| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 567, 14 July 2014
Welcome to this year's 28th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Open-source operating systems come in a wide variety of flavours from conservative to bleeding-edge, experimental to stable. All of them are changing and growing, trying to best fit the needs of their users. This week we examine some projects at opposite ends of the experimental spectrum. We begin with a review of the Manjaro project, a cutting-edge Linux distribution which has been quickly gaining popularity. Then, in our News section this week, we shift focus and look at more conservative projects that are going through changes. We cover PC-BSD's new jail feature and Debian's move to adopt a different C library. We talk about whether clones of Red Hat Enterprise Linux will support 32-bit hardware and cover the results of FreeBSD's Core Team election. Plus, this week we talk about two applications that are not part of the mainstream, but perhaps should be due to their interesting approaches to solving problems. As usual we cover distribution releases from the past week and look forward to fun, new releases to come. We wish you all a pleasant week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Exploring Manjaro Linux 0.8.10 (Xfce edition)
The Manjaro Linux distribution is an Arch-based project which has quickly become popular over the last few years. The distribution's developers are focused on taking the hands-on, fast paced Arch Linux operating system and making it into a newcomer friendly, desktop oriented distribution. As the project's website states: "Manjaro is a user-friendly Linux distribution based on the independently developed Arch operating system. Developed in Austria, France, and Germany, Manjaro provides all the benefits of the Arch operating system combined with a focus on user-friendliness and accessibility. Available in both 32-bit and 64-bit (x86) versions, Manjaro is suitable for newcomers as well as experienced Linux users." Like Arch Linux, Manjaro maintains a rolling release model whereby all system components are regularly updated. Manjaro is available in Xfce, Openbox, KDE and a core (text console only) edition. There are also community editions of the distribution featuring other desktop environments such as MATE, Enlightenment, LXQt, Cinnamon, GNOME and Fluxbox.
The latest version of Manjaro Linux features improved UEFI support, support for LVM volumes and encrypted storage. The developers also claim users will have better control of package management and a new, graphical device driver manager has been added to the distribution. I opted to download the project's Xfce edition, the ISO for which is approximately 1 GB in size. Booting from the Manjaro media brings up the Xfce desktop environment. A welcome screen appears on the desktop, showing icons which allow us to access an overview of the Manjaro project, the distribution's release notes, website, forums and wiki. The welcome screen also provides a button that launches the Manjaro system installer.
Manjaro Linux 0.8.10 - the welcome screen
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Manjaro's graphical system installer closely resembles the installer used by the Ubuntu family of distributions. We are walked through selecting our preferred language, location and time zone. We are then asked to select our keyboard's layout. I needed to be careful going through the installer, because once most system installers learn I'm located in Canada, they insist on defaulting to a French keyboard rather than my standard (and much more common) US style keyboard. Next we are offered the choice of having the installer automatically partition our hard drive for us or we can manually divide up the disk. We can ask the automated partitioning process to use LVM volumes, set up encryption for us and (optionally) place our home directories on a separate partition. Manually partitioning the drive is pretty straight forward and the partition manager has a friendly, simple interface. We can work with a variety of file systems, including ext2/3/4, JFS, XFS, Btrfs and ReiserFS. Once the disk is carved up the way we like we are asked to create a user account and set a password on our account. Optionally we can create a separate password for the root user. Manjaro's installer copies its files to the local hard drive and then prompts us to reboot the computer.
Manjaro Linux boots to a graphical login screen decorated by a blue sky dotted with clouds. Upon logging into the Xfce desktop a notification icon in the system tray indicated software updates were available in the project's repositories. Clicking on this notification icon brings up a simple software updater application. This application simply shows us a list of available software updates. We are not able to pick and choose which items we want to download, the software updater gives us an "all or nothing" approach to downloading package upgrades. The first day I was using Manjaro there were 98 updates available, totalling approximately 390MB in size. All of these items downloaded and were applied to the system cleanly.
Manjaro Linux 0.8.10 - managing hardware drivers and desktop settings
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Manjaro's application menu is arranged with categories of software on the right side of the menu and individual programs on the left. A search bar at the top of the menu lets us find applications using key words. Browsing through the application menu we find the Firefox web browser with Flash support. We are given the HexChat IRC client, the Pidgin instant messaging client and the Thunderbird e-mail program. LibreOffice is installed for us along with a document viewer and the Orage calendar software. The GNU Image Manipulation Program is installed for us along with a simple image viewer. There are several small utilities available for renaming batches of files, working with file archives and editing text files. There are also tools for changing the look and feel of the Xfce desktop, for managing the operating system's firewall and configuring printers.
There is an application for monitoring hardware sensors and an application for creating and modifying user accounts. Network Manager is available to help us get on-line. Digging further we find Java installed for us along with the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC). In the background the Linux kernel, version 3.12, keeps the system running. I tried out the new device driver manager and found it did a good job of detecting my system's hardware and locating alternative drivers for my system. The device driver manager has a nice layout and we can acquire additional drivers with a few mouse clicks.
Manjaro Linux 0.8.10 - managing software packages
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Package management on Manjaro Linux involves a graphical application simply titled "Package Manager". This application is divided into three sections. On the left side of the Package Manager window we find a series of tabs. These tabs allow us to search for software in the repositories based on key words, software categories, status and by which repository an item is in. Each tab gives us a different approach to finding the software we want. Over on the right side of the window we see a list of packages in our currently selected search/repository/category. Clicking on a box next to the package's name causes the software to be queued for installation or removal. At the bottom of the window we find a box containing information on the currently highlighted package. Actions to be performed on packages are handled in batches, locking the application's interface. I located, installed and removed a handful of applications during my time with Manjaro and all actions were processed smoothly and without any problems.
I ran Manjaro Linux 0.8.10 in two environments, a desktop computer and a VirtualBox virtual machine. In both environments the distribution performed very well. All of my hardware was properly detected, the distribution booted quickly and the Xfce desktop was always responsive. Manjaro detected my desktop's hardware, setting my screen to its maximum resolution, automatically connecting to the network and sound worked out of the box. Manjaro also integrates well (and automatically) with VirtualBox. The distribution required approximately 240MB of memory when sitting at the Xfce desktop. This is a bit more RAM than I usually see used by Linux distributions running Xfce, but not significantly so.
Manjaro Linux 0.8.10 - running various desktop applications
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Fans of Arch Linux (and its family of distributions) may not appreciate it when I say that the one characteristic I find most Arch-based distributions have in common is that they are rough around the edges. I have personally found that distributions based on Arch tend to be unstable with prolonged use and regular updates, I find they often have system installers which are problematic and system administration tools which lack polish. Much of these experiences probably grow out of Arch Linux's rolling release nature and philosophy of manual configuration. Distributions which base themselves on Arch Linux and aim to be user friendly desktop distributions wage, I believe, an uphill battle.
While Arch-based distributions may have their faults, most of them also share some key benefits. Arch distributions are typically lightweight, fast and (under the hood) clean in their design. Arch-based projects typically ship with cutting edge software and appeal to people who want the latest versions of applications. My experience with Manjaro this past week showcased many of the typical Arch benefits (speed, new software and clean design) while avoiding the typical drawbacks. Manjaro was stable during my time with the distribution. All of the applications ran properly and I experienced no crashes or lock-ups. Updates applied cleanly, the system was always responsive, the configuration utilities were user friendly and the desktop had a unified feel; a rare sense of polish.
I have tried Manjaro Linux before and, in the past, I felt Manjaro was of good quality, but not particularly remarkable. My experiences from the past week have changed my perspective. The distribution is probably the most polished child of Arch Linux I have used to date. The distribution is not only easy to set up, but it has a friendly feel, complete with a nice graphical package manager, quality system installer and helpful welcome screen. Manjaro comes with lots of useful software and multimedia support. During my time with the distribution I ran into no serious problems, in fact virtually no problems at all, making it one of the more attractive desktop distributions I have run so far this year.
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Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
- Processor: Dual-core 2.8GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
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Last week I posted a review of the LXLE distribution. In the conclusion of that review I commented that I thought it would be nice if LXLE let users know when software updates were available. LXLE appears to be targeting new Linux users and I was concerned that novice users would not know to manually check for software updates. Following the review one member of the LXLE team pointed out that LXLE automatically checks for security updates and downloads them without user assistance. Other updates, those not security sensitive, are manually downloaded by the user. This means that while the user may not be aware of software updates, at least the distribution automatically plugs security holes, protecting unaware users.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar)
PC-BSD automates jail creation, Debian switches C library, CentOS considers additional architectures, Fedora changes package manager, FreeBSD elects Core Team, Andrew Tanenbaum retires, Raspberry Pi B+
A jail is a container in which we can run programs or services. Running software in a jail isolates the software from the rest of the operating system. This makes jails ideal in situations where an application cannot be trusted or when software is being tested. Installing a new program and creating a jail for it were previously two separate tasks and required some manual work. The PC-BSD project is making life easier for software testers and system administrators by automating the process of creating jails for new applications. As the project's blog reports, "You can now create jails on the fly when adding a new PBI to your application library. For instance, say you're adding a PBI using the "pbi_add" command and you want to install the PBI into a new jail that you haven't created yet. You would specify: "sudo pbi_add -J apache" without the quotes to create a default named jail with the PBI apache installed directly into it. The -J being the new flag that specifies the creation of the new jail." The post goes on to say that it is now possible to create multiple jails with one command using the PC-BSD utility Warden, making jail creation a faster, easier task.
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About five years ago the Debian GNU/Linux project switched from using the GNU C Library (GLIBC) to the Embedded GLIBC (EGLIBC) library. At the time, EGLIBC seemed like the better choice for both technical and political reasons. However, the world of software is always changing and now Debian is migrating back to the GNU C Library. Aurélien Jarno posted on his blog, "EGLIBC is dead for a good reason: the GLIBC development has changed a lot in the recent years, due to two major events: Ulrich Drepper leaving Red Hat and the GLIBC development, and the GLIBC steering committee self-dissolving. This has resulted in a much more friendly development based on team work with good cooperation. The development is now based on peer review, which results in less buggy code (humans do make mistakes). It has also resulted in things that were clearly impossible before, like using the same repository for all architectures." Jarno goes on to report most features of EGLIBC have been merged into the GNU C Library code which should make the transition back to GLIBC a smooth one for Debian.
