| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 416, 1 August 2011
Welcome to this year's 31st issue of DistroWatch Weekly! It's good to break from an established routine from time to time, so this week, instead of the usual distribution review, we are presenting an opinion piece on a possible future of Linux and free software in the light of increasing economic uneasiness, imminent government bankrupts, and collapsing financial markets. Can free software prosper in these uncertain times? In the news section, CentOS developers unveil new, specialist spins of their free RHEL clone, FreeBSD launches an intensive development sprint prior to the upcoming version 9.0, and Debian announces "multiarch" support as a release goal for "Wheezy". Also in this issue, a link to a brief interview with Linux Mint founder Clement Lefebvre and an exclusive questions and answers session with the developers of the Isolator++ unit testing software which was recently ported to Linux. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the July 2011 DistroWatch.com donation is the vsftpd project. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Robert Storey)
Opinion: Is economic collapse good for Linux?|
I would recommend you panic. (Hedge funder Hugh Hendry)
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As I write this, the USA is less than 48 hours from defaulting on its national debt, an event which would be more-or-less the economic equivalent of a comet the size of Texas crashing into planet Earth (as portrayed in the 1998 Bruce Willis action movie Armageddon. Imagine that.
In the movie, Bruce Willis and his motley crew fly the Space Shuttle to the offending comet, land on it, drill a big hole and dump a nuclear warhead down there. Unfortunately, a damaged timer-detonator means that the heroic Mr Willis must stay behind and blow up the comet by hand, saving the Earth but dying in the process. Miraculously, Bruce Willis is resurrected from the dead and goes on to star in The Sixth Sense (1999) and Unbreakable (2000). All of which goes to show that you can't keep an action hero down, even with a nuclear bomb.
Fortunately, averting worldwide economic Armageddon this week will probably not involve nuclear weapons. More than likely, the USA's two warring political parties will come to a last-minute budget compromise, agreeing to increase the national debt, thus postponing the Apocalypse until another day. That's good news, especially if you haven't yet prepared your bomb shelter. There is still time to stock up on weapons, ammunition and canned goods. Forget precious metals - gold is for optimists.
So, assuming the requisite last-minute deal comes through, we can all (hopefully) breathe easier. For now. Unfortunately, the world's economy might not be quite as "unbreakable" as Mr. Willis was in the above-mentioned 2000 movie. The USA is not the only country on planet Earth with economic skeletons in the closet. The EU has recently discovered that some of its member states have balance sheets with as many holes in them as Swiss cheese. Asia is still looking good on the surface, but there are rumblings of already-massive real estate bubbles swelling to galactic size, just itching to pop. Everywhere there are dark rumors of unpayable debts, creative accounting standards, and yes, giant asteroids hurtling towards Earth. To make it worse, the USA just retired the Space Shuttle, so it's no longer in service lest we need to nuke another extra-terrestrial threat.
But what does economic collapse have to do with Linux?
Glad you asked. It's always good to look on the bright side of things, especially when facing The End of the World As We Know It. Thus, I would like to posit the theory: "Economic collapse is good for the free-software movement.
Yes, I know that at first glance, my "theory" sounds like a no-brainer. Assuming that the world has grown poorer but people are still living above ground and have electricity, then for sure they'd be running Linux or if they prefer, one of the BSDs. If you can't afford new shoes, then surely you're not going to trade your last bag of salt or used bicycle tire for a Windows or OSX license. So Linux wins, right?
Actually, it's not so certain. Reality often trumps logic. I've spent a good deal of my life living and traveling in the Third World, and I've witnessed at least one pretty spectacular economic collapse circa 1991. True, that was during the dark days of MS-DOS, which few outside the USA actually paid for. Plus, in those days there wasn't a free open-source alternative that you could download from the Internet (which also didn't exist back then). However, in these modern times, we do have Linux, excellent free software that very few Third World citizens even know about, much less use. Despite pleadings from open-source fanatics such as myself, poor folks seldom bother to install a free copy of Linux and LibreOffice, preferring instead to obtain a pirated copy of Windows and Microsoft Office.
It's interesting to speculate just why this is so. Part of the reason may simply be a lack of copyright enforcement. In the freedom-loving developed countries of the West, jack-booted storm troopers from The Intellectual Property Cartel may well break down your door, haul off your computers, and after forensically examining the hard drive, impose harsh fines and criminal penalties if they discover an unlicensed software application or a pirated MP3 file. This scenario is fortunately seldom seen in the Third World, where the police, judges and government officials charged with enforcing the law are also running pirated copies of Windows on their home computers too.
In fact, far from enforcing intellectual property laws in countries where there is little money, there is evidence that software piracy is actually being encouraged by Big Business as a shrewd marketing tool. Bill Gates himself admitted as much in a speech at the University of Washington in 1998. When talking about software piracy in poor countries, Mr. Gates said: "As long as they are going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They'll get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade."
My own experience backs this up. I've lived half my life in Asia and I've watched this part of the world develop rapidly over the past few decades. When I first came here, you couldn't even buy legal copies of MS-DOS and applications. There were plenty of shops openly selling pirated CDs with all the latest software for around US$2 per copy. Service was excellent - many shops would even replace a defective disk for free. Indeed, Windows XP appeared on the pirate market 35 days before it's official release date of October 25, 2001. But nowadays, most of the software I see for sale is legal, and costs considerably more than US$2 per copy. Bill Gates was right.
That having been said, this business model (using software piracy as a marketing tool) is only likely to succeed when economies are growing, not shrinking. When money becomes scarce, software license becomes an unaffordable luxury. In many poor countries today, electronic shops cobble together their inexpensive computers with a combination of old used and new parts. These shops have no volume licensing agreements with Microsoft, and almost invariably they install pirated Windows copies that deploy various hacks to turn-off product activation. These hacked copies have, in many cases, become easy prey for viruses and root kits, allowing the machine to be turned into a bot for launching DDoS attacks.
Given the security risks, let alone legal issues, it would make sense to avoid pirated software as long as a secure and functional free alternative exists. That should create an opening for Linux. However, Microsoft (and more recently, Apple) have captured the hearts and minds of the mass market. People in the poorer nations understandably want to catch up with the rich developed world, so they want what they perceive to be "the best." Thus, they'd be suspicious of software that advertises itself as being "free." I've often wondered if we free-software proponents shouldn't take a hint from Microsoft and charge US$300 for Linux, in the hopes that people will then pirate it.
This will be the year of The Linux Desktop
It was Windows 98 and its infamous Blue Screen of Death that finally pushed me into trying Linux, and I have not looked back since. And almost every year since then, I've been reading in one oracle or another that "this will be the Year of the Linux Desktop." I'm not quite sure what a "Year of Linux" would entail, but I gather that it would require more than the current 1% desktop market share we now enjoy.
Making future predictions is always a risky business, but hey, it's not (yet) illegal, so here is mine. I predict that WTSHTF (economically speaking), we will finally enjoy the long-awaited "Year of the Linux Desktop." My reason for thinking so is that - unlike in the current Third World - intellectual-property laws in developed countries have real teeth. If you think that the Business Software Alliance is going to just sit around on its hands while computer shops in formerly rich countries openly sell pirated software, think again. All the hard-fought battles by the intellectual-property police to instill fear into the public has, for the most part, been a resounding success. A sophisticated surveillance system and accompanying gulag has been painstakingly constructed just to protect copyrights and patents. These victories will not be given up lightly.
Thus, though we may face economic hardships not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s, we can at least look forward to a Linux Renaissance. As the old saying goes, "every cloud has its silver lining."
On the other hand, I could be wrong about this. Perhaps 50 years from now, our grand children will be living in a prosperous paradise, where all the hard physical labor is done by robots. Everyone will have lots of free time to enjoy their holographic 3-D televisions, powered by Micro-Apple software. During the annual 3-month vacation, they'll have a choice of making a trip to Mars or one of the moons of Jupiter.
Alternatively, they could be living in the forest (or what's left of it), gathered around the evening camp fire as the rising tides engulf the ruins of the world's abandoned cities. Tribal elders will talk about magical things they once saw, like electricity, iPhones, the Space Shuttle, Bruce Willis, and an amazing technology called "Linux." The children may suspect it's all a myth, but nevertheless will sit and listen in wide-eyed wonder.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
New CentOS spins, FreeBSD 9.0 features, Debian's "multiarch" support, interview with Linux Mint's Clement Lefebvre
The CentOS project has finally put smiles back on the faces of its faithful users. With the recent release of CentOS 6.0 standard installation DVD images and the subsequent arrival of the live CD/DVD variants, many CentOS users can finally run the latest version of the popular and free Red Hat Enterprise Linux clone. But wait, there is more good news in the pipeline, including a 250 MB minimal CD and a special "LightWeight Server" edition. Fabian Arrotin reports in "CentOS 6 ISO spins": "We plan also to provide two other spins: the minimal one and the LWS one. Good news is that the minimal one is almost finished and being intensively tested. It's meant to be used as a real basic CentOS system - only 186 packages only on your disk. You'll have a very basic CentOS system with only OpenSSH server and yum. The next custom respin (LWS for LightWeigth Server edition) will still be a CD image that will include basic server packages, more or less in the idea of the "Server CD" that existed during the CentOS 4.x days." The author also mentions that the upcoming CentOS 6.1 and 5.7 releases should arrive at the same time as the LWS spin.
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The first beta release of FreeBSD 9.0 has been propagating through the project's mirrors since last weekend (though it has yet to be formally announced), so it's time to take a look at some of the features of this major new release. As always, we will rely on Ivan Voras's blog which delivers a nice summary of what's cooking for FreeBSD 9: "The kernel parts of the DTrace system diagnostic framework were imported some time ago, but they are now completed with the support for userland tracing, making it usable in general userland software development and system administration." Also included is support for the CLANG/LLVM compiler for those who cannot use the recent GNU GCC due to it being licensed under GPL 3: "As the GCC compiler suite was re-licensed under GPLv3 after the 4.2 release, and the GPLv3 is a big disappointment for some users of BSD systems, having an alternative, non-GPLv3 compiler for the base system has become highly desirable. Currently, the overall consensus is that GCC 4.3 will not be imported into the base system. ... The LLVM and CLANG projects together offer a full BSD-licensed C/C++ compiler infrastructure that is, performance and feature-wise close to, or better than GCC."
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Here is something for those who claim that community projects are less inclined to innovate than commercial enterprises. Debian GNU/Linux, the world's largest Linux distribution, has announced that, starting with its next release, it will the first Linux distro to have "multiarch" support: "During this year's annual Debian Conference DebConf11 made the introduction of 'multiarch support' a release goal for the coming Debian release 7 'Wheezy' to be released in 2013. Multiarch is a radical rethinking of the file system hierarchy with respect to library and header paths, to make programs and libraries of different hardware architectures easily installable in parallel on the very same system. " Steve Langasek explains the finer details of the feature: "Multiarch is a major enhancement to Debian's ability to deliver on the promise of being a universal operating system. Not only will it make crossbuilding easier, it also enables better support for legacy 32-bit applications on new 64-bit installations and in the future it will even allow live migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit systems." The Debian Wiki pages have more on the subject, including some relevant external links.
