| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 429, 31 October 2011
Welcome to this year's 44th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! As Linux Mint prepares to overtake Ubuntu as the number one distribution in our Page Hit Ranking statistics, there is no doubt that the developers of this user-friendly operating system have attracted large following by making the right decision where it counted. This week's feature story is a look at the project's "other" edition, the Debian-based rolling-release variant that is designed for the more knowledgeable Linux user. Is it as good as the Ubuntu-based Mint? Read on to find out. In the news section, Slashdot readers discuss the advantages of CentOS over Red Hat Enterprise Linux, while the company behind the latter issues a joint whitepaper with Canonical on the implications of Microsoft's "Secure Boot" requirement. Also in the same section, on the eve of the OpenBSD 5.0 release the project's developers gather in Ljubljana, Slovenia for the annual "hackathon"; read below for a link to an interview with Theo de Raadt. Finally, don't miss the Questions and Answers section which offers a fresh perspective on the controversial issue of software patents. Happy reading!
- Reviews: Debian, with a hint of Mint
- News: Interview with OpenBSD's Theo de Raadt, CentOS versus Red Hat, Canonical's position of "Secure Boot"
- Questions and answers: Software patents
- Released last week: Puppy Linux 5.3 "Slacko", Linux From Scratch 7.0
- Upcoming releases: OpenBSD 5.0
- New additions: Bio-Linux
- New distributions: Burhani Linux, Cinux, DeLi(cate), Pacman Linux, Phinx Desktop, RRAbuntu, Sage Live CD, Tizen, Ubuntu GNOME Shell Remix
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (20MB) and MP3 (28MB) formats
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Debian, with a hint of Mint|
In September the Linux Mint team released a much anticipated update to the Debian-based branch of their project. Linux Mint "Debian" is a rolling-release edition of Linux Mint which uses Debian's "Testing" repository for its base. The goal of this branch is to provide users with the same Mint tools and the same feel as the Ubuntu-based editions of Mint, but with Debian's performance and a regular flow of updates. At this time Linux Mint "Debian" discs come with either the Xfce or the GNOME desktop and are available in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavours. I opted to try the 32-bit GNOME DVD.
Before getting into the install it's a good idea to read the release notes. One thing which stands out is the 32-bit version of Linux Mint "Debian" uses a kernel compiled to work with i486 machines. This i486-compatible kernel will not handle multiple cores or multiple CPUs. For this reason the Linux Mint developers recommend that people running modern hardware install the i686-PAE kernel package after installation.
After downloading the 1.1 GB ISO image file and burning it to a DVD I popped in the disc and got down to business. The installation disc boots into a live GNOME 2 desktop environment. The wallpaper shows the project's name with a little Debian symbol on a silver background. The application menu, task switcher and system tray all sit at the bottom of the screen. On the desktop we find icons for navigating the file system and an icon for launching the installer. Linux Mint "Debian" uses a custom graphical installer which is, for the most part, quite easy to navigate. We pick our preferred language, select our time zone and provide our keyboard layout. A word of warning here, the installer didn't properly detect my keyboard so it may not be safe to take the default option. Partitioning of the hard disk is handled by GParted and it is a fairly smooth process. Once GParted is finished we need to assign mount points. This is done by right-clicking on partitions displayed in the installer's window. Next we create a user account and, optionally, select where to install the bootloader. Though perhaps not as polished as the installer found in Mint's Main edition, the Mint "Debian" installer completed its job without any problems.
The Linux Mint team says they want Linux Mint "Debian" to work and feel similar to the Ubuntu-based Linux Mint editions and my first impression of the distribution is that they have succeeded. The environment looks the same (aside from the Debian logo), the Mint menu is present and all of the Mint tools for performing backups, updating packages and configuring the system are available. We find the same applications in the menu (more on that in a moment) and Linux Mint "Debian" comes with a full range of multimedia codecs and useful programs so people can get straight to using their computer. A bug I ran into early on was that whenever I logged in my keyboard would be set to a French layout. I was able to change this in the configuration settings to the desired US layout, but at each login the keyboard would revert back to its French mapping. C'est la vie.
Linux Mint "Debian" - browsing the web and changing settings
(full image size: 272kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Shortly after installing Linux Mint a notification icon appeared in the system tray letting me know that updates were available. At install time, five weeks after Linux Mint "Debian" was released, there were 420 updates available. This gives the potential user an idea of the pace involved when maintaining a rolling release. I kicked off the update process and, about halfway through, the updater came to a halt saying it had run into an error and had to stop. At this point I refreshed my package list and kicked off the update process again at which time the operating system crashed. Obviously we weren't off to a great start. I rebooted, found and unselected the conflicting package and re-ran the update process, which completed cleanly. Once I had updated to the latest update pack the conflict went away.
This seems like a good time to talk a bit about update packs. The Linux Mint team realizes that running an operating system on a rolling-release model can cause stability problems. For this reason the team has a sort of buffer in place between Debian's Testing repository and the Mint users. This buffer allows testers to find and resolve issues before updates get passed along to the end users. To help users cope with the flow of updates the mintUpdate tool features a new button labeled "Update pack info". This button lets the user know which update pack they are using, which is the latest pack available and it provides release notes for each pack. This way the developers can inform users about known issues before upgrades are performed. The update utility has the ability detect problems with the current APT configuration and suggest fixes. The user must carry out these suggested changes manually.
Aside from the update application Linux Mint comes with two package managers. On the application menu we find entries labeled "Package Manager" and "Software Manager". Clicking the former entry opens Synaptic, the venerable package management utility typically found in Debian-based distributions. Synaptic is reliable and allows the user to fine-tune their package selection. Most users, at least most casual users, will probably want to make use of the more modern Software Manager. The Software Manager is Linux Mint's custom package manager and it bears a resemblance to Ubuntu's Software Centre. The Software Manager displays software categories and the applications in those categories with a combination of labels and icons. Selecting an application for installation or removal causes the action to be added to a queue which is processed in the background while the user continues to browse the available software. I found the Software Manager to be responsive and easy to use, it provides detailed feedback and I encountered no problems.
Linux Mint "Debian" - managing software and backups
(full image size: 243kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
The distribution packs a good collection of useful software onto the DVD. We're presented with Firefox, the Thunderbird e-mail client, Pidgin for instant messaging, the Transmission BitTorrent client and a graphical PPP dialer. LibreOffice is included along with the Banshee music player, a disc burner, MPlayer, the VLC multimedia player and the Totem movie player. The GIMP is in the application menu along with the easy-to-use mintBackup program. There are graphical applications for handling the firewall, system services and user accounts. There's a domain blocker to filter websites and an upload manager. The GNOME 2.x configuration tools are included to alter the look & feel of the interface and we are given common applications like texts editors, archive managers, a calculator and Tomboy. I found that Linux Mint would play video and audio files out of the box and the distro includes the Flash browser plugin. The distribution also includes Java and GCC. On the DVD we find the 2.6.39 version of the Linux kernel, but at time of writing version 3.0 is available in the repositories.
Linux Mint "Debian" comes with a full range of drivers and firmware, including non-free items not found in plain Debian. As a result all of the hardware on my two physical machines was detected and properly configured. On the desktop box (2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card) I found that Linux Mint performed well, the screen was set to its maximum resolution and the interface was responsive. On the laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card) performance was also smooth. My Intel wireless card was detected and used without any problems. My laptop's touchpad wasn't set to register taps as mouse clicks, but there's a setting in the configuration tool to change this, if desired. The Debian-based edition of Linux Mint is light on memory and generally used around 128 MB of RAM while sitting idle at the desktop.
What impressed me most about Linux Mint "Debian" is that the day-to-day use of the operating system is virtually indistinguishable from the Main edition. Linux Mint is a distro which I think does an amazingly good job of "just working". There is plenty of software on the DVD and it provides a friendly, complete environment. Most users should be able to put the install disc in their machine and be using their computer -- no tweaks, no configuration, no installing extra software -- inside twenty minutes. Office software, compilers, music players, codecs, firmware, graphic editors... it's all there. The developers have taken this experience, typical of their Main edition, and merged it with a lighter, rolling distribution and made the transition between the editions virtually seamless. Linux Mint "Debian" is arguably one the most user friendly distributions I've used. I haven't been running it long enough to comment on its stability, but the repository buffer between Debian "Testing" and the Mint end users should make Mint more stable than running plain Debian "Testing" or the various other distributions based off Debian "Testing".
That being said, before a user installs Linux Mint "Debian" they should be aware that there is more work and more technical knowledge required with this edition than with other Mint editions. For one thing when new update packs come out users need to make changes to their configuration manually. The rolling-release model does lend itself to the occasional glitch and users should be comfortable trouble shooting issues that come up after an update. Having a moving kernel and an evolving desktop environment can be both a rewarding ride and a rough one.
Linux Mint "Debian" - many multimedia options
(full image size: 235kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
People familiar with Linux Mint's other editions may miss the extras which come from the Ubuntu base. For instance, the Debian edition doesn't appear to support PPAs or the Ubuntu One services. Though it's not likely to make a big difference one way or the other, the Ubuntu-based editions of Linux Mint coming out later this year will have a few thousand extra packages in their software repositories compared to Linux Mint "Debian". So there is a slight downgrade in features in exchange for the rolling Debian base. Having said that, my week with Mint's Debian edition was a pretty rewarding experience. I ran into a package conflict right away, but aside from that and the keyboard issue it was smooth sailing. Also, the Mint desktop in this edition is just as polished and as easy-to-use as the Ubuntu-based editions. On my hardware everything was detected and worked straight out of the gate and it's nice to have the low-resource usage of Debian combined with the useful collection of drivers, firmware and codecs that come with Mint. My feeling is that people who already use Mint probably won't find any benefit in switching to the Debian base, unless they're quite taken with the rolling-release model. However, users of other rolling release distributions and other Debian-based operating systems will probably enjoy the convenience and friendliness that comes with the Mint experience.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Interview with OpenBSD's Theo de Raadt, CentOS versus Red Hat, Canonical's position of "Secure Boot"
Tomorrow (Tuesday) is the OpenBSD 5.0 release day. Even though the round version number does not make this a more "major" release than version 4.9, it will still be a significant moment for any OpenBSD fan or user. Preceding the new release was a "hackathon", the annual conference of OpenBSD developers, which was held recently in Ljubljana, Slovenia. OpenBSD founder Theo de Raadt was duly present and was even approached by a local daily newspaper for a brief interview, which was later translated into English and re-published at Undeadly.org. Here is a short excerpt: "Q: What is the main focus for new releases? Fixing bugs and improving the performance or do you always also offer new features? A: Every new release contains new features, especially regarding the network protocols like tunneling and packet filtering. We have a lot of our own implemented network technology built in. We can for example completely replace/emulate the functionality of Cisco devices and maintain full operability of the OS while doing so. We have a lot of functions that are built in the OS itself like encryption. Functions and features that no other OS has." A series of detailed articles on the s2k11 general hackathon gathering were published by the above-mentioned web site; here are the links: part 1, part 2 and part 3.
* * * * *
It has been a rather slow week for interesting news, but as is often the case when there is little exciting to report, Linux users will start debating some old topics that just never go away. Over the weekend Slashdot posted yet another one-never-gets-bored-of CentOS versus Red Hat Enterprise Linux story which, unsurprisingly, led to a great debate (or heated flame war, if you prefer). From "How can I justify using Red Hat when CentOS exists?": "I recently spec'd out a large project for our company that included software from Red Hat. It came back from the CIO with everything approved except I have to use CentOS. Why? Because 'it's free Red Hat.' Personally I really like the CentOS project because it puts enterprise class software in the hands of people who might not otherwise afford it. We are not those people. We have money. In fact I questioned the decision by asking why the CIO was willing to spend money on another very similar project and not this one. The answer was 'because there is no free alternative.' I know this has come up before and I don't want to beat a dead horse, but this is still a very persistent issue. Our CIO is convinced that technical support for any product is worthless."
