| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 528, 7 October 2013
Welcome to this year's 40th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! People, both inside and outside the open source community, tend to generalize the capabilities of free and open source software. It's common to hear all open source projects being lumped together or to hear people talk about what Linux can do or how the BSDs work, as though all GNU/Linux and BSD variants were created equally. The truth is each open source operating system is not equivalent, the ecosystem is not level like the surface of a calm pond where all features are shared. Rather each distribution has its own strengths and weaknesses, its own features, bugs and design goals. This week we highlight some of these differences and look at projects adopting new technologies. In this issue of DistroWatch Weekly we will cover Haiku's final moves to adopt modern package management, the Debian project's plans to better support advanced file system technology via ZFS and we check in with Canonical's progress with Mir, the alternative display server. We will also hear from two developers of popular live distributions, Klaus Knopper of the KNOPPIX distribution and Barry Kauler, creator of Puppy Linux. In our Questions & Answers section we look at ways developers can create their own customized Linux distributions and Jesse Smith takes Semplice, a Debian-based operating system, for a test spin. Read on to learn how well Semplice's latest release works. As usual we cover releases from the past week and look ahead to exciting new developments in the open source world. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First impressions of Semplice Linux 5
Semplice Linux is a distribution based on the Debian GNU/Linux project. Specifically, Semplice is built using software from Debian's Unstable branch. The Semplice developers use the software packages in the Unstable repository and combine them with a custom graphical installer. The project's website also mentions that the distribution comes with support for encrypted LVM volumes and that Semplice is focused on being fast, light on resources, "rock solid" and elegant. This is accomplished by combining the Unstable Debian base with the Openbox window manager. The distribution is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit builds and the ISO provided on the website weighs in at approximately 620 MB.
Booting from the distribution's live media brings up a graphical interface with a single window. This window contains three tabs which invite us to select our keyboard's layout, our preferred language and our time zone. Once we confirm these settings are correct the window disappears and we are shown an Openbox interface. The background is bright blue. At the bottom of the display we find a task switcher and system tray. Right-clicking on the background brings up the distribution's application menu. One of the top-level items in the menu is an entry for the distribution's system installer.
Semplice Linux 5 - visiting the project's website
(full image size: 398kB, screen resolution 1280x960 pixels)
Semplice's system installer is a graphical application. The program presents a friendly interface and walks us through the usual steps. We are asked to confirm our preferred language, our keyboard's layout and the local time zone. We are asked if we would like to check for updates to the system installer in the distribution's repositories. I did perform this check and the installer did find an updated version of itself on-line. I downloaded this update and the installer restarted itself to perform the upgrade. We are asked to create a user account for ourselves and, optionally, we can enable the root account. By default Semplice sets up the first user account with sudo administrative access and disables the root account. However, we have the option of enabling the root account and setting a password to protect it. When we get to the disk partitioning screens we have the option of a guided path where the installer will try to divide our hard disk for us. Alternatively we can manually partition the local disk.
I found manual partitioning was a little awkward, mostly due to the screen's layout. I also found that when I tried to create LVM volumes the installer wouldn't allow it. There is a dialogue which asks us to name our new volume and that screen's "OK" button was disabled, preventing me from proceeding. There are traditional file system options available too, including ext2/3/4 and ReiserFS. Once the disk has been partitioned we are asked if we would like to install the GRUB boot loader. With this done the final step we are presented with is enabling/disabling certain features and services. Semplice's installer allows us to decide at install time whether we need Bluetooth support, printing software, productivity software, visual desktop effects, web apps and proprietary packages. Once we check off which items we do (or do not) want the installer copies its files to the local disk. This only takes a few minutes and, when the process has completed, we are prompted to reboot the computer.
The Semplice Linux distribution comes with a good deal of useful software. Right out of the box we are given the Chromium web browser, the Claws Mail e-mail client, the XChat IRC software and the Pidgin instant messaging software. The gFTP file transfer client is installed for us along with the uGet download manager, a document viewer and the GNU Paint drawing program. The AbiWord word processor and the Gnumeric spreadsheet applications are available in the menu too. I found MPlayer on the system as well as the xfburn disc burner and the Exaile audio player. There was a copy of Tetris in the Games sub-menu and I found a text editor, calculator, image viewer, file manager and archive manager present.
There were a handful of configuration utilities in the application menu allowing us to easily work with network settings, system services and user accounts. There were also apps for managing the appearance of the Openbox window manager. Among the applications were web app entries which opened a minimal web browser to the Twitter and Facebook websites. There is also a link to the Semplice project website. Digging deeper I found Semplice comes with a full range of multimedia codecs and Adobe's Flash plugin. With the default installation the system runs a secure shell service. I also found the GNU Compiler Collection was available. In the background the Linux kernel, version 3.10, kept things running.
Semplice Linux 5 - running various desktop applications
(full image size: 241kB, screen resolution 1280x960 pixels)
I ran into a few minor issues while I was working with Semplice. For example, when running the "top" process monitor in a virtual terminal the system statistics were missing from the top of the screen. With a little exploring I found the virtual terminal's colours were set up in a way which made the text invisible. Changing to a different colour scheme worked for a short time, but the next time I opened a terminal the colours had reverted back to their defaults. My settings were always lost when the terminal was closed. Another instance where settings were not respected showed up post-install. While I was setting up Semplice the installer asked which services I wanted to enable. These included Bluetooth, printing support, web apps and a few other items.
I told the installer to skip Bluetooth support and not to install printing software. However, once Semplice had been installed I went into the services manager application and found both Bluetooth and printing services were installed and enabled. A third curious problem came up when I tried to connect to the distribution's secure shell service. Any attempt to connect via secure shell resulted in the connection being reset and dropped. I soon found this problem came from the distribution not generating host keys for OpenSSH to use. Once these keys were manually generated I was able to make use of the secure shell server.
Software packages are handled by the Synaptic graphical package manager. Synaptic fills in as the distribution's software updating application and general purpose package manager. The venerable application may not have the eye candy offered by more modern package managers, but Synaptic is quite capable. It allows us to create batches of actions to perform and the program works quickly, offering us detailed information while it is working. The distribution pulls packages from a few different software repositories. Semplice, by default, pulls software from Debian's Unstable repositories as well as some custom Semplice repositories. When I first installed the distribution there were 137 updates waiting for me, weighing in at approximately 135MB in size. By the end of the week I had installed over 200 updates totaling around 200MB in size. Semplice, being based on Debian's Unstable branch, is effectively a rolling release distribution and will typically receive a rapid stream of cutting-edge packages.
Semplice Linux 5 - managing packages and services
(full image size: 299kB, screen resolution 1280x960 pixels)
I tried running Semplice Linux on my desktop machine (dual-core 2.8 GHz CPU, 6 GB of RAM, Radeon video card, Realtek network card) and in a virtual machine powered by VirtualBox. Despite several attempts using different kernel parameters I was unable to get Semplice to boot on my physical computer. On the other hand, Semplice ran well in the virtual environment. While running in VirtualBox I found the distribution booted quickly, was responsive and was (for the duration of my trial) stable. The distribution was fairly light on memory, using approximately 130 MB of RAM.
