| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 505, 29 April 2013
Welcome to this year's 17th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! As soon as a release is complete, the next one starts taking shape. That's the policy of Ubuntu and most other distributions, so it's no surprise that immediately after the completion of "Raring Ringtail" the developers started work on "Saucy Salamander". Read all about the Ubuntu release week and the distribution's upcoming plans in the News and Released Last Week sections. Also in the news, Debian announces the availability of the second release candidate of installer for "Wheezy", the OS4 project forks the useful but discontinued Remastersys utility, and TuxRadar unveils its brand-new web-based application called "Distro Picker" that could help narrow down the possibilities when trying to choose the right Linux distribution. Also in this issue, a first-look review of the recently-released PCLinuxOS 2013.04, a Tips & Tricks section on how to easily create Linux containers, and links to two useful reviews and overviews - a comparison of several official Ubuntu flavours and an overview of Trisquel GNU/Linux, a 100% free distribution as defined by the Free Software Foundation. Happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First look at PCLinuxOS 2013.04
The PCLinuxOS distribution was originally based on Mandriva, but has since split off and become an independently developed project. PCLinuxOS is a rolling-release distribution with the dual aim of being both powerful and easy to use. Officially PCLinuxOS ships with the KDE desktop interface, while community editions are available which provide Xfce and LXDE flavoured download images. The latest release of PCLinuxOS, version 2013.04, is significant in that it marks the first time the project has released 64-bit builds of the operating system. The new 64-bit builds are made available alongside the usual 32-bit ISO images. Aside from the new architecture support the latest release carries few new features, focusing mostly on updating existing software. In particular the latest release features the new KDE 4.10 desktop.
The PCLinuxOS DVD image is approximately 1.6 GB in size. Booting off this media brings up a menu with several options. We can boot the distribution and access a live desktop environment, we can load the operating system with a text console interface or we can try to boot the CD using a safe graphics mode. The menu also contains options for performing an integrity check on the media and launching the operating system's installer. I went through these various options and found they all worked well.
PCLinuxOS 2013.04 - the system installer
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The distribution's system installer is a graphical application which features a streamlined interface. Most of the screens have acceptable defaults, allowing users to simply click "Next" to navigate through the process. However, most screens also provide flexibility and advanced options which can be accessed through the click of a button. The installer walks us through confirming our keyboard's layout. Then we get into disk partitioning, which is nicely laid out. PCLinuxOS supports ext3, ext4, JFS, XFS and Reiser file systems. The partition manager offers to automatically handle partitioning for us using available free disk space or we can manually divide up the disk. After partitioning the local disk the installer copies its files over to the hard drive. The next screen asks us if we would like to use LILO or GRUB as our boot loader and we are given the opportunity to change the boot loader's settings and set a protective password on our boot menu. After that the system reboots and we are shown a first-run wizard which guides us through the initial configuration of the distribution. The first-run wizard walks us through screens which confirm our time zone, allow us to set the system's clock and ask us to set a password for the root account. We are then asked to create a regular user account and protect it with a password. With these steps done we are brought to a colourful graphical login screen
When we first login to our account we are presented with the KDE desktop, version 4.10. An information window appears letting us know PCLinuxOS is a rolling release distribution and we should make sure our computer is kept up to date with software in the project's repositories. Upon closing this window a web browser opened and displayed detailed notes on how to launch the Synaptic package manager and install all available software updates. In addition to this helpful documentation, which includes several screen shots, an icon appears in the system tray which can let us know when updates are available. When I first installed PCLinuxOS there were approximately 110MB of updates waiting in the repositories. Over the week a steady tickle of additional packages appeared, usually at a rate of a few each day. Apart from handling software updates, Synaptic is also the distribution's primary package manager. Synaptic gives us a pleasant front-end for dealing with the project's RPM packages. We can search for packages by name or description and I found Synaptic worked well during my trial.
PCLinuxOS 2013.04 - using the Synaptic package manager
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In recent years many distributions and graphical interface developers have taken the philosophy "less is more" to heart. A lot of distributions have taken on simplified interfaces where options and icons are tucked away, out of sight. PCLinuxOS leans in the other direction. On the distribution's desktop we find quick-links to configuration settings and commonly used applications. When running the live CD there are icons on the desktop to guide us to documentation and useful utilities. When we open the application menu there are many sub-menus, each one packed full of software. The PCLinuxOS distribution takes an "everything and the kitchen sink" approach to bundling applications and, at install time, approximately 6GB of software is placed on our systems. Many of the programs supplied out of the box are KDE applications, but PCLinuxOS also supplies packages built with alternative toolkits when they deliver desired functionality.
Digging through the PCLinuxOS application menu we find Firefox, Filezilla, Thunderbird, Skype, Google Earth, KMail and LibreOffice. We also have the KPPP dial-up software and the Drake Network Centre to help us get on-line. In addition we are given the KGet download client, a remote desktop client and the XChat IRC client. The Calibre e-book software is installed for us as is the Okular PDF document viewer. In the Graphics menu we find the digiKam photo manager, the GNU Image Manipulation Program and the simple KolourPaint drawing app. The Clementine audio player, the Juk music player and the KsCD audio CD player are included. We are also provided with the Dragon multimedia player, the VLC media player and a few programs to convert media from one format to another. PCLinuxOS comes with a full range of codecs and the Adobe Flash plugin. The k9copy DVD manager software is included as is the K3b optical disc burner.
KMyMoney is available for handling simple accounting tasks and VirtualBox is installed to assist us in setting up virtual machines. An archive manager is included, we're given a text editor, the Midnight Commander file manager and two programs which will assist us in renaming large batches of files. The distribution includes a full set of KDE games. Apart from the games designed to simply pass the time there is also a whole sub-menu dedicated to educational toys and games which teach simple programming, geography, spelling, physics and memory enhancement. Searching a little further we find Java is installed. PCLinuxOS also comes with the GNU Compiler Collection and, behind the scenes, the Linux kernel, version 3.2. More software is available in the project's repositories, but I suspect many people won't need more than what is provided for us at install time.
PCLinuxOS 2013.04 - changing settings using the control centre
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Perhaps the most attractive feature of the PCLinuxOS distribution is its collection of configuration tools. The various system administrator utilities are all available through the PCLinuxOS Control Centre, a portal which makes it easy to find and launch applications designed to handle specific fields of system management. These applications cover a vast range of functionality, allowing us to configure network services, manage user accounts and work with hard drives and external devices. We can manage fine-grained security controls, change boot settings, work with the firewall and set up network shares. All of this is done through a collection of user-friendly modules. Typically these configuration apps do a good job of explaining their functions and they give the user simple controls by which they provide a great deal of power. The Control Centre used by PCLinuxOS is probably the nicest I've used and I appreciate its balance with regards to capability and ease of use.
I ran PCLinuxOS on my laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 4GB of RAM, Intel video card and Intel wireless card) and found the distribution played well with my hardware. The system booted without any problems, sound worked out of the box and my wireless card was properly detected. The only problem I faced with the laptop was PCLinuxOS set my screen to use a lower resolution than what I wanted. This meant the vertical space of my screen was used, but large portions of the right and left of my display were left blank. A visit to the KDE System Settings panel allowed me to match the desktop's resolution to my physical screen and it was smooth sailing from there. I found the distribution was a little slower than most to boot and shutdown; the boot process took a little over a minute on my laptop. However, once the operating system had booted it was responsive and tasks completely quickly. PCLinuxOS, while running the KDE 4.10 desktop, used approximately 275 MB of RAM.
Over the course of my week with the distribution there were three aspects of PCLinuxOS which impressed me and made me appreciate the work put into this project. The first was, quite simply, that there were no unwelcome surprises. The PCLinuxOS project produces a friendly, general purpose desktop distribution and that is what I got. Everything from the installer, to the applications to the Control Centre worked as expected. This is all the more noteworthy when we remember PCLinuxOS uses a rolling release model which, I find, often leads to malfunctions in other distros. The second thing I enjoyed was the collection of powerful administrative tools. The system installer, the KDE System Settings and the PCLinuxOS Control Centre are all powerful and user friendly. People who install this distribution can accomplish a lot without ever needing to touch a command line. The system administration tools are polished, provide clear explanations of their options and are stable. They make the distribution surprisingly flexible without sacrificing ease of use.
Which brings me to my third point: PCLinuxOS does a nice job of making the operating system easy to set up and use without dumbing it down. There is a distinction between making things simple and making them easy and, while the two characteristics often go together, it is not always advantageous to wed them. PCLinuxOS is easy without being overly simple. There is a lot of functionality available to us right from the start, there are an amazing number of applications in the default installation and there are a great number of tools from which to choose. The PCLinuxOS desktop is like a workbench with a lot of tools laid out where we can see them and the tools are organized in such a way as to avoid confusion. I find this approach in pleasant contrast to distributions which feel tools should be hidden from the user. I'd prefer to have many tools presented in a well organized manner rather than have to hunt for the proper tool and that is where this distribution shines. I am pleased to be able to say PCLinuxOS provided me with a positive experience with no serious problems.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Ubuntu announces "Saucy Salamander", Debian releases second Installer candidate for "Wheezy", OS4 forks Remastersys, TuxRadar unveils distro picker
Ubuntu 13.04, the first Ubuntu version with a shortened support period of just nine months, was release last week as scheduled. While the reviews are mostly positive, many writers have noted the unusual lack of major new features while talking mostly about small improvements and added polish. But as always, with the completion of one release, work needs to start on the next one. Version 13.10 of Ubuntu will come with a rather distinct code name: "The Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Scorpionfish. Not.": "Slipping the phrase ‘ring ring' into the code name of 13.04 was, frankly, a triumph of linguistic engineering. And I thought I might quit on a high. For a while, there was the distinct possibility that Rick's Rolling Release Rodeo would absolve me of the twice-annual rite of composition that goes into the naming of a new release. That, together with the extent of my travels these past few months, have left me a little short in the research department. ... So today I find myself somewhat short in the naming department, which is to say, I have a name, but not the soliloquy that usually goes with it! Which is why, upon not very deep reflection, I would like to introduce you to our mascot for the next six months, the saucy salamander." According to the release schedule, Saucy Salamander will be released on 17 October 2012.
* * * * *
With Ubuntu 13.04, a record seven official Ubuntu variants saw the light of the day last Thursday. Apart from the well-established Kubuntu, Xubuntu, etc., there were two new additions - Ubuntu GNOME and UbuntuKylin. The Register's Liam Proven has written a comparative review of five *buntu flavours in an article entitled "Ubuntu without the 'U': Booting the Big Four remixes": "There are umpteen "remixes" alongside the eponymous distro. These mostly differ by having a different desktop - and therefore overall look and feel - but also in some cases different pre-installed apps. There are more than one hundred - many moribund, very specialised or otherwise of little interest - but seven enjoy official recognition. I'm going to look at the "Big Four" - Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu and Ubuntu GNOME. All have a different interface from the standard distro, meaning something for everyone. There are three other 'official' variants, too, that are special-purpose editions: Edubuntu, Mythbuntu and Ubuntu Studio. ... Under the skin, though, all the 'buntus' are the same OS - so they all have much the same compatibility requirements and will run the same applications. The main differences are how they look, how you control them and (to a degree) how powerful a PC you need."
Ubuntu GNOME 13.04 - one of the two new "official" Ubuntu flavours
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* * * * *
If all goes according to the plan, the much-awaited new stable release of Debian GNU/Linux should be available for download later this week. So for one last time, a call for testing the installer, as announced last week by Cyril Brulebois: "The Debian Installer team is pleased to announce the second release candidate of the installer for Debian 7.0 'Wheezy'. Improvements in this release of the installer: accessibility/gdm3 - Introduce basic Orca support; brltty - fix getting stuck in text mode installer; localechooser - update to latest translations of ISO-316; netcfg - use dpkg-query -s instead of dpkg -l to check for package installation; netcfg - install iw along with wireless-tools on the target system, it's the current de facto standard wireless tool; rootskel-gtk - make sure theme=dark works despite some changes in last brltty versions; ttf-cjk-compact - update for wheezy (#690523)." As always, the installation ISO images, including "netinst", CD, DVD and Blu-Ray variants for 11 architectures (amd64, armel, armhf, i386, ia64, mips, mipsel, powerpc, sparc, s390 and s390x) as well as two that use the FreeBSD kernel (kfreebsd-i386 and kfreebsd-amd64) are available for download from the Debian Installer page.
