| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 431, 14 November 2011
Welcome to this year's 46th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Red Hat's Fedora is without doubt one of the most influential and innovative Linux distributions on the market. Unfortunately, its reputation for not having a clear desktop strategy while strictly providing free and patent-unencumbered software in its repositories makes many desktop users shy away from this exciting operating system. Is the just-released version 16 more conducive to easy and trouble-free desktop computing? Read our first-look review to see what we think. In the news section, openSUSE prepares for the release of version 12.1 later this week, Ubuntu's Unity desktop receives more criticism from Linux media, and Linux Mint keeps impressing the journalists and bloggers around the Internet. Also in this issue, a link to an excellent interview with Fedora Project Leader Jarred Smith, more links to articles about two interesting alternative operating system options (FreeBSD and Solaris), a quick Questions and Answers section with tips for converting audio formats, and an introduction to Commodore OS Vision, a new Linux distribution that re-creates that classic Commodore look accompanied by effects and features found in any modern desktop operating system. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Fedora turns sweet 16|
As the release date for Fedora 16 approached I found myself debating which edition to review. Both front-line editions, GNOME and KDE, would have their interesting points and their drawbacks. Caught between the two I put the question to you, the readers, and let the choice be settled by a vote. The responses came in quickly with a 3:1 ratio in favour of the GNOME edition. Some people asked for both, as I had done with the Ubuntu/Kubuntu release, but sadly I did not have time to review both editions this time around. In fact, this is more of a "first impressions" look at Fedora 16 than a full-bodied review as less than a week has passed between release day and this article being posted.
Before installing the latest copy of Fedora I recommend reading the release notes as there are some important tidbits in there. For example? GPT disk labels, which (in my case anyway) means an extra partition needs to be created on the hard drive at install time. Fedora has replaced the GRUB boot loader with GRUB 2, init scripts have been converted over from SysVInit to systemd and user ID numbers are now higher. A lot of low-level stuff is changing and it's going to be interesting to see how that turns out -- after all, systemd is supposed to be fast and the transition to GRUB 2 was rocky for some users on other distributions so there are compatibility issues to consider. Enough speculation! I burned the 605 MB ISO image to a CD and got down to work.
Booting from the live CD brings us to a GNOME 3 desktop. At the top of the screen are a menu button, clock and system tray. The wallpaper is a blue/gray scene which appears to show a jet-powered submarine tracking a school of fish near the ocean floor. We can investigate the GNOME desktop in detail later, for now let's look at the installer.
I've talked about the Anaconda installer before and not much has changed in the past few years. The graphical installer walks us through selecting our keyboard layout, selecting a hostname for the machine and setting the time zone. We're asked to create a password for the root account and then we get into partitioning. The last step is to answer whether we want to install a boot loader (GRUB 2 in this case) and where it should be installed. As usual the screens offer a simple description of what is required of us and most users should be able to navigate through with little problem. That being said, in recent years some cracks have appeared in Anaconda which suggest to me that the old girl isn't getting the attention she deserves. For instance, the partitioning section: it's powerful, giving us the option of using RAID, LVM or plain partitions. We can enable file system encryption with a single click and the layout is clean. It's one of the best partitioning screens I've seen in the Linux community.
However, this is also where we see some problems. For example, Fedora is still one of the only Linux distributions which do not allow the user to select the file system of their root partition. If we're manually partitioning and we don't create a small partition to handle GPT labels we get an odd error message saying we need to create a place for stage1 without any further explanation. (This is why it's a good idea to read the release notes before beginning an install.) A third issue with the partitioning screen is that the installer will move partition layouts around, seemingly at random. I found that if I created a few partitions and then deleted one, the rest would get shuffled into a different order. My last complaint wasn't a bug, just an annoyance. At the end of the install process Anaconda copies files to the local machine and we see a progress bar march across the screen. When it reached the end my machine sat and did nothing... for about fifteen minutes. I'd assumed the installer had frozen and was about to reboot when a window popped up saying the boot loader was being installed, which took about another five minutes. Again, not a bug, it's just slow and the progress bar is out of sync with what's happening behind the scenes.
Desktop and applications
The first time we boot into Fedora we're passed over to a first-run wizard which asks us to read the distribution's license, set the current system time and create a new user account. We're also given the option of authenticating users via other means, such as network-wide logins. The last step in the first-run wizard asks if we'd like to submit a hardware profile to the Fedora team. From there we're presented with a graphical login screen.
Fedora 16 - the Activities menu
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When we log in we're brought to the GNOME 3.2 Shell. This environment presents us with a relatively empty desktop featuring a menu and system tray bar at the top of the display. Clicking on the button, labeled "Activities", brings up a large menu with quick-launch buttons to the left of the screen and a grid of mini preview windows. Clicking on one of these windows snaps us back to the desktop and brings the selected window to the front. When the Activities menu is displayed we're also shown virtual workspaces over to the right side of the screen. At the top of the Activities menu there's a button for switching from a view of preview windows to showing available applications.
Applications can be filtered based on their category by clicking icons on the right-hand side of the screen. We can also search for items by typing a name or description into a text box near the top of the display. The Activities menu appears to have replaced the traditional task switcher, which, I find, makes switching between windows, and seeing which windows are open, a slower process. If you've tried GNOME Shell before you're probably aware the environment does not include minimize or maximize buttons on window title bars. It's still possible to manage windows, but it has become a more roundabout process.
Back to the Activities menu, let's take a look at what applications are installed. Firefox 7 is included, as are the Empathy messenger client and the Evolution email program. The Transmission BitTorrent client is included along with the Cheese webcam tool. There's a document viewer, the Shotwell photo manager, a CD ripper and a disc burner. There's a small collection of GNOME games, the Orca screen reader and a virtual on-screen keyboard utility. Rhythmbox is included, as is the Totem multimedia player. Despite having these multimedia programs installed, Fedora does not come with codecs for handling video formats or MP3s. Moving on down the menu we find a text editor, calculator, archive manager and a simple backup utility. There is an automated bug reporter, which will keep track of crashed programs and assist the user in submitting bug reports.
GNOME 3 comes with a relatively small collection of tools for changing the look and feel of the desktop, it's apparently assumed the Shell is one-size-fits-all. Where Fedora stands out from the crowd is with its administrative programs. There's a SELinux trouble-shooter, a slick user account manager, a printer configuration tool and a firewall utility. I found it interesting to note that most network services, aside from SMTP, are disabled on Fedora and the firewall is enabled. However, the firewall does leave port 22 (usually reserved for secure shell) open even though secure shell is not running. Digging deeper into the list of available software I found neither Java nor Flash included. The free Flash alternative, Gnash, is available in the repositories, but is not installed by default. There aren't any developer tools, such as GCC, installed either. For some reason the developers seem to be unwilling to use the extra 95 MB of space on the live CD. In the background we find the 3.1 version of the Linux kernel.
Fedora 16 - running various applications
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Applications one might expect to find in a Linux distribution, such as multimedia codecs, aren't included in Fedora's repositories. To access these extras we can turn to the RPMFusion project. This project maintains repositories of software packages which, for one reason or another, are not eligible to be included in Fedora. Adding these repositories is as easy and clicking on a link on the RPMFusion website and refreshing the package manager. Doing this gives the user access to multimedia codecs, Flash and other items which may fall under patent or license restrictions. Even with these extra repositories installed (I enabled RPMFusion's free and non-free repositories), acquiring the proper codecs was still a manual process. I experimented with opening Totem and Rhythmbox and asking them to open multimedia files. Rhythmbox would simply display an error if asked to play MP3s. The Totem movie player would offer to search the repositories for codecs. Performing a search, even with non-free repositories added to the system, returned no results and codecs had to be found and installed manually.
On the subject of repositories, handling software packages got off to a rough start. Shortly after logging in I launched the update manager. It informed me that it was checking for updates, a progress bar appeared and crawled along to about its halfway point and stalled. After several minutes with no activity I closed the window and tried opening the Add/Remove Software application. This program too informed me that it was downloading group and package information. Then it too stalled and failed to respond. I found that dropping to a terminal and using the YUM command line program allowed me to update repository information and download updates. I was also able to add and remove applications.
However, returning once more to the graphical package manager resulted in the GUI freezing. I've only had a few days to use it, but so far I've found that any software management needs to be done via the command line. On day three of my trial I returned to the update application and asked it to install available updates. This it did and, upon completion, it popped up a dialog box to inform me all updates were successfully installed. I clicked OK, at which point the dialog popped-up again, and again, and again... Eventually the graphical update app closed or crashed. Fortunately, as far as command line programs go, YUM is quite good and I find its syntax intuitive and its output helpful.
While trying Fedora I ran the distribution on two physical machines, a desktop box (2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card) and my HP laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card). I also installed Fedora in a VirtualBox virtual machine. I was pleased to find that Fedora properly detected all of my hardware. Screen resolution was set to reasonable level and audio worked out of the box. I found that my touchpad didn't registered taps as clicks, but this was easily enabled through the configuration tools. My Intel wireless card was picked up without any problems. On the physical machines logging into my account would automatically bring up the GNOME Shell. Desktop responsiveness was about average while using the Shell. When logging into my account in the virtual environment Fedora would display a message saying that "GNOME 3 Failed to Load" and GNOME would start in fallback mode, which is fairly similar to a GNOME 2.x environment. Running in fallback mode I found that the desktop's performance was about on par with a standard GNOME 2 environment.
Systemd and GNOME Shell
There are two features included in Fedora I'd like to spend some time addressing. The first is systemd, the new init technology. Honestly, if it hadn't been mentioned in the release notes I probably wouldn't have noticed the init scripts had been converted. From the end user's point of view it doesn't seem to matter and I think that's a good sign. Getting the system up and running is important and this year we've seen Fedora transition from one init system to another seamlessly. That's the good news. The bad news is that, on my hardware at least, there doesn't appear to be any improvement in boot times. The Linux Mint "Debian" and Ubuntu releases, which I reviewed last month, went from boot menu to login screen faster, so I suspect that either more work is left to be done on systemd or the developers aren't getting the results they expected.
The second thing I'd like to address is GNOME 3, or more specifically, GNOME Shell. About six months ago I tried the initial GNOME 3 release (also on Fedora) and found it to be over simplified -- that is, simplified to the point where it took me noticeably longer to perform most tasks. At the time I had hoped the GNOME developers would listen to feedback and improve some of the limitations in the interface. Unfortunately this has not happened. The user still needs to jump through hoops to perform simple tasks. Turning off or rebooting the computer requires we hold down the ALT key while accessing the user menu. Opening a new application involves moving to the top-left of the screen, bringing up the menu and moving to the right side to filter down options or scrolling through pages of icons.
Paging between virtual desktops also requires moving back and forth across the entire screen. There's no taskbar so switching between windows involves either ALT-Tabbing through windows or another trip to the menu and back across the screen to the proper virtual desktop. Technically it all works, the code appears to be solid, but the design isn't suitable for laptop or desktop machines. It appears to be exclusively targeting tablets where the user would have their thumbs near the left and right sides of the interface. It's the only reason I can think of for making users constantly click items on the far side of the screen from where they were last working.
Fedora 16 - the GNOME 3 fallback mode
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Whenever a discussion about new desktop environments comes up there are always those who claim that people who don't like GNOME or Unity or KDE 4 are simply unwilling to change. I don't think that's the case here. I typically use a different desktop environment every week and usually find the transition to be smooth. I was able to get into the flow of KDE 4 after a few days, despite its rough edges. Unity, which I covered a few weeks ago, has its problems, but I found it easy to explore and its items are well placed. After half an hour I found myself getting along with Unity -- perhaps not to the point of liking Unity, but I was okay with using it for the week. However, GNOME Shell's design I find too inflexible and, to get anything done in a reasonable amount of time, it requires learning a list of shortcuts, which flies in the very face of having an explorable graphical interface. Thankfully it's possible to force GNOME 3 to use fallback mode, which makes using Fedora less work.
At this point I've only been using Fedora for about four days and some change, and I've been surprised at just how poor the experience has been. Anaconda, while still a descent installer, is losing ground to the competition and its slow performance and cryptic error messages aren't helping. Two weeks ago I was running Sabayon 7, which also uses Anaconda, and there the experience was noticeably better. The installation went faster and I was able to select my preferred root file system. If it works so well on Sabayon then why are these issues appearing in Fedora? GNOME Shell hasn't improved in the past six months and, at this point, I think it's fair to say from the responses (or lack of) we've seen from the developers that this is the way it's going to stay. GNOME Shell may be fine for touch screens and users who only want one window open at a time, but it's too cumbersome for desktop/laptop use.
Moving on, the graphical package manager usually stalls when I open it and when it does manage to finish starting up it's sluggish. Combine all this with Fedora's small collection of software and the requirement to add third-party repositories, such as RPMFusion, to get what most distributions consider normal functionality and I'm left with little choice but to recommend skipping this release. I've spent too much time this week fighting with the package manager, fighting with the desktop environment and hunting down software via the command line so I can use my computers; I'm looking forward to putting Fedora 16 behind me.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Interview with Fedora's Jarred Smith, openSUSE 12.1 feature round-up, Unity frustrations and Mint's rise, FreeBSD and Solaris as alternatives to Linux
The release of Fedora 16 was by far the biggest Linux event of the week. Using the occasion ThinkDigit's Nash David contacted Jarred Smith, the Fedora project leader, to ask him a few questions about the new release and upcoming plans. Asked about competition between popular Linux distributions, Smith views it as a healthy situation that gives users more freedom: "I don't see Ubuntu as the enemy out there. Ubuntu really has the same goal as us out there, and that is to use free software and make the world a better place. And so, Ubuntu, Fedora and many of the other distros out there are more like brothers and sisters rather than competitors. We can divide our own share of the pie, but, quite honestly, we're all interested in the rest of the pie than what we have as our share. I think it's very healthy to have different distributions, different preferences and different options. It gives people freedom! You know there is some healthy competition between Fedora, Ubuntu, openSUSE and some other distros, but instead of it being as Fedora vs Ubuntu vs openSUSE, it should be Fedora and the other distros vs the rest of the world. That's how we view it."
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Another week and another major release; this time by openSUSE. The project's latest and greatest, version 12.1, has been hitting the download mirrors since Saturday and chances are that some of you are already running it on your computers, even though it will only be formally announced on Wednesday, 16 November. Jos Poortvliet, the openSUSE community manager, has published a few of his first impressions of the new release: "I myself have upgraded my laptop to openSUSE 12.1 RC2 now and I got to see the new Plasma Desktop. Overall, the difference between Tumbleweed and 12.1 are minimal. As expected, considering Tumbleweed (openSUSE's cool rolling release repository) was a hair away from 12.1, the biggest differences are probably artwork and of course Plasma 4.7 instead of 4.6..." There is a lot more though, including GNOME 3.2 as well as the latest Xfce and LXDE desktops, the new KolorManager with Oyranos colour management tools, Apper replacing PackageKit for software management, introduction of Google's Chromium 16, Fedora's systemd and Google's new programming language, Go. That's just a fraction of what's new in openSUSE 12.1, so check out the detailed release notes for further information, highlights and screenshots.
openSUSE 12.1 - the KDE edition with KDE 4.7.2
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Rarely a week goes by, it seems, without an author from a major publication feeling a need to vent his frustration with Ubuntu's default desktop. Last week it was the turn of ExtremeTech's Jason Kennedy who found the Unity user interface unsuitable for desktop computers: "Ubuntu took away most of the customization controls Linux users had grown accustomed to; one of the main reasons to use Linux at all over Microsoft or Apple. I was clicking where I wasn't used to clicking, and finding myself using the search functionality over shortcuts, which added steps and interrupted the flow of working. To me an operating system should be invisible; something that gets out of your way so you can do what you're supposed to be doing." Like many others, the author has realised that Unity is designed for touchscreens rather than the traditional computer monitors: "Suddenly it all clicked: Unity was the beta of a touch interface. In that form factor, it will probably work wonderfully. But I can't help but feel like Canonical misled its users. Unity isn't a user-willed push; it's a way for Ubuntu to branch into what's hot -- the mobile market. Business-wise, it's a secure move. As a user, though, I feel cheated, fooled. Disappointed."
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Linux Mint's ascent to the top of DistroWatch's page hit ranking statistics has generated quite some interest in Linux media worldwide. Slashdot's "Linux Mint: the New Ubuntu?" generated over 600 comments, while Austria's Der Standard newspaper also noticed the change (article in German). Other publications reporting about Mint's rise included BeginLinux, Habrahabr (in Russian), Fayerwayer (in Spanish), Hungarian UNIX Portal (in Hungarian), Unixmen, Tecnoblog (in Portuguese), The Register, Osarena (in Greek), Xinmin (in Chinese), IDG (in Swedish), PYSN Noticias (in Spanish) and many other blogs and websites. But perhaps the most interesting among them was the post by the editor-in-chief of Brazil's largest Linux portal, BR-Linux.org. In "Ubuntu deixa o primeiro lugar no ranking do DistroWatch" (article in Portuguese), Augusto Campos writes: "My Ubuntu-using years are coming to an end. I'm obviously no longer the target user and I have an impression that the distribution has taken a conscious decision to serve a much larger audience, but to which I do not belong." The author feels that he is not alone in this assessment: "In the last 10 days, two teachers of my friends approached me for advice on Ubuntu alternatives to migrate their school's computer laboratories to - they simply felt that Ubuntu was no longer adequate."
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Tired of the current wave of Linux distro wars? Then perhaps you should switch to something different. InfoWorld's Paul Venezia notes that FreeBSD is a free, fast, stable, feature-rich operating system and if you've never looked into it before, you should: "There used to be a saying -- at least I've said it many times -- that my workstations run Linux, my servers run FreeBSD. Sure, it's quicker to build a Linux box, do a 'yum install x y z' and toss it out into the wild as a fully functional server, but the extra time required to really get a FreeBSD box tuned will come back in spades through performance and stability metrics. You'll get more out of the hardware, be that virtual or physical, than you will on a generic Linux binary installation. (Note: yes, you can use pkg_add to add binary packages à la .deb and .rpm, but where's the fun in that?) ... Sadly, though, I don't expect to see FreeBSD making significant inroads against Linux or Windows. Aside from being UNIX-like, it's a very different beast from, say, Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Linux administrators who have never touched a BSD box will find themselves in what may appear to be a fun-house-mirror OS where things are not quite as they seem; it can be frustrating to grok the concepts behind things like /etc/rc.conf and the ports collection."
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And if not FreeBSD, why not the brand-new Solaris 11? It's apparently free to download and use for non-commercial purposes, plus it comes with a large number of interesting features, even on the desktop. Calum Benson, Interaction Designer in the Oracle Solaris desktop team, presents what's new on the Solaris 11 desktop: "Much has been written today about the enterprise and cloud features of Oracle Solaris 11, which was launched today, but what's new for those of us who just like to have the robustness and security of Solaris on our desktop machines? Here are a few of the Solaris 11 desktop highlights: GNOME 2.30 - the most stable version of GNOME ever released, and has many improvements over GNOME 2.6 as found in Solaris 10; updated Firefox 6.0.2 and Thunderbird 6.0.2; Compiz - Solaris 11 uses this compositing window manager by default, enhancing the desktop experience with judicious use of customizable effects such as translucency, drop shadows and transition animations; package manager - IPS is the new package management system in Solaris 11, and it has a full-featured GUI that allows you to quickly browse and install new packages, or perform a live update of your entire OS in a couple of clicks, safe in the knowledge that it can be rolled back to a previous version just as quickly in the event of any problems."
Oracle Solaris 11 - the first major release in nearly seven years
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|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Converting audio formats
A-rolling-audio-format-gathers-no-moss asks: How can I easily convert audio files (e.g. MP3 to OGG format)? Also, how can I take a video file and extract the audio?
DistroWatch answers: For converting from one audio format to another the easiest way to go is probably with the soundKonverter application. It supports converting multiple files from one format to another and can handle OGG, MP3, WMA and several other audio formats. It comes with sane defaults and a straightforward graphical interface, so for audio conversion I would start there. For people who might not want to go down the KDE road, there is a similar GNOME project, SoundConverter. Command line junkies will probably want to take a look at either the SoX program, which can convert, mix, play and concatenate audio files, or the ffmpeg program.
Let's look at two quick examples. Here we use SoX to convert audio from .wav to .ogg:
sox oldfile.wav newfile.ogg
And here we convert a file from .mp3 to .ogg:
ffmpeg -i original.mp3 newfile.ogg
Extracting sound from a video file is a different procedure. For that the easiest tool I've stumbled across is probably PiTiVi. Typically PiTiVi is used as a video editor, but it allows users to import just about any audio or video clip and export it to just about any other format. This includes importing a video and outputting the audio track. PiTiVi has a nice interface and an intuitive drag-n-drop method for moving around tracks. Once again, for fans of the command line, the FFmpeg program can handle pulling the audio track from a video clip. A simple example would be:
ffmpeg -i videofile.mp4 soundtrack.mp3
People attempting to make use of PiTiVi, soundKonverter or SoundConverter should be aware these applications use underlying software like GStreamer, MPlayer and FFmpeg to do their work. When trying to manipulate certain formats you may find that you need additional packages not included in your operating system by default, likely due to patent restrictions. If you find that a program won't handle your multimedia files with its default configuration, check to see if FFmpeg, MPlayer and GStreamer are available in your distribution's repositories.
|Released Last Week
Andrew Wyatt has announced the release of Fuduntu 14.12, an updated version of the project's desktop Linux distribution recently forked from Fedora: "Today I would like to announce that we are officially forked. This means that we are now a self-contained, self-hosted distribution. Fuduntu is now built from Fuduntu repositories, and we only pull from Fuduntu repositories by default. I am also pleased to announce the early release of Fuduntu 14.12 to commemorate our anniversary. Fuduntu 14.12 is our first release media built from Fuduntu repositories without any external dependencies. Major changes in this release: Linux kernel 3.0.7, X.Org Server 1.11.1, Flash 11, Remmina is now the default remote access software replacing Vinagre. As always, Fuduntu 14.12 includes a roll-up of all package changes since 14.11." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details and upgrade instructions.
