| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 200, 30 April 2007
Welcome to the 200th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! That's right, the idea to publish a weekly summary of events in the world of Linux distributions and other open source operating systems started in June 2003 and, 200 issues later, we are still going strong! This week belongs to Mandriva Linux and its recently released version 2007.1 - we'll bring you a full review, comment on the release process, share our upgrade experiences, and link to a technical specification proposal for Mandriva Linux 2008. In other news: PCLinuxOS opens for business after a disastrous bandwidth outage, Linspire announces release dates of Freespire 2.0 and Linspire 6.0, Terra Soft release Yellow Dog Linux 5.0.1 for free download, and the developers of VMKnoppix announce a 64-bit edition of KNOPPIX 5.1.1. Finally, a comment on translating the new Top Ten Distributions page and an update on tracking distribution usage through browser strings. Happy reading!
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Mandriva Spring - Beautiful Change of Season (by Susan Linton)
This was supposed to be a review of the new Mandriva 2007.1 (aka Spring) Flash (USB key). I requested a unit to test and in about a week my unit arrived. I could hardly wait to insert this tiny little system-on-a-stick into a proper receptacle. That elation was short-lived as I was soon to discover they had shipped me an old version, 2007.0. I already knew wireless support in 2007.0 didn't work with my laptop. I felt a bit "devalued" by Mandriva for sending an old version, but I proceeded onward. Perhaps the new versions weren't ready at that point. In any case, I set out to download the new 2007.1 Spring edition, it already having been out well over a week. It took over 4 days to download, but I waited it out and I'm not sorry I did.
The Mandriva installable version hasn't changed fundamentally in several releases. It has become better-looking and includes more features now, but it is basically the same installer probably everyone reading this has seen at some point. This version, like the last several, brings an updated look. This time the Spring theme forms the foundation. It goes through the commonly found steps of gathering information on locales, preferences, and hardware. I chose basic software categories like the GNOME desktop, games, and networking (client). The installer phase concluded without any incident to report. The configuration step went like clockwork except for setting up the network connection. I wasn't wired at the time, so I tried the wireless route. It failed with an error to download firmware from SourceForge.com.
Mandriva has been updating the appearance of its offerings for several releases now. For years they seemed to have ignored this aspect, and I suspect they began to get wise when PCLinuxOS soared to popularity. One of PCLinuxOS' claims to fame was its out-of-the-box good looks. This release is their best looking yet. I love the look and feel of Mandriva Spring. I had experienced a taste with an earlier test, but the final product is even better.
The boot splash is quite lovely featuring the same Mandriva background and "Free Spring" tag as found on the desktops with an added Mandriva logo in the center and a discreet and tasteful light blue progress bar at the bottom left. KDM is a delightful match utilizing the same background as the desktops. The KDE start splash is a pretty Mandriva customization of the full screen Moodin default.
The blue flowery wallpaper seen in the betas has been tweaked just a bit. The outlined flowers in the upper left have been changed to solid sprigs and the lower right has been scaled back to consist of less flowers and more leaves and stalks. I guess they were trying to appear a bit more masculine without abandoning their chosen Spring theme. I liked the previous one better, but this one is enchanting too. It is a real plus that the "Free" designation is now much more discreet. Instead of emblazoned across the whole of the screen in bold capital letters, we now have a very small modern font tag at the bottom almost obstructed in the positioning with the wild flowers. In smaller letters is the identification "Spring 2007."
KDE is the default desktop for Mandriva and this release features KDE 3.5.6. The Ia Ora theme and colors are retained from the prior release. The KDE panel still features that kbfx-like KDE start menu button that I found so nice in an earlier beta. The panel itself has a nice 3D background image in the same color family as the desktop window decoration and style. More specifically, it's snowy white with a slight hint of powder blue in the shadow. It's quite fetching. In the system tray we find icons for KMix, Kerry Beagle, KOrganizer reminders, network monitor, the Rpmdrake update applet, and, on my laptop, a power monitor. Beyond that is a simple digital clock sans date. In the quick launcher we find icons for show desktop, Firefox, KMail, and OpenOffice.org.
On the desktop we have icons for Home, Trash, Subscribe (to the Mandriva Club), Buy it (boxed sets at the Mandriva store), Welcome, and Devices. The default KDE menu is the Mandriva simplified version. Its headings are Office, Internet, Multimedia, System, More Applications. Many of the applications are included with KDE such as Kontact, Konqueror, and Kopete, while some extras include Amarok, KMplayer, and Konversation. Mandriva comes with all the usual KDE screensavers and they have included their own Mandriva themed screensaver, as they call it. This consists of a slideshow of landscapes, seascapes, aerial views, sunsets, and such of exotic locales.
At the GNOME 2.18 desktop we find the same great wallpaper and the same panel backgrounds in use. In GNOME we have the main menu and launching panel at the top and the desktop panel at the bottom. The menu panel appears a bit more cluttered in GNOME, but it actually isn't. The icons don't seem to fit and blend in as well as found in KDE, giving them a slightly jammed together and crowded look. Launchers consist of Help, Firefox, Mandriva Control Center, and Evolution. The system tray has Desktop Search, network status, Rpmdrake updates, a power monitor, the GNOME Mixer applet, and the time. The desktop has similar icons as found in KDE and include Computer, Home, Buy it, Subscribe, Welcome, and Trash.
The GNOME menu structure is the typical 3 heading type: Applications, Places, and System. Places and System are the usual GNOME menus and the Applications menu is again the simplified Mandriva menu with the same subheadings as found in KDE: Office, Internet, Multimedia, System, and More Applications. Under these are your usual applications, with more emphasis on GNOME ones while still containing KDE programs as well. Some of the more GNOME-centric applications include Evolution, Epiphany, Pan, GnuCash, and Eye of Gnome. Some of the environment agnostic software include The Gimp, OpenOffice.org, Gaim, BitTorrent, NVU, and Inkscape. Some version numbers of note are kernel 2.6.17, X.Org 7.2, Mozilla Firefox 18.104.22.168 and OpenOffice.org 2.1.
Some browser plugins are installed but others, like Java and Flash, aren't. A Google VLC multimedia package as well as some other video plugins were listed as enabled, but I still could not watch Google video (requires Flash), but I could enjoy other streaming video formats such as MPEGs. KMplayer could play MPEGs and AVIs, but not BINs. Logging out of GNOME sent me to a console instead of KDM about half the time.
Mandriva's primary system configuration system is the Mandriva Control Center (MCC). It houses the various modules for the configuration of hardware, setting up networks, mount points, security related features, boot options, and much more. Mandriva's package management system can also be accessed from within this control center. I didn't spot any new features or additions since the last release in the MCC. Mandriva was one of the first to offer such an all-encompassing and handy utility. It is truly one of their best features.
Mandriva Linux 2007.1 - the default desktop
(full image size: 836kB, screen resolution: 1280x800 pixels)
I tested this release on an HP Pavilion (dv6105us). This laptop features NVIDIA GeForce Go 6150 (UMA) graphics, a Broadcom 4311 wireless chip, and Altec Lansing MCP51 sound. Mandriva correctly identified my graphics and gave the desired 1280x800 resolution automagically. Likewise, the sound was auto-detected and configured. A start-up sound greets me at login. The touch pad works well. It's precise, responsive, and smooth. As I commonly do, I had an old USB mouse connected to the notebook and it was auto-configured and operative as well. There are just a "Multimedia" launcher and sound adjustment extra-keys on this laptop and only openSUSE has out-of-the-box support for them. I never expect them to work.
What I do expect to work is my wireless chipset. I don't expect it to work out of the box as it is not natively supported by Linux kernel drivers, but I do hope it will work with NdisWrapper. As I test many Linux distribution, I've found that expectation is satisfied about more than half the time. It does appear to work in most distributions released fairly recently with newer NdisWrapper packages. This was not the case in this brand new offering from Mandriva. I was not able to achieve wireless connectivity.
With many distributions the wired connection is automagic if there is a DHCP server handy. I had hoped that by simply plugging in a cable to my wired chip, I'd have connectivity upon boot. With Mandriva, it was necessary to utilize the Mandriva Control Center. It was a very simple process to set up. A nice wizard walks the user through the easy configuration. A similar wizard is used for most of the configurations, such as setting up a printer or firewall.
Inserting removable media such as a USB key opens a pop-up window in KDE with different options such as 'Open in New Window,' 'Download Photos with Digikam,' and 'Do Nothing.' In GNOME, a window opens in the USB key main directory listing all files found and an icon is placed on the desktop. One can 'Unmount Volume' with a right click of this icon.
Some laptop-specific hardware support includes CPUfreq, suspend to RAM, and suspend to disk for power saving. In testing these systems I was fairly pleased. CPUfreq works well and is very responsive. Suspend to RAM is almost immediate, as is the awakening process. This is one of the best implementations of suspend to RAM I've experienced. Suspend to disk is unique as well, in that it offers a different splash screen for the few seconds it takes to suspend. This screen features a dark background with what appears to be a sunset over the Mandriva logo. Returning from disk suspension was fast, but I suffered screen corruption and a non-functional mouse. The screen was split just to the right of the desktop icons and that portion of the screen now rendered on the right of the display. My cursor could only move vertically, and screen "wobble" or shaking occurred if I hovered the cursor over the panel. Restarting X did not restore functionality and I was forced to reboot. Again, I only have success in this area in about half of the Linux distributions I test, so the fact that Mandriva did that well is impressive.
My next step was to install the NVIDIA drivers for my graphics chip. Since I didn't install the development group during install to save space, I was now going to need to install the kernel sources. When I first opened the Software Management utility, a pop-up appeared asking if I wanted to configure a package source. The choices were Updates or Distribution source. I first chose Updates, but I figured the kernel-source was probably on the install CD. I was a bit surprised that no CD or removable media was listed. It was always automatically added in the past and ready to use. But allowing it to set up a distribution source gave complete access including non-free. Mandriva recently began offering its non-free software to the general public.
Even more shocking was the fact that I had a choice of 40 packages when I first set out to install the kernel sources. It appeared two of the choices match the kernel installed. There is the traditional kernel sources if one wishes to rebuild for some reason and there is also a stripped version. I'm not sure what exactly has been stripped, but it did reduce the size of required packages from 242 MB to 99. All packages downloaded gave an invalid SHA1SUM key error that I chose to ignore. (This recurring issue can be resolved by issuing
urpmi.update -a --force-key). Once installed I could then install the NVIDIA drivers. It wasn't until the second after installing the drivers from NVIDIA did it occur to me to see if Mandriva had packages available. They did. After which, the once grayed-out choices for Metisse and 3D Desktop became available. Upon choosing Metisse, required packages were installed.
