| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 303, 18 May 2009
Welcome to this year's 20th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! After last week's tip on how to upgrade a stable Mandriva Linux to the distribution's development branch (Cooker), we'll continue the series with a tutorial on running Slackware "Current", the development branch of the world's oldest surviving Linux distro. In the news section, Fedora presents a tentative look at a possible feature set for its next version; Ubuntu announces a new service for cloud computing amid controversy over its proprietary nature; the Debian-Desktop project launches new KDE 4 packages for "Lenny", and PC-BSD continues to expand its desktop options with Xfce and GNOME. Also in this week's issue - a roadmap for Sabayon Linux covering the rest of 2009 and a new security oriented live CD with OWASP. Happy reading!
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Running Slackware "Current"
Note: This article has been updated. The original slackroll method of updating to Slackware "Current" has been removed because it was "all wrong", according to slackroll's author Ricardo Garcia.
Last week's tips and tricks section provided information on how to "upgrade" a stable Mandriva release to the latest development branch. Although running development trees and upgrading them in regular intervals can be risky and may even render your system unbootable or otherwise unstable, it is an excellent way of participating in the development of your favourite distribution and reporting bugs to upstream projects. Needless to say, some Linux knowledge and experience is required, so this should only be done by those users who know how to fix their bootloader if things go wrong!
Today we continue this series with a look at how to run the development tree of the oldest surviving Linux distribution - Slackware Linux. From my experience, running Slackware "current" is generally trouble-free, certainly more so that running the development trees of most other major distributions. This is partly the result of Slackware's philosophy of building the distribution from unmodified "vanilla" upstream sources, and partly due the founder's selective conservatism with regards to switching to newer, but not well-tested core components, including the Linux kernel. Despite that, most end-user applications are highly up-to-date and running Slackware current provides the user with a modern system with many of the latest applications available for Linux.
So if you have a stable Slackware system installed, how to you switch to the "current" tree? This is somewhat less straightforward than in other distributions because Slackware doesn't believe in dependency-resolving package management systems, so the "proper" way of doing this would be to download each individual software package from the current tree and install it with pkgtools. Given that this tree gets on average 2 - 3 updates per week, some of which could contain dozens of packages, this would be very time consuming indeed! Instead, we are going to use slackpkg, an automated package management system that has recently entered the main Slackware tree after years in the extra directory. Here are the steps to upgrade your stable Slackware system to Slackware "current":
- Set your preferred slackware-current mirror by uncommenting the relevant line in /etc/slackpkg/mirrors.
- Update package list: # slackpkg update
- Install new packages: # slackpkg install-new
- Upgrade all installed packages: # slackpkg upgrade-all
- Run the above again (due to recent switch from TGZ to TXZ packages): # slackpkg upgrade-all
- Remove unneeded packages: # slackpkg clean-system
- Repeat steps 2, 3, 4 and 6 once or twice a week to ensure that you are always in sync with the "current" development.
That's all. Once you are done and everything went as planned, you'll be running a system with Linux kernel 126.96.36.199, glibc 2.9, GCC 4.3.3, KDE 4.2.3, Xfce 4.6.1, Firefox 3.0.10, GIMP 2.6.6 and many other applications in their latest versions!
Dip your toes into the future Slackware Linux 13.0 by running the distribution's "current" tree
(full image size: 123kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Tentative features for Fedora 12, Ubuntu One controversy, Debian "Lenny" with KDE 4, PC-BSD with Xfce and GNOME
With the expected release on 26 May, it won't be long now before Fedora 11 goes gold. Those of you participating in Fedora's beta programme or follow the popular distribution on news sites are probably well-aware of the enormous range of interesting features that the new release will come with. For the rest of us, this blog post has a nice summary, with features ranging from a new default file system and latest versions of popular applications to 20-second boot-up and virtual authentication: "The ext4 file system has more features and generally better performance than ext3, which is showing its age in the Linux file system world. Features include: delayed allocation and mballoc allocator for better on-disk allocation; sub-second timestamps; space pre-allocation; journal check-summing; large (>2 TB) file support (this is an absolutely essential inclusion); large (>16 TB) file system support; defragmentation support."
Speaking about Fedora, Phoronix is again one step ahead of everyone else, by looking at an early list of possible features for Fedora 12: "A tentative feature list for this next Fedora release can already be found on the Fedora Project Wiki. Some of these features, like the straightforward multi-seat support, were originally targeted for Leonidas but were then pushed back to Fedora 12. Additionally though, Red Hat intends to introduce liblvm in Fedora 12 to allow user-space applications to interface with an LVM (Logical Volume Manager). In Fedora 12, Red Hat intends to replace nash/mkinitrd with Dracut, which is a modular initramfs generation tool. Instead of using Pidgin as the default instant messaging program, in Fedora 12 the default will become GNOME's Empathy program. The other items on the list right now include the debuginfo file-system and Systemtap static probes. While not officially confirmed yet, the release of Fedora 12 at this time appears to be the first or second week of November."
* * * * *
The Ubuntu world was rocked last week by an announcement about Ubuntu One a web-based file-sharing and file-synchronisation system for the promised era of cloud computing. The Register explains: "Ubuntu's commercial backer won't fluff its own cloud, but Canonical isn't eschewing online services in the battle against Microsoft. Canonical has begun beta tests of a web-based service that'll let you store and synchronize files on your Jaunty Jackalope PC with other Jackalope-powered machines. Called Ubuntu One, it's designed to provide you with access to your files using a web interface when you're away from your main machine. The service also promises to let you share documents with others." While all this sounds like a worthy goal to pursue, not everyone in the Ubuntu community is happy. The reason? The Ubuntu One server will be a proprietary system. Brian Burger on Planet Ubuntu: "Big chunks of Launchpad are still non-free, and of course about half the mess with Ubuntu One is the fact that it's only half-free - the client is free, the whole server side is totally proprietary. Another, even larger and more awesome irony: The proprietary nature of Ubuntu One's server-side code has, so far, mostly produced controversy and a nifty but not ground-breaking web application. The open-source client side has already produced parts of a nifty new UI for encrypted directories that will (hopefully) be in the next release of Nautilus."
* * * * *
Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 "Lenny" has been out for a while, receiving mostly positive coverage in the media. However, one often-heard criticism of the project tends to come from desktop users, some of whom would prefer a stable Debian base system with a more up-to-date desktop and other end-user applications. Is there a way to take advantage of the stability of "Lenny", while running the freshest desktop packages? Indeed there is! The unofficial Debian-Desktop project has been hard at providing the latest KDE 4 packages (including KDE 4.2.3) for "Lenny" and has even released a set of Debian live DVDs with KDE 4.2.3 for those who'd like to have a feel for the desktop before opening the sources.list file and committing to the adventurous upgrade. Please see the project's web site for more information. On a related note, the BrDesktop project has announced the availability of a Debian "Lenny" variant pre-configured for Brazilian users: "The BrDesktop difference is in the selection, default language, programs and security pre-configurations for home desktop users, a streamlined installation aided by pre-configurations, a live CD option, a unique desktop theme, and the participation of the Brazilian Debian community." The installation CD images for i386 and amd64 architectures are available for download from here.
Debian "Lenny" for Brazil - courtesy of the BrDesktop team
(full image size: 525kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
The PC-BSD continues to work hard at providing BSD fans with a ready-made, easy-to-use BSD system for the desktop. Its default KDE 4 desktop isn't to everybody's taste, however, and it's quite possible that the project would gain a much larger following if other desktop options were made available by the project. Last week, the first KDE alternatives were announced on FreeBSDNews: "PC-BSD Software has now made an Xfce PBI available. PC-BSD comes with KDE 4 pre-installed, but if you prefer a lightweight window manager, this one is for you. The GNOME desktop PBI can be downloaded here. Another interesting PBI is the Thin Client Server. This PBI installs DHCPCD and configures PC-BSD as a Thin Client Server. Clients connected to the servers NIC, will be able to network boot via DHCPD and PXE, and then be brought to a KDM login screen. For more details about this PBI, please read through our Thin Client Wiki." PC-BSD's PBI is the project's intuitive, web-based package management system that can be installed with a mouse click. On a related note, PC-BSD founder Kris Moore has published a video of his talk given recently at AsiaBSDCon 2009 in Tokyo, entitled PC-BSD - making FreeBSD on the desktop a reality.
|Released Last Week
Zenwalk Live 6.0
Pierrick Le Brun has announced the release of Zenwalk Live 6.0, a live CD edition of the popular Slackware-based distribution: "Zenwalk Live 6.0, the latest Zenwalk in a live CD format, is ready! Based on Zenwalk's current repository, Zenwalk live 6.0 is an almost perfect clone of the latest Zenwalk 6.0 with the addition of the latest security patches and bug fixes. Zenwalk Live 6.0 uses version 6.2.9 of the Linux-Live scripts and its kernel 188.8.131.52 is patched with Aufs, Squashfs and LZMA with sqlzma. Our native utilities, LiloFix and LiveClone, have been entirely rewritten in Glade/Python and new functionalities have been added to LiveClone. If you've just recently migrated to Linux, a beginner's guide will assist and guide you through all the basics." Read the rest of the release announcement for further information.
Mehdi Magnon has announced the release of Sabily 9.04, an Ubuntu-based distribution containing a selection of Islamic software, including prayer times, a Quran study tool, Arabic learning software and a web content filtering utility: "The Sabily team is proud to announce the release of Sabily 9.04, code name 'Taibah'. Sabily is the new name of Ubuntu Muslim Edition. New in this release: hijra, a Hijri Islamic calendar tray applet; mus-haf Othman, Othman Quran browser which displays Quran text in Othmani script style; updated artwork; Thwab can now open Shamela books. Main features: WebStrict parental control tool; Zekr 0.7.2 (Quran study tool), able to play Quran recitations; prayer times applications - Minbar and Firefox Pray Times add-on; Thwab (encyclopaedia); full support for Arabic...." Read the remainder of the release announcement for further details.
Sabily 9.04 - an Ubuntu-based distribution with Islamic software and support for Arabic
(full image size: 589kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
François Dupoux has released SystemRescueCd 1.2.0, a Gentoo-based live CD with a collection of hard disk management and data rescue utilities: "SystemRescueCd 1.2.0 has just been released. It's a major release and it comes with a new kernel version, new desktop environment, and update for important packages. First, the graphical environment has been updated. It's now based on X.Org Server 1.5.3, which improves the hardware support and comes with new drivers. The desktop environment is now Xfce, because it's both very good (very comfortable, many settings) and very small. Parts of Xfce which are not essential and which have many dependencies have not been included. The kernel has been updated to version 2.6.29; it comes with more drivers and it also supports the very promising Btrfs file system (still under heavy development). GParted has been updated to 0.4.5." Read the complete release announcement to learn about other major changes in this release.
SystemRescueCd 1.2.0 - now using a minimalist Xfce desktop
(full image size: 87kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
NetBSD developer Zafer Aydogan has announced the release of Jibbed 5.0, a live CD based on NetBSD 5.0. An announcement went out a few days ago, but now it has been updated to include information about new features: "Here we go again the with a new version of the NetBSD live CD. This time it's version 5.0, built from the finest NetBSD-5 sources. As usual, the live CD contains the latest packages from pkgsrc and three new packages: AbiWord and two fantastic games - Wormux and Crack Attack!. As always it contains X.Org from base and the Xfce window manager. Jibbed is a bootable live CD based on the NetBSD operating system that works directly from a CD without touching a hard drive. It provides automatic hardware detection and supports many graphics cards, sound cards and USB devices. It also features a rescue environment for NetBSD." Visit the project's home page to read the brief release announcement.
Jibbed 5.0 - NetBSD on a live CD, with automatic hardware detection and Xfce desktop
(full image size: 38kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Ekaaty Linux 3
A new major version of Ekaaty Linux, a Brazilian desktop Linux distribution based on Fedora and featuring KDE 3.5.10, has been released. This is the project's most stable and polished release to-date, with many new features implemented during the past two years of development. Some of the most interesting among them include: Faster boot time - less than 30 seconds on conventional hardware; the ability to install audio and video codecs, as well as additional applications, during system installation; introduction of Secure Updates, a package update mechanism that prevents updates that could be harmful to the stability of the system; introduction of the MediaBox profile, with a suite of applications for editing audio, video and graphics files, e.g. Hydrogen, Audacity, Ardour, Rosegarden and others. Please see the release announcement and release notes (both links in Portuguese) for further details.
Ekaaty Linux 3 - a Brazilian desktop distribution based on Fedora
(full image size: 780kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Foresight Linux 2.1.1
Og Maciel has announced the release of Foresight Linux 2.1.1, an rPath-based distribution featuring the latest GNOME desktop and other GNOME technologies: "It is with great pleasure that I announce the release of Foresight Linux 2.1.1. Well-known for being a desktop operating system featuring an intuitive user interface and a showcase of the latest desktop software, this new release brings you the latest GNOME 2.26.1 release, a newer Linux kernel 2.6.29, a revamped notification area, and a ton of X.Org improvements! GNOME 2.26 features improvements to file sharing, better support for multiple monitors and projectors, integration with fingerprint readers and many more updates. The distribution includes a new Linux kernel, 184.108.40.206, which adds support for WiMAX and new wireless drivers such as Ralink rt2860/70." Read the rest of the release announcement and release notes for more information.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Sabayon Linux 2009 roadmap
The developers of Sabayon Linux have published a release roadmap for the remainder of 2009. The project's next release, version 4.2 beta, is scheduled for early next month, before the focus of development shifts towards the next major release, version 5.0. If the roadmap holds true, we should see no fewer than four stable Sabayon Linux releases before this year is over. But as is often the case with Linux distributions, the developers warn that "dates can change without notice. It's more important for us to give you a stable release." For further information please visit the Sabayon roadmap page.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- OWASP Live CD. OWASP Live CD is a project that collects some of the best open source security projects in a single environment. Web developers, testers and security professionals can boot the live CD and have access to a full security testing suite. This allows its users to test for various security issues in web applications and web sites. OWASP Live CD also contains documentation and an interactive learning environment (Web Goat) to enhance users' web application security knowledge. OWASP Live CD is free for commercial or non-commercial use.
