| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 325, 19 October 2009
Welcome to this year's 42nd issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The release season is finally here. With the recent second release candidate for Mandriva Linux 2010 and the upcoming final development releases of Fedora 12, Ubuntu 9.10 and openSUSE 11.2, the last-minute bug-fixing is all that is left to do for the big popular distributions. In the news section, Arch Linux releases the first printed edition of Arch Linux Handbook, Gentoo explains the recent Foundation troubles and presents exciting new features in the popular source-based distribution, and Linux Mint outlines some of the improvements in the upcoming release, version 8. Still in the news section, we refer to an article listing the twenty best features of Mandriva Linux 2010 and link to a couple of opinions expressing dissatisfaction with the current status of development at Canonical. For those readers interested in novice-friendly Linux distros, Jesse Smith takes a look at iMagic OS 2009.9, a commercial project based on Ubuntu, but enhanced with various extras that might appeal to former Windows users. All this and more in this issue of DistroWatch Weekly - happy reading!
- Reviews: iMagic OS 2009.9
- News: The big release season, best 20 features of Mandriva 2010, Arch Linux Handbook, Gentoo in the media, Linux Mint 8 update, Kubuntu in downward spiral?
- Released last week: OpenBSD 4.6, Parsix GNU/Linux 3.0, Puppy Linux 4.3.1
- Upcoming releases: CentOS 5.4, Fedora 12 Beta, Ubuntu 9.10 RC
- New distributions: Business Linux, JULinux, Slax Router
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (39MB) and MP3 (35MB) formats
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Review of iMagic OS 2009.9
In September, the iMagic team released iMagic OS 2009.9. The iMagic OS distribution has a lot of strong selling points. They offer a modern, easy-to-use desktop with all the common media codecs and plug-ins an end user would expect from a desktop OS. The iMagic distribution also claims the additional bonus of being able to run Microsoft Windows applications out of the box. The iMagic project leader, Carlos La Borde, was nice enough to provide a copy of the project's latest release for me to test drive.
As usual, I did my testing and evaluation on two machines. The first is a generic desktop with a 2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM and an NVIDIA graphics card. I also tried iMagic OS on my LG laptop, which has a 1.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM and an ATI video card. To round off the experience, I ran iMagic OS in Virtual Box too.
At the moment, iMagic comes as one downloadable DVD. The DVD is both installer and live media and weighs in at about 1.6 GB. The download gave me time to read up on the distro which claims to be "The Future of Linux". The iMagic web site is easy to read, pleasant to look at and covers information on the features found in the latest release. There doesn't seem to be much documentation to assist in the areas of installation or trouble-shooting, though there is a contact e-mail for technical support. The iMagic operating system is a commercial venture and customers are asked to pay US$29.99 for the product.
After confirming the checksum on the disk, I popped the DVD into my desktop and got down to business. The iMagic installer is very similar to Fedora's Anaconda and is an example in point-and-click ease. The partition manager sets up fairly good defaults and building custom partitions is very simple. I was also happy to note the installer supports most common Linux file systems, including ext3, ReiserFS and, for people creating shared space for multiple operating systems, FAT. I was also asked to set up a regular user account and set a password.
iMagic OS 2009.9 - the installer
(full image size: 36kB, screen resolution 800x600 pixels)
While installing, I wasn't able to find any option to pick and choose which packages would be installed on the system. This means about 4.5 GB of data is copied onto the local drive at once. Then it's time to reboot. One thing I liked about the installer is that if a mistake is made or the install is aborted, iMagic will load the live desktop, rather than shutting down the machine.
On my first boot, iMagic came up fairly quickly and provided a graphical login screen. With my credentials entered, I was provided with a bright KDE desktop. (The version of KDE shipped with iMagic OS is 3.5.10, but it is themed to look similar to the current KDE 4.3 desktop.) The colours are blue and black with a few bright icons on the desktop for common tasks such as web browsing, instant messaging and exploring the file system. Right away I was presented with an end-user license agreement and a help screen. The license agreement is fairly standard for anyone who has used GPL or LGPL licensed software and there were no surprises. The help screen is directed at people new to Linux or new to computers in general. It offers brief, friendly advice on installing software, running common programs and getting further help. I'd like to see more documentation added here, but they have a good start.
iMagic OS 2009.9 - the KDE desktop and Konqueror file manager
(full image size: 84kB, screen resolution 800x600 pixels)
My hardware was handled well. My video card was detected correctly and my desktop set to the expected resolution. My sound card worked without any tinkering and setting up my printer was completely painless. The network connection was detected and set up automatically for me. The only fault I found with hardware, on either computer, was my mobile card; the network manager wasn't able to detect it. This was a fairly common problem a year or so ago and I probably could have manually made it work through kppp if need be.
My first unpleasant surprise was finding the Google Desktop application in my system tray. Trying to use or configure the Google Desktop software resulted in an error saying the app couldn't connection to the local machine. I shut down the Google application and moved on to other things.
The iMagic distribution comes with a huge collection of open-source software, including OpenOffice.org, a PDF viewer, WINE, several audio and video players, disk burning software, Firefox 3.0, Skype, a torrent downloader, instant messaging, digital camera managing applications, the GIMP, the usual collection of small games, system configuration tools and the GNU Compiler Collection. All of these packages worked as expected and there were no problems. Less expected was the magicScan app, which is, apparently, a front-end for ClamAV. The anti-virus is a bit slow to respond to commands, but does work. Something else I was happy to see is a very user-friendly backup system. With a few clicks, users can archive their important files and retrieve them again. This is great to see and I hope more distributions make backing up this easy for regular users without requiring extra software be installed on the system.
iMagic OS 2009.9 - the backup utility
(full image size: 84kB, screen resolution 800x600 pixels)
A quick look at the system services show that most common daemons are disabled by default. For example, there is no secure shell server running (or even installed) on iMagic out of the box. However, the exception to this rule is a surprise: the Apache web server is running by default. I found out that stopping Apache also prevents the iMagic help system from working. I'm not sure why the iMagic team decided to run their help files through a local web server, rather than just pointing a web browser to a local folder, but that seems to be what they did. At least the system's firewall is configured to block all incoming traffic. In fact, running a web server seems to be the only thing out of place in this distribution. Everything else is set up, in my opinion, to appeal to new comers to the Linux desktop. Following that aim, iMagic ships with codecs to play most audio and video files. A Flash plug-in for Firefox is installed too.
Package management is mostly handled by APT and related tools, such as Synaptic. The package manager connects to Ubuntu servers and provides all the software and updates one would expect from Ubuntu. The system will check for new updates when a user first logs in and offer to install them. I was surprised to find that RPM and YUM are also installed on iMagic. I didn't test RPM, but did discover that YUM won't run properly – it's missing a dependency.
The iMagic web site says their distribution will run common Windows software, such as MS Office, Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer. This is due to WINE's compatibility layer and works the same on iMagic as it does on other distros. I borrowed a copy of Office 97 from a friend and tried to install it, without success. A few other Windows applications and games installed and ran without any problems. This reflects my experience with WINE in general and there doesn't seem to be anything different about iMagic's install of WINE compared to other distributions.
iMagic OS 2009.9 - installing MS Office
(full image size: 84kB, screen resolution 800x600 pixels)
The iMagic distro appears to be based on Kubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron", which is a long-term support release. There are references to Ubuntu here and there throughout the system. In fact, booting to a text console caused an Ubuntu copyright notice to display. Whether this is relevant or not, I think, depends on whether iMagic OS is simply Kubuntu with re-branding and some extra packages or if it is an entity by itself. I was hoping magicOnline would be able to answer this question.
The magicOnline store is a software repository which is designed to allow people to download and install packages with a simple point-and-click web interface. This custom repository allows iMagic to provide access to software not included in the Ubuntu distribution. The magicOnline web site also advises that software packages can be bundled to assist in installing the same components across multiple computers. In reality, I ran into a road block. I signed up for a magicOnline account and shortly after an e-mail appeared in my inbox, confirming my username and password. I returned to the project's web site and attempted to login. I was advised my account wasn't active and I would need to follow the link provided in my confirmation e-mail to activate my account. There's just one problem: there's no link in the confirmation e-mail. At this point I could have contacted iMagic and asked to have the account activated, but I didn't want to bother their support staff when they have paying customers to assist.
The iMagic distro is a large one and I find it difficult to boil down my experience over the past week and simply give the product a thumb up or a thumb down. The operating system is fairly newbie-friendly, but lacks some polish. The non-functional Google Desktop and the magicOnline store, being the best examples of places where a little more work is needed. On the other hand, it comes with proprietary codecs and plug-ins, along with just about any other software you'll need, which is a nice plus. The operating system is a little on the heavy side. It requires nearly 5 GB of hard disk space to install and, testing in a virtual machine showed, it required around 500 - 600 MB of memory to do common tasks such as browse the web or write a document. The system is sluggish up until about 1 GB of RAM.
Despite the fact iMagic is commercial and even though it has some rough edges, I find myself liking this operating system. With its anti-virus protection and out-of-the-box Windows compatibility, it strikes me as a good entry point for Windows users thinking about trying Linux. It's something that people coming from Windows will likely find safe and fairly familiar, while providing all the benefits of a wide range of open source software. I often run into computer uses who won't try Linux because it's free. They assume "you get what you pay for". Having an inexpensive, newbie-friendly distro is a great selling point to these people. For Ubuntu users who want all of their software in one quick install and who like KDE, iMagic is also a good option. I would not recommend it to people who like small Linux distributions, or folks who have low-specification hardware or those who are avidly against proprietary software -- they're not the target audience for this product.
I would like to add that though iMagic advertises on DistroWatch, I was not asked to do this review. Nor was there any expectation that I would cut iMagic any breaks. I approached Mr La Borde and asked if I could have a copy of iMagic OS. He kindly provided a download link to the DVD with no strings attached and offered to answer any and all questions I had regarding iMagic OS.
The big release season, best 20 features of Mandriva 2010, Arch Linux Handbook, Gentoo in the media, Linux Mint 8 update, Kubuntu in downward spiral?
For many Linux users this is perhaps the most exciting time of the year. All the popular distributions are in their final stages of preparing for the big release day, with Mandriva Linux already having completed their development cycle, while Ubuntu, Fedora and openSUSE have just one final public release each planned for the next two weeks. After the seemingly endless bombardment of the Linux user community with alphas, betas, milestones and release candidates, it's a relief to know that shortly we'll be able to download the end result of these massive development efforts. This year it will be Ubuntu's turn to be the first with a final release (the project's ShipIt service has already started accepting orders for free delivery of Ubuntu 9.10), with Mandriva Linux 2010 following shortly afterwards, while openSUSE 11.2 and Fedora 12 are scheduled for final releases in around the middle of November. As such, within just three short weeks all that developers' labour of updating software and fixing bugs will finally bear fruit in the form of fresh CD and DVD images available on your local FTP server!
So to give this week's discussion a kick-start, here are some questions for our readers. Of the big four forthcoming releases, which one do you look forward to most? Are you likely to stay with your current distro or are you thinking of switching to something different? If so, why? Which of these four releases will you test? Are you confident that they will provide trouble-free upgrade paths or do you dread the upgrade day? If you wish to comment on these and related topics please scroll down to the comments section and tell us what you think!
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Mandriva Linux is one of those desktop distributions that many users have mixed feelings about - some great ideas and excellent desktop integration get sometimes spoilt by poor quality control. Will the upcoming release be better in this respect? It's still a bit too early to say, but if you are wondering about what's new in this version, here is a nice summary of the 20 most exciting features of Mandriva 2010, courtesy of LinuxCrunch: "Mandriva Linux 2010 is aimed at improving the user experience for daily tasks. Let's have a look at what's new. 1. New installer. To improve the user experience of installation, the Mandriva developers thought that the installer design was quite old now and needed to be refreshed to stay ahead of the competition. The next screenshot shows. 2. Live upgrade. Mandriva Online will be able to notify the user about a new version of the distribution and suggest a system upgrade without using the installer. 3. Moblin desktop. Mandriva 2010 will include the Moblin 2.0 environment designed for mobile desktop platforms...."
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Arch Linux has been rising steadily in the DistroWatch's Page Hit Ranking statistics over the past couple of years, indicating a growing popularity of the rolling-release distribution designed for intermediate users. Now, for the first time ever, users can install the distribution with the help of an official, dead-tree copy of Arch Linux Handbook by Dusty Phillips, released earlier this month: "I'd like to announce the first edition of the Arch Linux Handbook, available in print. You can purchase it through CreateSpace immediately. It should also be showing up in Amazon.com searches within two weeks, so you can tell your family to get it for you for Christmas. The Arch Linux Handbook is distilled from the Beginner's Guide in the Wiki. Purchases help support Arch Linux development." And what does the book cover? "The Arch Linux Beginner's guide, has been a help to thousands of new users installing this popular keep-it-simple Linux distribution. Now in print for the first time, this simple lightweight Linux handbook is all you need to get started with Arch Linux."
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The recent 10-year anniversary celebrations and special live DVD releases have given Gentoo Linux some space in mainstream media. It was a welcome change from the usually subdued Gentoo public relations effort. More of a group of command-line hackers than a big PR machine, Gentoo Linux continues to provide subtle innovations and up-to-date packages for their users without trying to attract too much attention. In the last couple of weeks, Linux Magazine has published two articles on the most popular source-based distribution. The first one, Gentoo: Ten Years Emerge, explains the benefits of compiling everything from source code over using a pre-compiled (binary) distribution, while the second one, Gentoo: "We're Not Dead", features an interview with Matthew Summers, a Gentoo developer and member on the board of trustees touching on the recent trouble with Gentoo Foundation and the project's current status: "On the desktop environment front both the KDE and GNOME teams have been hard at work with the new major releases from upstream. In fact I'm using KDE 4.3.1 as I write this. Gentoo supports just about every window manager and desktop environment under the sun, with thousands of available applications and libraries. Python, Perl, PHP, and Ruby support is superb, Erlang rocks on Gentoo. Really, I could go on and on, but I would encourage the reader to take a look themselves, so as to avoid any further wind-baggery from me."
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Linux Mint, an Ubuntu-derived distribution that many novice Linux users find perfect for their needs, has had a few quieter weeks, but with the forthcoming release of Ubuntu 9.10, expect to see much more activity on the developers' blogs. Clement Lefebvre, the founder of the distribution, has published a brief development update, announcing, among other things, that he has now become a full-time Linux Mint developer and no longer "hindered" by other duties: "I resigned and left the company I used to work for. To compliment the income generated by Linux Mint I also take part in contracting work based on the distribution itself. So in other words, I'm now working full time on Linux Mint and on projects based on or related to it." As for the new features in the Linux Mint 8, there are a number of interesting hints worth quoting here: "Many new features and improvements have been made for mintUpdate and mintInstall. Among other things, mintUpdate now comes with better error handling and the ability for the user to block particular updates based on the name of the package. The graphical interface has been enhanced." However, the bad news is that the LXDE and Fluxbox editions of Linux Mint 7 have been cancelled.
