| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 436, 19 December 2011
Welcome to this year's last issue of DistroWatch Weekly! What better way to conclude the year 2011 than with a review of Linux Mint, the distribution that dislodged Ubuntu from the number one spot in our page hit ranking just a few weeks ago? Linux Mint is a project that has been growing in stature in recent years and its bold attempt to turn GNOME 3 into a more GNOME 2-like interface has been received positively in most reviews. Jesse Smith takes a look at Linux Mint 12 and arrives at the same conclusion as many others - it is a near-perfect distro! In the news section, Ubuntu developers suggest a separate edition featuring GNOME Shell, CentOS and other Red Hat Enterprise Linux clones make final preparations before releasing their latest updates, Debian kernel hacker Ben Hutchings explains Debian's position on non-free kernel drivers, and OS News provides an interesting overview of Puppy Linux and its many spins and editions. Also in this issue, a Questions and Answers section which comments on the possibility of self-servicing an operating system by providing one's own security updates, and the usual bunch of new distribution submissions, including Viperr, a CrunchBang-like distro based on Fedora. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
A dozen mints (a review of Linux Mint 12)|
In the past couple of years we've seen Linux Mint rise into the spotlight of the open-source community. The Mint team has gained a reputation of taking Ubuntu and making it more practical for end users. Part of this reputation comes from the useful Mint-specific applications which make backups, updates and other administrative tasks easier. Another part of the appeal to Mint is, no doubt, the project's willingness to include lots of functionality out of the box, offering codecs, Flash and various extras. I suspect they've also gained popularity from providing a classic desktop environment, which remains largely consistent across the project's various editions. The bottom line, in my experience at least, has been that Mint, in all of its editions, across most of its versions, has been solid, functional and user-friendly.
Having recently reviewed Mint's Debian edition it was tempting to simply write this review as, "Mint 12: Everything worked out of the box and they lived happily ever after." But that wouldn't be a useful nor honest way to write a review. Fortunately, there is something new and interesting in Mint 12: GNOME 3 with Mint extensions which are designed to make the GNOME 3 desktop function in a similar manner to GNOME 2. The MATE desktop, a continuation of the GNOME 2 desktop, is also included. Going into this review I decided to try running Mint 12 on the young Btrfs file system instead of the default ext4 file system to see what sort of difference, if any, it would make.
Linux Mint 12 is available as a 32-bit or 64-bit DVD. The project also provides builds on a CD which are stripped of certain multimedia codecs and applications. The CD edition is designed to be distributable in countries where software patents are a concern. Booting off the DVD we're brought to a GNOME 3 graphical desktop environment with some modifications. At the top of the screen we still find the GNOME Activities button and a system tray, but we also find an application menu and task switcher along the bottom of the display. We'll come back to the interface in a bit, but first let's look at Mint's installer.
The installer, which comes from its Ubuntu base, hasn't really changed recently. We go through the usual process of picking our preferred language, the installer confirms that our hardware meets the proper requirements and then we're given the chance to partition the disk. The partitioning section is, in my opinion, one of the better partitioning tools available. It's fairly smooth and intuitive and supports a wide range of Linux file systems. Once we're done on this screen the installer begins copying files in the background while we answer the remaining questions. We confirm our time zone and keyboard layout, and create a user account. We can also choose to enable auto-login and encryption of our home partition. If we accept the default settings we can get through the installer in just a few minutes.
On the desktop
Linux Mint comes with, effectively, three desktop environments, each of them a flavour of GNOME. The default environment is the GNOME 3 Shell with Mint extensions. What this gives us is basically the traditional Mint interface with task switcher and application menu at the bottom of the screen. The GNOME Activities menu is placed at the top of the screen. This means that the user can use the new GNOME Activities interface to switch between tasks and to launch applications and we can also use the classic application menu and task switcher as we did with GNOME 2. With Mint's extensions windows have minimize and maximize buttons and the user menu has an option to shut down the computer. The user also has the choice of turning off Mint's extensions so we can get back to a vanilla GNOME Shell experience or form our own custom desktop. It's a fairly flexible system which I found easy to customize. At first I found it a little strange to have two application menus and a third menu to logout/shutdown, but after a while I began to appreciate the duality. Once one becomes accustomed to having both the Mint menu and the Activities menu it means that we can move the mouse to whichever menu is closer. After half an hour I found the small reduction of desktop space was a fair trade for the speed and ease I had in accessing items.
Linux Mint 12 - GNOME 3 Activities menu
(full image size: 231kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
The second environment provided by Linux Mint is the GNOME 3 fallback mode. The fallback mode does not benefit from extensions. When running on a machine which does not support 3D effects, the operating system automatically switches from the full GNOME 3 desktop with extensions to fallback mode, providing us with a watered-down version of the classic GNOME 2 environment. It's probably not going to appeal to most users, but it's good to see the system will drop back to the alternative interface smoothly. The third environment provided on the DVD is MATE, the desktop which is derived from GNOME 2. I didn't use MATE for long, but I found it worked exactly as I would expect GNOME 2 to work on Mint. The application menu, task switcher and system tray are placed at the bottom of the screen. Really, MATE looks and feels a lot like GNOME 3 with Mint extensions, but without the Activities bar at the top of the screen and without the need for 3D support. Fans of the GNOME 2 desktop should find themselves well at home with MATE.
Linux Mint 12 - the MATE desktop environment
(full image size: 324kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Software updates and package management
When I first started using Mint an icon in the system tray informed me that there were software updates available. Clicking on the notification icon brings up the custom Mint updater app. This application gives us a list of the new packages available. It also provides a number in the range of 1-5 next to each package letting us know how safe the Mint team considers the upgrade. This allows us to apply updates based on testing and recommendation and to filter out packages which may introduce stability risks. I was surprised to find that just a week after Linux Mint 12 was released there were 215 updates waiting and more appeared during the week. At time of writing all updates have downloaded and installed without any problems.
Aside from the update utility, Mint comes with two graphical package managers. The first package manager is Synaptic, which is a tried-and-true application. It's probably familiar to most readers and continues to be both fast and reliable. The other package manager is called the Software Manager and it takes a simplified, more modern approach to handling packages. Users are able to burrow down through software categories to find packages. Categories and packages are represented by both a name and an icon. Each package is given a description and a popularity rating. Users can click on items to get a full description and install/remove actions can be queued with a single click. We can continue to use the Software Manager after queuing actions and we can watch the progress of actions as they are processed. It's quite user friendly and I had no problems with handling software packages using either package manager.
Linux Mint 12 - fetching software and browsing settings
(full image size: 171kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
On the topic of available software, Linux Mint comes with a good collection of default programs. The distribution provides the Firefox web browser, Thunderbird for email, Pidgin for instant messaging and Transmission for downloading torrents. LibreOffice is included, as are the GIMP, a document viewer and an image viewer. We're given the Banshee multimedia player, the VLC media player, MPlayer, the Totem movie player, a sound recorder and disc burner. (The user may feel overwhelmed by the number of ways they can watch videos.) Along with the previously mentioned media players Linux Mint comes with a full range of multimedia codecs and Flash. The distribution also supplies handy administration tools, including a firewall configuration utility, a program for testing and configuring the network, an easy backup tool and a domain blocker. Also in the menu we find a calculator, text editor, Tomboy Notes and an archive manager. We're provided with Java, the GCC and the Linux kernel, version 3.0. All in all, it makes for a wide range of functionality out of the box. The above, combined with the various desktop environments, takes up a little over 3 GB of disk space.
Linux Mint 12 - exploring firewall and filtering tools
(full image size: 310kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Much like its Ubuntu base, the Linux Mint distribution features a guest account, which is accessible from the graphical login screen. The guest account gives the user the ability to use any of the desktop environments, create files, use programs, browse the web, etc. When the user logs out, the guest account is returned to a pristine state. The guest account cannot use sudo and can be disabled if so desired, though the method for deactivating the guest login option isn't immediately obvious.
I ran Mint 12 on two physical machines, my laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card) and a desktop machine (2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card). In both cases Mint detected all of my hardware and I encountered no hardware related issues. My Intel wireless card was picked up and audio was set to a reasonable level. When I first began using Mint I installed it using Btrfs on all partitions. This resulted in two problems, the first was that at start-up the machine would pause with the error message "Error: sparse file not allowed. Press any key to continue..." As it turns out, this is a known issue which occurs when GRUB 2 is used in combination with Btrfs. The operating system is still able to boot, but it halts, waiting for user confirmation to continue. I also found that Linux Mint was unusually slow to boot and, once logged in, applications were slow to launch.
After a few days of this, I re-installed Mint using the default ext4 file system for all partitions and found that boot times were greatly reduced and programs launched faster. Given the performance problems I noticed, the GRUB 2 error and Btrfs' lack of a file system check program, it's probably best not to use Btrfs on anything other than a test machine. During my trial of Linux Mint I also ran the distribution in a virtual machine. I found that the system would operate as long as it had 256 MB of memory to use, though more is obviously desirable for most tasks.
It's hard not to be impressed with what Linux Mint has accomplished with this release. The developers have not only taken Ubuntu and made it more attractive to end users, but they've also greatly improved on GNOME Shell. The extensions and customized design give the shell all the benefits of running GNOME 3 with all of the options and abilities of GNOME 2. Additionally, users are able to seamlessly switch over to MATE for an authentic GNOME 2 experience. As usual, Linux Mint worked on all of my hardware without any problems, all codecs and extras were available out of the box and the distribution comes with a strong set of default applications.
The only issues I ran into were a result of going out of my way to use Brtfs instead of the default ext4 file system, once I switched back to ext4 everything functioned faster and without error. The project has a huge repository of 36,000 packages, everything feels responsive and free from error and the installer worked well. I was able to login and immediately get to work without configuring anything or hunting down additional software. I'm of the opinion that Linux Mint has raised the standard for Linux distributions yet again and my only regret is that the various community editions featuring LXDE, KDE, etc have not yet become available alongside the main edition.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Ubuntu's GNOME Shell edition, RHEL clones readying 6.2 release, interview with Debian's Ben Hutchings, Puppy Linux overview
Ubuntu's Unity desktop has received all sorts of marks in the Linux media and blogs; despite that, the distribution's management insists that it is the interface of the future and that the majority of Ubuntu users are happy with Unity. Still, there are signs of lingering doubts, at least among some of the developers. Last week Sebastien Bacher suggested on the ubuntu-desktop mailing list that "it would be really cool if a team stepped up to maintain a derivative ISO image with GNOME Shell by default." Joey Sneddon reports in "Developers Suggest Ubuntu Spin Using GNOME Shell by Default": "Ubuntu Desktop team has asked for help in the creation of an Ubuntu derivative that uses 'GNOME Shell by default'. The creation of a 'Gnobuntell' (as no-one but me is calling it) would require the assembly of a committed team of developers capable of maintaining it. It's presently unclear how or where such an ISO image would be distributed, or what branding would be used, but its creation would go part way to appeasing the minority of user who are unhappy with Ubuntu's default Unity desktop shipping by default." Among the many Ubuntu derivatives in existence, there are already projects that cater for users who prefer GNOME Shell to Unity; these include Ubuntu GNOME Shell Remix and LinuxLex OS (both currently on the DistroWatch's waiting list) and Linux Mint 12 which offers a pure GNOME Shell option by turning off the custom Mint extensions.
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With the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2 two weeks ago, all eyes now turn towards the "clones" to see which one will be the first to deliver. PUIAS Linux has seemingly won the race by announcing 6.2 last week, but only "netinstall" images are currently available for download. Oracle Linux 6.2 was also announced last week, but at the time of writing the company's download page still only lists DVD images for version 6.1. The Scientific Linux project is in the early alpha stage of testing 6.2. And what about CentOS, the most popular of them all? Last week there was a brief period when the project's main download server got populated with ISO images for 6.2, but these were later withdrawn and the 6.2 directory deleted. A last-minute bug? In any case, if you are looking for a free enterprise-class server, CentOS isn't the only option. As Steven Rosenberg reports, "Debian and Ubuntu deserve consideration, too": "I've built a couple of servers lately -- nothing mission-critical, mind you, but critical to my own work, and I chose the Linux distribution I know best, Debian GNU/Linux. Not only is every stable release of Debian pretty much a 'long-term-support' release given the roughly every-two-years rhythm of stable Debian releases, but the Debian security team is top-notch. They're always right there with needed patches for critical components of the system."
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Speaking about Debian GNU/Linux, here is a link to an interesting interview with Ben Hutchings, member of the Debian kernel team: "Ben Hutchings is a rather unassuming guy, but hiding behind his hat, there's a real kernel hacker who backports new drivers for the kernel in Debian stable so that our flagship release supports very recent hardware." One of the touchy issues with any Debian release is the project's policy to provide free software only in the default install. But what about those users who want to include non-free kernel modules in their systems? "Q: Do you believe that Debian has done enough to make it easy for users to install the non-free firmwares that they need? A: The installer, the Linux binary packages and initramfs-tools will warn about specific files that may be needed but are missing. Users who have enabled the non-free section should then be able to find the necessary package with apt-cache search, because each of the binaries built from the firmware-nonfree source package includes driver and file names within its description. For the installer, there is a single tarball that provides everything. We could make this easier, but I think we have gone about as far as we can while following the Debian Social Contract and Debian policy."
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Finally, a link to an article by Howard Fosdick at OSNews, giving an overview of Puppy Linux. From "Puppy Has A Litter": "Puppy Linux was first released by Australian developer Barry Kauler in 2005. Since then this community distribution has gone through five releases, with the current crop of 5.x versions coming out starting in late 2010. Puppy is a general-purpose distro that bundles a full range of applications. It's easy to use. What makes it unusual is that it offers high performance on minimal hardware. It is fully functional on lightweight netbooks, thin clients, and older computers. Puppy uses specific technologies to make this happen. For example, it runs from memory by default; it excludes all but the mandatory functions, services, and daemons; its default GUI is the lightweight JWM; and its bundled applications are all selected for low-resource consumption. While there are competing distros that run on low-end hardware -- such as Lubuntu, SliTaz, Tiny Core Linux, and others -- Puppy is probably unique in that it specifically tests and runs on older equipment. If you've ever tried running Linux on an ageing computer, you know that lightweight distribution and older computer are two different requirements. Puppy fulfills both."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Solo-Security asks: For operating systems and distributions that provide little or no timely security updates, is it possible to maintain a relatively secure desktop system anyway, even if it means a lot of work? There are a number of operating systems I would like to run on my computer, but as far as I can see they pose a security hazard: Solaris, OpenIndiana, OpenBSD and, perhaps, DragonFly BSD and NetBSD. Solaris, though it is free to download for what might be roughly called "non-commercial purposes", does not supply any security updates at all unless you get a support contract with them, one that is prohibitively expensive. OpenIndiana, on the other hand, ostensibly provides security updates for free, but in practice this has not worked out. The latest OpenBSD that just shipped had Firefox 5. They recommend you use packages instead of ports, but where are you supposed to get, for example, Firefox 8 from? I was thinking if you are behind a hardware firewall/router, your own machine has no ports open, and has a software firewall to boot, you can achieve a fair amount of security merely by installing the latest versions of Firefox, Thunderbird, and Flash, especially if you install NoScript on Firefox, etc. So I guess what I am really asking here is, what attack vectors will not be taken into account by the procedure (or similar) I am suggesting?