* * * * *
For users not involved in enterprise Linux computing perhaps the most interesting story of the week was the development in the Microsoft's "Secure Boot" controversy. As a result the two most influential Linux companies, Canonical (the makers of Ubuntu) and Red Hat (the world's largest enterprise Linux company) have published a joint whitepaper explaining the implications of Microsoft's new requirement placed on the shoulders of hardware manufacturers. From Secure Boot impact on Linux as published on the official Canonical blog: "Canonical successfully partners with computer manufacturers to ship millions of Ubuntu pre-installed systems every year. While this distribution will continue to thrive, we are concerned for users wanting to install any Linux distribution on a PC sold with Secure Boot 'ON'. Any new Windows 8 PC will have Secure Boot switched 'ON' when it leaves the shop and will be able to boot Microsoft approved software only. However, you will most likely find that your new PC has no option for you to add your own list of approved software. So to install Linux (or any other operating system), you will need to turn Secure Boot 'OFF'. However, we believe that you have the right to have your cake and eat it too! It's possible to have Secure Boot and the ability to choose your software platform." The whitepaper, authored by Jeremy Kerr (Technical Architect at Canonical), James Bottomley (Linux kernel developer) and Matthew Garret (Senior Software Engineer at Red Hat), is available here (PDF format).
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Curious-about-patents asks: I was thinking about patents and thinking that you might want to consider an article about the patent problem with software?
DistroWatch answers: When discussing patents I'm, thankfully, a bit of an outsider. Where I live patents haven't crept into software development, at least not yet. From where I sit software patents and the lawsuits which swarm around them like bees around a hive seem like awful wastes of time and resources.
The concept of patents, in general, I think makes sense. Encouraging people to innovate by protecting their investment for a short period of time so that they may recoup their development costs seems reasonable. At least if we assume the patent expires after a reasonable amount of time. However, software has some special characteristics which do not make patents practical. First of all, software development happens very quickly. What is useful and popular now will probably be old news five or ten years down the road. In light of this, having software patents which last for decades is overkill. Another problem is software patents tend to cover concepts. It's one thing to invent a new type of database and be able to produce it, show it off, let people use it. It's quite another to just think about a new type of database and decide the thought needs to be protected.
Unfortunately this is what we're seeing a lot of these days. People are applying for patents for very simple ideas, ideas for which they may not have an implementation. The effect of this is, all too often, one person will come up with an idea and apply for a patent. Another person will come up with a similar idea, put the work into developing the code to make the idea a reality, and then find they are on the receiving end of a lawsuit. Patents originally were designed to protect people who were willing to invest their time and money into creating new things, but software patents often cover relatively trivial concepts which may be developed in parallel independently of each other. This means if two people come up with the same idea around the same time it becomes a race, not to see who can put out the best implementation, but who can file for a software patent first.
This has brought about an environment where companies will create and collect large numbers of patents as much for self defence as anything else. Red Hat, for example, owns several patents, seemingly not to keep others from using their work, but to protect themselves against other technology companies. It's becoming more expensive and more risky to develop software in countries where software patents exist. Which is a shame, patents were put in place with the hope of encouraging development and innovation and, instead, we're seeing patents used to threaten software companies like a Sword of Damocles. Microsoft, for example, has pushed the idea that Linux distributions infringe on their patents and that Linux companies should pay royalties. They've had more success recently collecting money from companies shipping Android phones, like Samsung.
However, it's one thing to identify problems, such as the flaws in software patents, it's another to be able to do something about these problems. I spent twenty minutes doing searches for "reform software patents", "fight software patents", "stop software patents", etc. The results weren't all that helpful. There are plenty of websites out there explaining why software patents are bad and there are plenty making calls to arms (and even more making calls for donations), but they're generally vague on how a person can get involved. So I'm going to wing it here and offer some suggestions.
My first suggestion is, if you're developing or using software and are charged with violating a patent, fight it legally. According to Google's general counsel, Kent Walker, "Many software patents are simply overbroad and vague. In fact, when they've been re-examined by the patent office, they're either invalidated or cut back, roughly 80 percent of the time."
Another option is to avoid using software from companies who are paying patent royalties or who are threatening legal action over patents. The PNG image format owes its creation to dodging patent issues, as does the Ogg multimedia container format. Almost all software falls under one patent or another, but we can try to avoid using software that would support or finance companies that use software patents aggressively. This also applies to mobile devices. As previously stated, some Android phone manufactures are paying royalties to Microsoft. If you decide to purchase an Android phone consider buying one from a company that is fighting against paying royalties.
Last, but not least, write to your local politician and ask them to push for patent reform. If enough people speak out against the expensive lawsuits and the trivial patent claims perhaps we will see steps taken to fix the problems.
|Released Last Week
Puppy Linux 5.3 "Slacko"
Here comes a new edition of Puppy Linux: "Slacko Puppy". As the name suggests, it is a distribution which maintains binary compatibility with Slackware Linux and which is pre-configured to access some of the more popular Slackware package repositories. From the release notes: "Puppy Linux 5.3 'Slacko' is a child, or better a pup, of Barry Kauler's Woof build system. It has binary compatibility with Slackware 13.37 which means that it is a Puppy built with packages from Slackware, Salix and Slacky repositories. The main version has kernel 18.104.22.168 compiled with Aufs and layered file system support. Some new features of Slacko are a rebuilt GtkDialog, a program which allows Bash scripts to run in GUI. A showcase of this are Pmusic and Pequalizer, tiny applications to organise and play your music collection. Slacko Puppy introduces Frisbee Network Manager to connect wirelessly. There is also Simple Network Setup and Network Wizard to offer choice."
Puppy Linux 5.3 "Slacko" - a new Puppy with Slackware flavour
(full image size: 133kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Anthony Nordquist has announced the release of SalineOS 1.5, a Debian-based distribution with Xfce as the preferred desktop: "New SalineOS 1.5 images are now available. Changes in this release include: LibreOffice is now the default office suite; NetworkManager has now replaced wicd by default; the Remastersys GRUB restore utility has been replaced by grub-doctor; installer has been patched to only offer to start Magix if you have an ATI or NVIDIA card; AutoUpdate will now use the GTK+ graphical interface for configuring packages if they require user input; new wrapper for aptitude that will use the GTK+ graphical interface for configuring packages; updated the user manual; all security updates installed; clean will now clear the cache of Iceweasel, Firefox and Google Chrome...." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
Joël Cugnoni has announced the release of CAELinux 2011, an Ubuntu-based distribution with a large collection of software for computer-aided engineering and scientific tasks: "Today we are really proud to announce our new release - CAELinux 2011. CAELinux 2011 is based on Ubuntu 10.04.3 LTS 64-bit distribution and contains a unique suite of open source simulation tools like Salome_Meca 2011.2, Code-Aster 11.0, Code-Saturne 2.0.2, OpenFOAM 2.0.1, Elmer 6.2 and many others. CAELinux 2011 represents a complete update of the distribution with up-to-date software for better support of modern hardware and a significantly enhanced ease of use, and we hope that you will enjoy it. This release is only available in the form of a live DVD image for AMD/Intel 64-bit CPUs that can be burned on a DVD or installed on a USB key for 'mobile' use and testing and then installed on hard-disk for best performance." Visit the project's home page to read the brief release announcement.
CAELinux 2011 - an Ubuntu-based distro designed for scientific work
(full image size: 700kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Linux From Scratch 7.0
Bruce Dubbs has announced the release of Linux From Scratch (LFS) 7.0, a complete e-book providing users with the steps necessary to build a working Linux system from scratch, primarily as an educational exercise: "The Linux From Scratch community is pleased to announce the stable release of LFS Version 7.0. It includes numerous changes to LFS 6.8, including updates to Linux kernel 3.1, GCC 4.6.1 and glibc 2.14.1. A somewhat major change was made in this version of the book by adding a new top level directory, /run. This directory has a tmpfs mounted and is used by programs like udev to store run time information. The directories /var/run and /var/lock are also linked to this directory. The boot scripts have been updated to accommodate this change. The boot scripts have also been modified to place supporting scripts in /lib/boot. Another significant change is the addition of an md5sums file, allowing users to check the integrity of all downloaded packages." See the project's news page to read the release announcement.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Burhani Linux. Burhani Linux is a desktop Linux distribution based on Ubuntu and Linux Mint.
- Cinux. Cinux is an independently developed Linux distribution designed for a variety of specialised uses, such as education, media playback and web kiosks.
- DeLi(cate). DeLi(cate) is a fork of DeLi Linux 0.8 targeted at very old and low-RAM computers (i486 - Pentium III). It is developed independently of DeLi's successor (ConnochaetOS).
- Pacman Linux. Pacman Linux is a desktop-oriented distribution with an ability to perform every-day common tasks, such as creating documents or working with graphics.
- Phinx Desktop. Phinx Desktop is a PCLinuxOS-based distribution featuring the Xfce desktop.
- RRAbuntu. RRAbuntu (Rivendell Radio Automation live CD installer for Ubuntu) is a modified variant of Ubuntu. It has been customised using the Ubuntu Customization Kit (UCK) and the Rivendell DEB packages.
- Sage Live CD. Sage Live CD is a Puppy-based Linux live CD with Sage, a free mathematical package.
- Tizen. Tizen is a new open-source project for mobile devices based on Linux and other popular upstream projects. Tizen will support multiple device categories, such as smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, netbooks, and in-vehicle infotainment devices. The Linux Foundation will host the project, where Tizen development will be completely open and led by a technical steering team composed of Intel and Samsung.
- Ubuntu GNOME Shell Remix. Ubuntu GNOME Shell Remix is an unofficial remix of the Ubuntu operating system where the Unity desktop environment is replaced with the GNOME 3 desktop environment.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 7 November 2011.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • DebianMint (by zykoda on 2011-10-31 08:11:26 GMT from United Kingdom) |
Interesting review. I tried an earlier download and was quite impressed although there were a few rough edges at the time. The low resources required are beneficial on my RAM limited machines. Updating the rolling release can be quite time consuming, especially when a problem occurs. I am wondering what will become of the Gnome desktop? as Gnome 3.x evolves. There are viable alternatives of course. But there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. Again why use Gnome 3.x as 3D graphics card is required for a 2D screen:
it does not make sense to me.
2 • Mint - extra packages (by silent on 2011-10-31 09:15:54 GMT from Hungary)
Where are the extra few thousand Mint packages mentioned by the end of the review? Or does "their repositories" mean the Ubuntu repositories?
3 • "WillBe" distro added to the database (by meanpt on 2011-10-31 09:36:50 GMT from Portugal)
Just for the sake of my mental sanity, can anyone explain me why a "WillBe" distro that "IsNotYet" is added to the database? If we start clicking on it, we'll geta a "willbedistro" that "isn'tstilladistro" highly ranked?
p.s.: WillBe = tizen
4 • RE: 3 (by ladislav on 2011-10-31 09:39:02 GMT from Taiwan)
Tizen is not in the database, only on the waiting list.
5 • Test-driving Unity leads me to Xfce... (by Caraibes on 2011-10-31 10:50:44 GMT from Dominican Republic)
I was given a bigger hard drive for my older MacBook, happily running Lucid... So I thought this would be a good opportunity to try the newer Linux trends, hence installing Unity, as Ubuntu is the one distro that gets along just fine with a single-boot Linux MacBook...
At first, as I boot ito my new Unity install, I liked it... Nice on the eyes... But after some days, I grew tired of the fact that everything is hidden, hard to go to...
I installed Xfce (not Xubuntu-desktop, only Xfce)... And managed to have a nice, clean, old-fashioned desktop, kind of the Linux Mint Debian Xfce one...
It is indeed self-evident now, Xfce took the part that was playing gnome 2...
But the control-center from Unity is so dumbed-down, it doesn't even give you the option to edit the groups in the Users !!!!