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Although the immense amount of work that the individual distributions have been able to complete in recent week is staggering, not everybody is happy with the current state of certain projects. A good example is this article entitled "Is Kubuntu Caught in a Downward Spiral?" by IT News Today, which has some harsh words for Kubuntu, Canonical's KDE distribution: "Unfortunately, each subsequent Kubuntu release from that point forward changed from having beautiful custom themes, wallpapers, and a login screen to having virtually no polish whatsoever. Sure, themes aren't normally that crucial, but to Kubuntu it kind of is, as the reputation is already tarnished by the lack of feature parity with Ubuntu and no current LTS release, so having less polish certainly won't help sway that opinion. The default themes in the KDE 4 series are all great, though you can get the default anywhere. Kubuntu needs to stand on its own, like it used to." This comes hot on the heels of another critical Ubuntu comment, this time from Andrew Wyatt, the developer of Eeebuntu: "Much of Wyatt's ire is aimed specifically at the Intel display drivers being used and he warns his faithful followers that come Karmic Koala's release later this month Eeebuntu users will be left with nothing but a blank screen at startup."
|Released Last Week
Caos Linux 1.0.25
Greg Kurtzer has announced the availability of Caos Linux 1.0.25, and updated release of the independently developed, light-weight, secure distribution of Linux for servers, compute nodes and network appliances: "The Caos team of developers and contributors from Infiscale are proud to announce the public release of Caos Linux NSA (Node Server Appliance) version 1.0.25, an updated release to the NSA-1.0 operating system and new Live Media installer disk. This Caos NSA 1.0 release includes all known security updates, the latest supported packages, configuration tools, better support for private and public clouds, and enhanced hardware and compatibility support from some of our supporters including Intel, SuperMicro and HP all wrapped up into a brand new Live Media installer." Here is the brief release announcement."
Parsix GNU/Linux 3.0
Alan Baghumian has announced the release of Parsix GNU/Linux 3.0, a desktop distribution and live CD based on Debian's testing branch: "We proudly announce the immediate availability of Parsix GNU/Linux 3.0 aka 'Kev'. Parsix Kev brings a vast amount of new features like GNOME 2.26.3, brand new kernel based on Linux 126.96.36.199 with extra patches and drivers, updated installer system that supports separate /home partition, ext4 file system and GRUB 2, NetworkManager is finally the default networking stack, Aufs and Unionfs support, Squashfs + LZMA compression for live CD and lots of updated packages - GNU Iceweasel 3.5.3, GParted 0.4.6, Pidgin 2.6.2 and OpenOffice.org 3.1.1. Due to a vast amount of changes and new default features in this version, it is highly recommended to do a CD-ROM update-mode installation." Read the release announcement and release notes for additional details.
Parsix GNU/Linux 3.0 features the older GNOME desktop version 2.26.3
(full image size: 197kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Yann Le Doare has announced the release of LinuxConsole 1.0.2009, an independently developed, easy-to-use desktop Linux distribution with multimedia support and games: "LinuxConsole 1.0.2009 is available in four formats: Multimedia (200 MB ISO image, for old computers and system with little disk space, Linux kernel 188.8.131.52, IceWM + Idesk + ROX-Filer, Firefox 3.5.3 + Flash 10 + MPlayer Firefox plugin, MPlayer SVN, X.Org 7.4); CD (Multimedia modules, GNOME, CUPS, GIMP, GCompris, FooBillard, Frozen Bubble); DVD (CD modules, ATI Catalyst 9.9, NVIDIA 185.18.36, 3D Games, VirtualBox 3.0.6, PlayOnLinux); Jukebox (build your personal ISO image, for example if you want to play OpenArena on a recent ATI card, select OpenArena and ATI Catalyst modules, then click to build ISO)." See the complete release announcement for further information and BitTorrent download links.
Puppy Linux 4.3.1
Barry Kauler has announced the release of Puppy Linux 4.3.1, a bug-fix update of the recently released version 4.3. Some of the fixes and changes include: "New modem drivers and improved modem detection and dial-up; fixes for CD remaster script; Asunder CD ripper replaces Ripoff; Cdparanoia upgraded to latest; You2pup, fix for spaces in paths; Ayttm multi-protocol chat client upgraded to 0.6.0-9; DidiWiki personal Wiki upgraded to 0.8; JWM window manager upgraded to revision 457; NicoEdit, our secondary text editor, upgraded to 2.4; Pburn upgraded to 3.1.1; 'resolv.conf' circular symlinks maybe fixed; JWM Configure tool bug fix; 'man' and Help page fixed when search on linux.die.net; frequency scaling fix for 'small' ISO (modules were missing); shut-down problem when upgrade 'pupsave' (shutdown scripts in wrong place)...." Here is the release announcement with a full changelog.
Theo de Raadt has announced the release of OpenBSD 4.6. The release arrives earlier than expected; as many of the project's paying customers have already received their CDs, the 4.6 tree of the OpenBSD FTP server has been opened to allow full access to any extra packages. From the announcement: "We are pleased to announce the official release of OpenBSD 4.6. This is our 26th release on CD-ROM (and 27th via FTP). As in our previous releases, 4.6 provides significant improvements, including new features, in nearly all areas of the system: new or extended platforms - MVME141 and MVME165 boards are now supported, SGI Octane, SGI Origin 200 and SGI Fuel systems are now supported, several bugs in interrupt handling have been fixed...." Read the detailed release notes for further information.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list
- Business Linux. Business Linux is a Debian-based Russian distribution offering full support for the Russian language, automatic software and firewall setup, pre-configured technical support client, and additional tools for Russian speakers.
- JULinux. JULinux is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution that fits on a single CD, but includes media codecs, games, utilities, players, and commonly-used applications. It also ships with the most recent version of PlayOnLinux for installing Windows games and programs.
- Slax Router. Slax Router is a Slax-based Linux distribution designed for routers, bridges and access points. It provides an easy way to make usable network device from an old PC and share network connection by configure routing, bridging and/or access point. There are also available services, such as firewall, NAT, VLAN, DHCP, DNS, VPN, PPTP, IPsec, Proxy, FTP. Remote access is available via SSH or Webmin, a web-based administration tool.
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DistroWatch database summary
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And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next installment will be published on Monday, 26 October 2009.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • No subject (by DShelbyD on 2009-10-19 09:41:22 GMT from United States) |
Nice that you picked up the Mandriva features list from the forums, where the member posted his link. Mandriva 2010 is looking really great at this RC2 point.
2 • Looking forward to Karmic (by h2s on 2009-10-19 09:51:56 GMT from China)
i have tried countless distros,but i think Ubuntu loves me most,besides all the tools i need for my work are apt-get away from the repositories and do not need any fiddling. i will be reinstalling since am currently on ext3 and also i need to encrypt the harddisk. but i do believe each distros has its own advantage,i choose Ubuntu because it works for my needs.
3 • iMagic review (by Bill on 2009-10-19 09:55:14 GMT from Canada)
What a waste of time and space this week. This distro has been criticized for it misleading website and lack of support.
If they are making money from then make their own repositories instead of feeding off ubuntu.
Hundreds of other legit distros would have loved to been reviewed instead of this ripoff.
4 • upgrade discussions (by Anonymous on 2009-10-19 10:20:03 GMT from United States)
Big four.....I guess that label would fit Linux Mint?
I recently discovered Linux Mint and switched to it as my preferred Linux distro. This is the Linux distro I'm currently recommending to all my family and friends. I therefore can't wait till Linux Mint 8 will be released. Off course, I have a soft spot for Ubuntu too and I'm dual booting Linux Mint and Ubuntu. I'm likely to stay loyal to these two distro's as they are the best, fullfilling my needs completely.
Lately I have been looking at PCLINUXOS too, and have even donated to them. However, the look and feel of PCLINUXOS is not exactly dazzling and it still looks a little intimidating to novice users so I'm reluctant to install it on systems for relatives.
I normally don't upgrade immediately but wait a few days or weeks by reading through experiences of others which emerge online. The impressions I get are then used by me to make a decision on a upgrade or completely reinstall. Since owning a external harddrive, things got easier.
5 • Big 4 (by SuperCharer on 2009-10-19 10:34:18 GMT from United States)
Big 4 = Ubuntu, Mandriva, Fedora and OpenSuse not Mint. Maybe it should be the big 5?
6 • Bad press? (by Anonymous on 2009-10-19 10:46:21 GMT from United States)
You do realize that Office 97 only fails to install when you attempt to install Access? But seriously why Office 97? Why not Lotus Notes, which is actually native and less insulting to use than OO.o?
By the way, if you really wanted to paint a distribution in a bad light you should have downloaded and burned the Visual Studio Express DVD and attempted to install it from the DVD. Pure awesomeness results...
7 • "Big 4" (by greenLegs on 2009-10-19 10:48:40 GMT from France)
Being in the top 4 of the Page Hit Ranking doesn't make a distro "big".
Let's not fill the Comments' section with Mint heat in place of PCLOS heat...
8 • How to attract people to Linux (by Raymond on 2009-10-19 10:50:00 GMT from Hong Kong)
Thank-you for the unbiased review of imagic linux.$29.99 US is cheap compared to $120.00 US for a basic windows 7 or $299.99 US for a mac os x.
9 • Release season (by Xtyn on 2009-10-19 10:51:13 GMT from Romania)
I'm looking forward the most to Ubuntu, of course. :)
I never upgrade, I always do a clean install.
I'm looking forward to Fedora too, to see what new things it will bring.
I'll skip openSUSE and Mandriva.
I'm not trying Mandriva because I always found PCLinuxOS to be better so I simply stopped trying it.
I've used openSUSE 10.2 for one year back in the days. I started to have problems with the next releases, novell made the pact with microsoft so I switched. I call openSUSE "the Hulk", green and bloated.
About Kubuntu: even when I was a KDE fan I disliked Kubuntu. Let's face it, it's awful. This is the reason why I stayed away from Ubuntu for many years -> I liked KDE. After KDE 4 was released I switched to GNOME and started to like Ubuntu.
10 • Looking forward in order quality (by Richard on 2009-10-19 11:17:18 GMT from France)
OS power rankings (based on ease of use, reliability, codecs, available software):
1.Mint 2.Debian 3.Ubuntu>>>4.Other Debian/Ubuntu based>>>41.Stuff not using APT>>>663.Arch 664.Gentoo 665.Slackware (don't look around here unless you hold your eyeglasses together with electrical tape).
11 • The best of the Big 4! (by Stephen Lidorsky on 2009-10-19 11:19:51 GMT from Sweden)
Choosing the "best" linux distributon is similar to religion, no, I stand corrected, It is worse than religion!
There is no "best" distro. It boils down to what your needs are, and of course what your buddies think... (just following the crowd is the simpliest, then you don't have to choose where to go).
But, given the race for the "Best" distro, my wote is on Fedora. I have tried many different distros over the years, and of the "Big 4" Ubunto is number 4. Why, you may ask, simply because it tries to make Linux too simple. Ubuntu is simply a derivate of Debian, and as such it ranks low. There is no "revolution" in their approach, just evolution.
As number 3 I choose Mandriva, they used to be good, but there is no "buzz" arount them.
Number 2 on my list is OpenSUSE. They were my number one until they reached version 10. Then came the disaste... But they are improving.
What are my personal priorities on a Linux distribution? Well, to be frank. On my two laptops (one for work and one for more leasure work) I have Gentoo and Arch Linux installed.
12 • Staying with ubuntu (by Bob Lourie on 2009-10-19 11:33:24 GMT from New Zealand)
I'm still on dialup so a distro download is no laughing matter. It's a week of tension sharing the phone line between competing users... ( grin).
Each distro has its quirks . I'm happy with ubuntu, it has been easy to install or upgrade, has been reliable and I'm expecting 9.10 to be another notch up. I am hoping that wired networking keeps up with wireless as far as ease of use goes. And I set up pppd on the terminal with pppconfig because ... but these are just quibbles. It is the price of a rural life. We are nursing newly hatched chickens - and getting advice from chicken raising experts online. It is a fantastic improvement in sharing knowledge on only a decade ago. Broadband will eventually reach this home, hopefully before these chicks lay their first egg - and linux will be not only on the home box, but in all of the several wireless boxes that will bring it in -as the embedded oses ( is that really a word?) I has better stop, I feel a 'all hail linus " is likely to pop out anytime soon...
13 • The big 4 (by ltjmax on 2009-10-19 11:43:00 GMT from Canada)
Mandriva 2010 RC2 is very useable. I'm testing it with Gnome, LXDE and xfce and since a week, I didn't not have any unusual bug. Fast and responsive, it could be the best Mandriva release in the last years.
Ubuntu still try to simplify everything. I think that Ubuntu One (the online storage tool) can be a great idea but except that, I can't see why they add things like the indicator applet, the ubuntu software store and other things like that. Why don't put efforts into bug resolving? http://0pointer.de/blog/projects/pa-in-ubuntu.html shows that Ubuntu works on the look and not on everything that is under the wood
Finaly, I always loved Fedora, but my last tests with a nightly-build livecd of last week wasn't very positive. It was slow and not very useable: anaconda kept crashing and when I was able to install Fedora, the RAM used was really too much (100mo more than Mandriva or Ubuntu)... I'll try the next test release this week before I take a decision about "Am I installing it when it will get out?"
14 • Release season (by Oswaldo Caballero on 2009-10-19 11:43:10 GMT from Canada)
I was a fan of OpenSuse but the 11.0 release and his pact with Micro$$oft were enough reasons for change. I discovered then Ubuntu and i'n using it for the last year. But I rediscovered Mandriva (the last time I used it was Mandrake 7.0) and I have to say it's excellent. So, I will install fresh copies of Mandriva 2010 and Ubuntu 9.10 and I'll keep my installation of ArchLinux (the best distro ever).
15 • Looking forward (by Michael Raugh on 2009-10-19 11:48:46 GMT from United States)
Looking forward to Karmic for my laptop, though I likely won't do the upgrade from Jaunty until November/December just to let any early issues get shaken out.
It's been too long (10.1) since I took a serious look at OpenSUSE. I'll be adding SLES into the work environment soon, so I intend to spend some quality time with OpenSUSE 11.2 as a reintroduction to YAST and zypper.
Jesse's review of iMagicOS was intriguing. I remember when that distro first came out and drew tons of well-deserved criticism for deceptive packaging (icons labeled "Word" and "Excel" that really started OpenOffice.org apps, for example) and outlandish promises. From Jesse's review it appears they've toned that down a bit and produced a pretty good offering, though it still sounds like they're promising more than they can really deliver. A fine piece of writing, Jesse.
