| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 347, 29 March 2010
Welcome to this year's 13th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! As the first components of the brand new GNOME 2.30 start to filter through to the project's mirror servers, we are happy to bring you the latest round-up of news and features from the world of free operating systems. This week's lead story is a first-look review of Igelle, an interesting new distribution built from scratch, which includes a brief interview with its creator. In the news section, Oracle makes drastic changes to Solaris licensing, OpenSolaris 2010.03 gets delayed due to show-stopper bugs, Fedora project leader announces resignation, Ubuntu founder explains the reasons behind some of the user interface changes, and Linux Mint development team hints at some of the upcoming new features in the popular distribution. Also in this week's issue, a question and answers section that focuses on complete removal of data from hard disks and a new distribution built from ground up - Cronos Linux. All this and more in this issue of DistroWatch Weekly - happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
An introduction to Igelle 1.0
Igelle is a young distribution which first appeared with its 0.6 release about a year ago. In February of this year the Igelle developers announced the availability of version 1.0, calling it "the world's most flexible operating system." Intrigued at what appeared to be a unique and fresh approach to Linux, I decided to give the distribution a test drive. Before diving into the distro itself, I had a chance to chat with development team lead Markku Kero.
* * * * *
DW: Igelle claims to be the world's most flexible operating system, running on desktops, servers and mobile devices. Could you tell us how you designed Igelle to be flexible?
MK: When we talk about Igelle being flexible, we usually talk primarily of two things: (1) The ability to run on (and be optimized for) a variety of processors, architectures and hardware, and (2) its ability to be customized and configured to fulfil different usage scenarios and feature requirements. These were taken as design objectives from the very beginning, so we ended up with a design that is completely cross-compiled and that can be compiled with a completely customized software package selection, where each package can be configured in a way that suits the current requirement. This design allows us to look at and compile the entire operating system, composed of hundreds of components, as a single unit that we can manage and configure to a certain shape, and therefore allows us to build the same thing to act as a desktop system for the latest Intel computers, as a purpose-built embedded system for a very small ARM or MIPS board, or anything in between.
DW: According to the product's website, Igelle doesn't use KDE or GNOME but a new technology called Esther. Could you tell us why the developers chose Esther?
MK: Esther was custom-developed just for the purpose of being the Igelle desktop. We did look at all the existing desktops, including KDE and GNOME, as well as LXDE and Xfce, and there are many really cool things in all of them. But since Igelle is unique in what it aims to do and be, none of them were really a perfect fit. Esther's purpose and vision is to provide the same familiar experience across all the targeted devices from desktops, laptops through netbooks to tablets, mobile devices and phones. Of course we are not yet completely done with all that, so expect to see more exciting things in the upcoming versions of Esther.
This doesn't of course mean that Esther is an island of it's own. We share a lot in common with, especially, GNOME, LXDE and Xfce, not the least of which is the GTK+ toolkit. Through that, for example, many apps that are called GNOME-something, that are really GTK+ applications, are well at home in the Esther desktop. And we even include in the default desktop of Igelle many common apps and utilities that are included in either GNOME, LXDE and/or Xfce. But it's mixed and matched in a way that suits the purpose and philosophy of Igelle.
DW: How does Igelle handle packages and updates? Does it have its own package manager?
MK: Igelle's software management philosophy is quite different from what people may be used to with traditional Linux distributions. First of all, Igelle itself is installed as a read-only Squashfs file system that in itself is not modified at all before or after installation. So when adding additional applications, and when removing them, they too are installed as read-only file system images that are copied to a certain folder on the storage drive. This makes software management really fun and easy; it involves just copying the application file (we use the extension .sjapp) to the /apps directory on the hard drive; and uninstalling includes removing this file.
We have also included an easy-to-use compiler tool within Igelle that allows anyone to make their own sjapp application packages. This is, of course, a sort of a technical task, but does not require the user to be deeply technical and experienced with details of making and using build systems. So we're sort of trying to lower the bar to compiling software from source code and helping more people to make their own favourite packages. I also hope that this will help people to be able to keep up to the latest versions of their favourite applications, something that has been a little bit of a challenge with Linux distributions in the past. There is documentation on the Igelle web site for using sjapp to make your own packages so that those who are interested in this can get started.
So yes, Igelle has its own software that manages all these things. It can be considered the Igelle "package manager", although probably "application manager" is a term that hits closer to what it is.
DW: Igelle is a fairly new project. Now that 1.0 is complete, what does the team have planned for the future?
MK: We are just getting started. What we made available for download is Igelle DSV, the graphical desktop, version 1.0.0 for Intel-compatible PC computers. This is just one small dot on the entire matrix of the Igelle vision, which is to run everywhere, and to do everything, to put it shortly. So we'll be expanding from this, first of all to the different architectures like ARM, MIPS and PowerPC, as we have also described on the web site. At the same time we will be moving to the different scenarios, like servers, embedded systems, and mobile devices. The feedback we've received clearly confirms our own opinions in that the mobile version has proven very interesting for many. So we will definitely be coming up with something unique and exciting in this specific field.
DW: Does Igelle work with the open-source community and how can volunteers help?
MK: We are, of course, by the very nature of Igelle very deeply rooted in the open-source community, and it is very critical for us to work efficiently and productively in and with the community. I hope that we will be able to help the community on our side, as I have already seen how passionately the community has been helping Igelle in the past weeks already.
As for the ways to help, there are many. Simply working on any of the upstream projects is, in itself, already helping Igelle. But on a more Igelle-specific note, we have lately very much appreciated those who have provided their feedback on their testing Igelle on specific hardware. There have been many interesting findings we could have never seen ourselves. So just downloading, running and using Igelle and providing feedback is already a great help. This will be even more exciting as we continue to go into the complicated realm of mobile and hand-held hardware.
For those who are inclined to do development, making and compiling more applications is a great way to help. We have a decent repository of popular software available now, and we will continue to add and update more programs there through our efforts, but obviously we will need all the help we can get, since this is such a great, never-ending task. Ideally it would be great if the upstream developers themselves would make sjapp installers that we could just link to in the Igelle repository.
We will also be formalizing the open source components that we ourselves have started as actual projects so that those developers who have their interest in those things can also properly work on the code. And yet another thing that I already wish to thank some people for is for helping others in the forums. This is something that helps not only Igelle but the people using it. Taking this to the next level, providing tutorials, documentation and other helpful advice would really be helpful to everyone.
DW: As I understand it, Igelle is owned by Job and Esther Technologies. Since the operating system is free to download, how does the company hope to profit from Igelle?
Igelle DSV, the graphical desktop for personal computers, is free to download, and we really have no ambitions of making any money out of that. It's something we do for and together with the community, and honestly I just hope that people would enjoy it and that it would bring something good to their lives. We will be launching other editions, however, that will not be free to download, and we will be working with our customers to produce solutions that are optimized for their specific needs and hardware requirements. We'll provide the ability for our clients to be able to choose their hardware, and to map their requirements themselves, rather than having the software dictate it for them. Obviously we will also be providing support, trainings and a full array of professional services for all of our products. Please see our web site
for more info about these things.
DW: Where can users of Igelle's Desktop edition go to get the source code for the GPL components of the system?
The source packages for the core system (what's found on the Igelle DSV CD) open-source components are found here
. These are patched sources, so they include any modifications that were made in order to build them. So even if the file name may match with the original source tarball from upstream, the contents may not. But if you compare, you'll notice we are really not heavy on patching, the focus is mostly on changes that make the build work.
Then the source packages for the add-on applications (those that are installable through the "add and remove applications" tool) are here
. These are unpatched sources, and the build rules and any patches are in their parent directory. This includes the sjs files, so for those who wish to build their own packages, the sjs files here will probably serve as good examples.
DW: Thank you very much for taking the time to stop and talk about Igelle and your team's vision.
* * * * *
Igelle 1.0.0 "DSV" - the first impressions
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My journey into the world of Igelle started out smoothly enough. Booting off the CD gave me a quick look at the Igelle banner and then deposited me at a desktop. The desktop icons are bright, inviting and well labelled; the wallpaper has a tasteful and professional look. The icons point to documentation, the system's web browser, the "Add or Remove Applications" program, and there are shortcuts to items called "All Applications" and "My Documents". There's a menu bar running along the top of the desktop and an OS X-style launch bar at the bottom. The launcher contains buttons for common tasks, some of which are also displayed on the desktop.
On the launcher, we find a calculator, text editor, image viewer, video player, personal organizer, task manager and settings manager. The bar at the top of the desktop displays the system's clock, a button for configuring desktop effects, a compact list of open windows and a menu. The menu is short and directs the user to their files, settings, applications and the system's documentation. There's also a button for turning off the machine. When running from the CD a welcome screen is displayed, providing a little information about the live environment and offering links to further information. The welcome screen also includes a link to launch the system installer.
The installer itself is very compact. It displays a screen asking if the user would like to hand over the entire disk to Igelle, manually partition the disk or install the operating system to an existing partition. Opting to configure partitions manually launches GParted. Once a partition has been selected for the system, the installer copies its files over. At first that appears to be it, but once the user reboots the system, a first-run program requests the user provide further information. After a hostname, time zone and user account have been set up, the system reboots again.
Igelle 1.0.0 "DSV" - surfing the web and getting help
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Post-install, the first thing I noticed was that the system automatically logs in to the desktop at boot time. This doesn't appear to be an option so much as designed behaviour, which occurs regardless of how many user accounts have been created and whether or not they have passwords. Which, in my mind, makes the passwords redundant. It is possible to change which user is automatically logged in, but I have yet to find a method of making users login manually. Regular user accounts have almost complete control over their environment and application management and have the ability to use sudo to accomplish privileged tasks.
One characteristic of Igelle that took me a while to get used to is that it doesn't have an application menu in the traditional sense. Instead, it has an application container. Selecting the "All Applications" icon on the desktop brings up a window filled with program launchers. Along the top of the window are categories, allowing the user to filter the displayed programs. Out of the box, Igelle has applications for burning discs, playing video files, getting organized, text editing, browsing the web, managing archives and viewing documents. There are also tools for creating user accounts, changing the system's appearance and setting up printers.
I was hoping to be able to drag these launchers from the container to the desktop or to the launch bar, but they remained stuck in place. For users who want to access the power of the command line, there is a virtual terminal. The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) is installed, as are tools for building Igelle packages. The distribution does not come with popular media codecs or with Flash; those need to be downloaded and installed separately and there are tutorials for performing these tasks on Igelle's forum.
