| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 447, 12 March 2012
Welcome to this year's 11th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Sabayon Linux is an invitingly pleasant distribution to review. With its cutting-edge features, latest software and a variety of editions, it rarely ceases to amaze and the project's latest release, version 8, is no exception. This week's feature article takes a look at the distribution's Xfce edition which combines a wide range of excellent software with a more traditional desktop look and feel. In the news section, Arch Linux developers celebrate the distro's 10th birthday by recalling the beginnings of their involvements in the project, Klaus Knopper announces the upcoming release of KNOPPIX 7.0 featuring a recent Linux kernel and updated software packages, and Mark Shuttleworth thanks the Ubuntu user community for support during the distribution's ambitious transition from a desktop-focused system to a more consumer-oriented entity. Also in this issue, an update in the Secure Boot saga, an introduction to a security and hacking distribution from India, and the usual round of new distro submissions, including a renewed effort showcasing the latest Window Maker in a live CD. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
A look at Sabayon Linux 8|
The Sabayon Linux distribution is a Gentoo-based project which attempts to provide a cutting-edge user experience which "just works". The project provides several editions, the main ones being the GNOME, KDE, Xfce and Core flavours. Each edition is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds so the hardest hurdle to cross is figuring out which ISO we want to download. I opted for the Xfce edition which, if you've been following my reviews of late, you'll notice is becoming a bit of a trend. Recently I've been finding GNOME 3 too unpleasant and cumbersome to use and, while I enjoy the features of KDE, I'll be the first to admit it's a bit on the heavy side. More and more I'm finding Xfce provides my ideal balance of features and performance.
The 32-bit Xfce Sabayon Linux ISO image is fairly large, weighing in at 1.4 GB. Booting from the disc brings up a menu asking if we'd like to try the live environment, launch the graphical installer, launch a text installer or boot from the local drive. I opted to try the live environment and was brought to an Xfce desktop. There's a lot of grey in evidence. The application menu sits at the top of the screen and the task switcher sits at the bottom. On the desktop we find icons for navigating the file system, donating to the project, opening a web page to the project's documentation and launching the installer.
Sabayon Linux uses the Anaconda system installer, the same one used by the Fedora project. It starts off asking us which language we prefer to use, then it gets us to confirm our keyboard layout. We're asked to enter a hostname for our computer and then select our time zone. The next screen prompts us to set a password for the root account and then we're asked to create a regular user account. Then we get into partitioning. Anaconda supports a wide range of disk layouts and we can use it to set up RAID environments, LVM and most Linux partition types, including Btrfs. Unlike recent Fedora releases Sabayon's installer doesn't force us to use the ext4 file system for the root partition, nor are we required to set up an extra partition for GPT. The final screen of the installer asks us to confirm we want to install a boot loader and then the installer begins copying its files to the local hard drive.
Sabayon Linux 8 - the system installer
(full image size: 196kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Once the installation is complete we can boot into Sabayon Linux and we're presented with a graphical login screen. Logging in we find the same Xfce environment, but with the installer's desktop icon swapped out for the distribution's package manager. The Xfce desktop largely stays out of the way and leaves us to explore without distractions. The only notifications I ever saw were to let me know when wireless network connections were available and when security updates were ready to be downloaded. The environment uses a good deal of grey, making for a somber, no-nonsense interface.
The Sabayon Linux distribution comes with a collection of popular applications. Peering into the application menu we find the Midori web browser, the Transmission BitTorrent client and the XChat IRC chat client. The menu also includes an entry for opening Midori in private browsing mode, convenient for those who don't want to leave a trail of browsing history behind them. We find a copy of LibreOffice, a PDF viewer, the Cheese webcam utility, the Exaile audio player and the Totem video player. The distribution comes with popular media codecs giving us the ability to play most multimedia files out of the box. The Flash browser plugin is included too. We're given the GNU Image Manipulation Program, the Shotwell photo manager and a text editor.
There is a sub-menu dedicated to providing links to various parts of the project's website, including the forums, bug tracker and documentation. Network connections are handled by Network Manager and the GPPP dialer is included in the application menu. Further digging turns up a graphical firewall configuration tool, a printer manager and the distribution's "Entropy Store" package manager. Looking further we find WINE is included for running Windows applications and the GNU Compiler Collection is installed for developers. Some Java packages are installed, but trying to run Java programs results in an error and it appears as though the Java installation isn't complete. There is a menu entry for an e-mail client, but the launcher points to a program which isn't installed. All of this sits on top of the 3.2 version of the Linux kernel.
Sabayon Linux 8 - running various applications
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I ran the distribution on two machines, my HP laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card) and a desktop box (2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card). In both cases Sabayon Linux correctly detected and handled all of my hardware. My display was set to its maximum resolution, my Intel wireless card was picked up and a notification appeared on the desktop letting me know the operating system had detected networks within range. Sound volume was turned down to a low setting on both machines, but audio worked without any problems. Generally I found logging into the desktop used around 150 - 160 MB of memory. Boot times were a bit slow on both machines, however once the user was logged in desktop responsiveness was very good.
