| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 493, 4 February 2013
Welcome to this year's fifth issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The little-known UberStudent probably won't be on the radar of most users looking for a happy computing environment, but as the distribution is based on Ubuntu and offers an excellent collection of software designed for learning and teaching academic computing, chances are that it has started to find some niche among the student population. However, as Jesse Smith points out in today's feature article, the recently-released version 2.0 is actually an excellent all-round operating system for everyone, not just teachers, learners and undergraduates. Read below to find out more. In the news section, the OmniBoot compilation DVD arrives in version 1.0 with over 150 boot options and dozens of operating systems, and a note on an interesting trend among Linux distributions to replace the Oracle-controlled MySQL with a more open fork called MariaDB. Also in this issue, a detailed review of the brand-new Enlightenment 0.17 window manager, a link to an interesting article suggesting five alternatives to Ubuntu for the desktop, and the usual regular columns and DistroWatch database updates. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the January 2013 DistroWatch.com donation is MariaDB Foundation. Happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (25MB) and MP3 (44MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
A look at UberStudent 2.0
UberStudent is a Linux distribution which declares itself as being "Linux for learners". The project is based on Ubuntu with UberStudent 2.0 using the latest Ubuntu long-term support release as a base. Looking over the project's documentation we find UberStudent is designed with an eye toward education. The project is targeting people wishing to teach or learn academic computing. The project's website refers to the distribution as a learning platform, designed to help people become fluent in computer technology. There are several editions of the latest UberStudent release. The main edition comes with the Xfce desktop environment and other editions feature the LXDE and MATE desktops. Each edition is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds. I opted to try the Xfce edition which can be downloaded as a 3.5 GB DVD images.
Booting from the UberStudent ISO we are brought to a boot menu which allows us to run the live desktop distribution on the disc or immediately launch the project's graphical installer. In practice I found selecting either option (live environment or installer) from the boot menu would bring me to the distribution's graphical login screen. There we can login with the username "uberstudent" and no password is required. The Xfce desktop has a pleasant, low-key style to it. The application menu sits at the top of the display with the system tray. The desktop features a mostly-black wallpaper and contains a few icons for opening a web browser and visiting the project's website and there is an icon for launching the installer. There's also an icon for browsing the local file system, but clicking this icon produces an error message indicating a missing component. Shortly after logging in a notification appears in the upper-right corner letting us know a drop-down virtual terminal is available and we can access it by pressing the F1 key.
One thing I found interesting about the layout of the Xfce desktop was the way the developers appear to have copied the GNOME 2 style of menus. Like GNOME 2, the Xfce desktop presented by UberStudent has three menu buttons at the top of the display. The first two menus, Applications and Places, let us browse available software and commonly accessed directories respectively. The third menu button, System, does not open a system administration menu as one would expect of GNOME. Instead, clicking the System button opens the Xfce control panel where we can make adjustments to the look and feel of our desktop environment. For some reason this aspect of the interface took me a while to get used to as whenever I wanted to adjust system settings or access the package manager I would instinctively click the System button and then have to close the control panel. The applications I really wanted were in the Application menu under the "System" category.
UberStudent 2.0 - the system installer
(full image size: 192kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
I won't waste much time covering the graphical system installer. UberStudent uses the Ubuntu installer and it has been discussed here many times. I found the installer worked really well, it takes little time to walk through the installation steps and I encountered no problems during the partitioning and configuration process. One minor point of note is that the installer requests we have a full 15GB of free space on the hard drive prior to beginning the install process. This is a rather large space requirement compared with other Linux distributions. As it turns out the distribution's system files take about 8GB of disk space when everything has been installed. The remaining 7 GB of the requirement are, I suppose, there to give us breathing room for swap space and personal files.
I ran UberStudent on my laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 4 GB of RAM, Intel video card, Intel wireless card) and in a VirtualBox virtual machine. In both cases the distribution worked well. Sound worked out of the box, my screen was set to its maximum resolution and it only took a few mouse clicks to connect to local wireless networks. Xfce performed very well in both environments and remained responsive at all times. The distribution uses more memory than I would normally except -- I found logging into Xfce would use approximately 240 MB of RAM.
UberStudent 2.0 - changing system settings
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UberStudent comes with a lot of software, enough to keep me busy exploring for days. As suggested by the project's documentation many of these programs are related to education in one way or another. In some cases this means educational games, or specialized note taking applications. There is an app called "Top Shelf" which helps the user organize the files/projects they need to make priorities. There are a few programs for budgeting, a few e-book readers and a handful of programs to assist in publishing material. I won't go into the full list because there is just about everything except the kitchen sink included in the application menu. Along with the various education/work related programs we also find a fairly standard lineup of software including Firefox, LibreOffice, Xfce configuration tools and a pair of package managers. The Network Manager software is installed to help us get on-line and there are lots of little programs to help us edit text files, manage archives and play multimedia.
At install time I requested non-free items be included in the installation and so I had Flash support and a wide range of codecs for playing media files. While using UberStudent I found the application menu included both locally installed software and web apps. Unfortunately there often isn't a clear distinction made indicating which software is local and which programs are on-line. I'm hoping future versions of the distribution either separate the web apps from the local programs or put something in each program's description to let us know if it does not run locally. One surprise I found was that UberStudent, while apparently based on Ubuntu 12.04, comes with a more modern kernel than its parent. The Linux kernel which comes with UberStudent is version 3.5 as opposed to the base's 3.2 version. Another surprise I discovered was that UberStudent runs a web server by default. The server can be accessed though no pages are available to be viewed. The web service does not appear to serve any purpose (it doesn't provide documentation, for example) and I'm not sure why it is running on the default install.
UberStudent 2.0 - the application menu and sub-menus
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The UberStudent distribution comes with two graphical package managers. The first is the venerable Synaptic package manager. It allows us to search for packages, to create complex batch jobs and it is both fast and reliable. Still, Synaptic can be a bit intimidating to newcomers so UberStudent offers a second package manager called Simple Software Centre. The Simple Software Centre certainly streamlines the process of adding and removing software. It has a modern, almost web-like interface. The application features three tabs, in the first we can browse into software categories to find packages in the repositories. Each package entry includes the software's name, a brief description and icon. The second tab is much the same, but shows only packages which are currently installed and may be removed. The third tab shows queued actions (installations or removals) which will be processed. Our interaction with the Simple Software Centre is quite limited as far as options are concerned, but the application works well and I found it would allow me to keep browsing packages while add/remove operations were in progress. I believe the Simple Software Centre only works with programs which feature graphical interfaces. This means manipulating library packages or command line programs requires we switch to Synaptic or APT command line tools.