Fedora 16, the latest version of the popular community Linux distribution sponsored by Red Hat, has been released: "The Fedora Project is pleased to announce the release of Fedora 16 'Verne'. As always, Fedora continues to develop and integrate the latest free and open source software. The following are major features for Fedora 16: enhanced cloud support including Aeolus Conductor, Condor Cloud, HekaFS, OpenStack and pacemaker-cloud; KDE Plasma workspaces 4.7 and GNOME 3.2; a number of core system improvements including GRUB 2 and the removal of HAL; an updated libvirtd, trusted boot, guest inspection, virtual lock manager and a pvops-based kernel for Xen all improve virtualization support." See the release announcement and release notes for a detailed list of new features and other relevant information.
Oracle Solaris 11
Oracle has announced the release of Oracle Solaris 11, a UNIX operating system originally developed by Sun Microsystems and known for its scalability and innovative enterprise features: "Oracle today announced availability of Oracle Solaris 11, the first Cloud OS. Oracle Solaris 11 is designed to meet the security, performance and scalability requirements of cloud-based deployments allowing customers to run their most demanding enterprise applications in private, hybrid, or public clouds. As the first fully virtualized operating system (OS), Oracle Solaris 11 provides comprehensive, built-in virtualization capabilities for OS, network and storage resources. Oracle Solaris 11 offers comprehensive management across the entire infrastructure - operating system, physical hardware, networking and storage, as well as the virtualization layer." See the press release and read the detailed release notes to learn more.
Sabayon Linux 7 "Experimental"
Fabio Erculiani has announced the availability of three experimental editions of Sabayon Linux 7, containing the LXDE desktop environment, Enlightenment 17 and the Awesome window manager: "Directly from our 'Breaking Stuff' department, three new Sabayon 7 releases have seen the light. These releases all go under the 'Experimental' umbrella: 'LXDE' is a minimal, CD-sized flavour geared towards low-end computers, shipping the LXDE desktop environment; 'E17' is a minimal, CD-sized flavour made for people wanting to showcase the magic of Enlightenment 17; 'Awesome' window manager flavour. Features: latest and greatest package updates from repositories; Linux kernel 3.1...." Here is the brief release announcement.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
- Commodore OS Vision. Commodore OS Vision is a 64-bit Linux distribution, based on Linux Mint, created for Commodore enthusiasts purchasing Commodore USA hardware, such as Commodore 64, VIC series and the upcoming high-performance line of Amiga computers. These are essentially restore disks for pre-installed Commodore systems. Commodore OS Vision uses the classic GNOME 2 interface and features extensive Compiz/Emerald desktop effects. It includes dozens of games of all genres (FPS, Racing, Retro etc), the Firefox and Chromium web browsers, LibreOffice, Scribus, GIMP, Blender, OpenShot and Cinellera, advanced software development tools and languages, sound editing through Ardour and Audacity, and music composition programs such as the Linux MultiMedia Studio. It has a classic Commodore slant with a selection of applications reminiscent of their classic Amiga counterparts.
Commodore OS Vision 1.0 Beta - a Linux Mint-based distribution with a retro look and unusual effects
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- Pear OS. Pear OS is a French Ubuntu-based desktop Linux distribution. Some of its features include ease-of-use, custom user interface with a Mac OS X-style dockbar, and out-of-the-box support for many popular multimedia codecs. Pear OS is available for 64-bit computers only.
Pear OS 2.5 - an Ubuntu-based distribution with a custom GNOME user interface
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New distributions added to waiting list
- Kuine Linux. Kuine Linux is a family of Debian-based distributions, with each of which meeting one specific goal. Ideal for emulating an appliance or to instantiate a virtual machine to meet a very specific need, such as a database server or CRM or CMS.
- OpenMediaVault. OpenMediaVault is a network attached storage (NAS) solution based on Debian GNU/Linux. It contains services like SSH, (S)FTP, SMB/CIFS, DAAP media server, rsync, BitTorrent client and many more. Thanks to the modular design of the framework it can be enhanced via plugins. OpenMediaVault is primarily designed to be used in home environments or small home offices.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 21 November 2011.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Fedora 16: promising, but not ready for prime time (by Jeffersonian. on 2011-11-14 05:21:28 GMT from United States) |
At this time Jules Verne must flip in his grave: he was an epicurian, and a humanist...
and they gave his name to a Linux Distro for masochists!
I have spent another about six hours, almost got everything to work (not the Nvidia Driver, and the nouveau driver is atrocious !)... and it died.
The main issue is obviously with the ¨nouveau driver¨, but also with wireless not working.
It would be better to have a not so "nouveau" driver as an option like in the good old time of fedora 11... at least the install was possible, and a manual install of the Nvidia Driver was not so bad !
But also the lack of firmware for the Atheros and Broadcomm diver are annoying !
If Ubuntu/Mint (and many more) can install them, why do Fedora need to be so pure... and compromise so badly basic usability ?
Too bad, because Fedora when you get it to work has very nice features...
2 • (by DigitalLight on 2011-11-14 06:38:41 GMT from United States)
"As the release date for Fedora 16 approached I found myself debating which edition to review."
This shouldn't even be a question. Reviewers ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS need to review the default installation, on REAL hardware, and it needs to be specified if done otherwise. As a rule of thumb, if it doesn't have a desktop name (gnome, kde, etc) in the download URL, then it's the default. For example...
"Software one might expect to find in a Linux distribution, such as multimedia codecs, aren't included in Fedora's repositories."
Unlike Ubuntu, Mint, or others, Fedora has a rather strict Free and Open Source software only policy. (https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Licensing) These codecs, or other software, can easily added through RPMFusion with a few clicks.
While I think Fedora is fine for everyday use, I would still recommend new Linux users get their toes wet with Mint or Ubuntu, since this is their intended purpose.
3 • Bravo Mint! (by fernbap on 2011-11-14 06:45:26 GMT from Portugal)
I was thrilled to try Mint 12, so i installed it the same day the RC came out.
Mint 12 is amazing. Clem managed to get gnome 3, improve on it and give us back all we thought was lost!
The experience is so good that i found myself enjoying not only the "Mint layer", but even some goodies that gnome 3 has to offer.
With the rise to 1st place on DW, the release of Mint 12 will be huge!
Bravo, Clem! You just showed everyone how it's done!
4 • Fedora (by Alex on 2011-11-14 06:48:32 GMT from Australia)
I used F15 LXDE solidly for 3-4 months. It's arguably one of the best linux distros I've used, so I think the choice of DE really affects a users perception of a distro. I think it is a little disingenuous telling people to avoid an entire distro release, when XFCE and LXDE are options and provide a much better experience.
Not that I'm a part of the Fedora defence-force. Debian 6.0 master race here.
5 • Solaris and Oracle (by Jozsef on 2011-11-14 06:56:35 GMT from United Arab Emirates)
It seems comments are closed for last DistroWatch Weekly so, if it is OK, I will post my comment here. If it is not OK, it will be removed anyway :)
Guys, how did you manage to download Solaris 11?
I tried many times and it was unsuccessful each time. Same thing with Oracle Linux. Now I am thinking, maybe somebody will upload Solaris 11 on torrent and then I can get it somehow and try.
Oracle are very strange guys :)
6 • ubuntu 11.10 (by Chris on 2011-11-14 07:13:16 GMT from United States)
Ubuntu 11.10 can be made to run a nearly conventional Gnome desktop, Applications, Places all the same but System is now under Other in Applications. There is a nice clock central at the top, To enable this run a terminal sudo apt-get install gnome-shell
Restart required go to the toothed wheel object at login - there find more healthy options of login than just Unity
I have had this running for over a week, and it is very nice,
7 • Fedora 16 (by musty on 2011-11-14 09:14:05 GMT from France)
I m using Fedora 16 x64 gnome 3 and i am happy with it. Installed on my Dell vostro 1710 (2.4 Ghz dual core , 4Gb of ram). Installation was fast without glitch and my wireless (intel 3945) worked out of box, touchpad also. RpmFusion + gnome tweak added more fun to the experience. I recommended it to everyone.
8 • Commodore 64 (by disi on 2011-11-14 09:43:54 GMT from Germany)
I read about it on the German mirror the first time and the hardware looks like a mini-ITX board (dual Atom or something) in a C64 case.
The black cases look much better, but I would also have used some AMD Fusion APU rather than Intel-Atom or i5 for better graphics?
9 • Audio conversion (by No One on 2011-11-14 09:51:40 GMT from France)
Please, do not ever convert from a lossy codec to another. You will add the second codec's losses to the first one's.
This is especially true across codec families: they do not "lose" quite the same things, so while it can be argued that two similar codecs are alright, two very different ones will really add the losses.
The only reasons I can see would be file size or codec support, and that only as a temporary measure. Your original files are always the best quality you will ever have (barring some heavy-duty sound reconstruction algorithms, out of scope here).
Another remark: most solutions here do not deal with metadata (tags), which is a shame.
My solution of choice is flac2mp3, which does deal with tags as long as you do not use weird characters (classical music suffers a lot).
I know there is also an ogg2mp3 somewhere (loss to loss, blah).
10 • Fedora 16 could not even install (by Anton on 2011-11-14 10:01:35 GMT from Russian Federation)
Could not even install Fedora 16 on my Toshiba Laptop!!! Unknown critical error after selecting disk layout.
Ubuntu 8-11, openSUSE 11-12, Centos, Mint and previous Fedoras used to install without any troubles.
11 • Lubuntu (by Koroshiya Itchy on 2011-11-14 10:15:51 GMT from Belgium)
For those disliking Ubuntu, there is still Kubuntu, Xubuntu and Lubuntu. Ubuntu and Kubuntu are too heavy for me and Xubuntu is still too heavy for a Xfce distro. So yesterday I gave Lubuntu a try. Whereas the Live CD is a bit sluggish, once istalled the system looks great and feels responsive. A well-balanced system for users like me who like and need minimalism. The problem is that my laptops's graphics card (Nvidia 8800M GTX) has been deserted by the latest drivers (at least the 64-bit Linux drivers). Well, officially, it is still supported, but I have tried many Linux distributions and it really does not work at all. The good news is that Ubuntu uses by default the legacy 173 driver. So far so good. The problem is that the Nvidia-Settings version does not match the version of the driver and it is partially incompatible. As a result, one cannot set the screen resolution or use two monitors easily. I google the problem and guess what, this has been a recurrent problem with Ubuntu for the last few years (lots of bug reports, etc). I am back to good old Debian.
12 • F16 - choice of FS for / (by Gigi on 2011-11-14 10:17:32 GMT from Japan)
"For example, Fedora is still one of the only Linux distributions which does not allow the user to select the file system of their root partition."
It is only the live images that have this restriction as they are already a compressed image of the data laid out on an ext4. The DVD/CD non-live install media do not have this restriction. AFAIK, they support installing to every FS out there including the latest btrfs.
"When logging into my account in the virtual environment Fedora would display a message saying that "GNOME 3 Failed to Load" and GNOME would start in fallback mode, which is fairly similar to a GNOME 2.x environment. Running in fallback mode I found that the desktop's performance was about on par with a standard GNOME 2 environment."
Gnome shell doesn't work inside VM on any distro yet. However, Fedora is taking the first steps to get it work on F17 and it is one possible feature to keep an eye on.
"so I suspect that either more work is left to be done on systemd or the developers aren't getting the results they expected."
Of course, the system has changed but the actual init scripts are not yet 100% converted. Systemd has to maintain compatibility with the older stuff yet and thus sacrifice raw speed.
At the end, most of the shortcomings you've highlighted are down to a personal preference against GNOME shell vs actual shortcomings of the OS code base.
13 • Backwards (by Pete on 2011-11-14 10:19:47 GMT from New Zealand)
This time last year we were all asking if Linux was ready for the mainstream... And now, it doesn't even seem ready for hardcore tux fans. Gnome is broken, Unity has divided, and KDE4 was never really a darling.
The Fedora review seemed pretty damning.
Ubuntu is slipping in popularity.
And Mint is gaining popularity by sticking to the past.
I'm going on a limb here... Linux isn't ready for the mainstream. Because mainstream is that old computer you have lying in the corner, not a tablet. And that old computer has not got enough ram to run a slick desktop from Redmond or kde. This needs a rethink.
The kernel is ready, office is ready, browsers are ready... But the desktop. Badly badly broken.
14 • Transcoding lossy audio formats (by lcg on 2011-11-14 10:29:41 GMT from Germany)
"Adding losses" is an interesting choice of words. :)
But I wholeheartedly agree, you better have a damn good reason to transcode from one lossy format to another one. It might not be too bad if you stay within one format (mp3 -> mp3, vorbis -> vorbis, ...) since the algorithm might only throw away similar information as the previous application of the same algorithm (provided you actually use the same encoder, even LAME and the Fraunhofer encoder probably differ too much). But even then I can't really think of a good reason to do this.
Since disk space is becoming cheaper all the time, I have some time ago decided to keep a backup of all my CDs in FLAC format. From those files, I can easily transcode for different players, even applying DSPs in the process (bad, I know, but I prefer a little crossfeed on my portable player that doesn't offer this option at playback).
15 • Disklabels etc. (by mechanic on 2011-11-14 10:40:58 GMT from United Kingdom)
This transition from the older partition scheme - MBA, /dev/sdX,... - to GPT needs to be explained to the masses (inc me) more clearly. It seems to be a definite trend with some advantages like more partitions, but needing more space to hold the partition information hence the requirement for a boot partition. But I'm left wondering how to accommodate such systems in a multi-boot setup with Grub, how to convert from MBA to GPT without deleting and recreating partitions, and if that is even necessary to accommodate eg Fed16? Solaris 11 talks about GPT in the release notes, but seems to install ok among other Linux partitions, although now simple things like update-grub throw up many lines of warnings about nested partitions. Installation of Linux/BSD/Solaris systems on the same disk isn't simple and an often neglected topic in reviews.
16 • Solaris 11 and Oracle (by mechanic on 2011-11-14 10:46:44 GMT from United Kingdom)
Did you try the download from:
- the x86 download seems ok and no choice for 32/64 bit, maybe it works with both?
You will need to setup a free account with Oracle to access the download file.
17 • F16 (by Snicker on 2011-11-14 11:02:41 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks for a comprehensive review, Jesse. Didn't experience any of the installation problems you suffered - just set a (mandatory ext4!) root, home and swap and away we went. Didn't see any mention of GPT, didn't experience any untoward delays upon completion. Forced the fallback (which was well flagged in advance reviews) by using an older video card and low memory. Took advice (last week) and immediately installed : yum install @XFCE. Worked like a dream, although it didn't work from the PM menu at first try.
The only gripe is not with RH but the politicians who permitted software to be patented over there, so had to load up all the necessary 'non-free' and proprietary stuff in separate operations (don't know of any Brit who doesn't use the BBC iPlayer which must have a flash component! Another political interference?). Probably forgot to tick a box during installation?
Have my F16Xfce running smoothly and much faster than ever. Like the last couple of releases, it now successfully re-detects new/changed hardware at each boot-up, which means I can swap the drive around in its caddy between different machines - this wasn't possible in earlier incarnations without substantial intervention.
18 • FEDORA 16 (by enrico on 2011-11-14 11:40:13 GMT from Italy)
As someone else posted, both fedora and opensuse offer live cd and dvd isos, and the second option is a more better media for installation, because it offers all of the software available and more setup options..and it has less bugs or glitch in comparison with live media, while ubuntu dvd is the same media as livecd with all localizations, fedora dvd has every desktop environment you need, and better hardware handling. my setup machine is a notebook intel-based, and fedora 16 works without a glitch, except wireless atheros, wich need adjustment,but is kernel-module related, and not distro-specific. the 16 edition is far better than 15, fastest, and for now, without glitch.. even fastest than xubuntu, wich was my previous setup..
the only thing i can agree with you is package management, fedora graphical tools are a bit annoyng, and slow, compared with ubuntu family, or everyone else, at least at the beginning of the lifecycle of a new release, but they keep improving every release.
I admit i use only yumex, for updating and managing packages, it's fast, reliable, and can make a sneak peek in testing repo without having much console use. it's poor in graphics, but can control all aspects of the distro.
SAbayon 7 is a powerful contender , without any doubt, but the graphical polishness is far from Fedora, and package manager is in alpha-beta state, whorse than fedora..
Fedora doesn't have codecs,like ubuntu's, and opensuse, but there are some tools like autoten, that can handle this without big effort.... and once setup is done, everyoune can use it with pleasure.
19 • Fedora (by Anonymous on 2011-11-14 11:41:38 GMT from United States)
Fedora has a rather strict Free and Open Source software only policy.
Of course the only thing stopping Red Hat from paying for a patent license for existing open source audio and video codecs and gifting them to the Fedora users is that they do not want to.
20 • F16 (by eco2geek on 2011-11-14 12:12:25 GMT from United States)
@12: >> "Gnome shell doesn't work inside VM on any distro yet."
Disagree. Try running openSUSE's live GNOME CD on the latest version of VirtualBox. The difference is that openSUSE includes the VBox guest modules on their live CD. When actually installed in VBox, it seems to depend on the distro. Ubuntu (and the new Mint 12) seem to have the best GNOME shell experience of the ones I've tried (you can easily install GNOME shell on Ubuntu).
Funny how different peoples' experiences can be. The hardest issue I had with Fedora 16 was getting the nvidia driver installed, and that was just a matter of following some directions presented on the Fedora Forum, here:
I don't have issues with the software installer hanging, although it's sort of unintuitive to use. Note that Fedora does take a hard line on non-free, patent-encumbered, and potentially-DMCA-infringing software (like libdvdcss), so you have to jump through hoops to get things like MP3 codecs and the Flash plugin installed.
I definitely agree with Jesse on the (non-)usability of GNOME shell. Fortunately, there's always Xfce.
21 • @12 F16 - GShell running inside a VM (by @12 F16 GShell in a VM on 2011-11-14 12:15:07 GMT from Portugal)
"Gnome shell doesn't work inside VM on any distro yet. However, Fedora is taking the first steps to get it work on F17 and it is one possible feature to keep an eye on."
Tha's an incorrect statement, to say the least.
While on the latest RC status, F16 did ran the gnome shell inside a VM. It was only after a X11 update, after the final release, that it stopped doing so.
All my Ubuntu 11.10 VM's have the Gnome Shell installed and it runs fine in all of them. The Ubuntu 11.10 Gnome remix also runs pretty well on a VM - this is the one that runs it better.
Even Openuse 12.1 current's RC runs fine in a VM.
I guess you'll have to find another excuse for F16.
22 • F16,Unity, Gnome (by rich52 on 2011-11-14 12:39:50 GMT from United States)
Running F16 KDE. . . like it or not I'm sticking with it for now. . . works good . . . so did F15.
Unity is still messed up. . . 11.10 is what 11.04 should have been . It's got a real long way to go. . . Dash is crap. . . menu-bar is crap. . . . . the desktop panel switcher is lousy. . .I use a mouse 90% of the time . . . why do I want to start using the keyboard more?
Ran Gnome for a while. . . . with Nvidia video . . . it works but what about ATI? Probably still garbage. It too needs more customization with bells and whistles for the user. Dumbed down and the simplistic interface just lacks functionality for me.
Should have left Gnome 2.32 alone. . . .My desktop computer with it's 27" screen, 6-core processor and 16 gig ram is not a tablet. . . .
KDE is the only viable desktop for me . . . I hope they don't go the same route any time soon.
23 • Ubuntu 11.10 vs 10.04 (by Steve on 2011-11-14 13:01:29 GMT from Philippines)
I am currently running Ubuntu 11.10 and I am getting annoyed with Unity and even the new Gnome version.
Should I downgrade and install-from-scratch a version of Ubuntu 10.04 instead? Then from there be able to upgrade straight to 12.04?
24 • @23 - gnome collection (by meanpt on 2011-11-14 13:09:32 GMT from Portugal)
If, as you say, you really tried gnome on the 11.10, I don't understand how did you miss the availability of the gnome classic, either with and without effects, in the login's desktop menu. After all, that's what you'll get with the 10.04.
25 • Fedora 16 (by Tom Gellhaus on 2011-11-14 13:14:26 GMT from United States)
Good review by Jesse. I didn't have the same "freezing" when updating at all, not sure what that's about. But I know that yum is quicker in general.
Discovered a strange behavior in Fedora that I didn't fix until I was using Mint 12 - GNOME 3 (both distros) didn't want to "see" audio CDs and 4 different music players refused to play them. Only when I combined Banshee player with the LXDE desktop was I able to play CDs. I'm going to check Xfce and KDE when I get the chance.
26 • Pear OS (by PG on 2011-11-14 13:15:51 GMT from United States)
OK. So I checked out Pear. I haven't downloaded it but checked out the screenshots. Looks like custom Unity to me? -- unless you're calling Unity a "custom Gnome interface". Or have they mixed and matched Unity & G3?
27 • Ubuntu (by Alcohol52 on 2011-11-14 13:42:05 GMT from Nepal)
Like Augusto Campos, I no longer belong to Ubuntu audience. For past few days, I have been frantically downloading and trying all sort of distros to replace Ubuntu 11.04 in my few computers. Thanks to Unity -the last straw that will break Ubuntu's neck, I am amazed to feel the diversity that linux world should boast about.
28 • Gnome 3.2 (by afonic on 2011-11-14 14:09:14 GMT from Greece)
I was using Gnome Shell back in the beta days. Well guess what, apart from bug fixes it is not any different or better than then. I cannot believe one of the major distros is offering is at default without a SINGLE configuration tool.
See the disturbingly small fonts at the Activities menu? You CAN'T change them unless you spend time digging .css files.
I mean come on, something like Android is more customisable than Gnome Shell. Admit you're wrong and bring back Gnome 2.x utilities...
29 • #19 shows no understanding of open source, and Red Hat's contribution (by David Smith on 2011-11-14 14:16:25 GMT from Canada)
"Of course the only thing stopping Red Hat from paying for a patent license for existing open source audio and video codecs and gifting them to the Fedora users is that they do not want to.
