| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 365, 2 August 2010
Welcome to this year's 31st issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Here, at DistroWatch, we talk a lot about different operating systems. We look at their various approaches, versions and editions. This week we are going to take a step back and look at some of the characteristics of Linux and BSD and compare them. And we'll hear from OS gurus as they weigh in on the pros and cons of both operating systems. In the news section, we talk about developments in the GNOME community, tips on networking and changes in the openSUSE community. We will also touch on improvements coming to FreeBSD's DTrace. This week we will also talk a bit about funding in the open source community and how you can help support your favourite projects. Happy reading!
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
Money can be a touchy subject in the FOSS community. Some people feel software should be free of charge (gratis) as well as free as in speech (libre). These are nice ideals and many projects are able to provide both. However, we live in a world where money is a big factor in getting a lot of things done. Projects, especially FOSS projects, need web space, domain name registration and dedicated developers. Bigger projects like to be able to visit conventions, advertise and offer samples of their work on discs. All of these things cost money and the funds have to come from somewhere. This is why donation programs and sponsorship are so important; at the end of the day, developers still need to pay their bills.
However, just as developers need funds, so do end-users and it's not always within a person's budget to give money to their favourite open source projects. There are a lot of organizations I'd like to hand my paycheque to as thanks for their great work, but I have bills to pay, as I'm sure we all do. Fortunately there is a way many of us can financially support FOSS without spending any extra cash. That's where the
Linux Fund (as well as the
BSD Fund) comes in. About ten years ago, the Linux Fund was set up as a way to raise money for promising open source projects. Though they've had their ups and downs, the Fund is still going strong today. I had a chance to talk with Michael Dexter, Program Director of the organization, to find out what the Fund does.
DW: Let's start with some background on you. Where are you from? When did you take an interest in open source software?
MD: I am a Latvian-American from Los Angeles living in Portland, Oregon and have recently wrapped up an eight-year adventure in Latvia. I had no idea that I wanted an open source software environment back in January of 1991 when I first sat down at a UNIX terminal but I did know that I
desperately wanted something I could run on my own hardware in my dorm room. The fact that the campus computer labs were windowless was a big motivator in my new quest for software freedom. At the time, the proprietary Coherent operating system was a moderately serviceable Unix
clone and I tried both it and a Linux .99 distribution on a 386 that a friend found in the street. It got as far as "Loading Linux..............." and I literally said "I'll get back to you."
Come the second half of the 1990s I was involved with web design, hosting and desktop publishing and confess that I was impressed by Microsoft's NT Server suite on paper. It was ridiculously expensive however and I knew that it would fail to deliver on any promises that mattered to me. My research suggested that I wanted a BSD but Portland was largely a Red Hat town at the time. I tried and gave up on Red Hat 5.1 after finding that the documentation didn't match the software but
was quite impressed with Red Hat 5.2. I had finally found the elegant Unix clone that I had sought for nearly a decade.
Alas, the affair didn't last. The subsequent Red Hat 6.0 included GNOME and took the system from a delightful Unix clone to a stunningly bad Windows clone. I'd say that Fedora and Ubuntu are finally passable Windows alternatives but it was a long, bumpy road. My Red Hat experience improved when on-line updates arrived with up2date but sadly those were later revoked. Looking back, everything Red Hat did made sense at the time but we've all learned quite a bit since then.
In 2001 I accepted a job with MandrakeSoft SA on their internal IS team and gave my clients away so I could focus on the work. It was a dream job but alas did not last long thanks to MDK's aggressive growth and high burn rate. My team was terminated and I left with neither a job nor
clients. I moved to Latvia where I found myself back on my Unix quest and finally exploring the BSDs.
DW: Could you tell us what Linux Fund and BSD Fund are and how you got involved?
MD: Linux Fund pioneered the model of raising money for open source using rewards credit cards back in 1999 and has given away over $750,000 under that model. Ironically, I knew the Executive Director David Mandel back then but paid little attention to his work with Linux Fund. After all, I thought that the Unix system I needed already existed, rather than there being a huge need for innovative models for open source project funding and administration.
Come 2007 there was a BSD-related storage project that I needed for a product I was developing and I realized that it really should belong to the commons. It was also way out of my budget. These facts led me to seek out a non-profit that I could partner with to raise money for the
work and someone recommended that I talk to Linux Fund. The project itself was shelved but Linux Fund had recently become a full 501(c)(3) non-profit and I worked with Linux Fund to set up BSD Fund for similar projects of cross-BSD interest. One thing lead to another and three years later I have found myself Program Director for both initiatives and loving every minute of it.
Today, both organizations raise money with rewards cards and that money goes largely to community events and overhead. They also raise money for specific projects that we believe fill neglected needs in the community. Some of our recent and current projects are the LiVES video editor, an Ubuntu LoCo community event, some Gnash and Inkscape features, the gEDA/PCB circuit board design tool and some compiler work.
I am pleased to report that I have recently added UK corporate and Canadian personal Linux Fund credit cards to the portfolio and I can safely say this is the last thing I thought I would be the world expert in.
DW: Where does the money come from? How much is donations, fund raising, the cards? Is there any income from advertising or corporate sponsors?
MD: We are striving towards a balance of all revenue sources to help grow during this recession. Linux Fund has always relied on card revenue and is expanding into direct fund raising and event organization. Corporate sponsors have tightened up significantly this last few years and we are
relived to see individuals step up and give, especially from outside the US where they might not be able to get a tax write off for their donation. The mission clearly outweighs tax benefits for the majority of our donors and that is very encouraging.
DW: Please tell us about the credit card. How does it help raise money? Are there fees or a point system?
MD: Just as some cards gain you airline points or credit at your favourite store, our cards generate a small contribution every time you use them. The card holder doesn't see any additional fees but as you may know, merchants are charged a number of fees to offset fraud and reward the
various financial institutions who are involved in the transaction. Those fees include a percentage for customer rewards and our share happens to benefit open source. Despite the small size, these
contributions can really add up. I humbly invite you to purchase your next computer and event travel with one of our cards as we just may be a sponsor of the event you are attending!
DW: Where are the cards available and how can FOSS fans get the card?
MD: We currently offer the Linux Fund and BSD Fund personal cards in the USA, a Linux Fund personal card in Canada and the UK Business Credit Card in the United Kingdom. You can apply for the USA and UK cards on-line and by phone and the questions are quite routine for something of
this nature. The Canadian application is by phone and we are negotiating to launch a corporate card in the US and personal card in the UK. Our success with our current programs will directly advance these. We have a few more countries in various stages of negotiation and we would appreciate any and all help making these programs successful. Visit linuxfund.org/cards and bsdfund.org/card for more information about each card and if you get one, do make sure you make your payments on time. Like root access, these are tools you must use with discipline.
DW: There are a lot of great projects out there. How do you decide who gets funding?
MD: Our event funding is simple: We try to fund every volunteer-driven community event out there. This is an ambitious goal but with more cardholders, we could get a modest grant to every major event and quite a few smaller ones. We cannot speak highly enough about community events like SCaLE, LinuxFest NW, Ohio LinuxFest, Florida Linux Show, SE LinuxFest, OggCamp, BSDCan and the like. We're proud to be supporting more and more events outside the US and we feel that such events are critical to the success of software projects. There is no substitution for getting away from the computer and meeting face to face, not to mention over good food and drink.
For our partner projects, I work with a number of peers and advisers to identify projects that appear to fill a pressing need or have never graduated from promising to production status. Examples of pressing needs are the need for competitive engineering tools for Electronic Design Automation and Computer Aided Design. These sound like niches but the resulting systems are used by everyone. Example "1.0" milestone projects include the LiVES video editor, the OGD1 graphics device and the pcc compiler.
With a clear milestone identified, the work needed to complete that milestone is assessed, reviewed and budgeted, and the resulting budget is presented to the board of directors for review and hopefully approval. If approved, we approach the public for money and effectively allow them to vote with their pocketbooks.
We often get requests from projects for funding but would prefer that they actively publish project road maps, development budgets and even hardware and event wish lists. Good budgeting skills can really benefit a project in the long run, especially when it comes time host an event or incorporate by forming a non-profit or joining a conservancy. The Google Summer of Code initiative has actually been a great catalyst for this kind of public budgeting.
DW: Are there any projects which don't yet exist, but you'd like to see created? A gap which you feel needs to be filled?
MD: I personally would like to see an open source equivalent to Filemaker but I think the entire open source community should first seriously consider some major "no new features" project housekeeping given the number of projects that either lie abandoned, lack critical documentation or sustainable communities. Few projects are truly devoid of merit and there are countless under appreciated gems out there. Human nature and years of itch-scratching are probably to blame but active
projects would really benefit from taking stock of their goals, sub-projects and key assets like documentation. As a colleague of mine put it, "a utility without good documentation is of no utility at all." Perhaps an open source idea exchange like www.halfbakery.com is needed for aborted projects to be dropped into before being pruned from the world's repositories while everything else is tightened up. Project resurrection is an exciting endeavour and we should never underestimate the value of old but proven code.
As for a specific gap, again, open hardware from electronics to architecture is a very exciting challenge. As an AutoDesk representative put it, "If God didn't design it, one of our customers did." Having literally all of humanities' technical designs from kitchen utensils to stadiums and jumbo jets tied up in proprietary formats that require proprietary software is arguably a life-threatening oversight. That's without even taking patents into consideration. We've built a technical world that a select few people truly control.
The more I am involved in the community, the more I realize that it is in its infancy. We must accept that software never costs anything to duplicate and that some day, foundations and institutes may very well dominate the software industry. To get to that point will take years of hard work and a general reprogramming of the industry. Seeing the 90% penetration of open source into supercomputing proves that unimaginable change is both possible and logical.
DW: Anything else you'd like to add? A personal view or advice/requests to the community?
MD: Beside my previous humble requests and humble opinions, I hope that if you don't support Linux Fund, you do support one or more of the dozens of other software foundations. I have compiled a growing list of them at linuxfund.org/foundations and look forward to the time when these foundations share equal mind share and funding with the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, the United Way, the Sierra Club and countless other household names.
Not wishing to simply sit on the sidelines, I called the phone number provided on the Linux Fund's website and put myself through the card application process. As far as card applications go, it was fairly standard. The whole call, including hold time, going through the disclaimers and providing my information took just over ten minutes. I'm hoping in the future that we'll see an on-line application form for Canadians (and other countries) as it could speed up the process and appeal to more people.
As Michael said, proper use of a credit card requires a level of discipline. Some people get along very well with credit cards, while other people have difficulty in budgeting their purchases. If you're the sort of person who feels comfortable maintaining a credit line, the Linux Fund (or BSD Fund) card is one way in which you can support open source without making a direct donation. Simply buying groceries, purchasing clothes or paying bills with a Fund card will help, in a small way, to support community events and various open source projects.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Improvements to DTrace in FreeBSD, guides to networking and changes in the openSUSE project
It may not have a lot of flash or hype, but CentOS is a popular choice right now for web servers. According to this blog entry the project (which is based on the source code of RHEL) makes up nearly 30% of Linux web servers. Apparently there is a strong demand for an enterprise-level distribution without the cost of support contracts. Are you running a server? If so, please tell us which distro you're running in the comments section.
* * * * *
Are you a network administrator? Are you going to be? Do you want to know how healthy your network is? If the answer to any of these questions is "yes", you will be happy to know there is a new book out called Network Flow Analysis. The book, available from No Starch Press, was recently given a positive review on DragonFly BSD Digest. Worth a read if you're interested in computer networks.
* * * * *
One of the more exciting technologies to come out of Solaris in recent years is DTrace. The dynamic tracing utility helps developers and administrators track down and correct problems. It can be thought of as a debugging tool which can be used on applications and the operating system. Up to this point, FreeBSD has had kernel-only DTrace support. However, this will be changing as there is an
effort underway to bring userland support to FreeBSD's DTrace implementation.
* * * * *
Here at DistroWatch we usually talk about new distros coming out. However, as new releases appear, so too do others disappear. Last week we talked about the new openSUSE 11.3 release and last week also saw the discontinuing of openSUSE 11.0. As Marcus Meissner stated on the project's Announce mailing list, "openSUSE 11.0 was released on June 17 2008, making it 2 years and 1 month of security and bugfix support."
In other openSUSE news, the project has
recently announced that Jos Poortvliet is their new Community Manager. The new leader "holds a degree in
Organisational Psychology from the University of Utrecht and has gained
valuable experience in several professional roles ranging from Project
Manager at KPN to Service Level Manager at Royal Bank of Scotland. Last but
not least, Jos is a leading member of the KDE Marketing Team and has helped
Akademy and the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit attract a vibrant and
* * * * *
There has been talk on and off for a while now about the possibility of Linux Mint producing a Debian-based release. Fans of Debian's Testing repo may not have much longer to wait. According to this post on Mint's blog, the project hopes to see firm results on this project in August. It should be interesting to see how the Mint team handles the dynamic nature of Debian Testing. Are you looking forward to a Debian base with the additional tools and add-ons Mint brings to the table?
* * * * *
The much-awaited release of the GNOME 3.0 desktop has been delayed. Originally scheduled to come out in September 2010, the GNOME project has decided to wait and ship 3.0 in March of 2011. In its place, a new stable release of the 2.x series (2.32) will be released in September. On the one hand, this shows the developers are invested in pushing out a polished 3.0 release. On the other, is raises some concerns for application developers who are already migrating to the GTK+ 3 library. Have you tried the new GNOME Shell? Let us know what you think of it in our comments section.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
An opinion on the differences between BSD and Linux
Curious about penguins and daemons asks:
Your website motto says "Use Linux, BSD." Could you talk a little about the differences, how they compare to each other? Do you recommend one or the other?
