| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 446, 5 March 2012
Welcome to this year's 10th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Despite a regular release cycle and relative seniority on the Linux distribution timeline, Frugalware Linux won't be on the radar of too many Linux users. The reason? Perhaps it's the nature of the project which is content with mundane development without making too much effort in the way of attracting potential users with unique, exciting features. Jesse Smith takes the distribution's latest live CD for a quick spin and reports about his findings in this week's feature article. In the news section, Raspberry Pi launches its $25 ARM computer amid unexpectedly high-demand from technology enthusiasts, openSUSE continues to provide the rolling-release Tumbleweed repository for a more cutting-edge experience, and Linux Mint's Debian edition receives a large number of updates in its switch to the GNOME 3 desktop. Also in this issue, an introduction to FreeNAS as an excellent home solution for sharing data across the network, and a Question and Answers section which deals with Adobe's recent decision to discontinue the development of Flash for Linux. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the February 2012 DistroWatch.com donation is the ImageMagick project. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
A look at Frugalware Linux 1.6|
The Frugalware Linux distribution is one I've never used before, yet I've visited their website many times. In fact, one might say I've been to the website a disproportionate number of times. Whenever a Frugalware release is announced I zip over to the website, read through the announcement, check the documentation... and then go do something else. I don't have any philosophical or personal issue with the distribution and its team, no, my lack of motivation has boiled down to two things:
- The project's documentation suggests that if a person wants to perform a full install without requiring a network connection we should install from the DVD images. There are five 32-bit ISOs. Now, depending on who you ask and what their installation requirements were some people will tell you that a person just needs the first DVD, or maybe the first two DVDs, the answer varies. But the documentation isn't clear on what's on these discs or how many of them are needed and, frankly, that's a large potential download just to test-drive a distribution. And if one wants to test their hardware before committing to an install, the live CD is a separate download. Further, it is not clear as to whether the live CD can be used to install a base distro upon which we can install more software.
- Frugalware's description of itself, according the website and documentation, is: "Frugalware is a general purpose Linux distribution, designed for intermediate users." That's it, that's the entire reason given for why a person would want to use this distribution. Frugalware may be the greatest invention of the history of software, but if so they're playing it cool. Slackware has a more exciting project description.
That being said, a few people did write in after Frugalware Linux 1.6 was released and asked if I'd take a look at the distribution and when readers are interested that's enough motivation for me. As I mentioned above, Frugalware does provide a live CD and I decided even if I didn't get the full five DVD experience, I could at least share a taste of what Frugalware is like.
The Frugalware Linux live CD is provided as a 490 MB CD image. Burning this image to a disc and booting from it brings us to an Xfce desktop environment with a pleasant blue background. On the desktop we find icons for navigating the file system and launching the system installer. The application menu and task switcher are positioned at the top of the screen. In the top-right corner of the display an icon appeared indicating network status and I was surprised to find the icon showed I was not connected. Opening a terminal I tried to ping a server and found the live CD doesn't include the ping command. Nor does it include the FTP command-line client, nor telnet. Deciding to change gears I clicked the icon for launching the distro's web browser. A prompt came up asking which browser I would like to make my default, though only one browser, Midori, is listed as available. Once the browser launched I found that I was, in fact, connected to the network, despite the status presented by the network icon.
Frugalware Linux 1.6 - installer and Xfce desktop
(full image size: 164kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
Trying to launch the Frugalware installer brings up a prompt for the root user's password. I tried an empty password without success and then went back to the project's website and went through the documentation. So far as I can tell, the documentation makes no mention of a password. After a series of guesses I finally landed on the right one (it's "fwlive" in case anyone plans to follow in my footsteps) and the installer launched. The Frugalware installer is a graphical application which bears a passing resemblance to the Anaconda installer used by Fedora and Sabayon. Our first step is to choose our preferred language and then to select a keyboard layout. Next the installer tries to locate software packages which will be installed to the hard drive. No packages were found on the live CD, so the installer offered to download all of the packages from the net and it allows us to choose which mirrors to use. Now, unfortunately, here my journey in installing Frugalware came to a halt. While my Internet connection is fairly quick it is not stable and net-install type downloads aren't at all practical. At this point I had the option of downloading one (or more) additional DVD images or working from the live environment. So far in my experiment I had found Frugalware to be running surprisingly fast from the CD and so I decided to continue using the live environment already available to me.
I ran Frugalware on two physical machines and, while running from the CD doesn't give quite the same picture as running a native install, the two experiences are often very similar. On my desktop machine (2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card) I found the distribution correctly set up my screen resolution, boot times were short and performance on the desktop was quite good. There were two quirks, one being that my sound volume was set very low and the other was the fonts didn't look right. They sometimes appeared to have multicoloured backgrounds, as if they were designed to be viewed with 3-D glasses. When running on the laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card) I found the experience to be better. My Intel wireless card worked out of the box and my screen was set to a good resolution. Fonts were displayed smaller than usual, but they displayed clearly and Xfce provides a tool for adjusting font size. Once again I found audio was turned down to its lowest setting. Performance was quite fast and the distro was quick to boot.
Since I've mentioned speed I'd like to add that when booting into the live CD we're given the choice of running the distribution from RAM or running it normally from the disc. On both machines I was running Frugalware from the disc, not RAM, which I think makes its native-install level of performance all the more impressive.
The Frugalware Linux live CD comes with a collection of useful applications. We're given the Midori web browser, the Pidgin instant messenger client and Thunderbird for e-mail. The Transmission BitTorrent client is included, along with the XChat IRC client. To help us handle network connections Frugalware provides the wicd network manager. We're given the Xfburn disc authoring utility, the Parole media player and the GNU Image Manipulation Program. Gnumeric and AbiWord are included in the "Office" sub-menu, along with the Orage calendar and a PDF viewer. For developers the Glade interface designer is installed. We're also given a text editor, an archive manager and the full array of Xfce configuration tools. When browsing the web we have access to a Flash player and a full range of multimedia codecs are installed. I found there is a "Help" entry on the application menu, though it points to documentation files which are not available. I didn't find a compiler nor Java installed and the usual man(ual) pages are not available. In the background version 3.1 of the Linux kernel keeps things running.
Frugalware Linux 1.6 - running various applications
(full image size: 129kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
The package manager which comes with Frugalware, GFpm, resembles the Synaptic package manager. Down the left side of the application's window we find a list of software categories. Over on the right we see specific packages and, at the bottom of the window, we see a complete description of the highlighted package. At the top of the window are buttons for syncing our repository data with the remote servers and applying changes. There are a few oddities which set GFpm (Graphical Frugalware package manager) apart from its peers. For one, the software categories are different from what we usually see. Rather than "Internet", "Development" and "Multimedia" we see sections called "apps", "apps-extra", "devel", "devel-core", "base", "base-extra"... There are a few dozen entries so it may take some time to get used to the different names. Fortunately, if a user knows the name of the specific package they want they can search for it using a text box near the bottom of the window. Another oddity is there doesn't appear to be any way to upgrade packages using the graphical interface. For updating software the user must turn to the command line package manager, pacman.
Frugalware Linux 1.6 - managing software packages
(full image size: 141kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
Using Frugalware Linux feels a little like going into a hall of mirrors, you know the ones where the mirrors are warped or turned a certain way to distort the image? Frugalware is certainly a Linux distribution and contains many of the usual components found in a Linux distribution, but most of these components are slightly different than one might expect. Not being able to perform a regular install from the live CD would be one example, the semi-familiar package manager is another. Some of the applications provided, at least on the live media, are the same ones I'd expect to find on many other distributions, but others, like Parole, are less common. Other things struck me as odd too, like the pages and pages of helpful documentation which don't (so far as I can tell) include the default root password or explain what's on the five DVDs. Or the fact the live CD can only perform net-installs but doesn't include the popular ping network testing tool. Nor are common programs like FTP, man or wget available on the CD.
