| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 535, 25 November 2013
Welcome to this year's 47th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The openSUSE distribution is a community-developed operating system that experiments with cutting-edge software and powerful administration tools. This past week saw the launch of openSUSE 13.1 and reviews are starting to show up around the web. Be sure to check out our News section where we link to openSUSE's new features and a first-impressions review. Also in the news this past week we hear of features being planned (and rejected) for Ubuntu's next long term support release. Ubuntu isn't the only distribution getting new features, Debian is planning to adopt the MATE desktop environment, making the fork of GNOME 2 available in the project's repositories. We also talk about what causes organizations to migrate from proprietary solutions to Linux-based distributions. Is the primary motivation cost, security, stability or something else? In our feature this week Jesse Smith takes the GhostBSD operating system for a test drive and reports on his experiences. Also in this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly we talk about the nature of security updates and their role in keeping our computers running safely under our control. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the October 2013 DistroWatch.com donation is the FreeType project. Happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (18MB) and MP3 (32MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Ghosts in the machine: GhostBSD 3.5
The GhostBSD project started out as a fairly simple concept: take FreeBSD and put the GNOME 2 desktop environment on top of it and ship it as a live disc. Over the past few years GhostBSD has slowly grown, adding a system installer, including a graphical package manager and adding some polish. The current release of GhostBSD, version 3.5, is based on FreeBSD 9.2 and features four editions (MATE, Xfce, LXDE and Openbox) and the option of working with 32-bit or 64-bit x86 builds. The latest offering features DTrace support by default and support for one year. This version of GhostBSD includes some other interesting changes. For example, LibreOffice has been swapped out in favour of OpenOffice which is a reverse of what we typically see in the Linux community. We also find the GNOME 2 desktop has been removed and replaced with MATE 1.6.
I opted to try the MATE edition of GhostBSD, the ISO for which is approximately 1.7GB in size. Booting from this live disc brings up the MATE desktop. The background is a plain blue colour and an icon for launching the system installer sits on the desktop. At the top of the screen we find the application menu and, along the bottom of the display, we see the desktop's task switcher. Everything seemed to be working well in the live environment and so I jumped into the system installer.
The current incarnation of the GhostBSD system installer is a graphical application which is easy on the eyes and nicely streamlined. We are walked through selecting our preferred language, confirming our keyboard's layout and choosing our time zone from a list. The partitioning section of the installer basically gives us two options: we can let the installer take over the entire hard disk or we can choose to manually set up partitions. We are also asked if the installer should place a boot loader on our hard drive. Next we create a user account and set the root account's password. The installer then begins copying its files to the local drive. I found that while files were copying I was shown a lot of pop-up messages containing errors saying there were problems mounting the disk. However, despite these errors, the installer finished copying its files and declared the process a success. When I rebooted the machine GhostBSD started up without any problems and I was brought to a graphical login screen.
GhostBSD 3.5 - changing the MATE desktop's settings
(full image size: 203kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
No pop-ups or notifications greeted me upon logging in and so I dived into the operating system's application menu. There I found a collection of software that was well suited to my preferences and requirements for a desktop operating system. The Firefox web browser is included along with the Thunderbird e-mail client, the Transmission bittorrent client and the XChat IRC client. OpenOffice.org 4.0 is included n the menu alongside the GNU Image Manipulation Program. The Shotwell photo manager is included and there is a PDF document viewer in the menu. I found the Brasero disc burner was available as were the Rhythmbox audio player and the VLC multimedia player. The desktop comes with an archive manager, system monitor, text editor and virtual calculator. MATE also ships with a full range of configuration utilities for changing the look & feel of the desktop. GhostBSD comes with a complete set of multimedia codecs, though no Flash plugin is included. In the background GhostBSD runs a network mail service. The operating system is, at its core, FreeBSD 9.2 and should be compatible with modern FreeBSD software and tutorials.
Package management on GhostBSD is handled by a graphical application. The layout of this graphical package manager took me a little while to get used to as there are a number of controls (or filters) with which to work. The application is divided into two panes. On the left we are shown a tree of software categories and specific packages. Over on the right side of the window we are shown details about the currently selected package. Packages can be selected for installation with a couple of clicks. What threw me off at first is that the user can toggle between seeing a tree of software which is currently installed and packages which are available in the repositories. By default we are shown installed packages only. I found when I installed packages the system would usually report the applications I wanted had installed, but with checksum errors. Running the applications I didn't notice any problems with any of the new software, making the errors seem overly cautious.
The package manager also has a button that will initiate a check for updates and allow us to download all available software updates. I found that around half the time I attempted to check for software updates the package manager would crash, the other half it operated smoothly. This may be a little off putting to users, but on the plus side, the graphical software manager is a very friendly step up from working with the traditional FreeBSD command line tools for software management. One aspect of GhostBSD's software selection I found odd was that the default terminal shell is Fish, even for the root user. Usually changing the root account's shell away from /bin/sh is frowned upon in FreeBSD circles and, personally, it took me some time to get used to Fish. For my own user account I ended up switching to another shell.
GhostBSD 3.5 - managing software packages
(full image size: 214kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
I ran GhostBSD in a VirtualBox virtual machine and on a physical desktop computer (dual-core 2.8 GHz CPU, 6 GB of RAM, Radeon video card, Realtek network card). In the virtual environment GhostBSD performed beautifully. Everything worked out of the box, the operating system smoothly handled scaled and full-screen displays and the MATE desktop was responsive. I ran into a problem early on with running GhostBSD on my physical hardware. The live CD did not properly start the X graphical software and I had to manually tweak the configuration to get a desktop environment. Otherwise GhostBSD ran smoothly on my desktop computer. The combination of the operating system's FreeBSD base with the MATE desktop used about 100 MB of active memory, a fairly small footprint for the functionality available.
I was fairly happy with my experience with GhostBSD this week. In the past I have enjoyed GhostBSD because of the project's ability to showcase what a FreeBSD-based operating system looks like running on a live disc with a functional desktop environment. There are not a lot of live discs available in the BSD communities and I was happy to see GhostBSD take on the challenge. At first the project wasn't installable on a local drive and simply worked as a demo disc. As time has gone on the GhostBSD project has matured. With the release of version 3.5 I feel GhostBSD has moved beyond the position of a niche product or a simple demo disc and has moved into the realm of being a general purpose platform suitable to people with mid-level experience with open source operating systems.
GhostBSD 3.5 - running various desktop applications
(full image size: 286kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
A little while ago I reviewed PC-BSD 9.2 and enjoyed my time with that project. The PC-BSD operating system has a nice installer, worked fairly well for me and came with a lot of great administrative features. So many and so powerful were PC-BSD's features, I was willing to overlook some sluggishness in its performance and some of the complexity it presented. GhostBSD, while it uses the same FreeBSD 9.2 base, offers the user a very different flavour of BSD. GhostBSD has a simplified installer, a very responsive desktop, one unified approach to package management and a more streamlined approach. In my mind PC-BSD is ideal for developer workstations, corporate environments and power users.
GhostBSD is a product for the home user who wants to put their installation disc in the drive, confirm their system will boot it and then simply start using their computer. GhostBSD offers an easy installation, enough software for most people to get started and a fairly straight forward package manager to supply additional functionality. The MATE desktop is fast, the configuration tools simple and the provided applications useful. This novice-friendly approach means GhostBSD skips out on some of the powerful tools offered by its PC-BSD cousin, but it also means GhostBSD may be more appealing to a beginner or the causal home crowd.
In the past I have been hesitant to recommend GhostBSD for anything beyond being used as a demo disc. It had a good design and I liked the developer's approach, but I felt it lacked key features and the installation didn't always work for me. I feel GhostBSD's time has come. The project feels complete now, it feels polished and I feel it will work well as a desktop operating system. GhostBSD seems to me to now be about on a user-friendliness level with intermediate Linux distributions. If you have been hopping Linux distributions and looking for something different, then GhostBSD is offering a fast, friendly and stable desktop experience.
* * * * *
This is my third review of a project from the BSD family in the past six weeks and some people have been asking why my focus has seemingly shifted away from Linux distributions. This column is primarily about Linux distributions and so I feel it worth mentioning why I've been spending so much time looking at BSD-related projects.
The first reason is, simply, that I feel most of the really interesting Linux distributions are either about to be released or I have recently reviewed them. Fedora, Mint and openSUSE, for example, are about to see new releases at the time of writing and I am looking forward to trying them. However, until those releases happen I need to cover something else. Other leading projects, such as Ubuntu, I looked at recently and they won't show up on my to-review list again for another six months.
The second reason for my shift in focus is I feel the BSD communities, especially the FreeBSD-based projects, are where the interesting developments are happening these days. Over in FreeBSD land we have efficient PBI bundles, a mature advanced file system in the form of ZFS, new friendly and powerful system installers, a new package manager (PKG-NG), a powerful jail manager and there will soon be new virtualization technology coming with the release of FreeBSD 10.0.
Meanwhile, over in the Linux camp, I feel as though things have reached a plateau. We are seeing small improvements and an increase in polish. For instance, the latest releases from Ubuntu & Kubuntu were solid, incremental improvements. Looking at the release notes for Slackware and the feature list for Fedora I get the impression we will see welcome improvements, but nothing that breaks new ground, nothing that gets the blood pumping. I think openSUSE may be the exception this year as their work with the advanced file system Btrfs looks promising. Their work tying Btrfs with the openSUSE administration tools may be great for users, but openSUSE seems to be the only distribution adopting Btrfs whole heartedly.
What it comes down to is I feel the BSDs are working with some cool new features and placing them on top of a stable base. I think GhostBSD and PC-BSD in particular are interesting projects that are doing important work and I feel they deserve to be in the spotlight.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
openSUSE 13.1 ships, Debian to package MATE, Canonical plans feature list for Ubuntu 14.04, motivations behind Munich migration
The big news of the past week was the release of openSUSE 13.1. The openSUSE distribution is a cutting-edge operating system which comes with many great user-friendly software packages, a powerful installer and very flexible administration tools. Already reviews of the latest release are appearing and the distribution seems to be holding up well to inspection. One reviewer writes: It's a perfect OS for those who want their privacy to be respected. It's a very user-friendly operating system for those who wants to migrate from Windows. In a nutshell, it's a modern GNU/Linux OS which will take care of your computing needs."
* * * * *
It has been nearly two years since the proposal to include MATE, a fork of the classic GNOME 2 desktop, was raised in Debian's bug tracker. While the idea of packaging and supporting MATE met some opposition at first, the task has moved ahead and Debian is close to having a complete MATE desktop available in its repositories. While there is not an official time frame for making MATE available, MATE should be packaged in time for Debian's next release, code named "Jessie". Having MATE packaged by Debian not only gives Debian users an extra desktop option. Debian is the base for many other Linux distributions and this will make the classic desktop interface available to derivative projects as well.
* * * * *
There are some attractive new features being planned for next year's launch of Ubuntu 14.04. One of the new features will be improved TRIM support for solid-state drives (SSDs). When the operating system can send TRIM commands to the disk this allows the disk to mark unused areas of the disk as being free to be wiped and reused. Over a long time line enabling TRIM support in the operating system can greatly improve disk performance. There are a few avenues by which TRIM support can be enabled and the Ubuntu team is looking at introducing a method which should not impact operating system performance. The exact approach the developers will take is still up for debate, but any solution should make the combination of Ubuntu and SSDs more attractive to end-users and administrators.
