| DistroWatch Weekly
1 • LMDE review (by zykoda on 2014-03-24 09:13:48 GMT from United Kingdom) |
I have been running 64 bit LMDE (cinnamon) for a few weeks now. I have not experienced any of the "effects" that you describe in the review (lucky for me!). You do not say whether you used the 32 or 64 bit version of MATE! One effect I do not like, (it may be my hardware since other distros are likewise affected) is the erratic USB mouse behaviour whereby the cursor steering halts after a while but the mouse buttons are still effective. This problem still remains for me after many attempts at resolution.
2 • Debial LTS et Mint LMDE (by musty on 2014-03-24 09:17:18 GMT from France)
Hi, this is a great news for debian squeeze fans... i hope Wheezy will be a Lts too.
For Mint LMDE, i have some of the problrms you found and think they are going to be corrected soon.. I mess Mint Lmde Xfce and Lxde.
great work as always...keep going on
3 • Debial LTS et Mint LMDE (by musty on 2014-03-24 09:19:50 GMT from France)
I mean : I miss Mint Lmde Xfce and Lxde.
4 • Debian Testing with MATE works flawlessly (by Koroshiya Itchy on 2014-03-24 09:30:04 GMT from Belgium)
I am running Debian Jessie (testing) with Mate in 3 computers (one 32-bit laptop, one 64-bit notebook, and one 64-bit workstation) and I have not experienced any of the bugs described in the review.
This most likely means that they are LMDE-specific. One way to confirm this would be giving the Mate version of Sparky a try,
The only bug that I have observed this far is really irrelevant and it appears to show up only with the combination of the Mate DE and the Shiki themes: The desktop fonts should be white but they turn black after rebooting. However, if you just open the desktop settings they turn white again.
5 • Missed opportunities (by LorenzoC on 2014-03-24 10:41:52 GMT from Italy)
Windows Vista being half baked -> Linux failed to become an alternative.
Windows 8 with useless "modern" interface -> Linux failed again.
Windows XP end of support -> Linux is failing again.
But hey, who cares of giving people something that just works and that can effectively replace Windows. It is much better to play with toys for nerds again and again. The millionaire is all focused on achieving "convergence" between PCs and mobile gadgets and to worry about NSA then he doens't have time to think there are millions PCs that need to replace XP the coming weeks.
6 • RE: 5 • Missed opportunities (by Koroshiya Itchy on 2014-03-24 10:49:31 GMT from Belgium)
Most computer users have never installed an operating system (any operating system) and never will.
If you want to sell it or even distribute it for free to the masses it needs to come pre-installed.
7 • LMDE (by Bruce Peary Solomon on 2014-03-24 11:57:16 GMT from )
Having used LMDE for something like 5 years, I note that the update packs, which come at about a 6-month to 1-year interval, always cause me some headache. Typically, lost configs, deprecated programs, and system changes require about two weeks of work, and some questions to the forum, to resolve. That's still better than reinstalling a new version, however.
8 • RE:5, People don't do that. (by Garon on 2014-03-24 12:06:29 GMT from United States)
People don't replace their operating system. At least most of them don't. They just buy a new computer and they don't know that Windows 8 is a "useless modern interface," they just go ahead and use it. Most people don't know about the end of XP support. Why should they? They don't care. Linux hasn't failed but it's been people like you who have. Have you tried to show people there is an alternative to Windows XP and Windows 8? When someone tries to do smart marketing with LInux, for what the future will hold, you down talk the effort. The reality of it all is that millions of PCs "will not" be replacing XP in the next few weeks and also you may find that a lot of desktops PCs in the near future will be replaced with tablets, and, Chromebooks and even smartphones. That is what the future hold and that is the reality of it all. Convergence must be achieved before success can be achieved. To not do that would be the great fail. Not for the server market but for the general public's uses.
9 • @5, 6 Missed opportunities (by DavidEF on 2014-03-24 12:20:07 GMT from United States)
Linux isn't failing. It's just that nobody is doing the work to make it a commercial desktop success. Maybe you'd like to give it a try? Anyway, there are school systems, entire governments, commercial giants like Google and Dell, and millions of other people using Linux on a daily basis exclusively. I'd hardly call that a failure. And, if you add in most of the world's top supercomputers, and a majority of servers, set-top boxes, render-farms, etc. Linux is the most successful operating system ever. Did you know that Hollywood's favorite OS for rendering animation sequences is Linux? Yep, it is. And recently we've seen some attention from the gaming industry, with Steam coming to Linux, and now GOG officially supporting it as well. Then, of course, there's Android, top of the game in the mobile industry, and it's Linux, too. The only thing we don't see is a huge showing in the desktop/laptop category on the shelves of major retailers. And it isn't because Linux is failing or has failed, because it obviously isn't and hasn't. There are more and better reasons than that.
I don't think the issue all comes down to only the lack of pre-installs. There have been Linux pre-installs available in the US market in the past, and they never made it big. The biggest problem I see is not a lack of Linux pre-installed hardware, but a lack of consumer education in the form of effective advertising. Someone needs to not only do the work of offering a Linux computer, but spend the money to advertise it properly.
10 • LVM & LMDE (by chemicalfan on 2014-03-24 13:08:39 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks for the detailed tutorial on LVM ;)
I'd also like to echo the problems you had with Caja spawning endlessly, I too suffer this on LMDE MATE 32 bit....hoping that it is patched soon
11 • LMDE bugs (by Mike Fossbrooke on 2014-03-24 13:14:47 GMT from United Kingdom)
I have had similar experiences with the LMDE offerings. Lots of annoying bugs not found in the ubuntu-based versions. For me LMDE is a 'testing' OS, not a work one.
The MATE desktop is coming along nicely, so much better than Gnome 3.x, at least for those of us who work with our OS, not just "network". The main problem seems to be mating MATE with compiz - always problems with Linux Mint but works like a charm with Point Linux. Strange.
12 • LMDE is luvly for me, I really like the cinnamon they provide + updates from sid (by Eric on 2014-03-24 13:35:21 GMT from Canada)
"deb http://ftp.ca.debian.org/debian unstable main contrib non-free" or "deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian unstable main contrib non-free" or whichever debian mirror you prefer to your sources.list
and dist-upgrading to sid unstable from LMDE goes well, it has a modern kernel, the latest Cinnamon desktop from the authors of the DE which isn't available yet in debian itself.
