| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 518, 29 July 2013
Welcome to this year's 30th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Ubuntu Edge, a unique and innovative device that attempts to combine a mobile phone with a desktop computer into one sexy unit, was unveiled last week. However, its actual development and arrival on the market, scheduled for May 2014, is subject to a successful Internet-era crowd-funding - to the tune of some 32 million US dollars! Not a small sum, but definitely worth a try. Read all about Ubuntu Edge in the News section below. The feature article of this week is a double review of MidnightBSD, a FreeBSD fork that promises better software management, and Razor-qt, a graphical desktop environment that resembles the much-loved KDE 3 of yesteryear. Also in this issue, a Question and Answers section on how to safely mount hard drives that could potentially be infected with Windows malware, an introduction to Kwheezy, a beginner-friendly Debian-based distribution featuring the KDE desktop, and the usual regular sections, including a look at last week's distro releases. Happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
MidnightBSD and Razor-qt - examining two projects in the ball pit of open source
Variety is not only the spice of life, it is also one of the greatest strengths of the open source community. Having access to source code and being able to tweak it, build new things with it and even fork it and run off in a completely new direction are all powerful benefits. Sometimes being an open source reviewer is like diving into a ball pit where many of the balls are similar in colour or size, but there are always a few dozen that are shiny or have stripes and they playfully catch the eye. This week I would like to talk briefly about two projects which, while I might not plan to stick with them, did have the ability to catch my eye.
* * * * *
The first project to attract my attention is a fork of the FreeBSD operating system. MidnightBSD was originally forked from the FreeBSD 6.x series and is designed with the idea of making FreeBSD more suitable for desktop use. The MidnightBSD project essentially gives us a FreeBSD base with an easy way to install a graphical desktop environment. We are also told the operating system comes with a friendly graphical front end for package management. The current release of MidnightBSD, version 0.4, borrows heavily from the recent FreeBSD 9.x series. The release notes mention that MidnightBSD 0.4 includes support for ZFS storage pools, the new FreeBSD text installer and file system journaling for UFS. MidnightBSD also comes with a software management system called mports which appears to be a modernized version of the FreeBSD ports collection.
MidnightBSD is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds for x86 architectures. I opted to download the 32-bit build which is approximately 600MB in size. Booting from the downloaded image gives us the option of running a live environment with a command line or launching the system installer. The MidnightBSD installer is borrowed from the latest FreeBSD release. This installer features a text interface where we are guided through a series of menus. The process involves a lot of steps, but I found it went quickly. We're walked through confirming our keyboard's layout, we're asked which packages we want to install and the installer guides us through partitioning. The partitioning section feels a little crude, people new to BSD may be at a loss as how to manipulate disk slices, but the installer does allow us to take automatically generated defaults and that eases things along nicely. We're also asked to set a password for the administrator account and choose our time zone from a list. We're asked at one point to configure our network card and, for those in doubt of the correct answers, most people will be able to simply take the default settings offered. We have the option, toward the end of the installation process, to create a regular user account and enable network services such as network time sync and secure shell.
The first time we boot MidnightBSD we are brought to a text console where a first-run wizard launches and asks us a couple of "yes or no" questions. The first question is whether we would like to submit statistics to the BSD Stats website. It wasn't clear to me what information, exactly, is transmitted so I skipped this step. The next question is whether we would like to enable the operating system's graphical environment. Since MidnightBSD is targeted at desktop users I opted into the graphical interface. At this point MidnightBSD started downloading packages and this resulted in a lot of errors reading "package fails hash authentication". Eventually the first-run script seemed to get stuck in a loop, attempting to download the same packages over and over and having them all fail to pass their checksums. Terminating this script drops us at a text-based login prompt.
Since, at that point, I didn't have a graphical desktop with which to work, I looked around the system and found MidnightBSD appears to be, for all practical purposes, FreeBSD 9. Without the promised desktop environment and, therefore, no graphical package management, MidnightBSD didn't appear to have any distinguishing features to set it apart from FreeBSD. Which in itself is fine, FreeBSD is a great operating system, but it means that, based on my experience, MidnightBSD doesn't offer any incentives above and beyond those of FreeBSD. I had carried hopes for a while that MidnightBSD's mport package system might hold some benefits, but when I went looking for documentation on mports I found this error page on the MidnightBSD website. Further browsing of the website turned up some social media links, but no support forum. There are mailing lists, but they look to be very low traffic. In short, I feel as though the project is facing some problems and does not appear to have an active user community.
* * * * *
Razor-qt on SparkyLinux 3.0
The other project I decided to look at this week was Razor-qt, the lightweight desktop environment based on the Qt framework. Since Razor-qt and the KDE desktop share the same toolkit underneath the hood we might think of the projects as distant relatives. I tried the Razor-qt desktop, version 0.4, last year and, while there were good points to the desktop at the time, I felt as though the young environment had a ways to go before I could recommend it to others. Most of the pieces were there in the 0.4 version and I liked the concept, but it didn't yet feel complete. Now that the Razor-qt 0.5 series is available I wanted to give the project another try. The SparkyLinux distribution put out a release candidate for their upcoming 3.0 release recently and I noted the distro features the latest version of Razor-qt.
SparkyLinux, for those who haven't tried it, is a project based upon Debian's "Testing" repositories. It is designed to work on both modern and lower-end machines (anything above a Pentium III with 256 MB of RAM should do) and the project features several editions with various desktop environments. One of the SparkyLinux editions comes with Razor-qt 0.5.2 and I opted to download the 64-bit build of this edition. The ISO image for this particular spin of SparkyLinux was 1.34 GB in size.
Booting from the SparkyLinux disc brings us to a desktop that is decorated in shades of grey. The wallpaper is mostly dark with lightning coming out of the corner of the screen. In the upper-right corner of the screen is an analog clock widget and its placement makes it look as though lightning is shooting from the clock. Over on the left side of the display we find icons for launching the system installer, creating a USB image of the distro and a ReadMe file. The ReadMe file is short and provides us with such information as the live environment's login credentials, tips on launching the system installer and comments on adding support for more languages to the operating system. At the bottom of the screen we find the desktop's application menu and task switcher. The Razor-qt desktop is powered by Openbox, a reliable and fast window manager and I found the system to be responsive and attractive. One thing I find I miss when I go from a light window manager back to the larger desktop environments is the ability to right-click on a blank portion of the desktop to access a pop-up version of the application menu. I like that Razor-qt, coupled with Openbox, gives me this quick access to the system's applications.
The distribution does have a system installer, a simple graphical one which calls upon the GParted application to handle disk partitioning. I won't go into much detail here. The graphical installer is not particularly attractive and I suspect it is designed to be used by an experienced audience, but it did get the job done. The installer helped me set up mount points, create a user account and let me select where to install the GRUB boot loader. The process was completed without any problems and I was able to restart the computer and boot directly into my local copy of SparkyLinux. I was brought to a grey, simple graphical login screen. Signing in brought me back to Razor-qt and its lightning wallpaper.
SparkyLinux 3.0 - adding desktop widgets
(full image size: 523kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
The SparkyLinux distribution currently ships with Razor-qt 0.5.2 and this desktop runs using the Qt 4.8 framework. The environment, in a lot of ways, reminds me of LXDE. Razor-qt has the same simple, clean look. Items are mostly laid out in the traditional manner with controls and menus at the bottom of the screen and icons on the desktop. One thing which sets Razor-qt apart from classic desktop systems is the availability of widgets. Razor-qt users have the ability to right-click on the desktop to add widgets, such as a clock or a window that will display the iconified contents of a directory. Right-clicking on these widgets will also allow us to delete them from the desktop. While I was using SparkyLinux there appeared to be only four demo widgets available, but I'm sure there are people out there making and experimenting with more.