Igelle's application manager is an amazingly simple and user-friendly program that initially offers the user two options: add new programs to the system or remove programs from the system. Choosing to add new applications takes the user to a screen where they are shown an alphabetical list of all the available software in Igelle's repository. Each package is given a brief description, explaining in straightforward terms what the software does. Clicking the item's download link opens a separate window with a progress bar showing how much of the file has been retrieved. While the download is in progress, the user is able to return to the list and select other items.
The modular approach allows for great flexibility and avoids dependency issues. At the moment Igelle offers a small (but wide-ranging) collection of programs. Though there are less than a hundred items in the repository, I found office software, multimedia programs, image manipulation apps, WINE, an e-mail client and the Firefox web browser. Removing software is almost an identical process to adding it. A list of installed applications is displayed to the user and items can be removed by clicking a button and confirming the action. Each installed package is a single file in the /apps directory and software can alternatively be removed from the system by deleting this file.
Igelle 1.0.0 "DSV" - managing applications
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During my time with Igelle I ran the operating system on a generic desktop machine (2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card) and my HP laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card). To see how the system ran with fewer resources, I ran it in a VirtualBox virtual machine. In each of these environments, there were a few problems. On the desktop box, Igelle first booted up to a desktop which was filled with bright colours - a visual static, if you will. Checking on the forums, it appears this is an issue with the NVIDIA driver (a problem one or two other distributions have as well) and it's possible to work around the issue by booting Igelle with the "failsafe" option. Doing this gave me a normal desktop and I was able to use my computer without further problems.
Sound worked properly and my network connection was detected. My laptop's video card was handled well, as was its audio system, but my Intel wireless card wasn't detected, nor was my Novatel mobile modem picked up. Adding to the list of problems, my touchpad worked, but refused to handle taps as button clicks. Given these problems, I was pleased to find that suspend/resume worked on my laptop. Running Igelle in a virtual environment held two surprises for me. The first was that Igelle requires the system to support PAE; machines which do not won't boot. Fortunately, this is an option in VirtualBox and I was able to enable PAE and proceed without further difficulties. My second surprise was that Igelle was able to run quickly and smoothly, with desktop effects enabled, in a virtual environment with less than 512 MB of memory. Rarely did Igelle use more than 400 MB of memory (including cache) and the installed system used a little less than 800 MB of disk space.
Igelle 1.0.0 "DSV" - exploring the desktop
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Perhaps my biggest concern when running Igelle was with security. While there are no network services running, reducing remote threats, there's very little protection provided locally. The default account logs in automatically, there's no encryption on the file system and applications can be added (or removed) without privilege escalation. These points lead me to believe the developers envision Igelle as a single-user operating system. And while on the topic of security, I didn't find any method for updating installed packages, short of manually checking for new versions in the application manager. Hopefully, these items will be different in the Server edition.
During the week I spent with Igelle I had the chance to read through the distro's forum and get some feedback from other Igelle users. One common trend I found was that users were finding a lot of things missing from the distribution. Parts of the desktop environment aren't flexible, there are too few applications in the repository and Flash and some codecs aren't installed by default were items brought up. Something I might not have realized, if it wasn't for Mr Kero comments above, is that these are much the same complaints many Linux users have against Apple products, particularly the new iPad.
Open source enthusiasts are typically interested in having every aspect of their operating system configurable; we want to be able to re-theme, remove and re-compile everything to suit our personal style (Which partially explains the torrent of new distributions we've seen over the years). We want flexibility, security and options - options above all else. To be paranoid (or not), to have three different text editors and to have our toaster compile its own custom kernel while it makes us breakfast. And many of us forget that the rest of the world, the majority even, do not care about such things. The rest of the world wishes for fast, easy-to-use computers which behave in a predictable fashion and perform a few specific tasks beautifully.
I think that is the audience Igelle is targeting: not the type of people who run Debian, Gentoo and Fedora, but the sort of people who enjoy technology like OS X, iPods and iPads. People who want to find a balance between the simplicity of a dedicated appliance and the power provided by Linux. In short, it looks like Igelle has the potential to make the netbook/tablet/mobile device market a very interesting place in the coming year.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Solaris no longer free, OpenSolaris 2010.03 delays, Fedora leadership change, Ubuntu user interface musings, new features in Mint 9
Solaris is no longer free to use. That's a message that has been slowly filtering through to technology media and which is likely to create much more stir in the coming days. A once extremely popular server operating system, the Solaris deployment figures had been in a steady decline for some time (due to availability of free Linux and BSD systems) until Sun Microsystems decided to make it available free for any purpose, commercial or otherwise, under the CDDL licence. That was back in 2006. However, the recent acquisition of Sun Microsystems by Oracle brought some interesting changes to Solaris licensing: "Your right to use Solaris acquired as a download is limited to a trial of 90 days, unless you acquire a service contract for the downloaded software." According to this report at CIO, "customers who don't purchase support for hardware systems aren't allowed to obtain maintenance releases, patches, telephone assistance, or any other technical support services." The news has already started making rounds on some Solaris mailing lists, often resulting in heated debates among the members of the groups; while some are outraged by the sudden change, others understand the business point of view and Oracle's desire to monetise their recent investment. Either way, we are likely to hear much more on the subject in the next few weeks.
* * * * *
Solaris isn't the only product affected by the above-mentioned change of ownership. OpenSolaris, whose new stable version was expected to arrive last week, is another operating system that is presently riding the waves of uncertainty - now also due to further release delays: "OpenSolaris 2010.03 was supposed to have been released earlier this month (in fact, originally it was supposed to be known as OpenSolaris 2010.02 and released in February, but then it slipped to early March). However, March is coming to an end and there still is no sign of OpenSolaris 2010.03." According to this post on the OpenSolaris mailing list, the delay is purely technical: "The OpenSolaris 2010.03 release was suppose to contain final 'show stopper' patches from b134-b136 in which engineering has to close out the public build release for snv_b136 (not done as of today, ON current=b135)." As always with these kinds of delays, the complete lack of communication from the project leaders is what seems to irritate the users most. All in all, this wasn't a good week for Solaris and OpenSolaris. Will these events bring a new round of desertions from the once dominant UNIX system?
* * * * *
Paul Frields, the Fedora Project Leader since January 2008 when he took over from Max Spevack, has announced his intention to pass on the leadership reins to a new chief: "I've been the Fedora Project Leader for a little over two years now, and now that we're rocketing (sorry!) toward my fifth release in that role, I'm interested in branching out into other ways of championing free and open source software at Red Hat. Before I do that, I want to smoothly pass on the role of Fedora Project Leader, and make sure the next FPL can not only be fully successful, but continue to build on a process of growth and change for the future." Frields continues: "It's important that Fedora always be able to make opportunities for fresh and energetic leadership that will help take our project, and the distribution we make, to the next level of achievement. Regardless of what I'm doing next at Red Hat, part of my job early on will be to give as much assistance as possible to the next FPL, just as Max Spevack did for me, allowing that person to successfully take over this position, and continue leading Fedora into the future."
* * * * *
The somewhat unusual user interface changes in the upcoming release of Ubuntu continue to generate opinions in online forums and blogs. Last week, project founder Mark Shuttleworth posted a few thoughts regarding these changes on his personal blog: "One of the driving mantras for us is 'less is more'. I want us to 'clean up, simplify, streamline, focus' the user experience work that we lead. The idea is to recognize the cost of every bit of chrome, every gradient or animation or line or detail or option or GConf setting. It turns out that all of those extras add some value, but they also add clutter. There's a real cost to them - in attention, in space, in code, in QA. So we're looking for things to strip out, as much (or more) as things to put in. ... It's not hard to get people enthusiastic about the idea that less is more. However, it's quite hard to get people to agree on which bits can be less. It turns out that one person's clutter is another person's most useful and valued feature."
* * * * *
Finally, something for the fans of Linux Mint and especially those who cannot wait for each new release of this increasingly popular distribution. Last week, Clement Lefebvre published an overview of new features in Linux Mint 9: "USB-Creator will be added to the default software selection; apturl will be added to the system; in memory of Husse, a new fortune database gathering his best quotes will be added to the pool of random messages that appear when you open a terminal; you can now edit items directly from the menu - if you want to change the name, the icon, the description or even the command for a particular application, just right-click on it and select 'Edit Properties'; if your graphics card allows it (you need compositing for this to work), you can change the transparency of the menu; there are two new context menu item to let you easily add shortcuts to the panel or the desktop...." There is a lot more, so click on the above link to get a more detailed list, together with a few intriguing screenshots.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Wiping hard disks
Concluding-with-a-clean-slate asks: How do I completely wipe my hard disk without physically destroying the disk? I want to sell it.
DistroWatch answers: There are a lot of tools out there for wiping hard drives and erasing files. Most of them easy to use and offered free of charge. It would be difficult to give a complete list, so I'll mention two of my favourites here. Generally people will want to run these commands from a live CD so that they aren't trying to use the same disk they're erasing.
The first erasing tool I recommend is "shred" because it comes pre-installed on many distributions and live CDs. The shred command over-writes files with random data and then, optionally, over-writes the files again with zeros. Shred can work on individual files and, additionally, on entire hard drives. For example, my main drive is called "sda", so to erase it I could run the following from a live CD:
shred -vfz /dev/sda
which will replace my files with random numbers and then fill the drive with zeros. By default, shred makes three passes in which it replaces the data on the disk. For people who want to be a bit more thorough, shred can be made to make more passes with the "-n" option. The following command makes twenty passes on the drive:
shred -vfz -n 20 /dev/sda
The other method I use, which, in effect, is a more manual approach, is to run the "dd" command. The dd program moves data from one place to another and doesn't worry about where the bytes are coming from or where they're going. As an example, the following command over-writes the drive with random data:
dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sda bs=1M
If you then want to replace all those random bytes with zeros, you can do so with:
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=1M
The appeal to dd is it comes included with almost every Linux/BSD/UNIX operating system, making it readily available with almost all installations and live CDs. Many other disk wiping tools need to be downloaded and installed separately, though do the job just as well.
|Released Last Week
Trisquel GNU/Linux 3.5
Rubén Rodríguez Pérez has announced the release of Trisquel GNU/Linux 3.5, a completely "libre" distribution (as defined by the Free Software Foundation) based on Ubuntu: "Trisquel GNU/Linux 3.5, code name 'Awen', is ready. This release is a fully free Ubuntu 9.10 derivative that includes extra software, better multimedia support, more translations and faster configuration. For this release we used ext4 for the root file system and XFS for the home one, to have a balance between speed and usability. Some important features include a much faster boot process and the ability to encrypt the home directory. All packages were updated, including: Linux-libre kernel 2.6.31, X.Org 7.4, GNOME 2.28, OpenOffice.org 3.1.1, a Mozilla-based web browser 3.5." Read the rest of the release announcement for further information and screenshots.
