| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 521, 19 August 2013
Welcome to this year's 33rd issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
What makes a graphical interface good? That's a question that has seen many answers over the years and solutions have taken many forms. Most people will agree their interface should be easy to explore and have recognizable symbols. A good interface should be responsive and provide clear information. The exact details, the level of flexibility and the default arrangement of controls, are quite subjective and subject to much debate. In this issue of DistroWatch Weekly we will hear from projects and commentators who offer answers to these difficult interface questions. In an interview, the elementary OS team talks about how they want to empower users and a review of the latest version of FreeNAS offers some further suggestions for interface behaviour. While the debate for the ideal graphical interface rolls on, Jesse Smith shares some fun aspects of the Linux command line interface. Read on to learn how to add more fun to this fundamental component of GNU/Linux. In other news this week we look in on Haiku and find out how the project is progressing with packages and third-party ports. We also learn about a proposal for changing the way Fedora is developed. Might we soon see the return of Fedora Core? Plus we get a first impressions look at a Fedora-based project, Korora. The Korora distribution tries to lower the bar for users interested in Fedora's cutting-edge technology and we will find out how the latest version performs. In this issue we will look at distributions released over the past week and look ahead to exciting new developments. We wish you all a great week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (11MB) and MP3 (19MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Korora 19 "Bruce"
The Korora Linux distribution is a project based on the Fedora operating system. Korora takes the latest version of Fedora and tweaks the system to make it more appealing, out of the box, to desktop users. For instance, the Fedora project doesn't provide some multimedia codecs, Flash or VirtualBox. These packages are not included in the parent distribution and are not available through the default repositories. Korora ships with popular media codecs and enables third-party repositories such as Google's Chrome repository, VirtualBox's repository and the popular RPMFusion package repository. Korora also comes with a utility which makes it easy to locate third-party hardware drivers which may be useful to users. As a bonus, Korora ships with the Firefox web browser and includes several useful plugins to make surfing the web more pleasant. Korora 19 was released on the heels of Fedora 19 and shares the same base system and installer.
Korora 19 comes in two flavours, GNOME and KDE. Both of these editions are available as 32-bit and 64-bit builds. I decided to try the KDE version as I was fairly happy with the KDE spin of Fedora 19 when I tested it back in July. The download image for Korora's KDE edition is approximately 2.2GB in size, fairly heavy in comparison with the KDE spin of Fedora. Booting from the downloaded ISO brings us to a KDE desktop with an icon in the upper-left corner of the screen that will launch the system installer. At the bottom of the screen we see the application menu and task switcher. Shortly after arriving at the desktop a welcome window appears. This window offers us quick links for accessing the project's documentation, KDE's user guide and Korora's social media websites. In addition there is a button for launching the system installer.
Korora 19 -- The distributions welcome window
(full image size: 1.1MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
I talked about the system installer Korora and Fedora use in my review of Fedora 19 and it does not look as though the Korora developers have made any changes to the installer, other than to alter the name of the distribution in the installer's text. While I have my reservations with regards to the installer's interface, I found it to be functional. We're walked through the usual steps, dividing up the disk, setting the administrator's password and creating a user account. I found some screens of the installer were slow to refresh and I suspect this was due to KDE running with visual effects enabled while I was running with a less-than-optimal video driver. I noticed that once the distribution was installed locally and visual desktop effects were disabled the graphical interface was always quite quick to respond.
Booting into the Korora distribution brings us to a graphical login screen, tastefully decorated in blue. Logging in brings us back to the KDE desktop and, shortly after signing in for the first time, the welcome screen appears. We can dismiss this welcome screen and tell it not to appear in the future. Poking around the desktop I noticed that Korora has changed a default KDE setting and configured the interface so that launching programs or opening files requires double-clicking on an item's icon. Usually KDE is set up to use a single-click approach for accessing items. I think Korora has made a good move here as, recently, I've noticed the single-click approach is one of the few features that consistently confuses new users.
After I logged in a notification appeared in the bottom-right corner of the screen letting me know software updates were available. Korora ships with many packages, about 6.8GB worth of software in total. The day I installed the distribution 540 updates were waiting, totaling approximately 1.1GB in size, and it made for a large download. Korora, like its parent, ships with a small update widget which is attached to the system tray and this will allow us to download and process the updates. Well, normally the update widget works. The first time I attempted to download available updates the update widget got stuck in a loop waiting for PackageKit to release its lock on the package database. Killing the PackageKit process allowed updates to be downloaded and installed successfully.
