| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 304, 25 May 2009
Welcome to this year's 21st issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Three weeks ago Mandriva Linux 2009.1 was released. This distribution has a well-earned reputation for being both user-friendly and flexible and this week we take what turns out to be a somewhat surprising first look at the latest Mandriva release. In the news section, Slackware Linux finally opens a 64-bit branch of its development tree, Moblin 2.0 impresses the reviewers with a refreshing user interface design, Ubuntu reveals a change in video architecture for the upcoming version 9.10, Debian changes its archive signing key, and Fedora considers mailing list moderation in response to some unruly behaviour of its users. Also in this issue, a round-up of news from vendors preparing Linux-based solutions for mobile devices and an interesting new way of installing Arch Linux - via an unofficial live CD. Finally, if you have a package that you think DistroWatch should track, don't miss your chance to suggest it - this week only! All this and more in this week's issue, enjoy the read!
- Reviews: First look at Mandriva Linux 2009.1
- News: Slackware goes 64-bit, Moblin 2.0 impresses reviewers, Ubuntu effects video changes, Debian updates GPG keys, Fedora mulls list moderation, round-up of mobile Linux news, Archiso-live
- Released last week: Puppy Linux 4.2.1, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.8
- Upcoming releases: Linux Mint 7, openSUSE 11.2 Milestone 2
- Site news: Annual package list update
- New additions: DEFT Linux, Elastix
- New distributions: Hymera, Taneu OS
- Reader comments
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
First look at Mandriva Linux 2009.1
For years now I've recommended Mandriva Linux as the best choice for newcomers to Linux. I have always found it to be an incredibly user-friendly distribution that manages to avoid sacrificing functionality for simplicity. I've also found that, more often than not, it has fewer significant bugs than a certain more popular distribution that touts itself as being Linux for the masses. Naturally, when Mandriva announced their 2009.1 release a few of weeks back, I was interested to see how the latest version stacked up. I freely admit I had very high expectations for Mandriva 2009.1.
Mandriva comes in four flavors: Mandriva One KDE, Mandriva One GNOME, Mandriva Free and Mandriva Powerpack. The two Mandriva One varieties are single live CDs with the option of installing to a hard drive. In order to keep to a single CD, each version offers only the one desktop environment, a selection of popular applications, and a limited subset of the more than 70 supported languages. There are actually six different CD images for each version of Mandriva One with different language selections for different parts of the world. Once installed, Mandriva One has access to the same software repositories as the other Mandriva editions.
Mandriva Free is an installable (not live) 4.3 GB DVD image. It includes full language support, a wide variety of applications available at install time, and a choice of three desktop environments: KDE 4.2.2, GNOME 2.26, and LXDE 0.3.2. Three lightweight window managers are also available: WindowMaker, IceWM-lite, and Fluxbox. All of these can be installed side by side. Additional desktop environments and window managers, including Xfce 4.6.1 and Enlightenment DR17, are available in the software repository but not during the initial installation. The name "Free" refers to the fact that this edition of Mandriva includes no proprietary software whatsoever. Only F/OSS drivers and applications are included. If you need "non-free" applications and/or drivers, they are available in the repository after installation is completed. I decided to concentrate on Mandriva Free as it offers the most complete picture of what Mandriva has to offer.
So far I've used Mandriva 2009.1 on two systems. The first is my Sylvania g Netbook Meso (1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 CPU, 1 GB RAM, 80 GB HDD) which I purchased in January. The second is my 6.5-years old Toshiba Satellite 1805-S204 (1 GHz Intel Celeron CPU, 512 MB RAM, 20 GB HDD). Both systems meet minimum requirements for any current Linux distribution and both have hardware which is challenging in some distributions. I find the old Toshiba laptop particularly useful in determining how a given distribution will perform on older, legacy hardware.
Installation and Configuration
For this review I stuck with a straightforward installation. I used an external USB DVD drive to boot the installer on my netbook and used the internal drive on the Toshiba laptop. Mandriva Free uses a nicely laid-out and well thought-out graphical installer. At each step there is a default which will work for the majority of users and the option to customize to the nth degree for advanced Linux users. Since I wanted to preserve my home directories on both machines (both in separate partitions) as well as other Linux distribution installations, I chose the custom partitioning option. Anyone familiar with disk partitioning should find the basic version of the graphical partitioner quite familiar. An advanced option button allows every conceivable option to be customized, including options to be used in the /etc/fstab file.
Once disk partitioning is done, you are given the choice of three installation options: a KDE desktop, a GNOME desktop, and a Custom desktop. Custom allows you to choose groups of packages or, for those who want total control of what is installed, the ability to choose packages one by one. For the little Sylvania, I did a custom installation but chose to install nearly everything available that would actually work on my netbook, a total of nearly 5 GB of software. Once package installation started, I was shocked to see that the installer estimated that the process would take four hours. That turned out to be wildly inaccurate. The actual installation time was about 50 minutes. On the Toshiba laptop, I decided to do a lean and mean installation with LXDE for my default desktop. The installer guessed this would take an hour and a half. It actually was more like two hours with the extra slow drive in that machine. Clearly, the one part of the installer that doesn't work is whatever it uses to estimate time.
After the software was installed, I was given the opportunity to configure the bootloader, networking, and optionally a wide variety of system settings, ranging from time zone to services to start at boot. Once again, many if not most users can safely take the defaults and ignore a lot of these potential steps. For the knowledgeable user the array of choices at install time goes beyond even what Slackware Linux offers. Once everything else is done, if you have a working network connection, you are offered the opportunity to install all available updates since release. Including this in the installer is a nice touch. I had only used Mandriva One over the past couple of years and I was impressed by what has been done with the Mandriva Free installer.
I did run into one error message with the Sylvania netbook. I was warned that my Ralink wireless chipset required the rt73 driver which is proprietary and not included in Free. I was given two options: Mandriva One or the upstream website for the driver to deal with after installation. It turned out neither was necessary. I was able to go into the Mandriva Network Center and it offered me the option of "automagically" retrieving the missing driver from the repository. Getting wireless up and running required little more than entering the passphrase for my encrypted network.
The bootloader installation correctly identified my Ubuntu Network Remix installation on the netbook. It failed to recognize my VectorLinux installation on either machine. I had to manually edit /boot/grub/menu.lst to be able to boot into VectorLinux again. Those of you who dual-boot (or multi-boot), might expect to do the same if you use anything other than one of the most popular distributions.
Configuring X window on both systems is problematic for some distributions. Mandriva 2009.1 fully supports netbooks and correctly set up my system for the correct 1024x600 pixels graphics resolution. The Toshiba laptop has a Trident CyberBlade XPi chipset which many current distributions, including Ubuntu, completely fail to configure properly. Once again, Mandriva got everything right and correctly configured the graphics with a default 1024x768 pixels display resolution, the best the Toshiba supports. After installation, all the hardware just worked.
Changes Since Mandriva 2009
The most visible change since the last release of Mandriva Linux is that KDE 3 has been deprecated. The only version of KDE now included on any of the ISOs is KDE 4.2.2. KDE 3.5.10 remains available in the contrib section of the repository but is officially unsupported.
Mandriva 2009.1 default KDE 4.2.2 desktop
(full image size: 580kB, screen resolution 1024x600 pixels)
Other changes include an upgraded X.Org 7.4 and support for the new ext4 file system. Most popular applications have been upgraded, including OpenOffice.org 3.0.1 (based on the Go-OO branch). If you take the post-release updates during the installation, your Firefox browser will start out with the current version, 3.0.10. There are also upgrades to Mandriva's well-regarded suite of graphical configuration tools. Under the hood, Mandriva 2009.1 sports a 184.108.40.206 kernel.
Running Mandriva 2009.1
I have always been impressed by Mandriva's ability to come up with release after release that have avoided really serious or show-stopping bugs. This time around the number of bugs that presented themselves in obvious ways from the start was truly unfortunate.
By default, Mandriva uses KDM as its display (login) manager. That was fine with me. The default desktop is GNOME 2.26. I worked in GNOME for a while and decided I really wanted to try out the KDE 4 implementation and to see how well that was done. I logged out, clicked on the list of available sessions and found lots of choices except for KDE. I logged back into GNOME and went into Rpmdrake, the graphical package manager, and sure enough KDE 4.2.2 was installed. It was just missing from the KDM session list, which was totally strange since KDM is the KDE display manager. I went into the Mandrake Control Center, changed my display manager to GDM (from GNOME), logged out, and finally I had KDE 4 as an available choice. OK, that's annoying and silly but not serious.
The most serious bug for me was expected. My Sylvania netbook has an Intel Express Graphics 945 chipset. The Intel driver in the latest X.Org has been problematic in both Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) and in the new Mandriva Linux. In Ubuntu, the problem manifested as poor graphics performance. The workaround is to install an older driver and that really does solve the problem. In Mandriva, the reported bug according to the published errata is that the system actually freezes up using 3D effects. The recommended fix is to disable 3D acceleration which would be completely unacceptable to me. What I saw with my system was different than what the Errata indicated.
Instead of freeze-ups, which did not occur on my system, I saw the same slowness I saw in the latest Ubuntu. In addition, in KDE the menu displayed with horizontal lines all through it briefly before correcting itself. This actually is reported in the Mandriva forum and the fix is the same suggested in the Errata: a new, updated driver released on May 13 plus two changes to the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. Once I installed the new drivers, edited my configuration file and restarted X, performance was immediately improved. Unfortunately, it was only after making the changes that the freeze-ups occurred on my system. I've disabled the UXA acceleration option, undoing both changes to the xorg.conf file, and that seems to have ended the freezing problem for me but, unfortunately, the graphics performance is just the same as with the original driver: truly horrible. Unlike Ubuntu there just is no acceptable fix or workaround for the issue in Mandriva. The net result is that I consider the distribution unusable on my netbook.
Folks who have ATI, SIS, or NVIDIA graphics chipsets may also want to check the Errata and Bugzilla as some graphics chips by these manufacturers are either problematic or unsupported in Mandriva 2009.1. In some cases, workarounds are available but in other cases, at least temporarily, this release just won't work on the affected hardware.
There are numerous other curious quirks. I used Rpmdrake to add some additional software to my system and to remove one or two items I just didn't need. It did all the installs and uninstalls correctly but gave me an error message indicating that a large amount of software on my system was now "orphaned", including all of KDE 4! It helpfully provided me with instructions explaining how to remove all that orphaned software, which included lots of applications I most certainly didn't want removed, automatically. Thanks but no thanks! Were these applications really "orphaned"? No, of course not. KDE 4 continued to work as did everything else I checked. Imagine a user who didn't quite understand the message and followed the instructions. The consequences would be ugly.
Rpmdrake 2009.1 package manager
(full image size: 94kB, screen resolution 1024x600 pixels)
I decided to install AbiWord from the repository since I use it in other distros. The current version, 2.6.8, is available. For some strange reason in Mandriva the font size can't be adjusted.
I switched into LXDE and found more weirdness. An icon I deleted off of the GNOME desktop, which had correctly disappeared from the KDE4 desktop as well, was only half gone in LXDE. The text was still there. I deleted it again. I went to empty the Trash but found that the Trash icon doesn't actually do anything. I could go on but by now you are getting the picture. Most of the bugs aren't serious at all but they are numerous. I've tried alpha code that had fewer bugs that the final Mandriva 2009.1 release.
Oh, Mandriva is pretty as always. If the graphics problems could be fixed, the KDE 4 implementation would be the best I've seen so far. The selection of applications in the repository is excellent. The graphical system configuration tools, as always, are second to none. On the old Toshiba, with excess services disabled, performance was quite decent and better than I expected. I didn't experience any of the sluggishness I experienced in Ubuntu and all the extra lightweight applications I know from distributions like VectorLinux Light were in the repository waiting for me. Most of them work properly even if the LXDE desktop doesn't quite.
Mandriva 2009.1 default LXDE 0.3.2 desktop
(full image size: 681kB, screen resolution 1024x600 pixels)
Other positives I should mention include first-class package management tools, straightforward update notification on the desktop and easy upgrading of the system, and truly excellent internationalization and localization. If you're multilingual and want to switch your default language on a user-by-user or session-by-session basis all the tools you need are there. Applets to change keyboard layout work as expected as well. All these things have been hallmarks of Mandriva and have been done well for quite some time in this distro.
If everything worked, then Mandriva would be head and shoulders above the rest in terms of providing both a user-friendly solution to newcomers and all the configurability the most seasoned user could possibly want. The installer truly handled both of my often problematic systems flawlessly. Wired and wireless networking, sound, and initial graphics configuration were all correct. The software selection in the repository is first rate. Applications I like that I can't find in the oft-praised Ubuntu repository were available in Mandriva. This is particularly true of lightweight applications for older and limited hardware. With a little tweaking during installation, performance on older hardware was entirely acceptable. In other words, all the good things I've come to expect from Mandriva are still there.
Unfortunately, I've never seen a Mandriva release before with so many bugs. The one truly show-stopping bug for me, the widely reported Intel graphics driver problem, doesn't have an acceptable workaround yet. The same is true for known issues with other graphics chipsets. While it is certainly true that these problems originate upstream, other distributions have either found solutions or have chosen to stick with the previous X.Org version until problems are corrected. Perhaps all of this will be solved soon and I'll be able to reconsider Mandriva 2009.1. On the other hand, there are so many other quirks that fall into the category of just plain annoying that I probably will wait for the next release. I never thought I'd be writing this, but for the first time ever I am going to recommend giving a Mandriva release a pass.
Slackware goes 64-bit, Moblin 2.0 impresses reviewers, Ubuntu effects video changes, Debian updates GPG keys, Fedora mulls list moderation, round-up of mobile Linux news, Archiso-live
Let's start this week's news section with the widely-reported news about Slackware Linux finally going 64-bit: "Ready or not, Slackware has now gone 64-bit with an official x86_64 port being maintained in-sync with the regular x86 -current branch. DVDs will be available for purchase from the Slackware store when Slackware 13.0 is released. We've been developing and testing Slackware64 for quite a while. Most of the team is already using Slackware64 on their personal machines, and things are working well enough that it is time to let the community check our work. We'd like to thank the unofficial 64-bit projects for taking up the slack for us for so long so that we could take our time getting everything just right. Without those alternatives, we would have been pressured to get things out before they were really ready." Those readers who are too impatient to wait for the official release of Slackware64 Linux can install the distribution's development branch from this unofficial installation DVD (courtesy of Slackware.no): slackware64-current-20_May_2009-DVD.iso (1,689MB, MD5).
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The first beta of Moblin 2.0, the distribution for netbooks and mobile internet devices (MIDs) launched in 2007 by Intel, was released on Tuesday. The first reviews focused on the new GUI interface which received high marks all around. Matt Asay, writing for CNET, describes the new desktop experience as "more Mac-like" and "pretty impressive." He goes on to say that "the thing that most impressed me about the Moblin experience is that it's nothing like traditional Linux 'desktop' experiences. In fact, it's not really much like Windows, either." XPD259 was also impressed: "I was pleasantly surprised to find a smooth, intuitive experience which didn't give the impression of a desktop build just altered for notebooks as an after thought." The New Linux User blog at EveryJoe.com noted the rough edges in the beta but still found a lot to like and a lot that is different from the desktop implementations seen before: "Unlike your typical Linux desktops, this one doesn't have fixed virtual desktops immediately. As you launch the applications you want to use, you will define the zone it will go to." Author Clair Ching also posted a nice variety of Moblin screenshots on her Flickr page.
Moblin 2.0 beta default desktop
(full image size: 213kB, screen resolution 1024x600 pixels)
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The first alpha of Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) was released on May 14. An article in The Register reports about a change in video architecture in the new release: "Ubuntu 9.10 will switch from the current EXA acceleration method to UXA. A kernel-mode setting, meanwhile, will reduce video mode switching flicker during start up and - the team said - 'dramatically' speed up the suspend and resume time." Phoronix put the new alpha through a series of performance benchmarks, comparing the results with the current Ubuntu 9.04 release. Their conclusion? There "seems to be some performance improvements. Besides the huge SQLite improvement. ... There are better compilation times with GCC 4.4, much better disk performance with the newer Linux kernel, and other improvements throughout." Intel graphics performance continues to be problematic, though, with the latest driver.
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On Friday, the Debian project announced a change to the GPG key used to sign archive reference files: "Signatures are used to ensure that packages installed by users are the very same originally distributed by Debian, and have not been exchanged or tempered with." Debian unstable (Sid), testing (Squeeze), and the current stable Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 (Lenny) are all included in this change. Lenny was shipped with the new key but users of Etch, Sid, and Squeeze should make sure that they have an updated version of the debian-archive-keyring package installed.
In other Debian news, the first netbook shipped with Debian GNU/Linux pre-loaded was reported this week. The Lemote Yeelong is built by Quanta, a major laptop manufacturer. The system is not based on Intel x86 architecture but rather a 797 MHz Loongson-2 MIPS processor. Lemote is selling a full range of laptops powered by the Loongson-2 MIPS CPU which is described as "energy efficient." The netbook is part of a Chinese government effort "to produce an independent range of processors, for which no license fees have to be paid to major American, Japanese or other foreign CPU designers such as Intel."
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In an e-mail to the Fedora Advisory Board on May 14, Fedora Project leader Paul Frields proposed steps to improve the tone of the Fedora mailing lists, including possible moderation: "The Board had a long discussion today about the increasingly toxic nature of discussions on Fedora mailing lists. The goal is to implement a policy of "being excellent to each other == no personal attacks, profanity directed at people or groups, serious threats of violence, or other things seen by the monitor as to be purposefully disrespectful."
Jack Aboutboul published an interview with Lennart Poettering who describes Fedora 11's enhanced audio control: "They basically designed the new user interface from scratch with input from usability experts. It implements many of the features the old pavucontrol tool did, but in a much nicer, streamlined way. Also, it integrates sound theme/event sound control with general audio configuration and volume control in a single user interface tool." More information can be found in the Fedora Wiki. You can also find more details about the new version of Pulse Audio on their web page.
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Red Hat is changing the name of Fedora Directory Server to 389 Directory Server. The Fedora name was seen as an obstacle for inclusion of the server into other Linux distributions: "One of the things that has hurt the growth and acceptance of the project in the open source community is the name 'Fedora'. The name implies that it is "The Directory Server of Fedora". This is not true. In addition, anything associated with 'Fedora' and 'Red Hat' has a negative connotation in some communities, and that has caused some people to stay away from porting or running the directory server on other platforms. We recognize the need to have better support on Debian and its derivatives, SUSE and its derivatives, other distros, and other operating systems (*BSD, Solaris, etc.). Having a distro and vendor neutral name will help in that regard." More details on the name change can be found on the project Wiki.
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Have you ever thought about trying Arch Linux, but were put off by the relatively "geeky" installation process in this day of modern, easy-to-use system installers? If so, here is your chance. Christopher Rogers (better known by his nickname "godane") has been releasing regular Archiso-live CD images, unofficial Arch Linux live CDs with automatic hardware detection, Xfce desktop and a graphical system installer. The latest version was released just last week (version 20090524). Containing Linux kernel 220.127.116.11, glibc 2.10.1, GCC 4.4.0, X.Org Server 1.6.1, Xfce 4.6.1, Firefox 3.0.10, GIMP 2.6.6 and the usual range of popular open source applications, it has to be one of the most up-to-date Linux distribution available today! Additionally, Arch Linux has a reputation of being easy to keep up-to-date with the excellent Pacman package manager and the rapidly evolving online repositories. Interested? Then get the live CD image from here: archiso-live-2009-05-24.iso (681MB, MD5, torrent).
Archiso-live - an unofficial Arch Linux live CD with automatic hardware detection, Xfce and graphical installer
(full image size: 114kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
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The past few weeks saw a flurry of news stories about Android, a specialist distribution developed by Google and currently used on smart phones. It actually started on May 7 with a nearly month-old news of a Hong Kong announcement of the first netbook running Android finally reaching the tech press in the rest of the world. At about the same time, reports surfaced that ASUS, Acer, HP, and Dell were all testing Android for possible use on their netbooks. On May 13, a Linux Insider article reported that Strategy Analytics predicted 900% growth in sales for Android this year. Gartner predicted much more conservative growth. The VAR Guy threw cold water on the optimistic forecasts, pointing out that it is easy to show a large percentage in sales growth when sales are rather small to start with. Whatever the future holds for Android, right now it seems a day can't go by without the tech press writing about the project.
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Articles debating the future of Linux on netbooks have been a popular topic on Linux news sites during the past few weeks. A report in the Taipei Times provided source material for my Wednesday O'Reilly Broadcast article. That was where Stephen Lim, the CEO of Taiwan-based Linpus Technologies, made the surprising prediction that Linux will regain 50% market share from Windows on netbooks by next year. Lim added: "More and more chip suppliers, such as Texas Instruments and Qualcomm, are jumping on the bandwagon to adopt Linux. We are also seeing more and more PCs bundled with Linux from Acer, ASUS, Dell and other computer brands." Lim also spoke about the advantages of Linux over Windows: "The advantages of using a Linux system include advanced power management, optimized boot and shut-down times, as well as more WiFi and 3G support from telecommunication providers."
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Chinese Linux developer Red Flag announced a new version of Midinux, their distribution for Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) recently: "Red Flag, the leading Linux operating system vendor, today announced Midinux 3.0 and an Early Access Program for Intel's next generation Mobile Internet Device (MID) platform, code-named "Moorestown", scheduled to launch by 2010. This program offers OEMs, ODMs, and ISVs an opportunity to access Midinux 3.0 OS build, schedule, and features early in the development cycle. By joining this program, partners will be able to evaluate and develop software solutions for their Moorestown-based MID products and will have the opportunity to get early feedback from their customers. Intel's next generation MID platform is based on the Moorestown hardware platform and Moblin v2.0 software platform." The previous version of Midinux has been sold in Europe by BenQ on their mobile devices. The new version is also under evaluation for use on BenQ netbooks.
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Is Gentoo dangerous for children? Jugendschutzprogramm.de, a German site designed to provide web filters seems to think so. Hanno Böck reports in his blog: "Both gentoo.de and gentoo.org are considered only suitable for people over 14. So if you ever thought about installing Gentoo on the PC of a kid, think again what you might do to that kid. Beside, my blog is even more dangerous: it's blocked by default." He adds that the German newspaper BILD, which supports the site, has pornographic images on their front page but is not filtered. Böck adds: "But what's really frightening is that Jugendschutzprogramm.de is part of ICRA, an international system created by big content and Internet providers. It's even supported by the European Union."
|Released Last Week
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.8
Red Hat, Inc. has announced the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 4.8, the latest update of the company's legacy series of enterprise-class operating systems: "Today we released the eighth update to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, marking the next step in the product's seven-year life cycle. RHEL 4, first shipped in February 2005, is now in the Production 2 life cycle phase. With this, the focus of product updates in the future will shift away from providing significant code changes and focus on providing critical fixes and helping customers evolve their IT plans for eventual migration to RHEL 5. Key features in RHEL 4.8 include: improved virtualization performance and scale; Improved Windows interoperability and file system support; general performance improvements; storage and file system enhancements...." Read the rest of the press release for further details.
