| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 434, 5 December 2011
Welcome to this year's 49th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! One of the places where Linux is an unquestionable king of operating systems is on older and low-resource computers where all of the modern commercial alternatives tend to come to a grinding halt as soon as one inserts an installation CD into the machine. But which of the multitude of lightweight Linux distros designed for older systems is the best? This week Robert Storey takes a look at one of the lesser known among them - antiX, a Debian and SimplyMEPIS-based operating system with IceWM as the preferred window manager. Will it revive the author's first-generation ASUS Eee PC? Read below to find out. In the news section, endless speculations about the rising popularity of Linux Mint at Ubuntu's expense continue to make headlines, with some journalists going as far as suggesting that Mint could indeed be an "Ubuntu killer". On a similar note, Jesse Smith also looks at some statistical data to provide a few interesting insights. There is more, including links to two well-written articles about Mandriva Linux and another to a controversial report suggesting that Red Hat is possibly trying to break away with well-established standards in order to better compete in the Linux distribution arena. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Robert Storey)
Review: antiX M11|
"Never buy low serial numbers." Easy advice to give, but hard to follow. Witness the modern-day genius of pre-marketing: every time a neat new hi-tech gadget gets announced, a virtual army of unsuspecting consumers turns out to pay for the privilege of becoming beta-testers. Egging them on are "reviewers" (possibly hired shills), who write glowing reviews of the as-yet unmanufactured product in question. Occasionally, we are treated to videos of consumers camping out overnight in front of an electronics store for the privilege of being first in line to purchase a shiny new experimental gizmo that the manufacturer needs to get rid of before a greatly-improved version 2.0 is launched a few months later.
Much as I would like to proclaim my smug all-knowing wisdom and self-control in this matter, the fact is that back in 2007 - based on glowing pre-reviews - I jumped at the chance to purchase an ASUS Eee PC 701 2G, boasting 512 MB of RAM (not upgradeable), an Intel Celeron-M processor running at 571 MHz, a 7" display, unusable keyboard, no hard drive, a 2 GB SSD with Xandros Linux pre-installed.
Sucker. Needless to say, this first-generation device was a slow machine, made all the worse by the fact that this particular version of Xandros had a known security hole. I fully intended to install Ubuntu...except it wouldn't fit on the 2 GB SSD. Undeterred, I installed Ubuntu on a 4 GB USB stick, only to discover that the combination of low RAM, a slow processor, and the bottleneck that is USB 2.0, and the bloat of GNOME, made running Ubuntu as exciting as watching paint dry.
Recently, I purchased a new ASUS Eee PC 1015P for about the same price as my old one. The new machine has a dual-core processor, 2 GB of RAM, a 250 GB hard drive, and feels about 10 times as fast as its predecessor. The ancient model has gone mostly unused for four years, but now I'd like to revive it as a public kiosk machine at a bed-and-breakfast guesthouse. Theft shouldn't be an issue - who would want to steal it?
Thus began my quest to find a small, lightweight Linux that could run on my Eee PC 701. Which brings me to antiX, a cool little distro put together by a developer who goes by the name Anticapitalista. At number 55 on the list of DistroWatch greatest hits, antiX is a long way from dominating the OS market, but what it brings to the table is speed. Based on SimplyMEPIS (which in turn is based on Debian), antiX follows the traditional Linux path of building on the work of numerous others to deliver a fast and powerful distro. The promised combination of speed and power lured me to the download mirrors - at last I would prove to all doubters that I was, in fact, a smart shopper when I bought that decrepit proto-netbook with the low serial number.
As is becoming the norm these days, antiX is supplied on a live CD with an option to install to the hard drive. Since my Eee PC lacks a CD/DVD drive, I used the program UNetbootin to create a "live USB stick" from the downloaded ISO image file.
My live stick booted without any need for configuration or user names and passwords. However, if you want to log into text mode (by, for example, hitting ALT-F2 after boot), you can login as root (password "root") or demo (password "demo").
In live mode, you have a much slimmer supply of software packages than what is available when installed to a hard drive. Nevertheless, there are still enough powerful apps for getting serious work done. Among the more important offerings:
- Internet: Dillo (lightweight browser), Iceape (heavyweight browser), gFTP, Links2 (text & graphical browser), Elinks (text-mode browser), Pidgin Internet Messenger, Wicd Network Manager (wired & WiFi), Transmission (file-sharing torrent), wpagui (wifi-only manager)
- Programming: Geany (text editor), Iceape Composer (WYSIWYG html editor)
- Editor: Leafpad, Ted
- Graphics: Geeqie (photo viewer), gtkam (digital camera viewer), mtPaint
- Office: AbiWord (word processor), ePDFviewer, Gnumeric (spreadsheet)
- Sound & Video: Asunder (CD ripper), mhWaveEdit, Xfburn (CD burner), GNOME Mplayer & Gxine (video), Googles Music Manager, Imagination (DVD slideshow maker), WinFF (GUI front-end for FFmpeg video converter)
I won't bore everyone with step-by-step instructions on how to install. The user-friendly graphical installer, derived from SimplyMEPIS, is easy enough to understand. You are given a choice of default window managers (IceWM and Fluxbox) - I chose IceWM which I've used in the past and found to be both fast and easy on the eyes. Once I selected my options, the installation proceeded quickly without a hiccup.
Unfortunately, upon first boot, I encountered a rather confusing gotcha that others have experienced. Rather than booting into a cheerful graphical login screen, I was dumped into a blank text-mode shell, with no sign of IceWM or any other window manager. Although I was expecting antiX to be "minimalist," this was far more minimal than I cared for. Not having ever encountered this particular problem before, I retreated to my other computer and went googling for answers.
What I learned was that if you have an older computer (such as mine) - and especially when you're booting from a USB stick - you might have to add the following to the GRUB boot loader: "rootdelay=10". To put this to the test, before GRUB completes booting push the "e" (for edit) key, add "rootdelay=10" to the end of the "kernel" line, and finally push "b" for boot.
If this produces a satisfactory result, you should make this change permanent by editing file /boot/grub/menu.lst. This requires root privileges, and do note that antiX does not come equipped with the sudo command - use su to become root (or sux for GUI root apps). If you're making the changes from a text-mode terminal, the user-friendly nano editor (and the user-hostile vi) are both available by default.
Incidentally, the fact that /boot/grub/menu.lst exists at all reveals the remarkable truth that antiX still uses GRUB 0.x, or GRUB Legacy as it's officially known. It's "remarkable" in the face of the relentless campaign to push the execrable GRUB 2 onto the unsuspecting geek public. As a devout hater of GRUB 2, I was overjoyed to see antiX resisting the onslaught.
But I digress. After making the above-mentioned edit and rebooting, I was delivered to another scary-looking text-mode screen, as follows (note: lower half of screen didn't appear until I hit Enter:
antiX M11 - boot annoyance
(full image size: 1,326kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
Bad as that looks, choosing to hit the space bar, or just waiting 30 seconds, will cause the machine to boot-up fine into a graphical desktop, though perhaps not with the best screen resolution. The "undefined video mode number: 317" apparently wasn't the best choice. I tried typing "311" and hit Enter, and it looked fine. The annoying part was that this text-mode menu would appear on each reboot, forcing me to type "311", or space, or wait 30 seconds every time. That soon grew wearisome, so I looked for a solution.
Again, a little quality time online produced an answer. I had to once again edit the kernel line in file /boot/grub/menu.lst, this time changing "vga=791" to "vga=0x0311." Your mileage will vary - my Eee PC has very lame video, but you need to change to the resolution that's appropriate for your machine. You can decide which specification to use by opening a terminal and typing (as root), the following: "hwinfo --framebuffer". Note that not all distros have the package hwinfo installed by default. Kudos to antiX for including it.
Once you've reconfigured your /boot/grub/menu.lst file, you should (hopefully) never need to encounter the text-mode screen again on boot-up.
Tips, Tweaks and Hints
Once you've got the above-mentioned tweaks out of the way, the antiX desktop is a pleasant place to play. Although lacking fancy bells and whistles, IceWM has an intuitive, clean interface that looks sharp. On the upper-right portion of the screen, the monitoring utility Conky displays some useful eye candy, informing you about your free hard disk space, CPU and RAM usage, etc.
antiX M11 - the default desktop
(full image size: 534kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
In live CD mode, you have eight large icons residing on the upper-left portion of the screen. As I was to discover, after installation these are gone from the desktop. I wasn't surprised to see the "Install" icon removed, but the others ("Files, Browser, Video, Music, Terminal, Control Centre" and "Word") would have been useful to keep.
One place you might want to take time to explore is the Control Centre. It's a bit tricky finding the Control Centre since its big icon is one of those that disappear upon installation, and it doesn't appear in the menus. You can access it by clicking on the little wrench-and-screwdriver icon on the menu bar. Probably your first use of the CC will be to update your packages - there are a lot of them, so expect this to take a while. If you think that point-and-click is for wimps, you can update the hardcore Debian way - open a terminal, su to root and type "apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade".
Once you've updated and upgraded, you're free to install whatever apps you like from the Debian-Testing repositories. With something like 30,000 packages, Debian boasts the largest Linux software collection around. Though "Testing" may be less stable than Debian-Stable, most people have few problems, and it's very up-to-date.
After installing your favorite apps, you may want to tackle the next most useful tweak: getting USB devices to auto-mount. Sadly, this isn't enabled by default, though the developer Anticapitalista says he plans to have it as an optional live-boot cheatcode that will carry over on install. But for now, the situation is easily remedied if you open a terminal, su to root, and rename:
After a reboot, USB devices will auto-mount. Unfortunately, this doesn't work quite as well as I'd like. For one thing, plugging-in a USB device doesn't automatically bring up a file manager. Rather, you've got to open one manually. antiX comes with two file managers: Thunar and ROX-Filer. I strongly advise everyone to use ROX-Filer. This is because Thunar will not allow you to umount a USB device when you're not root, while ROX-Filer will. You can launch ROX-Filer from Applications --> System Tools --> ROX-Filer
Once launched, you can point-and-click your way to the /media directory, where your USB device will hopefully show up. Note that if you fail to umount a device, next time you reboot it will still appear in the /media directory - it won't disappear until you've manually deleted it, despite the fact that your device is no longer plugged-in.
A more serious flaw - possibly a show-stopper for some users - is that I could never get my microphone to work. This was disconcerting, as I've recently become enamored with Google Talk. That kind of blows a big hole in my hopes of using my old Eee PC as a kiosk machine. A request for help on the friendly antiX forum produced some knowledgeable replies, but alas the issue remains unsolved. The (in)famous PulseAudio is not installed by default, but installing it did not help either. In fairness, this is possibly problematic only because of my troglodyte hardware - your mileage may vary.
To save you the embarrassment of making a Google Talk call that fails when your friend is on the line, you can test your microphone with the included mhWaveEdit program. Start it from Sound & Video, and click through the menus as follows: Play --> Record --> Choose_A_Sample_Format --> CD Quality --> Start Recording. If the needles bounce when you talk, your microphone is doing its job.
antiX M11 - using mhWaveEdit
(full image size: 47kB, screen resolution 540x522 pixels)
A final issue for me was to set up Asian language support, important in the particular corner of the world where I live. It is possible to use the included ibus for character input, but I much prefer SCIM (Smart Common Input Method). I am grateful to antiX forum poster Minux for this useful info on how to set up SCIM for Chinese.
All things considered, the time I've spent with antiX has been enjoyable. Aside from speed, I was impressed by the system's stability. I experienced no crashes, and never encountered anything I would call a bug. Doing the necessary tweaks wasn't a big deal for an experienced Linux geek. However, I admit that a newbie might find this intimidating. I can live with the fact that inserting a USB gizmo doesn't pop-up a pretty file manager. Unfortunately, my biggest complaint - the unresolved microphone issue - could be fatal. I await a solution for this - otherwise, I may have to look elsewhere if I want to bring my ancient Eee PC 701 back from the dead.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Mint as an Ubuntu killer, how Mandriva was built, Red Hat's syslog controversy
The (presumed) rapid increase of Linux Mint's popularity continued to receive attention in many online publications throughout the week. One of the authors commenting on the issue was Bruce Byfield of Datamation who believes that, based on user traffic and key design changes, it is not entirely inconceivable that Mint is indeed becoming an Ubuntu killer: "At first glance, the idea is absurd. Given that MGSE modifies the GNOME 3.2 release, you might convincingly speculate that Linux Mint has provided the solution for the many who are unhappy with GNOME's current directions. But challenge Ubuntu? Canonical, Ubuntu's commercial arm, claims twenty million users, and is promoting the distribution heavily. By contrast, Linux Mint is a much smaller, non-commercial organization that appears to be less organized, and to have fewer resources to draw upon. In fact, it relies on donations and ingenuity for funding. Yet is the idea even technically possible? Certainly Linux Mint's team and its supporters think so, considering that for several years they have been calling Linux Mint the fourth most widely used operating system, which sounds like a deliberate challenge to Ubuntu's claim to be the third. One way or the other, a closer look seems in order."
On a more technical note, Linux Mint founder Clement Lefebvre has published a post warning users about possible issues found in MATE, a fork of GNOME 2 that ships with the distribution's latest version as an alternative to the default GNOME 3 desktop. The article includes a potential fix, request for testing, and an interesting side note about the future of MATE: "We consider MATE yet another desktop, just like KDE, GNOME 3, Xfce etc., and based on the popularity of GNOME 2 in previous releases of Linux Mint, we are dedicated to support it and to help it improve. The most popular Linux desktop was, and arguably is, GNOME 2. It is no longer possible for Linux Mint to provide GNOME 2 but there are two promising alternatives available, GNOME 3 which is stable and which could lead to an even better desktop than the one we previously had but which lacks features and flexibility at the moment, and MATE which design is identical to GNOME 2 but which lacks stability at the moment. The future will tell which of these desktops will eventually become the most popular. In the meantime we'll be working hard to bring more features and configuration options to GNOME 3 and more stability to MATE."
* * * * *
Away from the Ubuntu/Mint world, one of the distributions often recommended as a good alternative to the more mainstream ones is Mandriva Linux. This is even more true now that the project has re-invented itself, both technically and commercially, with version 2011. For those interested to find out more about the distro, follow the links to two articles about Mandriva published last week. The first one, written by TechRadar's Mayank Sharma, is entitled "How Mandriva was built": "There's more to Mandriva than what goes on in the boardroom. It's still one of the easiest distros for Linux newbies. Sure, Mandriva's fortunes have been on a downward spiral for quite some time, but the new team has managed to shrug off cash-flow problems and technological traumas, and its latest release is filled to the brim with features." The second story, called "10 things Mandriva is doing right for Linux" is by Jack Wallen from TechRepublic: "Some time ago, I stopped paying attention to Mandriva. I felt that this Linux distribution, which hails from France and is financially backed by Russia, wasn't quite sure what it wanted to be. All has changed now. Mandriva knows where it is and where it's heading. Mandriva Linux Powerpack 2011 is available for purchase and is one of the finest releases I have come across in quite some time. What makes it so good? Let's break it down."
