| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 522, 26 August 2013
Welcome to this year's 34th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Software freedom is an important aspect of the GNU/Linux community. The concept and practice of sharing source code and taking steps to make sure the code remains available for people to use, modify and redistribute is a key part of what makes the Linux ecosystem work. Free software isn't just a development model, it is also a philosophy which conveys rights to the individual users of the software. This week we focus on software freedom, first by looking at a GNU/Linux distribution which is sponsored by the Free Software Foundation. The project, called gNewSense, provides highly valued software freedom, but how does it stand up to less-free distributions with regards to functionality? Read Jesse Smith's review to find out. We will also be talking about the Parted Magic project's decision to start charging for downloads, the reaction of the Parted Magic community and what the GNU General Public License has to say about cases such as these. In other news, Canonical is finalising plans to ship the Mir display server in Ubuntu 13.10 and the Ubuntu Edge crowd source project has reached its conclusion. Plus there is interesting news coming to the surface about why some USB devices disconnect unexpectedly from Linux machines. We also cover the releases of the past week and look forward to distribution releases to come in the future. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Freedom and gNewSense 3.0
The gNewSense distribution is derived from the Debian GNU/Linux project. The goal of gNewSense is to provide a completely free software distribution, one which contains no binary blobs or proprietary software. The distribution not only sticks to the strict guidelines of software freedom, as laid out by the Free Software Foundation, it is also sponsored by the FSF. The latest release of gNewSense, version 3.0, comes with a conservative line up of software, including the GNOME 2.30 desktop. In fact, it looks as though the only desktop spin of gNewSense comes with GNOME 2 and this edition is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit builds. The download image for the distribution is approximately 1.1 GB in size.
Booting from the gNewSense disc brings up a menu which allows us to either launch the distribution's live desktop environment or run the distribution's system installer. The installer is available in four possible modes: graphical installer, graphical expert installer, text installer and expert text installer. Opting to start the live environment brings us to the GNOME desktop. The environment is fairly simply decorated with application and system menus at the top of the display. The task switcher sits at the bottom of the screen. Icons for launching the graphical system installer and browsing the file system sit on the desktop. The environment's wallpaper is a soft and pleasing (to my eye) blue.
Launching the graphical installer, either from the live desktop or from the disc's boot menu runs what appears to be a mostly-unmodified copy of the Debian system installer. This graphical installer walks us through confirming our current location, our preferred language and keyboard layout. We're asked to set a hostname, create a password for the root account and then create a regular user account. Next comes disk partitioning and I find the Debian installer, while flexible, feels a bit clumsy when it comes to navigating all of the disk options. Guided partitioning is available for users who would rather not get into the gritty details of carving up the hard disk. The installer supports a small range of file system types, including ext2/3/4, JFS and XFS. After the disk has been partitioned we are asked if the installer should set up the GRUB 2 boot loader on our drive. Once these steps have been completed, and the appropriate files have been copied to our hard drive, the system can be rebooted.
gNewSense 3.0 - playing games and browsing information
(full image size: 154kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Booting into gNewSense brings us to a simple graphical login screen. From there signing into our account brings us back to the simply decorated GNOME 2 desktop with its soft, blue background. Upon signing in there are no pop-ups, welcome screens or other notifications. We are simply handed the graphical interface and turned loose. On my machines there did not appear to be any visual effects enabled, which may have accounted for GNOME's surprisingly responsive nature. Glancing through the application menu I found the distribution came with a strong collection of software, though many of the version numbers of these applications are showing their age. GNOME comes with its Epiphany web browser and the Iceweasel (Firefox) web browser, version 3.5, is included. I found the Gnash free software implementation of Flash is installed for us and it worked on most of the websites I browsed, including YouTube. The Empathy instant messaging client is installed alongside the Ekiga software phone. The OpenOffice.org 3 productivity suite is installed for us as is the Evolution e-mail and calendar software.
The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is included in the distribution as is the Inkscape image editing application. The Cheese webcam utility is installed as are the Totem video player and an audio CD ripper. The Brasero disc burner is also included. I found gNewSense ships with multimedia codecs for playing most popular media formats, including MP3 audio files. The distribution features a few accessibility tools, including an on-screen keyboard and a text-to-speech screen reader. We're also given a text editor, archive manager, a few games and a virtual calculator. Looking in the System menu we find administrative tools for managing users and groups, a utility for enabling/disabling system services, a printer manager and network configuration app. GNOME comes with several small apps for configuring the look and feel of the desktop and I found these worked well. In the background I found Java support, provided by GNU's GIJ software, and we are given a copy of the GNU Compiler Collection. Under the hood gNewSense runs on the Linux kernel, version 2.6.32.
The gNewSense project maintains its own software repositories, which appear to be copies of Debian's package repositories, but with the non-free elements removed. This gives us a large selection of software and I suspect most users will find everything they need in gNewSense's repositories. To access all of this software we are given the Synaptic graphical package manager. Synaptic, like much of the gNewSense distribution as a whole, may not be pretty, but it is certainly effective. Synaptic takes a package-oriented approach to software, allowing us to browse individual packages and hunt for items by name or description. Synaptic allows us to create batches of actions to perform on multiple packages and processes these batches all at once. While the package manager is working it gives us detailed information on what it is doing, useful if we need to debug issues later. I used Synaptic for adding software and checking for updated packages and found the application worked flawlessly.
gNewSense 3.0 - managing software packages with Synaptic
(full image size: 114kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
I had the opportunity to run gNewSense on two physical machines and in a virtual machine powered by VirtualBox. First I tried the distribution on my laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 4 GB of RAM, Intel video card, Intel wireless card). I found gNewSense booted quickly, ran smoothly and my desktop was set to its maximum resolution. The one problem I had when running gNewSense on the laptop was with the wireless network card. The Intel card in my laptop requires non-free firmware and, as the distribution does not ship non-free components, I was unable to get on-line without physically connecting a network cable. Next up I tried gNewSense on a desktop machine (dual-core 2.8 GHz CPU, 6 GB of RAM, Radeon video card, Realtek network card) and found the distribution performed beautifully. Again, gNewSense ran quickly, all of my hardware was properly detected and my display was set to its maximum resolution.
I was quite pleased with the distribution's showing on the desktop machine. In the VirtualBox virtual machine I found gNewSense didn't seem to be at home. Perhaps it was just due to a lack of VirtualBox modules being included in the distribution. Whatever the cause I found gNewSense ran slowly in the virtual environment and the screen resolution was quite low (800x600 pixels). This discouraged me from using the distribution in the virtual environment as I much preferred running it natively on the desktop box. On each machine the distribution used approximately 100MB of RAM when logged into the GNOME 2 environment. Considering the amount of power and customization GNOME 2 provides I was quite happy with the small memory footprint. Usually I would have to use a tiny desktop environment, such as LXDE, to get such lean performance out of a graphical desktop.
gNewSense 3.0 - GNOME settings and Iceweasel web browser
(full image size: 148kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Generally speaking, I was happy with gNewSense 3.0. Being based on Debian, the distribution can be counted on to provide both stability and amazing performance. The distribution is lean, fast and uncluttered. The flip side to this is gNewSense's system installer and default package management tools are geared more toward experienced users and will probably provide a steep learning curve to novice Linux users. Not much is automated and there is a minimum of hand holding. The main feature of gNewSense, the lack of proprietary software, is also a double-edged blade. On the one hand, it means the entire operating system can be audited, modified and redistributed. This is great from the perspective of software freedom. The fact that the distribution can play most multimedia formats and handled Flash content fairly well is a testament of the power of free and open source software. The one problem I ran into with gNewSense's software policy was with regards to my wireless network card. Most distributions ship with the non-free Intel firmware, but gNewSense doesn't include it and this means the distribution isn't a good fit with my laptop. It is, on the other hard, a great match with my desktop system.
