| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 322, 28 September 2009
Welcome to this year's 39th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! This week's issue is almost entirely dedicated to netbooks. First, we'll take a look at a Linux-based HP Mini 110 and its customised user interface called HP Mi. As part of the review we'll also investigate possible Linux alternatives to install on the netbook, including the latest alpha release of Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10. The news section then provides further netbook-related news as both Canonical and Mandriva announce products built around the new Moblin 2.0 user interface, while the Fedora community launches Fedora Mini, a custom distribution specifically built with netbooks in mind. But if netbooks are not your cup of tea, the news section also has some other distro news: Slackware releases official KDE 3.5 packages for its latest version 13.0, Debian developers launch two new alternative package management systems, and Ubuntu publishes a full development schedule for its first release of 2010 - version 10.04 "Lucid Lynx". All this and more in this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly - happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Ladislav Bodnar)
First look at HP Mini 110 Mi edition
The Linux netbook market has gone through an interesting and sometimes controversial evolution. Starting as 7-inch, Linux-only ultra-portable PCs with Solid State Disk (SSD) drives in place of hard disks, the early netbooks were quickly superseded by slightly larger machines with 9- and 10-inch screens, near full-size keyboards and real hard disks. Linux, despite its early success, was replaced by Windows XP - no doubt due to Microsoft's stick-and-carrot pressure on hardware manufacturers. They now universally "recommend" that "we use Windows for everyday computing". As a result, less than two years after the launch of ultra-portable netbook PCs, finding one with Linux pre-installed is hard, if not impossible, in many parts of the world. (There will be readers arguing that most customers prefer Windows anyway, but that's just speculation. How can we be sure if computer stores offer no choice? Only when we have netbooks of exact same specifications with a choice of Windows or Linux displayed side-by-side in every store, will we know what the customers prefer.)
Ever since I bought my ASUS Eee PC 900 in April 2008, I was on a lookout for another netbook. The Eee PC is a very nice machine, but its crammed keyboard and its unfortunate placement of the right Shift key made any touch typing unproductive. Unfortunately, over the months that followed, the Linux netbook has become as rare as saffron in Taipei's computer stores, before it disappeared completely (I remember walking into no fewer than 20 different stores, large and small, all displaying an enormous range of netbooks, without finding a single one with Linux). So imagine my surprise when, two weeks ago, I entered a computer shop and saw a netbook that had no Windows key and carried no Windows sticker! I was so shocked that I didn't hesitate for long and minutes later I was walking away with a box containing an HP Mini 110-1011TU with Linux - a customised edition of Ubuntu with an interface called "HP Mi".
First, the specifications. This particular model of HP Mini comes with Intel Atom N280 processor (1.66 GHz, 512 KB L2, 667 MHz FSB), a 250 GB (5400 RPM) SATA hard disk drive, 2 GB of DDR2 SDRAM, 10.1-inch monitor (maximum resolution 1024x576 pixels), Intel Mobile 945GME Express integrated graphics controller, Intel 82801G audio controller, Broadcom BCM4312 802.11b/g wireless network card, and Atheros AR8132 Ethernet adapter (kernel driver atl1c). It has three USB ports, a port for plugging in an external monitor, an audio port for headphones, a built-in HP webcam, and a 3-cell Lithium Ion battery. It weighs 1.2 kg and cost an equivalent of US$400 (NT$13,000).
The most interesting part of the netbook is, of course, its software. The HP Mi (Mobile Internet) interface is a customised and simplified built of Ubuntu 8.04 LTS ("Hardy Heron"), which was released in April 2008. As such, the software packages aren't particularly up-to-date, with Linux kernel 2.6.24, GNOME 2.24.3, Firefox 3.0.13 and OpenOffice.org 2.4.1 all somewhat older than the current latest versions of these applications. But unlike Windows netbooks, which all come with the same standard (i.e. uncustomisable) desktop interface, HP Mi's default desktop is a different story. It is divided into three columns - the left one shows your emails (once email settings are configured in Thunderbird), the middle column has thumbnails of web pages (similar to Opera's "Speed Dial") and the right column is separated into two parts, with the top one listing any recently played music files, while the bottom one showing recently viewed photos.
HP Mi - the default desktop
(full image size: 389kB, screen resolution 1024x576 pixels)
While interesting and innovative, the HP Mi default desktop left me somewhat unimpressed. This was partly due to the fact that I am not a fan of white elements on black backgrounds, but also because there is no clear separation of components to lead the eyes along the different sections of the screen. I don't want to be too critical here, because this is a highly personal factor. Besides, I am obviously not the primary target market of this particular product. Nevertheless, it's nice to see that HP has made an effort to create something fresh and unusual, something that might appeal to a certain group of users, although I still think that it could do much better on the aesthetics front. That, or at least allow some sort of a customisation, like changing the colours, moving around the elements, etc.
HP Mi - the software launching interface
(full image size: 100kB, screen resolution 1024x576 pixels)
Software applications are accessed via a large "Start New Program" button located just under the middle section of the home screen. Clicking on it takes the user to a familiar tabbed interface, similar to what Xandros used to build for the Eee PC in the distant days when ASUS still cared about Linux. Clicking on the oversized icons will start the desired application, but they only contain a subset of what is available on the system. For example, there is no icon for the GNOME Terminal, so if you'd like to do some command-line work the only way to bring up the terminal is to press ALT+F2 and type "gnome-terminal". Similarly, the software installer only contains a very small list of applications available for installation, but running "aptitude" on the command line provides a way to install a lot more. The /etc/apt/sources.list points to a special "hpmini" archive on canonical.com with the "main", "universe", "multiverse" and "restricted" repositories all enabled by default. On the positive note, one nice piece of software on the system is Elisa, a well-integrated media player and digital photo viewing tool that will probably appeal to most home users.
HP Mi - the Elisa media player
(full image size: 103kB, screen resolution 1024x576 pixels)
As hinted above, HP provides very little for customising the default desktop - no extra themes, no colour options and no element positioning choices. On the "Settings" screen, invoked by clicking on the same word located in the top right corner of the home desktop, one will only find the standard GNOME settings modules. This isn't a criticism -- after all, these options will probably be sufficient for most home users -- but since this publication is read by more seasoned Linux fans and even experts, this information might come useful to those who consider buying the computer for their less technical family members. Of course, the popular gconf-editor is available and if you dig deep, you'll probably find a way to change the colours and other objects of the HP Mi desktop, but it won't be through some intuitive graphical user interface.
HP Mi - the settings screen
(full image size: 146kB, screen resolution 1024x576 pixels)
After a few days on HP Mi, it was time to investigate some of the available alternatives. The first thing I tried was Ubuntu 9.04 Netbook Remix (UNR), which has been working perfectly on the Eee PC and which I have learnt to appreciate, especially because of its screen real estate space saving features. Indeed, comparing HP Mi with UNR makes it obvious whose developers have given more thoughts to the overall organisation of the available space. While HP Mi comes with two toolbars (one at the top, the other at the bottom of the screen) and with application windows containing the full title bar, Ubuntu's UNR is extremely space efficient, sacrificing parts of the otherwise useless title bar to display icons of open applications and the system tray. With the HP Mini's screen height being only 576 pixels, the unnecessary toolbars and title bars just take away too much of the limited screen height that could be used more productively.
Ubuntu 9.04 booted, installed and worked just fine and almost every piece of hardware worked - almost, because there was one exception: the internal speakers. This is apparently a known bug. Then I continued experimenting by installing Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 6, the most recent development release of the upcoming version of Ubuntu, code name "Karmic Koala". This also booted without problems, but trying to install the Broadcom proprietary wireless drivers wouldn't work for some reason. It must have been a temporary bug because a later UNR Karmic daily build allowed installing the Broadcom drivers without a hitch. Sound from speakers worked and that's when I decided that Karmic was a keeper. It has a few bugs here and there, but for an alpha, it is remarkably trouble-free and stable. I also tried booting Mandriva Linux 2009 from an official USB media; this worked OK, but the system failed to detect either the wired or the wireless network adapter. On the other hand, the recently-released Moblin 2.0 wouldn't boot at all - it simply hanged at the first splash screen and only a merciful reboot with the power switch saved the netbook from further misery.
Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha provides decent hardware support for HP Mini
(full image size: 344kB, screen resolution 1024x576 pixels)
So after experimenting with the HP Mini for the past two weeks, how would I rate it? Overall I'd say it's a very nice little netbook, but it does have its annoyances. Probably the biggest one on my list is the placement of the two touchpad buttons - instead of being under the touchpad, they are on the two sides of the touchpad, which takes a bit of getting used to. Worse, I haven't figured out how to efficiently "middle click" on the device. On the Eee PC there is an option to simulate the middle click with a two finger tap (useful for opening web pages in a background tab in Firefox), but this is not available on the HP Mini. The only way to middle click that I know of is to use both index fingers and try to click on the two buttons simultaneously - a rather error prone exercise. If anybody knows of a better way, I'd appreciate hearing about it.
The second annoyance is the choice of hardware devices. The Broadcom wireless network card is problematic since there is no working open-source driver, so distributions that don't ship any modules that would taint the kernel with proprietary code (e.g. Fedora) will not work correctly out of the box. It would be much nicer if HP chose hardware with available open-source drivers for their Linux netbooks, but perhaps that's too much to ask from the netbook production point of view. That said, I don't want to criticise HP too much; in fact, I am extremely happy that there is a company that has the guts to market and sell a Linux netbook. The ASUSes and Acers have long given up on Linux, while most others never even bothered, so high marks to HP for that. That's why it was HP that got my money.
Apart from these two annoyances, I am generally pleased with HP Mini. It isn't the prettiest netbook on the market, but I really appreciate the size of the keyboard and the correct location of the Shift keys (in relation to the Eee PC 900). The large, 250 GB hard disk will allow for further experimenting, so Ubuntu 9.10 is unlikely to remain the only distribution running on the machine. Those who don't mind the oversimplified and somewhat older Ubuntu as the pre-installed operating system on the netbook will be able to perform all the common computing tasks, but for those who'd prefer something newer and more cutting-edge, the latest Karmic alpha offers decent hardware support for the netbook. With the hardware specifications much superior to the Eee PC 900, I find HP Mini a much better value for money. The final rating? Eight stars out of ten.
|Miscellaneous News (by Chris Smart)
Slackware adds KDE 3.5 to repository, Debian announces two new package management systems, Ubuntu and Mandriva announce Moblin-based systems for netbooks, Fedora community launches Mini
It seems the migration to KDE 4 is still hurting as distributions make the switch. Recently, the ever popular Slackware Linux reached version 13.0 and broke away from its previous mould by switching to the new desktop. It hasn't been as smooth as many were hoping, however, caused in part by the shipping of an older version 4.2.4 instead the 4.3 series. Unfortunately, this means that the 10,000 odd improvements made were not available in the new version of Slackware - a risky move for a desktop which has caused much controversy since its very first release. Last week, Patrick Volkerding released official packages of KDE 3.5.10 for Slackware Linux 13.0. While it's a welcome update for some, the future of the KDE 3 desktop on Slackware remains in question. Slackware will not be releasing any more updates to KDE 3, claiming that KDE 4 is the future, but some feel that it is still not on par with its predecessor. There are those who are trying to find a way to keep KDE 3 alive, but without support from the development team, is it just wishful thinking? Version 4 will undoubtedly become the greatest KDE desktop ever, but for some it's a slow road to success.
Have you ever wanted to keep your Slackware system up-to-date via a package management system? It's not as hard as you might think, especially with this helpful guide to follow: "If you haven't played with Slackware within the past couple of years, you may still believe that the word 'easy' doesn't go well with the words 'update' and 'package management'. But, two fairly new utilities, 'slackpkg' and 'sbopkg', may help to change your mind." The utilities allow users to easily update the system, even between releases. There is still no automatic dependency resolution though: "If you choose a package that uses the GTK+ image libraries, which aren't installed by default on Slackware, you'll get an error message when you try to build the package. You'll then need to search for and install any packages that are needed to resolve the dependencies." This is one of those infamous aspects of Slackware which are unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.
* * * * *
If Debian is famous for anything aside from its rock-solid releases and long, proud history, it's the package management system. The suite of tools which encompass this is called APT (Advanced Packaging Tool). The low-level package management tool is dpkg, which handles simple requests such as installing and removing packages. Acting as a wrapper around dpkg are a few different programs, such as apt-get, which include dependency resolution. While some so-called "modern" package management systems struggle to perform their most basic functions, APT has been faithfully updating systems at lightning speed for over a decade. But when you're at the top, it's not always a safe place. Now there's a new challenger called Cupt: "Some time ago (4th quarter of 2008), after working on the APT suite, I started to develop Cupt to substitute APT for myself in areas where APT fails due to design or implementation problems." Although the current system works very well, perhaps it is time to re-visit package management on Debian. Cupt could be just the catalyst needed, after all, competition fosters innovation. And if Cupt isn't to your liking, there is also APT2, another new and improved package management system for Debian announced last week.
* * * * *
Right on track for world domination, Ubuntu sponsor Canonical has recently announced the availability of a Moblin-based Netbook Remix Edition for the Dell Mini 10v netbook. Before you get too excited, this is just a developer release designed to get Ubuntu into the hands of the community with the hope of improving it. It is only designed for that one specific model and currently some important features, like Bluetooth, aren't working. Nevertheless, it is a great example of collaboration between the community and several companies including Intel and the Linux Foundation, all of whom have made this possible. Whether a more general version of this will be available to the public is not yet known. Currently the focus appears to be with specific manufacturers, but there is, of course, Ubuntu's general non-Atom optimised Netbook Remix Edition which works on a wider range of x86 netbooks. Perhaps soon we'll also see a version released which is aimed at ARM-based netbooks.