Trisquel GNU/Linux 3.5 - a 100% "libre" Ubuntu-based distribution
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FreeBSD 7.3, the latest update of the project's older, legacy series, has been released: "The FreeBSD Release Engineering team is pleased to announce the availability of FreeBSD 7.3-RELEASE. This is the fourth release from the 7-STABLE branch which improves on the functionality of FreeBSD 7.2 and introduces a few new features. There will be one more release from this branch to allow future improvements to be made available in the 7-STABLE branch but at this point most developers are focused on 8-STABLE. Some of the highlights: ZFS updated to version 13; new boot loader gptzfsboot supports GPT and ZFS; hwpmc enhancements; new mfiutil and mptutil tools for widely-used RAID controllers; NULL pointer vulnerability mitigation; BIND updated to 9.4-ESV; GNOME updated to 2.28.2, KDE to 4.3.5 and Perl to 5.10." See the release announcement and release notes for a complete list of new features.
Clonezilla Live 1.2.4-28
Steven Shiau has announced the availability of a new version of Clonezilla Live, a Debian-based live CD containing free disk-cloning software: "This release of Clonezilla Live (1.2.4-28) includes major enhancements, bug fixes, and language translation updates: new file system support - UFS of FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD, it has been tested successfully for imaging FreeBSD 8.0, OpenBSD 4.6 and NetBSD 5.0.2; new file system support - VMFS of VMware ESX; i686 kernel is available in this release, so multi-core CPUs are supported; xz/lzip compression, and parallel compression, pxz and plzip, were added, you can choose "-z5", "-z5p", "-z6" or "-z6p" in the expert mode; if your machine has multi-core CPU, please use the i686 version of Clonezilla live then the -z5p and -z6p options are available in the expert mode; now both syslinux and isolinux are included in Clonezilla Live ISO image and ZIP file." Read the rest of the release announcement for further details and a list of bug fixes.
Anil Gulecha has announced the release of NexentaStor 3.0, an OpenSolaris-based storage appliance with a web-based administration interface: "On behalf of the NexentaStor team, I'm happy to announce the release of NexentaStor Community edition 3.0. This release is the result of the community efforts of Nexenta partners and users. With the addition of many new features, NexentaStor CE is the most complete, and feature-rich gratis unified storage solution today. This is a major NexentaStor release, with many new features, improved hardware support, and many bug fixes. Quick summary of features: ZFS additions - deduplication (based on OpenSolaris b134); free for up to 12 TB of used storage; Community edition supports easy upgrades; many new features in the easy-to-use management interface; integrated search." Read the release announcement and visit the project's web site for further information.
Sabayon Linux 5.2
Fabio Erculiani has announced the release of Sabayon Linux 5.2, a Gentoo-based desktop Linux distribution with GNOME/KDE and with a custom (binary) package manager: "The best, refined blend of GNU/Linux, coming with bleeding edge edges, is eventually here. Say hello to Sabayon Five-point-Twoh, available in both GNOME and KDE editions. Dedicated to those who like cutting-edge stability, out-of-the-box experience, outstanding desktop performance and beauty. You will find outstanding amount of new applications and features, like XBMC 9.11, KDE 4.4.1, GNOME 2.28. Features: based on new GCC 4.4.1 and glibc 2.10; shipped with desktop-optimized Linux kernel 2.6.33; installable in 10 minutes; faster boot time and lightweight default system...." Read the rest of the release announcement for additional details.
Sabayon Linux 5.2 - refreshing new artwork complements the cutting-edge features
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Kevin Thompson has announced the release of Element 1.1, an Ubuntu-based distribution for home theatre or media-centre personal computers: "We are pleased to announce the release of Element 1.1, which is available immediately for free download. This is the first service pack for the Element 1 series operating system; it includes several requested features, general package upgrades, upstream bug fixes, and visual enhancements to our themes. Notable additions in this release include: Element 'Glassy' default theme is a little quicker now and uses fewer pixmaps, it also includes new scrollbars; Jockey-Gtk 'Hardware Driver' utility has replaced EnvyNG as the default means for managing proprietary video and device drivers; over-scanning on NVIDIA cards is much easier; Gigolo remote file system browser has been added...." Here is the full release announcement.
SliTaz GNU/Linux 3.0
Christophe Lincoln has announced the release of SliTaz GNU/Linux 3.0, a minimalist (but extensible) and fast desktop Linux distribution with Openbox as the default window manager: "The SliTaz team is proud to announce the release of the SliTaz GNU/Linux 3.0 operating system. It's simpler, faster, customizable, mightier and yet incredibly tiny. The new SliTaz stable version is now out after one year of development. The core desktop provides a full-featured desktop powered by X.Org 7.4, Openbox, LXDE components and home-made tools. It lets you easily connect to the Internet to surf the web with the Midori web browser, listen to music or manage your pictures. The default core system fits into a 30 MB ISO image and live CD flavors start at 8 MB. This stable version has been built by a new toolchain including GCC 4.4.1 and uses the Linux kernel 188.8.131.52." Read the release announcement and release notes for more details.
SliTaz GNU/Linux - this major new update comes after one year of development
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* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- AVLinux. AVLinux is a multimedia-oriented live DVD based on Debian's testing branch. Besides applications for many common computer tasks, the distribution also features a full complement of the best FOSS multimedia programs available, allowing users to enjoy multi-track audio recording and mixing, video capturing, editing and converting, and DVD authoring and creation. It uses the lightweight LXDE desktop.
- ArchBang. ArchBang is lightweight distribution and live CD that combines Arch Linux with the Openbox window manager. The latest version also includes a graphical system installer.
ArchBang 2.0 RC1 - an Arch-based live CD with Openbox
(full image size: 574kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
- Cronos Linux. Cronos Linux is a new Linux distribution and live DVD built from ground up. It is focused on performance and security, and contains many popular applications, including full video codec support, development tools, and audio drivers.
Cronos Linux 1.0 - a new distro built from scratch
(full image size: 634kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 5 April 2010.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Igelle (by David on 2010-03-29 11:11:01 GMT from United States) |
I used igelle for about 2 weeks and found it stable. The lack of packages and ease of configuration is what ultimately what turned me away. I do look forward to upcoming releases though.
2 • archbang (by godane on 2010-03-29 11:21:32 GMT from United States)
Its weird that archbang gets on distrowatch waiting list but not archiso-live. Why is it that distro that not even been around 2 months is on the waiting list but not one thats been out for more then 2 years?
3 • Sabayon (by Barnabyh at 2010-03-29 11:50:25 GMT from United Kingdom)
Tried it out on Saturday for the first time. Sabayon is truly a work of love, but KDE4 now looks even more like Windows the more it matures. Can't stand it. Gnome is out of the question too. A Sabayon spin with only minimalist WM's would be nice. But then again there's so much choice- Archbang looks good too.
4 • Re 2 • archbang (by Ariszló on 2010-03-29 11:50:47 GMT from Hungary)
Because no one took the trouble to submit it:
5 • cronos linux (by tuxesp1 on 2010-03-29 11:55:50 GMT from Italy)
after a look at cronos linux page, a think that i must give a try.
a like distro from scratch. welcome cronos to the linux world.
6 • RE: 2, 4 Archiso-live (by ladislav on 2010-03-29 12:13:09 GMT from Taiwan)
I'd like to see a real web site before adding Archiso-live to the waiting list. Right now, all you provide is a Wordpress blog - there are no "About" pages, no documentation, Wiki, forum, bug trackers, etc. It gives me an impression that it's just a passing activity that could be abandoned at any time. If you are serious about the distro, it would be nice if you could put a bit more effort into a real web presence around it.
7 • Trisquel GNU/Linux (by Stuart at 2010-03-29 12:35:28 GMT from United Kingdom)
I'm curious how Trisquel claims to have "better multimedia support" than Ubuntu, especially as it's an entirely free distribution (so can't ship MP3 etc.). Does Ubuntu not have full support for all the patent-free codecs by default?
8 • shred -- a caution (by secdroid on 2010-03-29 13:06:38 GMT from United States)
Excerpt from the output of "shred --help":
"CAUTION: Note that shred relies on a very important assumption:
that the file system overwrites data in place. This is the traditional
way to do things, but many modern file system designs do not satisfy this
assumption. The following are examples of file systems on which shred is
not effective, or is not guaranteed to be effective in all file system modes:
"* log-structured or journaled file systems, such as those supplied with
AIX and Solaris (and JFS, ReiserFS, XFS, Ext3, etc.)"
9 • Wiping hard disks (by megadriver at 2010-03-29 13:12:38 GMT from Spain)
For wiping hard disks I use Darik's Boot And Nuke (DBAN).
10 • Re: 7 (by Boden at 2010-03-29 13:20:01 GMT from United Kingdom)
The FSF don't morally recognize the existence of software patents, so a "totally libre" distro such as Trisquel could still include reverse-engineered, freely redistributable codec libraries.
11 • Slitaz 3.0 (by floborg at 2010-03-29 13:31:34 GMT from United States)
Is it just me, or does it seem like most of the featured applications in the new Slitaz aren't actually installed? Instead, the menu just fires up their package manager to download and install the apps.
12 • "Libre" Distribution (by DigitalVampire at 2010-03-29 13:40:36 GMT from United States)
Does anyone know of any RPM based distributions that are 100% "libre" as defined by the FSF. It would be nice to have that, while also being able to be 100% LSB compliant.
13 • Cronos (by stuckinoregon on 2010-03-29 13:41:32 GMT from United States)
It might be worth mentioning that Cronos is 64 bit only.