UberStudent 2.0 - graphical package managers
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While I was using UberStudent I didn't see any notifications signalling updated packages in the repositories. Checking manually, either on the command line or through the simple update manager, revealed a supply of security updates and I believe all of these updates are supplied by the Ubuntu repositories. The day I installed UberStudent I found 123 updates waiting to be installed, the total download size for these was approximately 90MB. Considering the large amount of software included on the UberStudent DVD and the pace of upstream patching I strongly suspect UberStudent releases ISO images which have more up to date packages than its parent distribution. I see this as a welcome feature as it saves the user from downloading massive amounts of security updates immediately following the initial install.
When I first started looking at UberStudent I noticed there was a lot of talk about being focused on education and making someone fluent in the ways of computers, but there didn't seem to be a lot of detail on the project's website as to how or why UberStudent would be the best option for students and professors. To be honest, after using UberStudent for a while I'm still not entirely sure. Yes, UberStudent comes with a good deal of software and some of it falls under the category of education (note taking, finance, project tracking) so it is certainly useful. There are a lot of applications included and many of them are good tools. Where I feel UberStudent may not live up to its goals is that it does not appear to teach the user. The project's website and the slide show which runs during the installation process talk of making the user fluent in the realm of computers and I was expecting tutorials or manuals -- some form of hand holding. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, perhaps a requirement to do a lot of configuration manually as we experience with Slackware or the BSDs.
In fact neither approach is taken. Everything is nicely set up for us. Lots of software is installed, multimedia codecs are all available out of the box, Flash is provided for us and we are given an easy to use package manager. The interface is light, fast, intuitive and stays out of the way. All of this made for an experience which was less educational and more, well, boring. Now, I say "boring" in a positive sense. UberStudent is boring on the desktop the same way Red Hat is boring on servers, we want it that way. There are no surprises, no missteps, the user probably won't have to install or configure anything, they can just plug it in and expect it to work. Since UberStudent is based on Ubuntu's latest long-term support release we can expect UberStudent to "just work" for a good long while. My overall impression of the distribution is UberStudent may or may not be helpful to students, but it will almost certainly appeal to desktop users who want a fast operating system that comes with everything and the kitchen sink pre-installed. It's a good install-and-forget distribution for desktop users.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
OmniBoot 1.0 "compilation" DVDs, five Ubuntu alternatives, MariaDB replaces MySQL in Fedora and openSUSE
Don Manuel, the ever so active developer of OmniBoot, has some great news for us - the release of version 1.0. OmniBoot is by far the most comprehensive "compilation" CD/DVD offering a large number of Linux distributions, useful utilities and even some BSD-based operating systems, all available for selection from the initial boot menu. And the list of operating systems is really long; depending on the edition, OmniBoot 1.0 provides Debian GNU/Linux 6.0.6 live with LXDE, Linux Mint 14.1 "Cinnamon" edition, Fedora 18 "Xfce", Ubuntu 12.10 with GNOME, KNOPPIX 7.0.5 with LXDE, SLAX 7.0.4 with KDE, NAS4Free, m0n0wall, Parted Magic, SystemRescueCd, Puppy Linux "Precise" edition, Clonezilla Live, SliTaz GNU/Linux and a number of other small distributions. Containing no fewer than 157 boot options, OmniBoot 1.0 has to be the most versatile Linux/BSD DVD available today and it should be an integral part of any system administrator's or Linux enthusiast's toolkit. Visit the project's home page for a complete list of all boot options, distributions, tools and utilities available on the DVD. For downloads the SourceForge repository gives a full listing, with additional information can be found on OmniBoot's download page.
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There is little doubt that the arrival of Ubuntu on the Linux distro scene has made open-source computing much more accessible to a large number of non-technical people. Nevertheless, it isn't to everybody's taste. If you are looking for an Ubuntu-like alternative that springs from the same roots but has its own distinct foliage and flowering, this ExtremeTech's article (by Tim Verry) entitled "5 Ubuntu alternatives worth checking out" offers some ideas: "Linux is a free and open-source desktop operating system, and is recognized as the third most popular desktop operating system in the world. Unlike OS X or Windows, there are many different versions -- called distributions (or distros) -- that all fall under the 'Linux' umbrella. Among the many flavors of Linux, the Debian-based Ubuntu is the distro that tends to receive the majority of mainstream attention. Interestingly, according to the ever-popular DistroWatch, much as Ubuntu has surpassed Debian in popularity, Ubuntu has been overthrown by its own forked distribution: Linux Mint." Besides Linux Mint, the author also looks at BackBox Linux, Bio-Linux, Pinguy OS and Poseidon Linux.
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Finally, a note on a rather interesting trend. It seems that the venerable MySQL, which probably handles more data on the world wide web than any other database, is currently going the way of OpenOffice.org (which was recently removed from most Linux distributions and substituted with LibreOffice) and being replaced by a fork called MariaDB. As was the case with OO.o, the reason is largely the same - the mistrust many open-source developers harness towards Oracle which now controls the development of MySQL. The Fedora wiki page explains the reasons behind the potential move: "The original company behind MySQL, MySQL AB, was bought out by Sun which was then bought by Oracle. Recent changes made by Oracle indicate they are moving the MySQL project to be more closed. They are no longer publishing any useful information about security issues (CVEs), and they are not providing complete regression tests any more, and a very large fraction of the MySQL bug database is now not public. MariaDB, which was founded by some of the original MySQL developers, has a more open-source attitude and an active community. We have found them to be much easier to work with, especially in regards to security matters." Besides Fedora, Mageia has already replaced MySQL with MariaDB in their most recent release, while openSUSE has also indicated its intention to switch.
|Desktop Reviews (by Jesse Smith)
First look at Enlightenment 0.17
Back in December I wrote about my experiences from a trial where I ran the Unity desktop on my main machine for a month. Some readers e-mailed and asked if I would perform similar experiments with the GNOME Shell or Enlightenment environments. After putting the question of which of these two interfaces should be reviewed to a vote the clear winner was Enlightenment. The Enlightenment window manager (and its accompanying tools) has been around for quite some time, the project released version 0.1 way back in 1997 and development has been slowly continuing since then. The Enlightenment project, sometimes referred to simply as "E" or "E17", is incredibly light; the graphical environment requires very little RAM and hard drive space. In fact, Enlightenment, once installed, occupied less than 20MB of disk space on my machine. Enlightenment is designed with the idea that everything should be configurable and fans of the project will be quick to point out how flexible it is. I can recall using Enlightenment only once before and it's been long enough since that experience I have no firm memories or impressions of my time with the project. Which I suppose is good, I went into my experiment without any feelings toward Enlightenment other than curiosity.
A quick side note before I get into my experiences with Enlightenment: While E17 began life as a window manager the project has grown a great deal, adding libraries, configuration tools and all of the components of a full featured desktop environment. For this reason at times I may, during the course of the following review, refer to Enlightenment as a window manager or a desktop environment. While window managers and desktop environments are two different technologies Enlightenment dances back and forth across that line, blurring the distinction.
