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1 • 10 years of DistroWatch (by megadriver on 2011-05-30 09:01:31 GMT from Spain) |
Congratulations! Ten years, in WWW terms, surely is a long, long time!
In a completely unrelated note: Mr. Shuttleworth keeps using that word, "lightweight"... It doesn't mean what he thinks it means.
2 • GNOME 3 and fedora (and other distros) (by Cosmo on 2011-05-30 09:20:56 GMT from Hong Kong)
just a note... you can turn on "fallback" mode of GNOME by accessing :
system settings >> system info >> graphics >> forced fallback mode
turn it to "on", log-out and log-in again, and well... you have a usable desktop again, with minimize / maximize button, app bar at bottom for app switching, etc.
3 • libreoffice password protected powerpoint (by cornel panceac on 2011-05-30 09:22:28 GMT from Romania)
i wonder when (if ever) will libreoffice fix this old and annoying bug:
last time i've tried (on month ago, maybe), it was not fixed.
4 • Mepis (by Barnabyh on 2011-05-30 09:56:36 GMT from United Kingdom)
Nice review Jesse. Somehow I had the feeling that you might also be writing about Mepis this week. Balanced is a good characterization.
>It's modern without being experimental and it's friendly without being too simplifying. The interface is streamlined without reducing functionality. The artwork is attractive, without being distracting.<
Sums it all up. Nice wording as well. After trying Mepis I think it's def. underrated. Until another time-
5 • Linux Mint 11 - Vital Service or Prolonging Agony? (by Petr Topiarz on 2011-05-30 10:43:28 GMT from Czech Republic)
I think using gnome2 is keeping the system usable. I do not know who can be happy to use Gnome3 for anything useful. S system for work has to be fast, easy to operate and reliable. That is true for Gnome2. Until gnome3 reflects this features, a lot of users will be tempted to shift to XFCE or anythin similar, but fast and useful. I absolutely support Linux Mint! Great work guys! Do not give up, do not go with the crowd of useless show-off desktops!
6 • Gnome 3 (by Dorin on 2011-05-30 11:09:47 GMT from Romania)
I remember the same things about usability and functionality being said about KDE 4 when it launched... give it a little time and have a little patience, everything will be straightened out.
7 • Hidden Gems (by Antony on 2011-05-30 11:36:30 GMT from United Kingdom)
Yes, (Simply) Mepis is another overlooked distro.
In a way though, this can have its benefits. When a distro becomes so popular it can suffer in certain areas under the weight of this popularity: Zealotry is one of the negatives; another is the peripheral pull generated by increasing users of 'their' distro, and how they perceive it to be, or should be.
Bit of a Catch 22 really.
The emergence of a few distros in my distro time-line have had an 'Oooo....' effect on me. These have been: Mandrake, Mepis, PCLinuxOS, sidux and Pardus. Quite a few others which I really like, but I've never really managed to form a lasting relationship with SuSE/OpenSUSE, which is a shame.
Anyway, nice to read of your positive ('Ooooo.....',perhaps?) encounter with Simply Mepis - but don't let everyone in on this gem. ;)
8 • Happy birthday (by opensas on 2011-05-30 11:49:30 GMT from Argentina)
Happy birthday, distrowatch!!!!
I've been following you every monday for several years... Keep up the good work!!!
9 • @ 2 and @ 6 (by Blue Knight on 2011-05-30 11:50:07 GMT from France)
@ 2: The famous 'fallback mode' is called to disappear...
@ 6: Unfortunately I'm afraid this be not the case. The change is too radical. No taskbar, and all the other stupid things... And about "Shell Extensions", I do not think they solve the problems. Again, the change is too radical.
About Linux Mint, I'm afraid they have no real choice... if you see what I mean.
10 • Mepis (by Smellyman on 2011-05-30 12:03:45 GMT from Hong Kong)
Nice review of Mepis. It is a solid great distro. Antix is a great lightweight spin of Mepis that deserves some props too.
Eventhough PCLinixOS is top ten on distrowatch, I don't think it gets as much love as it deserves too.
11 • Happy Birthday! (by Bala N on 2011-05-30 12:10:22 GMT from India)
Congrats on DW's 10th B'day. You've made my Mondays exciting for quite some time now!
12 • Zenix and AnikOS (by koroshiya itchy on 2011-05-30 12:40:03 GMT from Belgium)
Both Zenix and AnikOS seem to be very interesting distros. It is a pity that (as it appears) there is not a 64-bit edition of AnikOS. As for Zenix, I would be interested in finding out which branch of Debian it is built upon. Stable, I assume? With 2.6.32 kernel?
13 • Congratulations.!!! (by Abhi M on 2011-05-30 12:42:35 GMT from United Arab Emirates)
Congratulations Distrowatch for 10th Birthday.!!!
Keep up the good work :)
14 • mint has a chance (by arno on 2011-05-30 12:43:38 GMT from Germany)
I'm running Mint LMDE with XFCE. even if the Gnome 2 Desktop would vanish over night, it would not pose any thread to Mint. :-)
15 • @6: that's true (by Luis Garcia on 2011-05-30 12:55:23 GMT from Colombia)
KDE maturity is now very high, let's hope Gnome devs are open enough to listen community feedback to improve its current product.
I'll wait one year to see what happens with gnome, at its current state I don't like it, but I'm optimist about its future.
16 • Super OS (by Slo Ben on 2011-05-30 13:14:54 GMT from United States)
Super OS does not make a big production of itself and simply makes Ubuntu more usable out of the box. I like getting to skip the little steps like connecting to a CAT5 cable to get my wireless and Nvidia to work. I like having web browser options other than Firefox and having Flash installed on all of them.
Hats Off to Super OS
17 • Gnome3 (by Ron on 2011-05-30 13:24:27 GMT from United States)
Awh, let's tell it like it is. Gnome3 is made for the finger flippers, present and future. Smart phones, tablets, gizmos, whatever, anything except a real desktop.
18 • Mepis 11 (by willi-amp on 2011-05-30 13:33:26 GMT from United Kingdom)
On Friday last I installed Mepis on my test PC partly to see how the PC would run with 64bit. I think that a newbie might find the partitioner tricky (the one on my PCLOS seems easier to understand) but otherwise Mepis must be one of the very best of the 'prepared' Desktops for anyone who just wants a PC that works. I certainly agree with the findings in the review and it makes nonsense of the click ratings table.
Well done Warren, and well written Jessie.
19 • Mandriva 2011 Delayed ?? (by carlash on 2011-05-30 13:35:22 GMT from United States)
Looks like Mandriva 2011 release may be delayed.
Looking forward to Mageia release!
20 • Happy Birthday! (by MK on 2011-05-30 13:43:24 GMT from Israel)
Congratulations. I look forward to another decade.
21 • XFCE (by Gustavo on 2011-05-30 13:51:39 GMT from Brazil)
I think XFCE produces a better desktop than Gnome2. Its window manager is better than Metacity, its compositor works faster and almost bug-free even on low-end GPUs, the panel is more adjustable to personal preferences and more productive, starts faster, runs faster, looks better and less dated than Gnome2 (with right theme).
XFCE team should only apply a better-looking default theme and panel arragement.
22 • Mepis Review (by dragonmouth on 2011-05-30 13:51:45 GMT from United States)
"Synaptic is a powerful and solid program, but it's not as novice-friendly as some other package manager front-ends and I would have liked to have seen another GUI option added for the newcomers."
Which GUI would you suggest, Jesse? I hope not Ubuntu/Mint Software Manager or Mint Update Manager. While SM has more eye-candy than Synaptic, it is rather confusing and unwieldy to use. For one, there is no way to display only the installed packages. Synaptic UI may not be as glitzy as other managers' but it is logical. The status of every package is clearly stated, whether it is Installed, Upgradable, Broken, New in the Repository, Not Installed, etc and the number of packages in each Status group is clearly stated. That cannot be said of other, prettier PMs. They glom everything together in one big listing. But I guess the "widget generation" cannot be expected to understand anything that is not represented by and icon or a widget.
23 • Package manager (by Jesse on 2011-05-30 14:06:32 GMT from Canada)
>> "Which GUI would you suggest, Jesse? I hope not Ubuntu/Mint Software Manager or Mint Update Manager."
Yes, I think the latest release of the Ubuntu Software Centre is a pretty good offering. Its performance has improved and I find the latest version (which came with Ubuntu 11.04) easier to navigate.
>> "While SM has more eye-candy than Synaptic, it is rather confusing and unwieldy to use. For one, there is no way to display only the installed packages."
You mean like clicking the big "Installed Software" link on the left side of the display? How hard is that? See this screen shot: http://distrowatch.com/images/screenshots/ubuntu-11.04-software-centre.png
24 • @#6 (by dragonmouth on 2011-05-30 14:07:42 GMT from United States)
Everything has not been straightened out yet. Some useability and functionality features of KDE 3.x have been removed in the "upgrade" to KDE4.x. Kicker sliding windows definitely do not make up for the loss. It seems that desktop developers define "improvement" as "desktops with layouts better suited to phones and small tablets where everything is a widget and the theme shines like chrome in the sun" to quote Jesse.
25 • @willi-amp (by dragonmouth on 2011-05-30 14:11:06 GMT from United States)
"I think that a newbie might find the partitioner tricky (the one on my PCLOS seems easier to understand)"
Interesting comment since Mepis and PCLOS both use GParted.
26 • Xfce (by Mathew John Roberts on 2011-05-30 14:11:12 GMT from United Kingdom)
I agree 100% with Gustavo (comment 21). I've never liked the look and feel of gnome 2. Xfce gets balance just right for me.
My only gripe is that the development seems to be getting more linux-central. I like using the *bsd's and openindiana (and hopefully minix in the future).
Getting back to linux though, I expect that those who dislike the way gnome 3 is but still want to stick to gtk will likely consider Xfce. I reckon Xfce and LXDE will get quite a bit more attention during this period while gnome 3 tries to settle in.
27 • Desktop environment are evolvig... to worse? (by Anonymous Coward on 2011-05-30 14:16:29 GMT from Spain)
Blue Knight wrote:
About Linux Mint, I'm afraid they have no real choice... if you see what I mean.
That's true: no distro can suistain itself by using old-fashioned unsupported software in the long term. You cannot keep a modern system up to date if your "libgnomes" are five years old. Sooner or later, the users will want a particular feature offered by a new app, and will discover this new app requires of half Gnome3 to be installed. If Mint doesn't include Gnome3, then including this new app becomes near to imposible.
You can resist for a while, but not for a big while, until you find an alternative which is best suited for your purposes. Sticking with old good software is ok for me (yeah, I am a Debian Stable guy), but some day the software will get so old that it is no good anymore.
I have recently used KDE4 for my first time. I haven't found any usability issues with it, as many claim, but I have found it to be bloated and full of useless features. Gnome has never been a top one for me, because or the same reason and because their intrusive dependencies. XFCE is slowly turning into a mini-gnome, with complex GUI preferences layouts which could be made easier (yet still better to KDE and Gnome for serious work). Being a LXDE user for some time, it amazes me how hard are devs trying to bloat their software.
Those who need an stable yet actual workspace should look for a standalone window manager. XFCE, KDE or GNOME can break whatever they want, because window managers are simple (in the Slackware way) so you can choose individual apps in a case by case basis. If the new Nautilus is nasty, and you use gnome, you will have a hard time scaping from it, but if you use Openbox, Wmii or Fluxbox, then switching to another one is painless.
LXDE is a very simple and modular GTK desktop. It offers no much more than a window manager, a pannel and a file manager. None of them are hightly integrated in the desktop, so uninstalling and updating of individual components is more or less easy. Big desktop's refugees should give it a fair try, but don't expect a beautiful fully-animated beast.
People should pay more attention to this lightweight, small and compact workspaces. They really speed up the computer. LXDE is a good place to start for usual people who need a familiar look, but nothing is stopping you for using a geeky tiling window manager as wmii...