14 • Re: 12 (by Stuart at 2010-03-29 13:42:51 GMT from United Kingdom)
The GNU website maintains a list of 100% free GNU/Linux distributions:
15 • Website Update (by Nick at 2010-03-29 14:01:15 GMT from United States)
Big fan of Distrowatch. Haven't been here in a number of years but I recently started visiting regularly again. I was shocked to see the same old site hasn't had a visual refresh since its inception. Not that big a deal, but it certainly would be nice to see a new design that can take DistroWatch to the next level. Keep up the good work.
16 • Cronos and shred (by Jesse at 2010-03-29 14:11:00 GMT from Canada)
In regards to post 13, I also think it's interesting that Cronos is 64-bit only. And it only comes with DVD images at the moment.
@8: While shred doesn't always work on file systems with journals, it's worth noting that it DOES work with ext3, if the default options are in place. Shred only stops working on ext3 if you change the data option.
"In the case of ext3 file systems, the above disclaimer applies
(and shred is thus of limited effectiveness) only in data=journal mode,
which journals file data in addition to just metadata. In both the
data=ordered (default) and data=writeback modes, shred works as usual."
17 • @16 and shred --- @9 and DBAN (by secdroid at 2010-03-29 14:52:54 GMT from United States)
@16 Not to nitpick, but there are quite a number of cautions defined in the shred help. Prospective users should really verify that shred will work in their circumstances WTR to log/journaled file systems with the options in use, RAID, snapshots (some NFS), temporary locations (NFS V3), compressed file systems.
The shred help info cautions about remote backups and mirrors that might allow a shredded file to be restored.
Nothing wrong with your piece, but prospective shred users REALLY need to read and understand the cautions in the excellent shred help message before relying on shred.
"The full documentation for shred is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the info and shred programs are properly installed at your site, the command
should give you access to the complete manual."
@9 DBAN is an excellent free (beer) tool if one is willing to wipe a WHOLE DISK. "Darik's Boot and Nuke ('DBAN') is a self-contained boot disk that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction." http://www.dban.org/
Effective, but it can be quite slow. Use with great caution!!!
18 • howto safely wipe harddrives (by anonymouse cowherd at 2010-03-29 14:53:48 GMT from United States)
19 • Question: Slitaz 3.0 frugal + additional applications (by Jirka at 2010-03-29 15:25:10 GMT from Czech Republic)
After you make frugal install of Slitaz 3.0 (how to do this is clearly documented on their Web), is it possible to add new applications as single Squashfs file? (As it is possible in Puppy Linux, Tiny Core or now in Igelle: see Feature Story above).
20 • interesting stuff in Igelle (by Anonymous at 2010-03-29 15:42:36 GMT from United States)
I think it's always neat for a new distro to try out new concepts like the ones in Igelle's application manager. I'm not a fan of the Mac style interface but to each his/her own. I think if distros like Igelle keep throwing out other innovative ideas then something bound to really shake things up.
21 • Igelle... (by nicolaszoon on 2010-03-29 15:55:23 GMT from Belgium)
... crashed on both an AMDx2 and a Intelx2 system. Only on an older PackardBellEasyNote, it showed signs of normal behavior ;-) and I am not convinced of its flexibility.
22 • "shred" effectiveness (by Patrick on 2010-03-29 16:04:19 GMT from United States)
I am not an expert, but I'm pretty sure that the warning about shred not being effective on file systems that don't update in place (mentioned in comment 8) only applies if you're trying to shred a single file on such a file system. The file system will write the new random data to a different place than where the old data was located, and again the zeros will go to a different place than where the random data was written. So your old data is still there.
However, if you use it like Jesse showed in his example, to shred a whole drive, you're totally overwriting the file system, so the file system cannot make any difference whatsoever to where the random data and zero's get written. There is no file system management involved here. I think a whole drive shred like that works just fine, regardless of what file system the drive starts out with.
23 • Igelle (by Patrick on 2010-03-29 16:11:18 GMT from United States)
I have been intrigued with Igelle for a while now (I actually tried both the 0.6 last year and the new 1.0). I wouldn't want it as my desktop OS, but I wonder if it could be a great choice for making custom appliance-like builds for single-purpose or embedded systems.
When the previous release came out, I found some documentation on their build system, and it seemed quite neat. This time, with the 1.0 release, I wanted to see how things had evolved with their build system, but I couldn't find any documentation on it. I have to admit I didn't look extremely hard, but just in case, can anyone give me a pointer if you happened to find it?
24 • Mint is right again (by Gustavo at 2010-03-29 16:20:52 GMT from Brazil)
"I saw the controversy about the position of the window buttons in Ubuntu 10.04. There’s no plan to change anything in Linux Mint, we’re happy with the buttons staying on the right-hand side and away from the File, Edit, View menus."
As aways, Mint is improving Ubuntu experience.
25 • #24 and things (by davemc on 2010-03-29 16:38:08 GMT from United States)
Some might say that no change is good change, but I have never heard that from anyone in the Linux world where innovation is the key word and is what has made it the best OS in the world today. Innovation can not come from stagnation - quite the opposite. This (some might say trivial and stupid) UI change has quickly become the magnet for everyone's irritations with things that have or have not gone wrong for them in Linux. It signifies the often reckless speed of change that Linux development very often takes and once again brings that jagged edge of rough experiences back to the forefront in peoples minds. In reality, the UI change is in fact very trivial and inconsequential, and if anything, it actually is much more useful to the majority, but still it does once again bring to mind just how jarring change can be to peoples psyche.
26 • Slitaz 3.0 (by fstephens on 2010-03-29 17:26:20 GMT from United States)
Yes I noticed that too, but it's only chat, edit image, play video, write documents I think. Still, I noted on the forum that I think such installers should be clearly labeled as such.
Not sure about that. I am running 3.0 right now, setup by extracting the bzImage and rootfs.gz from the ISO and booting it with GRUB. Seems to work well.
Slitaz is very impressive for such a tiny distro. My new favorite for older machines.
I'm using it on an IBM Thinkpad 600Mhz, 256MB RAM and it is very responsive. right now I have a browser (Midori) open with 5 tabs, a file manager and a terminal and using only 80MB RAM according to htop. This is about the best solution I have found to make this old system useable. I am also going to use it on my rescue CD (based on Ubuntu) as and option so that you can free up the CD/DVD drive to use it to copy data (Slitaz loads totally into RAM). Trouble is, I am enjoying Slitaz so much I have neglected to put together a new version of the rescue CD!
27 • RE: 12 & 24 (by Landor at 2010-03-29 17:49:47 GMT from Canada)
"Does anyone know of any RPM based distributions that are 100% "libre" as defined by the FSF. It would be nice to have that, while also being able to be 100% LSB compliant."
If you would like to install a kernel yourself there are Libre Kernel Packages built for Fedora. Fedora in my opinion is the closest distribution to matching the FSF guidelines while not and it's a simple matter of installing the new package to change it.
I'm using this exact setup on my netbook (Asus 1005HA) and it works perfectly. Here's the link to the page about the kernels:
"As aways, Mint is improving Ubuntu experience."
That's a totally loaded and biased statement. Left or Right is relative to each individual so how can it be an improvement?
On another Mint related note, I already figured out the next thing I'll hear from users about the innovations of Mint, the inclusion of the usb-creator which I'll be shocked if it's not dubbed "Mint-etc-etc" when it is like the "standard" Gnome Control Centre.
Keep your stick on the ice...
28 • Mint is right again (by Gustavo at 2010-03-29 18:19:44 GMT from Brazil)
#27 I´ll justify
1. Gnome users are used to the buttons on the right.
2. They also removed the menu (always on top is a very useful feature).
3. Most of time your pointer is dragging the scroll bar (on the right).
4. Windows users (humanity) are used to the buttons on the right. Yes, they are very important.
29 • RE: 27 (by Landor at 2010-03-29 18:21:36 GMT from Canada)
Just to expand on my point, real improvement would mean being able to "easily" choose left or right. That's "real" improvement.
Keep your stick on the ice...
30 • Mint (by M.T. Hed at 2010-03-29 18:30:12 GMT from United States)
Mint is always improving the Ubuntu experience...agreed. I have yet to try Super OS but the idea of making things easier without pretending to be anything other than Ubuntu is appealing. On the other hand, Ubuntu is just modified Debian so I don't really care one way or the other. When I am busy I just want to get the job done the easiest/quickest way possible.
Keep your hip waders on 'cause it's gettin' deep...
31 • Sabayon Linux (by Fitzcarraldo on 2010-03-29 18:31:44 GMT from United Kingdom)
@Barnabyh: There is a Core Release without any desktop environments installed; if you dislike KDE and GNOME you could install that and install any desktop environment and/or window management system of your choice. Even E17 is available in the Entropy repository if you would like to give that a try (http://joostruis.blogspot.com/2009/04/e17-now-available-in-entropy.html).
32 • #29 (by Gustavo at 2010-03-29 18:31:54 GMT from Brazil)
I agree ;)
33 • CORRECT LINK(S) (by Anonymous penguin at 2010-03-29 18:36:35 GMT from Switzerland)
Comment deleted (off-topic, for corrections please send email to distro at distrowatch.com).
34 • UHU-Linux (en, hu) (by Anonymous on 2010-03-29 18:41:26 GMT from Hungary)
Comment deleted (for release announcement please send email to distro at distrowatch.com).
35 • Ubantu Buttons (by Sly on 2010-03-29 19:53:32 GMT from United States)
I didn't think it would bother me, but I did find the Ubantu button relocation a bit odd. Other than that, I think the upcoming release of Ubantu has a lot to offer.
Having said that, I am eagerly awaiting for Mint 9!!
36 • Re:27 (by Taigong at 2010-03-29 19:55:00 GMT from Canada)
"Left or Right is relative to each individual". What??? I think when people talk about left or right here they meant the left or right of the screen. That is not "relative to each individual" unless you were talking about where you stand or sit relative to the monitor or which way you are facing when you are in front of the monitor.
37 • What's in a name? Linux Mint 7 maintainer. (by Mike S. on 2010-03-29 19:55:57 GMT from United States)
How do you pronounce Lefebvre ?
38 • Less is more (by megadriver at 2010-03-29 20:14:44 GMT from Spain)
"Less is more" one of the driving mantras of Ubuntu? Does not compute :)
39 • New Ubuntu beta x64 (by Vasyl from Ukraine at 2010-03-29 20:32:56 GMT from Ukraine)
boots in around 2 - 3 seconds on my PC - that really f*n9 cool!
40 • Less is more (by Gustavo at 2010-03-29 20:39:56 GMT from Brazil)
I have to admit, Ubuntu 10.04 beta is really fast. I think it´s faster than my Zenwalk XFCE install.
