| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 544, 3 February 2014
Welcome to this year's 5th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Computers and their operating systems can be many things. They can be fun, educational or useful tools in the quest for knowledge. Perhaps primarily computers are here to make our lives easier, to facilitate our work, learning and play. With that in mind, this week we look at two projects which attempt to lower the bar for adopting and working with Linux. First up we have a review of a newcomer-friendly distribution called Netrunner. This project is aimed at Windows users migrating to the Linux community. Read on to find out Jesse Smith's first impressions of how well Netrunner operates. The second project we visit this week is called Distributed Shell, a utility which facilitates running commands on multiple machines from one terminal. Also in this issue of DistroWatch Weekly we check in with interesting projects moving forward, including Canonical's work on Ubuntu Touch, Debian's updates to its stable branches and the PC-BSD project's latest release. Plus, we report on openSUSE's current debate about the project's future, Gentoo's recent server woes, and link to last week's interesting announcements by Scientific Linux and Yellow Dog Linux. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Introducing Netrunner 13.12
The Netrunner distribution is a project based upon the Ubuntu operating system. Netrunner strives to be an easy to use desktop operating system that completes most tasks with free software while offering convenient add-ons and web-based solutions to round out the user experience. Netrunner ships with the KDE desktop to provide a mix of flexibility (for power users) and familiarity (for newcomers). The latest release of Netrunner, version 13.12, is based upon Ubuntu 13.10. The distribution comes with several appealing features, including multimedia support, Windows application compatibility via WINE and the Steam gaming portal software. Netrunner is available in just one edition and can be downloaded in 32-bit or 64-bit x86 builds. The project's installation media is approximately 1.6 GB in size.
Before I get to my experiences with the Netrunner distribution I want to briefly mention the project's website. It is, in my opinion, one of the nicer community project websites I've visited recently. Frequently I find corporate-backed distributions have websites with a lot of buzz words and little useful information whereas small community projects give only the barest information. The Netrunner site is pretty good at explaining what the distribution does, how it works, what technologies go into it and what the interface looks like. There are screen shots and videos and the pages are easy to navigate.
Netrunner 13.12 - desktop settings and documentation
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Loading the Netrunner live disc brings us to the KDE desktop. The background is soft blue. An application menu, task switcher and system tray rest at the bottom of the screen. Along the top of the display we find icons for bringing up information on our computer's hardware, launching the system installer, accessing web-based accounts and launching the Steam gaming portal. There is also an icon for opening a web browser and accessing the project's release notes. These notes include tips for installing the operating system on machines with Secure Boot, some key features and advice for new users. My first hint of trouble came about very early on when I launched the project's system installer. While the installer was loading the Plasma desktop shell crashed, causing the desktop to disappear. Plasma restarted itself, but running into a bug this early wasn't a good omen.
Netrunner's system installer is borrowed from the Kubuntu distribution and features a nice, friendly interface. The process of installing is fairly streamlined. We are walked through selecting our preferred language, then asked if we would like to divide up our hard disk using guided partitioning or manually partition the disk ourselves. Another option is to let the installer try to automate creating LVM volumes. I went with manual partitioning and found the installer supports most Linux file systems, including ext2/3/4, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS and Btrfs. I decided to install Netrunner on top of the advanced Btr file system. We can then select where to install the project's boot loader and the distribution's files begin to copy from the installation media. While the files copy we are asked to confirm our time zone, select our keyboard's layout and create a user account. The user account creation screen asks us for a password and offers to encrypt the contents of our home directory. When the installer finishes copying its files we are prompted to reboot the computer.
Loading our freshly installed copy of Netrunner brings us to a graphical login screen. Here we can sign into our user account or, optionally, sign in using a guest account. The guest account is not protected by a password and is wiped clean after each use, making it ideal for temporary users. When we login we are brought back to the KDE desktop, version 4.11. The desktop's application menu has been modified. Down the left side of the application menu are quick-launch buttons and the rest of the menu has a classic theme to it. I found this layout pleasant as I like KDE's classic menu and the addition of quick buttons was usually helpful. (The one time it wasn't helpful I had accidentally clicked the quick launch button for shutting down the system, for which there is no confirmation prompt.) Some minor visual effects are enabled on the desktop adding a dynamic feel to the interface, though nothing I found distracting.
One of the first things I did with Netrunner was open the Driver Manager application and attempt to download the third-party drivers which were recommended for me. The application brought up a progress bar and I watched it slowly grow to 70% completion, at which point it stopped. I let Driver Manager run for a while, but after half an hour I realized the program just wasn't going to finish what it had started. I forced the window to close and, from that point, I suffered a series of frustrations whenever I tried to install or update packages. Any transaction would get stuck, once again, at 70%, but no error message was shown. A trip to the command line and working with apt-get showed the underlying dpkg package manager was confused and needed me to run the command "dpkg --configure -a". Once this was done all of my updates and applications I had tried to install before were applied to the system. From then on all my work with software packages went smoothly.
Netrunner 13.12 - additional drivers and web-based package management
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This seems like a good time to talk about Netrunner's many software management utilities which vary a great deal while apparently all using the same back-end for compatibility. In the list of package managers we find Synaptic, which is a great, classic software manager that focuses on a package-oriented approach. It's a flexible package manager that works quickly and handles transactions in batches. There is the Muon Update Manager which shows us a summary of available updates, allowing us to select which packages we want to upgrade. We also find the Muon Package Manager which is a lot like Synaptic in its style, though I feel Muon's interface is a touch more friendly and a bit simplified when compared next to Synaptic's. Also we have Muon Discover, which is a more modern package manager that allows us to browse software categories and interact with bright, colourful icons. While Muon Discover performed slower for me than the other package managers mentioned above, it does have some nice perks. Aside from easy navigation, Muon Discover clearly shows user supplied ratings of packages and big screen shots.
Installations can be initiated with a single click. Also, in Muon Discover we do not need to open a package's description page to install the software, we can hover our mouse over the program's icon and an Install button will appear -- a short-cut I greatly appreciated. Apart from these local package managers, and their apt-get back-end, there is a web-based service called JacknJoe. This site basically acts like a web-based version of Muon Discover, letting us browse categories of software, click on icons to get details on packages and supplying a one-click avenue for installing software. While the JacknJoe website works, I was hesitant to use it. The site doesn't contain much in the way of information as to who runs the site or where packages displayed on the website come from. I'm not sure if it is a front-end to Ubuntu's repositories or if it is an independent repository. I did a few web searches and couldn't come up with many references or explanations for JacknJoe other than this other author asking the same questions I was.
Looking through Netrunner's application menu we find the Firefox web browser with AdBlock, Flash support and a media downloader. The LibreOffice suite is installed for us as are the Skype video chat client, the Thunderbird e-mail client and the FileZilla file transfer application. The Pidgin instant messaging software is installed for us along with the Transmission bittorrent client, the GNU Image Manipulation Program and the Karbon vector drawing program. We also find the Clementine music player, the Kdenlive video editing software, the VLC multimedia player, the k3b disc burning software and a full range of multimedia codecs. In addition, we find the KDE System Settings panel for adjusting the look and feel of the interface, the KDE partition manager and a collection of small games. The Steam software portal is provided for us along with the WINE Windows compatibility software. An app for managing wireless drivers built for Windows is supplied as is the VirtualBox virtual machine software. Digging further we find the KPPP dial-up software and Network Manager for getting on-line. The desktop environment comes with a text editor, archive manager, virtual calculator and accessibility tools. Under the hood, Netrunner sports the Linux kernel, version 3.11.
