| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 383, 6 December 2010
Welcome to this year's 49th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The feature story of this week's issue is a first-look review of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 from a point of view of businesses wishing to deploy a Linux desktop with many years of security support. Is Red Hat's latest and greatest as solid, dependable and easy-to-maintain as the excellent 5.x series? Read on to find out. In the news section, CentOS developers find themselves under pressure to release a version based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, Linux Magazine announces a special, 10-year anniversary release of KNOPPIX, Ubuntu comes under increasing criticism over its Unity desktop, and openSUSE announces Tumbleweed, a rolling-release repository of stable software packages. Also in this issue, a Q&A section that explains the reasons why Debian sometimes feels "out-of-date" and compares package update handling on Linux and FreeBSD. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the DistroWatch.com November 2010 donation is the Mageia project. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Desktop edition|
Red Hat may be one of the few companies in the world that really get open source. Red Hat builds its products on open source, is very liberal with its source code and actively supports important projects with developer hours. On top of that, Red Hat has proved to be profitable in a market where commercial offerings usually struggle to break even. For years the Red Hat brand was widely viewed as "the Linux", rather than "a Linux" distribution. Even Hollywood recognizes the name. It's been nearly four years since the last major Enterprise Linux release (5.0) came out and I've been curious to see what Red Hat has been quietly working on these past several months. To that end, I got in touch with my local account manager who kindly set me up with a copy of RHEL 6 (Desktop Edition).
The data on the install DVD takes up approximately 2.8 GB of space and boots into a simple boot menu that offers the user the options to install RHEL, rescue the system or boot from the local disk. Taking the installation option brings up a screen asking if we would like to perform a media check to insure the disc is uncorrupted. Once the check passes, the Red Hat graphical installer, Anaconda, loads and begins the usual series of questions. We're asked to supply our preferred language, keyboard layout and to provide a hostname. Anaconda asks for the local time zone and a root password before moving on to partitioning. I found the partition manager to be both intuitive and flexible, allowing us to work with regular partitions, LVM and RAID configurations. The list of supported Linux partitions is limited to the ext family (ext2, ext3, ext4) with no sign of XFS or Btrfs.
Encrypting any of these partitions is as straight forward as putting a check in the appropriate box. Once the drive is divided up we're given the option to tweak the boot loader settings and then we move on to package selection. There are three different pre-configured bundles on the package screen (Desktop, Minimal Desktop and Minimal). I selected the Desktop bundle and then accepted the option to further customize the selection, adding a few packages and the KDE desktop. I found it interesting that GNOME is not listed by name, but is in the package list as "General Purpose Desktop". Additionally, the package screen allows us to add third-party repositories, but I put that aside for the moment. All that is left for the installer to do is copy over the requested software to the local drive and then we can reboot.
Upon rebooting I discovered that, if the DVD is left in the drive, selecting "Boot from local drive" from the boot menu results in an error, apparently the disc has trouble handing control over to the installed boot loader. Removing my DVD caused my freshly installed system to boot normally and I was passed on to the first-run Setup Agent. This wizard walks us through the Red Hat license agreement, creating a regular user account and setting the date & time. With this all done, we're presented with a graphical login screen. Signing in brings us to a GNOME (2.28) desktop with the menu bar along the top of the screen. A task switcher sits at the bottom of the display and a few navigation icons are displayed on the desktop. The background reminds me of a sunset viewed through a streaked windscreen. Up in top-right corner of the screen is a network status icon which indicated to me that I was off-line. Clicking the icon and selecting my network interface enabled the connection. A quick check of the Network Manager settings showed that my wired connection was set to not automatically connect, which is a bit unusual for Linux distributions.
RHEL comes with the usual collection of popular open-source software. The application menu contains Firefox (3.6.9), OpenOffice.org 3.2, Evolution, Pidgin, a CD ripper, disc burner, webcam app, a video player, a music player and system monitor. Though multimedia players are provided, most popular codecs are not supported out of the box. Nor do we find Flash (or Gnash) on the system. Further these items don't appear in the repository. I had hoped to find these additions in RPMFusion, but that repository and Fedora's Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux don't support Enterprise Linux 6 at time of writing. Also in the application menu there's a bug reporting program, the GIMP and a document viewer. We also find an archive app, calculator and text editor. The GNOME desktop comes with its regular array of configuration tools for adjusting the look & feel of the desktop. Under the Administration menu are Red Hat's handy management programs for working with user accounts, configuring services, setting up printers, tweaking the firewall and dealing with packages.
Also included in the menu are Red Hat's release notes. These notes are surprisingly detailed compared to most other distributions and the notes frequently refer to other manual pages on Red Hat's website. As an example, when reading about storage and the Logical Volume Manager there is a link to further Red Hat documentation on the subject, which goes into deeper detail. Underneath it all, we find the Linux kernel, version 2.6.32. Though old news to many community distributions, 2.6.32 carries improvements over the 2.6.18 kernel found in Enterprise Linux 5.0 such as the Completely Fair Scheduler. Users who work in mixed operating system environments will no doubt be happy to learn that Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 includes the ability to easily authenticate against Active Directory. And, further simplifying the entry into mixed networks, the Evolution e-mail program comes equipped to talk with both Exchange servers and GroupWise accounts.
RHEL 6 - working with the bug reporting application
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By default Red Hat uses the GNOME desktop, however KDE 4.3 is also included on the DVD. I logged into KDE a few times and found the experience to be well balanced against GNOME. Sometimes installing multiple desktop environments on a distribution will result in full and poorly organized menus, but Enterprise Linux handled the duality well. KDE's menus were laid out in the same fashion as GNOME's and I found performance to be similar under both environments. This made switching between the two as seamless as possible. The sole feature I didn't find while logged into KDE was a graphical package manager.
Before getting into package management on RHEL, the administrator is first required to register the system with the Red Hat Network. It's important to perform this registration, otherwise the system will not receive security updates. Of course we can only register as many systems as we have subscriptions. If we want to move our installation from one machine to another then we'll have to login to the Red Hat Network and remove the old entry. Registration is performed via a GUI app that asks the user for their RHN login information and a nickname for the machine. The whole process takes just a few seconds. Once registration is completed, packages can be installed or upgraded using YUM from the command line, or through Add/Remove Software (gpk-application) if the administrator prefers a graphical interface. There's a software update tool which will place a subtle notification of available updates on the menu bar and walk the user through applying those updates.
On a default installation the distribution runs the secure shell and Sendmail network services. A firewall is in place, blocking most incoming connections, the exception being connections to secure shell. I found that secure shell accepts root logins out of the box, but (unlike RHEL's close relation, Fedora) remote users are not allowed to shutdown the system unless they have administrator privileges. The SELinux technology is installed and enabled right out of the box, though there aren't any GUI configuration tools in the application menu. Programs to manage SELinux can be added later via the package repositories.
RHEL 6 - adding packages and configuring services
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During my trial I found RHEL handled my hardware well. I ran the distribution on two physical machines, a generic desktop machine (2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card) and my HP laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card) and all of my hardware was picked up and worked fairly well. I didn't perform any benchmarks, but I found that the operating system was a little more responsive on the desktop machine. I also tried RHEL in a VirtualBox virtual environment and found it worked well there too. The operating system doesn't integrate with VirtualBox, meaning the guest OS would capture the mouse and didn't automatically pick up my host's screen resolution. While using VirtualBox I tried running Enterprise Linux with lower memory resources. I found the system would run smoothly doing most day-to-day tasks with 512 MB of RAM. When attempting to run with 256 MB of RAM Anaconda refused to attempt an install. However, if installed with a higher amount of RAM the distro would later boot and operate with just 256 MB of RAM (logged into either GNOME or KDE). Though it would work, trying to run with such limited resources caused the machine to rely on swap and performance degraded. This release of RHEL supports fingerprint readers and smart cards for account authentication. I don't have either of these items on my machines, so I was unable to test the features. Nonetheless, it was good to see the alternative login methods offered.
There are some who say Red Hat isn't interested in the desktop market and I don't think that's true, not entirely. Red Hat has shown itself to be uninterested in the consumer home desktop market and with good reason. There isn't much money to be made from home users. Most of them are either content with their proprietary solutions or are tech-savvy enough to hunt down free alternatives -- a lesson several commercial Linux vendors have learned the hard way. What Red Hat does focus on is the enterprise desktop market, a field where their combination of conservative packages, excellent documentation and support is desired. It occurs to me that Red Hat doesn't have much competition in this arena. Ubuntu's long term support release almost fits the bill, but Ubuntu is a much more dynamic platform than Enterprise Linux, a trait not often valued in the business ecosystem. Ubuntu's three years of support also fall short of Red Hat's (up to) ten years. Novell has their SUSE Linux Enterprise product, but with Novell's future in the balance their distribution becomes less attractive. In fact, right now, I think Red Hat's closest enterprise desktop competitor is CentOS, which offers the same technology without the cost/support that comes with it.
RHEL 6 - documentation introducing the new release
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After a week of running Red Hat's latest offering there are some aspects I've really enjoyed. For instance, I think the product is a good mixture of modern and tried-and-true. Nothing here is cutting edge, but the included software is new enough for me to get work done without any problems. Following that line of thought, the stability has been top-notch and I have yet to experience a system or application crash. The documentation is well laid out and the administrative programs are excellent. The Red Hat Network is a great asset and can be useful for monitoring machines. In some ways the RHN is proactive. For instance, one day during my trail I lost my Internet connection during a storm and, the next day, I received an e-mail letting me know one of my machines hadn't checked in during the past twenty-four hours. A helpful thing to know if you're maintaining a large network of machines.
Anaconda continues to be one of the best installers in the Linux community, combining flexibility with ease of use. It looks like Red Hat has done some work with their fonts since the 5.x series and I found reading text on this release to be easier on the eyes. Though I didn't encounter any bugs while running RHEL, there were a few items which bothered me. The graphical package manager is sluggish and performing tasks with it feels like trying to run though water. Fortunately it's not a problem shared by the command line package manager, YUM. My other complaint is concerning the lack of multimedia and Flash support. Some might argue these are technologies better suited to home users, but I have yet to work in an office which doesn't occasionally make use of Flash or videos for training and presentations. It's a gap I'm hoping will be filled by RPMFusion in the near future.
Now that I have spent some time with RHEL 6 I have to say that, over-all, it's a good release. It's solid, polished and comes backed by a great support infrastructure. Home users may be put off by the smaller repository, older packages or, for that matter, the price tag. Businesses though, Red Hat's target customers, should be very happy with this release.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
CentOS 6, ten years of KNOPPIX, Ubuntu Unity coverage, openSUSE Tumbleweed rolling-release repository
With the recent release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6, many eyes of the Linux community have turned to distributions that "clone" the popular commercial product into a freely available alternative. Among them CentOS is the most widely-used by far. So when will CentOS 6 arrive? According to this article at Linux.com by Brian Proffitt, it could happen before the end of this year: "For the CentOS developers and users, Christmas Day may bring more than the usual presents under the tree. If past experience holds, it should take the CentOS development and QA teams about 45 days from the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 to get CentOS 6 ready for release... which puts the projected release date on December 25." Unfortunately, the story turned out to be pure speculation. CentOS developer Russ Herold in "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it": "That writer went to press with a piece that expresses a date not of any formal CentOS origin or estimate. His words, his choice, his opinion, and nothing more. Here is a statement which is perhaps more accurate: CentOS really doesn't do pre-release interviews as to release dates and process, other than what anyone may read in and infer from the 'centos-devel' mailing list. Any CentOS 6 series will ship when it is ready and will be available when it is announced." So there you have it....
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Good news for the fans of the KNOPPIX live DVD: the most recent issue of Linux Magazine includes a cover DVD with KNOPPIX 6.4, a brand-new version of the popular live distro: "KNOPPIX 6.4 - the popular KNOPPIX is the quintessential Live troubleshooting tool for admins, developers, and desktop Linux users. The latest release, which includes more than 3,000 packages and improved support for NVIDIA graphics cards, is currently available only through this magazine under an exclusive arrangement with KNOPPIX creator Klaus Knopper." The KNOPPIX website has a few more details about the release: "Linux Magazine presents the 10-year anniversary of KNOPPIX, version 6.4.2, in its publication. Shortly before Christmas, the new release will also appear on the public mirrors (we are still working on the miniaturized CD and the ADRIANE edition). This time, due to the anniversary, non-free or otherwise non-distributable software (such as Flash) has been banned from the magazine DVD, but of course it is possible to install such software later. Also, this edition is again more 'experimental', and contains a lot of software from the current Debian testing and unstable pools, Linux kernel 2.6.36 and the new nouveau graphics modules." For those who can't wait for the public release of KNOPPIX 6.4 the latest issue of Linux Magazine is available here.