DistroWatch answers: Let's break this down into a few separate points. First, let's look at the operating systems you are hoping to run and the tasks you have in mind. You say you're looking for a desktop system which will have no open ports, so no network services, yet all of the operating systems you list are primarily server operating systems. While these operating systems can be used on desktop machines that's obviously not their area of focus. If you wanted to run a website or host network storage I would say the above projects are good options, but they're near the bottom of my list for desktop machines. My point is that unless you have a really good reason for wanting to run one of these on your desktop I think you are using the wrong tool for the job. If you simply want to experiment with these systems as desktops you can run them in a virtual environment to negate the security risk. Or, if you're determined to try a BSD-style operating system as your primary desktop, consider using a project designed for that purpose, such as PC-BSD or GhostBSD.
Second, you suggest keeping your system secure by keeping up to date with the Internet-facing applications you use most (Firefox, Thunderbird, Flash) and that's a good start. But there are other considerations to make. For example, you may have the latest version of Firefox, but is Firefox (or Thunderbird) relying on another library to display images, play sounds, etc? You may be running the latest, patched web browser, but it's possible that the library which is processing JPEG images is out of date and vulnerable. If you're using Thunderbird you're probably getting attachments, are you going to be opening images, word processing documents, spreadsheets, PDFs? Those will be handled by outside applications which should also be kept up to date. Will you be playing music or watching videos? If so, those programs should be updated too. My point is keeping the main Internet-facing programs up to date is the tip of the iceberg. Those applications' dependencies and any other programs which will touch content from the Internet (and the dependencies of those programs) also need to be kept up to date with security patches. It doesn't take long for "maintaining a few applications" to branch into "maintaining a few hundred separate packages."
Is it possible to maintain a secure desktop operating system without support from the distribution? Technically it may be possible, but it's not practical. The operating systems which do not provide regular security updates for you are typically the more obscure (or simply less popular) projects. This means that upstream application and library projects aren't likely to provide binaries for you and you will end up patching and compiling all of your software and many of the dependencies. You're looking at a lot of packages and a lot of patches you will have to maintain on your own. To keep things patched in a timely manner you'll probably want to subscribe to a series of security mailing lists and maybe set up your own build system. It's a lot of work and your machine will be burning a lot of CPU cycles compiling software. You will probably be more secure and a lot less busy if you stick to projects which both cater to the desktop crowd and provide timely updates.
Should someone wish to install one of the operating systems listed above and maintain it as a desktop system, I would recommend joining the project's "ports" mailing list. The people on those lists can give a good deal of insight into how all the pieces of a desktop system fit together. They may also welcome someone who is willing to maintain cutting-edge ports of applications like Firefox and Thunderbird. You may find it's easier to work with them to the benefit of the community than to branch away and work solo.
|Released Last Week
Puppy Linux 5.3.1 "Slacko"
Barry Kauler has announced the release of Puppy Linux 5.3.1, a minor update and bug-fix release of the project's flagship distribution: "Slacko Puppy Linux 5.3.1 is a bug-fix release of the recent 5.3. It has binary compatibility with Slackware 13.37, which simply means that it is a Puppy built with packages from the Slackware, Salix and Slacky repositories. The main version has kernel 126.96.36.199 compiled with Aufs, layered file system support, in the typical Puppy manner. There is also a PAE_HIGHMEM version to cater for machines with large amounts of RAM. Both ISO images have SCSI boot support. The Seamonkey suite is the default browser and email suite, but Firefox Aurora, Chromium, Opera, Netsurf, Iron, Dillo and Links are only a few clicks away. Slickpet is a cut-down version of Quickpet to get a few handy applications without diving into the well-stocked Puppy package manager." See the release announcement and release notes for more details.
Untangle Gateway 9.1
Dirk Morris has announced the release of Untangle Gateway 9.1, an updated version of the project's specialist Debian-based distribution for firewalls and gateways: "Untangle 9.1. With this release, we have made enhancements and fixes to the platform itself and to a number of applications. Changelog: the application order in the rack has been revised; event logs have been reimplemented, columns have been added, improvement improved, and options added; many usability improvements in the installation and setup wizards; application downloads now show progress correctly; many application settings have been moved from PostgreSQL to files; local directory users are now saved in a file; BerkeleyDB has been removed; DHCP renewing no longer restarts networking (nor disrupt VPN connections); SIP helper is now disabled by default; improve start-up time." Here is the complete changelog with more detailed notes.
Pear OS 3.0
David Tavares has announced the release of Pear OS 3.0, an Ubuntu-based desktop distribution with a Mac OS X-like look and feel (as well as slogan): "Pear OS 3.0 'Panther' available. From the desktop you see when you start up your PC to the applications you use every day, everything is designed to be simple and intuitive. Of course, making amazing things simple requires some seriously advanced technologies, and Pear OS is loaded with them. Working and playing on a PC is all about applications, so Pear OS makes it simple to find and open those applications fast. The Dock is a handy place on your desktop for storing and launching your favorite applications, and it makes switching between them a breeze." The release announcement doesn't offer any details, but the product page has some screenshots alongside much marketing talk.
Pear OS 3.0 - GNOME Shell customised to resemble Mac OS X
(full image size: 1,345kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
GParted LiveCD 0.11.0-2
Steven Shiau has released a new version of GParted Live, a specialist utility live CD, based on Debian GNU/Linux, with graphical tools for disk management and data recovery tasks. Version 0.11.0-2 comes with updated GParted, the latest Linux kernel, GRUB 2, Dillo 3.0.2 as a simple and lightweight web browser, and the usual round of package updates from Debian's "testing" branch. From the changelog: "This is GParted Live 0.11.0-2. New in this release: the underlying GNU/Linux operating system is based on the Debian 'Sid' repository as of 2011-12-14; new GParted release 0.11.0; Linux kernel has been updated to 3.1.5-1; program NTFS-3G has been updated to 2011.10.9AR; GRUB 2 instead of GRUB 1 is included in the release since most of the modern distributions use GRUB 2 already."
Kororaa Linux 16
Chris Smart has announced the release of Kororaa Linux 16, a Fedora-based distribution with separate KDE and GNOME editions, both featuring a large number of user-friendly enhancements: "It was a little while in coming, but it was worth the wait! It is my pleasure to announce the release of Kororaa 16 (code name 'Chum') which is now available for download. Derived from Fedora 16, this updated release comes with the usual Kororaa extras, such as: tweaked KDE 4.7, GNOME 3.2 and base systems; third-party repositories (Adobe, Chrome, RPMFusion, VirtualBox); Firefox 8 as the default web browser (with integration theme for KDE); Firefox extensions included (Adblock Plus, DownThemAll, Flashblock, Xclear); micro-blogging client (Choqok for KDE, Empathy for GNOME); full multimedia support...." See the release announcement for additional information and screenshots.
Kororaa Linux 16 - the default desktop of the KDE edition
(full image size: 947kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Chakra GNU/Linux 2011.12
Phil Miller has announced the release of Chakra GNU/Linux 2011.12, a KDE-centric desktop distribution originally forked from Arch Linux: "The Chakra development team is proud to announce the third and final release of 'Edn', Chakra GNU/Linux featuring Linux 3.1 and KDE 4.7. Edn has followed the KDE 4.7 releases, and with KDE 4.8 a new name will be used. With this release KDE is updated to 4.7.4, kernel to Linux 3.1.4. The sound group has been rebuild/updated, latest network management and Mesa stack are also included. With this release we offer: KDE 4.7.4 Linux kernel 3.1.4 (188.8.131.52 optional); updated sound-stack; DVD image, including all locales and a nice selection of applications; tomoyo-tools 2.5 added to a default install, for more security options; wqy-microhei became the new default font for Chinese, Japanese and Korean; QtWebkit 2.2...." Here is the full release announcement.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
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New distributions added to waiting list
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. To all those readers who celebrate the upcoming holidays the DistroWatch team would like to wish you a peaceful festive season and a very happy and prosperous New Year! DistroWatch Weekly will return on Monday, 2 January 2012.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Re: Mint Gnome Shell Extensions (MGSE) (by silent on 2011-12-19 09:43:16 GMT from France) |
A wide selection of gnome-shell 3.2 extensions can be easily installed locally (without root access) from https://extensions.gnome.org. Although it is still in alpha phase and there are some limitations (see the "About" page about uninstalling and updating extensions), but this site offers the opportunity to the users of any distributions to enjoy the benefit of some 70 extensions by installing them with a single click. Practically any fresh (Gnome 3.2) Linux flavour can be converted to MGSE and more in minutes.
2 • Viperr and PearOS. The best and the worst of last week. (by Frederic bezies on 2011-12-19 09:51:52 GMT from France)
I tested Viperr and really loved it. But I do really find PearOS to be crashy, unfinished and too macos-x like.
Strange to see that the best and the worst could be on the same page ;)
3 • Security self-service (by Anonymous Coward on 2011-12-19 10:25:14 GMT from Spain)
I might be mistaken, but OpenBSD receives security updates when necessary. It is only that they do not mark them as "security fixes", they just put the updates in the mailing list and expect you to read the description of the problem and decide what to do next.
Anyway, for low size installations and non mission critical systems, subscribing to security lists, watching what are other distributions patching and applying your own security fixes is feasible. Come on, 95% of security advisories I have read recently did no suppose a threat for my own system at all. The volume of work required to keep your system reasonably secure by your self is not that hight as long as you install only software you use and you are careful with compilation options.
4 • Ditch the optical media? (by Toolz on 2011-12-19 10:49:54 GMT from Vietnam)
Jesse, I like it how you usually mention that you booted off CD/DVD - it's useful info. But I wonder if in future reviews you're going to make it a policy to ditch the optical media as first resort. Increasingly, distros no longer fit on a CD, I believe Ubuntu have just taken the decision not to restrict themselves to CD size. Personally I've never owned a rewritable DVD and two of my three machines have no working optical drive. Furthermore, in the majority of cases I imagine visitors to DW are now using USB installs. CD/DVD install is meant to be the surefire way but with 2012 coming up I imagine readers would be interested to know that a USB install went smoothly, either using a provided tool, using Unetbootin, dd, or some other method (preferably one documented on the distro's site).
5 • Mint (by KC1DI on 2011-12-19 10:55:55 GMT from United States)
Just went to the mint site and find that it's down at the moment. hope it's back soon
I find mint 12 one of the best desktop linux experiences yet. my second choice is PCLinuxOS. both these distro work on all my machines out of the box with codecs and all.
thanks for the review.
6 • Mint (by Toolz on 2011-12-19 11:16:10 GMT from Vietnam)
I used to like Mint until about two years ago when I perceived the quality had started slipping (was it Karmic induced?). I especially liked the Xfce and Fluxbox editions, but since Clem took a closer interest in these, along with the Debian edition, quality all-round seemed to suffer.
Reviews of the latest Mint seem to fall into two camps: 1) "it's GREAT considering the unholy mess that is Gnome3/Unity"; 2) "it's HORRIBLE, but what do you expect considering the unholy mess that is Gnome3/Unity". Are both sets of reviewers actually sharing the same experience but just coming to this latest release with their own preconceptions?
7 • Mint (by Wine Curmudgeon on 2011-12-19 11:58:24 GMT from United States)
@6 .. spot on. I have seen the same thing. One other question with Mint that I have always had: It never, ever updates correctly. The package manager has crashed on me regardless of the desktop or version number.
8 • Ubuntu, Unity, Gnome (by Ron on 2011-12-19 12:23:22 GMT from United States)
I don't really feel like arguing about this yet again. So I will only make this comment. I don't like Gnome 3 any more then I like Unity. It wouldn't make sense for them to have Unity and Gnome 3 editions since they are close in many ways. However if Ubuntu offered a Mate version of Gnome then I think they would get many people back. Not me of course, I am happy with Debian. But many others.
9 • Ubuntu's Unity controversy (by Twilight on 2011-12-19 12:25:24 GMT from Greece)
I got really tired of the controversy and fuss about Ubuntu's Unity desktop.
I am sick of it. Although I 've never tried Unity, looking at some screenshots, it looks nice to me. Technology has to advance and some interface redesigns should be welcomed by the users, if productivity is increased in long term.
While I am not an Ubuntu user and definitelly not a fun, I don't like all this discussion around it. If you don't like it, don't use it! Simple as that!
You can always use another distribution like Xubuntu (which has the excellent Xfce) or Kubuntu if you like more configuration options. Don't like other distributions and you are so much tied to Ubuntu? Turn Unity off, there are so many guides out there. You can use the 10.04 version as well, it will be supported until early 2013!
You like GNOME 2? There are still so many ditributions that still use it, or switch to MATE desktop. Linux means choice, no fight.
An Arch Linux user.
10 • Gnome 3 (by Rajesh Ganesan on 2011-12-19 12:51:32 GMT from India)
After launching of Gnome3 Extensions site, I do not think gnome-2 vs gnome-3 controversy is valid. These one-click extensions make our desktop gnome-3 or brings in any facility we needed. I have to congratulate Gnome developers for this excellent development/idea. If Unity could be made one such extension (I am not sure, if it could be implemented so), all these arguments will become unnecessary.
Let the users choose according to their taste!
11 • Unity (by Gigi on 2011-12-19 13:05:32 GMT from Slovenia)
U cant really compare Ubuntu Unity with Mint Mate or any other linux gnome-shell.As far as i am concerned Unity is far better than any of those.But ofcorse that is just mine opinion.I would be very happy if arch comes with something so usefull but sadly at this mommnet thats not the case.
An arch linux user.
12 • Mint (by Silent Warrior on 2011-12-19 13:06:40 GMT from Sweden)
Much as it makes my ear wax curdle to criticize my distribution of choice, there is one side to Mint's Software Manager (the one that isn't Synaptic - previously called mintInstall) that the reviewer didn't seem to mention: To start faster, it will only display a set number of items in a given category or search result. So, to get access to EVERY package, you will need to use Synaptic.