Trick is you just need to know how to keep a sid system working for longer than ~6-8 months :P
13 • Re: 3: Miss XFCE LMDE (by Cork on 2014-03-24 14:10:03 GMT from United States)
Try SolydX. "LMDE without the problems, and with XFCE."
14 • Re: 3: Miss XFCE LMD (by anticapitalista on 2014-03-24 14:32:57 GMT from Greece)
You could also try the just released MX-14. Xfce on a Wheezy base enhanced with newer applications from debian-backports and MEPIS Community.
and it fits on a cd!
15 • re: Missed opportunities (by Just Sayin on 2014-03-24 14:51:47 GMT from Austria)
"One of" the issues affecting GNU*Linux gaining independent user desktop share at the expense of Windows, is the matter of "some" people with the skill set required to effect such change coloring Windows, OS X, and GNU*Linux as differing divisions of the same army when drawing up their "battle plans."
16 • SolydX Instead of LMDE (by VT on 2014-03-24 15:06:43 GMT from United States)
Just wanted to second 13's comment. Have been using this distro on all my systems for several weeks now. So far, so good, Have had none of the problems of LMDE. Can't use PPA's as conveniently, but it's relatively easy to compile needed software from the same PPAs. Lighter. Rolling Release. My understanding is that Solyd's developers were originally LMDE users who thought they could do better -- and so far they have.
17 • LVM tutorial (by Erno on 2014-03-24 15:15:33 GMT from United States)
What a timely tutorial on LVM. It helped me resize my 5.4G home directory, which was long overdue.
I know it's not Debian based (I used to live by Debian based only) but Sabayon Linux KDE edition has been kicking butt on my system for more than 6 months now. Rolling release, awesome app presence in the repositories, no problems with updates, and my 70 year old father wants nothing else on his system than Sabayon KDE.
For those who are complaining of Linux not taking advantage of the Windows XP end of life support, it took Apple many years to become part of the mainstream landscape of computers (note not OS) and they did it via the "back door" created by the iPods. If Ubuntu can create a culture of well liked mobile devices around the world, they may just be able to get people interested in buying ready-made Ubuntu computers too.
18 • GOG officially supporting Linux.. (by Bill on 2014-03-24 15:19:37 GMT from United States)
Well this was great news for me. I have been using Linux now for 3 years and loving it, but I had to set up a dual boot for my wife as she loves to play games like, King's Quest and Torin's passage. Soon I can free her from MS and the last windows machine here will pass into oblivion.
I disagree with "Missed Opportunities," I have a multi boot system where I test many OS's and I was able to show my wife how to use Linux Mint in about an hour and she now does all her office work and spreadsheets and facebooking with ease.
I plan on buying my next computer with Linux pre-installed.
Windows XP, what's that? Only a memory.
19 • MX-14 (by Dave Postles on 2014-03-24 15:23:35 GMT from United Kingdom)
It looks excellent - the beauty of Mepis and the functionality of AntiX, but I will have to await a 64-bit version.
20 • LVM... (by Vukota on 2014-03-24 16:05:09 GMT from United States)
Few more "tricks" like listing current volumes (to assess what is currently on the system) and creating/rolling back to snapshots before/after upgrade (switch to a different OS) would make the tutorial more useful/complete. This way you just covered one limited use case. Maybe we'll see "part 2" next week?
I don't rely these days too much on a backups before upgrade/distro change, but on LVM snapshots (though you have to watch out what boot managers will use for partition identification during a boot following the installation).
21 • LMDE glitches & Linux market share (by M.Z. on 2014-03-24 17:19:44 GMT from United States)
I've actually had a problem similar to the continuously opening windows that Jesse did; however, my problem was with Firefox on the main edition of Mint x64 with Cinnamon. It's odd that both the Ubuntu & Debian version had a similar window issue; however, for me the work around seemed to be just giving the desktop a few extra seconds to load before opening Firefox. The error only seemed to occur when I started Firefox immediately after logging in, and it seems to have gone away now that I've trained myself not to do that, but I haven't checked in a while.
As for what's been said by #5 and others about Linux market share, well I think #6 makes a good point, but the fact of the matter is that not all that many people are aware of Linux. I've mentioned it as an alternative to people on more than a few occasions; however, I think most people don't know or care to know about alternatives to Windows & Mac, and that is in addition to not wanting to ever install an OS. I think if you could talk to someone about the features like thousands of free programs from a safe centralized software management system & an excellent security record then you might get more converts. It's a hard sell to get people to switch though, and I think that there are more than a few who use old stuff even if it's a security risk while many others just buy the cheapest thing that seems suitable at the nearest store. Unfortunately there is isn't that much in the way of marketing for the easy to use desktop versions of Linux, except perhaps for Ubuntu which I'd prefer not to have as the poster child for Linux given the odd UI and the spyware like behaviour.
22 • XP Museum (by Ron on 2014-03-24 17:50:00 GMT from United States)
Yes, I have created an XP museum! With the knowledge that XP is being removed from intensive care by Mr. Windy, I decided to use the excellent Clonezilla live disk to create an XP museum with a Windows re-installation disk supplied by my computer manufacturer.
After I did the clean re-installation of XP with service pack3, I was horrified to notice how much faster it became on start up and use. Realizing that I was a victim of the dreaded 'registry', my appreciation of Linux became evermore intense. I have known for a long time that XP (and other software from Mr. Windy had a reputation of gradually becoming worse and worse with use, but this was a real eye opener. Of course Windy's pals are happy to SELL you registry cleaners, but I figure I could do better - translated - 'Linux"!
The only reason I even consider having the museum is because certain (many) hardware and software vendors only support Windows. This is constipated thinking on their part, but it is what it is. So, if in the future I must use XP for some rare reason, at least I will have a way to resurrect it without throwing money away for a new version of the same junk (what's that about insanity doing the same thing over and over that does not work).
No, the money I would waste on Windy and his pals is donated to GnuLinux et al.
23 • LVM (by Don Manyette on 2014-03-24 17:59:39 GMT from United States)
Many thanks for the article. Clears up a lot for me!
24 • RE: 9, Missed opportunities (by Koroshiya Itchy on 2014-03-24 18:03:57 GMT from Belgium)
No, no major vendor has ever promoted desktop computers with Linux pre-installed. Dell, due to the pressure of free software activists used to offer the possibility of purchasing PCs with Ubuntu pre-installed:
1.- It was not promoted at all.
