| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 340, 8 February 2010
Welcome to this year's 6th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! On the occasion of the forthcoming release of PC-BSD 8.0, a major new update of the desktop-oriented FreeBSD system, DistroWatch talks to Kris Moore, the project's founder and lead developer. What is the relationship between FreeBSD and PC-BSD like? Which are the new features in version 8.0? What are the project's future plans? Read on to find out more. In the news section, we link to an interesting article investigating the history of FreeBSD and also to a guide whose goal is to get newcomers to Linux up and running with the latest release of Fedora. Further down in the news, the first issue of BSD magazine is now available for free download, Canonical's Jane Silber talks about the role of women in the world of open-source development, and Kongoni announces the end of its Slackware-based distribution. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the DistroWatch.com January 2010 donation is Qimo 4 Kids, a charity project that develops a free Ubuntu-based distribution for children. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Interview with Kris Moore, PC-BSD
Recently, I had a chance to exchange some e-mails with Kris Moore (pictured on the right), the founder of the PC-BSD project. For those of you interested in the BSD scene, PC-BSD is a desktop operating system which uses FreeBSD as its base. The PC-BSD team has been busy recently, preparing for their 8.0 release. Mr Moore kindly agreed to answer a few questions, which I'll share here with you.
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DW: From what I've read, PC-BSD makes a strong effort to add to the underlying FreeBSD operating system without changing the base. Are there any parts of FreeBSD you do have to change and what effect does this have on the system?
KM: We've actually done a very good job at keeping as vanilla of a FreeBSD base as possible. With PC-BSD 8.0, the only differences are a few extra kernel configuration options, such as "atapicam" support to enable CD/DVD burning and options to enable some specific "pf" firewall features.
DW: Could you please explain the relationship between PC-BSD and iXsystems? Do they own/control the project?
KM: iXsystems owns the trademark "PC-BSD", and greatly assists it by funding some of its development, along with promotion and support. The project itself is open source, of course. All our code is BSD licensed and freely available.
DW: There are lots of reasons I can think of to move from, say, Windows to PC-BSD. Can you provide some reasons why a Linux user, or vanilla FreeBSD user, might want to switch to PC-BSD?
KM: For a Linux user, PC-BSD is one of the best ways to "get your feet wet" with the BSD platform. Many of the tools and desktop options will be similar to what is offered on Linux, such as KDE 4, Firefox, etc. However PC-BSD makes it super simple to get started digging into the FreeBSD platform. You'll be able to spend less time compiling and figuring out how to get your desktop working, and have more time to become immediately productive.
The same ease-of-install applies to a regular FreeBSD user. It can be quite time-consuming to get a graphical desktop set up and configured on plain FreeBSD, and PC-BSD provides a way to bypass that step. Also PC-BSD offers some additional niceties during installation, such as options to set up ZFS, mirroring, disk encryption and other features not present in FreeBSD's installer routine, which often required a bit of manual tweaking to use.
DW: What are some things you're really happy about regarding version 8?
KM: In version 8, we've really gone back to the drawing board on a lot of features. Almost all of our tools have been updated or enhanced in a variety of ways, however the largest new feature is the replacement of our old system installer, with a brand new GUI and separate backend. This new installer supports many new features for disk setup options, the ability to choose between installing PC-BSD or vanilla FreeBSD with a single click, and advanced logging and error reporting to enable us to easily fix installation issues. Also, the DVD doubles as a live disk.
DW: What do you see as the next big challenge for your team? What will you be working on next?
KM: After the release of 8, we've still got plenty to do. I'm hoping to do a lot of general code clean up, re-writing much of our PBI installer to simplify and streamline application installation routines. Also on the list are some new features for our networking GUIs, such as support for easy creation of a WiFi hotspot.
DW: There are three CD ISOs available for download (for PC-BSD 7.1). Is it possible to install PC-BSD off a single CD? Do you have a live CD for demo/testing purposes?
KM: Starting with 8.0, we'll be changing our media up a bit. For installation or live mode, we'll be offering just a DVD or a USB image. We will still offer a CD, but it will be a "boot-only" image, allowing you to install or restore a system from the network or Internet.
DW: How much coordination happens between the FreeBSD team and the PC-BSD team? Do you share code, ideas?
KM: We try to keep in sync as much as possible with the FreeBSD side of things. Any patches we make to improve something in the FreeBSD base system get submitted back to the FreeBSD tree for inclusion. We've also begun to offer some of our tools and utilities in the FreeBSD ports system, such as networking GUIs. We also discuss ideas often, especially at trade shows, where we try to brainstorm various ideas and features which would be beneficial to both communities.
DW: Many thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
FreeBSD past and present, Fedora newbie guide, interview with Ubuntu's Jane Silber, end of Kongoni
With the main story covering a BSD system, let's start the news section with other BSD stories that made headlines last week. Firstly, here is an interesting article, published by H Open, entitled Health Check: FreeBSD - 'The unknown giant'. It starts with a recap of the project's rather turbulent early days and ends with examining its current status among the free operating systems, including the obligatory comparison with Linux: "Although FreeBSD hasn't had the public impact or profile of Linux it has grown steadily, as "the unknown giant among free operating systems", and is probably as healthy as it has ever been, offering the traditional virtues that are often associated with Linux, such as price/performance, security and stability on commodity platforms running Intel or AMD Processors, or tucked away quietly on widely used networking devices from the likes of Cisco, Juniper, Force10, and NetApp."
On a separate note, the first free online issue of BSD Magazine was published last week. It covers a variety of topics, including a first look at PC-BSD 8.0, installing and securing an Apache jail with SSL on FreeBSD, comparison of OpenBSD, NetBSD and FreeBSD as file sharing servers (the first part deals with NFS), IPsec VPNs - an introduction to IKE and IPsec, LDAP on FreeBSD, secure and stable mail servers with OpenBSD and qmail, developing secure storages on FreeBSD, web server benchmarking, an interview with Olivier Cochard-Labbé, the founder of FreeNAS and other topics. The issue is available as a free download (in PDF format), but you need to give away your email address in order to receive the download link.
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Fedora isn't the most beginner-friendly distribution out there, but sometimes a good guide can help to turn even a casual Linux user into a confident expert. Last week, TuxRadar published a newbie's guide to Fedora 12, designed to help anybody to install and use this popular distribution: "Sometimes it's easy to forget that we all had to start somewhere with Linux. When you're not used to the way it works, or the kind of concepts involved, Linux can seem like a foreign language. If you're struggling with free software, or if you know someone who needs help making the switch to Linux, we hope this feature will help. Fedora is a great choice of distribution to start with. It's easy to install and just as easy to use. It's one of the most well-respected distributions available, and has a very tight relationship with its parent and chief sponsor, Red Hat. With Fedora, you have access to one of the largest communities in the world of Linux, and one of the biggest selections of software to play with."
Still on the subject of Fedora, Valent Turkovic has emailed to tell us about a new release of Fedora Community Respin (formerly Fedora Community Remix), a Fedora variant with a variety of user-friendly enhancements: "We would like to announce a live CD/USB release of Fedora Community Respin 12.2. Features: 100% compatible with Fedora; Compiz Fusion compositing window manager; KDE and GNOME desktops; multimedia support out of the box; additional Xfce and Enlightenment desktops; GNOME Do - an intelligent application launcher; OpenOffice.org 3.1; Inkscape, Scribus, GIMP, Blender; Evolution with native Exchange support; Mozilla Thunderbird 3.0; better hardware compatibility for Broadcom wireless cards; educational and astronomy software installed; Google Chromium browser; wireless security tools; GPS and location applications; Nautilus in browser mode by default...." Download the live DVD image from here: Community-Fedora-Remix-12.2.iso (1,782MB, MD5).
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Ubuntu Fridge has published a brief interview with Jane Silber, the recently-appointed Chief Executive Officer at Canonical. In it, she talks about her new position in the Ubuntu community and specifically about the role of women in the male-dominated world of free and open source software: "I joined the Ubuntu Women mailing list around the time it was created. And while I have followed the ups and downs of that group with interest, I haven't taken an active role in the group. I recognise that due to my role at Canonical, my experience in the community as a woman is very different than others, and I thought it was important to provide the space for other women in the community to understand and articulate the issues from their perspective. I recognise the value of sharing experiences and having the support of people in a similar position, and I relied on women's groups early in my career. In particular, when I was working as a software developer and researcher in Japan, I joined the Systers email community (started by Anita Borg, and now part of the Anita Borg Institute). At a time when I felt I was an isolated minority (by gender, exacerbated by culture), the Systers list gave me real support. Knowing that I could find people with similar experiences and even solutions at times, was a real boon for me. I hope that the Ubuntu Women's group can provide similar support within the Ubuntu community."
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Finally, bad news about Kongoni GNU/Linux, an interesting Slackware-based distribution with options to compile packages from source and some nice system configuration and package management tools. A. J. Venter, the distribution's founder and lead developer, announced the project's end last week: "I had enough faith to give it a try and hope to build a community that would create something together which we all could love. Unfortunately, it seems that this is not the way it happened. On virtually every question posted in the forums, I posted the only response. So I was tech support, developer and everything - all for a non-paying hobby project. Unfortunately - that is not a long term viable situation. So, with a lot of sadness and after a very long thinking, I have decided to withdraw from my position as leader of this project. If somebody else wishes to take over, please contact me - and I will do everything in my power to get you set up. Perhaps a new vision and a different leader can attract those coders I couldn't." It's interesting to note that this is the second time A. J. Venter started and discontinued a Linux distribution; the first one was OpenLab GNU/Linux (also based on Slackware). Third time lucky, perhaps?
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Better-safe-than-sorry asks: What do you recommend for backups? Methods, scripts, best practices?
DistroWatch answers: There are all sorts of different approaches for backing up data and what works best for you will differ a bit depending on your knowledge and the resources available to you. People who have 1.5 TB of music will want a different approach than the person who has 100 MB of pictures and text documents. Rather than dig into various methods (and there are a lot), I'm going to offer some general tips that I've found to be helpful. Please keep in mind, these are just tips for people at home; while some may also be helpful for businesses, that's a whole different topic.
When you start looking at the specific method you want to use, I recommend examining rsync if you're going to copy your data over a network. On the other hand, if you're copying data to a local USB drive, you might want to simply use something like find or tar to create your archive. For people who want to dive deeper into the hows and whys of backups, there's a good article which goes into more detail.
- Whatever method you use to backup your files, make sure it works. This probably sounds obvious, but I've run into situations where people thought they had daily backups of a server and it turned out there wasn't any useful data in the archives. So make sure you can restore data from your backups, otherwise your spare copy is just a paperweight. Pretend to lose a file every so often and see how much effort it takes to get your data back. Test your archives on a regular basis to make sure when an emergency strikes, there won't be any (extra) problems.
- Always make more than one backup. Anything important enough to backup is important enough to backup twice. I've been through scary times where my backup has been corrupted and the second (or third) backup came through for me. It's also a good idea to store your backups in separate areas. One in your home for easy access and another which is kept at a different location, like a friend's house. The idea being that if one building burns down, your important files are somewhere else.
