| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 367, 16 August 2010
Welcome to this year's 33rd issue of DistroWatch Weekly! It can be difficult trying to count Linux users. Any counting method from downloads, to tracking updates, to monitoring sales continues to leave big question marks on the subject. This week we touch on a new move by Canonical to get a better head count in the OEM market. This week we also shift focus a little, examining an application called Imagination and a helpful command-line tool. This time of the year most of the big-name distros are quiet, but things are still churning in the FOSS community and this week saw releases from Peppermint, Vector, BackTrack, Salix OS, Puppy, Untangle and BlankOn. See our release section to find out the details on these projects. Finally we talk a little about setting up mail server in your own home and the considerations which go with it. As always, happy reading!
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Using Some Imagination
At one point or another most of us have either sat through a presentation of slides or talked friends into sitting through our own slide shows. Often it's of pictures taken from a vacation or wedding photos. Regardless of who is subjecting who to the slides, it's usually a long process with little excitement. If you've ever thought it would be nice to mix a little music or audio commentary into a slide show, I'm happy to report there is an open source tool which will do just that. It's called Imagination.
website's own words, "Imagination is a lightweight and simple DVD slide show maker" which is distributed under the GNU GPL. But the program isn't limited to just DVD formatted video, it will also help the user create .ogg and Flash videos, giving the artist greater flexibility and the option to target a wider audience. While there are other tools which will perform similar actions one of the benefits to using Imagination, a creation of Giuseppe Torelli, is that the project tries to keep dependencies to a minimum, simplifying installation.
(full file size: 617KB, resolution: 1072x697 pixels)
The Imagination application is split into four basic parts: the menus at the top of the window; slide settings, which are displayed to the right; a picture of the current slide, shown in the centre of the window; and a list of all the slides in the project, which are shown at the bottom of the window. When we first fire up Imagination, everything is blank and empty. So how do we get started?
The first thing we'll want to do is go up to the menu bar and click on the Slide menu and select Import pictures. This will bring up a standard file dialogue which allows us to select multiple images. Generally our next step is to add an audio track to go with our slide show. This is an almost identical process of clicking on the Slide menu and choosing Import music. At this point we see a collection of image thumbnails along the bottom of our screen and a list of audio tracks over on the lower-right. In both cases, these can be moved around, the images by dragging them and the audio tracks have convenient manipulation buttons.
In the top-right corner we find the Slide settings area. This container lists the properties of the currently selected slide. We get to see the slide's dimensions, how long it will stay on the screen, what sort of cenimatic effect will occur at the end of the slide and how long the entire show will take. It's possible to select multiple slides at once by holding the Control key and clicking additional slides and it's easy to remove unwanted slides by highlighting them and choosing Delete from the Slide menu.
Once all the slides are in the right order and have been given the desired properties, we can see what the show will look like by going up to the Slideshow menu and picking Preview. If everything looks correct, we can again return to the Slideshow menu and select Export. The export function makes it easy to save our slide show as a DVD-playable file, an .ogg formatted file or as a Flash video. Saving the file takes a relatively short time and I've found no problems with any of the above formats.
Exporting a slide show
(full file size: 482KB, resolution: 1072x697 pixels)
On the one hand this may seem like a very simple process of taking one part images and one part sound and mixing them together to make simple cartoons, presentations and vacation tributes. But, on the other hand, Imagination gives the user a good deal of flexibility. Each slide can be individually adjusted or the entire collection can be changed. Audio tracks and slides can be shuffled around and the output formats are suitable for either family DVD watching or for embedding on a website.
There may be some question as to why I would select such a specifically-focused program to review. It's certainly not that I find the application useful on a daily basis. What I think makes Imagination a point of interest is more wrapped up in its style, rather than its purpose. It has a number of design points which I think make it worthy of recognition. For instance, Imagination does essentially one thing and one thing well. It's not of the family of apps which tries to be an audio player + disc burner + file server + social media interface. It has one specific task and does this task with finesse. The interface is one which I find both intuitive and helpful. Each button comes with a tool tip which clearly states what the button does. The controls are fairly standard and the menus are uncluttered. The user has the option of using menus, a toolbar or keyboard short-cuts to perform most tasks. Things are easy to find and operate in a straight forward manner, really removing any need for a user's manual. A third point in Imagination's favour is that it comes equipped with sane defaults, but almost everything is an option. Background colour, region settings (for DVDs), time delays and visual effects are all adjustable.
What it boils down to is Imagination has one of the nicest graphical user interfaces I've used. The program is clean, user-friendly and the few error messages I've encountered where helpful. This is an application with a small focus which does its job well.
While Imagination is nicely crafted, its target audience is probably small and so I'd like to take a moment to mention another program which I think will be of use to my fellow Linuxers. This second program is called cpulimit and it also does one thing with a straight forward collection of options. Previously, we talked about using the nice and renice commands to adjust a process's priority. This can be handy for making sure your programs are running smoothly, but it doesn't prevent your CPU cycles from being gobbled up. Sometimes it can be useful to put a limit on just how much processing power a process can access at a given time. This might be in an effort to keep your video encoding from interfering with your compiling, or it might be something as simple as keeping your laptop's CPU from getting stuck at 100% and imitating a space heater.
cpulimit program stops a process from using up more than N per cent of your CPU. Let's say I've started up VirtualBox and left its guest operating system doing some long, boring task and I want to make sure it doesn't use more than 25% of my host CPU, I can run
cpulimit -e VirtualBox -l 25
This form of usage will also pick up future processes of the same name and limit their usage as well. Alternatively, if I have more than one instance of the program running, I can specify one process by its PID.
cpulimit -p 10225 -l 25
Used in this way, cpulimit continues to run, even after the process it is throttling dies. To make sure cpulimit exits (and no longer interferes with other processes) after its target terminates, the -z option can be used. For example:
cpulimit -p 10225 -l 25 -z
The cpulimit command should be run with administrator rights. So far I've found it handy for keeping virtual machines, large encoding jobs and backups out of the way while I use my computer's processing power for something else.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Counting Ubuntu OEM installs, FreeBSD conferences, Patching a running kernel the easy way
There is always a bit of a question mark attached to the number of Linux users in the world. Getting an accurate count can be difficult because people in the Linux community tend to move around a bit (from distro to distro) and also tend to be a private group. Last week
Canonical introduced a new way to get a head count. Future OEM installs of Ubuntu will come with a package called canonical-census that will send a daily ping to a Canonical server. The software "does not send any user specific data; it only transmits the operating system version (/var/lib/ubuntu_dist_channel), the machine product name, and a counter how many pings were sent." This should tell Canonical how many OEM installs are being sold and how long the systems continue to run Ubuntu.
* * * * *
Do you want to travel the world, meet like-minded people, shake a daemon's hand? If so, you will be happy to read about upcoming events, such as
KyivBSD Con, BSD-Day, EuroBSDCon and others. Each of these events is a great opportunity for users and developers to mingle, share ideas and talk about BSD. Some of these events have registration, so check them out now!
* * * * *
The concept, and indeed the practise, of patching a running Linux kernel isn't new. However, the idea of making adjustments to the heart of an operating system while it is still running sounds scary and complicated. IBM has a
well-written article on their website explaining why live kernel patching can be useful and how to go about performing the task. The steps are clearly laid out and it should be beneficial to anyone concerned with maintaining their uptime.
* * * * *
One of the benefits to using open source software is that a wide range of people can examine and, potentially, fix problems in the code. The Chromium web browser recently demonstrated this when a regression inadvertently made its way into a build, causing Chromium to send data back to Google. The unintended behaviour was
quickly discovered, the code located and a bug filed.
In other software news, the KDE project recently released version 4.5 of the popular desktop environment. To mark the occasion TechWorld is running a short
interview with Sebastian Kugler, a developer and spokesperson for the project. This release appears to focus mostly on bug fixes and performance improvements, bringing some polish to the KDE4 series.
* * * * *
If you've looked at Peppermint OS One and Peppermint Ice, you might have wondered what their relationship is and what separates them. Is one an upgrade, a re-spin, a fork? Which one is better suited to your needs? Jim Lynch
examined the two Peppermints and gives us some answers. A good read for people curious about the light, web-focused distribution.
* * * * *
Rumours have been circulating over the death of OpenSolaris for several months now and Oracles official stance of silence has only added fuel to the fire. This week a document, purported to be a
leaked internal Oracle memo, touches on the future of OpenSolaris, or its lack of a future. If this document is real, it spells can end to the OpenSolaris project.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Virtual Post Office
Wants-to-receive-mail-at-home asks: I'd like to setup my own e-mail server and get my mail off the cloud. Any tips on setting up my own home-brew e-mail server?
Setting up your own private e-mail server can be an educational and rewarding experience. Good for you on taking the initiative to try this! There are a few things you might want to consider before you begin. The big one being: what do you hope to achieve above and beyond what your existing cloud-based service is providing? For instance, some people create private e-mail servers to gain privacy and prevent Google (or other big corporations) from reading their mail. The problem with this thinking is most e-mail is still sent in plain-text and it will pass through various other networks like so many pages of an open book. Also, copies of your messages will be stored on the other correspondent's e-mail server, which may be Gmail or Yahoo Mail, etc.
There are other considerations too. For example, you probably expect your cloud-based e-mail provider to be on 24 hours a day, every day. You probably want the same or better attachment size allowances, similar or better storage space, as good or better security, and as little or less spam getting through. A question to ponder is: can you provide these things to yourself as well as your existing provider? These are some points to keep in the back of your mind while you're putting together your new server. Being independent has its perks, but it also requires a bit of work.
I don't want to go into deep details on actually setting up the server here as each person will have slightly different preferences as to server type, operating system, spam filter and anti-virus, but I will point you to a few tutorials. This first one is for people on the Ubuntu family of systems and covers most of the basics. Here is another document for installing a mail server on an Arch Linux system. For FreeBSD fans, you can consult the project's Handbook as a place to get started. And for folks who like to learn from books, I suggest picking up a copy of Linux E-mail, which talks about setting up an e-mail server for a small network.
One more thing to keep in mind is running any sort of service on your home machine opens a potential avenue of attack against your computer. Be sure to keep your system locked down and up-to-date with security patches.
|Released Last Week
Peppermint OS One-08042010
Kendall Weaver has announced a new release of Peppermint OS One, an Ubuntu-based distribution with LXDE and integrated web-based applications: "We are proud to announce the release of Peppermint-One-08042010, being the third respin of our 'One' release. This release offers a fully updated system as of August 4, 2010 and comes with a number of bug fixes, some new features, and some other miscellaneous goodies. The default Firefox is now version 4.0 Beta 2. Due to the recent issues with the 3.6.x series and the frequency of updates and instability we figured this would be a good move. It's faster and generally more stable though a few extensions are likely to not work just yet..." Read on for the complete release annoucement.
