| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 282, 15 December 2008
Welcome to this year's 49th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! This week's feature article shows keen Linux users how to make the most of their computer by performing a custom install for a leaner and faster system - in this case we build a custom Ubuntu 8.10. In the news section, openSUSE prepares for the imminent release of version 11.1, Debian announces the upcoming second and final release candidate of the Debian installer, the Unofficial Fedora FAQ updates its HOWTOs for the recently released Fedora 10, the University of Glasgow settles on Slackware Linux for its log-in server, Spain's Trisquel is added to GNU's free distribution list, and Chile's Educalibre gets Tuquito Linux running on Intel Classmate netbooks. We also have links to two interesting interviews - one with Timothy Cramer from OpenSolaris and the other with Warren Woodford of MEPIS Linux. Finally, if you are still searching for that elusive minimalist Linux system that would run smoothly on any old computer, take a look at Tiny Core Linux - a desktop distro in 11 MB. Happy reading!
- HowTo: Getting a lean system with a custom Ubuntu install
- News: openSUSE prepares 11.1, Debian "Lenny" installer in deep freeze, Fedora FAQ updates, Glasgow University switches to Slackware, interviews with MEPIS and OpenSolaris developers, The Economist recommends Linux
- Released last week: Slackware Linux 12.2, PC-BSD 7.0.2, Slax 6.0.9
- Upcoming releases: openSUSE 11.1, Linux Mint 6
- New additions: Jibbed
- New distribution: Jaris, Tiny Core Linux, Ubuntu Privacy Remix
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in ogg (11MB) and mp3 (11MB) formats (many thanks to Russ Wenner)
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
How To: Getting a lean system with a custom Ubuntu install
So you've been using Linux for a while now and you've gotten a handle on how it works and you're feeling confident. Great! Most likely you have installed your favourite desktop environment from your favourite distribution and this includes most applications you'll ever need. This is good, but as a result your machine might not be running as lean as it could be. Do you have Bluetooth or a Wacom tablet? If not then why waste time and resources loading them? There are many such tweaks that can be performed after an install, but why not start from the very beginning with a nice clean, lean install? You'll only have what you want to have and you'll be more in charge of your system. If you're keen to get your hands a little dirty, then come along. It's fun!
Today we're going to look at performing a custom install using Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex". By default Ubuntu installs the GNOME desktop environment with lots of extra services and packages which help make it a very friendly distro, but which also help to use up your precious resources. We're going to start from scratch by installing a very basic Ubuntu system and build it up with the desktop and applications we want. Another benefit of this method is that you will get the latest versions of all applications at install time, rather than installing and then performing an update at a later stage.
On my test machine, a full Ubuntu install takes up 3.1 GB of hard drive space, uses 430 MB of RAM and takes 25 seconds to boot. Logging into GNOME takes a further 12 seconds. By comparison, the same machine with a custom install takes only 2.2 GB of hard drive space, uses 210 MB of RAM and takes 20 seconds to boot. Logging into GNOME takes 5 seconds.
To perform this custom install we need the Ubuntu Alternate install CD, not the Desktop CD. It is worth noting that this method uses the ncurses-based terminal installer, not a graphical one. First, burn the Alternate CD and boot to it. When prompted at the install CD menu, select a language. Press the F4 key to change the installation mode. Choose "Install a command-line system" and hit the Enter key. Now back at the main menu, ensure "Install Ubuntu" is selected and hit the Enter key. The installer will now load and we can begin our minimal install.
Boot screen for the Ubuntu Alternate installer
(full image size: 18kB, screen resolution: 642x481 pixels)
Select your language, location and then configure your keyboard. If you are using DHCP to automatically assign network addresses then you should receive an address, else you will need to configure your network manually. Enter a hostname and configure the clock. Partitioning your hard drive should be the same as other installs, just take extra care if you're not using a blank new hard drive. Create a new user, enabling an encrypted private directory if you wish. Set the clock and reboot the computer.
Installing Ubuntu via the Alternate install method
(full image size: 2.8kB, screen resolution: 642x481 pixels)
The fresh base install you have created should now be ready to boot. Log in with the user you created during the install process. Now that you have a basic system installed, we can use the Internet to download the latest packages. Any packages that have been updated since the initial Intrepid release will be installed from the Internet, while anything else will be installed from the local CD. By default the Ubuntu installer will have configured your sources.list for you. If you want to use a custom mirror, you can do so now by editing your /etc/apt/sources.list or you can continue below.
If you want Ubuntu to install any current packages from the CD rather than via the Internet, then make sure your Alternate CD is in the drive and run:
$ sudo apt-cdrom add
Now we'll update the system:
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
Great, now we have an up-to-date base install that's ready to get some more grunt. Next, we will install various packages, but note that these are optional. You can install whichever packages you want to make your system just right for you.
Does your CPU support speed stepping? If so, install the powernow daemon:
$ sudo apt-get install powernowd
You may wish to install a SSH server, so that you can remotely connect to the machine; if so, install it too:
$ sudo apt-get install ssh
Let's get a basic X environment going. We are going to install a basic GNOME, but you can choose a different environment if you want:
$ sudo apt-get install xorg gdm acpi-support gnome-session gnome-menus gnome-panel gnome-applets gnome-volume-manager gnome-power-manager metacity nautilus
If you want fancy 3D effects, install Compiz:
$ sudo apt-get install compiz
Now we can get some extra packages for GNOME:
$ sudo apt-get install gnome-screensaver xscreensaver menu gnome-utils gnome-system-tools libgnomevfs2-extra smbfs
Want to be able to switch users and use the guest account in Intrepid?
$ sudo apt-get install fast-user-switch-applet gdm-guest-session
If you want to use some of the graphical package management tools that Intrepid includes, then install the following:
$ sudo apt-get install gnome-app-install app-install-data-commercial update-manager update-notifier
If you need either the NVIDIA or ATI drivers for your video card, you can either install Ubuntu's graphical tool:
$ sudo apt-get install jockey-gtk
Or install the required packages directly, depending on your card (newer NVIDIA cards will use version 177, while older ones will use 96):
$ sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic dkms nvidia-glx-177 && sudo nvidia-xconfig
$ sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic dkms xorg-driver-fglrx && sudo aticonfig --initial
If you need wireless or other fancy network configurations then install Network Manager (note that this will pull in Bluetooth support):
$ sudo apt-get install network-manager-gnome
Because we installed using the Alternate CD, Ubuntu has been configured using the default network settings, rather than those with Network Manager. You will need to edit the network interfaces file and remove the lines for your network card:
$ sudo nano -w /etc/network/interfaces
Remove the lines for your primary interface, it should look similar to this:
iface eth0 inet dhcp
After this, Network Manager will start working.
Now we need some basic applications. These are of course optional! You can install whatever packages you want to have:
$ sudo apt-get install gnome-terminal gedit firefox firefox-3.0-gnome-support
Other basic applications you may want to include:
$ sudo apt-get install eog evince file-roller pidgin gcalctool gimp gthumb gucharmap openoffice.org openoffice.org-gnome rhythmbox
Some plugins for Nautilus are available too:
$ sudo apt-get install nautilus-sendto nautilus-share nautilus-cd-burner
Ubuntu has great support for proprietary and closed-source data formats. You can install these individually, or everything at once:
$ sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
When it comes to printing, you may not need the full blown CUPS system and every possible printer driver. If you're connecting to another server, just install the CUPS client. By default, Ubuntu installs lots of drivers, including the HP daemon (even if you don't have any HP equipment!). If you want GNOME's graphical printer tool, it will pull in many printer drivers for you automatically:
$ sudo apt-get install system-config-printer-gnome
Or you can install specific printer related support by picking and choosing the ones that suit your needs from the following:
$ sudo apt-get install cupsys cupsys-bsd cupsys-client cupsys-common cupsys-driver-gutenprint foo2zjs foomatic-db foomatic-db-engine foomatic-db-hpijs foomatic-filters hpijs-ppds hplip-ppds openprinting-ppds openprinting-ppds-extra
Spelling and languages
Ubuntu comes with support for many languages, simply install the language you desire (I'm using Australian/British English):
$ sudo apt-get install gnome-spell aspell-en myspell-en-au
And if you're using OpenOffice.org, here are the language packages you need:
$ sudo apt-get install openoffice.org-l10n-en-gb openoffice.org-thesaurus-en-au
If you want Ubuntu's artwork, you can easily install it with the following commands:
$ sudo apt-get install ubuntu-artwork
$ sudo apt-get install usplash usplash-theme-ubuntu
Or you can install the default GNOME artwork:
$ sudo apt-get install gnome-themes
There are some services which we do not need to have running, if you do not need them. Don't have a Wacom tablet? You can stop it from starting up! This is how I remove the Wacom driver from boot-up:
$ sudo update-rc.d -f xserver-xorg-input-wacom remove
You could do the same for any other services you do not use, such as Bluetooth (if you don't have a Bluetooth device), CUPS (if you're not running a local print server), linux-restricted-modules-common (if you're not using any proprietary drivers).
Boot into your new system
So, by now you should have a nicely customised Ubuntu install and it's time to try it! As we have most likely installed a new kernel, it's best to restart the system:
$ sudo reboot
If all went as planned, you should be greeted with the standard GNOME logon screen. Log in and take a look around! Is something missing? Install it :)
So this was a nice little experiment, but it's not for you? It's easy to get the full install of Ubuntu on your machine, just run:
$ sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
By performing a minimal install you have the ability to create a leaner custom system that suits you and the programs you want to use. Ubuntu has a reputation of being a very user-friendly distribution and it is indeed great for users who are new to Linux. But it is also good for experienced users by remaining flexible enough to allow you to install your own custom version of Ubuntu and benefit from the pieces of technology that you want to take advantage of. A similar method can be used for other distributions too!
Enjoy your leaner, meaner Ubuntu system :)
GNOME desktop after a custom Ubuntu install
(full image size: 826kB, screen resolution: 1680x1050 pixels)
openSUSE prepares 11.1, Debian "Lenny" installer in deep freeze, Fedora FAQ updates, Glasgow University switches to Slackware, interviews with MEPIS and OpenSolaris developers, The Economist recommends Linux|
For fans of Novell's openSUSE distribution this coming week will be an exciting one! The popular distribution is set to release its long awaited dot release, version 11.1, on the 18th December. In preparation for this new release, a sneak peek at the new improvements and an installation walkthrough have been made available online. While the openSUSE installer has long been one of the most popular and polished of any distribution, it has received numerous improvements not the least of which includes a re-worked partitioner and a sleek new look. Those looking to install the new version can expect other improvements, such as those made to the software manager which now "recommends or suggests software for your computer depending on what is already installed. These packages aren't required by other applications, but instead extend their functionality or compliment them. It's a fun way to discover new things you can do with your computer!" It looks like 11.1 will be a solid improvement to the already excellent 11.0 release.
* * * * *
Hot off the press comes a post to the Debian development list about a new RC2 release of the Debian installer for the upcoming "Lenny" release. "Currently, the only extra piece we need to declare the Lenny puzzle ready is a final version of the installer," writes Luk Claes. He apologises for the lack of releases over the last several months and confirms that when RC2 appears, it will enter deep freeze. "At the moment of deep freeze, there will still be a good number of release critical (RC) bugs affecting Lenny. The release team will go over that list, and try to apply a sensible solution that allows us to target a release, if at all possible, two weeks after declaring the Debian installer final". It appears that the long awaited Lenny release will be just around the corner, once these final bugs are squashed. In the meantime, a general resolution (a democratic way of resolving disputes among the developers as stipulated by the Debian Constitution) regarding the release of "Lenny" was also announced over the weekend.
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Since the release of Fedora 10 on 25th November, the ever-so-useful Unofficial Fedora FAQ has updated their excellent resources to support this latest version. If you are looking to try Fedora, or want to know how to configure your existing system, it is well worth a look. The Unofficial Fedora FAQ answers general questions about the distribution and covers topics such as how to install support for Java, Flash, multimedia codecs and DVD playback.