(Unless you're looking for something relatively obscure, though, and aren't sure of where you should find it - or even what letter it begins with - this isn't likely to be a problem.)
13 • MintPPC (by Jeroen Diederen on 2011-12-19 13:11:25 GMT from Netherlands)
When will MintPPC be reviewed and added to the database? I am sure that there is a big user base right now, running either MintPPC 9, based on Debian stable or MintPPC 11, based on Debian Wheezy.
14 • re:#2,PearOS (by uNAME on 2011-12-19 13:21:57 GMT from Canada)
"PearOS to be too macos-x like"???
Isn't that the whole idea behind PearOS? To look like Mac?
15 • re:#7 Mint (by WoodCAT on 2011-12-19 13:26:22 GMT from Canada)
"It never, ever updates correctly. The package manager has crashed on me regardless of the desktop or version number."
I've been using Mint since 3.0 and have never experience that. Mostly problem free on my computers. I'm still not sure about the Gnome3 thing ;-
16 • Please don't ditch the optical media in reviews. (by Elcaset on 2011-12-19 13:36:55 GMT from United States)
@4 I really like using DVD-RWs for trying out & installing distros. Burning distros to DVD-RW or CD-RW is faster, simpler, & a lot cheaper than burning to USB sticks. In my country, a 4GB USB stick costs about seven dollars. A DVD-RW disk costs about 50 cents. Also, when burning to optical disk, you can check easily that your burn was error free on K3B.
17 • Mint Fluxbox (by Willie Green on 2011-12-19 13:41:33 GMT from United States)
I used to use Mint Fluxbox edition until they disabled the fluxbox panel and used Tint2 instead.
I have nothing against Tint2, but then why bother with Fluxbox?
If they want to use the Tint2 panel, then they might as well use Openbox.
Yes, I suppose i'm guilty of a petty, little gripe, especially considering the overall superb quality of Mint distributions.
It just that I'm a fan of lightweight distros, and would like to see more Fluxbox, Openbox, JWM etc. offerings. But please, PLEASE try to follow the KISS principle when using these lightweight desktops.
18 • Ditch the optical media? (by Toolz on 2011-12-19 14:00:07 GMT from Vietnam)
@16 I don't actually own any USB sticks - I have a collection of micro SD cards with various distros on them. I think a 2GB goes for around three or four dollars.
19 • Many to choose from (by Eddie on 2011-12-19 14:27:23 GMT from United States)
@9, You are correct. There are so many options today that it really doesn't make any sense for people to get so worked up over an environment change. I have many different desktops to choose from whenever I boot up. Unity, Gnome 3, Gnome fallback mode, and Unity 2-D. Still a person could even install Mate and put that on the list. It's hard to try to understand what people really want in a computer environment. They seem to want a lot of hand holding these days and get angry if they have to put forth a little effort, and then they fuss about certain distros and say they are dumb down. It's really funny to watch sometimes. Anyway after trying the new LinuxMint I'm impressed with what has been done but it seems to still be a work in progress. The Mint team has put forth a tremendous effort and I'm sure that they will eventually have success with their new environment. I've installed Mint for quite a few people and I'll tell them to wait till the LTS version before they upgrade. It's also my opinion that Mate is not a continuation of Gnome 2. Gnome 2 is a dead project and Mate is a new desktop environment that looks and works somewhat like Gnome 2. We don't want to be misleading.
20 • Linux Mint 12 - number of upgrade packages (by Bob Hinds on 2011-12-19 14:58:55 GMT from United States)
Jesse wrote "I was surprised to find that just a week after Linux Mint 12 was released there were 215 updates waiting and more appeared during the week."
Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe Linux Mint does not provide the latest upgrade for the Ubuntu packages on its released ISO. Instead those packages are the same as what is found on the Ubuntu release.
Doing that probably makes it easier to test and ensure better reliability when Linux Mint does a release.
21 • OpenBSD and installs (by Jesse on 2011-12-19 15:20:57 GMT from Canada)
@3: >> "I might be mistaken, but OpenBSD receives security updates when necessary. It is only that they do not mark them as "security fixes", they just put the updates in the mailing list and expect you to read the description of the problem and decide what to do next."
I believe you're thinking of the OpenBSD base operating system, not the OpenBSD ports. The question being answered in this week's column was concerned with maintaining ports and packages.
@4: >> "Jesse, I like it how you usually mention that you booted off CD/DVD - it's useful info. But I wonder if in future reviews you're going to make it a policy to ditch the optical media as first resort."
I'm quite happy using optical media for now. I don't see any reason to switch. In fact, I'm pretty sure the desktop machine I use for testing won't boot from a USB stick, it's a bit old.
22 • RE: Many to choose from (by X on 2011-12-19 15:41:08 GMT from United States)
you are correct. with so many wonderful choices it seems very petty and noobish to get all worked up over a DE change. Though what I find ironic is that when Unity came out, people jumped ship to another distro, often with KDE, rather than a flavor of Ubuntu with a different DE, or even installing a different DE on their current ubuntu to use something different.
I feel if you like Ubuntu but not Gnome 3 or Unity, then just use Lubuntu (LXDE), Kubuntu (KDE), or Xubuntu (XFCE) as just a handful of examples.
Remember, you can add DEs to distros that didn't come with them.
23 • @17 / Mint / Lightweight Distros (by Guy on 2011-12-19 15:54:50 GMT from United Kingdom)
Good for you, I like a lightweight disto as well. I strongly recommend Bodhi which I switched to recently. I find it as responsive as the classic lightweight distos and yet looks 100% nicer. Also highly configurable. I wish distrowatch would give it more attention.
I just don't know why there has to be so many distos. Look at the new distos added this week - are any of them bringing anything new to the Linux table? Answer NO...another ubuntu/debian/fedora based distro with possibly one of A) Different codecs included B) different wallpaper C) Different dock arrangement....zzzzzz....
As for Mint, I tried 4 alternatives after deciding to leave Fedora. Before choosing Bodhi and the new Mint was the only one which would not install properly. (would not boot to GUI desktop, other commented on Mint the same issue, checksum was fine etc, don't bother replying)
24 • Flash and security (by Magic Banana on 2011-12-19 16:35:17 GMT from Brazil)
If you want security, do not use Flash at all! It is security through obscurity. Adobe does not even mention, in their release notes, what security issue they fix (or not)! According to Symantec, "Adobe Reader and Flash Player Remote Code Execution" was the second most common attack in 2009 (after the exploitation of a vulnerability in Windows): http://eval.symantec.com/mktginfo/enterprise/white_papers/b-whitepaper_internet_security_threat_report_xv_04-2010.en-us.pdf (Table 2, page 10)
Gnash, which is free software, must be better in this regard.
25 • RE: Many DEs to choose from (by Marti on 2011-12-19 17:07:07 GMT from United States)
I started with Ubuntu 7.10. I like clean desktops with no icons. Whether the underlying DE is LXDE, KDE, XFCE, Fluxbox, or Openbox, etc., I do not like the LOOK of Unity. I do not want a smart-phonish enviro on my desktop PC. Switching to Kubunutu or Lubuntu are valid options, unless this mania about icons-everywhere takes over the alternative DEs. I did, in fact, buy a refurb PC for the express install of Kubuntu.....
I run 10.04.3 Ubuntu in a LXDE session to wean myself from Gnome2. When I upgrade to 12.04, will the removal of all the current GNOME stuff impact the installed Evolution email reader? (I don't want to use Thunderbird.) The Gramps family history database? Update manager? System monitor?
I am both dreadful AND fearful of the 12.04 upgrade.
26 • OpenSuse 12.1 and Gnome 3 (by Sly on 2011-12-19 17:41:47 GMT from United States)
I tried out OpenSuse's version of Gnome 3 this past weekend and thought they did a great job on it. Contrary to all the bad press that Gnome 3 has been getting, I though it was extremely easy to navigate and I had no issues with going where I wanted to go and using testing the apps. I have to confess, I haven't tried out any other distro's version of Gnome 3, so I must be missing something. Based on what I've been reading, I was expecting a major disappointment, but instead I was pleasantly surprised.
27 • Gnash, and Ubuntu 12.04 (by Eddie on 2011-12-19 18:10:06 GMT from United States)
@24, You would think that Gnash would be better security wise. I don't know the answer but it is an interesting question.
@26, Posting a question about Ubuntu 12.04 on the Ubuntu forums in the Ubuntu +1 (Precise Pangolin) section may be the best way to get an answer to your questions.
28 • Mint 12 (by Vic on 2011-12-19 18:25:37 GMT from Canada)
Good choice in review for the last issue, good read to finish off the year of DWW. Glad you enjoyed your experience with Mint's latest Jeese. I've been happily playing around with it since it's recent release and have been pleased so far.
I have one question regarding your time running Gnome3 shell under Mint with your laptop. My laptop also uses an intel video card, and I'm finding an issue with bugginess in how back light is handled with the display. More specifically when the display is allowed to blank or time out, upon waking it the back light always seems to come back at 0%. At this level it is next to impossible to make out the screen. I've experienced similar issues running Unity in Ubuntu and Fedora/Gnome3 using a similar intel card, so the problem isn't unique to just Mint, but the problem is generally present running anything gtk3 with 3D enabled. Also when i try to adjust the back light using the screen option in settings, the back light setting doesn't seem to be consistent to the incremental moves of the slider. Moving in one direction often results in the back light increasing and decreasing alternately by varying amounts.
I apologise for bringing up a support question in the comments but I've yet to find much mention of it in Mint or Ubuntu's forums or by googling in general so I decided to try asking here to see if my problem is unique. Anyone with responses/suggestions or similar experience feel free to email me instead of adding to the comments here.
As an aside I managed to implement a quick work around until I find a more permanent solution to being stuck with an extremely dark screen. I installed the xbacklight package (sudo apt-get install xbacklight) and created a key binding to the command 'xbacklight -set 100' which sets my back light back to 100% without me relying on the settings UI. Not pretty but it works, in case anyone else had had a similar experience.
29 • Mint, Ubuntu (by jeff on 2011-12-19 18:27:15 GMT from United States)
It's nice to see that someone has heard the strangled cries of protest from GNOME users and made GNOME 3 a little more useable! Meanwhile, Canonical twiddles its thumbs, wondering if it should make a G3 cd like a normal distro or continue to force the smartphone interface on the unsuspecting public.
And for those who say that you can just switch to Kubuntu or Xubuntu, think again. Compared to other distro's that focus on these desktop environments, Ubuntu's little step-children are very poor.
Then again, I run Debian stable + openbox, so what do I know.
30 • Reply to 27 (by Marti on 2011-12-19 18:28:31 GMT from United States)
Eddie, I really meant those questions to be rhetorical. I was not really asking for direct help here, today.....But thank you.
31 • Enough with Gnome3 (by Iosif Chatzimichail on 2011-12-19 18:40:50 GMT from Greece)
So Linux Mint added some stuff to make Gnome 3 behave like Gnome 2.x. Great job indeed. However do you know what already behaves like Gnome 2.x ?
X F C E !!
I just cannot understand why all the work to fork features from Gnome 2.x to 3 or even keep Gnome 2.x alive (MATE). What did Gnome 2.x had that you cannot find in XFCE. Actually even LXDE will do most stuff that 2.x did.
I think it is about time that people that dislike Gnome 3 start using the real alternative instead of wasting time making it behave like Gnome 2 or even worse, complain in various forums.
32 • Thoughts on Mint (by mz on 2011-12-19 19:03:23 GMT from United States)
There are a few good points about Gnome 3, and if you think of the rather useless base as a starting point to add shell extensions on as either an end user or developer then Gnome 3 is actually usable. Unfortunately I would have to strongly recommend against adding more shell extensions on top of Mint 12, as the already present MGSE setup becomes buggy after adding official Gnome extensions. Maybe that will work in Mint 13, but after inducing a few bugs into my desktop I couldn't get back to regular Mint 12 until I created a new admin account for myself, deleted the old account, and left the default alone.
Are you using an actual package manager like Synaptic or the actual update manager that Mint was designed with? I had huge trouble trying to go between release versions before, but no actual problems with the update manager on Mint.
Are you thinking of the less stable/less tested updates that only appear in Mint update manager if you specifically enable them? You can also get them to appear with a red or orange warning box next to them in Mint update manager if you tweak the settings, but I don't think those updates are necessary anyway.
Anyway, I also like the default Mint 12 desktop. I only had 3 issues, one with adding more shell extensions via the Gnome website as mentioned above, another with some stuff disappearing from the Mint menu after adding more games via Synaptic, and trouble with the advanced package manager loading & causing the system to lock up which is why I've been using Synaptic. I think Mint Software Manager might be a bit of a memory hog, which is causing the issues with it on my laptop. Just an excuse to get more RAM I suppose, 512 MB is fairly light for the modern Distros that I want to play & work with.
33 • @27 Gnash is free software (by Magic Banana on 2011-12-19 19:04:13 GMT from Brazil)
Well, Gnash is free software. Publishing the source code somehow prevents from postponing security fixes until the leaks are actually exploited (a common practice with proprietary software). Then, Gnash being far less used, it obviously is not a primary target for broad attacks (like in "recruiting a botnet").
34 • unity gnome3 (by shawn on 2011-12-19 19:23:27 GMT from United States)
both unity and gnome3 have too many gestures and clicks or type than click,
i loved docky with the slingshot app
but now i just miss my spinning cube:(
35 • Flash/Gnash (by mz on 2011-12-19 19:28:11 GMT from United States)
@24 & 27
But are there any actual attacks against Linux or BSD via Flash? Perhaps I'm being a little lax in the security department but I think the combination of the more secure design of Linux/BSD, the very small surface area (i.e. market share) of the OSes creating a disincentive to attempt attacks for financial gain, the disjointed and different nature of the 300+ distros from a security exploit standpoint, and the relative ease of installing and maintaining a fully updated system all make Linux/BSD an extremely unlikely target, Flash or no Flash. I agree that Flash can be dangerous for Windows users, but do we really need to worry about it? The fact that I can watch web TV and finally have it play smoothly in Linux is a huge incentive for me to use Linux, and I generally don't care if there is yet another Flash exploit in Windows. Am I wrong to no worry about? Unless someone gives me a reason I just don't seem to care how bad Flash is as long as I have an up to date Linux disro.
36 • duh.. (by mz on 2011-12-19 19:31:26 GMT from United States)
Or you know, wrong to noT worry about IT.