Korora 19 -- Applying updates and changing desktop settings
(full image size: 1.1MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The distribution comes with two graphical front ends for package management. The first is Apper, which was also shipped with Fedora's KDE spin. The Apper application makes it easy to browse through categories of packages with a nice, icon-rich interface. It can also handle updates and makes the process of adding software to the system straight forward. The second package manager is YumEx and this second package manager is more focused on power, I feel, rather than providing a friendly interface. Not that YumEx is unfriendly, but it is more technically oriented, it shows us more information, gives more detailed messages while it is working and focuses more on individual packages as opposed to Apper's more application-focused approach. I think YumEx will appeal more to the technical crowd while Apper will fill the role of a simple point-n-click package manager.
As previously mentioned, the Korora distribution comes with a large collection of software and it runs the full range from user friendly desktop software through to advanced administration tools. Some of the highlights include the Firefox web browser, the Konqueror web browser, the LibreOffice productivity suite and the KMail e-mail client. The application menu includes the Calibre e-book library manager and a simple e-book reader. The distribution provides document viewers, the Inkscape vector graphics application and the GNU Image Manipulation Program. Digging in further we find the Linphone software phone along with the KTorrent bittorrent client. The Choqok micro blogger and Blogilo blogging applications are installed by default. Korora comes with the VLC multimedia player, the Kdenlive video editor and the Amarok music player. I found the Handbrake media transcoder and the Audacity audio editor in the menu too. Korora comes with popular multimedia codecs and I found players & editors worked out of the box. Korora comes with some great administrative tools, including utilities which allow us to enable/disable system services, configure the firewall and manage backups. There is also a simple utility which makes it easy to enable Samba network shares. There is a utility for adding third-party drivers to the operating system and the KDE System Settings panel lets us tweak the desktop with a great degree of detail. I was happy to find the distribution comes with several accessibility apps, including a virtual keyboard, a text-to-speech reader, screen magnifier and automatic mouse-click tool. I was also pleasantly surprised to find Korora comes with an application which synchronizes files with ownCloud servers. I usually don't see much support for file synchronizing with the cloud outside of the Ubuntu camp and I'm happy to see Korora take this initiative. Digging in deeper I found the distribution comes with Java and the GNU Compiler Collection. The Network Manager software helps us get on-line. In the background we find the Linux kernel, version 3.9.
Korora 19 -- Running various desktop applications
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While most of the software in Korora's long list of applications worked well, I did run into a few minor issues. These weren't bugs exactly, but configuration choices which I think were less than ideal. For instance, by default, whenever I ran a program in a virtual terminal a notification would appear on the screen when that program finished running. Maybe some people find the feature helpful, but as I spend a lot of time on the command line I found the constant stream of notifications distracting. The other questionable configuration choice came from opening media files. When I double-clicked on an audio or video file the Handbrake transcoder program would launch. Normally I would expect the media file to be opened in a multimedia player as I suspect that would almost always be the desired action. As previously mentioned I found PackageKit would sometimes lock the package database and the PackageKit process would have to be killed before I could download new software packages. I also noticed the upstream release notes which came with the distribution are for Fedora 18, rather than Fedora 19.
I tried running Korora on a desktop machine (dual-core 2.8GHz CPU, 6GB of RAM, Radeon video card, Realtek network card) and in a virtual machine provided by VirtualBox. In both environments I found Korora ran smoothly. My screen was set to its maximum resolution, my network connection was automatically detected and sound worked out of the box. On physical hardware Korora ran quickly with fairly short boot times and the interface was responsive. In the virtual environment I found the distribution performed well again, with only a slight performance hit. Korora was fairly light on memory, using about 230MB of RAM with KDE's file indexing and visual effects disabled.
I tend to view Korora not so much as an independent distribution, but rather as a re-imagining of Fedora where most of the work of putting everything in place has been done for the user. I have long felt that one of the biggest barriers to working with Fedora is the distribution's initial setup. When being used as a desktop system Fedora users will probably want to add third-party repositories, hunt down drivers, add codecs, download Flash and install applications not available on the Fedora disc. Korora takes care of these steps for us. The Korora ISO comes with all the software we are likely to need and a utility which makes acquiring additional drivers easy. Further, codecs and popular third-party repositories are enabled by default. This means it's pretty easy to install Korora and get right to work (or play) with a minimum of fuss. Korora takes the experimental Fedora distribution and makes it into a pretty solid, and easy to use, desktop operating system. The only notable problem I had while using Korora was PackageKit locking out the package management tools, but once PackageKit was disabled I had a pleasantly smooth experience. For people who like the cutting-edge style of Fedora and who would like a quick way to get a fully functional desktop system that is based on Fedora's modern technology, then I think Korora is an excellent choice.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
elementary OS developers talk about interfaces, Fedora project considers a return of Fedora Core, Haiku gets improved package management
This past week Linux User & Developer conducted an informative interview with three of the developers behind elementary OS. The chat, which involves developers Cassidy James, Cody Garver and Daniel Foré, covers the project's successes, challenges, goals and unique design. It's an insightful talk which deals with the trials and ideals behind the elementary OS philosophy. Daniel Foré sums up the goals of the project nicely, "I think, traditionally, power has been equated with complexity. But, for me, a piece of software is truly powerful when it's enabling users to do things they were never able to do before. So, for people like my grandparents, power means being able to send email. It's an incredibly simple task with a traditionally incredibly high barrier to entry. The more tasks that we can lower the barrier to entry on, the more powerful our users become."