The first time I logged into Enlightenment a graphical wizard appeared and walked me through a few initial configuration steps. I think E17 is the only desktop I have used which has an initial setup phase, so right away we are dealing with a unique experience. The wizard asks us which language we would like to use, then we are asked for our preferred profile. The profile deals with our screen's layout and size and there are a number of pre-configured options for various screen sizes and ratios. We are then asked what sort of application launcher style we want and, finally, if we would like to add any applications to the quick launch bar. I opted to skip this last step in order to get a vanilla experience. Once the configuration steps had been completed I was shown a plain desktop environment done mostly in shades of grey. Without any themes installed Enlightenment provides a very plain interface. There are a few icons in the upper-left corner of the display used to navigate the local file system. Down at the bottom of the screen I found a panel housing the task switcher, application menu and system tray. The background was a black & white checkered pattern. I soon found the application and settings menu could be brought up by clicking on any blank area of the desktop.
Enlightenment 0.17.0 - the first impressions
(full image size: 81kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
When I first begin using a new desktop there are two characteristics I look for. The first is how familiar or appealing the environment is -- does it have an inviting appearance, is it easy and intuitive to use right away, is it easy to find and access the features I want? The second attribute I consider important is how flexible the interface is -- will I be able to change the aspects of the desktop I do not like, how hard is it to find the proper configuration tool, are most details of the desktop fixed or can they be changed? Quite often a desktop environment will focus on one of these two characteristics. Unity and GNOME Shell tend toward one extreme with inflexible desktops which will hopefully be intuitive to use for a large number of people and, on the other end of the spectrum, we find projects like KDE where almost everything can be configured.
Enlightenment swings strongly in favour of configuration. In fact, the Enlightenment configuration panel is so extensive that it features a two-dimensional table to hold all of the categories of options. Across the top of the configuration window are categories of settings and, down the left hand side of the window are sub-categories. This gives us a table of general options, selecting any one of which will bring up a new window that lets us adjust specific interface settings. At first this massive collection of options may be overwhelming for newcomers, but once we get used to the organization it becomes very helpful. In fact, during my first day with Enlightenment I spent a couple of hours exploring all of the options, largely because so many of the desktop's defaults were not to my liking.
One of the first things I set out to change was that, by default, window focus followed the mouse pointer, a feature I find distracting, especially on laptops where mouse control with a touchpad can be chaotic. I also found that, by default, the keyboard's context menu key would bring up Enlightenment's application menu rather than the active window's context menu. Luckily changing these options was easy. Also, changing the size of the panel at the bottom of the display to make it more accessible was fairly straight forward. Another quirk I went looking to change was that application windows would only gain an entry on the task switcher when they were minimized and I prefer having all open windows available on the bottom panel. Early on I found changing which window currently had focus would cause a little animation in the application's title bar, this was a distraction for which I never did find an off button.
Another distraction I quickly disabled was the environment's behaviour of switching to a different workspace if my mouse got near the side of the screen. This characteristic made scrolling in full-screen windows virtually impossible as moving my mouse to the vertical scroll bar would instantly transfer me to another workspace. A final quirk I found was that Enlightenment places an application menu on the bottom panel, but with the default theme the menu's button was invisible. Once I knew where the menu's button was I could click it and see the menu's contents, but the button itself was hidden from sight. In fact, the environment's default colours made navigating interface widgets difficult as boxes and buttons tended to blur into the background.
Enlightenment 0.17.0 - using Enlightenment to seek enlightenment
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The above characteristics of Enlightenment were configurable and so a matter of preference and, where I found annoyance, others likely see a welcome set of defaults. Each of us has their own taste and finding so many settings not matching my own taste encouraged me to explore one of Enlightenment's greatest strength: its flexibility. That being said, there were bugs which crept into the experience. For instance, when browsing the application menu the first few letters of each menu entry were invisible, making it hard to read the menu's contents. More importantly, Enlightenment crashed approximately once every twenty minutes, bringing my work to a halt eight times during the first three hours I was using it. There didn't appear to be any set pattern of events, no particular set of actions which triggered the crashes.
The following day, after a reboot of the machine, Enlightenment continued its frequent crashes and there didn't appear to be any setting I could adjust to quietly ignore the crashes and simply restart the environment. As these frequent crashes continued unabated I eventually gave up on using Enlightenment as my primary desktop on the third day of my trial. Now, I strongly suspect Enlightenment's bad behaviour on my machine is not normal, if it were the window manager wouldn't have such a large following of happy fans. Still, despite the fact I'm sure Enlightenment's behaviour on my machine was abnormal it nevertheless prevented me from continuing my experiment, a shame as I was just starting to get the highly flexible environment hammered into the shape I wanted.
Enlightenment 0.17.0 - the configuration panel
(full image size: 755kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
There isn't much I feel I can conclude from my brief time with Enlightenment, but I will share some lasting impressions which I hope others may find useful. The first is that E17 is amazingly light on its feet. Not only does it take up little room on the hard drive, but it does everything very quickly. Transitioning from the login screen to the Enlightenment interface takes virtually no time at all. Likewise, interacting with Enlightenment carries virtually no delays. We provide input and it responds, there isn't any hint of sluggishness. During my experiment with Enlightenment I found, despite its small size, it is very rich in features. In fact, most of my first afternoon with E17 was taken up with turning off features or trying to tone down the dynamic nature of the environment. Given the proper settings Enlightenment can provide a very rich environment.
The default colour scheme I found I didn't care for at all, it felt washed out. Had I continued to use Enlightenment, I would have dedicated time to downloading and trying alternative themes. I know the Bodhi distribution has been very successful due to its work with Enlightenment and Bodhi has a collection of stunningly beautiful themes for Enlightenment users. Earlier I mentioned the Enlightenment project was started back in the mid-90s and I occasionally felt as though aspects of that time were still in evidence in the present-day version of the desktop. The tiny analog clock widget, the layout of some of the configuration screens and the default appearance of windows gave me flashes of using 90s era desktops. This visual connection with the past struck me as standing out from other popular desktop environments which tend to reinvent themselves which each major increment of their version number.
Mostly, I concluded my time with Enlightenment with the impression it is quite different in style from other open source desktops. All desktops have their own personality, their own quirks. Still, the big desktops tend to borrow concepts from each other and some of them share common code. Enlightenment feels like a horse of a different colour, the developers appear to be marching to their own beat. This gives, I believe, Enlightenment a slightly alien feel, but it also means that users may find Enlightenment talking to them in ways other desktops cannot.
|Released Last Week
SparkyLinux 2.1 "Ultra"
Paweł Pijanowski has announced the release of SparkyLinux 2.1 "Ultra" edition, a Debian-based lightweight distribution with Openbox as the default desktop user interface: "SparkyLinux 2.1 'Ultra' edition has been released. The system is built on Debian 'Wheezy' and all packages have been synchronized with Debian's testing repositories as of 2013-01-23. It features a customized, ultra-light and fast Openbox desktop. What else? Fluxbox is out - I wasn't happy with it so I focus all my attention on Openbox; standard Openbox exit options changed to 'Shutdown', 'Reboot' and 'Log out'; added update-manager; the Polish repository mirror server replaced with the main Debian one; added a few new wallpapers; added to menu - run application, graphical two-panel file manager Tux Commander to have quick access to system files, added AppFinder...." Read the full release announcement for system requirements and a screenshot.
