| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 356, 31 May 2010
Welcome to this year's 22nd issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Fedora 13 was finally released last week and, as promised, it is given prominent space in our weekly summary of events in the free OS world. Read the interview with leading Fedora personalities who discuss the many new characteristics of the release, then dip into our first-look review of the project's KDE edition. The news section also starts with a Fedora story, bringing attention to the large number of custom Fedora spins united under one web page for easy comparison and access. In other news, Red Hat focuses on green computing in the upcoming version of its enterprise Linux product, Sabayon developers prepare for a new release with a number of interesting enhancements, and a group of BSD hackers in Germany take over the development of DesktopBSD. Also in this issue, a reader's warning about the suitability of Qimo 4 Kids 2.0 for children, an update on the Mandriva 2010.1 roadmap, and a tutorial about creating PBI packages that can be installed on a PC-BSD system with one click. A big issue with something for everyone, happy reading!
- Feature: Fedora 13 - interview and first look
- News: Fedora spins galore, RHEL 6 green computing features, Qimo 4 Kids warning, Sabayon 5.3 features, DesktopBSD development update
- Tutorials: Creating PBI packages for PC-BSD
- Released last week: Fedora 13, Slackware Linux 13.1, MeeGo 1.0, Zenwalk Linux 6.4
- Upcoming releases: Pardus Linux 2009.2, Mandriva Linux 2010.1 RC2, Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha 1
- New additions: MeeGo
- New distributions: BackBox Linux, Elemental Linux Server, KXStudio
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (39MB) and MP3 (45MB) formats
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Fedora 13 - interview and first look
Fedora is, in my view, one of the most interesting Linux distributions available today. It's a project which regularly walks a fine line between cutting-edge and bleeding-edge. Not only does the Fedora Project have up-to-date packages, but it also has a large infrastructure due to the support it receives from Red Hat. The combination results in an operating system which is constantly changing and putting forward new ideas. To learn more about the changes currently rolling through the Fedora community, I got in touch with some members of the Fedora team. I had the opportunity to ask them a few questions and their collaborative answers are provided here.
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DW: Among the new features listed for Fedora 13 is the automatic printer driver installation. This sounds like a very convenient way for users to get the required drivers. What steps have been taken to make sure this service isn't abused? There was some concern over giving (non-root) users the ability to download and install packages in Fedora 12. How is this different?
The installation of printer support packages including drivers is done by system-config-printer, which is designed and maintained by Fedora but adopted by all the mainstream distributions. It takes advantage of PackageKit, a distribution-agnostic tool maintained by Fedora for streamlining software management and integrating that function with the desktop. PackageKit in turn relies on PolicyKit, a framework for managing access to privileged operations by unprivileged processes, which is also maintained by Fedora upstream as well.
When a printer driver is needed, a message is generated on the desktop messaging bus (D-Bus) that lets PackageKit know that a software package is needed for installation. The request passes through the applicable PolicyKit policy, and in the current policy a dialogue is generated asking the user for the administrator passphrase. The system owner can change the system policy so that this is not required, if they desire.
There's a useful explanation of the history and development of software management policies in Fedora in this message from Owen Taylor
on fedora-devel mailing list. To address any concerns over security privileges, we now have a Privilege escalation policy that explains all the details, thanks to the Fedora QA team, and we welcome constructive community feedback.
DW: With the new release, we're seeing the Nouveau driver included. Is Nouveau capable of completely replacing the proprietary NVIDIA driver?
FP: Fedora is fully focused on free and open source software, and freedom is one of our core values. The lack of freedom and the inability to add features and fix bugs and maintain it, even though we have the deep expertise to do so, makes proprietary drivers an unsustainable option. Even though NVIDIA's nv driver was technically open source, it was an obfuscated piece of code that was not really maintainable by the community. Even NVIDIA has pretty much dropped maintaining this driver now.
When Nouveau was originally launched, we realized the great potential of the project. Nouveau was first introduced in Fedora 7 as an optional driver, and became the default driver for NVIDIA graphics cards in Fedora 11. Red Hat also supports this effort and hired Ben Skeggs, one of the key developers in the Nouveau project, to help move it forward.
While we were working on further stabilization in the driver, Linus Torvalds wanted to see this driver get merged in the Linux kernel sooner, in part because he is a Fedora user with an NVIDIA graphics card. With the quick help of Red Hat's Dave Airlie, the upstream DRI subsystem maintainer for the Linux kernel, this process has happened smoothly and the driver has been adopted by other distributions as well to the benefit of everyone.
In Fedora 13, we are the first distribution in the world to introduce experimental 3D functionality for NVIDIA via the fully free and open source Nouveau driver. You can enable it by installing the mesa-dri-drivers-experimental package. You can then restart any X application to take advantage of it. It is always amazing what a group of dedicated individuals can accomplish, although it's ironic that we have to do it without the support of the vendor because good free and open source drivers will only increase the sales of the hardware from that vendor.
We still need to work on improving the stability, performance and power management capabilities, among other features. But we're already ahead in some areas including kernel mode setting support, and making rapid progress on closing the gaps. This is especially notable because Nouveau is an audacious effort, and works without any support from the hardware vendor and in the complete absence of hardware specifications. An X.Org display driver for a widely used piece of hardware is too important to be under the control of a single vendor and considered a trade secret.
Only the Nouveau 3D support is still at an experimental state. We'd like to stabilize it and include support out of the box for the next release. The free software community can join and participate in this effort by providing us with valuable feedback. Since we have a culture of working closely with upstream projects, even if you're not a Fedora user, your feedback will benefit everyone.
DW: A new feature, boot.fedoraproject.org (BFO) gives users with fast Internet connections the ability to run the Fedora installer over their network. At the moment, the BFO web site is a bit short on details. Could you please explain what BFO is and how it will help Fedora users?
FP: In short, BFO is a great new way for users to install Fedora, run it live without installing, and do other cool things related to boot and installation. It's a powerful, flexible and user-friendly method of doing a network installation and Fedora is the first distribution to integrate it into our releases. A user can easily download a single tiny ISO image and burn it to a floppy, CD/DVD, or USB stick and then boot the host off of that media. Like magic, the user is then presented with a menu of different boot and installation options.
The benefit to Fedora users is that a single, tiny image file is all you need to get started with Fedora. Furthermore, all currently supported versions of Fedora as well as pre-release versions will be available on all supported architectures from this single image, which doesn't need to change from release to release. One possibility is that the BFO method would replace DVD downloads in places where bandwidth is plentiful, and it clearly targets users with reliable high-speed Internet connections. Mike McGrath from Red Hat, who leads the Fedora Infrastructure team, led this effort because he is interested in cutting down the number of release images we manage by providing better solutions to our users.
BFO is essentially a Fedora-branded version of boot.kernel.org. Many thanks to John "warthog9" Hawley, administrator of kernel.org and a good friend of the Fedora Project, for pioneering the effort with BFO.
DW: We're seeing some improvements to the Btrfs file system, such as snapshots and easy rollbacks. At the moment, Btrfs still seems to be treated as an experimental add-on. Will we soon see this file system offered on equal footing with other file systems, such as ext4?
In Fedora 13, Btrfs is still considered an experimental file system, but you merely have to pass "btrfs" as a option to the installer to enable it. Btrfs has some exciting new capabilities which users will appreciate, such as snapshotting, and Fedora 13 will also include a yum plugin to take advantage of it. The yum-plugin-fs-snapshot package is designed in a generic fashion, and works with Btrfs or LVM volumes to take snapshots. A snapshot before any package transaction, such as updates or removals of packages, can provide a form of atomic package changes and reversible package updates, enabling a user to recover from any issues more quickly. Btrfs also has the interesting ability to do in-place conversion from ext3 or ext4, which is pretty awesome!
Despite such useful capabilities, a file system is a very critical piece of software. We have to take a more systematic and conservative approach with Btrfs as a new file system, since users have to be able to trust their data with it. We are more confident with Btrfs since it does provide strong data integrity, unlike other file systems which only focus on protecting the metadata. Still, file system bugs can be critical and we want to ensure it is well tested before we make it the default.
We strongly believe that Btrfs is the next generation file system for Fedora. Other than Oracle, Red Hat is the major contributor to this file system, and since Fedora benefits from the expertise provided by our sponsor we'll be leading in the integration of and migration to Btrfs. We are looking towards not only making it the default but also integrating it fully and exposing the capabilities in useful ways. In addition to the yum plugin, we hope to integrate it better with the desktop. One current proposal is to take snapshots of the file system in regular intervals and providing a file manager extension with a timeline that can roll back and forth between user data as needed. We intend to make it the default file system within the next few releases.
Btrfs has reached a important milestone recently by narrowing down on the current on-disk format, which is an important step towards a production quality file system. Even if it must be altered in the future, Btrfs developers have committed to supporting the current format for compatibility. Josef Bacik, Btrfs developer from Red Hat is working full-time to stabilize the file system, smooth the remaining rough edges upstream, and help us achieve our plans for Btrfs in Fedora. You can read more about his thoughts in much more detail here
DW: The release notes say the PowerPC is now a secondary architecture. Does this mean we won't see any official spins for the PowerPC architecture? Will the Fedora Project host community spins?
FP: Starting from the Fedora 13 release, PowerPC will be a community-maintained secondary architecture of Fedora. Anyone interested can join this effort to support and manage the builds. The primary architectures, x86 and x86_64 will be managed by the official Fedora release engineering team.
The real difference is that if and when packages successfully build on primary architectures, we will push forward independently of the builds for PowerPC. Fedora will continue to provide support for the infrastructure necessary to enable PowerPC and other secondary architectures, and will host any community PowerPC releases. We have also secondary architecture teams for ARM, SPARC and others. Whenever a group of people are interested in driving an effort and form a community around their special interests, we would like to enable them to do so. This diversity helps us provide greater portability and flexibility, which is a worthy goal. These teams require more of the community to participate to push things forward. If you have an interest in this, your participation would be most welcome.
DW: There is always some speculation as to how many users are in the Linux community. With tools like Smolt, I suspect Fedora is in a better position to judge their community size than most. How many users do you have?
Smolt is designed and maintained by Fedora for users to submit their system profiles. It has been adopted by other distributions including openSUSE
, and we welcome everyone to join. Rather than counting the number of users, it is more useful for users to quickly share their system details to help us fix issues and gain an understanding of which hardware we need to prioritize our efforts on. Smolt is only used on Fedora on an opt-in basis and users are only prompted once to enable it during the end of the Fedora graphical installation.
That being said, we do transparently maintain some metrics about the number of systems downloads and yum connections to the Fedora mirror manager. With all the caveats as stated in the Wiki page, over the lifetime of Fedora 7 to Fedora 12, we have over 21 millions unique IP addresses that have checked in with us. Some older releases have larger numbers because they've had more time to accumulate users, and as forums and mailing lists show, there are substantial numbers of people worldwide who still install and use older releases of Fedora. These numbers do not directly translate to a particular number of users however, because we do not register people directly. We understand that it is several millions of users and we take that responsibility seriously.
DW: There are quite a few different spins for this release. There's one just for security and recovery, for example. Are we going to see a push toward fitting Fedora into various niches, rather than a general purpose OS?
Fedora will continue to remain a good general-purpose operating system. Fedora Spins are a venue for interested contributors to target a particular niche and form a community around that. Users appreciate the well-defined user experiences that these spins offer. Many of the spins are quite unique and have brought in new contributions and enable more integration of various upstream projects we collaborate with. This is an ever growing community. We now also have a redesigned website as a platform for Fedora Spins. Take a look at spins.fedoraproject.org
to see the ways that spin owners can show off their work.
DW: A little while back it was announced the Fedora team was looking for a new Project Leader. Has that position been filled?
FP: The current Fedora Project Leader (FPL), Paul Frields, indicated in his blog post that the process would take some time. This is of course a very crucial effort for the Fedora Project, and we're not in a rush. We don't have any permanent dictators (benevolent or otherwise!) for Fedora, and we believe in new leadership in regular intervals to bring forward new and fresh ideas to the project. We have been fortunate enough to have the expertise of several FPLs in the past, and look forward to working with the next project leader.
Paul Frields has been with us since the inception of Fedora, and will continue to be a regular contributor to Fedora and help us with a smooth transition. Since the FPL is an employee of Red Hat, the position is subject to a hiring process, but a substantial number of people are involved in the process, including the Fedora Board. The decision on a new FPL will be announced as widely as possible once it's made.
DW: Some of the big-name companies, such as Google, Microsoft and Canonical are focusing on the much-hyped cloud. Will Fedora be offering cloud-based services, such as document sharing?
FP: We recently formed a Special Interest Group (SIG) around cloud computing to take advantage of our long-standing expertise and contributions around virtualization. Our infrastructure is, like the rest of the project, exclusively free and open-source software, and we have absolutely no interest in proprietary web services. The Fedora Project already runs services such as Gobby and Fedora Hosted for project-wide collaboration. While we don't have any plans at the moment to offer such services for end users, and certainly not to generate a profit, if it's feasible to do so we would be happy to offer fully free alternative services that provide useful capabilities for our users and don't trample on their freedoms.
The Cloud SIG is currently focused on integrating cloud into our release engineering process, so that each release of Fedora will produce official images for use on cloud services starting with EC2. While our primary focus is on the availability of the Fedora platform, and providing services for contributors and participants, wherever possible we want to make opportunities for more collaboration. We encourage interested individuals who are willing and able to participate to join our Cloud SIG to expand our efforts.
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I downloaded the KDE live edition of Fedora 13 and burned it to a CD. Unfortunately, things got off to a rough start. I kicked off my test drive by trying Fedora on my HP laptop (dual-core 2.5 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card) and found the boot process was a bit slow. Upon reaching the live desktop environment, I found my laptop operating at a crawl. Opening simple applications, such as a terminal window, would take about twenty seconds. A quick (or not so quick) check showed no desktop effects were enabled and I shut down all unneeded services. A little poking around showed X was taking up about 80% or more of my CPU while nothing was happening visually and more cycles were used while opening or moving windows. Trying different video configurations and turning off kernel mode setting didn't improve the situation.