While Canonical is going ahead with improved SSD support for Ubuntu the company is being conservative when it comes to other technologies such as the Mir display server. The new display server, which has been developed to replace the aging X graphical software, was expected to ship with Ubuntu 13.10. Due to some problems with multi-monitor support Mir was delayed until Ubuntu 14.04. However, as Ubuntu 14.04 will be a long term support release, the developers are cautious about adding new, unproven software. Mark Shuttleworth was asked whether Mir would be shipped with Ubuntu 14.04 and he responded: "What we'll do with 14.04 is we'll do point releases which introduce support for new hardware at the kernel level and at the X level, but we won't do point releases of 14.04 which introduce Mir and Unity 8. Now, Mir and Unity 8 are in the archive, and they will become, I imagine, more and more useful and usable, and by not making them part of the base release we probably have more flexibility to update them so they may become usable for people. But we certainly will not switch from vanilla X to Mir during the course of the maintenance life of 14.04."
* * * * *
Some organizations prefer to use Linux over proprietary solutions because Linux can save them money. Others appreciate the stability or the security Linux brings to the table. Peter Hoffman, the man who organized Munich's migration from Windows to Linux, says the primary asset Linux provides is freedom. TechRepublic has an article which looks back on the long-term migration Munich made from Windows to Linux, its costs and benefits. "Free software was ruled the better choice by Munich's ruling body, principally because it would free the council from dependence on any one vendor and future-proof the council's technology stack via open protocols, interfaces and data formats," said Hoffman. According to the city the migration to Linux had the added bonus of saving the tax payers approximately ten million euros.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Security updates -- the what and the why
Dealing-with-security-updates asks: I still to this day have no clear understanding of the impact of "security updates" in the Linux world. I have searched this subject many times over the years and all the replies I find are pretty much exactly the same: "You need them, just do it." Updates to packages that require a bug fix, add an overlooked tweak or an upgrade (such as a browser) I can understand, but what exactly are the threats to my system that fall under the heading of "security"?
DistroWatch answers: I suspect the issue here is one of terminology. You wrote that you understand the need for updates to packages which contain bugs or web browser upgrades. These situations mentioned are examples of security fixes. A security fix is any software upgrade which fixes a software bug (or configuration) which could be used by a person or program to compromise the security of your applications or operating system. Not applying security updates leaves your system open to attack and may result in your computer being used in ways you do not wish it to be used.
Basically, when a distribution releases a security update they are saying, "We found a mistake in this piece of software which could let bad people control your machine. Here is a new version of the software that fixes that mistake." It is almost always a good idea to install these security updates as it is a great line of defense against people who would like to take over the operation of your computer. Basically, security updates are a subset of bug fixes which protect your computer from being compromised. Machines which are compromised are typically used to attack other machines, send spam e-mails, steal your private information, mine bitcoins or anything else the attacker wishes.
|Released Last Week
Patrick d'Emmabuntüs has announced the release of a minor new update to Emmabuntüs, a Xubuntu-based distribution designed for refurbished computers destined for humanitarian organisations: "The Emmabuntüs team is pleased to announce the 5th maintenance release of Emmabuntüs 2 1.06 based on Xubuntu 12.04.3. For this version 1.06 the following fixes and improvements have been made: updated packages for Xubuntu 12.04.2, codecs and extensions contained in web browsers (Firefox, Chromium) and the Thunderbird mail reader; update extension for LibreOffice 2.3 Language Tools and documentation included in the distribution; update Cairo-Dock 3.3.2; remove the obsolete Medibuntu repository; add a link on the desktop pointing to the new tutorials included in the distribution; add setup menus in Portuguese and German." Here is the brief release announcement.
Network Security Toolkit 18-5413
Ron Henderson has announced the release of Network Security Toolkit (NST), version 18-5413, a specialist Fedora-based live DVD with a large collection of open-source network security tools: "We are pleased to announce the latest NST release: NST 18 SVN:5413. This is an interim release which includes all of the NST and Fedora 18 package updates since 2013-04-13 rolled into a fresh ISO image. Here are some of the highlights for this release: the NST WUI Network Interface Bandwidth Monitor 2 application is available; integrated the ntop application, ntopng, into the NST WUI; ntopng is a network traffic probe used for high-speed web-based traffic analysis and flow collection; a new NST WUI Geolocation Application, ntopng IPv4 hosts, is available using host information derived from ntopng; several new tools that allow you to convert files to different formats were added to the NST WUI...." Read the detailed release announcement to learn more.
The openSUSE project has announced the release of openSUSE 13.1, a major new version of one of the oldest and most popular Linux distributions available today: "Dear contributors, friends and fans: the release is here! Eight months of planning, packaging, adding features, fixing issues, testing and fixing more issues has brought you the best that free and open source has to offer, with our green touch: stable and awesome. This release did benefit from the improvements to our testing infrastructure and much attention to bug fixing. While a combination of over 6,000 packages supporting 5 architectures can never be perfect, we're proud to say this really does represent the best free software has to offer! The latest desktops (five of them!), server and cloud technologies, software development tools and everything in between are included." Read the comprehensive release announcement for more information, additional links and screenshots.
openSUSE 13.1 - the default KDE desktop
(full image size: 1,606kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Univention Corporate Server 3.2
Univention has announced the release of Univention Corporate Server 3.2, a Debian-based, enterprise-class operating system for servers: "We are very happy to announce the availability of Univention Corporate Server (UCS) 3.2. Highlights are: the operation of the Univention Management Console has been optimised and simplified in a number of points, e.g., there are now simplified wizards for creating users and internal system users are no longer shown in the basic setting; UCS now provides a SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) identity provider - the external service is then registered via a cryptographic certificate and trusted by the identity provider; the Univention App Center has been expanded; Samba 4 has been updated to Version 4.1; Bridges, bondings and VLANs can now also be configured in the Univention Management Console...." See the release announcement and release notes for more details.
Turnkey Linux 13.0
Liraz Siri has announced the release of TurnKey Linux 13.0, a major new version of the project's Debian-based set of highly specialised virtual appliances for severs: "TurnKey Linux 13, code-named 'satisfaction guaranteed or your money back' celebrates five years of TurnKey Linux and is based on the latest version of Debian GNU/Linux (7.2). The release includes 1,400 ready-to-use images - 330 GB worth of 100% open source, guru integrated, Linux system goodness in seven build types that are optimized and pre-tested for nearly any deployment scenario: bare metal, virtual machines and hypervisors of all kinds, 'headless' private and public cloud deployments, etc. New apps in this release include OpenVPN, Observium and Tendenci. We hope this new release reinforces the explosion in active 24x7 production deployments (37,521 servers worldwide) we've seen since the previous 12.1 release." See the full release announcement for more information. The multitude of specialist TurnKey Linux virtual appliances are ready for download from SourceForge.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5
Red Hat, Inc. has announced the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.5, the latest update in the 6.x series of Red Hat's enterprise-class Linux distribution: "Red Hat, Inc. today announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5, the latest version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 expands Red Hat's vision of providing an enterprise platform that has the stability to free IT to take on major infrastructure challenges and the flexibility to handle future requirements, with an extensive partner and support ecosystem. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 is designed for those who build and manage large, complex IT projects, especially enterprises that require an open hybrid cloud. From security and networking to virtualization, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 provides the capabilities needed to manage these environments." Read the press release and consult the detailed release notes for more information.
OpenMandriva Lx 2013.0
After many months of development the inaugural release of OpenMandriva Lx is out: "The OpenMandriva community is proud to announce our first release, OpenMandriva Lx 2013.0. The introduction of OpenMandriva 2013.0 represents a major update from the previous version of Mandriva. This is the first release under the new name, OpenMandriva Lx, and is also the first release under the community of the OpenMandriva Association. With that in mind, here are some of the new features: OpenMandriva Lx features new kernel called NRJ as for energy; KDE 4.11.2 provides a clean, unified desktop for OpenMandriva; this release provides a KDE 4.11 installation featuring ROSA's SimpleWelcome launcher, a winner of the latest contest...." For more information please read the release announcement and check out the release notes.
Ultimate Edition 3.7
Ultimate Edition 3.7, an Ubuntu-based distribution with a customised KDE as the default desktop, has been released: "I would like to announce the release of Ultimate Edition 3.7. Ultimate Edition 3.7 was built from the ground up, debootstrapped from the Ubuntu 12.10 'Quantal Quetzal' tree. This release I tried to build from Ultimate Edition 3.6 base, but had a ton of networking-based issues. I scrapped everything and went back to square one and issues melted away, perhaps a fix at the root level? I know don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Many repositories have been added to increase software availability. The kernel was pulled from the X.Org 'Crack Pushers PPA' 3.7. Ultimate Edition 3.7 has a comprehensive set of software packages. KDE is the default desktop environment." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information, screenshots and notes on the upcoming 3.8 release.
Ultimate Edition 3.7 - an Ubuntu-based distribution with KDE and much eye candy
(full image size: 620kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
Calculate Linux 13.11
Alexander Tratsevskiy has announced the release of Calculate Linux 13.11, a new version of the project's Gentoo-based distribution for desktops (with KDE or Xfce), servers and media centres: "We are happy to announce the release of Calculate Linux 13.11. Calculate Linux Desktop, featuring either the KDE (CLD) or the Xfce (CLDX) environment, Calculate Directory Server (CDS), Calculate Media Center (CMC), Calculate Linux Scratch (CLS), Calculate Scratch Server (CSS) are all available for download. Major changes: better domain performance; graphical interfaces do not hang when the network in the domain is down; if LDAP remains unresponsive for some time, the connection will be recovered with user privileges; waiting for the LDAP server when unlocking a domain user's session; applications are now running faster thanks to LDAP caching...." Read the rest of the release announcement for a list of changes and bug fixes.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
October 2013 DistroWatch.com donation: FreeType|
We are pleased to announce that the recipient of the October 2013 DistroWatch.com donation is the FreeType project, an open source software library designed to render fonts. It receives US$300.00 in cash.
As one of those works-behind-the-scenes tools, barely noticeable yet essential, especially on the desktop, FreeType is described as "a software font engine that is designed to be small, efficient, highly customizable, and portable while capable of producing high-quality output (glyph images). It can be used in graphics libraries, display servers, font conversion tools, text image generation tools, and many other products as well. Note that FreeType is a font service and doesn't provide APIs to perform higher-level features like text layout or graphics processing (e.g., colored text rendering, ‘hollowing’, etc.). However, it greatly simplifies these tasks by providing a simple, easy to use, and uniform interface to access the content of font files." Please visit the project's overview page for a more detailed description and a list of features.
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, Yandex Money 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$37,105 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), Tor ($350), Tiny Tiny RSS ($350), FreeType ($300)
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Wakawa Linux. Wakawa Linux is a Debian-based distribution with a focus on the Openbox and MATE graphical user interfaces.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 2 December 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.
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|Reader Comments - Jump to last comment
1 • Security updates -- the what and the why (by Scott on 2013-11-25 09:28:20 GMT from United States) |
That answer is very basic. It could apply to both Windows and MAC as well. It doesn't address any of the current threats or does into any kind of detail. The asker could simply wiki for a similar answer. If I asked that question here, I would have expected more.