It is difficult to talk about what makes Linux and BSD different from each other (or similar to each other) because there are so many variants of each. At the moment, there are literally hundreds of Linux distributions and quite a few BSD flavours to pick from. So really, when examining the two, people usually have to do so using generalizations. As an example, most of the big name Linux distros have easy-to-use graphical installers (but some distros don't). On the other hand, most BSD systems don't have a GUI installer, but at least one does. As you might guess, with so many different projects on both sides, there are almost always exceptions to the rules.
It might be easiest to look at what they have in common. Both Linux and BSD belong to the family of UNIX operating systems (some might point out that BSD is a descendant of UNIX, where Linux is a UNIX-like operating system) and they have a lot in common on the surface. The various Linux and BSD systems generally have the same sort of file system layout, use similar command-line tools and can generally compile and run the same software.
From my point of view, the big thing I notice when switching between Linux and BSD are the ways in which packages are managed. Linux, or GNU/Linux, systems tend to be made up of small modules (packages). I visualize a GNU/Linux distro as a chemical model where the atoms are linked together. You can add and remove pieces and reshape the module. Each "atom" is a small piece of the bigger whole. The BSDs, on the other hand, divide up the pieces of the system differently. The kernel and some of the basic tools are all managed under one project. Then other software, such as desktop environments and office software are placed on top of that foundation. And I think this difference indicates that the important differences between the two camps are more philosophical than technical.
In my experience many of the Linux users I meet are more idealistic when it comes to their software and software freedoms. A good example of this is the "Year of the Linux Desktop" concept which pops up on a regular basis. Most of the big name Linux distros come across as more novice-friendly than the BSD projects. There are exceptions on both sides, but the Linux community seems to more actively recruit new members.
Development seems to progress at different rates and in slightly different fashions. Take sound for instance. On the Linux side, we bounced from OSS to ALSA to PulseAudio. In the BSD camp we saw steady work to improve OSS. When ZFS came out, FreeBSD adopted and ported the new file system to their OS. In the Linux camp we saw efforts to create ext4, plus an effort to create BtrFS and a project to port ZFS as a module. The developers in BSD seem to make a concentrated effort to get one thing working properly while Linux developers will offer multiple solutions. There's a joke in the BSD community that Linux coders are about three years ahead... in changing their minds.
Most of my experience is with Linux systems, and so it's usually the operating system I recommend to people. That way I will be better able to help them trouble-shoot and, at the moment, I think Linux has slightly better driver support too, which is important for home users. However, I feel it is important to balance this out with some pointers from experienced professionals. With this in mind I asked Kris Moore (founder of the PC-BSD project) and Matt Nuzum (from the Canonical team) to weigh in on the subject.
DW: Kris, what differences do you see between BSD and Linux?
KM: There are a number of important differences at the very core of BSD and
Linux. When you install FreeBSD, you are getting a complete operating
system, kernel + userland, which is designed to function together in a
very coherent manner. On the Linux side, your "operating system" may
vary greatly from distro to distro, or even from install to install,
because Linux at its heart is only a kernel and a subset of various
tools up to the discretion of the distro packager / installer.
DW: What about similarities?
Aside from software itself, there is an important license distinction as
well. Both open-source licenses advocate freedom, however freedom means
different things to different people. The Linux kernel and many of its
components are released under various forms of the GPL license, which
requires users / developers to adhere to its terms and conditions in
order to keep any development / usage GPL compliant, by giving source
code back to the community, restricting DRM (GPL3) and more. The BSD
license on the other hand is also open-source, but carries with it no
expectation or demands on future usage / development. BSD-Licensed code
may be taken and used for any purposes, without having to worry about
"staying within compliance".
KM: While at the heart both systems are different, they do share a lot in
common with each other. Most of the same applications can and do run on
both, from services such as Apache, to desktop and productivity tools
such as KDE, OpenOffice, FireFox, Wine and more.
DW: Why do you feel BSD is a better platform?
KM: The license is a huge plus for me, plus the way the core operating
system is designed feels much more "natural" and intuitive. The
stability of their development process is a huge plus, ABI's are very
stable and we deal with less "bit-rot" than I've experienced on various
flavors of Linux.
DW: Can you identify something you feel the Linux community does better than
KM: Because of Linux changing so rapidly they are often ahead of us in
certain areas, like hardware driver support. A lot of open-source
desktop applications are developed on Linux, so it can take a bit longer
for a release to make it into the FreeBSD ports tree, although this has
become much better over the years.
DW: Thank you, Kris. Matt, what are some of the differences between Linux and BSD?
MN: Linux is a re-implementation or copy of the UNIX system that shares a
common ancestor with BSD. It was designed to feel familiar to UNIX and
BSD users (and in many ways it does), however the underlying
architecture to create the system is quite different in some important
ways. For example, configuring a firewall, choosing which programs
start automatically or installing a driver for your system will be
different between BSD and Linux.
DW: What are some similarities between the two systems?
MN: The UNIX and FOSS philosophies are the common bond. Many of the
command line and graphical tools are the same or function the same in
both systems. As an example, developers for both Linux and BSD use
OpenSSH to connect to their server, Vim or Emacs to edit their source
code and GCC to compile it. Both BSD and Linux servers commonly run
the Apache web server, Samba and CUPS for file and printer sharing
and MySQL or PostgreSQL for database work. If you have a BSD or Linux
desktop then you probably run GNOME or KDE on top of
X.org and browse the web with Firefox.
DW: Why do you think Linux is the better platform?
MN: It used to be that Linux was a copy of UNIX, following on the
coat-tails of the likes of BSD and Solaris. However, in the last 10
years it has gone ahead in many key ways. The first catalyst for
change was better driver support for common PC computer systems which gave it a big boost.
Then, as more users and developers adopted Linux, it started to
become the platform for innovation and BSD and UNIX trailed behind.
Now it is common to see new software updates including new features
and improvements released first to Linux and then made compatible with BSD.
DW: Please share something you like about the BSD family of systems.
MN: There are several variants of BSD, each with different merits. Two
excellent examples are OpenBSD and NetBSD.
OpenBSD developers are motivated by a desire to maintain their
outstanding security track-record. They review their code and
implement features that help ensure that the operating system will
withstand even the most motivated attack. Furthermore, it has also
historically boasted one of the most robust TCP/IP networking stacks.
These two features combine to make it an excellent choice for networking infrastructure.
NetBSD has as a core value the desire to accommodate a great variety
of platforms. It runs on a diverse collection of computers so its
maintainers strive to create a system that is flexible and portable.
DW: Thank you, Matt.
|Released Last Week
Clonezilla Live 1.2.5-35
Steven Shiau has announced the release of Clonezilla Live 1.2.5-35, 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. The underlying GNU/Linux operating system was upgraded. This release is based on the Debian sid repository (as of 2010/Jul/20). The Linux kernel was updated to 2.6.32-17. This release was created by live-helper 2.0~a19-1.1drbl, and live-initramfs 1.236.2-1drbl-3 is used. Partclone was updated to 0.2.11. Default to use VGA 800x600 for Clonezilla Live. Most of the netbooks do not support 1024x768; 800x600 is the common one for most of the computers, and it's good enough for Clonezilla Live. Program prep-ocsroot was improved to work with sshfs/cifs path with space. Program ocs-iso is able to create the recovery ISO larger than 4.5 GB." You can read the
full announcement here.
Linux Mint 9 "KDE"
Clement Lefebvre has announced the release of Linux Mint 9 "KDE" edition: "The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 9 KDE. Linux Mint 9 KDE is available in 32-bit and 64-bit as a liveDVD, via Torrent and HTTP download. Based on Kubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx, Linux 2.6.32, KDE 4.4.4, X.Org 7.5 and Amarok 2.3.0, this edition features a lot of improvements and the latest software from the Open Source World. Featured improvements in this release: KDE Network Manager, new applications, 30,000 applications catalogued and reviewable both online and in the new software manager, brand new incremental backup tool for both data and software selection, USB and Windows installers, 3 years support, look and feel improvements." Read the rest of the
Mint 9 KDE
(full file size: 392KB, resolution 800x600 pixels)
Eric Turgeon has announced the availability of GhostBSD 1.5, a FreeBSD-based live CD with GNOME and a work-in-progress graphical system installer: "GhostBSD 1.5 is out. We have updated to Gnome 2.30. Now you can install GhostBSD by terminal commands and a list with pc-sysinstall. The partitions supported to install GhostBSD are UFS, UFS+S (plus soft updates7), UFS+J (plus journaling8), ZFS, and SWAP. A 'how to install' is on the desktop. With GhostBSD in your hard drive you have Linux-f10 compatibility that means you can install Linux apps and Linux flash. Cups ready to use. Compiz installed and ready to use. This is the first installable version. Not so user friendly. But I have promised something. The last month all was going wrong and I decide to go with pc-sysinstall. Now for the next 6 mount I will work on a graphic installer for 2.0. GhostBSD amd64 is coming the next week." The full
release announcement is here.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 9 August 2010.
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Nice article on BSD and Linux (by Marcel on 2010-08-02 10:46:28 GMT from Netherlands) |
Nice DWW! I loved the article on BSD and Linux.
2 • GNOME Shell (by Jordan Clarke on 2010-08-02 10:51:05 GMT from Australia)
GNOME Shell is, for me, a simpler and more intuitive way to interact with the various applications and documents on my system. I'm personally very tempted to wait for GNOME 3 before renewing my heavy promotion of GNU/Linux adoption, as the majority of users don't really enjoy learning the ins and outs of new interfaces, while GNOME 3 could in fact turn out to be a very useful selling point for GNU/Linux itself. :)
3 • Web Servers (by AT on 2010-08-02 10:52:08 GMT from Pakistan)
Great Issue ... came to know about the Linux Fund and awesome article on Linux / BSD Difference.
Its true that most web servers now a days use CentOS , i can tell that as I work in an ISP and most Web/DNS servers here that were used to be SuSE based are now running CentOS. but i prefer debian is the way to go.
I have worked with debian for a long time and never had any problem with, especially if we are talking about integrating ajax/joomla or cpanel ... debian always works like a charm.
CentOS on the other hand is a solid distribution and people are comfortable with it. i hope they keep up the good work.
4 • CentOS always (by Dexter Ang on 2010-08-02 11:14:38 GMT from Philippines)
Our company has provided our clients with CentOS deployments as much as possible. There are a few Ubuntu LTS servers, but that's usually by client request. We've recently successfully experimented and deployed KVM in all our internal servers and hopefully can use KVM where it applies with our clients as well.
There's just something about CentOS, and it's RHEL origin, that gives us and our clients peace of mind. It's stable and reliable.
Can't wait for RHEL 6, and CentOS 6, to come out. Fedora hardware support and performance has been great so far and I'm sure that much of that will be in RHEL/CentOS 6 as well.
5 • short but sweet (by G-e-e-k on 2010-08-02 11:37:04 GMT from Canada)
I wasn't aware of the Linux Fund Canadian credit cards, so this is something I'll be looking into. The interview was a bit out of the ordinary, which is always a good thing. The Linux/BSD bit was refreshing, as it was a polite review of the merits of both systems instead of the typical fanboy flamewar that occurs whenever Linux and BSD are mentioned together. :) I know which is right for me, but I feel it's still important to remember that there's an alternative.
6 • Thanks for this weekly (by Barnabyh on 2010-08-02 11:45:41 GMT from United Kingdom)
Nice change again from the usual, both in feature story and in the Q and A's. I still have to play around with the BSD's more than just a little, it's always on my list but somehow I never get round to it. Good to give it more attention here on DWW.
7 • BSD and html5 (by Cuda on 2010-08-02 12:09:11 GMT from Canada)
Html5 web video might help BSD on the desktop too. Not having a port of Flash for BSD was always a show stopper for many.
8 • Linux-BSD fund (by Ken Harbit on 2010-08-02 12:39:37 GMT from United States)
Thank you so much for the Linux-BSD Fund article, I didn't know anything like that existed. ... Also liked the Linux-BSD article.
9 • CentOS and Redhat (by Stuart on 2010-08-02 12:46:28 GMT from United Kingdom)
Interesting to see the rough statistics for web servers running CentOS, especially in light of the recent Canonical/Redhat tussle about contributions to Upstream.
At my workplace we use Redhat on our servers. The support Redhat provides is reassuring. And it's nice to know you're helping fund upstream Linux development, rather than just eating the cream off someone else's cake.
10 • CentOS (by Scott on 2010-08-02 13:03:59 GMT from United States)
Yes, we also run CentOS on all of our Linux servers (save one which is running Ubuntu LTS, as one of the developers wanted to test some things on it.)
All of our mission critical machines, however, run CentOS.
So, I reckon we're part of that statistic.
11 • BSD and Linux (by Bar Chiu on 2010-08-02 13:46:32 GMT from Philippines)
Good information about BSD and Linux. I'm now thinking of getting OBSD or NBSD for our servers. Debian is an option but BSD flavors sounds assuring.
12 • Server OS (by tim on 2010-08-02 14:27:44 GMT from Kenya)
13 • Love the articles, but there is a bad link. (by David Fleener on 2010-08-02 15:04:41 GMT from United States)
The list of "Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases" includes a reference to "Ubuntu Studio 2.1 (Puppy Edition)" but the link points to the 'proper' Ubuntu Studio page, not the Puppy-based version. I would like to access the page.
The comparison of Linux/BSD was a very interesting read. I am a linux user since 2006, but I haven't really even considered trying a BSD. Now I think I might. Thanks!
14 • Request (by Penguin on 2010-08-02 15:56:04 GMT from Poland)
Thank you for DW weekly as always very interesting especially questions and answers. I have a request to DW team. On DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 321, 21 September 2009 was a feature story Linux Security Basics, Part 1: Authentication. Could you tell me please when comes the next part. I wait for it. Please write the next part. Sorry for my English.
