| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 413, 11 July 2011
Welcome to this year's 28th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! CentOS, the most widely-used free clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, has finally announced the long-awaited release of version 6.0 - eight months after the upstream. Will this event mark the start of a new life of the project that many have written off in recent months, with timely updates and security patches? The CentOS release is the main topic of the news section which is followed by other interesting stories from the past week: the possible switch of Linux Mint "KDE" edition to the Debian base, the frank frustration expressed by the Sabayon Linux lead over some open-source projects, a link to an interview with Debian founder Ian Murdock, and a rather sinister story from one Linux distro's marketing department. The feature story of this week's issue is a quick look at Kubuntu 11.04 and the KDE desktop is also the topic of our interview with Boudewijn Rempt of Calligra Suite (a project that split from KOffice in December 2010). All this and more in this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly - happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Trying Kubuntu 11.04|
Earlier this year, in the wake of my Ubuntu review, several people suggested I try Kubuntu. I was repeatedly assured that while Ubuntu had some rough edges, the Kubuntu team had put together a first-class KDE release. I'm a trusting sort, so I decided to take the advice and downloaded Kubuntu 11.04.
Before we get into the review I want to talk a little about the relationship between Ubuntu and its close family members (Kubuntu, Lubuntu, etc). Some people see them as separate distributions, others say they're editions of Ubuntu -- one distribution with different package sets. I think the true nature of the Somethingbuntus lies in the middle. Kubuntu, Ubuntu and Lubuntu share repositories, but their designs are noticeably different. The differences are more than just slapping a different desktop environment on a common set of packages. The projects also have separate areas of focus. The main Ubuntu project seems to be big into tablet interfaces (Unity) right now and they're pushing the Ubuntu One services for all they're worth. Kubuntu is more focused on an integrated, consistent desktop environment and there is nary a mention of the cloud or One in Kubuntuland. We don't find a lot of overlap in the default applications either, but we'll get into that later.
The Kubuntu distribution fits on a CD and the download image is just under 700 MB. Booting from the live disc shows us a blue splash screen, followed by a window asking us if we'd like to try Kubuntu or install the operating system. I decided to jump straight into the installer, which walks us through the usual steps. The installer is easy to use and should appeal to Linux newcomers. The Kubuntu live CD ships with free software and doesn't include such add-ons as Flash or mp3 codecs. One of the first things the installer does is offer to download these extras, along with any available package updates. There are (at time of writing) over 150 updates, so unless you have plenty of time, I recommend skipping the updates.
Partitioning is very easy and the layout provided by the installer is simple, yet we're given a wide range of file systems from which to choose. Kubuntu supports ext2/3/4, ReiserFS, Btrfs, JFS, XFS and FAT. We're given the option of where to install the boot loader, though not installing one at all isn't an option. We provide the installer with our time zone and keyboard layout then create a user account. We're given the option of encrypting our home folder. Then we wait while the required files are copied to the local hard drive and, if we opted to download extras, packages are grabbed from the repositories. In my case the entire process took about forty minutes from power-on to finish, after which I was prompted to reboot the machine.
Kubuntu boots into a nice, clean graphical login screen and logging in presents us with a KDE 4.6 desktop. The background is soft blue and brings to mind a pond where water drops are falling and casting ripples across the surface. The desktop doesn't contain any icons, but does feature a folder view widget. At the bottom of the screen we find a task switcher, the application launcher (which displays using the Kickoff menu style) and the system tray. Something I noticed early on was the desktop environment was sluggish on both of my test machines. This turned out to be a result of all the bells & whistles being enabled. Once I'd turned off workspace edges, desktop effects and the indexing/search feature KDE became more responsive. From there on, performance was about on par with other KDE desktop distributions such as SimplyMEPIS and openSUSE.
Kubuntu 11.04 - KDE System Settings
(full image size: 227kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
The distribution comes with a small selection of default software, but tries to cover a wide range of functionality. We're given LibreOffice 3.3.2, Kopete for instant messaging, a remote desktop app, KTorrent and an IRC client. The Rekonq web browser is available, as is a document viewer. The KDE Partition Manager is included, as are KPackageKit and the KDE System Settings panel. For multimedia we're given the Amarok music player and Dragon Player for videos. The K3b disc burner is included as are the usual collection of small apps for editing text files, adding numbers and handling archives. Popular extras like Flash, Java and codecs are not included by default, but can be selected at install time and are available through the package manager. Behind the scenes Kubuntu uses the 2.6.38 version of the Linux kernel.
Previously I've mentioned some small distributions like to maintain a light ISO image by including a menu item called "Firefox" which is actually an install script rather than the actual browser. This approach can be awkward for the end user if they're not expecting to go through the download/install process, but has the advantage of giving the user the most up to date version of the web browser. Kubuntu does this, sort of. They have a Firefox menu item which launches an installer, but it doesn't grab the latest version from the Mozilla website. Though the installer isn't entirely clear on where it is getting its packages from, it appears to be downloading from the Ubuntu repositories. This meant that I had to go through the non-standard install method and ended up with Firefox 4, thought version 5 was available on the Mozilla website. The whole process seems counter-intuitive, but it worked.
Kubuntu uses KPackageKit as its graphical package manager. In the past I've complained of KPackageKit's lack of stability and poor performance. This time around I was pleasantly surprised. I'm not sure if the Kubuntu developers have worked on the package manager or if bugs have been fixed upstream, but I found this release of KPackageKit to be enjoyable to use. The GUI is divided into three screens -- one for adding/removing software, one for updating software and the third contains basic configuration and source repository data. I found the interface to be responsive, there were no crashes this time around and the package manager handled everything I asked it to do. The interface, with its software categories (and sub-categories) and detailed descriptions of available software, is similar to Ubuntu's Software Centre, though KPackageKit fits naturally with the KDE environment. The GUI provides detailed information while it is working and I found it to be intuitive to use. KPackageKit lacks some of the advanced features of Synaptic, but the people who know of (and would use) such features will have no trouble installing the venerable package manager.
Kubuntu 11.04 - adding new software using KPackageKit
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A few paragraphs up I mentioned that Kubuntu includes the Rekonq web browser in the default install, favouring it over other popular choices like Firefox and Chromium. I hadn't used Rekonq before for any length of time and so I took this opportunity to test drive it. I was pleased to find Rekonq performed well. It has a fairly minimal interface and its layout reminds me of the Opera web browser, especially in the way it sets up "speed dial" bookmarks. The browser is light, quick and works with the Flash plugin. It may not have the same range of functionality and extensions found in other modern browsers, but Rekonq is a nice alternative for people who just want to browse the web.
Kubuntu 11.04 - using the Rekonq web browser
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I ran Kubuntu on two physical machines, a generic desktop (2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card) and my HP laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card). Kubuntu handled all of my hardware without any problems. Sound volume was set at a reasonable level, my screen resolution was likewise properly set and my Intel wireless card was detected and used without any work on my part. On both machines the desktop lagged a bit with the default settings, but disabling desktop effects and file indexing resulted in a smooth experience. I also installed Kubuntu in VirtualBox and found it worked well in the virtual environment. When running with various levels of RAM I found Kubuntu would operate well with 1 GB of memory or more, less than that caused the OS to become sluggish.
At the end of the week, I find myself in agreement with the people who told me that Kubuntu, in avoiding the innovation of Ubuntu, had created a solid desktop experience. For the most part, Kubuntu did very well during my trial. There were a few default packages (Amarok and the Firefox installer) I would have liked to have seen swapped out, and I would have preferred if all the KDE features and effects hadn't been enabled out of the box. However, those are minor issues and it took just a few minutes to adjust the system to my way of doing things. I like that the installer provides the option of installing free software only or including non-free add-ons. The KDE 4.6 interface gives a solid experience and, with the desktop effects turned off, performance was good. Despite my reservations, KPackageKit turned out to be capable of handling my requests quickly, intuitively and with a good level of feedback. All in all Kubuntu is a solid offering. It might not be quite as user-friendly as Mint or Mandriva, but it's not far behind and, with its package selection, will likely appeal to fans of KDE. It also provides a smooth transition for Ubuntu users who are looking for alternatives to Unity.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
CentOS announces long-awaited release, Mint "KDE" switches to Debian base, Sabayon leader vents his frustration, interview with Ian Murdock, marketing at ALT Linux
At long last, CentOS 6.0 arrived over the weekend. The developers of the most popular free Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) clone certainly took their time; exactly eight months have passed between the initial upstream release and CentOS 6.0. By contrast, Oracle released their own RHEL clone just three months after Red Hat, while the developers of Scientific Linux also took less than four months to deliver their own, enhanced RHEL variant. Furthermore, CentOS 6.0 arrives nearly two months after the release of the updated RHEL 6.1, which means that the just-released CentOS 6.0 still lags considerably behind the upstream. On the positive note, once the entire CentOS build infrastructure is in place, it should be much easier and faster to deliver any updated builds and the CentOS developers are now indeed promising a quick release of CentOS 6.1. Further good news awaits those who have been calling for a live edition (similar to what Scientific Linux has been providing for years): "Live CDs and live DVDs for i386 and x86_64 architectures will be released within the next few days. These will bring in the ability to directly install from the live media." All in all, it's better late than never and there is a general relief that the CentOS project hasn't folded under the pressure. Let's now wait and see how timely the project will be on delivering the security updates and updated DVD images.
CentOS 6.0 - the new version of the most popular RHEL clone is here at last
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* * * * *
Here is some interesting news for those who have been awaiting the Kubuntu-based "KDE" edition of Linux Mint 11.04. The sub-project's lead, Jamie "Boo" Birse, has announced that, due to various problems with the initial Kubuntu-based alpha release, he will restart the development with a Debian base instead. Here is the forum thread carrying the news: "News people! Good and bad as it turns out, due to all the Ubuntu problems I am swapping the base from Kubuntu to Debian. What does this mean? A bit more of a wait but it is DEBIAN! Hopefully this won't take too long as I have the packages built and the ISO build process is very similar." Predictably, the news was greeted with a variety of opinions. One reader summed up the situation with the following words: "I'm cautiously optimistic about this change. I like the idea of the rolling release, but hope that it doesn't affect the functionality I've been used to with Ubuntu-based KDE. I think for the long-term health of Mint as a whole this is a good move. Sure, part of the popularity has been being based on Ubuntu, but breaking away gives it a chance to be its own distro." Others disagreed strongly: "Please say you're joking. I've been looking forward to the new KDE release for a couple of months now. A switch to Debian for the base would be a deal breaker for me. I've tried Linux Mint Debian Edition and it's too buggy to consider using for my day-to-day work."
Even the Linux Mint developers acknowledge that their rolling-release "Debian" edition is more suitable for experienced Linux users who would know how to fix an occasional breakage. One interesting compromise between a fully rolling-release distro (e.g. Linux Mint "Debian" edition) and one with a fixed release schedule (the Ubuntu-based Linux Mint) is a system with well-tested upgrades which are only rolled out once a month. This is the idea behind the new "Linux Mint Debian Latest" repository. Clement Lefebvre explains the basics in Introducing Update Packs in Linux Mint Debian: "By changing your APT sources and replacing Debian Testing with the Linux Mint Debian Latest repository, you basically point to a Debian Testing that is frozen in time and updated once a month. By the time the next batch of updates becomes available to you, the Linux Mint team has had time to adjust packages in the Linux Mint repository and to document the information you need to go through a safe and easy update. To give you an example, GNOME 3 is just around the corner and coming to a Debian Testing repository near you. By pointing to the Linux Mint Debian Latest repository instead, you make sure you upgrade to it, after the Linux Mint team has tested the update and gathered precious information on it."
* * * * *
Following the large-scale changes in the default user interface of two highly popular Linux distributions (Ubuntu/Unity and Fedora/GNOME 3), many users have expressed frustrations over the need to change the established habits and to adapt to an interface that was mostly designed for touchscreens, rather than desktops or laptops. But it seems that it's not only the end users who are feeling the pain. Many distro developers and package maintainers also seem frustrated over the constant upstream changes. We have already reported about Slackware's KDE packaging headaches. Last week it was Fabio Erculiani, the founder of Sabayon Linux who insists that many open-source projects have gone crazy: "KDE 4, they planned to dominate the world with their outstanding ideas and they ended up having a crashy fishy desktop environment that is giving big headaches to downstream distributors at every minor release, with configuration, ABI, API changes, yeah. And we, as a distro, are, as usual, taking all the blame for things breaking so often." GNOME 3 isn't spared either: "Many people just want desktop icons which they can click, some sort of a taskbar and a system tray where the annoying shit is placed. It has been like that for 15 years, why do these bright minds called 'desktop environment developers' just pretend to know what users want? Can't you guys stop pretending to hold the whole knowledge and sit down with us, simple human beings?"
