| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 498, 11 March 2013
Welcome to this year's 10th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The open source community is like a river, always moving, always changing and often shifting in its direction. With that in mind this week we will be talking about open source projects which are embracing change. In the news this week we talk about Ubuntu's plans for replacing the ageing X display software. We will also look in on Debian to see how ambitious developers are bringing new features and hardware support to the community's largest distribution. We will touch on PC-BSD's move to become a rolling release platform and, in this week's feature story, Jesse Smith examines another rolling release project, Sabayon. The Sabayon developers are introducing new features to their project and they maintain a lot of different spins. Read on to learn more about their latest release. Whether you use a cutting edge distribution or a more conservative platform security is always a concern and this week we talk about potential backdoors in Linux distributions and the community's defence against them. As usual we will share with you the releases of the past week along with podcasts, reviews and newsletters from Around the Web. We are also looking forward to the launch of openSUSE 12.3 which will make its debut this Wednesday. Be sure to keep an eye out for the great green distro on a download mirror near you. We here at DistroWatch wish you a pleasant week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (23MB) and MP3 (38MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First look at Sabayon Linux 11
Sabayon Linux is a distribution which uses Gentoo Linux as its base. The Sabayon project is very diverse, featuring many different desktop spins (KDE, GNOME, MATE and Xfce) along with some minimalist and server spins. Each flavour of Sabayon is available in 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds. This gives users a variety of editions from which to choose and one of them is bound to fit our needs. The distribution maintains a rolling release, meaning packages are constantly updating to keep users up to date with the latest available versions of software. I decided to try the latest release of Sabayon, version 11, and opted to try the project's KDE edition. The KDE edition can be downloaded as a 2.2 GB ISO image.
The latest version of Sabayon Linux comes with a number of new features. Along with KDE 4.9, GNOME 3.6 and LibreOffice 3.6 the Sabayon team provides three different flavours of the MySQL database technology (including the new MariaDB software) and experimental support for Secure Boot technology. The Sabayon developers are also experimenting with a new graphical package manager called Rigo.
Upon booting from the Sabayon media we are presented with a boot menu with several options. We can boot into the distribution's live mode with a graphical desktop, there is also a live console mode should we only wish to use the command line. There is a media centre mode and an option for performing a check of the media's integrity. There are two installation options, one option allows us to launch the regular graphical installer to set up Sabayon on our hard drive. The other installation option is to install Sabayon as a media centre. I didn't use any of the media centre options during my trial, but I used the live modes and the installer, all of which worked well. Sabayon has another boot option, though it may not be immediately obvious. Inserting the Sabayon DVD into a computer running Windows will cause an auto-run file on the media to launch a virtual machine powered by QEMU. The virtual environment brings up the Sabayon boot menu and allows the user to try Sabayon's live environment or attempt to install the distribution within QEMU window. I suspect this will be useful as a demonstration tool as it removes the need for Windows users to reboot their machine to try the Sabayon distribution.
Sabayon Linux 11 - being greeted by the Sabayon website
(full image size: 421kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
The Sabayon Linux system installer can be launched either from the distribution's boot menu or from within the live environment. Sabayon uses the Anaconda installer, the same installer which was used by the Fedora project until recently. Anaconda has a fairly straight forward design which I find easy to navigate. The installer walks us through selecting our preferred language and confirming our keyboard map. We are asked to set a hostname for our machine and we are given the option of enabling the operating system's firewall. Next we select our time zone from a map of the world and then we are asked to set a password for our root account.
The following screen asks us to create a regular user account and set a password for this account. The installer will offer to guide us through partitioning the hard disk or we can dive into manually setting up partitions. I found manual partitioning to be fairly painless and the installer supports LVM volumes, most file system types, RAID and encryption. The last screen of the installer asks if we would like to install the GRUB2 boot loader. The installer goes to work copying its files to the hard drive. This took longer than I expected and I got worried when, about a third of the way through, the installer appeared to lock up for several minutes. However, after a time the progress bar started marching across my screen again and Sabayon eventually reported it has installed successfully.
The first time we boot into Sabayon Linux the operating system brings us to a simple, graphical login screen. When we login our web browser opens and displays the project's website. This is convenient if we want to track down more information or get assistance. On the desktop we find an icon which will take us to the distribution's Donations page and another icon which will connect us with the project's on-line live chat channel. There is a third icon for launching the distribution's software manager which we will talk about later. The KDE desktop features a dark blue background. The application menu, task switcher and system tray sit at the bottom of the display. Aside from the web browser opening the first time we login we are not exposed to pop-ups or other annoying distractions. With a little exploring I found the user we create at install time has sudo access, meaning we can run commands as the administrator. Additional user accounts we may create later do not have this admin access by default.
Shortly after logging in an icon in the system tray changed from green to red and moving the mouse over this icon revealed it indicates whether software updates are available. Clicking on this icon we can launch Sabayon's new graphical front end to package management. This new package manager is called Rigo and it replaces the project's previous graphical package manager, Sulfer. I did not enjoy using Rigo. While the interface is apparently designed to be simple and web-like, it has several problems. The first of which is the program's interface does not redraw itself properly. This means new information does not display itself, buttons appear and disappear seemingly at random, navigating is difficult as it's not always easy to tell which buttons we can click on and which ones used to be there, but haven't been erased yet. Eventually I got used to the interface, but I ran into a few scenarios where the interface would lock up while I was manipulating packages. Luckily there is a command line interface for dealing with software packages called "equo" and it works quite well. The equo program allows users to search for software, install new packages, remove software and perform upgrades. The syntax for equo is straight forward and I suspect users of YUM, zypper and APT will find equo familiar. I found equo to be a reliable tool and I encountered no problems while using it.
Sabayon Linux 11 - changing settings and managing packages
(full image size: 298kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
I ran Sabayon Linux on my laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 4GB of RAM, Intel video card, Intel wireless card) and in a VirtualBox virtual machine. When running on the laptop I found Sabayon worked well. My screen was set to its maximum resolution, sound worked out of the box and I was able to connect to wireless networks with a few mouse clicks. Performance was a touch slow on the laptop at first, and I found disabling desktop effects and KDE's file indexing improved performance. Sabayon was never what I would call fast, its speed remained below average, but it was certainly usable. When running in the virtual environment all of Sabayon's features worked properly, but the distribution was very slow. Booting or shutting down the system took several minutes and launching applications took several times longer than I would expect from a distribution running KDE. Memory usage was about on par with other KDE distros and I found Sabayon used approximately 240MB of RAM. The edition of Sabayon I was using comes with a lot of material on the installation DVD and the distro requires about 6GB of hard drive space for installation.
Sabayon comes with a good collection of applications and we have a wide range of functionality out of the box. The KDE edition of Sabayon comes with the Chromium web browser, the Konqueror browser, the Konversation IRC client and the Kopete instant messenger client. LibreOffice is included in the application menu as is the Okular document viewer. To help us get on-line Sabayon comes with Network Manager and the KPPP dial-up software. Under the Multimedia section of the menu we find the Clementine audio player, the VLC video player, the XBMC media centre and the k3b disc burning software. Sabayon comes with codecs for playing a wide range of popular audio and video formats as well as Adobe's Flash player.
The application menu also comes with various system utilities such as the KDE Partition Manager, the KUser account manager, the Yakuake drop-down terminal and the KInfoCentre. We have access to an archive manager, the KGpg privacy tool, a text editor and calculator. There are accessibility tools in the default install which will read text, assist users with manipulating the mouse pointer and magnify the screen. There are links in the application menu which direct us to key areas of the project's website and we have access to a collection of small games. Java is installed for us by default, as is the GNU Compiler Collection. In the background we find the Linux kernel, version 3.7. In addition to the software available out of the box most popular open source applications can be found in the distribution's repositories.
Sabayon Linux 11 - a sampling of desktop applications
(full image size: 157kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
On the Sabayon website the project's mission statement reads: "We aim to deliver the best out of the box user experience by providing the latest open source technologies in an elegant format." For the most part I feel the project accomplishes these goals, though there are a few caveats. Sabayon does provide recent versions of popular open source software. We find multimedia codecs, Flash and a lot of functionality with regards to desktop software, compilers and command line tools -- all available in the default installation. The desktop strikes me as being attractive and easy to navigate. We are provided with good documentation, subtle notifications of software updates and the project has a nice, easy to navigate website. I like the project's installer, the evolutionary improvements to Anaconda made by the Sabayon developers perfectly represent what I wish the Fedora team had done with their venerable system installer. I love that there are so many editions from which to choose. In short, we do indeed have some of the latest open source software presented in an elegant manner.
I really just have two complaints with regards to Sabayon Linux 11. The first is with the graphical package manager, Rigo. The command line interface for package management was fine, but the new graphical front-end was a nightmare. Buttons appeared and disappeared, navigation was tricky, I kept seeing parts of notices appear and the interface regularly locked up. I realize the developers are trying something different and there were problems with the old GUI, but the new one was not, in my opinion, ready for end users. My other concern was with the performance of Sabayon. When running on my laptop the distribution was noticeably sluggish. It was still usable, but there was definitely lag, especially when compared next to my experiment a few weeks ago with another KDE distro, Chakra.