2.- They could only be purchased online.
3.- The Linux models were well hidden in their web site.
4.- The offer was really scarce in terms of number of models and configurability.
5.- Linux was pre-installed but not preconfigured. They received constant complains about certain components not working properly and they did not even ship a CD with an easy way of installing drivers.
Taking into consideration those caveats, my conclusions is that, no, it has never been tried seriously.
The only serious attempt up to now to bring Linux to the masses is Android, and it seems to be working pretty well.
25 • LMDE & Debian Derivatives (by dhinds on 2014-03-24 18:10:34 GMT from Mexico)
LMDE marked my transition to Debian but isn't a priority for Mint, and some of the LMDE developers went on and developed Solus (defunct) and SolydXK.
For Mate on Debian try Point (based on Debian Stable) or Sparky (based on Debian Testing).
More GNU/Linux distros are based on Debian than on any other. In addition to the above, Neptune, Crunchbang, Snow, KWheezy (and many more) are out there and pretty much bug-free (with active forums to resolve any glitches that do arise with the versions based on testing or unstable).
This post is being made using Sparky Ultra Openbox.
26 • Re:19 MX-14 (by Chris Whelan on 2014-03-24 18:24:55 GMT from United Kingdom)
Can I ask why you need a 64-bit version of MX-14?
FWIW, I don't think there are any plans to produce one at the moment.
27 • @5 & 6 (by GNUday on 2014-03-24 19:36:18 GMT from Canada)
@5...there is a 'Windows replacement', it's called SolydX or SolydK. There are others but that's what I prefer, Korora is a pretty nice Fedora derivative.
@6...agreed, that is why I started to build my own PCs YEARS ago, I really despised the proprietary PC/laptop 'Microsoft tax' and demographics data mining (XP was my last 'tax', an OEM copy actually, still have it, now it keeps drink glass rings off my furniture, lol), I've been completely Windows free for 4 years and I manage just fine. Compared to Windows maintenance and trouble shooting, Linux gets boring, simply because it's faster to get set up properly, and when it is set up, nothing happens, no breaking, no viruses, no defragging, lol, no re-installing every six months for one reason or another.
As for LMDE being buggy, yep, I download, I burn, I live spin, I lock up, I throw DVD in garbage. If a distro behaves well during my live test torture, it's worthy of an install, after all, the 'live' test is the first impression, and like most things in life, you only get one chance to make a good impression.
28 • Deja vu (by RJA on 2014-03-24 20:16:39 GMT from United States)
"each time the update manager froze."
Another Muon-like fail, I see...
29 • "Bring out your dead" (by :wq on 2014-03-24 20:24:07 GMT from United States)
While they can currently meet all of some users' needs, smartphones and tablets won't completely replace the desktop and notebook experience any time soon, for a variety of reasons, and melding those similar but still distinct experiences together has yet to be done wholly satisfactorily. Sales of traditional PCs have also slowed because the growth potential is no longer really there, the same with a lot of other commonplace appliances. The 'the desktop has gone the way of the mainframe' mantra is a little premature. One day it will get there, but it's not there yet, and won't be for some time for a number of consumer segments. The transition will occur organically, and I think this evolution is likely to take hold more ardently via a research/innovation/education/feedback/improvement loop than a speculation/innovation/imposition/more imposition/more speculation loop, even for the Microsofts of the world which are used to setting their own terms.
30 • LMDE and security updates (by ROP75 on 2014-03-24 21:12:11 GMT from Spain)
I used LMDE for a few months 2 years ago, it was pretty stable and I did not have any problems using it; but I found it insecure. LMDE users only got updates for their packages when the update packages are realeased: Every 3-4 months (there are a few exceptions: mint apps -cinnamon & mate- , virtualbox and mozilla software that are updated more frecuently).
BTW: When I read some comments from experts saying that LMDE is a rolling distro, I can't help wondering whether this person really knows what a rolling distro is.
31 • About Windows being slow... (by RJA on 2014-03-24 21:16:20 GMT from United States)
That's SO typical of a messy Windows installation.
It probably wasn't just the registry, either. Probably bloatware and a majorly fragged HDD.
32 • I still remember the old school Windows times... (by History of RAM requirements... on 2014-03-24 21:42:33 GMT from United States)
Back in the late 1990s, it was typical to have a measly 8 MB of RAM and 16 MB of RAM was often high-end! But, even with 16 MB, disabling the virtual memory resulted in a not-enough-memory error message and sometimes a crash when trying to run virtually anything other than Windows itself! Eek!
It didn't help that even 32 MB was hard to get!
Now, there's a RAM requirement deja-vu! Vista and later demands at least 512 MB for itself, no wonder it's slow with 1 GB and even 2 GB is lousy!
33 • @ 5 - missed opportunities (by forlin on 2014-03-24 22:08:21 GMT from Portugal)
There is nothing at all where Linux has failed. Indeed, its been very successful in most fields.
I'd suggest that you learn more about FLOSS, to help you on making correct assessments.
As a starting point, read the first news at this DWW.
One more important point about Linux in the Desktop: have a look at the DW PHR. As well as most distros, the top raking in popularity are cooperative projects where thousands of very talented and competent individuals committed themselves to the Linux project on their free time, without requiring a monetary compensation.
Because that's the spirit and the roots of the FLOSS.
Do you imagine how much is the total yearly Microsoft payroll?
34 • @13 @16 (by jaws222 on 2014-03-24 22:49:02 GMT from United States)
I've been using Solydxk too (X version) for a few months now. I have a version on my laptop and one on my desktop. No issues yet. The distro is very polished and lightweight. I just put the kde version in a vbox to check it out and like it as well.
35 • MX-14 (by Dave Postles on 2014-03-24 22:57:02 GMT from United Kingdom)
@26 because all my kit is 64-bit with 8Gb RAM and I really don't want to run 32-bit stuff on it, even if optimized.
36 • Q4OS - new kid on the block? (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2014-03-25 00:30:35 GMT from United States)
Now under development, at first this DebIan - Trinity install-only spin sports the looks of an old-style OS CD, from the ASCII-DOS-batch look (ncurses) to the vintage theme, though the look can be tweaked, or even traded for a more modern (Trinity-vintage KDE) theme if desired.
Long-term project vision may look to a Qt API as a viable standard market platform.