37 • 3 Fedora-based distros! (by shady on 2011-12-19 19:37:43 GMT from United States)
OMG THERE'S SO MANY FEDORAE! :)
38 • @35 Flash and GNU/Linux (by Magic Banana on 2011-12-19 19:43:08 GMT from Brazil)
Just search the Web and you will find piles of security bulletins about Flash vulnerabilities that affect all supported platforms (GNU/Linux included). If the plugin is run with user privileges, the exploit can "only" do what the user can do (like send read your passwords, erase your files, etc.). Nevertheless, there sometimes are leaks in GNU/Linux's applications (and in the Linux kernel itself) that allow what is called "privilege escalation". Using that then allows the attacker to do whatever she wants (like installing a rootkit).
39 • Off topic humour for distrohoppers (by Vic on 2011-12-19 20:12:28 GMT from Canada)
Stumbled across this earlier and thought it was hilarious enough to share here for anyone else that might be suffering from 'distrohopitis'.
40 • Ubuntu and its offshoots (by Walter on 2011-12-19 20:23:07 GMT from Canada)
My 12.5 cents worth about Unity v Gnome is that I'd rather do Gnome than Unity. I don't like things forced on me. Otherwise I'd be quite happy with Debian and Iceweasel. Alas, Iceweasel 3.whatever-it-is is apparently too old for some sites. Oh well.
Other than the desktops, what I'd like to see with Ubuntu, Mint and the like is the ability to set up root at installation, like most of the rest do. I'd think it would add a layer of security.
41 • @40, Debian and Iceweasel (by Stan on 2011-12-19 20:33:39 GMT from United States)
If the version of Iceweasel is your only problem with Debian, then you're in luck! Go to http://mozilla.debian.net/ , choose which version of Iceweasel you want, follow the page's instructions to add the repository, and you're all set! The packages are done by the same person who does the official Debian Mozilla packaging, namely Mike Hommey, so no need to worry about trustworthiness there. Hope that helps!
42 • @14, about PearOS (by Frederic Bezies on 2011-12-19 20:49:33 GMT from France)
If I want to have a mac like GUI, I bought a mac, not a half working version of an ubuntu remix.
By the way, in french - I'm french, so sue me - pear could be heard as "pire", which means "the worst".
43 • worth considering (by mz on 2011-12-19 20:52:15 GMT from United States)
Unless all the methods to exploit a system are also cross platform than Linux still acts as a type of 'security through obscurity', although that's more about the size of the community relative to Windows rather than the silly MS notion of 'what you don't know can't hurt you'. You do have a point though, if anyone wants to target Linux then Flash may be a security hole. I could be more proactive than using updates as a first line of defense, but I still don't see Linux as much of a target, and when I buy online I use a live CD with SE Linux and without Flash.
44 • Mint has NOT deteriorated in last 2 years @6 (by Rex on 2011-12-19 21:16:25 GMT from United States)
Did you even read Jesse's review? He did NOT say Mint was great despite how horrible gnome3/Unity is! He said that Mint had 3 different menu options and excelled and or fulfilled in all 3.
I can't believe your post is serious. Please back up your claim by citing where exactly are these reviews claiming Mint is horrible but what do you expect considering the unholy mess that is Gnome3/Unity. I think they only exist in your imagination.
@7 I have never had Mint updates fail.
45 • @26, @28 (by Patrick on 2011-12-19 22:08:06 GMT from United States)
Hey, nice to know I'm not the only person here who likes Gnome shell. :-)
It's probably not the same thing, but I had problems with Ubuntu 11.10 not coming back after the screen had been turned off. In my case, it wasn't the backlight (the mouse cursor would show bright and clear, but the rest of the screen stayed black), and it was on NVidia hardware using the proprietary driver. My first "solution" was to make the screen not turn off on idle. My second solution was to switch distros... to Mint actually, so that won't solve your problem.
46 • supporting #44 (by zykoda on 2011-12-19 22:10:27 GMT from United Kingdom)
Mintu is a great convenience. Debian without hassle, directly or through Ubuntu. And there is now light at the end of the Gnome 3 tunnel. Not that I like that interface still, nor a great lover of the Mint menu. But the DE's are afterall, just overburden, hiding the true treasures.
47 • Messy upgrade cycle (by Patrick on 2011-12-19 22:47:42 GMT from United States)
After relative ease of upgrades the last couple of years, I've been fighting with a rather messy upgrade cycle this time. I guess I like to make my life hard, since I didn't NEED to upgrade. But I WANTED to, because I like Gnome shell and couldn't stand not getting any response from whipping my cursor into the top left corner in other environments, which I caught myself doing all the time.
I started trying to run Gnome shell on my Ubuntu/Unity install. It didn't work. I would get a "Nautilus desktop", but nothing else. I decided that it was likely due to bit rot, since I've been upgrading the same Ubuntu install several times already. So I went through OpenSUSE, a fresh Ubuntu, Debian testing, Mint 12. They all started out promising, but invariably, at some point during the setup of my system with all the software and features I wanted, the system would break in exactly the same way as my Ubuntu install had broken.
I started to wonder if Gnome shell was just horribly buggy and would randomly break, but I considered this unlikely, as it had been running completely trouble-free on my work laptop for close to a month. It was also hard to put a finger on what was causing the problem, as I always ended up having done a pile of customizations and installs before the reboot that would expose the problem. Then when the same thing happened in Mint 12, two useful properties of Mint helped me figure it out. I'm not saying that this is the only way I could ever have figured it out, just that it made it easier for me to try some things, and accidentally stumble onto the solution.
1. Mint has the desktop handled by Nautilus and shows some things on it by default, like "Computer".
2. Mint by default adds "Open in terminal" to the Nautilus menu.
Using this I started a terminal. There was some stuff in .xsession_errors, so I assumed my problem was video related. On a hunch I ran nvidia-settings. I turned off my second screen, which I had turned on before the problem has occurred. Logged out, logged back in: my Gnome shell was back!
I'm pretty sure the same problem was plaguing me with all the other distros I tried, I just hadn't figured it out those times. So the bottom line seems to be this: I don't know which parts of the equation are all to blame, but if I try to run Gnome shell, with multiple X screens, using the binary NVidia driver, Gnome shell will not start. Let's hope the involved parties figure this one out soon.
For now, I'm running an old Ubuntu 10.04 install if I want to watch shows using MythTV on my TV, which is what I use my dual screen setup for.
48 • ByeBye Mint (by Gblack on 2011-12-19 23:41:26 GMT from Australia)
I used to have Mint12 installed. Then I found out they changed the revenue of banshee code to get 100%. I asked on the mint forum 'whats the deal?' since there was no announcment anywhere. Then the Mint founder Clem deleted the post on forum, locked it and dismiss those mint users who complained about it. Since then, Clem changed the revenue back to 50% under pressure, but there are still no public statement from Clem to its Mint user on why the change. The only mention of it is still buried under other websites blog. The lack of transparency from Mint and this one-man-show from Clem was enough to turn me away from Mint. Now I am happily running Debian testing knowing that my Banshee player are not tarnished.
49 • Mint revenue from Banshee (by Jesse on 2011-12-20 00:04:40 GMT from Canada)
That's not at all what happened. Mint previously used the Banshee packages provided by Ubuntu. With the Ubuntu package revenue was divided at about 75% to Canonical and 25% to the GNOME team. The Mint developers looked at this and decided they could make an adjustment and altered the revenue stream to be 50% and 50% GNOME.
Maybe your forum post was removed because it was both inaccurate and the topic was already discussed on other parts of the forum? At any rate, under the Mint approach GNOME actually gains a higher percentage of the revenue.
50 • Mint update 1-5 scoring (by Jeroen on 2011-12-20 00:17:18 GMT from Netherlands)
As far as I know, the 1-5 scoring tells you how important the updates are. Not in what extend they have been tested.
51 • Mint Update scores (by Jesse on 2011-12-20 00:40:56 GMT from Canada)
>> "As far as I know, the 1-5 scoring tells you how important the updates are. Not in what extend they have been tested."
The scores reflect the amount of testing done, not the urgency/importance. A score of one means the update is certified safe, a five means the package is known to cause problems. There's an explanation in the mintUpdate tool itself under the Preferences section. You can see a screenshot here:
52 • Mint (by Toolz on 2011-12-20 00:50:28 GMT from Vietnam)
... currently the best reviewer out there (it's a pretty weak field).
53 • Mint revenue from Banshee (by Toolz on 2011-12-20 01:19:24 GMT from Vietnam)
The story had to hit Slashdot before we heard anything about Gnome getting 50%. This is the story Slashdot used:
Clem: "$3.41 is probably not worth splitting, tracking or even talking about, but if Banshee are interested in a share revenue with us we'll give them more than 25%, just to make that point."
At that point Mint were getting 100%, right?
54 • Gnome 3.2 (by John on 2011-12-20 01:42:14 GMT from United States)
Using Gnome 3.2, Debian Sid, and gnome extensions. I must say I am very happy. The only thing I have changed is the clock position and added an application menu where activities was just cause I like seeing the Debian swirl there. I have not been able to get weather working but no big problem it will come. The only real big change I would make, if it was up to me would be: When you mouse over the activities area and click applications instead of having all, accessories, games, graphic etc appear on the right side of the screen have it come up on the left side. Even this is not a great burden even if it does not ever get changed I will continue to us gnome 3, just personal request.
55 • Much ado about nothing! @48 (by Rex on 2011-12-20 01:48:33 GMT from United States)
Woo Hoo! So over $3.41 you contrive to get a hissy fit. And over $3.41 you decide you have the right to throw verbal stones at Clem the great 'evil taker' of said $3.41. For your information you are publicly wrong in claiming Clem made no public response. He said:
""Now, let's explain why the patch and the changelog don't say the same thing. The 'upstream' component of our repositories is for packages we take from Ubuntu and modify for Linux Mint. This particular package comes with a patch which changes the Banshee URL with a Canonical URL. What we're doing, in comparison to upstream (which for us means Ubuntu), is to modify this patch by replacing the Canonical URL with our own. So of course, in the end, the new patch still modifies the Banshee URL, but our change was to change the patch which itself changes that URL… if that makes sense. So, that's why you see 'Changed redirect URL Ubuntu's Amazon store' in the changelog, because that's exactly what we did." " From http://www.itworld.com/it-managementstrategy/231963/linux-mint-diverts-banshee-revenue
56 • @47 (by mz on 2011-12-20 02:32:19 GMT from United States)
If you want to use hot spots in KDE there is a setting for that, and you can make any corner or side do what ever you want. I personally use all the corners that don't have the KDE cashew to goto the desktop grid, and all the bottom side of the screen to give present windows (exactly what you get when you first whip the pointer up tho the corner in Gnome 3). One major benefit of the desktop grid is the fact that my launcher workspace is on one of the corners of the screen so I get to the launchers instantly but just clicking on the same corner of the screen where I whip my mouse. It's way quicker than hunting for that stupid applications button in Gnome 3, just whip and click the same corner, or whip to the bottom if I want all windows across all workspaces. Of course if you only want windows in the current workspace there is a setting for that too, but I haven't found the reverse in Gnome 3, and when I try to tune Gnome 3 to vanilla mode there are all these useless extra steps and hunting to get anywhere. Not to mention how horrible vanilla Gnome 3 handles multiple applications at once. I know the hot keys are there to send stuff to other workspaces, but everything just seems like such a pain in the butt. I'm sure there are plenty of people who like vanilla Gnome 3, but they really did create a very boutique DE that is definitely not suited for all users by default.
57 • Mint revenue from Banshee (by Toolz on 2011-12-20 02:38:55 GMT from Vietnam)
> "For your information you are publicly wrong in claiming Clem made no public response. He said:"
I don't think we should have to resort to visiting itworld.com to find important 'public' statements regarding Linux Mint. Got any links with 'mint' in the domain name?
> "you have the right to throw verbal stones at Clem"
All I see from #48 is "lack of transparency". Is that a 'verbal stone'?
$3.41 is totally beside the point.
58 • Linux Mint (by Kurt on 2011-12-20 03:13:50 GMT from Australia)
Definitely a distribution that I have a love/hate relationship with.
I used to think it was a great distribution but then Clem decided that those who didn't share his views on world politics weren't welcome (he says that declaration was the result of a drunken night but he still maintained the position for 6 months, serious bender that). From my point of view that made Linux Mint a non-free (as in speech) distribution and I couldn't in good conscience recommend it despite it technically still being excellent.
However the last few releases have seen a drop in quality, at least on my hardware, it never worked on my desktop and starting with Mint 11 it doesn't work on my laptop. Also the Mint update tool always throws an unresolved repository error and the software manager doesn't actually install software, I have to use Synaptic (again at least on my hardware).
59 • @ 57 (by Rex on 2011-12-20 03:32:59 GMT from United States)
Again Toolz you rush to attack Clem. Just as in #6 you exaggerated (your #50 fails) now you willfully do not see.
>I don't think we should have to resort to visiting itworld.com to find important 'public' statements regarding Linux Mint. Got any links with 'mint' in the domain name?
Yes I do. In the very article you don't think you need look at (but you did) it says:
"When another member of the forum pointed out his error, Lefebvre replied, "Canonical is not in a position to split the revenue generated by Mint users at 75% Canonical-25% Banshee. This is a decision that belongs to us. $3.41 is probably not worth splitting, tracking or even...' That is a quote from a response by him on the Mint Forums.
>All I see from #48 is "lack of transparency". Is that a 'verbal stone'?
Yes it is. It is also an unjustified assumption. But you seem to ignore the false and insulting rock thrown at all the people on team Mint just so Gblack can spite Clem. Without a shred of justification illuminating anything. Gblack pontificates "and this one-man-show from Clem was enough to turn me away from Mint".
60 • @58 (by Rex on 2011-12-20 03:48:21 GMT from United States)
Ah someone comes out and admits why Mint is getting attacked. I already knew this and Toolz practically admitted it in #6 when he alluded to "I used to like Mint until about two years ago when I perceived the quality had started slipping ..." which it was indeed about the 5th month of 2009 that a whole comment section of Distrowatch was occupied by the political attack on Clem. Nice going with your 6 months drunk slur. And we are to take the rest of your "assesment" seriously? No way.
61 • Mint revenue from Banshee (by Toolz on 2011-12-20 04:12:36 GMT from Vietnam)
> "That is a quote from a response by him on the Mint Forums."
No it's not, it's a comment on a German blog.
> "It is also an unjustified assumption."
The 'lack of transparency' is not an assumption; it's a statement - a belief or a judgement or an opinion. The assumption backing it up is that during that timeframe there was no proper statement regarding the Banshee referal code (on the Mint site).