41 • #36 (by M.T. Hed at 2010-03-29 20:46:19 GMT from United States)
I also found that statement unintelligible. Hey Jesse, how about a review of Scientific Linux? It is a very interesting distro. Is it practical for the average desktop user or is it just primarily for a specific niche?
Keep your stuff in your pockets or whatever...
42 • Where is my button? (by Jesse at 2010-03-29 20:46:42 GMT from Canada)
I've come to think of the button placement debate to be less of an issue with Ubuntu and more with Gnome. I mean, to change button placement in Gnome you end up going into the gconf editor, digging down through menus to hand-edit a value... sort of like changing values in Windows regedit. It's not so bad for experienced Linuxers, but it's a scary path for newbies and one that's not intuitive. On a KDE desktop, you can go into, I think, Settings--Appearance-Windows and click and drag the buttons in a mock-up window wherever you want. It's a much more intuitive and flexible approach.
I'm not trying to start a Gnome vs KDE debate, both of them have their merits. But I do think that if Ubuntu was going to start playing around with button placement, it would have been a good idea to patch in a simple GUI option in Gnome's Appearance dialogue. Ubuntu is targeted at new comers, so it should make sense to make their settings easy to find if things are going to get moved around.
43 • Ubuntu buttons (by Geeeeez Louezze at 2010-03-29 21:01:01 GMT from United States)
All of the angst re: Ubuntu buttons is not only a complete
waste of time and effort, bit it is totally ridiculous, too.
If you don't like the Ubuntu buttons change or the "direction"
Ubuntu is heading, use one of the dozens of other
44 • RE: 41 Scientific Linux (by Jesse at 2010-03-29 21:05:16 GMT from Canada)
M.T. I'd be willing to review Scientific if you can give me a reason you think it's a very interesting distro. I'm willing to test drive just about anything if there is something special about it. Feel free to e-mail me your thoughts/suggestions/questions.
45 • Ref#42 (by Button Hole on 2010-03-29 21:16:00 GMT from United States)
the button fix is an easy fix:
Alt+F2, then your choosing...
Buttons Right, Script:
gconftool-2 --set "/apps/metacity/general/button_layout" --type string ":minimize,maximize,close"
Buttons Left, Script:
gconftool-2 --set "/apps/metacity/general/button_layout" --type string "minimize,maximize,close:"
46 • Simple Logic That Eludes Many (by Landor at 2010-03-29 21:18:52 GMT from Canada)
Given the context of the placement of the buttons, either left or right, it really doesn't take too much thought to understand that it's "preference" therefore left or right is relative to each individual. Which as I later stated keeping it to the right is not improvement at all, only the status quo which is no improvement over choice and making things easier.
Something that was quite obvious if you factored in the topic was really so hard to grasp? Now I understand why so many have a hard time understanding me at times.
Keep your stick on the ice...
47 • Any subject but buttons... (by RollMeAway at 2010-03-29 21:23:15 GMT from United States)
Enough already with the buttons!
Nothing more to be said, that hasn't been said repeatedly, over and over.
Read last weeks DW in case you missed beating the dead horse.
48 • re 37 (by glyj at 2010-03-29 21:28:18 GMT from France)
Hear that :
49 • @47 For Sure (by Stinky Snakefinger on 2010-03-29 21:28:45 GMT from United States)
I agree. Button talk is sooo last week.
50 • Re. "Wiping Hard Drives" (by Dr_Who (?) at 2010-03-29 21:31:51 GMT from Canada)
Have used Darik's NukeBoot in the past - worked fine. Have not looked at shred, so thanks for pointing out that utility. Probably the most direct option is to address the hard drive's firmware directly using the:
option from the hdparm command. This instructs the drive to overwrite all data followed by a couple of passes with the head swinging by the outer guard regions of each track. This ensures optimal data wipeout beyond anything short of melting the drive in a blast furnace (as was shown in a video somewhere in the vast reaches of the internet), and obsoletes other methods.
Having been through all too many regenerations, memory does not recall where I originally saw this described - might have been the kernel page at lwn.net weekly edition.
hdparm is an amazing powerful and useful tool, and especially dangerous in inexperienced hands. Anyway knowing of a good tutorial describing the advanced options WITH examples would be really useful. The manpage provides just enough info to get into trouble; without some examples of each option, I may have to resort to a spare, retired drive to experiment on as a "sacrificial" drive in the name of science to learn more. Hopefully someone can point out an advanced tutorial and "save" said drive before offering up it on the alter of scientific exploration.....
51 • Whats Next, Pink Ubuntu? (by JD at 2010-03-29 21:41:10 GMT from United States)
Sure... i will stop talking about the Ubuntu buttons only to progress on the usability team and colors of this new release! i find it just plain stupid! come on purple ? would any technical professional use such a thing? i mean i'm perfectly comfortable with my straight sexuality. but what is this? is the next thing up hot pink?
And seeing as the Ubuntu team usability team doesn't eat their own damn dog food. EG. They Use MacOSX and Photoshop to do design I'm glad i'm switching to fedroa! Thank You.
I'm not meaning to hurt or disrespect the ubuntu folks in anyway but i cannot get behind any of the things there doing lately. First Bing! then a mp3 store now this ? Ok my rants over!
great distrowatch weekly!
52 • Re: #46 Choice vs. Innovation (by sly on 2010-03-29 21:42:25 GMT from United States)
I understand/understood your argument. Choice doesn't necessarily equal innovation. The other improvements in Ubantu represent "real improvement" and I get that. It seems like choice can obscure innovation just as easily as emotion (the look and feel or initial impression) can overrule logic.
Extremely logical individuals sometimes have hard time grasping that concept, especially in the abstract. When you actually touch and feel the object of discussion, emotion comes into play.
53 • 37 (by kit weston on 2010-03-29 21:50:54 GMT from France)
Lefebvre, with a silent B and a little r lefevr
54 • Flame War (by Wolven on 2010-03-29 22:04:49 GMT from Norway)
You're all welcome to continue the flame war over Ubuntu button placement and what ever else distro related you fancy to argue over at http://distrowars.com It's a new website specifically designed for this kind of thing.
@Ladislav: I don't mean to spam. Feel free to remove this post if you deem it inappropriate.
55 • Minimalist Linux desktops (by RollMeAway at 2010-03-29 22:07:38 GMT from United States)
Mostly promoting LXDE, but a good perspective read.
56 • @31, Sabayon Core (by Barnabyh at 2010-03-29 22:11:35 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks Fitzcarraldo, I'll try that tomorrow. If you know, will it pull in a package with some Sabayon specific artwork too or does that just come with KDE?
57 • #44 (by M.T. Hed at 2010-03-29 22:31:18 GMT from United States)
I'm sure you are aware of Scientific Linux. If you don't find it interesting then forget about it.
Yes, please take this button nonsense elsewhere.
Keep a wildebeest in your nose...
58 • RE: 55 (by Landor at 2010-03-29 22:31:51 GMT from Canada)
First, thanks for your reply last week and my apologies for not replying sooner. I figured the bloat of the make.conf hadn't changed but I was still curious to check it out.
Right now I'm working on my own respin for Fedora 12 with LXDE and another with E-17, both with a libre kernel. I know there's already a spin for LXDE but I prefer different apps and such and am whipping up my own build. Kind of late since 13 is on its way but I can just reuse the .ks file if I want to go to do the same for 13.
My son's interested in the E-17 build but he has a hard time wrapping his head around the visual differences enough to enjoy them for the exact differences.
Keep your stick on the ice...
59 • Oracle killing off valuable open-source projects (by Wouter on 2010-03-30 00:02:52 GMT from Finland)
With Oracle in control of MySQL, Sun and hence Solaris, OpenOffice and even Java, the future looks a little bleaker in my opinion. I've always admired Sun for their hard- and operating system software, those Sun systems were really nicely engineered and rock-solid. In a way, Sun was the company Microsoft should have been, spending more on engineering, inventing and producing decent products rather than marketing, fear-mongering, ignoring standards, and being a bad netizen overall.
I simply don't trust Oracle at all.
60 • Change (by davemc on 2010-03-30 04:05:14 GMT from United States)
What Ubuntu is doing with 10.04 is nothing like what some projects, like Fedora for example, when they forced users into things like KDE4 by removing KDE3 from the repo's, or like the Nouvaeu switch, that wreaked major havoc amongst the community and stirred up some head banging, finger waggling drama thereby. Were talking about a freaking button change here! The biggest thing the Buntu's have done lately is making everyone use GRUB2 beta with 9.10 - woohoo! Wow! That move also stirred up drama, but nothing on the scale that a button placement change has caused. What does that mean?..
That superficial looks are more important to many, many folks than whats on the inside. :)
61 • Igelle / Slax comparison? plus wiping drives (by Dave at 2010-03-30 04:11:37 GMT from Canada)
Some of the configure and "packaging" described for Igelle reminds me of when I experimented with Slax. I'm wondering if the reviewer had used Slax and can make any comparisons?
As for the wiping drives, "The Great Zero Challenge" made a pretty convincing argument that no conventional (or any?) data recovery firm could recover a modern hard drive that had been written over once with zeros using the dd command. I used Darik's Boot and Nuke before reading that, it works well and has some convincingly hardcore sounding methods available.
62 • Kudoos for Slitaz 3.0 (by RollMeAway at 2010-03-30 04:39:01 GMT from United States)
I had an installation of 2.0/cooker on a HD partition.
Booted the 3.0 CD, selected 'upgrade'.
The installer preserved /home and /etc, installed about 220 pkgs from the CD,
then downloaded 180 pkgs ( I had previously installed ), and installed those.
Rebooted into the new 3.0 installation with ALL my preferences preserved.
Only (minor) fault was the directories for several data partitions I use were not
created. The fstab was intact. I created those directories and all is well.
Good show Slitaz!
63 • Wiping Hard Disks (by RollMeAway at 2010-03-30 04:46:22 GMT from United States)
The only time I get rid of hard disks is when they malfunction.
Just to be sure that my precious data is never viewed,
I find a hatchet works well.
A hammer might work too, but I feel more secure with a hatchet.
64 • re#63 Wiping Hard Disks (by hab on 2010-03-30 05:08:18 GMT from Canada)
I find an oxy-acetylene cutting torch quite adept at dismantling superflous hard drives.