Finally, I want to acknowledge that gNewSense is pretty conservative in its software selection. OpenOffice.org 3, the 2.6.32 Linux kernel and GNOME 2.30 are all getting long in the tooth. Some people will appreciate this conservative (ie stable) approach, while others may feel the distribution is out of date. I personally felt that the software provided was up to the tasks I wanted to perform. The distribution doesn't have the latest shiny offerings, but I think it performs well enough. In fact, given its tiny memory footprint, it may be well suited to older hardware and be able to provide performance which would usually require a distribution with less functionality.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Updates on Mir display server, Ubuntu Edge fails to gain funding, common problem with USB devices may have solution
Jono Bacon, the Ubuntu community manager at Canonical, has posted some updates regarding Canonical's plans for the Mir display server technology. The new display server, which Canonical hopes to deploy on desktops, laptops, phones and tablets, has generated a lot of interest over the past few months. Some Ubuntu-based projects are moving to adopt the new technology, others are avoiding it in favour of the competing Wayland display protocol. Mr Bacon writes: "Our goal has been clear that in Ubuntu 13.10 we will include Mir by default for cards that support it and fall back to X for cards that don't (primarily those that require proprietary graphics drivers). In 14.04 we will deploy Mir but not provide the X fallback mode, and we are in active discussions with GPU manufacturers for them to support Mir in their drivers." While Mir is still under heavily development and therefore not yet ready for day-to-day usage, people interested in trying Mir can find packages for the display server in the Ubuntu 13.10 software repositories.
Kevin Gunn, who leads the Display Server team at Canonical, has some further updates which dig more into the technical nature of Mir. Gunn's status update covers Mir/Unity support, driver support, multi-monitor successes & problems and fallback support using X. Gunn also lays out some details as to what features and bug fixes are in the works and should be complete before Mir lands in the next Ubuntu long term support release.
Canonical is always experimenting, whether it is with display servers, desktop environments or phones. A month ago Canonical launched an Indiegogo fund raising project in an attempt to fund development of an Ubuntu-powered phone. While the funds came in fast at first, they eventually trickled to a halt. The Ubuntu Edge project managed to pull in approximately $12.8 million dollars of the required $32 million, which means backers will be refunded and Ubuntu fans will have to wait for mobile carriers to ship devices powered by Ubuntu. Not all experiments yield positive results, but it looks as thought Canonical has successfully tested the waters and are now aware just how much of the mobile market is interested in running Ubuntu on hand held devices.
* * * * *
Do you have USB devices which regularly disconnect when they are plugged into your Linux-powered computer? If so it may not be a fault of the device as some people have long thought. Sarah Sharp, who has been working on USB drivers in the Linux kernel for eight years and who was at the forefront of bringing USB 3.0 support to the kernel, has made an interesting discovery. Namely, it seems that the core USB system does not give USB devices long enough to wake up which can cause disconnects. "If the USB core attempts to access those ports while the device is still coming out of resume, such as issuing transfers to the device, or resetting the port, the device will disconnect, or transfer errors will occur. This causes the USB core to mark the device as disconnected." No doubt we will soon see a fix for this issue arriving in future kernel updates.
|Opinion (by Jesse Smith)
Exploring the GNU General Public License
The GNU General Public License is an important document in the open source community, especially in the realm of Linux distributions. Much of the software we use on a regular basis, including the Linux kernel itself and most of our command line tools, are distributed under the General Public License (GPL). The GPL and the software freedoms it represents are key to the success of many free and open source software projects. Software freedom and the licenses which help enforce it are cornerstones in the GNU/Linux community and often used to entice users away from proprietary operating systems. The GNU GPL is frequently (almost continually) discussed on technology forums, free & open source websites and development mailing lists. With all this discussion, one thing becomes quite clear: relatively few people have read and understood the GPL.
This lack of understanding can be quite frustrating for free and open source software advocates as it makes having a reasonable discussion of the merits (or limitations) of the license difficult. A vocal portion of the open source community will talk at length about the license, praising it or tearing it apart, based on their (incorrect) assumptions. This has lead to further misunderstanding and, in some cases, a good deal of distress for developers. Take Patrick Verner, the lead developer of Parted Magic, as an example. In an effort to help make ends meet, Mr Verner recently started charging a small fee for direct downloads of Parted Magic, a project distributed under the GPL. Despite there being other avenues to acquire the Parted Magic software, the response was, Verner reported, unpleasant. "People are going nuts saying Parted Magic is no longer free software. People can still redistribute it under the terms of the GPL. Nothing has changed." Verner commented. He went on to say: "Some the forum posts said stuff about hacking my website and beating me up because my address is on-line."
These unfortunate comments seem to stem from a common misunderstanding, namely that software freedom requires that software be made available without cost. Such is not true and there is nothing in the GNU GPL which prevents charging for software. In fact the GNU website states that charging money for software licensed under the GPL is allowed. This is why software freedom advocates often quip that they are in favour of "free as in freedom, not free as in beer".
Another common misunderstanding with regards to the General Public License is that anyone modifying the source code of a program must then give back their changes to the original project. While this may be in the spirit of the GPL, it is not one of the requirements of the license. Individuals and companies can modify software licensed under the GPL all they want without sharing their changes. The GPL, after all, only covers software distribution. This is why companies, such as Google, can create their own GNU/Linux distributions and use them within the company and not share their modifications. So long as the company doesn't distribute their software outside of the organization there is no requirement for them to share their source code.
Speaking of the source code, there is a good deal of confusion about when a distributor must release their source code if their program is licensed under the GPL. Many people mistakenly believe a GPLed program must be accompanied with source code, freely available to anyone who wants it. This is not the case. When someone distributes software under the GPL they must comply with one of the three following options:
While most free software developers go with the first options, which is very polite and accommodating, developers are well within their rights to simply provide a written offer to provide their source code at cost. Or, in the case of non-commercial usage, people sharing programs can refer to upstream providers of the source code.
- Accompany [the program] with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code.
- Accompany [the program] with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third-party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code.
- Accompany [the program] with the information you received as to the offer to distribute corresponding source code.