When running in a virtual environment performance degraded further and I found Sabayon would take several minutes to boot, applications took up to ten times longer to load than they did when running I was running Chakra or Kubuntu and the interface was slow to respond to input. I was able to improve upon Sabayon's performance by disabling extra services and disabling desktop effects, but the distribution never reached the level of performance I've come to expect from recent Linux distributions running KDE. Perhaps this issue with performance was a matter specific to my hardware. I hope so as Sabayon is otherwise a well assembled distribution. It's attractive, it's cutting edge, it has a nice installer, lots of functionality out of the box and an attractive layout. It is a distribution well worth looking at, especially if you want out of the box features and want something which feels different from what other big-name Linux distributions offer.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Ubuntu announces Mir, Debian updates "Squeeze", PC-BSD introduces rolling release, HP sells Linux machines
The developers at Canonical are working on an alternative display server which they hope will eventually replace the venerable X software. We aren't talking about Wayland, which has looked like a possible X Window replacement, but a brand new project called Mir. The new project looks to address some of the limitations of X Window and the project's mission statement on the Ubuntu Wiki reads, "Users nowadays expect a more consistent and a more integrated user experience than what is possible to offer on top of the X Window system. Even more recent developments like the introduction of compositors to the X stack do not fully solve the situation and both shell and application development do have to deploy workarounds to overcome issues with the X rendering model." At the moment it looks as though Ubuntu users may expect to see an early version of Mir in October 2013. The name Mir, with its implication of a peaceful "connectedness", joins the ranks of other Canonical project's (including Ubuntu, Unity & One) named with a sense of united community in mind.
In other Ubuntu related news Hewlett-Packard (HP) is having another go at selling personal computers with the popular Linux distribution pre-installed. The OMG Ubuntu website features commentary on the new all-in-one offering. "Long story short: you won't have any problem running Unity, multi-tasking, or watching HD films on this, but a gaming rig or video editing workstation it ain't." Though the machine is currently available only in the United Kingdom it is good to see HP take further interest in open source operating systems. Hopefully more hardware companies will move to offer Linux-based solutions for consumers in the future.
* * * * *
The Raspberry Pi project recently turned one year old. The Pi is a low-cost ARM-based computer designed to be educational and fun. Over the past year several Linux distributions have been tailored to work on the device, including Fedora and Arch. However, possibly the most successful of the Pi's operating systems has been the Debian-based Raspbian project. Last week Ars Technica posted a story on how two volunteers used Debian's repositories to build their highly popular operating system for the Raspberry Pi. From the article, "Debian had added floating point support for the ARMv7 processor, but not the ARMv6 processor used in the Pi. Debian 'didn't see a product like the Raspberry Pi coming on the horizon. Even though ARMv6 in Pi has a pretty capable floating point unit, they didn't support it,' Thompson said. Thus, 'all the thousands or tens of thousands of software packages they built wouldn't support the Raspberry Pi.'"
This past week the Debian project released an update to Debian GNU/Linux 6.0, code named "Squeeze". The new release, version 6.0.7, does not indicate a new Stable version of Debian, but rather a collection of security fixes which have been integrated into the installation media. Details on the update are available in the release announcement. The Debian project has also put out a call for volunteers who would like to take part in their Summer of Code program. Some ideas for new projects have already started to flow in, including integrated support for the ZFS file system in Debian's GNU/Linux branch.
* * * * *
A quarterly report on the status of FreeBSD and its related projects is available from the FreeBSD website. The report covers a wide range of topics including the introduction of better support for AMD graphics drivers, improvements to FreeBSD's patch command, better ARM support in the default compiler and much more. The report includes comments about on-going work where volunteers are welcome and there is an invitation for new project ideas for this year's upcoming Summer of Code.
* * * * *
Back in February we reported that the PC-BSD developers were considering a move to a more fluid release cycle which would allow the project to upgrade their software packages more frequently than PC-BSD's parent project, FreeBSD. Kris Moore, the founder of the PC-BSD project, announced last week that test images are now available for people wishing to try a rolling release of PC-BSD. Instructions for upgrading existing PC-BSD 9.1 installations to the new rolling release model are provided in this mailing list post. The PC-BSD project will use the Pkgng package manager to keep users up to date with the project's software repository.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Security and potential malware in Linux distributions
Locking-the-back-door asks: Is there any assurance that distros are secure and don't have any built in hijacks -- a key logger or spam server, etc? I've always tried to pick distros that have many developers or have been around for a number of years. There are a few I'd like to try, but I'm a little nervous and don't have the time to wade through all the source code. Are there versions of Linux out there that are known to have included malware?
DistroWatch answers: People who are very security conscious face a big challenge when it comes to modern operating systems. Relatively few people have the skills required to search through the source code of an application or a kernel. Even if a person has the skills required nobody has the time to go through the millions of lines of code which make up a modern Linux distribution. It is theoretically possible for a malicious person to slip unwanted code into an application, into the kernel, into a compiler or into the computer's hardware. There is a lot of complexity in a modern personal computer and that makes for a lot of hiding places. So if you're looking for a guarantee your operating system (or your hardware) is hijack free, I'm afraid I cannot offer any 100% assurances. However, there are many checks and balances in place which make malware unlikely.
The open source community has a number of characteristics which make it relatively well protected against malware. A high percentage of the open source community is made up of people who have technical skills and a heightened awareness of security issues. Another virtue in our favour is that many people in the open source community are vocal. The result is an environment where people are constantly looking at their technology, constantly examining source code and when something undesirable is found it is announced all across the community. A third factor in our favour is that while the open source community is wide spread (global) it is relatively tight-knit. A lot of developers are in contact with other developers and exchanging notes, reading each other's code and, should one coder do something malicious, the rest of the development community would be unlikely to accept code from that person in the future.
As an example of the community at work, I contribute to a small project which is old enough to be stable and small enough (and I suppose modular enough) that it is often used as a test subject for code analyzers. University students from all around the world have used this project as a test case for their security scanners and code analyzers. Anytime they find a potential vulnerability or a potential problem, they contact us to make sure it's fixed and, if the code weren't fixed, they would have let the world know. The students then run their scanners on larger, more complex projects, such as office suites and compilers. Since Linux distributions are made up of open source software this gives lots of people, like the students, a chance to search for potential security issues.
In the above example there is a friendly exchange taking place. One person gets a free code review, the other gets a test subject for their university project. However, not all code reviews are carried out with the ideal of mutual benefit. Sometimes code audits happen because competitors want to make sure they aren't being compromised. For instance, both Google and Apple work on WebKit, the software which goes into many of the major web browsers. Both companies review the code which goes into WebKit to make sure they are benefiting from the changes which go into the software. As the code is constantly reviewed no one contributor can gain an unfair advantage and, in addition, it is highly unlikely a backdoor could be added to the code.
Another example of the community protecting itself came when someone made a claim that a backdoor had been slipped onto OpenBSD years ago. Even without any evidence being presented and only vague claims being made by the whistle blower developers still dived into the code, looking for potential problems. For months the possibility was discussed and examined. It appears to have been a false alarm, but the ripples of the rumour spread throughout the community and people attempted to verify (or disprove) the claim. Likewise, when a patch to Debian's copy of OpenSSL was found to be vulnerable the news quickly spread through the community, as did patches and workarounds. When Fedora introduced more relaxed security controls with regards to package updates, again the community jumped on the potential problem, raising alarms and filing bug reports. What it boils down to is there are always people in the open source community looking for security issues and, when they are found those problems are made known by way of blogs, security mailing lists and news websites. It's hard to maintain a secret, especially a dangerous one, in open source circles.
Are there distributions which have distributed malware? I suppose it depends on how loosely we define malware and whether we include intentionally insecure distributions. There are projects which ship insecure distributions in order to let people practice compromising and patching operating systems. These aren't malicious distributions, they are teaching tools. According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Free Software Foundation the Ubuntu Dash qualifies as spyware. On the other hand, Ubuntu is quite up front about what the Dash does and they have included a way for the user to turn off the controversial feature. These cases aside I don't believe I've ever heard of any of the major distributions shipping malware on purpose. Chances are, were any main stream distribution to ship intentionally malicious code that project would quickly find itself without any users. For people worried about security large, community distributions are a good way to go.
|Released Last Week
Proxmox 2.3 "Virtual Environment"
Martin Maurer has announced the release of Proxmox 2.3 "Virtual Environment" edition, a Debian-based virtualisation platform for running virtual appliances and virtual machines: "We just released Proxmox VE 2.3, including countless improvements and a lot of exiting new features like the new KVM Backup/Restore - without the need of LVM. Changelog: update QEMU-KVM to 1.4.0; new KVM backup implementation; added RDB (ceph) support on GUI; update Linux kernel to vzkernel 2.6.32; include latest Broadcom bnx2/bnx2x drivers; include latest Adaptec aacraid driver; update e1000e to 2.2.14; update igb to 4.1.2; update ixgbe to 3.12.6; extend memory GUI to support ballooning; implement auto-ballooning; add HD resize feature to expand disks; updated network drivers; added omping binaries (for testing multicast between nodes); update to latest Debian version 6.0.7...." Here is the full changelog.
Springdale Linux 6.4
Josko Plazonic has announced the release of Springdale Linux 6.4, a distribution formerly known as PUIAS Linux and built from source packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4: "We just made Springdale Linux 6.4 available. This release follows the 5.9 release in renames to Springdale - so new name, new logos. Of course the big news is over 1,000 package updates with many goodies and new features. For further information please check RHEL 6.4 release notes. One small note on an issue we've seen during internal testing. New versions of NSS libraries have in effect blocked SSL connections to sites and services using SSL certificates with MD5 hash signatures. For example, if your LDAP server is using such a certificate then sssd will stop working." Get the details from the project's release announcement.