It may sound as though I'm nit-picking and trying to find fault, but that's not what I'm attempting to do. I don't think the choices and quirks in Frugalware are wrong, just strange. I spent a couple of days playing around with the live disc and doing so was pleasant enough as it certainly makes for a responsive environment. However during that time I often ran into characteristics or defaults which seemed out of sync with the rest of the Linux world. I guess what I'm working toward is if you're sick of the Ubuntu re-spins, Debian-based distros and the Fedora remakes and you want a fresh, fast and different approach, then Frugalware offers a solution. There may be a period of adjustment at first, but I have a feeling if you get into the groove of using Frugalware you'll enjoy it. Expect a few rough edges, bookmark the documentation and prepare to look at the Linux world through a slightly different, occasionally scratched, lens.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Launch of Raspberry Pi, openSUSE's Tumbleweed, upcoming changes in Mint's "Debian" edition, practical FreeNAS
The top news of the past week had to be the launch of Raspberry Pi, a US$25 single-board mini-computer featuring an ARM11 processor. Disappointingly, the excitement didn't last long as all available boards were reportedly sold out within an hour of the launch, and the manufacturer, a UK-based non-profit organisation, is currently only accepting contact details from potential customers. Despite being a very low-specification hardware unit (it comes with a mere 256 MB of RAM), the Raspberry Pie computer has generated interest that clearly surpassed the manufacturer's wildest expectations: "The first indication of that demand came when the two companies also had the first batch of 10,000 Raspberry Pi Model B boards available for sale at 6am GMT; their web sites were almost immediately swamped by buyers for the devices. Farnell sold out their allocation in less than an hour despite patchy web site availability and started taking pre-orders, while RS Components' web site now appears to only be taking registrations of interest for the Model B version of the device, priced at £21.60 + VAT. It is reported that RS will start selling the board at the end of the week." As for operating system support, the Raspberry Pi download page currently offers two options: ARM editions of Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 and Arch Linux.
* * * * *
Rolling-release distributions are a big hit among certain types of users, especially those who prefer the adventure of running cutting-edge software over stability and dependability of their systems. One often overlooked option for being on the forefront of Linux software development is openSUSE's Tumbleweed, which promises to deliver the latest and greatest to the end users, but not before some thorough testing. J.A. Watson shares his experiences of running Tumbleweed: "Tumbleweed was announced with or shortly after their 11.4 release. I was a bit sceptical at the time, because of my experience with other rolling distributions, but I set up one of my netbooks to track the Tumbleweed repositories, and the results have been quite good. Updates come through in very good time, and the overall system stability and reliability don't seem to have suffered. To give just one small example, digiKam (my favorite photo management package) is on release 2.2 in the standard openSUSE distribution (which is still quite good compared to most other major distributions), but it is already up to 2.5 in Tumbleweed. There is a brief description on the Tumbleweed portal page, along with instructions on how to change an installed 12.1 (or 11.4) system to the Tumbleweed repositories."
* * * * *
Another noteworthy article from the pen of the same author as the one above concerns Linux Mint, or more precisely, the distribution's highly-rated "Debian" edition. Apparently, big changes are on the way: "There's good news for many, and perhaps bad news for a few, coming for Linux Mint 'Debian' edition. This has been one of my favorite distributions since it was first released, because it seems to me that it stars from the Debian GNU/Linux base and then adds all of the goodness of Linux Mint, without passing through Ubuntu on the way. Of particular significance are things like the latest Linux kernel (their current distribution includes 3.0, the update is to 3.2), X.Org Server (1.10.4) and such. Well, the good news is that there is a huge update on the way, currently being tested via the incoming repositories, which basically catches Mint 'Debian' up to where Mint 12 is today, especially with regard to GNOME 3 and Cinnamon. That also makes it bad news for a few people who have been using Mint 'Debian' as a sort of GNOME 2 'refuge' while most other distributions have been moving to GNOME 3." The author also notes that "when this upgrade is complete, it will be running standard GNOME 3. Cinnamon is not automatically included in the upgrade, so if you want it you will need to install it after the upgrade has finished."
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Finally, a quick link to an excellent article about FreeNAS, a specialist FreeBSD-based operating system that can extremely handy and versatile in certain networking situations. Greg King explains the details in "An Introduction to FreeNAS - The Do-It-Yourself NAS OS": I stream music from the WHS 2011 box to my Squeezeboxes (also on the network). I stream videos from one of the Synology boxes to my Boxee, HTPC, PS3 and Xbox and backup to the other. My ESXi environment shares storage on one of the NAS boxes as well. With this much going on, it helps to have networked storage. Without the Synology devices, my network would be more complex. I know that sounds counter-intuitive but it's true. Think about it, NAS makes file sharing data across among multiple devices on a network very easy; even by adding another device into the mix, things are simpler with shared storage. With FreeNAS, you have the versatility and convenience of NAS, with the ability to choose the capacity, form factor and hardware. Concerning storage, you are limited only by the SATA ports available in your machine or by physical space in your chassis."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Gone-in-a-flash asks: I've been hearing about Adobe dropping Flash support on Linux. Can you comment on (and maybe recommend) alternatives?
DistroWatch answers: In case you missed the headlines last week, Adobe released a statement about changing their support for Flash on Linux. This quickly resulted in comments springing up all over the place. Some headlines I spotted were "Adobe Makes Flash on GNU/Linux Chrome-Only", "Flash Player for Linux becomes Pepper-only" and "No more Adobe Flash for Linux directly". Which makes the situation sound more dire than it is. What Adobe posted on their website is that they are moving toward a Flash implementation on Linux which uses one API, called Pepper, for communication between their Flash plugin and the web browser. At this time Google's Chrome is the only web browser running on Linux which supports this new plugin API. To give other browsers a chance to implement Pepper and to give users a chance to find alternatives, Adobe has declared they will continue to support the current implementation of Flash, version 11.x, on Linux for the next five years. In other words, the current version of Flash on Linux will stop receiving security updates around the same time Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 does.
Assuming you're not already running Chrome and getting the new versions of Flash, then what alternatives are available? Well, you could continue to use the current branch of Flash for the next five years, or at least until other Linux-friendly browsers support the Pepper API. Mozilla has said they're not interested in adopting Pepper at this time, but they may change their minds if there is demand for the feature. Over the next five years the Gnash project (an open source implementation of Flash) is going to mature. It's already good enough to fill in for Flash on many websites and it is likely to improve with time. People looking for another Flash alternative might also try the Lightspark project which is similar to Gnash, but with a different focus. I'm of the opinion both Lightspark and Gnash aren't ready yet to replace Flash on all websites, but they're close and improving with each release.
Adobe seems to be making a good move here. They're focusing their development resources on one API, they're keeping the Linux community informed and they're giving open source browsers five years in which to adopt the new API. Or, looking at it another way, they are giving users five years to experiment with on-line multimedia alternatives like Gnash and HTML 5.
|Released Last Week
Ron Ropp has announced the release of wattOS R5, a lightweight, Ubuntu-based distribution featuring a clean and simple user interface in a customised LXDE desktop: "wattOS R5 is based on Ubuntu 11.10 and the latest updates from the repositories. Changes of applications from R4 to R5: updated to Linux kernel 3.0; new music player - changed to Audacious with plugin for music stream searching; changed to SMPlayer for video player; removed native mail client; installed new graphics editing program Pinta; installed new power management utilities; changed from Chromium to the Midori web browser with Flash support included; added better webcam support with Cheese; lots of other small tweaks and improvements, including ACPI, powertop, psensor; changed from wicd to NetworkManager along with the notifications; added the software update manager; added the language support tools.... See the full release announcement for additional information.
Network Security Toolkit 2.16.0
Paul Blankenbaker has announced the release of Network Security Toolkit (NST) 2.16.0, a Fedora based live DVD providing easy access to a large number of open-source network security applications: "We are pleased to announce the latest NST release - version 2.16.0. This release is based on Fedora 16 using Linux kernel 3.2.7. Here are some of the highlights for this release: major enhancements to the network interface bandwidth monitor application including a threshold pause feature with bandwidth rate state notifications; developed a new NST WUI ARP Scan AJAX application which uses the arp-scan network tool; integrated w3af (Web Application Attack and Audit Framework) into the NST distribution for searching and exploiting web application vulnerabilities; added the netsniff-ng high performance Linux network analyzer and networking toolkit.... Read the release announcement for a complete list of enhancements.
SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 SP2
The second service pack for SUSE Linux Enterprise 11, a commercial enterprise-class Linux distribution for desktops and servers, has been released: "SUSE today announced the general availability of SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 Service Pack 2 (SP2). Notable features include an updated Linux kernel, enhanced file system support, and expanded virtualization capabilities. 3.0 Linux kernel: SP2 includes scheduler and memory management optimizations, support for transparent huge pages and per-CPU network load balancing. SP2 supports the latest Intel Xeon and AMD Opteron processors, and exploits new hardware RAS features like CPU and memory offlining. Btrfs: SP2 is the first Linux platform to offer commercial Btrfs file system support. Snapper, a unique tool that's integrated with YaST and Zypper, uses the copy-on-write and snapshot capabilities of Btrfs to help administrators audit and roll-back system configuration changes." Read the SUSE press release for further information.