There is a lot of passion surrounding the GPL and the license includes some unusual concepts with regards to software distribution. This combination makes for a situation ripe with misunderstanding and heated debate. It is my hope that both proponents and detractors of the license will take the time to read this important document. The GPL is a useful and philosophically interesting license and I think we would all be better off if people took the time to better understand it.
|Released Last Week
OS4 OpenLinux 13.7
Roberto Dohnert has announced the release of OS4 OpenLinux 13.7 and also OS4 4.1.4 "Enterprise" edition: "Today we are pleased to announce the release of OS4 OpenLinux 13.7 and OS4 Enterprise Linux 4.1.4. OS4 OpenLinux 13.7 is our updated KDE release that we provide for users. With OS4 OpenLinux 13.7 we have created a best of breed KDE desktop based system and the fastest KDE live image available. With that we also updated the OS4 OpenLinux core system with all applicable kernel bug fixes and updated kernel with new drivers and speed improvements. OS4 Enterprise Linux has undergone some major changes here. OS4 Enterprise Linux will be KDE-based for the rest of its life cycle. Xfce is still available via the custom image service. The DWM tiling window manager is still installed via default." Read the full release announcement for detailed information regarding both releases.
LXLE is a respin of Lubuntu aiming at a fast and capable desktop for ageing computers. Version 12.04.3 has just been unleashed: "LXLE Paradigm goes final with 12.04.3 update. 'Paradigm' is a tentative attempt to create four different desktop paradigms for users to choose from once they start up their aging computers when using LXLE. LXLE paradigm is not an attempt to completely mimic other desktops features and functions but to provide a desktop scheme that is familiar to all different types of computer users whether you are comfortable with Linux, Mac or Windows operating system. Currently the paradigms available at start-up are, Gnome 2 (G2), Windows (XP), Mac (OSX) and Ubuntu's Unity. Each desktop can be entered and/or used at anytime, and you can switch back and forth at will." Follow the complete release announcement for more information including nearly thirty screenshots.
LXLE 12.04.3 - a Lubuntu-based distribution for older computers
(full image size: 1,338kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Proxmox 3.1 "Virtual Environment"
Martin Maurer has announced the release of Proxmox 3.1 "Virtual Environment" edition, a Debian-based distribution offering a complete server virtualization management solution based on KVM and containers: "We just released Proxmox VE 3.1, introducing great new features and services. We included SPICE, GlusterFS storage plugin and the ability to apply updates via GUI. As an additional service for our commercial subscribers, we introduce the Proxmox VE Enterprise Repository. This is the default and recommended repository for production servers. To access the Enterprise Repository, each Proxmox VE Server needs a valid Subscription Key. There is no change in licensing (AGPL v3), also packages for non-subscribers are still available. Changelog: pve-kernel-2.6.32-23-pve (2.6.32-109) - update to vzkernel-2.6.32-042stab079.5.src.rpm, remove fix-ipoib-add-missing-lock.patch (now upstream), include Highpoint 2710 RAID driver...." Check the release announcement, release notes, upgrading instructions, and the Download page for detailed information including download links.
NetBSD 6.1.1 today was announced as the first security/bugfix update of the NetBSD 6.1 release branch: "It represents a selected subset of fixes deemed important for security or stability reasons. Please note that all fixes in the prior security/bugfix updates (NetBSD 6.0.1 and 6.0.2), as well as those in 6.1, are also in 6.1.1. See the release map graph on the NetBSD website for a visual representation of the relationship between releases. Complete source and binaries for NetBSD 6.1.1 are available for download at many sites around the world. We encourage users who wish to install via ISO or USB disk images to download via BitTorrent by using the torrent files supplied in the images area." Read the release announcement and the release notes for full information.
Antergos (previously known as Cinnarch) is an Arch based distribution that previously focused on the Cinnamon desktop but now provides multiple choices on desktop environments. Antergos 2013.08.20 has been released: "We are glad to announce the release of Antergos 2013.08.20 with a lot of improvements in the installation process for you to enjoy your system from the start. This new release comes after several months' working mostly on our graphical installer Cnchi and on Remendo. Openbox has been included as an option to be installed along with GNOME, Cinnamon, Xfce, Razor-qt or Base. You will end up with a lightweight desktop, while having up to date software. The software included with Openbox was chosen to be in the line of the Openbox spirit." Read the release announcement for detailed information.
Antergos 2013.08.20 - the default GNOME 3 desktop
(full image size: 208kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Arjen Balfoort has announced the release of SolydXK 201308, the latest update of the project's desktop Linux distribution with Xfce (SolydX) or KDE (SolydK) based on Debian's "testing" branch: "The new SolydXK ISO images include the latest updates from the August update pack. Some things are changed, and some are new. Here's a short list: the default start menu has been replaced by the Whisker menu, this menu has a built-in search function, and you can easily change your favorite programs list; the wicd network manager has been replaced by NetworkManager, NetworkManager supports mobile broadband by default; KDE has been upgraded to version 4.10.5; the Zurmo CRM software has been upgraded to version 2.0.21; for those who'd like to try them all, we've released a SolydXK Multi DVD, the DVD consists of all five distributions." Here is the full release announcement.
Johnny Lee has announced the release of Macpup 550, a Puppy Linux-based distribution featuring a customised Enlightenment 17 desktop: "Prit and I are proud to announce the release of Macpup 550, our newest E17 Macpup. It is based on Precise Puppy 5.5.0, an official Woof build of Puppy Linux that is binary-compatible with Ubuntu 'Precise' packages. Macpup 550 contains all the applications from Precise Puppy with the addition of Firefox 21. It also includes the Enlightenment 0.17 window manager. The EFL libraries version 1.7.5 and E17 version 0.17 were compiled and installed from source. To keep your CPU cool and your fan quiet use the CPU Frequency Scaling Tool; Menu, Applications, System, CPU frequency Scaling Tool. The first time you run Macpup the system will be running totally in RAM, click on htop on the ibar to check working space left in RAM." Continue to the release announcement for further information and acknowledgements.
Macpup 550 - a Puppy-based distro with Enlightenment
(full image size: 829kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Endian Firewall 2.5.2
Version 2.5.2 of Endian Firewall, a specialist distribution designed for firewalls and routers, has been released: "After a long time, we are ready to announce the Endian Firewall Community 2.5.2 release. This release is mainly a bug-fix one. A list of the main changes: antivirus - ClamAV has been updated to the most recent version to make sure signature updates will continue to work; anti-spyware - lists are now being provided by PhishTank instead of Malware Domains, this not only results in more sites being recognized correctly but also allows us to show an information page with a link to PhishTank's description of the malicious website instead of displaying an empty page; hardware support - support for various hardware devices has been added, including support for USB modems as well as drivers for network interface cards and hard disk controllers." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
Stéphane Graber has announced the release of Ubuntu 12.04.3, an updated set of live and installation images incorporating all security and bug-fix updates since April 2012 when Ubuntu 12.04 was first released. This is a version with an LTS (long-term support) feature, providing security fixes until 2017. From the release announcement: "The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu 12.04.3 LTS (Long-Term Support) for its Desktop, Server, Cloud, and Core products, as well as other flavours of Ubuntu with long-term support. As with 12.04.2, 12.04.3 contains an updated kernel and X stack for new installations on x86 architectures." See also the release notes for link to a change summary and product overview.