Sorry, I don't understand the point here. Open source software is by definition unencumbered by commercial patents. In fact there is no mechanism to 'pay for a patent license' (one may always make financial donations to various, loosely connected projects that in totality comprise Open Source). Red Hat 'gifts' the largest contribution of code commits to the GNU/Linux open source community through work by its salaried employees, of almost any corporation. I don't know if they are directly involved in audio and video codecs per se, but they certainly contribute to the underlying platform on which those codecs run. Your statement is way off the mark.
30 • Ubuntu we have to talk... (by Tom on 2011-11-14 14:34:32 GMT from United States)
ubuntu, it seems that you have changed your ways.
It seems the ubuntu I fell in love with has been lost and replaced with a tablet os.
You focus on your looks and skin deep features rather than focusing on making the desktop easy and intuitive to use.
I think we need to start seeing other people.
I heard linux mint has qualities you used to have that I fell in love with before you switched to unity.
I'm breaking up with you, Ubuntu.
P.S. I want your stuff out of my hard drive by the end of the week to make room for Linux Mint 12
31 • Patents (by Jesse on 2011-11-14 14:35:50 GMT from Canada)
>> "Open source software is by definition unencumbered by commercial patents. "
No, it's not. Open source software has virtually nothing to do with patents. Open source licenses deal with copyright, not patents. The exception may be GPLv3, but it prevents applying patents to GPL software, not removing patents from existing software.
>> "In fact there is no mechanism to 'pay for a patent license' "
Yes there is. Commercial software vendors license patents all the time. Red Hat simply doesn't have any motivation to make Fedora attractive to desktop users. The project is a testing ground for them, they're not targeting the end-user market.
32 • Unity (by khaosbaby on 2011-11-14 14:43:35 GMT from United States)
I have two computers, a touch-screen desktop and a non-touch laptop. Ironically, I find it easier to use Unity on my laptop than on my desktop. I really don't see what everyone's complaining about here. Sure, it doesn't look like the old Mac OS (because let's face it, that's the style GNOME was using, just as KDE tends to follow the trends in Windows design), but it's clean, sensibly laid out, and lets me spend less time poking through menus and tools and more time using the programs I want to use. Personally, once it gets some necessary bug-fixes, I think Unity will be excellent.
33 • F16 - KDE? (by dialup on 2011-11-14 15:40:32 GMT from United States)
Anyone tried installing KDE from the DVD ... good/bad experience?
34 • Fedora 16 KDE (by Mikademus on 2011-11-14 16:06:47 GMT from Sweden)
Thanks for the overview, Jesse! I have been using Fedora since version 11 (Leonidas) using KDE4 as DE and it has been generally smooth sailing. My only persistent gripe has been that while YUM works flawlessly the graphical package manager feels broken, so I agree with you on that point.
Now, I would really like to reinforce the point that since F16's GNOME experience leaves so much to be desired you really should at least glance at its KDE incarnation. Fedora has always been GNOME-oriented but has over the last releases focused more and more toward KDE.Since your review clearly damns F16 as a comparatively failed or even broken distro and at the same time the Fedora project claims that F16 is the best KDE experience yet, it seems not only interesting but also fair and necessary to give the spin a spin.
#13: "KDE4 was never a darling", please stop speaking for everyone. I have used KDE4 consistently and productively since version 4.2. KDE4 has risen to everything we can desire from a desktop interface: feature-complete, customisable, and beautiful enough not only to compete with but even out-compete Apple and MS' desktops. If you're hoping for a year of the Linux desktop, you will probably have to accept that regardless of your personal DE preferences your hopes lies with KDE4 (and KDE5, probably coming with Qt5 next year).
35 • @32 Unity (by meanpt on 2011-11-14 16:21:04 GMT from Portugal)
Better leave Unity for the keyboard and mouse, and use Gnome Shell 3 for the touch screen.
36 • Fedora-16 (by Rajesh Ganesan on 2011-11-14 16:29:51 GMT from India)
I'm using Fedora-16_x64. I didn't find any problem. Stable and secure system ... Gnome-3 is getting better by every release.
I recommend yumex to jesse next time. It's faster. I would also suggest yum-fastest-mirror and yum-fast-downloader plugins too.
37 • FC16 (by Chapeau de Paille d'Italie on 2011-11-14 16:35:14 GMT from France)
As far as I could test, FC16 with KDE was satisfying, once installed from his live CD.
I write "once installed", because it was impossible for me to have the installer respecting a prepartitioned external disk (it installed, but could not boot, though grub worked: I prefered to wipe all the contents of this disk, which was new, and did not notice any flaws).
Installation by copying the contents of the live CD is very fast( Mageia/mandriva offer the option to choose what one wants to install, using the package manager: this is slower).
Using the package manager (rpm : I knoew the dependencies list) was fast enaugh, too (if one uses a graphical tool, the lags can be attributed to this tool or to the package manager, onedoes not know). Though I prefer (a little ) Mandriva/Mageia, and I prefer much Scientific (more stable : it is pleasant for long term use-, am accustomed to gnome 2 and, as I am not interested in tablets, newer desktops do not appeal me), I did not notice any flaw (as far as now) in this version.
38 • Fedora and packages (by Jesse on 2011-11-14 16:43:41 GMT from Canada)
>> " Reviewers ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS need to review the default installation, on REAL hardware"
>> " I would really like to reinforce the point that since F16's GNOME experience leaves so much to be desired you really should at least glance at its KDE incarnation."
Obviously there is some difference in opinion here. Personally, since my gripes with F16 include not only Gnome Shell, but also the installer and package management (and repositories) I'm not inclined to review Fedora KDE (or any other editions). Changing desktop environments will not change those problems.
>> "I recommend yumex to jesse next time. It's faster"
I've used Yumex and it is better, much better, than the default GUI package manager in Fedora. It has been since around Fedora Core 3. Which begs the question why the Fedora team continues to include inferior package managers and refuses to put Yumex on the default install media. Still, even Yumex isn't up to par with package managers in other distributions.
39 • 3 fingered salute (by technosaurus on 2011-11-14 16:45:35 GMT from United States)
The worst thing about the keyboard "shortcuts" is the idiot developers' logic behind selecting the combinations. They typically falsely assume that both the users hands are on the keyboard at all times, when in fact most users _do_ have one hand on their mouse and the other on the keyboard (unless they are '"pron"' surfing). Taking this into consideration and adding in the statistical percentages of right handed users, how is Ctrl+P (or any key on the right side of the keyboard) a "shortcut".
The biggest pitfall a develop can make with a GUI, is to assume that all users are like them... especially if they are a south-paw vi-user.
40 • Linux Summary (by Bob on 2011-11-14 16:49:23 GMT from Austria)
10-year anniversary, partly without celebrations:
Facts valid over the entire past decade:
- laptops: if you don't own the right hardware - forget Linux
- open s/w: some is good, some is junk (re-invented wheel, chronically unfinished)
- proprietary s/w: in many cases superior to open (aka faster, less buggy, etc.)
- KDE3: would probably still be superior to any of the DEs if they did not kill it
- KDE4: took them years and lots of RAM to get useful - biggest bloat around
- Gnome: no more to say - look at most other posts!
- Xfce: Had it installed several times, did not like it although it appears to be OK
- LXDE: Might become my favorite distro after maturing (recent perception)
- other DEs: mostly inferior to LXDE for several reasons
- market share: was at < 2% and will remain there for the years to come (Gartner)
- future outlook: in the desktop arena Linux will remain a click-and-pray toy
- distro hopping: mostly useless, because there is no such thing like the perfect distro
- good Linux developers: seem to get a proper job and are lost forever
- bad Linux developers: stick around and live forever :-)
Conclusion: Don't install Linux on your granny's computer if you are after some inheritance. But if you have time to spend just go ahead and try to install it on your hardware. If you finally succeed you'll feel much more significant than after migrating to the newest Windows version.
41 • @8, Commodore C64 (by TobiSGD on 2011-11-14 16:58:22 GMT from Germany)
There will be two versions, the Ultimate with Atom D525 and 4GB of RAM and the Extreme with Core i7-2720QM and 8GB of RAM.
42 • Fedora 16 (by albinard on 2011-11-14 17:12:28 GMT from United States)
Thank you for two suggestions, Jesse! I didn't have the troubles you did installing Fedora 16 (on an ancient Compaq with 1GB Ram and a GeForce 6200 video card added). On the other hand, I had a terrible time trying to find a shutdown button and wound up using the terminal each time. So thank you for alt+user button, and especially for the Old Gnome fallback option!
And @30: good one!
43 • @31: open source, patents and Red Hat's "motivation" (continued) (by David Smith on 2011-11-14 17:23:16 GMT from Canada)
"Jesse" (It's unclear whether you are Jesse Smith, the author of the Fedora 16 review published above), I'm not going to engage you in a legalistic debate, since I am not a lawyer -- are you? -- but I stand by my statements within the context of the OP's comment, which insinuated that Red Hat is too cheap and greedy to license commercial codecs for the free Fedora distribution.
I also think your remark that "Red Hat simply doesn't have any motivation to make Fedora attractive to desktop users." is both disingenuous and unfair. What, their motivation is to make it unattractive? How exactly will that help them promote their commercial offerings?
Best observe the red text just below the comment form...
44 • CDlinux (by Security Matters on 2011-11-14 17:23:39 GMT from Romania)
I tested CDlinux 0.9.7 as I saw the announcemet on DistroWatch, and I was very shocked to realize that it comes "pre-owned".
The live cd starts the sshd service, using pre-generated host keys, and the root password comes set to an undocumented value (none of the obvious choices work; the FAQ states that, for security reasons, the password for root is disabled - but this is certainly not the case). All this "interesting" behavior is enabled by one small tgz package: CDLinux/local/test-cdl.tgz.
Even though it's hosted on sourceforge, there is no source available for the distro, only the binary as gzip iso (!), which really doesn't save any bandwidth.
All in all, this looks very fishy, and with all the recent attacks against Linux, I think more security awareness is in order.
45 • Red Hat (by Jesse on 2011-11-14 17:41:48 GMT from Canada)
>> "I'm not going to engage you in a legalistic debate, since I am not a lawyer -- are you? -- but I stand by my statements within the context of the OP's comment,"
No, I'm not a lawyer, but I have read most of the popular open source licenses and they're pretty straight forward. Almost none of them deal with patents. http://www.opensource.org/licenses/category
>> "I also think your remark that "Red Hat simply doesn't have any motivation to make Fedora attractive to desktop users." is both disingenuous and unfair. What, their motivation is to make it unattractive? How exactly will that help them promote their commercial offerings?"
I didn't say they have any motivation to make it unattractive, I wrote they don't have any motivation to make it attractive. There's a difference. Red Hat's businesses is almost exclusively focused on the server market, and selling support to that market. They have very few resources in the desktop market. In short, having a good or poor desktop experience doesn't really have any affect on their business. So why would they sink money into making a good desktop OS and give it away for free when it won't help them sell server support?
46 • RE 43 (by Chapeau de Paille on 2011-11-14 17:55:27 GMT from France)
I am very surprised when I read that Red Hat has (or, even worse, tries to do) bad desktops.
At work, I have a Centos with gnome 2; at home, I use Scientific Linux on a laptop, with gnome 2. I remain satisfied with both (and, as I do not intend to buy tablets, "smart" phones, I am not interested in gnunity 0007-whatever the maketing name be-). I suppose the part of the cloning process does not turn bad desktop into good ones... I suppose RH choose a good desktop (perhaps by trials and errors -FC is meant for both of them; sometimes they do not have too many errors-) and stuck with it (and Fedora is a prealpha version of Red Hat/SL, mainly meant for testing, not for comfort)
47 • Same old, same old. (by Eddie on 2011-11-14 17:58:22 GMT from United States)
Ubuntu Unity will be more popular with non Linux users then anything else out there. It really has surprised me that Windows users have a easier time using Ubuntu with Unity than most of the Linux users do. They seem to zip right through things. Do you think it could be because they are use to using that type of interface? Of course, that is one of the main reasons. #13 has a lot of the problems with Linux users correct. That's the way it seems. Regardless of what some say, Unity is great for the touch screen market which includes tablets, and smartphones. I also find it works great for a laptop or desktop, if you know what you are doing.
@40, Sorry Bob. I just didn't see any facts. I saw a lot of trollish opinions not based on anything, but no facts.
48 • @45 Jesse, are you kidding? (by David Smith on 2011-11-14 18:09:18 GMT from Canada)
"I have read most of the popular open source licenses and they're pretty straight forward. Almost none of them deal with patents."
You seem bent on taking this discussion out of context and sideways -- to what end? To prove your uber-geekness? Grow up.
"So why would they sink money into making a good desktop OS and give it away for free when it won't help them sell server support?"
Funny, because that's exactly what they did do (and continue to). Why? Because they are Santa Claus?
I dunno, why don't you ask them? Or do a bit of googling. I'm pretty sure the case for Red Hat's support for Fedora has been made in considerable detail by various company spokespeople over the years. They could yank that support tomorrow, and it still wouldn't change the historical fact of it. Bloody ingrate.
49 • Mint and Unity (by jaslar on 2011-11-14 18:15:34 GMT from United States)
I like Ubuntu, and I even found Unity interesting. But when it couldn't set the correct resolution of my utterly generic LCD monitor to 1280x1024, I jumped to Mint 11. Then, after an upgrade, Mint could no longer set the right resolution either. But you know what? It's not that big a deal. It mostly works, and if it gets to the point where it really bothers me, there's no shortage of alternatives (314 active distributions?).
Bottom line: most of the folks who read Distrowatch can probably fix things to their satisfaction. And if not, it's just an excuse to tinker with something else, right?
50 • @41 Commodore C64 (by disi on 2011-11-14 18:23:00 GMT from United Kingdom)
"Units come with the Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) operating system on disk ready to install."
"Commodore OS 1.0 will be mailed to purchasers when available."
So, it still takes a while for the official release... I guess there is no problem running the beta for now.
51 • @26 Pear OS (by Tom on 2011-11-14 18:24:30 GMT from Germany)
Yes, looks interesting. I'm waiting for more distros to tweak Unity and/or GNOME3 (mit being another interesting example).
But the name and logo... could cause real trouble to them.
I suppose Apple is going to claim a patent for the use of all kinds of fruits on a computer screen. ;-)
52 • Trying Fedora 16 (by Patrick on 2011-11-14 18:24:37 GMT from United States)
I'm also currently checking replacements for Ubuntu. My upgraded install has audio, webcam and Samba problems, GNOME 3 sessions fail and the whole system just has too many rough edges and bugs. Unity is a pain for me since I HATE the disconnected app menu in the top bar with a passion, plus apps like Firefox love to hide stuff under the top bar. So I was trying to see if Fedora 16 would be an option.
I don't share Jesse's hatred of Gnome Shell. For as much as I've used it till now I actually like it. I did download the Gnome tweak tool and enabled minimize and maximize buttons again though. I really can't grasp why removing those would be considered a good idea, since the only thing they take away is empty header bar space.
The graphic package manager in F16 really drives me insane though. It is slow and provides hardly any transparency as to what it is doing. I really appreciate the pointer to yumex in @36, thank you for that, I'll have to give it a try! I was also having trouble getting the nVidia driver installed, so the link in @20 is very helpful too, thanks for that!
I ran into an unexpected snag with Skype, because their binary is 32 bit and I installed a 64 bit system. Ubuntu would give me an easy meta-package to install the 32 bit libraries, but in F16 I was stuck installing them all manually.
So what I can say about my experience up till now is that Fedora is sort of a pain to get configured the way I like it, but once that's done, at least it seems to actually WORK. Still working on it though, there still is lots of opportunity left to mess it up.
I am going to check out the new Mint and openSUSE though. Clem and the other guys at Mint tend to do this odd thing. They seem to think it is a good idea to give users what they want. What a novel idea! I'm so glad they're not based in the US, so they can actually do that. Here, it is forbidden to give users what they want. Someone would probably sue their pants off if they were here. "Land of the free" and all that, you know.
53 • @48, reasons (by Mikademus on 2011-11-14 18:25:31 GMT from Sweden)
I think that because Red Hat sees it as good business practice. Most of Fedora isn't funded: the desktop wallpaper artists' only reimbursement is pride, and so on.. But by putting some money into it Red Hat will get enormous amount of quality assurance, feedback and bug fixes, in fact such an amount that would have taken an enormously larger investment had they done it themselves. Thus, it is based on solid business thinking. Also having some official and financial backing will help retain a stable and long-term oriented community to an extent others distros lack. The internal organisation of the Fedora Project is quite outstanding!
54 • Gnome 3.2 and Fallback Mode in VirtualBox, Fedora 16 and Linux Mint 12 (by Pierre on 2011-11-14 18:44:34 GMT from Germany)
Everyone who complains about the Fallback Mode in Virtual Box simply has not tried to easy enable the 3D support in the Virtual Machine Settings unter Video Options.
Depending on your system I admit, that it might be a little slower than one would wish, but it works quite fine.
I had my problems with Fedora 16, too. Fedora 15 as well had it's rough edges but being fair I have to say that nearly every Linux distro has it's rough edges. Even my beloved Mint Debian. ;) But I simply found Fedora not really usable, at least not as usable as Linux Mint Debian Edition.
Linux Mint 12 really rocks, althought I've never been a real fan of the Ubuntu-based OS, it really kicks ass what they have done to Gnome 3. It is the very first distro based on Gnome 3 that I really would call usable and intuitive. It is a symbiosis of classical desktop features and the new Gnome3 enhancements. Simply genius. No wonder Mint conquered #1 in page hit rankings. =)
55 • @19 @31 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-14 19:26:03 GMT from Canada)
Jesse, you are in the wrong, and the person responding to you is correct. Red Hat could buy a patent license, sure - *for Red Hat*. The whole point of open source software, though, is that it can be redistributed without the requirement to pay. Effectively, for a patent license to be compatible with F/OSS copyright licenses, it has to be a flat-rate license which covers everyone and imposes no restrictions beyond what's in the F/OSS license's terms. MPEG-LA is never going to sell Red Hat, say, an MPEG-4 license on such terms for any reasonable amount of money. We could buy a license which covers us and people who buy Red Hat from us, sure. But we could not buy a license which covers _anyone who downloads and redistributes Fedora_. That's just not on the table.
56 • Fedora and Ubuntu (by ix on 2011-11-14 19:26:22 GMT from Romania)
Fedora does not target the average Joe, it targets people who can contribute to it, it even says so on the site (google "fedora target audience"), so Jesse is right.
Ubuntu is targeting the mobile environment with Unity, this is a business decision. I don't think that they have the resources to develop 2 separate desktop environments, one for the desktop, one for the mobile market and so Unity was created. Gnome 3 is a mess and will probably remain a mess.
Obviously, most people wanted Ubuntu to tame Gnome 3, as Mint is trying to do, but Ubuntu is a business, just like Fedora, just like openSUSE and Mandriva and businesses care more about money than about their users.
57 • @15 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-14 19:37:32 GMT from Canada)
Well, here's the summary:
"It seems to be a definite trend with some advantages like more partitions, but needing more space to hold the partition information hence the requirement for a boot partition."
No, that's not what the BIOS boot partition is for.
With the old scheme - sometimes referred to as 'MBR' and sometimes as 'MS-DOS' - there was always some empty space between the MBR and the first partition on the disk. Bootloaders took advantage of this and put themselves into the empty space - a complex bootloader like grub doesn't fit entirely within the MBR, so it puts a little bit of itself in the MBR and the rest in the empty space that comes after the MBR.
On a GPT-labeled disk there's no such empty space, because there's no real reason for that empty space to be there. So now you create a BIOS boot partition that bootloaders use to put whatever bits of themselves don't fit into the MBR into. This has the obvious advantage that there isn't a magic, officially-non-existent part of the disk which is actually vital to system operation, and now you actually have an official partition where this vital data lives, and you know where it is and what's there. It also means it can be just about anywhere on the disk, it doesn't have to be at the start.
It's only needed to boot a GPT-labeled disk via BIOS (or EFI BIOS emulation); if you boot via native EFI things work a bit differently and it isn't needed (though on EFI systems there's the EFI System partition, which is kinda-but-not-really similar in some ways).
"But I'm left wondering how to accommodate such systems in a multi-boot setup with Grub"
You don't really need to do anything special. You can put as many OSes on GPT-labeled disks as you like and multiboot them much the same as you always have; you just need to make sure there's *one* BIOS boot partition on the disk that will have the main bootloader in its MBR. grub2 natively (tries to) handle multibooting by detecting all the installed OSes it can find, and creating a config file which lists each of them. This even sort of mostly works, sometimes!
"how to convert from MBA to GPT without deleting and recreating partitions"
I believe gdisk can do this, but it's kind of like partition resizing - inherently somewhat dangerous, don't do it to data you care about, and definitely not without a backup.
"and if that is even necessary to accommodate eg Fed16?"
No, not at all. GPT is just the new default when Fedora's installer is entirely reformatting a disk. F16 still works fine if installed to an MS-DOS labelled disk. If you use a partitioning choice which doesn't involve entirely reformatting a disk, Fedora will just work with whatever the disk already has. If your system has trouble with GPT you can actually boot the F16 installer with the 'nogpt' parameter to make it use MS-DOS labelling instead of GPT labelling on newly-formatted disks.
58 • @12 @21 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-14 19:39:47 GMT from Canada)
12 is talking about qemu/kvm virtualization, while I think 21 is talking about VirtualBox, which does 3D passthrough.
59 • @Trolling (by Koroshiya Itchy on 2011-11-14 19:56:11 GMT from Belgium)
You exaggerate quite a lot. The situation is far from perfect, but it is not that bad either. Linux's main problem is hardware compatibility. But maybe what we are attempting is mission impossible. We are trying to develop operating systems that ANYONE can easily install in ANY device. No one else is doing that. MicroSoft does not do that because it is hardware manufacturers and distributors who do all the effort to ensure compatibility. No matter how buggy MS software is, the firmware, BIOS and drivers will adapt to it. Apple, in turn, produces software that runs only in very specific hardware configurations. In both cases, the computers are sold with the OS pre-installed and tested. Only free and open software developers attempt to produce "universal" products.