2 • *.* (by Bob on 2013-11-25 09:45:10 GMT from Germany)
As I knew just Debian was/is GNU/Linux operating system and now openSUSE is a GNU/Linux one?!
3 • GNU/Linux (by fernbap on 2013-11-25 10:48:33 GMT from Portugal)
Bob, EVERY so-called Linux distribution classifies as GNU/Linux, i.e. Linux kernel surrounded by GNU software.
The point is, most Linux distros also include pieces of software that are not GNU, like firmware binary blobs, some multimedia CODECs or flash, for instance. But that doesn't in any way disclassify those distros as GNU/Linux distributions.
Debian is a 100% GNU/Linux distribution, which means it doesn't include any of that stuff (although you can add it). Debian is not even the only 100% GNU distro, all others that call themselves "libre" are as well. That is why the term "libre" was introduced, as a way to avoid confusion.
4 • Basic answers can be necessary. (@1) (by dbrion on 2013-11-25 11:33:15 GMT from France)
"The asker could simply wiki for a similar answer. I"
Well, as wikipedia is carefully checked , a "similar answer" (in technical domains, at least) is likely to be
.... true. (yes, plain boring true)
Does every one think of wiki/google search before asking for help? (in many fora, links to wikipedia or results of google are given and are sufficient).
OTOH, if Monsieur Smith wants to do (and has time) to write a less basic Q&A, as he uses a lot Vbox (and writes PCBSD will have some new virtualization technology) maybe virtualization would interest people (from people running DOS programs to people emulating distributions- -I agree wikipedia already did a part of it, but I feel it can be non-redundent w/r wikipedia-
5 • Debian and Mate (by Ötzi on 2013-11-25 13:33:40 GMT from Austria)
I can confirm that Debian + Mate is already working very well. It is a good idea to integrated it in to the official debian repositories. Mate is stable, faster and better looking than many other DE.
6 • GhostBSD (by Dave Postles on 2013-11-25 13:52:46 GMT from United Kingdom)
It's even better with XFCE DE - not only for lower demands but also configuration of the DE, IMHO. The XFCE panel can be moved and reconfigured very nicely. ZFS is, of course, a great boon. I'm pretty sure that I selected bash during the installation. For a small project, with a small number of developers, it is mighty impressive.
7 • MATE and Debian (by Curious on 2013-11-25 14:04:54 GMT from United States)
I was very surprised to see this announcement of Debian coming with MATE. The GNOME Flashback project put out it's first release just some time back, and they're looking to collaborate with the MATE guys too,a general revival of the Fallback mode from right within GNOME. It seems a very retrograde step to ship with MATE just when GNOME 3 looked to be getting mature and accepted. You could always use Xfce if you don't like GNOME. Does anyone know what's going on?
8 • thanks.. (by musty on 2013-11-25 14:16:20 GMT from France)
very good preview of GhostBSD. My friend swears by it and I'll let me try.
Quick question: when talking about Fedora, you can install xfce, gnome, kde.... When we talk about Debian or Suze, you can also install these environments.
why with ubuntu you differentiates it from Xubuntu, Kubuntu or Lubuntu .. would not it make more sense to combine all "Ubuntu" s, in one line and one product ? is there a reason ?...
Thanks and good job ..
9 • Re: #7 Gnome Flashback (by silent on 2013-11-25 14:47:35 GMT from France)
Unfortunately Gnome Flashback is not compatible with Gnome 3.10, so the release at the end of September 2013 was a bit late for 3.8. For example, Gnome Flashback has been removed from Arch Linux repositories due to the incompatibility. The market and not the marketing will decide how mature and accepted Gnome 3 actually is, and whether Mate is a retrograde step. Presumably the technology (support for video video cards, speed, ease of use, configurability, reliability, transparency, etc.) should have some impact on the level of user satisfaction, although pervaded bad habits can indeed play some role as well.
10 • GhostBSD (by tuxtest on 2013-11-25 14:54:37 GMT from Canada)
I tested GhostBSD since the first live version. Still this project evolve from one version to another. But version 3.5 has surprised me with is quality. Installation is simple and runs very well. My only complaint is the GhostBSD support wifi devices. In this chapter it is completly 0. I work in wifi on all my home PC. This problem is rather in the heart of GhostBSD = FreeBSD.
For the rest, I think the developer has the right approach. Keep the system simple to use at all levels.
I think the next version will be more polished and it can be seriously considered mature.
I agree with Jesssie, There is a lot of effort into the BSD world right now and I hope it will have a positive impact for the onscreen user desktop PC.
I suggest they work hard on the supported video cards and wifi is still and always a big weakness.
In conclusion: Great work M. Turgeon ne lâche pas ! :)
11 • Thanks for explaining... (by Pearson on 2013-11-25 15:45:41 GMT from United States)
Thanks for explaining your apparent focus on BSD lately. It really helps put your reviews into a bigger context, giving them more meaning.
12 • Nothing new. Move on... (by thom on 2013-11-25 16:47:27 GMT from Sweden)
"[...] over in the Linux camp [...] things have reached a plateau. We are seeing [...] nothing that breaks new ground."
Well put, Jesse. It needed saying.
13 • @8 (by Jeff on 2013-11-25 17:07:01 GMT from United States)
The main reason for the different downloads is to keep bandwidth usage down by keeping the ISOs from being something like 4.6 gigabyte in size
14 • security (by M.Z. on 2013-11-25 17:56:05 GMT from United States)
I think the reason you got a basic answer was that there are too many specific cases where bugs could become security issues, and this is true of all operating systems. The biggest potential security problems on Linux & similar systems are things that run as root, or in 'privileged user/admin mode' in windows speak. I believe that the X.org display server that gives us Linux users a pretty desktop is one such piece of software that might be considered a relatively soft target for exploits, but I'm not a software expert and don't really understand how badly such a bug could compromise your system. At any rate the same general security rules apply across all operating systems, and even the more secure ones like Linux have been exploited even if it is very uncommon to see such problems on a properly updated Linux desktop.
15 • re: distro's reviewed in past 12 months..... (by CAI ENG on 2013-11-25 20:41:13 GMT from United States)
" I think GhostBSD and PC-BSD in particular are interesting projects that are doing important work and I feel they deserve to be in the spotlight. "
Good. Thank you. We need that kind of input. We would also benefit, though, in my opinion, from a few numbers, instead of platitudes:
"...GhostBSD is offering a fast, friendly and stable desktop experience."
FAST: how fast? Is it faster, or slower than the fastest Linux distros? Well, you would first have to know how long it takes the different distros to perform a standard task. Booting up, and shutting down, are a couple of good standard operations to time.
Isn't it time for this web site to commence issuing some standard timing results from easily performed, reproducible benchmarks?
FRIENDLY: gosh, I don't know what that means. I do know, that the default Linux distribution which I use, CrunchBang, has a very friendly web site, and to my narrow minded way of thinking, the most friendly distro is the one that requires the LEAST effort to install, and allows the USER to configure his computer the way he/she wishes. Some distros, including some well known LInux distros, will NOT PERMIT a user to choose a SINGLE character login name, even though, they are the only person using the computer. OThers demand a password, (very unfriendly) of more than one character. Why? I don't need more than one character. It is my computer, or is it the property of someone else? If I want one character password, that should be the end of the discussion, if the OS is genuinely FRIENDLY. Will Ghost BSD allow the user to select the length of his login name and password?
STABLE: hmm. Well, CrunchBang has NEVER been reviewed on this web site, in the past twelve months, and it is by far the best OS out there, as far as stability is concerned, I am still running, without problem, on my USB flash drive, on any 64 bit computer in the house, the old Linux kernel, 3.2, from January 2012. How's that for stable?
In the past twelve months, Jesse has reviewed Dragon Fly BSD, PD-BSD 9.1, Free BSD 9.1, Ghost BSD 3.0, PC-BSD 9.2, Open BSD 5.4, and today, Ghost BSD 3.5.
CrunchBang ZERO. UNIX 7.
Right. Too bad there are no numbers to back up the bluster:
"The MATE desktop is fast, the configuration tools simple and the provided applications useful. This novice-friendly approach means GhostBSD skips out on some of the powerful tools offered by its PC-BSD cousin, but it also means GhostBSD may be more appealing to a beginner or the causal home crowd."
User friendly challenge to Jesse: Measure the time needed to obtain automatic login. Best is Ubuntu, which sorts that out, DURING the installation, therefore ZERO seconds/minutes/hours needed by the user, post install. Second best, in my experience, is CrunchBang, because Philip wrote a script to permit the user to invoke it, permanently, with one click of the mouse. total time needed, about ten seconds, after download completed, and first login accomplished, with the single character password.
I can't imagine how difficult it would be to accomplish such a simple task with Ghost BSD. I am interested to learn, however, Jesse. Please let us know, ok?
"Package management on GhostBSD is handled by a graphical application. " Is there any feature more important in evaluating "user friendliness", than the method and time needed to make alterations to the default applications installed initially? How long does it take to get rid of the junky audio players, and install VLC, Jesse? With CrunchBang, VLC is installed BY DEFAULT, so the user does not need to change anything. But, other nifty distros, like Lubuntu, for example, have a terrific package management system, Synaptic, which makes the adjustment to add VLC, and eliminate the garbage, effortless, and works very fast. How about comparing the times needed to install some standard applications, with Ghost versus whatever Linux distro you like, Jesse?
We need timing data, not more "very fast", and "very stable".
16 • @15 (by jaws222 on 2013-11-25 20:51:59 GMT from United States)
"CrunchBang has NEVER been reviewed on this web site, in the past twelve months, and it is by far the best OS out there"
There's no need cause everyone knows Crunchbang is the best. How does that saying go, "Only three things are certain, death, taxes and Crunchbang.
17 • BSD (by Dude on 2013-11-25 21:26:14 GMT from United States)
I disagree with this statement:
"[...] over in the Linux camp [...] things have reached a plateau. We are seeing [...] nothing that breaks new ground."
There are so many interesting things going on with Linux I don't know what could possibly lead you to come to the above conclusion.
BSD is not interesting IMHO. It's not supposed to be. It belongs on a server.
Makulu is interesting, Netrunner is very interesting, Puppy is infinitely interesting, stop focusing on BSD and please get back to Linux. Vsido is also interesting. For older computers, Galpon Minino is interesting...
18 • @15 (by byku on 2013-11-25 21:45:02 GMT from Poland)
1) DWW is not only one source of reviews:
2) Don't Worry Be Happy:
3) Put the fun back into computers. Use Linux and BSD because We Are Family:
19 • @15 (by him bob on 2013-11-25 22:00:50 GMT from United Kingdom)
why bother reviewing crunchbang? I'm interested in hearing what makes this meta-distro so deserving of a review?
20 • @19 (by byku on 2013-11-25 22:24:03 GMT from Poland)
"I'm interested in hearing what makes this meta-distro so deserving of a review?"
Everything that don't come from Mark S. crazy world deserve a review ;)
I know it is a very silly joke but joke ;)
And another song for everyone who doesn't like mondays like me:
21 • BSD (by Dude on 2013-11-25 22:34:44 GMT from United States)
@ 15 & 16 - Crunchbang was reviewed by Jesse a while back and he didn't see the point of it.
@ 19 - It shouldn't be reviewed, at least by Jesse (see the above comment).
I don't think (and I could be completely wrong here) that Jesse has any interest in small, niche distros. I find them interesting.