I began searching for instructions on how to use this new desktop. This page at the Mandriva project's site gave some help. The first thing I noticed was how much smaller and unattractive the default fonts were in KDE under Metisse, but fortunately they were adjustable. Conversely, they looked great in GNOME. I experimented with the "functionalities" listed on Mandriva's website and while I found these possibilities very entertaining, personally I'm not sure I would be able to increase my productivity using them. Most significantly for this article is that it did work as advertised for the most part and seemed quite stable to me in the few days tested. It didn't appear to consume any more system resources than other window systems and the few problems I had might be attributed to user coordination (or lack thereof). Some of the lesser effects, such as transparent windows when moving or the magnetic edges were quite the treat in everyday use.
Mandriva Linux 2007.1 - Metisse
(full image size: 923kB, screen resolution: 1280x800 pixels)
3D desktop offers the choices of XGL or native support and Compiz or Beryl. I didn't have any luck with any of the 3D choices here. Beryl gave a blank white screen, and when choosing Compiz I received an error saying that the packages required couldn't be installed. I've never had any luck with 3D desktop on Mandriva, until I tried their Mandriva Flash.
Some other new or improved features listed this release include:
- Drakroam no longer needs administrator rights
- Per-user 3D-accelerated desktop settings
- Faster Rpmdrake and urpmi
- Faster start-up of applications
- New simplified interface for MandrivaUpdate
Mandriva's USB Flash key arrives in a hard plastic protective packaging. The key itself is very ergonomic in form, molded with raised outside border and concave inner surface. This makes for much easier handling when inserting or removing as well as when removing or replacing the protective cap. As stated, I received the last release version, so mine came with a see-through red housing embossed with the Mandriva name and logo on one side and the manufacturer's mark on the other. The current Spring release comes in blue according to the Mandriva Welcome. Booting the USB key wasn't any problem, I did have to make a few BIOS adjustments as is commonly the case. It starts at a GRUB start screen and quickly moves to the silent boot splash.
The boot process is very fast and takes one to the user customizations wizard. This is the portion of the Mandriva live CD and Flash medium that asks the user their preferences such as locale, keyboard, network connection, and the like. Using the USB Flash was the first and only time I've been able to enjoy 3D desktop in Mandriva. There is an approximate 400 MB free space available for saving your personal preferences and a few files. Subsequent boots take this into account and applies your preferences in lieu of the wizard. The performance of the Flash is well beyond that found in more traditional live CDs and of course it's much smaller, making for easier pack and travel. Mandriva Flash is definitely the way to go if you're looking for a portable system.
All in all I'd say it's a fairly typical Mandriva release. It features improved looks and added features, but it is released with a few issues. I don't think many of the problems are of major importance for the average user, but for myself, I won't be using Mandriva without wireless support. This probably won't be an issue for most people. There are a few issues described in the errata one might want to scan. Whereas it may appear to be a long list, all issues for all versions and packages are listed on the same page. Unfortunately, I don't predict this release will put Mandriva back in the number one position, but it's a nice system taken as a whole. There's going to be tweaking with any OS you use. I would recommend trying One of their live CD editions to see if Mandriva 2007.1 could fit your needs. I walk away from this test with continued warm & fuzzies for Mandriva, but it won't be supplanting my current system on my laptop ... just yet.
Notes on Mandriva Linux 2007.1, PCLinuxOS, Freespire updates, Yellow Dog Linux 5.0.1 downloads, KNOPPIX for 64-bit systems, interview with Sam Hocevar, Brazilian distro releases
With the Ubuntu post-release fever finally down to manageable levels, this is a good time to cover other recent distribution releases. Mandriva's latest version hit the download mirrors the same week as Ubuntu 7.04 and Adam Williamson breathed a sigh of relief after it appeared that everything had gone reasonably smoothly: "Very happy with the positive response to 2007 Spring so far. Even had some good responses from the Ubuntu forums, which is more than I dared hope for. Hoping to see some good press soon which will sustain interest in the new release." Mandriva Linux 2007.1 was the first version whose development and release process was managed by a new release team (David Barth and Antoine Ginies) after the departure of Florent Villard (Warly) earlier this year.
Unfortunately, the hopes for the much needed good press were quickly dashed by a critical review of Mandriva Linux 2007.1 published last week by Software in Review. In it, Jeff Matzan, an experienced Linux/UNIX distribution reviewer, has concluded that "overall I was extremely disappointed in Mandriva 2007.1. Mandriva has had many years and plenty of opportunities to create a great desktop operating system. In some ways -- such as with the installation utility and the Drak tools -- it succeeds. But when you take into account its competition and the excellent release that preceded it, Mandriva Linux PowerPack Edition 2007.1 is a real dog. 2007.0 was much better and if you're really in love with Mandriva, find a copy of it instead of 2007.1."
Reading the above-mentioned review and especially the troubles with the upgrade process, I thought I'd share my own experiences with upgrading Mandriva Linux 2007.0. As some of you might remember, I have been using Mandriva Linux 2007.0 PowerPack (the x86_64 edition) on my main production system for the last 6 months and I upgraded to 2007.1 as soon as it came out. The upgrade (performed with a full DVD image) went perfectly fine and the only problem I experienced after the upgrade was random failure of GNOME application to bring up the Open/Save dialogue (which I traced down to the "beagled" daemon). Other than that I've had no troubles at all with Mandriva 2007.1 while using KDE with Compiz (which I find smoother and more pleasant than Beryl on my hardware). I also upgraded a vanilla installation of Mandriva Linux 2007.0 Free (the i586 edition) directly with "urpmi" while logged in to KDE and this upgrade also went without a glitch.
So don't judge a product by a single review; with Mandriva, as with any other distribution, the old adage is still valid: if it works, it works great, but if it doesn't, then, well, blame it on your hardware and download another distribution ;-)
One last piece of information on Mandriva before moving on to other news. Olivier Blin has published a technical specification proposal for the release of Mandriva Linux 2008, expected in the third quarter of 2007. Among the more interesting items, the list includes: improved Xen virtualisation with corresponding changes in the graphical "drakvirt" module; 3D desktop with the newly merged Compiz/Beryl projects; switch to Squashfs and LZMA for the live CD and the possibility of running it in Windows through the Qemu emulator; WPA-EAP support in the "drakx-net" module (login + pass, certificates); many under-the-hood improvements to hardware detection, networking, boot and init, and kernel drivers.
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After several weeks of being off-line due to rising popularity and bandwidth problems, the PCLinuxOS web site is up and running once again: "I am pleased to announce that Enki has formed a sponsorship with PCLinuxOS and is now providing the hosting for our web site. I'd like to thank the guys over at Enki for working the last couple of weekends to give PCLinuxOS a dedicated home on the Internet." The project has promptly released what it promises to be the last test build of PCLinuxOS 2007 before the long-awaited final release. Please visit the distribution's revamped web site to find out more. A list of mirrors carrying the new CD images is available here.
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Kevin Carmony has published an update on the current status of Freespire, as the project prepares for the upcoming release of version 2.0, together with a major upgrade to its Click-N-Run (CNR) software installation service: "These past several months have been a time of great transition for Linspire. As most of you know, we have announced several significant changes, and most of these will come to life in the next 60 days, including an entirely new CNR system and new versions of both Freespire and Linspire." The new timeline promises to deliver Freespire 2.0 in early June, while Linspire 6.0, the commercial off-shoot of Freespire designed mainly for the OEM market, should be available late in the same month. As for the new CNR service, the Freespire and Linspire users should be able to start using it early June, Ubuntu users in the middle of June, and the users of Debian, openSUSE and Fedora "in the months that follow." For more details please read the latest issue of Linspire Letter.
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Do you enjoy KNOPPIX, but wish there was a 64-bit edition of the popular live CD? If so, you are in luck. Kuniyasu Suzaki, the developer of VMKnoppix (formerly known as Xenoppix) has announced the availability of KNOPPIX-x86_64 5.1.1: "KNOPPIX-x86_64-5.1.1 CD is released. This version uses x86_64 kernel 2.6.19 and GCC 4.1.2. Features: based on Xenoppix 5.0.1-x86_64 and customized for KNOPPIX 5.1.1; terminal server; 3D desktop ('desktop=beryl'); Aufs (CVS 20070402 version)." This is a pure live CD without the presence of a virtual machine. The CD image is available for download either via BitTorrent or directly from this FTP server: knoppix-x86_64-v5.1.1CD-20070412.iso (701MB, MD5).
* * * * *
Linux.com has published an interview with the recently elected Debian Project Leader, Sam Hocevar: "Q: What are your first priorities as Debian Project Leader? A: The first thing I need to do is to gather information about current internal conflicts and tensions that could prevent certain people from working together, or at least make those organisational changes require more diplomacy. I plan to focus on the social part of my platform, mostly because they require more time to do properly. People didn't wait for my election to start doing the technical stuff I talked about: We have a Google Summer of Code project for a web interface to our bug tracking system, at least one tool is under development for the debugging infrastructure, and quite a few proposals about improving the web site have popped up." Read the rest of the interview here.
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Freely downloadable DVD images of Yellow Dog Linux 5.0.1 started appearing on the distribution's mirror servers late last week. Originally released in late March, Yellow Dog Linux 5.0.1 is a Fedora-based distribution designed for systems using the PowerPC family of processors: "Terra Soft today released Yellow Dog Linux v5.0.1 for Apple G3, G4, and G5 computers. Yellow Dog Linux v5.0.1 adds greater than 500 package updates to the next generation Linux operating system released for the Sony PlayStation 3 with support for the former Apple PowerPC product line." For more information please read the original press release and visit the product pages. The DVD images are available from these mirror sites: yellowdog-5.0.1-phoenix-20070326-APPLE.iso (3,716MB, MD5).
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Last weekend was a busy one for a number of Brazilian distributions, which delivered new and updated versions of their products. The Kurumin project released Kurumin Linux 7.0r2, an updated re-spin of their "long-term support" version 7.0 with minor bug-fixes and updates to Firefox and Thunderbird. Another Brazilian project, the Gentoo-based Litrix Linux distribution and live CD, released an updated version 7.4. Finally, a new version (2.4) of Resulinux, a Debian-based live CD, also appeared over the weekend (here is a brief note about it in Portuguese, courtesy of BR-Linux.org). Interestingly, none of these projects have published any official release announcements on their web sites at the time of writing, but our Brazilian and other interested readers can download the new CD images from here: kurumin-7.0r2.iso (639MB, MD5), litrix-7.4.zip (676MB), resulinux2.4tiphareth.iso (646MB).
Resulinux is a desktop-oriented, Debian-based distribution and live CD made in Brazil.