- Following on the heels of #2, if you're keeping backups in different locations or sending data over a network, you may want to encrypt the files. The GNU Privacy Assistant (GPA) is an excellent tool for file encryption, as is GPG. For users who run a KDE desktop, KGpg and the Dolphin file browser make encryption and decryption point-and-click easy. Also, if your archives are password protected, make sure the password is something you will remember. You may have to use it six months, a year or even six years from now.
- Keep it simple. I've seen some really complex, powerful scripts out there that ultimately just copied a file and placed it in a zip archive. Make sure whatever method you use to backup and restore data is as simple as possible. If your home machine's backup system uses a page-long script, pipes, half a dozen command line programs and three passwords (or keys), you're doing it wrong. A good backup solution is simple, portable and easy to debug.
- One point to consider is how automated you want your backup process to be. For example, do you want to manually burn your important files to CDs on a regular basis, or do you want your files sent to a remote server via a cron job? And, going back to tip #1, if your process is automated, check up on it regularly to make sure it's really working. I once discovered an important server hadn't completed its backup procedure for three iterations because of a minor change to another machine on the network. That's not a good feeling.
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Backups are for wimps. Real men upload their data to an FTP site and have everyone else mirror it. (Linus Torvalds)
|Released Last Week
Andrew Gillis has announced the release of VortexBox 1.1, a Fedora-based distribution that easily converts an unused computer into an audio server or jukebox: "VortexBox 1.1 released. I am very excited about this release of VortexBox. We are moving from being just a media server to a music player as well. This version of VortexBox includes VortexBox Player. You can use your internal sound card or external USB DAC to play your music. VortexBox Player supports music recorded at up to 24-bit / 192 kHz. This is higher then most players support including the Sonos and SqueezeBox line of hardware players. We have also added a lot of other great features requested by the VortexBox, SqueezeBox, and Sonos communities: VortexBox Player as the default software player; covers are added to all MP3 files for easy use in iTunes and XBMC; option to have MP3 or AAC mirror updated after ripping." Here is the full release announcement.
Marco Ghirlanda has announced the release of ArtistX 0.8, an Ubuntu-based live DVD containing a large number of free multimedia software packages for audio, graphics, and video production: "ArtistX 0.8 includes the 2.6.28 Linux kernel, GNOME 2.26 and KDE 4.2, Compiz Fusion and about 2,500 free multimedia software packages, nearly everything that exists for the GNU/Linux operating system. Main features: based on Ubuntu 9.04, Compiz Fusion for 3D desktop effects; most of Ubuntu multimedia packages. A partial list of software included on the DVD: 2D graphics software - GIMP, Inkscape, Nip2, Krita, CinePaint, Synfig, Rawstudio, Skencil, Hugin; 3D graphics software - Blender, Wings3D, KPovModeler + POV-Ray 3.6, K3D; video software - Cinelerra, Kino, Open Movie Editor, Kdenlive, PiTiVi, Avidemux, DeVeDe...." Visit the project's home page to read the release announcement.
ArtistX 0.8 - an Ubuntu-based distribution for digital artists
(full image size: 889kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Absolute Linux 13.0.7, 13.0.8, 13.0.9
Paul Sherman has announced the release of Absolute Linux 13.0.8, a lightweight, Slackware-based desktop distribution featuring the IceWM window manager and solid multimedia playback support: "Absolute Linux 13.0.8 released. Multimedia installer fix. Only a few packages changed, but the multimedia installer was not properly updated and this could lead to some confusion and lack of functionality for users who chose to install the media enhancements. Kernel bump - version 220.127.116.11 and all January Slackware updates. Lots of updates to synchronize with Slackware -current and some multimedia scripts updated to keep pace with new kernel device nomenclature. It turned out a lot less painful than expected. Brasero (CD burning) is back, DVDStyler added. Aside from kernel, a lot of multimedia capabilities were updated and tweaked." Visit the project's home page to read the brief release announcement.
Toutou Linux 4.3.1
Toutou Linux is a variant of Puppy Linux designed for French-speaking users. The project's latest version of the fast, lightweight distribution is 4.3.1, released earlier today. Compared to Puppy Linux 4.3.1, the new Toutou comes with a new "golden" desktop theme, the network is set up automatically during boot (for wireless networks one only needs to set any security parameters), and there is a new menu grouping all the assistants and utilities. The distribution now has three separate menus listing programs, services and sessions - all of these are modifiable via a new menu manager. Other changes include user-friendly extensions to context menus, new tool for automatic loading of selected partitions, a tool for launching applications at start-up, and new functionality of the Pmount tool which can now mount partitions in either read-only mode or in read/write mode. There is more, please read the complete release notes (in French) for further details.
Toutou Linux 4.3.1 - a Puppy-based distribution for French speakers
(full image size: 677kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
eBox Platform 1.4
eBox Technologies has announced the release of eBox Platform 1.4, an Ubuntu-based server distribution that offers easy and efficient computer network administration for small and medium-size businesses: "eBox Technologies is proud to announce the general availability of eBox Platform 1.4. Besides incorporating a range of new features and improvements, the eBox Platform 1.4 release features SaaS options, such as remote backup and low-cost VoIP calls to mobile phones and land-lines. Two of the most important new features of eBox Platform 1.4 include support for master-slave LDAP servers and Microsoft Windows Active Directory synchronization. Moreover, new features include new webmail module, PPPoE support, Multi-WAN support for DHCP and PPPoE configured gateways, new Samba (3.4.5) version, dynamic DNS updates via DHCP and new RADIUS module." Read the full press release for more details.
Gibraltar Firewall 3.0
Rene Mayrhofer has announced the release of Gibraltar Firewall 3.0, a major new version of the Debian-based firewall distribution: "This is a major new release, updating into kernel 2.6 and Debian 5.0 'Lenny' as base system and splitting the web interface into front-end and back-end parts in preparation of centralized management tools. Full support for IPv6, in both routing, firewall rules, and application level proxies/daemons, including automatic 6to4 and static 6in4 tunnels. Adding globally reachable IPv6 addresses to a local network is now a simple procedure by simply enabling an automatic 6to4 tunnel with almost no manual configuration. Policy routing setup via web interface with support for multiple default-routes in fail-over as well as load-balancing configurations." Read the detailed changelog for a full list of changes and new features.
Linux Mint 8 "KDE"
Clement Lefebvre has announced the release of Linux Mint 8 "KDE" edition: "The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 8 'Helena' KDE Community edition. The KDE Community edition aims to provide a version of Linux Mint which uses the KDE desktop. This edition is based on Kubuntu 9.10, Linux 2.6.31, X.Org 7.4 and it comes with the latest KDE 4.3.4 and Amarok 2.2.1. Featured improvements in this release: OEM installation, possibility to ignore updates, multiple selection in Software Manager. Software Manager's graphical interface is now easier to use and it shows more content. The layout was changed and by putting the screenshots in the corner of the application you can now see more software and more reviews at once. You don't need to manually refresh Software Manager any more. When new data is available you get notified by Update Manager." See the release announcement, release notes and what's new pages for further details.
Linux Mint 8 "KDE" - a Mint variant for those who prefer the KDE desktop
(full image size: 561kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Parsix GNU/Linux 3.0r2
Alan Baghumian has released a revised build of Parsix GNU/Linux 3.0, a desktop distribution and live CD based on Debian's testing branch: "The second update version of Parsix GNU/Linux 3.0 'Kev' is available for immediate download. This version merges all security, bug-fix and feature updates published in the APT repositories. It also fixes remaining minor bugs such as mounting an NTFS formatted drive in live mode and X.Org configuration error and represents a new experimental USB installer that enables users to run Parsix from USB keys and pen drives. Parsix 'Kev' brings GNOME 2.26.3, a brand new kernel based on Linux 18.104.22.168 with extra patches and drivers, updated installer system that supports separate /home partition, ext4 file system and GRUB 2." Here is the brief release announcement.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
January 2010 DistroWatch.com donation: Qimo 4 Kids receives US$250.00|
We are happy to announce that the recipient of the January 2010 DistroWatch.com donation is Qimo 4 Kids, an Ubuntu-based distribution designed for very young children. It receives US$250.00 in cash.
According to the project's own description, "Qimo is a desktop operating system designed for kids. Based on the open source Ubuntu desktop, Qimo comes pre-installed with educational games for children aged 3 and up. Qimo's interface has been designed to be intuitive and easy to use, providing large icons for all installed games, so that even the youngest users have no trouble selecting the activity they want." The development of Qimo 4 Kids is sponsored by QuinnCo, a computer recycling charity, founded by Michael and Michelle Hall. It is designed to help special-needs and low-income children by giving them fully-functional computer systems. The developers recently announced that work had started on a new version of Qimo 4 Kids.
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$23,378 to various open-source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NDISwrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250)
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New distributions added to waiting list
- Linpais. Linpais is an Ubuntu-based distribution with many extra packages, games and other software added to the basic Ubuntu installation.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 15 February 2010.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • DistroWatch donation (by Sunshine at 2010-02-08 11:39:53 GMT from China) |
What is the mechanism on deciding which open source projects to be awarded? How is that done? Votes or what?
Any transparency? Please advise.
2 • Mediaplayer (by Rastafari on 2010-02-08 11:40:01 GMT from Netherlands)
And another great issue of DW! Thanks!
I have a question: I would like to build my own mediaplayer like the Eminent EM7080, http://www.eminent-online.com/producten_stap2.php?dt=1&ps=00907080&pg=14&sg=23
I should be able to listen to music (direct using the soundcard and streaming), download torrents and watch movies. It should be an DLNA server as wel. Is there a distro that does this, or can anyone point me to a good howto on this subject?
3 • DistroWatch donation (by Johannes on 2010-02-08 12:45:08 GMT from Germany)
@Sunshine: Good question. Probably one can suggest any project to be awarded the donation.
But remember: it's really a great thing that Distrowatch makes this donation! Nothing forces them to do it. So kudos to DW, for everything, and for the donation project :-)
4 • Donation (by Dave on 2010-02-08 12:45:54 GMT from United States)
I would like to personally congratulate quimo for kids and thank ladislav for the wonderful donation.You made a great choice(as always!)
My 6 year old has been using quimo for quite a while now since I learned about it here almost two years ago.She loves it and has no problem navigating playing games and web browsing.
5 • Kongoni (by ltjmax at 2010-02-08 13:11:43 GMT from Canada)
It's a sad thing for Kongoni... The idea to easily install binary or source packages was interesting. Kongoni only got 1 or 2 official release I think. The leader should have continue his work to release the most bug free possible release. Than, people would have test it with more patience. Well, this is my point of view. Sorry for my english
6 • #2 (by Notorik on 2010-02-08 13:15:29 GMT from United States)
I just set one up with Ubuntu Karmic and Sonos. It streams music from the internet, hard drive, and radio to different "zones" in your house. Really quite cool.