Thomas Veerman has announced the release of MINIX 3.2.0, a free and open-source operating system based on a tiny microkernel architecture: "We are pleased to announce the release of MINIX 3.2.0 today. It is a major upgrade from 3.1.8, being much more NetBSD-like than any previous version. With pkgsrc, the BSD compiler (Clang/LLVM), and the NetBSD C library, it will be much easier to port software to MINIX 3. Other changes include using ELF as the executable format, an asynchronous VFS, /proc file system, FUSE, and much more. Major Features: Clang is the default compiler (GCC is also supported); NetBSD C library; ELF is the default executable format; asynchronous, multi-threaded virtual file system (VFS) server; experimental SMP support; FUSE support; NetBSD password file format; NetBSD bootloader; smaller boot images (using gzip)...." See the release page on the MINIX wiki for a full list of changes and new features.
Josh Paetzel has announced the release of FreeNAS 8.0.4, the latest update of the project's FreeBSD-based operating system which provides free Network-Attached Storage (NAS) services: "FreeNAS 8.0.4-RELEASE is now available for immediate download. Changes since 8.0.3-RELEASE: update ataidle from 2.6 to 2.72 based on maintainer's recommendation due to interoperability with 2.6 and certain chipsets; fix the inadyn port so that it works on i386; fix a regression for DHCP users where /etc/resolv.conf would be nulled out if DNS servers weren't specified in the GUI; disable AIO by default and change the default AIO read / write size to 4 kB; add in logic to start lockd and mountd when NFS is enabled so that FreeNAS doesn't need to be manually prodded to start the services, or rebooted in order for the services to become effective." Read the detailed release notes for a complete list of changes and fixes.
Plop Linux 4.2.0
Elmar Hanlhofer has announced the release of Plop Linux 4.2.0, a utility live CD or DVD (with Fluxbox and GNOME 3) designed to rescue data from a damaged system, backup and restore operating systems, and automate common tasks: "Plop Linux 4.2.0 released. Changelog: a lot of software updates; support for blind people (brltty, Orca) + preconfigured GNOME version 3.3.91; new developer release + separated X.Org and GNOME archives; documentation completely reorganized and updated; example - live editions as NAS server, media server, printer server; example - Plop Linux Developer edition as base distribution, compile programs; boot scripts updated; new network boot options - TFTP, FTP, HTTP ISO boot ISO from network; locale environments updated; full zoneinfo directory added; PXE configuration simplified; sqfs changed to etc.tgz." See the detailed changelog for further information.
Plop Linux 4.2.0 - a useful utility distribution with rescue, backup and restore tools
(full image size: 176kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
BackTrack 5 R2
The second revision of BackTrack 5, an Ubuntu-based distribution with a collection of tools for penetration testing and ethical hacking, has been released: "After months of development, bug fixes, upgrades, and the addition of 42 new tools, we are happy to announce that the full release of BackTrack 5 R2 available for download now. Running our custom-built 3.2.6 kernel with the best wireless support available, this is our fastest and best release of BackTrack yet. In the past few weeks, we have had a flood of submissions to our BackTrack Redmine tracker with submissions for many new tools and dozens of packages that needed to be updated and this has helped to make this one of the strongest releases we've ever had." Here is the full release announcement.
Linux From Scratch 7.1
Bruce Dubbs has announced the release of an updated version of Linux From Scratch (LFS), version 7.1. Linux From Scratch is a book of instructions on how to compile a base Linux system from scratch, either from an existing Linux installation or a Linux live CD. It is intended primarily as an educational exercise for those wishing to get an understanding about how a Linux system works under the hood. From the release announcement on the project's news page: "The Linux From Scratch community is pleased to announce the release of LFS Version 7.1. It is an incremental release with updates from LFS 7.0 to 20 packages as well as fixes to boot scripts and text throughout the book." Updated packages in this release include Linux kernel 3.2.6, GCC 4.6.2, udev 181, e2fsprogs 1.42, zlib 1.2.6, Binutils 2.22, Coreutils 8.15 and Automake 1.11.3.
Linux Deepin 11.12.1
Linux Deepin, one of the most active community distributions from China, released its version 11.12.1 on the leap day as an upgrade from its New Year release. Deepin GNOME Shell now supports 3D effects and a so-called output device chooser for sound. Deepin Software Center is upgraded to version 2.1.2 where user experience has been greatly improved with a lot of bug fixes and even added support of Hebrew. The new Deepin-Scrot 2.0 now allows rudimentary image processing like text input on the screenshots taken. Documentation is also upgraded where FAQs are added and English edition is included. Other changes include Linux kernel 3.0.0-16, Firefox 10.0.2, Thunderbird 10.0.2, and LibreOffice 3.4. Check the complete release notes (in Chinese) for more, with hint on online upgrade and even a link to video presentations.
Oracle Linux 5.8
Oracle has announced the release of Oracle Linux 5.8, the latest update in the 5.x series of the distribution built from source packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.8: "Oracle is pleased to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux Release 5 Update 8 for x86 (32-bit) and x86_64 (64-bit) architectures. Oracle Linux 5.8 ships with following three sets of kernel packages: Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (kernel-uek-2.6.32); Red Hat compatible kernel (kernel-2.6.18); Red Hat compatible kernel with bug fixes added by Oracle (kernel-2.6.18). This update includes the following kernel/driver changes: fix _put_nfs_open_context() NULL pointer panic; fix SCSI hotplug and rescan race; fix filp_close() race; fix missing aio_complete() in end_io; check to see if hypervisor supports memory reservation change...." Read the release announcement and release notes for a full list of changes, bug fixes and other details.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
- Fedora 17-alpha, the release announcement
- ClearOS 6.2-beta3, release announcement
- Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Edubuntu and Ubuntu Studio, 12.04-beta1, release announcement
- TurnKey Linux 12.0-rc, release announcement
- Unity Linux 2012-alpha1, release announcement
- SliTaz GNU/Linux 4.0-rc2, release announcement
- Parted Magic 2012_2_27
- Clonezilla LiveCD 1.2.12-24
- Salix OS 13.37-rc1 (Live KDE)
- GParted Live 0.12.0-2
- Zorin OS 6-rc (Lite)
- Tiny Core Linux 4.3.1 and 4.4-rc2
- Zenwalk Linux 7.2-beta (Live)
- Zentyal 2.2-2
- FreeNAS 8.2.0-BETA1
- Skolelinux 6.0.4-rc3
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
February 2012 DistroWatch.com donation: ImageMagick|
We are happy to announce that the recipient of the February 2012 DistroWatch.com donation is ImageMagick, an open-source software suite designed to manipulate bitmap images. It receives US$350.00 in cash.
ImageMagick has a very long history, dating back to the project's tentative start in 1999. Its fast and continuous development has ensured that this software package, included by default in just about every Linux distribution and BSD operating system, is mature and versatile, with a long list of features: "ImageMagick is a software suite to create, edit, compose, or convert bitmap images. It can read and write images in a variety of formats (over 100) including DPX, EXR, GIF, JPEG, JPEG-2000, PDF, PhotoCD, PNG, Postscript, SVG, and TIFF. Use ImageMagick to resize, flip, mirror, rotate, distort, shear and transform images, adjust image colors, apply various special effects, or draw text, lines, polygons, ellipses and Bézier curves." ImageMagick's home page has an example list of supported capabilities and even links to a couple of books devoted to the useful utility.
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Those readers who wish to contribute towards these donations, please use our advertising page to make a payment (PayPal and credit cards are accepted). Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$30,890 to various open-source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NDISwrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300), GCompris ($352), Xiph.org ($250), Clonezilla ($250), Debian Multimedia ($280), Geany ($300), Mageia ($470), gtkpod ($300)
- 2011: CGSecurity ($300), OpenShot ($300), Imagination ($250), Calibre ($300), RIPLinuX ($300), Midori ($310), vsftpd ($300), OpenShot ($350), Trinity Desktop Environment ($300), LibreCAD ($300), LiVES ($300), Transmission ($250)
- 2012: GnuPG ($350), ImageMagick ($350)
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New distributions added to waiting list
- Kepler OS. Kepler OS is an Ubuntu-based desktop Linux distribution. The project's website is in Italian.
- Nosonja Linux. Nosonja Linux is a beginner-friendly, rolling-release desktop distribution based on Arch Linux. It uses Xfce as the preferred desktop environment.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 12 March 2012.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • thanks for the Frugalware review (by Marius Cirsta on 2012-03-05 09:59:49 GMT from Romania) |
On behalf of the Frugalware devel team thank you for your review of our Distro. We're glad you like it, at least partially and we'll work to address the points you mentioned in your review as they are indeed valid ones.