- Xange. Xange is a Linux operating system, based on Fedora, KDE 4 and open-source applications. It has been designed for netbooks, laptops, desktops and servers. It contains the Firefox web browser, office tools, VLC multimedia player, Java, Google Gadgets, instant messaging with Skype and aMSN, Inkscape, Scribus and GIMP.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 25 May 2009.
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • This week's DWW (by ladislav on 2009-05-18 11:39:12 GMT from Taiwan) |
Sorry, no luck with the Mandriva review. I know Caitlyn promissed one for this issue, but the last time I heard from her was about 12 hours ago when she complained about some storms and intermittent loss of her Internet connection. Blame it on the weather! So this week's DWW is a bit of a shorter, improvised issue.
2 • Slackware (by david on 2009-05-18 11:47:46 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the write up on Slackware. This has long been in my opinion the best most stable distro out there. I have been using it for many years but was unaware of slackroll. I will give it a try. Another reason I look forward to Monday mornings - new ideas and knowledge.
3 • Debian and KDE 4 (by Sertse on 2009-05-18 12:02:15 GMT from Australia)
It is also of note that KDE 4 has arrived in Debian *Testing* today.
4 • Ubuntu "cloud" thingy (by yelamdenu on 2009-05-18 12:04:33 GMT from Netherlands)
What's going one with this increasing proprietariness of Canonical?
5 • Ubuntu, Canonical @ Double Standards (by Leo on 2009-05-18 12:22:45 GMT from United States)
I am a happy Kubuntu user, and a grateful person to the Free Software community at large, and Mark Shuttleworth in particular, for having commited part of _his_ fortune, and a lot of his time to make the world a better place via free software (through his investment in Ubuntu).
Having said that, I find it hard for Ubuntu to push for free/open source software, like they do with drivers, which is good, and pushing their own proprietary business model on the other hand. It seems like a double standard: do as I say, not as I do.
Canonical can, and should be able to make money by selling support on top of free software, like Red Hat does. The server side is an obvious place. On the desktop, OEM installations are another obvious choice. Teaming up with Desktop, Netbook, UMPC and Embedded vendors to customize Ubuntu for their needs should give a nice and stable revenue stream. The cloud could be, too, but there is no need to have proprietary software involved, you can just sell services. At least IMHO.
6 • Debian KDE4 (by Jesse on 2009-05-18 12:26:03 GMT from Canada)
I know earlier released of KDE4 disappointed a lot of people, but I'm running 4.2.x at the moment and it's been great. A lot more stable and feature complete than the previous releases. For those who were put off by4.0 or 4.1, I highly recommend giving it another round. I'll admit, I'm a KDE fan, but the progree made in the past year is excellent.
7 • RE: #5 Non-free Software issue. (by Eddie Wilson on 2009-05-18 12:51:03 GMT from United States)
"Canonical can, and should be able to make money by selling support on top of free software, like Red Hat does."
It can and does. Remember also that both Red Hat and Suse Enterprise Editions are both proprietary systems that you pay for. They are not free in any sense of the word. As far as cloud computing goes, it may be useful but I don't really see it taking off. I could be wrong tho, I saw Windows ME destroying Microsoft and that didn't happen. Anyway I feel that the only ones who have a right to complain are the ones who uses NO non-free software.(codecs, drivers, apps, or anything proprietary or closed) But that's just my opinion.
8 • Debian with KDE4.2.3 (by DeniZen on 2009-05-18 12:55:16 GMT from United Kingdom)
should I, shoudnt I .. ah that russian roullette buzz ..
9 • excuse me (by DeniZen on 2009-05-18 13:00:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
I meant to say, cheers Ladislav/DWW, as per usual for a Monday.
Interesting article on Slack Current.
AIR there were some posts in last weeks Comments regards getting up to date packages on Slack. Guess this answers that then.
10 • Re: #7 (by Leo on 2009-05-18 13:00:52 GMT from United States)
Thanks Eddie for your answer. I think you are confusing "commercial" with "proprietary". Red Hat is a commercial distro, but all their software is open source. One nice example is JBoss. They are a heavy contributor to the kernel source code base. Of course they have done little if anything for Linux on the desktop, but they do have an open source, service based business model.
SUSE/Novell, I just don't know, so I won't comment. Plus, their sleeping with MS doesn't get my sympathy ;-)
11 • RE: #7 confusing the meanings of the word free (by yelamdenu on 2009-05-18 13:11:50 GMT from Netherlands)
please read this explanation of the meaning of "free software" (as defined by the FSF/GNU folks).(Of course there is free/open source software made by people with no ties with, or even sympathy for, the FSF/GNU.)
Anyway, Red Hat Enterprise Linux is not proprietary. It is commercial free [as in speech] software. That's why you can have something like CentOS.
12 • Slackware and slackpkg (by Donnie on 2009-05-18 13:20:30 GMT from United States)
I hate to tell you, but you're wrong about slackpkg.
Point your mirrors list to a "current" mirror, and run:
This will install any new software in the development branch.
This will ensure that everything is properly updated.
I've tried this on two machines, and it works great. I got the new kernel, KDE 4, the works.
13 • Nice work (by stuckinoregon on 2009-05-18 13:22:23 GMT from United States)
Great issue again guys. Refreshing to see some Slackware stuff.
@DeniZen - Just do it! You know you want to... : D
14 • RE: 12 Slackware and slackpkg (by ladislav on 2009-05-18 13:30:40 GMT from Taiwan)
Hmm, interesting, I didn't know that. But does slackpkg also remove packages that are removed from slackware-current? Slackroll does that. There is a bit more on comparing slackroll with other tools here: http://wiki.github.com/rg3/slackroll/faq.
15 • Re: Slackware and slackpkg (by Andrew on 2009-05-18 13:44:13 GMT from United States)
Yes, slackpkg definitely removes older, no-longer-used packages. Also, as you stated earlier, slackpkg does NOT resolve dependencies (on purpose). slackpkg is definitely the way to go, however, seeing as how it's already included in slackware.
16 • Caitlyn and stuff (by davemc on 2009-05-18 13:50:32 GMT from United States)
Well, sounds like Caitlyn is having some bad luck. I hope that running Mandriva didn't have anything to do with it. :)
Canonical will probably open source the server side of most of the Cloud stuff sooner or later. They tread that proprietary fine line like all the major FOSS vendors do and will find their own way about things. Probably, some of it will remain proprietary while other parts get opened up in the end.
PS. Whats the deal with the KDE4.3 release?
17 • Vanilla Distro people should try (by Diogo on 2009-05-18 13:57:47 GMT from Brazil)
I know people, think that slackware is very good, but I think it lacks two things: an official amd64 version (I know there is bw64 and slamd64, but they are fork and not originals, I mean they are made from slack but not exactaly slack); and a good package manager. So some years ago, a distro were born, it is really a good distro, it's called Paldo, it has amd64 and i686 versions, and it has a good hibrid package manager, and the best part is that it is as vanilla as it can, so I know it doesn't have like 10 years or more but it is very stable and good.
18 • slackpkg works fine (by Robby Workman on 2009-05-18 14:07:03 GMT from United States)
No need to recommend an external utility when slackpkg works for this just fine.
All of that is mentioned in the slackpkg documentation.
19 • However... (by Robby Workman on 2009-05-18 14:08:47 GMT from United States)
THANKS for the Slackware mention, ladislav -- it's much appreciated. Publicity is a good thing, so apologies for the first comment with only criticism.
20 • xz is a sticking point (by k-money on 2009-05-18 14:12:55 GMT from United States)
I've been tracking slackware-current for a long time now, and the transition to xz was the first tripping point I've hit. The xz package is packaged with xz. This means you have to manually install xz before you can upgrade past that point, because there wasn't an xz package in the .tgz format.
21 • Re: 14 Slackware and slackpkg (by Donnie on 2009-05-18 14:16:18 GMT from United States)
As Andrew already mentioned in his post, the answer to your question is yes, slackpkg does remove old packages.
Also, I forgot to mention. . .
After you upgrade Slackware to KDE 4, you'll need to fix a minor bug before you can get the buildscripts from Slackbuilds.org to work correctly.
In the "/usr/bin" directory, there's a "qmake" sym link that points to the current qmake executable in the "/usr/lib" directory. You'll need to make another sym link called "qmake-qt4" that points to the same executable.
ln -s /usr/lib/usr/lib/qt-r948357/bin/qmake /usr/bin/qmake-qt4
This is because some of the buildscripts reference "qmake", and others reference "qmake-qt4".
22 • Slackware (by Ringwraith on 2009-05-18 14:23:13 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the article on the most stable distro out there.
23 • No subject (by corneliu on 2009-05-18 14:41:17 GMT from Canada)
About that Mandriva long awaited review: Not having a Mandriva review is bad news but the more time passes, the longer is Caitlyn going to use Mandriva, which is actually a good thing :)
About Ubuntu going proprietary: Ubuntu... Instead of contributing upstream they contribute to their proprietary server. Way to go Ubuntu!. Those who blasted Adam Williamson for his blog article about Canonical should eat their words now.
re #5 by Leo: Canonical is having difficulties with selling their Ubuntu server and for good reason. Only a completely stupid system administrator would install or recommend Ubuntu server over Debian.
24 • Slackware's slackpkg (by IMQ on 2009-05-18 14:49:31 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the story and the comments on slackpkg.
I have a couple of Slackware versions installed on a couple of my machines. I use slapt-get to do the update mainly because it resolves the dependencies, if any.
I might have to give slackpkg a test drive... just because of these positive comments.
I am going to rsync the slackware-current, then burn a DVD for a quick spin... on the first chance I get in a few days.
BTW, I agree that Slackware is not for everyone. It is for those who don't mind to get their hands dirty. But Slackware is a good teaching tools for anyone wanting to learn the way of Linux.
25 • Re: 4 (by Anonymous on 2009-05-18 14:53:22 GMT from United States)
What's going one with this increasing proprietariness of Canonical?
Are they increasingly proprietary or is it just that they are making it easier to install and use Linux?
26 • RE: 10,11 Thanks RE: 23, Opinion or fact? (by Eddie Wilson on 2009-05-18 15:48:23 GMT from United States)
@Leo and Yelamdenu
Thanks for the correction. I didn't realize that Red Hat had no proprietary software for their business. Also thanks for clearing up the meaning of free software.
"About Ubuntu going proprietary: Ubuntu... Instead of contributing upstream they contribute to their proprietary server. Way to go Ubuntu!."
If that's your opinion then fair enough. If the statement is made as fact then please at least state the facts that can be proven otherwise the statement is meaningless as was your response to Leo
27 • Re:7 etc.. (by corretor on 2009-05-18 16:16:24 GMT from United Kingdom)
SUSE Enterprise is also fully opensource but commercial as Red Hat Enterprise. openSUSE is their community materially "free" project similar to Fedora but with longer support and more stable in my opinion. They all lack proprietary stuff.
28 • Canonical (by Anonymous at 2009-05-18 16:22:35 GMT from United States)
that's it. I'm going to convert my remaining Ubuntu box to Debian. I originally went with Ubuntu for ease of use, then stuck the friendly centralized community, but was always troubled by the commercial leanings of Canonical, and wondered when the other shoe would drop. Well now I know.
It would be nice if the Debian community were not quite so fractured, but I do like the "Debian way."
29 • @k-money (post #20) (by Robby Workman on 2009-05-18 17:05:28 GMT from United States)
The xz package is one of the few that were purposefully left as a tgz - for just the reason you describe. In my local mirror of the -current tree, here's what I show:
30 • Debian way (by m1k on 2009-05-18 17:06:43 GMT from Italy)
I do love Debian Way...
I think that Ubuntu shortly will act as Suse or Mandriva...
Base system free...if You want some more...You have to pay!
No Tnx...prefer my "rolling sidux"
31 • @Donnie (re post #21) (by Robby Workman on 2009-05-18 17:08:19 GMT from United States)
The "bug" there is actually with SlackBuilds.org build scripts, but even so, it's not really a bug. The scripts there call 'qmake-qt4' because the qmake binary in qt4 (as built from the same place) is called 'qmake-qt4' to prevent conflicts with qt3's qmake binary.
Once the next Slackware release goes out, the stuff at SlackBuilds.org will be updated to use 'qmake' instead, and all will be fine.
The issue is really that the stuff at SlackBuilds.org is intended for the latest -stable Slackware release rather than -current.