> "you seem to ignore the false and insulting rock thrown at all the people on team Mint"
I'm ignoring (actually I'm unaware of) any such behaviour outside of these comments on the 20111219 DW Weekly. As far as #48 here and all the other posts go, there's nothing to ignore. Don't bring arguments from other forums into this discussion.
62 • Mint Banshee $ (by mz on 2011-12-20 04:59:31 GMT from United States)
Actually arguing over $3.41 is the point, because it proves there is no point. The Mint team were under no more obligation via the GPL to give anyone 1% or even 1 cent, than Ubuntu were to give Gnome the 25% revenue that they chose to. Of course they gave more than Ubuntu chose to, and even offered to talk with the about what they thought was fair before hand. If #48 wants to stop using Mint that's his crazy excuse, but there really is no serious issue here. As for the political stuff, well I know of 2 pizza chains that I could avoid because their former CEOs or founders were nuts, but I don't because there are far better reasons to boycott and I don't know where any Godfathers Pizza places are anyway. Plus while using Mint you pay nothing and if you don't want money to be split between a privacy respecting search engine, BSD (as I understood it the search engine gave to them), and Mint, then all you have to do is switch the default search engine. Oh and you could chose not to buy stuff through Banshee.
63 • @60 (by Kurt on 2011-12-20 05:40:25 GMT from Australia)
I'm in awe of your psychic powers, most people wouldn't realize that when I say I always get this error:
Failed to fetch http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/maverick/Release.gpg Something wicked happened resolving 'archive.ubuntu.com:http' (-5 - No address associated with hostname)
Failed to fetch http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/maverick-security/Release.gpg Something wicked happened resolving 'security.ubuntu.com:http' (-5 - No address associated with hostname)
Some index files failed to download, they have been ignored, or old ones used instead.
on running Mint update I'm just pulling their leg.
They also wouldn't know that I'm lying through my teeth if I say that Mint's installer doesn't recognize Intel ICH10R RAID arrays despite the fact that the Nautilus file browser does.
Finally they couldn't penetrate the deceit in suggesting that Mint 11&12 don't support Broadcom wireless LAN via the additional drivers tool where Mint 10 and earlier did.
I bow to your superior knowledge of my hardware.
64 • @61 (by Rex on 2011-12-20 06:06:13 GMT from United States)
Again you are just flat wrong!
That comment may have been repeated on the German forum but it was originally in the Mint forum. I know because I checked. Google search the quote and you will find it tied to official Mint forums!
" Linux Mint Forums • View topic - Linux Mint Swap Banshee Affiliate ...
13 posts - 4 authors - Last post: Dec 9
is not in a position to split the revenue generated by Mint users at 75% Canonical – 25% Banshee. This is a decision that belongs to us. $3.41 ..."
Third result from bottom. Google search engine.
As far as transparency is concerned, it is really exaggerating and pettifogging to make a transparency issue out of $3.41. As if Mint had nothing better to do with their time and money but to inform you of every possible little detail. As the IT article made clear there was no ethical violation and the change log was accurate. But that's not good enough for you.You can use a free system Clem and Team provides but are ungrateful and demanding anyway.
65 • Mint Broadcom drivers/ #63 (by mz on 2011-12-20 06:07:00 GMT from United States)
Actually I had an issue with the Broadcom drivers for the laptop I'm using to post this right now, via wireless, and had to use the forums to get it going. I just cut and pasted into the console, and while I was a little worried when my wired connection went down while I tried to install drivers via the command line, everything came right on system reset. Everything works well enough for me to get by, and I get that fresh distro feeling as a bonus. I'm certainly not kicking PCLOS off my main machine for several reasons, not least of which because Mint doesn't really seem to like my main system's hardware, but I still prefer KDE and rolling release, so to each his own.
66 • puppy (by walterj on 2011-12-20 06:21:13 GMT from Canada)
I installed puppy on a laptop with 600 Mhz pIII with 114 MB ram, and although it wasn't snappy, it's useable! XP was glacial slow on it. Incredible that it works so well on such an ancient laptop.
I finally sorted out opensuse 12.1 kde issues, and am happy with it so far. All issues were my lack of familiarity with opensuse - such as run levels for cifs. I guess I was too used to ubuntu automatically setting it up when i install samba. No more segfaults now.
I tried fuduntu but strongly disliked software choices, and couldn't find a way to add apps I wanted. It could be a great distro if it wasn;t so rigid in app choices. Gnome 2.32 looks good in it though.
67 • Mint revenue from Banshee (by Toolz on 2011-12-20 06:45:29 GMT from Vietnam)
Oh how tiresome to keep being told I'm wrong by someone who is never right.
> That comment may have been repeated on the German forum but it > was originally in the Mint forum. I know because I checked. Google > search the quote and you will find it tied to official Mint forums!
> " Linux Mint Forums • View topic - Linux Mint Swap
> Banshee Affiliate ...
> 13 posts - 4 authors - Last post: Dec 9
> is not in a position to split the revenue generated by Mint users
> at 75% Canonical – 25% Banshee. This is a decision that belongs to > us. $3.41 ..."
> Third result from bottom. Google search engine.
What you refer to in that *deleted* thread was the comment post by moderator proxima_centauri which *originated* on the German blog.
> "it is really exaggerating and pettifogging to make a transparency issue out of $3.41."
It is not making a transparency issue out of $3.41 - it is making a transparency issue out of a transparency issue. The sum of money is merely one component of that issue.
To all the sheeple repeating "$3.41 nothing" mantra - pray tell: what is the sum that's considered high enough to talk about? Linux Mint go to the trouble in their monthly stats of listing plenty of donations smaller than $3.41.
> "As the IT article made clear there was no ethical violation"
It was bad "community relations" according to the article. Lacking transparency.
68 • @67 (by mz on 2011-12-20 07:02:16 GMT from United States)
The lead dev offered to give more than Ubuntu and negotiate the rate as soon as it was brought up, end of story.
69 • @ 67 (by Rex on 2011-12-20 09:51:47 GMT from United States)
For someone who thinks Linux Mint is practically trash you certainly waste a lot of time digging up garbage to throw. I admit that I have wasted enough time on you.
70 • Mint the First??? (by Alessandro di Roma on 2011-12-20 10:21:41 GMT from Italy)
After all the Gnome3/Unity/MATE affair I happily switched from Mint 11 to Xubuntu 11.10. I think the first position of Mint in Distrowatch's rank is the effect of a trick, because Mint has many flavours but one position only, while Ubuntu official flavours are distributed among several positions. From today's rank I see: Mint = 2916, Ubuntu 2097 + Lubuntu 657 + Kubuntu 392 + Xubuntu 354 = 3500!
71 • @9 Unity contoversy. (by Antony on 2011-12-20 11:12:39 GMT from United Kingdom)
I have been a long-time KDE user.
I have dabbled with Gnome along the way and have also tried xfce, lxde, IceWM, FVWM, Enlightenment, the 'buxes' and a couple of others.
Although I predominantly used KDE, there were aspects of Gnome which I preferred. Overall, I liked the KDE apps more and I liked the tweakability. But...at the same time I also liked the smoother look and simplicity of Gnome. Yoikes! :)
Anyway, my Initial reaction to screenshots and reviews of Gnome shell and Unity was that they were a bit naff and didn't seem to belong on a desktop. Well, curiosity got the better of me and I tried Gnome shell with f16 and after actually using it for a while I could see the valid thinking behind the concept. I concluded that a fair percentage of negative criticism and looking down the nose (as I was guilty of as well), was probably due to it being condemned without having a proper trial.
Having said that, I must admit that, even recognizing that my pre-judgement of the shell turned out to be a bit wrong/snooty, I think I made the same, or more, of a mistake in my assumptions and dismissal of Unity.
Even though I was surprised with the shell, I still had written off Unity as just not even worth trying - and all it took to put me off were a few screenshots!
I installed 11.10/Unity nine days ago and, again, I have to admit I was blinkered. I have been even more surprised with Unity. Again, (having actually given it a go) I see the idea behind it. Things are still evolving and I think it would be a same for the shell and Unity to perhaps continue to be pre-judged and written off without a fair go.
I think Unity seems actually more streamlined than shell. Unity seems pretty good really but could benefit from a bit of a speedup here and there.
72 • Unity needs a speedup? (by Julian on 2011-12-20 12:19:36 GMT from United States)
"Unity seems pretty good really but could benefit from a bit of a speedup here and there."
For some reason on my hardware Unity and Unity-2d run slowly. You have to wait about two seconds while clicking something on the desktop shell, before there is any visible indication that the click has occurred! Once I realized that was the case, it was less disturbing but at first I thought my computer crashed!
Aside from that issue, Unity's pretty nice. Not as nice as GNOME shell with mint extensions though. The mint menu and mint task bar make a huge difference to me in getting where I want to go in the GNOME desktop. GNOME shell with or without mint extensions also runs faster on my computer for some reason. (But when all is said and done XFCE helps me accomplish the tasks I want to accomplish quicker than the alternatives!)
73 • #70 (by zykoda on 2011-12-20 14:43:26 GMT from United Kingdom)
But there are possible duplicate users to account for in *buntu!!!
74 • Up coming DE based on qt (by Vic on 2011-12-20 14:47:23 GMT from Canada)
Looks like there could be a new DE in town based on qt, look out KDE!
Dubbed Razor-Qt it is described as "an advanced, easy-to-use, and fast desktop environment based on Qt technologies. It has been tailored for users who value simplicity, speed, and intuitive interface. Unlike desktop environments, Razor-qt also works fine with weak machines." -- quote Phoronix
Article here -> http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTAyOTg
Screenshots here -> http://razor-qt.org/screenshots/
75 • NO (by Tony Aldo on 2011-12-20 15:43:56 GMT from United States)
GNOME 3 and Unity are both terrible, it's less flexible and very tied down. If I wanted my desktop to look like a iPhone, i'd use that as my desktop then. Until then, both user interfaces are terrible.
76 • #73 Mint the first??? (by Alessandro di Roma on 2011-12-20 15:59:57 GMT from Italy)
Anyway in order to obtain an unbiased rank Distrowatch should (if possible) either glue together in a single position all Mints (like now) and in a single position all Ubuntus, or split all Mints in distinct positions and split (like now) all Ubuntus. For instance Mint and Mint LXDE are exactly in the same relationship than Ubuntu and Lubuntu... or not?
Important advice for Distrowatch people: a bit of criticism, but more important MANY THANKS FOR YOUR WORK!!!
77 • Techradar review: "KMail - avoid at all costs" (by Bob on 2011-12-20 16:07:01 GMT from Austria)
I just thought this might be interesting for some of you. Techradar reviewd 5 Linux email clients and KMail ended up on 5th place - which it probably deserved. Thunderbird was the winner, Evolution the runner up. If anyone out there prefers Evolution over Thunderbird on a KDE box I'd like to know about it (why?). Thanks.
78 • Unity (by Patrick on 2011-12-20 16:08:48 GMT from United States)
The two things that drove me nuts in my time spent with Unity were:
1. The global menu. I hate it with a passion. There's nothing less intuitive than having to find part of your application in a different place, detached from the rest of the application. I do think it is possible to turn it off though (by removing some package?). To be fair I probably should have done that and given it some more time. But then again, there's probably not much point to trying to like a system that promotes a way of doing things that you dislike.
2. Applications kept hiding themselves under the top bar. For instance, numerous times I couldn't reach the tabs in Firefox because they were stuck under the top bar. Since the window header was up there too, I had to Alt-drag the window down and carefully resize it to fit on my screen nicely, without actually being maximized. Because if I maximized it, the tabs would be lost again. Same thing with Nautilus. Even though it wasn't maximized, the window header would be out of reach so I couldn't just grab and move it, but had to Alt-drag the window away. Anyone else seen this behavior? I can't imagine it would be considered "normal"...
79 • razer-qt (by John on 2011-12-20 16:14:40 GMT from United States)
I just love how Linux has some many choices. I equate it to football. I like Florida State thers like Florida most of the players come from Florida so really does it matter which team or in this case which desktop I like since it is all open source. If gnome 3 does not suit my needs then I will change to xfce or Lxde. There will be Debian stable running gnome for at least another year or 2 minimum so by then who knows what will be available. I have been running Gnome 3 since it hit testing and then I went to sid to get 3.2 and I must say if gnome 2.x went away it would not slow me down. Remember there is always MS who will be glad to give you what they want you to have with no choice. In linux you have all kinds of choices so lets spend time reporting what we would like to see in gnome 3 to devs and see what happens. I can not say anything about unity one way or the other since I only use Debian.
80 • Opinions (by Eddie on 2011-12-20 17:03:41 GMT from United States)
@75, No they're not. That may be your opinion but it's not mine. They're more productive than anything I've used in the past. If you learn how to use them.
81 • @75 Sign... (by Vic on 2011-12-20 17:21:15 GMT from Canada)
Why do people continue to play on the weak analogy that Gnome 3 and Unity are smartphone UIs? If you find they don't suit you fine, no one is forcing you to use either of them. Use something you like. Make constructive suggestions on how they can be improved so you might like them. Who knows, your ideas might get picked up if they are worthy enough to get attention. Most importantly though, please stop comparing them to something they aren't!
82 • Mint revenue from Banshee (by Toolz on 2011-12-20 17:23:52 GMT from Vietnam)
@69 > "For someone who thinks Linux Mint is practically trash"
Where did you get this from? What have you been reading?
@69 > "you certainly waste a lot of time digging up garbage to throw"
What garbage? I spent a little time enlightening you with the truth to refute your repeated erroneous assertions. I didn't have to dig - I had the info to hand.
@68 > "The lead dev offered to give more than Ubuntu and negotiate the rate as soon as it was brought up, ..."
Hum, so the Banshee guys are expected to turn up at the pre-arranged spot, at the negotiated time, hang up their hats and talk turkey ... all for [$insertsmallsum] ... but for Linux Mint to just do the decent thing and offer half or a quarter up front ... aaah, it's too small a sum to bother with! Come on guys, you can't have it both ways!
BTW is anybody so surprised that a distro that was released very late in November hasn't generated that much referral $$$ ...you know, like by the time this all blew up in early December?
83 • GNASH/FLASH (by imnotrich on 2011-12-20 17:31:19 GMT from Mexico)
No argument that FLASH is a possible attack vector. Most plug-ins that make the web useful are.
GNASH, on the other hand has come up with a novel way to prevent such attacks. Simply: don't run the content. The reason they call it GNASH is because you will GNASH your teeth getting GNASH to do anything. It's not compatible with you tube or any flash streams or animation, period. Doesn't matter what browser you use either.