I have been using GNU/Linux for 10 years now both for work and leisure. For work, I can not even imagine switching to a proprietary OS. I have installed Linux for many people (not for my grandma, tough). My wife is proud and happy with Debian and so it is my mother in law with Greenie. My mom does not look so enthusiastic with Lubuntu, but I must add in my discharge that my moms laptop is an old, second-hand, IBM T40 with a single USB 1.0 port shared by two USB connector that does not support most modern hardware. In addition it lacks a CD burner and she does not have a reliable internet connection...
60 • @40 (by gumb on 2011-11-14 20:05:21 GMT from France)
I know, I know. We're not supposed to feed the trolls. But I couldn't help preparing the poor fool a 12-course buffet:
>> 10-year anniversary, partly without celebrations:
If you're going to open your trap, at least get the central tenet of your whole discussion correct. Linux just celebrated its 20th birthday. Unless you're referring to your own 10th anniversary of using Linux, which would beg the question: If it's so bad, why have you spent 10 years using it?
>> Facts valid over the entire past decade:
>> - laptops: if you don't own the right hardware - forget Linux
This was indeed true 10 years ago, but hasn't been true for the last five, so it is not a fact valid for the 'entire past decade.'
>> - open s/w: some is good, some is junk (re-invented wheel, chronically unfinished)
There is good and bad software just as there are good and bad versions of any product. However, it is possible to achieve the vast majority of functions on a Linux system with only very good software.
>> - proprietary s/w: in many cases superior to open (aka faster, less buggy, etc.)
The only examples of proprietary software I have used on Linux tend to be the most buggy and ill-fitting programs that I, for one, have in most cases since found superior open alternatives for. Think clunky Adobe Reader, no longer needed with Okular; Flash, becoming less relevant with HTML5; Skype, buggy as hell and only still used because of the lack of any other widely used cross-desktop alternative, proprietary or otherwise. Hmm, actually that's it. In seven years of using Linux to do 101 different things, I don't need any other proprietary software.
>> - KDE3: would probably still be superior to any of the DEs if they did not kill it
No need for conditional tense. Trinity KDE just released 3.5.13.
>> - KDE4: took them years and lots of RAM to get useful - biggest bloat around
Poppycock. I was running KDE 4.2 on a single core P4 with 256mb RAM and switching between multiple users. I have also been running KDE versions through to 4.6 on my 7-year-old, single core Pentium M, 1gb RAM laptop, with all desktop effects enabled, multiple activities and virtually no lag. The only thing that drags it down is latest incarnations of Firefox, especially with multiple tab groups. Anyway, horses for courses; Bob's bloat is Charlie's Chocolate Factory.
>> - Gnome: no more to say - look at most other posts!
That would have been a better summary of your entire argument.
>> - Xfce: Had it installed several times, did not like it although it appears to be OK
>> - LXDE: Might become my favorite distro after maturing (recent perception)
LXDE isn't a distro, but never mind.
- other DEs: mostly inferior to LXDE for several reasons
>> Which you're not going to expand upon. Small mercies.
>> - market share: was at < 2% and will remain there for the years to come (Gartner)
Firms like Gartner were spouting predictions in the infancy of Android that it would take five years or more for its market share to be on a par with iOS, yet after just a couple of years it has already overtaken it. Do they come out and hold their hands up on such occasions saying 'sorry, we got it wrong'? No, they just keep churning out more such baloney for suckers like you to chew on.
>> - future outlook: in the desktop arena Linux will remain a click-and-pray toy
So the French police force, the German Deutsche-Bahn railway system, large swathes of Brazilian and Portuguese educational desktops, all the world's major stock exchanges, the majority of Google's employee desktops and countless other institutions are just clicking and praying? Not like they wouldn't have invested massive resources into comprehensive research or anything.
>> - distro hopping: mostly useless, because there is no such thing like the perfect distro
And is there such thing as a perfect Windows? If you think so, imagine two billion people aligned in front of your face, cackling. The vast majority of users of other OS's don't think of them as 'perfect'.
>> - good Linux developers: seem to get a proper job and are lost forever
>> - bad Linux developers: stick around and live forever :-)
>> Conclusion: Don't install Linux on your granny's computer if you are after some inheritance.
I think we're seeing glimpses of your true character.
>> But if you have time to spend just go ahead and try to install it on your hardware. If you finally succeed you'll feel much more significant than after migrating to the newest Windows version.
Funnily enough, a friend of mine, a 28-year-old female language teacher who knew nothing about Linux and couldn't give a monkey's swinging nutsack about OS's recently had her Windows installation disc and other possessions hauled away by her former partner. With no prompting from anybody else, she downloaded and installed the latest Ubuntu with Unity and is now happily using that instead, describing the whole thing as 'easy'.
61 • Regarding the Fedora review as a whole (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-14 20:10:26 GMT from Canada)
Well, that was a weird review. It seemed to be fairly run of the mill - everything basically worked, except you hit a few minor niggles - and then, wham, the incredibly negative conclusion comes out of absolutely nowhere. So, let's address the conclusion:
"At this point I've only been using Fedora for about four days and some change, and I've been surprised at just how poor the experience has been. Anaconda, while still a descent installer, is losing ground to the competition and its slow performance and cryptic error messages aren't helping. Two weeks ago I was running Sabayon 7, which also uses Anaconda, and there the experience was noticeably better. The installation went faster and I was able to select my preferred root file system. If it works so well on Sabayon then why are these issues appearing in Fedora?"
As noted above, it sounds like you did a live install of Fedora but a traditional install of Sabayon. These paths aren't comparable in terms of either speed or features (though usually live install is faster than traditional). You can choose the root filesystem when doing a traditional install.
"GNOME Shell hasn't improved in the past six months and, at this point, I think it's fair to say from the responses (or lack of) we've seen from the developers that this is the way it's going to stay. GNOME Shell may be fine for touch screens and users who only want one window open at a time, but it's too cumbersome for desktop/laptop use."
This is clearly a review of Shell, not of Fedora. Fedora provides a wide range of desktops for you to choose from; if you don't like Shell, then we make it easy for you to pick something else.
I can't resist noting, though, that the major difference between a desktop/laptop and a tablet is that a desktop/laptop has a keyboard - *so use it*. Shell is much, much nicer to use on a desktop/laptop if you navigate using the keyboard, i.e., the useful feature that differentiates a laptop/desktop from a tablet. Makes sense, no?
"Moving on, the graphical package manager usually stalls when I open it and when it does manage to finish starting up it's sluggish."
The stalling issue is not a general one, though I'm not sure what's causing it in your case. You may have a problematic repository enabled? Did you set up any repos besides Fedora's official ones?
"Combine all this with Fedora's small collection of software"
This seems like an unsupported assertion. What exactly would you say is missing from Fedora's repos that you would expect to be present? By what measurement do you say Fedora's repo is 'small'?
"and the requirement to add third-party repositories, such as RPMFusion, to get what most distributions consider normal functionality"
Fedora's policy is a clear and consistent one, but it's not exactly difficult to enable Fusion, is it? It's about three clicks from the Fusion home page. It doesn't seem like that's a 'barrier' significant enough to conclude that the distribution is not for you assuming it was fine in all other ways.
62 • Gnome Shell (by David on 2011-11-14 20:29:40 GMT from New Zealand)
The trick to using Gnome-Shell on a desktop or laptop is to learn to use the keyboard effectively. Once I did this I found Gnome-Shell to much MUCH more usable and efficient than any other DE. Using the mouse so is hard work but GS lets you avoid so much awkward mouse movement you should never be launching an application with the mouse just press super key then type a few letters and also use the super key to switch to activities mode for window switching, where you have a much bigger target for the mouse than a small area on a taskbar.
63 • @61 (by Patrick on 2011-11-14 20:32:34 GMT from United States)
"""Well, that was a weird review. It seemed to be fairly run of the mill - everything basically worked, except you hit a few minor niggles - and then, wham, the incredibly negative conclusion comes out of absolutely nowhere."""
I have to agree with this. I've seen some reviews that were positive train wrecks but had a mildly positive conclusion. This felt just the other way around.
"""Fedora's policy is a clear and consistent one, but it's not exactly difficult to enable Fusion, is it? It's about three clicks from the Fusion home page."""
I do have a question, or at least some feedback about that. I kept finding that after an RPM was downloaded through the browser, it would take several minutes before anything would happen at all. Then finally after some minutes would a dialog pop up asking if I wanted to install it. I found this very confusing and annoying. It is probably the same tool that is responsible for this behavior, and goes with my previous complaint that the package manager GUI is very slow and very stingy with feedback to the user on what is actually happening. Command line yum on the other hand is fast, clean and user friendly. Kind of sad though when a simple GUI tool doesn't manage to be as user friendly as a full featured command line tool. :)
64 • Thanks to the Fedora community ;) (by Caraibes on 2011-11-14 20:39:20 GMT from Dominican Republic)
I hereby want to thank the Fedora community, users, devs & all...
Thanks to them I can use a very stable RHEL clone... I am too busy to play the guinea-pig, but I guess I selfishly use the result of the hard work from the gang ;)
I would have to dig some reviews & DWW comments from Fedora 12 & 13... Thanks to you guys I enjoy a mostly perfect Scientific Linux 6.1 !!!
And yes, Gnome 2.x is a dream to use... Booting into a full desktop inside 155 megs of ram ;)
None of this would be possible without the good willing Fedora folks, so thanks a lot !!!!!!!
65 • Fedora 12 reviewed by Jesse Smith here: (by Caraibes on 2011-11-14 20:57:26 GMT from Dominican Republic)
"Conclusion: After spending several days with Fedora 12, I find that I'm happy with this release. "
Read it here: http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20091123#feature
-And that was Dedoimedo: http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/fedora-12.html
He wrote, back then: "Fedora 12 is a very unremarkable release. Compared to its predecessor, it has more crashes, it's less appealing,"...
But now that all those bugs have been ironed, we have a fantastic RHEL 6 & clones !!!
-About Fedora 13, here's Dedoimedo's take here:
"Fedora 13 Goddard is ... I don't really know what to say. Personally, the most important part of system usage is stability. Compared to previous versions, the difference is huge. Fedora 13 is stable and robust and this makes it an adequate candidate for daily use. "
-And Jesse Smith here about Fedora 13:
"For the most part, Fedora 13 feels very similar to Fedora 12, a stable, modern and well put-together operating system."
I guess Adam W. could tell me how much is RHEL6 based on F12 & F13... I am curious...
Anyway, fantastic job !!!
I recommend SL6 to you all out there !!!!
66 • Debian 6 here. (by paul on 2011-11-14 20:59:23 GMT from Canada)
I switched to Debian 6 KDE 4.4.5 Stable. Even with transparency effects (cause I like a little bit) with the Elegance Desktop theme while running Iceweasel 8 from mozilla.debian.net I am using 435 mb of ram. Not bad. I'm happy with my installation goodbye gnome, hello KDE4.
67 • @63 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-14 21:05:06 GMT from Canada)
I have to admit I use yum almost all the time and I rather suspect most other Fedora contributors do, which might explain why we 'put up with' PackageKit's foibles...we rarely use it. =) But we do at least test and make sure it doesn't have any general showstopper bugs at each release, so I know the weird hang/crash Jesse is hitting is not universal.
I've seen the thing where it takes a long time between you downloading the RPM and PackageKit actually popping up to deal with it, and I even feel like I figured out why it was and somehow fixed it at some point, but I just cannot bring the details to mind right now. I know that's not much use to you, sorry :( If I remember, I'll post back...
68 • @65 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-14 21:08:06 GMT from Canada)
It's a bit tricky to say what Fedora release a RHEL release is 'based on' because it doesn't really entirely work that way. It's almost done on a package-by-package basis, really. But in a very loose sense, yeah, you could say RHEL 6 is of an F12-F13ish vintage.
69 • @10 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-14 21:08:48 GMT from Canada)
You might want to try the 'nogpt' parameter I mentioned in @57. It sounds like your system is one which has trouble booting GPT-labelled disks.
70 • Fedora Latest (by ghostdawg on 2011-11-14 21:15:51 GMT from United States)
After using Fedora 13 & 14, I was l using it alot, as I do switch distros from time to time. When I installed F15, I couldn't get my Brother AIO MFC-5440cn printer to work, which worked great using F13 & F14. It seems something had changed even though the drivers installed fine, but could never get anything to print.
I'm willing to give F16 a shot provided the printer will work again. I currently have a lower end machine so I haven't tried G3 but use a different environment such as KDE and LXDE.
Just a thought!
71 • KDE vs the rest (by mz on 2011-11-14 21:18:25 GMT from United States)
I for one have loved KDE 4 since switching to my current distro over a year ago. Gnome 3 and Unity have a certain intrigue to them but a great looking, useable, and infinitely customizable desktop beats the urge to play with fire. That being said the Mint 12 version of Gnome 3 looks excellent and looks like it retains some of the customization options that are a part of what makes Linux so attractive to me. The question is will the makers of Unity and Gnome add back in ways to make the desktop act how you want or not?
72 • Adam's commentary (by Jesse on 2011-11-14 22:11:33 GMT from Canada)
Adam, since you're an employee of Red Hat I realize it's in your interest to try to discredit bad reviews and shout down discontent. Which is fine, I don't mind that. Working in QA as you do I'm sure it must be unpleasant hearing your work referred to in this manner. But surely you don't expect me to try to debate you when your position isn't to try to uncover the truth, but to push the company line? You make a lot of assumptions in your above post, most of them incorrect and, I'm sorry, but publicly attacking the review isn't going to change my opinion of the latest Fedora release.
Now, if I've misread your intent (and I'm truly sorry if I have) you are welcome to e-mail me and ask questions regarding the review and my experiences. I still have Fedora installed on a partition and I'm happy to fire it up and answer any concerns you may have.
But please don't just spam the comments section (10% of comments are yours already) trying to make me out to be the bad guy or suggest that the experiences I've written about aren't valid. That doesn't help anyone.
73 • @72 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-14 22:54:55 GMT from Canada)
Jesse, I rather think you're being over-sensitive. There is no 'company line' to push - I post here regularly and have ever since I worked for Mandriva, I'm not doing so as part of my work, I'm not being paid to do so, asked to do so, or required to write any particular thing when I do so by my employer or by anyone else. I'm sure the regulars here will tell you that I'm a regular poster and have been for a long time.
I really can't see what 'assumptions' I made in my posts. (By the by, may I also point out the irony of you making a huge assumption about me - that my "position isn't to try to uncover the truth, but to push the company line" - and then immediately proceeding to complain that I am making assumptions about you?) All I did was respond to things you said in your review. I suppose it was an 'assumption' that you did a live install, but that's the only possible conclusion from your complaint that you couldn't choose the format of the root partition, because a live install (or a text install, but that seemed unlikely) is the only case where you cannot do so, for a reason someone else already explained - the live image is a compressed ext4 filesystem (more or less, this is a simplification) and the live 'install' process simply consists of dumping it straight onto the hard disk.
I did not 'assume' your issue with PackageKit is not a universal one, I know it's not, cos I tested it. =) As did several other people in the QA group. The results are public.
My final paragraph isn't me 'assuming' that you liked Fedora except for the RPM Fusion issue - I was simply saying it seems like an odd thing to bring up as a 'con' that non-free stuff is in a third-party repository. I've never seen anyone who said 'I really like Fedora, but because I have to add an extra repository to get non-free stuff, I just can't use it'. To me it just seems like a non-factor - if you like Fedora you're going to use it, and just add the extra repo if you need it. If you don't like Fedora then the issue doesn't arise. It's worth mentioning as a point of information for first-time users etc, but I just don't see how it's really a 'problem'.
I post a lot of comments because of the limitations of DW's comment system - it's quite difficult to try and reply to multiple people with a single comment. It keeps things simpler if you reply to one person per comment and use the comment number to create a 'thread', as is the convention here.
74 • Balance (by Antony on 2011-11-14 23:04:32 GMT from United Kingdom)
Jesse, I think 'spamming' is a bit unfair. That 10% has included posts offering help and advice. From what I have seen, Adam has a history of a willingness to provide sane and balanced advice.
I do like reading your reviews, and have come to regard you as a good read because of your balanced opinion.
I hope things don't become personal. That would be a real shame.
75 • Gnome (by walter_j on 2011-11-14 23:07:46 GMT from Canada)
I'm trying mint 12.1, and may be able to use it, but can see where gnome 3 won't allow changes. It's a good effort by clem though, and I'm glad he' listens to users.
In regards to gnome 2.32, is there a technical reason why it won't work with a new kernel? Gnome 2 develment has stopped, but does that automatically mean distros must drop it? Surely it can still work until the gnome 3 mess has been fixed. It would be great if a dstro used the next extended support kernal with gnome 2.32. It would keep me happy for awhile I think. Something along the lines of ubuntu 10.10 but with new kernal and packages.
76 • @31, Patents (by Stan on 2011-11-14 23:39:05 GMT from United States)
Sorry Jesse, but you're just wrong here. Red Hat is a corporation in the United States, hotbed of patent suits. No patent holder will sell an *unlimited distribution* license, which is what Fedora would need in order to remain free (as in beer), or on the slim chance that they would, it would be scarcely cheaper than simply buying up the patent. As well as Red Hat is doing, they simply don't have that kind of money. Red Hat might be slightly stricter than it absolutely needs to be (Fraunhofer seems open to licensing MP3 decoders for free or at least turning a blind eye, for example), but in most cases it simply has no choice.
To show that it's not just Red Hat, look at West-Virginia-based MEPIS, which is inarguably desktop-focused. They too have to use "community" mirrors located outside of the United States to distribute patented, yet Free Software, codecs. Heck, even Ubuntu has Medibuntu for packages that are deemed too dangerous even for the much looser UK-based distribution.
Small community projects get through because the patent holders don't find it worth it to sue. Most larger projects that include them are based in juristictions that are much less software-patent-friendly (for example: Mint in France).
77 • Re: 4 and 13 (by Woody Oaks on 2011-11-14 23:40:45 GMT from United States)
The latest Gnome and KDE fashions might be fine for people who use their computer as a tool for enjoying screen aesthetics, but for people who prefer to run actual applications the new desktop choices are XFCE and LXDE.
78 • Fedora\'s PackageKit (by Woody Oaks on 2011-11-14 23:42:58 GMT from United States)
It seems to be even more decrepit now than on previous releases. On Fedora 16 it will not allow you to install software without a root password authentication which it will not allow you to provide. No problem, Mon: Just use the graphical window to search and examine the software you might want along with a root shell window for using Yum to do the actual work.
79 • Learn the shortcuts (by Dareed on 2011-11-14 23:43:44 GMT from United States)
To be fair to Gnome 3, learning how to use it first makes it more usable. I'm talking perhaps three minutes of quick reference. For instance, one doesn't need to click the 'Activities' button all the time---the super key does the same thing. More importantly, putting the mouse in the top left corner does the same thing, too. I find using that 'hot corner' much easier and not inconvenient.
80 • Linux vs W (by Ron on 2011-11-14 23:45:24 GMT from United States)
It seems that Linux has no shortage of obscure complaints about everything. The one manifest detail in these complaints is the lack of any real description, but simple minded comments like: Won't work, junk, dislike (oh that's the best of all - dislike!) Why do you dislike it? Since you are so eager to post a complaint, before slipping off your soapbox, go ahead and DESCRIBE the complaint.
Whew, I feel better already.
When I think of Windows in various versions, verses Linux, my opinion is that Linux is so much superior. Aah, but I don't stop here - no, I explain:
To start off with, or let's say boot up with Windows, my computer sounds like the coffee grinder we use in the kitchen. Not exactly like the real grinder because it is done before Windows is operational.
Then, there's the silly obfuscation called "Libraries". Now, in my town a library is down the road, not in my directory tree. I have the presence of mind to name a directory to my liking, why have Win. decide some meaningless Library construct.
As The Win. machine is used, it seems to almost be haunted. I know haunted houses and all is popular, Halloween and all, but really, I have always suspected Win. OS to at least behave as though it is haunted. Things just happen with no logic or reason that I can decipher. Suddenly, who-knows-what unpleasant surprises pop up from time to time and booting gets slower and slower.
Then, the dreaded REGISTRY - oh pardon my language, even the almighty MS warns to fear this beast for good reasons.
So, you can see, I like Linux. So all you bashers out there, you don't know how good you have it.
81 • @78 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-14 23:46:51 GMT from Canada)
Again, if you hit a bug, consider the possibility that it's _just a bug_, not actually how the thing's designed to work. =) The password entry dialog is a standard one (it's a PolicyKit dialog) and this is the first I've heard someone report that it doesn't work. When you say "On Fedora 16 it will not allow you to install software without a root password authentication which it will not allow you to provide" what do you mean exactly by "it will not allow you to provide"? Is it not letting you type into the dialog? not letting you hit OK? Not accepting the password you provide? Are you sure it's asking you for the *root* password and not your user password?
82 • Learn the shortcuts (by Dareed on 2011-11-14 23:47:44 GMT from United States)
To be fair to Gnome 3, learning how to use it first makes it more usable. I'm talking perhaps three minutes of quick reference. For instance, one doesn't need to click the 'Activities' button all the time---the super key does the same thing. More importantly, putting the mouse in the top left corner does the same thing, too. I find using that 'hot corner' much easier and not inconvenient.
83 • Fedora 16 review - LiveMedia as distro (by Scott Dowdle on 2011-11-14 23:48:47 GMT from United States)
I've grown somewhat weary with the "single livecd media as distro." The amount of software packages that will fit on a single CD is just a tiny portion of what is available in the huge repositories offered by Fedora (and other distros with huge repositories). These days I build my own LiveDVD that has all of the desktop environments on it and a large sampling of destkop apps. It is either that or use the install DVD that is package based and lets you pick what you want.