There is nothing wrong with not being interested in what I'm interested in, it just means your boring - joke. :)
22 • whining about reviews (by Anonymous Coward on 2013-11-25 23:25:25 GMT from United States)
Please, y'all stop getting butt-hurt about your perceived neglect toward your pet linux distributions. In fact, why would you even want to read a review about your most-often-used distribution? Some sort of validation maybe.
The BSD reviews make sense. They are less widely used on PC's than Linux, and they are slowly but steadily making progress in areas that have drawn criticism (hardware support for mainstream video cards, wireless, package management, etc). Personally, _with all-else-equal_, I'd take BSD over Linux in any case.
Regarding benchmarks, there is no value relating to laptop & desktop use, where most differences can be measured in nanoseconds. Is a boot time of 14 seconds vs 17 seconds a factor?
The most obvious distinctions between Linux distributions come about via package management (rpm, deb, tar.?z), available/compatible repos, update cycles.... Not the time it takes to bring up a login screen.
23 • OpenSuse (by Bob on 2013-11-25 23:27:17 GMT from Austria)
Thought OpenSuse KDE was all I'd need for the next year or so. Seems to be fairly stable as compared to its previous releases. Furthermore I had never noticed idle CPU readings close to 0% on any of my systems before. Unfortunately I don't see any NVIDIA driver being offered at this moment. If the "nouveau snail" turns out to be the only option OpenSuse would be a non-keeper (at least for me).
24 • @21 (by him bob on 2013-11-25 23:29:36 GMT from United Kingdom)
I have no issue with something being niche if it does something differently or interesting. I'm not saying it shouldnt exist thats a different argument entirely. :)
25 • @22 (by him bob on 2013-11-25 23:35:25 GMT from United Kingdom)
completely agree with you regarding reviews.
perhaps in the future we could have some kind of mention of how well stocked any particular OS is being reviewed by using a sample of common and not so common applications. something booting fast or having a well stocked repository, well I know what I'm going to be picking.
26 • Reviews (by Dude on 2013-11-25 23:57:30 GMT from United States)
@22 - I don't know if your comment was directed to me or all of us that don't really care that much about BSD on the desktop. I don't have any "pet Linux distributions".
Perhaps I should have started off complimenting DW on providing these reviews. There is no obligation on the part of Jesse or DW to do any reviews at all. They are appreciated. I won't dwell on the BSD subject any longer, point made.
27 • Benchmark Testing (by Wolf on 2013-11-26 00:05:44 GMT from Germany)
@ 15 CAI ENG
Nice argument for a Benchmark Website for Linux Distros feel free (as in speech) to make such a wonderful page. Beeing a distrohopper myself it never came to my mind to take the time and write an article about a new one every week. But you seem to have all the time to do so. Not enough to take the time reading Jesse's article about GhostBSD. You go further and pin down point by point what's wrong with his thoughts about it. Kudos. Maybe that time could have gone into something more productive. Share your wisdom. Panta Rhei
28 • BSD (by M.Z. on 2013-11-26 01:31:56 GMT from United States)
What is with this 'it only belongs on a server' crap? Couldn't 90+ % of computer users take the same attitude toward Linux? Why do people feel so uncomfortable with the fact that there is choice in the world instead of monotony? Isn't the world a little bit richer place when we can have a few types of free & open unix clones to chose from and not just one done over and over again a few hundred ways? I think the world is a richer place when people try new things & give you the opportunity to use a totally different open source operating system on your desktop, for free! You don't have to try it or even read about it, but I think we're all better off in the long run if there are more operating systems competing on the desktop.
29 • BSD (by Dave Postles on 2013-11-26 02:41:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
In one form, it possibly has more desktop/notebook users than Linux - Apple OSX.x. I'd like some of those users to appreciate that it comes as OpenSource as GhostBSD or PC-BSD.
30 • BSD REview Explanation (by win2linconvert on 2013-11-26 03:41:54 GMT from United States)
Enjoyed the review of Ghost BSD, though I fail to see why an explanation of your focus on BSD was or is necessary. The site is not called LinuxWatch. It is in fact, as you well know, called DistroWatch, with a slogan of "Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux, BSD." I am a Linux only user of several years now but I enjoy hearing about all kinds of open source operating systems. It's tiring hearing about the same dozen or so distros over and over. I rather enjoy the breath of fresh air that is hearing about another operating system or even some of the niche or lesser know, maybe more advanced Linux distros. Heck, I would even like to hear more about Haiku, Menuet, and others that I can't seem to think of right this moment. Diversity in your reviews saves me the trouble and time of having to try out all these different OSs my self, not to mention it informs me of alternative distros and OSs that I might otherwise never have given a second glance, or even have heard of . So I say, "No apologies necessary. Bring on the diversity!"
31 • GhostBSD (by More Gee on 2013-11-26 03:56:39 GMT from United States)
I did not have the same experience installing it to a standard Linux partition. I used the "lightweight" LXDE version and it would not install under 4gb and it wanted a swap partition, I have 2gb of RAM. The kernel did not build correctly and it had a number of read errors that I could not fix with Partition Magic or Gparted. I can't find anything that will even mount the microdrive after the install. I'm still looking for the easy to install lightweight BSD desktop that does not need a installation guide. BTW, I have been able to install Debian LXDE, Lubuntu LTS, Mint LXDE LTS, Bodhi and LXLE all to install on 4gb microdrives. I have also installed SMS, Debian and Ubuntu servers on these drives. I mount them read only pointing the server content to a internal SATA drive.
32 • to #6 xfce "for lower demands..." (by ötzi on 2013-11-26 05:35:47 GMT from Austria)
After some weeks with gnome 3 and a lot of stress, i tried XFCE, but that was also no solution for me. So i installed mate and ... i like it. It is simple, fast and stable. And it require even less memory than xfce.
my_debian+mate:~$ free -m
Mem: 3847 187 ...
PS: Thanks to #18/byku for the link!
33 • @ 15 • Cruchbang - CAI ENG (by Chanath on 2013-11-26 08:40:11 GMT from Sri Lanka)
"CrunchBang has NEVER been reviewed on this web site, in the past twelve months, and it is by far the best OS out there"
Actually, #! doesn't need any special "reviews" as it is one of the best or the best distro in the Linux world today. I have it, I use it, I don't write any comments about it, as there is really no need for that. The #! forum is a bunch of nice, helpful people. Reading the #! forum has a soothing effect and make one smile.
34 • XFCE and MATE (by Koroshiya Itchy on 2013-11-26 10:34:00 GMT from Belgium)
I have been a happy XFCE user (coming from Gnome 2) for years now.
I tried Mate at a very early stage and, at that time, I found it a bit heavy, buggy and not so full-featured as Gnome 2 was.
I am glad to hear that things have evolved and that now Mate seems to have reached its maturity and now it is a relatively light-weight, full-featured and stable product.
Now that LXDE and Razor-Qt appear to go for a merge, would it be very absurd to suggest an XFCE-Mate merge?
At the end of the day, as it is the case with the LXDE-Razor pair, both Xfce and Mate seem to aim at similar goals and to use the same tool kit... What do you think?
35 • @15 Crunchbang (by sam on 2013-11-26 13:15:53 GMT from Congo, The Democratic Republic of the)
From your comment I have decided to download and test this distro called #!. I am on it right now, live. It is the fastest I OS I ever used.
36 • @23 openSuse (by kc1di on 2013-11-26 13:48:02 GMT from United States)
Believe the problem with Nvidia is the legacy drivers will not work with the new kernel, have that problem here. Open Suse is a non-starter on this machine. So is Ubuntu 13.10 same reason until someone figures out how to install Nvidia 310.xx or earlier drivers in them.
nouveau does not seem to work with this machine with the new kernel either. I know someone will tell me to update to newer computer but that's not an option at this time :(
And one of the things that I've always loved about Linux is that it did not force me to upgrade hardware with every release. So for now using PClinuxOS that the machine seem happy with :)
37 • @35 (by jaws222 on 2013-11-26 14:04:57 GMT from United States)
"From your comment I have decided to download and test this distro called #!. I am on it right now, live. It is the fastest I OS I ever used."
Yes it is. The only distro that comes close is Manjaro. Crunchbang & Openbox are the perfect combo.
38 • NVIDIA drivers (by RayRay on 2013-11-26 15:49:36 GMT from United States)
OpenSUSE KDE comes with Desktop Effects enabled by default and this caused problems rendering the plasma desktop. The problem is the Nouveau driver and OpenGL 2.0.
I was able to turn off the desktop effects and at the advance tab change to OpenGL 1.2 as the compositing type.
But as kc1di said PCLinuxOS or Debian with KDE or perhaps Siduction all work well.
39 • &38 (by jaws222 on 2013-11-26 15:59:14 GMT from United States)
"OpenSUSE KDE comes with Desktop Effects enabled by default and this caused problems rendering the plasma desktop"
Since 12.1 OpenSUSE seems to work much better with Gnome for some reason. I tried a couple different versions of OpenSUSE with KDE and had issues with the effects. It runs flawless on Gnome.
40 • speed (by Dave Postles on 2013-11-26 17:27:38 GMT from United Kingdom)
Slitaz is fast - combined LXDE/OpenBox DE - with a quite useful unified control centre. It's independent, so perhaps does not have the extent of packages which #! has in the Debian ecosystem. OTOH, the DE is less stark, although still minimalist. I enjoy using it from time to time. The base system is probably much lighter than #!.
41 • @ 40 Slitaz - Dave Postles (by Chanath on 2013-11-26 20:11:37 GMT from Sri Lanka)
The last release of Slitaz 4.0 was on 10 Apr 2012. Is it still living?
42 • definition of life (by dbrion on 2013-11-26 20:38:06 GMT from France)
If one asserts being alife is being able to solve users issue (release time without support would like cerebral death), google (yes : it is sometimes a smarter friend than human beings) told :
a) they have fora.
b) one day before, an issue was solved.
43 • Thank you Ladislav (by :wq on 2013-11-26 21:10:09 GMT from United States)
Thank you for recently de-listing a certain distribution with ever-changing names and logos (some of which intentionally resembled other logos, such as NeXT's, Amiga's, and most recently Yellow Dog's, despite no real affiliation with those). I've been biting my tongue about it, but the whole recent history of that project and its dealings strikes me as shady.
44 • OpenSuse & Desktop Effects (by Bob on 2013-11-26 21:25:55 GMT from Austria)
KDE's desktop effects are a complete waste of developer's manpower and only exist to be disabled - but that of course is just my view. Why would I want to be slowed down at each and every mouse click? Why would I want to have all that reported instability just to get a DE which appears like a clumsy attempt to create a Win7 copy? We all love fast computers, disabling "effects" is one of the cost effective steps in that direction. Interestingly LXDE seems to be no option here because plain KDE is quite a few steps ahead.
45 • re 44 desktop effects (by corneliu on 2013-11-26 22:47:53 GMT from Canada)
It all depends on the hardware you have. I have a quad core i7 with 8GB RAM and a decent dedicated Intel graphics card (I forget which) at work and a quad core Phenom 965 BE with 8 GB RAM and a Sapphire 5450 graphics card at home. On both I run Fedora 19 KDE with the desktop effects enabled. Both desktops are very responsive. With or without desktop effects, the performance is the same. What is the point in disabling them?