Right-clicking on a widget will also give us the ability to see the widget's configuration options. Right-clicking on the desktop also gives us the option to lock or unlock our widgets. Normally the desktop is in the "locked" state which means the widgets are drawn normally and do not move. When we transition to the "unlocked" state the widgets disappear and are replaced with empty boxes (place holders) indicating where the widgets were. We can then move these boxes around to reposition our desktop widgets. Re-locking the desktop brings back the widgets to their normal display mode. The first time I used Razor-qt I felt the nature of the locked and unlocked states (and how to switch between them) wasn't clear. This latest release feels to me to be more intuitive, the transition smoother.
The Razor-qt desktop comes with a nice desktop control centre. From this centre we can access modules which will assist us in changing the desktop's suspend/power settings, the appearance of the desktop, loading new themes and configuring notifications. I found the Razor-qt settings to be nicely laid out and the environment to be flexible. On SparkyLinux the Razor-qt configuration centre gives us administrative modules for managing printers, partitioning local disks and launching the Synaptic package manager.
SparkyLinux 3.0 - Razor-qt's settings panel and application menu
(full image size: 622kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
For the most part I was running SparkyLinux for the opportunity to play with Razor-qt, not to explore the distribution as a whole. Generally I felt SparkyLinux was fairly standard for a modern distribution. It featured the Linux kernel, version 3.9, came with some small apps and the distro uses Network Manager to get on-line. However, there was one interesting feature which stood out and I'm not sure if it is a part of Razor-qt or a design choice of the distribution. Specifically, I'm referring to the operating system's default web browser, QupZilla. The QupZilla browser might be best described as closely resembling the Firefox web browser, but built using the Qt toolkit to provide the user interface. QupZilla comes with the usual features: bookmarks, tabs, flexible preferences and extensions. I found QupZilla came with a feature which prevents Flash content from playing automatically on web pages and it also has AdBlock built in, giving sites a cleaner look. QupZilla uses WebKit, the same technology Chrome uses to display web pages. This, combined with the Firefox-like layout, made QupZilla feel very much like other modern browsers in almost every aspect. The one area where I felt the QupZilla differed was the settings panel. I felt QupZilla's preference panel had a more attractive look when compared next to Firefox and it felt, to me at least, to be easier to navigate.
I played with the distribution on a desktop computer (dual-core 2.8 GHz CPU, 6 GB of RAM, Radeon video card, Realtek network card) and in a VirtualBox virtual machine. In both environments Razor, standing on the shoulders of SparkyLinux, performed well. The system was quick to respond and fast to boot. Sound and networking worked out of the box and the desktop was automatically set to my equipment's full resolution. The operating system remained stable throughout my trail and I encountered no bugs. I did note the distro used more memory than I had expected. Logging into Razor-qt used approximately 230 MB of RAM on my system, which is about the same amount I would expect from an installation running the more fully featured KDE interface.
SparkyLinux 3.0 - Razor-qt's unlocked desktop mode
(full image size: 381kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
While I enjoyed getting a quick tour of SparkyLinux my main reason for downloading the distribution was to see what was going on with Razor-qt. I was happy to find how well the desktop project has progressed in the year and a half since I last tried it. Everything feels a little more polished, a little more complete. The combination of the Razor-qt desktop with the Openbox window manager proved to be a comfortable interface for me. It was responsive, most of the controls and settings felt intuitive. Really, Razor-qt struck me as offering a similar experience to using KDE 4.10 with all the extra features turned off. Take KDE and strip away some of the settings, the file indexing, the visual effects and the cashew button. Then set the KDE application menu to display in classic mode. The result will be approximately what we get from Razor-qt running atop Openbox. The memory footprint was even close to the same in my case. I enjoyed my time with Razor-qt and, for the most part, SparkyLinux as a whole. The distribution was certainly capable and I didn't run into any bugs. The system installer is a little crude and the application menu buries some items under several layers, which makes me think this distro is targeting a more experienced crowd. SparkyLinux, being based on Debian, feels stable and there are many software packages available to us through the Debian repositories.
Razor-qt performed well, it feels polished and flexible. I feel Razor-qt is related to KDE in much the same way LXDE is related to GNOME 2. There is a parallel in that they use the same toolkits, but one is full featured and powerful; the other is light and keeps things simple. At this point I feel as though I can say Razor-qt is ready for the general public, at least for those people who are comfortable with other lean desktop environments such as LXDE and Xfce. I've often heard people say they like Qt and they would like KDE if it weren't for all the options and little distractions. Razor-qt 0.5 is, I suspect, what those people have been waiting for. Razor-qt delivers a calmer interface that invites less configuration while remaining fairly flexible. I found myself to be quite comfortable with it and appreciated that I had a minimum of distractions. I'm hoping we will soon see more distributions offering Razor-qt as a supported option, on equal footing with other desktops like GNOME and KDE.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
One of the tech buzzwords recently popularised by Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth is the term "convergence". As the difference between desktop and mobile computing becomes less distinct, many believe that the two platforms will eventually "converge" into one universal computing system. The just-announced Ubuntu Edge, an innovative concept combining a mobile phone and a desktop computer in one slim unit, offers a glimpse of the future: "From mobile... to desktop. Yes, it's the full Ubuntu desktop OS used by millions on a daily basis -- and it runs directly from the phone, so you'll be able to move seamlessly from one environment to the other with no file syncing or transfers required. The core OS and applications are fully integrated with their smartphone equivalents, so you can even make and receive calls from the desktop while you work."
Ubuntu Edge remains a concept, however. Canonical has deemed it too risky to invest millions needed to develop and market the device so they turned to "crowd-funding". If 32 million US dollars can be raised by the future users of Ubuntu Edge, in just one month, the idea will become reality. If not, it will be abandoned and the contributions refunded. After the strong initial response when nearly 10% of the total was raised in the first 12 hours, the campaign has seemingly run out of steam - more than a million a day is needed for the remaining 24 days to reach the target. But even if it all fails, it's still an interesting idea and an unusual execution - a risk-free attempt to get a foothold into the market dominated by Google's Android and Apple's iOS, and offer something really innovative and unique. We say, go Ubuntu Edge!
|Question and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Mounting infected disks
Watching-out-for-bugs asks: I have a computer with a hard drive that has files on it I want to retrieve. I suspect that the disk may possibly be infected with a virus. Is it safe to mount this disk on my Linux system to retrieve the files or do I risk infecting my Linux machine?
DistroWatch answers: The risks of suffering an infection from mounting a drive is pretty slim in the Linux world because most Linux distributions do not try to run files automatically when new media is attached. That means you would probably have to manually run a file on the drive which was infected in order to corrupt your Linux installation. In addition, most malware does not target Linux so if the drive in question was being used by a non-Linux operating system the chance of infection is extremely low.
Still, if you want to be extra careful there are steps you can take to give yourself addition protection. One way to do this is to mark the partition you are attaching to your system as not being executable. This means that even if you would normally be able to run binary files on the drive the operating system will block any attempts to run malware. This lets you browse through files without fear of accidentally running an infected file. An example of mounting a drive without execute permission is as follows, assuming the partition we are mounting is called sdc1:
mount -o noexec /dev/sdc1 /media/mointpoint
Another precaution you can take is mounting the suspect drive from a live CD. Many live CDs do not, by default, have administrative access. This means we can instruct the operating system on the live CD to mount the drive we suspect to be infected while not accessing our local drive that we know to be fine. In this situation, even if the operating system on the live CD somehow becomes infected, it'll be wiped clean with a reboot and our primary operating system is left unharmed.