15 • Websever OS - our shops (by Bob Robinson on 2010-08-02 16:05:24 GMT from United Kingdom)
We're usually asked for Debian and BSD, with some Solari/Opensolaris. Our customers are usually highly proficient themselves, we only do full-root access boxes. As the others above have said, we occasionally get a request for Ubuntu LTS, though its only marginally more popular than requests for Microsoft webservers so far (under 5% of total YE2009)
We currently have around 10% CentOS/RHEL boxes, though these are now becoming legacy customers and will reduce in the next two quarters.
We've found that RHEL/CentOS a little slow under heavy loads - we ran it ourselves on about a third of our supervisory core for a year or two - most of our customers request Debain or OpenBSD nowadays.
We've have noticed that our admins can automate the Debian distro rollouts with Puppet easier than RH/Centos, tweaks are then done manually as needed for the roles - YMMV
Our high risk/hardened stuff is all OpenBSD (around 65% of the business);
all the Debians are on KVM. The Solaris and BSD ones run native. We haven't needed hardware-based attack protection in the last 4/5 years but we have the option of patching some in if needed - our routing is very robust though.
We now serve 840 public-facing web servers, 53 bespoke webDAV ones and a handful of FTP/IRC customers.
We've also noticed an increase in requests for SSH-only (presumably for SFTP/SCP) hi-capacity+HA storage lately, so we've adjusted the layouts to accommodate that the last quarter. (all Debian HA backends through CARPed OpenBSD fronts, cross-meshed) Customers have been citing "Cloud problems" when we press them on reasons for them.
16 • Great BSD/Linux comparison (by Anonymous on 2010-08-02 16:35:46 GMT from United States)
I've been intrigued by the differences between BSD and Linux for as long as I've been following the open source movement. I think both model have problems and strengths, and I now use both systems at home. I must admit for a PC OS Linux has been better to me and I love having the option of booting to it. On the other hand I've never felt so secure connecting to that big wild web as I have after my friend help me turn a nearly useless old PC into a pfSense/FreeBSD based firewall. It was surprisingly easy, I only wish I'd come up with idea of putting the BSD firewall together myself. Good luck to both OS families, I want to try and use both for PC duty on an old machine of mine sometime soon.
17 • Bad link (by Willie on 2010-08-02 16:41:53 GMT from United States)
The link to the review on DragonFly BSD Digest goes to this issue of DistroWatch instead of an external resource.
18 • Mint (by Ron on 2010-08-02 16:42:54 GMT from United States)
I am one of those looking forward to checking out the Debian based Mint release as soon as it is available. Ubuntu has come far so I just started using that and stopped using Mint awhile ago. But I have always liked Mint, I have always like Debian (as well as Debian based distro's)
19 • How to ask a question (by Willie on 2010-08-02 16:44:08 GMT from United States)
How do one post a question as a potential topic for the Questions and Answers section? I don't see where to submit my question. Maybe it's done to keep the number of questions down.
20 • Various things (by Jesse on 2010-08-02 17:21:13 GMT from Canada)
Catilyn Martin did the Security article last year. I am not sure if she plans to follow up with a second part.
Thanks for pointing out the broken link. I've corrected it so it points to the book review.
You can e-mail your questions to me. My address is at the bottom of each Weekly.
21 • Migrating to Linux (by David Heselton on 2010-08-02 17:39:10 GMT from France)
I am looking for the best Linux OS that would be suited to my Dell Inspiron 1470 uk model . I have recently tried a few linux OS's on my iMac using Parallels 5 .Not being a master would like to rid myself of windows 7 and hopefully load a linux OS with minimal trouble . Its a core duo processor with built in wifi . Just looking for the basic's plus Skype . The rest like video editing , audio , desktop publishing and photography I expect to research learn and trial myself . I really like what I have tried out using your site and am rally fed up with Microsoft
22 • @21: Migrating to Linux - by David Heselton (by Mark Swenson on 2010-08-02 18:22:00 GMT from United States)
For what it's worth David, I've gone through a large number of Linux distros on my Dell laptop, looking for the one that best suits me and what I need it to do. I've settled on Linux Mint 9 'Isadora,' which to me is a near perfect balance of all those things I was looking for in a replacement OS. I believe if you give Mint a try you'll quickly come to enjoy it for all it offers just like I have.
23 • BSD vs Linux (by Antonio on 2010-08-02 20:09:43 GMT from United States)
As a user of both systems, I see advantages/disadvantages going both ways.
I had read a page:
That explains many things that compare things.
Also FreeBSD has a page that explains things too:
While some things are almost the same, the main differences are (kernel, packages, ports, BSD License) vs GPL, package managers, ..., etc
I have used FreeBSD less time though than Linux, but for me both are great systems that are great to have and use :)
24 • BSD & RE: 16 (by Landor on 2010-08-02 20:29:08 GMT from Canada)
Kris Moore pointed out what was the most significant difference and it can't be said enough. BSD has their own kernel "+" userland. I've stated it before that it makes BSD a much better system where they have control over the userland which makes it that much more integrated.
Now all you need to do is turn that system into an AP as well. :)
Keep your stick on the ice...
25 • Frenzy 1.3 (by joji on 2010-08-02 20:53:36 GMT from Belgium)
Frenzy 1.3 seems to me the easiest Freebsd LiveCD available today.
Even wireless network is available on my laptop.
What I miss is gcc / g++. And of course Adobe Flash.
But the most important scripting languages are available : perl, ruby, python, lua. Also sqlite3 is there.
Give it a try. And install it on a usb-stick. Booting is much faster.
Let us have your comments ...
26 • BSD vs Linux (by Jesse on 2010-08-02 21:11:00 GMT from Canada)
I think the two big things I noticed moving into the BSD ecosystem were the documentation (which is top notch) and the Ports system. For me, learning how ports differed from the base system and how they worked (as opposed to most Linux packages) was the biggest thing. However, having now learned how to make a Port, I find it a more attractive method than what most Linux distros provide.
27 • BSD vs GPL: where the difference lies (by Rexfore on 2010-08-02 21:13:22 GMT from Canada)
With BSD code, you can rip off everything, modify the code, make it proprietary and make billions. That's what Apple does. With the GPL license, if you distribute executables, you must provide the code and whatever changes you did. You must contribute back, unless you just use the code internally, as Google does.
28 • RE: 25 - 26 - 27 (by Landor on 2010-08-02 21:26:47 GMT from Canada)
As one of my VirtualBox projects coming up I'm going to make an attempt extracting the iso to the hard drive and go from there., unless it has an installer? I haven't looked at yet to be honest. Thanks as well for the info about wireless networking too. What chipset do you have on the laptop?
Having experience with Gentoo I have to agree that both of those are fundamental assets for BSD. Documentation has always been a major strong point for BSD and you can't beat the ports system and the ease of building a package for it. Have you also built a .pbi? Something I haven't tried as of yet.
The licensing is a key issue yes, when licensing comes into play. But that doesn't really make much of a difference in the actual use of the operating system. The GPL protects what can happen to the code but basically nothing in the way of how that code functions on your system.
Keep your stick on the ice...
29 • TrueBSD from Russia (by Barnabyh on 2010-08-02 21:57:55 GMT from United Kingdom)
Does anyone know what happened to TrueBSD? The 2.0 RC2 is from November 2008 and no activity since. I felt at the time it was an interesting distro to watch, but fallen flat before it took off?
30 • disappointing (by Ivelin Topalov on 2010-08-02 22:54:40 GMT from Bulgaria)
Well distrowatch was one of my favorites ... BUT
lately u offer us nondowwnloadeable downloads, nonfree free distros an much more things u obviously did not check at all ... so u going down on lists ... near going out of them ... so be good or just don't pretend being some ...
31 • PBI (by Jesse on 2010-08-02 23:25:21 GMT from Canada)
>> Have you also built a .pbi? Something I haven't tried as of yet.
Yes, indeed. I've built stand-alone PBIs, such as you would distribute on your own website and PBI modules, which tie to the Ports system. Both are surprisingly easy to create and maintain. I really feel PBI files are wonderful. Sure, they're bulky, but it removes the need for any dependency checking on the client's end. The combination of a PBI module and a FreeBSD port working together is really quite elegant. All of my open source projects now offer PBI packages.
If you're interested in building some, I'd recommend joinging the pbi-dev mailing list at pcbsd.org. It's very low-traffic and there's some very helpful people on there.
32 • Re Servers (by Bill on 2010-08-02 23:33:22 GMT from Canada)
I run a personal website on my Debian 5 server
33 • servers (by Spike on 2010-08-02 23:49:01 GMT from United States)
my servers run debian stable
34 • BSD *and* Linux. As opposed to "vs", that is. (by jake on 2010-08-03 00:25:59 GMT from United States)
I run various BSDs on the servers, routers, firewalls & the like. My desktop is a much modified KDE on what started life as Slackware ... but I do most of my computer/network interaction on a dumb terminal wired to a serial port on my laptop's docking station and/or an identical dumb terminal plugged into a serial mux that in turn allows me to talk to most of the kit in my machine room from one location here in the office WITHOUT exposing root/executive/monitor access over TCP/IP Geekish? Sure. But as a research platform, it's mostly tax deductible.
 IBM 3151 terminal & Model M keyboard ... the best keyboard known to man, at least for touch typists.
 Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know, 3151s have a bad reputation. I got a pallet load of them, most in their original packaging, from Wierdstuff Warehouse in Sunnyvale for $25 about a decade ago. I bought 'em for the keyboards, but so far I've been lucky with the terminals.
35 • Gnome shell (by Nick on 2010-08-03 01:36:11 GMT from United States)
I freaking love gnom shell.
That is all.
36 • #14: Part 2 (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-08-03 02:00:49 GMT from United States)
There were two reasons I didn't do part two. First there was the overwhelmingly negative reaction to part one and all the people who insisted that security is "poppycock" and other such nonsense. My impression was that the DWW community had no interest in security. Second, I ended up taking a break from writing for DWW because my schedule made it nearly impossible for me to continue. My understanding is that my SalixOS review will be published next week and that I will be contributing articles now and again in the future in addition to Jesse's excellent writing. If there is positive interest for me to continue the security series I would be more than happy to do it. The second part would have moved on to network security.
37 • NMAP (by Cuda on 2010-08-03 03:35:35 GMT from Canada)
Last time I took nmap for a spin, it felt like I was walking down one of the back alley's of the internet. A back alley where quite a few people leave their back doors open, maybe because they don't know how to lock their back doors.
38 • Linux vs BSD: licensing makes all the difference (by Rexfore on 2010-08-03 03:53:44 GMT from Canada)
So you want to play with sticks on the ice? No problem. Let's talk about ressources the GPL has brought to Linux. Do you have any idea of the ressources behind Linux compared to the BSDs?
The Berkeley Software Distribution was started because greedy AT&T was asking too much for licensing while teaching students how to use Unix which was runnign all the main servers in the world. Serverwise BSD became the free alternative and brought free open source software ahead in this field with major contributions.
But, nowadays, the game has changed. Systems are not switched from Unix to BSD, but from Unix OR BSD to Linux because that's where the momentum is. Why? because of the GPL. It makes sense, for instance, that IBM doesn't want Microsoft or Apple to proprietarize its code to make money and contribute nothing back.
The end result is this:
Of the top 500 most powerful computers in the world, 455 run Linux, 1 runs a BSD.
So, today, how many universities teach BSD vs Linux? Does this spell something to you? In the end, licensing makes all the difference.
39 • 28 - 25 Frenzy 1,3 (by joji on 2010-08-03 06:25:39 GMT from Belgium)
Yes, there should be an installer according to the documentation but I am using it as LiveCD installed as iso on a usb-stick.
Wireless : Intel 3945ABG Wireless LAN controller.
Just try ...
40 • @38 • Linux vs BSD: licensing makes all the difference (by Rexfore (by meanpt on 2010-08-03 08:24:12 GMT from Portugal)
I followed your statistical link, and having some difficulties in accepting those rankings. Those numbers would have some adherence to the reality only if some statistical sampling rules are followed. Otherwise it only reflects the preferences of some communities. I'm not buying them.
41 • Nice Review on BSD/Linux (by Zahidur Rahman on 2010-08-03 08:38:05 GMT from Bangladesh)
Thanks dw for giving a nice review, comments and interesting interview from two important persons. I always prefer debian in linux sphere but never tried BSD. Hope to try BSD in some days.
42 • ... on something more understandable than BSD (by meanpt on 2010-08-03 08:40:13 GMT from Portugal)
... aren't you having problems with Ffox 3.6.8? It seems to be even more incompatible with flash ... hangs, freezes, crashes ... is Mozilla loosing its mind?
43 • Servers. (by M. on 2010-08-03 09:40:47 GMT from Australia)
Currently running about 40 servers.
Only 3 left that aren't Arch and things have never been more stable.
It also has the best package manager in the business.
I have custom packages for all our major in house systems and deploying a new server can be done from scratch in less than half an hour with minimal user intervention.
Those who adhere to the principle of stale systems for servers miss out on a lot.
2.6.33 has plenty of enhancements over earlier kernels, especially for virtualisation.
Some packages are just too hard to manage with old repositories.
I also subscribe to the theory that the majority of software changes are bugfixes so up to date software is usually (not always) less buggy.
I have one important server left on Centos 5.2 that is a liability, aminly because a couple of features are too broken to try and fix. Easier to migrate.
44 • OpenOffice fonts drop-down (by Tom on 2010-08-03 10:04:00 GMT from United Kingdom)
Can anyone remember the package that makes the OpenOffice drop-down for font selection use the fonts they name so that i can compare them? I seem to remember there is a package but can't remember the name. I am really looking for something like the MicroSquish Font "Monotype Corsiva" for the logo on my company's website. I am currently using a LiveCd of Ubuntu 9.04.
