| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 542, 20 January 2014
Welcome to this year's 3rd issue of DistroWatch Weekly! When developing free and/or open source software there is often the question of how to pay the bills. Some projects, such as Parted Magic, charge a small fee for their software. Other projects may ask for donations or gain revenue through advertising. Whatever the method, large software projects need funding to maintain websites, feed the developers and distribute packages. One open source project currently feeling the financial pinch is OpenBSD, an operating system best known for its amazing security record. Learn about the project's latest challenge in our News section below. Also this week we look at changes coming to two of the Linux community's most popular distributions. Fedora is planning a new release schedule and the Ubuntu team is looking at new features to add to the upcoming April release. Any operating system is ultimately used to run applications and services. With that in mind our feature review this week examines a young web browser which offers flexibility, speed and a familiar interface. We will also get a rundown of Jesse Smith's favourite desktop applications and distributions from 2013. As usual, we cover the distribution announcements from the past week and look ahead to exciting new releases to come. We wish you all a splendid week and happy reading!
- Reviews: QupZilla - the little browser that can
- News: Fedora drops code names, Ubuntu gains MATE and torrent scope for 14.04, OpenBSD seeks funding, CentOS on desktops, installing Arch on Raspberry Pi
- Opinions: Best of the breed
- Statistics: OSDisc.com sales in 2012 and 2013
- Released last week: SystemRescueCd 4.0,0, Netrunner 13.12, Musix GNU+Linux 3.0
- Upcoming releases: FreeBSD 10.0, Ubuntu 14.04 Alpha 2
- New additions: Tanglu
- New distributions: Snowden Tribute, RusDeb, CrunchPwn
- Reader comments
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
QupZilla - the little browser that can
Over a decade ago I was looking for a web browser that would better suit my needs. I was dual-booting Windows and Linux at the time and was hoping to find a web browser that would work well on both platforms. I was hoping for a browser that would be fast (my hardware at the time was modest), standards compliant and, if at all possible, I wanted a nice user interface. A friend introduced me to Opera, a web browser that has for years been known for its speed and cross-platform support. Opera was also one of the early adopters of document/page tabs and the software maintained a healthy security record. Since that first introduction I've used Opera almost non-stop as my primary window to the World Wide Web. Aside from a few experimental releases which introduced short-term stability problems, Opera has served me well. Granted, some websites turn away Opera users, withholding support and, sadly, Opera is a closed-source product. Still, despite those drawbacks I have maintained that Opera has been the best tool for the job, at least for me.
Unfortunately, I come here not to praise Opera, but to bury it. Early in 2013 the Opera team announced they were going in a new direction, switching from their Presto engine to WebKit. Since then, the once open-source friendly company has apparently stopped releasing updates for FreeBSD and GNU/Linux platforms. Whether this focus on other operating systems is a short-term or long-term situation, I feel as though the writing is on the wall: it is time for me to switch to another web browser. These days there is a large selection of browsers from which to choose. These vary from the very popular (Chromium and Firefox) to the more obscure (Konqueror and Midori). Many web browsers are now open-source software and many of the underlying rendering engines are shared. This all meant that, during my recent holiday, I had many options from which to choose while searching for Opera's replacement.
QupZilla 1.4.4 - browsing and exploring the application's main window
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The more obvious choices were browsers with which I was already familiar. I have used Chromium and Firefox on an almost daily basis for testing purposes. I've never cared for Chromium's interface, I feel as though I'm wrestling with the application every time I open the Chromium browser, and so it was quickly crossed off my list. Likewise Konqueror was removed from the list early. It's a nice, light browser, but it does not seem to have the features and interface I want. Midori looked promising, but again seemed to trade off features for performance and I reluctantly passed on it. Firefox, for a while, appeared to be the clear winner. It is widely used, it is open source and has a multitude of add-ons which provide a great range of functionality. I had just two issues with Firefox. The first was performance. Firefox, while it has been getting better, always seems to lose when it comes to speed. It starts slowly on my systems and it doesn't load pages as quickly as its competition. My second issue was that it seems the last several releases of Firefox have been undergoing a slow transition with the user interface, becoming more and more like Chromium. As I mentioned above, the Chromium interface and I do not get along at all and so this migration of Firefox's gave me pause.
QupZilla 1.4.4 - inspecting web page elements
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Still, Firefox looked like the best candidate until I remembered using a Qt-based web browser using the WebKit engine. During that review was the only time I remembered seeing QupZilla, but it made a positive impression on me at the time. I decided to give the browser another try to see if it would serve as my primary web browser. The QupZilla project's website gave me a good feeling. It has a clear layout, describes the project's browser without a lot of techno-speak and the browser has been ported to many operating systems. I downloaded the most recent version of the browser and was pleased to find the software supports importing bookmarks from other web browsers, including Firefox, Opera and Chrome. QupZilla sports an interface which is quite similar to Firefox's, but uses the Qt toolkit which, in my opinion, gives QupZilla a more native, natural look.
QupZilla 1.4.4 - adjusting browser settings
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QupZilla 1.4.4 - the Speed Dial page
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The one drawback to using QupZilla I have discovered is that the browser does not support the range of add-ons that other browsers, such as Firefox and Opera, can use. Apart from the built-in ad blocker and the Flash blocker, QupZilla users are somewhat at a loss for extensions that will enhance our browsing experience, help developers debug websites or manipulate the content of websites. Perhaps extensions will come to QupZilla in the future, but for now the browser focuses on being a fast, standards compliant application that does an excellent job of just browsing the web. For me, using QupZilla has been a bit like discovering Firefox 1.0, back when Firefox was focused on being light and fast and was ideal for people who just wanted to browse the web without plug-ins or niche features. QupZilla feels like that, fast, flexible and focused -- good at doing one thing. It has been a breath of fresh air and has made my web browsing a more enjoyable experience. Not many people seem to be talking about this web browser and I believe it deserves more attention than it gets.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar)
Fedora drops code names, Ubuntu gains MATE and torrent scope for 14.04, OpenBSD seeks funding, CentOS on desktops, installing Arch on Raspberry Pi
There were three releases of Fedora during the 2013 calendar year, bringing us a collection of unusual release code names including "Spherical Cow", "Schrödinger's Cat" and "Heisenbug". Going into 2014 it looks as though the pace of Fedora development will ease off a bit with the next release not expected until August. Red Hat employee Jaroslav Reznik posted on his blog: "What's the reason? As otherwise we would try to hit May time frame? Short answer: we want to give the opportunity to the teams that are smashed by release windmills to work on tooling. Especially as the Fedora Next proposal stands on more automation to be able to deliver more products. Especially for QA and release engineering."
The upcoming release of Fedora 21 will see an additional change, the new version will not have an accompanying code name. Josh Boyer explains: "The Fedora Board is terminating release names as they are currently fashioned following Fedora 20. The community as a whole or working groups can propose any reformation of a release naming process going forward if release names are desired. Any proposed process will need to allow sufficient time for Legal to review proposed names before they are chosen. This was discussed in the September 18 and September 26 Board meetings and
agreed to in the meeting on the 26th. The results are documented in the meeting minutes for those meetings, and in Board ticket 146."
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When the Ubuntu distribution stopped shipping the polished GNOME 2 desktop as the project's default user interface in favour of Unity it upset many of Ubuntu's fans. Unity, with its relatively young age and heavier resource requirements, did not appeal to many people who appreciated the traditional GNOME 2 desktop. The upcoming release of Ubuntu 14.04 comes with good news for fans of GNOME 2. The MATE desktop, a fork of GNOME 2, will be available in Ubuntu's 14.04 software repositories. At the moment it appears as though 1.6.1 will be the version of MATE made available via Ubuntu's package manager.
Another useful feature coming to Ubuntu 14.04 is a search scope which will locate torrents from the Unity Dash. The search scope's author, David Callé, hopes being able to search for torrents from the desktop will help promote and spread Free Culture. "The main motivation behind the torrents scope was to embed Free Culture into the user experience, in the search engine of the OS. In that spirit, I am also pushing for the Jamendo scope (CC licensed music service) to become one of the default music sources. Callé went on to say that he plans to put filters in place which will allow users to shape their search results. "Since Ubuntu is used in a lot of schools and public administrations, my condition for it to be available by default is to have license filtering, to promote works using an open license and public domain content." Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu's founder, has expressed approval for the torrent search feature: "The tool is super-useful and it's perfectly justified to make it available by default. We use torrents for distributing Ubuntu itself. So please don't hold back!"
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The OpenBSD project, best known for its amazing security record, is facing a financial crisis. The project maintains several build servers which, combined, create a large electrical bill (approximately $20,000 per year) for the OpenBSD project. In a recent mailing list post a call was put out for sponsors who may be able to help the OpenBSD team keep their severs running: "The OpenBSD project uses a lot of electricity for running the development and build machines. A number of logistical reasons prevents us from moving the machines to another location which might offer space/power for free, so let's not allow the conversation to go that way. We are looking for a Canadian company who will take on our electrical expenses - on their books, rather than on our books. We would be happiest to find someone who will do this on an annual recurring basis." Individuals who would like to help OpenBSD keep the lights on can visit the OpenBSD Foundation for information on donating to OpenBSD and its related projects such as OpenSSH.
In happier news, the OpenBSD operating system will soon be gaining a new security feature: signed packages. Package managers, such as Fedora's YUM and Debian's APT utilities, typically check downloaded software packages against a signature to verify the package has not been modified or corrupted. Having signed packages goes a long way toward making sure the software installed on the local operating system can be trusted. The new package verification utility, called signify, has a tiny footprint, allowing it to fit on small installation media. The developer's blog contains interesting notes on how signify works and the challenges to overcome in order to bring package signing to OpenBSD: "The first thing you need to start signing OS releases (besides the release itself) is a signing tool. Other projects use a variety of tools for this, but unfortunately none of them were invented here. signify is a small tool I wrote to fill that gap."
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What is the best distribution release model for use as a desktop operating system? While some will prefer a rapidly-updating rolling-release distribution such as Arch Linux, others will be happier with an opposite extreme - a stable, well-tested product that is supported for many years with security updates only. ZDNet's Chris Clay explains why he has chosen the latter (in his case CentOS): "All of this combined make CentOS a very stable and manageable platform for any GNU/Linux desktop system. I've found it to be a very good platform because it still has GNOME 2.28 which I've found is greatly easier to use and more stable than GNOME 3.x. So I can provide the GNOME 2 interface yet get the newer versions of software on systems which is the perfect recipe for most users. So far, CentOS has provided great support, with more reliability and long-term support and it looks like I will be changing to it as my default desktop operating system."
The recent announcement about Red Hat and CentOS "joining forces" have left many CentOS users wondering what exactly will change. Last week we received a more insight into the deal from Karanbir Singh, the CentOS project leader, in this interview at Linux.com. As it stands now, it seems that the phrase "joining forces" simply means that CentOS developers have become paid employees of Red Hat, Inc., but other than that, not much will change: "I've never worked for a big open-source company before but I hope to bring that user perspective to Red Hat and what I'll take away is a large approach to user communities and hopefully manage that better. Otherwise, not much has changed. They sent me a phone and a laptop and that's how it's going to go. ... This is the first time there's a group of people professionally working on CentOS as a platform. How CentOS used to happen was some of us would go to work and then work another 40 hours a week on CentOS. You can't sustain 80 hours a week."
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Most of the distributions released for the Raspberry Pi single-board computer, including the popular Raspbian, are based on Debian's armhf port. While these are all excellent and easy-to-install operating systems, they don't offer the same flexibility and power-user features as Arch Linux's specialist variant for the Raspberry Pi. The latest issue of The MagPi magazine explains the difference between Raspbian and Arch Linux and provides a nice walk-through installing the popular rolling-release distribution on the mini computer: "So what's the difference between Raspbian and Arch? The main difference is the package managers and the way updates are managed. Debian, and therefore Raspbian, are very strict on package updates. They have to go through testing, so the maintainers can be sure they are stable and work before releasing them to the regular users. Arch Linux is different in this respect, releasing updates as soon as possible. ... The other major difference between the two is that Raspbian comes completely ready, while Arch comes with the bare essentials, allowing users to pick what they want to install."
|Opinion (by Jesse Smith)
Best of the breed
Every so often I get asked for my opinion on what applications are best for a particular job. Quite often people coming into the open source community are aware there are options available to do the tasks they need performed, but the best choice is not always obvious. To further complicate things, if someone asks "What is the best application for performing task ABC?" or "Which distribution best suits my needs?" on a forum they will typically get twenty different answers from ten different people. This can be confusing to newcomers and therefore I would like to share some of my favourite open source software with you.