For the very cautious there is another method. Again it involves using a live CD to work with the suspect drive. However in this final scenario we unplug the drive we know to be good. With our primary operating system removed from the computer entirely the only infection possible from the bad drive will be to the live CD, which will be wiped clean when we reboot. While we are running from the live disc we can perform scans of the infected drive and clean it up prior to using any files we recover. The disk with our primary operating system isn't reattached to our computer until we are certain there is no infection to be found on the suspect drive.
Usually just the first scenario, mounting a drive with noexec enabled, will work. That is the most simple way to go and it will probably be effective. Removing other drives and examining a foreign disk from a live CD is a bit more extreme, but some people like to be extra careful.
|Released Last Week
Simplicity Linux 13.7
David Purse has announced the release of Simplicity Linux 13.7, a new version of the project's Puppy Linux derivative with LXDE as the default desktop environment: "We are proud to announce that Simplicity Linux 13.7 is now available. There are many differences between Simplicity Linux 13.4 and Simplicity Linux 13.7. This is the first version of Simplicity Linux based on LXPup rather than Carolina or Saluki. We have a new, more back-to-basics UI. The Cairo Dock bar has gone and now we're using the standard dock from LXDE. Speaking of LXDE, we are moving from Xfce to LXDE because it is noticeably easier on laptop batteries, but we feel the differences between look and feel are minimal. As laptop users, we thought that anything which gives you a bit more battery life has to be a good thing! We have also put more focus on Gslapt as the package manager." Continue to the release announcement to learn more.
Simplicity Linux 8 - a Puppy-based distribution with LXDE
(full image size: 334kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Kali Linux 1.0.4
Devon Kearns has announced the release of Kali Linux 1.0.4, an updated version of the Debian-based distribution (formerly known as BackTrack Linux) that features an extensive collection of security and forensics tools: "In keeping with our tradition of publishing new releases during the annual Black Hat and DEF CON conferences, we are pleased to announce the availability of Kali Linux 1.0.4. The last few months since the initial release of Kali have seen a large number of changes, upgrades, and improvements in the distribution, all of which are included in version 1.0.4. Thanks to numerous requests from the Kali Linux community on the Kali Bug Tracker, we have added many new tools to Kali's arsenal. Our quest to get Kali Linux running on popular ARM hardware is going strong and our trusted contributor, Offensive Security, has provided new ARM images for the BeagleBone Black, CuBox and Efika MX to our growing collection." Read the release announcement for further details.
Salix OS 14.0.1 "KDE"
George Vlahavas has announced the release of Salix OS 14.0.1 "KDE" edition, an updated build of the project's Slackware-based distribution featuring the KDE 4.8.5 desktop: "Salix KDE 14.0.1 has been released. It is built around KDE 4.8.5 and as always, it is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. One major change since our 13.37 KDE release, that is immediately evident to the user, is that the default browser is now QupZilla, in place of Mozilla Firefox. QupZilla is a Qt-based browser that uses the WebKit rendering engine that is fast, feature-complete and standards-compliant and it fits perfectly inside KDE. The Calligra office suite is also available and has replaced KOffice. Calligra is made up of several applications closely tied to KDE, including a word processor, a spreadsheet, a presentation program, a chart and graph creator, a vector graphics tool...." Continue to the release announcement for further details.
Paweł Pijanowski has announced the final release of SparkyLinux 3.0, a Debian-based distribution with a choice of LXDE (default), Enlightenment, Openbox, JWM, MATE and Razor-qt desktop user interfaces: "SparkyLinux 3.0 'Annagerman' is out. SparkyLinux 3.x is built on the 'testing' branch of Debian GNU/Linux. The final release of Sparky 3.0 features: Linux kernel 3.9.8; all packages updated from Debian's testing repositories as of 2013-07-21; minor bug fixes; small improvements on all the desktops; new Sparky3 theme compatible with GNOME 3.8; added extra functionality to the CLI edition (former name 'Core')." Here is the full release announcement with a screenshot.
SparkyLinux 3.0 - the default LXDE desktop
(full image size: 713kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Puppy Linux 5.7 "Precise"
Bary Kauler has announced the release of Puppy Linux 5.7 "Precise" edition, a minimalist and fast distribution featuring the JWM window manager and compatible with Ubuntu 12.04 packages: "This is going to take everyone by surprise. I decided that 5.7beta2 is pretty good, so haven't bothered with an RC. Here is a short announcement. Another pup in the Precise series! This pup comes in two flavours, one for older hardware and/or those on dial-up Internet, the other for those with relatively modern hardware. The 'retro' flavour is an upgrade path for those who have used our 'Wary' Puppy, that targeted older PCs and analog modem dial-up - unlike most other Linux distributions, it continues to support a wide range of analog winmodems. It also has two web browsers, SeaMonkey and Opera, the latter preferred for PCs with less than 256 MB RAM." Read the rest of the release announcement and check out the more technical release notes for further information.
* * * * *
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|
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Eole. Eole is a French Ubuntu-based distribution designed for school servers. The project's website is in French.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 5 August 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)
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 0, value: US$0.00)
1 • razor-qt (by fuji on 2013-07-29 09:36:52 GMT from Czech Republic) |
Razor-qt looks fine. I just wanned to add - in longrun, they gonna merge it with lxde to create new gui instead of these two. Will use qt as toolkit. see https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/razor-qt/PNvkoidV2Ik
2 • The future of Razor-qt (and LXDE) (by :wq on 2013-07-29 09:39:48 GMT from United States)
"...the LXDE team has made tremendous progress in their Qt port. This is excellent news for LXDE, for the Qt community and especially for us because the LXDE project has always shared our philosophy. We both strive for small footprint, limited dependencies and modularity.
So what happens now?
Our two teams have met up and discussed the issues and we have decided that the best course of action for both projects is to focus on a single desktop environment, instead of two.
There have been talks of "merging" ever since LXDE-Qt was announced. Having taken the decision to collaborate, we've all had the pleasure of working together already. Our plan is to cherry-pick the best parts of Razor and LXDE and include or port those to LXDE-Qt."
"The GTK2 port will still be maintained by Andrej and will remain available for as long as possible. The plan is to keep the two branches in sync; as long as GTK2 is still widely in use, the GTK branch will be fully supported and receive further improvements and bugfixes."
3 • About Ubuntu Edge Fund Raising (by Marcos Jacoby on 2013-07-29 12:38:30 GMT from Brazil)
With respect to campaign fundraiser for Ubuntu Edge project, I want to make the following remark, taking into account what was said by Richard Stallman in http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CP8CNp-vksc
Now, taking into account what was said by him in this video, I wonder why amazon.com does not finance the entire project?
Whether they will continue sending sensitive user data to amazon.com as I have done so far, that they banquem the project. Just this.
4 • Sparky3 (by Joe on 2013-07-29 12:51:58 GMT from Mexico)
All excellent,but....in the light version in the openbox flavour there is a tremendous bug: the applications submenu is failed, it's urgent fix it.
Really sparky is a marvelous distro. Congrats!
5 • MidnightBSD packages failing hash authentication (by luvr on 2013-07-29 13:13:29 GMT from Belgium)
According to the MidnightBSD News page http://www.midnightbsd.org/news/ a bug was identified that causes this problem.