(full image size: 874kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
|Released Last Week
Bogdan Radulescu has announced the release of NimbleX 2007v2, a Slackware-based mini live CD: "NimbleX 2007v2 is out! NimbleX is a small but versatile operating system which is able to boot from an 8 cm CD, from flash memory or MP3 players. Because it runs entirely from a CD, USB or network it doesn't require installation or even much hardware. NimbleX is based on Slackware and Linux-Live scripts. NimbleX 2007v2 highlights: better wireless support; full automatic support for NTFS; changes in Fluxbox (fbpanel); added OpenBox, QuadConsole, Dillo, Guidedog; xconf2 (maybe wide screen will work); ALSA and other software updates; script for creating nimblex.data file; many bug fixes...." Read the full release announcement for further details.
PLD Linux Distribution 2.0
The PLD project has announced the release of PLD Linux Distribution 2.0. The actual PLD 2.0 package tree was declared stable in early April, but it took several weeks to generate CD and DVD images for 6 architectures (i386, i586, i686, Athlon, AMD64, and PowerPC). PLD is an independent, RPM-based distribution using an advance package manager called "Poldek" and designed for users who aren't afraid of the command line. The new stable release provides a choice between kernels 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199 with built-in virtualisation support (Linux VServer), together with over 13,000 RPM packages, including X.Org 6.9.0, KDE 3.5.6, GNOME 2.14, Xfce 4.4.0, OpenOffice.org 2.1.0, etc. Please visit the project's home and product pages to learn more about the new release.
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Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Parsix GNU/Linux 0.90
Alan Baghumian has published a release schedule for the upcoming Parsix GNU/Linux 0.90, code name "Barry". There will be three test builds released on May 4th, May 18th and June 4th, while the final release is scheduled for 15th June 2007. For more information please see this mailing list post.
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Summary of expected upcoming releases
Translations of the Top Ten Distributions page|
The brand new Top Ten Distributions page went live last week. Many thanks to those readers who have found the time to give suggestions and point out any errors - your contributions are much appreciated. After publishing the page, we also asked readers to help translating it into other languages and the response was interesting: we received a total of 9 offers to translate the overview. Of these, five were for translations into Spanish, and one each for translation into Chinese (simplified), Dutch, German and Portuguese. It's nice to see how much enthusiasm there is for Linux and open source software among the Spanish-speaking readers of DistroWatch! The volunteers have got together and started working on the translation; they estimate that it will be completed by Wednesday this week. Way to go and muchas gracias, amigos!
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Distribution usage based on browser statistics
Last week, a readers emailed us this question: "Have you ever thought of the idea to analyse the HTTP headers the browser sends and use that to generate statistics of what people are using? That would IMHO be a much more interesting statistic." The simple answer is "yes". In fact this data is already available courtesy of the Awstats traffic analyser and can be accessed here.
The question has prompted us to extend the Awstats program to include other distributions that were not originally tracked by Awstats, at least those that provide a custom browser string which enables their identification; these include BLAG, Elive, Gentoo Linux, KateOS, Kubuntu, Linspire, MEPIS Linux, Linux Mint, Pardus Linux, PCLinuxOS and Vine Linux. These distributions were only added to the list on 29 April (before that, they were classified as "unknown/unspecified"), so the statistics for April are not accurate, but starting from next month, the page should give more complete data about the usage of the various distributions by the visitors of DistroWatch. However, web browsers of many other distributions, including those in Slackware, KNOPPIX, SabayonLinux, VectorLinux, Puppy Linux and Zenwalk, don't identify themselves in any distinct way, so we won't be able to count those.
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New distributions added to waiting list
- Bugnux. Bugnux is a complete Linux (Mandriva) distribution that runs from a single bootable CD and runs entirely in RAM. Bugnux contains an extensive set of open source software testing tools that can be used for functional and performance testing. Standalone tools to test GUI applications and Mozilla Firefox extensions pre-installed to aid in web application testing have been packaged. This can turn any PC into black-box testing device without having to install any software. Bugnux also contains a set of stress and load testing tools that can be used to assist in testing performance of web applications.
- Seminarix. Seminarix is a German, Kubuntu-based live CD containing a large collection of educational software for teachers. The project's web site is in German only.
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DistroWatch database summary
And this concludes the 200th issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 7 May 2007. Until then,
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Nice Read (by Andy on 2007-04-30 09:44:16 GMT from United Kingdom) |
Glad to see PClinuxOS has finally sorted their web host problems. Thank fully Just in time for the new release. I can't wait!!!
2 • Nice Work (by Bill Savoie on 2007-04-30 09:55:33 GMT from United States)
Thanks Ladislav for the timely information and the ability to deliver 200 of them!
Yesterday I installed the new PCLinuxOS.TR4, SuSE 10.2 and SuSE 10.2 GM. Each system was installed with Ada 95, and I found PCLinuxOS to be the winner! What a nice system. The Distrowatch rankings were a big clue! Thanks again. To get the Ada 95 working on SuSE I had to install symbolic links around a bunch of name changes to the compiler and linker, not so with PCLinusOS. It may be that the famous quality of SuSE is on the decline.
3 • Ubuntu Studio (by Kub at 2007-04-30 09:56:31 GMT from Ireland)
Does anyone know why the release of Ubuntu Studio is delayed and how long will it take? Their wiki website is a mess.
Half of us, visiting DistroWatch, uses Windows. It's not bad, actually, because it indicates that many people visit this site because they consider changing to Linux.
I'm kinda surprised by amount of Debian/Ubuntu users when compared to Suse or Fedora. It seems world went Debian :)
4 • kudos ladislav!!! (by kanishka on 2007-04-30 10:22:33 GMT from Italy)
Wow, DWW has reached number 200... Congratulations for your invaluable work!!!
5 • Mandriva Spring (by itsthemedication on 2007-04-30 10:23:07 GMT from United States)
I have Mandriva 2007.1 installed on two 64 bit machines, and I am very pleased. I feel your pain on the wireless issue, since I waited a long time for the Atheros driver. I try Kubuntu every so often, but I'm I'm right back with Mandriva or PClinuxOS. I guess I grown reliant on the MCC module. It's also a good sign that Mandriva is returning to the free model again. There is no way to compete with Ubuntu without good free releases.
Thanks for the good Mandriva review, and thanks for all the reviews. I tune in every week.
6 • Works out of the box, Ubuntu, Mandriva or any other Linux distros (by Honaby on 2007-04-30 10:27:56 GMT from Philippines)
I wonder if there will ever come a time, where I will be able to install a Linux distro wherein everything works out of the box after install. And when I say everything works, it means no configurations needed, tweaking is optional, no need to download additional software/packages/drivers/kernel modules, etc.
I installed an Ubuntu live/install CD and it works perfectly booted into a beautiful desktop, sound working, video working, wireless not working (but with a little tweak it did work.), So I decided to install it. But after install, video failed (wont even launch GDM), no sound, wireless is the same, needs tweaking to work.
I tried the Ubuntu CD on my HP dv6110us laptop. And it wont even boot, it just hangs. I had to browse forums to be able to make it boot the live CD. So how do you expect an ordinary laptop user to use Linux if the live CD doesn't even work.
I installed Mandriva, and I encountered the same experience described in the story by Susan Linton above.
Install Windows XP or heck, install Vista, and 95% of the time, everything just works! Thats what a typical user like me would like to see in an operating system.
I still have high hopes for Linux... and I still like Ubuntu compared to most distros. But I really hope our Linux distros can achieve the same usability and ease of use/installation as Windows.
7 • Vdaka (by Safety Match on 2007-04-30 10:28:57 GMT from Slovakia)
Vdaka za vsetky DW weekly, 200 je pekne cislo, dufam ze raz ti budeme moct podakovat za vydanie s poradovym cislom 2000. O kvalitu sa nebojim :-)
8 • Translations of top ten dists (by Dan on 2007-04-30 10:33:19 GMT from Denmark)
Hey. If there is some interest in a Danish translation of the top ten distributions page, I might be able to find the time to translate it into Danish... Any interest in a Danish top ten distributions page?
I will watch the comment to see whether there is interest or not...
Thaks for yet another great DWN :)
9 • Distro cool points (by Mark South on 2007-04-30 10:36:42 GMT from Switzerland)
To quote #3: "It seems world went Debian."
Indeed, me among them.
I'm awarding all my distro cool points for this week to Debian Etch 4.0. The reason: I fitted a new motherboard in this box last week, and the only distro (of those I tried) that correctly set up my monitor for maximum resolution using the integrated video was Debian.
Loved the review of Mandriva Spring 2007.1 by Susan Linton. Although she overused the word "nice", she also gave the flavour of how Mandriva feels when its working well, a very pleasant distro. (When it misbehaves one curses and wishes one had installed Slackware, of course :-)
Also, a round of applause for Ladislav. After typing most of 200 issues of DistroWatch Weekly, your fingers must be worn down to several centimetres shorter than they were before you started with issue #1 !
Finally, with best wishes to all my fellow readers, and the faint hope that you will all treat each other and each other's favourite distros with civility, respect, and openness, I say:
10 • browser stats (by wcarkido on 2007-04-30 11:15:33 GMT from United States)
but what about those of us who read distrowatch while at work on m$ machines instead of our linux machines at home?
11 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2007-04-30 11:16:31 GMT from Denmark)
Your positive remarks on Mandriva makes me wanna try it out. :) Maybe.
In regards to the translation of "the top ten", Swedish people speak and read English, no need of a translation :)
12 • #9 Mark South (by Hannibal Hobbit on 2007-04-30 11:22:04 GMT from Australia)
What he said.
(And a special mention for Puppy to make Lobster happy)
13 • Re: 6 • Works out of the box, Ubuntu, Mandriva or any other Linux distros (by Sayagain on 2007-04-30 11:52:10 GMT from United Kingdom)
I think your looking for PClinuxOS :-)
14 • Yes indeed, Mark South !!! (by Caraibes on 2007-04-30 12:44:33 GMT from Dominican Republic)
Debian Etch totally rocks !!! But I am also glad to see healthy activity for its derivatives (*Buntu, Mepis...), and other distros...
Can't wait for the next Fedora, and I am eager to test-drice the CNR, and push it to its limit, to see what's the deal !
but Debian, yes, Debian seems to be the king of the road !
You got that very right, Mark !
15 • RE: No 3 - SuSE and RHEL vs Debian (by lefty.crupps on 2007-04-30 12:48:18 GMT from United States)
>I'm kinda surprised by amount of Debian/Ubuntu users when compared to Suse or Fedora. It seems world went Debian
Well, the smart ones of the world went with Debian and other APT-enabled distros, while *management* went with Red Hat and RPMs... :)
16 • nice work.. (by karim on 2007-04-30 13:02:28 GMT from Egypt)
congratulations ladislav for the great effort that have been delighting us every monday for 200 times... keep going...
well, i totally agree that debian and its derivatives specially ubuntu rocks.. cuz for me as a very hard and annoying used for my system they could stand all what i have done hehehehe...
so good luck for every one and....
linux is coming...................