28 • Package Mangers (by dragonmouth on 2011-05-30 14:25:40 GMT from United States)
And let's not forget the all-important User Ratings of packages which really contribute to newbie-friendliness.
Jesse: In the course of my distro-hopping, I've been forced to use most, if not all, of the GUI Package Managers. Glitz and eye-candy do not a good package manger make, especially when one program has to be used to upgrade the app software, another to upgrade the system software and still another to uninstall packages. Synaptic can perform all three functions admirably. I first ran into Synaptic in Mepis 5.x or 6.x as Linux noob. It was easy to use then and I still find Synaptic the most logical, easiest to use Package Manager.
29 • #25 Mepis and PCLOS both use GParted. (by anticapitalista on 2011-05-30 14:28:12 GMT from Greece)
25 "Interesting comment since Mepis and PCLOS both use GParted."
You obviously haven't tried the latest MEPIS. It uses kde partition manager.
30 • Happy Birthday Distrowatch (by Ninad on 2011-05-30 14:32:26 GMT from India)
Happy Birthday Distrowatch
Keep up the good work and keep the Mondays interesting with DWW for years to come
31 • re. 25 (by willi-amp on 2011-05-30 14:33:20 GMT from United Kingdom)
Yes, that is so. But the graphics, the selections and the instructions are presented differently. I said that the one on PCLOS was easier to understand, I still think so.
32 • meeeepis (by tuxhelper on 2011-05-30 14:50:32 GMT from United States)
Yes, Mepis is overlooked and underrated. From my own findings Mepis is the great choice for when your helping others migrate say from win2000 &/or XP. It takes little tweaking to get the OS ready for end-user consumption if any and it has always been very stable with the 8.* releases running great on older hardware, I've yet to test the new series on older hardware to see how it responds. The question of why Mepis over corp. backed Ubuntu or even community backed Debian? The answer is both Debian & Ubuntu requires more tweaking && time when freshly installed.
My opinion of course...
33 • @5 • Linux Mint 11 - Vital Service or Prolonging Agony? (by Petr Topiarz) (by Mark Pace on 2011-05-30 15:17:13 GMT from United States)
Addressing himself to Clem and the rest of the Mint team Petr Topiarz said:
"..do not go with the crowd of useless show-off desktops!"
Well said Petr. There's a solid reason that Linux Mint 11 along with PinguyOS 11.04 and certain others have chosen not to follow Ubuntu's lead as it's mindless herd thundered over the abrupt edge of the river bank plunging into the raging "Unity," a wild untamed watercourse filled with all sorts of hidden dangers including hungry crocs.
Let these shock troops spill their blood as Ubuntu figures out how to make the crossing from Gnome 2 to Unity actually work while the underwater snags and hungry crocs take their relentless toll.
Unity and/or Gnome 3 may one day emerge as a worthy successor to Gnome 2.32 - time alone will tell. Right now however neither of these two contending "useless show-off desktops" is anywhere near ready for prime time deployment. The decision by the Mint 11 and PinguyOS 11.04 developers to stay with Gnome 2.32, a well polished desktop environment that actually works, as opposed to leaping blindly into the churning "Unity" maelstrom along with the rest of the Ubuntu herd, is to be highly commended.
None of the millions of daily users who've come to enjoy and depend on the depth of control and configurability that Gnome 2.32 offers finds themselves truly happy with the locked down push button kiddie toy desktop environments they find in Unity or Gnome 3. If a project doesn't form to keep Gnome 2 alive, well, and available - and I'd be amazed if it didn't - then XFCE and others doubtless will benefit.
34 • XFCE, Gnome 3 and Unity (by Gustavo on 2011-05-30 15:29:32 GMT from Brazil)
Lets see what happened with the term XFCE in Google trends after Unity and Gnome 3 were launched (abr 2011)...
35 • MEPIS, etc. (by octathlon on 2011-05-30 16:09:38 GMT from United States)
Congratulations Distrowatch on 10 years! Keep up the good work!
Nice to see Mepis get some attention. I think it's the best KDE distro and the one I always install for people switching from Windows--they always like it. I prefer GNOME myself and I've been using Ubuntu for several years, but I'll probably switch to something else soon now that they are turning it into some kind of giant smartphone. Maybe XFCE or LXDE, but if I decide to switch to KDE it will definitely be Mepis! And there's nothing wrong with good old Synaptic, but I agree Ubuntu software center is friendly for new users.
36 • Happy Birthday to Distrowatch and... (by MacLone on 2011-05-30 16:12:27 GMT from Mexico)
and i would like to say that ubuntu will base to GTK3 in the future because there is nothing they can do about. That does not mean ubuntu will use Gnome3 but yes, they'll have to use the new gnome base. The same will happen to Linux Mint in the future so it will be difficult to maintain a GNOME2 desktop unless the mint devs comes up with something new but similar to what they're using now but based on GTK3.
Clement and team: you have a lot of work to do but if you manage to maintain a Gnome 2 desktop but using a GTK3 base i think you will be the No. 1 distro.
37 • Linux Mint's popularity (by Leo on 2011-05-30 16:16:56 GMT from United States)
In the last couple months, I have downloaded a couple different Mint flavors, with bit-torrent, and kept of course the upload open to benefit others as usual
The pace of Mint uploading has been phenomenal. The lxde version has been uploaded 21 times (plus circa 20 times at the RC stage). And the KDE DVD ( a large download): 22 times and counting.
I really liked the KDE version, though I am quite ok with Kubuntu, so i haven't switched. The LXDE Mint version seems quite polished and a good option for legacy hardware ...
38 • Typo (by Dean on 2011-05-30 16:36:19 GMT from United States)
Comment deleted (for corrections please email me directly).
39 • Mint 11, Gnome 2, Mepis (by fernbap on 2011-05-30 16:41:08 GMT from Portugal)
I find nothing wrong about the concept to stick with what works and avoiding new buggy and unstable environments.
Looks like even Ubuntu realised how bad Unity is, since they announced they will be using gnome 3 in the next release. So, defending Unity because "it is the future" is just nonsense.
Gnome 3 is a different matter, though. Obviously, it is not yet stable and bug free, so i don't understand why people would consider a "wait and see" policy to be foolish.
Better than moving to Unity and have to move to gnome 3 in 6 months, after realising that Unity is no longer supported by Ubuntu.
As to gnome 3, there is always the falback mode, if you don't like gnome shell. I have nothing against moving to gnome 3 as soon as its fallback mode become as stable and functional as current gnome 2. So far, it isn't.
Mepis is a great disto, and would be one of my favorites if i liked KDE, which i don't. In any case, i think it is the best implementation of KDE available.
40 • Gnome 3 and Unity (by rich52 on 2011-05-30 16:44:49 GMT from United States)
I kept getting thrown back into fall back mode with Fedora 15 and Gnome 3. When I got it to work with a HD ATI video card the graphics were less then appealing with some visual bugs. The overall desktop is poorly designed and laid out if and is far from being optimal.
It is best suited for the dumbed down ' Windows' user crowd who can't comprehend or navigate computer desktop without getting lost. Just plain stupid IMHO for a desktop system capable of doing much more.
I'm now using Ubuntu 'Unity'. It too is garbage but may come through all of this if the developers pull their heads out of their a**es and give us back some of the things that made Ubuntu the OS of choice (i.e. configurability. . . plain and simple).
This 'rush' to mimic the PC tablets and cellphones with Android apps should be just best left alone for those types of toys. Desktop systems are capable of doing much much more than running minimalistic Android apps limited functionality for the user.
41 • Gnome 3 (by mandog on 2011-05-30 17:32:46 GMT from United Kingdom)
Been using Gnome 3 for a while now my 1st impression was this is not what I want from my desktop thank goodness my main desktop is LXDE. I kept going back and forth every time I went back to Gnome 3 I found another feature and now I do prefer Gnome 3 it does all make sense its a matter of learning something we easily forget to do. It not perfect far from it at the moment. The extentions are a good thing as you can write them yourself so tailor the distro to your needs Its a good step up from a log in the tooth and getting buggy Gnome 2 that looked fine a few years back but now well you decide.
42 • Mint 11 Desktop going where? (by Glen on 2011-05-30 17:36:21 GMT from United States)
I basically agree with Petr's comments, but I'll go a step further. What is a desktop? To me the desktop and/or window manager are mainly there to make it easy to switch between several programs that may be running. Now, really, this is not rocket science anymore. Still, if you are going to introduce graphics and stylistic flourishes that interfere with the above mentioned basic functions, you are taking a step backwards in functionality and usefulness. Is Gnome 3 so advanced and superior that it cannot do the simple things that make Gnome 2 so useful and effective? The "fallback" option does not meet this need. And what is with requiring hardware acceleration for a desktop? My ATI video card requires proprietary drivers for that. This is not progress, in my opinion. I'd be happy to stick with the Gnome 2 desktop more or less forever because it simply does what it needs to do. If someone wants to advance the world of Linux, how about some new application software? Most of what we currently use only sees the mildest incremental improvements while someone's spending thousands of hours and millions of dollars developing desktops that seem to be making giant strides in the wrong direction. Leonardo da Vinci said it well: "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
43 • @42 What is a desktop? (by megadriver on 2011-05-30 18:02:21 GMT from Spain)
"The desktop and/or window manager are mainly there to make it easy to switch between several programs that may be running".
I use Openbox as a WM. My "desktop" is just a wallpaper. No icons. No widgets. No panels. No menus. Nada.
Alt+Tab lets me move between open windows (all of them come out maximized by default). Win+P gives me bashrun (Google it, it's _awesome_), and I can do everything I need from there.
How's that for a "lightweight" interface, Mr. Shuttleworth?
44 • greetings (by gumb on 2011-05-30 18:06:02 GMT from France)
Congratulations on the 10th anniversary. As someone who's passed the ten years mark running a website I know the enormous effort required to keep up the commitment and motivation.
Regarding the comments about Gentoo and its newsletter, I find one of the problems with some newsletters is their trying to cram *too much* information in, creating a mental overload. (You'll be pleased to know I think Distrowatch Weekly gets it just about right!) Taking the openSUSE weekly news as an example, I appreciate the enormous effort that goes into this from so many contributors, but it's almost too much information and I sometimes find myself dreading rather than anticipating it each week. Perhaps it's the layout as much as the content, but I think the philosophy of 'less is more' should apply.
In this 'web 2.0' age (oh dear I can't believe I've used that term that I hate so much), and what with all the blah-blah appended to every webpage from people like me, the need to be concise is more important than ever.
45 • Contrats, DW, and a ? re: Gnome 2 emulation in Fedora 15 (by eco2geek on 2011-05-30 18:44:43 GMT from United States)
Congratulations on 10 years, Distrowatch!
If you install compiz on Fedora 15, you can log in to a "classic Gnome with compiz" session that's basically Gnome 3 emulating Gnome 2. If you let Nautilus manage the desktop, you get desktop icons, and, of course, you have the old top and bottom panels.
Does anyone know how long that's going to last? In other words, is that also slated for removal down the line?
46 • Openbox is great (by Anonymous Coward on 2011-05-30 18:50:30 GMT from Spain)
Yeah, Openbox is a very nice thing. With a little of configuration, you can create keyboard shorcuts for every task you usually do. Working by shorcuts may sound weird for many, but it is actually faster than wasting your time draging your mouse here and there or looking for the launch icon in some extrange menu. The same goes for Fluxbox, IceWM, etc.
That said, Openbox is what i like the most, even needing so much manual tweaking for becoming usable enough (configuring the root menu is not as straightfoward as configuring Fluxbox's, for example).
Tiling keyboard drived window managers are a nice option for laptops without optical mouse, because they can be managed 95% by just keystrokes. Sincerely, touchpads are usually very crappy, so it makes sense to avoid using them as much as you can by using wmii,ratpoison etc (the best for me being wmii).
