| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 302, 11 May 2009
Welcome to this year's 19th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! With mobile computing being the next operating system battleground, it's hardly surprising that many industry players are focusing on these increasingly popular devices. One of the most promising among them, Moblin, has been through some major changes recently, both in terms of ownership and development goals. Read our feature story for the roundup of its recent past and probable future to learn more about the project. In the news section, Debian ditches the GNU C Library in favour of the more flexible Embedded GLIBC, Fedora finalises all features for the upcoming Leonidas release which includes delta support for RPMs, Slackware switches to packages compressed with LZMA compression mechanism, and the Ubuntu community looks to create yet another derivative based on the LXDE. Finally, don't miss our tips and trick section which provides a step-by-step guide of upgrading a stable Mandriva Linux 2009.1 to the latest Cooker, Mandriva's bleeding-edge development branch. Happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (30MB) and MP3 (26MB) formats (many thanks to Sonny Chauvin)
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
|Feature Story (by Caitlyn Martin)
The future of Moblin
Back in February Chris Smart took a first look at Moblin V2 alpha 1 and found it to be a very promising distribution for netbooks. In the three months that have passed since Chris wrote his feature on Moblin a lot has changed, both in terms of the code and in terms of who is directing the future of Moblin. It's time to take a look at the flurry of Moblin news over the past three months and also to look at what we can expect from the netbook-specific distro in the coming weeks and months.
A brief history of Moblin
Intel launched Moblin in July 2007, just one month after ASUS announced the Eee PC. Version 1.0, based on Ubuntu, was released in April 2008 to coincide with the first release of Intel's Atom processor. The original version targeted Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) which was probably fortunate since that release actually wouldn't run on netbooks, including those with Intel Atom CPUs. Intel originally hoped that Moblin powered devices would reach market by summer 2008 but they never materialized.
In July, 2008, a year into Moblin development, Intel announced a major reworking of Moblin. The Ubuntu kernel was replaced by one from Fedora, the RPM package management system was adopted, a new GUI was developed, and a new set of GNOME mobile applications were slated for inclusion in the next release. For version 2 Intel all but started from scratch, this time targeting netbooks and nettops as well as embedded devices.
In August of last year Intel acquired OpenedHand, a company specializing in embedded Linux. OpenedHand developed Clutter, a framework for simplified GUI development. Clutter is designed to offer improved graphics and fluid movement, and is now part of Moblin. In October, 2008, Novell began contributing to the Moblin project.
The first alpha of Moblin 2 was released in January and this was the version Chris Smart reviewed so favorably. In March a second alpha was released which offered faster boot times. Phoronix benchmarked alpha 2 and found that the actual boot time was 16 seconds on a Samsung NC10 netbook with a solid state device (SSD) for storage. From a user's perspective booting seems even faster since X was loaded in just three seconds and Xfce 4.6 was running at seven seconds. Alpha 2 also added support for MSI Wind netbooks, an updated version of Clutter, a release candidate of GNOME 2.26, and a 2.6.29rc7 kernel. Alpha 2 is still the version currently available for download on the Moblin website.
At the beginning of last month Intel turned over control of Moblin to the Linux Foundation though Intel remains heavily involved in the development of the distro. Imad Sousou, director of Intel's Open Source Technology Center stated: "Big corporations are not good shepherds of open-source projects." A week later Sasou announced that future releases of Moblin would boot in just two seconds. The ultra-fast boot process is needed by auto manufacturers for embedded computers in cars, a market targeted by Intel for Moblin. Sasou also stated that parallelisation, or initializing multiple components at the same time, which is used by other distros to achieve fast boot times, isn't good enough for Moblin: "Parallelised bloat is still bloat."
Last week Moblin was in the news again as Novell announced a major commitment to the distribution, including a version of SUSE Linux based on Moblin. SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) is already available on some netbooks by HP, Lenovo and MSI but has been plagued with serious configuration issues on some netbook models. According to a report on DesktopLinux.com published on Thursday, the new SUSE product "appears to be more of a 'SUSE-fied' version of Moblin rather than a 'Moblinized' version of SUSE".
Guy Lunardi, Novell's director of client preloads, stated: "It's very possible you will see Novell going to market with OEMs on pre-installations on netbooks as early as a few weeks after the final release of Moblin 2.0." He added that the new Moblin version of SUSE could "be compelling to disenchanted Windows users who are finding it to be too slow."
What's next for Moblin?
A third alpha release of Moblin 2 is imminent according to a report on The Register published last Thursday. A project roadmap, including a schedule for beta releases, is expected to follow soon after. This roadmap should provide the first clues on whether there are any changes in Moblin's direction now that the Linux Foundation is in charge. The big question is whether Moblin will be expanded to support more than just Intel processors and graphics chipsets. The Register believes this change is "inevitable" if Moblin is to survive. They believe ARM, PowerPC and possibly even MIPS processors will have to be supported. VIA Technologies, an Intel competitor in x86 space, is still actively developing netbook/nettop chipsets as well.
Moblin faces stiff competition on netbooks from Ubuntu Netbook Remix, Xandros Presto, and Linpus Lite. Google has also gained a lot of mindshare for its Android embedded Linux distribution currently used on smart phones. The first ARM CPU powered netbook running Android was announced late last month. Major netbook manufacturers included ACER, ASUS and HP are already testing Android on netbooks and Dell is reported to be readying trials of their own.
With so many changes in a relatively short time and no successful track record of marketing, some see bleak future for Moblin. Others see real potential, particularly in light of the Novell partnership. The current alpha version supports Intel Core Duo processors as well as the Atom, so it should be possible to give Moblin a try on some desktop systems. In addition Moblin provides KVM and VMware images, making it possible to use the distro on a virtual nettop. After trying Moblin 2 alpha 2 the only thing I can be certain of is that it is an interesting distribution with some unique and compelling code.
Moblin's early alphas use a standard Xfce desktop, but this will be replaced with a custom interface in the final release
(full image size: 462kB, screen resolution 800x600 pixels)
|Tips and Tricks (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Running Mandriva "Cooker"
Once upon a time, Linux was a highly technical operating system that few outside of computer engineering circles dared to use or even heard of. In those days, even a stable release was often a challenge to install, but once the system was brought under control, many technical users were quick to jump onto the next challenge - installing a new beta version, keeping up with the changes in the development trees, and interacting with the developers on mailing lists and bug reporting facilities. Although those days are gone and nowadays most distributions are comparatively easy to install and use, there is no reason why some of the more confident Linux users shouldn't try running a development tree of their favourite distribution.
This has many advantages. Firstly, the user will feel more involved with his or her preferred project by running exactly what the distro's developers use on their system (remember, free and open source software is all about sharing, rather than just consuming). Secondly, by running the development tree, users can greatly contribute towards the stability of individual packages and the entire distribution by reporting bugs and talking to the developers on the mailing lists. And thirdly, using the development tree will mean that you'll be running the absolute bleeding edge of what the open source software world has on offer. Of course, there is one big disadvantage - your system can break at any time. Although it is often possible to fix any problem with some online help, it is often faster to re-install the system from scratch and continue from there.
Two weeks ago, Mandriva announced that its development tree, called "Cooker", had undergone a major post-release update, with many bleeding-edge packages now available for those who dare to run them on their computers. Most notably, the KDE desktop has been upgraded to the first beta release of version 4.3 (labelled 4.2.85). This is an excellent way to try out the next major update of the popular desktop and to contribute towards its smooth release, scheduled for 28 July 2009. The question is, how do you upgrade to Cooker? It's actually very simple. Once you decide that that's indeed what you want to do (preferably on a test system), just follow these steps:
* Note: Commands in steps 4 and 5 can be combined into one command: # urpmi --auto-update
- Remove the existing repositories: # urpmi.removemedia -a
- Add the Cooker repository: # urpmi.addmedia --distrib --mirrorlist 'http://api.mandriva.com/mirrors/basic.cooker.i586.list'
- Optionally add the PLF repository: # urpmi.addmedia --distrib --mirrorlist 'http://plf.zarb.org/mirrors/cooker.i586.list'
- Update the package list: # urpmi.update -a
- Update all installed software: # urpmi --auto-select
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 daily to ensure that you are always in sync with the Cooker development.
I upgraded my Mandriva 2009.1 installation (on a test machine) to the latest Cooker over the weekend and encountered few problems. Sometimes, depending on how fast the mirrors synchronise with the main server, you might end up with some dependency issues or other errors, but these often "automagically" correct themselves the following day. While the usual warnings apply, don't be paranoid over running a bleeding edge system - remember that this is all that Mandriva developers and active contributors run on their computers year after year! Who knows, maybe you can even become a contributor or you can adopt an "orphaned" Mandriva package yourself!
You can run a very early build of Mandriva Linux 2010 with just a few commands
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|Miscellaneous News (by Chris Smart)
Debian ditches glibc, Slackware switches to TXZ, Fedora adds delta package support, Ubuntu eyes LXDE, interviews with Jonathan Thomas and Linus Torvalds, Marble Live CD
Unbeknownst to many outside the Debian embedded developer community, the project has long been struggling with the GNU C Library. The main issue has centred on disagreements with the upstream developer who is a Red Hat employee. Aurélien Jarno posted on his blog that Debian has now ditched GLIBC. He writes: "I have just uploaded Embedded glibc (eglibc) into the archive (it is currently waiting in the NEW queue), which will soon replace the GNU C Library (glibc). The eglibc is a variant of glibc which stays source and binary compatible with the original glibc." He goes on to provide reasons for the change, citing a more friendly upstream (especially with regard to embedded architectures), better support for embedded architectures and support for building with -Os, among others. He concludes the post by saying: "We do not use some of these features yet, but this upload is a first step. From the user point of view, the package names are unchanged (except the source package and the binary package containing the sources) so no transition is needed." While eglibc is currently backwards compatible with the original glibc, how might this change over time? Hopefully this will be a good move for Debian and help further improve the popular distro, especially on embedded architectures like ARM.
* * * * *
With Fedora 11 now just a fortnight away, all 52 features for the new release have been marked 100% complete and the release looks dead on track. One such feature is Presto, a plugin for Fedora's update manager which makes use of RPM deltas. This greatly reduces the amount of data required when users perform updates, as only differences to the previous update are downloaded. It's not a new idea by any means and other distros have had it for years, but it's still a nice update to include in the new release and one which will be of great benefit to all. Users who pay for the amount of data they download and those not connected via fast connections will be the biggest winners. The major catch is that although now complete, the feature is not enabled by default and requires users to install the package to activate it. The command, yum install yum-presto should do the trick. Josh Boyer: "We'll probably still have a few hiccups here and there, but the infrastructure is now in place." Either way, it's a step in the right direction for one of the world's most popular distributions.
* * * * *
Slackware, the oldest surviving Linux distribution, has made a small but important change to its packages - switching the compression from gzip to xz. Patrick Volkerding's announcement in the change log says it all: "This batch of updates includes the newly released KDE 4.2.3, but more noticeably it marks the first departure from the use of gzip for compressing Slackware packages. Instead, we will be using xz, based on the LZMA compression algorithm. xz offers better compression than even bzip2, but still offers good extraction performance (about 3 times better than bzip2 and not much slower than gzip in our testing). Since support for bzip2 has long been requested, support for bzip2 and the original lzma format has also been added (why not?), but this is purely in the interest of completeness -- we think most people will probably want to use either the original .tgz or the new .txz compression wrappers. The actual Slackware package format (which consists of the layout within the package envelope) has not changed, but this is the first support within Slackware's package tools for using alternate compression algorithms." Now that Slackware supports packages with different compression algorithms, it firmly puts the idea of having a standard suffix for all Slackware packages (such as "package.slk") to bed.
* * * * *
Another day, another Ubuntu derivative. This time it's LXDE, a lightweight desktop environment, which is causing a stir in the Ubuntu community: "Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment (LXDE) is an extremely fast, high-performance and energy-saving desktop environment. LXDE uses less CPU and RAM. It is especially designed for cloud computers with low hardware specifications like netbooks, mobile devices or older computers." With Ubuntu's foray into cloud computing, perhaps this desktop makes sense for the project. Not content just to support the desktop environment, however, the community is looking to create yet another derivative. Mario Behling writes on the LXDE blog: "As a first step Mark [Shuttleworth] invited us to become a self-maintained project in the Ubuntu community. This means we will be able to manage LXDE inside Ubuntu, ultimately offering an Ubuntu derivative, ergo Lubuntu." Indeed it may not be long before we see "Lubuntu" as the URL lubuntu.org already re-directs to the LXDE project page. This new environment is a hot competitor to Xfce, the current lightweight desktop champion. But as we have seen in recent weeks, the Xubuntu implementation is not exactly lightweight. Hopefully the community will let this new LXDE derivative stay true to its roots and not burden it with heavy, resource-hungry services.
* * * * *
Enjoy travelling the world without leaving the comfort of your computer home? Then check out Cornelius Schumacher's Marble Live CD, a live media booting straight into Marble, a popular virtual globe and world atlas application similar to Google Earth, but open source and released under a free license: "Marble is one of my favorite applications. I especially like it in combination with OpenStreetMap. Free software and free maps, a brilliant combination. But I also love the historical map or the moon view. Marble is also great as a demo application. It's easy to grasp and makes an attractive showcase. To make demonstrating Marble a bit easier, I thought it would be nice to have a Marble live CD." Created with SUSE Studio, the CD includes Marble 4.2.3 with additional data from Blue Marble. For further information and download links please visit the author's Marble in a Box page.
* * * * *
Two interesting interviews have made it into this week's DistroWatch Weekly. The first is with Jonathan Thomas, student and Kubuntu developer. The interview centres on the Ubuntu development cycle as they discuss the recent 9.04 release. The next release of Ubuntu will be 9.10, which the interviewer suggests should be a more KDE-centric release. Thomas replies: "I think I'd give it the same amount of work even if it was named 'Giggling Gnome', but I think that the K in there is pretty neat." The other interview is with Linus Torvalds, the father of Linux who follows up on part one of his interview for Linux Magazine. In this part, source management system, Git and the Linux kernel come under spotlight. Git has an undeserved reputation of being hard to learn as it has thousands of internal commands. But Linus Torvalds says that's a red herring: "I went through a totally ridiculous example of a few people working together, and noting every time we used a new git command. I think we ended up with something like fourteen commands being used. And even that's more than most end developers will ever need. That list of fourteen commands was for the whole 'multiple people working together, including the person integrating things' workflow." From the Git logs, Linus shows the number of commits to the kernel numbers 27,143. Of those, only 88 are patches that he himself authored.
* * * * *
Finally, in this Windows-dominated world, it is always a pleasure to come across a public computer proudly running Linux. The following picture was taken in a supermarket in Ecuador and published by EcuaLUG (web site in Spanish).
A cash register running Red Hat Enterprise Linux as spotted in a hypermarket in Ecuador
(photo courtesy of EcuaLUG)
|Released Last Week
Canaima GNU/Linux 2.0.1
Canaima GNU/Linux is a Debian-based desktop distribution created mainly for use in Venezuela's government departments, but also available to general public as a desktop operating system. Version 2.0.1 was released yesterday. Some of its characteristics include: Modified bootsplash and desktop theme with Canaima artwork and logos; inclusion of OpenOffice.org 3.0.1 with a Spanish (Venezuela) dictionary; additional Impress templates and support for extended picture gallery; addition of OpenOffice.org Presenter; addition of XChat, a software package facilitating access to the distribution's IRC channel; updates to Freemind, an application for creating mind maps; update to OpenProj, project management software; update to the Pidgin instant messenger; update to Firefox 3.0.10 with support for Flash and GStreamer plugins. Please read the release announcement and release notes (both links in Spanish) for further details.
Stephan Rickauer has announced the release of BSDanywhere 4.5, a live CD consisting of a base OpenBSD system plus a graphical desktop (Enlightenment 17): "We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of BSDanywhere 4.5 - Enlightenment at your fingertips. Here's a quick summary of the changes since 4.4: Upgrade base system to OpenBSD 4.5 and packages accordingly, please see the OpenBSD site for a list of changes since 4.4; contains official, standard, unmodified OpenBSD kernel - previously, we had to ship a slightly modified version of the OpenBSD kernel to make the boot off CD media less cumbersome, but thanks to OpenBSD developer Kenneth Westerback, this has been improved in OpenBSD 4.5; last but not least, we have great new artwork, provided graciously by Tim Saueressig." Here is the complete release announcement.
Parted Magic 4.1
Patrick Verner has released Parted Magic 4.1, a specialist live CD containing a collection of software for managing hard disks: "This version of Parted Magic fixes some bugs and adds some new features and programs. There was a scripting error that caused DEB packages not to load in some situations, mkfstab was moved later in the booting process to stop the new fstab from being overwritten by the one from the 'Save Session' package, and 'partimag' user was added by default for PartImage. The fstab daemon now detects device mapper RAID partitions while removing the unmountable mirrors from /etc/fstab. GParted and mount-gtk correctly display and mount these partitions. Added support for new package extensions .tbz, tlz, txz. Numlock is set to 'on' in and outside of X by default." Read the rest of the release announcement for additional details.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- MONOMAXOS. MONOMAXOS is an Ubuntu-based distribution and live DVD designed mainly for Greek speakers, with English also available as an optional language. It includes support for many popular media codecs and can be set up as a standalone media centre (with XBMC).
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 18 May 2009.
Ladislav Bodnar, Caitlyn Martin and Chris Smart
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Mandriva, Lubuntu, Kongoni (by dwijef on 2009-05-11 09:18:41 GMT from Indonesia) |
Well what do you know, i may be the first to comment up here.
First up: Mandriva article by Ladislav. Is it just me, or is this Mandriva article is a response for last week comment section where some people really asks "where's the Mandriva review?". And also, I'm still waiting for that Mandriva review from Caitlyn. Will it be published here, or on Caitlyn's personal website? Well anyway, nice to see an article about Mandriva.