My time with Semplice was, in a word, okay. I realize that's not a ringing endorsement, nor is it meant to be dismissive. Semplice, overall, performed well, it comes with a lot of good software and I think its system installer is nicer than Debian's, at least for desktop systems. The administrative tools Semplice comes with are helpful and, with access to Debian's repositories, the distribution gives us a huge pool of software packages from which to draw. The project stays fairly close to the cutting edge and users will need to be mindful of that if they wish to avoid downtime following package upgrades, but at the same time it gives us a chance to experiment. On the flip side, there were a few problems I ran into. The installer didn't appear to respect my choice of system services and I wasn't able to make use of encrypted LVM volumes.
There were other little problems like the virtual terminal not remembering my settings. Plus, I couldn't help shake the feeling that Semplice, with its fairly user-friendly style, might have been better off using LXDE instead of plain Openbox for the graphical interface. Not that I have anything against Openbox, but LXDE provides a nice, familiar interface for new users and would probably make more people feel at home while carrying approximately the same resource footprint. Another issue was Semplice didn't run on my physical hardware. I try not to hold this against distributions as what works for me may not work for others and, for that matter, what works for other people doesn't always run for me. Still, other Debian-derived projects, such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint Debian Edition, typically run smoothly on this hardware so I was surprised to find Semplice did not. One final issue was the way the OpenSSH service was running, but no host key was provided, causing secure shell connections to drop. It was a minor thing to create new host keys, but it would have been nice to have secure shell working right from the start.
In short, my first impression of Semplice is the distribution looks nice, makes a few improvements over plain Debian (at least for desktop/laptop users) and comes with a good selection of default software. However, it does have some rough edges. Perhaps nothing serious, nothing that would scare away an intermediate Linux user, but there were a few problems which I hope will get smoothed out in future releases.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Haiku gains package management, Ubuntu delays Mir on desktops and Debian works toward ZFS support
The Haiku project is a descendant of BeOS which attempts to create a modern, open source operating system with a focus on having a responsive user interface even under heavy system loads. In the past we talked about the introduction of a ports and package management system to Haiku. Having an official package manager should make it easier for developers to supply software to Haiku users and it will make it easier to install software on the Haiku system. Last week functional package management was introduced into the main Haiku code repository and users should soon be able to make use of the exciting new feature. In a blog post entitled "Package Management Goes Live" it was announced, "When manually moving packages into or out of one of the "packages" directories, the package daemon does now resolve the package dependencies and suggests and performs download and installation or deinstallation of additional packages as necessary. Regardless of the method of activating a package (manually or via the package manager) the daemon does now also -- as specified in the package -- extract default settings files, create Unix users and groups, and run post-installation scripts."
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Mir is an alternative display server being developed by Canonical for the Ubuntu operating system. The new display technology was designed to replace the aging X software and run across all Ubuntu-powered devices, including desktops, laptops and mobile phones. Originally the Mir team had hoped to ship Ubuntu 13.10 with Mir enabled by default and it looks as though this goal will be pushed back to a later release. In a blog post detailing plans for Mir one developer noted, "While we are on track to successfully deliver Mir for Ubuntu on smart phones, we are unfortunately not going to be able to deliver Mir + XMir + Unity 7 as the default experience on the desktop. Mir has made tremendous progress and is currently available [in] the Ubuntu archive for use, but there are still some outstanding quality issues that we want to resolve before we feel comfortable turning it on by default. Many of these issues live in the XMir part of the stack, which provides the integration between the X server and the underlying Mir system compositor. More specifically, the multi-monitor support in XMir is working, but not to the extent we'd like to see it for all of our users." More information on Mir's development can be found on the Ubuntu wiki.
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FS is an advanced file system which supplies many powerful features and data management tools to system administrators. The ZFS utilities have become popular in the Solaris and BSD communities, but adoption of ZFS has been slow in the Linux community due to concerns over the software's license. The Debian GNU/Linux project is working on adopting the powerful file system technology and adopting it in such a way as to avoid licensing conflicts. "The remaining question for D-I official acceptance is the way of how binary ZFS kernel modules can be handled. Upstream ZoL project said the modules can be distributed legally in binary form, but Debian's FTP Team still haven't [made] a decision." If successful, this would allow Debian administrators to automate scheduled file system snapshots, quickly recovery corrupted operating systems by way of boot environments and create massive data storage pools.
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The Puppy Linux project has been an ongoing labour of love for Barry Kauler for ten years now. The project has become well known as a user-friendly live CD for low-resource machines. Unfortunately it looks as though the project's days may be numbered. Kauler posted on his blog that he is considering retirement from the Puppy project: "I started the Puppy Linux project in 2003, so I have been at it for ten years. Enough, it is finally time to retire. I know that I have announced my retirement before, then not done it. However this time it is looking much more certain. I don't plan to just suddenly pull the plug, rather just put Woof (and Puppy) in "maintenance mode" for the next year (or as long as I deem necessary), while a few things get sorted out. `Maintenance mode' means that I will continue to work on Woof, but just focused on essential fixes, rather than any new features." Kauler went on to say that he is looking at other Puppy-related projects and hopes to continue to be involved in the project, even if he is no longer leading Puppy's development.
* * * * *
Another long celebrated live CD is KNOPPIX, a Debian-based distribution which acts as a Swiss Army knife for system administrators. The KNOPPIX distribution provided a friendly desktop interface on a live CD before most distributions began the practice and the project continues to be highly useful to this day. The Everyday Linux User blog has an interview with the creator of KNOPPIX, Klaus Knopper, in which the developer talks about KNOPPIX's past, the community, feedback from users and the project's future. It is an interesting talk with a developer who has been creating useful (and freely available) utilities consistently for over a decade.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Making a custom distribution
Building-something-new asks: I am interested in building my own custom distribution. What tools are available to help me do this?
DistroWatch answers: The right tool for building your own custom distribution will vary depending on your level of experience and just how unique you want your distribution to be. For instance, if you would like to base your distribution off of Ubuntu (or a derivative of Ubuntu) you can use a nice point-n-click graphical utility called Ubuntu-Builder. The Ubuntu Builder software allows you to take Ubuntu (or a distribution based on Ubuntu, such as Linux Mint) and customize the system. Ubuntu-Builder features a nice, friendly interface and allows the user to easily test and rebuild the Ubuntu ISO image. This allows for a great deal of customization on top of an existing distribution base.
Another way to go would be to use SUSE Studio. The SUSE Studio website allows users to build custom operating systems using the packages and technology which are available in openSUSE. The SUSE Studio website helps users create ISO images and virtual machine images of the customized operating system. The website is fairly straight forward to use and gives the user access is a large selection of software.