I should also point out that the best way to try Frugalware is probably by downloading the first DVD and using that to install it.
Frugalware has many packages in the repositories and they are available on DVDs too. The first DVD should include most of the common packages and should be enough for a base install.
2 • Raspberry Pi (by WilliamW on 2012-03-05 10:28:07 GMT from United Kingdom)
There is also a Fedora port in progress.
3 • Frugalware (by Neal on 2012-03-05 12:53:29 GMT from United States)
Thanks for taking a look at Frugalware. I've had success installing from the first 1.6 DVD and going from there.
I've been using FW XFCE and its been pleasant but it does still have some bugs but otherwise its very fast and stable. It does offer a huge repository of software and I've been able to do almost everything GUI besides the install, which IMO the text based install is the way to go with the dvd images since the gui installer failed every time I tried it.
IMO, the FW team could benefit from releasing separate CD/DVD images of FW xfce,gnome,kde, lxde, IceWM etc.
All in all the distro is very attractive and a bit off the beaten path for sure at offers a little resemblance to slackware and arch all in one..but yet it is its own entity. Kinda cool.....
4 • Frugalware and Games (by Jesse on 2012-03-05 13:27:04 GMT from Canada)
Thank you for your feedback and suggestion. I look forward to the next Frugalware release.
Hey everyone, last year I did a game review on DWW and while some people enjoyed hearing about something entertaining others requested I not turn DistroWatch into GameWatch. With that in mind I've set up a blog dedicated to dispelling the myth that there are no great games for Linux and BSD users. So many good quality Linux games don't get the attention they deserve and I'm hoping to change that. Please check out my new blog Blowing Up Bits (http://www.squidoo.com/blowing-up-bits) and send in suggestions for future reviews.
5 • FrugalWare (by Glenn Condrey on 2012-03-05 13:54:28 GMT from United States)
Hey Jesse. I appreciate the Frugalware review. I'm one of the folks who wrote a few weeks ago about having y'all review FW, as I had never seen one published. Based on your experiences..I am inclined to take a stab at it myself 8-)
I was beginning to wonder if my email ever got through, as i sent it several weeks ago.
Thanks to you and Ladislav for listening to your readers.
6 • Frugalware review (by Phil Miller on 2012-03-05 13:55:39 GMT from Germany)
Hi Jesse, hi Marius,
I'm also still looking over the tee-cup and try other distros to see what might be interesting for Chakra or in general. I also had visited frugalware this weekend and looked at several servers. What the medias included I already knew. The 5 DVD-Images are a snapshot of the complete repository Frugalware has on release-day.
The CD-Images seems to be the first DVD just splitted. Don't know what this will bring, but ok (correct me if I'm wrong).
During my distro-hopping this weekend I tried also the XFCE live-cd to find the same concusions on webbrowser and such. I went a little further and even tried to install Frugalware from the XFCE live-cd.
Issues I found in the installer:
* my german keyboard settngs didn't change after selecting them
* mirrors never got over 200 kb/s even if I had downloads of 900 kb/s as I downloaded the XFCE image from the same server
* installation froze in the middle of my download progress. Installer was not responsive. Relauching it created even more weird situations
Then I downloaded the DVD1 and tried the same net-installer. This time it detected a repository on the DVD. Keyboard change got detected as it should. Installation crashed then later on during loading a plugin or so.
I made the installation with the old text-mode installer as I did couple of month ago. I landed in a KDE desktop with the exact same 3D-glass looking effects on my Nvidia card. Seems to be an issue with nouveau. I managed to install nvidia just to find out that the /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia.conf for blacklisting don't work on systemd Frugalware is running with. Adding "nouveau.modset=0" to the kernel line in the bootloader config helped to start with proprietary drivers.
All in all Frugalware would be better to have an installable live-cd coping the files already installed for that session. With Chakra we do this since almost 5 years now. Adopting to Apper (Kpackagekit) might help also.
Beside the slow mirrors Frugalware is a good distro if you can take on the quirks ...
7 • Pi computer (by Glenn Condrey on 2012-03-05 13:56:50 GMT from United States)
You'd think that some distro like Puppy Linux, Slitaz or Tine Core would be ALL OVER the new Pi computer huh?
8 • Rapberry Pi (by DavidEF on 2012-03-05 14:27:03 GMT from United States)
I wants one! I found the site and read some of the FAQ's there. I think this is so cool. Next thing on my wish list is for these to be linked together like virtual LEGOs of computing power. Then, it becomes nothing to upgrade your computer when you need a little more speed and power, like for rendering and other high draw applications. The software is available to do this. I can't remember the name of the O/S, but it was on Distrowatch at one point. It was able to make drones out of multiple computers to divide up one task that needed lots of power to complete. Anybody remember that?
+1 for Puppy on these things. Tiny core would also be a good one for embedding in a piece of onboard flash, instead of relying on the SD card. I'd rather have the room on my removable storage for user files, applications, and such.
9 • Rasberry Pi Puppy (by DiveEd on 2012-03-05 15:12:04 GMT from United States)
Puppy is already working on an ARM version for the Rasberry Pi. See this link http://puppylinux.org/wikka/PARM
10 • Pi is not Pie (by Bluus on 2012-03-05 15:17:55 GMT from Japan)
I thought exactly the same thing! Scalable computing from now on? Never mind the Windows Secure Boot etc. OTOH nobody will have multiple "Pies" for a while yet.
I think you are remembering the distro ROCKS. There is also PelicanHPC and CAOS.
See the wikipedia etc resources on Beowolf clusters. DragonflyBSD and other distros are listed as being designed for Beowolf clusters.
Parallel computing with Linux:
Linux clusters at Lawrence Livermore:
11 • Virtual Legos (Raspberry Pi ala mode?) (by DavidEF on 2012-03-05 15:26:18 GMT from United States)
I just quickly looked through the list of Distros including discontinued ones. I can't seem to find the one I'm thinking of. Pelican comes the closest in the description, but it isn't what I remember. The one I remember had to be installed on one computer as the server/controller, which did no work except to manage the drones. The drones, nodes, whatever, had to be installed as such, and did nothing but take jobs sent from the server/controller, complete them, and send them back. The server/controller automatically split the task up to all the drones, to get the job done as quickly as possible.
Anyway, it would be cool if these Pi computers could be used in such a way, especially if they were hot-pluggable. Maybe someone could make a case that functions like a LEGO brick to connect these together in a solid way. The top could include a male usb connector, which lined up with a female usb port on the bottom of the next one. Or, maybe the GPIO connection would be better to link these together. A modified form of Pelican O/S could be installed on a "Primary" or "Master" block, and an unlimited (or at least large) amount of "Secondary" or "Slave" blocks could be snapped into the system as needed. each block could have its own lithium battery, but a charging source could be fed all the way through from the "Primary" block, which would be fed from a plug in the wall. Or, maybe a power source could be daisy-chained to each of the "Nodes" externally.
Or, maybe I'm just a silly dreamer...
12 • Linux From Scratch (by Thom on 2012-03-05 16:42:48 GMT from Sweden)
LFS does not have a liveCD as of v. 7.X.
I'm not really sure why but I think you need to correct your 'Released Last Week' piece on LFS accordingly (http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/livecd/).
A piece on LFS (and their reasoning for not maintaining a CD) could be an idea for an upcoming issue of DWW, as LFS occupies a rather select corner of the LInux universe...
13 • LFS release (by DavidEF on 2012-03-05 16:51:30 GMT from United States)
"Linux From Scratch is a book..."
It's right there in the "release" anouncement. Books can be released just like cd images are. In fact, looking at it the other way around is one of the reasons software patents are so wrong. Software is written like a book is written, and therefore should fall squarely in place under the Copyright law, not patenting system.
14 • Gnash and flash and minix (by julian on 2012-03-05 16:52:32 GMT from United States)
I think it'll great if adobe's failing to support linux as well as people want, results in more attention to the Gnash project. I started using gnash because in came preinstalled on Debian and there was no need to switch to adobe flash.
Jesse, when you review Minix please let us know whether you can get Gnash to run in firefox or chromium. Also let us know if popular, feature-rich apps as firefox and abiword run without the app or the OS crashing or becoming really slow.
15 • Frugalware (by David McCann on 2012-03-05 17:05:04 GMT from United Kingdom)
I've tried versions 1.3 to 1.6 (my mini-reviews are at Linux Questions). Problems with the installer occurred in every one. There are also failures in dependency resolution when installing programs, and programs which install but don't work. It is improving (my rating has risen from 1/10 to 4/10) but I think the basic problem is too few developers trying to handle too many programs and too many user interfaces. A small team needs to create a small distro, unless they base it on another.
