| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 491, 21 January 2013
Welcome to this year's third issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Fuduntu is an unusual distribution in that it uses a fairly outdated base system and desktop (GNOME 2), but keeps many of the more visible applications continuously updated. It's still a young project, but it continues to evolve and it will be interesting to see how it copes with the package update process in the future. Jesse Smith installed version 2013.1 to take a look at the latest release from a project that seems to have found a good compromise between the much-loved old and the intriguingly new desktop and software. In the news section, Fedora 18 was finally released and it comes with a most extensive choice of desktop user interfaces to date, SolusOS announces a fork of GNOME 3 Fallback mode that will ship with its upcoming release, and OS4 attempts to build a distribution that focuses on satisfying a general desktop user in terms of features and desktop layout. Also in this issue, a quick Questions and Answers section on accessing encrypted disk drives from a live CD, an introduction to a Debian-based distribution with Trinity (a KDE 3 fork) as its default desktop, and the usual regular sections. Happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (19MB) and MP3 (30MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First look at Fuduntu 2013.1
The Fuduntu distribution was originally based on Fedora and took steps to make the popular Red Hat-sponsored distro friendlier to desktop users. Recently the Fuduntu project has branched away from Fedora and now maintains its own package repositories and introduces its own independent changes. Fuduntu is now a rolling release project and posts new ISO snapshots about four times a year. The first snapshot of 2013 was announced earlier this month and it carried a number of new features I found interesting.
One of the new features in Fuduntu is the Jockey utility, a program which probes the system for hardware which can make use of third-party or non-free drivers. The Jockey application then offers to download these proprietary bits and install them. The Jockey tool has been popular in the Ubuntu community and I am happy to see it spread to other desktop oriented projects. Fuduntu is also the only Linux distribution of which I am aware which has included both the Netflix desktop software and Valve's Steam client. The Steam client is native Linux software designed to assist users in purchasing and downloading games. The Netflix desktop package is, in fact, Windows software that has been bundled with WINE to allow users to watch videos from the Netflix catalog.
The Fuduntu distribution can be downloaded as a DVD ISO in both 32-bit and 64-bit builds. The downloaded ISO is approximately 960MB in size. Booting from the image brings up the GNOME 2 desktop. A welcome screen appears on the desktop providing us with links to the project's documentation, forum, blog, social network websites and IRC channel. Should we run into problems there are certainly many avenues by which we can seek assistance. Dismissing this helpful window we find a classic desktop environment with the application menu at the top of the screen and a launcher at the bottom of the display. A single icon for launching the system installer sits on the desktop. The desktop's wallpaper shows a tiger. My first impression of the graphical environment, with its dynamic launcher and big cat image, is that Fuduntu is trying to make users of OS X feel at home.
Fuduntu 2013.1 - the default GNOME 2 desktop
(full image size: 1,574kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Fuduntu, following its Fedora origins, uses the Anaconda system installer. The graphical installer walks us through confirming our keyboard layout, setting a hostname, providing our time zone and creating a root password. The partitioning section is fairly powerful, letting us set up LVM volumes, RAID or regular partitions. Encryption of partitions is supported. The version of Anaconda that comes with Fuduntu has a few issues. For example, the root partition we set up must use the ext4 file system and the installer demands an additional partition be created for GPT. The last screen of the installer allows us to configure and install the boot loader, GRUB2 in this case.
The first time we boot into Fuduntu a graphical wizard appears and walks us through some final configuration steps. We are shown the project's licensing information and then we are asked to create a regular user account. The following screen lets us either set the system's clock with the current time or enable clock synchronization using time servers. With these tasks completed we are brought to a graphical login screen.
When I first logged into Fuduntu one of the first things I noticed was an icon for Jockey which appeared in the upper-right corner of the screen. Clicking this icon allowed me to install non-free drivers for my video card if I so desired. Shortly following the appearance of the Jockey icon I also noticed another icon in the system tray which indicated software updates were available in the repositories. This is where I ran into my one serious issue while using Fuduntu. This distribution uses PackageKit, as do many other distributions. PackageKit has a bad habit of locking the package database and not letting go, occasionally for a long time. The first day I was using Fuduntu any time I tried to install third-party drivers, run the software updater or make use of the package manager whichever program I was using would sit idle, waiting for the package database to become available. PackageKit would never release its lock and so I was left waiting. Eventually I solved this problem by disabling the PackageKit service and, from then on, managing software was smooth sailing.
On the subject of package management Fuduntu provides a regular graphical application for package management referred to as Add/Remove Software. This program provides a simplified interface which allows people to search for packages and add or remove software. Other than being a touch slow at times, this graphical front-end to YUM worked quite well. There is a second program in the application menu called Ailurus which can also be used for basic package management. Ailurus is part package manager, part system settings tool and part repository manager. Despite the fact Ailurus takes on several tasks, it has a nice interface with clearly labelled buttons and I found it a useful program to have, especially when it came to customizing the desktop environment.
Fuduntu 2013.1 - managing desktop packages and settings with Ailurus
(full image size: 285kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Fuduntu comes with a nice collection of desktop software. The developers appear to have stuck to a one-app-per-task philosophy, trying to select the best (or perhaps the most popular) application for each category. We are treated to the Chromium web browser, the Thunderbird e-mail client and the LibreOffice suite. The Dropbox client software is available to us as is the Pidgin instant messaging client. The GNU Image Manipulation Program is installed by default alongside the Shotwell photo manager. We find the VLC multimedia player installed, the cheese webcam app, the Brasero disc burner and Deja Dup for performing backups. Fuduntu comes with a system monitor, the GParted disk manager and Network Manager to help us get on-line. Like its parent, Fuduntu has a great collection of programs for performing system administration tasks and this makes working with the firewall, user accounts, printers and system services a breeze. We also have a full range of GNOME configuration tools to help us adjust the look & feel of the desktop. In the background we find a full range of codecs for playing multimedia, the Adobe Flash plugin, Java and the GNU Compiler Collection. As it uses a rolling release model Fuduntu regularly updates its software, but at the time of writing the distribution supplies the 3.6 version of the Linux kernel.
I have mentioned Fuduntu uses the GNOME 2 desktop environment by default and this raised some questions in my mind. I know a lot of people are fond of GNOME 2, but it is no longer maintained upstream and most distributions producing new releases have moved on to using GNOME Shell, Cinnamon or the MATE desktop. I e-mailed Fuduntu's lead developer, Andrew Wyatt, to ask about this unusual choice. He indicated the Fuduntu team is maintaining the GNOME 2 packages and keeping up to date with security fixes. GNOME 2 still has a large following in the Debian and Red Hat communities and so the legacy desktop is still being widely maintained by various downstream developers. This allows Fuduntu to continue using GNOME 2 while the developers examine various migration options.
Fuduntu 2013.1 - system administration tools
(full image size: 410kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
The two features of Fuduntu I was most interested in trying were the Netflix and Steam packages. I found the native Linux Steam client in the Fuduntu repositories and installed it without any problems. I was able to get it up and running, sign in and browse games available through the Steam store. Netflix, a program which allows for the renting and streaming of videos, wasn't quite as straight forward. Installing the Netflix package installs WINE, the Microsoft .NET framework and other packages required by the software. Trying to run Netflix from its application menu entry didn't produce any results. Running it from the command line revealed that the Firefox web browser dependency was missing. It isn't the Linux Firefox package which is required, but rather the Windows build of Firefox which is needed. I manually installed Firefox using WINE and, from that point on, Netflix worked. I'm pleased to see development in this area as games and entertainment are generally the few remaining reasons many people continue to dual-boot. Having software, like Netflix, even if it requires a compatibility layer, will be a welcome addition for many users.