Next: Lubuntu. Yup, another Ubuntu derivative yet again. I just wonder, will Canonical really develop this thing just like they did with Xubuntu? I mean Xfce is great. It is lighter with other distro shipping with KDE/Gnome default. But those developers from Canonical just had to make Xubuntu heavy. Will that happen on LXDE too? I don't know.
And Lubuntu is funny for a name. In Bahasa Indonesia slang, it means "you dead end" ("lu" is a slang for "you", and "buntu" really means "dead end"). LXbuntu maybe?
Okay, next is Kongoni. I just read about PC BSD and kinda like it's concept about Push-Button Installer (PBI). I know that Kongoni is not BSD, but bearing the ports system is really something i'd like to give a try. I hope I can get to test Kongoni and PC-BSD soon.
That's about it. Oh, great shot from EcuaLUG there! Really love it!
Say my regards to Adam Williamson.
2 • Lubuntu (by Pumpino on 2009-05-11 09:26:20 GMT from Australia)
Yet another Ubuntu flavour but I think LXDE is possibly superior to Xfce, so I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing. Having separate flavours with different windows managers means that users can download a small 700MB ISO rather than a 4GB DVD ISO with three supufluous windows managers on it.
3 • Moblin (by dragonmouth on 2009-05-11 09:31:28 GMT from United States)
I wonder how Novell's interrelationship with Microsoft will affect its contributions to Moblin. Will Microsoft try to insinuate itself into Moblin development?
4 • lubuntu (by raducu on 2009-05-11 09:43:26 GMT from Romania)
If lubuntu would be an official Ubuntu derivative I'll surely test it (currently I'm running xubuntu)
5 • RE:Lubuntu @Pumpino (by lars on 2009-05-11 09:48:25 GMT from Norway)
"Having separate flavours with different windows managers means that users can download a small 700MB ISO rather than a 4GB DVD ISO with three supufluous windows managers on it."
No it doesn't. Other mainstream distros like Mandriva, OpenSuse and Fedora also have different install medias. They just don't call those different distros. And why should they -- it would be lying.
6 • Wither Linux (by Strag on 2009-05-11 09:58:51 GMT from United Kingdom)
Last century was Intel x86, last year was Intel and Moblin. The future belongs to ARM/RISC/MIPS and Android, amongst others (but not to overlook Debian for MIPS, of course). Power consumption, battery life and thermal dissipation are the watchwords.
7 • Kongoni (by AJ Venter on 2009-05-11 10:19:52 GMT from South Africa)
Well, just a brief note from me, since I'm the lead developer of kongoni and it's nice to see it featured and added to the database. I particularly wanted to reply to dwijef's comments.
In fact there is a clear similarity between PC-BSD, DesktopBSD and Kongoni - although indeed Kongoni is GNU/Linux and not BSD - it is designed to be as BSD-like behind the scenes as can be, but I do believe GNU/Linux provides a much better kernel approach for a desktop than BSD does.
The major catch being the linux started out as a desktop kernel and has many performance optimizations for that environment (things like CFS spring to mind) and much better support for typical desktop hardware.
Apple built a very popular desktop on a BSD architecture and that does prove that the concept can work very well - but apple added support for their own devices. I would rather be coding installers, ports-installation gui's and designing desktop themes than hacking custom device drivers for the general PC market :p.
Still - I do think people who like particularly PC-BSD will enjoy kongoni, I have heard reports (and I haven't tried to verify this so don't quote me) that PC-BSD's KDE implementation is extremely unstable - well my several kongoni desktops have hardly ever crashed... so perhaps even in alpha state, it's already more stable for desktop use.
8 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-05-11 10:24:49 GMT from France)
It's possible to simplify command line to switch to Mandriva Linux Cooker :
Type "urpmi --auto-update" instead of "urpmi.update -a" and "urpmi --auto-select".
9 • Slackware (by Greg on 2009-05-11 10:30:57 GMT from Greece)
DWW said: "Now that Slackware supports packages with different compression algorithms, it firmly puts the idea of having a standard suffix for all Slackware packages (such as "package.slk") to bed."
Care to explain where this assumption stems from?
The announcement doesnt say anything like that. Do you have any inside information?
10 • re: Development release Linux Mint 7-rc1 (by Catholic American on 2009-05-11 10:31:44 GMT from United States)
For several years, I had been an avid supporter of LinuxMint (since ver 2.0). I passed out copies of each new version to my friends and aquaintances. I kept my bittorrent client running 24 hours a day; always seeding the four major flavors of Mint as each new release became available.
But, after reading Mr. Lefebvre's blog comments last week, I realized that I and my friends were among those users/supporters whom Mr. Lefebvre found offensive. So, I stopped seeding the torrents; deleted the iso images from my computer, and recovered as many of the Mint CDs as I could locate. Everyone I contacted wanted to cooperate fully in complying with Mr. Lefebvre's wishes. One elderly Christian gentleman had already installed ver 6.0 on his Dell, but after reading the blog comment, he asked me to help him install a different (Ubuntu) distribution.
If Mr. Lefebvre ever moves on to another project, we hope that it will be well publicized so that we all may continue to avoid offending him long into the future.
re: Sun May 03, 2009 8:32 pm Post subject: [LinuxMint] Clement Lefebvre's Conscience
11 • lbuntu (by jnw on 2009-05-11 11:00:38 GMT from United States)
lubuntu=brilliant (hoping the name was lXubuntu)
what else can say, lxde (on debian 5.0) is very lightweight.
ubuntu, avoid bloating it
12 • @ Greg (by Raul on 2009-05-11 11:20:10 GMT from United States)
Please read the slackware changelog:
Fri May 8 18:49:03 CDT 2009
Hello folks! This batch of updates includes the newly released KDE 4.2.3,
but more noticeably it marks the first departure from the use of gzip for
compressing Slackware packages. Instead, we will be using xz, based on
the LZMA compression algorithm. xz offers better compression than even
bzip2, but still offers good extraction performance (about 3 times better
than bzip2 and not much slower than gzip in our testing). Since support
for bzip2 has long been requested, support for bzip2 and the original lzma
format has also been added (why not?), but this is purely in the interest
of completeness -- we think most people will probably want to use either
the original .tgz or the new .txz compression wrappers. The actual
Slackware package format (which consists of the layout within the package
envelope) has not changed, but this is the first support within Slackware's
package tools for using alternate compression algorithms.
Some people have asked why we don't pick a single extension, such as
.slk. While there's certainly a case to be made for that idea, the tools
would still need to support .tgz to handle older packages. Sticking with
".tgz" for everything makes no sense. Using extensions that reflect the
compression format used by the package envelope seems to be the most
transparent approach, and the one that best follows tradition.
As an example of the compression improvement with .txz, have a look
at the kernel-source package:
Before: kernel-source-184.108.40.206_smp-noarch-1.tgz (73808508 bytes)
After: kernel-source-220.127.116.11_smp-noarch-1.txz (49150104 bytes)
The size of the main package tree in /slackware has been reduced from
1.9GB to 1.4GB by converting most packages to .txz.
Most of the packages have been converted from .tgz to .txz, but we
will continue to make the gzip, pkgtools, slackpkg, tar, and xz packages
in .tgz format for the foreseeable future.
Enjoy! And thanks to Lasse Collin for the great work on xz. :-)
13 • Kongoni (by alb3rto on 2009-05-11 11:24:18 GMT from Spain)
Kongoni seems interesting, will download and give it a try.
Too bad KDE is the default DE, but still...
14 • Re:#2 (by NoName on 2009-05-11 11:25:41 GMT from United States)
Why do tou think that the "new" distro is important for the different WM? I did try on my FreeBSD KDE, GNOME, xfce, lxde, openbox...but I have JUST one version or distro of FreeBSD.
What if I decided after a month that I don't like lxde anymore, do I need to instal Ubuntu and after a month Kubuntu? Crazy.
15 • Kongoni (by Sertse on 2009-05-11 11:30:56 GMT from Australia)
Now that's a distro with an unique concept! Will try. :)
16 • RE: 12 Raul (by Greg on 2009-05-11 11:32:38 GMT from Greece)
I meant this part: "it firmly puts the idea of having a standard suffix for all Slackware packages (such as "package.slk") to bed."
I am aware the whole Slackware tree has been converted to xz.
Besides gzip,pkgtools,tar,xz & slackpkg that is.
But i didnt see anywhere an announcement about a standard suffix.
Is the article writer suggesting that after converting the whole tree to xz, its gonna be converted again to some other format?
17 • LXDE-BUNTU 9.04 (by capricornus on 2009-05-11 11:36:24 GMT from Belgium)
Well, DW challenged me, the first thing I tried after reading this weeks pearl, was downloading LXDE on UBUNTU 9.04. Well, I'm thus impressed that I changed AntiX8 to LXDE-BUNTU on two slightly older laptops. Wonderful effect.
Quick like a fox (a brown fox?), and easily adapted, easily to adapt to. I hope some more testers will report and that DW might present this as one of the few good OS'es for older pc's.
Only one but: just like with XFCE, CrossOver and the Win-app's are not shown, you must manually create shortcuts from within cxoffice|bin.
18 • lxde (by jeje on 2009-05-11 11:51:58 GMT from France)
Does have lxde (pcman) a trash folder now ?
19 • Xubuntu -> LXDE-buntu (by AJ on 2009-05-11 11:52:50 GMT from United Kingdom)
Following the commentary, I booted up Xubuntu 9.04 (running in a Virtualbox), went to Synaptic, and installed the LXDE meta-package.
I logged out of my account, and fired up LXDE.
I said "wow!" when the LXDE desktop popped up virtually instantaneously.
In my setup, I found Xubuntu used ~120 MB after login, LXDE-buntu used ~88 MB after login.
I have an old machine that I may bring to life with some variant of LXDE now. Thanks for the tip!
20 • Mandriva cooker (by corneliu on 2009-05-11 12:01:36 GMT from Canada)
The article about Mandriva contains a few commands for adding repositories. Please note that those are for x86 architecture.
For 64 bit use:
urpmi.addmedia --distrib --mirrorlist 'http://api.mandriva.com/mirrors/basic.cooker.x86_64.list'
urpmi.addmedia --distrib --mirrorlist 'http://plf.zarb.org/mirrors/cooker.x86_64.list'
Nice to see RedHat becomming popular :)
I recently flew with KLM from Europe to Canada and there was an error on the passengers' screen. Then the penguin and the Linux console appeared on the screen.
21 • LXDE vs VISTA and Goodbye Xubuntu (by Nathan Green on 2009-05-11 12:09:30 GMT from United Kingdom)
Xubuntu has lost the plot. I suggest a name change to Bloatuntu.
LXDE meanwhile (over a Debian base+OOo, Sunbird, Evolution etc.) has taken over from Gnome completely at 3 of our sites, on trial for another 2 months ( we're 4 month into it now), rolling out to possibly replace 5 more big sites running XP and Vista mix by end of Q3. Thats 600 desktops so far, and a total of 3200 machines by the end. What's more, is that we've had 14 problems so far. 14 yes 14.
!!! 14 calls to the support helpdesk. From 600 users over 4months, all previous XP/Vista+MSOffice. Down from 40+ a DAY. They had a 1 hour group session on OOo and 1 hour on the rest of the apps, that's all the training.
Even better, the saving MS licencing budget is being transfered to- wait for it- IT RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT !!! How cool is that?
We've ordered a pizza oven and 2 coffee machines already :)
In the current economic climate, I reckon thats a bit of a coup :)
Without LXDE, I have doubts if it would have happened at all. We were TOTALLY MS-only until the CEO borrowed my colleagues personal LXDE notebook for a weekend to let his wife browse Ebay while he worked on a project on his own n/bk. SHE converted HIM. Amazing. My life has changed forever. Backends next.
Christmas 2008. I will never forget. The funniest thing is I have only just finished (last month) my MSCE on 2003, paid for by work.
22 • Debian Lenny's XFce Installation CD is also a LXDE Installation CD (by chemist on 2009-05-11 12:10:32 GMT from Germany)
With Debian Lenny, it is possible to install XFce or LXDE from the same installation cd:
23 • Jonathan ThomasInterview (by Marcos on 2009-05-11 12:33:51 GMT from Germany)
"In addition, Qt 4.5 (The underlying framework of KDE) has received some major speedups which should make the entire experience feel snappier."
I thought KDE developers had warned against using QT 4.5 to compile KDE 4.2.0, given they made a bunch of "dirty hacks" in Qt 4.3 that may cause it not to work properly.
Anybody knows if it is still so?
24 • moblin (by miks at 2009-05-11 12:38:52 GMT from United Kingdom)
I tried moblin on my Advent 4211 MSI Wind clone. Running from a pny 1gb usb flash drive, it took 55 seconds to boot to the desktop and the touchpad does not work. I rebooted with a mouse plugged in and was able to try it but there did not seem to be any tools to configure the wifi. I was not very impressed.
25 • re: Development release Linux Mint 7-rc1 (by Willie Green on 2009-05-11 12:44:51 GMT from United States)
Mr. Lefebvre's more recent blog entries apologized for mixing his personal political thoughts through the Mint blog.
Furthermore, his apologies included an adequate explanation of his faux pas for those whom he may have offended.
My take is that Mr. Lefebvre is merely another gentle soul who abhors hostility and violence. And he is frustrated because our species has not yet evolved to where we can resolve conflict without violence.
Peace On Earth, Goodwill to All is an admirable goal, but we shouldn't crucify Mr. Lefebvre for the clumsy way he failed to come up with a solution to the dilemma in his blog. Mankind simply isn't that perfect.
So let's get back to discussing Linux Mint. And let other venues debate World Peace.
26 • Debian and Bleeding Edge (by Jesse on 2009-05-11 12:50:17 GMT from Canada)
Reading of the fork of the glibc project, I have to wonder: Does Debian feel the need to fork everything? In recent memory, they've moved from Firefox to Iceweasle, had a serious flaw in OpenSSH after adding patches to the upstream and now they're forking the C library.
I'm sure they had good reasons in each case, but shouldn't this raise the question of flexibility? If the Debian developers have trouble working with upstream projects, what is the root cause? Is it the Debian devs, the upstream devs or perhaps the Debian rules which govern their actions?
The article on moving to Cooker was interesting. Though I find even my "stable" installs tend to break a lot when running updates (especially Fedora). Going more "bleeding edge" would probably result in me doing a system rescue every week.
Still, for those braver than myself (or for people who like to test in a VM) this was a nice tutorial.
27 • re: Debian and Bleeding Edge (by Marcos on 2009-05-11 13:03:53 GMT from Germany)
"If the Debian developers have trouble working with upstream projects, what is the root cause?"
Just check the links and you will see one of the root causes:
EGLIBC is more portable and delivers a much better performance in "embedded" systems (arm and armel)
28 • KDE 4.2+ and Qt 4.5 (by Ken on 2009-05-11 13:42:58 GMT from United States)
@Jonathan: I don't see this as an issue anymore. I am running both 4.2.x as well as 4.2svn on my laptop and both are running against Qt 4.5 :-)
29 • ... and LXDE on AntiX/Mepis 8 (by capricornus on 2009-05-11 13:52:31 GMT from Belgium)
Interesting. The new Ubuntu 9.04 / Mint 7 rc is unable to give 1440x900 on a brandnew laptop with SiS video. So I rejected it (I'm nót a Xorg-nerd). I reinstalled Antix8/Mepis 8, 1440x900 OK, and then installed LXDE, so all laptops have the same GUI. Perfect result! It runs just as well and swift as IceWM. I will call it LAntix8. Or should I call it LMepis or Lepis? the latter sounds like "the urine" in Brussels-French. ;-))
30 • re: 5 lying by lars (by Thor on 2009-05-11 14:08:29 GMT from United States)
"No it doesn't. Other mainstream distros like Mandriva, OpenSuse and Fedora also have different install medias. They just don't call those different distros. And why should they -- it would be lying."
Would you be lying to call yourself a Norwegian or Linus a Fin when you are all Scandinavians?
31 • Ubuntu derivates (MonoMaxos) (by Zoltan on 2009-05-11 14:20:19 GMT from Hungary)
I have really fed up with *buntu derivates! Half of the distrowatch listing is only *buntus, and their variants. IS this success? When will be new techniques, and real development moves as like in Fedora, or Debian? I think MOST of it, nothing just "empty" remasters.... It's really annoying, boring to see again and again all the same in most case...
32 • *Buntu Derevitives and stuff (by davemc on 2009-05-11 14:29:11 GMT from United States)
Hi. I don't really think a new LXDE derivative should come as any big surprise and its not the same thing as a "side project" or spinoff distro, which is what I think most folks are getting fed up with. LXDE is a wonderful WM and I don't see what the fuss is about with Shuttleworth putting his arms around it as an official release. All it means is that it will receive official support and get tucked under that juicy foundation fund. Hopefully, that will also mean that it will attract many new developers who will presumably contribute to upstream development as well. Sounds like a win for all involved to me.
33 • Debian forking * programs (by forks? no spoons or plates on 2009-05-11 14:47:50 GMT from United States)
Debian started off forking cdrtools from Joerg Schilling. This is when they have started doing stuff. The other fork has been the XFree86 to Xorg. There are others. What are the reasons for the fork?
Is there any KDE 3.5.X forks out there for users that want KDE 3.5.X functionality and don't like KDE 4.X? Wasn't a fork going to come into place?
34 • RE: 31 Yes it is, but these distros. are not for everybody. (by Eddie Wilson on 2009-05-11 15:02:26 GMT from United States)
"Half of the distrowatch listing is only *buntus, and their variants. IS this success?"
Zoltan, it is success. Its not the fault of Distrowatch how numbers fall. Linux is not just for distro hoppers or computer nerds anymore. It's being developed and made for the general public. I can see where Ubuntu or its variants may be boring to super smart Linux masters. There's not a whole lot to fix or play with. Now if you want something to play with may I suggest Gentoo or Slackware for example. Both top distributions that has enough pizazz to keep even super smart Linux masters happy.