As I mentioned above, Netrunner comes with the WINE compatibility software. The distribution also comes with WINE Tricks, which is a handy utility that helps us download and install certain popular proprietary software packages. I tried to install a handful of these packages using the point-n-click WINE Tricks wizard and found some installed and ran properly and some didn't. Still, having any software automatically downloaded and installed without manually hunting down the software's website, downloading the correct file and configuring WINE to work with that package is a good thing, in my opinion. Another interesting piece of software that comes with Netrunner is Web Accounts. The Web Accounts software is designed to let us tie our social media or e-mail accounts (such as GMail and Facebook) to our local user account. Personally, I'm paranoid enough to not like the idea of attaching Google- or Facebook-based accounts to my local profile, but I gave it a try. Each attempt to supply my credentials to the Web Accounts software resulted in the program crashing, so I eventually gave up and moved on to other things.
Netrunner 13.12 - setting up Web Accounts
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I tried working with Netrunner on a desktop machine (dual-core 2.8 GHz CPU, 6 GB of RAM, Radeon video card and Realtek network card) and found the distribution performed well. The system booted quickly, my display was set to its maximum resolution and I had no trouble getting on-line or playing audio files. The desktop was fairly responsive, not fast, but it performed well enough to keep me happy. The distribution is a bit on the heavy side, using approximately 330MB of RAM on my test machine. I tried operating Netrunner in a VirtualBox virtual machine too and ran into two minor problems. The first was that the KDE interface was a bit sluggish in the virtual environment, even with visual effects disabled. The second issue was I could not drag scrollbars in the virtual machine. When browsing websites or reading text documents I could click at the top or bottom of a scroll bar to page through the document and I could use my mouse wheel to scan through the document, but I could not click-and-drag a scrollbar in any application. I tried a few other distributions in VirtualBox on the same equipment just to confirm this issue is specific to Netrunner and, based on my tests so far, it is.
Netrunner 13.12 - browsing hardware information
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What my experiences from this past week with Netrunner really boiled down to were two things. On the one hand there are certainly bugs in the operating system as I've pointed out above. The Driver Manager bungled software management for me for a while, Web Accounts didn't work for me at all and WINE Tricks worked around half the time for me. The distribution comes with, in my opinion, about three too many package managers and I really don't see the point in the web-based JacknJoe package manager since it does not appear to have any exclusive software bundles. Performance was acceptable, but not great with Netrunner and the distribution may lag on older equipment. All that being said, I came away with a mostly positive opinion of Netrunner because the project does several things well. Having a pleasant website with useful documentation that is easy to find is a good starting point. The desktop and application menus are a pleasant combination of classic and modern, managing to be familiar while improving on the traditional desktop design. The system installer is one of the better installers I have used recently which makes for a good early impression.
The distribution comes with a lot of functionality out of the box, including multimedia support, productivity software and WINE. I found the application menu, while presenting a lot of functionality, was not bogged down with too many options (package managers aside). I like that there are programs for a wide array of people, ranging from LibreOffice and e-mail, to web browsers and social media software, to fun games and development tools. A lot of functionality is pressed into the 1.6GB download. The desktop's theme is attractive, the software packaged is modern and I feel Netrunner will be a complete operating system with no configuration or hassle for most people. In short, I feel Netrunner does several things right and the problems I ran into have more to do with the specific implementations of certain programs rather than the design of the distribution as a whole. In general, Netrunner performs well, brings a lot of functionality to the table and manages to look good too. I think it will appeal to many people, especially those new to the Linux community.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar)
openSUSE community debates future without paid developers, running Ubuntu Touch in emulator, Debian updates stable images, PC-BSD launches version 10.0, Gentoo and Yellow Dog updates
It seems that the openSUSE distribution is going through another release crisis. After it was decided that paid SUSE developers will no longer work on the free openSUSE distribution, the community has been trying to figure out how to continue developing the distro without any paid staff. Last week's mailing list post by Robert Schweikert opens a discussion on how to move forward: "Thanks to the openSUSE team for the hard work they have put forth in the past to turning the release crank - it is much appreciated. I think the time has come to move forward and deal with the new situation. As of right now we still have a release cycle of 8 month. That would put us into May for openSUSE 13.2. This brings about two questions. Given the current situation can we meet a May release date? Do we skip the May release and move to a yearly cycle and release 13.2 in November of 2014? During last year's discussions there were a number of people favoring a yearly release cycle. We have to make a decision - stick to 8 months or move to 12 months?"
* * * * *
The developers at Canonical continue in their quest to spread the Ubuntu operating system across devices of all shapes and sizes, from servers to laptops to phones. Some people may be curious as to how the smartphone edition of Ubuntu, called Ubuntu Touch, will work. One way to explore Ubuntu Touch is to run it in an emulator. David Planella has a blog post on installing and setting up the Ubuntu Touch emulator on a desktop machine: "While the final emulator is still work in progress, this month we are also going to see a big push in finishing all the pieces to make it a first-class citizen for development, both for the platform itself and for app developers. However, as it stands today, the emulator is already functional, so I've decided to prepare a quick-start guide to highlight the great work the Foundations and Phonedations teams (along with many other contributors) are producing to make it possible."
* * * * *
The recent surprise announcement about CentOS developers joining Red Hat as paid employees has left many wondering about the future of other Red Hat Enterprise Linux clones, such as Scientific Linux. After some internal as well as external discussions with the above-mentioned parties, Connie Sieh finally issued a statement committing to the distribution's continued development, but also hinting at a possibility of developing the upcoming Scientific Linux 7 as a "CentOS variant": "Fermilab and CERN remain committed to the original goal of Scientific Linux: providing a stable, well-supported, open-source platform which meets the needs of high-energy physics experiments. The fact that this platform is used by people outside of that community is something we appreciate and will be a factor in any decisions going forward. There are still many questions to pursue as the details of CentOS Special Interest Groups continue to evolve. The anticipated release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 presents an opportunity to consider forming/joining a CentOS Special Interest Group and producing Scientific Linux 7 as a CentOS variant. The variant structure may allow greater flexibility in adapting the distribution to scientific needs."
* * * * *
The Debian project will soon be releasing minor point releases to its past two latest stable versions, 'Squeeze' and 'Wheezy'. These updates do not represent new versions of Debian, but rather present updated ISO images with security updates for existing releases. The new Wheezy images are scheduled to be available starting February 8th: "The next point release for 'Wheezy' (7.4) is scheduled for Saturday February 8th. Stable NEW will be frozen during the preceding weekend. As usual, base-files can be uploaded at any point before the freeze." The updated 'Squeeze' images will be available for download the following week, on the 15th of February. Both of these updates represent Debian's ongoing commitment to users who like to maintain conservative, stable operating systems.
* * * * *
Another new release is that of PC-BSD 10.0. The FreeBSD-based project is sporting a few new features, including faster start-up times for PBI packages, packages for the GNOME 3, Cinnamon and MATE desktop environments and better support for ATI video cards. There is also a text-based installer for server machines. Josh Smith posted the following on the project's blog: "Joe Maloney has been working tirelessly to get GNOME 3 into PC-BSD, and has been a huge help getting this Behemoth DE into a usable state. Anyone who is interested in using and testing GNOME 3 (it is still unsupported at this time) make sure to thank Joe for all the hard work he's been putting in. PBI’s have undergone even more detailed optimization further increasing their startup times. More tweaks and optimizations have been committed to PCDM, a firewall manager, and ATI Hybrid graphics laptops." For a complete feature list of this FreeBSD-based desktop operating system see the project's wiki.
* * * * *
Computers break, it is an unfortunate fact of life. Sometimes a system going down can impact a lot of people, as when the Gentoo overlays server went off-line on January 10. The Gentoo newsletter covers the project's progress as they discovered what was working, what was not and the steps they took to get overlays.gentoo.org back on-line. "After importing the data into a new, empty overlays setup provisioned by our configuration management and a quick test of a few repositories, I was glad to be able to announce the service restoration. Sadly, the bad patch we've been going through wasn't over yet: Several of the repositories showed corruption which forced us to start looking into the backup and merge the recovered live state with a backup taken a few hours before the outage. Having suffered from all these little setbacks, on Saturday we were able to finally fully restore the service." The latest monthly newsletter has more details and a photo of the rescued hard drives. In an effort to keep Gentoo users informed of outages and repair progress, the Gentoo project maintains a status page that shows which services are available along with reports from the team working to fix issues.