* * * * *
Among the developers of many Debian-based Linux distribution the Remastersys utility is a well-known tool that facilitates the creation of customised live CD and DVD images. Following the recent unexpected announcement about the developer's decision to stop all work on Remastersys (without giving any concrete reason), OS4's Roberto Dohnert brings us some good news. He has decided to fork Remastersys and to continue developing the tool under the name of "System Imager": "OK guys, as many of you know Fragadelic who created Remastersys has decided to quit. Myself and Tony (aka Fragadelic) have decided that we here at OS4 will continue to develop and use the great tool that is Remastersys. We are changing the name to System Imager as per his request. To do this it's going to take some financial backing so any donations you guys can make, $5 to $10 to as much as you want to make will be appreciated and helpful. We also need some developers for System Imager. If you guys wish to help drop me an e-mail." On a separate note, the founder of OS4 also announced that future versions of the distributions would no longer be based on Ubuntu, but on Debian GNU/Linux.
* * * * *
The concept of software freedom, a term coined by Richard Stallman and his Free Software Foundation, is controversial and often misunderstood. As an example, how many of today's Linux distributions adhere to the ideas of four freedoms? Very few. One exception is Trisquel GNU/Linux, an Ubuntu-based distribution that aims to be 100% "libre". ComputerWorld's Rohan Pearce looks at the project in "Trisquel GNU/Linux flies the flag for software freedom": "Trisquel is a 100 percent 'free as in free speech' GNU/Linux distribution started by Rubén Rodríguez Pérez nine years ago. 'It started as a project at the university I was studying at. They just wanted a custom distro because... everybody was doing that at the time!' Pérez says. 'Since I'm very stubborn, the project kept going,' Pérez adds. The idea of software freedom - the kind of freedoms Richard Stallman laid out in the GNU Manifesto in 1985 and the original GPL in 1989 - are central to Trisquel. (In 2005, when Trisquel 1.0 was launched, GNU founder Stallman was part of the occasion.) By software freedom 'we mean the basic liberties the software user should have: those of using, studying, improving and sharing the software without limitations,' Pérez says."
* * * * *
Finally, a link to a useful tool that could help some readers pick the right Linux distribution - the TuxRadar Distro Picker, as announced last week: "Announcing the TuxRadar Distro Picker! To celebrate the cover feature on the latest Linux Format, we've built a web application that helps you find out which Linux distro is right for you. Just enter details of what you're looking for, and it will pick your perfect distro match." The tool allows you to fine-tune the selection with the help of sliders to indicate an importance (or otherwise) of a certain feature. The web-based application will give a recommendation that best matches the data provided and will also add a longer list of other possible candidates. An excellent lifesaver in today's confusing and evolving world of free operating systems!
|Tips and Tricks (by Jesse Smith)
Linux containers made easy
In the past I have praised FreeBSD for having a built-in feature called jails. A jail, in the BSD realm, is a type of virtualization or isolation technology which is about halfway between a full featured virtual machine and a chroot directory. With a virtual machine there is a large degree of overhead as the host operating system needs to emulate hardware along with maintaining a separate network interface and running the guest's operating system. On the other end of the scale is a simple chroot which simply isolates the files in one directory from the rest of the operating system. Programs and users confined inside the chroot are interacting with the same kernel, have the same IP address and a small subset of the same files as the host operating system.
A chroot environment is very light on resources, but also very limited as to what it can do. A jail forms a bridge between these two technologies. A jail makes use of the host's hardware and kernel which allows the jail to work with minimal resources. While maintaining a small footprint a jail isolates files and programs, much like a chroot does, and has the added bonus of being able to maintain its own network interface. This means a jail is lightweight, has its own IP address and programs running inside the jail should not be able to harm the host operating system. The only potential downside to a jail is that it is forced to use the same kernel as its host. In contrast, a full featured virtual machine can run practically any kernel independently of the host operating system, but receives a penalty in performance in exchange for its added independence.
So why might we want to use a jail? A jail is a way of protecting the host system from applications or users by confining them in a restricted environment. For instance we might want to run a web server inside a jail. Our web server, running in its jail, is unable to infect or damage the rest of the operating system should it become compromised. A jail is useful should we wish to give remote users access to certain tools or capabilities without entrusting them with access to our entire operating system. A jail also provides us with a testing ground for new applications. A program can be installed inside a jail, run and tested. Once the trial is over our jail can be erased, effectively removing all trace of the application we were testing. Looked at another way a jail removes the need for trust. We don't need to trust applications or users which operate within the confines of a jail because they are unable to have a strong impact on the host system. Jails are fairly lightweight and programs running in jails have almost native performance, making a jail more attractive than full blown virtual machines in some cases.
In the Linux world there are a few similar technologies which compare with FreeBSD jails. One jail-like approach for Linux users is OpenVZ which is popular with website hosts and virtual private server providers. OpenVZ is certainly useful, but not well supported by modern distributions and it is hampered by a long installation process. Another project, which is appealing because of how easy it is to set up, is Linux Containers (LXC). Most of the major distributions supply packages for LXC and some distributions require very little user interaction in the creation of containers. As an example, to create a container using the Ubuntu distribution we can run:
sudo apt-get install lxc
The above two commands will download the required packages for us and create a minimal Ubuntu operating system inside a container which is called MyContainer. This, in effect, gives us a small, isolated operating system which can be run independently of our host operating system. Applications can be installed inside the container and services can be run. In addition user accounts can be created inside the container which will not affect the rest of our system. We can activate our container, thereby running the applications and services inside it by running:
sudo lxc-create -t ubuntu -n MyContainer
sudo lxc-start -n MyContainer
Should we wish to access the container's command line we can either use secure shell to open a connection or attach our virtual terminal to the container by running:
sudo lxc-console -n MyContainer -t 2
The lxc-console command allows us to interact with the container's command line just as we would with our main operating system's command line. The usual GNU console programs are available allowing us to examine and configure the contained operating system. When we are finished with the container we can order it to stop running, shutting down the virtual environment:
sudo lxc-stop -n MyContainer
Should our container no longer be of use to us it con be deleted from our host system by issuing the command:
sudo lxc-destroy -n MyContainer
There are more commands or manipulating and configuring Linux containers, but the above five are the ones we primarily need to create, run and remove containers. The LXC approach to containers lowers the bar for experimenting with isolated systems and makes it easy for administrators to set up discardable test environments. For more information on creating and using containers, I recommend visiting the LXC website and the LXC manual pages.
|Released Last Week
Red Flag Linux 8.0
Red Flag Software, a Beijing-based software company specialising in the development of open-source software products for the local market, has announced the release of Red Flag Linux 8.0. This is the company's first major release in over four years. Some of the new features include: Linux kernel 3.6.11 with additional hardware drivers and enhanced wireless network cards support; incorporation of Fedora's systemd service manager; a customised KDE 4.10 desktop; new theme for the GRUB splash screen and the KDE desktop; a brand-new and simplified system installer; new Red Flag Software Centre with better software installation interface; new "Firstconfig" feature which includes an option to choose the preferred language; Google Chromium as the new default web browser.... Read the press release and visit the download page (both links in Chinese) for more information and technical details.
Red Flag Linux 8.0 - a Chinese desktop Linux distribution with KDE 4.10
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Welcome to Ubuntu 13.04, the brand-new version of the world's most widely-used desktop Linux distribution: "Today's release of Ubuntu 13.04 on the desktop brings a host of performance and quality improvements making it the fastest and most visually polished Ubuntu experience to date. Performance on lightweight systems was a core focus for this cycle, as a prelude to Ubuntu's release on a range of mobile form factors. As a result 13.04 delivers significantly faster response times in casual use, and a reduced memory footprint that benefits all users. This release also illustrates Ubuntu's ongoing commitment to quality and dependability. 'Our kaizen approach to development as well as community engagement result in a high quality alternative for people worldwide,' commented Jane Silber, CEO at Canonical." See the brief press release and check out the detailed release notes to learn more about the product.
Stéphane Graber has announced the release of Edubuntu 13.04, an easy-to-use distribution targeted at schools, communities and non-profit organisations: "The Edubuntu team is pleased to announce the release of Edubuntu 13.04 (code name Raring Ringtail). This release will be supported for 9 months, it is intended for enthusiasts and users who would like to try out the latest and greatest software. What's New? New default packages: Klavaro - flexible touch-typing tutor, Krecipes - recipe manager and collection of recipes, Gramps - genealogical research program, Chemtool - chemical structures drawing program, Fritzing - easy to use electronics design software, Einstein - puzzle game inspired by Einstein's puzzle, VYM - mind-mapping tool, Bluefish - WYSIWYG HTML editor, Remmina - connect to various remote desktops including rdesktop." Read the release announcement for more information and screenshots.
Jonathan Riddell has announced the release of Kubuntu 13.04, a desktop-oriented Linux distribution featuring the intuitive and customisable KDE desktop: "Welcome to Kubuntu 13.04, a brand new version with the latest KDE software to enjoy. Highlights: the current release of KDE's Plasma Workspaces and Applications 4.10 adds a new screen locker, Qt Quick notifications, colour correction in Gwenview and faster indexing in the semantic desktop; new version of the Muon Suite for application install and upgrades; version 2 of our Reconq web browser adds a bunch of new features, such as inline spell check, new incognito mode, pinning tabs, improved error page and simplified Rekonq pages; Homerun - a full screen alternative to the Kickoff application menu; a new screen management tool...." Here is the full release announcement with screenshots.
Kubuntu 13.04 - a desktop distribution using KDE 4.10.1
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Pasi Lallinaho has announced the release of Xubuntu 13.04, a desktop Linux distribution featuring the lightweight Xfce desktop environment: "The Xubuntu team is glad to announce the immediate release of Xubuntu 13.04. Xubuntu 13.04 will be supported for 9 months and will need other media such as a USB device or a DVD to install. What's new in Xubuntu 13.04? Xubuntu 13.04 is mostly a maintenance release, and there aren't many new features. However, there are some changes, which include: Gnumeric and GIMP are reintroduced on the ISO image; new application versions - Catfish 0.6.1 and Parole 0.5.0 with many bug fixes; updates for the Greybird theme and a new wallpaper; duplicate partitions are no longer shown on desktop or Thunar; updated documentation. Starting with 13.04, the Xubuntu images will not fit on standard CDs. This is an effect of changing the target size to a 1GB USB device." Here is the brief release announcement.
Mario Behling has announced the release of Lubuntu 13.04, a desktop Linux distribution with the lightweight but full-featured LXDE desktop environment: "Lubuntu 13.04 is now available. Features: based on the lightweight LXDE desktop environment; PCManFM, a fast and lightweight file manager using GIO/GVFS; Openbox, the fast and extensible LXDE window manager of LXDE; LightDM; Chromium, the open-source version of Google Chrome; based on Ubuntu 13.04. Improvements since Lubuntu 12.10: new version of PCManFM (1.1.0) including a built-in search utility; artwork improvements, including new wallpapers, community wallpapers, new icons; removed Catfish, since PCManFM has its own search utility; fixed a very old bug causing GNOME MPlayer to crash with some CPUs; several fixes for the GPicView image viewer." The release announcement.
Lubuntu 13.04 - a lightweight distribution using the LXDE desktop
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Ubuntu Studio 13.04
Kaj Ailomaa has announced the release of Ubuntu Studio 13.04, a specialist distribution dedicated to media creation and featuring a large collection of multimedia software: "A new release of Ubuntu Studio is out. This release marks a turning point as it will only be supported for 9 months. For the past two releases, we've been experiencing some bugs with both Jack and PulseAudio. Since 13.04 includes newer releases of Jack and PulseAudio, the bugs are no longer present. And while Jack has been fixed in all releases recently, PulseAudio is still causing problems in 12.04 and 12.10, but the fix is under way. For this release, the menu has seen some polishing, including new icons and a slightly improved disposition. The organization of the menu is something that goes beyond the Xfce menu and will benefit any distro in the long run." Read the full release announcement for further details.