Puppy Linux 5.5 "Slacko"
Barry Kauler has announced the release of Puppy Linux 5.5 "Slacko" edition, a small and fast distribution built from and compatible with Slackware's binary packages: "Slacko Puppy is built from Slackware 14.0 binary TXZ packages, hence it has binary compatibility with Slackware Linux and access to the Slackware, Salix and Slacky package repositories. Slacko 5.5 has many improvements due to the heavy development of the woof build system and the many bug fixes to the Slacko base packages. Through the dedication of many testers and developers we were able to produce what is a great working dog Puppy that can rejuvenate your hardware and show it's potential. Release notes: improved SFS manager; improved updates manager - to get the latest; new kernels following LTS branches; improved graphics support, with KMS and Mesa...." Read the release announcement and release notes for more details.
Puppy Linux 5.5 "Slacko" - a Puppy compatible with Slackware Linux 14.0 packages
(full image size: 194kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Jörg Schirottke has announced the release of KANOTIX 2013, a special edition of the Debian-based distribution created for the CeBIT trade show taking place this week in Hannover, Germany: "As a little surprise there is a new KANOTIX ISO image with some special features not found in normal releases. The main difference is that a newer glibc 2.17 is used (from Debian 'experimental') which has the effect that self-compiled binaries cannot be shared with Debian 'Wheezy' users. If that does not affect you you can enjoy the new features: Linux kernel 3.8.2; NVIDIA 313.18 and fglrx 13.2 Beta 7 available in gfxdetect mode and the auto-detection works after hard disk install in that mode as well; Mesa 9.1 for open-source GFX drivers, best suited for Intel HD 2000+; Amarok 2.7.0; WINE 1.5.25; LibreOffice 4.0.0; GRUB 2.00...." Here is the brief release announcement.
Karanbir Singh has announced the release of CentOS 6.4, the updated build of the enterprise-class Linux distribution compiled from the source code of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4: "We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of CentOS 6.4 install media for i386 and x86_64 architectures. CentOS 6.4 is based on the upstream release EL 6.4 and includes packages from all variants. All upstream repositories have been combined into one, to make it easier for end users to work with. There are many fundamental changes in this release, compared with the past CentOS 6 releases, and we highly recommend that everyone study the release notes as well as the upstream technical notes about the changes and how they might impact your installation. Everyone who has centos-cr repositories enabled and in use would already be running CentOS 6.4 as of two weeks ago." Read the release announcement and release notes for more details.
Puppy Linux 5.5 "Precise"
Barry Kauler has announced the release of Puppy Linux 5.5 "Precise" edition, a small distribution built from and compatible with Ubuntu 12.04.2 binary packages: "Well, time marches on and Ubuntu have released their second build of 'Precise Pangolin', 12.04.2. Precise Puppy 5.5 is built from 12.04.2 DEBs, but of course it is extremely important to understand with Puppy Linux that our use of the binary packages of another distro is only a convenience for us, to obtain binary compatibility, hence compatibility with that distro's package repositories -- in all other respects, from the lowest levels of the infrastructure upward, Puppy is unique. There have been many bug fixes and improvements at the Woof level since Precise 5.4.3 was released, plus many package fixes and upgrades. Enough to warrant the number jump to 5.5." See the release announcement and release notes for additional details.
Eric Turgeon has announced the release of GhostBSD 3.0, a FreeBSD-based operating system for the desktop with a choice of GNOME 2, LXDE and Openbox user interfaces: "The GhostBSD team is pleased to announce that version 3.0 is now available. This release includes many new features and enhancements, such as improved system installer, Openbox window manager and much more. Form GhostBSD: improvements of the auto-configuration wireless networking script; auto-configuration of X.Org; NVIDIA drivers ready; 3D acceleration is supported on some Intel graphics cards; numerous bug fixes to GhostBSD-related utilities. From FreeBSD 9.1: new Intel GPU driver with GEM/KMS support; netmap(4) fast userspace packet I/O framework ZFS improvements from the Illumos project...." Here is the complete release announcement.
GhostBSD 3.0 - a major update of the FreeBSD-based operating system
(full image size: 1,617kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Chakra GNU/Linux 2013.03
Anke Boersma has announced the release of Chakra GNU/Linux 2013.03, a desktop Linux distribution for 64-bit computer systems featuring the very latest KDE desktop: "With this second release of 'Benz' (a code name that will follow the KDE SC 4.10 series), the Chakra project team is very happy to announce a new feature that has been on the wishlist for quite some time. Tribe (the installer) has a 'netinstall' feature implemented, giving the user the option for a regular offline install, or install fully updated packages, starting with a minimal functional KDE desktop, and adding groups of packages to that minimal install as desired. KDE SC is updated to 4.10.1. The over 100 recorded bug fixes since 4.10.0 include improvements to the Kontact personal information management suite, and the KWin window manager." See the full release announcement for more details and screenshots.
Porteus 2.0 "Kiosk"
Jay Flood has announced the release of Porteus 2.0 "Kiosk" edition, a minimalist Linux distribution for web-only terminals with Firefox as the sole application: "The Porteus community is proud to announce the Porteus 2.0 Kiosk edition. Based on Slackware Linux 14.0 and with Linux kernel 3.7.8 and Firefox 19.0.2, this is a 32-bit system which is entirely locked down to prevent tampering with any of the components (including the browser), making this a perfect fit for kiosks and other publicly available web terminals. The ISO image is 37 MB and it contains only the libraries and utilities which are required to launch Firefox. Additional software may bring along security risks and affect stability in a restricted environment which is why we have removed everything else from this edition." Read the rest of the release announcement for a brief list of features.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Around the Web
* * * * *
* * * * *
New distributions added to database|
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- LXLE. The LXLE project is a Lubuntu-based distribution which attempts to be very light on resources while also improving support for older hardware.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 18 March 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 • Sabayon (by Terence on 2013-03-11 10:34:07 GMT from China) |
Jesse said in his review that Anaconda had been updated in the direction he wishes the new Anaconda had gone. I have tried Sabayon 11, and I cannot tell that any changes have been made, especially in comparison to Fedora 17 or even Fuduntu. Even more importantly, Sabayon's version of Anaconda seems to be broken, because when I ask for the boot loader to require a password, it will not ask for one upon reboot. Fuduntu works just fine when I do the same thing.
2 • Sabayon Linux 11, but USB install? (by gregzeng on 2013-03-11 11:09:54 GMT from Australia)
In this week's review, mention was made of the Chakra review. Both reviews refuse to identify the installation method.
Finally, on the latest update to Chakra, they admit the Unetbootin and some DVD installs will not work. Omitted are the other ways to install the distro, since the two possible errors are not giving an idea of what really works.
Perhaps Distrowatch should demand that distro publishers & reviewers not hide obvious faults from potential users of the distros.
3 • LXLE (by Roy H Huddleston on 2013-03-11 11:25:49 GMT from United States)
It is a lighter Lubuntu. The ace of penquin games have been taken out. Its a remastered version of Lubuntu 12.04. I think it looks like a Puppy version of Lubuntu. Lubuntu software center has been taken out and replaced by Deepin 2.0. It is called the Deepin Software Center. Gnome games replaced the Penquin games. Audacious taken out but has VLC. Some LXDE stuff taken out and replaced with XFCE. Its a 1.5 gb download but doesn't offer the alternate installer. Actually it is kind of cool. It a cool distro on the waiting list.
4 • @2 (by rayyu on 2013-03-11 11:33:02 GMT from Philippines)
What is your point? A reviewer chooses what he or she will focus on. Installation was covered in the review; if the reviewer had no trouble creating an installation CD, then they have nothing to report in that aspect. It's not that they "refuse" to do anything :P
How hard is it to burn a CD at no more than 4x? The Chakra team have CLEARLY stated that, and provided links and instructions to creating a reliable installation medium. . . neither Chakra nor the reviewers have "hidden" anything from you. The information is there. The reviewer isn't obligated to give you a comprehensive guide to the distribution.
It's barely even a fault. And this has little to do with the actual installation. . . once you get the installation media booted, installation is breeze. Actually creating a reliable installation device was a breeze too :/
The fact that you -know- that Chakra doesn't support unetbootin is proof that no one hid any obvious fault.
I've installed Chakra at least 5 times in the past. All I did was burn the CD and boot from it. Not exactly my cup of tea, this distribution, but I honestly think that your complaint is rather. . . er, groundless.
You could check it out yourself, and if you have any trouble burning, there's a helpful wiki and community out there.
5 • Sabayon (by Cork on 2013-03-11 13:34:33 GMT from United States)
I've been testing Sabayon on my HP Mini 311 netbook (3GB), running the 32-bit KDE version, and I find it very responsive. It's not as quick as siduction, but seems faster than PCLOS for example.
I'm new to Linux so I generally stay away from the GUI package managers; I can't comment on Rigo having used it only once. However, the command line version of Entropy (Equo) is excellent and easy to use.
I did have an issue installing it initially both from USB and DVD. I had to bring it up in debug mode from which I was able to execute the install. Since then it's run flawlessly through several updates. (I'm also playing with it on my MacBook running under Parallels.)