* * * * *
Once the most popular distribution developed exclusively for PowerPC computers, the Fedora-based Yellow Dog Linux has been in terminal decline ever since Apple's surprise switch to the Intel architecture back in 2006. Although the project continued to make new releases, its website infrastructure has been slowly eroding due to lack of maintenance and updates. Last week, Fixstars, the company that owns Yellow Dog Linux, also announced the upcoming closure of its premium YDL.net web portal: "Dear YDL.net user. Since the creation of YDL.net service nearly a decade ago, many new and much improved email, calendar, and blog services have been made available which are able to eclipse Fixstars offerings in terms of both reliability, ease of use, and number of features. As such Fixstars has decided to discontinue the YDL.net email, blog, and calendar features as it has become no longer feasible to host these services. We understand that this is a inconvenience to many of you and we will attempt to delay the discontinuation of service until March 2014 although server failure may occur, resulting in the loss of user data." Is this the definite end of Yellow Dog as a Linux distribution?
|Tips and Tricks (by Jesse Smith)
Running the same command in multiple places
Many of us have multiple computers, I'm sure several of us administer multiple machines, often in our own homes. At times it is very useful to be able to perform the same task on more than one computer at a time. Perhaps we want to run a script which does some semi-automatic cleaning of our hard drive, or maybe we want to just make sure each of our computers is on-line, perhaps we want to run some kind of test or install available software upgrades. Whatever the purpose may be it is an inconvenience to login into each computer in turn to perform the same action over and over again. One way to avoid the extra work of logging into each computer one at a time is to use Distributed Shell -- sometimes referred to as Dancer's Shell or simply dsh.
The concept behind Distributed Shell is fairly simple. We give the dsh program a command we want to perform on multiple computers and, usually, a list of computers where we want the command performed. The dsh program then attempts to contact each of the remote computers and runs the command on each one. The only thing we need to do on the remote machine to make dsh work is make sure the remote computer is running the secure shell service. For example, let us say I have two remote servers I want to check on and see what their basic status is. One remote computer is called nancy and the other one is called kevin. To check on their current uptimes and load averages I can run the following command:
dsh -m nancy -m kevin uptime
In this example the "-m" flag tells dsh which machines to contact and the trailing argument is the command I want to run on the remote computers. In my case what I get back are the following two lines, the first from host nancy and the second from kevin:
11:13:13 up 9 days, 18:33, 0 users, load average: 0.02, 0.06, 0.05
Should we have a lot of computers we want to work with we probably do not want to specify each remote computer on the command line every time we run the command. To get around this we can add each computer we wish to contact to the /etc/dsh/machines.list file, placing one computer's name on each line. By default the machines.list file contains just one entry, that of our local computer. With this file full of computer names we can then run a command like the following to get the uptime of every computer in the list:
10:08:51 up 166 days, 14:36, 0 users, load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00
dsh -a uptime
The names of remote machines can be just the name of the remote host (as shown above) or we can supply IP addresses. We can also specify a username for each remote computer if our username on the remote machine is different. For instance, the following command checks the kernel version on remote machines nancy and kevin using alternative usernames:
dsh -m jesse@nancy -m susan@kevin -- uname -r
Where necessary dsh will prompt us for a password for the remote machines. By default, the dsh command attempts to contact all remote computers at the same time. This can be convenient and fast, especially if we just have a handful of computers on which to work. However, in some cases (such as when a large number of computers is involved) we may wish to have dsh contact one machine at a time and wait for its task to complete before moving onto the next computer. To do that we can specify the "-w" flag. For example, the following command checks to see who is logged into each remote machine in our /etc/dsh/machines.list file. Each computer is contacted one at a time:
dsh -w -a -- who
Finally, you can open a remote shell session on multiple computers and interact with each shell at the same time. This can be helpful if you need to perform more complex tasks where interaction is required. To do this we tell dsh to run in interactive mode by specifying the "-i" flag and launch a shell on each remote computer:
dsh -m nancy -m kevin -i -c -- /bin/bash
The dsh command is one of those tools that, when you are an administrator, comes in handy on a regular bases and can save a great deal of time over the course of a career.
|Released Last Week
Zorin OS 8
Artyom Zorin has announced the release of Zorin OS 8, a brand-new release from the project that caters primarily to new Linux converts with a custom desktop user interface based on GNOME Shell: "The Zorin OS team is excited to announce the release of Zorin OS 8 Core and Ultimate. We have introduced a myriad of changes in Zorin OS including updated software, improvements to the user interface and entirely new software. Zorin OS 8 includes a simpler and more beautiful music player, the Empathy instant messaging client as well as the Zorin theme changer. We have created a beautiful new dark theme in complement to a new and improved light theme. We have created a simple tool to switch between the two quickly and easily. We have revamped the look of the bootloader so that switching between operating systems looks better than ever. As always, Zorin OS 8 uses the Zorin desktop environment with Zorin Menu for unparalleled customization." Here is the brief release announcement with a screenshot.
Zorin OS - the default desktop user interface with Zorin Desktop
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Simplicity Linux 14.1
David Purse has announced the release of Simplicity Linux 14.1, the latest update of the lightweight (with LXDE) Puppy-based distribution for desktops, media centres and netbooks: "We're proud to announce the release of Simplicity Linux 14.1. It is based on 'Slacko' Puppy 5.6 but it replaces JWM with LXDE and has Firefox ESR 24.0 as the default browser with the Cocoon proxy added. If you are worried about your privacy, sign up for an account, otherwise it does nothing, and is completely optional. It's something we personally use, and have found really useful, so we thought we would bundle it. Desktop 14.1 is our fullest featured release to date. You get Skype, LibreOffice, Java, Flash, MPlayer, Firefox, OnLive, WINE and other software preinstalled. If you are after a full-featured version of Simplicity Linux, this is the version you will want to download." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information.
Manuel Bouyer has announced the release of NetBSD 6.1.3, the latest stable version of the project that develops a functional operating system for nearly 50 processor architectures: "The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce NetBSD 6.1.3, the third security/bugfix update of the NetBSD 6.1 release branch. It represents a selected subset of fixes deemed important for security or stability reasons. Please note that all fixes in the prior security and bug-fix updates (NetBSD 6.0.1, 6.0.2, 6.0.3 and 6.0.4), as well as those in 6.1.1 and 6.1.3, are also in 6.1.3. Changes between 6.1.3 and 6.1.3: security fixes - use after free in Xserver handling of ImageText requests, embryonic TCP sockets local DoS, router advertisement sysctl local denial of service, memory leak when trying to execute bogus ELF binaries...." Read the detailed release notes for a more complete list of changes and links to relevant documents.
Tiny Core Linux 5.1 "piCore"
Béla Markus has announced the release of "piCore", an edition of Tiny Core Linux for the Raspberry Pi single-board computer: "Team Tiny Core is pleased to announce the availability of piCore 5.1, the Raspberry Pi port of Tiny Core Linux. It is an independent system architected by Robert Shingledecker and now developed by a small team of developers with strong community support. Tiny Core Linux is not a traditional distribution but a toolkit to create your own customized system. It offers not only flexibility, small footprint but a very recent kernel and set of applications making it ideal for custom systems, appliances as well as to learn Linux, matching Raspberry Pi perfectly. Main features: Linux kernel 3.12.7 with sound DAC support, BusyBox 1.22.1, eglibc 2.18, X.Org 7.7, zswap (compressed swap in RAM), zram (compressed RAM), Linaro 4.8-2013.11 (GCC 4.8.3) toolchain." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information.