32 • re 26 proprietary Ubuntu (by corneliu on 2009-05-18 17:15:21 GMT from Canada)
Yes it is a fact. It is a notorious fact that Ubuntu contributes close to nothing to the upstream projects that it is based on. They don't (or almost don't) contribute to Linux kernel, xorg, etc. This has been in the news for a long time. I am very surprised that you didn't read about it.
Regarding my response to Leo, here is the fact. Debian has a very solid server. Ubuntu came with this idea (not a new idea, but anyway) to build a desktop on top of Debian. Now you do what? You strip the Ubuntu desktop to make it a server. But that's exactly Debian. Why not install Debian in the first place? It doesn't make sense to me.
re 28: I expect all Ubuntu users that are aware of what's going on with the proprietary stuff to move away from Ubuntu.
33 • questions about blobs (by desktopuser on 2009-05-18 17:17:46 GMT from United States)
Aren't blobs included in Debian only because the Debian community believes that the additional functionality is significant?
If Debian has blobs and Suse does not, then Debian should have significant functionality that Suse does not have.
If Suse has provided the same functionality using free open source solutions, then those solutions should be available to Debian.
So, I wonder if there are simple answers to these questions...
- what additional functionality do blobs provide?
- why doesn't Debian use Suse's open source options?
34 • No subject (by jg at 2009-05-18 17:23:37 GMT from N/A)
As if Canonical's commercial leanings weren't enough, they've also alienated folks by going against their own trademark policy, that they enforce against others, by naming their commercial service "Ubuntu One". Distrowatch failed to report this (but PC World did):
35 • @30 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-05-18 17:51:12 GMT from Canada)
That's not accurate for any of the three distributions.
Mandriva provides for free every Mandriva package that can legally be provided for free. The only packages you get in Powerpack that you can't get anywhere else are commercial software that couldn't legally be provided free - stuff like Fluendo codecs, RealPlayer, things like that. (Frankly, both before and after I left MDV, the focus on putting decent commercial software in PWP was declining; since 2008 Spring it's hard to make a case that the software in PWP is really worth the money. People buy it to support the company.)
The paid boxed edition of OpenSUSE is exactly the same as the free one. Novell don't really provide it in the expectation of making money, more just because there's always, traditionally, been a boxed SUSE Linux and some people still want to buy one. SLES / SLED are, as another poster pointed out, like RHEL: they don't include significant exclusive software, they're sold on the basis of bundled services. I'm not sure if you can download them free, but someone could certainly make a free re-branded version, like CentOS for RHEL.
And Canonical (and the Ubuntu community) have publicly committed that Ubuntu the operating system won't ever have a paid version.
So, yeah, not really on the mark there at all.
36 • @33 (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-18 17:59:51 GMT from United States)
As far as I can remember, the only distros that didn't include the "blobs" for the kernel were the ones that the FSF backed, such as gNewSense. I'm not one to sacrifice my productivity for free software, but I do like to boot up gNewSense occasionally and see how free software is getting along.
I like Ubuntu's "free out of the box to avoid legal pitfalls, but will offer drivers and codecs when you need them" routine, though. I wish more distros would adapt it.
I might look at Slackware. But I have enough work with Debian, honestly; I can't see myself working too hard any more. I'm just too darn lazy (especially last weekend when I did TWO XP installs - yeah, it was that bad!).
37 • @34 (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-18 18:02:08 GMT from United States)
They own the trademark; they can use it. Go read trademark law for a bit - it means nothing unless they enforce the deal.
Or are you saying thay'd enforce their trademark on themselves? Because then "Ubuntu" would be a trademark infringement on itself...?
38 • No subject (by jg on 2009-05-18 18:02:57 GMT from N/A)
In comment 34, I meant "closed source" in place of "commercial". Canonical loves to give away for free everything that they're taken from upstream projects, and take credit for it. But besides their notorious lack of upstream contributions, Canonical then loves to close source the little bit of Linux stuff Canonical actually does itself. I wonder what Linux would be like if everyone did what Canonical does. Oh yeah... it would be like Windows.
Canonical is the Linux version of Microsoft.
39 • Re: 34 (by Leo on 2009-05-18 18:04:44 GMT from United States)
"As if Canonical's commercial leanings weren't enough ..."
Once again, there is nothing wrong with Linux vendors being commercial. I want them (at least some of them) to be commercial and make a lot of money, Like Red Hat is, and be healthy contributors to the community. The kernel would not be as good as it is without heavy contributions from companies like Redhat, IBM, Intel, etc.
Here the issue is promoting proprietary software, not being commercial really, see some discussions above
40 • Bandwidth Bandits Like Gentoo Should Use XZ (by Anonymous on 2009-05-18 18:25:54 GMT from United States)
Would be great if Gentoo would use the common sense that Slack has used and free up some of that extra bandwidth that shared servers are using unnecessarily for Gentoo.
41 • Ubuntu (by yelamdenu on 2009-05-18 18:34:03 GMT from Netherlands)
Agree with #39.
The problem is not when Canonical is doing things that are perfectly legitimate according to the GPL and other licenses it has to obey. That's prefectly okay. Even if they didn't contribute an inch of code (which actually, they do - check some of the desktop stuff started in Ubuntu that you then see appear in Debian!), it would be great still. But the problem is purely when they start doing all kinds of proprietary stuff, which again isn't illegal either, but it's sort of against everything that the FLOSS idea stands for.
And that has NOTHING to do with money.
42 • @38 (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-18 18:35:04 GMT from United States)
When have they ever stolen credit for something someone else has done?
Most of the time that's the press' fault for not realizing that just because Ubuntu does something first doesn't mean they didn't invent it. That's not Ubuntu's fault.
43 • Red Hat on the desktop (by Rahul Sundaram on 2009-05-18 18:44:17 GMT from India)
"Of course they have done little if anything for Linux on the desktop, but they do have an open source, service based business model."
You might be surprised to learn this but Red Hat is one of the largest contributors for Linux on the desktop, if not the largest. Refer
44 • @10: SLES/SLED Sources (by chemist on 2009-05-18 19:02:52 GMT from Germany)
The SLES and SLED sources can be downloaded from here:
Although Novell speaks of "evaluation" the sources of Novell's products are available there. You have to create an account to get the sources or the SLES binaries or whatever.
See also: http://opsamericas.com/?p=497
45 • bah (by spike on 2009-05-18 19:10:51 GMT from United States)
Remember also that both Red Hat and Suse Enterprise Editions are both proprietary systems that you pay for. They are not free in any sense of the word <<< the biggest load of bullshit ever. redhat supplies the source to RHEL free of charge (which they dont have to do to be Free)
46 • Food for Thought (by RollMeAway on 2009-05-18 19:24:39 GMT from United States)
Tim O'Reilly's classic speech, "The Open Source Paradigm Shift", makes it clear that the commoditisation of operating systems is imminent, with the next war being fought in the web app space. In 10 years' time your desktop computer will almost certainly run nearly all your programs over the internet, with your OS being a relatively thin shell that fires up a web browser and points you towards the net. If, in that time, all we've done is trade offline closed-source apps for online closed-source apps, then everything we're fighting for will be worthless. We don't think anyone wants to see that happen.
47 • Only and only free software fanatizm can kill free software (by GODhack on 2009-05-18 19:44:46 GMT from Norway)
Simply use free software as much as possible do not use cccrap until it is not free.
48 • RE: #7 - RedHat is NOT proprietary. (by J on 2009-05-18 20:02:53 GMT from United Kingdom)
Dear Eddie Wilson, poster #7,
RedHat is *NOT* a proprietary o.s.
Download all RedHat sources (to compile) here:
Download binaries (CD/DVD) here:
Enjoy, and please make sure you understand what you talking about before spreading stupidity around you.
49 • #48 (by Matt on 2009-05-18 20:13:46 GMT from United States)
"Enjoy, and please make sure you understand what you talking about before spreading stupidity around you."
And may I suggest keeping a civil tongue? You at least point the poster in the right direction, but your last statement is unnecessary.
Guidance without criticism or harsh words. It builds confidence.
50 • Re:43 (by Leo on 2009-05-18 20:32:36 GMT from United States)
Thanks Rahul, you are right indeed. I think I was blindsided by the fact that Redhat's CEO said many times that Linux is not ready for the desktop, so I assumed they had little interest, plus I am a KDE user and a lot of what they do is GNOME and I don't see it. But they do other DE agnostic cool stuff like HAL, Avahi, X.org, etc. So thank you for the clarification and sorry for the confusion!
51 • Re: 31 @Robby (by Donnie on 2009-05-18 21:07:26 GMT from United States)
Point taken. But still, in the meantime, add the extra sym link as I suggested, and Slackbuilds will work fine with Slackware current. (Or, at least it does for me.)
52 • Flash Framerate Slackware? (by Supernatendo on 2009-05-18 21:15:50 GMT from United States)
I have lived with this problem in ubuntu from 6.10 through 9.04
Every time I have flash video in full-screen on my NVIDIA FX 5250 using the proprietary NVIDIA driver, I get my framerates cut in half at least!
Can anyone tell me if Slackware (or any other distro) has a full-screen video playback problem for this card or a way to fix it? I would gladly switch distros over this problem...
53 • @52 (by stuckinoregon on 2009-05-18 21:46:27 GMT from United States)
Sounds like a driver issue, not a distro issue.
54 • Distribution Upgrades (by RollMeAway on 2009-05-18 23:09:37 GMT from United States)
Over the weekend I did a "Distribution Upgrade" taking buntu8.10 to 9.04.
The upgrade failed due to lack of diskspace. It needed 2.2GB free to work.
I deleted OpenOffice, Adobe, old kernels etc. finally got it to finish ok.
Also did a "Distribution Upgrade" taking Mandriva to 2009.1.
What is of interest here, is Mandriva downloaded and installed in small groups
of packages. Never used more than a couple hundred MB at most, as it deleted
each group after it was installed. I appreciate that.
55 • The most reliable boot loader? (by kimlik66 on 2009-05-19 00:41:26 GMT from Canada)
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.
56 • RE: 55 (by Greg on 2009-05-19 01:16:34 GMT from Greece)
All boot loaders suck big time.
Although GRUB sucks more than LiLo its the one that you should prefer.
Most distributions apply numerous patches to make it suck less. Most distributions dont give you the option to use LiLo anyway.
You should only go with LiLo if you are running Slackware IMO. Just remember to run lilo after you edit the lilo.conf file. Its very easy to restore it if it breaks but its quite irritating if you have to do it all the time.
57 • #52, #55, nVidia drivers, bootloaders (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-19 01:24:43 GMT from United States)
First, sorry for the connectivity issues this past weekend. All is fixed now. I'm just sorry Ladlislav got stuck writing something at the last minute.
#52: I'll preface this by saying I don't have a system with an nVidia card. Based on reading the fora in the distributions I use they can be prretty particular. I know that Vector Linux 6.0 packages three different nVidia drivers because different ones work with different chipsets. It may be worth trying out Vector and checking the Vector forum to see if anyone has had success with the card/chipset you have. No promises about whether or not it will work because I honestly just don't know.
#55: Both lilo and grub are reliable IME. grub is more flexible and configurable. You can also edit the menu file without having to reinstall. So, personally, I prefer grub.
58 • anti-KDE4 spin on distrowatch (by Ben on 2009-05-19 02:29:11 GMT from Canada)
I'm getting tired of the increasing anti-KDE4 spin on distrowatch.
- you feature Slackware aka THE usually conservative distro that wasn't afraid of KDE4, and the only screenshot is... XFCE.
- out of the TWO big debian/KDE news this week, you cover only one, forget to mention KDE 4.2 entering "testing", and the only assorted screenshot is about the brazillian version showing a GNOME desktop
- then comes the PC-BSD part, another desktop project defaulting to KDE4, only to mention that "Its default KDE 4 desktop isn't to everybody's taste".
All that would be fine if it matched reality, like it did shortly after the 4.0 release, but you've got to realize that this is 2009, the KDE 4.2 release has been a huge success and people are happy with it.
Frankly, you're getting too predictable to be interesting reading. Your coverage of KDE says more about your personal tastes than it does about KDE.
59 • Ubuntu One = Dropbox? (by Qwerty Jones on 2009-05-19 02:40:01 GMT from Canada)
From the Ubuntu One website, it seems as if the service is identical to Dropbox (www.getdropbox.com) except:
- Dropbox is cheaper ($10/month for 50GB instead of 10GB)
- Dropbox supports multiple versions of Ubuntu (I've got it running on Intepid and Jaunty)
- Dropbox works on Windows, Mac and linux
The dropbox forums are very active and the staff are always available to answer questions, too. The feeling that I get as a user of Dropbox is similar to that of using Ubuntu (ie. there's a true feeling of community among the users).
I'd love to use Ubuntu One, and I've signed up for an invitation, but I don't think I can justify the cost compared to Dropbox.
60 • SUSE SLED is free to use but updates are time-limited (by Suseuser on 2009-05-19 03:43:04 GMT from Australia)
SLED 11DVD (32bit and 64bit) is on the current edition of Linux Magazine
"...This DVD provides 60 days of free maintenance, which entitles you to any patches and updates. See thebox titled “60 Days of Free Maintenance” for
....Novell offers 60 days of free maintenance for SLED users. To register, go
to http:// www. novell. com/ evalcode, then login to your account or create a
new account. You will receive an activation code for the free maintenance
agreement. At the end of 60 days, you’ll need to purchase a support agreement with Novell in order to receive additional patches and updates.