BackTrack 4 R1
BackTrack 4 R1, a Linux-based penetration testing arsenal for security professionals, has been released: "The BackTrack Team is proud to announce the public release of BackTrack 4 R1. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we believe this version is by far the best version released to date. With a shiny new 2.6.34 kernel, there are many significant improvements, such as expanded hardware support and improved desktop responsiveness. Tools have been updated system-wide, and a full Fluxbox desktop environment has been added. A walk-around for the rt28xx driver has been implemented. The VMWare version has complete integration with VMWare Tools, which provides a seamless interaction with BackTrack in a virtual environment...." The release announcement is here.
VectorLinux 6.0 "SOHO"
Robert Lange has announced the release of VectorLinux 6.0 "SOHO" edition for small or home office: "The SOHO final release is based on the KDE-4.4.2 plasma desktop with many graphical and system enhancements. We have included all the productivity software one would need like Digikam, the gimp-2.6.10, k3b-2.0, Scribus, OpenOffice and Inkscape to name a few. The kernel is version 22.214.171.124 which adds new wireless network possibilities along with greater speed and stability. The GUI installer first introduced in the VL standard 6.0 release has seen further refinements and is the default installer. Support has been added for a wider range of graphic chipsets and both lilo and grub2 bootloaders are available. Importing user accounts from previous installs is now possible provided a separate home partition is used...." The
full release announcement is here.
The VectorLinux 6.0 Desktop
(full file size: 734KB, resolution: 1023x767 pixels)
Salix OS 13.1.1
George Vlahavas has announced the release of Salix OS 13.1.1, a Slackware-based distribution with Xfce as the preferred desktop: "Here is Salix 13.1.1, using the Xfce desktop, available both in 32-bit and 64-bit flavours. A list of changes since the previous release in the 13.1 branch: Lilosetup, a new graphical tool that can be used for setting up the LILO bootloader has been added; new graphical system administration tools have been added; the installation CDs can now be used as a local repository with slapt-get/gslapt, complete with dependency support; new packages included in a 'full' mode installation - pyxdg, notify-python, libnl, net-snmp; all security fixes and package upgrades since the previous release have been included; flash has been removed from the 64-bit release." Read on for the
Barry Kauler has announced the release of Puppy Linux 5.1: "The brilliant new Puppy Linux 5.1, code-name 'Lucid' as it is binary-compatible with Ubuntu Lucid Lynx packages, has been released. Lucid Puppy 5.1 is a 'full-featured compact distro.' It's a Puppy, so it is fast, friendly, and fun, and it can also serve as one's main Linux desktop. Quickpet and Puppy Package Manager allow easy installation of many of the best Linux programs, tested and configured for Lucid Puppy. Lucid Puppy boots directly to an automatically configured graphical desktop, with the tools to personalize the desktop right at hand, and it even recommends which add-on video driver to use for high-performance graphics..." The
release announcement is here.
Untangle Gateway 7.4
Untangle, a Debian-based multifunctional firewall, has been updated to version 7.4 which is a major bugfix release: "This release has focused sharply on quality. Untangle 7.4 brings additional improvements throughout the Untangle suite of applications, and the Untangle platform itself. Untangle has also used this release as the opportunity to simplify its product line up. 'As our business has grown over the last two years, our offering has become increasingly complex,' Mark Floisand, COO, said: 'We have trebled our paying customer base in 18 months, and with that came more product packages and price points. With this release, we wanted to regain some of the simplicity inherent in our brand.' Untangle now offers three distinct packages: Untangle Lite Package, Untangle Standard Package, and Untangle Premium Package." Read on for the release announcement.
BlankOn Sajadah 6.0
BlankOn Sajadah 6.0 is a variant of BlankOn 6.0 (also known as Ombilin), added with Islamic content and applications. BlankOn Sajadah supports entertainment software for immediate use without installing additional multimedia codecs, Internet access with very light web browsing, communications for instant messaging and social networking, and also office software. It also features vector and bitmap graphics as well as digital photo albums, and of course provides Islamic applications such as Qur'an, Hadith, Prayer Reminders, and Negative Content Filtering. BlankOn Sajadah 6.0 is launched to help the Indonesian Muslims. The project's press release is here.
Trinity Rescue Kit 3.4
Tom Kerremans has announced Trinity Rescue Kit 3.4, a Mandriva-based distribution designed to facilitate data rescue from Linux and Windows systems: "Big news from the Trinity Rescue Kit camp: an all new version of the live distro has just been published after almost a year of silence. The biggest visible enhancement here is the addition of a menu interface. Not a graphical one, but a text based, scrollable menu from which any regular computer user can perform otherwise complicated tasks. TRK 3.4 has received numerous feature additions like 'winclean', a home brewed utility to perform offline Windows disk cleaning, a new virusscan engine in the seriously debugged virusscan tool, rewritten winpass (password reset tool) which is way more tamperproof, complete manpages for TRK's own utilities, a quick and dirty guide for the impatient, and literally thousands of other changes..." The
release announcement is here.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list
- Anthares OS, a new general purpose Linux distro based out of Brazil.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 23 August 2010.
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
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|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Imagination (by Cuda on 2010-08-16 11:59:24 GMT from Canada) |
How to get rid of unwanted guests quickly.....set up a 500 picture slide show of your trip to Disney World, set to an endless loop of "It's a Small World" :-)
2 • gone to heck in a handbasket (by Tux_Raider on 2010-08-16 12:02:07 GMT from United States)
New & Improved ubuntu: now with spyware
i knew it was just a matter of time, thanks canonical & shuttleworth, you have successfully made your distro as crappy as microsoft made windows.
3 • RE: 2 (by anon on 2010-08-16 12:09:29 GMT from United States)
I see you need some clarification.
"Spyware is a type of malware that is installed on computers and collects little bits of information at a time about users ***without their knowledge***."
I'm sorry, but it's not spyware if they know about.
4 • ... rifle counting ... (by meanpt on 2010-08-16 12:23:06 GMT from Portugal)
... if a linux foundation asked me if I voluntarily agreed to install something for that purpose I would accept it.
5 • spyware (by mark on 2010-08-16 12:25:45 GMT from Serbia)
how apologetic! it's not the spyware bacause you are told! butcould you remove it without harming the sistem?
or, never mind. embelish your spiedbuntu with chromium ang get reported to all the main places.
corrupted companies and sheeple users
6 • Re 3 (by 123 on 2010-08-16 12:29:01 GMT from United States)
so this is a spyware with our knowledge? how does it make it better?
can a regular user disable it?
7 • not true (by LadilavB on 2010-08-16 12:29:03 GMT from Serbia)
can you possibly remove the census staff without harming the system? really?!
if not, than just add Googlium-browser for the full measure of being reportef to all the main hideskinners
8 • Wolvix (by non on 2010-08-16 12:30:23 GMT from Serbia)
What happened with Wolvix?
9 • Spyware (by Carlos on 2010-08-16 12:37:07 GMT from Italy)
I would disable Ubuntu!
10 • imaging hard disk (by lionel on 2010-08-16 12:39:45 GMT from Romania)
Is there a linux distro making the job of Acornis True ?
Make the compressed bootable image of a HDD on a CD or DVD ?
11 • imagination (by gumb on 2010-08-16 12:39:53 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks for the review of Imagination. Could be just what I'm looking for, although can't yet find a package for openSUSE in the Build Service - would be useful if the developer could package it for some other distros.
I'm currently using Kdenlive for my videos, which is excellent, but I haven't yet got to grips with creating slideshows or pan/zoom effects. Being able to take care of that in another program specially designed for the purpose might be a better answer, if it is able to output in a high enough quality format that can then be imported into the video editor. Is there anybody who's done this who can advise whether it works well?
12 • Re: 8 - Wolvix (by johncoom on 2010-08-16 12:44:02 GMT from Australia)
Look like every one is waiting for a Final issue to happen ? As all I could find is a torrent for wolvix-2.0.0-build58 - dated 26/04/2010
13 • Old Reviews (by Amir on 2010-08-16 12:53:19 GMT from Iran, Islamic Republic of)
Why on earth we don't have anymore distro review?
14 • RE: Quick email server setup (by David Harper on 2010-08-16 12:59:37 GMT from Australia)
SME Server (http://www.smeserver.org/) is a perfect choice for a simple, free, Linux-based home server. It's managed using a web browser, and if needed supports both downloading email from a remote POP3 account and forwarding outgoing email to an ISP SMTP server (as some ISPs block port 25).
15 • Vector 6.0 (by Barnabyh on 2010-08-16 13:04:30 GMT from United Kingdom)
The screenshot looks like VL Deluxe with Xfce4 , not SoHo with KDE4. How many times are they going to re-release 6 with different DE and kernel without even updating the version number? Looks like it is still a long road until 7.0 is done.
16 • Ubuntu (by Jesse on 2010-08-16 13:17:31 GMT from Canada)
I can't qualify what Ubuntu is doing as spyware. The "ping" software is only installed on OEM machines, the company has been very up front about what it's doing, it's trivially easy to un-install the tracker using the package manager and no personal information is sent. Really, they get more information about their users from their update server logs than they will get from the censes program.
This is a good way for OEMs to find out how many people continue to run Ubuntu after the computer ships. It could encourage places like Dell to up their Linux support if the numbers are good.
Next week's feature will be a distro review.
17 • re:2 about the ubuntu counting project (by dopher on 2010-08-16 13:40:01 GMT from Belgium)
In my opinion it's definitely not spyware when Canonical is going to count their OEM installs that way. I even think it could be quite interesting to see those numbers.
if you find this intrusive, you can say the same from the linuxcounter project. You even have to registrate yourself there, and you get a number, plus one could find your location. Terrible huh.
Canonical and Ubuntu, more and more, are getting evil words in this comments section. While I think the distro is very nice, for daily use. I am thankful that they provide this easy to use and easy to install Linux with long term support. (i am even more thankful to the developers of the applications though). I like the Ubuntu LTS releases so much that I use them as my main operating system.
Though, if I would find out that they really would retrieve significant personal data about me, i would switch. But the way some of the posters are responding you can't use anything anymore. And let's be honest, there are far more worse companies and organizations that are spying on us, like Google, our government, skype, etc etc. That Canonical ping is really nothing compared to that. And if you don't like it, remove the service.