This wasn't a complete surprise as my laptop had the same problem when running Fedora 12. What did surprise me were other regressions in hardware recognition. Recent versions of Fedora had properly detected and made use of my Intel wireless card and my Novatel mobile modem automatically. Such was not the case this time around; my wireless card wasn't picked up and my mobile modem required some tweaking to get it to work. My laptop's touchpad, as with prior releases, didn't detect taps as mouse clicks. I believe this is to keep in line with upstream settings, a policy which I would applaud if it didn't require manually editing text files to provide the same experience almost every other Linux distribution provides out of the box.
At first things didn't seem to be going much better on my desktop machine (2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA graphics card) where booting from the live CD took eight minutes to get from GRUB to the desktop. However, once I arrived at the desktop, performance was good and about on par with other modern KDE 4 live environments. I also found that my desktop was set to a reasonable resolution and sound worked out of the box. As a result, most of my testing going forward was done on the desktop PC.
Fedora 13 - partitioning the hard drive
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The Fedora installer hasn't changed much on the surface and there won't be any surprises for people who have set up this distribution before. It begins by asking the user to select their keyboard layout and the type of storage device they will be using (for example, a regular local disk or network storage device). The user is asked to pick a hostname for their machine and select their time zone. The user is then asked to create a password for the system's root account before moving on to disk partitioning. The installer offers quite a few options for dividing up the disk; users can choose to hand over the entire disk to Fedora, replace an existing install, shrink existing partitions to make more room, use any available free space or create a custom layout. The custom layout screen is both simple and flexible, probably one of the easier and more powerful I've used.
The partitioning tool supports regular, LVM and RAID configurations as well as one-click encryption. My only complaint was that when installing from the live CD, the installer forces the root partition (/) to be formatted as ext4. This quirk was also present in Fedora 12 and it strikes me as a strange choice. There are reasons for a user to mount / as ext4, but it seems to me a poor design to force users to go that route. The installer finishes off by getting the user to confirm their bootloader settings before copying the required files over to the disk. Once the install is complete, the user is able to reboot and is shown the first-boot wizard. The wizard displays a license agreement and prompts the user to create a non-root account. The user is then asked to set the current time and, optionally, submit a Smolt (hardware) profile to Fedora. I like the concept of Smolt as a way to track the sort of hardware Fedora should support.
Fedora 13 - working with the display and plasmoids
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The application menu has a generous collection of software. The 2 GB install gives the user a copy of KOffice 2.1, a few games, an image viewer, document viewer, blogging client, the Konqueror web browser, IM clients and a remote desktop client. Additionally, the user is provided with a video player, music player and K3b disc burner. Fedora also comes with tools for managing SELinux, a certificate manager and an encryption program. Aside form the usual accessories such as a text editor, calculator and note taking programs, the menu also has some useful applications to manage the firewall, configure system services and create user accounts. Oddly absent from the menu were popular software choices such as Firefox or GIMP. The project is dedicated to shipping free software only and does not include support for popular video codecs, MP3 libraries or Flash plugins. These add-ons can be found in a third-party repository called RPM Fusion.
To see how Fedora would work with fewer resources, I tried running the distribution in a VirtualBox virtual machine. The system started up, displayed a graphical boot screen and then stopped. After several minutes of not accessing the CD, I shut down the virtual environment and tried booting again without the graphical screen. I found that the system would lock up while trying to apply IPv6 firewall rules. Disabling IPv6 from the boot loader resulted in the system booting properly. Strangely, this bug only manifested itself in the virtual machine. I found that the operating system required about 750 MB of memory to run from the live CD and about 512 MB of RAM plus some swap space to function once installed.
Fedora uses yum for package management and there weren't any surprises when handling software. Neither the command-line interface nor the graphical interface appears to have changed in the past six months. I encountered no problems while installing, removing or upgrading packages. My only point of interest while managing packages on Fedora was the distro's Presto plugin. Presto is a plugin for YUM which allows the package manager to download delta packages and apply them as updates, rather than download the entire new package. In general, I found these delta updates reduced my downloads to about 20%-40% of their full package size. This is a very welcome piece of technology, which has been in place for a few releases now. Given the amount of bandwidth a single installation receiving updates can use over the length of its life, and given that Fedora probably has a few million users, this could be saving users and the project mirrors terabytes of bandwidth in the course of a year. It's a default behaviour I hope other distributions follow in the future.
Fedora 13 - handling packages and SELinux policies
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In general, I like the way the Fedora team approaches security. The installer insists on setting a root password and creating a regular user account. The distro enables SELinux out of the box and has convenient tools for managing SELinux policies. I like that encrypting partitions in the installer is very easy and intuitive. On the live CD edition, the firewall is enabled and OpenSSH turned off, though the firewall port for SSH is left open in case the user wishes to turn on the service later. The only quirk I found was non-root users had the ability to reboot or halt the machine. This probably isn't an issue for people logged in locally; after all it would be annoying to have to switch to the root account just to shut down the computer you are sitting in front of. However, the regular user accounts can also halt the machine remotely if secure shell is enabled without suing to root, a potential problem for the unaware admin.
For the most part, Fedora 13 feels very similar to Fedora 12, a stable, modern and well put-together operating system. However, there are some things which stood out that I feel the need to complain about. Generally I don't like to focus on hardware compatibility, but Fedora 13 was a big regression for me, especially on the laptop. It took more resources, performed slower than the last release and didn't work with some of the hardware Fedora 11 and 12 handled previously. Forcing users to download the entire DVD to choose their root file system is also, in my opinion, a poor design choice, one other distros with live CDs have avoided. Those problems aside, I generally liked my time with the latest Fedora, the project provides a good balance of new software with tried and true configuration tools. Worth a look if you're interested in trying new technology or would like to experience a polished SELinux implementation.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Fedora spins galore, RHEL 6 green computing features, Qimo 4 Kids warning, Sabayon 5.3 features, DesktopBSD development update
As mentioned briefly in this week's feature story, one of the most interesting aspects of Fedora 13 is the availability of "spins", or Fedora-based community distributions built with specialist features or designed for certain markets. In a way, the concept is similar to Ubuntu editions and remixes, but instead of being supplied by countless independent web sites, Fedora community spins are united under one web page at spins.fedoraproject.org. Here one can find the usual desktop-specific live CD spins with KDE, LXDE or Xfce, as well as some niche products created for security specialists, gamers or graphics artists. There is even a custom spin for Brazil - localised into Brazilian Portuguese and with OpenOffice.org packages renamed as BROffice to comply with local trademark laws. At the time of writing the page lists ten different Fedora spins, but chances are that this number will increase as more developers join the fun by designing their own custom Fedora builds.
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With the recent beta release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, the attention of system administrators in many large organisations will turn to the new version of the world's most widely-used enterprise Linux system. One interesting characteristic of the new version is its green computing features: "With the economy in crisis, IT departments worldwide are striving to reduce budgets and 'green' their IT architectures. With Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, and the numerous 'Green IT”' features being added to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, Red Hat offers a highly power-efficient environment that aims to be the most ecologically friendly operating system platform on the market. Red Hat Enterprise Linux was named the 'Greenest Operating System' in 2008 by Network World, beating out Microsoft Windows Server and SUSE Enterprise Linux, and was awarded the 'Best Greener IT Product' at the 2009 SYS-CON Virtualization Conference & Expo Awards. Many of our customers, like Bank of New Zealand, have also made significant strides in greening their organization's IT architectures with help from Red Hat Enterprise Linux."
On a related note, Triangle Business Journal reports that Matthew Szulik, chairman of Red Hat's board of directors, will step down from this position in August this year: "In a May 20 letter to Red Hat board of directors, Szulik says he will not stand for re-election to his board seat when his term expires on August 12. Szulik joined Red Hat as president in 1998 after serving as president and chief operating officer at Relativity Technologies, another Raleigh-based software company. He helped navigate Red Hat, a Linux software company, through its initial public stock offering in 1999 and was named CEO later that year. Szulik stepped down as CEO in December 2007 but remained as chairman of the board of directors. He was succeeded as chief executive by current CEO Jim Whitehurst. Earlier this year, Szulik signed a new agreement to stay on as chairman through February 28, 2010. But in the May 20 letter, Szulik says he has no disagreements or concerns about Red Hat and is stepping down to spend more time with his family."
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Last week's release of a new version of Qimo 4 Kids, an Ubuntu-based distribution for children, received many positive comments from parents who have booted it up on their children's computers and watched their sons and daughters spending happy times investigating the features of this custom operating system. However, not everybody was excited about the product. A reader has emailed us to say that Qimo 2.0 has one huge flaw - it comes with no parental control software to stop children from visiting unsuitable web sites. The reader even emailed the distro developers and received this reply: "Qimo is designed to run on a standalone computer, without access to the Internet. We include Firefox, but no built-in content filtering." Be warned, however, that Qimo 2.0 auto-configures network access on any DHCP-enabled system, potentially exposing children to some of the ills of the world wide web. One possible solution to the problem would be to install Linux Mint 9 which does come with parental control software, then install the qimo-session package from Ubuntu's Universal repository. We haven't tried this solution, so we don't know how well it works, but it's worth a consideration if your children use Qimo on an Internet-enabled computer.
Qimo 4 Kids 2.0 - a distribution for kids without parental control software?
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Preparations are under way for a new release of Sabayon Linux, version 5.3. Internally on release candidate 2, the new release is also available for testing via the public daily ISO builds found on most Sabayon mirrors. What can we expect to find in the new release? "Some of the changes include bug fixes, of course, Btrfs file system support, Mono removed from GRUB, and installer fixes. Keep in mind that Btrfs is very young in development and should not be used in a stable environment. I did try it out in a virtual box setting and it seemed to work well for the little bit of time I worked with it. Mitch follows the progress of it and has been a good source for information. It sounds like in kernel 2.6.36 things will even be better for Btrfs." For those users who run the unstable version of Sabayon Linux, here is an important warning about Entropy, the distribution's package manager: "It's important to always make sure you have the latest Entropy. When you see the message that there is a new entropy version and it's important to install that first, it's not kidding. You can solve a lot of issues by making sure you always have the latest Entropy."
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Finally, good news for users and fans of the defunct DesktopBSD project. It seems that a group of developers in Germany are taking over the work on the operating system that was suspended after the release of version 1.7 in September 2009: "On 20 May 2010 the development of DesktopBSD was taken over by a small German developer group. The team consists of four people and stands under the direction of Daniel Hilbert. Furthermore, this web site is being redesigned. If you'd like to take part in the creation of the web site or the development of DesktopBSD, please send us an email." DesktopBSD was a project that attempted to turn FreeBSD into a desktop operating system by introducing many user-friendly features, including an intuitive system installer, a graphical package management utility and easy-to-use configuration tools. However, Peter Hofer, the founder of the DesktopBSD project, abandoned the development last year citing lack of time.
|Tutorials (by Jesse Smith)
Creating PBI packages for PC-BSD
A few months ago when I reviewed PC-BSD 8.0, some people mentioned the reason they weren't attracted to the FreeBSD-based operating system was the lack of available PBI packages. The PC-BSD system can make use of the large FreeBSD Ports collection, but for people who want to access their software in a point-n-click manner, they need Push Button Installer (PBI) files. This strikes me as a classic chicken and egg problem: more people would be attracted to PC-BSD if it had a greater number of pre-built packages and additional packages would get built if there were more people running PC-BSD. In an effort to help break that vicious cycle, I set out to learn how to make PBI packages and I want to pass on the knowledge I gained along the way.
Before we get into the details, I'm going to assume in this walk-through that you already know how to compile software. You don't need to have previous experience packaging software into other formats, such as DEB or RPM files, but you should feel comfortable compiling programs from source code. To get started, we'll need to have a copy of PC-BSD 8 installed on our computer or in a virtual machine. The first thing we will want to do is install the PBI Creator program, which can be downloaded from here. The PBI Creator is in a self-extracting PBI file and, once it has been downloaded, can be installed by double-clicking the package in the system's file browser or by running
The next thing we need is some software to package. For this walk-through I'm assuming we've downloaded version 1.0 of a software project called Foobar. We need to unpack Foobar and compile it. Those steps might look like this:
tar zxf Foobar-1.0.tar.gz (unpack the software)
cd Foobar-1.0 (enter the software directory)
./configure (check the configuration)
make (compile Foobar)
At this point we should have a new copy of Foobar in the current directory, ready to be run. So far, the process has been fairly typical of retrieving and compiling a software package. What we'll do next is turn this software into a PBI. To do that, we need a new folder where we can put PBI-specific files.
Inside the Foobar-PBI directory we should create two sub-directories. One called "bin", which will hold our newly made program, and "autolibs" which will hold any dependencies we may need.
Building PC-BSD PBIs - creating the directory structure
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With our directories created, we need to place our program, Foobar, into the PBI's "bin" directory.
cp ~/Foobar-1.0/Foobar ~/Foobar-PBI/bin/
When we installed the PBI Creator package it should have placed a launcher icon on the desktop. So next we'll run the PBI Creator application. The PBI Creator is a graphical wizard which will guide us through the making of a PBI file one simple step at a time. The first screen will provide us with fields for setting the package name, the version number, the project's website and author's name.
Building PC-BSD PBIs - entering basic information
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The second screen will allow us to optionally display a license agreement to the user who installs the app.
Building PC-BSD PBIs - optional license screen
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The third screen requests the name of the directory we've set up for the package. In our case it will be the Foobar-PBI directory we made a few steps back. In the middle of this screen is a set of options called Library Support. What we want to do is have the wizard figure out dependencies for us, so we'll choose the option "Auto populate library directory". At the bottom of this third screen we find three buttons for editing scripts. Clicking these buttons will create, and allow us to edit, scripts that will run before or during the package installation. For instance, the "Setup" script could copy a configuration file to /etc while the installation in is progress. Likewise, the "Remove" script might erase the configuration file from /etc during the un-install process. The "First Run" script runs before the installation begins and can be used to clean up old configuration files from a previous install, handy for upgrades. It's important to note that some simple programs won't need these scripts and they can be left out, but they're available if desired.
Building PC-BSD PBIs - location of our directory and optional scripts
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The fourth screen lets us match an executable program, Foobar in our case, to an icon and menu short-cut. Here we can edit entries to change the icon, place the program in a specific menu folder and set various other attributes the menu entry should have.