Slackel 4.0 "Openbox"
Dimitris Tzemos has announced the release of Slackel 4.0 "Openbox" edition, a lightweight Slackware-based distribution featuring the Openbox window manager: "Slackel 4.0 Openbox has been released. Slackel is based on Slackware Linux and Salix OS. Includes the Linux kernel 3.10.9 and lots of updates from Slackware's 'Current' tree. Slackel 4.0 Openbox includes the Midori 0.5.0 web browser, Claws-Mail 3.9.2, Transmission, SpaceFM, OpenJRE 7u40, Rhino, IcedTea-Web, Pidgin 2.10.7, gFTP 2.0.19, wicd. AbiWord 2.8.6, Gnumeric 1.12.2 and ePDFViewer office applications are included. Whaaw! Media Player is the default movie player, Exaile 3.3.0 is the application to use for managing your music collection, Asunder CD ripper, Bracero for writing CD/DVDs and more. In the graphics section Viewnior 1.3, GIMP 2.8.6 and Scrot the snapshot utility." Here is the brief release announcement with a screenshot.
Volker Theile has announced the release of OpenMediaVault 0.5, a major update of the project's Network-Attached Storage (NAS) solution based on Debian GNU/Linux: "Today I am proud to release OpenMediaVault 0.5 (Sardaukar) after a long time of development. The following changes and new features have been implemented: complete refactoring of the backend, the main processing unit/engine has been relocated into a forking daemon process; IPv6 support; upgrade WebGUI to Sencha ExtJS 4.2.x; add new panel in the 'System - Network' section to configure Zeroconf/Service Discovery; add option to enable AIO support for SMB/CIFS, AIO is enabled by default; do not execute a file system check during boot on USB devices; add ability to enable/disable scheduled S.M.A.R.T. tests; add ability to initiate a S.M.A.R.T. test via WebGUI; display an information dialog after RAID has been created...." Read the full release announcement for more information and upgrade instructions.
Manjaro Linux 0.8.7
Philip Müller has announced the release of Manjaro Linux 0.8.7, an Arch-based distribution and live CD with a choice of Xfce or Openbox desktop user interfaces: "on behalf of the Manjaro development team I'm happy to announce our new stable release of Manjaro Linux 'Ascella'. A special 'thank you' goes to Arnt who joined our team. His work, Octopi 0.2.0, gets introduces with the Openbox edition. This new front-end for pamac makes it really simple to keep your boxes up-to-date. With the additional support for Yaourt the whole AUR repository extends the official Manjaro repositories. With a new welcome screen we ease up the introduction to Manjaro Linux. Important information and links to our forum, wiki and documentation plus buttons to start our graphical and text installers give you an amazing entry to this distro. Features: Linux kernel: 3.4.59 LTS, X.Org 1.14.2, Firefox 22.0.1, Thunderbird 17.0.8, VLC 2.0.8a...." Read the rest of the release announcement for more new features and screenshots.
Manjaro Linux 0.8.7 - the default Xfce desktop interface with the Whisker menu
(full image size: 551kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
July 2013 DistroWatch.com donation: DVDStyler|
We are happy to announce that the recipient of the July 2013 DistroWatch.com donation is DVDStyler, a free DVD authoring application for creating professional-looking DVDs. It receives €200.00 in cash.
Quoting the project's own description, DVDStyler is "a cross-platform free DVD authoring application for the creation of professional-looking DVDs. It allows not only burning of video files on DVD that can be played practically on any standalone DVD player, but also creation of individually designed DVD menus. It is open-source software and is completely free." Released under the General Public License (GPL), the program offers a large number of useful features, such as: "create and burn DVD video with interactive menus; design your own DVD menu or select one from the list of ready to use menu templates; create photo slideshow; add multiple subtitle and audio tracks; support of AVI, MOV, MP4, MPEG, OGG, WMV and other file formats; support of MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, Xvid, MP2, MP3, AC-3 and other audio and video formats...." DVDStyler has been included in the repositories of many popular distributions, including Arch Linux, Mageia, PCLinuxOS and Gentoo Linux, but curiously it is still absent from most Debian and Fedora-based distributions.
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Those readers who wish to contribute towards these donations, please use our advertising page to make a payment (PayPal, credit cards and Bitcoins are accepted). Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$36,105 to various open-source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NDISwrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300), GCompris ($352), Xiph.org ($250), Clonezilla ($250), Debian Multimedia ($280), Geany ($300), Mageia ($470), gtkpod ($300)
- 2011: CGSecurity ($300), OpenShot ($300), Imagination ($250), Calibre ($300), RIPLinuX ($300), Midori ($310), vsftpd ($300), OpenShot ($350), Trinity Desktop Environment ($300), LibreCAD ($300), LiVES ($300), Transmission ($250)
- 2012: GnuPG ($350), ImageMagick ($350), GNU ddrescue ($350), Slackware Linux ($500), MATE ($250), LibreCAD ($250), BleachBit ($350), cherrytree ($260), Zim ($335), nginx ($250), LFTP ($250), Remastersys ($300)
- 2013: MariaDB ($300), Linux From Scratch ($350), GhostBSD ($340), DHCP ($300), DOSBox ($250), awesome ($300), DVDStyler ($280)
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- BlackArch Linux. BlackArch Linux is a lightweight expansion of Arch Linux with tools for penetration testing.
- EdgeBSD. The primary goal of EdgeBSD is to provide an ambitious environment for working as a bigger community together on the NetBSD Project. This will be achieved thanks to a more modern development infrastructure, while taking a more aggressive stance on integrating and enabling features.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 2 September 2013. To contact the authors please send email to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, suggestions and corrections: news, donations, distribution submissions, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (feedback and suggestions: podcast edition)
1 • DVDStyler (by Tom on 2013-08-26 09:20:13 GMT from Germany) |
Great decision to choose this project for the donation. It's intuitive to use, it already has most of the functions you'd need, and it's in vivid development. Keep up the good work!
2 • gNewSense (by Chanath on 2013-08-26 10:42:38 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Maybe its a good idea to have completely free software in a distro, but is it practical? I wonder, whether those, who use only free software, don't use anything proprietary at home or at work in any other areas, such as mobile phones, vehicles, food etc.
3 • USB issue (by Fence Post on 2013-08-26 10:46:53 GMT from Australia)
I am very pleased to hear that the disconnect and connect problem with USB(3) will be addressed. Over the past year some kernels happily connect USB 3 devices on boot while other kernels require and a disconnection and then a reconnect to get it to work.
4 • GNewSense in Virtualbox (by skin27 on 2013-08-26 13:49:14 GMT from Netherlands)
Because no guest additions are installed by default, not all things are working correctly out of the box. You first need to install the distro in the VM. Then the guest addition needs to be installed as root. Then after restarting you should have see support (screen resolution etc).