18 • Home e-mail server (by Stuart on 2010-08-16 13:40:48 GMT from United Kingdom)
My personal advice to anyone wishing to setup their own email server is to avoid Sendmail (usually the default mailing agent), and instead try Postfix as it's much easier to configure in my opinion.
Interesting that there was no mention of Oracle suing Google over its Java implementation in Distrowatch news. Might this have any implications for the OpenJDK shipped with many Linux distributions?
19 • Positive Feedback and Other Stuff (by Smith on 2010-08-16 13:43:25 GMT from United States)
I liked your topic this week Jesse. It is good to mix it up. I can use this information.
Dreamlinux has a new beta 4 release.
Maybe this is old news but WeatherBug now supports Linux.
#8 Seems the website is down. Apparently the dude has a new baby.
20 • Spybuntu (by Sam on 2010-08-16 13:44:17 GMT from United States)
And Red Hat knows how many corporate installs it has of its OS. Novell's SuSE team knows how many different IP addresses hit its update servers. Distrowatch has a rough estimate of what types of Linuxes visit its website.
Then again, weren't the good folks at Canonical the same ones who thought a pre-installed wallpaper with naked people was a good idea?
21 • Ubuntu spyware LMAO!! (by Dylan C on 2010-08-16 13:49:30 GMT from Ireland)
To all the idiots and trolls out there... its not spyware. They are telling us its going to be installed.
It does NOT collect any personal information.
AND of course it can be easily removed without harming your system!!
22 • canonical-census (by disi on 2010-08-16 14:06:15 GMT from Germany)
As stated on Phoronix:
It does not send any information about the user but the country, OS and time.
It also comes with a disable shell script that does:
rm -f /root/etc/cron.daily/send-census
source code: https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/canonical-census
I don't see much problem. Actual there are many other distributions or tools to do the same or similiar things for statistical purpose. Mostly you can install them additional and they are not installed per default.
23 • Ubuntu problems (by Duhnonymous on 2010-08-16 14:19:15 GMT from United States)
Lately, Ubuntu has been the target of attacks by jealous rivals and wrongfully indignant Gnome developers. Devs at Gnome should fix their own bugs before they engage in complaints of groupthink at Ubuntu. After all, which is worse: having window buttons on the wrong side or having a clock applet that never displays properly (a bug in Gnome for the past 7+ years now). As for jealous rivals, all you need to do is make a better product and show it off. If you can do better, then maybe people will take you seriously.
24 • REMOVE canonical-census (by Tony on 2010-08-16 14:52:36 GMT from United States)
Here you go. Press on and quit whinny!
sudo apt-get remove canonical-census
25 • Ubuntu attacks and things (by davemc on 2010-08-16 15:04:02 GMT from United States)
#23 - You are correct in your assessment of things. Developers tend to fall into "tunnel vision" and suffer cronyism. Thankfully for us, there are always alternatives out there that do not suffer from this plague that often rots the core of a great project.
What is happening with OpenSolaris and with the Google law suit should serve as a wake up call for all Open Source contributors, developers, and users. Large Corporations have far too much influence and do have the ability to severely cripple future use and development in many ways. Its interesting to note too that FSF's Moglin is even throwing up his hands in despair over the Software Patent issue and asking us all to just go with the flow and start flooding the Patent Office with every Open Source idea conceivable because he thinks that we just cant do anything at all to change the patent issue. Perhaps it would be better if we all abandon the Open Source mentality of "hide our heads in the sand in a strong and active effort to ignore all threats to GNU/Linux because Corporation X has nothing but the best of intentions!" in favor of FSF principles and keep things "grass roots".
26 • OpenSolaris is kind of "forked" (by disi on 2010-08-16 15:19:23 GMT from Germany)
Some developers start on new grounds (IllumOS) with the Solaris code after announcement in the leaked memo: http://sstallion.blogspot.com/2010/08/opensolaris-is-dead.html
IllumOS homepage: http://www.illumos.org/
27 • Divided we stand, united we fall. (by Nikhil Sinha on 2010-08-16 16:08:40 GMT from India)
Strange but true. Despite of fighting with "Microsoft" and competing with "Windows". Linux users are busy in fighting among them selfs.
Please stop the blame game and resolve the bugs to make linux user's life better.
"Divided we stand, united we fall."
28 • Nudes where ? ? ? (by rec9140 on 2010-08-16 16:24:22 GMT from United States)
"Then again, weren't the good folks at Canonical the same ones who thought a pre-installed wallpaper with naked people was a good idea?"
When was this ? ? And the problem is? ?
29 • Nudes where? (by Lyn Thomas on 2010-08-16 16:30:05 GMT from United Kingdom)
It was a very tasteful shot of an assortment of attractive men and women, and nothing could be "seen" that in anyway would have breached any public standard of nudity anywhere in the Western World.
30 • Chrome is far worse (by Anonymous on 2010-08-16 16:33:58 GMT from United States)
People voluntarily use Google Chrome and from what I know of it it's about ten times worse than this Ubuntu "I'm alive" signal. Goggle actually collects statistics about what all of it's users are typing into the 'omni bar', which both helps Google figure out what kinds of things would be good ads to target towards it's users, and it also creeps me out. I believe MS has gone back and forth with similar reporting back of user behavior in it's IE browser as well. A program tracking your behavior could easily be considered spyware by many definitions, but even as much as I loathe and distrust both IE and Chrome I must say the OEM Ubuntu installs seem rather harmless. Of course Ubuntu and their bad coding led an old PC of mine to hang permanently on the shutdown screen when I installed the current versions of Ubuntu and Mint on that old PIII of mine. I disliked Ubuntu more and more from the time I installed it till the time I wiped it and replaced it with MEIPS. Perhaps my preconceived notion was against Ubuntu from the beginning, but as bad as it is in many regards it's still not spyware, and both Chrome and possibly IE are far worse and still manage to get people to use them.
31 • Canonical Census (by Andy on 2010-08-16 18:06:50 GMT from United Kingdom)
One point not raised here: Debian's Popularity Contest. Debian have been using this for years; at the end of the install, you are asked: "Would you mind if we sent a list of the stuff you chose to install, so we can tell everyone how they can make more interesting software?".
This seems like 'A Good Thing'. The encouragement to Dell alone to see that users don't buy a cheaper PC off them with Linux on, only to slap a pirated copy of Windows xyz may make them look even more seriously at supporting Linux.
As for the information sent, anyone not willing to offer loyalty to "Ping and Country" should just ... (Insert Joke Here)
32 • Problems at Sidux (by eco2geek on 2010-08-16 18:14:35 GMT from United States)
Just going by what's been posted, Sidux is having some problems of the human kind.
Sidux's financial foundation, Sidux e.v., is apparently breaking away:
There are allegations that someone got access to the private developer IRC channel under false pretenses and publicly posted information from it (at least I think that's what they're saying happened):
@20: Although it may not have been appropriate in a business environment, that was some very nice wallpaper.
33 • For the Privacy minded (by Cuda on 2010-08-16 18:55:05 GMT from Canada)
I found the subject of "browser fingerprinting" to be interesting. We really don't have much privacy anymore. Yes, I would prefer if someone asks me first if they can have my information, but even if I say no, someone will find a way to get it.
Is you combination of broswer/OS/plugins/fonts/etc. unique? Take this test....that is if you are not paranoid that they're gonna get ya :-)
34 • Vector - Reply to #15 (by ZBREAKER on 2010-08-16 19:04:22 GMT from United States)
Looks like the wrong shot was used. I just installed the new 6.0 SOHO which indeed looks much different ans is KDE 4. Actually a pretty nice performer imho.
35 • Spyware... (by smartjak on 2010-08-16 19:50:47 GMT from United States)
#31, I thought of the same thing. Debian's Popularity Contest. Been there for a hell of a long time. No one ever moaned and groaned about that.
This is a tempest in a tea pot. Much ado about nothing.
36 • etc... (by Landor on 2010-08-16 20:35:27 GMT from Canada)
I think Imagination is a great project and thanks for doing a review on it Jesse. I can see this also as a way to send off a great slideshow/etc of family pictures for those relatives that live a distance away. Might even be an appreciated holiday gift. I'm sure that I know someone that would jump at that idea and make use of Imagination for sure.
Fedora also has the option to send your system profile in the installer. I opt out of it, but it's there none the less. It's at the user's behest though, and not configured to automatically.
I used the third party repository over the weekend to install KDE 4.5 on a Fedora 12 install. First, I didn't like that I had to install the rpmfusion repository as a requirement, I also found it very sluggish. I'll have to wait and see how the Fedora implements it for the 14 release, which from experience will no doubt be well integrated.
Keep your stick on the ice...
37 • Ubuntu census (by dragonmouth on 2010-08-16 20:46:32 GMT from United States)
This time around the applet is benign but the camel's nose is under the tent flap. Once the main code is in, it is easy to add code in subsequent versions to collect other information. Canonical may or may not inform users about what further info they are collecting. With each release Canonical is behaving more and more like M$ and Ubuntu is becoming more and more like Windows.
38 • eco2geek (by sphyeax on 2010-08-16 20:54:06 GMT from United States)
post deleted -- off-topic
39 • Privacy concerns and such (by davemc on 2010-08-16 21:11:08 GMT from United States)
#33, and others - We all know there are external threats out there in abundance. Virtually all the major distro's collect data from us already, some for a very long time, including those of the self proclaimed Freedom oriented category. What comments like #1, 2, & 5 prove is that there will always be people who care little for the truth if it impedes their version of how the world works. I suppose to them that there is nothing Canonical can or ever will do that is good or beneficial in any way towards the FOSS movement and that Shuttleworth is the antichrist, and all Ubuntu users are "sheeples", mindlessly using this Linux thingy and waiting on every word from their beloved Canonical, mouths agape. One can only shudder at what they believe is "the right way".
Of course, it matters little that some of the big names in the Linux world have or did use Ubuntu - Caitlyn Martin admitted to doing so in her Ubuntu rant not so long ago and also stated that she had only the best of wishes for Ubuntu's success. Does Caitlyn fall into the "sheeples" catagory Mr. Mark from Serbia (post #5 above)?.. I think you subscribe to a negative view towards Ubuntu in particular that is very misguided and harmful to FOSS. In any case, personal attacks on any group of Distro users accomplishes nothing positive.