6 • Linux Mint Debian (by tdockery97 on 2011-10-31 11:36:48 GMT from United States)
A good, fair review of LMDE Jesse. LMDE Gnome is indeed headed toward Gnome 3 Shell. Gnome 3 has recently entered Debian Sid and has been creeping into Testing. For those who wish an LMDE alternative to Gnome 3 there is currently Xfce, and it is projected that sometime in December/January there will be versions of KDE and Fluxbox LMDE.
7 • More packages (by Jesse on 2011-10-31 11:57:07 GMT from Canada)
>> "Where are the extra few thousand Mint packages mentioned by the end of the review? Or does "their repositories" mean the Ubuntu repositories?"
The extra packages do indeed come from the Ubuntu base. If memory serves, Debian Testing + Mint's repositories include around 33,500 packages. Ubuntu on its own has about 36,000.
8 • @5 (by Brandon Sniadajewski on 2011-10-31 12:05:18 GMT from United States)
The control center in Ubuntu's Unity you can blame the Gnome 3 folks as Unity uses that version of the DE's libs. I also didn't like the fact half the settings weren't easily available unless you bring in gnome-tweak-tool, which would have brought in a bunch of other stuff, including Gnome Shell. Ah, good thing I still have good ol' KDE in the form of Kubuntu running nicely.
9 • Linux MInt Debian lacks restricted drivers installer (by pazuzuthewise on 2011-10-31 12:55:45 GMT from Romania)
An issue that the above article forgot to mention is that LMDE doesn't have an easy GUI option to install restricted (as in proprietary) hardware drivers. The MInt developers did promise a while back that they will implement jockey (the name of the corresponding program in Ubuntu) to work for Debian, but this hasn't come to pass yet. As an interesting side-note, Kororaa Linux, a distro based on Fedora, does have a working jockey implementation.
10 • mint debian (by zelldayx on 2011-10-31 13:15:50 GMT from Australia)
Where is wine????
looked for it and did not find it anywhere.
I need it so Goodbye Mint (Debian edn)
11 • Mint and Debain Derivatives (by DrSaleemKhanCeannMarwat on 2011-10-31 14:17:23 GMT from Pakistan)
We see distros based upon major distros , Mint is a good distribution indeed. But to have a distro based upon debian and then still keep it as pure as is debian itself looks a bit hard in reality.
I recently came across Progress-Linux developed by Daniel Baumann ( Former Debian Unofficial maintainer) and his small team . It is a pure work based upon debian with efforts to fix the bugs in debian and keep a distro that works as stable as debian itself . Daniel Baumann is shying about the publicity of his work but I felt that as a user of Progress Linux and being very happy with it I must let others know about it too.
12 • Rolling releases (by David Smith on 2011-10-31 15:25:36 GMT from Canada)
To give credit where it may be due, I believe the concept of 'rolling releases', and perhaps its most venerable and sophisticated expression at least in the Debian camp, is in the "aptosid" (nee "sidux") distro. I ran sidux for several years and it was (mostly) an enjoyable and highly educational experience. However I think the overhead of maintaining a rolling release is comparatively extreme, and stressful on development teams and the communities they endeavor to support, and this is where sidux ran into some problems.
I've lost track of what's going on with aptosid, but for developers and users both who want to go down that road -- be forewarned. There are very few real benefits to running the latest 'bleeding edge' releases on your pc, unless you have a direct interest in contributing to testing.
13 • @1 • @DWW (by Pierre on 2011-10-31 15:33:55 GMT from Germany)
I simply can't unterstand why some people still are complaining that Gnome would require a 3D graphics card, although the 2D support has been added since 3.2, which is released for weeks already!
I really enjoyed to read such an article about the distro I'm using for quite some time now, that comes to the same conclusion like me.
I'm using Linux Mint Debian Edition Xfce and I'm loving it. It's stable and light on system resources. It comes with a nice set of default apps, although I still don't understand why one would need VLC, MPlayer and Totem all together. I don't know how it's about you guys, but I'm mostly watching only one movie at a time. ;) And for that I prefer VLC or Totem.
Banshee is ok, but I don't like any of the GTK-media-players available and replace them with Amarok.
I know, it's KDE/Qt-stuff, but thanks to the Linux Mint team Amarok integrates well into the desktop, because Amarok and every other Qt-app will have a Mint-X-Theme and look like all the other apps. =) I'm loving that!
Especially because I came from openSUSE and KDE there still is one or another program - like Amarok - that simply has no nice replacement in Xfce/Gnome.
With Mint you simply don't care, because they look the same, no matter if Gtk or Qt.
14 • LMDE vs PCLOS (by mz on 2011-10-31 16:13:11 GMT from United States)
I've not had too many problems with the rolling release model of PCLinuxOS, one video driver issue and that has been it for over a year of operation. I wonder how different LMDE is? I plan on giving it a go after they release a KDE version with their stabilized repositories.
15 • Mint Debian (by Thomas Gellhaus on 2011-10-31 16:59:32 GMT from United States)
Good review of Linux Mint Debian. As a Mint fan, I thought it was very well written and I've sent it to a few people who prefer Debian to Ubuntu.
The most recent Vector Linux RC features an interesting combination of Xfce (thin taskbar at top) with the Cairo Dock (at the bottom). For people looking to ditch GNOME 3, that may be a setup to check out.
16 • Mint (by fox on 2011-10-31 17:04:33 GMT from Canada)
I have always admired the extras in system-related programs and artistic touches that Mint has added to Ubuntu/Debian and for that reason, I have tried several versions of Mint since Mint 9, including LMDE. The problem I have had with them all is they seem slower than Ubuntu or Debian; slower to boot and in some cases, slower to start apps. I have tried these versions as regular installations and virtual machines, and in all cases seen the same difference vs the base distro. The one exception was Mint 9 fluxbox, which was beautifully designed and very fast, but it seems that a fluxbox edition is no longer being produced.
17 • @13 Gnome 3.2 works on 2D? (by zykoda on 2011-10-31 17:23:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
Was not aware Gnome 3.2 works on 2D graphics. Is that the full shell? Thanks for the info.
18 • Ubuntu in Phones, Tables, Desktops (by Leo on 2011-10-31 17:35:44 GMT from United States)
These are the big news this week:
And this is why the Unity interface makes sense (I am not trolling, I strongly feel this way).
19 • @16 (by Pierre on 2011-10-31 17:36:53 GMT from Germany)
If you had read the post "6 • Linux Mint Debian (by tdockery97)" you would have come to the point, where there is written: "and it is projected that sometime in December/January there will be versions of KDE and Fluxbox LMDE."
Just read carefully and you can save time by avoiding useless presumtions.
Nevertheless, I can't agree on your experiences, too. Never had any problems with responsiveness. The only lag I have experienced in the time I'm using LMDE Xfce, and that's with Thunar, so it's just one program that has lags, but only after it has been started.
20 • E17 (by Will on 2011-10-31 19:37:06 GMT from Germany)
With all the discontent about Unity and Gnome Shell, I'm surprised that E17 (Enlightenment) hasn't gotten more publicity as an alternative. There is Bodhi Linux, MacPup and a nightly build PPA by Hannes Janetzek on Launchpad for Ubuntu Oneiric and Natty as well as being in other distros repos. I run it on top of Lubuntu Oneiric from the PPA and have had essentially no problems. It is fast, light on resources, very good looking with lots of themes and very configurable.
21 • Missing Wine (by Jesse on 2011-10-31 19:47:24 GMT from Canada)
>> "Where is wine???? looked for it and did not find it anywhere.
I need it so Goodbye Mint (Debian edn)
The Wine package was removed from Debian's Testing repository. Since Mint Debian is based on Testing. It was announced on this Debian mailing list: http://lists.debian.org/debian-testing-changes/2011/07/msg00011.html
That being said, if you visit the Wine website they have a link to Debian packages which are maintained independently. You can find 64-bit and 32-bit versions here:
There is a discussion on how to install Wine in Mint Debian on the Mint forum:
Excuse me if I sound rude, but if you'd searched for this issue on the Mint forum rather than complaining about it here, you would have has a solution in seconds.
22 • OpenBSD (by TomásPT on 2011-10-31 19:54:21 GMT from Portugal)
New OpenBSD release is always a fresh air. Lately we havent seen nothing really great, and we are already at October.
Ubuntu ppl is moving and moving with desktops but seem uncertain what do they want.
Gnome shell 3 is a time lost confusion.
Im sticking with Fedora 15 (no gnome 3, just good XFCE and LXDE).
I hope gnome 3 programmers get the DE less confusing and time wasting.
For finishing, congrats for another great review. Im not a Ubuntu/Mint/Debian fan but i recognise those teams are moving at top speed with great improvements on end user interaction and ease of use. Congrats too to ubuntu,mint and debian.
23 • LMDE (by Steve on 2011-10-31 20:48:02 GMT from United States)
I've been on LMDE for almost a year now. Pretty much since Ubuntu moved to Unity (I've tried it... I just don't like it... I mean I REALLY don't like it). I had a couple of issues off the get go with video card support (ATI & nVidia), but I got them squared pretty quickly. Other than that, a couple of audio issues with Pulse, but really nothing else to be worried about. And it is FAST! At least compared to Ubuntu. We'll see how the migration to Gnome Shell goes. So far the transition to GTK3 has been fine, no real issues for any of my 7 machines. I'm running on Laptops and Desktops, so I'd say I've put it through it's paces. And on my I7 Laptop it absolutely screams.
My vote: 5 Stars for LMDE!
24 • Good Review of LMDE; "Rolling Release" Issues (by Tuxworx on 2011-10-31 22:54:07 GMT from United States)
Thank you, Jesse, for a very good overview of LMDE. I've been using it for about a year now on a netbook and for over six month on my main PC in place of the standard Linux Mint because it seems lighter and faster to me. You mention this a couple of times, but your conclusion is that LMDE is for people who want a rolling release. I would say it's more for people who want a more responsive version of Mint.
As for the rolling release issues mentioned in other posts, two comments: First, someday when Wheezy becomes Stable, you can convert LMDE to a Stable release by changing the sources repositories from "testing" to "stable" or "wheezy." I did that with Sid on my netbook in order to keep a kernel that predated the kernel energy consumption issues, and it's still working fine. Second, although PCLinuxOS is also a rolling release, its repositories are maintained by a small (but very talented) team, while the Debian package base is maintained by a very large team, so your experiences may vary.
25 • Ubuntu GNOME Shell Remix (by Saurav Sengupta on 2011-10-31 23:07:39 GMT from India)
I tried Ubuntu GNOME Shell Remix and I must say that I found it to be one of the best Ubuntu desktops. I even posted a small review - http://blog.celestarium.org/2011/11/refreshing-ubuntu/. This deserves to be an official project.
26 • Mint Debian (by Ryan Southard on 2011-10-31 23:19:18 GMT from United States)
I am happily running Mint: Debian edition. It is very stable and reliable. I have not had any of the patching issues with apt/synaptic that the author has had. I would highly encourage people to give it a shot. The Mint devs have done a bang up job with Suse's Slab menu. Highly fuctional! Thank you Clemente and all the Mint devs for a great distro.
27 • Faster? (by Jesse on 2011-10-31 23:46:39 GMT from Canada)
>> your conclusion is that LMDE is for people who want a rolling release. I would say it's more for people who want a more responsive version of Mint."
Having tried Mint Main and Mint Debian, I have to say I didn't notice any difference in performance between the two. I'm pretty sure if you changed the desktop backgrounds to match I couldn't tell one from the other without doing something like checking the package manager. In my experience at least there's no performance advantage from using one or the other.
By the way, for anyone interested, a new Humble Bundle is up at humblebundle.com. If you're a gamer it's a good chance to show developers there is a market in the Linux community.
28 • GNU/Linux and patents (by Magic Banana on 2011-10-31 23:56:52 GMT from Brazil)
I am sorry to pursue last DWW's discussion but the comments ended with some statements by Jesse (#123) that are simply wrong:
* GNU is and has always been the name of an operating system. FSF is the foundation driving its development. On the contrary, Linux is the name of a kernel and the name of a foundation. So, again, the system ought to be called GNU/Linux or, if you find it cumbersome, simply GNU because the project constitutes the majority of your OS and, unfortunately, Linux does not follow GNU's philosophy (it even includes proprietary code).