Ubuntu GNOME 13.04
Matthew Butler has announced the release of Ubuntu GNOME 13.04, an official Ubuntu project featuring the vanilla GNOME 3.6 desktop environment: "The Ubuntu GNOME team is proud to announce our first release as an official Ubuntu derivative - Ubuntu GNOME 13.04. Ubuntu GNOME aims to bring a mostly pure GNOME desktop experience to Ubuntu. Keeping in coordination with the Ubuntu Desktop Team, we have decided to stay with GNOME 3.6 for the 13.04 release. What's new? Firefox has replaced GNOME Web (Epiphany) as the default browser; the Ubuntu Software Center and Update Manager have replaced GNOME Software; LibreOffice 4.0 is available by default instead of AbiWord and Gnumeric. For those excited about the latest version of GNOME, we do maintain the GNOME 3 PPA to catch an early look at GNOME 3.8." Read the rest of the release announcement for information about upgrading to GNOME 3.8 and known issues.
Jack Yu has announced the release of UbuntuKylin 13.04, a variant of Ubuntu localised into Simplified Chinese and thoughtfully customised to suit the tastes and habits of Chinese users. Some of the features of this release include: "UbuntuKylin theme and artwork; Unity music scope for China - convenient music search in the Dash that helps you find the latest, hottest Chinese songs; China weather indicator - accurate weather information for cities in China with air pollution index; Chinese calendar - an easy-to-use, authoritative Chinese calendar containing the traditional lunar calendar and facilitating inquiries about public holidays familiar to Chinese users; fcitx is used as the default input method supporting cloud Pinyin input and intelligent word association; WPS for UbuntuKylin...." See the release notes in English or Chinese for further information and screenshots illustrating the features.
UbuntuKylin 13.04 - an official Ubuntu variant optimised for Chinese users
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SparkyLinux 2.1.1 "MATE"
Paweł Pijanowski has announced the release of SparkyLinux 2.1.1 "MATE" edition, a Debian-based distribution featuring the latest release of the MATE desktop environment: "SparkyLinux 2.1.1 MATE edition is out. In the beginning of April, the MATE team published a new version of the MATE desktop environment, version 1.6. SparkyLinux 2.1 MATE edition featured MATE 1.4. It can be a little difficult to make a clear upgrade of MATE so I decided to build new ISO images which provide full system updates. What's new? Linux kernel 3.2.41; MATE 1.6 updated from MATE project's repository; rest of the packages have been updated from Debian testing repositories as of 2013-04-24. If you already updated with no problems, just ignore this message. If you found problems, backup your personal data and make fresh system installation overwriting the old one." Here is the brief release announcement.
Semplice Linux 4
Eugenio Paolantonio has announced the release of Semplice Linux 4, a fast and light Linux distribution with Openbox, based on Debian's "unstable" branch: "It's our pleasure to announce the immediate release of the fourth stable release of Semplice Linux. Features: New GTK+ 3 mixer; visual effects; a simple application to remove some resource-hungry features (Bluetooth, printing); new beautiful theme (with a dark variant); Openbox 3.5.0 is the Window Manager used in Semplice; Linux kernel 3.2.41; Chromium web browser 26.0.1410.43 based on the WebKit rendering engine; Exaile 3.3.1 (a music manager and player for GTK+ written in Python) and GNOME MPlayer 1.0.6 (the power of MPlayer combined with a friendly interface); AbiWord 2.9.2 and Gnumeric 1.12.1; Pidgin Internet messenger 2.10.7, a graphical, modular instant messaging client." See the release announcement and release notes for more details.
Semplice Linux 4 - a lightweight Debian-based distribution with Openbox
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Brian Manderville has announced the release of Descent|OS 4.0, a Debian-based desktop Linux distribution featuring a customised MATE (version 1.4.2) desktop environment: "Hello, everyone! I'm writing from my hotel room here in Bellingham, Washington where I've been attending the Linux Fest Northwest all day, and managed to get 4.0 released on schedule. It's only for 64-bit systems at the moment, mainly because that's the only ISO image I have here on this PC, but I'll be finishing up Descent|OS for 32-bit systems and for PowerPC and releasing them next week. Descent|OS is going through a new phase in development, where it will run under an 8-month release cycle, with one service release halfway through the cycle. This will allow for a more stable system, and bug fixes to be deployed quicker while development for Descent|OS 5 goes on. Thanks for testing, and for being loyal users. See you all tomorrow at the second leg of Linux Fest Northwest!" Here is the brief release announcement.
Arne Exton has announced the release of ExTiX 13, a remastered Ubuntu with a customised GNOME 3.6 desktop environment: "ExTiX 13 64-bit is a remaster of Ubuntu 13.04. The original system includes the Unity desktop. After removing Unity I have installed GNOME 3.6.3 and Cairo-Dock 3.2.1. The system language is English. My special kernel 3.8.0-19 corresponds to kernel.org's stable kernel 3.8.8. Among many other programs, LibreOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, Brasero, VLC, GIMP and win32 codecs are installed. In addition Java and all necessary additions in order to install programs from source are also installed. All programs have been updated to the latest available stable version as of April 28, 2013. One big difference between Ubuntu and ExTiX - there is a password for root (and you can log in as root to GNOME after an installation to hard drive)." Visit the distribution's home page to read the rest of the release announcement.
ExTiX 13 - an Ubuntu-based distribution with a customised GNOME 3.6 and Cairo-Dock
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* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|DistroWatch.com News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
New distributions added to database|
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 6 May 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 • UBUNTU (by Ulf on 2013-04-29 09:41:48 GMT from Netherlands) |
Please keep weekly news to mainstream distributions and do not include the poorly deratives like ubuntu and its useless versions.
Just focus on , Redhat, mandriva, debian, bsd, suse for instance.
The fragmentation and focus on every spin does no good to the focus waths linux about.
2 • @1 (by Chris on 2013-04-29 09:56:11 GMT from Germany)
And since all Distros use one Kernel you should only focus on the Kernel (that counts also for BSD... too many Deratives).
So here is the New distrowatch ranking:
Much easier that way ;)
3 • Re:Ubuntu (by me on 2013-04-29 10:32:01 GMT from Canada)
With all the Ubuntu being released, the good news is that new Linux Mint with all the Cinnamon goodness is just around the corner.
4 • Remastersys (by gsmanners on 2013-04-29 10:49:26 GMT from United States)
Thanks for all the hard work, Fragadelic. Looks like OS4 is indeed taking over that project.
5 • PCLINUXOS (by Ronnie Dunn on 2013-04-29 10:53:27 GMT from United States)
Thank you for the review. I've used PCLOS since 2007. Tex and the "Gang" have outdone themselves again!
6 • Just upgraded to 13.04 (by DavidEF on 2013-04-29 10:54:43 GMT from United States)
I want to let everyone know that the in-place upgrade from Ubuntu 12.10 to the new 13.04 went so smoothly for me, I could hardly believe it was already done, when it asked me to reboot my laptop! It is definitely more polished, but not altogether different. Some glitches I've been experiencing with 12.10 have been fixed. One app I use regularly that breaks on almost every OS upgrade for some reason, broke again this time, go figure. But overall, it is a really boring release of Ubuntu this time, which might be a good thing.
7 • PCLinuxOS (by kc1di on 2013-04-29 11:16:19 GMT from United States)
Thanks for another fine review. I've used PCLinux off and on for many years and it's one of my go to distros when I need to get setup quickly. Works quite well and never had a problem with it being very broken. Sometimes you have to wait a bit for new apps but they most often just work for you .
Great distro for general use.
8 • PCLOS (by DeeMee on 2013-04-29 11:25:08 GMT from United States)
Yes, long time PC Linux user here. I consider it among the easiest of distros, and as the reviewer found among the most useful. As pointed out it has been easy and useful. It is easy without taking all decisions away from you. And Tex keeps it great. This makes it my favorite distro for new linux users, yet it is something they can grow into as much as they wish.
9 • Semplice (by Bob Eiser on 2013-04-29 11:27:07 GMT from United States)
This distro is very well done! If you want to have fun, do an apt-get update followed by task-lxde-desktop running live with enough memory. Instant LXDE http://wiki.debian.org/LXDE
10 • PCLinuxOS (by TonyA on 2013-04-29 11:33:03 GMT from Thailand)
I got 3 computers running here with PCLinuxOS without serious issues.
I asked for 2 updates of apps. It took only 3 days.
I don't know of any distro who responds that quickly.
Thanks to all involved.
11 • nice review (by twodogs on 2013-04-29 11:45:24 GMT from United States)
I just installed PCLinuxOS 64-bit 2013 and it is fantastic! I've been using it for about 4 days total and just like your review, it is nice. Sudo is not installed by default like the 'buntus' so it may take a while to get used to, but I like that (better for security). Thanks for the good read!
12 • Re: Ubuntu (by Mike on 2013-04-29 11:57:20 GMT from United States)
Ulf - what was Mint but a "poorly deratives like ubuntu and its useless versions". Then of course it developed into a major force in the Linux realm. To focus on the so-called "mainstream" distros is to ignore and fail to support new ideas and innovation.
SolydX and SolydK were both added to Distrowatch this week, per the news above. That's great news. I've got SolydK and love it.
Keep the new ideas and diversity coming.
13 • Remastersys/EDE Linux (by Marti on 2013-04-29 13:12:32 GMT from United States)
I have a six year old PC that started with a pre-installed Ubuntu 7.10: its days of brown glory. After minimal customization and dedicated updates and upgrades, the 12.04 finally slowed the system to a crawl (maxed out CPU usage) with playing DVDs or flash videos; I still had 2 GB RAM. Distrowatch helped me find a Remastersys supported distro with the small EDE desktop. The Remastersys situation is sad enough: there's a lot of pain in his "goodbye" on the web page. And now the site for EDE return with "Server not found".
Just two nights ago I visited the site just to see about any news and it was up. Ugh. Distrowatch, and maybe sneekylinux on youtube, here I come, seeking. :)
14 • Ubuntu Bash Fest (by Leo on 2013-04-29 14:04:03 GMT from United States)
I have this crazy idea. Let's have a nerd party, where we, the pure, pristine guardians of the elite, get together in a small venue (we can't be many if we want to stay elite), and we say all these horrible things about Ubuntu that make us all so proud.
We shall spit on Mark S.'s pictures, swear by our little known little distro, and drink up. What a day that will be.
In case the meeting goes viral, we need to arrange for a second venue where the real elite will reconvene, secretly, and quietly. We might even have a third venue in mind, just in case. You can never be safe enough.
15 • anti alias (by br1m on 2013-04-29 14:07:22 GMT from Malaysia)
PCLinuxOS have very good default anti alias font setting (whatever it call).
16 • PCLinuxOS (by Arkanabar on 2013-04-29 14:13:22 GMT from United States)
Count me as another PCLOS fan. It's the first distro I was ever able to successfully install, update, and use. And if ever I were asked to move a windows user to linux, barring UEFI and Secure Boot, PCLOS is what I'd install for them. All I'd *really* have to show them are the Software Announcements forum and how to update with Synaptic.
17 • Descent|OS 4.0 (by Bill on 2013-04-29 14:13:56 GMT from United States)
Just installed DescentOS 4.0 on my hard drive and it's working really well! I've never had luck with Debian before now, but with this distro everything is working. All the eye candy too, like Compiz and fusion and emerald themes. Haven't been successful at finding a way to auto login though, but other than that, checkgmail, iceweasel, thunderbird all work. Nice job! DescentOS 4.0, I recommend it.
18 • @13 (by Arkanabar on 2013-04-29 14:23:59 GMT from United States)
Marti, you may be having DNS issues, and you may have seen a temporary outage. For me, the EDE site is up.
Alternately, you might consider some other stripped-down ubuntu-based distro. I've used Bodhi 2.0.0, but I much prefer Madbox 12.04 -- much less to configure than with Bodhi, though there would be a lot more to update, since the last release was based on 12.04, while Bodhi releases a new image every time there's a new LTS point release.