The best of standalone windows managers is their hability to stand appart from big DEs changes. Slim, simple, lightweight and configurable, with few dependencies, they are as I think GNU/Linux should be.
If anyone does not agree with me, there will allways be a full featured DE for him. There is a little place for everybody in the GNU/Linux world!
47 • Happy birthday DW (by Bullterrier on 2011-05-30 19:18:52 GMT from Italy)
Happy birthday DW!!!!!!
48 • Mepis 11.0 (by Glenn Condrey on 2011-05-30 19:41:35 GMT from United States)
I tried Mepis11.0 jus the other night.
I have a Hewlett Packard 4100 laptop with two 320 gig hard drives.
I partitioned a 4 gig swap file, and a 50 gig Ext4 partition.
I've used linux for years now, and I consider myself a hardy linux veteran.....(been a user since Xandros 2.0)
I've used just about every variant of Debian and Red Hat since then...so i know how to partition swap files and such.
No matter.....I installed Mepis TWICE on my computer.
Both times it installed the OS into what I had set aside for the swap file.
Also, it took a good deal of doing to get it to operate my wireless card, even tho my wireless card was detected....as was my wifi signal.
After working with it for 5 hours....I finally gave up and installed Peppermint One OS.
Flawless install, took less than 30 seconds to set up my wireless....and I am good to go.
The Mepis developers still have some work to do before they become prime time.
Until then, they SHOULD NOT be considered in the same breath as Ubuntu, Mandriva etc etc...
Just my two cents...and I am stating my opinion and my experience...I am not trying to flame anyone or anything.
49 • 10 years od DW, Gnome3 and freedom in Linux (by sam on 2011-05-30 20:32:57 GMT from Italy)
10 years is a very long time in this world of computers. Congrats DW. How was the first issue?
Linux is about freedom! I have always interpreted that to mean my freedom, I the user of the end product. I have now realised that it's not only my freedom, it's also freedom of the developers, to develop what they like. They are even more free than us. That's the freedom that has let Gnome guys change to Gnome3, against the wish of majority. They are free to reduce my freedom of remaining forever in gnome2.
But I recognise that linux developers do great work even if they don't always listen to users. Thanks to all of them.
50 • Installer (by Jesse on 2011-05-30 20:53:23 GMT from Canada)
>> "No matter.....I installed Mepis TWICE on my computer. Both times it installed the OS into what I had set aside for the swap file."
On the third page of the installer it gives you the option to set your root, swap and home partitions to whichever location you wish.
Regarding the Gnome on Mint issue, I don't think it's at all the same as slowly pulling off a bandage. Distros diving in to Gnome 3 now are getting the early release that's missing features and has more bugs. Distros which adopt later will be getting (hopefully) a more solid product. That'll make for a better transition. If I had to switch I'd rather jump from a stable platform to another stable one, rather than from a stable one to a work-in-progress.
51 • F15 Gnome 3 - graphics card question (by dialup on 2011-05-30 21:23:43 GMT from United States)
I'm sticking with Fedora, but it's probably back to KDE for >= F15. I would like to try G3 before my final decision, but none of the computers I use regularly meet the 3D graphics requirement. Any suggestions of low cost graphics cards known to be compatible and preferably supported "out of the box" by the F15 Gnome CD? (I am aware there is a fall-back mode, but from what I've read, it's a temporary thing.)
52 • RE:49 (by Sensei2.6.39 on 2011-05-30 21:39:05 GMT from Canada)
"That's the freedom that has let Gnome guys change to Gnome3, against the wish of majority."
First off, prove it's a majority. Or at least prove that it isn't just a very active and very vocal minority creating the appearance of a majority...
Second, tyranny of the masses is still tyranny. I don't care if EVERY person who ever used Gnome, however briefly is completely on board with your opinions, it gives none of you, individually, or collectively to impose your will on the devs. Freedom stops being a freedom when it abridges the freedoms of others, right? Which leads me to:
"They are free to reduce my freedom of remaining forever in gnome2."
How? How have they done this? You can remain in Gnome 2 as long as you like, and as long as you have the knowledge and skill to not bork something, or unbork it if you do, then you'll enjoy your Gnome 2 as long as you like.
In fact, if you understood anything about the systems you use, you'd understand that all along you've had the ultimate freedom, guaranteed to you by the Gnome folk when they selected their license. Namely the ability to rewrite their code in whole or in part so as to make software that works the way you want it to.
So, you want to abridge their freedom to develop what they like, so they can keep up code which you are too lazy to modify yourself? Who is trying to abridbge the freedoms of whom?
"But I recognise that linux developers do great work even if they don't always listen to users."
No, you don't recognize any such thing, otherwise you wouldn't be qualifying it.
If you recognized that linux developers do great work, then when confronted with Gnome 3, you'd do one of three things:
- Start writing code, fork Gnome 2 and keep developing it.
- Find an alternative, there are four complete DE's, a few incomplete ones, and a whole host of window managers. If none of them work how you want, pick the closest and see above.
- Buy all your software, because it's clear that you don't understand the FOSS paradigm, and until you do, you are just going to be frustrated, and worse, trying to abridge the freedoms of the devs who keep this FOSS thing ticking.
53 • Not everyone codes (by Jesse on 2011-05-30 21:50:09 GMT from Canada)
It's clear you have this strange concept that everyone who uses FOSS is also a coder with free time on their hands. Most people don't write their own code, even most FOSS users don't write code. And Gnome isn't just any project, it's huge. Do you have any idea how much time and effort it would take to keep Gnome 2 and its supporting libraries running? Distributions are changing all the time and just keeping up with bug fixes and distro-specific issues would require a small team of developers. And thats for people who already know how to code.
For people who aren't already developers it's insane to expect someone is going to learn how to program, learn the workings of Gnome 2 and then try to maintain a fork of such a project.
Gnome users who don't like Gnome 3 (and there are a lot of them if you look at the mailing lists and bug reports) have only two realistic options: stick with a long term support release distro that'll buy them time or switch to a different desktop. Learning how to maintain Gnome solo isn't a realistic option.
54 • Mepis 11.0 (by Glenn Condrey on 2011-05-30 22:11:01 GMT from United States)
"On the third page of the installer it gives you the option to set your root, swap and home partitions to whichever location you wish"
I did see that, as I said...I installed it twice. Even though I had my swap & / paritions configured as I have for years..Mepis still installed the OS into the 4 gigs of space I had formatted as swap space.
I only noticed when I was installing the programs that I want/insist on having in Linux, multimedia, games, office programs, emulators etc etc....and I got a low disk warning....
I kept telling myself 50 gigs shoulda been plenty of space for what I had set aside (the first time it happened I assumed I had just made a small mistake. The 2nd time I verified my paritions before I let it install.)
55 • Re:Mepis (by Bill on 2011-05-30 22:20:31 GMT from Canada)
Mepis will always be close to my heart.
The only problem I have with it is the installer only allows you to install to one hard drive. I understand Mepis is for beginners but some beginners have more than one hard drive and want to use a second drive as home.
And synaptic should be a second choose as a package manager.
56 • 10 years!! (by Brandon Sniadajewski on 2011-05-30 22:55:52 GMT from United States)
Ten years ! Wow! Congratulations on one decade of keeping up with all these distros that are out there!
57 • Mepis (by Lucky9 on 2011-05-30 23:03:34 GMT from United States)
Please! There isn't an installer anywhere that will install to a SWAP formatted partition. Not anywhere.
I'd suggest a visit to the Mepis community wiki for installation help. It's really quite straightforward.
The installer is aimed at new-to-Linux Users so the multiple disk option isn't there. However, anyone can very simply move their /home to another disk. If you need instructions visit the mepis forum....or any other distributions forum. They'll tell you how.
58 • 10 Years (by tdockery97 on 2011-05-30 23:07:06 GMT from United States)
Happy anniversary DistroWatch! During the time I've been using Linux (18 months now), I've made it a pleasurable part of my day to check in here once or twice to see what is new. I look forward to many more years of enjoyable and informative reading.
59 • LibreOffice/OpenOffice (by Wouter on 2011-05-30 23:23:28 GMT from Finland)
OpenOffice on Linux has had some long-standing nasty bugs with dark themes and high-contrast mode, as well as KDE compatibility problems. A few releases of LibreOffice in a time span of a couple of months, and those problems seem to have been solved. I don't have deep knowledge of the code and merge issues behind the split, but things are running quite smoothly in LibreOffice and since it's always better to stay as far away from Oracle as possible, perhaps the people who're still in the OpenOffice team ought to consider joining the "other side" and leave Oracle behind with just the name.
60 • XFCE (by koroshiya itchy on 2011-05-30 23:07:22 GMT from Belgium)
Xfce is indeed the perfect Gnome replacement for those wanting to stay with a more classic desktop. It still needs a few more graphical configuration tools (such as Users & Groups) and an easier way to configure menus and panels, but in my opinion is mature enough for most users. The default look is pretty dull (Windows XP-like), but I think that is not a bad thing. It is "standard". If they choose a different default they will always be a lot of people who will not like it. The Gnome2 default was also plain and dull.
I am currently using LXDE (0.5) + OpenBox and I like it, but it has severe bugs. For instance, the computer hangs when resizing lxterminal and if you want to start pcmanfm you need to kill it from terminal first...
KDE4 is absolutely gorgeous but also bloated and heavy. Gnome3 is also pretty heavy for what it does (how can it be so heavy being so minimalistic?).
61 • GNOME "Classic mode" in Fedora 15 (by eco2geek on 2011-05-30 23:08:23 GMT from United States)
On Fedora 15, if you install compiz, you can start a so-called "classic" GNOME session, which, while much less configurable than GNOME 2, is at least a gnome-panel implementation using GNOME 3. (It acts like GNOME 2 + compiz.)
Does anyone know how long that's going to last? Is it going to disappear in the next Fedora release?
Congratulations, DistroWatch, on 10 years!
62 • Fedora, oSuse, etc. (by Bob on 2011-05-30 23:09:32 GMT from Austria)
Fedora: tested both versions. Looked good initially but both have grave issues - unusable - dumped them both.
OpenSuse: would be probably the best distro if it was "polished" (as they called it last week). Superior selection of repositories but has multiple minor flaws (mostly KDE related).
Mint: Repositories and softwere manager are not entirely convincing. Otherwise it looks more "polished" than Fed and oSu.
I am probably going to keep OpenSuse if it stays like it is currently behaving: nasty but not entirely evil.
Thanks to everyone who has mentioned XFCE in previous posts. That reminded me that I should try this one once again because Gnome and KDE development seems to be heading away from us all. Example: KDE network manager has still problems connecting to hidden WLANS since more than a year after the bug was filed. But we are now blessed with a bunch of new features of questionable usefulness. KDE3 used to be excellent but KDE4 still feels like a clumsy and buggy Windows copy.
63 • @52, 53 Gnome (by Dan on 2011-05-30 23:30:42 GMT from United States)
The problem with Free Software is there is no real accountability for the devs. They can do whatever they please and if they are a major project like Gnome, all the users are stuck with what they do.
If it was a corporate system, the guys in charge would all get fired if they produced a major change that pissed off most of the users. Here, that doesn't happen. Same with the KDE crew that came up with 4.0. Most of them are still there. In a profit situation, the UI guys would have been fired within a month of the release.
64 • Desktop environment (by Jesse on 2011-05-31 00:10:51 GMT from Canada)
>> "If it was a corporate system, the guys in charge would all get fired if they produced a major change that pissed off most of the users. "
Obviously you weren't around for the release of Windows Vista. That OS never topped 20% of the MS market share, yet heads didn't roll.
I don't see the move to Gnome 3 as being that big a deal. People who don't like it can easily move to Xfce, it's a solid environment with behaviour close to that of Gnome 2.