Apart from a tendency to more melt stuff rather than actually cutting per se although the extra blast of oxygen does have it's own reward!
65 • #41 scientific linux reviewed (by gnomic at 2010-03-30 05:28:20 GMT from New Zealand)
Favourable review of current version of Scientific Linux at:
"If I had to think of a RedHat-based distro for home use, it would be the academic geek distro called Scientific Linux. It bridges between spartan RedHat and futuristic Fedora by taking the best of both worlds and dropping away the problems. Really neat."
After reading this I gave the Gnome live CD a spin - however it seems to be afflicted by the curse of suspend failure on a ThinkPad - automatic FAIL! If I recall correctly when I told it to do nothing on lid closing, it just went away, who knows where. Somewhere it couldn't be contacted on lifting the lid anyway.
66 • RE: 61 Slax and Igelle (by Jesse at 2010-03-30 11:58:45 GMT from Canada)
The reviewer has indeed used Slax (reviewed it here on DWW too). I really didn't find many similarities about them. Yes, they both use module packages, but the interfaces for handling those packages felt quite a bit different. With Slax, I found myself surfing their site, browsing through apps by category. On Igelle, all the apps are listed in alphabetical order in a local application. I really like the modular approach taken by Slax, Igelle, LinuxConsole and PC-BSD, and they each have different ways of implementing that approach.
67 • #65 (by M.T. Hed at 2010-03-30 13:12:17 GMT from United States)
Thanks for that link. It would seem from this that it warrants bit more attention:
"Honestly, if you ever think of recommending Scientific Linux to anyone by pointing to this article, perhaps, make sure you direct them to the Conclusion first. Let them not think for a moment that this is a geek gadget. Scientific Linux is a perfect desktop distro. Drop the nerdy wallpaper and you have a cutting-edge home system with everything you could ask for."
I am going to give it a spin.
Keep your jellyfish on the rice...
68 • SLITAZ 3.0 (by atonz on 2010-03-30 14:24:13 GMT from Canada)
I have been testing this version out on virtualbox and must say that it is one of the most impressive lightweight, lxde distros I've yet to try.
Is the 'add desktop icons' an exclusive tool of slitaz or has this been added to lxde in general? If its by slitaz, good show. Speed and functionality.
69 • @65 (by Leroy on 2010-03-30 15:44:22 GMT from Serbia)
Thanks for the link and thanks to everyone who brought attention to Scientific. Sounds interesting. Will try live first.
As for Ubuntu buttons. Any decision, such as this one to move buttons to the left, that is clearly motivated by no reason, can't be swayed by any reason, and certainly can't be reasonably debated.
So I support all those who won't debate it any further :)
70 • Jolicloud (by Bob on 2010-03-30 18:27:16 GMT from United States)
If you own a Toshiba NB205 netbook, and are looking to run Linux on it, try the latest Jolicloud. Wireless and audio both work. The speaker is still awful, however.
71 • 10.04B1 (by Boy named Sue at 2010-03-30 19:03:40 GMT from United States)
Decided to see what the big deal is about Lucid by doing a fresh install. Skip this post if you don't care, just sharing some first impressions.
1. Pretty installer with slide show (suse anyone?)- but seems very slow on snappy hardware. This is not "less is more".
2. Ok, buttons... I tried them on the default left and just didn't feel like overcoming years of muscle memory to make the change. Using gconf-editor (scripts for this are for the users with room-temperature IQs) moving the buttons back to where I prefer them was drop -dead simple. Took about 30 seconds. NBD! Now get off my lawn.
3. I like the purple and the gnome theme is pretty sharp. Not sorry to see poop brown disappear at all. Menus do feel a bit slower than Squeeze.
4. No Gimp by default. Pffft. sudo apt-get install blah blah blah. Again, NBD!
5. Tried out compiz without proprietary ATI driver. Works silky smooth. Forget googleearth without the driver if you're stuck with an ATI Xpress card for now.
6. Not big into blogging, twitter or chat, so the social networking menu by the username on the bar will get no use from me. YMMV.
7. They still won't take bug reports without a Launchpad account!.Guess I won't be helping, deleted mine long, long ago. It would be nice if they asked you that before building the report to send...
8. Ubuntu One will not work without a Launchpad account. See 7. 2 Gigs of free storage would be nice for pictures in case of a fire or something. There are other free storage options out there. Nothing really new here.
9. Logs get crammed with kernel errors fast. This has been going on for awhile and needs to be fixed! Yep, they are aware of these bugs and have been for some time. No real excuse for bugs living so long. These bugs are not in Debian, hmmm...
10. Nice touch on the gnome terminal transparency by default. Oh, the new ubuntu logo font looks cool, too.
Despite the slow install, logs loading up with ((bugs)) errors (fix this already!) and the launchpad silliness, it's still a nice distro. I'll play around with it for awhile before going back to Squeeze, anyway.ff10.04 has a lot of bling in it for an LTS. Pretty brave to do this given Canonical's corporate customer hopes.
72 • The more things change ... (by jake at 2010-03-30 19:41:53 GMT from United States)
... the more they stay the same:
73 • @12 (by Misfit138 at 2010-03-30 20:25:39 GMT from United States)
BLAG Linux and GNU is completely free software, recompiled from Fedora sources. Just FYI.
74 • ubuntu (by forlin at 2010-03-31 00:54:08 GMT from Portugal)
Maybe it's the price due to popularity, maybe not only. Lately, all decision that bring with it eye catching changes to Ubuntu, are followed by a wave of comments across all the open source campus. Usually against the said changes. Things that do not use to cross the borders of the forums or do not produce a big echo in the outdoors, have a completely different repercussion with Ubuntu than with other distros. The true is that those critics, although vocal, are coming from a very small percentage of the Ubuntu total user base, estimated to be around 10 million users. It is not realistic to expect all of them to be involved with every single decision regarding the distro development, and it would not be fair that all decisions affecting the 10M, were driven by a comparatively reduced number of users, even if they're the hard core ones.
In my opinion Ubuntu is doing better and better from each release to the next one, and thinking again on the majority of users that are not technical nor very much open source conscientious, it would be interesting to know how they feel with Ubuntu, and how they compare it with other o/s. By luck, there is a journalist from a mainstream media who made that experience and decided to share it with their readers.
75 • RE: 74 (by Landor at 2010-03-31 04:40:23 GMT from Canada)
You're bang on of course, in regard to popularity and how much that puts it in the public eye. It's one of the reasons why I don't really consider some other distributions as popular as some would believe based on DW's PHR. That's neither here nor there of course.
Although I stopped using Linux around 99, I did follow it on an infrequent basis. Back years ago before the rise of Ubuntu everything was Red Hat. The Linux World's eyes were in that direction. The majority of guides and any how-to were mainly in regard to Red Hat, magazines were no different. Now you can't pick up a magazine or read a how-to with screenshots and see RH at all, or rarely, only if it's a RH specific. It's all Ubuntu and due to that any outcry will be heard far and wide, even if from the smallest percentage.
I tend to forget that "some" of the regulars here are fairly new to Linux, or mainly desktop users. At first I was shocked not one person has brought up that SCO has lost their appeal. Then I remembered.
It's a great day for Linux and all you Novell haters can pretty well KMA, they've done a lot in defense of Linux.
In bed with MS my ass.
Keep your stick on the ice...
76 • #2,4,6 - status of archiso-live at Distrowatch (by gnomic at 2010-03-31 06:35:32 GMT from New Zealand)
As an archiso-live fan can't help sympathising with godane on this one to some degree. He has been turning out editions of the live CD for around two years now, so there is a degree of permanence. However it appears to be a solo effort which could explain the lack of infrastructure. There is arch-live.isawsome.net which at one stage had a rudimentary forum, but now appears to have mutated into just a file listing. Then there's Archbang which set off with a hiss and a roar early this year, but then seemed to falter, I recall a posting a few weeks back which said it was all over before the current resurgence. Hmmm, what am I saying here? Found myself wondering whether there could be a listing for distrolets or distro respins or mini-distros no warranty or somesuch, there are a number of interesting projects by individuals around. Or maybe godane should consider linking up with the Archbangers, if they will still talk to him after his recent fork of their project :-> Anyhows, one vote for archiso-live here, I have found it useful.
Speaking of solo efforts, some interesting work at:
This from the desktop in 503box-JWM-Rescue-i686 RC1
77 • Re: 75 (by jake at 2010-03-31 08:12:29 GMT from United States)
"I tend to forget that "some" of the regulars here are fairly new to Linux,"
Conversely, the new-to-linux regulars tend to forget that some of us have been using un*x-like operating systems for over a third of a century ... It's a strange dichotomy, all in all. Onwards & upwards?
"or mainly desktop users."
That's a whole 'nuther can o'cats. I try to avoid it ... My bag these days is keeping the worms in the compost, where they belong.
"At first I was shocked not one person has brought up that SCO has lost their appeal. Then I remembered."
Not really an issue ... Just try to remember that SCO of today has absolutely nothing to do with the SCO of yesterday.
78 • igelle linux (by linux user on 2010-03-31 10:20:43 GMT from Poland)
Thanks for an review and interview with people who made Igelle linux. It seems to be really interesting idea with great potential and perspectives.
79 • shred misconseptions (by Anonymous at 2010-03-31 12:55:10 GMT from United States)
To clear some misconceptions about using "shred" to wipe out entire hard drive.
The article recommends to do
root# shred -vfz /dev/sda
It forgets to mention that the file system living on this device has to be unmounted prior to the shedding operation, like here
root# umount /dev/sda
In this way one should not worry about journaled file systems, overwrite-in-place, etc because one shreds a raw device with no filesystem mounted on it.
I would recommend to pass "-n 5" to shred to limit it to 5 overwriting rounds.
80 • @ 74 • ubuntu (by Stinky Snakefinger on 2010-03-31 13:28:59 GMT from United States)
I really wish Ubuntu would provide accurate numbers of their installed base. I have a hard time believing they have 10 million users. Anyone can estimate anything and repeating it doesn't make it true.
81 • RE:74, How Do You Know What The Numbers Are? (by Eddie Wilson on 2010-03-31 14:26:21 GMT from United States)
How do you know the numbers are not true? You don't know. I really don't believe anybody knows. Now if you had to go online and activate then we may have an idea. That would be the only way to get a close to accurate number. Besides that, what bothers you about the numbers? You can't say they are not true. Really why should we even care? I would think that you would hope the numbers are true. Enough on numbers.