16 • Puppy on Pi (by WilliamW on 2012-03-05 17:09:31 GMT from United Kingdom)
@ 9 • Dive Ed
Thanks for the link. Puppy is brilliant - I use it on several old machines. Puppy on Pi's small(ish) resources will be neat combination. I cut my teeth on the ZX81 so for tinkerers like me there is a lot to look forward to.
17 • Pi Clustering (by DavidEF on 2012-03-05 17:54:30 GMT from United States)
There is a thread on the Raspberry Pi Forum already in full swing on Clustering these babies together. I haven't read far enough into it yet to see how they plan on physically joining them. I still think my LEGO idea would be cool.
18 • FRUGALWARE always buggy. (by TanKe on 2012-03-05 18:17:40 GMT from Mexico)
I have been testing every Frugalware released and always had to remove it. Bugs and show stoppers are very common on this distro;
No mouse, no keyboard, instability, super slowness and crashes. This last Frugal 1.6 was more responsive and less buggy but my graphical install (DVD1) crashed at partitioning because a "plugin error, please report" whatever error this is. I had to install by text. Tested first Gnome3 and was crashing on me all the time without an output error i could record. Then installed from "cero" this time KDE which was a lot more stable and fast, almost enjoyable... but had a couple of crashes with the package manager (just froze).
I would like to recommend Frugalware devs to stop trying to cover all and just focus on bugs for your next version.
19 • Frugalware (by Devil505 on 2012-03-05 18:29:22 GMT from France)
Testers of Frugalware, don't hesitate to fill bug report and/or feature request here: http://bugs.frugalware.org
20 • Frugalware (by TuxTest on 2012-03-05 18:45:03 GMT from Canada)
I agree with you!
I tested all versions since 1.0 Frugalware and I never managed to install a real stable desktop. The modes of installation crash on almost all versions.
Suggestion: Make a single version per year, but a real system is working and not buggy.
21 • frugalware releases support period (by linuxuser on 2012-03-05 19:00:03 GMT from Greece)
Watching the announcements in Frugalware's Home page, I see that each release is supported with security updates for only six months.To my opinion, that is a too short period of support, for this very interesting distribution. Please anyone, correct me if I misunderstood the support policy of the project. Thank you.
22 • Tiny Core on Rasberry Pi (by Mike Lockmoore on 2012-03-05 19:01:03 GMT from United States)
Tiny Core has not been officially released or supported on ARM processors, but I believe some people have built experimental versions. However, the creator/lead developer of Tiny Core Linux has expressed interested in the Raspberry PI platform specifically, so it is quite possible we will have a port of Tiny Core to the Pi available soon.
23 • Frugalware support (by Jesse on 2012-03-05 19:41:40 GMT from Canada)
I think it depends on how you use it. Frugalware does indeed come with a new release around every six months. However, they also have a -current branch which is effectively a rolling release. You could do an upgrade every six months or you could use the -current repositories and always be up to date.Frugalware seems similar to Slackware in their approach to upstream software so running -current is probably pretty safe.
24 • Gnome 3 in LMDE ? (by John on 2012-03-05 19:46:47 GMT from Belgium)
It is hight time that the ones " invented " and pushing the Gnome 3 environment , should be sent to the south pole to count penguins !!!
Gnome 3 is lame, ties your hands, obnoxious, and not worthy to be in a Gnu Linux environment
Kill it now !!
25 • Rasberry Pi (by MoreGee on 2012-03-05 20:33:09 GMT from United States)
I want one to put in my Modded and Hacked Furby with a built in webcam.
I'd put wifi and try and get SMS running on it to serve the webcam images.
I would put it on top of the TV and stream video to the TV.
I also have a nano bluetooth transceiver that would be perfect for hooking up a wireless keyboard/mouse.
The "A" model should have utilized a ribbon cable for the I/O to a small panel for mounting like into the base of a desk lamp. The USB hub in the kit looks like it would block both ports. I also wish this had 512mb of memory for better buffering of video and app swap space.
Great review of Frugalware, and thanks for the password. I was unable to guess it. The network set up is pain if you don't have DHCP, they need to fix it.
26 • Frugalware (by Eddie on 2012-03-05 21:47:07 GMT from United States)
I'm glad I'm not the only one who hasn't been able to successfully install Frugalware. I have wanted to give it a fair trial, if for no other reasons than (1) it is a relatively "original" distro, not closely patterned after anything else, and (2) it has been around for a while and obviously the developers have a serious commitment to it. But I've never been able to get all the way through the installation. Oh well...maybe Frugalware 1.7 will be the ticket!
27 • @14 (by Gnobuddy on 2012-03-05 23:51:37 GMT from United States)
Julian said: "I started using gnash because in came preinstalled on Debian and there was no need to switch to adobe flash."
I'm all for open-source alternatives when they do the job, but in my experience, gnash did not fall into that category. Most of the videos on YouTube failed to play when I had gnash installed. I also tried some CISCO (computer networking) instructional material based on Flash, and that too did not work with gnash.
Perhaps things have improved since I last tried gnash. I hope so.
28 • Frugalware (by Baste on 2012-03-05 23:52:51 GMT from France)
@18 and @20
You say you have problems for Frugalware installation, but I never see bug report or question on the forum.
What are your problems? may be that by asking your questions for the dev., we will be able to help you.
29 • Gnash, (IcedTea?) Java - which version? (by Reticent on 2012-03-06 00:19:17 GMT from United States)
When I tried Kongoni from CD, I was pleasantly surprised. It was faster than many distros on usb or hdd. Most "flash" played well, because the version of Gnash was recent. OTOH, some vendors may prefer corporate products like those from Sun and Adobe, because they play nicer with ID tracking, Dysfunctional Restriction Mandates, etc.
30 • Re. 27: Originality (by uz64 on 2012-03-06 03:33:09 GMT from United States)
Actually, early versions of Frugalware were based on Slackware, but with Arch's pacman package management system. Somewhere along the line all of the packages were built from scratch and the distribution was no longer compatible with Slackware. Still, the distribution is quite unique in many ways. I'm not sure that I would use it as my daily OS, but I have played around with it a few times.
I was expecting a pathetic "review" of the distribution if Jesse caved into all the requests in the comments of the previous DWW, and that's exactly what it turned out to be in my opinion. Apparently a distribution must be on a single, live, installable CD, otherwise this guy is not happy. Separate live and install discs must somehow be bad now, as well as DVD-sized disc images... oh well. All you really need for a standard installation is the first DVD, by the way; any additional packages can be installed with the package manager... pretty much like Debian. I can agree with the confusion of how many discs you need to download though; that info can be difficult to find.
31 • Gnash/Flash (by Vukota on 2012-03-06 04:38:42 GMT from United States)
I thought there will be religious war about Flash/Gnash, but just few people commenting is surprising. On the Linux (and BSD) desktop front, this is one of THE major pain points for last 10+ years.
I really hope HTML5 removes 99.99% of the need to use Flash. Apple gave them first sting by pulling the plug on IOS devices, and I really hope either Apple, Google, Microsoft or Linux community will put together some great tool to replace any need for Flash and put to an end depreciated Flash monopoly.
32 • Flash and Gnash on Linux and BSD (by Thomas Mueller on 2012-03-06 05:41:59 GMT from United States)
I successfully built Gnash from source on NetBSD (pkgsrc) and FreeBSD (ports) and was very successful on YouTube, near 100%, but couldn't get it to run on other sites, didn't work at all on shoplocal.com or freefilefillableforms.com ; haven't tried with Linux since I use Adobe's Flash plugin. Another possibility for Flash videos, which would not be applicable to shoplocal.com or freefilefillableforms.com , is to download the video and then play with Gnash or possibly vlc or mplayer; I haven't tried that yet.
Another possibility is to use the MS-Windows version with wine, haven't tried that yet, couldn't get wine to build on a 64-bit system (amd64).
33 • GNOME 3 vs. Cinnamon (by M. Edward (Ed) Borasky on 2012-03-06 07:24:45 GMT from United States)
I ran Cinnamon on openSUSE 12.1 for a couple of weeks and I really don't see how it's "better" then GNOME 3. It seemed slower, the "desktop effects" were annoying and it used just as much RAM as GNOME 3. I really think if you want a simple, clean GNOME-ish desktop, you're better off with stock GNOME 3 in forced fallback mode than you are with all the Cinnamon eye candy.