65 • What DistroWatch looked like on July 6, 2001 (by eco2geek on 2011-05-31 01:17:47 GMT from United States)
Courtesy of the Wayback Machine:
(That's the earliest mirror they have.)
66 • Gnome 3 Fallback isn't going anywhere. (by Craig on 2011-05-31 01:45:56 GMT from United States)
According to developer Vincent, Gnome 3 fallback mode will be supported for the life of Gnome 3. Gnome panel has been ported to Gtk 3 and many bugs have been squashed. Here is more info:
67 • @ 64, Desktop environment (by Andy Axnot on 2011-05-31 02:25:01 GMT from United States)
>> Obviously you weren't around for the release of Windows Vista. That OS never topped 20% of the MS market share, yet heads didn't roll. <<
I don't know if heads rolled or not, but they learned the lesson. Windows 7 is absolutely nothing like Vista, it actually performs well.
68 • @66 - Gnome 3 Fallback (by dialup on 2011-05-31 02:56:40 GMT from United States)
From the F15 Release Notes - 22.214.171.124.8 - "What happened to applets? ... Any existing applets that have been adapted to use the new libpanel-applet will be available in fallback mode. However, fallback is not considered the default mode of operation and will not be actively developed in the future. ..."
69 • • Mepis 11.0 (by joji on 2011-05-31 07:31:13 GMT from Belgium)
Nice review. Thank you.
"SimplyMEPIS has am intuitive and user-friendly feel". Allow me to disagree on one point : configuring wireless. Am not able to configure my wireless network neither through the Mepis Network Assistant nor using the network icon on the panel.
70 • Too old, Not true (by Rudolf Steiner on 2011-05-31 10:05:41 GMT from United States)
Here is the list of the applications I have on my main desktop:
mp3blaster ( media player,no gui)
irssi ( irc client,no gui)
mplayer (no gui, comman line only)
mutt (email, no gui)
links (browser, no gui)
feh (image viewer, no gui)
get_flash_video (flash video, no gui)
Oh yeah, twm as my desktop window manager.
None of these have fancy user interfaces but the trade off is low overhead and freedom from dependency hell.
71 • Mint, and @16 (by Jozsef on 2011-05-31 10:22:13 GMT from United Arab Emirates)
@16, I got wireless and graphic card working without CAT5. And the wireless is broadcom. OK, my graphic is ATi, but anyway. And regarding "little steps" those are also available as option during installation. I'm talking about Xubuntu 11.04. Most probably it's the same with any other *ubuntu.
And regarding Mint and gnome2 and things like that, I think they could become No.1 distro if they do something like Ubuntu is doing: to be based on Debian directly and avoid Ubuntu with Unity or Gnome3 or anything else they want to avoid.
I know they already have some versions based on Debian but I didn't test them enough. I was just thinking and getting this idea about Mint.
Happy 10th birthday DistroWatch!
72 • Thanks & Fedora (by PM on 2011-05-31 10:25:33 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the MEPIS review! I had inquired last week about it and it's good to see the old distro still kicking. I had been contemplating a move to MEPIS for a couple of older household computers reaching the end of Windows XP's useful life cycle and this review has convinced me to give them a spin on MEPIS. I remember when I first became involved with linux around 2004 MEPIS was always at the top of the "user-friendly" distro lists, but it seemed to have become a shadow of its former self lately.
Also, I gave the Fedora live CD a spin the other day to test out the new Gnome 3 shell. While the interface was very slick and polished, it felt way too much like a mobile phone than a desktop to me. I know the craze right now is to move toward a unified interface, but there are things that work on a mobile device that are just completely unintuitive on a full blown desktop. However, booting into Fedora alerted me to a SMART error and impending HDD failure that neither my BIOS nor Windows had detected or informed me about, and my curiosity over Gnome 3 undoubtedly saved my data. So thank you Fedora!
73 • Too old, Not true (by Anonymous Coward on 2011-05-31 12:19:00 GMT from Spain)
Rudolf Steiner wrote:
Here is the list of the applications I have on my main desktop:
None of these have fancy user interfaces but the trade off is low overhead and freedom from dependency hell.
You have made a good selection of lightweight software. The "X.Apps" (xterm, xcalc, etc) may not be nice looking without configuration, but work fast and well. Xterm looks great after changing colors and default size.
The problem with old software is not being old: is being old and unmantained. As I have already said, using old software is ok whern it works. However, if you stay back for long, you will eventualy have compatibility issues (your apps could be unable to recognize new file formats, for example, or to work with modern protocols). If this is not important for you, or have a reasont o thing it doesn ´t apply to your set of apps, then go use them without fear.
The probem with staying for long with Gnome2 is that Gnome2 is not even in "Maintenance mode". It has no bugfixing, no nothing. I must tell the readers that the official reason for Slackware to drop Gnome was lack of upstream code quality. Then, there is a reason to think upstream bugfixes are important for Gnome desktops, unless you could convince your distribution´s team to stay away for Gnome 3 and mantain by themselves the whole Gnome2.
No many distros have manpower enough for that. Debian has already too much work fixing its own problem, so don´t ask them. Its derivates use to have even more reduced teams, so it would be impossible for them to mantain and patch 300 packages without direarding other components. The same can be said of other major distros.
Of course, if there is a good implementation do Gnome2 anywrere which still works and is bug free, there is not a good reason to switch in the next years.
74 • Hard Drive (by Jesse on 2011-05-31 12:28:23 GMT from Canada)
>> "however, booting into Fedora alerted me to a SMART error and impending HDD failure that neither my BIOS nor Windows had detected or informed me about, and my curiosity over Gnome 3 undoubtedly saved my data. So thank you Fedora!"
You might not want to toss that drive out just yet. I've been testing Fedora on a couple of machines and it's been giving "hard drive failure" warnings on them, but closer checks with other Linux distros don't find any problems. Combined with Fedora's gvfs crashes, I'm wondering if the warning might be incorrect.
75 • Hard drive in f15 (by Barnabyh on 2011-05-31 13:10:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
Just been watching the Linux action Show, they also reported that f15 gave exactly the same warning after start up and then again periodically. The guy called Chris used several other distros and more importantly ran Spinrite for 25 hours to check his drive and it found...NOTHING. All ok.
Seems like a botch job overall.
76 • Mint - a conservative choice (by JB on 2011-05-31 15:45:05 GMT from United States)
I predict Mint will soon adopt a GNOME 3 edition, but it will preserve most of the things people like about Mint with GNOME 2, for example: minimize buttons, switching from window to window just the way people are accustomed to doing so, and a mint menu ("start menu") that is intuitive and familiar.
77 • Mepis - not everybodys darling... for a good reason (by Bob on 2011-05-31 17:06:26 GMT from Germany)
Yes, Mepis is one of the better distros, but there ARE problems that can drive you insane. Others stated problems with wireless or installation routine, in my case, kwin crashed almost every 30 minutes or so and apparently doesn't like my nvidia card. This is simply unacceptable for what others call a "stable distribution".
Sorry, but Mepis is good for many people but not good for everyone(s hardware).
78 • Fedora 15 (by pfb on 2011-05-31 17:06:47 GMT from United States)
Caution! Rant ahead.
It would appear the this is my last use of Fedora until I get a new machine. My present computer is running a Pentium 4 at 3 GHz. It has 2 Gb of ram and an ATI 9600 All-in-Wonder video card. Fedora is loaded on a 16Gb USB stick although the computer has a 40 Gb whirling drive.
The only configuration that runs acceptably is the Gnome 3 fallback. Fedora tells me that my hardware is incapable of running the new gnome. Apparently it will not also handle KDE, Xcfe4, nor LXDE. All these fail to handle my dual monitors in various fashions.
Perhaps a new install might be worth a try. I upgraded with the DVD after yum and Preupgrade both failed to take. It took 31 hours. Perhaps that is because it is working on a USB stick. If not, Fedora has a serious problem. Then I got the word that I should update to get new files ASAP. That took another 10 hours.
So after 41 hours of upgrading, I have Gnome classic that will not run Cheese or Gnome-shell because of a pk-gtk-module problem. Although I do have Packagekit-gtk-module installed for F15.
I think here is where I am supposed to get all huffy and say that Fedora sucks, and I'll never use it again. But after writing this, it occurs to me that a reload might work. I just hate the thought of setting up wine and all the other stuff all over again.
Thanks for the opportunity to vent. :-)
79 • Congrats DWW!!! (by Tony on 2011-05-31 18:30:14 GMT from United States)
Distrowatch, Congratulations on 10 GREAT Years!
80 • Curiosity: what Linux does PBS use? (by Pearson on 2011-05-31 18:49:03 GMT from United States)
I just saw an article about PBS's website being hacked, and the article said it was "because the servers were running an outdated version of Linux from 2008," I wonder if that was one of the versions of RHEL? And, I wonder if the person who said that is implying that it hadn't been updated/patched since then?
81 • A third Gnome options (re: 53) (by Pearson on 2011-05-31 18:51:52 GMT from United States)
Jesse wrote "Gnome users who don't like Gnome 3 (and there are a lot of them if you look at the mailing lists and bug reports) have only two realistic options: stick with a long term support release distro that'll buy them time or switch to a different desktop. Learning how to maintain Gnome solo isn't a realistic option."
There's a third option: coordinate enough developers who can fork (or otherwise base a new project based on) Gnome 2. I'm not saying it's a great option, but it *is* (slightly) feasible.
82 • @80 (by fernbap on 2011-05-31 19:03:24 GMT from Portugal)
According to the news, "The attackers said that they exploited the PBS website by using a zero-day vulnerability in MovetableType 4, the content management system (CMS) used by PBS. Attackers uploaded a PHP shell script, which they accessed to effect root-level access to a server. ".
That was a vulnerability in the CMS in use, not of the OS in itself. However, the server could be able to defend from such an attack.
I'm pretty familiar with possible CMS vulnerabilities, since i wrote one.
83 • F15 LiveCD (by pfb on 2011-05-31 19:10:20 GMT from United States)
On second thought, after playing with the live CD, I think I will stick with Gnome classic. Some day a fix will come to allow the use of Gnome-shell... maybe.
The live cd shows me what the new Gnome is supposed to look like, but it functions very poorly on my machine. I guess I need to try Xcfe.
84 • Linux Mint 11 and Gnome 2 and Fedora 15 with Gnome 3 (by Jim Shunamon on 2011-05-31 20:29:20 GMT from United States)
After 6 years of always having an Ubuntu partition on all of my PCs (even when other distros were also present) I decided Not to install 11.04 Natty Narwhal. I did try it out from the live cd however. I instead opted to see what Linux Mint would do with their release. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they decided to stick with Gnome 2 as the default desktop. For me personally Gnome 2 is a good fit, and I truly depend on at least one of the panel applets several times on a daily basis. I do wonder however, how long Mint (or any distro for that matter) will be able to continue to provide the Gnome 2 desktop. I applaud the Mint team however for not rushing to jump on Gnome 3 just because it is new. As with most things it is better, in my opinion to wait for new things to mature a little and get some of the initial kinks worked out before making the move to the new and supposedly improved. Whether or not Gnome 3 will be an improvement remains to be seen however. Different is NOT always better! Judging from the comments in the article above about Fedora I am not the only one who feels that Gnome 3, at least as it stands now, is not an improvement. In fact, it seems that Gnome is moving in a direction that is the opposite of what drew me to Linux in the first place - choice and freedom. Gnome seems to be taking away the users ability to customize the user interface to their liking, while KDE on the other hand seems to be adding more and more features that promote customisatiom. It may be inevitable for Mint and all other distros to eventually adopt Gnome 3, but when that day comes I for one will miss the little things in Gnome 2 that I have come to depend on daily. For me personally, that will probably mean a shift to another desktop environment - one that continues to offer freedom and choice, whatever that may be at that time. Just my opinion.