One other Debian-related news. A reader has emailed DistroWatch to tell us about Debian's new policy of providing MP3 support via LAME in its official repositories: "You may want to report on the inclusion into Debian main of multimedia programs like 'LAME' and the 'x264' encoder that until a few days/weeks ago had to be downloaded from third-party repositories because of software patents and other 'intellectual property' issues. Interestingly the package description of "lame" still mentions possible issues with the use of the lame MP3 encoder (MP3 playback had long been allowed in almost all Linux/BSD distributions): 'LAME (LAME Ain't an MP3 Encoder) is a research project for learning about and improving MP3 encoding technology. LAME includes an MP3 encoding library, a simple front-end application, and other tools for sound analysis, as well as convenience tools. Please note that any commercial use (including distributing the LAME encoding engine in a free encoder) may require a patent license from Thomson Multimedia.' So, does this mean that Fedora will wind up as the 'freer' (at least in the eyes of the Free Software Foundation) community distribution? Or will Fedora stick to its guns and allow such patent-encumbered software only via unofficial repositories?"
* * * * *
Finally, a link to a brief interview with Clement Lefebvre, the founder and lead developer of Linux Mint: "Q: What is your ideal Linux setup? A: Linux Mint with a few additional installs (Geany, Dropbox, VirtualBox, Glade, Minitube). I rarely keep the same system installed for more than a few months. Sooner or later I need to tinker with it, upgrade it to another base, replace it with something else or simply start using another partition. I usually play around with 10 GB partitions, access my data externally and replicate my configuration. It's quite easy to do nowadays. It takes more or less 20 minutes for a new system to feel like home so I'm constantly swapping between systems. In the end it doesn't matter much whether I'm using Mint on /dev/sda6 or another Mint on /dev/sda9, missing applications can be quickly installed and the data is easily accessible. Still, now and then, I wouldn't mind my music to sit neatly in ~/Music, or to have the whole 1 TB for myself when editing videos."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Unit testing with Isolator++
People who write code are probably familiar with the concept of unit testing. To insure code works the way it is designed to work it's important to run the code through different scenarios and confirm that it returns the results we expect it to. It's also nice if we can confirm unusual data won't make our projects crash. Putting modules of code through a series of trials is called unit testing and it's a good way to make sure all the pieces of a development project function properly.
Unit testing can be a tedious task as it can involve duplicating dependencies, modifying existing code and running the same modules through an array of different test cases. Isolator++ is a product from Typemock which attempts to make unit testing easier. Isolator++ does this by simulating dependencies and allowing us to build unit tests without modifying the original code, the code we're testing. The idea is to speed up the testing phase and remove some of the risk involved. Typemock recently ported Isolator++ to Linux. To mark the occasion, I downloaded the trial package and talked with two of the people behind the test suite: Eli Lopian, Typemock's Founder, and Gil Zilberfeld, the company's Product Manager.
DW: Perhaps you could start by giving us some background on Typemock?
EL: Typemock was conceived in 2004 and launched in February 2005 after being a company that after 3 months of development was in QA for 6 months! We'd also discovered that 87% of the bugs could be found and fixed with unit tests. Our mission is to help developers create better software without bugs by unit testing. In other words, we envision a world where all professional developers practice unit testing and thus create high quality code with minimum effort.
We know that when you develop with unit tests, you can lessen the amount of bugs, speed up development cycles, push products out the door quickly, and be confident that your applications work as you intended, not only in the first stages of the product but throughout the whole product life cycle. Since 2006 thousands of companies around the world, including multinationals such as Microsoft and Nokia, have implemented Typemock's tools to make unit testing easy and to improve the quality processes. Our users are developers from a wide range of sectors such as defense, medical, and finance who therefore demand exceptionally high standards of quality and minimum errors.
DW: What is Isolator and how does it work?
EL: Unit testing is a core practice of agile methodology, and a proven and efficient way to prevent bugs. Isolator enables easy unit testing of any .NET and C/C++ code, especially the most problematic pieces of code in your project. It does it with a powerful "divide and conquer" technique which is a widely used debugging practice, so regardless of how the code is built, with Isolator you can unit test your code without rewriting it. We have a few versions of Isolator, for .NET, Sharepoint, ASP and for C/C++ (on both Windows and Linux). The Isolator API is specifically designed to make tests more concise, more resistant to production code changes and easier to understand for new users - which ensures that developers' time is not wasted re-writing unit tests. Unit tests with Isolator protects your code from regression bugs and allows organizations to feel confident that their final product meets industry standards. The product is packed with great features including automatic code completion that makes writing tests a breeze; and smart Isolation that assures your tests don't break even when you change your code as long as the logic is intact, resulting in less test rewriting.
GZ: Isolator and Isolator++ enable developers to change the behavior of any part of the code seamlessly, without the need to rewrite the code. The tools use interception technology that modifies the behavior of the code during the test, while keeping the original code intact. Database calls, for example, can be faked to run without an existing database. Having tests run automatically replaces the need for manual validation. Tests run faster, you get feedback quicker, and you know exactly at what state your code quality is. This ensures full code integrity before the code reaches QA. The QA team gets cleaner, working code, and that eliminates the back-and-forth bug find and fix cycles, which often holds back the product from being delivered.
DW: As I understand it, you've been selling Isolator++ on Windows for a while and have now ported it to Linux. Was there a lot of developer demand for a Linux option, or are you testing new waters to see if there is a market?
EL: The launch of Isolator++ for Linux comes from our understanding of developer needs. Checking C/C++ code on the Linux platforms is one of the more complex tasks in development and with an increasing number of developers and organizations using the Linux platform we're delighted to now offer a single multi-platform solution that removes the complexities and friction of testing code. In fact one of the early feedbacks we got from users is the same capability of Isolator++ on Linux.
C/C++ is being increasingly used by software developers especially with today's high demand for smart phones and other advanced technologies and from our conversations with developers as well as market knowledge we decided to bring our Windows testing experiences to Linux.
DW: Isolator++ works with Windows and Linux. Are there limits as to which architectures it runs on (x86, ARM, SPARC)?
GZ: In its first release, Isolator++ works on x86 architecture. We'll continue to add support for different architectures based on the feedback we'll get. It is important to state that many organizations currently have multiple architecture targets, using the same code for different purposes. They use one platform to have actual code run (for example a mobile ARM platform), while an x86 is used to run the tests. Those organizations can use their own methodology to get even better quality by implementing unit testing with Isolator++ on their testing platforms, and run the high-quality product on the target architecture.
DW: I took a quick look at the Isolator++ trial edition and I think it would be very useful for creating unit tests for existing projects. Does Isolator++ offer any advantages to new projects who are in a good position to write their own tests from the beginning?
GZ: It's great for both old projects and new projects. C++ code has been collected for years, and you know your application “mostly works”. But what happens when there's a bug? You need make sure your fix does not break anything. Obviously, Isolator++ can help write tests with existing code. New code in C++ is written everyday -- more devices use it: medical devices, smart cars. All these have very high standard of quality, and many have quality regulation standards. Having unit tests written with Isolator++ for this code makes sure your application meets those standards.
DW: Isolator++ retails for $599. Is that for one developer, one studio, one machine? How does your licensing work?
EL: The license is for one developer.
DW: You have customers all over the world. Is there an area where Typemock software is used more than others? Medical software, military programs, databases?
EL: As we mentioned before our users are developers from a wide range of sectors such as defense, medical, and finance who therefore demand exceptionally high standards of quality. In these mission-critical industries a glitch/bug can be devastating so it's imperative to have bug-less code. However software development is a process that connects to everything in our lives today, and Isolator is not limited to any one industry.
Let's take the finance sector for example. Banks now offer connectivity through different devices and their web sites. They want to make sure the functionality of transferring money, or buying stocks works perfectly. If it doesn't they expose themselves to long QA process and even legal implications that can cost an immense amount compared to finding the bug in the development process. It just makes financial sense.
DW: Beside Isolator++, Typemock offers other products. Will we see Linux ports of those products too?
EL: We have exciting products in our lab right now, some of them are built on the same technology as our .NET products and some are new and exciting technology, but I can't talk about these now.
Thank you. For those of you interested in coding, the developers at Typemock maintain a blog where they talk about developer tools, unit testing and upcoming developer events. You can follow their commentary and announcements at the Typemock Blog.
I spent a little time with Isolator++ and the small on-line instruction manual. Maybe I'm set in my ways and have been writing my own unit tests my way for too long. Maybe I would have done better with more examples in the documentation. Whatever it was, I didn't take to Isolator++ straight away. There is a certain appeal in the design, the ability to fake values and functions strikes me as something which can be useful -- especially if one was thrown into a new code base and expected to test it without knowing anything about the modules. However, for people unit testing their own modules or modules with which they are familiar, I haven't found Isolator's approach to be all that different from other forms of testing. And people running on 64-bit machines will be disappointed to learn that Isolator doesn't support 64-bit yet on Linux.
Isolator is another tool for the developer toolbox, but at $599 I don't think it's likely to gain a lot of attraction in the open source community, a place where most of the coding utilities are available free of charge.
|Released Last Week
CentOS 6.0 "Live"
Karanbir Singh has announced the release of CentOS 6.0 "Live", a set of installable live CD and DVD images based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0: "We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of CentOS 6.0 live CD for i386 and x86_64 architectures. The CentOS 6.0 live CD is meant to be a Linux environment suited to be run directly from either CD media or USB storage devices. Due to space constraints, it was not possible to include all the traditional desktop applications on the live CD. You can though enjoy a GNOME basic desktop, view and modify pictures with gThumb and the GIMP, browse the web with Firefox, send emails with Thunderbird and connect to your favorite instant messaging network with Pidgin." Read the release announcement and release notes for further information.
Zorin OS 5 "Lite"
Artyom Zorin has announced the release of Zorin OS 5 "Lite", a Lubuntu-based distribution featuring the LXDE desktop environment: "The Zorin OS team is proud to release Zorin OS 5 Lite, the lightweight edition of our operating system designed for Windows users using old and low-specification computers. We have released this version ahead of schedule. This new version of Zorin OS Lite is based on Lubuntu 11.04 and uses the LXDE desktop environment, which brings new and updated packages. Many program changes were also made to increase size efficiency and to improve the overall experience. Most notable in this release is that it can now fit on a CD. We have removed WINE, VLC, a few games and other programs to save space and included them into our new and exclusive program, the 'Zorin OS Lite Extra Software'." The release announcement.
Clonezilla Live 1.2.9-19
Steven Shiau has announced the release of Clonezilla Live 1.2.9-19, a new stable version of the project's Debian-based live CD designed for disk cloning tasks: "This release of Clonezilla Live (1.2.9-19) includes major enhancements, changes and bug fixes: the underlying GNU/Linux operating system was upgraded, this release is based on the Debian 'Sid' repository as of 2011-07-22; Linux kernel was updated to 2.6.39; Partclone was updated to 0.2.24; Pbzip2 was updated to 1.1.4; Brazilian Portuguese language was added; the Samba file system with hidden share can now be assigned in boot parameter 'ocs_prerun'; xz compression instead of gzip method was used when making Squashfs, therefore the Clonezilla Live ISO image and ZIP file are smaller by about 31 MB...." Read the rest of the release announcement for a complete list of changes.
Poseidon Linux 4.0
Gonzalo Velasco has announced the release of Poseidon Linux 4.0, an Ubuntu-based distribution with focus on scientific computing: "Poseidon Linux 4.0 is here. Our new release is based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (with 3 years of updates guaranteed by Canonical) as our goals are stability, usability and support for the whole system when used professionally at universities, institutes, colleges and at home. Poseidon Linux is a GNU/Linux distribution designed for the academic and scientific community; it includes a large number of scientific applications, covering areas such as: GIS and geostatistics, visualization, mathematics, statistics, physics, chemistry, CAD, engineering, computer graphics, image editing and vector drawing, numeric modelling and simulation, scientific graphs, scientific authoring...." Visit the project's home page to read the full release announcement.