Building PC-BSD PBIs - creating an application menu entry
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The next screen allows us to associate file extensions with our package. This is handy if we're packaging a word processor or image viewer, but will not be needed in most cases. Once we pass the file association screen, the wizard takes over and turns our program into a PBI file, which will be saved in our home directory. The file will likely be called Foobar1.0-PV1.pbi, based on our example here. This file can be run to install the package on our system or transferred to another computer for installation there.
Building PC-BSD PBIs - associating file types with our application
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Though it may seem like a lot at first, the bulk of the work is in making sure the software compiles before it's packaged. Most of the steps after that are handled in a friendly fashion by the PBI Creator wizard. Personally, I found creating PBI packages much faster and more intuitive than the first times I tackled building DEB or RPM files. There's very little command-line work, only one packaging tool to install and no editing of cryptic specification files.
If you're interested in building a PBI file but are unsure what would be useful, there is a list of requested packages here. And further help, tips and support can be found on the forum. This week, with some invaluable help from PC-BSD's Kris Moore, I've created three new PBI packages and I hope others will do the same.
|Released Last Week
Slackware Linux 13.1
Patrick Volkerding has announced the release of Slackware Linux 13.1: "Yes, it's that time again! After many months of development and careful testing, we are proud to announce the release of Slackware version 13.1. Slackware 13.1 brings many updates and enhancements, among which you'll find two of the most advanced desktop environments available today: Xfce 4.6.1, a fast and lightweight but visually appealing and easy to use desktop environment, and KDE 4.4.3, a recent stable release of the new 4.4.x series of the award-winning KDE desktop environment. We continue to make use of HAL and udev, which allow the system administrator to grant use of various hardware devices according to users' group membership." See the release announcement and release notes for a detailed description of the release.
Slackware Linux 13.1 features the latest KDE desktop, version 4.4.3.
(full image size: 773kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Clonezilla Live 1.2.5-17
Steven Shiau has announced the release of Clonezilla Live 1.2.5-17, a new stable version of the specialist live CD designed for hard disk partitioning and cloning: "This release of Clonezilla live includes major enhancements, changes and bug fixes: an edition with pure amd64 (x86_64) programs was created, it can support large partition (10 TB) imaging; the Linux kernel was updated to 2.6.32; Partclone was updated to 0.2.9, it has been reported that the speed of this version is much better; Memtest86+ was updated to 4.10, syslinux was to 3.86, pbzip2 to 1.1.1; boot parameter 'nomodeset' was added with vga=normal to avoid using framebuffer mode in safe graphic mode. Bug fixes: VGA failsafe mode was not working; a harmless warning message when running GRUB 2 installation after Ubuntu 10.04 is restored was fixed; an NFS locking issue found in Clonezilla live 1.2.5-15 was fixed." The release announcement.
Fedora 13, a new version of one of the world's most widely-used Linux distributions for desktops and servers, has been released: "The Fedora Project, a Red Hat, Inc. sponsored and community-supported open source collaboration, today announced the availability of Fedora 13, the latest version of its free open source operating system distribution." Some of the more interesting features in this release include: "A streamlined installer; automatic print driver installation; new desktop applications and enhancements, including Shotwell photo manager, Deja-dup backup software, Pino Identi.ca/Twitter client and Simple Scan scanning utility; NetworkManager improvements; color management; enhanced iPod functionality; enhanced streaming and buffering support in Totem; 3D support for ATI cards via Radeon driver...." See the press release, release announcement and release notes for further information.
iMagic OS Sho
Jack De La Mare has announced the release of iMagic OS Sho, a commercial desktop Linux distribution based on Ubuntu: "Welcome to iMagicSho, the next in the iMagic OS line. Based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, and running the latest KDE 4.4, iMagicSho is based on bleeding edge technology; a fully loaded, powerful computer operating system." What's new in this release? "Bright new KDE 4.4 interface built with Plasma; magicOnline with a built-in native installation system to make installations much easier; new technology that keeps your home directory safe from network computer hackers by encrypting your data; latest software, including Google Chrome, Google Earth, Skype, Songbird, Firefox 3.6, VLC media player, OpenOffice.org 3.2, Thunderbird, FileZilla, Dropbox; support for DOCX, XLSX, PPTX, and MP3 decoding, as well as Flash and Java; runs Windows programs out of the box by using WINE; superior driver support." Read the complete release announcement for additional information.
SME Server 7.5
Ian Wells has announced the release of SME Server 7.5, a CentOS-based distribution for enterprise servers: "The SME Server development team is pleased to announce the release of SME Server 7.5. This release is based on CentOS 4.8. Changes in this release: the backup service has been made more robust; the email now correctly identifies incremental and full backups; a patch was added to support multiple Samba roles; as part of a major update with translations we have added seven new languages - Thai, Polish, Romanian, Estonian, Chinese, Norwegian (Bokmal), Russian; Transport Layer Security (TLS) authentication capability has been added for incoming SMTP ehlo requests; implement correctly the subject line SPAM tagging functionality; the syntax of the smtproutes and SMTPSmartHost templates have been updated to avoid MX lookups." Read the complete the release announcement for a full list of changes.
MeeGo is an open-source Linux project which brings together Moblin, headed up by Intel, and Maemo, by Nokia, into a single open-source activity targeting netbooks and other mobile devices. The project's inaugural release, version 1.0, was announced yesterday: "Today we are announcing the project release of MeeGo 1.0. This release provides developers with a stable core foundation for application development and a rich user experience for netbooks. It includes: instant access to your synchronized calendar, tasks, appointments, recently used files and real-time social networking updates; aggregation of social networking content; Google Chrome or Google Chromium; easy-to-use applications for email, calendar and media player; highly optimized for power and performance. Software: Linux kernel 2.6.33; DeviceKit and udev for interacting with hardware devices; modern graphics stack including Kernel Mode Setting, non-root X; Btrfs as the default file system...." Read the rest of the release announcement for further information.
Endian Firewall 2.4
Endian Firewall 2.4, a specialist Linux distribution for firewalls and gateways based on CentOS, has been released: "Endian Firewall (EFW) Community version 2.4 is now available. This release introduces new features and lots of bug fixes that make EFW 2.4 a significant improvement in the development of the Endian product family." Features: "If you are using EFW 2.4 and you wish to switch to Endian UTM 2.4, you can now do so by simply pushing a button. The process is completely managed by EFW, ensuring you a safe and effective upgrade. Updating your EFW 2.3 does not require to install a new system from scratch any more. Instead, you can update single packages using our dedicated repository. With the new version of the kernel the number of supported hardware devices - most of all network interface cards - increases significantly." Here is the full release announcement.
Peppermint OS One-05222010
Kendall Weaver has announced the release of Peppermint OS One-05222010, a lightweight, Lubuntu-based desktop Linux distribution featuring the Openbox window manager and many web-based applications: "We're proud to offer the first official Peppermint OS respin, featuring a fully updated system, a few bug fixes, and a few new features. We're going to be respinning the ISO every few weeks in order to make sure that fresh downloads will reflect the improvements we're making. Note that it's easy to update your existing Peppermint OS installation, so if you have it running the way you want it, there's no reason to download a respin. What's new? Mouse and keyboard settings are persistent; improved localization support for folders; Quick Search in Synaptic now works; improved support for printing to PDF format; improved support for 3g connectivity..." Read the full release announcement for a detailed list of changes and improvements.
Zenwalk Linux 6.4
Jean-Philippe Guillemin has announced the release of Zenwalk Linux 6.4, a Slackware-based distribution with the Xfce desktop, custom package management, and many user-friendly features: "Zenwalk Linux 6.4 provides many enhancements at system and application levels, while confirming the maturity and feature stability of Zenwalk. The brand new 184.108.40.206 kernel is featuring the new BFS scheduler, designed for the best desktop interactivity on multi-core CPUs while taking the most of lower specification machines. You'll notice better responsiveness of graphical applications, better real-time performance of sound applications (very low latency), and efficiency of 'niced' commands (compilation tasks can really be niced in a way they don't disturb other applications). Like its predecessor, Zenwalk 6.4 features ext4 as the main file system, and latest versions of most applications and desktop environments." Read the rest of the release announcement for additional details.
Zenwalk Linux 6.4 - a new update of the popular Slackware-based distribution
(full image size: 812kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Qimo 4 Kids 2.0
Michael Hall has announced the release of Qimo 4 Kids 2.0, a Xubuntu-based distribution for very young children: "After much hard work, and some delay, we are pleased to bring you the second version of our popular Linux desktop for kids. We have introduced a new character to Qimo, her name is Illa, a cute and cuddly little polar bear. Illa is an Inuit word that means 'friend', and we know she'll find her way into the hearts of your kids. She also has her own wallpaper featuring the Arctic landscape at dusk, filled with hues of pink and purple with the aurora borealis shining in the sky. Choose from a variety of Qimo and Illa wallpapers to find the one that is just right for your child. If you are already running Ubuntu 10.04, there's no need to do a fresh install to get Qimo - now you can add the qimo-session package from the Universe repository." Read the rest of the release announcement (with screenshots) to learn more about this release.
Mark A. Shearer has announced the release of DigAnTel 3, a VoIP telephony system based on CentOS containing the open-source Asterisk PBX software and related technologies: "DigAnTel version 3 has been released. DigAnTel 3 is a digital / analog VoIP telephone system using CentOS, Asterisk 1.4.30, DAHDI 2.3.0, FreePBX 2.7.0 with VoicePulse module, Openfire, vtigerCRM with click to dial, Postfix mail server, and OpenVPN. DigAnTel is the glue to bind these technologies thus creating a unified telephony system for your home or business. The installation is completely automated and doesn't require a working knowledge of Linux or Asterisk. New features in this release include Asterisk 1.4.30 with DAHDI 2.3.0, automated Sangoma and Digium card detection, updated DigAnTel dashboard and more." Visit the project's news page to read the brief release announcement.
Thierry Nuttens has released NuTyX 2009.4, a French desktop Linux distribution created from Linux From Scratch. This is the fifth release of the 2009 series with the stable and well-tested base system, but with many updated end-user applications. The release is provided primarily for those users who wish to upgrade their system, but who don't have a fast Internet connection to do so by regular online updates. The new version comes with a number of bug fixes in the installer and the usual round of package updates, including Xfce 4.6.2, GNOME 2.30.1, KDE 4.4.3, OpenOffice.org 3.2.0, KOffice 2.1.1, Pidgin 2.7.0 and CUPS 1.4.2. The primary Linux kernel has been upgraded to version 2.6.34, but an older, long-term support kernel is also available. Overall more than 600 improvements have been committed since the release of NuTyX 2009.3. Here is the full release announcement (in French).
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Mandriva Linux 2010.1 release update
Mandriva has announced a change in the roadmap leading to the release of version 2010.1. Originally, scheduled for arrival later this week, the developers have instead scheduled a second release candidate for tomorrow (Tuesday). The final release date no longer appears on the Wiki page though. As for the reasons for the delay, we are told that it has something to do with the recent rumours about a possible sale of Mandriva: "As explained previously on this blog, Mandriva is in discussions to find new ways to improve means for our distribution, its community and its 'place' in free software ecosystem. Therefore, our planning will be modified a little. We plan to add a second RC release, available for tests on Tuesday, June 1st. The final version should be released soon after this RC2, with new clothes, but still in line with Mandriva Linux project spirit."
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- BackBox Linux. BackBox Linux is a new Italian distribution based on Ubuntu. The project's web site is in Italian.
- Elemental Linux Server. The Elemental Linux Server (ELS) is designed from the outset to be a minimal, no-frills server distribution. There is no GUI, everything is console-based. There is no package manager, packages are installed from .tar.gz files. There is no administration tool, all configuration is done by manually editing files in the /etc directory. ELS will easily install on the vintage 1995 Pentium computer with 32 MB of RAM and a 500 MB hard drive.
- KXStudio. KXStudio is an Ubuntu-based distribution targeting artists, producers, musicians, as well as regular users.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 7 June 2010.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • GPL/Souce - Followup to last week's comments (by dialup on 2010-05-31 09:55:53 GMT from United States) |
"Can I put the binaries on my Internet server and put the source on a different Internet site?
The GPL says you must offer access to copy the source code “from the same place”; that is, next to the binaries. However, if you make arrangements with another site to keep the necessary source code available, and put a link or cross-reference to the source code next to the binaries, we think that qualifies as “from the same place”.
Note, however, that it is not enough to find some site that happens to have the appropriate source code today, and tell people to look there. Tomorrow that site may have deleted that source code, or simply replaced it with a newer version of the same program. Then you would no longer be complying with the GPL requirements. To make a reasonable effort to comply, you need to make a positive arrangement with the other site, and thus ensure that the source will be available there for as long as you keep the binaries available. "
I haven't read through the GPL or FAQ to see if there is special treatment of distributions of multiple pieces of software. But it seems the "spirit" of the GPL is - while the souce(s) could be at another place, that should be a single place.
2 • Qimo 4 Kids (by Marceaux Fisher on 2010-05-31 09:56:27 GMT from Netherlands)
Regarding the flaw in Qimo 4 Kids, Distrowatch offered the solution by installing Mint 9, and afterwards install the Qimo-session package from Ubuntu's Universal repository. My question is to the people who have already installed Q4K on their kid's hard drives: Isn't it simpler to just install FoxFilter on Firefox, and to block the deinstallation option? I'm planning to do that on my nephew's PC, because I don't to spend more time by installing a whole OS again.
Is that a good idea, of did I missed something? ;-)
3 • Fedora, yum-presto and power-efficiency (by Jati on 2010-05-31 10:43:58 GMT from Finland)
yum-presto is the first thing I remove after Fedora install. I have a good connection and with my netbook downloading the full updates is much faster than downloading and building the delta updates (speeds are something like 1.5 megas/s vs 300 kilos/s).
Related question - Red Hat and green computing was mentioned above. Does the yum-presto feature save energy if you consider the whole process and all the end-users using their own machines to build the updates?
4 • Parental Control (by merlin on 2010-05-31 11:56:25 GMT from Canada)
One option for parental control is to use the openDNS service. One benefit is it doesn't require any bloated software to run on your computer, only a small open-source app called ddclent (included with most distros) to keep your IP in sync with their service. You really just need to run the app on one computer in your home. Also, some routers (like tomato on a Linksys WRT54) support openDNS updating so you don't need to run anything on your computer. Once setup, you can customize the content filtering level, etc. All computers connected through your network will receive the same content filtering, except if you've got some whiz kids who can bypass the DNS settings on their PC...but that's what the root password is for, right?