The single-livecd-as-distro is very limiting. They have to pick only one desktop environment, only the apps from that environment, and only one app for every catagory. Take the Fedora 16 LiveKDE CD for example. It is all KDE and only KDE... but who doesn't want Firefox and LibreOffice? I use a lot of apps from a lot of different desktop environments so a "this desktop only and its apps" is very limiting.
Yeah, I know I can install everything after the fact but that is a lot of work... so I've decided to use Fedora's handy respin / remix system to build the LiveDVD. What I get as a result is my own custom set of packages installed (including Flash and RPMfusion)... a 1.7GB iso that contains about 5GB worth of software. That makes for a much more usable install.
Jesse, BTW if you are using a system with an existing OS on it, chances are you already have an MSDOS style partition table... and you will not get GPT nor will you have to have that additional partition. As others mentioned, the livemedia has a livefilesystem that it copies over (rather than package-by-package) so your / has to match that whereas the install-only DVD does a package-by-package install so you can use whatever filesystems you want.
I have to wonder just how many Fedora folks actually use the GUI software manager thingie. I know I don't... and yes it just gets in the way. I'm not against using a GUI manager but what they have now is just cumbersome. yum is so much easier... for those of us who have already been using it for years.
84 • Fedora 16 review - LiveMedia != complete distro (by Scott Dowdle on 2011-11-14 23:49:42 GMT from United States)
@61 AdamW... when Jesse was talking about "Fedora's small collection of software" I'm guessing he wasn't referring to the number of packages in the Fedora repos... which yes, is quite large. Fedora 16 x86_64 has 25,098 binary packages not counting updates or third-party stuff. I think his complaint is regarding just how much software fits on the various LiveCD desktop spins.
A typical Fedora spin has only one desktop environment and only offers packages from that environment. For example, KDE is all KDE and only KDE... but many KDE users may also want Firefox and LibreOffice. The storage space on a CD is so limited you only have room for one desktop environment and its associated applications... usually no more than one in any given category. When trying to review a distro... and only going with what you get from a single LiveCD install... it is a rather paltry amount of software.
I know a few of the official Fedora spins are quite large but they are geared toward particular use cases rather than offering a variety of general desktop apps and multiple desktop environments. It would be nice to have a general purpose, multi-desktop, LiveDVD spin with a good sampling of applications... but does the Fedora Project need even more work to do? Of course the non-live Install-only DVD serves that function but it isn't quite as easy to use as the live media.
Luckily Fedora has the livecd-tools package which includes livecd-creator... making it fairly easy for almost anyone to make their own respin / remix. That's what I do for my own use. It is a 1.7 GB iso which equates to about 5 GB of software... includes all of the desktop environments / window managers as well as a large sampling of desktop apps. Since I make it for my own user I can include stuff that Fedora can't... from RPMfusion and even the Adobe Flash-plugin. There are a number of Fedora-based distros doing just that.
It would be nice if a distro review covered more of the whole distribution rather than what can be crammed on a single LiveCD but yeah, that is a lot of work.
85 • Regarding Adam's comments (by Scott Dowdle on 2011-11-14 23:52:05 GMT from United States)
@72 - Jesse, with regards to the content of Adam's comments... several of them have been addressing questions and points by others... trying to be helpful. Perhaps it was bad wording on your part but it really did seem like you personally slammed him in saying that Adam's job is to "discredit bad reviews and shout down discontent". I've seen him post lots of places including his personal blog and he does not really "push the company line." I don't think he said anything overly negative about your review... and he certainly didn't make it personal.
I think your review was ok... but I do think reviewing a single LiveCD and the little bit of software that can fit on it... really isn't an indicator of a whole distribution. I wasn't really singling you out... because that's how much everyone reviews distros.
86 • Agree with #74 (by David Smith on 2011-11-14 23:59:39 GMT from Canada)
I have generally enjoyed and respected the reporting and reviews in Distrowatch (I've been a regular reader going on for 6 years), without hanging on every word of it or always agreeing with the conclusions, but I have to say that I feel Jesse is abusing the trust of distrowatch readers by the rather odd series of responses posted here today. Of course there are those who would disagree: http://tinyurl.com/cqjptf2
I sincerely hope it's a one-off. Time for a vacation, Jesse?
87 • @84 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-15 00:04:33 GMT from Canada)
Ohh, that makes sense. Thanks. yeah, the desktop image is undersized, and yeah, there's no good reason for that - the change to XZ payload compression a couple of releases back saved a bunch of space on the live images, and the desktop team has just never got around to deciding whether they want to use that space for some More Stuff. so it's a legitimate complaint indeed. I'd still see it as quite a small one - if I want more stuff I just install it - but now I get what Jesse was saying there.
88 • Solaris 11 and FreeBSD (by me on 2011-11-15 00:40:50 GMT from Thailand)
I would love to use Solaris as an alternative to Linux . It has Flash and Java(no surprise there) but the one thing holding it back is the issue of codec(hey just like Fedora!). Is there a 3rd party source to get the MPEG codec to play mp3s?
Other possible issues to using it as a desktop: What is the status of Wine on Solaris? Adobe-Reader? And above all - have they finally ported Chromium web browser to Solaris?
With FreeBSD at least some spins like PC-BSD give access to these things.
89 • #45: Red Hat focus (by Caitlyn Martin on 2011-11-15 00:43:54 GMT from United States)
I worked at Red Hat for a time a few years back. They do have a significant department devoted to desktop development and they have enterprise customers who demand an excellent desktop to match the server offerings. To say that Red Hat's business mode is focused on the server is inaccurate at best. Red Hat is focused on the enterprise. Whatever their enterprise customers need is their focus and that definitely includes the desktop.
Having said that, a business desktop has different requirements that the consumer/geek desktop.
90 • The growing divide.... (by buntunub on 2011-11-15 00:47:28 GMT from United States)
"I can't resist noting, though, that the major difference between a desktop/laptop and a tablet is that a desktop/laptop has a keyboard - *so use it*. Shell is much, much nicer to use on a desktop/laptop if you navigate using the keyboard, i.e., the useful feature that differentiates a laptop/desktop from a tablet. Makes sense, no?"
Bruce Byfield recently wrote some commentary on the growing split between Shuttleworth and the Ubuntu community. It is comments such as this that shed a lot of light in to why people feel that some key developers simply do not listen, nor care to. Your comment above strongly implies that you are growing tired of listening to complaints about GNOME3 and Fedora's implementation of it. The solution is very simple, and in this case probably just involves some short PR work. Be nice and listen to your community.
I think we all know very well by now that GNOME3 is what it is and that wont change. Those who hate it, really and truly hate it. Those who like it, kind of like it. Fedora comes in several flavors though, so comments about GNOME3 do not necessarily translate to comments about Fedora, or vica versa.
91 • F16 issues (by Mike on 2011-11-15 00:48:40 GMT from United States)
I have been running F16 since RC5 and have found the user experience degrade over a short period of time. I have fairly standard hardware a Lenovo laptop with core 2 duo processor, intel graphics, and intel wireless. I opted for the Gnome 3.2 desktop and have been subject to frequent crashes when just browsing Firefox which kicks me back to gdm. Pressing FN-F2 to shut off my screen causes kernel panic which is a known bug in the kernel F16 is shipping. Light use of the desktop will see what must memory leaks. VLC playback is choppy and two finger scolling doesn't seem to be possible in Gnome shell. Battery life in F16 is the worst in any OS or distro I have tried, average of 30 minutes to 45 minutes of use. To see how much of this was gnomes fault I did a fresh install of the LXDE spin and sadly it is no better. Very disappointing as this is bog standard hardware and in the F12 & F14 days few distros ran as well. These types of regressions have me looking at a RHEL clone, Debian stable, OpenBSD, or FreeBSD as an alternative. I used to look at Linux as a better and more efficient OS then any commercial options but as of late the newest of the Linux landscape have me wishing for 2008 or 2009 again where that seemed to be more true.
92 • Little lost sheep and things.. (by davemc on 2011-11-15 01:17:22 GMT from United States)
#91 - "I used to look at Linux as a better and more efficient OS then any commercial options but as of late the newest of the Linux landscape have me wishing for 2008 or 2009 again where that seemed to be more true"
Bingo! For a decade and more Linux was THE place to go for stability and longevity as well as productivity. Now all of a sudden a tiny minority want to change all that and go with the bling and to heck what people think!..
The F/OSS Community did not ever ask for this that I recall. Nobody publicly asked for GNOME to be transformed into a tablet wannabe. KDE went down this road long before GNOME did, yet they pulled back from the precipice because they listened to their community.
"Learn from the mistakes of the past or forever be doomed to repeat them."
93 • Patents... continued (by Bruce on 2011-11-15 03:29:43 GMT from United States)
From #76 "Small community projects get through because the patent holders don't find it worth it to sue. Most larger projects that include them are based in juristictions that are much less software-patent-friendly (for example: Mint in France)."
True, but even Mint offers a separate version without multimedia support for distribution in the USA and Japan where there may be restrictions.
94 • Fedora 16 install bliss and woes (by Esldude on 2011-11-15 03:36:19 GMT from United States)
I decided to put either Unity or Gnome 3 on my laptop and netbook. Sometimes you just cannot really find out about a big interface change until you live with it for awhile. First impressions of too big a difference can be wrong.
Used live CD's of Ubuntu and Fedora 16 quite a bit switching back and forth. My initial feeling was for Unity. As I did more and more switching between them, it did strike me that Gnome 3 was actually better. Some awkwardness, but in the end seemed much less wasted motion compared to Unity once you were using it. This still with Live CD's.
Okay put Fedora 16 on my laptop. Went on beautifully, no glitches, no hitches, no problems works great. Next up was a netbook, seemed to go on it okay, but then I had precisely your experience updating software and accessing packages. It just wouldn't every complete. Decided hey, maybe it didn't go on without errors as I suspect my external CD drive I used on the netbook was a bit flaky. So put Fedora on a USB stick with Unetbootin. Wiped the netbook clean (well other than Windows 7 partitions as this is a dual boot machine). Went on flawlessly. All the software and packages were accessed promptly and flawlessly for updates and installing other software. Then used the RPM Fusion on it, and also Autoplus. Got my codecs and all the other goodies I needed. So you may have just gotten a borked install. Whether that happens too often due to how Fedora does the install I don't know.
Having used it a little it still is awkward at times, and at times the focus on being application specific makes sense. Not sure whether I will end up for it or against it. I think it might work for my netbook with the smaller screen and something I usually don't use for multi-tasking chores. The laptop sometimes fills in for a desktop and that might be less of a good fit.
I wish E17 were better developed. It too at first felt awkward just because the philosophy behind it is rather different. Once you get over the first few uses though it makes good sense, and is a favorite of mine. I just don't quite like any distros that have it. The closest are PCLOS E17 and Bodhi. However Bodhi just refused to install on my netbook even though it ran as a live version.
I like the choice actually, but sometimes it is frustrating. When you just need to use your machine these changes in direction are not welcome. And for all the bitching about KDE 4 not so long ago, well it is the one for just getting things done right now.
95 • Pear OS and Nickelodeon shows (by Jason Hsu on 2011-11-15 06:11:06 GMT from United States)
I got a kick out of the new Pear OS.
What I find amusing is the fact that Nickelodeon sitcoms feature Pear products that look just like Apple products. If you've ever watched TV shows like _Zoey 101_, _iCarly_, _Drake and Josh_, or _Victorious_, you'll see computers, MP3 players, and other products with pear symbols on them. This isn't the only example of Nickelodeon shows parodying products. Other examples include SkyMall -> SkyStore, Dairy Queen -> Freezy Queen, Cheesecake Factory -> Cheesecake Warehouse, and Gorilla Glue -> Grizzly Glue.
Thus, the Pear OS is an example of life imitating art. I can't help but wonder if this is a coincidence or if the person who started Pear OS is a fan of Nickelodeon sitcoms.
96 • Linux diversity as its greatest strength (by Jason Hsu on 2011-11-15 06:20:16 GMT from United States)
The controversies over Ubuntu, Unity, and GNOME 3 highlight the value of the diversity that Linux offers. Because of this diversity, you have many options available if your favorite distro or desktop environment makes changes that you don't like or becomes defunct. The Mac and Windows worlds don't offer this flexibility. If you don't like the new Ubuntu with Unity, Linux Mint, Fedora, and other distros are ready to welcome you. If you don't like GNOME 3, you can switch to KDE, LXDE, or even ROX pinboard. I like ROX pinboard because it's user-friendly AND lightweight. antiX Linux implements ROX pinboard very well, and Puppy Linux offers an even better implementation. These two distros prove that a good user interface can work well in a 10-year-old computer that's too slow for KDE and GNOME.
97 • @90 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-15 06:24:34 GMT from Canada)
Well, no, it's just...that's how it was designed. I didn't design GNOME 3, but I get the concept. It seems simple enough. To design a desktop for multiple devices you consider the attributes of each device. Laptops and desktops? Have keyboards, so provide nice simple and plentiful keyboard shortcuts! It seems like the kind of perfectly obvious thing that the so-called 'power user' demographic would love, yet all the time, you see this 'but I have to move the mouse a long way' comment, and it just seems...weird to me. I just can't see why you'd want to use a mouse over a simple keyboard shortcut.
98 • RE: 95 Pear OS and Nickelodeon shows (by ladislav on 2011-11-15 06:27:43 GMT from Taiwan)
Pear OS was created by David Tavares who lives in the Deux-Sèvres département in France, Europe. Chances are he has never even heard of all those sitcoms, never mind being a "fan".
99 • @94 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-15 06:31:49 GMT from Canada)
The main reason PK behaviour can vary between systems and installations is just that it's so dependent on the behaviour of an external entity - the repository (or repositories) you're connecting to. If a repo is overloaded or just slow to respond or flat out dropping packets, that can obviously affect PK's behaviour. Fedora uses a mirror list system so the mirror you're using is not going to consistently be the same one, hence -> unpredictable behaviour sometimes.
100 • @91 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-15 06:34:39 GMT from Canada)
Obviously that's not the kind of experience we'd want you to have, but it is worth noting...there's really no such thing as 'bog standard hardware'. There's metric assloads of hardware and all of it is quirky in some damn way or another. It's fundamentally just about impossible to keep it all working perfectly all the time. It does sound like your model's been bitten by a couple of bad issues with the keyboard shortcut and the battery life; have you reported these to the kernel bugzilla? I'd expect them to at least get some attention if you do.
101 • Solaris 11 as a desktop (by Ralph on 2011-11-15 06:47:45 GMT from Canada)
@88 -- I'm pretty sure that unless you have a support contract, you will not be able to get even security patches for Solaris. It was the case that Fluendo provided a free MP3 codec; I'm pretty sure they have discontinued Solaris support for the other multimedia codecs.
One thing you could try is enabling the OpenIndiana SFE and the SFE-encumbered repos, which contain packages like MPlayer, etc. I have no idea if these will work on Solaris, however. All the info you need for installing them is on the 'release notes' link at openindiana.org. Or you could just try OpenIndiana itself instead, particularly when the final, stable edition (called 'Evermore') is released (though, admittedly, this could be a while).
102 • @90 (redux) (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-15 06:54:26 GMT from Canada)
to expand - I actually had a whole rant on Bruce's post which I never got around to posting, but the gist of it is I have a great deal of sympathy for Mark on that issue.
You fundamentally cannot do good UI or software design by 'listening to the users'. It just doesn't work. It's like the world's worst version of design by committee: if ten thousand people get a voice you just never make any decisions.
The specific issue which triggered that whole little storm in a teacup is an absolutely perfect little illustration, actually. The issue was about the placement of the Unity launcher / dock thing. The request is a classic design-by-committee fuckup: Bob, Sally, Jim and Jane can't agree on where the launcher should be, so what's the obvious solution? Make it an option! Let everyone pick where the launcher goes!
Except, no, that's a terrible solution. Fundamentally there's no intrinsic 'right' answer to where the launcher should be. It just should be somewhere. So if you 'listen to the users' you're going to get a perfect 25/25/25/25 split based on all sorts of ridiculous reasons from 'it just looks right there' to 'if you put it on the right I can't see the caption on my awesome lolcat wallpaper'.
The correct response to this is exactly *not* to say 'okay, let's make it an option' - i.e. to 'listen to the users'. The correct response is exactly what Mark and the Unity team did - just pick a damn place for the launcher, put it there, and don't listen to people who moan about it.
Why? Very simple. Fundamentally, providing an option for the location is introducing needless complexity - into your design, your interface, and your code. This causes all sorts of problems. The code just become that much more of a pain in the ass to maintain, and that much more prone to breakage. There was a substantial about of fuckery in the gnome-panel source just to facilitate people being able to put the panel on any side of the screen - a 'choice' which has no real reason to exist, which doesn't really fundamentally improve anyone's use experience. You have to think about how you handle pop-ups for every position, how you handle text flow, all sorts of crap. *All that effort* is fundamentally wasted: the hacking time some poor sod has to spend thinking about these issues could have been spent working on some kind of actual substantial improvement to the desktop.
And we're not done there! The effect knocks on into QA and support. Your QA team probably already has a few hundred test cases to run on desktop functionality: that number just quadrupled, because they now have to run every one of the tests with the launcher in every possible screen position just to make sure there's not some bug you only hit when the launcher is on the right-hand side for some reason. And yes, this kind of thing happens. All the time. In reality there's no way QA can cover every possibility, precisely because of this kind of complexity - if you list out every possible setting for every possible little widget that makes up a desktop and multiply 'em all together you're rapidly in 'more than the number of hydrogen atoms in the universe' territory. But there's no reason to go around making things _worse_ by introducing complexity ('choice') which has no fundamental reason to exist. Complexity is the enemy of code quality and the enemy of effective testing: the more complexity you introduce into a design the more often it's going to break, and the less often that breakage is going to get caught ahead of it hitting real users. I see this effect _all the time_ in my work, like literally, every day. It's impossible to miss.
Same thing happens to support - now whenever anyone shows up in the Ubuntu forums with a launcher issue you have to ask 'where do you have the launcher on the screen?' Again, multiply that up by every instance of unnecessary complexity ('choice') in your design and it quickly becomes unmanageable, which is why so many forum threads consist of ten people going 'well, it doesn't do that _here_' until someone finally runs across the precise combination of configuration options that you have to have set to hit the bug. As well as being the enemy of effective design, code quality and testing, unnecessary complexity is the enemy of effective support.
This is why you can't design good software by asking the users: because the users are _always_ going to disagree, and the easiest way out of a disagreement (if you're not the poor sod who has to write, test or support the code) is just to say 'well, let's make it an option!', and that's a highway straight to the land of way, way, way too much code complexity - where the code's always broken, no-one has any time to write any actually useful new features, and you can't get any effective help with your problems.
So yeah, maybe you think it's kinda cool to have lots of 'choice', but you also have to think: would it be cooler if instead of maintaining these sixty zillion options, the designers could just work on cool new features, and finish them much faster because the code base they're working on is simple and doesn't break all the damn time? Would it be cooler if the product that I got was much less broken because the QA team could cover 5% of all possible use scenarios rather than 0.01%? Would it be cooler if when I went on a forum and asked a question I actually got the right answer really fast, without having to spend three hours flipping toggles until I figured out which one was breaking the smegging thing? Because I think, yeah, it probably would.
Things are not, of course, black and white. Of course you should listen to users to some degree - in the small issues, the 'hey this doesn't works!' and 'it might be better if you changed widget X in precise manner Y because of well-thought out rationale Z'. That stuff is great, and most developers I know _do_ listen to that kind of feedback and _do_ respond to it. But it is just not a good idea to do your fundamental design by 'listening to users' - which almost always boils down to 'implement every possible design and give me a Giant Mad Scientist Control Board I can use to Choose My Own Adventure'. Because that does not make for good software.
Think of a company that does good UI design. Chances are you're thinking of Apple. Does Apple 'listen to its users'? Hell, no. It tells people what they want, and quite often, it's right.
(It is worth, of course, noting that just because I think you can't design a good UI by public opinion poll, it does not follow that _every_ UI ever designed by _not_ 'listening to users' is a good one. Not 'listening to your users' is just a necessary precondition. You can still go wrong in all sorts of inventive ways from there on out. :) I'm just making the general case, here, that 'listening to your users' is an excellent way to develop over-complex software that doesn't work very well.)
103 • Pear OS and Mac OS (by Jozsef on 2011-11-15 06:58:35 GMT from United Arab Emirates)
As everybody already notice, Pear OS is looks completely the same as Mac OS. I mean the logo and a lots of things I saw on their website :)
Which I like, but really, as somebody said, it can easily become a problem for them.
Or maybe they are trying to achieve something like Lindows did many years ago? Not with MS this time, but with Apple :)
Let's see how it goes and good luck guys :)
104 • looks vs functionality (by ix on 2011-11-15 07:32:12 GMT from Romania)
I once read that the Ubuntu design team had to be convinced that apps actually have to be closed, not just hidden, they thought people have enough RAM to just hide apps instead of closing them. http://design.canonical.com/2011/03/quit/ I find this idea mind bogglingly stupid.
If we were to listen to designers we would get a very beautiful but useless desktop. Mark Shuttleworth probably sees himself as the Steve Jobs of Linux but every mac-like design decision has been heavily criticized.
I think they should concentrate on functionality, not on looks, KDE 3.5 was a fantastic desktop environment. It should be ported to QT 5. Maybe Ubuntu should have been a KDE 3 distro all along.
105 • I drink the Blue Kool Aid (by shady on 2011-11-15 09:07:45 GMT from United States)
Is there as way in Gnome Shell to have all the keyboard shortcuts show up like an overlay? Like a Gnome-shell trainer or something? I'd like to take my use of the DE to the next level. Also Adam rules, it's awesome that Fedora has a guy who represents them so well. I'd let him sign my desktop wallpaper like a rockstar.