Poseidon Linux 4.0 - an Ubuntu-based distribution with software for scientific computing
(full image size: 125kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Scientific Linux 6.1
Scientific Linux 6.1, a free "clone" of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1 enhanced with extra software, has been released: "Scientific Linux 6.1 is now officially released and available." Some of the changes since 6.0 include: "A whole new graphical theme called 'Edge Of Space'; we pulled the 'fastbugs' and 'testing' repositories out of the repository file that comes with sl-release, they are now in their own RPM called yum-conf-sl-other. Added several packages to Scientific Linux that are not found anywhere on the Enterprise releases: IceWM - a fast and small X11 window manager; OpenAFS - a distributed file system...." Read the release announcement and release notes for more details.
Garrett D'Amore has announced the release of NexentaStor 3.1, an enterprise-class storage solution built upon the foundation of the OpenSolaris-based Nexenta Core Platform: "After a long and arduous release cycle, I am pleased to report that NexentaStor 3.1 is available now. This release includes a number of key features, including some significant improvements for performance and manageability. Folks using SCSI target mode will probably see the biggest performance boost relative to earlier versions of NexentaStor, especially those folks using NexentaStor to serve up storage to VMware guests -- thanks to the VAAI offload support that is part of this release. And yes, this release includes the fix the long-standing problem with iSCSI timeouts. For ZFS fans, this release also includes the updates for ZFS version 28." Read the complete release announcement for further information.
François Dupoux has released a new version of SystemRescueCd, a Gentoo-based live CD containing a variety of utilities for disk management and data rescue tasks. One of the major items in this version is the brand-new Linux kernel 3.0. From the changelog: "Updated alternative kernels to Linux 3.0 (altker32 + altker64); ipdated firmware in both the initramfs and in the main file system; added support for Linux 3.0 in genkernel; Linux kernel modules are gzipped in the embedded initramfs to save memory; fixed busy CPU in the terminal by downgrading VTE to 0.26.3; updated Parted to 2.4 and GParted to 0.9.0; updated Portage to 2.1.10; updated TestDisk to 6.12; updated Firefox to version 5."
Parted Magic 6.4
Patrick Verner has announced the release of Parted Magic 6.4, a small utility distribution with specialist software for data rescue and disk partitioning tasks: "Parted Magic 6.4. Lots of updates, bug fixes and new features. Parted Magic's kernel is updated to 3.0 and SMP support was removed from the i486 kernel. Some people were having issues with the nouveau X.Org driver, so an option was added to the failsafe menu to revert back to the nv driver. If you add 'clonezilla' to the kernel command line at boot time, you are brought directly into Clonezilla. There are some major improvements in handling of Radeon and Mobile4 video cards. Some major updates on popular core programs as well. Firefox was updated to 5.0, Clonezilla to 1.2.9-19, and GParted to 0.9.0." Visit the project's home page to read the release announcement.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
July 2011 DistroWatch.com donation: vsftpd|
We are happy to announce that the recipient of the July 2011 DistroWatch.com donation is vsftpd, a fast and secure FTP server for UNIX-like systems.
Developed by Christian Evans and licensed under the General Public License (GPL), vsftpd is one of the most widely-used FTP servers on the Internet. According to the project's website, vsftpd is used as the preferred FTP server by many major Linux and BSD projects, including Red Hat, Debian GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, the Linux kernel, GNU, GNOME, KDE and others. It boasts many features, such as "virtual IP configurations, virtual users, standalone or inetd operation, powerful per-user configurability, bandwidth throttling, per-source-IP configurability, per-source-IP limits, IPv6 and encryption support through SSL integration." The most recent version is vsftpd 2.3.4, released in February 2011. For more information please see the project's website.
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Those readers who wish to contribute towards these donations, please use our advertising page to make a payment (PayPal and credit cards are accepted). Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$28,690 to various open-source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NDISwrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300), GCompris ($352), Xiph.org ($250), Clonezilla ($250), Debian Multimedia ($280), Geany ($300), Mageia ($470), gtkpod ($300)
- 2011: CGSecurity ($300), OpenShot ($300), Imagination ($250), Calibre ($300), RIPLinuX ($300), Midori ($310), vsftpd ($300)
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Ascendos. Ascendos is a new enterprise Linux distribution with a commitment to compatibility and transparency. The project is in very early stages of development.
- Helal Linux. Helal Linux is an Ubuntu-based distribution with improved support for Arabic, extra software, custom theme, and other features.
- UbuBox SalentOS. UbuBox SalentOS is an Ubuntu-based Italian distribution that uses Openbox as the preferred window manager.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 8 August 2011.
Robert Storey, Ladislav Bodnar and Jesse Smith
1 • Economic collapse good for Linux? (by The Mad Redhatter on 2011-08-01 09:58:56 GMT from Romania) |
Perhaps it is easy to forget that Linux does not evolve by itself, it is developed by people (programmers, and not only). An economic collapse would also affect the people who contribue code to FOSS projects. Contrary to popular belief, FOSS devs also need money in order to survive and support their families. IMO, losing your job and/or being struck by poverty and famine would not exactly put FOSS at the top of your priorities.
2 • FreeBSD plan to drop GCC due to GPLv3 (by Sean J on 2011-08-01 10:00:59 GMT from Canada)
Not happy to see FreeBSD rejecting GCC and the GPLv3 license. Shows they are more interested in looking after proprietary software developers than even the lauded "open source movement", much less "free software". I used to enjoy FreeBSD (since 5.2.1), but the bad taste in my mouth isn't worth it. I don't like having my freedom bought and sold.
3 • Linux in Africa (by Atle on 2011-08-01 10:37:23 GMT from France)
Dear readers. After spending more than 2 years in various African countries, I can for sure tell you why it does not succeed. Its as simple or stupid as this:
There is no money to collect. Nothing to be stolen. No government kickbacks, no 10% percent commission to the government people. So the public sector, as well as the private, will only deal with MS, that has off course specialized into offering the 10 or 20 percent commission on all sales. Microsoft main sales partner in Tanzania was awarded something like "Partner of the Year" by MS, in 2010.
The only ones that uses Linux are a very limited number of individuals and some University's. To put it into perspective, I once meet a young guy that came to a place to teach in a private school, and he was shocked seeing there is a "internet". He never heard about it before.
As the above article states, MS has purposely made it easy to copy and steal their products. There is no doubt about that.
I have yet failed to see one school, one single internet cafe, that had license for their MS products. I have a copy of a ridiculous "campaign", MS had in Tanzania in 2010 and I hope to scan it and send it to the author of the article, that was very well written.
MS is partnering up with the World Bank, with all kind of projects, while the Linux distro's, are hard to even find. And for sure they can not afford to download this and that as 95% of internet usage is pay pr MB", using mobile internet.
The only solution for Africa and other third world countries, is to focus on education. Get in at the educational level, and even bypass the whole school and government systems. Education is rotten to its roots, with low end teachers, ability to by good grades, papers and corruption.
So there is the chance, as Africa has to become a society, whereas school papers will count less and less and what you can actually do, will be the key to work.
Get into their first experience, trough focusing on USB key computing, as most Africans can hardly buy a burnable CD. As I see it, Puppy Linux Lupu is the absolute most "Third World Friendly" OS, followed by Slitaz Live DVD.
4 • @Sean J #2 (by fossala on 2011-08-01 10:37:55 GMT from United Kingdom)
There not looking out for proprietary software developers there looking out for everyone. Check out OpenBSD (my personal favorite) it uses BSD licensing but hates proprietary software, undocumented hardware and refuse to sign NDAs. That's more "open" than most of your beloved Linuxs with there binary blobs thinking that as long as we have support damn anyone else and there freedoms. Most linuxs are becoming more and more like Winodws and macs. They support free software but moan about not having flash and games.
5 • GNU/Linux is not gonna conquer the World (by Anonymous Coward on 2011-08-01 11:08:59 GMT from Spain)
I tried to write about this subjet last week, but my post was deleted as "off-topic". I am not wasting my time rewritting all what was erased, but I'll just repeat the general idea.
Linux won't conquer the world because of the way the human mind works. Humans use no logic, not really. We are just sophisticated monkeys. We learn by imitation, get used to day-to-day routines and social behaviour and refuse to take part in something that is not already integrated in our brain.
Someone who has been driving the same car 20 years will not change it. He will use the same car until it cannot be used. Why? Because it works, and he is used to it. He could use a newer car, but won't, because the gearing and the general feeling is different. Different=scary.
Someone who has been using a propietary OS won't switch easily because of the same reason. I have seen many times how someone has chosen to use Windows, even when it was evident that Windows was not a good idea. When I say "evident", I mean "EVIDENT". I mean cases were the OS was installed in computers too old for it, or where the funtionality of the OS was lame for other reasons. The resulting systems were slow, uneffective and, ultimately, not the informatic solution a rational being would have chosen. The monkeys did choose them anyway.
It is no good to stick with the same OS forever. For tasks where Windows fails, use other OS. For tasks where Linux or BSD fail, use Windows. We have to choose the tools that fit best for the task. Those who try and try the same tool only to find it does not work for their needs, but still try, are worse than monkeys.
Even a monkey realizes when something does not work.
6 • 4 • Linux in Africa (by joji on 2011-08-01 11:11:59 GMT from Belgium)
Feel you are too bitter. And you may find that I am naive.
Am also working on promoting Linux in Africa. But the situation is not as bad as you describe. Even in Tanzania ...
Agree that corruption is a very big problem, but even in Europe ...
Agree on 'focusing on USB key computing' but blank CD's are widely available in the big cities. And affordable most of the time.
Am not sharing your enthousiasm about Puppy Linux Lupu and Slitaz. What about 'Salix Live' or even Debian?
What about your project for Linux in African schools?
7 • Linux in Africa II (by Atle on 2011-08-01 11:34:55 GMT from France)
My project is currently sleeping, as I have to focus on general survival in life.
I am would like to add that I am not bitter. More like very saddened, by what I have seen and how things seems to work. I think most people would agree to there being corruption in Europe as well and also that CDs are available in even smaller cities.
So please let us know why Salix and Debian is a better choice and let us into what you are doing to promote Linux in Africa.
I think I was VERY modest in my description. Maybe I write a piece about the allowance, NGO's related to Linux and mentality later...
8 • General comments (by Dimitri on 2011-08-01 11:53:02 GMT from United States)
Just wanted to mention a couple of things:
I truly enjoyed reading Robert Storey's feature. Great read.
Also, it's great to hear that CentOS plans some new spins, especially LWS. I was a huge fan of the 4.x "Server CD" as the install was fast, and allowed me to customize that install very granularly and specifically afterward.
So, with the above good news, an as I start the work week, here's hoping it's all high tides and green grass.
9 • Pirated Windows 7 & XP (by Caraibes on 2011-08-01 12:20:00 GMT from Dominican Republic)
Here in the Dominican Republic... Every single piece of hardware runs a pirated copy of Windows... It uses to be XP, but now they all have Windows 7... Of course with MS Office, usually 2007 so far... And every one either completely ignores there is another system, or look down on it because it is not as good as Windows, which is free anyway...