These are my opinions based on my experiences. They are not up for debate.
35 • *buntos (by NoName on 2009-05-11 15:08:02 GMT from United States)
No, it is not just about Ubuntu and derivates or better Ubuntu with different WM. problem is that Linux become more and more Windows like not just for looks also for security. And this is a problem.
36 • No subject (by Sertse on 2009-05-11 15:16:59 GMT from Australia)
Re 31: Depends, I always like to bring up Mint as an example. It is a variant, yet with DW ranking are to be believed, it's above every other major distro including Fedora, Debian, Mandriva etc. Even if they can't be completely believed, it can't be *that* much off. You can't say it "not a distro" but the only deciders of that - people have decded it's better than almost everything else...
Re 32: The main reason people are "pissed off" is that only Ubuntu markets using different DEs as seperate distros.
Fedora, Debian, Suse, Mandriva and others all offer KDE/Gnome etc versions, including isos but they still call it Fedora/Debian/Suse/Mandriva. That Ubuntu doesn't is a valid comment.
Re 33: I sometimes wonder why use who are determined to stay with KDE 3 "forever" just don't "lock" thier packages, forcing those to never upgrade to KDE 4? It's even possible to just lock those packages, and still allow everything else to update... at least in some distros. At least some a purely technical sense, it's possible.
Sure, it's supported by no distro, it's likely to break your system eventually, but that stage, KDE 4 would be completely superior by then (Just as no one nowdays says KDE 2 is worth having...)
37 • Re: KDE 4.2+ and Qt 4.5 (by Anon on 2009-05-11 15:26:29 GMT from Norway)
... and I'm running KDE 4.3 and Qt 4.5 without any problems!
38 • Re: Lying (by Anon on 2009-05-11 15:40:08 GMT from Norway)
#30, Thor, wrote: "Would you be lying to call yourself a Norwegian or Linus a Fin when you are all Scandinavians?"
Geography is difficult, I know, so: Finland, although a 'Nordic' nation, is NOT part of Scandinavia. Very strictly (geographically) speaking, only Sweden and Norway constitute Scandinavia. Geologically(!) and culturally Denmark is also included. Of course, Finland has strong historical ties to Scandinavia, especially to Sweden.
39 • RE: 30 (by lars on 2009-05-11 15:52:17 GMT from Norway)
I'm not sure you got my point.
Sure, Canonical call their product whatever they want. Using different names for each DE seems like a good publicity strategy. It's important to bear in mind that they are all the same one distro, only with a different DE in use.
The upside for Ubuntu is that it makes the impression that *buntu have a wider range of DE available -- or that the get more care, are more integrated.
Many news sites (and this include distrowatch) treat each Ubuntu install media like it's a distro of its own. The Ubuntu family gets quite a lot of extra media coverage this way. In fact, it might not be right to blame ubuntu for this. They have just done what seems to be a successful branding strategy. I think we should expect media sites to treat the OpenSuse Gnome and KDE desktops as different distros if they does the same with Kubuntu and Ubuntu.
My point is: Call it whatever you want, all I expect is equal treatment.
40 • LXDE vs XFCE on Ubuntu (by ezsit on 2009-05-11 16:03:53 GMT from United States)
Well, I just installed a command line Ubuntu system and added XFCE and Xorg. The system flies! I added many gtk based programs and some Gnome stuff, and even k3b and all the KDE libraries that takes to run, and the system is still fast. I finished off added OpenOffice 3.1 and remastered the installation and now have a complete, up-to-date, and fast XFCE system that is a pleasure to use compared to Xubuntu.
I tried LXDE and it still has a ways to go in development before it can approach the current DEs in usability and completeness.
41 • Re: 39 (by Alan UK on 2009-05-11 16:35:51 GMT from United Kingdom)
Very true. I've been trying Debian Lenny with Gnome, KDE, Xfce, Openbox and LXDE - NOT GnomeDeb, K Deb, XDeb etc.
By naming each desktop as a different distro, you would be forgiven for believing that Ubuntu/Canonical have been the brains behind these desktops.
42 • this week (by dave on 2009-05-11 16:37:02 GMT from United States)
Well thanks caitlyn for that moblin info.I love what they are doing with boot times its defenitely a worthwhile endeavor.Its even more worthwhile where it looks like they are going with it.I think moblin preinstalled on netbooks like the wind would be great....and if they could advertise boot in a few seconds that could be a major selling point.
nice little tip from ladislav.I'm gonna give it a whirl on my mandriva installation defenitely worth checking out.
I see debian is making a major change atleast I think it is...and I too hope it's for the better as we all should.
Every time I see fedora in the news I just shake my head damn wish it would run on my machine.
slackware? curious as hell just havent gone there yet,I suppose there is more here with the same sentiments.
Lubuntu?I too wonder how light this will be.I use crunch bang for my lightweight ubuntu needs.
Marble caught my interest the most this week.A live cd? what a cool idea.Downloading it now!
I see patrick verner has been hard at work with his wonderful distro.Damn that guys dedicated.
And finally Monomaxos as a stand alone media center..thats something thats always been on the back burner,one of these days i'm going to do this too.Thanks all for another wonderful DWW!!!
43 • KDE and Qt 4.5 (by Jess on 2009-05-11 16:39:55 GMT from Canada)
I upgraded to Qt library 4.5 and it completely killed my KDE install. Had to remove all Qt and KDE packages and re-install. This was on Fedora this past week.
44 • LinuxMINT and Atheism? (by Scott Dowdle on 2009-05-11 17:09:23 GMT from United States)
#10, not being familiar with the issue I decided to check out the LinuxMINT developer's blog. I searched for the word offend and I only found it in reference to him not wanting to offend others... not that he was offended. Where you got that idea from, I'm not sure.
In any event, does that mean you'll stop using Linux altogether because Linus Torvalds is an atheist too?
I'm not an atheist myself... but I thought your controversy was silly.
45 • Lightweight desktops (by Ed Borasky on 2009-05-11 17:20:18 GMT from United States)
I spent about four hours yesterday buzzing through most of the "lightweight desktops" available in Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex). I tried LXDE, XFCE4, WindowMaker and Enlightenment (e16). I really wanted E16 or E17, but they need to be built from upstream source at this point -- they aren't really fully supported in the repositories. I think the same goes for WindowMaker -- what's in the Ubuntu repos is lame compared to what I used when I ran WindowMaker on Gentoo.
But LXDE looks pretty good. I think I'm going to attempt building E17 from source, and if I can get it up and running, I'll do a resource usage comparison with LXDE.
46 • re#45 (by hab on 2009-05-11 17:48:20 GMT from Canada)
You might want to take a look at elive here:http://www.elivecd.org/
It is debian with e17. A donation is requested for for the current stable release but the development version is available for free download. I've been running it for about three weeks now it has been quite stable for me. Plus it is a very pretty distro to look at!
47 • One Ubuntu (by dan on 2009-05-11 18:01:58 GMT from United States)
If Ubuntu is to be considered one distro with many DE's just like the others, consider that this will give them about 3,400 hits per day. This will give them more bragging rights and more media coverage. I personally use Linux Mint despite my not agreeing with Clem.
48 • This is more like it (by jeffcustom on 2009-05-11 18:02:50 GMT from United States)
40+ comments and still civil discussions....surely we must be approaching some kind of civility milestone.
LXDE is indeed a promising project. I have ran it on top of sidux and it definitely has potential. I'll be following.
I have to admit, the whole Ubuntu variant thing does seem to be out of hand at times but, fact is, many users are obviously using them so they must be filling some type of need.....having something pre-configured for them...probably being the major one. That's ok, it's a great use for virtualbox. :-)
49 • @ Scott Dowdle (by kiwisoup on 2009-05-11 18:05:35 GMT from United States)
If you don't know anything about something, it would be wise to not speak of it at all. The posts are no longer on the Linux Mint website, they were moved and reworded to Clem's personal blog. If you had been there when it was relevant you would have seen that he asked anyone that supported the Israeli government to not use or donate to Linux Mint.
50 • A few responses (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-11 18:44:04 GMT from United States)
#1: My review of Mandriva 2009.1 will be published as a feature story for DistroWatch Weekly. As of now I plan on submitting it for next week's column. The only way that will change is if there is a major Linux news story that demands front and center attention this week or if Ladislav asks me to delay it for some reason. Thanks for your interest.
#3: With the Linux Foundation firmly in charge I don't think that Microsoft will be able to have any influence on Moblin. With Linus Torvalds working for the Linux Foundation it would be very interesting to see if he has any input in the future. In any case, if you read the article I linked in the story, the whole point is to open up Moblin development to a wider community. Whatever you may think of Novell they are a major player in Linux development since their acquisition of SUSE and they do contribute code upstream.
#6: While I agree that the future is in green computing, both mobile devices and low consumption nettops, I wouldn't assume that Google Android already has a lock on the market. I haven't seen a desktop version available for public consumption yet. With Intel letting go of control of Moblin I still think that there is an excellent opportunity for that distro to play a major role. If I didn't think Moblin was still important I wouldn't have written this week's story. There has already been an ARM powered netbook running Xandros announced so they will be competing as well. I wouldn't write off Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR), who are also working on an ARM port, or Linpus Lite, or even Mandriva Mini. Competition is a good thing and I sincerely hope no one distro dominates mobile or green space.
#10: I believe you e-mailed me last week. Since then I have exchanged some notes with Clement Lefebvre in the comments section of his personal blog. I hope to continue to correspond with him. As you know I shared your concerns about a political statement Clem made on the Linux Mint blog. He removed that statement and has apologized for it. In my exchange with Clem I have found him to be a very reasonable and open minded person who is more than willing to consider different points of view. His views are certainly evolving.
At this point I think it would be a serious mistake to judge Clem harshly or to believe that this tarnishes Linux Mint in some way. One nice thing about the Linux community is that it brings people together who have differing views and who normally might not work together. This is a good thing.
I do have a forthcoming article for O'Reilly Broadcast this week about mixing politics and Linux distributions and my exchange with Clement Lefebvre and the hopefully short lived backlash against Linux Mint will be part of the story. Oh, and yes, the last sentence was a bit of shameless self-promotion :)
#24: Please remember that Moblin is still alpha code. There will be a new alpha forthcoming, possibly this week. It's not a complete distro yet. It is way too early to judge it. The standard Linux CLI tools for configuring WiFi are present in Moblin V2 alpha 2. Moblin is based on Fedora 10 so it should be possible to find an rpm for your favorite GUI WiFi configuration tool that will work so long as you also find all the dependencies as well.
I, too, have some issues with Moblin on my Sylvania g Netbook Meso, particularly with poor graphics performance. A review of the release announcement showed that this is a known issue that the developers are working in. Just remember that Moblin is a work in progress. If you voice your concerns on the appropriate part of the Moblin website or on one of their mailing lists I am sure the developers will welcome your input.
#31: Zoltan, this week the feature stories were on Moblin, a Fedora derivative, and Mandriva. In the rest of the news section Ubuntu got far less column space than Slackware and Kongoni, a Slackware derivative. SUSE also got some coverage in the Moblin feature and in the news section Chris wrote. How is this half Ubuntu?
What happens in the comments section is up to the readers so long as the comments are topical and respectful. If DWW readers want to discuss Ubuntu then that is their choice. The fact is that Ubuntu is the leading desktop distro right now. I think all three authors of this week's DWW did our part to feature other distros and other news. The rest is up to the community.
ALL: For the most part the commentts are excellent this week. Keep them coming.
51 • @10 (by Anonymous on 2009-05-11 19:44:54 GMT from United States)
I applaud Clem for being honest about his feelings. In fact I am pretty impressed that he was willing to voice such an opinion that is extremely unpopular in the west. I wasn't even aware of the issue til i saw it here. Though the comment has little to do with linux, it makes me want to give mint a try and support Clem even more.
Keep doing what you do Clem......nothing wrong with calling it like it is....
52 • LXDEubuntu (by mchlbk on 2009-05-11 19:51:40 GMT from Denmark)
Running LXDE+CrunchBang right now. Sweet.
53 • #50 To Caitlyn re MEPIS (by anticapitalista on 2009-05-11 20:03:14 GMT from Greece)
So are you going to stop your boycott of MEPIS?
54 • Not the place to discuss politics (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-11 20:06:25 GMT from United States)
#53: I will not discuss politics or economics here. However, to answer your question, it's definitely a "no" regarding AntiX.
55 • #50 To Caitlyn re MEPIS (by anticapitalista on 2009-05-11 20:07:14 GMT from Greece)
I meant your post here:
http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20090420&mode=67 post 85
56 • No subject (by anticapitalista on 2009-05-11 20:08:26 GMT from Greece)
You beat me to it.
Ok, but MEPIS has nothing to do with what antiX calls its releases.
57 • Linux Mint (by Supernatendo on 2009-05-11 20:09:42 GMT from United States)
In order to help ease the "conscience" of Mr. Lefebvre, I will no longer be supporting Linux Mint, nor will I grant financial support, or technical input toward this OS. I have deleted all Linux Mint images and recovered Cd's I have lent to others.
I have had friends ask me to install another version of Ubuntu, one that is developed by people who will not be offended by their use of the OS due to their nationality.
58 • Linux with BSD-flavoured ports? Hmm, where have we seen that before? (by gnobuddy on 2009-05-11 20:10:28 GMT from United States)
...Gentoo, of course! It would seem Kongoni is after the same goal that Daniel Robbins was aiming for when he created Gentoo so many years ago - Linux with a BSD ports-like system for software management (portage in Gentoo).
The entire Gentoo project has been withering on the vine for some years now, and after using it for many years I finally gave up and migrated to Kubuntu because of the gradual but continual decline in the quality of Gentoo. I'm not a happy camper, though, because I find that all the *buntu's are slug-slow compared to Gentoo on the same hardware. My impression is that Fedora is even slower, and SUSE is slower yet.
So, my best wishes to the Kongoni Linux project. I would love to once again have a fast, up to date, Linux distro with current security updates. If Kongoni hits those goals, I'm betting that quite a few former Gentoo users might switch to it.
59 • Linux Mint and politics (by ezsit on 2009-05-11 20:23:27 GMT from United States)
Besides the bugs, now a have another reason to avoid Linux Mint!
60 • LXDE :-=) (by jnw222 on 2009-05-11 20:45:06 GMT from United States)
when did LXdE come out anyway (i feels like it just walked up)
i have an old dell laptop (.1 ghz with 256mb Ram), xubuntu was a failure, debian xfce not that well (somehow), Lxde is fast (like taking a step back in time with a step into the future)
61 • #57, #59 - Please visit Clem's blog (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-11 20:51:29 GMT from United States)
Clem has retracted the statement that offended people and apologized for it. He has engaged in discussions with Israelis and supporters of Israel. He has admitted to not knowing all the history and background and is actually studying it. What more do you want from the man?
I will not be drawn into a political discussion here. I will say that if we ever want to have peace we have to talk to people who disagree with us. If we ever want to change opinions we have to have frank and respectful discussions with people of goodwill who may hold different views.
Take a look at the support for right-to-left languages in Linux, required for languages like Hebrew, Arabic, Thai and Yiddish. fribidi was originally an Israeli project. It has contributors from across the Arab world and from Iran. Yes, folks, Israelis, Arabs, and Iranians are working together for the common good. Linux can build bridges that might be impossible otherwise. Once you work with someone and respect them it's hard to hate them.
Once upon a time I worked for a company in a supervisory but not management role. My boss hired a Palestinian man to work in my group. (I am Israeli-American.) The relationship with my coworker was 100% professional and he did his job well. So far, so good. One day this Palestinian gentleman invited me to have lunch with him and I accepted.
To understand what happened next you have to understand our respective cultures. In Israel politics is a national passtime or perhaps a national obsession. In my family it is normal to have heated political arguments that, to someone who is from another part of the world, would seem really nasty. Then we sit down to dinner and everyone loves each other again. It's just the way the culture is. I have learned that Palestinian culture is essentially the same in this regard.
So... we sit down to lunch and guess what subject my coworker brings up. In true Middle Eastern fashion we get into a heated argument. Somehow, at the same time we both realized that the entire restaurant was staring at us. At this point my coworker raised his glass as in a toast and said, "If you and I could negotiate for our people we'd have peace in a week." I laughed and agreed with him. We were good friends from that moment on even though, when it came to the politics, we still agreed on nothing.
Boycotting Linux Mint would serve no purpose at all now that Clem is willing to listen to other viewpoints and reconsider some of his opinions. I can't support such a boycott at this time.
Each of you have to do what you believe is right.
62 • why Lubuntu? (by grindstone on 2009-05-11 21:08:04 GMT from United States)
Why has "Lubuntu" concept has advanced to this point when U-lite is already established as a fine LXDE experience? Seems to be reinventing the wheel or is it all political, too (???)
63 • mint controversy (by hab on 2009-05-11 21:16:29 GMT from Canada)
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.
Just a little thing to remind one's self of, when going on the attack for some perceived slight that has been made!
64 • A small correction (by Nezmer on 2009-05-11 21:38:34 GMT from Jordan)
Just a small correction .
LXDE is not a window manager . It uses OpenBox for window management by default (with It's own rc.xml) .
To change the default , edit '/etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE/config' with your favorite text editor .
65 • boycott... (by m1k on 2009-05-11 21:55:39 GMT from Italy)
I will call my own linux distro
anyone going to boycott?
please.....use your brain,the one between the ears!
66 • About politics & Linux... (by Caraibes on 2009-05-11 22:46:26 GMT from Dominican Republic)
Comment deleted (off-topic).
67 • Eh? (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-11 23:55:33 GMT from United States)
Haven't been able to post twice now...am I being blocked? If I successfully post now, of course, the answer is "No."
The Moblin stuff was quite interesting. Enjoyed the history; I know little about Netbooks and have no interest as of yet. My current computer is about the power of a Netbook anyway.
The Linux Mint politics thing is fascinating.