7 • backup tools (by Forlux at 2010-02-08 13:22:16 GMT from Portugal)
Well, it's really nice to know that every once a week we'll find for sure something interesting to read about Linux and Open Source. Thanks to DWW for that.
Important as it is, the backup recommends at this week's "Q&A" was a good peek.
As there are many backup tools, some of them quite complex to use, witch one would you suggest for the less experimented home users?
8 • #7 backup tool (by anticapitalista on 2010-02-08 13:45:29 GMT from Greece)
I suggest luckybackup.
9 • Backup tool (by Jesse on 2010-02-08 13:58:00 GMT from Canada)
@7: It varies depending on how much data you have. If it's a fairly small about of data (under 4GB), a typical home user is probably best off just burning the information to a DVD. If you have more than that, the most simple solution would be to get an external USB drive and copy your files to that. With those solutions there's no scheduling, no scripting. It's all just drag-n-drop. For my home clients who have a lot of data to deal with, I recommend they get two external hard drives. They keep one drive at home and another at a remote location. It's safe and very easy for them.
10 • backup tools (by Tony Brijeski on 2010-02-08 14:03:28 GMT from United States)
If you are running debian or ubuntu you can use remastersys which allows you to make a live backup of your system.
I originally wrote it over 2 years ago but it keeps evolving with the newer versions of debian and ubuntu.
I'm about to put out an update for ubuntu lucid(10.04) and debian squeeze.
Just read the website very carefully as there are different versions depending on whether you are using debian or ubuntu and also separate versions for the different versions of ubuntu and debian.
11 • Backup Tools (by Bananna Republican on 2010-02-08 14:11:11 GMT from United States)
real men just upload their harddrives to the internet and let the world back it up
12 • Backup Confession (by Gene Venable on 2010-02-08 14:11:12 GMT from United States)
I just don't have that much important information to back up, so I don't do formal backups. Important information goes into Yahoo Mail notes or into Evernote. I have copies of programs so I can always reinstall them. Since I use Yahoo Mail for messages, a crash doesn't wipe out my email.
I haven't had a hard drive go out since something like the 1980s. Viruses stay away from me even in Windows.
I figure that setting up a system from scratch is just another learning experience, a chance to set things up differently than I did last time.
13 • Backups (by ZBREAKER at 2010-02-08 14:12:20 GMT from United States)
My ultimate backup strategy?
Clonezilla and an external harddrive. Never let me down yet.
14 • Re: #1 Donations (by Leo at 2010-02-08 14:52:40 GMT from United States)
Transparency? Did yo usay transparency? Ladislav donates money from his pocket. You question transpires quite a bit of self entitlement and ungratefulness.
Sure, let's time I donate _my_ money to a charity, I'll try to contact you and make sure _you_ are happy.
What a world!
And FWIW, you can contact DWW and propose Open Source projects to receive Ladislav's donation. He is _that_ nice of a guy.
15 • ref#7, backup or clone (by Redondo at 2010-02-08 14:56:06 GMT from United States)
Clonezilla, partclone, or FSArchiver. Three great cloning devices.
For backup are you referring to syncing or full backup. For full backup use one of the avobe programs.
16 • yeah right (by meh at 2010-02-08 14:57:31 GMT from United States)
Backups are for wimps. Real men upload their data to an FTP site and have everyone else mirror it. (Linus Torvalds)
Real men don't break existing hardware support nearly every major version of their software.
17 • No subject (by forest at 2010-02-08 14:59:16 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref the back up issue.
In addition to the hard drive back ups, mention was made of optical discs. It is recognised mechanical devices do not last indefinitely, but, due consideration should be given to the aging of DVD/CDs too.
Should anyone elect to go down the back-up DVD route, it is worth considering how long this media will last, as in the physical aspect, aka shelf life.
I had read some technical paper a while back that posited the " service life" of optical media might be only be 5 years; consequently it is a useful exercise to re burn a back-up disc on a regular basis.
I could not find that article, but got this instead:
The comments seem to extend this estimate by a large margin. However one commentator found that some of his discs did not work totally satis after only 4/5 years.
The only caveat with "accelerated" testing is that by definition this exercise is atypical of real life situations...and the burning is performed on "fresh" media.
It might be different trying to burn stuff to aging media, dunno (?)
It "may" be worth buying very expensive media or just generic stuff...no firm conclusions had been reached.
So, when planning your long term back-ups a prudent person would make multiple back-ups and store them in different locations and consider re burning optical discs every so many years.
(Obviously, in time other storage mediums will evolve, so it will probably be a case of storing what amounts to a collection of ones and zeros on whatever media that presents itself.)
Some may have read that google discovered total secrecy in the "cloud" cannot be guaranteed (references to China for those arsed to look). So, whilst your data may be preserved intact for centuries, lol, it may not be "private".
18 • WARNING: BSD disk partitioning (by zygmunt on 2010-02-08 15:13:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
To warn all users of UNIX style partitioning and save many DESTRUCTIVE INSTALLS. BSDs require a (msdos) PRIMARY disk partition to slice up. FURTHER, any following (msdos) EXTENDED partitions on the disk are effectively obliterated because of the incompatible partitioning schemes. MAXIMUM FOUR PRIMARY PARTITIONS will work on such schemes. I believe this still to be true from bitter experience requiring (successful) partition recovery using gpart along with a fdisk -[ul] listing. I, of course, stand to be humbly corrected in the light of superior/later knowledge.
19 • #14 (by Albert Hall at 2010-02-08 15:13:33 GMT from United States)
I agree with you but what is all_the_underscoring_about? _? _? _?
20 • No subject (by forest at 2010-02-08 15:21:26 GMT from United Kingdom)
Re back ups using optical media.
A further thought is that if you are on good terms with your local library, at uni or in town, you might pick their brains on how they manage their optical digital storage media.
I imagine a popular lending library is one of the harshest environments in existence for discs. There can be few folk who have not rented a DVD only to discover the previous borrower used the disc as a frisbee, for scraping paint off the woodwork or a beermat.
21 • optical discs (by Jesse on 2010-02-08 15:25:54 GMT from Canada)
I'm not sure about the typical shelf life of a CD/DVD, but I do have some pressed discs lying around that are at least twelve years or more old and they still work fine. I've found back-up CDs which are six or seven years old and they also work without problems. So maybe optical media wears out, but so far I haven't found any that have expired due to age.
22 • Re #21 etc (by Glenn on 2010-02-08 15:47:38 GMT from Canada)
I have the same experience as Jesse. I have CDs going back to 1999 that are still useable.
For backups I maintain copies of my data on my internal network, I use CloneZilla periodically and dump my systm to an external HDD.
Came in handy once/ I'm one of those who forever experiments and blows up his system, network, etc. from time to time.
I'm a bit paranoid about using the Cloud for the reasons that Forest alludes to. If it is on the net, it is there for the world to view.
I look on the Cloud as a Cumulo-Nimbus type and when flying one avoids them.
I like Anticapitalistas suggestion and will give it a try.
Flames go here (______________________________). I roast coffee with them :-)
23 • Duct tape (by Barnabyh at 2010-02-08 15:57:37 GMT from United Kingdom)
I have 30 year old vinyl records and they still work fine :) Ages ago, I think around 1999, one company offered an adapter that let you use your VCR for tape backup.
I eventually forgot about and never bought it 'cos money was tight then, but it sounded like a nifty idea. What is the expected shelf-life of tape backups? Anybody know if that gadget is still around or if it got consigned to history together with said VCR's?
24 • Backups (by Patrick on 2010-02-08 16:25:29 GMT from United States)
Maybe I have always used cheap media, but I've never had much luck with the longevity of CD's I have burned. Most of them seem to be unreadable after 5 years of so. In my experience, backups to hard drives have seemed the most reliable.
For the files I value the most (my family pictures), I use an off-site backup system with automatic backup reminder. It is called my mom. :) She will mercilessly prod me if I haven's sent her any new pictures of her grandchild I might have taken. Hence, I am forced to do regular off-site backups to her computer. :)
25 • VCR backup (by gord-s at 2010-02-08 16:28:56 GMT from United Kingdom)
Backer, was the VCR-tape backup system, an ISA card modem (on the modulator/demodulator sense, not the more common telecom sense of the word) blew a modulated signal to the SCART input of the VCR. There was even a independent linux `driver` for it, IIRC. All now unuseable due to ISA obsolecence.
Re:- optical backup media - having managed a backup of over 20000 disks, our DVDs had a 4% failure rate at burntime, with MD5-ing. A further 6 or 7% failed in the first 12 months after burn. This was using "pro" media and "archival quality" (simplified:non-greasy/gritty/sticky) storage cases/trays/boxes. Run-of-the-mill media and storage slips/trays gave a little more failure rate, 10% over time ISTR. We all wore gloves ;) My advice - don't use DVD or CD for any important data as part of a "system" but it's fine for occasional use.
ZFS is our preferred "method" nowadays, replacing tape completely.
26 • @26 (by Jesse at 2010-02-08 16:37:51 GMT from Canada)
Leo, why were you irritated by the initial post? All he asked was how the donating system worked. He didn't complain or criticise it at all.
And, to answer that first question, I think Ladislav takes suggestions from anyone who wants to nominate a project for donation. If the project accepts donations and seems to serve a useful purpose, then chances are, it'll get a donation.
27 • RE: #19 (by badger51 on 2010-02-08 16:44:54 GMT from United States)
Those of us who have used text-based systems for a long time (aka "oldtimers"), where there is no bold, italic, or underline, tend to use an underscore before and after a word to "underline" it, providing emphasis.
28 • Re:26 (by Leo at 2010-02-08 17:19:33 GMT from United States)
Jesse. In the context of raising money for donations, lack of transparency usually means wrongdoing.
Oh well, the important thing is that Ladislav (and hence DW) is a very healthy community member: no anti Linux ads on the site, and a fraction of the revenue back to the community.
Thank you for that!
29 • re #18 BSD disk partitioning (by PCBASuser at 2010-02-08 17:21:55 GMT from Canada)
BSD requires one of the primary disk partitions to boot from. After that, you can place other files on any other primary or extended partition. You are not restricted to slicing up the primary partition. The existing extended partitions are not automatically destroyed.
If you are in that situation where you are sharing BSD with some other existing OS, just be sure you know what you are doing first, as with any multi-install set-up. Otherwise, you can blow up existing partitions. Of course, the safest is to dedicate a drive and/or machine.
30 • Source Forge (by Jesse at 2010-02-08 17:32:27 GMT from Canada)
A few weeks ago there was some talk on here about Source Forge blocking access to certain countries in compliance with USA law. Source Forge has recently announced that they have made changes which will allow project admins to decided whether their projects should be made available to those countries. Source Forge no longer has a blanket ban preventing people from accessing the site.
31 • Q&A - mis-typed URL (by Pearson at 2010-02-08 17:39:29 GMT from United States)
The link to the "good article" is to "ttp:" not "http".
32 • #29 BSD (by zygmunt on 2010-02-08 17:44:27 GMT from United Kingdom)
OK That's very interesting. I don't suppose that you could point me to documentation relating to a multi-install set-up. I must withdraw the exact context of my warning but note that a default install to a primary partition with existing extended partitions lead me into the position referred to, fortunately recoverable. (RTFM in more detail I think) Thank you that's very useful.