I actually think the desktop effects are nice to have. And in my opinion Kwin is very stable. I was very skeptical in the beginning after a horrible experience with Compiz a few years ago. For the past few years, I've had the desktop effects enabled and I haven't had a single crash.
46 • Desktop bling aka "effects" (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2013-11-26 23:23:35 GMT from United States)
Some WM/DE's are better than others at sorting priorities. Enlightenment appears to accomplish great flexibility while retaining proper discipline (low resource usage, avoid interfering with apps & services, etc).
47 • #! -- Meh. (by vt on 2013-11-27 01:29:32 GMT from United States)
#! is good when it's good. It's non-PAE version works beautifully on an old HP Laptop. Tried to install it on an Acer Aspire1 and all sorts of features didn't work (volume control keys for example). Debian itself was problematic & was partly to blame for other issues.
#! doesn't work as well as other distros on the same systems (mine); but when it works, it's beautifully straightforward and simple.
Thanks to Jesse for the BSD review. I wouldn't mind knowing whether Ghost BSD uses Grub? Can it be dual booted with a Llinux?
48 • Crunchbang (by Chanath on 2013-11-27 03:25:13 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Crunchbang inspired Will E to make Archbang, and a French guy to make CTKArch (don't know whether it exists any more). The idea behind Crunchbang is quite simple, maybe I should try to make an Ubuntubang...or UbuBang...
49 • @36, @38 - openSUSE and Nvidia (by Andy Prough on 2013-11-27 03:47:33 GMT from )
Some openSUSE users have reported on Nvidia drivers that are working with openSUSE 13.1:
openSUSE user @conram said: "The nvidia driver version that works with 13.1 are the 331.20 and 304.1160. These drivers were release last November 6, 2013. I just upgraded my old laptop with GeForce 8200M G from 12.3 to 13.1 with the driver already in my home partition. and install it after finishing the update in runlevel 3."
The openSUSE ftp site is not populated with Nvidia drivers for 13.1 yet, but some users report the drivers will show up "soon". In the meantime, user @wolfi323 is directing people to the Nvidia Unix Drivers site: http://www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html
50 • @48 (by :wq on 2013-11-27 05:55:55 GMT from United States)
Why not see about joining the Madbox team instead? Madbox's developer, ADcomp, is a member of the #! forums.
51 • @ wq UbuBang (by Chanath on 2013-11-27 07:13:13 GMT from Sri Lanka)
I don't think I'd make such a distro, because there is no fun in having a bare bones distro, looking at a black screen all the time. There is nothing much in it, other than Openbox, Tint2 and some scripts to add the needed apps. These apps can be installed with Synaptic, so the scripts are not that essential.
All one has to do is, install the minimal cd, add Openbox and Tint2, but it won't stay that way for a long time, as I'd get bored with Openbox, and install at least XFCE.
There is another way of making a Ububang; take Bodhi Linux, install Openbox or XFCE and get rid of E17, and slowly update it to 13.10, or even to 14.04
52 • Debian + MATE (by fernbap on 2013-11-27 09:20:22 GMT from Portugal)
Point Linux is the perfect example of why Debian should use MATE as the default desktop.
And, since noone said it here: Point Linux is lighter and faster than any XFCE distro i have tried. MATE is also much more complete as a DE as well as more polished.
UbuntuBang? For your information, Crunchbang began as a ubuntu distro, and then decided to move its base to Debian. Making it go back to Ubuntu base would be only to take a step back.
53 • @ 52 (by Chanath on 2013-11-27 09:48:24 GMT from Sri Lanka)
I know that #! started from Ubuntu. I still have a CD. Like #!, Mint also tried to jump to Debian, but still stuck with Ubuntu.
54 • OS4 delisting (by Terence on 2013-11-27 11:37:16 GMT from United States)
I just found out about the OS4 delisting. I am curious about one aspect of this change on the part of DW. So OS4 opted for a new name because of patent issues, so in some sense the distro is not dead. However it got the axe from DW.
However, when Cinnarch threw in the towel on its concept of sticking with just arch base and renamed themselves Antergos, not only were they not axed, but they kept their page hit ranking. Very curious.
55 • RE: 54 OS4 delisting (by ladislav on 2013-11-27 12:31:51 GMT)
OK, here is the explanation. According to an announcement on the project's website, dated 19 November, "OS/4 OpenLinux was terminated with immediate effect". (The post has since been updated and the word "terminated" replaced with "renamed".) At the same time a new project, called "Black Lab Linux" was born.
Under normal circumstances I would simply rename the distro on DistroWatch and continue maintaining its page as usual. Unfortunately, as already mentioned in post 43 above, this distro has a history of very frequent name and/or logo changes - from PC/OS, through OS4, OS/4, OS/4 OpenLinux and now to Black Lab Linux. Recently they even toyed with an idea to call it Amiga Linux (in fact, they already announced the name change, but for some reason they stopped short of implementing it).
Based on this history, combined with an unusually high release frequency (which makes their page on DistroWatch a very high-maintenance one), I decided to flag OS4 OpenLinux as discontinued and put the new Black Lab Linux on the waiting list - mainly to allow the project to settle down and to sort out any possible trademark and logo issues. Also, some of the readers who have followed the Linux distro scene for long enough will remember that there was once a "Black Lab Linux", a distro for the PowerPC architecture released back in 1999 (it still has a Wikipedia page). As such, I was worried about another rename, another logo change, another trademark issue and more mess. All this contributed to the decision to deviate from the standard procedure and to place Black Lab Linux on the waiting list.
At least that was my original intention, but if you take a look at the waiting list today, you won't find Black Lab Linux on it. The reason is that soon after my flagging OS4 OpenLinux as discontinued on DistroWatch, I started receiving angry and intimidating emails - not only from the lead developer of Black Lab Linux, but also from the project's legal representatives. This, of course, killed any chance of Black Lab Linux ever getting on the waiting list, let alone receiving full listing. I have more than enough work covering 300+ distros and have no interest in getting involved with lawyers.
So that's my side of the story. If you are interested in this distro, please visit their own website and blog for updates. As things stand now, you won't find any news posts or info about Black Lab Linux here on DistroWatch.
56 • Fair Enough (by Terence on 2013-11-27 12:51:54 GMT from United States)
Thank you for the input. Truthfully, I am not a huge fan of the distro, ranging from design and icons, even to the point I once installed it on a laptop and no battery monitor was enabled on the task bar. That was a deal killer for me right there.
57 • PCOS4OpenAmigaBlackLab (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2013-11-27 14:18:04 GMT from United States)
Sadly, this group seems seriously deficient in social skills.
58 • @ 48 Chanath (by Keith on 2013-11-27 16:06:47 GMT from United States)
Don't forget about PiBang: http://pibanglinux.org/
59 • delisting (by Wolf on 2013-11-27 18:53:20 GMT from Germany)
Two Thumbs up for that decision. This kind of behaviour isn't tolerable. Let's hope those 'lawyers' will give up and stop nagging you.
60 • @58 - Keith (by Chanath on 2013-11-27 19:06:41 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Thanks for reminding me of PiBang. The only thing is, I am not that interested in Raspberry Pi. It maybe revolutionary computer system, not very attractive with all kinds of wires hanging around. The other matter is, it is not available here--no one is interested, with all kinds of laptops, tabs quite cheaply available here. if you'd look at ikman.lk, you'd see what I mean.
Taking Bodhi Linux, which had stripped Ubuntu to such an extent, and installing Openbox and Tint2, and getting rid of E17 would give highly bare boned UbuBang. And, then move it to 14.04 base. Or wait till the next Bodhi LTS comes around, and do the same. I had once done this, and the resulting distro was swift on a i3 laptop.
I like #!, but I am not that keen on Debian, with Debian's spinster-like attitude to modernity. Today's upgrade of 14.04 gives me Linux 3.12.0-3-generic kernel, not grandfatherly Linux 3.2, stable or not. The latest stable kernel at the kernel.org is 3.12.1
61 • Numerologic questions (by dbrion on 2013-11-27 19:32:51 GMT from France)
a) what are the consequences of switching from a "grandfatherly Linux 3.2" to a "Linux 3.12.0-3-generic kernel"
b) Linux 18.104.22.168 was released 7 days before. What must one think of a go between which does not carefully verify there are no regressions/bugs?
c) What is the scientific definition of stability (I know in terms of mathematics/ automatics; but not in term of kernel numerology)
62 • @61 (by jaws222 on 2013-11-27 19:53:33 GMT from United States)
"What is the scientific definition of stability"
Anything NOT running Windows
63 • @15, 20, 32 (by byku on 2013-11-27 22:17:37 GMT from Poland)
In tribute to Crunchbang (fair use):
"Thanks to #18/byku for the link!"
You are welcome. On muktware.com you will find some reviews too.
64 • Deepin 2013 (by Chanath on 2013-11-28 09:10:25 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Yesterday evening, after upgrading, Deepin 12.12.1 became Deepin 2013. I just read about the change in DWW today. It is still based on Raring. A very beautiful, highly responsive distribution. Few minutes ago, I upgraded the kernel to Linux 3.13.0-031300rc1-generic. The stable kernel at the Kernel.org is 3.12.1, but its always nice to work with the latest mainline kernel. There must be a good reason for the release of this RC1, so let's have a go.
The older kernel 22.214.171.124-generic is still there, if something might go wrong, but usually my Ubuntu distros never made problems. I rebooted the Deepin 2013 with the RC1 kernel few times, no hiccups at all. All apps work quite smoothly.
65 • @8 (musty), @13 (Jeff) (by Kazlu on 2013-11-28 15:00:13 GMT from France)
It's just a matter of policy : Fedora has GNOME as default desktop but respins with other DEs (KDE, Xfce, etc.) also exist and are downloadable through their website. More or less the same idea for Debian. OpenSUSE has one main version that asks you which DE you wish to install among GNOME, KDE, Xfce, LXDE and now E17. If I am not mistaken, the main installation media does not contain any DE and is not able to boot live, the DE you selected is downloaded during installation. There are also a GNOME live ISO and a KDE live ISO.
For Ubuntu, the official version is the one with Unity, period. Canonical does not provide any version with another DE. However, community respins exist with other DEs, but they do not have the permission to use the trademarked name "Ubuntu". They are however allowed to use a name derived from Ubuntu approved by Canonical, hence Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu... Canonical provides and supports only one distro and one DE : Ubuntu, that features Unity only (but of course other DEs may be installed afterwards).
In a nutshell, that's marketing stuff.
66 • @34 (Koroshiya Itchy) (by Kazlu on 2013-11-28 16:02:01 GMT from France)
LXDE and Razor-Qt are going to merge because their goals became the same: develop a very lightweight DE using Qt. It was not the case before LXDE team decided to move from GTK+2 to Qt. So this fusion is natural but having the will to undertake such an operation must be saluted.
Xfce and MATE does not have the same goal in the beginning: Xfce's goal is to be a lightweight DE using GTK+ whereas MATE's goal is to be a traditional looking destop that behaves predictably and is reliable just like GNOME 2. There is no idea of lightweight in the beginning, but when you compare MATE to GNOME 3 (with GNOME Shell of Unity) or even KDE, obviously, it is lighter! The tools provided are not the same either, MATE aims at being more complete than Xfce, it is supposed to provide tools for more operations. I never tried MATE more than a few minutes but according to you guys if it is comparable to Xfce in terms of ressource usage, if not lighter, you make a good point Koroshiya Itchy: I do not think a fusion would be absurd at all, but I don't think this option is in any of both teams' mind right now. As far as I know, they both consider switching to GTK+3. Maybe one day they will become close enough to merge, but I think that is not yet the time...