Iuri Stanchev has announced the release of NetSecL 2.4, a hardened, security-oriented distribution based on Slackware Linux: "NetSecL 2.4 released. It's time for the new release and here are the main highlights: X.Org drivers updated to newest; X.Org autostart is now being delayed a few seconds so you could break if it is needed - mainly handy if you need to change the driver used; Metasploit is updated to its latest version; Ruby is re-included; a new kernel configuration with better support for SATA drives (IDE is still available as a module); new tools, like 0trace, Dmitry and Evilgrade included in the penetration package; Dazuko is removed and replaced by Dazuko_FS; the CruxPorts4Slack portage system was used for generating all packages tagged as NetSecL packages." Here is the brief release announcement.
Marco Ghirlanda has announced the release of ArtistX 0.7, an Ubuntu-based live DVD that turns a common computer into a full multimedia production studio: "ArtistX 0.7 is based on the Remastersys software for creating live CDs and includes the 2.6.27 Linux kernel, GNOME 2.24 and KDE 4.2, Compiz Fusion and about 2,500 free multimedia software packages, nearly everything that exists for the GNU/Linux operating system. Main features: based on Ubuntu 8.10 'Intrepid', Compiz Fusion for 3D desktop effects; most of Ubuntu multimedia packages; Ubiquity installer. A partial list of software included in the DVD: 2D graphics software - GIMP, Inkscape, Nip2, Krita, CinePaint, Synfig, Rawstudio, Skencil, Hugin; 3D graphics software - Blender, Wings3D, KPovModeler + POV-Ray 3.6, K3D; video software - Cinelerra, Kino, Open Movie Editor, Kdenlive, PiTiVi, Avidemux, DeVeDe...." Visit the project's home page to learn about the new release and to see hundreds of icons of free multimedia software projects.
Puppy Linux 4.2.1
Warren Willson has announced the availability of a bug-fix update of Puppy Linux, version 4.2.1: "This is a bug-fix update for Puppy Linux 4.2 and includes very few changes from the original release except for the following: CUPS 1.3.10 regressed from 1.4b2 to resolve ongoing issues with CUPS printing; fixed printing from Geany, Leafpad and Gnumeric using CUPS 1.3.10; AbiWord 2.6.3 with 2.6.6 plugins has been patched for improved .doc and .docx support (Liberation TTF fonts required for some documents); Pwidgets updated to 2.0.8; Pcrypt updated to 17 May 2009 release and now requires Ccrypt to function. MIME-types updated in Rox 2.6.1; patches for GTK+ Xinput and b43 Broadcom network driver; Pmusic updated to 0.6.4; Pschedule updated to 0.7. This release marks the end of my obligations as project coordinator for the 4.2 series of Puppy Linux." Read the rest of the release announcement for additional details.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Linux Mint 7
The release of Linux Mint 7, an increasingly popular Ubuntu variant, is imminent. That's according to this blog post by project founder Clement Lefebvre: "I can see that's the question on everybody's lips right now - when is Mint 7 going to be released? I just want to ask the community for a little more patience. There's very little left to do before the release but we can't afford to skip any steps. LinuxMint-7-DEV-052.iso wasn't fully tested by myself, and although it was maintained by me and approved by Exploder, I still want to make sure about a few things before I approve it myself. The Universal edition is going to be released at the same time as the Main edition, so that needs to get approved as well. Once everything is fine, it will take up to 48 hours for the ISOs to propagate on the download mirrors. After that, we'll be ready for a release."
Gloria is the code name for the soon-to-be released Linux Mint 7
(full image size: 849kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
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Jesse Keating has announced that the release of Fedora 11, originally scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday), will slip by a week: "In a meeting today between Release Engineering, QA, and various team leads, we decided to enact a 7-day slip of the Fedora 11 release date. The primary reason behind this slip is the state of our blocker bug. We cannot begin Release Candidate phase until the blocker bugs are closed or at least in MODIFIED state. We are not there today, which would be our last day to enter RC phase and still have enough time to release on the 26th. We hope to enter RC phase in the next couple of days, and hit our new target, June 2nd." Here is the full mailing list post.
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Summary of expected upcoming releases
Annual package list update|
As has become tradition, June is the month when we update the list of packages tracked by DistroWatch.com and listed on each individual distribution page. For this year, it looks like we need to make some rather radical changes - many packages appear obsolete or even no longer actively developed, while a large number of new packages, as suggested by readers throughout the year, will likely be added to the list of tracked packages. This is the current status:
The above list is not set in stone, so if you have any objections to removing a certain package or if you'd like to see other packages tracked here, please use the comments section below to provide suggestions. Alternatively, you can also email us directly (you can find the email address at the bottom of this page).
- Packages to be removed: beagle, blackbox, kdewebdev, metisse, modutils, pan, xdtv
- Packages to be added: DeviceKit, dillo, lxde, lzma, NetworkManager, openbox, openjdk, syslinux, wicd
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New distributions added to database
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New distributions added to waiting list
- Hymera. Hymera is an Italian desktop Linux distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux. Its main features are ease of installation and out-of-the box support for 3D desktop effects. The distribution is developed by Hymera Engineering and released under the GNU General Public Licence. The project's web site is in Italian.
Hymera - a new Italian desktop Linux distribution
(full image size: 835kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
- Taneu OS. Taneu OS is a German, Slackware-based live CD created with the Linux-Live scripts. The project's web site is in German.
Taneu OS - a new German live CD created with Slax's Linux-Live scripts
(full image size: 171kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 1 June 2009.
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Debian Squeeze (by Juarez on 2009-05-25 11:17:58 GMT from United States) |
What's up with KDE4 in Debian Squeeze? It's terrible.
2 • Conclusion about Mandriva review (by Frederik on 2009-05-25 12:08:54 GMT from Belgium)
I think the conclusion in the Mandriva review is not very fair: after all, Ubuntu is suffering from exactly the same problem. Ubuntu's work-around won't help lots of people, for the simple reason that non-experienced users will have no clue about what is wrong and won't know anything about this work-around. I think this work-around would only be acceptable if it was done automatically without any user intervention.
Also, definitely not all Intel users are suffering from this problem, not everyone is using an Intel graphics card, and not everyone does need desktop effects and perfect 3D acceleration. So concluding that people should stay away from this version only because of a 3D performance problem on some specific hardware, seems strongly exaggerated.
All in all I'm extremely deceived by Intel. The bugs in their driver are so obvious that they have to have been aware of them before they released this as a "final", "stable" version. They manage to announce all their stuff (dri2, uxa, gem, gallium3d) as huge breakthroughs for the performance in Linux, but the current result is exactly the opposite. In that sense, this reminds me of KDE 4.0.
3 • Gentoo blocked (by Jesse on 2009-05-25 12:11:26 GMT from Canada)
Gentoo may be harmful to children. Just think of what it'll do to a kid's brain when they try to figure out all those compiler flags!
Obviously, I jest. I fail to see how most IT sites would be dangerous to children. Sites about making bombs or re-wiring a microwave would be dangerous, but installing Linux is pretty safe. Unless you do it on your Dad's work computer without backing up his files first and the installer borks his data....
4 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-25 12:13:16 GMT from United Kingdom)
Crikey! Pretty informative info on Mandriva...I thought it was just me when I had probs getting it to work. Particularly liked your "old and new" installation on different machines...gives a bit more "meat" to a review.
And, am I correct in thinking there is a lot more "meat" to the entire newsletter? I believe it will take all week to digest it all. LOL...
5 • Mint 7 (by Ani on 2009-05-25 12:14:44 GMT from Germany)
Mint is truely awesome, ive always been a ubuntu, mepis, debian fan but now that ive tried the mint 7 gloria rc ive been amazed at the system, i think that mint ont of the best distro of the year. it has been speed up a lot and artwork is also awesome, not to metion that it come with some special mint software only that acually comes in handy. Cant wait for the final realise. Mints got me as Fan.
6 • mandriva review (by Peter Kotrčka on 2009-05-25 12:14:51 GMT from Slovakia)
thanks for a Mandriva 2009.1 review - it was almost like my own words :-) just with a small correction. I STILL can advice Mandriva for absolutely begginers on Linux.
7 • Package list suggestions (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-25 12:18:08 GMT from United States)
I'm going to make my package list suggestions publicly in the hope that doing so spurs some discussion. Mostly I do agree with the changes Ladislav proposes but I do have a couple of suggestions and questions.
1. Is WindowMaker still being actively developed? There hasn't been a new version in a very long time.
2. Are there any distros left that still include new versions of XFree86? Their license isn't GPL compatible and I thought pretty much everyone had abandoned them. I haven't run any of the BSDs recently (and I really ought to get back to them already) so I guess it's possible that some of them are still using XFree86, but failing that I wonder if there is any value in still tracking it.
Some suggested additions:
openbox -- it seems to be an increasingly popular choice for a lightweight WM and is included in quite a few distros
wicd -- seems to be nearly as popular as NetworkManager and seems to be the choice for Slackware based distros
PolicyKit -- OK, tuning SELinux is mainly going to be of interest on servers in the enterprise but it seems significant enough to track
DeviceKit -- will probably begin replacing hal in some distros over the coming year. Fedora will likely be the first major distro to use it.
pkgtools -- the underlying core to Slackware style package management
Anyway, those are just my suggestions which are probably worth exactly what you paid for them :)
8 • Package list etc (by Sertse on 2009-05-25 12:26:04 GMT from Australia)
I disagree with Epiphany being removed. It is still the official Gnome browser, in active development (the most recent release 2.26, explicitly mentions epiphany improvment http://library.gnome.org/misc/release-notes/2.26/#rnusers.epiphany), and the long awaited port to webkit is starting to bear fruit and is one of the top priorities for the 2.28 release.
9 • #2, #6 -- Mandriva conclusion (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-25 12:26:26 GMT from United States)
@Frederik: I agree with you that the workaround for Ubuntu would be a bit more than a new user might want to deal with. At least there is a fix for Ubuntu and it is a matter of simply installing a package. There is no fix at all for Mandriva. This applies to NVIDA 71xx chipsets, a bunch of ATI chipsets, and SIS chipsets as well. It isn't just Intel.
Very good distributions occasionally have a seriously subpar release. Does anyone else remember Red Hat Linux 7.0? It was pretty much a disaster but with 7.1 Red Hat came back to their usual high quality level. There have also been a couple of Ubuntu releases, particularly 7.10, that were seriously problematic.
The bottom line is that I could have written an even longer review with an even longer laundry list of bugs. 2009.1 just doesn't meet Mandriva's usually high standards for quality. I really believe people are better off sticking with 2009.0 for now.
#6: Peter, you make an excellent point. I still think Mandriva is normally an excellent choice for newcomers. Actually it's usually an excellent choice all around. I would still recommend it for newcomers, but again, probably with 2009.0, not the current release. I'm really hoping 2010.0 will be back to business as usual.
10 • XFree86/Xorg (by chemist on 2009-05-25 12:29:21 GMT from Germany)
In my opinion, XFree86 has the advantage of a very easy installation as a result of the binaries that are provided with every XFree86 release, e.g.:
So it is possible to use an older GNU/Linux distribution with a newer X release which is updated once a year. I am still using Suse 7.3 this way (Suse 7.3 was released with XFree 4.1).
As far as I know there are no Xorg binaries. It is very difficult for "normal" users to install a new Xorg release without the help of "your" distibution.
11 • Oops! Sorry... (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-25 12:39:45 GMT from United States)
I see DeviceKit and openbox are already on the to be added list. I guess I just focused on the deletions. I agree with Setrse (#8) that epiphany should probably stay.
12 • Mandriva 2009.1 is better than 2009.0 for me (by Frederik on 2009-05-25 13:00:39 GMT from Belgium)
Well, I don't share the conclusion that 2009.0 was more stable than 2009.1. For me, it is the exact opposite: in 2009.0 gnome-screensaver-dialog was locking up each time when trying to unlock the screensaver because of a bug in pam_tcb. The Intel driver included in 2009.0 made my system with Intel GM45 chipset hang completely when X started, a problem which had to be fixed by an update. KDE 4.1 was much more unstable, incomplete and less polished than the current 4.2 in Mandriva 2009.1. All these annoying problems are now fixed in 2009.1
I'm using Mandriva 2009.1 on three different systems (one with Intel GM45, one with Nvidida Geforece 660GT and one with ATI Radeonhd 2400), and I'm pretty happy with it. I know of a few bugs, but they are definitely not so bad as in 2009.0 in my opinion. On one of my systems, I entirely skipped 2009.0, but it's now happily running 2009.1. So your conclusion that 2009.1 is worse than 2009.0 can definitely not be generalised: users will have to test and decide for themselves.
13 • Package list update (by dialup on 2009-05-25 13:01:54 GMT from United States)
Prefer to have beagle, bluefish and kdewebdev, and pan retained.
14 • RE: 13 Package list update (by ladislav on 2009-05-25 13:04:35 GMT from Taiwan)
Any particular reason(s)?
15 • No subject (by Rahul Sundaram on 2009-05-25 13:06:46 GMT from India)
PolicyKit has nothing to do with SELinux. It provides with a generic framework for splitting up privileged program actions and granting/denying authorizations for them. For example, in Fedora you can customize your policy so that updates do not require password but adding/remove software does since PackageKit uses PolicyKit.
More information at
16 • Slackware64 -current released (by Didier Spaier on 2009-05-25 13:08:57 GMT from France)
Hopefully I will be able to choose a 64 bits architecture for my next laptop and still install Slackware on it ;-)
Long life to the Slackware team!
17 • Mandriva 2009.1 and Ubuntu 9.04 intel driver. (by Daniel Beck on 2009-05-25 13:25:02 GMT from Germany)
Since I upgraded my Laptop to Ubuntu 9.04, my system freezes all the times. The workarounds described in the Forums and the wiki only works halfway: instead of a freeze every hour (before applying the workarounds), my computer only freezes once a day (with workaround).
I was thinking of installing Mandriva on my laptop, since Ubuntu an Mandriva are the two distributions I feel comfortable with. However, Mandriva seems to suffer from the same bug.
Since the ubuntu-release, Ubuntu still does not provide a bugfix.
I would have preferred if the update-manager warned me that the update can be painful, since I'm using a laptop with a build-in graphic card e.g.
"Warning: Ubuntu 9.04/mandriva 2009.1 does not work well in combination with an intel card. We advice you to wait for a future update to fix this." I wouldn't be stuck with an unstable system then.
18 • Caitlyn (by Xtyn on 2009-05-25 13:30:01 GMT from Romania)
"I've also found that, more often than not, it has fewer significant bugs than a certain more popular distribution that touts itself as being Linux for the masses."
I see your back to your usual buntu bashing. You'r as subtle as an elephant in a china shop.
"Applications I like that I can't find in the oft-praised Ubuntu repository were available in Mandriva."
And what might those be?
19 • Issue (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-25 13:33:39 GMT from United States)
UFF! What a shame that Mandriva didn't pan out so well!
My times with Mandriva has always been the very pits of Linux experiences, and I can't say I'd ever suggest it to a newbie. No, my new "newbie" distro is Pardus. It's like Mandriva, but with a bright ornage/yellow installer and KDE 3.5. Good stuff.
The Arch LiveCD looks awesome; nice catch! I'm going to have to take a look at that.
I was thinking DW should track the smaller WM's like Fluxbox or IceWM, if there's room. That'd be good for the lighter distros that use such software. Fluxbox, IceWM, and OpenBox would be a good trio.
20 • Re 19 & Pardus release (by Sertse on 2009-05-25 13:42:18 GMT from Australia)
Ok, bad form to reply immediately, but I'm glad someone here appreciates Pardus. My favourite for an OOTB distro (I personally uses something with more tinkering these days). Excellent quality, and arguable-ably the most successful "government supported" Linux distro. (Pardus devs though acting independently in practice, are technically under Turkish government's science and technology department, to over simplify it).
As for Pardus 2009, the mailing lists recently released a schedule.
27 May Alpha release
19 June Beta release
3 July RC release
10 July RC2 release
17 July Pardus 2009 stable release
21 • #18 - Ubuntu bashing? LOL! (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-25 13:43:08 GMT from United States)
Xtyn: Ubuntu bashing? LOL! I guess if I'm not a fawning fan and if I honestly report problems then I'm bashing. I compared Ubuntu favorably to Mandriva this time around in case you didn't bother to read the whole review. Oh, and I wasn't aiming for subtlety. I was aiming for a clear comparison in language that would make an interesting read. Oh well... I never expect to please everyone. I will continue to report flaws in distros honestly.
Packages I found in Mandriva and not Ubuntu include SIAG Office for starters, and all the required dependencies. I could log into both distros and compile a list but what would be the point? Are you seriously arguing that Ubuntu repos include everything Mandriva includes?
22 • #21 (by Xtyn on 2009-05-25 13:58:44 GMT from Romania)
"I compared Ubuntu favorably to Mandriva this time around in case you didn't bother to read the whole review."
I have read the whole review. I don't really understand why you had to bring Ubuntu up. With Intel driver, I do understand, because both of them have that problem. Well, I have read some of your articles and you are often bashing Ubuntu.
"Are you seriously arguing that Ubuntu repos include everything Mandriva includes?"
I could argue that Ubuntu's repos have more software than Mandriva's repos but that was not my point. I was just curious.
23 • Mandriva review, Zeven (by silent on 2009-05-25 14:12:12 GMT from France)
Finally a review and a release announcement (Zeven) that mention the bugs. Of course, one can blame it on Intel, but on the long run it could be more useful for everybody if the distros could provide the list of tested hardware. Or would it be too long??? And I expect the same rigour from the reviewers of the upcoming releases:)
24 • Mandriva (by bala at 2009-05-25 14:28:04 GMT from Germany)
A friend recommended Mandriva 2007 (a while ago) -> I installed it, pushed the update button -> system was totally wrecked, not even console booted
Never again - ty^^
25 • The drive issue (by Shashwat on 2009-05-25 14:30:43 GMT from India)
Well as pointed in the review that errata list that few graphics won't work..
Please note that Mandriva is not the creator of Linux driver for graphics card. and if some vendors disable support for older cards then Mandriva can'd do anything about it..
I actually appreciate the step of adding an entry in errata.. I mean if user read it they will come to know they won't get proprietary driver for their cards which is good but distro like Ubuntu don't list such things in release notes which will eventually leave people in doubt if they tend to install drivers for their cards. Like ATI disabled support for its older cards ....
I have used Ubuntu and Mandriva with latest with ATI card and for some reason installing fglrx in ubuntu by either compiling deb/direct install from run file will result in dead system which is not the case with Mandriva... Install from Restricted Driver manage [ubuntu] it worked but video playback and system perfomance became unbearably slow :(
Mandriva notification is very bad.. It keeps on floating.. Say you have an update icon at the Panel but the notification will pop up somewhere else then pointing towards the icon...
All in all both are good release 9.04 and 2009.1 but for some reason 2009.1 worked for me.. Though I wanted 9.04 to work as I wanted to use it because of all the s.w available for it [XBMC and others :(]
Nice review but I don't think you have stated all the points correctly !
P.s : I have been an avid DW reader but this is my 1'st comments so please pardon me if I did something wrong :)
26 • wicd (by stuckinoregon on 2009-05-25 14:45:24 GMT from United States)
2nd for adding wicd to the list.
I prefer it to any other network manager out there. It has solved many problems that I've seen with wireless connectivity that I've had as well as for other people that I know. It really has become IMHO one of the most useful utilities in linux. Hope they keep up the excellent work.
27 • Upstream bugs (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-25 14:58:52 GMT from United States)
I am generally of the opinion that a Linux distributor, ANY Linux distributor, is responsible for the bugs in their releases. Vector Linux dealt with the nVidia issues by releasing three different drivers and including notes on what to use for different chipsets. The net result is that Vector works with pretty much any nVidia card you throw at it. OTOH, Vector also effectively adds a layer of complexity for nVidia users who suddenly have to read up and make choices. The point is that there is a workable solution and simply blaming upstream providers for dropping support doesn't cut it.
The same applies to the Intel issue. Some distros (i.e.: Slackware, Red Hat/CentOS) don't choose to stay on the leading, or in this case bleeding edge. By hanging back a little on an X.org release they may sacrifice support for a brand new chipset unless they backport the driver but, OTOH, they avoid the kind of heartache we are seeing now with both Mandriva 2009.1 and Ubuntu 9.04. I have read reports from owners of systems with video chips from four different manufacturers where people "upgraded" their system only to have it broken for them. That really is unacceptable. It also was totally avoidable.
Please remember that reviews are, by definition, opinion pieces based on experience with a limited set of hardware. I fully accept that some people will disagree with me. That's fine. Having said that, my experiences are still valid and I am still entitled to write my educated opinions.
To me part of any review is to compare and contrast with other, similar distros. I frequently compare to Ubuntu because it's incredibly popular and I usually have at least one machine running it. In the case of my netbook Ubuntu Netbook Remix and Mandriva were installed at the same time so the comparison was an easy one to make. It also was very fair to say that Ubuntu had a fix that worked on my hardware and that Mandriva did not. That may change in time and I acknowledged that as well.
28 • waiting for Linux Mint 7 (by Anonymous on 2009-05-25 15:14:45 GMT from United States)
Thanks for this nice DWW again!
I'm despereately waiting for Linux Mint to be released. It has all the eyecandy and works perfectly. In fact, I have "promoted" it as my official multimedia workstation (in 32-bits mode) while Ubuntu 9.04 is my primary performance workstation (in 64-bit's mode). Dual booting has never felt any better.
29 • Hmm (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-25 15:22:45 GMT from United States)
I wisely sidestepped the "Ubuntu bashing" comment eariler, but my wisdom has a short stick lately.
I would agree that the review sounded like it went out of its way to make a cheap shot at Ubuntu. But, granted, Ubuntu, whether we like it or not is going to be the yardstick which all other distros are judged (did it do it better than Ubuntu, or worse?). Unfortunately, if a reviewer thinks Ubuntu is a bad or over-hyped distro to begin with - such as Caitlyn here, who has stated this opinion more than a few times and made her stance fairly obvious - then you run into the issue of alienating your Ubuntu readers, or worse coming off as a zealot whose personal vendetta against Shuttleworth blinds their reason.
Could we have gone without the snide Ubuntu comment in the intro? Yes; it distracts from the rest of the piece. But there's no need to get anyone's undies in a bundle. Ubuntu fans are typically used to such dislike; everyone in the Linux world (and in Windows and Mac worlds, too) looks down upon them for no real reason. I've seen no evidence to the statement that Ubuntu has any more bugs than any other OS; Ubuntu's bug-tracker just happens to be especially active. I don't find that indicative of any claim made. So who cares? Move on, keep reading. It was a good review regardless.