More adventurous people may want to look at Linux from Scratch. The Linux from Scratch website provides step-by-step instructions for building a Linux-based operating system from the ground up. This is a good deal more work than using a graphical point-n-click method of building a custom operating system. However, Linux from Scratch will give you a low-level, highly flexible approach to building your ideal Linux distribution. It requires a level of comfort with the command line, but following the Linux from Scratch instructions provides a very educational experience.
I suspect the important question to ask yourself now is: are you looking to make small adjustments to an existing operating system in order to make it better suit your needs, or do you wish to create something that is uniquely yours? The Linux from Scratch project will help you start with practically nothing and work up to a full operating system whereas SUSE Studio and Ubuntu-Builder are utilities best suited to customizing existing operating systems.
|Released Last Week
Manjaro Linux 0.8.7.1 "MATE", "Enlightenment"
The Manjaro development team has announced the release of two community-built editions of Manjaro Linux 0.8.7.1 - one featuring the MATE desktop and the other the Enlightenment window manager. Both editions come with Linux kernel 3.10.12, X.Org Server 1.14.2 and Firefox 23.0.1; the MATE desktop is at version 1.6.1 while Enlightenment is version 0.17.4. From the "MATE" edition release announcement: "On behalf of the Manjaro Turkey community we are happy to announce our MATE respin of Manjaro Linux 'Ascella'. With this release the Turkish community adds a nicely-styled install media, in addition to all officially released editions by Manjaro developers. This respin is based on the stable branch and it can be used on a daily basis and easily installed by graphical or text installers." The "Enlightenment" announcement contains much of the same text, but adds a warning about a known issue: "Sadly we missed to add any polkit agent to these install media."
NetBSD 6.1.2, 6.0.3
Jeff Rizzo has announced the availability of NetBSD 6.1.2 and 6.0.3, two new updates to the NetBSD 6.1 and 6.0 release branches: "The NetBSD project is pleased to announce NetBSD 6.1.2, the second security and bug-fix update of the NetBSD 6.1 release branch, and NetBSD 6.0.3, the third security and bug-fix update of the NetBSD 6.0 release branch. They represent a selected subset of fixes deemed important for security or stability reasons and if you are running a prior release of NetBSD 6.x, you are recommended to update." Some of the changes in the 6.1.2 release include: "virtio(4) - fixed a panic during shutdown on KVM; uhci(4) - fixed USB device enumeration in some cases, fixed some ops on big-endian machines...." See the brief release announcement and read the more detailed release notes for further information.
Paweł Pijanowski has announced the release of Sparky Linux 3.1, a set of lightweight Debian-based distributions coming in "LXDE", "Ultra" (with Openbox and JWM) and "CLI" flavours: "SparkyLinux 3.1 'Annagerman' LXDE, Ultra and CLI are out. New ISO images of SparkyLinux 3.1 providing a few changes and system improvements, such as: Linux kernel 3.10.11; all packages have been updated from Debian's 'testing' repositories as of 2013-09-27; added a TeamViewer client for remotely controlling other machines; added Sparky APTus - a small, simple and lightweight front-end for apt-get for upgrading and cleaning up the system, installing and removing packages; added Minitube - a lightweight video player for YouTube videos; added Gnote - a lightweight notes taking utility; added Osmo - a lightweight personal organizer; added Radio Tray - a very small application for listening to Internet radio...." Here is the brief release announcement.
FreeBSD 9.2, the latest update in the stable 9 branch, has been released: "The FreeBSD Release Engineering team is pleased to announce the availability of FreeBSD 9.2-RELEASE. This is the second release from the stable/9 branch, which improves on the stability of FreeBSD 9.1 and introduces some new features. Some of the highlights: The ZFS file system now supports TRIM when used on solid state drives; the virtio(4) drivers have been added to the GENERIC kernel configuration for amd64 and i386 architectures; the ZFS file system now supports lz4 compression; OpenSSL has been updated to version 0.9.8y; DTrace hooks have been enabled by default in the GENERIC kernel; DTrace has been updated to version 1.9.0; Sendmail has been updated to version 8.14.7; OpenSSH has been updated to version 6.2p2; import unmapped I/O support from head/." Here is the brief release announcement and release notes for more information.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.10
Red Hat has announced the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.10, the latest update of the distribution's legacy 5.x branch: "Red Hat, Inc, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, announced today the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.10, the latest minor release of the mature Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 platform. With an emphasis on providing greater stability for critical applications, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.10 offers enhanced features for reliability and security, including an updated version of OpenSCAP - the open source Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) configuration scanner, which meets the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) SCAP 1.2 standard. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.10 reiterates Red Hat's commitment to a 10-year life cycle for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5." Read the press release and the detailed release notes for more details.
Michael Letschin has announced the release of NexentaStor 3.1.5, a new version of the project's specialist distribution optimised for virtualisation and network-attached storage - based on the Illumos kernel and ZFS file system: "Nexenta is pleased to announce the availability of our latest software release, NexentaStor 3.1.5. This new software release is available now for download from Nexenta Community. This new release is available to both our Enterprise edition users as well as our NexentaStor Community. In addition to general maintenance fixes, NexentaStor 3.1.5 includes key enhancements in the following areas: AutoSync performance and reliability enhancements; NDMP updates. As previously communicated to the community, the licensed capacity for NexentaStor 3.1.5 remains 18 TB usable. NexentaStor 4.0 Community edition continues to move forward, and we will provide updates on the progress of that release later this quarter." Read the release announcement and consult the release notes (PDF format) for further information.
Point Linux 2.2
Peter Ryzhenkov has announced the release of Point Linux 2.2, a desktop Linux distribution based on Debian's "stable" branch and featuring the MATE desktop environment. This is a minor update to Point Linux 13.04.1 released in June. From the release notes: "This minor release brings some notable changes and prepares Point Linux for the next big release. Point Linux version numbering policy has been changed. The 13.04.X release is renumbered to 2.X. Changes in distribution: Firefox 24.0, Thunderbird 24.0, and LibreOffice 4.1; KVM/QEMU SPICE support; fast user switch enabled; up-to-date Debian packages. Changes in Point Linux installer: Vietnamese locale support; Windows 8.1 detection; NetworkManager connections (e.g. WiFi) established in the live CD/USB session transferred into newly installed system; screensaver lock enabled by default if system was installed without auto-login turned on."
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list|
- Zandu OS. Zandu OS is a general purpose desktop and server operating system.
- OSDDlinux. This open source operating system is designed to allow students, academicians and researchers to contribute toward drug discovery/designing.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 14 October 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 • Making a custom distribution: Beyond Linux From Slack (by Microlinux on 2013-10-07 09:19:19 GMT from France) |
The article quotes the usual suspects in building a custom Linux distribution, e. g. modding Ubuntu, using the openSUSE Build Service or diving into Linux From Scratch. For my company's needs, I'm using a different angle, which is "Linux From Slack". Build everything on top of a rock-solid Slackware Linux base system.