The Sabayon package manager is called Entropy Store, though the "store" doesn't sell anything, all of the software is freely available from the project's repositories. The package manager has a simple layout with buttons or tabs across the top of the window and an information pane at the bottom. Clicking on the various buttons will show us pending updates, all available packages, search results and queued operations. Add, remove and update actions are collected and then launched in batches. While the software manager works and provides all the required functionality, I didn't take to it. Part of this was due to the application's speed, or lack of. Start-up times were slow and calculating actions took longer than I would expect from most other package managers. When I first started using Sabayon I'd try to open the Entropy Store and kept getting put off as the system was syncing the repositories and wouldn't allow any use of the package manager until it finished its current task. I also found the process of right-clicking on items to select/unselect them to be less intuitive than the usual left-click used by other managers. Everything in the package manager works, it just takes some time to get used to Sabayon's way of doing things.
My general impression of Sabayon Linux 8 is that it lives up to its stated goal of "just works", at least most of the time. My hardware was properly detected, all the codecs, Flash and applications for common tasks are included. I had no trouble with the installer nor the Xfce desktop. Boot times were a bit slow, but otherwise performance was good. I like that the distribution comes in many flavours and fans of GNOME, KDE and Xfce are provided for -- as are people who want to start with a core install and build from there. I'm not thrilled about the Entropy Store as I find it to be a bit sluggish and the array of colours, tabs and data packed into the application feels like overkill. Otherwise my only complaint came from some applications not being provided with the default Xfce desktop. Having a volume control in the system tray would be nice, as would having a graphical tool for managing user accounts. I didn't see an archive manager in the application menu either and the launcher for the e-mail client doesn't work. Little touches like that would move Sabayon from being a good experience to being an excellent experience. Not having these items isn't a big deal, missing software can be installed, but it would be nice to have these things straight out of the gate.
Sabayon Linux 8 - connecting to and browsing the net
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Still, if I'm going to pick at the minor scratches on this gem I feel it's only right to praise some of its nicer aspects too. For instance, on the application menu there's a sub-menu containing links to various parts of the Sabayon Linux website. This makes it easy to find documentation, go directly to the bug tracker and open the forums. There's also a link which will open a connection to the project's IRC support channel, which is a nice touch. I like they've made it possible for Anaconda to select any Linux file system for the root partition, even when we're installing from the live environment. The distribution is fairly cutting edge with lots of new software and it all appears to work, I didn't run into any stability problems. All in all, I think Sabayon 8 is a good release. I feel it improves on the previous releases and does a good job of being user-friendly. As I mentioned above there are some minor things I'd like to see added or improved, but I didn't encounter any serious bugs. It's a distribution well worth giving a try.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Ten years of Arch Linux, KNOPPIX 7.0, Ubuntu marketing talk
Arch Linux has always been a modest, unpretentious project, almost completely void of marketing, hype and dramatic claims - yet, it has managed to turn into an important and respected piece in the Linux distribution ecosystem. Yesterday (Sunday) the project celebrated ten years since the inaugural release of version 0.1 by Judd Vinet, the distribution's founder and lead developer at the time. Although Judd is no longer with Arch, the current developer team has been celebrating the birthday with a succession of posts on Planet Arch Linux. Allan McRae: "Today marks the 10 year anniversary since the first release of Arch Linux. I have been involved in Arch for only about half that time, but I thought it might be quite interesting to make a time-line of the major things I remember being involved with in my history with Arch Linux." Dave Reisner: "Arch Linux turns 10 today. It's pretty spunky for a pre-teen!" Pierre Schmitz: "Ten years ago Judd released the first version of Arch Linux. This is quite an age for a Linux distribution and we are still rolling." Ionuț Mircea Bîru: "Happy birthday Arch Linux!" Andrea Scarpino: "Today Arch celebrates its 10th birthday. Allan had a very nice idea writing something about his years as archer; Pierre already did the same, and I'm going to do write something about mine years in this great distro." Daniel Isenmann: "Ten years ago Judd Vinet released the first public version of Arch Linux."
* * * * *
The days when KNOPPIX was the only live CD with automatic hardware detection and configuration are long gone, but the project's developer, Klaus Knopper, continues to provide new versions on a regular basis. The next update will be version 7.0, but unless you are a Linux Magazine subscriber, you'll need to patiently wait for a public release. What can we expect in the new KNOPPIX 7.0?: "Version 7.0 of KNOPPIX is based on the usual picks from Debian stable ('Squeeze') and testing ('Wheezy'), with newer package versions especially for desktop applications. It uses kernel 3.2.4 and X.Org 7.6 (core 220.127.116.111) for supporting current computers; experimental free Nouveau graphics modules supporting NVIDIA cards, accelerated graphics via kernel mode settings (KMS); LibreOffice 3.4.5; Chromium 16.0.912.77 and Firefox/Iceweasel 10.0 web browsers; optional 64-bit kernel via boot option 'knoppix64', supporting systems with more than 4 GB of RAM and chroot to 64-bit installations for system rescue tasks; boot option "grub", for starting a bootloader shell in system rescue tasks; ADRIANE version 1.4 of the audio desktop framework, now using cuneiform as engine for text recognition of scanned texts, enhanced support for several cellphone models via gammu (SMS function)."