KNOPPIX 6.4 - a 10-year anniversary release
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In terms of visual appearance, the next release of Ubuntu will mark a significant departure from the established Linux desktops as we know it. But is a completely new user interface such a great idea? Judging by opinions expressed on a number of popular Linux blogs recently, the new Ubuntu Unity desktop is coming under increasing criticism from many users. As an example, Dedoimedo gives it 2.5 points out of 10 in "Unity - What is it good for?": "I think Unity might work on netbooks, mobile and ultra-mobile devices, but it's not ready for the mainstream desktop governed by the vast majority of clueless, conservative users." Phoronix in "The State Of Unity In Ubuntu" seems to agree: "In 'Maverick' the Unity experience is very disappointing and using its netbook interface was far slower than just using the GNOME or KDE desktop." ZDNet comes to a similar conclusion in "Why I don't recommend Ubuntu, for now": "Ubuntu Netbook edition is cramped, slow and unconfigurable, and I don't think it should have been released in that state. There has been a vast amount of talk about Unity, the new desktop for Ubuntu, and the fact that it is due to be shipped with 11.04 Narly Narwhal. The potential problem is, will this move obscure the cadence, design and quality which Shuttleworth is so passionate about?" Of course, these are still very early days of the desktop that will ship with Ubuntu 11.04, so things will certainly change. But as Unity stands now, it's hard to find any users who are impressed by it.
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How does a well-established distribution gain instant attention by users and media? Well, these days, it seems, it's sufficient to mention the words "rolling release" and the community will do the rest. After a week when Ubuntu hinted (and then denied) a possible move to a rolling-release style update mechanism, it was the turn of openSUSE to pull a similar trick last week. OStatic reports in openSUSE to Offer a Rolling Release Repo: "Greg Kroah-Hartman, openSUSE kernel developer, described openSUSE Tumbleweed as, 'a repository that is a rolling updated version of openSUSE containing the latest stable versions of packages for people to use.' In a post to the opensuse-project mailing list Kroah-Hartman offered further information in the form of a Q & A. The first question tried to distinguish between Factory and the proposed Tumbleweed. Factory is much like Mandriva's Cooker, in that it contains many bleeding-edge and potentially unstable packages. Tumbleweed would offer packages that have been declared stable and found to work properly. As to which packages should be included, K-H explained that would primarily be up to developers and maintainer of any given package. He added that this project would particularly help with major projects whose release do not coincide with openSUSE release such as GNOME 3.0, which may be released, for example, one month after an openSUSE release."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Why is Debian "out-of-date"?
With Debian "Squeeze" marching on its way toward a final release, the Debian project has been increasingly in the spotlight and on people's minds. This in turn raises the commonly asked question: why is Debian so slow-moving and out of date?
The thing to keep in mind when talking about Debian is the amazing size and scope of the project - it's vast. Debian isn't just a kernel and some operating system tools, the project includes approximately 36,000 packages, about sixty languages and twelve architectures. And that's just their GNU/Linux branch, Debian also has a sub-project dedicated to running the GNU tools on top of the FreeBSD kernel. These points in themselves probably make Debian the world's largest Linux/FreeBSD distribution, but what makes it even more impressive is that Debian provides a consistent environment using the same applications across each of these architectures. So if you have a mobile device running Debian's GNU/Linux ARM edition it should function much the same as the i386 edition on your home desktop or the SPARC edition running on your server.
To put all this into context, the Debian developers need to patch, build and test approximately 430,000 packages. It's a lot of work, even if you just want to push something out the door. But the Debian developers don't just rush a release out to the public to meet a deadline, they want their stable repository to live up to its name. Once a freeze has been announced there is a long (generally a few month's time) process of stomping on bugs and re-building and re-testing packages. Which means, yes, the Linux kernel in Debian's stable repository will be a year old by the time "Squeeze" is released. But people who run Debian stable aren't looking for the latest and shiniest, they're looking for rock-solid and dependable. People who install "Squeeze" will be using a kernel (and application set) which has been under scrutiny for months. It implies a certain reliability which is nice to have when you're the sysadmin they call if the server goes down.
Its huge size, flexibility and stability are what makes Debian such a great parent and grandparent distribution. Without it, many of the more cutting-edge (and novice-friendly) distributions wouldn't have a foundation on which to build.
While I'm on the topic of packages and their version numbers there is something else I'd like to mention. In Linux community there is an on-going debate about release schedules and practices. Some people prefer to have rapid release cycles, about once every six months. Others want a rolling release with a steady stream of small updates, insuring they remain on the cutting edge. Of course, as I just mentioned, there are those who want a stable release with only security updates. Recently there has been talk from the Ubuntu quarter of trying to find a solution that will fit somewhere in the middle where developers will be able to stay on the cutting edge while maintaining a stable base platform -- perhaps as an extension to their current PPA system.
What I find strange about all of these Linux distributions taking so many different approaches to the stable versus current question is that the BSDs have had a good solution in place for over a decade. For example, the FreeBSD team released FreeBSD 8.0 about a year ago and the follow-up, 8.1, around six months ago. Their base system remains stable and reliable while their ports collection contains up to date end-user packages. At the time of writing the latest version of VLC (1.1.5), the latest stable release of Firefox (3.6.12) and multiple versions of OpenOffice.org (including the stable release 3.2.1 and the development version 3.4.20101122) are available in the ports collection. This means that FreeBSD users are able to enjoy the latest and greatest desktop applications while maintaining a solid base system. It's an approach largely avoided in the Linux community and I have to wonder why. Technically it's possible to perform this sort of separation between the base system and application packages on a Linux box, but it's not an approach one generally sees. Certainly the package managers aren't set up in such a way as to encourage a conservative base and a cutting-edge software repository. I'm hoping we'll see this change soon so we can stop wasting time on the rolling versus stable issue and move forward to more interesting challenges. Should Ubuntu manage to turn their PPA system into a full-scale packages collection it might lead the rest of the Linux community into a better way of handling software.
|Released Last Week
Vine Linux 5.2
Daisuke Suzuki has announced the release of Vine Linux 5.2, a Japanese general-purpose community distribution. This is mostly a security and errata update of the free distribution which does not contain any proprietary components, non-free applications or non-free fonts. Some of the more interesting changes include: miscellaneous package version updates (Firefox 3.5.15, Pidgin 2.7.5, Sylpheed 3.0.2, Thunderbird 3.1.6); improved video card support for various Intel, NVIDIA and ATI cards; system installer fixes, including improved detection of FAT file systems, support for SD cards and Firewire controllers, and better detection of wireless network cards; updated list of APT mirrors; the DVD edition now includes the Vine Linux manual. Read the release announcement (in Japanese) and release notes for more details about the new version of Vine Linux.
Superb Mini Server 1.5.4
Superb Mini Server (SMS) version 1.5.4, a Slackware-based mini-distribution for small servers, has been released: "Superb Mini Server version 1.5.4 released (Linux kernel 188.8.131.52). This release brings new kernel and glibc so you need to put your machine in single-user mode in order to upgrade from previous versions of SMS. New packages include gdk-pixbuf2, ca-certificates, slacktrack, libmpc, libnl, libelf and mcelog. In SMS.Native.CD-Extra added httpd_vm, a version of httpd compiled for virtualmin with --with-suexec-docroot=/home and Ruby 1.8.7 for compatibility issues with many Ruby on Rails applications. Also on SMS64 added 64-bit packages for Asterisk, util-linux-ng with full PAM support and Postfix with vda patch which already existed in SMS." The release announcement includes a changelog of updated packages.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
November 2010 DistroWatch.com donation: Mageia|
We are happy to announce that the recipient of the November 2010 DistroWatch.com donation is the Mageia project, a new Linux distribution set up by former Mandriva employees and volunteer contributors. It receives €350.00 in cash.
The Mageia project was created on 18 September when the project published the following statement on the project's new web site: "As you may have heard, the future of the Mandriva Linux distribution is unclear. Most employees working on the distribution were laid off when Edge-IT was liquidated. We do not trust the plans of Mandriva SA any more and we don't think the company (or any company) is a safe host for such a project. Many things have happened in the past 12 years. Some were very nice: the Mandriva Linux community is quite large, motivated and experienced, the distribution remains one of the most popular and an award-winning product, easy to use and innovative. Some other events did have some really bad consequences that made people not so confident in the viability of their favourite distribution. People working on it just do not want to be dependent on the economic fluctuations and erratic, unexplained strategic moves of the company." The result of this uncertainty was Mageia, a fork of Mandriva Linux and a non-profit organisation which is getting closer to its first release expected early in the new year. For more information please see the Mageia Values page. For updates and the current status the project's official blog is a good place to keep an eye on.
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Those readers who wish to contribute towards these donations, please use our advertising page to make a payment (PayPal and credit cards are accepted). Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$26,380 to various open-source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NDISwrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300), GCompris ($352), Xiph.org ($250), Clonezilla ($250), Debian Multimedia ($280), Geany ($300), Mageia ($470)
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New distributions added to database
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New distributions added to waiting list
- LibreWRT. LibreWRT is a GNU/Linux "libre" distribution for computers with minimal resources, such as the Ben NanoNote, ath9k-based WiFi routers, and other hardware that respects software freedom.
- Newtoos. Newtoos is a lightweight, Lubuntu-based distribution built by the creators of Greenie Linux. Meaning "New To Open Source", it is primarily aimed at new Linux converts who prefer a more familiar user interface and applications (VLC, OpenOffice.org, Skype etc). Newtoos also serves for testing new ideas and for deployment on older PCs.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 13 December 2010.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Why is Debian "out-of-date"? (by Saleem Khan on 2010-12-06 09:18:03 GMT from Pakistan) |
I started using debian since etch and although the feelings of "out-of-date" kept haunting me times and again but the stability of so called "out-of-date" packages has always been more than just a statement.
I have shifted from squeeze ( testing atm ) to sid with liquorix kernel and I don`t feel as much insecure as is apprehended by everyone with using sid.
Debian does everything perfectly for so if stability comes with bit of "out-of-date" packages I think it should be accepted with an open heart .
2 • Unity (by Vik on 2010-12-06 10:08:09 GMT from France)
No wonder Unity gets lambasted that much. On a netbook it already feels counter-intuitive and slow - and netbooks, more than anything else, are supposed to be 'log and play' - so I can't imagine how Ubuntu would want to force it into the mainstream.
Sometimes geeks feel they are the ones to push innovation. Well, innovation means a lot more work than designing a gadget interface. Unity, as a gadget, needs lots of work. It may not be too early for touch-screen devices, but for now it's a lost cause for the rest.
3 • Unity is a mystery (by Ian on 2010-12-06 10:43:34 GMT from United States)
Agree with Vik. I upgraded to Ubuntu 10.10 on a Samsung N150. The Unity interface was very disappointing/counter-intuitive compared to the easy and good looking 2D netbook interface in 10.04. In addition, 10.10 seems to break normal hibernation - a kernel issue I'm told.
After a few weeks I went back to 10.04 and have been very happy with it. Even installed 10.04 it for a non-tech friend last week on an Aspire One who thought the 2D interface was great and became an instant Ubuntu fan. Let's hope Canonical see sense about Unity soon.
4 • Unity (by tdockery97 on 2010-12-06 11:16:08 GMT from United States)
Having tried Unity on the Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha release and also the UNR desktop on Oz Unity 1.0, I have to say that Ubuntu should have stayed with UNR. Much nicer interface and user experience, whether on netbook or desktop. I'm all for seeing Ubuntu trying new things, but if they want to maintain their large user base they should stick with what keeps the majority of their users satisfied.
5 • Unity --> Un-buntu (by Eric on 2010-12-06 11:29:34 GMT from Netherlands)
Why is this Unity desktop going to replace the comfortable Gnome desktop? How do I explain my wife that, after havinf adapted fully to Gnome, she simply has to get used to another layout? I would like to suggest to run this Unity thing as a separate distro: Un-buntu.
Please continue the Gnome line!
6 • Knoppix (by Smellyman on 2010-12-06 11:41:53 GMT from Hong Kong)
I tried Knoppix from Linux Magazine for the first time in years and wow, it truly is a great live environment. I've always just used whatever cd I had handy for a live environment. I may start carrying around Knoppix now.
7 • disUnity (by Candide on 2010-12-06 11:52:34 GMT from Taiwan)
A lot of people seem to dislike Unity. Fortunately we do have an alternative - I just downloaded 11.4-alpha_1 but decided to go with Xubuntu.
I imagine by release time that there will be a Lubuntu 11.4 too. While I doubt that this signals the end of Ubuntu, the big move to Unity might wind up promoting the other lightweight 'buntus (or maybe even Kubuntu). OK with me (currently a happy Lubuntu user).