MLES is the server, MLED the Xfce-based desktop, and MLWS the KDE-based workstation.
It's relatively easy to "expand the system from source without tossing a wrench into the package manager", as Patrick Volkerding recently stated it on the LinuxQuestions.org forum.
2 • Ubuntu & MIR (by Mike on 2013-10-07 12:07:28 GMT from Belgium)
why doesn't it surprize me at all that Ubuntu decided not to ship MIR with 13.10.... They always seem to aim too high lately and just can't pull it off. I hope for the Ubuntu users they are not shipping it with the next LTS release, that would be the most stupid thing because a LTS release shouldn't be used as a test playground. Postponed the whole MIR development until everything is as should be. But heck.... why do i care, i left Ubuntu behind me for the second time because they don't fix a thing you report on the 12.04.3 LTS. Since version 12.04.1 up to 12.04.3 it's a mess and messages pop up complaining about a Internal System error and it's been the same all the time. So what use is it when we report it but it doesn't get fixed?
3 • Puppy (by Georgia on 2013-10-07 12:37:48 GMT from Canada)
Thank you, thank you, thank you to Barry for all his hard work; and to all those who worked so hard on Puppy and all the Puplets like Macpup.
I wish them all well, during a well deserved break, and that they will return in some capacity lend their expertise to other Linux projects.
4 • Much Thanks, Barry K! (by Mark on 2013-10-07 13:37:54 GMT from United States)
I've been an enthusiastic user of Puppy (Lucid & Precise) for the last two years. I've lost track of all the times it's saved my bacon! As a rescue CD alone it's useful for fixing my other Ubuntu- and Debian-based systems when they break.
Hopefully the Puppy community is organized enough to keep the effort going once Mr. Kauler retires. It seems like the Woof tool is mature enough to build newer Puppies from future releases of Ubuntu & Slackware without too much more tweaking besides minor bug-fixes.
5 • Thanks Barry.... (by Ian on 2013-10-07 14:55:09 GMT from United Kingdom)
....and all the best for the future. Puppy is a brilliant distro in all it's guises and has helped me on a couple of occasions to rescue other people's data. An excellent distro to keep in the top pocket.
6 • Another custom distro making tool (by DavidEF on 2013-10-07 16:23:16 GMT from United States)
Can anyone guess what another custom distro building tool is? Let me give you a hint. It's mentioned by Mark in post #4 above. It's the Woof Puppy Builder! It can take packages from the Ubuntu or Slackware repositories, automatically slim them down to Puppy size, and build a custom low-resource distro which is still binary compatible with its parent. Woof was written from scratch by Barry Kauler, who also wrote the first Puppy linux from scratch years ago.
Also, even before Woof, Puppy linux had a remastering tool built into it, which lots of people made use of for spinning up their own custom Puppy derivatives. I sure hope Puppy linux doesn't go away, and instead gets a new "leash" on life from some enterprising young puppy-loving developer. Puppy has been a life-saver to many of my computers in the past, as well as other people's computers that I've worked on. It would boot sometimes when nothing else would.
7 • Semplice...why? (by DavidEF on 2013-10-07 16:34:20 GMT from United States)
For all the trouble Jesse had with Semplice, he gives it an "okay" in the end. I'm left wondering what is special about Semplice that would make it worth putting up with. Tell me again why Semplice is unique. Is there anything at all that hasn't been done before or is being done better by Semplice? Is there any point to this distribution? If so, I've totally missed it. Help me out here, please.
8 • @7: Semplice (by Sam on 2013-10-07 17:20:38 GMT from United States)
I too had problems when I tried out Semplice. My problem is not knowing enough about the fundamentals of Linux AND not testing Semplice and Debian at the same time to know what were issues created by Debian and what were issues introduced by the Semplice devs.
To answer your question from my perspective, on paper, Semplice offers a robust Debian base with a very light-weight window manager and some codecs and whatnot preinstalled. For new Linux users or new-ish Linux users with older systems (you know, the ones that can't handle Unity or Gnome3), that could be an appealing alternative to other Debian-based distros with heavier window managers.
9 • yes "Semplice...why?" was my same impression (by Sam on 2013-10-07 17:39:49 GMT from United States)
Compared to xyz, its sole "remarkable feature" is an alternative openbox configuration widget?
If so, that's (a solution looking for a problem and) a weak value proposition.
10 • Semplice and LVM (by Eugenio on 2013-10-07 18:05:38 GMT from Italy)
Thank you Jesse for your review. It is awesome to be featured on the DistroWatch weekly! :)
For the bug reports you have pointed out, I will take a look. We are planning a point release this month with bugfixes & the latest updates in sid.
For the LVM issue you had, have you created a LVM Physical Volume first?
I'm guessing the dialog you opened was the "Manage LVM Volume Groups" window.
To create a LVM Physical Volume, just check the "Use as LVM Physical Volume" radiobutton when creating a new partition.
Then you can add a Volume Group via the "Manage LVM Volume Groups" window.
I made a video to show that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAPLAFbup6s
11 • MIR vs Wayland (by MZ on 2013-10-07 18:43:28 GMT from United States)
I keep wondering where things would be if Canonical tried harder to actually work within existing projects like Wayland. I suppose they had a time table for their phone OS, but the entire notion of MIR still seems awful messy and counter productive to me. The push back from Intel and the realities of making it passable by release time seem to be proving that Canonical bit off more than they could chew. They have enough money to play things their own way, but it doesn't seem like Canonical is proving themselves to be doing any better on their own than they would have by adding their efforts to Wayland. And of course they're lowering the benefit of all that work to the rest of the community by going it alone.
12 • Mir (by pilotbay on 2013-10-07 20:31:12 GMT from United States)
Ubuntu is trying to get away from all these developers that only develop for themselves, and expect every user to be a coder geek. Ubuntu is developing for those who want an OS to "just work" out of the box.
13 • @12/MIR (by MZ on 2013-10-07 20:58:58 GMT from United States)
I think the existence of MIR proves that Canonical does on occasion only develop for themselves. Canonical may have done alot of good in the past with making Ubuntu 'just work', but it looks to me like things are getting more convoluted from an average user perspective and not less.
14 • #7 Semplice...why not? (by anticapitalista on 2013-10-07 21:24:21 GMT from Greece)
#7 Does a distro have to be 'unique' to get a review on DW? Most distros aren't, and IMo there is no problem with that.
15 • #7 Semplice...why not? (by anticapitalista on 2013-10-07 21:29:47 GMT from Greece)
Whoops pressed submit too soon :-)
Just to add that all distros offer something, maybe not to everyones liking and maybe not a lot is offered, but it certainly adds spice to life as Mr Cowper says.
Semplice is a fine distro. Beats any 'unique' fedora hands down!
16 • Ubuntu-Builder home page (by Mike on 2013-10-07 21:46:10 GMT from United States)
I think that the wrong URL was posted above.