Anyway, here is a link to openDNS overview...
And here is a link to ddclient setup...(make sure to add ssl=yes)
5 • @ 2 • Qimo 4 Kids (by meanpt on 2010-05-31 12:12:28 GMT from Portugal)
... the solution proposed by DW for parent filtering may not be the best alternative - try first OpenDNS. For details, check it here: http://www.opendns.com/solutions/household/
6 • @ 4 • Parental Control (by meanpt on 2010-05-31 12:15:17 GMT from Portugal)
... :) agreed ... next tim I'll check posts before hitting the submit button.
7 • Yum plugins and parental controls (by Felix Pleșoianu on 2010-05-31 12:27:00 GMT from Romania)
Re: the Presto plugin for Yum, I don't understand why everyone's so enthusiastic about it. I use fastest-mirror instead, which in practice means I'm fetching packages from mirrors in my own country, very fast, and not touching the official Fedora servers at all.
As for the lack of parental controls in Q4K, may I suggest instead, you know, education? Like, being there for the kids and teaching them what is and isn't good for them instead of placing restrictions they don't understand and can probably bypass anyway?
8 • web boot (by daryl on 2010-05-31 12:42:34 GMT from Switzerland)
Fedora is not the first distribution to offer web boot to users. It's more than a year one can boot from http://boot.slitaz.org
9 • (Humor) Mandriva Linux 2010.1 release update (by Master Crash on 2010-05-31 12:51:03 GMT from United States)
The Mandriva distribution has been sold .... to the devil. That's right people! New Mandriva spokesperson Beelzebub has confirmed the sale. The distribution will be re-branded starting with the 2010.1 Spring release and will appropriately named MandrEvil 2010.1. Lead developer Asmoday stated downloads will be made available as soon as the new artwork arrives. This will be one hell of a release! :-D
10 • RE: Qimo & safe browsing (by David Harper on 2010-05-31 12:59:44 GMT from Australia)
Another option is to:
1. Install Adobe AIR
2. Install KIDOZ to /opt
3. Remove Firefox
4. Set XFCE default browser to KIDOZ (in each account)
I agree that this is a pretty dumb thing to have overlooked.
11 • Best solution for QIMO (by na on 2010-05-31 13:01:51 GMT from United States)
Parental controls don't fix anything.
There are no perfect substitutes for parenting.
12 • RE: Delta updates (by Jesse on 2010-05-31 13:02:39 GMT from Canada)
In response to posts 3 and 7:
For people on unlimited high-speed connections, delta updates probably aren't all that wonderful. But consider use cases where you're dealing with slow connections. I deal with some offices who are still on dial-up (3KB/s connections). At those speeds, a 100MB update will take around, what, 10 hours, to download. Assuming no interruptions or other network activity. A 20MB delta update will take just a few hours. And on dial-up speeds, your limit isn't what the server will push, but what your connection can take, so you won't notice different server speeds.
Also consider places where there are bandwidth caps, like Australia. If you have a cap in place, anything which reduces your usage will be welcome. A 200MB download is much nicer than a 1GB download if you're under a usage cap.
13 • Fedora (by Fedora on 2010-05-31 13:23:33 GMT from Greece)
Fedora 13. 115mb of updates the day it was released.
Is it taking the same route 12 did where you get to keep all the pieces?
14 • @8 boot.slitaz.org (by burdi01 on 2010-05-31 13:24:34 GMT from Netherlands)
The slitaz-3.0.iso also has the web boot option.
It works like a charm *) and even can access e.g. DSL on boot.kernel.org.
*) The gpxe from boot.kernel.org did not boot for me.
15 • RE: 11 • Best solution for QIMO (by merlin on 2010-05-31 13:57:02 GMT from Canada)
"Parental controls don't fix anything.
There are no perfect substitutes for parenting."
Agreed, but parental controls do allow you to see where the kids are *trying* to go when you're not there 100% of the time.
The kids computer should be situated in an area where the parent can monitor it easily too.
16 • Nimble-X 2010 Beta and Virtualbox (by Per Aspera on 2010-05-31 14:05:10 GMT from Norway)
Thanks for the review in last week's weekly - and sorry for not being quite
up to date... But I find the Nimble-X distro very useful and interesting.
It's one very few distros that comes with Virtualbox installed and ready for use.
I'm using two packages for language studies. They only comes in Windows versions
and are not usable with Wine. (One of them demands MS netFramework; the other demands a working online connection.)
I've got XP, Vista and Windows7 versions of virtual machines with the language programs - including one in virtual OS on a pendrive.
Booting with the Nimble-X live CD on a laptop - the virtualbox virtual machines
worked very well.
When the new Nimble-X comes with installer for USB pen drives it would be great
to have both the booting OS (Nimble-X) and virtual-os/program software
on the same pendrive.
17 • Fedora LiveCD and Nvidia/X64 (by Steve on 2010-05-31 14:43:01 GMT from United States)
With all this talk regarding Nvidia, why don't they mention the LiveCD (Fedora-13-X86_64-Live.iso) won't boot with an approved Nvidia card on a 64 bit PC?
Just to see if the updates took care of this, I installed today (5/31) and accepted all the updates. Still does not boot without adding the nomodeset parameter (which only runs in the 640 x 480.mode).
A big disappointment!
Ubuntu runs perfectly!
18 • Parental Controls (by Emo Qimo on 2010-05-31 14:45:42 GMT from United States)
Anyone ever tried GNOME Nanny?
This seems like it might be the solution for Qimo. There is a PPA available for Ubuntu, so I would expect this could be installed in Qimo...
19 • fed13 (by klhrevolution on 2010-05-31 14:53:42 GMT from United States)
Too many big dists dropping ppc support. The past 5 yrs. I've watched as low end pc's really have fewer options and the same goes for older ppc models. It would be nice to see ppc user's & devel's come together to try and support the ppc somewhat better than it is (not that I dislike decentralization).
20 • Re: 7 • Yum plugins and parental controls (by Ariszló on 2010-05-31 15:01:45 GMT from Hungary)
I agree with Felix. Qimo is for young children, mainly of pre-school age. No responsible parent should leave a 4-year-old alone with a computer.
21 • Moblin / Mego (by meanpt on 2010-05-31 15:57:46 GMT from Portugal)
" ... and state-of-the-art Linux stack ... currently targets platforms such as netbooks and entry-level desktops ..."
:( ... didn't know entry-level desktops in these days are all PAE enabled microprocessors ... we live in a truely fantastic world ...
22 • Qimo 4 Kids (by Sal & Bev on 2010-05-31 16:21:23 GMT from United States)
Thank you Ladislav for pointing this out to others. Parents really need to know the downfall of this Distro. Although it is very cute for the children to tinker with, it still is not a true OS for them.
We will try what David Harper suggested. Also I would like to point out that they are considering using Dan'sGuardian in later releases. But my opinion is: Before you release anything for children, it should be READY. Not as an after thought.
Also, I do agree that there are NO perfect substitutes for parenting.
Sal & Bev
23 • Slackware 13.1 (by ringwraith on 2010-05-31 16:41:27 GMT from United States)
Congrats to Pat V. and the development team. It appears to be yet another outstanding release.
24 • 22 (by Brandon on 2010-05-31 16:43:04 GMT from United States)
I have Qimo installed on one of mine for my daughter to use, and I don't consider it a flaw. She is young is the reason Qimo is on the computer to begin with. It has internet access because I may need to use it for something, but no way is she going to be alone on a computer to even have a chance of finding something inappropriate. IMO any kid that is old enough to need parental controls is older than Qimo's target audience.
25 • About Qimo (by Gustavo on 2010-05-31 16:50:57 GMT from Brazil)
Just delete firefox.desktop
If you need a browser, run firefox from terminal.
26 • @17, RE: Fedora LiveCD and Nvidia/X64 (by Fred Nelson on 2010-05-31 17:17:43 GMT from United States)
YMMV. The 64-bit Fedora 13 Live CD boots just fine here, and I have a NVIDIA card too. Hope you filed a bug with respect to your particular card.
27 • Fedora Interview ... (by Banana Daiquiri on 2010-05-31 17:20:14 GMT from United States)
... excellent! This is a very interesting interview. Good questions and very informative answers ... no bs or hype, just sane, sober, secular, rational and enlightened replies. If only it was always like this! All too often people use an such an opportunity to peddle grand plans for the future and a lot of hot air.
One question regarding the following test of Fedora 13 ... why did you choose the KDE spin instead of the somewhat more 'native' Gnome version? Although both should work, I'd always expect less problems with the original than the spin-off.
28 • RE:I'll have to give Qimo a try. (by Eddie Wilson on 2010-05-31 17:28:01 GMT from United States)
I have three grandchildren who are under the age of 6. This would be very nice for them to use to get started on the right track. I don't worry about Internet blockers or filters at this time. It will be needed later but not for preschoolers. I do believe for people who think it's a huge flaw their fears are unwarranted. At this age (5 and under) the danger simply does not exist.
29 • Zenwalk and Xfce (by Claus Futtrup on 2010-05-31 17:39:33 GMT from Denmark)
Let me mention (again) that the new Zenwalk 6.4 comes with the new Xfce 4.6.2 - there's only a few days between the two and I honestly believe that Zenwalk is the first to include this new version of Xfce.
30 • @ 24 (by Sal & Bev on 2010-05-31 17:40:56 GMT from United States)
Our daughter is 8 and she uses the computer for games and homework and we want her to be safe as possible.
We are not 100% by her side when she is on the pc. So when we aren't, we want her to be safe.
As for Qimo, it is meant for children up to 10. So yes, the older children need to be SAFE. If you don't agree with it it, then that's your opinion.
31 • RE: 27 KDE spin (by Jesse on 2010-05-31 18:05:39 GMT from Canada)
"One question regarding the following test of Fedora 13 ... why did you choose the KDE spin instead of the somewhat more 'native' Gnome version? Although both should work, I'd always expect less problems with the original than the spin-off."
There were a few reasons. Honestly, the first is personal preference. I like using KDE more than Gnome, so if the distro turns out to be a keeper, I don't have to re-install, I'll just keep using it.
My second reason is that KDE has traditionally been the unwanted step-child of Fedora. And, while it has become better, I figure any unpleasant bugs or design flaws will appear more readily in the KDE spin than the Gnome spin. It's like giving a pop quiz. You're suggesting I use the Gnome release because you suspect it will have fewer bugs, I'm taking the opposite approach because I'm testing the distro, not selecting it for stable day-to-day use.
The third reason is, nearly everyone else who reviews Fedora does so with the Gnome spin and I like to offer another approach. I mean, within three days of the release you could read a dozen different reviews on Fedora and nearly all of them would feature Gnome screen shots. This review was destined to come out later and so I decided to go with a different official spin to give you, the readers, another perspective.
32 • Comments on the Fedora interview / review (by Adam Williamson on 2010-05-31 18:13:01 GMT from Canada)
"With the new release, we're seeing the Nouveau driver included. Is Nouveau capable of completely replacing the proprietary NVIDIA driver?"
Just like to add a bit to the answers here. Aside from 3D, the proprietary driver does some other things that some users rely on and which are not close to being implemented in nouveau yet, particularly video playback acceleration (VDPAU) and CUDA. Video playback acceleration is particularly key on nettops with weak (usually Atom CPUs) which are used as HTPC machines, and rely on hardware video acceleration to do smooth HD playback; you wouldn't be able to do this with nouveau, and it's a pretty tricky thing to implement, apparently (nouveau team says months or years, not weeks).
The power management issue is pretty significant for laptops and for the really high-end desktop cards. Fortunately it should be possible to tackle this a lot faster than video playback acceleration.
"A quick (or not so quick) check showed no desktop effects were enabled and I shut down all unneeded services. A little poking around showed X was taking up about 80% or more of my CPU while nothing was happening visually and more cycles were used while opening or moving windows. Trying different video configurations and turning off kernel mode setting didn't improve the situation."
Could possibly be https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=528312 . If it's something different, have you reported a bug? That's the way to get such bugs fixed (especially since you say you saw the same in F12). Other question, is this an old (i8xx) Intel chipset?
"What did surprise me were other regressions in hardware recognition. Recent versions of Fedora had properly detected and made use of my Intel wireless card and my Novatel mobile modem automatically. Such was not the case this time around; my wireless card wasn't picked up and my mobile modem required some tweaking to get it to work."
There's a wrinkle here - F13 KDE uses knetworkmanager, F12 KDE used the GTK/GNOME NetworkManager UI. So that could account for the different behaviour. You may find F13 GNOME spin behaves more similarly to F12 KDE spin in this particular regard. Or you can just install and use the GTK+ NetworkManager applet on KDE, instead of knetworkmanager. The KDE SIG have mentioned that they're not entirely happy with where knetworkmanager is for F13, they set it as default as they were expecting it to be a lot further along, and they may revert to the GTK+ applet for F14 if knetworkmanager doesn't make more progress.
"My laptop's touchpad, as with prior releases, didn't detect taps as mouse clicks. I believe this is to keep in line with upstream settings, a policy which I would applaud if it didn't require manually editing text files to provide the same experience almost every other Linux distribution provides out of the box."
It doesn't require such editing. In GNOME you can configure this from the mouse properties capplet. I'm not sure if KDE's mouse config tool exposes the preference, but it should, and if it doesn't there's other config tools available.
"My only complaint was that when installing from the live CD, the installer forces the root partition (/) to be formatted as ext4. This quirk was also present in Fedora 12 and it strikes me as a strange choice. There are reasons for a user to mount / as ext4, but it seems to me a poor design to force users to go that route."
It's not a quirk or a design choice, it's a fundamental limitation of the way we generate / install live images. The 'installation' of a live image simply involves dumping the entire image to disk, and because the live image itself is an ext4 filesystem, it has to be installed to one. This limitation doesn't apply if you use the traditional installer, rather than install a live image. It's not something that could be changed except with a completely different live image system, which would have its own problems / limitations.
"The only quirk I found was non-root users had the ability to reboot or halt the machine. This probably isn't an issue for people logged in locally; after all it would be annoying to have to switch to the root account just to shut down the computer you are sitting in front of. However, the regular user accounts can also halt the machine remotely if secure shell is enabled without suing to root, a potential problem for the unaware admin."