34 • RE: Gnome3 in LMDE ? (by Dude on 2012-03-06 07:33:50 GMT from United States)
I agree with John from Belgium. Gnome 3 is penguin poo! Not only that, but the next version of LMDE won't have Cinnamon as the default either. Why not? I guess I'll keep using Linux Mint 9 with Gnome 2 until April of 2013. Hopefully Mint will have LMDE 'fixed' with Cinnamon by then.
35 • Frugalware bugs (by Marius Cirsta on 2012-03-06 08:25:57 GMT from Romania)
I know there are problems with the GUI installer in Frugalware, I will try to take care of that.
One of the problems we have in Frugalware is that we rarely get bug reports and so we don't really know what's wrong and what to fix.
Please help by opening bug reports through our webpage. This should insure that you will have a better experience next time you try it.
36 • Re: 33 Gnome 3 vs. Cinnamon (by sw on 2012-03-06 08:43:12 GMT from Germany)
This is slightly inaccurate, since Cinnamon is Gnome 3, so it can't be better than Gnome 3. The real difference is Gnome 3 with Shell versus Gnome 3 with Cinnamon since Cinnamon replaces the Shell as desktop manager.
It is in development at in the moment, so while some report it to be faster and slicker than Shell, it is possible that it feels slower on other configurations. The effects can be disabled, so if you don't like them, turn them off.
I think Cinnamon has the potential to supplant Gnome 3 with Shell, so that in some not so distant future most users will run Gnome 3 with Cinnamon, making Shell a niche product.
37 • @36 Gnome 3 vs. Cinnamon (by mandog on 2012-03-06 12:28:16 GMT from Peru)
How many extensions are there for cinnamon? there are currently 120+ on the Gnome extensions page and more on the net. I use both and cinnamon is good if you are to idle to install from the net.
@24 > Gnome 3 is lame, ties your hands, obnoxious, and not worthy to be in a Gnu Linux environment<
strong words can you please explain this statement
@ 34 > I agree with John from Belgium. Gnome 3 is penguin poo! Not only that, but the next version of LMDE won't have Cinnamon as the default either.<
So if that's the case why would you want to use cinnamon its based on gnome shell with a few extensions pre-installed.
Flash has had a good run but its now out dated code adobe are not abandoning Linux as some are saying and Chromium browser is already has the new plugin API It will not be long till the others catch up.
38 • AntiX (by NoX on 2012-03-06 13:21:59 GMT from United States)
I really like AntiX for many years but the problem is that I have a very old machine that boots from SCSI cdrom and AntiX can't find it. I can use other Debian based distros like Crunchbang with no problem. I just wish I Anticapitalista would include a kernel with SCSI support. I know I could probably load it in a flash drive and boot from the cd but where is the fun in that? :) :( I just want to boot up like the cool kids.
39 • http://antix.mepis.org/ (by anticapitalista on 2012-03-06 14:21:34 GMT from Greece)
#38. Let me know what is needed and I'll include it in the kernel.
40 • Frugalware (by TuxTest on 2012-03-06 14:45:15 GMT from Canada)
Well! (1.6 DVD 4.3go download) For your information on the latest version 1.6 the three installation modes crashed on different steps * GUI crash on partition step*. The graphical installer never really worked well since is out. I do not want negative criticism but when stable release is announced, we imagine that all components are texted during development. As Frugalware is for more advanced users, average 10% user PC. Maybe build one version per years but really stable and functional with a good support update on 3 or 5 years.
It really necessary to out release version each 6 mouths more or less stable.
In closing I think Frugalware has a good potential but perhaps reconsider the orientation development.
41 • #38 (by NoX on 2012-03-06 15:17:20 GMT from United States)
Thanks, I don't know. I'll try to find out and email you.
42 • Frugalware (by David McCann on 2012-03-06 16:59:41 GMT from United Kingdom)
I admit that one ought to make a bug report when a distro one is testing gives problems, but
1. At the least, it means registering for a forum; at the worst, as with Fedora Bugzilla, it means having ones email address publicly displayed for every spammer to harvest.
2. Some bugs shouldn't need reporting. If I find a distro that doesn't work with my SiS chipset, I report it: few people have an SiS chipset. But when Suse released with a broken version of Totem, it was a developer's job to actually run the program after they compiled it. Similarly, it's an elementary precaution to check all the options in your installer!
43 • Bug reporting (by zykoda on 2012-03-06 19:00:58 GMT from United Kingdom)
There must be so many bugs out there that go unreported, If the reporting process was better known, convenient, without exposure(#42)..etc this rich data could be better harvested to revolutionary extent. I fear wasted opportunities, breakages and rapid obsolescence rules.
44 • Frugalware (by Baste on 2012-03-06 21:02:44 GMT from France)
How do you test FW? Virtualbox or on a physical machine?
If Virtualbox, what version, what distro you use?
Do you read : http://www.frugalware.org/docs/install.html#_netinstall more specially Note
45 • Frugalware (by TuxTest on 2012-03-06 23:24:39 GMT from Canada)
I always install on PC directly. Never under Virtualbox. I have 5 PC for testing. 3 desktop and 2 laptop. 3 amd and 2 intel.
I use several linux distro bsd system without preference. Just for fun! But Frugalware
I have often tried Frugalware but without any real result.
46 • LMDE with XFCE (by Marti on 2012-03-07 00:00:23 GMT from United States)
There is an XFCE for Linux Mint Debian. Gnome 3 CAN be avoided.
47 • @11 dyne:bolic came with clustering support (by Vic on 2012-03-07 14:31:26 GMT from United States)
I think the distro you might have been thinking about is dyne:bolic. I remember it touting clustering out of the box as a feature. It was an interesting protect back when I first tried it. It was actually one of the first live CD Linux projects I remember playing with that enticed me to experiment outside of Ubuntu.
48 • The Hit per day column (by Herbert Thornton on 2012-03-07 17:24:09 GMT from Canada)
I understand what the Hits Per Day figures mean, but alongside those figures there's displayed either a red triangle, a green triangle or a black dash. Those mystify me. What do they signify?
49 • @48 Hits per day triangles (by Marco on 2012-03-07 18:10:24 GMT from United States)
I always assumed decrease, increase, no change.
50 • Hits per day triangles (by Herbert Thornton on 2012-03-07 20:07:15 GMT from Canada)
I think I just found most of the answer - green triangle = latest stable version. Red triangle = development or beta version.
51 • HPD (by zykoda on 2012-03-07 20:42:45 GMT from United Kingdom)
Presently the colour is not relevant, only the symbol. Of course the colour could be used in a more quantitative manner, such as how greener is my ridge or how redder is my valley!
52 • Unity's woes (by RevLouM on 2012-03-07 23:43:19 GMT from United States)
Some of you might recognize my handle as "the n00b of the hundred distros> I have downloaded and test-driven Unity in the past. N00B such as I am, I didn't do much with it. Just wandered around and moved on. I was saddened by the "A New Direction" part of their blog. I JUST got a grip on the BASICS of CLI, and here I was wishing I was a developer!
What does this have to do with anything? Some of you ARE developers. Even if it's only as a "hobby". There are MANY worthy distros out there that could use your help! Give it a thought at least, please? I mean, even if your personal favorite bleeding-edge distro can't use you because it's so out-there, maybe you can help one that CAN use you!
53 • Cinnamon (by Nate on 2012-03-08 01:20:28 GMT from United States)
@37 How many extensions are there for cinnamon? there are currently 120+ on the Gnome extensions page and more on the net. I use both and cinnamon is good if you are to idle to install from the net.
You are correct that Cinnamon has less extensions. Sometimes though, a large number of extensions doesn't mean the software is good, but means the software was missing so many features and components that the software had to be modified.
And to all of the people who are claiming Cinnamon will be as bad as or worse than Gnome 3 because it's a derivative, sometimes a derivative can be better than the parent "Case in point: pre-Unity Ubuntu vs. Debian."
54 • Cinnamon (by RevLouM on 2012-03-08 01:32:21 GMT from United States)
I have it. I don't use it.
I LIKE LM12, I do. Been using it for longer than any other distro. I actually use it to d/l and print other distros. Didn't care for Cinnamon, much. Couldn't tell you why, exactly, till I previewed W-8.
NOT that there's anything wrong with either, but I'll stick to W-7 and on Mint, I'll stick with the "default gui"...
55 • Nosonja Linux (by Neal on 2012-03-08 12:40:13 GMT from United States)
Quick plug for Nosonja Linux the new arch based distro. Very nice and easy to use and install! Good work there from those devs...