Heck, GNASH won't even run the official adobe.com flash tester.
Good for security, otherwise GNASH is junk.
84 • Its not only Ubuntu/Mint (by zap on 2011-12-20 17:48:03 GMT from United States)
It appears that 90% of the comments are about Ubuntu vs Mint.
Each week I try to wade my way though the senseless comments, to see if someone else has any new outlook regarding Linux - news, experience, updates.
85 • Trolls begone.... (by Raymond on 2011-12-20 18:25:12 GMT from United States)
I would like to start by saying thanks to DWW staff, I always looky forward to and enjoy DWW. However, the comment section has turned into a bloody trollfest. GET OFF IT PEOPLE! Do I like gnome 3? No. Do I gripe about it? NO. Did I switch to something that suits my needs? YES. Linux is all about CHOICES, and ITS FREE... Quit griping, bashing, and trolling and offer some CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM for petes sakes. Remember, in ALOT of cases these devs are donating their time and effort to bring you a FREE alternative to MS. Instead of insulting these people, offer suggestions for improvement, or if you can (unlike a progemming challenged user like me) OFFER YOUR TIME AND HELP. Otherwise, be thankful for what you DO have, and try something different that will suit your needs. PCLinuxOS has SEVERAL versions of their OS's INCLUDING "mini" varieties that allow you to (GASP!!!) build it how you want.... Just a thought to any linux devs out there, maybe thats a way to silence the dissentors out there is offer a PCLOS style "mini" as well. I would love to see more "mini's". Otherwise, DWW staff, devs, testers etc, THANK YOU for your hard work and efforts.
86 • Lightweight QT DEs etc. (by mz on 2011-12-20 18:41:03 GMT from United States)
@74 & 79
I've actually been wondering why there wasn't something like that for a while. I mean on the Gnome/gtk side of things there is XFCE, so why not a light DE that pulls more from KDE & Qt? I look forward to trying it out if there are some positive reviews & more info on it.
@82>"Hum, so the Banshee guys are expected to turn up at the pre-arranged spot, at the negotiated time, hang up their hats and talk turkey ..."
Now do we really have to go into this again, or do you just want to go out with your pitchfork and torch and forgive no one for anything no matter who is or isn't actually upset? I mean where are the Banshee devs crying foul and demanding more or to see all internal Mint emails to know how their GPL software is being used despite that not being required via the license? Under the GPL there is no obligation to do anything like what they did, but despite that the Mint team are trying to stumble their way through the process of being good community members. It may not be a perfect process, but then nothing is, so I think you need a new topic to troll on.
87 • @85 (by mz on 2011-12-20 19:04:47 GMT from United States)
No, I think we're all finicky nerds who want it our way even if it's something we're not going to actually use, because it's fun to toss bricks across an anonymous internet. Seriously though why doesn't Gnome 3 have the kind of configurable hotspots that KDE 4.x does? It is a lot quicker to get to everything you want when you can get to everything in one fluid motion without extra clicking around on applications menus that take 10 seconds to respond on my laptop on the first attempt to use it after every boot. In fact why not put a little button and arrow in the bottom left corner that says applications on it so that you can get to the launchers in a single fling/click rather than having to click through extra menus from the top left corner? I think that a few changes like that would really be a lot more familiar & usable for most potential converts than the current defaults. I think there really is an issue with Gnome throwing out sane and comfortable defaults in the name of progress when taking some of their ideas and tweaking them to me a little more familiar could actually yield far better results for the majority of potential users.
88 • to be or not.. (by mz on 2011-12-20 19:11:42 GMT from United States)
Or ...tweaking them to Be a little more familiar...
Anyhow, the new configurability options through shell extensions show that Gnome 3 is making progress, but stuff like leaving out a fully GUI shutdown option were just nuts and they needed to be called on it.
89 • Lol (by Raymond on 2011-12-20 19:18:07 GMT from United States)
Hehehe mz I think you hit the nail on the head thar.... One thing I forgot to mention that some out there may not know about already. There are at least TWO easy to use emulator programs out there (namely Oracles VirtualBox and VMWares VMViewer, both free) that can be used by most pc's that can run a linux (or other) distro for users to test and review their distro of interest to see if it WILL fit your needs without having to format/install/screw up your pc. Just my 2 cents on that subject.
90 • virtual box and trolls (re #89, 85) (by imnotrich on 2011-12-20 19:56:02 GMT from Mexico)
You're forgetting that running a distro in a virtual environment will not help you determine compatibility with your hardware (specifically the hardware you intend to run that distro on).
Primarily you're just test driving the gui.
As for trolls, if you don't like the message they are trolls and if you agree then it's constructive criticism, right?
Not everybody codes, but everybody does have opinions and sharing them (assuming the developers are listening) is in some small way pitching in. No, it's not cash. It's not time spent coding. But suggestions for improvement still have value.
Of course I am grateful for work done by developers, that's not the point. The point I'm trying to make is that sometimes developers could benefit listening to their user base. If they did wouldn't the end product be better?
91 • Mint 12 (by Nimbus2000 on 2011-12-20 20:27:48 GMT from United States)
I am a long time Linux user that at one time or another has used most of the major distributions. A few years ago I finally settled on Mint because everything just worked. I don't mind trying new things as long as they work. Gnome 3 definitely is NOT one of those things. To make things worse, my ATI / AMD video card refuses to work properly with any flavor of Gnome 3.
Mint 12 is the best implementation of Gnome 3 I have seen yet, but it does not fix the underlying problem. MATE looks promising but it still needs lots of work. I prefer the LTS versions (still running Mint 9 on the laptop) and hope the show stopping issues are resolved by the time the next LTS version is released. In the meantime I have Scientific Linux 6.1 installed on the desktop. It took some work to get everything configured the way I want but at least I can be relatively sure it continue to work correctly until 2017 (or is that 2020)...
92 • @31 Xfce (by Bob on 2011-12-20 22:03:05 GMT from Canada)
Well put. Xfce is amazing and every release just gets better. IMO, the development team has taken a more conservative approach than Gnome or KDE. For example, the 4.10 release which is tentatively scheduled for March 2012 will not use GTK3 libraries because they are not stable enough yet.
I think Xfce is a good desktop for Debian users because both have fairly long release cycles and both are very stable.
Give it a try.
93 • MintPPC (by Dave on 2011-12-20 22:38:55 GMT from United States)
I would like to see MintPPC added to the distrowatch database. Now that Apple has abandoned PPC architecture MintPPC is the sole viable option for many of us PPC diehards for moving forward. YDL is terrible, Fedora is dropping PPC support, Ubuntu and variants are hardly lightweight and besides not officially supported. MintPPC is lightweight, fast as heck, comes with all the apps needed to get your old PPC mac up and running in 2011/12. The MintPPC forum is friendly and the developer(s) really helpful. Just what open source is about!!!!!
Please give a thumbs up to the RISC!
94 • @93 - There are others not commercial powerpc distros (by Nello on 2011-12-20 23:26:58 GMT from Italy)
MintPPC is a meta distro... formerly a DebianPPC 32bit with Mint flavour and support for only Apple PowerPC machines.
FYI, i use & love CRUX PPC but there are others powerpc distros available. BTW, Fedora 16beta for PPC was released a couple of days ago
95 • Linux Mint 12 Cinammon (by tdockery97 on 2011-12-20 23:32:33 GMT from United States)
Clem just revealed today that he has developed a Gnome 3 fork dubbed Cinammon. It is designed to give a real Gnome 2 functionality and appearance to Gnome Shell, going much further and better integrated than MGSE. Information is available on the Mint Forums.
96 • Mint 12 (by OldTimer2 on 2011-12-20 23:41:13 GMT from United Kingdom)
I had a different experience with Mint 12.
Tried it on an old R40 Thinkpad, never again.
I use Mint 11 on my main machine, but I'll keep that for years, I couldn't stand 12.
Reformated the R40 with Antix and works like a dream.
97 • Mint 12 (by Nimbus2000 on 2011-12-21 00:24:16 GMT from United States)
I am a long time Linux user that at one time or another has used most of the major distributions. A few years ago I finally settled on Mint because everything just worked. I don't mind trying new things as long as they work. Gnome 3 definitely is NOT one of those things. To make things worse, my ATI / AMD video card refuses to work properly with any flavor of Gnome 3.
Mint 12 is the best implementation of Gnome 3 I have seen yet, but it does not fix the underlying problem. MATE looks promising but it still need lots of work. I prefer the LTS versions (still running Mint 9 on the laptop) and hope the show stopping issues are resolved by the time the next LTS version is released. In the meantime I have Scientific Linux 6.1 installed on the desktop. It took some work to get everything configured correctly but at least I can be relatively sure it continue to work correctly until 2017 (or is that 2020)...
98 • @83 Gnash and YouTube (by Magic Banana on 2011-12-20 00:25:05 GMT from Brazil)
I watch videos in YouTube with Gnash. No problem. Please inform yourself instead of writing false statements.
By default (but one can change that in the preferences), Gnash does not play the content. You need to click a button a button at the bottom of it. Given the required resources to play Flash content and the fact that most of it is commercials in the pages I visit, I love it.
99 • #83/#98: gnash and YouTube (by Caitlyn Martin on 2011-12-21 01:29:15 GMT from United States)
#83: That was true maybe two years ago. Recent versions of gnash work perfectly well with YouTube as Magic Banana describes in #98. In general, though, gnash works with perhaps half the sites with Flash content that I visit, which is why I\'ve mainly gone back to the proprietary Adobe code. I wish an FOSS alternative would work better but sadly I haven\'t found one.
100 • Does anyone have the Wolvix Control Panel (WCP) source code? (by Caitlyn Martin on 2011-12-21 01:33:32 GMT from United States)
Does anyone have, or know where I can find, the source code for the Wolvix Control Panel from the now dead distro? I'd also like any bits and pieces of code that were called by WCP. I've found the source trees for versions 1.1.0 and 2.0.0 (the last beta) online with some help from friends and the folks on the LXer forum but in each case the WCP code was missing from the tree. Oithona's site at http://wolvix.oithona.com/wolvix.html has the control panel as a separate download but not the source AFAICT.
Any help on this would be appreciated.
101 • #100: Never mind -- I've got the source code :) (by Caitlyn Martin on 2011-12-21 01:42:10 GMT from United States)
OK, I've got the source. It's all python scripts, nothing compiled, so it is in the package at Oithona's website. Thanks to anyone who tried to help.
102 • opinions (by JR on 2011-12-21 01:55:21 GMT from Brazil)
you can give your views but others have to stop doing it? I do not understand this kind of thing!
Unity and Gnome3 are made for smartphones? I do not know, maybe, but who thinks it has the right to say it, no?
week after week you try to censor those who think differently, let the guy talk that gnome3 is terrible, what's the problem, it is his opinion! it is terrible for him, for me, despite not being gnome, is not so bad, I will not use it anyway!
What makes me most upset are the complaints about opinions that supposedly should not be said! like: stop saying this or that, as this claim was not boring too!
means that you can complain about other people's opinions, but people can not complain about computer interfaces, which is still a matter under discussion? The review of Mint12 is proof that the subject Gnome3 X Unity X something else is still the main issue whether or not you guys are tired of this subject!
We have to talk about systems, interfaces, programs offered, stability and usability of systems, etc ... and ... our vision about them, so who complains about gnome or Unity is perfectly within the subject, don't you think?
move on does not mean not thinking or talking about something you left behind, maybe I have already found a replacement for gnome2, but that does not mean I agreed with the path taken, and, maybe, I also think that Canonnical , for example, is focusing on the tablet market, is an opinion, right?
103 • corrections (by JR on 2011-12-21 02:18:56 GMT from Brazil)
the last sentence was supposed to be like this:
"move on" does not mean not thinking or talking about something you left behind, maybe I have already found a replacement for gnome2, but that does not mean I agreed with the path taken, and, maybe, I also think that Canonnical , for example, is focusing on the tablet market, is an opinion, right?
104 • @102 opinions (by Vic on 2011-12-21 03:01:01 GMT from Canada)
I completely encourage the sharing of opinions here, or anywhere. I am just asking others to put some constructive thought into what they write. If someone thinks badly of something and feels they need to share that, great! Just put some thought behind it first. It serves no one well to criticize based on simple stereotypes alone and the repeated occurrences get tiresome to read.
105 • Mint's CounterArgument (by Gblack on 2011-12-21 04:38:18 GMT from Australia)
Regarding the banshee counterargument, Clem stated that $3.41 was not significant. Of course it wasnt! This was considering the fact this amount was generated from November ONLY. If you know the facts Mint12 was released on 27th November. So we are talking about 4 days! Why are you arguing its insignifcant based on 4 days of data.
After one whole year of Mint12 and Mint13, do you still think the amount revenue will be $3.41.
This banshee redirect business was only found out by a german site and then made public via http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/12/linux-mint-swap-banshee-affiliate-code-take-100-of-profits/. If this information was not found, then we still know nothing about it? Transparency? You think given that ubuntu had suffered backlash that the Mint Dev people would of think to disclose this important change wouldnt you. But they didnt. Not unless someone found out about it.
106 • Re: 90 (by Raymond on 2011-12-21 05:25:02 GMT from United States)
@90, yes you are correct on your assesment of virtualbox environments, but to an extent it would still help some folks, as I was mostly referring to the cosmetic and interface issues that people are having with certain linux distros.
"As for trolls, if you don't like the message they are trolls and if you agree then it's constructive criticism, right?"
There, you are partially correct. To me It doesnt matter if I agree or disagree with someones assesment of something, its HOW thy word it as to whether its constructive criticism or trolling.
"Of course I am grateful for work done by developers, that's not the point. The point I'm trying to make is that sometimes developers could benefit listening to their user base. If they did wouldn't the end product be better?"
Agreed. Unfortunately so many others out there dont see things the way you do :(
107 • Aurora OS (by C on 2011-12-21 06:23:02 GMT from United States)
Why have them on the waiting list when they haven`t released anything new?
108 • Transparency? (by tdockery97 on 2011-12-21 06:51:23 GMT from United States)
I must be missing something here. Clem develops a distribution that he gives to users for free. Why would his private business dealings regarding his income be anyone else's concern?
109 • Flash replacements (by megadriver on 2011-12-21 09:27:25 GMT from Spain)
The problem with the various FOSS Flash replacements is that they seem to concentrate their efforts into Flash video, and almost completely neglect support for Flash games.
Guess what... I don't need Flash for video, actually!