8 • Wayland (by Vicky on 2010-12-06 11:57:51 GMT from India)
Ubuntu with Unity is becoming unfair to older hardware. Lets hope that Wayland will help Ubuntu maintain stability. That said, I don't meant that wayland is good for older hardware.
9 • Unity (by Scott on 2010-12-06 12:06:05 GMT from United States)
Having tried it briefly, I wasn't too impressed. Perhaps more importantly, as Ubuntu is often aimed at the beginning user, one of our developers asked me to install Ubuntu netbook on his netbook. After a few days, he mentioned that he really didn't like it, and has asked me to install a more typical Gnome interface (he's chosen Mint for the moment). I'd previously installed Ubuntu with Gnome interface on a laptop for a friend of his--he's used it and liked it.
10 • Why is Debian "out-of-date"? (by Randy Andy on 2010-12-06 12:11:47 GMT from United States)
Dear Distrowatch Team.
Same and advantages what you told of the BSD-Distro, ist also true for Gentoo since 10 years!
+ based on the Linux kernel, with its more actual device driver support.
+ also based on a ports system + overlays.
+ rolling releases that works!
+ it's all about choice. / You decide by your own if your kernel, your system, your world should be stable, testing, or bleeding edge (mix it to your needs).
+ influence of the features every package should support (USE-Flags)
+ optimize every package up to the whole system to your specific hardware and to your needs!
+ all these settings/ decitions you've taken once, outwear ervery update (rolling releases that works).
- nothing for clicki-bunti and out-of-the-box mentalists.
- steep lerning curve needed.
If you take that cliff, you don't want/need any other distro anymore - so give it a try!
Much success, Andy.
11 • For rolling release try Arch (by brad on 2010-12-06 12:56:10 GMT from United States)
I tried debian, it was ok.. but nothing steller, tried gentoo, took hours to compile a simple 3 mb program.. then went to pclinuxos and 'buntu's.. they were great.. lasted longest, then took the plunge, printed out the 80+ page arch handbook, and spent months of trial and error and begging for help for a question here and there on forums, in IRC rooms..etc.. got pretty much the same responses when i asked for help on gentoo, ya know "RTFM, you aint ready for the big time, go back to windoze, ubuntu is for you.. and the obligatory, "you shouldnt be using linux if you have to ask" stuff like that.. but once in a while after weeding out all the zealots and idiotic a55holes, you get real quality answers that help you move on.. and I did, and glad I stuck with it thru thick and thin, and have been using Arch64 for almost a year now.. with no looking back.. its fast, doesnt take forever to compile/install anything, bleeding edge that works.. and if and when something breaks, you can find someone with the same problem that posted a thread with an answer.. but I digress.. as long as these attitudes prevail..and you see'em on the 'buntu type forums too.. along with above mentioned, there's "read the wiki", "have you tried google at all", have you even searched the forums before posting? blah blah blah.. until this egotistical, almost maniacal attitude changes, it will NEVER EVER EVER be the yearly touted "Year of the Linux Desktop" until then.. it'll be a tinkerers OS with a small userbase (in relation to windows, osX) with people that refuse to help as if they were born knowing what they've figured out through the years.. maybe someday it WILL be the year of the linux desktop.. but I doubt that'll happen in anyones lifetime .. just my .02, now I'm broke!
12 • Red Hat & Flash (by uz64 on 2010-12-06 13:28:25 GMT from United States)
One thing I disagree with in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux review is that Red Hat should have Flash installed by default. Considering just how dead easy it is to install, I'm not so sure why they should... after all, I don't think Red Hat users are expected to visit YouTube regularly. And if they do for some reason need to, as the review mentions, use Flash for presentations or videos (there are much better methods than Flash for either use--video formats and OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice in the future), installing Flash is a very simple task of:
1. Download a tarball.
2. Extract the tarball.
3. Copy the Flash binary [libflashplayer.so] to ~/.mozilla/plugins (for current user only) or to /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins (system-wide).
It's like unzipping a Zip file in Windows and just putting it where the browsers expect it--easy. You'll just need root privileges to install it system-wide. I think Adobe usually offers RPMs too, so that's a potentially even easier method--download, double-click, install. Honestly, installing Flash was one of the first things I learned in Linux so many years ago, and was actually one of the easier things to learn (in fact, I've always wondered why Adobe even bothers to include a script for such an already-simple process).
13 • Re:Red Hat & Flash (by Mike on 2010-12-06 13:45:00 GMT from Netherlands)
Perhaps you find the way to install flash in Red Hat a "simple task". I have to disagree here. Stuff like that should be available for installation and it should not require knowledge of hidden directories in one's home directory. Your mother should be able to perform the installation.
14 • Unity in Ubuntu Alpha (by Erik on 2010-12-06 13:56:13 GMT from United States)
Unity lacks many expected customization options - by design. This seems to fly in the face of what we are told is one of Linux's strong points - configurability.
15 • Why is Debian "out-of-date" (by manmath sahu on 2010-12-06 13:59:52 GMT from India)
I'd go with Saleem Khan. As for me the very posting of "Why is Debian out-of-date" sounds weird. There are many reasons.. Just compare Debian with Red Hat (and CentOS or Scientific). Debian is the hallmark of stability yet it has maintained more modern software stack than Red Hat and its ripoffs. Compare Debian 5.0.7+Backports with CentOS 5.5+Elrepo & Plusrepo.. You will find debs in Debian are fresher than rpms in CentOS/Red Hat/Scientific. Next check soon-to-be released Debian Squeeze with yet-to-come CentOS 6. You'll definitely find Debian is more modern.
What's more, Debian releases more frequently than Red Hat... Just guess the release gap between RHEL 5 and 6, and compare with the release gap between Debian 5 and 6.
So, IMO the late-to-the-party out-of-date crown should go to Red Hat and its clones.
16 • Unity (by Saleem Khan on 2010-12-06 14:00:02 GMT from Pakistan)
IMHO Unity will be accepted ultimatetly by all of us like KDE4 , it is normal to be a bit "critical" about something unfamiliar & new. But I would say "let us have gnome along with Unity on Ubuntu" choice for DE should be an optional freedom.
17 • Debian (by Wouter on 2010-12-06 14:12:01 GMT from Finland)
I've been running Debian unstable for many years on desktops, and I've rarely seen any serious problems – or any problems at all. If you want up to date software, try the Debian unstable "rolling release" repository.
I'm also running Debian and CentOS on servers professionally, and I've always been somewhat disappointed with the slow update cycle. Updating servers takes a lot of work and causes moderate to high levels of stress so really, there's no point in having an update every couple of months and having to fix and merge everything again; but on the other hand, a cycle of several years is way too long and causes a lot of different difficulties with file, database and configuration file compatibility. Plus, the software is deprecated and unsupported by that time and you miss out on a lot of fixes for larger issues and performance improvements.
18 • Chakra GNU/Linux (by Blue Knight on 2010-12-06 14:36:00 GMT from France)
Hey Jesse, when a review of Chakra please? Thank you very much!. :-)
I'm perfectly ok with the idea of maintaining a stable base system and updating the apps above it, and Chakra with its "half rolling release model" idea tries to make this, Windows makes this too, but unfortunately in Linux you have rather "Linux which requires a new kernel to benefit of a new pilot, Linux which requires a new version of a distro for having a new version of the system libraries that should allow to update a desktop application" etc idea... :-(
But Chakra uses KDE 4 and Arch and I don't like them, but if the distro is good and their model works, I can maybe make an effort... I have already tried the LiveCD and found I could set up KDE in a state not too far of my taste, maybe I can live with this... About Arch, I guess they're looking for to separate of Arch a little. For instance, they will use Akabei in place of Pacman and like said by the project leader Phil Miller, it definitely isn't encouraged to use the Arch repo:
"Arch-Repositories: It is NOT recommended to use any Arch-Repository with Chakra GNU/Linux. This is why:
* Chakra has its own toolchain
* Chakra uses different dependencies (python2)
* Chakra has all their binaries rebuild"
So Chakra is not really Arch...
19 • arch/gentoo (by mandog on 2010-12-06 14:57:03 GMT from United Kingdom)
I have never had any problems with the Arch Forums in 4 years I find it most helpful Arch was one off the 1st distros I installed and has alway run like a dream for me.
20 • Unity (by octathlon on 2010-12-06 14:59:15 GMT from United States)
It's sad that they've thrown out the excellent Netbook Remix interface, which really makes my Eee701 fun to use and look great too (via the Easy Peasy distro).
With Unity it looks like they are now trying to imitate a Mac. At least that's not as bad as trying to imitate Windows, but it's still bad, especially the trend toward eliminating configurability. Also, apparently the changes in the Unity DE require application programmers to change how their notifications work if they want them to run right under Ubuntu. This seems like a bad idea.
21 • Unity, Ubuntu, and Mint (by claudecat on 2010-12-06 15:19:03 GMT from United States)
I'm utterly unenthused at Ubuntu's desire to once again progress just a bit too quickly. Unity AND Wayland? Really? And you are trying to become somewhat mainstream? Epic fail. I applaud Mint for saying, in essence, "Yeah, right" to all of this and maintaining the current path towards righteousness. Clem is one smart dude, if not an astronaut. Unity is just not ready yet, and unless Ubuntu devotes serious resources to this project, it is doomed. To say nothing of Wayland and all the driver issues which will pop up like toadstools on a damp spring day and continue to be issues for years to come. Linux is at a crucial juncture here... and all evidence points to bad decisions from the big players (well, maybe just Ubuntu.). With other distros in danger of extinction (SUSE, Mandriva) do we really need all this drama right now? Clean up EVERY bug on what you now are able to grasp, then MAYBE challenge us all with major changes. Just one feline's opinion.
22 • Ref#16 unity - gnome (by Verndog on 2010-12-06 15:32:09 GMT from United States)
We still have do have Gnome. On boot up select your user name then at the bottom select "classic" desktop and viola, you get Gnome.
23 • Re. 13 (by uz64 on 2010-12-06 15:38:49 GMT from United States)
"Perhaps you find the way to install flash in Red Hat a "simple task". I have to disagree here. Stuff like that should be available for installation and it should not require knowledge of hidden directories in one's home directory. Your mother should be able to perform the installation."
To be honest, she probably could. The hardest part is probably finding Flash to download online, be come on--and Windows user should be good at that by now. After that, it comes down to (in simple Windows user language, for the Gnome desktop environment):
1. Click "View > Show Hidden Files" (shortcut: Ctrl+H)
2. Right-click the downloaded Flash file and click "Extract"
3. Right-click the "libflash.so" file and click "Cut"
4. Double-clock on the folder ".mozilla"
5. Right-click anywhere in the white area and click "Create Folder" and name it "plugins"
6. Right-click on that folder called "plugins" you just created and click "Paste Into Folder"
7. Repeat Step 1 to re-hide hidden files if desired.
I would be surprised if someone could not follow those braindead directions. Honestly. People have done it in Windows--why couldn't they do it in Linux? The only keyboard use is in the naming of the plugins folder. Oh, and by the way--those dot (hidden) files in a user's directory... they are the USER'S files. And to be honest, I think any Linux user should know a thing or two about those considering, you know, they BELONG to them. Some of them might actually be useful to the user. Just like someone should have an idea of Windows' areas for application data and preferences. You never know when you'll update a program and it installs unsuccessfully, requiring you to delete the previous configuration data.
Summary: A computer is NOT a toaster. Just like there is a long list of things every driver should and/or must know before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, or putting together and operating a lawn mower, there are some basic things a computer user should know as well. And that includes the basic layout of their home directory (I'm not talking rocket science here, or even the whole UNIX filesystem hierarchy--just their home directory). Maybe even a little bit of security information as well, for their own protection. Is that really so much to ask for? People have brains. I don't know why so many people have a phobia against *using* it, and even worse, other people encouraging that stupid fear.
24 • 23: Correction (by uz64 on 2010-12-06 15:42:27 GMT from United States)
"The hardest part is probably finding Flash to download online, be come on--and Windows user should be good at that by now."
That line should have been:
"The hardest part is probably finding Flash to download online, but come on--any Windows user should be good at that by now."
25 • red hat 6 & mageia (by Barnabyh on 2010-12-06 15:42:39 GMT from United Kingdom)
@13: But your mother would not be running RHEL, would she? I think we always have to keep the likely use and the target group in perspective.
A very interesting weekly top to bottom, and a great review. Thanks Jesse. Have already linked to it. Also Mageia seems a worthwhile distro to support. I'm excited to see what they will come up with and where they will bring something new to their Mandriva fork.
26 • arch/gentoo (by claudecat on 2010-12-06 15:46:41 GMT from United States)
I'm at a loss as to how either arch or gentoo further linux's entropy as to gaining desktop share from the really not awful Windows 7. Editing config files in a text editor equals no new users. Compiling from source equals even less functionality, and is just plain backwards in this day and age. While I have mad respect for all Arch and Gentoo users, just on general principle, I gotta opt for Mint folks just because they are by and large Windows 7 defectors and/or just plain communists. Not everyone is a coder, and we need to include everyone if we hope to make linux more than just Ubuntu. Just sayin'...