Did you test doing this with multiple logged-in accounts? In the desktop (GNOME) spin, at least, trying to reboot with other users logged in results in a root password prompt. It only works without root authentication if no-one else is logged in. I haven't tested this in all situations though, it may be different in KDE or from a console.
Thanks for the review!
33 • RE: 31 KDE Spin (by Fred Nelson on 2010-05-31 18:14:14 GMT from United States)
And as a Fedora and KDE user, I wholeheartedly approve. ;)
34 • @17 (by Adam Williamson on 2010-05-31 18:19:26 GMT from Canada)
Well, because it boots fine with most NVIDIA cards on most x86-64 machines. We can't document every possible hardware-related quirk, the resulting document would be rather longer than you could read without going into a boredom-related coma (this is the case for all operating systems). As the other responder to your comment asked, can you please just file a bug? https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/How_to_debug_Xorg_problems . Thanks.
35 • KDE Spin (by Ryan Rix on 2010-05-31 18:46:11 GMT from United States)
We now include a touchpad configuration tool, in System Settings ->Keyboard and Mouse so that you can configure touchpad settings without editing config files.
As for "Oddly absent from the menu were popular software choices such as Firefox or GIMP"… It's a KDE spin, what do you expect? We have the same 700MB limit as everyone else, and pulling in ten thousand GNOME deps would just make it a GNOME spin :(
"However, there are some things which stood out that I feel the need to complain about." I looked on bugzilla.redhat.com and a quick search didn't have any bug reports listed... :) Seems a little unproductive to me.
"Forcing users to download the entire DVD to choose their root file system is also, in my opinion, a poor design choice" The liveCDs are a compressed ext4 filesystem, as they are on any other livecd, of course there's no way to install other file systems... It's the same way on the kubuntu 9.10 install CD i have on my desk.
36 • Re: 31 (by Anonymous on 2010-05-31 18:46:52 GMT from India)
>My second reason is that KDE has traditionally been the unwanted step-child of Fedora. And, while it has become better, I figure any unpleasant bugs or design flaws will appear more readily in the KDE spin than the Gnome spin. It's like giving a pop quiz. You're suggesting I use the Gnome release because you suspect it will have fewer bugs, I'm taking the opposite approach because I'm testing the distro, not selecting it for stable day-to-day use.
Proves your intention to show Fedora in a bad light
37 • RE: 35 KDE Spin (by Fred Nelson on 2010-05-31 19:23:18 GMT from United States)
First, thanks for your great work on Fedora's great KDE implementation and spin!
You're wrong about the *buntus though; I just tested installing Xubuntu in VirtualBox using Ubiquity (their graphical live CD installer), and it installed to an XFS partition just fine. I also recently installed Kubuntu using their "alternate installer" (really Debian's installer), and that also installed to an ext3 partition just fine, unsurprisingly, and still left me with a real Kubuntu install, not just Ubuntu with KDE packages added on later.
Now this isn't the KDE SIG's fault (more the general Live CD and Anaconda teams), but Fedora really ought to either have their Live CD's install normally via yum and thus allow different file systems, as Ubuntu's Ubiquity does via dpkg, even if it's a bit slower, or have Anaconda be able to install a 99% equivalent KDE desktop to the Live CD without lots of manual tweaking in the package selection stage. I prefer Fedora to Kubuntu, but you have to admit that sometimes, they do something better than Fedora.
38 • OpenDNS Filtering for Qimo (by Marti on 2010-05-31 19:33:21 GMT from United States)
Perhaps the free account at OpenDNS dot org may provide parents with control over the browser application in Qimo.
39 • RE 32, 35, 36 (by Jesse on 2010-05-31 19:44:07 GMT from Canada)
"We now include a touchpad configuration tool, in System Settings ->Keyboard and Mouse so that you can configure touchpad settings without editing config files."
Indeed you do. This is a new feature I missed when doing the review. My apologies for that. It's nice to see this option added. I stand corrected.
"I looked on bugzilla.redhat.com and a quick search didn't have any bug reports listed... :) Seems a little unproductive to me."
I did indeed report the bugs I found, in fact if you read my review one of the links is to a bug report describing the issue I was talking about. Not sure what you're searching for, but they're all there if you know where to look.
The forcing users to use ext4 is a strange limitation, one I don't find with other distros. You can claim it's has to be that way all you want, but the fact of the matter is, most distributions don't have that limitation, even ones installed from live CDs. I'm running Ubuntu 9.10 on one of my test machines right now and it let me pick my root file system when I installed from a live environment.
"It's a KDE spin, what do you expect? We have the same 700MB limit as everyone else"
I know, it's always a juggling act, but did you catch my review of NimbleX last week? They stuffed a lot of software into 400MB, not 700, 400. Fedora has around a GB of language packs and such which take up a lot of space, rather than fill that space with applications. Whether that's a good choice or not will probably vary with the user. I'm not complaining so much and letting people know what to expect.
>> Proves your intention to show Fedora in a bad light
I never set out to show any distro in a bad light. If I wanted to do that, I wouldn't give several pages over to the Fedora team to chat about what they're doing. Nor would I talk up the new features. I set out to report the good and the bad. I happen to like the Fedora Project, they do some good things. But if there are bugs in the system they should be brought to light, shouldn't they?
Adam, I haven't tried remotely shutting down the machine with multiple users installed. I may try that later. I'm sure you're right though about the limits.
40 • Re: 39 (by Anonymous on 2010-05-31 19:49:06 GMT from India)
>>> Proves your intention to show Fedora in a bad light
I never set out to show any distro in a bad light. If I wanted to do that, I wouldn't give several pages over to the Fedora team to chat about what they're doing. Nor would I talk up the new features. I set out to report the good and the bad. I happen to like the Fedora Project, they do some good things. But if there are bugs in the system they should be brought to light, shouldn't they?
Sounds rational, thanks for the clarification
41 • Qimo Linux (by Linux blog on 2010-05-31 19:51:05 GMT from Poland)
Thanks for presenting Qimo 4 Kids Linux - seems to be one of the most interesting distros.
42 • @35 - install partition choices (by Tony Brijeski on 2010-05-31 19:55:36 GMT from Canada)
The type of filesystem you want to install Ubuntu to has nothing to do with the live system. In fact the live system is actually squashfs. When Ubiquity installs it back to the HD it just does a basic file copy from the unmodified loop mounted squashfs file to the hard drive.
If fedora uses a squashfs file as well then there really should be no limit to what you are installing to since the actual filesystem of the live system will be squashfs and not ext4.
The source for a squashfs file can be any linux filesystem - ext2, ext3, ext4, reiserfs3, reiserfs4. Mksquashfs compresses the files themselves and has nothing to do with the filesystem they are on except take permissions from it. For this reason you can't use vfat or ntfs to make a proper linux livecd since they don't hold the permissions properly especially the sudoers file.
The reason I know this - I am the author of remastersys - the tool that folks have been using since 2007 to backup their Ubuntu and Debian installs to live media.
I've been asked to port remastersys over to both Fedora and OpenSuse by users from the respective communities but have not had the time to look further into it so I don't know exactly what they are doing but using a squashfs file with unionfs or aufs is pretty basic live stuff these days and they should work the same as far as the data in them is concerned.
43 • Fedora and Live images (by Rahul Sundaram on 2010-05-31 20:03:28 GMT from United States)
AFAIK, some distributions like Ubuntu are patching their kernel with aufs which is not upstream and they were planning to drop it because it is never going to be merged upstream.
Fedora uses and contributes to device mapper which is in fact upstream but has the filesystem limitation.
44 • @43 - Fedora and Live Images (by Fred Nelson on 2010-05-31 20:13:46 GMT from United States)
Not being upstream isn't a good excuse, even for Fedora, or else you wouldn't have been using Nouveau since F7 (or F11 by default), long before Linus Torvalds pushed to upstream it. ;)
45 • @44 : Not being upstream (by Rahul Sundaram on 2010-05-31 20:33:40 GMT from United States)
Actually, Fedora has a long history of working closely with upstream and if a feature is not mergeable upstream it is a very valid reason to not put something into Fedora. Even if Linus didn't push for it, it was very sure that Nouveau would get merged upstream at some point and Ben Skeggs from Red Hat was tasked with maintaining that patchset before it got upstream and now he does backport some code now and then.
Not the case with aufs. Having a patch forever to manage against new kernel versions is a huge burden and the reason other distributions currently using aufs are likely to drop it as well. As we say, if it is not good enough for upstream, it is not good enough for Fedora.
46 • Yay Fedora (by shady on 2010-05-31 20:50:05 GMT from United States)
I do love how more so than any other distro I've noticed, Adam and Rahul are like the Fedora Rapid Response Team. I think it's cool that the distro I chose has people like that who are so dedicated.
47 • Tired of this nonsense... (by DigitalVampire on 2010-05-31 20:58:25 GMT from United States)
Can someone, ANYONE, please write a real review. Live CDs/DVDs DO NOT count. Virtual machine installations DO NOT count. Please, and I say this to everyone who writes reviews (of anything), do not set up an atypical use case scenario and write about it.
48 • Re 17 (by mandog on 2010-05-31 21:12:46 GMT from United Kingdom)
Fedora certainly does boot on live CD with my Nvidia driver,
49 • RE: 47 • Tired of this nonsense (by Rahul Sundaram on 2010-05-31 21:50:23 GMT from United States)
I don't think you can consider a live cd installation as atypical anymore. It is a pretty much standard way of installing mainstream distributions these days. Fedora's "default" download is a Live image for instance.
If you prefer someone to write up a review of a non-live image installation, why not write one yourself and submit it to distrowatch or put it up in your own blog?
50 • QIMO for Kids (by Anonymous on 2010-05-31 22:16:07 GMT from United States)
I just happened to be working with a fresh install of Lubuntu so I added the QIMO package and was impressed. The only oddity was the sound was disabled and no way to turn it on so I went back into Lubuntu and re-enabled it. Then all was well. It also gave me at no extra charge a nice clean XFCE install that appears to be better than Xubuntu. It looks like it added only about 400mb to the HD and that includes the Firefox as Lubuntu uses Google chrome.
51 • @2 & 4 : parental control (by glyj on 2010-05-31 23:29:41 GMT from France)
The parental control tool available in mandriva is simple and efficient.
Of course nothing is better than the parents....
52 • Re: @2 & 4 : parental control (by Anonymous on 2010-05-31 23:38:49 GMT from France)
There is something new in the upcoming mandriva 2010 spring about that:
53 • @49 (by TeXLiveUSER on 2010-05-31 23:39:34 GMT from United States)
I installed Fedora 13 with both x86_64 Live and with DVD, both worked well, but The DVD which supposedly has many things in it, did not have TeXLive by default. It said it was there, but then it said it was missing dependencies. It was a good thing that I enabled the update repositories while I was installing, otherwise I would have been screwed :(
The other install from LiveCD did not have OpenOffice, this was not a good thing. You and your friends ignoring your user requests to have it, You said in a statement to Fedora list that the image was going to be 1GB for a LiveDVD, then you and the others went back on their word to go to 700 MB LiveCD. Yes you can install it via yum, but consider the people that are on dialup, or in third world countries where that is all that they will get. Are you happy that you ended up screwing many people that would have been happy if OpenOffice were included, nevermind the TeXlive on the install DVDs. You did not include it, and if you did it was missing dependencies. Also an ancient texlive-2007 version is included we are already 2010, 2010 is not even in Fedora much less 2009. What are you going to do, wait for vulnerabiilties to TeX and then update?
File a RFE? I am way past that. THanks . and yes I still like Fedora, it is my distro of choice. But these issues will detract others from adopting it. THanks for doing that.
54 • Review style (by Jesse on 2010-06-01 00:36:25 GMT from Canada)
I'm hoping to do a review of the new Zenwalk release soon. Since you asked, I'll install it from the installation disc rather than from the live CD, just for a change of pace.
As for the virtual machine aspect of your comment, I try to run each distro on two physical machines as well as a VM, so I hope that seems diverse enough.
55 • Desktop-BSD (by stuckinoregon on 2010-06-01 01:37:41 GMT from United States)
Awesome news about this project being reincarnated!!!
56 • Fedora 13 and reboot (by Scott on 2010-06-01 01:39:01 GMT from United States)
Just tested--added a second user, logged them both in. Neither could reboot without authorization, got a message that they need to be root. So...that's a good thing, IMNSHO.
A single logged in user can reboot, which isn't such a good thing, but the worst security offense of Fedora, again, IMNSHO is bug 577070.
Allowing any user to update any installed package without authentication is not a good idea.
57 • @53 (by Rahul Sundarams on 2010-06-01 04:11:17 GMT from United States)
"The other install from LiveCD did not have OpenOffice, this was not a good thing. You and your friends ignoring your user requests to have it, You said in a statement to Fedora list that the image was going to be 1GB for a LiveDVD, then you and the others went back on their word to go to 700 MB LiveCD. "
Development plans change all the time. This isn't something to get all upset about.
TexLive is a licensing and packaging nightmare and it isn't easy to push changes. A repo is available for testing at
"File a RFE? I am way past that. Thanks . and yes I still like Fedora, it is my distro of choice. But these issues will detract others from adopting it. THanks for doing that."
If Fedora is your distro of choice, why do you refrain from filing enhancement requests and providing your feedback? It is the logical thing to do IMO.
58 • Grub2 vs legacy grub (by Anonymous on 2010-06-01 05:59:12 GMT from United States)
Does anyone know how many of the top 10 distros listed on Distrowatch HPD are using Grub2 vs legacy grub?
59 • Fedora 14 (Rawhide) (by Jordan Clarke on 2010-06-01 06:34:35 GMT from Australia)
[Firstly, however, @58...
GRUB Legacy distros - http://distrowatch.com/search.php?pkg=grub&pkgver=0.97#pkgsearch
Notably, RPM distros and the latest Arch isos use this (even though Arch has GRUB 2 in its repositories).
GRUB 2 distros - http://distrowatch.com/search.php?pkg=grub&pkgver=1.98#pkgsearch
Notably, Debian 6.0 adopted GRUB 2 rather early in its development, probably because of its greater portability. Also, Debian intends to remove LILO from Debian 6.0.]