Elsewhere in Ubuntu land the upcoming release of "Karmic Koala" has seen two new applications make their way onto the default desktop. The first is Ubuntu One, Canonical's on-line backup service, and the other is the Software Store. A store is for selling things (or storing things), so what is Canonical's plan with this product? It's starting to generate some questions from the community who are wondering just where this will go: "The official rationale for the project focuses on the need to simplify the task of managing applications, especially for users coming from Windows who are perplexed by the fact that Ubuntu doesn’t require them to download bloated installers from random untrusted web sites in order to install applications." The package manager works just fine for free software, so why introduce a new concept if it's not for selling software? The purpose has not yet been fully revealed. Either way, does the sale of Ubuntu specific software go against the projects ethos, that it "is and always will be free of charge"? The criticism was deemed valid by Canonical and by the end of the week the store was renamed to "Ubuntu Software Centre," which implies less and doesn't rule out the selling of software.
* * * * *
Yes, the world has gone netbook crazy. While Ubuntu has had an official netbook-focused release for a while now, Fedora should see its first official version with their next release. What does this mean for Ubuntu? Probably not a lot. It's just a good option for Fedora users with netbooks, but that hasn't stopped WorksWithU pondering that very question. Most use a specific version of Linux because they like how it works. Fedora Mini is being built by the community that wants to see their favourite distro well supported on the netbook computers. Of course, this new product is no threat to Canonical's plans for selling Linux to computer manufacturers as Fedora itself is not a commercial project. Interestingly, however, Fedora is the basis for Moblin's official products. So while Fedora won't be selling products directly, we might inadvertently see it find its way to more netbooks in a shop near you.
* * * * *
Finally, it was the turn of Mandriva last week to announce the availability of their very own Moblin-based edition called "Mandriva Mini". Details are scarce at the time of writing, but the company does reference their work with Classmate netbooks. The web site does not offer a download for the community; just contact details for OEMs that might wish to bundle the operating system with their products. Previously, Linux on the netbook segment of the market was very messy, eventually leading to its demise at the hands of Microsoft. With Moblin (which has just released the final version of 2.0), the tables might just turn around once again. A central, solid core provides the blocks for others to build upon and improve. As such, it shouldn't be too long before we see more and more computer manufacturers shipping Linux once again. Whether you prefer Canonical, Fedora or Mandriva, getting Linux onto mainstream consumer products is definitely a win for the free software community.
|Released Last Week
Ultimate Edition 2.3 "Gamers"
Glenn Cady has announced the release of Ultimate Edition 2.3 "Gamers" edition, an Ubuntu-based distribution for gamers: "Ultimate Edition 2.3 'Gamers' has been released. I am not going to make a huge deal out of this, but it certainly is a nice toy. Especially for you gamers out there. Ultimate Edition 2.3 'Gamers' has the following games pre-installed: 3D chess, Airstrike, Aisleriot Solitaire, Barrage, Blackjack, Boswars, Brutal Chess, BzFlag, Chess, Dream Chess, Five or more, Foo Billiard, Four-in-a-row, Freecell, Gbrainy, Glest, Gnometris, Gridwars, Hearts, Lango, Kslotski.... Play on Linux is included in this distro, which allows playing of Windows games in a nearly seamless manner. Many additional Linux games available though Ultamatix tool are also included in the distro. It uses the Ultimate Edition 2.4 theme pack, but is Jaunty-based." Here is the full release announcement.
Berry Linux 0.98
Yuichiro Nakada has announced the release of Berry Linux 0.98, a Fedora-based desktop live CD with support for Japanese and English. This is the first Berry Linux release based on Fedora 11 with KDE 4.3 as the default desktop. From the changelog: "Berry Linux 0.98 released. Based on Fedora 11; Linux kernel 220.127.116.11 SMP + ndev/udev, Squashfs 4.0, Unionfs 2.5.2 and NDISwrapper 1.54; glibc 2.10.1, GCC 4.4.1, BusyBox 1.14.2; KDE 4.3.0; Rasp-UI 0.12 window manager; Japanese and English editions of OpenOffice.org 3.1.1, Mozilla Firefox 3.5.3 and Mozilla Thunderbird 18.104.22.168; Samba 3.3.2; WINE 1.1.23; xlockmore 5.28; removed Digikam." Read the rest of the changelog for additional information.
Network Security Toolkit 2.11.0
Paul Blankenbaker has announced the release of Network Security Toolkit (NST) 2.11.0, a Fedora-based live DVD providing easy access to best-of-breed open source network security applications: "We are pleased to announce the latest NST release- version 2.11.0. This release is based on Fedora 11 using Linux kernel 22.214.171.124. The architecture for building an NST distribution has been completely redesigned and engineered. Starting with this release, all system, network and security applications are now included as RPM packages. This allowed us to take advantage of the Fedora live CD project for spinning off an 'NST Live' distribution. This project will also help make it easier to develop future releases of NST. Here are some of the highlights for this release: The entire NST distribution is RPM-based and an NST system can be maintained using redundant RPM repositories; NST is now extensible - add new applications with YUM...." Please visit the project's home page to read the full release announcement.
Imad Sousou has announced the release of Moblin 2.0, a Linux distribution optimised for netbooks and other mobile Internet devices: "The Moblin steering committee is pleased to announce three exciting new developments within the Moblin project: the project release of Moblin 2.0 for Intel Atom processor-based netbooks; a preview of the Moblin Garage and Moblin Application Installer; a community preview release of Moblin 2.1 for Intel Atom Processor-based netbooks and nettops for early development. The project release of Moblin 2.0 is now available. With this community release you can expect to see OSVs and OEMs shipping products based on Moblin 2.0 for netbooks. Moblin 2.0 features a rich user interface that was developed from the ground up, for netbook form factors and usage models, to provide an outstanding visual user experience that integrates Internet browsing, media consumption, and social networking." Read the rest of the release announcement for further details.
Moblin 2.0 - a distribution for Atom-based netbooks with a customised user interface
(full image size: 661kB, screen resolution 1280x800 pixels)
Absolute Linux 13.0.2
Paul Sherman has announced the release of Absolute Linux 13.0.2, a new update of the lightweight distribution based on Slackware Linux: "Absolute Linux 13.0.2 released. GTK+ themes engines included along with customized theme changing utility (gtk-chtheme) that calls script that changes IceWM theme, PCMan File Manager desktop background and ROX-Filer background. Makes our lightweight interface more cohesive, but if any setting should fail it does so silently so you can hack away changing stuff and it will not mess up your system. Brasero has replaced K3b. KDE libraries, KDE Multimedia and Arts have all been removed. If you want KDE, you can safely drop in the entire Slackware KDE packages, but for the UI-stay-out-of-my-way types, we've eliminated more overhead. Updates include: Firefox, SeaMonkey, Flash plugin, IceWM and a number of scripts in the a/etc package." Here is the full release announcement.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
The infrastructure around the recently announced Ubuntu 10.04, code name "Lucid Lynx" and scheduled for release in April 2010, is being set up at a rapid pace. The first alpha release of the new LTS (long-term support) Ubuntu is now just two months away, scheduled for 3 December 2009. But the entire development cycle has been altered; instead of six alpha releases, one beta and one release candidate (as is the case with Ubuntu 9.10 "Karmic Koala"), the new version will have only three alphas, two betas and one quick release candidate - a total of six (rather than eight) development releases. The final build of Ubuntu 10.04 is scheduled for 29 April 2010. For further details please see the Lucid Release Schedule page on Ubuntu Wiki.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 5 October 2009.
Ladislav Bodnar and Chris Smart
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • goblin (by shamaz on 2009-09-28 10:30:26 GMT from United States) |
There's also a way to test moblin with opensuse :
but it seems quite experimental at the moment :)
2 • Linux based Notebooks (by A.T.Khan on 2009-09-28 10:32:39 GMT from Pakistan)
I totally agree that there is no choice in OS when it comes to buying a notebook. All that is available is Windows and thats a forced monopoly. I have seen people coming towards Linux as soon as their hardware becomes a little old, but no one provides Linux on a brand new machine. All Linux lovers have to pay extra for pre-installed windows on there laptops which is not fair.
3 • Kubuntu netbook remix (by shamaz on 2009-09-28 10:34:36 GMT from United States)
And talking about netbooks... There's also an alpha of Kubuntu netbook remix based on kde 4.4 'netbook shell' :
4 • great distrowatch weekly! (by JD on 2009-09-28 10:36:39 GMT from United States)
this weeks ditrowatch weekly was very interesting thanks! Eventhough I like linux the most. i was just wondering if anyone has run freebsd on there netbook and how its done on there?
5 • hp mini 110 mi edition (by tuxesp1 on 2009-09-28 10:44:50 GMT from Italy)
another great distrowatch again this week.
one think about it is that the Linux command-line interface is disabled on this edition. we hope that next edition will improve it.
6 • Netbooks w/ linux pre (by Barnabyh on 2009-09-28 11:04:04 GMT from United Kingdom)
No Windows keys, sounds like a great little device already. Taiwan, S Korea and Japan always seem to be leading Europe in this respect, so if you wanna get your hands on some really good stuff early on you gotta live in SE Asia.
On an unrelated note, it seems to be getting more and more difficult on some distros to get access to a simple terminal. If there is one shortcut anywhere you would think it's that. Shocking.
Does that make me a geek?
Have a good week, Barnaby
7 • Netbooks (by Scott on 2009-09-28 11:07:05 GMT from United States)
I think your comments about the various shortcomings of HP's preinstalled Linux are fairly typical of what I've seen on netbooks. With very few exceptions, when they do use Linux, it's always a customized version that seems designed to repel both Linux and Windows users.
Linpus Lite, on the Acer, was pretty horrible. I've heard the same about the version of SLED on the MSI Wind and Xandros on the Asus machines.
Often, when both are offered, the WIndows version will have better specs and be priced only slightly hgher than the Linux version, at least in the US. (In the UK, I believe there is a larger price difference.)
8 • refreshing article (by Xtyn on 2009-09-28 11:28:30 GMT from Romania)
Thanks Ladislav, I always look forward to reading your articles (as most of us probably do).
I wish you all the best.
9 • Netbook distros (by Fox on 2009-09-28 11:41:07 GMT from Canada)
Ubuntu Netbook Remix doesn't suffer from any of the "terminal" (excuse the pun) deficiencies of the netbook-customized distributions, including the one Ubuntu makes for HP. You have access to the Terminal, Synaptic Package Manager and Update Manager from the menu in the upper left corner, and it is easy to customize the desktop interface to include clickable icons to start these apps.
The feature story refers to the netbook interface coming from Ubuntu 8.10 LTS and Hardy Heron. I believe Ladislav meant Ubuntu 8.04.
10 • Mint My Mini (by Elmus on 2009-09-28 11:58:18 GMT from United States)
I have been running Mint 7 on two of my Dell Mini 9's.
It works flawlessly and is much faster than the stock Ubuntu that came with them with Dell's overly large button layout.
11 • Linux netbook (by Michael Raugh on 2009-09-28 12:02:44 GMT from United States)
Nice, nice analysis, Ladislav. Thank you for that.
It's very interesting to see how different shops are tweaking the UI to work with the smaller screen size of typical netbooks. HP's approach is certainly simple enough to counter the "Linux is too hard" myth that lingers around, though it does seem pretty dumbed-down for non-novices.
Given the real estate issue and the hardware, I keep expecting to see netbook-focused distros featuring LXDE or E17. Not yet, it seems.
12 • Developer release? Lets all use it! (by lefty.crupps on 2009-09-28 12:36:00 GMT from United States)
> ...Moblin-based Netbook Remix Edition for the Dell Mini 10v netbook.
> Before you get too excited, this is just a developer release...
So, like KDE 4.0, we should all ignore this advise and download and run our production systems on this immediately, right?
13 • Re: #7 - Dell Mini Rocks! (by Leo on 2009-09-28 12:37:07 GMT from United States)
Not true. I also voted with my wallet, and just got a Dell Mini 9 (Vostro A90). Everything works beautifully. There is a TON of software in the lpia repos for the device. It boots up real quick. It is easy to configure. And when I had a hardware issue (which was actually my fault) over this past weekend I got people on the phone helping me out.
I couldn't be happier. This won't be my last Linux Dell!
14 • Working hardware... (by Anonymous on 2009-09-28 12:55:47 GMT from United States)
Considering the state of some of the "free" wireless drivers, the broadcom chip in the MP Mini is probably the best choice for maintaining decent connectivity.
15 • HP mini (by Sailor on 2009-09-28 13:30:30 GMT from United Kingdom)
"...left me somewhat unimpressed. This was partly due to the fact that I am not a fan of white elements on black backgrounds"
Technically, a black background is the very best choice for power saving, longevity of pixels and, arguably, visual comfort/contrast.
16 • Misc (by Joe on 2009-09-28 14:04:10 GMT from United States)
I have to side with Ladislav on the "white elements on black backgrounds issue". For some reason, that combination tends to strain my eyes.
I have an EeePC 901 and think that the placement of the right-shift key is the biggest irritant. I picked up an EeePC 1000HE and have to say that the right-shift key placement is better. Besides the right-shift key on the 901, my only real issue with the EeePC's is choppy video playback.
I also have one Acer with Linux and one with Windows. The default Linpus Lite configuration is definitely not for power users. Even switching to the xfce interface falls a bit short. As far as the Windows version goes, I had to remove a lot of crapware before performance was acceptable.