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When Red Hat launched Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, the popular Linux company decided to drop 32-bit installation media and support for 32-bit x86 hardware. This move caused some to question whether clones of Red Hat Enterprise Linux would continue to supply 32-bit builds of the operating system. The CentOS project has stated that following the release of CentOS 7, the project will be working on support for alternative architectures. A post from Johnny Hughes to the CentOS developer mailing list states: "We are going to try to build a full i686 tree. This will happen after we do the full release of the actual CentOS-7 x86_64 GA, since RHEL-7 does not have an i686 spin." Hughes goes on to state CentOS also is interested in providing installation media for PPC and ARM architectures.
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Ever since the untimely death of Seth Vidal, the creator and developer of Yum, the Fedora developers have been searching for a replacement to the distribution's well-established package management solution. Today, almost exactly a year since the tragic event, it seems certain that Aleš Kozumplík's DNF will become the new default package manager in Fedora 22. Adam Saunders investigates the change: "Fedora has relied on the Yum package manager since its inception, but that won't last much longer. Last month, the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo) approved using the DNF package manager by default for Fedora 22. Since I am a Fedora user who mostly manages the installation, updating, and removal of software through Yum on the command line, this upcoming drastic change (albeit one coming nearly a year from now) piqued my interest. With the current version of DNF available in Fedora 20, I decided to investigate DNF to see how well it could replace Yum as default package manager."
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The FreeBSD project maintains a group of elected representatives called the Core Team. "The FreeBSD Core Team acts as the Project's 'board of directors' and is responsible for approving new src committers, resolving disputes between developers, appointing sub-committees for specific purposes (security officer, release engineering, port managers, webmaster, et cetera), and making any other administrative or policy decisions as needed. The Core Team has been elected by active FreeBSD committers every 2 years since 2000." The 2014 election of the Core Team has concluded and the project has made the list of members available. Congratulations to the new Core Team members and best of luck in your future endeavours!
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Andrew S. Tanenbaum, the founder of MINIX and one of the world's most respected experts on operating system kernels, is finally set to retire, at the ripe age of 70: "Prof. Andy Tanenbaum is finally retiring. He has been at the Vrije Universiteit for 43 years, but everything must eventually end." The venerable professor is best known in the Linux community for his public argument with Linus Torvalds in 1992, favouring microkernel-based design over a monolithic one and declaring Linux "obsolete". This didn't go down well with the then 23-year Finnish student: "You doing minix as a hobby - look at who makes money off minix, and who gives linux out for free. Then talk about hobbies. Make minix freely available, and one of my biggest gripes with it will disappear. Linux has very much been a hobby (but a serious one: the best type) for me: I get no money for it, and it's not even part of any of my studies in the university. I've done it all on my own time, and on my own machine." It gets still worse: "Your job is being a professor and researcher: That's one hell of a good excuse for some of the brain-damages of minix. I can only hope (and assume) that Amoeba doesn't suck like minix does."
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Finally, a quick link to the hot-off-the-press Raspberry Pi announcement. The amazingly successful single-board computer has become a huge hit with the more technically inclined Linux users, so it's only natural that the ARM-based hardware continues to evolve and improve in order to meet the growing demand. Today, the Raspberry Pi project announced the release of B+, a brand-new model: "In the two years since we launched the current Raspberry Pi Model B, we've often talked about our intention to do one more hardware revision to incorporate the numerous small improvements people have been asking for. This isn't a 'Raspberry Pi 2', but rather the final evolution of the original Raspberry Pi. Today, I'm very pleased to be able to announce the immediate availability, at $35 - it's still the same price, of what we're calling the Raspberry Pi Model B+." Read the rest of the linked blog post for a full list of improvements and a photo of the new board. The first review is also out, courtesy of Linux Voice.
|Applications (by Jesse Smith)
Alternative applications: Xiki and Opera
Sometimes my mind wanders and I find myself exploring places like SourceForge, looking at new, unusual or exciting software I have not seen before. This week I would like to share a pair of projects I downloaded and experimented with recently.
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When we open a virtual terminal on our desktop to access the command line the interface we are presented with resembles a text editor where we can only edit the last line of the file. We can type new commands and create new output, but most command shells will not allow us to go back and interact with previous commands or their output. This makes the Linux command line somewhat primitive, especially when compared next to popular BASIC interpreters of the 1980s such as GWBASIC or the one which shipped with the Commodore 64. Those interpreters would allow the user to move the text cursor to any part of the screen and manipulate text on any line, treating old input (or output) as new input.
One project is looking to change the way Linux users interact with their shells. Why not allow the user to simply click on a line containing an old command and alter it? Why not allow the user to interact with output, using it to open files or directories? Why can't we bring up a directory listing in a virtual terminal and click on the name of an executable file to launch it? The Xiki project is working on making the Linux command line more interactive. It also appears to be merging the concepts of a graphical user interface with a text-based command line.
Carla Schroder has an overview of Xiki and a tutorial explaining how to install the Xiki software. I thought the concept looked interesting and downloaded a copy of the project. Unfortunately I found the Xiki would not run on my machine. The Xiki program consistently crashed a few seconds after launching and the background service would not run for more than a few seconds. Hopefully other potential users will have better luck with Xiki as the project has the potential to make the Linux command line much more flexible and productive.
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For about a decade I was a user and fan of the Opera web browser. Though not an open source application, I felt Opera was unusually innovative, fast, stable and feature rich. The browser also had a surprisingly flexible user interface for the time. Opera, I was sorry to note, appeared to stop developing its web browser for GNU/Linux and FreeBSD sometime around the middle of 2013. Development continued on for Windows and Android users while desktop Linux and BSD users were left out in the cold for the better part of a year.
Opera recently announced they were bringing a new web browser with a new interface and rendering engine to the GNU/Linux platform. The new Opera web browser, version 24.0, has done away with the Presto rendering engine in favour of Google's Blink engine. The interface now looks like a mixture of Opera's classic browser combined with Google's Chromium browser. I downloaded and installed this development release and gave it a whirl to see how the new Opera browser would compare against the old, Presto-powered browser.
Opera 24.0 - tabs and menu
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My first impression of Opera 24 was that the new browser looks fairly similar to the default layout of Opera 12. We are treated to a similar menu, the same speed-dial feature and similar tab behaviour. Opera was, I happily noted, still remarkably fast and it remained stable during my time with the browser. In short, a lot of the old features that made me appreciate Opera were still in place. However, some things had changed and, I believe, not for the better.
For example, Opera previously had a flexible and easy-to-organize bookmark system. Bookmarks appear to have been removed and replaced with something called "Stash". In Opera 24 we can click a heart icon in the address bar to add a page to our Stash or speed-dial screen. We can then bring up our Stash in a new tab. The Stash tab shows us a list of pages we have marked by clicking the heart icon, optionally with a preview of the Stashed pages. In short, we still have bookmarks, but they are accessed through a separate tab rather than a bookmark menu or toolbar. Personally, this feels a bit more roundabout to me, but I will say that the ability to preview pages in the Stash is a nice touch. Opera 24 still has a built-in extension manager, however all my searches for new Extensions turned up no results. Perhaps the new Opera will not have extensions until it hits a stable release.
Finally, there is the interface. Opera 24 appears to have a one-size-fits-all approach to its user interface. As someone who greatly appreciated the flexibility of Opera's previous web browsers, I was disappointed to see the new browser is more or less locked into one layout. The layout works fairly well, but I do crave the ability to move things around to better suit my personal style. Finally, I note that the settings panel has completely changed. Most of the old configuration options are still there, though a few appear to be missing. In particular, I noticed I could still add new search engines to the list of available search engines, but I could not change existing search engines nor set a newly added search engine as the default.
Opera 24.0 - the settings tab
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All in all, Opera 24 worked fairly well for me, but three things bothered me. First, the new version appears to have been streamlined (some might say "dumbed down"). The interface is simplified, but also requires more steps to get things done. The once-flexible browser is more locked down, more set in its ways. Extensions have not caught up to Opera 24 yet, though those will probably come soon. My biggest concern though is the new Opera browser appears to be imitating Chromium. Which seems a shame to me since Opera used to have so many features and options which made it a welcome (though niche) player in the browser market, it had power and personality. Now Opera appears to be joining Firefox in becoming a clone of Chromium, setting aside personality and power in favour of familiarity and a sleeker interface. Opera 24 feels less like an evolution of the Opera browser and more like a remake of Chromium and we don't need one of those, we already have Chromium. It is my hope that Opera's developers already know this and will work to reintroduce old features onto their new platform, making the Opera browser unique again.
|Released Last Week
The much-awaited initial release of CentOS 7, a distribution built by compiling the source code for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, is out: "We would like to announce the general availability of CentOS 7 for 64-bit x86 compatible machines. This is the first release for CentOS 7 and is version marked as 7.0-1406. Since the upstream EL7 release, there have been some updates released - these have been built and are being pushed to the CentOS mirror network at the moment. They will be available within the next 24 hrs. From this point on we will aim to deliver all updates within 24 to 48 hours of upstream releases. For the first time, this release was built from sources hosted at git.centos.org." See the release announcement and release notes for details information about the product.
CentOS 7 - GNOME Shell Activities
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SparkyLinux 3.4 "GameOver"
Paweł Pijanowski has announced the release of SparkyLinux 3.4 "GameOver" edition, a Debian-based distribution designed for gaming enthusiasts: "SparkyLinux 3.4 'GameOver' is out. It has been built on the top of SparkyLinux 3.4 'Annagerman' and it's fully compatible with Debian's 'testing' repository. 'GameOver' is a special edition of Sparky targeted to game players. 'GameOver' 3.4 features: access to games compiled for Linux platform; access to 'popular' and 'modern' games via Steam and Desura platforms; access to many games created for MS Windows platform via Wine and PlayOnLinux; access to 'old' games created for discontinued machines and systems via emulators. What's under the hood of GameOver 3.4: Linux kernel 3.14.7; all packages upgraded from Debian's testing repositories as of 2014-07-03; LXDE 0.5.5, Openbox 3.5.2, PCManFM 1.2.0, Iceweasel 30.0 and a few important applications; support for installation on machines with EFI; systemd is the default init system now...." Here is the full release announcement with a screenshot.