Finally, the first nightly builds of Fedora 14 (Rawhide) are available - http://alt.fedoraproject.org/pub/alt/nightly-composes/. However, only the Gnome (listed under "desktop") isos fit on a CD, and even then only barely... anyway, I'm using the 64-bit Gnome ("desktop") edition right now to type this, and I'm all excited! :D I'm not ready to install it yet though...
60 • @ 54 • Review style (by Jesse (by meanpt on 2010-06-01 09:05:40 GMT from Portugal)
.. well done on the VM, if you intend to perform a stress test and squeeze the resources available, namely the RAM, but don't forget to list the distro's architecture microprocessor, whether you're using PAE/NX, if you're committing one or two processors and the characteristics of the host.
61 • Ref #53 (by dialup on 2010-06-01 11:41:31 GMT from United States)
"Yes you can install it [OpenOffuce] via yum, but consider the people that are on dialup, or in third world countries where that is all that they will get."
I don't understand your reasoning on this. Someone on dialup isn't going to be downloading the LiveCD anyway. To the project's credit, Fedora (and OpenSuse and Mandriva) also publishes the DVD that offers more software (including OO) and a custom install. If for some reason one wants to install from the LiveCD, do that and then install OO from the repo on the DVD.
62 • Fedora Live iso (by meanpt on 2010-06-01 13:01:11 GMT from Portugal)
Allowed 512 MB of RAM in a vm, it took me 25 minutes to achieve a working gnome desktop, had to wait more 5 minutes for the update's check to finish (come on, 12 updates are ready in a live session?), tried to install but the installer didn't run. at all. I'll try a lighter edition, cause this was the one offering the OO suite plus project management. Maybe an LXDE respin -- and don't try to tell me this isn't the right edition cause Fedora itself doesn't state their respins are not as reliable as the "main" distro.
63 • Re @62 Fedora Live iso Requirements (by Anonymous on 2010-06-01 13:23:10 GMT from Finland)
"Allowed 512 MB of RAM in a vm"
The computer on which you intend to install Fedora 13 from the live CD should have:
-at least 1 GB of memory (RAM)
64 • DistroWatch Donation for May (by ladislav on 2010-06-01 14:11:30 GMT from Taiwan)
I've been searching for some donation ideas, but haven't come up with anything so far. Any suggestions?
(Before suggesting a project, please first check whether it actually accepts donations.)
65 • DistroWatch Donation (by kilgoretrout on 2010-06-01 14:34:04 GMT from United States)
I would like to suggest the nouveau project for the May Distrowatch donation.
As a side note, I have been using the nouveau driver with 3D enabled on Fedora 13 64bit. What these guys have accomplished is simply amazing. Running gnome with compiz and opengl cairo dock. Everything is working fine.
66 • 63 • Re @62 Fedora Live iso Requirements (by meanpt on 2010-06-01 14:39:11 GMT from Portugal)
"What will I need?
* A blank CD or DVD or a blank 1GB+ USB stick.
* A 400 MHz or faster processor
* At least 512 MB memory (RAM), 1 GB recommended for best performance
* At least 10 GB hard drive space (only required for installation)"
From the right column of here: http://fedoraproject.org/get-fedora
67 • @66 Requirements (by Jati on 2010-06-01 15:04:24 GMT from Finland)
You should obviously only do real installs and read the real requirements. Forget vm's, live isos and that front page stuff ;)
68 • Donations (by Jesse on 2010-06-01 15:18:18 GMT from Canada)
I love the idea of helping the nouveau team, but they don't accept cash donations.
Personally, I'm not sure if I should vote, as it might be a conflict of interest. But I'd like to see Filezilla or Slackware get some money.
69 • Donations (by meanpt on 2010-06-01 16:31:46 GMT from Portugal)
70 • Donations (by jake on 2010-06-01 17:19:04 GMT from United States)
Although I'm fairly sure PV would prefer you give it to someone else ;-)
71 • Fedora13 and stuff (by davemc on 2010-06-01 18:10:10 GMT from United States)
Never a dull day over at Fedoraland! You guys work hard to keep life fun and interesting for us users :)
In all honesty though, I long ago gave up on Fedora as a serious Desktop contender for everyday long term use, even though after MUCH fixing and tweaking it turns out to be really a fantastic system that I really did love (talking about F10&11 here). The 18 month support cycle is a major drawback for me, and lets face it; Fedora is no Ubuntu and nor does it try to be. Its certainly fun and exciting to run each new Fedora release on my standalone test system, but all my serious rigs and servers are, and will remain on Ubuntu Hardy for some time to come until those get upgraded to Lucid. Red Hat (Fedora's master and pocket book) have also publicly stated that they have no plans or intention to target the Desktop market, and that speaks for itself as to what goals/intentions we will all see from the Fedora project. In short, you go with Red Hat/CentOS for the Enterprise Servers, and you go with Ubuntu (or Mandriva, PCLos, ArchLinux, etc.) for the Desktop/Home use, but right now IMO, its Ubuntu and ArchLinux that have really hit the spot. Mandriva would definitely be tied with Ubuntu if it weren't for their constant drama and financial woes mucking up consumer confidence.
72 • Oh, one more thing (by davemc on 2010-06-01 18:15:45 GMT from United States)
I forgot to add in for Ladislav that my vote goes for the Nouveau project. Any project that aims at breaking the choke hold that Nvidia or ATi has over us is a damn worthy project!
73 • @71 Fedora Desktop (by Jati on 2010-06-01 20:19:59 GMT from Finland)
I guess people have different experiences with Fedora. I've had no problems with recent versions F11, F12, F13 and two different machines (netbook and desktop). I've installed the GNOME versions using the netinstall isos and that way I get an up-to-date system right away. Then it takes less than an hour to set up the extra yum repos and install the needed packages with yum. No extra fixing and tweaking once you've learned the routine.
74 • Re: @64 • DistroWatch Donation for May (by Osoloco on 2010-06-01 20:27:02 GMT from Ecuador)
Ladislav, why not donate to Mandriva? That is what they may need to overcome their financial troubles ;-)
Jokes aside, I'll like to propose a donation to GCompris, the leading educational free software suite.
Here their donation page: http://gcompris.net/-Order-Donate-
75 • Re: 64 • DistroWatch Donation for May (by Raphael on 2010-06-01 22:12:44 GMT from Switzerland)
I would like to suggest the Xiph.Org Foundation for the next Distro Watch donation (http://xiph.org/donate/).
BTW, three suggestions your great “overview of today's top distributions”: Firstly, could you please add that Aptitude is Debian’s recommended package management (already since Sarge)? It would make sense to write “APT with Aptitude (a front-end to APT)” accordingly to Mandriva where you wrote “URPMI with Rpmdrake (a graphical front-end for URPMI)”. Secondly I think it is important to mention that bugs were not fixed in stable except for security issues and very serious bugs (see e.g. http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=576261). This is a big problem particularly with bugs in the X server that results in frequent X server crashes and, as a consequence, data loss. Thirdly: Why not add Arch to the overview? It is in top ten for quite a long time now.
Best regards and thank you very much for your great website!
76 • PS: 75 • Re: 64 • DistroWatch Donation for May (by Raphael on 2010-06-01 22:12:4 (by Raphael on 2010-06-01 22:27:35 GMT from Switzerland)
In addition it would be great if you could update Fedora’s “Available editions” section (main edition Gnome, KDE and LXDE spins et cetera).
77 • Donation (by SalixOS Fanboi on 2010-06-02 02:18:44 GMT from United States)
It's a "no-brainer" from my perspective of course, SalixOS.
78 • RE: DistroWatch Donation for May (by ladislav on 2010-06-02 02:23:21 GMT from Taiwan)
OK, I try again:
Before suggesting a project for donation please please check that the project does indeed ACCEPT donations.
Or even better, give a link to the project's donations page.
79 • @54 (by Woodstock69 on 2010-06-02 02:47:22 GMT from Papua New Guinea)
Damn it Jesse, if you can't test [insert our favourite distros here] on a C64, PDP, PPC and Sparc Sun Station (should that be Oracle Station now?) then you're simply not trying hard enough are you?! ;)
80 • Re: 78 (by jake on 2010-06-02 03:41:46 GMT from United States)
Thus my disclaimer/colophon ;-)
(Can the second line of a two line post be a colophon? That's rhetorical.)
81 • re #54 potential Zenwalk review - some hairsplitting (by gnomic on 2010-06-02 05:58:41 GMT from New Zealand)
Should be no problem reviewing Zenwalk 6.4 as an installed system rather than live CD - Mr Zenwalk only releases a live CD version intermittently, the last appears to have been for version 6.0.
I see Distrowatch describes Zenwalk as Slackware-based - I had a vague memory of reading somewhere that wasn't exactly the case any more. Maybe it's more of a fork these days? Wikipedia spake thusly:
"It was originally based on Slackware. Since its creation, the distribution has become very different from Slackware in most regards while still maintaining compatibility with its binary packages."
82 • donation (by illiterate on 2010-06-02 07:44:40 GMT from Greece)
I would suggest AVLinux, an interesting multimedia distro.
83 • @ 67 • Jati - Fedora is working (by meanpt on 2010-06-02 09:30:15 GMT from Portugal)
:) finally got Fedora Gnome Live CD and the LXDE's respin working. Next steps: get rid off corporate stuff as sambas, etc. etc. etc. Hope they have documentation on hwo to do it (you may post here a link - :):):) - ). After that it's time for getting the flash pluggin working (... ehhh ... you may post here a link too). Unfortunately my curiosity is not matched by Fedora offering. Tryed their Moblin respin but things aren't working at all and already post the problem in their forums. Vote well for donations :)
84 • Nouveau donations (by davemc on 2010-06-02 13:31:59 GMT from United States)
"1.1. I want to donate to your project...
You can help us by donating your time. Documentation, web page, reverse engineering or coding: all offer vacancies. We currently don’t accept money. We do accept hardware, however (especially newer NVIDIA cards are needed to improve support for them): see below. "
Well, my bad. They do need newer Nvidia cards though. One would think that they would accept donations to go buy new cards. Lazy, I guess?.. There is always the option to just send them some cards in lieu of cash? Just one of Nvidia's newest high end cards would probably hit the spot.
85 • Re - Distrowatch describes Zenwalk as Slackware-based (by urubu on 2010-06-02 19:13:44 GMT from France)
"I see Distrowatch describes Zenwalk as Slackware-based - I had a vague memory of reading somewhere that wasn't exactly the case any more."
Zenwalk 6.4 is Slackware compatible. You can use any of the 2800 packages coming from the Zenwalk repository, or any up to date Slackware package.
86 • RE: Donation (by Landor on 2010-06-02 19:46:32 GMT from Canada)
I'd like to see you pick, Ladislav. There's a method to my madness. I'd like to see which project you feel is the most deserving, or in need, of a donation right now. I think you'd be the perfect person to pick such a thing since you keep track of tons and tons of projects.
Keep your stick on the ice...
87 • Re: 86 (was: Donations) (by jake on 2010-06-03 01:16:54 GMT from United States)
Landor, that's how it works. ladislav is just asking for input.
Options (by way of input) are good. Nobody sees it all, when it comes to FOSS. Hopefully someone can suggest/recommend a little-known gem that *I* can use. Selfish, aren't I? :-)
ladislav ... have you given any thought to threading here in the comments section?
88 • Fedora 13: comments on KDE, XFCE4, Broadcom, system repairs... (by Jeffersonian on 2010-06-03 01:45:15 GMT from United States)
As posted before I upgraded from FC12.
It worked very well... but KDE login is still in my view not ready for prime time: bulky and still slow. Perhaps other distros (like Mandriva) fully dedicated to KDE have a better KDE implementation.
My short term conclusion is that Fedora is a great Gnome/XFCE distro ! Stay away of the KDE interface !
But of course, KDE applications (often the best user's interface) run very well under FC13 with either Gnome or XFCE login.
XFCE: Wonderful clean and lean interface!
However fans and power control (screen sleep mode) FC12/XFCE4 was not good under FC12.
I have not yet tried it on FC13, and will test ASAP.
Distro repair: I had accidentally (thanks KDE) damaged my wireless, and could get the system back to life, but it was real work. Repairing an Fedora 13 damaged system is still not a piece of cake. An automated procedure to bring back to life a damaged Fedora 13 system, from a CD/DVD/Flash drive would be a very nice project for whom which endeavor in something really useful. I would prefer a FC13 DVD repair.... but you may have a better idea?
The Wireless support for Broadcom chips needs some real attention: not easy to do... when on other distros (Ubuntu and spins), its just work out of the box.
And no, here making user's life hard does not achieve anything of real value, regardless of the open source drivers issue. (A tough one I would agree).
89 • RE: 87 (by Landor on 2010-06-03 04:12:09 GMT from Canada)
Actually, for as long as I can remember, when Ladislav asks here he usually just follows the general consensus. That was the key to point too, opposed to it. I'm curious (as I'd consider donating as well) to a project that from Ladislav's obviously educated opinion in the matter was the most deserving/in need of a donation right now. What clearly stands out in his opinion.
If you read this and don't follow my suggestion, Ladislav, could you humour me and still give me your opinion? As I said, I'm curious.
Although I'm not too happy with SourceForge for their recent decisions (as some who read here regularly may recall), I have been browsing there recently since they let up on their restrictions a bit and have raised my eyebrow over a couple small projects.
I think a small project that's doing a lot of good things and could benefit from a donation is Ardour. I'm not into Digital Audio, but a friend of mine swears by it and says it could really become something amazing with more work.
Here's the link to the main page if anyone's interested:
And their support page which shows the donation aspect (though it's on a number of pages):
Keep your stick on the ice...
90 • slax-remix (by gnomic on 2010-06-03 07:38:00 GMT from New Zealand)
Readers may have noted that development of Slax has not been active for some time. It seems that Tomas, the Slax founder, has been distracted by something called a 'Real Life' (whatever that may be) of late.
Over the past few months however, some capable enthusiasts have been fitting out Slax with sundry newer kernel versions, and the latest iteration of this work has just appeared. Worthy of a look imho. See this thread on the Slax forums. The remix is not an official Slax release but has at least tacit approval from Tomas.
[Slax-Remix] v07/2.6.34/Slackware-13.1 in the air!