* * * * *
A quick trip down the memory lane. As Linux is about to celebrate its 20th anniversary, there might be some readers who weren't around when the free UNIX clone started attracting some distribution developers who thought they could create a complete operating system with applications for anybody to use. Ian Murdock, the founder of Debian GNU/Linux back in 1993, was one such visionary. Today, with Debian being one of the largest collaborative software project on the Internet and with thousands of developers and contributors, it's clearly a great success. Last week Joe Brockmeier interviewed the famous Linux personality for Linux.com: "Like Slackware, Debian was a reaction to low-quality Linux distributions (in particular, Softlanding Linux System or SLS). Murdock said that Debian's focus would be 'on providing a first-class product and not on profits or returns.' Linux was a long way from being a 'first-class product' in 1993. Murdock says that Linux 'was not that good from a technology perspective... I remember moving files between file systems, and large files would routinely cause kernel panics.' However, the quality of Linux was dwarfed by its potential and its immediate, and free, availability. 'I remember like everyone else, my motivation was to solve a problem that I had, I wanted a UNIX to run at home, I was in college and didn't have the money to buy SCO Unix or Coherent, even $99 was a bridge too far for me at the time.'"
* * * * *
Finally, a link to an intriguing story about ALT Linux, a fairly popular Russian distribution which started as a fork of Mandriva Linux and which has been around for over ten years. Eugeni Dodonov, a Brazil-based Mandriva Linux developer has written a blog post in which he published a photo of a poster displayed during an international free software conference held in Brazil. On the poster is a photograph of Vladimir Putin, the former president and current prime minister of Russia, with a text saying: "O Primeiro Ministro Russo, Vladimir Putin usa Linux. E você usa o que?" (This is in Portuguese, but I don't think the slogan needs translating). Does the assertion sound too good to be true? That's because it is. A nice try from the marketing department of ALT Linux, but, unfortunately, it has turned out to be a big lie: "As per an official ALT Linux response, those posters do not represent the truth and were done for marketing purpose only. No, in fact, neither Dmitry Medvedev nor Vladimir Putin use ALT Linux."
On a related note, Eugeni Dodonov is leaving Mandriva at the end of this month.
|Interviews (by Jesse Smith)
Interview with Boudewijn Rempt, Calligra Suite
In the world of open source software we often hear about LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org and whether one will emerge victorious as the new world champion of productivity suites or if they'll become best friends forever. One productivity suite we haven't heard much about, yet, is Calligra. From the project's website: "The Calligra Suite is a set of applications that allows you to easily complete your work. There are office applications, as well as Graphic applications. There is also a comprehensive set of plug-ins. The Calligra Suite is unique because not only does it consist of the normal word processor (Words) and spreadsheet (Tables) applications, but it also brings you Graphic applications as well." The Calligra project has grown out of KOffice and is working toward making a better, polished, lightweight office suite.
Last week I had a chance to chat with one of Calligra's developers, Boudewijn Rempt, and he kindly took the time to talk about the project.
* * * * *
DW: To start, could you tell us a little about yourself and what role you have in the Calligra project?
BR: Hi! I'm Boudewijn Rempt. I started working on Krita, the painting application in Calligra, in 2003 and I became the application maintainer in 2004. One thing led to another and, in 2007, I founded a company called KO GmbH which focuses on doing projects around Calligra.
DW: Why did the Calligra project come into existence? Is it a fork of KOffice, or is it replacing KOffice?
BR: It was the culmination of a long process. The KWord maintainer has always had problems working well together with other people. In 2008 he was asked to leave the KOffice project, but he returned later on, giving everyone the same kind of problems we had had with him previously. In 2010, we asked the KDE Community Working Group to help us resolve the problems. They couldn't really do anything for us though, and in the end there was nothing for it but to split up. All the KOffice developers went to the new project, leaving this person behind.
We prefer to call it a split, and not a fork, since Calligra is actually a suite of many applications, and every independent maintainer decided where to go: with Calligra, or stay with the KWord maintainer. So, Calligra contains a fork of KWord, and KOffice contains a fork of all the other applications.
But it's kind of not very productive to dwell on the past -- we're really looking forward now and working really hard on Calligra.
DW: Calligra seems to be in the early stages right now. When will we see a stable release and what features can we expect?
BR: Yes, early stages... We had to rewrite the complete text layout engine which is not only used in the word processor, but everywhere else. That was a huge undertaking, but very necessary. In the meantime, we're also working on the GUI for the desktop applications. The actual GUI had been neglected quite a bit while everyone was working on the office engine, but it should be much improved by the time we release Calligra 2.4 (or 3.0 -- we haven't quite decided on numbering yet).
We have a provisional release plan that aims to have a full release in December, a bit later than we originally wanted, but it's more important to make this release really good than to make it really early.
On the other hand, some applications, like Krita are definitely ready now. The 2.3.3 release was very solid, but we find most artists want the latest code from git and are compiling Krita themselves.
The feature set of 2.4 won't really differ from what we have now: the focus is on making everything work and work well. New, compared to the old KOffice, is the mind-mapping application, Braindump, and Flow, formerly Kivio, is back. Oh, and we'll release two mobile GUIs: Calligra Mobile and Calligra Active. The first is probably better for phones, the second for tablets. There will be a Windows version as well, by the way, of the Calligra desktop software.
DW: When people talk about open-source office suites, OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice tend to dominate the conversation. What features does Calligra have that make it an attractive alternative?
BR: Right now, it's mostly developers that find Calligra attractive. It's pretty lightweight, and very easy to adapt to different user interfaces, like Plasma Active or mobile phones. On Nokia's N900 phone there's a version of Calligra called FreOffice which is now being developed as Calligra Mobile. For end-users, individual applications might be very attractive, like Krita or Plan, which don't exist in other office suites. The main applications still lag behind LibreOffice, but the consistent and modern interaction design should be very attractive when we release the next version.
DW: I understand Calligra plans to support most of the big-name operating systems (Linux, Windows, FreeBSD, OS X). Are there challenges in getting Calligra to run on systems which don't usually include KDE?
BR: Not really... I mean, Calligra cannot run without KDE, but KDE has been ported pretty much everywhere, to all the systems you mention, as well as MeeGo, which is also an important target for us. So, we'll use the KDE platform, but the users won't actually notice that.
DW: Open source projects often appear to be competing against each other, rather than working together. Does Calligra work with other office suites to insure compatibility or reduce duplication of effort?
BR: Yes. We're involved in the ODF Technical Committee where Jos van den Oever for KDE and Thorsten Zachmann for Nokia participate in discussions on where the OpenDocument standard will go. There are regular "plugfests" where developers from various projects get together and test interoperability and compatibility.
DW: These days a common complaint, about any open-source office suite, revolves around the handling of proprietary file formats. How is Calligra doing with MS Office compatibility?
BR: Mainly thanks to the sponsorship by Nokia, the import capability is pretty good. The rendering engine might lag behind a bit, but the conversion quality is really good, for both the binary and the newer OOXML file formats. We don't have export yet -- we're searching for sponsors for that work!
DW: Can you tell us how many people are currently working on Calligra? How can volunteers help out?
It's difficult to say -- there were thirty-one people at the last developer sprint
in Berlin which is amazing. And not every contributor attended. I'd say there are more than forty people regularly involved.
Volunteers are still very welcome! The nice thing about Calligra is that the project as a whole has become much more welcoming than it used to be in the KOffice days. We've got eight Summer of Code students and quite a few KDE students, but it's not at all necessary to join a program like that -- if you want to hack, the best way is to join us on the mailing list or on IRC, get the git version compiled and dig in. But code is not the only thing, artwork, writing updates for the website, documentation -- there's always a lot to do, and it's almost always a lot of fun!
DW: Thanks very much and best of luck with Calligra.
|Released Last Week
Sabayon Linux 6 "Core"
Four new "core" editions of Sabayon Linux 6 were announced today; these are "SpinBase", "CoreCDX", "ServerBase" and "OpenVZ". They are built for more advanced Linux users who might wish to create their own custom systems. From the release announcement: "Directly from our server department, four new Sabayon releases officially thrown to the crowd. These releases all go under the 'Core' umbrella - they are not meant for beginners, hence the name. Features: bootable image suitable for a CD or USB thumb drive; shipped with desktop-optimized Linux kernel 2.6.39; ext4 file system as default, Btrfs, encrypted file system support; completely customizable system after install...."
Zorin OS 5 "Business"
Artyom Zorin has announced the release of Zorin OS 5 "Business" edition, an Ubuntu-based commercial distribution designed for small and medium-size businesses: "The Zorin OS team is proud to release Zorin OS 5 Business. Zorin OS 5 Business is a desktop operating system which provides all the tools needed to start and maintain a small/medium sized business out of the box. In here you will find a wealth of software, including accounting, bookkeeping, stock analysis, database, retail, word processing, spreadsheet and much more. Zorin OS 5 Business also includes our innovative Zorin Look Changer Premium, Zorin Internet Browser Manager, Zorin Background Plus and other programs from our earlier versions. Zorin OS 5 Business is available for a small donation of €7 for a download and €10 for a DVD." Here is the brief release announcement.
Linux Deepin 11.06
Linux Deepin is a popular and active Chinese community distribution based on Ubuntu and featuring the GNOME desktop and numerous usability improvements. With remarkable contributions from enthusiastic volunteers, Linux Deepin 11.06 has been released. It is based on Ubuntu 11.04 but still uses GNOME 2, and it features an independently developed Deepin Software Centre. The look and feel of this new version like default font size have been adjusted in response to the requests from the user community, and input methods for both Simplified and Traditional Chinese (Yong and ibus-chewing) are included with a pretty skin. LibreOffice is installed by default but a specialized office suite dedicated for Deepin from Evermore Software is available via Software Centre. Video and audio players are still GNOME MPlayer and DeaDBeeF, both with enhancements. Firefox 5 is the web browser but the email client is changed to Thunderbird to better work with GMail. Check the full release notes (in Chinese) with a few screenshots.
Linux Deepin 11.06 - an Ubuntu-based Chinese distribution with many user-friendly features
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Marco Ghirlanda has announced the release of ArtistX 1.1, an Ubuntu-based distribution with a large collection of applications designed for creative artists: "After many years of continuous development and ten versions, the ArtistX 1.1 multimedia studio on a DVD is finally here. It's an Ubuntu 11.04-based live DVD that turns a common computer into a full multimedia production studio. ArtistX 1.1 is created with the Remastersys software for live DVDs and includes the 2.6.38 Linux kernel, GNOME 2.32 and KDE 4.6, Compiz Fusion and about 2,500 free multimedia software packages, nearly everything that exists for the GNU/Linux operating system organized in the GNOME menu. Main features: based on Ubuntu 11.04 'Natty Narwhal' with all updates (from April 2011), Compiz for 3D desktop effects; most of GNU/Linux multimedia packages and the very easy Ubiquity installer." Visit the distribution's home page to read the release announcement and to learn more about the product.
ArtistX 1.1 - an Ubuntu-based multimedia studio
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Tony Sales has announced the release of Vinux 3.2.1, an Ubuntu-based distribution for designed for visually impaired users: "Vinux 3.2.1 is now available for download. The main difference between this and the recently released Vinux 3.2 is that by default it boots with PulseAudio running in 'user' mode rather than 'system' mode. This prevents PulseAudio from crashing at boot on a small number of sound cards, but it means that Speakup is not available from the live CD or immediately after installation. However, there are now two simple commands for switching PulseAudio from user to system mode in conjunction with a reboot of the machine. This version also includes an accessible Zenity front-end for UNetbootin which allows users to install Vinux to a USB pen drive with persistent storage. Visit the distribution's news page to read the full release announcement.
Scientific Linux 5.6 "Live"
Urs Beyerle has announced the release of live CD and live DVD variants of Scientific Linux 5.6: "About two weeks after the official release of Scientific Linux 5.6, the Scientific Linux live CD/DVD 5.6 can now be downloaded for 32-bit and 64-bit processors. Features: can be installed to local hard disk; runs from USB key; changes can be stored persistently on an external device; can be mounted over NFS (diskless client). Software: Linux kernel 2.6.18, OpenAFS client 1.4.14, X.Org 7.1, ALSA libraries 1.0.17, GNOME 2.16.0 (standard desktop), GIMP 2.2.13, OpenOffice.org 3.1.1, Firefox 3.6.18, Thunderbird 18.104.22.168, KDE 3.5.4 (only on live DVD). Software added compared to standard Scientific Linux: FUSE NTFS-3G (read/write NTFS support), ntfsprogs, GParted.... Read the rest of the release announcement for more information.
Pinguy OS 11.04 "Ping-Eee"
Antoni Norman has announced the release of a special edition of Pinguy OS for netbooks, an Ubuntu-based distribution with a custom user interface, power-saving features, and extra WiFi drivers: "Pinguy has released Ping-Eee OS 11.04, an Ubuntu-based remaster especially designed for netbooks. It comes with Jupiter (which has Super Hybrid Engine support) and Granola to help with the power consumption and most applications from Pinguy OS: Docky, Nautilus Elementary, Firefox, Thunderbird, Skype, LibreOffice, Dropbox, Deluge, Empathy, VLC, Déjà Dup backup tool, Linux Mint Update Manager, WINE and more. There's also Clementine instead of Rhythmbox. Ping-Eee OS also comes with extra WiFi drivers for many devices which are not normally supported out of the box on other Linux distributions. Here is the full release announcement.