17 • browser stats (by RammsteinRules on 2007-04-30 13:22:51 GMT from United States)
I am willing to bet that 90% of the Windows visits are accountable to
people using their computer at work where everything is Windows.
At this moment i am visiting from a huge chemical company lab
where all the operating systems are either Windows XP or 2000.
As the IT guy said to me one day, " why would you use linux,what can it do that Windows can't ?" When i answered " It can go anywhere on the
internet and NEVER get infected", he just shrugged his shoulders and walked away.
18 • Thanks Ladislav (by Rich D on 2007-04-30 13:37:49 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the great job you do. The top ten distros column must be a lot of work and we all appreciate what you do.
19 • Re: 6 (by Luke on 2007-04-30 14:03:48 GMT from United States)
"Install Windows XP or heck, install Vista, and 95% of the time, everything just works! Thats what a typical user like me would like to see in an operating system."
Buy a Vista-preinstalled laptop, install XP, and then proceed to have a blast hunting down drivers for everything. On a Gateway MT3705, I mean everything. ATI Radeon 200M + widescreen? Enjoy your stretched 1024x768 resolution. Sound? Nada. Internet, wired AND wireless? No dice.
Sound might not work, but at least Ubuntu got everything else right. It's not so easy when the hardware isn't made specifically for your operating system, is it?
20 • browser stats (by dbrion on 2007-04-30 14:04:47 GMT from France)
It is very difficult, without statistics splitted by country and (local) time, to say whether pple consult DWW from their work or from their PC or from Internet cafés (I do the first two, as I do not want to depend on a monopolistic IT provider).
You might even think of pple using a live CD with Linux to browse, while there is only (a legal?) Windows installed on their HD.
What may become more anoying is the fact that PCs using emulation can have 2 systems: if I qemulate a Linux from Windows, what is the official system? what is the system I am working on?
The proportion of Linuxen vs Windows (1/2; 1/3) in DW is huge in respect of what I think (1/10 ; 1/20 : from stats obtained by phone asking -it is very expensive, but might be unbiased- or from downloads of an unofficial compiler ported to Windows : if I took downloads from any /official/ GNUcompiler, it would be biased in favor of Windows, as the compiler exists on many Lx distrs...).
I maintain that, if one wants to discriminate betw. work / leisure DW reading, it is necessary to have detailed stats=> the main issue would be they could not be humanly understood without, at least, a spreadsheet..
21 • Re: #6 (by kilgoretrout on 2007-04-30 14:09:46 GMT from United States)
"Install Windows XP or heck, install Vista, and 95% of the time, everything just works! Thats what a typical user like me would like to see in an operating system."
Whoever wrote this has never done a windows install. Windows comes packaged with only the most basic drivers included. The overwhelming majority of other drivers have to be obtained from the hardware manufacturer and installed by the user.
The author undoubtedly only has experience with system restore disks provided by computer manufacturers. These come with the necessary third party drivers for the hardware included in the box they sold you. However, if you try to install from an OS installation disk from MS, you will be in for a big surprise.
22 • Just hello (by John on 2007-04-30 14:13:27 GMT from Greece)
Just send a hello, to be always good and thanks for the great job that you make.
The very first site that i go every day is yours.Thanks again
23 • Browser Stats (by Drew W on 2007-04-30 14:18:15 GMT from United States)
The browser stats may slightly under-represent Gentoo (next month). Only the users of the www-client/mozilla-firefox package will submit the custom user agent. Since I'm on amd64 and occasionally use (gasp) Flash, I use www-client/mozilla-firefox-bin, which is the official x86 firefox build from mozilla.com. Anyone who is in the same boat will show the same result. Here's my user agent:
Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686 (x86_64); en-US; rv:188.8.131.52) Gecko/20070309 Firefox/184.108.40.206
24 • RE : Works out of the box, ... (by John on 2007-04-30 14:19:02 GMT from France)
Have you tried Zenwalk ?
25 • Re: 6 Works out of the box... (by Lucas Goss on 2007-04-30 14:30:24 GMT from United States)
Most Linux machines that I set up work out of the box and require less tweaking than Windows. If it's an older machine it usually works just fine (unless it's odd ball parts). For newer machines I always make sure to purchase Linux compatible parts and reward the manufacturers that try to support other platforms.
I install Linux, click to install binary driver for video and run updates and I'm off and running. For Windows I have to install updates, lock down IE (though newest IE 7 is probably ok off the bat), go to video driver website, download and install driver. Then lather, rinse and repeat for sound, some usb devices, printer, camera, scanner...
26 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2007-04-30 16:36:08 GMT from United States)
Excellent DWW! Very informative. I loved the review of Mandriva, even if I don't use it!
All around, a great publication this week.
27 • Mandriva (by voislav on 2007-04-30 16:36:17 GMT from Canada)
Great read this week. I also tried out the 64-bit Mandriva 2007.1 and was really blown away how much progress they have made since 2006. I had Mepis 6.5 running on the same machine before and I would say that Mandriva is at least equal, if not better of the two. They really did some nice stuff with the artwork, I especially like the orange KDE One theme, really brightens up the day.
A lot of people will say that APT is superior as far as package management goes, but I don't really feel any difference. I've added probaly ~50 other applications not included by default and not one of them had any dependancy issues. What was anoying was the signatures issue, even some of the packages from the install DVD didn't have correct signatures.
All in all, a very solid realase from Mandriva, hope they keep it up.
28 • 19 • Re: 6 (by Luke on 2007-04-30 14:03:48 GMT from United States) (by bernie on 2007-04-30 16:40:55 GMT from United States)
since i have a store ........ when i read the comment that you commented on #6
out of the box i was thinking they have never built a computer or worked on 1 with just a win 3.1-3.11-win 95-98-ME XP XP Pro cd (but maybe a restore cd only) as Linux for the most part does work out of the box, anymore .......... unlike windows ............... that will you take 45 min installing windows then 15 min-30min setting up all the drivers an after your done you can type on word pad or play some cards :(...... only. i like the safe surfing an all the programs that come with Linux an - an- an-................
29 • Enhorabuena!! (Cheers!) (by Basilio Guzman on 2007-04-30 16:55:54 GMT from Puerto Rico)
Congratulations for reaching the DWW #200. This landmark makes Distrowatch a "stable" source of information.
30 • Working out of the box (by Mark South on 2007-04-30 17:05:03 GMT from Switzerland)
Re: #6, #19, #21, #28: Sure, Windows works out of the box if you buy it pre-installed. So it should. If you bought a system with Linux pre-installed, that would work out of the box too, as it should.
However, when it comes to installing from scratch, there is no comparison between the two. "Monitor driver? MONITOR DRIVER? You won't let me have anything except 640x480@60Hz without a MONITOR DRIVER? WTH is a MONITOR DRIVER?????" -- me, the last time I ever tried to install Windows on anything.
Basically, there are 2 types of people in this world. Those who think Windows works out of the box, and those who have had to install it from scratch.
BTW, for me, at least, Windows does not work at all out of the box. That's because, when I get a new machine, I power it up, interrupt the boot sequence, slip in a Linux or BSD disc, and erase the hard drive before I even see that flag logo :-)
And that's as should be, because this site is about Linux and BSD, not Windows. So I promise not to mention it again....
31 • Re:30 (by voislav on 2007-04-30 17:24:14 GMT from Canada)
or even better get a PC with a blank disk. Ah, the joys of shopping small.
32 • Mandriva and translation (by Jure Repinc on 2007-04-30 17:26:47 GMT from Slovenia)
First, I have to say I'm also very happy with the new Mandriva 2007 Spring. I upgraded my sister's computer (she had 2007 before, using KDE desktop) and all was going without a problem and is running really nicely. I also installed Mandriva 2007 Spring (also 64-bit version with KDE desktop) on my HP Compaq nx6125 laptop and here it is also running great. The only thing I had to do is select ndiswrapper and install windows drivers for the stupid Broadcom wireless adapter. Still a lot less extra work then it is needed when installing windows (still you have to install more drivers and a lot of applications like OpenOffice and Firefox to get to the same point). It looks like we will have to be a bit more active and constantly bother those hardware companies so that they release open source drivers for WiFI or at least release all the needed specifications. Then it can get a perfect out of the box experience on GNU/Linux.
Second, I will also try to translate the top 10 distro page as soon as possible. I will start translating it into Slovenian language.
33 • Hocevar's election: suicide for Debian (by Yugo on 2007-04-30 17:50:33 GMT from Canada)
Sam Hocevar said:
"Etch took one year less to release than Sarge."
That's certainly not his fault since he tried everything he could to delay Etch's release:
So much for "using diplomacy" and the "two days" that span between Oct 8th 2006 and Jan 12th 2007.
A few comments by Radu-Cristian Fotescu in "The Debian kindergarten".
"There is nevertheless a long way from disgruntling to the kindergarten-like mutiny that was the Dunc-Bank(1), «an experiment to see how aggressive bug reporting can delay the release of Debian Etch. We hope that by finding more and more RC bugs in Debian we can delay Etch.»
(1) Referring to the Dunc-Tank which Anthony Towns had initaited for people who wanted to give some money *specifically* to get Etch out earlier.
"If this is not deliberate sabotage by your books, we're definitely playing different games.
"The Dunc-Bank sabotage was initiated by Sam Hocevar, a well-known Debian developer. Then, Sam Hocevar was elected as the new DPL for 2007! It's useless to ask "how many voted for Sam", because the Debian elections are using an advanced Condorcet voting system with Schwartz Sequential Dropping, to guarantee that the winner is the candidate that is the less hated, if I am allowed to put it this way. That means Sam was the best choice for Debian, as expressed by the voice of the Debian developers. In my opinion, Sam is the worst thing that could happen to Debian, and a clear sign that Debian is going nowhere.
"This is suicide for Debian. Mere suicide. As Sam was elected by the Debian developers, Vox Populi, Vox Dei."
See Hocevar's references on what's really worth on the net:
Cyberculture : Gay Nigger Association of America • Goatse.cx • Site
Lots of fun ahead in the Debian Kindergarden!
34 • Yugo escapes Usenet!! (by Mark South on 2007-04-30 18:16:00 GMT from Switzerland)
Re #33: Yugo has some things in common with Steve Ballmer. Hates Linux, spreads FUD, spreads smears and slander, and you can't get away from him wherever you go.
Hey, Yugo, aren't you meant to be terrorizing the newbies in one of the alt.os.linux.* groups somewhere? Or was that alt.usenet.kooks.netkooks?
Nearly anyone else, regardless of their anti-Linux agenda, would have realised that Sam was elected precisely because he represented the views of the majority of Debianistas that the Dunce-Tank was a baaaaaaaaaad idea. Probably even Steve Ballmer hated it.