In my opinion, Sabayon is one of the most visually attractive systems I have run. The Gentoo user base is smaller than that of Debian or Redhat, but the documentation seems to be pretty darned good and the community is positive and supportive. I have a few issues with my home network I'm sorting out, but if I solve those Sabayon may become my distribution of choice.
6 • re:#3 LXLE new distro (by Michael King on 2013-03-11 13:39:25 GMT from United Kingdom)
The main difference with this distro versus Lubuntu is that is is tied into Ubuntu 12.04LTS for 5 years support plus has the Full Libreoffice, gnome games,loads of extra programs and utilities and multimedia codecs installed, a bit like a PCLINUXOS install, all you need to get by. I have been running it just from the live CD this morning and seems to run fine, Will replace my Xubuntu on my spare laptop for a while I think.
7 • Anaconda (by Jesse on 2013-03-11 14:08:02 GMT from Canada)
>> "Jesse said in his review that Anaconda had been updated in the direction he wishes the new Anaconda had gone. I have tried Sabayon 11, and I cannot tell that any changes have been made, especially in comparison to Fedora 17 or even Fuduntu."
The version of Anaconda which ships with Fuduntu (and which shipped with earlier versions of Fedora) had three notable drawbacks:
1. Requirement of an extra partition when the installer assumed GPT disk layouts.
2. The root partition had to be formatted as ext4, no other file system was allowed.
3. Sabayon does not require a first-run wizard post-installation. Both Fedora and Fuduntu require the user to perform configuration at first boot rather than rolling those steps into the installer as most other distributions do.
8 • Sabayon (by tuxtest on 2013-03-11 14:51:51 GMT from Canada)
I tested version of Sabayon over a long period. I have also been a few years user. Sabayon KDE is slower than Gnome. Anaconda installer, I always had a good experience. Regarding Rigo, I enjoyed are used. Rigo is fast and the messages are clear.
My experience with systems based on Gentoo, the fastest Calculate Linux. This is very surprising. Comparable to Slackware and Arch Linux in terms of speed.
The big problem with Sabayon is the duration in the time. In theory this is a rolling release distro and so once installed, you should not have to do an installation. But after a few months and several updates, the system eventually broken. Especially after a major update.
I dropped out Sabayon because of its instability in the medium and long term. I spent under LMDE since launch and I've never had any problems even after 3 big major update. LinuxMintDebian runs perfectly.
My experience with Sabayon 4,5,6,7,8,9,10 is the same. After a few months, I need a reinstall the system after a major update because the system broken.
best regard at all
9 • Ubuntu's Mir (by Candide on 2013-03-11 14:52:06 GMT from Taiwan)
The announcement of Mir has already generated quite a bit of heated discussion on the geek blogs. I think the most controversial aspect is that the Wayland developers - who mistakenly thought their project had Ubuntu's blessing - feel somewhat abandoned.
I don't know at this point if Mir is a big improvement on Wayland or not, but it does sound like it could be very worthwhile. Developers will need to jump on board to make their applications Mir-aware, otherwise it won't reach it's full potential.
I'll give Ubuntu the benefit of the doubt on this one. Looking forward to giving Mir a test run.
10 • Re 9: Both Mir & Wayland have issues (by hobbitland on 2013-03-11 15:54:28 GMT from United Kingdom)
Both Mir & Wayland requires special GPU drivers from Nvidia and AMD. We are still stuck with Open Source drivers only with Wayland. Even with Xorg its hard enough getting drivers working why would Nvidia & AMD support a project like Mir that is used by a single distro?
Hasn't Canonical upset enough of their regular follows. Backing Wayland and suddenly switching Mir sounds very bad. Naming Mir after some space station that broke up in little pieces and splashed down over the Pacific Ocean isn't really a very good idea. Hope this project breaks up before it even gets launched.
The problem with Canonical is they keep changing their directions without any warning. One minute Wayland is the way to go then its Mir. At present I remaster Ubuntu without the unity and indexing/shopping spywares to use gnome 3 fallback. Would it still be possible to remove Mir and add Xorg?
Ubuntu has a very good base but if they make it difficult to remaster I'll be forced back to Debian witjh Xfce. I hope Xubuntu rebases on Debian stable so we can have a better live installer.
11 • @2 and @4 (by sum1 on 2013-03-11 16:26:05 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ever heard of this http://www.linuxliveusb.com/ ? Installed Chakra to Hdd using pendrive, hassle free application. Wonder why Chakra is not compatible with Unetbootin? Because it has big U (ooo) to boot your pendrive. Unetbootin might work for known distro, such as U....Buntu and it derivates, Debian, OpenSUSE, Mandriva, Arch, Fedora etc. But can't find PCLinuxOS or Chakra on the Unetbootin for Linux list (PCLinuxOS 2010 available on Windows version now).
Give it a try, I did.
12 • @2 (by abveritas on 2013-03-11 16:45:46 GMT from United States)
Where do you get the idea that Chakra has ever hidden unetbootin is not compatible, or that DVD's need to be burned at no higher speed than 4x? Every Release Announcement on the News has had that in bold letters for more then 2 years, please check the News page, if you have any doubt. It also links to a complete Wiki page how to create media either using USB or DVD, again this has been this way for over 2 years.
13 • Ubuntu Unity in Qt (by Cassius Clay on 2013-03-11 17:13:00 GMT from United States)
Unity Next, the next iteration of Ubuntu's Unity interface, will be written in Qt/QML. To me, that's at least as big a deal as the Mir thing.
Shuttleworth has waxed poetic about free software, yet now his company is dependent on technology overseen by a for-profit company, Digia. He'll have to reconcile that and other issues, like how they can justify orphaning Kubuntu when they're doing a lot of development work in Qt.
14 • Chakra (by Chris on 2013-03-11 17:19:38 GMT from United States)
To those who are mentioning Chakra unetbootin issues, you're right. unetbootin does NOT work.
However, dd works just fine. I used a PNY 4GB flash drive, and dd if=~/name.iso of=/dev/sdb and installed it today without a hitch. Also, like previous people have mentioned, burning a DVD at 4X is fine as well. Just make a sammich while you wait ;)
15 • @ 13/Whats wrong with Qt? (by mz on 2013-03-11 18:09:18 GMT from United States)
Qt has been available under some sort of free license from the very beginning, and in fact the KDE folks have a right to release the code under a BSD license in a worst case scenario. There may be lots of untrustworthy companies out there, but when it comes to open source doing wrong by users and the community well that leads to a forking mess for the company, and Oracle has proven it over and over again in the past couple of years. If anything Qt is in a stronger position for the community than Open/LibreOffice & MySQL/MariaDB. I'd say the biggest mistake Canonical made with regard to Qt is not switching to it & KDE as soon as the Gnome leaders went off the deep end. The only problems with Canonical are what they've done with Unity & the search spyware in it, not what open source tech they are underneath.
16 • @15 (by mz on 2013-03-11 18:11:23 GMT from United States)
...or the tech they are using underneath.
17 • Sabayon 11 (by Ikaº on 2013-03-11 19:48:13 GMT from Spain)
Last week I geve a try to Sabayon. In live mode all worked ok, so decided to install it.
Nice and intuitive...
...but after partitioning, clicking the "Next" button, it poped-up an error message. The optins are "Debug", Save abd report bug" and "Exit".
- clicking "exit" it exits installation
- clicking either the other two buttons the installation freezes.
So that was my experience with Sabayon 11...
18 • @7 (by Adam Williamson on 2013-03-11 21:28:01 GMT from Canada)
"The version of Anaconda which ships with Fuduntu (and which shipped with earlier versions of Fedora) had three notable drawbacks:
1. Requirement of an extra partition when the installer assumed GPT disk layouts.
2. The root partition had to be formatted as ext4, no other file system was allowed."
The first of those was only present for a single Fedora release: 16. We went back to MS-DOS disklabels by default in F17, before the newUI changes: GPT by default just turned out to cause too many problems. Both F17 and F18 handle disk labels the same: they default to MS-DOS for BIOS installs to disks under 3TB in size (you have to use GPT on larger disks), and to GPT on UEFI installs and disks larger than 3TB.
As I've told you at least five times by now, the second limitation was *specific to live images*, something you never see fit to mention. The limitation was removed in F18, in changes that are contemporaneous with newUI but really separate from it. It's not a UI issue, it is to do with how the live images are generated and transferred to disk at install time.
I have not used Sabayon, but both of these changes could be from upstream anaconda, and likely are. I cannot comment on the difference with regards to firstboot, as I haven't used Sabayon. There are good reasons user creation is done post-install in Fedora, though I believe in F19/F20 we're planning to make it possible to do it _either_ during install _or_ post-install.
19 • @10 @13 (by Adam Williamson on 2013-03-11 21:40:36 GMT from Canada)
@10 It's not that either requires 'special' drivers - that's a meaningless descriptor. Their requirements in terms of drivers are actually reasonably similar; they each basically just need a driver that implements EGL. Driver fragmentation is not likely to be one of the problems Mir causes, I don't think. The potential problems are _above_ the display server in the stack, not _below_ it. The most likely outcome is that drivers will support both.
@13 "Shuttleworth has waxed poetic about free software, yet now his company is dependent on technology overseen by a for-profit company, Digia."