There are plenty of refurbished Dell Optiplex, and netbook Acer One, 1st generation... No one wants Linux, whenever I installed it, folks always asked me to wipe it & install Windows instead...
Asides from that, I think Scientific Linux 6.x is a killer, can't wait to read some reviews... So far I only tried it live.... Very fast... Good ol' Gnome 2.x...
10 • Opinion: Is economic collapse good for Linux? (by The Rifleman on 2011-08-01 12:37:41 GMT from United States)
If one can't afford an I.S.P., on cannot contribute or download Linux! If economic issues become so great I am really cutting costs, T.V., Internet, and Cell-Phones are the first to go!!!! I need four things... 1) A home 2) Food 3) A car to get a job 4) A job to pay for the home, food and car. Everything else is what I want. So economic collapse IS bad for Linux in my world.
11 • Linux, Economy, Desktop Market Share (by Bob on 2011-08-01 12:38:55 GMT from Austria)
Economy won't change a bit. The only things which matter are stability, speed and user friendliness. I believe there are niches for Linux but for desktops it is way inferior to the two other OSes which I do not dare to mention here. I know what I am talking about because I am using Linux for more than a decade, adjusting here and there, ignoring obvious flaws, finding workarounds for bugs which have not been patched in years, etc, etc. Linux has its merits but after the destruction of KDE3 and a probable similar event on the Gnome side I am not too optimistic. LXDE looks good but has it's limitations while XFCE is not to everyone's taste.
So Linux and all related apps will slowly evolve and consistently lag behind operating systems developed and maintained by paid programmers. I will still use it without regret but I am not sufficiently naive to believe that Linux will catch even 5% of the desktop market anytime soon. (Web clients with Linux other than Android stood at 1.02% in July 2011 - median percentage derived from 9 sources).
12 • RE: Pirated Windows 7 & XP (by Caraibes) (by Atle on 2011-08-01 13:03:19 GMT from France)
Its the same in Africa I can tell you. But its one thing good about it. I refuse to "touch" stolen property. That includes MS products. So its a good excuse on not to give any help to those who fill up their PC with stolen things. I just explain that its beneath my moral standards to help a thief. I tell them that they are doomed anyway, with no security updates and a slow heavy(mostly stolen as well), antivirus program chewing up their resources.
So no license, no help.
In some cases I have then made some dualboot systems, for them to be able to use their computer and in a few cases I still get very happy feedback on the OS that was installed.
Sometimes i feel that the discussion about distro's is a bit artificial, as it depends on the amount of ram and your CPU/GPU. I feel I do not need a fancy PC, as Puppy runs smooth on my ten year old one with 512MB ram.
ITs a bit like bikecycles. It does not really matter if your bike is 10 or 9,5 kg. What matters is you legs and motivation.
13 • The end of Windows (by tek_heretik on 2011-08-01 13:04:56 GMT from Canada)
I waited 4 1/2 years for a distro to install easily to my 4 drive Raid 0 (yes, I could have done all that command line configuring but blech, too busy, too lazy), tried 64-bit Linux Mint 10 and voila, now using 11. Was using XP, refused to 'upgrade' to Vista, ah damn it, nevermind the long drawn out story, MS just wants your money (and lots of it) for 2nd rate software, I find most pirated copies have either 'time bombs' in them or viruses, besides, MS and its partners have turned Windows users in to nothing more than a consumer demograpic tool, spying on any and everything possible, noticed that as far back as '98 and didn't like it then either. I make contributions to the open source community, monetarily and otherwise, giving back is important. Ever wonder how many billions, no, trillions MS and their garbage have cost businesses and consumers over the years? We will never know because of their tightly wound, steel trap license agreements. They irk me ethically too, MS is the first to steal an idea and the first to sue if they think they have been wronged, they are in my all time top 10 nasty corporations list (tied for first with the likes of BP, etc), they will NEVER get another dollar from me. I see Windows dying off, people I fix computers for say they hate anything after XP, as for the pirates, hard to make money off of Linux when it's free to start with. Windows IS a virus, a really expensive one.
14 • Year of the Linux Desktop (by vw72 on 2011-08-01 13:42:18 GMT from United States)
Before there can ever be a "Year of the Linux Desktop," there has to be a definition of what that means. Linux is used as the main operating system by many people. Most, are in technical positions or university positions.
However, in the consumer market, where most usage occurs, Linux is hard to find. Face it, with Windows pre-installed (or OS X), most consumers don't have much of a chance to try something else.
There are all of these stories about how "I installed <insert distro here> on my mother's computer and she loves it." The key point of that statement is not that somebody's mother loves linux, but that somebody had to install it for her.
Why are there so many copies of Windows XP still in use? Because the average consumer doesn't install their own OS or even care what their OS is. They will continue running XP until they replace their computer, which will then come with Windows 7.
So, in technical fields, at universities and for the general geek, Linux on the desktop is a reality. For the masses, however, until it is available pre-installed, in large quantities, it is unlikely to ever be the year of Linux on the desktop.
15 • Linux adoption (by Jesse on 2011-08-01 13:52:43 GMT from Canada)
I tend to disagree with the idea that Linux adoption would benefit in a recession. During economic down-turns people usually buckle down and avoid making changes. People and companies alike are unlikely to upgrade servers, buy new computers or make changes to their existing structures because change means risk.... and often cost.
What I've seen in the past is that Linux usually does well during economic growth. When people are buying new hardware and expanding is when they'll look for alternatives to their existing operating system. Market stagnation will probably mean people will stick with what they have.
16 • Linux/BSD are excellent at any time (by AngryTech on 2011-08-01 13:57:28 GMT from United States)
It is EXCELLENT that people like to use Window$ whether the good copies or the bad ones.
Q: What is worse that a pirate copy of Window$?
A: An authentic copy of it of course.
Windows is good for business. Machines get virii, spyware, malware and users cannot use them. That is where we come in and fix them with our Linux/BSD Live CDs and charge them for it. Putting back whatever they want, remember that the customer is always right :) If they want windows, then they get it and we put free* virus protection, free* libreoffice, ghostscript, ..., other nice freebies out there that exist for windows. Image the installation with all the goodies, clonezilla anyone. Save it as `customers-name-pc-`date +%Y%m%d`.img and charge them some $. Take your family to eat out. Then after the customer shoots themselves in the foot, restore their machine off clonezilla's saved image you have. Tell them to come later for it. Charge them again. Put some food on the table, pay your bills. Use linux/bsd to help you.
Who said Linux/BSD is not good in hard times?
Q: What is more important, your values your morals or putting food in your table regardless if you like the competition(Window$)?
17 • 3 - 7 - 12 Linux in Africa (by jojigm on 2011-08-01 14:12:26 GMT from Belgium)
"Sometimes i feel that the discussion about distro's is a bit artificial, as it depends on the amount of ram and your CPU/GPU." Of course!
Feel Africa deserves the full stuff and maybe Puppy is a little bit too limited. That's why I prefer Salix (Live) which is for the time being the best and easiest Slackware available. Why I prefer Slackware, see last week's DW Weekly "Ten reasons ..." But agree about 'des goûts et des couleurs ...'
Am interested to learn more about your Tanzanian experience and would like to see a copy of that ridiculous "campaign" as you state.
Will try to get in touch with you.
18 • It's not about the cost (by Leo on 2011-08-01 14:31:04 GMT from United States)
I think any discussion about Linux' lower cost is bound to hurt. At least in developed economies, where the cost of licensing per employee is typically a very small fraction of the cost of keeping the employee on the payroll. Developing economies are different of course. But proprietary evil monopolies get their piles of cash from the former, not the latter, so let’s focus there.
What makes Linux/Free(dom) software flourish is that it makes people more productive (server), or it’s easier to deploy because it is customizable (mobile market, android). The desktop/laptop market is another place where Linux shines technically, however it is hard to remove an established monopoly. And we let the tablet opportunity go, sadly. In any case, Linux will keep growing where it makes people more productive, no where they save a buck or two, IMHO.
19 • Linux in Africa III (by Atle on 2011-08-01 14:41:35 GMT from France)
I have the ad on my hand as i speak, and its starts of with;
License Compliance Manager
Microsoft, East And Southern Africa
What is Microsoft doing in Tanzania to eradicate rampant software piracy?
Then they start off with education, whereas the main points are:
Awareness, "How to tell" and end that section by warning of identity theft(!)
Then comes a few lines on "Engineering", whereas Windows Genuine Advantage is mentioned.
The comes a blatant lie, and that is "Enforcement", whereas they support the government, laws and enforcement agencies in their(non existing) actions against counterfeits. Its ends with "there is thousands of cases filed trough Windows Genuine Advantage Website and that its actions taken all over the globe.
No logo or nothing. As said, I shall try to get it scanned, but its not a high priority to me right now. Its a funny one and I kept it just to put it in a frame on the wall one day. Its from a Tanzania newspaper on the 11 to17 March 2010.
I honestly do not have time to tell stories or share so much my experiences from Africa. I simply have to much to do. Sorry for that.
PS! Moderator. I will not protest or feel any wrongdoing if this post is deleted, as its very off topic.
20 • Re: The End of Windows (by Kelsey Collins on 2011-08-01 14:54:16 GMT from United States)
Just FYI, the timebombs are put in there by Microsoft so that pirates who don't disarm said bombs can't USE the product after a certain amount of time. Also, if you like Linux better than Windows, fine. But don't go off on this rant about how Microsoft is the Worst Company Ever (TM). I dual-boot Ubuntu and Windows, and each OS has its strengths and weaknesses. I personally prefer Linux (in various flavors), but Windows IS better for some things. I even have OS X in a virtual machine for graphical editing. I guess what I'm trying to say is that Windows is NOT the evil spawn of a hell-bred corporation. It's just one more operating system produced by one more company trying to make a profit. Welcome to capitalism.
21 • How Partitions Break Down (by Bill Savoie on 2011-08-01 14:56:21 GMT from United States)
Some Distrowatch readers might be upset, not inspecting another Linux variation, and reading about the two infant groups fighting in Washington DC. I welcome it. People who live outside the box, spend a lot of their time laughing at the seriousness embedded within our culture. It seems all the 'experts' are wrong, and operating without a clue. We have watched 8086 processors win against 68000 processors, style and marketing winning over substance.
We who understand the old growth forest of Linux, with understanding of vi and regular expressions, will always be successful. Once you tame your mind everything else is easy. We fall from grace when we believe (without testing) our beliefs. As they say in Tibet, he who has awareness is sitting on a pile of gold. The only problem is that he must find it himself.
Keep up the good work Distrowatch. Aware of being aware, and still laughing at what a strange world we all live in.
22 • Re: #18 • It's not about the cost (by Leo on 2011-08-01 14:59:17 GMT from United States)
Let me clarify a bit.Of course the developing economies matter and much, but as long as the big proprietary software companies can milk the developed economies, they will subsidize their growth in the developing ones, and, while at it, invest in patent portfolios to bully around with.
23 • Linux preinstalled (by koroshiya itchy on 2011-08-01 15:03:48 GMT from Belgium)
#14 That is really the point. We are in the twenty first century and yet buying a computer with GNU/Linux pre-installed is extremely hard even for the most enthusiastic expert. I did it a couple of times (at the university) and twice tried to buy one for me just for the sake of supporting the Linux industry but I ended up buying system without operating system. What we have at the moment is:
1) Linux-specific shops: Expensive, old hardware, few options, old-looking websites, hard to find anything, hard even to pay...