The home appears to be on launchpad, not Google Code:
The former site has FAQs and some other documentation. Haven't found an explanation yet, but the packages whose name contains 'gb3' may reference the Gambas source code dependencies.
17 • Ubnutu Mir (by pilotbay on 2013-10-07 22:17:04 GMT from United States)
@13 Lets all just go back and use the command line!
18 • Ubuntu and MIr (by bam on 2013-10-07 23:25:35 GMT from United States)
Here we go again:
All the other UIs run on top of that crappy crashing X Window. Years ago I tried using Linux as my main OS, all different brands such as SUSE, Red Hat, Mandriva etc. and with Gnome and KDE UIs. The developers haven't a clue what the regular user wants. An OS "That just works", and that is not what any of these gave me. Finding video drivers, and printer drivers and wireless drivers to install after the fact. And if I was lucky enough to search the web and find them, the next update of KDE or Gnome would break them again. Had to live with constant regression.
Ubuntu is trying to get away from all these developers that only develop for themselves, and expect every user to be a coder geek. Ubuntu is developing for those who want an OS to "just work" out of the box.
19 • Semplice and LVM (by Jesse on 2013-10-08 00:27:39 GMT from Canada)
@10: Thanks for posting feedback and the suggestion.
>> "For the LVM issue you had, have you created a LVM Physical Volume first?"
Yes, that was the approach I took. I successfully created the LVM volume, I tried both encrypted and plain volumes. Then, when I went into the Volume Group Manager section of the partition manager, I tried to add a new group. I could type in the desired name of the new LVM, but the button to apply the name was disabled. My only option was to click Cancel to go back to the partition manager.
I watched the video you posted and I think the issue I was running into was I wasn't applying the changes to the disk prior to using the LVM Manager. I expected the partition manager to do the creation and assigning the group name all in two steps (create, add), but the video shows it is actually three steps (create, apply, add). I had thought applying my changes would take me to the next screen of the installer and begin the installation. The video shows this isn't the case, that applying changes to the disk keeps the user on the same screen to perform further configuration.
It seems what I ran into was not a bug, but rather a misunderstanding of how the installer expected things to be done.
20 • Haiku (by J.L. on 2013-10-08 01:41:52 GMT from Canada)
Now if someone would please tell me how to install VirtualBox Guest Additions on Haiku (please email if able to provide instructions):
21 • @7 Semplice...why not? (by Hoos on 2013-10-08 02:08:27 GMT from Singapore)
Well, I am one of those people with an old PC "that can't handle Unity or Gnome3", and Semplice works fine with my machine. Of course, my usage of the PC is straightforward, so YMMV.
Installation was not a problem at all and was done in 15-20 mins. The preinstalled programs and codecs fit my usage, so again, I hardly need to install more stuff. It boots up in about 25 sec on my old machine, which is good compared to XFCE and KDE distros.
I have Crunchbang which is also Openbox-based, runs fine and boots up quickly. WattOS is LXDE-based and boots fast as well. However unlike these 2 (which I do like), Semplice is rolling release so I don't have to reinstall Semplice whenever they have a new release - I've used it since Semplice 3.
The packages in Debian Sid are also more current than Crunchbang which is based on Stable.
The openbox right-click menu in Semplice automatically adds in new entries when you do install new programs, unlike in Crunchbang, where you manually edit the menu.
The overall look of Semplice is pleasing to me.
The developer is helpful and replies to questions on the forum quickly.
22 • @7 Semplice...why not? [part2] (by Hoos on 2013-10-08 02:14:16 GMT from Singapore)
I forgot to add that despite it being based on Sid with the resultant risk of breakage at each update, I have "dist-upgraded" regularly since Semplice 3 with no glitch or breakage, except for once when a minor issue arose involving Semplice's themes after update.
This was solved very quickly and didn't stop the system from being used.
23 • Semplice and Luks/LVM (by PePas on 2013-10-08 03:19:48 GMT from Canada)
Eugenio, the creator of Semplice Linux, has made a stellar effort in creating an installer that can be used with logical volumes in a luks-encrypted container. I have installed it many times in a Virtual Machine, and I have to admit, the partitioner is perhaps slightly unusual, but then, it is rare for an installer to have there capabilities. It allowed me to also install on my actual hardware which is fully encrypted. I didn't encounter any problems doing that.
I personally prefer some more LXDE elements, but they are just an apt-get install away. I really appreciate to have a Debian install that has all the "non-free" elements preinstalled. It is beautiful, elegant, functional and utterly snappy.
The main advantage of Semplice is that the developer is super-helpful and accessible, you basically have your personal unpaid support!! The rate of development is quick too, Semplice 6 is just around the corner, so do report any bugs in the forums.
I also encountered the colours-bug in the terminal, but it never reverted back on my. As I said, I have used it in numerous installs.
24 • Custom DEBIAN distro? (by Keith on 2013-10-08 13:30:40 GMT from United States)
Does anyone know if there is a way to make a custom Debian ISO? I'm running CrunchBang. I know Remastersys is long gone, and Ubuntu Builder is not compatable with Debian systems.
25 • Semplice...why? Part Deux (by DavidEF on 2013-10-08 15:57:17 GMT from United States)
Thanks to Sam (post #8), Hoos (posts #21,22) and PePas (post #23) for some helpful answers to my question about Semplice. Answers like post #14 are not helpful at all, but you guys knew that. I was asking only because it seems Jesse found several bumps in the road in testing it. To me, everything comes down to balance. The good has to outweigh the bad, or it's not worth considering. It has nothing to do with whether Semplice deserves to exist, or deserves to be reviewed. I agree that all distros are useful to someone, and I wouldn't limit their existence in any way. My question was about whether Semplice was worth using, considering the problems Jesse encountered. In other words, I've used beta and even alpha software before, because it fulfilled a need I had, even when it had some severely rough edges. If Semplice is a bumpy ride, what does it do that makes it worth it?
26 • @25 -- Semplice...why? Part Deux (by Hoos on 2013-10-08 18:10:09 GMT from Singapore)
"My question was about whether Semplice was worth using, considering the problems Jesse encountered.... If Semplice is a bumpy ride, what does it do that makes it worth it?"
It might depend on your hardware, though. Like I said, your mileage may vary. It just works for me, it's fast on my old PC (bootup and in usage), and there's just something I personally like about it.
Jesse has also confirmed in post 19 that "what [he] ran into was not a bug, but rather a misunderstanding of how the installer expected things to be done."
So perhaps Eugenio the developer will now explore the UI of the installer, to see if he can/should make it clearer to the user. But it's not that the LVM bits didn't work.
To me, there are distros out there with bumpier rides than Semplice. :-)
IMO it's been put together thoughtfully and is still being improved upon, while already being very usable.