16 • Upgrading (by Romane on 2009-10-19 11:55:37 GMT from Australia)
Took me a long time before I finally settled on a distro, concurrently with stepping almost entirely away from Windows (still need a virtual machine with Windows for those odd few things that do not yet work for me as well in Linux). Tried Mandriva, tried Fedora, tried Ubuntu and a few other Debian and Ubuntu derivatives, tried Arch and Slack, a couple of Gentoo derivatives and a few of the derivatives of whatever else. In the end settled on Debian, and unless something really major happens, cannot see myself moving. Run stable on the workhorse and the server, testing on the other desktop and on the laptop. No, not cutting edge, but then don't need cutting edge, need what has been proven to work and what is stable, reliable and solid - haven't found that in any other distro in the same way as Debian. Guess we can call it a comfort zone :)
17 • RE: 11 Too Simple?, For Whom? (by Eddie Wilson on 2009-10-19 12:00:58 GMT from United States)
Too simple for whom? Maybe for you, you use Gentoo and Arch. Ubuntu is not geared toward you so it shouldn't be on your list at all. I've used Ubuntu for over 4 years now. It has served me well with a minimum amount of problems. I've had no problems with Ubuntu 9.10 development releases so except for having to learn how to use Grub 2. I want to have a good KDE distro on my system also because I really like some of the KDE apps. I don't believe Kubuntu is going to do it for me. I've tried Fedora about a year ago and I did like it but I had problems with graphics drivers. I've tried the latest OpenSuse but It wanted total control of my partitions and wouldn't let me set them up the way I wanted. So for a main distribution it will be Ubunrtu (I prefer Gnome), for a KDE distro I am undecided at this time. On a side note, Mint is nice but their menu system is a little sluggish for my use.
18 • ubuntu (by ely on 2009-10-19 12:11:35 GMT from Philippines)
i will still go for ubuntu. though i may try opensuse
19 • Choosing a KDE distro. (by Eddie Wilson on 2009-10-19 12:24:24 GMT from United States)
One of the things I will do to help me choose the right KDE distro for my needs is to go to the distro's forums and website to check out what kind of support I can expect, what's needed to set up extras, (video drivers, codecs and such), and overall quality of the distribution per its users.
I'm leaning toward Fedora or Arch (maybe using the Chakra installer).
20 • iMagic and Big 4 (by Jesse on 2009-10-19 12:25:51 GMT from Canada)
Of the big four distros coming out, I'm probably most looking forward to Fedora and Ubuntu. Those two seem to have the most interesting new features on a regular basis.
In regards post #6, why did I try to install Office 97? Because it's been ages since I had a Windows PC and I had to borrow or download whatever Windows software I was going to test. For each install I took all the defaults, as I'd expect a Windows-user-new-to-Linux to do. Interestingly enough, of the handful of packages I attempted to install, Office was the only one which failed.
21 • Big 4 (by Adam Drake on 2009-10-19 12:29:54 GMT from United States)
Of the "big 4" releases coming up, I'm most looking forward to Ubuntu I guess. I never get really excited until Mint is ready for testing. I started out with Suse and Mandrake back in the day, but I don't even bother trying RPM based distros anymore. They never perform as well as the Debian based ones. Debian itself requires too much configuring...
22 • Kubuntu rocks _my_ world (by Leo on 2009-10-19 12:44:43 GMT from United States)
I am running Kubunt Karmic in my Dell Mini and it rocks. In fact, I built a minimal Kubuntu and it's booting in under 25 seconds with no hardware mods:
Having said that, it is not perfect. Notably, we haven't ever had a good package manager. In particular, KPackageKit is broken in Jaunty. But it is working nicely in karmic, which is shaping up as the best Kubuntu release I've ever had (together with 8.04, a really solid KDE3 release in that case).
23 • BAD editorial decision (by Leo on 2009-10-19 12:51:17 GMT from United States)
While I understand not everybody is happy with everything and it is good to reflect a variety of opinions here, I think that stating in the DW Summary the following is inflammatory:
"Kubuntu in downward spiral"
It is stated as a fact on a quick read. Don't get me wrong, I have the highest respect for Ladislav for all he does, but I think that was a mistake. A better approach would be to add a question mark at the end of the sentence, or just say "Kubuntu bashed", or "Kubuntu criticized", etc.
24 • Thanks (by f00l on 2009-10-19 13:08:17 GMT from Netherlands)
Thanks for the review of iMagic. Doesn't sound like something I'd like to install anytime soon. I've been runnign CrunchBang for a while now and I'm happy with that!
25 • Upgrades & iMagic (by Bill Julian on 2009-10-19 13:21:51 GMT from United States)
Doubtless I'll devote a live cd to each of the "big four," if only to get a fast look at what they are doing. I am running Ubuntu 8.10, sidux 2009-2 and antiX. A clean install of Ubuntu 9.10 is possible, but I do not feel any urgency about it. The others? Maybe, we'll see.
In contrast to that any new sidux-xfce will go on immediately. I must say it is my current favorite. I spend most of my computing time there.
Would it be reasonable to scoop up iMagic, Mint, Mepis and PCLOS for a "best new user system" comparison piece?
26 • RE: 17 Try Pardus for KDE distro (by re17 on 2009-10-19 13:30:47 GMT from Netherlands)
Try Pardus for KDE distro. It is a nice distro, especially so for KDE
27 • Foot note to iMagic and @23 (by Jesse on 2009-10-19 13:33:06 GMT from Anonymous Proxy)
@23: The line you short-quoted is a link to an article called "Is Kubuntu in a downward spiral?" How is linking to an article, phrased as a question, in any way stating an inflammatory fact?
As a foot note to the iMagic review, I'd like to say this. I started writing the review back in early or mid September and, at the time, iMagic was selling their distro on DVDs. After I'd tested the software, but before the review was posted here, I was told that iMagic no longer sells DVDs. The user will be required to download and burn their own. To me this indicates the iMagic team is really missing their core customers. The two groups of people I'd expect to purchase iMagic OS are:
A) new to Linux and unfamiliar with burning ISO files
B) have slow net connections and want all their software packages on one medium without requiring a giant download.
While I can certain understand (even recommend) paying money for a newbie-friendly DVD, I'm not sure who would wish to purchase a download of software largely available for free via other projects. I'm a bit saddened by this as I really enjoyed running iMagic OS on my system during my trial run and hoped it had a bright future ahead of it.
28 • Big 4 or 5 (by rich on 2009-10-19 13:43:20 GMT from United States)
Install Opensuse 11.2 RC1 x86_64 last night. I'm impressed. If this is a sign of things to come with the other 4 distro's (i.e. Ubuntu, Mandriva, Fedora,Mint ) there are good things to come. I've been swapping distro's on and off for the last couple years and I'm happy to see things progress they have made. I purchased Vista a while back because of curiousity and then dumped it within hours of using it. I was stupid but this made me realize how much better open source is now that Linux distro's have improved over the years. I am awaiting to try them all out when the time arrives.
29 • Big 4 (by garrens on 2009-10-19 13:44:57 GMT from Philippines)
As with my experience changing from distros to distros, i would say that openSUSE was far the easist distro for beginners. Im coming from the windows world, tried Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE, and Mandriva.
In terms of problems, Ubuntu was the best. I mean, you easily get solutions quickly thru ubuntu forums. It's forum is magnificent. In just a few minutes, i already got answered by other members of the forum. Though, it lacks GUI Admin tools like openSUSE have(Yast).
As with Fedora, still I can't find Yast like GUI tool. I don't know with the latest fedora, last fedora i've used was Fedora Core 5. Haven't used the latest.
Mandriva has Yast like tool, or Administrative tool(GUI), it was great, but i do have problems with it. especially about drivers. video drivers, printer drivers, can't make it work without going to the terminal. Im used with GUI, not terminal.
30 • IMagic (by Joe Linux on 2009-10-19 13:48:04 GMT from United States)
I purchased iMagic, and feel it is a rip-off. I knew it was based on Ubuntu, and the 9.04 suggests it is based on that Ubuntu release. Apparently it is based as you say on 8.04 and it doesn't find my wireless card. The only magic in iMagic is that you money disappears when you get suckered in, and purchase it only to be disappointed.
31 • Linux (by N.n.N. on 2009-10-19 13:48:56 GMT from United States)
Red Hat has about 70% of Linux market, other has SuSE. And which distros are important for Linux world? Fedora and OpenSuSE. IMO.
But there are OpenBSD, OpenSolaris, FreeBSD, NetBSD...
32 • Good Review (by Burpnrun on 2009-10-19 13:57:25 GMT from Canada)
Realistic review of iMagic, although like the reviewer's unspoken comment, I have a hard time understanding why anyone would waste money on this new distro when there are smoother, more mature distors available for free, with the same feature capability.
On the other hand, I see that the mindless anti-Novell bashers are in full loony flight here again, although I suspect none of them would be able to give one instance of how OpenSUSE itself has been impacted by Novell's cross-licensing with MS. Perhaps it's something in the Ubuntu drinking water ... since many/most of them seem to think that distro is the Second Coming. Once again, demonstrating that the mindless herd mentality is in full bloom for many users of the Debian-leeching distro.
Use whatever distro turns your crank. And realize that showing your stupidity by forcing your highly inaccurate view of distros on others, who unlikely have similar needs (or who want to be savant lemmings) and who are better served by another distro.
33 • I completely agree with commenter #10 (by Anonymous on 2009-10-19 14:02:41 GMT from United States)
I applaud your courage sir:-)
Linux Mint is by far the best Linux Distro, looking at ease of use and/or multimedia capacity.
34 • Staying with Ubuntu (by AliasMarlowe on 2009-10-19 14:02:47 GMT from Finland)
All of our home PCs & laptops are on Ubuntu (except the LANdisk which has its own embedded Linux), and we're going to upgrade them all to Karmic.
BTW, I greatly prefer upgrading using a downloaded CD, rather than relying on the net-based upgrade. Although we have a 100Mbps fiber link at home, the net-based upgrades can be painfully slow. In fact, we even had one net-based upgrade failure (Gutsy->Hardy) which left a borked laptop needing a reinstall instead of an upgrade. Our net connection was fine the whole time - perhaps the Canonical servers are swamped at release time.
We have tried Fedora, Mandriva, Mint, PCLinuxOS, Sidux, and Suse, but each of these had at least one "gotcha" issue on at least one of our PCs, or had a major usability annoyance. We're willing to try them again, especially Mint and PCLinuxOS, but are largely content with Ubuntu.
35 • Imagic ..a ripoff? (by sam on 2009-10-19 14:15:10 GMT from Singapore)
Yes the review is well done ..I might even swear i noticed a few lightly sprinkled yet well polished sacarstic statements..
Seriously , imagic is ubuntu plus the the stuff you can easily find in the repos
and a few rebranding ...I am surprised they even would dare to sell it ..
Linux mint or Gos had done a similiar or even better job than them and it is avialable for free...
Seriously ...most of the stuff are straight from the reops...
and the magic online store ...is like.....i dont know what to say
man...all those stuff are either avialable on the offical repos or third party repos..
A total rip off it is..
On the whole ...i do enjoy your review and the way you try to mask your dissapointment with imagic..
36 • OpenSolaris - pleasantly surprised (by Joe on 2009-10-19 14:22:28 GMT from United States)
My Vista-crippled AMD-64 laptop (HP/Compaq) does not often respond well to various Linux distributions. Frequent problem areas are the video and wireless.
A couple of weeks ago I tried OpenSolaris 2009.06. Booted up, video worked, automatically found wireless and listed wireless networks. Easy connection. Much improved from my previous experience with Solaris. Worked live, so I installed it on a spare hard drive.
Installing from the DVD provides a good selection of everyday programs (Firefox, Open Office etc.) - a good thing too, because the contents of the package repository are slim: no Opera, no pysol, no abiWord. There may be a way to install from scratch programs that are not in the Solaris repository, but I'm no expert so for me that's not a solution.
One other problem I encountered is that there is a software conflict that prevents Firefox from retaining any history. I can live with the good but limited software selection, but not with such a web surfing handicap.
A 2010 version of OpenSolaris is on the list of new but unheralded distributions. The link seems to be to 2009.06, but I am certainly interested in trying the new version when I find it.
Worth a look for those of you who have been disappointed in the past.
37 • are they finally ready? (by mths at 2009-10-19 14:27:00 GMT from Netherlands)
I wonder if the distros are finally ready? Ubuntu and Mandriva seem seriously trying to be ready for average desktop users. I always chose Ubuntu so far. Though Ubuntu makes some crucial mistakes sometimes: no matter who's fault, if some intel/ati graphic driver does not work that completely disqualifies your system for a newly convert. Don't implement new X, break your system and blame a proprietary driver, because that didn't fix anything and too many people depend on them.
Right now flash is not responding to mouse clicks in my karmic. It might be compiz fault, but I'm sure adobe or nvidia gets the proprietary blame if it's not fixed when final comes out. A mistake: this should be fixed pronto, too many users will not abide it.
The problem is impatience, wanting to be too bleeding edge.
So I'm still waiting for the perfect 'plug and play'...
38 • Kubuntu 9.04 had it's issues (by Reuben on 2009-10-19 14:45:36 GMT from United States)
@23: While it is definitly an oppinion that Kubuntu is in a downward spiral, I have to concure with what the author is saying. I love having a KDE desktop with access to all of Ubuntu's packages, however it's not up to the standards of Ubuntu.
And Jaunty Jackalope was just terrible. I could count on Amarok crashing a few times a day. As soon as I upgraded to Karmic Koala, everything seemed to work so much better. I'd say I'm looking foward to 9.10, but I'm already using it.
39 • #32 "mindless anti-Novell bashers" (by Xtyn on 2009-10-19 14:54:23 GMT from Romania)
I don't like what novell is doing. I don't like the microsoft thing, I don't like the mono thing, I don't like the fact that it is trying to "steal" some market from Red Hat.
From my point of view, novell is microsoft's pawn in the Linux world. I like to think that I have some principles. I'm not forcing my views on anyone. I rarely even mention openSUSE or novell. Use anything you like, even windows, it's your problem.
40 • Re:#39 (by Leo on 2009-10-19 15:00:56 GMT from United States)
I couldn't agree more :)
41 • Kubuntu 9.04 had it's issues (by Reuben on 2009-10-19 15:15:52 GMT from United States)
@23: While it is definitly an oppinion that Kubuntu is in a downward spiral, I have to concure with what the author is saying. I love having a KDE desktop with access to all of Ubuntu's packages, however it's not up to the standards of Ubuntu.
And Jaunty Jackalope was just terrible. I could count on Amarok crashing a few times a day. As soon as I upgraded to Karmic Koala, everything seemed to work so much better. I'd say I'm looking foward to 9.10, but I'm already using it.
42 • RE:32 Mindless Ubuntu bashing. (by Eddie Wilson on 2009-10-19 15:16:02 GMT from United States)
Here we go again. Somebody's distro was being talked about in a comment or two so they felt they had to do some mindless bashing. It's so sad too. This week was going so well. OpenSuse users say that their distro has nothing to do with Novell so why does anti-Novell talk bother them? See how silly it all is. OpenSuse is a good distro and there are several good distros out in the world. Let us just keep the distro talk to saying things about the distros we like and not bash anyone else's distro. Also it's not right to be insulting to other people so let's not do that.