* * * * *
Finally, a link to a rather controversial report concerning Red Hat and some of the upcoming changes in the world's most popular enterprise Linux distribution. It appears that the company is planning to do away with the traditional UNIX system logging function and replace it with a new journal daemon. And although Red Hat claims that the 30-year old syslog is simply too inefficient, some experts have started to question the wisdom of moving away from established industry standards. ITworld's Brian Proffitt reports: "Simplifying the file system hierarchy and event logging in Fedora (and by extension, Red Hat Enterprise Linux) seem like worthy goals, but it could come at the expense of circumventing existing standards, like the Linux Standard Base or the Common Event Expression, respectively. You can argue the effectiveness of these standards (and many have), but if Red Hat is planning on just going their own way here with Linux infrastructure, as they seem to be doing, this represents a game-changer for the Linux ecosystem. Such differentiators will most certainly affect how independent software vendors work with Red Hat's Linux versus the other distributions. In a world where app development can make all the difference for commercial Linux vendors, that's a telling path to take."
|Statistics (by Jesse Smith)
Lies and statistics
At the beginning of November we reported the Linux Mint distribution had surpassed Ubuntu on DistroWatch's six-month hits-per-day counter. What this means is simply that more people were visiting the Linux Mint distribution page on DistroWatch than were visiting Ubuntu's, at least in these past six months. Regular readers are probably aware that these statistics are offered for entertainment or, at best, a rough indication of which distributions are attracting attention. But that week the Linux community was either suffering from several slow news days or a lot of people placed undue significance on the hits-per-day statistics. All over the Linux community blogs declared Mint's rise at Ubuntu's expense, it was discussed on forums and on Linux news sites all around the web. That week I saw a lot of comments making declarations along the lines of "The king is dead," and people suggesting that Unity was to blame for the decline in Ubuntu's popularity. It seemed that for every person pointing out the lack of significance which should be attributed to DistroWatch's ranking there were five or more speculating on why Ubuntu is losing its user base. But is it?
After browsing a few hundred comments about why Ubuntu was dying I began to wonder if there was any truth in matter. Is Ubuntu gaining or losing ground? I decided to put together some numbers which may be illuminating. First, let's look at the DistroWatch page hit charts (compiled on 29 November):
||Past 6 Months
||Past 12 Months
Looking at these numbers it does appear as though Mint has been gaining interest, especially in the past month while everyone has been talking about it. Something else I find interesting is that the main Ubuntu distribution has lost some of the spotlight, but other Ubuntu-based editions (especially Lubuntu) have gained ground. This hints to me that the flagship Ubuntu edition may be losing the spotlight to other Ubuntu editions as much as to Linux Mint.
However, the above numbers only reflect page hits on DistroWatch; what are the distributions themselves seeing as far as usage numbers? At the moment I don't have any firm numbers on Linux Mint, but according to this blog post on the Linux Mint website, the project's community is seeing a rapid increase in growth and already features a few million users. I was able to get firmer numbers from Ubuntu and the results were interesting. In early 2010, around the time Ubuntu 10.04 was released, Ubuntu had an estimated install base of 12 million users. About a year ago, after the launch of Ubuntu 10.10, it was estimated there were 16 million users. Now, in the wake of version 11.10, Ubuntu has an estimated 20 million users. Gerry Carr, Director of Communications at Canonical, says these figures come from a variety of places. "It's a combination of things - active connections to our security servers being one of the most prominent. We also get other connection data, we look at downloads and a small number of other checks, So it's robust." Mr Carr also informed me that over one million Ubuntu One accounts have been created since the service launched.
What can we take from all of this? There are a lot of different ways to interpret the data, but one thing I feel we can safely say is the user communities of both Ubuntu and Mint are larger now than ever before. It would also appear that Linux Mint is getting a lot of well-deserved attention. The developers have been sensitive to their user community's desires and word of their efforts is spreading. Interest in Ubuntu, at least among the DistroWatch crowd, has taken a slight drop over the past year, but their user base is still growing. And growing quickly. In fact it looks like Ubuntu's community has grown almost 25% since Unity was launched. Perhaps most importantly, I think these numbers raise another question: if both Mint and Ubuntu are seeing an increase in the size of their communities, then from where are these users coming? From other Linux distributions, from proprietary systems? Is Linux reaching into new territory where computers weren't being used before? Unfortunately I don't have the answer, but it is something to ponder.
|Released Last Week
Robert Lange has announced the final release of VectorLinux 7.0: "VectorLinux 7.0 is now available. This release is the result of nearly two years of blood, sweat and tears since the very successful release of VectorLinux 6.0. With the enthusiasm of a small group of packagers, our repository now hosts over a thousand up-to-date packages. VectorLinux is the fastest Linux desktop in its class bar none. We have exceeded our original goals and produced a beautiful, full-featured stable desktop that is fun, fast and efficient. The main desktop is Xfce 4.8 with a custom theme and artwork. Fluxbox is installed as a secondary desktop option. Much work has been done on localization and we know users from all over the globe will find VectorLinux usable in their language of choice. The kernel is version 3.0.8." See the release announcement and release notes for more details.
VectorLinux 7.0 - a new version of the Slackware-based distribution featuring a customised Xfce desktop
(full image size: 673kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Clonezilla Live 1.2.11-23
Steven Shiau has announced the release of Clonezilla Live 1.2.11-23, a new stable version of the project's Debian-based live CD designed for disk cloning tasks: "This release of Clonezilla Live (1.2.11-23) includes major enhancements and bug fixes: the underlying GNU/Linux operating system was upgraded, this release is based on the Debian 'Sid' repository as of 2011-11-28; Linux kernel was updated to version 3.1.1; Partclone was updated to version 0.2.38, gDisk to 0.8.1; a new mode '1-2-mdisks' (one image to be restored to multiple disks) was added in Clonezilla main menu, this is useful for creating massive USB Flash drives; this release supports VMFS5 imaging and cloning; the option to fsck the source partition will be shown in beginner mode; GRUB 2 for EFI booting was improved, now it is able to boot a Mac OS X machine from a USB Flash drive with the MBR partition table...." Read the rest of the release announcement for a full list of changes and new features.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
November 2011 DistroWatch.com donation: LiVES|
We are happy to announce that the recipient of the November 2011 DistroWatch.com donation is LiVES, a free and open-source video editor and VJ tool. The project receives US$300 in cash.
According to the project's web site, "LiVES is a video editing system. It is designed to be simple to use, yet powerful. It is small in size, yet it has many advanced features. LiVES mixes real-time video performance and non-linear editing in one professional quality application. It will let you start editing and making video right away, without having to worry about formats, frame sizes, or frame rates. It is a very flexible tool which is used by both professional VJ's and video editors - mix and switch clips from the keyboard, use dozens of real-time effects, trim and edit your clips in the clip editor, and bring them together using the multi-track timeline. You can even record your performance in real time, and then edit it further or render it straight away. For the more technically minded, the application is frame- and sample-accurate, and it can be controlled remotely or scripted for use as a video server. And it supports all of the latest free standards." If you'd like to find out more and see the application in action, please check out the features and screenshot pages.
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Those readers who wish to contribute towards these donations, please use our advertising page to make a payment (PayPal and credit cards are accepted). Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$29,940 to various open-source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NDISwrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300), GCompris ($352), Xiph.org ($250), Clonezilla ($250), Debian Multimedia ($280), Geany ($300), Mageia ($470), gtkpod ($300)
- 2011: CGSecurity ($300), OpenShot ($300), Imagination ($250), Calibre ($300), RIPLinuX ($300), Midori ($310), vsftpd ($300), OpenShot ($350), Trinity Desktop Environment ($300), LibreCAD ($300), LiVES ($300)
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- FDGnuX. FDGnuX is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution with software designed to run an amateur (ham) radio station.
- Tango Studio. Tango Studio is an Ubuntu-based distribution designed for musicians and professional studios.
- VESTA. VESTA is a live Linux distribution whose purpose is to facilitate work with Java. The project provides a way to create a custom live CD/DVD image by choosing a Linux kernel, language and any of the available modules from a web-based interface.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 12 December 2011.
Robert Storey, Ladislav Bodnar and Jesse Smith
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • I want to bring my ancient Eee PC 701 back from the dead. (by Stacker on 2011-12-05 09:38:32 GMT from United Kingdom) |
Ah ha! You'll be needing Jemimah's Fluppy 13, at least until she finishes her latest and greatest project: Saluki. Both Puppy variants.
Notwithstanding, always been a fan of MEPIS and Anti-X, quite apart from Debian. The former has always had the added attraction that, despite Warren being a US-citizen, apparently/allegedly he was/is prepared to offer the one(US)/two(UK)-fingered salute to their crazy software patent laws and restrictions as well as other GNU&co. attitudes to definitions of 'free', attitudes to proprietary code, etc. The consequences for users has been dramatic - everything worked OOTB. With Debian stability, as Robert discovers, not a lot left to ask for.
The present review encourages me to take another look at anti-X. After that, it's time to grapple with ARM-based alternatives for my diminutive and painfully slow little Elonex One+. Oh yes, Robert, you're not alone in queues of suckers for new, over-promoted kit!
2 • antiX (by musty on 2011-12-05 09:50:02 GMT from France)
I was using antix until September 2011 on my dead now Evo n410C, a 10 years Compaq with 512Mo of ram and a Pentium III-M at 1200Mhz and it was smooth an speedy. i recommended it to all my friends.
Great issue, thank you for your work.
3 • Lies and statistics (by forlin on 2011-12-05 09:50:45 GMT from Portugal)
Great view, Jesse.
I always thought and estimated that both Ubuntu and Mint were growing. Globally, these can only be good, to the Linux in the Desktop. After all, that's what we all here use to do our work in computers.
4 • Mint 12 (by johnhenry on 2011-12-05 09:53:37 GMT from United Kingdom)
When will we have a Mint 12 review of the usual Distrowatch standard?
I have been a loyal Ubuntu user for several years, but have recently installed M12. It really is quite remarkable. A very usable and pleasant Gnome 3 for example, as well as (efectively) Gnome 2 if so desided.
5 • Mint and Ubuntu (by Rajesh Ganesan on 2011-12-05 10:16:53 GMT from India)
I find lot of windows users showing interest in linux. One of the primary reasons they say is 'no virus' and 'legally free of cost'. Ubuntu, having lot of spins/derivatives under its umbrella, can even think making mint as one of them - 'Mint Ubuntu'. Else, they may consider providing it as an option - Ubuntu, Ubuntu2D, Gnome & Mint. I agree, both these suggestions may appear weird and has remote changes of crystallizing ... Just few random thoughts!
6 • Best netbook os (by Orlando Quiros on 2011-12-05 10:22:47 GMT from United States)
Hello to all what are some of the best distros for netbooks?
I did try anti x but I could not get my wifi to work and the same thing happen with joli os.
7 • Best netbook os (by Orlando Quiros on 2011-12-05 10:29:57 GMT from United States)
I am running an Acer aspire one D257-13404
Intel atom 1.66GHz
8 • AntiX (by M1k on 2011-12-05 10:40:55 GMT from Italy)
Antix rocks!....is fast ,usable,looking good on my old Sempron 1200!
For netbook give Meego a try...but I use mine to be a bad guy,
so I have a smooth BlackBuntu onboard.
9 • Those who don't understand Unix... (by Felix Pleșoianu on 2011-12-05 10:46:05 GMT from Romania)
I have a slightly newer EeePC 701 with a 4GB SSD. It's happily running SliTaz Linux, and the only problem is very slow Firefox startup time (I keep meaning to install Opera instead).
As for the idea of replacing syslogd, it's unusually stupid. A basic principle of Unix is that all data should be kept as text if at all reasonable, because plain text can be processed with a variety of generic tools, or at worst *eyeballed*. The same is true for upstart, or whatever they call the latest SysVinit "replacement". More than once, I've been saved by the ability to read init scripts. Making them binaries would miss the whole point.
10 • AntiX (by PJ on 2011-12-05 10:46:31 GMT from Ireland)
Good work but this would all be beyond your average Windows user. I have used Puppy on another old Eee PC where everything just worked. Just needed the wireless key. Never heard of Fluppy, will check it out. Am wondering what the point might be. Forking Ubuntu I can understand (I hate Unity) but Puppy??
11 • netbook os (by Willie Green on 2011-12-05 11:15:04 GMT from United States)
Peppermint works great for me on a HP Mini 1010nr (1.6 GHz Atom, 512 Mb RAM, 8 Gb SS drive)
I still can't figure out why they originally shipped this poor little machine with Win XP. It was so bogged down it was worthless. But with Peppermint, it flies with plenty of elbow room to spare.
12 • LiVES again? (by Mr Tico on 2011-12-05 11:51:55 GMT from United Kingdom)
The LiVES project has already received a donation from Distrowatch, only a couple of year ago (Aug 2009):
I don't really mind, I'm just wondering if it is intentional?
13 • distro for low end pc (by slacker on 2011-12-05 11:52:42 GMT from Germany)
The ASUS Eee PC 701 2G, with 512 MB of RAM (not upgradable), an Intel Celeron-M processor running at 571 MHz, a 7" display seems to be fairly
low end, but I have used Vector Linux 6 KDE 3.5 edition on an Dell Pentium III 733 found thrown away by somene with 386 Mb of sdram (the maximum I can put on) with some low end integrated video, and a 10 Gb harddrive. The included app are not exactly the most light weight with Firefox, and Open office and I got more then acceptable performances and Firefox open with several tabs, and notice swap files seems to be rarely used. Perhaps Anti X s not as good as it appears, and perhaps a reasonable size harddrive make KDE 3.5 usable even the memory size is a little low, and may be Vector being Slackware based made a lot of difference. Might be it is about time to do a side by side comparison of light weight distro.
14 • LinuxMint and stastics (by k1l on 2011-12-05 12:27:41 GMT from Germany)
So here we are, yet another Blog who forgets about truth or blindly believes what the Mint's PR told you.
LinuxMint is a "wallbuntu": it takes Ubuntu, changes the theme and the wallpaper, installs some codecs and packages and fiddles with gnome3 to look like a gnome2 with their menue. Thats it! How can it be faster? o_O
The Hype at the moment is related to its promise to be the gnome2-saver, because of which some Ubuntuusers switched. But what happend? no gnome2 in LinuxMint anymore. It cant, because its a wallbuntu! And Clem pockets all the money people would contribute to the LINUX community. So in my mind Linuxmint is more like a "parasite"
Dont get me wrong, there seems to be a need for wallbuntu, but why giving only LinuxMint all the Money and attention and not others like PinguyOS, or giving the money to someone who really contributes to the Linux Community?