45 • fonts still (by Tom on 2010-08-03 10:30:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
I have installed msttcore-fonts already but Monotype Corsiva is not included. Although it is monotype it is quite a swirly font as you can see in the Header on my works website
I have asked in linuxquestions.org
Many apols for this off-topic couple of postings but i figured people here would probably know a fast answer, or just ignore the post happily. Either way is good imo
Many thanks and regards from Tom :)
46 • 750Mb Ram LiveCd (by Tom on 2010-08-03 10:45:38 GMT from United Kingdom)
Hi again :)
I guess my question is which system is 'best'? loop-back, persistent image or /home?
Also i tried openSUSE but it gave a blank screen. Fedora booted slowly and seemed a little wobbly (not as much as Ubuntu 10.04 tho). Possible alternatives that i can get a free official looking Cd would be welcomed (hopefully)
At last a slightly less off-topic question! I have been running a LiveCd of Ubuntu on my works machine without anyone noticing :) Unfortunately it only has 750Mb ram so Ubuntu 10.04 struggled and fell over a couple of times. Also the 9.04 already has Gimp so i only need to install SciTe (or something) to edit html in nice colours. Ubuntu feels like the wrong tool because it is tooo heavy but at least i have an official Cd (free) in case i get noticed. I do have an official Wolvix Cub Cd but haven't tried it here yet because i don't want to risk losing the Cd (its got repos on it).
Ok, running a LiveCd means using a persistent image or loop-back system or perhaps a /home on a separate Usb-stick. Right now i only have a 2Gb Usb-stick but hope to get something a bit larger soon. I guess 16Gb would be the easiest way of having a straight /home? Ubuntu needs about 10Gb to be comfortable i find. I have tried persistent image but couldn't get it to work on the usb-stick, prolly my inexperience.
Regards from Tom :)
47 • #36, re. part 2 (by Barnabyh on 2010-08-03 10:57:26 GMT from United Kingdom)
Don't let the naysayers bring you down. A part two would be most welcome here, particularly one about network security as that will be my next target for certification.
Security in IT is always an important topic for me.
48 • #36, re. part 3 (by DG on 2010-08-03 11:25:55 GMT from Netherlands)
a suggestion for part 3 would be an overview of higher level systems, eg kerberos, selinux, freeipa... and how easy they are to integrate into a distro
49 • #47 & 36 - Security part 2 (by Tom on 2010-08-03 11:30:02 GMT from United Kingdom)
A big +1 from me.
I think it is clear that there are certain specific scenarios where security is not a worry for specific individual end-users, or types of use. How legitimate their/our lack of concern is often argued too strongly.
I think the arguments occur when people say things like 'everyone should do x, y and z'. Maybe they should do those things but everyone has different views. I think when reading an article about security people should assume that such comments automatically assume a caveat that "everyone should do x, y and z, if they want to ensure a safer system"
Clearly there are also scenarios where security is a crucial issue and a vocal minority arguing about side-issues or presentation sometimes clearly blocks us from getting answers the majority needs.
Hmm, that has prolly annoyed people from both sides! A particular talent i have for winding everyone up and making myself unpopular. I should polarise.
50 • Top 500 Supercomputers (by Anonymous on 2010-08-03 12:06:10 GMT from Canada)
Of the 5 that run windows, I bet they're all located at Microsoft :-)
51 • Linux vs FreeBSD (by Cuda on 2010-08-03 12:26:14 GMT from Canada)
A couple years back I used FreeBSD for 6 months on a desktop and found it to be quite easy to set up and maintain. The most difficult part was setting up wireless networking which took about an hour of reading the handbook and fiddling. In terms of ports, I found FreeBSD apps to be somewhat like Slackware - vanilla in terms of customizations. However if you took the time to read the compile options for a port you could perform some customizations at compile time (i.e. add support for dbus, etc.). In that respect it was somewhat like Gentoo.
52 • #46 (by Wolvrik on 2010-08-03 13:04:59 GMT from Mongolia)
I just installed Scientific Linux on my Dad's old HP and it runs better than anything I have tried so far on that machine. I have also had good luck with #! Statler Alpha 2(Debian based). If I remember correctly you are not a huge Puppy fan but I have had great success with Lucid Puppy running from a cd and saving to a flash drive. Actually I just copied all the files on the cd to my flash drive and only use the cd to boot with. I think you can do the same thing with Wolvix Cub which would also be a good choice. Slitaz and Austrumi are other options that I'm sure you have already considered. Good luck and don't get caught at work doing that because it's hard for some people to think outside the Windows box.
53 • Mint - No thanks (by NoMint on 2010-08-03 15:02:47 GMT from Germany)
I've tried Mint 9, both regular and Kde version, and din't find it all that great.
The only good thing about it is the default inclusion of codecs and such, but that's only a very weak point as you can quickly and easily install them yourself on regular Ubuntu.
Mint has done several bad choices, like intentionally crippling the Synaptic package manager, and I found the Mint-specific tools to often be of a questionable quality, so that I quickly uninstalled them.
While waiting for Mint 9 Kde to be released, I tried to install Kde from the official Kubuntu repositories on Mint 9. This simple action ended in a catastrophe, totally breaking the entire system, making it unusable. They must've messed up some things pretty bad in Mint 9 for this to happen. Installing Kde on top of Ubuntu Lucid worked just fine, the resulting "Kubuntu" works that fine I'm now using it as my main OS.
With the recent release of Mint 9 Kde, I found they had done a particularly bad choice (on top of the others): replacing the Gnome NetworkManager applet with Knetworkmanager, which often has serious issues with wireless connections, and in which Dsl support is completely broken.
Because of this poor Mint experience, I don't have high hopes for a Mint based on Debian.
I've started trying out the current Sidux 2010-1 (based on Debian sid) now besides my Kubuntu Lucid, and while it still has a few rough edges, it's already better than Mint. I seriously doubt they can reach a similar quality with a Debian-based Mint.
54 • @53 Mint (by Ron on 2010-08-03 15:42:37 GMT from United States)
My experiences where much better then yours. I never had issues with Mint. Their tools worked fine for me as well. However I stated using Mint because it was set up better then Ubuntu , at that time. Then Ubuntu got much better so I just went back to Ubuntu.
I am looking positively at Mint right now. I think they can get it together and do a good job basing it all on Debian.
Of course I have things covered since I triple/quadruple boot most of the time. I don't rely on just one OS.
55 • Mint (by Jesse on 2010-08-03 15:48:38 GMT from Canada)
I had the same trouble with trying to install KDE on top of Mint 8. It breaks the system pretty badly if you try to use the KDE login manager. The bug doesn't seem to exist, if you keep the Gnome login manager.
That being said, I played with Mint 9 KDE edition the other day and it works beatifully on my desktop. I'm really happy with their tools and with the speed. Not sure what the poster in 53 meant by breaking Synaptic, it seems to work the same for me as Synatpic does on any other distro and I really enjoy the Mint update tool.
56 • @46 • 750Mb Ram LiveCd (by Tom (by meanpt on 2010-08-03 16:34:49 GMT from Portugal)
Tom, I'm not the best person to advise you but by trying lots of distros in live mode I found Knoppix is a real good performer :) ... I just don't know if you'll need to change your keyboard layout cause I found Knoppix pretty bad at it ...
57 • Gnome Shell, introducing Linux at work (by Patrick on 2010-08-03 16:39:12 GMT from United States)
I've been running development versions of Gnome Shell on my laptop at work for quite a while now and I have to say I like it. It's very easy to get used to whipping your cursor into the top left corner to get something done... so much so that I catch myself doing it on my standard Gnome systems at home or even my Windows box at work! The particular commit I'm running right now has been very stable for me (this wasn't always the case, which is totally understandable since it is under heavy development). Unfortunately, this means I've been putting off updating it for several months now so my version is probably kind of stale by now... ;) It's about time to get the latest and hope I hit a usable commit when I do.
On the subject of introducing Linux into a Windows workplace. I don't think anyone at my place of employment knew anything about Linux when I started my job. I work in engineering, the IT department seems to be a Microsoft shop. I talked about Linux but mostly just got shrugs. I got my first foot in the door with a research project that I suggested could run embedded Linux. My boss was surprised how much I could get done in a short time with it and of course, I needed to have a Linux machine for development. Since then I have done a couple of projects that I could have developed under Windows, but I did it under Linux instead, just because I wanted to and I could (one embedded, one PC project but cross platform). My boss lets me because he knows I'm more productive in my Linux environment.
I also set up a software development server with Subversion and Redmine running on Debian stable, on an old Compaq machine sitting in an empty cubicle. My boss just recently commented that that thing just keeps running so reliably without any issues. I think in his mind he was at the same time thinking about the web time sheet software we use that runs on a Windows machine in IT's air conditioned server room that keeps crapping out.
When I needed to mock up graphics for a user interface simulator, I used Inkscape on my Linux machine. One of the mechanical engineers was astounded that a program with such capabilities was available for free. My boss promptly installed Inkscape on his Windows machine to replace the crappy vector program he was using.
Recently when we needed to upgrade the production machines, several people OTHER than me, including my boss, actually suggested: "Maybe we should switch them to Linux". Alas, lack of time to rewrite the production test software makes it so I need to upgrade the crappy old MFC program under Windows instead. But it wouldn't surprise me that the next go-round it could happen, especially since I make sure any hardware I design in is supported under Linux too. And I think everyone was seriously pissed at the ridiculous cost incurred by needing to upgrade from Windows 2000 to an already deprecated XP, JUST so the USB driver we need to use would work.
So things may seem to progress kind of slow, but the mindset of people sure is changing big time in favor of open source. It seems you can talk all you want about what Linux and free software can do, but it usually is not until they SEE it in action that people get just how powerful it can be. So if you're more productive because of using Linux, I suggest you make sure you get "caught" using it at work. That's the only way you'll convince people caught in a Windows mindset of how useful Linux is. Sure, they may prefer Windows, but if they're a smart business, they prefer increased productivity even more. Convince them of that, and you may spend most of your time in your favored computing environment as I'm doing now.
58 • GPL. Security. (by gplfan on 2010-08-03 18:28:22 GMT from United States)
GPL. Bigger than big.
#14 Security. Vocal parts of the Linux community believe that web surfing as admin/root is secure, that "stealth" offers some kind of protection against targeted attacks, and that Linux is so rare that tools aren't commonly available for those with mediocre talent to gain access to Linux PCs that are carelessly connected to the web. Individuals here recite their own experience - that they haven't been violated (or at least they haven't recognized that they have been violated) - as proof that security issues can be ignored. If the Linux community as a whole had a healthy approach to security, these vocal individuals would be shouted down.
Why bother with articles about a subject that this community has indicated that it will not take seriously?
59 • RE:58, Where did get that ideal? (by Eddie Wilson on 2010-08-03 19:12:57 GMT from United States)
I don't believe that I've ever seen anyone here talk down security. Except for those who run Puppy and say they can't be hacked everybody here takes security seriously. Where did you get that notion from? I believe that you are a little off base on this one. Most people agree that you do not want to run in root when you are online. You will have to refresh my memory because I can,t remember anyone saying stealth offers protection against targeted attacks. I don't believe that myself. NOBODY should ignore security issues.
60 • @Security @36 (by Patrick on 2010-08-03 21:20:36 GMT from United States)
Like most people here, I'd like to see follow-ups to your security article Caitlyn. I think the audience here has changed quite a bit (for the better I might say) since you published your previous security article and I expect it to be well-received this time.
61 • Security? Who needs security... (by Ron on 2010-08-03 22:09:30 GMT from United States)
Offline I leave my keys in the car, the car unlocked. I leave all my house windows and doors open or unlocked. I just put flashing signs on them saying I am not home, please stay out. I leave money/credit cards, personal information, etc on the kitchen table. I leave a note saying that I am not home, please do not touch. And finally I grab my bullhorn and blast out my schedule, (what I am doing, where I am going, when I am coming back...) through the whole neighborhood/town/city.
Ok, I really don't. But if people refuse to take computer security seriously I suggest you actually do this for a few weeks offline. Then please post your experiences or have your surviving relatives/friends do so.
62 • RE: 31 - 38 - 59 - 60 (by Landor on 2010-08-03 22:37:39 GMT from Canada)
Thank you for the information, Jesse. I have considered building .pbi files and most likely will. I always seem to have too many other side projects/interests on the go (how many of us know that drill all too well..lol) How do you find building a .pbi in comparison (and please, any rpm or deb fans, this is ONLY a question about OPINION) to building a rpm or deb, the same as your view of building a port? I'll subscribe to the mailing list regardless of working on them right away, it might even spur me on to start a lot quicker. :)
I can understand that, truly. But if you read the context of the article, it was a healthy comparison pretty well of the overall "physical, or functional" differences between the two, so that's where my point is coming from. The licensing issue has really no context between the two unless someone wants to start discounting one over the other, which of course offers nothing usually other than discord between groups.
I feel foolish now. I should actually take the time to look at the documentation of a project prior to trying it out for the first time. Thank you so much for letting me know about the installer. From the screenshots of the installer I noticed it doesn't create a user. That's no problem of course, and I actually welcome it a bit, it's nice to have to dig in for a change and actually have to do a bit of work to get something done. :)
I remember that period, but I still went back and looked at the comments section. It was a pretty wild few weeks, prior to, and after the article. Remember Nobody Important? I believe it was during that period he slowed down on posting here and that hasn't really changed, such a shame. I think part of the reason for CM's article (unless I'm mistaken) was specifically because the topic of security had been discussed prior to that in this section for a week or two. A couple people did go on and on about errors and stuff, debating things like su vs sudo and such. It was pretty well the same ole, same ole for any topic people pick sides on. I think CM should write an article as well since all of us posting here are the countless vocal few, which I would believe the article was well received as there were not too many new faces (ids/names) that week.