LINUX MAGAZINE DVD
61 • RE: 58 anti-KDE4 spin on distrowatch (by ladislav on 2009-05-19 03:50:05 GMT from Taiwan)
Thank you for your criticism. I wasn't aware of any anti-KDE4 spin in my reporting, but since you've brought it to my attention, I'll try to be more KDE4-friendly next time :-)
Nevertheless, I went through my stories again and I don't feel that I've been unjustly anti-KDE4. I did report about Slackware's current being on KDE 4, I did report about a Debian project that provides KDE 4 packages for Lenny and there is also a paragraph about Xange, a distribution featuring KDE 4. If I didn't include any screenshots it's only because both Slackware and Debian-Desktop live DVD feature the default KDE 4 desktop that has been "screen shot" to death already, so I didn't want to waste anybody's bandwidth by adding it here again. I have yet to download Xange.
Finally, my usual quick reminder: if you have a different opinion than the one expressed here or if you feel that I haven't done justice to a project that you enjoy, why not contribute an article? I'll be happy to feature your review of KDE 4 (with screenshots) in any of the upcoming issues of DistroWatch Weekly.
62 • RE: 58 anti-KDE4 spin on distrowatch (by ladislav on 2009-05-19 04:18:39 GMT from Taiwan)
By the way, I did go through the last four DWWs to see whether your complaint about the lack of KDE 4 screenshots is valid. Here is the summary:
DWW303 - 0 of the 7 screenshots were KDE 4
DWW302 - 2 of the 3 screenshots were KDE 4
DWW301 - 3 of the 5 screenshots were KDE 4
DWW300 - 1 of the 6 screenshots was KDE 4
That gives us the following breakdown:
GNOME: 7 screenshots (33%)
KDE4: 6 screenshots (29%)
Xfce: 6 screenshots (29%)
KDE3: 1 screenshot (5%)
JWM: 1 screenshot (5%)
So based on the number of screenshots, I don't think your complaint is valid. Unless, of course, you think that ALL screenshots published on DistroWatch should be KDE 4 screenshots.
63 • RE: #1 This week's DWW (by RoachBoy on 2009-05-19 04:43:51 GMT from Kenya)
"So this week's DWW is a bit of a shorter, improvised issue."
Improvised or not, I think it was a good issue. Thanks for the Slackware coverage. After spending sometime with KDE 4.2.2 in Debian Unstable (somewhat buggy) and Kubuntu (extremely slow!), I plugged in my old Slackware CD (12.1) and it works great. Thanks for the information on slackroll, but I don't think I'll be upgrading to slackware-current. I'll just wait for the official release. My main problem with Slackware is still the lack of Gnucash. Having to install Gnome in order to get Gnucash just isn't working for me. Dropline, GSB, and Gslacky all messed up my system so I've learned to stick to the official Slackware packages. The Slackbuilds.org packages, which you have to compile yourself, are quite good, but the Gnucash dependency list is just too long and who has the time to compile all those packages - and what assurance is there that Gnucash will work and that the system won't be borked?
64 • Ladislav, should I complain about... (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-19 04:44:51 GMT from United States)
Ladislav, should I complain about the lack of LXDE screenshots? Should I interpret that as anti-LXDE spin? :)
On the few occasions where I actually chose screenshots I tried to choose whatever was default for the distro.
65 • @36 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-05-19 05:16:31 GMT from Canada)
"I like Ubuntu's "free out of the box to avoid legal pitfalls, but will offer drivers and codecs when you need them" routine, though. I wish more distros would adapt it."
It has nothing to do with legal pitfalls. Take the theoretical Distro A and Distro B. Distro A comes with Dubious Software 1 out of the box; Distro B offers to install Dubious Software 1 when you click on a file that looks like it wants it.
Result? Exactly identical legal exposure. If it's illegal in some way in some country to supply Dubious Software 1, both distributions have exactly the same legal exposure.
Ubuntu's approach to software freedom is an approach based on a compromise between ideology and immediate utility (as is that of most other end-user focused distributions). It has nothing to do with 'legal pitfalls'.
66 • @60 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-05-19 05:20:13 GMT from Canada)
That's similar to how RHEL works, and has no bearing on software freedom. The actual code that makes up RHEL and SLES / SLED updates is free / open source software, and Novell and RH comply with all license terms in providing it. RH (my employer, for anyone not keeping up :>) goes further and provides the source for updates publicly, although we're not obliged to. I believe Novell does the same.
What you can choose to pay for is the *service* by which Novell and Red Hat take care of provisioning updates for you, via their respective update services (Red Hat Network for Red Hat, not sure what Novell's is called). If you're willing to do all your update provisioning yourself, you can do. The source is available. (This, of course, is how CentOS can exist).
67 • Slackware Upgrade (by RollMeAway on 2009-05-19 05:46:28 GMT from United States)
Tried slackroll with no success. First attempt dumped with complaint I had a foreign package: flash-player. I remove that, and the listing of it in /var/log/packages/.
Second attempt failed with: ERROR: signature verification failed: /var/slackroll/tmp/glibc-solibs-2.9-i486-3.txz.asc.
This was a fresh install of Slackware 12.2 done last December, and played with for about a week.
So, I setup slackpkg mirror to the same repo as slackroll had and followed #12 (Donnie, thank you.) steps. Worked perfectly. Just rebooted with a new kernel and THE NEW KDE4 DESKTOP.
Ugly blue screen with little white circles many blurry. Sure do miss my nicely tuned KDE3 desktop. But, I'm sure in another 6 to 12 months KDE4 might have most of the functionality I just lost.
Nah, just kidding, in a couple of hours I'll have the interface and my applications accessible again. I will miss konqueror file browser (re-labeled dolphin don't count). I'll miss having a transparent (invisible) theme for gkrellm, and .... but I digress.
First time I have successfully upgraded Slackware without dependency errors. Still can't appreciate how ignoring package dependencies is "a feature". Putting a package in the repository without the required dependencies will never make sense to me.
68 • Nice DWW (by Not Bob on 2009-05-19 05:48:44 GMT from United States)
I enjoy reading your comments. Too many people seem confused about the status and contributions of Red Hat and Novell/Suse. I believe they've also never bothered to read a kernel changelog, author credits for alsaconf, commit log to Xorg, Gnome/KDE mailing list, nor ever had to use autotools ......................
Nice Slackware article. It's been a while since I remember seeing Slackware mentioned here on its own. I think you guys (all responsible at DW) do a great job attempting to bring us unbiased and balanced articles. <-- Much more balanced than any other "Linux" site out there. We all have our favorite projects, and when ever I read an article here, it's easy to see the effort made by the authors to not seem overly biased one way or the other.
@59 • Ubuntu One = Dropbox? (by Qwerty Jones -
What struck me as odd, is that Ubuntu One states I MUST BE RUNNING Ubuntu. So it's not even for "Linux", it's only for Ubuntu?
To use Ubuntu One services, we require Ubuntu 9.04 or greater,
If we are sold or merge with another business entity your information may be disclosed to our new business partners or owners.
If it is necessary to transfer your personal data outside of the European Economic Area we will make every effort to ensure that the person to whom we pass the information agrees to treat it with the same level of protection as we do.
Standard, I'm sure. The wording could have been chosen better. Transferring info to a third party? They can change the policy as they see fit at any time, and will only notify you if they think they should? Thinking about merging with someone? Think I'll pass.
69 • Ubuntu One (by Harry Barracuda on 2009-05-19 06:54:24 GMT from Bahrain)
Asus sell this with every Netbook. What's the big deal?
70 • RE: 49 (by J on 2009-05-19 07:55:27 GMT from United Kingdom)
Reading back my comment this morning, I admit it was harsh, my apologies. What I really meant was:
"please make sure you understand what you talking about before spreading FUD around you."
Does this sound better?
71 • Ubuntu One and KDE 4 bias / Menu (by DeniZen on 2009-05-19 09:53:15 GMT from United Kingdom)
I dont think I'll be queing up for Ubuntu One.
A 'free' 2Gb dropbox, seems nice , but I dunno ..it all seems a little too 'exclusive' and, well, if that is the case, then there are other options.
Re supposed 'anti' KDE4 bias, well, aside form being rather unfounded observation, even if KDE4 did not get huge dollops of limelight, its not exactly everyones favourite - yet - is it?
Screengrabs wont fix that!
Make something good and people will celebrate it.
To be fair, KDE4.2.2 is definitely getting there, IMO.
I suspect that a lot of folks unhappyness with KDE4 is the menu.
It is fairly horrible to navigate IMO, though once set up, how often would most people dig any deeper in the menu than the 'Favorites' than they have set up on the first tab of the menu?
Its always possible to revert to the 'classic menu', but oddly, that means you have to navigate into the menu structure to get to your 'Favorites' :)
In the same way as I preferred the 'TastyMenu' menu replacement in KDE3.5.x , I prefer the 'Lancelot' menu replacement in KDE4.x
Lancelot is already there in the widget lists, so you can just add the Lancelot widget to your Panel.
Can be customised, and there is also the option to replace the Lancelot icon, with the default KDE or your Distributor's Logo.
I find KDE 4.2.2 very usable and enjoyable, but I think that using the Lancelot menu has a lot to do with that.
72 • No KDE4 reviews, please (by David Smith on 2009-05-19 10:47:22 GMT from Canada)
Please spare us a "review of KDE 4 (with screenshots)" in a future DistroWatch. There are dozens if not hundreds of these already cluttering up the web. They don't really contribute any insights that anyone could not better obtain by spending 5-minutes with a KDE4 live cd (the particular distro scarcely matters).
KDE4 is a very nice and interesting new wrinkle to the pc desktop. But so far, it hasn't added any significant new enhancements to the basic user experience. Don't get me wrong, I like it and regularly use it. I also like, and regularly use XFCE and gnome.
It's just that I have yet to see any review that has convinced me KDE4 is the greatest thing since sliced bread. And they are all terribly, terribly dull and repetitive. Especially the screenshots.
OTOH I enjoyed your current issue. Keep up the good work. Just please, keep out the bad.
73 • slackware-current (by stuckinoregon on 2009-05-19 13:44:41 GMT from United States)
Also tried the slackroll upgrade to current last night and had a similar issue to the one mentioned above. In my case, it wasn't flash, but it bombed nonetheless. Then tried Robby Workman's described process from above. Actually ended up having to do it twice as the first time through it picked up only a couple of packages, including the Xz package. Other than that, it all went really smoothly and glitch-free
Standard KDE 4.2.3 plain in the wonderful slackware style. I'm still having a hard time REALLY liking kde. I constantly hear all about the added functionality and whatnot, but I just don't see it. Perhaps there's a seed for an article. I'm ready for some completely new DE to come along. Something uniquely linux. This is not a slackware issue though.
On a lark I jumped over to XFCE. I found it much more responsive and, therefore, pleasant to work in.
Overall, I'm glad I made the switch to current. I'm hoping it stays as stable as it appeared last night. As someone mentioned above, I also don't understand someone not wanting dependency resolution. This has always been kind of a sticking point for me with slackware. Perhaps it's my debian side peaking through, I don't know.
74 • Re #73 (slackpkg twice?) (by Robby Workman on 2009-05-19 14:12:24 GMT from United States)
Re having to run the slackpkg process twice, that actually makes sense, but I neglected to consider it in the earlier posts. Normally that doesn't happen, but since we just recompressed our entire package tree (except for five or six packages) with xz, there has to be some way to ensure a smooth upgrade. That "some way" is to upgrade the five or six packages that are still in the "old" format (new pkgtools, slackpkg, tar, gzip, and xzip, and maybe something else that I'm forgetting) - those packages have to be the -current versions in order to upgrade the remainder of the packages. Once that's done, you can carry on normally.
The short version of the last paragraph is this: run "slackpkg upgrade-all" twice. :-)
75 • Typo fix for pedents :-) (by Robby Workman on 2009-05-19 14:13:14 GMT from United States)
76 • Curses. (by Robby Workman on 2009-05-19 14:14:37 GMT from United States)
/me should check speling better... ;-)
...waits for the stabbing to commence...
77 • Bootloader 55 (by Jan on 2009-05-19 14:43:44 GMT from Netherlands)
I prefer GAG for multibooting, in stead of GRUB or LILO. Then GRUB or LILO must be installed in the Linux-partition, not in the MBR.
GAG enables booting of Windows, Linux and BSD. You have to specify/know the partition where the OS is.
The GAG installation-floppy has the very convenient option to restore the MBR (to Window-only) within 30 seconds. Which is very convenient if at installing Linux something has gone wrong. In case of a GRUB-(booting)-error, there is no fall-back to any other OS, so it seems that then all data is lost and all OS-es need to be reinstalled.
I have a GAG-installation-floppy always available for this reason.
I recently found a bootmanager which additionally to GAG, also enables booting from the USB, despite that the BIOS does not enable this (so for older PC's).
It is called PLoP (http://www.plop.at/en/home.html). I have not tested this.
78 • Fantastic! (by Eyes-Only on 2009-05-19 14:55:26 GMT from United States)
Fantastic DWW this week! You guys ( and the one gal ;) ) truly do go out of your way to give us the Linux Weekly News & Happenings week after week, do a fabulous job, and work very hard - not to mention accomplish it with aplomb! - to present everything without bias. As someone else pointed out above this is something few sites are able to achieve.