And to the Distrowatch Statistic:
of course did LinuxMint gain some users after Clem's promise to save gnome2 but what about this? http://trends.google.com/trends?q=ubuntu,+linux+mint&date=all&geo=all&ctab=0&sort=1&sa=N
15 • call me a troll (by Anonymous Git on 2011-12-05 12:38:38 GMT from France)
With the explicit hope of kicking off a big argument, I'm going to stick my neck out and make some wild and unsubstantiated predictions about Ubuntu and its future direction / adoption, at this moment when Mint is grabbing all the headlines. As nothing but a mere Linux user for the last seven years, I nonetheless reckon my predictions to be at least as viable as the garbage ejected by professional research firms full of paid employees sitting around on swivel chairs all week plucking figures out the air. So here goes:
Oh, first a disclaimer: I'm in no way an Ubuntu fanboy. Aside from having a stab at Xubuntu one time, I've only ever used it on other people's machines.
By the end of 2012, Linux's market share across desktops / notebooks and tablets will be suggested to have increased to around 1.5%. There are varying opinions about its real current market share going up to five per cent or more, but we'll go with the most commonly cited and measly figure of 1% as representing the current state of play at the end of 2011. So, a half-point increase a year from now, and it will be mooted that Ubuntu with Unity and its 12.04 LTS release is responsible for much of this growth.
By the end of 2013, when inroads have been made by Canonical to get Unity running across other devices, Linux market share will be reported as up to a staggering 3%. Industry peeps, tech journos and fanboys will all go overboard declaring the 'year of desktop Linux' has finally arrived, although another year on and that growth will have slowed to 4%.
Why do I say all this? I sincerely believe that if Linux does take off and appeal to the masses, it will happen almost without most of 'us' (i.e. Linux and open source crusaders) knowing much about it. Having a company like Canonical with a focused consumer vision behind a variant of Linux will propel uptake across the realms of 'ordinary people'. The kind of people who never come to Distrowatch and click on pages to increase Ubuntu's rankings, the kind of people who probably won't even know they're running Linux at all. So long as they've got a device with big touchscreen icons they won't care. Indeed, many traditional Linux users will sneer and disassociate themselves from this new breed of user who they have nothing in common with.
And what's more: Windows 8 with Metro will receive a fair bit of tech press criticism, but will sell well, and this will actually work in Linux's favour. Because the flood of devices running so many simplified interfaces (iOS, Blackberry, Android, Windows Phone / Metro, Unity and so on) will mean we've reached a state where the regular joe public doesn't give a damn anymore what system they're running or whether it's Windows and has MS Word installed. All most people will want is big colourful icons, touchscreens and 'apps'. If there's something not specifically packaged for their system, they'll simply run it from the cloud. Of course there'll still be a big traditional desktop market, particularly in the corporate sector, and I'm not suggesting traditional desktop paradigms will disappear so fast, but there'll be a big shift towards these new devices that'll open the doors for Linux, in some form or another, to finally take a more substantial hold of the market.
And none of this is any reflection or direct commentary on Mint or any other distro. The rest will continue to account for 1%, which will mean they also see an overall upturn (since Ubuntu probably already accounts for more than half of the existing 1%).
Okay. I've opened the floodgates. Now come charging with your cackles and counter-points...
16 • Lies, Dmaned Lies & Statistics (by dragonmouth on 2011-12-05 12:44:22 GMT from United States)
Congratulations on the unbiased, independent research!
You take the numbers provided by Mint propaganda and the numbers provided by Ubuntu propaganda and accept them as gospel truth, but you discount DW page hits counts. Do you also believe the numbers from Redmond?
17 • Use Bodhi instead of AntiX (by Uncle Slacky on 2011-12-05 12:57:28 GMT from France)
Give Bodhi a try - it runs happily on my EEE 701 4G, and will also run on the 2G, according to their documentation - see here: http://wiki.bodhilinux.com/doku.php?id=asus
The microphone worked OK for me the last time I tried it (although I prefer using a dedicated 'phone plugged into the MIC jack to the internal one) - it probably depends on which kernel you're using (mine's 3.0.0-something).
If it doesn't work straight away, bear in mind that Bodhi is (loosely) based on Ubuntu Lucid Lynx and so an appropriate solution may already exist on one of the Ubuntu forums.
18 • Antix (by Wine Curmudgeon on 2011-12-05 13:05:48 GMT from United States)
I have Antix on a very old Compaq laptop, with about 200 megs of ram, and it works wonderfully. The problem is not the software, but that the machine. It's so old that it's adventure turning it on.
19 • AntiX on eeePC 900 (by Giovanni Millo on 2011-12-05 13:11:31 GMT from Italy)
I've been using AntiX on my eeePC 900 for a couple of years now, and I cannot but praise its speed and stability. Very light yet beginner-friendly. USB sticks are easily mounted as soon as you access them in the file manager. RAM usage is as little as 80 Mb. Startup is fast (30'' including boot seq.) and applications open almost instantly (notice: I have installed the system on a then-new RunCore SSD, but it can fit just fine on the built-in 4Gb SSD with similar performance).
20 • EeePC 701 (by rich52 on 2011-12-05 13:12:52 GMT from United States)
I've got one of these EeePC 701's several years ago and have 'Puppy' Linux installed on it. Works real well with 4 gig of ram. The Linux version of this machine came out with Xandros which I took off. It also came with a Windows XP disk. Which I threw away and never used. Overall it works good with Puppy and am please with it. Biggest complaint is the small real-estate of the small screen that doesn't allow some screens to show fully show you everything so you have to 'tab' your way to the bottem to hit the OK button on one or two programs when you think your at the bottomto make the correct selection. A minor annoyance but not too big of an issue.
I now also own a Asus with 10.1 screen, dual Atom core processor, 1 gig ram and a 250 hd. It has Ubuntu 'Unity' on it and runs rather well. .. a bigger improvement over it's former prototype.
21 • Possible MIC solution (by Uncle Slacky on 2011-12-05 13:18:20 GMT from France)
I'm not sure if this is the same issue, but someone running Ubuntu Lucid & Maverick found that the internal mic needs to be selected as "line-in" rather than "mic-in" in order to work correctly - see bug report here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/alsa-driver/+bug/441480
22 • eeePC701 (by Dave Postles on 2011-12-05 13:44:26 GMT from United Kingdom)
Yes, I bought one with Xandros natively installed. As I already had an external CD-drive, I replaced it with Fluxbox. When I decided to pass it on to my niece, I installed EasyPeasy for her. It worked pretty well with both those distros.
I also have an OLPC which I acquired as part of the give one, get one project (having paid for one previously as well). The cut-down version of Fedora runs pretty well (not Sugar, which is also installed).
23 • lowend notebooks (by mandog on 2011-12-05 14:12:10 GMT from Peru)
Surely Crunchbang/Archbang are the best lightweight fully featured distros both work straight from the box ram use is very low 53/63mb respective using open box both are stable good forums + archbang has a update warning section both mount/ unmount usb. I prefer Archbang as it supports newer software both support my usb headphone set both are very polished and professional.
24 • My eee 701: Bodhi Linux (by Leo on 2011-12-05 14:14:42 GMT from United States)
Most of the hardware is dead in that sucker. The screen flickers and dims all the time, the SSD is dead. But I am running Bodhi Linux from a USB key, just to launch VLC and use it as an internet radio in my garage, attached to portable speakers. Works for me! I am very impressed with Bodhi/E17 (I am a KDE guy, but open minded)
25 • Gnome 3 stability (interview with Mr. Lefebvre) (by silent on 2011-12-05 14:23:38 GMT from France)
If one installs some gnome-shell extensions, or something like cairo-dock, stability is compromised, freezes and gnome-shell crashes can be frequent especially on low end integrated video cards. Presumably, the video drivers are causing this. Nevertheless, using an OpenGL compositing WM for a DE generally does not improve stability. Gnome 3 fallback interface may lack some features, but provides most of the functionality of Gnome 2; it is stable and runs on old machines as well. So, please, DDD (dear distribution directors) use the Gnome 3 fallback as default, and add some features to it. Maintaining mate is going to be more and more difficult. Obsoleting gnome-shell features concentrated in the top left corner by extensions like bottom app-menu and window list on an additional bottom bar is a fine example of retrograde evolution (like an ostrich), but it is also a waste of resources (both developer hours and RAM and CPU capacity) and it is also unstable at the moment on low end hardware.
26 • Linux Mint vs. Ubuntu (by Ubu Walker on 2011-12-05 14:42:16 GMT from United States)
I recently downloaded and installed Linux Mint. It looks like a nice replacement for Ubuntu and its associated GUI nonsense. It isn't perfect, but it seems nice.
Check out the traffic ranks for each distros domain here: http://attentionmeter.com/?d1=ubuntu.com&d2=linuxmint.com&d3=&d4=&d5=
Clearly Ubuntu is still more popular, but Mint isnt far behind.
27 • Eee 701 distros (by octathlon on 2011-12-05 14:45:39 GMT from United States)
I still have Easy Peasy on my Eee 701 4G and this is pre-tweaked so that *everything* works out of the box including all function keys. Puppy has a couple of eee-specific versions that I tried and as I recall they worked too.
But I'd love to see you try CrunchBang on this thing and do a review for us other "suckers".
(P.S. another Grub 2 hater here)
28 • Re: #25 Gnome 3 Stability (by tdockery97 on 2011-12-05 14:59:30 GMT from United States)
All I can say is "right on!". As a long-time user of Mint I have posted numerous times on the forums that Gnome 3 fallback mode is the way to go. With a little research and work, it is almost completely identical in appearance and use to Gnome 2, but has the improved GTK3 underpinnings. Everyone keeps saying that fallback mode is "going away", but that idea is neither certain nor soon. If it is still there by April-May 2012, then it will be around for five more years in both the Ubuntu and Mint LTS versions.
29 • Re: 28 / 25 Gnome 3 fallback is the way to go! (by hobbitland on 2011-12-05 15:20:02 GMT from United Kingdom)
Hi, I agree that Gnome 3 fallback (classic) is the way to go. That is what I have in my Ubuntu 11.10 VM. Takes soem effect to tweak it to look exactly like how I use my Gnome 2 desktop. Like adding "gome-tweak-tool".
I have been making my own installable remastered Ubuntu for USB stick for about a year now. I remove all remove unity and all Ubuntu customization/branding. Ubuntu has a very good base but terrible choice of application defaults. I tried both debian 6.0.3 and Mint 12. These require more work to customize than Ubuntu. I thimk will be using Ubuntu1 2.04 but not with the dis-unity desktop but Gnoem3 fallback. I thought Gnoem 3 fallback is here to stay for at least the life of Gnoem 3.
Even if not I can use Ubuntu 12.04 with fallback until 17.04. When RHEL goes with Gnome Shell or Unity I will use it.
30 • antix (by dolphin_oracle on 2011-12-05 15:51:54 GMT from United States)
While antix runs great on netbooks, it is not optimized for them as some other OS's might be. That said, runs really really well on my EEE 904ha. Camera and microphone work fine, as does the wireless. It really blazes on old desktops. Glad to see the review here.
31 • re. 29 • Re: 28 / 25 Gnome 3 fallback (by Scooty on 2011-12-05 15:57:07 GMT from United Kingdom)
Folks unfortunate enough to have (wasted?!) their cash on state-of-the-art machinery can force G3 fallback by inserting an old PCI Trident/Cirrus video card and switching off the PCI-e on-board video OFF in BIOS. Reverse the hardware later and watch out for the undoing in updates. Works for me.
32 • Ubuntu - The New 'Meta' Distro? (by Hawkeye52 on 2011-12-05 15:59:11 GMT from United States)
There are many derivative distributions that have exceeded the popularity of their 'parent' distribution. In fact, several distributions (e. g. Debian, Gentoo, Mandriva) are far more famous for their 'children' than for their own, primary offerings. I believe these distributions are often referred to as 'meta-distributions'. With all the activity regarding desktop environments, and Ubuntu's determined commitment to Unity, maybe we are seeing a subtle shift from Ubuntu as a primary distribution, to being a 'behind the scenes' meta-distribution...
@ 'Anonymous Git' -- you stated in your Comment:
"By the end of 2013, when inroads have been made by Canonical to get Unity running across other devices, Linux market share will be reported as up to a staggering 3%."
I believe this is an assumptive leap of faith. I may be crazy, but I have a tough time believing the Unity desktop environment will achieve this type of user traction without substantial changes to its flexibility.
NEWS BULLETIN: Desktop computer users are not cell phone users!
33 • @25 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-12-05 16:55:26 GMT from Canada)
Crashes when you enable Shell extensions are usually down to problems with the extension interfaces changing - they're not really stable yet - or just plain bad code in the extension. They rarely have anything to do with video drivers. Extensions are high-level CSS stuff, they're hardly interacting directly with the graphics card.
34 • Legacy computers (by denflen on 2011-12-05 17:19:29 GMT from United States)
All of the theories, projections, rationalizations and arguments about how Mint did or did not get to be Number 1 (of which I too am guilty) wont mean a damn thing if Windows has its way. The "year of the Linux Destop" will never even be a footnote in history. I am talking about UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) "secure boot". Distro hopping could well be a thing of the past. This thing just scares the hell out of me. Gotta hang on to all those legacy computers!
35 • Stats (by Jesse on 2011-12-05 17:22:13 GMT from Canada)
>> "You take the numbers provided by Mint propaganda and the numbers provided by Ubuntu propaganda and accept them as gospel truth, but you discount DW page hits counts. "
I didn't discount the DW page hit counts, they feature in the column. However, the DWPH does not measure usage, it measures interest, as I explained above. If the DWPH measured usage CentOS would probably be near the top of the chart due to its use on servers. Further, the numbers for Mint and Ubuntu usage, as provided by their respective teams, were not taken at face value, they were confirmed by other usage statistics. Unless you have evidence that the numbers provided are false I can see no reason for your objection.
36 • AntiX (by David McCann on 2011-12-05 17:34:55 GMT from United Kingdom)
One little correction to the review: Ted is not a text editor, but a real (if simple) word processor. When I tested the current version of AntiX, I was able to run it with less than 64MB of RAM in use. The same applied to Dillo, so AntiX can revive far older things than an EeePC.
37 • Ubuntu 11.10 & Mint 12 (by Eric Proctor on 2011-12-05 17:35:52 GMT from United States)
While I may have grumbled a bit about having to change my workflow when it arrived, I personally have really has gotten used to Unity.
I tried gnome 3 on ubuntu, and was thrilled with it initially, but went back and have worked within Unity happily because I just prefer it. Mint 12 came out in the self-cast role of gnome3 savior. I tried it out, but I really don't care for it. How many ways does a user need to open a menu/start a program?
I think I just prefer unity and my keyboard shortcuts and like so many others, I will be really happy when customization becomes a little less "behind the curtain".
I do find the thought of Linux mint being both a derivative of and the killer of Ubuntu to be somewhat amusing.
38 • Unity an UNR (by fernbap on 2011-12-05 17:45:27 GMT from Portugal)
Ubuntu started the right way: its flagship was a desktop release with gnome, and offered a Netbook Remix version as well. Simple, isn't it? Each one at the right place.
Now, Ubuntu converted its flagship release to a new UNR, and dropped its desktop release.
It is the fact that Canonical just shifed its attention from the desktop to the netbook/tablet/smartphone that many people don't like.