* People choosing the GPL are not hypocritical. They want their code to always be in free software. The GPL does that. On the contrary, people who choose a permissive license and then rant against people including their code in an application distributed under another license (e.g., the GPL) are hypocritical: they should have chosen another license that prevents that.
About software patent, this recent radio show is a must-listen: http://podcast.thisamericanlife.org/podcast/441.mp3 (unfortunate
29 • Unity on phones (by Phonelinux on 2011-11-01 00:17:05 GMT from United States)
Not a huge fan of the current Unity on desktops (in fact forced me to LMDE-XFCE--which runs very well for me including Wine...) but I have been disappointed with Android which is really only a "pseudo-linux" and would LOVE to see a true GPL'd linux with proper repositories on handsets.
While not always a fan of Canonical, this would cause me to overlook some of the choices I have not admired, and become a fanboy once again.
30 • Mint-Debian on RAID Disks (by Bruce Fowler on 2011-11-01 00:47:39 GMT from United States)
I run LMDE-xfce and am very pleased with it. Except for some continuing problems with audio input, everything works quickly and well. One shortcoming to note vs. the main Mint releases is that the Mint-Debian installer does not recognize RAID disks. I have it running on a RAID system, but it was an adventure to make that happen.
It would be nice if the installer could find the RAID sets and
make the process automatic. I would think the users who have RAID disks are also the more adventurous ones who would choose Mint-Debian over the regular releases. So with a little effort in the installer, Mint-Debian could pick up a bunch of new converts.
31 • Naming again (by Jesse on 2011-11-01 00:48:28 GMT from Canada)
>> " GNU is and has always been the name of an operating system."
I think you misunderstood what I said... or are being intentionally inflammatory. Last week I said there is no component on the operating system called GNU. GNU is the name of a project, it's also the name of the operating system the GNU project works on. Nothing in your statement contradicts what I posted last week.
>> "People choosing the GPL are not hypocritical. "
I didn't make that claim either. I pointed out that people who take BSD code and re-license it under the banner of making it "more free" come across as hypocrites because their version of "free" denies access to the original authors. Licensing one's code under the GPL isn't the hypocritical part. The hypocritical part is denying access to something while claiming to make it free for everyone to use. If people relicensing BSD code under the GPL acknowledged doing so reduced the code's potential usage I don't think it would be much of an issue.
Rather than drag this week's discussion down that road again, please consider e-mailing any further thoughts on this topic.
32 • Linux, not GNU/ (by Jay Maynard on 2011-11-01 00:48:45 GMT from United States)
Magic Banana: 1) Yes, there's a GNU OS. It's called GNU/Hurd. Was it ever ready for prime time? It took Linux to make a freely available, Unix-style OS.
2) That Linux does not follow the GNU philosophy is a feature, not a bug. If it was done in the Stallmanite mold, it would have never taken off.
3) As Linus said, "The midwife doesn't get to name the baby."
33 • @28 (by Zorklat on 2011-11-01 01:44:02 GMT from United States)
Magic Banana, you have misconstrued Jesse's point (one based on an opinion I share).
There's nothing wrong with people wanting only GNU software on their own machines, or on those they administer. Those are their machines, and they should have that right. The hypocrisy is when RMS tells me I am making an ethically invalid choice if I want to use flash, MP3, or even Windows.
It's MY computer. I should have freedom 0 -- the freedom to run what software I want, how I want. And that includes running captive software, and deciding to accept and live with the EULA, if that is what I want to do.
34 • @29, Unity on Phones (by PhoneComputer on 2011-11-01 02:35:21 GMT from United States)
I agree, would be great to have a normal linux rather than pseudo-linux on phones; but the main program I want for my phone that is not yet available is libreoffice. (which apparently is working on an android port!)
35 • (My) final comment about GNU/Linux's name and licensing (by Magic Banana on 2011-11-01 03:21:36 GMT from Brazil)
* I misunderstood... but still do not understand your point: if you acknowledge that GNU is the name of an operating system and Linux the name of a kernel, why would you say that GNU is not a proper name for the OS and Linux is better?! Again, I call the system GNU/Linux thus crediting the second most important contribution, Linux, as well. This was just in response to all those who pretend it is ridiculous to have multiple project cited: they should only cite GNU. Indeed the work it achieves clearly is the greatest effort (whatever the criterion you use: number of lines of code, number of executed lines of code, number of components, history, etc.), unlike what many people believe. Jay Maynard (comment #32) is an excellent example: he seems to believe that Linux does everything (according to him, GNU is the "midwife"), that GNU was nothing before Linux (the complete system was working on top of a UNIX kernel before Linux was even born) and that the Linux kernel would not have taken off without proprietary code (when those freedom problems only arise a few years ago). This is exactly why the operating system should be called GNU/Linux: people need to know that they are mainly running the fruit of the GNU's philosophy (with user's freedoms as an objective). Linux (that does not care about these objectives) is *not* the main project behind the operating system they use. Sometimes they pretend GNU only is history (like in last week's comments). Sadly, a few users even completely ignore that GNU exists.
* I completely agree that, when it is possible, it is better to keep the license chosen by the original developers (as far as your own contribution is minor in comparison of this work). Notice that the FSF agrees as well ( https://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-recommendations.html ). However, the most common rant is about BSD drivers that end up in Linux. In this case, the BSD license cannot be kept. And, again, I do not not understand why these people rant: they pretend they want to give as much freedom as the right to relicense their code! They are hypocritical in this regard. On the contrary, I do not understand how the Linux developers (in this example) can be said hypocritical. I believe most of them would use the BSD license if they were working for a project already distributed under this license (even though they may personally prefer the GPL so that their work never end up in proprietary software).
* The "ethically invalid" choice is to develop proprietary software because you are subjugating your users. By using proprietary applications, you somehow encourage them but you are certainly free to enslave yourself. It is just sad you do not value your own freedom.
* MP3 can be played in freedom: there are free codecs. Actually, most 100% free distributions (recommended by the FSF: https://www.gnu.org/distros/free-distros.html ) such as Trisquel, play them out of the box. The issue with MP3 is related to software patent (see Jesse's Q&A) and not to copyright. It is "dangerous" to develop such codecs (developers may be sued anytime) and, therefore, risky to rely on them (thus Ogg, which is also technically superior, is preferred).
36 • @Mr. Banana (by Anonymous on 2011-11-01 03:39:31 GMT from United States)
It is just software. It is not ethical nor is it unethical. It has never enslaved anyone nor has it ever freed anyone. It is just software.
The gnu tools are easily replaced, there are other libc's and compilers, and every single one of the utilities in core-utils is a copy of a pre-existing program that still exists elsewhere.
In fact the only thing that makes gnu special is the kernel that can't run on any hardware made in the last ten years, which makes it useless for the average person that doesn't care about your ideals and only wants to watch cat videos and take the universe back from the Zergs.
37 • GNU/yourself (by Microlinux on 2011-11-01 07:30:49 GMT from France)
I'm an IT professional working exclusively with Linux and free software since 2001. In my humble experience, folks insisting you say "GNU/Linux" instead of "Linux" more often than not belong to the socially unadapted class of Ayatollahs who still have a conflict with their parents to settle, and who take it out on another field. Modern psychology calls this phenomenon "transfer" (for example, guy gets shouted at by his boss, goes home and beats his wife, that's transfer). About two years ago, I published a 500-page-bible about Linux administration and basic underlying UNIX principles (in French). After the book came out, I got literally spammed by a fellow who mailed me pages and pages of arguments about why it is wrong to say "Linux" and why it is right to say "GNU/Linux". Not forgetting the fact that one of the first things I mention in my book is "it is more appropriate to say GNU/Linux, although folks got into the habit of using the short form Linux as a commodity". I ended up telling the guy to just sod off.
38 • Banana Republic maker (by Angelaj on 2011-11-01 11:15:29 GMT from Belgium)
To 36 • @Mr. Banana (by Anonymous on 2011-11-01 03:39:31 GMT from United States).
Sorry, Mr Banana, but I believe that you are plain wrong: Is NOT 'just software. It IS ethical or it IS unethical.' Just as most things in life (at least for the human beings; not if you are a mussel, a bean, or a banana). And, like any 'good' or 'service' that is produced by human beings, and released in the market, or in a social and economic environment: it has consequences.
People with your way of thinking are those who, historically allow or push dictators, criminals, and human based catastrophes etc. Banana Republic makers.
Oh, Is just CO2, It has never enslaved anyone nor has it ever freed anyone. It is just CO2. So why try to understand the repercussions of its use and its release?
Oh is just Mercury stone (Hg)... It has never enslaved anyone nor has it ever freed anyone. It is just Mercury. So why try to understand the repercussions of its use and its release to a river or a lake, for instance?
Oh is a new commercial legislation, or a tax... It has never enslaved anyone nor has it ever freed anyone. It is just legislation, or a tax. So why try to understand the repercussions of it when coming into force, and what if thousands of families, or some countries are doomed because of it?
The human being has become so dominant in the planet that any action, specially if related to technology and/or industry is of paramount importance; and has ethical consequences. So it happens with the software.
- NO, the The GNU tools are NOT easily replaced. If it was the case it would have happened long ago with all of them But, it hasn't happened yet, though some compilers etc are getting there just now. Many people, specially 'greedy corporations' and enemies of freedom in economy and in society would like that what you say was true; but is NOT.
NO, NOT every single one of the utilities in core-utils is a copy of a pre-existing program that still exists elsewhere. They are improvements of similar programs, in most cases, that are/were absolutely necessary in order to make an Operating System.
According to what you say, no software program is new since most of them, whether is a compiler, a Web Browser, or an Office Suite are just copies of previous software (with the exception of your own software, I guess...)
Your statement: 'the only thing that makes GNU special is the kernel that can't run on any hardware made in the last ten years, which makes it useless for the average person', is completely false, obviously.
But, if it was true, you, with your immense wisdom, and 'obviously' superior code, could be already programming some stuff to help to catch up...
You sound like an 'ultra-conservative, creationist Freedom Hater', or like a Microsoft troll.
What are you doing reading DistroWatch, and commenting here, if your vision of Linux is so restrictive and poor???
Do you use Linux or any other 'Free Libre Open Source' OS or software??? If you hate it so much, and think is so bad... what is you aim posting here???
39 • Writing software can be (un)ethical (by Magic Banana on 2011-11-01 11:28:51 GMT from Brazil)
In my previous message, the word "insulting" is obviously missing between "people" and "when".
Proprietary software can have malicious features: they can have backdoors, have spyware, etc. When you know that the CIA is working on every version of Windows, that is scary. Of course, the current American administration is not a dictatorship but will it still be the case 10 years from now? Are all non-free software companies resisting to the financial advantages brought by the satisfaction of an undemocratic government. The answer is no. For example, Skype helps China's government to find out who is a political opponent: https://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/02/technology/internet/02skype.html
Then, there are less frightening (but important) freedoms such as being allowed to fix a bug affecting your work, having the possibility to easily switch to another application without losing your previous work (formats written by free software necessarily are free since you can read the source code), the freedom to use the software without any restriction (DRMs cannot be enforced with free players because, again, you have access to the source code), etc. The point is: proprietary software lets you helpless ("enslaving" was an exaggeration in my previous message) and you need free software to master your computing.
About the fact that there are alternatives to GNU components, this is obviously true. But it is also obviously true that the default system, shipped by the most popular distributions today, mostly is the fruit of the GNU project.
I do not pretend I am the alpha user but, as a researcher, I spend most of time writing in GNU Emacs articles and code that I build with GNU Make and compile with GCC. I also write and execute many GNU Bash scripts (for experiments) that heavily rely on the POSIX text processing commands such as GNU grep, GNU sed and GNU awk. For my presentation, I often take screenshots I edit in GIMP. I also use the GNOME desktop (Evince to visualize articles, the GNOME terminal, Evolution for e-mailing, etc.). Like most people, my bootloader is GRUB. I use the basic coreutils (ls, cd, cp, mv, rm, etc.). And so on (not forgetting the hidden components such as the GNU libraries). Does anybody mostly using GNU software (as I do) know there is a philosophy behind it? Obviously, no. But all of them know of Linux project (that accepts proprietary code). This is unfair.