If you are looking to create your own custom version of Fedora 10 and re-spin a DVD for your own purposes, then this screencast HOWTO may be of interest to you. "The first video has some slides at the beginning that explains the process and then walks through it with a live demo. The second video boots the live DVD that was created, shows an "Install to Hard Drive" and then shows some of the features of the remix." This is a great way to ensure your installation media always includes the latest security updates.
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The Faculty of Physical Sciences at the University of Glasgow recently migrated their main logon server across to Slackware Linux. Shane Kelly writes: "A little while ago, the requirements for data transfer from some overseas research sites jumped tremendously, meaning I needed to assess the impact on our aging 'log in' server that was used as a portal to the Physics network." Their original server running SUSE Linux 9.3 had been working well, handling numerous login sessions, but its P3 CPU, 100 Mb network card and 96 MB of RAM were no longer enough to handle the increasing load. A new AMD Opteron-based server was selected and when it came time to choose a distribution, he headed here to DistroWatch.com to help decide. "I have never liked Red Hat (too many 'extras' between you and the operating system), ditto SUSE, and looking at the top twenty Linux distributions on DistroWatch, I could see that many were more suited to desktops, while many more had no 'pedigree' and were simply re-vamped editions of something else. Then my eye hit upon an old-timer that was said to be a bit difficult, devoid of GUI management tools, and rock solid. Yep, I'm talking about Slackware, the oldest surviving Linux distribution, now at version 12.1". The author is happy to be re-acquainted with his old friend Slackware and is recommending it to others for use on their servers.
* * * * *
In an interview with How Software is Built, MEPIS Linux founder Warren Woodford discusses his background and how he got into Linux, as well as his initial impressions: "The bottom line is that, when I first found Linux, it was too rough around the edges for me. That represented the possibility of opportunity, not that I was really looking for work. This will piss off a few people, but there was a certain amateur quality about it." Warren decided to build his own Linux distribution, MEPIS Linux, which quickly rose in popularity. "It got picked up by DistroWatch and went to #10 in one month, and that told me something. I started spending almost all of my time on it, but then in 2004 I had an injury that laid me up for a long, long time. During that time, MEPIS made it to #1 at DistroWatch, but I couldn't really do much to maintain it." He goes on to discuss the world of Ubuntu, developing on the Linux platform and free versus fee in the corporate world. His thoughts on when the year of the Linux desktop will be? "It's never going to happen. Sorry."
* * * * *
Dr Dobb's Portal has published an interview with Timothy Cramer, the senior director of OpenSolaris engineering at Sun Microsystems. Timothy discusses various aspects of OpenSolaris, including how it compares to Linux, citing Sun technologies such as ZFS and DTrace. Timothy also touches on the relationship between Solaris and OpenSolaris, explaining that "in the future, the latest enhancements to Solaris features, including ZFS, DTrace, Solaris Containers, and Predictive Self Healing, will be found in OpenSolaris first." This points to Sun using a similar development model to Red Hat, where new technologies are first developed for and released in the open source community editions before being officially supported in their mainstream products.
* * * * *
Trisquel, a Debian-based Spanish Linux distribution, has been added to GNU's list of Free GNU/Linux distributions, taking the total to seven. These distributions meet the Free Software Foundation's definition of free software and "only include and only propose free software". They also meet GNU's Guidelines for Free System Distributions. Trisquel was added to the list "following the verification process taken to ensure the commitment of the Trisquel development team and community to promote and distribute only 100% free-as-in-speech software," writes Rubén Rodríguez Pérez. This new status comes just in time for the upcoming 2.1 release, scheduled for 16th December, which "will include the first officially supported version of 'Trisquel edu', an edition designed for educational centres, with thin client and classroom supervision integration, along with educational software packages. The domestic and enterprise oriented editions will be upgraded as well."
Trisquel 2.0 featuring the GNOME desktop
(full image size: 757kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
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Still on the subject of Spanish-language distributions, Chile's Educalibre, which promotes the use of free software within the education sector in the country, reports that it has been working together with Tuquito (a Debian-based distribution from Argentina) to replace Windows with Linux on the Intel Classmate 2 netbooks the organisation had acquired for testing. So far the project has been a great success and they are impressed with the speed of the system, even with OpenOffice.org. They note that the hardware all works well, including the trackpad, function keys and integrated camera. (Note: this site is in Spanish, so here is an English translation via Google.)
* * * * *
According to ComputerWorld, computer giant Hewlett Packard (HP) will soon begin shipping Linux on at least one desktop model. The desktop model is reported to be a Compaq dc5850 and will ship with Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop. This means that HP is the last major computer manufacturer to offer a Linux solution: "Today, for the first time ever, all the major PC vendors are shipping at least one system with pre-loaded desktop Linux. It's a big day for desktop Linux users, maybe the biggest day ever," writes Steven Vaughan-Nichols. But as with the offerings from other vendors, will sales of the Linux model be restricted to particular locations, or will the new desktop be available worldwide? It remains to be seen. One thing is certain, it's great to see Linux continuing to forge ahead in this consumer market space.
* * * * *
It appears that netbooks are here to stay and The Economist suggests that for a majority of users, a netbook is a perfect fit. Netbooks are not designed for power hungry tasks like being able to run the latest games or edit video, indeed "a lot of things that people do with computers, such as e-mail, writing and web browsing, do not require fancy graphics or lots of processing power, [and so] netbooks can still be extremely useful." When it comes to choosing an operating system, the choice is clearly Linux. And when it comes to purchasing a netbook, "avoid the temptation to get the slickest, most powerful machine available. Much advice on offer online suggests souping up the specification of a netbook so it can run Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, rather than the free, open-source Linux system that is offered as standard on many netbooks." Sticking with Linux as the operating system means you can purchase a cheaper netbook and still have all the functionality you need. The Economist writes, "As for the software, OpenOffice.org was surprisingly easy to use - a doddle for anyone who has used Microsoft Office. Moreover, the ability to save work in different formats presented no compatibility problems when sending files to a Windows-based machine. Photo software and other applications were simple to use too."
|Released Last Week
Sergei Mozhaisky has announced the release of Frenzy 1.1, a FreeBSD-based toolkit for system and network administrators. This, according to the developer, will be the project's last release: "At last, Frenzy 1.1 is released. This is a final release of Frenzy, I decided to discontinue the development of this project." What's new? "Added Unionfs support; introduced FEM (Frenzy Extension Modules) system, which allows to plug-in additional software without rebuilding ISO image; Frenzy can now be booted from ISO image on hard drive; added options to boot with DMA disabled on ATAPI or ATA devices; added parameters to loader menu - 'mode' to choose resolution in console mode, 'sound' for sound card auto-detection, 'nofem' to disable FEM modules search and loading; added feature to use FAT partition as boot partition; bug fixes." Read the detailed release notes for a complete list of changes and new features.
Frenzy 1.1 - the project's last release.
(full image size: 1,113kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Stephan Rickauer has announced the release of BSDanywhere 4.4, a live CD based on the latest stable version of OpenBSD: "We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of BSDanywhere 4.4 - Enlightenment at your fingertips. As always, we release our OpenBSD based images in two flavours: i386 (32bit) and amd64 (64bit). Here's a quick summary of the not-to-intense changes since 4.3: removed packages: GIMP, AbiWord, Audacious, Mutt, rsnapshot, Darkstat - we are really limited in space that's why we decided to concentrate on the primary focus of BSDanywhere, which is hardware testing and system rescue; added packages: Dnstop, dnstracer; we now enabled 'machdep.kbdreset' which permits console CTRL-ALT-DEL to do a nice halt; new artwork." Read the rest of the release announcement for further information.
Clonezilla Live 1.2.1-23
Steven Shiau has announced the availability of an updated release of Clonezilla Live, a free Debian-based live CD containing Clonezilla, a partition and disk cloning software similar to Norton Ghost: "Clonezilla live 1.2.1-23 (stable) released. This is a bug-fix version with some minor updates: based on Debian 'Lenny' repository on 2008-12-08; kernel 2.6.26-11; some typographic errors in en_US were fixed; added HexEdit and cryptsetup; serial number of disk is shown when saving partitions; Clonezilla now will honor the boot parameter ocs_pre_run, and it will be run during boot-up; '-b' option was added to restore mode; new gPXE 0.9.6; bug fixed - list of locales in ocs-live-hook.conf without comma; bug fixed - when creating recovery ISO/ZIP file with 'ocs-sr -x', the 'reboot, shutdown, none' option was asked twice." Here is the full release announcement.
Musix GNU+Linux 1.0R6
Marcos Guglielmetti has announced the availability of an updated release of Musix GNU+Linux, a Debian-based distribution featuring a large collection of free audio software: "After three months of testing, the stable release of Musix GNU+Linux live DVD 1.0R6 is out. It's a 100% free operating system for artists focused on music production, graphics design and video editing, based on Debian 'Etch' and KNOPPIX. Some packages were upgraded since Musix live DVD 1.0R4, the knoppix-installer fonts now look good, an old kernel 2.6.16 from Musix 0.99 was added to support old hardware. Also, there are many backports made by the Musix team; we highlight LMMS, Jackd, Mscore, Rosegarden and Ardour. This DVD is used daily in music schools, so we know what teachers and students need." Here is the brief release announcement.
EnGarde Secure Linux 3.0.22
Guardian Digital has announced the release of EnGarde Secure Linux 3.0.22, a server distribution featuring a comprehensive web-based administration tool: "Guardian Digital is happy to announce the release of EnGarde Secure Community 3.0.22. This release includes many updated packages and bug fixes and some feature enhancements to the EnGarde Secure Linux installer and the SELinux policy. New features include: several improvements to the backup and restore module in WebTool - we've added a help page, made several improvements to the layout of the module to make it easier to use, and enhanced the 'Perform Backup Now' functionality by running it in the background and sending an email upon completion; support for USB serial devices, such as Keyspan USB serial adapters; the latest stable versions of BIND (9.4.3), Dovecot (1.1.6), Linux kernel (2.6.27), OpenLDAP (2.4.12), Squid (3.0.STABLE10)." Read the release announcement and release notes for more details.
TinyMe 2008.1, a minimal, but expandable desktop Linux distribution based on PCLinuxOS, has been released: "KDulcimer is proud to announce the birth of TinyMe 2008.1 'Droplet'. Weighing in at a small 150 MB, this slimmed-down offshoot of PCLinuxOS gives you a very minimal, very fast and lightweight, yet powerful and easily expandable Linux desktop. If you want a system where you choose your own programs, yet customization is easy, 'Droplet' is perfect for you. Features: SLiM to log you in; PCLinuxOS control center to configure your system; Synaptic to install programs and keep your system up to date; PCManFM, file and desktop manager; TinyCC to configure the desktop; Openbox, a window manager; LXPanel to keep track of the windows you have open; Nano, a command-line text editor." The full release announcement is available at the project's latest release page.
TinyMe 2008.1 - a minimalist distribution based on PCLinuxOS
(full image size: 657kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Slackware Linux 12.2
Patrick Volkerding has announced the release of Slackware Linux 12.2: "Well folks, it's that time to announce a new stable Slackware release again. Since we've moved to supporting the 2.6 kernel series exclusively (and fine-tuned the system to get the most out of it), we feel that Slackware 12.2 has many improvements over our last release (Slackware 12.1) and is a must-have upgrade for any Slackware user. Among the many program updates and distribution enhancements, you'll find two of the most advanced desktop environments available today: Xfce 4.4.3 and KDE 3.5.10. Slackware 12.2 uses the 126.96.36.199 kernel bringing you advanced performance features such as journaling file systems, SCSI and ATA RAID volume support, SATA support, Software RAID, LVM (the Logical Volume Manager), and encrypted file systems." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
Kris Moore has announced the release of PC-BSD 7.0.2, the second bug-fix update of the user-friendly desktop operating system based on FreeBSD 7: "The PC-BSD Team is pleased to announce the availability of PC-BSD 7.0.2, with an updated FreeBSD 7.1-PRERELEASE under the hood and the latest KDE 4.1.3. Version 7.0.2 contains a number of bug fixes and improvements. Some of the changes are: KDE 4.1.3; improved desktop performance with NVIDIA cards; improved NTFS write support; HAL fixes and improvements; installation bug fixes. This version of PC-BSD can be downloaded and installed as a fresh install or, alternatively, can be updated to from PC-BSD 7.0.1 via the System Update tool or via a stand-alone PBI." See the release announcement and changelog for further details.