27 • Puppy Linux fixing broken hard drive (by Lawrence E. HEnry on 2013-10-08 21:04:23 GMT from United States)
My roomie totally corrupted the file system on her Windows Vista OS. It would not even run the "Recover" Cd. I booted with a Puppy 5.7.1 "Live" CD used G-Parted to take a look at the hard drive.; It gave an error of the file hierarchy being corrupted. I used G-Parted to reformat it to "NTFS" and ran the recover CD and it then worked and the recovery process started. It took over 4+ hours to do it all but Donna has a working Vista system now. I just can't get her to make the break to Puppy...."I can't even run Vista right...etc and etc..."
Oh well...I use 528 on a 9 year old eMachines Win-XP box and I love it...
AMD Athlon 3200+, ATi-Radeon-200, 2 MG of RAM.
28 • @27 Puppy for Vista? (by greg on 2013-10-09 07:29:50 GMT from Slovenia)
Puppy for Vista is a bit too hardcore. Why not Linux Mint or Kubuntu or Zorin OS with Vista look. They should be easier to maintain (the applicaitons etc) and also perhaps look more familiar. Whatever you might think of Ubuntu - it is easy for those trying to grasp new Linux concepts.
29 • @28 Puppy for Vista (by DavidEF on 2013-10-09 16:08:30 GMT from United States)
When I bought my laptop that came with Vista, I kept it on there for a couple months just to say I gave it a fair shot. I was never happier to get an OS off my disk! I've helped others "upgrade" from Vista to XP a few times. Only one person I know actually liked Vista. So, changing to any distro of linux, including Puppy, should be a breath of fresh air, unless she is one of those rare few.
However, I agree on your point that Ubuntu is a lot easier for Windows converts. Years ago, Ubuntu 5.04 was the first distro I could get installed on my AMD Athlon 2000+ with 512MB RAM. I'd tried a couple other distros and couldn't get them to install. I never had to be sold on Linux. I went looking for it, not knowing it existed. Windows drove me away, and Ubuntu welcomed me in. And, in spite of all the negativity some people feel toward it now, it's still welcoming new users every day.
30 • @24 Regarding Remastersys (by Tony B on 2013-10-09 16:44:31 GMT from Canada)
I may have stopped developing remastersys but it is far from gone. The repo is still there. It is still relevant for all current versions of debian and ubuntu. I just won't be creating any new versions for newer versions of debian or ubuntu but that doesn't stop anyone from obtaining the sources and continuing or just updating their own install as it is mostly script based anyway.
I still maintain my Debian Wheezy based personal home distro with icewm as the window manager for lxde as you can get much nicer window decorations for icewm than you can for openbox.
31 • @ 30 Thanks! (by Keith on 2013-10-09 20:14:08 GMT from United States)
Thanks Tony B. I found the site and got the Wheezy repo link and gpg key. Long story short, I thought all of that was long gone.
32 • Semplice (by mjjzf on 2013-10-10 06:51:59 GMT from Denmark)
To the somewhat reasonable question asked by #7: The justification of Semplice -
Semplice is quite close to Debian, and I see it mostly as a slightly simplified installer.
While I have found it useful because of the live option, we all know that the installed result of any Debian-based distribution could be accomplished by an apt-script following a Debian base install. The same goes for the Arch spinoffs with Pacman. Korora could do the same.
Just package the settings and themeing files in a tarball, wget it upon post-installing the relevant apps, and voila: Here is your Manjaro/Semplice/Pointlinux/Korora/SparkyLinux/ElementaryOS/Zorin/Peppermint - well, you catch my drift.
I like the general setup of Semplice, experienced no issues with booting or installing on my T60. It was quick, light and attractive. While it is not difficult, setting up Openbox can take some time, if you do not happen to have the rc.xml lying about from before.
Of course, I generally recreate the same distribution: I use Openbox or Xfce, I store all application settings, the Manjaro themeing and the Elementary Xfce icon set on my OwnCloud - so I can mjjzf-ize any distribution quite quickly...
33 • Semplice (by Mirix on 2013-10-10 08:13:09 GMT from Belgium)
Semplice is a great distro. People should carefully read the relevant sections of any distro's website before trying to slander it, because unjustified criticism only shows the ignorance of the commenter.
1.- Semplice is based on Debian Sid (unstable). Therefore it provides the user with very current versions of all software. It should therefore not be compared to Debian Stable, CrunchBang or any distro which is not based on Sid. Semplice is thus more current than Ubuntu, for instance.
2.- Semplice tries to make Sid more stable and more appealing to the end user. Let's not forget that Debian does not provide official installation media for Sid, for it is considered unstable (even if it can be installed from some of the official media). In that sense, Semplice is to be compared to Aptosid, Siduction, LinuxBBQ, etc. I have installed and run Semplice in three very different laptops and used it without a glitch for months. So mission accomplished.
3.- The Semplice installer is pretty good and user-friendly (even if I personally prefer Debian netinstall) and it is started from a LiveCD/LiveDVD, which allows the user to test the system prior to installation. The same applies to the Siduction installer, but Semplice's is more full featured and Siduction does not provide OpenBox.
4.- Semplice comes with a very elegant, minimalistic and preconfigured OpenBox that is completely usable out of the box. Plain Debian does not offer that option. CrunchBang does, but, again, it is not based on Sid and therefore it is not so current. Configuring OpenBox to make it Semplice-like is not very difficult but it takes time and there is obviously a learning curve (you need to know what to install to keep it both functional and light-weight and you need to manually edit a lot of configuration files).
In summary, if you are searching a very current, elegant, minimalistic, ready-to.use and light-weight Debian-based distro, you should look no further.
That said, as I do a lot of number-crunching, I am currently migrating to Funtoo to check whether or not the performance I might gain compensates for the troubles...
34 • @30 (by Mac on 2013-10-10 21:41:17 GMT from United States)
I have used your remastersys for years now and have got it to work on Kubuntu 13.10 daily build. Man this is one user that hates to see you go. But wish you all the luck in the word.
35 • System imager (by @34 on 2013-10-11 07:33:15 GMT from Slovenia)
Remastersys continues it's life as OS/4 system imager
36 • Linux for ARM devices (by Chanath on 2013-10-11 10:00:08 GMT from Sri Lanka)
I had been using Linux for quite a long time, and had not been using Win7, even though it had come with the laptop for more than 2 years. I wasn't even interested I finding out what is Win8.
That was until, I was give a ARM based laptop with a strange OS called, Windows RT. I was wary at the beginning. I am quite at home with Android on mobile devices. I also have a partition with Android for x86 along with my Linux partitions.
I also found out the Windows community doesn't like the Windows RT. Anyway, I started using this laptop, breaking down my own barrier about using Windows. I am surprised at the ease of using the OS and the laptop. I wonder how nice it would be to have a Linux OS for ARM, so we could use such laptops in Linux.
I was not interested in ARM chips before, but now, I am not sure. I wish, there'd be Linux for ARM.