IPFire 2.15 Core 79
Michael Tremer has announced the release of IPFire 2.15 Core 79, the latest stable release of the project's specialist Linux distribution for firewalls: "IPFire 2.15 Core Update 79 is finally arriving with many bug fixes and enhancements. Among the big changes with this update are lots feature enhancements that massively increase the security level of OpenVPN connections, some enhancements of the web user interface and a lot more awesome stuff under the hood. The OpenVPN capabilities have been massively extended by Erik Kapfer. The certificate authority that can be created on the OpenVPN page now uses much better hashes to protect the integrity of itself. The CA root certificate uses a SHA512 hash and a RSA key with length of 4096 bit. All new created host certificates use a RSA key with 2048 bit length and a SHA256 hash. Additionally, a set of Diffie-Hellman parameters can be generated for better protection of the session keys." Read the detailed release announcement for further information.
Kwort Linux 4.1
David Cortarello has announced the release of Kwort Linux 4.1, a lightweight CRUX-based distribution with Openbox and a custom package manager called kpkg: "Kwort Linux 4.1 is out. This new version is fast, stable, and simple as always. Everything has been built from scratch in a clean way. Most significant technical aspects are: Linux kernel 3.13.7; Chromium 34.0.1847.132 and Firefox 30.0 are both installed by default; LibreOffice 4.2.2 is also available in more/xapps. As usual our system remains light and clean as Kwort users like it. People and projects I would like to thank: our infrastructure providers, the people from PGHosting and Ricardo Brisighelli for the package mirror and development environment in the UNR. As usual, a big thanks to the CRUX people for developing it, as it is the system Kwort is based on; CRUX 3.1 made this version of Kwort really easy to build." Visit the distribution's home page to read the brief release announcement.
Chitwanix OS 1.5
Chitwanix OS is a Linux distribution developed by a community of Linux developers in Nepal. Based on Ubuntu and featuring a desktop environment called Sagarmatha (a fork of Cinnamon), the distribution's second stable release, version 1.5, was announced today: "The team is proud to announce the release of our second version, Chitwanix OS 1.5 'Khukuri'. Some remarkable improvements of this release are: Sagarmatha 1.0.2; HTML5 login screen with a user list and on-screen keyboard; updated software packages; improvements in drivers and supports like WiFi drivers, Ethernet drivers, graphics, HDMI; improvements in Nemo and its extensions; artworks improvements. Sagarmatha 1.0.2 is a desktop environment for Chitwanix OS which is forked from Cinnamon 2.0, featuring a lot of additional bug fixes, features and tweaks. Version 1.0 is the initial version of Sagarmatha which is installed as default in Khukuri." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details and screenshots.
Chitwanix OS 1.5 - a Linux distribution from Nepal
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|DistroWatch.com News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Update on distrowatch.com domain status|
Many thanks to all who have taken the time to write in and suggest a new domain name registrar for distrowatch.com. As you can imagine there have been many suggestions, but the one that came up most frequently was GANDI.net, a France-based domain registrar. Apparently, this company is very Linux/OSS-friendly (it's the registrar of choice for kernel.org, gnu.org, gnome.org, debian.org, freebsd.org, mageia.org and many others) and has a reputation for excellent customer support. They also have a very interesting slogan. The transfer of distrowatch.com has been completed already (I am so relieved, believe me!) and the transfer of distrowatch.org will go ahead later this week. Once again, apologies for the downtime.
I'd like to take this opportunity to dispel some of the speculations that appeared here and elsewhere. There was never a problem with the bandwidth or the hosting of the website. Our hosting company (EasySpeedy, based in Denmark) has nothing to do with the domain registrar (Doteasy, based in Canada). It was simply a matter of the domain registrar unilaterally imposing a charge for a service that I had never asked for, didn't need and wouldn't use. When I refused to pay, they simply disabled the entire domain (not just the service I didn't want to pay for), even though the issue had been sorted out (or so I thought) with a support technician. Of course, Doteasy doesn't do technical support on weekends, but the company is quite happy to disable your website on a Saturday night! As they say, fool me once... well, you know the rest.
After being bitten by Doteasy's unscrupulous business practices, I have decided to quickly register a new domain (out of Doteasy's reach, just in case they planned some nasty tricks for distrowatch.org too). I settled on distrowat.ch which I registered last week with a domain registrar in Switzerland. The domain is already active and it currently redirects to distrowatch.com. And it even saves a few characters when typing the name ;-). Of course, there is always our trusty mirror site at distrowatch.gdsw.at, generously provided by the Technische Universität Wien in Vienna, Austria. (Just please be aware of some limitations when visiting the mirror - e.g. clicks on distribution pages are not counted towards the PHR statistics and DWW's comments facility is not available on the mirror either).
One good thing that came up from all of this was fantastic support and many flatteringly worried posts on Linux/IT websites around the world - from major ones like ZDNet to smaller blogs in Canada, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Iran, Portugal and other countries where many fans seemed genuinely concerned. That's nice to know :-) So thanks to everybody for the support and the kind words; rest assured that DistroWatch is not going anywhere (at least not intentionally)!
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Annual package database update
DistroWatch's database of tracked packages (those that appear in the tables of the individual distribution pages) has been updated. New packages added to the database include Cinnamon (Linux Mint's desktop environment and a fork of GNOME Shell that is being accepted by an increasing number of distributions), HexChat (an IRC client and a fork of XChat which looks abandoned), LXQt (a lightweight desktop environment that merges LXDE with Razor-qt) and Wayland (a display server protocol which many believe will eventually become a "better X"). The udev package has been removed from the database since it has become an integral part of systemd.
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New distributions added to database
- CoreOS. CoreOS is a Linux-based operating system for servers. Built from the ground up and designed primarily for the modern data centre, CoreOS provides specialist tools for making the system secure, reliable and up-to-date. Some of the more interesting features of the distribution include reliable updates and patches via FastPatch, a dashboard for managing rolling updates via CoreUpdate, a docker for packaging applications, as well as support for bare metal and many cloud providers.
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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, 21 July 2014. To contact the authors please send email to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, suggestions and corrections: news, donations, distribution submissions, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (feedback and suggestions: podcast edition)
1 • Gandi v. DotEasy (by Arkanabar on 2014-07-14 10:53:06 GMT from United States) |
Well, given what DotEasy did to you, the appeal of a business with a mission statement like Gandi's is very easy to see. It is to be hoped that your association with Gandi will be long and mutually beneficial.
2 • arch (by me on 2014-07-14 10:57:20 GMT from Portugal)
"...tributions based on Arch tend to be unstable with prolonged use and regular updates..."
3 • urban legend on arch :) (by Frederic Bezies on 2014-07-14 11:07:58 GMT from France)
@2 : Just been using Archlinux on all my computers since 2009. I only had to reinstall twice : when my hdd died.
It is better than every 6 months reinstall with classical distributions.
4 • EGLIBC back to glibc, everything old is new again (by :wq on 2014-07-14 11:20:35 GMT from United States)
On a similar note, hopefully FFmpeg makes its way to Jessie (https://ftp-master.debian.org/new/ffmpeg_7:2.2.1-1.html), without the need for third-party repositories.
Server reviews aren't sexy, but given how in love with CoreOS some people are, I wouldn't mind seeing a review.
5 • DotEasy and the rest of Canada (by cykodrone on 2014-07-14 11:20:55 GMT from Canada)
Being a Canadian, I would like to point out this hole-in-the-wall 'business' (DotSleazy, lol) is not indicative of 'normal' Canadians or our business practices. So on behalf of normal and honest Canadians, I would like to apologize, unfortunately these crooks chose Canada to setup shop (by all accounts, a few people operate this scam out of a basement, some Chinese guy and a few of his cousins who apparently all go by only 2 names, passing 'victim' complaints between their fictional 'support' people in an endless loop). There have been many reports of credit card fraud and theft perpetrated by these people, making it obvious this is a scam disguised as a business, practising 'extortion' on a regular basis.
CentOS 7: Nice clean distro but the GUI is yet again stripped of user control, minimal window buttons, lack of right-click options, etc. What really surprised me was no right-click in the file manager window for the 'open terminal here' option, Toto, we're not in Linux anymore, lol. I found their GUI tweak tool, it didn't make much difference.
Tanenbaum: Does he look like Ballmer's dad or it just me? ;D
6 • follow-up to #4 (by :wq on 2014-07-14 11:34:43 GMT from United States)
I should rephrase that. I would be interested in a review (of CoreOS).
Also, does CoreOS' addition to the database mean Chromium OS isn't far behind?
7 • Opera (by dragonmouth on 2014-07-14 11:50:04 GMT from United States)
"Now Opera appears to be joining Firefox in becoming a clone of Chromium"
That is not surprising since, for years, there has been a concerted effort to make Linux look and feel like Windows. In fact, some developers take great pride in their distros being very Windows-like.
The changes in Opera are paralelling the changes in Linux. The once-flexible ooperating system is more locked down, more set in its ways, more Windows-like. Why is the Linux developer community so dead set on turning a distinctive operating system into a Windows wannabe instead of embracing and developing that distinctness? You don't see Apple turning OS/X and its applications into Microsoft product look-alikes.
8 • @2 on Manjaro (by kernelKurtz on 2014-07-14 11:54:37 GMT from Romania)
Manjaro has been my daily driver for a year and a half. There have indeed been a few rough spots with upgrades, but the problems weren't catastrophic, and it's always been easy to find a quick fix on the project website.
In return for putting this small effort into fixes, I have a beautiful rolling release operating system with a vibrant community around it--PLUS trivially simple access to the AUR.
Manjaro is to Arch as Mint is to Debian.
(And speaking of Debian, when I get lonely for it, I boot into SolydX, which is another really pretty, young, and relatively stable XFCE distro ... )
9 • Manjaro (by Derek on 2014-07-14 12:05:55 GMT from United States)
Fedora was my "goto" linux since version 6 or 7. It took some extra work to get multimedia working but was well worth the work. With their latest release (20) there were no ati drivers to be found besides the generic open source drivers. The OS drivers just didn't cut it for video. I have been using Manjaro on and off for a couple years and with the last release of Fedora 20 it has become my distro of choice. I was scared of the rolling release system at first but have come to love it. My system has not broken or become unstable at all over the last 7 + months. Not having to download, copy to flashdrive, reinstall, then download and install additional software is a blessing to me. Just a simple "sudo pacman -Syu" in the terminal and I have the latest and greatest of everything. The documentation on the arch wiki is the best out there and any problem you may run a fix can be found there or in the forums.
10 • Majaro, LXLE and registrars (by KI on 2014-07-14 12:06:34 GMT from Slovakia)
I fully agree: Manjaro is one of the best distros out there. Although, I, as well, have only tried it for a relatively short period of time. I wonder how stable it is on the long run.