ASPLinux, a Russian company developing Linux solution and providing a variety of Linux services, has announced the release of ASPLinux 14, code name "Cobalt". The latest version of this Fedora-based distribution promises to expand the functionality of Linux as an operating system with new services, such as Linux telephony, support for webcams, full support for sleep and stand-by modes on laptops, automatic network setup, and easy configuration of GPRS, CDMA and VPN services. The product uses Linux kernel 2.6.26 and glibc 2.8, and ships with X.Org server 1.5, GNOME 2.22, KDE 4.1, OpenOffice.org 3.0, Firefox 3.0 and other popular open source applications. It also includes several non-free device drivers, including ATI and NVIDIA graphics drivers, and non-free software, such as Adobe Flash player and Opera. For further information please see the ASPLinux product page (in Russian).
ASPLinux 14 - a brand new release of the Fedora-based Russian distribution
(full image size: 1,097kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Tomáš Matějíček has announced the release of Slax 6.0.9, a live CD based on Slackware Linux: "The newest Slax, version 6.0.9, has been released. It fixes the problems with Unsquashfs, which appeared in the previous version. Moreover, it updates Slax to the latest Slackware 12.2, with kernel 188.8.131.52." From the changelog: "Upgraded Samba; added libcap; fixed a bug in Unsquashfs (lzm2dir) which happened on SMP machines; removed bluez* packages; upgraded to KDE 3.5.10; upgraded to Squashfs 3.4, including the tools; added support to start Slax as a PXE server; loadlin didn't work any more due to big file size of vmlinuz and initrd, it has been replaced by linLd, which allows to boot Slax from DOS again; auto-detect and auto-mount LVM partitions...." See the release announcement and changelog for more information.
Adonay Sanz Alsina has announced the release of K-DEMar 4.7, a Debian-based distribution and live CD designed primarily for Catalan and Spanish speakers. The biggest change is the switch to Linux-Live scripts for building the CD image, with the "copy to RAM" support and improved speed of loading applications. Other improvements: update to KDE 3.5.9; new desktop artwork and theme; improved installer with documentation; new desktop icons for launching the hard disk or USB media installer; inclusion of CSS-Miami, a WYSIWYG web site creator and editor for KDE; a new one-click GRUB bootloader restore function; updated kernel 184.108.40.206 optimised for the i686 architecture and with better support for wireless networks and webcams; many updated applications, including WINE 1.1.10, various bug fixes. Read the rest of the release announcement (in Spanish) for more details.
K-DEMar 4.7 - a Debian-based distribution with KDE, designed for Catalan and Spanish-speaking users
(full image size: 437kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
- Jibbed. Jibbed is a (non-installable) live CD based on NetBSD. It is built from the latest NetBSD sources from the HEAD branch. The third-party applications provided on the CD are the latest versions, including experimental packages from wip-pkgsrc.
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Jaris. Jaris is an OpenSolaris-based distribution with full support for Japanese.
- Tiny Core Linux. Tiny Core Linux is a very small (10 MB) minimal Linux desktop. It is based on Linux kernel 2.6 kernel, BusyBox, Tiny X, FLTK, and JWM. The core runs entirely in RAM and boots very quickly. It is not a complete desktop nor is all hardware supported. It represents only the core needed to boot into a very minimal X desktop typically with wired Internet access. The user has complete control over which applications and/or additional hardware to have supported, be it for a desktop, an appliance, or server, selectable from an online repository.
- Ubuntu Privacy Remix. Ubuntu Privacy Remix (UPR) is a modified live CD based on Ubuntu. It is not intended for permanent installation on hard disk. The goal of Ubuntu Privacy Remix is to provide an isolated, working environment where private data can be dealt with safely. The system installed on the computer running UPR remains untouched.
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DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 22 December 2008.
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|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Nice one! (by Matt on 2008-12-15 10:35:08 GMT from Australia) |
The custom Ubuntu article was laid out great optionally letting people add what they want.
It shows the power Linux gives you in customisation, even the big "bloated" distros can be stripped down! Excellent!
2 • Sidux (by Artis on 2008-12-15 11:02:00 GMT from Italy)
Sidux is out
3 • re. First Distrowatch (by Steven Lawson on 2008-12-15 11:17:32 GMT from United Kingdom)
Great effort Chris for your first DWW - informative, helpful, interesting. Really enjoyed reading it and look forward to my weekly digest in future.
4 • Great One! (by MatthewV on 2008-12-15 11:40:36 GMT from Australia)
Great DWW Chris, helpful and informative. All the best with coming articles! :)
5 • Great minimal Ubuntu installation way (by Siv on 2008-12-15 11:46:08 GMT from Italy)
It was some time now that I was looking for that way to install it, something like the Debian netinstall, but I have never found it... and it was under my eyes!
6 • No subject (by wegface on 2008-12-15 12:09:08 GMT from United Kingdom)
here's hoping for a sidux xmas!
7 • lean?? (by Mikko on 2008-12-15 12:21:34 GMT from Finland)
I would not call a system lean if you start building the desktop with GNOME and Compiz. I would call it a bloated system...
8 • Good article Chris (by DeniZen on 2008-12-15 12:25:30 GMT from United Kingdom)
Good start ! - interesting content.
@ Artis #2
Horses for courses. For some Sidux could well be a disaster of a choice, and Ubuntu may well suit purposes better.
For some others, the opposite would apply, and Sidux would be Nirvana.
Its down to individuals needs, experience, and criteria, and thats the whole point. Choice, (- not 'Killing', surely :) )
(I know it was (probably) just a figure of speech)
9 • No new release review (by Not bob on 2008-12-15 12:28:18 GMT from United States)
So we had a few new releases this week, and the main article was about how bloated Ubuntu is?
BTW it's easier and faster just to do a full install, then turn off the running services, and auto start apps.
10 • A "peek" at a "peak"? (by Federico Kereki on 2008-12-15 12:47:17 GMT from Uruguay)
Please, let´s not mix "peeks" and "peaks" -- it´s getting as bad as finding "who´s" instead of "whose", or "their/there" confusions...
11 • Thanks! (by Wun on 2008-12-15 13:18:34 GMT from Denmark)
Nice write-up on how-to make a customised ubuntu, have been wanting to test it out and i think i might just do that with your guide printed out. thanks!
12 • Leaner Ubuntu (by Tim Jacobs on 2008-12-15 13:19:59 GMT from United States)
Thanks Chris for the awesome article on the leaner Ubuntu. I have had problems with the my Gateway laptop running a few different distros. I will have to try this and see if I can get Blender to work a little more efficiently.
13 • Ubuntu stripped down (by Dino on 2008-12-15 13:21:43 GMT from United States)
Wat an excellent piece of information you presented in this guide to install a custom ubuntu system. Thanks!!
And now that TinyMe is out, I can really return to my old systems and try to get a usefull future for them again.
BTW, I think OSS should focus on performance much more (real and perceived performance) because I think it will become important again.
14 • You Go Chris! (by Craig B. at 2008-12-15 13:24:59 GMT from United States)
Nice job on DWW. Keep it up!
15 • Thin DWW this week (by Miq on 2008-12-15 13:30:47 GMT from Sweden)
Overall this week's DWW felt rather sparse, but thanks for a nice insight into how to set up a lean, custom Ubuntu. Ubuntu might be an easy choice in being the most common Linux today, but I'd still like to make that point that Linux != Ubuntu, and Linux != GNOME. It would be very nice to see similar articles (next week?) for other popular distros and with guides for other DEs (at least and especially KDE and XFce). Linux is choice and openness, and this should be promoted as much as possible, especially since DW is not just any blog that pushes a particular perspective.
We see too much and often the myth that Ubuntu/GNOME is Linux propagated.
On that note, isn't the desktop screenshots rather superfluous? They're basically only always the standard DE we all already know what they look like with a custom wallpaper.
16 • No subject (by Dick Cheney on 2008-12-15 13:43:43 GMT from United States)
This was a good DWW. I like it when there is coverage of something other than the few most popular releases. Telling users how to install a minimal system is quite helpful to spreading Linux.
17 • TinyMe 2008.1 Release (by Dr.Saleem Khan on 2008-12-15 13:44:34 GMT from Pakistan)
TinyMe 2008.1 release is a good news, I test installed it on the day of its release and as the developer has mentioned it`s a sort of barebone release exact to PCLinuxOS Minime upon which you can build your own system.
One thing that really worries me is that the developer has enabled the "testing" part of PCLinuxOS main repository since TinyMe heavily depends upon the packages downloaded from PCLinuxOS repository.
The "testing" part of repository being enabled is like making a breakable system since the PCLinuxOS repositories are currently in "frozen" state for the next impending release and the PCLinuxOS development team strictly ask for not to download or upgrade from the repositories in current state as this will result in broken packages. This happened with my TinyMe 2008.1 installation when I test downloaded few packages from the repositories.
So my concern is that if the TinyMe 2008.1 is a stable release then consuming the "frozen" and testing repositories of PCLinuxOS will lead to what?
18 • No subject (by alie at 2008-12-15 13:44:44 GMT from Singapore)
nice chris, gr8 job!
19 • Interesting interview (by anon on 2008-12-15 13:51:46 GMT from Norway)
My thanks to DWW for the link to the candid, and therefore interesting, interview with Warren Woodford of MEPIS Linux.
20 • Good start (by Bernhard J. M. Grün on 2008-12-15 13:53:13 GMT from Germany)
you did a great job with this first issue of DWW out of your hand/mind.
21 • Netbook Distros (by Gene Venable on 2008-12-15 13:55:54 GMT from United States)
There are a lot of interesting developments in the netbook-specific distro field that DistroWatch is not covering at all. I just installed eeebuntu (I think it's called) on my Asus eee pc 1000h, for example. There are many intriguing distros out there that have been tweaked for netbooks. It would be nice to hear more about them.
22 • nice work, & lean ubuntu (by jeff on 2008-12-15 13:57:58 GMT from United States)
Nicely done Chris! I look forward to your future DW Weekly articles.
Thanks for the lean Ubuntu article. I am about due for an upgrade (I'm still running 7.10 as my laptop is older) and this lean install guide may just make me dive in.
23 • Tiny Core Linux (by Germ-X on 2008-12-15 14:43:59 GMT from United States)
The whole 10MB is packed into the initrd ?
Could be usable for pxe/netbooting.
24 • Good work (by Omari on 2008-12-15 14:49:59 GMT from United States)
Great work on your first DWW, thanks.
25 • Good job (by Sam on 2008-12-15 15:02:38 GMT from United States)
Very nicely done. That Ubuntu article almost makes me want to try it out for myself. But this is the openSUSE 11.1 release week so naah. :)
26 • Nice work, but... (by 1369ic on 2008-12-15 15:14:24 GMT from United States)
There's always a but, isn't there? Still, first things first: nice first edition.
I guess telling people more about something that's already popular is always a wise editorial choice, but really, why not do a "how to install Zenwalk, Gnome edition"? Looks like you end up with the same basic system without having to do all that work. Of course, if you're going minimal, regular XFCE Zenwalk is better still. If you want gui tools and Mepis-quality automatic everything, go with AntiX.
But I quibble. You've got to start somewhere, and it's a good start.
27 • DWW (by Brian on 2008-12-15 15:19:09 GMT from United States)
Wow Chris, this was a great DWW. I really appreciate all of the effort and love the Ubuntu article. I think I will try that guide on some spare hd space tonight.
28 • Great job, good info (by zaine_ridling on 2008-12-15 15:30:25 GMT from United States)
Wow, thanks Chris! Been using Fedora 10 and sidux and both are impressively stable releases.
29 • @17: TinyMe 2008.1 Release (by KDulcimer on 2008-12-15 15:49:32 GMT from United States)
"One thing that really worries me is that the developer has enabled the "testing" part of PCLinuxOS main repository since TinyMe heavily depends upon the packages downloaded from PCLinuxOS repository."