Based on Ladislav's article and Shamaz's comments, I'll just have to give UNR and Kubuntu netbook remix a whirl. If anyone has any recommendations for the best Linux distro for the EeePC and AAO, I'm open to suggestions.
17 • Linux Netbooks (by Anthony on 2009-09-28 14:10:57 GMT from Canada)
I picked up the MSI Wind with Suse Linux Enterprise.
As shipped the Wifi drivers wouldn't work!
The price was so low - $220 USD - almost the price of Suse Linux
Again they shipped it with a wifi card that the driver was hard to come by
What are the manufacturers thinking? Only Dell and HP seem to get Linux in any way. I hope ARM processors and Google Chrome OS fix this...
18 • broadcom for mini 9 and beyond (by netbook linux at 2009-09-28 14:27:04 GMT from United States)
After recently acquiring a dell mini 9, i started trying out various platforms.
Mine came with Ubuntu (8.04.1), and while everything worked satisfactorily, the hardware configuration of the machine (4GB SSD) would not support any software upgrades without adding more storage.
Quick run down, YMMV:
puppy 4.3.1 and macpup (4.2.?) everything but WPA2 worked. (?)
mint 7 - sound worked out of box, got wireless to work after some tweaking
nst 2.11 - no sound/ no wireless various tweaks returned odd errors
backtrack 4 - sound worked out of box, same wireless tweak as with mint7 didn't work, used external atheros card for wireless.
The Broadcom BCM4312 b43 isn't "supported". "wl" driver has been hit and miss at best. Despite best efforts, it wouldn't run in promiscuous mode.
Since the netbook fad is in full swing, here are some useful topics that could be discussed in future DWWs:
-using external storage tweaking
- load to RAM OS booting
-VPN/VNC/NX(No Machine) tweaking
-cloud based OSs for netbooks
-or even discuss advantages for using LXDE, XMONAD, ION, flux/openbox, etc over standard GNOME/KDE for netbooks
thanks all, have a great week!
19 • Gentoo 10 (by LAZA on 2009-09-28 14:45:39 GMT from Germany)
Everybody else problems with the download?
Neither the US nor the EU server is reachable...
Or has somebody a torrent to download it?
20 • About middle clicking (by C on 2009-09-28 14:49:33 GMT from Finland)
An easy way is to bind an unused key on the keyboard to the middle click, using the kernel's Mac mouse emulation. The Windows key, for example ;)
21 • Moblin (by Alexander on 2009-09-28 14:50:23 GMT from Germany)
Thank you for this new version of DWW, very interesting as always.
Moblin looks great, I really hope it will get mainstream attention.
All the best!
22 • Are Slackware, CentOS and Gentoo still major distributions ? (by Anonymous on 2009-09-28 15:09:51 GMT from Canada)
Gentoo is listed on this web site on a page titled "Top Ten Distributions - An overview of today's top distributions". From actual 6 months hits stats a proper top ten distributions should be
As Pupy, Sabayon and Arch are now much more popular than Slackware, CentOS and Gentoo it is probably a good time to revisit the top 10 list on DW.
23 • Apt, Capt - Aptitude (by VernDog on 2009-09-28 15:37:34 GMT from United States)
"...Although the current system works very well, perhaps it is time to re-visit package management on Debian. Cupt could be just the catalyst needed, after all, competition fosters innovation. And if Cupt isn't to your liking, there is also APT2, another new and improved package management system for Debian announced last week...."
Chris, you didn't mention Aptitude, which I was lead to believe Debian devs prefers over apt-get.
24 • @22 (by Juarez on 2009-09-28 15:39:03 GMT from United States)
Gentoo is toast, The only distros you can Count on are:
I won't include any Novell products because they no longer matter. Microsoft can speak for them.
25 • @5 (by SFN on 2009-09-28 15:44:26 GMT from United States)
"one think about it is that the Linux command-line interface is disabled on this edition"
Actually, that's not right. It's not that it's disabled. You can still get to it by pressing Alt+F2 and typing in Terminal.
It could certainly be easier to get to (I have no idea why it's not one of the program icons), but it is there.
26 • RE #18: Netbooks (by Anonymous on 2009-09-28 16:03:36 GMT from United States)
Another item I'd like to see addressed is how to backup/restore some of these machines. Pup-eee wants to make the iso on the ssd and needs lots of room, maybe i'll try 4.3 on a usb key. I have 2 EEE machines, one Celeron and one Atom powered at I can't find anything up to date that runs on both.
I tried Easy Peasy which worked great on the 1.2 version then upgraded to 1.5 and wifi quit working on the atom one. I should have rolled it back to xandros but I started looking at mint 7 over the weekend. It came close but I could got get it to take the wep key for some reason, maybe something is rolled off the bottom of the screen. I may make another go at it or try the ubuntu netbook remix suggested above.
27 • @22 (by Anonymous on 2009-09-28 16:52:24 GMT from Canada)
slackware could be easily replaced by Arch
gentoo could be easily replaced by Sabayon
centos could be droped and Pupy added since there is no "small" distributions in the list, but several "commercial" one.
28 • Gentoo is dying!!!1!1 (by Randall on 2009-09-28 16:53:32 GMT from United States)
DistroWatch confirms: Gentoo is dying.
Just as true here as when it's on Slashdot and it's Netcraft confirming that BSD is dying.
29 • #24 (by Xtyn on 2009-09-28 17:01:11 GMT from Romania)
I totally agree.
Debian, Ubuntu and Fedora are the best.
30 • Broadcom Wi-FI drivers are always a problem. (by Jeffersonian on 2009-09-28 17:02:29 GMT from United States)
I have an HP notebook.
A good box... but its 802.11/G Wi-FI is based on Broadcom chips.
The refusal of Broadcom to provide open source drivers, or just decent support for Linux, under the form of open-source and simple .rpm of .deb packages makes it very difficult to use without endless "hacking".
Because of this, I would recommend that for your next Linux box, you stay away from Broadcom based Wi-Fi hardware.
Also if you give it consideration, you should select a box with 802.11 M support which provides a better WI-FI range.
31 • DW's Top Ten distros (by greenLegs on 2009-09-28 17:05:24 GMT from France)
A quote the Top Ten page:
"It lists 10 Linux distributions (plus an honourable mention of FreeBSD, by far the most popular of all of the BSDs), which are generally considered as most widely-used by Linux users around the world. There are no figures to back it up and there are many other distributions that might suit your particular purpose better, but as a general rule, all of these are popular and have very active forums or mailing lists where you can ask questions if you get stuck."
I don't see any reference to the Page Hit Ranking.
32 • Broadcom (by mika480 on 2009-09-28 17:12:35 GMT from Italy)
Just an advice
DO NOT buy stuff that uses broadcom chipset...
netbook are perfect for backtrack...
but with broadcom chipset you just do NOTHING!
33 • Re: #22 'major distributions' (by Simon on 2009-09-28 17:15:03 GMT from United Kingdom)
In my understanding a reference to 'major distributions' is not the same as 'popular distributions'. Major distributions form the basis of many popular distributions. Hence Slackware my not be one of the most popular of distributions but it's 'major' in that it forms the basis of many spinoff distros.
This of course can lead to some question marks .. like openSuSE for instance. It's been around a while, remains quite popular, (for reasons I'm not sure why), but as far as I'm aware it has produced no children.
Can it be considered a 'major distribution'? or just a popular one?, or both?
34 • About posting "Debian, Ubuntu and Fedora are the best." (by Jeffersonian on 2009-09-28 17:18:40 GMT from United States)
About posting "Debian, Ubuntu and Fedora are the best."
No strong disagreement there.
I have been a long time (11 years) Linux user (and 20+ Unix user).
I have used extensively several distros, and "switched" three years ago to Suse, then excellent.
But Suse in recent years became a very bloated distro, with many features never working well, and most recent releases seemed to favor cosmetic over robustness: a slow long decay in my views. Too bad, Suse was very promising, and had nice system management tools.
I recently tried Fedora 11, and WOW, what an excellent Linux distro!
My only criticism, would be the need to "manually" install the Broadcom drivers (and this is not well documented), as well as NVIDIA.
Fedora 11 is nice to use, "rock solid", but use GNOME rather than KDE... because if KDE 4.3 came a long way, it is still quite imperfect, with more than a few things not working well, like the sound drivers etc... KDE4 is beautiful, but it may take another full year for most "distros" to make a good use of it!
Also the KDE4 environment is a bit overly and unnecessarily complex (too many features!).
On the other hand, several KDE4 applications, like "kruser", are very nice, and run perfectly under the GNOME login.
35 • Major Distros (by Knowisdom on 2009-09-28 17:50:59 GMT from United States)
Yeah I think there is a difference between distrowatch's "home page hit counter" and the Major Distro's page. Slackware is still extremely present in the server world, I actually believe there was an article a few months ago of a university switching it's backend to Slack. Gentoo has issues, but it's documentation is unmatched, and there are countries in samerica which actually run Gentoo (or a variant) as the distro of choice for gov offices. And my personal opinion is that if you want to actually get back to the roots of learning *nix and start learning to hack, and open your mind, there aren't any other distro's out there that facilitate that better than Slack and Gentoo.
Arch is pretty cool, but it's so new, who knows where it will be in 5 or so years. The rest are what I would call "userland" distros, or course they will have more hits on their sites than the others, just because of the audience they attract.
If hits is all it takes, any slackers want to get together and run macros to hit slack's site constantly, to see if we can move the count more in our favor, lol!
36 • Miblin and gma500 (by MK on 2009-09-28 18:09:24 GMT from Israel)
I keep getting disappointed by Miblin, since no support is provided for Intel's current MID chipset. Moblin was planned for such hardware, and now Intel just ignores it. Why!?
37 • GPU driver on the HP? (by Davey on 2009-09-28 18:12:34 GMT from United States)
What kind of GPU driver does the preinstalled OS use? I assume it doesn't do 3D?
Other than that the machine seems like a great choice for the price (assuming the $400 or less holds in the US), screen size, and weight. Hoping to hear about more OS experiments with it next week, Ladislav.
38 • Backups! (@26) (by Michael Raugh on 2009-09-28 18:40:22 GMT from United States)
That would be a great topic for a DWW article: backup and restore methods.
I think most distros have things like amanda, bacula, and of course the basic tar/dump/etc in the repositories, but does anyone use them? It would be interesting to hear what people do on their home and office systems.
In my day environment we use a commercial backup product on the servers and don't back up workstations at all (or, more accurately, we leave it up to the users to protect any data they store locally).
At home I use a cron job to replicate the server's important data to an external drive using rsync and then a Perl script to periodically make point-in-time archives of that using tar. I remind the kids that anything they don't store on the server isn't getting backed up.
And once a month or so, just in case, I boot my laptop with a Clonezilla CD and image the system to an external USB drive. Not sure I'd call that a real backup because you can't selectively restore from it, but I feel better traveling with the laptop if there's a recent image at home.
What do you do for backups?
39 • Linux/Netbooks (by zak89 on 2009-09-28 18:47:59 GMT from United States)
I don't think Dell is getting the credit it deserves for it's commitment to Linux. I think this "developer's version" move is an excellent sign that Dell is embracing the "openess" of the open source world; rather than hiding it's efforts behind corporate doors, it's allowing other developers to contribute to the work. Obviously, they are still a hardware company, and they still have to deal with Microsoft, but, considering how small of market they are targeting with Linux, I think they deserve credit for being so involved.
@24. Microsoft doesn't have any say in openSUSE, so don't expect them to speak for it. As for whether or not they "matter", Moblin itself is being built on the openSUSE Build service (as are many other distro-specific (non-SUSE) projects). And openSUSE is now a prime platform for building customized software appliances, thanks to SUSE Studio. Sorry, but openSUSE is going to "matter" for a while yet.
@34. "Bloated" is a very vague term; but if you're comparing openSUSE to the likes of Fedora, or even Ubuntu, it's a pretty level playing field; all the mainstream desktop distros use roughly the same apps, the same services, etc. I don't know where you got the idea that SUSE is more concerned with asthetics; most of the UI changes in openSUSE are simply different KDE/GNOME versions. Of course, any preinstalled software an individual user don't need would be bloat to that user, but that's just the price you pay for a deskop-oriented distro. If you don't like that, use Arch.
40 • KDE Quote (by rec9140 on 2009-09-28 19:06:09 GMT from United States)
"Version 4 will undoubtedly become the greatest KDE desktop ever, but for some it's a slow road to success."
Thanks for the comic relief, but KDE 3.5.10 IS the greatest and kde 4.x is doing nothing but causing harm to the greastes WM there is.
kde 4.x has no chance for success until major changes are made.
41 • @38 Backups (by Untitled on 2009-09-28 19:08:01 GMT from United Kingdom)
I use SpiderOak for backing up my data both at home and at the office. It's a commercial product offering remote backup but they offer 2GB free space. There are a few issues, mostly regarding passwords -- if you lose your passwords there is no way to retrieve it, but otherwise I like it a lot -- makes backing up easy and safe as my biggest concern would be my laptop being stolen, and if someone breaks into my house they'll likely take any external hard drives they find as well.
As for freedom, the software is proprietary software, but they do embrace Open Source and release the source to some of their features, and as far as I'm concerned I appreciate companies providing Linux support, even if it's proprietary.
42 • moo power (by tuxhelper on 2009-09-28 19:12:14 GMT from United States)
Thanks for bringing these 2 apt alternatives to light. If anything it will neat to see what they can do better than apt if that is possible. Or if they have some features that should be in apt then maybe enough people can speak up and make the direction of apt more open if possible.