* * * * *
Back before we had the Fedora distribution, we had Fedora Core. The Fedora Core project provided a basic, general purpose operating system. A separate "Extras" repository was maintained with useful utilities which, for one reason or another, were not deemed suitable for inclusion in the Core distribution. Well, it looks as though, after several years of a unified Fedora, we may be seeing a return of Fedora Core. Fedora developer Matthew Miller put forward a proposal in which he suggested Fedora could be divided into a series of "rings". The centre ring would be the core operating system, a base from which to work. This would allow the developers to focus on a subset of packages, onto which additional rings (similar to the current "spins") could be added. Fedora's Project Leader, Robyn Bergeron, sees merit in the idea, "How can we make Fedora be something that is modular enough to fit into all those different environments, while still acknowledging that a one-size-fits-all approach isn't something that draws people into the project?" eWeek also reports there are plans to make ARM a primary architecture for the Fedora project, supported on equal footing with the x86 architectures.
* * * * *
Following the release of FreeNAS 9.1 the FreeBSD News site posted a brief review, complimenting the FreeBSD-based network storage solution on its strengths and suggesting some possible improvements. Mostly the overview praises the technology at work behind the scenes in FreeNAS and recommends ways the project's graphical user interface could be improved. "All this makes FreeNAS a powerful network attached system (NAS), especially if you consider it is open source and free to download, but I think the web interface can still do with some TLC as it can be confusing and is not always newbie friendly." The post goes on to explore five ways in which the FreeNAS interface might be improved. Have you used FreeNAS? If so, leave us a comment below and let us know what you thought of the experience.
* * * * *
Haiku, the descendant of BeOS which tries to create a modern, highly responsive operating system, has been making great strides recently. In a blog post published last Monday some of the new features and efforts were laid out for users and fellow developers. Of special note is the work being done to bring modern ports & package management to the Haiku operating system. From the blog post: "Package management isn't complete yet, but it should be reasonably usable and there are only a few smaller known issues/regressions it introduces. It would definitely benefit from wider exposure at this point. So, everyone please feel encouraged to test it already and shout (via Trac), if you find your favorite feature or use case broken." This development should make Haiku more powerful and flexible for users who do not have the time or expertise to compile their own third-party software.
* * * * *
One of the oldest surviving Linux distributions, and quite probably the largest distribution in terms of developers, turned 20 this past week. On August 16th, the Debian project turned 20, a milestone which was celebrated at DebConf 13 in Vaumarcus, Switzerland. Debian, besides being a popular project on its own, with many volunteers and supporters, is also the base for many famous distributions, including Ubuntu, Linux Mint and Knoppix. Hundreds of people work on Debian, toiling to make it one of the most stable and flexible operating systems available. The project is a cornerstone of the open source community and we wish Debian a very happy birthday!
|Tips and Tricks (by Jesse Smith)
Fun on the Command Line
Quite often when we think of using the command line we think about its power and complexity. The command line is a flexible tool for serious work. Well, most times we do focus on how useful and important the command line is, but it can also be a silly place. This week I would like to briefly look at four command line utilities available in most Linux distributions which add a lighthearted air to the terminal.
The first command is called rev which is short for reverse and should be installed by default on most GNU/Linux distributions. This utility is quite simple and all it does is reverse the order of the characters in any line of text we hand it. For example, running
echo olleh | rev
Will print the word "hello" on our screen. We can also pass entire text files to the rev command, for example the following command prints out my list of things to do with all of the lines written backward.
rev < my-to-do-list.txt
There are not many cases in which we would want to do this, unless we want to know what our text files look like when printed out next to a mirror. The next amusing command I want to look at is called sl, a short hand for "steam locomotive". One of the most often typed commands on any Linux/UNIX system is ls which displays a list of files in the current directory. It is quite common for the ls command to be mistyped as sl and, rather than simply seeing an error message, wouldn't it be nice to have something fun happen? When the sl command is installed on the system, running
makes an animation of a steam locomotive drive across the screen. The sl command usually is not installed by default, but can be found in the software repositories of most distributions.