CentOS 6.0, a Linux distribution built from source RPM packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0, has been released: "We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of CentOS 6.0 for i386 and x86_64 architectures. CentOS 6.0 is based on the upstream release EL 6.0 and includes packages from all variants. All upstream repositories have been combined into one, to make it easier for end users to work with. There are no CD images being released with CentOS 6, however we have some CD variants in the pipeline. Since upstream has a 6.1 version already released, we will be using a Continuous Release repository for 6.0 to bring all 6.1 and post 6.1 security updates to all 6.0 users, till such time as CentOS 6.1 is released. Read the release announcement and release notes for detailed information and upgrade instructions.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Game Drift Linux. Game Drift Linux is an Ubuntu-based commercial distribution targeted at gamers. It supports more than 1,200 Windows games (via the CrossOver Linux layer) and features its own Game Store, allowing games to be installed with a single click of the mouse.
- Manjaro Linux. Manjaro Linux is a fast, lightweight and user-friendly distribution based on Arch Linux.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 18 July 2011.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
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|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Kubunu/Ubuntu Relationship (by Craig on 2011-07-11 09:35:59 GMT from United States) |
Thanks Jesse, for the Kubuntu review!
It is much better than it used to be. I just wanted to share something about the relationship between Ubuntu and Kubuntu. I found this, written by a Kubuntu developer, last year. It explains quite a bit about the relationship.
This dev has also written about a "low fat" Kubuntu for 11.10, which would be nice for those using laptops, netbooks, or older desktops (most of us).
2 • Putin uses Linux? Maybe. (by Candide on 2011-07-11 11:17:30 GMT from Taiwan)
Maybe the ALT folks were tilting the windmill, but they didn't actually say that Putin was using their distro.
"O Primeiro Ministro Russo, Vladimir Putin usa Linux. E você usa o que?"
I confess that I don't speak Portuguese, but Google Translate says it means:
"Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin uses Linux. And what do you use?"
Does Putin use Linux? I don't have a clue, but the following story was released to the international press on 28 December 2010:
Vladimir Putin Orders Russia To Move To Linux And Free Software
Putin has ordered all governmental departments in his country to dump Windows and move to Linux. It's a gradual transition and isn't complete. Whether or not Putin himself has yet taken the plunge, I couldn't say. Anybody here from Russia know more?
3 • Desktop I/F Evolution (by Erik on 2011-07-11 11:28:19 GMT from United States)
I agree with the Sabayon dev. Way too much focus on touchscreens and the cloud. In my line of work, we absolutely will not embrace the could nor shift away from desktops any time soon.
4 • Kubuntu (by Brandon Sniadajewski on 2011-07-11 12:29:16 GMT from United States)
I've been using Kubuntu 11.04 since the betas and it has been working well. As for KPackageKit, I've rarely used it, only to install Muon, a newer APT front-end that will be default in the 11.10 release in October. As for a real low-fat solution, use the Ubuntu Minimal CD and install kubuntu-desktop from the tasksel program.
5 • Kubuntu release (by Wine Curmudgeon on 2011-07-11 12:44:14 GMT from United States)
Another great review, Jesse. I'm not a big KDE fan -- too many bells and whistles (like the stupid wallet) that never seem to work properly, and KPackageKit drives me crazy. But you've given me the idea to try it again at 11.10.
6 • Linux Mint KDE Debian (by Carlos Felipe Araújo on 2011-07-11 12:58:52 GMT from Brazil)
I don't know why, Mint doesn't want anymore to base Ubuntu, I don't know if this is a real strategy to be free, incompetence or unwillingness. In Brazil, BIG Linux 11.04 RC2 (based on Kubuntu 11.04) is working very (with all compiz effects, cube etc) well like a final version and is a distro without a team and money.
7 • @6 Linux Mint KDE Debian (by DavidEF on 2011-07-11 13:43:13 GMT from United States)
If you read the section again in the above DW misc. news, you will see the reason Mint KDE is moving to Debian.
"News people! Good and bad as it turns out, due to all the Ubuntu problems I am swapping the base from Kubuntu to Debian..."
8 • Kubuntu (by tdockery97 on 2011-07-11 13:43:35 GMT from United States)
Thank you for reviewing Kubuntu, Jesse. I used 11.04 and it was very reliable. Since I like to be up on the latest, I've switched now to the 11.10 Alpha, and have found it to be very stable as well, By the way, one thing that will pep the system up a little is to change the speed of the effects from normal to fast.
9 • @Candide (by Eugeni on 2011-07-11 13:46:33 GMT from Brazil)
> Maybe the ALT folks were tilting the windmill, but they didn't actually say that Putin was using their distro.
Please take a closer look at the poster...
10 • @7 Linux Mint KDE Debian (by Toolz on 2011-07-11 14:59:30 GMT from Vietnam)
I think he's trying to imply that "all the Ubuntu problems" were NOT experienced by "BIG Linux 11.04 RC2 (based on Kubuntu 11.04)".
11 • The News and gnomic (by Landor on 2011-07-11 15:52:59 GMT from Canada)
First, I'm very impressed with the size of this week's news section. It hasn't had this much content for a bit. Thank you very much, Ladislav.
Mint KDE: I honestly believe that this is part of Mint's plans to get everyone over the Debian base. I'm only guessing here, but I'd put money on the fact that Clem does not want to support two different bases indefinitely. I blogged about this a bit actually, over the weekend.
Sabayon/Frustration. I blogged about this as well, he's just another person in the community that doesn't see that the GNOME 3 series is most likley targeted at the mobile market.
I read your solution for Xubuntu's crashing problems. I have to say I found it a rather decent release as well. A little bit of overuse for resources, but that's understandable given the base. I was actually going to review Lubuntu and took a look at both. I had some problems with Lubuntu, which I've found they have problems every release, and agree with you completely, Xubuntu is a good release. It would be nice if they could trim down that memory footprint, and even nicer if they made it fully Libre, say, based on Debian! :)
Keep your stick on the ice...
12 • CentOS 6.0 :) (by disi on 2011-07-11 16:28:35 GMT from Germany)
Finally, can't wait to get home :D
13 • Desktop changes (by Ken H on 2011-07-11 16:51:06 GMT from Canada)
I have to agree with Fabio Erculiani, there seems to be a lot of interface changes being dictated by the mobile market, that are not necessarily desirable for desktop productivity in the corporate world.
There are still a HUGE portion of users out there who work by rote; they cannot learn or have no interest in learning new & different steps to accomplish the same tasks - Why do you think there are STILL millions of XP installs out there, despite the availability of better OS's? People just want to "get sh1t done", and not have to go through a learning curve because some graphic designer decided the old way wasn't elegant, or because Apple or M$ need a cash flow bump.
This is the same BS mindset that has lead to all the annoying glossy screens on all new LCD's & laptops - its all brain-damaged designer GARBAGE!
Explain to me how these changes actually IMPROVE productivity. Because I don't see that with the new interfaces.
Change for the sake of change is not the solution.
14 • Get things done... (by Gustavo on 2011-07-11 17:03:29 GMT from Brazil)
Come on, just stick with Xubuntu 10.04.
15 • @13 UI changes (by Maître d'Autel on 2011-07-11 17:17:47 GMT from France)
Explain to me how these changes actually IMPROVE productivity. Because I don't see that with the new interfaces."
These changes might improve the productiviy of mobile, hand held devices.
At least, they are "meant" for that. Let us be very kind and keep on hoping....
Putting them into desktop is not a hint of intellectual productivity (there are good free applications which cannot run on phones, such as grass, gimp, octave, most text processors). It is like messing bicycles and cars, and putting the same technology (you assume designers have brains)...
16 • Kubuntu (by rob on 2011-07-11 17:35:47 GMT from United States)
I've found Kubuntu to be the absolute worst KDE experience in the Linux world. While it seems to have gotten better, KDE fans are better off with openSUSE, MEPIS, PCLinuxOS, or perhaps Debian + KDE.
Kubuntu is slower, buggier, and less polished compared to these distro's.
17 • Re: 16 • Kubuntu (by Leo on 2011-07-11 18:05:45 GMT from United States)
The flip side is: Kubuntu is based on a user friendly distro as Ubuntu, and it is a solid effort backed by several developers and a company behind. Some of the options you are mentioning are a one (wo)man show, and these can last more or less depending on the availability of that (wo)man.
Long story short, I still stick to Kubuntu, but I'd switch to a simpler interface on a wink if it works for me. Unity hasn't. I guess a cleaner, simpler KDE-Plasma desktop with less proof-of-concept technology baked in would do.
18 • Distro stuff (by Jesse on 2011-07-11 18:17:59 GMT from Canada)
Hi all, thanks for the nice feedback.
Regarding the move of Mint KDE to a Debian base I have to wonder at their reasoning. The developer said there were bugs with the Ubuntu base, but Mint's Main (Gnome) edition is based on Ubuntu. So, for some reason their Main edition works fine with Ubuntu, but KDE doesn't? I find that hard to swallow. Especially after their early KDE alphas got good marks during QA testing. I think Landor might have hit upon something with his suggestion Mint wants to move everyone over to Debian an edition at a time.
>> "I've found Kubuntu to be the absolute worst KDE experience in the Linux world. While it seems to have gotten better, KDE fans are better off with openSUSE, MEPIS, PCLinuxOS, or perhaps Debian + KDE."
I've used openSUSE, Kubuntu, MEPIS and PCLinuxOS recently and, while they each have slightly different settings, I think I'd be hard pressed to pick one that really stands above (or below) the others. All of the above distros put together pretty good desktop environments, just with different focus. MEPIS goes for the classic look, openSUSE has a nice modern look, etc. Kubuntu isn't amazing, but I had a pretty good experience with it.
19 • @13 (by Al on 2011-07-11 18:22:58 GMT from Canada)
I agree with you Ken. My take is that most products, be it software, hardware, toasters, brooms, etc., etc. are now beta-tested by consumers. The unfortunate part is that we have to deal with several generations of crap before they get it right.
20 • Fabio Erculiani is right (by Matti L on 2011-07-11 18:23:22 GMT from Finland)
Gnome 3 might be good in tablets and other small screen computers, but Gnome will lose the battle in desktops to KDE and other more traditional DEs and WMs. And how long will this tablet trend go on? Anyone remember netbooks anymore? I hope the next big rage would be bigger than HD resolutions with more vertical area. TV's are for movies.
21 • Kubuntu (by Andy Prough on 2011-07-11 18:41:25 GMT from United States)
I found Kubuntu to be a nice, solid experience. I thought that openSUSE's implementation of KDE was noticeably faster, but Kubuntu does the job well enough. I still think that the devs need to put together a centralized control center, like YaST2 or the Mandriva Control Center, as the Ubuntu derivatives are difficult to administer in comparison.
22 • Re: 16 (by Snowhog on 2011-07-11 19:05:28 GMT from United States)
Comments like this are simply unhelpful. Yes, we are all entitled to our opinions, but when those opinions contain no details, they are nothing more than rants.
Kubuntu is a SOLID Linux distribution. I've been using Kubuntu since Edgy Eft, on laptops, up through the current Natty Narwhal, which I'm running on two different laptops - an HP Pavilion g7-1070us 64-bit and my older, Toshiba Satellite P105-S6147. Both have Intel Integrated Graphics, and both handle Plasma Desktop Effects just fine, and with no degredation of performance. The Blur effect does not work (disabled by design because of the Intel GPU), but that is okay by me. I don't need all the eye candy anyway.
I would not concider myself a Kubuntu fanboy, although I will defend it when someone decides to try and shoot it down without providing specific details as to why they think it's a pile of dung.
I like Kubuntu. I support the efforts that the developers have, and are putting in to this 'cutting edge' Linux distribution. For me, it works, and that's really all that matters.
23 • Linux Mint KDE Debian (by l2ulinux on 2011-07-11 19:19:27 GMT from United States)
Even the Linux Mint developers acknowledge that their rolling-release "Debian" edition is more suitable for experienced Linux users who would know how to fix an occasional breakage
I am not a experienced user but I use the Debian release and find it very easy to use. The change of the KDE release is the best move to make
I had made my mind up to move everything to Ubuntu based releases until 11.04 came out. I had went as far to buy three books on Ubuntu to read and study.
24 • re Snowhog (by Andy on 2011-07-11 19:34:30 GMT from United States)
Seems like rob has got every right to express that negative opinion about kubuntu. I've certainly seen it's lack of speed and bugs in the past, and I have lamented that Canonical sometimes seemed to treat it like an unwanted step-child. However, I do think they made major strides forward this time around. The world is definitely a better place if kubuntu is a real, workable option for those who only know Ubuntu, but don't want to dive into learning Unity.