82 • RE:81. Sorry (by Eddie Wilson on 2010-03-31 14:27:21 GMT from United States)
That response was for 80, not 74.
83 • ubuntu (by forlin at 2010-03-31 19:16:24 GMT from Portugal)
Canonical are the first to recognize that their indicators are imperfect, mainly as explained @ 81.
Another important indicator is the installed base grow, and this one can be taken more accurately. They estimate it to be 10% a month. If the 10M is overestimated, they'll quickly get it, if they keep that grow, as I expect they will.
84 • What to do in this case? (by Flávio Souza at 2010-04-01 03:57:54 GMT from Brazil)
I have a big problem: My family's main PC (C2D with 2 GB RAM and Windows Vista) died, but dad needs to declare his income tax. It's urgent. The only solution available is to install the Linux versions of both IRPF2010 and Receitanet in a spare PC (P2 with 192 MB RAM and Mint 6 XFCE Edition). How can I do it? I began to use Linux in November 2008 and never installed any software. Please give me detailed instructions. Dad is afraid of using Mint 6 (Felicia) because of bugs and sluggishness, but he promised to adopt Linux in our future PC if I give him an absolute proof that Mint is capable of running the income tax programs with the same security and stability of Windows.
Please help me! This is my chance to convert dad to Linux!
85 • users (by Leroy at 2010-04-01 08:38:22 GMT from Serbia)
In all fairness Ubuntu probably has 100 million users, but Niigata has at least 150 billion. You don't top DistroWatch pageload rankings with less than 150 billion users.
Why do we speak so little about these success stories?
It's all buntu, buntu...
86 • Great Week! (by Notorik at 2010-04-01 12:59:59 GMT from United States)
What a great week for Linux! So many distros to play with. Slitaz 3.0 is looking good.
87 • April Fool (by Joker Joker Joker at 2010-04-01 13:30:31 GMT from United States)
Isn't the top 100 list the same as last years?
You really want to make it April fool then have everything upside down.
88 • Top 100 (by david on 2010-04-01 14:16:49 GMT from United States)
The great thing about this joke is that I'm being exposed to distros that i had not considered in the past.
89 • April 1st (by Claus Futtrup on 2010-04-01 15:53:13 GMT from Denmark)
Funny with the hit barometer ... :-)
90 • Niigata at first? (by Gabizzz on 2010-04-01 16:29:16 GMT from Argentina)
Creo que tienen un error en el ranking, ya no figura ubuntu en la primer posicion, que les sucedio?
91 • KDE picks Kim Kardashian to promote next release (by Stinky Snakefinger on 2010-04-02 02:23:32 GMT from United States)
KDE picks Kim Kardashian to promote next release
92 • Crazy buttons in ubuntu (by Merlin at 2010-04-02 03:45:37 GMT from Canada)
I upgraded a friend's 'buntu to 10.04 and here's what happened to the buttons (isn't this button talk so much fun).
The buttons on the humanity theme were switched to the left side as I kind of expected. But after browsing through the new themes and deciding I didn't like any of them - not caring about the button placement, just the look - I switched back to the humanity theme and lo-and-behold, the buttons were back on the right, as in opposite of left, side.
It seems this 'buntu update was intercepted (some might say corrected) and redirected by a clever DNS redirection record in the Canadian Ubuntu mirror. There's a button war going on here, and this was just one small victory for the right! What will the next reboot bring.....buttons on the left??? OMG! The horror....the horror.
93 • Re: 91 (by jake at 2010-04-02 05:01:50 GMT from United States)
"KDE picks Kim Kardashian to promote next release"
WhoTF is this "Kim" person? Never heard of him/her/it ...
94 • Unbelievable ? (by RollMeAway at 2010-04-02 05:32:58 GMT from United States)
On April 1st, more so than other days,
you just can't believe everything you read.
and the new CEO for KDE is Karl Krocher?
95 • Top 10 Hits/Day (by zygmunt on 2010-04-02 08:13:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
Interesting that of the top 10 (6 months) only Mint had an increase on 1/4/2010. Of course there were Mint 8 Xfce and LXDE releases. But just maybe the top 10 attract more visitors when then Names are properly displayed and there is a kind of Bose-Einstein condensation effect in evidence. In other words the stats are skewed by the measurement realisations.
96 • RE: #93 (by Anonymous at 2010-04-02 09:38:11 GMT from Italy)
"WhoTF is this "Kim" person? Never heard of him/her/it ..."
97 • Re: 96 (by jake at 2010-04-02 12:51:22 GMT from United States)
Oh. So it's a celebretard. I should have guessed.
I don't pay much attention to things like that ... there is too much going on in RealLife[tm] for me to sit around, living my life vicariously through whoever the HypeMachine deems important this week.
Presumably, the supposed KDE endorsement was an April 1 gag, then?
98 • Real life (by Jesse at 2010-04-02 17:50:34 GMT from Canada)
In this case, the goings on in RealLife(tm) includes following KDE news reports and posting comments about them on anonymous forums.
Actually, on a only slightly more serious note, KDE could get a lot of coverage and attract a lot of users if they did get Kim on board. Millions of people will type whatever she talks about into Google. That's a lot of advertising power.
99 • @98 and IPv6 (by Merlin at 2010-04-02 21:47:23 GMT from Canada)
Just thinking that when IPv6 eventually takes hold, chances are everyone will get their own dedicated IP address for life. Think global ban lists. That may make people think twice before issuing certain comments. And what about the lawsuits then....so and so added me to the global ban list....I swear it wasn't me! Oh, I guess you could just go and buy another IP address then....or can you? Will you be cross-referenced to the banned IP? Hmmm, black market IP addresses.
Keep you thoughts in your head...
100 • Simply Mepis (by Tanhouser at 2010-04-02 21:58:48 GMT from United States)
Just tried it and it is a thing of beauty.
101 • April Fool HPD (by Stinky Snakefinger on 2010-04-03 01:00:10 GMT from United States)
Just noticed due to the switch around on April Fools Day Niigata jumped to number 14 in the 7 day HPD ranking. lol
14 Niigata 708
102 • @ 100 Simply Mepis (by Stinky Snakefinger on 2010-04-03 01:02:00 GMT from United States)
I read a review where they gave them a mark down for visuals but I think it looks very nice.
103 • Re Jesse & Landor (by jake at 2010-04-03 04:32:27 GMT from United States)
"In this case, the goings on in RealLife(tm) includes following KDE news reports and posting comments about them on anonymous forums."
I stopped following the details of the various FOSS projects 15 years ago, with a couple rare exceptions (the kernel, Slackware, BIND, Apache, Sendmail, INN, a few others). There is just too much going on for any one human to grok it all ... I'd rather research what I need to know on a need to know basis. It's my personal opinion, YMMV, etc.
As a side note, I've been following DW since the inception, and read DWW and the comments because it's a good overview of where the userbase's mindset is heading. I don't always agree with it, but then I don't always agree with the voterbase's opinion after elections, either. Neither stops me from carrying on in my day-to-day life as always ;-)
"Actually, on a only slightly more serious note, KDE could get a lot of coverage and attract a lot of users if they did get Kim on board. Millions of people will type whatever she talks about into Google. That's a lot of advertising power."
Thus bringing about a spike of interest in Linux/BSD and KDE, followed by a precipitous drop as users realize that it's not WinDOS ... followed by a lingering under current of "Learning Linux/BSD & KDE is tough!!" amongst the folks who follow the mewlings of Barbie.
Landor: I caught yours before it was deleted. Folks have tried to do what you suggest to USENET for thirty years, following the same line of reasoning, with no overall success. I wouldn't worry about it too much. It's blatantly obvious that my opinions aren't the same as yours, nor Jesse's, nor ladislav's ... and yet, here we all are, sharing opinions. I said, you said, he said, she said, we said, they said ... Somewhere in the middle is the truth.
104 • X.org 1.8.0 is here! (by megadriver at 2010-04-03 14:01:53 GMT from Spain)
Rejoice, people! Death to HAL!
105 • Cronos behind the times? (by Jeff Dickey on 2010-04-03 17:43:40 GMT from Singapore)
For a distro that puts the Agile Manifesto on its homepage, there are some curious anachronisms in the distribution. Yes, it's 64-bit; yes, it's DVD-only...
If you're looking to do modern/current PHP development, for instance, you may wish to look elsewhere. As of yesterday, Cronos only has 5.2.13 in their repo; no mention whatever of 5.3. If you care, there are numerous other distros that support 5.3 (or even the previews of 6).
106 • Response to Flávio Souza (# 84) (by NippoNoob at 2010-04-03 20:05:34 GMT from Brazil)
> I have a big problem: My family's main PC (C2D with 2 GB RAM and Windows Vista) died, but dad needs to declare his income tax. It's urgent.
It's not as urgent as you learn to use a terminal. Your father still has an entire month do make his income tax declaration ("Declaração de Ajuste Anual e Final de Espólio").
> The only solution available is to install the Linux versions of both IRPF2010 and Receitanet in a spare PC (P2 with 192 MB RAM and Mint 6 XFCE Edition).
Smart decision! Every software furnished by the Brazilian "Secretaria da Receita Federal" is Java dependent, and Linux Mint has JRE (Java Runtime Environment) out of the box. Without such a thing, you just couldn't make/send an income tax declaration file, and then couldn't also receive your "Recibo de Entrega da Declaração".
> How can I do it? I began to use Linux in November 2008 and never installed any software. Please give me detailed instructions.
Never installed any software? Are you joking? Don't take your butt off the chair without reading this post!
God bless the day your family's Windoze PC died. It will force you to learn, once and forever, that the CLI is your friend. Pay attention: I will give you instructions on how to implement a CLI install of IRPF2010/Receitanet.
> Dad is afraid of using Mint 6 (Felicia) because of bugs and sluggishness, but he promised to adopt Linux in our future PC if I give him an absolute proof that Mint is capable of running the income tax programs with the same security and stability of Windows.
Windoze security is ZERO. Mint XFCE stability is not that bad, although sluggishness is unavoidable out of a Pentium II featuring 192 MB of RAM... But it's perfectly suitable for making an income tax declaration, which is nothing else than a text file. And the Linux versions of both IRPF2010 and Receitanet use the very familiar "InstallShield".
> Please help me! This is my chance to convert dad to Linux!