43 • iMagic Review (by dragonmouth on 2009-10-19 15:22:16 GMT from United States)
Jesse, why the surprise at the lack of choice in package installation? That has been the trend ever since Live CD's made their appearance. Based on my experiences in distro hopping, only Slackware and its derivatives offer a choice of packages to install. Sabayon offers a "choice" of four pre-configured systems. All other distro developers, in their headlong rush for simplicity and "user friendliness", present us with 2 or 3 click installs that dump gigs of unwanted applications to disk. Once installed, these packages cannot be un-installed because, Windows-like, they are integrated into the basic system. Ubuntu is the worst offender in this. For example, trying to remove an unwanted printer driver results in Synaptic not only wanting to remove the entire CUPS but also some basic ubuntu system files.
44 • @43 (by Anonymous on 2009-10-19 15:33:54 GMT from Spain)
That "feature" is called "metapackages", and, man, are they evil!
See also: "required vs recommended" for more insanity (and bloat).
45 • @43: Packages installed (by Jesse on 2009-10-19 16:01:08 GMT from Canada)
I think you're a little bit off-base with your statement. Most large distros I've tried (including liveCDs) allow the user to pick and choose which packages they install. Fedora certainly gives the user lots of flexibility. As you pointed out, Slackware offers the choice to pick packages (as do many of Slack's spin-offs). I seem to recall Debian is very flexible in package installation. I think openSUSE and Mandriva have advanced options to select packages (though it's been a little while since I installed either). Even non-Linux systems, such as MINIX and FreeDOS have the option to choose installed packages. Ubuntu and its family seem to be among the few liveCDs I've used which do not give the option to pick and choose packages. This may be fine by default, but I very much like to see an "advanced" option or "expert" mode where I can select what goes onto my systems. Not having such a common feature (especially in a large distro) strikes me as a flaw.
In other words, I was disappointed because it's such a common feature in most modern distributions.
46 • Yay, a fleeting mention of eeebuntu (by Ubu Walker on 2009-10-19 16:04:09 GMT from United States)
The big news is that the distro is switching from Ubuntu to Debian Unstable. Maybe they will change the name of the distro to Deeebian?
47 • @46 (by leo on 2009-10-19 16:10:39 GMT from United States)
Probably Debeeean, LOL
48 • Gentoo & Arch (by megadriver on 2009-10-19 16:28:19 GMT from Spain)
Very nice (and sincere) Gentoo articles, both of them. The codeswarm video was cool, in a geeky kind of way. I enjoyed watching the "open source fireworks". They should've added some epic music or something. And mark the bursts of activity with explosions!
Of course Gentoo Stable lags behind. Real Men (and Women) use Unstable. Every time I encounter the word "stable", I tend to mentally remove the letter "b" from it. Of course, as a hobbyist who likes to live on the bleeding edge, and is not scared of breaking stuff, I understand my needs are very diferent from, say, a corporate server.
Also, congrats to Arch for their rising popularity and their first "real world" dead-tree book! I was an Archer for a long time (and I am still one at heart). If some day Arch becomes source-oriented, instead of binary-oriented, I'm sure I'll be back. I MUCH prefer PKGBUILDS over ebuilds, and "The Arch Way" tends to be my way, too.
49 • staying with PCLOS (by p^h on 2009-10-19 16:38:04 GMT from United States)
I'm staying with PCLOS for my AMD64 based system. No issues, reliable and fast. I'll just have to wait and see how it goes when they release their KDE4 iso. For my old P-3 system, I'm keeping Anti-X around for awhile. My choices are based on system compatibility - these distros work best on my equipment. Use what works best for you :)
50 • #45 (by Xtyn on 2009-10-19 16:39:04 GMT from Romania)
Ubuntu has an "alternate" image. There's also the minimal image. You can have a lot of flexibility if you install only a command line system and add stuff after that.
Ubuntu does install a lot of dependencies in it's strive for user friendliness. That is the downside of user friendliness: some bloat.
51 • Kubuntu rocks (by Adrian on 2009-10-19 16:49:26 GMT from United States)
I'm sorry but I have to disagree with the opinion that "Kubuntu is caught in a downward spiral". Also, I find the arguments based on "polish" pretty idiotic as we all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I don't find anything wrong with Kubuntu wallpapers or themes.
The forums are full of (K)ubuntu haters, most of the hate comes from envy, other part comes from political reasons. So please, don't post bullshit reviews like this one that pretend to be informed, but end up criticizing the wallpaper of a distribution -- RIDICULOUS!
52 • Re:51 (by Leo on 2009-10-19 17:03:57 GMT from United States)
I mostly agree. But I think it's fine for DW to mention reviews of the different distros (positive or otherwise). What I dislike is stating as "news" an inflammatory statement made by one unhappy blogger (who happens to get all steamed up about a wallpaper, as you mentioned)
Please see my post #23.
53 • CentOS 5.4 available (by RPMMaster on 2009-10-19 17:38:17 GMT from Germany)
54 • RE: 51 (by Landor on 2009-10-19 17:42:22 GMT from Canada)
It wasn't a review, it was a news item. Taken from "another" news site, IT News. Maybe you didn't read the whole thing.
I have to say I agree with the news item "from that site". In a more colourful expression, Kubuntu is considered the ugly stepchild of Ubuntu. We've heard a lot of "bullshit" (as you like to call it) on how that's going to change, yet it never does.
I personally liked Kubuntu (past tense). I couldn't fathom the logic for not having an LTS release, especially based on 3.5.??. The majority of helper apps, designed for ease of use are non-existent within Kubuntu that are present within Ubuntu. That can be said for the majority of their offerings, I know. That doesn't discount the fact that it's a reality. The list could go on too.
So why make it even worse by using poor artwork, themes, etc.
Keep your stick on the ice...
55 • Re:54 (by Leo on 2009-10-19 17:54:22 GMT from United States)
I beg to differ. Kubuntu has a bunch of shortcomings, and so do other distros. The Vostro A90 i bought with Ubuntu 8.04 is a lot easier to use now that I put Kubuntu. Using the Desktop is a lot easier, too, at least to me, as well as ease of configuration/customization.
In part because all settings are in System Settings, as opposed to spread all over the place in little utilities I need to hunt in the Systems Menu.
The main point is that saying that Kubuntu is falling apart is simply an over the top reaction. Kubuntu is in good shape, and yes, it can be improved, and yes, it will be improved if we help out.
56 • RE: 54. Not correct Landor, know your stepchildren. (by Eddie Wilson on 2009-10-19 18:23:32 GMT from United States)
It's "Blue Headed Stepchild". ;) I've got Kubuntu installed with Ubuntu on my system. Ubuntu is my main distro and Kubuntu is second. The poor artwork and themes are from the KDE people. They are not very artistic. I like a few KDE apps and that's why its installed on my system. Yes I know I can install KDE apps in Gnome and I have in the past. I just want to check performance of the apps. using KDE. Anything wrong with Kubuntu is the fault of the developers. So far I've found no major problems with Kubuntu except for Grub 2 and thats because I have to learn it. This version is better than 9.04. It would be better if it used Gnome instead of KDE tho.
57 • PCLOS for newbies (by Davey on 2009-10-19 18:29:55 GMT from United States)
@4 -- I chose PCLOS for 2 computerphobic relatives because it seemed the easiest and least intimidating. I expected tons of calls for support, but have had 2 or 3 over a couple years. Even though they're scared to death of "breaking" something if they mess with the system, they're able to easily update with Synaptic and even install new packages. Of course I did the initial config, codecs, drivers, etc, so there wasn't much left for them to worry about. YMMV
I'm kind of dreading the day we switch officially to KDE4, but that would be true of any OS.
58 • Linux Mint (by Jeff on 2009-10-19 18:30:31 GMT from United States)
I used to use Linux Mint but I abandoned it per the request of the developer. I think Open Source software should not be political in nature, but sometimes it just isn't that way. The developer of Mint asked that anybody sympathetic to the Israelis not use Mint. Since I support Israel, I complied with his request and I no longer use Linux Mint.
59 • RE: 55 (by Landor on 2009-10-19 18:38:26 GMT from Canada)
What you're stating really has no bearing on things though. Personal opinion and facts are two different things here. Kubuntu although could be considered a different distribution, really isn't. It's an offering from Ubuntu. That's the measure in which it's gauged by. Not other distributions, or other KDE centric distributions for that matter.
It would be absurd for Debian, Fedora, Mandriva, Suse to limit one of their major DEs like you see in Ubuntu.
When the community sees Canonical limiting Kubuntu even further with each new release, yes, it is a safe thing to say that Kubuntu is falling apart. It's logical to say that with all the hype that has come down the pipe in the last couple years that Kubuntu users will start seeing things more in line with Ubuntu and don't that Kubuntu is going the way of the Dodo.
The wireless issue the man spoke of in the review was a clear sign of it. I tried Kubuntu 9.04, couldn't use my wireless on any system I tried. I read that it was a known problem prior to the release that wasn't fixed and thought, WTH? After reading the news item today I fired up my old test box, booted into the Kubuntu 9.04 install, did a full update and still no wireless. Isn't 9.10 coming out now?
Any other distribution would have been hell bent on fixing such an issue. That's a clear sign that Kubuntu is really nothing in the eyes of Canonical. Which again is what this is all about, comparison to its brother, Ubuntu.
Remember something here too, we're not talking about a flavour for lower spec machines. We're talking about a major DE that is equal to Gnome, at the very least. Also in a community that for the majority it's either one or the other. Canonical doing little to offer up both equally is a clear sign that it's a substandard official offering, to say the least.
Keep your stick on the ice...
60 • RE: 56 & 58 (by Landor on 2009-10-19 18:58:13 GMT from Canada)
I stand corrected, but I still consider it an ugly stepchild :). Also, I disagree, since it's an official flavour offered from Canonical it has 0 to do with the community or community based developers. It has to do with Canonical and where their priorities lie. I think they've shown that fully. Hell, I haven't looked at the numbers of paid devs, but I'd guess it would be safe to say (though I may be wrong) that Ubuntu has more paid devs than say Mandriva and they offer up both equally with less manpower.
I'm never a big fan of the out of the box variants of other distributions. That said, I applauded (probably one of the few) Clem for his stand. People like to state politics shouldn't be involved in this or that, religion as well. That's utter nonsense. Politics are in every facet of our existence. Work, home, school, social life. Those stating religion shouldn't be a part of something is just as absurd. When looked at it in a broader scope it is its own religion, people not wanting religion.
Anyway, my point is that our OS has it' own internal political agendas, but that's ok, right? As long as people don't add other political agendas we don't want. Look at the whole overblown Novell-MS agreement and the stand(s) taken there, if that's not political I don't know what is.
You yourself made a political stand by complying with his request regarding politics. So you contradicted your own belief that politics shouldn't be a part of our community.
Things aren't really that black and white are they?
Keep your stick on the ice...
61 • RE:59, Maybe you're right. (by Eddie Wilson on 2009-10-19 19:01:14 GMT from United States)
Personally I believe it's not in the best interest of developers to be equal in their offerings. Fedora's not equal. OpenSuse's not equal, and the list goes on. Maybe they should give a way to install whatever a person wants but not put out separate distributions. The way I feel about KDE, and I know I'm going to get blasted for this, is the only thing its good for is so users coming from MS Windows will feel at home.
ducks and runs.
62 • No subject (by Henning Melgaard on 2009-10-19 19:06:42 GMT from Denmark)
I must say I have had quite a bit of trouble with Ubuntu 9.10 already. Testing the alphas and the beta release I experienced a very low screen resolution:800x600. The reason appers to be the new Intel graphics drivers. They do not get along well with my Intel 865G, integrated graphic card. I have to do some work around, and go back to using the 2.4 driver used in Intrepid Ibex.
This was not exactly what I expected of this new Ubuntu release.
"Funny" enough- the Intel drivers are also the main thing that Andrew Wyatt, the developer of Eeebuntu, complains about.
63 • Proprietary code on the plus side?! (by Magic Banana on 2009-10-19 19:17:53 GMT from France)
"It comes with proprietary codecs and plug-ins, along with just about any other software you'll need, which is a nice plus."
Shame on you Jesse! The GNU operating system is all about ethics. About granting fundamental freedoms to the user. Proprietary code never is a plus from this perspective. It leads us in a back to the dark old ages, when the user was forced to suffer the monopoly (a chosen monopoly when several propretary alternatives exist... but a monopoly anyway) of a mighty company.
"A huge collection of open-source software, including (...) Skype"
Skype is not Free software. Furthermore, it locks its users via an undocumented protocol (which probably invoves spying on the users).
64 • The Big Four (by Paul on 2009-10-19 19:34:10 GMT from United Kingdom)
When I say the big for - I mean Ubuntu, Fedora, Suse and now Arch - their features are all different and it's a pleasure to try them all.
That not to say that there are many other distro's that are not great - Sabayon's inclusion of the "World of Goo" on Live CD is a master-stroke! Mint is also nice in it's clear breath way.
65 • imagic (by Eric on 2009-10-19 19:50:43 GMT from United Kingdom)
I very much agree with your assessment of imagic, as a newbie I bought the first launch of imagic which included crossover linux, it was fun to work with but improvements have certainly been made with this distro.
66 • Eeebuntu, 46, 47 (by Barnabyh on 2009-10-19 20:50:42 GMT from United Kingdom)
It will change to Eeebian.
67 • Any distros based on Debian Testing? (by Pearson on 2009-10-19 20:53:14 GMT from United States)
When I've run Debian testing, it was about 95% stable. I liked that it had newer/better versions of the packages, but the occasional breakage (partly due to my blind apt-upgrade) made it not good for my wife. I know that Testing means that I should expect breakage every once in a while so I'm not dissing Debian.
What I'm wondering is, if there's a distro out there based on Testing (not Unstable), which will hopefully insulate me from the rare breakage?
68 • @63: Free software (by Jesse on 2009-10-19 20:59:02 GMT from Canada)
When I wrote that line, I admit, I realized I'd take some flak for it. But I stand by the statement. I am a big fan of open source. I write open source software, I donate to OSS projects and (obviously) I write about open source operating systems. However, where open source versions of software are not available I have no issue with using whatever is available to make my system do what I want it to do.
For me, using open source software isn't about ethics, it's about using a tool that works, for me. If you don't want non-free software on your system, then that's fine with me. But if someone wants to use a completely non-free, proprietary system, that's fine with me too. My ethics don't involve software licenses.
At the end of the day, my computer is going to run Flash, show DVD movies and play mp3 files. Some distros (like iMagic OS) come with that ability built in and it makes *my* life easier. Distros which don't supply that functionality cause me to go searching for the proper packages to make it work. The end result is the same, some distros just save me the extra hassle. So that's why I see having these packages pre-installed as "a nice plus".
Please keep in mind too that most iMagic users are probably coming from a Windows background and would find think the system was "broken" if it didn't offer these extras.
On the issue of Skype, you're correct. I got carried away listing software in the application menu. That's my fault.
69 • iMagic OS?! (by Deathspawner on 2009-10-19 21:01:55 GMT from Canada)
I can't believe I'm seeing an iMagic OS review here. Just... wow.
iMagic OS is not much more than a hacked-together Ubuntu with an even uglier desktop theme. I first found out about it earlier this year, when I criticised the lack of what it offered for the money (http://bit.ly/1QZyuB). Days later, the lead developer (or probably the only developer), Carlos, sent me a scathing e-mail laced with obscenities and harsh comments, such as "why even bother to open your stupid distorted mouth to yell out what your crazed stupid brain concocts???!!"