68 • Parted Magic and boot menu fix (by Verndog on 2009-05-12 00:21:27 GMT from United States)
One of my favorite mini distros is Parted Magic.
Since the release of pmagic 4.1, I've been busy trying to find a solution to have the boot menu reflect VGA=773 and SLEEP=0.
In the past it was a simple matter of editing one of the "cfg" files. That ended with 4.1. I tried every thing I could think of, all to no avail. On Linux I used the ISO master. Windows I used UltraISO. Nothing worked.
then I happened on Patrick Verner's comment on his forum to another unrelated topic. He gave his command as to how he builds pmagic:
"mkisofs -R -l -D -b boot/isolinux/isolinux.bin -o pmagic-svn.iso -c boot/isolinux/boot.cat -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -V "Parted Magic" current"
It was a simple matter of extracting the pmagic-4.1.iso into folder "current" and editing what I needed. Then executing the above mkisofs command. Presto!
I used my rather hackish method for so long I overlooked the obvious. And correct way of doing things.
The strange outcome of all this, is that now I'm able to use the save function at the logout command. Before it kept saying I didn't have a cd present. Also, now there is a color menu once again(minor fix anyway). Finally, at the top of the orignal pmagic-4.1 there was grub4dos message. Which lead me to believe that this was for USB or hd installation. It wasn't.
I need to have vga=773 because my intregrated Intel chip is of limited color- 1024x768x256. The sleep=10 is for waiting for slow usb products.
69 • #49 (by Scott Dowdle on 2009-05-12 01:32:41 GMT from United States)
Well I *DID* at least make an attempt to find out what the person was talking about... and admitted, after not being able to find it (because it had be removed?) that I wasn't sure where he got his opinion from.
Now that I have found the controversy in particular, I can't say my opinion has changed much. Clem doesn't want people to support violence and needless murder. What people disagree with is who is doing it... but in general, everyone is against needless violence in murder. I'm with Noam Chomsky on this one. :)
70 • Let the politics stop here or prepare for a debate like we haven't seen before (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-12 01:37:42 GMT from United States)
Do you really want to turn this into an angry political thread? Accusing Israel of "needless violence and murder" is a 100% sure way to do that. It's a false accusation that puts the blame in precisely the wrong place. Oh, and yes, I am prepared to back up what I say in great detail with competent sources.
Ladislav, you now have a choice: delete my comment and all the others that are political in nature or allow the debate that will ensue.
71 • Linux Mint (by Pollick Tically Korreck on 2009-05-12 02:42:26 GMT from United States)
Due to recent negative developments with Linux Mint and its controversial developer I must remove Linux Mint Fast. I used the Xfce Community Edition. Can anyone recomend a distro for my PIII which also formerly ran Win98?
Pollick Tically Korreck
72 • Re: 71 (by Funny name on 2009-05-12 03:11:36 GMT from United States)
Antix is a "most excellent" distro for older hardware (and newer).
73 • Re: 71, 72 (by Funny name on 2009-05-12 03:14:20 GMT from United States)
Pollick Tically Korreck,
If you try AntiX, be sure to give it a spin with LXDE. See #29.
74 • Re: #7 and #50 (by dwijef on 2009-05-12 03:36:20 GMT from Indonesia)
#7: Thanks for the response AJ. I've seen the Kongoni website and decided to download Kongoni soon. I'm downloading PC-BSD CD2 right now :p. As I said before, I really interested on the PBI concept. I just wanted to see how it handles the dependency problems compared to other systems (RPM, DEB, TGZ and all...). Never try a Ports based system before. Maybe with Kongoni I can get my hands to it.
One more thing that I've read from the PC-BSD website is that the integration between the kernel and the programs in *BSD system is more tightly integrated than of GNU/Linux system. I'm still learning here, so correct me if i'm wrong or misinformed.
Oh, BTW, are you trying to discourage me from using PC-BSD? ;p
Well, anyway ... Thanks a lot for the response, AJ. :)
#50: Okay, looking forward to it. Thanks in advance, Caitlyn.
75 • @58 Gnobuddy & @45 Ed Borasky (by stuckinoregon on 2009-05-12 03:44:42 GMT from United States)
@58 - Even though they don't use ports, have you given Arch a try? Seems like a lot of Gentoo users have migrated over and have been quite happy. I don't think anyone would ever consider it anything but snappy.
@45 - Not to push any more of the *buntus but you had mentioned you'd used them. What about OpenGEU? I was pretty impressed with their implementation of E17. I just don't care that much for enlightenment so I didn't stick with it.
I wanna know where the new #! is. That's my favorite *buntu flavor. They've done some great work with scripting and some of the tools they've implemented as standard. One of the few of the *buntus that IMHO truly deserves to be its own flavor (distro)
76 • linuxmint (by andirz on 2009-05-12 05:36:45 GMT from Denmark)
i applaud clem, i will start using linuxmint right now
77 • RE: 66, Mint "controversy" (by Zionist Conspiracy on 2009-05-12 07:00:05 GMT from Canada)
I just gave the Mint project $100usd BECAUSE Clem voiced an opinion about the illegal Zionist takeover of Palestinian lands and the ghettoization of the the Palestinian People.
So where's the pro-Zionist distro for me to rag on? Oh, right, there isn't one. Ho do you like them apples?
78 • No subject (by m00t on 2009-05-12 07:01:49 GMT from Canada)
I really like how Caitlyn Martin keeps saying she refuses to be "pulled" into a political "discussion" but throws around hatred for the anti-Zionists in the same posts. Brilliant!
79 • LinuxMint (by Kurt_Aust on 2009-05-12 07:41:51 GMT from Australia)
Speaking as someone who requested and received a refund of their donation to Linux Mint:
I believe Clem has the right to his opinion, although I disagree with it.
I believe Clem has the right to express his opinion, although I feel the chosen forum was inappropriate.
I even believe Clem has the right to place restrictions on HIS work, although I think doing so is contrary to the spirit of "free" software.
However I do NOT believe that he had the right to request that people who disagree with him not use Linux Mint as Mint is primarily the work of others.
Linux Mint is built on the shoulders of Ubuntu, Debian, Gnome and a multitude of other projects, large and small, with thousands of independent developers. As such to request usage restrictions based on one's personal views on a subject unrelated to computing strikes me as the height of arrogance.
80 • @66 Caraibes & @70 Caitlyn (by kell on 2009-05-12 07:50:59 GMT from United Kingdom)
Whoa, hold on just a second. I can't see anything in Clems request that is anti-Jewish. Or for that matter pro-Palestinian. There isn't really any Israel hate as you put it since he is addressing the Israeli Government only.
As for him supporting suicide bombers, this is plainly ridiculous and offensive.
That's quite a lot of untruths and libel for one blog post.
As far as I can tell Clem was shocked at what he observed (though I don't quite understand what he means about supporting and arming Israel, if he lives in Ireland). Not wanting your work to be associated with such violence is not that controversial a standpoint to be honest.
I don't think every post needs to be deleted. Anything that gets into the detail of which side is worst or which side started what in middle east politics, results in a never ending pissing contest. Even so, I find your suggestion that there was *no needless violence in the same post quite concerning.
But I do think theres a good discussion to be had about Linux, politics and nationalism, as you have pointed to about your article. Censuring everything seems to be a bit extreme.
That said this is the distrowatch comments section, and if the sheep can't keep off topic about gentoo or ubuntu clones, god knows what sort of a field day they'll have with Palestine.
(Thanks for the great article, BTW - looking forward to the Mandriva review)
81 • Divide et impera (by M1k on 2009-05-12 09:51:06 GMT from Italy)
I am from the bananas land...ITALY!!
But the Romans know very well how to conquer a barbarian land...without use menzogna,fear or television!
So....every man has a political idea...me too...i dislike all....keep back loving our linux and PLEASE stop with this political debate...
For a long time I used Jebba's masterpiece "Blag"...
He has a precise political opinion....
Good.....it's not my business!!!
Blag was just GOOD!
82 • In the name of .. (by DeniZen on 2009-05-12 10:08:28 GMT from United Kingdom)
People do NOT come on here looking for purely Political Debate, certainly not politics wholly outside anything to do with DW/ Linux etc.
Surely there are better, and more appropriate places for this?
Some people are now just clearly trolling / fishing.
Some other people should know better. You would think
I'm also saddened to see ultimatums issued above.
Ultimatums generally come to no good. We see that on a bigger stage regulalry. Ironic huh? ..
I suggest to those who are getting heated - take your politics somewhere else, and stop being so arrogant as to assume people want to read your incongruous opinions where they are not welcome.
83 • Politics, the root of all evil (by Shawn on 2009-05-12 12:22:19 GMT from United States)
Wow, just when things were going smoothly, somehow politics worked it's way into a Linux board. Caitlyn made some good points with reference to crossing bridges despite philosophical positions and then the conversation just exploded from there. To get back on topic, it doesn't matter if we use Mint or Ubuntu, either one of them can be made to look and feel just like the other because, underneath, it's all the same codebase. With hundreds of distributions to choose from and more than a handful of ways to create or roll your own distribution, all these arguments are moot. Linux grants you the ability to change things if you don't like them or think they can be better somehow.
The only time politics are good is when it's your turn for a favor. If everyone helped out one another and were honest, politics wouldn't have a need to exist. I'm just looking forward to the reviews and new releases here. :) This is why I came here, afterall..
84 • Hardware Story... (by dedguy on 2009-05-12 15:49:34 GMT from United States)
I said the same thing last week, but I'm going to say it again...
Would be nice to have a story on Linux friendly hardware...like Nvidia over ATI because of drivers, or intel pro wireless over broadcom, because of drivers...that way DIY's types can build a desktop or laptop with the most Linux friendly brands available for optimization
85 • Linux Mint (by Supernatendo on 2009-05-12 16:28:51 GMT from United States)
I have enjoyed the use of Mint mainly for its beautiful implementation of KDE4 and the inclusion of media codecs on the install disk. I have also enjoyed its compatability with debian/ubuntu repositories and apt packet manager.
That being said I would like to clear up some misconceptions.
The person who politicized this is Mr. Lefebvre, not the posters saying they will comply with Mr. Lefebvre's wishes to abstain from using his distribution, and not the other developers who are involved in the production of this OS.
Linux should be usable by anyone from any race, nationality, or religion. It should be the user's choice to not use an OS, it should be clear from the Developer's political and national bias.
Let us not forget what Linux is most commonly touted for...its a very important statement of Freedom for the user. For an influential developer of a pretty popular OS flavor such as Mint to say what he did goes against the FOSS lifestyle.
People have as much a right to not use an OS due to Mr. Lefebvre's post as they do to not use an OS that contains racial slurs or offensive symbolism.
86 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-12 17:07:46 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref #84, 83, 82
Hmmm, I would suggest further it would be nice if we stopped all this nonsense about politics...and thought about distros in the technical sense...if I wanted "simple" unadulterated, self seeking politics in its purest, post rationalised form I would listen to the Labour and Conservative party lines here in UK, (or Brussels).
I see, from some of the comments, expressed above, some folks' grasp of political science is inversely proportional to their excellent grasp of Linux...
That said I found this week's articles very interesting, especially the gen on "Lubuntu"...I am unashamedly a pro Ubuntuist (insert usual caveats about other distros to dispel any implied/inferred, whatever, criticism of A.N. Other's preferences) because it works for me.
I have tried the LXDE with Knoppix, (I hope I have got that right, it was a few weeks/pints ago...) on a stick, and was pleased to see that the Compiz stuff worked as intended...wobbly windows, transparent cube etc.
And of course it is lightweight and was pretty brisk. Never got around to doing a hard drive install so would presume performance would be even brisker, for those who like speed.
87 • RE: 85 Making something out of nothing. (by Eddie Wilson on 2009-05-12 17:13:19 GMT from United States)
"The person who politicized this is Mr. Lefebvre, not the posters saying they will comply with Mr. Lefebvre's wishes to abstain from using his distribution, and not the other developers who are involved in the production of this OS"
Wrong. I did not know anything about this until the posters starting blowing their trumpet. They had no reason to say anything to anybody except to Mr. Lefebvre and on Distrowatch their political views are not important.
"Let us not forget what Linux is most commonly touted for...its a very important statement of Freedom for the user. For an influential developer of a pretty popular OS flavor such as Mint to say what he did goes against the FOSS lifestyle."
You really haven't read anymore since his mistake have you. He is trying to do everything he can to correct his mistake.(See first part of post #61). His mistake was not his opinion about a subject but it was posting his opinion in the wrong place and also associating his opinions with LinuxMint. Other than that he has done nothing wrong.
As such his opinions are nobody else's business. People need to get down off their soapbox and stop trying to draw attention to themselves.
Don't make more of this than it really is. And it really is nothing but misunderstandings and mistakes made.
88 • #84 Linux Hardware (by Pearson on 2009-05-12 17:29:06 GMT from United States)
A Linux hardware set of topics would be interesting, particularly in the way you scoped it (video chips, or network chips, etc.). An interesting question is: to which target audience should the articles be targeted? Someone buying a new computer? Someone upgrading an existing computer? How "bleeding edge" should the support be? For instance, should the article talk about Debian Lenny, which is stable but will be "out of date" (in some people's opinion) within six months, or Fedora (or other)? Until then, for those who like to do research (and possibly write an article), look at:
89 • Lefebvre (by capricornus on 2009-05-12 18:17:31 GMT from Belgium)
This page has something to do with Distro's and Watching them. IMO nót with political statements of the developers and maintainers. If some hot distro shot would tell me that Jews are racists because of their concept of Goyim, I would think his remark has nothing to do with the quality of a distro and/or a version or whatever. If someone would call Lilo a goddess, I would think he is mad as Zen, but it would not change my attitude towards working with Linux Code and enjoying its easy install, easy layout and easy working with it, since I would like to get results, not an A+ in their heaven.
I would like to invite the participants back to earth and back to reality, and forgive and forget about religious and political thinking of the members of this golden community.
90 • kongoni (by Tom on 2009-05-12 19:50:47 GMT from United Kingdom)
I'm really quite excited about this distro. Have people here tried it? Is it difficult to install packages or change window managers in it? I'm downloading the torrent right now but just wondered what other people thought.
I sometimes go off for a week on a narrowboat. Onboard is a laptop/netbook with very low bandwidth and also very tight restriction on length of time that can be spent using electrickery generally, let alone for computer use. An hours computer use can easily mean no radio, no lights and no hot shower before setting off in the early mornings. There's a whole bunch of people living along the canals and rivers in england and i assume that there are other wandering spirits facing similar 'problems'.
Ideally i'm looking for a nice looking distro with wiifi and hi-tech capabilities that easily switches into different networks but most importantly with either updates and perhaps partial repositories via cd/dvds or following the kongoni ideal of tiny sizes for updates and packages.
At home on land i like *buntu but these are completely wrong without fixed broadband access and need to be able to stay on a long time sometimes. Still much better than some OS's that force updates on you and grumble hugely if everything suddenly goes dead in a tunnel or lock.
Linux is great for the variety of distros giving options to people living very different lifestyles. Even a slight change could make a big difference to some folks.
Thanks all and regards from
91 • RE: 98 You got it right. (by Eddie Wilson on 2009-05-12 20:00:59 GMT from United States)
"I would like to invite the participants back to earth and back to reality, and forgive and forget about religious and political thinking of the members of this golden community."
I agree 100%. Let's all be good to each other. We'll be a lot happier.
92 • Eddie (by Tom on 2009-05-12 20:04:29 GMT from United Kingdom)
... or lose the entire crop, Mr Anderson (or is that Elrond?)
93 • @ 88 (Pearson) Thanks, those are some great resouces... (by dedguy on 2009-05-12 20:09:37 GMT from United States)
This is almost what I was looking for. I just like the way it's done on Tom's Hardware for the proprietary OS, with the benchmarks added and opinion etc...but I guess this is a distro site, and not a linux site per se.
94 • @93 - Linux Hardware (by Pearson on 2009-05-12 20:24:42 GMT from United States)
You're welcome. I also found this hardware compatibility list:
It'd be great to read a review on good bang per buck hardware reviews, though.
95 • One more time (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-12 21:08:55 GMT from United States)
One more time; just an honest, sincere question I would like answered. Caitlyn, I understand your feelings of distaste for AntiX's naming scheme. Reasonable.
Why are you boycotting MEPIS, a distro it's built on but has no connection (aside from being in the news ticker every so often), as well?
My simile last time was saying, would you boycott Debian if Ubuntu had a racist or otherwise offensive name? I support everything you've said so far on the topic and on Clem's blog, but I would just like a clarification.
As far as Clem's comments go, he has the full right to express his feelings. It is not illegal to be racist or hateful toward someone. But with every freedom comes the responsibility that comes with that - if you say something inflammatory, and everything burns to cinders, there's no one there to catch you.
This is a fine line to walk for people in power or higher positions. In terms of these one-man distros, that one man can make all the difference. Imagine if Patrick Volkerding or Warren Woodford went on a similarly controversial rant. Or to further to comparison, Mark Shuttleworth. The death of these people publically could mean the death of the distro (maybe in Shuttleworht's case, it's a thought).
What will this mean for Mint's future? An interesting question, and one that will be remembered for a while, I hope.
96 • Nice article! (by Shawn on 2009-05-12 21:14:15 GMT from United States)
I forgot to mention I thought the article was a good read. I tried out Moblin a few months ago and thought it was ok. I have an MSi Wind that triple boots between Windows 7, OS X Leopard and openSUSE 11.1 and to be honest, other than the boot improvements, I didn't see a real reason to change to Moblin now or in the future. I do think that Moblin will be a solid OS/distro for embedded devices, especially cell phones, MID's or other handheld form factors. I have a Nokia N810 running Debian (or Maemo I should say) and I'd love to see things grow from there. I suppose nanocomputing isn't that far off..
97 • Clem & Mint (by Gustavo on 2009-05-12 21:37:51 GMT from United States)
Get this under your thick skulls, Clem wasn't neither racist nor hateful.