Hell, even Barnaby told me to keep my head up my ass that week.:) Though I will admit, due to another topic other than security, I think.
Patrick, a question about the Sheevaplug. Did you have to purchase the jtag to install Debian on it. I haven't looked deeply, and I want to run one (or the new guruplug) as a home server (5 watts!) and would put say Debian or something similar on a usb-stick and wondered if I left Ubuntu on it and just used the stick if I'd need to purchase it.
Keep your stick on the ice...
63 • mint (by al on 2010-08-03 22:49:45 GMT from United States)
I started with plain Mint 9, added the Kubuntu PPA (for KDE 4.5 testing). I then installed Kubuntu-desktop. Selected kdm, reboot, login, not a single problem. Ran that for a couple weeks. A few days ago, decided to do something dumb, I uninstalled Kubuntu-desktop, making sure to get all files in the ppa repositories gone. I then deleted the KDE config folder (in Home). Then I deleted the ppa repositories, and changed all of the other repositories from lucid to maverick. Dist-upgraded, restarted and reinstalled kubuntu desktop. The only problems so far are a couple app crashes (printer applet for one). Other than that, not a single troublesome crash or freeze of any kind. Pretty stable actually. Haven't upgraded to 4.5 today, as my 30 day download limit is almost used up.
64 • RE: PBI (by Jesse on 2010-08-04 00:38:33 GMT from Canada)
At the risk of starting a flame war, I found creating PBI files (both stand-alone and from ports) much easier and more flexible and easier to update than the rpm or deb equivalents. Part of that may be the documentation. I find it can be difficult to get clear and novice-friendly docs on creating rpm and deb packages. Or it was at the time I was first learning those formats. The PBI-building docs are fairly new. Actually, I wrote a how-to on stand-alone PBIs a little while ago in place of the regular Question and Answer bit. It might be useful.
I found putting together PBI modules a little less intuitive than stand-alone PBIs, though still easier than rpm and deb packages. This was largely because I had not worked with FreeBSD Ports in detail before. It helps a lot to understand the FreeBSD Ports system and how it operates before starting on a PBI module.
The nice thing is, while you need to update stand-alone PBIs manually as new versions of the software come out, the PBI modules will automatically update themselves as the Ports system updates. Which makes maintainence completely painless.
I'm on the pbi-dev mailing list, so let me know if I can be of assistance.
65 • #60 (by No*Tor*ik on 2010-08-04 03:03:23 GMT from Sweden)
Deleted -- inappropriate post
66 • #62 (by Anonymous on 2010-08-04 03:34:52 GMT from United States)
Have you seen this?
Link from Wikipedia:
Apparently it gets quite warm in operation.
67 • #65 (by Anonymous on 2010-08-04 03:44:27 GMT from United States)
Curious, is your Puppy machine on hi-speed internet?
Is it using the actual ip address from your ISP
or is it sitting behind a NAT router or modem or such a device?
Further is it on 24hours a day or just when you need to use it?
These things mean a lot as to how often a system might be targeted.
If your online time is low then the risks are low.
Same goes for not actually being on the actual ip address on the net.
I'm just curious if you're willing to answer, nothing more. Thanks..
68 • Landor & Jesse (by jake on 2010-08-04 06:52:58 GMT from United States)
Landor: Don't reply. It's too easy, and just drags you down to their level.
Jesse: People who "flame" other people's opinions on package format probably need a little education ... and same as my advice to Landor, don't go there. it's hardly useful.
69 • Defending Puppy (by Ron on 2010-08-04 07:06:07 GMT from United States)
I want to say that I am a huge believer in security. I am NOT defending those who run any distro as root.
In all fairness to Puppy Linux there are options, after you do an HD install, to add users so you don't have to run it as root. Puppy Linux is a good little distro, hate to see those who refuse to take security seriously take a good distro down.
70 • #67 (by No*Tor*ik on 2010-08-04 07:37:24 GMT from Germany)
Thanks for asking. I am not unaware that there are obvious security risks whenever you use any computer for anything. I have repeatedly stated that it is the user sitting in front of the computer that is the most dangerous security risk regardless of the operating system. The majority of security problems (corporate and otherwise) usually occur because of something that was downloaded and installed by the user or some similar scenario.
In answer to your question, I think discussing how I use Puppy (or any other operating system} and providing specific information on an international forum is unwise. I do understand what your question is implying however and I agree that a person is safer online under certain conditions.
With regard to Puppy, the issue that seems to keep some folks all "hot and bothered" is the fact that you can run it as root. You don't have to run as root though because there are versions that provide other options. Now in the world of system admins, the very idea of everyone running as administrator with total control is disturbing for some very good reasons. If employees do stupid things with a computer at work(and it is inevitable that they will, I have never worked anywhere where it hasn't happened) it can cause major problems which could cost a company a lot of time and money.
This should be viewed in contradistinction to the home user who runs his computer as root. If I want to run my system as root and I screw it up then it is my own fault and I will pay for it. If you choose to run as root you should take the same precautions as you would if you did not run as root such as clearing out your browser cache if you use your credit card online etc. All I am really trying to say is let's be prudent but leave the foil hats for people who are being targeted by the government (and aliens) with brain-scanning rays.
71 • @36 - Caitlyn Martin (by Claus Futtrup on 2010-08-04 07:47:37 GMT from Denmark)
I think the negative reaction was coming from a small group, whereas people satisified with the information didn't make equally as much noise. I for sure would be interested in reading future information from you, also regarding security, and network security would be of great interest for me to read.
72 • (by anon on 2010-08-04 07:47:43 GMT from United States)
post deleted -- off-topic
73 • DWW (by win2linconvert on 2010-08-04 08:23:28 GMT from United States)
Thanks for another interesting issue of DWW. I especially enjoyed the comparison of linux & bsd. And as always the comments section was also, huh hum, interesting, to say the least. Looking forward to the next installment of DWW.
PS. Tried PC-BSD and it was ok but I'm not a big fan of KDE, so I was excited to read about Ghost BSD. Please consider doing more articles on Ghost BSD as it progresses. Until next week...
74 • Next donation, Gnash? (by Claus Futtrup on 2010-08-04 08:49:39 GMT from Denmark)
Hi there. I think the next (or near future) project to support with the monthly Distrowatch donation should be Gnash.
Whether Flash or HTML5 wins in the longer perspective, I don't know, but it seems to me that Flash has been out there and we will continue to need support for Flash players ... also on 64 bit platform (not supported by Adobe Flash).
This weeks article about the credit cards reminded me, Gnash gets my thumbs up!
75 • security (by eamonnb on 2010-08-04 09:21:35 GMT from United Kingdom)
When I read a piece on security for home users I am looking for information . I am not seeking a set of instructions on necessary codes of conduct I must adhere to. In addition i think terms such as 'threat' and 'danger' in this context are too vague. After all there is a threat of being hit by a meteor whenever I leave my home...but the risk is very small. So it is the help with measuring the intensity of risk that i am seeking not just information that such and such danger actually exists. i know that this is not always easy to measure and explain but happily most writers on the subject give it a go.
76 • gnome shell (by wayne carkido on 2010-08-04 10:26:34 GMT from United States)
gnome shell / gnome 3 sucks. after the 2.x is discontinued, i will be going to lxde or kde.
77 • KMint - YES PLEASE! (by rec9140 on 2010-08-04 13:28:25 GMT from United States)
CatMint - "Mint has done several bad choices"
In some areas like:
inclusion of wine
missing apps like mail, sox, streamripper, OO Base and some others...
Less than full 4GB DVD ISO's
Yes I will agree some bad choices....
CatMint- "like intentionally crippling the Synaptic package manager"
Please outline what in Synaptic they have crippled?
CatMint-" and I found the Mint-specific tools to often be of a questionable quality, so that I quickly uninstalled them."
Please outline the issues...
Hmm...Only one that I use is update which runs to update the system, and installer to do the installs... No issues...
One hiccup here recently, where it wanted to shove an OpenJDK replacement to Java... No thanks... but I think this came from some thing upstream...
There appear to be HUGE UPSTREAM (CANONICIAL) issues with NVidia drivers now so much that I may wait out to see till after Isadora.
I only consider 4 of the Mint flavors valid KMint (KDE), XMint (XFCE), FluxMint (Fluxbox) and LMint (LXDE).... there is another, and while it may be a fine distro it has issues as far as I am concerned (in re monoboi miguel).
While KMint and the others are based on various *buntu flavors attempting to take *Mint and install Y WM on it is GOING TO LEAD to disaster, period. The *nutus are designed to do this, the *Mints are NOT, so that it blew up and didn't work and you blame the *Mints, is not going to wash for me. It clearly was not a good plan to start with, which I am sure you disagree, so be it.
If you want *Mint then install that version of *Mint. ie: KDE = KMint, LXDE = LMint, etc...
*Mints just are not designed to add other WM's at this point to other flavors.
As for the DebMint I am looking forward to it, WHEN it MOVES to be a KDE Based distro. Till then, blacklisted.
CatMint - "Knetworkmanager, which often has serious issues with wireless connections, and in which Dsl support is completely broken."
What is the issue with DSL? I've been wanting to see the follow up on this since the post on the forum. Ethernet to the router? LAN card doesn't work? What is the issue? ?
78 • Future Topic: 1 app = 1 file = PortableLinuxApps.org (by Bill on 2010-08-04 13:58:00 GMT from United States)
I think this would be a great topic for a future article. On their site they have a decent sized collection of apps that are packaged so that the file is the executable and should be able to run on most distro's by just making the file executable. Sort of reminds me of klik but appears even simpler (no cramfs or addition program/script needed).
Obviously the cool feature is the ability to run multiple versions of an app on your machine easily and they currently have a couple of bleeding edge ones (FF 4.0b1 and Gimp 2.7)
Also, appears to be based on work by the elementary-project elementary-project.com/, which might also be an interesting distro to review.
79 • RE:Why? (by Eddie Wilson on 2010-08-04 14:03:58 GMT from United States)
"gnome shell / gnome 3 sucks"
Why do you think so? "Gnome 3 sucks" says nothing about Gnome 3 or Gnome shell. I haven't tried it out on any of my systems so I don't know if it sucks or not. It's just fine if someone doesn't like something but I would like to know the reasons. I just can't get anything out of "gnome shell / gnome 3 sucks" :)
80 • RE:53,77, A matter of perspective. (by Eddie Wilson on 2010-08-04 15:43:20 GMT from United States)
"Please outline what in Synaptic they have crippled?"
It's a matter of perspective if you think that they may have crippled synaptic. The Mint team does not want you to update the install by using synaptic. The last time I looked they removed the mark all updates label from synaptic. It's not crippled per say, just different. I have updated using synaptic and it did screw up the install of Mint. It's just the way they do things. It's okay if they want you to use their update tool. That's the way they have designed it. As far as the installing of another desktop such as KDE on the official LinuxMint Gnome distro I can't understand why there should be a problem. I've installed several different desktops on different distros and haven't had any problems to speak of. As far as I know the Gnome edition of LinuxMint is the only official one. The others are community editions.
"There appear to be HUGE UPSTREAM (CANONICIAL) issues with NVidia drivers now so much that I may wait out to see till after Isadora."
I'm not sure what this is about. I haven't had any problems with the nVidia drivers in Ubuntu 10.04 or LinuxMint 9. There may be some, I just don't know about them.
81 • @62 @66 Sheevaplug / Guruplug (by Patrick on 2010-08-04 15:58:48 GMT from United States)
I did not need to purchase the JTAG to install Debian on my Sheevaplug. I just used the built-in USB/serial console connection to change the U-Boot config to boot from my 'debootstrap'-ed hard drive and left the Ubuntu install on the NAND flash alone.
Since you're considering getting one, I think an update on my experiences is in order. At the time of my article, I hadn't had the system in use for very long yet, so I have learned some things since then. Honestly, the system has been quite a lot of trouble compared to the beast of a server (called 'heavymetal' ;)) it replaced. Not all of it could be blamed on the Sheevaplug, but it sure had its share of problems.
First thing that happened was that the power supply went dead. I contacted Globalscale Technologies and they told me my unit was out of warranty. Funny thing is, their lousy warranty (30-day from date of purchase on paper, 60-day from what they told me) had pretty much run out before I even got my unit, which was on backorder. Anyway, they said they would do me a favor and fix it. I still wonder if they only did that because I mentioned my Distrowatch article and they were afraid of bad press. Thanks again Ladislav! ;) I sent them my unit and they took their sweet time with it. Every time I inquired I was reminded that they were doing me a favor and they didn't have to fix it if they didn't want to. Then when they finally did, they accused me that the unit had been tampered with, which was not true (believe me, it was hard enough to resist the temptation to open it!). But out of the goodness of their hearts, they had fixed it anyway.
So I got my unit back and it worked for a while. Then the Maxtor USB hard drive croaked. After breaking its case open (you only ever find out how to open things like this without breaking them AFTER you have opened them and broken them in the process), I found the hard drive to be OK, but the power supply was bad. What is it with all these lousy power supplies in devices??? So after moving my system to a new drive, I was up and running again.
In between all this I went through several USB hubs to try and improve stability. My Sheevaplug came with only one USB connector so I needed to add an external hub to connect both my hard drive and TV tuner. It seems the system sometimes looses connection to the USB hard drive, which is obviously bad. I have the impression this mostly happens when something in the system is physically moved or bumped, so I wonder if the loose feeling USB connector is to blame. I also experience kernel crashes in the tuner module, which doesn't take the system down but obviously prevents MythTV from recording shows. Different USB hubs have made no noticeable difference up to now.