Another unproductive program that can bring a little spark to our day is the aafire command. As with the "sl" command, aafire is not typically installed by default, but should be available in your distribution's repositories. The program can use various methods to make a text-art rendering of a fire appear on the console. The aafire command can use various display drivers to make our text-fire appear in a GUI window or in various types of text consoles. When running the program in a virtual terminal we are probably best served by running aafire as follows:
aafire -driver curses
Pressing a key while the screen virtually burns causes the flames to disappear. The final fun command line program I would like to share is fortune. The fortune program, which is available in the repositories of most distributions, displays a short phrase, joke or piece of advice. To get our daily dose of fortune we can simply run
The last time I did this the computer let me know, "You're working under a slight handicap. You happen to be human." All too true. To spice things up we can pass fortune to the rev command and get our wisdom spelled backwards.
fortune | rev
The command line is very useful, but it doesn't have to be all about work and efficiency. Sometimes it feels good to be silly.
|Released Last Week
Sabayon Linux 13.08, a desktop distribution based on Gentoo following a
rolling release model and providing multiple desktops, was released today: "This is a monthly release generated, tested and published to mirrors by our build servers containing the latest and greatest collection of software available in the Entropy repositories. Linux Kernel 3.10.4 with BFQ iosched, updated external ZFS file system support, GNOME 3.8.4, KDE 4.10.5, MATE 1.6.2, Xfce 4.10, LibreOffice 4.1, UEFI SecureBoot for 64 bit images (with bundled UEFI shell), systemd as default init system, Plymouth as default splash system and new high-dpi artwork are just some of the things you will find inside the box." Read the official press release for more details including various links.
Sabayon 13.08 -- Default KDE desktop
(full image size: 498kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Kwheezy is a distribution which claims one hundred percent compatibility with Debian 7.1 and which features a pre-configured KDE desktop. About half a month after its initial release, version 1.1 became available today: "The new version is geared towards better locale/language support. Changes in version 1.1: minor improvements to the installer including the hardware clock to local-time fix; keyboard selection before and after installation; new app called 'Kwheezy Keyboard Selector'; locale (language) support; new app called 'Kwheezy Localizer'; Firefox/Thunderbird language extensions; Firefox now supports magnet links out-of-the-box and Flashgot add-on enabled with Kget as download manager; KDE Touchpad configuration now installed by default; no login sound in live session (speeds it up a bit); a few other minor stuff. As usual, you can upgrade to Kwheezy 1.1 from the Kwheezy repository via Apper or apt-get." Read the release announcement and also check the feature list on the project's home page.
Puppy Linux 5.6 "Slacko"
Puppy Linux 5.6 "Slacko" edition, a small and fast distribution built from and compatible with Slackware's binary packages, has been released: "This is an improved version of the successful Slacko 5.5. The biggest enhancement in this version is full support of the f2fs filesystem. Slacko 5.6 has many improvements due to the heavy development of the Woof build system and the many bugfixes to the Slacko base packages (independent from Woof). Lots of packages have been updated for the 5.6 series including but not limited to the following: improved SFS Manager, Updates Manager, improved graphics support, updated ffmpeg-2.0 and supporting programs including Pmusic and Mplayer, Abiword-2.9.4 and geany-1.23.1, Sylpheed-3.3.0, Firefox ESR, plus many other updated programs. Slacko 5.6 is available with a choice of kernels, 3.4.52 (with f2fs patch) compiled for processors that do not support PAE, and 3.10.5 for processors that do." Read the whole release announcement and find more on the homepage of Slacko Puppy.
ZevenOS 3.2 "Neptune"
ZevenOS 3.2 "Neptune" edition, a desktop Linux distribution based on Debian "wheezy" built for 64-bit computers featuring a newer kernel and some drivers, has been released: "The Neptune team is proud to announce the release of Neptune 3.2 (Codename 'Brotkasten on Speed'). This release features the Linux kernel 3.10.5 and is exclusively meant to run on 64bit CPUs. The Debian base system was updated to the released version 7.1 wheezy to provide a stable user experience. The KDE Plasma Desktop ships with version 4.10.5. Chromium was updated to version 28, Icedove to version 17 and LibreOffice to version 220.127.116.11. We ship with the latest and greatest multimedia codecs preinstalled as well as the flash player. For wireless diagnosis we ship Wireshark, Aircrack-ng and kismon." See the complete release announcement for more information including the upgrade notice
Parsix GNU/Linux 5.0
Alan Baghumian has announced the final version of Parsix GNU/Linux 5.0, a live and installation DVD based on Debian: "Our goal is to provide a ready to use and easy to install desktop and laptop optimized operating system based on Debian's testing branch and the latest stable release of GNOME desktop environment. We have our own software repositories and build servers to build and provide all the necessary updates and missing features in Debian testing branch. Parsix GNU/Linux 5.0 (code name Lombardo) brings lots of updated packages, improved installer system, systemd init system and other quality new features. This version has been synchronized with Debian Wheezy repositories as of August 7, 2013. Parsix Lombardo ships with GNOME 3.8 and LibreOffice productivity suit by default." Find the detailed release notes for further information.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list|
- OvercastOS. OvercastOS is an elemenetary OS based Linux distro with added features applications.