I left the *TinyMe* testing repositories enabled. This was a mistake but it's a harmless one as the TinyMe testing repos are empty.
30 • Your Ubuntu article might help me (by Anonymous on 2008-12-15 15:52:12 GMT from United States)
Mr. Smart, I have an older laptop with Ubuntu and Gnome as my Desktop Manager and I do not like most of the lightweight desktop managers out there. I get things done better with Gnome. But I have long to find a way to make my Ubuntu install leaner. My backup older system is mostly used for surfing and documents. Again, I do not use flux, iceVM, enlightenment, LXDE, Xfce or any other DM light or heavy except Gnome. So I'll try your L-buntu (Leaner Ubuntu).
Mr. Smart, I would also like to suggest if we could hear more of your professional input about some of the distros out there and less of an announcement style blog. Maybe your experience with security and user friendly distros would be a nice place to start or something else of your choosing. Otherwise, I found it a good general reading.
31 • Impressions (by Moose on 2008-12-15 15:56:27 GMT from Canada)
Nice work on the weekly edition, Chris! It covered a lot of ground and was informative.
32 • Great DWW! (by Jerry B. on 2008-12-15 16:21:56 GMT from United States)
Congratulations on a very good issue of DistroWatch Weekly.
Very good to see it alive and well!
33 • Minimal Install (by Joe on 2008-12-15 16:46:33 GMT from India)
Thanks Chris for the article. I was looking for a minimal customised install for a long time. I searched many places but did not get it explained so thoroughly.
This is the power of Linux. The control in the hand of the user. I want to see more such articles.
34 • Great article (by davemc on 2008-12-15 17:03:14 GMT from United States)
Good job Chris! Not quite as controversial as I am sure Ladislav would have liked it, but maybe next time..
Perhaps you can also tackle what the differences are between Ubuntu base and Debian base is so your readers know what sets Ubuntu apart and what the advantages/disadvantages are of both? Just a thought.
35 • Kudos! (by Vic on 2008-12-15 17:04:54 GMT from United States)
Kudos for a down-to-earth issue especially wrt the Ubuntu How-to article. I use Ubuntu gnome at the moment and, so far, it's running good. This article will extend my knowledge of the OS. Again, thanks and keep up the good work.
36 • DWW (by Marcin on 2008-12-15 17:10:26 GMT from Austria)
nice read, very informative and interesting content
37 • Trisquel (by noldrin on 2008-12-15 17:51:11 GMT from United States)
Congrats to Trisquel for making the FSF list of free software distros!
38 • Nice start! (by IMQ on 2008-12-15 17:57:18 GMT from United States)
Good job on your first DWW, Chris!
39 • RE:29 & 17 Tiny Me (by Anonymous on 2008-12-15 18:16:06 GMT from United States)
Tiny Me needs to do a wonderful write up like the lean Ubuntu above.
I too found out the above that it runs off of Testing but it did not do any good as there was no browser or Wifi on the live CD and you can't install anything to the live CD. It just has a install icon. I wasn't even able to test sound. I'm still having problems with audio on PCLOS 2008 so I wasn't going to install it on this machine if sound and/or wifi was broken.
40 • Questions (by Shocked on 2008-12-15 18:31:03 GMT from Spain)
What's the point of the article, if it is the typical one can read on http://www.howtoforge.com/ ? What's the added value for DW, if this article is a copy-cat from other websites? At least, in howtoforge, there are similar how-to's about all main distros. For me, this article is the turn point of DW becoming UW.
41 • Nice DW, Chris (by PastorEd on 2008-12-15 18:34:40 GMT from United States)
Just wanted to say it's a relief to know that DW is going to continue with excellent quality. Well done.
Great to see that TinyMe is out... although I think I'd challenge the naming convention, since 2009 is almost upon us...
42 • ubuntu again (by joey on 2008-12-15 18:56:50 GMT from United States)
thanx for another great issue of Ubuntu Weekly
43 • Some great Debian based software coming out real soon! (by Brian Masinick on 2008-12-15 19:01:02 GMT from United States)
Re. #6. a sidux Christmas is quite likely - 2008-04 Preview 1 is available as of today, and it has a kernel with a "9" in the suffix, which we have seen before in releases and "pre-releases". so that is a good sign. Many of the packaging inconsistencies seem to be lightening up, so sidux ought to be able to get a release out the door this month, though with the rolling updates, we all know it's just "fun", not really necessary at all! ;-)
Speaking of updates, Debian Lenny, at least to me, has looked pretty good since Beta 1 in July 2008, but of course, Debian, in their desire to be as solid as possible, came out with Release Candidate 1 not too long ago and Release Candidate 2 over the weekend. It really looks good now and when those "release critical bugs" (as Debian calls them) get resolved, we'll have another great Debian stable release as well.
Meanwhile, SimplyMEPIS and antiX sharpen their Version 8 readiness. I expect both of them to release some time just before or during the holiday season, with a likelihood of a release this year an excellent possibility. SimplyMEPIS 8.0 has gone through six solid Beta test cycles, is in the process of having a documentation review, and resolution of a few final changes to achieve top product quality. antiX has been flying lower, but has already had three internal test cycles that have been most favorable already.
Looking forward to some great holiday software!
44 • Puppy Linux + (by JAG on 2008-12-15 19:26:32 GMT from United States)
That Puppy Linux is certainly scrappy... it keeps climbing & clawing up the charts...
Check out these links...
45 • Tiny Core Linux (by jeffcustom on 2008-12-15 19:59:27 GMT from United States)
I would like to clarify that Tiny Core isn't just for old hardware. I am posting here from an AMD 5000+ cpu with 4 gig of ram. I hope that's not old yet! :-)
The main goal is to give the user a starting point to build the system they are looking for on a particular computer or within the guidelines of hardware limitations. It boots blazingly fast and gives you the ability to install a lot of software with limited resources. Current kernel is 2.6.26. This distro isn't a knockoff, it's built from scratch complete with package dependency management. Pretty fun OS.
46 • packages (by paul on 2008-12-15 20:15:42 GMT from United States)
I liked the minimal ubuntu install article but a problem I've had with many distros is finding a listing of available packages that describes what each application/package does. There also is no mention if the package installer can provide a listing and how to get it. The article instructs people to install certain packages but not how to look up others if they want to try something different.
Otherwise this DW was quite good for a first time out for the new editor. Nice to see a howto article as opposed to just news and reviews.
47 • Ubuntu whiners (by Nobody important on 2008-12-15 20:40:24 GMT from United States)
That was a fine article.
Now if only the other comments were as fine as the DWW itself. What happened to the lively and intelligent debates? Now it's just a bunch of kids whining about how Ubuntu got the main story this month. Did you read the other two-thirds of the magazine? Has the DWW comments section lost its mind?!
Considering that current polls on Linux distros point to Ubuntu being the distribution that fifty percent of the Linux desktop users currently use, I see no reason why not to include it as the main topic for the author's first week. It's a non-controversial, and possibly helpful topic that could benefit readers. It also shows us that the new DWW writer is very knowledgeable at what he's talking about.
I know this is the internet where every letter is a topic to go and moan about, but kids, please settle down.
48 • stripped down Ubuntu offshoot called Debris Linux, son of BeaFanatix. (by pfyearwood at 2008-12-15 20:56:55 GMT from United States)
There is an existing basic offshoot of Ubuntu called Debris which is a reworked version of BeaFanantix Lunix, a mini based on Ubuntu. BeaFanatix is listed on Distrowatch but Debris is only found by a link at the bottom of the BeaFanatix forum page. Debris ISO is only 187 Meg Small. And, it uses the Ubuntu repros. I keep the ISO on my storage HDD as the liveCD is handy, like Puppy. I have installed it a few times but each time by the time I add in what I want, I have the entire Ubuntu installed. Fits nicely on my 4.7 Gig HDD, but so does my full Ubuntu. I just save my work on my flash cards so I can use it when I turn to the Dark Side.
I would like to add that I found the HOWTO easy to read and follow. It reminded me also of the Debian net install CD I have in my stack. However, I still will use Debris Linux as a basic Ubuntu install. The website was current as of November 2008. So many interesting distros get sucked into a black hole. I like to look at the dropped listings on Distrowatch.
http://debrislinux.org/ for those who are not ready to roll their own basic install.
49 • Ubuntu, Debian, etc. (by Sergio on 2008-12-15 21:48:59 GMT from Mexico)
I think it was a good article, knowing how to strip Ubuntu a bit to make it lighter since it's the most used Desktop distribution.
Of course, I think if you want a lighter distribution one should look to other distros instead like AntiX (a lighter variant of MEPIS, my distro of choice).
Good to hear news of the next Debian release after a suspicious silence. I hope it can make it out before February of 2009.
50 • Very Nice tutorial for Ubuntu (by Seth Baker on 2008-12-15 22:14:23 GMT from United States)
I'm going to combine this with my own minimal text based install instead of the alternative install and see how it compares http://www.howtoforge.net/minimal-ubuntu-8.04-server-install
I applaud you for this guide, I tried to create a guide for graphical Ubuntu, but I got frustrated with all of the meta packages that tag team more than I wanted installed and I wasn't familer enough with the individual X11 and Gnome packages to get system that everything I wanted to work. Thanks again
51 • Making ubuntu leaner (by Old Man Moon on 2008-12-15 22:29:05 GMT from Finland)
Hmm... The article about making ubuntu leaner explains why the default ubuntu installation is so much slower and hogging more RAM than debian. It's because ubuntu enables every possible service by default, just in case you might need some of them.
I've actually tried that "alternative" ubuntu installer once or twice. It seemed to me like a primitive version of debian's installer, which I'm much more familiar with. Whenever I need to install debian, I usually download the latest minimal "netinst" cd image, then use it to install just the base system, and then fire up aptitude to install stuff like xorg, desktops, and applications.
Aptitude actually makes things much easier than the procedure that the article describes, because aptitude has "tasks" (like "laptop", "kde", "gnome", "xfce", "printing", "localization" and so on) that help users to choose the packages that are needed for different kinds of computers and for performing different kinds of tasks. Of course, aptitude is also available in ubuntu. Only I noticed, when I tried the "alternative" ubuntu installer, that there were only very few "tasks" in ubuntu's aptitude. It's rather clear that the ubuntu developers don't think users might actually want to choose which programs are installed (and which are not). In contrast, debian's aptitude has a full range of different "tasks".
Debian and ubuntu are clearly made for different kinds of users. It seems to me that the author is in this article trying to make ubuntu more like debian -- which doesn't make much sense, since the very idea behind ubuntu is to make debian easier by removing choices from users. And when you remove choices and try to make "one size fit all", you necessarily make the system bloated. So if you want something leaner than ubuntu, why not simply install debian proper, where the customization options are built-in?
52 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2008-12-15 23:00:31 GMT from United States)
"I've actually tried that "alternative" ubuntu installer once or twice. It seemed to me like a primitive version of debian's installer, which I'm much more familiar with."
It isn't just a "version" of the installer, it _is_ the installer. Debian installer from Etch = Ubuntu alternate install. They're the same thing.
And Linux Mint just kind of popped out of nowhere. I'm debating whether it's worth making a LiveCD or not. With OpenSUSE on its way, I'll have to go buy some more blank discs soon.
53 • Glasgow University switches to SlackWare (by Geoff on 2008-12-15 23:03:18 GMT from Canada)
Really, I must protest. Going to DistroWatch and looking at the top 20 in order to choose the OS for your server. Why is this person simply allowed to choose the most suitable tool for the job? Where are the committees? The IT infrastructure policies? The business case? This all too informal and lacking in sober consideration.
And the final result? "The new server is now up and running, and providing the required services." What kind of an outcome is that? One would almost think that was the goal, instead of complying with accepted procedures.
54 • Thanks Chris Smart (by Verndog on 2008-12-16 02:27:14 GMT from United States)
For your first DWW this was a bit different than I expected. That was a good tutorial on building your own Ubuntu. Better than most I have seen.
I actually did something similar using Ubuntu mini.iso and Debian's netinstall. I perferred Debians though.
It was also a good read on MEPIS founder interview.