40 • Banana Clarification (by Angelaj on 2011-11-01 11:34:24 GMT from Belgium)
If it wasn't clear enough, my former post (38) wast the answer to ' 36 • @Mr. Banana (by Anonymous on 2011-11-01 03:39:31 GMT from United States).' as I said.
He posted here as 'Anonymous [I do not know if coward or not]' , but I referred to him as Banana (as in Banana Republic maker).
I was not answering to '35 • (My) final comment about GNU/Linux's name and licensing (by Magic Banana on 2011-11-01 03:21:36 GMT from Brazil)', though he post here as 'Magic Banana'.
If is not clear (I think it is...) I do agree with the comments of Magic Banana (35 - obrigado, parabens pelo seu post), that I believe are quite rational and pertinent.
41 • RMS is right (and is bigger than CR7) (by Angelaj on 2011-11-01 12:12:52 GMT from Belgium)
To '33 • @28 (by Zorklat on 2011-11-01 01:44:02 GMT from United States)'
Yes, Zorklat: 'There's nothing wrong with people wanting only GNU software on their own machines, or on those they administer. Those are their machines, and they should have that right.'
And, There is NOT 'hypocrisy when RMS tells me I am making an ethically invalid choice if I want to use flash, MP3, or even Windows.'
RM Stallman is right, ethically he is right, whether you like it or not, whether you decide to follow his advise or not.
He does the right thing promoting these ideas, so people is aware of the reality and the facts.
If he, or many others don't expose the real facts underneath the 'candy' that is shown to the masses, even less people would realize of the truth.
It's NOT because is 'YOUR computer that you should have freedom 0 -- the freedom to run what software you want, how you want. And that includes running captive software, and deciding to accept and live with the EULA, if that is what you want to do.'
A farmer could say: is MY Land and I plant and grow, whatever I want in the way I want. So he goes, and use any pesticides, chemical nutrients he want.
The fact is that, neither ethically, nor scientifically, any society can allow a farmer grow in his land as he wishes, while being harmful to the society, and environment.
Therefore, the people in his little town, or the authorities tell him, that finally he can not use any pesticides he want, because he is putting in danger his fellow citizens.
In a similar way, RM Stallman and others, advocate for the 'Free Libre Open Source software' and tell the Society about its benefits, and about the 'Dangers' of proprietary software'.
They do not force you, the advise you in a very RATIONAL way.
Maybe (hopefully). in a short period of time, it will be the authorities who first advise to use 'Free Libre Open Source software' (Many authorities worldwide advise the use of FLOSS already); and finally will impose the use of FLOSS due to its benefits for the progress of the IT industry and the society in general.
42 • Next time you insist on your BSD sophism i'll send U 4 men in black (by Angelaj on 2011-11-01 14:53:46 GMT from Belgium)
To '31 • Naming again (by Jesse on 2011-11-01 00:48:28 GMT from Canada)'
Oh, Jesse, here we go again with the same stuff, and again, I have to tell you that there is nothing hypocritical in the GNU concepts or in the use of GPL licenses while modifying public domain, or BSD licensed code into GPL; Nothing hypocritical in that: period.
Jesse. Next time you insist on your BSD sophism i'll send U 4 men in black.
You try to give a 'Solomonic' judicial decision, for both the GPL and the BSD, and you fail in that. I repeat, that there is NOT 'denying access to anything while claiming to make it free for everyone to use', at all.
NO 'denying access' to the software is produced at all. The source code and/or therefore, the binaries are still available to everyone with a GPL licence.
AGAIN: THERE IS NOT DENYING ACCESS AT ALL. The code is still available to everyone, like with BSD. The difference is that under GPL you will have to make available 'to everyone' again, the code that you have modified and used publically (so, it guaranties the freedom for the future more than a proprietary or a BSD license).
What you pretend and you call 'denying', following the BSD guys 'rationale' is just a 'SOPHISM'; and is simply NOT TRUE. If the source is still available to everyone you can not say the 'access is denied'.
Your explanation is false, is a sophism; an auto-indulgent misinterpretation of the facts by the BSD guys.
Is a society more free it it allows you freely kill anyone (and therefore eliminating the freedom of the one who is killed)?
Or, on the contrary, is a society more free if doesn't allow you to kill anyone (so you are not free to kill others), because in doing that you would eliminate the freedom of the killed victim?
Well, the second option guaranties the freedom timelessly for everybody (theoretically), despite people not being free to kill any other. So restricting the freedom to kill, the society guaranties the freedom of all individuals for the future.
While in the first example, the absolute freedom is just partial and temporary: everybody is free. So free, that anyone can freely kill anyone. This 'total' freedom is automatically removed in the very moment an individual is killed, and therefore deprived of its freedom.
In the same way, BSD allows 'total' freedom for the code, but fails to guarantee the actual freedom for the future, once the freedom is broken, and the source is not freely available to everyone.
And, in the same way GPL v3 allows freedom since it guarantees the timeless freedom of the source code.
It must remain clear: there is not 'denying access' access of the code, and nothing hypocritical in the GPL licenses, even if BSD code is relicensed int GPL. There is only a stronger guaranty of freedom for everyone.
Well, I try to be rational in the defense of 'Free Libre Open Source software' and the GPL licenses, and, at the same time, being strict in that, but not radical. But, sometimes you have to insist, and be clear so no false claims are made.
I have friends with Windows or Mac OSX in their PCs, and if necessary, though I do promote GNU/Linux, I can use their PCs, and I haven't catch any dangerous illness yet because of that.
I do think that GNU/Linux is more appropriate than just Linux, but I know that, even if they agree with this, people, generally, are not going to call it GNU/Linux instead of just Linux.
If only, because a question of laziness and economy of time and saliva, they will just say Linux.
So if people say just Linux, I say nothing. I do not try to correct them, or give a speech about GNU/Linux, unless they demand it, or show some interest in that.
Anyway, I do not see many people going to buy a mobile phone or a tablet, and asking that it runs 'GNU/Android/Linux'.
I just may tray that in a main commercial street to see what I get as response (just for fun).
I do thing, that promoting the use of real 'Free Libre Open Source software' licenses like GPL v3 is much, much more important than calling an OS GNU/Linux, just Linux, or 'yeah I've seen it: the one with a penguin in the screen'. Therefore the importance of clarifying misconceptions about BSD/GPL licenses.
I feel, that I will have to re-post, at least partially, my post about BSD/GPL of some days ago to clarify again the BSD/GPL stuff.
Promoting the 'Free Libre Open Source software' sometimes requires to answer fallacies, and stating clearly that licenses like GPL v3, are the more convenient, and the type of license for software, that are more/really Free, up to the moment.
43 • Kwort (by Landor on 2011-11-01 17:48:49 GMT from Canada)
Has anyone been able to download Kwort in the last few days? The site won't load, and I can't download it.
I read that they now have the RC3, which I'd definitely like to try but it's down, or was prior to typing this comment out.
Shame too, I just finished up my Sabayon 7 KDE review and was hoping to put some time towards Kwort.
Keep your stick on the ice...
44 • Kwort (by Alan UK on 2011-11-01 18:07:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
The site is working fine and I'm downloading the iso right now.
45 • RE: Kwort (by Gmasterboots on 2011-11-01 18:09:27 GMT from United States)
Yeah, I Kwort as soon as it came out. Right now though I can't get to it (away from home) so when I get back I'll post it.
46 • Hmmmm (by Gmasterboots on 2011-11-01 18:11:23 GMT from United States)
Well, I wonder what "to Kwort" is. I downloaded it, anyway. It seems the issue is resolved and the link works (at least for me).
47 • @42, about software licenses (by TobiSGD on 2011-11-01 18:43:02 GMT from Germany)
When you take code from a BSD licensed software project and use it in a GPL licensed project, all changes that are made to the code in the GPL licensed version can't be used in the BSD code. The GPL does not allow it to use GPL licensed code in anything else than a GPL licensed project. So actually you are denying the BSD developers access to the improvements of code taken from them. I would not call that software freedom.
By the way, You will not see that people ask for "GNU/Android/Linux" phones, just because Android isn't GNU.
48 • RE: 44/45 (by Landor on 2011-11-01 20:40:51 GMT from Canada)
Thanks for the information. I contacted my ISP and they were unable to connect to kwort.org as well. They were able to via mobile though.
They're still ironing it, they had no idea what was going on, and a traceroute failed after the ninth hop from my system.
No matter though, I'm downloading it via another source at the moment. Sadly, the full release will probably hit the shelves today I bet..lol
Keep your stick on the ice...
49 • How? (by Tourniquette on 2011-11-01 21:03:57 GMT from United States)
Seriously, can we stop arguing about GNU already? Usually the comments are full of enlightening stuff about distros or programs; you guys are just arguing over how to name stuff and a certain way of doing things. You're not going to change anything, so you might as well just let it be.
50 • @49 (by O B UUHHHH MMMMMMMA on 2011-11-01 22:25:03 GMT from United States)
Change? Why change something that is accepted universally?
You are not going to win. Resistance is Futile!
GNU/Linux? Linux? What is in a name?
Android? Linux/Android? GNU/Linux/Android?
Now this issue is in Linus' hands, what does he have to say? He does not like it? WRT GNU, many folks old unix adminstrators, did not appreciate not getting programs for the GNU coreutils that they got from old unix/bsd code and yes they improved upon it, but it cannot be shared back in a reasonable way.
Got Linux? Got GNU/Linux? Got BSD?
51 • Re#47 more BSD vs GPL (by 123 on 2011-11-02 02:07:34 GMT from United States)
When BSD code is used in a proprietary closed source licensed system.
The folks at BSD have lost all access to it, unless they reverse engineer it.
This can be quite illegal, reverse engineering the code, in some localities.
When the issue is BSD to GPL, then at least they can see all of the changes.
The GPL is not closed source, and does promote sharing.
GPL does not want code being hid in proprietary projects or systems.
This is GPL's most free or restrictive clause as some argue.
BSD is totally free do whatever you want with its' license.
So why do I not read about BSD people complaining about all of the changes and
additions to their code by proprietary and closed source users?
Short of mentioning BSD was used somewhere, or not, they get nothing in return.
They apparently, from reading things here are complaining
about the GPL using and not giving back to their licensed code base.
What about the closed and proprietary software developers who do the same
and never will allow anyone (without a non-disclosure contract) to even see their uses of BSD code.
Closed licenses use BSD freely for a long time now.
How many have given back improvements to BSD?
GPL may be incompatible with BSD, but at least nothing is hidden, all is open to all.
That's how I see it.
52 • LMDE on Lenovo S10 is working (by stratus on 2011-11-02 04:36:09 GMT from India)
I installed LMDE 201109 gnome in Lenovo ideapad s10.
Updated with update manager to Update pack 3.
Installed Kernel 3.0.0. i486 and its headers it is working fine.
Also installed intel microcode for the Atom CPU, because I read that intel microcode updates some essential updates for atom. But for Lenovo ideapad s10, the BIOS upgrade has been frozen, so there won't be any microcode update through BIOS upgrade.
Tried to update the kernel to 3.0.0 i686 is throwing kernel panicks frequently so I removed the i686. perhaps it may be due to all packages are for i486 and the kernel is i686.
I running as a Dualboot OS along with Windows Home Edition.
i have tried many distros, this Mint Debian Edition seems to be ok and running smoothly.
Those who have Lenovo ideapad s10 knows how difficult it is to run stable Linux on this notebook. So far so good, hope it continues. I intend to update only through update manager of mint debian.
If at all I am not able to use this, or having kernel panics and unstable error messages, I will go back to PCLOS or #! (crunchbang).