I ran Fuduntu on a physical machine (dual-core 2.8 GHz CPU, 6 GB of RAM, Radeon video card and Realtek network card) and in a VirtualBox virtual machine. In both environments Fuduntu performed well and I encountered no serious problems. Sound and networking worked out of the box and my screen was set to its maximum resolution. I found that when running on physical hardware with the default video drivers parts of my desktop wouldn't always refresh in a timely manner, leaving behind little artefacts (bits of windows or blank areas), but performance remained good. Fuduntu combined with GNOME 2 makes for a fairly light operating system and I found the system would only use approximately 140 MB of RAM when logged into the desktop.
After playing with Fuduntu for a week I have some mixed feelings about the distribution which I will try to break down into a handful of pros and cons. In the negative column we find the Anaconda installer. While it works, Anaconda is showing its age and some of the issues in Fuduntu's version have been corrected in more recent versions of Fedora. Fuduntu, in forking away from its base has managed to maintain a more stable and (in my opinion, appealing) desktop environment, but it comes at the price of missing the improvements Fedora has introduced elsewhere. This shows up in a few places, but mostly in the installer. Having PackageKit running on the default install made any software management impossible until PackageKit was disabled. The YUM package manager is a great tool and the graphical front-ends are good and it's a shame they are attached to the ball and chain which is PackageKit. I'm not sure if sticking with GNOME 2 should fall into the "pro" or "con" column. It's familiar and lighter than most of the environments which have sprung up to replace it. I suppose this is very much a personal preference issue. Is using GNOME 2 a sign of stability and maturity as options are evaluated? It certainly appeals more than having Fuduntu jump ship to whatever unstable alternative comes along. On the other hand, some may see using software which is no longer supported upstream as a losing battle against time.
On the positive side of things I have to say I'm pleased with the direction the Fuduntu team has taken with regards to the end user experience. Once the system is up and running we get a pleasant desktop experience with an uncluttered menu. I like that the distribution takes the approach of one-app-per-task and chooses the best program for each job rather than programs which match the desktop environment. It means users are getting good, powerful programs and it is obviously more important that these programs work rather than having them conform to some idea of toolkit purity. As I mentioned before Fuduntu provides Valve's Steam client and a Netflix package and it is the first distribution I know of which includes both in its repositories. I think this will appeal to a lot of users. Fuduntu is unusual in that it appears to be a conservative distribution and yet it maintains a rolling release model, constantly (if slowly) updating. At this point I haven't used Fuduntu long enough to determine how well this approach works. Balancing stability with upgrades is a hard line to walk and I wish I had more time to discover how well Fuduntu's repositories hold up to long term use. Overall, my impression of Fuduntu has been that it is a little rough during the initial setup phase. After that initial hump, it is pretty smooth sailing. The distribution is clean, quick and seems well suited to home desktop and laptop computers.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Fedora 18 with "mobile" and "classic" desktops, SolusOS forks GNOME 3 Fallback, OS4 in spotlight
So Fedora 18 was finally release last week, exactly ten weeks later than originally planned. The brand-new system installer is the main new feature and the principal reason for the extended delay in the development process. But there is more, as PCWorld's Katherine Noyes notes in "Five notable new features in Fedora Linux 18", including the presence of the GNOME 3-like MATE desktop in Fedora's official repositories: "The introduction of a mobile-style paradigm in the world of Linux desktops has been just as controversial as it has in Windows 8, causing no end of debate over the merits of modern contenders such as Ubuntu's Unity and GNOME 3. The enduring popularity of GNOME 2 has been striking in contrast, and we've already seen numerous examples of efforts to preserve the classic desktop. Now, Fedora is offering a like-minded option in the form of MATE. 'This desktop is perfect for users who have been running GNOME Classic or other window managers like Xfce as an alternative to GNOME 3,' the Fedora team notes in the software's release announcement."
For those who enjoy "mobile" interfaces on their desktop and laptop computers, GNOME 3.6, as shipped with Fedora 18, offers many interesting improvements. David Rice investigates them in this Linux Library article entitled "GNOME 3.6 User Interface Improvements for Fedora 18": "With this release the GNOME team has decided to focus on aesthetics and accessibility for the maximum number of users. The user interface has been upgraded with several small but significant changes. Fedora 18 is the first distribution to feature the GNOME 3.6 desktop. The active workspace inside the activities overview will now appear with clearer highlighting. One of the most notable changes to the GNOME Shell is how applications are launched. The applications tab was removed and incorporated into the activities overview. The grid button located inside the GNOME 3 dash can now be used to locate additional application launchers. The dash will appear when the activities overview being displayed. This change is meant to draw more attention to the activities overview search bar which is actually quite powerful."
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But let's get back to the classic desktop. Last week, the developers of SolusOS, a well-received new distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux, announced a fork of GNOME 3's fallback mode. Its name is Consort desktop environment and it will be part of the upcoming SolusOS 2 when it's launched. The project's lead developer, Ikey Doherty, explains the reasons behind creating Consort: "We've forked GNOME Classic (fallback) and the fork will be called Consort. The reasoning for the name is very simple, the desktop always accompanies you. Why did we fork it? Mainly to protect the users of our desktop components. Pinning patched packages higher than underlying packages proves far too tricky. The amount of patches in each mentioned component qualifies fork-status anyway, so it was time to admit it. Some projects are well under way, such as Athena and Consort Panel, and some are brand new, such as the Consortium window manager. With our forks, we can maintain an experience virtually identical to GNOME 2, but vastly improve it with no need for hardware acceleration such as with GNOME Shell or Cinnamon." Visit the above link for screenshots.
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Another up-and-coming Linux distro project with an aggressive release schedule is OS4, a Xubuntu-based distribution with a highly customised Xfce desktop. ComputerWorld's Rohan Pearce takes a detailed look at the project in Linux distro spotlight: OS4 OpenDesktop: "Desktop Linux has come a long way from the good old days when getting a window manager working required opening an XFree86 configuration file in vim and figuring out why the fsck X wouldn't load. However, while modern Linux distributions may outshine their predecessors they still frequently leave much to be desired when it comes to usability, especially for non-technical people, says Roberto Dohnert. Since its creation in 2006, he has been working on OS4, a Linux distro squarely targeted at users who just want to know three things about an OS, according to Dohnert: 'One: Does it work well? Two: Does it run the apps I need it to run? Three: Can I watch YouTube and listen to music?' OS4 is derived from Ubuntu. 'We strip out everything and then start to recompile it adding multimedia codecs, device drivers and applications,' explains Dohnert. 'We also add support for devices not supported by vanilla Ubuntu, such as support for WebOS-based devices.'"
|Questions And Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Accessing encrypted drive from a live CD
Protected-during-travel asks: Is it possible to access my data on an encrypted drive from a live CD/USB, in the event the host system will no longer boot? I've been in the habit recently of encrypting the entire drive of my travel laptop during the install process if the option is available.
DistroWatch answers: Assuming the reason behind the system no longer booting is a problem with the operating system (a software issue) and not a matter of hardware failure then it is possible to access data from an encrypted partition. Typically there are two important steps involved. First we need to let the operating system (running from our live CD) know where our encrypted volume is and then we need to mount it. Let's look at an example where we have an encrypted file system on partition /dev/sda2. We can perform the following steps from a live CD assuming that the cryptsetup software package is available to us.
First we inform the system that /dev/sda2 is our encrypted partition and we assign a name to this partition. For the purposes of this example I have decided to name the partition "encrypteddrive". Once we run the following command we will be asked to enter our encryption password:
cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/sda2 encrypteddrive
Next we create a mount point where we will access the data:
Finally we tell the operating system to take the encryption partition (identified by the name we assigned it earlier) and attach the partition to our MyDrive directory:
mount /dev/mapper/encrypteddrive MyDrive
Our data will now be available, unencrypted, in the MyDrive directory. We can access, copy or edit the files as required. When we are done recovering our data it is important we clean up after ourselves. To do this we first unmount the encrypted partition and then remove its record from the system:
People using recent releases of Ubuntu and derived distributions will have an easier time accessing their encrypted home folders. Once the user has booted from the Ubuntu live CD they can mount the disk partition containing their home folder. The data in the home folder can be accessed by running the command:
cryptsetup luksClose /dev/mapper/encrypteddrive
This command will search for encrypted folders on the drive and, assuming it finds one, will prompt for the user's password. The unencrypted data is temporarily made available in the operating system's /tmp directory.