LXLE is one of the best Ubuntu derivatives I am aware of (together with some flavours of Mint). Any plans to move to LXQt or are they staying with LXDE? I do not see why any one would like something so unreliable as it is Wine to be installed by default. With Wine, sooner or later, one needs to start tweaking to fix things that used to work before. Do not get me wrong, it is a great project, but novices would be much better off dual-booting or using a virtual machine.
Finally, I lost one of my domains due to a bad choice of registrar. I do not know if it was just plain incompetence or bad will. I had used this domain for years until I wanted to migrate to a new registrar in order to have all services centralised in a single account. Then I realised that the old registrar had registered the domain in its own name and not in mine and refused to free it. I complained to ICANN and EURID. To no avail. Then I decided to let it go for it was not so important and got a new one. EURID, as most other European agencies are the most incompetent and unhelpful people one could possibly imagine.
11 • @5 • DotEasy and the rest of Canada ... (by gregzeng on 2014-07-14 12:46:40 GMT from Australia)
In white Australia,I expect and have been victim many times over of racist allegations. It was also a Chinese battery used in the Boston bomb. So all bad things are racist?
In Australia, any racist taunts used to be handled by our (old) Federal government. Has Canada also had a deregulation of anti-racism too, so individuals can now easily target any badness to a specific racial group, in the guise of an apology?
On topic, the cyber-baddies in Australia are racially named because of the non-Australians who inflict them on us. But biggest cyber-baddies are the locally-born & located. So surprised that this is not the case for "cykodrone" and Canada.
On the DOS attacks on the old DW service provider, are there more details?
12 • Opera (by Niko Z. on 2014-07-14 13:06:04 GMT from Indonesia)
I still use the old Opera because of it's integrated email client, although the browser is already showing signs of age on some web sites. There is simply nothing out there to replace it when it comes to convenience. I do have 5 or 6 other browsers installed, as well as Thunderbird, but I very much prefer integrated mail client. What a shame about the new design direction.
13 • Manjaro (by Vuk on 2014-07-14 13:09:19 GMT from Serbia)
Using Manjaro full time since October at home and part time on work since November. No major problems for me, I had few VERY minor ones, that were solved immediately thanks to wonderfull forum that Manjaro has. Also Arch wiki is the best Linux resource you can find and being able to install almost every possible software using pacman and yaourt, without adding ton of PPA's is effin wonderfull.
Manjaro FTW \m/
P.S. Before full time Manjaro usage I was fulltime Windows 7 user, trying now and then various Linux distros. Manjaro was first that drove me to use Linux fulltime. I'm not going back:)
14 • opera (by Jason on 2014-07-14 13:51:46 GMT from United States)
I liked opera back when I was using Windows 3.11 and Opera has buttons right on the interface where you could remove images or force the page colors back to the default, these were really use at the time because web design was going through a horrible very tacky phase.
These days I only use Opera Mini for my phone. It helps in slow service areas and has some options for formatting troublesome mobile sites.
When will users take back develop of software and give us back a feature rich experience. The last ten years of software has been increasingly disappointing.
15 • Registra scams in Canada. (by Kroy Ip on 2014-07-14 13:52:22 GMT from Canada)
@ #5 cykodrone
> [snip] some Chinese guy and a few of his cousins
> ... [snip] ... perpetrated by these people ... [snip]
Nice to know that other ethnic groups don't operate domain registra scams . Thanks for the insightful comment.
16 • @12 - Opera (by Rajesh Ganesan on 2014-07-14 13:53:44 GMT from India)
I agree. Me too use opera (old). I love the integrated mail client. It makes opera unique. Hope it is brought back ...
17 • @5 - Doteasy, "some Chinese guy..." (by Hoos on 2014-07-14 14:26:58 GMT from Singapore)
I'm curious to know if you really know the race/country of origin of the person behind Doteasy, or are just making a pretty unpleasant speculative statement.
18 • Firefox is really not a Chrome clone (by avih on 2014-07-14 14:47:47 GMT from Israel)
I haven't tried the webkit/blink Opera yet, so I can't comment on that.
While the Firefox _look_ did change and made it somewhat similar to chrome (no title bar or menu by default, new "burger" menu, non-rectangular tabs), the menu and the title bar are still first class citizens and can be brought back via the customize menu, and the rest are purely cosmetic changes.
Also, Firefox is not defined by its looks, though some shallow definitions might relate to look only.
Firefox is defined by Gecko - its underlying engine, innovations - such as asm.js with WebGL or the awesome-bar, its huge addons ecosystem which can customize it massively, and most of all by Mozilla's philosophy and strategies which put the user before everything else as much as possible.
Firefox is very far from a Chrome clone, despite the new default look.
19 • Manjaro and Opera (by AnklefaceWroughtlandmire on 2014-07-14 15:07:05 GMT from Ecuador)
A major point that was not mentioned in the Manjaro review is that it does not use the Arch repositories and does not update (roll) at the same speed as Arch. In my opinion, this is a good thing, since Arch sometimes releases packages with significant bugs into their Stable repository. Manjaro's separate package repositories have three levels: Unstable (closely tracks Arch and has frequent updates), Testing (a snapshot of Unstable is frequently pushed into here once Unstable users declare it to be reasonably free of bugs), and Stable (snapshots of Testing usually graduate into Stable after a few weeks of testing when it is known to be stable). I've been running Manjaro since last quarter of 2013, and the time buffer associated with their Stable repo has saved me from quite a few issues with Arch that would have required manual intervention on my part to fix.
As for Opera, I'm disappointed that it doesn't have the mail client. I guess I'll just stay with Thunderbird. While it's true that Thunderbird isn't going anywhere (in the sense of disappearing), it also isn't going anywhere in terms of development, which is a shame. Desktop mail clients in general seem to be going the way of the dodo, and I can't for the life of me figure out why. I HATE webmail for day-to-day usage.
20 • Slightly OT but a linux ask for Help (by More Gee on 2014-07-14 16:00:19 GMT from United States)
Chumby is back!...but their SKD is Flash 3 based and they need apps fixed. A SDK based on Openflash in Linux sound like a good fit for their infrastucture. I wanted to help but you almost have to use win xp to get their development stack to work.
21 • Fedora's DNF (by Paraquat on 2014-07-14 16:20:15 GMT from Taiwan)
Surprised that the story about Fedora switching from YUM package manager to DNF hasn't attracted more attention. One of the big reasons why I don't use Fedora is my dislike of YUM (basically, just too slow). DNF is supposed to be quite a bit faster, and if it can match Debian's apt-get for speed, I'd definitely be interested.
My only other real complaint about Fedora is that some packages that I use and need aren't in their repositories. Not too many, but some important ones. I'm hoping I can persuade their developers to do something about that, or else I'll have to dual-boot Fedora with Debian or Ubuntu just to run about three apps which Fedora is lacking.
I'm very excited that Fedora has thrown its hat in the ring with Wayland. Ubuntu's decision to marry itself to Mir looks like a real reason to abandon it.
22 • 32-bit Enterprise Linux 7.0 clone (by Caitlyn Martin on 2014-07-14 18:20:51 GMT from United States)
Springdale Linux (formerly PUIAS Linux) already has a 32-bit clone of RHEL 7.0. It's still beta but it works and there really aren't any show stopping bugs. (There are some issues with yelp and with branding that haven't been fixed yet AFAICT.) So far there is only a boot.iso for a network install and the files needed to setup a PXE server if you need that. See: http://springdale.princeton.edu/data/puias/7.0/i386/os/images/
23 • Opera (by Jorge on 2014-07-14 18:34:01 GMT from Venezuela)
"It is my hope that Opera's developers already know this and will work to reintroduce old features onto their new platform, making the Opera browser unique again."
-I expect the same, Opera is still nice..
24 • Majaro (by CED on 2014-07-14 20:51:51 GMT from United States)
I really find Manjaro easy to use yet somewhat unappealing. Weeks can go by without any kind of update. Also, I dislike XFCE.
I have Antergos as my primary os after my 15% use of Windows 7. I also have Chakra installed. Chakra is beautiful but the community is difficult on a good day. Also, it certainly not easy to install from my end as reported on this website.
Antergos is more to my liking. Easy to install and choices for a desktop environment. I have the latest kernel available. I use Cinnamon with XFCE as a backup. A super friendly forum is the selling point. I was hesitant to try it after the review on Distrowatch.com. It is as easy as Ubuntu and recommend it.
My question is, why will something go wrong with an Arch system? I'm new to it so there may be something I don't quite understand...
25 • Manjaro,Antergos,Archbang all have their place.. (by Brad on 2014-07-14 21:04:19 GMT from United States)
I used manjaro due to the fact their forums are very nice, quick to answer and respectfully reply to those of us that are/were asking questions. And all of them have installers (I miss the old installer that was in arch proper) and besides the arch wiki is awesome for answers, just DONT ask any questions on their forums... you can search and search and read and read. but if you can't find what others believe is a simple "just read the wiki", or "arch may not be for you" type of answer. People sometimes just can't understand, as easily as something seems to others, it may not be as clear as day to you..
26 • Antergos (by Wolf on 2014-07-14 21:12:34 GMT from Germany)
I'll second Antergos (beautiful,easy,quick,bleeding edge) switching from elementary (beautiful, easy, kind of quickish, old). The Arch way for me is too complicated for stressless everyday work. Antergos seems to get it right and I really like Gnome. So maybe if you need all your fancy gizmos go for KDE but I like being told how a Desktop should work I'll adjust and boy do I hate the fancy schmanzy bling bling of all the KDE DE
A pity that Qt seems to be getting the Standard
just my 2 ct
27 • @5 - CentOS 7 gui *not* stripped of "user control" (by Ralph on 2014-07-14 21:58:46 GMT from Canada)
The *default* installation of CentOS 7 provides GNOME Classic, which does give minimize window buttons and right click options, including "open terminal here".
28 • "Arch distros tend to be unstable with prolonged use and reg. updates" (by arch&manjaroUser on 2014-07-14 22:29:55 GMT from United States)
Disagree 101%. While some other of Jesse's comments are fair enough surrounding lack of polish of some management tools. (CLI package management is a usual complaint. Of course, that was an intentional choice.) As far as stability, Arch (and Manjaro) are ace. I've had an Arch install running as my primary work station for 5 years, and it won't die or break, even through the transition to Systemd. It's never crufted up. The archwiki is amazing. On the other hand, if you're not using Ubuntu LTS and you're doing the 6 mo. upgrade, it's much more uncertain, confusing for the newbie (keep config. file? y/n/maybe. Default is: y), and prone to breakage and cleaning up new error messages.