35 • RE: 33 Hocevar's election (by Anonymous on 2007-04-30 18:38:17 GMT from Finland)
This was discussed on the debian-vote mailing list during the DPL election. See the thread "Question for Sam Hocevar".
See especially Sam's response.
36 • Praising the new versions !!! (by Caraibes on 2007-04-30 19:20:40 GMT from Dominican Republic)
Hey, as much as I am usually singing the praises of my FC6 main box & my Debian boxes, today, I tested (as live-cd's only...) Mandriva 2007.1 and Ubuntu 7.04... Both are really impressive !!! Both look really pro !
I am really impressed by the quality of those 2 live-cd's... In the past, only Mepis & PCLOS were so newbie friendly in the live-cd's, but the quality of *Buntu & MDV is really rising.
Both live-cd's are now in my toolbox, along with the regular ones...
I am sticking with my 2 fav's however, as installed distros (Fedora & Debian).
But I wanted to congratulate the devs, the comunity, Ladislav too... The FLOSS world is moving...
37 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2007-04-30 19:43:35 GMT from Romania)
> the quality of *Buntu & MDV is really rising.
With *buntu, it's not the quality, it's the polish.
38 • Hocevar: lots of twisted justifications (by Yugo on 2007-04-30 19:46:36 GMT from Canada)
Hocevar's candidacy did require a lot of twisted justifications.
39 • Mandriva Review (by STIBS on 2007-04-30 21:02:53 GMT from Germany)
Great writeup, as each time Susan. Thumbs up!
40 • I'm Honored, Thank You Ladislav! (by Soloact on 2007-04-30 22:12:23 GMT from United States)
"Sounds like something I'd say," is what I thought when I was reading the DW section of LXF91. So I went back and did a little research of archived DWWs, and sure enough, the quote was taken from a comment I had made.
Ladislav, I feel honored, thank you very much!
Congratulations on this 200th DWW, and here's to many more great issues!
On a side note, as an end user, I'm now tri-booting this machine, using SimplyMEPIS64 6.5 as my 64-bit OS of choice, and PCLOS 2007 TR4 for my 32-bit Linux OS, alongside the MSXP option. It took another Distro to help me achieve this feat, and that was R.I.P. 2.5, which I used to install GRUB with the ability to boot each OS. I understand that I could've edited GRUB, but I couldn't get it to work. R.I.P. saved the day.
So I'm still learning, slowly, but learning.
Have a great today everyone!
41 • Thanks for Distrowatch (by Beatnik on 2007-04-30 22:52:46 GMT from Panama)
Hey Ladislav, just wanted to thank you, your site is very informative, I come here everyday to see your Linux distro news, and new releases. By the way, just wanted to thank you for your soon response to my suggerences for your site.
42 • Re: Out of the box (by Beatnik on 2007-04-30 23:25:38 GMT from Panama)
So, people want out of the box. Believe me, I have tried some of the most famed desktop oriented linux distros:
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Mandriva, Sabayon, Mepis, Mint, Sam.
In a scale from 1-10
SABAYON (9/10) is the winner for superb out of the box, the 3.3 Dvd IS NEAR PERFECT, well I liked more the beautiful wallpaper on 3.26.
Sabayon DVD has everything you need for your desktop use:
Support out of the box for Beryl, and all these formats .mp3, .mpeg, .avi, flash, jpeg, original DVD playing, with hundreds of application softs. MPlayer is the best media player in linux.
Only thing missed from Ubuntu is the update method apt-get and synaptic because portage is not so easy.
Sam Linux (9/10) Very good, I am waiting for the new version of it´s mother PClinux, I haven´t tried it yet.
Mandriva One KDE (8.5/10) Good, some problems because it do not installs flashplayer so you can´t view youtube.com videos.
I also tried some multimedia oriented distros:
ArtistX (9/10) Very good, with hundreds of audio/video/image softwares. Shame it comes with Beryl, but nVidia drivers do not work for me.
Dyne-Bolic (9/10) Very Good, some rasta propaganda, but good, beware on older systems like my dell pentium II 450mhz it never enters the desktop.
Musix (8/10) Same on older systems
43 • typo in Released Last Week section (by Marius on 2007-05-01 00:32:04 GMT from Romania)
in the Development and unannounced releases it should say :
# Fedora 7-test4, the release announcement
# Fedora 4-test4, the release announcement
44 • partition detection in Linux (by domar on 2007-05-01 04:59:28 GMT from Australia)
Of the 500+ Linux distros, am I right to say that they all do not detect and mount hard drive partitions with the same capability? For example, in some distros you can find the partitions accessible in the /mnt directory; in others they are in the /media directory, still in others they are in the /dev directory. Meanwhile, some clever distros place partition icons automatically on the desktop.
Is it right that in some distros the hard drive partitions are not automatically mounted/detected? Or is it that they are listed in a strange directory? This is something that I find troublesome in Linux. How does one access the partitions in some of the popular distros like Mandriva, PCLOS, Suse, Slackware?
45 • Congratulations (by Bob on 2007-05-01 06:12:23 GMT from New Zealand)
Well done, Ladislav, You sound (read!) much chirpier since support flooded in for you. The changes are great
Best wishes for 201 and beyond
46 • PCLinuxOS is number 1! (by CL on 2007-05-01 10:58:34 GMT from United States)
I just looked at the last seven days of hits on the Distrowatch page hit counter, and PCLinuxOS is now in the lead! Congratulations to Texstar and the Ripper Gang for an outstanding distro!
Michael Dell, are you listening?
47 • RE: 46 (by devnet on 2007-05-01 11:40:57 GMT from United States)
He is...but he's hearing Ubuntu :)
Linux wins no matter what so woo hoo!
48 • Re:44 partition detection in Linux (by voislav on 2007-05-01 13:29:14 GMT from Canada)
As far as new Mandriva goes, you can specify the mount point for each partition either during the installation or later using the Control Center (no manual editing of fstab here). I'm not sure how it handles it by default, I always like to set up my own mount points. I believe that they end up in /mnt. Once set up, the partitions will be automounted on boot.
49 • Re 44 portition detection (by dbrion on 2007-05-01 15:18:29 GMT from France)
For *non amovible* (Hard disks), the best way is to type "df" from a console (it gives an info about disk occupation, too, and about /once mounted/ amovible disks).
"dmesg" gives often an info on the monting of *amovible* disks, even if a popup menu doesnot appear (this is RAM consuming, and may be disturbing => it is not clever for any user...)
USB storage devices can be labelled and, thanks to udev, given the same name whatever the order they are inserted:
http://www.coagul.org/article.php3?id_article=486 (sorry, in French) taught me much in the way this could work.
50 • "out of the box" (by oldjoe on 2007-05-01 16:23:24 GMT from United States)
Seven years ago, I built my own computer. I did my homework, made sure everything was Gnu/Linux compatable, and put it together. Guess what? Almost every Distro works perfect "out of the box". I know it's a little harder these days with all these motherboard companys putting everything including the kitchen sink on board, but spend the time, do the homework, and you wont regret it.
51 • 46 (by Anonymous on 2007-05-01 16:39:25 GMT from United States)
PCLOS fans: Don't think you'll ever see your distro installed on the systems of any major computer retailer. There are too many licensing issues involved (legal and otherwise) to mess with PCLOS or Mepis.
52 • Out fo the box install at #6 (by EmyrB on 2007-05-01 18:14:35 GMT from United Kingdom)
I agree with all the people who responded to this, Windows does not work out of the box if you install it from its CD and not a system restore CD.
I work as an IT Pro and I have installed every flavour of Windows since Windows 3.11 and none have worked out of the box. You usually have to install the Intel or nvidia mobo drivers, then the video card and if you want to use scsi without the drivers, no way.
I have a triple boot PC at home, Ubuntu 7.04, Windows XP and Windows Vista (I am a IT pro and I have to support windows users mainly). I have booted into Vista about 4 times, I use XP only to get my fix of WoW (never could get any decent frame rates under linux, shame) but mainly I use Linux (actually I am in windows writing this as I have just finished supporting a customer). Ubuntu has been on this PC since Dapper and I have had no issues with it. I just upgrade to the latest version and bob's your uncle, everything has worked.
Oh one more thing, why can't Blizzard release WoW under GPL, surely they have made enough money out of it now to warrant the release to us Linux users, ah well I can dream.
Nice work Ladislav and gratz on reaching 200 :)
53 • Work out of the box. (by gerardo on 2007-05-01 18:17:52 GMT from United States)
I've tested almost all distros, using from a Pentium 200, Celerons, PII, PII, P4, All AMDs, and Via processors, in many different computers, there has been one or more distros that has worked well. But as a rule all worked well.
When manufacturers make the hardware they always think of Windows, because that's where the money is, and it's not true that modern distros are hard to install, the HD partition is in many cases is automatic.
Of course there will be issues and there are unresolved ones in every software. Some laptops use special video cards, sometimes using special drivers, sometimes the display. Wireless sometimes does not even work with Windows, and the wireless card and the router are to blame most of the time, not to mention that a lot of users have little networking knowledge . If you linux distro does not see your built-in wireless, buy a USB wireless card I'm sure a Netgear will do the job, it will also work with you desktop.
But we do not ask manufacturers, to write drivers for Linux, or to make them Linux friendly. It is up to us get these changes made.
Why do we complaint about out of the box?. Do we make a donation at least once a year to our favorite distro? We rush to buy an HP and pay $200.00 for the copy of Vista, yet we would not send a $20.00 a year donation to our favorite distro. Getting things done cost money, keeping the servers running, bandwidth is expensive, yet we take for granted they don't need our help.
For me Linux has done the job, a super job, old PCs and Laptops got a new life, even an old Packard Bell with a Cyrix, works with Linux much better than ever did with Windows. I've built new computers, with fancy video cards and enjoy 3D GUI, safe file sharing, and many more wonders Linux has to offer.
I bless the day, I turned to Linux and love it more each day.
54 • mandriva 2007.1 is not bad (by garion on 2007-05-01 18:19:43 GMT from United States)
Well, it has been a while since I last used Mandrake (last time at least 5 years back I think)... and indeed when I put it on my laptop last week it was quite a pleasant surprise. The live one kde cd works pretty nicely, with fglrx driver packaged and XGL/compiz working out-of-box, quite a pleasant experience, comparable to Sabayon live dvd/cd in that respect. One nice thing that suspend to ram works with just one line of addition to xorg.conf. I wasn't able to get this to work on Ubuntu Feisty so far (funny enough, it works with a one-line tweak on Edgy and even Feisty beta! something to say about Linux stability and quality control there.).