2) Big brands. Except for Dell, they only sell systems with Linux pre-installed to corporate customers and it is really hard to find the products on their website (typically well-hidden and sometimes only available on the USA). Then, again, old crap and not a lot of choice. Linux is pre-installed but not pre-configured.
3) Dell. Hard to find, limited choice, old hardware, old Ubuntu not pre-configured.
4) Do it yourself shops. Geek-only.
Then I see Apple. When things started to go bad for then in the desktop sector and the company was at the edge of bankruptcy, they just took BSD, polished it a bit, closed the source, and started to sell it pre-installed in computers with a very fashionable design but a standardised, and pretty conventional, hardware configuration. They charge at least twice the market price for the stuff they sell, their computers give some troubles as anyone else's do, if they get broken it is a nightmare (at least in Europe, where your have to sell the equipment either to Ireland or to The Netherlands) and, yet, their users are probably the most proud and satisfied computer users on the planet. Marketing, marketing, marketing. Well, that is really what Ubuntu is about, but only they have not dared yet to give the big step and to do it right. But, obviously, if you are to compete with the big guys you have to offer something else in addition to what they offer. You probably cannot beat Apple in terms of design (even if you have to try it), but you can easily do it in terms of prices, stability, configuration options, customer support (essential if we speak of Linux), etc.
24 • Ubuntu (by Ray on 2011-08-01 15:13:39 GMT from United States)
I had went an purchased a book about Ubuntu 10.10 with upgrade to 11.04. With 10.10 I began not to understand Ubuntu and when 11.04 came out I was totaly lost. I just gave up and started looking around for a better release. Tried Debian 6 and Linux Mint Debian and it was okay but I was not happy.
With the release of 10.04 LTS 3 I gave a try and was happy again. The software is not to old but sable and runs without problems. They say it will be upgraded to 2013 and by that time maybe the new unity project will be sable to use and I can understand more about it.
25 • amusing (by Anonymous on 2011-08-01 15:34:18 GMT from United States)
The problem with predicting that an economic collapse would force people to move to Linux is that it neglects two key points:
1.) Linux is more expensive than Windows. $4,000(US) per CPU v. $400(US) per machine. Presumably you would have less money in a collapsed economy so why spend money replacing existing systems that are working just fine with a 'solution' that costs more without the added costs of retraining and down time during installation and configuration?
2.) The amount of theater involved in U.S. politics and media reporting: even if the deal reached last night fails to pass both houses of Congress, the President will raise the debt limit on his own using his authority under the XIV Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
26 • Re:25 (by Leo on 2011-08-01 15:41:04 GMT from United States)
What's your math for the first item, where does the USD 4,000 figure come from? It seems pretty strange for something that can be obtained gratis and installed in any existing machine.
27 • Scientific Linux (by David McCann on 2011-08-01 15:54:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
The description of Scientific Linux as being "enhanced with extra software for use in academic and scientific environments" is not true, and anyone getting it in the hope of finding some mathematical software absent from, say, CentOS, will be disappointed. The only extras, listed at the SL site, are abattis-cantarell-fonts, icewm, openafs, and tools for creating spins.
28 • $4000 per CPU? (by Jim Stanford on 2011-08-01 15:56:36 GMT from United Kingdom)
are you on the wrong website , or, what????
29 • @25 (by fernbap on 2011-08-01 15:57:21 GMT from Portugal)
"1.) Linux is more expensive than Windows. $4,000(US) per CPU v. $400(US) per machine."
I don't know which world you live in, but it certainly isn't ours.
30 • RE:Feature Story or maybe fiction. (by Eddie on 2011-08-01 16:00:23 GMT from United States)
Well the article wasn't bad but it was just a little bit, shall we say, on the side of fiction. Here is one example, "intellectual-property laws in developed countries have real teeth. If you think that the Business Software Alliance is going to just sit around on its hands while computer shops in formerly rich countries openly sell pirated software, think again. All the hard-fought battles by the intellectual-property police to instill fear into the public has, for the most part, been a resounding success. A sophisticated surveillance system and accompanying gulag has been painstakingly constructed just to protect copyrights and patents. These victories will not be given up lightly." This statement really made me laugh out loud. There has been no dent made in the pirated software market. The BSA is a joke and can only succeed by offering a bounty to some poor sap to turn in his fellow workers and employers. The copyright, patent, and ip laws are a joke in the way they are written and in how the system works now. People for the most part do not care about those laws. All of that crap has nothing to do or shouldn't have anything to do with the free software movement or with Linux in my opinion. Not a good reason to push FOSS. Maybe this guy wrote this article as a joke but if not he really needs to get back on his medication.
31 • Window$ 7 Sins (by Unknown on 2011-08-01 16:12:09 GMT from United States)
Why is window$ bad?
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
Increasingly, computers are expected to be useful tools in our children's education. But today, most children whose education involves computers are being taught to use one company's product: Microsoft's — Microsoft spends large sums of money on lobbyists and marketing to procure the support of educational departments.
32 • desktop Linux in parts of africa (by sam on 2011-08-01 16:13:37 GMT from Italy)
In Kenya there is Linux but the percentage is also small just like anywhere else. In 2009 I was able to get assistance for my Ubuntu netbook from a guy in Nairobi. In the same country Kenya, it's the provider of a mobile phone that sent me a .deb file so that I could run their internet key. I popped twice in cybercafes, Nairobi and Nakuru and incidentally both were running Ubuntu.
In many other places however there is no Linux because there are no computers.
And if i was in Africa I would only use linux-mint because there is fast internet connection, debian netinstall would be out of question.
33 • Even Christ could not have shared window$ (by Unknown on 2011-08-01 16:15:15 GMT from United States)
See the cartoon linked below:
34 • Even Christ could not have shared window$ (by Unknown on 2011-08-01 16:16:03 GMT from United States)
35 • @ 26, 28, 29 (by Anonymous on 2011-08-01 16:25:18 GMT from United States)
You are clearly not familiar with Red Hat's licensing. btw - The Limux Project (Munich's replacement of Windows with a gratis version of Linux) is how much over budget now?
36 • The US $4000 per CPU myth is still alive (by Basilio Guzman on 2011-08-01 16:33:13 GMT from Puerto Rico)
That amount came about the times when MS Windows Server 2000, first appeared. Some friends swear they saw that dollar amount since the last days of NT Server. The real myth has to do with THE SERVER versions of Windows, not the Workstation versions.
As a Systems Engineer, most of my earnings come from Windows users. They are struggling to do everything with an OS far away from being cheap, dependable, or stable, at least until Windows 7 came out.
37 • Munich (by Anon on 2011-08-01 17:02:27 GMT from United States)
You should check your facts. Munich is still under budget.
38 • Economic collapse good for Linux? (by dc on 2011-08-01 17:29:03 GMT from United States)
>could download from the Internet (which also didn't exist back then).
Actually I think you meant the World Wide Web. The Internet was around long before 1991. I was using it in the early 1980s and except for web browsers, web servers, and bandwidth it was pretty much as it is today. You just used ftp, gopher, etc. to navigate. Not as convenient, but it worked. The Internet began in 1969 when they connected the first two computers together.
39 • Problem with Linux is Unix. (by os2_user on 2011-08-01 17:33:00 GMT from United States)
Unix is only for uber-geeks. I got into computers in '78, a fair techno-geek, moved to MS-DOS, and was first exposed to Unix in mid-80's; I found it shockingly primitive, particularly the text editors (vi is short for VILE, unusable after great full-screen editors in MS-DOS). Nor am I fond of Microsoft; OS/2 is simply incomparable to Win9x for reliability and depth of services, and to later Windows for LACK of stupid frills.
That opinion hasn't changed despite trying various Linuxes: PCLinuxOS 2007 is more than usable, but only up to point where one has to get into Unix's wacky internals, and later versions are loused up with KDE changes and reliability problems, so I'm again stuck in the past. I'll probably move OS/2 to a Linux VM host some day because all the recent "innovations" are just annoying, don't do much useful beyond OS/2.
But it's not just familiarity that makes me prefer OS/2. Isn't enough space -- or attention -- here to outline the reasons, so I'll just say that Unix / Linux is arbitrary and arcane, and I BET that many here think those are advantages.
Windows IS easier to use. I think it does what most people want to do in fairly intuitive ways (or DID up to recent changes for sake of change that merely put a new face on same old crap). But Unix / Linux has a basic design and philosophy that simply is NOT natural to MOST people. For example, I hate mount points and other basic arrangement: those simply aren't needed for a *personal computer*. MS-DOS freed us from Unix, that's a FACT.
In sum, Windows is simply less lousy than Linux. Not to be rude or start flame wars, but true for everyone except uber-geeks.
40 • General comments (by More Gee on 2011-08-01 18:07:55 GMT from United States)
Three years ago we had $200 US copies of Win 7 home OR a Linux under 1gz CPU EEE or XO laptop with a under 5gb HD.
Now with the economy bad you can get a Win 7 laptop OR desktop with a over 2.5ghz 64 bit dual processor with a 250gb HD.
If you bought the Linux laptop 3 years ago the OS will probably not be update-able to no fault of the hardware as the OS won't fit on the HD. Who's fault is that?
41 • Re: Problem with Linux is Unix. (by damaged justice on 2011-08-01 18:10:16 GMT from United States)
I agree with your subject, but not the reasoning you use to support it. For why Unix is crap, I refer you not to the Unix Haters Handbook, but to
"Windows is easier to use..." For you.
I'm no uber geek. I just use free operating systems because they make me want to kill their creators and smash my computer to bits less than the commercial products. Living with minimal stress is very important to me.
42 • 35 (by Barnabyh on 2011-08-01 18:18:57 GMT from United Kingdom)
Some real misinformation day it seems. And what does RHT have to do with the completely gratis and free Debian that Munich has been implementing? My, oh my.
43 • Re: 20 • Re: The End of Windows (by tek_heretik on 2011-08-01 18:22:40 GMT from Canada)
Capitalism? Don't make me laugh! There are laws for corp's like MS, except it would appear they have the courts in their back pockets! Wait, you are right, money does buy anything, even corrupt business practices. Would love to here your opinion after YOU are screwed over by them, lmao. Why don't you do some research on how many times they have been sued (for STEALING code and/or ideas) or have sued somebody else before spouting off! Capitalism means choice, so why is it unless you build your own PCs or laptops (never heard of anybody building their own laptop, at least not yet), M$ Windows is shoved down your throat at extra cost? Because they even have the PC makers by the throat, that's why. Don't even bother to tell me about the odd (very odd) time you can find a brand name PC with Linux on it. Bill Gates wanted and got his monopoly, and the corporate culture AT THAT COMPANY, IS TO KEEP IT AT ALL COSTS! Remember when they tried to kill Java because they saw it as a threat? There were internal doc's to prove it. Knowledge is always good to back up an opinion! :-P
44 • @39 (by Gustavo on 2011-08-01 18:28:06 GMT from Brazil)
No way Windows is easier to use. From installing to actualy using the system Windows is just a slow, inefective, pain to use.
45 • Linux in Africa (by Barnabyh on 2011-08-01 18:39:46 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ubuntu seems quite well-known and better, even used in Eastern and Southern Africa. Particularly in SA around half the internet cafe's and many of the smaller hotels I came across were running it (that's the PC's for the receptionists as well as the ones in the guest area).