33 • BSD partitioning (by Scott on 2010-02-08 18:41:24 GMT from United States)
For what it's worth---on a netbook, where I have several systems, I have one large extended partition which can be divided up for various Linux installs. At the end, I have a primary partition.
When installing BSD, I use that partition. The BSD partitioner (and, I assume, PCBSD's as well) should show some logical and primary partitions. Just be sure to use the primary one, in the first partitioning screen, and you should be good. (After that is a second screen, where you can set your various slices, i.e, BSD partitions--however, all slices will be in the primary partition that you chose in the earlier screen.)
Note that the FreeBSD handbook has information on it, including screenshots.
(@sygmunt, though this is FreeBSD, rather than PCBSD, that page and the pages before it should be useful. Haven't looked at the PCBSD docs in a couple of years, so can't help with that one.)
34 • @#32 BSD partitioning (by PCBSDuser at 2010-02-08 19:08:43 GMT from Canada)
Scott's advice is very good. For myself, I have a two drive system. One drive has Windows XP, the second drive has two versions of PC-BSD and Debian in three primary partitions, and a bunch of extended partitions containing Ubuntu (formerly Zenwalk, and before that Linux from Scratch), Linux swap, BSD data filesystem, and FAT32 for exchange.
I prefer to avoid any OS's partitioning step on install. Instead, I preset things with a live CD like SystemRescueCD to get it the way I want. Then just tell the OS's installer where to put the new OS. That way I can usually avoid the OS installer's limitations or assumptions. I find it safer.
35 • #33 extended gratitude. (by zygmunt on 2010-02-08 19:12:26 GMT from United Kingdom)
OK That solves the problem of partitions after the BSD partitions being misinterpreted. My "Linux" extended partitions were placed after the primaries and the Linux kernel was without UFS support. How does the "SCSI" partition limit interpret the maximum partition limit in that case? fdisk is going to see up to 8 divisions in the final primary. I appreciate your pragmatic solution; it would not have occurred to me to place the extended partition before the final primary. Thanks.
36 • backup (by trumpcouptimmy on 2010-02-08 19:13:30 GMT from United States)
What I'd really like to see is a live cd distro that backs up a file system (Windos or Linux) and provides for selective restore and a user selected compression amount (the more compression, the higher the run time). I think it is important to run a backup of a system when it isn't running. If there is something out there that eludes me, please enlighten me.
37 • bsd disklabel (by hab on 2010-02-08 19:22:01 GMT from Canada)
For info see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BSD_disklabel
Pretty basic really.
38 • BSD Partitioning (by Scott on 2010-02-08 19:27:34 GMT from United States)
Note that I have *no* idea if that makes a difference (putting the primary partition at the end.) I strongly suspect it would work just as well at the beginning or between two extended partitions. My main point agrees with PCBASuser, that you just have to have the primary partition. Putting it at the end, however, does make it less likely that you'll confuse it with anything else.
So, the important point here isn't that it goes at the end, just that you have it, and that you're sure it won't overlap anything else. I do something similar to what others have mentioned, pre partition before installation. Or, with whatever I install first, I only give it X amount of space, on a logical partition, then, once it's installed, use its fdisk or cfdisk to take care of the rest of the disk.
39 • @36: Backup a file system (by Jesse at 2010-02-08 19:56:35 GMT from Canada)
Trumpcouptimmy, I think the tool you're looking for is Clonezilla Live. It's a live CD which will backup either partitions or the entire drive. It allows for various levels of compression and will backup to another disk or send the data over the network via SSH or samba shares.
It has worked really well for me in the past.
40 • #38 2 x extended? (by zygmunt on 2010-02-08 20:25:05 GMT from United Kingdom)
Forgive me but I don't understand what you mean by 2 extended partitions. Of the 4 possible primary petitions only ONE partition can be extended and can contain many so called "logical volumes".. Nor do I see your point about overlap. It was clear that the partitions occupied their own unique space since I also pre-partitioned prior to installation. Formatting each partition (slice) used each distribution's native formatter. You do not state the order of your disk partitions but I suspect the scheme I first used was similar to the one you advocate, but with which I was unlucky to have a problem. I can't be sure now. My point really was that I had a problem with the extended partitions even though BSD was installed to a primary.
41 • Backups (by Digital Vampire at 2010-02-08 20:45:19 GMT from United States)
The link to the "Good Article" is broken in the article. I believe it's just missing an 'h' before the link name in http://blah blah...heres the link.
42 • partitioning (by Scott on 2010-02-08 20:45:51 GMT from United States)
Sorry, my bad for not being clear. Hrrm, I have no idea if you could have two extended partitions, though I don't see why it wouldn't work. As for overlapping, that was more or less hyperbole.
I understand your point--again, sorry if it wasn't clear. (Although I wasn't positive from your first post, but it's clear now.)
Soooo, I guess my point is that in *my* experience, at least, I haven't run into the issue you faced.
Sorry for any confusion. At any rate, as mentioned above, the handbook does what seems to be a pretty good guide about BSDs partitioning and sharing drives.
43 • #36: use Ghost for Linux (by Niki Kovacs on 2010-02-08 20:48:02 GMT from France)
"What I'd really like to see is a live cd distro that backs up a file system (Windos or Linux) and provides for selective restore and a user selected compression amount (the more compression, the higher the run time)."
#36: Ghost for Linux does exactly that. I'm an IT professional (100% GNU/Linux), and I use it all the time.
44 • BSD (by Anonymous at 2010-02-08 21:49:58 GMT from Canada)
Interesting read. Does BSD have any advantages over Linux? Let say for web browsing, email, picture editing, music listening, the regular stuff.
45 • No subject (by Gene Venable on 2010-02-08 22:11:42 GMT from United States)
I like comment #44 -- good question! I suggest that any distro review have a "claim to fame" area, in which the reviewer summarizes the APPEAL of a given distro. Like for Ubuntu it would be user friendly, many users. For Mint it would be preinstalled codexes. For Puppy it would be small size, compatibility with old computers, enthusiastic community. For Debian it would be speed and large number of applications. Etc.
46 • Backup to VCR (by Barnabyh at 2010-02-08 22:29:36 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks gord-s, that was insightful.
47 • Backups. A simple tool : Draksnapshot (by glyj at 2010-02-08 22:53:53 GMT from France)
There is one article in the french mandriva wiki:
(use Google to translate):
48 • Kongoni (by Notorik on 2010-02-08 22:58:36 GMT from United States)
This is very sad. Kongoni was actually bringing something different to the Linux community. In a world of endless Ubuntu re-spins and "vanity" distros(?) it is a real shame to see this happen. You will be missed Kongoni.
49 • No subject (by Anonymous at 2010-02-08 23:09:44 GMT from Canada)
Leaving aside the whole BSD/Linux comparison (that's too large a subject, and been hashed over ad infinitume elsewhere), and just looking at PCBSD vis-a-vis other distros, it's appeal to me is that it occupies the niche vacated by Xandros and similar distros. It's an exceptionally easy to install and use distro. A lot of thought has gone into the installation. And likewise the software packaging (PBI - pushbutton installer).
I know, the Xandros comparison does not make for a good feeling, considering where they went. But I think there is still a place for a distro that focuses on getting anyone up and running with full functionality and a minimum of technical knowledge beforehand.
And the thing is, once you are there, you can go as far as you want, because the complete FreeBSD system is there waiting to be explored - or not; it's your choice.
Since it is FreeBSD, you get as a bonus a coherent kernel/userland, the stability that comes from a well-managed release engineering process, and goodies that come with a less restrictive licence, such as ZFS.
50 • PCBSD and Awesome Gnome Icon Theme For Linux! (by Jacky at 2010-02-08 23:28:32 GMT from United States)
Great Distrowatch weekly, Kris Moore is awesome! I Just found this new gnome icon theme... and it totally beats any i've used so far! especially Ubuntu's !
51 • Comparison of BSDs (by RollMeAway at 2010-02-08 23:46:19 GMT from United States)
For those not fed up with the BSD talk:
One thing I discovered, is openBSD does not allow binaries.
That means NO nvidia nor other proprietary drivers are available.
Unless you are interested in running servers, I see no reason to pursue BSDs.
Curiosity, as in my case, is an exception.
I'm also curious about the Debian project to use a FreeBSD kernel.
I hope it fairs better than the HURD project did.
52 • BSDs (by Jesse at 2010-02-09 01:16:16 GMT from Canada)
I can't really speak for the BSDs in general, but I think PC-BSD is very comparable to the big name Linux distros. On the surface they have more in common than not. Further down, I found a few important differences. BSD doesn't seem to have as much hardware support as Linux does. On the other hand, FreeBSD and PC-BSD have great documentation compared to most Linux projects. I felt (and this is subjective) that FreeBSD and its family have a greater focus on stability compared to most Linux distros, which seem to be more focused on new features.
As someone else pointed out, it's a huge topic, and experiences will vary. But those are the things which jump out at me when I cross over into BSD territory.
53 • BSDs (by Scott on 2010-02-09 02:21:28 GMT from United States)
I have a rather superficial and of course, subjective little page on the differences--I wrote it at a time when there were several questions about BSD on the Fedora forums. If anyone's interested...
Note that my own personal prejudice is towards the BSDs, so keep that in mind.
54 • FreeBSD (by merlin at 2010-02-09 02:51:07 GMT from Canada)
I tried FreeBSD a few years ago and if it wasn't for the fact that no good Flash alternative was available, I'd probably still be running a FreeBSD desktop. It was *very* fast, and extremely easy to configure too. Now I'm stuck on Debian though and that's where ay'm stayin'. :-)
Real men don't have any data to backup!
55 • BSD vs Linux (by Linux or BSD? at 2010-02-09 02:54:54 GMT from United States)
I have used both and conclude that some things are better in Linux, flash, java, and other minor things. But also conclude that FreeBSD which is the one I have used is very robust, and works great. I can compare it to Slackware since they are very similar in their approaches. The exception is the ports system vs. the tgz/txz packages that slackware uses. I have used Fedora, OpenSUSE and others too, they are easier to work with than Slackware and FreeBSD, but I have to confess that I really like FreeBSD I have to configure things in /etc/rc.? to add sound, to enable cd burning, also can use a command burncd, PCBSD does dumb down many of these things, configuring the Network, setting up X and configuring it. IT does many of the handholding for you. It is great in its approach, but the user does not know what goes on behind the scences :(, Slackware takes care of that for Linux and pristine FreeBSD take care of that for BSD.
I have not tried OpenBSD/NetBSD they don't provide images with complete desktops and one has to do things through the network right? That is why GNOBSD looked fun, but again to dumb down an otherwise educational event?
Which one is better of the two? I like both. I can't give a straight answer :( sorry.
56 • FreeBSD & Linux (by ozonehole at 2010-02-09 03:49:55 GMT from Taiwan)
I'm currently an Ubuntu user. It's been a few years now since I ran FreeBSD, so the following may be out-of-date.