That being said, I still ended up putting Ubuntu Feisty back on my computer. Mostly because the urpmi was working rather slowly, downloads are big, updating checking is slow, ui isn't as convenient and informative. I haven't tried to replace urpmi with smart or something else, but I think that would be a good move for Mandriva to take for their next release. Same reason why I gave up on Suse, a simple source update just took forever at the end of installation. A less serious annoyance, the default XGL setup has some unresolved font size problem that makes fonts look appalling huge. Maybe it's not an issue with Gnome, but I didn't try because I only had the kde cd. And that naturally brings up another downside of Mandriva, lack of online support resources, for free community users at least. I had little luck finding an answer for this font problem online for instance, and there was one short post about this on PCLinuxOS forum with no answer. Albeit I am new to the new Mandriva, I did spend some time getting myself familiar with its available online resources, and it's probably fair to say that it's just not as straightforward and well-organized as something like Ubuntu for instance. As mentioned in Ladislav's top ten list, Mandriva's web infrastructure is quite a mess, making it confusing to navigate through and find useful information and guides. While Linux still depends on some considerable tweaking to get every last thing to work nicely, a well organized and populated online community is extremely important for a distro in my opinion. It might also be desirable to include a newer kernel as everyone else does, since it is not super easy to install alternative kernels with properly compiled modules and drivers yet.
I think I wouldn't agree with the review that claims Mandriva 2007.1 to be a failure. From my experience of messing with about 10 different distros on my new laptop in the past few months, it is certainly ranked among the top ones in terms of good design, usablity, and easiness. The control center is very nice (although a little bit slow to run for some reason). A few more improvements can very likely put Mandriva back in the competition for the #1 desktop distro.
55 • regarding "working out-of-box" (by garion on 2007-05-01 18:43:58 GMT from United States)
Yes, I agree that you actually need to do more installing and "tweaking" with Windows to get things work sometimes. But the key point here is that because of the excellent hardware/software support and a large user population, everything almost for sure WILL WORK with very little effort, which usually means going to a website, download and run a bunch of exes. At least this is true for the more recent Windows (XP, 2k). This is sort of like a loop argument: Linux needs better support from hardware vendors, vendors can't care less if there isn't enough market, users won't switch to Linux unless it's becoming easy to setup with different hardwares :). I guess one can always argue that you need to buy the right hardware to save yourself trouble. That being true, Linux will always be a geek os if this philosophy is used as a guide for the future of Linux. But of course, Linux is mostly free of charge now, so... it has certainly made a lot of progress in the past 7,8 years, very impressive, and while it's not quite completely there yet, it's getting close.
56 • Fantasy Distro: UBintoo (by Anonymous on 2007-05-01 19:11:01 GMT from United States)
The popularity and large app selection of Ubuntu meets the raw "compile everything" power of Gentoo!
What would your "fantasy distro" be?
57 • Dell to offer Ubuntu Linux on PCs, laptops (by kc2iel on 2007-05-01 19:55:31 GMT from United States)
Check out the link for more details on this news...
58 • Mandriva (by john frey on 2007-05-01 20:05:38 GMT from Canada)
I'm a long time Mandriva user, 5+ years. I have not been in a rush to try this latest release. I really like 2007 and I'm not sure I'm ready for the pain of upgrading. After reading Susans review I was looking for the torrent files but after reading the linked review I was not sure I was going to install it. Finally reading the user comments here I have been convinced to try it.
I'm amazed how well 2007 x86_64 works. The only bug I have persisting is that OO.o doesn't update due to a missing x86_64lib. It comes up everytime I check updates. Flash, Firefox, video players, everything just seems to work. I can't use the proprietary drivers with my widescreen display so I have no 3d acceleration but I did have it before I switched to the widescreen. Nice to see the non-free repositories for Mandriva. That's been a long time overdue. Also, nice to see all the virtualization software that's supported with this release. I'm looking forward to playing with the ones I have not used yet.
I'll chime in on comment #6 too. The last time I installed windows I could not believe how much work I had to do to get a functioning system. The worst scenario is when you don't have a driver for your NIC. Then you're hooped, at least until you download it and burn it to CD on another computer.
And the answer to your question "will there ever be a distro that requires no configuration?" NO! There will never be a PC OS that requires no configuration.
59 • 55 (by Anonymous on 2007-05-01 20:08:44 GMT from United States)
So you would agree that Vista is definitely not a suitable choice as an OS? You'd actually have to work pretty hard to find a desktop that *doesn't* work with Linux, out of the box, with maybe exceptions for video drivers. OTOH, laptops are sometimes tough, in terms of hibernate and special buttons. Wireless is no longer much of an issue.
Given that it just isn't that costly for most hardware companies to provide information to write Linux drivers, and that the Linux community does a lot of the support, I don't see hardware compatibility as a drawback of Linux for much longer if it is at all.
60 • ATARI!?!?! (by Keith on 2007-05-01 20:16:10 GMT from Canada)
ROFLMAO... I want to meet the guys who are visiting this site using an Atari, a Commodore 64 or the OS that died BeOS. All of you take note, these guys are *true* geeks.
61 • Comments (by reyfer on 2007-05-01 20:30:40 GMT from Venezuela)
For the last three weeks, I have been thankful to the system Ladislav implemented here that allows me to read DWW and leave the comments out. The comments used to be part of the fun of DWW, to get people's feedback, but lately it is just a Distro War center, and sometimes even Distro Bashing....sad, really sad
62 • 59 (by garion on 2007-05-01 21:07:07 GMT from United States)
Well, I haven't really used Vista so I can't speak for it. Though my school has free copies available for us, I don't have enough hardware on most of my computers to run Vista yet, and also XP has been serving me pretty well. But I have no doubt that in a year or two, Vista will be working well for many just like XP is today.
On the other hand, I think hardware issue is not close to be fully solved yet on Linux. I had Ubuntu cds not able to boot at all on my Dell desktops in the near past. There are fancier hardwares that are not at all supported, such as my Spyder monitor profiler. Even video cards are not that well supported except for the open source ones like Intel perhaps. Some useful commercial softwares (most notoriously, graphics and engineering ones) are not supporting Linux yet. Of course, like I said before, it's certainly not Linux to be blamed in most cases, the open source community is doing an awesome and respectable job, but from an end-user's perspective it's the same "crippling" feel. Another problem I see in Linux for desktop is the overall reliability. I have yet to see a Windows update that renders my computer unbootable, or some major application like office totally broken, but something like that seems to happen all the time in the Linux world. Seems to me that most Windows hotfixes are security patches, not immediate functional bug fixes perceivable by daily users. An example, it took me a long long time to figure out why my openoffice broke haphazardly between updates in combination with fglrx and any Asian language officially supported in Ubuntu, which turns out to need some subtle tweaks to fix, and believe me I have googled a lot. I don't know which party is the culprit in this case, it could be fglrx which is the only unofficial package, but I don't get LCD native resolution without it, so I am left with no choice. Unfortunately the only non-free version of Linux I own is RHEL, so again I can't speak for non-free desktop Linux distros. But the free ones I've used all more or less suffer from this quality control issue.
63 • No subject (by Linux Fan on 2007-05-01 21:24:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
Why is it that when anyone dares to criticize Linux, and asks for an easier Linux, someone (usually from the USA), jumps down their throat. It happens on here (see above) and has happened to me on several distros forums. If a distro doesn't do what Windows can do 95% of the time, it's not an O/S, it's just a toy!
Don't give me all your jabber about it not being a target for adware, viruses, etc, as being an advantage - the Police don't stick parking tickets on children's pedal cars either!
64 • 57 (by garion on 2007-05-01 21:36:02 GMT from United States)
Wow... awesome news. I think this is exactly the kind of business connections Linux community needs. I hope this won't cause much cost rise for Dell, like what happened when they started to adopt AMD.
65 • Re #63 (by john frey on 2007-05-01 23:15:20 GMT from Canada)
First of all if you're referring to the comment posted by #6, that was not about wanting Linux easier to install it was the comment that windows was easier to install than Linux. As the posts here evidence, people who install OS's on a professional basis know which is easier. People who are limited to instlling Windows at home and trying the odd Linux install will find Linux more difficult because they don't know it.
Secondly, as regards the toy comment, I suppose all but a small few fortune 500 IT departments drive childrens pedal cars to work too. The vast majority of web site owners must do the same. With so many people driving childrens pedal cars to work global warming should soon be on the way out.
66 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2007-05-02 00:56:19 GMT from United States)
> Don't give me all your jabber about it not being a target for adware, viruses, etc, as being an advantage
Dear Mr. Troll: Please post on a Windows site. Your lame argument doesn't deserve a response.
> I haven't really used Vista
I have, stick with XP for now. The only way to print, for example, on our new laptop is to save as PDF, reboot into Linux, and print from there.
67 • re #56 fantasy distros (by domar on 2007-05-02 01:01:04 GMT from Australia)
A DVD-sized puppy linux, with all packages available for install.
Or a DVD-sized Frenzy BSD with all available packages.
68 • RE 63 (by dbrion on 2007-05-02 07:24:34 GMT from France)
I use on my laptop half the time XP, half the time Linux, and I agree that an austere XP (no music, no sex, no games, no IT) can live for a very long time;
What is more, 80% of GNU interesting applications have been Windows ported, some being even nicer under Windows (R, vim)...
I think that Windows being difficult to install is not an argument in favor of getting rid of it (throw away some work, burn some 100$ bills to show you looove Linux? for me, it is obscene)
However, did you take into account (in your 95%? why not 95.25%) the time spent on defragging/antivirusing? It might take 10% of CPU usage on a yearly basis and is unneeded under Linux (unless efficiently antivirusing a Windows portition).
You can find an exemple of a system working on a PC cluster (i.e Pcs without rats, sound cards, graphic cards, keyboards, screens ; all this stuff is supplied, if needed, by IT connections; the OS is a commercial Linux) in
http://www.r-project.org/ > choose Rnews of apr 2007, goto page 30: you ll see some pple (I do not think they are children) use computers to compute for months, and are ready to pay for it. You could perhaps do this under XP, but without any monitoring tools and, more generally, any warranty of success, and might be somewhat slow (I tried once with XP, and never will do it again;;;)...
In this (expensive) configuration, the OS can do 10% of one asks from XP, but does it very well...
69 • Puppy Linux (by John Roberts on 2007-05-02 07:55:04 GMT from Greece)
is it possible to update the Puppy Linux info?? The information included is outdated since we have successfully reached 2.14 and 2.15CE with 2.16 following - very soon...
Also, it would be an excellent idea to provide a bit of coverage for Clonezilla and its bigger brother DRBL. Both in the form of DRBL-LiveCD or GParted-Clonezilla LiveCD (which move in parallel paths...) it can produce wonders in machine cloning, full backup for bare-metal-restore.