67 • What's with Google Earth's stability? (by Alan Davis on 2013-11-28 16:12:39 GMT from United States)
I have had trouble with Google Earth for some time now, on various distros. Right now I am happy with Arch Linux, as installed through Antergos. But Googleearth 7 doesn't want to play well. I feel good if I get a few minutes, then at some (to me) random point, it crashes. My desktop varies, between Gnome, KDE, Openbox (currently), xfce4, almost anything.
I installed Korara on a different partition, because it comes with GE installed. GE runs fine, and I haven't encountered any of the issues.
My computer is an HP laptop with intel graphics (I think i915). Is that an issue?
What's up with this?
By the way, I have had problems with Emacs (currently 24.3) on some desktops on some distros. In particular, KDE may be especialliy pernicious. For now, I have had few problems using Archlinux and Openbox. In fact, my experiments with choices of distro has been directed in large part by the need for a stable platform for Emacs. Maybe I have hardware issues, maybe not. And as much as anything, I choose a distro based on how emacs is treated/packaged. I've been through a list of distros, Gentoo does it well, and I would stay with Gentoo if I had powerful enough hardware to pare down the times of long updates. Arch does it ok, and it's up to date without extra gymnastics on my part.
Interestingly, Emacs, one of the flagship applications of Free Software, is not installed by most distros, by default. IIRC, it IS available on OS/X by default, however. Isn't that strange...? (I may be wrong).
68 • Emacs (by Dave Postles on 2013-11-28 17:10:00 GMT from United Kingdom)
@67 I've always had to install it from the repository; I've never had a distro with it included in the pre-installed packages. I've not experienced any problems running it - I usually start it from the cli rather than a menu. I basically use it when I have to be root to edit such as freshclam.conf rather than for any extensive work. It is a big download, so it would be useful to have it pre-installed, but I guess that most distros are intended for ease of use which does not include emacs-type work.
69 • @65 Fedora spins - kazlu (by Chanath on 2013-11-28 17:27:45 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Interesting policy matters of Fedora. Ad, of course, The Ubuntu.
Well, kazlu, can you or anyone make a Deepin Linux out of Fedora, or Zorin OS out of Fedora?
If you take Deepin Linux, based on Ubuntu for example, this Deepin is full of new things. Is there a Fedora spin with such? Is it even possible to make such re-spins out of Fedora?
70 • re 69 (by corneliu on 2013-11-28 18:34:26 GMT from Canada)
you can make re-spins out of any distro, and fedora is no exception. Take a look at this chart to find Fedora re-spins: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1b/Linux_Distribution_Timeline.svg
But my question is: Does it make sense to re-spin when the distro is done right?
71 • @ 70 (by Chanath on 2013-11-28 18:37:47 GMT from Sri Lanka)
But my question is: Does it make sense to re-spin when the distro is done right?
I suppose that's call freedom.
72 • @71 (by byku on 2013-11-28 19:26:15 GMT from Poland)
LFS give you freedom too (i think even more than Ubuntu). Make another one distro with new technologies in kernel not only new whistles in DE.
Deepin and Zorin are respins from Ubuntu. It is easy to make a such respin using Ubuntu's core distro and repositores. You can make something like Zorin and Deepin from any distro but you will have put more effort to do it.
In Puppy universe there is tool called Woof which give you chance to make a Puppy-like distro from almost any major distro. There is eg. Slacko/Slackware and Precise/Ubuntu. So it is possible but need more time to write such a script like Woof and if it is necessary port some packages form another distro or compile them from sources if are available.
I think that with Debian it should be easier than from other major distro make something like Deepin or Zorin as Debian is a base distro for Ubuntu.
But myself i don't see any purpose to make another distro with beauty DE (as Ubuntu derivative) as we all know that Unity is the the most beautiful in whole Linux universe.
73 • re 71 and 72 (by corneliu on 2013-11-28 20:55:06 GMT from Canada)
I love freedom too but i think you are abusing the concept here. Do you do stuff only because you can? Think a little bit more about my question: "What's the point?"
Why do you limit your Unity superlatives to Linux? Why not broaden the scope to the entire Universe? And blinded by the beauty, you are forgetting the absolute awesome usability of Unity.
74 • @73 (by byku on 2013-11-28 21:06:00 GMT from Poland)
"Why do you limit your Unity superlatives to Linux? Why not broaden the scope to the entire Universe? And blinded by the beauty, you are forgetting the absolute awesome usability of Unity."
I was joking (but really i don't care about Unity). If you will read Issue 534 of DWW you will know that i don't use Ubuntu and had a few conversations about Ubuntu with Chanath.
Have a nice day ;)
75 • re 74 (by corneliu on 2013-11-28 21:10:20 GMT from Canada)
I know you were joking but apparently you don't know that I was joking too. To avoid future misunderstanding, please remember that i very rarely talk seriously.
76 • @75 (by byku on 2013-11-28 21:14:11 GMT from Poland)
Me too!!! Especially when I know that NSA is listening ;)
77 • Respins, and here come the clones! (by Caitlyn Martin on 2013-11-29 01:51:27 GMT from United States)
@Chanath: I would argue that CentOS is done right, yet I appreciate the Stella respin. Stella makes installing an enterprise Linux desktop easy, adds the packages necessary to make a decent desktop, and adds a couple of really nice and fully compatible package repositories with yet more desktop apps. I'd actually argue that Stella does enough to be considered a separate distro in it's own right. It certainly has more that is truly unique to itself than a lot of Ubuntu clones. Yet the developers call it a CentOS respin. Whatever it is, it takes a very good distro and makes it much easier to deal with for a specific purpose.
Speaking of clones, the Springdale Linux repos were updated to 6.5 yesterday. Josko posted this to the puias-announce list:
we have pushed to springdale.princeton.edu a test build of 6.5. Due to the Thanksgiving we will hold off from making it the default install/update until next Monday but if you want to you can update today by creating /etc/yum/vars/releasever with contents 6.5.
No isos last I checked, but if you are running 6.4 you can seamlessly update to 6.5 and so far I've had no issues at all. The other RHEL clones, CentOS and Scientific Linux, are never far behind.
78 • @ 74 Byku and @ 77 Caitlyn (by Chanath on 2013-11-29 09:52:47 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Dzień Dobry, Byku!
I didn't ever say that I like Unity, but that Ubuntu is doing something out of the box, while the other OS makers are staying in the old world. If Gnome developers didn't go forward to make Gnome 3, they'd still stay in Gnome2. The Ubuntu guys are going forward to make Mir, Ubuntu Touch, Unity 8, which is not at all like Unity 7 and so forth. By the way, Mir is such a nice word, don't you think, Byku? Peace in Russian and names like Mirosław.
This Stella respin is not even mentioned in DWW, but. I know about it. CentOS looks and feels old, with its Gnome 2. (No one is buying older mobiles these days, if they can get a shining new smartphone!) By the way, what's so enterprising in this CentOS? It does the same work as Ubuntu "clones" do.
I am not at all interested in REHL as it is not free. Red Hat can keep on making money from it, and I'd never even would look at it, even if I get the CDs free, as far as this Red Hat doesn't stop playing fools with us. It may have done a lot for the Linux world, but it still is an "abominable" profit making company, which hands out something sometimes. CentOS might say, it is the exact copy of RHEL, but do we know. There is NO free Red Hat distro available to the users. Red Hat is just like Microsoft and Apple.
No, you just can't make a Deepin out of any Red Hat clone. RHEL is not geared for that. RHEL cannot do what Deepin, or Zorin are doing, not even what Bodhi is doing. You just can't make a #! out of it, which is Debian. You just cannot make a Bodhi out of a RHEL clone. from Ubuntu you can make any kind of a re-spin. Its just like having a shiny new smartphone!
Until RHEL comes out to us free, it is nothing! Let them earn their money from companies. God luck to RHEL in that. Ubuntu has given us lot of good times since 4.10, but never push us down with an "enterprise" distro.
i might look into every new Fedora, CentOS, Scientific Linux, etc, but this is "Fedora is sponsored by Red Hat, the world's most trusted provider of open source technology" is very funny as RHEL is not "open" to us without dishing Rea Hat money!
79 • @ 77 Stella OS - Caitlyn (by Chanath on 2013-11-29 09:57:18 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Continuation...Sorry, Stella OS was mentioned in the DWW on Jul 31, 2012
80 • @78 (by byku on 2013-11-29 10:23:13 GMT from Poland)
C'mon Chanath why you every time mention RH. You know that RHEL is paid distro so u can;t make something like Deepin from it. But you can make similar distro from any clone of RH. You can make a distro like Zorin from any ditsro like Arch or Gentoo or LFS. If all scripts and code from Deepin or Zorin is on FLOSS licences you can make a similar distro. It is not easy like take core Ubuntu and use apt-get but it is possible. I bet if developers of Deepin or Zorin can do similar distros from any distro not only Ubuntu - because they are developers ;)
And if we talk about freedom. I bet you freedom with Ubuntu is not enough for Mr. Stallman (big salute for Mr. Stallman from me). I hope that Ubuntu fans will not stay 7 days in the queue at Ubuntu Store (or any store) to buy Ubuntu smartphone like Apple fans (even if Ubuntu phones will be the best ones in the World/Galaxy/Universe ;)
Btw. Do you can in Unity change the position of left bar or it is glued? If it will possible to use another DE in Ubuntu Touch smartphone or it will be only Unity with a bar glued to left side of screen?
81 • @80 (by byku on 2013-11-29 10:27:25 GMT from Poland)
"i bet if..." should be "i bet that..."
And stella is there:
It is not Top100 but has listed on DW.
82 • @78 Red Hat (by Kazlu on 2013-11-29 10:35:42 GMT from France)
Chanath: I am surprised you consider Red Hat to be "an "abominable" profit making company" but not Canonical. Their business model is not the same, but the two are making money out of free software, which I consider to be a good thing as it allows people to live from it and to work on it full time. Sure Canonical's distro is free and only the support is priced, but Canonical is not just a philantropic company. They make profit by commercial partnerships like the one with Amazon. Ask the Banshee's developpers what they think about this! http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/canonical-and-banshee-agree-to-disagree/8345.
Plus, Red Hat is the most important contributor to the Linux kernel, so a part of its money is used to benefit ALL GNU/Linux distros.
I'm not saying that Canonical is abominable. They are a free software actor different from Red Hat. Canonical contributes far less, technically, to projects like the Linux kernel, but their work of building an easy to use OS and distribute it is remarkable. Some things may displease me in what Canonical is doing, however I think if Ubuntu can be a flagship for GNU/Linux which can attract more users, even if the OS is "not as good" as other distros for technical or philosophical reasons, it's still a good thing. Eventually, users may later switch from Ubuntu to another distro... or not! But switching from, say, Ubuntu to openSUSE or Debian is far more easy than from Windows to Ubuntu, especially for companies. I personnally use (mostly) Ubuntu, but not Unity. Anything that can drive users from Windows and Mac OS to GNU/Linux will be a good thing for the entire GNU/Linux world (and probably for BSD and others too ;) ).