Why do you think 'free software' and 'for-profit' are in opposition to each other? There is no issue with the freedom of Qt.
20 • Sabayon is perhaps being a bit over developed like many other utilitities. (by hughetorrance on 2013-03-11 21:55:21 GMT from United Kingdom)
I recently decided to add audacity to my Sabayon 10 xfce and while making a cup of tea it managed to screw up including rewriting GRUB and removing my changes...so I took the easy route and installed Sabayon 11 and found that after ten minutes of being idle it froze up solid,I have heard that xscreensaver is not much liked and just tweaking the settings resolved that and so far its seems ok if a bit slower than I have become used to from Sabayon.
21 • Sabayon 11 (by Don Manyette on 2013-03-11 22:23:30 GMT from United States)
I too tried Sabayon 11 and in general liked what I saw, although rigo was not ready for prime time. In it's favor, it's the only distribution I've tried lately which fully supports the Evolution Suite, I suspect due to the 3.6.2 kernel. On the minus side, I was totally unable to get it to support my wireless Epson Workforce 845 printer. The printer support is rather primitiive, depending on older technology. But given another iteration or two, it does have some promise IMHO.
22 • Installer (by Jesse on 2013-03-11 23:35:18 GMT from Canada)
>> "As I've told you at least five times by now, the second limitation was *specific to live images*, something you never see fit to mention."
The file system limitation is present, as you said, in the Fedora live discs. The live disc are the default download option for Fedora. This is why I don't see a need to qualify my statement. Saying the bug only exists in the default offering is not a redeeming statement, it's rather an unfortunate one. For multiple versions Fedora's installer put this artificial limitation on their live media (again the default download option). Sabayon, on the other hand, does not have this file system limitation, not on their live media and not on their plain installation option either. If Fedora had imported Sabayon's fixes years ago then I wouldn't keep pointing out the bug and you wouldn't have to keep defending Fedora's broken software.
23 • PCLinuxOS unetbootin (by sumbu on 2013-03-12 00:00:24 GMT from Malaysia)
@11. PCLinuxOS compatible with unetbootin.
Normally i use DD GUI first like mandriva seed or opensuse image writer for hybrid iso or unetbootin if image writer refuse to work.
24 • LXLE (by azurehi on 2013-03-12 01:16:36 GMT from United States)
I am very pleased with LXLE. It offers a greatly enhanced Lubuntu 12.04 experience.
25 • Mir (by Matt on 2013-03-12 02:32:23 GMT from Hong Kong)
i've always find the X environmental lacking... it just feel a bit ancient, with duct tapes all over the engine and api. i feel Mir should target the functionality of remote desktop in windows... for example, remote access with audio support, etc... but the 1st problem is - will hardware vendor provide device drivers for their graphic cards for Mir? linux has always been lagging behind in hardware support, even today, so i'm a little bit pesmisstic if hardware vendors would support Mir, which perhaps will run only on ubuntu.
26 • @22 (by Adam Williamson on 2013-03-12 02:43:10 GMT from Canada)
"The live disc are the default download option for Fedora. This is why I don't see a need to qualify my statement."
Default is not only. Lots of people download the DVD and netinst images; your reviews would lead them to believe they won't be able to use anything but ext4, which is not true.
Anyway, it's water beneath the bridge now, as it is resolved in F18.
27 • @10 (by Mark on 2013-03-12 05:01:32 GMT from United States)
Saline OS is a good choice for anybody who likes Debian Stable with Xfce and a good installer. I run it in a virtual machine whenever I need to do banking or shopping online. Linux Mint Debian Edition is also a legit choice if you have the patience to deal with continual updates (for better or worse) in Debian Testing.
I can't imagine Xubuntu (or any of the 'buntu's) being re-based on a distro other than Debian. Last time I checked, Canonical is still the sponsor.
28 • Sabayon (by Denny on 2013-03-12 10:24:24 GMT from Netherlands)
I have similar experiences as the reviewer with Sabayon Linux. The graphical bugs in Rigo annoyed me as well so I only use equo from the command line, which works fine. Also, compared to other KDE distro's I've tried, it seems a bit sluggish.
However I will keep using this distro for a while because:
- I like rolling release distro's. Upgrading distro's (especially Ubuntu) is a nightmare most of the times and re-installing every 6 months if you want to use the latest software or managing a myriad of PPA's is just not my favourite hobby
- Sabayon always uses the latest stable versions of the software, unlike distro's like Debian that usually is months behind.
- Most things work out of the box (eg. Flash, multimedia, drivers, FN-key functions on laptop, touchpad etc.)
29 • Precise Puppy 5.5 (by Julian on 2013-03-12 14:39:45 GMT from United States)
I just installed precise puppy 5.5. Doesn't take long to download. Replacing a previous version of Puppy was as simple as opening up the ISO and copying a couple files from inside it, on to my hard drive.
Performance is excellent since the system runs from RAM. (this was not the case when I had a standard Ubuntu or Lubuntu install) It's compatible with Ubuntu 12.04 packages, which matters to me because I use some precompiled proprietary software such as "google voice/video chat". It is compatible with Libreoffice, which is also important to me.
30 • Security and potential malware in Linux distributions (by sebastien on 2013-03-12 15:14:31 GMT from France)
As a non-trustable distro illustration, there used to be this joke:
31 • Sabayon (by thomas on 2013-03-12 20:40:59 GMT from Germany)
Have to chime in wrt sabayon: it's on my multiboot linux disk, and I enjoy having it and running a gentoo bleeding-edge system without the constant compiling. On the other hand, it is not a stable system. Some weeks ago, it simply overwrote my carefully crafted initrd, so I couldn't boot into the system. And last week's update cheerfully removed all of kde, including kdm, so one had to boot into the console and reinstall it. So I wouldn't recommend this as a production system, but it's nice for playing around...
>> while making a cup of tea it managed to screw up including rewriting GRUB
I didn't even know sabayon could make a cup of tea - that's awesome!
32 • @11 (by Kevin on 2013-03-12 21:31:18 GMT from United States)
I think the incompatibility is related to the fact that Unetbootin installs a separate bootloader to the USB drive. FWIW Arch Linux recommends against using Unetbootin for that reason.
And for anyone wanting alternatives, theres always dd (for Linux OS). For Windows, you can try Win32 Disk Imager:
33 • uNetBootIn (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2013-03-13 01:31:08 GMT from United States)
Per FAQ, SysLinux, a common (less "grand"?) Linux bootloader.
AFAIR, it uses plain old text files for configuration, which even non-devs can study and change.
34 • Sabayon 11 (by Jordan on 2013-03-13 02:38:23 GMT from United States)
I wonder why I keep anticipating the next release of Sabayon? Every damned time I run live then install the thing I end up tossing it the very same day, most often over strange behaviors after an update or something going on and on with pop-ups, telling me this or that is not available or has stopped.
What the heck are those developers doing over there at Sabayon? I sent them money (not a lot, but more than once over three years now) as I do to most distros I install.
Portage is cool. The interface of Sabayon is cool. Their website is cool. Why the unreliable junk?
35 • the Rigo moment in Sabayon (by TheOneLaw on 2013-03-13 07:49:35 GMT from Indonesia)
I installed Sabayon 10 for my wife's Asus laptop and it has performed quite well so far,
but I must admit the RIgo interface is a bit of a dud.
(I want it for mine but no chance to change horses yet,
Laptop Rule Number One - never change an OS in the middle of a production project.)
Rigo works, almost halfway to the midpoint of being barely functional
but even then only with seemingly endless wading through the swampland of
'what the heck am I doing here' moments.
I wish they could channel the old Mandriva package manager, or equivalent.
at least it had category searches that made sense,
and it also detailed the file list
(so you could find stuff you had installed and forgot where it went...)
Anyways, I did not use the KDE interface (I was tempted, but thought better of it)
and installed the XFCE (64bit) version of 10 and keep the upgrades going.
The XFCE version seems to run well, and as mentioned elsewhere, the default
colors and themes are, for my own opinion, quite pleasant.
36 • Sabayon (by zykoda on 2013-03-13 08:38:51 GMT from United Kingdom)
Semper Eadem! Just another FIAT (Fehler in allen teilen). Typically Ingenius but incorrect! What a great pity so much talent and enthusiasm lacks solidarity of detail.
37 • Sabayon (by BST on 2013-03-13 10:06:10 GMT from United States)
I have tried it a couple of times now. For anyone interested, if you can waddle through rigo enough to get to the settings to enable unstable mirrors and do a upgrade by draggin your mouse around enough to see the message prompts, rigo is fixed after the full upgrade (for me anyways). Now the other stuff breaking, I don't know cause I found it too sluggish to keep around. It seems pleasent to look at though. Would like to revisit after some bug tweaking and re-releases.
38 • Distros And Disks (by ShadowJack on 2013-03-13 11:59:42 GMT from United States)
I bought a 10-pack of Memorex DVD-RWs for $12 three years ago for burning distros to try out and/or install. Still in use today. I keep my USB sticks for music and videos.
39 • @38Distros And Disks (by greg on 2013-03-13 13:12:21 GMT from Slovenia)
Isn't it chepar (again) to have a very portable 2,5" disk rather than multiple USB keys for data etc. maybe usb disk do not need so much power from PC/tablet etc?
