt on 2010-07-02 10:30:30 GMT from Portugal)
I did a go on it and ... well, it took too much time to start the live mode, it felt heavy and when the installer asked me to mount the hd drive cause it couldn't see it ( ... and ... :) who knows ... is it that "fine slackware" thing? ) i gave up and decided to wait for a future state of the art..
85 • Adthwart (by Anonymous on 2010-07-02 12:43:09 GMT from Canada)
Wierd, the adthwart plugin for chromium browser blocks all the distribution logos and screenshots on this site.
86 • @76 - 2.6.18-xxx kernels (by forlin on 2010-07-02 17:10:34 GMT from Portugal)
Meanpt: if you google - distrowatch "waiting list" - you may find what you're looking for. At the first returned result, click the "cached" link. Scroll down and you'll find an old "waitng list". It includes distros from 2004 (only one) and 2005 (only 4) up to Jun 2010.
Ah... I completely misunderstood your @74 comment. That's why what I wrote about it at @80 doesn't make any sense at all.
87 • 86 • @76 - 2.6.18-xxx kernels (by forlin (by meanpt on 2010-07-02 17:45:17 GMT from Portugal)
Yay Forlin. Thanks. In the end, I checked the cahced the page and found the WL is still i"normally" available with the "Related Links" link in the upper right corner. Already got all the links there and ... yessss ... a 2.6.9 kernel is still available ... :) ...
... oh ... about my comment in #74 ... I tried to access the waiting list through the link provided in the end to this week's DW but that was the message displayed and ... :) ... so, I thought there was an ongoing refurbishment ... :) ... but seems not ... better hurry to find more precious k's ... :)
88 • The Ubuntu Light the Unity desktop ... (by meanpt on 2010-07-02 18:18:50 GMT from Portugal)
I know I can download and install the Unity desktop in the 10.04 or even in the 10.10 alfa 2. And yet, in this world of leaks nothing has leaked to the net (at least, that I know), with the appropriate ISO of something that seems reserved only to OEMs ... (check the end of this page under the "Ubuntu Light: The web in seven seconds" head: http://www.canonical.com/engineering-services/oem-services/why-ubuntu/products) : . Does anyone knows something more about this, or is it a rumor "à la" Canonical?
89 • Adblock Plus (by Tom on 2010-07-02 22:41:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
I just installed Fedora13 and added Adblock Plus with it's "EasyList" subscription and found that DistroWatch images are blocked by default! Is it just me? Is this an attempt by MicroSquish to squish?
Number of Comments: 89
Display mode: DWW Only • Comments Only • Both DWW and Comments
|• Issue 536 (2013-12-02): Impressions of openSUSE 13.1, Ubuntu Touch, FreeBSD 10 delay, troubleshooting OS lock-ups|
|• Issue 535 (2013-11-25): GhostBSD 3.5, Debian and MATE, Ubuntu 14.04 features, security updates|
|• Issue 534 (2013-11-18): Review of OpenBSD 5.4, Fedora on ARM, menu names vs command-line names|
|• Issue 533 (2013-11-11): Point Linux 2.2, Pisi update, Debian and Xfce, Bruno Cornec interview|
|• Issue 532 (2013-11-04): Ubuntu and Kubuntu 13.10, Debian's init, FreeBSD's PKG-NG, Linux on ARM|
|• Issue 531 (2013-10-28): PC-BSD 9.2, openSUSE testing, nftables, upgrade pros and cons|
|• Issue 530 (2013-10-21): Kwheezy 1.2, DPL interview, Zenwalk's future, keeping up with vulnerabilities|
|• Issue 529 (2013-10-14): Ubuntu's Mir, dmesg and photorec tips, Tiny Tiny RSS|
|• Issue 528 (2013-10-07): Semplice 5, Haiku package management, Klaus Knopper interview, making custom distro|
|• Issue 527 (2013-09-30): Tiny Core Linux 5.0, SteamOS, moving operating system to new computer|
|• Issue 526 (2013-09-23): Look at ArchBang 2013.09.01, BSD Now, kernel stats, command-line tips|
|• Issue 525 (2013-09-16): The Official Ubuntu Server Book, FreeBSD 10 and OpenBSD 5.4, Skype alternatives|
|• Issue 524 (2013-09-09): Look at LXLE 12.04.3, Ubuntu's new package format, Secure Boot and dual-booting|
|• Issue 523 (2013-09-02): OpenIndiana 151a8, openSUSE "Evergreen", GNOME and DuckDuckGo, running apps from RAM|
|• Issue 522 (2013-08-26): Look at gNewSense 3.0, Ubuntu Edge fundraising failure, exploring GPL|
|• Issue 521 (2013-08-19): Review of Korora 19, Fedora considers return to "Core", Haiku package management|
|• Issue 520 (2013-08-12): Salix OS 14.0.1 "KDE", Xubuntu experiments with XMir, managing passwords with KeePass|
|• Issue 519 (2013-08-05): Review of Porteus 2.0, Kubuntu lays out plans for Wayland adoption, adjusting system swappiness|