Caitlyn, when someone makes outlandish or false claims against you, your writing or your organization, the best thing to do is ignore them. Most of the time, that's what everyone else is doing anyway (as I did, originally - let the trolls work their magic). Responding to such tripe just highlights the issue.
30 • LinuxMint 7 (by greenpossum on 2009-05-25 15:26:06 GMT from Australia)
In playing around with 7RC1 and now 7 release I must agree that this distro is very attractive and well-polished. I really admire the effort that the contributors put in, including the translators. It certainly deserves to succeed. I shall be configuring a PC for a friend as a media player, and Samba server and we shall see how it goes. Kudos to the developers. And LinuxMint isn't even my own distro.
The Main ISO is actually already at the mirrors, it's just that with the weekend the developers haven't made the announcement yet.
31 • On the topic (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-25 15:28:14 GMT from United States)
On the topic of Ubuntu, I've seen and heard enough. I honestly feel that the 9.04 release didn't need to happen.
It was a bad time to release. OpenOffice.org 3.1 would come out less than a month after 9.04, and the whole driver nonsense was a poor period for everybody. No new features of any merit were added - which is a fault of both upstream and downstream - Shuttleworth's dictation was rather vague for 9.04, and it showed in the release - and regressions were thrown about everywhere.
Some people reported a better performance and stable base. But 8.10 had that working just fine. Why move to an entirely new OS when you don't need to? Isn't that the question that killed Windows Vista?
I say we all just collectively ignore this dark age in Linux OS releases and move on.
32 • Perhaps you didn't read this... (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-25 15:31:24 GMT from United States)
From a review I published on March 11, 2009:
"Without any doubt Ubuntu Netbook Remix is the best implementation of Linux I've found on any netbook."
When Ubuntu does a good job I praise them. When they do a lousy job I criticize them. Enough said.
33 • intel video problems (by Jorge Manjarrez Lerma on 2009-05-25 15:48:27 GMT from Mexico)
I use Ubuntu and Mandriva releases and don't detect any problem with my video card (intel 945). My Lap is a LG-R400 and test many distros (Mint, Debian, Fedora, Sabayon, OpenSolaris, etc) and all have good performance. I use Linux since 2004 and all this time I detect a common problem in all distros, networking (wired and wireless) and solution is "easy". Mandriva works very fine, clean instalation process and easy configuration in general.
34 • wicd, openbox, lxde; Mandrive 2009.1 (by IMQ on 2009-05-25 15:51:13 GMT from United States)
:: wicd, openbox, and lxde also get my vote. I prefer it over networkmanger.
:: Mandriva 2009.1 seems more buggy than the previous 2009.0 release.
I had posted in this comment about the problem I had installing Mandriva One KDE and GNOME editions, although the One GNOME did a better job by giving the option to use generic vesa driver after it failed to use the nVidia driver for my GeForce4 MX4000.
I also confirm that on my system, the video playback seem sluggish and choppy when the playback in full screen mode. This does not happen with other distros on the same machine using also the generic vesa driver.
I don't know but hopeful that in the months to come, it gets better with updated packages. Otherwise, I will give it another shot in the next release.
35 • Re: 31 by NobodyImportant (by Thor on 2009-05-25 16:12:56 GMT from United States)
Whether you like it or not, 'buntus releases will come out on schedule. No one is forced to upgrade. If you are happy with 8.10 then by all means stay with it.
36 • Mandriva comments (by Adam Williamson on 2009-05-25 16:21:17 GMT from Canada)
Using my MDV email in honour of this message ;)
General comments on the MDV issues:
the 'orphan' problem happens when you remove the package task-kde4. Basically, orphans are packages that were installed as dependencies of a package which has since been removed. KDE 4 packages all get installed as dependencies of task-kde4, which is a metapackage that exists expressly for this purpose. If you remove task-kde4 nothing breaks (as it's just a metapackage), but most KDE packages become orphans.
Sadly, though, this was a known issue with 2009 (installing from the KDE 4 One CD would actually cause it...) and I'm a bit surprised it hasn't been fixed / worked around somehow yet. I can't say exactly how it was triggered in your case, did you manually remove task-kde4 at all?
On graphics issues: remember that Mandriva is generally pretty conscientious about updating the errata. Also, Caitlyn, your characterization of some of the issues is wrong.
"This applies to NVIDA 71xx chipsets, a bunch of ATI chipsets, and SIS chipsets as well. It isn't just Intel. "
It's not NVIDIA 71xx chipsets, it's the NVIDIA *driver* version 71xx (which is one of the legacy versions of the NVIDIA driver). Much like with the ATI proprietary driver issue, this old legacy version of the NVIDIA driver can no longer be used because it hasn't been updated to work with the latest X server. This issue thus affects any distribution. The actual chipsets it affects are very old ones that are pretty rare these days. See http://www.nvidia.com/object/IO_32667.html : it's basically anything GeForce 2 or older *except* GeForce 2MX. Again, this is not a Mandriva-specific issue, it affects all distributions.
You write "Vector Linux dealt with the nVidia issues by releasing three different drivers and including notes on what to use for different chipsets." - Mandriva has been doing this for years, and doesn't just include notes on which to use, it correctly auto-detects which driver to use for any NVIDIA card. (While I was there I maintained the database which made this auto-detection work, so believe me, I know this issue inside out). MDV 2009.1 still includes all versions of the NVIDIA driver it's actually possible to include, and still correctly auto-detects which one to use for whatever card is in your machine; it's just that it's no longer at all possible to include the very oldest legacy driver, because it simply can't be built with the current X.org release.
The ATI issues are, again, nothing Mandriva-specific. The issue with the proprietary driver is the same one that affects any distro shipping X.org server 1.5: only the new version of the proprietary driver works with the new X server, and the new version has dropped support for pre-Radeon HD 2xxx chips. There's nothing any distributor can do about this as the source is closed. Mandriva is just documenting the issue. The listed instabilities with the open source drivers are not Mandriva-specific, Mandriva does not patch these drivers or anything. They, again, affect all distributions.
The SiS chipsets are no longer supported for the same old reason - because the driver that supports them can't compile with the new X server. I wrote to its author to ask for an update a few months back, but he's not got around to it yet. Mandriva was one of very few distributions ever properly to support these chips, because the driver that supports them is not part of X.org - it's quite obscure, and a bit of a hack (which makes it a pain to package). For MDV 2008 Spring I packaged the driver and adjusted MDV's graphics card detection to properly support these chips, but there's no way that can be done for 2009 Spring. This is not a Mandriva-specific issue either; no other distro would be able to ship this driver for a current X.org release. Most distros have *never* supported those chips without you going out and building the driver yourself.
Summary: none of these issues is Mandriva-specific, Mandriva is just conscientious about writing them down. :) All the same issues would affect Ubuntu 9.04 or Fedora 11 on the same hardware.
37 • @35 (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-25 16:21:40 GMT from United States)
What's the point in a schedule if it creates inferior products?
I am not an Ubuntu hater. I use it, and recommend it to new users on a weekly basis. But I'm also realistic. My friend updated his laptop to Ubuntu (using Wubi) and asked me what the difference between it and the last release was. I didn't have an answer.
The press picked up on this. Ubuntu got a bit of a bad rep for a while because of its 9.04 showing, and this reflects on Linux as a whole.
I only complain and worry because I care. I want Ubuntu to do well. I want all of Linux to do well. This Intel driver thing has affected all of Linux and it's certainly not for the better, and it hurts when Ubuntu shows such an issue to the general public.
38 • Re: 21 Caitlyn Martin (by Thor on 2009-05-25 16:23:24 GMT from United States)
"I've also found that, more often than not, it has fewer significant bugs than a certain more popular distribution that touts itself as being Linux for the masses."
"Applications I like that I can't find in the oft-praised Ubuntu repository were available in Mandriva."
You don't have to be an English major to understand what you mean or trying to. Even our non English speaker Romanian see clearly your color.
Does Ubuntu really 'touts itself' or it's the masses touting?
39 • Mandriva review (by Feduser4 on 2009-05-25 16:33:03 GMT from United States)
I agree with the reviewer regarding the numerous bugs in Mandriva 2009.1. I installed the "One" version on a homebuilt AMD desktop and the x86_64 "free" version on a name brand laptop. My nvidia card works flawlessly with other distros. But here I have problems with windows partially disappearing and reappearing.
Also, the entire rpmbuild subsystem, including autoconf and libtool is buggy. Some engineering applications that I run build flawlessly on other distros. But on Mandriva, I get numerous libtool errors which I know are not due to bugs in the software. They are due to libtool being unable to find its own config files.
The review is critical but very fair and consistent with my own experiences with Mandriva 2009.1.
40 • Re:37 (by Thor on 2009-05-25 16:37:01 GMT from United States)
"What's the point in a schedule if it creates inferior products?" Maybe to you and your friend but not to many other users. I'm sorry for that. :)
"...what the difference between it and the last release was. I didn't have an answer."
There's plenty. Just read the release notes.
Not sure of the Intel driver but surely a lot of us users uses better cards other than Intel. And Intel's problem should not be a show stopper for NV or ATI users.
41 • #31 (by Xtyn on 2009-05-25 16:49:02 GMT from Romania)
Well, I don't agree. For me, Ubuntu 9.04 is the best release to date. I have tested it on 4 different PC's, two of them have Intel graphics, one Nvidia, one ATI. I didn't have any problem.
I realize some users have problems with this release but they can stick with 8.10, try workarounds or even try another distro. There are lots of tutorials for anything you can imagine for Ubuntu.
42 • Moblin 2.0 (by ismail arslangiray on 2009-05-25 16:50:46 GMT from United States)
I finally had a chance to try Moblin. I really wonder what is the fuzz about this OS. Compare to Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS or Puppy, this is a joke. Is this the full creativity can come out from a fully funded project?
43 • Ubuntu Bashing ___ NO"T (by Gene Venable on 2009-05-25 16:54:37 GMT from United States)
Saying that a distro "touts itself" such-and-such is not bashing, it is poking good-natured fun, Ubuntu has a big ego, as do most distros, and it deserves to be taken down a peg or two just like the rest. Actually, it deserves more depegging, since it is at the top of the heap.
44 • Ref#18 Total agreement (by Anonymous on 2009-05-25 17:04:10 GMT from United States)
While reading the reviews, I was struck with your sentiments exactly. On several occasions in the article, Caitlyn bashed Ubuntu. I've never had the problems that she has encountered. Maybe she is just not that experience, after all.
With that thought in mind, and since she has given Mandriva a bad rap, I might NOW have to try it out.
"I will continue to report flaws in distros honestly." <-- This is YOUR opinion, not everyone's opinion!
It's really sad to see reviews like this.
45 • Mandriva... (by anomymous coward on 2009-05-25 17:29:17 GMT from United States)
I've supported Mandriva for years by buying PowerPack (used to be by being a paid member of the club), it's still my favorite distro although I do dual boot with ubuntu, and I am writing this on the 64 bit version. There are always bugs in Mandriva releases, but that is one of the prices you pay to stay current on the six month release schedule. Plus in this economy, Mandriva has been bleeding, but I'm holding my breathe and hoping for the best while I continue to pay for the powerpack. My experience is that 2009.1 64bit running Gnome is bettter (less buggy) than 2009. I'm happy, and it is my preferred distro for everyday use, but I will admit I use ubuntu 32 bit for apps that require stability (you absolutely have to get done without a crash). Your diatribe about the intel problem should be aimed at open software and their working relationship with the corporate world in general and not at Mandriva. Now that pesky Abiword problem does irritate the hell out of me, because that is my favorite wordprocessor.
46 • Of course (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-25 17:29:46 GMT from United States)
Of course I just speak for myself here, and my very limited experience. Just pointing that out.
Wasn't there some issues with the AT drivers, too? But while these are relatively minor issues compared to other OS' (at least Ubuntu HAD drivers, Vista!), the fact is that the press are convinced that Ubuntu had a slip-up. Look anywhere you want; most people outside of the Ubuntu "circus," as one blogger called it, were fairly mellowed when it came to 9.04. Why?
I chalk this unhappiness with 9.04 up to the combination of the ridiculously high expectations people and press have for Ubuntu and its progress for each release (which has been high since 8.04; 8.10 barely escaped alive) and the seeping stigma against Ubuntu in general that all OS communities have been gathering. I'm trying to fully understand why people have such a fanboy-like reaction *against* Ubuntu, but rest assured, it's there.
This is why I think that 9.04 and its small, incremental, behind the scenes improvements should have been saved for a later release (maybe 9.06? 9.10?), when the Intel/ATI issues at least had a workaround that could have shipped on the CD so that the naysayers had no leg to stand on. The fact that Ubuntu only had one major problem in its last release is a good step towards what should be happening in every release - none whatsoever. If Ubuntu is going to be the poster child for Linux, that's the bar it has to reach to make a true appearance in the mainstream media.
A wise man said that a distro updates because it has something to release, not because it has to release something. Well, the original quote was slightly different, but it works here.
I personally had no issues with 9.04 on my desktop and used it happily for a month until I was forced to donate the computer to my mother. Please don't mistake my predictions and other commentary on mainstream press as a review.
I'm moving on from this topic; I assumed I would get ignored as usual. You all have better things to comment on rather than my random rants.
47 • RE: #14 - Reasons for retaining .... (by Anonymous on 2009-05-25 17:39:05 GMT from United States)
Beagle - Whatever its faults, it still indexes the widest assortment of document types. And it's still under active deverlopment (Jan 2009 release).
Bluefish and Kdewebdev (Quanta) - Very good web programming editors for GTK and KDE, respectively.
Pan - The old standard stand-alone Usenet client.
All of the above are at or close to the tops of their categories,
48 • Appreciate the honesty! (by exploder on 2009-05-25 17:44:55 GMT from United States)
I appreciate the honesty in the Mandriva review. I dislike the term"upstream issue" and also feel that distributions are responsible for what they release. I do not view the review as bashing at all, it is simply responsible reporting.
I appreciate that Ubuntu does post work arounds for the Intel issue and that Vector went to a lot of trouble to help NVidea users, this is taking responsibility for the problems.
I tested Mandriva 2009.1 on two systems, one had an Intel graphics card and the other had ATI graphics. The system with ATI graphics performed well, the system with Intel graphics was unusable and there was no way to fix it. A large percentage of systems have Intel graphics, so in my opinion it is irresponsible to release a distribution with no means of fixing this issue.
Eveything boils down to quality standards. I hope this kind of honest review serves as a wake up call for distributions to raise their quality standards! Thanks!
49 • Mandriva 2009.1 (by AT on 2009-05-25 17:51:19 GMT from Pakistan)
it was a nice review of Mandriva 2009.1. I myself have thoroughly tested mandriva 2009.1 myself ( big mandriva fan ) and i find it better den 2009 but worst then 2008.1. it causes problems detecting correct resolution. Ubuntu on the other hand is still the best linux out there but when it comes to 3d graphics and effects , i dunno mandriva seems better. that is my observation so far comparing the last 3 releases ( mdv 2008.1 , 2009, 2009.1 vs ubuntu 8.04 , 8.10 , 9.04 )
50 • No subject (by Thomas on 2009-05-25 18:05:04 GMT from Portugal)
I like the reviews here. If you have complaints, post solutions and
positive opinions. Else, just shut up. Go lookin in other sites.
Ubuntu is being given more credit than it worths. My humble opinion.
Just try other distros. Ubuntu ppl will with time, see the problems, and
correct them, instead of just getting other ppl work and assemble it together.
On the other hand, we are seeing Red Hat changing Fedora's name and
Red Hat Llinux, like they were veru diferent stuff. Poop in the mind?
RH guys: Just keep it. Its good. Dont forget Fedora or believe in anything you hear.
Mandriva by the othe side, makes good distros, it was said here. Wow,
how? i tried several madrake, conectiva and mandriva. Quality is beeing
lowered as time passes. Its true: its easy to install, its cute, it has good
tools to configure the system. Altough if somehing breaks, they would be
of no use.
Changing to windows? sure, like if it solved anything...
Hardware people should pay more attention to drivers. Its their fault, Linux
hangs and improves so slowly. Drivers for the BSD, Solaris would be good
Lets improve quality. Theres no train to catch.
51 • Mandriva 2009.1 works for me. (by esldude on 2009-05-25 19:01:21 GMT from United States)
I have three machines running 2009.1 which seems better than 2009 which two of my machines didn't properly run. Mandriva has the best KDE 4 implementation I have seen. Though a close second is Mint CE KDE.
Anyone can find fault with any distro review. I do think it would have been nice to install Mandriva upon a fairly modern up to date system as well as the two you used. Your results would have likely been better, and I doubt Mandriva, being a for profit company, had as its main target user someone working with older hardware.
For new Linux users I find Mint to be the best currently while Mandriva probably ranks second in that regard.
52 • Waiting for Pardus 2009 (by Personne0 on 2009-05-25 19:01:52 GMT from France)
I discovered that distro not so long ago and find it to be the best KDE one. Unfortunately, when I tried it, it was during my switch from KDE to Gnome (because of th KDE4.0 mess) so I used something else instead. But, as from version 4.2 KDE finally became usable and pleasant, I have really big expectations for Pardus 2009 !
53 • re: ubuntu (by smasher23 on 2009-05-25 19:07:06 GMT from Australia)
Can't there be a week where we are not hearing from caitlyn and the ubuntu fanboys and the arguments they cause lets do what caitlyn said and not what shes doing talk about something else for a change
54 • #51 Older hardware? Purchased January, 2009. (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-25 19:15:35 GMT from United States)
@esldude: The problem with the Intel graphics is related to new hardware, not older. My Sylvania is four months old. Besides, one of Linux's claim to fame is that it isn't bloatware. It allows businesses and individuals to keep systems in service longer. FWIW, the Toshiba, the old machine, had no graphics issues with the old Trident chipset. It's the new system that didn't work at all.
To those who say that the Intel graphics failure doesn't matter, Intel graphics account for somewhere between two thirds and three quarters of netbooks, the hottest selling items in the PC world today. Intel graphics chipsets are also popular in full sized notebooks and for onboard graphics chips on desktop systems. This literally affects millions of users. Once again, there are workarounds and there is no excuse for releasing something like this without a fix.
I stand by everything I wrote in the review. It accurately reflects my experience. My thanks to those who understand and appreciate that. Writing a review is always a thankless job. People either hate you for praising the distro they don't like or for pointing out flaws in one they love. There is no winning for the author.
55 • Slackware 64 (by Mahmoud Slamah on 2009-05-25 19:20:57 GMT from Egypt)
after long time ... finally Slackware team decide make official 64 Bit
56 • Oh, and (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-25 19:33:00 GMT from United States)
Adding to Caitlyn's comments: I had an nVidia card next to an integrated Intel. There were issues in the Intel driver to the point that Ubuntu wouldn't let Compiz start. So these issues impact *everyone*.
Just posting "I didn't have those issues" doesn't suddenly negate those who did. So don't bother.
And as for reviews, people just don't like differing opinions. As I said above, I liked the review and found it interesting; I hope Mandriva doesn't keep down this path.
I also must re-enforce my other point: a mention of Ubuntu is necessary in a review of a distro such as Mandriva that aims for the same goal - namely, Desktop Linux, out of the box experiences. Everybody's used Ubuntu, so it's easy to compare and say "it does this or that better" in a way that everyone knows what you're talking about. While the review may have gone out of its way to do so, it was completely in line and I agree with Caitlyn's sentiments on the issue.
57 • Mandys bugs on release date are legendary (by BitBurners.com on 2009-05-25 19:36:41 GMT from Finland)
"I've also found that, more often than not, it has fewer significant bugs than a certain more popular distribution that touts itself as being Linux for the masses."
I find it to be completely opposite. Mandy ruins potentially great releases with HUGE bugs on their releases. 2009.1 seems a bit better than the last two releases.
58 • Archiso-live CD - version 20090524 (by joji on 2009-05-25 19:38:54 GMT from Belgium)
19 "The Arch LiveCD looks awesome; nice catch!"
Fully agree! Am glad DWW made me discover this nice piece of work. In my eyes the most beautiful and most complete LiveCD in years ...
Is frugal install possible? Any cheatcode such as 'from=', 'fromiso=', 'bootfrom='?
59 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-25 19:43:33 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref the Mandriva debate. Caitlyn reported what she found with the kit she was using, repeat, with what she was using, full stop.
Some folk agreed with her findings...some did not, but tried to make out there was nothing wrong with Mandriva, only the method of testing or indeed the testrix...why? i get the impression, from comments past, including moans that a review was "late", Mandriva fans were expecting something "better"...
There was a comparison with Ubuntu...what's wrong with that? There has to be some sort of reference and, despite what some folk imagine, Ubuntu is pretty popular and known to all the Linux "community"...and is probably/possibly the best known to the non Linux folk by virtue of its ubiquity in lappies and netbooks.
If some folk feel the reviews are "unfair" to whatever their favourite distro is, then do what Lad' suggested...write your own review and submit it to the forum.
It is utterly, utterly pointless repeating the same arguments again and again about "flawed" reviews/distros..we all KNOW not every distro (and elements therein) work with some machines and not others.
With reference to how "popular" Linux is or isn't...folk seem to forget that millions of people will acquire Linux powered machines who have no knowledge of MS products at all...as in there won't necessarily be a choice...
In fact if anyone read the links in DWW they would have discovered the Chinese are busily churning out machines equipped with "home grown" chips so as to avoid, we are informed, royalty payments to US based companies.
Do you imagine they will balk at using Linux based software? Approximately 15% of the planet's population are included in one nation...does anyone doubt, seriously, that Linux will remain in third place?
60 • Mandriva 2009.1 Impressions (by Joe on 2009-05-25 19:44:54 GMT from United States)
I recently installed Mandriva 2009.1, Gnome, on a Compaq Armada M700, 1GHz, 512MB RAM. The graphics component is ATI's Rage P/M Mobility AGP 2x. The audio component is ESS Maestro 2E PCI.
I initially didn't have any sound. I tried changing different settings, and found that once I unchecked "Enable PulseAudio" and "Automatic routing from ALSA to PulseAudio" and restarted the laptop, sound was restored. I wish PulseAudio was an installable option instead of being part of the basic package.
When I logged off, my screen would fade to black and the system would lock up, forcing me to restart the laptop to recover. Mandriva saw my video card as ATI Mach 64-base. I unchecked 3D Acceleration and restarted the laptop. I can log off now without a problem, although I still experience an occasional video glitch on shutdown. I can live without 3D acceleration, but that may not be acceptable for everyone.
As far as lockups go, the laptop did freeze once in the last two weeks. I restarted the laptop and haven't been able to get it to recur.