The above solutions make certain assumptions: you have a live CD or USB device, you can recall your password, the hard drive is not physically damaged and you can install cryptsetup over a network connection if necessary. To handle cases where those assumptions do not hold, I recommend having backups. I try to remember to make copies of my data prior to traveling and I leave the copy at home. In the event my laptop is damaged or goes missing it is good to know a recent copy of my files is available somewhere.
|Released Last Week
Manjaro Linux 0.8.3 "Openbox"
Carl Duff has announced the release of a new Manjaro Linux edition featuring the lightweight Openbox user interface and the Synapse semantic launcher: "Manjaro welcomes another addition to the family in the form of our brand-new Openbox flavour. Designed and built exclusively by the Manjaro team, this lightweight, sleek, and super-fast flavour comes with a unique twist - traditional menus are not used to find and launch applications. Instead, the heart of the desktop is Synapse. At first glance comparable to a typical menu search bar, Synapse is in fact a very powerful and versatile tool that boasts a wide range of useful features, particularly due to the optional plugins available. Some of these features include: locating and launching applications faster than menus; accessing specific file types such as documents, pictures and movies...." Read the full release announcement for further information and a screenshot.
Fedora 18, the latest stable version of the Red Hat-sponsored community distribution of Linux, has finally arrived: "The Fedora project is incredibly delighted to announce the release of Fedora 18. What's new? The user interface for Fedora's installation software, Anaconda, has been completely re-written from the ground up. Making its debut in Fedora 18, the new UI introduces major improvements to the installation experience. It uses a hub-and-spoke model that makes installation easier for new users, offering them concise explanations about their choices. Advanced users and system administrators are of course still able to take advantage of more complex options. The general look and feel of the installation experience has been vastly upgraded, providing modern, clean, and comprehensible visuals during the process." See the release announcement and release notes for a detailed description of new features.
Tomáš Matějíček has announced the release of Slax 7.0.4, the latest update of the project's Slackware-based live CD with KDE: "A new version of the Slax pocket operating system has been released. Improvements and fixes include: added 'load=' and 'noload=' boot parameter support to filter loaded modules; better bootinst.sh compatibility with Ubuntu and its clones; PXE now tries to get Slax data over TFTP (from the same server) if HTTP connection to port 7529 fails; fixed a bug which appeared when using from=... to load Slax from a path which included a directory with two letters; fixed URL open in KDE, so clicking a link in Pidgin for example opens it in Firefox instead of downloading the URL by KDE kioslave; support for special files in Slax bundles; the autobuild system now adds a file /run/requires to all modules which require other modules...." Read the rest of the release announcement for a complete list of bug fixes.
Karanbir Singh has announced the release of CentOS 5.9, a Linux distribution built from the source code of the recently-released Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.9: "We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of CentOS 5.9 for i386 and x86_64 architectures. New features: the UOP added native MySQL support to Postfix, you might consider moving from the postfix-mysql package from the centosplus repo to this package if you are using the centosplus package only for MySQL support; java-1.7.0-openjdk (Java 7) support has been added in CentOS-5.9, java-1.6.0-openjdk (Java 6) is also still available and most things java in the distribution still use Java 6; ant17 (Ant 1.7.0) has been added to CentOS-5.9, the older ant (Ant 1.6.5) is also still available; Microsoft Hyper-V drivers have been added to allow CentOS to be more efficient as a virtual machine when installed on Microsoft Hyper-V server...." For more information please consult the release announcement and the detailed release notes.
Juergen Daubert has announced the release of CRUX 3.0, a lightweight, x86-64 optimized Linux distribution targeted at experienced Linux users: "More than 11 years after the release of CRUX 0.5 for i686, CRUX 3.0 is the first release for the x86-64 architecture. At the time Per Liden had created CRUX, the i686 processor on base of the 32-bit Intel IA-32 architecture was state-of-the-art and therefore chosen by him as the default optimization for CRUX. But nowadays the i686 architecture is more or less obsolete, at least for desktop machines, and superseded by the x86-64 architecture. Toolchain updates: CRUX 3.0 comes with a multilib toolchain which includes glibc 2.16.0, GCC 4.7.2 and Binutils 2.23.1. Kernel: Linux 3.6.11. CRUX 3.0 ships with X.Org 7.7 and X.Org Server 1.13.0." Read the release notes for additional important notes.
UberStudent 2.0 "Lightweight"
Stephen Ewen has announced the release of UberStudent 2.0 "Lightweight" edition, an Ubuntu-based educational distribution designed for learning and teaching academic computing at the higher education and advanced secondary levels: "I'm very pleased to announce the release of UberStudent 2.0 Lightweight edition. It is designed to reinvigorate older or slower computers, and for netbooks, as well as for anyone who simply prefers a lightweight Linux distribution. Great care and testing has gone into aiming this release as the most feature-filled, polished, and stable lightweight Linux distribution available for education. It features a synergy of smartly chosen installed applications and web apps. The result is a remarkably full-featured desktop that enables you to be productive even if you lack Internet access." Read the rest of the release announcement which includes known issues and a screenshot.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database|
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New distributions added to waiting list
- ArchPup. ArchPup is minimalistic Puppy Linux variant built using Arch Linux packages, with Pacman installed and configured as the default package manager. Combining speed and low-resource requirements from Puppy Linux with this powerful and efficient package manager, ArchPup provides a light-weight, portable operating system and gives full control to the end user.
- Colorwheel OS. Colorwheel OS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution with a goal of making it painless to switch from Windows to Linux.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 28 January 2013. To contact the authors please send email to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, suggestions and corrections: news, donations, distribution submissions, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (feedback and suggestions: podcast edition)
1 • Fedora 18 (by Mad Max on 2013-01-21 10:38:45 GMT from United States) |
The new release of Fedora 18 looks great. I'm happy to see they are offering a choice of desktop environments like MATE.
2 • MATE (by skin27 on 2013-01-21 11:34:23 GMT from Netherlands)
Don't understand that Fuduntu and SolusOS aren't using MATE?
3 • Fuduntu (by Daniel on 2013-01-21 11:36:28 GMT from Brazil)
I use Fuduntu for more than a year in a production system and I simply couldn't find a better distro. I view it as an enhanced red hat 6 - nearly as stable but with better desktop, more updated software (gcc, kernel, cmake, etc..) and with bundled multimedia support. I came to Fuduntu from Scientific Linux and there I'll stay for a great while. Many thanks to Andrew, M4t3us and other developers.
4 • StaleMATE (by kurvuljmeg on 2013-01-21 11:47:01 GMT from Hungary)
Ikey says at SolusOS blog:
"MATE is a complete fork of GNOME2, and based completely on dead-technology. It’s fast becoming incompatible with newer glib builds. Not only that it’s a long way away from GTK2, and isn’t compatible with GNOME itself. Our desktop forks only the components of fallback itself, completely GTK3 using the latest technologies, and 100% compatible with GNOME itself, requiring no patching or forking of apps themselves.
Our fork will include totally new and original code, whereas MATE is essentially a renamed GNOME 2.32 source tree with Ubuntu Ayatana patches, and some hacks. We intend to bring back the original GNOME 2 experience and expand on it, without limiting user options or breaking compatibility."
5 • MATE (by ssam on 2013-01-21 12:33:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
When GNOME3 was released the devs made it impossible to have GNOME2 and 3 on the same machine (by making the package/library names clash). Distros that wanted to offer GNOME3 (fair enough, lots of people like it) had to stop including GNOME2. Plenty of distros still have GNOME2 in their stable release (Redhat, Debian, Gentoo). GNOME2 never stopped working, and lots of people are still using it. Redhat will be supporting GNOME2 (in RHEL6) until 2020/2023.