KNOPPIX 7.0 - a publicly available version is expected shortly
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Ubuntu's Unity interface has received a fair amount of coverage in the computing media, both positive and negative. However, as one might expect, project founder Mark Shuttleworth prefers to focus on the superlative characteristics of his brainchild, always happy to claim some interesting "firsts": "For the first time with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, real desktop user experience innovation is available on a full production-ready enterprise-certified free software platform, free of charge, well before it shows up in Windows or Mac OS X. It's not 'job done' by any means, but it's a milestone. Achieving that milestone has tested the courage and commitment of the Ubuntu community – we had to move from being followers and integrators, to being designers and shapers of the platform, together with upstreams who are excited to be part of that shift and passionate about bringing goodness to a wide audience. It's right for us to design experiences and help upstreams get those experiences to be amazing, because we are closest to the user; we are the last mile, the last to touch the code, and the first to get the bug report or feedback from most users."
Not everybody agrees with the above assessment, though. As Bruce Byfield notes in "Watching the Future of Canonical", the increasing focus on marketing talk emanating from the project's leader is a radical departure from the community-oriented approach in Ubuntu's early days: If Canonical has larger plans for some unique money maker, for obvious reasons it has yet to reveal what that might be. Instead, Canonical seems intent on exploring every possible niche, with an interface usable on every hardware platform, a cloud carrier, Ubuntu TV, an Android port, and probably several others that I haven't immediately remembered. This is a strategy I have seen before in other companies seeking profits. Often, it is a last-ditch strategy of desperation, and I see no reason to think Canonical is an exception, especially since announcements of Canonical's entry into these niches appear to be coming faster and faster. Why is this strategy desperate? Because, in many of the niches being explored by Canonical, major competitors are already established -- for instance, Amazon in the cloud, and Apple TV in smart televisions."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
An update in the Secure Boot saga
Last year we covered the concept of secure booting, its challenges and potential issues to open-source operating systems. At the time there was concern the Microsoft Windows 8 certification process would make it very difficult for consumers to install alternative operating systems, such as Linux, on their computers. Last week the Free Software Foundation sent out an update and it contains both good and bad news.
"In December, Microsoft apparently conceded to public pressure by quietly updating the Windows 8 logo certification requirements with a mandate that a desktop computer user must be able to control (and disable) the Secure Boot feature on any Windows 8 computer that is not based on ARM technology. This looks like a victory for free software users, as it will allow a person to install GNU/Linux or other free software operating system in place of Windows 8.
But, this is no time for celebration, because Microsoft has also added a treacherous mandate for makers of ARM-based computers -- such as a tablets, netbooks, and smartphones -- requiring them to build their machines with Restricted Boot technology. Such computers are designed to lock a user into only being able to run Windows 8, absolutely preventing her from being able to install a free software operating system on her computer. Since smartphones and tablets are some of the most commonly used computers, it's vital that we get straightforward and clear information about this threat out to the public."
A more complete statement and explanation on the potential benefits and problems associated with secure boot technology can be found on the Free Software Foundation's website.
As the FSF's statement says, computers using the ARM architecture are becoming much more common. Cell phones, tablets and energy efficient servers use ARM and these devices are likely to become more popular with time. The requirement demanded by Microsoft's hardware certification (page 116) would mean many devices would be locked down and it would be nearly impossible to install alternative operating systems on purchased hardware. As the Free Software Foundation rightly points out, secure booting is desirable, but restricted booting is not. They invite concerned individuals to sign a statement which would ask hardware manufactures to respect the freedoms of their customers.
|Released Last Week
IPFire 2.11 Core 57
Arne Fitzenreiter has announced the release of IPFire 2.11 Core 57, the latest update of the project's specialist distribution for firewalls: "Today, we are releasing Core Update 57 for IPFire 2.11. It is again a minor bug-fix and security update. These components have been updated to address various security issues or potential DDoS attacks - PHP security update to 5.3.10, Apache security update to 2.2.22, Squid, update to 3.1.19. Miscellaneous changes: a bug in the GUI of the outgoing firewall which automatically disabled a rule after it has been edited was fixed; Vim now works better on remote consoles like PuTTY; the welcome banner that is shown to Cisco's Road Warrior VPN client is now customized and says 'Welcome to IPFire - An Open Source Firewall Solution'." See the complete release announcement for more information.