25 • Linux at all (by Khalil on 2011-07-11 19:47:54 GMT from Sweden)
Instead of pushing Linux ahead, in the last few months our discussions are more politic driven. I think everybody in Linuxworld has his own ambitions and can use the piece of sofware as he wants and dress it as he wants. We are not kids we should look forward and not backwards. Many of us want to keep linux just for professionals but the freedom in opensource is for everybody. I think microsoft and apple doesn't need to open a campeign against linux. The linux community will do it and they can enjoy. Specially open suse supporters has opened the doors for microsoft. Why should we say this graphical desktop or that are bad for linux or are designed for kids. Even for people that doesn't like cloud should know this is the future and we should be on the front and not hate it. The future desktop will be dominated from touch screen and we should also be able to have solutions. Everybody knows that actually the fastest linux is Ubuntu. This community did a lot of work for linux and now everybody who cannot accept this dominating role wants to hit ubuntu. Please keep your words for yourself. Don't help microsoft, apple & co. Don't destroy the world of LINUX!
26 • Manjaro Linux - Enjoy the Simplicity (by Poiema on 2011-07-11 21:48:21 GMT from United States)
I'm checking this distro out in VBox and I am impressed. I would never guess that this is an Arch based distro or as new and untested by the community at large as it is. Excellant work Ying and team Manjaro! Try it out for an easy to install and administer XFCE Arch based distro.
27 • Manjaro Linux - Enjoy the Simplicity --- add (by Poiema on 2011-07-11 21:50:49 GMT from United States)
Manjaro was added to the distrowatch waiting list this week. The website is: http://manjarolinux.org/ if you don't wish to look for it yourself and are interested.
28 • Cloud Computing, touchpads and others. (by Anonymous Coward on 2011-07-11 21:59:15 GMT from Spain)
Even for people that doesn't like cloud should know this is the future and we should be on the front and not hate it.
Cloud computing has its advantages, but pretending to push it for domestic use is no good.
When you run a classical operating System, you keep in your own computer all the components you need to run it. When you run on the cloud, you depend on a third person to do the same things you would do by yourself with a classical OS. Worse yet, this person is surely not trustworthy enough to have your data sent to him.
It is not that hard to understand. Cloud computers depend on the Internet. A classical OS con still go on (better or worse) when its nerworking hardware is damaged or when there is no network availible. Have you ever tried to run a cloud thing when inside a Faraday Jail? Some people work in environments where satellites cannot reach. A usual laptop will work for them. A cloud focused tablet won't do the trick.
The only advantage of cloud computing is that you won't lose your data if a horse steps on your tablet, but you can also prevent this by having a cheap external drive for backup purposes. It costs money, but restoring a binary backup from a local hardrive is faster and more reliable than restoring it form the cloud.
My "cloud" is a flash usb with three live systems inside. Everything I need is inside and goes with me wherever I go. Most important: my data is still mine, not Google's or Canonical's. Plus, it is protected by security meassures enought to prevent it form being compromised by thieves.
The future desktop will be dominated from touch screen.
Then, future is hell. Touchscreens are fragile and less durable than good old keyboard and mouse, plus the latter allow for faster working. Remember the Faraday Jail? The guys who work inside an isolated cellar, monitoring a nuclear power plant, use keyboards, not touchscreens, because if the damned touchscreen breaks the core does meltdown!
For serious work, there is nothing as an old-style PC. A workstation is modular, so when a component fails, you can change it without having to thrash away the whole thing. They are more durable, because you can keep updating their components easily for long. They have no batteries that could become exausted. You can build a PC from components taken form dead boxes, thus saving money and CO2 emissions.
Most important: they are confortable to work for long periods of time. When you are to sit at a screen for eight hours a morning, you will thank the Lord for having a BIG SCREEN and a BIG KEYBOARD. A netbook or tablet would only bring you a headache, a handache and a premature tired-sight disease.
29 • Fabio! (by FriendOfFabio on 2011-07-11 22:42:15 GMT from United States)
Tell it, Fabio! You're exactly right, my brother!
These new desktops are fine but why try to force them onto laptops & desktop PCs? They are inefficient on those machines.
Gnome (the Apple of the Linux world) has said they prefer to abandon the current code base because it has become unwieldly. To me, that's just a sign that Gnome went off the railroad tracks years ago.
Most will probably shift to Xfce, but I am curious how they will fare if there is no further gtk development. KDE could make a lot of hay here, if they come back to sanity, get rid of most of that KDE4 stuff, and just make a menu-driven desktop that works well. A lot of people are going to be looking for one.
30 • Also agree with Fabio (by HouseofLinux on 2011-07-11 23:14:22 GMT from United States)
While I've never been completely comfortable with Sabayon as a daily OS, I keep an eye on it due to Fabio and his style.
Entertaining, and right on the money!
31 • Fabio and FOSS madness (by Anonymous Coward on 2011-07-11 23:16:49 GMT from Spain)
For those who have not read Fabio's article: you should read it.
Fabio says GRUB2 is no good because its configuration system.
I agree, the configuration script system is crap. It is so bad that people should consider installing LILO instead. GRUB2 have some nice features, but none of them are for my benefit as a user. For me, GRUB2 is a step backwards.
Fabio says GNOME3 is no good because it does ignore its users.
I think GNOME2 was not very good either, but that's a matter of tastes. As I have not tried GNOME3, I am not to attack it or defend it.
Fabio says KDE4 is no good because it is buggy and bloated.
I have not found significant bugs in KDE, but it has a very slow booting process and its performance is poor when compared to XFCE or LXDE (not to mention single window managers). It makes me remember Windows Vista. This is not to say it is not useful, it is only that I don't like it very much.
Fabio wonders if FOSS Armaggedon is near.
A guy posted in his blog he does not recomend Linux anymore for newcomers.
Another dais that he is using a standalone window manager because new DE are no good. Developers are tagging as "Stable" software that should be called "Beta" and plaging many systems with bugs. Upstream coders are trying new recipes to get new users, but what they are doing is loosing their formely loyal userbase. Many people is leaving GNU/Linux because distributions that used to work do not work so well anymore. I feel I can only trust four distributions among the many hundreds listed in Distrowatch.
I wonder too if FOSS Armaggedon is getting closer and closer...
32 • Sabayon 6 (by Geekboula on 2011-07-11 23:45:02 GMT from Canada)
I agree with Fabio, an desktop environmental Blin Blin it is cool for the first 10 minutes. But after we want it to work, we want it as simple and quick as possible.
I also take the time to tell you that Sabayon 6 is really exceptional. By far the best rolling release. Fast, high stability. I adopted sabayon in 2008, and since this time is my main Linux system and the progress is extraordinary. Great Job Fabio and great team. I make my annual donation today.
Thank for this great system.
33 • Fabio (by Jesse on 2011-07-12 00:42:30 GMT from Canada)
I think Fabio is quite right. A lot of projects seem to have gone crazy of late. But I wonder about one point he brought up. Fabio points out that the distributions are bound to take the blame for upstream's lack of sanity and QA testing. Which is true. Then why adopt the new versions? Think about what the Linux distro landscape would look like if all the major distros said, "No, that's broken, we won't ship it." Either projects like Gnome, GRUB and KDE would keep going with virtually no users, or they'd stop and reconsider their direction. Accepting flaky software into a distro is enabling the upstream projects to push ill-considered software onto users. Why not draw a line in the sand and say, "We're only accepting software into our distro that works to our standards"?
34 • Foss Armageddon (by davemc on 2011-07-12 00:52:57 GMT from United States)
The notion is ridiculous but has enough merit to rate concern. Both GNOME3 and Unity are sad sad jokes thrust upon the FOSS world, but nobody is forced to use them. There are a ton of really good DE's out there to use like XFCE, KDE4, LXDE, Fluxbox, Openbox, and all the tiling WM's out there. Just because your used to one DE does not mean that you can't also very quickly adapt to one or more of the others and perhaps even grow to love them more.
35 • Fabio's blog and stuff... (by Davemc on 2011-07-12 01:11:22 GMT from United States)
Yes, Fabio is right. I have always found his views to be right. However, he is not saying anything that has not been bantered about daily since the latest Ubuntu release, so nothing new here. What is good about it though is that ~finally~ it appears that yet one more prominent dev is getting annoyed. I hope this is just the start of a critical mass wave that will change the tide.
36 • Kubuntu review (by Stuart Smith on 2011-07-12 02:13:50 GMT from United States)
Thanks for reviewing KFN's (Kubuntu Forums dot Net) favorite distro. I personally agree with most of your conclusions but would like to correct one item: You can adjust the boot manager install to your liking (or not install it at all) by clicking the "Advanced" button at the boot loader install menu page. It is not obvious, but it is there. Also, your desktop speed experience can be greatly enhanced by installing the proprietary video drivers via a nifty and fairly recent KDE tool named "Jockey" - which are not installed by default due to obvious licensing reasons.
37 • unity/gnome 3 (by walter_j on 2011-07-12 02:49:38 GMT from Canada)
KDE 3 and amarok 1.4 devs said the same thing gnome 3 devs are saying now -ie code is difficult to maintain: therefore throw everything out and start over from scratch. In each case, the time needed to get back to a comparable state between old system and new, took years (for kde in particular). The kde devs took a lot of heat at version 4.0 too, and took them awhile to start to listen to users. Now gnome and unity are at the same place. The major difference with gnome 3 and unity seems to be they are abandoning the desktop UI in favour of tablets.
I'm trying kubuntu 11.04, but gnome is my preferred DE. Ubuntu 10.10 is the best version to date, and perhaps for some time into the future - if ever.
38 • A Sad Interview (by Anon on 2011-07-12 04:24:34 GMT from Norway)
I find Jesse's interview with Boudewijn Rempt to be quite telling. It explains why it's anyone's guess where open source projects will be going. Any project, at any point in time. Lack of solid structure and clear leadership. The blear-eyed end user gets what he gets and is supposed to keep his mouth shut and look happy.
When is the KDE 'team' going to fix the non-functioning integration of Open/LibreOffice? I, for one, have been waiting for it ever since I started using Linux, i.e. long before KDE4. Will it ever happen? As we know, it's anyone's guess. A free operating system means the user is free to guess whether/when it may work.
Fabio Erculiani said the right words, but probably to no avail.
39 • Mint, Ubuntu and Debian (by fernbap on 2011-07-12 05:14:15 GMT from Portugal)
It is no news that Mint intends to move all his alternate builds to Debian. Clem himself said it. The only question is, perhaps, if Mint will in time get rid of his "main edition", still based on Ubuntu.
What is news is the new repository, which will be a monthly freeze of debian, to which updates will only arrive after being tested and considered stable.
So, LMDE users will get a monthly update pack.
That means that Mint will now have a repository that will mirror the entire Debian repository.
Since this effort is being made, it makes perfect sense that the new mint repository will be a much more stable base than Ubuntu for building all the releases with the different desktop environments.
So, the move of Mint KDE to Debian does not only make sense, but also is perfectly compatible to what clem himself had already said.
This also means that Mint can now be classified as a full fledged distribution.
40 • GNOME 3 (by sukethesuke on 2011-07-12 05:53:05 GMT from Canada)
I honestly don't see what the huge problems are with Unity and GNOME 3. I've used both for a while and I have to say that while Unity is okay, I love the way GNOME 3 handles window switching; much more intuitive and unintrusive than the typical ever-present menu bar.
God forbid people try things for more than 5 minutes before screaming about change.
41 • Debian Question (by Roy H Huddleston on 2011-07-12 06:14:41 GMT from United States)
I just upgraded Squeeze to Wheezy. Wheezy used Squeeze's extension three to load the OS. I had Squeeze setup with Lilo 22.8. I noticed Wheezy's version is 23.0. Squeeze is extension three and Wheezy is extension 4. I had Squeeze on the 1 TB hard drive and the extension three is still there but Squeeze doesn't come up as loading as a dual OS. Only Wheezy loads. I am afraid if I take out the extension three on the SATA drive I will lose both OSes. Squeeze is setup as LXDE and Wheezy is Gnome. I wonder how Debian will fix this.
42 • Desktop Environment (by Jos Sebastian on 2011-07-12 08:22:01 GMT from India)
DE Scenario has become more of an art than science. One generation of DE to another, the artist who work on it, wants to have their contribution. Simple minds may not appreciate the "profundity" of it, but rather prefer comfort in not needing to learn. Look at paintings... Simple minds appreciate realistic paintings, whereas consider a post-modern art to be a work of someone who doesn't know to draw a basic human form, even the one drawn by a 4-year old.I am a modern painter moving (backward) to realistic ones.
Working with Linux from 1995 onwards, I could love Gnome 3 only with minimize-maximize buttons. It still has long way to go. Developers, please keep in mind that non-touch users exist. I tried to love KDE (from 1.0 to 4.6), but for some reason, KDE and I are not on the same wavelength.