This is MY chance to convert YOU to Linux.
I assume a username flaviosouza and a pre-existing DOWNLOAD folder on your Desktop (i.e., a sub-directory /home/flaviosouza/Desktop/DOWNLOAD). At this moment, it's advisable to configure a physical printer. Alternatively, you could print to PDF, instead of polluting the environment with more paper sheets. Why waste trees?
Okay, let me finally explain how you can install both the income tax declaration generator IRPF2010 and the income tax declaration sender Receitanet:
Log into Mint as common user (flaviosouza), open a terminal window, then get online. If your Internet connection is analog dialup, use the "pppconfig" script to set it up. Next, type "pon [ISP-name]" to connect, and "poff" to unconnect.
Note the Shell prompt must exhibit a dollar sign ("$"). If it was "#", then you were root (a.k.a. superuser).
Jump to the existing DOWNLOAD directory:
The shell prompt will change to "~/Desktop/DOWNLOAD $", where the leading characters "~/" (tilde, slash) refer to your home directory (/home/flaviosouza). Anything you do further will now reflect on the DOWNLOAD directory.
Download the binary file IRPF2010 (13,755,526 bytes):
Be patient. You should wait until the Shell prompt returns! And the download time can be too long when using a dialup connection: about four hours...
Now download the binary file Receitanet (5,940,981 bytes):
Much shorter download time in this case: when using a dialup connection, a little less than half an hour...
Make executable (turn into a "program") the first binary yet downloaded:
chmod +x IRPF2010linux-x86v1.0.bin
Now make executable the second binary yet downloaded:
chmod +x ReceitanetJava2010.02_setup_linux.bin
Run the installation software for IRPF2010:
Note the leading character is a dot. It means the executable binary (".bin" file) is contained in the working directory.
Of course, your father knows what to do with that installer, doesn't him?! It's pretty much identical to any Windoze version he always used. The only difference is that it dumps into a Linux directory (~/ProgramasRFB/irpf2010) the Java archive "irpf.jar" and all those auxiliary files related to IRPF2010.
When running the IRPF2010 installer, don't forget to include on the Desktop an icon for launching the software. It's very practical.
On the last window of the installer software (IRPF2010linux-x86v1.0.bin) you will see the message "Adicionar atalho na área de trabalho" (Add shortcut to the desktop). Don't forget to do it, so you can launch IRPF2010 by clicking the corresponding icon (symlink). Otherwise, just run "irpf.jar".
Now run the installation software for Receitanet:
Note the leading character is a dot, as in the step number 7.
Your father should have no difficulty to install Receitanet, which will be placed (along with a number of auxiliary files) inside the folder ~/ProgramasRFB/Receitanet Java. And your home directory will get a hidden folder (~/.receitanet) containing a text file (receitanet.log).
Before installing a new Receitanet, you MUST uninstall the previous one, if any. The new installer will ask you to do it by just clicking a button. Then return to the Shell prompt to run it once again (by repeating the step # 8). No need to uninstall any pre-existing IRPF program, but you gotta use a new "irpf.jar" version every year, as you well know.
That's all, friend. Thanks for providing me with one more weapon to fight Microsoft egemony in our country!
When I saw you asking for help, I called some of my "pupils" just to get staggered: The vast majority of their parents still use WINDOZE to make/send income tax declarations. Incredible as it can be, they are so conservative that simply don't trust Linux...
Conclusion: It seems that newcomers (and their parents) should be taught to consider the Linux desktop as a platform for "serious software", not just games, multimedia CODECs, Firefox add-ons, and such. Otherwise, it will always be a toy for kids, teenagers, and even adults who pay income tax.
107 • #2, #6 (by Notorik at 2010-04-04 13:14:10 GMT from United States)
This reasoning is odd. Antix has a website with a forum and a Wiki page but I don't see it listed here. However, Tiny Me is listed as well as MCN Live which are both derivative of other larger distros. Archiso-live should be listed here. I found it by accident one day and that's ok but this is a website about Linux distros so why exclude it? So what if it disappears after a couple of years? Someone may find it to be useful in some way.
108 • RE: 107 (by ladislav on 2010-04-04 13:25:27 GMT from Taiwan)
There are many distros that are not listed, including over 200 on the waiting list and possibly others that I don't know about. If a distro is in demand and many people email me about it, I'll make an effort to add to the database, but it might take a while (remember, 2 - 3 new distributions are submitted to DistroWatch every week). For Archiso-live the only person who has asked for inclusion was the distro's creator. As for AntiX, the last time we talked about it, the author decided to keep it as an edition of MEPIS, rather than as a separate distro.
109 • Flávio Souza, you can tweak Mint XFCE (by NippoNoob at 2010-04-04 22:39:15 GMT from Brazil)
The controversy about Ubuntu's placement of window control buttons is one more symptom of "Ubuntuitis", a terrible epidemic presently devastating the Linux community. Transmitted by the "Shuttleworth bacillus", it turns into shit an infected person's brain, to such a degree that (s)he gets unable to recognize that Ubuntu sucks because of its bugginess, not because of its titlebar button layout.
By consequence, the Ubuntu crowd has a big difficulty to understand the Canonical's decision of moving to the left side of the titlebar a bunch of buttons which otherwise might get HIDDEN when a large window is open inside a video screen with small resolution (say, 800x600 or 1024x768). Come on, guy: Although you can right-click the taskbar to use a menu instead of buttons, don't you think it's much more elegant to keep them VISIBLE (not hidden) at the left corner?
Wanna know how to do it in Mint 6 XFCE localized in Portuguese? Just follow these steps: Click Felicia > Configurações > Configurações do Gerenciador de janelas. On the Estilo tab, select Stoneage (his preferred style), Monospace 10 (his preferred title font), and Esquerdo (the title alignment). Inside the Ativo banner, drag-and-drop every single button to stablish its new position in the titlebar layout. Then click Close, and you're done.
Now the window button arrangement of your old Mint XFCE "Felicia" will resemble the one adopted by Ubuntu "Lucid Lynx". Isn't it cool?
A possible new step in the evolution of Mint should be the change of code base. BTW, Clément Lefèbvre might learn something from Dreamlinux, a truly magnificent "kiddie distro": Speedy, easy to use, beautiful Mac-like desktop environment, doesn't have Mono, based on Debian Stable, etc... And the best of all: DREAMLINUX IS NOT UBUNTU. ;-)
Yes, Dreamlinux is much superior to Mint. But if you want JRE to run income tax software, then by all means use VectorLinux. I've tested its Standard Gold version for about three weeks, and this is my verdict: WOW, IT ROCKS! (The stuff runs at "warp speed" and has replaced my old and bloated PCLinuxOS GNOME. But I still think PCLOS is the best distro for newbies!)
The only drawback with such a marvelous distro as VectorLinux is its ugly Windoze-like XFCE. I'm going to tweak it to feature TWO panels, one of them to be placed on the vertical position. And the window control buttons will be moved to the LEFT just to make it even more different from Windoze.
Oh Gawd, when will Linux developers forget Microsoft? It's a living fossil. Who needs that crap?
Number of Comments: 109
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|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Issue 783 (2018-10-01): Quirky 8.6, setting up dual booting with Ubuntu and FreeBSD, Lubuntu switching to LXQt, Mint works on performance improvements|
|• Issue 782 (2018-09-24): Bodhi Linux 5.0.0, Elive 3.0.0, Solus publishes ISO refresh, UBports invites feedback, Linux Torvalds plans temporary vacation|
|• Issue 781 (2018-09-17): Linux Mint 3 "Debian Edition", file systems for SSDs, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, Arch team answers questions, Mageia reaches EOL|
|• Issue 780 (2018-09-10): Netrunner 2018.08 Rolling, Fedora improves language support, how to customize Kali Linux, finding the right video drivers|
|• Issue 779 (2018-09-03): Redcore 1806, keeping ISO downloads safe from tampering, Lubuntu makes Calamares more flexible, Ubuntu improves GNOME performance|
|• Issue 778 (2018-08-27): GuixSD 0.15.0, ReactOS 0.4.9, Steam supports Windows games on Linux, Haiku plans for beta, merging disk partitions|
|• Issue 777 (2018-08-20): YunoHost 184.108.40.206, limiting process resource usage, converting file systems on Fedora, Debian turns 25, Lubuntu migrating to Wayland|
|• Issue 776 (2018-08-13): NomadBSD 1.1, Maximum storage limits on Linux, openSUSE extends life for 42.3, updates to the Librem 5 phone interface|
|• Issue 775 (2018-08-06): Secure-K OS 18.5, Linux is about choice, Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots on Btrfs|
|• Issue 774 (2018-07-30): Ubuntu MATE & Ubuntu Budgie 18.04, upgrading software from source, Lubuntu shifts focus, NetBSD changes support policy|
|• Issue 773 (2018-07-23): Peppermint OS 9, types of security used by different projects, Mint reacts to bugs in core packages, Slackware turns 25|
|• Issue 772 (2018-07-16): Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4, UBports running desktop applications, OpenBSD auto-joins wi-fi networks, boot environments and zedenv|
|• Issue 771 (2018-07-09): Linux Lite 4.0, checking CPUs for bugs, configuring GRUB, Mint upgrade instructions, SUSE acquired by EQT|
|• Issue 770 (2018-07-02): Linux Mint 19, Solus polishes desktop experience, MintBox Mini 2, changes to Fedora's installer|
|• Issue 769 (2018-06-25): BunsenLabs Helium, counting Ubuntu users, UBports upgrading to 16.04, Fedora CoreOS, FreeBSD turns 25|
|• Full list of all issues|
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|Random Distribution |
Damn Small Linux
Damn Small Linux was a business card size (50MB) live CD Linux distribution. Despite its minuscule size it strives to have a functional and easy to use desktop. Damn Small Linux has a nearly complete desktop, including XMMS (MP3, and MPEG), FTP client, links-hacked web browser, spreadsheet, email, spellcheck (US English), a word-processor, three editors (Nedit, nVi, Zile [emacs clone]), Xpdf, Worker (file manager), Naim (AIM, ICQ, IRC), VNCviwer, SSH/SCP server and client, DHCP client, PPP, PPPoE, a web server, calculator, Fluxbox window manager, system monitoring apps, USB support, and soon it will have PCMCIA support as well. If you like Damn Small Linux you can install it on your hard drive. Because all the applications are small and light it makes a very good choice for older hardware.