I installed Mandriva 2009.1, KDE, on another similarly equipped M700. I ran into the same audio and video issues, easily fixed using the changes I referenced above. The only application I didn't like was the new version of Amarok which just didn't seem to perform as well as previous versions. It seemed slow and occasionally unresponsive. I considered trying to find a way to go back to an earlier version, but decided to remove Amarok and install Songbird instead.
I hope no one tells me I have to upgrade the hardware to run the latest releases of Linux. Shades of Vista, these laptops were in widespread use in business until 2004/2005!
P.S. I'm typing this on my Asus EeePC 1000HA. If anyone is looking for a netbook, I'd recommend looking for one with a normally placed right shift key, argh.
61 • about reviews (by Xtyn on 2009-05-25 19:50:13 GMT from Romania)
I know that it's kinda late, because the review was written on the 21st but here's a serious review of Ubuntu 9.04 on some serious hardware (6 PC's):
Caitlyn, I'm surprised you had the patience to install Mandriva on that hardware. On my old laptop, a 7 year old Dell C610 I use Puppy, I'd never install Mandriva, Ubuntu, openSUSE or Fedora on it.
62 • 2009.1 (by Anonymous on 2009-05-25 20:04:41 GMT from France)
2009.1 works fine for me on current hardware.
If you have old hardware, you'd better stick to 2008.
63 • @54 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-05-25 20:12:35 GMT from Canada)
Caitlyn - you say "there are workarounds", but it's not exactly that simple. For a start, there are dozens of possible combinations of important configuration options for current intel driver releases, each of which may work better on a particular piece of hardware than the others. So it's more or less impossible to set sane defaults that are good for everyone. Keith Packard's written a good blog post explaining the options, why we're in this mess to start with, and where we're going from here:
the other 'workaround' is to ship an older version of the Intel driver - but that's not a workaround, it's a trade off. For a start, the upstream developers are not interesting in supporting older versions any more, so there's no chance of getting fixes for any bugs that happen to exist in the old version. For a second, the new versions do cause regressions on certain devices in certain configurations - but they also include improvements for other devices in other cases. So which do you go with? The choice isn't easy.
You can ship two versions, but that significantly increases the packaging and configuration complexity - potentially introducing new bugs in itself. It also increases the complexity the user has to deal with.
There's really no 'right answer' for distributions in this case (the case where the development of a driver causes significant changes, both improvements and regressions, from an old, now-unsupported version to a new, supported version). Whatever you do is going to cause trouble for someone.
From what I can tell, the Ubuntu 'workaround' you're talking about is https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ReinhardTartler/X/RevertingIntelDriverTo2.4 , which basically provides an old version of the driver as a conflicting package provided by a developer in his PPA. Which is a bit messy, but hey, it helps some people, and that's the important bit. It'd be possible for someone to throw together a package of the 2.4 driver for Mandriva somewhere, you could ask on the Cooker list if someone is willing to go to the trouble.
64 • reviews (by hab on 2009-05-25 20:24:09 GMT from Canada)
From some of the comments posted about Ms. Martin's review of current mandriva i feel that a disclaimer, posted before the review starts, might be necessary!
Many/most of us realize a review is one persons experience and opinion. Others apparently, need to be warned beforehand that it is ONE persons experience and opinion! Their own experience and opinion may vary!
I used mandriva as my primary destop for about four years. I found it to be by and large quite competent. Not to say i never experienced any problems. Just by and large it worked well. I found the review to be informative and pretty much unbiased. But then i really don't have the time or energy or desire to pick nits!
Now if some of the kids out there could stop trying to refight the unix wars (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix_wars) and find their own home in linux we would have not to endure the endless gripping, bitching and back biting that shows up in dww on an irregular basis!
65 • Mandriva review and Moblin (by john frey on 2009-05-25 21:01:37 GMT from Canada)
Thanks for a thorough and comprehensive Mandriva review. Unlike your experience I found 2009.1 to be much more bug free than the previous release. Yes I have experienced some annoying bugs but none of them show stoppers (like the aforementioned video driver issue). I would have discouraged new users from trying the previous release but not this one. If I had one of the unsupported video adapters I would likely share your view.
The bugs I have issue with are entirely related to KDE4. The combination of new procedures to do old things and functionality that has not been implemented yet have me disliking KDE4. Well KDE4 is here to stay so I'll do no more griping about that. I'm just wishing it were more mature than that it is.
I have to laugh at the quotes about Moblin. They would equally fit the 1st Linux netbooks with Xandros. I have not tried Moblin but from what I've seen of netbooks they have very different interfaces than a desktop, more like a cellphone. So those reviewers have only seen netbooks that offered the "traditional Linux experience"? I no longer read tech review sites precisely because I can't stand such uninformative gushing. Of course without that what would they have left to print?
66 • re 42 - moblin (by lucky13 on 2009-05-25 21:22:00 GMT from United States)
@Ismail: I agree -- I reviewed Moblin on my blog the other day and gave it a massive FAIL. I notice a lot of what Caitlyn quoted from reviewers is about the splashy interface. What she didn't mention -- whether it was in any of the reviews or not -- is that the interface includes links to youtube that are useless since the image doesn't include Flash, that you can't listen to various musical formats because the image only has a codec or two, etc. Some sites also didn't render at all in the browser. Oh yeah, the browser crashes every few minutes.
That "spiffy" interface is a barrier to my ever using it again -- it's a cascading auto-hide Hell with tiers of menus that pop way down over whatever you're doing if you move the mouse too far (or at all). WTF is a "m-zone" anyway? What are some of those quirky little icons all about? I can figure out that the people-looking one is about something related to people. Beyond that, a link for shopping at Target? A link for a diamond ring shop? WTF? WTF? WTF?
It's *not* very intuitive and I think it's more at alpha level than the advertised beta level. That there's a love-fest for such a thing sums up what I believe about most reviews: they're really about style rather than substance.
It's a shame that this abortion is being peddled by the Linux Foundation and Intel, who together could come up with something much more useful and usable than this. It resembles an unprofessional mashup done by ADD/ADHD kids and, accordingly, lacks any useful coherence. (Pre-emptive flame retardant: Nothing against ADD/ADHD kids. Or Target. Etc.)
67 • archlive (by Anonymous on 2009-05-25 21:26:55 GMT from United States)
Anyone care to comment on differences between archlive and chakra?
68 • In addition to Post #63, last paragraph: (by Verndog on 2009-05-25 21:48:24 GMT from United States)
Troubleshooting Intel graphics issues:
HOWTO for Jaunty Intel Graphics Guide:
HOWTO fix Intel Video - Alternate way:
69 • The new Mandriva 2009.1 is good (by Mattias on 2009-05-25 21:51:20 GMT from Sweden)
I don't agree with the review at all. The new Mandriva 2009.1 is the most stable and error-free release I've used since I started with Linux year 2001. It's better than both 2009.0 and 2008.1
I recently used Fedora 10 and I got a lot of trouble with it, e g lack of wireless Broadcom network support, bad working updates, error in gnome desktop and so on... The new Mandriva has no issues. It works as promised and it offers a very polished and professional look.
I run Intel 945 graphics chipset with 3D on HP notebook and it works perfect.
Congratulations Mandriva team for a great job with 2009.1.
70 • package list (by john frey on 2009-05-25 21:52:08 GMT from Canada)
I'd like to see Avidemux added to the package list. I use it, so I'm biased:). For anyone who does video editing it is an essential tool. I had the same thoughts as Caitlyn regarding XFree. Does any distro still use it?
Thank god Beagle is being removed. During it's tenure I had to disable it before doing anything else on a new install. The idea behind beagle might have a place in computing but it has to be far less intrusive. It should be a daemon and interact with current search tools, not an application.
One more observation on Mandriva 2009.1. I have noticed a LOT of updates since installing. Nice to see that bug and security fixes are being rolled out so quickly and frequently.
71 • No subject (by mchlbk on 2009-05-25 21:53:01 GMT from Denmark)
#64: A disclaimer is an excellent idea.
Re. lxde in Mandriva 2009.1: What's the trash can doing there in the first place? There is no trash can in lxde,...When you delete something, it's gone.
72 • Mandriva 2009.1 (by Anonymous on 2009-05-25 22:02:49 GMT from Italy)
"KDE 3.5.10 remains available in the contrib section of the repository but is officially unsupported."
Yes, it shows!
Buggiest KDE 3 I have ever come across.
73 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-05-25 22:19:54 GMT from United States)
Can't download godane's iso :(
You don't have permission to access /iso/archiso/20090524/archiso-live-2009-05-24.iso on this server.
Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.
However, looking around in his page I find:
20090524 Release blocked cause of 200+ downloads •May 25, 2009 • 5 Comments
My iso was blocked from being access my anyone for the rest of the day i think.
If anyone is willing to make automatic mirror of my isos please do. I’m sorry about this for everyone trying to download my lastest iso.
Damn! Can't try it out :(
74 • Mandriva 2009.1 (by Anonymous on 2009-05-25 22:25:02 GMT from United States)
I'm not sure where to place this review of Mandriva Spring 2009. I know each hardware setup is different and in other distro's I've had a lot of problems while others seem to have none, but for me this release is a true gem. I've run all the desktops and the only one that seems a little sub par is gnome. KDE 4 is finally looking great and I've had no quirks, or strange behavior. For me this distro just keeps getting better, and before you all forget, the Mandriva team did help port k3b to KDE 4 and gets mad props for that! The package selection is expanding and up to date, the security updates are quick, and this is the best KDE4 desktop I've seen yet. I've been using it since it came out with no probs at all. The lxde version works pretty good too, and I even installed e17 which works great too ( good snapshot). The icons on the desktop in lxde are from you're desktop folder and just need to be deleted. E17 left a bunch of stuff on my desk when I returned to lxde too. Great job on this and I would say to anyone , just give it a try and see for yourself.
75 • @waiting for Linux Mint 7 (by ykpaiha on 2009-05-25 22:31:53 GMT from France)
Just seen the 7 is in stable repo
just for you of course
76 • RE: 73 (by ladislav on 2009-05-25 22:37:07 GMT from Taiwan)
You can get it via BitTorrent:
77 • Ubuntu (by Jesse on 2009-05-26 00:45:25 GMT from Canada)
I've never been much of a fan of Ubuntu. Not that I disliked it, I just never really warmed up to it. That changed today. Despite some people's comments here about the "hype" of Ubuntu and how 9.04 didn't bring anything new to the table, Ubuntu 9.04 was the first and only Linux distro to properly install of my parents' home computer and reconize all their hardware. Fedora (and several other distros) couldn't handle their graphics card, Ubuntu 8.10 wouldn't install to disk, Debian couldn't see the network card.
But, 9.04 installed flawlessly, handled all the hardware, automatically connected to the net. The big U may get a lot of hype, but it proved to me today that it deserves it. My folks are thrilled with the smoothness of its operation compared to Windows, they're impressed with the speed and they like that their scanner works properly (something that comes and goes under WinXP).
The U camp just gained a few more followers, not because of hype or marketing, but because it worked.
(Posted from my Fedora laptop.)
78 • RE: 76 (by Anonymous on 2009-05-26 00:57:09 GMT from United States)
Torrents are blocked at school :(
But still thank you for trying to help out. I appreciate the effort! :)
79 • Mandriva 2009.1 works flawlessly on my two machines (by Noman on 2009-05-26 01:16:58 GMT from United States)
HP 2140 HD
Emachines PIII from 2002
Caitlan is testing video cards that I don't have problems with on my install. Perhaps its all accelerated 3D which for me I never saw the point. I understand from Adam Williamson that these video driver problems are common to _all_ Linux's (yes even Ubuntu), so I view this criticism as somewhat unbalanced.
I have been a Mandriva user for about 4 years and I have found this version the best so far. I would like them to stay in business to continue supporting newer versions. Unfortunately, the criticisms in her review are not helping. Thanks.
80 • Wolvix Cub 2.0 beta1 released quietly (by Tom on 2009-05-26 01:21:09 GMT from United Kingdom)
Did anyone else notice? lol. I've still not tried it but think the wallpaper looks nice again
81 • #79 - No, it's not all distros (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-26 01:35:35 GMT from United States)
This kind of responds to Adam Williamson's point as well. Not all distros have gone to the latest X.org and an Intel driver 2.6 or higher. Only distros that have done that have a problem with Intel graphics. 2D and 3D both are effected in terms of performance. If you disable 3D acceleration then the freeze up problem some have reported can be solved.
It's been documented (and I'll provide links if you want) that the difference running GL Gears is roughly 7:1, meaning it's running 3D at one seventh the speed possible with an old 2.2 driver like you'd find in Ubuntu 8.04 LTS or the latest Centos/Red Hat. Adam never claimed all distros are affected. He did say any that run the latest X are. That is a big difference.
I happen to like Mandriva and I want them to succeed as well. However my job is to report what I find, not what I'd like to find. Tell me: Would it have been more balanced for me NOT to report the bugs that I've found? Would it have been better for me to lie and say how wonderful everything was on my systems? What on earth do you want? I don't write commercials. I report what I find, the good and the bad.
#63: I don't agree that a distributor has no good choices. Your employer puts out an excellent enterprise distro that doesn't stay on the leading edge. One of the main reasons is enhanced stability and reliability. They also put out Fedora which decided to delay their release to squash bugs. I think that was an excellent decision.
Part of the problem with being on the leading edge and having a fixed and rigid release schedule means that bugs don't get fixed. Sometimes it's nothing serious. Sometimes, as in this case, it is. Fedora and Red Hat have made different decisions that often work better in my experience.
82 • Mandriva 2009.1 (by Jim Shunamon on 2009-05-26 03:16:58 GMT from United States)
Sadly, I too must pass on this release of Mandriva, just as I had to do with the 2008.1 release and for the exact same reason: Web pages take forever to load if they even load at all. I have tried the fixes listed in the errata to no avail. I have tried both of these distributions on a variety of both old and new hardware with both wired and wireless configurations and nothing works. For the time being I am going to stick with Ubuntu for my Gnome desktop experience and opwnSUSE for my KDE usage. I will however continue to keep a close eye on Mandriva with the hopes that I can at some point make it one of my default installs again.
83 • Mandriva Review (by Joe on 2009-05-26 03:54:16 GMT from United States)
I enjoyed this week's Mandriva review. With the plethora of desktop, laptop, and netbook configurations available, I can readily accept that a reviewer's impressions may differ from mine when his/her test platforms aren't mirror images of my own. I read, I learn, and along with feedback from DWW readers and reviews perhaps read elsewhere, I come up with my own conclusions. The reviews help me get there. Did I walk away from the Mandriva review down on the distro? Not at all. But, after reading the review and all the subsequent discourse, I am walking away better informed.
I'm a Mandriva PowerPack user. Why? Because I want to see the distribution flourish. I started with Mandrake 7.0. I've been using 2008.1 "Spring" for the last year and it's been rock solid. As noted above @60, I installed Mandriva 2009.1, and despite initial setup problems (audio and video), it is faithfully chugging along. I had one lockup early on, but I haven't been able to get it to recur. I'm now using Mandriva 2009.1 as the primary OS on my M700. While this older platform isn't suited for running fancy 3D graphics or demanding game play, with Mandriva installed it's well suited to meet all of my home office needs.
Although I admit to running other distros, Mandriva has been, and continues to be, a solid, reliable performer that I rely upon every day.
84 • @81 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-05-26 03:57:52 GMT from United States)
Indeed you're right about issues affecting only latest x.org, and i agree it was right to report the issues you saw. I do think mandriva did the right thin, however. mandriva has always provided the latest software in new release. I don't think it would have been sensible to ship a new release with old, unsupported xorg and drivers. Really, if you need the old version, there's a perfectly sensible option - run an older mandriva. 2009 will still be supported for another 6 months.
Fedora 11 is not blocking on any of these Xorg issues, FWIW, and the X it ships with will work much as Ubuntu's and Mandriva's do (well, we did get some fixes for old intel chips in there). mostly the remaining blockers were/are installer issues.
glxgears has no value whatsoever as a benchmark. it just means nothing. the best way to compare 3D performance is to check framerate in a real app - extremetuxracer or something.
85 • Response to #81 (by esldude on 2009-05-26 03:58:15 GMT from United States)
Caitlyn, I certainly expect you to report what happened rather than making up glowing reports. However, when doing reviews, I think it is good practice to go to extra measures finding what a distro does work well on. Too often, I read reviews like yours, no doubt honest, but not helpful. Some reviews with problems have been on distros that work great on everything I have. It is a problem with Linux in general I suppose. Knowing that, a reviewer needs to get the distro to work on something to evaluate at least what it might be capable of doing. Doing so will make the review of more worth. Otherwise, I can download the distro and give it whorl myself without any review.
Maybe there are no good answers for reviewing practices as they stand. When do you give up and say something doesn't work? Certainly you report what doesn't work, but then again, attempts on two machines isn't exactly exhuastive. Yes, I know that is asking alot, and I do appreciate the efforts made. But trying a distro on a machine or two with problems and rendering an opinion as to the whether it is worthwhile or not isn't a highly helpful reviewing procedure. If I considered that adequate to be worth posting out for the whole world to consider I would do reviewing myself. I don't mean to be singling you out on this either. It is too common in many reviews of Linux distros that I read on the 'net. I think a reviewer having problems getting a new distro to work could ask around to find someone for whom it works fine. Include their experience or opinion as well as having a chance to figure out the difference in where it works vs where it doesn't.
86 • Great, informative Review (by Impressed on 2009-05-26 04:34:39 GMT from United States)
Wow, this review is a model of what a real review should be! Even if you disagree with some pieces.
It seems that, the more information the reviewer gives, the more criticism there is. No wonder so many other Linux reviews are mere advertisements.
"not helpful". My honest response to this comment would be censored. There is far more useful information in this review than in the great majority of the "reviews" we see (how's that for restraint?).
87 • A couple of clarifications (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-26 04:48:17 GMT from United States)
First, I appreciate that both Adam and esldude are turning this into a respectful discussion about issues involved in reviewing a distro and about what choices a distro can make. Constructive criticism and discussion can only be helpful.
Adam, do you really consider one or two versions back unsupported? Red Hat clearly supports slightly older versions. So does Canonical for their LTS releases. I realize some upstream vendors don't like that but it really does enhance stability.
I do understand that Mandriva (and Mandrake before that) has always been leading edge. If I were in charge of a distro (and thankfully I'm not) I probably would have tried to get a workaround for as many of the video issues as possible. The latest suggestion in the Ubuntu forum (a 2.6.30rc4 or rc7 kernel) also seems to clean up most of the issues on my system. I believe Mandriva has quality developers still despite some downsizing and probably could have held off a little on the release and had much better results.
I do realize glxgears isn't a proper benchmark. It is, however, a quick and dirty way to determine 1) that 3D acceleration is at least minimally functional, and 2) a way to see gross differences in basic performance. I wanted to use something that any DWW reader could easily try. Perhaps I could have better illustrated the problem by including some realistic benchmarks and methodology in the review that others could duplicate. It's certainly worth considering if something like this comes up again.
esldude: Actually, Mandrake went on to three of the four systems in this household. My testing with the third system was really minimal so I didn't include it in the review. FWIW, I really wish I had access to a testing lab and a wide array of equipment. I certainly agree that would make for a better review. I don't think it's terribly realistic to expect most reviewers will ever have that.
The Intel issues have been well documented in the Mandriva and Ubuntu forums. I don't think anyone doubts they really exist and I also do think they are a really big deal. I also think, regardless of who is to blame, that creating a situation where a system will work before an upgrade and not work due to lack of drivers afterwards is a recipe for disaster. It's an ideal way to send people running back to Windows and telling the world just how broken Linux is. Sadly that is the situation we are in with the current X.org. I wish distributors would push back upstream so that hardware doesn't suddenly stop working. I don't think distributors can just pass the buck upstream. You have to stand behind whatever you put your name on.
The Intel chipsets are among the most popular out there. This affects a huge number of people.
I could have reported many more bugs and perhaps I should have done. For example, I need to write in English, French and Hebrew. I use three keyboard layouts: US English, US international, and Israeli. (I plug in an external Israeli keyboard when needed.) The keyboard switching applet in GNOME misreported the US English and US international versions in the current Mandriva. There is also at least one mismapped key in the US international layout as shipped. Is that a major big deal? No. Is it just one more annoying thing to fix? Yep. Might a newbie have real issues figuring out how to fix this? You bet! People want a distro to mostly "just work". Having to fix a score of annoying little bugs doesn't meet that criteria, does it?
I've always liked Mandriva. I told Ladislav last week that this review was "painful" for me to write. I wanted a different outcome. Sometimes we can't get what we want.
88 • Defective drivers (by RollMeAway on 2009-05-26 05:40:38 GMT from United States)
If the display drivers for ANY video card are known to be problematic they should be masked or otherwise banned from installation. Fall back to VESA or nv or an older driver without problems. That would at least prevent lockups and black screens.
There is NO excuse for installing drivers known to have problems, in ANY distro.
89 • Intel graphics (by Ariszló on 2009-05-26 06:05:54 GMT from Hungary)
Adding nomodeset to the kernel line in /boot/grub/menu.lst fixed X for me. I have an Intel 82845G graphics card.
90 • Re: 8 • Epiphany vs. Konqueror (by Ariszló on 2009-05-26 06:31:05 GMT from Hungary)
Epiphany is the official component of GNOME browser, just like Konqueror is the official KDE browser. Either both should be included or neither. I vote for neither.
91 • @87 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-05-26 06:39:32 GMT from Canada)
If a new kernel helps 2D stuff, that's interesting - it would imply MDV and Ubuntu are enabling kernel modesetting by default, even though they don't really use it for anything (AFAIK their boot processes haven't been adapted to benefit from kernel modesetting yet). If that's the case, then the kernel parameter 'nomodeset' (which disables kernel modesetting) may well be a workaround for some cases. Kernel modesetting is still relatively new, and does cause a few known regressions. Fedora developers have been fixing some KMS issues based on reports from F11 pre-releases and these fixes go to the upstream kernel, so that's probably what Ubuntu kernel updates are bringing in.
Mandriva does indeed have some good developers, including one experienced X.org developer, pcpa - but I don't know if he does a lot of work on the Intel driver. The Intel driver package in Mandriva is maintained by Colin Guthrie, who doesn't AFAIK do any development on it, though he's a great packager. I don't think Mandriva would have gained anything really significant through a short release delay - the issues with intel and radeon drivers are somewhat complex, it's not a simple digital fixed/not fixed thing.
By 'unsupported' I mean that the X developers are really not interested in working on those versions any more. Yes, the Red Hat developers who work on X would fix any severe issues in the older versions reported by paying Red Hat customers, but that's not going to help everyone...and by the nature of things, most paying Red Hat customers are using hardware that's known to work well with those drivers already. So the fact that RHEL releases using much older driver versions are still supported doesn't necessarily help the enthusiast world, where a much broader range of hardware is widely used.