Is this the kind of distro leader you'd want -anything- to do with?
Carlos even went as far as to pose as an iMagic OS customer on my site's forums to help build his distro up as being a stellar offering (IP addresses matched between the two). Even if the distro is "decent", his immature attitude and sneaky being (he's known for this) sure doesn't reassure me of much. Earlier this year, the iMagic OS website claimed to offer "Magic Office", an office suite that the developer claimed to have been built by "scratch". It was actually built using the TinyMCE WYSIWYG back-end, which I mentioned in the above-linked news post. No surprise... Magic Office is no longer a feature.
Come on DistroWatch... please focus on distros that are actually worth the few kilobytes they take to download.
70 • my 2 cents (by iceycooler9 on 2009-10-19 21:07:30 GMT from United States)
@64 Nope, although Arch is on the rise, its still far from being the big 4, it will only chart the 10.The top 4 are Fedora and ubuntu for sure (have over 9 million users, everyone thought for sure ubuntu is dominant, but fedora is on the rise and i think the amount of production systems for sure goes to fedora but for home users its pretty disputed), Suse although on the decline (on distrowatch it was close to peaking 2 last year and now its dropped all the way to 4, and even the core fanbase is having doubts of suse's direction) and 4th would be debian. Mandrake in its peak users and bankruptcy days it was at 8 million users, but now they have est 3 million users, but its starting to pick up again now that Mandriva is starting to wake up as a company, and user trust is starting to come back.
Right now im on fedora, like fedora a lot, but my overall best choose, the one i am in comfort zone and feel comfortable putting it on complete non-tech people's computers is Mandriva. Fedora seems very professional and down to business like, but is also a leader of opensource and pushing the barriers of the limits, and i give them a lot of respect for that. But as a consequence, this atm takes away some conveniences that are needed for the average user at home, and mandriva is the middle of the road os.
For some reason though buying a copy of Xandros and imagic os seem like a ripe off, but buying powerpack from mandriva just seems like mandriva deserves the money to keep afloat. Maybe its because they offer free options, and don't shove down "you didn't pay for it so you get limited features" down your throat like some companies like to do. Plus its also nice knowing making suggestions on the forum, you know its going to be read by the devs and mandriva team ( like Anne) and the mandriva blog with the new articles seem to be a strategy of mandriva to get more in touch with users and community oriented.
71 • Big what? DW's "Big X" = Major Distribution. (by Sertse on 2009-10-19 21:43:05 GMT from Australia)
Where in the DW article it say Big 4? My reading of it is that 4 big distros are having releases soon, not declaring there is an exclusive "Big 4" group.
If you talking about a "Big X" group, DW considers them to be what's on their "Major Distributions" page.
My 2cents however is that Arch deserves a place on that page next revision, if you combine its popularity and that fact it has a completely different way of doing things compared to other distros..
72 • Distros (by Wolfen69 on 2009-10-19 21:48:04 GMT from United States)
I can't wait until all the major distros come out with their new releases and like testing them out, but will probably stay with ubuntu since it always works flawlessly for me. You?
73 • selecting packages (by Reuben on 2009-10-19 22:42:34 GMT from United States)
I think Ubuntu gets away with not allowing users to select packages during installation by only including what they can squeeze onto one CD. I think it works. If you wanted a minimal install, why not look elsewhere?
And I'm being critical of Kubuntu not because I want to see it fail, but because I want to see it improve.
74 • LinuxMint - ups and downs (by Simon on 2009-10-19 22:59:02 GMT from United Kingdom)
I've been a big user of LinuxMint almost from the beginning but now have gone back to Mepis as my main working distro. Why? Because I use Kompozer a lot to make and edit websites. Kompozer no longer works in LinuxMint due to conflicts with the the latest GTK files. Until a new stable version Kompozer 8 is released LinuxMint (and Ubuntu) is good for just about everything except website maintenance.
Don't hear much about Mepis these days although it's a good solid system for the desktop based on Debian. I guess some distros just come into fashion while others fall out regardless of their inherent strengths (or weaknesses).
75 • CentOS 5.4 (by Pumpino on 2009-10-19 23:02:50 GMT from Australia)
I noticed at the top of this week's DWW that it refers to the upcoming release of CentOS 5.4, but under Upcoming Releases, there is no mention of it. I know that the CentOS forums have hinted that we're only days away from a release, but do you know something that we don't? Where did you obtain your info from?
76 • Distros (by Pumpino on 2009-10-19 23:09:08 GMT from Australia)
I always like the two big release periods each year. It's exciting seeing new versions of Fedora, Ubuntu, Mandriva and openSUSE. My favourite is Fedora and I also use Ubuntu, and I'll sometimes download Mandriva and openSUSE to test drive them.
Mandriva and openSUSE have always been KDE-centric distros, which I used to prefer, but since KDE4 was released, I much prefer Gnome. Even now that KDE 4.3.2 is feature complete and stable, I just don't find it as useable. Gnome, on the other hand, is very useable, even if some (eg. Linus) suggest that it's simplistic in comparison to KDE.
77 • A wide variety of issues this week (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-10-19 23:31:31 GMT from United States)
I was offered a copy of an iMagicOS DVD for review and politely declined. I don't blame Jesse Smith for accepting the offer and, as it is a Linux distribution, it is perfectly acceptable to me to review it here. My choices won't be the choices of all readers or all reviewers.
I agree with Jesse that for most people Linux has nothing to do with ethics. Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation define ethics one way and those who agree with them write posts like #63 which assume that the FSF definition of software ethics is correct and not open to dispute. I most strenuously do dispute it, often, and there are lots of people who do not find proprietary software unethical in any way. If you do then just don't use it. Don't try to impose your views on others. The division between Open Source pragmatists, like Jesse and myself, and Free Software purists is one that will never go away. One side will never convince the other of anything.
FWIW, I'm writing this on my new HP Mini 110. The Broadcom wireless driver is proprietary and I am certainly not giving up wireless connectivity. It also came with the Fluendo codecs preloaded and I certainly won't be removing them. I will be loading other distros side-by-side with the Mi version of Ubuntu 8.04 LTS so I have to wonder if the license extends to other distros on the same machine.
If people remember my reviews of Xubuntu Dapper and Edgy they know that I used to really like Ubuntu. Since then each release has had serious bugs on my hardware and, in some cases, on all hardware. (Think of the broken Xubuntu desktop on the live CD release of Feisty for an example.) Hardy (8.04 LTS) is now stable and rock solid but it took a maintenance release to get it that way. Intrepid and Jaunty were seriously problematic for me, with sound, graphics, and wireless issues all providing lots of frustration. I'll admit Karmic Koala (9.10) looks very promising and I hope I get to write a positive Ubuntu review for a change.
Regarding package selection, Mandriva Free (the DVD version) offers lots of choices. Mandriva One doesn't because it's limited to one CD. Fedora, as already mentioned, offers lots of choices. So does Red Hat and all its various free clones, including CentOS and Scientific Linux. I don't think the claim that only Slackware and its derivatives offer package selection choices is accurate.
I think the popularity of Arch Linux is exaggerated on DistroWatch. We have a lot of Linux hobbyists and developers on DWW and distros like Arch, CRUX, vanilla Slackware, and Gentoo will mainly appeal to that group. I think in the wider community Arch is a niche distro, albeit a rather popular example of a niche distro. That isn't a knock in terms of quality, just a statement that advanced distros don't appeal to the mass of Linux users.
When you talk about Ubuntu, SUSE, Fedora and Mandriva as the "big four" I do think that is fair in terms overall usage on the desktop in the Linux community. If we were talking about servers the top four would likely be Red Hat, SLES, Ubuntu and then I really am not sure. CentOS? Debian? Maybe. Popular doesn't translate to "best" and for what I do a number of different distros are better choices than any of the big four desktop distros for me. It all depends on how you use your computer and what you are looking for in a distro.
Oh, and yes, I really, really hope Mandriva 2010 is a first class release. I used to like Mandriva a lot and always recommended it to newcomers. 2009 was, at least on my hardware, a bad year for Mandriva. If 2010 is back to the 2007 or 2008 quality level with new hardware support, new apps and new features I will be very happy.
Finally, I never define any distro as "best". Every so often I try a new distro and I am really impressed. Pardus fit into that category for me this year. Every so often I try a distro that I didn't like in the past and find a huge improvement and a very fine end result. Austrumi now falls into that category. As always, YMMV.
78 • A few comments (by Jesse on 2009-10-19 23:56:16 GMT from Canada)
First, I'd like to say that I think Caitlyn nicely summed up my views on software better than I did. Thanks Caitlyn.
Second, and I think I mentioned this in my review, I wasn't asked to do a write-up on iMagic. I approach the iMagic team and asked to do the review. Curiosity leads us down all sorts of roads.
Third, I was mistaken about Ubuntu not allowing for minimal installs. I think Xtyn pointed out back around post 50 that Ubuntu offers an "alternative" CD, where you can customize from the ground up.
Lastly, and this is mostly in response to post 69, I try not to let my personal views of a project interfere with my technical views of the same. There are lots of project leaders who rub people the wrong way. Personally, I don't think we should disregard a project because some developers are hard to get along with. I've test driven software of a number of projects whose leaders got under my skin, but I think those issues are secondary to the technical merits (or problems) with the software in question.
79 • RE: #22 Kubuntu rocks (by Mark on 2009-10-20 01:46:09 GMT from Australia)
Indeed, Kubuntu Karmic is shaping up very nicely indeed. Now that it has reached version 4.3, KDE4 is the best desktop available for Linux. My main system has an ATI card, and so I use the open source drivers because of the better performance in Linux:
On this system, with the fast open source ATI graphics drivers, KDE4 really flies. I have heard that nvidia systems aren't great with KDE4, so your milage may vary.
As for the package manager: KPackageKit is not as good Synaptic, so why not use Synaptic? In order to get Synaptic to look "integrated" on a KDE desktop, you need to set the gtk theme for root. To do this easily, install gtk-chtheme, and then run it as root from Krunner (Alt-F2) using the command: kdesu gtk-chtheme. Select a gtk theme that matches your KDE desktop ... or anything other than the default Raleigh.
Alternatively, if you don't mind the command line, then typing "sudo aptitude " in a terminal either on its own or followed by "search text" or "install packagename" or "dist-upgrade" (depending on what you want to do) works very well indeed, as aptitude has a better algorithm for resolution of problems than any of apt-get, Synaptic or KPackagekit.
80 • RE: #62, Intel graphics drivers (by Mark on 2009-10-20 01:55:07 GMT from Australia)
>I must say I have had quite a bit of trouble with Ubuntu 9.10 already. Testing the alphas and the beta release I experienced a very low screen resolution:800x600. The reason appers to be the new Intel graphics drivers. They do not get along well with my Intel 865G, integrated graphic card. I have to do some work around, and go back to using the 2.4 driver used in Intrepid Ibex.
This was not exactly what I expected of this new Ubuntu release.
"Funny" enough- the Intel drivers are also the main thing that Andrew Wyatt, the developer of Eeebuntu, complains about.
The Intel graphics drivers are written by Intel. At the same version, these drivers are the exact same code on ANY Linux distribution.
Your issue is not an issue with Ubuntu, but rather an issue with Intel's graphics drivers for Linux.
81 • RE: 75 CentOS 5.4 (by ladislav on 2009-10-20 01:56:26 GMT from Taiwan)
CentOS 5.4 ISO images have been up on the mirrors since Sunday so it's probably just a matter of hours now before it's announced officially.
82 • RE: #76 distros (by Mark on 2009-10-20 02:02:46 GMT from Australia)
>Mandriva and openSUSE have always been KDE-centric distros, which I used to prefer, but since KDE4 was released, I much prefer Gnome. Even now that KDE 4.3.2 is feature complete and stable, I just don't find it as useable. Gnome, on the other hand, is very useable, even if some (eg. Linus) suggest that it's simplistic in comparison to KDE.
KDE is more configurable than GNOME.
KDE has better applications than GNOME (e.g. Amarok, digikam, gwenview, Dolphin, K3b etc)
KDE is faster ("snappier" if you like) than GNOME.
GNOME (at least for Ubuntu) is burdened with Mono and pulseaudio.
Ergo, KDE is far more useable than GNOME.
83 • Misc (by Joe on 2009-10-20 02:11:45 GMT from United States)
For quite a while, my favorite distributions were Mandriva, OpenSUSE, and Mepis. Although I've tried other distros, I've always been drawn back to the aforementioned three.
IMHO Mandriva's last strong, stable release was 2008.1. I'm currently using 2009.1, but, like others, I first had to resolve various hardware/driver issues that seemed to plaque many major distros this past year. 2009.1 has improved, in large part because of the Mandriva team's hard work and their steady stream of software updates. I'm hoping that Mandriva 2010 will provide a better out of the box.
My introduction to OpenSUSE started with version 10.2 (although I'd used SUSE 9.2 and 10.1 previously). I skipped version 10.3 and when 11.0 was released I tried to upgrade the OS, but ran into repository hell. I ended up completing a clean install of 11.0, but found that it was just too slow on my old hardware (Compaq Armada M700s, 750MHz - 1GHz, 512MB RAM). 11.1 didn't run any better. I would have tried OpenSUSE 10.3, but it's slated to reach end of support life on October 31, 2009, so why bother.
I tried the release candidate of OpenSUSE 11.2 a couple of days ago, didn't encounter any hardware/driver issues during the install, and liked the mix of applications provided. I'm looking forward to the final release.
I realize my old hardware doesn't meet the hardware requirements of many of the new releases, most asking for at least 1G of RAM (especially if KDE4 is in play). So, I ordered new laptops and I'm waiting for them to arrive.
That doesn't mean I'm ready to relegate the trusty old M700 laptops to the trash heap. In the past couple of weeks I've tested and retested dozens of distros and, out of them all, my choices are PCLinuxOS 2009.2 and Vector Linux 5.9 SOHO and 6.0 Standard. These distros installed without issue, performed well on the hardware, and had the variety of applications that I needed to keep the old M700 warhorses earning their keep for at least a couple more years. While many other distros had merit, PCLinuxOS and Vector Linux met all of 'my' requirements.
I just downloaded the CentOS 5.4 DVD (via torrent) and the netinstall CD. Looking forwarding to running the new release through it's paces.
84 • iMagic OS (by slo firstname.lastname@example.org at 2009-10-20 02:14:01 GMT from United States)
Well, if iMagic OS 2009.9 ain't worth stealing, it ain't worth using.
85 • distros that matter (by Anonymous on 2009-10-20 02:32:22 GMT from United States)
there might be a big four or a big five or whatever, but there are really only four distros that actually matter: ubuntu, debian, fedora, and RHEL. those four drive practically everything in the OSS world.