Kris Moore has announced the release of PC-BSD 10.0, a major new version of the project's desktop operating system based on FreeBSD 10.0: "PC-BSD 10.0-RELEASE is now available for download. Notable features: includes FreeBSD 10.0-RELEASE; updated KMS/AMD driver support; ISO file is a hybrid USB file which can be 'dd'-ed to a USB media; new text-based installer; able to select between GRUB/BSD loaders during installation; new desktops - GNOME 3, MATE (replaces GNOME 2) and Cinnamon. Online updating to 10.0-RELEASE is now available for users running 9.2-RELEASE systems. As with any upgrade, please make sure to backup your critical data beforehand. To get started, first ensure that your packages and world and kernel are up-to-date and then apply the update to 10.0 using the following command at a root prompt..." Read the release announcement and visit the what's new page for a detailed list of changes and upgrade information.
PC-BSD 10.0 - supporting a number of new desktop environments
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Quirky 6.0 "Tahr"
Barry Kauler has announced the release of Quirky 6.0 "Tahr" edition. This is a small and experimental live CD which, unlike the the original Quirky 6.0 released last month, is binary compatible with "Trusty Tahr", Ubuntu's current development tree. From the release announcement: "You have heard of Trusty Tahr. Well, this is Quirky Tahr, another exciting release in the Quirky 6 series of Quirky, a very quirky experimental Linux distribution. Quirky Tahr is Quirky, with the same phenomenal upgrade and recovery features, optimisation for running in Flash memory, simplicity and ease-of-use, except built with Ubuntu Trusty Tahr binary DEB packages to provide compatibility with the large Ubuntu package repository - which the Quirky Package Manager can install from. Quirky 6.0, built from packages compiled in T2, started the ball rolling and there were steady improvements - these are in Quirky Tahr 6.0, plus a lot of debugging and refinement to get the DEB packages to 'play nice' in the Quirky environment." See also the release notes for further information.
Scientific Linux 6.5
Connie Sieh has announced the release of Scientific Linux 6.5, a distribution built from source package for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 with extra software designed for use in scientific and academic environments: "Scientific Linux 6.5 is officially released for i686/x86_64. As a reminder, the SL6x repository always points to the most recent release. The SL6x repository has been updated to SL6.5 at this time. Users of the Scientific Linux 6x repository should run 'yum clean expire-cache'. This should allow yum to notice the updated metadata within the 6x repository. Major differences from Scientific Linux 6.4: OpenAFS has been updated to version 126.96.36.199 from openafs.org - this package may have some issues, please note there is a possibility for system panic under certain conditions; alpine 2.10 - updated to more recent version (from Fedora); yum-autoupdate-2 6.3 - bug fixes for extra, useless reporting, remove the obsolete augeas lense." Read the release announcement and release notes for more information.
SparkyLinux 3.2.1 "Xfce"
Paweł Pijanowski has announced the release of SparkyLinux 3.2 "Xfce" edition, the latest addition to the growing number of the project's family of Debian-based distributions: "SparkyLinux 3.2.1 Xfce is based on the 3.2 release and it's fully compatible with Debian 'Jessie'. SparkyLinux 'Xfce' has a few new features which will also be added to the next SparkyLinux release. So what is under the hood? Linux kernel 3.12; all packages upgraded from Debian's testing repositories as of 2014-01-29; Xfce 4.10; the same set of tools and applications which can be found in all SparkyLinux spins; added a boot-repair tool; added Plymouth with a Sparky theme; the uGet download manager has been upgraded from Debian's 'Sid' repository, it uses aria2 for downloading files as default; Iceweasel has been synchronised with uGet via the FlashGot add-on – downloading big files has never been so easy; added the Hotot microblogging client...." Here is the full release announcement.
ROSA 2012 R2 "Desktop Fresh GNOME"
Ekaterina Lopukhova has announced the release of ROSA 2012 R2 "Desktop Fresh GNOME" edition, an updated release of the project's desktop Linux distribution with GNOME 3.8: "ROSA company proudly presents the ROSA Desktop Fresh GNOME R2, the distribution based on the GNOME 3 desktop environment and the ROSA Desktop Fresh R2 code base. GNOME 3 modern desktop is the default GDM option, but users who do not wish to switch to the GNOME 3 GUI and desktop features, would want to switch to the GNOME Classic. GNOME Classic is the desktop environment targeted to users who prefer more traditional desktop experience. While based on GNOME 3 technologies, it provides the Applications and Places menus on the top bar, and a window list at the bottom of the screen. Last, but not least, we're presenting our own 'GNOME FallBack' mode." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
Mageia 4, the latest stable version of the popular distribution forked in 2010 from Mandriva Linux, has been released: "Right on time, and just in time for the first day of FOSDEM 2014, we have the great pleasure of announcing Mageia 4. We're still having a great time doing this together and we hope you enjoy this release as much as we've enjoyed making it. Major new features: updates to RPM 4.11 and urpmi, which has been given a thorough Mageia turnout and cleanup; Linux kernel 3.12 and systemd 208; GRUB is the default bootloader, GRUB 2 is available for testing; revamped package groupings for installation and rpmdrake; KDE 4.11, GNOME 3.10 and Xfce 4.10 desktops; LibreOffice 4.1.3; experimental UEFI support; FullHD+ resolution support." Read the release announcement and check out the detailed release notes to learn more.
Mageia 4 - the project's fourth stable release
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Toutou Linux 2014
Jean-Jacques Moulinier has announced the release of Toutou Linux 2014, an updated release of new version of the project's Puppy-based distribution designed French-speaking users. This is an update to version 5.5 "Wolx" released in November 2013. It is primarily designed for those users who preferred the simplicity and familiarity of the 4.x series of Toutou Linux. Compared to the 4.x series, several applications have been replaced, notably the SeaMonkey 2.21 browser which has become too heavy for a lightweight distribution (30 MB compressed and 51 MB when decompressed). It has been replaced by Opera 12.16 (14 MB compressed and 26 MB once decompressed). Otherwise this latest version continues to use the Openbox window manager with LXPanel as the default taskbar. Upgrades from previous versions are not supported. Visit the distribution's home page (in French) for more information about the new release.
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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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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 10 February 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)
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|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • OpenSUSE (by Gustavo on 2014-02-03 09:40:45 GMT from Brazil) |
1 year release cycle is the way to go. Another good option would be a 2 year release cycle with good backport activity.
2 • OpenSUSE, Centos and.... (by musty on 2014-02-03 09:53:11 GMT from France)
I believe that all distros have to go for a one year release with some service pack in the middle.
For Centos and Scientific, it will be a good thing that they join their effort for the best FREE server around.
Ps: Robolinux has some icons from OS X !!! another distro with OS X look but without anything new (sorry !!!)
thanks for NetRunner revieww ..
3 • openSUSE (by :wq on 2014-02-03 10:08:44 GMT from United States)
The repositioning of SUSE's openSUSE team away from release-specific work seems to be a temporary measure, though there is no lack of confusion and concern.
4 • @netrunner, opensuse (by greg on 2014-02-03 10:11:01 GMT from Slovenia)
netrunner - i though it was an improved Kubuntu. i believe it is made by company that financially sponsored Kubuntu. i am a bit surprised to see bugs in this distro that don't exist in Kubuntu.
Kubuntu also comes with 3 package managers. Muon software centre - is to be replaced with Muon Discover, the other one "replaces" synaptic. But Discover as i read is still in beta stage, but people will try it and give feedback. not sure why they include more managers it is a bit strange. i would focus on the mentioned bugs.
@openSUSE - it would be a shame if this fine distro went downhill. i agree with Gustavo in post 1. just keep it stable people.
5 • openSUSE addendum (by :wq on 2014-02-03 10:21:06 GMT from United States)
@1,4 I'm going to go against the grain and say that, even if it means rocking the boat a little, perhaps the openSUSE community should at least have a conversation about putting more emphasis on (as well as tweak/reimagine) Tumbleweed. But I do realize most of openSUSE's users prefer standard releases.