Did you read the Keith Packard blog post I linked to? It does a fairly good job of explaining the reasons why the Intel driver has got into this mess. Some of them were avoidable, but some really weren't, unfortunately. What's happened to the radeon driver is that they've basically entirely rewritten the actual GL acceleration code. Which obviously causes some regressions. :)
glxgears can't reliably identify even apparently 'obvious' or 'huge' performance gaps. See http://archive.netbsd.se/?ml=xorg&a=2009-01&t=9718394 for a good discussion of several of the problems. That thread notes that the driver in question was changed in January to sync to vblank by default, which obviously causes a rather huge apparent deterioration in glxgears performance :). It also points out the glxgears tests precisely two features of graphics card performance, both of which are usually much less important than other features in any real-world workload. It just isn't a reliable indication of anything at all. Never cite glxgears frame rate numbers as if they mean anything.
92 • @88 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-05-26 06:44:49 GMT from Canada)
Except it's not that simple. The intel and radeon drivers still work very well for most workloads on probably the majority of hardware. Dropping back to vesa on all Intel or ATI adapters would be a huge regression in functionality for the majority of users; 2D rendering would be much, much slower, video playback basically unusable, 3D acceleration non-existent, multiple monitor support probably also non-existent...it would be insane.
So you'd be stuck with trying to document exactly which adapters have trouble with the new driver releases, and just blacklisting them. It's not even necessarily *that* simple, because I've seen cases where the same adapter works well in one system but not in another (crappy video BIOSes provided by laptop manufacturers can cause this problem, for instance). Even if you do try to do that, it's a gigantic pain in the ass and a moving target, because when you ship a driver update you'll fix issues on a certain set of the adapters that were blacklisted - and hence you should unblacklist those adapters - but it'd be hard to be sure exactly which were fixed. So you'd have to keep testers for every one of the, say, 50 chipsets you had blacklisted on standby, and get them to re-test with every update, and update the blacklist database...eesh.
Mandriva still uses its own database to map cards to drivers, and does use this to blacklist some known failure cases, but it's difficult to catch them all. Fedora does have some patches to X.org's auto-detection to blacklist some failure cases too (mainly just cards that don't work with nv or nouveau get blacklisted to vesa). But it's really not an easy thing to maintain. It would be good to have it done reliably for sure, but it's not a slam-dunk no-brainer.
93 • archiso-live ~ boot option for alternate WMs (by gnomic on 2009-05-26 07:50:14 GMT from New Zealand)
Those who try out the live CD may be interested to know that pressing F1 at the login screen offers the possibility to boot into other window managers than the current default of xfce. Gnome, lxde, and iirc Enlightenment are available. Someone asked about cheatcodes, there are some including an option to boot in RAM (think this requires 1G minimum). I don't think there is a complete listing of boot options, but looking around in the Arch wiki would likely yield some that are applicable. May I modestly claim a prior attempt to make this project world famous (see comment 87 in DWW 286 of 19 Jan 2009 :-) It can be run from a usb stick using unetbootin as installer.
94 • Mandriva One, KDE and Gnome (by michel on 2009-05-26 08:22:39 GMT from United Kingdom)
The problems with Mandriva might be limited to the Free edition, and also might be limited to KDE. I have installed the Gnome version of One, and it went in and worked flawlessly. KDE4 seems still to have been a step too far, for now. Maybe in the next version?
Mandriva Free has also given problems in the past, when the One versions did not.
95 • godane's Archiso-live (by Anon on 2009-05-26 08:58:16 GMT from Norway)
I am sure this initiative will help some in installing and trying Archlinux, but I am not convinced it is a good thing. Most of what (little) I know about Linux, I have learned from manually installing and using Arch.
Installing Arch, even for a Linux novice, is NOT difficult. However, it does require willingness to read and follow a few instructions. In the process, one 'automatically' learns something useful and, as a consequence, when process is over one may even feel a little bit 'empowered'! :)
All Linux users should treat themselves to this experience. It will be a win even when it fails; you'll have learned something, about something or somebody...
96 • packages list (by Tom on 2009-05-26 09:02:41 GMT from United Kingdom)
Different distros often offer the same functionality but using completely different default packages. I've wondered if it's possible to extend the list to contain a section for defaults - headings such as
Perhaps not even that many of perhaps a different list - i think the office and web-browser ones would be the most useful to the most noobs, and others. It'd be nice to have a line for distro's family, although this doesn't often change for a new version of a distro they do sometimes get re-based. And sometimes a distro has one main aim such as scientific work, programming, fix-it tools, office, multimedia, games, emulator, router and some are designed to be particularly easy for noobs while others are more interested in their main aim and rely more on noobs being able to get help through their forums or elsewhere, perhaps marks out of 3 with 1 being entry-level and 3 requiring advanced skills but most being given 2.
Most of these categories could be be filled using an abbreviation of the first four letters, + or - 1 if it makes more sense. For web-browser the options being; Fire, Sea, Bon, Opera and so on. For Office; oOo, Gnome and perhaps others? Version numbers of the packages wouldn't really be relevant for this i think, except kernel; number which could miss off the 2.6 as that isn't likely to change this year.
Would a smaller section along those lines be too much extra-work? Can anyone else see the benefits of it or am i alone here?
Good luck and regards to all from
97 • Reviewed distro ratings and user feedback (by DG on 2009-05-26 10:12:12 GMT from Netherlands)
I think that this week's DWW review of Mandriva was relatively impartial, but then I have
never run either Mandriva or Ubuntu so can't claim to be an expert.
I wonder whether it would be possible for each reviewer to include a series of ratings for
different aspects of the distro relating to how wifi, video, sound, etc. run out of the box,
run with some config, limp with some config, or just don't work. And then to have an input
form so that users can provide feedback for their systems using the same categories
and for the average user experience to be shown below the reviewers. Just an idea.
Keep up the good work.
98 • Mandriva 2009 spring more buggy than 2009? Not at all (by killer1987 on 2009-05-26 10:18:57 GMT from Italy)
i read your review with high attention and you said there are many bugs compared to 2009 and other distros.. apart that video issues are not related to mandriva and they are under investigation (there is also an update in /testing repositories), this release is maybe the best i've ever used and kde 4 integration is the best so far. there are some bugs as always but they don't prevent using happily mandriva distro. i hope you'll reserve this severity juding all the other distros..
99 • Ubuntu (by dragonmouth on 2009-05-26 10:43:02 GMT from United States)
To all the *buntu lovers out there in Linux-land - take a chill pill. Get the chip of your shoulders. *buntu is only the latest in a long line of fad distros that linux users have gone ga-ga over, like Mandrake, Lycoris, Libranet, PCLinux, etc. You people sound like the Windows fanboys who consider anything short of high praise as "bashing". If you know anything about software development, you should know that bug-free software is a myth. ALL software, even Linux, contains and WILL contain bugs and problems. Because of the myriad permutations of hardware and the different working styles of the users, unexpected bugs and problems will crop up. Each user experience will be different, some people will have no problems and others, using the same distro, will have nothing but problems.
BTW - In the interest of full disclosure, I neither like nor dislike *buntu. I don't use it because it does not provide the features that I want and/or need.
100 • Adam defending Mandriva (by corneliu on 2009-05-26 12:04:09 GMT from Canada)
Wow, Adam I am amazed to see you still defending Mandriva. Is this a warm-up for the Fedora release?
Anyway Mandriva and Fedora remain the best distros IMHO.
101 • Mandriva review (by Feduser4 on 2009-05-26 13:12:21 GMT from United States)
I upgraded to the Cooker versions of Mandriva One and Mandriva Free x86_64 hoping that the bugs in the standard versions would be fixed. The Tcl/Tk packages appear to be fixed. But I picked up new bugs in the mesa packages. And the rpmbuild system is still hosed.
For those users who boot into failsafe mode for maintenance reasons, be warned that Mandriva gives root access to the file system without prompting for the root password. You can fix this with the entry
102 • What's on Tap... (by Anonymous on 2009-05-26 13:43:12 GMT from United States)
What can we expect on next weeks DWW. Will Chris Smart be back? And whats on tap.
This week is a bye.
103 • No subject (by joji on 2009-05-26 13:44:48 GMT from Belgium)
95 • godane's Archiso-live
"I am sure this initiative will help some in installing and trying Archlinux, but I am not convinced it is a good thing."
Feel there is a contradiction in your statement. In my eyes 'trying Archlinux" is a good thing. Installing Archlinux might be a good thing as well.
And thanks to godane's Archiso-live I - and maybe a lot of other people reading DWW - discovered the beauty of Arch through Archiso-live.
104 • chinese curse--may you live in interesting times (by Anonymous on 2009-05-26 14:03:41 GMT from Canada)
Adam Williamsons' posts are some of the most informative that appear on this site. I, briefly, had the idea that his posts should be collected, indexed, and published; until I remembered, a he noted, that the linux world is a "moving target".
All linux books are outdated as soon as they are published!
105 • Package list - pan and kdewebdev (quanta) (by Bill on 2009-05-26 14:11:28 GMT from United States)
Since pan hasn't been updated since 8/2008 and since kdewebdev for kde4 is at best on hold waiting developer love it seems pointless to include them in the package list until there is some movement in their development.
106 • Re: #85 (by Andy Axnot on 2009-05-26 14:29:04 GMT from United States)
esldude made some very good points and I second them. As Caitlyn said, it's not easy to do, but it sure would be a great goal to have such reviews.
107 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-26 15:21:21 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks for the bit torrent gen for "Arch-the-easy-way" Ladislav.
Torrent found, d/l, CD burned, installed as live session, wifi found just-like-that and thank you note to yourself.
One complete surprise, it proved that the wifi connection PCI card in my machine is duff or going that way. First off the PCI card found the home network then lost it. Plugged in a usb dongle, on 3mtr cable (actually 3x separate one metre lengths) and wifi back up in ms.
I had been having probs with drop outs, low signal level but had thought, initially, it was caused by interference and distance over the ground from wifi router.
Top Tip (FWIW) instead of using PCI card and rubber duck aerial on (possibly) short co-axial aerial/antenna lead, simply use a decent usb dongle (TP-Link in this instance)...a longish usb lead and you have a lot more options of where to position the dongle for optimum rx/tx, if wifi router is not in same room (or same building in my case).
You could use a longer aerial lead of course but I recall all the probs with SHF rf signals and propagation losses in "long" feeders. USB leads are OK to about 5mtrs, but anecdotally have been used at longer lengths.
And, of course, it's a LOT easier to plug in a usb device that tiddle around with installing PCI cards...
Just in case anyone wants to try Arch, the login & p/w is "arch", at least to get you started. This is to save you typing in "root' followed by "root"...as I did...til I checked up on the website, here:
108 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-26 15:55:15 GMT from United Kingdom)
Just caught this:
Which is GOOD news...but did the writer need to add the last clause in the last sentence, para 3? THAT sounds like BAD news...as in actually writing it.
109 • Mandriva 2009.1 vs Kubuntu Jaunty (by Gary Frankenbery on 2009-05-26 16:04:32 GMT from United States)
I installed these two distros (Mandriva 2009.1 and Kubuntu Jaunty) on two very similar desktop machines deliberately to compare them. Both machines have new enough NVidia cards, and video configuration on both machines was painless.
I'm largely a KDE guy. The network manager with Kubuntu Jaunty wouldn't work for setting static IP addresses. I ended up downloading wicd on the Jaunty box (downloaded using a dhcp dynamic address, so networking was working). Wicd worked well for setting the IP address to a static IP.
For me, it comes down to three things: Mandriva's drak configuration utilities, Mandriva superior font rendering, and Mandriva's ease of networking setup.
So, when it came to my laptop, I chose Mandriva Spring 2009.1. On it, I have WPA2 PSK encryption. Setting this up on the laptop was dead simple.
110 • Good review (by Thor on 2009-05-26 16:09:07 GMT from United States)
A review should stick to the point and if needed make the comparisons objectively. There is no need to be off topic, adding snides, etc.
Just look at the big difference it makes here.
"I've also found that, more often than not, it has fewer significant bugs than a certain more popular distribution that touts itself as being Linux for the masses."
"I've also found that, more often than not, it has fewer significant bugs than a certain more popular distribution."
111 • re: 109 (by Thor on 2009-05-26 16:16:11 GMT from United States)
two very similar desktop machines != the same
A better way is to use the same box but install in separate partitions. This way both install are using exactly the same hardware.
112 • Don't complain all the time (by Mattias on 2009-05-26 16:55:31 GMT from Sweden)
re to 60: I agree with you that 2008.1 is rock solid like Debian, BSD. I run it as server-OS and it delivers 100% uptime. For desktops I think 2009.1 is a better solution coz newer applications, like OOo 3.
One again. I have no problem at all with 2009.1. No errors, no hickups. I don't understand why people complaining all the time. What OS would you like to use instead? Windows Vista is a hell to use compared to the latest Mandriva.
113 • @100 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-05-26 17:12:32 GMT from Canada)
I like Mandriva. I'm not going to stop liking it just because I stopped working there. :) I still recommend it to anyone who'd be better served by a distro with a less, ahem, adventurous official update strategy than Fedora's. I still build packages for it in my spare time, sometimes. It's a good distro, it didn't magically stop being one before I left. Mostly I just wanted to expand on the circumstances around the issues affecting all distros shipping recent X.org (not just MDV), and correct a few mistakes like the 71xx thing.
114 • @104 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-05-26 17:13:39 GMT from Canada)
Thanks very much. I agree with you, though - it's quite hard to write a Linux book which isn't instantly dated, still.
115 • Mandriva 2009/LXDE (by JWJones on 2009-05-26 17:58:03 GMT from United States)
I decided to give Mandriva a try, after discovering that I could choose LXDE as an option, bypassing KDE and Gnome entirely (sorry, not a fan of either). I've got it running on my IBM Thinkpad T42, and I have to say, I like it! No issues so far.
I normally run Crunchbang as my preferred distro, but I think I'll give Mandriva w/LXDE some time on this machine. I can't believe I'm running a non-Debian based distro, and Mandriva at that!
116 • Mandriva Spring on AMDx2 and Antix8 with Intel Graphics 1440x900 (by capricornus on 2009-05-26 18:04:25 GMT from Belgium)
Just reporting, not playing with the smart guys. On my stubborn AMDx2, only Mandriva Spring installed itself. Sound not included, so that takes some time/hours. But it works now. Finally.
On a brandnew laptop with a SiS-graphic card serving a 1440x900 screen, nobody did better than Antix8. Because of older drivers? Perhaps. But it works and runs like hell. Especially with LXDE.
117 • @112 (by Joe on 2009-05-26 18:10:35 GMT from United States)
Don't get me wrong, I like Mandriva. It's just that 2008.1 worked for me right out of the box, no installation issues, no tweaks, and it's been 100% reliable as my laptop OS for the past year.
Sailing just wasn't quite as smooth with 2009.1. I installed it on the same hardware that I used last year and ran into the audio and video issues mentioned in my post. Besides my M700, I installed 2009.1 on a Dell 4300 with a Sound Blaster Audigy card and ran into a problem with choppy sound. I found that disabling PulseAudio resolved that sound problem as well. Hence, my comment about wishing PulseAudio was a configuration 'option'.
With the initial installation/configuration issues resolved, I'm now running 2009.1 as my M700's only OS and I'm content for the moment. I know the Mandriva team is working on solutions to some of the initial problems that users have reported since I received an ATI update earlier this week and X11 updates just this morning.
118 • The problem is Intel. (by Davey on 2009-05-26 18:16:42 GMT from United States)
Isn't the real problem with Intel's stubborn refusal to open its Linux drivers or at least to provide some that work? Or is it that their graphics chips just aren't good enough?
Either way, I don't understand why we discuss the problems as if the burden should be on Linux, or one or another distro to fix what Intel broke. I also don't get how Intel can be betting on Moblin and netbook dominance with Linux and still be unable/unwilling to make its graphics work with Linux -- the usual problem of companies that are too big to exist?
Maybe the best long-term solution is it prominently put Intel graphics on the list of unsupported hardware for Linux. There are notebooks and netbooks with better Linux-compatible graphics hardware if you look.
119 • Mandriva 2009.1 (by Anonymous on 2009-05-26 18:26:59 GMT from United States)
Is a XFCE lite Mandriva 2009.1 on it's way?
If not I recomend the 2009.0 version and upgrade over the net.
It's lightness is more than offset by any video slowness.
My Intel, SiS and ATI video chipset machines love the extra speed.
120 • Re: godane's Archiso Live (by Anon on 2009-05-26 18:27:50 GMT from Norway)
Of course there's a contradiction, and you are perfectly right: every test and/or installation of a Linux distro is a good thing.
However: A default Archlinux installation gives the user a rough idea of the various components of Linux, as well as of how Arch is configured. This is a bonus to the user. Taking this away is not a good thing and also against the very idea of Arch.
This said, godane's distro is *very* nice.
121 • Oh dear .. (by DeniZen on 2009-05-26 18:50:40 GMT from United Kingdom)
The much anticipated Mandriva review wasnt all positive and glowing then?
Not what folks were expecting - clearly!
sadly, yet another public illustration of why the 'Linux Community' looks nothing like a 'community' at all - more like a bunch of warring, bickering, partisan, zealots 'organised' into loose tribes, with a finger in each ear.
Sooner or later the 'Community' tagline is gonna be 'Open Source, Closed Minds.
I'm not suggesting 'we all just get along', far from it, but have some sense (some) people - I mean ..
The cheek! - imagine posting 'exactly what you found' .. in a review? - whatever next .. ;)
Of course experiences would be different for different people.
That was Caitlyn's experience on a couple of Machines. And worded at some length. Thats that.
And apparently, two machines was 'hardly conclusive', nor 'exhaustive enough' for some.
I hope to see some amazing 'perfect' reviews of Moon_on_a_stickOS tested on 37 machines right here real soon now.
There will be other reviews of Mandriva. Keep muttering along until you get the one you agree with. (Unless you have likely hopped to yet another Distro to defend robustly in the meantime..)
Prompted much informative debate though, esp between Adam and Caitlyn. Thus - all good. Much of value .. to anyone with a _true_ interest.
So .. @ 102 'Anonymous' - did everything pass you by? Otherwise that merely looks like a rude and very dumb comment, ironically, much like the ones that Chris has recently suffered without warrant.
Now, that off my chest, I'm not sorry I didnt check out Mandriva 2009.1, though if users like Adam still like it, and Caitlyn _usually_ does, I ought to keep an open mind eh? Which, I will.
And with that, my ArchLive iso has finished, so I'm off to check that out ;)
122 • Mandriva, Moblin & Arch (by Shawn on 2009-05-26 19:05:48 GMT from United States)
I thought the review was insightful and I learned something from it. I didn't agree with 2009.1 being more bug-ridden than 2009, but Linux has always been about a "your mileage may vary" standpoint. I do agree that the Gnome version is more trouble-free than the KDE4 version, but for good reason. I've always liked Mandrake/Mandriva until they got political and fired Gael Duval. To me, that was low since without Duval, Mandrake (now Mandriva) would not be in existence today as it was Gael's creation that made everything up to this point in time possible. Other than that point, Mandrake/Mandriva has always done what I expected it to do and made it easy for me as someone who was new to Linux in the earlier part of this decade.
The Moblin distribution is something that confuses me as a Linux user. On one hand, we in the Linux community brag about how we can run just about any distribution anywhere between 128 MB and 256 MB RAM and a Pentium II processor yet we feel the need to create something for netbooks? I'm running openSUSE 11.1 on one of my partitions on my Wind. There is absolutely no problems with my openSUSE partition detecting my hardware or with being able to use it comfortably. Every piece of hardware on my Wind was detected automatically, even the card reader. So, why Moblin? Is it for Intel to have bragging rights over AMD so they can gain more customers? I'm sure that's half the reason, but why else? We don't need specialized distro's to run on netbooks, at least not from my experiences. I've run Mandriva on my netbook, Arch on my netbook, Fedora on my netbook, Sabayon on my netbook and openSUSE on my netbook. openSUSE is the best as far as hardware detection goes.
As far as differences between Chakra and the Arch liveiso, simple. Different window managers for one. Chakra is KDE4 and the idea of Chakra is to have a customized installer for those who want to avoid the hassle of waiting to do a regular Arch install, add the KDE4 Chakra repositories, pacman -Syu, download everything, edit the rc.conf file and get KDE up and running when you can download and install the Chakra Live CD. The Arch liveiso is updated and has more programs installed. All Chakra is is a basic KDE4 install, nothing else. You won't find anything GTK on the Chakra CD whereas with the Arch liveiso, you have a customized distro with all the goodies ready to go out of the bag. Chakra is still an alpha.
123 • Re: nvidia legacy drivers (by Anonymous on 2009-05-26 19:10:54 GMT from United States)
Maybe instead of complaining about the drivers that certain distributions don't distribute you could point them to the driver releases that do work.
124 • Archlinux (by worldtheofend on 2009-05-26 19:17:05 GMT from United States)
My "Distro Hopping" skills are getting rusty since I switched to Archlinux a year ago. It was the last time I would install an operating system on this machine. At least that is what I thought...
Oh great another operating system on my computer, just because I want to play with supercolider-svn and it requires emacs...
75.48 MB for a text editor... Are you serious?!
I'm starting to get annoyed with Archlinux... I mean why do I have to use one command to update one part of my system (pacman) and another to update my packages compiled from source through the AUR (yaourt)
What a drag... oh wait, look at that... I can do it all with yaourt
(yaourt -Syu --sysupgrade --aur --noconfirm --ignore amarok-engine-xine,amarok-base)
I can even hold on to Amarok 1.4 until I'm ready for 2. I might remove it alltogether since JuK has been doing a great job for what I need.
I guess I'll need to boot an *untu once in a while and install/update something that hasn't been packaged. Gotta keep my skills sharp SOMEhow!
125 • Two brief responses (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-26 19:36:19 GMT from United States)
#118- AFAIK the Intel drivers are Open Source. They wouldn't be included in Mandriva Free if they were proprietary. In any case hardware compability with popular chipsets is important for any distro.
#102- Chris and I will be sharing DWW next week. He will do the news section and I will do the feature article.
126 • @118 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-05-26 20:28:44 GMT from Canada)
I think you're thinking about the Poulsbo case. That's just one specific oddball Intel graphics chipset, the Poulsbo / GMA500, which uses a separate driver to all other Intel chipsets - said driver being non-free, messily coded and available only from obscure Ubuntu repositories.
All other Intel chipsets - including all the ones discussed in this thread - use the 'intel' driver, which is part of X.org, entirely open source, and developed in close collaboration with Intel, who release full specs on the chips to the developers and support the development work. Intel-the-company is not at fault for these cases.