Web browsing: Let's start with web browsers. These are a key component of any modern desktop. After all, chances are you need a web browser to read this advice. As I mentioned in my feature review this week I have recently become a fan of QupZilla. However, for people looking for something that is more mainstream, widely supported, has lots of extensions and is standards compliant, I happily recommend Firefox. The Firefox browser is one of the world's most popular applications and its developers have worked hard to make it a quality application.
Productivity: I looked at several quality productivity suites over the past year, including Calligra, OpenOffice and Kingsoft. Each of these suites has its strengths. Calligra's applications have very flexible interfaces and perform quickly, Kingsoft handled proprietary document formats wonderfully and OpenOffice was a great all-purpose suite. However, I feel the crown must go to LibreOffice. The performance and document handling code have improved noticeably in the past few releases of LibreOffice and I have been happy both using and recommending this productivity suite.
Audio and video playing: When it comes to consuming music or video files there are a lot of options from which to choose. Three applications stand out in my mind. Personally, I am a huge fan of the Rhythmbox audio player. It is a fairly lightweight application that can be extended by plug-ins and does a nice job of just being a music player without getting weighted down with dozens of other features. However, I've had trouble getting Rhythmbox to run in some scenarios and it crashes a lot on some distributions. With this in mind, I recommend the Clementine audio player. Clementine also has a focused approach to playing music, it has a nice library manager and is great at being both stable and being resource-friendly. As far as playing videos goes, the VLC multimedia player tops my list. In part because VLC plays virtually every codec known to humankind, in part because of its friendly interface and partly because it is so flexible. VLC can play files, it can convert files between formats and it can steam media over a network connection. I find VLC so useful it's hard to imagine using anything else for playing video files.
E-mail: I have several e-mail accounts and they all seem to demand attention on a regular basis. The e-mail client I have found to be the most useful (and user-friendly) is Thunderbird. I generally find Thunderbird easy to configure, newcomers find the interface fairly familiar and the application can be extended using plug-ins to add calendars and other functionality. Another aspect of Thunderbird I like is how easy it is to port e-mail and settings from one computer to another. Simply copying the .thunderbird folder from one computer to another (even if the computers run different operating systems) transfers messages, settings and login credentials to the new machine. I have been using Thunderbird for about four years and it has been pleasant to use and reliable the whole way.
Password Manager: Most of us have many user accounts. We tend to use on-line banking, e-mail, support forums, on-line gaming and a host of other activities, all of which require passwords. After a while it becomes difficult to remember all of the username/password combinations, especially if we are being smart and using different passwords for each account. Oh, it would also be a good idea to use long, complex passwords to make it harder to guess our credentials. A password manager makes life easier by remembering passwords and usernames for us, we just need to remember one password, the one which unlocks the manager's vault of credentials. The best password manager I have found to date is KeePass. It is quite friendly, offers an array of features, such as generating passwords and temporarily copying passwords to the clipboard before wiping the clipboard. KeePass also lets us group password entries together in categories such as "Home", "Work", "Banking" and "Internet Forums" to help us stay organized.
Graphics and multimedia editing: Sometimes the world isn't how we would like it to be. When this happens we can either accept things as they are or we can edit them using handy open source software. For editing graphics I am a big fan of the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP). It is surprisingly powerful and can be extended through plug-ins. The GIMP's interface and name are unfortunate, but it is probably the best open source tool for working with photographs. For editing videos I highly recommend the OpenShot video editor. OpenShot has an interface which is easy to navigate, the software is stable (in my experience) and it supplies a number of useful effects. For editing sound files I like Audacity, which again has an easy interface to learn and offers a great deal of features.
Transferring files: I spend a lot of time moving files from point A to point B, or from point A to points X, Y and Z. To do this I use a number of tools. Filezilla is probably the software I use most. Filezilla is a flexible file transfer client which can handle a variety of transfer protocols such as FTP and SFTP. The interface looks similar to most two-paned (split) file managers and it has a nice queue that displays detailed progress information. I especially like that Filezilla will let us assign priorities to files queued for transfer. This allows us to queue a group of files and then move some of them to the top or bottom of the queue. We can also configure how many files to transfer in parallel and bookmark local and remote directories. When moving large files, such as Linux distribution ISOs, I like to use bittorrent. The bittorrent client I have found most useful (and flexible) is KTorrent. It comes with many options, offers encryption, has great queue management and can handle magnet links. It's a great all-in-one bittorrent solution.
Disc burning: For all of my optical disc burning needs I use K3b. The k3b software handles data discs, audio CDs, burning ISO images and copying discs. The application's default settings almost always work and K3b is flexible for those of us wanting to walk off the beaten path. We can verify data integrity, work with disc images and convert audio files. It is a great, powerful application.
GNU/Linux distribution: I use a different Linux distribution on one of my home machines every week. Most of them march into my life and back out again without a lot of complaints or fanfare. That being said, there are a few which have, of late, performed very well for me. Linux Mint has consistently worked beautifully for me and I highly recommend it to most people. The Kubuntu distribution has been, perhaps, my personal favourite for the past two years. The combination of Ubuntu's software repositories and features with a polished KDE desktop is a hard combination to beat in my eyes. The Ubuntu Server edition has performed very well for me on my home network and I recommend it to anyone looking for a efficient, powerful server distribution. All that being said, those are my preferences and others often feel differently. Lately, the distribution which I have used to successfully transition people from proprietary operating systems to Linux has been Peppermint OS. The combination of a low-resources, the attractive and lightweight LXDE desktop, modern software, great hardware support and friendly package management has really sold people on the distribution. The last three people I got hooked on Linux all opted for Peppermint and my hat is off to the distribution's developers.
What are some of your favourite applications or your favourite distribution? Let us know the comments section below.
|Statistics (by Ladislav Bodnar)
OSDisc.com sales in 2012 and 2013
Measuring the popularity of Linux distribution is not an easy task. While some data, such as our Page Hit Ranking (PHR) statistics, Google trends, online polls and download counts can give some indications as to what many users of free operating system prefer, each of these data sets has its flaws and larger than acceptable margin of error. To add to the mix of available statistics, here is another piece of information, this time from OSDisc.com. OSDisc.com is a popular online store selling CDs, DVDs and USB storage media with free operating systems. The site owners were kind enough to compile their sales data for the past two years and these are summarised below. The third column of each table represents the percentage of each distribution's share of the total number of sales made by OSDisc.com for the specified period.
As in 2012, Ubuntu maintained their top spot in online CD sales at OSDisc.com. However, the ever so popular Linux Mint is now just a whisker away from the leader and it now seem likely that it will overtake Canonical's flagship product in the near future. Confirming the shift in trends from our own page hit statistics, there has been a noticeable drop in the popularity of Fedora during the past year, while Debian GNU/Linux, which now occupies the second spot in our PHR statistics, saw a remarkable surge in online sales too. Predictably, Parted Magic, which went commercial in 2013, dropped out from the top 25, with users increasingly turning to GParted Live as a cost-free alternative. Other distributions no longer in top echelons of online sales include Arch Linux and Ultimate Edition which were replaced by PC-BSD and SimplyMEPIS. As always at OSDisc.com, the various utility and data rescue CD/DVD images, such as SystemRescueCd, Trinity Rescue Kit and Clonezilla Live, continue to sell well.
One last note: interest in Tails, a live CD with strong focus on privacy and anonymity on the Internet, surged dramatically during the last year which brought us revelations about a massive spying and privacy-encroaching scandal of a certain USA government agency....
|Released Last Week
MakuluLinux 4.0 "Enlightenment"
Jacque Raymer has announced the release of MakuluLinux 4.0 "Enlightenment" edition, a Debian-based distribution and live CD featuring Enlightenment 0.17: "MakuluLinux is proud to announce the first release of our Enlightenment 17 build. Based on Debian's 'testing' branch and Linux kernel 3.12, it's fast, stable and it offers plenty eye candy. Sporting a traditional layout, lots of preloaded themes, wallpapers and applications. Users will find this build much easier to navigate than most Enlightenment builds out there. This started out as one of my least favorite builds, Enlightenment is very pretty, fast and lightweight on the surface, but it suffers from a lot of vicious bugs, specially with compatibility to integration of other desktop environments, the lack of root commands, a flawed dBUS system, a basic file manager, terminal and no descent menu management system...." Read the rest of the release announcement to find out more.
Clemens Toennies has announced the release of Netrunner 13.12, a Kubuntu-based Linux distribution featuring the KDE 4.11.2 desktop: "The Netrunner team is proud to release Netrunner 13.12 – 32-bit and 64-bit stable. New features: Kicker Menu (Super, Windows or Meta key to invoke); expanding taskbar (drag-and-drop support); sidebar panel (show and hide with F11 or mouse swipe); mouse swipes; new look and feel (desktop theme inspired by this idea); and of course all the usual updates of packages like KDE 4.11.2, Firefox 25, VLC 2.1.1, Skype 4.2 and many more. Note that after the feature freeze (beta), we do not upgrade to latest packages, but stabilize the versions available at that time. Updates are available as usual in the repositories." Here is the brief release announcement with a video demonstrating some of the new features.
Netrunner 13.12 - the default KDE desktop
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Clonezilla Live 2.2.1-25
Steven Shiau has announced the availability of a new stable release of Clonezilla Live, a Debian-based live CD designed primarily for disk cloning and backup: "Stable Clonezilla Live 2.2.1-25 released. This release includes major enhancements and bug fixes: the underlying GNU/Linux operating system has been upgraded, this release is based on the Debian 'Sid' repository as of 2014-01-13; Linux kernel has been updated to 3.12.6; Partclone has been updated to 0.2.69, bugs concerning Reiser4 and Btrfs have been fixed; Syslinux has been updated to 6.03-pre1, this should fix a boot issue on some machines, e.g. Acer Aspire One; the drbl package has been updated to 2.7.18 and Clonezilla has been updated to 3.9.10; the output of blkid is now saved in the image directory as blkid.list; added bcache-tools and chntpw...." Read the complete release announcement for a full changelog.
Musix GNU+Linux 3.0
Marcos Guglielmetti has announced the release of Musix GNU+Linux 3.0, a Debian-based distribution with a collection of software applications designed for musicians: "The development team of Musix GNU+Linux is proud to present version 3.0 stable. We didn't find serious bugs, so we corrected the known ones and we think this is a great release. For this version of the installable live DVD/USB stable we added some video editors like Kdenlive 0.9.6, Avidemux and Cinelerra, added French and Serbian language support, OpenOffice.org, solved some minor KDE desktop bugs. Musix 3.0 boots into LXDE by default, but you can choose the tailored KDE or IceWM desktops or the original Fluxbox and Openbox; os-probe was installed to detect other systems during HD installation. The Linux kernel 3.4.14-gnu-RT23 is 100% free as well as all software in Musix and it operates in real time for audio and music production." Here is the full release announcement with screenshots.
Musix GNU+Linux 3.0 - a distribution designed primarily for audio production
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François Dupoux has released a major new update of SystemRescueCd, a Gentoo-based live CD with an extensive collection of tools for data rescue and disk management tasks. The project's changelog reports the following new features and improvements in SystemRescueCd 4.0.0: "Standard kernels - long-term supported Linux kernel 3.10.25 (rescue32 + rescue64); alternative Linux kernels: latest stable Linux kernel 3.12.7 (altker32 + altker64); updated X.Org graphical environment and drivers to X.Org Server 1.14.3; updated GParted to 0.17.0 (adds support for online resize); updated Btrfs utilities btrfs-progs 3.12; updated file system tools - e2fsprogs 1.42.8, xfsprogs, 3.1.11, xfsdump 3.1.3; updated Memtest86+ to version 5.01 (available in floppy disk boot images)...." Other package upgrades include man-pages 3.53, Midnight Commander 4.8.9, Python 3.3.2, Samba 3.6.20, udev 204 and xz 5.0.5.