29 • Arch Distros (by CED on 2014-07-14 23:09:34 GMT from United States)
If you want unstable, check out Opensuse 13.1. That Distro is unstable and ugly.
30 • CentOS, Opera (by MikeF on 2014-07-14 23:16:56 GMT from United States)
The new CentOS 7 GUI installer does Not make a good impression - the GNOME 3 DE is a bloated, gawd awful slow option in a VM not to mention older hardware. Shame on the team for emulating RH's limited DE options. Now downloading plan B (net installer) to see if it has more flexible options.
Just reacquainted myself with Opera 12 on my older 'remote' computer and noted that they have abandoned a major feature - far less memory usage (1/4 to 1/3 !!) than modern versions of Chrome and Firefox. Also, it has a very user friendly chat (IRC) client compared to the ugly command oriented throwbacks that are still popular.
31 • Manjaro (by jaws222 on 2014-07-15 00:18:22 GMT from United States)
I've been running Manjaro for nearly a year and have run into update issues twice, which were easily fixed by visiting the Manjaro forum. That is one of the best forums I've ever seen. Manjaro is probably the fastest distro also next to Crunchbang.
Antergos is another good Arch distro and I have yet to have an issue with it. Another one I've been looking at recently is KaOS, not bad either. These are really good distros if you want to get introduced to Arch.
32 • @28 Disagree 101%. While some other of Jesse's comments are fair enough (by Ron on 2014-07-15 01:12:50 GMT from United States)
You must be extraordinarily lucky to have Arch running for 5 years and "It's never crufted up".
I installed Arch and was happy with it for a few weeks until about the third or fourth time I performed a rolling upgrade - dead! I mean no sign of life. To go through that lengthy installation all over would be too tedious.
I'm surprised that you had such good luck, because actually the distro almost promises you that you will run into some trouble down the road. Now, that promise, while true, is more than I can tolerate.
The whole concept sounded very good, I admit, but the problems made it unworkable for me.
33 • @32 • @28Disagree 101% (by mandog on 2014-07-15 01:46:12 GMT from Peru)
5 years is nothing I installed Arch in 2006 and its still running just like the day it was installed Arch does not break you break it by not maintaining it correctly update on a daily basis is the key. no magic formula.
Manjaro is a good attempt to make Arch for beginners is Stable has multiple Kernels if that is your thing changes some file positions and has huge fortnightly updates. and its own package manager.update manager driver installer. It is a excellent way to discover the power of arch for the new user and old. its only draw back is you do not chose what is installed even with the net edition.
advantage of arch you install only what you want and the satisfaction of rolling your own distro the way you want it in about 20 mins to a hr.
34 • Raring repositories gone from ubuntu repos (by MSXManiac on 2014-07-15 02:59:13 GMT from Brazil)
I do perform an update on my Zorin OS7 installation today 07/14/2013 and in all repos the raring repositories (a.k.a. directories) are gone!
What frack thing is happen??????
35 • Opera and Extensions (by Ron on 2014-07-15 03:48:25 GMT from United States)
I had the new Opera installed a few weeks back (before I distro-hopped to another) and I was able to install extensions. This was under Arch using the aur, so maybe they had a slightly new build? Extensions were from the opera addon site, and there's even one that will allow you to install chrome extensions. The only chrome extension I tried that I couldn't get to work right was a mouse gestures one (easystroke to the rescue!).
In Windows the new Opera had mouse gestures built in but it didn't seem to for the Linux version. Did I just miss a setting somewhere?
36 • Raring repositories (by tdockery97 on 2014-07-15 03:54:22 GMT from United States)
@34: Raring support expired in January 2014. The repos were probably moved to the archives.
37 • LXLE security updates (by dicktater on 2014-07-15 04:37:26 GMT from United States)
"Following the review one member of the LXLE team pointed out that LXLE automatically checks for security updates and downloads them without user assistance."
Um, shouldn't that be '...without the user's knowledge, approval, or informed consent.'?
38 • Xiki (by tracker on 2014-07-15 09:36:51 GMT from Serbia)
Xiki needs Emacs and Ruby to work.
The FinalTerm is an actual terminal emulator. Though, cant't handle cut & paste yet.
Antergos is just fine. You must have some knowledge of Linux if you want Arch.
Rather dissapointing that owners of this site did not react to comment #5.
39 • Manjaro/Arch (by Shashi Warrier on 2014-07-15 10:16:14 GMT from India)
Manjaro XFCE is a slick distro, and very quick, but I've been unable to stick to it because every few times I start up, it hangs. Since I run it on a laptop without a reset button, getting things going again is a real pain in the neck. The ONLY OS that hasn't ever hung on me is Zorin Lite, the LXDE version... And I don't like LXDE very much.
40 • @29 (by Hendrik on 2014-07-15 10:28:20 GMT from Netherlands)
100% disagree whit youre statement,
sins suse / opensuse is arround i use it, and will never use any other distro, rocksolid and gets the job done.
I have tried severell distro`s, and bsd`s over the years but Always returning to suse/opensuse, most easy and rocksolid distro you will ever find.
41 • Grub and old laptops (by fernbap on 2014-07-15 10:53:31 GMT from Portugal)
I have a 15 year old Asus laptop, that has worked perfectly with Crunchbang and was now running Point Linux (almost as fast, much better looking). Since it has limited RAM (768 Mb), it have been using it as a decent multimedia machine using a TV as screen for playing DVDs and the like.
Then, i did an update, and Grub stopped working. I thought it could be some issue related with Point Linux, so i installed Crunchbang, which worked perfectly. Then i made the pending updates and Grub stopped working as well.
Then i went to a small distro that i like and wanted to try. I got the latest Salix Mate. Tried it live, worked perfectly. Installed it, and it didn't boot as well.
At the moment, the only distro that manages to boot is Puppy, because it doesn't use Grub to boot. (i would never use Antix, because it is awfully ugly).
What the heck happened with Grub, and does anyone here passed to a similar experience? I know the hardware is old, but simply ditching it ant not allowing lightweight distros made for aged computers to work seems like a bit... extreme. That laptop used to run plain Debian perfectly, but now can't?
42 • Manjaro (by fernbap on 2014-07-15 10:59:24 GMT from Portugal)
A few months ago i tried Manjaro and was surprised by how fast and user friendly it is.
So, i installed it on one of my partitions, deciding to try it for a while.
It was fast, the package manager is fast and i loved that it automates the install of packages from source.
Updates are frequent.
Manjaro lasted for about 3 updates and then stopped working completely. Thinling that i might have done something wrong, installed it again. Then updated it, and it broke again.
That was the end of my experience with manjaro.
43 • none (by none on 2014-07-15 13:03:18 GMT from United States)
re 39: To reset, have you tried holding down ALT and PRINT, then press S then U then B (while still holding alt/print).
44 • Zorin and other distros new releases (by Gus on 2014-07-15 14:48:30 GMT from United States)
Some non-rolling release distros have new releases
a couple of times per year. I've wondered about the
preferred methods of dealing with that if you're a fan
of a particular distro.
Do you just start over? Do you save stuff from your
older version and do a bit of work to get it all in the
new version (kind of like going from Vista to XP to
7 I guess)?
Zorin is off my radar now after a bit of fun with it
early this year, Zorin 8. Now 9 is out and I would be
losing all my settings etc, but keeping some files.
It's like distro hopping with the same distro, it seems.
45 • @44 Zorin OS upgrade (by Kazlu on 2014-07-15 16:15:28 GMT from France)
I searched on the Zorin OS website how one is supposed to upgrade from one release to another and found this: http://zorin-os.com/upgradeguide.html. So you're right, you're supposed to start over every 6 months (2 years in the case of the LTS)... This is not serious, especially for a distro targeting users coming from Windows. Every non-rolling distro should have a decent way to upgrade without losing all your settings. And most major ones do. Most, like Ubuntu or Debian, may be upgraded over the internet by downloading the new packages and installing them. This is like a big update, though it's a bit more complicated with Debian. Others, like Ubuntu (yes, I know, again) and Mageia, may be upgraded from the same DVD/USB that you use to install it from scratch. Linux Mint has a unique way for upgrading, consisting more or less in an "assisted startover" after which you find back all the software you installed and your settings in the new version of Linux Mint (see http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/2 for more details). This can be done in other distros, but Linux Mint makes it a lot easier.
In short, if starting over every 6 months bothers you (it would bother me...), I suggest you switch for another distro :)
46 • @12, @16 and others using the old Opera particularly for the mail client (by Kazlu on 2014-07-15 16:17:52 GMT from France)
You shouldn't use the old Opera on GNU/Linux, it does not recieve security updates any longer, so you may be open to malicious attacks. May I suggest replacements? I don't know if you tried these, but if you like having an email client integrated in your web browser, two ideas come in my mind:
- Seamonkey: fork of the Mozilla suite, it is basically Firefox and Thunderbird in a single piece of software, with some bonus, though the interface is more traditionnal. Some like it that way, some don't. One advantage over having separated Firefox and Thunderbird: shared elements between the components of Seamonkey make it demanding less memory than the combination of Firefox and Thunderbird. Interesting on old computers or netbooks for example. This was the reason I tried it in the beginning, it works very well but in the end I felt more at home with Firefox and Thunderbird, even though I have to use more RAM!
- Firefox with the Simple Mail extension: A mail client extension for Firefox. I never tried it, but you may be interested...
I hope you find software happiness somewhere ;)
47 • old laptops (by zarg2 on 2014-07-15 16:56:53 GMT from United States)
@41 Antix can be prettied up by installing MATE or XFCE. You could also try Point or Slitaz. Surisingly Fedora LXDE has run pretty well for me also on some older laptops. Antix has always been solid for me on old machines. MX14, the Antix/Mepis hybrid uses XFCE and can be made to look very nice with minimal effort and it is almost as fast as Antix. I currently run MX14 on an old Dell 4100, Antix on a Compaq presario 2100 and a Dell 2350.
48 • No security updates? Rolling releases, and what's with the complaints? (by Garon on 2014-07-15 18:44:48 GMT from United States)
How about giving an example of when you wouldn't want to do any security updates?
Rolling releases will break, unless you baby them all the time as mandog points out but God help you if you miss a day or two. Six month releases cycles are good if it's your hobby and you don't have much of anything else going on. A LTS release makes perfect sense. You can have a super stable system and still have the latest versions of the applications if you so desire.