MATE was a quick hack. Do a find and replace on the names and you have something that you can install on modern ubuntu or fedora, without effecting other packages. Writing something that worked like GNOME2 using the GTK3 is a multi-year project. So in 2011, 2012 and probably 2013 MATE is the best answer to having a classic desktop on a modern distro. The MATE developers have not just sat on that code, they have been adding features (eg undo redo in the file browser), and gradually porting to new libraries (check their roadmap).
I use MATE now, and i expect in 2 years time i'll be using GNOME2 styled desktop built from GTK3. whether that is GNOME3+extensions, Cinnamon, MATE, Consort, XFCE or something else, who knows.
6 • More desktop forking (by Mark on 2013-01-21 12:48:41 GMT from United States)
I suspect that Fuduntu and other distros that still offer GNOME2 will eventually make the switch to MATE. With that being said, it seems like MATE occupies a middle ground between Xfce and Cinnamon that could eventually vanish. Eventually Cinnamon will run on hardware without 3D acceleration, and Xfce gains more GNOME-like functionality with each release. Still, I don't expect MATE to go away anytime soon. Once users get hooked on a particular interface, you'll have to pry it from their cold, dead hands before they give it up.
The "Consort" fork of GNOME3 might be interesting, but it will likely be made redundant once the next version of Cinnamon without the need for 3D acceleration is released.
7 • SolusOS and .pisi (by Darkman on 2013-01-21 13:26:30 GMT from United States)
While Consort is interesting, the porting of Wheezy to .pisi by the SolusOS team is quite noteworthy. It should reduce upgrade times to a fraction.
8 • Android / Nexus 7 weirdness with Linux Mint 14 MATE... (by Kevin Scribner on 2013-01-21 13:28:22 GMT from United States)
hey there, DW people --
this is an extension of a request for help i'd made here some weeks ago...
background: i have an emachines M250 netbook which i finally wiped Windows 7 Starter Edition off of and installed Mint 14 MATE... it's been all peaches and cream with one minor exception: i have a Google Nexus 7 Android tablet [Asus, really], the 8GB model [since discontinued], and when i plugged it into the netbook via USB, absolutely nothing happened... so, i posted my issue here, and several fine folk came to the rescue with excellent advice... which, sadly, did not solve the problem, but at least i had directions to look in...
at the end of the day, i was able to set the Nexus to be read as a camera, rather than a multimedia / storage device, and i could access the two ["DCIM" & "Pictures"] follders in which pictures are stored therein, but no other folders were visible... heartened by partial success, i kept plugging away at it, researching the issue on the web...
so, today, i tried the methodologies described on the following pages, in the following order:
now, the last one seems to have worked... when i plug the nexus in and then open a terminal and type in "go-mtpfs /media/MyAndroid" [minus the quotes, of course], i get a MyAndroid icon on the desktop which i can explore and use like any other device -- success...!!!
point the first: i HAVE TO keep that terminal window open until i later unmount the device, or else all hell breaks loose... not such a high price to pay, though...
but here's the real problem... after following the 4th set of instructions, those steps somehow interacted with one of the other sets of instructions, because now when i plug in the Nexus, a "Nexus7" icon appears... i can explore it, with limited success, but i cannot unmount it later... when i do [from the GUI], i get an error window stating:
"umount: /media/Nexus7 is not in the fstab (and you are not root)"
[minus the quotes...]
the nautilus window for that Nexus7 icon tends to freeze up a lot, and i don't know if i can safely just unplug the Nexus, so i've been shutting down the machine before unplugging...
interestingly, when i run the command lines indicated in that fourth tutorial, i get the MyAndroid icon, which operates much more effectively than the Nexus7 icon in Nautilus, right underneath the Nexus7 icon, and i unmount that by command line as per the instructions [i haven't scripted them, i just keep the instructions in a note on the desktop and enter them manually into a terminal window... the second terminal which i use to unmount the MyAndroid icon, makes the MyAndroid icon disappear and returns the first terminal window, which i used to mount it in the first place, to an active command line after yielding up some usage statistics...
i'm still a Linux n00b, only been plugging away at it for a few years, but i'd like to have a better understanding of what's going on here and what i can do about it, particularly about the Nexus7 icon... i don't mind that the interface where my Nexus 7 isn't so "perfect" as it may have been under Windows 7, so long as i'm able to get the job done without too terribly much foolishness and difficulty...
sorry i went on so long about it, but i wanted to provide as much information as possible to get better replies... any insights would be deeply appreciated...
thanks for reading, and thanks to the DW folks for getting so much great Linux and open-source information out there, and for providing a forum like this for n00bs like me to get answers and ideas and education...
9 • Fedora 18 updates (by Derek on 2013-01-21 13:48:52 GMT from United States)
Fedora has been my "goto" os since Fedora 6 or 7. With the exception of 1 or 2 releases since then it has been excellent. Fedora 18 has one new feature that I dislike and has me searching for a new linux version. The new "windows" style update (the best way i can describe it), forcing a reboot to finish the update. Having to shut down and restart the computer, wait for updates to install then reboot again is (imo) a complete waist of time and productivity.
10 • Very partial question to 8 : too many mountpoints after too many tutorials? (by dbrion on 2013-01-21 14:17:40 GMT from France)
there is something I do not understand : with your 3rd tutorial (jeshurun.ca's one), you create a mount point (/media/nexus7) in /media and make it public (by "mkdir" and "chmod".)
If you want to try another method, have you thought of removing (as root, with "rm -r" , say ) /media/nexus7 **with your tablet unplugged, of course** : normally, other tutorials do not assume you have to make your mountpoint directory by yourself.
11 • Fedora, MATE, etc (by Ron on 2013-01-21 15:05:33 GMT from United States)
I had tried Fedora off and on for a few years. A short time for each install. For awhile I was using Ubuntu, up to Unity. I Then switched over to Debian for awhile. For personal reasons I decided to check out Fedora 17. I loved it so much I am now hooked on it. Considering how modern they keep things it is much more stable than I thought it would be. Fedora 18 KDE spin is great.
I tried Unity and my experiences with it made me leave Ubuntu. I also tried Gnome 3 and left Gnome because of it. Maybe if I had a touch screen or on mobile devices, with a touch screens, it would make sense to use either. However I want a DE on my desktop that works the way it is suppose to, the way I want it to.
It is great that the old Gnome is not dead and gone. I am sure in a year or two things will change. We might have new forks of the old gnome, other forks may not survive. XFCE is a great alternative as well. Personally I am using KDE more these days. But I also have LXDE, XFCE and MATE DE's installed. Of course along with that I have my favorite WM installed, Fluxbox. Things seem to be moving much faster with Linux than they use to. I think it is great. I can't wait to see what things look like in another year or two.
12 • Fuduntu and delta update plugin (by comm sanjay on 2013-01-21 15:55:43 GMT from India)
Thanks for excellent review of Fuduntu. Your review Fuduntu 2012.3 said "Fuduntu comes with the delta update plugin enabled, but the project does not appear to make use of the feature".
Could you clarify if the latest version is using this feature to save some bandwidth?
13 • Fuduntu and delta update plugin (by comm sanjay on 2013-01-21 15:58:06 GMT from India)
Thanks for excellent review of Fuduntu 2013.1.
Your last review of Fuduntu version 2012.3 said "Fuduntu comes with the delta update plugin enabled, but the project does not appear to make use of the feature".
Could you clarify if the latest version is able to use this feature to save some bandwidth and to what extent?
14 • Fuduntu's Good, But Not Much Like OS X (by jonc on 2013-01-21 16:05:20 GMT from United States)
Fuduntu is no more like OS X than any other Gnome 2 distribution that uses a dock. It's a rather good distro. But, the comparisons with OS X don't hold up. Any distro can be themed to look like OS X. But, the architecture of OS X is quite different.