86 • worst 4 (by worstdistros on 2009-10-20 03:08:34 GMT from Portugal)
So, very much has been said about the best 4 or 5 distros. Maybe it would be interesting to find some opinions on those distros who could be considered the ones to avoid, based on people experiences, for reason like lack of security, stability, software,. hardware support, ease of use, or resources hungry etc. I'm sory I can't express my own idea as I'm yet too new in the linux world.
87 • @86, worst 4 (by Randall on 2009-10-20 03:16:24 GMT from United States)
As useful as that might be, the resulting flamewar would reach epic proportions; probably not a viable prospect for a site that wants to maintain its user base.
88 • RE #80 Intel drivers (by Henning Melgaard on 2009-10-20 03:55:48 GMT from Denmark)
"The Intel graphics drivers are written by Intel. At the same version, these drivers are the exact same code on ANY Linux distribution.
Your issue is not an issue with Ubuntu, but rather an issue with Intel's graphics drivers for Linux."
Well I have heard this argument before, but is this "the whole truth"?
I have had the same problem with the later versions of Open Suse, but running their latest release, my screen resolution is increasing again.
I have earlier had a lot of issues running Ubuntu on a pc with an Nvidia Fx 5200 card. The resolution was as low as 640x480. But running PcLinuxOs on the same machine the resolution was 1024x768. And as you say: the available drivers from Nvidia were the same.
89 • RE: #82 distros (by Pumpino on 2009-10-20 05:21:55 GMT from Australia)
> KDE is more configurable than GNOME.
Yes, I agree. That's why I mentioned that Gnome is considered "simplistic". However, does one necessarily need to configure settings to the degree that KDE offers?
> KDE has better applications than GNOME (e.g. Amarok, digikam, gwenview, Dolphin, K3b etc)
I don't know that I agree with that anymore. I used to. If you consider that Firefox, Thunderbird, Deluge and The Gimp are GTK based applications and considered amongst the most popular, Gnome native applications are of a high quality. Amarok's interface changed for the worse with v2 (in my opinion), so Rhythmbox is just as good. GThumb is as functional as Digikam, Eye of Gnome displays pics as well as Gwenview, and Nautilus is as functional as Dolphin. I agree that K3b is a must though, even under Gnome. ;)
> KDE is faster ("snappier" if you like) than GNOME.
Really? I've found the opposite in the past, but I haven't installed KDE 4.3 to disk; I've only used it on live CDs.
90 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2009-10-20 05:23:56 GMT from United States)
Fedora 12 Beta Torrents.... :)
91 • RE: 81 CentOS 5.4 (by Pumpino on 2009-10-20 05:24:13 GMT from Australia)
> CentOS 5.4 ISO images have been up on the mirrors since Sunday so it's probably just a matter of hours now before it's announced officially.
Care to list some mirrors? ;)
According to one of the main developers, it's a matter of hours from being offically released. http://twitter.com/centOS
92 • No subject (by Anonymous by #90 :) on 2009-10-20 05:34:07 GMT from United States)
Hi. I'm back. In response to #91, this is probably them...
be nice and use different mirrors...just move ur browser up a little bit, or pick any one of the other mirrors and replace "5.3" with "5.4"...
good night fellas
93 • Reclaiming your Windows tax (by Craig Sanderson - Hong Kong on 2009-10-20 06:11:25 GMT from United States)
Looking to buy a new PC or laptop?
Read up on Graeme Cobbett's experience and reclaim any 'windows tax' from your chosen HW vendor:
Perhaps the topic of an article in DWW :)
94 • Which one? (by Iswanto on 2009-10-20 07:28:53 GMT from Indonesia)
I'll stick with Ubuntu, but OpenSuSE and Fedora deserves a try...
95 • Novell's agreement expiration? (by Anony Moss on 2009-10-20 07:28:58 GMT from India)
Anyone knows when Novell's deal with Microsoft expires?
I last tried 11.0. It has its pros and cons. They used delta rpms, thats a definite plus. The UI looks and feel sophisticated and mature, unlike many other distros. The GUI administration tools are many and are really good, if some are overly complex (in my opinion).
On the flip side, it did feel slow and bloated. The update servers automatically configured were unresponsive, and had to be replaced by trial and error to get a reliable server list. Yast & tools, imo, were bloated then. Hope those shortcomings have been paid attention to in the newer releases and the forthcoming 11.2
But the minuses listed above are minor to many of us. The big turn off is mono and the patent deal with nanosoft. When does it expire? Some of us would look forward to that date.
96 • Re: #78 (by Deathspawner on 2009-10-20 07:44:54 GMT from Canada)
You have no problem with developers producing false claims about their product? If so, then all the power to you. Personal views are one thing, but it's another when the lead developer (and again, probably the only developer) lies more than once regarding unique features in their product, poses as other people to help promote their product, and borrows code from other projects and calls it their own. There are developers out there with attitude problems, but iMagic OS' lead developer is on his own level. He's proven himself to be a sneak, and a liar more than once.
We can agree to disagree. I typically try to overlook minor issues, but I didn't know what true disgust was until after dealing with the lead developer of this distro. If I don't trust someone, I'm sure not going to want anything to do with their product, regardless of what it is.
97 • distrowar (by Anonymous on 2009-10-20 08:27:33 GMT from France)
Some people should read distrowar.com instead of distrowatch. (Althoufh it is in Portuguese (I think) and I have no idea what it talks about)
That distro X is the best, distro Y sucks and distro A >> distro B is getting really annoying. The comment section is filled with annoying comments like that. Nobody actually care that you prefer distro X over distro Y, or that you will try distro A but you've tried distro B years ago and it sucked big time so you will never touch again. That is your own damn business that is taking much valuable comment space and wasting the time of anyone trying to find insightful comments in these pages.
Please before commenting, try to think about the people who will read your comment. At least put a note on top of your post saying that your comment is worthless. Thank you.
98 • Ubuntu 9.10 for me (by Zac on 2009-10-20 08:37:16 GMT from Australia)
It's Ubuntu 9.10 for me, well only the liveCD anyway. I am running Ubuntu 8.04, which is perfect, all the apps I need is there, and does all I want reliably with no fuss, so I'll keep it until end-of-life. I also have a pre-installed Ubuntu 9.04 Dell Latitude 2100 netbook, which is again excellent, the best netbook out there. Will upgrade to 9.10 if I feel like it.
I tried openSUSE 11.2 RC1 liveCD and it failed to render correctly, and detect my mouse buttons. openSUSE 11.2 final also the same. I have a garden variety 3yr old Dell.
Mandriva would be my second choice, followed by Fedora and openSUSE (if it worked for me).
I choose Ubuntu because it has a vision and goals which I want a Linux distro to have. So it is political reasons that I choose Ubuntu. (Of course it has to work on my hardware though)
99 • Re 95 "Slow and bloated" MYTH has been busted long ago! (by SuseUser on 2009-10-20 08:40:53 GMT from Australia)
"Anyone knows when Novell's deal with Microsoft expires?"
The sky has not fallen since the deal was signed and I doubt anything terrible will happen in the few more years it has to run. For the info you are seeking, try Google search.
"I last tried 11.0. It has its pros and cons. They used delta rpms, thats a definite plus. The UI looks and feel sophisticated and mature, unlike many other distros. The GUI administration tools are many and are really good, if some are overly complex (in my opinion)."
I have used openSUSE for last three years and my experience is a very positive one. Currently I too am using 11.0 because 11.1 had issues with 3G modem connection. The main use of my Linux OS is Internet (Thunderbird email client and FFox as browser) and I could choose many distros for this purpose but I also need the delta rpms because of the limited bandwidth speed and download quotas of my 3G wireless broadband service.
"On the flip side, it did feel slow and bloated. The update servers automatically configured were unresponsive, and had to be replaced by trial and error to get a reliable server list. Yast & tools, imo, were bloated then. Hope those shortcomings have been paid attention to in the newer releases and the forthcoming 11.2"
The CD installs are no more bloated than any of the other major distro offerings and one has a variety of choices when installing from the DVD. In fact a minimal install tutorial was presented here (DWW) in the recent past by Chris Smart and it was as lean as any other distro installed in that way. I make my KDE 3.5 install lean by uninstalling unneeded packages and disabling (via Yast services manager module) services I don't use.
As for the server speeds, I think it tries to locate servers nearer your geographic location and they may be slow (maybe due to bandwidth limitation, overloading, etc.). Not all distros have equal server support in various regions of the world.
"But the minuses listed above are minor to many of us. The big turn off is mono..."
You don't have to use Mono and it can be uninstalled!
100 • @99 (by Anony Moss on 2009-10-20 09:24:37 GMT from India)
Thanks for your comment. You commented on everything except the one question asked. 'Google it' is an easy advice to dispense. Anyhow, the deal is at least till 2012.
I agree with other points in your posts, except two.
One, there are ways to do minimal installs and to do performance tweaks post-install on most distros. But, not everyone is keen to go under the hood, even if they can. Sometimes, the time or the motivation to do that just isn't there for some of us. That is why an out of the box, default, experience is highly touted. One can set a correct resolution for the display by tweaking X settings, but its a much more pleasant experience when the installer gets it right.
Two, the bloat isn't a MYTH, nor an urban legend. This has even been discussed on opensuse lists ( and they are to be appreciated for this ). IIRC, at one point a developer claimed that the apparent slowness was due to file system consistency checks that many other distros neglected. You might find that article if you google for it with the site:opensuse.org option. Even otherwise,
See the first link there? Its an opensuse page with bloat prevention tips. Anyhow, maybe we can just agree to disagree on the perceived slowness of Suse. As I said, it isn't a particularly big issue for me anyway.
101 • No subject (by forest on 2009-10-20 11:07:45 GMT from United Kingdom)
Fair enough Anon' of France, write something "insightful" and we'll tell you what we think, hows that?
102 • iMagic is a waste (by Gene Venable on 2009-10-20 12:44:21 GMT from United States)
I paid for iMagic and it crashed and I never could get it to install. I'm running Sidux on that machine now, and I've had Linux Mint and Ubuntu and many other distros running there -- problems are rare; it's a newish Gateway dual core.
And since I paid I haven't had so much as an email from the company; I think iMagic was a "rent party" distro, made to get a quick influx of cash.
The secret message of iMagic is that I and many others are willing to pay small amounts of money to help support Linux. We feel a bit guilty getting all this free superb computing power. It's a shame that a more deserving distro than iMagic wasn't there to take our money.
103 • re: 102 (by Jesse on 2009-10-20 13:58:32 GMT from Canada)
If you feel guilty about using free software, I'm sure there are plenty of distros willing to take your money. You said you use Sidux, why not contact their developers and see if they'll take a donation? There are lots of distros that have donations (or "how can I help") pages. If you have extra cash, why not help them out?
104 • Ref #97 (by Anonymous on 2009-10-20 14:03:35 GMT from France)
Dear fores' from United Kingdom, I did, at #97. So, what do you think?
105 • Mandriva (by mafin on 2009-10-20 14:05:08 GMT from India)
I think Mandriva is the best Linux distro today to know more please visit
because it leads through innovation and example is Mandriva 2009.1 spring and latest coming 2010 edition.
106 • @80 @88 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-10-20 16:42:39 GMT from Canada)
You're both right, sort of. :)
All distros ship the same Intel driver. It's not written entirely by Intel, BTW, there are external contributors, including Red Hat's Kristian Hogsborg, and Daniel Vetter, who AFAIK is running a start-up company that's doing something sekrit.
However, they don't all ship the exact same code. It's patched, to some extent, in most distros. More importantly, distros rarely ship the exact same _version_ of the driver, and equally rarely keep the same version in their future updates. So things will diverge between distributions.
107 • Probably worthless... (by forest on 2009-10-20 16:58:16 GMT from United Kingdom)
That wasn't insightful, just the unvarnished truth which, I have to admit, I agree with.
No, do some real insightful stuff, be different. Natter on about how your compatriots have started using Uxx in the Gendarmarie (well, police of some description). Or, how/why your agriculture ministry folk use Mandriva. Now that is interesting, to me anyway.
108 • 106 (by Joe on 2009-10-20 20:07:00 GMT from United States)
"...distros rarely ship the exact same version of the driver, and equally rarely keep the same version in their future updates."
I think that's part of the problem that many of us experience. We find a distro that runs well on our hardware with a good mix of applications (and a well provisioned repository); then, six months later, the "updated" or "upgraded" distro implodes for one reason or another (video drivers, pulseaudio issues, etc.). Some have the the skills and patience to work through the issues, yet others give up and restart their search for that best "out-of-the-box" experience.
I, for one, like stability. I like being able to install a linux distro on a family member or friends PC and know that it will run run well and will require little maintenance over time. It's a little difficult for them to accept Linux if the OS of choice is only going to be supported for a short period of time.
I'm not happy with at least one major distro's decision to end support for a distro after 18 months (so their repository disk space can be reused to support the latest and greatest). IMHO 18 months is too short of a period of time. Home users expect their hardware to last longer than 18 months and most businesses only refresh their hardware every three or four years. I think that's why some have gravitated toward distros that offer long term support. Not because the LTS software is any better; but, because the end user knows he/she can count on support for their distro of choice for an extended period of time -- letting them get more bang for the buck from their hardware investment.
109 • Intel drivers (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-10-20 20:11:05 GMT from United States)
In #106 Adam Williamson did a great job of making the main point I wanted to make. The net result is that different distros get very different results with their Intel drivers. Some distros also detect hardware with known problems and automatically implement workarounds which are transparent to the end user. The user just know things work. This doesn't just apply to Intel drivers or graphics chipsets.
Focusing again on Intel graphics drivers: Pardus chose to release a beta driver that had some fixes and then offer an upgrade when available. That solution saved me all sorts of grief with the Sylvania netbook I had. Of course, Pardus had the advantage of a later release so they had solutions available that were not available when Ubuntu or Mandriva did their releases.
Another solution, one suited for advanced distros, is what Slackware did in 13.0: they offered the latest driver available by default and packaged several alternate drivers so that users could find what works for them easily without a lot of compiling of different versions with different options.
The point is that if a distro ships with broken code, even upstream broken code, it is the distro developer that made that choice. The distribution most certainly is to blame.
110 • @108 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-10-20 20:41:31 GMT from Canada)
I meant specifically updates (i.e. updated packages within one stable release), not upgrades (i.e. to a new release of the distribution). It's extremely unusual (possibly it's never happened) for a distro to ship the same version of a major graphics driver in two different distribution releases.
The lifespan argument is an old chestnut. Basically, it takes a considerable amount of resources to support an older release, and the effort goes *up* over time as the code gets older and older and everyone else cares less and less about it. Major commercial enterprise distros do long release cycles because it makes sense in that context and they can afford the maintenance (Red Hat, SUSE). Ubuntu can afford it for LTS releases because of Shuttleworth's Magical Money Pipe (even there they don't really do as much work to support newer hardware in these older releases as you get in Red Hat or SUSE). Debian does it because it's Debian, and the rules of physics in Debianland are different. :)
For any other distribution, it's very unlikely to happen, because they can't afford to pay people to support older code for years at a time, and it's not something many people are interested in volunteering to do (volunteers generally want to work on newer shinier stuff).