85 • Thank you for adding zenix-os (by bodhi.zazen on 2011-05-31 21:36:45 GMT from United States)
Thank you for adding zenix-os to the "New distributions added to waiting list" . Yesterday was a holiday, and I am just getting to my weekly read of DWW now.
If anyone is interested, I added (IRC) contact information to the Zenix Home page.
We also have a forums, again linked on the Zenix Home Page.
86 • @51 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-05-31 21:52:11 GMT from Canada)
It would actually be quite hard to buy a graphics card that *isn't* capable of running Shell. The big exception is the last two generations of NVIDIA cards, the Geforce 400 and 500 series; they're technically perfectly capable but there's a problem with the licensing of the microcode (firmware) necessary to support acceleration on these. it's being resolved, but for the present, they have no acceleration out of the box with nouveau.
Any NVIDIA card prior to the Geforce 400 series should work fine, though, and any Radeon card available, pretty much; it's probably worth going for the slightly older 5000 generation rather than the newest 6000 generation, just on the general basis that support for the last-but-one gen is usually a bit better than really current stuff.
Looking at my local retailer, something like http://ncix.com/products/?sku=57604&vpn=N210-MD512D3H%2FLP&manufacture=MSI%2FMicroStar - $30 - should run the Shell perfectly well, for instance.
87 • @74 @75 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-05-31 21:53:20 GMT from Canada)
Those warnings come from Palimpsest - gnome-disk-utility - which isn't particularly Fedora specific. It ultimately gets its warnings from SMART, which is an industry standard for hard disk self-checking. There is one known case where the warning it reports doesn't really indicate a terminal problem with the disk, because it doesn't take into account the correct error thresholds - https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=707841 . Outside of that, any errors it reports should be genuine.
88 • @51 and a question for AdamW (by eco2geek on 2011-05-31 22:32:27 GMT from United States)
@51 -- what kind of mobo do you have? I tried the F15 live CD on an old computer which has an NVIDIA 5200FX card in an AGP slot. Nouveau + Gallium3D worked fine.
Question for AdamW:
Do you know how long the "Classic GNOME with Compiz" option in F15 is going to be around? Or how long the fallback mode (which, if you run compiz with it, is essentially the same thing as "Classic GNOME with Compiz" mode) is going to be around? People upthread give different answers.
Because that could be a long-term alternative for people who don't much like GNOME shell.
89 • Money and Congratulations (by Peter Besenbruch on 2011-05-31 23:03:02 GMT from United States)
Congratulations to Distrowatch in covering the Linux world for 10 years. Congratulations to the commenting community for ten years of bitching, moaning, and compliments. Having read through the 84 comments for this issue of the Weekly, I see things continue looking about the same, and it's a pretty healthy community.
I haven't used Linux as long as Distrowatch has been around. I got serious in 2003. That's roughly 8 years. It's long enough to see OpenOffice introduced, Mozilla to emerge from Netscape, and Firefox to go through a series of name changes.
I started with KDE3. It needed about 256 meg. of RAM to run. Windows 2000 needed a little less, while XP needed a little more. With the changeover to KDE 4, I read that 1 gig. has emerged as the new minimum. Granted, the requirements for Windows are even greater, but I could complain about all the bloat, if I wanted to.
Still, this is free software we're talking about, and I have choices. In the last year I have transitioned away from KDE3 to XFCE for desktops and LXDE for netbook sized screens. XFCE (particularly version 4.8) is a beautiful, stable, easy to configure desktop. It runs comfortably in 256 meg. of RAM. LXDE on Openbox makes the best use of a netbook's limited real-estate, and would run in 192 meg.
To drive the point home, my hardware requirements haven't changed in eight years.
My hardware has. I have gone from purchasing moderately high end machines, all with discrete graphics cards, to purchasing netbooks. Whether I want a desktop, or a laptop, I purchase netbooks. They can run on their own, or you can run them with the top closed and tethered to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. They save quite a bit on electricity, too.
Free software makes this possible.
90 • Gnome 3 (by forlin on 2011-06-01 00:19:43 GMT from Portugal)
I'm typing from a just installed Fedora Gnome 3. Its too early to express an opinion.There's a big number of basic and common actions that are done in a totally different way. Old users will need an adaptation period like anyone who decides to change to a different desktop. That's the reason for part of the critics, I'm sure.
I agree about developers making an effort to modernize, follow new trends and try to increase the usability of the graphic interface. In this case changes were radical. It doesn't mean that's bad, its only that they happened suddenly and I feel It would have been desirable a more efficient way to help users getting started.
I really hope that future releases from other distros will offer a much better support and help for the user adaptation.
91 • Enlightenment the ultimate desktop enviornment (by RollMeAway on 2011-06-01 01:02:32 GMT from United States)
I remain infatuated with e17. Many distros have not bothered to follow it recently.
Most notably is debian. testing or sid has a version about 2 yrs old! I do note that fedora 15 has started to include a minimal, 6 month old version. OpenSUSE nothing but e16, very outdated. Bodhi remains the one with the most current e17 available, but you have to build the system yourself. Unless you are already an e17 enthusiast, likely you will pass on it.
That leaves pclinux as the most likely candidate to introduce you to e17. Their magazine has been running e17 articles for some time, but recently released a compilation of all their e17 tutorials in one pdf file:
Pclinux release a full and a lite version live CD last December:
Personally the black and the white themes are strong negatives, but others are available. Updates are actively provided through the repos.
Do yourself a favor and devote some time to learning the capabilities of e17, the most configurable desktop you will find. It can be minimal like openbox or put kde4 to shame. Its all up to YOU!
92 • Congratulations and Linux past and present (by forlin on 2011-06-01 01:09:52 GMT from Portugal)
Congratulations for this 10th Distrowatch anniversary. It may have been a period of time that went by very quickly and was fascinating as it covered the arrival of Linux to the desktop, the strong will to succeed even that having to cope with powerful and not always fair player competitors, and the transformation of Linux from a nearly geek O/S to a product ready to be easily used by everybody. Although the desktop have constrains that limited the Linux expansion, the true potential coming from the evolution of its core can be seen now at a normal market, which is the case of Android in the smart mobile phones.
93 • E17 @ 91 (by forlin on 2011-06-01 02:20:21 GMT from Portugal)
I second the words from RollMeAway, regarding a call to the Linux users to give a try to the Enlightenment E17. Besides the extreme customization possibilities, its also very light in resources, more than lxde or xfce while even offering Compiz like desktop effects without the need of hardware 3d acceleration.
I tried both Bodhi and Pclinux and opted for Bodhi.
Being a minimalist distribution iso, after installation the user will only have a browser, a Cli, Synaptic, a Text processor and the NetworkManager. The reason is to avoid a Distro full featured with software that users will never want to use.
Why include OpenOffice or LibreOffice, if users may not want any, or will want just a different option than the offered one? On this regard, to make life easy to everybody, Bodhi has an app store for direct installation or off line installation of most software for the daily needs of every user. If adopted by all distros, this mesure would allow an important reduction on CO2 emissions.
94 • e17 (by RobertD on 2011-06-01 09:43:59 GMT from United States)
Petite Linux is a derivative of opensuse and features an up to date derivative spin of e17. See link http://sites.google.com/site/petitelinux/.
I agree that e17 is fun and as a bonus very light weight and extremely configurable. I tried it and its not bad.
95 • Bodhi Linux with Enlightenment are the perfect combination (by OldTimer on 2011-06-01 11:53:37 GMT from United States)
Been using computers since 1976 and have tried DOS, all Windows since Windows 1.0, Unix, Xenix, BeOS, GEM Desktop and Linux since 1998. With Linux, I've used CLI, KDE, Gnome, XFCE, LXDE, Unity and Gnome 3. Yesterday I tried Enlightenment and am now hooked. Bodhi w/ Enlightenment is a fantastic combination. Windows 7 users marveled at the simplicity and feature rich OS/Desktop. Spread the word - not only is Bodhi an excellent OS, Enlightenment is a superior Desktop GUI also.
96 • @93 (by Stan on 2011-06-01 12:57:00 GMT from United States)
Space taken up on a hard drive will not effect CO2 emissions in the slightest. Keep in mind that, unless a program is running, it takes no processing power whatsoever; the hard drive will be powered the same whether it's empty or nearly full. If you like minimalist distributions, good for you, but don't kid yourself that they are any better for the environment than the most maximalist distribution that exists (unless they start lots of server daemons, but we're talking about desktop distros here).
97 • @74 @75 @87 (by PM on 2011-06-01 13:55:50 GMT from United States)
The drive was definitely bad. Running the manufacturers diagnostic tools confirmed. The drive was so riddled with bad sectors that I had about 20 pages of error messages when imaging the drive for backup purposes. Fortunately no data lost, but that sucker is toast. Even after a low level format it failed manufacturers diagnostics after about 30 seconds of testing. I can't speak for the accuracy of gnome-disk-utility in all circumstances, but it was certainly accurate in this case. The most disturbing thing about the whole incident is that neither my Dell BIOS, which has SMART reporting enabled, nor Windows informed me of this problem sooner.
98 • Mepis 11 (by Eduardo Rosales on 2011-06-01 15:07:45 GMT from Chile)
after looking for over a year a distro with KDE that worked on my netbook (atom n450 250 Gb hdd) and following your advice Mepis is the best for me. Gnome works fine but I wanted to change.I'm a fan of Linux Mint, but in KDE, Mepis is better for me.
99 • MEPIS (by Glenn Condrey on 2011-06-01 15:12:23 GMT from United States)
57 • Mepis (by Lucky9 on 2011-05-30 23:03:34 GMT from United States)
Please! There isn't an installer anywhere that will install to a SWAP formatted partition. Not anywhere.
I'd suggest a visit to the Mepis community wiki for installation help. It's really quite straightforward.
I've been using and installing Linux since Xandris 2.0 was out.
In that time, I've used just about every major linux distro out there, from Gentoo,Red Hat, CentOS, Ubuntu,Kubuntu,Debian,Kanotix,Sidux,AptoSid,Mepis,Xandros,PCLinuxOS,Mint,Puppy,Damn Small Linux,Ark, to the current release of MEPIS 11.0.
I used the partitioner from the live cd...and I had two partitions set up, a swap file of 4096 mbs, and a ext4 sized partition of roughly 50 gigs.
Now had this been a Ubuntu installer or any other installer for that matter....linux would install in the 50 gig ext4 partition I had created.
I won't rehash the rest, because you already know how it went. Needless to say, Warren needs to work on the installer.
Not just the installer, because even though my wifi was detected...it took forever and a day to get my wireless to connect.
After installing Peppermint Linux over the MEPIS fiasco, my wireless was detected, and connected in under 20 seconds after entering my wifi password.
Don't get me wrong, I like MEPIS. I have used it in the past when my favorite distro ever Xandros killed itself off as a linux distro. I prefer Debian based Distros, and MEPIS has always been user friendly.
100 • The only CONSTANT is CHANGE (by RollMeAway on 2011-06-01 16:53:10 GMT from United States)
Nokia is dropping support for qt, the foundation of kde:
A fork just might be beneficial for kde?
101 • Bodhi @91, @93 (by fox on 2011-06-01 17:05:14 GMT from Canada)
Just some small modifications to two comments made about Bodhi. I wouldn't say that you have to build the system yourself. When you install Bodhi (or run it live), it is fully operational. However, it comes with few applications, so in that sense you will want to add to it. However, it couldn't be easier, as there is a menu option to add software that takes you to the Bodhi web page. There you can install most of the standard applications by clicking on the install box on the page.
The term "app store" gives the impression that you are buying these applications, and there are very few paid applications listed on the Bodhi web page. Again, most or all of the standard applications that you get with other distros are available from the Bodhi web page, and are free. As with Ubuntu, you can also install applications with Synaptic or apt (both come pre-installed). Bodhi is a very nice, well thought out and designed alternative to Ubuntu is you don't like Unity.