Red Hat's current RHEL releases use Gnome 2. Red Hat will provide Gnome 2 security updates and fixes until they EOL the current release. That's a few years in the future. I believe Fuduntu is incorporating those updates when that's appropriate.
15 • You Don't Need to Reboot to Update F18 (by jonc on 2013-01-21 16:11:58 GMT from United States)
Derek, you don't need to do the reboot thing to update F18.
You an update just fine with a "sudo yum update" or via the "Check for Updates" menu entry of the Software tool.
The update/reboot feature targets admins who need to control when updates occur.
16 • Fuduntu delta update (by Jesse on 2013-01-21 16:58:39 GMT from Canada)
>> "Your review Fuduntu 2012.3 said "Fuduntu comes with the delta update plugin enabled, but the project does not appear to make use of the feature". Could you clarify if the latest version is using this feature to save some bandwidth?"
The Fuduntu distro comes with the presto plugin, which is used for delta updates. However, there do no appear to be any delta packages in the distribution's repositories. I did not witness any delta packages being used during my trail.
17 • Fuduntu & Netflix... (by Vukota on 2013-01-21 17:28:37 GMT from United States)
So far I thought it is not possible to run Netflix on Linux (or at least I was unsuccessful in finding a way to do it in the past) and kept Windows for that particular task. Fact that Fuduntu succeeded in doing so (in a no hassle way), will definitely make it my distro of choice on my media boxes. If some other distro has the same thing please let me know.
18 • Fedora 18 (by Charles Burge on 2013-01-21 18:07:50 GMT from United States)
I gave Fedora 18 a quick try and I thought the new installer was interesting. I have one major complaint though, which is that I had a very difficult time setting up the disk partitions. My installation was in Virtualbox, and I had configured two virtual disks. One was 12 GB in size and I wanted to use it for the root partition, and the other was a 1 GB drive for swap. The installer kept wanting to set up some sort of LVM, which I did not want. It was extremely difficult to tell it, "use /dev/sda1 for / and /dev/sdb for swap". In the end I managed to get it set up the way I wanted, though I'm not sure how. As graphical installers go, I have yet to see anyone do it better than Mandriva.
19 • XFCE uncertain future and disappointing present on Ubuntu (by sol on 2013-01-21 18:11:14 GMT from Hungary)
How can we install current Xfce 4.10 on Ubuntu 12.04 base? Anybody knows about updated Xfce 4.10 PPA?
Ubuntu 12.04 as base might be better than 12.10 because Xorg and kernel bugs and regressions but we can't use it because the official Xfce 4.10 PPA doesn't updated anymore, so we miss out updates to Ubuntu 12.10.
20 • Fuduntu (by Walt on 2013-01-21 18:34:52 GMT from United States)
Thank-you for the review of Fuduntu. I have been using it since 2012.4 when someone suggested it as something I should look at for my Em250 net book. I had tried several distros on it but Fuduntu fit the small screen perfectly. I liked it so much I put it on my main computer and use it as my main distro. With the rolling release I do not have to do a total install when a new release comes out. Since I have done the updates (with only one manual one) I have a current 2013.1 machine. I moved from a "buntu" clone to this and will not look back. It really had to be something special for me to leave Debian based distros. I hadn't used a RPM system for over 5 years. This is worth checking out if you want something stable for every day use!
21 • @ # 10 (by Kevin Scribner on 2013-01-21 18:35:26 GMT from United States)
thanks for your input...
it occurs to me, well after the fect and with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, that i should have tried to "undo" each of the unsuccessful efforts after trying them, so as not to "taint" future efforts, which is precisely what seems to have happened...
it is so strange that method #3 didn't work until after method #4... *shrug*
okay, so, if i "sudo rm -r /media/nexus7" [with the tablet unplugged], that should solve the Nexus7 icon issue, you think...? any adverse interactions i might expect...?
the dark and ugly downside of being in over my head... sounding like an idiot in a public forum... :-) but, this is how i learn...
i guess i'll try it and see what happens, and post the results... thanks for the suggestion...
22 • @19 - Xfce + Ubuntu 12.04 (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2013-01-21 18:42:21 GMT from United States)
Sol, maybe you just need to add Xubuntu's ppa?
See http://linuxaria.com/article/xfce-4-10-on-ubuntu-12-04?lang=en or http://ubuntuportal.com/2012/05/easy-way-to-install-xfce-4-10-desktop-environment-in-ubuntu-12-04.html
Or just add universe repository?
23 • Fedora's hub-and-spoke has a flat tire (by Woody Oaks on 2013-01-21 18:57:51 GMT from United States)
I have been installing Red Hat and Fedora systems for over nine years now, and F18's installer is far and away the worst I have ever encountered. With my experience I was finally able to execute an installation, but I can't imagine how a novice could make any sense of it. At the very least a GUI should be visible, but the installer's font is far too small and faint. Then there are the hide-and-seek games with the partitioner which are really clever and really inappropriate. That partitioner's page's "help" documentation is even more than an incomprehensible mess - It is an excessively verbose incomprehensible mess. Slackware's venerable installer uses far fewer hardware resources and makes far more sense: It is legible, logical, concise, and complete. SuSE too has an understandable and useful installer and excellent documentation along its left-side margin. Could it be that this Fedora 18 release was delayed for two months because it took that long to make the installer this bad?
24 • @22 (by sol on 2013-01-21 19:27:49 GMT from Hungary)
Xfce 4.10 PPA maintainer wrote he will not update the PPA, so now I must use Xubuntu 12.10 for up to date Xfce. For example weather plugin doesn't work anymore when I tried in 12.04.
25 • undoing successive tutorials (RE 20) (by dbrion on 2013-01-21 19:34:44 GMT from France)
", if i "sudo rm -r /media/nexus7" [with the tablet unplugged], that should solve the Nexus7 icon issue, you think...?"
"any adverse interactions i might expect...?"
You should try method/tutorial number 4 and , if you feel it necessary, seek help in the fora of your favorite distribution :
if the tutorial is difficult to understand/ (wrong : that is unlikely) may be they can fix it (as they are nearer the author )....
26 • Evolution (by DonM on 2013-01-21 20:17:30 GMT from United States)
Is Evolution mail and calendar a thing of the past? I can't find any distro that mentions is at all. And while my Toshiba P755 used to support it back at Ubuntu 10.04 and 10.10, all the newer distro's only support it partially. Some a bit more than others, but none furnish complete support for it, even those that run MATE or Gnome forks. I need a good calendaring function, and Thunderbird and Lightning just don't cut it for me. Pear 6.1 seems the closest in functionality, but even it is missing things. (Doesn't spool to the outbox) I guess something in the interface has changed because this machine used to run it perfectly and now no release fully supports it. Any info appreciated.
27 • @17 Netflix on linux (by DavidEF on 2013-01-21 20:40:15 GMT from United States)
I haven't tried, but after reading the review from Jesse above, it seems it should be possible to install Netflix on any linux system by first installing WINE, then Firefox for Windows (in WINE), then Netflix for Windows (also in WINE). I don't know why Firefox would be necessary, but Jesse said Netflix wouldn't work without it in his review of Fuduntu.
28 • Evolution (by sol on 2013-01-21 20:43:25 GMT from Hungary)
Maybe some Centos-like distro good for you? I faced this problem when I want to install my notebook's modem which was supported by linuxant driver and works well with Ubuntu 8.04. Now it's impossible to set up with recent alsa and kernel versions. Not supported anymore. It's a kind of planned obsolescence.
29 • Netflix/@17/Fuduntu/Consort (by cwwgateway on 2013-01-21 22:30:50 GMT from United States)
There is a netflix ppa for Ubuntu that uses a patched version of wine. Fuduntu has this, and there is also a package in the AUR. Other distros can use wine to do this, but they have to patch their version of wine.