Then just two weeks ago the system went down again. The power supply was in hiccup-mode! Since I wasn't going to deal with Globalscale Technologies again, I just got the screwdriver out and popped the unit open. The power supply would hiccup even with no load. I popped the metal shell open and there was an obviously bad (puffy) capacitor. I decided to take the crappy supply out of the equation, got out the soldering iron and hacked in an external power supply. It has been working fine with that and can only be an improvement in my opinion. Funny thing is, I just noticed that they sell the power supply modules on their website. Should be an indication of how many people are having problems with them.
So my take on it is: I still kind of like the idea, but the implementation sucks. Don't expect stability because you probably won't get it. If you want a fun little thing to experiment with, great. If you want a trouble-free system running for years, forget it. My Sheevaplug was actually marketed as a developers kit, which kind of tells the whole story (as in: not ready for production). I didn't know yet about the Guruplug until you talked about it, and I wonder if it is marketed as a production system. It seems like a great upgrade -- WiFi, multiple USB's and eSATA are great added features that could make the experience a whole lot better. But I'd definitely recommend you take the article pointed to in @66 seriously. If my experience with the Sheevaplug is any indication, the Guruplug might be a nice toy / developers system, but not ready for production use either. I can't help but notice they do have the Guruplug supply for sale too! :)
If you get one, let me know your experiences!
82 • KMint - YES PLEASE! (by rec9140 on 2010-08-04 16:49:13 GMT from United States)
"It's a matter of perspective if you think that they may have crippled synaptic. "
I think this 'perspective' of "crippled" is a little much.. changed fine, crippled... hardly.
I wouldn't use synaptic to update... KMint provides an update tool, it works, and that is all I need or want.
And if you want to upgrade from one version to another the only working and suggested method on KMint is to fresh install. The *buntu method which provides an upgrade from version to version does not exist in the *Mint
I mostly use synaptic to find software and then use apt-get to install stuff.
A lot of the other stuff I use requires compiling from the shell like VMWare Server along with patches to get it to work.
" As far as the installing of another desktop such as KDE on the no LinuxMint Gnome distro I can't understand why there should be a problem. I've installed several different desktops on different distros and haven't had any problems to speak of. "
Because there are massive changes from the *buntu version which may support this, to the KMint.
They are creating their own packages to create these versions. Trying to add Y WM to ZMint is not going to work. If *Mint were to provide these packages then it would.
"As far as I know the ****** edition of LinuxMint is the only official one. The others are community editions."
And as far as I am concerned there is only one Mint, KMint KDE. (HINT HINT)
"I'm not sure what this is about. I haven't had any problems with the nVidia drivers in Ubuntu 10.04 or LinuxMint 9. There may be some, I just don't know about them."
There is an issue which is brewing because of changes canonicial is making which effects derivatives.
83 • #78 (by Anonymous on 2010-08-04 16:59:10 GMT from Canada)
I did a search on "security"
Seems that there may be problems
A bigger problem, for me, was that on the forum a poster was told that slackware was not a supported distribution, but i searched for a list of supported distributions and was unable to find any.
Pretty icons though
84 • Supported distros (by Jesse on 2010-08-04 17:06:58 GMT from Canada)
In regards to the support question with Portable Linux Apps (post 83), the list of tested (supported) distros is at the bottom of the main page. The supported distros are Ubuntu 10.04, openSUSE 11.3 and Fedora 12.
85 • RE:82, Nope Synaptic is not crippled. (by Eddie Wilson on 2010-08-04 17:32:10 GMT from United States)
I don't believe that synaptic is crippled either, just changed somewhat. But I do believe this is what the person was talking about. Anyway I use Synaptic for just about everything. It's a good front end for apt.
I take it from your comments that you are a mono lover. Don't fret any because mono will make it into KDE. KDE needs just a little more polish and add mono to that and you'll have yourself a kick ass system. You never know, Mint may even take Novell on as a sponsor and then they will hit the big time.
86 • KDE lovers (by fernbap on 2010-08-04 17:49:18 GMT from Portugal)
Funny how people is trying to push KDE. KDE is neither light nor complete, not to mention a lot of bugs yet to solve.
A complete desktop system is a fullsuite of GUI tools so that you can do virtually everything you want. KDE doesn't offer that.
KDE is also counter-intuitive to any user of any different desktop environment. And some of its choices are debatable to say the least.
I have yet to try a KDE distro where everything works, no apps suddently don't start never to start again and some apps inexpectably crash.
The only good thing about KDE is that it doesn't come with pulseaudio. But then, i can get it out of gnome.
If i want a light desktop, i have much to chose from.and KDE is not one of them.
As to a complete desktop environment, KDE is still lacking, and gnome is far more usable and stable.
I guess it all comes to eye candy. KDE has lots of them, but then it looks like windows 7 (or rather, windows 7 looks like it).
Or perhaps this is still the perpectual war between C and C++ fans.
87 • @78 Portable Applications (by meanpt on 2010-08-04 20:24:07 GMT from Portugal)
I use some portable applications on windows but found they use more memory than its equivalent installed applications. I wonder if the same applies to linux.
88 • RE: 64 - 68 - 66/81 -86 (by Landor on 2010-08-04 20:36:31 GMT from Canada)
Again I have to thank you, and twice this week I feel foolish. I did read your article about building a .pbi when it was published. My memory has been slipping a lot lately. :) I also subscribed to the mailing list and I appreciate your offer for help on it.
Sometimes I do rise to the challenge, but it's rare. :) I was going to reply though, only to the simple fact that he was completely in error, at least from my perspective. I'm quite sure the reason he was banned had nothing at all to do with the fact that he ran his distribution of choice, but more to do with the fact in how he chose to deal with people ignorantly and disrespectfully, mainly CM, regarding that topic. :)
At first I found the article/blog post slightly dubious. Reason being, I looked at some of the wires that the writer/owner posted an image of and they actually looked like they were cleanly cut, and how some of them were bent away from their prior connection. Now the issues with the power supply I believe exist, but it looked like he gave those wires a bit of help. At least from my perspective, I could be wrong though, and have been many times in my life. :)
Thanks for the heads up on the issues with it, Patrick. From what I've read about what you discussed and a little bit more investigation, I don't think I'll be purchasing one. I thought it would be an excellent low-cost server but the risks of loss, and possibly damage (given the heat and such) and too great for what I want it to do. I'll most likely look for a used netbook (they use "close" to the same amount of watts, with a bit more horsepower) with a dead hard drive (possibly) and just use either a SDHC card or a USB Stick, for power consumption concerns. I love spending less if I can. :)
I think you should do a follow-up to your experience with it. It's definitely warranted in my opinion. Maybe run the article by Ladislav. We may have seen your post here in the comments section, but as we all know, we're a small group in comparison that reads here regularly, or I'd believe so. :) I'm sorry it hasn't worked out well for you too. It's a shame when a decent concept doesn't work well when put to practical use.
The only thing I will disagree with you on is that KDE definitely offers a full suite of GUI tools and application. More so than any other DE. I don't know how you can make such a claim, though perception and perspective (my new overused word for the week..lol) are everything to each of us. :)
Keep your stick on the ice...
89 • @88 (by fernbap on 2010-08-04 21:23:36 GMT from Portugal)
"The only thing I will disagree with you on is that KDE definitely offers a full suite of GUI tools and application."
Well, that is debatable. Konqueror is a joke, for instance. By pretending to be everything, it is nothing.
A file/web browser? Too restrictive. Besides, everyone uses Firefox or Chrome.
Konqueror is neither a good web browser nor a good file browser. I have a lot of sympathy for its developers, but the concept is just wrong. Besides, it's heavy.
I can say the same about the other file browser, Dolphin. By pretending to do everything, it is heavy and cumbersome as well.
Better make a series of small applets. You only load what you need.
The control center has stuff spreaded all over the place.
90 • Gnome 3/Shell (by Josh on 2010-08-05 00:51:35 GMT from United States)
I'm not that thrilled with it. It seems disorganized and bulky at times. Hopefully, given the new delay, they will get it better than the version I tried. I do see some promise with the layout though. I will definitely try it out every now and then.
I don't see either konqueror or dolphin as heavy. I don't personally use the web browsing feature though, so I can understand what your saying. It probably would be better for them to be just what they need to be, a file browser.
91 • RE: 89/90 (by Landor on 2010-08-05 04:33:43 GMT from Canada)
I guess I'm one of the few that always admired Konqueror for both its roles in KDE3. It was quite robust. I say was as I only barely touch KDE 4 to see how it's come along (I'll post something about that at the end of this. For that reason I can't really make any comparison of Dolphin though. I always liked Krusader too. But many will tell you, nothing can beat Midnight Commander, though that's a beast outside of this discussion.
Fernbap. I understand what you're discussing now too, which I didn't when I replied to your comment the first time. You're discussing the use of applications, not the availability of them. That was my point. KDE has more specific applications built by the KDE 4 team than any other DE. While you're discussing their usage.
You have to remember one of KDE's greatest features, to give the user complete and utter control over their desktop environment. Coming from either a Windows, OSX, or even Gnome environment, the placement and layout of such an enormous amount of configuration options can be overwhelming and hard to understand the logic behind it until you've spent a lot of time figuring it out from that perspective of giving you completely control.
I've written about this before and figure it's about time I should again since KDE 4.5 is well on its way. When I returned to Linux I immediately chose KDE 3.5 for my desktop because I like having every option right there in my face. When I did use KDE, I found it quite buggy and had a lot of problems. It wasn't until KDE 3.5.7 that I found it polished and improved beyond believe. Sadly, after finally getting it perfect, they canceled the 3 series shortly after. If work on the 3 series is any benchmark for what's in store for use with KDE 4, then I hope we'll see vast improvement and complete usability with the KDE 4.5 series as it progresses. I've been keeping that in the back of my mind every time I look KDE 4 and think, "They ruined a great DE". I could very well return to KDE 4 if I see truly major improvment over this point release(s).
If not, well, I don't like Gnome 3 either, maybe I'll embrace XFCE next..lol :)
Keep your stick on the ice...
92 • RE:91, Just When It Was Perfect (by Eddie Wilson on 2010-08-05 12:07:15 GMT from United States)
Landor I do remember the last good KDE distro I used as far as the KDE 3.x series goes. It was LinuxMint 5 elyssa. It seemed that everything KDE related worked like a charm. I could set everything up the way I wanted, everything worked like I expected it to, and it was a joy to use. Then they went to the KDE 4.x series. I was not thrilled to say the least. I also used Gnome at the time and had it set up very well also. I stuck with Mint 5 as long as I feasibly could but ended up doing more of my work in my Gnome install. I do still look at KDE 4.x at times but just can't seem to buddy up to it. I'm probably not giving it a fair shake tho. For the life of me I can't figure out what was so important in the 4.x series to where they had to change the whole desktop environment instead of implementing the changes in the 3.x series. I'm sure that I did read why and it just didn't make any sense. lol I have been unfairly critical of most KDE distros since then even tho I still use some of their applications. I haven't tried Gnome shell or Gnome 3 yet so I can't comment on those. Maybe I'll try KDE again and give it more of a chance this time. It ain't easy is it.
93 • Linux vs BSD (by klu9 on 2010-08-05 15:25:25 GMT from Mexico)
People have mentioned differences between Linux and BSD like license, compiler, userland etc. These are perhaps more important to developers than end-users/consumers.
As an end-user, what differences are likely to affect me?
For example, I remember once dealing with OpenOffice.org. A new version was released.
On Windows XP (a 2001-vintage OS), I downloaded the latest installer, double-clicked and got the latest version of OOo.
On FreeBSD, I used ports and got the latest version.
On Ubuntu, I... had to start googling. Reading forum posts, studying blog guides, changing repositories, modifying settings etc. And after doing all that stuff I could finally have the latest version of OOo.
So I am right in thinking that with BSD, you can just update the application where as in Linux you should wait for an update to the entire operating system to get a new version of an app? (Or dive into the murky waters of backporting?)
Any other end-user differences?
94 • @93 (by fernbap on 2010-08-05 15:52:44 GMT from Portugal)
Every distro relies on its own repositories for updating applications.
If a new version of OO or whatever app comes out, it will be included in the distro repository and installed via update.
Or not. The reason can be several. Either the new version was tested and considered too buggy to replace the former version, or it showed a compability issue that needs to be sorted out, or perhaps those taking care of the repositories are too busy atm and didn't do it yet.
Anyway, the repository is THE trusted trusted place for each distro to get applications. If something is kept out of it, there was a reason.
Those that say that Mint crippled Synaptic don't understand it. Mint has its own repositories and not everything in Ubuntu repositories is compatible. They made a very good updater and warn people not to use synaptic for updates because of that. You can get updates from Ubuntu that just don't work on Mint and can even break your system.
So, back to your issue, if Ubuntu repositories didn't have the new version of OOo yet, it's just because they still didn't test/costumize/integrate it. Anyway, it's just a matter of time. And when it gets there, that means it was already tested and considered safe to include.
95 • RE:93, Another Opition (by Eddie Wilson on 2010-08-05 15:52:56 GMT from United States)
You could have gone to openoffice.org and just downloaded the deb file for linux. 32 or 64 bit. They have rpm files also.
96 • MONO NO! ! NO ! NO ! NO ! (by rec9140 on 2010-08-05 16:12:00 GMT from United States)
97 • RE: KDE lovers (by rec9140 on 2010-08-05 16:34:43 GMT from United States)
I couldn't disagree with most of your statements more.
KDE 4.x has WAY TOO MUCH eye candy and most definitely is a trying to be KDEVista7....
Their default "oxygen" theme and icons... is aptly named.. probably not for the reason they think... They are indeed in DIRE NEED of OXYGEN! Plain, ugly, bland. BLECH!
As for Konqi.... Step off.
I *USE KONQI* as a web browser, posting with it right now, and file browser and every thing else it does... I do not use ff or chrome and never will. Your web site "no worki in Konqi, no visit!"
One of the reasons my main system is STILL V3.5.10 is the absolute fubar'ng of Konqi in 4.x... and as far as dolphin it makes good tuna fodder. blech!