SparkyLinux 2.1 "Ultra" - a lightweight distribution with Openbox based on Debian's "testing" branch
(full image size: 547kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Parted Magic 2013_01_29
Patrick Verner has announced the release of Parted Magic 2013_01_29, a Linux live CD with specialist tools for disk management and data rescue tasks: "Parted Magic 2013_01_29. This version of Parted Magic brings all the X.Org packages up to date, adds Spanish language support, and a much improved shut-down menu. In the last release there were some issues with the X.Org Server 13 series. Some people were getting black screens. Reports have come in and most of this seems to be corrected by adjusting some udev rules, pulling a few X.Org drivers from git, and updating to the 3.7.5 Linux kernel. Lots of packages have been recompiled to add the Spanish locales. The syslinux menu has also been updated with Spanish language entries. Spanish is now very well supported in Parted Magic. Firefox is updated to the latest 18.0.1 release." See the project's news page to read the complete release announcement.
Newly updated builds of PCLinuxOS "KDE" and "KDE MiniME" editions, version 2013.02, have been released: "PCLinuxOS KDE and KDE-MiniME 2013.02 are now available for download. These are 32-bit quarterly update ISO images which can also be installed on 64-bit computers. With respect to the previous KDE editions these ISO images have the following changes and additions: KDE 4.9.5, Linux kernel 3.2.1; latest full set of NVIDIA drivers; Konsole with additional root profile. KDE 2013.02 has all the additions from MiniME above and was built to provide a general purpose KDE desktop computing environment. The DVD includes popular tools for office, audio, video, graphics, and Internet applications (LibreOffice, GIMP, Skype, TeamViewer, Dropbox, VirtualBox, etc.), as well as additional drivers and tools to set up your hardware." Read the release announcement for further details.
Linux Lite 1.0.4
Jerry Bezencon has announced the release of Linux Lite 1.0.4, an Ubuntu-based distribution with a customised Xfce desktop: "Linux Lite 1.0.4 final for 32-bit processors with PAE support has been released. If you already have the CVF version installed, there is no immediate need to install this final version, just keep updating via Install Updates on the Menu. The only change of note is the updating of the Help & Support manual. Changelog: all system software updated; Firefox 18.0, added new default theme and icon set; added Steam for Linux (requires NVIDIA driver 304.22 or higher or ATI experimental drivers); added keyboard shortcuts information to the Help & Support manual; added open USB storage device in file manager on insert; added two new right-click menu options, Task Manager and Screenshot; replaced PCManFM with Thunar...." Here is the full release announcement with several screenshots.
Linux Lite 1.0.4 - a lightweight distribution with Xfce based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
(full image size: 521kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
January 2013 DistroWatch.com donation: MariaDB|
We are happy to announce that the recipient of the January 2013 DistroWatch.com donation is MariaDB, a community-developed branch of the MySQL relational database management system. It receives US$300.00 in cash.
MariaDB is a drop-in replacement for MySQL. While the project's website avoids the dreaded "fork" word, it's clear that the developers, led by MySQL founder Michael Widenius, created the "new" database from a MySQL 5.5 base. This was a result of MySQL falling into the hands of Oracle, a fact that has created uncertainty over the project's future as a well-maintained open-source software project. MariaDB has recently gained support from Wikipedia, as well as the Fedora and openSUSE distributions, both of which indicated their readiness to replace MySQL with MariaDB in their upcoming releases. For more information about MariaDB please visit the project's website and its Wikipedia page.
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$34,285 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), OpenShot ($350), Trinity Desktop Environment ($300), LibreCAD ($300), LiVES ($300), Transmission ($250)
- 2012: GnuPG ($350), ImageMagick ($350), GNU ddrescue ($350), Slackware Linux ($500), MATE ($250), LibreCAD ($250), BleachBit ($350), cherrytree ($260), Zim ($335), nginx ($250), LFTP ($250), Remastersys ($300)
- 2013: MariaDB ($300)
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New distributions added to database
- SprezzOS. SprezzOS is a Debian-based Linux distribution for people who enjoy experimentation, change and a deep understanding of their tools. SprezzOS is perfectly suitable as a first Linux or a quick VM install or the day-to-day workstation of a thirty-something hacker who just wants things to work, but from all of them it will require a willingness to reason out the choices they make, and perhaps recover from bad -- or catastrophic -- decisions.
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New distributions added to waiting list
- Maui. Maui is an innovative Linux distribution that specifically targets personal computing. Maui is a fast, efficient, simple to use, easy to learn and powerful system for computer users of all levels. Hawaii, the desktop environment, is a lightweight, coherent and fast desktop environment that relies on Qt 5, QtQuick and Wayland and is designed to offer the best UX for the device where it is running. Maui doesn't have the traditional packages, it offers an innovative update system with point-in-time recovery and lower bandwidth usage; applications are shipped as bundles (compressed images that don't need to be decompressed).
- MING OS. MING OS is an openSUSE-based Linux distribution. It comes with enhanced security technologies to prevent exploits of security holes and compromised systems and it also includes a powerful intrusion detection and protection engine.
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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, 11 February 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)
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1 • Reasons to be a E17 Fan (by Anamezon on 2013-02-04 09:33:04 GMT from Finland) |
" ... I strongly suspect Enlightenment's bad behaviour on my machine is not normal, if it were the window manager wouldn't have such a large following of happy fans ..."
my experience with (mostly dev builds of) E17 is rather similiar to yours, perhaps due to the fact that I also modify the settings a lot; nevertheless, I feel that experiencing a crash from time to time is a small trade-off for all the advantages (configurability, snappiness, beauty, etc.) of E17. After all, it is up to everybody to decide what their priorities are ...
2 • E17 Review (by MikeBlumenkrantz on 2013-02-04 09:36:33 GMT from United Kingdom)
It seems that your E17.0 review did not actually review E17.0. Enlightenment switched to an entirely different theme over a month prior, and all your screenshots show the old theme, which is not shipped in any of the distribution tarballs.
3 • Enlightenment Review (by Earlybird - typing in my sleep on 2013-02-04 09:38:20 GMT from Canada)
Really appreciate the Enlightenment review. Always found using Gnome apps to be really dumbed down. As an example, compare Brasero to K3b. In K3b, one can configure everything. Brasero, useless. No ability to add translation tables, modify filing system characteristics, etc. (eg, Jolliette and Rock Ridge characteristics). It would be interesting to know how Enlightenment compares to Xfce in speed and memory usage.