43 • Broadcom wireless chipsets and Slackware 13.0 (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-09-28 19:14:21 GMT from United States)
If you're willing to patch the kernel you can also use Broadcom wireless chipsets with Slackware 13.0. See: http://beginlinux.com/appsm/wireless_m/1419-slackware-13-wireless/
44 • @28 (by BSD User on 2009-09-28 19:14:57 GMT from United States)
"28 • Gentoo is dying!!!1!1 (by Randall on 2009-09-28 16:53:32 GMT from United States)
DistroWatch confirms: Gentoo is dying.
Just as true here as when it's on Slashdot and it's Netcraft confirming that BSD is dying."
All Linux distributions are like MS Windows (bloated and non secure) just BSD are Unix still.
45 • Moblin 2 (by Fox on 2009-09-28 19:28:35 GMT from Canada)
I have been looking forward to the development of Moblin ever since the first public version was issued; in particular because of its fast boot time. Unfortunately, the latest release, Moblin 2.0, is slower booting than the original version and it continues to not allow me to connect to the internet with my Atheros wireless card. It sees the card, but won't connect my wpa2-encrypted router to it. Very disappointing.
46 • Linux on netbooks in the USA (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-09-28 19:32:54 GMT from United States)
I'm shopping for a new netbook now myself. I don't see any with Linux on retailers' shelves. Online retailers are another matter. I can still find Linux preloaded on netbooks by HP, Dell, and Acer. ZaReason, a Linux specialist, has their own netbook as well. The situation isn't nearly as good as it was a year ago but if you want Linux in this country you can still get it.
47 • No subject (by T Pettigrew on 2009-09-28 19:45:05 GMT from Canada)
Is Canonical not allowed to strive to be a self supporting company?
You have to sell something to make money. Sell support? How many out there have bypassed the wonderful community and paid for Linux tech support from any company that might be selling it?
Same goes for any proprietary product: I've paid for software, but never for software support.
Sure the OS can be free, but what is wrong with charging for value added features? Maybe you could get users to pay for those proprietary codecs they use illegally now. Might be able to finally get Blu Ray movie support via legally purchased player software or codec in the future.
Or are most users merely cheap and prefer to pirate such things or to be left out in the cold?
48 • Gento (and Slackwar) (by Darwin Webb on 2009-09-28 20:04:36 GMT from United States)
I have Slackware in a VM.
I could never master the compling stuff. I guess I'm missing a gene.
But I ran SystemRescue and it was my fisrt Gentoo.
I loved as I always thought I would.
Now here we have the Real Gentoo 10th anver. Live DVD.
I tried it last night on a Pent IV 2.4.ht Intel E/G 2, 3GB memory.
It is the best, the smoothest, the most bug free distro I have ever run.
And it it not even final.
So obviously, the dying distro is not a fact, nor a theory, just a popularity sing-a-long song.
Slackware is right there also.
Just wish they had SElinux.
49 • #47: Selling support is highly profitable for Red Hat (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-09-28 20:06:52 GMT from United States)
The target audience for support contracts are large enterprise customers, with medium sized businesses as a secondary market. That's where the real money is made, not with consumers. The support and consulting model has proven very profitable for Red Hat and increasingly profitable for Novell/SUSE. Canonical is making inroads into the enterprise market and that is their best chance to make a profit as well. Selling add ons to consumers is a losing proposition.
Legal add on codecs (i.e.: the Fluendo codecs) are available for sale now. I think the main reason that Fluendo is somewhat successful is that some vendors (i.e. Dell) are buying their products and preloading them onto netbooks and laptops.
I will also remind you that reverse engineered open source codecs are not illegal everywhere in the world.
50 • Backup systems (by RollMeAway on 2009-09-28 20:16:12 GMT from United States)
On linux machines I chose unison, ms machines use goodsync.
At work all machines backup locally to a linux server.
At home all machines backup locally to a linux server.
Every 12 hours the two linux servers synchronize with each other.
Daily backups are user data, not operating system.
All is automated via cron, not relying upon humans to remember.
Unison has the distinct advantage of only transferring data chunks that change,
not the entire file.
Every six months, I visit every machine (about 29) with an external USB hard drive,
and image the local drives.
51 • Insecure and Bloated (@44) (by callinyouin on 2009-09-28 20:25:15 GMT from United States)
"All Linux distributions are like MS Windows (bloated and non secure) just BSD are Unix still."
Insecure? -- Please check out SELinux.
Bloated? -- Gentoo, Arch (best!!!), SliTaz, Puppy, many more minimalist distros out there!
I feel bad for any real *bsd guys/girls out there. You're making them look very bad!
52 • @49 (by T Pettigrew on 2009-09-28 20:37:50 GMT from Canada)
Last I heard DeCSS wasn't a legal method for allowing the playing of DVDs. What of MP3?
Diving into loopholes doesn't make for a stronger argument. You can find countries where many things we would find repellent are not illegal. I just find the shifting line of ethics in regards to free software confusing.
And it seems to me that Canonical isn't exactly targeting the enterprise market. The length of support of their LTS release is a joke, and I'd not use it for that reason alone. They target the desktop (and those netbook gadgets) and so they must make money predominantly from those users.
53 • Gentoo (by pfb on 2009-09-28 20:55:40 GMT from United States)
I am writing this from the second computer that I have run the Gentoo live DVD on. For a dying distro, it is a pretty slick DVD. Since it comes with Gparted, I think I will keep it. The main thing for me is that wireless and Ethernet both worked flawlessly. Even better than Opensuse, or Fedora. Nice work, Gentoo!
54 • @Caitlyn Martin (by Loonix blows on 2009-09-28 21:05:20 GMT from United States)
So it's okay to violate the copyrights and patents of people as long as they are proprietary companies?
55 • Codecs and patents (by Vance on 2009-09-28 21:37:23 GMT from United States)
@52 T Pettigrew:
The Fluendo MP3 decoder is perfectly legally licensed.
@54 Loonix blows:
Stop putting words in Caitlyn's mouth. In those countries where software patents aren't available, it's impossible to violate them.
56 • @Vance (by Loonix blows on 2009-09-28 21:51:02 GMT from United States)
Okay, so if I move to Antigua you'll consider it okay if I take GPL code and integrate it into proprietary applications or just relicense it under whatever license I want and give it away?
57 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-09-28 22:30:24 GMT from Spain)
Software patent != Software license
Fortunately, the idiocy known as "software patents" barely exists outside of the USA.
58 • Middle click (by M. McNabb on 2009-09-28 22:49:41 GMT from United States)
Well, for Firefox I think you can always do "ctrl-click" to open links in new tabs. For other middle clicks, like pasting hightlighted text into a terminal, you can do "shift-insert" (don't know if you have a handy insert key on a netbook?)
59 • Responses (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-09-28 22:51:34 GMT from United States)
#52: DeCSS is illegal in some countries and legal in others. You cannot make a blanket statement like that. mp3 is an interesting case in that the patent/copyright holders have chosen not to enforce their patents in the case of free software. They do enforce the patents if you charge for them. What that does to the legal status again depends on the countries in question. Some distributions include mp3 status, some don't, and none have been subject to legal action.
Ethics are an entirely different issue and are very much subjective. Some Free Software advocates, from RMS on down, believe proprietary software is, by it's very nature, unethical. I don't share that view. You clearly cannot impose your ethical views on others.
Finally, you are just plain wrong about Canonical. I know from first hand experience that they are actively marketing to the enterprise. If you consider the five years of support on the server for LTS a joke you must also consider SUSE's five years of support a joke and yet Novell is successful in enterprise space. In any case Canonical does not see themselves as primarily serving consumers. Quite the contrary.
#54: It is not OK to violate patents or copyrights. I never said anything of the kind. However, copyright and patent law varies greatly from country to country. As already noted in #57 software patents are not accepted by most countries in the world, including most Western industrialized nations.
#55: There are also fully licensed DVD players for Linux. There is no lack of licensed products. There is a lack of customers willing to pay for them.
60 • @57 (by Loonix blows on 2009-09-28 23:02:40 GMT from United States)
No duh they aren't the same but my claim was about respecting both people's copyrights and patents. If it's perfectly fine to ignore people's intellectual property rights when it's convenient then you FLOSStards should be perfectly okay with me ignoring the copyrights of GPL code authors when I move to Antigua, right? If we are going to judge ethics purely by what local law says, then it should be perfectly fine with you people for me to do so because it's not illegal there.
61 • Software patents (by Ignorance Property on 2009-09-28 23:04:02 GMT from United States)
Software patents greatly pervert the original intent of the Constitution of the US. If anything, software patents are what's truly illegal. Unfortunately, the US is currently being dictated to by criminals, so your legal "options" are limited.
62 • @61 (by Loonix blows on 2009-09-28 23:09:27 GMT from United States)
"Software patents greatly pervert the original intent of the Constitution of the US. "
There is no singular "original intent" of the Constitution. To claim so is utter fantasy.
"If anything, software patents are what's truly illegal. Unfortunately, the US is currently being dictated to by criminals, so your legal "options" are limited."
How can software patents be illegal when Congress was given the explicit domain to legislate on patents and copyrights? Quote me anywhere in the Constitution that defines the illegality of a software patent. That you don't like them doesn't make them either unconstitutional or illegal.
63 • Re: 33 Mint, PCLinuxOS and CentOS should be removed from the top ten list (by Anonymous on 2009-09-29 00:40:23 GMT from Canada)
I think you are right. Major distributions should be those that form the basis of other popular distributions. In this case Mint, PCLinuxOS and CentOS should be removed from the top ten list.
64 • KDuXP (by KenP on 2009-09-29 01:31:35 GMT from United States)
I have not explorer their website in detail (being a non-Portugese) and I'm sure its done with good intentions but KDE already provides a similar enough interface to Windows. We don't need to mimic it to this extent.
What we need is more end-user oriented distributions -- a la Ubuntu -- but with KDE as the default and the main focus.
65 • Linux doesn't use DeCSS (by Mark on 2009-09-29 03:00:53 GMT from Australia)
>Last I heard DeCSS wasn't a legal method for allowing the playing of DVDs.
Linux doesn't use DeCSS, it uses libdvdcss. Not the same thing.
"libdvdcss is not to be confused with DeCSS. While DeCSS uses a cracked DVD player key to perform authentication, libdvdcss uses a generated list of possible player keys. If none of them work (for instance, when the DVD drive enforces region coding) a brute force algorithm is tried so the region code of a DVD is ignored. Unlike DeCSS, libdvdcss has never been legally challenged."
66 • Ripping off Antiguans (by Mark on 2009-09-29 03:16:37 GMT from Australia)
>No duh they aren't the same but my claim was about respecting both people's copyrights and patents. If it's perfectly fine to ignore people's intellectual property rights when it's convenient then you FLOSStards should be perfectly okay with me ignoring the copyrights of GPL code authors when I move to Antigua, right? If we are going to judge ethics purely by what local law says, then it should be perfectly fine with you people for me to do so because it's not illegal there.
What are you planning to do in Antigua? Perhaps take the GPL source code and re-distribute it by selling it to Antiguans? Go ahead, but I'd imagine that the Antiguans would just get the free software from sources other than you, such as Debian or Ubuntu repositories, same as everyone else around the world.
So good luck with that.
67 • @63 (by Pingus on 2009-09-29 04:39:07 GMT from United States)
Even if they haven't been based on a major distribution in over 2 years?
68 • @56 and 60 Loonix blows (by Vance on 2009-09-29 05:18:48 GMT from United States)
I am not familiar with copyright laws in Antigua and Barbuda. However, it is a signatory to the Berne Convention, so I expect it is not legal to make derivative works there which violate the terms of the copyright license.
69 • Trolls (by RollMeAway on 2009-09-29 05:32:03 GMT from United States)
Why do you people respond to these trolls?
Ignore them, they will go away when they can't start an argument.
70 • I left my heart...not in San Francisco (by Tiger Woods on 2009-09-29 05:49:21 GMT from United States)
What if I live in the United States, which I do, but my heart is in Antigua. Can I then use mp3 codecs without violating any laws.
71 • LINUX NOTEBOOKS (by ely on 2009-09-29 06:05:36 GMT from Philippines)
We should boycott notebook manufacturers that support windows only, then promote those who offer other os as alternative.
72 • @48, 53 Gentoo (by Anony Moss on 2009-09-29 07:20:16 GMT from India)
The Gentoo website is excellent- no-nonsense, terse and informative, and very navigable. Not to forget what looks like a very good documentation effort. If the distro is anything like their website, it must be a well engineered one.
I would like to try this distro. My constraints are-
1) slow and unpredictable n/w connection, so can't go for network install or big downloads.
2) small available hard disk spaces- <8GB and <4GB on my two trial systems- one is a 4 yr old laptop, the other, the latter a 9 yr old intel based pentium 3.
Is there a Gentoo 10th anver. Live CD available to try? I think I'd like to install it- in this case, is it better to try another gentoo installer medium (please recommend) given my constraints above?
What is a good, light GUI desktop option that works well with gentoo?
What I don't need- superfluous applications. I'm satisfied with a small, sufficient set of applications.
thanks in advance.
73 • Re: 63 • Re: 33 (by Anonymous on 2009-09-29 07:24:27 GMT from United States)
You forgot Ubuntu.
74 • Re: 35 (by Anonymous on 2009-09-29 07:35:15 GMT from United States)
"Arch is pretty cool, but it's so new, who knows where it will be in 5 or so years."