55 • Welcome to Chris, more minimal Ubuntu, #21 netbook distros, #26 Zenwalk (by Caitlyn Martin on 2008-12-16 06:44:58 GMT from United States)
Chris, welcome! Seems to me like you're off to a good start. It also wouldn't be DWW if some readers weren't throwing stones :) Don't let that bother you.
I've used a minimal Ubuntu install on an old P133 with 32MB of RAM until that machine finally died last summer. That was too little memory for the installer to even run but Appendix D of the installation guide covered debootstrap and using that methodology I was able to bypass the installer completely and get a base system similar to what you did.
The point: what Chris describes could easily be done with a lightweight window manager or desktop environment without using GNOME. I ended up installing wdm as my dekstop (login) manager and two window managers: JWM and PekWM. PekWM and fbpanel ended up being the primary DE for that box. With lightweight apps it worked just fine. The important thing about the article was the methodology, not the packages selected.
#21: Fair comment. The question I would ask is this: Have those netbook distro developers submitted their distros to Ladislav for inclusion? If not it's hardly his fault that they aren't included.
#26: One problem Zenwalk has is a truly small repository. Yes, Zenwalk is lighter and faster than Ubuntu but the available software selection for someone who doesn't want to compile from source is limited. I've found Vector Linux even faster than Zenwalk but the same complaint about the repository applies even though the VL repository is much larger than Zenwalk's.
Another issue with Zenwalk is that security patches/upgrades often aren't packaged promptly. When they do get packaged they often end up in Snapshot rather than Current. Enabling Snapshot means that if you try and do automated upgrades you get some broken, insufficiently tested packages from time to time.
Don't get me wrong: Zenwalk has great potential and is relatively user friendly. Technically the base distro is very strong. The repository situation would need to be improved before I could really recommend it.
56 • No subject (by .d.ots on 2008-12-16 08:40:19 GMT from Denmark)
For all kids who are here and whine about the ubuntu article... When you grow up you understand that you can skip that section, after all it's just a small segment of this weeks DWW. Hopefully your parents will keep you away from the computer in the future.
57 • Why bother about lean system with Ubuntu ??? (by simplyjat on 2008-12-16 09:32:45 GMT from Singapore)
"Lean Ubuntu installation" Come on.... There are a lot of lean distributions out there which are far more better than the "Lean Ubuntu Installation".
1. Ubuntu is for newbies looking for spoon feeding.
2. Ubuntu is for windows convert who want to reboot there OS after installing (graphics) drivers.
58 • More showcasing Ubuntu? (by Miq on 2008-12-16 09:55:08 GMT from Sweden)
@47 "Considering that current polls on Linux distros point to Ubuntu being the distribution that fifty percent of the Linux desktop users currently use, I see no reason why not to include it as the main topic for the author's first week"
Well, Windows is the OS that over 90% use, so why don't write about that? ;) Seriously though, accepting your metrics for the sake of argument, that means that 50% of all users doesn't use Ubuntu.* There is already a predominant Ubuntu bias almost everywhere else so DISTROwatch should keep fighting for showcasing something other than yet more about the top dog in what really appears like populism (which is understandable, if not admirable). Write an article about how other distros might suit your requirements better. Zen? Slack? Suse? CentOS? Even Mint. Or if you really want a slim system, somebody please think of the Puppies!
(That said, your arguments in defence of the topic are certainly valid. I look forward to less, well, cautious and populistic and more topical articles in coming DWWs.)
* Using the current numbers at DW's page hit ranking as an indicator of, if not usage then at least interest, the 14 major distros (Excluding Ubuntu, from OpenSUSE down to Arch) sums up at 11750, while [KX]?[Uu]buntu, Ubuntu Studio and Mythbuntu sums at 3474, or 29.6%. Moving Mint from the main 14 to the Ubuntu group shift the stats to 4956/10259 = 48.4%
59 • RE: 58 More showcasing Ubuntu? (by ladislav on 2008-12-16 10:01:55 GMT from Taiwan)
There is already a predominant Ubuntu bias almost everywhere else so DISTROwatch should keep fighting for showcasing something other than yet more about the top dog.
Are you asking us to stop writing about Ubuntu? That's a rather strange request from a person who complained so vehemently about the censorship of a certain Ubuntu edition on DistroWatch just two weeks ago...
60 • Why don't choose the original? (by urcindalo on 2008-12-16 10:31:19 GMT from Spain)
So you want a customized and lean system, right?
That's easy. Choose Gentoo, for instance. You just have to do the same Chris explains: following a recipe. In the end, you'll have a much leaner system, truly custumized to *your* needs, and, what's even more important, much easier to handle and mantain with much more powerful tools at your disposal.
Trying to achieve that with Ubuntu is, in my humble opinion, an ugly workaround and a source of potencial troubles in the future.
61 • RE: 58 (by Vinze on 2008-12-16 10:43:00 GMT from Netherlands)
Please stop whining...
62 • 59 - puh-leeze (by Miq on 2008-12-16 11:13:08 GMT from Sweden)
Lad, that's a pretty low and non sequitur retort. Well, then, let's have at you back in kind: Are you asking me to stop having and expressing an opinion? That's expected since you're keen on censuring all kinds of stuff.
63 • free? (by energyman on 2008-12-16 12:08:14 GMT from Germany)
a distribution using GNOME can never be completly 'free'.
64 • Good Article (by Tony on 2008-12-16 13:16:55 GMT from United States)
That is a good article on Ubuntu! The rest of DWW was of course good too. Thank You and keep up the good work!
65 • RE:#63, A false statement. (by Eddie Wilson on 2008-12-16 13:56:40 GMT from United States)
That is not true. I do believe the FSF only uses free software. So what are you talking about or are you like a lot of other people in the comments section and don't have anything to say that makes sense. And to the other people who seem like they want to tell DW how to run their site or what articles they should print, its none of your concern. If you don't like it, don't read it and then start your own site. That way you can only print what you agree with and only things that you like.
66 • re 65, A somewhat true statement (by nobody on 2008-12-16 14:28:19 GMT from Germany)
Energyman is probably thinking of Mono. The Mono cancer is spreading slowly but surely all over Gnome. More and more packages depend on Mono. Why isn't there a decent photo manager that is written in C++ (or anything but C#) and Gtk?
67 • Sidux Gnome? (by PePa on 2008-12-16 15:16:51 GMT from Thailand)
Sidux cannot properly be called an Ubuntu killer if it doesn't support Gnome. A Kubuntu killer, maybe. But personally, I want Gnome, and that's why Sidux didn't satisfy me when I tried it. I would go the Arch-linux way for rolling releases.
68 • I wonder (by DeniZen on 2008-12-16 15:31:43 GMT from United Kingdom)
"1. Ubuntu is for newbies looking for spoon feeding.
2. Ubuntu is for windows convert who want to reboot there OS after installing (graphics) drivers."
Assuming you are not trolling,
I cannot beleive that a thinking person could not at least acknowledge the possibility of Ubuntu being a valid choice for people who just want to: Install a Linux distro (that is at least likely to work well), run well enough, with a decent selection of standard apps, and a huge pile more in the repos.
And also likely be in existance a year or two down the line.
It may not be Flavour-of-choice for everyone, but does running Linux _have_ to be a full on commitment once one sheds ones Newbie badge?
My wife would leave me if she found me spending half my (our) quality time tinkering with flippin' Gentoo makeflags ..
Once upon a time I did. I certainly dont miss it.
Among 'domestic' users, I'd wager that spending time fiddling with 'difficult' distro's is _in the main_ an obsessive bragging rights game for 'the younger people' :)
69 • Strange Comments (by Dick Cheney on 2008-12-16 15:53:23 GMT from United States)
63: You're a liar. There is no common definition of 'free' (either price or software freedom) that Gnome fails. Stop trashing perfectly good free software projects. And if you're referring to Mono, you are equally off the mark. I run Gnome without Mono, so even if you see a problem with Mono (I don't) this is a non-issue.
60: And then you can spend all of your time compiling packages. This is a brilliant idea, given that one of the reasons for having a lean system is that you might be using an older system. Chris may have used Gnome, but it is trivial to choose fluxbox or icewm if you want. It's also a brilliant idea to point new users in the direction of a rolling-release distro.
"Trying to achieve that with Ubuntu is, in my humble opinion, an ugly workaround and a source of potencial troubles in the future."
If you want Gentoo, use Gentoo, but I didn't see anywhere that the article said 'We want to set up a system that does exactly what Gentoo does, but using Ubuntu.'
I can only shake my head when I read this type of criticism.
70 • Conversion to UW complete (by Venom on 2008-12-16 16:21:53 GMT from United States)
My recent post here was deleted-I presume because I dared to criticize Uboohoo.
Awww sorry you can't take opposing opinion.
At least I know there are two places I don't need to waste my time-the uboohoo forums (yes many on campus call it that btw) and here!
71 • SSH? (by Roberto Bechtlufft on 2008-12-16 16:56:27 GMT from Brazil)
I don't use Ubuntu, so I may be wrong, but I think the command to install a ssh server is:
sudo apt-get install openssh-server
Nice tips. It's kind of fun to build a system from a basic installation.
72 • re #67 Sidux and Gnome (by borgibo on 2008-12-16 17:00:03 GMT from Greece)
apt-get install gnome-desktop-environment and you get Sidux Gnome
73 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2008-12-16 17:48:56 GMT from United Kingdom)
"My recent post here was deleted-I presume because I dared to criticize Uboohoo."
I doubt many folks truly believe that a post - on a general Linux Distro discussion forum - would be 'deleted' due to a criticism (in the dictionary sense) of any particular Distro.
Are you sure that the post in question did not also contain something potentially offensive or over the top Lord Venom, Slayer of err.. 'Uboohoo'?
74 • hmm (by DeniZen on 2008-12-16 18:03:06 GMT from United Kingdom)
If anybody slightly less interested in 'Linux' were to happen across this board, and read the endless posts of - 'my Distro would beat up your Distro, just cuz it like, sucks and like, anyways, you must be a Noob' style posts - would they imagine that 'Linux' and the 'Linux Community' could really be ready to mount a challenge to become a mainstream Desktop OS?
Most supposed 'Linux evangelists' seem to strive to make 'Linux' sound like a joke.
Thank the Lord for Linux powered SubNotebooks. Their increasing ubiquity may just help regular folks to trust, like and consider 'Linux' as an OS.
Now, .. witness! as my Mighty Debian takes out your Gentoo! - by stealth, while it lies wounded and recompiling (joke).
75 • lean ? (by dooooo at 2008-12-16 18:05:35 GMT from Jordan)
"the same machine with a custom install takes only 2.2 GB of hard drive space, uses 210 MB of RAM and takes 20 seconds to boot."
And you call that *lean* ?
Opera (static QT4) ,Deluge (pygtk torrent client) , Sylpheed (GTK2 Mail client) , ossxmix , parcellite (Clipboard Manager) , stardict (GTK2 dictionary) & tilda (GTK2 terminal) are all running with the user friendly LXDE or the lightweight fluxbox .
MPD is playing in the background and 3 different instances of conky are running too .
What do you think the ram usage is ?
180-200 MB .
I'm running Arch Linux .
76 • Mono (by dooooo on 2008-12-16 18:12:39 GMT from Jordan)
By the way , Mono itself is Free Software according to Richard Stallman .
He doesn't care about the source of the code . If Satan GPL'd his code , It would be Free Software .
77 • I won't type the distro name (by Oiving on 2008-12-16 20:07:45 GMT from United States)
It finally happened: that distro has taken over. It not only is at the top (likely artificially) of the page hits stats perenially, it is also the subject of 90% of the posts here. .. and has been for quite some time now.
A certain billionaire is rubbing his hands together with glee, I'm sure.
Those billionaires sure are adept at flooding the world with their products, aren't they.
Dare we speak against them?
78 • Use caution (by Verndog on 2008-12-16 21:17:15 GMT from United States)
To those that dislike Ubuntu or anything else. If you don't like something don't talk about it. You just reinforcing the thing itself.