106 • @44 re. CDLinux (by PePa on 2011-11-15 10:47:27 GMT from Thailand)
I also downloaded CDLinux 0.9.7, and I think your (44) accusations are baseless. The root password gets disabled in a standard way in the init script: passwd -l root
I tested this by booting up twice, and in the /etc/shadow there was a different string for root both times. Also, nor the root account not the user account (cdl) had ssh-keys pregenerated, so it's not "pre-owned".
I found it a nice looking and operating live CD based on XFCE 4.8 which can be installed in a Windows C: partitions or on a USB stick.
107 • @100 - Adam Williamson (by Mike on 2011-11-15 13:45:25 GMT from United States)
The bug for the FN-F2 kernel panic seems to be captured in this bug https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=748210
I will try and find a bug on the battery life issue and if not file one.
I guess bog standard wasn't a great choice of words but I bought this laptop because the hardware was Linux friendly. Intel processor, intel graphics, and intel wireless are all supported in the mainline kernel and I haven't needed to use some proprietary driver like for a Broadcom wireless card or some ATI or NVIDIA card. This hardware has worked well under everything I have thrown at previously.
Fedora is the distro I want to embrace as their community and goals is to be respected but a release like this for my laptop makes a 6 month release cycle too long.
108 • #102: If launcher position is such a problem... (by Caitlyn Martin on 2011-11-15 14:16:31 GMT from United States)
Adam, I read your rant and while I agree with your comments on the likely results of a design by committee, your picking on how absolutely complex allowing choice in launcher placement is seems off base to me. If Xfce, GNOME2 and KDE can all manage it without devolving into a mess then so can GNOME3 and Unity. It seems to me this is the crux of user complaints about those two desktops: features users have had for years and are used to have disappeared. C'mon, if it wasn't all that hard before it can't be all that hard now.
109 • Why abandon Ubuntu? (by vw72 on 2011-11-15 14:17:13 GMT from United States)
I see a lot of comments here and elsewhere about people saying they are going to abandon Ubuntu because of the Unity interface. I don't get it, why?
I mean, why choose another distribution instead of changing the desktop environment. If one is comfortable with Ubuntu's other benefits (ease of use, hardware detection, repositories, etc.), how will switching to Mint, or Fedora or Suse or help that?
Sure you will get a desktop environment different than Unity, but any desktop environment available on other distros is available on Ubuntu, too.
So, I ask again, why abandon Ubuntu instead of switching DEs?
110 • @109: It's partly a matter of names (by eco2geek on 2011-11-15 15:51:29 GMT from United States)
>> So, I ask again, why abandon Ubuntu instead of switching DEs?
Good point. Part of the reason is semantic. Unlike other distros, Canonical in its infinite wisdom has chosen to name its GNOME-based distro "Ubuntu", and then they also have Kubuntu (with KDE), Xubuntu (with Xfce), and Lubuntu (with LXDE). With every new *buntu release, there's this parade of announcements for what is essentially the same base with a different desktop environment on top.
So I'm not running "Ubuntu" any longer; now I'm running "Xubuntu."
Can you imagine if, say, openSUSE did the same thing? They're traditionally a KDE-based distro. What would they call the others, openGnuse, openXuse, and openLuse?
111 • @102 - do it again, do it right (by Mikademus on 2011-11-15 16:18:01 GMT from Sweden)
Adam, as a systems developer and a GUI designer I both agree and disagree with you in that rather long diatribe.
I agree that users will have a wild range of replies and usually inarticulate or unhelpful reasons for their preferences. I agree that focus studies and wide surveys aren't always beneficial, However, I strongly disagree with:
1) The idea that the developer or creative visionary always knows best. It is destructive idealism and insularity to disregard existing HCI research and usage patterns (though I don't think that research has been ignored in the GNOME3 case). And to disregard established mechanisms, traditions and customisation options that are considered standard for efficient workflow might be revolutionary, but not necessarily constructively so.
2) The idea that a rebuild of a project means that it is time to cut away the "cruft" that detracts from code aesthetics: when we restart a project it is the time to refactor its feature set into a more flexible, maintainable, efficient and extendible code base. The end clients principally never care about the underlying code: they care about its functionality and their work flow. GNOME3 was to be a new start, not a new DE.
3) The underlying notion that users are stupid, can't be trusted and should be taught new ways even against their wills (the desire to say "luser" radiated from the text ;-) ). Yes, users often become stubborn and entrenched in the way they've always done things, and more often still they have pretty good reasons for that stubbornness. DE's have actually been under evolutionary pressure for decades and been continuously refined until they are the very efficient work environments they are. Now suddenly, though, everything built over the decades have been chucked out the window (Unity, Gnome Shell, Windows 8 Metro, etc). which seems like little less than a criminal waste trying to jump on a shining bandwagon nobody knows where it is really going or coming from.
Outside of looking on with astonishment and some bemusement at these collective absurdities unfolding before my eyes, for me, however, this isn't practically a big deal (yet?) since I primarily use KDE4 and have nothing against Xfce or LXDE. Also, perhaps Mint's shell mimicking G2-under-G3 will restore some sanity for the gnome side of things. Also, Trident hopefully might bring some peace of mind to those that preferred KDE3.
112 • @108 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-15 16:29:55 GMT from Canada)
Well, the question there is 'define "manage it"'. I never said it was impossible to do: I said that doing it makes you waste development, QA and support effort on complexity you don't really need to have.
Both Mark and the GNOME team ultimately think that the desktops you mention are fundamentally just not up to scratch: they work but they're not great, and they want to make something that is actually great. (You could argue that they're 'listening to' the 96% of users who don't run Linux at all, if you wanted to put it that way :>). They want to build something really awesome that will be significantly better than the desktops we had before, and they both came to one of the same conclusions about how to do that: you can make it more solid and more supportable, and be able to implement really interesting _new_ stuff much faster, if you junk some of the unnecessary complexity that the old desktops had.
It's not just in desktops you see this, mind. Another classic example was the F16 transition to grub2. That was incredibly difficult for the anaconda team to implement and for us to QA, largely because of the huge variety of complexity that's built up in anaconda over the years, that you don't really _think_ about when it's working. We don't only support booting the installer from hard disk, image file, an actual shiny circular disc, or image written to a USB stick - we support three different frickin' methods of writing the USB stick. And one of these methods has three different parameters which can affect the layout of the finished stick in important ways. And all of this turned out to be important in determining if you hit certain critical bugs when upgrading from F15 to F16 - we had bugs you'd hit from a USB stick but not a DVD, bugs you'd hit if you wrote your USB stick *this* way but not *that* way, and so on. And that's just one little area. We had bugs you'd hit doing a yum upgrade, bugs you'd hit doing a regular DVD-based upgrade, bugs you'd hit doing preupgrade.
All this complexity that's got written into the installer over the years is great in a way, but it comes with a significant cost: stuff breaks, and the cost of maintaining the code is significantly higher. We have a team of like eight people working full time on the installer and it still takes us on average two release cycles to introduce a single significant new feature and make it work without problems, almost entirely because of the Heath Robinson nature of the whole thing: introduce one big new feature, and then work through the implications for the literally millions of possible permutations of actual stuff you can do using the installer.
It's not to say that every app should be written to have no options at all, and just one specific workflow you use or get out of town. But it's worth bearing in mind that that's *one* end of the theoretical continuum, and it has distinct advantages: the software gets written damn fast, can be made to work incredibly reliably, and is super easy to maintain and improve. You always have to remember that adding some bit of choice into your code is not a one-time, five minute hit of 'write both the codepaths and a checkbox', it's a decision that's going to affect the difficulty of testing and maintaining the code _forever more_. There's a very significant cost/benefit calculation that needs to kept in mind _every time_ you consider adding some new option (or requesting that one be added).
113 • @105 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-15 16:35:56 GMT from Canada)
It's a nice idea, but sadly AFAIK not possible, no. However, you can always keep a copy of https://live.gnome.org/GnomeShell/CheatSheet open in your browser...
114 • @101 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-15 16:49:17 GMT from Canada)
Hey, long diatribes are my stock-in-trade. ;)
1) No, I agree with you there. Like I said at the end - just because you're a Lone Ranger with a Vision doesn't make you right; you just probably have a better _shot_ at being right than the guy with a sheaf of opinion poll results in one hand and a calculator in the other. I do agree that it's certainly a good idea to consider the results of well-constructed research, indeed.
2) It's not code _aesthetics_ I care about but _complexity_. Rewriting perfectly functional code because you don't like the variable naming scheme or something - that's idiotic, I entirely agree. And I have a lot of time for that article by Joel or whoever it was, from way back, who said doing a 'ground-up rewrite' of your code to 'make it prettier' is a really bad idea. But I think that's a fundamentally different thing from identifying unnecessary complexity in the code - which almost always boils down to letting the user have a choice about something they have no real need to have a choice about - and getting rid of it. It just is inarguably easier to support a bit of code that does one thing one way than it is to support a bit of code that can do one thing any one of four different ways depending on which way the user twiddles a setting. It just is. Sometimes the benefit of giving the user the option outweighs the pain of maintaining the code, but sometimes it doesn't, and I think the GNOME and Unity teams are entirely correct in going back over some of those areas and re-making that decision.
3) "The underlying notion that users are stupid, can't be trusted and should be taught new ways even against their wills" - Well, those two things are not the same, see ;). Yes, I think users (including me, usually) need to be taught new things 'against their will'. It's the classic Henry Ford line over again - if you asked people how to improve transportation they'd have told you to breed a better horse, they wouldn't have invented the car. You are never going to go out and run an opinion poll on how to design a better desktop and come back with a design for a better desktop: you'll come back with a thousand mostly mutually contradictory requests to tweak the existing desktop slightly.
This isn't because users are stupid, not at all. It's just that if they're using your desktop they are by definition probably reasonably okay with how it works - even if they don't really like it, the Stockholm syndrome has kicked in, and all that's really going to leap to mind are the small issues that bug them in their day-to-day usage, and the little tweaks you could do to take that specific pain point away. That's just natural. No-one's going to reply by saying 'you could make my life as a desktop user much better by re-implementing the window manager using compositing!', but that doesn't mean it isn't, in the long run, true. It also doesn't mean the user is stupid, it's just a question of perspectives. I just don't think you can ever arrive at a fundamental big change in how people use a piece of software - or anything else - by just asking the users. The ones who use the Thing are by definition probably happy with, or at least accustomed to, it; and those who don't use the Thing don't usually know what it is that would make them use the Thing until someone designs it and gives them the choice.
115 • @107 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-15 16:54:26 GMT from Canada)
Yup, I certainly see that's a pain :(. We do intentionally run the Fedora cycle so that you can skip an entire release if necessary, though - F15 is supported until a month after F17 comes out. So, as long as your bugs get fixed somewhere along the line between F16 and F17, you should be okay to keep running F15 and just upgrade when F17 comes along. (Also, if there's a fix upstream, there's a reasonably good chance it'll get pulled into F16's kernel).
116 • @112: It's got little to do with complexity (by eco2geek on 2011-11-15 18:04:28 GMT from United States)
>> "Both Mark and the GNOME team ultimately think that the desktops you mention are fundamentally just not up to scratch: they work but they're not great, and they want to make something that is actually great."
One thing that Unity and gnome-shell has done is to make me clarify exactly what I want in a desktop environment. Right now, that comes down to 2 non-negotiable things: 1) An application menu (in KDE parlance, an "application launcher"; in Xfce parlance, an "applications menu"); and 2) a place to show which applications are running, to which application windows can be minimized, and from which application windows can be maximized (in KDE parlance, a "task manager"; in Xfce parlance, "window buttons"). (Usually, both of these are part of a "panel," but not necessarily.)
I don't care whether Mark Shuttleworth or the GNOME team think constitutes a "great" desktop. If they don't produce desktops that have those two features, I'm not going to use them. Oh, I'll keep GNOME 3 and Unity installed; I have plenty of hard disk space, I like dinking with operating systems, and I like keeping up with what's new and different. But I'm not going to use either Unity or gnome-shell to get any meaningful work done. Instead, I'll use Xfce or KDE.
In other words, the reason I dislike both gnome-shell and Unity has very little to do with complexity and everything to do with their creators' dumping what I consider to be essential features in pursuit of their vision of something they think is a "great" desktop UI.
Obviously, neither Shuttleworth nor the GNOME team care about what I (or anyone who agrees with me) think. That's fine. It's free software and it works both ways.
117 • @114 (by H. Leven on 2011-11-15 18:11:17 GMT from Austria)
"This isn't because users are stupid, not at all. It's just that if they're using your desktop they are by definition probably reasonably okay with how it works - even if they don't really like it, the Stockholm syndrome has kicked in"
You beautifully show what it's really about in two adjacent sentences:
"This isn't because users are stupid ...
.... the Stockholm syndrome has kicked in"
so if the users arenot quite stupid, then they are of course at least psychologically deficient.
And you are the sole judge of that.
The possibility that *you* yourself might be affected by the Stockholm syndrome or something similar doesn't cross your mind for a single second. It's always the users, that's for granted.
This, Sir, clearly shows where this mess we're in now comes from - better than I could put it.
118 • @115 - Battery Life (by Mike on 2011-11-15 18:43:22 GMT from United States)
Closest bug I found to what I am experiencing is this one
I will try downgrading upower and see if that helps.
By the way Adam I know that you work a lot on QA and that sometimes is a thankless task but you always seems to help people on the mailing lists and forums, so thank you.
119 • Good discussion (by Mikademus on 2011-11-15 18:59:11 GMT from Sweden)
If we can just stay clear of the internet urge to flame and hate, I think we're having a very good discussion right now! :-)
@eco2geek: that was a very good post, and what you touch on perhaps will be the end outcome of the current situation. I do agree with Adam on one thing (that hasn't been stated outright here), and that is that the DE paradigm had hit a local minimum and its evolution stopped off. KDE4 was a micro-quake that allowed it to jump on a bit more, but the basic desktop/launcher/taskarea metaphor remains. I have the notion that in this light Unity and Gnome Shell (and to an extent Windows Metro) have been attempts to *blindly* revolutionise to allow continued evolution. I say blindly because there hasn't been a definition of what truly defines the DE paradigm as we know it, and the outcome allows us the contrast by which to retroactively define and understand what we have been using all this time.
So we're now at a situation where we can define what characterises DE's as well as SUI:s (Shell User Interfaces, my term), and to learn from them what works and what works less well. This will probably lead to the next generation of both DE and SUI models.
120 • @117 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-15 19:36:50 GMT from Canada)
Your comment is a wonderfully clear and ringing denunciation which does not, in fact, make any sense at all.
Once again, for the cheap seats: I don't work on GNOME or Unity. I was not in any way at all involved in the design of either of them.
However, if we - for the nonce - imagine that I am in fact the evil genius who designed Shell, how exactly could *I* be suffering from Stockholm syndrome? My passing reference to it was a semi-joking way to reference the idea that if you get stuck using a bit of software, over time, you adapt to its foibles and internalize them, and when asked how to improve it, you tend not to think about how it could be fundamentally designed better, but how specific inefficiencies and bugs that you notice every day could be fixed. If I'm the evil genius who has the freedom to re-design the software from scratch - in fact, the evil genius who *wants* to - how could I be suffering from Stockholm syndrome? Who's the greater power I'm submitting to and accepting and even defending a situation I should hate? There isn't one. Your zing is a squib, I'm afraid.
"And you are the sole judge of that."
Once again, I'm not the judge of jack squat, but if I actually were the person (or, rather, group of people) who designed the UI and wrote the code then, well, the only answer is 'yes'. The way you get a vote in open source (or, for that matter, closed source: want to change the UI of Photoshop? Get a job with Adobe) is to be involved, not to stamp your foot on forums. The people who get to be the judge of how to develop the software are the people who develop the software, yes. If you don't like that, well, too bad. You are entirely free not to like it, but it ain't gonna change anything.
If you don't like the design of Shell or Unity you are entirely free not to use them: that's your freedom and your choice. You're not free to have the choice to stamp your foot and demand they be designed to your liking. Someone who likes Shell could hardly show up on the Xfce mailing list and demand they take out the launcher and implement an overview - or they could, but I doubt they'd be warmly received. If you don't like a piece of software, then don't use it, and find an alternative you do like. If there isn't one, write one.
121 • Amusing Mouse Story (by Ron on 2011-11-15 19:49:10 GMT from United States)
With all this talk about the DE and usage of the Mouse verses the keyboard, I am reminded how the mouse thing came about.
Sometime a while ago, Xerox research was studying how people might interact with a computer, and they wanted to make it easy for everyone. So, they studied two and three year olds and discovered that they reached out for 'stuff' they were interested in. There, they got the idea for the mouse! Yes, we are mimicking three year olds with the mouse.
Still, I prefer Gnome2.
122 • RE;112 (by Greg on 2011-11-15 21:31:31 GMT from United States)
You say that grub2 was incredibly difficult for your anaconda team. Well, grub2 is also difficult for the average user, and that includes me. So why the switch from grub legacy?
123 • @122 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-15 21:40:07 GMT from Canada)
Simply because upstream isn't supporting it any more. Same boat as GNOME 3, really: we had to have someone downstream essentially maintaining grub-legacy full time (not the package, the *code*), which just doesn't really make sense. We decided that in the long run it's less pain to switch to what upstream supports, even if it _is_ the impressively over-engineered edifice that is grub2. (Yes, there are other bootloaders out there; no, none of them is less of a problem than grub2).
124 • #109: Why abandon Ubuntu? (by Caitlyn Martin on 2011-11-15 23:07:42 GMT from United States)
I abandoned Ubuntu (and all the baby 'buntus) before Unity and GNOME 3 were even issues. Why? How about not fixing bugs within a release cycle as a matter of policy, for starters: Lots of regressions, lots of bugs that take forever to get fixed, more serious bugs than other major distros in most releases, and a cavalier attitude to the user community that predates Ubuntu by years. In other words, other distros do a much better job overall.
In fairness, I did take a brief look at 11.10 and with my hardware there were fewer problems than before. I can't say I liked it but I can say that, for a change, it wasn't severely broken.
125 • RE: 123.122 (by Ron on 2011-11-15 23:10:22 GMT from United States)
"We decided that in the long run it's less pain to switch to what upstream supports, even if it _is_ the impressively over-engineered edifice that is grub2"
Isn't this a case of the tail waging the dog?
126 • Mr. Adam (by fernbap on 2011-11-15 23:52:57 GMT from Portugal)
While i understand your position, i don't agree with it. The reason is simple:
There are people that want the launcher on the left, others that want it on the right. What do you think would drain less resources: 2 completely independent projects, one with the launcher on the left, the other with the launcher on the right, competing with each other, both using a lot of developer resources in order to offer a decently polished desktop, or get both teams and make them work together on a desktop that allows the launcher in both positions?
Yes, what you said makes sense for an enterprise that wants to save resources, but that doesn't mean that it is creati9ng the best possible solution for the public.
Saying that "developers know better" will get you nowhere. What is best for a company is not necessarily what is best for the public.
127 • 30 Ubuntu we have to talk---by Tom (by BernardI on 2011-11-16 00:02:19 GMT from Australia)
Loved it Tom. Great humour. Takes me back around 7yrs. to a very funny article by Robert Storey when we were both using Libranet. It's good to see he's still writing. I too have switched to Linux Mint and have been trying to persuade others.
128 • Adam (by buntunub on 2011-11-16 00:16:08 GMT from United States)
@ Adam. I think you did not understand my post. I recognize that both GNOME3 and Unity are what they are and wont change. One of Fedora's incarnations happens to use one of them, but there are also other incarnations of Fedora running KDE4, etc. Sure, the "team" must integrate the bits and bytes into Fedora at some point to make it all work as intended and perhaps sometimes that might involve a hammer and several beer's, but I digress. Point is that Fedora's involvement with GNOME is probably limited to that. The PR work I referred to is really just listening and understanding where people are coming from. Maybe Fedora can work in some tweaks to the shell ala Mint style, which is a fantastic effort btw and is a classic example of what can be accomplished in a community driven effort.
129 • @126 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-16 00:30:10 GMT from Canada)
There isn't going to be a new project spawned for every small choice a major desktop refuses to implement. Even with all the bellyaching about GNOME 3, there isn't really a functional GNOME 2 fork yet; it's much easier to find people willing to explain how bad your code is than it is to find people willing to write better code ;).
It's not about enterprises saving resources. It's about any project saving resources. It doesn't matter if you're a one-man band, a volunteer community, a non-profit, a small company, or a big company: you have a limited amount of development, QA and support resources, and the more efficiently you can deploy them, the better your product will be. _No_ group has more developer time, more QA staff or more support staff than it knows what to do with.
"Saying that "developers know better" will get you nowhere."
This is clearly not true, though, is it? Letting developers get on and develop code is what brought us...every bit of code ever, really. Linus didn't go out and commission an opinion poll on what kind of OS people wanted him to write, he decided it'd be cool to write a free Minix clone and wrote one. Developers write the code they want to write and the rest of us get to use it. That's just how it goes.
130 • @128 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-16 00:32:02 GMT from Canada)
I see what you're saying, but Fedora really tries to avoid that kind of downstream customization: we think it's better to have a clear separation between what distros do and what upstream projects do.
I rather think Mint's extension stuff is getting something of an easy ride so far - I mean, the stuff's barely existed for a week and it seems like a lot of the people going nuts over it haven't even run it, only looked at the screenshots. It might be interesting to see how it holds out over a release cycle before judging. I suspect a lot of people will be keeping an eye on it, though.
131 • choices and resources (by fernbap on 2011-11-16 01:53:58 GMT from Portugal)
Adam, i understand your view, and i also understand that is it a corporate view.
Certainly, your approach is better for a company, but that doesn't mean that the company will create a better product.
Let's compare 2 situations:
1 - 2 separate teams developing concurrent desktops, because one team likes the launcher on the left and the other likes the launcher on the right.
2- the 2 teams working together, in order to make a customizable laucher position in one desktop
What do your thing, of those 2 situations, would consume more resources?