I haven't tried it myself, but a solution is provided on the news page.
6 • Razor-qt vs. KDE (by luvr on 2013-07-29 13:17:52 GMT from Belgium)
"I've often heard people say they like Qt and they would like KDE if it weren't for all the options and little distractions. Razor-qt 0.5 is, I suspect, what those people have been waiting for."
That's certainly how I have been feeling all along. Sounds like I should take a serious look at Razor-qt, then.
7 • Ubuntu Edge (by bam on 2013-07-29 13:25:24 GMT from United States)
With respect to Richard Stalllman; http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/support-an-ubuntu-edge-enthusiast-supporter
Also once you open a browser your privacy is gone. Don't delude yourselves, there is no privacy on the internet.
People are supporting Ubuntu Edge. We should not be hateful of a company that has not personally offended you.
8 • MidnightBSD (by Jon Wright on 2013-07-29 14:02:45 GMT from Vietnam)
I'm a bit confused, is MidnightBSD forked from FreeBSD 6.1 or FreeBSD 9? Must be the latter?
9 • Mounting infected disks - easy and flexible hardware option (by Sondar on 2013-07-29 14:11:29 GMT from United Kingdom)
If you're testing, cleaning and changing partitions, for example, on a regular basis, it's quicker to set up an old-ish motherboard on a piece of board (I use a slab cut from an old kitchen unit because melamine is an insulator) and plug in/remove peripherals for testing as and when needed, ie no case needed. Then use a compact distro liveCD like Puppy (new version without PAE for old (& new) machines announced today), see above.This breadboard assembly can be raised on a set of stick-on plastic feet or four dowels if it has to be placed on a polished surface/carpet/w.h.y. Choose an old m/board with IDE ports (use a SATA adapter when necessary) then flying 40w and 80w cables can be left permanently attached for working on drives that insist on one or other but not both. Great workshop test station which is quickly configurable and portable.
10 • Ubuntu Edge (by bam on 2013-07-29 13:25:24 GMT from United States) (by Marcos Jacoby on 2013-07-29 15:21:46 GMT from Brazil)
No one here are blamming Cannonical or hatefull them.
Really Cannonical that has not personally offended anyone.
I just said "Why amazon.com does not fund the entire project as it will continue taking advantage of the partnership?".
For ordinary people play has to develop a product that will produce even greater benefits to amazon.com?
There is no general criticism for Cannonical, but I think Cannonical should press amazon.com to invest at least half the required amount.
11 • KDE - 230 MB?? (by Will Brokenbourgh on 2013-07-29 16:32:27 GMT from United States)
"I did note the distro used more memory than I had expected. Logging into Razor-qt used approximately 230 MB of RAM on my system, which is about the same amount I would expect from an installation running the more fully featured KDE interface."
My friend, if you're able to get KDE running at 230 MB, I want to talk to you. I have never seen it use less than 600 MB, even running the minimal installation. I want to know your secrets! :-)
12 • Ubuntu Edge Fund Raising & Razor-qt (by Vukota on 2013-07-29 16:45:00 GMT from United States)
I think fund raising model as defined will not work for Ubuntu Edge. If they started company and asked for money, that would maybe work. This way I am skeptic of the success. Price for the uncertain device is too steep.
Razor-qt definitely looks promising and I will look forward to it. LXDE merger may help it, but I would like to see some real performance results of the apps running under it first.
13 • Razor-qt and RAM usage (by Jeff on 2013-07-29 18:21:46 GMT from United States)
I have had XFCE running in about 120 mb RAM
Razor-qt is not very light at all
14 • #13 (by jaws222 on 2013-07-29 18:57:02 GMT from United States)
Yes, XFCE is extremely light as is Openbox. I love both of these, especially on laptops.
15 • @13: Razor-Qt vs XFCE, "lightweight" (by Pearson on 2013-07-29 19:30:59 GMT from United States)
Honest question: which distribution are you using? I seem to recall someone mentioning that XFCE on some distros is lighter than others. I wonder if this version of Razor-Qt happens to be "heavier" than needed, while your XFCE is "lighter" than most.
Not refuting your point, just wondering.
16 • *BSD Encryption (by Zybersun on 2013-07-29 20:38:56 GMT from United States)
I am a fan of the BSD family. However I only try it out once and awhile, briefly. My biggest thing is having full disk encryption available at install. Now I can do it the long and hard way if needed, but I just don't want to. I am patiently waiting for the *BSD that does that easily, like Debian or Fedora does. I can do it the long way with other Linux distro's however I choose not to. Somethings I just like do get done faster. Arch Linux was fun when I did it a few years ago, but it had to be done carefully yet it was still much easier than, for example, FreeBSD. FreeBSD's "easy" way of doing this is: http://forums.freebsd.org/showthread.php?t=19082 Not really what I want.
Other than that I am hoping there are more forks of any of the BSD's. It would be great to see this OS gain more ground. It is the only real alternative to Linux that is worth anything.
17 • @11 (by dmatt on 2013-07-29 21:48:46 GMT from Slovakia)
install kubuntu and their kubuntu-low-fat-settings package
or check Klyde initiative from openSuse http://susestudio.com/a/pRvzFf/minimal-klyde, there should be lot of tips
I remember getting to around 160 MB with Kubuntu last time I tried (around year ago).
18 • @11 KDE RAM req'd (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2013-07-30 01:15:35 GMT from United States)
Slax 7 only wants 256Mb for KDE4 ... but that's without bling?
19 • KDE & such (by MZ on 2013-07-30 02:52:18 GMT from United States)
"One thing I find I miss when I go from a light window manager back to the larger desktop environments is the ability to right-click on a blank portion of the desktop to access a pop-up version of the application menu."
The simple fix in KDE is to right click on the desktop, go to settings at the bottom of the menu & click on mouse actions on the right of the window that pops up. Personally I set the application launcher to open when I middle click so as to preserve the default for the standard menu, but you can configure it to any mouse button you want, or even the scroll wheel.
Are you running 64 bit or 32? 32 is supposed to be lighter & I'm fairly certain I've gotten down to the 300 MB range fairly easy by just turning off bells & whistles. If you want to lighten KDE always start by going to system settings > desktop search, and unchecking the 'Enable Nepomuk Semantic Desktop'. You might also try going to system settings > desktop effects & unchecking stuff there too.
20 • Razor-Qt & Xfce (by Serge on 2013-07-30 03:21:39 GMT from United States)
I've been using Razor-Qt and QupZilla on an old 1 GB RAM + Athlon XP-powered machine for several months and have grown quite fond of that pairing (the Athlon XP was an AMD processor that roughly correlates to the first half of the Pentium 4 era). I'm not gonna kid anyone by saying "it's just as good of a combination as any modern environment would be!", but at least both are as responsive and fast-loading on that low-end machine as a GNOME 3 / Firefox combination is on more modern hardware. I've seen mention before that Razor-Qt has a large memory footprint, but practical experience in the above mentioned system has shown me that this hasn't had any impact on performance for me. Running "stock" KDE 4 or GNOME 3 on that machine, however, is unbearable.
I like using Openbox with Razor-Qt as Openbox's features and configuration options pick up where Razor-Qt leaves off. I don't get the same impression when using Openbox with LXDE - I find LXDE a bit too advanced and intrusive for it to be a good fit with Openbox.
With that in mind, I was somewhat saddened to learn that LXDE will be cannibalizing Razor-Qt. However, I understand that Razor-Qt's developers are shorthanded, and if the choices are between Razor-Qt entering bitrot due to lack of development time and Razor-Qt being discontinued in order to help make LXDE-Qt better, I guess the later is preferable.