40 • Ubuntu, Imagination @1 (by Ron on 2010-08-16 21:11:37 GMT from United States)
* @1 Great idea. I think I will do that :-)
* Ubuntu Census is also a great idea in my opinion. They are just getting an idea of how many users they have. If they say they are not collecting personal information, I believe them. They are being upfront and honest about doing this. Websites take much more information about the user each time you visit any page. It will be nice to get a rough idea of the Ubuntu users. I think other distros should consider doing the same so we can get a count of Linux users and maybe the software and hardware vendors will see more of a market and start making more stuff for Linux.
*Imagination, I love this program. Until this article I was not aware of it at all. I am creating a slideshow of a recent family reunion and it can't get any more simpler then this. From what I have seen so far I would recommend this program to the average computer users.
41 • correction (by davemc on 2010-08-16 21:22:03 GMT from United States)
Meant post #2, 5, 7, &9, not #1, sorry.
42 • Thanks (by win2linconvert on 2010-08-16 22:21:38 GMT from United States)
1st Thanks for the advice on how to get rid of guest Cuda.
2nd Thanks for another interesting issue of DWW.
43 • Debian! (by SpikeB on 2010-08-17 01:33:43 GMT from United States)
Today is debian's 17th birthday!
44 • privacy (by Josh on 2010-08-17 01:51:04 GMT from United States)
I worry about privacy, but not that much. Everyday we give out private data without even thinking. At least in Ubuntu's case, we know what we are getting.
45 • Ubuntu Registration (by Tidux on 2010-08-17 02:21:10 GMT from United States)
This is NOT spyware. Like everything else in Ubuntu, it's just taking a good idea and automating it too much for a lot of Linux users' taste. The "registration" prompt for OpenOffice.org says it best: by registering you're showing the world that there are people out there who like, use, and care about Free Software. If enough people do that, there will be empirical proof that screwing over Linux/BSD desktop users (they already rule the roost for servers) is bad business.
46 • Re 11: "can't yet find a (Imagination) package for openSUSE" (by SuseUser on 2010-08-17 03:24:41 GMT from Australia)
11 • imagination (by gumb on 2010-08-16 12:39:53 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks for the review of Imagination. Could be just what I'm looking for, although can't yet find a package for openSUSE in the Build Service - would be useful if the developer could package it for some other distros.
You are not looking in the right place. Try PacKman repo!
Results from http://packman.iu-bremen.de/suse/11.3
A lightweight and simple DVD slide show maker
openSUSE Software Search
47 • fedora 14 slips by a week (by Reuben on 2010-08-17 04:09:09 GMT from United States)
I'm disappointed that I won't be trying out the alpha tomorrow. Oh well.
48 • Happy Bday, Debian (by ghostdawg on 2010-08-17 05:51:06 GMT from United States)
I see why Ubuntu is all the rage...it keeps its name in the public face...what marketing!
49 • @37 (by Allan on 2010-08-17 07:23:57 GMT from Australia)
"This time around the applet is benign but the camel's nose is under the tent flap. Once the main code is in, it is easy to add code in subsequent versions to collect other information. Canonical may or may not inform users about what further info they are collecting."
Perhaps you should take a refresher course on the definition of OPEN SOURCE
50 • RE: 49 (by Landor on 2010-08-17 08:14:49 GMT from Canada)
What does Open Source have to do with it? For that matter, is the application even open source? If so, can you guarantee it will stay that way? Have you read the code? Is there any way another "closed source" application could hook into it?
(Sorry to bring this up again Jake..lol)
This reminds me of the debate about Ubuntu One using the cpu while it "shouldn't have been doing anything".
Keep your stick on the ice...
51 • Spybuntu not harmful, but violates trust (by microwave on 2010-08-17 09:39:30 GMT from United Kingdom)
The program in Ubuntu that counts installations is pretty harmless as such, but it violates an important principle of trust -- namely, that a Linux distro shouldn't include tracing devices in their default installation without explicitly asking for users' permission. This principle of trust is very important, because once it has been violated, it's only a trivial matter to violate it again with more sinister offences against users' privacy.
The first offence sets the precedent for judging any future violations against users' right for privacy. It's a bit like in TV-fiction, where vampires are not allowed to enter into people's houses unless they're explicitly invited but, after the first invitation, the vampires can come and go as they please. Once Ubuntu users have invited Ubuntu developers to send harmless tracing calls from their computers, the developers will feel welcome to violate the users' privacy in many other "harmless" ways in the future.
52 • RSS feed... (by Nah on 2010-08-17 10:08:30 GMT from France)
Do you know that the RSS feed is filled with old DistroWatch Weekly articles? It's been like that since... many days.
53 • Re: imagination (by gumb on 2010-08-17 10:35:57 GMT from United Kingdom)
@46 - Thanks for the info. I only looked on OBS via the web interface. Seems confusing to me to have multiple search points for openSUSE packages that retrieve results from different sets of repos, though I shall presume in this case it's kept out of OBS due to ffmpeg codecs and all that malarkey.
54 • My Love Letter to Debian on Her 17th Birthday (by Robin on 2010-08-17 10:47:32 GMT from United States)
Oh, happy birthday Debian!! Congratulations, you're awesome! And so multifaceted, too...
Your Stable side is rock-solid, reliable, ever true. It's the side of you that some kids call "boring," but yet they rely on it and admire it. I do too. Thanks for being so reliable and steady on my hardware!
The Testing side of you is the tentative, baby-steps sorta thing that reminds me of - well, me! But oh, the things we learn, the treasures we can add to the Stable part of us when we test new things!
The popular kids really like your Unstable side. It kinda scares me a little, but I admire it too. It rolls! Always on the move, never sitting still. Fidgety, like me, but much bolder and brasher... nothing like me! Gotta admire it!
Some grownups have warned me about your Experimental side, though, Debian, to be honest, but I say don't be ashamed of your darker side! It's part of who you are and it gives you strength! I just hate to see you crash, paying the price for all those very bold risks you take sometimes in this part of you. But you break new ground for others! You blaze new trails and open all kindsa new doors for all of us. Yes, this side of you scares me, but I'm still very grateful for it, Debian. Because eventually your new discoveries make it all the way to that Stable part of you that so many of us rely on.
We love, you, Debian! Happy seventeenth birthday! And thanks for being so awesome!
55 • Ubuntu (by Carlos on 2010-08-17 11:04:05 GMT from Italy)
@51 Agree 100/100 !!!
If I buy a pc...erase Ubuntu...and use a pirate copy of M$..is just my business!...
If I erase ubuntu and use Fedora,,,again my business...
A daily ping....are you serious?
Or is it just a way to tell Mr. Dell...please do not stop ubuntu-dell partnership in UK...giving numbers how much ubuntu is appreciated worldwide.
Wrong move Mark...I am sorry!
56 • Censes questions (by Jesse on 2010-08-17 11:51:02 GMT from Canada)
>> What does Open Source have to do with it? For that matter, is the application even open source? If so, can you guarantee it will stay that way? Have you read the code? Is there any way another "closed source" application could hook into it?
Since the code which does the "ping" is open source, we can always download the source code and find out exactly what it is doing. It's not possible for Canoncial to sneak something in (at least not long-term) because we can find out exactly what the packages does.
And, yes, the code is licensed under the GNU GPL (v2 or later). I have read the entire thing. It is less than 50 lines long and is written as a bash shell script.
Since it's all in bash, it is not possible (realistically) for the ping script to become closed source. Anyone slightly familiar with the Linux command line can see exactly what the ping command is doing.
57 • App reviews (by megadriver on 2010-08-17 12:01:53 GMT from Spain)
Great issue. Thanks for the app reviews. Here's two utilities I never heard about but I can really make use of (this is one of the many things I love about Linux).
Being not that much of a "distro-hopper" lately, I'm actually more interested in app reviews than distro reviews (but I understand this is "Distro"Watch, after all).
58 • Article (by No*Tor*ik on 2010-08-17 12:25:54 GMT from United States)
Well Jesse you must feel pretty good basking in the glow of all the wonderful comments about your article this week. You have taken some "hits" recently but you keep coming back and pounding it out. Kudos for that and for a very informative article.
Speaking of OpenSolaris, has anyone taken a look at Milax lately? The last time I tried it there was no "auto etho" and I didn't have time to play around with it trying to set up a connection.
59 • local email server (by Shankar on 2010-08-17 12:33:30 GMT from India)
One significant advantage of a local email server was not mentioned in the article - speed. I have a flash drive based live persistent Debian Squeeze system running, and I have a local dovecot server running that syncs with my Fastmail / GMail mail through offlineimap (sending is handled through the Fastmail SMTP server). Extremely easy to set up (takes about ten minutes). It means my mail is easily searchable (and in more powerful ways, with mairix / recoll etc. rather than just gmail), always available even when I'm offline, and most importantly it saves me those three or four seconds delay on every email when I'm using my client in IMAP online mode. That adds up over time. Of course, I could just use a client that downloads mail, but those are not always fully standards compliant and don't offer me the search flexibility that this solution does.
60 • #51 (by Anonymous on 2010-08-17 12:50:46 GMT from Canada)
Not being a programmer I have no idea how much time and effort is required to put a page on the iso live/install that says:
Ubuntu would like to
A move the "x"close window button to the top left of the screen.
B have your computer send inot to our office every time you open it
Please select A or B if you wish to have this on your OS.
For more info please go to the following url...
the action by Ubuntu is ALREADY the second "intrusion"; confirming your prognosis
61 • sidux Problems (by polycarp on 2010-08-17 13:09:16 GMT from United States)
@ Problems at sidux:
The sidux devs and e.V. have been very transparent about their reforms and the reasons for them. You can follow the discussion for yourself at the sidux forums, which I encourage, rather than gossiping about it.
sidux development will definitely continue and the e.V. will expand its non-profit work to include even more projects. Sounds like a very positive resolution, so please don't spread negativity.
Again, go to the source if you are curious.
62 • Sidux (by Carlos on 2010-08-17 13:27:44 GMT from Italy)
As Sidux user,i am sorry for the situation.
Reform and legal issues are word that are not very well together..
"the e.V. will expand its non-profit work to include even more projects"...more or different projects?
We will see....
I do love sidux....