BackBox Linux 3.13
Raffaele Forte has announced the release of BackBox Linux 3.13, an updated version of the project's Ubuntu-based specialist distribution designed for penetration testing and security assessment: "The BackBox team is pleased to announce the updated release of BackBox Linux, the version 3.13. This release includes features such as Linux kernel 3.13, EFI mode, anonymous mode and armhf Debian packages. What's new? Preinstalled Linux kernel 3.11; system improvements; upstream components; bug corrections; performance boost; improved Update menu; improved Forensic menu; predisposition to ARM architecture (armhf Debian packages); predisposition to BackBox Cloud platform; new and updated hacking tools. To upgrade from a previous version (BackBox Linux 3.09) follow these instructions." Read the rest of the release announcement which includes system requirements and upgrade instructions.
Manuel Kasper has announced the release of m0n0wall 1.8.1, a small FreeBSD-based operating system designed specifically for firewalls: "m0n0wall 1.8.1 released. In m0n0wall 1.8.1, the base system has been switched to FreeBSD 8.4 for better support of recent hardware, and there have been significant improvements, new features and bug fixes in many areas. Change log highlights: add scheduler (Croen) service with many different job types (enable and disable interface or shaper rule, Wake on LAN, reboot, reconnect WAN, execute command); improved IPv6 support, including IPsec, DHCPv6-PD, RDNSS and DNSSL and NDP info on the ARP diagnostic page; major overhaul of wireless LAN support, with some cards, it is now also possible to create multiple APs at the same time; DNS forwarder: add option to log DNS queries, add aliases (CNAMEs) and MXs; make rule moving and deletion on shaper rules page work like for firewall rules; initial support for USB modems...." Continue to the project's download page to read the full list of new features.
Linux Lite 1.0.8
Jerry Bezencon has announced the release of Linux Lite 1.0.8, a new version of the project's Ubuntu-based (12.04.3 LTS) desktop Linux distribution with Xfce: "The final release in the Linux Lite 1.0 LTS series is now available. In this release we bring you the first Linux Lite packages, Lite Software Center and Lite User Manager. There is a host of new features, including the 3.8 kernel from the Hardware Enablement Stack for better hardware support, new install scripts for webcams, a PAE kernel installer (32-bit) and a basic Games Pack installer. There is also now an option to add the Whisker Menu to the taskbar. This release also sneaks in at under CD size. A word about the offering of the 3.8 kernel. As this is the last build in the 1.0 LTS series, we wanted to offer people more hardware support. The 3.2 kernel is fairly old now, and Linux Lite 2.0 is bound to be sporting a very up-to-date kernel come release time circa May or June 2014." Here is the release announcement with a screenshot.
Nanni Bassetti has announced the release of CAINE 5.0, an Ubuntu-based distribution and live DVD containing a large number of tools designed for forensic analysis and penetration testing: "CAINE 5.0 'Blackhole' 64-bit - official CAINE GNU/Linux distro latest release. Changelog: Linux kernel 3.8; Based on Ubuntu 12.04.3 64-bit - UEFI and Secure Boot ready; CAINE 5.0 on pen drive can boot on UEFI, UEFI + Secure Boot, legacy BIOS, BIOS; CAINE 5.0 on DVD can boot on legacy BIOS and BIOS; SystemBack is the new installer; rbfstab is a utility that is activated during boot or when a device is plugged - it writes read-only entries to /etc/fstab so devices are safely mounted for forensic imaging/examination; mounter is a GUI mounting tool that sits in the system tray - left clicking the system tray drive icon activates a window where the user can select devices to mount or un-mount." Visit the project's home page to read the changelog and to view screenshots.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database|
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New distributions added to waiting list
DistroWatch database summary
- Snowden Tribute. Snowden Tribute is a Linux distribution designed for anonymous web surfing with Tor and Firefox. It runs live from a USB drive and runs a web browser only.
- RusDeb. RusDeb is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution made in Russia. It uses the MATE desktop and has a focus on performance and stability. The project's website is in Russian.
- CrunchPwn. CrunchPwn is a lightweight, Debian-based distribution designed to be used in penetration testing.
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 27 January 2014. To contact the authors please send email to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, suggestions and corrections: news, donations, distribution submissions, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (feedback and suggestions: podcast edition)
1 • Bob (by sayth on 2014-01-20 09:20:31 GMT from Australia) |
Until recently I would have agreed with libreoffice, however it failed to handle proprietary format in excel and word I use at work.
So trying OpenOffice which I hadn't tried in a long time, did actually support them, had a few more features and in general looks better.
2 • Firefox doesn't use Webkit (by ppm84 on 2014-01-20 09:26:03 GMT from United Kingdom)
Still, Firefox looked like the best candidate until I remembered using a Qt-based web browser using the same WebKit engine Firefox uses during a distribution review.
Wrong, it uses Gecko.
3 • @1. (by Joe on 2014-01-20 09:38:57 GMT from Mexico)
I recently had have the same situation. I found a solution exportint to early xls file and later from Excel load the xls, and save like xlsx (the new xml format).
4 • @ Office (by Jacque Raymer on 2014-01-20 10:02:35 GMT from South Africa)
@ 1 • Bob (by sayth on 2014-01-20 09:20:31 GMT from Australia)
You should really try Kingsoft office instead. MakuluLinux distro's, come with Kingsoft pre installed and i have yet to hear someone say anything negative about it, infact ive had alot of comments on how great it is.
5 • Firefox / OpenBSD (by Paraquat on 2014-01-20 10:07:37 GMT from Taiwan)
I agree that Firefox is a great browser, and it has recently had a lot of overdue attention to improve its performance. But most important new feature in years will be found in the next release, Firefox 27, which will support TLS 1.2. This closes a significant security hole in TLS 1.1. Firefox was actually behind its competitors (ie Chrome, Opera, IE and Safari) in this regard, but version 27 brings it up to date. The beta is already available and I look forward to its release.
Only problem is (not Firefox's fault) that many banks and credit card companies are still using older versions of this important security standard. A secure browser is only half the solution, the other half depends on the site you're connecting to.
OpenBSD: I really hate to say this, but I'll almost be glad to see it die. I say that with a heavy heart - I've used OpenBSD in the past, and last year even tried it again after a lapse of 10 years (only to find that nothing had changed). Sadly, OpenBSD has fallen way behind Linux and FreeBSD in terms of security. Yes, the OpenBSD base install is very secure, but as soon as you add in enough apps to make it useful, that security goes out the window. It's nice that they are planning to add signed packages to OpenBSD - years after Fedora, Debian and every other major Linux distro did it. Mandatory access controls (like Selinux in Linux, TrustedBSD in FreeBSD) are not even being considered by the OpenBSD developers - they boast that their system is so secure that it's not needed.
Over the years, lots of people have offered suggestions to the OpenBSD developers on possible improvements, but those suggestions have usually been met with extreme hostility. A typical response has been, "If you don't like OpenBSD as it is, then go use Linux." And so people did. It seems that the (shrinking) OpenBSD team have not yet awakened to the reality that hardly anyone uses their 1990's-style OS, which is why financial contributions have almost entirely dried up.
6 • Browsers (by Reuben on 2014-01-20 10:10:30 GMT from United States)
I guess my biggest problem with firefox is that it often doesn't know the correct application to open a file with. Also worth noting that Chrome is the only way to use the latest flash. Older versions of flash are riddled with security holes.
Also, I'm going to miss the names for Fedora. It might seem like a superficial thing (mostly because it is) but it gave the distro it's personality.
7 • Engine (by Tomm on 2014-01-20 11:23:25 GMT from United Kingdom)
" WebKit engine Firefox uses during a distribution review"
as already noted, Firefox uses Gecko, not Webkit
8 • @Office (by Robin on 2014-01-20 11:23:39 GMT from United Kingdom)
concur with @4 - Kingsoft is cross platform - including Android.
You can be editing a document in the time it takes LibreOffice splash to go away.
Best of all - it has a Word 2003/2007 like interface option if you like it like that.
9 • @ Office (by sam on 2014-01-20 11:46:14 GMT from United Kingdom)
Kingsoft is closed source and does not support ODF
10 • OpenBSD (by Fritz on 2014-01-20 12:02:22 GMT from United States)
@5 • Firefox / OpenBSD (by Paraquat on 2014-01-20 10:07:37 GMT from Taiwan)
I agree with them: It is your choice. There are many OpenSource OS's and if you don't like OpenBSD choose the other one. But IMO it is the best secure OS and they did and are doing brilliant work!!
11 • what does Ticket 146 say? (by james on 2014-01-20 13:06:51 GMT from Spain)
The link to the fedora name decision just says "TICKET_VIEW privileges are required to perform this operation on Ticket #146" - even if you're logged in - does anyone know what it says?
12 • Mate and torrents (by LinuxMan on 2014-01-20 13:12:24 GMT from United States)
Good news. I've been wanting to try out Mate without having to use a ppa and it looks like I'll be able to.
The torrent search feature is a very welcomed addition to Ubuntu. It should save some time. I do hope that it can be linked to other torrent search sites other than The Pirate Bay.
It looks like Ubuntu 14.04 LTS will be very interesting.
13 • MATE (by Charles on 2014-01-20 13:45:42 GMT from United Kingdom)
BTW, Ubuntu wasn't the only one to get MATE this week. Arch Linux added mate to their official repos as well. See here: http://mate-desktop.org/blog/2014-01-16-mate-officially-in-arch-linux/
And here: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Desktop_Environment#Officially_supported
14 • OpenBSD (by Scotty on 2014-01-20 13:57:29 GMT from United States)
Word this morning is that some Bitcoin guy saved OBSD. Theo da Rat will live to bitch and gripe again! Or at least until next year when the same issue comes up again.
15 • On personal preferences (by Pierre on 2014-01-20 14:03:18 GMT from Germany)
For browsing the web I currently prefer Chromium over the others. It has a nice 'store passwords to KWallet'-feature that comes in quite handy and is a good compromise between having all the interesting plug-ins on the one hand side and sill quite a lightweight browser on the other.
For my web developing needs there is no way to avoid having Firefox + FireBug and FirePHP at hand.
Still I see a few nice features on Konqueror like tiling the window into two browsers what comes in quite handy if you wand to compare two websites.
QupZilla looks great and even quite the same on every OS and is both, lightweight and lightning fast.
So for every browsing behaviour I see different competitors as a best solution.
When it comes to productivity and you really need the best compatibility to MS Office formats you have no other choice than to use OpenOffice or LibreOffice.
If I am sure I don't need to send the file around or share it with others that are using different solutions I nevertheless prefer Calligra as the most innovative, beautiful and flexible office solution available as open source at the moment.
Audio and video playing
For listening to music there are two solutions I really love. Clementine as an Amarok 1.4-like and quite lightweight solution and the new Amarok 2.x, which integrates perfectly into KDE and is defacto the most feature-rich and powerful audio collection managment tool.
When it comes to E-Mailing I simply see no need for a desktop client any more. Most web clients are as feature rich as the desktop alternatives and have the advantage of being always available.
I have set up my very own Kolab Groupware server, so this is all I need as a PIM solution.
Thunderbird and K-Mail/Kontact are nevertheless very very nice apps.
Since I am using KDE as my main DE (or as software collection in the background when using the i3 window manager) I am using it's password manager KWallet. It has all I need and can interact with my Chromium browser.
Graphics and multimedia editing
For edition photos there is simply no better option than GIMP - at least not as far as i know off.
I am not so much in editing multimedia, so on that part I'd still make my mind and choice.
KTorrent is a nice solution. But for my very limited needs on Torrents a lot easier solution like Transmission-qt is the better option to me.