98 • #95 & #97: Responses (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-12 22:44:20 GMT from United States)
#95: I'm not boycotting MEPIS, only antiX.
#97: I thought I said that in #61 :)
99 • @98 (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-12 23:20:13 GMT from United States)
Okay. Because I've seen you use the names interchangeably, or I've been confused. Probably the latter.
100 • @97 (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-12 23:26:00 GMT from United States)
People thought he was. Who are you to belittle someone else's feelings on the issue?
Just because someone says "that's not racist" don't mean it's not. If someone found his comments racist or hateful, that's how they feel. There's no "thick skulled" nonsense to talk about.
Some may be more sensitive than others, but that's just the way things work.
101 • Kongoni (by Azzorcist on 2009-05-13 04:33:43 GMT from Indonesia)
...it is designed to be as BSD-like..
Designed to be BSD-like but follow the GNU philosophy.
Sounds funny to me. ^_^
I think if it meant to be BSD-like it should be more permissive.
Just my opinion. Don''t take it deep to you heart. ^_^
102 • RE: Clem's original statement (by oldghost on 2009-05-13 06:21:41 GMT from United States)
Part of the problem here is an issue arising from Clem's original request, which many of us read, and what his blog says currently, which is quite toned down from his original post.
He first posted asking Isrealis, and anyone who supports Isreal, to please not use his distro or contribute. He has since gradually edited it down to what it reads now.
If you read his first post, you are rightly upset. If you read the watered-down version now showing, you're wondering what the fuss is about.
So many people on this board arguing over this are seeing 2 almost completely different statements made the same person.
Me? I'm honoring his original request.
103 • Impeccable timing... (by forest on 2009-05-13 08:18:29 GMT from United Kingdom)
Anyone tried Sabily yet?
Or are we going to enter into another pointless political debate...on a tekkie forum?
104 • Choices in life (by DeniZen on 2009-05-13 10:32:28 GMT from United Kingdom)
I am not sure how much I've thought about all this previously - I've mainly just used Debian and not associated my choice with any 'global' politics.
So, think my own choice remains simple.
I just intend to avoid knowingly using *any* flavour where the Lead / Dev Group openly promote any kind of political or demographic 'exclusivity' , or promote a viewpoint that knowingly would exclude some people. ('specialist application' flavours aside)
Even if it were potentially a viewpoint I happened to agree with, because that is not the point.
So, its about choice, either way. - as always.
I would assume that official Ubuntu would wish to remain true to its ".. for Humans" tagline.
As would the product of most larger, carefully run Distro's - i.e. not those that are not represented by one person, or a very small group of persons with a common (political) agenda.
105 • let's sum it up... (by Caraibes on 2009-05-13 10:46:02 GMT from Dominican Republic)
My original comment has been deleted. Let's just say that Clem chose his side. That was an honest clarification. I will gladly NOT use Mint. I won't use AntiX neither...
I shall use a "neutral" distro (or a Christian one, if ever another Christian project starts again, since both Ubuntu Christian edition and Ichtux stopped...)
106 • Christian linux (by Frisco on 2009-05-13 10:52:12 GMT from United States)
Caraibes, you can "Christianize" your favorite distro; we have done that in the one department at our school here that is Christian oriented.
From the cross logo on boot up to the title bar and menus it is an obvious Christ inspired linux distribution to anybody who logs in on it.. you don't need it tweeked by the developers; you can do all that yourself.. it's linux. :o)
107 • kongoni (by Tom on 2009-05-13 12:30:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
I just tried a LiveCd of Kongoni and liked quite a bit of what i saw. Some nice apps, a good looking desktop and the music wasn't set too high. I guess that i've been a bit spoilt with Wolvix tho as a few things didn't work straight away for me on this hardware. Getting the internet going through the mad Lan i have here looked like it might be tricky. There's a few things i didn't like so much but then found that it's using a kde 4.2.2 desktop and i normally hate kde. Also and crucially it's just an alpha and i'd assumed it was a final release so my expectations were too high.
I also tried openSUSE but it couldn't even start an Xwindows session on my 'ancient' ati 1650 graphics card which was working well last month.
Note that 1650 isn't the date of manufacture although ati seem to be trying to get me to buy a more recent card suggesting that the card which was pretty fantastic last month is now old and rubbish. I think my next graphics card might be an nVidia one.
A review of the different serieses of graphics cards and how well they work (especially in Wine) would be pretty great but i guess not really something for DistroWatch.
Thanks all, regards from
108 • religion (by m1k on 2009-05-13 12:33:02 GMT from Italy)
Christian oriented distro....
says Alleluia when log off
109 • Comments (by Vinze on 2009-05-13 13:50:46 GMT from Netherlands)
This comment section is getting realy worse. I admire your patiance Ladislav.
110 • The Article? (by Shawn on 2009-05-13 14:21:39 GMT from United States)
Did anyone read the article? I'm sure Caitlyn spent some important time from her schedule and gave some insight on a topic of the future of FOSS and we're talking about something that's totally off-topic.
I say we save the political tyrades for when distributions such as Syblin (formerly Ubuntu Muslim Edition) and Ubuntu Christian Edition make the reviews section. I'm sure this board will really be smoking then!
Leaves me wondering what's next: Ubuntu Republican Edition, Ubuntu Democrat Edition and/or Ubuntu Independent Edition? Heck, might as well, we already have religious versions of Linux, so why not?!
111 • Question (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-13 14:41:50 GMT from United States)
I want to give a non-techie user a Linux distro that won't expire security-wise for several years; more than the three Ubuntu LTS gives. Other than CentOS (which isn't really that much of a desktop distro) are there any other systems that are supported for a long time?
Both me and the non-techie are uninterested in reinstalling the OS every two years.
Aren't there any good stable desktop systems that have a long suypport life?
112 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-13 14:53:00 GMT from United Kingdom)
Well, it all depends on your ethnic origin, religious beliefs, age, gender, orientation in the personal relations dept, political affiliation, etc, etc, ad nauseum...cos no matter what ANYONE says there is bound to be a long harangue.
They say MS XP is quite good...
On a more serious note, it might be a notion to let your chum try a few distros out first of all so they can get a feel for Linux. I appreciate it rather defeats the object of not reinstalling every two years or so but perhaps that would be best for now.
You never know...they might get into Linux and end up distro hopping with the rest of us, LOL.
113 • The Slow descent of Linux Mint (by Pollick Tically Korreck on 2009-05-13 15:24:12 GMT from United States)
I can only imagine if Steve Jobs or Bill G. said, Islam don't use our products about 25 years ago and again today. Their would be global outrage and violence everywhere. All O.S.'s should steer from division and politics. Such things put a huge black eye on all open source developers due to a few rebels, religious and political fanatics.
Sabily 9.04, an Ubuntu-based distribution, is a fine and wonderful example of an O.S. in high standards with a :Donate" button on its homepage, They truly understand the principal of giving and receiving. I am sure they would not turn away any money donated by a Christian.
As far as Linux Mint goes, Clement Lefebvre, who has damaged his brand by his political arrogance, that O.S. is headed straight for the bottom and a more deserving O.S. such as Fedora and Mandriva will knock it off the top 10. This is not my hunch or wishful thinking. LockerNome.com said "LinuxMint guy cuts throat by condemning zionists?", which is a powerful condemnation statement about Linux Mint's Clement Lefebvre divisive words and its future. Bye, bye Linux Mint, YEAH!
What a way to kill an O.S. to tell some people of a different and religious group not to give you money in a slumping world economy. What kind of thinking went into that. What a way to destroy an O.S.
Pollick Tically Korreck
114 • Nice PR for Cooker..... (by db on 2009-05-13 15:24:41 GMT from France)
Comment deleted (disrespectful).
115 • @ 111 (and 114) (by DeniZen on 2009-05-13 15:58:31 GMT from United Kingdom)
@ 114 .. crikey! .. bring back Politics and Religion ;)
@ 111 'Nobody'
Choosing a rolling distribution is the only way that I can think of avoiding product release lifecycle - for the duration you suggest.
Most 'rolling release' distros I can think of are maybe not particulalry great choices for 'non-techies'
How about Debian Lenny/Stable
or , as has been suggested, CentOS
or even Sidux, which is a rolling distro to my eye,
CentOS can be installed as a very acceptable Desktop system, I'm not sure why yo usuggest that it can not.
You can also easily add the 'rpmfusion' repos if you want, for Multimedia - same as folks may do with Fedora.
116 • Ref#114 interpatation for English (by Anonymous on 2009-05-13 16:12:31 GMT from United States)
Don't use Mandriva
117 • RE 116 (by db on 2009-05-13 16:23:42 GMT from France)
Comment deleted (incomprehensible).
118 • re#111 (by hab on 2009-05-13 16:24:25 GMT from Canada)
Given the criteria you stipulate i would look at a distro on a rolling release schedule rather than a point release style distro. I would think that a rolling release schedule would better meet your three year cycle. Also make it a distro that includes a configurable auto update facility. Beyond that it becomes a question of determining the users wants and needs in terms of desktop and installed software.
Beyond this i would question why a linux newbie would need to have a leading/bleeding edge os. Something like debian which is stable for long periods of time might be a better choice.
Don't mistake technical obsolescence for functional obsolescence. Hypothetically, a system designed today and still adequately fulfilling the same task ten years from now is technically obsolete but not functionally obsolete. Follow proper security practices in terms of passwords, etc. An auto update program would unobtrusively keep the system updated for continuing security updates.
Look at it from the bright side. You have more choices in linux than anywhere else!
119 • @ 111 (by Pancho Jácome on 2009-05-13 17:22:32 GMT from Ecuador)
You may try the following rolling-realease distros:
- PCLinuxOS: http://www.pclinuxos.com/
Once very popular, but still a good option for the non-techie user.
- Sidux: http://sidux.com/
Not as user-friendly as the previous one, but with a large repository of software (Debian).
- Chakra: http://chakra-project.org/download-iso.html
Even if this last one is at an Alpha stage, there are positive reviews about its stability and user friendliness. Based in Arch.
I'll be very curios about the outcome of your research.
120 • re 114 (by corneliu on 2009-05-13 17:30:54 GMT from Canada)
You seem to have very little knowledge about Mandriva. Mandriva is not a PCLinuxOS clone. It's quite the opposite.
Why choose CentoOS over Mandriva cooker? Probably the best solution is to dual boot Mandriva cooker with CentOS. When you want to have fun you boot Mandriva. When you don't you boot CentOS. Is that simple. I guess it never crossed your mind, isn't it?
121 • Changing operating systems (by RollMeAway on 2009-05-13 19:34:18 GMT from United States)
Pure Debian stable would be my suggestion. Use any desktop other than KDE, as the transition from KDE3 to KDE4 is inevitable.
Perhaps Linux in general is changing too much, and too fast.
People generally do not like change. We who frequent these pages are exceptions.
For a non tech computer user, changing the interface drastically every 6 months
is very upsetting. That other O.S. can attest to how well changes are accepted.
122 • Last post regarding mint... (by Supernatendo on 2009-05-13 19:56:46 GMT from United States)
Linux Mint is freeware, and I believe it is licensed under the GPL.
While I am not sure where Clement Lefebvre's comments fit in the GPL, author's do (and should) have the right to demand some level of cooperation from their users in regard to monetary compensation.
I believe Clement Lefebvre's ending comment was "If you do not agree I kindly ask you not to use Linux Mint and not to donate money to it. "
This implies that by supporting or being from Israel, if you download, use, or donate to his distro, you are going against the wishes of the author.
As for the entire issue; It was and still is an incredibly ridiculous and inappropriate use of a distro blog site. It will probably go down as one of the more profound moments in Linux history.
123 • Data Redundancy Tool Help... (by dedguy on 2009-05-13 20:17:55 GMT from United States)
so what software can i use in linux, if I want to clean up multiple hard drives by deleting duplicate files?
Ease of use is important, I'm not that smart :o)
124 • Data Redundancy tool (by supernatendo on 2009-05-13 20:31:15 GMT from United States)
I have used this utillity before, the website shows you how to install it on various distros.
It has a GUI with simple functions, and command line functions for more advanced users.
125 • @124 - Thanks (by dedguy on 2009-05-13 22:39:08 GMT from United States)
i'll check it out
126 • Re 111 (by Sertse on 2009-05-13 23:27:57 GMT from Australia)
sidux, as much as I love it (I'm using it right now), is sid..and doesn't really suit the person's desires imo.
My advice is Debian Stable (not "lenny"), it'll be rolling release, so there'll never be a giant upgrade push, and following stable means he won't receive things until have been highly tested and QAed.
If you really want to stick with one version, Ubuntu LTS at 3 years is probably your best bet that still allows you to have a clean upgrade path.
Debian will support the currently stable release and the previous stable release. So if you use the current release (lenny), you can use it past squeeze (lenny+1) until lenny+2. This would be around 3.5-5years. However upgrading at the end of it is a hassle.
Also agrreeing with 115 and CentOs as a desktop.
127 • Re: 111 (by Azzorcist on 2009-05-14 00:14:20 GMT from Indonesia)
I agree that Debian stable is what you need.
And because you want to give to non-techie person, I suggest you use MEPIS or Dreamlinux. Those user-friendly distro current version based on Debian Lenny (Stable).
I also agree with what you say about CentOS. IMO it can be installed for desktop but cannot satisfy general desktop user. I've used the 5.2 version.
128 • Backup Depression (by Back Ache on 2009-05-14 00:15:31 GMT from United States)
I'm out of options. Backup options - that work.
I have a distro installed under a Ext4 FS and no way to back it up.
I've tried them all! Partimage aka Parted Magic does not support Ext4.
Clonezilla states that there testing branch does. So I DL 1.2.2-13.
It stated on the test screen that it recognize the partition as Ext4 and the bakup when very fast. When I tried to restore that image, it failed.
I tried fsarchiver. It apparently crc's every single file it comes across and when I tried the restore, it reported that three files failed crc!
I'm not going to be doing any archaic backup using dd. I'll just wait for a year or two. Maybe then we will have a decent backup for Ext4.
129 • re #108 (by Frisco on 2009-05-14 00:24:29 GMT from United States)
"please" what, m1k? "Please don't let me know some may wish to configure their distro as they see fit, irrespective of m1k's beliefs?"
Christian oriented configuration means Christians will feel at home with the logos, the favorites and pre-set bookmarks, the "Bible quote of the day," etc.
Those of us who are not of that faith appreciate very much the option to offer those who are a special operating system for them to use here at our facility; Windows could not offer that, linux could and did. And we didn't have to use Ubuntu to do it, of course.
130 • good answers (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-14 00:51:28 GMT from United States)
I'm glad I got us off those dumb topics.
Yeah, I think Debian is the best as well (or Sidux, for those who feel a bit on the edge). Good work, everyone.
I tried CentOS, but didn't have very good luck (slow performance, crashing stuff everywhere - I know, not typical, but I can't debug that so well over the internet if I screwed up that one so much). And Wi-Fi drivers are a must, so Debian and its 2.6.26 kernel have better chance of working than 2.6.18 in Cent.
@121: I agree with you. I shouldn't have to ask what distro to use if I want a stable, well supported system. And definitely Debian isn't all that friendly to use for a fresh Linux newbie; I may have to do a bit of teaching beforehand.
Ubuntu needs some competition in the Linux realm, I think, and one that's stable and stays in one spot for a few years. this six month drive is tiring people out and it may be a little too much for the "newbie" distro to expect people to update every six months. It's gotten to the point that if 9.04 ran well on my computer, I wouldn't need any updated packages anymore - just stay in one spot and support it forever, and I'll stick with it.
131 • @130 (by stuckinoregon on 2009-05-14 01:46:57 GMT from United States)
"And definitely Debian isn't all that friendly to use for a fresh Linux newbie"
Why does everybody say that? Nothing personal against you, I just hear this or similar statements a lot. I get frustrated and wish people would stop saying it.
I cut my teeth on debian. I still prefer it over ANY other distro. Although I hop around to some others, I still come back to it after years and years of trying other things because I can count on it to work. Maybe it's because I have a tech background, but it just plain makes more sense to me in general than other distros. It's fast and stable and for the most part secure. I can't think of any group that has been more open about the pains and pleasures of development, nor one that has been more responsive when a problem arises. There have been bumps along the way, but it always works out in the end.
In the end, I guess, what I'm saying is that it really depends on your n00b. YMMV
132 • Re: 131 (by Azzorcist on 2009-05-14 01:59:49 GMT from Indonesia)
Maybe he mean fresh computer newbie like my friend that doesn't even know how to browse the internet. ^_^
Some business man only know to use their computer for their work and don't know more about computing.
I know much people run their computer only for internet and office apps and they think OS is only Windows. ^_^
133 • @131 (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-14 02:25:56 GMT from United States)
Let's say you know nothing about Linux, FOSS or similar. And let's say that you actually care about Linux in some fashion, oddly enough, and didn't want Ubuntu, Mandriva, or PCLinuxOS. You figure out, miraculously, that you can install Debian using a CD, boot it, and install the Gnome default desktop. That's of course, if you make it through the installer (what's all this partitioning stuff? what's a domain name?).
You load Gnome (whatever that is). What do you see? Three programs: Iceweasel, OpenOffice.org, and the GIMP, plus a few other Gnome tools, like a terminal and a notepad. You're lucky if you recognize the names (though you know OpenOffice.org, but you also know that the one included, 2.4.1, is old and outdated). Iceweasel? What's that? It doesn't look like Internet Explorer!
How do you add new programs? You need a music player. you need the codecs for your AAC iTunes encoded tunes. You do a bit of googling, and find apt-get mentioned a bit. Well, okay, you can use apt-get to download software. Okay. Whatever. (Note the user does not add a repository, so probably wouldn't get anything but what's on their installation media and security updates)
But, what software to download? "apt-get install tunes" doesn't work. Google it. Okay, a few options there. Uff. Sounds like a lot of work. Back to Windows to get real work done; Linux certainly isn't ready for the desktop, rant rant rant.