I have already tested its ability to clone an openSUSE installation to a bigger capacity HDD...(and wrote a small how-to here:
70 • #54 (by AdamW on 2007-05-02 08:23:42 GMT from Canada)
Glad you enjoyed Spring :)
Community support is easily available for Mandriva. There are official forums at http://forum.club.mandriva.com/ (you need a free account at http://my.mandriva.com/ to post), and community forums at http://www.mandrivausers.org . There is also http://expert.mandriva.com , Mandriva Expert, where you can post issues for free with no guarantee of a response (but the possibility of one :>).
71 • mandriva 2007.1 (by Anonymous on 2007-05-02 16:41:49 GMT from Germany)
I downloaded mandriva 2007.1 dvd-iso and cdcheck and nero tells me that the iso is little defect. anybody else having problems with the iso???
72 • making new partition in linux (by Anonymous on 2007-05-02 16:45:53 GMT from Germany)
mostly when i make new partititions in linux for new linuxdistro installation with linux partitions programms, then later in windows , i start the demo of partittions magic 7.0 and it tells me there were partitionsmistakes!!!
this cant or shouldnt be..
73 • Ease of Installation Debate (by stepchat on 2007-05-02 18:20:27 GMT from United States)
Operating systems that I have used and installed numerous times. Windows: 95, 95b, 98, 98SE, ME, NT, 2000 Pro, XP Home, XP Pro. Linux: Red Hat 6.0 - 9.0, Fedora Core 1 - 6, SuSE/Opensuse 6.2 - 10.2, Mandrake/Mandriva 6.0 - 2007.1, Debian 3.1 & 4.0, Slackware 10.2 - 11.0, Ubuntu 5.10 - 7.04, Kubuntu 5.10 - 7.04, Mepis 3.3 - 6.5, PCLinuxOS 2K4 - 2007, Sabayon 3.05 - 3.3, Zenwalk 4.0 - 4.4.1, Linspire 5, Xandros 2.0 - 4.0, MyahOS 2.3SE, CentOS 4, RHEL 4, SLED 10, Foresight 0.9.5 - 1.2, BLAG 60000, KateOS 3.2, SAM Linux 2007, Pardus 2007, Elive 0.6 Vector Linux 4.3 - 5.8 and numerous Live CD's.
BSD: FreeBSD 6.0 - 6.2, NetBSD 3.0, PCBSD 1.0 -1.3, DesktopBSD 1.0 - 1.6.
I have purchased 5 pre-built computers from AST, HP and Gateway. I have built 9 computers from components.
My opinion is that a Windows install is more time consuming because the install CD never comes with all of the drivers that are required for install. All drivers can be easily found on the manufacturers website. A couple of clicks of the mouse and your hardware is available for use. There are a couple of exceptions to finding drivers for a Windows operating System. After a new Windows operating system is released, there is often a few months of delay while hardware manufacturers are writing new drivers. Hardware manufacturers also do not provide new drivers for what they consider outdated or legacy hardware. In this case you probably will never get your old hardware to work with the new Windows operating system. A Windows install does not include additional software to for a productive computer but there is an abundance of free and proprietary software available for windows. The installation of this additional software will take numerous hours to complete.
On the other hand with a Linux install if all of your hardware is supported an install usually takes a maximum of one hour to install depending on your Distro of choice. If your hardware is not supported then things become a little more difficult. You will have to do some searching on the internet to find out if a workaround has been written for your hardware. In Linux there is more support for outdated or legacy hardware. The problem here is that this usually requires entering the command console. The majority of your common computer users do not like to touch their keyboard unless they are typing a letter.
To summarize: If you have the latest and greatest hardware, A windows install will usually be easier but time consuming installing manufacturer drivers and software for a productive system. If you have hardware that is neither the latest and greatest or outdated and it is supported by Linux, The Linux install is the easiest. If you have outdated hardware, there is a greater chance of getting your hardware working in Linux. There are many other scenarios that I have not covered that could occur when installing either Linux or Windows. Just saying that Windows is easier to install than Linux or vice versa is just a crazy statement.
74 • re: 72 (by voislav on 2007-05-02 19:17:33 GMT from Canada)
That version of Partition Magic does not support ext3 filesystem, so it reports errors.
75 • Another positive comment of Mandriva 2007.1 (by Anonymous Penguin on 2007-05-02 19:48:52 GMT from Italy)
It is a well known fact that I have been critical of Mandriva for quite some time.
But this latest release has been a pleasant surprise. Other than some extra work to get pppoe working and one or two Firefox crashes, everything works just fine, the distro is good looking (but not cutesy) and polished.
Even the update was very smooth, once I selected an Italian mirror.
Way to go, Mandriva: we need good alternatives to the predominance of what now is top in too many people's mind, wheter that is deserved or not.
76 • Mandriva 2007.1 dvd iso [re: 71] (by Anonymous on 2007-05-02 20:07:43 GMT from United States)
Well I have a little problem with that dvd iso-- it's too big to burn on dvd+rw, at least the ones I have. That's becoming a common problem with cd and dvd iso's across many distros of late: they put no thought into the actual size of blank media. You'll see cd images that are exactly 700 MB for instance.
They need to wake up and realize that the media can go up or down by 50 or more MB and not just pretend that they would perfectly meet the ideal specs.
77 • Are Developers blind? (by Erik Hallsten on 2007-05-02 21:31:27 GMT from Finland)
I have had the opportunity to use Distrowach for years. Distrowatch.com
is in my vieuw a gift from Heaven.
I have a very unfriendly combination of hardware, which means that finding
good distros is a bit difficult.
To be more precise: the Monitor LG Flatron 915FT plus is a good killer
of unsuitable distros. Furthermore, the display card Nvidia Geforce gs7600
is a good killer of distros and finaly my printer Canon Pixma ip4000 take
care of the rest with 3 exceptions.
Concerning geographical circumstances and my main native languages,
to be more precise, swedish and finnish, I need the keyboard to work as
either an finnish or swedish keyboard (they are the same configuration,
except for currency, either € or SEK.)
I have in my desktop 2 hardisks, each of the have 4 primary partitions.
for playing with sebetral distros I use grub. It means in my little desktop,
2 swaps, one MSwindiows 2000 professional and the possibility to use
5 differnt GNU/Linux distros. For the moment i use 4 distros.
Two distros fill the requiremnts concerning, Monotor, Display Card and
Printer. One accept Monitor and Display Card.
I am not a programmer, just a user. It means that I try to ask user groups
how to get things to work.
Now one distro user forum banned me. Banning someone is not a
promoting of an distro. I regard that as an completly BLINDNES, if
promoting a distro is the goal.
I receved following BANNING:
You have turned up an window or frame for me at:
The whole page was build up by some contradictions.
The main text on the page:
Freespire the freedom of choice
The erroor window or could I say frame contained following text:
You have been banned for the following reason:
The ban will be lifted:
Now when you have banned me, how can I try to find out how to make
As an final question to the BAN above, How will freespire developers
MAKE FREESPIRE POPULAR TO USERS???
78 • Reviews!!! REVIEWS!!! Reviews!!! REVIEWS!!! (by KrazyPenguin on 2007-05-03 00:20:34 GMT from Canada)
This is directed at Distrowatch.com:
The problem I am facing is reading reviews that are done poorly, but listed in the review column.
I am not going to say this distro is better than that distro and I expect the reviewers to do the same.
Can you please include some kind of criteria for the reviewers, so that the reviews are actually useful.
I don't really care about the reviewers hardware problems or that they think Vista is better , or distro X is better than the one being reviewed.
Let's make the reviews listed more organized, and if not, then don't list them.
Installation: Rate it
Packages Included: Rate it
Ease of Installing Packages: Rate it
Stability: Rate it
Polish/Eyecandy (wallpaper, icons, compiz/beryl, splash screens, etc): Rate it
Support: Rate it
Hardware Support: Rate it (but don't say it is a crappy distro if it doesn't work on your hardware)
Conclusions: Should be professional.
I think this should be minimum criteria. When I read a review I want screenshots of each stage. And the reviewer should be professional about it.
After all , Distrowatch should help promote Linux. This isn't done but posting links to bad reviewers.
BTW, most of the reviews I read need improvement.
79 • Minix (by Diego A. Acosta on 2007-05-03 03:09:17 GMT from Colombia)
I posted some time ago a request for Minix to be evaluated and listed in www.distrowatch.com. My reason for such a request is that Minix was the OS that L. Thorvalds used before creating Linux. I believe this is important for history's sake and hope to see it listed in distrowatch.com. Minix's website is: http://www.minix3.org/
Thanks for the attention to this matter.
80 • 79 (by Anonymous on 2007-05-03 03:14:09 GMT from United States)
I have heard that Minix is planning a 40% expansion of its user base this year. They currently have five, and think they can get two more by the end of the year.
81 • RE 79 [ Reviews!!! REVIEWS!!! }+ (by dbrion on 2007-05-03 06:48:11 GMT from France)
I suppose choosing among reviews is time consuming, and one can admit there are other criteria than the ones you popied and casted: I saw two interesting (enough to be remembered) reviews last months in DW links,
one explaining how to make a French speaking Pardus (from Quebec OS: the system was of course a breeze, the artworks were of couse gorgeous, after 1 hour one knew it was rock solid, but this point /of localisation/ (you omitted) was interesting)
the latter explaining how to get a Konsole in an OLPC, and what were the constraints of this project (the others linked reviews about OLPC were : "oh, its strange, oh, its tiny, oh, it is generous"...)
Rating artwork is very subjective; rating installed software (i e not being redundant with DW database) would mean checking (with some debuggers) tens of applications (I know one can do this with CLI apps, but it is slow; for interactive apps, I do not know how one can do this systematically)..
Screenshots at any stage of install (ie even / before/ a disk is recognised....) ? This can be done with vmplayer+gimp, say, but emulation is sometimes looked as cheating...
You demand much more work (you do not pay) than you could do....
82 • #77 (by dutchy on 2007-05-03 06:53:16 GMT from Netherlands)
Well, freesprire may free in price, but it not free as in freedom. I would strongly suggest you look for another distribution. I know for sure your video card and monitor work well with GNU/Linux, but your printer can cause trouble because Canon is a company that doesn't support Linux well.
I think you'll find the Ubuntu forums much more helpful. Mepis or PCLinuxOS may also be a good choice.
83 • Distributions (by Mouillé JP on 2007-05-03 12:31:15 GMT from France)
I was just wondering why Aurox Linux do not appear in distro's list. Is there a problem with it ?
84 • Aurox hunting RE 83 (by dbrion on 2007-05-03 13:14:44 GMT from France)
You go to the 2nd window from the beginning of DW page and you ll find all the distrs (not only the 100 most "popular").