The day Gnash (or maybe Lightspark) can acceptably play stuff like Canabalt, Tiny Crawl, GLORG, Endeavor, Tobe's Hookshot Escape and, specially, Deepak Fights Robots, is the day I'll (gladly) kick proprietary Flash out!
110 • Unix stickers scam? (by Simon on 2011-12-21 13:46:16 GMT from United Kingdom)
A couple of months ago I ordered some stickers from http://www.unixstickers.com/
They took my money and after two months I have relieved nothing.
They don't respond to my enquires.
Anyone else been ripped off by these guys? Or am I the only unlucky one? :(
111 • Mint and Banshee (by Jesse on 2011-12-21 14:02:42 GMT from Canada)
>> "This banshee redirect business was only found out by a german site and then made public via http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/12/linux-mint-swap-banshee-affiliate-code-take-100-of-profits/. If this information was not found, then we still know nothing about it? Transparency? You think given that ubuntu had suffered backlash that the Mint Dev people would of think to disclose this important change wouldnt you. But they didnt. Not unless someone found out about it."
I have trouble understanding this point of view. The only reason anyone "found out" about the change was because the Mint developers announced the patch in the changelog. The changelog is public to anyone interested in reading it. Why would they make a big blog announcement about it? Really, this patch isn't any different than the dozens of other patches worked on every day. No one complains about the transparency where those patches are concerned.
Mint has always been up front about gaining revenue in whatever way is available, from the browser's search engine, to advertising to app revenue streams. This is just one more revenue stream. For Mint it's business as usual, there was no reason to declare their actions beyond the mention in the changelog.
Some people seem to think the Banshee team is being ripped off, but that doesn't make any sense. Banshee is open source and the license specifically states anyone can take and modify their code. The Banshee team explicitly gives everyone permission to do exactly what Canonical and Mint did. Any money sent back to Banshee or GNOME is a courtesy.
112 • Linpus (by geekboula on 2011-12-22 01:02:07 GMT from Canada)
Hey guy ! Don't lost your time with that... I tested and you don't have a really full gnome 3 desktop. The light version you have 3 programme that it ! For the real version you need to paid..
DON'T LOST YOUR TIME.. Past your way
113 • Mint 12 Lisa LXDE i386 coming soon? (by Roy H Huddleston on 2011-12-22 03:22:08 GMT from United States)
I am staying with the Katya until the Lisa comes. I just haven't found a better LXDE with the Gnome Power manager that works as well. I tried to update the kernel to the latest stable release. It didn't work like I expected it would. So I guess I am just stuck with Natty until there is a Lisa LXDE.
114 • @104 (by JR on 2011-12-22 03:51:42 GMT from Brazil)
so do not read these comments, why bother?
at least they're within the subject, we're not!
what makes a criticism constructive or not is what you do with it and not its contents!
The point is that developers listen and do something about it. It is important to realize that they displeased many people ... and stop ignoring it as if it were an extreme minority!
is already working, at least gnome3 is already improving, or not?
115 • Cinnamon Shell (by mz on 2011-12-22 06:26:02 GMT from United States)
I've only used it a tiny bit, but I dig this Cinnamon Shell thing and it has already solved the disappearing menu item bug I had in MSG. It seems like MSGE done right, although it also seems like it might be a bit heavier than Gnome Shell. The menu is improved and looking a lot more like the old Mint Menu, and the status items are more detailed when clicked on. The window selector effect and expanding virtual desktops are still there via the infinity key & the hot corner, and the Gnome 3 applications tab is gone. I'm glad to be rid of the top bar on my laptop. Overall I think it is the best shell based on Gnome 3 that I've used, and it's still in alpha stage development. It has all the extra potential of Gnome 3 without the junk added on.
116 • LXDE or LDM? (by Roy H Huddleston on 2011-12-22 11:14:32 GMT from United States)
After reading the review of Mint 12 and agreeing with the commentary since I would like to see a Lisa version of LXDE I couldn't help but add that Lubuntu in the Alpha1 state with Precise Pangolin is opting for the LDM rather than the full LXDE. It seems like there is this dichotomy of a stable Gnome and a faster lightweight bleeding edge trade off. Which makes me wonder if there is a fast Gnome out there. So I am downloading the Lisa and checking out this MSGE.
117 • # 85 - bloody trollfest (by forlin on 2011-12-22 12:06:01 GMT from Portugal)
I really agree with comment #85
The more I use gonome3, the more I like it.
Even though I like Gnome3, I don't see a valid reason for me to keep out crying about the current Gnome2, nor Unity, or KDE3.
It seems that most people forgot the genesis of open source: Pick up the code and improve or change it the way it better feet one self.
118 • @114 (by Vic on 2011-12-22 12:42:34 GMT from Canada)
>so do not read these comments, why bother?
Because I am interested in FOSS and there is often useful bits of news and information in shared in these comments
>at least they're within the subject, we're not!
this thread of conversation rarely stays purely on the topics of the weeks DWW, I know I been a regular follower for years!
>what makes a criticism constructive or not is what you do with it and not its contents!
Quote from Wikipedia
Constructive criticism aims to show that the intent or purpose of something is better served by an alternative approach. In this case, making the criticism is not necessarily deemed wrong, and its purpose is respected; rather, it is claimed that the same goal could be better achieved via a different route.
Both negative and constructive criticism have their appropriate uses, but often it is considered a requirement of criticism that they are combined. Thus, it is often considered that those who find fault with something should also offer an option for putting it right."
And after posting a definition I'll give you that point cause I completely agree with you. But the idea I'm trying to convey here is that it's highly unlikely that a gnome developer is lurking the comments here at DW looking for ways to improve Gnome from off handed comments made by people trashing their hard work. If you want to help they Gnome community get better, join in their forums and make yourself heard there!
>The point is that developers listen and do something about it. It is important to realize >that they displeased many people ... and stop ignoring it as if it were an extreme >minority!
Exactly! And placing your displeasure where it will have a greatest effect would go a long way in getting change to happen.
>is already working, at least gnome3 is already improving, or not?
Gnome 3 would continue to improve regardless of opinions of it get shared here, it's a live evolving project.
119 • @114 (by Patrick on 2011-12-22 14:42:58 GMT from United States)
"""The point is that developers listen and do something about it. It is important to realize that they displeased many people ... and stop ignoring it as if it were an extreme minority!"""
And how exactly do you know it's not an extreme minority? Have any numbers?
120 • @110, Unix stickers (by Barnabyh on 2011-12-22 15:55:44 GMT from United Kingdom)
If we are talking about the same site (Italian?), I contacted them for promotional items as they offered on the main page to send free stickers for that purpose.
Never heard anything.
121 • Happy Festive Season & New Year to All (by Woodstock69 on 2011-12-23 02:43:11 GMT from Papua New Guinea)
A happy festive season to Ladislav and the team at Distrowatch from Papua New Guinea. Thanks for the reviews and topical information throughout the year. And thanks to the contributors who, at times, make the comments section an 'interesting' read.
Lukim yu bihain long niuplela yia na hapi krismas olgeta!
122 • Mint (by Petr on 2011-12-23 12:55:25 GMT from Bulgaria)
Mint is not the top Linux distribution, even though it has Distrowatch "ranking", which only shows 2946 had clicked on Mint, while 2095 had clicked on Ubuntu. I personally know more than 3000 Ubuntu users, most of whom had never heard of Distrowatch. There are millions of users, once quite happy with their distribution, never look for another to hop in.
Some of the distros Distrowatch advertises are not exactly good ones. There are a lot outside this Web site, which are excellent and the distrowatch readers never get a chance to see them!
123 • Unity, Mint and Ubuntu (by Petr on 2011-12-23 14:42:57 GMT from Bulgaria)
If you "hate" Unity so much, then you can download Cairo Dock and completely forget that you have Unity and never go to the top left corner with your cursor. Good luck!
Isn't it better than whining?!
124 • @122 (by Barnabyh on 2011-12-23 14:46:03 GMT from United Kingdom)
Distrowatch is not 'advertising' distributions.
There quite likely are way more spins and whatnot out there that are not featured here, like Fluxflux-sl for example (based on Slax anyway), but at least Ladislav and the team offer a central overview of active distributions that fulfil certain criteria. There is no other website with a database like it. They do not go out and hunt down new distributions. Anybody who wants to be listed is free to submit their work.
125 • Mint vs. Ubuntu (by mz on 2011-12-23 17:02:16 GMT from United States)
No one ever said Distrowatch stats were to be taken as a scientific poll of Linux users, as for Unity there are other reasons not to want it besides the dock. I need more time with it to see if I could actually get used to it, but I think the dash launcher is much more poorly implemented than either the Gnome 3 applications tab or the KDE search and launch workspace. I'm personally going to be using Mint in part because it's very easy to install modified versions of Gnome 3 as well as Unity and KDE. I never really cared for Ubuntu, but I respect much of the generic thrust of the ideals of it. I do think there needs to be at least a few free & opensource projects out there targeting average users, and as long as the entire opensource ecosystem is expanding I'm happy. If Ubuntu messes up and something based on it gains that just means there is more competition in the land of Linux than elsewhere which is a very good thing. Decisions can never be foisted upon users cause tahn can to only complain, then can easily instal a new DE or even a new distro, and personally I think that there is something really awesome and empowering about that. Don't take it too personally, people will move on eventually.
126 • Mint is a "real distro" (by Caitlyn Martin on 2011-12-23 18:42:59 GMT from United States)
Considering that Clem and his team develop their own code which, in turn, is now being picked up by other distros, how can Mint not be called a "real distro"? MGSE/Cinnamon is the latest clear contribution to the Linux community as a whole and it is a Mint original. If we limited "real distros" to those developed from scratch we'd have precious few to talk about, and, as others have already pointed out, Ubuntu wouldn't be one of them.
One of the beautiful thing about FOSS licenses is that they allow a creative developer to take something that has value and add on to it in new and exciting ways. SUSE started out as Slackware plus RPM. It's so much more than that now. Mandrake and Connectiva started out as a Red Hat respins. Does anyone think that's all Mandriva is today? Mint is clearly more than an Ubuntu respin.
Oh, and for the record, Mint is not and has never been my distro of choice. It isn't what I run on my machines. Having said that, every time I look at it I see new and creative things being done by the Mint developers. Even though Mint not my personal choice I have to respect what the distro is doing.
127 • siduction (by Chris H on 2011-12-23 21:48:33 GMT from United States)
I installed the 32 bit Xfce version of siduction on two machines. It is, as advertized, a modified version of aptosid. More 'user friendly'. Using smxi, I've installed the debian sid PAE kernel. It works for me.
The latest aptosid xfce version was released in July 2010; if you want a fresh install, you can save yourself a lot of upgrading by using siduction instead of aptosid. The aptosid xfce version is also delivered with much less software than siduction is; I suppose that that translates in more developer interest and work in the xfce version for siduction than for aptosid.
The developer, Ferdinand Thommes, has changed the icon scheme -- a la mint -- to give siduction a new look. The google chrome icon has changed color; that's just confusing to me.
128 • #122 (by zykoda on 2011-12-23 23:52:26 GMT from United Kingdom)
And where then must one look? What sources do you recommend? I would be happy to find out. Distrowatch seems to give a pretty wide coverage regardless of distro quality. There are so many differing opinions expressed without censorship here.
129 • siduction with gnome 3 (by Chris H on 2011-12-24 06:16:51 GMT from United States)
I just got gnome-desktop-environment installed to my siduction installs. Now I can log on to gnome 3, gnome-fallback or siduction xfce. Nice.
130 • Happy new year Distrowatch (by linuxuser on 2011-12-24 06:41:07 GMT from Greece)
My best wishes to Ladislav and the Distrowatch team for the year 2012. I thank you for keeping us informed on the Linux ecosystem and I wish you to continue your creative work and the next year. I thank also all the contributors of the DWW comment section for informative and useful discusions and my best wishes to all of you.
131 • Unity & Gnome3 (by greg on 2011-12-24 15:39:04 GMT from United States)
I like Ubuntu 10.10. I have tried to install the more modern distros, but my older computer just can't handle them. Luckily I still had my 10.10 cd around. For those dissatisfied with the newer versions, hopefully you still have your old cd, too.
132 • Choices (by TheBullDog on 2011-12-25 00:25:22 GMT from United States)
My distributions of choice are currently Linux Mint, Zorin OS, and Peppermint OS. All came to my attention while perusing Distrowatch. My thanks to Ladislav and team. I'm looking forward to another great year in 2012.
133 • End of the year (by Jesse on 2011-12-25 00:27:27 GMT from Canada)
I'd like to thank everyone here for reading and for all the wonderful support and feedback. It's great to have such an enthusiastic audience. Please keep the e-mails coming, they makes all the difference. At the moment I'm putting together my list of distributions to review in the new year. If you have any suggestions, please e-mail them to me.
Have a safe holiday season everyone and I look forward to sharing more experiences with you in the new year.
134 • Mint 12--Cinnamon (by Kirk M on 2011-12-25 03:24:45 GMT from United States)
For those who don't know yet, the Cinnamon DE is an actual fork of Gnome 3's gnome-shell itself and is being developed by Clement Lefebvre and the Mint dev team. Clem and his team have decided that hacking up gnome-shell with extensions is not enough since so little can actually be done through gnome-shell extensions. In order to give Mint users the same kind of experience they've enjoyed over the years, he decided to rebuild gnome-shell entirely. The result is Cinnamon.
It's in an early alpha stage right now but it's supposed to be ready for Linux Mint 13 as the main DE. It also looks like Update pack 4 for LMDE will include Gnome 3/Cinnamon as well. I'm running all 3 DE's (not counting Fallback mode) on a Linux Mint 12 install on my Desktop PC (quad core, 8 GB memory, Nvidia GT 430) and all 3 are working well despite the fact that MATE is in beta and Cinnamon is in alpha.
135 • CentOS (by tdockery97 on 2011-12-25 08:07:43 GMT from United States)
With the latest release announcement of CentOS on DW this week, I decided to give their desktop system a try. It seemed like a reasonable idea with all the Gnome 3/Unity uproar over the last few weeks. I have to report that I find CentOS to be a calming port in the storm. The stock Gnome 2.28 desktop is like an old friend, and if I may be so bold I believe the stability is even a little ahead of Debian Squeeze. I also found that if you are so inclined, you can install the latest versions of apps without any problems, so the system does not feel stale. I think this old distrohopper will be keeping this one.
136 • Re:135 CentOS on the desktop (by Caraibes on 2011-12-26 14:28:13 GMT from Dominican Republic)
I fully agree RHEL clones such as CentOS and SciLin are very good refuges for the desktop/laptop users nowadays...