Ubuntu = 2004
Fedora = 2004
Mint = 2006
PCLinuxOS = 2003
CentOS = 2003
Arch = 2002
And only 2 years younger than Gentoo by the way.
75 • No subject (by forest on 2009-09-29 07:38:33 GMT from United Kingdom)
AM, Gentoo, more info here:
76 • @ # 73 (by Anonymous on 2009-09-29 07:39:19 GMT from United Kingdom)
I recommend you look at ArchLinux. Much easier to get to grips with in my experience and if you don't know even which GUI you want then Gentoo might be a stretch for you.
The ArchLinux documentation/wiki/community is the best I've seen for Linux imho.
77 • A question about Vector (by Anony Moss on 2009-09-29 07:41:03 GMT from India)
Is the Vector 6.0 Standard Edition 'Gold' different from the originally released 6.0 Standard Edition?
Is the xfce version in 'Gold' 4.4 or 4.6?
78 • @75,76 Gentoo (by Anony Moss on 2009-09-29 07:58:42 GMT from India)
Appreciate your inputs.
@75, the download links no longer work. It doesn't appear if they are offering LiveCD anyway.
@76, I have heard much about Arch too, but never invested time in checking their website and documentation. Shall keep this one in mind.
As far as the question of not knowing which GUI I want- its not a straight answer. It depends on a few things-
1) Which version of the desktop does the distro X offer? Example- Xfce 4.6 or 4.4?
2) Xfce 4.6, one would assume, is more feature rich, but what about bugs and stability? Is 4.6 'matured' enough?
3) How well distro X implement the GUI desktop? Is their implementation 'mature'?
4) It is fair I think, to assume, that the default Desktop environment of distro X is the most scrutinized and stable offering.
Personally, I'd like to try the newer xfce releases, but I could even try a gnome desktop. It all depends on how well the distro X does a particular desktop. Who better to ask for opinions on this than the fine folks here?
79 • No subject (by forest on 2009-09-29 08:23:35 GMT from United Kingdom)
Perhaps you mis clicked? The link says the download has been moved to here:
It is a Live DVD btw.
80 • re: top 10 distros (by krazypenguin on 2009-09-29 09:03:39 GMT from Canada)
Just a note about the top 10 distros:
Being top 10 on DW doesn't mean how many people are using it, but rather how much interest people have in the distro. It just measures hits, not usage.
Top 10 is constantly changing, and things can change fast.
A new distro can come out of nowhere, and old ones can just go away for many reasons. Not coming out with regular releases or making deals with the devil are just a couple.
81 • KDuXP (by Anonymous on 2009-09-29 10:32:06 GMT from Germany)
I actually kind of hate distros like KDuXP. Not only is it just one more unnecessary derivative distro that doesn't really provide anything new, it also makes Linux look like some kind of cheap Windows knockoff. I'm pretty sure that those people these distros are chiefly aimed at are also the ones who are most disappointed when they discover that they've been deceived by the looks of this fake software and can't run their Windows apps without additional, complicating steps or even at all.
Those guys seem to be doing it on a non-profit basis at least, but when companies pull off something like this and compromise Linux's public image for a little bit of short-term profit without even contributing back anything valuable, it tends to push up my blood pressure quite a bit.
Also, thanks for bringing the Mini 110 to my attention, I'm on the lookout for a decent netbook right now. It even has an option for a 16GiB SSD! Yay!
Really hard to find SSD-based netbooks nowadays.
82 • Really, what's up with gms500??? (by smn on 2009-09-29 11:07:39 GMT from Israel)
I was also disappointed to see 'gma500 is not supported' on Miblin's download page. Fine, I am not going to even bother downloading. Does anyone know if the support is planned for future releases?
PS A piece of advice for anyone looking for a netbook, if you see anything even remotely resembling gma500 or poulsbo, don't buy, no matter how good the price is.
83 • #77/78 - VectorLinux releases, Xfce (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-09-29 11:56:06 GMT from United States)
There is only one VectorLinux 6.0 Standard release. "Gold" refers to gold code, as in no longer beta or release candidate.
The version of Xfce to use nowadays is 4.6.1. It has a number of bugfixes over the original 4.6 release and has been out for a few months. IMHO it is a mature product and works very well.
84 • re: top 10 distros should make room for Pupy and Arch (by Anonymous on 2009-09-29 12:03:22 GMT from Canada)
Mint and PCLinuxOS are both listed twice in the top 10 page. I think they should stay on the top 10 page, but only as possible alternative to ubuntu and Mandriva respectively.
Pupy and Arch should enter as they are very different from other distro philosophie. In particular, Arch is as much different from Slackware than Mandriva from Debian.
85 • Software patents in the US (by Michael Raugh on 2009-09-29 12:08:44 GMT from United States)
Groklaw has a fascinating article written (by invitation) by a pair of patent attorneys in defense of patents for software and business processes. For anyone who has an interest in knowing how both sides view the issue I'd recommend it as a great read.
And of course the rebuttal comments are equally interesting and on point.
86 • Linux for netbooks (by Mark on 2009-09-29 13:18:54 GMT from Australia)
I needed something fast yet powerful for a Linux distribution for my netbook, so rather than the bloat of Ubuntu (netbook remix or not) with Mono, I decided to try ...
Specifically, Arch Linux with KDE 4.3 desktop, and LXDE desktop installed also as a backup if KDE was too slow.
Everything worked! Even wireless (with wicd), alsa, the synaptics touchpad and suspend.
I didn't need the LXDE backup plan, as the KDE 4.3 desktop works beautifully and is quite snappy.
87 • Linux for netbooks and top ten list (by Anonymous on 2009-09-29 13:33:14 GMT from Canada)
These discussions are interesting, so lets combine them with the following proposition :
"Add a netbook specific distro on the top ten list and list some alternative to them"
88 • Re: #35 and #70 (by kilgoretrout on 2009-09-29 14:24:13 GMT from United States)
Re #35's tongue in cheek comment about getting slackers together to increase page hit rankings via automated scripts, you may laugh, but IIRC slackers were actually caught doing this several years ago on DW. It caused quite a sensation at the time and resulted in safeguards being implemented at DW to prevent this type of activity in the future.
Re #70 and the legal status of mp3, as I understand the situation, the consortium that owns the mp3 intellectual property has always stated that the mp3 codec is free for use by end users. Only distributors are required to pay a licensing fee and as previously noted, they have not pursued any claims against noncommercial distributors to date. This goes back to the early days when mp3 was first introduced. Allowing endusers to freely download the mp3 codec, resulted in the widespread use of mp3 which created a demand for devices that could play mp3s. The manufacturers of those devices are the ones that have to pay the licensing fees.
89 • @68 (by Loonix blows on 2009-09-29 14:36:29 GMT from United States)
"I am not familiar with copyright laws in Antigua and Barbuda. However, it is a signatory to the Berne Convention, so I expect it is not legal to make derivative works there which violate the terms of the copyright license."
No, you're quite wrong Vance:
"The ruling was notable in two respects;
First, although technically a victory for Antigua, the $21 million was far less than the US$3.5 billion which had been (not unreasonably) sought; one of the three arbitrators was sufficiently bothered by the propriety of this that he issued a dissenting opinion - an unprecedented move.
Second, a rider to the arbitration ruling affirmed the right of Antigua to take retaliatory steps in view of the prior failure of the US to comply with GATS. These included the rare, but not unprecedented, right to disregard intellectual property obligations to the US.
This last is of very great importance. Antigua's obligations to the US in respect of patents, copyright, and trademarks are affected. In particular, Berne Convention copyright is in question, and also material NOT covered by the Berne convention, including TRIPS accord obligations to the US. Antiqua may thus disregard the WIPO treaty on intellectual property rights, and therefore the US implementation of that treaty (the DMCA Act)."
Make sure to read the last paragraph. Basically I can do it all I want so if we are only going to go by what is legal in a region then you'd have to find it perfectly okay for me to violate the GPL all I wanted due to your own sense of loose ethics.
90 • @66 (by Loonix blows on 2009-09-29 14:46:58 GMT from United States)
"What are you planning to do in Antigua? Perhaps take the GPL source code and re-distribute it by selling it to Antiguans? Go ahead, but I'd imagine that the Antiguans would just get the free software from sources other than you, such as Debian or Ubuntu repositories, same as everyone else around the world."
No, I'd just freely relicense it under whatever license I want and give it away and since US copyrights no longer matter in Antigua there isn't anything you FLOSStards can do.
91 • @90 (by KTK on 2009-09-29 15:12:19 GMT from United States)
Then you'd be... what? Just another pirate in a sea of pirates, legality aside. Disregarding the license is disregarding the license whether you can legally do so or not. All it means is there is no recourse *in Antiqua* to take against you. Once that software comes back into controlled waters, so to speak, it would be trivial to say 'this is an unlawful derivative' and effectively cripple it. Troll on.
92 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-09-29 15:17:30 GMT from United States)
"Then you'd be... what? Just another pirate in a sea of pirates, legality aside. Disregarding the license is disregarding the license whether you can legally do so or not."
But I was told above that it was perfectly fine to disregard other people's intellectual property because their country made it legal. Why is it somehow only bad just because I want to do the same thing but with GPLed code?
"All it means is there is no recourse *in Antiqua* to take against you. Once that software comes back into controlled waters, so to speak, it would be trivial to say 'this is an unlawful derivative' and effectively cripple it. Troll on."
So then once again the hypocrisy shows itself. As always, it's okay to violate proprietary companies copyrights and patents, but once it has to do with GPLed code you're worse than Saddam Hussein, Adolph Hitler, Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot combined!
93 • @92 (by KTK on 2009-09-29 15:22:15 GMT from United States)
"But I was told above that it was perfectly fine to disregard other people's intellectual property because their country made it legal. Why is it somehow only bad just because I want to do the same thing but with GPLed code?"
I didn't say anything about property rights, or right and wrong.
"So then once again the hypocrisy shows itself. As always, it's okay to violate proprietary companies copyrights and patents, but once it has to do with GPLed code you're worse than Saddam Hussein, Adolph Hitler, Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot combined!"
Uhm, no. Keep your straw men to yourself, their wretched faces disturb me. The argument was that a person could do anything with any software once in Antigua. I say good for you, so long as you stay in Antigua. Once that software comes back, whether it is GPL or any other license, it is going to *still be subject to the original license.*
Also, your hyperbole is showing. Might want to cover that up.
94 • @92 (by Matt on 2009-09-29 15:31:38 GMT from United States)
95 • Whom to believe anymore? (by LLO on 2009-09-29 16:20:34 GMT from Hungary)
A few weeks ago, I proposed to set up a checklist for reviewing distributions. The following may may shred some light on why is that a reasonable proposal.
Looking for some suitable distributions for a new PC, I read number of reviews and tried a few promising distributions. For partitioning and system tools, I looked at RIPLinuX, Pmagic and System Rescue CD. All of them look fine unless one needs Internet access. All the tree promises Internet access, but only one can deliver:Pmagic 4.5. One of the other ask me to accept the presented MAC number. Whether I accepted, or rejected that number , it really was not able to set up a working connection. The other presented some six unheard-off processes. Even for Pmagic, I had to know that I needed PPPoE. I think the first question that the system should ask: "What sort of connection do you want to configure: wired, cable or wireless?" Well, I have to admit that this was my best experience. These small systems attempted to do something that some of the large systems blatantly neglect.
Dealing with other distributions, I was exposed to the usual annoyances, stunning artwork and inexcusable omissions.
First, when one see an uncontrollable run-up screen, one may wish back the era of those noisy teletype machines. After more than thirty years this problem is still unsolved!
In connection with the uncertainties around the possible disaster can be caused by the instalation, one may ask how that we still do not have a guaranteed destruction-free installation? When you rent an apartment, you neither send over a demolition team to blow up the building and order to build a mansion for you, nor send troopers to kill everyone, but get though with the paperwork, get the keys and move in accepting that you are one of the many tenants. The same "unum e pluribus" principle should be applied to installing a distribution. Only prepared partitions, or empty spaces would be allowed to be utilized. Let face it, that the scary message to back up to backup your system is sheer hypocrisy. Just how many home computer owners have any tera-byte capacity backup unit? None!
Similarly annoying when the system in the post-installation phase cannot recognize the same DVD located in the same driver that was utilized during installation.
Like many of us, I like artwork. But eye-candy is no substitute for technical content.
While installation of many distribution has been greatly simplified the end result not always justify the oversimplified approach. And, especially not justifies of not providing post-instalation configuration facilities. Just putting an icon of a browser on the desktop is not an Internet connection by itself. Just click on the browser, and it reports to you that cannot find its own home-place server. Why? because Internet connection is no configured. Never mind, if you need help just download the manual, visit the forums, etc, etc. But, HOW??? If that not enough, you have to realize that you are not provided with access to a terminal window either. It seems that these sort of glaring omissions are not isolated cases.Both DesktopBSD and Linux Mint suffers the same debilitating shortcomings. Contrary all of these, this sort of distributions are highly rated by number of independent reviews. So, whom can you belive anymore?
For me, a distribution without a terminal window, without Internet access, without post-installation system configuration facilities is simply unacceptable! It seem that this is not the case with some reviewers. It seems that some people cannot see the forest from the tree.It may be the case that some trees like KDE for instance have way overgrown. For the sake of the forest, let cut them down. For me a desktop manager is perfectly fine if I have access to shape its menu.
After all these, where can I find some distributions that are reasonably complete, not too buggy, not only promise but able to deliver.
96 • Linux's GUIs (by kurp on 2009-09-29 17:05:18 GMT from Poland)
Ubuntu 9.10 and KDuXP user interfaces looks more than interesting!