- Void Linux. Void Linux is an independent distribution which focuses on providing speed, reliability, and flexibility.
- Milux. Milux is a general purpose Linux distribution with Persian language support.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 26 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 • Fun on the command line - sl (by johannes on 2013-08-19 11:43:25 GMT from Austria) |
sl has options - see man sl. sl -alF gives the most expanded animation.
2 • reviews (by mandog on 2013-08-19 13:03:18 GMT from Peru)
I wish Jesse would review other than KDE the reviews are getting rather boring the major distros all offer a choice not I'm comfortable wirh KDE.
I would like to know how Korora 19 "Bruce" performs with Gnome not KDE we all know how KDE performs and all its faults that do not get mentioned any more?
3 • rev can be useful (by Pearson on 2013-08-19 13:36:28 GMT from United States)
There've been times that I wanted to quickly group files, and wanted to group them by the end of the file name (including the extension). My quick-and-good-enough solution was to ls | rev | sort | rev. This can be useful whenever the important information is at the end of the text, but without consistent separators Consider:
I can sort them with (this is untested, but should work)
ls | rev |sort -t- -k 3 -k 2 -k1 | sort
4 • Korora (by TuxTest on 2013-08-19 13:59:01 GMT from Canada)
I installed Korora Bruce on my Lenovo T400 laptop with the GNOME 3.8 desktop. After a week of use, the system works perfectly. All hardware is supported. The start is not the best fastest but is not slow. It's average. On the other hand, the closure is very very fast until a few seconds and the laptop is closed.
I also tested the KDE and I must say that Gnome 3.8 is much faster version. The improvements made on the gnome Version 3.8 brings a lot of interesting tools that provides fluid experience user.
Launching applications (firefox, libreoffice, Gimp, VLC etc. ..) is between 1 to 1.5 seconds
I love my user experience so far and I'll keep Korora on my T400 for the next couple months.
Improvement according to me:
1. Built on a Korora Grub2 splash theme and why not to start at boot have a theme Korora (Mascot)
2. The installation process is a Horror! This horror will cause a large number of new user will not be able to made the installation process especially in the partitioning step. The art of complicating what should be simple.
My conclusion: Overall this is a good system in day to day task and should appeal to a large number of users IF IF he's can install ?
5 • sl | rev (by AliasMarlowe on 2013-08-19 14:58:29 GMT from Finland)
Of course, sometimes combining wacky with wacky will result in lockup of the command shell. Although sl and rev both work fine, piping one to the other (sl | rev) does not work as expected in XFCE's terminal emulator.
6 • sl: command not found (by Herb on 2013-08-19 16:03:10 GMT from United States)
I can't find sl in OpenSuse (running KDE). What package should I install (cnf comes up empty)?
7 • Re #3, slight correction (by Pearson on 2013-08-19 16:34:11 GMT from United States)
Note that my last example doesn't sort the dates *exactly* correctly (Aug 13 would come before May 31). But, the idea does still work to extract information from the end of a string.
In other words, rev is not a totally silly command, but it can be used for that.
It's also an interesting way to obfuscate something:
echo "Don't tell John about his surprise" | rev | write fred
8 • End the (PackageKit) Insanity??? (by Sam on 2013-08-19 17:16:37 GMT from United States)
Reading the review of Korora, I see yet another OS using KDE flummoxed by PackageKit. How many versions of KDE have those devs gone through where that PackageKit lock on the upgrades has been an issue? I remember that problem across distributions, most recently for me in OpenSuSE 12.3. I can't imagine a relative Linux newbie distrohopping and finding a distro where one of their first experiences is the distro's software updates failing to update sticking with that distro for long. Knowing to disable the PackageKit process is not intuitive, take some command line work, and, quite frankly, shouldn't be a surprise at this point to any distribution using KDE. I'm not knocking the KDE devs, but between them and the various distros using KDE, somebody's had to have thought "Hey, this is annoying. How do we fix it?"