Virtual guest drivers are available, and the ISO can be "burned" onto a CD, or unpacked onto a FAT32 boot-flagged USB flash stick partition and tweaked for syslinux (4.07) boot-ability.
Of course, look-and-feel is no substitute for robust system functionality; any initial charm may fade in short order.
Many people never install an OS themselves, but there are millions loath to buy newer (not necessarily better) hardware and/or software to replace what works for them; loyalty to a robust and fairly open market platform and a trainable OS is not easily shaken, though (sponsored?) cracking may yet make a dent.
Android systems may sport a Linux base, but proprietary layers above (app-store) and below (hardware-drivers) demonstrate a decided lack of enthusiasm for an open market. I haven't seen any signs of better prospects coming from Canonical, though a miracle could still happen.
(LaciOS - Portugese-only, right?)
37 • @ 36 (LaciOS - Portugese-only, right?) (by forlin on 2014-03-25 01:01:21 GMT from Portugal)
So far, its only pt.br and pt.pt. Its a Brazilian project addressing to users from both countries.
I wonder if they're planning to extent the distro to English speaking users. I hope so.
38 • MX-14 (by Jeff on 2014-03-25 02:03:13 GMT from United States)
Why not an MX-14 64 bit ?
antiX has 64 bit, so it does not make sense to me that a "midweight"
distro would not when a light-weight does.
64 bit PC systems have been available for over ten years so even "older" computers may be 64 bit.
PAE is only a partial solution as no process can use more than 3 gb no matter how much is available.
39 • LMDE (by Will Brokenbourgh on 2014-03-25 02:30:56 GMT from United States)
I was a long-time user (and fan) of Debian, but switched to Slackware when I found Debian to have too much X latency.
I have tried almost all of the MATE and Cinnamon releases of Mint in recent years, and always come away disappointed. I really *want* to enjoy them and continue using them as my main desktop, but they have always had too many bugs for me.
I really appreciate how nice Mint looks, but I run my business on Linux and don't have room for frequent freezes, disappearing tray icons and the like. Clem and Co. will not like me for saying this, but I really can't see why Mint is number 1 on the DW list.
I will say that each Mint release does improve, and the bugs seen in previous versions usually are gone, but frequently there's a new one to take its place. I sincerely hope and wish for the day Mint (Ubuntu or Debian-based) is very solid and is the (positive) talk of the town. It's not impossible to have a pretty face and a smart brain too!
40 • @ 24 Dell + Linux (by anon on 2014-03-25 07:26:22 GMT from United States)
You've been able to purchase linux pre-installed and pre-configured from Dell since the late '90s. There is no conspiracy to prevent the success of desktop linux.
41 • @25 Missed opportunities (by greg on 2014-03-25 07:35:16 GMT from Slovenia)
You forgot about Chrome OS making way in US in schools and at home.
Also in depends on part fo the world. I was in asia and going into dell reseller shop they had laptops in 3 different colour prominently displayed. they were running ubuntu. however it is true that selection of hardware with Ubuntu preloaded was limited to a few models (mostly low end). it is very difficult to find high and mid end laptops with linux preinstalled.
they sell some business models here with linux preinstalled though are not marketed well. as well as support is really strange. for exmaple the Hps comes with Suse preinstalled. it is not trivial to register and to connect to their repositories. when you do connect you can see you actually have a demo version of the OS that will only last 30 days. lame. anyway easilly replaced by another distro but not somethign a normal user would do. nice OS, stable but IMO user should get at least 2 years free access to repos and repos should be enabled and connected to on first boot after seting up the passwords..
42 • @ 40 Dell + Linux (by Koroshiya Itchy on 2014-03-25 07:46:29 GMT from Belgium)
In addition to all the caveats mentioned in @24, there are others:
6.- Complete lack of support.
7.- No warranties that updates and upgrades would not break something.
8.- You are on your own when it comes to peripherals compatibility.
In summary, being able to buy a Dell with Ubuntu pre-installed was useless.
I always purchase computers with no operating system. They are cheaper, you have plenty of configuration options (nowadays, you can have exactly what you want built for you), you can install you preferred distro (or even try a few) and, in the end, you are on your own anyway.
The Apple model with Linux might have worked one decade ago. The problem now is that the desktop is on the decline. It will of course never disappear, for gamers and professionals will always need plenty of power and large screens, but it seems to be shrinking market.
43 • Missed opportunities because of missing brains (by LorenzoC on 2014-03-25 09:12:49 GMT from Italy)
After reading the above comments I came to the conclusion that most people over here are completely detached from reality.
Canonical is a corporation that aims the consumer market, so the fact that Linux and BSD are much used on servers is irrelevant. We are speaking of desktops here.
Canonical, with pretty much the whole Linux ecosystem (see Gnome), has given up with desktop and laptops PCs, now they aim the "convergence" with mobile gadgets. That means two things, it means to leave behind million people who could switch to Linux simply because the other option is to trash expensive hardware and it means to fail again in an over saturate market that is dominated by very hard locking (manufacturers, software, service providers).
Last note: I could evangelize Linux to many people around me but I can't reccomend a thing that breaks at any upgrade. Last time a friend of mine moved to the latest Ubuntu and his wireless adapter stopped working without any reason given out of some wrong patch on Ubuntu kernel. If people don't change their OS, imagine if they could be told to replace the kernel to work around some unneeded bug.
44 • @42 Preinstalled Linux (by Oliver on 2014-03-25 10:20:18 GMT from Germany)
The reluctance of large vendors to offer preinstalled Linux machines can be an opportunity for smaller and nimbler competitors. For example https://www.linux-onlineshop.de/index.php (german) offers even high end hardware with a (mainstream) Linux distribution of your choice. The price is not cheap, but as far as I can tell comparable to that of large vendors.
I probably will buy my next notebook from there. Not because, I intend to use the preinstalled OS; I would install dual boot Linux / Windows with my preferences. But I hope I can be sure that the hardware is supported by most Linux distributions, which cannot be assumed for hardware from other vendors.
I am not sure that I would recommend Linux to somebody who is running Window and who is satisfied with it. In my experience Linux is mostly used by people who have special requirements which are not delivered by other OSs.
Best regards, Oliver
45 • LMDE (by SenseiWap on 2014-03-25 10:33:32 GMT from Belgium)
Want a true rolling release ? which runs smoothly, is reliable and multi-language ?