111 • @106-108-109-110 Intel Drivers (by Henning Melgaard on 2009-10-20 21:29:56 GMT from Denmark)
Well Halleluja :-)!!!!!
Finally I get another answer than the standard :"The drivers are provided by Intel, and Ubuntu (or any other distribution) has nothing to do with this."
That is truely a relief, thanks to all.
112 • Supporting older code (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-10-20 21:35:17 GMT from United States)
@Adam: Slackware also supports older code for a very long time. Your argument in #110 doesn't explain why Debian and Slackware can manage it without gobs of enterprise customers and/or lots of money.
I would also argue Ubuntu does it with LTS precisely because it's a requirement to challenge Red Hat and Novell in enterprise space. It also seems to be a requirement for preloaded systems. My new HP with their Mi interface is built on Ubuntu 8.04 LTS. Longer support is seen as a potential money maker, not something that sucks Mark Shuttleworth's money into a black hole.
113 • @112 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-10-20 21:48:41 GMT from Canada)
Until they're *selling* the support, it's a black hole. :) But I see your point.
Slackware is different because of their minimal patching policy. For them, 'support' is really just applying security fixes, AIUI. They aren't going to go around patching bugs or backporting things to the kernel to support newer hardware.
And as I said, Debian runs under different laws to the rest of the universe =) Debian is as Debian has always done, they have a corpus of contributors who are used to working within Debian's fairly long stable release cycles. Even those don't generally hit five years.
114 • @112 again (by Adam Williamson on 2009-10-20 21:53:15 GMT from Canada)
Slackware also just don't seem to do all that many security updates:
I'm not sufficiently knowledgeable about Slack to know whether that's because they're not covering everything or just that they support a very limited package range or what, but if you compare it to the amount of fixes released for RHEL or SLES or even Mandriva Enterprise Server in the same year, it's a pretty short list. If we were still trying to support a five-year old Fedora release it'd need a hell of a lot more updates than that per year, I think.
115 • money, money, money... (by flon on 2009-10-20 22:12:26 GMT from Brazil)
Money makes the world go round... and the "4 Bigs", here, are "the 4 big linux ENTERPRI$E$". That's only the worst reality: the 'financial times' acting on Linux world.
But... Why not some other criterion, like " the Biggest Comunities", or " Big community-oriented projects"? Maybe, some more exotic, like "the most prolific Linux grandpas"? Or "the 4 or 5 or X main tech-ways to build linux" ...
Money money mon....
116 • Mandriva (by Mattias on 2009-10-20 23:00:59 GMT from Sweden)
It seems that the new Mandriva 2010.0 will be great, great, great. I'm testing it right now.
117 • @102 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-10-20 23:52:39 GMT from Canada)
Of the big distros, Fedora and Ubuntu don't really take contributions or sell products, they have different funding models. You could buy support from Ubuntu, however - http://www.ubuntu.com/support/services - or buy stuff from their Store - https://usshop.ubuntu.com/ - where they sell t-shirts and mugs and all that stuff.
You can buy boxed copies of Mandriva and SUSE. You can also buy a Mandriva PowerPack subscription, and they both also sell t-shirts and mugs and all that stuff.
http://shop.novell.com/store/novell/DisplayCategoryProductListPage/categoryID.9621900 (for the boxed version of openSUSE, they're not big on publicising it)
You can also contribute direct to Mandriva rather than buying anything, if you'd prefer to do that:
Many community distributions are happy to accept contributions:
Debian - http://www.debian.org/donations
PCLOS - http://www.pclinuxos.com/index.php?Itemid=29&id=5&option=com_content&task=view
Arch - http://www.archlinux.org/donate/
that's just a random sample, if you'd prefer to send your hard-earned to another distro, just Google 'distroname donate' and you'll likely find the page.
You can also donate to major projects rather than distros, if you'd prefer:
again, Google for your favourite project. There's lots of options :)
118 • #102 (by Reuben on 2009-10-20 23:54:30 GMT from United States)
Many distros are more than willing to take donations. If you look at Sidux's website there is a link to make a donation.
You might also want to considering making a donation to a software project. You could donate money to that app that you couldn't live without.
119 • RE: 102 and Stores (by Landor on 2009-10-21 00:38:00 GMT from Canada)
My favourite shirt is from Journal, The HAL knock-off. On the front, HAL's eye/sensor with "I'm sorry Mr. Gates I'm afraid I can't do that", and on the back, 2010 A Linux Odyssey.
I loved it, I think I'm gonna be finding one under the Christmas Tree this year :)
Donations are a very cool thing, and if some poor soul thinks they "still" need to get something out of it, buy a shirt or something, they still get some amount of money.
Keep your stick on the ice...
120 • Contributing, more ways to do it (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-10-21 00:42:57 GMT from United States)
I agree with Adam's comments in #117.
Many distros sell copies for two reasons: to allow people without broadband to have a convenient way to obtain DVDs/CDs, and two, to raise money to support ongoing development. This is particularly important to smaller and community distros that don't have deep pockets or regular sources of income.
Not everybody can afford to donate, especially during the current economic difficulties many countries are dealing with. Another solution is to give time: help with development, packaging, artwork and graphics, translation, documentation, etc... You don't have to be a programmer at all. Most distros need all sorts of help.
When I was using VectorLinux heavily I found the repository wanting. I was building packages for myself and started contributing them. For about 18 months I helped with packaging and for about six months I helped with repo maintenance. Changes in my life forced me to drop that but at least I gave back to a distro that served me well for a long time.
Everybody has some talents and can find a way to give back. Financial donations are only one option.
121 • What distro is "easiest" to contribute? (by sertse on 2009-10-21 01:19:48 GMT from Australia)
Especially on stuff like packaging? Bonus points if the distro itself isn't too technical (aka it's a desktop linux distro) in the first place.
122 • For those who love KDE 3.5.x (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-10-21 02:18:13 GMT from United States)
Beta 3 of Vector Linux 6.0 KDE Classic was released yesterday. See: http://forum.vectorlinux.com/index.php?topic=10711.msg67480;boardseen#new
VectorLinux 6.0 SOHO is based on KDE 4 but this alternative release should satisfy those who don't like 4.x.
123 • Re 100...."openSUSE is bloated"..."This couldn't be further away from truth" (by SuseUser on 2009-10-21 04:14:32 GMT from Australia)
“Google it' is an easy advice to dispense.”
It is easy advice and it is generally the right one.
“Anyhow, the deal is at least till 2012.
Thanks for the info but the pros and cons of the deal have been debated long ago and I don't subscribe to the doom and gloom view of that event.
“I agree with other points in your posts, except two.
One, there are ways to do minimal installs and to do performance tweaks post-install on most distros.”
Tutorial: Minimal openSUSE 11.1 install
There is also the option to pick a desktop version and deselect (or select additional/alternative) packages during the install setup procedure. Net install isos are available for most major distros and are probably another very good way to achieve a lean install.
“But, not everyone is keen to go under the hood, even if they can. Sometimes, the time or the motivation to do that just isn't there for some of us. That is why an out of the box, default, experience is highly touted.”
As it happens, I have both openSUSE 11.0 and Ubuntu 8.10 on my laptop and I can compare easily
performance and functionality. I don't notice anything special about Ubuntu in speed or functionality and the Ubuntu 7.04 and 7.10 versions had serious issues (as did Mandriva and other Debian/Ubuntu derivatives of that vintage) with the Intel 915 GM graphics driver and were not usable. OpenSUSE had a workaround (as had Fedora) for the (new) Intel driver for my particular hardware and I have continued to use it ever since. “OTHB” (out of the holy box) experience is another MYTH, IMO! Unless the OS is shipped by an OEM on hardware that it is designed to work on, it will always be a hit and miss affair on whether it works “OTB”.
“One can set a correct resolution for the display by tweaking X settings, but its a much more pleasant experience when the installer gets it right.”
I have installed MS Windows numerous times (on my home PCs) and screen resolution always defaulted to safe mode – VGA and drivers either needed to be installed or screen resolution manually adjusted. So I don't see any big deal if one gets a safe screen resolution as default setting and then clicks on a graphics settings applet/utility and adjusts their screen resolution to required specs, in fact I actually prefer it that way.
“Two, the bloat isn't a MYTH, nor an urban legend. This has even been discussed on opensuse lists ( and they are to be appreciated for this ). IIRC, at one point a developer claimed that the apparent slowness was due to file system consistency checks that many other distros neglected.”
The files system consistency check is not related to bloat and, for what I use the system for, it makes little difference to me. As for the bloat “MYTH”, it too has been discussed by leading developers, see below:
>>>Some openSUSE 10.3 Misconceptions
Submitted by beineri on Mon, 10/08/2007
"openSUSE is bloated"
This couldn't be further away from truth. openSUSE 10.3 has actually the most lean footprint of all recent releases. All patterns have been reworked and packages more splitted, eg you can install a very small base system or basic X window. The desktop CD installations are coercively optimized for size. You can call a full DVD or CD+online repos installation bloated but then you opted for the wide range of applications option.<<<
124 • @121 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-10-21 04:15:39 GMT from Canada)
It's not that difficult to contribute to any distribution, really, if you learn what you're trying to contribute to and follow the procedures. I wouldn't say there's really one answer to your question. It's probably best to look into contributing to the distro you most prefer to use, because it's a lot more bothersome contributing to a distro you don't actually use than one you're running all the time.
125 • Which Distro (by herman van kampen on 2009-10-21 05:12:24 GMT from Netherlands)
I am looking forward to the newest Ubuntu...
Its one of the few distros on wich everything (grafics and wifi!)works like a charm !
126 • #125: It hasn't been that way for me in a long time (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-10-21 05:28:52 GMT from United States)
#125: I accept that Ubuntu works correctly on your hardware. It hasn't been true on any of my systems since Edgy Eft. I decided to try the Karmic beta (recommended by Ladislav in his review for the HP Mini 110 I now have) and wifi does not work properly with my WPA2 encrypted network. Network manager hasn't ever been 100% for me but it hasn't been this broken since Gutsy. I'm already logged into Launchpad to see if anyone else has written a bug report yet. If not I will in the hope that maybe, just maybe, they'll get it fixed.
I'll probably end up replacing network manager with wicd again. That usually helps.
127 • donations and imagic (by Xtyn on 2009-10-21 06:37:58 GMT from Romania)
I wouldn't use imagic if it was free of charge.
If you want to contribute, contribute to the people who do the work: Debian and Ubuntu.
For Debian: http://www.debian.org/donations
For Ubuntu: http://www.ubuntu.com/community/donations
128 • No subject (by forest on 2009-10-21 06:42:33 GMT from United Kingdom)
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water...seems that no matter what you do some (even) brighter spark comes up with a way to get past your security procs.
Does not happen in every instance but probably enough to cause concern. (or, is it just "subtle" advertising for ThinkPads?)
Perhaps the VPN thing is the answer...with a one time PW for business users on a mission?
129 • Paid Linux distros? (by Anonymous on 2009-10-21 07:35:32 GMT from Italy)
ROFL, now and again somebody puts a paid distro on the market.
They forget that EVERY attempt at selling Linux desktop distros has FAILED.
Even Mandriva understood that, as their free version is virtually identical to the commercial one, once you configure urpmi.
130 • gadget corner... (by forest on 2009-10-21 09:20:38 GMT from United Kingdom)
For those wanting to use a larger screen this might be of interest, at least when the GNULinux version appears.
131 • Thanks for the exposure. (by Justin Breithaupt on 2009-10-21 17:38:33 GMT from United States)
After you posted this announcement about JULinux our Yahoo server got 2000 page hits that were unaccounted for meaning that they weren't html files. We can only assume this means most of these people tried to download JULinux. Unfortunately we received phone calls telling us our iso on our ftp / http server was corrupt so I re-uploaded it during that time. It's hard to know how many people got corrupt copies.
I look forward to the day when you announce our release on the main page :) I will be working on a video that tells step by step how to install JULinux.
132 • OpenSuSE 11.1 Delays (by pfb on 2009-10-21 18:14:25 GMT from United States)
Does anybody else have this problem?
I have two machines running OpenSuSE 11.1. A 64bit and a 32 bit. Recently the 32 bit machine has acquired over 2 minutes of delay in starting the NetworkManager. It has a similar delay in sharing files with samba. I am not terribly impatient, but this same machine is connected to my printers. Printing is now impossible over my local network.
I tried re-installing samba without success. I compare the two machines and don't see any differences. The 32 bit hardware seems OK, as XP works just fine on it. Have any SuSE users run into this problem?
133 • #125/#126 - Ubuntu beta issues (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-10-21 20:06:06 GMT from United States)
A follow up to my #126. I did get wireless working on my new netbook under Karmic. It was a driver issue. However, once I got that sorted, network manager would intermittently hang and my whole system would briefly lock. It's essentially the same problem I complained about way back when I tried the 64-bit version of Gutsy Gibbon (7.10) on a Gateway laptop with a Broadcom chipset. (The HP Mini 110 also has a Broadcom chipset.) Ripping out network-manager and replacing it with wicd solved the problem and my wireless works perfectly.
I find it very interesting that a distro touted as easy and just working still hasn't solved a problem with a key app (network-manager) reported two years ago. Of course, 9.10 is still in beta so it's unfair of me to judge it until the final version comes out. Anyone want to bet the problem still isn't solved nine days from now?
I know Ubuntu fans were upset by Andrew Wyatt's "garbage salad" comment and upset at Ladislav for including it in the news section this week. Sadly, it matches my experiences since Fiesty (7.04). I keep coming back and trying Ubuntu. Sometimes I can make it work well with workarounds and alternate apps, sometimes not.
134 • #132 OpenSuSE (by pfb on 2009-10-21 22:48:44 GMT from United States)
Cancel all comments in 132. It seems I got broadsided by a samba update or a rogue file change, combined with the fact that Firefox will not print to network printers (not through cups, anyway), and NetworkManager mysteriously self healed. I think a temporary switch to Gnome put NetworkManager straight. :-)
All is well with SuSE again. Well, at least until the new Mandriva comes out. And a switch to Opera is warranted. Opera prints.
135 • @133 (by Anonymous on 2009-10-22 08:52:40 GMT from United States)
Rather than beating people over the head with an opinion that _apparently_ doesn't match up with their experience you could just point out that Canonical tries to do the impossible by attempting to stabilize Debian Sid when Debian doesn't even attempt this (Testing is forked from Stable, not Sid). The feat has driven other companies into bankruptcy, so it is possibly delusional to expect a truly stable and fully functioning Ubuntu when the code it is based upon is not truly stable and sometimes not fully functioning.
Now, for some people Debian Sid works, and more power to those people, but it is named an unstable branch for a reason as it often doesn't work for some installations.
It is just unfortunate and terrible marketing that Ubuntu neglects this fact about its code base and markets to people with little to no technical knowledge.