19 • Ubuntu bashing, by the elite? (by Linux Lover on 2013-04-29 14:31:22 GMT from United States)
Boy it didn't take long did it. The very first comment. At least with the first comment by ULF being so ridiculous, in it's logic and being so misguided, no one else will take anymore Ubuntu bashing comments serious. I did like the comment by Leo. It was great.
I have a grand idea people. Lets keep this a good LINUX - BSD tech site, have interesting discussions, and leave the useless, immature distro bashing to your little personal blogs.
20 • @14 • Ubuntu Bash Fest (by JWJones on 2013-04-29 14:32:35 GMT from United States)
The first rule of Linux 1337 Club, don't talk about Linux 1337 Club.
21 • PCLinuxOS (by octathlon on 2013-04-29 14:33:11 GMT from United States)
Sounds like PCLinuxOS might be the best distro for those migrating from Windows, and also for Gnome|Unity refugees to easily make the switch to KDE (I am considering becoming one of those).
The huge download size/number of default apps and rolling release model, which would also mean lots of daily updates, is a deterrent to me, but the review makes me want to try it out anyway to see how I would like a well-designed KDE distro.
Jesse, how long did you use it, and did it seem like you were having to do an excessive amount of updating?
22 • Ubuntu (by Chanath on 2013-04-29 14:42:08 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Ubuntu has its ups & downs, but still the most used distro in the Linux world. If one adds all the Ubuntu derivatives, there is no other distro like that.
By the way, Extix 13 is the quickest derivative of just released Ubuntu 13.04!
It shows how good is Ubuntu.
23 • S.S. (by Arve on 2013-04-29 15:31:16 GMT from Sweden)
ring Ring, and now... S-Saucy... Salamander...? Ohgoodgrief! I know coming up with names is never as easy as it sounds, but... "Saucy"?? *FACEPALM*
24 • @1 UBUNTU (by Darkstar on 2013-04-29 15:55:16 GMT from United States)
Elf. I whole heartily agree with you. Ubuntu is absolutely useless. Glad to see the Buntu's starting to disappearing from the front page of Distrowatch.
25 • PCLinuxOS (by davecs on 2013-04-29 16:00:10 GMT from United Kingdom)
I've not commented on here for a while. I've been helping test PCLinuxOS for too many years, and am a moderator at its forum. However, it would be fair to say I was starting to lose faith earlier this year.
I did try Mint for a while, and it seemed the best of a not very inspiring bunch, but the odd problem seemed to creep into that, and with the release of the 64-bit PCLinuxOS, I thought I'd go back for one last try.
The great news is that the new release seems to have fixed a few problems that I thought had crept in, The 64-bit version is solid as a rock - and I'll admit to having problems trying 64-bit versions of various distros over the last year or so - this one has been worth the wait.
I've added the LXDE desktop to the 64-bit version with the programs I actually use put on a dropdown panel at the top of the screen. All the best KDE programs combined with the speed of LXDE, what more can I want? Though the fully-bloated KDE desktop also runs like a dream.
26 • Saucy Salamander (by cflow on 2013-04-29 16:14:46 GMT from United States)
Actually, that name is pretty clever - it make you hungry! Saucy - "sauce?" Salamander - "salivating?" It's kind of subliminal... Though I wouldn't want to eat something like that. Too exotic.
Anyway, 13.04 worked pretty well, but yeah... too boring. I wanted more updated applications and features here and there. Then I remembered that Canonical saw potential for the project to become a rolling release, and Shuttleworth suggested that the development release cycle could work as just that. I wanted to see if that was the case, so I switched to saucy repos to help test the release. If it survives all throughout the cycle, it's proof of that claim for me...
27 • PCLinuxOS (by Jesse on 2013-04-29 16:46:11 GMT from Canada)
>> "Jesse, how long did you use it, and did it seem like you were having to do an excessive amount of updating?"
I used PCLinuxOS for about a week, not really enough time to judge the regular flow of updates. Whether the updates are excessive or not may depend on whether you mean the frequency of updates or the total download size. And what you consider excessive. PCLinuxOS appears to release updates every day (as most distros do), but the documentation suggests running the update process about once a week or a few times a month, runnign updates in batches rather than reacting to every package. During my week with the distro I think there were around 150MB of updates released.
28 • @18 (by Marti on 2013-04-29 17:00:18 GMT from United States)
Yes, I can now see the EDE site. It must have been a temp outage. Thank you for replying.
I have seen the madbox distro before. Quite nice looking. Not a fan of Enlightenment, but I hear Bodhi is a great system. I am in no BIG hurry. There is always Lubuntu.
29 • Comment Observations (by Bro on 2013-04-29 17:08:46 GMT from United States)
@26 - Either it's lunchtime where you're at and you are hungry, or you have some very obscure culinary tastes.
@14 - Nice shot! Two thumbs up! The beer is on me... but no salamander buffalo wings for me.
30 • PCLOS updates (by mz on 2013-04-29 17:14:17 GMT from United States)
I've been running PCLinuxOS nearly exclusively since around 2011, and generally I love balance between stability & up to date software. I always update at least every week or two as the post install notification recommends, but I generally do it more often than that. If I try and update everyday I eventually find that there are days no updates are pushed, but like I said you can wait until the weekend or whenever you can spare a few minutes. The only really big updates are new versions of KDE, and if you combine the few hundred Mb of downloads in those updates with a couple of weeks worth of other updates, you could get to 1 Gb plus of stuff to download. I think that the overall experience with PCLOS is a lot easier than trying to keep windows and all the important software in it updated, if that is any help. I have found that there are usually small update issues once or twice a year, but if you don't want to troubleshoot it yourself just go to the forums and look for the issue. They generally have a solution before you look it up. If you don't mind handling those small update hiccups, then I'd say PCLOS is a great option. I think anyone who isn't afraid of their PC and considers themselves a competent computer user would do just fine with PCLOS, just try to update every week or so and know you may need to do a little extra work once or twice a year.
31 • PCLOS (by hotdiggettydog on 2013-04-29 17:43:44 GMT from Canada)
Nice to see Pclos get some publicity. I was a user many years ago but had to abandon it when the project went to an almost dormant state for a year or two. Buntus and others overran Pclos for a few years. But.
PCLOS IS BACK!
Perfect timing too with the gnome and unity debacles. Kde 4 has, finally, reached a mature and very usable state. Pclos does a wonderful job with it.
Great work Pclos team! Loving the new operating system. I could not be more pleased.
32 • Watch that installer! (by ShadowJack on 2013-04-29 17:48:01 GMT from United States)
I tried to install the latest PCLOS, hit the wrong button and deleted my Win 7 OS. Everything. Instantly. My fault, yes. Still, it shouldn't be that easy to mess up.
33 • Re. 22: Debian. (by uz64 on 2013-04-29 18:17:18 GMT from United States)
All Ubuntu is is a glorified, corporate/billionaire-sponsored Debian derivative. This effectively makes every single Ubuntu knockoff nothing more than a Debian descendent.
Debian is the truly special distribution here, not Ubuntu. It's no surprise that after several of Canonical's blunders, they are no longer at the top, having been surpassed by arguably better (but unfortunately still Ubuntu-based) Linux Mint.
Ubuntu's latest genius idea is dropping support for standard releases down to only 12 months (you're not even protected for more than a year--brilliant). Luckily Linux Mint is ready with a backup plan in the form of Linux Mint Debian Edition... I just wonder how much more of Canonical's nutty moves the Mint team will put up with before just giving up on their current primary distribution base completely.
34 • Remastersys Ending - System Imager continuing (by Tony Brijeski on 2013-04-29 18:34:02 GMT from Canada)
I am going to be doing a single last update to remastersys for debian and ubuntu and will offer them for direct download from my website. The source packages from those builds are being handed over to Robert of OS4 and they will continue it on. I will still be available for consultation for the OS4 team to make sure the changeover is smooth.
Many things have changed for me and quite a few less than grateful people were the final nail in the coffin so to speak.
I started it as a fun project to make a KDE spin of Linux Mint and it grew from there.
One of the other biggest factors is a change in the health of a close family member so I really just want to spend all my free time with my family without feeling obligated to work on something that became more of a burden than anything else lately since we never know how long we really have.
Robert's System Imager is the fork/continuation that I support and will be providing all my sources to. What his team does with it after that is up to him and the users.
Thanks for all the support over the years and best of luck to Robert and his team on continuing what I started almost 7 years ago.
35 • @32 Deleting a partition (by JB on 2013-04-29 18:57:45 GMT from United States)
Deleting a partition is a 3 step process using the custom install. Selecting the Partition, pressing the Delete button and pressing Done. If you quit before pressing Done nothing is lost.
36 • SolydXK (by Edward on 2013-04-29 19:31:13 GMT from Spain)
As a real Debian derivative, SolydXK is rock-solid, easy to install and reliable. I have been using SolydK -the KDE version- daily in my production box for a month, monthly upgrades included. No issues, latest apps and friendly forum. Did not used LMDE before, but that seems really good.
Deserves a check, and perhaps a good review by DW editors.
37 • @32 Deleting a partition (by hotdiggettydog on 2013-04-29 19:34:29 GMT from Canada)
I feel your pain.
You have to really watch some of the installers in the various distros. I installed something else recently(the name escapes me) and It did not clarify if it was going to 'format or not format' the various partitions chosen. I took a chance and went for it and all was well but I should have researched first. Wiping my /home partition would have been catastrophic.
Maybe I should take some backup lessons?
38 • PCLinuxOS Grub (by SallyK on 2013-04-29 20:07:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
Can someone clarify for me whether PCLinuxOS has switched to GRUB 2 or if it is still using GRUB Legacy?
I'd like to try it again, but Grub Legacy OSes are such a pain when you are dual-booting.
39 • @ # 38 PCLinuxOS Grub (by kc1di on 2013-04-29 20:22:28 GMT from United States)
It uses grub .97 or 1.5 still but it's very easy to dual boot windows with it and the control center has a nice gui interface to do just that job.
If you mean dual booting with another Linux distro that uses grub 2 that may be a little more difficult but still do able.
40 • PCLOS (by pfb on 2013-04-29 20:26:17 GMT from United States)
After a long wait PCLOS comes out in a 64 version. Hooray! Unfortunately it does not handle my dual monitors very well. Crash and lock up. Maybe later. I still have hope.
41 • Remastersys@34 (by kernelKurtz on 2013-04-29 20:43:33 GMT from United States)
Tony: Thank you for your years of work on a cool and excellent product. I was following this little drama as word trickled out last night, and I have to say that both you and Robert seem to be exceptional class acts. Best wishes going forward, and much peace.
42 • About those PCLOS updates (by DeeMee on 2013-04-29 20:48:16 GMT from United States)
The updates aren't onerous or overly large. Often there is nothing if you check on a day to day basis. I typically check every couple weeks. Sometimes a fair size download, sometimes not all that much. Certainly nothing like say the frequency of Windows updates.
Updating usually takes very little time. PCLOS has quite a few repositories to use. One or more of them will offer speedy downloads during updates. The machine isn't bogged down while updating is taking place. It pretty much is a non-issue.
43 • TuxRadar Distro Picker (by Jymm on 2013-04-29 20:57:51 GMT from United States)
I tired the TuxRadar Distro Picker and like a lot of other that tried it think it still needs some work (read the comments after picking). It still could be a help for someone coming to Linux, but there are not enough categories to really help anyone with any knowledge of Linux at all. I still find the best way to try a distro is check out DistroWatch, and try with a USB key. It lets you feel out the distro, see if things like your network will work and gives you a good idea of the speed of the distro on your hardware. I do think with a little work it could really be a help. Hopefully the authors read the comments and add a few more questions.
44 • PCLinuxOS (by Whitespiral on 2013-04-29 21:22:46 GMT from Mexico)
I also use dual monitors, both on a Radeon 5850 using DVI . I had to run the included ATI Catalyst Control Center to configure the dual setup. Are you using Nvidia or independent cards? You may have to go through a similar process to configure yours.