People who say that Linux is becoming MS like has not used anything that MS has made lately. How about just dropping the FUD and bullsh*t and talk about something interesting, like technology. Constructive criticism can help but no benefit can be achieved by aimlessly complaining.
49 • Arch stability (by Pearson on 2014-07-15 18:46:06 GMT from United States)
Arch *can* be quite stable, if you take the time to be careful. You may have to wait for things to settle before updating; you absolutely need to read all of the announcements and understand the implications of what needs to be done. That's part of the philosophy.
I lack the time and attention to be diligent enough to keep an Arch install going. Sad, because I like it a lot. I hold no grudge against Arch, it's just not a fit for where I am in life.
50 • @45 Kazlu (by Gus on 2014-07-15 18:52:00 GMT from United States)
Yes I did just that. Had distro hopped for years and landed
on PCLOS a few times and after a side track with Zorin am
back with Texstar's latest issue.
The Mint method looks intriguing. But I will remain with my
Mate version of PCLOS for quite some time, I think.
Thank you for the outlined and linked info.
As an aside, distros with "persistence" are on several flash
drives I have, including Extix and Puppy. Those flash
drives are my new version of distro hopping, as I remain with
my default system on the hard drive.
51 • extraordinarily lucky (by arch&manjaroUser on 2014-07-15 19:08:58 GMT from United States)
re comment # 32: I doubt that I or commenter #33 are lucky. We've updated our system hundreds or maybe even a thousand times without any issues. (Once in a great while one has to go to the arch news page for instructions to make the switch to systemd or mariadb or whatever.) You updated 4 times and then "dead." If that's the extent of your troubleshooting you shouldn't be using anything other than an LTS or Debian Stable. A thousand times in a row isn't luck. One out of four is bad luck (combined with capitulation).
52 • Manjaro & Opera (by 5000YearLeap on 2014-07-16 00:28:44 GMT from Germany)
Another good review, of a very fine distro. Yep, Manjaro is an excellent Arch based distro and rolling, with excellent UEFI support. This is a distro, I highly reccommend, for those interested in a easy to install, use and rolling. The only thing that would give me pause, recently this happened http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTczODI
I hope this all gets sorted. Seems serious. Ready for prime time? https://forum.manjaro.org/index.php?topic=14971.msg136856#msg136856 I do want Manjaro to continue to do well. Suggest: make forum more secure. All the best. :)
Opera: " I felt Opera was unusually innovative, fast, stable and feature rich." I totally concure (Presto engine). Opera is a business, and the browser is their product, both to do with as they please. "My biggest concern though is the new Opera browser appears to be imitating Chromium." Indeed, true. I do not see the point, of this browser now. If you want to use Chrome/Chromium, then use it. Why bother with a clone? It brings nothing new. Is it more private and secure than Chrome...nope! IF you do want a Chromium imitation, but is more secure/private, then I reccommend https://www.srware.net/en/software_srware_iron_chrome_vs_iron.php
For me I really miss the Presto engine based Opera. It flew when loading web pages, even on a very old (8 years) rig and the turbo feature was not even enabled. As of this date, it is the fastest browser, I have ever used. Please Opera, Open Source the Presto engine. So... Firefox is now my go to browser, I do like the Gecko engine and the addons exclusive to Firefox.
End of sixpence and none the richer. ;)
53 • 'Security' updates (by Somewhat Reticent on 2014-07-16 00:49:02 GMT from United States)
I still remember when I was gullible and allowed automatic updating, before I was badly burned; now I allow notification, instead of ceding control. I have yet to see most update systems generate differential rollbacks, but many adopt the Microsoft Mantra: "it's for security".
54 • ISO (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2014-07-16 01:12:59 GMT from United States)
Some years ago I noticed several bootmanagers raising minimum RAM assumptions, some to accommodate reading entire ISO image files into RAM. My guess was that using only the plastic disc file-system put far less mental strain on developers at the time. Many of these fellow extinction candidates act as if they find multibooting to be pernicious and offensive, especially when from usb flash; perhaps they own stock in plastic disc? Of course, there's the insidious influence of purveyors of hardware as well ...
Like fernbap, I found SysLinux Keeps-It-Short+Simple, and Works-Well-With-Others as well, except perhaps for quality documentation.
What happened to GrUB? It did what it was designed to do: entertain geeks with (Grand) complexity. Many spend their energies on bling and bloat; few add functionality. Consider the ever-popular "splash", normally a meaningless thumb-twiddle to hide startup activities and progress behind dazzling spinning-wheels and blinking-lights ... instead of informing about processes and progress.
55 • Distrowatch (by Platypus on 2014-07-16 01:19:26 GMT from Australia)
I really mixed my regular fix of Distrowatch while you were fighting the kind of people that give honest businesses a bad name.
Distrowatch is one of a few websites where I disable Ablock so my daily visit can help pay a little of your expenses.
Keep up the good work.
56 • @24, @48, Manjaro, stability of Arch-based distros after updates (by Hoos on 2014-07-16 07:43:57 GMT from Singapore)
Do I agree that Arch-based distros, or just any rolling-release distro, tend to be unstable with long use and regular updates? It depends on whether the user is prepared do their own part.
There is a price to pay for getting an indefinitely rolling release distribution that has very fresh packages all the time, yet is stable. The price is that the user needs to do some checking and maybe some actions on his own. How much depends on the distro and its developers.
For Manjaro, that price is pretty small. They don't use Arch repos but have their own. For the default "Manjaro Stable" setup, new packages coming in from Arch are held back around 2 weeks for some checks or tests by the developers before being released. So it is almost like getting an "update pack" from SolydXK except it arrives every 2 weeks instead of quarterly. The package manager has a sys-tray notifier for updates.
Once notified, the user needs to do his homework: Go to the Manjaro forum to read the update announcements first. Most updates are uneventful but once in a while, if there were some big changes for some packages on Arch, then there might be one or two special instructions for you to follow apart from just clicking on "update" in your package manager. Unlike what post @48 says, you don't have to baby Manjaro all the time or worry about missing 2 days of updates.
By the way, I use and like SolydX as well. It is also a "managed" rolling release. Even in SolydX, it is advisable to read the update notes before installing an update pack.
Manjaro's level of user involvement in updates is really not a lot. Manjaro has a fair number of GUI tools to manage the system, so it is quite user-friendly. I have been using my Manjaro rolling release uninterrupted since version 0.8.3 (early 2013). Like post 13 said, no major problems. Some minor ones were solved through the forum. I had absolutely no experience with Arch before Manjaro.
If on the other hand, all you want to do when you receive an update notification is to click the update button without checking up on any notes, then yes, you might mess up your rolling release distro eventually, whether it's Manjaro or something else. In that case it might be better to choose a more stable distro but which has a limited life/support or one whose packages don't get updated so often.
There's a wide range of distros on different parts of this spectrum. It's up to the user to choose. They all have their pros and cons.
Post 24 said that Manjaro does not get updates for weeks. Maybe that is a weakness for some people. But the packages are just a few weeks behind Arch itself. This is not counting security updates which may get pushed faster. Can I live with packages that are just a few weeks older than Arch in return for less work on my part? For me, yes.
Also, @24 could enable Manjaro's testing or unstable repos instead, and get more updated packages with the resulting need for more user involvement.
57 • Reset a laptop (by Shashi Warrier on 2014-07-16 08:19:51 GMT from India)
@43. Thanks for the tip, will try it out and let you know!
58 • Reset a laptop (by Shashi Warrier on 2014-07-16 08:27:23 GMT from India)
@43 Alt-Print then S then U then B worked. Thanks again.
59 • Reset a laptop (by Marco on 2014-07-16 10:58:43 GMT from United States)
I am glad SUB worked, but I always remembered the full string:
Raising Elephants Is So Utterly Boring
When Ctrl Alt F1 did not work.
60 • Arch-Manjaro vs Kernel.org Gut Drops (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2014-07-16 11:26:42 GMT from United States)
Arch is extremely stable. I find Debian more buggy and frustrating.
What isn't stable is Linus's gut. If it tells his head that kernel X.Y.Z is ready when it ain't, blame him. Arch ships when Linus does. I find myself second-guessing kernel.org more than Arch.
Any kernel.org X.Y.0 through X.Y.4 release can be buggy. The X.Y.5+ releases are smooth; by X.Y.10+ you are rolling on pavement.
An Arch user can avoid drops from Linus's intestines in two ways.
1. Install the Long Term Support kernel (linux-lts). It now sits at 3.14.12. You can have both LTS and current kernels installed. Boot whichever you please from a GRUB menu. Recent kernel.org radeon gave me video glitches, so I'm running LTS waiting for Linus to fix them.
2. Use the Arch Build System for kernel version fallback.
And yes, the Arch Wiki knows everything. Here you go.
The package arch-wiki-docs puts the whole wiki on your hard drive; arch-wiki-lite is a text copy.
Manjaro is even more rock solid and gives more choice; I think it officially supports OpenRC if you happen to dislike systemd.
Not only is Manjaro more user-friendly than Arch, it is more friendly, period. Thank you, Manjaro!
61 • @53 security updates (by Kazlu on 2014-07-16 11:35:16 GMT from France)
I also want to know what is updated on my system and I always look at available updates, just in case I have to troubleshoot something (never had to in years, in non-rolling distros at least). But saying that "many adopt the Microsoft Mantra: "it's for security"" is a bit harsh. With Windows, you CANNOT see what's updated. The only information you have is "security update for Windows". At least every GNU/Linux distro tells you WHAT is updated.
But all of that is only useful when you know a bit of computing. What about people who do not understand the information displayed by any update manager other than "list of available updates"? For them, displaying that ugly and bizarre list may look like "not finished", something that gets in their way. They may conclude that Windows is better because those things are automatically handled. I think it's good to have the option of automatically applying updates in the background in this case, it makes a GNU/Linux easier to master for a beginner. But then, users must be given the choice if they want the updates to be displayed, if they want to have the possibility of not updating or posponing some of the available updates. That choice does not exist in Windows and I'm glad it exists in GNU/Linux.
62 • Manjaro updates (by Kazlu on 2014-07-16 15:57:34 GMT from France)
I have been using Manjaro as a secondary OS for about a year and even my primary OS for a few weeks earlier this year. It has worked very well, quickly, with very recent software. I ran maybe two or three times into problems, for example when the update manager locked itself and couldn't process updates any longer, neither could pacman in command line. Easily fixed with a little trip to the Manjaro forums and one or two commands. It was so easy that I was almost disappointed compared to the horrors I thought I would find in a rolling distro...