Try ArchLinux and forget lmde.
My desktop PC is running Arch Linux since 2011 and all of my installed packages are up to date.
46 • Linux on the desktop (by Dave Postles on 2014-03-25 10:35:33 GMT from United Kingdom)
Educational authorities around the developing world are using Linux; even in the USA, some are adopting it:
Gendarmerie; Munich; many regional authorities in Spain; UK government adopting OpenSource as a model in last month's Cabinet Office document (including .odf as opposed to ooxml).
There is a sense in which the world is slowly - ever so slowly - changing.
47 • @24 Koroshiya (by DavidEF on 2014-03-25 10:48:56 GMT from United States)
I agree with this post completely! You've expounded on the exact point I was trying to make in my post #9 above. There have been several attempts at Linux pre-installed hardware, but none of them, including Dell, have ever promoted Linux computers properly.
I guess they just thought they could put their hardware out there, and there might be enough Linux fanbois around to buy them. That is the wrong way to sell a Linux box if there ever was one. The people who already use Linux every day shouldn't be the target audience. They need a wider view of converting Windows and Apple users.
What these manufacturers need to do is to come up with some effective advertising, showing off the advantages of Linux. Instead of trying to make Linux look and act the same as Windows, they should be saying "Linux is different AND THAT'S A GOOD THING!"
As for the hardware itself, that is an unusual situation. People are so used to thinking in a certain way about hardware capabilities. Some of the consumer education effort needs to be focused on showing people how powerful Linux can be on lower end hardware. Even here, in this DWW, there are people crying about manufacturers not giving Linux their best hardware. Does nobody realize that greater than 90% of the computer desktop users in the world can do the same amount of work in Linux with half the hardware "capability" that is needed in Windows?
I'm not saying that Linux should be shut out of upper end hardware, but that people need to be shown how to compare systems based on more than mere hardware specs. There are two good examples of this that I've seen in the past. First is AMD. In the olden days of Pentium 3 and 4 class computers, AMD came up with what I thought was a clever way of advertising their clear superiority without coming right out and saying it. They named their CPU with a number that represented the approximate equivalent CPU speed of an Intel chip, which was a higher clock speed than their chip. For instance, and AMD Athlon 2000 had a clock speed of around 1600 MHz or something like that, but it performed approximately equally with an Intel Pentium 4 clocked at 2000 MHz. For anyone interested in really comparing the systems, the information was available. They weren't being deceptive, just clever. Anyone who just looked at the number on the box might think they were getting a 2000 MHz CPU, but they were probably never disappointed by the performance.
The other example is Apple. They successfully sold computers for years that were "underpowered" compared to the equivalent Windows PC, yet performed better, enough so that they commanded a premium price. People were made aware that Apple systems are different from PC systems, and were never encouraged to compare raw hardware specs, but rather compare true system performance. It seemed to work, until they switched to building Intel x86 systems. Then, some people started noticing the "lower" specs of the hardware, and started crying foul. Just like some people are doing now with Linux. Those people just don't understand that performance is not tied to raw hardware power alone. Optimized hardware can win over raw power sometimes. And the hardware can be optimized by using a better OS most of the time.
Anyway, these are just some of my thoughts on how Linux could be successfully advertised and sold on decent hardware, on the shelves of major retailers worldwide. There's nothing to it but to do it. But, it will take someone having the ability to advertise their own product effectively, including talking up the underlying OS a little.
48 • @DaveEF: (by dragonmouth on 2014-03-25 12:06:23 GMT from United States)
What Linux needs is a couple of Super Bowl ads along the lines of Apple's "1984" ad.
The problem with Linux is the community's attitude of "If we build a better O/S, they will come." But to achieve that, you have to let "them" know you exist. And that is the where the Linux community has failed miserably. When was the last time there was a Red Hat or Canonical ad in prime time or even in the middle of the night?
49 • LMDE - interesting but unnecessary (by Barnabyh on 2014-03-25 13:11:23 GMT from Germany)
Why not just install Debian proper or CrunchBang (if you want codecs and flash from the start) or any other distribution of your choice that sticks closely to upstream Debian and upgrade from there. Been rolling on unstable with experimental thrown in on one of my CB installs for six months now and it's still going strong.
50 • Mate bugs (by AnklefaceWroughtlandmire on 2014-03-25 13:26:35 GMT from Ecuador)
I would have to disagree that the LMDE edition doesn't have any showstopper bugs. The Caja file manager infinite re-spawning bug is most definitely a showstopper, as it completely hangs the desktop and can reach the maximum process limit defined for the system. This unfortunately ruins what is otherwise probably one of the best desktop environments available for Linux. And this bug is present on multiple distros, including Arch. Here is the related bug report, if anybody can help:
51 • @50 (by pogo on 2014-03-25 14:10:52 GMT from Italy)
+1 For Debian Sid 'unstable'
- Always use 'aptitude' to manage packages: to upgrade the system, the only command to execute must be 'aptitude safe-upgrade'!
- If possible, format the disk with Btrfs and configure APT for the automatic creation of a new snapshot every time 'aptitude' changes the state of packages.
in my experience, this adds 'total unbreakability' to all the goodness of 'Debian Sid'..
52 • LMDE and @49 (by Hoos on 2014-03-25 17:12:15 GMT from Singapore)
Solyd (in XFCE or KDE versions) is pretty flexible in that respect. Their normal version is Debian testing, with quarterly update packs. However, if you want "true" Debian Testing where you upgrade the system regularly yourself, or even Sid, install SolydXK as a starting point and upgrade from the appropriate repositories as you wish.
The SolydXK forum has separate sub-boards for users who go the true Testing or the Sid route, so there's ready help available if problems arise.
For a nice-looking and trouble-free Debian Sid openbox distro, try Semplice. It has more GUI configuration tools right off the bat than Crunchbang and you don't have to manually update your applications menu, so if you like openbox but prefer something a little less minimalistic than CB (ubercool as it is), it might suit you.
I have been rolling on both Solyd and Semplice for a year without problems.
53 • @44 - yes it's for everyone (by M.Z. on 2014-03-25 17:16:40 GMT from United States)
I have to say I disagree with # 44 strongly on the idea that Linux is mostly for special use cases. That may well be the strong suit of the OS give the relative ease of changing internal bits around; however, none of what I do with any of my desktops is particularly specialized or couldn't be done on Windows. I could install most of the open source software I use in Linux into Windows, but I would lose things that I consider important features that could benefit any user, like better security & software management. The average Linux user is almost certainly a power user by Windows standards even if only because they likely installed their own OS; however, there is plenty offered by easy to use versions of Linux that could benefit anyone.