91 • Fedora 13 (by John on 2010-06-03 10:09:30 GMT from Australia)
I've installed Fedora 13 as a VM in V/box. Unlike Ubuntu based distros I had a terrible time trying to get the Guest Additions to load. I finally did after running the apporpriate files in Terminal as root.
I used to use Fedora for a long while years ago but an up[grade brok my system so I wne to Ubuntu because it worked. I like the feel of Fedora still but the lack of some simple features makes it like a step back into the past for me.
Just my experience with it so far.
92 • Fedora (by Alex on 2010-06-03 13:54:10 GMT from Jordan)
"Fedora is, in my view, one of the most interesting Linux distributions available today."
Hardly... you're not even close. If you were to chose a linux distro to go up against another operating system, Fedora, consistently proves to be deficient. From its release day system updates of +100MB to its attitude towards MP3s, to its clunky graphical tools... not worth its time in download.
93 • Fedora, @93 (by Fred Nelson on 2010-06-03 14:13:38 GMT from United States)
Not sure if you're serious or just trolling, but just in case you're actually serious...Fedora is not meant to go for the Mint crowd, and being based in the US, it can't afford to. It can't ship MP3 and the like out of the box for fear of a patent infringement lawsuit. There is, however, the Fedora Omega Remix created by Rahul Sunderam which comes with the codecs out of the box if "out-of-the-box functionality" is what you want. Otherwise, it's dead simple for end-users to add RPM Fusion and go from there.
As for release day updates and such, it's the price of being closer to the bleeding edge. If bandwidth is your concern, at least Fedora uses delta RPM's, which make it much less bandwidth-intensive than running, say, Ubuntu Maverick which has just as many updates and is still somewhat behind Fedora 13 in how up-to-date it is. People who run distros like Fedora and Arch do not complain about the update frequency; that's part of the reason they use it.
I don't see anything wrong with its graphical tools; care to elaborate?
94 • RE: 93 (by Landor on 2010-06-03 18:19:24 GMT from Canada)
I agree with a fair bit of your comment. I think the issue of updates is incorrect, but that's only my opinion with no real fact to base it on. Just speculation based on what I've seen.
I find it odd when Fedora is about to release an Alpha or Beta then they hold it for a whole week resolving an issue. After the week's up, you still get the same Alpha or Beta. The same thing has happened with this release for the final (and I do believe in the past as well) where they say they're fixing a critical bug but it's generally believed the release is pretty well the last RC. So are all those updates on release day, or during the development cycle, because of bleeding edge or are they humpin' the bug-fixes out to the end-user that should have been adequately tested and part of the release in the first place.
As I said, I have no proof of this, but it's become a more common thing with Fedora that's left me to speculate. If someone from the Fedora team came and told me I'm wrong, currently, I wouldn't believe them.
Keep your stick on the ice...
95 • Linagora Acquires Mandriva (by Anonymous on 2010-06-03 19:55:05 GMT from United States)
96 • Mandriva Acquired By Linagora? (by kilgoretrout on 2010-06-03 20:50:03 GMT from United States)
It's being reported that mandriva either has or is in the process of being acquired by "Linagora":
97 • Pardus Spoiler (by Chris H on 2010-06-04 02:03:01 GMT from United States)
Tomorrow's new Pardus is available now
My installs of the RC went smoothly.
I expect my install of the final version will go well also.
Pardus is a fine distro.
98 • Pardus (by Antony on 2010-06-04 12:20:23 GMT from United Kingdom)
I think you said you like to use KDE: What do you reckon to having a look at Pardus, as a potential review here?
I think Pardus is a pretty outstanding effort.
99 • @98: Pardus review (by Jesse on 2010-06-04 13:27:34 GMT from Canada)
I do enjoy a good KDE distro and Pardus looks interesting. However, we had a review of Pardus 2009 already. I believe Caitlyn Martin did a write-up on it late last year. When they put out a 2010 version, I'll probably do a review on it.
100 • #99 - Guilty as charged :) (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-06-04 15:16:56 GMT from United States)
Yes, I did a review of Pardus 2009. See: http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20090810
101 • Mandriva: Great report (by glyj on 2010-06-04 15:46:54 GMT from France)
Mandriva as a scientific platform:
102 • Pardus (by Anonymous on 2010-06-04 18:39:12 GMT from United States)
There won't be a "Pardus 2010". They plan to release Pardus 2011 by the end of this year.
103 • SalixOS (by JimmyJohn on 2010-06-04 18:42:20 GMT from Germany)
Great news about SalixOS. This is top-notch distro. Vector never satisfied me, Absolute never felt quite finished, Wolvix was great but too old now, Zenwalk is pretty good but slower in my experience, there are some others too but none has quite delivered like SalixOS. If you like Slackware and want to download a distro today, recommendation: SalixOS.
104 • Off topic: Laptop temperature range (by IMQ on 2010-06-04 20:51:53 GMT from United States)
What is the typical temperature range for current laptops?
My less-than-2-year old laptop idles at 50C and can run very hot when watching movies online. Without some sort of cooling, like raising the bottom of the case to improve ventilation for example, the laptop will shutdown when temperature exceed the upper limit of 120C, as shown by command sensors.
I think Flash movie is the cause but I haven't investigate enough.
105 • post 104 (by Jon Thomsen on 2010-06-04 21:03:14 GMT from United States)
Are you sure?
120°C = 248°F
106 • RE: 105 (by QIM on 2010-06-04 21:19:20 GMT from United States)
I could believe it at first but it is not a typo.
I didn't know laptop can get that hot. Hence the question.
107 • 120Deg (by Anonymous on 2010-06-04 21:59:19 GMT from United States)
That must be the CPU temperature.
My 1.6G Athalon is currently idling at 105 F.
It rises to over 140 F under high CPU activity.
108 • RE: 105 (by Landor on 2010-06-04 22:05:51 GMT from Canada)
I don't know about your specific CPU but I know they average between 70C-95C. The highest is a Pentium M which is rated for 100C. If you're hitting 120C frequently you definitely have a problem and at the very least I'd invest in a cooler for it to rest on, as I said, the very least. It sounds like it has something wrong with it. I'd say the fan but you said it idles at 50C. Do you have anything setup to adjust the fan speed? Maybe something, a setting or such, is keeping the fan from ramping up the RPMs. Hard to say without physically looking at it.
Hope that helps somehow.
Keep your stick on the ice...
109 • oops! That was RE: 104 (by Landor on 2010-06-04 22:10:16 GMT from Canada)
My error, it was RE: 104.
Also though, I should say the numbers I gave are the maximum rated temperatures, not the average running temperature.
Keep your stick on the ice...
110 • RE: 107 & 108 (by IMQ on 2010-06-04 22:13:28 GMT from United States)
You both are correct. It is the CPU temperature
No wonder so many laptops fail in sooner than expected.
111 • CPU temperature (by Anonymous on 2010-06-05 01:35:22 GMT from United States)
Keep your laptop on the ice
would be better. heh heh
112 • @90 (by Tonio on 2010-06-05 02:18:53 GMT from United States)
The slax-remixes offer newer kernels, newer packages and overall a pleasant experience :), Tomas, creator of Slax & linux live, once provided this experience, but REAL LIFE, Kids and a wife took that away from him and $ too :(
Thanks to fanthom, a slax forum member, we are back in the saddle enjoying testing new releases, kernels and features :), I apologize to fanthom for not working on 64 bit slax remix build, but the task is difficult :(, I have not done so well as He and other users wanted.
113 • @103 (by Tonio on 2010-06-05 02:28:03 GMT from United States)
/* If you like Slackware and want to download a distro today, recommendation: SalixOS. */
Why not get the REAL thing? Not that SalixOS is bad or anything, but I already have Slackware 13.1, *what am I missing?*
the nice gui installer?
the pleasant XFCE experience?
I have Slackware installed, I have figured things out a bit, I like my setup. Is this for people who avoid Slackware because it is harder to deal with? or a bit more work?
Nonetheless, Good luck to these guys. They seem to give back to the Slackware community :)
114 • #113: What Salix offers (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-06-05 03:07:28 GMT from United States)
To me the big thing that SalixOS offers is automated dependency checking and resolution. To me that lack of that in Slackware makes it something less than a modern Linux distribution. SalixOS also simplifies getting codecs installed for those who care about that. It has a nicely done set of graphical administration tools as well and a variety of ready to go packages in the repository not included in vanilla Slackware. It's 100% Slackware compatible so you can still use any and all Slackware packages that suit your fancy.
115 • What Salix offers. (by Tonio on 2010-06-05 04:22:41 GMT from United States)
Dependency checking, slapt-get, ... graphical administration tools, fair.
Codecs, are simple to install, plus Slackware includes native ability to play mp3's in default installation. They use the Slackware base, and they add to it. Thanks Caitlyn for your explanation.
Now, SalixOS vs Vector vs Wolvix vs Kongoni vs NimbleX vs GoblinX
which one of these offers the best experience, most/all of them are Slackware based. I am not including Slax here since it has not had a release and slax-remix-vX does not count (still I like it)
I like plain old Slackware, despite what the SalixOS offers. Is that fair?
116 • Disk cloning LiveCDs (by Tonio on 2010-06-05 04:34:05 GMT from United States)
A friend of mine has a computer Lab and would like to setup one machine then clone that one to the other ones. I have used clonezilla-live before but I can't seem to clone several disks at once(using device-to-device option), I have read that we can use an image and a script to clone several disks at once. I have seen several limitations like disk to smaller disk apparently not supported and I have gone around them. Since I did a test sample lab of 15 machines, used a 40 GB disk and the machines that had 40 GB disks were cloned, but then three machines had 20 GB hard drives. So there it stopped. Since the machines were XP, I thought to myself in the old days, one ran chkdisk and defragmented and resized the partion to free space for installing linux. Why can't I do that? I did and shrunk the 40 GB partition to 18 GB and then used clonezilla and it worked :)
Which of the Disk cloning LiveCDs out there are better at accomplishing the task.
I have used clonezilla so I am partial to it, but other folks have recommended me g4l has anybody used it and what does it offer over clonezilla?
Other live cds that can clone disks multiple times?
Thanks for any responses/experiences.
117 • @116: Disk cloning (by Jesse on 2010-06-05 12:25:20 GMT from Canada)
You're on the right track with Clonezilla, it will let you do multiple installs at once. There are a couple of ways to do that. Based on your experience, the easiest way is probably to clone one machine and save the image on a networked device somewhere. Then burn several Clonezilla Live CDs and run several cloning processes all at once. With the image on the network, you can run several Clonezilla processes on that one image. I've found this approach works fairly well in small labs where you're doing five or six machines at a time.
Basically, use a network share to disk instead of disk-to-disk and you should be fine.
The other way to go would be to get the Clonezilla server set up, as it supports cloning to more machines at one time. You can get detailed documentation on the Clonezilla website.
118 • RE #104 (by Anonymous on 2010-06-05 14:16:46 GMT from United States)
Maybe the CPU heatsink or fan is defective or not properly installed.
Are the grilles for air flow unobstucted?
Do you hear the fan running?
The laptop may need these things looked at or repaired.
119 • aLinux ver 14 md5sum error (by Joe on 2010-06-05 14:18:14 GMT from United States)
The md5 file linked on last week's DW (same in at least two other repositories) has an incorrect calculated result. After twice downloading the iso, I discovered that the correct md5sum (or at least the calculated result I consistently got) is accurately posted on the aLinux/peanut website.
What surprised me is that I saw zero reference in the distribution's forum (either correction or complaint) to the incorrectly posted md5sum. I would have posted this on that forum rather than this but I'm already a "member" of too many distributions. Peanut/aLinux is one of those I periodically sample but it has never been installed permanently.
120 • SalixOS (by Reuben on 2010-06-05 17:25:03 GMT from United States)
Salix looked promising, however firefox crashed pretty quickly. A little investigation revealed that flash was the culprit, as it was using an instruction (lahf_lm) that my processor doesn't support. It also seems odd that they would include a proprietary plugin like flash but no support for mp3 which can be played using free software.
121 • #120 (by gapan on 2010-06-05 17:39:14 GMT from Greece)
You can complain at adobe and ask them to support your CPU.
And you're mixing legal/illegal with open source/proprietary. Flash might be proprietary but it is legal to distribute. The mp3 codec on the other hand, even if it is OSS, is illegal to distribute in certain countries. It sucks, but that's the way it is.
122 • RE: 118 (by IMQ on 2010-06-05 17:45:50 GMT from United States)
I think it is normal for the what I have. The fan is running fine.
What I see is the variation from one distro to the other. I am running it now under CrunchBang 9.04 with temp at 50C when idles. Under Linux Mint 9.0, it was around 60C.
I think it's matter of configuration of power management which I don't know enough yet to play around.
123 • @121: flash (by Reuben on 2010-06-05 18:42:25 GMT from United States)
I'm not sure what complaining to adobe would do. This issue has been known for a long time, so I assume that adobe knows about it.
However, I don't expect Firefox to crash within 10 seconds of opening. There is a fix out there, I don't know why Salix didn't implement it. ( http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/flash-crashes-firefox-on-x86_64/ )This is a clear example of why it is a bad idea to put proprietary software in your ISOs.
124 • Boycott NVIDIA (by Lobo Mau on 2010-06-05 18:57:57 GMT from Brazil)
> "It is always amazing what a group of dedicated individuals can accomplish, although it's ironic that we have to do it without the support of the vendor because good free and open source drivers will only increase the sales of the hardware from that vendor."
That's the reason why my next videocard will be an ATI...
The obfuscated nv just sucks, and Nouveau is also not a perfect solution. (Nothing can beat an open-source driver based on freely available hardware specs.)
Remember: Your money is a powerful weapon against anti-Linux manufacturers!!!
125 • RE: #123 (by gapan on 2010-06-05 19:30:19 GMT from Greece)
It wasn't implemented simply because nobody had reported any problems. However, you'll find an updated package in the salix repositories now, which fixes your problem. The response would have been even faster if you had reported the problem directly at salix. DW is a nice place, but it's certainly not the place to report bugs. Thanks anyway.
And adobe are certainly the ones that should fix it in the first place, they are the ones compiling flash. I'm all for a 100% free, no proprietary software world, but the reality is that today, almost everyone wants (even demands) flash. I know I do.