27 • Re. 25 (by uz64 on 2010-12-06 15:46:57 GMT from United States)
Barnabyh has a point... Red Hat's target is enterprise users, not everyone's moms...
28 • @Jesse, on the HREL review (by meanpt on 2010-12-06 15:47:26 GMT from Portugal)
:) ... I'm disapointed ... when started reading
"The graphical package manager is sluggish and performing tasks with it feels like trying to run through water."
I thought, "yessss, good one Jesse, now you're going to the online documentation and apply the equally famous "alternative solution" from an RH developper for the task grouping scheduler" ... :) ... oh, but no, ... you didn't ... I'm feeling miserable ...
29 • SUSE's Future (by Eric Yeoh on 2010-12-06 15:53:52 GMT from Malaysia)
I am unsure what is the whole FUD around SUSE's Enterprise offering. Was there an announcement that I missed about Attachmate's impending axing of SUSE? SUSE will exist as a separate business unit after the merger. Even Attachmate's CEO Jeff Hawn agreed on the importance of the openSUSE project. What gives Jesse Smith?
30 • RHEL: Flash is in Red Hat's repos (by Scott Dowdle on 2010-12-06 16:05:23 GMT from United States)
Just a comment about Flash. Red Hat does have Flash, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and a few other "commercial" type apps in an official supplementary repo. The repo or channel that the flash-plugin package isn't turned on by default and you have to login to Red Hat Network and enable it. I see the flash-plugin package in the following channels:
RHEL Server Supplementary (v. 6 64-bit x86_64)
RHEL Server Supplementary (v. 6 for 32-bit x86)
RHEL Workstation Supplementary (v. 6 for 32-bit x86)
RHEL Workstation Supplementary (v. 6 for x86_64)
It is true that Red Hat does not install Flash by default but it is untrue that they don't offer the package... because they do.
31 • RHEL 6 Desktop review (by PB on 2010-12-06 16:09:41 GMT from United States)
Just to be clear, the version of RHEL reviewed was the 'Desktop' ($49 USD/year), not the 'Workstation' ($179 USD/year)? Assuming it was the former, am I correct in assuming that no official packages are available for running Samba or Apache?
As a home user and someone who would like to support Red Hat for all they do for Linux, I would consider paying $49/year for a home Linux fileserver/intranet server. However, $179 for the 'Workstation' version would be too expensive for my personal budget. In that case, I'd consider Scientific Linux, CentOS or Debian.
Thank you Jesse for your review,
32 • Unity and Ubuntu; Rolling releases e.i. LMDE; Vector (by Paul on 2010-12-06 16:18:22 GMT from United States)
About Unity: Wasn't it published that GNOME will be installed as an option? Isn't that why the Ubuntu ISO now weighs in at over 720 Meg up from 693 for 10.10 and slightly less for 10.04? Ubuntu is fast approaching the need to be burned onto a DVD, if it is not now with NN.
Rolling releases: I have an old machine, Dell PowerEdge 300, I use for a desktop. I installed an old SB-16 sound card I had. Ubuntu and family do not pick it up. the Mint Debian does and Windows XP. I like the idea of a rolling release, except for the need for 400+ updates after the initial install. The last set of updates gave me Mint 10.
Vector: I like to use Vector 6. I find it easy to configure for someone used to using the Big U. However, I always find a package that does not meet the dependencies. It seems that package is different each time I download the same version image. Once it was with deluge. No biggie on that package. I use my main system for torrents and just transfer between systems. The next time I downloaded, the "dependencies not met" was with samba. That was grounds for immediate replacement. Hopefully, Vector 7, when it goes gold, will do better for me. I like alpha 1, so far, on Virtual Box.
33 • Of course (by Anonymous on 2010-12-06 16:20:53 GMT from United States)
Of course Red Hat is profitable, they charge for security updates. With any other tech company, like Microsoft and Apple, that would be viewed as extortion. Yet, it is OK when a linux contributor does it.
34 • @#33 (by Eric Yeoh on 2010-12-06 16:30:00 GMT from Malaysia)
They don't charge for the OS, Office Suite, Photo and Vector Graphics Editor, Chat programs etc and other applications that will make a Desktop OS usable.What apps do you get by just buying Windows? Do you get to reformat your PC/notebook as many times as want and not treated like a felon? Do you get to communicate with MS Windows devels when you run into a brick wall? Do they fix the issue or ask you to wait and buy a new version (at the same time why not change PC to make your new OS work!)?
35 • @ 34 re: FUD (by Anonymous on 2010-12-06 17:25:29 GMT from United States)
Could you please update your FUD? Windows Meeting Space is a part of the default Microsoft install and no one is treated like a criminal if they have a legal license for Windows. This leaves the office suite and photo and vector graphics editing software which you are going to pay for. However, if you are using Linux for professional photo and vector graphics editing, you aren't using gimp or inkscape, you are buying third party software. Which leaves the office suite, which hey guess what, Open Office runs just fine on Windows. Security updates are freely available from Microsoft, Apple, and all other Linux vendors. Red Hat is making a killing from being the odd man out charging for security updates.
36 • UNR (by jimmy on 2010-12-06 17:42:00 GMT from United States)
ls -s /ubuntu/netbook/remix /fail
37 • HMMM (by Flip on 2010-12-06 17:46:45 GMT from United States)
Did not know I had been using the new desktop that is causing such a buzz I have been running the new Ultimate Edition Unity for a couple of weeks now and I must say I am impressed at this time on my box it seems to be very fast and stable.
38 • @37 (by Guy on 2010-12-06 17:48:52 GMT from United States)
39 • Unity (by Josh on 2010-12-06 18:04:16 GMT from United States)
I think Unity could be good once they polish it up a bit. Moving the buttons to the left in 10.04 was probably a subtle way to get people ready for Unity. Putting the application title bar into the task bar does offer more space visually. And, unlike Bohdi, it doesn't cover the task bar completely, which is a point in Unity's favor. I can't say I'm impressed, but I'd like to see how it turns out. At least they are letting people keep the classic look.
One thing I would like to see fixed is the mandatory 3D accel. needs. Maybe it would switch over to a 2D style if the box doesn't have 3D support.
Speaking of Bohdi, its a nice distro. I've never really used enlightenment, but i like it so far. I do happen to like the auto mouse scroll to pop-up windows, since I'd be moving the mouse manually anyway.
Great review this week and as always its been a great DWW, thanks all for the hard work.
40 • #33: Red Hat does NOT charge for security updates (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-12-06 18:08:11 GMT from United States)
The same anonymous FUD comes up every time Red Hat is discussed. Red Hat does NOT charge for security updates and never has. You can download the source directly from the Red Hat FTP server for free and compile it for yourself or you can wait for CentOS or Scientfic Linux, two binary clones of RHEL, to do it for you and then just install. Red Hat makes all it's code available for free. They charge for service and support. By contrast, Microsoft and Apple charge for EVERYTHING.
41 • @33/34: FUD (by Anonymous on 2010-12-06 18:15:51 GMT from United States)
Redhat targets enterprise users for paid support services and gives their code away for free. This seems to me to be trolling or some other kind of FUD, if their enterprise stuff seems to you to be financially bad then use Fedora which they give away for free. You can also wait for CentOS to come out with their new version based on the code that Redhat gave away for free. There isn't much in the world that's as free as the code that Redhat and to a lesser extent other open source companies give away for nothing in direct monetary return, the fact that they can do that while finding some specific set of users who want to pay them for services beyond their coding is a very good thing that supports an open source community. If you want to talk about FUD then please take a long hard look in the mirror after trying to come to a deeper understanding of just what Redhat offers and to whom they target their offers. I think almost anyone would be happy to use what they give away for free and not concern themselves with nitpicking details of their business plans to explain why their 'evil' and just let them find a way to profitability while giving stuff away. The ability to both give everything away and make money should be admired not attacked.
42 • @35 (by Rahul Sundaram on 2010-12-06 18:32:07 GMT from India)
Red Hat provides a subscription that bundles support and software together. If you want just the software updates (not limited to security updates), then use a rebuild. Only those who see the benefits of a subscription buy one. Red Hat provides the full source code too which other prominent vendors like Microsoft and Apple would never do. So calling it extortion is just way too dramatic and misleading. Let's stick to the facts.
43 • @#26 (by Nathanael Dale Ris on 2010-12-06 18:38:31 GMT from United States)
There are plenty of new ARCH users. I am one. Requiring people to learn how to edit config files is part of the reason I joined; I wanted to learn. There will always be gui hand-holding operating systems that will appeal to the majority, it is not a bad thing for people to choose to build, maintain or use an OS that does a lot less gui hand-holding.
Also, "Communist" is such a political term these days and might best be avoided to avoid misrepresentation. Volunteer, mutually beneficial non-profit organizations have and always will exist in all societies, political structures and economies.
44 • RHEL Updates (@35) (by Fewt on 2010-12-06 18:44:10 GMT from United States)
If you want binary updates, yes you subscribe to support. This is a non-issue as updates are not all that you get, you also get world class support.
If you want them for free, download all of the source rpms and build them. You can do it with a oneliner, for example:
for i in *src.rpm; do RPMNAME=$(echo $i | sed "s#-[0-9].*$##"); echo yum-builddep -y $RPMNAME; echo rpmbuild --rebuild --sign $i; done
45 • oops (by Fewt on 2010-12-06 18:45:23 GMT from United States)
for i in *src.rpm; do RPMNAME=$(echo $i | sed "s#-[0-9].*$##"); yum-builddep -y $RPMNAME; rpmbuild --rebuild --sign $i; done
Had to remove the 'echo' statements.
46 • @33/34: FUD (by #41 on 2010-12-06 18:50:40 GMT from United States)
Come to think about it, yes it is extortion just like cable and satellite companies with their paid TV. You used to just pay for your TV and magically receive all it's goodness for free. Now I hear there are apparently these companies that want to charge you for continuing to watch you TV every month. How evil is that? Who in the world would pay for direct server update access and 24/7 support for -Enterprise- Linux, or for TV when you can download Linux for free and get TV for free over the air? Let's just call it all extortion and go back to living in caves with out access to the internet so companies that chose to pay to be extorted don't have their evil Redhat servers sending data packets to our computers. For that matter we won't be extorted by utility departments for water that we can get for free from the rain and local rivers and lakes. Oh and we can get TV for free by standing around electronics stores all day instead of paying extortion to companies on a monthly basis.
--if annoyed turn sarcasm meter on and repeat--
47 • RE:Unity, Learn from the past (by Eddie on 2010-12-06 18:55:07 GMT from United States)
So many people have so much to say that really don't the facts or either they do have them and just ignore them. They state that Ubuntu will die because of their new desktop Unity and that they should stay with Gnome to survive not taking into consideration what a disaster that Gnome 3 or Gnome shell is at this time or that they will be able to choose classic Gnome. They don't even realise, or either they have conveniently forgotten, the droves of users that abandon KDE when KDE 4.0 came around. Many distros stayed with KDE 3.x and some offered both. Also KDE had the same problem with applications not working and developers having to rewrite for KDE 4. I didn't like KDE 4.0 at first and now I do find it usable and the applications do work for the most part. If the truth be know I don't really like the Unity desktop at this time either. As far as I can tell both options will be offered and I will stick with classic Gnome. The only reason that KDE 4 is working as good as it is now is because of people using it and helping to develop. It will be the same with Unity and with Gnome shell. They will both grow. People are afraid of the unknown and become uncomfortable with something they are unfamiliar with. That is human nature. Has Ubuntu abandon its users? Of course not and it just silly to suggest so. When taken with the grand scheme of things this is not such a big deal.
48 • RE: Unity (by tdockery97 on 2010-12-06 19:55:51 GMT from United States)
@47 Eddie: I agree. Shuttleworth isn't stupid. He has done the smartest thing possible by including the choice of using classic Gnome in 11.04. That fact will probably be highlighted when the official release is announced. I used the 11.04 Alpha for about a week, and was totally underwhelmed with the Unity interface. Oz Unity did it much better jazzing up the Ubuntu Netbook Remix interface and building on Ultimate Edition. If I wasn't such a Gnome Guy, I would use that interface. I just find a great comfort zone and traditional feel in Gnome. BTW Oz Unity still has classic Gnome as an alternative also.
49 • Ubuntu is dying (by imnotrich on 2010-12-06 20:12:17 GMT from Mexico)
Instead of focusing on basic functionality, Ubuntu keeps throwing experimental unstable stuff (pulse, ext4, grub2, unity to name a few) at us as well as features we most folks don't want or need, like gwibber.