Other file transfers I need to do are most ofter done by me via SCP on the command line. When I see the need for a GUI tool I prefer to use Dolphin, the KDE standard file manager, or Krusader as a very powerful replacement.
I don't see any real compatitor to K3b here. Additionnally I do use K3b for ripping my music CDs, too.
Not mentioned, but something what I really care about as a programmer - Text editing
Two programs that stand out here in my opinion: (G)Vim and Kate.
(G)Vim has the big advantage that I can use it with my plugins and config file on every system, no matter if there is a GUI available or not. Additionally Vim simply is the most powerful text editor I have ever seen.
Sure, Vim has a very hard learning curve because you have to learn everything about text edition from the very beginning. But if you start to get used to there is nothing comparable to the power of Vim.
Kate on the other hand is a very nice, almost IDE-like editor, that has a very nice Vi-mode included. If not happy with that, you can still use it as a quite powerfull, flexible, classical and graphical text editor.
My first Linux distro ever was SUSE Linux 7.2 if I remember correctly. So, after distro hopping for quite some while when openSUSE included the absolutely unfinished KDE 4 for the first time, I finally came back to openSUSE with the great 12.1 release. openSUSE simply delivers the best available KDE experience at the moment. Additionally it has become rock solid and stable. Zypper is one of the very best command line package managers available in my opinion. And not to forget about YaST.
But it's not only the OS itself I love so much about openSUSE. It's the helpfull and friendly community, the powerfull tools around it, like openQA and the OpenBuildService (OBS). You simply have to love SUSE for it's contributions to Open Source.
16 • CENTOS (by PG on 2014-01-20 15:15:01 GMT from United States)
Seems to me that one of the biggest Linux/stories of the year will be CentOS's "merger" with Redhat. Will be interesting to see if this leads to more CentOS/RHEL based distros.
I'm guessing that CENTOS and RHEL will maintain separate repositories?
17 • K3b (by Jeff on 2014-01-20 15:35:12 GMT from United States)
If only it did not depend on KDE I would try it, but adding hundreds of megabytes that I will never use and keeping them updated means I never will.
18 • Best of Breed (by Serge on 2014-01-20 15:51:30 GMT from United States)
Firefox mainly; Qupzilla or Midori when in resource-constrained environments
Audio and video playing
Graphics and multimedia editing
bt: Transmission (both GTK and Qt front-ends)
w/e is native to distro or DE I am working in
generally Debian running Xfce; OpenSUSE when I need to use KDE tools (I have a side-job where I do video editing in Kdenlive)
I think this is a fun topic. Hopefully more people will join in.
19 • On personal preferences (addition) (by Pierre on 2014-01-20 15:54:19 GMT from Germany)
I forgot about video players:
VLC is a nice GUI option. Dragon Player and Kaffein are ok, too.
Nevertheless, especially when I am using the i3 window manager instead of the full KDE I tend to prefer mplayer(2). :)
20 • Firefox (by Jesse on 2014-01-20 16:25:58 GMT from Canada)
@2,7: Thank you for pointing that out. Don't know where my head was when I associated Firefox with WebKit. As you pointed out, Firefox uses Gecko, WebKit is/was used by Chrome Safari.
21 • Qupzilla (by Mark E on 2014-01-20 16:48:53 GMT from United Kingdom)
Jesse, thanks for introducing Qupzilla, which I hadn't seen before; initial impressions are it looks good and is nice and fast.
Re. email clients, Thunderbird is good quality and full featured but, like Firefox, I find it slow. I must admit for one of my email accounts I still use (al)pine! I know all the keys and it's really fast... :) Something in between those two would be good.
22 • Best of the breed (by Kazlu on 2014-01-20 17:15:02 GMT from France)
Well, this is a very trollable subject, but since we are clear that this is only and simply a matter of personal opinions, here I go:
I tried quite a few to test resource consumption. Midori is nice, crashes very less often for a few versions, but eats a lot of my CPU's power on some web pages. Qupzilla still crashes too often. Chromium works well, I use it when a recent version of flash is needed, but since non-google based solutions exist... Chrome is of course out of question. All in all, I always come back to Firefox, which performance has greatly improved, with the best stability/resource consumtion ratio on my machine. Hell, I cannot hold the browser for responsible of taking 500-600MB of RAM when I have 20+ tabs opened! Firefox is the one that handles the load the best.
Thunderbird is a must-have. I have several mail accounts for different purposes and I want to have them gathered on the same place to manage them, so I won't use webmails (only when I'm on another computer). Copy the Thunderbird profile on another computer and using IMAP allows me to easily manage my accounts on several computers. I tried Evolution, I find it horrible. I can't find my way in its options. Claws mail is nice but the features of Thunderbird are totally worth the slightly higher RAM occupation. I also tried Seamonkey. I find it nice to have a single application gathering mail client and web browser, especially for resource consumption purposes. Sadly, the comfort of use does not match the one of the Thunderbird/Firefox combination in my opinion.
I have used LibreOffice (OpenOffice before it) for several years. Libre, fully featured, it is perfect for me. I find it slow to launch as a portable app in Windows, but on GNU/Linux it is not longer to start than Abiword or Gnumeric, which lack many features and are less stable. The only drawback is MS format compatibility, but Kingsoft Office dit not performed better when I tried to open my horrible test.doc file, so LibreOffice is still the best solution in all aspects for me. I did not consider trying OpenOffice again, Bob (#1) makes me think I should.
*Audio and video playing*
When I use a music player I need it to do one thing: play music. My music is arranged in my folders, no need for a player to manage a custom library. Somtimes it may be easier, but not worth the weight of an application like Rhythmbox. I tried Amarok on a live CD, I find its interface too complicated for a music player, I couldn't find my way. I don't want to have to learn to use a complete software when I just want to listen to music. So I use Audacious, which plays music and handles playlists. That's all I need. I sometimes still wonder why I bother use a music player when a video player can do it. It is redundant. For videos, I like to have several ones at my disposal, just in case one is failing and I don't know why, or handling is slightly different. I use VLC for its universality and its handy keyboard shorcuts (subtitles/audio delay for example) and Totem which behaves well by default.
My brain. I prefer having a good password policy to manage my many passwords and be able to remember them than risking a hard disk failure and losing all of them. Although I must admit it is easy to have efficient backup solutions today, I may reconsider.
*Graphics and multimedia editing*
I do not know any other answer than Gimp. If only it had a tool to draw simple geometrics like circles and squares. Audacity is nace too, I have had trouble with it but I think my sound card was responsible after all.
Brasero fits me here. I do not use it very often and when I do my needs are very basic. Burn this iso on that disc. Burn this as an audio CD. Period. Brasero, with its few buttons at startup, is so simple I do not have any questions.
The most troll-magneting item :) For me, Xubuntu is a very efficient and flexible distro that answers most of the needs I meet, concerning me or other people close to me, beginners to enthusiasts. The speed of Xfce, the ease of use and hardware support of Ubuntu. Manjaro is also really nice, but right now I have not enough time to handle a rolling release distro *properly* and to risk a failure. I must also mention Trisquel and salute people behind it: their GNOME 3 yet traditional desktop is very well done and makes for an excellent 100% libre distribution. I must admit I still need some non free gadgets like Flash or others, but it is good Trisquel is out there and I will keep an eye on it.
And, if I may:
Xfce is, in my opinion, a great balance between weight and functionnality. Besides, its modularity does not make it an aberration to replace an appplication with another. Special mention to Whisker menu (not part of Xfce though) which really changes the Xfce experience for the best. Cairo dock fits also well in it, I discovered it recently and am happily surprised. The only thing I am missing is tabs in Thunar (I use Ubuntu 12.04, so I won't have to wait long till it comes!). I tried PCManFM that is lightning fast but crashes surprisingly often. Too bad for an LTS version of Ubuntu. PCManFM is perfect in Manjaro.
23 • OpenSUSE (by Andrew on 2014-01-20 17:15:53 GMT from United States)
I've tried OpenSUSE several times over the last few years.
Yes it does offer one of the best KDE experiences of all the distro's I've tried and it looks and feels very professional with it's installer.
The issues that always end up turning me away is it's lack of codec's installed by default, constant repo issues and the 1ClickInstall (which is more like 5-6ClickInstall). The package installation is never straight forward and I've always had to search through the website for answers. I would have thought that installing packagers should be intuitive and user friendly especially for such a main stream distro like OpenSUSE.
24 • @21 mail client (by Kazlu on 2014-01-20 17:16:22 GMT from France)
You may be interested in Claws Mail, it is fast and does the job well !
25 • @ 4-5: office (by Alecon on 2014-01-20 17:32:00 GMT from Italy)
kingoffice is closed source. for me is a deal breaker, some may not care though. considering that most of the limit of LO arise from dealing with closed source standard I'm more inclined toward a long term solution of this issue.
26 • Seamonkey (by technosaurus on 2014-01-20 17:34:46 GMT from United States)
27 • password manager (by Mark E on 2014-01-20 17:40:20 GMT from United Kingdom)
Those who want to manage passwords might want to give gpg-vi a look, as it's just a simple bash script utilising the gpg packages. I use it to manage a text file with passwords in it. Useful if you don't want to rely on a dedicated program for managing passwords. URL here:
And thanks @21, I'll check out Claws for email.
28 • oops (by Mark E on 2014-01-20 17:42:25 GMT from United Kingdom)
I mean thanks @24 (not 21, i.e. myself) recommending Claws!
29 • Best of Breed (by Vukota on 2014-01-20 17:47:31 GMT from United States)
I found that Firefox is the best browser for everyday browsing and development. WebKit is a memory hog when u have 200+ tabs open. Even though people are choosing sides for browsers, I use several of them for very specific purposes. In example I do not use same browser for banking as I do for everyday browsing (it is safer that way).
About Video playing, I found that under Linux (even Windows) you can not rely on a single player, as it will not be sufficient for all videos that can get under your hands. Yes, VLC will play most of them, but potentially with rendering/audio issues. I appreciate here that there are different rendering/coding/decoding engines and usually one of them will work best for particular video at hand (you just have to figure out which one).
For Video editing, I prefer AviDemux, though OpenShot will suffice and you may have to use a different tool for a different video (format) you are dealing with.
About distributions, it is hard to stand your ground what ever you pick, so I am not going to even try. Personally, I like OpenSuse (as it is a best balance for MY everyday needs), but was perfectly happy with Fedora, Debian, Mint, Ubuntu, FreeBSD and many more, and use other specialized distros for a very specific needs on everyday base.
30 • Statistics... (by Vukota on 2014-01-20 18:02:00 GMT from United States)
I understand all numbers, except KNOPPIX. Can someone (maybe Jesse in one of the next DWW) shade some light on why is KNOPPIX so popular on osdisc.com? I used them at the time because they were among the first all around usable live disc distributions, but since then, others evolved and now there are many other better distros (IMHO) for any purpose. Maybe I am missing some particular need that this distro fulfills better than others, or they just have better marketing channels?
31 • Best of the Breed (by windsnake21 on 2014-01-20 18:14:09 GMT from United Kingdom)
Let me start by saying that I am a Linux hobbyist. My choices of software are going to be pretty atypical and niche in comparison to what most people use.
Productivity - It's hard to talk about productivity seriously if you use Linux mostly as a hobbyist home desktop, but surely the it needs to mentioned that you can write documents of various types using a LaTeX suite combined with the text editor of your choice?
Audio and Video playing - For audio I use moc. Were you expecting MPD here? Maybe I will feel like setting up MPD one day for the search features it has, but for actually playing music, moc is fine for me. As for video, I always prefdrred MPlayer(2). It plays pretty much everything you throw at it, Is highly flexible, usually running with only an absolutely minimal interface, but there are frontends for both GNOME and KDE if you want a GUI. You can even use it to play YouTube videos without having to use Flash.
Image viewing - sxiv. An extra minimal and light image viewer which uses vi-like key bindings by default. Just how minimal? So Minimal that you have to modify and recompile the source if you want to change the default key-bindings. However, it's super fast and light as a result, and can be used to browse entire directories of images with ease.