Ladislav, Chris, and Caitlyn ( who often contributes many fascinating, educative, articles and comments here! ), I'm not sure but seems so there must be some sort of award that DistroWatch deserves to win for all your hard efforts here? I'm sure others would agree?
I love Mondays! Even if I did wait until Tuesday to make this post. ;)
79 • No subject (by DeniZen on 2009-05-19 15:29:34 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks for the tip re 'Plop' Bootmanager, and apparently ability to boot from USB without native BIOS USB boot support.
The website certainly claims that it does.
Looking forward to testing.
I have been looking for something like this on several occasions, but never found a solution.
80 • No subject (by Azzorcist on 2009-05-19 16:07:10 GMT from Indonesia)
Re: Red Hat on desktop
Run GNOME, open any app and see the about menu. One name looks always appear: Havoc Pennington. He's ex-Red Hat employee. see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Havoc_Pennington>Havoc Pennington
They contribute more to GNOME because it's their default DE.
Oh, that's great. Robby Workman provide more Slackware packages that I'm looking for. I will be sorry for removing my Slackware 12.2 install.
Recently downloaded SimplyMEPIS 8.0.06 and burn it to a CD-RW but failed to install. It said cannot find MEPIS filesystem.
Load the ISO to USB Flash Stick using UNetbootin and it installed smoothly.
My suggestion for donation: UNetbootin.
81 • @55 bootloader (by john frey on 2009-05-19 19:00:35 GMT from Canada)
IME both Grub and Lilo as distributed by many distros work excellently as bootloaders. I prefer grub since getting to know it but at one time I certainly preferred lilo.
You will have to install MS Windows 1st as it will overwrite the boot sector. Then install your Gnu/Linux distro and install grub/lilo/whatever to the MBR. If you ever need to reinstall windows it will erase your bootloader. There are many tutorials and utilities for restoring your bootloader available on the internet.
If your MBR gets hosed (technical term) you can get windows access with DOS utilities available on the net and I think XP provides something on the install disk to reinstall the bootloader. Mandriva provides a utility on the install disk to restore grub and boot your Mandriva install. I'm sure many other distros have that as well. There are many tutorials and howto's on the net to set grub for booting MS Windows. It's really not very difficult.
82 • Bootmanager PLoP @79 @55 (by Jan on 2009-05-19 19:48:26 GMT from Netherlands)
From http://www.plop.at/en/home.html CD and floppy images can be downloaded.
There are 2 floppy images. One for installing the bootmanager (to the HD I persume) which contains also the option to restore the MBR.
The second floppy image contains the bootmanager, so for booting through the floppy-drive. This one is I think savest for testing purposes. It found indeed my USB-connection, so offered to boot through this. As I have not yet an USB-bootable OS I could not further test this.
Here is an article (and program) to make USB-bootable USB-sticks for any Linux-distro http://www.megaleecher.net/Get_Linux_On_USB
If you have an GRUB-(MBR)-error, you have a PC without any OS working, so no internet connection. In this panic situation situating finding a solution through internet seems hopeless or impossible. It is better to have a floppy with a MBR-restore ready available when someone starts to fiddle with Linux-intallations cq with the MBR.
83 • #65 (by Anonymous on 2009-05-19 20:34:02 GMT from Canada)
"It has nothing to do with legal pitfalls. Take the theoretical Distro A and Distro B. Distro A comes with Dubious Software 1 out of the box; Distro B offers to install Dubious Software 1 when you click on a file that looks like it wants it.
Result? Exactly identical legal exposure. If it's illegal in some way in some country to supply Dubious Software 1, both distributions have exactly the same legal exposure.
Ubuntu's approach to software freedom is an approach based on a compromise between ideology and immediate utility (as is that of most other end-user focused distributions). It has nothing to do with 'legal pitfalls'."
My opinion is that it has everything to do with legal pitfalls. It is important to know that the laws are not the same in every country. By separating the "legal everywhere" part and the "legal somewhere" part in a distro, the users in some countries can legally enjoy the full capability of the distro. The users in some other countries can "illegally" enjoy the full capability of the distro without the producer of the distro breaking the law. It is the users in that country break their law. You can probably find some sort of disclaim statements from the website of some distros.
84 • Slackware Current (by Brian on 2009-05-19 21:57:27 GMT from United States)
After running "slackware upgrade" all the packages are in the following directory:
But, "slackroll upgrade" fails with:
Error: incoming package /var/slackroll/packages/glibc-solibs-2.9-i486-3.txz.tgz not found.
I don't know why because that file IS in the directory, "/var/slackroll/packages
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2244548 2009-05-19 21:02 glibc-solibs-2.9-i486-3.txz
85 • Yes, 85 said it (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-19 23:49:13 GMT from United States)
85 nailed it; comment number 65, that is what I meant there by "legal pitfalls."
If you make warnings available (which Ubuntu does, very often) are you liable if the user goes and downloads the possibly illegal codecs? Well, it's at least more of a case than including them on the disc a la Linux Mint.
I prefer Ubuntu's way. I'd rather do that than either add third party repositories (Debian's Multimedia or Fedora's RPMFusion) or include them on the disc, buying the license or possibly ignoring codec patent (Mandriva, PCLinuxOS, Mint).
It's a fine balance, and a tricky one to follow if you want to give away a free product. There's less danger involved if the decision is in the user's hands, however, with all of the available information at copious intervals.
86 • @85 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-05-20 00:35:07 GMT from Canada)
"If you make warnings available (which Ubuntu does, very often) are you liable if the user goes and downloads the possibly illegal codecs?"
Yes, you are. You may want to look up the concept of "contributory copyright infringement", for instance. I believe a similar doctrine applies to patent law. Of course, for legal advice, ask a lawyer. But I'm pretty confident I'm righter than you are, here. :)
87 • @82 (by john frey on 2009-05-20 00:58:46 GMT from Canada)
Yes it would be better to have a floppy ready. In addition you might want to have done all your research on restoring the bootloader and maybe even made a few practice runs.
Don't assume because a computer is down there is no internet access:) You only have one computer? What's that like?
Certainly you must tailor any suggestions for your particular situation.
88 • bootloader - floppy disks (by Mike Thomas on 2009-05-20 02:26:23 GMT from United States)
Not all PC's have a floppy drive. Most of mine as well as those I work on don't. This includes several desktops and laptops. All however have cd-rom or dvd drives thus a live Linux distro works well for many system recovery tasks including repairing a boot-loader. It would be wise for the user to experiment with a few of these live distro's before doing any actual installations so they feel comfortable with using them if a disaster occurs. Knowledge is still the best tool we have available to all computer users. Anyone making the attempt of installing any operating system should ensure they have the proper tools available for the computer they are installing too.
89 • Chris & DistroWatch (by ladislav on 2009-05-20 06:59:54 GMT from Taiwan)
For those of you who are wondering why Chris Smart has been largely absent from here during the past couple of weeks, here is the reason:
90 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-20 08:08:37 GMT from United Kingdom)
Dunno if I'm the first but congratulations to Chris and the missus...hopefully all your worries will be little ones...as in squeakers, LOL.
You look over 30 Chris...and, as one old wag at work said to me once when I got married, " Hmm, you're over thirty, you did better than most, well done..."
91 • No subject (by Azzorcist on 2009-05-20 08:56:10 GMT from Indonesia)
I'm sorry but I wonder if poster #55 just promoting his website.
I have read the same post (exactly the same) in a few days before searched in Google. However, that a nice post and the answers are likely needed by some other (including me LoL).
Just received my Ubuntu Jaunty from ShipIt. It boot very fast but very bloat inside. I installed it mostly because I miss GNOME. Spent so much time with KDE recently. ;-)
92 • slackware has OFFICIALLY forked off to 64bit (by brad on 2009-05-20 09:21:16 GMT from United States)
its on their website.. enjoy everyone.. I cant wait till slackware 13.0 x86_64
93 • Slack64 (by Diogo on 2009-05-20 10:01:29 GMT from Brazil)
Well, sorry about my mistake, if so, I might try slack64 first. But still try paldo you might get surprise.
94 • The previous two weeks (by Williamp on 2009-05-20 10:01:45 GMT from United Kingdom)
The last two weeks have kept me glued to the screen, how interesting to see how minds work. The only thing I find offensive is the word s---. Although it seems acceptable to some cultures in England it is not, but it does say a great deal about the user.
So we don’t like Susie because she climbed into bed with MS, and you know what will happen eventually; we don’t like Mandy because the governor does what he believes is necessary to stay in business; we don’t like Minty because the boss says what he thinks; we don’t like zoobunto because it has too many names for the same thing How many of the self-righteous people who make these comments use cpu’s from Intell, who’s gross, corrupt and thoroughly evil business practices makes trivia of the other complaints. Hands up.
Thank goodness for the interruptions from Ladislav, Caitlyn and Adam. Their collective common sense, always worth reading, helps to steady the ship.
As for instant reviews, what value are they, the next thing we will expect is to have the review before the distribution is released.
And there are still contributors who seem to imagine that the click popularity table shows which distro is the best or the most used. Funny people.
Don’t stop. DW Comments, just as it is, makes my day.
95 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-05-20 10:23:00 GMT from Indonesia)
the next thing we will expect is to have the review before the distribution is released.
It will be PREview isn't it?
And there are still contributors who seem to imagine that the click popularity table shows which distro is the best or the most used. Funny people.
What about distro usage statistic or userbase? It's almost the same number with distro popularity with Ubuntu has the largest userbase.
96 • No subject (by Azzorcist on 2009-05-20 10:26:24 GMT from Indonesia)
#95 is me.
97 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-20 10:53:54 GMT from United Kingdom)
...or buy stuff from China or install S American distros or buy Dells from ireland...Bantry Bay and that sort of thing. Or Ubuntu...or US or UK or any other European country...where does it stop? Short answer is...it doesn't...If we were to remember all the dreadful stuff making up history we would be very lonely indeed...principles are far, far, far too expensive...and sometimes well meaning but entirely misguided notions cause far more problems if certain situations were not interfered with.
Consider this...if you really wanted to take it to the nth degree...you would find it very difficult to buy cheapo computer stuff (or, for that matter, just about any commodity known, and enjoyed, by the West) and you would add to the misery of millions of folk and their dependents.
This forum is for distros , it is NOT a soapbox for all and sundry whose political understanding/horizons extend no further than their very carefully edited media.
Talking of facts and figures, Williamp makes a valid point about the hits table...it should not be taken out of context...that said, going by the table as unrefined data...Ubuntu does appear to be the distro that garners most interest...full stop, LOL
98 • @86 (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-20 12:01:03 GMT from United States)
I don't doubt that you are right. I'm just speculating.
So for a free distro, what do you feel is the best way to deal with codecs? Third party repositories? Ignoring them outright?
Slackware goes 64 bit...huh.
99 • Codecs (by DeniZen on 2009-05-20 13:44:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
Well there is the other option -
pay for a licensed set from (e.g.) Fluendo.
I assume that would cover the legal (and, in some cases, moral?) obligations?
Some might feel that they do not wish to 'taint' their system with at-cost codecs.
Surely in the case of proprietory codecs, they are (mostly) 'alien entities' in any case, so what is the difference whether they are paid for or not?
I guess I'm asking - Is it in fact only fair to expect to pay for at least some proprietory codecs? - or otherwise choose to do without?
I don't practice that myself, In fact I usually 'pollute' vanilla Debian without much concern, so I'm not particularly advocating - I'm just raising the question.
As a resident of the UK, I dont beleive that adding most not-at-cost codecs to my system is that much of an issue, but I admit that it is not an area that I have studied greatly, as I cannot do without Multimedia, and maybe I choose to ignore it all - am I being naive?
Most major Distros are fairly codec-less in their vanilla state, and nod to the end user enabling a 3rd party or 'not official' repo for the codes.
Mint, Mepis and PCLOS are clear exceptions that i can think of.
Two of those are derviatives of another major Distro.
100 • Lightweight Gnome Distro (by Alex on 2009-05-20 13:51:27 GMT from United States)
We've been commenting in the two previous weeks' editions about Xubuntu and how it runs almost as heavy as Ubuntu itself, thanks to all the Canonical mods made to Gnome that have found itself into Xubuntu as part of the common desktop elements. Well, those of you wanting to run a lightweight distro that feels more 'normal' than Puppy or DSL should give Debris Linux a try. The developer took Ubuntu and stripped out what he considered unnecessary. Then he added Openbox for the windowing system. I have it running on a Dell Optiplex GX1 (PII 400 mhz with 512 megs ram), and the PC is actually usable for most purposes like web surfing and office work.
Nice. I never knew Gnome could run so well on such old equipment. I now have another option to Anti-X for old hardware.
101 • re#94 distro hating (by hab on 2009-05-20 15:39:29 GMT from Canada)
If prebuilt distros are not to ones taste or one has "political" reasons for not running a distro, linux is still within your reach.
Try linux from scratch here: http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/
Build your own linux system entirely from source! No nasty political leanings, no affiliations, nada, nothing. Just source, and you build and configure your own system.
Plus, out the other side you will know more about linux and configuration than you ever imagined.
102 • Prebuilt Distros (by Anonymous at 2009-05-20 20:54:08 GMT from United States)
Or you can split the difference and go with Arch Linux.