45 • 10 • PCLinuxOS by TonyA (by Bill on 2013-04-29 21:41:04 GMT from Canada)
I run Pclinuxos LXDE on a old Toshiba. All good
"I asked for 2 updates of apps. It took only 3 days" That is great but a few people asked about some software but it still hasn't been packaged after a year
46 • PCLOS XFCE 64bit (by sebastien on 2013-04-29 22:00:22 GMT from France)
I'm surprised that the KDE edition is the first official one to emerge in 64bit. I thought the Joble Edition would place xfce in the lead. Well, anyway, I hope Sproggy will be able to offer an official PCLOS xfce 64bit edition soon because I plan to buy a new netbook and I'm still looking for the disto I will put in. Mint 13 xfce is currently my favorite but I used to try PCLOS and I kind of liked it; did not choose it so far because I wanted a 64bit xfce. Maybe it's almost time for a respin...
47 • Dual Monitors (by pfb on 2013-04-29 22:31:33 GMT from United States)
Ihave an nVidia card. The live cd crashes with either xrandr or the control center. I could nt get to the install phase. I did not pursue it much further. I have patience, and can wait for a later release
48 • Distro Picker (by Jesse on 2013-04-29 23:56:24 GMT from Canada)
I tried the Distro Picker and was surprised by the suggestions it gave. Eight of the top nine distros it recommended for easy and stable desktop use are really niche distros or ones which require advanced knowledge to set up. Definitely not the sort of stuff I would recommend a newcomer to Linux. Heck, half of them are distros I wouldn't use myself for prolonged desktop use. I really have to wonder what kind of algorithm they are using which would spit out such a list. To me it looks like their script picked a bunch of lesser known projects and printed them in random order.
49 • @ #34 by Tony Brijeski (by Pierre on 2013-04-29 23:58:43 GMT from Germany)
I am really sorry to hear those bad news. We all are very thankfull for all the hard work you put into your project and all the best wishes from us to you and your family in such a hard time.
It's only two and a half year ago a close family member of mine became the diagnose of incurable cancer. I even gave up my studies on Computer Science to take care of this special person and this way know how hard and mind changing such an experience can be.
All my best wishes again.
50 • @45 (by TonyA on 2013-04-30 00:23:10 GMT from Thailand)
Asking <again> in Package Requests may help.
Naming the app here might help.
But and isn't helpful.
51 • SolydX (by hotdiggettydog on 2013-04-30 00:59:41 GMT from Canada)
Installed it on an old laptop earlier. Runs nice. Attractive. Crisp, clean, and nice fonts.
Wireless printer was detected and easily setup. This has been a problem with some of the other debian offspring I've tried lately.
I like the driver installer tool.It installed nvidia drivers with no hiccups.
I'm curious to see if it will be non-problematic with updates in the long term. Hope so. This one could be a real winner.
Tempted to try the kde version in another machine.
52 • SolydXK is a semi-rolling Debian release (by on4aa on 2013-04-30 07:39:54 GMT from Belgium)
It is important to note that SolydX and SolydK are semi-rolling Debian releases based on Debian testing. The advantages are one never has to reinstall, yet the system remains up-to-date and stable.
53 • @1 ¬ @12 (by MiRa on 2013-04-30 09:49:53 GMT from Spain)
These ”new ideas and innovation” in fact means nothing but cosmetics.
In my opinion ”new ideas and innovation” means bringing really something new, not only a different skin. And at least his own repository.
This ”new ideas and innovation” category can easily (and maybe in first place) include distros like MINIX (though it’s not so new), Haiku or Kolibri for instance.
54 • @11 twodogs (by MiRa on 2013-04-30 10:13:15 GMT from Spain)
"Sudo is not installed by default like the 'buntus' so it may take a while to get used to, but I like that (better for security)."
In fact sudo should NOT be used for every common task.
sudo install/ remove/upgrade... etc. Bleah!... It isa a nonsense!
sudo should be emplpyed ONLY in very special cases.
I'm using PCLinux OS for about two years and NEVER used sudo.
There are many other commands (in the whole Linux world) to avoid the dangerous sudo.
55 • @21 octathlon (by MiRa on 2013-04-30 10:50:01 GMT from Spain)
Why are you scared about updates? I saw many people fearing updates. Cannot understand it! :( Isn't it better to keep the system updated?
BTW, either running Windows(or Mac) it is necessary install updates any time these are available for a good functionality. Why not in Linux
Yes, there may be updates and upgrades twice a week, either twice a day! But this just points out the hard and nice work this small team is doing.
Personally am happy performing these updates immediately, though there are dayly. And if you don't need/have time for these dayly updates (though it takes just one minute from someone's life :D ) the Update-Notifier can be settled to a weekly advice.
IMO, a rolling release is the best thing it exists. And the PCLOS' one is the best of all RRs, and a rock solid distro.
56 • Sad farewell to Remastersys (by Jeff Hoogland on 2013-04-30 13:48:20 GMT from United States)
Remastersys is good software - and I've always received good support on their forums. This tool will be missed.
Thankfully their latest version works well with Bodhi's 2.x.y series, so we will continue using it to spin ISO images until we reach our first 3.0.0 release next summer.
57 • Distrowatch- where the fun has gone. (by ambijat on 2013-04-30 13:50:43 GMT from India)
Over the years since my first exposure to Redhat Linux 2.1 I have come a long way. Miss the Mandrake Linux, saw Redhat becoming propriety good and the upcoming of Fedora. Tested Xandros, DSLs, Puppy Linux and many more. Still scared of Debian as I failed to get it right in the first time. But, this romanticism with Linux has kept me going in tune with the blues. I have been looking these flavours as ever more gripping to human mind. But, there is seemingly something amiss over the last 2-3 years. The distros have become like McDonald menu items or KFCs chicken offerings. A very attractive and incentivised in term of its capabilities, just like calories from these foodie items. Howver, somewhere the sobre and sublime taste has been compromised in favour of sizzling hot new features.
I find when we are with enhanced capabilties then we seldom wish to hear the feeble voices. There has to be more focus on integration of software that provide utilities to all level of users. I find google-earth is simply an uninstallable thing. Why there is no visible cooperation between Google and LInux distribution to make that experience something like a Christmas gift.
There are some very basic utilties for which I see total disinterested on the part of Linux developers. No good substitute for adobe pdf edit. I feel inclined to use either windows based editors or the pdfescape which is no bad experience.
Then the coppernic desktop search another very important desktop search tool. I dont see this kind of software being integrated into the linux.
The motto of Linux should be to integrate more and more of simple softwares of high utilities till the linux indigenisation occurs.
I simply mean that I wan't my fun back.
It always used to be fun when chiding the windows users, see I can do it without having to recourse to piracy or surrendering my intellectual sovereignty to windows.
Let's reclaim or fun back!
58 • @32, 39 Disk reformat, try Test-disk (by Tom on 2013-04-30 14:23:04 GMT from United Kingdom)
First thing is that accidentally wiping Windows is really a good move forwards and one you probably wont regret for long.
On the other hand why not try data-recovery tools such as test-disk. Obviously if you want to recover data then the first thing is to stop using that partition, preferably stop using any of the drive. The sooner you stop the more likely you can recover something. Generally it's recommended that you create a copy of the drive and work on the copy but i have seldom had that much space.
I tend to find data-recovery a 'bit of a pain' tbh but have had some successes.
Many recovery or utility distros have test-disk or similar on their LiveCd and even if not it's easy to install. But like i say you might be better off without Windows as it forces you to learn Gnu&Linux faster and more thoroughly.
Generally i recommend people migrate instead but just go with what you have is often best.
Good luck! Regards from
59 • Spanish distros (by Tom on 2013-04-30 14:27:29 GMT from United Kingdom)
Good news from Extremadura!
The article says they have tailored their own version of Debian and called it Sysgobex but is that just a renaming/rebranding of their LinEx that they developed years ago? Sysgobex is not listed at DW but LinEx is so either the new one is ultra-new or it's just renamed or the article got the name wrong, or it's the Spanish name for the same thing or ....
Anyway, it's good to hear 40k new Gnu&Linux desktops are on the cards!
Congrats to all!
Good work! Regards from Tom :)
60 • @42 Updates (by Jon Wright on 2013-04-30 14:29:11 GMT from Vietnam)
> "Certainly nothing like say the frequency of Windows updates."
What do you mean, like once a month?
61 • @34 Remastersys (by Tony Brijeski) (by Tom on 2013-04-30 14:37:54 GMT from United Kingdom)
Sorry for your troubles. Remastersys has been excellent and well appreciated despite the vocal minority. Sometimes these things do have to be set aside even without good reason and you have plenty of good reason! Family are important!
Lets hope this causes a resurgence in the community and sees people step forwards to make a go of it. Either that or absorb and add into another distro.
Please remember "Friends argue. Enemies don't care" so those opposing you were probably really keen to see Remastersys get to number 1 spot in DW but just had an unpleasant way of showing it. Even though i am not one of them i still feel i should apologise for their behaviour and i hope they would too.
Good luck in the future!
Many regards from
62 • frequency/size of PCLOS updates (by octathlon on 2013-04-30 16:01:16 GMT from United States)
Thanks, Jesse, mz, and DeeMee for your responses about the amount of updates.
@55 MiRa: You may not realize it, but not everyone has a very fast broadband connection to be downloading a 1.6 GB install DVD plus post-install updates plus another 1 GB in updates every 2 weeks. It is not a simple matter of "one minute" for everyone like it is for those fortunate to have access to and/or can afford high-speed limitless internet.
63 • PCLinuxOS (by Henry on 2013-04-30 16:11:16 GMT from United Kingdom)
Nice to see the PCLinuxOS review. It's one of the most competent, well supported, nicest to use distros out there and generally doesn't get the love that it deserves. I've long thought that its name is a major problem. If you were to gather a group of 90-yeear-olds from an agrarian society where computers were unknown, briefly explain to them what a PC is, what an OS is, and what Linux is, and ask them to form a committee to name your new distro, that's the name they'd come up with. If only they'd adopt a sexy new name that the kids could get excited about and make t-shirts, like Numkwang, Ffiffi or Blumux, they'd climb the rankings in no time at all.
64 • LXC and OpenVZ (by Scott Dowdle on 2013-04-30 21:18:56 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the short article on containers. Many say that LXC isn't ready yet while others are (and have been) using it for stuff... like OpenShift for example... which happens to augment LXC with custom SELinux policies.
Just to expound on some of your OpenVZ comments... the stable branches of the OpenVZ kernel are based on RHEL kernels (RHEL5 or RHEL6) and they work well on RHEL and EL clones. There are several reasons for that with the basic one being that the kernels offered in RHEL are supported for a long time... whereas your typical desktop oriented distributions, not so much.
Regarding your comment that installing OpenVZ is "hampered by a long installation process"... I beg to differ. While there are lots of words in the quick install guide, the process is quite easy and quick once you know how. It boils down to: 1) Add OpenVZ repo, 2) Install kernel with package manager, 3) Add some lines to /etc/sysctl.conf, 4) Reboot, 5) Install vzctl and vzquota with package manager, and 6) Start the vz service. The entire process (depending on how long your machine takes to reboot), just takes a few minutes. Then of course if you want to create a container, you need an OS Template but vzctl can download that for you automatically if desired.
While it might take a couple of minutes more than using your distros default kernel and an add-on package or two for the tools... I think the difference is well worth it. Trying containers out on a desktop distribution may lead to one deciding to stand up a container server using an EL clone.
BTW, I'll be posting a presentation video from LFNW 2013 from Kir Kolyshkin (OpenVZ Project Leader) later today or tomorrow entitled, "The Seven Problems of Linux Containers" which details the much of the work Parallels has done with OpenVZ and how they are trying to get all of those features into the mainline kernel by re-implementing them. Most have actually made it in but a few things remain are continue to be worked on. That'll be on Archive.org and YouTube.
65 • ReMasterSys (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2013-04-30 21:28:37 GMT from United States)
The report of its demise is greatly exaggerated - after 7 years, the original developer found someone to receive the baton-pass. Rather considerate, given recent harassments.
66 • iPad (by pfb on 2013-05-01 00:34:42 GMT from United States)
Second try, sorry about the first. I just won an iPad. My daughter says, upon pain of death, that I will NOT wipe it and install Android or, God forbid -- Ubuntu. So I have a question. Is this possible?