It's kind of like the instructor telling his student, "watch out for the rock in the road, don't hit that rock". Guess where the student is headed? Straight for the rock! If you don't like something, don't elude to it, talk, discuss something else. Like Parted Magic. My new favorite mini-distro. I just love that distro. I still like Puppy, but PartedMagic is a great distro. Especially partimage.
79 • 77 (by Douglas E on 2008-12-16 21:55:40 GMT from Germany)
77 LOTS of people do use Ubuntu not because of ads or whatever but because it works well, has most of the top programs in the repos, looks good (I use KDE and am not very fond of brown but if you can't fix that, what are you doing using Linux?), is up to date, easy to use and they have great free help for anyone with a problem.
Also do you expect anyone to take you seriously when all you do is whine, act paranoid and call names?
77 Do you run puppy?
I for one, can't think of any other distro I would use unless I had a server and then it might be slackware. I have tried almost everything in the top 20 here. IMOHO, others worth mentioning are DSL (run it in ram and have you breath taken away with it's speed!), Gentoo (for learning or an extreme need of small size and speed give you have free time), Slackware.
I also run Lenny, but man was that hard to install, their website is a mess. I would bet that if they cleaned up the home page and made downloading (It took me some time to find the right link and even then I ended up with Gnome when I wanted KDE) easier for a newbie they would up their rating a LOT higher!
The one that I have never tried is Redhat. Am I missing out?
80 • In response.. (by Chris on 2008-12-16 22:17:23 GMT from Australia)
Thank you for your comments! It's great to see that I could create a little controversy after all ;-)
Yes, Ubuntu is certainly not the distro I would go with to get a really lean system (in fact, it's not a distro that I currently use at all). I guess what I was trying to show is that for people who were new to Linux (see opening paragraph) and use Ubuntu, that they don't have to just install the full 'bloated' system but that they can have a more lean system and still benefit from the Ubuntu way of doing things (proprietary drivers, codecs, java, flash, etc).
I guess it was designed to help users move past a basic Ubuntu install, to feed their appetite to get more into Linux. Who knows, they might even try this and then give Debian a shot, or Gentoo, or Arch Linux, or.. [insert distro here that you think suits]. Or maybe they'll stick with Ubuntu.
If people are interested in this sort of thing for other distros, I'm happy to compile them in a similar how to. Perhaps we won't publish them as a main article though, just in case ;-)
Still, I look forward to compiling my next DWW for you all, which will most likely include a review of openSUSE 11.1.
P.S. #71 - Thanks Robert. You can install just the server that way, or use "ssh" which is a metapackage.
Thanks Caitlyn. I'm pretty thick skinned (perhaps also thick skulled) but I do like to create things that I think will be helpful to others :-)
81 • @69 Dick Cheney (by Blue Knight on 2008-12-16 23:07:49 GMT from France)
"I run Gnome without Mono, so even if you see a problem with Mono (I don't) this is a non-issue."
Ok we can again run Gnome without Mono but in the future it is not sure it is still/always possible. More and more things depend on Mono and its "Boss" said he wants to develop Mono in Gnome and thus make Gnome more dependent on Mono...
So no, it's definitely NOT a non-issue!
82 • Reply: Getting a lean system with a custom Ubuntu install (by Stephen Sivil on 2008-12-16 23:52:49 GMT from United States)
Thank you VERY much for the tutorial!
I actually followed your steps, but when I booted realized I needed to boot into safe graphics. Luckily I had my xorg.conf backed up onto a UBS key, so restoring this file and adding xforcevesa to menu.lst gave me the equivalent of the safe graphics mode on the Live CD
I noticed the Totem Movie player and Java somehow got installed. So, because I wanted to do it right, I repeated the installation, but this time installed one package at time. That way, I could tell if I really wanted the package.
Now everything is working faster than before. I also noticed my PC's CPU History shows on average 5% less usage and 1% more disk space. The only thing I have to figure out is what package contains all those Ubuntu sounds (login.wav etc).
Thank you. This is certainly one way to gain a better understanding of Ubuntu Linux!
83 • 80 - Balancing (by Miq on 2008-12-17 00:18:05 GMT from Sweden)
I was thinking, you do have an extensive knowledge and experience of different distros, and you should employ this. The best and most useful kind of knowledge (in context) is comparative.
What would have made your article better and more suitable for DW would have been if you had initiated it with a short discussion of why you selected Ubuntu as your example distro (also mentioning other distros so as not to appear to play a favourite), and ended with a discussion on distros that might be better suited for small or lean systems. That would have catered to all tasted, avoided possible controversy, and been more in line with the "distrowatch" implication of DW.
84 • #75 lean? (by anticapitalista on 2008-12-17 00:48:50 GMT from Greece)
180-200MB using what you are using is heavy!!!
Other modern distros use less than that!
Arch is a great distro, but not as lite as is claimed once you start adding to it. Debian and Slackware are just as (if not more) light in RAM usage.
85 • How To: Getting a lean system with a custom Ubuntu install (by Marc on 2008-12-17 01:10:51 GMT from United States)
I did the how to and wow what a difference. I can't thank you enough for the how to. I was able to install the system that I would use and only 999 packages total and it runs great. I am even using Compiz and still runs better than when I did the normal install and then had to go back and uninstall packages I did not need or want. No updates needed since all packages were downloaded. This is the way I will install Ubuntu from now on. Thanks again for this great tip! I have been a long time Windows user, I have been using MS since DOS. When I made the switch to Linux it took some time learning how to use, install and tweak Linux. I have enjoyed the journey. Thanks again.
86 • 83 re package installation (by digger on 2008-12-17 01:17:52 GMT from United States)
apt-get install -s package-name will show what would be installed including required dependencies if package-name is installed
87 • Ubuntu light is useless (by Anonymous on 2008-12-17 01:49:52 GMT from Canada)
Instead of customizing Ubuntu isn't it a better idea to install Debian (customized or whatever)?
88 • RE 84 (by Nobody important on 2008-12-17 02:32:43 GMT from United States)
It goes with the hardware, of course. My desktop uses 100 MB under Ubuntu while idle, and my laptop uses 180 MB. Same distro, same programs, dfferent number. Computers are tricky beasts; you can't just carry over a number and expect them to be comparable.
Not every distro can be like AntiX, anyway. ;)
89 • "douglas" (by Oiving on 2008-12-17 02:40:42 GMT from United States)
strange response, "douglas." post 77 is quite accurate, not to mention also quite civil.
that distro is no better than many many others; it is merely promoted by a bottomless bank account, thus its popularity (if that popularity is true, we are not sure are we).
if the page hits here are not accurate and are just another ploy of the (that distro) fanboys and fangirls, then they have no reason to critisize, or even to stop using, Windows.
you don't get out much do you.
90 • Sidux Gnome (by Chris on 2008-12-17 03:46:18 GMT from United States)
I like the easy mounting of partitions with Nautilus in Ubuntu, for example.
The partition labels are shown in the Side Pane,
click and a dialog box prompts for a password.
This doesn't work with Sidux-Gnome,
an error dialog appears and no partition is mounted.
Sidux gnome uses a workaround for this problem:
All partitions are mounted via a hand edited fstab.
An automated solution exists.
Why not use it?
I've got a partial solution,
# gnome-mount -p PartitionLabel
# gnome-mount -d /dev/sda6
A directory to mount on is created automatically,
and the requested partition is mounted.
If you supply the PartitionLabel,
gnome-mount looks up the /dev/sda6 part
What do I have to do
to have gnome-mount be called
when I click the partition label in Nautilus?
Use another distro, I know.
91 • Seems like everyones is a critic. (by D. Gaskin on 2008-12-17 04:32:01 GMT from United States)
I appreciated the latest DWW. Thanks for the hard work and I will continue to visit and enjoy your due diligence. .
The Ubuntu article was informative and interesting to many that visit Distrowatch.com. New users learned about the flexibility of a major Linux distribution. They may even try the command line install for themselves. New users may eventually become testers and developers.
When you increase your Linux knowledge, please don't look down on new and excited friends.
I may not use Ubuntu, but I respect it's developers and users just as in my preferred distribution.
We have a common feeling or belief that computers can work for us instead of getting in our way.
Thanks again for the hard work.
I look forward to next week.
92 • Summary: Knetworkmanager stores WEP/WPA keys unencrypted (by Bugzilla openSUSE rpt on 2008-12-17 06:51:15 GMT from Australia)
Description: WEP / WPA keys are stored unencrypted and clear text in the config file.
------- Comment #1 From Helmut Schaa 2008-06-05 -------
Yes, we definitely need KWallet integration again.
------- Comment #3 From Christian Zoz 2008-12-08 -------
It's to late for 11.1 now. Also K3NM will most probably not be in SLED11.
--> decrease priority
It seems (2 me!) that KDE3.5x is being neglected for corporate priorities!
93 • Re: 90 ..Sidux Gnome exists? (by Sertse on 2008-12-17 09:23:23 GMT from Australia)
I haven't checked in a while, but I'm sure Sidux officially supports only KDE and XFCE. I believe they've had a statement explicity explaining there wouldn't be a "Sidux Gnome" unless they can find 2 devs for it.
So I'm downright confused at what's happening with you..., you can't blame the Distro when that wasn't the Distro's aim in the first place...
94 • RE 85 (by Antonye on 2008-12-17 10:47:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
Better luck than me... halfway through it demanded xinit or initrd (don't remember which)... later it said Working (98%) and an hour later still showed that. Closed it down, carried on with apt-get, etc... when everything, according to the instructions, was installed, rebooted and was informed there was no xorg-config. At which point I decided it was probably better to do it in reverse...i.e. full install then remove the stuff I didn't want.
95 • Sidux Gnome (by Artis on 2008-12-17 12:14:59 GMT from Italy)
Sidux is a kde distro...
if You like Gnome (I don't)...better try Fedora 10
Many people loves it!
96 • Re 84,88 (by dooooo on 2008-12-17 14:50:51 GMT from Jordan)
The ram usage I reported was actually monitored with a 4-day uptime without restarting X and with many opera tabs open . With a fresh session the ram usage would be a lot less . I wanted to give a real example . If I wanted to cheat with my numbers (like others do) , I would have provided a shockingly small one .
Debian Sid was my distro of choice and I know it very well . You can't compare distros unless you have the exact same setup with the same hardware (and drivers) . I explicitly added (oss hal avahi-daemon openntpd cups mpd sshd nfslock nfsd fam) and others to my daemons list . Can I compare my setup with yours without knowing what daemons you run for example ?
One obvious example that I noticed is the video driver used with X . The Nvidia driver I use for my desktop seems to increase ram usage . X uses around 20MB more compared with a laptop using the Vesa driver . the difference seems to increase with time (probably due to memory leakage) .
97 • Linux Mint 6, nice job (by MintUser on 2008-12-17 15:19:32 GMT from United States)
Clement Lefebvre, thank you very much for all of your hard work on Mint 6. Well done. You've essentially taken an average distro, (Ubuntu with its lack of features) and made it great, and by truly doing so given Mint its own unique look, feel, features and usability control. Clement, again thank you to you and your team of volunteers and contributors for the weeks and months of hard work.
98 • Re #88 and #96 (by anticapitalista on 2008-12-17 17:51:35 GMT from Greece)
Yes you are both correct in that hardware and set up between users varies so comparisons of RAM use are pretty much meaningless.
I guess the key is how much time a user is prepared to put in to get their install of distro of choice customised to how they want it. I have done this with Arch, Debian net-install, antiX-base, TinyMe (new version) and TinyCore.
Whichever base is used, with a bit of thought, you are rewarded with a lite-RAM and fast linux installation.
Oh and I also note that nvidia drivers add about 20-25MB to RAM usage.
99 • A letter to the Mandriva community (by glyj on 2008-12-17 19:28:58 GMT from France)
There is still hope :
100 • RE 98 (by Nobody important on 2008-12-17 20:49:05 GMT from United States)
I usually stick to pre-made installs and strip them down to what I want. I'm a little lazier than most.
And I do agree; if I were going for a "light" distro, I certainly wouldn't choose any of the Ubuntu derivatives (xubuntu's definition of lightweight isn't what I usually have in mind). I'd probably go for Debian. That's why the above how-to is so helpful, as well; it basically teaches Ubuntu newbies how to make a Debian install, as the two are mostly the same in this case.