Johnny Hughes has announced the release of CentOS 5.8: "We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of CentOS 5.8 for the i386 and x86_64 architectures. CentOS 5.8 is the eighth update to the CentOS 5 distribution series. It contains a lot of bug fixes, updates and new functionality. Known issues: as of CentOS 5.7 the installation kit is split into two DVDs; there is a MultiLib issue with dbus-1.1.2-16 (i386 and x86_64) - they can not be installed at the same time due to a conflict of the file /etc/dbus-1/system.conf; there is a known issue with the tg3 kernel driver using VLANs (802.1q) and at least one Broadcom chipset; there is a known issue with the smartmontools and the 2.6.18-308 kernel where 'hard drives behind a SAS controller can get dropped'; there is a known issue with the latest nfs-utils in EL 5.8 where invalid warnings are given on NFS mounts for rpc.idmapd and/or rpc.gssd." Read the release announcement and the more detailed release notes for further information.
Linux Mint 12 "LXDE"
Clement Lefebvre has announced the release of Linux Mint 12 "LXDE" edition, a fast and lightweight variant of the popular Ubuntu-based distribution: "The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 12 LXDE. Linux Mint 12 LXDE comes with updated software and brings refinements and new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use. This is the first release of Linux Mint using hybrid ISO images. Traditionally, tools such as 'Startup Disk Creator' or 'UNetbootin' were needed to install Linux Mint via USB. With hybrid images, you can simply use the 'dd' command or a graphical front-end to make a bootable USB which acts exactly like a live DVD. Linux Mint 12 features the following upstream components: Ubuntu 11.10, Linux kernel 3.0, LXDE 0.5.0." Read the brief release announcement and the more informative what's new page for further details.
Petter Reinholdtsen has announced the release of Skolelinux 6.0.4, a Debian-based specialist distribution for schools, also known as "Debian Edu": "The Debian Edu Team is pleased to announce the release of Debian Edu 'Squeeze' 6.0.4+r0. Debian Edu (aka 'Skolelinux') is a Debian Pure Blend specifically targeted at schools and educational institutions, and provides a completely configured school network environment out of the box. It covers PXE installation, PXE booting for diskless machines, and setup for a school server, for stationary workstations, and for workstations that can be taken away from the school network. Several educational applications like Celestia, Dr. Geo, GCompris, GeoGebra, Kalzium, KGeography and Solfege are included in the default desktop setup. Besides including everything provided by the fourth update of Debian 'Squeeze' (6.0.4), this new release of Debian Edu introduces some interesting improvements." Continue reading the release announcement to learn more.
Skolelinux 6.0.4 - a major new release from the Debian Edu team
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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
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 19 March 2012.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Stop beating on the water: the fish already got used to it and will not run away (by meanpt on 2012-03-12 09:54:31 GMT from Portugal) |
Beforehand ubuntu was just another friendly distribution and the only thing that had it looking diferent was the desktop background. Still on the look side, today we know if the official ubuntu is running on a desktop, because it looks and works "unity-izedly" diferent, while all other gnome and kde desktops feels the same and look the same. This is a brand asset.
Then, we keep hearing the detractors of ubuntu claiming really unreasonable things like the distro trying to occupy already occupied niches. That's ridiculously stupid. Ubutu itself started life in a occupied nich, that of the friendly linux desktops. Google started in a occupied niche, with really big sharks already there. Not to mention apple, of course. So to speak, if ubuntu manages to provide a really linux experience running on mobile devices, and compatibility with linux open source applications is maintained, I'll support Mark's moves
2 • Ubuntu bashing? (by Eric Yeoh on 2012-03-12 11:54:05 GMT from Malaysia)
Seems to me many of the Ubuntu bashers are just picking on the Unity desktop UI. Well either those guys are noobs or just being an @55 - the fact is, Ubuntu made headlines in traditional/mainstream tech and conventional press. Maybe that ruffled some feathers but it only means that now people are at least looking at Linux as more than a hacker's tool. Maybe the popularity of Ubuntu has nothing to do with tech merits and it's merely the media savviness of Shuttleworth - perhaps the lead of other projects can also emulate him in his handling of promotion and press?
3 • Window Maker (by Johannes on 2012-03-12 12:46:36 GMT from Germany)
I can't believe Window Maker is still around!
These huge icons are perfect fot recent touch screen devices - Window Maker was 15 year ahead of its time!!!
4 • Ubuntu bashing? (by mandog on 2012-03-12 12:55:00 GMT from Peru)
Ubuntu has transformed the way people think of Linux its now mainstream.
Unity is a attempt to break away from the traditional win 95 look of both Gnome/KDE. People that criticise are happy in their comfort zone the same people will be complaining when Ubuntu moves to the next generation of desktops saying how good unity is and why change it.
Sabayon has never worked for me neither has Gentoo always as slow as a slug when installed shame really.
My favourite distro is ten years old and I've used it for 6 of those years it must be good happy birthday Arch.