Running a Semiconductor Development company, and making Linux the primary OS, there are difficulties with Gnome 3. Some engineers have a bucket-mind where they group tasks, and better utilize Gnome 3's dynamic work-spaces. Some others have hay-stack mind where they work efficiently with 25 windows open. This is where Gnome 2 shines. To make matters worse, on a large screen, you really have to move around to get things done in G3. The current application icon on G3 menu bar -- what is its purpose?
43 • Distributors to stop spreading the disease. (by Anonymous Coward on 2011-07-12 08:23:13 GMT from Spain)
Fabio points out that the distributions are bound to take the blame for upstream's lack of sanity and QA testing. Which is true. Then why adopt the new versions? Think about what the Linux distro landscape would look like if all the major distros said, "No, that's broken, we won't ship it." Either projects like Gnome, GRUB and KDE would keep going with virtually no users, or they'd stop and reconsider their direction. Accepting flaky software into a distro is enabling the upstream projects to push ill-considered software onto users. Why not draw a line in the sand and say, "We're only accepting software into our distro that works to our standards"?
I agree with the idea of rejecting defective software. In fact, that's what I have always promoted. If distribution developers stoped supporting misworking components, the thing would be different. I started respecting Slackware after they threatened by dropping KDE support if things kept going to worse, even when I feel Slackware developer's reasons were not so good. I wish others had what it takes too.
The key question is "Then why adopt the new versions?" The answer, I thinks, is "Because of marketing strategy". If a newcomer starts investigating what distro to choose and he finds out that Debian has KDE(X) and Kubuntu has KDE(X+1), he is more likely to install the more "uptodate". Many developers prefer to include this new software in order to include new "features and inprovenments", thus trying to get new users and, sadly, pissing off the userbase they already have.
The end result? New users eventually discover the software is buggy and stop using GNU/Linux, while veteran users get upset and migrate to the few sane remaining distros. This is what I call "FOSS Armageddon": running out of sane operating systems and distributions. Did you know that I only tried Slackware after being told that its main adventage is "Patrick is not destroying his distro in order to get new users"?
Jesse, give Gotrek a barrel of beer in my name :-)
44 • RE: Trying Kubuntu 11.04 (by Béranger on 2011-07-12 10:08:57 GMT from Romania)
This bug from March 2005 is still valid for Kubuntu 11.04:
grub-install fails for JFS root partition
45 • Kubuntu 11.04 - 1 Tbyte hard drive. (by Graham Hamblin on 2011-07-12 10:43:11 GMT from United Kingdom)
An excellent review. The default disk partitioning does not cater for a 1 Tbyte hard drive and comes up with multiple sector errors which when run the system freezes.
Not specifically a Kubuntu problem, the same occurs with several other distributions. It would be helpful if the issue were addressed in a future review.
Meantime the answer is a small partition on a large HD.
46 • @40 : Is it necessary to suffer 5 minutes in testing DEs? (by Pied de Poule on 2011-07-12 16:06:59 GMT from France)
"God forbid people try things for more than 5 minutes before screaming about change."
Well, suppose you want to test new shoes: there is no need to wait before screaming if they hurt you, is there?
I tried FC15 + gnome 3 for 40 hours, though there was a lack of functionality (I had no other distribution, until I found mageia.... and then I forgot FC15 and its innovating DE)
As DE are meant for brainless people to adopt very quickly their computer, 5 minutes is too long....
If gnome 3 are meant for "smart" "phones", a much smarter solution would be to use a microphone (I suppose and hope there is one) for commands like "turn the Gimp on with my nicest picture", it would be more sophisticated than Vista speech recognition -which is useful-
47 • @26 - Manjaro (by Pearson on 2011-07-12 16:30:44 GMT from United States)
What I'd like to see is something like Linux Mint, based on Arch. I use Arch (well, until that computer died, but I'll start using it again when I can) and really like it. If someone could "stabilize" it, I think it'd be perfect for home use. This hypothetical version could provide new versions when an unattended update of its core set of apps would break things (basically, when a pacmas -Syu would produce the output that the user should do something). Otherwise, updates would just be "security patches". If this were considered a "minimalist distro", then the set of core apps could be kept kind of small.
I can dream, can't I?
48 • re:26 - minor correction (by Pearson on 2011-07-12 17:52:47 GMT from United States)
"I think it'd be perfect for home use" should read "I think it'd be perfect for home use by the average user" (italics = additional phrase)
49 • Boot loader (by Jesse on 2011-07-12 18:27:28 GMT from Canada)
>> "I personally agree with most of your conclusions but would like to correct one item: You can adjust the boot manager install to your liking (or not install it at all) by clicking the "Advanced" button at the boot loader install menu page. It is not obvious, but it is there."
Could you post or send me a screen shot of this page you're referring. On the page where I was given the option of where to install GRUB in Kubuntu there is no "Advanced" button. There's a drop down box with two options /dev/sda and /dev/sda2.
50 • @2 - Does Putin Use Linux? (by Mark Pace on 2011-07-12 18:51:17 GMT from United States)
The Portuguese text says that Mr. Putin does indeed use Linux. If true then his standing, insofar as operating systems are concerned, has gone WAY up in many eyes! Anyone willing to say "не на моем вахте" (not on my watch) to the world's most used OS, while moving his entire country towards open source based independence from Microsoft's clutches, is something of a hero no matter how you look at it!
51 • @39 (by xxx on 2011-07-12 20:30:26 GMT from United States)
That is good news for lmde users. a monthly freeze would make it much easier to use. I recently dumped my lmde install due to it having over 100 updates to install every 2 days. If they move it to debian stable it would be nicer.
52 • Kubuntu (by dmatt on 2011-07-12 21:49:02 GMT from Slovakia)
Kubuntu is slow after first start for a while because of initial indexing. After that, it does perform well even with bells&whistles.
My wife is using Kubuntu on Atom netbook (with some options off) for quite some time.
53 • @51 (by fernbap on 2011-07-12 22:44:18 GMT from Portugal)
You yourself can move LMDE to Debian stable, if you want, you will just have to change the repositories. The Mint support forum has instructions on that.
That is not to everyone's taste, since debian stable will not have the latest versions of the applications.
54 • Kubuntu11.4 (by W.Meidlein on 2011-07-12 23:59:50 GMT from Canada)
I had no Luck with Kubuntu11.4, for me Fedora 15 KDE Spin is the better Choice, a bit more Work to get my Parallel Printer going and install all the Codecs and it is way faster. I'am not a Gamer, I don't need the Nvidia Drivers.
55 • Sabayon 6 E17 avoid it. (by RollMeAway on 2011-07-13 02:52:34 GMT from United States)
"Last and probably least, there is the somewhat i-like-broken-stuff-and-not-being-able-to-change-wallpaper Sabayon 6 E17, well, it's Enlightenment 17, subversion snapshot, for the braves."
I follow e17 distro releases fanatically. This one should not have been released!
Please, anyone interested in checking out e17, DO NOT BOTHER WITH THIS.
It clearly was done by someone that neither understands nor appreciates e17.
56 • Linux Mint Debian Edition(s) (by Pierre on 2011-07-13 15:32:49 GMT from Germany)
I really appreciate the new Editions of Linux Mint Debian with Xfce and KDE to be release in near future.
What I find worth mentioning is, that Linux Mint Debian will get a new update method with Linux Mind repositories, mirroring Debian Testing and freezing it, bringing the Testing updates via Update Packs once a month. This way updating can be tested which makes the rolling release more stable than it was in the past.
I really love this solution.
It's really worth testing! The Linux Mint team really does a great job!
Greetings from Germany
57 • Re:56 LMDE new repos (by Vic on 2011-07-13 16:28:36 GMT from United States)
Pierre do you, or any one else, know how soon the change to how lmde receives it's updates will happen? Will the change require sources to be edited manually or would it be a hassle free automatic change. Just curious cause I set up two family members pcs with lmde. Found it stable enough yet cutting edge enough to satisfy their needs without too much work on my part.
58 • LMDE (by fernbap on 2011-07-13 17:20:12 GMT from Portugal)
You can read all about it in the linux mint blog blog.linuxmint.com. From it:
"A brand new repository which mirrors Debian Testing on a monthly basis and assigns the frozen state of the packages an “update pack” number."
"A fork of the Linux Mint Update Manager, specifically designed for LMDE."
"By changing your APT sources and replacing Debian Testing with the Linux Mint Debian Latest repository, you basically point to a Debian Testing that is frozen in time and updated once a month. By the time the next batch of updates becomes available to you, the Linux Mint team has had time to adjust packages in the Linux Mint repository and to document the information you need to go through a safe and easy update."
"Sometimes, things get broken in Debian Testing and fixed a couple of days later. When that happens, the Mint Debian Latest repository simply isn’t updated. We wait until the Debian Testing branch is stable again, and only then do you get the updates."
59 • @58, re:47,48 (by Pearson on 2011-07-13 17:41:03 GMT from United States)
That's pretty much what I'd love to see with an Arch base. I like that Arch is very close to the upstream versions, making as few changes as possible.
60 • Re: @58 thanks for the info (by Vic on 2011-07-13 18:11:57 GMT from United States)
Thanks fernbap for the info. I would have searched the mint site myself eventually but I've been so busy of late most of my surfing is done on breaks at work from my phone. Still manage to read the news letter every week here that way. Thanks guys for another good review and current events update!
61 • Linux LIve/BSD Live/CDs/DVDs with full TeXlive installed? (by Anonymouse TeXLive Coward on 2011-07-13 18:49:10 GMT from United States)
Does anyone know if there exist Linux LIve/BSD Live/CDs/DVDs with full TeXlive installed? To be able to run TeXLive from livecd/livedvd?
It won't matter if they are linux/bsd, just that they have TeXLive.
Thanks in Advance
62 • RE: 34 - 39 (by Landor on 2011-07-13 18:53:07 GMT from Canada)
You're not correct there. There isn't a ton of desktop environments, nor are Openbox and Fluxbox considered desktop environments, they're window managers.
Most people with limited, to no knowledge of a window manager with very little functionality in comparison to a full featured desktop environment like KDE or GNOME would most likely have quite a difficult time making the switch, trying to emulate the same functionality they were accustomed to. To say otherwise is misleading at best.
In case you're unawaredue to your comment), the simple fact that mint is based on Debian Testing should make it inherently more stable than ubuntu as it is built upon Debian Unstable. But what you're actually seeing is the truth of the matter, that ubuntu is in a far better position to release a more stable product based on an unstable base, than mint is with a more stable base. If this wasn't true, the need for intervention wouldn't be coming up.
Anyway, my point is, since the two are based on two entirely different branches alone there should be no comparison, more so when you consider the build from the branch that is the most unstable is more stable than the other, well...
Keep your stick on the ice...
63 • @62 (by fernbap on 2011-07-13 19:05:43 GMT from Portugal)
"But what you're actually seeing is the truth of the matter, that ubuntu is in a far better position to release a more stable product based on an unstable base, than mint is with a more stable base."
Wrong. LMDE is a rolling release, Ubuntu is not.
Rolling releases come at a cost (the fact that they roll), and Clem found an excelent solution, adding the good points of a rolling release to the good points of a frozen release.
As usual, Mint finds the right answers. This is exciting news, Mint is creating a model that really works.
As to my personal experience with LMDE, i had, since its start, 2 things that broke: VLC had a nasty bug that disappeared at the next update, and at some point gnome wasn't working exactly as it should. Don't remember exactly what wasn't working right, it happened an year ago, i think.
As to Ubuntu, starting all over again every 6 months is NOT the recipe for stability....
64 • RE: Fabio Erculiani and also #25 Khalil (by LinuxUser for many a year. on 2011-07-13 19:15:06 GMT from United States)
Fabio Erculiani seems to be quite a bit of a whiner and a tad on the lazy side. Why do I say that? Well it seems that he wants everything done his way, that his way is the right way and that everyone feels the same way he does. He also seems to be under the impression that free and open source software is only made for the Linux kernel. That is so far from the truth. Most of the complaints that I hear is how some distro devs have changed something and now it doesn't work or that it works different. I hate to tell you people this but that's the way it's always been with Linux and free software. Most of the time it will work and work well but sometimes you have to do a little bit to make it work, or maybe you may have to learn something NEW. Take Unity for example. All you have to do is put a small dock with about 3 or 4 icons and then you have all the functions that you had with Gnome 2. That seems to be way too hard for people to figure out tho. They would rather complain and whine about how it's different. And since it's different it has to be worst than before. Furthermore not being able to get work done is really a lame excuse. That sounds more like being lazy. Khalil made a very good post of how things are going. Cloud computing and tablets (which can use keyboards), and smart phones are the future. It's just plain foolish to ignore that. If a person doesn't want to be part of the evolution of technology then that is fine, but to say that is the way most Linux users or open source users feel is just a lie. Today's technology is what you have to put your hopes in, the future, not the past.
65 • RE: 63 - 64 (by Landor on 2011-07-13 19:37:51 GMT from Canada)
First, let's clarify this for you, and anyone else reading, not one of the Debian Branches are rolling release. Let me say that one more time, not one. They receive updates over a specific period, then freeze.