I don't get this concept of "heavy" for KDE especially compared to that g WM. Compared to something like Fluxbox, LXDE, etc.. .OK...
Counter productive to users of other GUI environments?!?!? ! What??? Examples?? ? ? I don't see that at all except when I try to use, once again that g WM.
If your only experience is with KDE4.x then you missed the sweet spot for KDE, which KDE4.x has yet to get back to. Disable plasma and get back the basics and revert things back to their KDE3.x versions and KDE4.x starts to come close to that....but there is no denying that certain "glitz over function" cough asegio cough are ruIning (Sic for emphasis/pun) KDE 4.x..
Your experiences with software on KDE even 4.x are not recreateable by my own experiences.
KDE is not for you.. g is NOT for me for alot of reasons, and never will be.
98 • @88 (by Patrick on 2010-08-05 16:57:23 GMT from United States)
I feel bad about having to recommend people against using the Sheevaplug/Guruplug because I *love* the concept... It just seems that the current implementation is not ready for prime time. I don't know if there just isn't enough space in a power plug sized enclosure to deal with the generated heat, or if GlobalScale Technologies is doing a bad job implementing a perfectly good concept. You do start to wonder about the testing they did when you read people's reports of their Guruplugs resetting after just minutes because of overheating. Didn't they see that happen with their lab prototypes?
I have actually been thinking it would be nice to buy a Guruplug, take it apart, attach a bigger heat sink, and mount the guts in some other enclosure and use it that way. Or mount it in a metal enclosure and use the enclosure as heat sink. Or just rip out the main board and use it in some embedded system. :)
Seems people are discussing things like that at
99 • @97 (by fernbap on 2010-08-05 17:00:15 GMT from Portugal)
"KDE 4.x has WAY TOO MUCH eye candy and most definitely is a trying to be KDEVista7.... "
So, you agree with me.
"I don't get this concept of "heavy" for KDE especially compared to that g WM. Compared to something like Fluxbox, LXDE, etc.. .OK... "
First of all, a WM is not a desktop. I never said gnome was light. What i said is that if you're looking for a light desktop, KDE is not an option. So, you agree with me.
"One of the reasons my main system is STILL V3.5.10 is the absolute fubar'ng of Konqi in 4.x..."
So, you agree with me.
"Counter productive to users of other GUI environments?"
No, what i said was counter intuitive.
"Disable plasma and get back the basics and revert things back to their KDE3.x versions"
Yea. Like "stop using Vista and go back to XP". It's you who are missing the point.
100 • @99 (by Ivory on 2010-08-05 18:35:38 GMT from France)
> ""Disable plasma and get back the basics and revert things back to their KDE3.x versions"
Yea. Like "stop using Vista and go back to XP". It's you who are missing the point."
Well, Vista was a failure, XP is better, and Win7... it's not bad and better than Vista but I prefer downgrade to XP SP3, not a bad choice, sorry.
101 • For KDE 3.x lovers... (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-08-05 19:42:24 GMT from United States)
There are still a few distros which offer KDE 3 either by default or as an option. Vector Linux has their KDE Classic build and that will continue into VL 7.0. AFAIK Vector is still only 32-bit, though, so those with 64-bit systems probably will want to look elsewhere. DWW featured a distro with KDE 3.x as the default desktop some weeks ago but I don't remember the name of it. Since I actually like KDE 4 it didn't really register with me.
102 • KDE 3 (by Ivory on 2010-08-05 19:49:21 GMT from France)
You have also The Trinity Project. See at http://trinity.pearsoncomputing.net/ KDE 3.5.11 yeah! lol
103 • #99 (by No*Tor*ik on 2010-08-05 21:16:04 GMT from Germany)
I for one am very proud of the team working on KDE 4.x. They are pushing the boundaries of open source and freely giving a quality product back to the community. I guess if you don't like it you don't like it. It is heavy on my old machines and I don't use it because of that but I'm glad it's out there for those who prefer it. I don't know, maybe that is what you are saying as well. I prefer Openbox on CrunchBang (Debian).
#88 "...and twice this week I feel foolish". LOL, TWICE?
#88 "I'm quite sure the reason he was banned had nothing at all to do with the fact that he ran his distribution of choice, but more to do with the fact in how he chose to deal with people ignorantly and disrespectfully, mainly CM, regarding that topic. :)"
Quite incorrect "sir". I was effusively polite and unwaveringly respectful to everyone in my responses in direct proportion to the quantities of each of these noble qualities as they were shown to me.
104 • Issues (by J. Thorsen on 2010-08-05 21:26:29 GMT from United States)
105 • RE: 92 - 98 (by Landor on 2010-08-05 21:44:07 GMT from Canada)
I really enjoyed the vanilla version from Gentoo and that was the last main install of KDE 3 that I used. They still have it in sunrise and I understand (via a mailing list) they're currently having some issues with Kmail.
I commented about KDE 4.5 being better and possibly returning to it. Right after I did some research and may change my mind on that. In 2002 KDE 3.0 was released. Essentially it ended in 2007. The 3.5 series was released in 2007 as well. That meant from start to finish they had a 5 year run of development. KDE 4.0 was released in 2008 and was pretty well still largely alpha and only two years later (in comparison to the development run of the 3 series) is hitting 4.5. Why is it so much faster? Is it because of manpower? Are they just pounding things out a lot faster? It definitely is on the fast track compared to the last series and I don't really know if that's a good thing or not. Nor am I so confident that 4.5 could be something to return to.
I don't know if you recall, but I was fairly excited/interested in the device as well. At the time I let it end there. I renewed my interest due to the router (I'm now using in place of my own server/WAP/etc that gave me hardware problems) now having intermittent hardware issues(as well). The GuruPlug seemed the perfect solution, though only wireless G. I don't see it as a viable solution though, meaning, modifying it to keep it working. In your situation, yes, there's a reason as you own one. For the cost, a combination motherboard/cpu can run under 50 dollars in some instances, and give more hardware expandability options, while close to the same wattage usage (close). I completely agree with the interest in the concept too, it's amazing. It's a shame it's so badly implemented. I'm lucky enough (probably most of us here are..lol) that I have more than enough spare parts kicking around to be able to pick up one of the combination boards and that pretty well be all I need. Though I would really like a tiny case. :) They're cheap too though.
I checked out the link and I'll read further. Some of the things the guys have done to it are innovative and also kind of insane..lol That one heatplate by the commenter named Doug, that has to be total overkill, it's huge!. :) Separate the parts and like you said, construct a small case. I just can't see it for me right now, unless it's only to tinker. I would never trust it left on given the poor quality of the build.
Keep your stick on the ice...
106 • Small PC's (by Cuda on 2010-08-06 01:18:56 GMT from Canada)
For those interested in small PC's, sheevaplugs, etc., I found this one quite interesting. It's available with Ubuntu pre-loaded too. BTW, it uses an all aluminum case, so maybe you can use it as a coffee warmer too :-)
I'm on my second generation of the Intel "essential series" motherboards, a few of which come in the mini-itx size. They can be had for ~$75 and have decent desktop performance too.
I also like to follow this page as it gives all kinds of interesting news on embedded Linux systems
107 • KDE4 (by Woodstock69 on 2010-08-06 03:11:46 GMT from Papua New Guinea)
My five toea* worth -
KDE 3.5.10 is functionally brilliant and graphically satisfying. KDE 4 is a vista/w7 wanna be that has totally failed to capture my heart. I don't want my linux box to look like MSware. Gnome will not be discussed here. I don't use it.
Don't get me wrong, I want KDE4 to succeed and eventually I'll say goodbye to KDE3, but KDE4 is just wrong ATM and the devs have a ways to go to bring it "upto" KDE3's "standard" IMO. It gets better at every release, but it's not there yet.
Two functions I love in KDE4 that are missing from 3.5.10 are KRunner's ability to perform calculations and conversions and the file copy ability to "write into all" directories "skipping" existing files (the copy/write functions are slightly different between KDE3 and 4, with KDE4 actually being better. If KDE 3.5.10 had these back-ported, I wouldn't need KDE4 at all. As it is, I mainly use it for intensive file manipulation tasks (Backups and the like). Though I find it annoying that the FIle copy GUI's insist that it must write every directory to the new location first and then populate them with the files. If the copy/write process fails/aborts I end up with a whole lot of empty directories and don't know which ones failed or copied without checking each and every one. That's a nightmare with sub-directories. Something like FreeCommander would be nice, but Unison and Midnight Commander don't cut it. Good at what they do, but not to the extent of FC. Maybe time to use scripting and the CLI.....
The notifier I find very annoying and a waste of space. It's not very elegant in it's appearance and usefulness are debatable in its current implementation. I find it more intrusive than functional.
Dolphin is very disappointing in its GUI design IMO. Konqui has always been my favourite file manager because it's functionally complete and graphically aesthetic. Space on the UI is appropriately utilised. In KDE 4 Konqui has had its guts ripped out and has an identity crisis. Is it a Dolphin or a Dragon? Dolphin has too much space that is under utilised and the UI is disjointed IMO. It's not pleasant to use and doesn't give me the concise information that I require nor where I require it, unlike the old Konqui.
Would be great if some brilliant dev could backport some of the KDE4 functionality to KDE3. I don't need to spin my desktop or my icons, I don't need plasma and fancy graphics, I don't need the KDE4 desktop paradigm, to me it's just bloat. I like the standard KDE3 paradigm. It works, it's not a vista/w7 look a like, it's reasonable fast and almost nothings missing. I don't use compiz/Beryl or any of the 3D cuboid wizardry. I burn, I write, I design, I draft, I watch, I listen, I read, I play Wesnoth and Freecell. That's it.
That's something else that annoys me about the computing industry. I spend my hard earned cash buying a supercomputer to make the current OS run faster, only to have the OS become obsolete and require the install of a new generation OS that makes the supercomputer I just bought crawl. But I ramble....
My current favourite distros are simplyMEPIS 8.0 and Vector 6. Both KDE3 and both very easy to use. simplyMEPIS 8.5's implementation of KDE4 wasn't visually exciting for me. Functionally bearable, but very dull in the GUI. Mint 8 KDE was a disaster (didn't even bother past the LiveCD), Mint 9 KDE is looking much better, though some apps keep crashing on me that never had before (synaptic is modified, software manager's GUI repeatedly crashes, though the process still works in the background, I have a Glibc error on boot). openSUSE 11.3 is about to be installed when the DVD finishes downloading (98% after 10 days and counting). I'm even giving PC-BSD a go (haven't started downloading that yet, that's next weeks download).
The purpose of releasing new/updated software is to make it better. This is not achieved by removing/disabling/hiding existing features alone. Keep the existing feature until you have implemented an appropriate update (equalling or surpassing the previous functionality) otherwise it's not an update at all, its a regression.
The concepts used in KDE4's paradigm are fine. The implementation is not.
Standard disclaimer - YMMV and YOMV
* A toea is the Papua New Guinean equivalent of the cent. Worth about two fifths of an Australian cent, therefore the equivalent of my two cents worth.....
108 • KDE's (by meanpt on 2010-08-06 08:55:33 GMT from Portugal)
Well, I don't know if it is a complete KDE 4.X, but the only one I can use with some meager resources thrown in is NimbleX's in live mode. And I believe if the distro assemblers/developers wanted/want it, they could and can also optimize any DE for a resource target and purge it from what's not still working. Of course, there is also the already reported bugs in functionality, the redundancy of some applications packed with KDE, regarding better ones made available by third parties, which in turn may have originally been developed with other graphical environments in mind, but this do not bear anything new within the linux's usual chaotic and living environment. Soon or later, as the forking is getting more evident, and as some already did with distros, people will have to stick with one and one DE, whether buggy or not, whether you totally like it or not, but for sure having competing DEs and not being satisfied with none of them will pull things ahead ... or backwards, depending on how the funding will be allocated and the community will react. As far as I'm concerned, I hate showing off heavy stuff. If I wanted it, I would stick with Vista,
109 • Sonus (by Rob Jones on 2010-08-06 21:47:39 GMT from United Kingdom)
This week the Opensolaris community annouced a new opensource Spork dubbed SONUS in the wake of Oracles silence over the 2010 release from oracle.The new site is still in its infantcey can be found at The Illumos Project http://www.illumos.org/projects/site/wiki/Announcement.
110 • RE: 106 - 108 (by Landor on 2010-08-06 22:37:52 GMT from Canada)
Thanks for the links. I've been looking at the D510, passive cooling is exactly what I'm looking for. I just wish it had dual LAN, but more importantly dual pci slots. I really want, and need, to use this for a WAP. I could use a wireless dongle and hack in a better antenna, but I'd prefer not to have to muck around with anything and do it all cleanly. The Biostar 3100+ is something I'm considering. Has two expansion slots, one being pci-e.
Now some may think other applications are better but those applications others are thinking of could very well be GTK based while KDE is QT, which makes it a whole different issue. That's one reason for specific applications from the KDE Team.
Another is close to the same issue, but not, integration. KDE 3 had bit of integration between some of their applications for data, personal information, etc, to be exchanged/used between the applications. One of their main goals in KDE 4 and most people don't take this into consideration when they're looking at KDE from a different DE or WM perspective, is what they call the "Semantic Desktop". They want complete integration of all data, information (personal or otherwise) for the user. They couldn't very well do that with other applications. We'll use leafpad as an example. They would have to completely rewrite leafpad to integrate its information with other applications on KDE, then maintain it. So they do that already, with their own applications. To an end user that is just surfing the net, watching hulu, chatting in instant messages, they probably won't care about a Semantic Desktop. But for power users, or people that need to deal with a lot of data/information at work, or play, and need that information to be easily integrated into the other applications on their desktop, then KDE is by far the better choice for them than any other DE. So, as I said, you have to really look at their goals and factor in what they're trying to accomplish and then you'll understand why things are the way they are in comparison to say Gnome, XFCE, LXDE, which all have their own place as well.