Sure, that new direction may be commercially a good idea, but that doesn't mean i have to like it or that Ubuntu is serving me well.
I can say the same about Gnome. which seems to have jumped to the same bandwagon, happily going in the wrong direction.
Ubuntu betrayed its user base trust, Mint didn't.
39 • Re: 38 (by Eric Proctor on 2011-12-05 17:57:35 GMT from United States)
"Ubuntu betrayed its user base trust, Mint didn't."
Seems a bit melodramatic to me.
One thing that is absolutely true in all of the changes on the gnome side of things is that these changes will require for you to adjust your workflow. This is true of gnome3 or unity. This is harder for some and easier for others, but if you want to continue using either gnome3 or unity, you really don't have a whole lot of choice.
Whether this is the "right" or "wrong" direction for them is certainly subjective, and kind of silly. Sure many people don't like the new unity, but many do. Many don't like the new mint, many do. Many don't like Windows, but they do own the market.
I found that once I embraced using keyboard shortcuts and using my desktops effectively, most of my productivity has come back. YMMV, of course, and clearly it has. :D
40 • Mint, Ubuntu and Debian vs. the rest of the world (by M. Edward (Ed) Borasky on 2011-12-05 18:04:24 GMT from United States)
I tried Ubuntu back in 2008, along with Fedora and openSUSE. I ended up on openSUSE and I'm still there. Every time I look at Ubuntu or Mint, or any other distro based on Debian, I always say, "Why not Debian itself?"
It's not just about the desktops - it's the whole distro ecosystem: packaging, security, updates, system administration tools, desktops. Why do layers on top of Debian get so popular and not Debian itself?
41 • Re Antix & Robert's mike problem (by gee7 on 2011-12-05 18:40:07 GMT from United Kingdom)
In my old Eeepc 701 4G netbook using Crunchbang Linux, the mike is turned off by default. In order to use Skype I had to find a way to turn it on. The mike (and video) now work perfectly and Skype is super for video conferencing.
I had to configure the asound.state file to switch on the internal microphone by opening a terminal and typing:
# sudo gedit /var/lib/alsa/asound.state
I then changed 4 “false” statements to “true” so that they appeared as below:
name: 'i-Mic Playback Switch'
name: 'Capture Switch'
After editing the file, save the changes by typing in the terminal:
# sudo alsactl restore
This may not be the same for your operating system Antix, but it may lead to a similar solution. Good luck.
PS using # sudo alsamixer
I also had to unmute the volume by pressing the M key to unmute/mute
and using the Up/Down keys for Volume adjustments
42 • nonsense (by ix on 2011-12-05 18:45:46 GMT from Romania)
This whole Ubuntu/Mint popularity contest is nonsense, as all GNU/Linux distros put together have less than 2% user share according to wikimedia. I have the feeling that we are not seeing the forest because of the trees. I don't care what distros people use, as long as it's GNU/Linux.
43 • Debian Inside (by Jesse on 2011-12-05 18:55:11 GMT from Canada)
>> "Why do layers on top of Debian get so popular and not Debian itself?"
Off the top of my head I'd go with...
1. Debian's documentation is directed at more advanced users. Projects like Ubuntu and Mint assume very little about the end user's knowledge.
2. Hardware support. Debian strips non-free elements from the kernel.
3. Certification and support. Ubuntu maintains a database of supported hardware, has certified ISV support, offers in-house support for a low fee and Ubuntu LTS is supported longer than Debian Stable. All of these things are appealing to the business crowd.
4. Services such as PPAs and Ubuntu One don't run on Debian. Or least they didn't when last I checked.
5. Ubuntu has a developer portal and invites both open source developers and commercial developers to submit apps. Debian is dedicated to free only and has no official vetting queue for new software, software is approved as volunteers have time.
6. The installer. Ubuntu and Mint can be installed by basically clicking "Next" a few times and settings a password. Debian's installer requires a bit more know-how.
7. Codecs and extra software. Mint supplies everything out of the box, Ubuntu has a codec buddy, Debian requires manually adding the non-free repository.
Debian makes for a great base, but it doesn't provide a lot of the little details which make projects like Mint so appealing. It's like a cake without icing or a birthday present with "some assembly required". Some people enjoy putting their OS together, most people just want it to work when they take it out of the box.
44 • Lies and statistics (by Mustafaa al-Hamdaani on 2011-12-05 18:59:32 GMT from Iraq)
"active connections to our security servers being one of the most prominent": this sounds much like the "Unique IPs visiting updates (cumulative)", isn't it? for openSUSE this number is 28,952,942 for 11, 11.1, 11.2, and 11.3 -this was before 12.1- but this is due to changing IPs, the real number (counted using a unique cookies seen) is 3782248 for only 11.1, 11.2, and 11.3 because the cookie was introduced in 11.1, correct me but isn't openSUSE's 28,952,942 more than Ubuntu's 20,000,000 (using unique IPs method for both)?? what is the most popular distro???
P.S. check out http://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Statistics
45 • @39, @40 (by fernbap on 2011-12-05 19:18:12 GMT from Portugal)
"once I embraced using keyboard shortcuts and using my desktops effectively, most of my productivity has come back"
You sound dangerously close to those that claim that VI is still the most user friendly editor around. After all, all you have to do is "embrace using keyboard shortcuts".
"Why do layers on top of Debian get so popular and not Debian itself?"
Different strategies, mostly.
People who say that Debian excels at nothing simply don't realise that Debian excels at being a universal OS, which is their aim.
Ubuntu and Mint have different aims, and don't excell at being universal as Debian does.
46 • Re: 45 (by Eric Proctor on 2011-12-05 19:48:24 GMT from United States)
:D That made me laugh out loud. Now that you mention it, I have spent a fair amount of time using vim, however I don't know that anyone has ever said that vi is the most user friendly editor around. Most efficient? I could argue that of the editors that I've used, vim was the most efficient once I got to know it, but user friendly? No one that I would consider sane would argue that.
I can definitely see parallels though. Once you learn to use vim, it's incredibly powerful and efficient. But the biggest obstacle to using vim when I was starting out (even more than the shortcuts), is that it's a complete paradigm shift from what I was used to in more 'traditional' editors. I could see some making the same argument for unity.
47 • Re: #33 crashes (by silent on 2011-12-05 19:50:40 GMT from Hungary)
48 • AntiX (by OldTimer2 on 2011-12-05 20:13:23 GMT from United Kingdom)
Reasonable and fairreview.
I too had cause to reach for my old standby, Antix, when trying to bring an IBM battle tank (512mb, 1.8 P4) back to life. It works well. nice and fast.
I have found with antiX that installing (keeping the wired connection in, for the moment) doing all upgrades, looking out any missing firmware & using alsaconfig fixes most things, then when you are happy (both Wifi & sound working) remove the RJ45 cable and you'll have a fast machine.
I suppose the alternative would be to use ArchBang, which is probably a bit faster, but antiX is less hassle overall, on a good day.
I am waiting for antiX to be updated, development seems to have slowed.
For real speed try the base version, very lean!
49 • re #10 forking Puppy (by gnomic on 2011-12-05 20:27:24 GMT from New Zealand)
There are quite a few derivatives of Puppy that have been made by enthusiasts from the community over a number of years. Many have not lasted long (as with Linux distros in general) but there are 10 or so with some degree of persistence currently. These are not regarded as forks I should say, but usually involve the substitution of desktops or window managers other than those found in Barry K's Puppy versions or the addition of applications or enhancing Puppy for use with particular hardware. There are now for example a couple of 64-bit versions. Some of the developers involved are doing excellent work. Fluppy was I think initially aimed at the Asus netbooks. That particular project has been in abeyance for a while but I think the isos are still to be found.
Anyone wishing to keep in touch with this work can follow the forums at http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/. Puppy Derivatives and Puppy Projects feature most of the currently active derivatives. Dpup Exprimo by pemasu is worth a look imho.
This thread may be of interest about Puppee/Fluppy.
50 • #48 antiX development (by anticapitalista on 2011-12-05 20:49:37 GMT from Greece)
Just to mention that the next version of antiX is under development and should be available soon, maybe by the end of this year.
It fixes some of the issues mentioned in the, on the whole, fair and favourable review by Robert, as well as adding new features particularly in running live/frugal mode.
51 • LiVES (by Ali Asmar Lowe on 2011-12-05 20:53:36 GMT from Finland)
It's good to see LiVES getting a little credit and a little moolah. It's a very nice video editing solution, which was somewhat rough a couple of years ago, but is now excellent. We have shifted from Cinelerra (and Cinecutie) to LiVES.
52 • Distro for eeePC 701 (by TobiSGD on 2011-12-05 20:54:36 GMT from Germany)
I actually bought a cheap used 701 4G for using it as ebook reader, filling my mp3 player and do some basic websurfing (no flash). Works fine with a minimalized Slackware with the wmii window manager.
53 • @47 (by Adam Williamson on 2011-12-05 20:59:45 GMT from Canada)
Well, sure, there may be cases where running a GL app within Shell triggers a crash you don't hit running either alone, yeah. But then what does that have to do with extensions?
I also don't think this indicates that writing the shell in GL is a bad idea. It's just a *newer* idea and hence inevitably exposes issues that need fixing. It doesn't mean the idea is fundamentally invalid. On the contrary, modern graphics hardware really, really wants you to talk OpenGL to it. It's the only sensible approach when you're building a new shell, there's no point pretending modern graphics hardware is at all similar to a 1996-era S3.
54 • @46, User friendliness (by fernbap on 2011-12-05 21:13:48 GMT from Portugal)
"No one that I would consider sane would argue that."
Yes, they do. The point is that user friendliness and newbie friendliness are two completelly separate issues.
VI is user friendly because it gives the user the power to do whatever he wants, provided that he knows how to do it. That is what user friendliness is.
Newbie friendly means that anyone that is not familiar with the UI will manage to do everything needed.
Optimally, a UI for everyone should be both user friendly and newbie friendly, in the way that gedit is newbie friendly and user friendly as well. And that is where both Unity and Gnome 3 are both failing. On both, a newbie will not get an efficient UI.
55 • software for an eee701 (by Synaptix on 2011-12-05 21:24:53 GMT from Canada)
Antix might be a good choice for your eee701. But I've had great results on my eee701 running Bodhi Linux 1.2. Booting into Bodhi, 'free' gives me "total 499808 used 195464 free 304344" If you want a very cool desktop, it's worth a try.
56 • RE: 54 (by Eric Proctor on 2011-12-05 21:32:15 GMT from United States)
Hey fernbap, seems like we're going back and forth a bit on this one. :) Let me reiterate the "YMMV" on using unity. ;)
Initially, I want to say that I reject your definition of user friendly. User friendly and newbie friendly are synonymous IMO. And Vi/Vim is not user friendly at all. I'm sure I'm not alone in my definition, in fact:
Of course the definition includes such subjective terms phrases as "easy to learn" and such, but most who have used vim would disagree. So based on my definition of user friendly, I don't think anyone that I consider sane would argue that.
As for Unity failing, and I only choose unity because I don't know gnome-shell as well, but what is it in unity that is failing in the manner that a new user would not be able to "do everything needed"? Beyond configuration tasks, I really find it hard to imagine too many things that need to be done on the system that are beyond the realm of one or two different concepts to understand. Really no more than any other OS. It's just different. It may not be "advanced user friendly", but I think that many new users could get by nicely in it.
As to efficient, again, I think it's pretty subjective. I find that the less my keys have to leave the keyboard, on the whole, the more efficient it is. But my level of satisfactory efficiency certainly does not match my fathers, or my brothers. So I guess the $64,000 question is this:
"What are the things that a new user who is not familiar with the UI will not be able to manage to do?" I'll grant of course some level of customization. I'm just curious what you've had such a hard time with. I have my complaints about unity, believe me, I don't think it's done, I just don't think it's "wrong".
57 • Correction to 56 (by Eric Proctor on 2011-12-05 21:33:41 GMT from United States)
Correction: The sentence "but most who have used vim would disagree", really should say that most who have used vim would agree that it is easy to learn.
58 • Correction to 56 (by Eric Proctor on 2011-12-05 21:35:19 GMT from United States)
Jeez, I'm on a roll. Correction #2:
I find that the less my keys have to leave the keyboard, should obviously say I find that the less my fingers have to leave the keyboard. Clearly if the keys are leaving the keyboard, efficiency is not going to improve! :)
59 • Correction to 57 (by Eric Proctor on 2011-12-05 21:41:04 GMT from United States)
I give up. Too close to the end of my day and I'm missing the ability to make a cohesive thought, my apologies.
"Most who have used vim would agree that it is NOT easy to learn compared to other editors." (but it may be worth the investment)
60 • Newbie-friendly versus user-friendly (by TobiSGD on 2011-12-05 22:49:50 GMT from Germany)
In my eyes both of the "friendliness" are simply myths. Neither the common user nor the common newbie exists. What is a newbie? Someone that comes from Windows to Linux? Someone that doesn't have any computer experience? I would think that bot have totally different problems with the different approaches to GUIs.
Also, how would you define a common user? I am used to do everything with the keyboard, so I set up my system to be friendly to ME, using the wmii tiling WM, the Pentadactyl Firefox-plugin (vim-keybindings) and, yes, vim as editor. That is friendly to me, but a no-go for other people (have tried that, was some kind of funny to see those Windows and Gnome people sitting absolutely clueless in front of the machine). The other way around, Unity/Gnome Shell may work for other people, but they are totally horrible to me.
If I would try a definition of user-friendly it would be: An environment is user-friendly when it allows the user to configure it that way that it supports the workflow for that specific user the best it can and allows him to do his work most efficiently.
I still don't get why some people think that the user has to adapt his workflow to the machine. It should be (and is at least in my case) the other way around: The tool should adapt to the workflow. If not it is a wrong designed tool, IMHO.
61 • G3/Unity (by dragonmouth on 2011-12-05 23:42:22 GMT from United States)
Gnome 3 and Unity are optimized for mobile devices (smart phones, tablets, etc) not for the desktop. Mobile device users and desktop users use their equipment differently and therefore have different needs. One interface will not satisfy both. U&sing Unity on the desktop is equivalent to using a desktop interface on a smart phone. It's a bitch trying to touchtype on those micro-keyboards.
For those that make Unity usable by employing keyboard shortcuts, doesn't that defeat the whole purpose of Unity?
62 • Re 59, 57, etal.: (by Woody Oaks on 2011-12-06 00:20:17 GMT from United States)
Vi is simple to use and even simpler to learn once you have learned to ignore the majority of available instructions and documentations which, like most instructions and documentations to be found in the Unix realm, stink. And therein lies the main reason for the poor market share of GNU/Linux systems: Rational, intelligent people can make no sense of the scatterbrained olios of favored shortcuts hacked together into mumbling logorrheas heavily flavored with fashion-phrases: More than clouds or even virtual clouds but veritably robust, virtual clouds of mysterious assurances that no students will ever know as much as these authors, at least so long as they continue to waste their time with these authors.
As for Vi, a simple half-page suffices to explain the three keyboard modes, the essential characteristics of each, and the manner of moving from one to another.