You will learn a lot about 'linux' without having to become an expert on the entire freakin' stack.
You can use the AUR and install PACMANageable packages built from source or rebuild your entire install from source using the ABS without having to be a gentoo or lfs expert. Or... Just use the standard repo's, there not to shabby on their own.
Arch is not for everyone mind you, though it is an elegant solution for anyone willing to learn. It's not much more difficult than doing a debian net install. Heck most of the config can be done from a single file.
My experience (on my systems) has been painless really. Just install the base and reboot. dhcpd for connectivity. install udev, X, my preferred DE (kdemod) etc... a few more minutes of tweaking (not fixing) and I have a rock solid (very usable) system. Though I have never found the need, I have heard that there are even scripts to handle most of this for you.
we see always what we expect to see
when what we expect to see assumes an unexpected shape it disappears
103 • Chris, #100 Debris Linux, #92 64-bit Slack, #78 thanks (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-20 22:18:30 GMT from United States)
Now I can say publicly what I said privately a couple of weeks back... Huge, heartfelt congratulations to Chris and Mendy. May you have a very long and happy life together.
#100: I've taken a look at Debris Linux. Normally I don't get terribly excited about yet another Ubuntu based distro but I have to admit this is one that does stand apart. It's definitely worth it for people to take a look. It also fits nicely on a 3" (8cm) mini CD. I'll be writing about it sooner or later. After last weekend I've learned not to promise when or where my writing will show up :)
#92: An official 64-bit Slackware is a very positive move for the distro. I don't know that I'd consider supporting a second architecture a fork per se. In any case it's good news. Now I can only hope for an ARM port and perhaps a MIPS port to support the next generation of netbooks :)
#78: Thanks for the kind words. They are appreciated.
104 • Slackware and ARM (by giberg on 2009-05-20 22:47:05 GMT from Italy)
#103 ARM port?
Official since 02-Apr-2009
105 • Ubuntu (by Jens on 2009-05-20 23:07:05 GMT from Germany)
With openSUSE, everything is open source what Ubuntu can not say!
Everything closend source of Canonical !
106 • Linux Desktop (by The Silent Penguin on 2009-05-21 01:48:29 GMT from United States)
Does anyone here DARE to refute this very intelligent outlook:
I'm sorry, I would love to love Linux, but...
107 • RE: 106 Linux Desktop (by ladislav on 2009-05-21 01:58:02 GMT from Taiwan)
Please don't bring this here. If you really want to read opinions on this subject, there are over 1,300 comments on Slashdot:
and over 330 on OSNews:
Reading those should keep you busy for a while.
108 • Two Fedora things (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-21 02:28:53 GMT from United States)
Fedora 11 was delayed a week due to some show-stopping bugs. Good for them! The Preview release was very clean (a few issues with my laptop, but nothing mjaor; it should be fixed by now) and the final will prove to be a solid release.
Also, the Fedora-based Moblin looks awesome. I can't wait to see what kinds of systems come out of that development.
109 • linux not desktop ready (by hab on 2009-05-21 03:41:01 GMT from Canada)
Ladislav, my apologies but i would like address this issue.
As someone who has never run that other (so called) os from nw washington as a primary desktop os and using linux as my primary desktop os for almost fourteen years i feel marginally competent to comment on this.
For my needs linux has served me well. It handles everything I throw at it but then my computer needs are relatively unsophisticated. For virtually all of the main stream tasks linux works pretty darn well! At least for me! And so it does for an apparently significant number of other computer users as well. That companies like redhat, mandriva and others build a business service model around a desktop os also indicates that it must work pretty well for them.
These articles have appeared since linux started to have a viable desktop! They have always been worth the price of the paper they are printed on. You know, instead of listening to some (self styled) pundit or prognosticator i prefer to run and look at software myself. My own sensory experience is far superior to what some one else describes to me.
This isn't the first time this crap has come up, i doubt it will be the last! Makes me want to ask, and your point is .......................????
110 • #104 - Thank you, #106/109 - I agree with Ladislav on this (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-21 06:10:43 GMT from United States)
#1't04- Thank you for the link. I wasn't aware of that. Now all I need is an ARM based netbook to try it on :) Actually, I really want iUnika's MIPS based netbook, but that's another story.
#106/109 - This subject has been beaten to death more times than I care to think about. There will always be MS fans/surrogates who will make clueless claims like this. We don't need to rehash that debate here. Really, we don't. Ladislav is right about this. It also happens to be his website so eve if you disagree at least respect that this is his house and we play by his rules.
111 • Moblin 2 (by capricornus on 2009-05-21 06:19:13 GMT from Belgium)
After downloading it at impressive low speed and twice because of an interrupt somewhere out there, it tells me it won't recognize my processors. A pity for the testers without a netbook...
112 • Paldo & #17 (by joe on 2009-05-21 09:47:01 GMT from United States)
Paldo has worked well for me, too. I've installed it on an external USB harddrive as a rescue and alternative for my desktop and several notebooks. It has worked flawlessly in everything I've tried so far.
There are considerably fewer packages in the Paldo repository. Installation isn't intuitive but they work well.
Worth a try, especially if you haven't yet found the perfect OS.
113 • @ 108 - Fedora 11 (by DeniZen on 2009-05-21 10:03:02 GMT from United Kingdom)
I echo that.
Release when it is all good, not just to honour some date.
Most of us would prefer to wait a week - or two and have a solid release than simply tick a calendar. debian has had the right attitude there for years ;)
Anyway, my 'guilty pleasure' is that I've been 'testing' Fedora 11 on my Laptop.
I'm not traditionally a Fedora / RPM distro user.
I tried F10 and was really impressed by much of it, aside from a couple of showstoppers (notably slow - on my rig - high CPU usage that I just couldnt get to the bottom of, and rather painstaking package management routines)
Also suspend (or rather resume) always failed, and, after a fair bit of effort seemede to remain 'unfixable'
My impressions of F11 , so far, is that it is swift, stable and frankly quite 'beautiful' too.
The system speed is much improved (same hardware as tested F10, with exception of ext4 for root partition),
The package management is improved - and the presto plugin for yum will continue to offer improvements there too (delta rpm packages).
CPU usage is very, very low at idle - as it should be.
Nippy and solid even in Preview release.
I'm using the KDE 4.2.2 flavour, and its smooth and stable.
Even under KDE, the Network Manager used by F11 is the Gnome Network Mnager, and it is excellent. recognised and set up my Nokia as a 3G modem straigt off the bat - and I like that option on my Laptop ;)
Boot time is phenomenally quick now, FWIW.
Actually, it is a consideration, as suspend works, but resume still does not.
I really hope to get resume sorted, either by myself, or by Fedora sooner or later ;)
I gather that resume in Fedora has been a bugbear for some time, so much so that there is a 3rd party solution/modified kernel - 'Tux on Ice' and that there should have a F11 version soon after release.
Resume works flawlessly on the same hardware under Ubuntu 9.04, so it shouldnt be mission impossible.
While a 'secondary consideration', I guess many of us enjoy a bit of eye-candy, and a well presented Distro.
Fedoras Plymouth boot sequence > GDM > Desktop is a seamless, flicker-free , consistent and gorgeous to look at.
For full graphical Plymouth on my aging Laptop (1024x768, with ATI Mobility Radeon) I just needed to add 'vga=0x323' to the end of the grub kernel line.
Once F11 is released, I'll probably add the rpmfusion repos and get it sorted for multimedia.
114 • So??? (by Patrick on 2009-05-21 14:22:38 GMT from United States)
I haven't bothered to read the article, and I don't intend to. Why not? Because I prefer to be productive instead. Productive, on my Linux machine. My Linux machine, which has increased my productivity significantly here at work. My Linux machine, which lets me work without getting in my way. And without breaking all the time.
There might be arguments in that article that are perfectly valid, for lots of people. But what do I care? Linux works for me, significantly better so than Windows. Sure, I'd like to see Linux uptake increase, but it is not important to "take over the desktop". In a couple of years, the desktop will be less and less relevant. Windows can "own" that niche, if they want it.
115 • Linux on desktop (by Azzorcist on 2009-05-21 14:28:30 GMT from Indonesia)
The biggest part making Linux hard to enter the desktop I think because of the license.
I began to realise and (hate?) the GPL.
How many successfull app licensed under GPL but with some kind of restriction? Or dual-licensed?
GPL created for avoiding company or whoever taking the code without contribute back.
But, GPL-licensed app obtain BSD code and license it under GPL. Then, people from BSD camp cannot get the modified code because it is now under GPL and applying it to their code could make the whole code become GPL-licensed not BSD-licensed anymore.
Now, GPL act the same as Redmond to BSD camp.
116 • No subject (by Azzorcist on 2009-05-21 14:42:25 GMT from Indonesia)
Also GPL not working good with some people.
Not everybody want to open their code.
With license like LGPL, it's easy to maintain interoperability with other proprietary system and also keeping the code open.
117 • @ 114 patrick (by DeniZen on 2009-05-21 15:30:50 GMT from United Kingdom)
I assume you refer to the link posted above which hinted at .. err .. some 'undeniable truth' .. or something .. or other.
I had a quick peek. Out of curiosity.
Its full of gems such as: "A lot of WinPrinters do not have any Linux support (e.g. Lexmark models). An argument that user should buy a Linux compatible printer is silly since that way Linux won't ever gain even a traction of popularity. Why should I install an OS where my printer doesn't work"
apart from not accepting the 'point' being made
'WIN'Printers not having Linux support eh?
While we are at it, WINPrinters always work with OS X ..do they?
Sorry, but it IS a fair question - why should I buy a printer that will not work with my OS?
Or . why even consider a Lexmark anyway .. that would be an even better question ;)
Apols for (sorta) feeding a troll ,by proxy.
118 • Paldo and Debris (by Sertse on 2009-05-21 15:56:33 GMT from Australia)
I'm going to try out paldo! It seems to be what I'm looking for, a distro with a usuable desktop OOTB, yet easy to take applications directly from upstream and make packages for.
paldo really needs to lift their game being known though. Seems they didn't tell DW of their last few releases. heh
Debris Limux is "just" Ubuntu Gnome, but like others have said, it's amazing how small and light it could be. It fits under 200mb, for one thing...just wow. That includes gnome, and your computing apps, internet, media, office etc...
Perhaps I suggest it be taken from the waiting list to the proper dw list? They released a beta iso of a new release earlier this month, but they are still active.
119 • Touch Screen Tablet Linux on the Go (by RollMeAway on 2009-05-21 19:11:58 GMT from United States)
Here is what I'm waiting for:
No keyboard, no mouse, all touchscreen. Of course you could plug those into a USB port when needed.
When on the go, for checking email, browsing, even phone calls, looks very good to me.
Less than $200? Bring them on!
120 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-05-21 19:23:47 GMT from Canada)
Touch Screen Tablet is the most useless crap that ever came out of Microsoft. How many hours can you work bent over that thing? How can the finger be more precise than the mouse?
I hope Linux does not spend any resources on this useless stuff.
121 • Touch Screen (by RollMeAway on 2009-05-21 19:53:12 GMT from United States)
No need to use profanity. Nowhere was ms mentioned.
I would not "work" over a touch screen. I would play. Ever seen an ipod, or an iphone?
122 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-05-21 20:48:06 GMT from Canada)
My bad, I thought you were talking about this: http://www.microsoft.com/surface/
That tablet you mentioned is actually pretty nice.
123 • #111: What Moblin will (and won't) run on (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-21 22:54:05 GMT from United States)
You don't necessarily need a netbook to try Moblin. In fact, Moblin won't run on many netbooks but will run on a number of full sized notebooks and desktops. Here's what you do need:
An Intel Atom or Core Duo processor
An Intel graphics chipset
Wifi support is also limited to a few select models used in system which have the Intel processor and graphics chips listed above.
This is a holdover from Moblin being an Intel project until very recently. It is widely expected that broader hardware support will eventually have to be worked into Moblin if it's to be successful.
Oh, and yes, the new GUI in beta 2 is impressive.
124 • @ Caitlyn #110 - MIPS & Solar powered - Netbook (by DeniZen on 2009-05-21 23:11:48 GMT from United Kingdom)
Didnt spot your reference to the iUnica MIPS Netbook earlier,
Yep, I'm also wanting one, and i think I may actually treat myself.
Expected here in UK in June at apparently v. reasonable cost too, it seems.
MIPS 400MHz processor, 64GB SSD and comes with a .. huge .. 128MB RAM.
+ the usual connectivity features.
Not a performance monster then, but I like the idea of 'body composed of bioplastics and recyclable biodegradable material made from starch and cellulose'.
Powered by the Sun, running (some kinda) Linux. Just how cool might that be.
'Libre Power - Libre System' Maybe.
125 • #124: DeniZen's been reading my O'Reilly articles :) (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-21 23:45:56 GMT from United States)
#124: DeniZen: Yep, the iUnika machine and their corporate concept are both very appealing to me. I don't know if you saw it but a Chinese company also announced a MIPS based netbook (or possibly notebook, the article wasn't terribly clear) so it appears both ARM and MIPS technologies will challenge Intel in the itty bitty laptop arena. Competition is a good thing.