The above is optimistic when it comes to the users abilities. Most users could find the "apt-get" info but could not wrap their heads around the concept, or use the info in a terminal. Copy and paste, maybe.
This is mostly because of the fact that Debian doesn't really ship one "Operating System." It's a "make your own" kind of distro, because of the way everything is organized. But that means that out-of-the-box, where Linux systems HAVE to shine to be a valid option, can't be stripped down like Debian is.
Debian takes time to learn. It's not easy, and certainly a rude awakening to the way Linux distros work compared to Windows. I love Debian and use it everyday, but I'd be lying if I said I thought the road to using it was easy.
134 • Mepis is a stable Debian (by RollMeAway on 2009-05-14 02:59:07 GMT from United States)
So, Mepis is n00b friendly, and gives the new user Debian stable.
Would you then recommend Mepis?
135 • Re: #123 - lint and dupes (by Anon on 2009-05-14 03:10:30 GMT from Norway)
Here are a few more:
duff 0.4-1 - A command-line utility for quickly finding duplicates in a given set of files
fdupes 1.40-4 - A program for identifying or deleting duplicate files residing within specified directories
ftwin 0.8.0-2 - A tool useful to find duplicate files according to their content on your file system
dmerge 0.0-5 - Find duplicate files, and merge them using file system hardlinks, saving disk space
dupemusicmatch 2.3-2 - A tool to quickly find duplicate MP3/Ogg/FLAC files via letter matching
dupseek 1.3-2 - A utility to find file duplicates
fdupes 1.40-4 - A program for identifying or deleting duplicate files residing within specified directories
make-hard-links 0.2-1 - Change duplicated files into hard-links.
remove-duplicates-plugin 0.0.4-2 - Removes duplicate emails from Evolution Mail Client
136 • Dupe! (by Anon on 2009-05-14 03:16:04 GMT from Norway)
Of course, one of the tools turned out to be a duplicate...
137 • @132 & @133 (by stuckinoregon on 2009-05-14 03:21:03 GMT from United States)
All of this is understood.
@Nobody Important - How is any of this really different from distro to distro? Medibuntu, Livna, Easy URPMI.... Perhaps the simple coaching prior to any of this is still the best course at this point. I still fail to see how any distro does not suffer from that pitfall.
In any case, this conversation has been infinitely more enjoyable than some of that above. I am off to play with new Debian Testing install now. Ciao!
138 • #133 - Rude awakening... (by Anon on 2009-05-14 03:30:16 GMT from Norway)
One's not a Linux user until one's sniffed out ":qw" :(
139 • Noob freindly Linux (by stargazer on 2009-05-14 05:52:46 GMT from United States)
I think if you want to give Linux to a noob to install on their own, you can only go with Mint (then possibly Mepis, Mandriva, or PCLOS if that doesn't pan out).
I don't like Dreamlinux for a noob simply because there's not clean upgrade path for releases :-(
But I think it's absurd to say that Debian is any harder than Ubuntu, for instance.
You're a noob on Ubuntu, and need w32 codecs and libdvdcss. You have to google, because the repo isn't built in, add it, then download.
You're a noob on Debian. You need w32 codecs and libdvdcss. You have to goole, because the repo isn't built in, add it, then download.
Anyone see anything in common? ;-)
140 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-14 08:17:35 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref suitable newbie distros..with added bells and whistles...You could always try the Ubuntu 9xx based Super OS. It has all sorts of stuff added for the video fan...even Real Player. It has the usual (for me admittedly) attribute of easy install. If anyone is interested, despite it being a Uxx clone, LOL...see here:
What I found it does not do, (obviously I need to invoke it somewhere...) is have updates popping up now and again. But a visit to System>Admin>Update Manager and a click or two and all is sorted.
In other words "all" the newbie bases are covered...the more intricate/interesting stuff (as in other distros) can be introduced by degrees should there be any interest in so doing
I feel that a conversion to a new OS should be as painless, yet as interesting as possible, so as to generate a desire to explore further. I sense educationalists nodding sagely...sagely nodding?
I appreciate the comments for other distros are perfectly valid...but Uxx could be regarded as the "hook" if you follow...as in not all people learned to swim by chucking them in at the deep end...some did...a lot drowned...
if the new guy/girl is sitting with you on the install, you could use a new hard drive and simply install the new OS using the entire drive, so the partitioning sequence is as simple as. Should there have been any stuff on their old hard drive why not copy that onto an ext hard drive and progress the tutorial into saving/loading with the ext hard drive attached...you can do the mount/unmount thing at the same time (crikey, a lesson plan already...).
To my mind this would give all concerned peace of mind that were the newbie to have a prob at least some of their docs would be saved out of the machine so to speak.
And, the teaching the all important mantra of "Back up Everything" is easy to demonstrate...and helps to build up confidence in manipulating his/her machine.
I thought comment #132 spot on BTW. You can never tell how "rounded" a person's experience is ref computing, until you see what they can/can't do. So if you are "leading" them gently thru' the process it can only be a good thing.
Best of luck anyway.
141 • Linux in shops/supermarkets (by Mushroomhead on 2009-05-14 08:49:48 GMT from Poland)
I think most stations in shops/supermarkets run Linux on their desktops. Out of curiosity I checked out most of computers in my shopping mall and they were running Linux.
142 • the cult of 'noob'. (by DeniZen on 2009-05-14 09:56:11 GMT from United Kingdom)
Re Noob refs above
This is a subject that is nearly always taken up the wrong path IMO
NO Operating System, Linux , or otherwise is (currently) 'easy' and intuitive' for a 'newbie' to install!
Many people become familiar with _using_ an OS - usually MS, but it will have been presented to them pre-installed, or at work etc etc.
If a person had never installed Windows from scratch, it would _not_ be without pitfalls. It would not be simple! It would not be 'easy'!
Hardly any of the hardware would work after first boot. The user would not be able to play thier DVD's when they were 'done' (whatever 'done' might mean)
Wheres all the software? - How do I open a spreadsheet - etc.
If (lets stretch the imagination here!) the imaginary user had never used Windows before, then the icons on the desktop would mean very little there either.
I can vouch that installing Mac OS X is relatively easy, but given a Mac install disk, a 'blank' Mac, and little experience with OS X - how would a 'newbie' manage? Fairly badly I suspect.
And my Goodness, if they succeded , then that OS X desktop would be .. strange (and OS X is suposed to be 'easy' to use remember .. )
Back to Linux Distro's
As it stands , in 2009 , it is currently always the case (and should be!) that the user is required to do _some_ reading / research beforehand, before embarking on something as potentially difficult or 'risky' as installing an OS.
If the user has done it a couple of times before, its usually no more than a trivial or vaguly time-consuming task. Its not actually difficult at all, once you know how to. Like most things in life.
But if its your first time, you just prepare a little!
Or find a friend with experience. Like most things in life.
Preferably both ;)
Why do we judge Linux to be 'not newbie friendly' ?
A current, popular Desktop-user oriented 'Linux Distro' is no more difficult to understand, install, or use than any other OS may be.
(I'm limiting 'Linux Distro here to the flavours specifically designed to be relatively 'easy'.
At least there would (usually) be a suite of apps for most tasks.
And miraculously most of the hardware would be supported and working.
IMO, It all comes back to that notion of spoon-feeding again.
"if I cannot have it on a stick, with no effort, then its no-good .."
Lazy, and dumb.
But It's becoming a cultural pandemic.
Like anything, why do we seem to ignore the notion of: investing in a bit of thought - beforehand.
Some thought about what one is getting involved and how to go about it *before* flying in with both feet and getting in a borked up mess.
How does a potential Linux user get interested in the first place?
Santa leaves them an Ubuntu CD?
They have a dream where a wizard tells them to install Fedora?
An interest has developled from somewhere.
When I'm interested in something, I find out a bit about it first.
It was not easy when I first installed Redhat 4.something many years ago.
Nowadays, the vast majority of potential Linux users have net access, and there a a number of great install / user guides out there for most popular Distros.
If the newbie cannot , or will not consider preparing even a little bit, then really, the ball is firmly in their own court.
I wish we'd stop bashing 'Linux' for not pandering to people who dont seem expect to have responsibility for their own choices and actions.
I also despair that such a high proportion of reviews (not guides - I mean reviews) these days start from a 'Newbie' perspective.
Thats totally fine, for some reviews, of course, but its become obsessive.
And its not necesssary.
Debian is _not_ for noobs !
It is not supposed to have a dozen icons on the desktop - all set up and sorted. . Thank goodness.
gOS might be a better choice there, but Ubuntu is a fair place to start, and its where many folks do.
Ok then - a scenario -
(the following, with, or without 'documentation') -
Given, say, an Ubuntu install disk, a Mac install disk and a Vista install disk, and a flattened machine that capable of running all of those three OS's (an Intel Mac, say) - and a 'novice' - which OS do you think that 'novice' would most likely get up and running, and be able to use _productively_ - first?
I'd be willing to put some money on the Penguin ..
143 • and also ;) (by DeniZen again on 2009-05-14 10:27:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
RE: "You're a noob on Ubuntu, and need w32 codecs and libdvdcss. You have to google, because the repo isn't built in, add it, then download."
No need actually, but fair point re libdvdcss
Can you play a DVD movie on a fresh Windows install - last time I tried it you couldn't, because you needed a third party codec.
So, re the Multimedia codecs
'You' (i.e. the 'noob' you refer to) ought to google 'Multimedia Ubuntu', or.read up just a teeny bit beforehand. Perhaps visit the Forum.
Is that really asking a lot? ;)
And then 'you' install .. one .. just one .. package
Ubuntu Restricted Extras.
Then, _almost_ everything the average user needs, for most multimedia tasks would simply work. In Totem.
No MPlayer, no fiddling.
But yes, Mint, for example, would have already done all that for you - and even more - via Medibuntu repos activated.
144 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-14 11:28:38 GMT from United Kingdom)
All very fair points it must be said. but I favour the "assisted" approach at the offset. I would draw a comparison when I (and possibly yourself?) was taught logs and log tables them log tans etc etc. Unless you got the first principles stuff the rest is pretty difficult to grasp. Or French...unless you did the tenses/conjugations...
I would make the assumption the "student" was a complete novice and build up bit by bit...if there were any "bad habits" or misconceptions they could be dealt with as you go.
Not everyone has an intuitive grasp of everything, even if they think they do, LOL.
In fact it's that assumption that has cost the Linux bundled netbook builders on the hop...it was NOT that easy to make the leap from OS to OS...which is, as I recall, the main reason for this micro discussion in the first place, LOL.
145 • @ 144 (by DeniZen on 2009-05-14 11:45:43 GMT from United Kingdom)
I wouldnt want it to appear that I was 'against' things being made uncomplicated!
I wish it to be easy to attain successful outcome for a modestly skilled user, or for all who may want it to be.
I think that notion grows continually closer to being the common experience, but as it stand, some thought and evaluation is going to be required.
We should keep striving for improvements, and, as 'users' then usability has to be the highest on the list!
146 • @ 143 (by Supernatendo on 2009-05-14 15:44:06 GMT from United States)
I think what most people do not realize is the separation between software provided by Windows, and software provided by the manufacturer.
For instance, Dell supplies PowerDVD, suddenly the uninformed noob is under the misguided impression that windows comes with DVD support out-of-the-box.
147 • noob friendly (by Anonymous on 2009-05-14 16:53:27 GMT from Canada)
One characteristic of something that is noob friendly is that correcting a mistake (e.g pushing the wrong button) should be as simple as possible.
For example; on the remote of my new tv pushing the same button again cancels the previous instruction.
One of my ever present fears with a computer is that I will press some key that will either wipe out data or leave me with a screen that I cannot change or get out of.
Gurus seem to be oblivious to this problem
They say "press alt - f2" but don't say how to get back to the gui (because to them it is so obvious).
Or as has just happened to me with Mepis and Showfoto; I clicked on "full screen" and then was unable to find any button to return to the previous setting (right clicking on the screen had no effect Had to ctrl-alt delete (IIRC)
148 • @ 135-6 (Anon) - Thanks a lot for the info (by dedguy on 2009-05-14 16:56:31 GMT from United States)
learning the commands is more use full than running someone else's script... thanks alot.
149 • Strange problem (by IMQ on 2009-05-14 17:17:27 GMT from United States)
I downloaded a copy of ophcrack-xp-livecd-2.1.0.iso to a partition on an internal hard drive. After burning a copy to a CD, I then moved the ISO image to an external USB HD for backup.
However, konqueror told me that there is already a copy of it on the USB HD. So I looked and it did not show anywhere in the listing. I even opened the konsole in the target location and looked, but the file was not there.
Yet everytime I tried to move/copy the ISO image from the internal HD, it kept saying "a similar filename already exist..."
Even root did not see the file!
The command I used for list was either 'ls -l' or 'ls -la'
Currenty, in the konsole of regular user, the file is shown as:
-rw-r--r-- 1 gtxxxx users 474284032 2008-11-10 02:44 ophcrack-xp-livecd-2.1.0.iso
Any idea what happens?
PS: If the file were hidden somehow, wouldn't the command ls -a reveal it?
150 • Well (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-14 22:50:01 GMT from United States)
Well, the difference between Debian and other distros is, as I said before, is that Debian is not just one "desktop." Debian is a DIY distro. It offers a stable foundation to build in.
I'd say MEPIS is a bit better, because it offers a cohesive desktop that doesn't require configuration to get moving. Debian takes me about two hours to get where I want, and I know apt-get like the back of my hand. Ubuntu or MEPIS are far less; maybe a half an hour.
I agree with an above poster, however. Installing an OS, ANY OS, is not and will never been newbie friendly. But there are levels to that difficulty involved.
151 • No subject (by Verndog on 2009-05-14 22:50:31 GMT from United States)
What command did you use to move or copy the file?
Also, was the performed using terminal or gui.
152 • RE: 151 (by IMQ on 2009-05-14 23:58:00 GMT from United States)
I tried both.
First, using konqueror, then using cp command in the konsole. As a regular user as well as root.
Initially, I thought it had to do with file permission, but as you could see from the previous post. Nothing unusual. At least to my eye.
It was like the file just disappeared into a blackhole.
BTW, all this happened on Debian-Lenny-based MEPIS. Not saying MEPIS was the problem. Just more info to consider.
This had happened before running different flavor of distro, but since I already had the file burnt to a CD/DVD, I didn't investigate and let it go. I believe the last time that happened, I also used konqueror moving/copying the file from internal to external.
Also, the konqueror was set up as two-panel, kinda like midnight-commander. I wonder if the konqueror somehow thinks tried to copy/move the file to itself.
But that wouldn't explain copying using cp in the konsole. When copying as root in the konsole. No error message. The file was just not there when I did the ls -la command.
It is quite a puzzle for me.
153 • Newbie Installing OS (by Azzorcist on 2009-05-15 00:37:42 GMT from Indonesia)
Yeah, I agree that installing an OS is never newbie friendly and they shouldn't do that by themself.
Someone more experienced got to help them install the OS to their computer(s).
But, the problem is in Linux they forced to do it by themself. Why? Let me describe it.
With Windows, someone experienced installed it to your computer and then you want your peripheral working you simply download the driver or find it on the driver CD included when you buy your computer which is only one single install file and then run the file and follow NAIF (Next, Agree, Install, Finish).
With Linux, someone experienced installed it to your computer and then you want your peripheral working you have to dig deep into the OS or some even say just get another distro.
'cause you are newbie and not likely to run CLI fix something you don't know you just find another distro that could work out-of-the-box. And that mean you must install again. The experienced man cannot help install OS for you over and over again.
154 • User friendly distros for newbies (by Joe on 2009-05-15 01:12:41 GMT from United States)
I'd be willing to bet that many of us tried numerous distros before we settled on the one(s) that seemed to best fit our needs. I'd be willing to bet that most of us routinely visit Distrowatch to find out what's new and to get Ladislav's, Chris', and Caitlyn's first impressions. We try a few of the new releases and come back here to share our experiences and find out what everyone else thinks. To newbies, 'we' represent the linux community and they look to us if they're thinking about trying Linux for the first time.
Personally, before I'd recommend a distro to a newbie for use in a business or home, I'd find out more about his/her specific computing needs. And, I'd want to know something about their hardware (since we know that some of the most recent releases don't readily support some older hardware -- older ATI video cards and some Sound Blaster cards). Then, I would try to explain how Linux and open source software could meet their needs and I'd recommend they try live CDs of the distros with the software that best fits those needs. My discussion might go as follows:
- If they want compatibility with Microsoft Office, I'd talk OpenOffice.
- If they want to instant message, I'd talk Pidgeon/Kopete.
- If they want a financial manager, I'd talk GnuCash or Homebank.
- If they want to play their favorite Windows games, I'd talk Wine.
Etc., etc., etc.. ...I'm sure you get my drift.
I think many of the people who took Linux PCs back to the retail stores last year just didn't have a linux guru to talk to. If they had, they'd likely still be using Linux.
I have my own list of distros that I think are easy to learn and easy to use. I would list Mepis and Linux Mint at the top of that list. PCLinuxOS would be a consideration. Mandriva and OpenSUSE would be contenders. Again, based on their needs, I might even recommend a 'buntu or two. And, believe it or not, I might even recommend PC-BSD.
Lastly, if they want to learn by trying to build their own distro, and want stability, there's always Debian....
155 • @154 (by Joe on 2009-05-15 02:35:04 GMT from United States)
er..that was Pidgin.
156 • @ DeniZen (by stargazer on 2009-05-15 05:08:23 GMT from United States)
Pretty much my point exactly, mate. Except that you'd also have to delete totem-gstreamer and add totem-xine, or those DVD's still aren't going to play.