If i have to gripe then I say the Libreoffice is not yet 3.4.. which I look forward to in the next update back from Clem & his team. Thanks for their goodness and talent.
53 • mint, debian and xorg. (by andrus on 2011-11-02 08:31:10 GMT from Estonia)
i agree, that mint DE and debian testing editions are very stable and well packaged, but i cant say, there is no need for additional configuration, if older hardware is used.
two examples of annoyances.
1. xorg. situation, you have an older "legacy" video hardware from NVIDIA.
in such situation xorg will be configured using kernel module nouveau, wich perfomance with webpages loaded by macromedia flash, is close to nonexistent one. so, you have to configure NVIDIA driver. and here problems start. after compiling proprietary nvidia/legacy module, you can not load it, before you get completely rid from kernel module nouveau. and if you think reboot makes it, you are wrong.
in fastboot -linux reboot is not reboot anymore. its more like virtual reload of same kernel, with same hardware and modules. to get rid of nouveau, you have remove module, shutdown and only then you maybe have sucess with nvidia proprietary driver. if sucess, it works like charm.
but wait, you have to update your rolling distro afterwards. and yes, that means, that you have to freez your legacy nvidia installation -but, it conflicts with any xorg related update. so you can have only safe upgrades and freezed xorg version, or you start from very beginning configuring x again.
and oh yes, did i mention, that if you think, that reconfigure means editing /etc/X11/xorg.conf? if you think so, you are wrong again. changing driver here, you have no screen, because xorg says, not loading VESA because kernel have nouveau or nv module. so, you have to remove em also and make nice boot with GRUB VGA enabled options -otherwise you have blinking cursor and no login at all even in text mode.
in short, x handling is made to nonsense. i do not blame deb based editions here, but xorg loading policies. better to stay with editable plain txt conf files.
Another not so nice feature is usb_modeswitch. for some reason, 2 times from out of three, (but its much better than fedora 14 here, wich determines device right, but never is able to connect successfully, with same conf and firmware as debian uses) it loads mobile broadband modem as generic usb stick, despite correct parameters in /etc/usb_modswitch.conf. You have plain open conf file as root, make no changes, close it again and make cold reboot, to get connected. so, 3-4 times, unneccesary boots, that means, you see ext4 filesystems check more often you wish, and waste your nerves to rebooting, just to get connected again. but live squeez live cd, makes it working right every single time you boot it. thats weird.
otherwise, i like mint and mint debian editions, as i like wheezy too.
54 • KDE/Linux (by Adonis on 2011-11-02 10:52:18 GMT from Croatia)
PCLINUXOS is the champion of rolling release concept in KDE/Linux world.
If some package is neglected than you just say in the forums and they will make updated package.
And you need to reinstall only every 2 years.
Other KDE/Linux distribution developers can only dream of making such stable, solid, reliable and easy updatable system. You even change kernel in Synaptic.
I wish guys from Mint make KDE/Debian version and become a true linux distribution.
55 • Moved to Mageia KDE... disgusted with Ubuntu/Unity... (by Caaraibes on 2011-11-02 11:18:40 GMT from Dominican Republic)
After a week of fiddling around with Unity, not totally satisfied with my Xfce on top of it, I wiped & installed Mageia KDE... It works smoothly so far, I am exploring its issues, too soon to tell...
56 • about adonis -kde synaptics yada-vada (by Andrus on 2011-11-02 14:58:45 GMT from Estonia)
gnome, kde, unity -all they are bloat. usable on top notch new hardware. personaly i have dropped any distro, what thinks KDE as only option for desktop, because it comes often out with too many bugs and unstable manner.
less is better. xfce, lxde, ice, math/flux/openbox. why to bloat software with k-k-klettered-k-applikation-working only within-kinky-k-enviroment?
pclinux OS is no way any better because it "uses synaptics". nearly all debian based and many others (rpm based) distros use it, without any problems. synaptics sits on APT, and what makes sence, is APT repository and apt package dependencies and differences- here distros differ.
mint, (k)ubuntu and debian variants itself are in any means very true linux distributions.
actualy they are leading linux distros, only fedora and suse are somwhat in step with them.
57 • No comments on "safe boot" (by Eddie on 2011-11-02 15:32:43 GMT from United States)
Wow, I'm really surprised that there has been no comments on the safe boot piece. Instead we've got the same old trash talk on GNU, GPL, Unity, BSD, and fruit. People need to take a deep breath and look at the grand scheme of things. And that is basically that your comments, book size or not, really have no bearing on the important matters in life. We are suppose to be having discussions about open source software and using it, not bowing down to it. Some people even claim their is no such thing as software. It is only hardware manipulation using ones and zeros in a predefined way. Also people need to get off their high horse and stop saying that people who do not only use so called free software are unethical or unethical acting. That is not true in any way, shape, or form. We need to keep religion out of our discussions. Some people have giving the impression that their God is made up of ones and zeros. I don't think so.
58 • RE:57 (by Landor on 2011-11-02 17:13:01 GMT from Canada)
I'll worry about safe boot when I have to. I've stated my opinion and such on it. Until then there's not much left to do, other than advocacy of course. No sense in debating that issue within this community though as most, if not all are most likely against it.
I don't see your stand on ethical choices and their association with a religion. That's a pretty broad stroke of an extremely large brush, no offense either. If someone considers something wrong, and something else right, that doesn't make it related to religion in any way. It makes it based on their ethical/moral belief system. Unless you're saying people who don't practice some form of religion are without ethics and morals. :)
In regards to Unity, I'm still up in the air about it. I find Unity and GNOME Shell to be far more efficient. To the reason why I'm up in the air about it specifically though, I liked Unity more at first, believed it to be more polished and feature rich than GNOME Shell, that's no longer the case. I'm finding myself on the fence about it.
One thing I like about both, they have the potential to be a power user's dream come true. The menus are a prime example. I can't stand the old way of hitting a menu, scrolling through the lists of applications to find what you want. Menus have always been odd, and bothersome. Both Unity and GNOME Shell fix this in a couple ways. Sure, a user could just use shortcuts for DE, which is why I say these both have the potential to be a power user's dream, but they encourage the use of the mouse. KDE 4 does for sure, the cashew is a prime example.
I just wish that KDE would build something similar, honestly. Then it really would be perfect for the power user.
I've been very impressed lately with the state of LiveCDs/DVDs in our community. I am extremely amazed at how well they perform on laptops as fully functional operating systems.
Of course this isn't anything new, but it's becoming harder to find a live system that doesn't work fully, instead of one that has issues as a live environment. That's the point, and what a boon for this community. Not only that, but even the heaviest of DVDs with a full DE can be extremely responsive.
I may even one day just use a live system only. Having a partition to mount for storage needs when needed. It would probably be a remaster though, and something that runs solely in ram.
Keep your stick on the ice...
59 • Secure Boot and KDE (by Jesse on 2011-11-02 17:26:40 GMT from Canada)
>> "I'll worry about safe boot when I have to. I've stated my opinion and such on it. Until then there's not much left to do, other than advocacy of course."
For those interested in the advocacy part, the FSF has a petition up on their website (fsf.org) people can sign to protest unlockable secure boot.
>> "I just wish that KDE would build something similar, honestly. Then it really would be perfect for the power user."
KDE does have a couple of options out for this sort of thing. Check out Plasma Active One (http://www.kde.org/announcements/plasma-active-one/) if you'd like to see an early release. And the standard KDE desktop has a built-in activity for 4.7 which turns the background into a Unity-style menu. Either option might be what you're looking for.
60 • @58, That's my point. (by Eddie on 2011-11-02 18:40:45 GMT from United States)
"I don't see your stand on ethical choices and their association with a religion. That's a pretty broad stroke of an extremely large brush, no offense either. If someone considers something wrong, and something else right, that doesn't make it related to religion in any way. It makes it based on their ethical/moral belief system. Unless you're saying people who don't practice some form of religion are without ethics and morals. :) "
No offense taken. The reason I say that is I see some people who really are passionate about what they believe in and the only other place I see this sort of enthusiasm to this degree is in religion. That is the only relation I was making. Now I'm not trying to take anything away from someone's enthusiasm for free software, but at the same time I cannot say that someone who uses proprietary software has no ethics and are evil. Believe it or not I have had some free software advocates make statements along that line. I do not agree with that line of thinking. At the same time there are ones who use only free software, and if they can do it, and not be judgmental towards others, then they are to be commended for their efforts. We shouldn't be so quick to chastise people who don't think the way we do and at the same time we have to watch ourselves. Then again, nobody's perfect. :)
61 • RHEL clones !!!!!!! (by Caraibes on 2011-11-03 00:21:43 GMT from Dominican Republic)
Finally found peace for my old "white" MacBook 2.1... Scientific Linux 6.1, i386, Gnome 2.28... And everything works like a charm again !!!!
So far so good, better than others, although I enjoyed Mageia, but RHEL is RHEL...
62 • RHEL clones (by Gary W on 2011-11-03 01:50:46 GMT from Australia)
I can echo that! I use RHEL at work, very good server OS. I installed Scientific on one of my laptops last night, very good desktop OS! The only one I know which consolidates GNOME and KDE (also supplies IceWM). Some rather old software (e.g. Firefox 3.6), but that appears to be the ticket price for stability (in any case, I've never felt that Firefox was production-ready). Maybe newer stuff in optional repositories; I'll check them out later.
Very professional distro, worth a look if you value stability and long term support over bleeding edge.
63 • The importance of being Earnst - GNU, GPL and why we have Free and GRATIS OSes (by Angelaj on 2011-11-03 13:31:00 GMT from Belgium)
To '49 • How? (by Tourniquette on 2011-11-01 21:03:57 GMT from United States)' and others that just want to use a Linux OS because it is free as beer (they do not have to pay for it).
You do well, of course, everybody takes something when is interesting, good and free [inexpensive-Gratis]. But, it is much better if, besides free [inexpensive-Gratis], is also free [Libre, as in Freedom, Liberty]. It is better, even, if it is only free [Libre, as in Freedom, Liberty], and not free [inexpensive-Gratis], and you have to pay for it; because if is not, at the end, you will pay for it much more than you think.
There are many people that go beyond petty situations, and look forward what really matters; so I believe is necessary for many (specially the younger ones that come to Linux and FLOSS) to give some explanations for a better understanding the facts and History.
Your 'easy going, light, vacuum, and non-courageous' statement has, actually, no sense at all. It is plain wrong and false, and as that, I have to say it here; so people do not believe 'easy-thinkers' like you, and 'do nothing' guys are right. The Free Open Source movement had achieved many things; and to fight and to improve things in every aspect of life; whether is IT software, political representation, access to art, science and knowledge for the people, health-care, human rights etc is useful and important.
Actually everything is inter-related and, As I explained in other post, due to the progress and power of the human kind, every step in science and/or industry are of paramount importance. Therefore every step in a science/industry like IT, that is present everywhere nowadays, and will be even more present and necessary in the future, are 'exceptionally' important.
As for you comment: 'Seriously, can we stop arguing about GNU already? Usually the comments are full of enlightening stuff about distros or programs; you guys are just arguing over how to name stuff and a certain way of doing things. You're not going to change anything, so you might as well just let it be.'
You seem not to want to understand the facts and history, rather than not being capable of... which is even more 'dangerous'.
I'll try to 'dismantle' everyone of your biased ideas:
- We are not arguing, but discussing what is best, and what it should be done to improve things and correct mistakes; like people do in a classroom, a square. or a Parliament, or as it happens in everyday life.
Thats the way of doing the things.
Your option of ignoring the facts and the reality; and doing nothing, like Ostrich do hiding the head, DO NOT help at all in anything. Never has helped, except to recover from 'flu', maybe...
-Discussing about the type of license, or the real value and name of the components of an OS can be 'full of enlightening stuff' as well.
-Discussing about GNU is important so people know, realize, learn, or do not forget that is thanks to GNU, and licenses like the GPL, that have put together the work of thousands and thousands of people, to create 'Free Libre Open Source' Operating Systems and Software, like Linux.