As for Xfce's default footprint: Xfce is highly modular. Because it is mature, it has picked up a number of components over the years that some might find superfluous.
For those who feel Xfce is too large for what they want out of a lightweight DE, my advice is this: If your distribution packages Xfce in a way that makes it possible to install the various core components independently, then take the time to install your Xfce environment from the ground-up rather than just installing the meta / group / task / pattern package that your distribution might recommend for the best out-of-the-box experience. When stripped down to its "core", Xfce is still very light.
21 • Uninstalling KDE parts?/@ 11 (by MZ on 2013-07-30 03:36:06 GMT from United States)
I know PCLOS comes with a KDE mini edition that doesn't have extra parts installed, and I think you might also be able to get a similar effect by uninstalling parts, as long as your careful. It does seem a bit harder to slim things down than I remembered, but it can be done. In fact when I just turned on my old Debian box I get .22 GB of 1.5 GB & I noticed that I don't have any 'Akonadi Configuration' option in the system settings, so that might have something to do with it.
I'd say that whatever the defaults are on Debian 7 KDE 32 bit are very light to begin with, though I'm not sure if I made any tweaks. You might try downloading the live image of that & PCLOS KDE mini and comparing the results.
22 • @20 - LXDE and Openbox (by Hoos on 2013-07-30 03:51:48 GMT from Singapore)
WattOS uses LXDE with Openbox. They work well together, at least in versions r4 and r6, although I admit I haven't carried out checks or measurements. I use WattOS on my Pentium 4 PC with 1 GB RAM. I haven't tried version r7 though.
I've never tried Razor-Qt but it does sound very promising. Currently Linux Mint KDE does work on my system, although if I turn desktop effects on, it's certainly less snappy (but it still works fine).
23 • KDE Memory footprint @17 + 21 (by Peter on 2013-07-30 08:25:32 GMT from Spain)
Both statements are true: Kubuntu_low_fat does deactivate a bunch of blingy things: no 3D desktop or transparency in themes, less Krunner jobs, unlinking clock from reminders to avoid Akanodi, deactivate Nepomuk and Virtuoso, etc.
I've seen certain distros (Mageia, Kademar, Slax, Wifislax, PCLinuxOS Mini, Porteus, Manjaro KDE, Chakra, etc) do most of that out of the box and come down to 260 on a intel 2 Gb system (you can lower it). My intel laptop idles at 220 Mb (190 with EVERTHING deactivated). Believe me, at least when using the opensource graphic drivers, you can bring down the RAM footprint quite a lot.
But if they rebase LXDE on the more stylish Qt, i'll be a happy user of this "QLDE" desktop.
24 • razor qt memory (by mandog on 2013-07-30 11:54:23 GMT from Peru)
If the memory quoted is correct then its not good on a 10 year old HP laptop 32bt only Arch Linux, with open box 54mb of ram. with lxde 80mb with cairo-dock + compton 75mb. Crunbang gives similar results. As for all the KDE claims yes they can be achieved but that is just basterising a quality system I don't see the point. Would anybody in there right mind take top of the range merc remove all the goodies fit a 1ltr engine then say it uses less fuel that would be madness. so get real if you can't use KDE/Gnome on your lapton buy a laptop that can my laptop with win7 cost £185 in the UK. thats under 2 nights out clubbing. Or use openbox its still alive and kicking using plain gtk. but can also be used as a backend on KDE/Gnome/compiz/xfce or most other window managers?
25 • KDE memory usage (by greg on 2013-07-30 12:44:41 GMT from Slovenia)
we have 1.3 GB RAM on KDE maschine. i turned off nepomuk and later Akonadi since it went crazy and too all memorry and both CPU cores. anyway until it went crazy and also after turnin it off the memorry usage is about 280-300 MB on idle. we have some useful desktop effects turned on. it's working quite fast otherwise. LXDE uses about 100-130 on Ubuntu, so RazorQt, has to aim close to this. somewhere between 100 and 150 MB ram with a bit of bling turned on..
26 • Razor-qt, LXDE, Xfce, KDE (by Pierre on 2013-07-30 14:36:09 GMT from Germany)
As I already mentioned some time ago I really like Xfce and KDE and prefer them both over other DEs. Some months ago I found by chance the i3 window manager, fell in love with it and don't want to miss it anymore.
Nevertheless KDE and Xfce are very nice DEs I spend a lot of time with before and which I am still running from time to time and at least still are delivering many apps for my day to day tasks.
Both DEs are highly modular and customizable, KDE more than any other DE out there. Since 4.10 KDE is now finally even very fast, responsive and stable.
I don't know when it was most of the people here test drove KDE the last time, but it must be back some more releases and I especially don't know what Mr. Brokenbourgh broke or ran additionally to have KDE at a footprint of more than 600 MB of RAM.
With KDE 4.10 I mostly have something around 300 to 400 MB what is ok if I think about what KDE is doing with these MBs and has in store for me.
Even most Xfce systems do run with only 100 to 200 MB less than these 300 to 400 of KDE and Xfce by far doesn't have so many features like KDE has. So it's all about the services you are running. You can tweak KDE quite easily to run with 200 to 300 MB of RAM if you turn off some more features.
This is the reason why I am a little sad about such a relatively big footprint for a quite lightwight DE like Razor-qt.
When I first read about it I was excited about it and dreamt of a more KDE 3.5 like DE or someting like Qt-based Xfce. In the end it's more a LXDE with a footprint of stripped down KDE. I'd then prefer KDE over Razor-qt by far.
The plans of the LXDE project to maybe switch to Qt as framework sounds nice. Maybe they are doing it right or at least better than Razor-qt, although I like most of what they are doing I simply expected more.
27 • RazorQt footprint (by Hugo Masse on 2013-07-30 15:14:55 GMT from Mexico)
Upon logging into a fresh install of Sparky-Razor Qt in my HP mini, 32 bit, 1 Gb RAM and HTop tells me it uses 149 Mb out of 999 Mb. Right now, with QupZilla on this page, it went up to 207 Mb. The lowest I've ever seen in this PC was 79 Mb in Crunchbang. Those 149 Mb are similar to what I get with Cinnamon and MATE. I guess you should make sure you don't compare 32bit and 64bit systems, apples and oranges and all that.
I was pleased to find Sparky RazorQt's review this week. I got an interest in it with the previous Sparky review a few weeks ago and tried out their different versions, I also noticed how it's climbed into the top 20 distros here, quite rocketing. Jesse must have read my mind when I thought this new flavour deserved a new review. Now with the LXDE merge, I guess this DE will give a lot to talk about in a few months.
One thing I don't like in Sparky RazorQt is the menus. They're a bit confusing, hard to navigate. LXDE is similar and so I hope they find a better way to present this (maybe a favourites area) when they work on the LXDE Qt? It seems this is what they're going to call it.
28 • RazorQT footprint (2) (by Hugo Masse on 2013-07-30 15:29:32 GMT from Mexico)
Now I logged into Linux Mint Debian Edition in the same PC as in entry 28 and System Monitor tells me that Cinnamon runs on 133 Mb right after starting. It is now at 249 Mb with Firefox, just the Distrowatch tab. Razor Qt is not that lightweight after all. Nevertheless, it's worth keeping an eye on it.
29 • @27 (by jaws222 on 2013-07-30 18:27:56 GMT from United States)
Crunchbang? Openbox I presume? Yes, lightning fast. That is my favorite OS.