But my point: Red Hat is certainly not a "bad guy" compared to Canonical. Both have their role to play and I hope, oh I hope so much, that they succeed and keep going.
83 • Red Hat (by Kazlu on 2013-11-29 10:38:42 GMT from France)
Oh, I forgot: RHEL IS open source, that's why CentOS exists ;)
84 • @82 Kazlu (by Chanath on 2013-11-29 11:15:24 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Hej, Kazlu, all these profit making companies are considered "abominable" by many of the commentators here. I've seen so many comments against that poor "dirty rich" Mark S trying to earn a profit. So, why not? Red Hat is also abominable for doing exactly that. Its quite easy for us "Linux lovers" to hit out at Microsoft or Apple, but when it comes to our own Linux OS makers, that profit making appears to be okay. Strange attitude, isn't it?
RHEL is not open source, even if it uses open source apps, RHEL is not free. You can buy it, but you cannot get it free as, say Ubuntu, or Arch, or Gentoo, or Debian...Take for example Calculate Linux, its free, and also the company sells it to the other profit making companies. Very few people here uses it, so practically no comments here, but its a superb distro. I have it in my laptop and I use it, and right now, I am writing from it. And, its from Gentoo, and Fedora cannot come anywhere near it. The company that makes Calculate Linux is quite a big player in the Russian market, a stable profit making company.
Lot of people here talk against Ubuntu, so why not I speak for it?!
But, I have to be ready to get blasted for that...
I'd have to keep at least half a day to make my own Gentoo installation, but as Calculate and Sabayon made superb distros, I thank them and use them. The lovely part of the large capacity hard disks in the laptops is that I can use distros of different philosophy. I also have Manjaro, OpenSuse etc and use them with satisfaction.
If Cent OS is an exact copy of Red Hat, why not call it Red Hat? You know, "cent" is 1/100 of a dollar, or a rupee, but nothing can be bought for a cent. Now don't go ballistic on me, I know what C.E.N.T in Cent OS means.
Cent OS introduces itself; "CentOS is an Enterprise-class Linux Distribution derived from sources freely provided to the public by a prominent North American Enterprise Linux vendor." Huh, "a prominent North American Enterprise Linux vendor?" No name one? It says, " an Enterprise-class" hmmm..not Enterprise, as in RHEL, but Enterprise-class...
Calculate Linux introduces itself: "The Calculate project features several distributions, optimized for two distinct groups of people: home users as well as small and medium businesses that prefer open-source to proprietary solutions."
85 • @84 (by byku on 2013-11-29 11:35:41 GMT from Poland)
"If Cent OS is an exact copy of Red Hat, why not call it Red Hat?"
If abybody here will make clone of Ubuntu (acording to your words it is much more possible that because Ubuntu is not only free as free speech but as free beer too) could we call it Ubuntu? Or Mark S. will send his lawyers to us? RH is trademark like Ubuntu.
Nobody is sad that Canonical wants to earn money. As i know RMS & EFF only said that shoping lensens are bad because thay invade users privacy (do they work for RH and belongs to conspiracy against Canonical?) - like the same is doing Microsoft with its search engine in W8.1 (peoples on Polish forums have noticed this similarity). And nobody have problems with Mir. As i know the problem is with Mark PR words that Wayland is one big crap and Mir will be next wonder of the world - why they don't want to help patch Wayland and use it later themselves on curent Wayland licence?). I wish myself to Canonical - make the same success like Apple.
"By the way, Mir is such a nice word, don't you think, Byku? Peace in Russian and names like Mirosław."
I don't care myself what Canonical call their display manager. They can call it just "display manager".
And i repeat:
Do you can in Unity change the position of left bar or it is glued? If it will possible to use another DE in Ubuntu Touch smartphone or it will be only Unity with a bar glued to left side of screen?
I heard that some users ask Mark why the bar is glued to lef side and get answer that is Canonical vision and nothing will be changed. So do users get freedom to change side for the bar?
86 • RHEL (by Dave Postles on 2013-11-29 11:42:02 GMT from United Kingdom)
How would Linux develope without the support of commercial organizations? They input enormously in code and financial contributions. IBM has just invested a billion to promote Linux on its Power Systems - that's good news for Linux. As long as they are upfront, that's fine by me. I wish them every success with their enterprise distributions - provided that they continue to be public-spirited in their contributions to the Linux Foundation etc.
87 • @ 85 Byku @ 86 Dave (by Chanath on 2013-11-29 12:04:28 GMT from Sri Lanka)
I don't really care about Unity at the present state. I don't care about the "left bar." But, I'd like to have Unity 8, which is quite different. Take vanilla Ubuntu and install Synaptic, which most of us do, and install any DE you want, from Gnome Panel to E17, and use it your heart's content.
Take Fedora and what you do, if you want a Office suite? You have to install one, or does it come already with one now? Take Ubuntu, and what you get? All the necessary apps are there. There would not be any need of Kororaa, if Fedora comes with all that, or even the terminal and/or a software manager?
Take Calculate, and its ready for work right away, and it is from the "tough" Gentoo.
By the way, Byku, if you are not using Ubuntu with Unity, how do you know, whether the millions of Ubuntu users like that or not?
Dave, does Arch, Gentoo have a commercial company behind them? Would you say Fedora, or even RHEL is better than Arch or Gentoo? Especially Gentoo?
If you have an Android device, what Linux is it based on? This Android is all over the world!
88 • @84, 85 (by Kazlu on 2013-11-29 12:34:00 GMT from France)
Chanath: "Its quite easy for us "Linux lovers" to hit out at Microsoft or Apple, but when it comes to our own Linux OS makers, that profit making appears to be okay."
I didn't qui using Windows because it costs money, but because that software is of bad quality compared to a GNU/Linux distro, it is full of security breaches for malwares to sneak into and it is not open source. If I had to pay for whatever OS I would like to have, I would still choose a GNU/Linux distro. As for Mac OS, I never tried it but since I am happy with GNU/Linux I do not wish to give up my freedom and money to try Mac OS. So, I chose a GNU/Linux distro because it has the better quality over price ratio :)
About RHEL and CentOS: CentOS uses exactly the same source code than RHEL. Like byku says, if they do not call it "RHEL" but "CentOS", it is because Red Hat owns the trademark "RHEL". It is exactly like Firefox: it is open source, but the name "Firefox" and the logo are trademarks, so only the Mozilla Foundation has the right to publish a release of Firefox. That's why Icecat and Iceweasel exist, which use exactly the same source code without using the name or logo. The only difference is that, in addition, Firefox is also free of charge :)
byku: the fact that Canonical does not make it possible to move the dash does not bother me. The argument is valid in my opinion: they want to have an interface that will always look similar so that documentation and help will be easier to understand. I guess. The same goes for about the entire shell. Unity does not suit me for various reasons, but at least I can use another DE on the same system. I'm also curious to see what will happen on Ubuntu Touch about that...
89 • @87 (by byku on 2013-11-29 12:41:48 GMT from Poland)
"By the way, Byku, if you are not using Ubuntu with Unity, how do you know, whether the millions of Ubuntu users like that or not?"
I read articles in IT magazines and comments of Ubuntu users (and i know peoples who use Ubuntu), i read reviews. But of course as i'm not user of Canonical products and don't belong to Ubuntu community i have close my mouth and don't try to answer on your questions? Or maybe i have to pay Canonical to read about them ;)? Or do i have to have a degree in biology to know something about DNA ;)?
"Take Fedora and what you do, if you want a Office suite? You have to install one, or does it come already with one now? Take Ubuntu, and what you get? All the necessary apps are there. There would not be any need of Kororaa, if Fedora comes with all that, or even the terminal and/or a software manager?"
Check their Wiki to see what Fedora offer and what package manager it has. If those ayour arguments against Fedora (which i not use myself and never said that is the best and i don't work for RH) so really Ubuntu is the best distro (especialy former Windows users that had only to click on the icons and buttons). On Ubuntu u have to have to use terminal or sometimes is quicker to use terminal than use the mouse.
"Dave, does Arch, Gentoo have a commercial company behind them? Would you say Fedora, or even RHEL is better than Arch or Gentoo? Especially Gentoo?"
Canonical is a company too. Nobody said that is bad to have company behind Linux. It is nice when such a company spend some moneay and manpower to help buil eg. better kernel for everyone and every distro.
"If you have an Android device, what Linux is it based on? This Android is all over the world!"
I don't have problem with Android and i will don't have problem with Ubuntu Touch. Again i didn't said nothing bad against Ubuntu Touch only those about left bar because you mentioned something about freedom - posibility of moving bar is part of freedom even if it is not so important ;).
90 • 87: Fedora does not have a office suite any more (Calligra /Libreoffice) (by dbrion on 2013-11-29 14:55:20 GMT from France)
"Take Fedora and what you do, if you want a Office suite? You have to install one, or does it come already with one now? "
Are you kidding?
Or is it a natural state?
wget ftp://ftp.lip6.fr/pub/linux/distributions/fedora/development/20/i386/os/Packages/l/ibreoffice* link to
files? (your experince, if it were true, would be interesting)
well, that makes two office suites at least yumex can install very easily...
or, if one wants a prepackaged -and installable- live-CD (not a D-Fedora, a la UBU linux way: no, just a modest nightly respin : if one does not work, one can try a 15days older live CD):
the answer, if one is not interested in downloading (though it might be useful, before spreading FUD) 700 M , is in
$ wget http://kojipkgs.fedoraproject.org//work/tasks/44/6170044/koji-image-f20-build-6170044.ks # (you have the skills to test a beta, have not you : then reading 2 lines of simple shell is trivial...)
$ grep ffice koji-image-f20-build-6170044.ks
... and interpreting an extract of a shipping list, is trivial, too:
favorite-apps=['firefox.desktop', 'evolution.desktop', 'empathy.desktop', 'rhythmbox.desktop', 'shotwell.desktop', 'libreoffice-writer.desktop', 'nautilus.desktop', 'gnome-documents.desktop', 'anaconda.desktop']
91 • @ 88 Kazlu, @89 Byku (by Chanath on 2013-11-29 15:06:43 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Well, I was with Linux for quite while, and had enough time to go through all the distros. They got downloaded behind the scene, and I always had a partition or two for a clean installation. I also used Windows quite long time, alongside with Linux. I can't say all the apps in Windows as bad. many are still better than the Linux ones. Oops, someone is going flame me now. Actually didn't check on Win 8, didn't really wanted to. Then, I was given a Lenovo Yoga 11 with Windows 8 RT. It was a very nice experience, even though most Windows users don't like RT.
I know about Red Hat from the 80-90s too. Mandriva became the king those days. See, what happened to Mandriva, because of a commercial company! At least the community makes Mageia.
Actually, Unity doesn't trouble me, as I like new things. You know, I was from the Spectrum, Atari, Commodore days, so everything new is liked. I remember how I liked my first 286 comp with 20 MB hard disk. My son liked it much more than me.
Byku, you have to use anything to say anything about it. What other people say or what's written in "reviews" doesn't matter. You have to use it and experience it. Unity is not at all bad. Its actually good, and you can autohide it. Dash is a very good menu and search app. Gnome shell is also quite a nice search tool and menu. The best, of course, is the Deepin shell. Try and let us know your experience, not what others say. I have used Fedora too, Kororaa too.