Also, I can't replicate that Firefox bug I mentioned in #21 no matter how hard I try so I guess all is good there.
54 • Mate isn't the problem, unpolished distros are (by Mate user on 2014-03-25 17:23:17 GMT from United States)
I saw somebody here complaining about MATE. Linux Mint obviously is gaming Distrowatch. Such an unpolished distro makes no sense as #1. There's also something of a feedback effect given the "above-the-fold" treatment given to the top 10 distros in that chart, but I digress.
If you want a good MATE setup, I *highly* recommend the Fedora MATE+Compiz spin. I never enabled Compiz, the MATE desktop Fedora is shipping is vanilla and very nice. Finally productive again!
It's such a shame that GNOME2 has been left the way it was. I had noticed lots of small businesses using Ubuntu + GNOME2 and people seemed very comfortable with it. The Linux desktop world frankly moves too quickly for end-users. Developers get bored and change things just when the software becomes stable and usable.
55 • @50 - Caja respawning (by burdi01 on 2014-03-25 17:47:32 GMT from Netherlands)
I just updated https://github.com/mate-desktop/caja/issues/100 with an easy workaround
56 • @52 (by jaws222 on 2014-03-25 21:46:06 GMT from United States)
"For a nice-looking and trouble-free Debian Sid openbox distro, try Semplice. It has more GUI configuration tools right off the bat than Crunchbang and you don't have to manually update your applications menu, so if you like openbox but prefer something a little less minimalistic than CB (ubercool as it is), it might suit you."
Semplice is pretty sweet. I'm a big Crunchbang guy but have to admit Semplice gives them a run for their money.
Another good testing/unstable distro is Siduction. I've been running that in a virtualbox since December and it holds up nicely. It hasn't broke yet. As far as Solydxk, It's now on my main box (X version with kwin) in my office and I love it.
57 • Linux Mint Reliability (by Gwilson on 2014-03-25 22:54:11 GMT from United States)
I often find myself scratching my head when I read a review of a distro that I have found to be rock solid and hear about a plethora of problems the reviewer is having. My main distro is currently Mint LMDE with the Cinnamon desktop, and I am at a loss to understand how my system can be rock solid with no quirks at all on all of my systems, but and the Distrowatch "pro" evaluator can't get his to work. No, I don't mess with Mate - why in the world would I with Cinnamon, XFCE and Fluxbox all available? If you are going to completely pan a distribution like LMDE, you should at least install it with the Cinnamon desktop and see if you have the same problems. What would that take? Twenty minutes? You have too much influence among Linux users to do such a limited and irresponsible review. I have used Ubuntu/Mint and LMDE/Mint many times through many versions and on many completely different machines and I have never found it to be anything but reliable, thoroughly tested and well thought executed. I'm not a fanboy for Mint, but that has been my experience. You should have at least figured out if your problems were due to the Mate interface (a rather bizarre throwback) by trying Cinnamon. Since you did not do so, you did not conduct a complete test of LMDE which is what your review is purported to be in the headline (Review: Linux Mint Debian Edition 201403). You might also want to check for faulty hardware.
58 • @57 Re: Linux Mint Reliability (by Rev_Don on 2014-03-26 00:04:11 GMT from United States)
My thoughts exactly. I rarely have ANY of the problems Jesse runs into in his reviews and fought long and hard for him to start including his system specs in his reviews. Looking at his specs I can see why I have fewer problems than he does. I've known for years that there is a reason why the saying "you don't get fired for buying Intel" exists, and his reviews bear this out. Nobody makes motherboard chipsets as reliable as Intel does, no matter how loud the AMD Fanboys yell otherwise. I've pulled hard drives out of AMD systems that test out okay, but constantly freeze, lockup, crash, etc. and place them in a similarly specced Intel system and have them run perfectly with non of the problems. No updating, no installing new drivers, just plug it in and turn it on. That tells me that all to often the problems people report are HARDWARE based, and not a problem with the OS installed.
You want a stable and workable system? Spend a couple of extra bucks and get GOOD hardware.
59 • Mate distros (by fernbap on 2014-03-26 01:31:01 GMT from Portugal)
Let's get a few things straight first:
If you want a solid distro, you will want a solid base. Which means, in the case od Debian or Ubuntu, that you will want Debian stable or Ubuntu LTS. Debian testing is, as its name suggests...... testing, as much as any Ubuntu distro that is not LTS.
I have been trying a few MAte distros. What i use is Mint 13 Mate (LTS) backported to 16, but i have a few others that i recomend:
Point Linux is by far the Mate distro that is stable, fast and has a very small RAM footprint, which makes it ideal for old hardware.
Amongst a few others, Manjaro Mate was a pleasant surprise: fast, cutting edge (uses Mate 1.8) and, so far, absolutely uncomplicated. I loved its package manager, btw. It handles both binary packages and code tarballs.
Korora Mate looked promissing, but Fedora 20 doesn't boot on my computer after install, and so doesn' Korora.
Btw, i placed on youtube a small video demo of Point Linux running with Compiz and Emerald, just to let people judge wether it looks "old" or not. Just watch watch?v=n2t379SyZtQ
60 • @48 Linux publicity (by Thomas Mueller on 2014-03-26 01:47:41 GMT from United States)
> What Linux needs is a couple of Super Bowl ads along the lines of Apple's "1984" ad. <
Nice idea, but Super Bowl ads are prohibitively expensive, and that was even true some years ago. Even hospital treatment is a bargain by comparison!
Computers preloaded with Windows, and hardware and Internet service vendors saying they only support Windows, or Windows and Mac, make me feel like I'm being bullied into Windows, and that turns me strongly away from buying or running Windows. Linux distros don't have to pay for that kind of adverse publicity against Windows; hardware and Internet service vendors do an awful good job at that.
61 • LVM tutorial (by Martin on 2014-03-26 02:13:46 GMT from Argentina)
Hey Jesse, this is the best LVM introduction I've read so far, I'm passing it to everyone that continually asks me what the heck LVM is!