That we are, where we are now, because GNU, GPL, etc allowed to put together all these people, work, ideas etc.
That is to say: Now there are a bunch of 'Free Libre Open Source' Operating Systems and Software (like GNU/Linux, or Linux as you prefer, BSD OSes, DragonFly BSD, Haiku, Inferno, L4 Fiasco Pistachio, FreeDOS, Kolibri-MenuetOS, AROS, Syllable, Android, Meego, ReactOS etc.)that would not exist, if not for the movement of Free Open Source Software.
- And finally, and the most important: We have changed a lot of things. we have obtained, created, produced a lot of things.
That is why you are probably using a Linux OS, to comment about FLOSS and Linux, in a FLOSS Distributions Web Site.
If not, history would have been very different, and you would have, probably just Windows, MacOS (Not MacOS X), UNIX and other more stuff; but not using a PC with Linux, BSD, or OpenSolaris; or a Tablet or telephone with Android or Meego... to read about new distributions in a site like this one.
64 • The importance of being Earnst2 - GNU, GPL and why we have Free and GRATIS OSes (by Angelaj on 2011-11-03 13:33:01 GMT from Belgium)
So. YES, we have got a lot of things, in 20 years the FLOSS has expanded worldwide and, We have achieved plenty of things despite the opposition of big corporations like IBM, Microsoft, Apple etc.; because FLOSS was not in the interest of their 'monopolistic' business.
Despite the lack of action, cooperation or understanding of the ones, like you; we have 'succeeded' and we are able to use nowadays operating systems that are completely 'Free and Open Source'.
YES, We have changed a lot of things; and it is attitudes like yours, that actually 'are not going to change anything, so you might as well just let it be.'.
Stop complaining about those who 'actually' care, and discuss, and code programs, and promote FLOSS, and work to change the things and improve the IT World, and the World itself.
Without GNU, GPL... Linux, probably would not exits nowadays, It would just be a small OS, only known by some Scholars, Students and IT guys; and you would not be posting here comments about Linux.
Mainly, because, probably, Linux would not be a usable Operating System.
There would not be hundred of Distributions of Linux.
There would not be thousands of FLOSS applications for Linux, BSD and other OSes )Free Open Source, or Proprietary), and Distrowacth would not exists either.
Not to say, the huge impact that 'Free Libre Open Source Software' has had in other aspects of life like, culture, arts, science...
The profusion of 'Free' licenses in arts and Science (films, literature, essays, documentation etc.) like the very popular now 'Creative Commons' started thanks to the historic evolution of 'Free Libre Open Source Software', that has trespassed frontiers, and moved from IT, to other fields in human life and the world. The appearance of 'Free/Open Hardware in the IT world and the Industry, is another proof of it...
Those who are into IT, specially 'Free Libre Open Source Software', and are more than 40 years old, know the history very well. It is undeniable.
The progress that 'Free Libre Open Source Software' has represented to the world is out of question. and it ha spread to other domains in human life, and the world; like science, arts, politics etc. And, that is because, finally, everything is inter-related.
Is just another step towards the aim, of the human being, for freedom and knowledge. An aim, that is unstoppable, because is in the very essence of our nature; biologically and spiritually.
Free computing, Free culture... are just a part of it, like the right to knowledge, political freedom, economic freedom; and GNU, GPL... are a main part of it.
Those who, like you say: 'You're not going to change anything, so you might as well just let it be.', used to say the same to people who, in the past, fought for the abolition of dictatorships, the abolition of slavery; fought for the vote of every person, disregarding sex or economic and social status; fought for the political freedom and for the right of education of all the people, not only of a privileged group etc.
So, at the end, IT and software are not separated from the rest of the world; and despite the opinion/advice of some, talking about it is talking about the real world, about real things that are important for everyone of us.
And talking about GNU, GPL etc, its importance, its roll in history, its legal and scientific consequences, is not only, not out of place; it is tremendously important.
It is, with other 'Free Libre Open Source Software' movements, licenses, visions... very important in the development of software, and in the evolution of IT. And, therefore in the History of the XX, and XXI centuries, and in the 3rd Industrial Revolution, as we are witnessing now and we will see even more in the future.
But GNU, GPL etc, are not just like any other 'Free Libre Open Source Software' movement, license, vision of IT... They have been the main pillar in the development of FLOSS, and as I have explained, paramount in the development and evolution of IT, and the world in the last 20 years.
In the future, we will see, probably, how 'Free Libre Open Source Software' and licenses expand and play a bigger role in the industry and the world.
The importance of discussing about GNU,GPL; the importance of its recognition is very obvious; at least for those who do not approach the IT history with bias.
65 • @63 and 64 (by whatever on 2011-11-03 16:03:18 GMT from United States)
fsck it, and goto
Who cares. You will not win and convince me otherwise. Why do I use Linux or GNU/Linux, because I want to and I like it. I don't care for the politics, freedoms, etc. That is it. Leave that to parliment, congress, others. Not here.
66 • Linux, the last missing piece of the GNU puzzle (by Ariszló on 2011-11-03 17:32:37 GMT from Hungary)
In this Usenet message, Linus Torvalds announced a new operating sytem, which "won't be big and professional like gnu":
The point is that he did not submit a kernel for the GNU project but started a new operating system with its own kernel. Yes, he also ported tools from GNU but you port software between operating systems, which means that Linus's operating system was different from GNU.
According to a popular GNU metaphor, the Linux kernel was just the last missing piece of the GNU puzzle. Again, Linus Torvalds has never submitted the Linux kernel for the GNU project. Even if he did, it would have been rejected by GNU in 1991 when the GNU project was determined to create its own kernel and was not looking for third-party kernels like the Linux kernel.
67 • @65 Software Freedom (by Peter Besenbruch on 2011-11-03 18:13:38 GMT from United States)
"Whatever!!!! fsck it, and goto sleep
"Who cares. You will not win and convince me otherwise. Why do I use Linux or GNU/Linux, because I want to and I like it. I don't care for the politics, freedoms, etc. That is it. Leave that to parliment, congress, others. Not here."
Nobody's stopping you from going to sleep. As for convincing you otherwise, we wouldn't dream of it. Go back to sleep. ;)
On a more serious note, I can appreciate what people are saying about software freedom. Not only is the notion of freedom integral with Linux and the GNU, the very notion of freedom permeates most distros out there.
How many distros out there use registration keys, let alone hardware based copy protection? It wasn't Windows' cost or quality that drove me to Linux, it was XP's stepped up levels of copy protection.
With commercial operating systems there is a tendency (and Windows is again the biggest offender) for programs to fight each other. The goal? Space on the desktop, the quick launch bar. Background processes to monitor and maintain a program's privileged position as a file default. Others vying to sell you more advanced copies of themselves. The non-free desktop devolves into a war zone, controllable only by extreme pruning.
With a free OS, I see programs arranged by category. Programs tend to ask politely for their file defaults, and accept "no" for an answer.
Free OS users also get more choice. In the upheavals today over Gnome and Unity, or the earlier complaints about KDE, people had alternatives, if they wanted to use them. The result are desktops with widely varying amounts of bling and features. KDE offers bling and features, Unity and Gnome offer bling, and you can descend down through XFCE and LXDE through the various plain window managers all the way to an X server running a terminal.
Linux requires a full gigabyte to run, or it will run smoothly in 128 megabytes. And all of that is because of freedom. So by all means, go back to sleep.
68 • A kernel is not an OS (by Magic Banana on 2011-11-03 18:18:02 GMT from Brazil)
Nobody says that Linux is part of the GNU project. Notice the slash in "GNU/Linux". Some people write "GNU+Linux".
Linus Torvalds did not "start a new operating system". He started a kernel. A kernel alone is useless. It is not the whole operating system. It is an essential component that, nonetheless, represents a small part of the whole work on GNU/Linux.
Since its inception, the GNU project never has anything against reusing existing components as far as they are free. For instance, they have not redeveloped an X window system. Once Linux was properly working, the effort on the HURD has significantly decreased because Linux was filling the gap.
69 • @68 (by DUHHHH on 2011-11-03 20:20:41 GMT from United States)
Yes, but GNU without Linux Kernel is useless too!
I agree with you. Just that I don't agree that GNU wants credit. There are too many people that deserve credit not only GNU!
The Dog wags the tail, but the tail is trying to wag the dog :( This is what the GNU folks that argue are doing. I see that there are other folks that want credit too!
70 • Royalties (by Kristian Nygaard Jensen on 2011-11-03 20:29:38 GMT from Denmark)
You use the label "royalties" for what Microsoft i asking Samsung and other Android/Linux suppliers to pay. Since Microsoft refuses to disclose which patents Linux et al., a more correct label would be danegeld or tax.
71 • New Linux Distro not relying on GNU (by Bob on 2011-11-03 23:17:17 GMT from Canada)
I am developing a Linux distro that doesn't use any software from the GNU project. It will be called LinG/Linux. LinG is an acronym for "Linux is not GNU". Anyone want to help?
72 • GNU/Linux (by Magic Banana on 2011-11-03 23:25:35 GMT from Brazil)
Of course, GNU without a kernel is useless. By the way, those who argue that GNU does not deserve any credit because there are substitutes for some of its packages should notice that it is also the case of the Linux kernel. The best example is Debian GNU/kFreeBSD.
Whatever sensible metrics you choose, GNU is the primary contribution of the operating system you use (assuming you are running GNU/Linux). It logically deserves no less credit than the second greatest contribution: Linux. The rest of the operating system is composed of much smaller contributions and these components are not always present. For instance, most servers run GNU/Linux without any window system.
73 • Debian KFreeBSD instead of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD (by underdog on 2011-11-04 01:20:21 GMT from United States)
Of course, GNU without a kernel is useless. By the way, those who argue that GNU does not deserve any credit because there are substitutes for some of its packages should notice that it is also the case of the Linux kernel. The best example is Debian GNU/kFreeBSD.
Yes! It would have been very Good, if not better if they used more of the FreeBSD stuff than the GNU part :) Why? FreeBSD is complete operating system, while GNU is just the userland :) FreeBSD kernel is used instead of the Linux kernel.
There is Nexenta, and other projects like Belenix using OpenSolaris and other technologies.
74 • @71 (by Patrick on 2011-11-04 13:46:15 GMT from United States)
Something like that already exists. It's called Android. It is an OS most people here don't consider a "real Linux". Why? Because it uses none of the familiar userland tools that Linux users are familiar with. You know, those GNU tools?
75 • Re: GNU/Linux (by Ariszló on 2011-11-04 15:50:05 GMT from Hungary)
Yes, GNU deserves credit but why in the name of the operating system? GNU-slash-Linux is both too long and hard to pronounce with a non-silent G in GNU (something like Guh-Noo but without the uh). Why not just say that Linux is an operating system made up of the Linux kernel, tools originally designed for GNU, X, window managers, desktop environments and many others?
76 • GNU without a linux kernel is **used** by a majority of **users** (by Pomme de Terre on 2011-11-04 16:02:42 GMT from France)
"Of course, GNU without a kernel is useless. "
And there are two projects , cygwin (thanks Red Hat) and mingw, who give good quality GNU software on the most popular kernel (and one of the most stable) for desktops/laptops -not for telephones, ....
And can Linux kernel be compiled with another compiler than gcc?
(tinycc did some years ago, but does it work now now?).
GNU softwares like Octave and R are likely to be used **without*** a linux Kernel in most cases (as GNU project was meant to give good quality, highly portable software to the users)
And it is not a matter of ease of pronounciation. It is just a matter of being useful (not popular, useful)
77 • Linux Mint:1 Ubuntu:2 (by Henning on 2011-11-04 16:13:33 GMT from Denmark)
Today Linux Mint passed Ubuntu on the 6 month page hit rank.
Is this the first time for years Ubuntu is second?
78 • LinuxMint 1 (by Geekboula on 2011-11-04 16:36:16 GMT from Canada)
Yes ! It a good news. This is proof that when you are listening the communauty users, we always end up making a winning product
Good work LinuxMint TEAM ! I send to you a big big cake with a number 1 on the top..