At the moment, I mainly use fluxbox and open box with the necessary libraries to run things like k3b. In thinking about it, rather than enlightenment, maybe I should be considering using a tiling window manager. If you are short of ideas for a future review, maybe you could do a review and comparison of the various tiling managers?
Also, thanks for mentioning the update on Omniboot. One more essential tool to pack in the rescue kit (but at least one that "lightens the load" on the number of disks one has to carry around).
4 • uberStudent, MariaDB (by musty on 2013-02-04 09:40:45 GMT from France)
Another complete review. UberStudent looks not bad and worth a test.
For MariaDB, a switch is possible if you have a dedicated server or on your own machine.But unfortunately on shared hosting there is no choice : it is mysql or nothing. But in few months (or years) mariaDB will be the option to choose.
thanks for your work and your donnations to free and open source softwares.
5 • Desktop Reviews (by Jesse Smith) (by gregzeng on 2013-02-04 09:44:25 GMT from Australia)
"I know the Bodhi distribution has been very successful due to its work with Enlightenment" ...
On my i7-ATI PC, Bodhi's e17 desktop seemed to have display driver errors, which could not be avoided. Unlike Jesse however, I did not have these errors with the Unity mentioned earlier.
Most users seem to have trouble with Nvidia and with proprietary display drivers. What exactly does the 'main machine' use, and was it Bodhi being tested for E17?
6 • Linux Lite (by sol on 2013-02-04 10:12:41 GMT from Hungary)
Linux Lite is now almost identical to Xubuntu. This effort can be merged with Xubuntu project instead. Not in a world where a rebranded Ubuntu is the most popular distro...
7 • E17 (by john lewis on 2013-02-04 10:18:01 GMT from United Kingdom)
I switched my ancient Compaq Evo N160 to E17 when Gnome 3 replace Gnome 2 in Debian Wheezy. I am using the Debian version of E17 so it is a bit out of date but it is much snappier than Gnome ever was on this old laptop.
I like the fact that a left click on the desktop brings up the application menu, (reminds me of Windowmaker, another 90s feel app which I'd used for many years).
I also turned off the several features I didn't like, particularly as I use virtual desktops all the time, running each open application, full screen, in its own desktop.
I don't use the laptop very much these days as I am long retired and don't need mobile computing but E17 seems pretty stable to me, at least in the oldish Debian version.
8 • Re: #2 E17 (by silent on 2013-02-04 10:28:36 GMT from France)
E17.1 is already available, but in some repositories one can find the svn version or older versions. The real fun starts of course with the unofficial extra modules, which are unfortunately not very stable yet and some of them only work with the svn version of E17. The only small problem I have found is that long menu lists are not managed well by E17. Otherwise it is quite fast, stable and easy to use after the initial setup.
9 • E17 (by Pierre on 2013-02-04 10:30:09 GMT from Germany)
It's really nice to see that another person shares my experiences with Enlightenment 0.17.
Bodhi Linux and Snowlinux's E17-version both received quite some resonance in the past few months. Both deserve that attention.
Nevertheless - and although I like that some developers are doing things different - the nice alien feel of the desktop simply does not help but keeps me away from getting things done.
I found E17 to be an exciting experience for some hours but was back quite fast to my customized Xfce 4.10 or my custom configuration of i3 after the first excitement lowered and settled.
Additionally I had a lot of bugs as well. If you are coming from rock solid i3 and Xfce this is quite disappointing.
I always come to the conclusion that E17 does look quite great and simply different to what became common in the past years. Nevertheless they never succeeded in making E17 stable and appealing for more than a short visit.
But, as pointed out by Jesse, a lot may be due to questions of taste.
Greetings from Germany.
10 • @ 3 Enlightenment Review (by Earlybird) (by Pierre on 2013-02-04 10:40:23 GMT from Germany)
I am using the tiling window manager i3 since half a year now. I am happy since and never looked back.
Additionally I wrote a german article with little comparison to awesome and how it is installed and configured on openSUSE (what might be adaptable to other distros as well). Maybe I find some time to reactivate my blog (or start a new one ;) ) and then to maybe publish a translation of that article.
But even if not, have a look on awesome and i3. Both have their pro's and con's and these decide which you will prefer.
Both are quite flexible and configurable to you tastes.
A link to i3: http://i3wm.org/
A link to awesome:
To see how they look like and how interaction works there are a few videos hosted on youtube about both. Just search them there. :)
11 • Uberstudent (by Dave Postles on 2013-02-04 13:29:32 GMT from United Kingdom)
It's an educational distro because it includes not only academic note-taking utilities, but also integrates bibliographical apps like Zotero and connects to sites about academic writing. LyX (for academic papers in TEX) is included, but that's easy enough to download in any distro. The idiosyncracies are: (1) the structure of the menu (but which is aligned with its purpose for US education); and (2) the very fact that it is designed for US education, which renders it less useful in, say, the UK - because our undergrads and faculty are less tech-savvy (e.g. how many actually use Zotero?).
12 • uberStudent (by dragonmouth on 2013-02-04 13:31:35 GMT from United States)
"The project's website and the slide show which runs during the installation process talk of making the user fluent in the realm of computers and I was expecting tutorials or manuals -- some form of hand holding."
In today's world of proliferating Linux distros, a developer needs a marketing gimmick to differentiate his distro from all the other similar ones. Apparently there is very little to distinguish uberStudent from all the other Ubuntu-based distros other than maybe the desktop used. So the claim that the distro will "make the user fluent in the realm of computers" is nothing more than a marketing ploy.
13 • E17 (by Dave Postles on 2013-02-04 13:32:39 GMT from United Kingdom)
I don't like the file manager - it seems cumbersome.
14 • E17 (by mandog on 2013-02-04 13:56:55 GMT from Peru)
It was my desktop for a couple of years and it was great, I used thunar as the file manager. if i recall correct you could detach the clock and resize, there are loads of themes, animated wall paper, and lots of effects for E17, + E17 does not copy its its own desktop that you can do what you want with. Gnome shell does the same. So why did I stop using E17, vlc did not work very well and I moved on to gnome shell discovered anybody can write and test there own extentions with the built in program just like E17, and that was it
15 • E17 (by Michael Raugh on 2013-02-04 15:07:07 GMT from United States)
Ah, E17! I had a love affair with it between about 2006 and 2008, running it on top of Fedora and Ubuntu. Like Jesse, I liked its speed and configurability. The simplicity of it appealed to me, too. E17 had features in 2007 that KDE4 still hasn't figured out, like easily setting a different wallpaper on each virtual desktop. (Yes, I know you can brute force it with activities ... that's not easy.)
Ultimately I left E17 because of its instability. At that time it was still very much a development project and users were warned that it wasn't meant for production, so I can't fault E17. I just couldn't keep taking half a day to fix my E17 installation every few weeks when a new build would break stuff, so I had to say goodbye. From Jesse's review, things have stabilized a lot; maybe it's time to try E17 again.