Email/Password manager - i never really use either of these, so no comment here.
Graphics editing - The GIMP is clearly one of the best in this category, but Krita is also an option for those who use the Calligra Office suite. They have slightly different end goals, with Krita aiming to be more of a digital painting program, while The GIMP is a more general-purpose image editor.
Transferring Files via torrent - I use Transmission here. It's light and reliable. I don't really think there is much more to say here.
Transferring files via FTP - I don't really use an specialist prgram I here, but I did, I would probably look into aria2 if I wanted a download utility for the FTP protocol.
Disc burning - I don't burn a lot of discs, so I generally use what requires the fewest extra dependencies to install.
Text editor - I use both Vim and Nono. The former for working with any kind of code and also for larger plain-text files, but sometimes, Nano's more simplistic approach works better, particularly in shorter documents where all of Vim's mode-switching probably consumes more time than it saves with other features.
GNU/Linux Distribution - Well, I am on Gentoo at the moment, and I like it enough to keep it installed. The other distributions I like to use are Arch Linux and Debian, generally via a lightweight spin-off such as Crunchbang or AntiX. They all have their perks and disadvantages, but it's the contrast between of a Distro like Debian compared to one like Arch that makes Linux as rich and varied as it is.
32 • OSdisk numbers (by dbrion on 2014-01-20 18:17:36 GMT from France)
There are some interesting things with OSdisk's sales:
* Knoppix has a very high ranking (3rd: in DW HPD, it is 30 th) : perhaps it is because it is recommanded by many satisfied people (and , as people remain satisfied and because it is unpossible/very difficult to add extra packages, no curiosity about it occurs in DW)
*Fedora is slowly losing parts;
maybe it is because they make installing more and more difficult (if possible : they made huge efforts for it!);
maybe it is because they make **using** more and more unpleasant- this is much worse than installing: I use FCs for 15 months, until I choose a new one; installing is a matter of unpleasant minutes/hours- : new desktops are meant for "smart" "phones", but they manage to ship LXDE - I bet from rapsbian qemulations that XFCE would remain usable, too-
(before, one could choose between 4 DE; now, only two usable DEs remain: if something works, break it)
*CentoS (3.1->2.9) and Scientific Linux(.6->.5) are slowly losing parts, too : as (at least I hope) people may be very satisfied with existing software, they do not need to buy a new CD (or their downloads sites are getting better, making buying not such necessary-). I hope there are no other explanations.
*Mageia is slowly losing parts: they started with Mandriva's fame, but had to rebuild every thing, with less people (I tried Mageia, and prefered Fedora).
33 • Opera replacement (by Charles Burge on 2014-01-20 18:18:06 GMT from United States)
I've been using Opera since 1999. I even paid for a cross-platform license back when they sold it as shareware. So it's with a lot of sadness that I read about its impending demise. In searching for a replacement, the primary consideration for me is: will it support the mouse-gestures that I'm so used to? Opera lets me hold down the right mouse button and then click the left one in order to go back one page instead of reaching for the "back" button, and it's such a useful feature that I can't even contemplate giving it up. Do any other browsers have mouse gestures?
34 • @31 Joe's Own Editor might be better than nano. (by dbrion on 2014-01-20 18:28:28 GMT from France)
"Text editor - I use both Vim and Nono"
Well, that might be nano (nono means breast in malagasy!) .
Joe is better, as it allows syntax highlighting (10-20% of my developping time is in finding /making other typos if I do not have a syntax high lighter) and is less ressource consuming than viM... http://joe-editor.sourceforge.net/ compares a lot of editors;
As qemulated ARMs platform may be very slow, and need good editors, adding joe to their editors list was felt very comfortable http://www.armadeus.com/wiki/index.php?title=User:DenisB
35 • @31 - Image Viewer (by Serge on 2014-01-20 18:46:02 GMT from United States)
windsnake21, looks like you and I have similar tastes (my selections were in #18). Have you used an image viewer named feh, and if so, how do you feel sxiv and feh compare against each other?
I have found feh to be vastly faster and superior for my needs compared to the big graphical ones like Shotwell / Gwenview / Ristretto etc., but I was not aware of sxiv until I saw your post, and am now curious to try it out for myself.
36 • Firefox UI (by M.Z. on 2014-01-20 18:51:50 GMT from United States)
I agree that there have been some annoying & stupid changes made to the Firefox UI, but it is still highly customizable and it's easy to change the theme. The 'tabs on top' thing does drive me nuts & I really can't understand the idiotic herd mentality that drove them to change it in the first place, and then even worse to reduce the ease with which the tabs can be configured; however that can still be changed. If you put about:config in the address bar, promise the browser to be careful not to break anything, & scroll down to where is says browser.tabs.onTop and click it you can switch the tab behavior to the old default look.
Most of the other issues I have can easily be changed with various addons, although I'll admit I've never liked how the default theme looks in KDE. The only really great theme for KDE that receives any updates at all is 'Oxygen KDE', but unfortunately it's updates seem to be very slow compared to the Firefox release cycle, meaning it's only good for the distros that use the ESR versions or for the 'Iceweaseal' version of Firefox on Debian. I think Firefox still beats any other browser hands down, although I would still like a slightly better theme on KDE.
37 • Preferences (by David McCann on 2014-01-20 18:55:02 GMT from United Kingdom)
I use CentOS because it has more security and configuration features than Debian. I hope Opera is not dropping Linux, because Firefox is just too slow on my hardware: I'm actually using it now, though, because this comment system won't work with Opera. My other must-have applications are Claws-mail and OpenOffice.
38 • @23 - openSUSE - lack of codecs by default (by Andy Prough on 2014-01-20 19:07:40 GMT from United States)
@Andrew - As I've said on here before, openSUSE is NEVER going to give you restricted proprietary codecs at installation "by default". See here for an explanation and a work-around:
I'm not sure why Jessie in his reviews and various users keep complaining about this issue on this board. openSUSE is very clear and upfront about their policy, and as far as I know it's never going to change. In fact, I believe their policy is almost exactly the same as Fedora's and Debian's.
39 • Choices, choices (by Zhymm on 2014-01-20 19:08:47 GMT from United States)
Web browsing: Firefox (Iceweasel). I usually have one or more additional browsers installed, but Firefox seems to be my 'go to' browser. Currently on Iceweasel because I'm using a Debian (testing) based distribution.
Productivity: I'm retired. Abiword suffices for the odd letter/document I have to compose. Otherwise it's whatever comes with the distro I'm using.
Audio and video playing: audio - I try many but always seem to revert to using Exaile. Maybe because I'm used to its interface and behavior. video - vlc. vlc is one of the first packages I get (if it's not included already) anytime I install a new DE. And I often use vlc to play audio files, too.
E-mail: Thunderbird (Icedove). Same reason Jesse gave above. I can copy my current .thunderbird folder into my home directory after a new install and I'm good to go. Icedove for the same reason I gave for Iceweasel above.
Password Manager: don't use one other than my brain or the odd slip of paper on my desk.
Graphics and multimedia editing: not into graphics or video editing. I do use Audacity to record my singing and guitar playing.
Transferring files: whatever client comes with the distro. Currently using Transmission as my bit-torrent client.
Disc burning: Brasero is my favorite. I usually install it if it isn't the distro default.
GNU/Linux distribution: I still 'distro hop' some, though not as much as I did when I first dipped my toe into the linux pool 8 years ago. I prefer lxde and openbox, so gravitate to distro's that feature them. I've been using SparkyLinux for the past few weeks. #!Crunchbang is my fallback if something unpleasant pops up in whatever lxde/openbox distro I'm currently flirting with. LXLE is the current install on my daughter's desktop and my wife's laptop.
40 • Best of Breed (by bobtruth on 2014-01-20 20:00:05 GMT from United States)
Firefox for noscript, ghostery, and sync.
Libre/Open Office and Not Kingsoft for ODF.
K3b for managing power and user-friendliness tradeoffs.
PLATINUM AWARD, for DEs that work: LXDE and XFCE.
GOLD AWARD, for long support cycles: Ubuntu, Debian, Cent
41 • EDitor (by lutz on 2014-01-20 20:19:05 GMT from Germany)
42 • Chrome and Qupzilla (by Ron Buckman on 2014-01-20 21:22:57 GMT from United States)
in 2013, Google and the Chromium developers forked WebKit and renamed the Chromium version "Blink". I have strong disagreements with Google, therefore I seldom use Blink browsers which use extensions from Google.
QupZilla is a promising project. The one problem is that nobody has publicly backported a still updated version of the QtWebKit backend to LTS versions of major distros. I am using Ubuntu Christian Edition based on Ubuntu 12.04 Precise LTS. The only currently supported version of UCE is based on that 2012 version of Ubuntu. The version of QtWebKit (libqtwebkit4) in Ubuntu 12.04 is 2.2.1 with no later version available in a PPA for Precise. That version of WebKit hasn't been updated since March 11, 2012. As mentioned in launchpad.net. The latest version of QtWebKit on Qt4 is 2.3.3 which is available in Fedora 20 and Arch Linux.
In contrast, supported versions of Firefox are backported to fully supported versions of all major distros, and this includes Ubuntu 12.04 and CentOS 5.x which was first released in 2007 with it's last updated point release in May 2012 using the old glibc 2.5. I know Firefox is slower to open than WebKit browsers. But, I know it will be supported on 12.04 until it goes end of life in April 2017.
43 • Correction to last updated point release of CentOS 5.x (by Ron Buckman on 2014-01-20 21:27:07 GMT from United States)
Actually the last updated point release of CentOS 5.x was in October 2013 not in 2012.
44 • Best of breed et al (by MikeF on 2014-01-20 21:40:00 GMT from United States)
Good to see some press for Qupzilla, a promising browser that I find essential for maintaining my Google Maps - the Chrome devs refuse to fix known interoperability bugs! If it could only use Firefox extensions .....
Also thanks for pointing out that the GNOME DE in CentOS is still the classic 2.28 version. Too bad the Upstream Vendor is blinded by gnome-shell and won't support the more user customizable XFCE in the enterprise product.
My curses based editor of choice is the hard-to-search-for, Xedit compatible 'THE' (Hessling) editor. Multimodal operation that isn't stuck in the 1970s glass-TTY era.
@39, I always rip out the neglected, dysfunctional brasero. The GNOME project devs won't even update it to burn R/W media!
45 • openBSD (by tuxtest on 2014-01-20 21:47:27 GMT from Canada)
The problem with OpenBSD and several other BSD system (dragonfly, netbsd) is that they don't want to simplify the system for the end user. In 2014 the console mode for install and some many simply task is completely overwhelmed.
On the other hand, PC-BSD is a good example of the work that remains to be done to make the system simple to use for end user. The PC-BSD team must develop and add a lot of overlay to make a system function. This also heavier use.
My conclusion, BSD is perhaps not designed for the desktop. Maybe BSD should remain on the server only.
But I would be sad to see OpenBSD disappear.
46 • Pear OS sold for real? (by Wolf on 2014-01-20 21:52:34 GMT from Germany)
David Tavares made an announcement:
Pear OS is no longer available for download. Its future is now in hands of a company who wants to remain anonymous for the moment. The concept has pleased them it and now wants to continue and improve the system for their own products. I can not give a name but it is a very large company well known ... I want to thank all users, moderators and other developers who have made Pear OS it is today, that without this adventure would not have been possible. I'm going in another direction. Another big thank you to all and I hope to return to the scene of open source very quickly. Cordially. David
I'm shocked Back to Distrohopping
47 • @46 (by jaws222 on 2014-01-20 22:17:34 GMT from United States)
Interesting. I'm curious to see how this plays out.
"I'm shocked Back to Distrohopping"
If you're looking for a replacement Ubuntu-based distro I recommend either Bodhi or LXLE. Both are pretty lightweight and extremely reliable.