56 • Avoiding Gnome 3 (by IkeyDoherty on 2012-03-08 16:13:06 GMT from United Kingdom)
Strikes me as quite odd that a lot of folk avoiding Gnome 3 go with XFCE or another alternative. Why not just use Debian Squeeze + Gnome 2.30? At least that way you
can happily keep on using your Gnome Environment until Wheezy becomes stable :)
Regarding Cinnamon: As much as it is indeed a fork of Gnome Shell, it needs time to grow and "flourish". All new technologies need this. It's not exactly going to disappear overnight, its the flagship desktop of Linux Mint now. With a little more time and development, it'll get to a point where everywhere you go you'll see Cinnamon Extension and Themes.
Me personally, I'm gonna ride the Gnome 2 boat until Wheezy becomes stable.
57 • @56 gnome 2 (by Vic on 2012-03-08 16:54:40 GMT from United States)
And when that gnome 2 ride ends you can always jump over to one of the redhat clones like centos...
Really though you'd just be putting off the inevitable switch to something else.
58 • @53 • Cinnamon (by mandog on 2012-03-08 16:55:47 GMT from Peru)
your are missing the point gnome shell gives you a blank desktop you choose what you want to do with not rely on what somebody else thinks you want.
The Debian/Ubuntu comparison holds no water. Ubuntu/Mint is a much better comparison as they are beginner distros and people move on to better more professional and stable distros for serious work.
59 • @57 Gnome 2 (by IkeyDoherty on 2012-03-08 17:56:16 GMT from United Kingdom)
Why would I want to do that? I have my own distro. Debian based + Gnome 2.
60 • Desktops (by TheBullDog on 2012-03-08 18:47:45 GMT from United States)
- Left Linpus Linux behind on my AOA because the desktop and default views seemed a little too dumbed down.
- I only use the Tap 'n Tap interface on my g-tablet when it's docked to display the time, wx, etc. But, once it comes out of the dock, I go straight to the classic android view.
- Worked with the Unity desktop and felt it slowed me down. The desktop seemed more appropriate for a tablet (and then I'm not so sure). I won't use it on a working laptop or desktop.
- Looked at a Windows phone yesterday. I didn't like the default display and Windows 8 looks like more of the same.
- IMHO, some of these new desktops might be good for a beginner, or a user who uses a minimal number of applications. Otherwise, they seem to dumb down the interface too much for a power user.
61 • @59 long life cycle (by Vic on 2012-03-08 19:19:59 GMT from United States)
If you are after a distro that will support gnome 2 longest, the redhat camp will have it longer.
62 • @61: long life cycle (by IkeyDoherty on 2012-03-08 19:42:39 GMT from United Kingdom)
Yeah but I can't really see anyone wanting to use unsupported software in 10 years time.
Even if they do, I'm guessing it will only be supported by the Red Hat camp. Personally
I will still be using a Debian base. Leaving me with a number of options really. Move with
the times or summon my own fork into existence. Either is fine with me. It all depends
on how my users feel towards the introduction of Wheezy.
63 • Lubuntu Beta 1 Merge with Debian (by Roy H Huddleston on 2012-03-08 23:11:56 GMT from United States)
I am really liking the multiarch support from Debian. Even though Lubuntu let me know that it really didn't set Lubuntu to work with GNOME but with LXDE with LDM from Ubuntu one can add GNOME 2 in there. One will get the option for GNOME or LDM when adding GNOME in synaptic. If one chooses LDM you will get a real nice light GNOME 2. With Brightside you can choose between Xscreensaver and GNOME screensaver which is cool when you want to choose between watching a video and not having to log back in or running the screensavers and not worrying about ruining your monitors. The beta comes in with kernel 3.2.0-17 but quickly updates to 3.2.0-18.
64 • Shameless Plug (by IkeyDoherty on 2012-03-08 23:39:50 GMT from United Kingdom)
I've been watching the DW Weekly comments for a while now, and I've noticed that a lot
of people seem to want Gnome 2 still. Here comes my shameless plug:
My name is Ikey Doherty. I'm the guy that invented Linux Mint Debian Edition. I created the entire process and the installer. I left the team quite some time ago due to personal circumstances. When I came back, the Linux landscape had changed. if you're one of the people that were roped in by the original LMDE promises, but feel they never quite got delivered, my distro may be for you. It's called SolusOS.
A Debian Stabled based distribution, with current applications. LibreOffice 3.5.0, Firefox and Thunderbird 10.0.2 and I'm now backporting VLC 2.0. Most distribution can do that, except most distributions aren't doing that and still using Gnome 2.30. If you still want to
use Gnome 2.30, yet have a secure modern distribution with recent application versions,
SolusOS may be for you. http://www.solusos.com/
At the moment we're only at RC1. Probably a few bugs, I'll be as honest as the next guy.
Tomorrow I release RC2, a lot of things are changing. We use a custom kernel, 3.0.0 with
PAE and the BFS patch, also using PREEMPT. McLovin (also a previous Linux Mint developer) is working on the 64-bit edition (due to release soon).
The current view these days is to have a constantly updated core/base system to enjoy
the latest applications. This is not true! We are based on Debian Squeeze yet enjoy many
current desktop applications. This isn't just another Debian spin, our repos are 3.1GB at
this moment in time, and growing daily.
Ending this shameless plug, if you want to be on the frontline of a modern Gnome 2.30 distribution, SolusOS could be what you were looking for. If not, thank you for taking the
time to read this comment, and I wish you well in all your endeavors :)
65 • SolusOS (by BrettBohnenkamper on 2012-03-09 00:03:37 GMT from United States)
I second the plug about SolusOS. GNOME 2.3 with a stable Debian base, plus updated applications, a custom kernel, and very open developers. We've been doing a lot of work on this, getting it ready for stable, everyday use. This distribution really is something. Check it out and I don't think you'll be disappointed at all. :)
66 • SolusOS (by Gene C on 2012-03-09 00:27:22 GMT from United States)
Been watching for some mention of SolusOS for a while now. Very surprised not to see any mention. Whats good about it? What isn't. I am sure there are many out there who are looking for a 'user friendly' Debian Stable based distro, using what is probably the all time favorite "Gnome 2.3" desktop, easy installtion, easy driver installation via GUI (Jocky). A custom kernel aimed at great desktop performance. A repo full of up to date and great apps. Excellent Ubuntu like font rendering. New features, almost daily. An excellent support forum. Its all I have been looking for. Its certainly worth a look.
67 • SolusOS (by mikeconcepts on 2012-03-09 00:28:47 GMT from United States)
Ikey is an expert developer and has created what both experts and novices need. You all should get SolusOS, you'll be glad you did. He has provided what people want, speed, stability, latest applications, and everything works out of the box. Come into the forums, googls SolusOS, it's all here.
68 • SolusOS (by Vic on 2012-03-09 00:32:00 GMT from United States)
Even before your "shameless" plug I followed the link in your name to the SolusOS site and bookmarked it for further investigation. Looks like an interesting project and I plan to give it a spin soon as time allows.
69 • SolusOS (by MaikAdamietz on 2012-03-09 00:33:33 GMT from Belgium)
I agree with Ikey and Brett.
Also i have been using and testing SolusOS for a while now since i found out about it and joined in. It has Gnome 2.3, it's based on Debian stable, up to date apps, a nice custom kernel and so on. SolusOS is a real gem amongst all the other linux distro's i have been running and testing the last few months.
None of them felt as stable as SolusOS does and it has been like that since the Alpha releases to be very honest which could go for Beta releases. This was last month. Now I run the RC1 myself fully up to date and am very satisfied. To be very honest with all of you.... no other distro has managed to keep it's place on both of my machines that long.
Before i ended up with SolusOS i did a lot of distro hopping and i would switch to another distro within the same day sometimes. Besides a few other distro's nothing could keep me really hooked. SolusOS changed that.
I repeat and believe me.... it is a real gem. Go check it out, give it a real spin, it's worth it more than 100%. I recommend it to everybody. :)
70 • SolusOS (by IkeyDoherty on 2012-03-09 00:38:05 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks a lot for the support guys, means a lot to me :)
Jockey, as much as I love it, is already being replaced. Took me all of two hours to port
it and already I don't like it ! :) The SolusOS First Run Wizard will take care of everything
It takes care of everything from Gallium to ATi + nVidia.
@Vic: The RC2 is out tomorrow. SolusOS is probably one of the most active projects
out there today. However I'm not one of those guys who tries to keep everything to himself.
If I make any kind of advance or new breakthrough I'm the type of guy who likes to share.
A simple example; in the new kernel-package build system the kernel headers seem to
always be broken. I was informed that antiX were having similar issues. I asked for
anticapitalista to come forward, and he did, so now that project also has resolved the issue with the broken headers.