127 • @123 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-05-26 20:31:09 GMT from Canada)
That driver is included in Mandriva 2009 Spring (One and Powerpack and the public non-free repository - it's not on the Free images, obviously) and would be used automatically for the appropriate hardware. The problematic legacy NVIDIA driver is the very oldest one, the 71.xx.xx series (currently 71.86.09) - that one has not yet been updated to work with the latest X.org release, so no distro shipping the current X.org release can use that driver. That driver is the appropriate driver for GeForce 2 chips (excepting the GeForce 2 MX) and all earlier.
128 • @82 (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-26 21:00:12 GMT from United States)
I had that problem with a few distros. Usually slow browser/internet performance means a few options are tweaks wrong for your machine in the "about:config" settings in Firefox.
Google around; you'll find some good ways to speed it up.
Enjoying the discussion going on.
129 • @Anon (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-26 21:24:34 GMT from United States)
On the supposed "simplicity" of Arch:
I followed the Arch Linux beginner's guide to the letter. I can't say I've ever had so many headaches in my life. What all went wrong?
-The beginner's guide was in a different place on the CD than the guide online said. Great. I "cd"ed and "ls"ed more than I ever want to again.
-Ethernet would start unless you added the module names to rc.conf. That took me at least a week to figure out. Nothing on any documentation. NOTHING. Nada. Zip. No suggestions to which modules you need (I needed several, which I had to guess), no suggestions that you need modules, no idea how to activate them. I discovered this by accident.
-I have two graphics cards - an integrated Intel (shut off) and a dedicated nVidia (I use). With this rather simple combo, X wouldn't start. Not once. I beat my head against my computer screen for literally dozens of hours trying to understand why X wouldn't start until I finally gave up.
None of this was fun. At least a week and a half of my life, wasted to Arch and it's "simplicity." I don't care if it's faster or I'd get more control - it didn't fit my needs. Reinstalling Ubuntu after that debacle was a breath of fresh air. Back to Debian based distros where X actually starts when it's told to, thank goodness.
So, no, just because it's easy for you doesn't mean the rest of us get it.
130 • @129 (by dooooo on 2009-05-26 21:45:46 GMT from Jordan)
Nice story (especially the loading modules part) .
When did you try to install Arch exactly ?
131 • Ref#121 (by Anonymous on 2009-05-26 22:24:56 GMT from United States)
Interesting that you bring out a point that everyone is complaining, and moaning, and all. But Isn't that EXACTLY what your doing with your post.
You obviously didn't ready the Mandriva review. Instead of bringing good or bad points solely on Mandriva's shoulders, she kept bringing Ubuntu into the picture. And comparing the two. Let Mandriva stand or fall on it's own merits.
132 • Mint7 (by m1k on 2009-05-26 22:32:54 GMT from Italy)
Lunga vita a Linux Mint!
133 • @131 (by DeniZen on 2009-05-26 22:50:27 GMT from United Kingdom)
'interesting' that you felt the need to respond ;)
You may be right., or not.
If I was 'moaning' I was illustrating my frustration with peoples attitudes.
Not at Reviews / Reviewers.
yes, I read the review.
I thought it was an informative account of an experience, and referenced other similar 'product' as the vast majority of reviews (of anything - not just 'Linux') do.
The opening apparent 'snipe' at Ubuntu probably wasn't a 'snipe' but perhaps would have been better left out.
Maybe ..People want to hear other people liking what they like, and usually wont want to hear much different.
Then, if/when too many people like 'it' also - then apparently that rapidly becomes a no good situation too .. ;)
134 • @118, please know before you speak. (by Anon Ymous on 2009-05-27 00:44:00 GMT from United States)
Intel Graphics Drivers ARE opensourced.
135 • Re: #129, About Arch (by Anon on 2009-05-27 02:37:37 GMT from Norway)
Hi Nobody Important,
Sad to hear you gave up on Arch :(
OK, I never said the installation process was/is fun. The pain of learning new things is often proportional to the rewards, though. Probably the reason why I never seem to get around to learning any useful script coding. I am too lazy.
I first installed Arch a little over a year ago. At that time a short, but important, instruction with regard to X was missing in the Wiki setup guide. Probably merely by chance I finally happened to hit the right solution and get a GUI loaded... I don't know when you made your try, but it sounds as if you may have been bitten by the same problem.
It took me several hours to get my first Arch up and running, even with the luxury of having the guide only a click away by courtesy of a KVM switch to another box. I take that as evidence that I am only of average intelligence, slow, problem-oriented, lazy and a Linux noob. IOW: I needed the Arch experience. A perfect candidate :)
Of course, my problems with Arch didn't stop with the installation. I needed at least six months before starting to feel somewhat comfortable with these 'linuxy' and 'Archy' concepts, not to mention the quirks and showstoppers that come with all the bleedin' new package upgrades. When somebody says Arch is trouble free, I simply don't believe them. However, it can be totally perfect for long periods :)
I had been using Mandrake, Ubuntu, PCLOS and Bluewhite64 off and on before trying Archlinux, but it was Arch that _forced me to learn a little more than just copying commands from the Internet.
No distro is perfect, and every distro is perfect enough if you like it and/or it gets the job done, I suppose...
136 • OpenSolaris project stopped? (by Azzorcist on 2009-05-27 04:54:10 GMT from Indonesia)
I just noticed that OpenSolaris is not appear in the distro release schedule.
I remember months ago that OpenSolaris next release will be in June. But, where is it now?
Is this project closed after Sun acquired by Oracle?
For ubuntu. I think it's better for us to not say *buntu or buntus. It's ubuntu exactly. That's the word. African word that became the philosophy. Say *buntu or buntus doesn't show the spirit of the philosophy anymore IMO. And honestly, I think it's the philosophy that get much of people running it not only the distro itself.
For MobLin. Probably it's not MobLin but it's the new UI that get a lot attention. Remember that this is brand new desktop so it may require time to achieve it's goal like KDE4.
For Slackware64. Good to hear it finally arrive Does it wiIl kill already available unofficial 64-bit Slackware distros? I like it better if it will get more 'official' packages.
137 • Feature story bug. (by Penguin on 2009-05-27 06:59:42 GMT from Poland)
The author wrote "I switched into LXDE... ...the Trash icon doesn't actually do anything". LXDE has PCManFM as default file menager, and there is no trash in this manager. I suggest to read LXDE wiki.
138 • post137 (by Frisco on 2009-05-27 11:08:10 GMT from United States)
The author does say that the trash icon does nothing, because the trash icon does nothing.
The wiki should be read before trying a distro, though, I suppose.
But why is the trash icon there in a distro with no real trash?
139 • RE:138 (by mk on 2009-05-27 11:41:13 GMT from Slovenia)
Trash is probably from KDE or Gnome desktop. It's basically a file in home/~/Desktop created by one of those desktop environments. PCManFM just shows this file when it manages a desktop (/home/~/Desktop folder).
140 • re 138 (by corneliu on 2009-05-27 12:16:56 GMT from Canada)
The thrash icon appeared there because she installed two desktop environments side by side. With Mandriva you can install KDE and Gnome and XFCE and LXDE and Fluxbox and etc. etc. All on the asme installation. Unfortunately some stuff from one desktop environment appears in other environments. For example menu entries, etc. There is nothing you can do about it except install only one main desktop environment and another very light (e.g. IceWM or Fluxbox) as a backup.
141 • Trash icon -- some distros get it right (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-27 12:52:30 GMT from United States)
Funny, in Vector Linux, with Xfce, GNOME, and LXDE installed you get a trash icon in GNOME and Xfce but not in LXDE. Some distros get this right. Mandriva does not. Once again, not a bug in my review but a bug in Mandriva, one which would definitely confuse newcomers to Linux.
142 • @96 (by Louie on 2009-05-27 14:39:27 GMT from United States)
I agree with you Tom. That is something I have wondered too. It is confusing to a noobie like me. What distro would you recommend for a "noob"? I like Firefox and need something like MSWord.
143 • Kubuntu updates (by putz on 2009-05-27 14:42:40 GMT from South Africa)
I keep getting very annoying eth0 & eth1 breaks all the time, almost like a switch.
Even reboots dont seem to fix it - surely this cannot all be the fault of KDE4.2
144 • Windows Replacement (by jack on 2009-05-27 14:49:22 GMT from United States)
I am considering replacing MS Vista because of all the virus, etc.
What Linux version do you recommend
145 • RE: 142, 144 (by mk on 2009-05-27 15:09:41 GMT from Slovenia)
Mepis, Mint, PClinuxOS
146 • UPDATE: New SiS drivers available for Mandriva 2009.1 (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-27 15:09:57 GMT from United States)
UPDATE: A new SiSmedia driver for Mandriva 2009.1 is available. This fixes the issue of Mandriva 2009.1 not working with some SiS chipsets.
As I indicated in the review, I do expect the video issues to get resolved sooner or later. Considering Mandriva's track record with such things it will probably be sooner. Despite what some think my experience with Mandriva has mostly been excellent. I consider this release a bit of an aberration.
147 • re#144 which linux (by hab on 2009-05-27 15:22:19 GMT from Canada)
If there are any linux users in your circle of friends or acquaintances maybe tap into them for advice and recommendations. It can be quite helpful to have a linux geek handy for help and advice.
Beyond that a good place to start might be DW's front page. Look at the top ten distros and do some reading. Understand that once you are immersed and have some experience in linux it really becomes more a matter of taste and personal choice as to which distro you run. 'Cause, truth be told there really is not that much difference beyond appearance. Under the surface
they are far more the same, than they are different
148 • re 141 (by corneliu on 2009-05-27 15:29:28 GMT from Canada)
Caitlyn, I think you make too much noise over such an insignificant matter.
149 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-27 15:46:05 GMT from United Kingdom)
Jack...how long have you got?
Firstly, as a general comment to the forum..just tried the Mint 7...everything just installed, booted, screen res just so, wifi up, played vids with sound. Just what you would expect/hope...
Tried CentOS, it was OK.
Tried Arch the easy way, it was OK.
But I have had probs with burning and installing artistx. Eventually got an image onto a DVD but could not boot. Hmm, I must get around to doing the md5 thing...Re d/l and had same probs...which is a shame 'cos there seemed to be a wealth of editing stuff, just begging to be played with...Currently trying a third time for decent image...but using Brasero via the new Mint 7. Decided to do a simulation run first tho' and see what happens.
So Jack, back to advising yourself. If you have the resources you can try several distros in the live mode, ie works off the CD or DVD image, without the need to install to your hard drive.
Now, this is where it gets tricky...I am loathe to say what you should use because that's when the animated discussions kick off, LOL...but read on!
So, without me naming names..I would direct you to the "hits column" on the home page. There are the links for the alleged top 100 distros, I say alleged because there is a bit of contention as to what the figures mean...
Anyway, take a gand at the home pages of theses listed distros and see what grabs your attention. Obviously some of the gen won't mean a huge amount to you so just d/l one or two or three. Media's cheap so that should not break the bank. If you are on dial-up...well, you can request free media from the bigger outfits.
It may be a word to the wise to consider a biggish outfit (at first) if only for getting regular updates for security issues and suchlike. You will discover for yourself some distros carry on forever and some flower briefly, never to be seen again. Some of the developers move around and the "flavour" or "character" or even "ethos"of a distro may change over time.
However, whatever you decide will be worth your while. There is of course a learning curve, the gradient being proportional to what you know already...mind you it could be inversely proportional...and generally any questions you raise stand a fairish chance of being answered on the relevant distro's forum.
You might have seen the byline to this site about putting the fun back into computing, which strikes me as being an excellent way of looking at things.
Th only caveat I would suggest is that you have backed up ALL your data before you get into installing stuff...just in case...
It is useful to know too that (this is almost a mantra BTW... not every distro will work on every machine 'til you are happy.
You see now perhaps why it is pointless giving you a definitive answer to your question.
If you are fortunate enough to own more than one computer you can at least carrying on computing. Mistakes can and do happen but as said earlier that's part of the learning process, so if that does happen, it REALLY does not matter, the next time you try will be that little bit easier.
So, all that remains to be said is best of luck.
150 • Ref #149 (by forest on 2009-05-27 15:52:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
oops! the mantra line should not have had "'til you are happy" tacked on the end!
151 • @141 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-05-27 16:16:37 GMT from Canada)
I just had a quick look through Vector's mirrors to see if I could find any patch for this issue. Couldn't see anything, but it is a hideous mess in there so I may just not have been looking in the right place.
I note that you don't appear to have filed a bug report for this; I just did a quick search through all Mandriva LXDE bugs and there doesn't appear to be one for that issue. Reporting a bug is of course always the best way to get such issues resolved.
Looks like Ander (one of Mandriva's X developers) did the work of cherrypicking fixes from the original SiS driver and porting them to the SiS imedia driver to port it to the new X server interfaces. I've alerted the upstream author to his fixes.
152 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-27 16:32:06 GMT from United Kingdom)
Good gravy! Artistx now running off DVD...has anyone looked at what's on offer?
I reckon just about ALL the media manipulation stuff you could possibly want is on that distro. There are pages and pages and pages of apps...I gather there are, purportedly, 2.5K applications. I calculate that allowing 2mins a time to just look at each application would have you sitting there for the best part of 4 days...non stop.
I reckon trying to do a review of that lot would almost persuade a person to go back to W95...
153 • Distro Development (by Frisco on 2009-05-27 18:01:23 GMT from United States)
So, this about the rather minor issue of the trash icon on the desktop of distros with no trash is indicative of what? <------ that looks provacative, I am kindly asking, not issuing accusations or whatever.
Is it that some developers don't have time to "clean up" with regard to the window manager choices they offer, taking care of the little things that might seem confusing or bug-like to a new linux user?
Or is it that one upstream developer does not have communication with those who follow her or him as the distribution takes shape before its release?
Or something else a non-developer such as myself cannot see?
154 • @ Jack & Louie 142 / 144 (by DeniZen on 2009-05-27 18:15:00 GMT from United Kingdom)
posters mk and hab have already answered you well - good advice.
The 'trouble' is (and I bet you already noticed ;) ) is that there is just so much choice.
I'm sure you will want all of your multimedia, audio, graphics etc working straight off without too much fussing about, so as a first step in the water, you would be hard pressed to find an easier to install, and 'all working already' experience than Mint.
Others you may want to consider , for similar reasons are PCLinuxOS, DreamLinux, Mepis,
They are all 'live CD' 's (with an installer), so you can see how things work out before installing.
They all have Multimedia codecs ready set up, and I they all look kinda funky, depending on your personal taste.
Many people recommend Ubuntu, and thats a great choice for starters too, but you will have to do a tiny bit of reading up to work out how to enable full multimedia with Ubuntu. Not hard, but it is a consideration.
Mint is a customised Ubuntu with the multimedia already sorted for you, and a few other easy to use tools - like easy 1-click package (i.e. program/application) installer, and a few other Mint tools.
Theres often a lot of politics that go hand in hand with Linux, and with certain Distributions.
Personally , I would simply suggest you avoid all that for now!, Once you are a confident user, you can choose to stick with your Distribution, or move to another.
You have a lot of fun ahead (but you _will_ shout now and again - all part of it ;) ) - enjoy!
155 • @153 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-05-27 18:25:16 GMT from Canada)
likely mostly that the Mandriva LXDE maintainer didn't happen to do a lot of testing of the "use LXDE alongside GNOME" case.
156 • The totally terrible trouble with Trash (by DeniZen on 2009-05-27 18:37:47 GMT from United Kingdom)
@ Caitlyn in #141
You went out of your way to install two Desktop environments ,from the DVD, rather than the 'One' as part of testing for a review.
You were right to point out the vestigial and mussed up Trash icon in your review, but is it really going to 'confuse newbies'?
When would a n00b _likely_ get to see the phenomena?!
By the time a potential user has replicated what you did , and making a specific choice to do so from the DVD edition, then I doubt they are quite so 'newbie'.
Much of that outcome you describe is the result of some degrees of (likely) informed choice.
Even if they got that far, the 'newbie' would have already encountered/overcome far more confusing experiences than a the spectre of a Trash icon on a (relatively) obscure Desktop choice.
A newbie would install from a Live CD 'One' edition thus with one DE - surely?
Once a user gets down to installing 'ooh this, then that .. then its always going to bring surprises.
157 • Linux "surprises" (by Frisco on 2009-05-27 19:10:36 GMT from United States)
DeniZen said, "Once a user gets down to installing 'ooh this, then that .. then its always going to bring surprises."
Why the surprises? That's my question in #153, really. Answered that there was not testing from one environment to another, are, then, those environments, window managers etc, considered experimental?
I just wonder why the months, even years, of development do not eradicate surprises and render various distros quite impressive wrt satisfaction by the user as s/he tweeks and configures to his or her liking.
158 • # - 145, 155 (by Louie on 2009-05-27 20:13:28 GMT from United States)
Thank you both for that information. My Windows XP machine was really messed up by that last virus. Some of my friends told me to go with a Macintosh but I wanted to check around some first. Mepis looks very nice, I might try that one first.. I heard you have to do some really complicated formatting on the hard drive is that true? Am I asking questions in the right place? Everything I read here seems so technical.
159 • @157 - testing of Window Manager "experimental" (by Pearson on 2009-05-27 20:24:06 GMT from United States)
there was not testing from one environment to another, are, then, those environments, window managers etc, considered experimental?
The Window Managers are not necessarily experimental, but having both installed at the same time was apparently not tested (sufficiently). I suppose that it wasn't considered to be a common enough setup to warrant looking for unforeseen interactions.
Depending on the size of a distribution's testing team/community, only a certain number of possible combinations of installed programs can be tested, and the less common combinations will be tested less.
160 • Which distro (by jack on 2009-05-27 21:02:18 GMT from United States)
Hi Guys & Gals
Thank you for all the wonderful friendly advice - you bowl me over.
I have been perusing various sites and forums - there sure is a huge volume of help
and advice out there. I also ran into some rather interesting commentary, which I will
post here - very funny read in fact. Sounds like a prank.
I am probably going to try Mandriva Spring and see how we go.
Will keep you posted - thanks again everybody..
161 • @130 (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-27 21:21:46 GMT from United States)
That experience was fairly recent. If I recall correctly, it was around the release of the 2009.2 boot media.
162 • @159 @157 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-05-27 21:25:52 GMT from Canada)
Note that's just my reasonable guess as to what happened. It's not definitive. The Mandriva packager for LXDE is Funda Wang, you could ask him. Right after someone files a bug report. :)
163 • Video Drivers (by Anonymous on 2009-05-27 21:48:21 GMT from United States)
Speaking of video drivers...Did they ever get the TV out (s-video) working for the GeForce 2 or GeForce 2 MX? Or is it a lost cause by now.
164 • RE: 149/152 Artist-X (by Anonymous on 2009-05-27 22:07:35 GMT from United States)
RE 148: Try the mirror, it worked for me. But you are right the boot loader is a bit funky. I had to re-install Sabayan after I installed Artist-x as Sabayan found the /sys folder from Artist-x and did not like it. I typed in the path and it worked but Artist-x would not boot with it added to the Sabayan boot loader until after I re-installed Sabayan. It took two swings at it to get it working. Do artist-x last and don't use its boot loader. If all else fails install the other Linux again. Install Artist-X first only if it is the only Linux. The Sabayan boot loader thinks it is Ubuntu but it works.
RE 152: To put it on your HD you are going to need 10gb just to unpack Artist-X from the DVD.
I've run Artist-x .6 for a few months now on a shuttle cube from a 4gb flash card and it runs in suspend mode, it wakes up in about 4 seconds. I used unetbootin to put it on the flash card from the DVD iso. I may bring it down to put on .7 and leave it up till .8.
165 • I freely admit... (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-27 22:12:19 GMT from United States)
I freely admit I didn't file bug reports for most of what I found. I did report my findings in the appropriate thread on the Intel issue where they asked for testing and got a very nice reply but no solutions. On the other relatively minor stuff it's a matter of time for me.
I suspect the way Vector Linux handles it isn't a patch to LXDE. Icons are actually handled by pcmanfm which is used by LXDE but is, IIRC, a separate project. A lot of the Vector special sauce is really just clever scripting. I can, off the top of my head, think of how to solve the problem with a few lines of code in the xinitrc.lxde script. (Vector, like Slackware, changes xinitrc scripts when you change desktops.) Whether the do it that way or call another script from within xinitrc I really don't know. I haven't looked up until now.
Adam: Unless thing have changed severely for the worse in the few months since I had to disassociate myself from Vector to avoid a conflict of interest the repositories aren't a mess. The organization makes sense if you understand the system. If you don't, well... yes, I can understand how you reached that conclusion. I can link a post to the VL forums that I wrote a few months back that explains it all if you want.
Basically, work from the server at the Open Source Labs at OSU. There is a directory for each release (you want 6.0), and below that it's divided into packages (what's included on the iso), extra, gsb, patches, source, testing and unstable. You obviously want source. Below that it replicates the structure above, so you'd want source -> packages. LXDE and pcmanfm should both be under X-apps. If they have a script it could be a separate package under X or it could be rolled into one of the X.org packages. I really don't know which it is or where to find the correct answer without doing some serious digging or, alternately, asking one of the developers.
I have an account on the Mandriva forums, obviously. I probably should set one up on their bugzilla implementation as well.
166 • @ 158 Louie (by Untitled on 2009-05-27 22:20:35 GMT from United Kingdom)
Formatting your hard drive is part of the installation process and not anything you need to do by yourself. Most distributions provide graphical interface for partitioning and formatting your hard drive which makes it very simple and very clear.
Basically, you have two main options: If you want to delete your windows installation and files choose "use entire disk" during installation.
If you do want to keep your windows installation and files then this is the default option for most distributions, and if I remember correctly it is the default option in Mepis as well.
In my opinion all distributions I have installed realise that formatting a disk is a very delicate matter so they make this step as clear as possible so just reading carefully the instructions when you get to the step of the installation should make it easy to make a choice.
167 • #159 answer (by Frisco on 2009-05-27 22:27:57 GMT from United States)
Thank you very much for that response about the window managers, etc, Pearson.
It is the interaction of offered window managers that can make surprises happen. Just hoping later in my linux life I can choose distros that have been tested by enough people (betas?) in different window managers etc to not "surprise" me later if I want to go from one to another.
168 • @167 (by Pearson on 2009-05-27 22:44:37 GMT from United States)
Switching WIndow Managers isn't really done that often in Linux (in my experience - I could be wrong) once you've chosen one. My recommendation is to read up on the different Desktop Environments (likely GNOME, KDE and LXDE) and Window Managers (less important if you use a Desktop Environment - the DEs usually have a preferred window manager) and pick one that looks like it will suit your needs (speed, features, memory, looks). Once you choose one, try to work in it for a while until you get comfortable with Linux, your distribution of choice, and its user forums. Once you've gotten kind of comfortable and have a safety net, and you want to try something different, you can start playing around.
169 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-27 22:52:14 GMT from United Kingdom)
Anon of the US...Thanks for your remarks apropos artistx. I did re-burn (a la Brasero) a DVD via Mint 7 running live. Brasero appeared to go off the grid for a while with spurious messages (which this time I ignored and just left running) but eventually it spat out a perfect DVD which loaded then installed without issue. So perhaps your problem is not my problem so to speak, LOL.