48 • The RHEL world; mouse gestures (by :wq on 2014-01-20 22:22:55 GMT from United States)
@16 "Seems to me that one of the biggest Linux/stories of the year will be CentOS's 'merger' with Redhat. Will be interesting to see if this leads to more CentOS/RHEL based distros."
Obviously a different set of circumstances, but the initial announcement stirred my memory of the merger of the fledgling Red Hat Linux Project and the Fedora Linux Project. I personally have no worries about the CentOS/Red Hat relationship, but for others that might, there are developments like https://github.com/gooseproject/main/wiki/Migration-proposal - http://gooseproject.org/proposal-goose-project-to-join-ascendos.html, and of course other reasonably vibrant RHEL derivatives such as Springdale Linux and Scientific Linux will still be around. I think the CentOS variants proposal might prove to be an opportunity for CentOS derivatives like Stella, though time will tell.
@33 "Do any other browsers have mouse gestures?"
Mouse gestures for at least Mozilla Firefox, Chromium, Midori, QupZilla, Web/Epiphany, Konqueror, and rekonq should be available via either extensions, KHotKeys, Easystroke, etc.
@44 "Too bad the Upstream Vendor . . . won't support . . . XFCE in the enterprise product."
Xfce should be available from EPEL (https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/EPEL) for 7, but I wish it was officially supported as well.
49 • Popularity contest (by Eddie on 2014-01-20 22:43:11 GMT from United States)
Web browsing: For years I used Opera and wondered why not everybody did, but once I started using Firefox for more things (wider compatibility, the lovely It's All Text! extension), I had to admit that Opera was sort of unredeemably ugly. The interface is grouchy, and the page rendering was often a bit off in vaguely annoying ways (and getting moreso the last couple of years). To me, the Chrom... interface is just impenetrable. So Firefox by a long ways, though I'll try QupZilla when I get a chance.
Productivity: I wish I had great quantities of wealth to kickstart an open-source imitation of WordPerfect. Barring that, I have to go with OpenOffice; it's more stable than its more glamorous fork. And Calc is just wonderful.
Email: Claws Mail does everything I want, and I have found it much easier to customize to my requirements than Thunderbird. Not appearance; Claws Mail is functional and nothing more. But it works perfectly.
Distro: I'm currently using Mint 16 Cinnamon and enjoying it, but when the Ubuntu/Mint LTSes come out in the spring, I expect to go back to a mix of Mint KDE and Kubuntu. Those two have been delightfully solid and versatile ever since I installed the 2012 LTSes.
50 • @49 (by jaws222 on 2014-01-20 22:55:44 GMT from United States)
"but when the Ubuntu/Mint LTSes come out in the spring, I expect to go back to a mix of Mint KDE and Kubuntu. Those two have been delightfully solid and versatile ever since I installed the 2012 LTSes."
I'm especially looking forward to Ubuntu with the Mate desktop. It'll remind of the good ol' Ubuntu days of Gnome 2
51 • PearOS (by tuxtest on 2014-01-20 23:07:12 GMT from Canada)
For my part, I don't think PearOs has been sold. I think than One man show the main developer came to an end. The energy devoted to developing PearOS is huge even if it's a respin buntu. Alvarez invented this story to close the shop.
Any interest in a supposed Great Entrepise known to buy a respin Buntu.
Good luck M. Alvarez in your future
52 • @Best of Breed-audio/video (by TuxKnight on 2014-01-20 23:27:59 GMT from United States)
http://getnightingale.com/ This a fork of Songbird audio/music player, when Songbird dropped Linux support. Songbird is gone. Nightingale, still IMO needs a few things, maybe as addons/extensions: Cd ripper (although Linux already has tools for this), audio file converter and podcasts. This is a open source and cross platform project. Nightingale uses the Gecko engine, reference Mozilla Firefox. It supports addons or extensions, similar to Firefox. It has what is called "Feathers", to change the look of the player (themes).
There was just an updated release, a few days ago. IMHO, a worthy project and worth the support. Enjoy. Cheers. :)
53 • Best of Breed; GNU/Linux distro (by Col Payne on 2014-01-21 00:13:57 GMT from New Zealand)
I agree with Jesse with regard to Kubuntu being a great distro. Recently however I have installed Netrunner 13.12, a Kubuntu based distro with a few tweaks. It's a very good makeover and I recommend it, especially to Linux newbies.
54 • Why purchasing pearOS may have been an appealing prospect (by bubba on 2014-01-21 00:55:51 GMT from United States)
Why? Well, pearOS had acheived a considerable "following"
sourceforge.net/projects/pearoslinux/ indicates 11,000+ downloads per week.
(and that tally misses additional dls performed via softpedia and other dl mirrors)
and Tavares had built out, and provided to users, several distinctive "cloud" components
Interestingly (to me), with so many downloads... the relative lack of inactivity in the pearOS forum suggests the users have been either well-satisfied, or remarkably "much less needy" than most other groups of OS/distro users. This detail might convey a huge "plus" in the eyes of a prospective purchaser.
Tavares' indiegogo campaign last fall, for a tablet edition, bombed.
With pearOS, he successfully executed a vision, and (although pearOS is not my cuppa tea) I applaud his achievement.
55 • Best of the breed according to taste.. (by Bill on 2014-01-21 01:14:25 GMT from United States)
Web Browsing - I use Firefox, simply because I have been with them since I discovered Netscape as an alternative to IE.
Productivity - I followed the gang over from OpenOffice to LIbreOffice. I use the spreadsheet quite alot for medical records on our foster children, and sometimes
just to write a letter.
Audio - When I discovered Linux had progressed so far, I found Audacious and I was able to port my favorite skin from winamp, naturally I am still using Audacious. However, I am in the process of saving 50 year old spiritual talks on Reel to Reel's by digitizing them into mp3's. So I use Audacity and Lame quite a bit now. I have saved over 300 talks.
Video - I just use VLC for convenience sake. But I am really excited to find that I can watch Netflix streaming videos in Linux. That is so cool. This allowed me to give the Satellite company the boot after 10 years. (I live in the mountains).
Email - Coming from outlook I found Thunderbird to be easy to learn and have been using it for all my emails for 7 years now. I looked at Claws, but it was too much work for me so I just use the familiar.
Password Manager - I've never used one. I have an uncanny ability to remember very long and complicated passwords, so I don't need a manager and I don't write them down. Oh well.
Graphics - The learning curve for Gimp is very high up for me, so I just use it to scale pictures for blogs and log in pics and that kind of thing. I also use MTPaint to crop pictures for my desktop wallpaper. Other than that, I don't do graphics.
Transferring Files - I bought a download manager years ago called Getright, and I use it under WINE, I did not like the Linux equivalents. I love Deluge for scheduling Torrents.
Disc Burning - Well, I'm sure most folks won't like this, but when I first came to Linux I bought Nero for Linux and have used it ever since. I like it, it's easy and in the early years it would see my optical drives when Linux versions would not. I DO like Brasero for iso's though.
Linux Distribution - Well, I started with Ubuntu Hardy 8.04 and was happy until Unity and Gnome 3 came out. Since then I have supported Mate and Mint and Solas OS and Point Linux, also donated to Xfce Majaro, and used Debian for a while. But one day I thought, with my new Nivida card, let me see what I liked about Gnome 2. I re-installed Mint 9 Isadora and found that I really liked the old gnome 2 the best. Oh yeah, I play with dozens, everything from Zen to OpenSuse, but I like my Isadora quite well and I can do all of the above easily with the aps above.
Hey, I just turned 60, I deserve a little eccentricity. And for me, it puts the fun back into my computing.
56 • Torrent search in Mate-buntu (by Linadian on 2014-01-21 02:05:59 GMT from Canada)
Yet more info to report to who knows? I wouldn't search anything, nevermind a torrent. Mark says it's to promote open, more like report what the open people want or are up to = more corporate spying bucks.
57 • @33, Jesse Smith and other Opera users (by Ricardo on 2014-01-21 02:27:59 GMT from Argentina)
First of all, to those die hard Opera users: Opera is not dead (at least not yetyet). Its developers are focused on th Windows and Mac versions for the moment and promised a Linux version (most likely a preview/alpha/beta) for March at the earliest.
The problem is that I really love Opera classic (versions <= 12) interface, som I'm sticking with it for the moment.
On the bright side, an independent developer set out to recreate Opera's interface with th Qt 5 toolkit, giving birth to Otter: http://otter-browser.org/
It's still alpha status, very incomplete but surprisingly stable nontheless (I'm actually posting this from Otter 0.2.01-dev, a git snapshot from 2014/01/17 to be precise).
So, there's still hope for us Opera fans :)
Oh, and speaking of alternative browsers, there's aso these other you might wanna try:
Rekonq integrates well with KDE's plasma desktop - http://rekonq.kde.org/
Leechcraft, a modular browser - http://leechcraft.org/
Dooble, a full featured multi-platform browser - http://dooble.sourceforge.net/
SRWare Iron, a Chromiun fork with some privacy protections - http://www.srware.net/en/software_srware_iron.php
58 • @8 and 22 - LibreOffice startup speed. (by Kubelik on 2014-01-21 03:15:58 GMT from Denmark)
To speed up the startup of LibreOffice you could just disable java, which comes enabled in most distroes. Just go to settings/advanced (or whatever it's called in English) and tick the radiobutton. - Restart LibreOffice and see the enormous difference:)
59 • @6 (by Stan on 2014-01-21 06:03:16 GMT from Australia)
"Also worth noting that Chrome is the only way to use the latest flash. Older versions of flash are riddled with security holes."
This is incorrect. The Adobe Flash plugin for Firefox does receive security updates; it just doesn't receive feature updates.
60 • No searches at all? (by LinuxMan on 2014-01-21 06:46:21 GMT from United States)
No searches at all? I find that a little hard to believe. Also torrents are not a bad thing, most of the time. Anyway, who cares what open people are up to? I don't see what the big deal is. You just change the privacy settings and if you're really paranoid you can use incognito mode in your favorite browser. That's what I do, and anyway if you know about it, it's not spying. If you have a facebook account it's all out there anyway sad to say.
61 • More Favorites (by Peter Besenbruch on 2014-01-21 07:10:55 GMT from United Kingdom)
It's a lot of fun reading people's comments on what they like. Thank you for the comments. I'll add a few of mine:
Image viewers: I'll put in my vote for Geeqie. It allows fast viewing, navigation, and the viewing of EXIF data. It links to the image editor of your choice (usually the GIMP). Feh is nice, if you want to put up with a clunky, but effective interface. Blisteringly fast and somewhat more flexible than SXIV, Feh is the best light weight viewer out there. Yes, it's also faster than SXIV.
I have used OpenOffice and then LibreOffice for years for documents. They work. I haven't run into too many compatibility issues with Microsoft Office files. For text files and most HTML editing, I use Geany.
Count me in as another vote for Claws Mail. It replaced Thunderbird for me. I keep Claws running on a home machine, sorting the mail, or marking it as spam with the help of Bogofilter. Even if I use a Web interface on the road, Claws keeps on working.
For browsing, nothing touches Firefox, nothing. I have tried Qupzilla, and it strikes me as a similar program to Midori, except Midori imports Firefox bookmarks better, and is a bit more stable. I like to browse somewhat privately, so I use extensions that let me toggle TOR on and off. I use Secret Agent, Noscript, Adblock Plus with the element hiding extra thrown in. Few Web pages look like they were intended. Most load very quickly. For FTP and the like, I use PCmanFM.
I use Audacious for audio files. I organize by directory, and Audacious plays along with that. K3B is the best burning program I have found as it is a good front end to CDParanoia.
I am something of astronomy fan, so I use Stellarium and Cartes du Ciel (Skycharts). I use Cartes in the field, and I have it interface with my telescope mount.
Finally, I use XFCE as my desktop environment, and Debian Stable as a distribution.
That's about it for me, and thanks for your sharing.
62 • prefered applications (by sam on 2014-01-21 08:27:43 GMT from Congo, The Democratic Republic of the)
Browsing: firefox, now trying quipzilla because I have known of it's existence on this DWW.
Productivity: Libreoffice. GNUcash a must for me too.