102 • Stan at 96 (by forlin on 2011-06-01 17:30:32 GMT from Portugal)
In this case the time the pc is on to make a 400MB transfer is higher than for a 700MB. Even that maintaining both pc powered on for the same amount of time, with the difference that one will be transferring the extra 300MB, and the other one idle, there will be energy needed at both sides for the extra 300MB transfer to happen. And then there's the extra time the pc will need to be powered on to delete the unneeded applications, as that will not be done at the same moment others are being installed. Also, uninstall/install in Linux is not only the application, but also the dependencies.
Not impressive? Maybe not very much but the carbon problem is not resolved with various single measures who will save million co2 tons. Its much more about million or billions of small individual saves.
103 • Qt toolkit (by Jesse on 2011-06-01 17:34:16 GMT from Canada)
@100: >> "Nokia is dropping support for qt, the foundation of kde:.. A fork just might be beneficial for kde?"
There really isn't anything remotely related to truth in the TechRadar article. They say, "But the truth is that Qt is deprecated, the project has stalled and its future is uncertain. It's an event long anticipated by the world of free software." But the truth is the Qt toolkit is still under heavy development. They're hard at work in Qt5 and are in no danger of being dragged down by a lack of support from Nokia. See their development blog over here: http://labs.qt.nokia.com/
And check out this site for information on the Qt and KDE relationship:
If Nokia drops Qt then the KDE Free Qt Foundation already has the right to continue development under the open source license of their choice.
104 • Ubuntu Software Manager (by dragonmouth on 2011-06-01 18:42:06 GMT from United States)
"You mean like clicking the big "Installed Software" link on the left side of the display? How hard is that?"
I just took a closer look at Software Center. My bad, it does display Installed Software. However, as for being easier for newbies to use than Synaptic, somehow I don't think so. Yes, it does have more eye-candy than Synaptic but that is about all it has.
Installing/uninstalling software using Software Center has to be done one package at a time, while Synaptic can do mass installs/uninstalls.
Software Center does not provide dependency warnings, while Synaptic does. Considering the way software is interrelated in Ubuntu-derived distros, a newbie can conceivably disable his system by uninstalling an innocuous looking package such as Fortune or Cowsay.
Software Center lists installed packages both in the Installed Packages category AND the Get Software category.
What kind of a software category is "Zeitgeist"???
No matter how you slice it, Synaptic has it all over Software Center in functionality, usability and safety.
105 • @29 (by dragonmouth on 2011-06-01 18:54:07 GMT from United States)
"You obviously haven't tried the latest MEPIS. It uses kde partition manager."
So it does. To tell you the truth I haven't noticed and I installed the latest Mepis just last week. :-) Whichever program I used did not differ so much from GParted that I notice the difference and it did the job.
106 • MEPIS (by dragonmouth on 2011-06-01 19:35:09 GMT from United States)
Nothing personal but even the most experienced make mistakes. I have been using MEPIS for 5-6 years, installing, uninstalling and re-installing. The only time I've had it install to the wrong partition was when I did not assign partition correctly or used option other than "Custom Partitioning". My usual setup is 3 primary partitions - /(root), /home and swap
107 • Software Centre (by Jesse on 2011-06-01 20:34:05 GMT from Canada)
>> "nstalling/uninstalling software using Software Center has to be done one package at a time, while Synaptic can do mass installs/uninstalls."
That's not entirely accurate. The Software Centre will immediately start installing new software and allow you to queue up additional actions. So, yes, it does perform one action at a time, but the user can queue as many actions as they want _while_ the Software Centre is working. Synaptic takes the opposite approach where the user sets up all actions in advance and then Synaptic locks itself down while it's performing the batch.
>> "a newbie can conceivably disable his system by uninstalling an innocuous looking package such as Fortune or Cowsay."
You mention this almost every week, but as I (and many others) have pointed out, it's entirely possible to remove those applications without harming the system. In fact I did it as a part of my last Mint review just to demonstrate it doesn't do any harm.
108 • @88 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-06-01 22:28:49 GMT from Canada)
Well, it sorta depends. I think the key thing to understand is that fallback mode exists to handle systems which cannot render the Shell; it does not exist to provide a more GNOME 2-y interface for people who don't like the Shell. So you can't rely on it to do the latter, either from a timeframe perspective or a functionality perspective (i.e. you can't expect that bits of GNOME 2-y functionality won't disappear from fallback mode).
So fallback mode's existence will be in danger at the point where Shell can be rendered on the vast majority of systems. There are two things that will probably change this equation.
The first is support for passthrough acceleration in virtualization systems - VirtualBox can already render the Shell in 3.0.8, there are plans for it to work via Spice in qemu/kvm/virt-manager stack, I'm not sure about VMWare.
The second is usable software rendering of the Shell: if that comes to pass, it obviously makes the fallback mode unnecessary almost at a stroke (the only roadblock then would be old systems without sufficient CPU horsepower to manage software rendering of the Shell at an acceptable performance level). This is a bit of a way out, but it looks like it may be technically feasible; an optimistic schedule would be F16 timeline, F17 may be more realistic. It's something a few X devs are working on.
109 • Lesson NOT learned (by RollMeAway on 2011-06-02 01:29:03 GMT from United States)
Gnome3 and Unity should have learned from ms and vista.
It is ridiculous to require a working 3D graphics card and more ram, just to access the same old 2d applications as before.
Ms stripped the requirements to eye candy and made it OPTIONAL. They stopped some services, dropping the ram requirements, and renamed the OS to win7.
The audience love it. Now the eye candy crowd can turn it on if they wish and the workers can get their jobs done.
How long before gnome3 and unity learn this lesson?
110 • @108: Thanks for the answer (by eco2geek on 2011-06-02 06:09:30 GMT from United States)
Your points are well-taken. (In other words, don't get too attached to it! :-)
As an aside, as far as compositing on old systems goes, the push for FOSS alternatives to proprietary drivers is a very good thing. For example, I've a mid-2000's era laptop with an ATI graphics chipset no longer supported by ATI's current proprietary driver, but the FOSS radeon driver enables 3D support. It's not as fast as the proprietary driver was, but it's a heck of a lot better than having no 3D.
In the same vein, I've got an old computer with an NVIDIA 5200FX card in an AGP slot. NVIDIA's proprietary driver still supports it, but that could end at any time. Both Fedora 15 and Ubuntu 11.04 use nouveau + Gallium3D drivers that support the card (although with Ubuntu, it's not enabled by default, the way it is in F15).
Point being that FOSS alternatives to proprietary drivers will continue to allow 3D acceleration on older hardware. (Which may also hasten the demise of "fallback mode".)
111 • e17 (by RobertD on 2011-06-02 09:41:26 GMT from United States)
I mentioned that I too enjoyed e17 and its myriad configurations.
In my opinion Slacke17 does a great job of bundling it up nice and neat for us Slackware users.
It's up to date as of Slackware 13.1 but I assume 13.37 version is just around the corner.
112 • @109 (by Patrick on 2011-06-02 15:23:36 GMT from United States)
As mentioned before, both Gnome 3 and Unity provide fallback modes for those systems that don't do 3D. As such, it is OPTIONAL.
Gnome 3 and Unity need less RAM with all their bells and whistles on than Win 7 uses in fallback mode. Saying those projects should learn something from MS is ridiculous.
I'm all in favor of using the right tool for the job. When the job is to put pixels on a screen, a GPU is a much better tool than a CPU. A GPU is made for the purpose; a CPU can do it, but much less efficiently. So why in the world would it make any sense to NOT use the GPU that would be just sitting there doing nothing in the majority of systems, but instead put extra load on the CPU to do things it is not very good at?
113 • Unity, Gnome 3 and all that ... (by Coffee on 2011-06-02 15:54:42 GMT from France)
I find myself ever more at odds with some of the celebrated "achievements" of the IT world (only wide-screen displays ... how stupid is that?) and in particular with many of the strange and annoying concepts in the Gnome 3 and Unity desktops. Some of the abominable new "features" can be got rid of, others are here to stay. No choice.
A few weeks ago I installed Ubuntu 10.04 on a friend's 7 year old notebook. It took me almost the whole day to revert that PC to what I (and everybody I know) consider to be "normal" ... the file manager displaying a detailed list view including owners and permissions instead of dumb icons, a tree view in the left pane, a clear text path instead of "breadcrumbs" in the location bar ... "open terminal here" and Nautilus actions installed ... no irritating OSD notifications ... sane menu and panel configurations with the menu icons restored ... a firewall installed, configured and enabled ... outgoing echo replies disabled ... a hosts file installed ... flash cookies blocked ... Mono and all dependent apps de-installed and replaced ... Evolution de-installed and replaced with a simple mail client ... etc. etc. etc.. Since I have done this before numerous times I have an ever growing list of all in all 40+ installations/de-installations, configurations, edits etc., practically all of which are functional in nature. Only very few have to do with the look & feel of the desktop.
But I'm wondering for how much longer I will be able to carry on with this? Seeing that the most recent incarnations of these desktops no longer allow to revert ill-conceived and stupid defaults I'm not optimistic. In my opinion Gnome 3 and Unity are dumbed-down desktops for the masses of icon-clickers, thumbnail-marvellers and gizmo admirers who simply can't have enough bells & whistles, preferably of the animated 3d variety. Apparently, these desktops now even require a powerful GPU to function properly. Where does all this leave those of us who prefer things simple, functional and visibly attractive?
I have never thought of myself as being conservative. In the past I was often enthusiastic about technological developments and new concepts ... if (and only if) they made sense. Gnome 3 and Unity don't make any sense at all to me. The debate in recent weeks also highlights another aspect that I find even more troubling: the success or failure of these desktops seems to depend not so much on whether they represent genuine progress but whether people are prepared to just "take it" without asking too many questions ... which of course would require the kind of conformism and fanboyism that has become so dominant in our culture. I suspect that ultimately large numbers of people will adopt the new desktops for such reasons. The future no longer looks bright. It looks dumb.
114 • Gnome 3, Unity, etc (by fernbap on 2011-06-02 17:23:51 GMT from Portugal)
The problem is, as usual, drivers. Anyone in the linux world knows that you can't have 3D acceleration if your computer is too old or too new, due to the lack of apropriate drivers.
A "State of the art" desktop environment, directed to those that worship eyecandy, will NOT work on brand new computers, for the lack of apropriate drivers.
That in itself is a completely failed concept. Just stupid, imho.
115 • @112 (by RollMeAway on 2011-06-02 19:18:21 GMT from United States)
The "extra load" is the whole point.
Nobody NEEDS a window to be redrawn 60 times/sec while it opens or closes.
Don't waste my time or resources for silly things!
I ask again why should 3D effects be REQUIRED to access 2D apps?
The fallback modes appear to be crippled after thoughts, and many believe they will be dropped.
116 • Mint 11 release may not be ready for prime time: Beta strengh so far... (by Jeffersonian on 2011-06-02 23:21:19 GMT from United States)
Mint 10 was (still is) my favorite Linux Distro... excepted for software development where no one seems to beat Fedora... yet (not tried Gentoo).
Mint 11, is so far buggy, and will need some time to be as usable as Mint 10.
It has several wrinkles and also a few bad choices in my view,
The bad choice(s):
* the install software forces the reinstall of a new boot-loader, like it or not, when this should be optional.
* The install software omit the open driver and firmware for the Broadcom BC4xxx chip, so if you have only a HP Pavillon notebook, no Wi-FI ! Fortunately I have an Atheros based USB dongle which worked. It is a TP-LINK TL-WN821N
* Still no optional choice for GRUB 1 instead of Grub 2, so if you have a multi boot with Fedora, tough luck.
The annoying bugs:
* needed to delete manually some files in the /var/... tree to be able to update using apt-get update to work: a certain deterrent for non geek users (windows). This should be easy to fix!
* Compiz, when enabled with open GL, blocks moving any window in the system... only choice is a reboot.