97 • Off topic really. (by forest on 2009-09-29 21:15:33 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref Godwin's Law.
How right he was...is! Almost commentary on marriage, lol.
98 • @70 Tiger Woods (by Vance on 2009-09-29 21:26:57 GMT from United States)
Good news: you can legally use the Fluendo MP3 decoder whether you are in Antigua and Barbuda or the United States.
99 • @89 Loonix blows (by Vance on 2009-09-29 21:50:21 GMT from United States)
The WTO decision did not result in a total end of copyright law in Antigua and Barbuda. It permits the government to suspend its obligations under the TRIPS agreement up to a total economic value of $21 million. If you can convince the government of Antigua and Barbuda to cover you as part of that suspension, and assuming there is no separate obligation restricting it, then it would seem you are free to create proprietary derivative works of GPL software and sell them to Antiguans. You can find details of the Article 22.6 arbitration report at:
I shall not respond further due to your wholly unwarranted insult.
100 • @95 Complete but not too buggy. (by pfb on 2009-09-29 22:09:50 GMT from United States)
Have you tried Mandriva? You can get a live CD that will show you its capabilities. I found it fairly trouble free to install.
If it weren't for their over-controlling attitude on samba, I would also say the same for OpenSuSE.
101 • Slackware Package Management (by Donnie on 2009-09-29 22:52:02 GMT from United States)
@ Chris and Ladislav
I appreciate you linking to my article about Slackware package management. However, just today, I realized that I left out one important detail.
Before trying out the "sbopkg" utility, open the "/etc/profile" file, and add the following line to the "export" stanza:
export ARCH=$(uname -m)
Then, close the terminal window and re-open it before invoking sbopkg.
That way, the packages will compile for your particular architecture, even if it's the new 64-bit Slackware.
102 • Slackware hits (by Donnie on 2009-09-29 22:53:35 GMT from United States)
I'm cruising with Slackware 13 now, so I'm doing my part.
103 • Desktops (by Anonymous on 2009-09-29 23:36:24 GMT from United States)
Does anyone use Window Maker?
Does anyone know what the key points (differences,similarities)
are between Window Maker and Gnome,KDE,XFCE,LXDE.
What makes the usuall Desktop so desireable?
How does Window Maker or other window managers fall short?
104 • RE: 103 WindowMaker/WMs/DEs (by Landor on 2009-09-29 00:59:24 GMT from Canada)
What falls short is functionality and in some areas aesthetics, with some low resource window managers. You have to remember that name is exactly what they are (for the most part), a window manager. Some of them are nothing more basically.
With that you can rule out a panel/taskbar, system tray, clock. It all depends on each one.
Desktop Environments are usually the whole kit and kaboodle so to speak. You get major functionality at the price of more resources and in some cases (depending on your hardware) speed is an issue too.
If I wanted something really light I'd go with LXDE to keep more functionality without tweaking in needed functionality. IceWM is nice too. If Anti's watching he can give you a bit more info on that, Fluxbox is decent too.
Here's some links to better explain it since it would take forever to explain it all here:
Hopefully that helps you and maybe someone else out.
Any specific questions feel free...
Keep your stick on the ice...
105 • New Intel Video Driver 2.9.0 Fails again! (by VernDog on 2009-09-30 01:17:08 GMT from United States)
I tried the newest offering from Intel on my Ubuntu karmic installation. It faile just like all the rest. I still have to use the older intel-2.4.1
Go here to read about the driver:
The reason I even bring this up is this statment from that site:
"Major fixes in 2.9.0 compared to 2.8.0
* Multiple fixes to make the driver stable for 8xx chipsets, (855GM,
865G, etc.). The 2.8 driver series was extremely unstable with many
of these chipsets."
106 • RE:104-Desktops (by Anonymous on 2009-09-30 01:58:45 GMT from United States)
Thanks for your reply
I normally use Window Maker.
wmtime shows Date 7 Time
wmcpuload shows CPU % load
wmtop shows top 3 processes
wmmemload shows %memory used
wmnd shows network IO
wmtemp shows CPU & MB temperature
wmweather shows METAR weather info
wmbiff shows mail status
Middle mouse click shows the window list.
But surely there is something more about the common Desktop Enviroments
which is simply missing from my meager Window Maker installation.
I have looked at those links(sites) and not found that answer so far.
Someone knows for sure. Why else would there be Gnome,KDE,etc...
I have tried Gnome in the past,
but it just seemed slower on the same hardware.
107 • RE:106-typo (by Anonymous on 2009-09-30 02:00:56 GMT from United States)
wmtime shows Date & Time
108 • Give it away - whoop de doo (by Mark on 2009-09-30 03:09:40 GMT from Australia)
>No, I'd just freely relicense it under whatever license I want and give it away and since US copyrights no longer matter in Antigua there isn't anything you FLOSStards can do.
1. You can only do what you suggest in Antigua. Again I ask what are the Antiguans going to do with it?
2. Why should anyone (even Antiguans) accept dubious stuff from you when they can legitimately get a worldwide-supported version of the same code for the same price from other sources?
You haven't thought this through very clearly, have you? It is interesting that someone with such an obviously stupid idea should think of other people as "tards".
109 • #95 long incoherent rant about trouble with Linux (by gnomic on 2009-09-30 03:23:56 GMT from New Zealand)
Assuming you are actually serious and not some sort of troll . . . I have never found a Linux distro without a console, don't know how you managed it. Anyway, off the top of my head, take a look at any or all of these: Puppy, Wolvix, Mepis, Zenwalk, Vector, Crunchbang. Beyond the basic Puppy see the puplets - www.puppylinux.org/downloads/puplets for a range of Puppy derivatives. If you can't find something usable among these distros I suggest that you should look to do your computing with some other operating system, or perhaps take up another hobby.
110 • So many questions, so little answers... (by NippoNoob on 2009-09-30 03:40:41 GMT from Brazil)
I live in a region with no broadband ISP, what means huge (CD sized) downloads are impractical, although not impossible. That's the reason why my first distro was Damn Small Linux... But then a fellow with cable connection gave me a Dreamlinux CD, and I never again came back to Windoze. A "Mac-like" XFCE desktop is irresistible!
Still being a newbie, every month I dedicate some time to study commands. My growing skills are now sufficient to do BASH scripting and kernel re-compilation. I've read a lot of manuals, but many doubts remain unsolved.
Can somebody tell me wether VectorLinux recognizes the screen resolutions 1680x1050 and 1360x768? Apparently, the "vxconf" script only handles 1280x800, 1440x900 and 1920x1080. If Robert Lange calls it "the best little Linux operating system available anywhere", then it should handle each and every screen resolution.
Just because I'm darn curious, let me ask all of you other questions:
1. WHY some Linux developers enable root logins by default? They should hear what security paranoids say: IN SUDO WE TRUST. (Yes, Notorik, I'm a "security obsessed potato head". Every password I use is greater than 20 characters.)
2. WHY just a few distros are optimized for the i686 architecture (Pentium II and up)? PCLinuxOS is compiled for i586, Vector and Wolvix is for i486, while Dreamlinux is for i386. Does it mean the memory addressing capability of Dreamlinux is limited to about 870MB? If it's true, then I'll switch to Paldo Linux, which is up-to-date and optimized for i686. DOES it have "ppp"? (WHY "ppp" wasn't included in the package version table?)
3. WHY only GoboLinux got a sane, well organized file system hierarchy? Scattering fragments of a given application through several directories is a weird UNIX tradition from the era of typewriter machines. But this is the 21st century, when "orthodoxical" methods may not work anymore. So let's revolutionize the Linux way of doing things. Creative guys did it in GoboLinux.
4. WHY Linux always "probes" hardware controllers? WHY not do it just once, and then "memorize" (register) the results. Next time the kernel runs, in the blink of an eye it would load a pre-configured system. To cope with casual hardware changes, there might be an instructive message like this: "To probe new hardware, hit the SPACE bar. To load the system recalling previous drivers and settings, hit the ENTER key."
5. WHY distro makers don't use only the best open source software (ext3/ext4, GRUB, RPM, Conary/Synaptic, nano/gedit/emacs, Scribus, Evince, Brasero/K3b, Pidgin, XChat, WiCD, pppconfig/wvdial, Firestarter, Transmission/Deluge, Audacity/Audacious/Exaile, Swiftfox/Midori/Dillo, IcedTea, Grip/Asunder, MPlayer/VLC/Miro, Emerald, EmelFM, Sylpheed/ClawsMail, XFCE/LXDE/ROX, etc.)? They should stop pushing a plethora of half-baked code. (Okay, Midori is still in beta stage, but it's based on the stable WebKit rendering engine, which is much cleaner and faster than Gecko.)
6. WHY Firefox in Linux Mint 7 XFCE got Moonlight plugin and support for Microsoft Silverlight? WHY not use only decent plugins such as NoScript, AdBlock, xine-plugin, mplayer-plugin and swfdec (the best one for Adobe Flash Player)?
7. WHY Linux doesn't have an official "base system" in the BSD style? If it never be done, OpenSolaris might replace Linux in both server and desktop environments. It doesn't "break" when any part of the base system is updated, is better than FreeBSD, and got variants with lighter graphical interfaces. Look at BeleniX, MilaX, Nexenta...
Now I have a message to those pedantic nerds who say: "FreeBSD is a complete system; Linux is just a kernel." (Don't get me wrong, Landor. I know you're NOT like them. I particularly appreciate your posts.)
Well, let me go to the point:
No, FreeBSD isn't a complete system. It gives you only building blocks (CLI and packages), while Linux gives me a comfortable house with wallpaper, furniture, carpets, refrigerator, oven, TV, telephone, fax... Everything is there, ready to use. And the use of the command line is OPTIONAL, not compulsory. Ultimate freedom of choice is it!
No, Linux isn't just a kernel; it's THE kernel, totally optimized for desktops, not servers. Entire sites like KernelNewbies.org are dedicated to it. Cool technologies (such as Kernel Mode Setting, USB 3 or DisplayPort) make it stronger at every release. Sooner or later, all Windoze users will switch to Linux not just to get rid of malware, but also because it's the only OS that can give them the latest and greatest.
BSD folks say: "Linux is for people who hate Microsoft." Once again, a wrong belief. Linux is for people who care about usability and completeness. And how those CLI warriors dare to criticise the GNU project despite the fact that they still rely on "GNU ports" to get their job done? (Think of GCC, GIMP, Xorg, etc.)
UNIX lovers, try to see how much the BSDs suck in comparison to Linux: Automounting CDs doesn't work yet in the recently released DesktopBSD, the most perfect of all BSDs... Thus stop to promote them by repeating "ad nauseam" the most unhappy words of Linus Torvalds: "If 386BSD had been available when I started on Linux, Linux would probably never had happened."
Oh, how much lucky are us Linux users: If a too nice student at Helsinki University had known 386BSD before creating Linux, today we were running "sysinstall" on the system shell, then typing the names of device drivers (things like "rl0" or "ppp0"), and also using the ancient "ports tree" to compile from source every single piece of software. Not only xorgconf and fstab, but the whole system would have to be set up by means of the old fashioned "vi", a terrible CLI editor.
God bless the Linux kernel and the glorious day when it met the GNU project! Our heroes Torvalds and Stallman saved us from a nightmare right out of the Stone Age. And the brave Ladislav, Chris and Caitlyn are leading us to the final victory.
As a Linux (and DistroWatch) evangelist, I'm proud to have yet converted nothing less than ELEVEN relatives and friends, including my son's Chemistry teacher. Just imagine how many students he may convert...
Hey LUG folks, search for educational distros and start doing lectures at schools. Let's unveil Linux to a generation avid for novelties: Compiz Fusion is important to conquer a child's heart, but games are paramount. Fortunately there are gaming LiveDVDs like SuperGamer (based on Vector Standard) and Ultimate Edition (based on Ubuntu).
Online banking security and immunity to viruses/trojans must be emphasised!
I think PCLinuxOS GNOME is ideal to showcase the multimedia power of Linux. It's too newbie-friendly and plays a myriad of file formats. However I recommend the use of free formats, basically FLAC and Ogg Vorbis/Theora. Avoid proprietary stuff encumbered by patents/DRM.
I encoded into FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) all the classical music CDs for which I payed big bucks many years ago. Well, folks, "freedom" doesn't give me the right to download pirated songs and videos...
Okay, let me finish with a special message to Landor:
Of course I know FreeBSD 4 is a vital gear in the Web mechanism and is better than Linux in many respects. In reality, there's nothing I want more than see all BSD flavors evolve in the PC field to directly compete with Linux. The problem is that some of their fans appear to be "enemies" of Linux, what drives me nuts. So I tried to prove they have no reasons to hate Linux and not so many reasons to love FreeBSD.
BTW, this is an evidence that FreeBSD took the wrong path:
But, as a humble newbie, I came here to LEARN, not to teach. Therefore CORRECT ME if I've said any bull***t. Just realize you can't argue with a crazy penguinist. :^))
111 • REF#110 - NippoManiac (by JohnnyCab on 2009-09-30 04:16:53 GMT from United States)
What a long winded tirate! So interesting stuff, but man try some KISS stuff next time...
If BSD is so bad, then why was that the OS of choice for iMacs.
112 • @ 110 (by RollMeAway on 2009-09-30 04:33:20 GMT from United States)
Wow, must be something the food you ate? What a ramble. Been holding it in for a while?
1. Passwords: PLEASE lets not go there again. Try this analogy:
Some people cross the street only at the crosswalk when the light is green (user and password)
Some people jaywalk, half way down the block.(root user).