40 • Sabayon performance and Rigo (by forlin on 2013-03-13 15:28:10 GMT from Portugal)
I haven't used Sabayion for a long time, and after reading Jesse's review, I decided to give it a try. Instead of KDE, I opted by the XFCE version, due to recent news about lots of improvement and refinements on it.
Mainly, I'd like to refer to my experience about the two mentioned caveats. Maybe because its the XFCE version I didn't notice any problem regarding either performance and the Rigo usability.
After the first login, I used Rigo to get rid off a bunch of software, install another bunch and run about 90 updates. All that without a single problem. Overall Rigo seemed to be a big step forward on Sabayon usability, at least in the XFCE version.
On the performance side I also haven't any complains. System is responsive, applications opens fast and a complete reboot took about two and a half minutes.
By disabling the update notifier service which seem to require a lot of resources, I got 210 Mb memory usage after login, and 300 with Chrome running.
So far, the XFCE Sabayon has been a pleasant surprise and I plan to go with it for some time more, to find out how it behaves in the future, as a rolling release.
41 • Fatdog64 looks interesting (by hobbitland on 2013-03-13 15:58:42 GMT from United Kingdom)
Hiya, I've been looking at Fatdog64 which is based on Puppy Linux but is 64bit. Lately, Puppy Linux has been driving me mad. I cannot stop it searching for files on my virtualbox hard disk hard disk. There should a boot option to only use CD or USB stick.
Fatdog has a much easier to use remastering tool than Puppy Linux "/usr/sbin/fatdog-remaster.sh". But Fatdog is not on distrowatch.
Thinking of using remastered fatdog64 for live USB sticks and Debian 7 xfce for installs. Need to find a way to jump off the Ubuntu train wreck before it hits the buffers. Maybe Canonical will kill xubuntu wiht #mir
42 • Sabayon 11 (by Johnny Who on 2013-03-13 19:30:51 GMT from Greece)
Sabayon is probably my favourite distro, as it seems to compine the best of every other distro I can think of. There are obviously some issues with it, one of which is performance fluctuations before and after updates. For instance, I have noticed that after upgrading once, it can get slow, yet on the next upgrade the performance issue is ammended. Package management is quite painless, as well as single-command kernel upgrades. However, you need to get some tweaking done in order to optimize it. It is definitely not `buntu, and, despite the distrowatch rating, I could state that it is more relative to, say, Arch than to any "newbie distro".
43 • Chakra and noop linux (by cowlitzron on 2013-03-13 21:30:19 GMT from United States)
I also have noop linux, a little known independent distro which started in 2012 and has support for 4 desktop environments. I can get the usual apps to run, but their are still a few bugs such as the sleep button not working with KDE and not loading the sound card automatically on my laptop and sometimes not waking from suspend. I am considering replacing noop with something more stable, but I do have a liking for an small time project.
44 • MY choice of operating system (by Pissed off Fedora victim on 2013-03-13 23:14:37 GMT from United States)
Fedora is getting bad.
Their ill conceived updates victimize the users.
Things an update has broken on a running system , Not hackers but foolish mistakes from Fedora's update servers
No sound .
Dozens of rules changed by an update and no easy way to fix it. I find out. They renamed eth0 to p3p1 . I can not even find any info except iptables Shades of 1960's Debian Potatoe. I hate adding iptables rules, Manually.
I guess it is time to start using a real operating system written by someone who cares like Windows 8. I wont be back Fedora.
45 • re: MY choice of operating system (by Peter Besenbruch on 2013-03-14 04:20:44 GMT from United States)
Fedora Is THE distribution of bleeding edge change and to hell with the consequences. It's principal use is as a test bed for future Red Hat Enterprise Linux upgrades. Happy Fedora users are those who like the bleeding edge, and who don't mind tinkering. Hobbyists. If you need to get actual work done, Fedora is the last distro I would consider.
46 • @44 choices... (by DavidEF on 2013-03-14 12:07:11 GMT from United States)
"I guess it is time to start using a real operating system written by someone who cares like Windows 8. I wont be back Fedora."
I'm hoping you're being sarcastic, or in some way joking at least. But, in the off chance that you really BELIEVE that line, let me be the first to say: Don't come back. If you actually think Windows 8 is made by someone who cares about you, please don't ever use linux again, and please don't come back on here trolling again. No hard feelings, but have a nice life, and enjoy your Windows OS.
47 • @46 (by slink on 2013-03-14 12:56:07 GMT from United States)
I can believe that the commenter on #44 believes what he/she wrote. I swore off of Fedora years ago due to difficulties in getting basic features working and also in keeping them working.
If the only two OS choices for a PC were Win8 and Fedora, and I were asked which one was crafted by a company that cares anything about the end user, I would not hesitate to choose Win8 either.
48 • @47 (by DavidEF on 2013-03-14 16:05:18 GMT from United States)
"If the only two OS choices for a PC were Win8 and Fedora, and I were asked which one was crafted by a company that cares anything about the end user, I would not hesitate to choose Win8 either."
That may be true, but thankfully, we do have other choices that are much better than Windows 8. How about we start at the bottom with Windows XP, next up Windows 7, above that maybe a MacOS or iOS, and in the top 200 or so spots, there are plenty of free OS alternatives.
My point was not that Win 8 sucks worse than Fedora, seeing as how I'm not a user of either of those two. My point was that jumping straight to Win 8 specifically, when there are SO MANY better options, seemed like it must be a joke. And, if it's not a joke, and PoFv REALLY thinks Win 8 is an indication that Microsoft cares more than ANY AND ALL linux developers (because otherwise we just switch distros, right?) then PoFv is not the linux type, and would be happier never seeing linux again.
And we (or at least I ) would be happier not having someone around who is not the linux type and will only ever complain and say "Windows is better because Microsoft cares."
49 • Sabayon 11 (by Osoloco on 2013-03-14 16:24:29 GMT from Ecuador)
I have been using Sabayon for some months already and my experience has been quite possitive. The upgrade from SL 10 to SL 11 was smooth and so far has been stable.
It is not a distro for "newies" and yo must spend some time in the Sabayon wiki and forums in order to learn the proper way to maintain and upgrade the distro (the way any educated linux user should go).
Yes, Rigo is not the best package manager around, and the use of the CLI equo is advised. Once a week I perform the following commands in order to keep the system upgraded and healty:
# equo update && equo install entropy equo rigo --relaxed && equo upgrade && equo conf update && equo deptest && equo libtest && equo cleanup
And I am already enjoying kernel 3.8, KDE 4.10.1, LibreOffice 184.108.40.206, etc. It is one of the few distros that configured fine my complex audio/video settings (two monitors with a mix of hdmi and dvi outputs, and digital/analog audio).
In my experience with rolling realease distros, PCLinuxOS is a rock solid stable one and newie friendly, but usually not so updated. Sabayon is bleeding edge and stable with proper care.
Just my story ;-)
50 • Re post#49 Sabayon 11 (by Jordan on 2013-03-14 18:04:09 GMT from United States)
I agree for sure that some users on some computers with some configurations can have some success with distros that others with some computers with some configurations of the same distros don't have success in use.
Some might look at this ongoing condition as:
All linux distros, no matter their name or designation ("development release," "distribution release," "final release," etc) are BETA, in the sense that was pointed out in my first paragraph of this post, with apologies for quoting myself. ;)
Keep your stick on.. .. oh wait, that's somebody else. :oD
51 • DVD burn speed (by EZSIT on 2013-03-14 19:38:50 GMT from United States)
Why would Chakra need to be burned at 4x or lower when every other distro I have burned to DVD works perfectly whether I burn at 8x, 12x, and 16x? Why is Chakra so special? Why is Chakra so fragile?
52 • @51 • DVD burn speed (by mandog on 2013-03-14 23:07:52 GMT from Peru)
The reason is nothing to do with chakra being fragile its to do with bad media clapped out cheap writers etc. I also burn at X16+ but i only use the likes of verbatim etc.
53 • "Bleeding edge change and to hell with the consequences" (by gregzeng on 2013-03-14 23:45:26 GMT from Australia)
@ 11, 12, 14, 23, 32, 33: Good to read that Unetbootin (Linux) is badly described in the Linux distros; it is unpredictable. Windows has Unetbootin, plus ImageUSB, Multi Boot Usb, Universal USB Installer, LinuxLive USB Creator & Yumi Multiboot Usb Creator.
@45. So true. I've seen so many burnout-dead-forever, after sampling Linux. Perhaps that's why Youtube reviewers (longtermers) focus mainly noobie versions of Linux.
The 'buntus (Ubuntu-with-Unity excepted) are noobie-friendly IMO. 'Bleed-edge' myself, by removing unwanted stuff, updating to the latest kernel (3.8.x) and Desktop Environments (usually KDE 12.10, or Bodhi).
Sabayon will not install onto my multi-booting dual-drive PC; swap partition must be on same device as the root partition, unlike the Debian-based distros. Even if I point it at my smaller swap part'n on the root drive, it fails to work in my case.
In the RPM-world, perhaps openSuse is the most reliable; more third-parties seem to offer products for this distro, compared to other RPM brand-names.
Perhaps RPM-based distros might follow PCLOS, using a modified form of Synaptic Package manager? The debian distros need some competition on the desktop, & not just for the the server users.