For some it seemed they were only sticking with Windows because of the internet cafe/ timer software they had chosen to run. Small things that could easily be overcome.
What I noticed is that it also seems a staff issue. In the smaller shops with young enthusiastic guys (owners/partners?) you were more likely to find Ubuntu and Mac, the bigger shops were employing people who already had a hard time helping their customers out if they encountered a problem on Windows, they were more at home selling calling cards or sending somebody's fax.
46 • RE: #39 os2 user (by Ron on 2011-08-01 18:58:35 GMT from United States)
You're using what??
To try to convince Linux people that os2 is better just shows how much you like to go against the grain. Do you really think anyone here will buy your logic? Only a person who likes difficulty would attempt such a task.
47 • Distro`s? (by Hendrik on 2011-08-01 19:52:33 GMT from Netherlands)
This week i did read weekly news again and i think its another good one!
Keep up the good work thanks.
But; i get tired of readings about "new distros",
the most are spinoffs of ubuntu , ubuntu is ubuntu and thats fine but what do i need to know about another flavour of ubuntu?
Keep it transparent, and talk and write about the main great distro`s, like Debian, Redhat, Suse (open), and so on.
The discussion about windows and Linux, i get tired of,
its any persons choice what to use and how much money they want to spent on it.
Its what you like working whit, and what fits you needs most.
If you like to be the boss on your own Pc use linux or unix, if you have money enouch and you like windows as is please do use it to get the work done.
I myself am a fanatic suse, opensuse user for twelve years now whit every now and then a yourney into debian, and several bsd`s or other unixe`s.
Please compile / code away and try to have fun on your Pc.
Greetings from Holland.
48 • @loper-os linkers (by An Oni Moose on 2011-08-01 19:57:30 GMT from United States)
That guy really needs to get the stick out of his anus. He reminds me a lot of Andrew Tannenbaum from the Tannenbaum vs. Torvalds flame wars. His message is "gee wouldn't it be great if..." The other side's message is "here's something that Actually Exists and Actually Works."
49 • @40 - What?? (by Ali Asmar Lowe on 2011-08-01 20:04:10 GMT from Finland)
I fail to see your point here. That a 3-year-old laptop with SSD is incapable of running modern Linux? Or that a copy of Windows 7 at the same price as said laptop is not Linux?
FWIW, I bought a laptop 7½ years ago. Its 80GB disk is plenty large enough for a modern Linux and it runs Lubuntu 10.04 LTS. It's used for email, browsing, documents (OpenOffice) and graphics (Inkscape, Gimp) among other things, and this message was posted from it. It only has a 1.7GHz Celeron and 1 GiB RAM, but that's adequate for quite a lot of stuff.
50 • legal sofware (by x on 2011-08-01 21:11:47 GMT from Romania)
i am very poor from a poor country and i use linux bacuse is better! no new hardwere, no viruses and plenty of intreresting software...
51 • @40 5GB is big enough for the 'Buntus @49 (by PF Yearwood on 2011-08-01 21:32:22 GMT from United States)
I recently installed a few 11.04 versions of the different Ubuntu flavors into Virtual Box. There is a three part check list now before installation begins. The first is: Hard Drive is at least 4.4 Gig. The third is: Computer is hooked up to Internet. My favorite is Number 2: Computer has power. Who says a major distro does not have a sense of humor.
I agree with Ali. I used Linux on a 1998 PII 400Mhz with 376 of RAM and a PIII Server as a desktop with twin PIII 800 Mhz and 768 RAM until their mother boards died this past spring. I find Linux valuable for reusing off-lease equipment available at many small, family computer stores. When you can find them
52 • microsoftoffs (by Woody Oaks on 2011-08-01 21:58:20 GMT from United States)
Here in the US we are still using English weights and measures (not even the English still do that), but at the mention of the word "Metric" folks here recoil in horror: "Oh no! Not bushels and pecks all over again!" They don't or can't or won't realize that Metric measures would free them from all of that bushel-and-peck nonsense. So also with Microstuff: They have made their peace with one set off quirks, foolishness, unreliability, and expense, and they suppose that any other operating system must necessarily be just as bad. Worse still, they are supposing that by running a Microshaft box they are actually using a computer. No one should expect Bill Gates' kiddy-toy stuff to work well in the real world of adult computers; we don't, and in fact MS users usually don't: either. Have you ever noticed how Micros--t users seem to accept computer failures as fate whereas OSX, Linux, and BSD users tend to view computer failures as unusual and unacceptable?
53 • @52 (by Brandon Sniadajewski on 2011-08-01 23:47:30 GMT from United States)
A little off-topic, but I believe the English still use English units IIRC.
Not all MS Windows users "accept computer failures as fate". I have run into troubles in Windows and Linux and I always look for solutions to the problems. Then again, I am more of a geek than most.
54 • I LOVE (by Atle on 2011-08-02 00:34:12 GMT from France)
wiping my self in those small distro's on old laptops.
1) Puppy Linux... as soon as you tweak it to look like its the 21st Century, is like a endless journey into pleasure and little pain. A great and completely to big forum, with treasures that never makes it to the Lucid repo, and out of control in the sense of not sticking to one concept, but running into new "friends". This Puppy is not to faithful to anyone. Now first mating with Ubuntu repo and then runs of to another distro.
2) Slitaz... One of the least favorable names for a distro, but yet very very special. Comes in many variations for us self wipers and "in love with the idea of bringing life back to old hardware. If I am not wrong it even supports the 386. If wrong it at least supports 486. Beautiful collection of various Live CD and even Floppy install.
3) Tiny Core... Finally came up with a graphical installer, but it was not very friendly to other OS, apart from MS. Never did I really get a grip in that one, but its the most insane and bare bone Linux I can find. It has a nice GUI, that comes up nice on any crap, like Puppy.
Sometimes I am unfaithful to my 3 distro's i love so much. I end up a night or even a weekend with LXDE. But I always come back to Puppy and the others, with the loss of some time, a few burnable CDs, but mostly I feel that I lost it for a moment.
When I try these light versions of the larger distro's, I notice that I do not get more happy. Even if they work on crap hardware.
I just think.. Does this guys and gals, that runs KDE, Gnome 2 and 3, wear sunglasses with a large logo of GUCCI written in GOLD?
55 • VsFTP (by TomasPT on 2011-08-02 01:15:41 GMT from Portugal)
Congratulations to vsFTPd.
its a well deserved prize.
We all use it and works very good.
56 • You need to stop worrying about Windows / Mac Users (by John Biles on 2011-08-02 02:12:52 GMT from Australia)
If your reading this then you have taken the time to discover something new and not be the "Monkey" as one poster posted. Think about it 1% of the computer users in the world use Linux that's Millions of users just like you and me. Ex Window and Mac users who found their way to Linux. More will come and if they don't who cares!! I did once but don't anymore. I got sick of banging my head against a brick wall. These Monkeys really don't care. Be proud of being who you are and enjoy your Linux.
May be hand your co-worker a Banana while they complain about the slowness of the Windows PC, they'll thank you and wonder why your smiling at them!!
57 • Zorin (by octathlon on 2011-08-02 02:48:39 GMT from United States)
Strange thing, I can't find any explanation on Zorin's website on what the difference is between all the versions, or what the size of the download would be for each.
58 • @2 / @23 (by vermaden on 2011-08-02 05:26:02 GMT from Poland)
> Not happy to see FreeBSD rejecting GCC and the GPLv3
> license. Shows they are more interested in looking after
> proprietary software developers than even the lauded
> "open source ovement", much less "free software".
> I used to enjoy FreeBSD (since 5.2.1), but the bad taste
> in my mouth isn't worth it. I don't like having my
> freedom bought and sold.
As probably most 'linux people' You do not understand the
difference between GPL and BSD, the BSD license is more
free and alows You to do everything while GPL tries to be
smarter then You and DISALLOWS some of the freedoms
... like the linker problem, You think why BSDs have CDDL
code (ZFS/DTrace) without a problem and Linux is not
allowed to? Because of the 'almost freedom GPL' ... check
the facts before spreading FUD mate.
> Then I see Apple. When things started to go bad for
> then in the desktop sector and the company was at
> the edge of bankruptcy, they just took BSD, polished
> it a bit, closed the source, and started to sell it
> pre-installed in computers with a very fashionable
> design but a standardised, and pretty conventional,
> hardware configuration.
Again, FUD. The 'base system' for Mac OS X is DARWIN OS
which is ... OPEN SOURCE! You can download it, build it,
and use it (for example with packages from PKGSRC) as
You like, is it so hard to write DARWIN into the Google
sarch box in Your browser?
59 • Parted Magic 6.5 Is Rad. (by Roy H Huddleston on 2011-08-02 07:21:02 GMT from United States)
I really like this version which is 686. It loads a lot faster. How do they get all that on a 172 MB iso?
60 • PureDarwin (by koroshiya itchy on 2011-08-02 07:45:40 GMT from Belgium)
#53 Being based on Darwin and being Darwin is a different thing. In this case, a very different thing. The base system may be open but the final product is not.
61 • Re: #58 (by vermaden ) (by Leo on 2011-08-02 12:23:20 GMT from United States)
Thanks for pointing that the base OS for Apple's OS's is open source, I didn't really know! There is a nice description here:
I disagree on the BSD/GPL discussion though. It is a fairly semantic discussion to declare one or the other more or less free. BSD is certainly less restrictive, but this has allowed evil companies such as Microsoft use it in their own code, close it up, ship it and then use their quick cash to try and destroy the open source movement.
The additional restrictions of the GPL actually protect my freedom, IMHO. Anyways, thanks for educating about Darwin. I guess that's not too different from Android, based on open source but heavily controlled, and mostly behind doors.
62 • GCC vs Clang (by BSD Coward on 2011-08-02 16:04:43 GMT from United States)
The base system will have CLANG/LLVM while the user can install gcc4.X > gcc4.2 which is apparently the last gcc free from GPLv3.0. IMHO just like vermaden has written, these two licenses cannot get along :( The BSD license is less restrictive and that is why many programmers like it over GPL. Both are good, but for programmers, BSD is a less restrictive license and only when interests of companies then things start to be in awkward positions.
In the newly released 9.0 BETA FreeBSD, is base included?
Why it has no apps, no desktop and if base is not there, then one has to get it and build our OS from the ground up. Thanks for your answers.
I have used both systems and I like them both. However, I am inclining to the BSDs more because, they don't get in my way of which programs I can use and they simply give me a base and I have at my disposal a great deal of programs regardless of license I can get. Linux on the other hand, except for a few distros like Slackware & source based distros give me the same. Others complain about a certain program that it is CDDL and cannot be incorporated in because of licensing issues and blah blah blah.
63 • Linux in emerging markets (by Jorge Castillo on 2011-08-02 18:32:17 GMT from Mexico)
@2 by Sean J
FreeBSD folk sure are going to miss, the zillions of lines of code you have contributed or the thousands or dollars you gave to the project.
I see Mac OS X as more of an alternative, to Windows even for emerging markets than Linux, especially in middle income countries like Mexico. When TV shows and talk about technology, Apple products do get mentioned but I never seen any mention of Linux or Open Source. People know about Apple products, and they do use them, I can not say the same for Linux. People may buy Android smartphones, but the fact that Android is OSS is irrelevant.