6 • openSUSE Trying to add some light (by slk021 on 2014-02-03 10:25:25 GMT from Serbia)
Long story short:
There WILL be openSUSE 13.2 in November 2014
13.2 WILL have security and maintenance support provided by SUSE
We WILL have coolo as release manager for 13.2
SUSE is NOT decreasing manpower put into openSUSE
Everybody from the community is welcome and encouraged to be involved with, and if they want to, take over some parts of the release process and we will support you the best we can in doing that
7 • Old Yeller (by :wq on 2014-02-03 10:54:37 GMT from United States)
YDL exists in a niche of a niche market now. It's dying, but it isn't dead yet. When it does die, perhaps another Linux distribution will appropriate its branding.
8 • Netrunner (by Hollandhook on 2014-02-03 12:49:07 GMT from Mexico)
That's a surprising review of Netrunner. I've used it for the past couple of years in every release and never ran into anything like that in terms of problems. One of the things I've appreciated has been the good care the developer takes with his product. Linux Mint 16 KDE is also excellent, but I would say it caught up in the current release with Netrunner, which had previously been better. I like them both better than Kubuntu; though Kubuntu 13.10 is very good, too, bugs and crashes aplenty at the start. I hope if you have time one week that you can give Netrunner another shot.
9 • FreeBSD NetBSD Gentoo Debian Support PowerPC (by Anonymous on 2014-02-03 12:52:08 GMT from United States)
FreeBSD's new binary packages (when ready in a few months, the PowerPC build farm awaits) mean you can get an Arch-like experience on PowerPC. The new FreeBSD binary packaging works like Arch Linux's pacman.
Debian supports PowerPC too, and very well, but package versions lag behind the BSDs per Debian release policy. Still if you like it, use Debian.
You can run Gentoo on PowerPC for up-to-date software, but look at NetBSD and FreeBSD along with Gentoo. After all they were behind Mac OS X. Gentoo is just that Linux closest in packaging spirit to BSDs.
10 • Netrunner fixed my super key (by Marco on 2014-02-03 13:57:31 GMT from United States)
Mogger claims because they packate ksuperkey:
11 • Netrunner issues (by vw72 on 2014-02-03 15:29:19 GMT from United States)
I, too, had some issue with Netrunner when running it in vbox (although not as many as the review). I liked it enough to install it, anyway, and to my surprise all of the issues I had in the virtual setting were absent.
As a long time Kubuntu users, I am quite pleased with Netrunner-os. Kubuntu has a goal of presenting KDE as the KDE developers designed it. Then users reconfigure it to their liking. Netrunner takes a different approach in they present a KDE desktop that is visually appealing and has additional software installed so that users new to linux or KDE will feel right at home. (Obviously more experienced users will probably still tweak things around a bit).
Pluses for Netrunner - all of the advantages of Kubuntu plus a lot of extra functionality and usability.
Minus - a tad slower from login to desktop and a somewhat higher resource usage.
Is it perfect, no. But I have yet to find the "perfect" distro and if you like KDE, it is close.
12 • Re #1, #5 (by Vuktoa on 2014-02-03 16:27:05 GMT from United States)
@1: Totally agree. Longer release cycles for OpenSUSE are preferred along with LTS. I have too many computers to maintain and less frequent I have to do it, better for me.
@5: Funny, but I agree with you too. Tumbleweed has to receive some more attention and become more up to date and stable. If I understood OpenSUSE's folks correctly, "tooling" support they are working on should support exactly this, and I applaud them for it.
13 • Robolinux (by AliasMarlowe on 2014-02-03 19:17:17 GMT from Finland)
At present (3 Feb), SourceForge has no downloads available for Robolinux. It's the only source of ISOs and is linked from the Robolinux home page as well as from Distrowatch. Incidentally, in the list of distros, it appears as "Roboinux", which is missing a letter, but does get to the right page on Distrowatch...
BTW, thanks for the brief primer on dsh.
14 • Robolinux download at SourceForge (by DrakeSmith on 2014-02-03 21:30:32 GMT from United States)
15 • Muon (by charlie on 2014-02-04 04:21:39 GMT from United States)
Does "Muon Discover" (packageKit-based analogue to Ubuntu SoftwareCentre) read from the same backend set of "user reviews" displayed via SoftwareCentre?
16 • Bad Distros (by Eric on 2014-02-04 12:30:13 GMT from United States)
I see a lot of good reviews of different distros. It might be fun to see a compiled list of the ten WORST distros.
17 • openSuse (by ثط on 2014-02-04 13:29:03 GMT from United States)
My experiences with SUSE / openSuse is that every time I want to run an update , the system ask me to insert CD 1 or 2 or whatever . Why can't they update automatically , without the insertion of the original media source , used to install the system !
Please don't tell me edit this or that file or used the terminal with 3 pages commands to accomplish this . Simply because a user should be enjoying the use of their box , without having to go through tasks meant for use by a professional whose job is to do that .
For everyday uses , the command-line and the insertion of a USB stick or DVD every time you want to update should be over , even for an advanced user .
18 • #16 (by jaws222 on 2014-02-04 14:20:50 GMT from United States)
That would be interesting. I know of a few that I stay away from. I figure there are so many choices why not just move on and choose another. The Linux community is "fractured" enough so I try to do less finger-pointing. I have my favorite distros and am very happy. :)
19 • RE: 17 (by Landor on 2014-02-04 15:46:38 GMT from Canada)
Even for an advanced user? First off, what defines an advanced user?
I use a terminal throughout my day, happily. I find it far easier to initiate a combination of keystrokes to open a terminal then to type out various commands than it is to lift my hand off my keyboard to then grab hold of a pointing device. I say pointing device as I own a trackball, which I'm sure must be far too advanced for even an advanced user as well.
Why exaggerate though? Three pages of commands? I honestly can't think of a time I ever issued three full pages of commands to do anything, and that includes installing Gentoo. It's poor form typing things out like that and putting a good distribution in a bad light. If you don't like using one distribution the easiest thing to is try another. There's 100s of them to choose from.
Keep your stick on the ice...
20 • @17@19 (by jaws222 on 2014-02-04 16:31:42 GMT from United States)
@17 I'm not sure how you update but why not use Update Manager? That's what I use in the Gnome version. You can also go into YAST and do the online update and if that fails zypper will work too.
@19 The terminal is always good and I find it to be faster.
21 • RE 17 & 19 (by jdeca57 on 2014-02-04 16:35:08 GMT from Belgium)
YMMV is a nice acronym that describes perfectly the situation of *any* linux distribution. It has to do with software, hardware, and the user.
In OpenSUSE, the solution to almost any system setting can be found with Yast and that's a graphical tool that's been around for ages. In KDE you find Yast under the tab "Computer" of the menu.
However I don't remember changing the settings for an upgrade. On the contrary, my beef with OpenSUSE is that upgrades are to easy since they often don't even require a password. They simply say there is an upgrade, and you can perform it with a click of the mouse. (OpenSUSE 13.1 and KDE)
22 • @21 (by jaws222 on 2014-02-04 16:41:01 GMT from United States)
"my beef with OpenSUSE is that upgrades are to easy since they often don't even require a password"
That's not totally true. I'm not sure if Update Manager asks for credentials but getting into YAST you need your password and the terminal will also ask for your password when you run updates.
23 • SUSE (by قط on 2014-02-04 17:23:48 GMT from United States)
@19 Even for an advanced user? First off, what defines an advanced user?
2 me an advanced user is someone who know how to use Linux to perform more that just the basic tasks and can run complex tasks, which require more detailed knowledge of things like file-management and text-processing utilities .
Basic Tasks ! : Fire-up Firefox , Inkscape , Change background or time ....
advanced Tasks : Change permissions , edit boot-loader files ....
" It's poor form typing things out like that and putting a good distribution in a bad light. "
I like SUSE and openSUSE and I just would like it to be better . Before Novell buying , SUSE was my first Disro to work with my 56k modem out of the box .
@20 I meant to say Update Manager and not update through the term .
" The terminal is always good and I find it to be faster."
It is NOT always about speed . Plus why typing few keys to open a terminal then typing gedit ,when you just with one click , click on the gedit icon . also , what if i can't remember the name ! Is it editor or gedit or jedit or what !