My impression of FreeBSD was that it was very fast and stable. I also was impressed by the helpful and friendly FreeBSD community (unlike the hostile OpenBSD community). The developers seemed very willing to listen to user feedback and make changes. Each new release of FBSD had many pleasant surprises. There were a few ugly bugs though, but hopefully these have been stamped out.
FreeBSD did suffer from a few weaknesses. Like other posters mentioned, hardware support was iffy - I especially had trouble getting it to run on my laptop. Setting up and configuring the system was a chore, though I gather PC-BSD has addressed many of those issues. Example: at the time I was using it, there was no GUI tool for configuring the PF firewall (Linux's iptables is a breeze to configure using tools like Guarddog or Firestarter). As a result, I found setting up a firewall to be a big chore on all the BSDs - does anyone know if that's changed?
One other issue: there was a long-standing bug with FreeBSD making invalid partition table entries unless it was the sole operating system on the hard disk. This was known as the "hard disk geometry bug." Does anyone know if that's been fixed? It was a real deterrent for people who wanted to install multiple operating systems on the same hard disk.
Overall though, I have very positive things to say about FreeBSD, and if I wasn't using Linux already, FBSD would be my next choice.
57 • RE: BSD (by Landor at 2010-02-09 04:29:44 GMT from Canada)
There's one key point mentioned here already but I have to say is why I will say Linux is inferior to BSD is the fact that BSD builds/controls the kernel and the userland. In my opinion this is exactly why a BSD system is far more robust and one of the minor failings of Linux.
I also think that's one of the reasons why we don't see the leaps and bounds in hardware adaptation in BSD that we see in Linux. It's the overall effort involved in maintaining the two that's a factor. That may not be accurate since it's pure personal speculation.
If a person can get beyond some of the small issues regarding hardware and a few applications, like flash for instance, more than likely they'll have a far more pleasant long term experience using FreeBSD over Linux.
Anyone know if there's any work going on to port gnash to BSD?
Keep your stick on the ice...
58 • penSUSE 11.3 Milestone (by sanjay on 2010-02-09 04:51:08 GMT from India)
The first openSUSE 11.3 Milestone is here. This is the first step toward the next openSUSE release. The most important goal of this first milestone is to test the build interactions
between newly added features in openSUSE Factory, also known as “get the snapshot to build”. It is in no way feature complete or ready for daily usage.
read the rest at
59 • Re:56 Guarddog? (by Mike at 2010-02-09 05:04:17 GMT from United States)
I thought Guarddog hadn't been updated since 2007, is it still maintained? I use Alien Bob's easy firewall generator myself but I seem to remember being uneasy about using a program that wasn't actively maintained.
60 • BSD firewalls/pf GUIs (by gord-s at 2010-02-09 06:41:15 GMT from United Kingdom)
I appreciate you're talking about host-based BSD firewalls, but:-
PFsense provides the perimeter firewall at a surprising amount sites, I know several that do 1Gbs routed to 3 or 4 ports 24/7 with no DDoS problems on PCI-X hardware. The GUI is excellent or complex configs, you can group netblocks into groups and use them with an alias.
61 • backups (by Reuben at 2010-02-09 10:00:46 GMT from United States)
The thing that really scares me about simply using rsync, is what if I overwrite a perfectly good backup with a corrupted original?
62 • FreeBSD and Linux (by Jesse at 2010-02-09 13:13:33 GMT from Canada)
Something take has come up here in several posts is that Flash doesn't work on FreeBSD/PC-BSD. This was true a while back, but is no longer the case. The current version of PC-BSD runs Flash without any problems.
63 • Re:61 (by Leo at 2010-02-09 13:19:33 GMT from United States)
Good point. The only way to avoid that is with a versioned solution:
There have been versioning systems forever in Linux, but mostly for source control (CVS, subversion, git, etc). These can be used. But I think there are specific backup solutions that use versioning in Linx (I remember a thread in kubuntuforums.net).
Maybe this will put you in track for your search?
64 • @62 PC-BSD and flash (by stuckinoregon on 2010-02-09 14:11:08 GMT from United States)
Are you sure that's not running in the linux compatibility layer? It has been working there for a while, but nothing truly native yet, that I know of.
65 • #62 (by Notorik at 2010-02-09 14:44:20 GMT from United States)
It is still a hassle to get Flash on DragonFly BSD.
"Unfortunately, a Flash plugin is not natively available for DragonFlyBSD. When you want to watch Flash sites, you must install Linux versions of Firefox and the Flash player to run under emulation."
66 • @61 rsync backups (by Patrick on 2010-02-09 15:09:38 GMT from United States)
To avoid the problem you mention, I've been using the system described here with great success:
Based on how you set up your script, you can keep as many snapshots as you want and they will only take up the disk space of one full snapshot plus the difference between the snapshots. But at the same time, each snapshot can be read as a full backup image. So it can look like you're having much more data stuffed on the hard drive than the size of your hard drive. Links are an awesome feature of *nix style file systems. :)
67 • Linpais (by Fernando on 2010-02-09 15:16:18 GMT from United States)
I downloaded Linpais and have been using it for several days. It has a very nice interface and comes loaded with the necessary applications and script for games. The Linpais website has a very straightforward information regarding the software being use in Linpais and access to a varety of wallpaper for its distribution.
I have been using Linux for quite sometimes and I have to say that I am impressed with Linpais. I think Distrowatch needs to look at this distribution, speed up its process of review and approve it. I think Linux users are going to love Linpais.
68 • @64: Flash (by Jesse at 2010-02-09 17:26:57 GMT from Canada)
Actually I am sure Flash is using the Linux compatibility to run on FreeBSD. But the point is, if you install PC-BSD you have Flash running without any tweaking or hassle. The performance is just as good (or bad), in my experience, running Flash on BSD or on Linux.
69 • BSD's and stuff (by davemc on 2010-02-09 18:11:32 GMT from United States)
When Torvalds commented a while back about the BSD community security devs a bunch of monkeys, I think he was probably right on the mark, as he always is. You gotta love that guy, the father of our beloved Linux.
70 • New release announcement (by Forlux at 2010-02-09 18:51:14 GMT from Portugal)
Paldo a Swiss GNU/Linux distribution, announced today the release of their 1.21 version.
Congratulations to Paldo, a great Linux distribution.
71 • Backups @ 66 (by M on 2010-02-09 19:50:30 GMT from Australia)
Very close to my technique in concept.
I use a FreeNAS system with ZFS that takes snapshots hourly,daily, weekly and monthly.
It clones its current snapshot to a NAS box.
All my important files rsync hourly, static stuff daily.
Everything is on LVM so that I can snapshot before backup.
72 • Qimo 4 kids (by Samuel on 2010-02-09 21:18:53 GMT from Italy)
I have known of the existence of Qimo 4 kids after reading the above. Tested live CD and have liked it. I suspect some adults will use it as well, as it happens with other things made for kids.
73 • paldo (by subg at 2010-02-10 00:57:31 GMT from United States)
Still using it after more than a year - I find it fast, stable, with a very current rolling release. Gives a taste of the command line, but not too much.
74 • backup (by leenSS at 2010-02-10 03:18:32 GMT from United States)
rdiff-backup does incremental backup. I use it for all backup jobs.
75 • Yet another Slackware-derived distro - fluxflux (by gnomic at 2010-02-10 05:17:31 GMT from New Zealand)
There was some mention last week of the various Slackware derivatives - one that wasn't mentioned as far as I could see is fluxflux. It has a nice look (imho) and the developers are responsive to queries. Still using Slackware 12 at present I believe but with plans afoot for 13 as base. Worth a look for those who can't resist collecting them all :-) and I think could well serve as a distro for everyday use. Offers an alternate desktop tailored for netbook use.
76 • Status of GNOBSD? (by fraktil on 2010-02-10 11:18:38 GMT from United States)
Please keep us posted concerning the fate of GNOBSD!
To share what I've gathered so far, torrent trackers are available! http://gnobsd.sri-dev.de/
77 • Yoper and KDE 4 (by Todd R. at 2010-02-10 16:13:48 GMT from United States)
Durn it, no more pretty red Yoper start button; they copped out and went to the generic "K" of KDE.
Meanwhile, I'm very glad to see ongoing development of this once cutting edge distribution. Good on ya, Yoper devs.
78 • AntiX (by Notorik on 2010-02-10 16:56:24 GMT from United States)
This is strange when I do a search on this website for AntiX, Mepis comes up. There is no separate listing for AntiX. I wonder why this could be? Even when I do a search for distros for older computers it isn't listed. Either way it would be nice to have a seperate listing for people who are looking for an excellent smaller distro that works great on older machines
79 • Versioning backup systems (by gord-s at 2010-02-10 17:41:16 GMT from United Kingdom)
....because anything less is just a copy ;)
For simple ones, look into -- backup-manager, rdiff-back, updervish, rdiff-backup, rsnapshot.
At mid-size/level one is backuppc.
Big ones that scale to Uber-Enterprise level are: Amanda, Bacula.
Personally, I normally go for ZFS raid-Z and clone it overnight to a SAN or NAS, especially for big stuff.
Otherwise, backupmanager has a single (reasonably simple) config file and covers my smaller needs nicely; it backs up to Amazon S3, ftp, scp, ssh, rsync, SVN, pipes to stdout or just writes to a local filesystem (or, for that matter, any mounted remote filesystem. Oh, and optical too, if you want to do it the hard (and riskier) way.
Be _sure_ you have the correct software tools and hardware to decompress and decrypt your backups in, say, 5-10 years form now, no matter what happens to the "vendor" - haha.
80 • Dervish, not updervish, typo - sorry (by gord-s at 2010-02-10 17:42:51 GMT from United Kingdom)
Dervish is closely related to updervish, for sysadmins fat fingers :)
81 • Backup... (by Vukota at 2010-02-10 19:40:24 GMT from United States)
I found that none of the mentioned methods are what normal person needs. I found for personal backup "dar" is way to go. While there was KDar it was the easiest and best method for backing up on external HD.
In order to backup one system and restore it on the same or another system "dar" is the best utility.
- It saves all file/user permissions (regardless if drive is ext2/3/4/fat32/ntfs).
- It does incremental backups
- You can restore any version of any specific file or folder with or without file/owner permissions
- It does compression
- It doesn't matter if it restores files on the same or a different computer
- It stores backup/restore preferences that are easy to change
- Handles correctly files with special characters
Other mentioned approaches are lacking some of the mentioned features and/or are very hard to use with those usage scenarios. For external HD that is NTFS formated this is definitely way to go. Only problem was that DarGui (or whatever GUI application was called) was buggy in the past.
82 • PCBSD is definitely recommended (by aximus at 2010-02-10 21:17:57 GMT from Turkey)
PCBSD 8 (release candidate) is the best KDE 4 OS I've used to date; it definitely looks "gorgeous". As far as I tried, it is also very stable and has nice performance. It has ZFS and supports ext3 (by default it mounts ext3 disks as ext2, read-only; didn't try mounting read-write yet). Flash works even better than on Linux (compared to the distros I've tried until now).