79 • Yes, GNU is OS-independent and portable (by Ariszló on 2011-11-04 17:22:12 GMT from Hungary)
Yes, GNU is OS-independent. Can an operating system be OS-independent? Can you port an operating system from one operating system to another?
The earliest releases of Linux back in the early 1990's were not compatible with GNU so Linus Torvalds (alone or with other programmers) *ported* some tools from the GNU/Proprietary_Unix_kernel operating system to his new operating system called Linux.
It was not the Linux kernel that was adjusted to be compatible with GNU but the other way round: GNU code was modified to be portable to Linux.
80 • #77/8 (by zykoda on 2011-11-04 17:51:05 GMT from United Kingdom)
But Ubuntu+Lubuntu+Kubuntu+Xubuntu+Ubuntu_Studio = 3677: That's a better comparison.
Mint combines all under one site.
81 • @80 "Ubuntu+Lubuntu etc. etc etc" (by Henning on 2011-11-04 20:24:27 GMT from Denmark)
But that doesn't change the fact that until today Ubuntu(without counting the other -buntus) has been number 1.
Today that has changed. Interesting development in my opinion. I bet it has something to do with Unity....
82 • RE: 59 - 81 (by Landor on 2011-11-04 20:42:41 GMT from Canada)
That's not actually a fully supported distribution. There's also a fair bit missing at this point in my opinion only of course.
Is it more to do with the actual Unity Shell itself, or is it more to do with the media playing on the vocal minority's position about it, and throwing Linux Mint out there as an alternative?
My personal view is the latter. I'll also bet my last dollar that Clem wants to get away from Ubuntu fully with their Debian Edition. That means GNOME Shell. That's as liked as Unity is by the vocal few. In fact, there's only a small percentage using the Debian Edition in comparison to the Ubuntu based release. What will people then turn to who do not like Debian Testing, and don't like GNOME Shell?
Anyway, Clem wouldn't be putting all the time and resources into hosting his own Debian Testing based repository if he didn't have a more wide, long term goal in mind. That's just pure speculation though, and I'm not saying anything negative about it either.
Keep your stick on the ice...
83 • #77 & 78 Meaningless! (by Mike Cougar on 2011-11-04 21:00:03 GMT from United States)
The reason is Mint lovers have been hammering Distrowatch. Nohing more
Ask the man on the street to name a Linux distro. Ubuntu will always come up. If you reference Mint, they might say it's that something you put in your mouth.
84 • @ 3 • "WillBe" distro (by forlin on 2011-11-04 21:04:44 GMT from Portugal)
That's Tizen? Quite surreal.
85 • RHEL clones spinoff idea... (by Caraibes on 2011-11-04 22:10:08 GMT from Dominican Republic)
Clem, Texstar or some other clever leader out there should consider the making of a RHEL clone based "Linux Mint" style distro, that is with the repos (and priorities of course...) enabled, the flash, codecs; non-free stuff etc... All that with Gnome 2.28, the cherry on the top of the pie...
Now that I am running SL6 with Gnome 2, I really believe it is far better than those newer stuff...
So far the Deb guys still have Ubuntu 10.04 and Debian 6... But the time is clocking...
Soon there will only be RHEL 6 clones...
Gnome 2 is the best...
86 • Patents (by Ron on 2011-11-04 23:23:52 GMT from United States)
Today (Nov. 4) I heard Obama say at his press conference at the G-20 that the patent system problems have been fixed!
What in the world is the talking about?
87 • Fedora 16 Goes Gold (by Tom Trotter on 2011-11-05 01:18:13 GMT from United States)
For those of us who can't stand to wait, there is news that Fedora 16 RC 5 has gone gold and is now being distributed to mirrors for the official release on Monday. If you can't wait, you can download it now. Within a few hours (and maybe already true), you can also get it from torrents. Fun over the weekend. After all, what else would we do?!
88 • Correct Date for Fedora 16 release (by Tom Trotter on 2011-11-05 01:21:57 GMT from United States)
Apologies. The correct date for the release of Fedora 16 is Tuesday, November 8 and not Monday, as an earlier post suggested.
89 • Up Ubuntu (by Roy H Huddleston on 2011-11-05 02:35:05 GMT from United States)
How To Install kernel 3.1 On Ubuntu 11.10/11.04
n this guide we will help you upgrade your current Kernel version to 3.1 under Ubuntu 11.10/11.04. Before we start, I should note that users of Ubuntu 11.10/11.04 in VirtualBox will not be able to use the copy/paste feature once they upgrade to Kernel 3.1. That means copying from host to guest or vice versa will not work once you upgrade your kernel. This also happens when doing a Ubuntu upgrade (sudo apt-get upgrade).
The new cool features incorporated in this latest stable version of Linux kernel 3.1 includes the following:
Near-field communication (NFC) support
OpenRISC CPU architecture support
Dynamic writeback throttling
More hardware driver support
3D support for new NVIDIA graphics chips
Virtualisation enhancements for Xen and KVM
Wii controller support, etc.
Open the terminal and run these two commands for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Ubuntu 11.10/11.04:
sudo dpkg -i linux-headers-3.1.0-030100_3.1.0-030100.201110241006_all.deb
For Ubuntu 11.10/11.04 (32-bit), run these commands:
sudo dpkg -i linux-headers-3.1.0-030100-generic_3.1.0-030100.201110241006_i386.deb
sudo dpkg -i linux-image-3.1.0-030100-generic_3.1.0-030100.201110241006_i386.deb
For Ubuntu 11.10/11.04 (64-bit), issue these commands:
sudo dpkg -i linux-headers-3.1.0-030100-generic_3.1.0-030100.201110241006_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i linux-image-3.1.0-030100-generic_3.1.0-030100.201110241006_amd64.deb
Reboot now your system, then open the terminal and run this command to check your Kernel version:
The output returned will be something like this:
~$ uname -r
90 • RE 79 : GNU leads to high quality and portable apps, making kernels irrelevant (by Pomme de Discorde on 2011-11-05 14:33:52 GMT from France)
"Yes, GNU is OS-independent. Can an operating system be OS-independent? "
But users are not interested in an operating system (i.e. low level interface between hardware and basic functionalities) . They need applications, high level ones (and not to have to relearn anything when they change from a GNU(linux) kernel to a $ one, or the other way...)
Can you port an operating system from one operating system to another?"
If it was interesting, such tools as VBox/VM player (and other : qemu is partly gpled ) can be used. For 99% -at least- of the users, porting from an operating system to another is like aimlessly, blindly wandering/distro (s)hopping. As life is short, this seems very irrelevant.
It was not the Linux kernel that was adjusted to be compatible with GNU but the other way round: GNU code was modified to be portable to Linux."
This shows that GNU sticks to a user friendly objective of being highly portable.. I do not know whether the linux kernel will remain hardware/Intel friendly (but hardware cannot buy users and is therefore inferior).
91 • LinuxMint #1 (by Craig on 2011-11-05 16:29:06 GMT from United States)
@77 & 78. I think it is the first time anything's been above Ubuntu on the six-month page. Has history been made?
92 • Great thought! (by Tourniquette on 2011-11-05 16:34:07 GMT from United States)
Hey Jesse! or the DW Crowd,
I just had a great idea! I think this could help the website, as well as the Linux cause as a whole. Why don't we allow comments on distribution's individual pages to let people know how we feel about each distro's idiosyncracy's? I mean, is this a stupid idea?
93 • @83 Meaningless? (by Taz on 2011-11-05 16:39:28 GMT from United States)
"The reason is Mint lovers have been hammering Distrowatch. Nohing more"
For 6 months?
Did it ever occur to you that Mint is probably the first distro recommended to people trying Linux, because it just works, and won't sour their experience as much as distros that you have to "configure more"?
I'vebeen playing with 'nix since the late 90's... and Mint is the first thing I recommend to any Linux newbie.
94 • Mint, Ubuntu and Distrowatch (by eagleton on 2011-11-05 16:50:22 GMT from Germany)
@91: I think PCLinuxOS was no.1 on Distrowatch a few years ago, also in the 6 month span.
95 • Mint (by Jesse on 2011-11-05 18:08:29 GMT from Canada)
>> "Did it ever occur to you that Mint is probably the first distro recommended to people trying Linux, because it just works, and won't sour their experience as much as distros that you have to "configure more"?"
Mint really does set the bar higher for desktop distributions. If you doubt that, take a look at their recent blog post talking about how the Mint developers are making GNOME 3 appealing to GNOME 2 users. They're basically reworking the tablet-focused shell and making it into a desktop environment, with an option to turn off the Mint extras to get plain GNOME 3 for those who want it.
I'm of the opinion Mint is one of the very few major distributions focused exclusively on catering to desktop users. And it's working for them. Most other distros are highly experimental (Fedora), or very general purpose (Debian), or developer efforts are split between desktop work and server work (Ubuntu). If you look at the top 15 DW rankings only Mint and maybe Mageia (Mageia is a bit young to judge yet) stand out as being both stable and catering exclusively to desktop users.
96 • Mint (by Unknown Coward on 2011-11-05 18:31:00 GMT from United States)
"The purpose of Linux Mint is to produce a modern, elegant and comfortable operating system which is both powerful and easy to use.
Started in 2006, Linux Mint is now the 4th most widely used home operating system behind Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS and Canonical's Ubuntu."
Where do these folks get the numbers from? Do they go house to house?
97 • @Mint (by Tourniquette on 2011-11-05 18:40:20 GMT from United States)
No, they go from the Distrowatch rankings, and to be quite honest they're probably much more popular than Ubuntu. Canonical has been destroying their own systems since 2009. I respect them as a company forwarding Linux systems to the masses (My own mother is absolutely happy with Mint OS 9) but my roommates have had tons of trouble with 11.04. I hear that 11.10 is a lot better, but still I have to stick with Mint for them, they just make things so much better, especially Mint 11. And I'm a Fedora 15 user with much happiness!
98 • Mint's popularity (by eagleton on 2011-11-06 09:01:31 GMT from Germany)
I think it's very unlikely that Mint has actually more users than Ubuntu. Opposed to Ubuntu, Mint's main marketing vehicle is Distrowatch (same as all community Linuxes), while company-based Linuxes like Ubuntu get coverage in mainstream computer media.
Clem himself once noticed that Mint's popularity is strongly dependant on Distrowatch.
So PCLinuxOS, Mint and all the others are probably far overrated in comparison to Ubuntu, maybe also compared to Fedora, OpenSUSE etc. Which of course says nothing about their quality.
99 • Linux Mint 12 (by Henning on 2011-11-06 09:45:07 GMT from Denmark)
There is a preview of Mint 12 on their homepage. Sounds interesting. A lot about how they are going to handle the transition to Gnome 3. And a screenshot of what the desktop will look like
100 • @ 90, 71 & 74: Linux with or without GNU (by Ariszló on 2011-11-06 10:26:04 GMT from Hungary)
90: "But users are not interested in an operating system"
Speaking about users, show an Ubuntu user Android without GNU and a "GNU/Linux" server distribution without X and ask the user which of two operating systems feels more like Ubuntu. (Cont. after 74.)
71: "I am developing a Linux distro that doesn't use any software from the GNU project."
74: "Something like that already exists. It's called Android. It is an OS most people here don't consider a real Linux. Why? Because it uses none of the familiar userland tools that Linux users are familiar with. You know, those GNU tools?"
I bet that users who "are not interested in an operating system" will find that Ubuntu with Unity is more similar to Android without GNU than it is to a "GNU/Linux" server distribution without X. If Ubuntu is Linux then so is Android.
101 • @96 Zorin (by Bob on 2011-11-06 22:52:07 GMT from Canada)
Even better is Zorin's blog:
"The Zorin OS team are delighted to announce to you that Zorin OS has finally reached more than half a million users after just 2 years of existence"
Yet there forum only has about 2,000 posts. That must be an incredible OS!
Number of Comments: 101
Display mode: DWW Only • Comments Only • Both DWW and Comments
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