5 • Gnewsense and Webbrowsers (by cba on 2013-08-26 14:44:01 GMT from Germany)
Please bear in mind that the gecko and webkkit engines that power Iceweasel 3.5.16 and Epiphany-Webkit in Squeeze, respectively, are EOL. Debian Squeeze does not support them anymore. One possibility to get a supported webbrowser is to use mozilla.debian.net which is compatible with Gnewsense 3.0 and provides Iceweasel 17.0.8 ESR and Iceweasel 23.0. This software comes with the usual "freedom bugs", but in this case you have no other choice if you would like to do e.g. your online-banking with Gnewsense 3.0. It is possible to avoid non-free addons and plugins, of course, if you pay attention to this "feature".
Personally I hope that Gnewsense tries to update to Debian Wheezy as soon as possible whereby ignoring most of these Squeeze freedom bugs, because Debian Squeeze will be EOL in May 2014.
6 • DVDStyler (by DavidEF on 2013-08-26 14:44:12 GMT from United States)
Can someone give me a quick run-down of the difference between DVDStyler and Bonobo? Is DVDStyler better? In what ways? I've been using Bonobo for years, but always interested in something a little better. I'm not entirely satisfied with the results I get from Bonobo sometimes. It seems to me a very thin GUI skin over ffmpeg, yet it doesn't offer all the power of ffmpeg unless you go back to a command line, which kinda defeats the purpose of a GUI. It can turn out good results, with great effort, but I'd rather get great results with less effort.
7 • Re.: 3 - USB Issue (by Anon on 2013-08-26 15:55:14 GMT from Norway)
This summer I bought two external Western Digital USB "green" (!) disks and have had nothing but trouble since. They disconnect and give all kinds of weird error messages, including during boot, which renders systemd all confused too. At one point my system got hosed completely. It turned out that instead of copying files to the external disk, the copies had landed in and filled up my /media directory, hence taking up all available space on my root partition. However, no warning or error message on that occasion. Of course.
Shortly afterwards my Western Digital internal disk (installed and working fairly well since 2009) decided to call it a day. For good, it seems, since it is no longer recognized in BIOS. Looking for a remedy (one can always hope...), I came across this in the hdparm manual:
"-J Get/set the Western Digital (WD) Green Drive's "idle3" timeout value. This timeout controls how often the drive parks its heads and enters a low power consumption state. The factory default is eight (8) seconds, which is a very poor choice for use with Linux. Leaving it at the default will result in hundreds of thousands of head load/unload cycles in a very short period of time. The drive mechanism is only rated for 300,000 to 1,000,000 cycles, so leaving it at the default could result in premature failure, not to mention the performance impact of the drive often having to wake-up before doing routine I/O."
Right. So why did I not know this before, preferably before deciding to buy the thing? I can only blame myself for sleeping at the wheel, and probably for using Linux as well.
Does anyone have a suggestion for a substitute? I have been looking at Seagate's Desktop .15 (4TB), but for some reason it carries only a 2 year guaranty.
8 • LXLE (by jaws222 on 2013-08-26 16:02:31 GMT from United States)
I was pleasantly surprised with this Distro. I installed in in Virtualbox and initially received an error when trying to boot up. ( " could not start boot splash could not access shared library")
but clicking once inside the VBOX terminal area and hitting enter the install proceeds and is quite fast. I initially thought the different desktop versions were "full blown", but they are not. You do not have all the DE features but neverthelessall te DE versions run well and the distro itself is pretty sweet. I could easily see throwing this on an old computer.
9 • gNewSense (by Nick on 2013-08-26 16:59:08 GMT from United Kingdom)
gNewSense comes with an mp3 decoder? Aren't mp3 decoders all proprietary?
10 • software libre (by Dave Postles on 2013-08-26 17:02:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
@2 Of course, life involves compromise. I use Trisquel on my desktop because: (i) it does what I want on my desktop; and (ii) if it isn't supported (like gNewSense), then we will always be subject to the dictates of proprietary systems and there will be no continuous development of software libre (and gratuit - although I like to make a donation when I use a distro regularly and am an associate member of Trisquel).
11 • mp3 support (by Jesse on 2013-08-26 19:34:00 GMT from Canada)
>> gNewSense comes with an mp3 decoder? Aren't mp3 decoders all proprietary?
No, there have been free software implementations for mp3 for ages, at least more than ten years. What confuses some people is, in some countries (USA & Japan) aspects of mp3 support are covered by patents. (Or was, that may have expired now.) However, patents do not prevent software from being licensed under free software licenses. This is why distributions like Ubuntu and Mint offer versions of their distributions without mp3 support. It isn't a free software issue, it's a patent issue. In almost all countries of the world software patents are not an issue and therefore do not prevent users from benefiting from mp3 codecs.
12 • @11 (by Nick on 2013-08-26 20:15:35 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks for the clarification.
Presumably VLC's libdvdcss2 is similarly covered by patents, given that it too is open source?
13 • @7 USB hardrive (by mandog on 2013-08-26 23:34:15 GMT from Peru)
I think you will find the time out is normal with all USB external drives. they really are not designed to install a distro on.All my drives are internal 2 ides 6 sata.
The WD 2 tb green caviare is superb comes with a 3 year warranty.
I also have 2 1.5 seagates and they are rubbish after 1 year they both have bad sectors
both have a delay at the start and end and both lose data. only good for testing I also have a ten year old wd 250 gb ide caviare with no bad sectors and a 500gb sata1 caviare again no faults or bad sectors its the 3 year warranty that makes a good hdrive
my Seagates only one year.
14 • Patents and DVD support (by Jesse on 2013-08-26 23:47:45 GMT from Canada)
>> "Presumably VLC's libdvdcss2 is similarly covered by patents, given that it too is open source?"
The functionality of the libdvdcss library may be patented, I suspect it is. However, what has made DVD reading tools problematic is that they work around copy-protection. In some countries "breaking" copy protection, like those found on DVDs and Blu-Ray discs, is illegal. There were some court cases in years past where, if I remember correctly, the argument was that breaking protection on a DVD (or other DRMed media) even when the person using the software owned the media, was a violation of the rights of the original copyright holder.
15 • Parted Magic (by J.L. on 2013-08-27 00:06:01 GMT from Canada)
And where are these "other avenues" for downloading Parted Magic? Was it released for free before charging? Cause I found broken SourceForge links of pmagic_pxe_2013_08_10.zip still on Google cache.
It's also on heise.de, but that version and checksum is different from pmagic_2013_08_10.iso listed on partedmagic.com, so I'm unsure about the exactness. I don't even use a PXE server, so it's useless anyways.
Plus, they removed all stable versions after 2013_06_15, including their checksums. Good luck downloading from "other avenues", even with reputable third-party sites like MajorGeeks. Fortunately, I managed to obtain 2013_08_01 when it was released, so there's a genuine fallback.
16 • Parted Magic (by GJones on 2013-08-27 00:10:14 GMT from United States)
These unfortunate comments seem to stem from a common misunderstanding, namely that software freedom requires that software be made available without cost.
No... they stem from the fact that a small, but nonetheless very vocal, minority of Linux users are jerks with hugely inflated senses of entitlement. We've all seen this before - flames, misogyny, threats of vandalism and violence. It's not right, it's not healthy for the community, and it happens too often.