Don't be fooled by PCBSD 8's current "release candidate" title, it is more stable than a lot of Linux distros which claim to be "relase versions".
83 • Re: 82 (by Vukota at 2010-02-10 21:40:08 GMT from United States)
What is the current status of the Flash support in PCBSD (or FreeBSD)? I don't recall hearing about native support?
Until there is such, PCBSD 8 can't be "the best KDE 4 OS".
84 • PC BSD (by Onederer on 2010-02-10 22:09:43 GMT from United States)
I had tried PC-BSD. I found it difficult to use, and when I went to their forum for advice and help, I was more or less flamed for not knowing what I was talking about. I was told that if I think that PC-BSD is too hard, to go and find another distribution. I was told that they didn't believe that things shouldn't be easy, because that's only for whimps. They succeeded in chasing me away from their version of BSD.
So I did find another distribution. It was Desktop-BSD (sadly, now defunct). Terrific graphics, very easy wireless installation application, not much help needed to setup or use. It was a charm to use a BSD that was laptop friendly. I only wish that someone would pick up this distribution and continue developing it. It was very well thought out, and a lot of attention was paid to details. It just runs well! The updates are taken from Free-BSD, so it never gets old. But perhaps the graphics would once in a while need updates to keep up with the changing parameters of operating systems and developments.
Any takers to pick and revive this well polished Desktop-BSD?
85 • No subject (by forest at 2010-02-10 22:32:44 GMT from United Kingdom)
For those following the ChromeOS development:
86 • No subject (by forest at 2010-02-10 22:48:07 GMT from United Kingdom)
And, just when you thought it was safe to get back into the water...we learn there are even more Uxx clones, still the "news" comes from Linux-mag, so that's all right then:
87 • Backup - rsync & partimage (by rglk at 2010-02-11 00:38:02 GMT from Germany)
The backup strategy I've settled on is simple and fast. Once a week, or more often than that, I use rsync to backup my /home partition to an external USB HDD. It takes about 5 min to sync the 30 GB on my /home partition, and it's running in the background. In addition, once a month or so, just before I do my full system upgrade (I'm using Arch Linux which is on a rolling release system), I backup both my Linux system partition (that contains everything in / except for /home) and my /home partition to an external USB HDD, making partition images with partimage. For that I'm using the PartedMagic live CD. Takes about 25 min to backup the two partitions. I always keep the last and next-to-last partition images, and then replace the next-to-last images with the current ones.
In three years of using this system, I've never lost data. Twice I wrecked my Arch install but I got it all back, from the stored partition images. Note that I always have two backups of my /home partition (rsync and partimage). I use no data compression when I make the partition images - the images are big but making them is fast. Moreover, I can mount these images and then access all the files at will, just as I can with the rsync copies.
88 • #87 clean your closet... (by Anonymous at 2010-02-11 03:34:33 GMT from United States)
You have 30 gig on your "/home" partition. What do you have in there or should I say what don't you have in there !
I have 10gig for my entire linux OS .
89 • SuSe 11.3 Best of the best KDE (by John Wayne at 2010-02-11 03:44:04 GMT from United States)
Remember Chris Smart? Well he thinks suse 11.3 will blow the socks off anything kubuntu/fedora/mandriva has to offer. Not in his own words, but if he thinks suse 11.3 is the best, what does that leave for the rest.
Read It and Weep:
90 • Re: #83 (by aximus at 2010-02-11 05:45:49 GMT from Turkey)
"What is the current status of the Flash support in PCBSD (or FreeBSD)? I don't recall hearing about native support? Until there is such, PCBSD 8 can't be "the best KDE 4 OS"."
Last time I checked, Flash wasn't a part of KDE. Also, why should I care whether Flash is natively supported or not; the important thing is, it works and it works great.
91 • No subject (by forest at 2010-02-11 09:09:31 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref free as free, for those interested see here, a bit of info on Firefogg, for transcoding video files into Ogg:
92 • No subject (by forest at 2010-02-11 09:19:39 GMT from United Kingdom)
Forgot to include this, for those who believed Ogg was only audio:
Strictly speaking it is Ogg Theora for video:
93 • RE:84, Strange, That's not my Experience. (by Eddie Wilson on 2010-02-11 12:54:03 GMT from United States)
Even tho I don't use PC-BSD at the present I have used it in the recent past and found it to be very easy to setup and use. It is different than linux so there is a learning curve. As far as the forums goes I've never had any problems there either. Everyone I had contact with was always very helpful. Very strange indeed that you had that experience. It would be nice to know the whole story. Anyway if you want a good BSD distro then go to FreeBSD. I would forget about Desktop-BSD and let it rest in peace.
94 • PC-BSD (by Jesse at 2010-02-11 16:11:36 GMT from Canada)
I'm not trying to diminish the experiences had by others, but I (like Eddie) had very pleasant interactions with the PC-BSD community. Maybe others weren't so lucky, but I found the community, the developers and the product to be enjoyable. I'm sorry to hear others haven't had the same.
95 • No subject (by forest at 2010-02-11 17:03:45 GMT from United Kingdom)
Quite a busy day on google alerts...
This is for Ksplice, updates without the reboot, see here:
96 • ref @86 - back into the water... (by forlux at 2010-02-11 18:46:19 GMT from Portugal)
Ladislav has mentioned before that he's receptive to requests from DWW readers for a particular distro review, providing they mention why that distro is worth the reader's attention. That's what we can find at the article linked by Forest. A very good example that there is a world of Linux wise life, not provided by most x-buntus, that can be taken to produce valuable, creative, useful and unique derivatives of it, instead of derivatives based in user's programs and settings copy/paste.
97 • RE: 88 & 90 (by Landor at 2010-02-11 20:34:56 GMT from Canada)
I have a 250 gig partition for home. I do a lot with videos, virtualbox, working on personal builds of distributions, etc. I even find that kind of space lacking. I just did a recent clean-up of it all and moved it off the drive it was on since I'm switching my main distribution again for a bit.
I'd still like to hope someone is working on gnash for FreeBSD/PC-BSD. I'd like to see more support for the project. It's extremely worthwhile.
For those that have asked before, or that are interested I'm going to be using Fedora 12, or maybe 13/Rawhide, with a Libre kernel, it's about all it takes to make Fedora totally free other than some of their documentation which I have no problem with.
Keep your stick on the ice...
98 • Re 90 & 97 (by Vukota at 2010-02-11 22:35:16 GMT from United States)
Depends what you consider "distro"? KDE 4 from PC-BSD or PC-BSD?
I hope someone is working hard on gnash too. Last time I was checking it, it had long way to go.
99 • No subject (by forest at 2010-02-11 23:32:56 GMT from United Kingdom)
Crikey, it has been a busy day for alerts, if anyone was grappling with Grub2 this may be of interest:
There's another page linked off this one.
100 • RE:97 (by Anonymous at 2010-02-12 01:00:13 GMT from United States)
That must surely take a while to fsck.
Is that one whole partition or is it made of smaller ones?
I try to split up my tree into many smaller partitions per directory
so that it doesn't spend a lot of time with fsck at bootup.
That is where LVM really works for me.
Here's my example:
/dev/hda1 on /boot type ext3 (rw)
/dev/mapper/0-homefs on /home type ext3 (rw)
/dev/mapper/0-roothd on /root type ext3 (rw)
/dev/mapper/0-tmpfs on /tmp type ext3 (rw)
/dev/mapper/1-usrfs on /usr type ext3 (rw)
/dev/mapper/1-ulibfs on /usr/lib type ext3 (rw)
/dev/mapper/1-ulclfs on /usr/local type ext3 (rw)
/dev/mapper/1-ushrfs on /usr/share type ext3 (rw)
/dev/mapper/1-ushdcf on /usr/share/doc type ext3 (rw)
/dev/mapper/1-usgmfs on /usr/share/games type ext3 (rw)
/dev/mapper/1-usrcfs on /usr/src type ext3 (rw)
/dev/mapper/0-varfs on /var type ext3 (rw)
The only downfall is, if your labels are over 8 characters long,
then mount will wrap each such line, causing more scrolling.
So far the longest wait has been two or maybe three partitions needing fsck at the same boot. Usually only one needs fsck if any at all.
Far less time than to fsck the whole drive or major partition.
101 • More stuff on BSD's (by Barnabyh at 2010-02-12 01:29:28 GMT from United Kingdom)
and some unsavoury comments about Obsd and the leader.
102 • IKbfTk (by on 2010-02-12 01:34:31 GMT from Europe)
Comment deleted (no content).
103 • Big home (by Jesse at 2010-02-12 01:38:58 GMT from Canada)
250GB isn't that unusual for a home partition. I have a home partition on one machine that's around 300GB. A few friends have 500GB or 1TB partitions on their machines. They rarely require any checking.... though it does take a while to do a full backup.
104 • Huge homes (by Barnabyh at 2010-02-12 02:49:01 GMT from United Kingdom)
Interesting, I thought /home was mainly for user settings. Why not use separate partitions for data, movies, music, torrents whatever and access them via symlink from home? Much cleaner in my opinion.
105 • XaDxmBm (by aDxmBm on 2010-02-12 02:53:20 GMT from Europe)
Comment deleted (no content).
106 • Ref#104 (by John Wayne at 2010-02-12 04:16:44 GMT from United States)
I agree with you. I would never have /home any bigger than it has to be. It would make more sense to have all that data on another separate partition or even anther HD.
107 • No subject (by forest at 2010-02-12 06:34:46 GMT from United Kingdom)
That link "led" to the comment section following and it just developed into a "he-said-she-said" session so who knows where the truth lies...assuming we can be bothered anyway.
I dunno know about the megalomaniacal narcissist epithet per se but there is such a creature as a "productive narcissist", perhaps that was the term intended? You certainly don't need me to tell you what that is.
108 • PC-BSD & CF Remix 12.2+ Chromium/Chrome ? (by D1Knight at 2010-02-12 07:26:55 GMT from United States)
Jesse, excellent interview with Kris Moore. I definitely will give PC-BSD 8.0 a spin, when released. If I remember the last version I had used was 7.0 or 7.1
The only little niggle I had with V7.0/7.1 was the wireless somehow was weakened (not full strength), but connected without a hitch. I am sure V8.0 shall be better. I am looking forward to it.
The Community Fedora Remix 12.2 looks like a very useful remix, with nice extras. The touchpad tapping is enabled by default, along with Nautilus in browser mode (easy to change, but bugged me not setup by default). Also comes with other Desktop Environments, another plus.
Question: Is the Chromium browser less or not at all a "Spy Tool" compared to the Chrome browser?
Have a great week/end, everyone. :)
109 • Donation suggestions (by D1Knight at 2010-02-12 07:56:24 GMT from United States)
Donation suggestions IMHO
1) PC-BSD? (I could not find a place for, if they are set up for donations.)
2) GnoBSD (Hopefully SR will continue on. :) )
3) #!CrunchBang Linux (A very nice and lite OS (OpenBox) based on Ubuntu. Well worth a look/try.)