24 • RE #16 and #18 (by vw72 on 2014-02-04 17:32:20 GMT from United States)
Instead of 10 worsts, what might be more useful is to come up with a point system for various aspects of a distro and based on that system a rating can be applied to each review. Then there could be a page ranking the distro's reviewed.
The still not 100% objective, as the weighting of the points (installation total of 10 points, current main packages 5 points, multimedia capabilities 5 points, as an example) is still subjective. However, once defined, it allows a consistent and objective score to be assigned.
Such a system, once established, would allow for an easier comparison of distros that have been reviewed.
Just a thought.
25 • @23 (by jaws222 on 2014-02-04 21:23:22 GMT from United States)
'It is NOT always about speed . Plus why typing few keys to open a terminal then typing gedit ,when you just with one click , click on the gedit icon . also , what if i can't remember the name ! Is it editor or gedit or jedit or what !"
Well I guess I'm much more advanced that I thought. If you go to the terminal and type:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
Then enter a password your done. The next time you fire up the machine open the terminal and hit the up arrow until you see that command, hit enter, type your password and you're off! Not so hard.
As far as gedit, sudo gedit /your path
Really not that hard and I guess I'm really not that advanced.
C'mon, man! Easy as sin! You're starting to sound like a Windows user. :)
26 • On: openSUSE in Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar) and #17 (by Pierre on 2014-02-04 22:43:32 GMT from Germany)
openSUSE in Miscellaneous News
For clarification again, as already posted, because it can't be said often enough:
SUSE will further support and develop openSUSE and 13.2 is scheduled for Nov. 2014. So everything is ok and healthy on openSUSE and it's future although the April/May release will be skipped to further improve the tool chain for making openSUSE.
Start Yast (Control Center), go to Software and click Software Repositories. Then deselect your installation media (DVD or CD) and klick OK for saving the change.
After this you can do an update as expected.
I know, it would be nice if installation media would be automatically disabled after install, but this is not the case.
Nevertheless, if you know who to use your system or at least how to use google and make some research nothing on openSUSE will ever need the command line if you don't like it.
So pebkac here... (problem exists between keyboard and computer) ;)
27 • Yast (by قط on 2014-02-04 23:50:43 GMT from United States)
Thanks 4 the info and by the way I know about Yast . But that is not my point .
My point is this : a PC is a tool , just like a hammer or a car . I should not be asked to be a technician to be able to use and enjoy a drive to a seven 11 .
I should not be ask to remember the different types of nails just to nail two pieces of 2*4 to hang a photo on the wall.
I know how to use the term and edit files . Guess what ! I like to enjoy my system and not spent a whole lots of time tweaking it . That is why people go out to eat sometime , even if they are good cooks .
28 • #27 (by zykoda on 2014-02-05 08:02:31 GMT from United Kingdom)
If what one needs to do is already available as a point and click, there is little to gain from wading through command line options and parameters. However, there is often an easy and quick way to achieve what is impossible with a point and click interface using what is the vastly superior (IMHO) command line infrastructure. One is well rewarded by the time and effort spent in learning a little of it. I defend CLI unreservedly. It is the way to control your machine rather than the other way round.
29 • CLI (by قط on 2014-02-05 09:19:35 GMT from United States)
The command line interface is necessary and should be included as a choice . That said , it should be as a second choice and a plan B choice and not the default or the main go to choice .
You want to spend half of your day shining your car and changing spark- plugs ? Great ! It's rewarding . Just remember most people want to drive the car and that's why Macs and the Redmond systems are more used than Linux .
30 • @22 (by jaws222) OpenSUSE upgrades without credentials (by Oliver on 2014-02-05 09:57:00 GMT from Germany)
In the default configuraton (when the standard security profile is active) package kit allows you to do upgrades without providing credentials for an elevated user account. If you don't want that, you have to add a line to "/etc/polkit-default-privs.local":
and run "sudo -i /sbin/set_polkit_default_privs" afterwards.
Best regards, Oliver
31 • @25 (by Kazlu on 2014-02-05 10:50:08 GMT from France)
Indeed it's not hard to type that command to update your system. Nobody here is saying it's hard to type a few keys on a keyboard (without any intention of being irrespectful to people who cannot type and rely on, for example, speech recognition). The hard part is not typing, it's knowing/remembering. You need to do something, are not allergic to command line but don't know how to do it? Fine, you can probably find what you're looking for by browsing a few websites. That's okay for a couple of particular actions. But as far as system updates are concerned for example, which must be done very regularly, what about the next time? Well, just type the same command! Wait, I can't remember, should I start with update or upgrade? Haw many "&" must I add between the two commands already? Okay, for the last one, you could as well type two separate commands. But my point is you don't necessarily remember or know the right command or the right syntax and you probably don't want to look for it over the Internet every time. If you remember a set of useful commands, perfect, CLI is right for you. But you cannot expect that from everyone. For less experienced users and for those who are not sure of what they are doing, a GUI with buttons and eventually options/menus correctly labeled can guide one so one can know what to do, where to click.
I know a couple of commands fo browsing/managing files and folders or install packages but do most of my tasks with a GUI. With the exception of system updates on Manjaro since I remember the syntax, the command line is short and I have a shortcut to open a terminal. On the contrary, on Ubuntu, I do it via the GUI that tells me automatically about updates. Simple habit, I don't feel the need to do it via CLI here. Even if I do some updates via CLI, I don't consider everyone should do the same. I would not consider someone who does it via GUI to be lazy or unwilling to learn or, even more insulting, call him/her a windows user :-D
Notable exception: command line is safer for helping someone distantly, because in a GUI you never know where the other clicks!
32 • @31 (by jaws222 on 2014-02-05 13:03:35 GMT from United States)
"The hard part is not typing, it's knowing/remembering"
Maybe, but I think it's a societal thing. A bit laziness, but with todays technology people expect to do less. Pretty soon it will all be futuristic with speech recognition. You'll come home and say "lights on" "TV on", "computer on" etc.. Keyboards and mice will disappear.
33 • Still looking for the point. (by Garon on 2014-02-05 13:13:57 GMT from United States)
I'm sorry but I'm still looking for your point. The comparison of Linux to MS Windows and OSX (Mac) are really irrelevant. For the most part people don't go out and buy Windows or OSX to install on a system. They buy a system and it's already installed and setup. All people have to do is plug up the system and turn it on. That is the main reason most people are using Windows and Mac's. For the most part it's the same way for Linux. After it's installed and setup per the user's requirements and preferences, you don't really need to do anything else. I know people who have used Ubuntu along other distros for years and have never touched the command line. It's a bit of a stretch to say that the command line is easier or more convenient than clicking on an icon but it is great for seeing what your system is doing and for troubleshooting. Speed is not an issue for me. Furthermore the command line is used a lot in troubleshooting and repairing Windows and osX. As far as setting options for updates and such, that has to be done on all systems. So all in all the myth that Linux is too hard to be used by the general public is just that, a myth.
34 • @33 Linux VS shit (by Kazlu on 2014-02-05 14:24:14 GMT from France)
I think you make a very good point. #29 قط originally just wanted to alter the way openSUSE handles updates. He anticipated that one could give him a solution via CLI, however #26 gave him a GUI based solution. Why did قط think everyone would have thought only about CLI options? Why could'nt he find the GUI based solution, was it not intuitive enough? I can't answer that but I would like to know, since these answers, in some people's mind, are precisely the reasons why Linux is considered hard to be used. Something you Garon called a "myth", and I agree with you. However I still wonder how people who are quite comfortable with computers have sometimes trouble using a distro as simple to use as Xubuntu. Is my vision clouded or is it just the fact that because of needing to change their habits, people think Linux is harder to use than Windows? Honestly, if you don't know either of them, I do not have the impression that it is easier to find one's way in Windows' configuration panel than in openSUSE's YaST.
35 • Update MGR YAST (by قط on 2014-02-05 15:12:08 GMT from United States)
What if all the new Microsoft and apple systems in retail are setup as text-based only or at least the default heavily depends on the C prompt ! Do you think people will buy them ?