Shuttleworth, your distro will cease to be main stream if you can't get sound, video, and wireless networking right! Focus on that instead of changing our gui and making it so awkward!
Eventually Ubuntu will become fringe only, for those who only like to tinker for weeks at a time, empty pizza boxes and beer cans piling up next to them rather than folks who actually want to do productive things with their computers or want computers that "just work."
When that happens Ubuntu will die.
50 • Early judgements of Unity (by Unititus on 2010-12-06 20:30:47 GMT from United States)
Thank you for the informative review of Red Hat 6. It is amazing that so much information can be put into an article that is so easy to read.
Regarding Unity and the "any users" who are not impressed... The "any users" involved in the current Linux community represent some fraction of 10% of computer desktop users, while the Dedoimedo's "clueless" users are the "mainstream" (the great bulk of desktop users). It remains to be seen that this particular fraction can correctly assess the preferences of the mainstream.
My wife is surely more mainstream than most of us here and she has consistently preferred to use a desktop distro that Dedoimedo criticized for reasons only the "any users" here could feel are valid. The Linux elite who are comfortable with the characterization of mainstream users as "clueless" might have a real problem getting a grasp upon who mainstream users really are.
Other quotations citing speed and configurability as primary complaints haven't considered that the "clueless" mainstream is clearly willing to spend their money on operating systems that are slower and less configurable than typical desktop Linux distros.
Unity in 11.04 might be a mistake, but a valid assessment would consider the needs of the mainstream, which is not well represented by DWW readers, and would have a horizon that stretches beyond the next 6 months. I'm waiting for Jesse's review of 11.04.
51 • Building Red Hat iso's from source (by RobertD on 2010-12-06 20:39:36 GMT from United States)
Is it possible to build iso of the latest RedHat from source, and if so, could you point me in the right direction?
52 • Unity (by Jorge Manjarrez Lerma on 2010-12-06 20:44:08 GMT from Mexico)
I use ubuntu scince 2004 and the compatibility is much better in the release schedule. The change of default desktop agree & desagree for many users. I don't agree this change and thinking to change distro if Cannonical don't offers the capacity to change unity to normal gnome desktop. Unity is non configurable (if don't change to gnome desktop in log in process) and performance is not really much betten then standar gnome desktop (I test opensuse 11.3, pclinuxos, mint and debian stable and test vs ubuntu NBR in the machine model).
Gentoo, Sabayon and PC-BSD (future release 9) offers an alternative if you don't think the change is a nigthmare.
53 • Unity / FreeBSD Release Cycle (by daemox on 2010-12-06 21:07:17 GMT from United States)
First off, I really think the FreeBSD type release cycle is a great idea! I wasn't aware of this setup, and it sounds like a very good way to address the stability versus new packages question!
Secondly, I think I have a slightly different viewpoint on Unity than most do. First off, I love the ideas behind it and it's very fitting with Canonical's goals. At present, it's definitely rough around the edges, but this is to be expected (if nothing else).
From my perspective Ubuntu uses the interim releases to push new changes whether or not others think it's a good idea. I'd bet dollars to donuts come 12.04 LTS Unity is going to be as accepted, stable, and developed as Pulse was with the release of 10.04 LTS (arguably!).
Anyway, I'm currently rocking Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on my systems. I may pick up 11.04 depending on how it turns out. But if worse comes to worse there's always LM (or LMDE!) :).
54 • @51 (by Fewt on 2010-12-06 21:21:15 GMT from United States)
for i in *src.rpm; do RPMNAME=$(echo $i | sed "s#-[0-9].*$##"); yum-builddep -y $RPMNAME; rpmbuild --rebuild --sign $i; done ## escape the $, DW stripped it
mv ~/rpmbuild/RPMS/*/*rpm .
follow already documented procedures to build your ISO.
55 • Thanks (by RobertD on 2010-12-06 22:41:22 GMT from United States)
Thank you very much.
56 • @55 (by Fewt on 2010-12-06 22:56:33 GMT from United States)
Sure. There is a lot more to it than just that, but it's enough to get started. You still need comps.xml, a boot image, and lots of other files too, but it is very possible to build a RHEL DVD from the sources.
57 • Unity Is Default In Ubuntu 11.04, But you can easyily switch back! (by JD on 2010-12-06 23:25:27 GMT from United States)
Hey All, I was very concerned about this "Unity" as the default Desktop thing as well. However I don't know how its gonna pan out.
But Everyone Listen there's good news if your worried about it you may or may not have herd this...
"Users of 11.04 and presumably all further releases will be able to select from the classic Gnome Desktop or Unity in Ubuntu at login. At the login screen under sessions select "Ubuntu Classic" instead of "Ubuntu Desktop" Selecting "Ubuntu Classic" will give you gnome 2x aka you safe warm desktop! "
Not sure if this was overlooked but just thought I'd throw it out their.
either way this next release is gonna be hectic one I hope it pans out for them :) As Jono Bacon would say: "Community, Community, Community!"
58 • up-to-date software on an older core (by Julian on 2010-12-06 23:30:37 GMT from United States)
One of the core concepts behind ubuntu is this "cadence" thing - that libraries, programs, and everything will be prepared for a release every six months.
The 'freeBSD' approach mentioned here is a lot like the Windows approach - the base system doesn't need to be updated every time you want a new version of openoffice or firefox.
I think it would be great if Ubuntu made it easy (including providing instructions) to switch to a different version of Firefox/Openoffice/etc etc.
59 • Re: 15 - Why is Debian "out-of-date" (by Pumpino on 2010-12-07 00:04:31 GMT from Australia)
I'd actually suggest that CentOS 5 with added repos is far more up to date than Debian with Backports. I'm running CentOS 5 with Elrepo and Remi's repo enabled, and I have kernel 184.108.40.206, MySQL 5.1.53 and PHP 5.3.3 (all the latest versions). Debian + Backports won't give you that. ;)
60 • Re: 15 - Why is Debian "out-of-date" (by Pumpino on 2010-12-07 00:21:52 GMT from Australia)
Sorry for the double post.
I just thought I'd also briefly compare package versions between the upcoming Debian release and the newly released RHEL 6.
RHEL 6 includes the latest Firefox 3.6 and Thunderbird 3.1. Debian is sticking with Firefox 3.5 and Thunderbird 3.0, and it doesn't even have a release date in sight. ;)
61 • Unity (by Rich on 2010-12-07 01:23:51 GMT from United States)
I'm sure I am in the minority when it comes to Unity. I think it is an excellent concept. I like the basic structure but it needs much work and attention in many areas. The way it presently stands now in the Alpha release is lousy. I can conceptualise many ideas that can be done to make it work well if only the best and brightest concepts are incorporated into this desktop system shell. I was once a 'KDE' fan but it has fallen by the way side for me. I prefer Gnome because it appears more structured and is more compact but it too lacks imagination in area's that could really make it shine. Maybe it's time to reinvent the wheel? Change could be good if properly channelled and focused. Time will only tell.
62 • Debian *unstable* is supposed to be cutting-edge (by T. Emulator on 2010-12-07 03:19:39 GMT from United States)
My comment last week regarding Debian being outdated specifically referred to Debian *unstable* i.e. Sid. I understand that Testing is currently frozen so that it can eventually become a stable release, but this doesn't mean that unstable should become so outdated as well. But unfortunately, it does and it has.
63 • Unstable doesn't mean untested (by fernbap on 2010-12-07 03:23:09 GMT from Portugal)
The title says it all...
64 • out-of-date? (by Anonymous on 2010-12-07 04:19:44 GMT from United States)
I use Debian Lenny (stable).
I am also currently using FireFox 3.6.12 to post this.
I simply downloaded the firefox-3.6.12.tar.bz2 from:
and used mc (midnight commander) to open the tar.bz2 and copy it to my "home/firefox" directory.
Initially start it by using .firefox/firefox in an Xterm and put that window's icon on my dock for easy access (just click on it).
No dependency problems, etc., it just works; Debian Lenny and FireFox 3.6.12 !
So what if the stable repo only has Iceweasel 3.06 or 08?
Aside from the tab tearing features (cosmetic extras) it still browses the same sites for me and basically looks the same too.
Anyways here I am using 3.6.12 on a very stable platform, 99.999 per-cent uptime.
That is for me, since I have yet to experience any OS related crashes and I am using the current FireFox browser as well.
I'm sure this kind of proceedure would also work for many other end-user latest applications as well, I just currently don't have the curiosity to find out as everything else I use is o.k. for me. Just as a side note Mplayer in stable does not have a "FLV only" sort option, you have to select all files and look for FLV's manually. The newer Mplayer has the FLV option, so much to look forward to .....if I really want it I should just get it.
65 • slitaz version by godane (by gnomic on 2010-12-07 05:22:18 GMT from New Zealand)
The chap who brought you archiso-live has now done a spin of slitaz, a live CD weighing in at 390MB or so. Could be interesting for people who follow slitaz, or those who like light distros. 2.6.36 kernel, apps up to date. Light on wifi firmware but a wifi pc card with AR2413 works out of the box. He's calling this modular-slitaz.
66 • re: out-of-date? (@64) (by Anonymous on 2010-12-07 08:05:38 GMT from United States)
Manually installing (from either binary or source tarballs) works fine if you only care about Firefox and perhaps one or two other packages, but does not scale well. Debian backports help some, but even Testing is usually quite out of date, and backports only gets selected packages from Testing. If you want to run up-to-date software in general, Fedora, Arch, or the like are much better choices. Debian is wonderful for what it is, but no matter how you wrestle with it, up-to-date it is not.
67 • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Desktop edition review (by Vukota on 2010-12-07 08:11:37 GMT from United States)
I was expecting to see in the review what "Enterprise" features are there and how easy/hard is it to use it in the enterprise (what integrations/tools are available there, how well they work/meet needs and what RH made to allow easy configuration/use of them in enterprise setup), not how easy/hard was it to install the desktop. Reviewer probably doesn't know much about enterprise use of the desktop.
Big companies are usually not preinstalling Flash/Silverlight on the Windows Desktops given to the employees, though media players usually do come preinstalled and employees are usually given preinstalled desktops, so they don't have to spend time on this.
68 • Ubuntu 10.04.2 (by Jeff on 2010-12-07 09:07:02 GMT from United States)
If I have the 10.04 LTS on my computer will i have to do a clean install for 10.04.2???
69 • FreeBSD solution (by Omar on 2010-12-07 09:45:34 GMT from United States)
The FreeBSD way makes a lot sense. Is there a big negative or technical reason why its not a wide spread ?
FreeBSD separates the core from apps naturally, but they still have jails. I thought jails were sorta like vm's for apps. Isn't that redundant? Isn't the sandboxing concept the same as jails?
70 • Thoughts... (by Fred R on 2010-12-07 09:47:14 GMT from France)
I thought nobody would launch a debate about release cycle in the Linux world !
In my point of view, he are the reasons why the Linux world is failing:
- the base is moving too quickly, FreeBSD is a whole (kernel+base commands) with a new really stable release every 6 mounths. a new linux kernel is issued more than once a month !
- the modularity of the linux kernel is good to provide new drivers, but only if sources are available (by providers or by reverse engeneering)
Then we can't have a model of a linux kernel release once and drivers easily provided by constructors.
Anybody who had to compile a new driver for a ethernet card, each time the kernel is updated, will understand the mess !
- A release every 6 mounths is a perfect way to spread the word !
- Yes the ported applications of the freebsd world is appealing, but not easy to use. Instead of porting kfreebsd to Debian, a shorter way would be to port apt to the Freebsd world :-)
Apt or yum, who care ?
Actually, sadly, he best platform to use Opensource software, for common users, is Windows XP, as you don't have to reinstall the whole bunch of OS/software, in order to get new release of, for example, OpenOffice !
In my mind, a HUGE mistake was to merge Fedora core and extras.
Having a core system, and repositories organized, for example, like this:
- extra (maintained by fedora)
- drivers/firmware (ex: elrepo)
- commercial apps (skype, adobe, google, virtualbox etc...)
with a core released say every 3 mounths (to have isos necessary to install new hardware)
Update for packages would be:
- security: mandatory
- package upgrade: important
- bug fixes
Packages would only have to be all upgraded when a new version of glibc (any packages are linked on it).
Unfortunately, Redhat wants to sell Redhat Desktop and Workstation, and do not want Fedora to replace Ubuntu. They do no spread the use of pre-upgrade in the Administration Menu of Gnome (like Ubuntu gives the opportunity to upgade easily).
71 • @57 Of course it was overlooked (by That Dude on 2010-12-07 09:54:52 GMT from United States)
Cause crying about a ALPHA RELEASE with 5 months to go is to easy.