However, the delayed updates of Manjaro compared to Arch Linux is a double-edged sword. #56 Hoos says that "the packages are just a few weeks behind Arch itself. This is not counting security updates which may get pushed faster." Indeed, for most packages, being updated with a few weeks of delay makes them more stable since they have been more tested, while still being very recent compared to the same packages in non-rolling distros. However, security updates are not always pushed faster. Like Hoos said, updates are mostly managed and delivered in packs. Here are two examples: I remember an exception was made for GNUTLS when the "goto fail" bug was made public, and this package was updated quickly. However, Firefox 29 was delayed longer than I expected because the Manjaro team was having trouble with GNOME packages (when GNOME decided to adopt client-side window decorations) in the same update pack. As a result, Firefox 29 came two weeks later in Manjaro Stable than in Ubuntu... There were several security fixes from Firefow 28 to Firefox 29 (https://www.mozilla.org/security/known-vulnerabilities/firefox.html) and over two weeks seem too long to me to apply the available fixes for known security holes. Am I getting paranoid with this concern?
I am considering the Unstable repositories, but most likely I will try Bridge Linux/Antergos, maybe pure Arch when I'm ready. Well, I'll do that when I have some spare time...
63 • getting grub going again (by TH on 2014-07-16 19:49:53 GMT from United States)
@41 - To DW Commenter fernbap, whose Grub hosed up: My Grub got confused once, and I saw a comment from someone on DW Comments once that helped me (thank you!) The command in Terminal of
(It also worked for me once when a grub listing got overly long, and it cut down the length of the listing of "memory tests")
This worked for me in Point Linux (a debian-based OS) In a root terminal, key in: update-grub
In a non-root terminal, key in: sudo update-grub
(If your OS uses the term, "sudo")
It brought back my grub that wasn't showing me the choices to choose from. It found and re-instated the various (two) choices I had to boot up with.
This worked for me in the original grub. I don't know if it works in grub2
Good luck to you in getting your grub back!
64 • Raring repositories gone from ubuntu repos (by MSXManiac on 2014-07-16 21:23:05 GMT from Brazil)
And how do you explain that the directories from previous versions are still present in these repositories?
Only raring repositories was it removed?
65 • Linux identity crisis (by cykodrone on 2014-07-16 22:26:23 GMT from Canada)
For example, I downloaded and live tested Zorin 9 Core, I get they are trying to be a n00b to Linux friendly distro but hiding Synaptic is over the top, after much hunting for the Terminal I found it in Accessories, I did a...sudo apt-get install synaptic...which returned "highest version already installed", which caused a *head scratch* because I couldn't find Synaptic in any menus anywhere, before and after the Terminal install attempt, but the Software Center is always in your face. So in the Terminal I did a "sudo synaptic" and it magically appeared, even some semi-n00bs won't know that. Not only that, what is with the trend towards minimalist and flat GUIs/window decorations, it's ugly as sin, Linux doesn't always have to follow the looks of that corporate OS (8.x), hence the identity crisis.
Mint on the other hand does much 'n00b proofing' as I like to call it, which is not a bad thing, their GUIs may not be the prettiest but at least they are sticking to their Linux roots (you can actually find Synaptic, lol), n00bs should learn Linux, not be diapered with an OS that pretends to be a corporate OS.
I don't use either on my single OS Linux machine, I use what I like to call a 'Lego Linux', start with a basic system and build on it, non-free and multimedia included, it does everything and more than that corporate OS, and better too.
Linux is all about options and choice, some distros, in their zeal to woo corporate OS users are inadvertently removing options and choice, that's like shooting themselves in the foot and cutting off their nose to spite their face.
66 • Zorin identity crisis @65 (by fernbap on 2014-07-16 22:50:39 GMT from Portugal)
Zorin used to be beautifull and user friendly in a windowsish sort of way. Really a nice option for those unable to install win7 on their aging machines and a good entryway to Linux.
Then Zorin moved to Gnome 3 and, as you said, it is ugly as sin.
And it gets worse: you find "appearance" on the menu. You call it, and all you can do is change the wallpaper.
You can also find "change theme", where you are presented with 3 zorin themes, all equally ugly, and all blue. I just cant understand how anyone whould think that a blue shadow surrounding the windows would look nice (yes, i know, the Oxigen theme for KDE also does it, but it is extremely polished and well integrated and not just ugly as sin).
For anyone used to the old Zorin which used to be beautifull, polished and very versatile, the new Zorin is just plain awfull.
It is time, perhaps, for Zorin to look for an alternative to gnome 3?
67 • @63, grub issues (by fernbap on 2014-07-16 22:53:42 GMT from Portugal)
Thank you very much for your input, but that i already knew.
The point is that grub doesn't even reach its options list, so the laptop can't boot at all.
I would like to add that grub had been installed in text mode, so it has nothing to do with the graphics card.
68 • In defense of Zorin 9 (by eco2geek on 2014-07-17 06:42:56 GMT from United States)
Zorin is a "guilty pleasure" of mine. It does a nice emulation of GNOME 2 using GNOME 3, and its animations (via compiz) are quite fast on my NVIDIA card. I like blue. So I have Zorin installed on a spare partition. It's probably going to be replaced soon with something else, but for now, it's fun to play with and it looks good.
There are some glitches. The default wallpaper is too "busy" to easily read desktop icons, IMHO, but it's easy to find another wallpaper. Since it's based on GNOME 3, "Files" (aka Nautilus), the default file manager, has fewer features than it used to. But there are other, better file managers, like Nemo, available. Renaming a file in Nautilus temporarily breaks the theme (you have to try it, or see a screenshot, to see what I mean). The dark themes aren't very usable. Mostly cosmetic stuff.
As far as Synaptic goes, it's under Applications > System Tools > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager in GNOME mode. Try looking through your menus. You'd be amazed what you might find. :-) And you can always use Alt+F2 to bring up a "Run Application" dialog box.
69 • @65 "Linux identity crises" (by Kazlu on 2014-07-17 07:22:33 GMT from France)
Come on, isn't "identity crisis" a LITTLE exagerated? The Linux ecosystem is growing and diversifying. So new distros appear with new concepts, that may be far from the "Linux roots". But do the traditional distros disappear? No. Or at least very few of them. Do the emergence of n00b oriented distros prevent you from building your Linux from scratch according to your taste? Apparently no. So, if you can still get what you want and new people can meet their expectations with new distros, isn't that a good thing?
That being said, I more or less agree with you when you criticize Zorin OS. In my opinion it does a good job of mimicking the style and design of various editions of Windows, but that's just showing off. The OS is less practical and less user friendly than Linux Mint (and others). I am just saying that we're far from a "Linux identity crisis" on that topic ;)
70 • Opera 12.x ... trying to evolve ... still. (by gregzeng on 2014-07-17 14:41:58 GMT from Australia)
Opera 12.x reached its evolutionary death (@7, 12, 16, 23, 35, 46). So the new Opera was created, trying to be the best Chromium-based internet browser, but avoiding the poor programming architectures in 12.x.
Mozilla's Firefox is like Chromium - an open-source foundation for many forks & spins. Except for Safari & Internet Explorer, all the big-brand browsers are trying to improve on the Opera 12.x innovations, but still failing. In Windows platform, "Otter Browser is an open source project that allows users to browse the web using a familiar interface, heavily inspired by the classic UI used in the well known Opera web browser, which used the Presto engine."
The Opera 12.x replacement is still coming. It needs to run on Android, Windows, IOS, ... . Whether it is Chromium or some other browser engine, is yet to be discovered. With Google, Apple & Microsoft fear of too much open-source, we are still waiting, it seems.
71 • Hosed GrUB2 (by Fairly Reticent on 2014-07-17 15:39:47 GMT from United States)
"... grub had been installed in text mode, so it has nothing to do with the graphics card." -fernbap
So you booted Live and found no change to, say, grub.cfg or in /etc/grub.d or in /boot/...? (i.e. no added bling/bloat, gfxmode, ...)
And then you restored from the backup-copy you made before the upgrade ...?
72 • Hosed GruB2 (by fernbap on 2014-07-17 18:02:42 GMT from Portugal)
The issue is that, after install, grub can't find the partitions in the disk.
Which is odd, since while looking for OSs in the disk, it finds then right and generates a correct grub.cfg, correctly identifying the partitions they are on. I also tried a single partition for the entire disk. The same happens.
I tried all the 3 methods Grub uses to find a partition, to no avail. And, since all this happens prior to loading the kernel, i can't blame it.
So: while probin for installed OSes, it does it right and creates a correct grub.cfg file.
But then, on boot, it can't even find the partitions it had found before.
Clearly, something is wrong with Grub
73 • fernbap's GrUBby setup (by Fairly Reticent on 2014-07-17 19:11:58 GMT from United States)
You should enumerate 1)the method GrUB2 was told in grub.cfg to use, and 2)the 3 methods you tried - clearly and completely. All the gory details.
Consider analyzing your setup and partitions, perhaps with TestDisk.
Clearly, something is wrong - with your installation, not necessarily with GrUB2 - though it's equally clear the updates were not robust enough to cover your situation, however unusual. After all, it's been working for many others, for years.
Of course, this is not the place for such a discussion ...
74 • six months or not (by Jeff on 2014-07-18 04:06:45 GMT from United States)
Those who install a replacement OS as their upgrade strategy need (as really do all Linux users) to have a separate /home partition.
Reinstalling only the operating partition saves a lot of time and data.
There are relatively few distros that only have a six month life span.
75 • Grub followup (by fernbap on 2014-07-18 08:35:14 GMT from Portugal)
Well, i had an old DVD with Point Linux 2.2. Installed it, Grub worked perfectly.
Then i did a dist-upgrade (current Point is 2.3.1). It worked well, and Grub kept functioning.
I was then prompted for further updates, including Grub. Made all the updates except for Grub, and it is working.
At least i have now my laptop working perfectly with Point Linux and, as long as i don't update Grub, it will keep working.
76 • Zorin (by Gus on 2014-07-18 15:37:13 GMT from United States)
Ok I'm on Zorin 9 now. Have other distros on flash drives
and another hard drive, and consider PCLOS my default.
But yeah, the 6 month thing and the separate partition for
/home seems prudent for this type of distro (non-rolling).