Second, he's tried to sell you and everyone pretty hard on this build he has, and the majority of people still are not using it. So what does he do? Oh, this makes me laugh. He calls something a rolling release, which it's not, and tells everyone how great that is, then he stops it from being great by making it only a certain amount of update sets for its cycle..lol!!!! I haven't done this for a while, but I'm going to today, WoW!
Please, don't make comments like 'mint finds the right answers, this is exciting news, mint is creating a model that works', it's pure hyperbole, and why? Simple, creating means it hasn't been accomplished yet, and a model that works defines that it's already known to work flawlessly. That's completely untrue.
A recipe for stability eh? Could you elaborate on why a six month release cycle isn't stable yet something receiving constant (and quite often) broken updates is? I can't see that as a valid statement.
I have to agree with you. While I don't know much about the developer and what he talks about (sabayon and its development have absolutely no interest for me, that's all, choice) I believe that he was just firing stuff off and a lot of people are now clapping because it echoed their same thoughts, which usually are uninformed.
That's the problem with this community, and what I've talked about today. People jumping all over with opinion, and/or, views that really don't have a lot of facts to solidify them. That does a major disservice to this community. People should either state that they're speaking from opinion (at some point) only, or delve into the facts of the matter before they comment.
But to that blog post, I spoke about this not too long ago as well, quite a few companies support the GNOME Foundation financially, and have hired employees working on the project on top of that. It's not too much of a reach to figure out when you read that this company, or that company, is helping 'partners' in the infotainment area, or communication devices, use Linux, why GNOME is making an interface the way it is. Same with unity.
That's pure speculation though, but based on a pile of different resources. Still, it's speculation thus opinion. :)
Keep your stick on the ice...
66 • Re: #65 (by tdockery97 on 2011-07-13 20:30:22 GMT from United States)
"First, let's clarify this for you, and anyone else reading, not one of the Debian Branches are rolling release. Let me say that one more time, not one. They receive updates over a specific period, then freeze."
Absolutely correct, Landor. Linux Mint Debian is what one would call a continually updating release. It does have one thing in common with rolling releases: Install it once and you're done. That is the attraction to many people who want out of the 6-month release cycle.
On the other hand, there are those who look forward with excitement to a new release every 6 months. They like to toy with that which is new and interesting. To each their own...
67 • RE: 66 (by Landor on 2011-07-13 21:00:02 GMT from Canada)
A couple true rolling release distributions in this community are Gentoo and Crux. Both of which I'd recommend to anyone who wanted a real experience of what a rolling release is.
One other thing to note, testing doesn't even receive proper, or more appropriately, timely security updates. This is even more of a concern during a freeze.
I really don't look forward to much, I figure most things just pretty well stay the same. Sure, we might see GNOME's shell, or the unity shell, but other than that, honestly, what else is a big change. Whether it's a true rolling release, or a fixed release cycle. Pretty well nothing to get excited about. :)
Speaking of fixed release cycles, I'm surprised that not one person has even discussed Pardus. That's quite odd.
Keep your stick on the ice...
68 • Debian repos (by Jesse on 2011-07-13 21:06:20 GMT from Canada)
>> "First, let's clarify this for you, and anyone else reading, not one of the Debian Branches are rolling release. Let me say that one more time, not one. They receive updates over a specific period, then freeze."
The Testing repo freezes prior to becoming Stable. However the Sid (Unstable) repo does not freeze. From what I've seen it slows down a little due to focus being elsewhere, but Sid continues to receive updates while Testing is in freeze. Even low priority updates can still be moved into the Unstable repo while Testing is frozen. If you take a look at the commit history of Sid between August of last year and February of this year you'll see items continue to get moved in while Squeeze was in freeze.
69 • @ 2 and other good distros (by forlin on 2011-07-13 21:24:40 GMT from Portugal)
I don't know if Putin uses Linux or not.
The truth is that every year we see one or more great new distros appearing, to meet the demands of every Linux users.
That's the case of a young distro reviewed a few days ago, that I found by luck, at this link:
70 • RE: 68 (by Landor on 2011-07-13 21:26:55 GMT from Canada)
That may be correct on the surface, only.
Debian Unstable only receives a mediocre amount of updates during the freeze, more so in light of its regular progress during it regular development. In fact, it's my understanding that it's Debian developer policy to discourage everything except limited, and very minor updates during the freeze process.
That does not denote a rolling release system, and definitely points towards it being in a frozen development state, or at the very least, limited development, due to their ruling out any major updates.
All that's just from information I've gathered over the years from the project itself though. I'm not going to point to sources, so people can take it as opinion, or not. The latter by verifying it themselves.
Keep your stick on the ice...
71 • @64 0 tablets,etc the way of the future? (by pearson on 2011-07-13 22:40:32 GMT from United States)
I have to disagree that tables/smartphones/wireless, etc. are necessarily "the way of the future". There are many industries that can't totally embrace those technologies. Industries that need extreme security - such as classified networks at a government site - are an example. Wireless is just not secure enough when dealing with classified, life-threatening, information. Tablets are too small for large amounts of data, like maps that are projected onto a flat-screen TV. I can't imagine Cloud Computing *ever* being accepted by industries that truly want to protect their information. If you can't control it, you can't secure it.
Also, sometimes different *is* a bad idea. Some folks aren't "too lazy" to learn something new, they just have trouble adjustsing to a new mindset. Even if they *can* learn something new, is the effort worth the gain? Maybe the U.S. should start driving on the left side of the road. How many accidents will happen before everyone gets trained? Is it worth it?
72 • Tablets are the future. (by Anonymous Coward on 2011-07-13 23:06:25 GMT from Spain)
Cloud computing and tablets (which can use keyboards), and smart phones are the future. It's just plain foolish to ignore that.
I have already exposed my opinion and my reasons, so I am not going to repeat them here. I am not "ignorigng" that cloud and tablets are the future, I am just saying it will bring no real inprovenment for me (and for many users).
Many people I know hate working with netbooks (so do I). They might be light and so, but lack of optical drive, lack of a big screen and lack of a big keryboard unless you provide them by yourself. For me, portability means "Take your unit wherever you go, so you have what you need anywhere", not "Take your unit, your external keyboard, your usd DVD reader and...". Hell, a big laptop does not weight that much, but does a better service.
This is not to say that "ultra-portable" little toys are no good. They just provide a worse service. It is a trade off between size and usefulness. I prefer to carry some extra Kg.
In my opininon, this little netbooks, Tablets and the like have been so succesful because of market strategy. When a buyer enters the PC store and looks for a device, he reads the prices. If there are two regular laptops, ten netbooks and twenty tablets, and the latter are cheaper, chances are he would buy a tablet. I have seen this kind of strategy aplied in many other business areas.
73 • Does artistX Ubuntu/Debian Based cd have texlive? (by TeXLive BSD|Linux|LiveCD/DVD on 2011-07-14 01:40:31 GMT from United States)
Dear folks to answer question from #61, it seems that ArtistX has TeXLive as I checked distrowatch page and refreshed it with packages. I hope that is the case at least there is one that meets the requirements.
74 • Kubuntu 11.04 (by Alwin on 2011-07-14 15:37:21 GMT from United States)
Its interesting to note that Kubuntu's Okular reads epub format, while Ubuntu doesn't read them. Even though many thinks that Kubuntu is Ubuntu with a K, it is not.
75 • Kubuntu 11.04 (by Alwin on 2011-07-14 15:39:24 GMT from United States)
It is also interesting that Kubuntu's Rekong works faster than Ubuntu's Firefox. Sorry for double sending.
76 • #67: No mention of Pardus (by Antony on 2011-07-14 16:06:49 GMT from United Kingdom)
"Speaking of fixed release cycles, I'm surprised that not one person has even discussed Pardus. That's quite odd."
I'm someone who rates Pardus very highly. Do I take it from your above comment that you rate Pardus quite highly then?
77 • Kubuntu 11.04 (by Aiwin on 2011-07-14 17:28:08 GMT from United States)
Kubuntu's KDE has that left hand top corner thing, which shows every opened window, just like Gnome 3, but the bottom panel looks like Gnome 2.
The look is plesing to the eye too.
78 • Tablets (by zykoda on 2011-07-14 18:47:21 GMT from United Kingdom)
Tablets are for shmoks and schmuck is the result. May they have a short life! But it goes to show how much muck gets on keyboards.
79 • Kubuntu/Ubuntu (by Robin on 2011-07-14 22:25:18 GMT from United States)
@ Alwin, who wrote: "Even though many thinks that Kubuntu is Ubuntu with a K, it is not."
Agreed! Kubuntu is much different from "Ubuntu with KDE tied on," just as Xubuntu is not "Ubuntu with Xfce tied on," as many suppose. They are separate projects in their own right.
What is curious to me is that the relationship between Kubuntu and Ubuntu is much different from the relationship between Ubuntu and Xubuntu, the Xfce variant. Back when ShipIt was active, one could order Ubu or Kubu CDs from Canonical, but NOT Xubu. The Xubu team has to make a whole separate arrangement with a different vendor.
Even now Canonical offers support for Kubu and Ubu, but not in the same way with Xubu. Seems kinda weird.
Thankfully though, Xubuntu is so awesome it doesn't NEED as much support. The latest versions of Xubu have been a well-kept secret and much less prone to bugs and regressions than its two siblings.
80 • tablets, pad-somethings, netbooks and smart phones (by imnotrich on 2011-07-14 23:40:59 GMT from Mexico)
Agree with multiple posts that these devices are occasionally useful, but they are primarily toys and not intended for serious work. Nor will they ever overtake an actual laptop or desktop for market share.
Unless the human hand shrinks or we suddenly have bionic vision...Those are two constants that will control the size and nature of interfaces we use to do our serious computering.
Pads and tablets are highly susceptible to cracking, they don't have optical drives, floppy drives, some don't even have usb ports or wired network cards.
Pads and tablets don't have keyboards and there's nothing more gross than a screen full of fingerprints and body fluids especially if they're not your own. On a related note that's why I never use pay phones but we won't go there.
In work environments where wifi is prohibited such at nuclear weapons labs, inside bomb shelters (true story - some guy wanted me to troubleshoot his wifi once in a bedroom. Turns out the bedroom was a converted bomb shelter-no signal penetration) or environments where wifi is not secure (such as your local neighborhood coffee shop), or environments where RFI from other sources interfere, wifi is worthless.
Ever try to use an evdo modem with Linux? Impossible for most distros. Worse yet, let's say your little pad toy has a usb outlet and you want to use your cell carrier to get on the web., and you somehow manage to get it working. OK, not a problem...unless battery life is important to you or you don't mind using the pad while plugged into your ac adapter charger.
A laptop that is self contained and has the devices you need to get work done is a much smarter investment that these silly little netbooks or pad thingamabobs with less than half the CPU horsepower, limited memory and a dumbed-down OS.
Like I've said before, and others have chimed in, what's the point of being portable if you have cables and adapters and dongles to drag along?
SO now that's been said - because the interfaces and functionality (and usefulness) are different, why do some distros (one in particular but others are also guilty) insist on foisting one GUI on us that is intended only for touchpads and small, less capable devices? Or a GUI that is not fully fleshed out and buggy (happens to the best distros, even Squeeze has GUI issues).
I'm ok if there are choices for the users, but please developers don't automatically assume their choice is your choice. It'd be a shame to have to abandon an otherwise useful distro that meets your needs simply because they insist on a certain gui.
81 • @16,@17,@18 (best and worst KDE) (by JR on 2011-07-15 00:21:12 GMT from Brazil)
What do you think about Mageia? For now maybe the best KDE for me!!
The new Mandriva is a totally new experience, way too soon to know how it goes!! (too many bugs)
82 • Consistent Interface (by 123 on 2011-07-15 01:51:26 GMT from United States)
Been using Window Maker since before Debian Potato and it sure doesn't change much.
Re:#28 You probably meant to say Faraday Cage or Faraday Shield, since Faraday JAIL when searched basically just brings up Law Enforcement places like Jails.
Re:#80, here's some googleing:
Linux.com :: Get broadband wireless with Verizon EVDO and Linux
Mar 15, 2006 – Linux sees EVDO cards as USB/serial modems, so issue this command, again as root, inserting the correct numbers for your card: ...
www.linux.com/archive/feed/52729 - Cached - Similar
Linux.com :: EVDO and VoIP for remote audio transmission
Aug 29, 2008 – The choice of a Linux distribution is important, since many ...
www.linux.com/archive/feature/145134 - Cached - Similar
Show more results from linux.com
Sprint's EVDO Mobile Broadband on Ubuntu GNU/Linux | Samat Says
Jan 27, 2007 – So, you've gotten your shiny new EVDO datacard working under Linux (if not, see High-speed cellular wireless modems (e.g. EVDO, ...
blog.samat.org/.../sprints-evdo-mobile-broadband-on-ubuntu-linux - Cached - Similar
Using Verizon Wireless EVDO, PC5740, and Linux | KenKinder.com
Using Verizon Wireless EVDO, PC5740, and Linux. EVDO is like wifi, but works off .... The modem command AT!PCSTATE=1 had no effect. The Sierra Wireless site ...
kenkinder.com/using-verizon-wireless-evdo-pc5740-and-linux/ - Cached - Similar
Setup BSNL EVDO USB Modem in Linux | BSNL EVDO
May 13, 2010 – Lets see how I started using this device on my Linux distribution (You can follow the same steps to configure this device on any Linux ...
www.bsnlevdo.in/evdo/setup-bsnl-evdo-usb-modem-in-linux/ - Cached - Similar
As for changes breaking things:
I recently upgraded from Lenny to Squeeze.