I might give this a try, just to see what comes up. It would be a good learning experience, as with everything in Linux.
101 • Nice one! (by mchlbk on 2008-12-17 20:50:41 GMT from Denmark)
Very interesting article about the custom Ubuntu install!
A thought: Comparing WMs might make a very intereresting article too. Memory usage, features, speed and what have we. Most info I've found on the different WMs are based on people's subjective opinion, an objective comparison could be very useful. (-And might generate a few stone throws in this forum too, hehe.)
102 • Ram usage / light Distro (by DeniZen on 2008-12-17 23:29:00 GMT from United Kingdom)
Abut three years ago, I got given an old (around 1999 vintage?) Toshiba Tecra laptop - pentium III, and 196MB ram.
I tried loads of different 'lightweight' Distros on it at the time.
I was off work with a broken shoulder, and looking for something to do ;)
Very few of the dozens that I tried out ran as 'well' as a clean install of Win98 - not that i wanted Win98, and I knew it would only remain 'snappy' for less than a month or two of use , at best - but I'd seen how it performed, and so that became my (rather unscientific) 'benchmark'.
It became a bit of a project. Maybe .. obsession'. ;)
Out of the many Distro's I tried out, three ran well, had enough usable ram to spare, and a decent set of apps as standard, but, importantly for me - were fairly 'conventional' Distro's (i,e, not Puppy or DSL - good though they may be - but I like things fairly 'straight')
As i was benching against Win98, i chose distros' with an XFCE desktop, or option to specify XFCE was my basic criteria. I did not go for Openbox or *box. Though I could have i guess.
The three that seemed as snappy as a clean Win98 install (but better) were :
(fast, and funky, but what a job I had to get the 'slightly leftfield' sound hardware working on _that particular_ lappy )
Wolvix - darned good. Slick, polished, fast.
and Vector - whoa - watch it fly! but boy - it was ..fugly :)
I recall Xubuntu truly crawled. And also had very little free ram - as i recall.
It was hopeless as a choice for low spec machine in my experience.
'Alternative' CD was still a painfully looong install. Failed a few times. Live Desktop CD wouldnt even run.
Biggest surprise and disappointment - even plain Debian Etch with XFCE seemed to run akin to wading through treacle. No idea why. I tinkered a'plenty, but never figured it out TBH. Ran like a dog. Even a CLI set-up seemed stilted. Shame.
Interestingly, all three that worked really well were Slack based.
Wolvix was the Distro I stuck with - until the Lappy went pop - the ungrateful thing... ;)
I cant believe that Wolvix is not more popular.
I'm fairly sure that SAM Linux ran quite well (and looked great too). Mandriva based as I recall.
I had a lot of fun testing a lot of distros against a particular criteria at that time. And I learned a bit. And I resurrected an old Lappy - eventually - thanks to Wolvix.
103 • Great DW weekly (by Jon N on 2008-12-17 23:41:06 GMT from United Kingdom)
Loving the weekly podcasts handy because I can catch up with DWW when I'm at work. Really, really thought the stripping ubuntu article was superb we need moer stuff like this.
104 • #102 (by Verndog on 2008-12-18 01:24:14 GMT from United States)
Great review actually, on how to resurrect an old laptop.
I had a (still do) Compaq, PII, 300mz, 196meg. TinyMe, worked well and even PCLOS ran. There was another one, smaller than TinYME based on PCLOS, I can't remember the name, maybe SAM, that ran well but they stopped production.
105 • 104 continue (by Verndog on 2008-12-18 01:32:18 GMT from United States)
It was "PCFluxboxOS". They stopped all updates. But it worked the best with my old Compaq Laptop.
106 • Rubbish Feature article (by Critic on 2008-12-18 06:30:42 GMT from Hong Kong)
Why not do an LFS article instead? People uses Ubuntu for its bloatedness. Repeat after me: binary distros = BLOAT! One never start with something bloated and attempt to trim off the bloat, you start with something slim and add only what is necessary.
107 • @102 DeniZen: Wolvix (by capricornus on 2008-12-18 07:54:05 GMT from Belgium)
Indeed, DeniZen, I recently did it again with an older PIII and little memory, that ran best and most complete, including CrossOver and OfficeXP, all on Wolvix 1.1.0 Hunter. Amazing, it always get under all the other yet-to-be-tested, and everytime, it pops up when an older pc refuses to run well on eg XUbuntu.
108 • Slackware & Trisquel (by M. Juhl-Johansen Zölde-Fejér on 2008-12-18 08:09:20 GMT from Denmark)
Good to see a fresh Slackware release. It is really good - as always, the Thinkpad swallowed it like candy. Now, if I can just get over the problems with using he Ath5k driver with WPA...
Interesting to see the addition of Trisquel. A beautiful desktop, too - I shall have to download it and try it out. I still wonder why the Debian team doesn't make this kind of cleanup; the great community distribution belongs more than anyone on the FSF list.
109 • lean install of ubuntu (by gary on 2008-12-18 12:15:10 GMT from United States)
i thought that article was awesome i had a newer model compaq it would not run full version for some reason but it will run lean version i love it and i visit distrwatch every day my favorite site i have been a linux user for 10 years i gave up windows five years ago
110 • What has happened? (by Jason Tomas on 2008-12-18 13:15:26 GMT from United States)
The Ubuntu is now the only subject at distro watch for so long?
The money buys the influence and propagates against smaller less money distros. Shame! here for allowing Microsoftlike attitudes take over linux!!
We share machine and need more inputs for variuos distro. Not for Ubuntu only (one computer per person is not norm with school).
"Ubuntu Watch" now?
111 • RE: 110 What has happened? (by ladislav on 2008-12-18 13:25:44 GMT from Taiwan)
Your posts has reminded me that the second alpha of Ubuntu 9.04 is scheduled for release today. Be warned that there will be a release announcement on the front page of DistroWatch, while dozens of other Linux web sites all over the Internet will also be reporting about it.
For your sanity's sake, please switch off your modem as soon as you can and stay away from the Internet for at least a week!!!
112 • @ 110 (by DeniZen on 2008-12-18 15:31:21 GMT from United Kingdom)
Proof that there must be a Parallel Universe ...
113 • Ubuntu releases (by M1k on 2008-12-18 16:03:45 GMT from Italy)
Ubuntu marketing strategy....
nothing new under the sun,neither exciting in those scheduled releases....
114 • OpenSuse 11.1 (by Vukota on 2008-12-18 17:43:00 GMT from United States)
Anyone tried OpenSuse 11.1? Impressions? Is it worth to upgrade from 11 (if you use GNOME) or it is better to wait (as usual)?
115 • Lean (or "not quite so bloated") Debian (by Pearson on 2008-12-18 18:21:50 GMT from United States)
In the spirit of the Lean Ubuntu article (maybe it should be "not-quite-so-bloated Ubuntu"), I found an interesting "distribution flavorizer" called SkinnyDebbie, at http://birotechnology.com/skinny/index.html As the site says "SkinnyDebbie is an installation scheme that makes it easy to set up a light-and-lean Debian-based Linux system. It should be especially useful for computer systems that are not powerful enough to run Gnome, KDE, or Xfce based systems. "
And, just to fan the flames a bit, I'll offer my opinion that maybe some of the *buntu off-shoots could just as easily be "distribution flavorizers".
116 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2008-12-18 18:35:15 GMT from Germany)
Is OpenSuse covered by the patent protection deal between Novell and Microsoft? Or just the Suse (commercial) is covered? This concerns me because I don't want to use illegal software and I don't want to encourage patents infringement.
117 • @ 116 (by Pseudonym on 2008-12-18 19:47:56 GMT from United States)
Its just a racket, nothing more nothing less and certainly nothing for you to worry about as you are in Germany where US Patent laws do not apply. :)
118 • @117 (by Anonymous on 2008-12-18 20:04:57 GMT from Germany)
Thanks, I'll download and install OpenSuse. Wish me luck. I haven't used Linux before.
119 • Funny (by Douglas E on 2008-12-18 20:37:04 GMT from Germany)
Strange how 110 and 89 have the same message and the same style but not the same names.
120 • #102 Light Distros, #116 openSUSE license, the "UbuntuWatch" nonsense (by Caitlyn Martin on 2008-12-18 20:37:22 GMT from United States)
#102: Denizen: this week I'm going to mainly agree with you :) My experiences are pretty much the same as yours. A number of Slackware distributions are the fastest ones I've tried. I have yet to find a Debian or Ubuntu or Red Hat/Fedora or Mandriva based distro that comes anywhere near close. I also agree with you that Wolvix 1.1.0 was truly excellent and did not get the recognition it deserved. Unfortunately it's based on Slackware 11 and in the words of the lead developer is now getting long in the tooth. Wolvix 2.0 is probably the distro release I am most looking forward to.
I also agree with you that Vector Linux is the fastest full featured distro I've tried and that, along with it's stability and reliability (inherited from Slackware, of course) are the main reasons I run it. Vector Linux Light is even faster if you can live with a more minimal window manager for your desktop.
I still don't understand why people get caught up on how the default desktop looks immediately after install. I find a default Ubuntu install to be far worse than any of the recent Vector releases. (Vector changes look and feel frequently.) That doesn't really matter to me because I NEVER keep the default desktop. I like things to be done my way on my system and I always heavily customize. It's easy enough to change the wallpaper and theme, isn't it? If you find Distro A to be ugly by default then take five minutes and make it pretty.
#116: As reported in DWW two weeks ago openSUSE 11.1 uses the same license as Fedora. You have no worries about the legality of the new version or about any sort of restrictive licensing.
#111: Ladislav, I really appreciate your sense of humor sometimes. I honestly don't get where all this "UbuntuWatch" nonsense is coming from. Yes, Chris wrote a feature story about Ubuntu. So??? The rest of this week's DWW covers other distros. Last week's feature was about Vector Linux. The week before it was about Red Hat, Mandriva, and openSUSE. Three weeks ago it was split between SCO and netbooks running Xandros Desktop, Linpus Light, gOS, etc...
I am frequently amazed how whichever distro seems to be really succeeding gets compared to Microsoft. A few years ago it was Red Hat. Now it's Ubuntu. Tell me, how do Canonical or Red Hat or any other Linux company follow the Microsoft example? Do the sell proprietary software with restrictive licenses? Generally, no. Canonical certainly doesn't. Do they engage in predatory or monopolistic business practices? Certainly not. Both companies have kept what they developed open and given back to the community. This animosity towards anything that could be seen as success baffles me.
So... if Chris writes a DWW full of interesting news about Slackware, Zenwalk, Nonux, Slax, AliXe, Vector, Wolvix, GoblinX, and Easys will we be reading about how horrible it is that DW has turned into SlackWatch next?
121 • Link for openSUSE 11.1 review pointing to a Mint review (by Please correct at 2008-12-18 21:53:22 GMT from Australia)
12/18 openSUSE 11.1 (de)
122 • UbuntuWatch no-nonsense (by Miq on 2008-12-18 22:24:32 GMT from Sweden)
@120: "if Chris writes a DWW full of interesting news about Slackware, Zenwalk, Nonux, Slax, AliXe, Vector, Wolvix, GoblinX, and Easys will we be reading about how horrible it is that DW has turned into SlackWatch next?"
No, then we will probably be reading a better DWW.
As for you appreciating Lad's humour (in #111), well, I myself found it pretty sad and small. I guess it is about where we place our loyalties? The Ubuntu debate is is not about begrudging it its "success", it is about the unfairness of the situation; that Ubuntu not necessarily being good for Linux' future; and that increasing popular association between Ubuntu and Linux, which is false, against the very core of Linuxness, and simply not for the good. Upright and ethically aware Linuxitizens should combat these kinds of monopolitic trends.
123 • RE 122 (by Nobody important on 2008-12-18 22:40:29 GMT from United States)
Linux's biggest problem has been the lack of PR. Once that PR starts becoming successful, those Linux nerds that whined about the lack of PR now whine about the glut of it.
You just can't win, can you?