110 • Re #18 - BSD disk partitioning (by rglk at 2010-02-12 10:01:49 GMT from Germany)
Found this in the "PC-BSD Guide":
Be aware that BSD operating systems, and hence PC-BSD, only recognise primary partitions and consider any logical partitions as a whole primary partition. Trying to install on a logical partition will convert your extended partition into a primary partition and erase all logical partitions of your system. PC-BSD can be installed on any primary partition; it doesn't necessarily have to be on the first one.
111 • Huge homes (by Barnabyh at 2010-02-12 12:32:28 GMT from United Kingdom)
Interesting, I thought /home was mainly for user settings. Why not use separate partitions for data, movies, music, torrents whatever and access them via symlink from home? Much cleaner in my opinion.
112 • Home, home on the drive (by Jesse at 2010-02-12 12:58:01 GMT from Canada)
I guess from my way of thinking, the home directory is for anything specific to the users. So settings, private files.... anything that doesn't need to be shared would go in /home/user. Actually, to keep drive layout simple, I like to have a separate shared folder on the home partition. so shared files can go in /home/shared/. Using extra partitions when directory structure will do just as well seems like over-kill to my mind.
113 • 111, Double-take (by Barnabyh at 2010-02-12 13:22:25 GMT from United Kingdom)
Sorry about the double posting, must have still been in the cache from last night or something? Weird. Hope Ladislav can delete my post 111 and this one.
114 • Home (by kilgoretrout on 2010-02-12 14:20:35 GMT from United States)
Having separate data, movies, music, partition(s) makes running multiple distros much easier IMHO. That way every distro you install will have ready access to the common data sources you would normally want. If you are just running one distro, having one large home partition is probably easier; at least it's less cluttered. Partitioning is just data organization and how you do that will depend on your needs and personal preferences. There's no one right answer.
115 • sdfsdf sfsdf sf sd fsdt (by Petovichs on 2010-02-12 16:14:02 GMT from Russian Federation)
Comment deleted (spam).
116 • RE #110 (by zygmunt on 2010-02-12 17:20:14 GMT from United Kingdom)
I took particular care installing BSD on a multiboot machine because I was aware of the possible pitfalls only to be bitten by either my mistake (never can be sure!) or unexpected
behaviour, neither of which I am accustomed to. I thought I had obeyed the rules. On a disk with three primary partitions(pp1,pp2,pp3) followed by an extended partition(ep4), I installed BSD to pp3 when ep4 became "corrupted". I did not install to a former "logical partition" within an extended partition (pp4 in this case), but it seemed that the result on the third primary partition was a similar outcome to having installed on an extended partition logical volume.
117 • @115 (by Henning Melgaard on 2010-02-12 21:19:32 GMT from Denmark)
I totally agree :-)
118 • Home Symlinks (by Anonymous at 2010-02-13 00:31:25 GMT from United States)
On a multi-user system, where each user has their own files;
how would symlinking to other directories or partitions help?
Also, when one downloads say DVD images, where would the download appear?
I can see keeping one's own home directory 'clean' and using subdirectories for one's personal data and stuff,etc.
But symlinking to somewhere totally different?
That sounds like NAS or Cloud computing.
I guess one's purpose for using a computer would dictate where best to keep one's data.
I am interested in any examples of symlinking out home/user directories.
Thanks in advance...
119 • Linux Security (by Anonymous at 2010-02-13 00:44:43 GMT from United States)
This old link:
Do all or most distros leave plain-cleartext user names and passwords in ram?
I know Debian which I use does.
I also know only root should be able to view memory to see them.
Point is: Is there any distros which do not leave them lying around in ram?
Following the article, it is very simple to recover or get a logged in user's password.
You actually get it straight up plain in clear text.
Since I am using Lenny, I consider this a current problem or perhaps feature.
I thought, as I read, that passwords were important pieces of security info.
Not to be echoed back on screen and not to have simply sitting in ram.
Type in your password, get authenticated and then the system no longer should keep a plaintext version around any longer after that.
This does not seem to be the current case, as I grep'ed and found all of my user and root passwords (if they had logged on).
Interesting to say the least.
120 • Passwords @119 (by Jesse at 2010-02-13 01:25:58 GMT from Canada)
I'm not sure if any Linux distros remove passwords from memory after use. I haven't heard of any. But, as you already pointed out, to get the password on a running system, you'd have to be root. If you're root already, there isn't much reason to go looking for your users' passwords. I read an article a while back about how people could extract RAM chips from a machine and read the memory contents, but again, if someone has the ability to do that, you have more pressing problems.
121 • Installing PC-BSD (by rglk at 2010-02-13 01:50:29 GMT from Germany)
Reading the interview with PC-BSD's lead developer got me intrigued, and I installed this OS on an external USB HHD today, using the 3.2 GB live/install DVD for v. 8.0 RC. The install was easy and went smoothly. It took 25 minutes, including installing practical all of the optional extra components.
In its partitioning section, the installer was very clear about which drives and partitions were available. I opted for "Auto Partition" and picked the external drive's first partition "da0s1" which up until then had served as a data exchange partition that was formatted to fat32. I also opted not to install the PC-BSD bootloader since I wanted to continue to control multi-booting 3 different Linux distros plus PC-BSD off this drive via a preexisting GRUB bootloader that had been installed in the drive's MBR by Linux Mint7 KDE.
Hence, I had to add a boot entry for PC-BSD to Mint's /boot/grub/menu.lst. It turned out that practically the only stanza that would work was
title PCBSD 8.0 RC
So far, so good. The next several hours after the install I spent trying to get WLAN to work in PC-BSD on this Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop which contains a internal Broadcom bcm4311 chipset. It was a real bitch trying to get the proprietary Broadcom firmware microcodes in place that are needed by the native b43 driver, without as yet having a functioning internet connection in this PC-BSD install (I've got no wired ethernet connection).
I gave up, for the time being, and as an alternative tried to get a Netgear WG111 v.2 USB wlan adapter with the Realtek RTL 8187L chipset to work. With that thing, I'm almost there (I have to use WPA2 encryption). But in the course of this struggle a few things became apparent: hardware support in BSD isn't quite what it is in Linux, and forum/mail-list support in PC/Free-BSD is also a lot thinner than it is in many Linux distros, presumably because of the smaller number of people working with the former OS's.
In any case, first impressions: PC-BSD 8.0 with KDE4 looks like a very well-crafted OS, sporting perhaps the nicest-looking and nicest-working KDE4 I've seen so far. I get a sense that it might well be a good alternative to Linux. It would be great if someone really knowledgeable would do an in-depth comparison between PC-BSD and Arch Linux which has been my distro of choice for the past 3 years and which I think is very good, as good as Linux can be.
122 • RE:120 (by Anonymous at 2010-02-13 03:11:34 GMT from United States)
I guess that's why we don't see core dumps like we did back in the 90's.
I used to run early Slackware around v1.x kernels.
It used to dump core for various reasons.
Now a days I'm sure core dumps are disabled by default.
Perhaps the issue here is if an attacker somehow got a dump,
then they wouldn't have to try and crack any passwords found in that dump.
I'm sure that the only passwords in ram are those typed in a console to login or su, etc.
123 • Backup (by Untitled at 2010-02-13 10:56:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
As for backups I like the idea of remote backup. This is due to the fact that I believe that the greatest risk for my data, living in London, is being stolen, and if somebody breaks in and takes the laptop, will they be kind enough to leave behind external hard drives? I'm not sure about that.
So I've tried proprietary solutions like SpiderOak and CrashPlan, but both weren't fully to my liking. Also tried Back In Time which was nice, but it only backs-up to a local drive and mounting an ftp server to a folder make the thing almost useless.
The I found Time Drive which gives me exactly what I was looking for: enter my server details, folder and choose between ftp or ssh (or others) and use my host as my backup server as well. It does incremental backups which are versioned so you can go back to a previous state of your data easily and it also lets you encrypt your data if you are so inclined.
To top it all up it's free in both senses of the word. It is, however, still a beta software but the core functions of backing up and restoring files work very well.
Oh, and it also lets you back up to a local drive or Amazon cloud. If you're interested check it out: http://www.oak-tree.us/blog/index.php/science-and-technology/time-drive
(and no, I'm not the developer and I don't get paid for doing PR)
124 • No subject (by forest at 2010-02-13 11:31:06 GMT from United Kingdom)
Good gen about the back up schemes. The only fly in the ointment is that IF you backup to an online "service", and you need to backup significant chunks then you would need a pretty speedy uplink rate...and a reliable connection.
In the rural areas of UK (and I don't suppose for a moment UK is unique in this aspect) even the downlink rate is slow, let alone the uplink part, so that is not such a practical solution.
So, it might be a prudent suggestion to backup to the "cloud", assuming of course you are happy the service can offer brilliant security...backup to several hard discs (not in RAID) and keep at least one hard drive off the premises...and backup onto optical media.
Send the optical media to a friend or relation or put them in a deposit box in the vaults of your local bank.
One topic not covered in any detail is the possibility of "pre-encrypting" your data before you send it into cyberspace, using an app local to YOUR machine(s). So even if someone got their hands on any data, etc etc etc.
Certainly this does appear to be a bit belt'n'braces AND gaffer (gaffa) tape but one day you might just be very glad you did...
Lastly, owing to the mention of auto backup...I would do an "inventory" every now and again to re-assure yourself the data WAS being backup as you hoped.
125 • The small linux out there (by Chase Brennon at 2010-02-13 13:17:33 GMT from United States)
Is there a linux which will run flash and the multimedia for game sites like Pogo but can work on a desk top old computer with 512 megabytes of RAM and an FX5200 graphics card and a .9Mhz Intel cpu?
126 • @ Forest (124) (by Untitled at 2010-02-13 13:41:27 GMT from United Kingdom)
Unfortunately, short of being able to have an hard drive implanted into us, no backup solution is perfect by itself. I do have a hard drive with copies of my important files at home in case something happens to my hard drive, but not living in a rural area I think my chances of having my laptop (and external hard drives) stolen are greater than my hard disk failing, so this my strategy. But just to comment to some of your comments:
1. People with slow connections and a lot of data can start by backing up a small set of their files and then add some more over time until they have their full set backed up thus minimising problems of disconnections.
2. CrashPlan (whose client is free as in beer for home users) allow you to set up the client on two computers at two different locations and then each one uses the other as the backup server, but I didn't like CrashPlan because it was too heavy on resources for my liking. Actually, with Time Drive you can do a similar thing. Set an SSH/SFTP server on your machine and on your friend's machine and use each other as a server. If you have a large initial set just make the initial backup to an external hard drive and put it on your friend's machine and you'll only have to transfer incremental data over the net.
3. Time Drive allows you to encrypt your before uploading it. Some other solutions, I think mostly the proprietary ones, also do that, but others require you to do it separately. Time Drive also allow you to transfer your data over sftp. It's the only one that I tried that does.