37 • @36 - Linux for ARM (by Uncle Slacky on 2013-10-11 10:41:35 GMT from France)
There are already several Linux distros with ARM variants, though the appropriate one to use depends strongly on your hardware. Which laptop is it? If it's a Surface RT, I don't think anyone's managed to create a distro for it as it is locked down by Secure Boot.
38 • @37 (by Chanath on 2013-10-11 11:11:40 GMT from Sri Lanka)
It is Lenovo Yoga 11. I wasn't sure, I'd even use it, but the OS in it works very nicely. I know, the ARM chips and devices need separate OSs to work; I've seen this in Android devices. If Android, which is based on Linux can be made to work in all kinds of ARM devices, why not one general Linux distro for all is the question.
Anyway, we'd wait and see.
39 • PCBSD (by divadgnol on 2013-10-11 12:42:16 GMT from United States)
I normally run stock OpenBSD or FreeBSD. I recently tried PCBSD and I must say this is a great way for the unexperienced unix user to get their hands wet but not too messy. A lot is hidden, but underneath the hood its FreeBSD.
The installer is simple, but effective, and being able to choose your DE is a nice touch.
Congrats to the PCBSD team for putting out a nice alternative to stock FreeBSD.
40 • RE 36 GNUlinux for ARMs has been existing for years (by dbrion on 2013-10-11 15:56:16 GMT from France)
". I wish, there'd be Linux for ARM."
GNU linux for ARMs has been existing for .....years (at least as a tty connection, without WM/DE) :
Dual screen playstation (two arms : one for computing, the other for display) could get aa linux kernel and some utilities, though they had little ressources (4M IIRC).
see http://www.armadeus.com/wiki/index.php?title=Setup&limit=500&action=history : an **elaborate** version of GNUlinux, able to interface with complex circuits -therefore, was built upon simpler versions- had a wiki -therefore, stable settings-in 2006....
It can be qemulated (qemu-arm comes with standard mageia/Fedora/Debian packages,AFAIK on any GNU-linux PC (no need to buy an ARM) : see http://www.armadeus.com/wiki/index.php?title=QEMU.
debian (or fedora, though they are less known) packages can replace a slow and -maybe- complicated SDK (this is a constant evolution : people are less and less ready to cross compile from source) : this is necessary with things like RPi (256/512M instead of 8-32 M : a WM or a simple DE can be installed, though RPis may be considered as a cheap(!) piece of programmable hardware, able to recognise motions, transmit images and not needing a DE)
41 • PCLinuxOS on flash drive ("pen drive") (by Jordan on 2013-10-11 16:22:31 GMT from United States)
On a whim I removed my hdd from this HP Pavilion M7 and placed my 32Gb Sandisk 3.0 USB in the 3.0 slot.
I went into BIOS and changed the boot order to CD/DVD then USB, allowing the live PCLOS to boot up. Then to install it found the flash drive and formatted and installed with its own partition scheme.
That was yesterday morning. It is blazing fast and amazing in many other ways, not the least of which is that after shut down it booted right up as if it were a hdd and had all my setting, etc saved.
I thought Puppy and Knoppix etc were the only distros that could do that, with their special overlay partition, etc.
42 • Installing on flash drive. (by LinuxMan on 2013-10-11 17:59:49 GMT from United States)
Are you talking about installing a distro on a flash drive and using all of the drive for saving settings and downloads or applications. There are a lot of good applications for creating a Linux bootable jumpdrive with persistent and you can do it with just about any distro. It's nice to take your OS with you.
43 • Persistence (by Jordan on 2013-10-11 18:17:39 GMT from United States)
That was what I saw about Knoppix, Puppy and the apps you speak of. But I used no app and only, on a whim as I say, loaded the live CD "Mate" version of PCLOS, then hit "install" and it picked up the flash drive itself right away.
I'd removed the hard drive, so that was the only available drive. I'm surprised PCLOS is remembering my settings ("persistence") and remains fast, faster than when on my hdd. I simply installed it to the 32Gb flash drive.
After a shut down and removing the flash drive, it came right back up on boot up. I then took the drive to my old Toshiba and it booted up on that and ran great.
44 • @40 Arm & Linux (by Chanath on 2013-10-12 07:38:44 GMT from Sri Lanka)
I suppose you didn't understand me. I am a Linux guy. I didn't use Win7 for quite a long time. Few weeks ago, I was given a ARM laptop powered by Windows RT, which the Windows community doesn't like. That was the first time, I tried Windows 8, RT or not. The thing is I liked the experience, I never thought I'd be liking.
Linux Distress can be installed in any Intel powered computer, while it cannot be installed in ARM powered one--you need to have a customs made bistro for that. Bodhi is doing something, but it cannot be installed in all ARM devices.
The mater is I am liking the Windows RT experience and wishing I can get the Linux experience in my ARM powered laptop.
Its so swift and the battery lasts more than 12 hours! Android, based on Linux eats up the battery, while this doesn't. I've seen Ubuntu on mobile, and would love to have it on this laptop. Even though, I am enjoying the Windows RT experience, I'm still a Linux guy.
45 • @44 (by Chanath on 2013-10-12 07:40:55 GMT from Sri Lanka)
It should be Linux distros, not 'distress' in the comment above. Sorry!
46 • Point Linux (by Ari Torres on 2013-10-12 09:38:20 GMT from United States)
Finally,some one is making sense.
A Distro based on Debian with minimal apps but the most useful ones also the latest version on those apps,stable,ready to roll with most codecs and plugins installed right out of the box,small,simple,believe me when I say so. I am an Ubuntu's lover but got tired of their crap and tons of useless apps, keep it simple! keep it like Point Linux. I am not an expert neither an advance user just a regular guy with all source of hardware and different pcs trying to help ppl with old machines to keep on going in this ever changing tech world. Ubuntu was always my distro of choice but that all change after 10.04 and it keeps getting worse. Thanks point linux and Peter Ryzhenkov (Thank You)
47 • Pointlinux (by Ken on 2013-10-12 14:00:12 GMT from United States)
Point linux; Maybe the best distro out there today.
I am a Linux user for more than 10 years. I distro-hop for a hobby. I've tried hundreds of releases and actually have used several different distros on my day to day machine. Admittedly there are several very good distros out there at the present but Pointlinux is smooth, good looking and it did a great job of detecting and configuring all my hardware. It was painless to install and just worked good out of the box. The Pointlinux team has given us a very good basic selection of applications and downloading other favorite apps has never gone so smooth.
A BIG THANK YOU to the Pointlinux team.
And to Distro-Watch
48 • RE 44 : There are differences between GNU/linux and distributions (by dbrion on 2013-10-12 16:45:01 GMT from France)
whatever their spelling:
* A Linux kernel is a piece of software able to drive every other one (if it works, you might not notice it exists) and to provide every other one interfaces to hardware and time .
* A GNU/linux distribution is a bunch of software, claimed to be easy (or funny) to install. Except horrible bugs, it comes with a Linux kernel....