5 • Sabayon and Xfce (by Koroshiya Itchy on 2012-03-12 13:14:46 GMT from Belgium)
Xfce is the classic desktop environment done right. It is exactly what you need in order to have a functional desktop computer. Just the right balance. And it is the place where most Gnome (and Unity) exiles will end up at the end of the day. I am currently playing a bit with FluxBox which, together with Enlightenment, is quickly becoming my favourite lightweight window manager. However, let's admit it, they are not for the mainstream.
Sabayon 8 looks fantastic. I would wish I could try it, but my barely 4-years old laptop (counting from release date, not for purchase date) seems to be already deprecated for Linux kernel standards and I am currently unable to run anything newer than Debian 6 or RHEL 6 (thanks FSM those distros still exist). When the good old guys will be at the end of their life cycle I guess I will have to migrate to PC-BSD. I just hope that package management will be a bit more consistent and perfected by then.
Last time I checked Sabayon (it was Sabayon 6, I think) the distro was rather buggy and the package management system was not very reliable. It is a pity that I cannot test the new version.
6 • Ubuntu strategy (by vw72 on 2012-03-12 13:20:54 GMT from United States)
With regards to Ubuntu getting into all of these various markets, including ones with established players (Amazon Cloud and Apple TV), the world is a big place and most of it has yet to get these markets.
Even in the West, where some of these markets are well established, even a very small piece of the pie can be very profitable.
Will all of Ubuntu's market plans pan out? Probably not, but they don't have to. It only takes one.
7 • Ubuntu (by Coffee on 2012-03-12 13:41:02 GMT from France)
> As Bruce Byfield notes in "Watching the Future of Canonical", the increasing focus
> on marketing talk emanating from the project's leader is a radical departure
> from the community-oriented approach in Ubuntu's early days:
For the most part Ubuntu's first 7 years were a success. But things have been changing a lot over the past 2 odd years, during which Canonical's ever more erratic and autocratic strategy changes have driven the distribution to its warty and for many rather disappointing present state. At the root of this development lies an age-old conflict: On one side there's a rich man, who in this case happens to be a likable and enthusiastic individual, willing to invest a part of his private fortune in a project but ultimately expects a return on his investment ... and on the other side there is a large crowd of mostly unpaid developers who are no less likable, probably even more enthusiastic and who have their own ideas of what's wanted, what's needed and what's desirable in a GNU/Linux distribution. Traditional labor relations are based on coercion and blackmail. But this doesn't apply in a project where the majority of the contributors are volunteers. What's more, thanks to the GPL existing code cannot simply be appropriated, as Apple has done with the idiotically licensed BSD kernel.
So, what is Mark Shuttleworth to do? I think, if he wants to fulfill his dream of a GNU/Linux distribution that acts as a commercially viable sales- and communications platform, he'll have to gamble even higher and invest more of his fortune to employ a far larger team of properly paid developers who can be "directed" ... no more troublesome community to manage, no more benevolence necessary and the "dictating" comes naturally in such a setup.
Needless to say that I rather stay with the friendlier, less excessively managed, more free and more open original, which is Debian. And to those who mechanically denounce any criticism of their favorite distribution as "bashing" ... make your own point, if you have any, but stop attacking the critics. Criticism based on a sober assessment is not "bashing".
8 • Ubuntu Bashing (Re: #2 and #4) (by Leo on 2012-03-12 13:41:44 GMT from United States)
Ever since Ubuntu started, it has been bashed. However, it achieved a fantastic goal: move desktop Linux to the mainstream conversation, with a crisp desktop and a huge community. Along the way, it was bashed from right and left, just because this is a very vocal, elitist community of nerds
Now Canonical is hoping to cater to a much wider audience, based on the open source tools that made Ubuntu popular, but with a new, mobile paradigm. They are sort of giving up on the Desktop of the 90’s, and trying to stay ahead on the mobile desktop of the 10’s. Is that a bad idea? No, it’s not, but most “Linux nerds” will b*tch against Canonical, not matter what they do. And they really are not helping the cause.
Mark S is the coolest guy, trying to make a sustainable company around Free Software, and generally speaking, this world a better world, by promoting technologies that would help attenuate the digital divide. How could we all try to demonize him? Beats me!
9 • Ubuntu Bashing (Re: #8) (by Fingos Gyuszi on 2012-03-12 13:57:20 GMT from Hungary)
I think Gnome makes much more for finding new ways to use apps on more mobile way than Unity could reach ever! No ideas behind the Unity project, it's died before birth.
10 • Ubuntu bashing (by Alcohol52 on 2012-03-12 14:52:14 GMT from Nepal)
Is ubuntu bashing successful?
It has implanted such a notion of unity desktop in me that I am fearful to upgrade to 11.10 in my desktop or install it in my new laptop. I was a typical dual booter (for 4 years) with mostly ubuntu for all except games.
After all this bashing has finally taken a toll on me. Now you can subtract 2 from that TWENTY MILLION Ubuntu users.