* Cannot use a package backup file of installed packages done with Mint 10 to restore packages: has to be done manually:long tedious process.
* Annoying errors messages at boot time: one related to the USB hub (cannot enumerate), another one quite mysterious.
* Still cannot install packages from the DVD (just does not work).
Conclusion: for a solid version of the excellent Mint Linux, we may have to wait until 11.1 is released. This one should be at best labeled "RC".
Mea-culpa: I should have tested the RC, and report the problems... I did not, why should I complain?
Wish: if Mint's Clem Lefebvre, could port its clean Gnome interface to make a Fedora spin, it could complement the great work of the Fedora/Red-Hat guys, and that would be good. This may already be in the pipe?
So far Gnome is superior in my view to KDE which is too bloated, but that could change.
117 • gnome3 and unity (by forlin on 2011-06-03 00:18:53 GMT from Portugal)
At the end of the day those who don't like gnome3 or unity, still have a tremendous advantage compared to other Os's users, which is choice. If we think that gnome 2 is not that different from kde, the later may be a replacement to the former, as it happened in a recent past, on the opposite direction. In a way, there's more desktop environment choice today than 3 months ago. We've got to consider the versatility of linux too, benefiting from the open source freedom. In the limit and in the absence of alternatives, large group of people with common requirements and some expertise may get together and build up whatever best suits them. That's what windows or mac users can't ever do, when feeling disappointed if next release is a flop.
118 • @68 (by Craig on 2011-06-03 00:51:27 GMT from United States)
"What happened to applets? ... Any existing applets that have been adapted to use the new libpanel-applet will be available in fallback mode. However, fallback is not considered the default mode of operation and will not be actively developed in the future. ..."
Gnome panel will be supported throughout the life of Gnome 3. Re-read the link I posted in 66 as well as the comments by the Gnome developer. There is too much fud about this. Gnome panel is a part of Gnome. Fedora's not going to separate and then get rid of Gnome 3 fallback so long as it's being supported upstream. It would be foolish to do so.
119 • Gnome 3 (by Rick on 2011-06-03 02:20:56 GMT from Canada)
I decided to try F15 to see what is all the fuss about Gnome3. I booted the live version off usb stick on my Lenovo t510 laptop. Everything works out of the box, including wifi. It feels quite snappy. Only Firefox is realy slow to find and load websites.
But it is not very mouse friendly.OS, all that clicking on 'Activities' to do anything... It's for tabled, not laptop.
Still, not bad for first release. I bet v3.4.0 will be much better. ;-))
Now back to Mint10
120 • @88 - Reply to question (by dialup on 2011-06-03 02:51:21 GMT from United States)
It's a Gigabyte Intel 945 mobo. I will give it a try when the CD arrives, but thought it was very unlikely to display the Gnome shell.
121 • @118 - Fud? (by dialup on 2011-06-03 04:28:14 GMT from United States)
The quote I posted was not my opinion; it's from the official Fedora 15 Release Notes at fedoraproject.org.
122 • Ubuntu 11.10 (by rastercaster1 on 2011-06-03 10:45:33 GMT from United States)
Downloaded and installed perfectly. Installed Chromium and some gtk3 themes and getting ready to play. Not bad for an alpha 1 release, so far.
123 • MEPIS (by eric on 2011-06-03 18:48:08 GMT from United States)
I got stuck in another one of my 'distro slumps' that seem to affect me from time to time. I was no longer happier with my Debian setup and was tired of configuring openbox. I felt it was time for a break-- time for a new distro to do some of the work for me.
I read the MEPIS review and installed it today. Wow! Very responsive KDE, attractive look & feel, and wonderful GUI configuration tools. MEPIS is indeed a hidden gem in the Linux world.
My only complaint-- wireless doesn't appear to be working. Nothing some troubleshooting can't take care of, I'm sure.
124 • Ubuntu 11.10 Update (by rastercaster1 on 2011-06-03 19:33:24 GMT from United States)
After installing 65 small updates this morning everything is functioning well. It seems a lot faster than Natty or Maverick also. Btw, under "additional hardware available", install the "experimental 3D Nvidia driver", Unity 3D kicks in fine after that, at least on my HP laptop.
125 • Tracking Wayland (by Robert Thompson on 2011-06-03 23:53:46 GMT from United States)
Since the list of packages tracked by DistroWatch is normally reviewed each June, please add the Wayland display server. A lack of proprietary driver support is admittedly a major obstacle for implementation of Wayland, but I'd like to see DistroWatch be proactive in tracking implementation.
126 • zenix 2 - some merit (by gnomic on 2011-06-04 10:36:29 GMT from New Zealand)
Live from the zenix 2 desktop which I am finding kinda copacetic. Just don't expect any wifi firmware, but I can confirm wifi works ootb with an Atheros AR2413, in this case a PC card inserted in this ThinkPad. Includes VLC but I see no dvdcss. Flash 10.3 r181 is present for those who like that kind of thing. Haven't seen any crashiness so far, perhaps wicd may be prone to disconnect in the absence of network activity. Could be one for Openbox fans or those who admire the Buddha. Not usually a fan of the black with added black interface thing but this is quite well done.
127 • Re: zenix 2 (by rastercaster1 on 2011-06-04 12:08:08 GMT from United States)
Except that you can`t access the repos to change them if you wanted to.
128 • I gave up on Debian Squeeze (by imnotrich on 2011-06-04 18:35:22 GMT from Mexico)
Several weeks now fighting with Debian on my laptop (as well as my desktop although not as much).
You'd think video, parallel ports, usb, sound, microphones and wireless would be considered basic functionality by developers, I mean these features have been around for a while...but no.
So I erased Squeeze from my laptop and for the last two days I have been distro hopping on that 5 year old laptop hoping to find a distro that supported my hardware. Fedora 14, no. Mint 10, no. Mint 11, no. Mint Debian, no. Open SUSE 11.4, no. And finally, Ubuntu 11.04. Sadly, I had to tweak some settings to get Ubuntu to partially work with my video card. I can't find an ATI driver for linux anywhere on the web, and there is no support for my wireless card even with the appropriate driver installed from the card's manufacturer.
I guess nobody in the Linux world is familiar with Intel Celerons, ATI video cards and Realtek wireless? We're not talking about obscure hardware, this is mainstream stuff that has been around for a while! In fact complaints about Ubuntu's lack of support for my wireless card in the forums started around 2006 and continue to this day, and I find that inexcusable.
I'm keeping Debian on my desktop for now, but if the packages from the MAIN repos I need to use (that worked just fine with Lenny but fail to work with Squeeze) don't get fixed soon, I may have to abandon Debian altogether and that would be sad. I've had Debian on one or more computer now since 1995.
129 • @128 (by Stan on 2011-06-04 19:07:59 GMT from United States)
Have you really used Debian that long, yet don't know about its wiki? If for some reason the open-source drivers don't work for your ATi card, just enable the non-free repository and install your kernel headers, fglrx-driver, and fglrx-contol, as described here: http://wiki.debian.org/ATIProprietary
Sound should work just fine, but I find that Squeeze is muted by default on my sound card for some strange reason (probably really is a bug); adjust the ALSA sliders enough and you should be able to get it to work just fine.
Wireless has always been a sore spot for Linux, and is the most likely to actually be a problem. If for some reason your particular wireless card isn't supported under Linux, I'd recommend getting a wireless PCMCIA card or USB adapter with an Atheros chipset; I've had luck with those for years.
As for problems with USB and parallel ports? Those things are so standard, and work the same way between all distributions, that all I can say is that it almost certainly is a case of PEBKAC.
130 • @128 (by fernbap on 2011-06-04 20:02:31 GMT from Portugal)
With Mint, all you have to do is connect through a wire, (you know, that cable that came up with your router?), Mint will search for your drivers, install them for you and set your wireless connection. Then, you can disconnect your wired connection, everything will be working.
You must understand that your computer can't get the right drivers if it isn't connected to the internet...
As to Squreeze, the only extra step you need is enabling the non-free repository.
Simple, isn't it?
131 • #129 (by imnotrich on 2011-06-04 20:23:13 GMT from Mexico)
I've been all over Debian's documentation, and google too - apparently your experience with Squeeze is limited (or maybe you haven't been following my debian squeeze slug bug series on distrowatch that I began after someone suggested that Squeeze was perfect, no issues, phenomenal hardware support and implying it was operator error if someone had difficulty with Squeeze).
Part of the problem is that Squeeze removed all non-free firmware from the kernel, substituting mostly half baked free stuff that is not up to the task...then during the squeeze install it doesn't tell you there's missing firmware (like it's supposed to) because it thinks the "free" stuff is good enough. It's not, IMHO.
So for practically every device you have to track down what's wrong and try to fix it or if the CORRECT driver/firmware is available somewhere, track THAT down and try to install it without borking the rest of your OS. "JUST WORKS" is a myth.
As previously mentioned by me (and in numerous bug reports) the Squeeze gnome-alsa mixer does not work properly when you are trying to adjust input levels or devices nor does running ALSAMIXER from a terminal. The only way I could get squeeze to recognize my 3.5" plug in headset/mic was by installing audacity. I then set audacity's input for the front mic and poof! My mic was recognized by Squeeze and Skype, but in my case there was so much hiss in the mic that I decided to replace it with a usb mic). Again, even though lsusb showed the mic was there - none of the usual tools to adjust volume would work. Audacity to the rescue! It actually recognized there was a mic/headset present, and after that I was able to use the headset throughout Squeeze and Skype too. Bug! Wasn't the original version of Skype written for Linux? VOIP and microphones, even usb mics are not a new feature. They should work out of the box and anything less is inexcusable.
Regarding Squeeze video on my laptop, I was able to edit the boot commands (turning off a bunch of "features" which were preventing video from working. I never got around to fussing with the ati driver, because of other issues - like pathetic wireless support. But I do know how easy it is to get proprietary NVIDIA video drivers for Squeeze - one of the things the developers did right, so I imagine the ATI drivers are similarly easy.
With Ubuntu you can edit commands at boot time...like you can with Squeeze, but Ubuntu won't save them and there's no easy way to update grub2, so you have to retype them every time you boot. A huge pain. It was Ubuntu that doesn't support my ati card and doesn't have drivers causing me to fallback to gnome instead of unity (an improvement if you ask me, though one day it would be nice to play with unity and see what all the h&d is about). Bug!
Getting to wireless, Puppy Linux since the 4's has supported the wireless card and the high level of encryption I use with this laptop. But the best Debian could do was 33k-120k downloads on a wireless g connection (sitting on the same sofa where windows7 gets 4 to 6 mbs, the limit of my isp) and Ubuntu doesn't work with the card at all. Checking back through Ubuntu forums this is not a new problem going back to the mid 2000's - even people trying to use ndiswrapper have major difficulties. Big Bug!
In Debian Squeeze, wicd crashes out - refuses to run (which is the same problem many other programs do in Squeeze). At least Ubuntu's wicd runs and claims to be scanning, but not 3 feet from the router claims there are no wireless networks found. Bug!
Another cool thing about Ubuntu - k3b actually runs! Squeeze, k3b crashes out shortly after opening with a "segmentation fault" error. Bug!
There's something about Squeeze that broke wine. Many of the windows programs that happily ran in Lenny with the same version of wine now refuse to install and/or operate properly. Upgrading to the "unstable" versions of wine does not help. Even the trial version of crossover, probably the most up to date version of wine didn't make much of a difference and installing play on linux didn't help either. Bug!
Other Squeeze issues - "update manager" is broken. You have to manually ask it to check for updates. It does, but won't display them. You then have to manually ask it to show updates. For me it's almost easier to use the synaptic gui in terms of mouse clicks and delay. Bug!
The "edit menus" function is also broken in Squeeze. Sometimes it works, most of the time it doesn't, plus installs (using wine, synaptic, gdebi or command line) do not create icons. You have to manually create launchers for those programs. If you want that icon on your desktop, easy. But trying to add one to the menu? Good luck. Bug!