** A binary distribution has every piece of software already compiled -therefore, it depends on a given processor family- and ready to use. Almost each and every GNU/linux is binary to day (one needs an emulator to have them (maybe) working on other architectures).
**A source distribution needs every part of it to be compiled (but you can adapt its source, if you have time + skills+need) or cross compiled (a compiler such as gcc begins to be sometimes happy with 32 M RAM: if a card has "only" 4 M, your PC can cross compile and has huge RAM)...
As ARMs were rather expensive (or very tiny : some have 32 K : a tiny minimalist Linux kernel needs 1M) programming them was an individual affair. "Only" Debian -since Potatoo in 2000- and gentoo had ARM support (and people building/selling ARM cards +linux+ some applications shipped them with (an IT link to) their own SDK, needing compilation -they found ideas in gentoo and LFS, maybe- and sometimes modifications).
If you want a cheap "laptop" with ARM and GNU linux, the easiest solution would be to buy a RPi, a USB hub, a USB keyboard , a mouse , a screen (if you break your laptop's screen, it might be more expensive to repair it/change it than a new laptop) and ... a SD card with Rapsbian.... This is a cheap solution, and, if a part breaks, it is very easy to fix...
I bet wikipedia can explain better than I did....
49 • @Chanath (by Uncle SLacky on 2013-10-12 16:50:21 GMT from France)
It appears that Secure Boot on Surface RT has not yet been broken. Until that happens, it won't be possible to put Linux on it. See here for example: http://askubuntu.com/questions/322916/ubuntu-on-lenovo-yoga-11
50 • @ 48 & 49 (by Chanath on 2013-10-13 05:41:20 GMT from Sri Lanka)
@48; I don't need a cheap ARM laptop, I just got one, and that laptop took me to the ARM world with Windows 8 RT. Explaining again, I didn't want Windows 8, but got a cut down version--the windows community doesn't like it--and had to look in to it. The fact is I am liking the experience. I've been using Linux since Ubuntu 4.10, so saying that I am beginning to like this Windows 8 RT is something, at least for me.
I am saddled with it, and I don't want to sell the laptop, as the makers don't produce it anymore.
@49; Thanks for your time. I searched the net, since I got this Yoga 11. Too bad that we can't have Linux for all kinds of ARM devices, like we do for Intel/AMD ones.
On my "normal" laptop, I use Linux distro(s), but on this Yoga I'd have to use Windows RT, which I am getting to like. This Yoga 11 doesn't heat up, so I can keep it on my lap. Strange though, none of the other "laptops" can be kept on the lap, because of heat. The "normal" laptop had become a desktop.
Number of Comments: 50
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|• Issue 667 (2016-06-27): GeckoLinux 421, Fedora supports Flatpak, Solus unveils new features, running GNU/Linux on tablets|
|• Issue 666 (2016-06-20): Comparing more live update methods, Ubuntu's snap packages, Antergos drops 32-bit media, GeckoLinux unveils Rolling edition, learning Linux resources|
|• Issue 665 (2016-06-13): BunsenLabs Linux Hydrogen, Fedora 24 delayed, NetBSD grows in size, Clonezilla questions|
|• Issue 664 (2016-06-06): Sabayon 16.05, Debian updates install media, the cost of free software, Qubes explains secure build process|
|• Issue 663 (2016-05-30): Comparing live update methods, Ubuntu MATE's progress, distros debate systemd change, DistroWatch turns 15|
|• Issue 662 (2016-05-23): Clonezilla Live, new Fedora community repository, DragonFlyBSD runs Wayland, a live edition of Slackware and kernel components|
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|• Issue 654 (2016-03-28): PCLinuxOS 2016.03, Using signatures to create a web of trust, Arch Linux rolls out Pacman update, GuixSD packages GNOME|
|• Issue 653 (2016-03-21): Antergos 2016.02.21, Debian prepares for election, a Unix-like OS written in Rust, watching Netflix on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 652 (2016-03-14): ReactOS 0.4.0, Debian swaps Iceweasel for Firefox, Fedora moving forward with Wayland, Verifying ISO files|
|• Issue 651 (2016-03-07): Korora 23, Linux Mint improves security, Ubuntu MATE on Raspberry Pi 3 computers, trying different file systems|
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|• 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 644 (2016-01-18): Kwort 4.3, Sabayon tests ARM images, Slackware adopts PulseAudio, running Linux without GNU software|
|• Issue 643 (2016-01-11): Solus 1.0, Mint provide upgrade path to 17.3, Fedora developers work on stability, running the LXQt desktop|
|• Issue 642 (2016-01-04): paldo GNU/Linux, vetting distro repositories, Fedora plans to adopt GCC 6, Ian Murdock passes|
|• Issue 641 (2015-12-21): Arch Linux, Qubes OS to ship on Librem laptops, ALT offers start kit images, the spread of systemd and launchd|
|• Issue 640 (2015-12-14): Chakra GNU/Linux 2015.11, removing meta-data from files, Ubuntu to remove on-line dash searches|
|• Issue 639 (2015-12-07): OpenBSD 5.8, openSUSE gathers Summer of Code proposals, running WINE on a live disc, Enlightenment adds Wayland support|
|• Issue 638 (2015-11-30): Qubes OS 3.0, KaOS with Plasma, NetBSD 7.0, Fedora seeks Wayland testers, scheduling tasks|
|• Issue 637 (2015-11-23): NixOS 15.09, Antergos introduces ZFS support, MINIX shares new features, copying an OS to a new computer|
|• Issue 636 (2015-11-16): openSUSE 42.1, Fedora uses Wayland by default, Debian replaces live CD project, Steam consoles launch|
|• Issue 635 (2015-11-09): Fedora 23, Cinnamon 2.8 released, a Fedora KDE packager quits, Red Hat signs deal with Microsoft|
|• Issue 634 (2015-11-02): Ubuntu 15.10, Chakra upgrades to Plasma 5, OpenMandriva plans new editions, MINIX plans conference|
|• Issue 633 (2015-10-26): GhostBSD 10.1, Bodhi Linux to get new settings panel, Fedora 23 delayed, creating live image of existing OS|
|• Issue 632 (2015-10-19): Linux Lite 2.6, 32-bit build of CentOS, OpenBSD turns 20, Bodhi Linux releases AppPack|
|• Issue 631 (2015-10-12): Parsix 8.0, Manjaro seeks new artwork, sending commands to multiple servers, Debian drops LSB support|
|• Issue 630 (2015-10-05): Android-x86 4.4-r3, Ubuntu's new installer, Raspbian defaults to GUI interface, cleaning out dot files|
|• Issue 629 (2015-09-28): Open source desktops and touch interfaces, locking down user accounts, OpenMandriva opens gaming documentation|
|• Issue 628 (2015-09-21): Neptune 4.4, changes to pfSense, Pinguy OS releases updated ISO images, accessing hard disk images|
|• Full list of all issues|
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