The article DeniZen refers to is at: http://broadcast.oreilly.com/2009/05/linux-to-regain-50-netbook-mar.html I figure he gave me a chance to do a little shameless self-promotion :) iUnika, the company, can be found at: http://www.iunika.com/ The website is entirely in Spanish as is the news story I linked and referred to at: http://www.techweek.es/linux-open-source/noticias/1005516003801/iunika-mini-portatil-precio-movil.1.html Specs for the iUnika gyy netbook can be found by clicking the gyy link on the iUnika web page.
I freely admit to having a soft spot for MIPS processors which dates back to support SGI servers and workstations back when they were THE thing for graphics and for certain types of scientific computing. I had an O2 workstation that was absolutely brilliant in its time.
126 • Moblin (by DG on 2009-05-22 07:00:46 GMT from Netherlands)
Last week I noticed that Moblin had fallen in the DW page hit rankings for the past month even though there had been an interesting DWW article about it, and wondered whether it was an idea ahead of its time. This week there was a Moblin release announcement and it has risen from 101 to 48.
Confirmation that it is release announcements that generate interest and not necessarily articles or comments in DWW.
127 • PCBSD Gnome/Xfce PBI's (by silent on 2009-05-22 10:28:51 GMT from France)
PCBSD (FreeBSD with integrated KDE) is generally working well on my desktop. But at the moment I don't get the point of Xfce/Gnome PBI's for PCBSD. In FreeBSD one already has Gnome and can install Xfce - without KDE. On the other hand, it could be interesting to have a PCBSD edition only with Gnome or especially with Xfce without KDE, but with the advantages of an out-of-the-box working proprietary flash plugin in Firefox and the one-click-install PBI's.
128 • MIPS netbook (by Donald Stewart on 2009-05-22 14:47:34 GMT from United Kingdom)
There is also the gdium which is being released now I think, its specs are slightly higher.
900MHz Chip and 512 Mb of RAM, link is here: http://www.gdium.com/product/liberty1000
129 • Donation ideas (by Donation ideas on 2009-05-22 15:59:59 GMT from United States)
A few ideas for the next Distrowatch monthly donation:
A note-taking application such as Zim or Basket
OLPC or Sugar
Gnucash (I know that this received the award several years ago, but I think that developing this or a similar application is very important for the Free Software world)
130 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-22 19:56:40 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref #119 et al.
Hang on a mo...what you might not have seen is the potential for folk who have probs with the old hands/fingers. Some of you folk may be too young to grasp the concept as yet...but never fear...you will grasp it one day, LOL I refer literally to grasp. Arthritis and Dupuytrens are something you really, really do not want (and I am not talking the really bad rheumatoid version either. You might be as bad as poor old Stephen H...and only have a tiny fraction of motor function left...)
I suffer from age related stuff and the worse I have to suffer is the hunt and peck typing scenario apropos computing...but the VERY worse tho' is not being able to get fingers and thumb wide enough apart to hold a straight (pint glass to the non UK readers, LOL and obviously I cannot possibly use a "handle"...)
I would have said ANYTHING that could help with computing...even simple stuff to us like sending and receiving emails and interacting with someone/thing else might make the difference between mental illness or not.
Never, ever, forget computing is not just for the able bodied.
131 • @130 forest (by Eyes-Only on 2009-05-22 20:23:51 GMT from United States)
To put it simply as a Fellow Commiserator: AMEN!
I couldn't have written it better myself. -sigh-
132 • Great Article (by Tom on 2009-05-22 21:11:31 GMT from United Kingdom)
Glad to see Caitlyn recovered and i'm looking forwards to reading her Mandriva article soon but WOW. great to see a good short article about Slackware. Thanks Ladislav & all :)
Is Slackware the only major fork that doesn't have a large commercial organisation supporting it or a one of it's distros? I would like to see Slackware or another of its's derivatives getting the DW prize next month.
I'm sure it's probably well documented but is there a table of which distros are in which fork somewhere? Perhaps a 'family tree' would be interesting, is there one out there already? For package management i quite like the Wolvix one, Slapt-Get (i think?) as it does seem to sort dependencies and has a good search feature and all that too :)
I'm beginning to suspect that a Slackware distro is the best option for my dad's boat. He can't have his machine on for long without the lights & fridge cutting out and his internet connection is limited wireless only - even wiifi seems unlikely in places he likes to moor up for the night. A stable distro that doesn't want updating much with updates easy from Cd seems the ideal way to go especially if it still manages to keep very current :)
Thanks all :))
Good luck and regards from
133 • @132 (by Eyes-Only on 2009-05-22 21:27:07 GMT from United States)
Tom, good to see you posting! I was just thinking of you a few minutes ago and thinking of your lack of postings recently! How about that! And bob's your uncle - here you are!
Take a look here for the "Distro Timeline" .png file: http://futurist.se/gldt/
It's great and recently updated.
134 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-22 22:47:35 GMT from United Kingdom)
Tom, what about a gand at this 3G broadband for your dad's narrow (?) boat? I gather it works off cell phone masts so wherever you get cell phone coverage...
My nevu's mate has used it and reports very fast speeds (low contention ratio?). See here:
If you know this already, apologies for teaching you to suck eggs.
135 • nice chart :) (by Tom on 2009-05-22 23:02:42 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thank Eyes-Only :)
That was quite interesting. So Suse was Slackware based! lol
I've just played through a Wesnoth Campaign and got embroiled in another. I used to like World Of Warcraft but prefer Wesnoth, and Glest is good for individual scenarios but all three are quite different. I think Wesnoth is the more sophisticated of the three. Glest is beautiful though :)
I tried a LiveCd of Fedora10 and was surprised how familiar it all looked (gnome) - almost identical surface stuff to Ubuntu but the sub-menu's helped me understand a few things better. I really can't stand blue though and i wasn't in the mood for "Crux" so i went back to my favourite distros fairly quickly :)
Distros offering a LiveCd off their installer Cd is such a smart move, really makes "test driving" distros so much easier (amongst other uses). Forest's idea of using usb-sticks was a good one too but i don't think many distros are really geared up for it yet. It could possibly be a potentially good way to collect statistics on which distros work well on what hardware "in the field". I had bookmarks to some good sites that collect hardware stats (when info is volunteered by linux users) but lost the links somewhere.
Anyway, thanks Eyes-Only and regards to all from
136 • ubuntu for universities (by Anonymous on 2009-05-22 23:11:39 GMT from Canada)
In Spanish only but an interesting list of apps.
137 • 115 • Linux on desktop (by Anonymous on 2009-05-22 23:43:55 GMT from United States)
(by Azzorcist on 2009-05-21 14:28:30 GMT from Indonesia)
The biggest part making Linux hard to enter the desktop I think because of the license.
I began to realise and (hate?) the GPL.
Take a look here for a good analogy of the licenses and comparisons between the licenses.
While on this topic, I found articles on GPL Hindering code sharing
In that above page, I found an argument by Jack Hoffman*,
The BSD developers got what they wanted. Their code is in use. The BSD license
intentionally trades away protection from inclusion in differently licensed
projects in return for the increased likelihood that the code can be used.
The GPL developers got what they wanted. Their code is protected from
proprietization (And ONLY their code. Anyone can take the original BSD licensed
code and do what they want with it).
There is no story here. The GPL and BSD licenses try to achieve different goals
and both work as advertised. If you want an analogy: BSD is like the girl who
sleeps with everybody. She gets a lot of sex and is invited to every party, but
nobody respects her. GPL is like the girl who is selective about her partners.
She doesn't have quite as much "fun" and has earned herself a little bit of a
hard-to-get reputation, but the people who know her treat her well. Proprietary
licenses usually require payment.
In trying to work together, the code was released as GPL, but they found that
there could have been violations?
Now, since the code was released under GPLv2, the changes cannot be shared
between the two communities. This is where the people lose on both sides of
Hope you like it !!!
138 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-22 23:45:08 GMT from United Kingdom)
Tom, found this too:
Might be of some help?
139 • tinycore 2.x is an increasing disappointment (by tobiaus on 2009-05-23 01:05:35 GMT from United States)
distros shouldn't be developed on a handful of 5 machines if they're going to be reliable from one to another. i've used tinycore since its release in late 2008, the 1.x series is very compatible.
2.x, which uses a newer kernel, would have me replacing everything to get the software working again. it's only in rc, so i hope i'm wrong, but so far i'm having trouble with the network and base apps that i wasn't having, the keymaps in extensions are suddently wrong, the new window manager is hideous (that's a feature and you can replace it with the old wm,)
and now cdrecord won't record on the same drive/media that it would in 1.x. so i'll have to boot into 1.x just to upgrade from 2.0rc1 to 2.0rc2_2.1.
i wouldn't even care (who cares about rc anyway?) except that i've used this thing since like 0.3 or 0.4... every step until 2.x has been a step forward. ever since 2.0 it's been backwards. this is a travesty of an upgrade! but if i get the damned thing working i'll be sure to mention if 2.x is still usable (or gets better.)
oh don't worry, you'll probably be saying "works for me!" only 1.x would have worked for more people. i'm not trying to use it on a p1 100mhz or "only" 128m of ram or anything... i just spent months "migrating" to all tc from xubuntu, i really don't want to go back because tiny core has abandoned all sense.
140 • this week (by dave on 2009-05-23 01:15:44 GMT from United States)
Thanks all for another wonderful informative DWW.good luck chris and may your future with the new wife be a lengthy one.I just took a look at artist x.A big wow on that one.Is all that software really included?Holy smokes i've never seen anything like that before.talk about fully loaded.surprised it all fits on one dvd.Looks like a very useful tool.If you have the power to run it.One could have a field day with that distro and a digital camera.anyone here running that distro?curious as to what you found you can do with it,besides everything.
141 • okay, sorry again mark twain (by tobiaus on 2009-05-23 01:54:39 GMT from United States)
ok, false alarm on cdrecord, i got it working. every thing i've looked at has been one new bug after another. for the love of mark, devs, stop trying to change everything at once. no matter how minimal your distro is, it just makes finding bugs more of a headache- and upgrading needlessly painful. i'm sure it's been said of a 100 distros on a hundred forums, but it's not yet "politically correct."
gurus can cope with this stuff. we're not all gurus. ubuntu, you're friendly enough to use for almost anyone... how about you guys make a tiny version? no, smaller than that. no, much smaller. eh...
142 • Partclone backup (by Verndog on 2009-05-23 05:31:47 GMT from United States)
I've been researching Clonezilla and why I can't restore a partition image to different partition#. Someone came p with some sort of hack that manipulates the file names. I found an easy approach. Use Partclone. In fact now I use Partclone exclusively. Steven, the author of Clonezilla said there will be a future release with that ability to restore to different partition#'s.
In steps Parted Magic. I found in the requested area someone asked about Partclone being added. Presto. In a day or so a tz file was provided y Patrick Verner. I tried it, but no ext4 support. Also zcat was missing. Not that important, as a work around using cat suffices.
Today, I was given a link to the upcoming Parted Magic 4.2, that included partclone-0.1.1 , the latest version. Just burnt a copy. And tried it. Wow!
It imaged my Ext4 partition in under 6 1/2 minutes! A full minute off the best I've seen before. Then the restore was even better. Restored in 1:37 minutes!!
Again 1 minute sliced off. Here's an example of cloning and restore:
"partclone.ext4 -c -s /dev/sda3 | gzip -c > image.gz"
"zcat image.gz | partclone.ext4 -r -O /dev/sdaX"
Two things to keep in mind(or three). Mount where the image is to be restored. Unmount the partition your cloning or restore. Also it the destination partition is use, you need that "-O" option.
There's not a lot of info out there on partclone program. What's thre is several years old. ArchLinux has a document that is short and a big help:
Archline doc: http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Partclone
If your old school and have never veered away from either dd or tar, try partclone. You'll be surprised at it's speed and accuracy. Partclone backs up used sectors only. Another program I like but won't work with Ext4 is partimage. It's also on Parted Magic. Another one is FSArchiver. That one I have to go to their forum and ask some questions. I keep getting errors a a few files only. Not the same ones, but enough that I don't feel confident using it. partclone is par excellence. So is Parted Image, along with Clonezilla.
143 • Ref 3G Broadband @ Forest / Tom (by DeniZen on 2009-05-23 15:07:04 GMT from United Kingdom)
I use 3G connectivity on my laptop when not 'at home'
I already have an unlimited Data Plan with my Mobile provider (Voda UK) and, for me, it is no more complex than attaching my Nokia Mobile 'phone via the USB cable in 'PC Suite' Mode.
I keep the USB cable in my Laptop bag, and of course the 'phone is always with me anyhow.
Ubuntu, and Fedora both just pick up the Nokia as a 3G device once plugged in - very cool.
Ubuntu even offered me a configure wizard with Vodafone in the list - which worked straight off.
Fedora, similar, but I had to specify the Voda 3G / Data username and password and APN (all generic).
However, if you have a distro that uses wicd as the connection manager, you may be required to do a bit of manual fiddling with GnomePPP or KPPP instead, but its do-able - I have had it working with Debian Lenny and KPPP, just to see if I could. Yip, and not difficult.
3G via 'phone works out well for me, and at no extra cost on top of my existing data plan ;)
Though, it is far from lighting fast connectivity in all locations, but it is at least acceptable in _most_ places, and thats' good enough IMO.
144 • Re: 137 Licenses (by Azzorcist on 2009-05-23 16:58:03 GMT from Indonesia)
That is really a bad description of what's going on.