63 • Excellent distrowatch (by FSFer on 2011-12-06 00:29:17 GMT from United States)
I would just like to commend all who contributed to this weeks entertaining distrowatch.
Mr Storey's report was one of the best I've read in some time, and the Ubunut/Mint controversy never ceases to amuse (as a former Ubuntu user since end of Dapper era, but now flailing about--thought LMDE might be it, but it seems to be abandoned by the Mint team, so no dice there. I may go back to PCLOS which I haven't used since 2007.)
Keep up the good work all!
Oh, and I have this to add about all the new interfaces: I showed Gnome-shell and Unity to my wife, who immediately said "I hate it. I know how to use a computer. It works fine for me. Why do I have to learn a new way?"
Also, I am involved in some Android development, and the default Linux distro to install seems to be Ubuntu, mostly done as a knee jerk Ubuntu=Linux reaction. And no they don't peruse Distrowatch. Linux is as a platform for development, not as a "daily driver."
64 • @60 (by Brandon Sniadajewski on 2011-12-06 00:34:53 GMT from United States)
Now, that is the best definition of user-friendliness I've seen. Between the two GNOME shells, IMO Unity is a little more user-friendly to ME because there are some config options I like (number of virtual desktops, autohide the launcher or not, etc.) AS I've said before on some forums (even Ubuntu Forums), The only things missing is the ability to move the launcher and the ability to turn on/off the global menu without having to (un)install the *appmenu* packages.
65 • @61 (by fernbap on 2011-12-06 01:01:36 GMT from Portugal)
"Gnome 3 and Unity are optimized for mobile devices (smart phones, tablets, etc) not for the desktop. Mobile device users and desktop users use their equipment differently and therefore have different needs. One interface will not satisfy both."
Which is exactly my point. Unity is UNR 2, so where is Ubuntu main release? It is just missing...
66 • Not There Yet (by LinuxUser on 2011-12-06 01:04:04 GMT from United States)
I think Ubuntu is heading in the right direction. I think they're about to hit a home run in the next couple of years. Add Wayland, and a few features that haven't yet been included into Unity, and we'll have a winner.
67 • RE: 60 (by Eric Proctor on 2011-12-06 01:17:36 GMT from United States)
I'll grant you that there is no universal friendliness, I think to remove "user friendliness" as a goal would be a mistake don't you?
When people refer to user friendliness in the context of the "common user", generally I find that they are referring to a system that a majority of users could use to get their work done. I would say that the fact that based upon your anecdote, where you get some enjoyment out of others (presumably experienced users) looking at your machine and not being able to get any work done is the exact definition of what user friendly isn't. Not that it can't be efficient, but efficiency and a user friendly environment are not synonymous, in fact in many cases I'm sure they work directly against one another. Thankfully for linux in general, the developers of major distributions tend to side with me on this one.
The point is, and the question I've asked is what is it that you can't do in ubuntu with Unity? Or KDE for that matter. I'm not saying that it has to work for you perfectly, or that there is no better way to make it work for you. I'm just noting that "user friendly" absolutely does exist as a concept, and different environments and distributions are clearly aware of it and address concept in varying degrees and in different ways.
"I still don't get why some people think that the user has to adapt his workflow to the machine. " - This I agree with, although with one caveat. If you're not happy with a tool, either one of two things needs to happen, change tools, or get better with it. Changing tools can have its own implications to deter progress and efficiency by itself. Beyond this, cases when you may need to change your work flow are when there may not be better options for one, or your workflow may be the thing that should change.
68 • RE: 62 (by Eric Proctor on 2011-12-06 01:23:04 GMT from United States)
Personally, I love vim, although the documentation largely is a part of the user experience, and as you noted, it's not good. The first tutorial I used that made me really GET IT was the visual vim tutorial. Check it out if you're interested.
There was also a great article that I loved.
With that said, I think that the majority of users could pick up and use gedit without having to search the web for documentation. That's key IMO.
69 • Linux #1 (by Rajamohan on 2011-12-06 05:08:36 GMT from India)
I use Ubuntu 11.10 on daily basis (primary development system), the system is configured with the gnome3 with Mint window list extension. now my system is a perfect system with latest kernel and all goodies of Linux.
IMHO Ubuntu unity has a little flaw on the interface side on one side they are mouse friendly (or touch) friendly i.e unity dock interface on the other side global menu and left side buttons seems keyboard friendly we need to use keyboard shortcuts to access it (else move the mouse over top left)
On the other side Gnome 3 is more usable only thing is the top bar, after examining the shell scripts I assume shell is one application running with title bar(Top bar) for as to interact. The reason I am reporting is if I disable/Hide the top bar, it is disabled in all the application I open.
Instead of arguing which is best, let us enjoy the Linux computing. Many say 3% 4% growth. IMO This statistics are based on on the corporate side. I had tried to make Linux my primary system from 1995 and succeed (95%) on 2007, 100% from 2008 i.e with my all hardware out of the box and able to configure my Cannon printer. From there no looking back.
I can see the advancement of the kernel and quicker adopting new technology the usability and hardware support are really amazing when compared to my earlier days.
The real problem is not the distributions new features, but the lack of good guidance (in other words service support) to guide users to the right distribution based on the user need.
Let we the experienced (Early adopters) guide new Linux users and not to mislead then by making false and less useful arguments.
70 • Just curious (by RollMeAway on 2011-12-06 05:50:55 GMT from United States)
How many vim users have a touchscreen computer?
How many touchscreen computer users like vim?
So after users learn all the neat keyboard short-cuts for these new desktops,
how will that help you on your future tablets and cell phones?
71 • EEE 701 (by Ken Yap on 2011-12-06 07:45:19 GMT from Australia)
As a couple of other posters have mentioned, Crunchbang is another distro that works well on this netbook. I took a 701 with Crunchbang on travels for 2 months a couple of years ago. Now that a new Crunchbang has just been released, I might dig up that 701 and give it a whirl.
72 • # 37 (by forlin on 2011-12-06 10:10:51 GMT from Portugal)
"I do find the thought of Linux mint being both a derivative of and the killer of Ubuntu to be somewhat amusing."
That could not amuse more myself, too. Its similar to stating Ubuntu "killed" Debian.... :)
Both are ok for those who feel comfortable with it. My amble opinion is that G2 is a trip to the past. I've the idea that discussing statistics and discussing "my-distro-is-better" is useless and a waist of time.
Now, a quote from Dave Neary, Gnome developer:
"I do have some thoughts about the GNOME shell and the way its integration into GNOME 3 has been developed. But my feeling is that if you feel strongly enough about something you'll step up to the plate and get on with it. Otherwise the thing to do is go elsewhere."
73 • People are amusing. (by Eddie on 2011-12-06 14:25:46 GMT from United States)
I find a lot of the comments about Gnome 3 and Unity really amusing in the fact that some people can't seem to get a grasp on the ideal that Gnome 3 and Unity can be used on the desktop just fine. The ones who CAN'T, (notice I didn't say, don't want to use it or don't like it), seem to be lacking in fundamental computer skills. And then we have the ones who say it's not made for the desktop. So? That doesn't mean it can't be used on the desktop just fine. There is no logical debate from people who say that it CAN'T be used. They go on and on with the same old groundless complaints, that they can't get any work done, it doesn't work on the desktop, the developers won't do what less then 1% of computers users want, I may have to type on the keyboard, I have to move the mouse different, I may have to use both the keyboard and mouse, and so on. Opinions are one thing but most of this is just plain crying. Distrowatch seems to be flaming the fire so to speak with some of the articles that really are just nonsense. This weeks article of Mint being an Ubuntu killer is just one example of meaningless writing. It sounds like more people need to take some business classes. Why can't people adapt or just move on? Life is too short to be wasting your time with a crying towel.
74 • @6/7 Netbook OS (by Vic on 2011-12-06 15:09:17 GMT from Canada)
On my hp mini I currently use Joli OS. It's netbook optimized, works out of the box on that hardware and offers a custom Gnome2 UI on top of a 10.04 Ubuntu base. I'm not crazy about it's kiosk type interface or using any of the cloud apps, but you have the benefit of Ubuntu's repository of packages and being able to tweak the top gnome panel to hold a couple launchers. I like it's UI's efficient use of the screens real estate best, much like UNR was. Also being based on Ubuntu finding a solution for wireless issues shouldn't be harder than a quick bit of googling. Robert, you may even try it as a consideration on your system, it isn't the lightest on resources but it isn't a complete hog either. I'm looking forward to trying their next beta when it arrives too.
Alternatives that I'd recommend and that I've used on my netbook and my low spec Compaq (P4 512meg) include Crunchbang, Peppermint OS, LMDE Xfce, and most recently Vector 7. I'd like to add that I'm quite pleased with the look and feel of Vector's lastest release. I tend to shy away from Slackware based derivatives because they don't quite feel complete when I test them. Vector has been a surprising exception. It worked flawless on both the above systems when tested live and I've made a home for it on the Compaq for regular use. I look forward to an upcoming review, I remember Jesse saying it was on the docket.
P.S. - another great read guys, keep up the excellent work!!
75 • # 73 (by forlin on 2011-12-06 15:12:31 GMT from Portugal)
"seem to be lacking in fundamental computer skills"
And ,... this (open source) is the ""house" of the computer geeks....
Or... did it used to be... ?
76 • @68 Vim (by Patrick on 2011-12-06 16:59:11 GMT from United States)
Thanks so much for those Vi/Vim links! I have thought many times: "What's the big deal with Vi/Vim? Why should I bother to learn it?" I was sort of interested but never motivated to actually learn it. Anything I read about it always seemed confusing and didn't really tell me why I should do the effort, other than "the cool kids use it". Being part of some "elite group" has never been a motivator for me. But the article you linked to has convinced me to take the plunge, because it clearly showed me the practical value of using the "better tool". The cheat sheets are up on my tack board now, right behind my screen. Now I just need to start untraining my fingers from typing "nano" and train them to type "vi" instead. ;-)
77 • @43 (Jesse) (by jon on 2011-12-06 17:32:24 GMT from United States)
@43: There seem to be a few basic understandings about Debian here.
"1. Debian's documentation is directed at more advanced users. Projects like Ubuntu and Mint assume very little about the end user's knowledge."
The documentation certainly doesn't hold your hand, but I wouldn't call it "advanced" either. I went from being a relative newbie using Mint to running Debian after spending about an hour reading the FAQ and making a post on the forum. Much better than past experiences with "user-friendly" distro's that shipped with horrendous bugs thanks to the 6-month release cycle.
"2. Hardware support. Debian strips non-free elements from the kernel."
Debian simply moved the non-free elements to the non-free repository in accordance with the Free Software Guidelines. This has been sought after for quite a while, but it only happened recently in Squeeze because non-free elements are no longer needed to install or configure Debian. I have the all-libre kernel running right now and don't notice the difference.
Users can install the firmware-linux-non-free package with a few clicks of the mouse if they so desire.
"4. Services such as PPAs and Ubuntu One don't run on Debian. Or least they didn't when last I checked."
Honestly I've never had use for such services, though I suppose a miniscule amount of users may want PPA's if they aren't comfortable installing from source.
"5. Ubuntu has a developer portal and invites both open source developers and commercial developers to submit apps. Debian is dedicated to free only and has no official vetting queue for new software, software is approved as volunteers have time."
Debian is by users, for users. If a developer wants to submit an app, they may feel free to apply to become a Debian package maintainer. All are equal-- that's the beauty of Debian.
"6. The installer. Ubuntu and Mint can be installed by basically clicking "Next" a few times and settings a password. Debian's installer requires a bit more know-how."
I went from Mint to Debian and had no problems understanding the installer.
"7. Codecs and extra software. Mint supplies everything out of the box, Ubuntu has a codec buddy, Debian requires manually adding the non-free repository."
Adding a single repository is an incredibly simple operation. Try installing non-free codecs on Fedora, where RPMFusion is treated as though it doesn't exist, like all non-free software.
78 • @73 (by fernbap on 2011-12-06 17:51:04 GMT from Portugal)
"Why can't people adapt or just move on?"
Why don't OSes adapt to people instead of wanting the other way around?
The issue is not about people not wanting to adapt. I tried Unity as soon as it came out, and, as i do always, i honestly wanted to give it a chance, the same way as from time to time I honestly give KDE another chance, and keep going back to gnome.
The point is not how a newbie is able to adapt or not, but how productive someone that already learned how to use it will be, comparatively with other solutions.
There are a few ideas behind Unity that are objectively productive, like concentrating all of the mouse work on one side of the screen. Regardless of people being used to it or not.
But i don't want a new UNR. I have a desktop computer, i want the Ubuntu main edition. And it doesn't exist anymore.
79 • Debian (by Jesse on 2011-12-06 18:16:04 GMT from Canada)
>> "@43: There seem to be a few basic understandings about Debian here."
Not at all. I agree with everything you wrote, except for the part about "Debian is by users for users." I think it's more accurate to say "Debian is by developers for developers.". At any rate, please understand I wasn't bashing Debian, I was simply pointing out why its derivatives are more popular on the desktop. You look at that list I posted above and think, "Well, I understand the installer and I can compile from source instead of using PPAs and I don't use cloud services and I know how to add repositories." Sure, you do and Debian is probably a great match for you. But many people either don't know how or are uninterested in adding repositories and don't understand firmware or aren't interested in finding firmware. Many people do use cloud services (millions, in fact) and don't want to be bothered with compiling software from scratch when they could use point-n-click PPAs. Or maybe they just like the convenience of having all those things done for them.
I often see the question put forward, "Why don't people just use Debian?" And to me that shows a lack of understanding of how most people want to use their computers. Most people don't know what free software is and aren't interested in customized installs and don't want to deal with firmware or repositories and most people want to sync their devices and want to have things just work out of the box. That's why Debian's children are so popular with the desktop crowd. They provide the user experience most people want.
80 • Indian judiciary switch to Ubuntu 10.04 (for 17000 offices) (by jack on 2011-12-06 23:00:42 GMT from Canada)
The os has about 25 special features.
there is an hour long video which begins by talking about installation and ends discussing the "special features: there are also listed 10 tutorials
(could not download a pdf)
81 • @73 (by JR on 2011-12-06 23:52:33 GMT from Brazil)
do not mean to be rude but I have to say:
complain about those who claim it is also a complaint!
you said: "Life is too short to be wasting your time with the crying towel"
my answer would be: Life is too short to be wasting your time with the crying towel!
the way is let the discussion go on with or without us!
82 • KDE Miracle (by Bob on 2011-12-07 00:34:51 GMT from Austria)
Had my KDE 4.7.2 upgraded to 4.7.3. on Opensuse and now I've got the fastest KDE based system since a tweaked KDE3 variant several years ago. Memory consumption is still hefty but down as compared to 4.7.2 If speed remains the same and nothing breaks it's worthwhile I guess. Of course I have removed the dreadful noveau driver and installed nvidia instead - sorry OSS preachers! All desktop effects are off as usual on my systems. Got rid of the childish bouncing cursor and switched back to classic menu style. Now it seems that I've got a keeper - at least for 6 months or so. BTW: the resolution-change-bug seems to be gone in the latest Opensuse Factory distro. After years of diminishing hopes there seems to be a silver lining on the Linux horizon ...