BTW Aurox is a distr which is localised in many languages of continental Europe; it is sold with Linux+magazine in railways stations and newpapers sellers, and is a companion of articles and demos of more known distrs (ex : if Linux+magazine wants to talk about mandrivas, there will be 2 DVDs in it, one with Mandriva and the other with an Aurox and a video of the install of Mandriva=> according to the number of DVD shipped, Aurox might be more popular than the sum of all the major distrs....in continental Europe, at least in France.)
Re BTW I do not understand why Mandriva ships her Spring edition in 4.7 G, even when she sells them (there is no 'box +DVD sale, only download) . For someone who has only FAT32 portitions, this is almost hopeless (wait for newspapers such as Linux+magazine) ... I thaught Mandriva was beginner friendly... Perhaps Microsoft has patented common sense?
85 • Re:63 (by Anonymous on 2007-05-03 14:09:57 GMT from United States)
Easier linux and "what you can do with it" are different issues. Typically the linux way is to write extremely powerful, configurable programs but might have a learning curve. The steep learning curve doesn't make them any less powerful. And of course easy to use programs can be powerful as well. Easier to use software is becoming more and more available for linux, but that doesn't defeat the point-- easy and powerful are two different issues.
86 • re: 84 (by voislav on 2007-05-03 19:20:06 GMT from Canada)
It's not true that Mandriva ships only as a DVD, there is Mandriva One which comes as either GNOME or KDE CD and is available at the same time as the DVD. I just installed the sprind KDE on one of my computers and it works like a charm.
87 • pclinuxos.com down again ? (by linbetwin on 2007-05-03 20:21:09 GMT from Romania)
Firefox displays a blank page when going to pclinuxos.com. I hope they won't have the same problems again.
88 • 84 (by AdamW on 2007-05-03 21:49:27 GMT from Canada)
Boxes will be available, we're just waiting on manufacturing. They'll be available from the store in a few weeks.
89 • RE: 77 & 82 (by AC on 2007-05-03 22:29:48 GMT from United States)
The Canon iP4000 is supported in CUPS (Common Unix Printing System), which is availabe as part of most distributions.
Got it right this time.
90 • Free BSD help (by domar on 2007-05-04 03:22:03 GMT from Australia)
Silly question, but I've installed Free BSD 6.2 and all of its packages. It boots into a login prompt. But after logging on how do you get into the normal desktop of KDE, Gnome, etc. Typing "xdm" just gives you the login window, "Xorg" just gives you an X screen, "X11R6" and "xstart" don't work, and "startx" just gives you 3 terminals like in Solaris (must be a Unix thing).
91 • RE: 90 Free BSD help (by ladislav on 2007-05-04 03:38:49 GMT from Taiwan)
The FreeBSD Handbook is usually the first thing I turn to when I get stuck:
92 • RE 88 Thanks (by dbrion on 2007-05-04 09:05:21 GMT from France)
It is more than I hoped... It is very annoying downloading distrs and putting them on CD/DVDs which have all the same color... That is one reason I prefer buying my favorite distr, even though I might know most of the manual (a priori), without hurrying (I ?somewhat wisely? prefer knowing by advance the errata list). Mandrivas efforts towards emulation/virtualisation seem appealing.
RE 86 I do not like Mandriva ONEs, as they are incomplete (I do not think there are deveppment packages I need for R and GRASS -X headers at least- and I suppose Mandriva One is meant as a demo, though I agree spring One was beautiful for me last week) and I have no IT connection. I prefer waiting for all the packages shipped with a comfortable medium....
93 • Mandriva 2007 Spring (by Draca on 2007-05-04 13:58:42 GMT from United States)
This is not a critique of Mandriva. I am just curious.
For Mandriva 2007 Spring, was LinDVD dropped from the distribution? Also, if I wanted to use both LinDVD and Mandriva 2007 Spring, what would I need to do?
Personally, I thought Mandriva had a great idea with including LinDVD in the previous version (2007.0).
94 • Ease of Installation Debate (by Henri Witsenhuysen on 2007-05-04 16:14:40 GMT from Netherlands)
Like 73 I too have installed numerous windows and linux software out of the box and all have worked as as per manufacturers specifications from scratch.
Like 73 I also think that windows takes too long to install. But unfortunately for linux is that Microsoft does talk to the manufacturers before it releases a new operating system so that the hardware is ready at the time that the new software is released to the market.
Hence the minimum problem the operating system is able to work out of the box. Here, Linux has to adapt to the new hardware.
The failure on Microsoft side is to produce a complete live CD. Yes I know what you say that I like a Microsoft system, but unlike the rest of the Linux movement I think each system has it place.
Where Linux fails is in its standardisation.
There may be more than 400 different types of desktops not very many are standard and all are based on either Debian, SUSE, Redhat, Mandriva.
If we standardised linux to the point where windows system is the we would progress a lot further.
Ladislav I think your website is excellent.
95 • Just Installed Mandriva on Dell Lat. C600 (by Jared Hippe on 2007-05-04 17:07:21 GMT from United States)
I have just installed Mandriva on my Dell Latitude C600 and i am so pleased. I have used Microsoft Windows since Windows 95 and i am a 3 hour old Mandriva user and i can say with full confidence that Open Source is my bag and i love Mandriva. , worked right away , configured easily , looks fantastic , interfaces with my psp awesome and the os runs even better. I cant say enough about it and this is only three hours old to me. Forget Microsoft and bill gates . Thanks for the good reading material and thanks to you and all the Open Source Community for what you do for computing.
96 • Debian popularity-contest (by Anonymous on 2007-05-04 23:58:43 GMT from Finland)
Hey, all you people who have installed Debian 4.0 ("etch"), please run as root "dpkg-reconfigure popularity-contest" and choose "Yes". This is an easy way to support Debian and it will also send the developers a message that the packages you currently have installed need extra support because people are actually using them.
And the same exact advice applies also to the users of all the Debian-based distros, like Ubuntu, Mepis, Mint (and others). Please run "sudo dpkg-reconfigure popularity-contest" and tell that you want to participate in the popularity contest. This is a very easy way to support your favourite distro and to tell the developers which packages you actually use. :-)
The results of the popularity-contest can be viewed here:
97 • re 49, 91, distro help (by domar on 2007-05-05 02:46:29 GMT from Australia)
Thanks for the help dbrion and ladislav. Various degrees of configuration are needed in these 500+ distros. One can see that a lot of extra coding work is required to take away the need for configuration and make distros easy for the average person to use - a la Windows and Ubuntu. It's almost like creating an OS is one thing, but then the workload is doubled to make it user-friendly.
98 • The Many Meanings of "User-friendly" (by Draca on 2007-05-05 03:50:22 GMT from United States)
Quote:: but then the workload is doubled to make it user-friendly.
Worse yet, there exist several definitions of "user-friendly." Some would say that Linux's CLI is user-friendly. Some may say that the current window managers and desktop environments are already user-friendly. Some would even say that not even Ubuntu is user-friendly.
So, what exactly is "user-friendly" anyway?
99 • re #98 user-friendly (by domar on 2007-05-06 02:16:16 GMT from Australia)
"there exist several definitions of "user-friendly."
I get your point.
What I mean by user-friendly is taking away the need for the user to configure things by command line. For example, Microsoft and Apple commited themselves to taking away as much CLI user-configuration as possible and to try to have most things operated by "window" GUIs. They did this in order to get their OSs adopted by the general public. I think that most Linux distros have been heading in the same direction - compared to their UNIX origins.
100 • Linux will be a Windows killer...in time (by Bevan Ramsden on 2007-05-06 12:04:48 GMT from Australia)
I had a discussion with a computer programmer who uses Windows for his organisation. I asked him a question if he has used Linux, which he said yes. He said, compared with Linux, Windows everything works when installing new programs, and Windows compatibility in working with computer hardware. I'm very much interested in changing to Linux, and have in the past obtained a number of distros, that I liked and disliked. In a lot of times in working with the distros that I liked, tweaking the distro, in making the hardware to work can be frustrating at times, and there's a lot of hardware that are not Linux compatible...only to Windows. I have a high admiration for Linux, and in time will challenge Windows as the promiment operating system. When this happens, which disro do I choose? Obviously the one that will be compatible with the computer hardware, and for a easy-to-use distro for those who are not into computer technology, and want things to happen without seeing strange messages appearing on the computer screen.
101 • Regarding #90 (FreeBSD help) (by Tim on 2007-05-06 15:10:40 GMT from United States)
I usually just add a new file called .xinitrc in my home directory and add either:
then just do a "startx"
102 • 51 • 46 ... PCLOS fans, hang in there (by Fractalguy on 2007-05-06 17:32:49 GMT from United States)
"too many licensing issues involved"
There are a lot less issues now, thanks to Microsoft and SCOTUS. See
PCLOS could be shipped like Mint-lite or Ubuntu leaving the running of a simple script to fill out the remaining files and functionality. This can either involve the Internet or even the end user grabbing files from the distro media.
"if it is sent abroad only as code via a disk or electronic transmission, the copy made from it abroad is not a component supplied from the U.S., according to the ruling."
Attempts to stop transfere of files to complete the distro would, IMHO, meet a fate similar to the DIGG/HD-DVD code flap. "a search on Google shows almost 700,000 pages have published the key,"
Could be the best thing to happen to Linux yet - 700,000 sites becoming secondary mirrors to your favorite distro. Works for me. :)
103 • re 101 BSD help (by domar on 2007-05-07 06:55:41 GMT from Australia)
Thanks Tim, I was wondering why I couldn't find .xinitrc - you have to create it yourself. Anyway, I got Free BSD running with KDE. BSD seems to be faster and cleaner than Linux, but its range of applications appear not quite the same as Linux's range. Although you can install Linux apps on it - I don't know how easy or hard that will be.
It would be good if there was a standardised package system for all distros - or intercompatability between package systems - and you just pick a distro flavour to install and run the apps on.
104 • RE 103 : Did not you try PC BSD (by dbrion on 2007-05-07 08:42:53 GMT from France)
It is very easy to install and have KDE working (almost nothing to do; after a concise graphical configuration, she copies everything she needs and tells you you have xx time do do something else)...
Standardised package system: the only way I found to install on Linuxen , PCBSD and Unix was by ... the traditionnal way of configuring , making and installing,
as the apps'author meant it
(and with reading installation instructions)...
The main advantage, under Linux, are
* that you can put your apps everywhere you want (useful for laptops, with tiny internal disk but with USB) and
* many versions at the same time.. What is the definition of Open Source?
As long as there will be at least 6 package management systems under Linux, each of one trying to obey MICROSOFT marketing (not scientific: there is no rational definition of "user-friendly") definitions, this technique/method is the only one I found to add in a reproductible way my favorite apps and to test new versions/options of them.
I wrote "to add" because I know compiling from source everything is long, and tedious if some softs do not interest you directly...
Number of Comments: 104
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