If that was the case , people would rather used a Linux box with Mate or KDE or Gnome desktop environment .
lets put back DOS or DR DOS on all the new system and remove everything GUI .
Have them type something like : man -l -Tdvi ./foo.1x.gz > ./foo.1x.dvi .
Again the CLI is important on all the systems you mentioned ( Mac , Win , Linux ) . The difference between Mac | Win and Linux is that nothing text-based is forced upon you in a Win machine until you get a blue screen or you need to do some serious fixing .
( by the way .. not a window user . last time i used windows , that was 2 years before i was born ) .
" As far as setting options for updates and such, that has to be done on all systems. "
Back to the first comment ( #17) , why do i have to edit files and or run YAST just to uncheck the original media check-box , when in my Mint or Ubuntu box i can just click the panel !
OK , do i want more control ! easy : Panel > Preferences > Edit . That's it . no original media insert option . and non of the is it YAST or yeast or yasst .
No it's Update MGR . My panel said so .
System76 sells Ubuntu installed and setup , and people still buying more MS systems . OK , you are right . win is installed and setup . everywhere
That said , again most people using windows don't use the command line everyday and Microsoft does a good job of hidden it from them .
"You'll come home and say "lights on" "TV on", "computer on" etc.. Keyboards and mice will disappear."
That would be nice as long as i have the controls . I want that option .
36 • Easy as it can be. (by Garon on 2014-02-05 15:54:03 GMT from United States)
"What if all the new Microsoft and apple systems in retail are setup as text-based only or at least the default heavily depends on the C prompt ! Do you think people will buy them ?"
Of course not, but I've bought them like that before. :) I know of nothing related to the command line that is forced upon you in Linux, unless you really screw up or are experimenting. Remember I said "I know of nothing" so there could be some reason you have to use the command line I don't know about. With that being said, distros like Ubuntu are very easy to use. If you can click you're good to go.
37 • @25 and 2 cents worth (by william on 2014-02-05 15:58:21 GMT from United States)
thank-you for the tip of opening a terminal and using the up arrow for the commands, i didn't know you could do that. i've been using different Linux distros for about a year and im still learning. as for the updating in openSUSE ive had a couple of problems in updating it but i think it comes down to setup when installing to get things set up right the first time to get things running right.(in my case anyway). for me with any of the distros its trying to get out of the mind-set that these are not windows. but from what ive seen in the advancement of the linux distros within the year ive used them they are starting to get a little easier to use but as an ex-windows user i have to get it in my mind i have to re-learn these os's just as i did with win95 and up. just a newbies 2 cents and blabbing.
38 • Update (by Hendrik on 2014-02-05 19:48:09 GMT from Netherlands)
just in yast open software sources and remove the repositorie pointing to youre original install media.
Then run software update and geus what problem solved i thank you!
39 • On Human Nature & Uberstudent (by himagain on 2014-02-05 21:32:27 GMT from Australia)
My Provenance: In 1984(?) I wrote what I believe was the first User-Friendly "menu" for the Osborne PC. I needed it. Adam Osborne said it really boosted sales.
Working with computers to that time was all about the "insider experience".
I was never, ever geekly. I was a good aetiologist as a psychologist.
For decades I tried to escape the Windows trap unsuccessfully as from the earliest days I tried every Linux iteration that appeared. None had any hope/promise for real END-USERS. The Luddites attacked me every time I pleaded for a GUI - just as they do to this very day!
But, the biggest obstacle is familiarity - AND the pain of having learned to use Windows and facing the same horrors all over again, to switch to LInux.
Today, the evolution of Linux Distros toward different classes of ENDUSER has been literally astounding. The choices amazing .... but confusing, as most still seek to be all things to all people.
Recently - only at the insistence of a friend - I tried UBERSTUDENT.
It is aimed squarely at the higher school student and is impeccable at that.
It is an amazing effort for a one-man band! Mr Stephen Ewen.
HOWEVER, it is also the best of the dozens and dozens of Distros I've tried over the years, none of which were safe to commend to non-hackers and myself.
I have suggested that UBERSTUDENT as a name will frighten many people away as it did me when I first heard of it. Stephen should put another cover version out there called something like "AtLast! - Linux for the Over 25's"
I keep recommending it to people who all shy away because - as everyone knows - anything to do with schools and higher education is always too hard.
It just works intelligently out of the box for "The Rest Of Us".
Please help him.
40 • nostalgia, indolence + the dreaded command line (by :wq on 2014-02-05 21:37:13 GMT from United States)
@32 "Main screen turn on" works for me.
I really hope http://s18.postimg.org/i6gnsdci1/wall_e.jpg isn't indicative of the future.
@33 I wish I knew what percentage of Windows users manage to go through life without ever having to touch Command Prompt or Windows PowerShell at some point. I imagine that there are more users who haven't used them than there are users who have, that being said, I think the number of Windows users who've had to use command-line interpreters in the course of daily life is higher than most people would probably expect. To be clear, I'm not comparing typical Windows command line use scenarios and the frequency of that use to typical *nix command line use scenarios and the frequency of that use, but I don't think the actual act of using a command-line interpreter is necessarily an anathema to users any more than typing a URL into a browser's address bar is. To add to what Kazlu said in #31, I think it boils down to rote memory, the intelligibility of commands and parameters, knowing where to look for documentation, and the quality of that documentation. It probably doesn't help that many people don't learn touch typing, and instead peck at the keyboard.
41 • @35 Update MGR YAST by قط (by Oliver on 2014-02-06 11:29:11 GMT from Germany)
>> why do i have to edit files and or run YAST just to uncheck the original media check-box , when in my Mint or Ubuntu box i can just click the panel !
Because SUSE is modeled after an enterprise distribution. In a corporate environment machines do not simply connect to the internet to get updates. Some system don't leave the local network at all. Larger corporations set up their own update servers. Almost all use proxy servers for outbound traffic.
Mint, Ubuntu, Windows, OSX are most often preconfigured for consumer use with a home internet connection. So yes, openSUSE is an outlier in that regard.
By the way: If you do more advanced stuff in Windows you rely heavily on the command line. I use it every day.
Best regards, Oliver
42 • OpenBSD as a desktop Os (by David Long on 2014-02-06 13:03:18 GMT from United States)
I am not an expert on security and don't even choose my OS based on wether its secure or not. I do however use OpenBSD as my main desktop. As a bonus it happens to be secure (so they say).
I use it for its ease of use. Fast install, easy wifi setup, and great package management. The documentation is coherent, accurate (as far as I can tell) and there is plenty of it.
It seems extremely stable and I rarely have any problems after I install my programs of choice.
I use links and netsurf for my browser. Mutt for my email client (send and receive email from my gmail account). Mplayer to watch movies and listen to anything. Irssi as my IRC client and MC as my file manager.
To manage wifi connections I use a small bash script to switch between available sites.
I also use fluxbox as my desktop environment.
If you want to watch youtube videos its easy with youtube-dl and flash videos are easily downloaded with get-flash-videos. Play them with ease using Mplayer.
I understand for some of you the extra steps needed to enjoy the web interactively may be a bit of a pain in the arse but for me no problem at all.
Don't let the fact that its mostly text driven to scare you off. I promise you will learn alot about unix and may even find it enjoyable.
43 • OpenBSD (by tuxtest on 2014-02-06 16:29:05 GMT from Canada)
Reputation OpenBSD security is recognized by all.
Currently they are fighting for their survivors. If I just make a suggestion, to ensure their perenity in long term, it should offer a version out of the box for the standard user. That way they have a larger community and therefore more financial partner.
But unfortunately the good idea is never retained by the OpenBSD people .... In my book, it's a waste of competence through the narrow conservatism ... Sorry it my opinion
44 • CLI (by Dave Postles on 2014-02-06 19:55:48 GMT from United Kingdom)
The car analogy: surely you look under the hood and inspect the levels of your oil, coolant, brake fluid, screen wash; you check the condition of your tyres. There are basic things to be done. How many Windows users never defrag and then hit the attendant problems? A very large number, I'd guess. Why are 30% of Windows users still using XP? There is stuff you need to know about how the system operates.