16 • E17 interface animations (by Arkanabar on 2013-02-04 15:34:39 GMT from United States)
Jesse, my experience with e17 (with Bodhi 2.0.0) was that some themes had titlebar animations for gaining focus (and similar animations for menu items when selected, or buttons on click or dwell) and others didn't. Odds are that the only way to correct that would have been to use a suitable theme. Also, a lot of interface elements (buttons, especially) didn't scale when I increased default font size, which was nearly always too small for my taste.
17 • E17 = Ewwwwww x 17. (by Sam on 2013-02-04 17:26:22 GMT from United States)
Dear Linux Geeks. For all the times I see Enlightenment described as "beautiful" or whatnot, I always want to wretch. Maybe, just maybe that desktop was beautiful in 1995. Compared to Windows 95, it is quite nice. But certainly by Windows 98 Microsoft was clobbering Enlightenment. Why? Look close at E17. What's wrong with that font? Why are icon edges so blocky even on a high res screen? Where's the design consistency? Why do no two icons look even remotely alike? And with all the configuration options, who the heck has the time to sit and twiddle with the icon sets, the desktop theme, wallpaper, etc., etc., up to the point where looking at the UI doesn't turn your stomach?
18 • Uberstudent (by Sam on 2013-02-04 17:28:20 GMT from United States)
Yet another dumb Ubuntu clone.
Seriously. I downloaded Ubuntu once and installed Grass and QGIS from the repo. Maybe I should have changed the wallpaper, burned it as an ISO and released it as "GEO Linux - Linux for Geographers"? No, on second thought, I'm not that lame.
19 • YADUC (by sunga on 2013-02-04 18:16:29 GMT from Hungary)
Hobby distro builders could not create much innovation in Linux desktop. But when they do like Elementary team does, the result will be unfinished like elementary os. I feel tired when working apps replaced with new unusable replacements.
Today I read that Canonical makes hidden steps to the unknown... http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2013/02/canonical-working-on-new-display-server
This innovation will be proprietary? Who knows? Shuttleworth has enough money to create something new that similar to android's proprietary code.
20 • MariaDB (by San on 2013-02-04 18:33:26 GMT from India)
Looking forward to implement MariaDB on my next project, I admit libraoffice is better as it now in hands of open source , oracle soon realize the power of open source soon
21 • @ 18 & 19 (by mz on 2013-02-04 18:59:02 GMT from United States)
I heard some of the same type of comments about Mint a while back, but they developed their own Shell, Software Center, etc. & are now superior to Ubuntu in the minds of many. Given that this distro seems to only be on their second release I would lay off on the criticism & see what happens in the future.
22 • @18 Uberstudent (by Dave Postles on 2013-02-04 19:49:40 GMT from United Kingdom)
OSGeo does that job - Xubuntu with a vast range of GIS.
23 • MariaDB (by Jeff on 2013-02-04 20:50:29 GMT from United States)
Another great decision for a donation - MariaDB.
24 • Count me among those who've had issues with E17 (by Caitlyn Martin on 2013-02-04 22:53:45 GMT from United States)
I always have liked Enlightenment and the very different approach they bring to the desktop. Sadly, like Jesse and others in this thread, I've just never found it stable enough to use on a regular basis. Oh, and yes, that includes recent builds.
25 • E17 Dissapointment (by RollMeAway on 2013-02-05 00:19:36 GMT from United States)
I have been an avid fan of E17 for the last couple of years.
I find it is very sensitive to themes. Typically you have a good build, most things working, and an new release version breaks the system.
Most times if you change to the "Default" theme, it works again.
Bodhi offers supporting evidence in the fact all their themes have to be rebuilt for Ver. 2. If you are running bodhi-2 make sure your themes are version 2+ or something will not be working.
I am still in disbelief that the "team" is now working on e18, instead of fleshing out and polishing e17. see: http://trac.enlightenment.org/e/wik/CompositeManager
"For E18, the plan is to move to full composited system and maybe even drop the non-composited support. The core will be changed to make better use of this feature."
Sounds like the gnome3/unity/smartphone bug has bitten enlightenment devs also.
Turning OFF composting is one of the first things I do with any system.
26 • Elightenment review (by Earlybird on 2013-02-05 00:28:28 GMT from Canada)
10) Pierre- That was the information I was looking for. Thanks. Greatly appreciated.
17) Sam and 24) Caitlyn Martin - Your comments are appreciated. So I will concentrate on looking at tiling window managers that enhance my workflow, rather than a pretty, buggy, interface (Enlightenment).
Nice thing about this site is the user feedback. For the less experienced who do not want to be beta testers, it is really helpful to get an idea of what you may experience BEFORE getting bitten by bugs. If you are experienced and want to contribute to the development of software, that's great. That's part of what makes open source software so successful. For those of us with limited time, or limited experience, these reviews are really helpful. Question is, do developers of controversial software (eg. - Gnome) even look at, let alone value feedback on sites such as this? (Hope I'm not stirring up a "hornet's nest" by asking....)
27 • Try e17 again with sparkylinux (by stratus on 2013-02-05 01:22:01 GMT from India)
Although I had this e17 working for me, the distro I tested at that time, seems to be old. Now, e17 is coming with sparkylinux (a debian testing - Wheezy distro) I am going to test again.
e17 is a beautiful wmn and uses low resources, and it deserves it had its gtk2, gtk3.
28 • Uberstudent (by Taigong on 2013-02-05 02:17:01 GMT from Canada)
Uberstudent is just what I need: an alternative to Ubuntu ever since they put Unity as the default user interface. I do not install Linux on to any of my computers, just use it on a live USB. I want it be fast to start, good hardware recognition, Asia language input and come with GIMP, Libra Office, multiple browsers, Blender, good draw program, etc . I used to use Ubuntu which took only 45 sec. from push the botton to the system ready. But, Ubuntu switched to Unity, so I start to look for alternative. Uberstudent is the only one that fit my needs. Yes, there are many so called "light weight" distros. They maybe light on the user interface (many of them are not really light), but, they are also light on software in the distro. Therefore, not useful to me. Uberstudent is the first one that fits my need.
There is a previous post criticize it lack of innovative desktop. To me, no innovation in desktop is exactly why I like Uberstudent. All those new distros that came up with those so called innovations in user interfaces made Linux further away from the 99% computer users and made Linux merely a toy for hobbyists.
29 • Fork Oracle! (by M. Edward (Ed) Borasky on 2013-02-05 02:34:34 GMT from United States)
Well ... while we're forking Oracle, how about we take *Java* out of their hands?