****2010's best flame bait topic of the year****
72 • @68 (by fernbap on 2010-12-07 10:36:10 GMT from Portugal)
Ubuntu 10.04.2 is just 10.4 with all the updates untill now.
If you have 10.4 installed and made all the updates, you already have it.
73 • 69 • FreeBSD solution (by Omar on 2010-12-07 09:45:34 GMT from United States) (by Archie on 2010-12-07 12:25:24 GMT from United States)
FreeBSD is like if you compare a bike with the car.
- the base is moving too quickly, FreeBSD is a whole (kernel+base commands) with a new really stable release every
Ye, the name is "stable" but if is still is another question. It is not more stable than Arch Linux for example.
74 • @ 58 (by Blue Knight on 2010-12-07 12:38:26 GMT from France)
"The 'freeBSD' approach mentioned here is a lot like the Windows approach - the base system doesn't need to be updated every time you want a new version of openoffice or firefox."
Are you kidding? I have used FreeBSD one day and when I have wanted update Firefox for the last version, the system wanted update the whole graphic system!...
Say again, guys, FreeBSD has a stable base system...
Yes, Windows makes that but unfortunately in Linux I am afraid it be almost impossible ... To see how a distro like Chakra makes this, as it says to propose this...
75 • no distrowatch comment box (by Shankar on 2010-12-07 17:21:42 GMT from India)
I'm using Firefox 3.6.12 (from the Mint Debian repositories) in a Debian Squeeze install, running as a live system in persistent mode on a flash drive. Just after I upgraded Firefox, I find that the new comment box in Distrowatch has disappeared (I'm posting this from Chromium). Has anyone else had this experience?
Also, if anyone is going to follow up #18 about Chakra, I'm very curious about that too. It sound like a great system, though the decision to move off the Arch repos has greatly limited its flexibility.
76 • Re: RHEL 6 (by Jesse on 2010-12-07 17:36:26 GMT from Canada)
Scott is correct, there is an additional RHEL repository for Flash. It's buried a bit in RHN, but it is there. Unfortunately I didn't find any multimedia codecs in the add-on repo.
The RHEL edition I was running was the Desktop edition, not the Workstation. The Samba and Apache packages are in the default repo. Best of luck with your home setup.
The scheduler fix is for desktop performance when you're running under heavy load. It's not going to magically fix a slow application running by itself.
According to the project's website, the distro is still in the alpha stages. I might take a look at it later once the project matures.
Yes, Attachmate has made soft, soothing sounds about the future of openSUSE. And I hope that sticks. However, anyone who is buying enterprise systems right now needs more certainty. It's rarely a good idea to buy a long-term solution from a company that's being bought and its assets divided. I'm not saying SUSE is going away, I'm saying its long-term future has a question mark over it.
I can post fine from Firefox, but if I visit the site with Opera the comment box is hidden.
77 • Separate base and end-user apps (by Al on 2010-12-07 17:51:52 GMT from Canada)
I agree wholeheartedly with the virtues of BSD's separation of their base and end-user application development. I want to suggest that to Debian. I think it really makes sense… as an example you don't need the most recent kernel to run the most recent version of Firefox. It would certainly narrow the testing window for the base if they didn't have to wait for the user-land apps to finish testing and vice versa.
78 • Otdateder…Stable…is good for many people… (by Al on 2010-12-07 18:07:23 GMT from Canada)
…maybe even most people. Technical people, especially computer types, like the latest and greatest. That's why we hear so much moaning and groaning about the lengthy Debian stable release cycle.
In my experience with non-technical folks (which is most of the people I know), mention the word version in relation to software and you get a blank stare. The closest thing they can relate to is that Windows Vista looks different from Windows XP. All they want is "Firefox", and they don't really know or care that the latest version fixes vulnerability, etc.
When I'm fixing their computer, inevitably the updater always has a zillion updates that should be applied! I try educating them but it doesn't seem to sink in. They view a computer like a TV, just another appliance.
I have a rule when someone asks me to look at their PC because "something is wrong". They get an hour (max.) of my time to fix their Windows problems. If I can't fix it, they have a choice of paying to have it fixed or I can install Debian (stable btw) on their computer. In this manner I've replaced about 10 Windows installs with Linux and never had to deal with a single technical issue since - just usage questions.
79 • Debian, Unity and things.. (by davemc on 2010-12-07 20:08:31 GMT from United States)
Debian Testing is frozen for almost a year now and even at the freeze it was not like the real Debian Testing because of all the version freezes going on even before then. As the LMDE fans will soon discover much to their shock and dismay, the real Debian Testing is much more of a true "rolling release" model and things break, sometimes even frequently.
Arch does the rolling release model correctly and is more stable in most cases and is the closest Distro to upstream release turnaround at present, but the infrastructure within Arch itself is not even close to what Debian offers. Both Distro's are awesome for what they do. The edge goes to Debian, naturally, as the King of all Distro's both new and old. Its roots are so big and so strong that everyone ends up coming back to it sooner or later.
All the hullabaloo about Unity and Wayland. You all know you'll be loving it in 2 - 3 years time and all this chatter will be left in the dust along with X, whether you know it now or not - does not make any difference whatsoever. Development at your expense will take place no matter what you think or say, because Open Source development has never ever been a Democracy. Shush and deal with it and report the bugs or fix them. Its what we do in the Linux world since the very beginning. Its what we did with KDE4, PulseAudio, and yea, even X.org back in the day. Quit with the whining and do your part to make it better.
80 • @ Jesse (by Blue Knight on 2010-12-07 21:08:21 GMT from France)
Yes Jesse, "According to the project's website, the distro is still in the alpha stages" but I guess it seems already relatively mature and interesting...
You can look at the reviews: for 0.3 => http://all-things-linux.blogspot.com/2010/10/chakra-gnulinux-project-innovating-on.html, for 0.2 => http://jeffhoogland.blogspot.com/2010/09/chakra-linux-distro-review.html and http://www.planetoss.com/detail.php?id=25
They seem all relatively good:
"Chakra GNU/Linux is a very interesting and well thought out project. It responded well on the desktop and was noticeably faster than the Kubuntu install on another partition once booted. I don't mean to put another distribution down, but the difference in speed was very obvious."
"So if KDE 4 is your choice of desktop, the Chakra philosophy appeals to you and you don't mind a bit of DIY on top of an otherwise functioning solid base this could be for you."
"I only have a few small complaints about this current release of Chakra and I am sure they will be resolved long before the distro reaches a 1.0 release. (...) Even though Chakra is a very young distribution, it has quickly become my favorite non-Ubuntu based distro. I think we will see some great things from the Chakra team before a 1.0 release of the distribution. This is definitely one worth trying if you are looking for a new distro the play around with."
And from Phil Miller, the Project Leader of Chakra:
"Future: we have lot's of ideas we didn't implemented yet. Akabei for example is our new package manager which will replace pacman completely. It will support xdelta patches so you only download the changes and not the full packages. After that we have split from Archlinux completely."
81 • RE #50 (by vb on 2010-12-07 21:12:56 GMT from United States)
While I agree that the linux elite tend to ignore what most desktop users desire, I'm not sure the unity interface didn't ignore that, too. Face it, the majority of users in the world run Windows. I have no problem if a distro wants to simplify things to capture that market. However, it would seem to me that if you are targeting that market, you would produce an interface similar to what those users are used to.
The unity interface may be conceptually easier, even more intuitive, but that is only if you haven't already been indoctrinated into the model set by Windows. If you are already a Windows user, or even an OsX user, then the unity interface does not capitalize on your current knowledge and skill sets.
This isn't just for power linux users, but includes new linux users. If I could use e17 as an example - it's flashy and shiny, but I don't use it. Why, because it doesn't do things the way I am used to doing them. Sure, if I made it my only desktop for a month, maybe I would get used to it and even like it. But why should I have to?
That's how I feel about Unity and it has nowhere near the polish or stability of e17. I think Ubuntu's Unity decision has more with the expectation that mobile devices are going to proliferate in the next few years and they want to have an interface tailored for it.
Unfortunately, what makes for a good interface on a pad, is not the same thing as what is needed for a desktop or laptop.
82 • @ relatively (by Blue Knight on 2010-12-07 21:21:13 GMT from France)
> "You all know you'll be loving it in 2 - 3 years time (...) Its what we did with KDE4, PulseAudio, and yea, even X.org back in the day."
I don't think so, sorry. And I still do not like KDE 4 neither Gnome 3 and Unity, PulseAudio is useless and crap, and Xorg... well, almost idem more and more.
83 • Correction about post 82 (by Blue Knight on 2010-12-07 21:24:05 GMT from France)
Oups,small error, sorry. My precedent post was for 79...
84 • Rolling Releases (by Brandon Sniadajewski on 2010-12-08 00:19:59 GMT from United States)
I am surprised that no one has mentioned PCLinuxOS yet. I have it triple-booting with Kubuntu 10.10 and Windows 7, and it is working well.
I agree with many posters here that a FreeBSD- or Windows-style upgrade system would be great.
I'd like to see a three part repository system for a good rolling release:
-core system (kernel, core tools, drivers, etc.)
-graphical WM/DE (KDE,GNOME, Xfce, etc.)
-applications (games, office suites, browsers, IDE's?, etc.)
This way, you can upgrade, say, Firefox to the newest without upgrading the graphical system.
85 • Re: 11 • For rolling release try Arch (by Anon on 2010-12-08 01:02:16 GMT from Norway)
<<"have you tried google at all", have you even searched the forums before posting? blah blah blah.. until this egotistical, almost maniacal attitude changes, it will NEVER EVER EVER be the yearly touted "Year of the Linux Desktop" until then.. it'll be a tinkerers OS with a small userbase (in relation to windows, osX) with people that refuse to help as if they were born knowing what they've figured out through the years.. maybe someday it WILL be the year of the linux desktop.. but I doubt that'll happen in anyones lifetime .. just my .02, now I'm broke!>>
Well put, and describes the general situation in the Arch fora to a T.
Having been using Arch Linux for more than 30 months, I can really recommend it to everyone willing to read the installation manual. Given a successful install, it'll be smooth sailing forever after - except for some treacherous shallow banks in the fora, of course :)
86 • Re: #82, Pulseaudio (by Anonymous on 2010-12-08 01:21:34 GMT from Norway)
Blue Knight wrote:
"(...) PulseAudio is useless and crap, (...)"
I was of the same opinion until I accidentally happened to read the manual, i.e.
$ man pulseaudio
The pertinent chapters were "UNIX GROUPS AND USERS" and "REAL-TIME AND HIGH-PRIORITY SCHEDULING". Following the recommendations here (about adding the SUID bit to a couple files and creating a "pulse-rt" group, etc.) fixed 'everything'. I have not had better sound performance an any computer before, under any OS.
No guaranee it will work as well on your hardware, but may be worth a try if you plan to experiment more with Pulseaudio.
87 • Updated (by Anonymous on 2010-12-08 01:23:28 GMT from United States)
Is there a listing somewhere that actually shows the newer features of certain versions of software packages?
No not the changelogs, but a chart or tabular format like DW uses to show versions in a distro.
An easy to read and comprehend list of what newer version packages actually offer.
A flimsy example:
Firefox v3.6.12 --- this,that .....
Gimp v3 ---- this here thingy etc
Alsa v231223 --- super wonderful audio now, etc....
So one can actually see why an upgrade might be usefull or help.
88 • Re: Pulseaudio (by Anon on 2010-12-08 01:26:55 GMT from Norway)
Sorry, post #86 was written by me.
89 • Comment box (by Scott on 2010-12-08 02:03:03 GMT from United States)
Re the comment box, I find that I lost it on opera 11. (But works in firefox 4.0b8pre)
90 • Re:79, Yes (by Eddie on 2010-12-08 02:25:19 GMT from United States)
"All the hullabaloo about Unity and Wayland. You all know you'll be loving it in 2 - 3 years time and all this chatter will be left in the dust along with X, whether you know it now or not - does not make any difference whatsoever. Development at your expense will take place no matter what you think or say, because Open Source development has never ever been a Democracy. Shush and deal with it and report the bugs or fix them. Its what we do in the Linux world since the very beginning. Its what we did with KDE4, PulseAudio, and yea, even X.org back in the day. Quit with the whining and do your part to make it better."