30 • Fedora 19, install on an HP ProBook 6465B (A10 CPU) (by Jeffersonian on 2013-07-30 23:54:24 GMT from United States)
== FOREWORD ==
We shall all drink a glass of the best possible read wine, in the memory of Seth Vidal, (Fedora developer) deceased lately, and when you drive a car (or bigger), please respect cyclists, day and night ! When you ride a bicycle when light is low, please have some light on your bicycle : they are now cheap, and a flashing LED use very little energy .... this could save you life.
If you are young, be aware that older people night vision is probably not as good as yours...
== NOW ABOUT FEDORA 19 ==
Fedora 19 (x86_64), when installed is probably the very best "Linux Distro" I have used, since Red Hat 5 or 6 and Suse when it was pretty good (around Suse 8)...
I first upgraded from F18 to F19, and it went amazingly well, I concur here with the reader comment stating "Fedup is a little gem", because it is.
However one day one update bricked my Fedora 19, so I had to reinstall it from scratch: still painful on a multi--boot system.
And the installer will not create anymore the fstab entry for the NTFS partitions, this is not good and could be fixed...
For the custom partitioning, another distro (May be Chakra?) is using gparted a great idea. Actually I used a CD/DVD live distro with gparted to partition the disk and format the partitions, after two unsuccessful F19 install ! It would be quite nice if Fedora would do this...
This machine not having Nvidia Drivers, the AMD Radeon install was "magic" i.e excellent out of the box: cannot ask for more !
The bad is that my machine (HP ProBook 6465B) have a Wifi chip from Broadcom (BCM943228) and the STA driver from Broadcom is not installed, out of the box.
I found a workaround plugin the USB-Wifi dongle TL-WN821N from TP-Link: F19, out of the box has the Atheros 9k driver so you can install the Broadcom STA driver for the "in-box" Broadcom Wi-Fi chip.
This works quite well, but life would be a lot easier if both Video AND Wi-Fi would work out of the box !
Anyway the Broadcom STA driver+hardware is excellent: really fast, and stable as a rock ! Hopefully it will be integrated into the F19 (or RHLE 7)....
Another good surprise was that F19 new kernel, now support well the Alfa Wi-FI range extender (did not work on F18).
Overall Fedora 19 is great, and either updates or Fedora 20 will be able to make the install yet easier.
For the Windows manager, MATE is now pretty close to be perfect (I filed for a minor bug on Bugzilla)...
KDE that I tried is not for me (bloated, overly complex).
However I place great hope in the Razor-QT merged with LXDE (Please keep it simple guys !), because Qt is just outstanding !
31 • MidnightBSD, FreeBSD and desktop usage (by Thomas Mueller on 2013-07-31 02:03:11 GMT from United States)
There already is a version of FreeBSD dressed up for desktop use: PC-BSD, website www.pcbsd.org . Not a fork of FreeBSD, but a dressed-up version with a PBI (push-button installer) that can install additional software packages. But PC-BSD is designed to be ready for action immediately after installation, unlike FreeBSD or NetBSD base system.
But FreeBSD ports and NetBSD pkgsrc permit building many software applications, so you can do things like online banking and multimedia, though maybe not read digital magazines through zinio.com .
32 • Making things lighter (by ARS on 2013-07-31 02:51:36 GMT from United States)
apt-get install --no-install-recommends
aptitude --without-recommends install
33 • making it heavy / @26 (by MZ on 2013-07-31 07:32:55 GMT from United States)
'... don't know what Mr. Brokenbourgh broke or ran additionally to have KDE at a footprint of more than 600 MB...'
Actually it's very easy to get KDE extra fat. If your package manager has something akin to 'KDE full', then you could start to make your system heavy by installing that, & then turning on everything in sight. One of the quickest things I found to make KDE heavy was going to system settings > desktop search, & go to the "advanced settings" tab where you can turn up & down the memory usage from the default of 50 MB all the way to 1000 MB.
I'm sure I didn't need to turn it up on my main desktop, but I set it to 500 MB a while back & left it there. My desktop now idles at about 1.1 GB of RAM, but my main machine has 4 x the number of processor cores & 4 x the amount of RAM that my old backup machine has, so why not leave it there? It's really impressive how tweak able KDE is, going from 230 MB on my backup system with 1.5 GB of RAM, all the way up to 1 GB on my main 6 GB system. If you have the RAM & the desire you can use quite a bit of memory.
34 • @31, *BSD's (by Zybersun on 2013-07-31 14:38:40 GMT from United States)
PC-BSD, as you already said, is a dressed up version of FreeBSD with PBI. However try and ask for help at the FreeBSD forums with PC-BSD. Most, if not all, will jump down your throat. Just like the bickering you see within in the Linux community between distros, forks, etc. of various distros. Funny to see the same exact thing in the FreeBSD community. Guess that childishness and attitude is just something we humans will just have to outgrow.
I do know that there is a Linux Wrapper for BSD that will let you run Linux apps on BSD. Wine works with BSD which adds more. So even if, for ex. FreeBSD, has issues with a certain program or other issue it can usually be worked around. And one can also add a virtual machine.
I look forward to *BSD in general growing. I wonder where things will be in five or ten years.
35 • uninstall vs do not start in KDE (by dmatt on 2013-07-31 14:40:41 GMT from Slovakia)
KDE sort of hijacked this week discussion so I add one more tip. Lot of services start only when needed. I didn't uninstall advanced functionality. I setup the standard desktop in a way, which did not trigger services at the computer start. It's there if you need it, but it does not start if you only browse net or edit office documents.
36 • RAM uage (by Ika on 2013-07-31 23:13:09 GMT from Spain)
I think there are many factors wich affects the memory usage:
- the numbers of installed systems. Is it a single install or alongside others (Widows or/and other Linux syatem(s)
- the amount of data one have stored in the machine. Is not the same having 50 GB or 500 GB of data.
OTOH, I have two machines (a desktop with Win 7 with about 500 GB of data and several Linux instances and a laptop with Win 7 with 3 Linuxes very few data but hybrid graphics) and in both machines KDE is using aroun 600 MB.
Simply, I don't know why...
I have only some basic effects enabled, nothing about Nepomuk, Aconadi or alike.
And no matter what distro I have installed, with all of them I have the same result... :(
37 • KDE RAM usage - Gentoo (by claudecat on 2013-08-01 05:47:19 GMT from United States)
Haven't compared recently, but as of 6-7 months ago, I was getting ~220MB RAM usage on Gentoo - 64 bit, with full KDE and effects enabled. Turned off akonadi and nepomuk and did a few other minor tweaks using Control Center. This was by far the lowest of the dozens of KDE distros I was comparing at the time.
That said, the perceptible benefits of this low RAM usage were negligible at best. Barring really old equipment, does a few hundred MB of RAM at idle really matter? I finally settled on Debian after years of obsessive hopping and haven't looked back. Unless you have low-end gear or really specific requirements, it really doesn't make much difference.
38 • @30 (by Adam Williamson on 2013-08-01 06:21:29 GMT from Canada)
By policy Fedora doesn't include out-of-tree kernel drivers - we only include stuff that's in the upstream stable tree or very definitely going to land in it soon. So the Broadcom driver would only wind up in Fedora if it got accepted for merging into the mainstream kernel, which last I heard, wasn't particularly likely. Sorry about that :/
39 • KlyDE (by Pierre on 2013-08-01 10:31:18 GMT from Germany)
Everyone who is not at all satisfied with the amount of RAM your KDE install is using by default should take a look at the KlyDE project which got initialized by Jos and some other openSUSE developers.