62 • #57 + #60 (by zykoda on 2014-03-26 07:39:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
#57 My experience re-#1 regarding cinnamon (on 64 bit 201403)
#60 You may have a point about AMD motherboards in my case I suspect that may be my problem re-#1.
63 • Re: MATE Caja bug (by chemicalfan on 2014-03-26 08:14:37 GMT from United Kingdom)
The Caja respawn bug is actually a bug in systemd, specifically in relation to front, and was introduced when MATE moved to gsettings. It's something to do with systemd invoking a call it shouldn't. Should be fixed upstream I think (surprised it's not fixed in Arch?!)
64 • @63 : Caja respawning (by burdi01 on 2014-03-26 09:40:11 GMT from Netherlands)
I have seen this symptom on Xubuntu 12.04, Slackware Current and PartedMagic development (worked around in 2014_02_26), all of which do *not* sport systemd ...
65 • 58 Reliability (by mandog on 2014-03-26 11:57:07 GMT from Peru)
I really don't know where you get your ideas from, Intel systems is no more reliable than any other, overheating boards that melt the soldering. intel based laptops that shutdown due to overheating come-on get real. and yes I run both intel and AMD never had any problems you describe. plus the fact a AMD mb processor combo is 1/3rd of the price of intel, that equates to 3 upgrades for the inflated price of one intel combination.
66 • @53 - yes it's for everyone (by M.Z.) (by Oliver on 2014-03-26 12:40:16 GMT from Germany)
I did not intend to say that Linux is for special use cases only.
Rather I think that a user will switch to Linux if he gets something he wants and which he cannot get with his current OS.
It seems you want security and easier software management.
Best regards, Oliver
67 • @57 Linux Mint stability (by DavidEF on 2014-03-26 15:46:21 GMT from United States)
I've tried Linux Mint a few times, with different versions, different desktops, etc. I wanted to believe that it was Ubuntu Improved, but it always had lots of high visibility bugs and quirks that I couldn't get used to. The one really huge thing was that it wouldn't play right with sharing the printer, whether it was Mint in charge, or Mint was connecting over the network, it never worked right in either direction. I didn't just test a live disc, or even install for just a day or two. No, I kept it on whatever machine I was using it on (I've got several, and I've tried it on them all) for months at a time. Cinnamon is glitchy, Mate is glitchy, everything is glitchy!
I'm glad it works for those that it works for. Apparently all of my machines are just 'incompatible' with Linux Mint, eh?
68 • Legacy OS (by GNUday on 2014-03-26 21:59:05 GMT from Canada)
Looks like a great concept but resource guzzlers K3b and Amarok, seriously? Then again, that could be an old picture on DW...went to the website, looks like they still include Amarok.
I'm all for breathing life in to old hardware but I refuse to run KDE bloat now with a good computer, lol.
69 • @67 Mint (by Koroshiya Itchy on 2014-03-27 06:15:43 GMT from Belgium)
The fact that Linux Mint is one the the most popular Linux distro, maybe the most popular, probably indicates that most people are not experiencing any of those issues...
Mint is really better than Ubuntu for beginners. More experience users probably do not need any of them for they both are far too much bloated.
As I said in my first comment. I am running Debian Testing with MATE in 3 systems without any "glitch" whatsoever.
70 • Linux publicity (by forlin on 2014-03-27 08:11:49 GMT from Netherlands)
Publicity for Linux in the desktop isn't possible. Who would fund it? Distros are distributed free of charge. Providing that Linux meet the user requirements its adoption is a smart, informed and cost consciencieuse decision. Consummers use to collect info to help them decide on the best buy and the net is very usefull for that purpose. Deciding what Pc or what O/s to use shoudn't be different.
71 • @70 Linux publicity (by Kazlu on 2014-03-27 08:51:51 GMT from France)
"Distros are distributed free of charge."
So is Android. Yet its commercial succes is undeniable. Sure, no GNU/Linux distribution has the support of a company as powerful as Google. It's usually the manufacturer that does direct advertising of the machine it has produced, stating in addition something like "designed for the new Windows 8". We come down to what a few already said here: no company has really done big promotion of computers delivered with GNU/Linux.
However: I read here and there that computers sold with a GNU/Linux distribution are not so hard to find in Asia and South America. I cannot confirm it personnally though. In Europe, you will find no computer sold with a GNU/Linux distro, except on some small area of a website or on a dedicated website, meaning you already must have decided to buy a computer with GNU/Linux to find them.
72 • @71 no linux? (by greg on 2014-03-27 15:12:31 GMT from Slovenia)
here biggest online shops feature laptops and PC with linux preloaded (SUSE and Ubuntu). perhaps it's just in france?!
dell in germany (at least some time ago) had Ubuntu mashcines quite prominently as a good buy for startup new companies. they (new companies) even got some special discount.Harvey Norman here mostly sells windows only but occasionally they will sell meego or linux mashcine. our biggest electronic retailer had all 3 windows, mac and linux mashcines. linux mashcines were running ubuntu and were displayed quite prominently. not in some hidden corner.
73 • Popularity, lost opportunities, firmware and trust (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2014-03-27 15:18:05 GMT from United States)
The distro most seekers hear about, and perhaps even try, isn't necessarily the one they settle on. The best marketing doesn't guarantee polished quality. Some ISOs are loaded with bling, or kitchen-sink-fuls of apps, but are maddeningly buggy. Some re-invent app-stores (imitating proprietary-on-Android wannabes?), often for yet another 'desktop environment' API.
I would applaud the vendor-agnostic ambition of Tanglu's AppStream.
Its value may be as great as the Keep-It-Short-&-Simple of GoboLinux, or the packaging virtuosity of PiSi, smart, or pkgcon.
Speaking of "lost opportunities", what of the failure to design a license that provides for a robust open market, preventing the emergence of proprietary OS's?
And I agree: firmware should be audited open-source, to earn trust.
74 • Linux publicity (by Kazlu on 2014-03-27 16:42:31 GMT from France)
To be a little more accurate: computers with GNU/Linux I have seen are down to things like this:
- on a general purpose on-line shop, a couple of low-end machines - compared to several hundreds of computers with Windows - found on a small category not really catching the eye. Android netbooks are even way more common;
- when you buy a computer on HP's website, once it is in your cart you may specify a couple oh things and have an OS choice, like Windows Pro or basic or, sometimes, SUSE Linux. No other mention elsewhere;
- actual good choice of computers with Windows or GNU/Linux or no OS on resellers' websites known only to computing enthusiasts;
- in an actual store last week-end, a vendor told me, before I even asked, that their PCs would be only sold with Windows 8, no exceptions (thay had Macs eventually).