83 • @79 (Jesse) (by jon on 2011-12-07 02:03:35 GMT from United States)
I would not say that "By developers, for developers" is entirely accurate. Debian caters to both users and developers, but Debian views users as mini-sysadmins, in complete control of their systems.
I would say that Debian is more of a generic collection of software that comes together to form an OS, rather than a custom-tailored distro like Ubuntu. This is great for those of us who want to customize our experience, but not great for folks who just want things to be as easy as possible.
My only complaint about Debian's more popular children (Ubuntu, Mint) is that these distro's are no longer binary compatible with Debian, and I feel they don't give enough credit to Debian.
There are certainly distro's that I like, Crunchbang is perhaps my favorite and MEPIS is very nice. But at the end of the day, I want a completely customizable experience. I can run full-blown KDE with all the bells and whistles, or I can run a slim openbox, or I could even opt for more exotic WM's like ratpoison. Debian has it all.
84 • Staying with Ubuntu because of ease iof remastering (by hobbitland on 2011-12-07 07:29:30 GMT from United Kingdom)
Hi, I hate unity and dislike Mint's customization. Debian 6.0.3 single CD installs but Debian Gnome 6.0.3 liveDVD will not install in VirtualBox without net access. This is lame!!!
I decide to stay with Ubuntu for 10.04 and go to 12.04 because Ubuntu is easy to remaster. I want a live DVD that works just like my installed desktop take I take around. I used to use Puppy and Debian but have moved to Ubuntu 10.04. Debian needs to make remastering their Gnome live DVD easy and make it installable without need for net access.
I have been remastering Ubuntu 10.04 for almost a year now using commandline not one of the GUI tools. I have gone as far as removing all Ubuntu rebranding and Mono, Ubuntu1, evolution etc... I choose my own default apps and fix some annoying ubuntu configuration "bugs".
85 • Debian (by julep on 2011-12-07 09:11:31 GMT from United States)
>> "Why do layers on top of Debian get so popular and not Debian itself?"
Off the top of my head I'd go with...
2. Hardware support. Debian strips non-free elements from the kernel.
Strike 1. I don't give a hoot about the FSF and RMS and their goals of source code uber alles. I want Linux drivers for my stuff, period. I don't care if there is a closed source blob, briver etc. for it. As long as the OEM are supporting Linux I will support them. Yes with out the specs if the relationship goes sour then the drivers will rot and support go away... but the tact being taken by FSF/RMS, is a fail.
With out the OEM firware etc. how can I install if say my network interface doesn't work with out it? But you can add them this way or that way? For the advanced power users, that may fly... not Jane Average... FAIL! FAIL!! FAIL!
4. Services such as PPAs and don't run on Debian. Or least they didn't when last I checked.
DING! PPA's make adding software for every one easy. Along with keeping it updated.
7. Codecs and extra software. Mint supplies everything out of the box, Ubuntu has a codec buddy, Debian requires manually adding the non-free repository.
Adding a repo for the codex don't help when the software to use the codex is borqd ie compiled with out MP3 support as an example due to DFSG. 99% of users are now screwed from using some software that could be rather handy, but its lack of MP3 support in the versions in the repos means it needs to be compiled to work properly, and for most thats not happening. Fail
No thanks... Yes I've got a big problem with frauhoffer/thompson and the MP3 format and MP3 gestapo in DE, but its the format of choice right or wrong. I provide options to use Ogg format, and NO ONE BUT ME USES THEM.
I am firm believer in Debian as a great base, I only consider Debian based distros viable, but they need to tell the FSF and RMS to stick it, throw out the DFSG and get with the program! People want to install their OS and do their tasks, period, full stop. Its a very miniscule percentage that have their panties in a twist over this or that blob.. Yes I would like to see full open source from the OEM and working with the community to improve the OEM drivers, but if its a choice of closed source blob and Linux support, or no Linux support then I will take the blob and the Linux support. And for those who want to trot out noveau, radeon etc..You can take those piles of steaming cruft and keep them. I am forced to use radeon due to the idiotic idea at ati to drop support for modern hardware. (AMD dump ati!) I only purchase nVidia, and I install the latest drivers from the XSWAT PPA immediately on install.
I am thrilled for Debian, again as a base, but as a day to day distro its not for me due to the whole FSF/RMS/DFSG stuff. Unfortunately I am going to have to deal with this mess since ubuntu has its head firmly stuck in the sand over ARM support. (Yeah, $$$ really does talk, since TI is basically jading the ARM version to lockout support for many devices like Raspberry PI (Yes this decision happened before RPI existed, still wrong!) )
86 • Asus 701 (by AteZ on 2011-12-07 09:34:58 GMT from Netherlands)
I used crunchbang a long time on my 701, but video performance was poor.
I found out that installing a fresh 11.10 Ubuntu on it performed alot better.
I run it with 1gb memory and a 4gb ssd.
better install it in a virtualbox and clone it to the eeepc to reduce the number of writes on the ssd during install to keep it fresh.
Before cloning remove software you would not use on a netbook like libreoffice and install Jupiter to control the cpu speed
87 • Debian 6.0 3 years support while Ubutnu 10.04 5 years (by hobbitland on 2011-12-07 13:35:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
And another problem with Debian is there is only 3 years support as Debian 5.0 is going to be unsupported a couple months time. Ubuntu 10.04 is supported for five years. 5 days is minimum for a LTS support really.
Debian needs to fix their llive DVD so that we can install without net access. Currently GRUB2 and LILO fails in VirtualBox ut Debian 6.0.3 CD1 installs without net access. They also need to make it easy to remaster the live DVD.
Looks like I will have to stay with Ubuntu but seriously remastered. Iw ant my live USB stick to look same as my installed desktop.
88 • @73: Eddie (by dragonmouth on 2011-12-07 13:48:34 GMT from United States)
"the developers won't do what less then 1% of computers users want"
How did you arrive at that number?! Just because you like, do you assume that everybody else does also? Or is it a developer's arrogant belief that what whatever you deign to create must be loved by one and all? Maybe it is only 1% of Ubuntu user that DO like Unity. Developers are there to serve the needs and wants of the users, not the other way around. You don't go to the store and buy what the merchant shoves in your hand, you buy what YOU want.
"And then we have the ones who say it's not made for the desktop. So? That doesn't mean it can't be used on the desktop just fine."
A chisel is not made to be used as a screw driver but it can be used as one just fine. If it is not working out for you, you lack the basic skills screwing skills.
"Why can't people adapt or just move on?"
Why can't YOU accept the fact that there are other opinions in this world besides yours?!
89 • @88 (by Patrick on 2011-12-07 15:15:26 GMT from United States)
"""How did you arrive at that number?! Just because you like, do you assume that everybody else does also?"""
I think that was a reaction to the generally prevailing attitude here that "the developers are stupid because they make something no one likes", which is nonsense of course. Your question can be turned around easily into: "Just because you don't like it, do you assume that no one does?" You have just as little proof for your point of view as he does.
"""Developers are there to serve the needs and wants of the users, not the other way around."""
This is very much not true in the open source world. Developers first and foremost scratch their own itches, and it someone else finds it useful, great. If not, too bad. If that concept is not to your liking, the open source world is not for you. I'm not saying that this is how it should be, it's just how things are. No sane developer will make something and give it away for free to a crowd of ungrateful, parasitic, self-entitled, whining users, if it wasn't for the fulfillment they find in making something THEY THEMSELVES like and use.
"""You don't go to the store and buy what the merchant shoves in your hand, you buy what YOU want."""
True. But when was the last time you bought open source software? If you don't pay, you have no say. The only way to have a say is to pay or to be a developer yourself.
Just one other thing. People keep whining about how these new desktop environments aren't made for the desktop, they're made for tablets, phones, etc. Then at the same time, they're whining about how you shouldn't have to be forced to use the keyboard to use them. Notice a problem with this picture? You can't rationally make both complaints at once. If you're forced to use the keyboard, these environments were obviously NOT designed for tablets, but for something that HAS a keyboard, like a desktop or laptop. At least, if you're going to complain, come up with a solid, non-contradictory story before you do so.
90 • Developers (by Jesse on 2011-12-07 16:30:51 GMT from Canada)
>> "Developers first and foremost scratch their own itches, and it someone else finds it useful, great. If not, too bad. If that concept is not to your liking, the open source world is not for you. I'm not saying that this is how it should be, it's just how things are. No sane developer will make something and give it away for free to a crowd of ungrateful, parasitic, self-entitled, whining users, if it wasn't for the fulfillment they find in making something THEY THEMSELVES like and use.
... when was the last time you bought open source software? If you don't pay, you have no say. The only way to have a say is to pay or to be a developer yourself."
I'm sorry, but I'm an open source developer and this statement is completely not accurate. There are lots of open source developers, many of them paid, who work on projects either for money or for experience or just to create something useful who have no real personal interest in the software. I work on projects I don't use and I respond to user feedback and fix issues users have. Lots of developers do.
Plus, plenty of people in the open source community donate money and other resources to projects. And, whether they do or not, should not make their views and bug reports and more or less valid. You seem to have a very twisted, money-centric view of what the open source community is and does and it does not apply to many of us. The correct response to "I don't like your interface design," should not be "Well, you didn't pay for it, so tough." The correct response is, "What do you think would improve it?" Getting feedback like that is valuable.
91 • @90 (by Patrick on 2011-12-07 17:01:01 GMT from United States)
"""There are lots of open source developers, many of them paid, who work on projects either for money or for experience or just to create something useful who have no real personal interest in the software. I work on projects I don't use and I respond to user feedback and fix issues users have. Lots of developers do."""
If they're paid, that's a different deal altogether. With the different reasons you mention, one way or another, the developer gets something out of it, whether it's money, satisfaction or recognition from an appreciative user base. But you're correct, I was probably painting the picture too black-and-white.
On the other hand, I still don't think any developer would stick with it "out of the goodness of their hearts" if their audience consisted mostly of the critical complainers that seem to make up the vast majority of commenters on this forum, if the developer didn't have one of those other reasons to keep him going.
"""The correct response to "I don't like your interface design," should not be "Well, you didn't pay for it, so tough." The correct response is, "What do you think would improve it?" Getting feedback like that is valuable."""
And then the answer you get is: "It just sucks. Throw it all out and start over!" How useful is that? Reasonable, targeted feedback and bug reports are great. But that seems to be beyond the majority of complainers here. They want the developers to throw away their hard work and go back to the past, instead of helping the developers to improve their new code to reach a better future.
And then there's the assumption that the developers "aren't listening". Who should they listen to? The stragglers who think everything should stay exactly how it was? Or their other users who think that even if the current offerings aren't perfect yet, they are moving in the right direction? I think the developers ARE listening... they are just ignoring the unreasonable complaints of the vocal minority.
92 • @85: Debian and mp3 support (by cba on 2011-12-07 18:53:35 GMT from Germany)
Debian comes with full mp3 support, e.g. libmad0 is always installed with LXDE oder KDE4. If you choose totem, most gstreamer-plugins will be installed, including mp3 support.
There are only a very few codecs missing.
However, there is no problem for you, me or Debian, when Fraunhofer-Thomson's mp3 codec is used, see http://www.mp3licensing.com/help/index.html#5 :
"Do I need a license to distribute mp3 or mp3surround encoded content?
Yes. A license is needed for commercial (i.e., revenue-generating) use of mp3/mp3PRO in broadcast systems (terrestrial, satellite, cable and/or other distribution channels), streaming applications (via Internet, intranets and/or other networks), other content distribution systems (pay-audio or audio-on-demand applications and the like) or for use of mp3/mp3PRO on physical media (compact discs, digital versatile discs, semiconductor chips, hard drives, memory cards and the like).
However, no license is needed for private, non-commercial activities (e.g., home-entertainment, receiving broadcasts and creating a personal music library), not generating revenue or other consideration of any kind or for entities with associated annual gross revenue less than US$ 100 000.00. "
This means that at least private users - world-wide - are allowed to decode or encode ("creating a personal music library) mp3s without any legal problem.
Debian is able to provide libmad0 as well as lame without legal problems, because they do not earn one single buck, Debian is simply an organization without the revenue which is "needed" for having to pay mp3 royalties.
O.K., Red Hat cannot do it, Attachmate cannot do it. But this is another, a "commercial" story.
The reason for this "private user exception" is German patent law which has a very similar rule for private and non-commercial activities in §11(1) when it comes to patents. Moreover, the German tay payer payed for the whole mp3 development of the scientific Fraunhofer organization so it would have been ridiculous to not allow its payers the royalty-free use of the mp3 codec for private and non-commercial activities. And, as a consequence, this "rule" is valid world-wide, even in the USA, because the patent owners want it this way.
93 • Ultimate Edition 3.0 Is Out! (by CliffyB on 2011-12-07 20:41:53 GMT from United States)
If you`ve never tried it, you really should now. It`s super-fast, uses Gnome 2 and is based on Mint. UE has a long history of excellence and this aces them all with a beautiful theme, all the apps you want out of the box, plus all codecs. Maybe Jesse could review it? This edition has a special meaning to its fans, because the head dev`s longtime girlfriend passed away during the making of it, so to us it`s a testimony to carrying on through Life`s adversities.
94 • KDE4 Non-Miracle: the glacial pace of Dolphin (by Ralph on 2011-12-08 01:01:24 GMT from Canada)
@82 -- although I'm a big fan of KDE4, I've found that in versions from 4.6 onward that I have tried, and tried on different distros, that Dolphin takes 7 seconds to load and show (after clicking on the Dolphin icon) on my hardware. With 4.4 (Kubuntu LTS, Debian Squeeze) and 4.5 (Slackware, Salix) it only takes a second, but with 4.6 (Aptosid, OpenSuse 11.4, Kubuntu 11.04) and 4.7 (OpenSuse 12.1, Chakra, Fedora 16) it takes 7 seconds, which seems like an eternity when you are used to file managers showing up practically instantaneously. What is most incredible, is that with the latest Kubuntu (11.10) Dolphin takes 10-11 seconds to appear!
My hardware is reasonably powerful -- I have 8 gigs of RAM. I have tried all sorts of configuration options to see if there is any effect on Dolphin, e.g. the Nvidia driver instead of nouveau, shutting off various services such as Nepomuk, turning off Desktop effects -- none of this makes any difference -- it is not KDE's so-called "bloat" per se that is responsible for the load time, as 4.6 is hardly more bloated then 4.5.The only interesting difference occurs when I run FreeBSD with 4.7, then instead of 7 seconds I get a load time of 2-3 seconds, a significant improvement. All other programs that KDE runs seem quite snappy on my hardware.
I would be interested to know if anybody else has encountered this problem with Dolphin. It is things like this, I think, that are helping to prevent a greater adoption of KDE (assuming that others are experiencing the same thing). I know that one of the plans for KDE 4.8 is to improve Dolphin's performance, but I think they should have priortized this earlier.