But, curiously, I found that when using CentOS live, then rebooting after the session the grub did not work as advertised. I was obliged then to visit the "boot selection" department in the BIOS and do the manual selection thing...which did the trick and the distro (Ubuntu FWIW) appeared as required.
I have to say, ref artistx, whilst trying not to look a gift horse in the mouth to the point of appearing ungrateful in the slightest...but there really, really is a lot of apps to work thru...and I now understand the saying, "being spoilt for choice..."
170 • Web page rendering. (by Sergio on 2009-05-27 23:14:19 GMT from Brazil)
The comments overlap with the right-hand column in Seamonkey 1.1.15 in Puppy Linux.
171 • Linux. (by Me again on 2009-05-27 23:26:14 GMT from Brazil)
We appreciate you seasoned Linux users with your high-level discussions. But ubuntu is the one that offered us a Windows alternative.
172 • Is my hardware that old? (by Woodstock69 on 2009-05-28 02:12:30 GMT from Papua New Guinea)
Some random thoughts:
I don't always agree with the reviews/comments of Chris, Caitlyn, Adam or others, but it's good to get a broad cross section of opinion as long as it's kept respectable.
My hardware is a P4 1.7GHz / 768MB RD-RAM / ATI 9600 (RV350) / Intel GB850/ LM 6 KDE CE/ OpenSuSE 11.1. Is this old hardware? Why do most "modern" distro's seem to run so slow? My experience is mostly with KDE and for comparison Knoppix 4 was very fast and detected my hardware perfectly (which is more than I can say for the latest distros).
I tried the latest Mandriva 2009.1 - very slow.
I like Wolvix 1.1 and am patiently waiting on 2.0
I'd like to upgrade to LM 7 KDE CE when it's out, but ask why does it have to contain so much Gnome, it's KDE after all? How do I drop KDE 4 and get it to install KDE 3 without trashing the distro? I simply do not like KDE 4 at the moment and am of the opinion that much of my KDE 3 functionality is missing, especially in Konquerer.
Would the Linux Paradigm allow for drivers to be installable in the same way that Windows installs them, ie, separate drivers for different hardware instead of in-built to the kernel? That way I get the specific driver for my particular piece of hardware. Why not a wrapper so I can use the windows driver? After all, it's there on the disc with every new gadget I buy or on the web.
Would the major ditro devs please cease development on the eye candy side and start with optimisation? Out of all the distro's I see every month, 99.9% look great, really good visually, but fall down due to actual usage issues/speed. I'm a user. I use my distro of choice to get actual work done, or at least try to. Also, I don't want something that "just" works. I want it to work well, efficiently and save me time.
Linux is an OS that has always prided itself with "being able to run on older hardware". I see this rapidly giving way to the Vista mantra "buy faster, more expensive hardware". I see this particularly so with KDE 4 and Compiz even though it's supposed to be more efficient than KDE 3.
Why does the Linux experience vary so much between users? Is it the way the Kernel works? I'm pretty sure that isn't the case with windows. I've used it on plenty of diffrent setups and the experience is always the same. And no, I don't want to go back to Windows. I'm curious and asking for a sensible answer.
And just to keep the trolls/flamers happy - Your Mileage May Vary. This is my experience only.
To the team at DWW - Thanks again and keep up the good work.
173 • #171 - Your hardware is not slow (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-28 03:01:07 GMT from United States)
Your hardware is not slow. KDE is very resource intensive compared to other desktop environments. When you ran Wolvix 1.1 you used an Xfce desktop. Try switching to Xfce in your current distro and you will see some improvement.
Some distros (and yes, Wolvix is one of them) are really optimized for performance. I actually didn't find Mandriva that slow on my systems which should have less horsepower than yours. I haven't run the latest OpenSUSE so I can't comment on it. You may want to try Vector Linux 6.0 which is, IME, faster than most everything else I've tried, again with an Xfce desktop.
We'd have to do some benchmarking on your system to find where the bottleneck is. Different drivers for different hardware will result in different results for sure. OTOH, sometimes the numbers you quoted may not tell the whole story. How much cache does your processor have? That makes a difference. How fast is your hard drive? That makes a difference. How much memory does your graphics chipset have? That makes a difference. You have less memory than I do in my netbook. That definitely makes a difference. A RAM upgrade wouldn't hurt on your system and it's an inexpensive way to improve performance.
There are lots of factors that do make a difference. Which ones apply to you I just can't say.
174 • re#172 hard ware/woe (by hab on 2009-05-28 04:03:03 GMT from Canada)
In my experience the vintage of hardware that you have is fairly similar to mine , p4 2Ghz 1 gigabyte ram using on board video. I built the box with 1gig of ram and have been quite satisfied with the speed. Experience with upgrading several other boxes to 1gig of ram seems to make a significant difference visa vie speed. It seems to me that it may be a bottleneck in your system.
Mainstream distros are mainstream because they track mainstream hardware! There is however plenty of linux around that will run on older/vintage/archaic hardware. My lappie, which is 11 years old is running dreamlinux, albeit at a slightly arthic pace.
With linux, as with everything else in life, you get out of it what you put into it! Never stop pushing yourself on. As i have found for myself, the more i learn, the easier it is to learn more.! The answer to every question is education!
175 • #142 (by Xtyn on 2009-05-28 06:14:49 GMT from Romania)
I have a laptop with a Pentium M at 1.6 GHz, with 1 GB of RAM, intel 915GM.
Ubuntu 9.04 (gnome) seems pretty fast on that hardware.
OpenSUSE 10.2 (KDE 3) was my main OS for a year and it was pretty slow. I have not installed on it other releases above 10.3.
PCLinuxOS 2007 was pretty fast, you could try PCLOS 2009.1. From my experience, PCLOS is faster than Mandriva. PCLOS and Mepis use KDE 3.
Mepis seems pretty nice, I have tried it but never really used it so I can't give you an educated opinion on it.
176 • @173,174 : Is my hardware that old? (by Woodstock69 on 2009-05-28 07:11:33 GMT from Papua New Guinea)
OK OK, for the love of all things Linux enough with Vector Linux. I promise to give it a try if you promise not to promote it anymore... ;)
Of course, I'm joking Caitlyn, no offense! ;)
Based on what you have been saying for ages now, and the fact that I have tried Vector Linux many moons and versions ago, it's about time I revisited it. So Vector Linux is downloading as we speak! (so to is LM7 which despite being Gnome, I'll also give a whirl...)
I'll gather some internal stats about my motherboard and graphics cards also.
BTW, I've tried LXDE before and really like it, but some time ago when I tried installing it with LM 6 KDE CE it trashed the system such that I completely lost my GUI. Console was ok, but meant I couldn't use any gui apps! The only recovery was via re-install. I'd like to know how to use the original install disc to just install a section of the distro, say the DE, instead of a complete re-install (thus loosing all my extra installed packages and settings, and yes, I have my /home on a different partition).
I forgot to ask before, can speed increases be seen if packages are compiled on the hardware it's proposed to be run on or doesn't it matter, ie the tweaks are in the options used at compile time not the hardware used.
I'm looking for some more RD-RAM, though it's neither easy nor cheap. My motherboard will take 2GB so that would be an improvement for sure.
177 • #176 Woodstock69 (by Xtyn on 2009-05-28 07:21:12 GMT from Romania)
My previous post, #175, was for you, I made a mistake, I wrote #142 instead of #172.
178 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-28 08:26:49 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref machines and upgrading ram, etc.
I speak from UK used/pre-owned market experience only of course, but owing to the global recession the "recycled" machine outfits have plenty of decent business kit on their shelves.
My nevu snapped up an IBM SFF (small form factor) 2.8GHZ, 1GB ram, CDrom, 80GB h/d for a mere £68inc VAT...PLUS a fully kosher XP Pro install with licence. (but only 90 day warranty)
I bought a Dell Optiplex 280 sff with slight better spec (eg. DVD/CDRW) plus XP Pro with 1 year's warranty for about twice the money. The PSU appear to be <100 watts o/p. so they are not power hungry monsters.
I found that similar kit in US is even cheaper and no VAT either. (although i am completely lost ref state taxes say).
I don't know about the policy on advertising on DWW so a UK site name could be said to be the same as an operatic piece...Google will do the rest. I believe these sites will ship overseas.
So, you could upgrade your ram, but, you could also check out what is on offer ref entire machines. I have no idea at all about postage to PNG say, however I imagine it would not be cheap!!!
Since using the higher spec machines i have had the pleasure of installing a lot more distros cf the old scrapper I had been using. I would not agree necessarily that distros written with older kit in mind actually work as well...
It strikes me that were you/anyone to switch to newer, faster machines a lot of probs just vanish, as they did for me.
179 • No subject (by Tom on 2009-05-28 09:45:54 GMT from United Kingdom)
@121 Community, by Denizen
Linux Community means different things to different people. Anyone thinking that any 'community' or 'family' is anything other than "a bunch of warring, bickering, partisan, zealots 'organised' into loose tribes," clearly has a very different experience from me, perhaps a they're a hopeful hippy (not a bad thing to be, we need more of them). I've been looking for a John Cleese sketch to illustrate this but lost it. What i continually amazes me in linux and in the housing co-operative i live in is that it's the very warring and bickering itself that often leads to firm friendships, a lot of positive productivity, an overall good feel (everyone is as welcome as everyone else ;) , your feelings are probably shared by others unexpectedly) and extremely good results and innovations.
Cheers to you all
Good luck and regards from
180 • 142 (by Tom on 2009-05-28 10:03:44 GMT from United Kingdom)
It's difficult to recommend fairly and i'm not a guru. In my own experiences i find Wolvix & Ubuntu almost invariably 'work straight out of the box' with minimal tricky questions being asked during install. On hardware that Ubuntu doesn't like it seems that Fedora plugs the gaps, but i would try Ubuntu first. But if you want a faster, less resource hungry distro then Wolvix is better ime. Wolvix tends to be a lot more stable and is less keen to keep updating in normal use which can be a boon if you're not on broadband. If you want a system to run from LiveCd then i would recommend the old Wolvix Hunter 1.1.0 because as well as having a full proper firefox it also has full OpenOffice. LiveCd's are great for running your familiar desktop on other peoples machines or on multiuser machines where you don't want to fill up their tmp files with your personal data. The new Wolvix Cub 2.0 beta1 is worth using if you are installing onto an older or lower spec machine at home, OpenOffice is easy to add though slapt-get - on higher end machines try the main Wolvix 2.0 beta2
Good luck and regards from
181 • Vectorlinux (by Jerry B. on 2009-05-28 10:09:14 GMT from United States)
Back in the early days of my linux experiment Vecotorlinux was a wonderful discovery and pulled me away from my frustrations with Red Hat and Mandrake.
Vectorlinux has bloated out a bit, but remains one of the more efficient on my old machine at home along with Mint on the same machine.
Old machines seem to be well taken care of in the linux world now. I find that to be very cool, especially when I think about the operating system alternatives to linux out there. ;o)
182 • 142 again (by Tom on 2009-05-28 10:30:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
Firefox runs in many linux distrobutions but a few have lighter weight variants called Seamonkey or BonEcho instead, "Help", "About" tells you the truth of which variant and which release number. To replace MS Word you need to find AbiWord, or better still OpenOffice. OpenOffice allows you to set all the defaults to save documents in the same formats as MS Office but with AbiWord you keep having to use "Save As ...". Again most distros will have one or the other and will allow you to easily add OpenOffice.
It's always worth booting up from the Cd of a distro and choose the default option to try the distro without making any changes to the machine, this should almost invariably get you to a working desktop and we call this a LiveCd session when it works - this way is good for trying a demo of the distro before going through a full install process. I definitely recommend trying both Wolvix and Ubuntu this way first, and then perhaps others.
Hope this helps! Good luck and regards from
183 • @ Tom # 179 (by DeniZen on 2009-05-28 10:38:07 GMT from United Kingdom)
yes I agree Tom, and, TBH I probably penned that while in a bit of a 'warring' mood ;)
I have a real bad cold, and I admit to much grumpyness ;)
Plus .. my Laptop's HD failed and I lost my Fedora 11 and Ubuntu 9.04 set-ups, which I'd invested a fair bit of time on getting set up 'just so'.
I have managed to replace the HD. Not sure what I will put back on there - probably Fedora 11, though I am penning this from Mint 7 which I have popped on for a quickie result, and to take a peek.
Not sure Mint is 'me' for one reason or another, but it does feel like a very, very well sorted Distro indeed.
Anyhoo, I did also suggest in that same post that it I dont imagine everyone should 'just get along' - indeed that would be naive , and unproductive.
Without strife, there would be little, or no innovation.
I just think that sometimes 'we' (this 'community' notion) do 'ourselves' no favours by getting quite so heated over small matters of taste and opinion, and as for the pedantry .. well .
But that's us Humans I guess ;)
Maybe I should swallow some of my own medicine. After the next LemSip maybe ;)
184 • package list update: GStreamer (by Jonathon Conte on 2009-05-28 11:43:59 GMT from United States)
I have long thought that GStreamer would be a worthwhile addition to the package list since it is a cornerstone of so many desktop applications such as Totem, Rhythmbox, Jokosher, PiTiVi, Ekiga, Elisa, Thoggen and Banshee to name a few. Improvements in GStreamer or new plugins for it have widespread impact on the desktop. Please consider GStreamer during the next update of the package list.
185 • Community (by Tom on 2009-05-28 12:15:51 GMT from United Kingdom)
In a housing co-op in London a very aggressive chap made me a cuppa tea and asked me "How many sugars" in an extremely intimidating and quite threatening way. His demand that i tried buttered crumpets, with treacle, was probably on a par with most people's experience of being mugged and beaten in a dark alley. I was afraid to not-stand-my-ground and so demanded honey. Nice cuppa tea tho and melted honey on toasted crumpets was perfect.
I really think it's important for people to try out LiveCd's first and then, when installing, do it as part of a dual-boot even with a broken, virus riddled Windows as the other part. Linux can often repair a lot of the damage at some point when you're used to using it and in the meantime doesn't get affected by the Windows viruses. To learn about and gain a good understanding of partitioning and other installer issues try installing Wolvix Hunter 1.1.0 - it gently guides you through and uses excellent default settings. It was only after installing Wolvix that i finally understood what had been going wrong with my Mandriva and then was able to use my new knowledge to install Ubuntu. I really kinda hate blue and don't like green much, except in nature, hence why i settled on my 2 favourites - oh, and they both work well. This guide helps sort almost all the multimedia in *buntus
Sometimes if you're desperate for a really good cuppa tea it's worth a little trouble, who knows - you might get a crumpet too ;)
186 • Taking the Plunge... (by Louie on 2009-05-28 14:24:41 GMT from United States)
Thank you so much Tom and Denizen. After reading what you said Tom, I decided to try Ubuntu instead of Mepis. Wow, the install was very easy and it did explain the partitioning very well. I had some trouble figuring out the "iso" burning but I finally got it. I must say it's not much to look at though, it looks like an old Windows 95 OS with really ugly wallpaper, but it works! What happened to the Flash Player? I will try Wolvix next, it looks like a good one to try. I am a little bit fearful because I read somewhere that Slackware is not user friendly, mainly for "techies". As for tea, I like a nice Earl Grey.
187 • A few thoughts (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-28 14:36:57 GMT from United States)
-My main Linux computer is an old Sony Vaio laptop I picked up for $50. 1.6 Ghz Pentium M, 1.25 GB of RAM, and a Radeon 9200. It's running Ubuntu 9.04 (a fairly fresh install - replacing Pardus) and Windows XP (for games - notably, UT2004, which runs way better in native DirectX on this machine). Ubuntu runs moderately well; all hardware (Wi-Fi, 3D, everything) is noticed and running OOTB with stock Ubuntu drivers, and there's only a tiny bit of noticable lag.
-My old machine was a Celeron Northwood 2.0 Ghz machine with a Gig and a GeForce 6200, and Ubuntu 8.10 and 9.04 were always a bit slow. I never was able to pinpoint the reason; but now it's being used by another, more worthy candidate with XP (unfortunately). I used 8.04 and/or Debian on that computer for a year.
-I've got an old case lying around so I'm looking at buying a few insides for a new computer. Probably just a nice, Dual-Core, 64-bit, non-Celeron Intel processor and 2 GB of RAM, and that will be plenty to get me through the next five to ten years of Linux OS'. Don't even need to spend more than $150!
-Never liked Mint, for some reason or another. I don't have any use for the extra apps that Clem adds, and installing the codecs and drivers takes me less than a half an hour (which doesn't happen that much, to be honest). I keep with stock Ubuntu; it just seems easier. I understand the use for it, however, and do suggest it to newbies when it's a pertinent choice.
188 • @186 (by Nobody Important on 2009-05-28 14:42:39 GMT from United States)
To get a whole bunch of codecs, drivers, and various other things not included on the CD installed (like MP3, Flash, Java, etc.), do the following:
1) Open the Terminal.
2) Type "sudo apt-get update" and press enter. Wait a bit until the terminal prompt returns.
3) Type "sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras" and press enter.
4) Answer "Yes" to all questions it asks.
5) When the Terminal prompt returns, close the terminal.
What you did there is you updated the list of Ubuntu's available software (the "respository information") and then installed a package called "ubuntu-restricted-extras" that drew in all of the things you'll need in the future. It's a very handy package to have.
Also, try going up to the top bar, clicking System -> Preferences -> Appearence and play with the settings. I promise you, you'll be hooked!
189 • hardware choosing (by hab on 2009-05-28 15:13:10 GMT from Canada)
For me one decent source for info on picking and choosing bits and pieces for a new box has been arstechnica's system guide here:http://arstechnica.com/hardware/guides/2009/04/ars-technica-system-guide-april-2009-edition.ars
I have found these guides handy and have built a few machines for others, based largely on budget box recommendations. These machines have all worked well!
For myself it has always been more about the 'system' i'm interacting with rather than the collection of hardware per se, and to drag in the automotive metaphor (again, i know...i know, but it works for me) its kinda like asking yourself how much horsepower do you need to getcha down the road, 300?, 500?
Having said that i will cop to looking at ars god box specs and drooling! Just a little!
190 • #186 distro choosing (by Xtyn on 2009-05-28 17:21:01 GMT from Romania)
Check out this list:
Remember one thing: there are two major desktop environments: KDE and gnome. They use different default applications so you should try both. I think KDE looks better but I use gnome, I made it look like KDE. :)
Linux is very customizable, you can make it look the way you want it to.
My opinion is that the best looking distros are openSUSE and Mandriva but I use Ubuntu.
191 • desktop environments (by Frisco on 2009-05-28 17:32:00 GMT from United States)
Xtyn, I wish it were just about how to make a desktop look. :o(
If it were, then KDE would be on all our computers here and at home.
But it's about resources too. The lighter WMs and package light distros just work faster and more efficiently on an old IBM or Gateway that came with Windows 98 or Millineum Edition; we can finally get things up to speed with Vectorlinux or Mint or anti-X, etc.
They can be made to look good, of course. I think many many linux users, especially new ones from XP or Vista, think of computing as appearing like those OSs as well as perfoming well. Thus KDE and the desire by so many to tweek and tweek and confugure until they achive Windows-like familiarity.
We discourage that here. ;o)
192 • with apologies for double post (by Frisco on 2009-05-28 17:35:41 GMT from United States)
Last line more clearly would be, "We are trying to discourage the Windows-like desktops at our facility and at home."
It just seems to gravitate to that, though; it is something we've all noticed about student users and even some faculty, with the notable exception of those coming from schools where Macs were used. Those users seem to take to non-KDE WMs a bit more readily.
193 • #191 (by Xtyn on 2009-05-28 18:48:37 GMT from Romania)
I have no idea what hardware he has, he did not mention it.
If he would give more details, we would know what to recommend.
If he thinks Ubuntu is ugly, I recommended the prettiest distros I know.
Wait until he sees Wolvix. If he says Ubuntu looks like Windows 95, than Wolvix looks like Windows 3.0.
194 • Community (by Untitled on 2009-05-28 19:13:53 GMT from United Kingdom)
I read all the comments here during the last couple of days and two things were quite surprising:
1. Most of the comments this week are very civilised, friendly and helpful. The only exceptions were some of the comments about the Mandriva review, but even those were of high standard compared to the average comment on the web. I don't know how many comments were deleted, but it's not important as it still shows that there enough decent people to leave 193 comments worth reading.
2. The other, maybe even more amazing, observation was the quality of the grammar and spelling of those comments. I'm not saying that it's perfect as I'm not in the position to, but there was nothing that made me cringe and most (if not all) people here actually punctuate. Again, compare that to standard on the web.
I don't feel much of a being a part of a Linux community, probably as I don't personally know anyone else who uses it, but if I'd ever want to imagine myself as there being a community that I want to be part of, this is the one.
195 • Welcome in already untitled :) (by Tom on 2009-05-28 20:14:45 GMT from United Kingdom)
The big news is that you already are in the community - especially since you've just posted into a *nix forum :) There's no gate nor entrance exam and no hurdles to jump - you're just in already. Welcome in already ;)
196 • re#194 one is the loneliest number (by hab on 2009-05-28 20:22:59 GMT from Canada)
Even 'tho you may feel alone running linux in the choking atmospheric fog that is windows, don't fret, you're not anywhere near being alone! I might have thought the same thing untill oct of 98. That fall i attended a vanlug install fest at ubc and ended up doing a volunteer install for another gent. Redhat linux prolly v5, i think............. its been a while.
Anyhow by this time i had been running slackware for two years so that went well except for the harddrive being quite large for the time and requiring the acquisition of a modified version of a proggie called fips for splitting the existing windows partition.
But what i also found was that the demand and interest in linux even back then was significant. I've never really felt like a lone linux user since!
197 • ubuntu looks. (by Sergio on 2009-05-28 20:34:40 GMT from Brazil)
@186: Louie, do as #188 said and you'll see many options to customize ubuntu's appearance *save* wallpapers (there are usually only a few - I haven't seen in Jaunty, though). To solve that, fetch some here:
and download them to /usr/share/backgrounds .
198 • Pass the Mint Please! (by Anonymous on 2009-05-29 04:34:14 GMT from United States)
I've been using Mint for the past year and can't wait to get my Gentoo boxes converted. This latest version is really sharp and I might make the upgrade now while I've got the time. Using the MintUpdate I've experienced no upgrade problems at all. Not so with the versioning problems and blocking encountered with emerge. 90% less bandwidth download binary files instead of source. Practically every Linux tool in existence is built to run on the Ubuntu base not so with the Gentoo. The constant compiling to keep the box up to date. It was fun and made sense back in 2002 to keep from landing in RPM Hell, but I'm tired of driving a Model-T as Gentoo is more than showing it's age. Switching between the Mint laptop and the Gentoo systems is becoming a real drag, time to make the move.