30 • @15-setting different wallpapers for different virtual desktops in KDE *is* easy (by Ralph on 2013-02-05 02:54:38 GMT from Canada)
Possibly I misunderstand what you mean by "bruteforcing acitivities" -- but simply going to system settings > workspace behavior > virtual desktops and checking the "different widgets for different desktops" box, allows you to do practically anything with a given virtual desktop. Once this is done changing the wallpaper *at any given time afterward* is just a right click (on the appropriate desktop) away....
31 • Java - another fork? (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2013-02-05 08:28:43 GMT from United States)
What, IcedTea wasn't enough? Maybe there's just something wrong with giving someone swiss-army-knife access into your system.
32 • OmniBoot (by greg on 2013-02-05 11:01:21 GMT from United States)
Thanks to Don Manuel for OmniBoot. As a distrohopper, this cuts down on the number of dvds I would otherwise burn. Nice job.
33 • @ 26 Elightenment review (by Earlybird) (by Pierre on 2013-02-05 11:57:33 GMT from Germany)
I am happy if I was able to give some help. :)
I really appreciate that the distrowatch sites give some central platform for discussion on some recent topics.
I guess that developers will check feedback here when their work gets some attention by the distrowatch team, but I doubt they really always are looking for the feedback by the users in the comments section. Or at least I cannot see that any feedback would have let to some elementary change at any project. ;)
And an addition:
I chose i3 over awesome because it is a lot easier in configuration because it's using plain text config files which are very easy to read and understand. awesome uses Lua files as configuration files which makes them a lot more flexible but more difficult to understand.
Additionally the i3 team has a great documentation on their homepage and although it is less flexible in configuration and using extensions it is more flexible by organizing the windows on the desktop because it is not using fixed schemes. You decide on your own by starting new programs how they will align and you can easily reorder the windows with simple keyboard shortcuts.
With dmenu as launcher you have a very nice, fast and easy way to find and start the apps you want, no taking care or searching for the right menus - but this is usable in awesome as well. :)
And the big advantage over KDE and co: very fast workflow, starts extremely fast, no bling-bling that interrupts the workflow additionally.
With getting more used to it there are a few more very nice features like the scratchpad, which makes it easy to have a frequently needed program always at hand.
The video that made me use i3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wx0eNaGzAZU
You see, I really love my i3 window manager. :) Before that I switched frequently between Xfce and KDE with looks at Gnome and Enlightenment, openbox etc. from time to time.
Now I just use the apps I prefer most. Configured Qt and Gtk+ to look quite the same but 'oldish'.
34 • i3 Window Manager (by DavidEF on 2013-02-05 14:48:20 GMT from United States)
I've never heard of i3wm. I was curious, so I went to their website and read their stated goals. Does anyone know how well they meet each of those goals? I'm especially interested in the one about multi-monitor support. I've never seen it done right in linux. Has the i3wm dev team finally figured it out? What do they mean about not being bloated or fancy? Do they limit the user's ability to make their desktop pleasant to use? And what about the other goals they listed? Please be as objective as possible. Thanks!
35 • Java Fork (by Arkanabar on 2013-02-05 19:32:46 GMT from United States)
@29: Isn't there already a Java fork in IcedTea? Now all we have to do is drive its use and adoption forward.
36 • Java - or not. (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2013-02-06 05:02:59 GMT from United States)
Or maybe we should stop going down the Java trail ...
37 • Maui OS (by Alex on 2013-02-06 05:27:43 GMT from Canada)
Has anyone tried this out? Looks interesting.
38 • @ 34 • i3 Window Manager (by DavidEF) (by Pierre on 2013-02-06 11:08:21 GMT from Germany)
it is hard to be objective when it comes to personal considerations about how well developers meet a project's goals or not.
Multi monitor support is working great for me, because the multiple virtual desktops and the different monitors are handled in a way that suites my style of working a lot.
Nevertheless that might differ much from what you think about it.
In fact I find it the most logical way of working with different monitors because switching the virtual desktop on one monitor does not change the virtual desktop of the other monitor. Which is in fact the case for most of the common WMs and DEs.
Would be the best, if you try that for yourself.
"What do they mean about not being bloated or fancy?"
I think they mean that the window manager does nothing you did not want or did not configure, it delivers only the things you really need of a window manager to work. In fact this means no 'bling bling' or effects you simple do not need to get work done because they see this as a swiss army knife for developers and administrators or any average user that loves to use a computer as efficiently as possible. A i3-developer's podcast tells that they aim at stability, usability and documentation more than to have a lot features which only a handful of people might even recognize. Additionally they try to keep things minimal so you never lose oversight of things and the ways you might be able to do things.
"And what about the other goals they listed?"
Because I do not know which exactly you mean, just let me tell this: They aim at having a very well documented window manager that is comparable to wmii but, as mentioned, better documented, better hackable and easy to be configured.
They try to keep things as simple and stable as possible.
So hope I was able to help you out.
Greetings from Germany
39 • @38 i3wm (by DavidEF on 2013-02-06 14:01:09 GMT from United States)
Thanks Pierre! That was pretty much the kind of response I was looking for. I did also watch the video linked by Earlybird above. And, I've read some of the documentation on their website, as well.
I'm starting to see that the configurability of the desktop is purposefully limited by the scope of the devs' vision of what a desktop SHOULD BE. In other words, there are certain things they don't want you to have in your desktop environment, so they make no provision for those things to be added in. Seems they "know best". I suppose it won't be my new desktop of choice. I would recommend it for anyone looking for minimalist, however, as it does have some cool minimalist features.
40 • @39 • @38 i3wm (by DavidEF) (by Pierre on 2013-02-06 14:44:45 GMT from Germany)
You're welcome! :)
I already had the idea that this might be a possible answere.
The i3 window manager is configurable but only considering the delivered features. As already told in an other post the awesome window manager might suite you or many other much more, because you can quite easily extend it with Lua and there are many extensions already available.
For me i3 fits 'like the fist on the eyes' as we german guys would call it (in german actually). For others who need more possibilities for tweaking their window manager, want and need it a little more feature rich and can or even want to live with preset schemes and orders for windows, awesome might be the better choice. :)
So, awesome might be awesome for you too and you maybe want to have a look at it.
A link can be found at post #10.
Greetings from Germany
41 • @40 Awesome (by DavidEF on 2013-02-06 16:48:41 GMT from United States)
Thanks again! I looked at the Awesome website a little, and it does seem to be a little more like what I would be looking for. I personally don't mind utilizing my computer's resources for more feature-rich DE's, but I do have some older hardware that could benefit from something more minimalist, yet still extensible, like Awesome WM. It just makes sense to me to let the user decide how much "bloat" they really want. I will look into it a little more as I have time.