54 • @48, W8 and Fedora (by meanpt on 2013-03-14 23:46:14 GMT from Portugal)
Hu, I preach for open freedom, but I'm not so fundamentalist to accept a thing that doesn't work and/or breake, just because it has the seal of freedom. Fedora? It may be a great thing for may but, no thanks, that is off. Since F17 the F distro only tries to scrap the Bios software in my (from 2010) HP laptop. It can't simply be installed. Guess what you see installed in it: the OEM W7, Bodhi, Ubuntu and oher buntus. So, if in this world I only had the Fdistro and the W-otherOS, what do you think I would live with? Fortunately the open freedom provides more routes ...
55 • fedora bleeding edge (by mandog on 2013-03-15 12:07:39 GMT from Peru)
This is to people complaining about Fedora.
Since when has Fedora been a stable release it has not Its purely a testing ground for Red Had nothing else And never will be stable. Fedora does all the testing indirectly for the Linux world so please don't complain. Thank Red Hat and Fedora for all the hard work they do.
56 • @51 • DVD burn speed (by Ron on 2013-03-15 21:12:36 GMT from United States)
4x..16x.. do you all realize that higher DVD/CD burn speeds cause more stress on the laser diode? Yes, all you speed demons are burning at 16x, yep you're burning alright, you're burning your laser diode!
How impatient must you all be? Really, how many burns do you do that you cannot wait a few minutes more. Nervous Nellies.
57 • @56 (by notsure on 2013-03-16 03:12:07 GMT from United States)
yup, always burn at 1x myself...
58 • @56 DVD burn speed (by mcellius on 2013-03-16 04:29:59 GMT from United States)
Ron, I assume you're making a joke or having a bit of fun at the expense of others.
Although the burning laser may take a bit more power at high speeds, you won't noticeably wear out the laser diode any faster if the DVD burner is used at high speeds. (Wearing out the motor that spins the disks is more likely, but not really significant, either: how long does a hard drive spin? Many thousands of hours, usually: the technology to spin things is quite good.)
There may be other reasons to burn at somewhat slower speeds, as there appears to be some evidence that burning at higher speeds might lead to more errors, but the quality of the media - the disks themselves - seems to be the most important factor. A good burner and a good disk are a good combination and under those conditions high-speed burning is usually quite successful.
No comment on Chakra's stated requirement.
59 • @39 Disks And Distros (by ShadowJack on 2013-03-16 05:06:22 GMT from United States)
I'm not worried at all about the extra power usage, it is negligible. My computer has plenty of power, otherwise why have it? USB keys? I plug them in, they open, ready to play in my PC or my Xbox360.
60 • RE 59 (by dbrion on 2013-03-16 15:58:30 GMT from France)
What is worrying with the USB keys (w/r to USB discs) is not the extra power usage (external mecanical discs are watt hungry) , but the price per gigabyte...
61 • @56 • DVD burn speed (by mandog on 2013-03-16 16:11:51 GMT from Peru)
Well I use a plextor I bought it 7 yrs ago I burn flat out all the time I buy Verbatim They state that you get better burns at 16x than you do at 4x but then I use a industy standard burner and media. Also nero confirms the with 96/98% quality on there tests as does plextor tests.
62 • @58 • @56 DVD burn speed (by Ron on 2013-03-16 16:23:07 GMT from United States)
"Wearing out the motor that spins the disks is more likely, but not really significant, either: how long does a hard drive spin? Many thousands of hours, usually: the technology to spin things is quite good.)....."
Yes, I agree the motor seems to be the weakest failure point in DVD drives. I have personally had two DVD players fail with less than 200 hours of use. One was a Panasonic, the other was el-cheapo from Best Buy.
Hard drives seem to have much more solid motor technology than what I have noted in DVD/CD drives. I suppose hard drives are expected to run for many long hours.
63 • @45 (by Adam Williamson on 2013-03-16 19:19:15 GMT from Canada)
You seem to be confusing 'updates' and 'upgrades'. We did not introduce biosdevname (the ethernet interface renaming you're talking about) in a stable release update. We introduced it in a new release: it came in Fedora 15. It was extensively documented in the release notes:
Yes, Fedora changes stuff between releases. So does every other operating system. If we didn't, there'd be no point having releases. if you want to know what changed: read the release notes.
Lots of fun for everyone else piling on Fedora, but the fact is that the initial complaint appears to be groundless.
64 • openSUSE 12.3 - first thoughts (by Andy Prough on 2013-03-16 23:15:06 GMT from United States)
I'm running openSUSE 12.3 with the KDE 4.10 desktop. Appears to me that the openSUSE team is trying to catch up to Mint, as far as ease-of-use is concerned. Wifi worked immediately - no tinkering or diving into YAST to fix it this time (big relief). Flash is automatically installed with the first update, and is working well (with Chromium - I haven't tested Firefox to any degree yet). Default theme is very Mint-like - classy, modern, eye-catching.
Speed is the name of the game with this version. KDE desktop boots up in about 15-20 seconds. Applications leap to action. Everything on the desktop is highly responsive. I assume that this has a lot to do with KDE 4.10 plus the maturation of systemd.
I had not noticed this before (might be new, might not) - installer offers customized partition setups for each hard drive. Just click on a hard drive or flash drive, and the installer gives a suggestion as to how best to turn any available space on that specific hard drive into a useable partition structure for installation. Also gives a suggestion for resizing if you selected a hard drive with no available space. I'm used to doing partitioning the hard way, so this is a very nice feature. Suggested partition structures can be further edited manually for fine-tuning.
Another reviewer noted that the KDE version of LibreOffice is ugly on openSUSE 12.3 - have to say I agree - it's really quite hideous for some reason. Apparently, the Gnome themed LO is much better looking. I'll be downloading OOo in order to get better handling of .docx formatting, and hopefully that one won't be as bad to look at.
All-in-all, this is a very interesting distro - almost a hybrid of a Mint RPM system, in terms of the look and feel. Otherwise, under the hood, this is pure openSUSE, with the powerful YAST control center and a truly monstrous collection of available software that might just rival Ubuntu's.
65 • Distro installs. Is Wefi the problem? (by forlin on 2013-03-17 00:28:06 GMT from Portugal)
At my early years in Linux I was an hard core distrohopper and had many failed installs due to ignorance about user friendly and not friendly user distros, Bsd and Linux differences, and so. After settling those differences, I rarely had a bad install.
Unfortunately after Uefi, things changed for worst. Often, a uefi distro install ends on a 1024x768 screen, instead of my system 1920X1080 resolution. Sometimes its possible to correct that, but not always. Still worst, my very first uefi distro install did also manage to change the resolution of other installed distros, to 1024X768. Maybe that's about uefi and my hardware/software, or maybe its just Uefi. Either way eventually it will be fixed, as always happen in Linux.
Also, recentlly, Fedora18 and Suse 12.3 were a disappointment. Suse Gnome doesn't come with NetworkManager. So, internet connection isn't possible.
Ferdora 18 install was a nightmare. First it didn't go past the choose language install screen. After googling I learned it was a bug that only happen when a USB mobile broadband dongle is connected. Eventually I ended up installing it, but the resolution detection was wrong and I couldn't find a way to fix it. At the end, after the first update it refused to boot. Anyway, I'm a big fan of Fedora and later on will give it another try.
66 • #65 - openSUSE network manager after install (by Andy Prough on 2013-03-17 01:24:49 GMT from United States)
Here is the post-install thread on how to get wifi working for Gnome installs: https://forums.opensuse.org/english/get-technical-help-here/install-boot-login/484160-12-3-network-fix-post-install-announcement-sticky.html
From what I can tell, KDE does not have any trouble.
67 • @ 65 - a correction about Suse - Nework (by forlin on 2013-03-17 01:48:30 GMT from Portugal)
After reading post # 64 I decided to double check the Network Manager install.
There is any icon in the top bar to manage internet access. At the time of install, I opened "system settings" - "network" and received this notification:
"The system network services are not compatible with this version"
That's why I assumed Network Manager was not included in the iso.
Indeed, it is. One can find it under "Applications" - "Network Connections" - "Network Manager". Unfortunately after filling up the mobile broadband wizard, the set up is not added into the Network Manager. Nor does the system detects the USB mobile broadband dongle.
As with other Wefi installs, Suse doesn't also auto detect my system resolution. Fixing it manually, rendered a desktop with an empty non responding wallpaper. "restarx" brought back a functional desktop, but, again, with the wrong resolution.
I agree with comment @ 64. This Suse edition look and feel is really above par and I intend to resolve my issues at the right place, their Forums.
68 • @ 66 - Thanks (by Forlin on 2013-03-17 02:02:40 GMT from Portugal)
Thanks Andy. Lucky that you were still around as the link goes straight to the theme.
It's a long post, I'm going to analyse it right now and I'm sure I'll end up with one of my problems solved.
69 • @ 66 - 67 Suse Network Manager working now (by forlin on 2013-03-17 03:02:50 GMT from Portugal)
The solution linked at @66 didn't work for my USB broadband dongle
For those who may be interested, here's what I've done.
- Go to YaST Network Settings
- Select "user controlled with Network Manager".
(Ignore the notification "nm-applet service is not running")
- Press ok at the right bottom side: Network configuration will start running.
At a certain point, the configuration process will stop and an error message displayed: "no network running". Ignore it.
Look at the top bar. The NM icon is already there. Press it and configure your connection, as usually.