As to the CLI, it's fast and it's flexible. I always use ftp from the CLI. I use concordance analysis and similar analysis from the CLI. If you look at the Linux Cookbook, there is so much that you can do from the CLI. You can do stuff for free instead of shelling (pardon the pun) out for software.
45 • 43, 44, Etc (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2014-02-07 00:23:37 GMT from United States)
43: Heise mentions a "cease and desist", likely about _unmodified_ Pear_OS screenshots and ISOs, not about "Clementine OS". Just remove the branding ... like CEntOS?
44: CLI from CP/M-DOS days onward - for Windows, see 'Batch Files'.
Why have so many kept XP? Not impressed with 7 or 8, or ...; it _works_; many computers were built for it, and they still work.
Maybe waiting for new PCs that perform better, use fewer enough watts to pay off within a year - in something more than a "smart"-phone/tablet, and still run x86 apps.
##: ReactOS is another OS, and is good for ... student-developer projects? [too slow composing this one?]
46 • insert media (by قط on 2014-02-07 02:25:45 GMT from United States)
" Because SUSE is modeled after an enterprise distribution. In a corporate environment machines do not simply connect to the internet to get updates. Some system don't leave the local network at all. Larger corporations set up their own update servers. Almost all use proxy servers for outbound traffic. "
Regardless i want my all my system to be all up2date one way or another . That being said , still i should not be asked to insert the original installation media . I should be using the updated files with bug fixes . AND the original installation most likely does not include the new bug fixes to keep my systems secure . again with proxies or without , directly or via a proxy .
" The car analogy: surely you look under the hood and inspect the levels of your oil, coolant, brake fluid,.......how the system operates. "
Basic stuff ? Yes Engine rebuilt ? Nice !! but you know what >>> most have other things to do . + Just like when your kid gets sick . it's nice to search and know about what making him or her sick , but you should not play a doctor . Unless your are one .
47 • PSD Links (by قط on 2014-02-07 03:14:07 GMT from United States)
Links as a browser is cool . that is if you surf in English . But , good luck trying to surf sites other than in English . a non Latin-based Language sites with it looks like an alphabetical soup .
I want to like PCBSD and BSD . My bone with both of them is drivers and docs . Less than Linux by far .
" If I just make a suggestion, to ensure their perenity in long term, it should offer a version out of the box for the standard user. That way they have a larger community and therefore more financial partner."
You must have a good hammer . That is a key .
48 • CLI? #29 (by Koroshiya Itchy on 2014-02-07 09:12:20 GMT from Belgium)
The main reason why Windows is more popular on the PC than other OSs are (it is not the case for servers and mobile devices) it is just because it comes pre-installed in most personal computers. The same applies to MacOSX.
The main reason for Android (Linux-based) to be the leader in the mobile device league is because it comes pre-installed (thanks to Google's successful strategy).
The reason why Linux and other UNIXes are leaders in the server league is because server administrators are more knowledgeable people than the average user.
Then of course, comes the compatibility factor. Most commercial developers will be forced to produce software (be it applications, drivers or whatever) which is compatible with the leading OS (which is the one pre-installed in most devices) thus strengthening its position.
Closed drivers and formats further strengthen the leading OS in a vicious circle.
The way to break the circle has little to do with quality or ease-of-use, the way to break the vicious circle is having your OS pre-installed in as many devices as possible. All the rest will come along (professional-grade applications, drivers, compatibility, etc).
And I think we are getting there...
49 • Unix (by قط on 2014-02-07 11:15:10 GMT from United States)
"The reason why Linux and other UNIXes are leaders in the server league is because server administrators are more knowledgeable people than the average user. "
Unix is in the funeral home on its way to the cemetery . Linux will overtake Unix in few more years .
A window administrator is far more knowledgeable than the average Windows user.
A Mac administrator is far more knowledgeable than the average Mac user.
Microsoft certification for servers is far more popular that the LPI .
Server market share
Linux : 31.8%
BSD : 1.1%
Win : 33.2%
50 • Linux is killing Unix (by قط on 2014-02-07 11:21:17 GMT from United States)
Sorry , I meant to say Linux killed Unix and will overtake Windows in every field but the desktop .
51 • Truncated quotations in 49 do notlead Unix to cemetary.... (by dbrion on 2014-02-07 16:43:55 GMT from France)
you forget to count the 'unknown' Unix likes (not Linux, nor BSDs: Sun, propriatary Unixes) : they count for ...34% (above Windows and Linux...)
Not that bad if it is "in a funeral home'....
And statistics are unconsistent w/r measuring methods, definition of a server (is a PC cluster a unique server? can one know about it with web polling?)
52 • Unix to cemetary (by قط on 2014-02-07 19:08:08 GMT from United States)
Year after year , UNIX is in decline . Large , SMB and Enterprise server customers continue to look for solutions at lower cost, lower than what the UNIX old-timers like IBM ,HP , Dell , Oracle ( Sun’s server business ) all have to offer .
Large Internet corps ( Google , Amazon , Microsoft , Facelessbook ,apple ...) are not buying servers from the old timers anymore ( 4 the most part) but are using their own or systems which are not traditional UNIX based .
53 • Unix to cemetary (by David Long on 2014-02-08 01:04:03 GMT from United States)
At best the comments concerning Unix and its death are ridiculous. It is used on large scale DNS servers, Corporate servers,
OpenSSH is a direct result of the work that is done in the Unix world and is considered the defacto. There seem to be alot of uneducated comments concerning the viability of OpenBSD as well.
Viva la vida Unix
54 • Mageia 4 (by Mikkh on 2014-02-08 03:31:52 GMT from United Kingdom)
I use PClinuxOS mainly, but I was keen to see what another Mandriva clone could do, and how they compared.
The install was horrendously long compared to PClinuxOS and I'm not using some ancient relic, I have a recent quad core with 4 GB of RAM. PClinuxOS takes about 15 minutes to install but Mageia took the best part of an hour and has a lot less software when it's finally done.
Not a good start, but it did offer to install the propriety Nvidia driver for me, which I accepted. I wasn't given a choice about the bootloader, so I had to trust it would pick up the other OS's on the hard drive and luckily it did that job OK.
Slower install, but it does boot quicker - but then it would with less installed software ( 7 GB total compared to PClinuxOS 12 GB)
I play a few Facebook games, so getting Google Chrome was my next hurdle. There was a fairly painless cure on the Mageia forums, so that was sorted too and after getting rid of my pet hates in KDE, I was free to start using it properly
The default fonts are a bit weak and spidery compared to PClinuxOS and it doesn't like booting with USB sticks plugged in, but overall I'm quite pleased with it, and it's a massive improvement on Mageia 2 which I pretty much hated
55 • UNIX (by قط on 2014-02-08 04:06:50 GMT from United States)
How many roosters do you need for every chicken coop ?
How many DNS server do you need for every UNIX farm ? Do you need more dns's than lets say file or data servers or workstations ?
All you need is one rooster for every chicken kingdom . And if you all you want is eggs production , then you don't need any roosters at all .
56 • Do consistent -existing- figures lead to cemetary? (by dbrion on 2014-02-08 14:02:32 GMT from France)
"Year after year , UNIX is in decline . "
Prove it with consistent (from year to year), well documented
with a beyond doubt methodology.(and it wonot show anything w/r future which depends on one's Crystal Ball brand).
Number of Comments: 56
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TalkingArch is a re-spin of the Arch Linux live ISO image, modified to include speech and Braille output for blind and visually-impaired users. Arch Linux is designed to be simple, lightweight and flexible. TalkingArch retains all the features of the Arch Linux live image, but adds speech and Braille packages to make it possible for blind and visually impaired users to install Arch Linux eyes-free.