IMO the rest of the Linux community needs to stop pretending these jerks don't exist, and start calling them out.
17 • @ 7 USB HDD issue (by Fence Post on 2013-08-27 00:46:06 GMT from Australia)
I had an external 640G WD HDD that didn't last long. I found out it was on recall in the US and Canada but not in Australia. So I put it on the shelf - until I decided to pull it apart and put it in my Linux box to see if it would run - and it is still working as my back up drive over a year later. The problem was the controller card in it.
I therefore suggest (if you are not using a laptop) to install it in your box and give it a try. It might just work - without the WD controller.
18 • PartedMagic ISOs @ sourceforge (by Tomas on 2013-08-27 02:27:23 GMT from United States)
ISOs are available for download from SourceForge:
19 • SolydXK (by Orbmiser on 2013-08-27 02:34:19 GMT from United States)
With the SolydXK August release 2013.08 decided to give it a whirl. As was intrigued about a rolling release. As was getting a bit tired doing Clean Installs of my Mint KDE every 6 months. Based on Debian rolling and thought may be for me.
The Install was problem free. Nice on overwriting pre-existing linux installations. Is in the partition manager just right click the old root location and will set it as root and toggle format. If you have a separate /home like my case and right click set as /home and doesn't toggle the format so leaves it alone.
Everything worked out of the box just like Mint KDE,Cinnamon did on my system. The live CD gives you a boot with or without plymouth splash which is nice as makes some systems hang on boot with plymouth boot splash enabled.
The KDE release gives you 4.10.5 and Kernel 3.9.1
For Xfce lovers is SolydX
The default start menu has been replaced by the Whisker menu.
This menu has a built-in search function, and you can easily change your favorite programs list.
The network manager Wicd has been replaced by Network Manager.
Network Manager supports mobile broadband by default.
SolydXK Multi DVD
For those who’d like to try them all, we’ve released a SolydXK Multi DVD.
The DVD consists of all five distributions:
SolydX 64 and 32-bits
SolydK 64 and 32-bits
SolydK Back Office
So to desktop found I had to re-install a couple of programs and do some theme tweaking,etc.
And this disto's had a few apps I haven't seen in other distro's.
More default serious photographer type programs in graphics. And PlayonLinux and Steam installed by default.
20 • @ 10 • software libre - Dave Postles (by Chanath on 2013-08-27 02:53:39 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Of course, life involves compromise, but asking someone to use a distro that looks 3 year old, even older than what it is based is not practical. Anyway, even if you do so, you still have to install it on a machine that has proprietary parts. There is no sense in demanding that we use only free software, while we use proprietary hardware. Anyway, these are the ironies of living on our Blue Planet.
Free software is a very good idea, and the free issuance of the proprietary software is also a good idea--both comes free to the user. Not every user can or want to manipulate with the free source code, so for the majority of the users, any free software is a good thing, and sometimes they even care to pay for it, whatever the name we give for that payment. But the irony is that the payments happen "sometimes", but not "most times." A typical human nature to get free just anything.
21 • DVDStyler (by LinuxMan on 2013-08-27 16:14:44 GMT from United States)
Checked the Sourceforge page for DVDStyler and they had instructions on installing to Ubuntu and Debian. The only problem was the instructions was only as new as Ubuntu 11.04. I'm sure the same instructions would work now but probably the best way would be to compile from the source file. Their newest versions are for Windows and they also have the source code so Linux users could compile. DVDStyler is in the Ubuntu universe repositories but the version is a few months old for raring, (2.3.4). For saucy the version is newer, (2.5.2). I'm looking forward to trying it out.
22 • LXLE @8 (by Bob on 2013-08-27 23:48:14 GMT from Austria)
Yep, I second this. Tried it recently and it seems that it makes a lot of sense what the LXLE developers intend to do. Pleasant surprise amongst the myriad of lesser known and mostly useless distros.
23 • Re: 18 • PartedMagic ISOs @ sourceforge (by Tomas) (by Rev_Don on 2013-08-28 02:36:09 GMT from United States)
We already knew that, but if you take the time to actually read ALL of JL's post # 15 you'll notice that he states that Sourceforge has removed all stable versions after 2013_06_15, including their checksums. So why would you post that they are available and include a link that DOES NOT contain the very versions that he (and others) are looking for? Doesn't make a lot of sense.
And for the record, I took the time to chick your link in case they had reinstated the link to pmagic_2013_08_10.iso, but to no avail as the link is NOT there.
Next time PLEASE READ the ENTIRE post prior to answering it, and VERIFY that the information is accurate instead of wasting everyone's time with a nonsense rubbish post that does NOT answer the question(s) asked.
24 • PartEd Magic (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2013-08-28 06:28:59 GMT from United States)
So the 08/01 torrent on LinuxTracker may become a collectible? Ooo!
25 • Tomas was correct. (by LinuxMan on 2013-08-28 12:31:55 GMT from United States)
Did you read his post? He said that iso's were available on sourceforge. He didn't mention numbers or which iso files were there. Very little time was wasted by anyone that went to that link. 10 seconds? If the latest Parted Magic means that much to you then buy it, or you can download the unstable version, which works very well. I'm really amazed at people who wants something so bad that they will go as far as to insult someone instead of paying the asking price of $4.99. Now that's what I call rubbish.
26 • @21 DVDStyler (by DavidEF on 2013-08-28 14:43:31 GMT from United States)
I haven't had the time to check it out for myself. But, if what you say is true, it might be a barrier to some people trying to get the latest edition. A lot of people don't want to have to compile software in order to get the current version. I guess I will just stick with Bonobo for now. The pain of change is greater than the pain of staying the same, and I don't even know if DVDStyler is worth it.
27 • @26 correction Bombono (by DavidEF on 2013-08-28 14:45:33 GMT from United States)
Sorry, I've been spelling it Bonobo, but it is Bombono. I never can remember with a weird name like that.
28 • Parted Magic (by Jesse on 2013-08-28 18:03:16 GMT from Canada)
I just went to the Source Forge link and the latest version of Parted Magic is 2013_08_09, that is only a few weeks old. Stable versions are available up until about two months ago. Plus it is made available for free. I fail to see the problem.
29 • Parted Magic (by J.L. on 2013-08-28 22:23:24 GMT from Canada)
If you have no problems with unstable software for the critical functions Parted Magic provides (like disk imaging), go ahead.
If you have no problems with complete removal of previously free versions, I have nothing nice to say.
30 • @28 - Parted Magic (by Rev_Don on 2013-08-28 22:39:51 GMT from United States)
And that sums up the problem succinctly. The problem is getting the latest STABLE version from SourceForge (or anywhere else for that matter), not a 2 month old STABLE versions or BETA versions. If you know where to get the FREE release of the latest STABLE version how about manning up and posting a link to it, or at least revealing what site (or sites) have it. That's what JL was asking (and you conveniently failed to reply to) and what I was referring to.
How difficult is that to comprehend.
31 • DVDStyler (by Tony Brijeski on 2013-08-28 23:38:12 GMT from Canada)
This is my favourite DVD authoring app in Linux. Nice to see them get the July Donation. They deserve it!