The GPL developers got what they wanted. Their code is protected from
proprietization (And ONLY their code. Anyone can take the original BSD licensed
code and do what they want with it).
Their code is also protected from other open source projects.
I see that it's not such a big problem for BSD camp because they already know what might happen when they release their code under BSDL. But, it's such a shame for open source projects cannot work together peacefully because of licenses.
To me, weak-copyleft license like LGPL, MPL, or CDDL is much more sane.
145 • 3G mobile (by Tom on 2009-05-23 17:49:32 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks Forest and Denizen :)
The problems are that the wireless connection is the ONLY internet connection and that the machine can only be on for a very short time per day. Even with a better contract and 'unlimited' download it's still surely better to choose a distro that doesn't want updates all the time and that is stable as it is - that would seem to make a slackware distro very desirable? As a bonus it seems that Slackware distros tend to have much less processes running straight after bootup and also tend to be a little less power-hungry?
At the moment the machine and my dad (and me) are migrating away from Xp so we've gone for an 'entry level' linux, in this case Ubuntu, which is great for me at my house whereas on his boat it's much more difficult. I think gradually migrating to a Slackware via Ubuntu using the same /home is looking increasingly attractive - especially with a new Wolvix Cub on the way.
Denizen, please email me because that contract looks like something that my dad could possibly upgrade to and it'd be great if you could help me with a little info there. Forest, your ideas have been great but in this case are slightly unworkable because of an existing contract, thanks for the info and helpful suggestions tho :)))
Thanks all, regards from
146 • Wolvix Cub 2.0.0 (by Tom on 2009-05-23 18:03:54 GMT from United Kingdom)
I've heard mention of a possible release of this very light distro and wondered if people here knew if it has OpenOffice, Thunderbird, FireFox and the NokiaPcSuite? I know these are relatively heavy apps; somehow ClawsMail would be my choice for a Cub ;)
Also is this a final release of Cub 2.0.0 or a beta release alongside the main beta2? My old (currently broken) machine prefers the Hunter 1.1.0 but my new machine purrs along with the beta2 on a LiveCd. Has anyone tried a pre-release of the new Cub?
147 • /home (by Tom on 2009-05-23 22:45:11 GMT from United Kingdom)
Having a single /home shared by multiple different OS's seems to be a great way of distro hopping with less fuss but i'm having trouble trying to split a Puppy's /home onto a new partition. Does Puppy even use /home for data and settings or does it do something weird?
Lol, i'm not a great puppy fan but it's gotta be tried occasionally, especially now there's this newish one :)
Thanks and regards from
148 • @146 (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-24 01:57:15 GMT from United States)
Wolvix is no longer split into Cub and Hunter. It's just going to be Wolvix 2.0. The Beta2 has all of the apps the final will have, as I hear correctly, so what you see is what you will get. I'd be surprised if all those won't be in the repository (and it doesn't come with Firefox? I thought you tried it already?).
You might be more successful asking your questions on a forum dedicated to answering questions. The comments section here doesn't get too much traffic after six days.
149 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-24 13:32:56 GMT from United Kingdom)
Tom, slightly off topic for distros per se...BUT...if anyone else out there has a similar problem for powering a computer...in UK...but might be available overseas or it might spark up a connection in your synapses...for those ultra green amongst us or those who want to have as cheap as supply of energy...check these out, for breezy climes:
or, sunnier climes: (which is pushing it a bit for UK, LOL...)
150 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-24 13:35:39 GMT from United Kingdom)
Forgot to say, so as to remain on topic...ahem...those above devices are BOUND to have a Linux based control system...
151 • @149 Libre energy (by oithona on 2009-05-24 17:48:13 GMT from United Kingdom)
Here's two of those marlec 913s in action, along with two solar panels, various oceanographic and meteorological instruments, and the whole shebang controlled by an embedded PC running Wolvix GNU/Linux
152 • $99 linux wall wart (by hab on 2009-05-24 18:17:16 GMT from Canada)
Saw this a bit back! Called apparently, sheevaplug. For who sheeva was/represents see here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheeva#Sheeva
Read one comment somewhere that said they expect this to drop to $49 within two years.
I am beginning to think that probably/possibly one of linux's biggest gains is going to come from the embed space. As computing power/ability becomes pervasive, think comp on a chip or tinier, to mange initially power consumption and increasingly over time, functionality in any electrical or electronic device. Layer wifi on top of this and it does promise to be quite interesting!
Gotta love the GPL and open source and linux, in random order!
153 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-24 19:06:53 GMT from United Kingdom)
I never knew about the Sheeva kit...thanks for the gen, looks quite interesting.
I was tickled re #151...bigger than the narrow itself, LOL.
But it just goes to show the huge variety of places where you find Linux.
154 • boats and energy (by Tom on 2009-05-24 19:27:29 GMT from United Kingdom)
Wind turbines are tricky because allegedly there's some vibration right through the boat when they are working and it's illegal to set one up on the tow-path. Having chatted with a broad-beam (nearly 12ft wide!) boat-owner i think the vibration thing is a myth except for strong wind conditions.
The solar option still seems a tad expensive for what watts you get. It seems to be a lot of money before getting something workable - £200 would barely power the laptop let alone keep it's battery charged up and topping up the boat's main batteries is just a pipe-dream. Current manufacture is harmful to the environment - in carbon-footprint terms about 20years worth & the panels last about 20years. Not sure where i get that from, perhaps it was The Centre of Alternative Technology in Machynlleth
although mostly all i remember was good food, great wine and a lot of happy people.
The wide-beamer said that £1/W he'd rather go with solar but perhaps would wait a year or so. The people at CAT seem to recommend getting 60% of water heating done via radiators on the roof but that requires the other type of boiler from the combo unit my dad has and some fancy pipework, valves & welding - perhaps something to build into the next boat. Converting heat energy into electrical energy is working directly against entropy and not the most efficient use of the resource being used whereas warming water is much less inefficient. One day as we were mooring up a chap nodded at our coal and said "Got enough coal? A boat back that way had solar panels". I looked at the snow and ice and then up at the veiled sun and the man in thick woollen clothes and heavy coat and wondered how to explain that if he wasn't sunbathing then there wasn't enough energy from the sun to heat us up at night either so i just said "Hope so" and got busy with knotwork.
Thanks for your help here, i really liked the link to the flapping bridge thing but i was really hoping for more about the relative advantages of one distro or a family over another in terms of power-consumption. I would guess that Windows is appalling but that a fully featured distro like Ubuntu still chews up a fair bit of power and for me at home that's worth it - a small power difference isn't going to affect me much at all, nor most of the rest of us. I just wondered if there's been any research or tables of distro vs power used.
155 • twiddling thumbs (by Tom on 2009-05-24 19:39:35 GMT from United Kingdom)
This myth about using hibernate mode being 'more green' seems completely wrong too. It takes the machine so long to copy everything from Ram to swap and power-down that it ends up using more energy than a proper shutdown. I think the people that time these things stop their watch before the machine's fully powered down, perhaps just when the screen goes off or something.
Lol, anyway. Thanks forest for replying and thanks oithona, forest and hab for some intriguing links there
Regards all from
156 • Slackware-current (by stuckinoregon on 2009-05-24 21:45:39 GMT from United States)
Changing over another old laptop to current right now. I'm finding it to be really stable for my needs and nicely up-to-date.
Would really like to see a recent right up of some sort regarding doing a minimal/lightweight install. I hate doing the "full" option, but get sort of fuzzy when I have to start choosing which libraries to install and things like that. I'm sure there's got to be some fairly straightforward way of doing this.
And yes, I realize I could just install something like zen or wolvix, but I'm becoming a bit of a purist in my old age. Why install a derivative when I can install the original? Not to detract from any of those projects, but there's really nothing that can be done in the child that can't be done in the parent.
157 • re#156 (by hab on 2009-05-24 23:11:46 GMT from Canada)
Grab a look at dreamlinux if you haven't already! http://www.dreamlinux.com.br/
It is debian with xfce and optionally gnome. I have it installed on an old 266mhz lappie and it chugs along quite reasonably. It ain't fast but it is usable.
It requires a 2.5G root partition but a remaster could shave that down. I slimmed the install to just under 2G by dumping openoffice, gimp, samba, inkscape, compiz and other assorted uneeded bits and pieces.
The main reason i installed it was because the hardware detection was so good. Everything on this old lappie was automagically detected and configured. The thing that really impressed me about this distro was that it detected and configured my broadcomm based linksys pcmcia wireless card with out effort. With this card, out of the box detection and auto config was almost never accomplished by a linux distro before.
158 • @157 (by stuckinoregon on 2009-05-24 23:22:48 GMT from United States)
Thanks Hab, I'm familiar with DL.
I, along with misspelling "write," was not very clear with my request. I'm wanting to see something current in regards to lightweight/minimal Slackware installs specifically. Not recommendations for slax, wolvix, zenwalk or the like.
159 • re #158 (by hab on 2009-05-25 01:55:50 GMT from Canada)
Maybe try a google search for "slackware minimal install". That pukes back a number of interesting links.
I have a bit of a soft spot for slack 'cause it was the first distro i could get installed and running back in the day. I followed a couple of the links google puked up and some of them are quite detailed in their explanations. Mostly centering around installing or not, slackware groups of packages. I did read that a minimal 'linux from scratch' installs about fifty packages, centos apparently just under four hundred.
160 • Random off topic (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-25 02:53:47 GMT from United States)
Pardus Linux. I think I've finally found my home!
2008.2 is stable, functional, and comes with all the codecs everybody removes from the ISO and then downloads later. Has all the good programs that all work well. Wi-Fi worked out of the box for me.
KDE 3.5 works great, and I look forward to 4.2 when Pardus 2009 hits in July.
I sigh very deeply. Finally, my hopping is over.
161 • Symphony OS (by Patrick on 2009-05-25 03:32:30 GMT from N/A)
You guys have any idea about whats going on with Symphony OS?. It had such promise.
162 • Re: 158 • lightweight/minimal Slackware (by Ariszló on 2009-05-25 06:14:13 GMT from Hungary)
Just unselect Emacs, KDE & TeX during installation.
163 • Slackware (by Tom on 2009-05-25 08:52:50 GMT from United Kingdom)
I thought Slackware was notoriously difficult to install and was about as minimalist as it gets, possible exception of TinyCore. Isn't that why people go for the various slackware based distros, to beef it up a bit and make installing easier? A minimal slackware would be impressive :)
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|• Issue 770 (2018-07-02): Linux Mint 19, Solus polishes desktop experience, MintBox Mini 2, changes to Fedora's installer|
|• Issue 769 (2018-06-25): BunsenLabs Helium, counting Ubuntu users, UBports upgrading to 16.04, Fedora CoreOS, FreeBSD turns 25|
|• Issue 768 (2018-06-18): Devuan 2.0.0, using pkgsrc to manage software, the NOVA filesystem, OpenBSD handles successful cron output|
|• Issue 767 (2018-06-11): Android-x86 7.1-r1, transferring files over OpenSSH with pipes, LFS with Debian package management, Haiku ports LibreOffice|
|• Issue 766 (2018-06-04): openSUSE 15, overview of file system links, Manjaro updates Pamac, ReactOS builds itself, Bodhi closes forums|
|• Issue 765 (2018-05-28): Pop!_OS 18.04, gathering system information, Haiku unifying ARM builds, Solus resumes control of Budgie|
|• Issue 764 (2018-05-21): DragonFly BSD 5.2.0, Tails works on persistent packages, Ubuntu plans new features, finding services affected by an update|
|• Issue 763 (2018-05-14): Fedora 28, Debian compatibility coming to Chrome OS, malware found in some Snaps, Debian's many flavours|
|• Issue 762 (2018-05-07): TrueOS 18.03, live upgrading Raspbian, Mint plans future releases, HardenedBSD to switch back to OpenSSL|
|• Issue 761 (2018-04-30): Ubuntu 18.04, accessing ZFS snapshots, UBports to run on Librem 5 phones, Slackware makes PulseAudio optional|
|• Issue 760 (2018-04-23): Chakra 2017.10, using systemd to hide files, Netrunner's ARM edition, Debian 10 roadmap, Microsoft develops Linux-based OS|
|• Issue 759 (2018-04-16): Neptune 5.0, building containers with Red Hat, antiX introduces Sid edition, fixing filenames on the command line|
|• Issue 758 (2018-04-09): Sortix 1.0, openSUSE's Transactional Updates, Fedora phasing out Python 2, locating portable packages|
|• Issue 757 (2018-04-02): Gatter Linux 0.8, the UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, Red Hat turns 25, super long term support kernels|
|• Issue 756 (2018-03-26): NuTyX 10.0, Neptune supplies Debian users with Plasma 5.12, SolydXK on a Raspberry Pi, SysV init development|
|• Issue 755 (2018-03-19): Learning with ArchMerge and Linux Academy, Librem 5 runs Plasma Mobile, Cinnamon gets performance boost|
|• Full list of all issues|
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Keysoft is an openSUSE-based distribution designed with visually impaired users in mind. The distribution ships with the GNOME desktop environment, the Orca screen reader and Braille display drivers. Keysoft ships with the WINE compatibility software to facilitate working with software built for Windows. Keysoft is primarily a German distribution, though multi-language support is available.