9 • Overcast Distro Warning (by Ismail Arslangiray on 2013-08-19 17:19:31 GMT from United States)
This is from their website. Be careful about this distro
"JUST 2 LET U KNOW, The Installer And Wireless Have Passwords. BUT UNFORTUNATELY, I DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE! - BUT THERE IS GOOD NEWS! - YOU CAN STILL INSTALL IT! You Just Have To Choose INSTALL On The Boot Menu! AND THINGS WILL BE JUST FINE! :-) "
10 • Fun with command line (by Solt Budavari on 2013-08-19 17:26:05 GMT from Hungary)
sl is really cool. =)
Try and see what
$ apt-get moo
11 • PackageKit (by Jesse on 2013-08-19 17:39:32 GMT from Canada)
I'm not sure why you are associating PackageKit with KDE. PackageKit ships with many distributions, both those with KDE and those with other desktop environments, the two technologies aren't really connected. As I've pointed out in past reviews, there are plenty of times PackageKit causes problems when running it with the GNOME desktop too, this isn't a desktop-specific issue.
But as to your point about PackageKit as a whole, it is terrible. I have no idea why distributions continue to ships such obviously broken software.
12 • PackageKit: broken, bug, or mis-used? (by Fossilizing_Dinosaur on 2013-08-19 18:31:06 GMT from United States)
I suggest distros wouldn't continue to ship PackageKit if it were "obviously broken". Was it mis-configured by default? Is there a commonly-encountered bug the dev is reluctant to fix? Are there some things it shouldn't be asked/allowed to do?
13 • Korora (by jaws222 on 2013-08-19 18:48:51 GMT from United States)
Does anyone know if Korora has the same install issues as F19?
14 • Korora installer (by arthurT on 2013-08-19 19:58:34 GMT from United Kingdom)
In reply to 13 - yes, it's exactly the same and I think it's one of the worst installers of any distro and certainly worse than the other major ones!
15 • @14 (by jaws222 on 2013-08-19 21:56:55 GMT from United States)
That's what I thought. I'm surprised Korora didn't try a better installer. I bet that would have made people happier.
16 • More CLI Fun (by Serge on 2013-08-19 22:07:04 GMT from United States)
My favorite silly command line commands, on distros with apt-get and / or aptitude, are the following:
For aptitude, also pass multiple verbose arguments to the command like this:
aptitude moo -v (or aptitude -v moo, same thing)
aptitude moo -vv
aptitude moo -vvv
...and so on up to 6x v's.
The final is a reference to Antoine de Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince.
17 • @10 - My apologies (by Serge on 2013-08-19 22:15:36 GMT from United States)
Sorry, I don't know how I overlooked that you had already posted apt-get moo. I didn't mean any offense.
18 • Fedora/Korora Installer (by Derek on 2013-08-20 03:31:03 GMT from United States)
The only good thing I can say about the Install program used by Fedora and Korora is the user is set up during the install instead of having to reboot then set up the user. Beyond that it is terrible. On some screens the button to click to continue is in the upper left corner and sometimes in the lower right. I did see a couple small improvements between fedora 18 and 19 so maybe it will just take a little time to get it right.
After the next release if its still just as bad I really hope Korora will go with a different installer
19 • PackageKit (by Anonymous Coward on 2013-08-20 04:26:14 GMT from United States)
I thought everyone knew the first thing you're supposed to do after installation is remove PackageKit (and apper, if KDE).
They're completely useless.
On Redhat based distros just use yumex.
On openSUSE use yast.
20 • Add to #19 (by Anonymous Coward on 2013-08-20 04:29:01 GMT from United States)
Or of course, just use command line package management, which is much more efficient. The only thing I ever might use graphical package management tools for is a general search. Especially when looking for a lot of extra plugins and supporting packages.
21 • Re: Help with Anaconda (Korora's installer) (by eco2geek on 2013-08-20 05:57:48 GMT from United States)
At least Korora's made a nice video of an installation walk-through and included it both on their live installation DVDs and on their web site.
22 • PackageKit (by greg on 2013-08-20 07:28:46 GMT from Slovenia)
KpackageKit was KDE based PackageKit and was sort of part of many KDE based distributions. KDE site says it is replaced by Apper.
23 • @20, If you know exactly what you need. (by LinuxMan on 2013-08-20 11:58:35 GMT from United States)
The command line for package management is much more efficient as you stated. It's great if you know exactly what you are looking for. I use the command line quite often for installing, updating, cleaning, and solving problems. For new ones using Linux, something like a Software Center where they can browse around and then maybe even something like Synaptic can really help manage your system. I don't like or use package kit or kpackage kit. I do consider those applications to be broken and not fit for the general public.
24 • Fedora installer (by Scott Dowdle on 2013-08-20 21:10:59 GMT from United States)
jaws22 - I use the Fedora installer on a fairly frequent basis (almost daily) and I haven't had the first bit of problems with it. I must admit when it first came out, it took a bit of getting used to, but after the mental adjustment was made (mostly with reading the screens), it works fine.