63 • FOSS development and things.. (by davemc on 2010-08-17 14:20:20 GMT from United States)
PJ/Groklaw has broken down the Oracle America vs. Google lawsuit -
Here are some snippet gems -
"I can't imagine anyone donating code to Oracle after this. Maybe they don't care about developers, developers, developers, but there are some valuable lessons to learn. And if this lawsuit helps people to see that software patents are a drag on innovation and the economy, and if it helps them to realize that open core is a trap, and that the license you use matters, good. This is the perfect answer to all the apologists who have insisted for years that we don't have to worry about patents. We do. Oracle has shut those mouths with a bang. And now, hopefully, when considering a license, people will be asking, what might happen down the road if a Neanderthal IP-oriented, flesh-eating, blood-sucking interloper company were to get ownership of this community code? Would the license protect the code from their predatory, old-fashioned proprietary ways? Ah! The GPL stars in this context, does it not? "
" Actually, Java is worse than open core, now that I think of it. Oracle America seems to believe you can't even clean room a Java replacement, and you can't fork it. You are tethered to Oracle, no matter which way you try to twist or turn. Now we know, without footnotes, that Java is, in the mobile space particularly, proprietary, according to its new owner. So the lesson here is: If you want to develop FOSS, it turns out you need to use FOSS tools and FOSS languages. Google will either need to win, hands down, or lose developers who care about FOSS. Because if they just pay Oracle off, everyone will be watching.
What does that leave? Pay Oracle or use something else entirely. If those are the only two choices, guess what will happen with FOSS developers? Who will work on it voluntarily now? Companies can strap their own programmers to the oars and make them row, of course, but no one who is watching this play out will want to volunteer on these terms or can miss the message."
You just gotta love PJ, and now we have the legal speak on things like Java, .NET, C#, etc.. Any Developers using these platforms/tools are likely barking down the wrong tree from a legal standpoint if it is FOSS they wish to be contributing to, or at least thats how I read it.
64 • Debian... (by disi on 2010-08-17 14:27:52 GMT from Germany)
I totally missed that :D
Congratulations Debian for 17 years of great service!
Debian was next to RedHat and Suse one of my first distributions. Right now, I love it that you were the first distribution I was able to install and run on two of my arm netbooks. (one is running Gentoo now, but hey ;) )
My laptop gets every now and then a new Distro, I will go ahead and install Debian today. The Current CentOS 5.5 works fine but annoys me, because of the RedHat kernel that comes with a wrong crashkernel value for kdump. I love yum though.
65 • @60 (by fernbap on 2010-08-17 14:35:27 GMT from Portugal)
"the action by Ubuntu is ALREADY the second "intrusion"; confirming your prognosis"
intrusion on what? Canonical is providing the Linux world with something that was lacking: a consistent marketing policy aimed at the end user of the desktop. Unlike other companies like Google, Canonical doesn't collect any private data from you.
However, it is important for Canonical to have accurate data on how many Ubuntu users there are. It is an important argument when looking for partners or convincing a OEM installer to offer Ubuntu as an alternative.
The most important marketing issue for Linux on the desktop is showing that many people are using it. Linux will benefit from it as a whole.
That is the most important role Canonical is playing for the Linux world.
Issues like colors and positioning of buttons belong to the marketing department. They make their decisions based on more information that you possess.
Lastly, if you think companies should be a democracy, think again. Do you think all decisions of your boss should be put to a vote?
66 • sidux Problems (by polycarp on 2010-08-17 14:37:03 GMT from United States)
German open source has to do a lot of CYA* because of strict enforcement of intellectual property laws, etc. That in mind, one shouldn't jump to conclusions. From everything communicated it is evident that the "legal issues" are only a matter of "dotting I's and crossing T's." But those things take a little time to be done right. The fact that the necessary effort is going into doing these things carefully demonstrates sidux' intention to stay around.
AGAIN: sidux devs are usually available in #sidux on OFTC. Go to the source and please don't assume the worst.
67 • @63 Java (by Andy Axnot on 2010-08-17 15:27:06 GMT from United States)
I don't know much about this, but I thought Java had been GPLed. Not so?
68 • Ubuntu and privacy (by Carlos on 2010-08-17 15:52:30 GMT from Italy)
Canonical collects a lot of data on my position...
From the ping you have also the ip...and approximately my location...
If I was a russian mafia killer...no way to install Ubuntu!
69 • @50 (by Patrick on 2010-08-17 15:59:59 GMT from United States)
"""What does Open Source have to do with it? For that matter, is the application even open source? If so, can you guarantee it will stay that way? Have you read the code? Is there any way another "closed source" application could hook into it?"""
Sigh. Why do you always have to do this Landor? You ask all these questions to raise FUD, while it is so easy to answer them. Open source has EVERYTHING to do with it, because it allows these questions to be answered very easily by looking at what the thing does. To quote you: "Have YOU read the code?" Why do you expect other people to find out the answers for you, if you're the one concerned about them? If you're so concerned, then find out what's happening instead of spreading FUD. Canonical is innocent until proven guilty, so if you feel like accusing them, you better come up with some evidence here.
Now in this case, Jesse did the work for you and found that this thing IS open source, GPL, and does absolutely nothing harmful. So your questions have been answered. Now will this change your mind? Of course not. You never really asked those questions to find out one way or another. You already had made up your mind, and reality is not going to change a thing about it.
"""(Sorry to bring this up again Jake..lol)
This reminds me of the debate about Ubuntu One using the cpu while it "shouldn't have been doing anything"."""
So, since you brought it up, did either you or Jake ever find out what horrible things were going on with that? Of course not. Raising suspicion was the whole point. Finding out what was really going on was never of any concern.
70 • @ 64 disi arm netbooks (by joji on 2010-08-17 16:30:52 GMT from Belgium)
arm netbooks running debian? arm netbook available in Germany?
what is your experience with these machines?
71 • FUD (by Mike MacAnaulty on 2010-08-17 17:15:04 GMT from United States)
72 • @71 FUD (by open source on 2010-08-17 17:19:41 GMT from United States)
73 • GPL clones or VM's (by davemc on 2010-08-17 17:20:49 GMT from United States)
"I don't know much about this, but I thought Java had been GPLed. Not so?
Here is the crux of the matter -
"Oracle America seems to believe you can't even clean room a Java replacement, and you can't fork it. You are tethered to Oracle, no matter which way you try to twist or turn. Now we know, without footnotes, that Java is, in the mobile space particularly, proprietary, according to its new owner.
The essence of this claim is that Oracle is saying that even if someone writes a "clone" or VM or anything that circumvents or emulates the original patented code, infringes on their patent or copywrites, including "new" clean room code written for that purpose under a GPL license. They have to claim this to get anything out of Google, because that is what they did. Google did not use the patented code, but they used Dvalik to get around it for Android. The implications here are huge, and if a Judge or Jury should be so inclined to agree with Oracle's lawyers, its going to be somewhat a shell shock for many FOSS projects. I think what PJ is trying to tell us is that there is a VERY real threat there, and pretending that it does not or will not happen any day is foolish and naive at best for all those projects or Developers who use legally dubious code - Java, .NET, C#, etc..
Of course, PJ is just another heavy hitter saying this in an already long list. Ignore their wise and educated advice at your peril.
74 • Privacy? NO! - everything is already known (by RS on 2010-08-17 18:37:16 GMT from United States)
I'd like to point that your ISP knows everything, every-single-thing, about you and browsing habits.
And, if your in the USA, remember how some of these telecom giants provided info to the guberment during that illegal wiretapping fiasco a few years back
75 • Distros have your info (by RS on 2010-08-17 18:42:44 GMT from United States)
Fedora uses smolt in tracking,
and if you update or even update your repo db they have info on you (location). If your firefox's distro custom homepage is left on default they have info on you.
If you use a proxy, and I find this funny, the proxy has all your info!
76 • Few comments (by Barnabyh on 2010-08-17 20:13:01 GMT from United Kingdom)
"Lastly, if you think companies should be a democracy, think again. Do you think all decisions of your boss should be put to a vote?"
That's true, but this is linux and FOSS after all. Many people dislike and distrust companies. If you don't like what your boss/employer organization is doing you may not get a vote, but you're free to hand in your notice and leave, any time. I often enough do. You pick your benevolent dictator.
So true, what's a ping compared to that? I can understand Ubuntu wanting to get some numbers and justify OEM installs and possibly get more companies interested. Linux as whole would benefit if there were some hard numbers backing up that its use is more widespread by now than the paltry <1% often suggested.
It would be nice though if they had let the user know, or pop up a screen to choose if they want to participate like in the (software) popularity contest. I know it's probably less useful if enough people then disable it, but that's freedom...
77 • Upcoming Q and A (by Jesse on 2010-08-17 20:45:11 GMT from Canada)
I am going to make a more formal announcement about this next week, but I'll give the folks here a chance at a head start.
Dru Lavigne (PC-BSD's Director of Community Development) has agreed to do a Question and Answer session with DWW. In light of this, I'd like to try an experiment. Usually I come up with a set of about 8-10 questions and run them by the interviewee. This time, I'd like to give you, the readers, a chance to take part. So, do you have questions for Dru concerning PC-BSD, PBI, FreeBSD, BSD in general, the open source community as a whole? If you do, either post them here in the comments section or (better yet) e-mail them to me at email@example.com.
In the past if you've thought, "I could have come up with better questions than that!" this is your chance.
78 • A couple ideas, Re: 77 (by jake on 2010-08-17 22:03:49 GMT from United States)
1) Philosophical differences between the BSD kernel and Linux kernel coders.
2) Compare and contrast BSD Ports and Linux package management.
I know they've been covered here before, at least in part, but maybe the perspective of Dru would be insightful for folks who haven't walked that particular path.
79 • Dru Lavigne interview questions (by davemc on 2010-08-17 22:21:39 GMT from United States)
Jesse, I would appreciate hearing Dru's insight into the Oracle/Google lawsuit, Java and patent issues. I would also love to hear about his perspective on some of the new upstart BSD distros that include installers and GNOME, etc.
80 • Re: 77 (by Brandon Sniadajewski on 2010-08-17 23:06:42 GMT from United States)
I would love to try a BSD distro, and I like the look of PC-BSD, but I don't want to download the DVD ISO. Are there plans for a live-CD version anytime soon?
81 • Virtualbox 3.2.8, VL6SOHO (by Woodstock69 on 2010-08-17 23:25:15 GMT from Papua New Guinea)
Downloaded and installed VectorLinux 6 SOHO in virtualbox 3.2.8 and both love and hate the experience. I love it because I think I've found an implementation of KDE4 I actually like. Hate it because virtualbox 3.2.8 has serious problems which were only fixed after reverting to v3.2.0.
Both VL6SOHO and SM8 had serious problems with mouse pointer stability and operation in the virtual environment. The mouse pointer was getting its geometry confused and mouse clicks are not recognised until after several clicks. Reverting to VB3.2.0 solved the problems and the mouse behaved and operated as expected.