124 • Why #1 gets compared to M$ (by venom2 on 2008-12-19 00:59:58 GMT from United States)
People like the writer of #120 that are mystified about the comparison obviously haven't been using #1.
Sometimes the goal to stay popular and on top becomes the single driving force and eclipses the original mission statement so that increasingly limited hardware recognition, xserver configuration that is both poorly documented and anti-user and a general attitude in the forums of burying criticism and unfavorable questions are the order of the day.
How do I know or dare say that? I had used #1 since 4.10-had been very active in the forums particularly as a helper with hundreds of thanks. I'm no longer there because quite clearly bigger does not always mean improved or better-sometimes it just means the entity on top will do whatever it takes to stay #1.
125 • Open SuSE 11.1 (by paul on 2008-12-19 02:43:26 GMT from United States)
I have just installed 11.1 on my laptop. It went slicker than deer guts on a door knob. But... Dolphin in the super user mode doesn't work. And there seems to be a problem with printing that seems to be dependent on the printer. One printer does, and the other one doesn't. Other than these, it seems a breeze. It certainly installed easier than any Windows I have had the misfortune to wrestle with. The only heartaches were with Samba, which is mostly my own problem. I am not a super techno-geek. As such, the folks at Samba apparently feel that I am unwashed and unworthy, and should therefore stumble around in the dark forever. Or, maybe it just seems that way. :-)
The wireless connection is superb! I have not seen anything like it. That alone puts SuSE number one for me.
126 • So...how's OpenSuse 11.1? (by Sertse on 2008-12-19 06:41:55 GMT from Australia)
Guys, it hard to take seriously that it's Ubuntuwatch, when its pretty obvious next week's article will all be about OpenSuse 11.1. =P
This week article is alright. Somewhat useful, though personally it ought to be a Debian-minimal install rather than Ubuntu. Ubuntu's "advantages" over Debian come from the "polish" of the completed product...
If you're building from scratch anyways though, you might as well use Debian, (which imo is slightly lighter). Especially since the method of buildiug up is pretty much the same.
And as a side effect,there'll be less "omgz everything is about ubuntu now!!!111" talk. ;)
127 • Joke-buntus (by Comic relief on 2008-12-19 15:33:41 GMT from United States)
Uh oh. Dracula claims to have a 'buntu too.
128 • @ 124 (by Anonymous on 2008-12-19 17:59:21 GMT from United States)
Sometimes the goal to stay popular and on top becomes the single driving force and eclipses the original mission statement so that increasingly limited hardware recognition, xserver configuration that is both poorly documented and anti-user...
Is that the fault of #1 or is it the fault of upstream? Considering the fact that #1 contributes less to upstream than most other distributions I am inclined to believe that it is really upstreams problem and not #1 because #1 is just doing the best they can with what they have to offer. (Which doesn't say much for #1, mind you)
Lets face it, the kernel isn't the greatest since the unstable branching was done away with for 2.6. Oh, sure, new hardware is supported quicker but what good does it do to support new hardware quickly when you constantly break support for old hardware?
On the display side can anyone really say that they like the current state of xorg better when compared to XFree-86 where a new release wouldn't break your configuration. Are wobbly windows really worth it? I don't think so, XFree may not have been quick on the ball sometimes but at least it gave us stability.
129 • ZevenOS (by IMQ on 2008-12-19 18:45:09 GMT from United States)
Is this the new name for Zebuntu or is it a different Ubuntu-based?
More Ubuntu-related stuff for the masses
130 • 127 - I've got news for you (by Miq on 2008-12-19 21:58:58 GMT from Sweden)
Regarding Ubuntu Satanic Edition and DW, please read the comments of DWW 280 ;) (Also. fyi, USE apparently isn't a joke release any more but a full-fledged U remix).
131 • "What is a distro etc" (by Sertse on 2008-12-19 22:11:14 GMT from Australia)
I've posted this elsewhere, but yea.. still valid.
What is the line between something we dismiss as merely an repackaged Ubuntu w/ a theme change, and something we consider worthwhile?
Does it have to be as innovative as the differences between Slackware to Red Hat to Debian etc? Not every distro is aimed at technological innovation, but they doesn't mean they have perfectly justifiable reasons for creating a distro.
Many of "xyz desktop environment/window manager" derivative distros, are not technologically innovative, but have valid reasons for existing because they provide a seamless, out of the box experience of their mother-distro using that de/wm. Also in those cases, it makes more sense to it as an offer as an iso, hereby making a "distro" than making someone download a metapackage, especially if it something they're not going to change once installed.
How about distros created for ideological/religious/political objectives, are they any less valid? Again from purely a technological point of view, there's no point for creating the distro, but obviously many valid ones otherwise e.g Ubuntu Christian Edition being made to promote Christianity (Not arguing the merits of the cause or otherwise).
132 • RE: 122 UbuntuWatch no-nonsense (by ladislav on 2008-12-19 23:36:10 GMT from Taiwan)
Upright and ethically aware Linuxitizens should combat these kinds of monopolitic trends.
Man, I honestly have hard time to accept much of the logic you present here. Combat? If you are so keen on combating something every week, why don't you combat something worthy of a fight? Like drug abuse. Or freeing Tibet. Or something that can really change the world for better. But no, you want to combat Ubuntu and still claim that you are "upright and ethically aware". You have a big problem, my friend!
If you have a constant need to combat something, just get a computer game. Or even better, start practicing yoga or join a Buddhist monastery. Maybe that will give you some inner peace that you so desperately need.
133 • Ubuntu - Fedora forum communities (by Some Stats on 2008-12-20 01:28:49 GMT from Australia)
FedoraForum.org Statistics: Members: 126,125, Active Members: 2,343
Currently Active Users: 5650 (251 members and 5399 guests)
Ubuntu Forums Statistics: Members: 730,032, Active Members: 67,086
Currently Active Users: 8289 (718 members and 7571 guests)
134 • Two laughs on Distrowatch (by Nobody important on 2008-12-20 04:13:51 GMT from United States)
Two things made me laugh out loud on my visit to Distrowatch this evening.
-Ladislav's comment regarding the Ubuntu paranoids
-iMagicOS' new release. I felt sorry for the thing until I realized they were more or less trying to seel Ubuntu, but even crappier, for eighty-five dollars.
135 • For Adam Williamson...Fraud? (by chris on 2008-12-20 06:03:30 GMT from United States)
Running PowerPack Kde4,
there was a question mark icon on my panel,
and when I clicked it
a dialog box came up saying,
As a user of powerpack, you are entitled to a new library.
What is your account email and password?
thank you, chris
136 • Dell Optiplex - Vector Linux (by Mellosonic on 2008-12-20 06:55:48 GMT from United States)
Many Kudos to Chris on a great job taking over DW weekly! Just a note from my testing for Dell users - I know they are working on a Linux deal and Ubuntu/PCLinux and their derivatives will not work on a lot of older Dell Optiplex computers because of the Bios/Cmos...To make a long story short - I have found that Vector Linux installs and works straight from the iso download install CD - it even supports a Belkin USB wireless adapter albeit it had to setup a ndiswrapper which it did on it's own... I used it to set up a Dell office computer at a Health services office and they love it! No viruses, easy net access and multimedia...I'm sure there are other distros that might work but Vector is the easiest I've found with all the options one could want!...Happy Holidayz and Peace/mello - www.mellosonic.com
137 • @ 134 (by mikkh on 2008-12-20 09:55:55 GMT from United Kingdom)
Couldn't agree more, who are these dreamers at iMagic ?
Which genius thought that adding yet another Ubuntu clone to the already saturated mountain of Ubuntu clones deserved a price tag above Windows and most, if not all, of the other established commercial distros out there?
And having been to their site, I don't see any trial version, or even any screen shots - not that I looked that hard
And "I" magic ! Wow, which marketing whizzkid thought that making a vague assocation with Apple would make this release more attractive?
Or did they consult the fairies at the bottom of the garden before releasing this project - hence the magic part?
138 • #137 iMagicOS (by anticapitalista on 2008-12-20 10:47:48 GMT from Greece)
"I don't see any trial version, or even any screen shots - not that I looked that hard"
You obviously didn't. Try the link that says 'screenshots' on the home page ;)
139 • #137 (by yelamdenu on 2008-12-20 11:28:43 GMT from Netherlands)
Which genius thought that adding yet another Ubuntu clone to the already saturated mountain of Ubuntu clones deserved a price tag above Windows and most, if not all, of the other established commercial distros out there?
It's a good marketing trick. If it's cheaper people would think nah, that must be crap.
If you make it expensive enough there's always the possibility that some folks will think, that's almost a hundred bucks, that must be good if they dare to ask that for it. :-)
Margins, not market share is what matters these days.
140 • re 135 for Chris (by Not a fraud on 2008-12-20 14:09:22 GMT from Canada)
I'm not Adam. If you have a problem with Mandriva better ask in Mandriva's forums. Here is why you received the pop-up http://forum.mandriva.com/viewtopic.php?t=102127
141 • re 140 (by Chris on 2008-12-20 16:15:14 GMT from United States)
I checked out the forum,
and all is well.
142 • self centered comments (by johncoom on 2008-12-20 18:24:37 GMT from Australia)
Why does ever second distro's developer(s) announcement say:
"We are proud to announce .......... blar blar blar"
What is being PROUD got to do with any thing ? Do they have no self esteem at all ?
Extremists are Proud - Religious fanatics are Proud - rebels with out a cause are Proud !
Why can they just be "Pleased to announce .......... blar blar blar"
Or are they just SELF CENTERED ? (I thought linux = linux - and NOT ego trips)
143 • A mandriva community release (by glyj on 2008-12-21 10:03:22 GMT from France)
only in french, sorry :
144 • @post#142 (by Jerry B. on 2008-12-21 13:17:43 GMT from United States)
Apparently while drinking, johncoom said, "..are they just SELF CENTERED ? (I thought linux = linux - and NOT ego trips)."
Reality check for you, brother: if it were not for egos it would be a boring world indeed. No sports. No entertainment industry. No politics (well, we can do without that one I often think). No art.
And no inventors and developers of operating systems.
Plus there would be no comedy posts in here such as yours, an ironically egocentric comedy post, but a comedy post nevertheless. :O)
145 • debian evolution (by jack on 2008-12-21 14:29:37 GMT from Canada)
Linux Evolution Reveals Origins of Curious Mathematical Phenomenon
146 • Debris @ 48 by pfyearwood, also ASUS 701 (by Fractalguy on 2008-12-22 00:54:21 GMT from United States)
Ah, yes. I used to follow BeatRIX and BeaFantrix. Thanks for reminding me about Debris. I'm finding Debris works very nicely as a live CD on my IBM ThinkPad A30 with 384MB Ram (and a swap partition on the HD). The new Mint 6, while very nice, just barely runs there as a live CD. I have sidux installed on the HD but some software I use from time to time is not available for sidux (I'm looking at KompoZer). So I fire up a light Ubuntu derivative and load desired extras from the repos. And here I'm defining light as requirements of RAM in live CD mode. I would not care if a distro needed 4 GB to install on a HD since many of these old boxes and laptops I play with have at least 6GB HD.
I even ran KNOPPIX on an old P-II for about 3 months as a live CD. It would not install anything, so I put a swap partition on its 2GB HD and KNOPPIX ran fine, great for visitors wanting to check email on Yahoo.
BTW, I'm coming up on 1 year using an ASUS 701 eeePC for my main machine. I like the quietness. The 701 has 2GB SSD and 512 MB RAM. I store/backup all my personal files on a 4 GB thumb. So far I've had to reset to factory settings 3 times - when the limited (400MB) used space on the SSD ran out. One must watch an xterm console frequently using top and df -hT. With care I can have up times of several weeks or more. The eee PC has many KDE apps that are easily run from console, like konqueror.
147 • vibuntu (by jack on 2008-12-22 02:30:59 GMT from Canada)
Last week I said that I was unable to load it.
(issue 281. post 58)
It now appears that my cd/dvd drive is acting up
I can run it using a plextor drive.
Number of Comments: 147
Display mode: DWW Only • Comments Only • Both DWW and Comments
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