Me being a technical type but not really a programmer, had some issues, which I spent many hours searching for answers.
#1 mutt wouldn't move read messages from spool.
Make ~/.muttrc with "set move=ask" or ask-yes or ask-no. FIXED
#2 Nested LVM (one inside another) wouldn't boot after upgrade to Squeeze.
Had to add a second rc.S script (vgchange -ay "name of nested vg") FIXED
#3 insserv really messed up my box
When I upgraded I said no to using it, but Squeeze depends on it, so now I had old and new sysV-rc scripts everywhere, very bad! Found answers in the Debian forums and bug lists.
Simply dpkg-reconfigure sysv-rc to use insserv methods. FIXED
#4 Every version of FireFox plays sounds ok except the NoScript alert.
This only broke since my upgrade to squeeze, still searching for an answer.
Thanks Ladislav, this is a very happening place!
83 • Kubuntu and other Linux distros (by Alwin on 2011-07-15 04:00:46 GMT from United States)
I had an aversion for KDE, but after trying few like Kubuntu 11.04, I feel it is better than the gnome versions.
There are many one man shows, who try to make a distro more humane and more useful to an average user, rather than general purpose distros of big names. Maybe it would be better, if we do not try to criticize these one man shows, but try to help them with constructive ideas. Criticism of any kind is hurtful and some of the excellent developers drop off in time -- we are the losers then.
The big timers can take any criticism and have a don't care attitude, while the young enthusiasts get frustrated. I haven't heard from Bodhi and Saline for a long time. You see what I mean.
84 • CentOS (by Arshad on 2011-07-15 04:50:46 GMT from Thailand)
I was expecting a lot of comments( good or bad ) here after the release of CentOS but surprisingly that doesn't seem to be the case at hand. Is CentOS loosing its relevance?
Personally I have been using the ScientificLinux for a while thanks to the delay in CentOS release. Yet I was waiting for CentOS release so that rpmfusion people would put some 3rd party material into their repos for RHEL6 clones.
85 • Kanotix (by gnomic on 2011-07-15 05:32:22 GMT from New Zealand)
Recently had a look at the May 2011 release of Kanotix and have been favourably impressed. 32 bit DVD booted into a live session with remarkable speed on a Pentium M laptop. KDE in a not quite current version, guess that relates to the Debian roots but recent enough to be usable. This distro for quite a while seemed to fall into the class that seem to be of interest mainly to their developers, and was only refreshed sporadically, however it appears to have taken on a new lease of life. Has a 64 bit version. Worth a look in my humble opinion.
86 • Faraday (by Anonymous Coward on 2011-07-15 08:42:27 GMT from Spain)
You probably meant to say Faraday Cage or Faraday Shield
I'm sorry for that.
Faraday Jail is the direct translation of the Spanish term, which is "Jaula de Faraday".
87 • Tablets! (by zykoda on 2011-07-15 12:09:48 GMT from United Kingdom)
A notice to all visitors.
Das Maschine ist nicht fur fingerpoken und mittengrabben,
easy schnappen die springen werke mit spitzen sparken und corken poppen.
alle sightseeren keepen die hande in den taschen und wachen die blinken lichten.
Is there room for humour?
88 • CentOS (by Jesse on 2011-07-15 12:19:31 GMT from Canada)
>> "I was expecting a lot of comments( good or bad ) here after the release of CentOS but surprisingly that doesn't seem to be the case at hand. Is CentOS loosing its relevance?"
I don't think CentOS is losing its relevance or, for that matter, much of its market share. It's just that a lot of the people who comment here (distro-hoppers) aren't likely to be the target audience of a distro which is conservative and measures its support time in years. The folks who use CentOS for real work aren't going to be in a hurry to upgrade and will probably spend weeks or months testing the new distro before putting it into production. The distro still has a huge market share on web servers and other production environments and I don't think that's likely to change.... nor is a new release going to attract much attention.
Keep in mind that if a cutting edge distro like Fedora slips six months, it's a huge deal, a whole life cycle. For CentOS, whose life span will be around seven years, a six month delay is a drop in the bucket.
89 • RE: 84 (by Landor on 2011-07-15 17:22:35 GMT from Canada)
The CentOS topic for me is one that makes me shake my head.
I remember when they acted out and put out that 'public letter' (ie: drama) to the creator of the project. I knew of a business that took that letter, and the turmoil of the project very seriously. So much so that they decided they needed to build their own system bases on the sources in house.
When I stated such here, and explained that their reliability and professionalism had come into question, a number of people jumped up and basically said I was wrong. Obviously, as time played out, we did see that the new management of CentOS was falling people and oddly enough, others started echoing what I stated here.
Anyway, although stated otherwise, let me tell you something that's pure common sense in the enterprise market. If CentOS delays x-amount of months in delivering updates, security fixes, those systems not only were vulnerable during that time, but the long and arduous task of testing the updates and security fixes being delayed by that amount of time.
Keep your stick on the ice...
90 • Re: 82 (by Palemoon on 2011-07-15 17:40:25 GMT from United States)
@82: If you are looking for a more up to date Window Maker, you should check out Liquid Lemur (click my name above). It uses the latest sources from Carlos Mafra and crew.
91 • CentOS - Landor (by Alwin on 2011-07-15 19:37:09 GMT from United States)
"If CentOS delays x-amount of months in delivering updates, security fixes, those systems not only were vulnerable during that time, but the long and arduous task of testing the updates and security fixes being delayed by that amount of time. "
Agreed with Landor!
92 • Rolling Release?? (by Sly on 2011-07-15 21:22:26 GMT from United States)
Ok, would someome please educate me on the definition of a true rolling release. Also can a true rolling release be stable distro?
93 • Rolling (by Jesse on 2011-07-16 01:16:52 GMT from Canada)
>> "Ok, would someome please educate me on the definition of a true rolling release. Also can a true rolling release be stable distro?"
A rolling release is when a distribution maintains a software repository which is continuously updated. Projects like Gentoo, Debian Sid, Arch and PCLinuxOS do this. Projects like Fedora and Ubuntu will freeze their software and create a fixed release. The software in the release stays frozen at a given point and updates are applied through a separate update repository.
A fixed release tries to be a stable base with a separate layer of minor updates on top of it. A rolling release doesn't stop, doesn't hit a "freeze" point and so doesn't require a second "updates" repository.
It might help if you see the difference. Here are the Fedora software branches. ftp://ftp.nrc.ca/pub/systems/linux/redhat/fedora/linux//
Notice there is a "release" directory and a separate "updates" directory.
Here is Arch Linux's setup: ftp://mirrors.kernel.org/archlinux
They have various repositories and a testing area, but no fixed releases or separate area for updates.
Whether a rolling release can be stable depends on your definition of stable. If you mean does a rolling release even stop changing? No, a rolling release keeps moving, it doesn't hit a fixed point. However, if you mean is it usable with working software... Yes, usually, if the QA people are on top of things and careful to only include working software in the repositories. Rolling releases do tend to break things from time to time, but the idea is usually to stay as up to date as possible, and sometimes that means running into problems from upstream software or incompatibilities.
94 • Small BSD live distros (by BSD Coward on 2011-07-16 02:49:30 GMT from Netherlands)
Any body know some active small BSD live distros.
I have found mfsroot, jggimi, Jibbed but they don't boot on my machine. They get stuck on the boot promt. I downloaded frenzy but it is 600+MB and I was looking for a small CD <= 200MB that would have a workable set of apps like firefox/opera/midori/any browser, editors and some necessary system tools.
Thanks in Advance.
95 • RE: 94 Small BSD live distros (by ladislav on 2011-07-16 03:14:22 GMT from Taiwan)
Try FuguIta, a small OpenBSD live CD with IceWM:
96 • RE: 80 (by pivoron on 2011-07-16 03:43:05 GMT from United States)
"why do some distros (one in particular but others are also guilty) insist on foisting one GUI on us that is intended only for touchpads and small, less capable devices? Or a GUI that is not fully fleshed out and buggy (happens to the best distros, even Squeeze has GUI issues). "
I suppose its to rake in all the users willing to worship these 'devices', no matter how silly.
Human nature is difficult to understand; like music (?) at weddings at 120 decibels above hearing. Try to talk - no, yell into the face of one's companion. However this seems to be the standard for most weddings now. Go figure!! In fact I wonder if an entire thesis can be written on this subject, much needed and tardy.
Why anyone would walk down the path with an earbud jammed up the canal amazes me, but it is what it is.
97 • evdo and linux (re #82) (by imnotrich on 2011-07-16 04:02:06 GMT from Mexico)
Verizon EVDO support in Debian, Ubuntu also Puppy were a miserable failure the last time tried in 2008. I eventually gave up. No doubt there have been changes/improvements since....I hope.
Note: Google is a great resource, but it would have been more useful for you to explain how a user with NO internet can connect to Google. I haven't figured that out yet, either.
98 • Re:97 (by 123 on 2011-07-16 04:45:56 GMT from United States)
"Generally just ask"
When I first started using Linux, in the early 1990's, I had a friend loan me a book "Linux Unleashed", which had a very old version of Slackware cd in it. This I ran on a 386sx with 2M of ram and small, like 10M hard drive.
Then I went to the book store and bought the same book, but the cd was already at a newer version. I am pretty sure the kernel was pre v1.2 .
Later I started to aquire cd's and cd sets at flea markets and hamfests(amateur radio flea markets).
Then I started to ask my more fortunate friends to download and burn cd's of distros.
Later still I started to subscribe to magazines with cd's , then dvd's.
When the price per issue started to climb over about 10$US I decided to stop that and reinvest in internet access. The rest is history.
So for many,many years I got by with shopping and friends, and I really didn't care if it was the latest version, I was just using them to learn more about Linux.
Still today I don't really care for the latest stuff, since usually this also can bring broken things. Linux claims to not abandon your old hardware, but this is inevitable, my laptop's Cirrus Logic video has been non-supported for many versions. I have a paid for video game which stopped working since around Debian Woody, it used an older libc library.
Yes I could tinker and fix, but like most people here I just use newer and different things, letting the older stuff collect dust for now.
As for using Google without internet, well you don't, unless you have a friend or some public place with access. I guess one could send Google an old fashioned letter with your search request, if it came to that extreme.
Patience is very good also, since I have seen many a needed lacking feature come out with a newer kernel version. Today it's not there, tomorrow it may appear, maybe fully functional, or maybe removed for lack of interest.
What else can I say? Have fun!
99 • RE: 92 (by Landor on 2011-07-16 05:32:38 GMT from Canada)
A true rolling release system does not need you to reinstall, or the distribution does not need to re-base, and continues with 'all' updates (including security) on a regular basis. That denotes a truly rolling release system.
While some may believe (see the previous reply to your question) that distributions fit this criteria, they do not. I'll give you an example.
At some point ( I don't recall how many times, possibly only once) PCLinuxOS rebased and needed their users to reinstall (start from scratch again). That's not rolling release. I don't know what their future holds, but based on the past alone, I'd say, nope, no rolling release.
Debian Unstable, regardless of what anyone says receives only a very minor (extremely minor) set of updates during the freeze of the Testing Branch as it makes its way into becoming the Stable Branch. Debian Unstable doesn't even receive updates that would fix known security advisories during this period.
Also, I don't even really consider Debian Unstable an actual 'Independent Branch'. The reason being, It's not uncommon for someone using Debian Unstable to have to pick up dependencies from Testing. So, with that in mind, and the above, it becomes clear Debian Unstable doesn't even become it's own independent branch, or during a lengthy period provide timely updates, so could not be considered rolling release.
To answer your question though. Gentoo and Crux in my experience provide a stable rolling release. Also, Gentoo has their two branches specifically separated, Stable and Testing Branches. An added note, I've read of people who did not update their systems (servers I do believe, for roughly 4 or 5. Without a complete new install, though some hands-on was required of course, they were able to pretty will just update the system and move on. That's a rolling release. Oh, and to note, never has Gentoo's Stable Branch ever had to rely on the Testing Branch for dependencies, to my experience. Far different from Debian, which proves the validity of my point there.
Crux falls into the same category as Gentoo above, and I do believe Arch does as well.
The reason I spoke more about Gentoo is due to my experience with it. Then next in line is Crux, then Arch.
Anyway, there's far more information out there.