Hopefully one day soon I'll return to KDE.
Keep your stick on the ice...
111 • New to Linux (by Robert on 2010-08-07 11:31:43 GMT from United States)
I am staying with a friend and he talks about Linux and how great it is. I myself have never used Linux and want to dip my toe in the water but don't know where to start.
I have read the last 8 weeks of DWW and for the life of me can not tell what distro to download. There seems to be different opinions about what distro is the best. What really confuses me is that Ubuntu is ranked at the top of the list but seems to be the least liked by those who post comments on this site. Baffling???
So where do I begin? I realize from reading the comments it really depends on what I want to do with the distro, or better yet, what I expect from the distro. I expect to be able to play mp3’, watch youtube videos, experience flash enabled sites, and basically enjoy all the internet has to offer.
I do consider myself a windows power user since I am an MCSE and live in the windows power shell. I am not afraid to get under the hood, learn or experiment with the command line. I want a disto I can grow into but still don’t want to sacrifice functionality in the beginning. All comment s and recommendations are welcome.
112 • Distro recommendations (by Crash Master on 2010-08-07 12:02:17 GMT from United States)
The great thing about Linux is that most come as Live CD and can be run and tested without installation. Mint, Mepis, and PCLinuxOS (they are all based on other distros) are easy to use and polished ... so I'd recommend burning those 3 and testing them out as live CDs. Ubuntu .. well, that is a good distro for a desktop as well, but I prefer the others.
Some of the other distros may require installation and tweaking to get everything running that you want. You might also want to google pen drive linux .... it is simple to create a bootable thumb drive with most Linux distros. Have fun!
113 • @110 (by Cuda on 2010-08-07 12:39:13 GMT from Canada)
Landor, you might also want to look at mini-box.com. They have a good assortment of motherboards and some wifi-specific models too - with dual mini-pci slots - and they have the wireless cards and antennas to go with them. I bought one of their micro power supplies and it's been going strong for the last 2-1/2 years.
I've also got a diy wireless-N wap on my to do list, although I haven't put too much thought into it. I noticed mini-box doesn't sell any wireless-N cards so that makes me think the hardware implementation, especially regarding antennas, might be a little tricky for the diy'er.
logicsupply.com is another one you might check out too.
114 • Ref# 111 New 2 Linux... (by Anonymous on 2010-08-07 14:07:38 GMT from United States)
" There seems to be different opinions about what distro is the best. What really confuses me is that Ubuntu is ranked at the top of the list but seems to be the least liked by those who post comments on this site. Baffling???"
That's the problem with being popular. If it wasn't Ubuntu then it would be another one that misinformed people would take a potshot at.
I'm surprised that your friend doesn't have a distro to recommend for you.
First try Ubuntu then see how it works. Then go to Ubuntu forum for questions - not here. Too many bias opinions.
115 • UBUNTU? (by luix on 2010-08-07 14:38:13 GMT from United States)
message from 114 . yes I am agree with you too many to choose but all leads to one UBUNTU/DEBIAN yes is very popular world wide
and I guess all them should make a name of one single distro end work on it,because i may start to getting confuse if UBUNTU is the major name or LINUX,you guys had left behind MANDRIVA(mandrake) FEDORA(red Hat)and SLACKWARE! come on they are all free,stop the complaining and submit the bugs so they can work on it...so long
116 • @111 (by fernbap on 2010-08-07 16:23:55 GMT from Portugal)
"I myself have never used Linux and want to dip my toe in the water but don't know where to start."
Welcome to Linux!
One thing you need to realise is that Linux users tend to be the non-conformist type. That means most posters here like to be different and have a common hate towards Microsoft.
However, being non-conformist also means not aligning with the popular choices. Ubuntu, being the most popular distro, is of course not liked by most.
However, there are newbie-friendly distros, that take Ubuntu or other base distro and build on them.
The most user friendly distro is, by far, Linux Mint, in its several flavours. I would try the standard Mint first.
If your hardware is dated, there are also newbie friendly distros around, built on a light desktop. Mint LXDE is my favorite, but you have much to chose from. Zenwalk is a good choice.
117 • @111 (by jake on 2010-08-07 18:59:36 GMT from United States)
First suggestion: While you are staying with your friend, have them create an account on their computer, whatever flavor of Linux it is. Poke around in it a bit while you are there.
Second suggestion: Install the version of Linux that your friend uses at home on a second computer (powerful enough computers can usually be had for the asking in today's throw-away society). Why the version your friend uses? Because you have a built-in line of first level support :-)
Third suggestion: When installing the above version of Linux, leave a partition on the hard-drive for a second version of Linux. Which version? Try ALL of 'em! ... OK, maybe not all of 'em, but try the top 15 or 20 on the DW list. Note that I'm not recommending virtualization, rather run 'em dual boot on the bare hardware until you get your feet wet.
That said, my personal desktop of choice runs on a variation of Slackware, and has for around 15 years. YMMV, and very probably will. Just dive in and enjoy, the second box makes it easy to fix stuff when you do something stupid as root, without losing anything important ... and if you're not careful, you might actually learn something :-)
 We all have. It's part of the learning curve ...
118 • @117 - Oldest running Linux install (by Cuda on 2010-08-07 19:50:39 GMT from Canada)
There's no disputing that Slackware is the oldest surviving and maintained GNU/Linux distribution, and that got me to thinking....
I wonder who has the oldest surviving "original install" of Linux? To qualify, the computer/device in question has to in current use and be running from an original base install and has only received security updates and distribution upgrades - no reinstalls. All hardware can be swapped or updated too - including the hard drive if the new hdd was imaged from the old.
I know I'm out of the running :-) I remember someone saying they were running suse 7 when I was trying version 10. Debian might have so oldtimer installs.
119 • RE: 118 (by Landor on 2010-08-07 20:26:33 GMT from Canada)
Thanks for the links, I'm scouring pretty well every site now. I'm motivated for this project...Something rare as of late. :) I might even go with a CF - IDE adapter, 8gb would be more than enough space for the needs.
It's funny you brought this up, and I can't for the life of me remember where I found the article/blog, I checked my bookmarks and sadly, I didn't bookmark it. I read where there was an old Debian user that did exactly what you said, upgraded for about 8+ years (if I remember correctly, I think he said 7 at minimum, probably closer to 9, even he wasn't sure since it had been so long..lol), imaged the install, upgraded to new hardware that way, etc. A nice run for one install basically. From what I read he was still going too.
Keep your stick on the ice...
120 • @118 (by jake on 2010-08-07 21:08:13 GMT from United States)
I have an 8 meg 386SX16 (with math co) that boots Coherent 2.4.10 (updated in 1994), Slackware 1.1.2 (installed a couple days after the floppy images were released) and MS-DOS 5.0 (installed the day of the release, previously was MSDOS 3.3) ... Yes, it all still works. No, I no longer use it for anything important; I'm only hanging on to it out of nostalgia.
Prior to the above box, my home machine was an AT&T 31B. She still boots AT&T UNIX[tm] ... the command line is still kinda snappy, even :-)
My "friends & family" ftp, Usenet, email & newcomer http server is a Sun 3/470 "Pegasus". She has been running a pre-Solaris SunOS since 1988 ...
My small cluster of vaxen still runs pre-Linux BSD and/or TOPS10/20, depending on which client I'm helping at the moment.
My LSI-11 based Heath H11A still boots, not a un*x though.
I'm in the process of restoring a PDP-11/20 system. Hopefully the carddecks I got from ken at Berkeley in the mid 1970s are still complete ... if so, I'll have running copies of Unix TSS 4, 5, 6 and 7, with a lot (all?) of the source ... I'm 90% certain my old DECtapes are toast.
Yes, in addition to being a cantankerous old fart, I'm a bit of a packrat. The wife calls my machine room "the museum". Or "the mausoleum", depending on mood.
121 • @119 (by Cuda on 2010-08-07 21:48:24 GMT from Canada)
The CF card is a good idea for your wap. I would recommend buying a fast one - even if you're going to run from RAM - otherwise it takes forever and a day to boot. And buying it locally vs. from the internet unless you can be sure of the source, due to the amount of forgeries out there. A couple of years ago, I made the mistake of buying a so-called Samsung 120X CF card from ebay, only to discover it was much, much, much slower than advertised. It was only worth the lesson learned.
122 • Mint w/ KDE (by Barnabyh on 2010-08-07 22:23:52 GMT from United Kingdom)
Tried Linux Mint KDE for most of the evening and I'm shocked to say I rather like it - both Mint and KDE4(.4.5) (normal Mint 7 last year wasn't bad either but too much mono and gnome for my taste). Some of their own utilities are a bit of a hindrance and others seem helpful. I could live with that. Both, Mint and KDE4, are getting there- IMO. Could be good for a general purpose and gaming pc. Nice to play around with anyways. Don't worry, I'm not gonna write about it.
123 • Linux linux linux..... (by luix on 2010-08-08 01:32:40 GMT from United States)
beside UBUNTU? and branches ,OpenSuse and Mandriva kick A** too come on boys it is okay try another cotton candy,remember linux flavors! you only waste your time any ways nothing can go wrong....lol you better have a desktop or laptop for test only..... so long.
124 • RE: 121 (by Landor on 2010-08-08 01:34:07 GMT from Canada)
I already have a couple flash cards, high speed too. I usually buy most stuff locally. I have a few guys I've known forever that run stores and unless some item is an amazing sale price (like some of Newegg's door crashers), they can usually do as good, or better when you factor in shipping. It also helps buying from them as I can go in and say, "Hey, I'm donating a system and need a part I don't have, do you have this or this used", and they'll just hand me the part if they have it. :)
I also read some time ago that people actually were selling "fake usb flash drives". They'd advertise that it was say 16 gb and it was lucky to have 128 mb of space. They'd even show up as a large drive, until you went to write to them. There's dirty people in every area eh.
Keep your stick on the ice...
125 • Fedora/Knoppix/Peppermin using USB persistent (by Jan on 2010-08-08 01:36:52 GMT from Netherlands)
I tried Fedora13, community/respin/original, to install on an USB. Using the Fedora USB installer 3.9.2. I was also using persistent.
2 Installed, 1 failed (the respin of 25 july). Of the 2 installed, both stalled at updating.
So no Fedora13 succeeded to install on an USB.
Is there anyone with a good result?
I also tried Knoppix 6.2.1 DVD on an USB.
Compared to Fedora (the 2 before updating), Knoppix is very fast (and Fedora is slow, particularly at booting).
However Knoppix (on USB) seems not to be updatable (so the main packages are a number of versions behind (security??))
I am now going to test MINT to boot from USB. According to
it has the possibility for persistent, and it also has an LXDE-version (like Knoppix probably fast).
I already tried Peppermint, however this has no persistent (strange all other MINT-versions seem to have persistent).
Despite my present PC can boot from an USB (P4 2.8GHz 1GB), I experienced that using the PLOP-bootmanager from a bootable floppy sometimes gives a much quicker USB-booting.
Also it seems to be better to switch-off my external USB-HDD at the USB-booting.
Anyone with interesting additional information?
126 • @121 & 124 (by Cuda on 2010-08-08 15:37:04 GMT from Canada)
I have a Salvation Army Thrift store in my neighbourhood that for some reason gets loads of computers and related stuff. Some of the more notable items I've come across - an HP X-terminal, a Corel Linux/Wordperfect bundle with box and manuals, shrink-wrapped Slackware 4.0 CD set, Linksys WRT54G v4.0 Linux-based router, and a C64. It's always fun to browse and sometimes hard to resist purchasing some items, even just for sentimental reasons.:-)
127 • #125 (by Bowman on 2010-08-08 23:22:50 GMT from Germany)
Try Puppy. Just copy the files from the cd to the flash drive and off you go. You can use the cd to boot the flash drive if there are any problems. Alternatively, you can boot the cd and save to the flash drive.
128 • RE: 126 & KDE/openSUSE on ASUS 1005HA (by Landor on 2010-08-09 00:38:39 GMT from Canada)
I've been known to frequent Value Village for computer parts when I'm in the mood to kill some time. :) It's funny too, there's a number of them in and around my city and only one ever has a large quantity of computers and related items like the thrift store you spoke of. Odd how that is, and I've wondered why many times. It's as if some don't donate parts in other areas as much as others. In fact, a wealthier area where one is located has the very least selection.
KDE & openSUSE
Since I've been discussing KDE 4 here and with a friend of mine in messages that posts here from time to time, I thought I'd give KDE 4 a spin on the netbook. It seems to be my most often used testbed now.
I tried the latest Kubuntu Alpha 3, openSUSE 11.3, Mandriva 2010.1 and Fedora 13 (I'll go to 14 when they release the Alpha soon).
Kubuntu was literally a dog on the netbook. I was completely shocked at its poor showing. It also arbitrarily installed the KDE Netbook Desktop without me telling it to. I'll have to check that out. Fedora repsonds well with the Netbook and I have no real complaints. Mandriva likewise. Though one glitch was my own fault and not about the performance. I forgot that if you don't enable wireless/networking before the install no repositories get configured and you have to do it manually after the install. Mandriva should tell you this during the install for people that don't know, or like me that forget. openSUSE would have been the clear winner in my tests, and pretty well is, except for one issue, it wrote to my MBR when it was specifically told not to. I even double-checked.
I really can't believe the performance of openSUSE and KDE on the netbook. It's amazing and I honestly expected it to give the worst showing, I believed Fedora or Mandriva would be the clearer winners.
Keep your stick on the ice...
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|• Issue 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using the find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Full list of all issues|
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Flonix USB Edition was a light-weight GNU/Linux operating system for personal computers, desktop-oriented. Flonix USB Edition run from USB key drives.