People get killed or mangled in BOTH cases. Many people jaywalk all their life safely. DROP IT!
2. There are a large quantity of old computers still running. That is why i386 still exists.
Not everyone has a shiny new computer. Congratulations if you do.
3. GoboLinux has a nice file structure. Underneath is a nightmare of symlinks to make it compatible.
4. I too wonder why all hardware is re-probed at each boot. Also, why every module trys to load.
5. There is no BEST software. Apps I like, you might despise. I always purge ppp for example.
6. Moonlight will be the downfall of linux. Once the community embraces it, embeds it. Microsoft will sue.
113 • Netbooks (by RollMeAway on 2009-09-30 04:37:46 GMT from United States)
Several months ago, I setup a Dell Mini 910 for a friend.
I used it for two weekends and the week in between.
Of course I booted every linux distro I could obtain on a USB flash.
My preference was Ubuntu Remix at the time.
I developed a habit of leaving my left hand on the small keyboard and
finger poking with the right. Half way touch typing.
The biggest complaint I (and the owner) had was the screen resolution.
1024 is good but the 600 is just too small. Can't understand why the manufacturers didn't use 768.
Check the pixels verses size on a cell phone to understand, it is possible.
It isn't the physical size, it is the number of pixels. 600 cuts off too many web pages.
The owner sold it a few weeks later because of that.
114 • RE: 106/107 & 110 (by Landor on 2009-09-30 05:40:42 GMT from Canada)
I can't say much about Window Maker since I don't use it, nor have. I will say that it has intrigued me after going to their site and reading the wiki regarding it.
Anyway, I think some of the main functional differences for a lot of minimalist WMs in comparison to a full fledged DE are: total configuration via a GUI, mounting and unmounting, more aesthetics as I said with gui's for themes. What it does is take every single component needed to have total functionality on the desktop and roll it into one and then make it all visually pleasing. In the sense of the WM you have to manually get the completely functionality. I would think that once done a WM such as Window Maker wouldn't really be as minimalist as it was intended. Also, other than pride in effort and learning, the time and effort is a bit of a loss making such a minimalist WM do everything a DE can do, if even possible.
I am gonna take a look at Window Maker though, soon as I'm less busy (moving this week).
I enjoyed your post, completely. It was very accurate in my opinion.
I'll agree with you whole heartedly that overall Linux does beat BSD hands down in ease of use. I think the main reason for that is the lack of derivatives. If FreeBSD had a ton of desktop variants we might see a lot happening there in the ease of use factor. With only PC-BSD now (since DesktopBSD is leaving) as the main contender we can only look to that project as a basis for comparison.
I will say though that if FreeBSD can really get a massive jump on hardware, a lot closer to Linux and a few more variants pop up, it would be a definite threat to Linux due to its base system. Those of are the only factors I see holding FreeBSD back on the desktop.
We all have fans and enemies in every OS camp. In basically anything in life. Hell, as it's been regurgitated here, Linus himself called the OpenBSD devs a bunch of masturbating monkeys. So it does go both ways, even from the top. I ran BSD for years and it was always an amazingly solid system. FreeBSD is really no different, Extremely Solid. It's why I'll always be a proponent of it and when I found Gentoo was based on the ports system and my like for being in total control, I jumped on it. But as you said, it's not there, it has some areas it needs a lot of work, but one day it might give Linux a run for it's money on the desktop!
Until then I'll keep using Linux and watching it progress.
Keep your stick on the ice...
115 • rant in post 95, and window managers (by Barnabyh on 2009-09-30 08:39:43 GMT from United Kingdom)
LLO, I have not experienced the connectivity problems you stated in years, these days all distros I have tried in the last 5 years find and set up your ethernet connection with dhcp request automatically (that means without me needing to do a thing). Wireless will of course be different, or perhaps there's something misconfigured with your network, with DNS and/or dhcp server. Do you use a proxy?
Window managers, I like Afterstep with a custom theme and only idesk for a few icons running and one or two wm applets running, in my case wmixer and wmbattery, that's enough. Nice and minimalist. Fluxbox is very good too, running it with the same setup as Afterstep and sometimes wbar for easy access to the most used apps. Menu is easy to customize. I'm looking to switch back to this from KDE4 in Slackware.
Or you want to give fvwm-crystal a try, very nice and fast. I'm sure you know how to Google, but may have to compile it from source for your particular distribution. Debian has it in the repo though!
They are all way faster than KDE4 if that is your complaint, although I find the old KDE3.5 very responsive too (depending on the distro).
116 • WM and DE (by Xtyn on 2009-09-30 08:52:26 GMT from Romania)
Let me put it this way: DE's have a WM, WM's don't have a DE. :)
DE's include most apps you need. A WM doesn't include apps.
An example: KDE has kwin as WM and has a lot of apps, like dolphin, amarok, k3b, koffice etc. You can use kwin without KDE but you can't use KDE without kwin.
117 • @110 (by megadriver on 2009-09-30 11:01:39 GMT from Spain)
Hehe, I also began with Damn Small Linux due to being stuck with dialup, so I can feel your pain. Then moved to Debian, then Arch, then got semi-decent ADSL, then distro-hopped a bit, and finally settled in Funtoo (a very nice Gentoo derivative by Gentoo's original creator). Once you taste the power and control the portage system and USE flags (I love USE flags!) give you, is hard to go back to "precompiled" stuff. So no, Gentoo is definitively NOT dead here (happy 10th anniversary, by the way!)
1. Agree. I'm not security-obsessed, but still think running as root is a bad idea. Maybe you won't get hacked, but you can do a lot of accidental damage to your system if running as root.
2. Don't worry, being compiled for i386 doesn't affect how much memory can you use. Having said that, I really doubt anyone ought to run a modern (2.6.x) distro in a 386 (or even a 486 or a plain Pentium), but feel free to surprise me! There are specialized distros for such "old" machines (usually running a 2.4.x kernel), so I see no reason for everyone not compiling for i686, at least. This is not a problem with Gentoo/Funtoo, of course. You choose! So you can compile to your exact architecture if you want (Core2, in my case).
3. If you get to know well the UNIX filesystem, you'll learn the reasons for its structure. Of course, I agree it has flaws and can be improved (like everything in life!), but I actually find it very clean and logical (your mileage may vary, of course). Still, I have no problem to admit that the GoboLinux filesystem is also nice, and has some advantages, but it's destined to always be a "hack" (and not a pretty one), IMHO.
4. Totally agree on this one. Not a deal breaker to me, though.
5. Choice. Choice is the answer to this one. For example. my favourite apps usually are not the most popular ones (also tend to be CLI-based).
6. Well, Mint is supposed to be a newbie (Windows "refugee") distro, with "everything included" and with "everything working right away", so I don't find strange that they include stuff like Moonlight. As for swfdec (and Gnash, too), they keep improving all the time, but they still can't completely replace the proprietary Flash plugin, IMHO. I do hate binary blobs, and the very day one of those two works well (and specially fast) enough for me, I will drop that evil plugin and never look back! If they work for you now, great, more power to you. And if you can get by without Flash, even better! I've tried and tried, but they keep making awesome Flash games like Canabalt (just Google it!) to keep me hooked. By the way, AdBlock Plus (I swear by it!) and NoScript are extensions, not plug-ins (they are two very different things).
7. Choice is again the answer. I hate when others impose a "default" on me, specially if it's one I don't like. That's why I run Funtoo (so I can get rid of "baggage" like HAL and those pesky *kits that keep popping up these days). I can understand the advantages of a standard base system, though.
118 • 116- kwin (by Barnabyh on 2009-09-30 12:19:40 GMT from United Kingdom)
"You can use kwin without KDE but you can't use KDE without kwin."
Hi Xtyn, sorry but that's not correct. Just as you can replace Metacity in Gnome you can also replace kwin in KDE. I used to run KDE with Openbox as a wm for more than a year because it was a lot faster.
119 • WM and DE part 2 (by Xtyn on 2009-09-30 12:40:21 GMT from Romania)
KDE without kwin is not KDE. :)
It's like replacing the engine of a Ferrari with a Volkswagen one and still calling it a Ferrari.
120 • re. 101- Slackware package management, Gentoo 10 DVD (by Barnabyh on 2009-09-30 12:41:49 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks for that, I 've learnt something yet again and am sure to use this tip soon.
Unfortunately not bowled over by the Gentoo Live DVD although I really want to like it. It got stuck at the end of the boot process when trying to configure the X server, not sure what the problem is with a bog standard and by now old Radeon 9800Pro.
This is my second attempt with Gentoo, the other one being in 2005, and likely to be the last. Arch or Crux seem more interesting if you really want to tweak away. I've always doubted there's any speed increase using Gentoo over say Slack or the other two. But obviously Gentoo has its fans and if you enjoy it good for you!
121 • kwin (by Barnabyh on 2009-09-30 12:53:41 GMT from United Kingdom)
Aaah- I can sort of see your logic.:) But I always thought people are running KDE because of the apps, the configurability in Control Centre and the desktop integration, not because of the wm.
The only thing that changed for me when using Openbox were the window borders and that it got faster. Unless you want all the translucency/transparency trickery, but you could still use Compiz I guess (which would slow it down again so there's probably no point then).
122 • Feedback (by LLO on 2009-09-30 13:32:04 GMT from Hungary)
@#100, @#109 and @#115 Thanks for your feedback.
When things do not work out as one expects them, one may become emotional. If that happen repeatedly, it works like a positive feedback loop making the signal exaggeratedly high, noisy and distorted. Admittedly, I should have waited to somewhat calm down. Nonetheless, the mentioned annoyances and problems are real.
I was looking for a reasonably complete system with some degree of flexibility to extend and shape the system to my needs and preferences. I considered Internet access as part of a reasonably complete system. (Perhaps, that was not always the case. Linux used to have problems with all internal dial up modems. The hardware non win-modems required COM5, but Linux provided a choice of COM1 though COM4. Interestingly enough FreeBSD 4.8 had no such a problem. The real problem was trying to serf the web using the CLI.) And, that may be true for some connections like permanent fix address connections that likely are used by the testers. I however have an ADSL connection through an ISP. To use that one needs to configure the access using PPPoE specifying among others the login user name and password. If the system does not ask for these data, no Internet connection can be established. If you have no Internet access, but everything refers to Internet addresses, it is very hard to keep cool.
Rolling back the events, the problem of the run-up screens come back. Why those lines cannot be sent to the printer. When thirty some years ago teletype machines used as primary interface with computers every word were printed. (This is the reason that the C language originally had no such a word as display. It why still does not have is another disturbing question!)
And, the same reason led to looking for some post-installation system configuration facilities as well as an Xterm. It was disturbing to realize that there was neither sysinstall nor Xterm in DesktopBSD, and the situation was not much better with Linux Mint.
Unfortunately, configuration in many other distribution limited to configuring KDE. But, one cannot configure the letter size in Xterm through that even if it is available, or eliminate the transparency and the disturbing background decoration.
I bring up these issues that just may be someone more involver person might pay attention. In this respect, I also highly recommend to pay special attention to comment #110. So many eloquently well put points that developers should learn to pay more attention to user comments.
123 • Internet access (by 122 on 2009-09-30 13:48:20 GMT from United Kingdom)
"If you have no Internet access, but everything refers to Internet addresses, it is very hard to keep cool."
Completely understandable. The IMO best solution is to get yourself a router that is always connected to your modem, always on, then connect to it via ethernet. Simple networking always works. Good luck.
124 • Zenwalk install attempt (by Anony Moss on 2009-09-30 14:50:11 GMT from India)
As mentioned in my earlier posts, I wished to try Gentoo, or something based on Slackware, so I tried Zenwalk Standard (xfce version, not the Live CD). In its favour seemed to be- a small iso image size, low hard disk requirements (2 GB, and it later demanded 1 GB for swap), and the new xfce release. Had to rule out Vector Standard as it asks for at least 4 GB hard disk space.
Installation process seemed to go quick and well. It did not attempt to detect a DHCP connection, though. I liked the partitoner and Zenwalk nicely detected my windows partitions and asked if I wished to mount them and by which name.
At the end, I got a message to eject the CD and reboot. After reboot I see a Grub (stage 1.5) error 17. Looks like Zen could not overwrite my previous bootloader with the new one (wonder if it tried to install LILO).
So I try to boot with various CDs and get unpredictable results. GParted Live CD could load once, but not after that, so I could not try to see if it could reinstall GRUB for me. The Zenwalk CD wont fire up again, I just get the GRUB error 17 message.
Debian Lenny Netinstall CD does load every time (good job Debian) but its rescue mode is unable to recognize a linux root filesystem. Attempt to install GRUB just takes me back to the partitioner. So, apparently, I can't (easily) have a bootable Zenwalk system. Next, I'm going to take the easiest way out I know- fire up Debian Lenny netinstall CD again, install a barebones system and reinstall GRUB. Thereby, saving by windows partition (I've had to do this once before).
Why am I writing all this here? To point out that there are still LInuxes out there which will not easily wipe off previous installations and give a useable boot loading experience.
I'm certainly not singling out Zenwalk for criticism here- just reinforcing the opinion of some posters above that these small broken things need to be fixed if we are to move forward with the GNU/Linux movement. At least make sure the installation CDs are able to load every time. If Debian CD can load up every time, surely its not my hardware or BIOS that's a problem.
125 • thank you, Forest and Caitlyn (by Anony Moss on 2009-09-30 14:55:30 GMT from India)
for your earlier guidance re. gentoo and vector linux.