I have never messed with Apple products. So I am not sure what can be done. Initially, I will give it a fair shot. But, if Apple sucks, can I replace the OS?
67 • 36 SolydXK (by joji on 2013-05-01 07:36:52 GMT from Belgium)
"SolydXK is rock-solid, easy to install and reliable."
Have tried to test the LiveCD but was unable to add new programs. 'sudo' is not enabled add nowhere passwords to be found.
68 • @1, @24, @33 - Ubuntu flavors (by Andy Prough on 2013-05-01 08:32:58 GMT from United States)
I've long thought that Ubuntu gets 5X or 10X as much free advertising simply by calling each desktop a separate "release", whereas the large distros like Fedora, openSUSE, Mandriva, Debian, Arch, etc simply consider them desktops and not "releases".
Seems kind of silly to have separate reviews of Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, etc etc etc. No one would ever bother to review each of the vast number of configuration options for Fedora or openSUSE - it would take months, and by the time you were done you would be stumbling over a new version release.
69 • Ubuntu flavors (by Jon Wright on 2013-05-01 11:13:28 GMT from Vietnam)
> "Seems kind of silly to have separate reviews of Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, etc etc etc."
Looking at the release announcements from last week, the projects seem to be in very different stages - they're not simply a 'desktop-less' release that got handed to the each team for them to add the respective DE.
And I can't say much about Fedora and openSUSE but Debian Xfce, for instance, looks like what you'd get if you downloaded the main edition of Debian and just installed Xfce. Nobody would accuse Xubuntu and Lubuntu of being so un-embellished - the main criticisms (justified, IMO) leveled against them are that they're over-embellished.
It seems like not much has happened with Xubuntu (usually the one I favour) over the last cycle and I think with 13.10 also all the attention is going to be on the main edition - but I'd love to read what anyone has written about Xubuntu or Lubuntu just to see if I'm correct (in ignoring them).
70 • Official Ubuntu variants (by DavidEF on 2013-05-01 11:49:54 GMT from United States)
@68 They're not just different DE's on the same system. They have their own goals, achievements, and processes. They also each have their own website. They do share the Ubuntu repositories, but it seems that the repositories get bigger when a new variant is added, leading me to believe that they are not sub-projects, but super-projects. In other words, they don't derive from Ubuntu proper, they add to it.
Isn't it funny though, that this kind of central base management, with independent distros branching out of it, is EXACTLY what some people are constantly saying linux needs to do? Yet when Canonical leads the way with the Ubuntu infrastructure and official variants, we get complaints that they each get their own listing in DW. How about people who don't like the way DW lists distros, go start your own website! If it's good, I may eventually visit, although I think DW has already done a good job.
71 • Distrowatch readership? Coders, geeks, educators only? (by gregzeng on 2013-05-01 13:07:25 GMT from Australia)
As Linux (ever?) gains popular use, the comments here (& Dw readership) will show lees insight into Linux. There are more advertisements for teachers (of many kinds) of many kinds, to take the empty job positions now available.
Eventually Dw will need a FAQ, self-tutoring guides, etc. ATM the 'news' here does not include insider exhibitions, discussions, conferences, events - so perhaps another publisher might take this vacancy. There are hardcopy publications that have poor notifications of Linux happenings. Some $$-trade associations have self-centred, self-serving lists for insider $$-paid-up members, only.
Populist gadget-geek-computer-electronic publications follow the immediate $$ flow, so do little for Linux & the 'volunteer' industries. In my forced medical retirement in the last few decades, I have not discovered fertile GNU-Lunix type publications yet. Or have I missed something?
BTW: Dw's past-wisdom: "who doesn't read has no advantage over the man who can't read".
Internet & its audio-visuals did not earlier before C21st. MarkTwain is ignorant on the psychological advantages that "hardcopy code" non-readers have over other culturally imprisoned persons.
My last statement comes from my professional studies & work in professions related to social psychology, and is strongly supported by cross-cultural & disability academic research over the last several decades.
72 • @ #70 (by Pierre on 2013-05-01 14:39:19 GMT from Germany)
Actually these derivatives are distros own their own BUT they still are running the exact same system like the main edition. Therefore I don't see them as super-projects but as sub-project. This does not mean they won't add to Ubuntu, at least they do add additional options and desktop editions. So in the end the only big difference in comparison to Fedora is that the Fedora project is delivering these spins on their own, whilst Cannonical counts on volunteers to produce and host these spins. This is the reason why they are seen as separate distros. Not because they add so much to the Ubuntu ecosystem.
A fine line that makes a big difference in my opinion and which is the reason I was not able to hold back and had to point that out.
Greetings from Germany!
73 • re: last months OpenSUSE review (by Art Levine on 2013-05-01 17:17:22 GMT from United States)
I read the review, and thought it has been a very long time since I/we tried a SUSE release.
IMNSHO, absolutely one of the worst and most user unfriendly distro's to ever be recommended to/for anyone, especially newbie types.....
YMMV, but I doubt it.....
I am replacing it today, I am so unimpressed with it, that never again will any OpenSUSE anything reside here.
It's unstable, it's "jerky", it's been a month..... If a newbie wanted to burn a CD/DVD using 12.03, I doubt it would ever get done... One must know about and Java and codecs and and and, or apparently you're just plain screwed.....
74 • @70 - Official Ubuntu variants (by Andy Prough on 2013-05-01 18:11:04 GMT from United States)
@70 - >"They're not just different DE's on the same system. They have their own goals, achievements, and processes."
I'm not arguing that. I was really just pointing out that Canonical gets about 10 times as much publicity by having all its Ubuntu desktops and configuration variants reviewed and released separately.
In fact, you could argue that what Canonical is doing is a very smart marketing move, and has probably aided tremendously in making Ubuntu more well-known. Probably Fedora and openSUSE and Mandriva and Arch should follow that lead and spin off each of their desktops and each of their specialty configurations into a different "project", each with its own community and release.
One thing to note though - the fact that a dozen or more Ubuntu derivatives are all able to make their release on the same day as the main Ubuntu release shows how little time is required to re-spin those variants. Either that or it shows that all of those communities are working in complete lock-step, which works against the "separate projects with separate goals and processes" argument.
75 • @73 openSUSE (by Cork on 2013-05-01 18:42:41 GMT from United States)
Interesting how different two people's impressions can be of a Linux system. I've had openSUSE running for a few weeks, and have been so impressed that I'm considering adopting it as my main operating system. I've been experimenting with Linux systems for about 5 months, so I suspect I'm no longer in the "newbie" category but rather in the "wow, do I have an awful lot to learn" category, but I had no issue burning a DVD and installing openSUSE - in fact, I had fewer issues with 12.3 than I have had with many of the other 15 - 18 systems I've tried.
I definitely prefer KDE, and openSUSE seems to be one of the best KDE distributions out there. I have found it easy to get fully operational, very stable, and aesthetically pleasing. Moving to Tumbleweed has converted it into a nice rolling release as well. All of the things one might want to add (codecs, Flash) are well documented, easy to find, and easy to implement. As I said, different people, different experiences!
76 • @86-iPad by pfb (by Ika on 2013-05-01 20:21:00 GMT from Spain)
What can be done with an iPad, how might it be used, look here:
It's in german but no need to understand the language to get it. ;D
77 • @ #75 and #73 - openSUSE (by Pierre on 2013-05-01 23:25:46 GMT from Germany)
I started my Linux life with SuSE from version 7.2 (I guess) until version 10.3 and left after the too early switch to KDE 4. I came back to openSUSE with their gorgeous 12.1 release and am using it since then, now in version 12.3 on all my systems (notebook, workstation and home server).
That the experience differs so much must have to do with the intelligence of the (potential) user. Those who are blessed with IQ above body temperature most often at least accept openSUSE as a good OS although it might be not to their liking. Others like the one in comment #73 seems to be not among them.
At least since 12.2 openSUSE is rock solid and got very polished. No one has to love it, but I don't like bashing hard work of others only because one is not able to use the internet for more than bashing. Instead of pasting bullshit to the DWW comments section Mr. or Mrs. Art Levine should have used the great documentation on the openSUSE website if questions arise or at least hand that questions over to google.
Questionable how someone with such an attitude was able to get through life.
Greetings from Germany!
78 • YUMI (by Neo on 2013-05-01 23:33:43 GMT from United States)
" Remastersys is good software - and I've always received good support on their forums. This tool will be missed."
Google for: YUMI
79 • Mandriva (by Jaglu on 2013-05-02 00:07:08 GMT from Denmark)
Curious to hear comments about Mandriva. This is 2013, right? - Has anybody this year, or the year before, heard about a distro by that name?
80 • Ubuntu variants (by Jon Wright on 2013-05-02 02:36:49 GMT from Vietnam)
> "Canonical gets about 10 times as much publicity by having all its Ubuntu desktops and configuration variants reviewed and released separately"
An exaggeration surely. Actually I wonder if they've ever wondered whether the other editions dilute the strength of their 'brand'?
> "a dozen or more Ubuntu derivatives are all able to make their release on the same day"
It's simply a requirement - don't read so much into it.
> "how little time is required to re-spin those variants"
81 • Ubuntu 13.04 & Sabayon 13.04 (by Chanath on 2013-05-02 04:23:51 GMT from Sri Lanka)
I had Ubuntu 13.04 from the time, the cdimage was issued. This was updated all the time and still works well. I had Gnome 3 installed in it too. Downloaded Ubuntu and then installed Gnome 3, but it crashed many times. Then, I downloaded Ubuntu Gnome, but that too crashes frequently. Kubuntu 13.04 lost the bottom panel, after installing. I could re-install the panel, but that's not what I wanted.
Later, I tried Sabayon 13.04 MATE, but MATE crashed as soon as I changed the position of the panels and also when I tried Rigo. Interestingly Sabayon 13.04 Gnome edition works well, no crashes yet. Rigo worked superbly with updates and installing apps. I've been using Ubuntu 13.04 for quite while, from the 1st Beta stage, but now going to give a shot at Sabayon for next few weeks.
Even though, I am using Gentoo--i won't even try to install it--I don't feel I am using the very tough Gentoo, as Rigo does all the updating and installing apps. I suggest you guys try Sabayon 13.04, if I may.
82 • Canonical, 'buntu watchers: confused, confusing (by gregzeng on 2013-05-02 04:47:38 GMT from Australia)
Information explosions leave most people out of touch with reality. Especially the anti-buntu users.
@77 • @ #75 and #73, @80, and more to come.
German, Vietnamese, etc languages may not distinguish between the terms: sub-project, super-project, spin, fork, ... ? but English has each term as very different, incompatible meanings. The Canonical-approved 'spins' are independent of Canonical, but finally have reached the Canonical standards of minimal performance.
The Canonical non-approved 'spins' (all the other 'buntu-derivatives, which is most of them) - MAYBE super-projects. If they are, they included incompatible or proprietary stuff that the official Canonical organization officially cannot be seen as being approved.
Most of the unapproved (by Canonical) 'buntu-spins are specializations that do not meet the official minimal standards: forensics, smartphones, 'hardware-devices', recovery, federal-government (many), specific-organizational, mono-lingual, mono-religious, etc.
Most (all?) the buntu-spins share the same installation process (2 types; the worst senses my ISP-connection FROM Australia, the other senses where I am in Australia). Usually shared is the 'buntu Synaptic Package Manager, which in some 'buntu distros is re-labelled. The RPM-version of the same name, as with PCLOS, is deliberately & confusingly very different. Some 'buntu distros have there own repositories, package managers AS WELL as the Canonical version. In some 'buntu-based distros, the apps offered are sometimes altered, compared to the Canonical version. The most common examples are the defaults of the Internet browsers, which are often pinting to the distro's home page.
In a monothestic, totalitarian world, all the juniors are 'bossed' by Canonical (in this example). However if you read the insiders view of the Canonical's'sub-projects' - the BULLY-VICTIM dictatorship that all of us learnt as babies - does not hold here.
The Canonical approved (officially) spins are voluntary collaborating with 'head office' (my words only). Other non-approved (officially) spins are like the many spins of the voluntary organizational sector: independent charities, Google private-project staff-time, IBM's blue-sky independent-projects, organization pilot programs, etc.