But.. BUT .. lol, BUT! Hey why bother with that stuff at all
if one can merely use apt-get or Synaptic or what update
slash upgrade feature the rolling release uses?
I'll fall in like with Zorin again to have them come out with
a new one around December or when ever. I'll do the
preparation and work it takes to make the new Zoring look
and behave like my old one.
I'll just forget about it again for another few years as I use
PCLOS, the same PCLOS that's been on that hard drive
since (name some time long ago for brevity).
77 • Why? (by Garon on 2014-07-18 18:24:51 GMT from United States)
Why in the world would anyone want to update their distribution every 6 months? A rolling release will break sometime in the future, unless you baby sit it every day as someone mentioned earlier, and it will have to be reinstalled. If it doesn't break that is the exception and not the rule. What I try to do is to use only a LTS version on my main machine. You can still have up to date applications and also have stability. Reinstalling every 6 months is just crazy. I thought every 8 months was too soon.
78 • lts distros (by Gus on 2014-07-18 19:08:09 GMT from United States)
Lts OS? Windows XP. But .. BUT!
Oh well there are many things we linux lovers deal with
But BUT well we left Windows for our reasons and we
Rolling releases are my thing. But long term support is
the bomb. Just stay away from (fill in the blank . I was
going to say Windows).
79 • GParted Live 0.19.1-1 (by cykodrone on 2014-07-18 20:22:50 GMT from Canada)
It's a joyous day, lol, downloaded (64-bit) and burned it to my only surviving ancient blank 2x/4x CDRW (there is a Unetbootin warning on their webpage). Booted my computer with it and amazingly it immediately 'saw' my fake/hardware Raid 0. Not only that, it was fun playing in the minimalist fluxbox GUI, NetSurf (how I discovered network not 'auto-on') is a blast, never new it existed. FYI, it doesn't auto config your network during the boot, but that's easily and quickly remedied by clicking on the workspace Network icon or right-click the workspace and go to 'Network'. I've tried other releases of Gparted in the past, but this one hit the mark, fantastic for its teenie weenie size. This one's a keeper. :)
80 • GrUB2 (fernbap's) (by Fairly Reticent on 2014-07-18 20:24:59 GMT from United States)
So ... which version works (for you)? Which update threatens to break your boot?
(If short-sighted hardware vendors were in charge, would updates break our OS ... quarterly?)
81 • #7- Why is Linux becoming Window-like? (by frodopogo on 2014-07-19 03:07:27 GMT from United States)
Why is Linux becoming Windows-like?
Because there is a demand for it.
At some point in my experience, a Windows installation becomes so problematic that it requires a reinstallation of SOMETHING. Why reinstall the same thing only to have it get all corrupted again? Why deal with viruses and antivirus software. And then you have the XP end-of-support.
The things that are so broken about Windows have little to do with the user interface.
Refugees from Windows don't want or need something that LOOKS radically different, they just need something stable and secure that will run on the same hardware that Windows was on, and doesn't force them to relearn EVERYTHING!
Using a computer is a lot like driving a car... after a certain amount of time, motions and procedures get established in subconscious memory... you do things without consciously thinking about it.
When it comes time to buy a new car, you don't want to have to learn to drive from scratch. People who switch from Linux don't want to learn to use a computer from square one.
Some of the demand for Windows-like Linux distros comes from Linux users themselves!
Linux users are often the most computer savvy people in their families and/or circle of friends. They get called on to "Please fix my computer!" (often for free, although favors may also be owed). Fixing the friend's/relative's computer is a whole lot easier for a Linux user if the friend or relative uses a Linux distro (Why would a Linux user want to learn to deal with Windows virus software???)... but it's going to have to be a FRIENDLY one! The whole point is to get them up and running with something that requires minimal instruction and hand-holding.
You might be able to get your computer-challenged friend or relative to use Linux Mint or Zorin. Arch is going to be completely out of the question.
And if the Windows refugee succeeds in breaking something... even if the refugee doesn't want or need terminal or synaptic, it's handy for the advanced Linux user called on for help.
For instance, I'm not really that advanced a Linux user. I have a Spanish speaking friend who bought a Windows laptop, and wanted help, especially getting his computer to operate in Spanish. I saw that if he was going to use that Windows installation to surf the internet, he was going to get into malware problems and need help in short order, probably from me. And it was a newer version of Windows than I had.
So I gave him a Trisquel boot CD (or DVD, I forget which), set the laptop's BIOS to boot it, and he's happy! That's all the work I needed to do! His computer never gets "broken".
He's happy- I'm happy!
I will probably do something similar for my sister and her laptop, but probably Linux Mint instead. It's nice to be able to help a friend or relative with their computer, and even nicer if you only have to help them ONCE!
82 • Thinking back on it, ... (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2014-07-19 05:36:56 GMT from United States)
Didn't Microsoft Corporation's Windows become like the Xerox PARC?
And Apple Inc.'s MacIntosh?
(Is imitation a form of flattery?)
While Windows refugees I've met rarely care about "look-&-feel"; they resent "dumbing-down". They'll use the Basic GUI 98% of the time - and rip into anyone removing the Advanced option.
Burned once ...
83 • Manjaro 0.8.10 (by cykodrone on 2014-07-20 08:36:52 GMT from Canada)
I took it for a live spin, the ISO went on a USB stick with Unetbootin in Debian Wheezy no problem, it booted really fast even though I chose 'non-free' (nVidia blob), which worked surprisingly well. I only have a few minor complaints (but of course, lol), I am getting really sick of the Faenza icon set(s), there were a lot of missing icons replaced with black icons with the red diagonal slash circle, everybody is using Faenza these days it seems, I really detest the w*nd*ws logo icon the Faenza people chose for vmlinuz, seriously? It's Linux, why would I want to see that? Besides, the Faenza sets are not that aesthetically pleasing, I used them for a week and I got sick of them, they're downright ugly, there are fare nicer looking icon sets out there. The other complaint, and I do this on purpose with almost every live spin, is install DeVeDe, not to make a DVD but just to see if it works, even though Pacman said mplayer was installed, upon opening DeVeDe I got an error message saying "DeVeDe needs Mplayer to work, it can't be found", huh? Overall it is a nice polished distro but it's still a work in progress, which seems to be coming along fine. I do have one more concern, alot of their packages are 'community' built, that's all good but who controls the quality? I guess I'm a spoiled Deb-head. On a positive note, I did get some minimal system sounds working without having to install anything extra, just some poking around and tweaking, that's fairly rare in any Xfce distro. Oops, one more, I had to open the browser and search "live manjaro root password", it's 'manjaro' btw, you do get prompts for it here and there. Speaking of the browser, Firefox opened really fast, so did LibreOffice, the speed is impressive.
84 • 77 Rolling Release Stable (by linuxista on 2014-07-20 15:21:01 GMT from United States)
You seem to take it as an article of faith that a rolling release will break sometime in the future. Not true, friend. Upgrading from one LTS to another? More likely to break, especially if you're asking a noob to do it. That's where the supposed noob friendliness of the LTS distros breaks down. Even Mint doesn't recommend Ubuntu style upgrades, and instead recommends a clean install with a moderately involved backup and restore data protocol.
85 • Babysit rolling release (by linuxista on 2014-07-20 15:25:42 GMT from United States)
Also, not true. I've waited three months or more to update an arch install with no problems whatsoever. It does not require updating daily. Recommended would be every week or couple of weeks, but not mandatory. Lots of disinfo from non-rolling users. Try it, you might like it.
86 • Real Linux-for-newbies (by Somewhat Reticent on 2014-07-20 17:44:35 GMT from United States)
HandyLinux certainly looks like a serious (perhaps the only?) effort to design properly self-documenting menus for a computer operating system. (eldy extended?) Not just clearly-labeled tools; not just for people new to Linux yet already familiar with some other OS. This one's for people new to computers, period. Educational from the rock-bottom up.
Refreshing! Liberating! Commendable.
87 • Geesh! Mint? (by Gus on 2014-07-21 00:42:39 GMT from United States)
It's #1 on the DW "hit list," and:
"...Even Mint doesn't recommend Ubuntu style upgrades, and instead recommends a clean install..."
So Mint users do that? Most Mint users? Some Mint users on their
way to PCLinuxOS or Arch?
I am not being sarcastic. I will set myself up for flames: I don't get
I just don't get it with this clean install every few months thing. Is it
about having a Windows OS as the default (be honest!!). <---levity
88 • Appreciation of Distrowatch (by Geoff Isaac on 2014-07-21 04:01:54 GMT from Australia)
As a newby to Linux, I took on the task of informing members of our Computer Club to look wider when MS cut support to XP and 7 products.
To date I have reviewed 25 Linux products, supplying info for Members to look into this new direction away from MS. It has changed the conversation direction within our Club with many Members now running parallel Linux products with their MS products. Not only have I learn more about "this new World of Linux" but it has assisted Members to be more open and challenging in their goals to learn more in IT.
We still have a few MS supporters who appear to be observing the change emerging within our Club and just may be, we can entice more of them to make the change.
Geoff Isaac, #422 - Pine Rivers Computer Club, Brisbane, Australia.
Number of Comments: 88
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|• Issue 635 (2015-11-09): Fedora 23, Cinnamon 2.8 released, a Fedora KDE packager quits, Red Hat signs deal with Microsoft|
|• Issue 634 (2015-11-02): Ubuntu 15.10, Chakra upgrades to Plasma 5, OpenMandriva plans new editions, MINIX plans conference|
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|• Issue 632 (2015-10-19): Linux Lite 2.6, 32-bit build of CentOS, OpenBSD turns 20, Bodhi Linux releases AppPack|
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|• Issue 626 (2015-09-07): Status of Wayland and Mir, Cinnamon improvements, an OpenBSD hypervisor, HAMMER2 gets deduplication|
|• Issue 625 (2015-08-31): OpenELEC 5.0.8, Fedora's new Wayland features, Tails releases update, the LILO boot loader|
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|• Issue 622 (2015-08-10): antiX 15, Fedora tests kdbus, Debian tracks UEFI issues, word processors for the CLI|
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|• Issue 614 (2015-06-15): Chromixium OS 1.0, Debian 8.1 released, OpenBSD running in the cloud, sudo myths|
|• Issue 613 (2015-06-08): Fedora 22, Cinnamon 2.6 released, FreeBSD's history, working around Secure Boot|
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|• Issue 607 (2015-04-27): Ubuntu 15.04, Chapeau 21, Debian 8.0 features, Fedora 22 Beta details|
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|• Full list of all issues|
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