Fuduntu is a great distro, and I have been leaning towards it more and more recently. The only thing that is holding me back is that I really like Debian, and especially Debian stable. I'm impressed that they've added netflix and steam, which are much harder to get on pure Debian.
I like SolusOS, but it seems to be trying to do too many things considering its resources (1 part time dev). It's converting all of wheezy to .pisi, building Consort, backporting packages, etc. Much of the work being done seems somewhat redundant (I use Xfce and Cinnamon for a Gnome 2 feel, and I'm very happy).
30 • Just a few things... (by Barnabyh on 2013-01-22 00:13:15 GMT from United Kingdom)
@24 Just compile the weather plugin yourself and you're good, no need to update the entire distribution. I suppose it's that thing about change in poviders that hit the xfce weather a while back.
@29 Yeah, that's a small inconvenience with Debian. Steam needs at least glibc 2.15 which hasn't landed in Debian yet although most other newer distributions carry it. We'll have to wait until after the release for testing or unstable to start moving again, whichever one you follow. Stable won't cut it for that.
31 • @ #10 (by Kevin Scribner on 2013-01-22 01:29:09 GMT from United States)
hey there --
there actually was some small form of interaction -- after rm-ing the /media/Nexus7 mount point, the terminal windows which i use mount and unmount the MyAndroid mount point, as per mothodology #4, act a bit differently when it comes time to unmount and unplug the Nexus [the unmount command no longer works from the second terminal window -- it says the device is busy -- i've been closing the first terminal window (in spite of the warning message) and then issuing the unmount command in the second terminal window), but it still works, so I'm calling it a qualified success...
thanks for your help -- deeply appreciated...
32 • Fuduntu (by Hoos on 2013-01-22 13:01:53 GMT from Singapore)
I have been using Fuduntu since version 14 (ie, before it became a full-fledged fork of Fedora - unintended alliteration!), no problem with the rolling release updates right through its conversion to Fedora fork.
Around 2012.2, my installation went wonky because I tried to be clever and installed only some of the updates listed, instead of all.
I learnt my lesson, reinstalled the whole thing and now apply all updates listed. Haven't had a problem since. It's running smoothly and in fact, seems to be faster. According to my updated Grub2, it's now on 2013.1.
I run it on a Pentium 4 PC with 1 GB RAM.
33 • Fuduntu (by Hoos on 2013-01-22 13:03:34 GMT from Singapore)
My initial version was 14.10, I think.
34 • eyes opened (by JimboL on 2013-01-22 14:54:42 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks for the review of Fuduntu. Just browsing around trying to find some info in it and I came across this page. I'd never heard of it before I bought a used laptop from www.sellmylaptopuk.co.uk which had this OS on when it came. I was going to just install windows 7 cause I must admit I don't like change (change!!!) but after having a play with it I must confess I have had my eyes opened. Never previously considered other OS's, hate MAC OS, heard of Ubuntu, even downloaded it once but lost interest and didn't install it in the end. But this little lappy for now can stay with Fuduntu, everything seems to work which is what I want - I not teccy, am very lazy, don't like thinking, just turn the key and the engine starts.....
35 • Fedora-18-x86_64-DVD.iso (by zykoda on 2013-01-22 17:10:09 GMT from United Kingdom)
I was curious to discover how the new anaconda 18.xx performed given some adverse comments I read above. My experience with installing from the subject medium using a DVD was positive. Normally I would not use DVDs from which to install, since I prefer a direct disk method via GRUB2 as I see little advantage in using USB stick as yet another intermediary device, but on this occasion I did not take the trouble of recasting the initramfs to comply. The installation was destined for the second primary partition of a pre-partitioned sata drive, and I chose NOT to install the GRUB2 bootloader, but rely on the already existing MBR GRUB2 on another hard drive after an "update-grub" pre-first boot. I found the handling of existing partitions both precise and succinct. What I do think is that the installer would benefit from an active area of screen so that the eye does not have to search continually for any options, that may easily be missed, or any relevant status reports. Some confidence feedback would also be of value. For a first attempt this is not bad. But improvements as a UI are possible. If it were a motor vehicle, the first impressions would be poor -- keep the eyes on the road ahead, navigating, viewing without obscuring are important. By the way, I used KDE, not Gnome.
36 • @35 Fedora (by Ron on 2013-01-22 18:28:04 GMT from United States)
I agree. For their first try the installer is good. I did find it a bit confusing and I have been using Linux for quite awhile now. I a can work through these things easily enough. However I am sure new users would be more than just a little lost, they might even end up damaging there data if they are not careful. Since I always assume any upgrade or new install might damage my other hard drives/data, I usually just disconnect all my hard drives, except the one I am going to install, and I use that whole target hard drive for the install.
As you said though. Some more obvious and clear options would be a great improvement. I think they will get it right. The rest works great. The only issue I have now is Python 2.7 likes to crash, not sure why yet. I don't think it is a Fedora issue though and it is not interfering with anything of importance to me at the moment.
They are off to a great start with this new changes. I look forward to 19.
37 • Distros (by Dave Postles on 2013-01-22 19:38:38 GMT from United Kingdom)
I'm back with Trisquel 5.5 now that the upgrade to 64-bit specifically recognises my 22" desktop monitor. I used the 32-bit before, but had some issues with the 64-bit. It feels good to use the FSF-recommended distro again. It's also good to have clamtk easily available in the repo. Having DuckDuckGo as the default search engine in Abrowser is also felicitous, so I no longer have to bookmark DDG (Google avoids corporation tax in the UK).
As to the RHEL clones, I prefer Puias which I have on a notebook, and it is one of the earliest re-spins of RHEL.
38 • @ Kevin Scribner (by Carlos on 2013-01-22 21:08:28 GMT from Mexico)
Sad to be true:
The MTP support in Linux is poor, is the truth (see below for...)
After positioning on top: The Android Linux Renegade Operating System turned his back to the GNU/Linux World ¿Why? They dropped the USB Mass Storage Protocol support in most recent versions.
Android 4+ only support the Microsoft Technology MTP -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_Transfer_Protocol
Being a dark protocol, android instead of helping us, rushed to help the bitten apple.-> http://www.android.com/filetransfer/
Forgetting the root of the system ...
Fortunately, Ubuntu came to the rescue ->https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Nexus7/Installation , install and remove the garbage Android.
39 • Thanks Fuduntu (by ema on 2013-01-22 21:31:03 GMT from Italy)
Once I tried Fudunt I forgot all other distros: rock-stable, updated software, fast!, compiz and dock just works. I use it now on all production machines,just puzzled why not so much popular ( at least on DW), all people I installed on their pc still thank me :-)
I just had to do a little search for fc14-15 rpm packages if missing some program however you can find anything.
Give a try!
40 • @9 (by Adam Williamson on 2013-01-23 08:22:42 GMT from Canada)
There's no need to switch distributions. You can do an online update by using yum ('yum update'), or running 'Software', clicking Software in the panel (assuming you're using GNOME 3, otherwise it'll be in the menu somewhere) and clicking "Check for Updates", or you can call gpk-update-viewer directly from a console or with alt+f2. Various other options too, of course. The default update install method is only a default.
41 • @38 MTP in Android (by DavidEF on 2013-01-23 19:42:41 GMT from United States)
Maybe I'm not paranoid enough. There are a lot of things I don't like about Microsoft policies, practices, and products. But, what is your beef with MPT? Forgive me, I don't know anything about it except what I read in the Wikipedia article you linked. The benefits of MPT over USB mass storage are mentioned in the article. I see nothing amiss here. After reading what's written in Wikipedia about it, I can understand Android devices using this method over USB mass storage. It helps to protect the device from corruption, among other things.
42 • @41 MTP = DRM (by Carlos on 2013-01-23 20:37:12 GMT from Mexico)
In short: you lose freedom.
It goes against the fundamental principles of GNU/Linux:
"In particular, MTP Initiators may have to provide passwords and other information to unlock files, or otherwise enable restricted capabilities.