SolusOS is all about change, but in good ways. We're not trying to get you to redefine your desktop environment or your habits. It's about getting everything working, as it
always should have been. If you wanna learn more join our forums (linked via my name
link), or just drop me an email: ikey AT solusos DOT com
P.S To all my SolusOS users, thanks again for the support, SolusOS wouldn't be here if
it wasn't for you :)
71 • SolusOS (by Garry Kmieciak on 2012-03-09 00:55:55 GMT from Australia)
I honestly wonder what is up with Distrowatch, was expecting some sort of write up months ago. I've been a mint user for years and jumped on lmde when it first came out with high expectations, but after a year it's far worse than it was to start with.
With Solus being developed and maintained by the same people who started lmde I am critical to the point of pedantic about it meeting my needs. To be honest, so far it doesn't. But on the flip side, I've followed its' development and see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am looking forward to a simple graphic card installer "Jockey" and the 64bit version of Solus then I will dump this broken lmde install for good.
The key areas that pull me towards this distro are Stability, regular updates, debian based and the dev team actually listens to concerns and suggestions. Also I am fond of gnome2 and find gnome3 a pain to use at this point in it's development. I am sure Solus will use gnome3 sometime in the future, but not until it has matured. Too many distro's are leaping forward with cutting edge software that constantly breaks giving linux a bad image, it's about time for a rock solid OS, developed with thought, instead of a deadline in mind.
72 • SolusOS, good idea... (by Caraibes on 2012-03-09 10:59:49 GMT from Dominican Republic)
I applaud the idea of a Debian Stable based OS, with backported main apps (browser, office and some others), but most of all, using Gnome 2 !!!!!!
I don't know how they will make it once Wheezy goes Stable...
It might have been smarter to base on top of a RHEL6 clone...
73 • Ad-Tracking found within Linux Mint Deb (by GARY RICHARDSON on 2012-03-10 15:06:15 GMT from United States)
I'm a long time user of Linux Mint. As of recent a new program was brought to my attention which allows one to see who is tracking them while surfing the net called Collusion. Anyway, when I open Firefox it shows my Home Page and DoubleClick.Net If the HP is changed Dblclk still remains. DoubleClick.Net shows to be a "subsidiary of Google that develops and provides Internet ad serving services."
As such now I'm concerned whether Mint is a "ad" generated distro collecting personal information for same? If so how many more Distro's are out there doing this? In the alternative could the "Collusion" add-on itself be the google tracker? Hoping you can confirm/disprove any of the above or point me too whom I should ask for assistance.
74 • mint tracking (by mintish on 2012-03-10 17:59:40 GMT from United States)
Can't guess which specific version of LinuxMint you are using. Can tell you that in the Mint "Debian Edition" 09/2011 release, the distro contains files (shell scripts, residing in the /opt and /skel paths) which "customize" the Thunderbird / Chromium / Firefox user profile (each time a new linux user account is created, and/or when user later installs Chromium browser). Among other things, the mint-ification pre-installs "mint search enhancer" Firefox extension. Via the ff GUI, this extension can be tickmarked disabled; however, via the GUI it cannot be REMOVED. The extension serves the purpose of appending a "mint-branded partnerID" to your search query; each time you perform a search (Google, Amazon, etc.) *IF* you wind up clicking a sponsored listing (an "ad"), the Mint project receives part of the advertising revenue share. I "weeded out" the /opt and /skel -added stuff in my installed copy; along the way, I did NOT discover evidence of an extra GUID (a fingerprint, a personally identifying string) being installed by the mint shell scripts. Note that after forcibly removing the "enhancer" Firefox extension, equivalent info is still conveyed (and this isn't something specific to Mint, nor to Firefox) via the browser+build+O/S string contained within the http-user-agent string of each http request issued by the web briwser. If you open your browser and immediately find "doubleclick" being "detected" by the collusion addon, I suspect THAT is a separate issue -- like so many other sites, your homepage (the mint "welcome" page?) probably embeds a page element served from doubleclick, for tracking/statskeeping purposes. Ah, once the doubleclick cookie is in place (from your very first pageview!) yep, your user/browser is essentially fingerprinted... but you can use the AdBlockPlus extension to prevent your browser from contacting doublclick (and whichever other sites you wish). BTW, instead of the "Collusion" Firefox addon, I would recommend using the "Ghostery" addon.
75 • RE: 74/73 (by Landor on 2012-03-10 18:38:52 GMT from Canada)
If you want to circumvent any crap like tracking, or how distributions like Mint 'try to force you' to comply with their money making policies, just install Firefox by itself. It is the only real browser that insures your freedoms, is easily installed manually. After getting rid of all the hacked Mint crap that is.
Keep your stick on the ice...
76 • RE: 73 (by fernbap on 2012-03-10 23:43:17 GMT from Portugal)
First of all, doubleclick doesn't reside on Mint or the "hacked firefox" or whatever.
Doubleclick is a web application that resides in the websites themselves, and is installed by webmasters that want to collect info about their visitors: page counters, location maps (visitors from which countries) and, of course, targeted advertising, that google uses.
Doubleclick is not adware, it is an applet that identifies your browser for statistical purposes. However, it doesn't "spy into your computer" to learn your secrets.
For instance, unless you block it, ANY browser from ANY OS will give to ANY website the ip of the user. You can prevent that from happening, but nothing of that is Mint or any other distro specific.
77 • gnash -- not as good as i thought! (by Julian on 2012-03-11 02:36:47 GMT from United States)
There are a bunch of things Gnash doesn't work on ... I thought I was using Gnash but i've actually been using the copy of adobe flash supplied with my chrome web browser. Didn't know it was included. Not very impressed with Gnash at this point.
78 • two cents on Frugalware and gnash (by gnomic on 2012-03-11 08:59:27 GMT from New Zealand)
Gnash is a noble endeavour. However it seems dubious that it will ever be able to reliably replicate every function of Flash. Maybe it hardly matters since Flash is on the slippery slide to oblivion as I understand the current state of affairs. I for one will not miss it.
Frugalware is in my 'Why does this distro exist?' box. Admittedly I haven't given it a run for years, but last time I did it seemed behind the state of the art and buggy. I haven't seen anything since to drag me back. However it has persisted when many have fallen by the wayside. Maybe when I see that 'you gotta try this' review.
79 • Frugralware/gnash (by Landor on 2012-03-11 16:59:55 GMT from Canada)
I've always appreciated the gnash project. Their biggest hurdle is their goal/need to make sure that in no way is it reverse-engineered from Adobe's Flash in any way. That as you can guess is a massive undertaking just in itself, let alone trying to create a usable application. When you don't know the effort that's actually gone into a project, and you don't develop it yourself, it's easy to say you're not impressed with it.
I've always liked Frugalware. I guess we can ask why every distribution exists when you come down do it. Why does Puppy exist when there's AntiX. Why does PCLOS exist when there's Mandriva. I personally feel that one of Frugalware's greatest strengths, and only that the very least, on reason why it should exist is because it's one of the rare few independent distributions. There's very few new ones being created, and we need them, a lot.
Keep your stick on the ice...
80 • So many good choices (by dennis on 2012-03-11 20:27:43 GMT from Canada)
After listening to all of the grumbling and bitchin' about Gnome 3 and doing a great deal of grumbling myself, I set out to the Linux buffet in search of a distro that I could be comfortable using.
I think I made about thirty "coasters". In the process I found many distro that work well. I would like to suggest to all of those that think Gnome 3 is "penguine poo" (I do agree) you have some wonderful options.
Try Live Voyager, SalineOS, Zorin, or Netrunner. All are good and all give you the ability to control your desktop just the way you like it.
81 • "80 (by fernbap on 2012-03-11 21:18:21 GMT from Portugal)
dennis, the point is not gnome 3, the point is gnome 2 being sabotaged by the gnome developers.
the point is not gnome 3 being bad (which it certainly is), but gnome 2 being abandoned by its own developers, leaving the community suddently in a situation where its most popular DE is in the limbo
82 • RE: 81 (by Landor on 2012-03-12 00:00:44 GMT from Canada)
Come on now, fernbap, that's a bit over the top don't you think? Sabotaged and abandoned? How can something be abandoned when the other one was being worked on a long time before its release, yet nobody cared to make any input regarding it. Did you by chance? I know I didn't. Sabotaged, yes, they purposely set out to ruin every single GNOME users 'Happy Times'. I know that is a silly term, and it's meant to be for such a silly stately like sabotaged.
Keep your stick on the ice...
83 • correction for #82 (by Landor on 2012-03-12 00:02:54 GMT from Canada)
'and it's meant to be for such a silly statement like sabotaged'*
Keep your stick on the ice...
Number of Comments: 83
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