42 • Enlightenment... drool and hope (by bakanaika on 2013-02-06 19:40:24 GMT from Sweden)
If there is one theme that comes to mind with successive Linux reiterations and releases is the simplification and winnowing of all the apps, programs and wigits with all their cool, cute and sometimes valuable settings controls. When posing the question of why anyone chooses a particular distro cool and qute (a pun) are not to be ignored.
every time a control is added it increases complexity which means it has to be checked and verified for compatibility with each successive update. Bugs are of course a huge problem and apparently the solution most window managers (Gnome, KDE, Cinnamon, etc.) utilize is not to use many of them (simplicity.) Some might call this dumbing down but the distro managing team might call it sanity (another attempt at humor.) I like the ability to control EVERYTHING but understand the higher challenge.
the Enlightenment unstable user experience... seems logical in this light. With a bit of debugging related to current drivers, kernels and such it might be usable. For me stability is important. When reading about a cool program like Enlightenment all I can do is drool and hope.
Am I wrong on this? It seems to be a managerial trend. A juggler can only keep so many balls in the air so to speak.
43 • E17 (by Arve Eriksson on 2013-02-07 06:02:10 GMT from Sweden)
I've always wanted to try Enlightenment seriously, but I've always ended up configuring it to bits within days (hours?). Maybe it's my graphics hardware - normally an ATI-powered machine, but I have an Nvidia card too - but as soon as I enabled compositing, it crashed - and I could never get back in to change it back... I'll have to see about giving it another live fire test.
I have to say I'm very happy to see reviews of actual desktops, and not only distributions.
44 • Enlightenment (by Landor on 2013-02-08 08:07:43 GMT from Canada)
I personally can't take Enlightenment as a serious project. Oh, I know, a few of you are going to start waving your arms around over that one, but the bottom line is that it's completely true.
All of the people used E-17 and got caught up in how 'cool' and 'flashy' it was. The whole, 'Ohhhhh, Shiny' concept. They baited the hook well too. There was always rumours of it going stable, and talk of whiz-bang features. Now what? Now they're going back to development of a (you watch) completely new version that won't be anything like the old one.
When (and if) E-17 support drops, and they whip out this new version that throws everyone in a panic, what happens? Jeff Hoogland (or whatever) might pick up development of it to keep it going for his 'userbase'? lol Seriously too. Funny stuff.
The Enlightenment Devs seem to love just hacking away, period. E-17 finally reaches some sort of stability and they're giving it up for E-18. Amazing. That's not a project anyone can take seriously.
Keep your stick on the ice...
45 • e17 (by David L on 2013-02-08 13:28:04 GMT from United States)
I have said it before but will say it again. If you want a stable e17 experience built on top of a stable distro try Slacke17 on top of Slackware 14. You can always spice things up with Slackbuilds. I have not had any problems on my machine : DELL INSPIRON 9100 2.4 P4, ATI 9700, 2 G's of Ram.
46 • UberStudent (by bengalbard on 2013-02-08 15:41:36 GMT from India)
Uberstudent is way better than other education oriented spin-offs like Edubuntu. Off course I can install vanilla ubuntu and download all the educational packages from repositories. Uberstudent does that job for me saving a lot of time and headache. For the students and researchers, it provides really essential tools that work flawlessly.
The desktop doesn't look nice, its just another ubuntu clone; but it does its job perfectly.
47 • Uberstudent (by Jay on 2013-02-09 05:45:02 GMT from Canada)
I don't know that I'd use this distro or not. I'm not a student but want to do some self-directed studying. So I'd use the research, mental acuity games and productivity apps, but there's a lot of stuff I'd never use. Such as the mla formatting and essay writing stuff and much more.
For me it seems to make more sense to pick and choose what I find useful from Uberstudent and avoid a lot of extra bloat. I've worked hard to remove some of the extra stuff I don't need from Xubuntu 12.04 and adding my favourite applications not mention all the customization and configuration I've done.
(I'm on the fence about Firefox right now may keep it just to test websites in. Would love to hear some of your thoughts on that)
Two good things came from downloading the Uberstudent iso and installing in a VM.
1. I learned how to "intergrate" websites into the desktop experience (opening chrome without the address bar and tabs from a menu entry of my choice). I don't know if ubuntu webapps project would be any better, I've found some tutorials to add ubuntu's webapps intergration but it requires to many dependances for unity so that bloats my system to which is why I don't use vanilla ubuntu.
2. finding many new apps I wanted to try
Finally I did go over to uberstudents forums and thanked Stephen Ewen for his hard work on his project, but I want to thank him again here. Thank you! :)
48 • graphical wizard (by PatrikJA on 2013-02-10 14:45:17 GMT from Sweden)
"The first time I logged into Enlightenment a graphical wizard appeared and walked me through a few initial configuration steps. I think E17 is the only desktop I have used which has an initial setup phase, so right away we are dealing with a unique experience."
Kde3 and now Trinity also have a first-time-guide, even if some distros turn it of. It includes things like language, system behaviour, effects, themes.
49 • Jesse's E17 Review (by Pierre Champage on 2013-02-10 20:35:06 GMT from Canada)
Unfortunately, Jesse's review does not convey the real E17 experience.
If you want to see what Enlightenment is really like, you have to use a preconfigured E17 profile. Try either the latest version of Bodhi or Quelitu Jazz.
Quelitu uses LXDE as its main interface but has a preconfigured E17 profile. With the ISO, logout out and log back in using the Quelitu Jazz session, 'lubuntu' as username, and leaving the password blank. You also need to reset the theme to get the full experience... (see details in video and at website below).
For a quick look and details, see video (Quelitu LXDE & Jazz):
and the Quelitu website:
CONCLUSION: I tried E17 on Ubuntu 2 years ago just for testing. I have been using E17 exclusively (Quelitu Jazz) ever since.
Although, there are still some need for improvement, E17 is JUST AMAZING. It is actually LIGHTER than LXDE (see Quelitu's comparison chart), and in my opinion even better than Unity.
In Bodhi, it lack a DASH-like feature for quick access to files, but Quelitu offers Qx Hub, which allows you to quickly search and open files, apps, and configuration options similarly to the Dash in Unity.
A year ago, someone I know bought a MacBooks for $1,100 and was showing me all its shiny features... like the toolbar icon animations. I was working with a 5-year-old $150 PC refurbished with $Free Quelitu Jazz... at the time.
I started showing him Jazz, which has the toolbar icon animations as well and a lot more (see video above)...
Then I realized my mistake: E17 is lighter than Mac, has more bling than Mac, and is free! He never talked to me again... Ooops!
50 • E17 (by Jay on 2013-02-11 04:41:04 GMT from Canada)
@ 49 Most anything is better than Unity!
I run two desktops both dual cores (1 is Intel core2duo, other is AMD Athlon X64) both have nvidia cards (For video cards I've tried unity on a 512Mb 8500GT silent, a 1Gb 9800GT and a 1Gb Quadro 600) 3Gb and 4Gb ram respectively and I found unity sluggish on them both. It always felt slow to login to unity, once logged in the dash had an annoying delay before popping up. Btw the Oldest of the two, the intel, is from 2009.
Number of Comments: 50
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