Sounds very promising and is in my eyes a much better alternative to Razor-qt and other lightwight desktops.
KlyDE, the 'K lightwight Desktop Environment', simply is demonstating the huge benefits of KDE's modularity and (re)assembles/(re)packages a Xfce like DE out of KDE components and can be afterwards extended to a full features KDE - if wanted.
Very promising. I am excited about that since I read about it. Hope for an integration into openSUSE 13.1 and if not, Cloverleaf Linux, the successor of Fuduntu, which will be based on openSUSE, will ship the first release with KlyDE if plans stay as they are at the moment.
40 • @34 Upstream attitude (by Jimcooncat on 2013-08-01 13:10:03 GMT from United States)
Yes, there is childishness and bickering, but please try to understand there is a good reason for an upstream forum (like FreeBSD) not to support people who run a derivative distro (like PC-BSD). Because we run open source software, a derivative distro can (and will) change anything. When the upstream guys try to help, they often run in to bugs or intentional differences caused by the changes made by the derivative distro's developers.
I run into the same thing with Debian and Ubuntu-based distros. At this point, it may be common knowledge that the Debian devs cannot possibly know what changes Canonical and the Ubuntu communities have made.
The fix for the end user is to install the upstream distro, test the problem, *then* if it still exists to ask the upstream forum.
To expect the upstream team to test every derivative distribution for problems is a childish attitude on the user's part.
41 • @ #30 and #38 plus addition (by Pierre on 2013-08-01 13:13:50 GMT from Germany)
This is the reason why check for Linux compatibility of every piece of hardware I purchase.
42 • @40 upstream attitude (by Pearson on 2013-08-01 15:37:13 GMT from United States)
Well said. Taking it further, I've heard that the upstream application developers (editors, databases, etc) prefer bug reports from Slackware or Arch, because of their policy of minimal patching. If the developer of 'foo' gets a bug from an Ubuntu user, that developer has to make sure it wasn't introduced by an Ubuntu patch.
43 • @40, 42 Makes sense, but no evil intended. (by LinuxMan on 2013-08-01 17:31:00 GMT from United States)
It's true that if a developer works on an application for Debian then he shouldn't really be bothered with bug reports from Ubuntu. The same goes for FreeBSD and PC-BSD. However I don't believe that this is a common occurrence. If a person installs an application from the Ubuntu repositories then I can't really imagine why in the world they would file a bug report with the Debian devs. I've never done that because there's no reason to, and I've filed many a bug report, and I always try to take care of the problem within the distro's eco structure. I'm sure the case would be the same with the BSD distros. You wouldn't go to FreeBSD if you were having problems with a PBI application. That wouldn't make any sense, but I'm sure people still do that. There is nothing wrong with applications that have been patched for a certain reason. Many of times, its more often than not that it is an improvement or simply an alteration so the application can run in a certain environment. So no, it shouldn't be up to the upstream devs to repair or debug applications that have been altered by the distro's eco structure even tho some devs are nice enough to. We also have to remember that all patches are not evil, but sometimes bad stuff happens. :)
44 • @43 managing downstream patches (by Pearson on 2013-08-01 18:33:51 GMT from United States)
"[not] all patches are not evil, but sometimes bad stuff happens"
True. Plus, sometimes the upstream bug fix can be negated by the patch.
45 • Report bug to the Source (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2013-08-01 22:42:59 GMT from United States)
Doesn't matter which distro you use, you report a bug to the source.
If the software is "based on", "forked from", or otherwise modified, clearly the first question is where the bug came from. That can be checked and verified.
Nobody should sneer "not my clientele, not my problem". Your bug, own up.
46 • Salix 14.0.1 (by Jeff Dickey on 2013-08-02 03:43:48 GMT from Singapore)
Great job getting 14.0.1 out the door, but downloaders beware: though it's alluded to in the review, when you get to the download site, 14.0.1 is apparently officially available only in KDE and XFCE spins as opposed to the 6(!) different images available for 13.37.
This is NOT a complaint, IMO. If you've only got the time and resources to package two spins that you can be proud of, I'd probably pick those two as well. I would expect (hope?) that additional spins are released as resources and demand warrant.
Again, great job, but for Mate or LXDE fans, some assembly currently required.
47 • @45 - Report bug to the Source (by Marco on 2013-08-02 09:49:37 GMT from United States)
The challenge for newbies is that they can only guess at the source. I have a minor annoyance that I guessed was upstream from my main distro (Kubuntu), so I filed it with KDE (https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=311974). Eventually I loaded another distro and replicated the bug, and a commenter replicated it on a third distro, so it turned out I guessed right.
That said, better to report the bug somewhere than nowhere. And for most newbies, that means in their distro's bug tracker, and hopefully the distro's packagers can file it upstream if they think it belongs there.
48 • Oh no, my PayPal account has been limited! (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2013-08-02 17:16:16 GMT from United States)
All I need to do is follow a link (and reveal all my account access codes, of course) and I can get it all straightened out ... oh golly, how could this possible happen!?
49 • Wanting a Ubuntu Tablet (by JWM on 2013-08-02 19:10:00 GMT from United States)
I dislike the fat phone feel of droid. I really want a Ubuntu or Mint Tablet with some PC normal functionality. I was hoping this would be available soon.
50 • Rant: Linux Distros are dumbing down as badly as Windows (by Ben Myers on 2013-08-05 05:56:45 GMT from United States)
Why it's getting so that the latest Linux distros out of the box are hiding more information from the user than Windows does. Earlier distros, maybe 3-4 years ago, had a convenient little icon on the screen to click and find out the state of your laptop battery. VERY nice for hardware testing, BTW. At a glance, you could easily see not only the percentage of full charge in the battery, but also the number of charge cycles and the percentage of original capacity in mWH that the battery holds at the moment. Then, the older System Monitor may or may not be renamed Details, or it is simply not present as part of the standard software that gets installed.
I don't know about you, but I like to know what is going on in my system, especially a laptop running on battery and maybe clogged with dust and dirt, possibly overheating. How about a standard system temperature monitor, showing at a glance the current temperature of each processor core? Windows has one, but it's a free download. Nudge, nudge.
Oh, don't tell me to install this or that. This stuff has gotta be standard and readily accessible in all the mainstream distros: Mint, Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, etc.
Don't dumb it down!