70 • @69 -- Re: Suse Network Manager working now (by SuseUser on 2013-03-17 09:33:47 GMT from Australia)
>> Go to YaST Network Settings
- Select "user controlled with Network Manager". <<
That is the first place to check(and do as yo did) if you find Network Manger is not working in openSUSE editions.
71 • Fedora 18 (by pfb on 2013-03-17 11:16:22 GMT from United States)
"Ferdora 18 install was a nightmare. First it didn't go past the choose language install screen. After googling I learned it was a bug that only happen when a USB mobile broadband dongle is connected. Eventually I ended up installing it, but the resolution detection was wrong and I couldn't find a way to fix it. At the end, after the first update it refused to boot. Anyway, I'm a big fan of Fedora and later on will give it another try."
That is interesting. I have installed F18 and during boot, it will incessantly poll any USB storage device. It looks for some sort of identification that apparently is not returned by the device. It will do this for a couple of minutes on each device. Not only that, it will go through this routine at least twice during boot. Needless to say booting is a long process. I find that removing the external hard drives and thumb drives result in a rapid boot. Maybe you need to plug your dongle in after the system is up and running. This is inconvenient, but they will probably fix it by F19.
72 • openSUSE (by Mac on 2013-03-17 12:54:29 GMT from United States)
SUSE 12.3 has worked for me out of the box. Being a debian use, now I have a rpm distro to study. Not all distros work for me but I try till I find one that will and many thanks to all the hard work that goes into all them. With out it none of this would be possible. Don't understand all the complaints!! Surely with all the choices you can find one that will work, may have to read a little.
Have fun Mack
73 • @69 (by Mac on 2013-03-17 17:04:51 GMT from United States)
I like to run knemo also with network manager and with wireless usb I rely on it quite a bit.
Have fun Mack
Number of Comments: 73
Display mode: DWW Only • Comments Only • Both DWW and Comments
|• Issue 638 (2015-11-30): Qubes OS 3.0, KaOS with Plasma, NetBSD 7.0, Fedora seeks Wayland testers, scheduling tasks|
|• Issue 637 (2015-11-23): NixOS 15.09, Antergos introduces ZFS support, MINIX shares new features, copying an OS to a new computer|
|• Issue 636 (2015-11-16): openSUSE 42.1, Fedora uses Wayland by default, Debian replaces live CD project, Steam consoles launch|
|• Issue 635 (2015-11-09): Fedora 23, Cinnamon 2.8 released, a Fedora KDE packager quits, Red Hat signs deal with Microsoft|
|• Issue 634 (2015-11-02): Ubuntu 15.10, Chakra upgrades to Plasma 5, OpenMandriva plans new editions, MINIX plans conference|
|• Issue 633 (2015-10-26): GhostBSD 10.1, Bodhi Linux to get new settings panel, Fedora 23 delayed, creating live image of existing OS|
|• Issue 632 (2015-10-19): Linux Lite 2.6, 32-bit build of CentOS, OpenBSD turns 20, Bodhi Linux releases AppPack|
|• Issue 631 (2015-10-12): Parsix 8.0, Manjaro seeks new artwork, sending commands to multiple servers, Debian drops LSB support|
|• Issue 630 (2015-10-05): Android-x86 4.4-r3, Ubuntu's new installer, Raspbian defaults to GUI interface, cleaning out dot files|
|• Issue 629 (2015-09-28): Open source desktops and touch interfaces, locking down user accounts, OpenMandriva opens gaming documentation|
|• Issue 628 (2015-09-21): Neptune 4.4, changes to pfSense, Pinguy OS releases updated ISO images, accessing hard disk images|
|• Issue 627 (2015-09-14): Mageia 5, Snappy co-exists with Debian packages, creating PDF/A documents, Antergos previews Poodle|
|• Issue 626 (2015-09-07): Status of Wayland and Mir, Cinnamon improvements, an OpenBSD hypervisor, HAMMER2 gets deduplication|
|• Issue 625 (2015-08-31): OpenELEC 5.0.8, Fedora's new Wayland features, Tails releases update, the LILO boot loader|
|• Issue 624 (2015-08-24): Zorin OS 10, Sabayon's new features, Solus seeks funding, Debian turns 22, new PC-BSD repository|
|• Issue 623 (2015-08-17): VectorLinux 7.1, Ubuntu One source released, Moksha Desktop ships in Bodhi, Fedora developers debate Chromium|
|• Issue 622 (2015-08-10): antiX 15, Fedora tests kdbus, Debian tracks UEFI issues, word processors for the CLI|
|• Issue 621 (2015-08-03): Point Linux 3.0, Debian drops Sparc, Fedora package stats, VirtualBox 5.0|
|• Issue 620 (2015-07-27): Debian GNU/Hurd 2015, Linux Bible, Ubuntu MATE gets new Welcome app, Telegram on Fedora, Plasma Mobile|
|• Issue 619 (2015-07-20): SolydXK 201506, Tanglu's new bug tracker, FSF and Canonical negotiate licensing, Haiku unveils new init system|
|• Issue 618 (2015-07-13): Semplice Linux 7, openSUSE derivatives, Debian adopts GCC 5, Docker ported to FreeBSD|
|• Issue 617 (2015-07-06): Alpine linux 3.2.0, Fedora on MIPS CPUs, Solus offers daily builds, Ubuntu migrating to Snappy|
|• Issue 616 (2015-06-29): MidnightBSD 0.6, openSUSE's "42", encryption added to the ext4 file system, FreeBSD on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 615 (2015-06-22): Raspbian 2015, Fedora works around Intel driver issue, openSUSE adopts GCC 5, frozen desktop while copying files|
|• Issue 614 (2015-06-15): Chromixium OS 1.0, Debian 8.1 released, OpenBSD running in the cloud, sudo myths|
|• Issue 613 (2015-06-08): Fedora 22, Cinnamon 2.6 released, FreeBSD's history, working around Secure Boot|
|• Issue 612 (2015-06-01): Manjaro OpenRC, Debian, Devuan and systemd, Fedora 22 released, Mandriva closes its doors|
|• Issue 611 (2015-05-25): Kubuntu 15.04, openSUSE adopts Plasma 5, Ubuntu's Snappy, words from Debian's Neil McGovern|
|• Issue 610 (2015-05-18): NethServer 6.6, interview with Neil McGovern, CentOS supports AArach64, Foresight discontinued|
|• Issue 609 (2015-05-11): OpenIndiana 2015.03, LXLE 14.04, PC-BSD Current, creating ISO images, Ask A Leader with Peter Ganten|
|• Issue 608 (2015-05-04): Debian 8.0, Bodhi forks Enlightenment, new Debian GNU/Hurd release, distribution release frequency|
|• Issue 607 (2015-04-27): Ubuntu 15.04, Chapeau 21, Debian 8.0 features, Fedora 22 Beta details|
|• Issue 606 (2015-04-20): Linux Mint 2 "LMDE", Matthew Miller, Debian's new Project Leader, Evolve OS name change|
|• Issue 605 (2015-04-13): SuperX 3.0, HAMMER2 features, Linux 4.0, Vince Pooley, Google Code closing|
|• Issue 604 (2015-04-06): Void 20150221, Haiku's commercial partners, Debian release date, Tumbleweed features|
|• Issue 603 (2015-03-30): Tails 1.3, LibreOffice Online, Linux Firewalls book review, Kubuntu with Plasma 5|
|• Issue 602 (2015-03-23): Bodhi Linux 3.0.0, distro popularity, OpenBSD's new web server, GNU Manifesto turns 30|
|• Issue 601 (2015-03-16): Ubuntu MATE 14.10, modern distros for old hardware, AppArmor in Debian, Fedora 22 Alpha|
|• Issue 600 (2015-03-09): Korora 21, distro diversity, Ubuntu gets systemd, PC-BSD security features|
|• Issue 599 (2015-03-02): Sabayon 15.02, creating good passwords, new YaST modules, LMDE preview
|• Issue 598 (2015-02-23): Netrunner 14.1, Vivaldi web browser, Debian election, Cinnamon improvements|
|• Issue 597 (2015-02-16): MakuluLinux MCDE 2.0, Ubuntu phones launch, m0n0wall ceases development, live Linux updates|
|• Issue 596 (2015-02-09): ArchBSD 2014.09.04, encrypted e-mail, Fedora upgrade stats, FreeBSD's support policy|
|• Issue 595 (2015-02-02): ExTiX 15.1, Destroying encrypted data, openSUSE election, OSDisc statistics|
|• Issue 594 (2015-01-26): KaOS 2014.12, Commercial distros, Snappy Ubuntu, PackageKit fixes|
|• Issue 593 (2015-01-19): ReactOS 0.3.17, Unity on Mir, Bluetooth support, openSUSE election|
|• Issue 592 (2015-01-12): Mint 17.1, load averages, binary logs, GNOME Software|
|• Issue 591 (2015-01-05): Manjaro 0.8.11, systemd, Devuan, Torrent Corner|
|• Issue 590 (2014-12-22): Fedora 21, Ubuntu phone, expanding ZFS storage, Able2Extract|
|• Issue 589 (2014-12-15): Parsix 7.0, Ubuntu "Snappy", PC-BSD upgrades, How Linux Works|
|• Issue 588 (2014-12-08): PC-BSD 10.2, rolling-release Ubuntu GNOME, Bitrig, systemd|
|• Full list of all issues|