VL6SOHO has struck me in the same way that simplyMEPIS 8.0 had (SM8 is my default desktop after leaving LinuxMint). The implementation is different from anything else I've seen. It doesn't look like every other KDE4 desktop. It actually looks like an individual not a twin. I've yet to use it for more than a day, but so far I'm very impressed. Pity it's slack based and uses Grub2 (only because I have to now learn another nuance, which isn't bad, just time consuming...)
On my "ancient" P4 with 786Mb of RDRAM, both openSUSE and Linux Mint 9 KDE ran like absolute dogs. I cannot understand why the openSUSE installer takes so long to do anything! It's absolutely terrible (and I love openSUSE usually). LM9KDE faired no better, which is why my first impressions of VL6SOHO are good impressions. Both operation and installation are quick. The installation process is one of the best I've seen, but if I have two criticisms of VL it's that they use LILO and /or Grub2 (if I have those choices, why not Grub as well) and that the startup message text isn't centred when you boot with splash screen.
Other than that the testing goes on.
82 • RE: 56 - 69 - 73 - 77 (by Anonymous on 2010-08-17 23:28:40 GMT from Canada)
Of course I didn't take a look, and thank you for doing so. It's appreciated. My point was simply to enlighten the person that I was in reply to that was vehement about it being "open source". Not all things in our OS are open source (sadly), since this is an OEM offering, it could easily not have been as well. They're obviously not bound by the GPL to have only OS or many distributions wouldn't exist if that was the case. So, as I said, I was pointing out that the person who made the comment # 37 could "have" been right and Allan should take a refresher course on the Linux Landscape and the fact that not everything is Open Source in it. Like blobs in the kernel (I added that for Patrick's benefit. Just messin' Patrick :) )
See above for my reasoning behind my comment. It didn't have anything to do with any concern of mine over the matter of sending information, but more to the fallacy of his comment.
The whole "clean room" deal with Google and their implementation is extremely suspicious. They hired WAY too many ex-Sun(java) employees. I don't see Oracle as stupid, nor ever to be a patent troll. At this point it's all conjecture of course, but I think there's enough information to give Oracle the benefit of the doubt (regardless of whether we like patents or not, the law's the laws, bottom line).
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to possibly participate!
If you could ask her, what is her opinion on the differences to the BSD license and the GPL, and how it works for how BSD does things.
Keep your stick on the ice...
83 • RE: 79 (by Landor on 2010-08-17 23:42:08 GMT from Canada)
Dru's a woman, Dave.
Keep your stick on the ice...
84 • Off-Topic (by Smith on 2010-08-18 00:02:44 GMT from United States)
This is off-topic but I don't recall seeing any announcement here about Jolicloud releasing 1.0. If I missed it and this is redundant please delete.
85 • CD version of PC-BSD (by Jesse on 2010-08-18 00:06:16 GMT from Canada)
In response to the question in post 80, I think I can answer that. I believe PC-BSD will have an Xfce CD edition when version 9 comes out. At least that's been the talk on the project's forum recently. However, I will put the question on my list to see if Dru can give an official answer on the subject.
Some great suggestions thus far, keep 'em coming!
86 • Imagination (by CC on 2010-08-18 01:11:03 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the great info about Imagination. The topic is a perfect fit for me. I’ve wanted to find a better/easier way of creating slideshow presentations for a good long while now, so I'm very interested in giving this a try.
87 • @85 (by Brandon Sniadajewski on 2010-08-18 01:15:11 GMT from United States)
88 • @77 • Upcoming Q and A (by eco2geek on 2010-08-18 01:25:41 GMT from United States)
Going back to the basics, it'd be interesting to know why one might choose a BSD distro over a Linux distro, and vice versa. What is/are the core function(s) of BSD, and what sets it apart from Linux (other than the different licensing schemes)?
(Speaking of BSD licensing schemes, why would a developer choose a license which allows a commercial entity to use their code and make money from it without giving anything back? How is that "better" than the GPL?)
89 • PC-BSD (by Verndog on 2010-08-18 01:36:40 GMT from United States)
I'm glad that PC-BSD will have more light shed its way. I'm looking forward to next weeks Q&A. PC-BSD was the first BSD that work really well for me. I was/am totally impressed with the feel of the installation process.
The feel of the booted system was solid, to say the least. The only downside, is the heavy download of the DVD. :)
As far ask questions to ask. I haven't used PC-BSD in quite a while. Hopefully you get some good quality questions in your email bin Jesse.
90 • @2- thanks canonical (by forlin on 2010-08-18 06:08:36 GMT from Portugal)
Don't like, don't use.
91 • @88 (by Ron on 2010-08-18 06:59:51 GMT from United States)
@88 Well it has worked out great for Apple.... Oh wait. Hmmm, I do see something wrong here ;-)
92 • CD of BSD, XFCE CD FreeBSD (by gnomic on 2010-08-18 07:45:29 GMT from New Zealand)
#80 If you be wanting a live CD of FreeBSD, try the recent Frenzy release for now. There's some cool stuff there. Good luck with getting a screen res over 1024x768.
#85 fwiw, pretty sure I've seen an XFCE install CD for FreeBSD 8.1 advertised for download. Why fool around with imitations - just joshing ;-)
93 • Trinity (by Tom on 2010-08-18 10:32:03 GMT from United Kingdom)
WoooHooo :) At last a new release from the excellent TRK. It looks like this one is even usable by noobs or people that don't normally like the command-line. At last i have easily accessible tools to deal with the OS i don't like using. So far i have only been able to recommend TRK to techies who all seem to think i'm quite a geek after they have used it. At last i can try it out a bit for myself.
Many regards from
94 • Multimedia Apps (by Tom on 2010-08-18 10:39:56 GMT from United Kingdom)
I think Imagination is not really my cup-of-tea but it is fantastic to see multimedia apps developing in linux-land. I would really like to see a VJ tool develop and have been hassling the poor folks at VJamm since theirs seems to be about the best UI in Windows.
Something like Zoom Player for linux would also be great, even if it was a commercial thing that had to be paid for. Vlc is excellent and Totem has options Zoom Player wouldn't but getting some large corporate organisations interested in helping sort the dire state of multi-media in linux would be fantastic as long as the underlaying libraries and codecs moved to being OpenSource.
Imagination is an excellent step forwards towards ironing out the problems we have with multi-media so it is really great to see it.
Many regards from Tom :)
95 • Wolvix and legal issues of smaller distros (by Tom on 2010-08-18 11:01:46 GMT from United Kingdom)
Some long time ago it was pointed out that final releases of distros may find themselves in court over legal issues. Windows users losing data or having their systems fall over or crunch is pretty much expected and the Windows culture is to blame users for not taking (sometimes extraordinary and extreme) steps to safe-guard their systems. With non-Windows systems it was reported that developers could find themselves in court over quite stupid issues. Some of the larger distros such as Ubuntu have recourse to lawyers and can set water-tight disclaimers but the smaller guys could be in trouble. The advice of the report was to avoid issuing final releases and keep everything as "beta test versions" until the legal issues could be resolved by someone such as The Linux Foundation. We have heard nothing about this since then.
Wolvix Hunter & Cub 1.1.0 are stable, tried and tested and seem to be fairly well updated. The newer beta releases also seem to be stable, arguable more stable than Win7. While the linux community keeps with-holding support for smaller distros particularly if they fail to put themselves at risk from court actions then we can expect to see variety and diversity decrease and gnu&linux forking into 2 fairly distinct paths
1. Big almost corporate organistions backing a small range of distros, as Cannonical backs Ubuntu or perhaps more closely
2. Small independants hiding themselves away and just sharing out Cds in a small local environment to trusted friends, a black-market with DW becoming seen as the enemy due to trying to promote all these gems
3. People losing a lot through court-actions
By pure coincidence i think Wolvix is not being particularly clever and carefully using the dodge that was recommended in the report. Wolven's wife gave birth right around the time that he and Oithona were working on the newer releases and Oithona's work also suddenly seemed to take off and become quite busy. Both needed something to do for fun and to "get their teeth into" and seemed to get it from developing the betas but i would be surprised if either of them has time to really produce a final 2.0 proper release.
Take care and have fun
Many regards from Tom :)
96 • Off-Topic Again (by Smith on 2010-08-18 11:51:16 GMT from United States)
Just tried Jolicloud and it is very interesting. Much better than the previous release. The whole cloud thing is a bit unsettling.
97 • Ubuntu's Ping (by Tom on 2010-08-18 12:29:34 GMT from United Kingdom)
Some say it pongs but i have to ask how i could install it on my non-OEM machine?
Trying to get good accurate stats for linux usage seems a nightmare. Almost anything that could help dispel this ancient and almost definitely inaccurate 1% figure has to improve our chances of getting support from hardware manufacturers, games industry, multimedia companies. I saw somewhere that linux usage used to increase by doubling every 2 years. Is that still valid? I have heard a figure of 4% quoted quite a lot outside of the Windows world. Is that still valid? If linux usage really is at a static 1% for over a decade now then why are Apple and MicroSquish clearly so afraid and putting so much resources into FUD and court actions?
Bring it on, let me ping away.
Regards from Tom :)
PS i did sign up for the linux counter thing but lost track of mine in my hardware and OS upgrades and distro-hopping. It seems only a tiny percentage of linux users sign up for stuff like that.
98 • Sending pongs (by Jesse on 2010-08-18 12:59:27 GMT from Canada)
You call install the Ubuntu ping software on recent versions of the distro (10.04 and the 10.10 alpha) by installing the canonical-census package. Details and source here:
99 • Linux-on-USB + persistence, @59 Shankar (by Jan on 2010-08-18 15:13:20 GMT from Netherlands)
You mention that you have a Debian installation running on USB+persistence.
Is this an up-to-date Debian, so updated? How did you make that without making a Live-CD?
I have been playing with Linux-on-USB+persistence (so no clone of a Live-CD), installed from regular released Linux-iso, however failed. This is because at Linux-on-USB kernel-updating is impossible (because of read-only).
I bypassed this by installing the most recent daily-iso, which some distro's have:
So this enables me to distrohop without installing to HDD and without making a Live-CD (= less rejects and less risks).
I made a Ubuntu-on-USB+persistence, it is really nice.
I am very curious if there are more distro's with daily-iso's, and what other experiences people have.
100 • Yet about @63 - FOSS development and things (by forlin on 2010-08-18 15:16:55 GMT from Portugal)
What if "...company were to get ownership of this community code..."
Linux is a mass software collaborative project work. After it had achieved maturity, a well known name and a big user base, it would haven't be nice to see Linus give away the ownership of Linux to some corporate company, and cash all the proceeds just to its own pockets. Of course this would never ever be possible due to whatever has been agreed between all Linux contributors and developers.