Number of Comments: 50
|• Issue 684 (2016-10-24): Ubuntu 16.10, Linux popularity in different markets, Fedora runs on Raspberry Pi, Ubuntu features live kernel patching|
|• Issue 683 (2016-10-17): Refracta 8.0, making packages for distributions, Alpine switches to LibreSSL, 386BSD website publishes classic code|
|• Issue 682 (2016-10-10): KDE neon 20160915, Android-x86 6.0, Fedora warns of update bug, HandyLinux drops English translation, LXQt benchmarks|
|• Issue 681 (2016-10-03): OpenBSD 6.0, DragonFly BSD to support LibreSSL in ports, systemd denial of service bug, upgraded Mintbox Mini|
|• Issue 680 (2016-09-26): Uruk GNU/Linux 1.0, blocking applications at the firewall, Lenovo controversy, Ubuntu running on the Nextcloud Box|
|• Issue 679 (2016-09-19): OpenMandriva 3.0, 32-bit vs 64-bit performance, openSUSE updates, KaOS unveils first run wizard|
|• Issue 678 (2016-09-12): Apricity 07.2016, Mageia adopts DNF, KDE neon to use Wayland, FreeBSD updates Linux compatibility, creating cron jobs|
|• Issue 677 (2016-09-05): Peppermint OS 7, Manjaro updates leadership, TrueOS becomes rolling release, organizing files, creating torrents|
|• Issue 676 (2016-08-29): Korora 24, Fedora 25 to use Wayland by default, Linux turns 25, PC-BSD becomes TrueOS, finding software licensing information|
|• Issue 675 (2016-08-22): Gentoo LiveDVD "Choice Edition", moreutils, Ubuntu improves terminal convergence, MATE packaged for Openindiana, FreeBSD improves video support|
|• Issue 674 (2016-08-15): Zenwalk Linux 8.0, Ubuntu phone follow-up, Lubuntu transitioning to LXQt, Steam running on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 673 (2016-08-03): noop linux and EasyNAS, Debian's GnuPG switch, Fedora "Flock", using "nice"|
|• Issue 672 (2016-08-01): Ubuntu Phone 15.04, Solus embraces rolling release model, interview with Jane Silber, FreeBSD Quarterly Report|
|• Issue 671 (2016-07-25): Slackware 14.2, Point Linux 3.2, OpenBSD disables usermount, KaOS releases significant changes, Fedora 22 reaches end of life.|
|• Issue 670 (2016-07-18): Linux Lite 3.0, Bodhi team plans 4.0.0, pfSense changes licensing, running software across distributions, Linux Mint upgrade path|
|• Issue 669 (2016-07-11): Linux Mint 18, proving a system is secure, LibreSSL in FreeBSD, Ubuntu plans phasing out 32-bit, pfSense status report|
|• Issue 668 (2016-07-04): Fedora 24, Linux Mint plans for 18.1, FreeBSD and DragonFly BSD improve their file systems, comparing Flatpak, Snap and AppImage|
|• Issue 667 (2016-06-27): GeckoLinux 421, Fedora supports Flatpak, Solus unveils new features, running GNU/Linux on tablets|
|• Issue 666 (2016-06-20): Comparing more live update methods, Ubuntu's snap packages, Antergos drops 32-bit media, GeckoLinux unveils Rolling edition, learning Linux resources|
|• Issue 665 (2016-06-13): BunsenLabs Linux Hydrogen, Fedora 24 delayed, NetBSD grows in size, Clonezilla questions|
|• Issue 664 (2016-06-06): Sabayon 16.05, Debian updates install media, the cost of free software, Qubes explains secure build process|
|• Issue 663 (2016-05-30): Comparing live update methods, Ubuntu MATE's progress, distros debate systemd change, DistroWatch turns 15|
|• Issue 662 (2016-05-23): Clonezilla Live, new Fedora community repository, DragonFlyBSD runs Wayland, a live edition of Slackware and kernel components|
|• Issue 661 (2016-05-16): FreeBSD 10.3, OpenMandriva adopts Clang, Debian adds ZFS packages, PCLinuxOS drops 32-bit and comparing CentOS with RHEL|
|• Issue 660 (2016-05-09): Ubuntu MATE 16.04, Mint's xapps, FreeBSD Quarterly Report, Debian updates 32-bit support, addressing GPL violations|
|• Issue 659 (2016-05-02): Ubuntu 16.04, compiling custom kernels, Cinnamon 3.0, Sabayon launches ARM build, Devuan ships Beta release|
|• Issue 658 (2016-04-25): Kali Linux 2016.1, elementary OS 0.3.2, Debian elects Project Leader, Fedora 24 feature preview, Nard reaches 1.0|
|• Issue 657 (2016-04-18): Redox, Linux Mint improves update manager, planned Fedora 24 features, Ubuntu 16.04 getting Snappy packages|
|• Issue 656 (2016-04-11): Qubes OS 3.1, Whonix offers bug bounties, Puppy's family tree, setting up disk partitions and running bash on Windows|
|• Issue 655 (2016-04-04): Parsix 8.5, Sabayon's Community repository, Red Hat offers free subscriptions, Ubuntu tablets, command line tips|
|• Issue 654 (2016-03-28): PCLinuxOS 2016.03, Using signatures to create a web of trust, Arch Linux rolls out Pacman update, GuixSD packages GNOME|
|• Issue 653 (2016-03-21): Antergos 2016.02.21, Debian prepares for election, a Unix-like OS written in Rust, watching Netflix on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 652 (2016-03-14): ReactOS 0.4.0, Debian swaps Iceweasel for Firefox, Fedora moving forward with Wayland, Verifying ISO files|
|• Issue 651 (2016-03-07): Korora 23, Linux Mint improves security, Ubuntu MATE on Raspberry Pi 3 computers, trying different file systems|
|• Issue 650 (2016-02-29): Haiku in 2016, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, 30 years of MINIX, Fedora plans Atomic Workstation|
|• Issue 649 (2016-02-22): Zorin OS 11, openSUSE launches new editions, Linux Mint website compromised, sandboxing applications using Firejail|
|• Issue 648 (2016-02-15): XStream Desktop 153, Raspbian unveils OpenGL feature, free hardware, Ikey Doherty talks desktop design|
|• Issue 647 (2016-02-08): Tails 2.0, KDE project launches Neon, Manjaro unveils ARM support, FreeBSD's quarterly report|
|• Issue 646 (2016-02-01): deepin 15, Mint plans X-Apps, FreeBSD to support boot environments, logging into the desktop as root|
|• Issue 645 (2016-01-25): Linux Mint 17.3 "Xfce", Chromixium changes its name, Ubuntu tablets coming soon, Linux vs BSD comparision|
|• Issue 644 (2016-01-18): Kwort 4.3, Sabayon tests ARM images, Slackware adopts PulseAudio, running Linux without GNU software|
|• Issue 643 (2016-01-11): Solus 1.0, Mint provide upgrade path to 17.3, Fedora developers work on stability, running the LXQt desktop|
|• Issue 642 (2016-01-04): paldo GNU/Linux, vetting distro repositories, Fedora plans to adopt GCC 6, Ian Murdock passes|
|• Issue 641 (2015-12-21): Arch Linux, Qubes OS to ship on Librem laptops, ALT offers start kit images, the spread of systemd and launchd|
|• Issue 640 (2015-12-14): Chakra GNU/Linux 2015.11, removing meta-data from files, Ubuntu to remove on-line dash searches|
|• Issue 639 (2015-12-07): OpenBSD 5.8, openSUSE gathers Summer of Code proposals, running WINE on a live disc, Enlightenment adds Wayland support|
|• Issue 638 (2015-11-30): Qubes OS 3.0, KaOS with Plasma, NetBSD 7.0, Fedora seeks Wayland testers, scheduling tasks|
|• Issue 637 (2015-11-23): NixOS 15.09, Antergos introduces ZFS support, MINIX shares new features, copying an OS to a new computer|
|• Issue 636 (2015-11-16): openSUSE 42.1, Fedora uses Wayland by default, Debian replaces live CD project, Steam consoles launch|
|• Issue 635 (2015-11-09): Fedora 23, Cinnamon 2.8 released, a Fedora KDE packager quits, Red Hat signs deal with Microsoft|
|• Issue 634 (2015-11-02): Ubuntu 15.10, Chakra upgrades to Plasma 5, OpenMandriva plans new editions, MINIX plans conference|
|• Issue 633 (2015-10-26): GhostBSD 10.1, Bodhi Linux to get new settings panel, Fedora 23 delayed, creating live image of existing OS|
|• Issue 632 (2015-10-19): Linux Lite 2.6, 32-bit build of CentOS, OpenBSD turns 20, Bodhi Linux releases AppPack|
|• Full list of all issues|