132 • @60 (troll hunter) (by Bob on 2011-11-16 02:53:42 GMT from Austria)
"... 12-course buffet"
"... If it's so bad, why have you spent 10 years using it?"
not bad enough not to use it
"laptops .. hasn't been true for the last five .."
that's a good one (stopped reading related posts 5 years ago?)
"Flash, becoming less relevant with HTML5"
that's another good one (especially entertaining for Adobe folks), but
there will always be something great like Gnash for the OSS enthusiasts ...
"... I don't need any other proprietary software"
better not to utilize NVIDIA hardware too heavily in this case (phoronix.com)
"... Trinity KDE just released 3.5.13"
KDE fork, uncertain future, not interested, sorry.
"KDE4 - biggest bloat around"
Just try to compare it to the rest of the bunch and you'll see.
"LXDE isn't a distro, but never mind"
absolutely correct, thanks for reading my post so carefully. :-)
"Firms like Gartner were spouting predictions ..."
fine with me if they are wrong. The current 2% seems to be appropriate though.
"countless other institutions are just clicking and praying?"
probably not, provided they have IT specialists on hand who know what they are doing
"... such thing as a perfect Windows?"
maybe not, but I don't remember anyone lately complaining about his/her Win7.
"I think we're seeing glimpses of your true character."
definitely not. My comment was based on someone who actually did that and a bunch of IT guys were joking about it. Sadly enough, I don't have any info about the outcome.
".. installed the latest Ubuntu with Unity and is now happily using ..."
she should post something here to counterbalance the apparent Unity frustration.
133 • RedHat, Fedora, Agendas, Realities (by Landor on 2011-11-16 03:30:31 GMT from Canada)
First, I'll address one point because as someone who has been here regularly for a number of years (to the chagrin of many I might add), I can speak of it:
Adam at one time did indeed frequent here 'somewhat' regularly. That was when he worked for Mandriva. After losing that position, and then being hired on by RedHat, he rarely frequented this comments section, and usually only when it was in regard to an issue regarding Fedora, say in the way of a review. Another person who I'm shocked that hasn't arrived who does the same for Fedora is Rahul. There is definitely an Agenda behind the appearance, but other than some Fedora fans, I'm sure the majority understand this.
On the point of agendas, I came across some information with someone who did a review on Fedora had stated that when someone reviews Fedora, and it's not something anyone from the Fedora team (RedHat employees usually) they immediately give you every reason under the sun that you are wrong. That your process is wrong. That the hardware was wrong. That something was wrong. The person said that they go to great lengths to prove that somehow you, your equipment, anything, whatever, was wrong, not Fedora, Never Fedora. I took this with a grain of salt, but never forgot it. When I read Fedora reviews that were not 100% pro Fedora, the theory was proved correct. Always something else was faulty for the most part. Oh sure, they'd concede small points, but the review, the reviewer, the hardware, the process, somehow it was wrong. I'll say again: Not Fedora. Other distributions welcome such criticism usually.
I remember when Adam said that just one, maybe two releases ago at most that Fedora would 'not' be switching to GRUB 2. There was absolutely no need whatsoever for them to switch. Again, something I took with a grain of salt. Of course RedHat would switch (yes, RedHat), they're not in the business of actually forking projects. They steer projects in the direction they want them to go. 'In my educated opinion', RedHat has been waiting for GRUB 2 to mature so they've been maintaining their own code. Now that the project has indeed matured they picked a point to migrate to it. Last week, I believe the last comment was someone who said Fedora bowed to peer pressure, or the like. No, they just did what their employer told them to do.
The reason I brought that up should be clear, but I'll explain. I made to very specific points. First I said that RedHat steers projects in the direction they want them to go, and second, Fedora did what their employer told them to do. A reality that a lot of people miss is the simple fact that RedHat has a huge hand in almost every cookie jar in this community. They push every project in some way or another, even ones they're not involved in like ripples in a pond. If RedHat has interest in it, other projects sit up and take notice. Almost from it's inception RedHat has had 'Paid Employees' working on the GNOME Project. They also sponsor the project. Everyone is talking about GNOME this and GNOME that, has any one of you even stopped to consider that this isn't really about the user desktop? Anyone ever consider maybe it is about mobile devices, say like nfotainment systems in cars and such? Maybe planes? No? A reality is this, GNOME gets steered, bottom line.
Anyway, personally. I wouldn't recommend Fedora to anyone for quite a number of reasons. I'll only list a small number of them. It's not free as in Libre. It has a very short support cycle. Bugs that are not within their agenda do not get fixed, or dealt with, even if reported properly. Their community is atrocious when dealing with people on any level of respect. They pass the buck on everything pretty well, to the point of being disingenuous.
Keep your stick on the ice...
134 • @133, Fedora not Libre? (by Stan on 2011-11-16 05:18:25 GMT from United States)
In what way is Fedora, of all distributions, not Libre? They have free software guidelines and don't even *have* an official non-Free repository (unlike Debian); users are steered towards the community-supported (and rarely updated) RPM Fusion repos instead. They even advocate Ogg Vorbis over MP3 (for example) on their wiki for ideological reasons as well as practical reasons.
I've heard that Fedora is too Libre a lot before, but you are the first person I've ever heard that it's not Libre enough! Do you only use one of the few FSF-approved distros (which Fedora is not on solely because of the firmware, FWIW)?
(I disagree with most of the rest of your post as well, but there is certainly some truth in the "Red Hat tries to steer Free Software" bit. And are you serious that you think that there are people that are somehow unaware that Fedora is a Red Hat-sponsored distribution? On Distrowatch of all places?)
135 • @134 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-16 05:23:06 GMT from Canada)
It's technically true that Fedora is not entirely 'free' by the FSF's definition. On the other hand, very few distros are, including none of the 'big' distros.
The FSF has a fairly even-handed explanation at https://www.gnu.org/distros/common-distros.html . The issue that separates Fedora's policy from the FSF's is that we consider non-free firmware - defined as code that does not execute on the system's host CPU - to be acceptable, whereas FSF does not. If you take non-free firmware out of Fedora, you have a distro that is free per the FSF's definition.
136 • @131 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-16 05:27:23 GMT from Canada)
I like that you keep labelling me as corporate - you should ask my managers, they'd have a rather different opinion ;). I'm somewhat notorious for avoiding anything remotely to do with the enterprise side of the company as much as possible...
I refuse to answer your question because I simply think it's a false supposition to suggest that a desktop refusing to provide an option for the location of the launcher will result in someone else launching a new desktop purely in order to put the launcher on the other side. I have not yet seen anyone suggest they're going to fork Unity with the launcher on the right instead of the left; have you?
There are people who are choosing to use other desktops instead of GNOME 3, KDE 4 and Unity - but these alternatives have all existed for many years, for other reasons. Despite all the noise, there has not actually been a significant new desktop project founded since the release of any one of those 'controversial' desktops. I think the idea that, if you just put enough options in, you'll get everyone to work on one big piece of software is fundamentally a false one. Hell, we still have emacs and vi, and both of those can imitate the other almost perfectly...
137 • The "Open" in the Open Source (by LuxPro on 2011-11-16 05:37:58 GMT from India)
Suddenly I begin to wonder if people actually are realising and using the "open" in the open source ?!
If it worked on Gnome2/ KDE/..., hey somebody forgot what's code factoring?
It appears code reusability across open source projects has not been well explored.
138 • Fedrora 16's Verne (by VernDog on 2011-11-16 05:44:17 GMT from United States)
I tried Fedora 16 Gnome last week, and this week I installed the KDE version. Been using KDE all day long.
I'm looking for a replacement for my Ubuntu Lucid when the warranty runs out.
My hardware must be what the Fedora folks used, because its the first release, of any distro, that has NOT froze and recognized all my hardware.
I've had both Ubuntu 10.4 and Mint 9 installed from the beginning. Tried Ubuntu's Unity. Tried to like it, but in the end, its not for me.
I also used Gnome3 in one of the early stages a while back and it just wasn't usable.
I was looking into using PCBSD's KDE, but decided to try Fedora's latest offering. The one thing I really love about KDE is K3b and K9COPY. I could never get Gnome's brasero to work consistently.
Right now I'm enjoying Fedora 16's KDE. Was able to add chrome, mp3, etc without much trouble.
139 • @136, Desktops (by Stan on 2011-11-16 05:46:47 GMT from United States)
It's a bit disingenuous to suggest that people who don't like GNOME 3/Unity create their own desktop. It would be like me telling you, "You don't like how the current cars work? Go make your own!" Most people do not have the time or the technical knowledge on how to do so, even if they have lots of ideas. Of the people that do, they can't necessarily find others to help them implement it.
Finally, even if they manage to create it and it becomes moderately popular, they don't have the clout to get it default on any major distro; even KDE has a problem with that, and survey after survey shows that approximately half of the Linux users prefer it to GNOME. Corporations that sponsor most of the major distros prefer GNOME because of its corporate backing, and Mark Shuttleworth does too for other reasons (namely, to appeal to newbies). Nothing to do with any inherent superiority in design or philosophy.
(BTW, don't lump KDE4 in with those; unlike GNOME 3 and Unity, it has preserved the traditional desktop metaphor, made the netbook/tablet shell optional, and does not oppose the presence of options as a matter of principle.)
140 • The Keyboard is for engineers, the mouse for managers! (by LuxPro on 2011-11-16 05:48:54 GMT from India)
I usually rant that "Windows is for games, Linux for work."
I paraphrase that to "the keyboard is for work, the mouse for games."
141 • @139 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-16 06:16:29 GMT from Canada)
I, um, don't see that I actually suggested that anywhere in my post. I said that people hadn't. I didn't say it would be desirable for them to do it, I just said that it hadn't happened. I was responding to someone who keeps trying to get me to answer the question of whether it's better to add the options people request to your project, because if you don't, they'll just go off and start a new project; it probably helps to follow the context. I was disputing that person's belief that not including options in a project will inevitably result in someone going off and founding an entirely different project solely to have that option set the other way.
142 • @133 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-16 06:19:46 GMT from Canada)
You do have an impressive ability to paint perfectly normal things in a sinister light.
Yes, I tend to post on the topic of Fedora, and when I worked at Mandriva I tended to post on the topic of Mandriva. I'm at a loss to see why you'd consider this some kind of 'agenda' though - beyond the agenda everyone has of mainly talking about things they know something about. I don't run any other distros, so I can't really talk about them. I know about Fedora, so I tend to comment on stories about Fedora. I admit it! Slap on the cuffs right now!
It also seems entirely normal for people associated with a project to post comments on reviews of that project - especially defensive comments when the reviews are negative. I'm not sure why you think there's something intrinsically _wrong_ with that. It would certainly be wrong to offer some kind of personal insult to the reviewer, or suggest that there was something objectively wrong with their review if there wasn't, or something like that - but I don't believe I've ever done that. I *disagree* sometimes, sure. I point out stuff that I think is not correct, sometimes. Politely, and not dismissively. What's wrong with that? I really don't see what you think is the problem there.
"I remember when Adam said that just one, maybe two releases ago at most that Fedora would 'not' be switching to GRUB 2. There was absolutely no need whatsoever for them to switch."
Erm, can you cite that? Because it doesn't sound like me to make some kind of open-ended definitive statement that we'd never ever do something, because that is of course a really silly thing to say. I probably said something like we weren't switching in that release, or the foreseeable future. I am quite good at hedging.
As for "A reality that a lot of people miss is the simple fact that RedHat has a huge hand in almost every cookie jar in this community." - I'm frankly gobsmacked that you're trying to portray this as a negative thing. Let me get this straight - RH employs a significant number of open source developers, yes. We pay them lots of money to work on open source projects so those open source projects can thrive. This is not a dirty little secret we're trying to keep; we're actually rather proud of it and tend to post pages about it on our sites and send out press releases about it and things. This is because we think _it's a good thing_. All indications I've seen are that most in the open source community agree.
What exactly would you have us do? Fire all the people we pay to work on key open source infrastructure? Who, exactly, do you think that would make things better for?
"Almost from it's inception RedHat has had 'Paid Employees' working on the GNOME Project. They also sponsor the project."
Well...yeah. We could fire all those people and stop giving money to the GNOME foundation, I guess. Do you think that would be likely to make GNOME better?
"Anyone ever consider maybe it is about mobile devices, say like nfotainment systems in cars and such? Maybe planes? No?"
Well, uh...no, not really. I'm not exactly on any policy committees, but to the best of my knowledge, RH doesn't sell any of that stuff, isn't working on any of it, and isn't planning to. IVI is one of the areas of Meego's strength, in fact, and RH has never been part of that project.
143 • @108 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-16 06:21:04 GMT from Canada)
Again, I think there's a problem with the definition of 'it worked' there. Did it really 'work', if the ability to relocate the panel caused bugs which otherwise wouldn't have been there? (and yes, it did. I remember one I hit where the calendar pop-up from the panel would display right if you had the clock in a top panel, but wrong if the clock was in a bottom panel, for instance). Did it really 'work', if developers were always spending time maintaining the code to allow the panel to be relocated when they could have been spending that time working on something else? It's not a simple 'it works or it doesn't' question, and that's what I've been saying the whole way through.
The 'open' in 'open source' has a very specific definition and that definition has nothing at all to do with 'the developers must implement any option the users demand into the code'. The 'open' in open source means 'the code must be redistributable under certain terms'. That's all it means.
144 • The "Open" in the Open Source (by LuxPro on 2011-11-16 07:58:18 GMT from India)
@143 Second part
Adam, I think you missed the intent - I wanted to get some attention on code factoring.
If Xfce, GNOME2 and KDE can all manage it ... then so can GNOME3 and Unity. ... this is the crux of user complaints about those two desktops: features users have had for years and are used to have disappeared. C'mon, if it wasn't all that hard before it can't be all that hard now.
Someone needed to just factor the code that works ... may be in a different project!
My rant is that's just not happening. All DEs reinventing the wheel? What's happening? Why?
145 • More Fun with Fedora 16 (by musty on 2011-11-16 10:05:51 GMT from France)
Did i say i installed Fedora 16 and that I am happy with it ?. Sur i did (#7)
If you are a beginner or looking for easy way to install add-ons, there is:
1 - http://fedorautils.sourceforge.net/
2 - http://www.dnmouse.org/autoten/
3 - http://easylifeproject.org/
and a goog review on this site:
146 • Fedora 16 (by Chris on 2011-11-16 10:07:37 GMT from Australia)
Sorry you've had a bad experience with Fedora 16. I've installed it on my desktop computer and laptop without any issues and it is working fine on both (not the Gnome DE admittedly - KDE via network install) . Both computers are performing well and F16 seems better out of the box than previous recent releases of Fedora. I have noticed that generally (with Fedora) around a month of updates post release date sees good improvements in stability, not that F16 has proven unstable to date.
I have had no problems with the graphical package manager and don't understand the issue with the software collection. It is common for users to source packages from a few repositories for many distros. Looks like a case of “One man's meat...”
It's lucky Linux users are spoiled with so many distros to choose from.
147 • Fedora 16 (by Patrick on 2011-11-16 15:02:50 GMT from United States)
Unlike some conspiracy theorists here, I really appreciate the involvement RedHat has in many core open source projects like the Linux kernel and Gnome. We all wouldn't be enjoying so much quality free software if some of the core developers weren't paid to work on them full time! So, a big thank you, RedHat!
I'm still working on F16 on my box, but I seem to have run into a snag. I followed the directions for installing the nVidia binary driver, but on booting, there is an error related to akmod, and I don't get to a login prompt... :( Unfortunately the message scrolls off the screen too fast, and if I try to switch to a different virtual terminal with Ctrl-Alt-Fx, that doesn't seem to work either! So I can't get to a shell to figure out what's going on. Any ideas or suggestions, anyone (other than the rather unhelpful "don't use a binary driver")?
148 • Fedora forums (by anticapitalista on 2011-11-16 15:49:30 GMT from Greece)
May I suggest users with issues about Fedora use their forums and not Distrowatch comments.
149 • Safe choice (by m1k on 2011-11-16 16:33:19 GMT from Italy)
Just an example...
and if you want some more
Kanotix deserve a honest try!
150 • @147 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-16 17:44:07 GMT from Canada)
As @148 suggests you're most likely to get good advice on fedoraforums.org - there's a lot of folks there with experience of the binary driver. I just use nouveau so I wouldn't really know, sorry!
151 • @144 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-16 17:46:48 GMT from Canada)
Well, I see what you're saying, but it just...doesn't really work that way. You can't just take code from Xfce or KDE or even GNOME 2 and re-use it in GNOME 3. They have different APIs, different conventions, hell, they use different languages and toolkits.
152 • Fedora (by rob on 2011-11-16 18:37:41 GMT from United States)
After trying out three Fedora releases, I think we should all be honest with ourselves and realize that Fedora doesn't deserve the popularity that it receives.
The GUI package manager is slow and buggy when not entirely broken, the repositories are small, the GNOME 3 desktop was very slow on my netbook (Debian + KDE runs like a dream and uses half the RAM), and the repositories lack important proprietary software.
Red Hat is a good company and the Fedora community is great, but Debian and its children are the way to go.
153 • #152: Leap of illogic (by Caitlyn Martin on 2011-11-16 18:46:43 GMT from United States)
"Red Hat is a good company and the Fedora community is great, but Debian and its children are the way to go."
What makes them the "way to go" What is wrong with Red Hat Enterprise Linux for business use? How is it in any way inferior to Debian? I use a Slackware derivative for home use and on my netbook. I could write a book about why I prefer it to Debian and it's "children". What makes Debian so superior that it's "the way to go"?
You had problems with Fedora. I accept that. Fedora isn't my choice of distro, either. That doesn't mean that your preferred distro(s) are the "way to go" for everyone.
154 • Fedora 16 (by Vorian on 2011-11-16 19:24:44 GMT from United States)
I have been in the Ubuntu family for 6 years now, using either Ubuntu or one of it's babies. I tried Fedora several times in the past and it never worked completely right under this time. I must say that 16 KDE has been the easiest and most enjoyable Linux that I've installed to date. Everything works and getting what I wanted/needed has been a breeze.
I don't really understand any comments about the lack of software because I have over 21,000 packages showing up in Yumex.
Oh, and these days I recommend Fedora over Ubuntu.
155 • @152 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-16 21:30:00 GMT from Canada)
I'm not sure it makes sense to say any one distribution is 'the way to go'. Fedora fulfils a certain role among Linux distributions; so does Debian, so does Ubuntu, etc. There are certainly cases where I'd recommend someone use a distro other than Fedora, and then there are cases where it makes a lot of sense to use Fedora (or a similar distro) - when you want a fast-moving distro that adopts new developments very quickly and tends to be on the bleeding edge.
Fedora's repo isn't quite as large as Debian's, indeed, but I think it's pushing things to say it's 'small'. Most packages most people need are in there. If availability of some package that's missing from Fedora is a big deal for your use case that is indeed a reason not to use Fedora, for you; but for many people the software available in Fedora's repo is fine.
156 • Jesse's Review and RedHat's Reponses (by Sly on 2011-11-16 21:54:05 GMT from United States)
Jesse wrote a review based on his experience with Fedora just like he has with countless other distros. It's a review....an opinion, so there is no reason for a Redhat rep. to go into spin mode. Typical readers of distrowatch's weekly reviews, if interested in the distro will give the distro a spin for themselves after having Jesse's insight, and independently judge for themselves whether their experience was similar and whether the distro is a keeper. Next Monday, we will read Jesse's review of another distro.
I sincerely hope this doesn't start a trend....that reps of other distros that don't receive a 100% positive review begin flooding distrowatch with spin and attacking the reviewer. IMHO this makes Redhat seem a little thin-skinned.
157 • (by James Jones on 2011-11-16 22:08:34 GMT from United States)
I hope by now we've all read Mr. Pennington's "it's better to do it right than to give the user an option" essay. That said:
1. Users object to having options taken away.
2. GNOME has gone beyond Mr. Pennington's dictum, to "users can't be trusted and will do something evil if we give them options". (Ironically, that's also the justification for DRM.) For evidence of that, read the gnome-screensaver FAQ.
Not only that, "something evil" has now grown to include making changes that, while the user might like them, keeps bystanders from recognizing the GNOME UI and hence recognizing GNOME's greatness. See the interview with Jon McCann at http://derstandard.at/1313024283546/Interview-GNOME-Designer-Jon-McCann-about-the-future-of-GNOME3, and note particularly the following: "And I think there is a lot of value to have that experience you show the world to be consistent. In GNOME2 we didn't do that particularly well because everyone's desktop was different."
158 • Gnome 3 Fedora, Sabayon, LM12, and Pinguy (by John on 2011-11-16 22:11:52 GMT from United States)
I have tried all of the above with Gnome 3.0 or later. I must say that Fedora would be my last choice and not because of Gnome. I thought that both Pinguy and LM have done a good job with Gnome 3 interface if you want a more traditional Gnome look. Really I kinda lean more toward Pinguys after I turn off conky it just bothers me for some reason. Probably some OCD thing I have. However both fail to load my ati cards proprietary drivers (HD 4250) properly. The windows when opened after installing driver looks like someone is pulling it from opposite corners. If you right click it on the window it looks normal until you left click again. Given a little more time I think that the new Gnome will be very user friendly and others are right if you learn to use the keyboard which most us do not it is pretty easy to use.
159 • Developers know better (by fernbap on 2011-11-16 22:18:54 GMT from Portugal)
This is a myth. Very dear for developers, sure, but still a myth.
The problem is that developers develop according to their own idea of what they would like the UI to be. However, a UI that is good for a developer will hardly be good for the general public.
In fact, one of the factors giving Linux a bad image was exactly the UI of most of its applications. "It looks Linuxish" is used as a derrogative term.
Only when non-developers join forces with the developers and, in the most cases, direct their work, a good general public product comes out.
That is the reason for Red Hat's success, not the fact that it has developers.
"Companies know better" - No, that is not the case as well. Companies know better what the market is, at least those that are successful, and try to provide the market with the market wants.
"the market knows better" - There you go!