95 • @94 (by Not Sure on 2011-12-08 04:12:27 GMT from United States)
In my experience, debian and debian based distros are sluggish when compared to slackware. Personally, I believe that a lot is due to the lack of patching in slackware vs others. for instance, there has been a ton of griping about kde4 for a long time, which has been the base version of kde in slack since 13.0. i've ran slackware kde4 on a single core 1.7 ghz cpu with 2 gb ram, and didn't have much trouble, and on my duo core 2.0 ghz with 2 gb ram and it flies great. i do turn off the desktop effects and file indexing, but even with those on it's tolerable, and not worth complaining about. for those unhappy with gnome3/unity/ubuntu/kde4, why not try something else? slackware is the fastest standard installed os i've ever used, literally kicking the crap out of the others. if you must stay with ubuntu for some reason, you CAN install a different desktop environment or window manager. maybe try fvwm (again). this is just my humble opinion and is not in anyway intended to insult any one/distro. Constructive criticism is good, whining/complaining is not.
96 • Grub 1.99 on SuSE 12.1? (by Bill on 2011-12-08 07:28:34 GMT from United States)
I love the new OpenSuSE but was very surprised after I installed it on a new 6 core 64 bit AMD computer found the old Grub .97 on my MBR. Why? Is distrowatch wrong, or did just the KDE-liveCD x86 64.iso lead me short? Perhaps I should have used the larger DVD version? It seems the default is old, but with YAST one can change it to the newer version 1.97. Perhaps the default package list on distrowatch should reflect this?
97 • Eee 701 distros (by Shankar on 2011-12-08 07:38:16 GMT from India)
Would just like to add to the comments regarding experiences on the Eee 701. I've had one for three years and used it everywhere. Linux Mint 8 is installed on the hard drive and runs all right, but I don't actually use that; I run from a flash drive, first Puppy, and these days Debian Squeeze with XFCE, Libre Office, Iceweasel [Firefox], the works. It's a bit slow at times but largely it's fine (I recently switched to Awesome as my WM and now the slowness is gone too).
Re the Debian debate, in fact one reason I switched to Debian is that it would run so fast on the Eee - even when I installed my usual software. Whereas Mint and Ubuntu rapidly started to slow down. I'm not a computer person and have never had a computer - related job of any kind, but what I found best about Debian was that the documentation was at least reliable and detailed (in sharp contrast to Ubuntu for my knid of uses) and that the system was lightweight and configurable depending on my needs. I would never switch to a derivative because of this issue of predictability - Debian does what it says it does, mostly, but I haven't had that experience with Mint or Ubuntu. YMMV.
The mike issue, as pointed out by a previous poster, can be fixed by turning on "capture" in any of the standard mixer interfaces (at least that is my experience).
98 • @94 (by Brandon Sniadajewski on 2011-12-08 12:48:59 GMT from United States)
That's weird. I just checked Dolphin on my Kubuntu 11.10 desktop annd it load up in 2-3 seconds, and that is with desktop effects turned on but file indexing off. I guess this is truly a YMMV deal.
99 • @89: Patrick (by dragonmouth on 2011-12-08 14:25:38 GMT from United States)
"Developers first and foremost scratch their own itches, and it someone else finds it useful, great. If not, too bad."
That may have been true when open source was in its infancy. However, today Canonical, Red Hat, Mandriva, et al are companies that develop software, as a product, specifically FOR the users. The only itch they want to scratch is a monetary one. If the product is not satisfactory to the customers (users), even though it is free, the customers will vote with their feet and go to someone who will satisfy their needs and wants. And, as you well know, in the Linux universe there are many options the users can choose from. So the "like it or lump it" attitude does not fly. Unless you work for a certain company in the wilds of Washington State.
"People keep whining about how these new desktop environments aren't made for the desktop, they're made for tablets, phones, etc. Then at the same time, they're whining about how you shouldn't have to be forced to use the keyboard to use them. Notice a problem with this picture? You can't rationally make both complaints at once. If you're forced to use the keyboard, these environments were obviously NOT designed for tablets, but for something that HAS a keyboard, like a desktop or laptop. At least, if you're going to complain, come up with a solid, non-contradictory story before you do so."
That is a straw man. While "people" as a group make both complaints, a different segment of "people" that makes each one. The ones complaining about the tablet UI are perfectly happy using the keyboard, and the ones complaining about the keyboard are perfectly happy using the tablet interface. So, there is no contradiction, only the one you are trying hard to create. BTW - the people who use the keyboard to control their UI are throwbacks to pre-mouse days.
100 • @94 (by Antony on 2011-12-08 15:49:57 GMT from United Kingdom)
I have an Athlon 64x2 4800+ and 4gig RAM.
openSUSE 12.1 KDE 4.7.2 nepomuk and desktop effects on - as per defaults.
Pardus 2011.2 KDE 4.6.5 nepomuk off and minimal desktop effects.
Dolphin is up for both SUSE and Pardus in 1 and a half seconds using a stopwatch.
101 • re: 89.90.91 (by JR on 2011-12-08 19:45:10 GMT from Brazil)
I fully agree;
@ 89, @ 91
I think it's still not clear what we are doing here, for example if I say that I think the developers of gnome3 should have heard long before that it was not really the way that users would like gnome was in the near future, I know it will not solve anything, will not change anything, but it's my opinion and I like to say it , can I say it?
I do not want gnome3 changes, I will not use it! it is not gnome, is something else, perhaps it is great, spectacular, but it's not gnome to me, I just want to make clear that I did not like gnome3 and I would like gnome2 to continue being developed, either in parallel or by others. can I say these things or some of you will keep complaining that I have to stop complaining?
can we let the discussion proceed without complaints of our complaints?
102 • @99, keyboard in a GUI (by TobiSGD on 2011-12-08 20:15:47 GMT from Germany)
"BTW - the people who use the keyboard to control their UI are throwbacks to pre-mouse days."
Actually I would say: Yes, I am. I see nothing wrong with it.
While I see that is quite intuitive to click on a widget with the mouse, especially when you are new to an application where you don't know the keyboard shortcuts, some time ago I came to the conclusion that it is unbelievable inefficient to work that way. With keyboard commands you really are way faster. Of course the mouse has also great benefits (can't imagine to use GIMP without a mouse), but I think that is simply overused in most applications. Sadly, I am still forced to use the mouse for Flash applications on the web.
103 • New Computer (by pfb on 2011-12-08 20:36:23 GMT from United States)
Since Fedora has informed me that my eight year old computer is no longer adequate, I reckon it is time to ponder a new machine. I had hoped that the price of SSDs would reach a point where they would be standard equipment on new machines. But that does not seem to be happening. What is happening is major simplification of the interface. Where I thought voice activation would be the next big deal, it seems the equipment suppliers are leap frogging that idea to bring us touch screens.
Having seen a number of touch devices in factories and fast food restaurants, I think, "Yuck! now I have to wear gloves!" But no, my son showed me his latest super whamodyne cell tether, and the screen was just fine. It was not grossly crawling with germs and stuff.
Still, technology changes quite rapidly. Before little ones learn to point, grab, and fondle, they put stuff in their mouths. I am thinking I want to get one last real computer, before they come equipped with electronic pacifiers. Yup, slip it between your cheek and gum -- just like a plug of chaw. I would guess that an iPacifier would need a new OS. If you are a dev, I suggest starting right now creating Droolinux.
Or, maybe I will just keep my P4 with ATI card. Gnome fallback works well enough for me.
104 • Ubuntu? Mint? matter of taste... (by Alessandro di Roma on 2011-12-08 21:48:38 GMT from Italy)
I happily used Mint 9, Mint 10, and MInt 11. I tried Mint 12 and I didn't like it, Gnome3 + MGSE is semplicity obtained by too much complexity. I tried Xubuntu 11.10 and I switched to Xubuntu (adding Gedit and LibreOffice by Ubuntu repository). I think XFCE is the right Gnome2 "fork" I was looking for my PCs, it's fast and stable and customizable at my will with little effort. When I'll need a tablet instead of a PC maybe I'll change my mind...
105 • @102: (by dragonmouth on 2011-12-08 22:50:47 GMT from United States)
""BTW - the people who use the keyboard to control their UI are throwbacks to pre-mouse days."
Actually I would say: Yes, I am. I see nothing wrong with it."
I was not criticizing, just commenting on Patrick's misstatement. Different strokes for different folks (no pun intended)
106 • @94, Dolphin Startup (by Bob on 2011-12-09 02:21:45 GMT from Austria)
Old Sony laptop (Intel T5500, 2GB Ram, 4200rpm HDD):
After upgrading from KDE 4.7.2 to 4.7.3 Dolphin now takes less than a second to start.
Please note that OpenSuse 12.1 gives you KDE 4.7.2 by default. You need to add the KR47 repository (core packages) to upgrade to the newest KDE 4.7.x version.
107 • Ubuntu Security Downloads for Tallying Usage? (by RO on 2011-12-09 04:13:20 GMT from United States)
Looking in /etc/apt/sources.list for a Mint 9 installation (sticking with LTS versions - Ubuntu LTS, BTW), I see this entry:
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ lucid-security main restricted universe multiverse
So does Canonical claim my Mint 9 installation as an Ubuntu 10.04 installation each time I get a security update batch? I would think all such derivatives would "inflate" Canonical's numbers that way.
Am I missing something?
108 • Mint et al (by Jack on 2011-12-09 10:52:48 GMT from South Africa)
Ubuntu has never done it for me - it has always been a mission to even install on average (Sony) notebooks - with the advent of KDE4 it really turned to mush. Mint was always a lot easier to configure and appeared to be more user-friendly, except of course with the dreaded KDE4.
Power users - for the most part - really want the simplicity of a quick, painless install, and being productive without having to futz with endless details that give everything the slows.
I use about 7/8 different OS and switch between any of them as need be - KDE 3.5 and B/M Cube desktop allows one to multitask on a continuous basis - harden the install and use them as required.
Linux has stood still whilst the GUI went backwards - hail Trinity
109 • Mint vs Ubuntu vs Debian (by imnotrich on 2011-12-09 18:49:39 GMT from Mexico)
Frankly, I'm sticking with Debian.
Not that Debian is perfect, and as Debian releases go Squeeze was a real turkey. Poor hardware support for one. Not sure why Debian wants to be "pure" because in reality most users have to add codecs, plugins, drivers, and other stuff before Squeeze "just works."
I venture to say that 99% of the "pure" Debian Squeeze installs are running on some Debian Developer's machine, not in the real world being used for work and/or play.
For those readers who remember my series of Debian Squeeze slug bug rants earlier this year, the update is - most of those bugs are still not fixed.
And Squeeze still doesn't support PCI USB or serial controller cards. Squeeze doesn't support my laptop's realtek 8185 card or ATI video card either.
So I wiped and re-installed Lenny on my laptop. Great hardware support, but of course rolling back to an "unsupported" and supposedly "obsolete" OS has created other complications.
Codecs - yes, they're out there if you can find them although re MP3 playback Squeeze doesn't fully support MP3's yet (to duplicate - run radiosure in WINE and try streaming an MP3 format station - it stutters every 5 seconds).
Plugins - Anybody seen Flash lately? Debian Multi-media pulled it for a while. Not sure if they've reposted. I've had to manually update flash on my Debian installs lately by getting a copy from the Adobe site. A real pain.
In fact Debian Multi-media's website hasn't been all that reliable this year. If you're in the middle of a Debian install and DMM is offline, you're screwed.
Now I'm not saying Ubuntu is any better. Ubuntu still hasn't solved many of the video card incompatibilities that has plagued it since version 10 something. But if you can get Ubuntu running, plugins and codecs and drivers are as simple as click, click. Oh and even if Ubuntu repos don't have what you need, drivers and such, there might just be a PPA out there filling your need.
Good luck finding Debian blobs for your hardware, and Debian's install won't tell you that their "free" alternative isn't going to fully support your hardware, so those messages you're supposed to get about needing blobs never come up. You are expected to fight with your hardware for a few days and figure it out yourself.
As for blobs there's a few out there but not all the drivers stripped from the kernel were converted to blobs. Bummer.
Oh and Unity is a counter-intuitive most user unfriendly GUI I've ever seen. A disaster. Shuttleworth must be smoking something really potent to think that people will or are actually using/enjoying Unity. Icky.
Mint - they say all these drivers and codecs are included, and that everything works well together. But you wonder how many of these positive reviews of Mint are generated by paid shills, because Mint suffers from many of the same video incompatibility bugs that plague Ubuntu. Not surprising if you consider Mint a respin, but since these video card problems are well known you think Mint would at least add some code to improve compatibility and of course the user experience. If a user can't get to a GUI or command line with a live cd or after an install what's the point?
Sure, you could run Mint or Ubuntu in virtual box if you want to take a test drive, but you're not testing/challenging hardware support. You're just goofing off.
So anyway on my desktop, I'm sticking with Squeeze (and Lenny on my laptop) for now. Convince me something better is out there and I may just try it, but in the past when I've done that - after a couple days I'm back to Debian (and then the hair follicle destroying experience of a week long Debian install begins again).
110 • RE:109 (by rubyplusplus on 2011-12-09 20:43:29 GMT from United States)
"Shuttleworth must be smoking something really potent to think that people will or are actually using/enjoying Unity"
I am using/enjoying Unity. Maybe I'm the only one, but I seriously doubt it. It did take some getting used to, and some crashing in KDE to drive me back, but I've since embraced it and enjoyed it.
My experience with KDE has definitely showed me at least one thing that KDE really got right IMO. Adding themes to just about everything in KDE is top notch and simple. Built right into the application, it was great. And this was true not only for the system icons and themes, but also for some apps across the system, ie Kopete. I would love to see ubuntu and unity or even gnome 3 make customization that simple.
111 • WebOS is Open Source (by Craig Deakin on 2011-12-09 22:59:30 GMT from United States)
Now that WebOS is Open Source, is there room on Distrowatch for another part of the Linux family?
112 • Mint12 (by KevinC on 2011-12-10 04:36:17 GMT from United States)
My experiences w/ Mint 12 have not been satisfactory. I installed 64 bit RC version but have updated. Was just using, running Chrome, Banshee to play music and a few other apps and it kept freezing up---requiring Ctrl-Backspace to get out of desktop. It's fully updated. I'm a fan of Mint, but this needs work. 11.10 w/ Unity is not my favorite DE, but, I must admit, it has been rock solid. Kubuntu 11.10 has been pretty good too. May have to overwrite Mint 12 w/ Xubuntu 11.10...see if I can feel some XFCE love.
113 • Lies and statistics (by lott11 on 2011-12-10 13:11:07 GMT from Colombia)
This is like every other week, I come to see, all the loving feelings for the OS.
You know all of the whining & griping and moaning.
All the complaining that every Linux all timers do.
But most of all, all the self indulgence to there egos.
That all Linux geeks do in proclamation and justification.
Linux is and will be open to discussion and or innovation.
Like I state at other times and in other forums, Linux is a shoe.