Restricted-extras is a nice one-button approach, but once you'd added the multimedia repo to either, do you think it's such a stretch to hand-add java, etc... via Synaptic vs. Restricted extras? I'm just thinking, that if you've gotten this far, you probably know what to add at this point. If not, Mint, Mandriva, etc... are a better solution. I think Debian is maybe a step away from Ubuntu, yes, but it's reputation as being "difficult" is largely imaginary. Gentoo, yes. Debian, no.
157 • Linux isn't dumb enough yet... (by dedguy on 2009-05-15 05:59:26 GMT from United States)
I started with ubuntu a year ago, someone explained to me that you could carry an OS in a flash drive, and I wanted to try it out. I wasn't a computer science major in school, and was one of those people that thought if you did one little thing wrong you would break your whole system.
Ubuntu wasn't as spoon fed as Windows, but a little Google goes a long way. After two months I was installing other distro, and partitioning and all that stuff. I think when it comes down to it, a lot of people really hate to read, and really hate computers, and unfortunately in the US, the prevailing thought is that it should come easy. That is a third grader should be able to do it, or it's considered too hard. Really, it's the reason why in the US we only speak one language (unless your parents have come fresh off the boat) and why our News Papers dumb down their vocabulary every year. That old saying that Linux is for people who hate Microsoft, and Microsoft is for people who hate computers couldn't be more true.
Everyone I know, who is mildly fascinated with computers uses Linux.
Linux won't get popular until a (sorry for the derogatory remark) retard can use it. And it's getting their for sure, heck I can use it and like i said, I'm no where close to a rocket scientist.
158 • RE: 157 (by stargazer on 2009-05-15 08:27:54 GMT from United States)
I have to largely agree mate. Despite how horrible it is to freshly install Windows, until a nub can install it with full proprietary support, encypted dvd's straight out of the box, etc... Linux will be seen as a "geek" distro by most of the population.
But, somehow, I'm ok with that. I don't aim for world domination. I'm satisfied that those above the common denominator gravitate upwards to Linux.
Sort of like - not every Jerry Springer fan is a Firefly fan, but Browncoats are damned proud of their following. The small can accomplish the impossible, and that makes us mighty.
I only wish there were less cross-distro wars. Who gives a damn in X distro wasn't the leading article? We're all in this together, and wether you use Ubuntu or Wolvix, we're all supposed to be on the same team. Different strokes for different folks, but we should support each other, instead of the weekly whiners coming out.
Be it Mint or Debian or Ubuntu or Fedora, etc.... there's a Linux that everyone can like, and these stupid, elitist flames do more to keep Linux from larger desktop share than anything MSoft could ever dream up. Indeed - why kill us off, if we're doing a wonderful job of it ourselves?
159 • @ 156 Stargazer (by DeniZen on 2009-05-15 08:37:03 GMT from United Kingdom)
yeah, fair point.
Though, choosing to install 'restricted-extras' opens the Ubuntu multiverse and universe repos (via the regular add/remove GUI), so I do think, as an experience for a Newbie, that is a world away from firing up a terminal, and editing /etc/apt/sources.lst and importing a key for the Medibuntu repos etc.
But, how a potential user would get to know about the 'Restricted Extras' option?!
I'd hope that it would turn up in a search or trip to a forum, before the poor n00b gets shook rigid at the thought of editing the sources file, importing keys and updating apt ;)
Its easy enough to find - if you know where to look
But would a noob find that adviceit?!
Judging by the regular 'buntu Multimedia agonies we regularly see posted on various fora, it seems that a lot of Ubuntu users dont seem to be aware of it IME (and how potentially 'easy' it is to get (almost) Multimedia working with one click).
But yes indeed , DVD playback is still the fly in the otherwise efficacious ointment there ;)
On a vagulay related note -
Someone posted above, or in last weeks comments that 'you dont know 'Linux' until you have used :wq ' - a reference to using the vi editor.
Personally, I think that sort of he-man stuff has to be knocked on the head now.
vi has its place - for those that choose to admin their system vi cli/terminal and, on top of that, choose to 'enjoy' (!) using a 'difficult' editor.
But it should not be a prerequisite for using Linux for the ordinary / new 'user'.
I cant think of anything that might put propecive, new Linux user off more. than using vi !
Personally, I am used to vi, I happen to use it at work , and there was a time where I had to use vi, but most people dont use vi at work, and I dont _need_ to any longer either!
I have not used vi 'at home' for years (aside from visudo occasionally), and I have no desire to use vi 'at home' , if i dont need to.
IMO, perhaps lets stop making Linux sound like it has to be a black art, and welcome as many people onboard as possible.
If they want to get embroiled in vi sooner or later - then all good.
if they dont. well good too. Shows we've come a long way ;)
160 • Dumbing down... (by forest on 2009-05-15 08:47:59 GMT from United Kingdom)
As you say dedguy, MS is perhaps too easy...see here
Far, far too easy perhaps...so "you" don't take the proper precautions?
Pity the Linux ads don't push the security angle a bit harder!
161 • minimalistic distro category (by cycle_mycle on 2009-05-15 08:58:45 GMT from Philippines)
Since there is a large and growing trend towards minimal type distros, maybe there should be a category on the search page for distrowatch distros other than "old computers" or "netbook". I mean a full fledged distro with a new kernel and updated apps for higher res screens and such. I'd like to see that aspect of linux pick up and I think it's also a major point to push linux to the forefront of OS's.
I've always thought this way because most of my computers to date have been PII, PIII and P4's of the lower rankings. Now I am blessed with a new ACER notebook and still feel that a minimal distro is the right thing to install. The thing with Lununtu sure sounds promising and since there has been a lot of distros going towards MID and NETbooks, I think there is something more than just a growing "fad" there. Kind of like the "future of computing" as I've already heard talk of.
But there's still a lot of desktops and notebooks (laptops) that have the power but would be even better off with distros like Lubuntu (or the like) installed. I think they are most impressive indeed.
162 • please excuse .. (by DeniZen on 2009-05-15 09:05:50 GMT from United Kingdom)
.. my multiple typos above - I've been up most of the night 'on-call'. ;(
(or maybe I should have used vi ;) )
163 • Huzzah for Netbooks - etc (by DeniZen again sleep deprived;) on 2009-05-15 09:22:28 GMT from United Kingdom)
It occurred to me recently that the coming of 'The Netbook' has provided much by way of benefit to all.
Reason being, Netbooks are relatively low spec devices.
OS devs are responding to that by making their distributions/OS's leaner and faster, as a result - IMO.
We know that M$ responded by pulling XP back from Death Row
And making Windows 7 considerably 'lighter' than the truly abominable Vista.
OK, enough about them .. ;)
Prior to the 'cult of netbook' it appeared to be assumed quite acceptable to need huge storage, many gigs of ram, and glowing hot CPU's just to run the damn OS - and that was the way it was to continue.
Now we see things like Moblin, booting in seconds, running well on limited spec hardware.
Ubuntu, Mandriva and now Fedora 11 have worked on drastically reducing boot times, and, it seems, made much snappier performing systems. (and Fedora needed to ..:) )
I think that Netbooks have re-ignited a wider interest in the lighter OS, and, the spin offs are coming our way.
164 • Re: #149 • Strange problem (by Anon on 2009-05-15 11:27:24 GMT from Norway)
I have seen something similar here. Using cpio I copied some (a lot of :) files from a Bluewhite64 JFS IDE hd partition to a Maxtor Basics 1 TB USB JFS external disk. Some files and 'directories' disappeared. I.e., I could see the files in Dolphin, but when trying to open them I was told they did not exist.
Try "ls -b" and "ls -Q".
In my case, a backslash and a number had been inserted into the filename, like this:
I could fix it with regxp, for example: mv "filena*me" filename.
For filenames containing noncontiguous characters, I did this:
mv "Some words "probl*em" more words" Some_words_problem_more_words
(just to make 'sure'...)
Your problem may be entirely different. Good luck.
165 • Re: 164 (by Anon on 2009-05-15 11:31:28 GMT from Norway)
The backslash before "370" disappears in the process of encoding the post...
166 • Re: 159 - Vi(m) (by Anon on 2009-05-15 12:23:16 GMT from Norway)
DeniZen wrote: "Someone posted above, or in last weeks comments that 'you dont know 'Linux' until you have used :wq ' - a reference to using the vi editor.
Personally, I think that sort of he-man stuff has to be knocked on the head now.
vi has its place - for those that choose to admin their system vi cli/terminal and, on top of that, choose to 'enjoy' (!) using a 'difficult' editor.
But it should not be a prerequisite for using Linux for the ordinary / new 'user'.
I cant think of anything that might put propecive, new Linux user off more. than using vi !"
Well, I was responsible for posting that remark, and with an added ":(" it was meant to convey more or less exactly what you are writing above.
I think of Vi as something out of Jurassic Park. Yes, you can use it. Yes, it's a great tool if you happen to remember all of its quaint incantations. However, this is 2009 and for an ordinary user, let alone a newbie, there are more pressing matters to consider and remember. Vi(m) should *NOT* be the default editor. I hate it and I am sure I am not alone and I am convinced it only serves to alienate people and make Linux come across as a pastime for 'arrogant' elitists. Besides, it is an example of ridiculous conservatism, but I already said that...!
167 • Re: 159 and 166 - Vi and Vim (by Joe on 2009-05-15 13:42:14 GMT from United States)
If a noob was raised on Windows, creating a file in notepad or edit (DOS) would be no big deal. However, if they're trying Linux and run into a situation where they have to use vi or vim -- that could be intimidating indeed. I still keep my vi(m) cheat sheet handy.
168 • RE: 164 (by IMQ on 2009-05-15 13:58:25 GMT from United States)
I tried your suggestion with no luck.
The good thing is that this is not some critical data that I need to keep, but the incident taught me a lesson: make a copy before move or delete a file if I want to keep them.
I've also made a habit of not having a space or special characters in the file names just to keep safe from unexpected behavior.
Anyway, since the experience I had happened with konqueror both times, I think there's maybe a glitch in konqueror which randomly causes the file to disappear after being moved/copied to a new target.
I heard the midnight commander is pretty good. Maybe I make a habit of using it from now on and see if the problem re-occur.
169 • Re: #128 Backing up ext4 (by kilgoretrout on 2009-05-15 14:10:02 GMT from United States)
You can backup and ext4 partition easily using a livecd with ext4 support like PartedMagic and simple command line tools like tar. Just boot up your livecd, mount your ext4 partition(say on /mnt/target for purposes of illustration) and the partition to receive your backup( say on /mnt/backup). Open a console and run the following as root:
# cd /mnt/target
# tar -czvf /mnt/backup/MybbdackUp.tar.gz .
Note the trailing "." in the second command; it has to be there as it directs tar to backup the current directory and all its subdirectories to a single gzipped compressed archive, /mnt/backup/MybbdackUp.tar.gz. To restore, your just reverse the process:
# cd /mnt/target
# tar -xvzf /mnt/backup/MybbdackUp.tar.gz
This method is as old as unix and, once you learn it, is easier to use than partimage and other backup tools and more flexible.
170 • 169 • Re: #168 Backing up ext4 (by Verndog on 2009-05-15 21:09:10 GMT from United States)
Thanks, I might need that. There's Ubuntu tutorial that's several years old with similar command. It has gone challenge over the years. Some say no you need to exclude /proc and or /sys. that howto is about 100 pages long now. I read several new posters have read several pages and have given up.
At any rate, Clonezilla testing does in fact backup Ext4. I found the problem being that whatever partition number you use to image, you must restore to the same partition number.
So lets say I have Linux on any hard drive and partition#3. If I install a new hard drive and want to restore it to partition#1 on the new drive. It's not possible. I have to use Partition#3.
Steven, the author of Clonezilla is working with me. Maybe a solution soon.
I really like Clonezilla, and partclone that it uses. Quite similar to Windows Ghost. It's also very fast. As it skips unused sectors.
I've also used fsarchiver,, but that method is quite slow and large file. Plus the fact, several files failed.
Tar is also time consuming, correct? Depends on compression. At least I would have a backup. One final thought regarding that Ubuntu howto. There was several discussions about lock files or file permissions. Something of that nature.
There's another problem using Ext4, and that's grub. that's another issue. Ubuntu has a patch but I have never used a Grub patch before. I know about creating /boot as Ext3, but I'll try something else first. There's also update-grub command. Not sure how that plays into the picture.
171 • Re: #170 - Backups (by Anon on 2009-05-15 22:40:13 GMT from Norway)
Verndog wrote: "At any rate, Clonezilla testing does in fact backup Ext4. I found the problem being that whatever partition number you use to image, you must restore to the same partition number."
That may be true for ext4, but I just used Clonezilla to restore reiserfs and jfs partitions to new, different partitions and partition numbers. The only caveat: the new partition must be qual or bigger than the original. Actually, the latest stable Clonezilla has another bug: I had to manually mount the external disk for restoring (but not for creating) an image file. Clonezilla pretends to have mounted it, but errors out with a message about the image possibly being damaged. Mount the (saved image) partition manually and use Partimage directly and everything is fine.
Generally I would advise all Linux users to have a boot partition. 100 MiB is more than sufficient. Format it ext3 and place GRUB on it and you are home free, as it were. With a boot partition and f. inst. SystemRescueCD at hand, you are free to do almost whatever you like with or to you system :) That is: as long as you remember NOT to copy anything to the MBR after having installed GRUB.
172 • A Geek Distro? Not so... (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-16 00:42:37 GMT from United States)
Some folks above think that Linux is and will remain a "geek distro" because installation is difficult for a lot of people. Windows, as others have noted, is just as difficult to install. The solution isn't a brainless installation. I don't think that will ever happen. I think we have already seen the solution: systems preloaded with Linux.
There are now lots of people running Linux on their netbooks without being technically inclined or geeky at all. It came preloaded and just works. HP, Dell, Asus and others now offer Linux on system other than netbooks and keep expanding their offerings. When buying a Linux system off the shelf is easy, as in just about as easy as buying a Windows system, that's when we'll see mainstream adoption of Linux on a larger scale.
173 • Copy Backup, Copy Restore (by RollMeAway on 2009-05-16 02:31:55 GMT from United States)
No compression, but quite usable. I've used this method to change file system type before.
1. Boot from a different partition (or a live CD), than the one you want to backup.
2. Mount the partition you wish to backup, e.g. #mount /dev/sda9 /mnt/sda9.
3. Plug in a usb flash or HD and mount it, e.g. #mount /dev/sdc1 /mnt/sdc1
4. #cd /mnt/sdc1
5. #cp -Ppruv /dev/sda9/* . (note the trailing space and dot)
Takes quite a while, depending upon size.
Now, you can reformat the original partition (sda9) to ext3 and copy your backup:
#cp -Ppruv /dev/sdc1/* .
You can use grub from the live CD to reinstall grub to the sda9 partition:
grub> root (hd0,8)
grub> setup (hd0,8)
I've used this method to clone a tweaked installation from one computer to another. If you do this, you must edit /etc/fstab and /boot/grub/menu.lst to reflect the new partiton, assuming it will be different.
You will have to detect changes in hardware, like the video card, network etc, but I find this easier than a basic install, then adding my prefered programs and setting up preferences.
174 • Upgrading - What's the point? (by Woodstock69 on 2009-05-16 04:12:21 GMT from Papua New Guinea)
This might seem like a Mark Twain question, but what do I gain by "upgrading" my distro from say LM6 to LM7 or FC9 to FC10 that cannot be done by "updating"?
Why do devs create a whole new repo/distro instead of adding functions and bug-fixes, as they already do, via the update repo's?
It drives me crazy when I have to do a fresh install everytime i want to have the latest and greatest version of my favorite distro.
175 • @172 (by Joe on 2009-05-16 05:42:26 GMT from United States)
I think there are Linux distros that are easy to configure (pop in a CD, reboot, answer a few questions, and you're done); and, there are distros that take a little work to get them running smoothly (sound card, video card, and grub configurations, etc.). The former can be installed by virtually anyone yet the latter require someone who knows Linux. However, like you, I don't think that ease of installation alone will take Linux mainstream.
The average consumer doesn't want to install their own software. At work, they rely on their IT department or contracted services to build and maintain their systems. They purchase their home PCs preloaded with an operating system and some software off the shelf -- generally from a local retailer. When they run into problems, they rely on those local retailers, IT knowledgeable friends, or repair shops to help them keep their systems running. I'll bet most of us have been asked to help fix PCs for friends, family, neighbors, and acquaintances.
Until recently, most consumers weren't familiar with Linux. When the first Linux desktops were offered by retailers like Walmart and Sears, I doubt their sales staffs were equipped to answer all of their customers questions about Linux and consequently quite a few systems were returned.
Times have changed. Projects like "One Laptop Per Child", efforts to build ultra-mobile PCs, and Mark Shuttleworth's sponsorship of Ubuntu have helped bring Linux to the forefront. Recent sales of low cost netbooks have help introduce Linux to many new users. One only needs to read the reviews on Amazon.com, Newegg.com, etc. to see that most consumers who purchased Linux netbooks were satisfied with their purchases and found that Linux met their computing needs. There will always be the few who weren't happy that their new systems weren't exactly like Windows.
I think that we'll see more changes in the near future as companies around the world tighten their belts and look to free and open source software to meet their IT needs. I'm already seeing Linux used more and more frequently with servers. I think that as more businesses migrate toward Linux, it will just be a matter of time before the retail market follows suit. Until then, we'll rely on sales of Ubuntu on Dell desktops, Linpus Lite on Acer netbooks, and Xandros on Asus' Eee PC netbooks to keep Linux in the public eye.
176 • Re: #174 Upgrading - What's the Point? (by DG on 2009-05-16 06:55:40 GMT from Netherlands)
This might seem like a Mark Twain question, but what do I gain by "upgrading" my distro from say LM6 to LM7 or FC9 to FC10 that cannot be done by "updating"?
Why do devs create a whole new repo/distro instead of adding functions and bug-fixes, as they already do, via the update repo's?
I work with Lunar Linux, which is a source based distro with a rolling release, so that as new versions of packages are released, the central Lunar repository is updated too. This means that, in theory, you could install from an ancient ISO and just run 'lunar update' to upgrade everything to the latest version.