As a matter of fact, they would make a great base for a "Mint" type...
Take a RHEL clone, add the proper repos, with the priorities well set up...
Have all codecs, flash, java, Google stuff, Skype, eMule, up to date Firefox and Libre Office...
All that on a fantastic Gnome 2.x RHEL6 clone desktop...
Food for thoughts...
137 • Siduction (by m1k on 2011-12-26 16:13:08 GMT from Italy)
I tried this new fork of aptosid,but I think,i am sure,i will go on using Kanotix on my desktop.
SMXI works,but nothing new under the sun.
138 • RE: #137 (by Landor on 2011-12-26 18:56:52 GMT from Canada)
Funny you should make the connection between the two. I shook my head when I read that there was some drama yet again coming from that camp. First they caused a major flame war in the forums, then split from Kanotix. Then their distribution (sidux) became like a dictatorship, by a select group, which anyone could see coming regardless. After that there's the dispute over the sidux name. Now we a split yet again.
I liked Kanotix, though it doesn't have my freedoms in mind. sidux was a lot closer to my personal ideals, but because I have other ideals that are as equally important to me, I could not in good conscience use a distribution that is supported by administrators/developers who either behave in such a manner, or have this kind of thing surrounding them constantly due to their actions.
Keep your stick on the ice...
139 • @138 (by porteusrocks on 2011-12-27 00:36:08 GMT from United States)
These "Debian Sid children" what do they offer over plain Sid? They add some stuff that makes it better? What ideals do they have?
Also a question to you, have you tried OpenBSD?
OpenBSD is a BSD derivative with many of the ideals that you have, have you taken it for a spin?
Thanks and Happy Holidays,
A Happy Porteus user
Have you taken look at porteus? What can you tell me about it? I really like it, how does it stack up vs other livecds/live(usb)/livemedia out there?
140 • RE: 139 (by Landor on 2011-12-27 00:55:06 GMT from Canada)
They have differing ideals, like adhering to the dsfg, another doesn't, of course.
I used BSD for years, and actually like OpenBSD except for one small thing, it's not GPL'd. Which of course isn't a small thing. It's a massive one. Which again falls into the category of ideals more than anything. But for some of us, those ideals are pretty important.
I can't help you with Porteus, I've never used it. If you find it fine though, it doesn't matter what others think of how it works, their opinion means little.
Keep your stick on the ice...
141 • @139 Porteus (by Rex on 2011-12-27 20:34:42 GMT from United States)
I have used Porteus and really like it. Have been eagerly awaiting 1.1 final which is a tad late.
142 • @Distrowatch (by Fewt on 2011-12-28 20:52:49 GMT from United States)
Jesse, Ladislav, fellow community members - Thanks for another great year.
143 • RE:140 (by Anonymous Coward on 2011-12-29 14:16:13 GMT from Spain)
I used BSD for years, and actually like OpenBSD except for one small thing, it's not GPL'd. Which of course isn't a small thing. It's a massive one. Which again falls into the category of ideals more than anything. But for some of us, those ideals are pretty important.
Even when I don't frown on OpenBSD's licensing model, I applaud your determination.
144 • Tiny Core (by Neal on 2011-12-29 18:15:38 GMT from United States)
You guys should give Tiny Core....Core-Plus a go....It even comes with wifi support.....very handy little os.
145 • Re 106 & 90 Virtualbox & chroot (by hobbitland on 2011-12-30 13:32:25 GMT from United Kingdom)
Hi, I used virtualbox to test the desktop environment of distros. Yes this does not test the distro on my hardware. If I don't like the distro in VBox why should I allow it to touch my hardware? Also for security reasons I don't trust some smaller distros and trying in a VM is better.
I have been using "chroot" to remaster Ubuntu 10.04 for over a yera now. Just discovered I can run Ubuntu 6.06, 8.04 and 11.10 in a chroot inside Ubuntu 10.04. In fact I can even run another Linux distro inside Ubuntu 10.04. Just copy the "/" partition or unpack the iso. Now I use "chroot" for compiling on older and newer OSes.
146 • RE: 143 + stuff (by Landor on 2011-12-30 19:02:21 GMT from Canada)
I wish it was different, seriously. I would leave any and all Linux kernel based distributions far behind for OpenBSD. Sadly, I can't support the license as I've said, nor can I support how the BSD lot take GPL'd code and pretty well copy it verbatim and re-license it, like some who have admonished BSD for this while still promoting/supporting PC-BSD/FreeBSD. A bit of a hypocrisy in my opinion.
I haven't been around for some time regularly. Life seems to do that. Hopefully with the coming of the new year I'll be able to extend a renewed participation here, and within the community more, including my own site.
Keep your stick on the ice...
147 • @146 *BSD not GPLd (by OpenSourceCoward on 2011-12-30 21:37:20 GMT from United States)
I have to disagree with you. The BSD License IMHO is far superior to any GPL'd one. The freedoms that FSF and Mr. Stallman state are pure bullshite. The freedoms that are stated there are not all free**
I like OpenSource software, I really like Linux, I like the BSDs too, and have run OpenSolaris, but I see that there is lot of hypocrisy in the world and the licenses. I did not actually wanted to see that. I did not want to believe what folks had written, but now I see that they are right. I do see more relevance to the statemant by Minix creator Andrew T, about the software movements in the early 90s after the linux kernel was created and the GNUisms and the GPL license(companies like it because it makes them release improvements so that others can see them as well) and not innovation where BSD license they dont have to give back or release any code and hence create competition and better products for the users. Just my $0.02
148 • RE: 147 (by Landor on 2011-12-30 22:14:09 GMT from Canada)
'where BSD license they dont have to give back or release any code and hence create competition and better products for the users'
I'm sorry, I can't agree with the cost of your freedoms being worth advances. Not in the slightest. It's also been stated here many times that having the code freely available has given rise to innovation, and you're portraying the opposite. We haven't proof that closed source provides innovation, in fact most agree it stalls it instead. While we have proof that free access, and collaboration (Linux Kernel as example) provides massive growth and innovation.
On a personal level, if I developed a piece of software, I wouldn't want anyone being able to take my code then locking it down from me, and distributing it as a closed application. That's just wrong any way you look at it, especially when I released it openly.
Keep your stick on the ice..
149 • @148 (by OpenSourceCoward on 2011-12-30 23:22:06 GMT from United States)
if I developed a piece of software, I wouldn't want anyone being able to take my code then locking it down from me, and distributing it as a closed application. That's just wrong any way you look at it, especially when I released it openly.
But if you do that via GPL, that is release the code under GPL, you would have to "police it", the code that is. If anyone takes your code, and makes improvement, how will you make sure that you get those changes back? i.e, companies use GPL because it allows them to not have a hard difficulty to keep up with competitors. If they use BSD license, they can improve the code and not have to give it back, thus creating better, more robust and overall superior products. The companies that do this using BSD licensed code can at their option share the changes with the original code maintainer at their option but never obligatory that is the GPL. The GPL license while it has some good points, prohibits several things inclusievely the original coder/programmer is no longer the owner. This is even worse than other true OpenSource Licenses.
True OpenSource folks are BSD folks, MIT folks and Donald E. Knuth. They really have done a great deal more than many others who are under the GNU umbrella.
150 • to add to 149 (by OpenSourceCoward on 2011-12-30 23:30:50 GMT from United States)
In the page
I found this quote, and it sums it up for me:
``I am concerned that the FSF deliberately misrepresents the nature of the GPL to attract developers and integrators who would otherwise shy away from using copyleft software. Richard Stallman (who, to his credit, seems to live by his professed beliefs) betrays the underlying philosophy behind the FSF when he claims on one hand to support the idea of free enterprise while on the other hand condemning the notion of private property. You can't have it both ways. As to the idea that someone can "steal" your idea by patenting it, well, there are other licenses that cover this eventuality without incurring the obligations of the GPL. You can use BSDL code without restriction and even patent your own improvements to the code. The original code, however, remains free for others to use. If you are unwilling to let people use your code the way they want, then why give it away''
151 • RE: 149/150 (by Landor on 2011-12-31 00:01:00 GMT from Canada)
You keep talking about companies that sell a product and I'm talking about freedom of the software available for everyone. That's a massive difference.
Your last post (150) the author of it made a massive error. He 'assumed' that the person who licensed the code wanted to let anyone do what they wanted with it. That's twisting the intent of the GPL and GPL'd code. I don't believe in GPL'd code because I want anyone to be able to do what they want with it. I believe in it because people will always have the code available to them to use, and learn from. That's a very big difference, and a huge error that you're following without realizing it's misunderstanding the very nature of the GPL.
See, it's articles with pieces in them like that, that I wish we could put a stop to. They misinform so easily.
Keep your stick on the ice...
152 • @151 (by OpenSourceCoward on 2011-12-31 01:03:23 GMT from United States)
Yes the software is available for everyone, but it comes with strings attached. If I improve the code, I may keep it for myself, but if I release it to other folks I must give that code back to the others? I want to use code with no strings attached. GPL again has some good things, but that part is what I dont agree with. If they (FSF) and GNU folks, say that they value freedom, then how come I want the freedome to do anything I want with the code, I cant, because I have to give it back? Then in reality it is not Free, it is just shareware. IT is not really free software because I have to give back. True Freedom is not that. BSD is true freedom except that I can claim that I wrote the code which is not permitted. OTher than that, GPL is fine. This is why software programmers and coders have to not truly fall for the FSF/GNU people all the way, because there is a catch.
Hope all visitors have a Happy New Year. regardless if they are in the GNU cult, or in others.
153 • "freedom" (by mz on 2011-12-31 04:40:32 GMT from United States)
Can you have real freedom without strings attached? By your definition #152, there never has been such a thing as a free society because we collectively place rights above freedom. There are all these laws about not taking from others, be it to prevent the taking the taking of property or life. I mean how can you really be free if you can't take what you want when you want and do what ever you want with it? Of course others are likely to take enough from you for you to decide that it just isn't worth the cost to meet certain definitions of 'true freedom'. The GPL represents an ideal of trying to meet a community obligation while balancing community and freedom. I think this is more representative of the real world than the BSD ideal of freedom and is a practical compromise that at least has the potential to be better for users and the community as a whole. That being said I prefer some of the design & documentation aspects of BSD OSes over Linux, while disliking some of the limits of the GPL. I mean is there really a good reason for not being able to integrate ZFS into Linux easily without violating the license? I guess I'm in the middle because I think the GPL goes a bit to far one way and BSD a bit to far the other. That being said I would take software under either license over equivalently functional proprietary software and use both BSD and Linux quite a bit for different things. Use what works and try not to go overboard by calling others members of a cult, unless of course they go all nutty fundamentalist on you.
154 • @153 (by OpenSourceCoward on 2011-12-31 18:01:51 GMT from United States)
Prohibition in software licences makes things difficult. But I hear ya! The catch things(phrases) are the ones I don't like. You can eat fruit from all the trees, except from the GNU tree! If you disobey, you will de doomed for eternity.
Two things you are not supposed to share: Women and Guns!!!
155 • GPL X BSD licence (by JR on 2011-12-31 19:04:08 GMT from Brazil)
freedom of the code itself is one thing, freedom of the person who uses the code is something else!
Although it is just my opinion, I think the issue is important:
The BSD license gives freedom to the person who reuses the code ... GPL gives freedom to the code itself ... both are free, depends only on what or who you want to be free.
The discussion shows that the two licenses are incompatible.
A BSD code can be "closed", ie, the new developer (that is reusing code) is free to make a new product without returning this code to the community ..... (if this is good or bad is another matter)
A GPL code must remain open, so he (the developer) is not totally free, but the code is .... (if this is good or bad is another matter as well)
You all are not right or wrong, just need to choose which kind of freedom you want, we can not have everything. (IMHO)
156 • GPL vs BSD flame. (by Anonymous Coward on 2012-01-01 00:16:12 GMT from Spain)
From my point of view, both licenses are good.
The BSD license means that the receiver of the license has almost absolute power over the licensed software. It is free software because it allows you to distribute, modify it and deploy it the way you want.
The GPL license means that the receiver of the license is enforced to keep that software GPLed, even if it is modified. Source code MUST be available when you distribute the software in any shape. It is free software because it allows you to modify it without restriction, and to distribute and deploy it under an Open Source license.
At the end, it is a matter of preference for the developers. The coder asks himself the question "Do I want my code to be redistributed under arbitrary licenses by third parties?" and decides.
157 • Can someone write a good summary of the open source licenses? (by OpenSourceCoward on 2012-01-01 03:27:37 GMT from United States)
I have looked in
for a good reference pertaining to OSS/FOSS licenses. For instance, the CDDL how does it compare to BSD or to GPL for that matter?
Happy New Year to all!
158 • Free or not to Free (by divad gnol on 2012-01-01 15:51:07 GMT from United States)
No such thing!
My time = $$$$ The value of which can be debated, but still worth something none the less.
Someone earlier stated and I paraphrase - The version of free you choose is dictated by your needs and intentions. I agree completely.
I suggest if you want a broader definition of free. That you take the time (= to $ some amount) and write the code yourself and then you can give it away no strings attached. I assure you that your time will become more valuable than you might think.
Happy New Year.
159 • @108 Transparency? (Mint) (by Toolz on 2012-01-02 04:33:29 GMT from Vietnam)
> "I must be missing something here. Clem develops a distribution that he gives to users for free. Why would his private business dealings regarding his income be anyone else's concern?"
It's not private. If referral codes are slipped in or, more importantly, changed then I want to hear about it. Once it's come to light that such a modification has occurred then we might or might not discuss it. Openness is wonderful isn't it?
Happy New Year to all.
160 • RE: 159/108 (by Landor on 2012-01-02 05:05:33 GMT from Canada)
First off, Clem doesn't fully build the distribution that he gives for free. He takes great advantage of work that is done for him already. It wasn't until recently that Clem/Mint started hosting their own repositories.
Second, Clem does indeed require funds for Mint to continue. Not only to improve, 'for it to continue as is'. He uses funds derived from support of its user base to keep it running, and to financially support him on a full-time basis.
Now, he may not have a contract with said users, but certainly it being his 'private business' is far from realistic. At the very least, and I do mean very least, he has a moral responsibility to those users to immediately be 100% open, transparent, forthcoming, and accountable. Anything less is circumspect.
Personally, I don't have the vaunted regard for Clem/Mint that others do, and it's not because of the audience he attracts, or the blatant disregard for freedoms.
Keep your stick on the ice...
Number of Comments: 160
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