MTPZ, the Zune Extension to MTP specifically denies access to files until authentication has been processed, which is only possible using Windows Media Player 10 or higher."
I do not like Microsoft or the manufacturer to control data exchange between my PC and my tablet.
43 • SolusOs and Consort panel (by Chanath on 2013-01-23 22:00:27 GMT from Sri Lanka)
I have a great respect for Ikey and his ideas. Once, the consort panel would be distro-agnostic, it would be the best panel with Gnome2 like features, but working fully with Gnome3. SolusOS2 alpha or not is the best distro I've ever used. If I could get Dash to work with it, it'd be really super. It works very well with MAC OSX like Slingshot. The Ubuntu ppas can be installed, so itis the best Debian based distro yet!
44 • Linux in general (by colin on 2013-01-23 22:40:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
ive been using fedora since fedora core 3, i remeber u use to having to edit a text file to get the internet working. Whats happend to it recently. The constant release date delays. Never any mention of intel graphics , mind u theres very little mention on intel graphics on any other distro. I get sick of hearing about the constant releases of ATI/Nvidia drivers for linux, theres just hardly ever any mention of intel drivers.
45 • fedors spins - any mirrors other than official site? (by gnomic on 2013-01-24 06:12:31 GMT from New Zealand)
Anybody know of an alternate mirror hosting the Fedora spins or perhaps alternate desktops is the term nowadays? I am looking for the Xfce version. Here at least I am finding the official Fedora site where the downloads are to be found slow and erratic, and on my 3rd attempt the d/l has just been truncated at 618 of 691 MB. However my attempts to find some other source have so far not succeeded. Anybody?
46 • @42 MTP (by DavidEF on 2013-01-24 13:11:05 GMT from United States)
The way I read that, the MTP gives the device manufacturer and/or the device owner the ABILITY to lock some files. The Zune is a Microsoft device, hence the Windows Media 10 requirement for opening locked files on the Zune. It doesn't mean that other manufacturers will make their devices with the same requirement. In short, being able to lock some files on a device is a FEATURE of MTP, and one of its main advantages over USB Mass Storage. I'm thinking about people opening their device storage on their desktop, looking for pictures or music, inadvertently screwing up their device, because they don't know what they're doing.
If we're going to pick a fight with Redmond, let's fight them over their 'Restricted Boot' scheme. There's a menace! There's something designed to keep you from using your laptop, desktop, or computing device to its full potential! But MTP is just a file transfer protocol. It is meant to facilitate people finding their own files on a device without corrupting the device. Seems pretty straight forward to me. Then again, as I said above, I know nothing about it except what was in that Wikipedia article you linked. If you have more information about it, I'd be glad to see it. Until then, I'm not worried about it. Then again, I'm not one of those that assume EVERYTHING Microsoft does is evil.
47 • Re: #40 Fedora update (by silent on 2013-01-24 13:36:56 GMT from France)
The official benefits of Offline System Updates: "Replacing libraries and files while the OS is running can cause problems ranging from application crashes to inconsistent system states where processes are using different versions of a library at the same time. By installing system updates 'outside' the normal system operation, we avoid these problems. Secondary benefits of the work done for this feature include that we are downloading all updates before we notify the user about available updates, and thus avoid unpleasant wait times." I have PackageKit disabled, so I haven't even realized until now this new feature, although it is included in the release notes..
48 • @46 Yes, pick the right target @45 Try smaller bites? (by Fairly Reticent on 2013-01-24 18:14:01 GMT from United States)
@46 DavidEF - I don't blame Microsoft (at Redmond) for some hardware vendor's deliberately defective design either. If what you get is cheaper than what you paid for, look first at who designed and made it.
What should be done is educate others on how to detect such major defects, and how they reduce the value of the product. In clear, plain language.
@45 gnomic in NZ: How stable is your connection? Why do you think the source is faulty? (but then, that would push people to try torrent, bandwidth's just another expen$e so many want to $hare) if the spin isn't reachable, xfce is an included option on the dvd image.
49 • I must be getting old (by Bill Savoie on 2013-01-24 18:16:11 GMT from United States)
I love the idea of running Linux on my cell phone. I can imagine myself using vim to edit a bash script, or updating my website using my phone. I love the new book 'Practical Vim' by Drew Neil. Yes I know I am living in an alternate universe, but vi for me is still king. This freedom, this unchanneled possibilities, can only come if you go back to basics, and learn from the ground up. Or perhaps I am just getting old.
50 • @42, @42 MTP (by Ron on 2013-01-24 19:01:14 GMT from United States)
"I'm thinking about people opening their device storage on their desktop, looking for pictures or music, inadvertently screwing up their device, because they don't know what they're doing."
Perhaps I'm too harsh and/or sinister, but personally I think people who use computers and don't know what they are doing will eventually find a way to 'screwing up their device'.
The entire world seems to have adopted the stance of making everything idiot proof. Fine, except, idiots are ubiquitous and will continue just as cockroaches do. Forget them!
51 • MTP is a step backwards for Android & GNU/Linux (by Elcaset on 2013-01-24 20:35:21 GMT from United States)
I agree with Carlos. MTP is a step backwards. I won my Nexus 7 in a raffle, & it's a very nice device in many ways. However, it has no SD or microSD slot, so to add my FLAC files to Nexus 7, I don't have any good options: I need to get my computer science degree, & struggle with CLI commands that may bork my GNU/Linux box , or my Nexus 7 tablet.
Another option is to use Microsoft Windows to put my FLAC files on my Nexus 7 (an option I really don't like, but MS & now Google do like).
My third option, & the one I'm going to stick with, is to use my old original Droid phone (Android 2 series) to play my FLAC files, since I can easily use GNU/Linux to transfer files to it. This means, I'll use my Nexus 7 tablet for other things, but most of the time, I'll use my old Android 2 series phone.
52 • @46 DavidEF (by Carlos on 2013-01-24 23:52:15 GMT from Mexico)
"If you have more information about it, I'd be glad to see it"
"MTP is still buggy and may crash despite the best efforts of developers."
"This seems to be a problem as MTP support in Fedora (perhaps in Linux
>> in general) appears to be appalling"
"I have problems when connecting Android tablets using MTP."
"Q: Any manufacturers helping you guys out?
A: Not really."
Need more links?
What do you need to convince you that what comes from MS is not good for GNU / Linux? Remember that hell, with old MS buggy protocol's (MSN, ActiveSync, etc) All them piece of crap in GNU/Linux.
53 • @52 MTP in Linux (by DavidEF on 2013-01-25 15:43:44 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the links. I wasn't doubting the assertion that MTP doesn't work well in Linux. That is true of ANY AND EVERY new technology that ever comes out, unless it is specifically made TO WORK in Linux. Such is life.
Do you have any links that show that MTP is buggy or bad in general? For instance, jpeg is garbage for picture compression. There are clearly better alternatives. Newer video cards and higher resolution displays usually give trouble at first. Some of them get ironed out, while others prove to be perpetual junk. Lexmark printers are junk. Is there any evidence that MTP is truly garbage? Or, is it just that Linux hasn't caught up to it yet?
I agree, most of what MS produces is either garbage, or a copycat product, or both. I understand that they are in business to make money, and Linux is a competitor, so they will try to make their stuff as proprietary as possible, to not play well with others. I believe they probably put more effort into making their products proprietary than making them good. But, I don't believe that everything they make is automatically garbage, just because Linux hasn't yet learned to use it.
54 • MTP and Linux (by DavidEF on 2013-01-25 16:28:05 GMT from United States)
In reading up just a little, I've learned some very interesting things about MTP. First, it's been around for years. It's not new. There is a specification, but Microsoft doesn't enforce it, so manufacturers don't really follow it. It is based on PTP, which is also a Microsoft protocol, and is actually an extension to it. Linux MTP seems to expect perfect compliance with the written specification, which is why a lot of devices simply don't work with Linux, though they do with Windows.