In practice however, every now and again there are changes that have to be done in a particular order, or require some manual intervention, or are just too invasive or incompatible with what has gone before. Think of the switch from the 2.4 to the 2.6 kernel, or from devfs to udev.
For a source based distro like Lunar, you also don't really want the user to have to recompile any of the packages that make up the core of the installation before being able to do anything else. What would happen if one of those would fail? Therefore, even for a source based rolling distro, it makes sense to release new ISO images that reflect key moments such as the major releases of the kernel, gcc, bash, autotools, X, etc. so that the user can start from a clean state with less chance of inadvertently screwing it up.
Note: most newbies and distro-hoppers want an instant hit. They want to load and go. Lunar is not one of those distros. You will need to expend time and effort to ensure that the core system is up to date, and possibly build a new kernel, before building X and the desktop of your choice and any graphical apps on to of that. But you do get to learn a lot about your system :-)
177 • @ Woodstock (by DeniZen on 2009-05-16 07:09:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
There ought to be no such thing as a question that cannot be asked ;)
so fair enough Bud.
basically, Most Distros are issued as a 'point release' - eg. '11.1' , 9.04 - etc.
You could consider that a 'snapshot' , or a milestone , or whatever you want to call it.
It will have revisions, and libraries / packages / features that are 'forged' into that release, and tested - Alpha'd / beta'd etc to ensure that release will work.
Finally, its 'foozen, and issued as a release.
All of those attributes will (should) by then work together, with no major issues.
During the lifecycle of that release, there will be updates - to libraries, and point revisions of some packages. But its still the same release - nothing fundamental would be expected to be changed.
Any major changes would come in the next point release - and so it goes on.
You don't necessarily have to re-install. many, but not all, popular Distros are capable of being upgraded to the next point release when it is available.
Some distros like Arch, or Sidux, or Debian (depending where you 'start from' ) are a 'rolling release.
Once they are installed, they are always made 'current' through the updates.
There is no milestone release for the distribution itself, though new installer routines may be regularly released to keep the install process improvements, and to start with a relatively current system rather than have to update absolutely everything as soon as you have installed.
Thats sounds like a smart way of doing things, and it is, but it is also feasible that something could break, as 'x, was not fully tested with y ' as a snapshot release. (doesnt happen too often really ;) )
178 • Moblin - little interest from the end users? (by DG on 2009-05-16 07:18:35 GMT from Netherlands)
Is Moblin an idea too far? This is the first time that I have ever seen a distro
article/announcement fail to generate any interest as indicated by the Page Hit
After the last announcements about Moblin on DistroWatch a month or so ago,
some people were clearly curious about it and its Page Hit Ranking (last month)
went up. I think it peaked somewhere in the 50-75 range. Today, it has fallen to
99, in spite of this week's informative feature article to pique the readers' curiosity.
179 • @ Anon in Norway & the vi thing again (by DeniZen on 2009-05-16 07:24:06 GMT from United Kingdom)
@ Anon/Norway - apols I misquoted / misunderstood re the vi quote.
So then, I guess no-one here was really suggesting vi was necessary , or even vaguely valid for average 'Desktop Linux' users after all ;)
And TBF, most distro's do not 'require' any acknowledgment of, let alone the 'compulsory' use of vi anymore, and so, thankfully, never need scare any Noobs!
I'm an 'mcedit' fan myself.
mcedit is the terminal / console based editor that comes with Midnight Commander ('mc). i.e. - if you install mc (great tool!), you get mcedit 'standalone' too, and its a great little editor.
(if using mc, or mcedit in a terminal you may need to untick the 'use F10 key' in the terminal keybinding prefs, as mc uses the 'F10' key to exit).
mcedit is well worth a look ;)
180 • Some above (by stargazer on 2009-05-16 08:04:54 GMT from United States)
I have to agree, Denizen, that ubunti is easy to configure, easier that Debian, if one simply knows how to google. And thank you - I find it refreshing to carry on a polite and civil discussion on this board ;-)
@Caitlyn - I agree. I meant to merely point out that that is unfortunately a (slowly changing) perception, not a fact. Most people get their Windows pre-configured from the factory, and haven't had to go through the agony of googling every single piece of hardware just to get a minimally functional system.
And yet, Linux seems to be held to a different standard - if it doesn't recognize everything, wash your car, wipe your bottom, and make you coffee from the first install, it then gets a "geek-only" perception. In a perfect world, everyone would have to install XP/Vista and Ubuntu, and see which one worked better "out of the box".
But I agree- pre-installed Linux is a suberbly important market driver. Without having to install, simply turning your laptop on for the first time and having everything "work" is just as important as it is for the Windows OS.
And, I have to say it again, I'm glad to see intelligent, polite, and civil discussion, even when one doesn't agree with one's statements. I hope more of this kind of discussion can become the norm ;-)
181 • RE: DG (by stargazer on 2009-05-16 08:07:32 GMT from United States)
I rarely see the point of "upgrading". I tend to stay a point release or two behind in "fresh install" distros, and stick with the "stable branch" in others.
My philosophy is: If my Linux OS is accomplishing everything I need, why fix what isn't broken? If the "new" feature set offers something I truly need, well, ok then.
But if it's just a set of .x "upgrades", which tend to bring as many new bugs as bug fixes, I'd just as soon do without ;-)
182 • Re: 179 (by Azzorcist on 2009-05-16 08:18:19 GMT from Indonesia)
mcedit is not only the easy Linux CLI text editor. You can also try GNU Nano. Some distro ship it pre-installed (like Ubuntu).
But, MC is sure a great tool, easy file manager and text editor on the CLI.
183 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-16 10:06:56 GMT from United Kingdom)
Excellent post Joe, couldn't agree more...and Caitlyn's too.
They are the sort of posts you wish you had said..but first, LOL.
And just to add, it IS possible for a forum to support the experienced and the new boys...I hope I have not spoken too soon?
And FWIW I have become less enamoured with Super OS...it seems to hang on occcasion when d/l files.
Still, it's not as though I was starved of choice...just d/l the most recent Foresight...I am intrigued to see if the new wifi drivers for draft n actually work on my kit.
184 • Re: #173 • Copy Backup, Copy Restore (by RollMeAway) (by Anon on 2009-05-16 14:55:50 GMT from Norway)
Thanks for telling about your experience with cp! I had long been wondering whether cp could really be trusted as a full backup alternative.
185 • Re: 179 (by Anon on 2009-05-16 15:01:15 GMT from Norway)
No problem. My remark was all too short and ambiguous...
186 • #174 Upgrading, rolling vs. fixed releases (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-16 15:27:50 GMT from United States)
The point of upgrading, usually, is to get newer versions of applications, new applications or features that weren't available in a previous release, to fix bugs, or to support additional hardware. If the version you are running is no longer supported by the distributor then there really is a pressing need to upgrade as you will no longer receive security patches to fix vulnerabilities. The major distros support at least one or two versions back so you generally don't have to upgrade whenever there is a release. You do need to upgrade every second or third release, typically a couple of years down the road from the first release of the version you are running.
Whether it's important to upgrade to a given release or not (assuming the security issue hasn't come up and you present version is still supported) depends on whether or not the changes in a new version affect you or are important to you. I suspect a lot of people will upgrade from Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) to Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) or to the next version of Mandriva if the Intel graphics driver issue has been resolved and performance improves. Of course if you don't have Intel graphics that's a non-issue.
What I recommend is that you read the release notes and see if anything new is important to you. Nobody can tell you what's right for you in a given case.
Regarding fresh installs vs. upgrades vs. rolling release distros: I personally don't like rolling release distros. I like to have a known fixed starting point to work from in case something goes wrong and I have to do troubleshooting. Most fixed release distros, at least the major ones, do support in place upgrades so a fresh install isn't required. I have had issues with in place upgrades and I actually prefer to do a fresh install but I do realize that when it works correctly upgrading in place is easier for most people.
One thing I do to make my installs painless is to keep my /home directory on a separate partition. That way I can preserve both my data and my settings from one install to the next. I still do a backup before installing an OS but I rarely if ever have to do a restore :)
As always, YMMV. Like most things in Linux there is no one right answer and you have choices about how to manage your system(s).
187 • Ref#186 seperate home partition (by Verndog on 2009-05-16 23:14:41 GMT from United States)
I have always use one partition "/". Therefore "home" is inside "/". Knowing full well that any re-install will wipe out my "/home" info. To my surprise, while trying to get my Jaunty Ext4 partition backed up I had on several occasions had to re-install Jaunty. The surprise was, I unknowingly didn't check the format this partition. So when all was finished and back to normal, my "/home" docs were intact!
Jaunty install gave me a warning that anything in lower part of the partition would be wiped out. That was okay.
188 • @143 (by Anonymous on 2009-05-17 00:15:38 GMT from United States)
When I pop in a dvd in windows, I play it with VLC or with SMPlayer and I can play them without any problems. Yes with WMP, the codecs are not there by default. For those windows users that want to play ogg files, they can get oggcodecs from Ogg Vorbis webpage and play them with WMP if they want.
The beautiful thing here is that many programs that one grows to love in linux can also be used in Windows. That is beautiful !!
189 • Partitioning (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-17 01:30:38 GMT from USA)
Verndog: Consider yourself lucky. All in one partition is generally a bad idea. Some distros do it because it requires zero knowledge of partitioning and is therefore "user friendly". it's friendly until a user loses all their precious data and settings, that is. There is no guarantee that you will ever preserve your data in a single partition arrangement.
On servers I recommend breakout out /var into a separate partition for two reasons: the first is to preserve logs through a reinstall. The second is in case some process runs amock and spews out tons of log messages. I've seen this happen and /var fills up to 100% before someone catches it. If / fills up to 100% then the system often goes down. Of course, it won't be exactly happy with a full /var either but it likely won't crash and burn.
Some people like to separate out /opt and/or /usr/local to keep third party (often proprietary) software separate from the OS. Again, this is most commonly done on servers.
190 • Free and Open Source software (by Joe on 2009-05-17 01:50:39 GMT from United States)
One way to introduce Windows users to free and open source software is to let them see what's available from the open source community. A good starting point would be to provide them with copies of the OpenDisc and OpenEducationDisc images from http://www.theopendisc.com. An equivalent library of commercial software applications would be pretty costly. Or, you can download the applications directly from the authors' web sites or http://sourceforge.net.
As I move back and forth between Windows and Linux, the applications that I use are the same (OpenOffice, Firefox, Gimp, Inkscape, Scribus, etc.). Yes, I even run KDE under Windows XP.
191 • Re: 188, 190 (by Azzorcist on 2009-05-17 08:42:00 GMT from Indonesia)
Yes, that's the advantage of open source.
I haven't convert any single of my friend to Linux. But, in Windows they already use applications from open source world.
I introduce them to OpenOffice.org, GIMP, Inkscape, VLC, SMPlayer, Songbird, Audacity, Pidgin, and many others. I hope they will find it easier to migrate to Linux in the future.
Thanks to everyone involved.
192 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-17 09:19:43 GMT from United Kingdom)
I congratulate your efforts!
I found that my mates were uniformly of the opinion that if it was FREE software then it was "not quite the thing"...despite them being only too pleased to use FF3...in Vista.
One mate did go so far as to install U8x on a spare machine but only used it for a few days because he could not be arsed to learn the ways of Linux.
Pointing out they were using open source stuff from Mozzilla just got the, "ah wel,l that's different, everybody uses it."
What is worse tho' is nephew and son's attitude. They are dyed-in-the-wool Mac disciples and their machines are "altars" to the god Mac. Even a brief mention of BSD falls on deaf ears, LOL. (Nephew has advertising business and his IT bloke uses Linux cos it's "better", but will he listen?)
I am "beginning" to recognise that possibly the only way to get Linux mainstream is to adopt the method of some countries/states/communities where the choice is Linux or...Linux, which rather defeats the object of "free choice of free open source community computing".
193 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-17 09:38:53 GMT from United Kingdom)
Breaking news, nevu has just announced his IT matey is going to use Linux server software, because, wait for it...nevu just found out that Windows Server 2003 is £500!!! At least he had the grace to blush...
Perhaps running his own business has convinced him of the need to manage money more effectively...LOL. And, he might begin to see the benefits of going completely Linux...as in desktop.
194 • @192 (by Joe on 2009-05-17 11:49:46 GMT from United States)
I have a friend with a Mac and he likes it's stability and ease of use. But he's savvy enough to know that his system is stable because of tightly controlled hardware standards and it's Unix OS. He uses a Windows XP PC at work. Yet, when he looked into repurposing an older laptop, he decided to reimage it with Kubuntu. Now he keeps his Linux laptop in his living room where he and his wife use it to look up information, catch up on email, Twitter, Facebook, etc. while they're watching TV.
My sister wanted to be able to catch up on work from home. Her company uses Microsoft Office. I introduced her to OpenOffice and she's tickled pink.
My wife asked me to build PCs and laptops for her brothers and sisters and their children. To keeps costs down, I bought used systems through ebay and reimaged them with the same software that the systems originally came with (and I bought quite a few copies of Windows XP). Then, an epiphany! Now, I reimage the hardware with Linux. I was a little apprehensive at first since her relatives weren't familiar with Linux, only Windows. But they figured out how to use their new systems. ...now if we could just agree on how to pronounce the word "Linux". ;-)
195 • @111 (by barnabyh on 2009-05-17 12:47:45 GMT from United Kingdom)
I would suggest Slackware, true, bit of a learning curve and he'll probably need a lot of help for the initial setup, but once that's done it's rock solid, fast, and supported for ages. I think currently version 10.1 is still supported, and we are now on 12.2. Amen.
196 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-17 12:48:00 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref your last sentence...that's easy Joe...Linux is pronounced "Brilliant..."
I too bought a used system, but in UK the recycler mateys tend to bung in the original, licensed XP (Pro in my case) inc SP3, after having first sanitised, data wise, the machines to comply with privacy laws.
They are very, very reasonable to buy, and some companies flog Compaq Evos, 2.8 procs, WITH XP Pro for LESS than official retail price of XP Pro (+SP3) with 90 day warranty (on the machine that is...)! I have a notion this is to keep XP going and a way around MS strangling the XP supply...but perhaps I'm wrong on that one...?
Currently I am running a Dell Optiplex 280 (sff) (c2005) clocking 3GHZ on 2GB ram. The wafers are DDR2 so are as cheap as... it came with XP Pro installed so i simply bunged on U9 and made it dual bootable.
i have yet to try to install hitherto "uninstallable" distros...on my old kit. I have dozens to try out so am anticipating in following, to the letter, Lads' strictures to put the fun back into computing...
197 • Mandriva 2009 spring: best release ever (by killer1987 on 2009-05-17 13:12:56 GMT from Italy)
i've installed mandriva 2009 spring, is without doubt the best release i've ever tried! i'm using it since one week and i haven't had a bug yet... keep it up with this great job, mandriva team!
198 • @196 (by Joe on 2009-05-17 13:36:42 GMT from United States)
"Brilliant" is apropos. LOL.
Interesting you mentioned the Dell Optiplex 280. I just bought several. (I'm keeping one for myself to replace a Dell 4300 -- the rest go to relatives).
For your "old kit", just pick up a USB HDD and a copy of Clonezilla; clone the current image (in case you need to restore it for any reason); then, drop the Linux or BSD image of your choice.
I'm posting this from one of my old kits -- a Compaq Armada M700, 1GHz, 512MB RAM, running Mandrake 2009.1. The latest Mandrake seems pretty stable -- although I had to fix a couple of audio and video issues during install/configuration. I'm running Songbird, playing radio station "Absolutely Smooth Jazz" in the background and it hasn't missed a beat. This little laptop has served me well. I use it as one of my test beds for new distros. Won't run the latest batch of 'buntus though. I keep getting "segmentation fault" errors.
199 • Re: 195 (by Azzorcist on 2009-05-17 14:10:36 GMT from Indonesia)
Slackware? For non-techie? Are you kidding?
I'm using Slackware 12.2 currently and i don't think Slackware simple approach is non-techie friendly. Maybe you mean It's derivative.
I also find it difficult to find packages for the 12.2 release.
200 • @195 (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-18 02:07:59 GMT from United States)
Oh, God no.
My random questions and posts have turned this comments section into something beautiful, quite accidentally. Onto next week!
201 • The most reliable boot loader? (by kimlik66 on 2009-05-18 08:16:11 GMT from Canada)
hi all :)
I have a question.
I want to format my machine and setup a dual-boot system; windowsXP & Linux.
Now, my question is which bootloader you guys would recommend?
Lilo? Grub? Or any other boot loaders?
And what's the most reliable way or place to install one of the above-mentioned boot loaders? On MBR? On first part of the partition? Or on a CD?
As you can tell, i'm seeking a boot loader, which run smoothly alongside Windows without damaging window's boot.
All timely respones will be appreciated.
202 • @ 201 (by DeniZen on 2009-05-18 10:44:05 GMT from United Kingdom)
You should be able to find answers and guides easily enough by searching for those keywords.
From memory, as i recall,if you want to retain your Win loader, then you could install grub to the partition of your linux install instead of the MBR, and then configure an entry in the windows loader to add that to the Windows boot menu.
if thats what you want to do.
203 • Ref: attracting sceptics to 'Linux' (by DeniZen on 2009-05-18 10:48:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref: the discussion about attracting sceptics to 'Linux'
And to Paraphrase -
"Build it, and they will come"
204 • fedora@debian (by Joe B on 2009-05-18 11:29:34 GMT from United Kingdom)
A newbie to linux I spent a full day trying to install fedora, and then debian. Fedora installed but then I spent the next 4hrs trying to logon, it never asked for a user name on install, so how was I to know what the user name was, debian installed but then kept crashing on boot up, obviously didn't like my radeon. Ubuntu 9.04 installed in 30 minutes and I had a nice working display and system, simple. Why can't other distros install as simple as Ubuntu.
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