136 • Canonical's Sisyphean task, Re#133 @Anonymous (by Pearson on 2009-10-22 15:13:26 GMT from United States)
You said (in a different order):
It is just unfortunate and terrible marketing that Ubuntu neglects this fact about its code base and markets to people with little to no technical knowledge.
you could just point out that Canonical tries to do the impossible by attempting to stabilize Debian Sid [...] it is possibly delusional to expect a truly stable and fully functioning Ubuntu
Canonical markets its product as stable - particularly the LTS releases. Apparently, they miss this mark - as you said. I believe that Ms. Martin, and I, hold Canonical to the standard that Canonical has set for itself. I know that I am looking to migrate from XUbuntu, partly because they "miss their mark."
137 • Re #135 @myself - wrong subject (by Pearson on 2009-10-22 15:14:35 GMT from United States)
The subject should have sayd "Re#135" - I mis-read a font :-)
138 • Distros (by Steve on 2009-10-22 16:52:36 GMT from Germany)
I am looking forward to new Mandriva. I tested Ubuntus Beta and has been disapointed of the hardware support. I coudn't even set the screen resolution to 1280x1024
In general I would like to see not more distros, but less.
It's one big disadvantage over Windows, that to many different distros are out there.
In case of trouble the number of people having the same config/distro/hardware is quite limited.
I would like to see there is one big mainstream distro (which seems to become ubuntu).
But it is not working for me yet
139 • @135-136 Ubuntu based on Debian Sid? (by Henning Melgaard on 2009-10-22 17:12:32 GMT from Denmark)
Talk about a surprise!!!
Is Ubuntu really based on Debian Sid?
I know that Sidux is, and they are pretty straight forward about it- but Ubuntu?
Does that mean that every new version of Ubuntu is based on the latest version of Debian Sid?
140 • gOS (by Steve on 2009-10-22 17:49:27 GMT from United States)
I'd like to comment on my experience with a distribution (gOS) that I have been using for about 7 months with a satisfying degree of success. I was using Windows XP until a virus or something took it out. After shelling a lot of money and time to keep the bad guys off of my computer, I finally realized that the whole MS-Windows thing was extortion and time drain. Before I pulled the plug on XP I did some research on different distros. I downloaded several and tried each one for awhile. And eventually settled on gOS especially when my room mate could use it without freaking out. I've noticed over the years that when you work with an operating system and computer, ... I was a Atari 8-bit user for years and loved them... , anyway, you get used to how they work and when you switch to something else you feel lost while trying regain the same level of familiarity that you once had before. To make a long story shorter - I have a functioning computer again and peace in the house. And MS-Windows is becoming a sad and distant memory. Microsoft could have kept it's crown had it done business ethically, morally and listened to their customers. My computer and bank account are not life support systems for their corporate greed.
Is gOS the perfect Linux distribution? I can't answer that for you, but for me it is. It does for me everything that I need it to do. It has quirks and flaws, but all things considered - I can easily live with them. Also - many thanks to those who came along side Linus Torvalds to help build and shape Linux. Its great to have my computer back...
141 • Think Ubuntu not Sid Debian (by Anonymous on 2009-10-22 18:08:53 GMT from United States)
Ubuntu makes a release every six months, and supports those releases for 18 months with daily security fixes and patches to critical bugs.
As Ubuntu prepares for release, we "freeze" a snapshot of Debian's development archive. We start from the development version in order to give ourselves the freedom to make our own decisions with regard to release management, independent of Debian's release-in-preparation. This is necessary because our release criteria are very different from Debian's.
As a simple example, a package might be excluded from Debian 'testing' due to a build failure on any of the 10+ architectures supported by Debian, but it is still suitable for Ubuntu if it builds and works on only three of them. A package will also be prevented from entering Debian 'testing' if it has release-critical bugs according to Debian criteria, but a bug which is release-critical for Debian may not be as important for Ubuntu.
As a community, we choose places to diverge from Debian in ways that minimize the difference between Debian and Ubuntu. For example, we usually choose to update to the very latest version of Gnome rather than the older version in Debian, and we might do the same for key other pieces of infrastructure such as X or GCC. Those decisions are listed as Feature Goals for that release, and we work as a community to make sure that they are in place before the release happens.
142 • Yes, Ubuntu is based on Debian Sid, Re#139 @Henning Malgaard (by Pearson on 2009-10-22 18:24:04 GMT from United States)
As Ubuntu prepares for release, we "freeze" a snapshot of Debian's development archive.
I didn't know this before today, BTW.
143 • Re: 141: The Debian take on "Sid" (by G on 2009-10-22 21:39:34 GMT from United States)
And here are some quotes from http://www.debian.org/releases/unstable that may sound all too familiar to Ubuntu users:
Sid "will never get released" because it is a "very 'unstable' system which contains packages that cannot be installed due to missing libraries, dependencies that cannot be fulfilled etc. Use it at your own risk!"
144 • No subject (by Anonymous at 2009-10-22 22:21:45 GMT from United States)
Both of these comments by # 142 and 143 are more worthy of political spin doctor hacks than anyone caring for the truth. Especially 143 who just plain lies. Read 143's source:
"The code name for Debian's development distribution is "sid", aliased to "unstable". Most of the development work that is done in Debian, is uploaded to this distribution. This distribution will never get released; instead, packages from it will propagate into testing and then into a real release.
Please note that security updates for "unstable" distribution are not managed by the security team. Hence, "unstable" does not get security updates in a timely manner. For more information please see the Security Team's FAQ.
"sid" is subject to massive changes and in-place library updates. This can result in a very "unstable" system which contains packages that cannot be installed due to missing libraries, dependencies that cannot be fulfilled etc. Use it at your own risk!"
Thus using propaganda #143 uses part of one sentence in para 1, adds the word "because" which does not exist in the source, and leave out the words "can result" meaning clearly that it is a lie to say all sid is a hopeless hell! as #143 tries to do.
Now as to #142, why they give the identical URL I gave and use only 13 words of it to attempt to continue a false impression of Ubuntu, I don't know. But the rest of the para makes clear that Ubuntu does not blindly and foolishly simply use all of the freeze nor do they fail to do exactly the same thing that Debian does which is to work that "freeze" into a workable good product. The text I cited says simply, to an honest reader, that what they do is very much the same as Debian except as they honestly reveal, they use different criteria than Debian such as fewer architectures must be working for the product than the 10+ Debian holds too etc. And clearly Ubuntu is meeting it's own set standards very well, as this 5 years only anniversary (think of it only 5 years!!!) and the numbers of people successfully using it shows.
145 • Silliness of Ubuntu based on Sid claim further revealed! (by Anonymous on 2009-10-22 23:09:03 GMT from United States)
Please read the story "fully" if you have been seduced by the sid nonsense regarding Ubuntu.
But I had seen this before I wrote the above and it raises a real question. If as claimed, Ubuntu was based on Sid, why in the world had I read that Mark Shuttleworth was in hot water with the Debian community for wanting Debian devs to do a development freeze before Debian devs wanted to? Hmmmm... I cannot image that Ubuntu needs any deciding of when to freeze code if they just use Debian sid. Can you?
146 • I will only upgrade to Ubuntu 9.10 if BTRFS is available on the install (by Anonymous on 2009-10-23 01:05:48 GMT from United States)
I don't have any other reason to update. One system doesn't hold much important information and the other is running on reiser4. Currently the system running reiser4 is also a Gentoo system, I'd prefer to upgrade soon before my wife pours gasoline on it and sits it on the tree line ablaze.
Just someone please tell me BTRFS will be an install option. I can handle partitioning and Grub2 WHATEVER IT TAKES, I've got to get off the Gentoo system!!!
147 • 145: "Ubuntu is based on Unstable" (by G on 2009-10-23 02:40:21 GMT from United States)
1. This is from Ubuntu's technology chief. 'Nuff said:
2. A predictable Debian freeze would allow Ubuntu to move away from Debian unstable and use stable instead. Shuttleworth explained this in his email, when he proposed "stretching our one cycle to get us both onto a two year cadence." Ubuntu needs a predictable, two-year Debian to be a profitable corporate player like Red Hat. Ubuntu's commitment to using Sid and a six-month release cycle certainly will not get them there. Nor apparently will its two-year LTS versions, which are based on a Debian testing, another unfrozen and unsupported "distro." Just imagine how easy - and cheap - it would be for Canonical to be able to poach Debian's stable security updates, just as Centros does with RH, instead of having to develop their own.
148 • Ubuntu Karmic RC (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-10-23 07:21:47 GMT from United States)
I moved from the beta to the release candidate of Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) on my netbook today. I decided to give network-manager another try and much to my surprise it's been problem free so far. They may have actually, finally fixed that problem.
Karmic is looking like a very promising release at the moment. I know my saying that won't please the Ubuntu bashers but there you have it. If I complain when things don't work then I have to compliment when they do :)
149 • Ubuntu and others a lang tale of a hopeless debian addict....LOl (by Gina Mariah on 2009-10-23 10:11:41 GMT from France)
So much hype, way too much any way.
there is only one Linux World, Debian in any flavor
mounting an existing LVM
Google gives you tons of answers,
the one and only simple working hand' s-on is on
a simple instruction.....with LVM. Bingo
any problem, realisation , even a bizarre one is documented
anywhere round the world
Me a photographer, doing fashion and artist,
there is nothing else as Debian in any flavor,
a blame, the only working real-time kernel with Ubuntu Studio was 8.04,
the 9.04 real-time in the best sense of meaning..scrap.
Cry it out, 64 , yeah, no flash, and no goodies.
I do know, the gamers world rulez here.
The world of musicians, graphic artists and more,
no kneeling down for win 7, not on the sunny side for the mac world,
we do go where ? ??
Artist X was once there, but it is quite Hardy
and no support for the shining
new Nvidia gadgets. Rather dead now a days
Three is only the hard way, Debian Squeeze
and szeeze it till it will do what u want.
Root with gdm, easy to do,
if the sudo thing drive's u mad.
Do ..gedit /etc/gdm/gdm.conf
Type /etc/init.d/gdm restart
whow ...what is gone since a decade
Root wiht all the gadgets u dream of, ..abiword is way better as the vi world.....
Debian in any flavor wiill do what u want.
Any tool from the planet is out there, relly
Win and sorry Mac are closed shops..
there is any time only Sunday eve.....
last to mention the best tool box
RIP (R)ecovery (i) s (p)ossible
for grub (2) and any disc format even LVM
a bright star on the Linux heaven
grap it !!
150 • OK G you hate Ubuntu Re *147 (by Anonymous on 2009-10-23 13:03:55 GMT from United States)
You hate Ubuntu. So what?
It would be good for people to read your link in your #1 point as an honest reader would see that it is nonsense to even be making a big deal out of this "based" spin. After all, Debian itself is based on unstable .Few things in this world are based upon immaculate conception. WooHoo flap your lips.
Your #2 point is a mixture of quote and and your negative spin. You can't bring yourself to mention Shuttleworth's vision or desire to improve the world of Linux as a whole that is revealed in the http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/07/shuttleworth_ubuntu_debian/ article. Sad that you only wish to be malicious.
Quote from said article:
"Shuttleworth repeated the theme in his Debian mailing list post, where he noted the freeze idea was not about Debian changing to meet the needs of Ubuntu. "I love free software and want it to win. If it wins properly, it will not come in a single package branded 'Debian' or 'Ubuntu' or 'Red Hat', it will come in a coordinated diversity," Shuttleworth said.
"The debate on this list has mostly been about "Ubuntu vs Debian", which misses the real goal: let's send a signal to upstreams that they can participate and help shape the way end users will experience their software. To do that, we need to get multiple distributions," he wrote."
151 • Hmmmmmm (by Nobody Important on 2009-10-23 13:30:07 GMT from United States)
I've been running Ubuntu 9.10 Beta/RC/Prerelease for a month. no crashes, no bugs, no problems, no nothing. It's been dead stable.
If they are able to keep this fantastic quality through to the final release and then to the LTS next time around, I will have nothing but praise for this project. Heck, every release since 8.10 has been a smooth upgrade for me and I've never had any issues, so I suppose it's all about hardware.
OpenSUSE runs like a dog on this laptop (Firefox took twenty seconds to load, for example), and that's with a Core2Duo and 4GB of RAM. I don't care what the problem was - it's never going to touch a machine of mine again.
152 • #141,147,150 (by jack on 2009-10-23 13:39:27 GMT from Canada)
As a simple example, a package might be excluded from Debian 'testing' due to a build failure on any of the 10+ architectures supported by Debian, but it is still suitable for Ubuntu if it builds and works on only three of them.
At first this made sense to me but later it occurred to,me that, that if Drebian maintains a number of different OSs there is no way that anyone can state that they will ALWAYS be able to find a solution to a release-critical problem and it would be illogical to hold up the other OSs because of it.
So in what way is the work that Ubuntu does on Sid different from the work of the Debian developers. The release-critical problems exist and have to be solved in order to issue "testing".
Just a question
153 • @Anonymous, ref #144 "Ubuntu is based on Debian Sid" (by Pearson on 2009-10-23 15:59:08 GMT from United States)
Now as to #142, why they give the identical URL I gave and use only 13 words of it to attempt to continue a false impression of Ubuntu, I don't know.
Actually, I typed my response before I saw yours but I was interrupted before submitting it. If I had seen yours, I would've refrained - you gave more information.
I only posted the one phrase to be brief and correct - not misleading. I posted the link so that the reader could get the entire story.
154 • Re #153 (by Anonymous on 2009-10-23 16:42:22 GMT from United States)
You are polite as always.
The URL is explained :) .
The 13 words explanation you make shows that I may have jumped to false conclusions upon motive, but I do remain convinced that the rest of the para is important to evaluating the 13 words, and people will unfortunately (from my point of view0 rely upon the 13 words as sufficient in themselves since only they are cited.
I think it is important to understanding my motives for responding as I have relates to the first poster #135 who claimed or implied that Ubuntu was more or less leading Ubuntu users down the garden path and taking advantage of peoples ignorance unfairly and terribly, and thereby spreading FUD about Ubuntu in my opinion as well as being incorrect as my first post #141 showed. The quote there shows that Ubuntu is not being secretive and the URL from the # 147 further amplifies that there is openness from the Ubuntu technological chief on the matter.
I think # 152 asks a good question, and I think the whole issue of "based " is a tempest in a teapot since people don't or shouldn't care about what something is based upon but whether it works for them and whether it is having a reliable team standing behind it.
155 • Happy anniversary for the month of October (by Elevator Engineer on 2009-10-23 19:01:50 GMT from United States)
Happy anniversary for the month of October to the following distributions.
You have been 'Waiting List" to make sure that your distribution is a short term project. Keep it up you may be on the waiting list as long LinVDR (5 1/2 years).
156 • G.HN (by Jairo Mayorga on 2009-10-23 19:36:28 GMT from Colombia)
Does linux suports g.hn codecs?
Have you proved POGOPLUG devices
157 • R.I.P. (by Shuttleworth's grandson, Sid on 2009-10-23 21:51:48 GMT from United States)
Kudos to Caitlyn (#148) for her compliment on Ubuntu. Never thought I'd see the day.
Gina (#149), thanks for that tip on RIP. A Grub2 menu driven program! That alone will come in handy.
I'm a Ubuntu user (main system), among pmagic and Fedora. Can't wait to try out Fedora12.
Number of Comments: 157
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