To me, it sounds just like the fiasco we used to endure with some plug-and-play monitors. There are specifications that Microsoft ignores, and so manufacturers ignore them as well. After all, if it works with Windows, it's got to be good! So, it all comes down to Linux being anal about perfect implementations of specifications and Microsoft being on the other end of the spectrum, allowing just about anything to work. The manufacturers are the real bad guys, because they are taking the easy route, making their stuff work with Windows, while not testing against the actual specifications.
Anyway, that's what I've gathered in a short amount of time. I guess situations like these are the reasons we have Hanlon's Razor: "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."
55 • openSUSE Tumbleweed alive and well (by Andy Prough on 2013-01-25 16:53:15 GMT from United States)
DWW #487 on December 17, 2012 claimed that openSUSE's Tumbleweed rolling release project no longer appeared to have a "dedicated developer team" based on one blogger's experience in trying to upgrade to the openSUSE 12.2 packages. Two days ago, I successfully upgraded an openSUSE 11.4 box using Tumbleweed to the 12.2 packages. The upgrade was fast and easy, and a huge number of packages were upgraded. The system is now very stable and remarkably faster, running a 3.7.4 kernel and KDE 4.9.
Distrowatch might want to post an updated note regarding Tumbleweed - rumors of its death have apparently been greatly exaggerated. Tumbleweed is a fantastic rolling release upgrade path for one of the oldest and most versatile distributions.
56 • @50 Ron (by Ron on 2013-01-25 16:57:17 GMT from United States)
@50 Ron, I agree. Nothing is really idiot proof at all. I remember people with Windows 98 or XP, not only but especially, that use to delete system folders and files because they did not put them there, they where trying to save space or they heard from a friend (or on the internet,) that dll files where a virus or bad in some way and must be deleted.
I haven't seen things that bad in Linux, yet, but the more it is used, I am sure there will be more idiot stories. There is no way to completely idiot proof anything, no way to stop stupidity. Only brace for it like when would brace for a hurricane.
57 • Foolish or misled? (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2013-01-25 21:03:04 GMT from United States)
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by laziness or ignorance. Speaking of ignorance, what of error messages that obfuscate or evaporate? Code malpractice includes refusal to include adequate diagnosis and warning, refusal to provide an error message, and refusal to document code. RTFM is impossible when there's no FM. "Go fish (on Giggle)" is just as bad, especially when there's so much incomplete and inaccurate data to be found. Such crime can be found aplenty in proprietary and freed products alike.
Blaming the victim is rarely appropriate.
58 • @53 and 54 (by Carlos on 2013-01-26 01:43:18 GMT from Mexico)
"I agree, most of what MS produces is either garbage, or a copycat product, or both. I understand that they are in business to make money, and Linux is a competitor, so they will try to make their stuff as proprietary as possible, to not play well with others. I believe they probably put more effort into making their products proprietary than making them good."
perfect, it was what I wanted to hear, you have given me some credibility and that's enough to terminate the dialogue.
Concluded by reaffirming your thinking regarding the MTP, is that Microsoft hinders their learning as always, making the implementation very close, but it's also true that the manufacturers do not respect the standards.
And no, I'm not a developer active in the Windows world to comment on the good or bad quality of the MTP protocol. I give him the benefit of the doubt.
59 • Exe Linux (by Barnabyh on 2013-01-26 13:00:01 GMT from United Kingdom)
Very nice distribution, Debian with Trinity desktop if you still like KDE3 too and are harking back to it.
It's not just outdated Squeeze, if you follow the downloads there's a much updated Wheezy iso with the current 3.2.0 kernel in http://exegnulinux.net/downloads/wheezy/ . Very responsive even in a virtual player.
60 • Exe GNU/Linux & Trinity DE (by Elcaset on 2013-01-26 15:00:30 GMT from United States)
I haven't tried the new version of Exe GNU/Linux, yet. However, I've really enjoyed using Trinity DE on older hardware. On newer hardware, I use KDE4. I like both TDE & KDE4 a lot, & it's nice to see more mention of Trinty Desktop Environment here on Distrowatch. Next, I'm going to try the live/installable Ubuntu 12.04 LTS with TDE. It's not an official version, but it seems to be working pretty well from the people who have already tried it.
61 • @ 60 Exe GNU/Linux & Trinity DE by Elcaset (by Bill on 2013-01-27 04:59:40 GMT from United States)
Just a note to say thanks for the link for the live/installable Ubuntu 12.04 LTS with TDE. I've been enjoying the 64 bit version all day. Even managed to load sound and compiz fusion icon on startup. It's really quite nice.
62 • Fedora 18 Wifi does not work. (by Jeffersonian on 2013-01-27 06:49:57 GMT from United States)
it is disheartening to see that Fedora 18 wireless just does not work on Fedora 18 Live... like in previous Fedora releases.
In this context, one know that it will not work either if an install on the hard drive is done.
Ubuntu, Mint, Suse and several Linux distros have resolved this problem several years ago.
It is just unfortunate that the Fedora developers of this excellent distro, just consider this is unimportant. Still, the install MUST be done using an ethernet connection, what I did for Fedora 17. (I do not have anymore an ethernet connection, just Wifi).
What is missing? At least the "wl" module, perhaps more.
The WiFi drivers are there.
63 • 62 • Fedora 18 Wifi does not work. by Jeffersonian (by Ika on 2013-01-27 16:42:00 GMT from Spain)
"it is disheartening to see that Fedora 18 wireless just does not work on Fedora 18 Live... like in previous Fedora releases.
In this context, one know that it will not work either if an install on the hard drive is done."
LOL!... With open SUSE I had a reverted experience:
- in live mode I had wifi connection, but, after install, no way!
Even the Network manager icon in the task bar disappeared!!!
And no way to find it. ;D
So, I gave up. No more openSUSE (and not just for this issue; there are more...).
64 • re #48 that elusive Fedora 18 Xfce (by gnomic on 2013-01-28 04:17:16 GMT from New Zealand)
Er, actually it's a public library network I have been using - I'm pointing fingers at the other end since most downloads proceed at a reasonable speed which is fairly constant, whereas the source for the spins is slow quick slow. Possibly partly because I get most Linux images from Australian mirrors rather than the USA. Too bad nobody has the answer to my query it would seem.
65 • @64 gnomic in NZ: Fedora 18 xfce spin download - try torrent? (by Fairly Reticent on 2013-01-28 04:48:29 GMT from United States)
Slow-quick-slow sounds like there's a weak link in the chain between your library and the official fedora mirrors (the foxtrot's slow-quick-quick-slow). Fedora also lists official torrent links on their xfce spin download page - https://spins.fedoraproject.org/xfce/#downloads - perhaps you can use Transmission http://www.transmissionbt.com/ if the library pemits?
66 • @64 gnomic in NZ: Fedora mirror list link (by Fairly Reticent on 2013-01-28 05:01:37 GMT from United States)
https://mirrors.fedoraproject.org/publiclist - perhaps you can find something closer?
67 • @64 - New Zealand Fedora mirrors (by Andy Prough on 2013-01-28 07:08:05 GMT from United States)
Try the New Zealand mirrors - 3 of them are listed on the Fedora Mirror Manager: https://mirrors.fedoraproject.org/publiclist. New Zealand mirrors are recommended by the Waikato Linux User's Group because many NZ broadband providers charge for international downloads, whereas local downloads are often free. Their site lists a few different NZ mirrors than the official Fedora site: http://www.wlug.org.nz/NewZealandLinuxMirrors.
Failing that, I would contact the nearest Linux User Group (LUG), and I'll bet you'd find someone willing to burn you a DVD and either hand it off to you or mail it to you. There are a bunch of LUG's in NZ, including Wellington, Auckland, Hawke's Bay, Waikato, Palmerston, Dunedin, Canterbury and Bay of Plenty. Just Google "Linux users group New Zealand" and you'll find them.
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