The same or similar agreements and rules should be available regarding every collaborative software project under the FLOSS. Then, nobody would question their selves and others, about what if "...company were to get ownership of this community code...?".
Sometimes are just the founders or leaders of collaborative projects who open the doors to allow their appropriation by corporate or third parties. Community code and other assets, like its name and its user base, should never be possible to be traded without the agreement of every one who have contributed to it, with code or by means of any other kind of participation.
Of course I'm not a lower, but due to situations in the past involving names like Monty" Widenius, Lee Vermeulen, maybe Icaza and others, I doubt that effective appropriate mechanisms were created and are available to assure this.
Like many others who understand that FLOSS defend valuable principles and promotes ideas that effectively protect free competition, the consumer, the software innovation and progress, and the economy, in general, I'm following with some concern this SCOracle vs Google lawsuit.
And I'm concerned too about the future of Solaris, Mysql and Ooo.
101 • Zenwalk Live RC1 (by Claus Futtrup on 2010-08-18 19:13:26 GMT from Denmark)
Zenwalk has released a LiveCD Release Candidate 1. This is - I believe - the first LiveCD (to be officially announced) based on the new Slackware Live Scripts (SLS), and the LiveCD creator has been in close connection with the creator of SLS.
We normally don't do a lot of advertisement for such a RC, but in this case we could use your help for testing. Many things are quite new, and input is most welcome.
See the release announcement here:
P.S. Much of the documentation in our Wiki and such is still related to an earlier LiveCD and hence not in agreement / compatible with this one.
102 • security mailing list and public bug tracker (by Anonymous on 2010-08-18 23:19:49 GMT from Canada)
Back in Sept.2007 Ladislav Bodnar (IIRC) presented an article listing the top 25 OSes on the DWW hit list.
He showed which of them offered both of these (only about 7 (IIRC).
There were more that offered one of them
I have heard nothing since.
Perhaps this type of information could be a permanent feature of DWW
103 • PC-BSD thoughts.... (by Joe on 2010-08-18 23:51:37 GMT from United States)
PC-BSD is getting better, but it's still not on par with Linux.
Here are a few comments and questions I'd like to submit.
The positives -
Great installer, professional looking desktop once logged in.
Speed on par with a typical linux distro.
The negatives -
Too much bloat on the system, ram used nearly 800mb just using Firefox.
Removing application/programs...can't use PBI installer/remover for preinstalled programs.
Firewall GUI very difficult for users compared to Firestarter - couldn't close all ports.
I guess the biggest beef I have with PC BSD is the problem of trying to remove some of the preinstalled programs I didn't need or want. Unfortunately to do that the PBI installer cannot be used - which means the user must use the command line to access the ports system. I tried to remove programs using the portst system and it was a pain in the neck, and I couldn't get it to work....not newbee friendly at all.
1)Will PC BSD offer a "light" version without all the added bloat ? That would allow users to add whatever they needed through the PBI installer, rather than having to use the terminal to remove unwanted programs.
2) Can PC BSD developers modify the GUI firewall to make it more user friendly ? perhaps similar to Firestarter ?
104 • RE: 102 (by Landor on 2010-08-19 01:03:53 GMT from Canada)
I remember that article. Ladislav did indeed write it. It included (if I recall correctly) all aspects of security updates, any notification system. I don't remember about bugs. I'm actually just on my way out in a moment or I'd have looked to see.
It was a great article and like you, I'd like to see an update to it. I'd like to see how some of them changed, or not as the case may be.
Keep your stick on the ice...
105 • PC BSD (by Joe on 2010-08-19 04:11:47 GMT from United States)
Just to clarify regarding the installation and removal of programs on PC BSD.
The easy to use PBI installer only works for programs/applications that are supplied on the PBI website. The PBI installer doesn't work for pre-installed out of the box programs. The newbee coming from Windows will find it nearly impossible to add/remove anything using the ports system in the terminal. For users who might want to clean up the bloat of KDE, the inability to remove programs might cause them to avoid using PC BSD entirely. One solution would be to provide a lean version of KDE, similar to that of PCLOS minime. Another solution would be to provide a LXDE version, or even a XFCE version with only the basic programs installed out of the box.
In addition, PC BSD doesn't provide a log-in option for root access, which makes it tough to change basic functions like the clock, as they require root access on PC BSD. And as I previously mentioned, the firewall GUI needs to be simplified so users can easily lock up the ports they don't want open. As it stand now, the default firewall configuration left numerous ports open, which could lead to potential security problems.
Having said that, there are some things PC BSD does very well. The overall look and feel of the system is polished with a professional looking installer, every bit as nice as anything Linux has produced. And the stability of the system is solid. If the above concerns could be rectified, PC BSD could become as good as anything Linux currently offers.
106 • Need Job (by Aisha on 2010-08-19 05:12:02 GMT from United Arab Emirates)
107 • @106 (by jake on 2010-08-19 07:06:14 GMT from United States)
108 • @ 103 & 105 by Joe (by Barnabyh on 2010-08-19 11:11:43 GMT from United Kingdom)
I've got an article here that appeared on a Dutch website (but in English) in 2009, titles 'FreeBSD as a desktop OS'. Unfortunately the website, kompasmedia.nl, is down, but I saved the complete page then for documentation.
It may assist you in starting with a leaner install of FreeBSD. Although I still have to go there myself.
109 • hardware approval lists (by Tom on 2010-08-19 14:25:45 GMT from United Kingdom)
Another list of approved hardware?
Many manufacturers still try to make it difficult to use their equipment without using Windows. There seems to be a plethora of sites listing what works and what doesn't carefully hiding themselves to avoid being useful. Does anyone know if they communicate with each other?
110 • RE:81, Grub Legacy not an option. (by Eddie Wilson on 2010-08-19 15:37:42 GMT from United States)
"but if I have two criticisms of VL it's that they use LILO and /or Grub2 (if I have those choices, why not Grub as well) "
I could be wrong but I do believe that Grub Legacy is no longer being developed. So VL is going the way that most distro will have to go if they use Grub.
111 • Comment for Peppermint-One dev's (by JS on 2010-08-19 17:28:04 GMT from United States)
2 live users and 1 install of latest version of Peppermint-One with Firefox Beta 4. Result is all 3 users are having stuttering issues, picture freezes, etc with Firefox Beta 4. All 3 users have switched back to your version with Firefox 3.X or are using ICE instead. Maybe Firefox Beta 4 (or at least the version on the CD) isn't quite ready yet?
Nonetheless, thanks for a great distro!!!
112 • @110: Grub Legacy / openSUSE Bootloader (by Woodstock69 on 2010-08-20 01:27:24 GMT from Papua New Guinea)
According to Brooko, who asked Warren of Mepis Linux, Mepis 11 (next stable release after 8.5) will more than likely have grub legacy (and KDE4.5 yay...) as the bootloader. Why? He doesn't see the benefit of Grub2 at this stage either.
Until someone (re-)writes a better interface to edit Grub2, and until the features of Grub2 are exploited, no user should be required to use it, especially when the majority of bootloaders are still legacy. There are no compelling reasons to switch yet.
I'm aware of the benefits of Grub2. I just don't see any distros exploiting them (nor LILO for that matter), and therefore as Grub Legacy works perfectly as it is, it doesn't need to be left out in the dark.
There are a multitude of apps not being developed, and don't need further development as they work fine as they are, and are still being widely used.
So I'd still like distro devs to give me the choice.
BTW - openSUSE does have a bootloader catch as far as I can tell. Regardless of whether you tell openSUSE 11.3 to write the bootloader to MBR or root partition it will always write it to the MBR if you blindly follow the install procedure. From memory you have to check another box on another screen to ensure it writes to the root partition. I don't recall where at the moment.
113 • RE: 81/110/112 (by Landor on 2010-08-20 03:01:26 GMT from Canada)
From what Adam Williamson said here some time ago pertaining to GRUB and Fedora, and the fact that I believe (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) that RHEL 6 is going to be shipping with Legacy GRUB, we have no fears of it disappearing or not being developed (to a degree), at least for as long as RHEL 6 will be supported, and that's quite some time in the future. :)
I'm quite sure with RH using it they'll do any fixes needed. Then of course, the source is available for any distribution to use. But will they use it is a different matter altogether.
Keep your stick on the ice...
114 • Chime in on grub-0.97 (by RollMeAway on 2010-08-20 03:52:19 GMT from United States)
I've always wondered why an application that works,
does what it was designed to do,
needs to be "actively in development" ? If it works, quit tweaking!
Someone (fedora ?) patched grub-0.97 for ext4.
So, just what does anyone need grub2 for?
115 • So, just what does anyone need grub2 for? (by Anonymous on 2010-08-20 08:28:20 GMT from United States)
To make it difficult for the average user to dual boot another distribution using legacy grub. ie Fedora, Opensuse, Mepis, PCLOS, Centos, Mandriva, etc...
116 • GRUB2 Advantages (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-08-20 08:31:05 GMT from United States)
Those of you who are saying there is no reason to migrate to GRUB2 may want to read this: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-grub2/?ca=drs-
To me the support for RAID and LVM configurations is a huge issue. I'd be really surprised if RHEL6 does not incorporate GRUB2 for that reason alone. This is not offered by GRUB legacy or by LILO and, so far as I know, there is no patch to GRUB legacy that will add that support.
117 • grub2 and multi booting (by forlin on 2010-08-20 09:16:26 GMT from Portugal)
It's true that grub2 compared to legacy grub is revolution compared to evolution, and makes things more difficult to the average users who dual or multi boot, through the legacy grub.
To avoid new installs to hijack the boot loader, the easy "trick" is to always install their boot loader in the same partition where the new distro is going to be installed. Then, boot as usual, edit the legacy grub and add the lines that are required to load the new installed distro.
If you installed 10 distros, remember that "edit the legacy grub" means editing the file named "menu.lst" at the first of the 10 distros you installed, providing that all the following 9 were installed using the above mentioned " "trick".
For those who don't feel yet comfortable enough with grub2, this is he best way to go.
118 • Grub @117 (by Jan on 2010-08-20 10:51:55 GMT from Netherlands)
My distrohopping practice was:
1) Indeed install GRUB into the same partition where Linux was installed.
2) I used GAG as multi boot program. You have to know the partition where your new Linux is installed, then adding it to GAG is super easy.
Moreover GAG does not need a file from a partition (as GRUB), so when something with a Linux partition goes wrong you won't loose access to all other OS's. And with GAG (from the bootable installation floppy) you can restore the original MBR, so restoring access to your main OS is performed in seconds.