A shoe that does not feat all wearers, why ? Your foot is ass big ass your mouth.
Yes that is sarcastic, but it is a fact.
Most geeks do not see be on there egos.
Linux is a bought change and personal choice.
That is it!!
it is not Debian, Slack, Suse, Mandriva, Redhat, or even BSD.
It is those choices be it the Base distribution or it's offspring or derivatives.
I started using Linux back in the early 90's , and yes I am a key stroker.
But there is something to be said for innovation a mouse is handy so is a touch screen, or eglove.
They are means to do operations, they are the way that we express indulgence.
I no longer develop but at times an idea comes along, what do I do? put it way!
No I get more involved and make it happen, even if it's just for me.
So why whine why all the complaining, just change it, make it work for you.
Isn't that what Linux is a bought, it makes your personal OS.
I have been a Distro hopper for some time, and for the last few years EU has been my cup of tea.
Like most that have stated it has all the code that I need, all the Applications that I use some I add.
Sometimes it is command line sometimes it's synaptic and others it is PPA.
Those it matter? No, it is my choice.
And that is the beauty of it, I pick it not someone els,.
Like I stated, at this time it is for me Ultimate Edition, it works it has the applications and the stile that I like.
Plus it dose not crash or has bugs like Mint or Ubuntu or even Suse.
Plus I like the developer and what he dose that is what matters to me.
It is not a brute force OS every 6 months, it is stable and has all the eye candy that I need.
And to say that Ubuntu is going in the wrong direction, you are wrong,
Ubuntu is doing what it has to do to stay on top, what is the new trend net tablets and power phones.
That is the new market, desktops are other part he all ready has that market direct or indirectly.
So live with it! And stop your whining there are other choices.
I can state this why, it's my choice and have been there from the start of the OS revolution.
And most of all I was part of it like a lot of you, So! grow up.
Life don't stop just because you whine, or because you through a tantrum.
And since I singed up for it Ubuntu one on Ultimate Edition, those it count as Ubuntu.
Who cares it is Linux,. The code is what matters not who is on top.
Ms has been bragging for years that they are #1, #1 for most of virus dispersal around the world.
Yes I use it too, but only for gaming.
My primary productivity is Linux.
114 • KahelOS (by GeekBoula on 2011-12-10 16:55:48 GMT from Canada)
I tested the latest version of KahelOs and I must say that this is really good! Congratulations to the team of developers. But, there is a small or big problem! During installation, you can not install on one partition. KahelOS take the entire disk. So I did not install KahelOs. I think it's a big flaw. I would love to test over a long period this system based on Arch rooling release.
Maybe a next time !
115 • There is hope for distrohoppers (by Francisco on 2011-12-10 20:36:15 GMT from Brazil)
There are people who just like to suffer. Year after year, they keep replacing a buggy, bloated and slow KDE/GNOME/Unity-based distro with another similar hopeless distro.
But, because I'm not a masochist, I chose a fast and stable multimedia-enabled Linux with a nice and fully configurable XFCE desktop called VectorLinux 7. Distrohoppers will not find anything better than this Slackware-based wonder, no matter how much more time/resources they keep wasting.
Thank you VERY MUCH for another great release, Robert Lange and colaborators! Once again, you made it right!
116 • @115 Vector Linux (by Vic on 2011-12-11 15:54:10 GMT from Canada)
Though I agree that the Vector Linux team has put together an excellent release which I've happily started using, it is extremely presumptuous claim that it is the answer to every man's distro hopping woes. What often suits one user still isn't going to be a proper fit for others. I have yet to experience anything that is truly 'one size fits all' and doubt I ever will.
117 • Mint vs. Ubuntu (by Nate on 2011-12-11 18:21:49 GMT from United States)
I noticed that in the page hit chart, several editions are missing, such as Mythbuntu, Ubuntu Server, Studio, and rescue remix. Perhaps Mint is less popular than people think. Adding this data would be very interesting, and might affect the results significantly. Given known constants, it's a safe bet Mint is still number one, but by how wide a margin is disputable.
118 • Semplice (by CliffyB on 2011-12-11 20:50:50 GMT from United States)
Sounded good, until I got to the libre part and envisioned the hassle involved and stopped reading...
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|• Issue 1039 (2023-10-02): Zenwalk Current, finding the duration of media files, Peppermint OS tries out new edition, COSMIC gains new features, Canonical reports on security incident in Snap store|
|• Issue 1038 (2023-09-25): Mageia 9, trouble-shooting launchers, running desktop Linux in the cloud, New documentation for Nix, Linux phasing out ReiserFS, GNU celebrates 40 years|
|• Issue 1037 (2023-09-18): Bodhi Linux 7.0.0, finding specific distros and unified package managemnt, Zevenet replaced by two new forks, openSUSE introduces Slowroll branch, Fedora considering dropping Plasma X11 session|
|• Issue 1036 (2023-09-11): SDesk 2023.08.12, hiding command line passwords, openSUSE shares contributor survery results, Ubuntu plans seamless disk encryption, GNOME 45 to break extension compatibility|
|• Issue 1035 (2023-09-04): Debian GNU/Hurd 2023, PCLinuxOS 2023.07, do home users need a firewall, AlmaLinux introduces new repositories, Rocky Linux commits to RHEL compatibility, NetBSD machine runs unattended for nine years, Armbian runs wallpaper contest|
|• Issue 1034 (2023-08-28): Void 20230628, types of memory usage, FreeBSD receives port of Linux NVIDIA driver, Fedora plans improved theme handling for Qt applications, Canonical's plans for Ubuntu|
|• Issue 1033 (2023-08-21): MiniOS 20230606, system user accounts, how Red Hat clones are moving forward, Haiku improves WINE performance, Debian turns 30|
|• Issue 1032 (2023-08-14): MX Linux 23, positioning new windows on the desktop, Linux Containers adopts LXD fork, Oracle, SUSE, and CIQ form OpenELA|
|• Issue 1031 (2023-08-07): Peppermint OS 2023-07-01, preventing a file from being changed, Asahi Linux partners with Fedora, Linux Mint plans new releases|
|• Issue 1030 (2023-07-31): Solus 4.4, Linux Mint 21.2, Debian introduces RISC-V support, Ubuntu patches custom kernel bugs, FreeBSD imports OpenSSL 3|
|• Issue 1029 (2023-07-24): Running Murena on the Fairphone 4, Flatpak vs Snap sandboxing technologies, Redox OS plans to borrow Linux drivers to expand hardware support, Debian updates Bookworm media|
|• Issue 1028 (2023-07-17): KDE Connect; Oracle, SUSE, and AlmaLinux repsond to Red Hat's source code policy change, KaOS issues media fix, Slackware turns 30; security and immutable distributions|
|• Issue 1027 (2023-07-10): Crystal Linux 2023-03-16, StartOS (embassyOS 0.3.4.2), changing options on a mounted filesystem, Murena launches Fairphone 4 in North America, Fedora debates telemetry for desktop team|
|• Issue 1026 (2023-07-03): Kumander Linux 1.0, Red Hat changing its approach to sharing source code, TrueNAS offers SMB Multichannel, Zorin OS introduces upgrade utility|
|• Issue 1025 (2023-06-26): KaOS with Plasma 6, information which can leak from desktop environments, Red Hat closes door on sharing RHEL source code, SUSE introduces new security features|
|• Issue 1024 (2023-06-19): Debian 12, a safer way to use dd, Debian releases GNU/Hurd 2023, Ubuntu 22.10 nears its end of life, FreeBSD turns 30|
|• Issue 1023 (2023-06-12): openSUSE 15.5 Leap, the differences between independent distributions, openSUSE lengthens Leap life, Murena offers new phone for North America|
|• Issue 1022 (2023-06-05): GetFreeOS 2023.05.01, Slint 15.0-3, Liya N4Si, cleaning up crowded directories, Ubuntu plans Snap-based variant, Red Hat dropping LireOffice RPM packages|
|• Issue 1021 (2023-05-29): rlxos GNU/Linux, colours in command line output, an overview of Void's unique features, how to use awk, Microsoft publishes a Linux distro|
|• Issue 1020 (2023-05-22): UBports 20.04, finding another machine's IP address, finding distros with a specific kernel, Debian prepares for Bookworm|
|• Issue 1019 (2023-05-15): Rhino Linux (Beta), checking which applications reply on a package, NethServer reborn, System76 improving application responsiveness|
|• Issue 1018 (2023-05-08): Fedora 38, finding relevant manual pages, merging audio files, Fedora plans new immutable edition, Mint works to fix Secure Boot issues|
|• Issue 1017 (2023-05-01): Xubuntu 23.04, Debian elects Project Leaders and updates media, systemd to speed up restarts, Guix System offering ground-up source builds, where package managers install files|
|• Issue 1016 (2023-04-24): Qubes OS 4.1.2, tracking bandwidth usage, Solus resuming development, FreeBSD publishes status report, KaOS offers preview of Plasma 6|
|• Issue 1015 (2023-04-17): Manjaro Linux 22.0, Trisquel GNU/Linux 11.0, Arch Linux powering PINE64 tablets, Ubuntu offering live patching on HWE kernels, gaining compression on ex4|
|• Issue 1014 (2023-04-10): Quick looks at carbonOS, LibreELEC, and Kodi, Mint polishes themes, Fedora rolls out more encryption plans, elementary OS improves sideloading experience|
|• Issue 1013 (2023-04-03): Alpine Linux 3.17.2, printing manual pages, Ubuntu Cinnamon becomes official flavour, Endeavour OS plans for new installer, HardenedBSD plans for outage|
|• Issue 1012 (2023-03-27): siduction 22.1.1, protecting privacy from proprietary applications, GNOME team shares new features, Canonical updates Ubuntu 20.04, politics and the Linux kernel|
|• Issue 1011 (2023-03-20): Serpent OS, Security Onion 2.3, Gentoo Live, replacing the scp utility, openSUSE sees surge in downloads, Debian runs elction with one candidate|
|• Issue 1010 (2023-03-13): blendOS 2023.01.26, keeping track of which files a package installs, improved network widget coming to elementary OS, Vanilla OS changes its base distro|
|• Issue 1009 (2023-03-06): Nemo Mobile and the PinePhone, matching the performance of one distro on another, Linux Mint adds performance boosts and security, custom Ubuntu and Debian builds through Cubic|
|• Issue 1008 (2023-02-27): elementary OS 7.0, the benefits of boot environments, Purism offers lapdock for Librem 5, Ubuntu community flavours directed to drop Flatpak support for Snap|
|• Issue 1007 (2023-02-20): helloSystem 0.8.0, underrated distributions, Solus team working to repair their website, SUSE testing Micro edition, Canonical publishes real-time edition of Ubuntu 22.04|
|• Issue 1006 (2023-02-13): Playing music with UBports on a PinePhone, quick command line and shell scripting questions, Fedora expands third-party software support, Vanilla OS adds Nix package support|
|• Issue 1005 (2023-02-06): NuTyX 22.12.0 running CDE, user identification numbers, Pop!_OS shares COSMIC progress, Mint makes keyboard and mouse options more accessible|
|• Issue 1004 (2023-01-30): OpenMandriva ROME, checking the health of a disk, Debian adopting OpenSnitch, FreeBSD publishes status report|
|• Issue 1003 (2023-01-23): risiOS 37, mixing package types, Fedora seeks installer feedback, Sparky offers easier persistence with USB writer|
|• Issue 1002 (2023-01-16): Vanilla OS 22.10, Nobara Project 37, verifying torrent downloads, Haiku improvements, HAMMER2 being ports to NetBSD|
|• Issue 1001 (2023-01-09): Arch Linux, Ubuntu tests new system installer, porting KDE software to OpenBSD, verifying files copied properly|
|• Issue 1000 (2023-01-02): Our favourite projects of all time, Fedora trying out unified kernel images and trying to speed up shutdowns, Slackware tests new kernel, detecting what is taking up disk space|
|• Issue 999 (2022-12-19): Favourite distributions of 2022, Fedora plans Budgie spin, UBports releasing security patches for 16.04, Haiku working on new ports|
|• Issue 998 (2022-12-12): OpenBSD 7.2, Asahi Linux enages video hardware acceleration on Apple ARM computers, Manjaro drops proprietary codecs from Mesa package|
|• Issue 997 (2022-12-05): CachyOS 221023 and AgarimOS, working with filenames which contain special characters, elementary OS team fixes delta updates, new features coming to Xfce|
|• Issue 996 (2022-11-28): Void 20221001, remotely shutting down a machine, complex aliases, Fedora tests new web-based installer, Refox OS running on real hardware|
|• Issue 995 (2022-11-21): Fedora 37, swap files vs swap partitions, Unity running on Arch, UBports seeks testers, Murena adds support for more devices|
|• Issue 994 (2022-11-14): Redcore Linux 2201, changing the terminal font size, Fedora plans Phosh spin, openSUSE publishes on-line manual pages, disabling Snap auto-updates|
|• Issue 993 (2022-11-07): Static Linux, working with just a kernel, Mint streamlines Flatpak management, updates coming to elementary OS|
|• Issue 992 (2022-10-31): Lubuntu 22.10, setting permissions on home directories, Linux may drop i486, Fedora delays next version for OpenSSL bug|
|• Issue 991 (2022-10-24): XeroLinux 2022.09, learning who ran sudo, exploring firewall tools, Rolling Rhino Remix gets a fresh start, Fedora plans to revamp live media|
|• Issue 990 (2022-10-17): ravynOS 0.4.0, Lion Linux 3.0, accessing low numbered network ports, Pop!_OS makes progress on COSMIC, Murena launches new phone|
|• Issue 989 (2022-10-10): Ubuntu Unity, kernel bug causes issues with Intel cards, Canonical offers free Ubuntu Pro subscriptions, customizing the command line prompt|
|• Issue 988 (2022-10-03): SpiralLinux 11.220628, finding distros for older equipment and other purposes, SUSE begins releasing ALP prototypes, Debian votes on non-free firmware in installer|
|• Issue 987 (2022-09-26): openSUSE's MicroOS, converting people to using Linux, pfSense updates base system and PHP, Python 2 dropped from Arch|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the highly anticipated StarFighter. Available with coreboot open-source firmware and a choice of Ubuntu, elementary, Manjaro and more. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
Your own personal Linux computer in the cloud, available on any device. Supported operating systems include Android, Debian, Fedora, KDE neon, Kubuntu, Linux Mint, Manjaro and Ubuntu, ready in minutes.
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Estrella Roja (formerly Red Star GNU/Linux) was a Debian-based distribution and live CD for the desktop. Developed in Argentina, it was primarily designed for Spanish-speaking users.
TUXEDO Computers - Linux Hardware in a tailor made suite
Choose from a wide range of laptops and PCs in various sizes and shapes at TUXEDOComputers.com. Every machine comes pre-installed and ready-to-run with Linux. Full 24 months of warranty and lifetime support included!
Learn more about our full service package and all benefits from buying at TUXEDO.
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the highly anticipated StarFighter. Available with coreboot open-source firmware and a choice of Ubuntu, elementary, Manjaro and more. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.