I mean seeing the prices of boxed Linux distributions, they are not competitive, you can download OS X Lion for 360 pesos(around 30 dollars) and most people do not buy a computer every year. OEM Windows and Office, are already included in the purchasing price and Windows 7 is a great improvement in comparison to old versions of Windows.
The only way that OSS can become a serious alternative, for home users and small businesses, is if the government starts a huge push for it. Or if the companies offering commercial Linux products get their act together. They need to increase their distribution network and give a part of the earnings to the sellers and sell cheaper.
64 • @63 (by fernbap on 2011-08-02 19:38:58 GMT from Portugal)
"They need to increase their distribution network and give a part of the earnings to the sellers and sell cheaper."
You got to be kidding!
65 • flavours (by Jozsef on 2011-08-02 20:15:20 GMT from United Arab Emirates)
I think many flavors of linux are making linux less known and less competitive. I was thinking about that long time. to have only one linux distro and all work together on that one distro and make it perfect :)
everybody says it's not possible. but that's what microsoft and apple are doing. I know the difference is that windows and os x are not free and so on but I'm just thinking. and many says it's great to have a lots of different distros to choose from. yes it's great but makes linux weak (in sense of popularity; aqueous so to say) and not so well known.
I like the idea about government pushing on linux as somebody mentioned above. something like turkish government is doing with pardus for example.
66 • @63 (by TobiSGD on 2011-08-02 20:23:01 GMT from Germany)
"When TV shows and talk about technology, Apple products do get mentioned but I never seen any mention of Linux or Open Source. People know about Apple products, and they do use them, I can not say the same for Linux."
That is simply because they get paid to mention those products, it is called advertizing.
"I mean seeing the prices of boxed Linux distributions, they are not competitive, you can download OS X Lion for 360 pesos(around 30 dollars)"
Why are you comparing boxed Linux distributions with download products? When it comes to download products, I can get almost any Linux distribution for free, that is far less than 360 pesos for that Apple product.
67 • gcc in FreeBSD (by Jesse on 2011-08-02 21:14:40 GMT from Canada)
>> "The base system will have CLANG/LLVM while the user can install gcc4.X > gcc4.2 which is apparently the last gcc free from GPLv3.0"
As others have pointed out, FreeBSD is just looking at removing GCC from the base install. The GNU compiler is still available through the project's Ports collection. There's nothing preventing people from installing GCC, including versions which are licensed under the GPLv3. Versions 4.2, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6 and 4.7 of GCC are in Ports right now
68 • response to is economic collapse good for linux? (by linuxdog1 on 2011-08-03 05:49:55 GMT from United States)
i have come to believe those who use linux are those who are curios enough to want to get to know how a os operates abeit even learning some command line operations.
i have to think that the collapse of economy has no desired effect on anything or anyone except the world's ultra wealthy who can stash wealth in a form other than "money" which also excludes "shares".
it is pure hype that windows TCO is less than linux, and more to the point that microsoft has had manufacturers swear loyalty to microsoft from equipment, to drivers, programs, and pushes the envelope for people to call themselves "computer experts" because they can press a power button.
it is to the credit that linux has overcome such a monopoly. it, in my opinion, is hurtful that ubuntu commands such a following that forks in ubuntu calling themselves a new os is growing so rapidly. linux, like any democracy, is best served by many independent platforms rather than trying to float to a "linux of one"
in otherwords: linux is a product of learning, love, and frustration...but at least you earn your sweat.
69 • @65 Re: Flavours (by megadriver on 2011-08-03 17:59:36 GMT from Spain)
"I think many flavours of food are making food less known and less competitive [...] to have only one type of food and all work together on that one food and make it perfect [...] many say it's great to have a lots of different food to choose from... yes it's great but makes food weak [...]"
If I was forced to eat fish, and only fish, no matter how perfectly cooked, I'd probably die of despair in a short time, for I hate fish (and seafood in general)!
If I was forced to run, say, Ubuntu, and only Ubuntu, no matter how perfectly put together, I'd probably buy me some BSD-friendly hardware and move to FreeBSD, for I, um, kinda dislike Ubuntu (and "premade" distros in general)!
Sure, if someone happens to love Ubuntu, it becoming The One Distro sounds great... But tough luck if Ubuntu is not exactly your idea of what Linux should be...
If the price to make Linux win the "desktop war" is to turn it into a soulless, commercial-driven "one size fits all, take it or leave" OS... that's a way, way too heavy price to pay, if you ask me. It'd become just another rigid, corporate-like, boring Windows/MacOSX lookalike.
Fortunately, as long as Linux and its related software remain open source, this "One Distro To Rule Them All" thing will be impossible to enforce... and that's actually a very good thing! :)
70 • response: Linux is fun (by fernbap on 2011-08-03 18:50:44 GMT from Portugal)
I have no doubt that linux users use it because it is fun.
Fun, however, is very subjective. Linux can only be fun to people who actually enjoy using computers.
I understand that it is hard for those people to understand how can anyone find other OSes fun.
They don't. Most computer users don't enjoy using computers, they use them because they have to. Most computer users are also afraid of any change. Arguments like Linux is Open Source, Linux is free or Linux is fun mean nothing to them.
Most of those users, if given a linux computer, would keep using it with no problem whatsoever. But that is not what they were given.
It is a matter of inercia. Rarely the most used products are the best available, and that applies to every kind of product.
If you want "ordinary" people to move to linux, you will have to find other arguments.
71 • Firefox RAM requirements? (by gnomic on 2011-08-03 23:21:29 GMT from New Zealand)
Lately I brought a ThinkPad R40 back from limbo after discovering the lid switch had been sticking - jiggle the plastic nubbins that operates the switch and hey presto! the screen lights up. The machine has 512 MB of RAM, no swap as no hard disk. However I have been finding that after a period of live CD web browsing with Firefox 4/5, Firefox is being shut down with associated messages about running out of memory.
Anyone know whether the memory footprint in Firefox 4 & 5 has increased markedly compared with the 3 series? This happens with both 'light' and 'heavy' distros. Has 1G of RAM become the new 512? Till now I would have expected to be able to web browse on 512 MB RAM with say 5-10 tabs open for several hours at least.
72 • re:firefox RAM requirements (by JB on 2011-08-04 05:17:17 GMT from United States)
I've been using firefox 6 (aurora) on a machine with 1G of RAM, it works well. My impression is that it starts up slower than chromium but works about as fast once started.
I had a machine with 512mb RAM and from what I could see, Chromium was really the best choice of browser.
73 • On OS piracy, India and China (by Anony Moss on 2011-08-04 08:49:35 GMT from India)
Sorry, did not read many posts, so I'm not sure if others have already pointed out the immense harm microsoft's OS piracy does to Linux or any other operating system. But it needs to be said.
Most people are creatures of habit. Give a computer user a pirated, stunted, insecure and badly functioning copy of XP and that is what they get used to (in fact, have gotten used to). They are loathe to change to any other, and who shall install a copy of linux for them, anyway? At least in countries like India, there are few local vendors who even offer installing a copy of a Linux flavour for their customers. It's always a boilerplate copy of MS's OS. That's what their personnel is trained for, because that is what their customers ask for.
There is immense scope for developing OS and other software in developing markets like India and China... they are relatively free from encumbrances of various kinds that are present, particularly in the US. Software patents for one. There is potential for development and sale here, but would anyone actually get down to it and do it? All the Indian companies seem to be more interested in selling substandard services.
74 • Conversion Tactics and arguments (by Anonymous Coward on 2011-08-04 10:14:44 GMT from Spain)
If you want "ordinary" people to move to linux, you will have to find other arguments.
The conversations about World GNU/Linux Domination are fun but go nowhere. For mass comversion, GNU/Linux would need the support of the hardware vendors, who are not going to betray the gold mine that is Microsoft, so forget about that.
The best conversion method we can use is the one that Satan uses: 'Get their souls one by one'. I usually try to introduce GNU/Linux to people that is likely to like it or need it, not because I am some kind of evangelist, but because I think they will benefit from the switch. Has your friend to repair a damaged install? Hand him a Knoppix DVD and tell him how it works. Has another friend a Windows install that has degradated throughout the years? Place a Knoppix frugal install in his computer. I find Knoppix DVD to be a very good demo distribution.
People does not listen to most arguments, but if they try GNU/Linux and they like it, them their souls are ours!
75 • Crisis time FLOSS (by MJJZF on 2011-08-04 10:17:58 GMT from Denmark)
In my experience, it is only small companies willing to try new systems in a time of crisis. A larger, more complex company will often find it more costly to rock the boat with a transition than to stay with the existing solutions.
76 • re 71,72 those big browser footprints (by gnomic on 2011-08-04 13:24:20 GMT from New Zealand)
Maybe I've found the alpha answer - that's the alpha of Vector 7 Light with Opera 11.50 - look no crashes. New versions daily :-)
vl:$ uname -a
Linux vector.linux.net 220.127.116.11 #1 SMP Sat May 28 15:12:12 MDT 2011 i686 Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor 1300MHz GenuineIntel GNU/Linux
21:13:00 up 7:39, 3 users, load average: 0.16, 0.08, 0.06
vl:$ free -m
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 494 478 16 0 45 139
-/+ buffers/cache: 293 201
Swap: 0 0 0
vl:$ cat /etc/issue
........ ...... VV VV EEEEEE CCCCC TTTTTT OOOO RRRRR
........ ...... VV VV EE CC TT OO OO RR RR
........ ..... VV VV EEEE CC TT OO OO RRRRRR
........ ..... VVVV EE CC TT OO OO RR RR
........ `----' ..... VV EEEEEE CCCCC TT OOOO RR RR
....... ........ ..
....... ......... . VL-LIVE Brought to you by Vector-Linuxn user: vl password: vectorn user: root password: vector
....... ......... . Linux Version 18.104.22.168
...... .......... Compiled #1 SMP Sat May 28 15:12:12 MDT 2011
..... .......... One 1.3GHz Intel Pentium M Processor, 512M RAM
..... ........ 2591.59 Bogomips Total
... ........ vector.linux.net
vl:$ cat /etc/vector-version
7.0 Light Live Alpha 4 built on July-26-2011
Hmmm, better cut and run before something terminates abnormally . . . .
vl:$ cat /etc/slackware-version
vl:$ ps aux | grep opera
vl 673 0.0 0.1 2440 784 pts/0 S+ 21:29 0:00 grep opera
vl 3558 5.5 33.6 242320 170524 ? Ssl 13:37 26:00 /usr/lib/opera/opera
vl 3636 1.3 4.7 128120 24232 ? Sl 13:38 6:15 /usr/lib/opera//operapluginwrapper 56 59 /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/libflashplayer.so
vl 3637 0.0 0.1 3036 564 ? S 13:38 0:00 /usr/lib/opera//operaplugincleaner 3558
77 • Getting Linux familiar to the mass (by Jan on 2011-08-04 19:56:14 GMT from Netherlands)
Maybe bootable secure CD's are a now an opportunity to get Linux more familiar to the mass who tries to find more security against internet-fraud (so money-based interest, the best motivation you can get I think).
Creating a secure Linux-HDD-installation, as recently explained in this forum, is too much for people who have no interest in playing with an OS-installation.
Downloading a specialized ISO and burning it to a (RW)-CD is simple (a USB-stick which can not be write protected is not a good idea).
So then LPS and Webconverger are the hot items to push the familiarity of Linux ?
Maybe this should be promoted?