126 • RE: 124 (by Landor on 2010-06-05 23:25:16 GMT from Canada)
True, the Nouveau driver isn't a perfect solution, but right now neither is the open source ATI driver. It basically sucks and so does ATI's binary drivers, they almost always do. Some credit can be given to nvidia since they actually have a fairly decent driver-set for Linux in their binary. As I said, can't say that about ATI, it's basically sludge in comparison.
What we need to see is Intel release a stand alone card. How much you want to bet that would be full of closed source blobs though.
Keep your stick on the ice...
127 • SalixOS 13.1 on the HP Mini 110 netbook (by Caitlyn on 2010-06-05 23:45:44 GMT from United States)
I have SalixOS 13.1 running on the HP Mini 110 (almost identical to the one Ladislav has) and after some trials and tribulations with the installation it works very well. If anyone else has a netbook or notebook (any brand) with a fairly recent Broadcom 43xx wireless chipset you will need to blacklist the ssb and b43 modules as a kernel option to get the installer to run. Type in hugesmp.s blacklist.ssb=1 blacklist.b43=1 when it asks you if you need to pass any parameters to the kernel. Once it's installed blacklist all three in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
After install wireless will not work until you install the proprietary broadcom-sta driver available at http://slackbuilds.org/repository/13.1/network/broadcom-sta/ Yes, you have to compile it yourself but the script makes that relatively painless. That isn't any different from vanilla Slackware, BTW. I had to do something similar to make both Pardus and openSUSE work on the netbook as well. The only difference is that those two have ready to go packages for the Broadcom STA driver.
Once installed SalixOS 13.1 is *FAST*. It's very much worth the effort.
128 • Addendum to #127 (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-06-05 23:49:37 GMT from United States)
You'll also need b43-firmware and b43-fwcutter installed for wireless on the HP Mini 110 and similar systems. Once again, those are available in script + source form at Slackbuilds.org
129 • Re #124 (by Vukota on 2010-06-06 04:44:58 GMT from United States)
> That's the reason why my next videocard will be an ATI...
Good luck with that, I tried couple of them (for the same reason), but performance vise, NVIDIA is still better choice (at least on the lower end).
130 • This isn't good guys/gals ! (3D drivers!) (by JD on 2010-06-06 10:46:29 GMT from United States)
To say the least I find it rather disapointing nvidia decided to cutt all ties with OSS by killing the nv driver. However we must deal with that. ( it sucked anyway) but honestly who here really runs their nvidia card on free OSS drivers? Besides RMS. I mean I would but they just don't work the way the others do. The sane is true with Ati . But at least nvidia cards work well. Ati drops suppurt for their Linux driver way faster the nvdia does. The while graphics situation is a mess. Lots of lock ups on new and old cards useing OSS. ( I really wish it wasn't so) and why you say it may seem fine try running a 3D app! Freeze! Anyway. I myself feel enough is enough. We need to rally for nvidia and ati to relase drivers. All OSS No more guess work they shouldn't have to do that for hardware we own! And as for trade secrets... Well maybe both Ati and nivdia can steal eachothers non exsistant secrets one they relase
131 • @125: flash/salix (by Reuben on 2010-06-06 11:14:56 GMT from United States)
Well that was pretty fast. And yes, it is adobe's responsibility for properly compiling their own software. However, they've failed on many counts to make secure and stable software. Yes, I understand the importance of youtube and the myriad of other sites that depend on flash. It absolutely sickens me that a huge chunk of the web is based on a non-standard format.
Anyways, thanks for being responsive and fixing your software, unlike adobe.
Oh, and I use many pieces of proprietary software. I'm just picking on flash.
132 • Graphic Cards (by glyj on 2010-06-06 11:50:48 GMT from France)
What do you think the best Graphic card for Linux is ?
One of the Nvidia's ?
I mean A good 3d acceleration, a good & stable linux driver
Right now, I only have nvidia cards.
Few years ago I had an Intel 945G : It worked quite good and fast with the free driver, even compiz was running for the first time on that machine.
133 • Faulty Linux Images (by Dr.Asoka Dissanayake on 2010-06-06 17:14:17 GMT from Sri Lanka)
I have been downloading Linux Images (mainly live CDs) and testing them with a view to write a brief review.
I could not download Salix live 13 CD (only live Salix CD).
It is slow and hangs up.
QIMO image is faulty after 792 MiB (out of 799) it finishes without checking.
Biggest culprit is Mandriva latest images.
Instead of 699MiB they go into overshoot and loads up to 732 to 800 odd MiB and then do not boot up.
This may be a ploy by them to get the newbies to buy the commercial version.
It is like a bad joke and the commercial conduct becoming unbecoming!
134 • RE #133 (by Anonymous on 2010-06-06 18:07:30 GMT from United States)
Perhaps if you gazed into a mirror, you will find the source or your difficulties.
135 • @131 - Flash (by forlin on 2010-06-06 18:31:46 GMT from Portugal)
For those using Amd64 there is a plugin at the Adobe site. It's still experimental, but I've been with it, so far without problems. It uses 30-35 % of my 1.8 c2duo. Not too bad.
136 • @135 - Good to be further adviced (by forlin on 2010-06-06 20:37:33 GMT from Portugal)
Security wise, nothing is guaranteed regarding that plugin. As it's experimental, anybody who try it, must be aware of security issues.
137 • New Flash Bug Exploited By Hackers : How to avoid it? (by forlin on 2010-06-06 21:12:25 GMT from Portugal)
The affected versions are Adobe Flash Player 10.0.45.2, 9.0.262, and earlier 10.0.x and 9.0.x versions for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Solaris. Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.3.2 and earlier 9.x versions for Windows, Macintosh and UNIX. The versions that avoided being affected are Flash Player 10.1 release candidate, link available in the Adobe security advisory, and Acrobat/Reader version 8.x.
pls, google the "subject" line.
138 • ... that flash bug ... (by meanpt on 2010-06-07 10:17:29 GMT from Portugal)
... hum ... getting tired of so much hackering ... I'm using flashblock, better privacy, flash killer and stop autoplay ... all in firefox (:):):):):) sometimes I can't make it playing at all ...) ... now, what do I need more?
139 • Palm's WebOS booting on the real "metal" of a laptop ... (by meanpt on 2010-06-07 10:23:58 GMT from Portugal)
... still didn't get it straight: what's all this excitement about? ... the possibility of running the same OS in all the devices, à la M$ Windows?
140 • @ 133 • Faulty Linux Images (and SALIX) (by meanpt on 2010-06-07 10:51:00 GMT from Portugal)
:) ... any Salix works fine within the 350 - 400 MB range of ram. Did have some problems in downloading, but as I'm using the down them all add-on for firefox, I can restart most of the downloading items from the point where they got stuck (and they got stuck around the 98% of the download). Didn't notice any speed improvement from the Live 13.0 to the current 13.1 rc but most important, for the same system environments, I didn't notice any worsening in the running speed either, which is something getting pretty rare in these days.
Number of Comments: 140
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|• Issue 1025 (2023-06-26): KaOS with Plasma 6, information which can leak from desktop environments, Red Hat closes door on sharing RHEL source code, SUSE introduces new security features|
|• Issue 1024 (2023-06-19): Debian 12, a safer way to use dd, Debian releases GNU/Hurd 2023, Ubuntu 22.10 nears its end of life, FreeBSD turns 30|
|• Issue 1023 (2023-06-12): openSUSE 15.5 Leap, the differences between independent distributions, openSUSE lengthens Leap life, Murena offers new phone for North America|
|• Issue 1022 (2023-06-05): GetFreeOS 2023.05.01, Slint 15.0-3, Liya N4Si, cleaning up crowded directories, Ubuntu plans Snap-based variant, Red Hat dropping LireOffice RPM packages|
|• Issue 1021 (2023-05-29): rlxos GNU/Linux, colours in command line output, an overview of Void's unique features, how to use awk, Microsoft publishes a Linux distro|
|• Issue 1020 (2023-05-22): UBports 20.04, finding another machine's IP address, finding distros with a specific kernel, Debian prepares for Bookworm|
|• Issue 1019 (2023-05-15): Rhino Linux (Beta), checking which applications reply on a package, NethServer reborn, System76 improving application responsiveness|
|• Issue 1018 (2023-05-08): Fedora 38, finding relevant manual pages, merging audio files, Fedora plans new immutable edition, Mint works to fix Secure Boot issues|
|• Issue 1017 (2023-05-01): Xubuntu 23.04, Debian elects Project Leaders and updates media, systemd to speed up restarts, Guix System offering ground-up source builds, where package managers install files|
|• Issue 1016 (2023-04-24): Qubes OS 4.1.2, tracking bandwidth usage, Solus resuming development, FreeBSD publishes status report, KaOS offers preview of Plasma 6|
|• Issue 1015 (2023-04-17): Manjaro Linux 22.0, Trisquel GNU/Linux 11.0, Arch Linux powering PINE64 tablets, Ubuntu offering live patching on HWE kernels, gaining compression on ex4|
|• Issue 1014 (2023-04-10): Quick looks at carbonOS, LibreELEC, and Kodi, Mint polishes themes, Fedora rolls out more encryption plans, elementary OS improves sideloading experience|
|• Issue 1013 (2023-04-03): Alpine Linux 3.17.2, printing manual pages, Ubuntu Cinnamon becomes official flavour, Endeavour OS plans for new installer, HardenedBSD plans for outage|
|• Issue 1012 (2023-03-27): siduction 22.1.1, protecting privacy from proprietary applications, GNOME team shares new features, Canonical updates Ubuntu 20.04, politics and the Linux kernel|
|• Issue 1011 (2023-03-20): Serpent OS, Security Onion 2.3, Gentoo Live, replacing the scp utility, openSUSE sees surge in downloads, Debian runs elction with one candidate|
|• Issue 1010 (2023-03-13): blendOS 2023.01.26, keeping track of which files a package installs, improved network widget coming to elementary OS, Vanilla OS changes its base distro|
|• Issue 1009 (2023-03-06): Nemo Mobile and the PinePhone, matching the performance of one distro on another, Linux Mint adds performance boosts and security, custom Ubuntu and Debian builds through Cubic|
|• Issue 1008 (2023-02-27): elementary OS 7.0, the benefits of boot environments, Purism offers lapdock for Librem 5, Ubuntu community flavours directed to drop Flatpak support for Snap|
|• Issue 1007 (2023-02-20): helloSystem 0.8.0, underrated distributions, Solus team working to repair their website, SUSE testing Micro edition, Canonical publishes real-time edition of Ubuntu 22.04|
|• Issue 1006 (2023-02-13): Playing music with UBports on a PinePhone, quick command line and shell scripting questions, Fedora expands third-party software support, Vanilla OS adds Nix package support|
|• Issue 1005 (2023-02-06): NuTyX 22.12.0 running CDE, user identification numbers, Pop!_OS shares COSMIC progress, Mint makes keyboard and mouse options more accessible|
|• Issue 1004 (2023-01-30): OpenMandriva ROME, checking the health of a disk, Debian adopting OpenSnitch, FreeBSD publishes status report|
|• Issue 1003 (2023-01-23): risiOS 37, mixing package types, Fedora seeks installer feedback, Sparky offers easier persistence with USB writer|
|• Issue 1002 (2023-01-16): Vanilla OS 22.10, Nobara Project 37, verifying torrent downloads, Haiku improvements, HAMMER2 being ports to NetBSD|
|• Issue 1001 (2023-01-09): Arch Linux, Ubuntu tests new system installer, porting KDE software to OpenBSD, verifying files copied properly|
|• Issue 1000 (2023-01-02): Our favourite projects of all time, Fedora trying out unified kernel images and trying to speed up shutdowns, Slackware tests new kernel, detecting what is taking up disk space|
|• Issue 999 (2022-12-19): Favourite distributions of 2022, Fedora plans Budgie spin, UBports releasing security patches for 16.04, Haiku working on new ports|
|• Issue 998 (2022-12-12): OpenBSD 7.2, Asahi Linux enages video hardware acceleration on Apple ARM computers, Manjaro drops proprietary codecs from Mesa package|
|• Issue 997 (2022-12-05): CachyOS 221023 and AgarimOS, working with filenames which contain special characters, elementary OS team fixes delta updates, new features coming to Xfce|
|• Issue 996 (2022-11-28): Void 20221001, remotely shutting down a machine, complex aliases, Fedora tests new web-based installer, Refox OS running on real hardware|
|• Issue 995 (2022-11-21): Fedora 37, swap files vs swap partitions, Unity running on Arch, UBports seeks testers, Murena adds support for more devices|
|• Issue 994 (2022-11-14): Redcore Linux 2201, changing the terminal font size, Fedora plans Phosh spin, openSUSE publishes on-line manual pages, disabling Snap auto-updates|
|• Issue 993 (2022-11-07): Static Linux, working with just a kernel, Mint streamlines Flatpak management, updates coming to elementary OS|
|• Issue 992 (2022-10-31): Lubuntu 22.10, setting permissions on home directories, Linux may drop i486, Fedora delays next version for OpenSSL bug|
|• Issue 991 (2022-10-24): XeroLinux 2022.09, learning who ran sudo, exploring firewall tools, Rolling Rhino Remix gets a fresh start, Fedora plans to revamp live media|
|• Issue 990 (2022-10-17): ravynOS 0.4.0, Lion Linux 3.0, accessing low numbered network ports, Pop!_OS makes progress on COSMIC, Murena launches new phone|
|• Issue 989 (2022-10-10): Ubuntu Unity, kernel bug causes issues with Intel cards, Canonical offers free Ubuntu Pro subscriptions, customizing the command line prompt|
|• Issue 988 (2022-10-03): SpiralLinux 11.220628, finding distros for older equipment and other purposes, SUSE begins releasing ALP prototypes, Debian votes on non-free firmware in installer|
|• Issue 987 (2022-09-26): openSUSE's MicroOS, converting people to using Linux, pfSense updates base system and PHP, Python 2 dropped from Arch|
|• Issue 986 (2022-09-19): Porteus 5.0, remotely wiping a hard drive, a new software centre for Ubuntu, Proxmox offers offline updates|
|• Full list of all issues|
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Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the highly anticipated StarFighter. Available with coreboot open-source firmware and a choice of Ubuntu, elementary, Manjaro and more. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.