11 • Desperate? (by Jesse on 2012-03-12 15:14:08 GMT from Canada)
I don't think moving into new niches is a sign of desperation. Apple, for example, has been wildly engaging in all the same niches (tablet, phone, desktop, cloud, music streaming) and they're doing quite well. In fact, they have huge profits to show for it. So why is Ubuntu moving into all the same markets a sign of desperation? There are reasons to bash about Ubuntu, but diversifying their business doesn't strike me as one of them.
Some people are probably wondering about a MINIX review I said I was planning to do. I have been working on it and I hope to finish it this week. Thanks for being patient.
And, please excuse the plug, I've got another gaming review up over at Blowing Up Bits. http://www.squidoo.com/blowing-up-bits
12 • About Unity (by CENTSOARER on 2012-03-12 15:32:59 GMT from Mexico)
I am testing Ubuntu 12.04 and I must say Unity is getting better and better. I am glad because it is an alternative and bringsnew possibilities to GNU/Linux success. Te first time I tried Unity I just hated it but right now it's very bearable. But what I want to say is all the other things ubuntu has. There are a lot of features we are just overlooking, like the HUD and the efforts in power savings (always remembering this is not a primary goal in Ubuntu). I don't really care if Mark Shuttleworth is trying to make a profit out of Ubuntu, others have done it. We, linux users, always say "freedom to choose".
13 • The False Imagination of a 'secure boot' on any computer (by Bill Savoie on 2012-03-12 16:02:06 GMT from United States)
We live in interesting times. Yes, high paid CEOs want to enslave their audience, protect their futures, and take over the world. That is their job. They mandate "requiring them to build their machines with Restricted Boot technology." But we as open source developers hold the ultimate key, we connect the devices and we generate any virtual ip addresses needed from that connection, and we set the time.
We have an overwhelming advantage, we have the physical device and we control all the connections. All we need to do is use wireshark to sniff how they work, stuff the numbers into our honey pot, and we can then download anything we want. Only one person need to do it, and from the sharing of that information, everyone can replace closed operating systems with open ones.
We have two overwhelming advantages, physical contact and the ability to isolate these devices, and overwhelming numbers, we have the rest of the world to help us reverse engineer the interface. The CEOs are actually helpless to these facts.
False imagination only works because people believe it.
14 • @8 (by Mouse on 2012-03-12 16:14:20 GMT from United States)
I am a Linux nerd. I was a massive fan of Ubuntu. It was my first distro. I actually don't hate Unity, but I DO think that Shuttleworth's recent signs of ignoring the distro's users in favor of what he thinks they "need" is disappointing and disheartening. And by the way, he's not the only one trying to build a viable company around a free Linux distro. Please don't put him on some sort of messianic pedestal. He's just a man.
15 • @11 (by Adam Williamson on 2012-03-12 16:21:35 GMT from Canada)
I don't think the Apple comparison entirely holds up. Apple isn't doing things 'wildly', it has a clear and very strong plan: it wants to capture as much as possible of the stuff consumers do with electronic devices, quite simply. (I use the term 'consumers' with definite intent: it's certainly how Apple thinks of those it's targeting). A bit of industry jargon is to refer to the 'screens' in a consumer's life, of which there are considered to be roughly four: computer, tablet, cellphone, TV (you can split 'computer' out into 'laptop' and 'desktop' or 'home computer' and 'work computer' if you like). Apple's strategy is to try and build a unified experience across all of those - you get your computer, tablet, cellphone and TV (or at least set-top box) from Apple, and share all kinds of interfaces, configuration and data across them, via iCloud.
It's a very smart strategy and it's working very well for them. iCloud is, I think, the first really compelling consumer-level 'cloud' service, because it doesn't just wave the word 'cloud' around, it provides an immediately obvious benefit to regular people: I buy all these devices, set up an account, and all sorts of things get 'magically' shared between all these devices. The commercials that sell the iCloud system are very strong: they very clearly and simply show the actual direct benefits, to you, of the system. I take a picture with a phone, it shows up on my computer and my tablet. That's clear and easily understood. That is, inarguably, a thing that lots of people will be happy with.
Does Ubuntu/Canonical have a lot of these pieces? Is it, in some sense, trying to follow Apple's strategy here? Kinda, sorta. It has a 'computer' play, obviously, like Apple that's where it came from. It just showed us its 'cellphone' play, and it's a neat idea that got a lot of play, but it's not entirely clear how many people are likely to buy into it in practice and how viable it actually is (the current implementation seems to be a long way behind the PR). Unity is obviously designed to work well on tablets, though we haven't heard much of an actual strategy there. We've also heard about a TV plan, though again, the devil seems to be in the details: there's no announced mass-market product. And they have Ubuntu One, but again, it just doesn't seem to be entirely joined up - the service exists but right now it's not really integrated between Ubuntu-the-Linux-distribution-for-computers and, well, almost anything else.
So yeah...you can kinda see that Ubuntu is vaguely on the same lines as Apple, I guess. But they don't seem to be anywhere near as far down the path, they don't seem to be as strongly focused as Apple is, and they do seem to be casting off in other directions too (like the enterprise desktop and server stuff).