I hope somehow my reply helped you understand it properly, and answered your question, or gave you the ability to discern the facts yourself. :)
Keep your stick on the ice...
100 • RE: 99 (by ladislav on 2011-07-16 05:48:51 GMT from Taiwan)
Debian Unstable receives only a very minor (extremely minor) set of updates during the freeze of the Testing Branch.
I don't see how that would disqualify Debian Unstable from being called "rolling-release". Isn't the most important point the fact that if you run Debian Unstable you'll never need to reinstall? Under normal circumstances you get regular updates, and it's only once every two or three years that the updates slow down for a while. I honestly don't see how this makes Debian Unstable a "fixed-release" branch (as opposed to a "rolling-release" one).
101 • RE: 100 (by Landor on 2011-07-16 06:44:18 GMT from Canada)
The most important fact is subjective as you know. I'm honestly shocked that not long ago you were making a stand about CentOS not providing needed updates for months, yet now you're defending Debian Unstable as a rolling release and doesn't provide them regularly either. No matter when they stop for, they stop regardless.
What about it needing dependencies from Testing as well. You didn't speak of that important issue. You say a person doesn't have to reinstall, but they have to use another branch to keep it running. Not all the time, but it's far from uncommon as well. Does that sound like it's an independent branch, and what is commonly known as rolling release? It sure doesn't to me.
Also, just as an addition here, updates are so minor in unstable that people who grew accustomed to using Debian Unstable find themselves looking to Debian Experimental for current releases.
I think the biggest point I made though is the fact that it relies on Debian Testing for dependencies.
Keep your stick on the ice...
102 • RE: 101 (by ladislav on 2011-07-16 07:12:38 GMT from Taiwan)
You can't possibly mix CentOS with Debian Unstable. Many many people run CentOS in production and mission-critical environments, expecting timely security updates. In fact, CentOS mentions on their home page that "quickly rebuilt, tested, and QA'ed errata packages" is one of the distro's features. On the other hand, Debian clearly states that their Unstable branch is NOT maintained by a security team and it never (not only during the freeze period) receives security updates. I don't think that many people run Debian Unstable in a mission-critical environment whre every minor vulnerability counts.
Also, I don't understand that part of your post about Debian Unstable "needing dependencies from Testing". It can be (and I believe normally is) run as pure Unstable branch without packages from any other branch. I think that there are probably more Gentoo users who run a stable branch with some unmasked packages from unstable than there are those who run Debian Unstable with packages from Testing.
In the end, I don't want to say that you are wrong. We could all try to come up with a definition of what is a "rolling-release" distribution and it's likely that this would differ from one person to the next (e.g. the Linux Mint developer defines it differently from you, otherwise he wouldn't call LMDE a rolling-release distro; same goes for PCLinuxOS). I periodically receive requests for including this important distinction in the database so that people can quickly search for rolling-release distributions. But I've resisted these calls precisely because there are too many different definitions out there.
If we ever arrive at a consensus, I think it will have to be a compromise - somewhere between your very strict definition of the term and some of the broader ones that some distro maintainers keep floating around.
103 • Rolling releases (by DG on 2011-07-16 08:31:45 GMT from Netherlands)
I work with Lunar Linux, which is a source-based distro, and it uses a rolling release.
This usually means that packages get updated as soon as one of the devs notices
that there is an update. Sometimes this causes a cascade of other package updates.
Now and then a package may have to be reverted to a particular "stable" version
because updating it breaks too many other packages that depend on it. It can take
quite a while for those other packages to be modified to handle the "new" version.
There are a handful of critical packages that can cause particular problems and which
can break your system, and it can take some effort to get your system running again.
Therefore Lunar is not recommended for new users, but more for experienced admins.
Normal users can download a snapshot of the "moonbase" - the package management
repository containing version information, dependencies, build instructions, etc. If there
are problems with a particular package, you can update/override its version/configuration
yourself, or you have to report it and/or wait for it to be corrected in the moonbase.
Advanced users can clone the moonbase.git repository and therefore have additional
control if they know what they are doing and want to continue using older versions of
It's a rolling release and you could simply keep updating forever, albeit with some
corrective action required every so often. However, it still makes sense to produce
new ISO images on a regular basis simply so that a new installation doesn't also mean
having to rebuild the entire system from scratch before you even start with anything
else. You are already recommended to rebuild gcc, glibc, bash, coreutils, tar and wget
after the initial ISO installation so that they can take advantage of your hardware, and
you will probably have to reconfigure and rebuild your kernel too.
Sometimes even rolling release users can benefit from re-installing from an updated ISO
104 • Re: 103 - Rolling releases (by DG on 2011-07-16 08:46:46 GMT from Netherlands)
Oops, I forgot to say...
"""Now and then a package may have to be reverted to a particular "stable" version
because updating it breaks too many other packages that depend on it. It can take
quite a while for those other packages to be modified to handle the "new" version."""
Some of the Lunar devs are also Xfce devs, and one keeps seriously up-to-date with
KDE. GNOME, on the other hand, lacks support in Lunar because it's just such a pain
to keep up with all of the spaghetti of dependencies, and sometimes circular
dependencies, where so many of the components require specific versions of other
None of the devs want to update GNOME packages because they pull in so many other
packages and it's then hard to get them off your box again. I tried for weeks to get
everything updated to GNOME 2.32.0 and failed miserably, and although that might say
more about me, I agree with last week's comment that GNOME-2 had become difficult
So call Lunar if you are a GNOME wizard who wants to work on a source based distro :-)
105 • Rolling definition. (by Antony on 2011-07-16 11:52:06 GMT from United Kingdom)
Surely, if a distro is not a fixed-release - then it _has_ to be........rolling. Isn't that the basic distinction: one needs to be re-installed/majorly upgraded on a set regular basis - and one does not, and therefore users will have a 'rolling', pretty linear kind of distro evolution rather than a staggered system of succeeding versions interruption.
106 • Debian Unstable (by Jesse on 2011-07-16 15:22:15 GMT from Canada)
>> "What about it needing dependencies from Testing as well. "
Debian Unstable doesn't depend on Testing. They are independent repositories. This is why it is possible to create projects like aptosid from the packages in Sid. Each of the three main branches can be run independently of each other.
107 • @99, etc. Debian out of channel repositorizing (i.e. Distro Adultery) (by Al on 2011-07-16 17:25:43 GMT from Canada)
I've noticed occasionally a package is removed from testing, yet a more recent version is available in sid and an older version in stable. This can be due to library incompatibility, licence issue, massive bug, or a variety of other problems. And I've also seen packages only available in stable but not testing or unstable branch. This is usually due to the package being deprecated or unmaintained. In this last case, if a user running Debian Sid wants XMMS for example, they will either have to compile from source themselves or go to the archives and use one of the older packages. I can see the second option as possibly what Landor meant in comment #99. But technically speaking if a Gentoo, Crux or Arch user has to get a package from outside their repository (i.e. Skype or Chrome ~~just guessing here) then that 'breaks' Landor's independent branch definition.
108 • Rolling vs. fixed (by Brandon Sniadajewski on 2011-07-17 19:10:40 GMT from United States)
I'm sure a combination of the two can be had, and I think PCLOS seems to come closest. I'd have kernel and related packages in a distro be released on a fixed basis, say six months (seems to work well for Fedora, Ubuntu and friends), and have other (meta)packages (DE's, browsers, office suites, some drivers, etc) be ready as soon as (or soon after) they're released upstream. That way, when it comes time to upgrade to a new release, you won't have to download hundreds of megabytes to do the upgrade.
109 • Casper (Package) (by Roy H Huddleston on 2011-07-17 21:31:44 GMT from United States)
I was wondering if Casper could be added to the package list. I noticed when loading Linux Mint Julia (10) on my SATA and Ubuntu 10.10 that they work well together as far as the grub loader went. I noticed Ubuntu 10.4 didn't load up with Casper but Peppermint2, Zorin, and Linux Mint Katya (11) did. I am just curious how Casper is changing.
110 • @109, Casper (by Stan on 2011-07-17 21:40:00 GMT from United States)
Casper is way too distro-specific to be a good fit for Distrowatch's package tracking. Try here instead: http://packages.ubuntu.com/search?keywords=casper&searchon=names&suite=all§ion=all . For the most part, all of the Ubuntu derivatives will use the exact same version of Casper as the corresponding Ubuntu version.
111 • Casper (by Roy H Huddleston on 2011-07-17 23:52:55 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the link. I just learned it was distro-specific from you.
112 • RE: 102 - 107 (by Landor on 2011-07-18 03:03:12 GMT from Canada)
I can see how that would be really hard to nail down, given so many variables, as we're discussing here. It mainly comes down to opinion, and I think with all the time you've spent doing this, you could come up with a decent solution.
To Debian Unstable though, first, and not meaning you, I still shake my head regularly at the people who actually don't understand, or don't know stuff and assume they do. Anyway, from documentation I've read, HowTos from long time users (as well as Debian Developers, and my own experience, everything I've ever learned about using Debian Unstable is that at some point it will break and need dependencies from Testing, a fact. I would like to believe that these long time users, and developers know what they're talking about. But to further add to their own warnings,
I've previously installed the full kde desktop with the command: 'apt-get -t unstable install kde-full' and watched as apt pulled in about a third of the packages from testing to meet the dependencies. Now, I don't know about anyone else, but I know how to do pinning correctly (as to my recent HowTo on it), and Debian will not just say, hey, look, he has a testing repository enabled too, let's have some fun and get some packages from there. You know what I mean? It would not, in any way pull the packages from Unstable unless it needed to. Testing also at times (though far more rare) pulls packages from Stable as well.
Anyone who says otherwise, that it doesn't happen, doesn't know the distribution well enough, especially in regard to the different branches.
You're talking about third party repositories and I'm actually talking about a branch needing to go to another branch 'to meet its dependencies', how can you even consider that the same thing, seriously? Oh, and you should always check, knowing is a good thing, really, always check. You would have found out that the proprietary skype is indeed in the Portage Tree, yet Chrome is not. Chromium is in its place. Sadly to both in my opinion. Always know though, it's important.
Keep your stick on the ice...
113 • RE: 112 (by ladislav on 2011-07-18 03:25:51 GMT from Taiwan)
I've previously installed the full kde desktop with the command: 'apt-get -t unstable install kde-full' and watched as apt pulled in about a third of the packages from testing to meet the dependencies.
So let me get this straight. You were running Debian "testing", then decided to install some packages from the "unstable" branch when you noticed that some dependencies were pulled in from the "testing" branch instead of "unstable". As a result of this experience you somehow concluded that the "unstable" branch depends on "testing" for dependencies. Is that correct?
I think the more likely scenario is that apt-get pulls dependencies from "testing" whenever possible since that's what you were running at the time.
As for "unstable" breaking "at some point", you make it sound as if it was so by design and the only way to fix it is by pulling some packages from "testing". That's certainly not the case. As always, there are many ways to fix a problem and temporarily installing a package from a different repository may work in some cases. But that still doesn't mean that Debian "unstable" somehow depends on "testing".
Just think about it logically - each new/updated Debian package enters "unstable" first and if no problems are found it eventually makes its way to "testing" (without being removed from "unstable"). So "unstable" is simply a more complete and up-to-date Debian branch than "testing".
114 • RE: 113 (by Landor on 2011-07-18 04:58:06 GMT from Canada)
I should have corrected a typo: 'It would not, in any way pull the packages from Unstable unless it needed to.' should have read: 'It would not, in any way pull the packages from Testing unless it needed to'
But to answer your question I'm going to try to explain the process without having to get into the details of pinning.
It's simple actually. When I was working on testing various Debian projects of mine I would install the absolute minimum Debian Testing I could. Then I would boot into that system, change the repositories and do .apt-get update && apt-get upgrade && apt-get dist-upgrade && apt-get clean && apt-get autoclean && apt-get autoremove.
That will (if all the packages are in Unstable that are installed from Testing, that should further cement my claims by the way) upgrade the system to the Unstable branch as cleanly as it's possible within Debian. If anyone knows how to do it any cleaner I'd like them to tell some devs, and myself. :)
Then I re-add the (uncomment)Testing repository, then setup my pinning, and do another 'apt-get update' and go from there.
As I said, I should have fixed the typo and didn't, I didn't want to post another comment for it. I may install from Testing, but it's Stable once I start to build, as you now know.
Have you ever built Debian this way, or installedt he full KDE Desktop, or any other major Meta Package shortly within say a week of it hitting Unstable?
I've done so numerous times and at times have found some dependencies were not present in Unstable.
Keep your stick on the ice...
115 • RE: 114, another typo, fixed this time. (by Landor on 2011-07-18 05:00:41 GMT from Canada)
As I said, I should have fixed the typo and didn't, I didn't want to post another comment for it. I may install from Testing, but it's Stable once I start to build, as you now know.
Should be this:
As I said, I should have fixed the typo and didn't, I didn't want to post another comment for it. I may install from Testing, but it's Unstable once I start to build, as you now know.
Keep your stick on the ice...
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