In management terms, these Canonical sub-projects have transcended Malsow's hierarchy of motivation, from isolated, victim nerdism (first four stages), to equal-partnership self actualization, with the agreements of both parties (fifth stage, after appropriate processes of 'corporate bereavement' - to use the managerial jargon).
Some non-approved projects (and nearly all non-buntus) are not self-actualizing, but childishly rebelling about the Canonical placement, as the planet's currently leading Linux distribution. In jealous outrage of all beraevement stages, these intimidated juniors belittle all the Judas's, critics, conformists, fanboys, etc - because reality is too painful to handle. "Shoot The Messenger" syndrome.
Psychology 101, as seen in Distrowatch IMO. YMMV.
83 • Ubuntu variants (by Jon Wright on 2013-05-02 06:44:05 GMT from Vietnam)
> "German, Vietnamese, etc languages may not distinguish between the terms: sub-project, super-project, spin, fork, ... ? but English ..."
We're all using English here, don't be pedantic.
84 • @ #82 by gregzeng (by Pierre on 2013-05-02 07:53:47 GMT from Germany)
Funny to correct the correction. ;-)
But honestly, we all learn english in school and often in university, too - like for example I did - and you can be sure we learned enough to know what we are writing and how to distinguish between terms.
Additionally you should not make assumptions about languages you obviously don't know much about.
I don't know about Vietnamese, but German does indeed distinguish between the terms 'sub-, super-project, spin, fork etc.'. Seems you only needed something vague to base your post on. Unfortunately this is no base to turn down my or other's opinions. And if you had read more carefully you should have been able to see and read in your own native language that I in fact made a recognizable differentiation between these different terms and used them accordingly.
Would now be funny to see how good your German or Vietnamese is. Write us a few sentences. :-) I bet we would have a lot fun and work to correct these. And I am sure we would definitely be more accommodating.
Well, at least in case you were able to write German or Vietnamese...
85 • @82 (by zykoda on 2013-05-02 07:59:53 GMT from United Kingdom)
IMHO I would rate Android (not currently in DW as a distro) as the planet's leading user of the nonGNU Linux kernel. *buntus are not financed to anything like the same degree: and GNU is losing ground! There is some truth in what you say in your first sentence. There is an underlying basis switch underway at present.
86 • openSUSE (by Mac on 2013-05-02 11:38:09 GMT from United States)
@73,75,77 My experience with openSUSE 12.3 has been very good. After being a debian user for several years had a little trouble with the installer in 12.2 that I think now was my fault. Being a kde no eyecandy user 12.3 is giving me a chance to learn rpm and have a long way to go. And I for one say thanks to all the hard work that goes into all the linux distro's!! Have fun Mack
87 • @84by Pierre (by mandog on 2013-05-02 11:44:53 GMT from Peru)
> But honestly, we all learn english in school and often in university.
I'm sorry to disappoint you, You are not speaking for the rest of the world English may be taught as a second language in Europe. I'm English and live in South America they may have limited English in schools but Spanish/Portuguese is the dominant language, And they are proud of who they are. I don't know any Peruvians that speak more than a few words of English except those that have been to England/USA.
88 • My word! (by Sam Graf on 2013-05-02 12:28:57 GMT from United States)
Battling over English and Mark Twain and educators. What a wonderfully diverse conversation DistroWatch can be.
I do wonder if DistroWatch readership centers on hobbyists. The whole "*buntu haters" dialog seems to me an example. At home I used to use nothing but *buntu but have come to prefer plain old Debian on both desktop and server. At work, it's a whole different story. For OS-related products we use Citrix, Ubuntu, Debian, Apple, and Microsoft. My preferences at home and my preferences at work are driven by very different priorities. I see echos of those differences played out here, but the single-computer home/enthusiast-type user seems to be better represented. If true, that's likely an incomplete picture of Linux/GNU/BSD users.
89 • @ #87 (by Pierre on 2013-05-02 12:54:11 GMT from Germany)
You do not disappoint me at all. I simply have to admit that this was no accurate generalization. 'Most of us' should fit better.
And at least you seem to be an exception to the rule. And proud... well, it's a fine line between being proud and narrow-minded, isn't it.
90 • @85 - Android is the planet's leading user of the nonGNU kernel (by Andy Prough on 2013-05-02 14:44:26 GMT from United States)
Agreed. And I would argue that very soon, Chrome OS (based on Gentoo) will be the world's #2 most used kernel.
[posted from my Samsung Chromebook :D ]
91 • @89 (by mandog on 2013-05-02 14:50:02 GMT from Peru)
my wife is English speaking peruvian I taught her English. We try to tell young people the importance of English but all we get is Spanish Spanish,?
@88 I Believe Ubuntu has done both good and bad for linux the good side like Red Hat its brought Linux forward faster than it was going before, the bad side is the corporate side, both Ubuntu/Red Hat are only in it for the money, Thats where the resentment comes from. Personally I don't give a monkey, I don't use either, I do not run them down they both give something back Red Hat more so.
Ubuntu at the end of the day is only a snap shot of Debian Sid. That is why this release is numbed down Debian repositories are frozen, Sid is also frozen. That means Ubuntu is reliant on Debian to do the main work for them.
92 • Re: Mandriva @79 (by Rev_Don on 2013-05-02 16:50:20 GMT from United States)
Mandriva as we have known it doesn't exist. They have EOL'd all of their free desktop distros and are concentrating on various Enterprise offerings. The free desktop versions have forked into Mageia and the upcoming OpenMandriva (if it ever materializes into an actual release).
It's a shame really, as Mandriva/Mandrake was my main Linux distro for years. It was what I migrated to after Corel Linux was discontinued.
93 • @87@84 (by TonyA on 2013-05-03 05:36:49 GMT from Thailand)
Funny, to correct the correction on the correction.
>>But honestly, we all learn english in school and often in university.
> But honestly, we all study English in school and often in university,
but few seem to learn.
94 • @ #91 (by Pierre on 2013-05-03 09:00:19 GMT from Germany)
Especially in Computer Science you can't do without (good) English. Most documentation is published in English. Translations take a lot of time what means they are released when what was documented became outdated already.
As well as most things that get published online often aren't even translated at all and it's always good to speak as many languages as possible because it increases your abilities to communicate with others and therefore increases your possibilities in business. Speaking other languages does not mean to not be proud of the own language and/or origin.
I agree, Canonical and Red Hat have done a favour to Linux. And yes, they earn money with doing so, but they are giving back to the community and open source software. So I don't see any downside on that. Making money with open source is no evil in my opinion.
95 • Mepis (by Silas on 2013-05-03 11:41:40 GMT from United States)
Benn away for a while. What happened to once glorious Mepis and Warren?
I see a new Antix, but only a 9/2012 Mepis.
96 • @94 (by mandog on 2013-05-03 11:55:53 GMT from Peru)
>I agree, Canonical and Red Hat have done a favour to Linux. And yes, they earn money with doing so, but they are giving back to the community and open source software. So I don't see any downside on that. Making money with open source is no evil in my opinion.
But to a lot of people that makes them evil unfortunately.
97 • Gentoo (by Chanath on 2013-05-03 13:58:28 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Lot of people don't use Gentoo, because it is pretty hard to install, if you are not a geek. Calculate and Sabayon gives us a chance to use this incredible Gentoo, just like any other distro. This time, I am going to stay with either of them, dropping Ubuntu 13.04 out..
98 • RE: 97 (by Landor on 2013-05-03 14:32:21 GMT from Canada)
If you're using a distribution, that's what you have. You don't have another distribution unless you use it.
Go tell the Debian project leader that you're using Ubuntu to "use the incredible Debian" because it's too hard to install. I may be wrong, but I'm sure he'd point out that no you are not.
Keep your stick on the ice...
99 • Re: UBUNTU (by borion on 2013-05-03 16:19:04 GMT from United States)
Leo, I was going to respond to #1, then I saw your post. You cracked me up brother :) My ribs are still hurting from laughing.
#1 must be living in some utopia if he thinks Ubuntu and its derivatives are "useless".
100 • Re: Gentoo (by borion on 2013-05-03 17:52:48 GMT from United States)
Can you please tell me what is so superior about Gentoo that I go out of my way to use it ... despite its shortcomings?
I'm an avg user. What I care about is the apps. I really don't care how spectacular Linux kernel is compared to BSD or MacOS or Windows or any of that mumbo jumbo.
What is so superior about Gentoo anyway? Sure, I can install gcc and compile stuff locally. How is it going to make it a better app?
Its all about applications folks ... and how well they perform.
101 • @ #100 (by Pierre on 2013-05-03 18:27:04 GMT from Germany)
Right, and some say that apps perform most stable on operating systems like Gentoo and Slackware. Additionally the software collections offered by distributions differs, too.
And one important correction: Gentoo is no app and it's difference has nothing to do about gcc. Gentoo is the operating system. It's this tiny little unimportant thing that builds the foundation on that your apps run.
Therefore the choice of the operating system matters a lot, although the choice is something very subjective because experiences differ a lot.
And then there are these more than average users, those who care about the technology behind all these shiny little apps you are so excited about.
So every difference in technology makes a difference in the possibilities you have. For advanced users some little advantage can make the choice obvious.
102 • @98 Gentoo & Landor (by Chanath on 2013-05-04 01:26:30 GMT from Sri Lanka)
It is quite true, if you're using a distribution, that's what you have. I must've used a much higher value word, "incredible."
How would it sound, if I tell the Clement Lefebvre that you're using Mint to "use the incredible Ubuntu?"
But I like both Calculate and Sabayon. I've been using Ubuntu too long. That's one of the reasons, I can't install Gentoo. The again, if I had used Mint for that long, I won't be able to install Debian...
Have a good day!
103 • @95: mepis (by hoos on 2013-05-04 02:45:57 GMT from Singapore)
Still alive as far as I know. :) I think with Warren, you'll simply (haha) get the new mepis when it's ready. No time frame.
I'm still using mepis 11 with community repos enabled, and it works fine. At the forum, I've read of people using the alpha of version 12 as their daily distro because it already works pretty well.
104 • @101 (by borion on 2013-05-04 04:06:09 GMT from United States)
I know Gentoo is a distribution and not an app. I was talking about apps compiled on Gentoo and how they are better compared to say downloading a binary from repositories.
105 • Semplice (by PePa on 2013-05-04 05:09:14 GMT from Canada)
I have to say that Semplice Linux is REALLY good: functional, well-done, tasteful, light, based on Debian but with some great innovations, a very active and responsive main developer (whom I think is a genius!), and the development is very accessible. Semplice is absolutely worth checking out.
106 • Sudo security (by PePa on 2013-05-04 05:23:50 GMT from Canada)
@11 and @54
Why would sudo be dangerous and a security risk?? The biggest danger of 'root' login is that an attacker only has to guess the password, the username is already a given. This is the biggest reason to lock the 'root' account.
The issue is, who has access to privileged transactions? Probably certain users, so you put them in the sudo/wheel group. If you don't have sudo, you must get those privileges as a standard part of your account (which is less safe than needing to escalate) or you need to login to a different account that has the required privileges. You can also lower the security barrier to certain things, like installing new software, but that doesn't make things safer. I think we need to renounce the myth that sudo is bad practice. (The fact that Ubuntu uses it does not prove it's bad!)
107 • Flash (by Silas on 2013-05-04 13:05:31 GMT from United States)
I've had so many problems with Flash, I am unable to use Linux on my Thinkpad T23 (1.13GHz, 1M ram). I have 2 of these laptops and they continue to serve me well, when used as 'internet appliances'. Any site that uses Flash for content is off limits to me on my Mint 13 (Xfce) machine, but these sites work fine with my XP machine. I have used Flash with no problems since 2003, but the last two months have been nothing but a HUGE waste of time. I was amazed when I did any sort of Google search with 'Linux Flash', 'Mint Flash', etc. With Adobe dropping support for Flash in Linux (except for security updates), I hope someone comes up with a solution, because I've tried everything.