78 • Crazy (by Josh on 2011-08-04 20:36:48 GMT from United States)
What a crazy article (Opinion: Is economic collapse good for Linux?) We are in a HUGE mess with HUGE debt, and YOU are worried about it being GOOD for LINUX? You are sadly mis-lead if you believe a total economic collapse is good for a product.
79 • @71, Firefox Ram usage (by TobiSGD on 2011-08-04 21:09:01 GMT from Germany)
Yes, the newer versions are using more RAM. But I don't think that this is your real issue. When you are running from a Live-CD, not only the running applications need space in RAM, also all content that is new or changed in the filesystem needs to be held in RAM. So if you have pages open with many images or flash videos you will see your RAM flying away, because the browser caches them to the filesystem. If you will install your Linux to an USB storage device (real install, not live) you will see it working much better.
It also may help not use the "big" desktop environments, but to go for a distro with a lighter DE (XFCE, LXDE or Enlightenment) or even one that uses a WM instead.
80 • RE: 78 Good for Linux (by Ron on 2011-08-04 22:19:09 GMT from United States)
Good for Linux means good for mankind - take it as the meaning, I think! So bad times or not, something good is well, good.
81 • Security for the Masses (by Anonymous Coward on 2011-08-05 14:53:40 GMT from Spain)
Maybe bootable secure CD's are a now an opportunity to get Linux more familiar to the mass who tries to find more security against internet-fraud (so money-based interest, the best motivation you can get I think).
I think bootable CD's (distros designed mainly as Live, like Knoppix) are great for demostrations and even for installations.
The logic in your argument seems nice until it finds a great obstacle: there is not "Plug And Play" security. An ordinary user knows not what a web certificate is, nor what "point-to-point" encryption means, and nor how does it work and how could it be bypassed by a MITM attack. Without a basic understanding, the user is bounded to doom, no matter how secure is his Live CD or his default install. The only way to have a minimum of security it to RTFM once and again and again, and know what? No average user is going to do that. When the "Untrusted Certificate" warning pops up, he won't be able to understand it.
People who knows this kind of security stuff knows too how to defend themselves. People who ignores this kind of security stuff does not know why they need security. "A bootable CD will make my computer more secure? But I need no security, who would crack my computer? The bootable CD thing is complex, stop telling me to try it!"
I had even I guy who refused to set a firewall up because it seemed overkill to him.
Most average users are unaware of the dangers. As they think there are no danger, or that they are not a prey, they won't try to protect themselves. In addition, many average users think that Live mediums could be harmful for the computer, and won't let you touch their machine for a demostration (I hope you carry a laptop for the demo!). Why would them do such a "complex" thing to protect against a Back Hat, when they don't know what a Black Hat is?
This is my experience. I hope I am the only Linux user who lives surrounded by security unaware people, but I guess it's not the case.
82 • Re 77+81, Secure bootable Linux-based CD (by Jan on 2011-08-05 19:17:47 GMT from Netherlands)
Thanks for your interesting remarks.
I am not referring to the normal Live-CD's, however to bootable CD's which are specially made for secure connections (so not for anonymous connections). So at present LPS and Webconverger.
I think your remark about the nonchalance of the normal user is right. However if it is as bad as you mention, then normal users are doomed, their bank-account would be grabble bags.
I think the above mentioned special secure CD's (so not the normal Live CD's) improve against risks.
You at least start with an uncompromised OS. And some common possibilities for problems are blocked.
However I agree that without some awareness of secure internet behaviour, problems inevitably will occur.
83 • request for wireless internet supported operating systems (by sid on 2011-08-05 20:02:37 GMT from United States)
good work guys i have mandriva installed recently but i am not able to activale my mblaze wirless usb internet on mandriva
suggest me any option or any alternative where i can use both wired and wireless internet options
i have windows 7 and also mandriva on two different drives internally
hope i get some good suggestion cause i am new to open source stuff , update me with latest releases and updates . thank you
84 • @83 mblaze usb wireless (by Mike T on 2011-08-05 21:13:22 GMT from United States)
My first suggestion is Google or other search methods. A quick search using the phrase,
mblaze wirless usb Linux
brought the following link among many others.
I don't know how much it (the link) will help you personally but it is interesting to note the technology does (or can be made to) work with Linux.
85 • re #79 512 RAM no longer enough (by gnomic on 2011-08-06 22:11:03 GMT from New Zealand)
Thanks for your response to my comment - I realise there are limitations to running in live CD/DVD mode - was just struck by how quickly Firefox 4/5 fell over in 512 RAM. In recent times I have mainly been using various laptops with 1G RAM which yields more acceptable results. The R40 I mentioned now has a gig installed. I don't use Flash (other than to the extent that it is unavoidable on today's web) and am always glad to see Flashblock installed on live CDs. Opera seems better at coping with a limited RAM environment than Firefox from my recent observations.
KDE and Gnome aren't really practical in less than 1G RAM I think, apart from testing to see whether they will run at all ;-) Even Xfce and LXDE can be cumbersome. Enlightenment is perhaps better but has its quirks though of late it seems to be more stable. Lightweight maybe now means Openbox or fluxbox or icewm. Fvwm still lives with austrumi. A while ago I had godane's remix of Slitaz with extra apps running live for a month or so before Firefox finally gave up, but that would have been Firefox 3.6.x if I recall correctly.
86 • #85 (by anticapitalista on 2011-08-06 22:41:12 GMT from Greece)
Interesting. How about iceape? I'd be interested to know if it fares any better than firefox/iceweasel.
87 • @85: Firefox cache size? (by RollMeAway on 2011-08-06 23:33:46 GMT from United States)
I suggest you limit the cache size for firefox:
Check the box to "Overide automatic cache management"
Maybe set it to 10MB for a live environment.
Sounds like your are just filling up available ram with each visit to another web page?
88 • austrumi forums (by gnomic on 2011-08-06 23:48:24 GMT from New Zealand)
Anybody ever succeeded in registering with the austrumi forum at forums.slackers.lv? Just made an attempt and was rudely rejected for offering an email address that could not be used, and getting the anti-spam string wrong - maybe my eyes are going, but trying to pick out the characters seemed near impossible, the most challenging I've ever seen
I was going to ask them why they persist in offering a network connection utility that appears to just plain not work with a wifi access point using WPA? Anyone who knows the answer please feel free to explain, or point out my error.
89 • Iceape/SeaMonkey on 512 RAM (by Robin on 2011-08-07 01:01:08 GMT from United States)
@Anticapitalista: 512 RAM on my old Dell Dimension is more than enough to run SeaMonkey in Xubuntu (10.04). Trouble-free, plenty fast.
Re: #79 - By the time my distro reaches end-of-life (two more years!) if the next LTS version of Xubuntu is too much for my 'puter, there are still plenty of options, *including Xfce.*
90 • Re#85 (by 123 on 2011-08-07 03:37:47 GMT from United States)
I use FFv3.6.19 with 512M RAM.
I have browser.cache.disk.capacity set to 0(zero).
This runs on Debian Squeeze with WindowMaker for a desktop.
On many occasions I have more than 15 tabs open.
I avoid Flash like the plague, rarely ever use it at all.
Even with many other apps open I rarely see more than 1k of swap ever used, usually zero swap.
I have tried FFv4 and FFv5, but I just don't like the new interface and methods they bring.
The only time I even remember swap actually getting used is when I tried to edit huge images, the kind which are over 100Mbytes in size.
I am guessing my choice of desktop is what really helps in minimising memory usage.
I know to me it sure seems the system is faster for it.
Did this help?
91 • linux for the bad times ahead (by meanpt on 2011-08-07 09:02:16 GMT from Portugal)
I guess the same problem will remain ... or not, depending on what consumers will look after: critical mass allowing the use of the same applications, timely new hardware recognition out of the box without having to revert to long documentation and insanely labirintic foruns and long term support plus continued development credibility and reliability, provided by distro and hardware vendors. Despite RH not being such a good OS in timely recognizing new hardware, it fares very well on all the other items for its entreprise target market.
92 • #74 Linux conversion? (by zykoda on 2011-08-07 10:31:58 GMT from United Kingdom)
Prohibition (Forbidden fruit, Alcohol, Drugs..etc) seems the most successful conversion strategy. Withdraw Linux from the masses, make it difficult to obtain, but I don't know what the attraction would be? Work that out and it will be a winner.
93 • Bad Economy Good for Linux? (by dragonmouth on 2011-08-07 12:38:10 GMT from United States)
Article is nothing more than punditry, entrail reading, tea leaf gazing and wishful thinking. There are too many variables involved to form even an inaccurate opinion. As anybody who has been involved with computers for any amount of time should know, the predictions of pundits and "experts" rarely come true. DW ought to stick to reviewing and discussing O/Ss and leave economic forecasting to the shamans that claim to understand economy.
94 • re 86,87,89,90 using the web without much RAM (by gnomic on 2011-08-07 13:21:16 GMT from New Zealand)
Hi anti - never thought of SeaMonkey/Iceape - will have to pull out a stick of RAM and run antiX with 512 in the interests of scientific observation. Must be interesting where you live lately, but looks like interesting times are everywhere all around the world . . . .
#87 Will look into those cache settings. However I feel something has changed with recent Firefox versions. Firefox seems to be falling over a lot more than I previously observed over a range of distros on the same hardware.
#89 Hmmm, SeaMonkey in Xubuntu 10.04. Not sure I can reproduce that, but interesting regardless.
#90 So WindowMaker is the answer? Plus Debian squeeze. I could believe that. Pure Debian goodness. But what on earth gave you the idea that Flash is a plague? :-) I suppose there had to be Flash or something like it given the widespread televisual addiction. You are of course using Firefox 3.6.x which didn't seem to pose the same problems I've been seeing of late. However your comment was helpful.
95 • Epiphany (by Caraibes on 2011-08-07 15:18:38 GMT from Dominican Republic)
For low-ram & low-cpu, I would definitely recommend Epiphany, as it is webkit based, and very responsive... It doesn't have all the Firefox bells & Whistles, but it does have an adblocker !
96 • Re#94 (by 123 on 2011-08-07 19:27:55 GMT from United States)
I forgot to mention that I also have pre-fetching turned off.
If I want to see something, then I click on it.
Instead of having FF download tons of pages just in case I may be interested.
For me no pre-fetch is plenty quick and less wastefull.
97 • @96 123 (by Brandon Sniadajewski on 2011-08-08 01:00:12 GMT from United States)
Where would I find the settings for pre-fetch on Firefox (I have the beta2 of version 6)
98 • RE: 97 (by Landor` on 2011-08-08 02:11:24 GMT from Canada)
Type: about:config in the url bar, then search prefetch.
Keep your stick on the ice...
99 • re #95 Epiphany (by gnomic on 2011-08-08 04:46:01 GMT from New Zealand)
I have used Epiphany from time to time. A while back it didn't quite make the grade, after a period of browsing it would commonly crash. Of late however it has seemed more durable. It survived live sessions of some hours with paldo linux a couple of months back while I was trying out their live CD with Gnome 3.
100 • Zorin OS Lite 5.0 (by KevinC on 2011-08-08 05:12:23 GMT from United States)
I've seen several other posts praising this distro. Must give props. Very good LXDE implementation---best yet. Was playing w/ Natty on my netbook, but gawd it was so slow. LXDE per Zorin is so much faster and a breath of fresh air. Only used about a week, but I think it has found permanent netbook OS. It's been so good I would pay 4 it. Very well done, indeed.
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