32 • USB issue xHCI-only (by Somewhat Reticent on 2013-08-29 08:13:36 GMT from United States)
SS updated her article; she recommends emailing issue comments to Linux-USB mailing-list.
33 • Parted Magic 2013_08_10 (by LinuxMan on 2013-08-29 15:20:59 GMT from United States)
There are no sites to download, free of charge, the latest stable version of Parted Magic. As with everything else I'm sure that it will sadly turn up on the torrent sites before long. Until it does turn up on the torrent sites you must be content using Parted Magic 2013_08_01, or use something else entirely. There are no other options. Here's a novel ideal. How about sending the developer $4.99 to try to take care of some of the expenses he has incurred over the many years he has supplied this wonderful product to us. Does that not sound fair?
34 • Freed and Open - for whom? (by Pragmatic Idealist on 2013-08-29 15:37:27 GMT from United States)
Both the insistence on developer service donation inherent in the GPL and
the extortion of society inherent in a proprietary copyright/patent license demonstrate the commonly inappropriate absurdity of extremism.
[One size does not fit all.]
__________ A truly freed and open market allows most to negotiate easily. _________
35 • Free and Open - for whom indeed? (by LinuxMan on 2013-08-29 16:19:09 GMT from United States)
One of the main problems is most don't want to negotiate at all. You have ones who expect open to mean totally free at all cost, and of all cost. There is no so called negotiating in a proprietary license system so that is a moot point. You are correct in the sense of those two examples being the extreme. Small amounts to cover expenses are in order, no matter what.
36 • DVDStyler (by David on 2013-08-30 01:15:19 GMT from United States)
Glad to see the donation. I use DVDStyler on Windows and Linux Mint 13. Very useful program for making DVDs of school events, as it allows me to use a photo from the event as a menu background and place text with the event date and description on the background as well. it is also possible to use a video background, but I have had mixed success with that. You can also set your chapter points at appropriate times. Great to have a dvd of your kid's school event with a photo of the child and classmates in the background of your menu.
And you can put a good text description on each menu button.
37 • Interesting (by DbaiG on 2013-08-30 21:55:36 GMT from Pakistan)
Interesting! It is really nice to see open-source apps – such apps really bring out the best and address the user needs as motive is innovative solution rather than profit.
38 • Parted Magic (by J.L. on 2013-08-31 05:38:07 GMT from Canada)
You missed the point. They did not honour their previous version(s) that were already released for free before the commercial transition (namely the removal of pmagic_2013_08_01.iso and pmagic_pxe_2013_08_10). Nor were "other avenus" for the current version ever proven to even exist.
Looks like I have to list links I've already mentioned for some people:
39 • Honor what? (by Somewhat Reticent on 2013-08-31 06:11:47 GMT from United States)
I got pmagic_2013_08_01.iso at LinuxTracker; 13 seeders are up now. It's a very good vintage!
I don't recall any obligation for eternal donation.
I donated when the developer dabbled with that approach, but I suspect I'm an unusual case.
Can you think of a robust platform/method for supporting the full-time developer?
40 • PM (by Fairly Reticent on 2013-08-31 07:31:47 GMT from United States)
This http://digitalincursion.net/parted-magic/ includes a link to the PM donation page.
41 • Re: USB harddrives (by anon on 2013-08-31 18:49:22 GMT from Norway)
Thanks for the responses.
@13 mandog: I agree that USB drives are not ideal for OS installations. I have been using mine strictly for file storage/backup. I am also aware that they spin down, creating "time outs". However, after spinning down, they get totally lost to the OS; they literally disappear, with and without error messages. Only a reboot will make them accessible by the OS again, and then only after having run a filecheck. I hope this is due to the bug mentioned in this issue of DistroWatch and that it will be fixed in the not too distant future. Then there is the WD Green Drives' "idle3" timeout value, which is another issue entirely, but potentially 'deadly' in the long run.
@17 Fence Post: Interesting tip about the WD controller. I am planning to convert my current desktop box to a file server (with unRAID! ;) ) and if I get courageous enough I may well try to follow your example.
42 • Parted Magic (by ainol on 2013-08-31 19:28:44 GMT from Poland)
@38 http://digitalincursion.net/parted-magic is the official Parted Magic mirror and there are 2013_08_01 images.
43 • Parted Magic (by J.L. on 2013-09-01 06:30:31 GMT from Canada)
I'll get to the point before moderators abuse their power again:
1. The author of Parted Magic removed free versions that were already released.
2. The official site doe not contain any download links at all, or checksums for previous (removed) versions. Only a buy now button.
3. The torrents, third-party download site, and "official mirror" aren't mentioned anywhere (except the forums) on partedmagic.com.
4. Due to the above, there are no (easy) ways to completely verify you're downloading the right file.
5. It's funny all of you are fine with them not even providing the source code of the current version and claiming to be GPL.
6. Are all the "other avenues" listed? How come none of them seem truly official in any way?
44 • Parted Magic @43 (by anon on 2013-09-01 07:12:34 GMT from United States)
Can we assume that you have asked for the source code and been denied access?
45 • Parted Magic (by J.L. on 2013-09-01 08:35:10 GMT from Canada)
Think I found it now. Was far too pissed at lack of transparency, removal of more than necessary in commercial transition, unrelated comments showing neglect, and moderation of multiple posts due to a certain word that perfectly describes it.
So I posted less carefully than usual, my mistake. It's time to start looking for an alternative (after I just found one). Nothing more needs to be said, I hope.