160 • Mint 12 (by Round peg in round hole on 2011-11-16 23:00:35 GMT from Australia)
I've just installed Mint 12 and also Pinguy 11.10 (beta) in Virtual Box and I have to say that I prefer Pinguy's version best. Some of the art work is not as spiffy (I do like the Mint's new menu) but Pinguy is more functional and integrated. Pinguy developer is honest enough to say he is reluctant to change the release to 'final' because of unresolved issues. I haven't found any yet though. *If* I upgrade it will probably be Pinguy.
161 • @159 Developers know better (by Patrick on 2011-11-16 23:25:19 GMT from United States)
Sigh... there we go again.
"""The problem is that developers develop according to their own idea of what they would like the UI to be."""
Yeah, so? Whose idea should they go by? If they're making something and want to make it green, why shouldn't they? If you suggest: "they should listen to the user", I'll reply: "to the ones that want it blue, the ones that want it red, or the ones that want it green just like they do?"
"""However, a UI that is good for a developer will hardly be good for the general public."""
I think you're confusing "developers" and "programmers or software engineers" here. By your definition, nobody who develops a user interface will ever do it right for the general public.
"""In fact, one of the factors giving Linux a bad image was exactly the UI of most of its applications. "It looks Linuxish" is used as a derrogative term."""
Hmm, and this was in reference to what? The new Gnome shell and Unity interfaces? I doubt it. Likely this was referring to the KDE and Gnome 2 interfaces that are being glorified as the best thing since sliced bread on these forums.
"""Only when non-developers join forces with the developers and, in the most cases, direct their work, a good general public product comes out."""
If non-developers become involved with development, by definition they become developers too. Maybe you mean to say if designers (non-techies) join forces with engineers? AFAIK, this was done with both Gnome Shell and Unity.
I think you hit on something though, but not the way you intended. I think both Gnome Shell and Unity are the result of design by non-techies. They set out to create an interface for non-techies: very graphical, lots of bling, simplified, big icons, very limited options. An interface for the masses. That's why they seem to be disliked by most people on this forum, who ARE techies that couldn't care less about those things. Who prefer the interfaces that were designed by engineers before open source bothered with designers. Who want ten million options to fiddle with. But for every geek here who hates Gnome Shell or Unity, there are likely 10 "regular" people who think these interfaces look and work slick, and look decidedly un-Linuxish, unlike the old Gnome 2 and KDE interfaces everyone here is suddenly in love with.
162 • Developers know better - @161 (by fernbap on 2011-11-17 00:05:50 GMT from Portugal)
You missed what i was saying. I am not interested in feeding the war between gnome 2 and 3, i couldn't care less. I have my opinion, of course, but it is just that: an opinion.
I used "it looks Linuxish" specifically regarding applications. I still remember the time when open source software was called shareware.
Shareware often produced very good applications, but in general they shared the same defects: they were ugly - difficult to manage for the newbie - offered all kinds of costumization, making some applications almost impossible to setup, etc. And that, in its whole, is what people call "it looks Linuxish" today. And that was because, at that time, programmers developed applications mostly for their own use and didn't have the general public in mind.
The only point i was trying to make is that "developers know better" is just a myth. Cherished by the developers, of course.
163 • #160 pinguy (by jack on 2011-11-17 01:36:08 GMT from Canada)
According to their forum Pinguy has no repos
"Pinguy does not have repos, so no you cannot just update to the beta. There were a few changes from alpha to beta, so you definitely do want to upgrade your version. The only way to do so is to fresh install the beta"
164 • @156 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-17 02:14:08 GMT from Canada)
That's not my intent, at all. I simply wanted to correct a couple of points in the reviews - not that the review was _wrong_, just a bit incomplete - and present my own opinion on some of the points raised. Why is it okay for Jesse to present an 'opinion' on Fedora, but not for me to do so? It's not like I asked for Jesse's 'opinion' / review to be removed, or stated that my opinion was right and his was wrong, or anything like that, is it?
The only time where I flat out said Jesse was wrong was in response to a tangential point in the comments, the 'multimedia patent' issue, and that's for a simple reason: on that specific topic he _is_ flat out wrong. RH simply cannot buy a patent to allow legal redistribution of the common patent-encumbered open source multimedia codecs. We simply cannot do so.
165 • amazing Debian (by ix on 2011-11-17 06:24:16 GMT from Romania)
It is true, Debian is amazing. It is the biggest community distribution out there. It's the peak of GNU/Linux. Ubuntu is good because of Debian. Ubuntu is not "Linux for human beings" but "Debian for lazy people", as Salix is "Slackware for lazy Slackers".
With Debian you get a very fast system, especially if you do a netinstall with a light WM. Debian stable is stable as a rock. You can also have a rolling distro with testing or unstable. Debian has a huge repository. Software made for Ubuntu works on it.
The only disadvantages of Debian are outdated software (even in unstable) and the lack of PPA's. I only want the latest Firefox, which is easy to do. For people who want bleeding edge, I suggest Arch.
Debian stable with fluxbox is perfect for me, I wanted to like Fedora and RHEL clones, Slackware and other distros but I could not.
166 • @165 - Hold on there (by meanpt on 2011-11-17 09:56:59 GMT from Portugal)
"Ubuntu is not "Linux for human beings" but "Debian for lazy people""?
... if you don't mind, would you care to develop on it? ...
167 • @165 (by ken on 2011-11-17 11:08:29 GMT from Congo, The Democratic Republic of the)
In the place I am writing from yu need a distro least hungry for internet connection. Debian has a huge appetite for fast internet connection during installation. The best for this place would be linux mint, even without internet a single CD will give you a basic system that you can use for basic production.
168 • Distrowatch Weekly (by mechanic on 2011-11-17 11:44:38 GMT from United Kingdom)
Well I must say this is one of the most interesting discussions on DW-W for a long time. Those who say much of this stuff belongs on the Fedora forums are wrong; by all accounts those forums are clannish and newbie unfriendly so not a good place for general discussions like this. Anyone reading this week's comments gets a good overview on the usability of various distros and a good steer on which ones are worth installing and trying for real. Thanks DW for hosting this stuff! And particular thanks to Adam for the long and detailed answer to my query on disklabels further up, very helpful, and I think that shows that this topic (disklabels and multi-booting) is worth a DW article.
169 • Commodore's distro (by kimlik66 on 2011-11-17 12:22:42 GMT from Canada)
>> Glad to hear that Commodore has returned with Linux powering it. However, we are equally disappointed that its distro is based on Mint when there are far more robust and advanced distros in the market which could be much more suitable running a Commodore system.
170 • Gnome 3 with two monitors - more work required? (by gnomic on 2011-11-17 12:45:32 GMT from New Zealand)
A recent acquisition was a Compaq laptop with a broken LCD. No worries, use an external monitor on the VGA port. Hmmm, with the Gnome 3 not a happy experience. In theory the capability is there, Too bad it doesn't seem to work. Both Sabayon 7 live DVD and FC16 live CD proved unequal to the task. Booted but screen resolution was 1024x768. Philips 17" CRT was seen and the desirable resolution of 1280x1024 was on offer. Actually attempting to use it via settings panel was FAIL. Apply changes never completed. Gui meltdown in fact, panel and icons vanished. Had to reboot or power cycle.
Tried same gear with Sabayon 7 Xfce. 1280x1024 on the external screen easy as.
More work required on this front? Will test SUSE 12.1, the release notes promise better handling of multi-screen setups. Good idea.
171 • fedora, ubuntu, gnome3, unity (by Jam on 2011-11-17 16:56:42 GMT from Finland)
Fedora, ubuntu, gnome3 and unity. I'm so out from that discussion and those problems... My debian stable + kde4 works just perfectly and i'm happy with it!
172 • @170 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-17 17:22:15 GMT from Canada)
That sounds more like an X issue than a GNOME one. Actually getting the mode set and working is something that happens at the driver level, not the desktop level - the desktop's job is only to actually recognize and arrange itself correctly using the extra space.
Having said that, it's a bit hard to tell from your description exactly what went wrong. It's possible that GNOME somehow wound up making the 'broken' internal LCD the primary display, which could explain your symptoms: the primary display gets all the 'chrome' in GNOME. Until you put any apps on it, the secondary display just shows wallpaper. If you try it again, make sure that the setting for the broken LCD is 'off' before you apply the changes.
173 • Re: Gnome Shell, Unity (by Brandon Sniadajewski on 2011-11-18 03:33:03 GMT from United States)
There is also the question of familiarity. The GUI paradigm used since Windows 95 (Menu button, task button area, systray w/ clock) has become so common in today's DE's that we have become so adapted to how we think a good User interface should look and behave. What Mark Shuttleworth with Unity and the GNOME team with the Shell are trying to do is re-imagining the UI for multiple devices. What I, like many of us, feel is that they forgot about desktop computers, as opposed to smaller devices like smartphones and ebooks. As to power users, Adam, not only do power users want to use the keyboard shortcuts as well as the mousew, but they also want to configure the desktop so it works for them, not vice versa. That is the reason I use KDE on Kubuntu, it works for me, though it may not for someone else.
174 • re #172 Gnome 2 with two screens (by gnomic on 2011-11-18 04:47:45 GMT from New Zealand)
Hi Adam, thanks for your reply. I wasn't aware of the way the second screen is handled in GNOME 3, the 'static display area' aspect. Also seem to have missed the option to turn off the laptop screen, the primary display at the start. The cracked LCD which only displays a small section of the screen has a resolution of 1280x800, so unclear on why desktop settings seemed to want 1024x768 when displays were mirrored in the initial default condition. I suppose the key may be to turn off the damaged laptop display, will give that a go.
175 • Re: #173 (by tdockery97 on 2011-11-18 04:50:55 GMT from United States)
I agree 100%. I don't know where they get the idea that actual computers are going to "go away". That's ridiculous. Tablets and smartphones can never replace computers in the workplace. I don't believe they will ever completely replace them at home. A burning fast indivdual can text or type on a tablet or smartphone at maybe 90 characters per minute. On a typing test, that would work out to 18 words per minute. Result: You're fired. I don't know of any employers (or self-respecting typists) who would find less than 60 to 80 words per minute acceptable. Dream all you want, but desktops and laptops are here to stay. Gnome 3 will go away long before real computers.
176 • @16 • Solaris 11 and Oracle (by Breathing Brain on 2011-11-18 16:34:03 GMT from United States)
"- the x86 download seems ok and no choice for 32/64 bit, maybe it works with both?"
According to Oracle's documentation, the only x86 systems Solaris works on are 64 bit ones:
Though that fact isn't apparent from anything on the Solaris 11 download page:
I feel dumb that I wasted 40 minutes downloading the live media image, but at least I didn't waste a DVD on this.
I have to question why Oracle assumes that anybody who wants to use Oracle 11 on an x86 system will automatically have a 64 bit one. At least some indication of that restriction on the download page would have been nice.
Solaris 11 is irrelevant to me. On to downloading FreeBSD....
177 • Fedora 16 DVD Install (by Mikademus on 2011-11-18 16:35:24 GMT from Sweden)
First, I've used Fedora since release 11 and am actually an advocate.
Secondly, there has been some complaints about that Jesse didn't try the regular install order (i.e. the install DVD) when trying and I would like to add some balance to this, since I myself just tried this on two different computers, and failed on both.
Trying to boot the 64 bit DVD (ISO checksum verified; burned on two different media, both verified against source) has failed on two different computers, both of which runs previous versions of Fedora. The advice on Fedora's forum was to enable UEFI (which is a BIOS replacement), which I tried and failed again. Therefore it is only honest to say that there is something very problematic with Fedoras current install process, or in this case, even with the path to starting an installation.
I hope this is a temporary fluke and the Fedora Project will overcome these problems.
Adam, if you're listening I'd appreciate some feedback since you're always on top of the technical end of Fedora, as you were of Mandriva.
178 • @176 Solaris 11 (by vic on 2011-11-18 17:36:59 GMT from United States)
That's disappointing. I remember with the last Opensolaris, and I'm assuming Solaris 10 though I'm not positive, had a single iso and during install the installer gave you the option to use a 64-bit kernel. Otherwise it defaulted to 32-bit and the corresponding packages. It was a neat feature not having to download 2 separate isos to get the benefit of both systems. Guess they don't see much need to support 32-bit in their current line.
179 • @152 - F16 Repositories (by dialup on 2011-11-18 19:30:34 GMT from United States)
"...the repositories are small..."
No argument if you prefer other distros. But the "Everything" (32-bit) repository has 20,174 packages.
180 • @177 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-11-19 02:33:15 GMT from Canada)
I wasn't 'complaining' that Jesse didn't use the DVD install, just explaining that that was the reason he didn't get to choose his root partition filesystem.
For your bug - sorry you're having trouble, but I'd need more details to take a shot at it. Obviously it doesn't affect everyone - if no-one could boot the f16 installer the forums would have burned down by now (and I'd probably be fired :>).
Can you link to the forum thread? It'd probably be easier to follow up there and not clutter up this thread.
181 • #40 was kinda right (by imnotrich on 2011-11-19 07:26:37 GMT from Mexico)
Mostly re laptops (but some desktops too) hardware support is still problematic with many distros. You could hit the jackpot and have most of your hardware recognized, but it's rare for 100% out of the box functionality with common hardware. Debian, Mint, Ubuntu do a fair job but they also fall short of the "just works" motto. And that's unfortunate because Linux adoption rates would be much higher if Linux did a better job of supporting a wide range of hardware.
Note to developers: Hardware support is not bloat. If Version 9.04 supports my current (and not obscure) wireless card, then ALL subsequent versions should too. Dropping hardware support at random tends to piss off users.
Sure, desktop environments are important too but if the hardware underneath doesn't work - nobody cares what the desktop looks like or how ludicrously counter-intuitive it is (reference: unity or kde).
182 • Blah, blah, blah.... (by KevinC on 2011-11-19 08:43:42 GMT from United States)
IMO, this entire line of reasoning that gnome-shell is epic win, if one just forgoes the mouse is disingenuous at best. This was, obviously, not the aim of the devs....same goes for Unity as well. The plan is to incorporate Linux into the latest and greatest trend of the week---tablets. And that seems to be a non-starter. For tablets what do ppl. want? iPads...and if they can't afford that then cheap Android tablets. Where is Linux gonna fit in this equation? If one thinks the mouse is anathema to all righteous, then there's a much lighter solution called Ratpoison. I think the mouse and the gui interface was step forward and had been a feasible solution for computer users across the spectrum (from Apple, to MS, to Linux). Maybe it's the "fear of success" syndrome at play here. When it seems Linux is on the verge of coming to the forefront and actually being a viable OS for the masses the powers that be drop the ball. In fine, Gnome 2.x had it pretty much right---so why not concentrate on fixing bugs and dealing w/ issues of providing drivers and a multimedia experience that won't drive users away. XFCE, LXDE, E17, and KDE 3 and 4 series seem to offer a perfectly fine solution using the mouse (or pointing device of your choice). The keyboard only solution is so 1980's I can hear Duran Duran playing when I think about it. Personally, I have an iPhone and it's ok for dealing with posting on Facebook or dealing w/ SOME web content while out and about, but there's no f'ing way that this could ever replace my desktop or even my netbook. This entire new direction taken by Unity and Gnome 3 is just silly, IMHO. I can use either, should I desire, but neither are the optimal solution. Right now KDE 4 is looking rather appealing and hopefully the KDE devs don't lose their minds as well. Tho I must admit, Unity w/ 11.10 is much better. Is actually not 1/2 bad on my netbook & bearable on my desktop. & of course I'll give Gnome 3 another go, but expectations are far from high.
183 • @182 mouse and stuff (by meanpt on 2011-11-19 17:10:57 GMT from Portugal)
Unless you know how to build an old style laptop too, be prepared cause in the near future all laptops, besides the keyboard and the touchpad, will also be shipped with a touch screen. That's the logical next step, wheter you want it or not. Sooner or later the likes of macbook air will be the first to deliver that configuration, profiting from the portability of SSD's.
184 • LINUX....In It To Win It (by kodiak on 2011-11-19 18:14:44 GMT from United States)
Wasn't Mark Twain a Gem?
I'm a 77 year old computer junkie who builds his own boxes. In software I am a dunce. I have longed for the knowledge of command line, but alas.
I have been trying to relieve Microsoft of its duties for about 7 or 8 years now. It has been my firm belief that free will in the end win over pay. WORLDWIDE.
Bottom line, guys like me need to be able to use a system right out of the BOX! To that end, this week I tried out 5 of the latest integrated new systems.
There is a Guy in Portugal who is still the reigning CHAMP! He calls his distro SuperOS. I found it a couple of years ago and it still will do more stuff, as is, than anything I've tried. I think he doesn't get far enough up on the list because of the mundane name. Pear... what a genius of a name, and a great distro I will add.
So, boys and girls, take a peek at Super OS. This guy needs his due.
Oh, and all this talk talk about desktops. Not relevant to winning the war. See comment 181.
185 • Mac OS X, a touch of class (by Dario Mendes on 2011-11-19 22:18:35 GMT from Brazil)
The first "Mac OS X - style" Linux desktop I remember to found was Dreamlinux. Now there are VectorLinux, Commodore OS, Pear OS... you name it.
Good news, uh?!
Apple was, is, and will always be the way to go, the most innovative computer company on the planet, and I'm a proud user of an iPhone (the only "thiefproof" cell phone in existence, just because it has an integrated GPS that can locate a criminal and send him to jail).
Steve Jobs, I love you!
BTW, why Red Hat doesn't become a hardware designer, like Apple, and then start making 100% Linux-friendly hardware? Wouldn't it be a terrific way of getting free from "UEFI Secure Boot" and just about any other concern for us Linux users?
Apple software on Apple hardware; Linux software on Red Hat hardware: the ultimate recipe for success. Can I dream, or will Apple continue to be the only really competent computing solutions provider on Earth?
186 • @180: Miscommunication, @185 Obvious troll is obvious (by Mikademus on 2011-11-19 23:49:33 GMT from Sweden)
My apologies for sounding harsh, Adam! When re-reading my post it read as harsh, which wasn't my intention. I wasn't singling you out. Text often appears harder than the original intent. I am actually on your side in that it would have been better to try the full install DVD when reviewing the release.
Also, the error unfortunately persisted and I had to install using preupdate instead of the install DVD, which felt really annoying. Two reasonably new laptops (purchased w/i ~two years) and none could handle the DVD. Had it really been tested thoroughly?
@185: Thanks for tonight's laugh, let's see if someone bites the trollbait! :D
187 • re 170, 172, 174 two screens GNOME 3 (by gnomic on 2011-11-20 10:28:51 GMT from New Zealand)
Tried the laptop with the damaged screen again using the FC16 live CD. Seems turning off the unusable laptop screen (aka LVDS1) does make the external monitor the primary screen which can then be set to the desired resolution and displays the user interface. Maybe this is an unusual usage case but it does occur. The default mirroring contributed to the confusion since the external monitor initially displays the GNOME 3 panel and menus. Maybe this should fail more gracefully, ie my original doomed from the outset efforts to get the external monitor to 1280x1024. The Xfce approach seems more straightforward or at any rate more akin to previous experiences of using an external screen.
188 • Amateur (by David J Wilson on 2011-11-20 11:56:24 GMT from Australia)
For Linux to gain over Apple or Microsoft I am the type of end user it needs to win. I liked Ubuntu 10.4 but then they started loosing an the last release was replaced by XP the same day I installed it,sorry Mark, you have done a lot to promote Linux but I think you are going the wrong way. Clem you are right and I am looking forward to Mint when it is released, dont rush. I preferred the clean desktop Ubuntu 10.4 gave me over even Mint but to me Mint is far better than where Ubuntu is heading. If I really want things that way I would buy Windows or Apple. Mark for tablets yes what you are doing is OK but desktops and Laptops it is different.
A special thanks to all those Linux guys and girls who post all those Linux how too's in vidoes on the net
189 • Solaris 11 32/64 bit installer? (by mechanic on 2011-11-20 12:37:58 GMT from United Kingdom)
Solaris 11 seems to install and run fine on my 32-bit system. Packages install fine too...
190 • Pear OS (by PG on 2011-11-21 00:07:53 GMT from United States)
I think Pear OS is using Elementary's Pantheon (or "elements" of it).
191 • Why, really. (by Landor on 2011-11-21 04:04:36 GMT from Canada)
Why does anyone in this community feel it's the gravest of deeds when things don't follow 'their credo'? Is if your credo though? Honestly? Or could it be some writer's dramatic view to pump up the masses who are blindly willing to follow what the person dramatizes?
I was over at tuxmachines.org a week or so ago and noticed some time about GNU/Linux disappearing, or some other nonsense. I didn't read the article. I personally didn't care to. It's all crap. It's meant to feed each and every loyal, yet blind follower. It's not meant to help the community. Even if the story with the article wasn't about it disappearing, but actually growing, the title itself was still meant to instill fear, to draw the weary in.
The truth of the matter is simple, and regardless of some people who use terms like conspiracy theory in a mocking manner, GNU/Linux is driven by corporations, and is not disappearing anywhere.
Such corporations as mentioned (red hat), are in need of a framework that is built around touch devices. Everyone thinks that it's tablets. What about partners that need support for infotainment devices? How about kiosks? POS systems (Point of Sale)? Simple touch screens in the Enterprise? Especially since that one company has sponsored, and had full-time employees working on the GNOME Project since pretty well its beginning, and countless other employees who work on it on some part-time level. Don't yell at how GNOME is doing you wrong. Think and see what actually drives it. But also stop and think what these corporations bring because of their work.
But remember, think. GNU/Linux isn't going anywhere. It's fine. It's doing exactly what it intends to do.
Don't listen to authors who want, no, who need to pump you up into a fervor so they can have their piece of the author's market share. Nor listen to people who use terms like conspiracy, who mock, even however slightly. Neither of these are really conveying a truth to you. The truth is there though, it's obvious. You just have to look at what they're not saying and that will guide you to the reality of it all.
So why keep all this stuff going. You're all smarter than that aren't you? Why? Really.
Keep your stick on the ice...
Number of Comments: 191
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