Distro: my main distro on main machine debian stable xfce but right now playing with Manjaro on a different machine. Have also used centos for long.
Music: I use anything I come across that works.
Do not watch videos or edit photos.
Search engine: switching to duckduckgo.
Other software that I must have: Rednotebook, Dosemu, lingot, unetbootin
63 • Sharing Tastes (by Wolf on 2014-01-21 08:50:25 GMT from Germany)
Trying to help many of the technically handicapped woman in my vicinity my preferences for favourite programs are purely driven by the Idea of what to recommend (Install) on another persons computer. I.e. simple to install easy to understand and use.
Web browsing: Trying every browser known to man, even the text based ones (lynx?) I'll always come back to recommending Firefox. Sometimes a bit sluggish and oh so many Addons but as I seem to have time and my connection is always good I don't seem to care. Runner up: Chrome
Productivity: Libreoffice: odf enough said. If one has to use proprietary standard than KingSoft come to mind
Video: VLC second to none.
Audio: I'm open to suggestions here and still testing myself. But I like to stay away from KDE so no Amarok
E-mail: I always recommend using the web based interfaces of the providers as I see no use for average Jane Doe to fiddle with Email on their Homecomputers. In the End Emails seem to get lost more often as the People do not Backup their Data frequently, so!
Password Manager: This is essential. I tell all of them cause they can't remember a password if their life depended on it to use KeePass. It's easy and comfortable but to no avail...
Graphics and multimedia editing: GIMP and ProjectX only cause I don't use it very often, works fine with the ts Streams from my dvb-t recorder, but I will try some of your suggestions.
Transferring files: Filezilla for ftp, transmission for torrents, SABNZBD for Usenet Downloads and for keeping data in sync I use Freefilesync which is a nifty little tool for mirroring or syncing directories or even whole volumes!
Disc burning: I never did that much so I'll leave that to Distros Choice. Brasero seems to get the job done
PearOs, Elementary, (X)(L)Ubuntu, #!, Peppermint, PointLinux, Puppy, LinuxLite
Ah so many great ones and their Spinoffs hard to decide depends on power of machine to install it on. With Woman Ubuntu is quite self explanatory and shopping lenses man they just seem to love it... frightening
64 • Favorite multiboot flash-drive tool? (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2014-01-21 09:09:05 GMT from United States)
While we're at it, ...
65 • @46-47 (by Alecon on 2014-01-21 10:16:48 GMT from Italy)
elementaryOS seems to me the closest replacement (assuming you were happy with pearOS)
66 • Best of Breed (addition to #15) (by Pierre on 2014-01-21 10:54:49 GMT from Germany)
Desktop environments were added to the stack, so I want to write a few lines on that, too.
As I already mentioned I prefer KDE when it comes to fully features desktop environments.
Nevertheless I love the beauty of Xfce's simplicity which makes for a very clean desktop.
In my opinion the best solution would be a compromise between KDE and Xfce.
So you can imagine how excited I have been when I heard of Klyde (K lightweight Desktop Environment).
Disappointingly the developed concepts will 'only' be included by including the concept of how KDE is packaged for openSUSE and not released as a real lightweight KDE alternative.
The reason I am not really sad about this is that a friend was using awesome (window manager) lately and when I saw him working I was so impressed, that I started to read a lot about tiling and stacking window managers.
Awesome sounded awesome indeed and working on it was impressive when I saw it. But in the end I could not get used to the way, too. The limited options to order windows on the screen simply always seemed to stand in my way and I finally made the conclusion that I am wasting more time this way than I would by having to resize windows on traditonal DEs/WMs.
So I started testing the other options I read about and when I tried i3 I was feeling so much at home that I simply stayed with it.
67 • @23 (by Andrew) (by Pierre on 2014-01-21 10:55:30 GMT from Germany)
To be honest I don't see where package installation is not intuitive on openSUSE. It's as simple as hitting 'sudo zypper install packagename' into a terminal.
Or, if you prefer a GUI, there are YaST and Apper available, too. So, well, at least three very easy and quite intuitive ways to install software. I don't know of any other distro that makes it easier or more intuitive or really different in any means.
Additionally adding the Packman repository to your package repositories is very easy, too. Simply open YaST and go for managing package repositories, then add custom/community repositories and simply chose Packman from the offered list.
Another option is the command line again with 'sudo zypper addrepo -f -n packman http://packman.inode.at/suse/openSUSE_13.1/ packman'.
Well, I cannot see where this is handled too difficult to be intuitive. In the end it's the question of feeling at home or not. So if slightly different approaches fit your way of doing things better it's ok. Open Source is about having the choice.
68 • Reactions to users favorite softwares (by Kazlu on 2014-01-21 14:01:51 GMT from France)
It's interesting to see several points of view here. And it's an occasion to discover new things.
@61 Peter Besenbruch: Wow. Thank you so much for bringing Stellarium and Cartes du Ciel to my knowledge. I definitely have to try these.
@63 Wolf: I second you about FreeFileSync. I even recommand it as a backup tool to people that do not want to invest time in learning how to use a tool. Sure it is limited as a backup solution (no compression, no incremental backups) but is is very easy to backup and restore data as well as to understand what the software does. This allows to easily get them to know what to do by themselves when a problem occurs.
69 • Favorite Software (by Dan Hart on 2014-01-21 15:52:15 GMT from United States)
For the list of favorite software, I agree and use just about everything there as well.
For my multi media needs, I use Banshee as well. It is fairly intuitive and easy to use as well.
For productivity, I rely on LibreOffice, but I supplement with a note taking app called Cherry Tree. It is a node based note taking app that makes organizing things into sub categories very easy.
One last piece of software I use as my password vault is Password Gorilla. You can set up categories, sub categories, and sub categories within sub categories. It can also generate a password for you if you like based on the criteria you set up. Again, very intuitive and easy to figure out.
I personally use Debian as my distro of choice. All the apps I have mentioned above on in the Debian Stable repo.
Your list was a great summarization of apps! :-)
70 • Favorites (by fernbap on 2014-01-21 15:54:27 GMT from Portugal)
browser: Firefox. Enough said, except for the ftp client i use, which is in fact a Firefox addin, Fireftp. Taking care of both tasks with a single app.
Multimedia: audio files - depends on how you want to listen to your music. Moc is awesome, as it uses very little resources, but usually you want something more, you want a music organiser as well as internet radio player, podcast player, the works. Audacious is a bit heavy on the resources, specially while using winamp skins. The gtk interface is much lighter. But i have to agree with Jesse on this one. Clementine is the exact balance between simplicity and functionality.
Video - All of them have issues. My preference goes to SMplayer, which has the best user interface imho. VLC has trouble with some video formats. Smplayer (mplayer) has trouble with some video formats as well, but the combination of both cover about everything, so i have both installed. So, i use smplayer except when i bump into one of the rare cases where it struggles with, in which case i use VLC. Smplayer is the best by far when dealing with external subtitles files.
Productivity: LibreOffice, enough said. However, on old hardware, Abiword is an awesome lightweight text processor.
Text editor: Geany all along, as it is one of the best development environments available.
Distro: DE - Mate all along. XFCE isn't even close when it comes to offering the most complete and versatile experience. XFCE used to be a lightweight alternative to gnome 2, but not any more. Mate is as light as XFCE, so i see no valid reason to use it. On old computers, LXDE or just Openbox, dependiong on the user.
"Family" - Debian all along. Btw, Fedora 20 offered me a good experience in thew live session. Then you decide to install it, you boot on the disk and it doesn't boot. It stops saying that it can't find the partition where it was installed (lol).
As i am interested in the Mate desktop, i find PointLinux awesome. Light and fast. I have also installed Mint 13 LTS Mate backported to Mint 16, where i run a web and mysql servers.
71 • Favorite Software (by Dan Hart on 2014-01-21 16:01:10 GMT from United States)
Sorry about this...I ommited these two last thoughts...
I use Brasero and XFburn, both suit my needs for CD/DVD creation.
And for web browsing, I go between both IceWeasel (Debian version of Firefox) and Chromium. Both suit my needs as a web developer. For general browsing, I tend to favor IceWeasel. When I am in developer mode, I tend to favor Chromium. One other web browser I have come to like as well, but do not use it regularly, is Midori. Very stable and fast.
72 • Qupzilla (by AliasMarlowe on 2014-01-21 16:36:56 GMT from Finland)
Qupzilla appears to be a nice enough browser (this was posted using it). However, as Jesse pointed out, it is lacking a few items.
In particular, it does not support logging into my router (the username and password fields are missing), and it does not support some features that are common among other browsers (try http://m.fmi.fi/saa for example).
73 • Best of breed (by Didier Spaier on 2014-01-21 17:02:47 GMT from France)
Reminder: there is a poll every year @ LinuxQuestions.org on that topic. For 2013 the poll didn't occur yet but see this thread for the list of nominees:
Other than that, I prefer to use directly the command line than tools that are just a GUI front ends where applicable. For instance:
for file transfer: wget, lftp and rsync
for disc burning (mkisofs + isohybrid) => cdrecord or dd or growisofs
Other than that I'm a happy Slackware user but of course that's only my personal choice ;)
74 • @60 Please don't converse directly... (by Linadian on 2014-01-21 20:27:05 GMT from Canada)
with me or make comments about my comments. Personally, I don't like your condescending tone, and no, I don't use my desktop search, I run SolydK, so I don't even think there is one. I was however warning people that might be thinking of using Ubuntu about their 'search' and what in might entail.
75 • @74 (by jaws222 on 2014-01-21 20:36:24 GMT from United States)
" I run SolydK"
I've been running Solydx. They are sweet distros, right?
As far as the Ubuntu search, who needs it.
76 • QupZilla and private browsing? (by Pearson on 2014-01-21 20:44:43 GMT from United States)
I've glanced at the QupZilla site, and I can't find whether it has the same features as the "Private Browsing" feature in Firefox.
77 • re 76 - QupZilla (by corneliu on 2014-01-21 21:14:39 GMT from Canada)
It does. It's in menu "Tools" or Ctrl+Shift+P
78 • @46 Pear OS (by historyb on 2014-01-21 22:24:50 GMT from United States)
Elementary OS is great as an alt to Pear OS
79 • I USED TO like Clementine (by edked on 2014-01-22 00:25:16 GMT from Canada)
Clementine was perfect for me, and I was very happy with it until they made the idiotic decision to remove libgpod support, apparently because it had problems with "newer ios devices."
Well, it was fine to use with my old 80g 5th gen, and I don't see why I had to lose the use of it because of people complaining about issues with their nano or iphone.
So, back to Banshee, which I like, but wasn't too pleased about the metric buttload of gnome components it installed on my kde setup.
Maybe next time I do a full install I'll leave Amarok on and try that trick I saw written up somewhere to tweak its database settings to speed up music-library-reading, which is just intolerably slow in any standard install I've ever tried...
80 • Liking CentOS, best in class software... (by Arkanabar on 2014-01-22 01:03:02 GMT from United States)
Jesse: Did you consider Rekonq? Probably not; it's pretty well wedded to KDE, aparently not very cross-platform.
The news that Red Hat plans to fund CentOS tells me they really, really want to put the screws to Oracle Linux as an EL clone. More power to them.
I've used and liked CentOS, but I don't want to fool around with manual driver updates that my wired(!) NIC requires to work under CentOS. If my old computer hadn't died, I'd still have and be using it.
I've long been a distrohopper, installing new distros to bare metal every month or so, and having as many as six at once prior to giving up WoW, which had me trying nearly everything coming and going in order squeeze a few extra frames per second out of my old hardware. Because I generally had a new distro that needed stuff to be complete, and favored cutting-edge distros with rapid update cycles, I usually had a lot of updating to do. My wife figured this was typical of Linux usage and far too much work for a rational person, so she threatened me with bodily harm when I offered to install linux on her computer.
She favors a more conservative approach, to cut down on the work of keeping up to date. I've told her that CentOS (by way of Stella) would last nearly as long as her beloved Windows XP has, without requiring reinstallation, and that there would only be updates if there was a bug or security issue. She is a lot more receptive to that.