126 • RE: 72/125 (by Landor on 2009-09-30 16:03:14 GMT from Canada)
You said the one system was 4 years old and the other 9. What CPU for both and how much ram? In my opinion you can never really go wrong with Fluxbox and there's LXDE depending on what you want and CPU/Ram availability. I haven't touched Gentoo for a while so I can't say for sure but I'm pretty sure the lxde-meta ebuild/package will pull in the needed files for a complete LXDE install.
Anyone new to Gentoo I always tell them to go to gentoo-portage.com. There you'll find all your packages available with a listing for each one. It's also searchable.
As stated above
Gentoo Desktop Documentation Resources. A really good place to look for information on installing a few DEs and WMs, as well as desktop configuration.
Hope that helps...
Keep your stick on the ice...
127 • popular mechanics 1905 (by jack on 2009-09-30 18:11:52 GMT from Canada)
I have just come across "Google Books" digital version.
Right now I am reading about using "punched tape" to send telegraphs 4000 miles from London to Persia.
My problem (using Mepis) is that I cannot copy and paste. I can do a "print screen" and I could take a photo of a screen,but this is not very satisfactory.
Can any one offer me advice?
128 • Moblin for the masses? (by RollMeAway on 2009-09-30 19:14:45 GMT from United States)
I would like to experience the Moblin disktop, without buying a netbook.
All downloads I have found require the Intel Atom processor.
I did install from a Fedora rawhide installation, but only got a white screen.
Anyone shed some light on the subject?
Is Moblin only for Intel's Atom processor?
129 • RE: 127 (by IMQ on 2009-09-30 19:53:02 GMT from United States)
The pages on those are not regular text but images. It's not possible to copy & paste.
130 • Linux netbooks (by Ed Borasky on 2009-09-30 20:44:11 GMT from United States)
"Only when we have netbooks of exact same specifications with a choice of Windows or Linux displayed side-by-side in every store, will we know what the customers prefer."
And that will happen *only* when a *business* with a *marketing muscle* comparable to that of Microsoft makes a commitment to it. I'd say at this point Google ChromeOS is the last best hope, but I think true Linux aficionados will be sorely disappointed in ChromeOS. And I think Google is underestimating its chances of making a dent in Windows.
131 • Re: #127 (by karaangbugoy on 2009-09-30 23:36:46 GMT from Philippines)
Take a screenshot of the page. Then use an OCR software to convert bitmap characters to text.
Here's a page that may be useful to you:
132 • Re#124 (by Glenn on 2009-10-01 00:15:44 GMT from Canada)
I had the same problems.
I found the best thing to do is to use a partitioner to DELETE the partition you are trying to install to, reallocate and reformat it, then install. This is assuming that you are reusing a partition to try a distro in of course.
Oh, amother thing, once you've repartitioned. Power off the system and leave it off for a couple of minutes. That will usually clear error bits that may have been turned on and are not cleared with a warm reboot
Above is open to challenge but my experience has been positive when following these steps.
133 • No subject (by forest on 2009-10-01 00:27:16 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref Comments on OCR.
Some years back I used to scan inventories, with hand written annotations, using an Epson scanner and Twain (?) software.
The typewritten pages without annotations invariably, well almost, were recognised and the resultant page images were legible. However, any handwritten annotations on a sheet came out as garbage and usually confused the software to the extent the entire page was garbage.
I would surmise the software recognised only "known" type fonts so to speak and simply got puzzled with anything not in its library...possibly.
Those pages which were recognised could be edited using Word
But supposing, and I have not tried it of course, you were to save the scanned image simply as an image. Then run the image through Inkscape, say, and see what happens.
Or, save the image in PDF format and use a PDF editing app and see if you can lift/extract the material you want.
Best of luck and perhaps we'll hear of your success however you do it.
134 • mint terminal (by BluPhoenyx on 2009-10-01 01:47:57 GMT from United States)
Actually, Mint uses the Gnome terminal. It is easily accessible from the Mint menu. This may not hold true for Mint Xfce version and the KDE version uses the Konsole terminal. I rather like the multi-tab terminal programs. I've used them for years and find it quite useful to have several tabs available, at least one of which always runs Midnight Commander. For those who don't know, this is a text based dual pane file manager. I find it much easier than most graphical file managers, YMMV.
Another option is the drop down terminals such as Tilda or Yakuake. If you keep an open terminal session this might be preferable as the terminal can be quickly hidden.
After checking my Mint packages I find that xterm is installed. I don't recall if it was pre-installed though. I do agree that it should be available if only for those times when one must use a minimal X environment.
135 • re#133 (by hab on 2009-10-01 14:40:06 GMT from Canada)
Twain apparently is an acronym for "Technology Without An Interesting Name."
A hidden comic!
136 • Zenwalk isn't made for netbooks, but (by Claus Futtrup on 2009-10-01 19:23:14 GMT from Denmark)
Hi all. Great DW with netbooks - there are Linux OS'es out there, not made for netbooks, but light enough that netbooks will run fine with their setup. I just installed Zenwalk on my IBM T42 (old laptop) ... with 1.8 GHz Pentium M (single-core "Dothan") Centrino processor. It runs completely smooth and responsive. I am positively surprised as my switch was from an old desktop Pentium II 400 MHz machine - it just cannot pull Zenwalk anymore. A netbooks would run Zenwalk breasy-easy.
Zenwalker (since 2005)
137 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-10-02 02:25:28 GMT from Australia)
>I however have an ADSL connection through an ISP. To use that one needs to configure the access using PPPoE specifying among others the login user name and password. If the system does not ask for these data, no Internet connection can be established. If you have no Internet access, but everything refers to Internet addresses, it is very hard to keep cool.
Buy an ADSL modem with integrated router.
Something like these:
They are very cheap, they can be configured via any web browser, they share your intenet access amonag as many machines as you like, and they completely eliminate any problems such as you allude to here.
138 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-10-02 02:33:12 GMT from Australia)
>there are Linux OS'es out there, not made for netbooks, but light enough that netbooks will run fine with their setup. I just installed Zenwalk on my IBM T42 (old laptop) ... with 1.8 GHz Pentium M (single-core "Dothan") Centrino processor. It runs completely smooth and responsive. I am positively surprised as my switch was from an old desktop Pentium II 400 MHz machine - it just cannot pull Zenwalk anymore. A netbooks would run Zenwalk breasy-easy.
Check out the Chakra distribution on a netbook.
You can download the LiveCD image and use "dd" to put it on a USB stick which can then boot, so the netbook does not need any external CD drive.
Very fast ... it is an easy-to-install Arch Linux. It runs just fine on an netbook. It is also "completely smooth and responsive" as you say.
Best of all though is that it gives you full KDE 4.3 in all its glory, you are not limited to Xfce at all.
Fianlly, Arch is a rolling release. For example, Amarok 2.2 was just announced a day or so ago ... you can already have it on Arch.
139 • No subject (by forest on 2009-10-02 14:20:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
And there was I deluding myself "Twain" was in honour of Mark Twain, famous author of Huckleberry Hound, aka Finn, or something, probably, I expect, do doubt. You know the one, he made a book from the cartoon series, but changed it a bit.
Returning speedily to topic...anyone else had a run in with U9.10 beta?
Initial impression, of the beta, is a very much smoothed out look about it...even boasting, for Uxx that is, an enormous selection of backgrounds on the CD. The screen res was right first time, but that has never been a problem, afaik, for the Us anyway.
The look of Applications reminded me of Slax, in that there are "simple" icons to click on, which makes the "whole user experience" more, well...user friendly (borrowing freely from some generic testing phaseology bs...lol).
Needless to say the wifi connected as soon as the PW was entered, although the top panel has a look of the "work in progress" feel, well it is beta, so the wifi "working" indicator is as yet uncoloured with a basic appearance, so the ying and yang tadpoles look a bit anaemic.
Even "live" the response was quite satis so can only presume when installed on a high spec machine the performance will be sufficient to satisfy the stats obsessed boys and girls. (Entre nous, I can't really see the attraction of a super fast boot time, unless it is for a car/automobile ignition/engine management system, when I suspect for a getaway driver it is probably an absolute must have.)
Seeing it is a beta release I did not explore further, but from what I've seen it will not dissapoint in the solid, reliable stakes but probably won't blow your socks off either.
140 • No subject (by forest on 2009-10-02 14:23:56 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref #138...must proof read...must proof read...disappoint.
141 • Gentoo - Sabayon (by Jerry on 2009-10-03 20:26:59 GMT from United States)
I love Sabayon and have upgraded twice now and am using 5.
I am worried at what I see about Gentoo "dying." If the base distribution for a "forked" or modified distro is to remain successful, is the death of the base system also the death of the other distros which depend on it?
The repositories are not the only problem, I am sure. :(
142 • Sabayon kde 5.0 (by RollMeAway on 2009-10-04 03:56:22 GMT from United States)
Just did a fresh install. Smooth, no problems. Ext4 default file system.
Major improvements over previous versions. Default installation used 4.73 GB.
Previously required >12 GB. Major change is NOT installing every language known.
I once removed about 2 GB of useless languages. I barely use THIS language, ha!
Options before were to install EVERYTHING and spend your time trimming, or
install minimal and spend your time adding packages you need/want.
So, this is more like a normal distro.
@141: I wouldn't worry too much about gentoo going away.
Did you miss the just released 10th anniversary DVD preview?
It works well as a live disk, just needs an installer.
I do hope the gentoo installer has improved over what I last used 2 years ago.
143 • re: Sudo v. su (by Anonymous on 2009-10-04 13:54:36 GMT from United States)
I wonder when someone is going to bother pointing out to the vocal proponents of sudo just how easy it is to gain root on a machine with a sudoers file like the one in a default Ubuntu install, for example, by using a real text editor. Then again, maybe we don't want to do that as we love our botnets...
144 • Gentoo (by Jerry on 2009-10-04 14:56:17 GMT from United States)
In post number 24 it says that Gentoo is "toast."
Why is there talk of Gentoo being a dying distribution if it is not?
Sabayon depends on Gentoo, as everyone knows. :)
145 • Freespire?? (by Freespire on 2009-10-04 16:26:47 GMT from United States)
Freespire is # 81 on page hit list? Huh? What's up with this? I was glad it died and now it's the 'Night of the Living Dead'!!
146 • Caitlyn Martin, HELP !!! (by Paulo Cesar on 2009-10-04 18:09:17 GMT from Brazil)
I am puzzled too with vxconf and widescreen resolutions. I do not use Slackware.
This vxconf has the widescreen modes 1920x1080 / 1440x900 / 1280x800:
I suppose that this is the vxconf you refer to.
But this vxconf has the widescreen modes 1920x1200 / 1680x1050 / 1440x900 / 1280x720 / 1220x700:
What is the correct (updated) vxconf?
147 • Goblinx g:standard 3.0 (by RollMeAway on 2009-10-04 20:13:54 GMT from United States)
Attempted to install, but installer failed. Apparently because gparted was not installed, and it uses that to find partitions.
Tried to install gparted. 7 pkgs downloaded, but failed for unspecified reason.
Went to website for help, only to discover notice posted today:
"The G:Standard 3.0 is the last GoblinX Project release."
Visit to the forums shows no recent activity.
Can't help but wonder.
What was the point of this release?
148 • Top Distributions page (re: Gentoo dying) (by Andy Figueroa on 2009-10-05 02:05:23 GMT from United States)
The introductory page to the top 10 distributions page reads, in part: "which are generally considered as most widely-used by Linux users around the world. There are no figures to back it up and there are many other distributions that might suit your particular purpose better, but as a general rule, all of these are popular and have very active forums or mailing lists where you can ask questions if you get stuck."
This selection criteria is very far from just using the page hit ranking on DW. Gentoo meets the stated criteria, is definitely not dying, has become notably more stable in just the past year indicating (I run it on two desktops, two laptops, and numerous servers) well executed development, and is significantly different from popular binary package distributions to remain listed as a "top distribution." Given the learning curve to being using Gentoo and the overall increase in distributions, also makes Gentoo's page hit ranking still somewhat notable.
In my opinion, DW has done a noteworthy job in selecting the distrubutions shown on that top distributions list.
149 • 40 • KDE Quote (by techqc on 2009-10-05 02:38:11 GMT from Indonesia)
"kde 4.x has no chance for success until major changes are made."
It is a continuing debacle.
Anyone else notice how heavy the update bandwidth load is for KDE4.x ?
It seems like they keep finding niggling little problems and each fix
needs download sets in the 50meg range to realize.
The last one I remember was a KMAIL fault which required downloading
some ridiculously obscure stuff to fix.
Did they not get the memo about not using spaghetti code, or what?
Is this the trend of the future?
"missing comma in the trivial_utilitity_xxx package causes speeling erroes"
now downloading 107 packages comprising 87 Megabytes
The phrase - Abort, Retry, Fail! - seems to come to mind for some reason...
150 • REF#143 Back it up (by Anonymous on 2009-10-05 04:49:13 GMT from United States)
I want you to back up your claim. As we all know you CANNOT!
sudo is a secure as su
151 • VectorLinux and widescreen resolutions (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-10-05 07:08:19 GMT from United States)
VectorLinux supports any resolution that X supports. There is nothing special about the version of X.org in VL so any widescreen resolution that works in any other distro will also work in VL.
vxconf is an automated X configuration tool. The list of resolutions to choose is hard coded. If you do a full autoconfiguration (no user input) it *should* choose the correct and optimal configuration for your chipset and monitor regardless of what's on the list for manual choices. If it doesn't for whatever reason you can adjust the resolution from the GUI once the install is done and the system is up.
Number of Comments: 151
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|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
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Chinese 2000 Linux
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