One other comment, backing up to my host gives me extra peace of mind since I know they backup my files on a weekly basis. So I have three back up sets (external HD, hosting Server, and backup of hosting server made by hosting company) and I don't even consider myself paranoid.
127 • thank you for the good post (by re on 2010-02-13 13:42:49 GMT from Germany)
Comment deleted (spam).
128 • Comic relief for the weekend (by Untitled at 2010-02-13 13:46:34 GMT from United Kingdom)
Not directly related to Linux (although it might explain why some people find Linux, and other unfamiliar technologies, so hard), a tech website called ReadWriteWeb published an article about Facebook's new login features which for a while ranked as #1 in Google when searching for "Facebook Login".
The result? Thousands Facebook customers who get to Facebook by searching "Facebook Login" who couldn't even realise they were not on Facebook and who left desperate/angry comments about not being able to log-in and tend to their Farmville farms.
It's hillarious and sad at the same time.
129 • No subject (by forest at 2010-02-13 15:30:28 GMT from United Kingdom)
As you say you would have to start somewhere, even at a slow rate.
Naturally, ahem, you would have been backing up on a hard drive anyway...lol.
Eh? I am thrilled there is a Rolex distro...I must find time to watch it...
Is this connected with #127 in any way? Cos every time i try to log onto the Rolex distro website I keep getting ads about wristwatches...
I JUST WANNA FIND OUT ABOUT THE ROLEX DISTRO!
Kindly sort out this terrible mess...it is ain't broke why fix it...you peepul! Really.
130 • @125: Small distro (by Jesse at 2010-02-13 15:42:24 GMT from Canada)
Many Linux distros will still run in 512MB of RAM, though sometimes with a performance hit. If you want a small distro that'll give lots of speed with minimal resources, try SliTaz.
131 • In Response to Anonymous in 118 (by Barnabyh at 2010-02-13 15:43:26 GMT from United Kingdom)
I symlink all directories with larger files that can and indeed should be accessible to all or most users. In my case there are only two users anyway, but some people have several accounts for different tasks they are doing, like programming, email, online banking, with different permissions.
Of course if you don't want a user to have access to these you would not create a symlink, and you can further manage subdirectories with file and directory permissions. All my torrents are for example set up to dl to a directory on a data partition, where only my account has access rights. Same goes for virtual machines.
Many distros and Gnome now I think create subfolders for Pictures, Movies etc. and these can grow very large with all holiday pictures and videos and are 'outsourced' here in this way. Documents remain in the private home folder. This way my home partition can remain between one and five GB.
That's how I do it, you don't have to.
132 • review of Linux From Scratch (by Anonymous at 2010-02-13 17:46:19 GMT from Canada)
Unfortunately my experience of linux books is that they are by developers for developers.
If you read, as an example, any linux forum you will see posts saying "push x," to correct some problem.
The next post says that he tried and it didn't work.
This, superficially, may be attributed to the complexity of desktop computers,but may also be a result of a particular mind set.
So..does LFS provide solutions that a beginner can use successfully when he follows the text but the machine does not respond a it was supposed to?
Or is this too much to ask?
133 • LFS (by Jesse at 2010-02-13 18:24:45 GMT from Canada)
Desktop computer systems are complex. If you go to any forum, whether it be for Linux, BSD, Windows, OS X or some other operating system, you're going to find posts asking for help, some suggestions and things which did or didn't work. It's the nature of the beast.
Linux From Scratch probably isn't a place where a beginner wants to start. A beginner should probably try their luck with more novice-friendly distributions first and then, if they want, try LFS.
134 • SPAM in DistroWatch (by NippoNoob at 2010-02-13 23:44:33 GMT from Brazil)
Comment deleted (off topic).
135 • KdEWEYx (by KdEWEYx on 2010-02-14 00:16:23 GMT from Europe)
Comment deleted (no content).
136 • re #125 - lightweight Linux for older machine (by gnomic at 2010-02-14 00:33:17 GMT from New Zealand)
Hmmm, .9Mhz, it's going to be a struggle - maybe 900MHz is what we're looking at? No idea what a gaming site like Pogo requires, but in general you could give Puppy Linux a run on the machine with a live CD which will give you an idea of what works and what doesn't. Or a Puppy derivative like MacPup or Lighthouse Pup. Then there's Crunchbang which is based on Ubuntu. Recently released is LinuxMint-8 Fluxbox edition. There are others, but any of the ones mentioned will give you an idea whether your box will do what you want.
137 • RE:125 (by Anonymous at 2010-02-14 01:50:28 GMT from United States)
Years ago I have used Firefox with Adobe(Macromedia) flash on a 250Mhz cpu.
This was run with Debian stable manually configured with Window Maker.
That means no Gnome or KDE stuff, just Window Maker as the desktop.
As the years went by flash got slower with newer versions.
Then I picked up faster hardware (1.6Ghz Athalon), but kept my GeForce4 MX4000 video card with Nvidia drivers.
This showed me that the newer flash needed better hardware.
Recently newer flashes (from Adobe) are needing even better hardware.
I can only assume this is because of encrypted content from sites like Hulu.
Now with current said hardware viewing Hulu TV shows at full 1280x1024 is choppy at best. With older falshes it was lots smoother, but now Hulu won't play with the older flashes, says I must have XXX version to watch anything.
This is just like having to upgrade the hardware to run a new O.S., it shouldn't have to happen, but it does.
i don't need better hardware, but the latest flash requirements of streaming sites tell me otherwise. Upgrade or don't watch, that simple.
Hope this helps more than confuses.
138 • 125 (by Landor at 2010-02-14 05:33:29 GMT from Canada)
If you really wanted to run a super low-end machine with java and flash for say pogo or yahoo games, then if you know about some distributions already I'd say install something like Slitaz. I think even Vector Linux might work if you're CPU is fast enough (I don't think you were correct with the .9 ). That was quite an overstatement of the obvious on my part. Anything would work if your cpu was fast enough..lol Anyway, 512 meg of ram is a lot when it comes to Linux. The point is, if we had an accurate number for your cpu we'd be able to help better.
Keep your stick on the ice...
139 • .9 Intel cpu (by Chase B. at 2010-02-14 12:33:40 GMT from United States)
Two models of the Gateway are here, one with a 1.2 and one with a .9 cpu, both early Intels.
Those machines sit there with not much to do, just gathering dust. We try linux on both now and then thinking we've found one that will breathe life into them but I'm afraid the old machine talk about small linux distros is talking about RAM but not about processors in that range.
People post in here and on other forums about the distro they found, but upon further questions it turns out they do not use the machines with flash, java or other programs such as those.
Vector linux dragged so badly we could not use it.
It is not a big deal here, more modern machines are getting cheaper. We just accepted the challenge to not give or throw those two old guys out the door and to get them running; Linux became the subject because Windows is too big.
140 • No subject (by forest at 2010-02-14 15:26:09 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref the hardware issue topic above, this just in. It seems that the very latest hard drives may pose a bit of a challenge for Linux at this "moment in time". Obviously the devs at large will be aware (of this) and busily coding away to resolve any conflicts.
Anyway, see here:
141 • No subject (by Kevin C. at 2010-02-14 15:58:31 GMT from United States)
I would guess that 0.9 GHz is what was intended (or 900 MHz). Probably a P3 900 MHz to be exact, which would match up with the pedigree of the other hardware specified.
142 • RE:139 (by Anonymous at 2010-02-14 21:43:58 GMT from United States)
To have decent flash playback:
You need to have decent GL video drivers.
If your video is not up for GL graphics accelleration, it won't do flash any good.
I have used flash with 250Mhz CPU and 128M RAM using Nvidia's drivers.
These were loaded directly using aptitude with Debian's non-free repsitories.
No mucking about, recompiling, etc. just select and install; at least for me.
I also stay away from the 'REAL' desktops like KDE,GNOME,XFCE since
they seem to slow my machine down, making Windows look good in comparison.
Recent Linux kernels also help a lot. I have noticed many times now when the CPU usage is very high (>95%) that my desktop (WindowMaker) is still very responsive. Obviously they are doing something right for this improvement.
I have become so accustomed to clicking and not waiting that when I try a REAL desktop it seems like foreever to click and use things.
Although there must be a trade-off for not waiting.
143 • 0.9 (by Barnabyh at 2010-02-14 21:45:58 GMT from United Kingdom)
900 Mhz is plenty even for flash, just not in full-screen. I've got a machine like that. Good with Slackware or Debian squeeze with xfce, better with Zenwalk. With the last one snappy actually.
144 • @125 The small Linux out there (by PCBSDuser at 2010-02-14 21:52:59 GMT from Canada)
I recommend Zenwalk. Fast, clean, well-documented, easy-to-use, and complete with many packages available for installation from games to system admin to development.
145 • #130 - those old 'puters (by gnomic at 2010-02-14 22:03:25 GMT from New Zealand)
Just as it is impossible to square the circle or get a quart into a pint pot, it is not possible to make a CPU from the early years of this century do tasks that even vastly more powerful machines struggle to perform. Broadly speaking Linux is Linux, ie there is no implementation which is going to be radically more powerful than the rest. Flash is a resource hog and what it does is computationally intensive, one of the cases where the raw power of the CPU is more important than the amount of RAM a machine has. Moreover I believe that Flash on Linux is not a great example of efficient programming. So I think your quest is probably futile. As they say, you can't get there from here. Machines of that era should still be useful for general web browsing, and tasks such as word processing.
146 • ZW 6.2 (by Chase B. at 2010-02-14 22:20:13 GMT from United States)
Last night our geek guy installed "Zenwalk" on the .9Ghz computer. It does not run real fast on the java/flash sites like www.pogo.com games but it sure runs! Nice to see it up and on the internet now.
The one I want to try is the little "Slitaz" recommended by Jesse here. Thank you for that and we'll see if tomorrow I get to do that and if so how it runs on our other "grampa" machine. ;)
147 • RE:146 (by Anonymous at 2010-02-15 04:47:27 GMT from United States)
I would also add that on older CPU's, newer flash versions really bog down.
I used to use flash 7 or 8 (Adobe), which was ok for viewing videos.
Newer flashes just killed all of the performance, brought the machine to a crawl.
When I upgraded to an Athalon CPU, the newer 9 & 10 flash worked better.
The big problem is that the streaming sites like Hulu simply won't play if an old version of flash is being used in the browser. This is bad since it stops an otherwise functional hardware combination from being usefull. (the old CPU)
Now we need bigger CPU's just to do what smaller CPU's used to do.
Since the newer flash makes the slow CPU seem like it stopped, I figure the extra processing must be added encryption to protect content. Although the newer flash did perform better on the newer hardware, so it must be written for the newer CPU's. Either way society has caused me to upgrade my box.
Spending money and time just to keep doing what I already was doing right along. The box isn't out-dated, the economy forced its' obsolescence.
It used to play full screen video just fine untill they changed the game.
If it does what you need it to, then there is no reason to up-grade it.
I don't think it really matters what distro you use if you take the time to configure and trim it properly for the job at hand, although if it is just right out of the box or CD, then I guess you are better off with less work involved.
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