If you have encountered a bug, I encourage you to get involved with reporting.
25 • Neptune 3.2 (by Onyx on 2013-08-20 23:15:02 GMT from New Zealand)
The zevenOS team do an amazing job with Neptune; taking the latest stable Debian, give an updated kernel, and latest userspace applications including KDE 4.10.5 - absolutely brilliant as a modern desktop system! It also runs RazorQT 0.5.2 very quickly if you want something lightweight. Also impressive is the response in the forums; Leszek keeps everyone going.
26 • Re: Fedora Core (by silent on 2013-08-21 08:28:40 GMT from Hungary)
Sounds like cost cutting and no more integrity tests for packages outside the core. Fedora could lose a selling point. Arch Linux already uses a similar system (in order of decreasing support: core; extra; community; and AUR scripts). Unexpected upstream changes already make the life of Linux distro devs rather difficult.Unexpected core modifications can cause further frustrations for packagers, so good communication is important as ever.
27 • Ghost BSD (by Dave Postles on 2013-08-21 12:18:30 GMT from United Kingdom)
I wonder why the developers have replaced LibreOffice by Apache OpenOffice?
28 • couldn't find aafire - install libaa-bin (by Mark E on 2013-08-21 13:43:39 GMT from United Kingdom)
Couldn't find aafire with aptitude search. So did an internet search and found it's in the package libaa-bin
Now I have fire!
29 • @27 GostBSD and OpenOffice/LibreOffice (by Pearson on 2013-08-21 14:36:52 GMT from United States)
My guess would be that the Apache license (used by OpenOffice) is more compatible (or at least more consistent?) with the BSD license than LGPLv3 (used by LibreOffice).
30 • Back to basics, even before marketing (by Ben Myers on 2013-08-21 19:04:35 GMT from United States)
Some of the software here in DistroWatch still seems to ignore the basics. Hey, it's not even marketing (a dirty word to some) to actually tell people what your software does. Today, I'll pick on Calligra here, mostly because I do not want to spend 15 minutes registering to post something on their forum.
Calligra may be the most wonderful software in the world, but what does it do? What is it? Go to the Calligra Suite website and the home page tells you nothing about what it is or what it does, just announcements. See for yourself:
The only hint is in the blue bar of my browser: "The integrated work applications suite." OMG, You gotta tell people why you worked so many long hours on this thing. Gee, I won't even get into how to market and promote your stuff. And the Calligra folk expect all of us to jump up and download their suite? Sell me as to why I should do so. Pretend I do not have enough hours in the day to download your software and play with it. Playing with software is out of the question for the large majority of us unwashed... Ben Myers
31 • @24 (by jaws222 on 2013-08-21 22:17:01 GMT from United States)
Yes, maybe "issues" is a bad word. I should have just said the same install method. I really liked Anaconda and wish they would have stuck with it.
32 • On Owncloud (by Adam Williamson on 2013-08-22 04:22:12 GMT from Canada)
If you try GNOME 3.8 or later, you'll see that you can set up Owncloud accounts in the 'online accounts' settings. when you set one up, it'll add it as a sidebar item in Nautilus and the file chooser, and configure the calendar and contacts for the account to sync in Evolution. how's that for cloud integration? :)
33 • @26 (by Adam Williamson on 2013-08-22 04:27:55 GMT from Canada)
The DWW description isn't entirely accurate. it's more about recognizing that it's difficult to manage Fedora-for-desktops, Fedora-as-a-cloud-appliance, Fedora-as-a-webserver and so on in exactly the same way. for instance, we have a strict policy against library bundling in Fedora, which makes packaging webapps, ruby stuff or java stuff kind of a nightmare. with the core/rings approach, we could handle webapps as a ring, for instance, with a different packaging policy.
34 • @ #30 • Back to basics, even before marketing (by Ben Myers) (by Pierre on 2013-08-22 07:33:09 GMT from Germany)
If you go there you most likely visit their homepage because already know what Calligra is and just want to dig a little deeper and get to know a few more details and whether it fits your needs or not.
You can do so quite easily and have a look at each application that the Calligra suite has in store for you. It's nicely illustrated by screenshots. So honestly, I cannot unterstand what the fuss is all about.
You only can get to know what the benefits of this or that software is, when you testdrive it. This is the reason why everyone, even commercial and closed software like MS Office, can be easily downloaded and tested.
And this time of testdriving software is imported, so time is wisely invested here. If you don't have the time for that, stay with the software you use right now.
Simple as that. :)
35 • Caligra (by greg on 2013-08-23 06:32:53 GMT from Slovenia)
the Ben Myers @30 does have a valid point though. The first page should tell what caligra is. if nothing else so that google would find it at office suite or something similar keyword.
it should have a nice slogan to tell the users what is it.
sure testing is also good and necessry but still tellign people what the project is about seems like a good practice.