46 • 41 • Re: USB harddrives (by mandog on 2013-09-01 15:12:28 GMT from Peru)
It is simple enough just open the case and remove it it has all the correct sockets for connection
The green running in the desktop does not spindown and park it reduces the speed from 7000 rpm to 3000 depending on what you do. Take no notice of the 300,000 to 1,000,000 cycles, I have 10 year old WD drives that are running perfect. My 2tb green is about 3 years old and shows no errors on smart test and runs 18 hrs a day 365 days a year as does the rest of my system. Its the seagates that are the problem sinse merging with Maxtor,
Number of Comments: 46
|• Issue 536 (2013-12-02): Impressions of openSUSE 13.1, Ubuntu Touch, FreeBSD 10 delay, troubleshooting OS lock-ups|
|• Issue 535 (2013-11-25): GhostBSD 3.5, Debian and MATE, Ubuntu 14.04 features, security updates|
|• Issue 534 (2013-11-18): Review of OpenBSD 5.4, Fedora on ARM, menu names vs command-line names|
|• Issue 533 (2013-11-11): Point Linux 2.2, Pisi update, Debian and Xfce, Bruno Cornec interview|
|• Issue 532 (2013-11-04): Ubuntu and Kubuntu 13.10, Debian's init, FreeBSD's PKG-NG, Linux on ARM|
|• Issue 531 (2013-10-28): PC-BSD 9.2, openSUSE testing, nftables, upgrade pros and cons|
|• Issue 530 (2013-10-21): Kwheezy 1.2, DPL interview, Zenwalk's future, keeping up with vulnerabilities|
|• Issue 529 (2013-10-14): Ubuntu's Mir, dmesg and photorec tips, Tiny Tiny RSS|
|• Issue 528 (2013-10-07): Semplice 5, Haiku package management, Klaus Knopper interview, making custom distro|
|• Issue 527 (2013-09-30): Tiny Core Linux 5.0, SteamOS, moving operating system to new computer|
|• Issue 526 (2013-09-23): Look at ArchBang 2013.09.01, BSD Now, kernel stats, command-line tips|
|• Issue 525 (2013-09-16): The Official Ubuntu Server Book, FreeBSD 10 and OpenBSD 5.4, Skype alternatives|
|• Issue 524 (2013-09-09): Look at LXLE 12.04.3, Ubuntu's new package format, Secure Boot and dual-booting|
|• Issue 523 (2013-09-02): OpenIndiana 151a8, openSUSE "Evergreen", GNOME and DuckDuckGo, running apps from RAM|
|• Issue 522 (2013-08-26): Look at gNewSense 3.0, Ubuntu Edge fundraising failure, exploring GPL|
|• Issue 521 (2013-08-19): Review of Korora 19, Fedora considers return to "Core", Haiku package management|
|• Issue 520 (2013-08-12): Salix OS 14.0.1 "KDE", Xubuntu experiments with XMir, managing passwords with KeePass|
|• Issue 519 (2013-08-05): Review of Porteus 2.0, Kubuntu lays out plans for Wayland adoption, adjusting system swappiness|
|• Issue 518 (2013-07-29): MidnightBSD 0.4, Razor-qt, Ubuntu Edge, mounting infected drives|
|• Issue 517 (2013-07-22): Zorin OS 7 "Lite", Slackware turns 20, UbuntuForums compromise, Raspbian as home server, Tor|
|• Issue 516 (2013-07-15): Review of Fedora 19 "KDE", Shuttleworth on Mir, Seth Vidal, Kingsoft Office for Linux|
|• Issue 515 (2013-07-08): Whonix 0.5.6 and Deepin 12.12, MintBox, processor capabilities, distros for Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 514 (2013-07-01): Peppermint Four, Mir, Mandriva forks, ThinkPenguin on libre hardware|
|• Issue 513 (2013-06-24): Look at ROSA, PC-BSD updates, Xen4CentOS6, Slacko vs Precise, Mageia interview, shells|
|• Issue 512 (2013-06-17): Trisquel 6.0, RHEL 7 with GNOME Classic, from Linux to FreeBSD, first look at Wayland|
|• Issue 511 (2013-06-10): Mint 15 impressions, GNOME Classic, Ubuntu Community portal, Absolute OpenBSD|
|• Issue 510 (2013-06-03): Impressions of aptosid 2013-01, Wayland comes to Raspberry Pi, maintaining DNS settings|
|• Issue 509 (2013-05-27): Mageia 3, Debian GNU/Hurd, RebeccaBlackOS with Wayland, ports|
|• Issue 508 (2013-05-20): Review of Debian 7.0, interviews with Clement Lefebvre and Gaël Duval, scripting with xdotool|
|• Issue 507 (2013-05-13): Impressions of Calculate Linux, 13.4, Ubuntu's portable packages, mintDrivers|
|• Issue 506 (2013-05-06): Ubuntu and Kubuntu 13.04, Debian "Wheezy", Slackware on systemd, distros for Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 505 (2013-04-29): First look at PCLinuxOS 2013.04, Saucy Salamander, Remastersys and System Imager, Linux containers|
|• Issue 504 (2013-04-22): Look at Bodhi 2.3.0, Ubuntu 13.04 features, building OpenBSD ports, opening large files|
|• Issue 503 (2013-04-15): CentOS versus Scientific Linux, PCLinuxOS 64, Lucas Nussbaum, ZFS/Btrfs versus ext4|
|• Issue 502 (2013-04-08): Look at Mint 201303 "Debian", Ubuntu versus openSUSE, comparing ZFS and Btrfs file systems|
|• Issue 501 (2013-04-01): KANOTIX 2013 and GhostBSD 3.0, openSUSE Rescue-CD, Haiku package management, computer forensics|
|• Issue 500 (2013-03-25): Look at openSUSE 12.3, Ubuntu release changes, Debian backports, growing divide|
|• Issue 499 (2013-03-18): MINIX 3.2.1, openSUSE 12.3 on desktop, Ubuntu GNOME and UbuntuKylin, distros for musicians, KolibriOS|
|• Issue 498 (2013-03-11): Sabayon Linux 11, Ubuntu's Mir, Linux malware|
|• Issue 497 (2013-03-04): Rebellin Linux 1.00 "Adrenaline", rolling-release Ubuntu, Arch vs spin-offs, justification and diversity|
|• Issue 496 (2013-02-25): Review of Chakra 2013.02, The Book of GIMP, Ubuntu and privacy, FreeNAS vs NAS4Free|
|• Issue 495 (2013-02-18): SparkyLinux 2.1 "Ultra", Fedora 19 schedule, Xubuntu on DVD, cloud privacy|
|• Issue 494 (2013-02-11): FreeBSD 9.1, web server stats, Anaconda, rolling-release PC-BSD, fixing broken packages in Arch|
|• Issue 493 (2013-02-04): UberStudent 2.0, OmniBoot 1.0, MariaDB, Enlightenment 0.17|
|• Issue 492 (2013-01-28): Fedora 18 review, systemd, Kali Linux, Ubuntu Unleashed|
|• Issue 491 (2013-01-21): Fuduntu 2013.1, Fedora 18 desktop choices, Consort, accessing encrypted drive|
|• Issue 490 (2013-01-14): Look at Manjaro Linux 0.8.3, openSUSE on Chromebook, Able2Extract 8.0|
|• Issue 489 (2013-01-07): PC-BSD 9.1, Arch spin-offs, rolling-releases, year-end PHR stats, removing applications|
|• Issue 488 (2012-12-24): Reviews of Unity and Puppy Linux 5.4 "Slacko", FreeBSD 10|
|• Issue 487 (2012-12-17): Cinnarch 2012.11.22, OpenMandriva, Fedora Magazine, Tumbleweed, OpenJDK vs Oracle Java|
|• Issue 486 (2012-12-10): Linux Mint 14 review, Ubuntu "spyware" controversy, Haiku overview, troubleshooting Linux servers|
|• Issue 485 (2012-12-03): Kwort Linux 3.5, Mint bug-fix update, Fedora's new Anaconda, defining a distribution|
|• Issue 484 (2012-11-26): Look at SMS 2.0.1, Fedora pre-beta report, Illumos, Secure Boot update|
|• Issue 483 (2012-11-19): DragonFly BSD 3.2.1 and Xubuntu 12.10, Gentoo and udev, switching file systems|
|• Issue 482 (2012-11-12): Review of Zenwalk 7.2, Clang in FreeBSD, Omniboot 0.5, priorities on external drives|
|• Issue 481 (2012-11-05): Look at Tails 0.13, EFF on Ubuntu and privacy, Debian installer changes, ext4 data corruption bug|
|• Full list of all issues|