92 • @ 90 (by Chanath on 2013-11-29 15:23:02 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Not kidding. Not interested. Won't comment.
93 • Great matter of interest (by dbrion on 2013-11-29 15:36:16 GMT from France)
"Not interested. "
Is anyone interested in
Red Hat bashing? (91, among many verbose, highly "technical" others)
Slitaz FUD (41)?
94 • @91 (by byku on 2013-11-29 15:36:42 GMT from Poland)
"See, what happened to Mandriva, because of a commercial company! At least the community makes Mageia."
If someday Canonical will be out of cash (i don't wish them this) we will have only community edition of Ubuntu or Debian. And Canonical if a company not charity organization. They work similar to Google (but Google invest more sources to Linux i thing, but i may be wrong) give something for free and take money from other sources like adverts. I will not have problem if Canonical will have Enterprise Edition (as i know they offer some paid support for Ubuntu servers maybe for Debian to as it is the same family) and Community Edition. But i don't have problem with their model at all.
RH has big influence on kernel and most developers are hired from RH. Does Canonical has a good manpower to take care of kernel if RH fail? Maybe Canonical has plans to take kernel from RH or make a fork? Without kernel there will be no Linux (or GNU/Linux, Linux is kernel). I'm only asking.
If Linux fail we have at least BSD, Haiku, Aros.
95 • FUD and temporal distorsions. (by dbrion on 2013-11-29 15:38:41 GMT from France)
"I know about Red Hat from the 80-90s too. "
Well, that is an interesting temporal distorsion... (just ask wikipedia about GNUlinux birth date).
96 • @95 (by byku on 2013-11-29 15:43:46 GMT from Poland)
C'mon dbrion, you are to harsh for Chanath. Some people were wearing red hats in the 80s ;)
97 • @91 (by Kazlu on 2013-11-29 15:48:33 GMT from France)
Oh there are probably good software on Windows too, I was more talking about the operating system itsef ;)
About Gnome Shell: I play with it on occasion but it is way too slow on my machine to make me forget Xfce. I didn't try the latest GNOME version (I use Ubuntu LTS and don't intend to look for backported version right now) but I read that the they removed the categories of applications when browsing... I find this very annoying, in my opinion it was precisely a good point Gnome Shell had over Unity (less clicks needed to browse using categories of software). I do not use categories to launch my everyday software that I know well, but to look for software I forgot the name and description. Plus it is convenient for beginners. Is there a way to restore categories ? I could only find mentions of old extensions that make a poor replacement or editing conf files (not very user-friendly, thus not very advisable to a beginner).
98 • 96 FUD and harshness (by dbrion on 2013-11-29 15:56:51 GMT from France)
One cannot be harsh enough with people spreading FUD and wasting BP, even with very limited technical skills (if any).
Luegen haben kurze Beine...
OTOH, Slitas (Monsieur Postles made me rediscover) seems very interesting for ... ARM amateurs (their initial audience, old PC (< 128M) can be slowly -people owning them are careful- disappearing and is expensive to maintain):
but they manage to have qemu shipped -this is classical- , Tiny C Compielr, too (and it seems to be able to cross compile and to compile natively on ARMs , to day): people working on 32 Mega ARM boards (there exist excellent ones) complained that native gcc was too slow (eats RAM: when there is no more RAM, flash filesystem become used as very slow swap partition) and picoc -which was thought of as a replacement- is not standard (it is illogical, if it is used for teaching). Tinycc is almost standard, eat one M instead of 20, and it seems a bright idea (though I do not understand why they use it on RPi, which has > 256M: it is interesting with <= 64M).
99 • @97 (by byku on 2013-11-29 16:01:19 GMT from Poland)
I Have googled this now:
It is better to ask about this on Ubuntu forum i think. But i hope that my link helped a little.
100 • @ 96 Byku @97 Kazlu (by Chanath on 2013-11-29 16:20:58 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Byku, maybe I am not exactly right of the days of Red Hat or even Mandriva, but it was those days and I am not going to find dates in Wikipedia. It was my son and his pals, who introduced me to Linux. So, it could be 90s, but what's the problem with it. Well, dbrion is fighting anyone and everyone, and that's not the way we do it here at DWW.
Kazlu, its time to acquire at least a dual core. Even i3 is quite cheap today. Would you try Deepin 2013? Its from China, and pretty good distro. It might work much better and swifter in your machine. You won't go back to the vanilla Gnome shell again...
101 • @ 96 Byku (by Chanath on 2013-11-29 16:39:13 GMT from Sri Lanka)
There are certain people, who just cannot live without finding a "catchword" for a fight. Its a mental disorder and there in no medicine for that. The catchword was 80-90s, and the guy runs to Wikipedia to find a way to fight the "catchword."
Interestingly, this guy doesn't know why DWW is here, and why people come here. Everyone is waiting for a new release, even a development release to have a look at it. The developers ask the users to help out by testing them, but this guy is telling everyone not to do that. Then, why is he here? There is nothing for him to do here, other than spew in the comments.
This guy doesn't know head or tail of what's happening. For example, the stable Slitaz had not been released on 10 April 2012, and only the cooking version is sort of updated in 2013. Remember this guy saying don't touch any testing distros, and not to waste time? The last "cooking" was in April 2013!
If we say something about Linux (on Intel or AMD) he'd write about ARM and vice versa.
So, even if he comments on mine, I won't comment on his. In my books, he is a troll!
102 • @98, 101 (by byku on 2013-11-29 17:42:41 GMT from Poland)
Thanks dbrion for info about tinyc arm port.
Acording DW SliTaz is active distro:
For me it is doesen't matter that they don't have new version if developers are still answering on the forum or correct some bugs of old version. So it is posible that they didn't thrown away their project project.
dbrion is interested in ARMs developing boards like me. He is thinking about using SliTaz ARM on boards with small amount of memory (32M). There is another small distro Tiny Core and have port for ARM too (and they produce new versions but their port is work of some guy from the TC forum but is very nice and small).
So his thinking/writing (loud thinking to get the answer from other peoples who are interested in ARM SoCs like he) about usage of SliTaz is not the same that he will definitelly use SliTaz. It is a idea which he wanted to share with some people.
"So, even if he comments on mine, I won't comment on his. In my books, he is a troll!"
I'm afraid that some people could think the same about you and me.
I will take a brake from commenting (have some books to read).
103 • @ 102 Byku (by Chanath on 2013-11-29 18:03:01 GMT from Sri Lanka)
"Acording DW SliTaz is active distro:"
So, go to the Slitaz website and download the "cooking" version of April 2013, or the stable version of April 2012. The stable version has a problem of getting itself installed, so its "cooking" all this time. http://www.slitaz.org/en/get/
Good luck with your ARM board work, and let's know how it goes. The latest Tiny Core is 5.1.
104 • @103 (by byku on 2013-11-29 18:50:36 GMT from Poland)
On my old computers SliTaz working very well. But is not my everyday distro. If you have problems with this version you can try to use virtual machine (KVM or VirtualBox) on your Ubuntu. Your link is for x86 version (or i've not noticed ARM version). For ARM (RPi) i'm using version mentioned here:
And i know about last version x86 of TC. The ARM ones (RPi) had own versions:
Now back to reading. The DWW comment section is yours Chanath.
105 • CentOS (by Johnny Hughes on 2013-11-29 20:22:28 GMT from United States)
The CentOS stands for Community ENTerprise Operating System ... has nothing to do with a cent.
WRT whether RHEL is open source, of course it is. Open Source means the Source code is open, not that the software is to be completely free of charge. Obviously, the RHEL source code is available because I use it to build CentOS.
If you use Linux, then Red Hat is your friend regardless of the distribution that you use as you can see here:
That is just the Kernel ... Red Hat also has 3 members on the gcc steering committee:
So pretending that Canonical is doing huge Linux contributions is ridiculous.
106 • @105 (by byku on 2013-11-29 21:33:08 GMT from Poland)
I think that your effort is worthless but i hope some will understand. Most people (normal users from Windows World) when think about Ubuntu (or any GNU/Linux) they don't think about kernel. Most of them think that developers of distro are making whole system from scratch (and write kernel too). For them kernel and who code it is not so important because they don't see it. They see only windows similar to those in Windows and this is important for every normal user.
"So pretending that Canonical is doing huge Linux contributions is ridiculous."
only make them more angry because you ruin their vision about Ubuntu/Canonical. I'm myself heard many times that i'm RH agent and i want ruin Canonical.
107 • @106 (by Johnny Hughes on 2013-11-29 23:21:58 GMT from United States)
Don't get me wrong ... I am not saying that Ubuntu is doing anything wrong or illegal or even bad ... they are just not really making huge contributions back to the Linux ecosystem. They are following the GPL rules and creating a very usable Linux distribution. They have users and people like the distribution. Nothing at all wrong with that.
I just don't want there to be the misunderstanding that they are writing their own kernel, or providing a huge team to make the kernel better or gcc better, because they are not. Red Hat (and SUSE) on the other hand, ARE providing large teams to develop the upstream projects (Kernel, GNOME, gcc, LibreOffice, etc.) that all the distributions pull from to create their distros.
If those upstream projects did not exist, then none of the distros would have a place to grab the items that make their operating systems.
But Red Hat, SUSE, Google, IBM, Texas Instruments, Samsung, Linaro, etc are driving project development WHILE making money.
108 • @41, 60, 84, 91 (by :wq on 2013-12-02 03:08:47 GMT from United States)
@41 "Is it still living?"
I hope I am not being rude to Dave Postles in answering a question directed to him, but, yes, SliTaz is still active.
Some evidence of development and community activity:
@60 "...I am not that keen on Debian, with Debian's spinster-like attitude to modernity. Today's upgrade of 14.04 gives me Linux 3.12.0-3-generic kernel, not grandfatherly Linux 3.2, stable or not."
Most estimates I've seen coming from Ubuntu developers state that ~75% of the Ubuntu archive comes, unmodified, from Debian. A key difference being that regular Ubuntu releases are, for the most part, based on Debian Unstable (aka Sid), and LTS releases are, for the most part, based on Debian Testing (currently Jessie). I would put forth what I believe to be an uncontroversial and incontrovertible position that Ubuntu, in its current form, is highly dependent on Debian.
At the time of this post, the latest kernel available from Debian Sid (and Jessie) should be 3.11.8, 3.12 should be in Experimental, and 3.10.5 should be available for Wheezy via Backports.
Addendum to #77
Netinstall (boot.iso) images are already available, but seeing as how the Springdale homepage hasn't been updated yet, I probably shouldn't provide the links. It's no secret though.
As shown on the DistroWatch home page, Oracle and CentOS have subsequently made their releases.
@84 "RHEL is not open source"
The source RPMs can be found at ftp://ftp.redhat.com/pub/redhat/linux/enterprise/. Anybody is free to create a derivative of RHEL, you just can't use Red Hat branding without Red Hat's permission. Just as you can't use Linux Mint branding, Debian Project branding, Ubuntu branding, Mageia.Org branding, Fedora Project branding, openSUSE branding, etc without the respective permission of those entities, and, in my experience, usage is only made in an official capacity. Note: This was a gross simplification of the legalese. See the individual organizations for specifics.
@91 "See, what happened to Mandriva, because of a commercial company!"
Mandriva SA suffered, and continues to suffer, from poor management. Poor leadership can doom businesses and nonprofits alike.
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