|• Issue 518 (2013-07-29): MidnightBSD 0.4, Razor-qt, Ubuntu Edge, mounting infected drives|
|• Issue 517 (2013-07-22): Zorin OS 7 "Lite", Slackware turns 20, UbuntuForums compromise, Raspbian as home server, Tor|
|• Issue 516 (2013-07-15): Review of Fedora 19 "KDE", Shuttleworth on Mir, Seth Vidal, Kingsoft Office for Linux|
|• Issue 515 (2013-07-08): Whonix 0.5.6 and Deepin 12.12, MintBox, processor capabilities, distros for Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 514 (2013-07-01): Peppermint Four, Mir, Mandriva forks, ThinkPenguin on libre hardware|
|• Issue 513 (2013-06-24): Look at ROSA, PC-BSD updates, Xen4CentOS6, Slacko vs Precise, Mageia interview, shells|
|• Issue 512 (2013-06-17): Trisquel 6.0, RHEL 7 with GNOME Classic, from Linux to FreeBSD, first look at Wayland|
|• Issue 511 (2013-06-10): Mint 15 impressions, GNOME Classic, Ubuntu Community portal, Absolute OpenBSD|
|• Issue 510 (2013-06-03): Impressions of aptosid 2013-01, Wayland comes to Raspberry Pi, maintaining DNS settings|
|• Issue 509 (2013-05-27): Mageia 3, Debian GNU/Hurd, RebeccaBlackOS with Wayland, ports|
|• Issue 508 (2013-05-20): Review of Debian 7.0, interviews with Clement Lefebvre and Gaël Duval, scripting with xdotool|
|• Issue 507 (2013-05-13): Impressions of Calculate Linux, 13.4, Ubuntu's portable packages, mintDrivers|
|• Issue 506 (2013-05-06): Ubuntu and Kubuntu 13.04, Debian "Wheezy", Slackware on systemd, distros for Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 505 (2013-04-29): First look at PCLinuxOS 2013.04, Saucy Salamander, Remastersys and System Imager, Linux containers|
|• Issue 504 (2013-04-22): Look at Bodhi 2.3.0, Ubuntu 13.04 features, building OpenBSD ports, opening large files|
|• Issue 503 (2013-04-15): CentOS versus Scientific Linux, PCLinuxOS 64, Lucas Nussbaum, ZFS/Btrfs versus ext4|
|• Issue 502 (2013-04-08): Look at Mint 201303 "Debian", Ubuntu versus openSUSE, comparing ZFS and Btrfs file systems|
|• Issue 501 (2013-04-01): KANOTIX 2013 and GhostBSD 3.0, openSUSE Rescue-CD, Haiku package management, computer forensics|
|• Issue 500 (2013-03-25): Look at openSUSE 12.3, Ubuntu release changes, Debian backports, growing divide|
|• Issue 499 (2013-03-18): MINIX 3.2.1, openSUSE 12.3 on desktop, Ubuntu GNOME and UbuntuKylin, distros for musicians, KolibriOS|
|• Issue 498 (2013-03-11): Sabayon Linux 11, Ubuntu's Mir, Linux malware|
|• Issue 497 (2013-03-04): Rebellin Linux 1.00 "Adrenaline", rolling-release Ubuntu, Arch vs spin-offs, justification and diversity|
|• Issue 496 (2013-02-25): Review of Chakra 2013.02, The Book of GIMP, Ubuntu and privacy, FreeNAS vs NAS4Free|
|• Issue 495 (2013-02-18): SparkyLinux 2.1 "Ultra", Fedora 19 schedule, Xubuntu on DVD, cloud privacy|
|• Issue 494 (2013-02-11): FreeBSD 9.1, web server stats, Anaconda, rolling-release PC-BSD, fixing broken packages in Arch|
|• Issue 493 (2013-02-04): UberStudent 2.0, OmniBoot 1.0, MariaDB, Enlightenment 0.17|
|• Issue 492 (2013-01-28): Fedora 18 review, systemd, Kali Linux, Ubuntu Unleashed|
|• Issue 491 (2013-01-21): Fuduntu 2013.1, Fedora 18 desktop choices, Consort, accessing encrypted drive|
|• Issue 490 (2013-01-14): Look at Manjaro Linux 0.8.3, openSUSE on Chromebook, Able2Extract 8.0|
|• Issue 489 (2013-01-07): PC-BSD 9.1, Arch spin-offs, rolling-releases, year-end PHR stats, removing applications|
|• Issue 488 (2012-12-24): Reviews of Unity and Puppy Linux 5.4 "Slacko", FreeBSD 10|
|• Issue 487 (2012-12-17): Cinnarch 2012.11.22, OpenMandriva, Fedora Magazine, Tumbleweed, OpenJDK vs Oracle Java|
|• Issue 486 (2012-12-10): Linux Mint 14 review, Ubuntu "spyware" controversy, Haiku overview, troubleshooting Linux servers|
|• Issue 485 (2012-12-03): Kwort Linux 3.5, Mint bug-fix update, Fedora's new Anaconda, defining a distribution|
|• Issue 484 (2012-11-26): Look at SMS 2.0.1, Fedora pre-beta report, Illumos, Secure Boot update|
|• Issue 483 (2012-11-19): DragonFly BSD 3.2.1 and Xubuntu 12.10, Gentoo and udev, switching file systems|
|• Issue 482 (2012-11-12): Review of Zenwalk 7.2, Clang in FreeBSD, Omniboot 0.5, priorities on external drives|
|• Issue 481 (2012-11-05): Look at Tails 0.13, EFF on Ubuntu and privacy, Debian installer changes, ext4 data corruption bug|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Linux Identity |
NEW The Best of Linux 2013: Fedora 19, Mageia 3, Mint 15, openSUSE 12.3, Ubuntu 13.04
68 pages, one DVD