That is indeed only in an french shop and in french websites. I had a look at amazon.de once just to take a look, but GNU/Linux didn't shine either. I admit my assumption generalising to "Europe" is based on that poor observation a couple of comments found here and there, but I'm glad to learn I was wrong. Would you post a link as an example? I'm curious :)
I agree. I was happy to buy online a computer with Ubuntu preloaded, but it was a low-end netbook. Although it was what I was looking for, a dual core Intel Atom @1.67GHz, 2GB of RAM and no dedicated graphic chip... As you can expect, I had no driver problem but Unity was really sluggish. I didn't intend to use Unity anyway, but I doubt an unexperienced user would be happy to boot its new computer and discover it is sluggish. I hope we will see more nice things like the DELL XPS 13 Developper Edition or the MintBox.
75 • AMD, KDE, & reasons to use Linux (by M.Z. on 2014-03-27 18:41:34 GMT from United States)
As others have stated you seem far too willing to blame everything on lack of your chosen hardware. Intel is good, but I've had two systems have unacceptable failures on me & one was Intel while the other was AMD. I suppose the failures were fairly different and the Intel system was older; however, I've been using my current main desktop for several years with no discernible hardware issues & it had a quad core AMD for a lot less than a quad core Intel would have cost. I suppose some PC makers may try too hard to low ball hardware & ship the cheapest AMD system possible, but I've had a fairly good experience with my current AMD powered desktop & I hardly think your statement is universal.
KDE 'bloat' depends a lot on how distros are shipped by default, & I've personally found Debian KDE to make good use of limited RAM. I think both Debian KDE & PCLinuxOS MiniMe would make for very snappy & responsive KDE systems on modern hardware. I've also found the KDE/Qt apps tend to be much more consistent across desktops & to be more feature rich and functional than their Gtk counterparts. That's why I switched most of the default apps in Cinnamon to KDE apps.
I'd argue that most Linux users are people who have installed their OS and took the time to acquire some knowledge about their computers. They are more likely to articulate reasons for using their chosen OS because they have actually give it some thought rather than just using what was easiest to get. It isn't that a few people are longing for features not found elsewhere, but is instead that people who were interested in making the switch to another OS paid attention and thought about what was going on with their PC and then found reasons to either switch to or stay with Linux. Not many people think very deeply on their computer or the OS it uses, but those who do are far more likely to use something like Linux.
77 • Legacy OS (by Neal on 2014-03-27 20:01:15 GMT from United States)
I always get excited when I see any release of Legacy OS but every time its a disappointment because of the base its built upon....puppy 2X series?? It just won't work right with hardly any of my hardware...even the old P3 machines it claims to serve. I think Legacy would be better off with the 4x series to build upon....the 2x series just has too many limitations IMO.
78 • @ 75 - "...far more likely to use something like Linux." (by forlin on 2014-03-27 21:27:06 GMT from Portugal)
I totally agree about @66 paragraph. I used XP from start. As stated, I was too busy to think about what PC or OS to use. Later I got time to learn and build boxes for me and family. Tweaking, clean registry, defrag and the like, on 4 machines was madness. Also, I was not up to pay 4 shelf Vista licensees price. Making a long story short, I become a happy Linux user.
I'm aware there's a strong bias against Linux and open source in many circles at various countries. I also believe there's no way to advertise Linux. OEM's cannot advertise on low sales products.
Conclusion: its up to us to actively spread the world and inform, using all today's available channels, and holding due care not to seem that we're imposing our ideas to others.
79 • LMDE 2014.03 (by Az4x4 on 2014-03-28 00:36:30 GMT from United States)
I've run LMDE since it was first released, finding it to be an excellent distro in every respect. I've experienced but one of the problems mentioned in this week's review. With LMDE 2014.03 installed on my ASUS i7 laptop, on a couple of occasions the spawning of endless instances of the Caja file manager took place. Of late that issue has not surfaced, so I imagine it has been fixed with an update to Caja that was recently applied.
Other than that LMDE has been a breath of fresh air. Between LMDE, Point Linux, Sparky and any number of others, the distro options we have that provide the goodness of Debian free of Ubuntu's spin on things is ever more attractive.
80 • Linux Mint (by Richard on 2014-03-28 14:40:45 GMT from Canada)
My experience with Linux Mint is usually good. Planning to try the Debian edition soon. Maybe i will have better luck with it than th reviewer.
81 • AMD, KDE (by corneliu on 2014-03-28 15:58:03 GMT from Canada)
I agree with you. I just want to add that in my opinion as far as CPUs go, AMD offers the best value for the money. In terms of GPUs, in general AMD is way better than Intel. The only issue I had with AMD before was the quality of the graphics drivers. But it seems that they have improved a lot lately.
KDE being bloated is a myth. How can 300-400MB RAM be a problem when most computers have at least 4GB? KDE comes with a lot of useful functionality. I think it is stupid to not take advantage of the hardware, if you already have it. If I ever had bad hardware I'd consider LXDE of XFCE. Maybe Gnome and Unity are good for tablets, I don't know, but for desktop I find both to be totally messed up.
82 • @78 Linux publicity (by Kazlu on 2014-03-28 16:47:30 GMT from France)
"I also believe there's no way to advertise Linux. OEM's cannot advertise on low sales products."
Huh? If that was true it would be impossible to advertise new products. Android for example has been advertised before it became a success. It appeared in the beginning to be similar to iOS but different in some aspects, including philosophy - just like many GNU/Linux distros are today compared to Windows. It worked. There is only one case where advertising is not really relevant: low-cost products. It's hard to finance advertising with low margins. But GNU/Linux should not be limited to low-cost products.
"Conclusion: its up to us to actively spread the world and inform, using all today's available channels, and holding due care not to seem that we're imposing our ideas to others."
I agree with that. It as particularly true with community driven distributions (not backed by a wealthy company). However, it would be a lot easier to introduce someone to Arch or even Debian it he/she has bought a computer with Ubuntu on it.
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|• Issue 603 (2015-03-30): Tails 1.3, LibreOffice Online, Linux Firewalls book review, Kubuntu with Plasma 5|
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