16 • Cloud (by Anonymous on 2012-03-12 16:41:38 GMT from United States)
iCloud is, I think, the first really compelling consumer-level 'cloud' service
Nope. Amazon was first. Not that it matters, who wants to store their data remotely and hit their network data limit?
17 • Secure Boot (by More Gee on 2012-03-12 17:05:10 GMT from United States)
Isn't Raspberry Pi on a ARM processor?
18 • Re: 11, Desperate? (by Coffee on 2012-03-12 17:08:03 GMT from France)
> I don't think moving into new niches is a sign of desperation.
In our economic system, moving into new niches is generally seen as something positive. For most companies growth and the expansion into new sectors are not a business strategy but an imperative necessity, if they are to survive. That's how the system works. But I don't think that's what Bruce Byfield meant in his article. He was referring to the increasing number of announcements coming from Canonical HQ and the ever shorter time span between them, which makes them look haphazard and erratic. To me these announcements also look more like a reaction to outside events than an autonomous and confident action based on some sort of internal strategy. With all the criticism flying around about Ubuntu's new desktop and the growing abyss between Canonical's corporate ambitions and the community's needs and desires, there really seems to be some desperation in these announcements.
And then there's of course the gem of Ubuntu's latest announcement (see news section above), which gives us the full, unfiltered load of corporate bs and vacuous marketing gobbledigook ...
- real desktop user experience
- full production-ready enterprise-certified
- a milestone
- courage and commitment
- we had to move from being followers and integrators, to being designers and shapers
- upstreams who are excited to be part of that shift and passionate about bringing goodness to a wide audience
- It's right for us to design experiences and help upstreams get those experiences to be amazing
... I mean, really, if that doesn't make you want to throw up, I wonder what will? Stuff like this is a kick in the face of the "community" and will further alienate many people who have been sympathetic and supportive towards Ubuntu for years.
> Some people are probably wondering about a MINIX review I said I was planning to do.
Yes, I was. But no worries, I haven't heard of MINIX since more than 20 years. Waiting another week or two won't make a difference. But I'm looking forward to your review.
19 • @16 (by Adam Williamson on 2012-03-12 17:19:59 GMT from Canada)
Amazon? Consumer level? No. I don't know any regular end user who does anything with Amazon storage or EC2. Geeks, sure. It's a great 'cloud' platform in the sense of 'shared processing time' cloud. It doesn't offer anything like the features or device integration that iCloud does for Apple device users.
20 • Re: 14 by Mouse. (by Leo on 2012-03-12 17:37:56 GMT from United States)
Actually, I also am a Linux nerd. Sorry, I didn't mean to diminish other people's efforts in the community by any means. I just meant to say that insulting Mark every time he tries a new effort seems unfair and unproductive. Cheers!
21 • Got pi? (by Jesse on 2012-03-12 17:41:01 GMT from Canada)
>> "Isn't Raspberry Pi on a ARM processor?"
Yes, it is. However the Raspberry Pi developers are unlikely to be seeking Microsoft Windows 8 logo certification.
22 • Who Cares About Win8 on ARM? (by RO on 2012-03-12 17:57:53 GMT from United States)
When you think about it, the main vendors of ARM devices now are already committed to Android and Apple (for their "i" devices of course). Some are making a relative handful of WinPhone 7 devices also, but that those are a "sideline" from what I see of the numbers.
So what incentive will they have to move away from those in place of Win8? Maybe, just maybe, they will add some Win8-only lines, but those would be additional, and not likely to interest any but the most hard-core hackers with any "temptation" to convert them to some other OS besides Win8.
As for ARM servers, those better run Linux for the most part, or they won't sell, aside from some replacements for existing x86 Windows Server machines. I would think server makers will either make 2 versions of a model - one for the non-Windows OS (mostly variants of RHEL), and the other to comply with MS requirements, but more likely will tell MS to take a flying leap, and land back in the real world.
I just don't see any need to get excited about ARM devices since MS has conceded the bigger battle over X86 PC's that will likely be more dominated by Win8.
(I tried a comment along these lines a few minutes ago, and it seems to have been "eaten", but then again, it might pop up here after all with the "A" version ;-)
23 • Unity and Direction of Ubuntu - Room in the Marketplace? (by tdockery97 on 2012-03-12 18:16:23 GMT from United States)
I've never been an Apple user, and I'm not an Ubuntu user. I've no intention of bashing either. However, for those of us who can remember as far back as thirty years ago you will recall Apple's early days of entry into the computer marketplace. It was different back then. The market was wide open with few competitors, a ripe for new ideas. Today that market has become flooded with devices and systems, and those making it in this market are the same ones who started thirty years ago. A man named Steve Jobs made Apple a household name.