Well said davemc
91 • `Unity, Wayland, etc. (by KevinC on 2010-12-08 05:57:55 GMT from United States)
Personally, I'm willing to give Canonical a bit of a pass on this. A.) B/c we have not idea of what the final product will be---it's like 4-5 mos out. And B.) related to this is where will Gnome 3/ Gnome Shell be at this time....it kinda looks like a mess as well, from what I've seen. To beat a dead horse...KDE 4 was pretty damn unusable upon introduction and now (w/ certain distros) it's pretty good. I'm sure once the kinks are ironed out of Unity and Gnome3, well the picture will be prettier. TBH, I was a little skeptical that Canonical was biting off a little more than they can chew w/ designing a DE from the ground up (which will be based on Compiz, if I am not mistake as the WM). While everyone seems to be on the bandwagon of dissing Ubuntu....I give the big round balls award for willingness to try something new...a whole new direction. And if it sucks, well they can fall back to Gnome 3 w/ 11.10. And by that time Gnome 3 may actually be functional. Myself, I am not going to jump on Ubuntu / Unity until I see, at least, the RC. And if it is bad...well Fedora 14 is a solid release and Mint is at least flirting w/ Debian (the latest "10" iteration of LMDE is, I must admit, quite nice.
92 • RPMforge and ELRepo already support RHEL6 (by Dag Wieers on 2010-12-08 10:17:18 GMT from Belgium)
If you are looking for flash, vlc, mplayer, xine, inkscape, gstreamer codecs, kino, kaffeine, revelation, gnome-commander, wine and many other desktop-related applications for RHEL6 (and CentOS-6 in the future), you can find those at RPMforge:
Simply install the rpmforge-release package for your distribution/architecture and run:
Beware that RPMforge does not replace packages from base, if you want to have newer versions of certain packages (eg. subversion, lftp or dstat) simply enable the rpmforge-extras repository by doing:
yum install --enablerepo=rpmforge-extras dstat
Or by enabling rpmforge-extras by default.
93 • Flash Player on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (by The Mad RedHatter on 2010-12-08 11:34:58 GMT from Romania)
I've been giving RHEL 6 a try (30-day free trial version). As far as I can remember, installing the flash player plugin was fairly simple. As (for instance) Firefox might suggest, one can visit http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ and select the "YUM for Linux" download. A few clicks and root passwords later and the plugin gets installed and is ready to use.
I have also found RHEL6 to be very stable and generally quite enjoyable.
94 • "Out of date" (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-12-08 15:56:37 GMT from United States)
My take on whether something is "out of date" or not is whether or not it will still do what you want it to do. If your new hardware is not supported then it is definitely out of date for you.
One advantage both RHEL/CentOS/Scientific Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise have over Debian and Ubuntu LTS is that they backport new hardware support into the version of the kernel they are using. On one hand this leads to something of a "Frankenkernel", unique to the given distro and only supported by them. On the other hand this means that drivers for the latest hardware are generally included in RHEL and it's clones as well as SLES and SLED. This is not true of Ubuntu LTS and I don't believe it's true of Debian either.
95 • #79: I'm not so sure (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-12-08 16:01:45 GMT from United States)
I wouldn't be so quick to write off X.org or assume that Wayland or Unity will ever be dominant players in Linux. Wayland is still grossly incomplete and barely usable. Unity is just one desktop among many and only one distro, Ubuntu, has adopted it as a default. Contrary to the beliefs of some commenters here Ubuntu neither controls nor drives Linux desktop development.
You are correct that FOSS development is not democratic. Ubuntu certainly is not. However, the market does make decisions and it would be wrong to assume that Ubuntu will remain the dominant player on the desktop indefinitely. If they make unpopular decisions users will look elsewhere.
96 • Nvidia 96 (by azurehi on 2010-12-08 18:09:18 GMT from United States)
My video card is NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 4000, so I require Nvidia 96. I use Ubuntu10.04 with success but not 10.10. I wonder whether 11.04 Unity will work for me...time will tell I guess. I have never been able to configure Arch...to much of a novice. I have tried many distros but am now at the point, age 72, that something in the linux realm that works with my video card and allows easy installation of multimedia codecs is what I will stay with. Salix xfce is nice, as is PCLOS. Just some personal observations...
97 • Newer hardware support on Debian stable (by Ralph on 2010-12-08 20:03:55 GMT from Canada)
@ 94 -- Debian stable adds new hardware support to the kernel during its lifetime, but I'm not sure how extensive it is, or how long they have been doing this for. "Old stable" (the last release, 4.0) known as "Etch" at some point released what they called "Etch-and-a-half" expressly for new hardware support. The latest stable release (Lenny, 5.0) has not had a "Lenny-and-a-half" release but I have noticed (that at least some of) the so-called "point-releases" (5.0.x), of which there have been seven over an 18-month period, add new hardware support to the kernel.
98 • RE: 79 - 95 (by Landor on 2010-12-09 01:03:08 GMT from Canada)
"Debian Testing is frozen for almost a year now"
That's not exactly accurate. I believe it was August 6th 2010 at the DebConf in New York that it was announced that Debian Squeeze/Testing was in a freeze state. That would put it at just a couple days over four months that it has been frozen now.
I've wondered if this is an attempt for Canonical/Ubuntu to build something that could really get them into the embedded market.
I think the use of Unity interface and Wayland, as well as their work on touch screens, points in that direction, or at least my viewpoint of it. Pure speculation, nothing more.
Keep your stick on the ice...
99 • Third-party (by Jesse on 2010-12-09 01:20:13 GMT from Canada)
I think it's interesting to see people here suggesting that if a distro doesn't have Flash in its default repo that we should get the software from Adobe's website. Or if we want the latest Firefox version we should manually hunt down the upstream package and install it. To my mind that sort of approach largely negates the benefit of having software repositories. If you have twenty apps you want to keep up with it's a chore to keep track of them all, especially if some of those projects don't provide pre-build binaries.
Keeping up with third party software, outside of a repo, basically puts us back at the same issue Windows users face -- relying on third-party updaters and/or manually checking the project's website on a regular basis.
100 • RE: 99 (by Landor on 2010-12-09 01:28:12 GMT from Canada)
I'll take that a step further as well.
I find it strange that people would opt to use something as stable as RHEL and then add repositories that make changes to the core.
Doesn't that negate the very key reason for using RHEL in the first place?
Keep your stick on the ice...
101 • RE:99 (by Anonymous on 2010-12-09 01:34:09 GMT from United States)
Yes I totally agree.
When I said I simply installed FireFox3.6.12 on Lenny, I mis-represented it.
What I sort of meant was that I have used Lenny's Iceweasel and FireFox's 3.6.12
and I really don't see the big difference in the GUI when I browse the net or come here, etc.
Iceweasel is by most standards old old FireFox, although Debian does keep up the security on it.
As for flash, I simply do a manual install from their site, and never use their scripts; that's just me.
Like Caitlyn said if it works, it's not really out of date.
I just don't see the reason to have all the newest versions, maybe someone can explain why having the newest versions is an advantage. Rock solid stability is very high value for me.
If some older software doesn't do something for me then I'll look for a newer one.
102 • Third-party? or First? (by RollMeAway on 2010-12-09 01:43:37 GMT from United States)
For Firefox and Thunderbird, I have installed both with a direct download from mozilla.
They are installed on a backup partition that is mounted with any distro I boot into.
I have made a link in /usr/bin/ for each distro, to that partition.
My user (only me) has full read/write privileges to the installed partition.
Firefox and Thunderbird update automatically whenever mozilla makes a release.
That means I stay up to date and don't have to wait for someone maintaining a repo to get around to tweaking it for their "cute little name" and logo several months after a security fix is made.
It also means I don't have to setup FF and TB for each and every distro.
Just once for each computer I use.
103 • firefox update methods (by Josh on 2010-12-09 03:24:00 GMT from United States)
Yea, the way you have it set up works fine. The update function will disable itself if the user does not have the read/write permissions to the program file. I am using Fedora 14 right now, and logged in as root (yea yea heard it all before), the check for updates button is available, but it doesn't seem to check anything. The screen comes up and just seems to idle. Reason why is I don't have an update.locale file in some directories. So even if I do have permission, still no go. Still not sure how to fix it yet.
Though, I'm with Jesse, it still kinda negates the reason for a repository if you have to update programs individually. I think they can find a way to update "everyday use" programs immediately. I don't see MS checking firefox or sending out ok's to users to say its safe to update. Maybe the distros can just have vanilla or slightly modified packages of certain programs that could just get pushed almost immediately. Like they need to be retested when most firefox users just update happily with no cares in the world. Can it really be that difficult?
104 • Re: 103 Update Methods (by Bruce on 2010-12-09 04:06:02 GMT from United States)
If you install Chrome it adds the Google repo so that the update manager picks up any updates automatically. I'm not familiar with packaging, but I wonder if Mozilla could provide repos that could be used by yum or apt and provide the .rpm or .deb packages. There are some distros that can't use these but it would probably work for many of the major ones... just a thought.
105 • @104....the downside to this... (by KevinC on 2010-12-09 04:37:54 GMT from United States)
...is that w/ Google adding their repo, they are basically adding a PPA. Recently I had a Lucid install and a Mint 9 install w/ all sorts of PPAs added for Flash Square, the Ubuntu Font package, Clementine, Cairo (latest), Real Time Sunlight desktop, all sorts of themes and icon packages, and so forth. Then I read an article fairly critical of the PPA system. The author called this "a disaster waiting to happen." The PPAs are marked as untrusted by Ubuntu and both Mint and Ubuntu warn you they are un-authenicated. When you update or install tho, you give root access to all of these repos. For the time being I looked into and trusted the sources of PPAs I had added...but who knows in the future. This seems to be giving an open invitation to those who would propagate malware. In the article I read he opined that PPAs are worse than the security put in place by Windows. I don't know if I'd go that far....but still kind of scary. On my newer installs, I have little or no PPAs in use. Whereas neither the author nor myself can name a situation wherein this has occurred (malware per PPA), it seems to be just a matter of time. And Ubuntu can sit back and claim we never suggested we approved of these PPAs---it was use at your own risk. Tho I'm not suggesting Google would do this, it still is a little sneaky how they automatically add this repo to the package manager w/ no opt-in or opt-out dialog. And Google has had a few blemishes on their privacy record w/ the Chrome phoning home story...ntm the Google Maps Street Level views being linked to unprotected wireless IP identifiers. Google apologized that they accidentally collected private user info and destroyed it; but never explained why they wanted to correlate the wireless networks w/ addresses/ locations.
106 • updates (by Josh on 2010-12-09 05:06:05 GMT from United States)
Well said Kevin. I'm sure one day it will happen that a PPA gets hijacked. Besides that, I really don't want to see PPA's for every program. That would be bad management in my opinion. I think a better idea would be to create a separate repo for vanilla packages (maybe just popular or requested programs) that would be slightly tested to assure functionality or install success and then made available. Of course, a warning could be given stating that the distro provider gives no guarantee beyond what the devs do.
107 • Re: 105 & 106 PPAs and updates (by Bruce on 2010-12-09 15:08:15 GMT from United States)
I agree with you on the use of PPAs, and Google is the only one I have added. You need to know the source, and I think Mozilla would be reliable, both in terms of code and how well they secure their systems. Some distros, such as Ubuntu, keep the browser version up to date regardless of the distro version. However, I am running Debian Lenny and it would be nice to have the browser at the latest version. Even when squeeze comes out Iceweasel will be at the 3.5 series.
108 • @105 re Sneaky Google (by Anonymous on 2010-12-09 16:22:23 GMT from Switzerland)
From the download page where one accepts the Chrome license: (http://www.google.com/chrome/eula.html)
"Note: Installing Google Chrome will add the Google repository so your system will automatically keep Google Chrome up to date. If you don't want Google's repository, do "sudo touch /etc/default/google-chrome" before installing the package."
How sneaky is that, to say it in plain view right above the "Accept and Install" button?
109 • various good things going on at the moment (by Tom on 2010-12-09 17:01:49 GMT from United Kingdom)
Another good week in DW. Thanks :)
It is great for me to see Vinux. Any distros targeted at a particular community (even one that is already supported but would normally need significant tweaking to make existing distros "acceptable") is great to see and adds to the argument that linux is more about inclusion and diversity which our competitors often fail to achieve (unless you are white middle class american with no really strong religious beliefs). Ok so people often have to choose which community is most important to them, and then tweak that to fit in with their other requirements. It would be really great to see theming and stuff that was cross-distro but this seldom seems to be possible. A theme that worked on the Gnome DE of any distro (with a KDE version, etc) would be fantastic. Perhaps a number of themes could be applied, for example a Moslem theme and then a visually impaired (or the other way around probably) might bring-in programs to help a blind person with their Qur'an studies. I would guess that most people would use the word "theme" in a much more limited way but could it be much more broad in the way i suggest?
Regards from Tom :)
110 • Robert Lange & Vector (by Tom on 2010-12-09 17:05:12 GMT from United Kingdom)
Great to hear about the progress with Vector. Does Robert Lange still wear the amazing shirt he wore for the interview with Caitlyn a couple of years ago? ;) Unforgettable, priceless :)
111 • How is Unity "intuitive" if things most people use daily are hidden by default? (by imnotrich on 2010-12-09 17:37:47 GMT from Mexico)
I acknowledge it's not the final version, but I've been experimenting with Natty 11.04 Alpha 1 on a brand new HP laptop.