108 • MEPIS (by Mac on 2013-05-04 15:01:56 GMT from United States)
@95,@103 I still use mepis 11.9.70 I think that is 12 alfa 2 and servers me well and hope that it stays around for a long time. Have fun Mack
109 • 107 • Flash (by mandog on 2013-05-04 15:51:21 GMT from Peru)
I don't think your problem is flash more a system thing more likely the catch is corrupted. try using Adobe flash player in the menu it brings up adobe flash player preferences you can then clean and debug.
failing that use chrome with pepper it was buggy last time I used it
Flash still works for me never a problem. I also use adblock plus that stops unwanted flash and java content.
110 • @107 - Flash (by Andy Prough on 2013-05-05 04:40:50 GMT from United States)
@Silas - >"Any site that uses Flash for content is off limits to me on my Mint 13 (Xfce) machine, but these sites work fine with my XP machine"
Try switching to Chromium as your primary web browser - the built-in Chromium implementation of Flash should ease your pain considerably.
111 • Flash? It's obsolete. (by Skeptical on 2013-05-05 11:13:00 GMT from United States)
Newer versions are used by advertisers to abuse your computer, while HTML5 rendered it obsolete years ago.
112 • Redo and Backup (by Maurice George on 2013-05-05 12:27:43 GMT from United Kingdom)
This live CD rescue disk does what other image savers don't.
How many hours did I spend trying in vain to save an image of my hard disk ?
I tried every live disk and C.L.I. which claimed to be easy, infallible and quick - and never delivered. Bugs, crashes, stalls, unfathomable instructions etc.
RedoandBackup is SIMPLE, QUICK & RELIABLE.
So congratulations to its developers ! I'd like to make a donation but I can't find how.
113 • @ #104 and #107 (by Pierre on 2013-05-05 13:22:25 GMT from Germany)
@#104 by borion
Compiling software instead of installing binaries has a few advantages.
One is, that you compile it directly for your own system and not for an architecture. You are in control of dependencies you want to add and in which way and compiler you want to compile. This all results in a - maybe unrecognizable and only benchmarkable - slightly better performance.
@ #107 by Silas
For me Flash still works, no matter which system I am running. On my own systems I am running openSUSE 12.3 but I my girlfriend's machines are running Mint 13 and 14. Both no problems with Flash.
So I have no clue what the problem might be with your Mint and Flash installation. Maybe you try a complete reinstall of Mint 14?
114 • @112 (by TonyA on 2013-05-05 13:33:20 GMT from Thailand)
How many hours did I spend trying in vain to save an image of my hard disk ?
I have no idea :-)
But I spend about 3 minutes per partition of about 12 Gb
And for my data I use Lucky Backup.
Backing up the whole disk ? ? ?
Don't work hard, work smart.
115 • ABOUT KORORA 18 (by Jefferssonian on 2013-05-05 20:32:10 GMT from United States)
Nice to know the Korora 18 is a spinoff of Fedora 18 (latest).
However "it is nicer than Fedora 18" is a bit short ! And going to Korora forum does not help: I could not register.
Actually this goes for most distros: what does it do BETTER (or differently than other distros? "What are exactly the differences?"
Since most of the issues/problems with Linux are device driver related, I really would like to know exactly which drivers do work, and which ones are not available, or do not work, for a new distro.
And yes, Ubuntu did there a pretty good job: I am a Fedora user, however I do love the Ubuntu (+derivatives) to have most hardware working when the install is done, congratulation there to the Ubuntu team: nice job !
The most important device drivers for usability are the video ones, as well as the wi-fi ones.
AMD/ATI , Atheros, Intel, have excellent Linux Devices Drivers: they just work !
NVIDIA have good but hard to install device drivers: avoid Nvidia Based hardware if you wish an easy Linux Experience.
Ralink, and a few Taiwan based hardware company, do not make technical info available, and they are mediocre Linux device drivers: poor Linux experience there.
Now Korora, if I only knew what is different there, I may give it a shot.
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|• Issue 548 (2014-03-03): Review of Mageia 4, FreeBSD console driver, filtering web content, Pitivi fundraiser|
|• Issue 547 (2014-02-24): Chakra 2014.02, Ubuntu privacy, preventing unwanted remote logins|
|• Issue 546 (2014-02-17): Review of PC-BSD 10.0, Red Flag closure, Ubuntu and systemd, SlackE18, Fedora book review|
|• Issue 545 (2014-02-10): Impressions of FreeBSD 10.0, Debian votes systemd, Ubuntu file manager, server security|
|• Issue 544 (2014-02-03): Netrunner 13.12, openSUSE future, Ubuntu Touch in emulator, running commands in multiple places|
|• Issue 543 (2014-01-27): Review of Korora 20, FreeBSD 10.0, DNF, ZFS rescue CD, Bridge Linux interview|
|• Issue 542 (2014-01-20): QupZilla, Ubuntu with MATE, Arch on Raspberry Pi, best applications|
|• Issue 541 (2014-01-13): openSUSE 13.1 and Zentyal 3.3, CentOS joins Red Hat, Bodhi on Chromebooks|
|• Issue 540 (2014-01-06): SMS 2.0.6 and SME Server 8.0, Hawaii desktop, PHR statistics 2013, more on multi-part archives|
|• Issue 539 (2013-12-23): Centrych 12.04.3, Fedora 20 and its spins, dividing archives across multiple discs|
|• Issue 538 (2013-12-16): Mint 16 review, RHEL and CentOS 7 plans, SteamOS, Windows XP replacement suggestions|
|• Issue 537 (2013-12-09): OpenMandriva 2013.0, Gentoo developer interview, project Neon, Linux Mint and security|
|• Issue 536 (2013-12-02): Impressions of openSUSE 13.1, Ubuntu Touch, FreeBSD 10 delay, troubleshooting OS lock-ups|
|• Issue 535 (2013-11-25): GhostBSD 3.5, Debian and MATE, Ubuntu 14.04 features, security updates|
|• Issue 534 (2013-11-18): Review of OpenBSD 5.4, Fedora on ARM, menu names vs command-line names|
|• Issue 533 (2013-11-11): Point Linux 2.2, Pisi update, Debian and Xfce, Bruno Cornec interview|
|• Issue 532 (2013-11-04): Ubuntu and Kubuntu 13.10, Debian's init, FreeBSD's PKG-NG, Linux on ARM|
|• Issue 531 (2013-10-28): PC-BSD 9.2, openSUSE testing, nftables, upgrade pros and cons|
|• Issue 530 (2013-10-21): Kwheezy 1.2, DPL interview, Zenwalk's future, keeping up with vulnerabilities|
|• Issue 529 (2013-10-14): Ubuntu's Mir, dmesg and photorec tips, Tiny Tiny RSS|
|• Issue 528 (2013-10-07): Semplice 5, Haiku package management, Klaus Knopper interview, making custom distro|
|• Issue 527 (2013-09-30): Tiny Core Linux 5.0, SteamOS, moving operating system to new computer|
|• Issue 526 (2013-09-23): Look at ArchBang 2013.09.01, BSD Now, kernel stats, command-line tips|
|• Issue 525 (2013-09-16): The Official Ubuntu Server Book, FreeBSD 10 and OpenBSD 5.4, Skype alternatives|
|• Issue 524 (2013-09-09): Look at LXLE 12.04.3, Ubuntu's new package format, Secure Boot and dual-booting|
|• Issue 523 (2013-09-02): OpenIndiana 151a8, openSUSE "Evergreen", GNOME and DuckDuckGo, running apps from RAM|
|• Issue 522 (2013-08-26): Look at gNewSense 3.0, Ubuntu Edge fundraising failure, exploring GPL|
|• Issue 521 (2013-08-19): Review of Korora 19, Fedora considers return to "Core", Haiku package management|
|• Issue 520 (2013-08-12): Salix OS 14.0.1 "KDE", Xubuntu experiments with XMir, managing passwords with KeePass|
|• Issue 519 (2013-08-05): Review of Porteus 2.0, Kubuntu lays out plans for Wayland adoption, adjusting system swappiness|
|• Issue 518 (2013-07-29): MidnightBSD 0.4, Razor-qt, Ubuntu Edge, mounting infected drives|
|• Issue 517 (2013-07-22): Zorin OS 7 "Lite", Slackware turns 20, UbuntuForums compromise, Raspbian as home server, Tor|
|• Issue 516 (2013-07-15): Review of Fedora 19 "KDE", Shuttleworth on Mir, Seth Vidal, Kingsoft Office for Linux|
|• Issue 515 (2013-07-08): Whonix 0.5.6 and Deepin 12.12, MintBox, processor capabilities, distros for Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 514 (2013-07-01): Peppermint Four, Mir, Mandriva forks, ThinkPenguin on libre hardware|
|• Issue 513 (2013-06-24): Look at ROSA, PC-BSD updates, Xen4CentOS6, Slacko vs Precise, Mageia interview, shells|
|• Issue 512 (2013-06-17): Trisquel 6.0, RHEL 7 with GNOME Classic, from Linux to FreeBSD, first look at Wayland|
|• Issue 511 (2013-06-10): Mint 15 impressions, GNOME Classic, Ubuntu Community portal, Absolute OpenBSD|
|• Issue 510 (2013-06-03): Impressions of aptosid 2013-01, Wayland comes to Raspberry Pi, maintaining DNS settings|
|• Issue 509 (2013-05-27): Mageia 3, Debian GNU/Hurd, RebeccaBlackOS with Wayland, ports|
|• Issue 508 (2013-05-20): Review of Debian 7.0, interviews with Clement Lefebvre and Gaël Duval, scripting with xdotool|
|• Issue 507 (2013-05-13): Impressions of Calculate Linux, 13.4, Ubuntu's portable packages, mintDrivers|
|• Issue 506 (2013-05-06): Ubuntu and Kubuntu 13.04, Debian "Wheezy", Slackware on systemd, distros for Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 505 (2013-04-29): First look at PCLinuxOS 2013.04, Saucy Salamander, Remastersys and System Imager, Linux containers|
|• Issue 504 (2013-04-22): Look at Bodhi 2.3.0, Ubuntu 13.04 features, building OpenBSD ports, opening large files|
|• Issue 503 (2013-04-15): CentOS versus Scientific Linux, PCLinuxOS 64, Lucas Nussbaum, ZFS/Btrfs versus ext4|
|• Issue 502 (2013-04-08): Look at Mint 201303 "Debian", Ubuntu versus openSUSE, comparing ZFS and Btrfs file systems|
|• Issue 501 (2013-04-01): KANOTIX 2013 and GhostBSD 3.0, openSUSE Rescue-CD, Haiku package management, computer forensics|
|• Issue 500 (2013-03-25): Look at openSUSE 12.3, Ubuntu release changes, Debian backports, growing divide|
|• Issue 499 (2013-03-18): MINIX 3.2.1, openSUSE 12.3 on desktop, Ubuntu GNOME and UbuntuKylin, distros for musicians, KolibriOS|
|• Issue 498 (2013-03-11): Sabayon Linux 11, Ubuntu's Mir, Linux malware|
|• Issue 497 (2013-03-04): Rebellin Linux 1.00 "Adrenaline", rolling-release Ubuntu, Arch vs spin-offs, justification and diversity|
|• Issue 496 (2013-02-25): Review of Chakra 2013.02, The Book of GIMP, Ubuntu and privacy, FreeNAS vs NAS4Free|
|• Issue 495 (2013-02-18): SparkyLinux 2.1 "Ultra", Fedora 19 schedule, Xubuntu on DVD, cloud privacy|
|• Issue 494 (2013-02-11): FreeBSD 9.1, web server stats, Anaconda, rolling-release PC-BSD, fixing broken packages in Arch|
|• Issue 493 (2013-02-04): UberStudent 2.0, OmniBoot 1.0, MariaDB, Enlightenment 0.17|
|• Issue 492 (2013-01-28): Fedora 18 review, systemd, Kali Linux, Ubuntu Unleashed|
|• Issue 491 (2013-01-21): Fuduntu 2013.1, Fedora 18 desktop choices, Consort, accessing encrypted drive|
|• Issue 490 (2013-01-14): Look at Manjaro Linux 0.8.3, openSUSE on Chromebook, Able2Extract 8.0|
|• Issue 489 (2013-01-07): PC-BSD 9.1, Arch spin-offs, rolling-releases, year-end PHR stats, removing applications|
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