Moral of the story: recommend to people distros that suit *their* needs, not yours.
Best in classes: OS: Lubuntu, #!, openSUSE, with Mint 13 KDE on my lappy. For me, anyway. I think about rebasing #! to Jessie, but I never get around to it. As I mentioned, I think my wife would prefer Stella/CEntOS. Browser: Firefox/Iceweasel. I can't STAND using a mouse to navigate my bookmarks. I keep Chromium, Midori, w3m, Rekonq, and Konqueror around, but most of the time, I use Firefox. Text editors: nano for the console; any of leafpad, mousepad, gedit, kate, kwrite, and pluma for the gui, depending on environment. Productivity: LibreOffice. It works, and I'm too lazy to go hunting OpenOffice down. But I like to have either Abiword or Calligra-words installed too, just in case. A/V: VLC. It does what little I need. Email: web browser. I know the NSA can read it at will. I edit things to suit. Graphics: the GIMP. It does what little I need. Password manager: KeePassX. I am in job search, and I am NOT going to rely on any policy other than random generation to get into all these sites that require me to leave my SSN. File transfer: grsync, bittorrent, ktorrent. Disk burning: K3b.
@30: KNOPPIX is widely regarded as *the* premier live rescue distro. Its popularity at OSDisc is thereby assured.
81 • @30: KNOPPIX (by Rev_Don on 2014-01-22 18:14:17 GMT from United States)
"@30: KNOPPIX is widely regarded as *the* premier live rescue distro. Its popularity at OSDisc is thereby assured."
You got that right. Any Linux user who doesn't have a Knoppix Live CD/DVD/USB in their arsenal is really missing the boat. I can't imagine not having all three available to me at all times to deal with emergencies that always seem to arise at inopportune moments..
82 • @16 @48 CentOS (by PePa on 2014-01-22 22:31:21 GMT from Canada)
@16 Unfortunately, RedHat taking over CentOS is probably going to lead to way less distros based on it, because only official CentOS distributions can use CentOS. More here: http://nerdvittles.com/?p=8721
@48 When Fedora was birthed, it wasn't a merger with RedHat, but a split-off.
83 • Qupzilla - the little browser that certainly can - seconded (by Robert Alonso on 2014-01-23 02:51:19 GMT from Australia)
Jesse I felt vindicated by your article on Qupzilla and the fact that you are using it as your browser of choice.
I started having issues with Chrome/Chromium about 8 months ago (memory hog) and was not happy with the workaround solution of using the "onetab" extension so I started looking for a replacement. Much like you I didn't like the performance of Firefox and I really just wanted something light that I could browse the web with. When I came across Qupzilla it just felt right. It's quick, it's light, it has adblock built-in and does everything I need it to do on my KDE Archlinux desktop. Whenever I tell my friends or colleagues what I'm using however I just get blank stares....
Thank you for making me feel like I'm not a lone voice in the wilderness...
84 • @82 (by :wq on 2014-01-23 04:20:28 GMT from United States)
As I said, a different set of circumstances that merely stirred a memory, but for the historical record: https://web.archive.org/web/20031014042928/http://www.fedora.us/
85 • @81: Knoppix (by Kazlu on 2014-01-23 09:55:08 GMT from France)
I personnally use Puppy for those purposes. Fast, able to to do anything. Actually its small size got me to make every USB stick / microSD card I use bootable with Puppy in it. I didn't try Knoppix, I don't feel the need. Have you tried both Knoppix and Puppy? Mind sharing impressions about Knoppix compared to Puppy?
86 • @64 • Favorite multiboot flash-drive tool (by Rev_Don on 2014-01-23 14:09:03 GMT from United States)
"64 • Favorite multiboot flash-drive tool?"
Sardu, hands down. I haven't found anything that even comes close.
87 • Qupzilla (by Dbl Mtn on 2014-01-23 14:39:20 GMT from United States)
I installed Qupzilla, and it looked to be the answer to leaving my favorite, Opera. Got it setup to my liking, and began reading 1stheadline.com news stories. Any ABC News article will display the banner across the top of the screen, but the rest is blank. What do I need to do to correct this? This is a killer for me, and I will have to find another browser, if this isn't fixed.
88 • Qupzilla "issues" (by Pearson on 2014-01-23 16:10:42 GMT from United States)
When I glanced a the Qupzilla site a few days ago (haven't been able to install it at work), I saw something about some sites requiring you to set the User Agent String in Qupzilla (I infer that some sites are looking for particular browser names to enable certain features,and qupzilla isn't in their list, and their default is too minimal)
89 • 1stheadline (by sam on 2014-01-23 17:00:32 GMT from United States)
Attempting to workaround browser quirks, some sites parse user-agent string from HTTP request headers and conditionally tailor the content sent to you based on the browser you APPARENTLY have. You might also see the same (mis)behavior when visiting 1stheadline while using other lesser-known browsers, like midori. (hint: doing so would be a troubleshooting step)
"I will have to find another browser, if this isn't fixed."
Mentioning it in comment here probably is unlikely to get it fixed, eh. Alert 1stheadline's webmaster to the issue and report the issue to Qupzilla's space on the github site.
90 • Qupzilla (by Wolf on 2014-01-23 19:22:45 GMT from Germany)
I hate to be the guy that breaks the bad news but at least on my system Qupzilla is quite a memory hog. Nearly 3 times the Memory usage and even up to 6% Process time.... I'm confused does anyone confirm my observations???
91 • Top 3 distros (6 months data) (by GNUday on 2014-01-23 19:51:21 GMT from Canada)
Has anybody else noticed all top 3 are Debian based? What ever could this mean, lol. ;-D
Yes, I know, "don't take the HPD seriously".
I have another idea for a top distro counter system, total repository traffic combined with ISO downloads or just ISO downloads, repository upgrades means the user has already downloaded an ISO. New and existing distros wanting to be part of the distro popularity contest would need an ISO download counting system in place.
92 • 64 - multiboot flash-drive tool (by Somewhat Reticent on 2014-01-23 22:47:14 GMT from United States)
YUMI from PenDriveLinux.com comes in DebIan and Ubuntu flavors.
93 • @91 - Counting Downloads (by Serge on 2014-01-23 23:49:55 GMT from United States)
The two main problems with counting downloads are: First, this only tells us how many times the ISO was downloaded, not how many deployments of that distro are active; I might download the ISO once and install it on several computers, or I might download it, install it, break my setup and re-download it to re-install it, or I might download it, install it, decide I don't like it, and never use it again. Second, counting ISO downloads does not track re-distribution by third parties, such as for example re-distribution within a local corporate intranet. A corporate sysadmin will download the ISO only once regardless of how many installs he or she plans - that one download could lead to hundreds or even thousands of deployments.
Tracking repository access is more accurate, but runs into the problem that derivative distros are going to be misrepresented - distros like Linux Mint and Netrunner by default include Ubuntu repositories in their package managers, and it is difficult for Ubuntu's statisticians to then tell the difference between an actual Ubuntu user and a Linux Mint user. Another problem with this method is that users of open source operating systems tend to be very privacy conscious, which makes tracking repository usage a sensitive topic.
I'm not trying to beat your ideas down. I'm just pointing out problems that have been pointed out to these kind of suggestions in the past. Accurately tracking distro usage is a problem that people have been trying to solve for as long as there have been multiple competing distros. It's just not possible.
94 • Favorites (by Bill on 2014-01-24 00:30:58 GMT from Canada)
I went to Linux several years ago as I found windows to be rather weak in playback quality of recorded music. I liked Win XP and still do as a desktop. When I moved to Linux I tried just about everything. Initially liked the mint distros until I tried Debian 7.
My primary reason for moving to Debian was that it offered superb music playback with very low overhead and to my surprise, it has been truly stable.
Every application I have tried has been a rewarding experience, even running Windows in a Virtualbox. I prefer gnome classic desktop as I have configured it much like Windows XP. I also like the Xfxe desktop.
Favorite apps are: Audacious, LibreOffice, Evolution & Thunderbird, Qjackctl, Gparted, Unetbootin and Bleachbit.
If I was into video and gaming, Ubuntu would be my first choice as a distro for Xbmc but I am not into video that much. Fortunately there are a good number of other distro's that one can use for their computing needs. Open source software is great, isn't it?
95 • Qupzilla (by os on 2014-01-24 01:56:49 GMT from Australia)
It's a shame this review was for Qupzilla 1.4.4 when 1.6 is alreay out and has some significant improvements.
I've been trying out every new Qupzilla release for quite a while and have always liked it, but 1.6 is the first one that I use as my main browser. It is definitely more stable than previous versions and has fewer rendering problems than previous versions (or any other lesser-known browser I have tried).
The main extensions I use in Firefox are Adblock, Flashblock and the KWallet plugin - these are all handled natively in Qupzilla. The only thing I (occasionally) miss is Firebug as some other people have already mentioned.
96 • RE: tracking distro usage (by :wq on 2014-01-24 02:09:18 GMT from United States)
Why not just ask the NSA?
The NSA would never share that information.
97 • MATE desktop Ubuntu 14.04 (by jaws222 on 2014-01-24 19:55:34 GMT from United States)
Does anyone know if the MATE desktop is compatible with the 14.04 alpha 2?
98 • @88: User Agent String (by Vukota on 2014-01-24 22:05:12 GMT from United States)
Microsoft concluded (based on a research) that there is a significant number of web sites that are checking user agent strings and due to that fact, content in their IE browser is rendered incorrectly. If they made such conclusion and due to that fact made in their IE11 user agent string similar to Firefox, Chrome and Safari, I would say it is enough reason that any modern browser agent should be able to do so easily.
99 • good OS (by Ken on 2014-01-25 02:27:23 GMT from United States)
Thank you Distro-watch team. I'm a regular reader.
I am not a geek in any way shape or form. I'm just average "Joe User" and distro-hopper since about 2005. I've tried most all distros. I love Puppy the best but I don't used it for every day work. I prefer the lite -fast distros.
For the past few months I've been using "Point Linux" and it has been perfect! I have bloated it some and it still works exceptionally well. I've had a couple of application crashes and Point Linux came right back to normal rock solid performance. I highly recommend this distro to all. Just my opinion!
100 • @87 • Qupzilla (by coonhound on 2014-01-25 05:37:27 GMT from United States)
You need to disable Adblock to view the webpage. After you disable adblock refresh the browser and the full page will be display.
101 • @82 wrt to CentOS (by Johnny Hughes on 2014-01-25 16:20:17 GMT from United States)
As "Skavoovie" pointed out in 2 comments on that site, the article that you linked to is inaccurate.
The only thing that Red Hat is saying is that the CentOS trademarks must be used properly. You can't call something CentOS if it is not CentOS. You CAN (and CentOS wants) you to use the underlying code in other projects. In fact, the whole reason for the arrangement with Red Hat was to allow for SIGs to be able to use CentOS as a base for their projects and create "variants" where the can actually use the CentOS branding.
Open source or not, some group can not say that their product is Debian or Ubuntu or Mageia if they are not. They also can't use the logos of those companies to promote their products. The trademark section of the CentOS site says that people can say their product is Based on CentOS (if it is) and they can say that any software they create "Runs on CentOS" or their sites are "powered by CentOS". They just can't say that their product IS CentOS, unless it is.
In short, that article is complete poppycock, and there is no reason why people should not use CentOS source code in their products.
You are also incorrect with respect to Fedora. Fedora Linux existed and joined with Red Hat, see this article for clarification:
102 • @96 & 93 (by GNUday on 2014-01-25 19:52:57 GMT from Canada)
@96 Your NSA joke made my coffee go up my nose laughing! o_0
@93 You are absolutely right, I failed to take all those facts in to consideration. Maybe all installed distros should 'phone home' like Ubuntu, lol. ;-D
103 • Page Hit Count interpretation (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2014-01-25 23:51:47 GMT from United States)
Shouldn't such statistics go to Marketing for analysis? After all, these should imply how well Marketing is appealing to seekers ...
Number of Comments: 103
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