Using the live cd, Unity does come up but most of the things people use daily are hidden by default. You have to click several nested menus to find stuff. Stupid.
But that's ok, Ubuntu still hasn't figured out Pulse Audio and is struggling to make their video compatible with many common Intel, ATI and Nvidia Cards.
Mercifully, when I actually installed Ubuntu several subroutines related to Unity crashed out and the install did a failover to Gnome. That was impressive. At least Ubuntu's installer knew it had screwed up and didn't leave me in the dark with no desktop (unlike 10.04 and 10.10 which are total trash).
I still say Ubuntu should focus on basic functionality (things like sound, video, wired and wireless networking) before they start moving gui buttons around or foisting half baked experimental stuff on us like Pulse, ext4, KMS, and this Gwibber trash that most users (except maybe for a handful of teenagers) do not want.
In my opinion Ubuntu has lost sight of the "just works' goal and the last 3 releases now are pathetic.
Oh and has anyone figured out where to type url's in Firefox 4? Junk Junk Junk!
Didn't Ubuntu's aspire to be a viable competitor to Windows and Mac at one point? Four or five versions ago, Ubuntu appeared poised to do just that, but sadly not anymore.
112 • RE: 105/111 (by Landor on 2010-12-09 18:58:55 GMT from Canada)
I'll admit I'm not very Google friendly, still, I don't understand why someone would install Google Chrome over at least Google Chromium from their own distribution's repositories? The two are very different beasts, especially the fact that the former isn't Open Source Software and latter is.
"foisting half baked experimental stuff like Pulse, ext4"
I have often wondered when you've stated this a few times for some time now, why do you consider the ext4 file system experimental software?
Surely you're just making a mistake, as the ext4 file system was released in a stable kernel (2.6.28) almost 2 years ago now on December 25th 2008.
Now I know it hasn't been around for the nine or so years that ext3 has been, but we're talking two years of being released in a stable kernel. Not even considering how long it was actually worked on prior to that, and the fact that it is mainly a forked version of ext3, using a very large part of its source code.
It's far from half baked experimental software, to say the least.
Keep your stick on the ice...
113 • RE: 111/112 an addition (by Landor on 2010-12-09 19:20:28 GMT from Canada)
I'd also like to make a comment about PulseAudio. I agree that it's not implemented correctly for a lot of distributions. What you can't do is completely blame PulseAudio for that face. Reason being, audio support for the Linux Desktop is horrible at best. There's so many layers, and PulseAudio is just one of those layers on top of others.
Personally, I prefer just ALSA and have removed PulseAudio entirely when it's problematic.
So while I agree PulseAudio can have issues, it's not the singular problem, it's how audio is handled completely on the desktop, or at least that's my understanding of the situation.
Keep your stick on the ice...
114 • Re: 112 Chrome -vs- Chromium (by Bruce on 2010-12-09 19:41:45 GMT from United States)
Landor - I only have Chrome installed rather than Chromium because Chrome includes flash and that way flash updates are included automatically. As far as I know, for Chromium, as with Iceweasel, the flash plug-in and updates must be added manually. Adobe has a repo for yum but not apt. I've had mixed results with swfdec and gnash, so I use Iceweasel for most browsing and Chrome, with the Adobe flash plug-in, for sites that require it.
115 • Re 112/113/114 (by imnotrich on 2010-12-09 21:08:35 GMT from Mexico)
I've had some unhappy experiences with ext4, although in retrospect hardware may have been a contributing factor - hard drives more than 2 or 3 years old just don't play well with ext4, and two years since release in Linux terms makes ext4 a "baby" as file systems go.
The only distro that I've found that does a proper job with Pulse is Debian. So I'm perplexed by all the derivatives and Debian cousins who don't get Pulse...yet.
And I may be an odd bird as Debian users go, but I get Chrome and updates from the google repos. Chrome does have issues being that some plug ins are missing or do not function but Chrome is the closest thing to a "real" browser that Debian has. If you've ever experienced the (chore) joy of manually installing java, flash, and etc in a browser you'll appreciate not having to screw with flash and java with Chrome. At least for those two, Chrome "just works."
116 • @115 Debian flash and java (by Al on 2010-12-09 21:56:43 GMT from Canada)
Debian squeeze with the main, contrib and non-free repositories. Installing Chromium with flash and the java plugin not difficult…packages are chromium-browser, flashplugin-nonfree and sun-java6-plugin…the whole ordeal was downloaded, installed and ready to use in about 5 minutes. No issues with any for several months, other than the 64bit flash ordeal, but that was fixed pretty quickly and back in the repos.
117 • 108...112 (by KevinC on 2010-12-10 01:14:15 GMT from United States)
@108: I know of the proviso put forth before Accept and Install, have seen it several times. IMHO, software is more up front w/ opt in or out during install, w/ opt out being default. And it's not like that I didn't necessarily trust the Google repos, just kinda sets a bad precedent. As to being sneaky I was referring more to Google's history (see above post). And while they handled the situation w/ more aplomb than, say, Facebook...that doesn't negate the fact that Google was collecting data w/ the "street view" per Google Maps. And SRWare's Iron made a lot of hay w/ the fact that Chrome phones home and associates your IP address as a unique identifier w/ Chrome installs. Remember the cliche: just b/c you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not watching you.
@112: As w/ the ditching most of the PPAs thing, I too now use Chromium vs. Chrome. At one time it seemed Chrome offered more functionality/ less problems w/ certain sites than Chromium. But, as of late, Chromium works fine for me...so, it's really a no-brainer.
As an aside, I have never had an issue w/ Chromium and Flash or Java.
118 • @116, 117 Chromium (by Bruce on 2010-12-10 02:11:18 GMT from United States)
Chromium is not in the repos for Debian Lenny - not main, contrib or non-free... must only be available for Squeeze. Is that true?
119 • Chromium in Squeeze (by Ralph on 2010-12-10 03:53:47 GMT from Canada)
@ 118 -- true, the browser is only available in Squeeze, but the game Chromium is in Lenny.
120 • Chrome vs. Chromium (by Blue Knight on 2010-12-10 12:26:07 GMT from France)
Chromium is not exactly equal to Chrome. It is less "complete" and maybe less stable, e.g. video and audio tags, user metrics, sandbox which may be disabled, depending on distributor etc and it is modified by distros, for instance:
for audio and video tags Ubuntu Chromium ships the two flavors, Vorbis and Theora (Chrome has H.264, AAC, MP3, Vorbis and Theora) but Fedora Chromium removes support completely, idem for the sandbox, see the line above, also the Quality Assurance (in Chrome the new releases "are tested before sending to users" but in Chromium you have "sometimes nightly builds without testing") and the code: for Chrome ===> "Tested by developers" and for Chromium ===> "Modified by distributions" and "Extra modifications by distributions have been a continual source of problems for users; please include distribution information if you report bugs".
You can see at http://code.google.com/p/chromium/wiki/ChromiumBrowserVsGoogleChrome for all of that..
Btw, personally,I hate the theme. I NEED a standard Menu bar! Without talked about several things I miss with them and big problems of memory and use of the processor when you have many tabs open: they freeze the computer because they use 100% of the processor plus the RAM and 30/40% of Swap! Unusable for me they are...
121 • Chrome vs. Chromium (by tdockery97 on 2010-12-10 14:57:55 GMT from United States)
I use Chrome for the simple reason that handling of Flash is still not right in Chromium. It is still very common for Flash to crash in Chromium, while it just keeps working in Chrome.
122 • Re: #105, the downside to this... (by Anon on 2010-12-10 15:36:03 GMT from Norway)
KevinC wrote: "ntm the Google Maps Street Level views being linked to unprotected wireless IP identifiers. Google apologized that they accidentally collected private user info and destroyed it; but never explained why they wanted to correlate the wireless networks w/ addresses/ locations."
Well, it would be hard to guess what use Google could have of this, so perhaps Google went to all that specific trouble on behalf of others. It is impossible to perform this kind of surveillance/mapping operations by accident.
123 • @113 Pulseaudio (by Patrick on 2010-12-10 16:00:20 GMT from United States)
I seem to be in the minority with this sentiment (bashing Pulseaudio seems to be a popular passtime), but I actually think Pulseaudio has been the best thing to happen to audio in Linux in a long time. Before Pulseaudio, I was always having problems with one program grabbing the audio device and other programs not being able to play sounds. How stupid is that? I know that there is some kind of mixer plugin for ALSA, but it was hardly ever working or set up on distributions I tried before Pulseaudio was adopted. Pulseaudio finally provided a sane way of sharing and routing audio so several programs could have access to audio at the same time, with the ability to set sound levels for each program separately.
I agree that Pulseaudio was badly implemented in some distros when it was first adopted, and it may have been adopted before it was ready for prime time. That may have contributed to the bad reputation it seems to have. But I can completely understand that distro makers were eager to adopt it as it solved a real, glaring problem with audio in Linux. Even in its half-baked state at the time, it was an improvement over the status quo. And lately, I have had zero problems with it. It works great and does exactly what it needs to do.
One common complaint I've heard mentioned and seen myself has been: "With Pulseaudio I have no sound, and if I get rid of it, sound is back". What has been my experience is that this problem has nothing to do with Pulseaudio, but with ALSA being set up incorrectly by the distribution. Pulseaudio sits on top of ALSA, and on several installs I have seen the problem that the master volume for ALSA is set to zero by default. So, there is no sound. The solution is to use alsamixer to make sure the ALSA volume levels for master and PCM are not set to zero and then use alsactl to save the new levels to make them persistent.
I think the reason removing Pulseaudio makes this case work is that the desktop volume control only controls Pulseaudio's volume, if Pulseaudio is in use. When you remove Pulseaudio, the desktop volume control gets tied to ALSA's master volume, and so it can now be used to fix the zero volume problem, and things work. So people think Pulseaudio was the problem, while in reality it was ALSA that wasn't set up correctly.
124 • Google repos (by Al on 2010-12-10 16:25:16 GMT from Canada)
Speak of the devil, I've got google-talkplugin in my repos, it just upgraded from 1.5 to 1.7. One thing I miss from the google repos is the ability to view the changelog as with the official Debian repos.
125 • re#123 Pulseaudio (by hab on 2010-12-10 17:20:54 GMT from Canada)
I would have to agree with Patrick here. On my systems, pulse recently replaced alsa and audio problems have disappeared. I have used alsa for years and put up with the audio volume control confusion and other minor problems.
I recently tried pulse and for me it was far superior to alsa, of course this realm (linux) being what it is........YMMV!
Wow master volume control and no searching for what is really controlling the volume! A real pain when trying to watch Youtube and such!
Bye, bye alsa.
126 • #79: I have nothing against Debian, but... (by Caitlyn Martin on 2010-12-10 23:02:26 GMT from United States)
The edge goes to Debian, naturally, as the King of all Distro's both new and old. Its roots are so big and so strong that everyone ends up coming back to it sooner or later.
Everyone? I don't think so. Please speak for yourself :) The distros I keep coming back to are Red Hat (and/or the free binary clones) and Slackware. I certainly don't consider Debian "the King of all Distros" and I'd say Red Hat is every bit as strong in pretty much all respects, if not stronger.
127 • #126 (by jake on 2010-12-11 01:39:31 GMT from United States)
Agreed, to a degree. Slackware has done everything I need a desktop OS or a server to do for around 16 years now. Granted, I generally use BSD on the servers & Slack on the desktops.
I look at Debian with every major release, but to date I've seen no reason to switch. It's a good distro, but old habits & all that ... I've personally never really liked RedHat. It's too far away from what I see as a un*x, but that doesn't automagically make it a bad distro in my mind.
128 • Lucid in MacBook 2.1 (by Caraibes on 2010-12-12 12:14:44 GMT from Dominican Republic)
Just a quick word of praises for good ol' Lucid x64 running quite weel in single-boot on my MacBook 2.1...
OSX 10.4 simply too obsolete, Windows 7 missing a bunch of drivers, but Ubuntu Lucid doing a very good job.
Debian wouldn't boot in single boot...
Number of Comments: 128
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|• 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|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
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Nitix Autonomic Linux
Designed with autonomic computing features -- self-management, self-healing, self-configuring and self-optimising capabilities -- and leveraging the reliability and performance of Linux, Nitix was a revolutionary server operating system that sets new standards in stability, security, affordability and ease-of-use. Working with existing environments (such as Microsoft or Novell), or as a complete IT infrastructure replacement, Nitix was easier to manage and use than traditional server operating systems resulting in an affordable and simplified IT infrastructure. Nitix provides a complete business server solution with messaging and collaboration, security-enhanced Internet access and protected data storage. Unique technologies and innovative management tools make it easy to provide secure and reliable IT infrastructure solutions.