199 • @194 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-05-29 05:23:40 GMT from Canada)
When comments get deleted from here, the entry is left, just the text is replaced with a "this message has been deleted" note. So you can tell how many have been deleted. I don't think any were, this week.
200 • Re: 199 (by Azzorcist on 2009-05-29 05:41:58 GMT from Indonesia)
I have ever saw comment deleted without any 'explanation text' and even the number of the post missing.
It is probably last week.
201 • Problem with Slack-12.2 + WinXP (by Azzorcist on 2009-05-29 07:30:12 GMT from Indonesia)
My machine dual boot Windows XP and Slackware 12.2.
The bootloader is Lilo and it installed on the MBR.
I edited the lilo.conf because the timeout is to long (default 1200 or 600?).
I changed it to timeout=30.
Nothing changed. Boot in number of times and it still didn't affect the timeout. It is still 2 minutes.
In frustation I changed the timeout to '0'.
Boot in number of times and it didn't affect anything. Until now, it reacted after a number of time using my machine.
Now, there's no OS selection anymore, it just boot into Windows (the default one).
I cannot boot into my Slackware anymore.
Used Ubuntu 9.04 liveCD to change the lilo.conf and like before it didn't affect the bootloader configuration. Then, I used my Debian LXDE live to change the lilo.conf again.
This time timeout=600. But, nothing happen. Maybe I should wait 'til I used the machine in much time before the new config' affect the system.
But, it's time consuming and frustrating.
How could this be in 'well known to be stable' distro?
Windows XP still the OS that mostly suit my need and Slackware is the only Linux distro i have ever used that almost suit my need compared to the XP.
So, i want to keep this distro on my machine. What should I do?
Oh, yeah. In case I almost always forgot to say thanks, I'll say it before your help. Thank you. ^_^
202 • RE: 201 Problem with Slack-12.2 + WinXP (by ladislav on 2009-05-29 07:34:48 GMT from Taiwan)
With LILO, every time you change any setting, you need to run # lilo on the command line. Otherwise the changes won't be applied.
203 • Re: 202 (by Azzorcist on 2009-05-29 07:47:56 GMT from Indonesia)
Do you mean type "# lilo" or that mean I shoud run "lilo" as root?
204 • RE: 203 LILO (by ladislav on 2009-05-29 07:56:30 GMT from Taiwan)
You should run "lilo" as root. If there are errors in your configuration, the bootloader won't be updated. This is a way to verify that you didn't make a mistake while editing lilo.conf.
205 • Re: 204 (by Azzorcist on 2009-05-29 08:02:55 GMT from Indonesia)
Thanks alot for the info.
But, I still wonder why the previous config updated when I never run 'lilo'?
206 • RE: 205 (by ladislav on 2009-05-29 08:56:52 GMT from Taiwan)
No, that's impossible. You absolutely have to run "lilo" to effect any changes. There are no two ways about it.
207 • #199 (no big deal but hopefully worth a mention) (by Jerry B. on 2009-05-29 09:17:54 GMT from United States)
I am not absolutely certain, but I don't think that is true, Adam. At least not every single time a comment is deleted.
We have multiple users on some of our machines and have had to monitor then lay down rules for some of the users; prior to our doing that (and hopefully not since) comments here and in other forums have been removed by sysops and administrators.
The ones here that have been removed were not always replaced with a "comment deleted" or whatever, as I recall.
208 • Epiphany (by DeniZen on 2009-05-29 10:28:10 GMT from United Kingdom)
After ignoring it for years, suspecting it remained a shadow of Firefox , I have been trying out the latest version of the Epiphany browser (it was mentioned in a thread above, which jogged my memory).
Epiphany now uses the webkit engine, in the main, and is fast in use, fast to render and uses about half the memory footprint of Firefox.
It also seems to 'pick up' the Firefox plugins etc, and essentially, what works in Firefox, is working in Epiphany - on this machine.
Though I wonder if it would be that easy if I didnt also already have Firefox installed and set up. I have not looked into that too deeply yet.
I'm liking it.
It doesnt have all of FF's features, but I think it has everything I need
Definitely a crisper browsing experience.
Would be a far better choice for lower spec machines I'd guess.
209 • Comment above .. (by DeniZen again on 2009-05-29 10:38:29 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ought to have added, observation made above would only fully apply to a system running Gnome really.
Which I find myself doing for the / at the moment ;)
210 • FOR THOSE WHO COMPLAIN ABOUT INTEL ISSUE (by killer1987 on 2009-05-29 11:05:30 GMT from Italy)
it has just been uploaded an official update:
211 • looks vs performance (by Tom on 2009-05-29 11:12:34 GMT from United Kingdom)
@186, 190-193 and many others
Reminds me of "The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy" (books, radio and Lp rather than film), talking about a very fast spaceship "Looks like a fish, moves like a fish, steers like a cow". There's nothing wrong with tweaking linux looks, it's usually very easy to change the wallpaper and themes but i agree that making it look like Windows, while often done by noobs, is not a great plan. There are some great distros that try to give more of an Xp (or other) 'look and feel' and these are often great but scratch the surface and they are sometimes just as difficult to tweak as Windows is. On the other hand
Why not aim for a Mac look tho? People often say the 'look and feel' of Mac is hugely superior to any other existing OS but the price tag is just too high. While it looks and feels great often Mac lacks performance which, until recently, linux primarily focussed on. Sadly at the moment you often have to choose a balance between performance and looks. Having said that it does sound like you are looking at the older Wolvix's (as i recommended) the new Wolvix 2.0 beta2 and Wolvix Cub 2.0 beta1 both look much more glamorous than Hunter 1.1.0, it's just that Hunter has OpenOffice included on the LiveCd whereas the beta's don't (easy to add to a full install tho)
@194, 199, 200 & 207
About a month or 2 ago we had a big debate about "Freedom of Speech" vs; "Freedom to offend/flame", Rights of the website owners, family friendly environment, off-topic chats etc. I'd be amazed if you can't find your opinions already expressed in there somewhere. The majority seemed to agree that these things are pretty well balanced here. As someone that has had comments completely deleted leaving no trace i still have to agree and am actually quite thankful that things said in haste while i was grumpy haven't left a permanent taint. Also there are many regular's in here for whom english is not their first language so it's not always fair to judge people based on spelling or grammar, although it's good to hear you've been impressed by a high relative (compared to the rest of the internet) standard this week. I live in Cambridge, England and often find the standards of grammar here are better than the standards i find in the streets around me ;)
@201-206 Lilo, Ladislav & Azzorist
Even Lilo sounds far more advanced than the Windows boot-loaders. That final check before committing changes sounds like something that grub could do with? At the moment i just create a copy of menu.lst before making changes - perhaps this is better and easier to understand tho. I have heard that if you're not happy using lilo then installing grub would take precedence, no need to uninstall lilo first. Get a LiveCd of a distro with grub on it and in a terminal type
usually using the "find" command on the grub command-line is useful for working out how grub refers to the hard-drive and partition where your boot-loader is. I think in this case tho, it's easier to just work it out yourself remembering that grub is made to talk with machines and so it counts from 0 rather than from 1. So the 1st hard-drive's 3rd partition would be (hd0,2) whereas linux would call it hda3 or sda3. Using your numbers
Slackware and Xp boot fine from grub and i find grub easier to use because i'm more familiar with it. The above method of installing grub should automatically pick-up on the presence of all bootable OS's on your system, sometimes it even finds extras. Editing menu.lst is only occasionally needed. Hope this helps if you're not already sorted ;)
@188, 186 re Multimedia
I find the worksheet at
useful for sorting out each of the different issues and good for making sure that i've got everything, it deals with each of the issues in turn. It also explains proprietary vs OpenSource but doesn't help with installing Flash-players such as Adobe (which is free but not Free) or Gnash (which is Free and therefore also free ;) not always true of Free but usually is) but having followed the medibuntu it should then be easy to find "flash player" in a package manager, if required.
System - Administration - Synaptics Package Manager
There are distros that aim to include all this stuff right from the start but it's probably best to start from regular Ubuntu before trying the distros that have been adapted from it. I think getting multimedia into Wolvix was easier but you may need to use their helpful forums.
Blimey, sorry for such a hugely long post again
212 • Puppy "Deepthought" (by Why do i need a name? on 2009-05-29 11:24:42 GMT from United States)
I think that the release of Puppy Linux 4.2.1 deserves more recognition. It seems that distrowatch always reviews the "big 3", but i haven't seen a detail article on a minor distro for a while. The deepthought series is a huge milestone in the development of Puppy as well as being (IMHO) incredibly aesthetically complete and the most user-friendly release yet.
Just my $0.02. Sorry for my rambling, feel free to flame.
213 • @212 (by BabyLegs on 2009-05-29 12:20:05 GMT from United States)
Hmmm, that is very interesting. It has been in the top ten for a long time. It is a fantastic distro and should be recognized as such.
214 • #210 and downloads (by Anonymous on 2009-05-29 13:39:12 GMT from Canada)
If I now d/l Mandriva 0ne (kde) will this automatically include the new driver?
If not, and this would also apply to other "errata" that have been corrected, why not?
215 • #214 Mandriva One, running lilo (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-05-29 13:50:36 GMT from United States)
#214: No, if you download Mandriva One you will still get the original release code. You will have to apply the update after installation. AFAIK the live CD run as a live CD will still have the problem. In fairness to Mandriva this isn't unusual. Every other distro I know of works this way. If the do spin a new CD that becomes a dot release, i.e. 2009.1.1. There's been no announcement of a minor release that I am aware of.
Ladislav's instructions regarding lilo are spot on. However I usually run,
as root. The -v is verbose and will make it easier to understand any errors that might exist in your configuration if the install fails.
216 • Ref#212 (by Anonymous on 2009-05-29 14:47:54 GMT from United States)
Would April 6th be current enough.
217 • packages (by anon on 2009-05-29 15:10:54 GMT from Russian Federation)
Ah, I remember (in 2006) beagle getting added to the list of tracked packages.
I still believe there are significant holes in the packages tracked - especially in some of the basic building blocks necessary to run a system.
In that category, I would include:
I consider most of these much more important than many of the packages currently tracked.
After those, I still have a few useful applications and tools to suggest:
218 • Xtyn - 190 (by Louie on 2009-05-29 15:43:33 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the info. Mandriva is so cool. It looks better than Windows Vista! Window managers? I don't understand that much about what that is but I guess I will learn. I am starting to see there are many good Linux's(?) to choose from. I looked at Wolvix too, I don't know why you say it is ugly? I like the wolf. I really like the Linux's with the live cds, then I can try them pretty easy.
219 • mint 7 (by Siva on 2009-05-29 16:30:21 GMT from United States)
on the laptop toshiba mint 7 works well
the review said, "more than ubuntu with codecs" and is right to me as I look at the menu, system tools and preferences set up
very nice and deserving of the #3 page hit ranking i see :)
220 • @217 nice list (by john frey on 2009-05-29 17:19:29 GMT from Canada)
Those are excellent suggestions. I'm surprised some of those are not on the list already. ffmpeg, lm_sensors and hdparm for example.
That said I am not sure hdparm should make the list now. With the move to sata largely complete how relevant is hdparm? Still a lot of ide harddrives out there, I know, and bound to be for many years to come.
I would not bother with links when lynx is already tracked.
I think all your other suggestions are valid. The ones I think are essential are ffmpeg, lm_sensors and net-tools. There are probably more that should make the essential list but I'm sticking to the ones I am already familiar with.
221 • No subject (by forest on 2009-05-29 18:03:26 GMT from United Kingdom)
Siva, using the 7day section Mint is numero uno!
I have got it on an oldish Compaq Evo and it looks stunning. Everything just worked for me. Vids played, music just worked...sound...not a problem, printer recognised and pages appear perfect...wifi is found and p/w applied and online in seconds.
I have been pondering the often repeated remark that a distro "just will not work for me"...I have always just installed the distro as per instructions and mostly they just work.
But it occurs to me when I read of some of the permutations folk do prior to install, viz change file system say....whether perhaps they should stick to the default and work from there.
I have found too that using my new (to me) faster machine that stuff is even easier to install, not to say faster.
Which prompts me to ask if any other folk have discovered a difference in installing stuff on their newer machines cf older kit they were using hitherto?
222 • LILO (by Azzorcist on 2009-05-30 01:39:50 GMT from Indonesia)
Tried your suggestion with no luck. I can't boot to Slackware, how can I run lilo? Use liveCD? Most use GRUB.
Run lilo from DVD I used to install but 'man' is not available.
I never thought before that editing lilo.conf should run lilo because when I edit something like /etc/fstab I just edit and save it.
Did a reinstall since it's far more simple. But, after reinstall my XP's hal.dll corrupted. Sigh...
I'm using Slackware mostly because like people above that running Arch, forced to learn.
Yeah, I'm not an expert, but using Slackware tought me a lot. Many thanks to Slackbook team.
I'll consider install GRUB from Slackware extras.
223 • RE: 222 LILO (by ladislav on 2009-05-30 01:58:37 GMT from Taiwan)
This is pretty easy to fix - once you know how to ;-)
Yes, boot into a live CD. It has to be a live CD that recognises hard disks as "hda" (not "sda"), so I suggest Slax, or Zenwalk Live. The Debian 5 live CD will work too. Once you boot into it, mount your Slackware partition, then chroot to it (by running the chroot command). Now you run "lilo". Press Ctrl+D to get out of chroot, then reboot your system.
So let's say your Slackware partition is on /dev/hda1. Follow these steps:
1. Boot into a live CD.
2. Create a temporary directory: # mkdir /mnt/tmp
3. Mount your Slackware partition: # mount /dev/hda1 /mnt/tmp
4. Chroot into your Slackware partition: # chroot /mnt/tmp
5. Run lilo: # lilo (or # lilo -v if you prefer more verbose output)
6. Return to your live CD: Ctrl+D
If you LILO configuration boots more than one OS, you might have to comment them all out (all except the Slackware one) before running # lilo. That's because the chrooted system won't recognise all the partitions and running "lilo" will give you errors. But that's not a big deal - once you reboot into your Slackware partition, you can just uncomment all those entries once again.
224 • Re: 223 (by Azzorcist on 2009-05-30 02:51:02 GMT from Indonesia)
Thanks. It's more like another DWW for me. ;-)
I'll save it. Now, I'll have to reinstall the entire system.
225 • Package list update (by Tom on 2009-05-30 12:08:55 GMT from United Kingdom)
There seems to be a lot of work involved for DW volunteers, is there anything that we could do to help Ladislav, Chris & Caitlyn with this? Is my idea for categories such as; default office, default multimedia player, a bad plan?
Lilo vs grub - is it easier/better to stick with the default one or to install the one you're more familiar with. Thanks to Ladislav i have a lot more respect for lilo now and know much more about it. I had already found it to be much more sophisticated then even recent Windows equivalents but now recognise it has features that even grub lacks.
In an earlier comment i noted that there doesn't seem to be a central place for asking about all different distros and that the few questions asked in here seem to get good answers but since then i have found
and, of course, launchpad but both these seem to be very limited in the range of distro they deal with. I wish their 'list of distros' would just put resources into DW instead of trying to maintain separate (and less inclusive, ime) lists.
Anyway, thanks and regards to all from
226 • ref 225 (by Anonymous on 2009-05-30 15:43:03 GMT from United States)
I see a lot of posting that this is better than that - distros, programs, etc.
Regarding Grub vs Lilo vs grub4dos vs GAG vs Windows bootmanager
There's not better, just different. It's what your use to. Slackware has used lilo since the beginning of time. That's all.
Remember, a boot loaders job is to JUST boot the OS, period! All this other nonsense - color, images, is usually meaningless.
With that said. from "grub>" prompt, help. then experiment. A lot of useful adhoc abilities there.
227 • Mint 7 (by Siva on 2009-05-30 19:56:26 GMT from United States)
well it is a good one but not without a problem here and there :(
gconf-editor is non-functional and elicits long error messages
no way to configure windows to not drag the whole contents of the window when moving
and a few other things
our instructor posted in mint forums about it yesterday no responding yet
maybe somebody here has seen this in mint 7?
228 • Google disses Linux... (by Kevin on 2009-05-31 01:47:26 GMT from United States)
Interesting topic of discussion...
Guess the good news contained therein is the Chrome browser now exists, albeit alpha, for Linux. Otherwise it seems that a certain segment of the "powers that be" (i.e., software developers for Google, Adobe, so and such forth) are, at least, hinting at the concept of "one Linux to rule them all." Or perhaps I'm reading too much into this...ergo, would a certain uniformity/ standardization/ uniformity not be desirable for the community as a whole?
On the other hand, this seems to fly in the face of the freedom we so cherish--the freedom that, indeed, defines the open source philosophy...it would seem that popularity of Linux as a desktop OS may come with certain sacrifices that some hold sacrosanct. This is one advantage MS holds with its hegemony---standards and uniformity for coders... any thoughts?
229 • @228 Google Chromium (by suckinoregon on 2009-05-31 05:53:47 GMT from United States)
Does anybody remember begging them to please release something for linux? I sure as hell didn't. What do I need another browser for? Just so I can be more Googletastic? To do my part to try and enforce some sort of standard, I will stick with my firefox/iceweasel instead of adding to the confusion.
230 • re#229,228 google sucks ......er .....blows (by hab on 2009-05-31 06:53:25 GMT from Canada)
This does seem just a trifle on the stoopid side. Considering the big G runs about (by some estimates) 450,000 specialized linux boxen in their 'search cloud'.
If you read the comments on the slashdot page it is apparently due to there being no universal api in linux. Jeez, with two major different desktop environments, who'd a thunk that!
231 • Agreed... (by Kevin on 2009-05-31 08:51:31 GMT from United States)
Upon reflection of all of this, I realise what has drawn me to Linux over the years is the freedom of choice. I love the choice of being able to run and d.e. from Fluxbox to KDE 4.x, for instance. One post in the comments section of said SlashDot article was pretty much how I feel....in fine, the poster stated, "use what works for you," and how is it any different between running OS X, Windows, Linux OR Fedora, Ubuntu or whatever. It's been many years since I've even attempted to type in one line of code..."Hello world!!!" would probably confound me now, so I have no idea what their perceived shortcomings with GTK are. I can comprehend the logic behind having to maintain different installations for different distros..i.e., check the Opera download site; there are Debian, rpm-based, Gentoo, etc. based installations. However, how would this be different than maintaining WinXP versions, Vista versions and other Windows flavors (32 and 64 bit respectively)??? And it's not like MS has a history of smooth transitions for software (esp. drivers) between versions (and sometimes even service packs). Windows 7 supposedly addresses this and MS claims anything that works on Vista will work on 7---tho I'll believe it when I see it.
Also, I guess this is the comment of the Google Chrome dev team...I can't see Google, in general, wanting to bale or even alienate the 'nix folks when they're fairly well invested in Android at this point.
232 • Package to track (by Claus Futtrup on 2009-05-31 12:11:18 GMT from Denmark)
I think it would be good to track a package for network setup / wireless setup, like wicd.
233 • Google OSX (by Azzorcist on 2009-06-01 02:25:53 GMT from Indonesia)
Google can make their own version of Linux with only take the core of Linux like Apple did with BSD.
Make their own API and GUI framework on top of it like Apple Mac OS X.
Look at Moblin that create It's own personalized GUI.
They have their choice.
234 • Ref#229 (by Anonymous on 2009-06-01 02:51:15 GMT from United States)
I prefer Chrome to Firefox anyday. Just to keep those interested in Chromium update information:
Look at the bottom and you will see it is very actively being developed.
235 • Desktop OS (by Azzorcist on 2009-06-01 03:14:42 GMT from Indonesia)
I tried Haiku in VirtualBox. Nice. This is it.
Linux is meant for server computer.
Haiku is for desktop computer.
Linux is like a motocross which is designed for running offroad. You can use it onroad by changing it's tires to use road tires. But, it is cannot satisfy your need on public road. You need to modify It to become more road bike by turning it into supermoto. And that what Apple did with it's OS X.
While Haiku is like the superbike or maybe scooter for use onroad. Might not good offroad, but really good onroad.
That's my thought.
236 • LinuxMCE installs over drive (by Charles on 2009-06-01 05:05:42 GMT from United States)
I've setup various flavors of linux several dozen times, played with full installs, live, floppy, usb.
The installer asks what drive, what password, then starts writing inodes.
It does not offer gparted, it overwrites all partitions on the drive specified.
Scary. This probably would have been avoided with a bit more reading before installing, but then we come to expect some things out of major distributions like this one. I'm very disappointed in the installer. I even ran it again to see if I missed the warning, there is none.
BTW it has no setup options other than what i mentioned. After the install it goes to a blank screen. Reboot shows the kubuntu then... blank screen. I've never found a distro so unable to detect my hardware, just nvidia / nforce. I was able to get x up using the cd repair option to run the setup from the command prompt, but it kept saying things were not installed (like HAL) so I'm going to try Mythbuntu.
237 • REF: #234 (by Kevin on 2009-06-01 07:03:45 GMT from United States)
I concur...I like Chrome as well. Firefox has, in the the past, been my default browser (I detest IE). I still use Firefox, but feel it's become rather bloated. For instance, I recently purchased a netbook, the Asus eee1002HA. It came with XP, b/c I wanted to dual-boot (I have to have Windows for education related software). In truth, I should've researched better....I assumed that Linux would run on any of the eee's. For the 1002HA I've yet to find a distro that I can get the audio to work. With Easy Peasy I got the sound working, but after updating, it was once again broken & no amount of tweaking would get it working again. :>(
So, I'm stuck with XP for the time being & both Firefox and IE are both slow loading and running on my netbook...yet, Chrome runs briskly & I really like the user interface of Chrome. I actually look forward to using Chrome on my Linux boxes. And supposedly with v.2 Chrome will support extensions, which makes it all the better. I haven't extensively researched Chrome's origins, but with my online banking site's security test it rates Chrome as high as Firefox for security & actually reports it as Safari. As to the comments, I brought that up as a point of discussion, I never would let that be a reason for me not to use an app I view as fitting my needs. And it should also be noted, from the same SlashDot article, that Adobe has been saying similar things....and I for one will not be uninstalling Flash anytime soon. ;>) Everyone has a right to opine (with which I, for one disagree), but from a practical standpoint the internet is pretty useless without Flash, from my POV.
Number of Comments: 237
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SLAMPP was a Linux distribution which can boot and run directly from a DVD, with possibility to be installed onto hard disk. It was designed to be used as an instant home server. Just like other Linux live DVDs, SLAMPP makes it possible to test Linux without messing up the user's existing system. What makes SLAMPP different was the fact that it comes with pre-configured tools and applications that turn a personal computer into a home server. SLAMPP was built using Zenwalk Linux as its base and Slackware Linux for packages.