36 • Calligra (by Pierre on 2013-08-23 06:46:30 GMT from Germany)
If you ask me, it's obvious and you get to know the very first moment when you look at the big application symbols.
There is no need to tell what already is obvious in my eyes. And if you are interested you become curious will klick on the symbol that seems most interesting and then you get a short description of the app, nicely illustrated by pictures.
So again, no need for explaining what you actually can see at first sight.
And Calligra is very beautiful if you ask me. I am using it at home for office work and makes you productive by being intuitive. More than Libre/Open Office. Both running on a Java VM are quite slow and heavy, not delivering much more features than the little more lightweight Calligra and both are not integrating well into DEs. At least not as good as Calligra does integrate into KDE.
So first choice for me.
37 • RE:Calligra the unknown. (by LinuxMan on 2013-08-23 11:43:22 GMT from United States)
Greg does have a good point. If a person does a Google search for an office suite they will get every answer except for Calligra. You get Microsoft Office, Open Office, and even Libre Office, but no Calligra. That is on the first page of the search. What is on the web site or what you see on the web site is irrelevant. People are not going to go there if they don't know it exist and they won't see the big pretty symbols. Maybe the developers of Calligra think people already know about their products. Who knows? The only reason we know about it is because of dealing with open source software and going to Distrowatch often. It is a very nice, light weight office suite and it really is a shame that it is hidden so. These are what my eyes see.
38 • More on Calligra (by LinuxMan on 2013-08-23 12:04:36 GMT from United States)
Maybe the Calligra developers don't worry about marketing because the office suite seems to be basically a KDE application. In that case it is somewhat understandable what they are doing. That will need to change in the future. They are developing a Mac OS X installer and an installer for Windows is also available now. Very impressive indeed.
39 • @ 38 More on Calligra (by Chanath on 2013-08-23 12:31:20 GMT from Sri Lanka)
And, you can't save in .doc and .docx formats, which means you can't share your documents with MS Office users. Also, I am quite happy that OpenOffice is coming back, which was our hero those days.
40 • @39, That's Sad. (by LinuxMan on 2013-08-23 14:02:26 GMT from United States)
Well I didn't realize that you couldn't save in .doc and .docx formats. What is so sad is that an office suite's success seems to be dependent on Microsoft and being Microsoft compatible. No matter how you look at it, that is not a good thing. Is it any wonder why Microsoft has no fear of the open source world. It seems that they call the shots. So sad indeed. :(
41 • Packagekit deficiencies (by MikeF on 2013-08-23 20:36:15 GMT from United States)
Good to see others share my dislike for the packagekit daemon, one of the main reasons I don't use Fedora. Their devs Just Don't Get It - on demand package cache update works for me and most other distros, packagekit or not.
Last time I checked F* packagekit was codependent on things like gdm - yikes!
42 • Korora impression (by Terence on 2013-08-24 15:02:16 GMT from United States)
I have been using Korora for several months now and I have nothing but praise for the spin. Starting with the installation, I am provided with both btrfs as well as encryption. I still believe that the root and user password creation should be on the initial page where the keyboard and time zone is set.
It recognizes all my hardware as well as installing all codecs, without ever giving me a problem. It is obviously kept up to date and uses delta RPMs. Like most here, I like to try out a new distro when something catches my attention, but I seem to invariably come back to this one.
43 • @38,39 Calligra (by Thomas Mueller on 2013-08-25 00:52:05 GMT from United States)
I believe Calligra is the successor to KWord, which I found deficient some years back; I also didn't like kspread. I found Abiword and Gnumeric much better, and then there is OpenOffice, and more recently, LibreOffice.
44 • PackageKit and Apper (by Andy Prough on 2013-08-25 18:48:37 GMT from United States)
Funny to see so many complaints - especially regarding Apper. I love the way it works on Debian Jessie and Wheezy. Apper is a much more convenient interface for quickly and simply adding a software package than Synaptic. I even use Apper from my Gnome desktop. I see that packagekitd is a running process under both KDE and Gnome, but it hasn't caused me any problems.
Possibly the Debian team has simply integrated the packagekit/Apper experience much better than other distros.
However, I've got to agree with one point - I use apt-get from the command line most of the time. Apt-get is easy to learn (as is opensuse's zypper), and much more precise than using a GUI front-end. I especially enjoy the ability to "purge" when uninstalling, and to use "clean" and "install -f" to fix the package management system.
Number of Comments: 44
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|• 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|
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|• Issue 632 (2015-10-19): Linux Lite 2.6, 32-bit build of CentOS, OpenBSD turns 20, Bodhi Linux releases AppPack|
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