119 • Use cpulimit to REALLY test distros! (by DavidEF on 2010-08-20 11:13:07 GMT from United States)
I read most of the comments here, and I didn't see mention of this. I see in a lot of distro reviews from Jesse, that Virtualbox is used to test "how well (the distro) works with limited resources". I have a semi-modern laptop which I use to test distros for my daughter's old PIII laptop in Virtualbox.
The problem I face is that I can limit everything except the CPU. I'm looking for something responsive on a PIII, and I'm using a CPU which is more than double the speed. I get a false idea of responsiveness, because the CPU is much more capable. I know that the limited memory has a lot to do with responsiveness too. However, her laptop has 384MB, which is the lower limit for most distros, and doesn't make much difference in my testing in Virtualbox compared to 1GB or more.
Now, with cpulimit, I think the testing will be more productive. Perhaps it would be good for Jesse or others doing distro reviews for DWW to use cpulimit as part of the testing, so we can know how much CPU we really need for the new shiny distros, especially the ones billed as "light" or made for low resources!
Thanks for telling us about this cool little trick, and thanks to those who developed it.
120 • RE:Grub L development (by Eddie Wilson on 2010-08-20 12:02:57 GMT from United States)
Of course anyone can take Grub and mold it to suit their use and that's the way it should be. But as I was saying as far as development goes the Grub devs will not be working on any kind of development for Grub Legacy. All development will be on Grub2. Personally I have no problems with Grub2 but what it all boils down to is whatever a person wants or needs to use. Grub Legacy still works very well and that's all most people will ever need. (for now) :)
121 • PC-BSD Q's (by #30 on 2010-08-20 15:51:47 GMT from United States)
I like a lot about PC-BSD, there are a lot of neat concepts that it uses like PBIs, and I like the fact that it is an entirely different OS than the many Linux distros that I've tried. Sadly I've never had it working functionally on any machines of mine. I must admit once I got to the installer on my old machine the install process was probably the best I've seen. On the other hand it never did actually boot to the desktop after I installed it. If it's not video issues on my new machine it's boot issues on the old one. I suppose the biggest question I have is what can a relative computer Luddite like myself, (who'll try something but probably never digg that deep into getting it to work), do to encourage better compatibility on future releases?
122 • SalixOS (by Ed on 2010-08-20 19:29:26 GMT from United Kingdom)
That's what I want to see: Slackware without the unnecessary packages and a polished XFCE.
Zenwalk is good too, but I believe: that it has broken Slackware compatibility, that it wastes time on reinventing the wheel with its own repository, that its one-aplication-per task approach to its repo is unsatisfactory without Slackware compatibility, that some of the the less common packages in its repo are dodgy, that some of its repos are poorly maintained and that it puts too much effort into ensuring conformity with the same old boring theme.
This sounds like a lot of criticism, but seriously: I like Zenwalk; I just think that it wastes time on unnecessary things. While its documentation, stability, performance and probably security are great, it lacks a decent source of software and quality of GUI tools.
I believe that by concentrating on useful features, SalixOS will soon succeed Zenwalk as the Slackware-based distribution providing GUI administration tools, a lightweight desktop and lightweight applications that go with it.
123 • GRUB2 and multiple distros installed on the same computer (by eco2geek on 2010-08-20 21:18:25 GMT from United States)
Here's a cool feature of GRUB2.
If you (like many here) install several distros on the same computer, then you're probably familiar with having to edit legacy GRUB's "menu.lst" after installing a new distro. Or, after one of your distros gets a kernel update, when it's not the distro whose GRUB "controls" your computer, you have to go update "menu.lst" to point to the new kernel.
If you have one main distro with GRUB2 that boots your computer, when you install a new distro on another partition, if you tell the new distro to install GRUB to the partition, as commenter forlin suggests, your main distro's GRUB2 will automatically find and add that other distro to the boot menu. You do have to boot back into your main distro and run "update-grub", but over time I've found that's a lot easier than having to manually edit "menu.lst".
GRUB2 will pick up on other distros installed on other partitions whether they have GRUB2 or legacy GRUB installed. However, if they use LILO instead of GRUB, it probably won't work automatically. It hasn't in my experience, anyway.
124 • GRUB2 and multiple distros installed (by fernbap on 2010-08-21 02:02:57 GMT from Portugal)
In fact, the easiest way to handle several distros on several partitions is installing grub on the first and then not installing any bootloader in any of the others.
Then, a update-grub on the first system will install all the other systems in the first grub screen.
So, for distros using lilo, it doesn't matter. Just don't install it.
125 • GRUB2 (by Brandon Sniadajewski on 2010-08-21 02:35:14 GMT from United States)
If you have Windows Vista or 7 installed, you could use EasyBCD so you can use the Windows boot-loader to boot into other OSes. It works very well for my system with Win 7, OpenSUSE 11.3 and Ubuntu 10.04 with the GRUBs installed to their respective root partitions.
126 • @ 118, 123, 124, 125 - Grub2 (by forlin on 2010-08-21 03:23:18 GMT from Portugal)
Thanks to eco2geek, for telling us about the "update-grub" feature in Grub2 (@ 123), and also to Jan, for the same reason, about GAG (@ 118), and Brandon (@ 125) about "EasyBCD". I myself, did not heard before about any of the three.
I used to let every new install overwrite the MBR... up to the day when I installed the first Grub 2 Distro (I think it was Ubuntu 09.10, but I'm not sure ). On next boot, I noticed that one or two of the installed Distros were not shown at the boot menu.
By that time, I already knew how to edit "menu.lst" to deal with that kind of situations. But.. when I pretended to edit the "menu.lst" at that Distro,... I realized that Grub 2 was a totally different thing.
As it was a Beta still at an early development stage I decided to wait some more time until it matured, before start learning it. That's when I adopted the method mentioned at @ 117. Anyway, as Eddie Wilson (@ 120) noted, this is a temporary procedure.
Fernbap: as you said, your way looks the easiest one. Sometimes legacy Grub used to fail to detect one or other of the previous installed Distros. I don't know if that ever happens with Grub 2. If it does, or just in case we want to make some change in the Boot menu, do you know how that can be done at Grub 2?
By the way... another tool that is a very good distrohopper's "companion" is the Supergrubdisk. It's a bootable CD used to restore most (maybe all) boot loaders, from the various distro partition installs.
127 • @126: grub2 (by Josh on 2010-08-21 06:26:04 GMT from United States)
"If it does, or just in case we want to make some change in the Boot menu, do you know how that can be done at Grub 2?"
The file is grub.cfg. I've only used it to delete the added kernel entries every time ubuntu updates the kernel. I never did need to add anything so far. I did read one time of some script/command the devs rather people use, but I rather hands on so I didn't look into it.
128 • grub2 (by KevinC on 2010-08-21 08:18:32 GMT from United States)
Good guide for grub 2:
129 • Slackware and XFCE (by Robert on 2010-08-21 11:06:34 GMT from United States)
Do a customized install of Vanilla Slackware only installing the essentials and then compile XFCE and all it's dependicies from source.
I am now running a customized kernel, XFCE 4.6.2 compiled from source and I can trully say that I have a lean stable machine. I have never had so much fun with an OS before!!
130 • @129 (by dopher on 2010-08-21 16:48:42 GMT from France)
robert, what do you consider essentials when installing slackware like that?
131 • JAVA, and all other code that is GPLed (by James M. Dyer on 2010-08-21 19:08:04 GMT from United States)
I am not a lawyer, and have NO training in law.
Now, a pair of questions from a confused end-user.
Doesn't the GPL give the right to add to or modify code to ALL the users, not just the "official developers"?
So can GPLed code legally be patented, copyrighted, or otherwise "locked" as IP, or otherwise be "owned", by any company or person?
If I have mis-read the GPL, than I apologize.
132 • Java and law (by Jesse on 2010-08-21 20:39:41 GMT from Canada)
>> "So can GPLed code legally be patented, copyrighted, or otherwise "locked" as IP, or otherwise be "owned", by any company or person?"
The GPL requires copyright law to work, so, yes, GPL code can be patented (in countries with software patents), copyrighted and owned. The GPL really just covers distribution of programs and their code.
So far as I know, Sun did open source all of Java, but they retain the trademark. Which should mean people can hack on Java, but if you tried to fork it, or make your own implementation, you couldn't call it Java.
133 • Linux / BSD Podcasts (by RollMeAway on 2010-08-22 05:30:23 GMT from United States)
Just discovered a source for ogg and mp3 podcasts related to linux and BSDs.
Distrowatch.com is mentioned, so returning the favor?
I listened to #8: Interview with Zenwalk's Public Relations Maintainer, Claus Futtrup.
#4:Interview with Kendall Weaver, Project Leader for Peppermint OS
These might give a new slant or understanding if you find one that interests you:
134 • Reply to 'Slackware and Xfce' (comment 129) (by Ed on 2010-08-23 01:32:40 GMT from United Kingdom)
Using Slackware requires that I install quite a lot of packages, e.g. the whole AP series, which I don't need much of. I believe that Slackware lacks some good Xfce things. SalixOS and Zenwalk provide sensible repositories for Xfce desktop use. Zenwalk, I believe, comes with many performance enhancements, such as a modern boot system and some others mentioned in a distrowacth interview (though I sometimes wonder how many of these are really that unique, since the new BFS scheduler was mentioned and I've read about that in many places). Salix and Zenwalk provide some GUI system administration tools -- Zenwalk's are a little disappointing IMHO, but judging by Salix's youth, the amount of utilities that it has already and the impression of efficiency and absence of duplication of effort that I have got from the SalixOS project, I believe that Salix will provide quite a few more system administration tools in the future.
I'm not saying that they're /very/ different, but I believe that Salix's installation package set and repository provide a more rounded out-of-the-box experience, making it worth using over Slackware on an old or low-power computer for some not-very-experienced users who want to use their OS before taking the time to get to grips with GNU/Linux generally.
I am generally against the approach of creating little distributions that will not achieve anything, but SalixOS's tendency to stick close to Slackware and its apparently sensible purpose makes me judge it quite differently to how I judged Linux Mint without even trying it.
135 • Ref#127 grub2 kernel updates (by VernDog on 2010-08-23 04:51:44 GMT from United States)
Use symbolic kernel entries. then you won't have to update grub2 each time the kernel updates:
linux /vmlinuz ...
initrd /initrd.img ...
Instead of this:
linux /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-24-generic ...
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-24-generic ...
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SphinxOS 4.0 was a Debian- and MEPIS-based Linux distribution targetted at German speakers.