File associations - Let's say you want to open files with a particular extension using a certain program. Using Gnome/nautalus and the right click stuff doesn't work. Manually editing the conf file doesn't help either. Solution? Install PCManFM and use that for setting default applications. Another bug.
Chess programs - Crafty (a chess playing engine) comes with an opening book in the repos. Something between Lenny and Squeeze changed, because now Crafty can't see it's opening book-a crucial feature if you want to train vs the computer. Scid, the version with Squeeze is too buggy so I removed it and installed the previous Lenny version (which works perfectly) but required some tweaks to get Crafty to see and use it's opening book. Unfortunately, I have not been able to modify Crafty in standalone mode to use it's openings database.
Parallel ports? A fully functional usb parallel port drive with a disk loaded and plugged into my desktop is not recognized by Squeeze or jazip. Why? It should at least be seen by the OS, maybe even automount, as usb hard drives do (in fact, usb zip drives automount just fine-so the capability is there). BUG! I didn't have time to experiment with a parallel port printer but chances are Squeeze would ignore that device as well.
USB? My logitech webcam was not recognized by Skype, but I could use the cam with Cheese. Solved by starting Skype with a script using an older uvc driver. Apparently the new uvc driver included with Squeeze was buggy or something. In the meantime Skype issued a new Linux version and after upgrading Skype the webcam works fine without the script - I can even hotplug it now after Skype is already running!
There are many other annoyances with Squeeze--too numerous to mention really. I will keep Squeeze on my desktop for now, but
Interestingly, I'm not the only person to experience these issues with Squeeze and there are bug reports galore that echo many of my complaints - so your suggestion that this is PEBKAC is a tad offensive. Get a little more info maybe before pointing fingers please!
132 • #130 (by imnotrich on 2011-06-04 20:35:32 GMT from Mexico)
Mint? Mint is a joke. Three different versions wouldn't even boot on my laptop, various kernel panics and/or lack of support for my ATI video card (and yes, there was nothing wrong with the iso's - last year I tried to install Mint on two different desktops and had the same problem - no support for the Intel and NVIDIA cards in those machines, not even tweaking the boot settings could get it to boot. You gotta be able to boot before you can connect to the internet, unless I am missing something. It's also helpful if the user can SEE what is going on (or - are most Mint users telepathic, and that's why the developers have neglected video?)
Squeeze main, contrib non-free repos do not help - been there, done that. That's why Squeeze got erased from my laptop. If your hardware is not supported you are out of luck. That and the packages that are in the repos haven't been adequately tested and are known to work, which leads me to ask WHY THE HECK DO YOU PUT THEM IN THE REPOS??? That stuff especially doesn't belong in the main repos.
Attention: Developers: Don't release junk. Would seem to be a no-brainer. Devoted users will wait, even if your next release is late. Stability and functionality should always be more important than some silly calendar.
133 • Debian alternatives? (by Anonymous Coward on 2011-06-04 21:20:20 GMT from Spain)
Part of the problem is that Squeeze removed all non-free firmware from the kernel.
I always compile my own kernels, because then you can ensure they allways have the needed features and nothing else. The free kernel is a matter of ideology, not of technical reasons. I guess developers put all that "half backed stuff" because having badly supported drivers is better that including no drivers at all, and non-free ones were not an option. However, I agree with you: Including known defective software is unacceptable.
So I erased Squeeze from my laptop and for the last two days I have been distro hopping [...]And finally, Ubuntu 11.04.
I must confess I have been considering uninstalling Debian and placing Slackware as my new main distribution. Squeeze has been a disaster, because they rushed the freeze without proper pre-freeze testing. Many minor bugs were known in Testing but passed into Stable because Squeeze was frozen and changes to the repositories were limited to critical bugfixes. If they had waited another 12 months before freezing, most of this minor bugs would have squashed properly.
Don't feel so happy with *buntu, eihter. My first experience with it was a buggy libparted decapitating my /boot partition in a fully dm-crytp environment. No good for a GNU/Linux newcomer as I was.
There are not much stable-proven distros out there. Debian was until Squeeze. Now is still good (except the 1500 files aphocalipse, I have not suffered more troubles), but is quality regression is disappointing. Of the distros I have tried, the only serious sustitute for Debian is Slackware, which is very solid. Sure, it is not 100% free (which I liked of Debian), and needs a *LOT* of tweaking, but it hasn't destroyed my files/filesystems yet. In addition, its LILO bootloader is better (for me) than Debian's default GRUB2. (Does anyone think GRUB2 is an improvenment from GRUB-legacy?)
I read some time ago about a guy switching to FreeBSD because GNU/Linux was becoming a beta-apps playground. I am starting to think he was damn right. If you cannot thrust Debian, who the hell are you going to thrust!?
134 • Don't take me wrong (by Anonymous Coward on 2011-06-04 21:36:02 GMT from Spain)
Don't take me wrong. I love free kernels. I USE free kernels. But I understand that, if the difference between a free and a non-free kernel is a unworking or a working device, you have no option. Unless you sell the device and buy a better supported one, which is, well, something very few would do.
135 • @132 (by fernbap on 2011-06-04 22:30:49 GMT from Portugal)
"Mint? Mint is a joke. Three different versions wouldn't even boot on my laptop, various kernel panics and/or lack of support for my ATI video card"
So, now it is ati video cards? Funny, i have one in my machine, which is running both Mint, LMDE and Squeeze, and guess what? they all work. And yes, all the live CDs booted.
136 • #132, 128 and so on and on (by gnomic on 2011-06-05 00:08:44 GMT from New Zealand)
The continuing campaign to point out the utter uselessness and lack of fitness for purpose of Debian Squeeze was vaguely interesting at first; it now is in danger of becoming a bore. There must be Debian forums and bug reports for this sort of thing?
As to Mint being a joke, it seems to be a joke a lot of people like.
'Three different versions wouldn't even boot on my laptop, various kernel panics and/or lack of support for my ATI video card (and yes, there was nothing wrong with the iso's - last year I tried to install Mint on two different desktops and had the same problem - no support for the Intel and NVIDIA cards in those machines, not even tweaking the boot settings could get it to boot.'
These problems were not seen here on various machines. Over the last couple of years during the great kernel modesetting saga I expect anybody who uses Linux extensively has experienced problems around starting X Window at times. In most cases I found such problems were resolved by using various parameters at boot. Is this really a failing of Mint, or perhaps a combination of bleeding edge kernel development and somewhat experimental drivers? There has also been the move to abandon the use of xorg.conf. Maybe this is a case of the poor workman blaming his tools.
137 • Debian hopes (by Joker's Wild on 2011-06-05 01:35:11 GMT from Canada)
I hope Debian does something like FreeBSD. That is, split kernel/system from userland. Right now I think their releases are just too big in the sense that it's extremely challenging to get 30,000 packages ready. I think most people would be happier with a rolling release or more dynamic release strategy for userland apps and a more conservative strategy for the kernel/system.
At the very least they may have to come up with something to facilitate the fast paced world of web browser releases. I mean cripes, Chromium is at version 6 on testing with dozens of bug reports, but upstream its at something like version 12. If they could keep up with the upstream development, a lot of those bugs would become non-issues! That's an example of extremely conservative develpment/testing process shooting you in the foot.
138 • Perceived needs swim around in dev's heads (by Joker's Wild on 2011-06-05 02:08:18 GMT from Canada)
What are these perceived needs to develop a different desktop paradigm like gnome 3? Are people so ADHD these days that they think they need a "fresh new look"™ to keep everyone happy and loyal to their cause. Really, there is only so much you an do with a keyboard, mouse and monitor. Other than the cool effects, the same thing is accomplished…a window is opened on the screen.
What they should really be doing is nothing. Then users would get bored enough that they turn off their computers and go outside and get some fresh air and get a life.
139 • Bug reporting--Rolling (by Anonymous Coward on 2011-06-05 07:21:03 GMT from Spain)
There must be Debian forums and bug reports for this sort of thing?
Debian keeps a huge bug tracking system. The structure is, indeed, powerful and well designed. However, it has proven not as effective as it used to be, not because of the bug tracker, but because of its use.
I think 75% of my bug reports get no response. Many times, you are likely to be told that the bug is fixed upstream, and you are supposed to wait for a targeted fix for Stable. A targeted fix that never arrives.
Joker's Wild wrote:
I hope Debian does something like FreeBSD. That is, split kernel/system from userland. Right now I think their releases are just too big in the sense that it's extremely challenging to get 30,000 packages ready. I think most people would be happier with a rolling release or more dynamic release strategy for userland apps and a more conservative strategy for the kernel/system.
The "split" option would surely make administration easier for people importing unofficial software into Debian. For the ones that use only official repositories, there would be not much difference.
And yes, they have to keep a lot of packages. But there are a lot of developers for the task. If they think they can't handle such amount of software, they should start dropping support for less used applications. Not a nice thing, but when your resources are not enough, you have to choose between mantaining a smaller yet solid distribution or a bigger and not-so-solid one.
The Rolling Thing is something many people is talking about lately. Who use(d) Debian Stable use(d) it because they want(ed) to have a system which is consistent throuhout the time. Updating twice per week is dangerous for the system and provides not much real advantages. The Testing crowd is interested in things as Debian CUT (testing made rolling, more or less), but just because they are searching for a TESTING thing. Those of us who don't care if our Vlc is 1.0.3 instead of 1.0.4 prefer having a lasting Vlc 1.0.3 if it is proven to work. Remember: newer versions do not always bring improvenments.
140 • Bug tracker Debian vs FreeBSD (by Jesse on 2011-06-05 16:30:17 GMT from Canada)
>> "I think 75% of my bug reports get no response. Many times, you are likely to be told that the bug is fixed upstream, and you are supposed to wait for a targeted fix for Stable. A targeted fix that never arrives."
Same here and the problem only grows when you also factor in all the projects based on Debian (and, by extension, Ubuntu). I often see bugs reported against Ubuntu that were fixed months ago upstream, but Ubuntu is waiting for Debian to update the package in Sid. Sadly Debian doesn't seem to have the resources to keep up with 29,000 packages.
FreeBSD also has limited people power, but I think they have a nice way of encouraging outside volunteers. Anyone can (re)package and submit software to the FreeBSD Ports collection and the developers just need to look over and commit the submissions. This spreads the work out a bit. Debian doesn't really encourage casual involvement or working on other people's packages.
141 • Mint 11 release may not be ready for prime time: -- MORE -- (by Jeffersonian on 2011-06-05 19:02:40 GMT from United States)
with some manual Mint 11 x64 can work...
It seems that most of the problems that I encountered were due to the fact that I installed it over a "btrfs" partition, and this seems to be one corner which needs more work.
Also a simple downgrade to the previous version of Compiz resolved "The Compiz Bug", a simple meta-package to update could resolve this issue until this bug is fixed: this is documented "on the net". (http://www.webupd8.org/2010/11/install-compiz-0921-in-ubuntu-1010.html).
For all the fuzz stating that Mint just does not work, I would say that if your complaints are in good faith it is quite possible that your hardware has some issues.
It is a good idea to validate your hardware by Starting to run the live CD/DVD before you install MInt on your hard drive.
I still reiterate that not giving the user the option to NOT install a new boot loader is quite bad, because it can quite well clobber a stable multi-boot system. This should be changed... back to the "statu-quo ante".
Actually any deletion of existing system files at install time should ask the installer to prevent deleting needed stuff, especially in /boot, and the boot sector.
I would also suggest that in the default install it is a pretty bad idea to not have a separate partition for /boot and /home, this should be the default, with a well proven file system too (probably ext4).
Still hoping that a Mint 11.1 CD/DVD is released in some time to fix theses annoying wrinkles, along with the appropriate system upgrade.
Number of Comments: 141
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