Ubuntu is now attempting to do what Apple did 30 years ago, and I'm afraid it may be a little late to see such a meteoric rise in today's crowded marketplace. And above all, let's face the fact that however smart and well-intentioned Mark Shuttleworth may be, he is no Steve Jobs.
24 • Ubashing (by Bill on 2012-03-12 18:24:48 GMT from United States)
I've been reading these comments for about 3 months since discovering DW and enjoying them (well most of them). I started with Ubuntu 8.04 and was totally delighted to find that Linux had developed to the point where I could finally live in a world without gates.
I use my desktop computer for many things. Business, Surfing, writing books, and making mp3's out of old reel to reel tapes as well as shopping emails chat. I tried Unity and Gnome 3, but just couldn't get used to them. I asked myself why do I have to "get used to" something I don't like. Again I thank DW for giving me the opportunity to try many many distros.
I have finally settled on a Debian Xfce DE. It just works, for everything I need to get done. I triple boot because I am testing LXDE to see where it goes, but so far Xfce has everything. I managed to trick it into building Emerald theme manager from Git, and compiz so my eye candy is still running even though it's not in the repositories.
So now I just don't care what Ubuntu does. I have made a clean divorce and am very happy. Also, I don't care what microsoft does, I made a break and I am delighted to the Linux community as a whole.
Jesse, thank you for your plug for the Mario game. We have an autistic child who loves Mario and so your plug helps people you have never met.
In closing, I don't have a stick, don't live near the ice, and don't want one.
Thanks again DW.
25 • He doesn't make much sense. (by Eddie on 2012-03-12 18:56:32 GMT from United States)
People shouldn't get so upset about what Bruce Byfield post on his blog. Come on people, it's a blog. Something anyone can write and it's clear that Bruce is no business expert. What he has is an opinion not based on fact. So there you go.
@23 "And above all, let's face the fact that however smart and well-intentioned Mark Shuttleworth may be, he is no Steve Jobs."
Thank god for that. Steve Jobs was a thief and furthermore he's dead because of his own stupidity. Who would want a piece of that Apple pie.
26 • @#25 Eddie (by tdockery97 on 2012-03-12 20:30:22 GMT from United States)
I agree with you somewhat on that point. Maybe I should have said that whatever his character, Steve Jobs made Apple into the #2 operating system worldwide.
I actually respect Ubuntu very much for what they have done. I just believe that Mark may be biting off more than he can chew.
27 • Happy birthday Arch! (by claudecat on 2012-03-12 20:39:55 GMT from United States)
I've only been an Arch user for a few months, but I love it. Best package management and documentation of any distro I've tried. Here's to a bright future for Arch!
28 • MS, Ubuntu, Mobile (by Todd Dixon on 2012-03-12 21:51:46 GMT from United States)
It seems to me that Ubuntu and MS find themselves in similar circumstances regarding their opportunities in the mobile arena. As Adam mentions above, device integration is where most mobile users want to be and open source innovation will certainly help Ubuntu to be somewhat competitive in mobile. MS (IMHO) is getting to the party fairly late and activesync is as close to mobile integration as they have been able to get.
The bullies in the sandbox (Apple and Google) understand mobile because they have grown up in it. Apple because they needed to support customer's media habits and Google because they started in mobile.
It is certainly more difficult to shave functionality from robust operating systems (MS/Ubuntu) to make a mobile operating system than it is to add functionality to OS's that were designed for the mobile space from the beginning.
BTW, Distrowatch is great and appreciate all of the information I get from checking in every week.
29 • @ 11, Jesse (by DrCR on 2012-03-12 22:55:13 GMT from United States)
No worries on self-plugging. I, for one, wouldn't know about the site otherwise.
A review of 0AD would be nice.
30 • Sabayon, Ubuntu bashing and stuff... (by buntunub on 2012-03-12 23:09:57 GMT from United States)
The review was about Sabayon. There was no need to start Ubuntu bashing this week, and yea, #1 I am pointing at you cuz you started it...
Sabayon is an innovative, interesting Distro which is probably the single most cutting edge of them all for obvious reasons. Therein lies its achilles heel though, also for obvious reasons. My time spent using Sabayon as a regular user (app. 1 year) was a mixture of frustration and joy. Frustration for the daily breakages of and instability. It was a crap shoot every time I logged in to the system. Then comes the Joy, which was.. Well, I forgot about all that because the sheer frustration of hassling with the OS drowned all that out. That was Sabayon 5 and 6. I hope Fabio and crew "grew up" some since then and decided to finally pay attention to fixing the multitude of bugs that plagued them due to their neverending quest to constantly develop new and cutting edge crapware. Your review brings me hope.
31 • Ubuntu 12.04 (by Victor on 2012-03-12 23:19:01 GMT from Australia)
I have been using Ubuntu 12.04 beta1 for the last week and it has been remarkably stable.
I was originally unhappy with the newness of Unity but now I appreciate it's ability to save screen real estate.
I am grateful for all Linux distros, including Ubuntu. We are blessed to have so many options, and all for free.
32 • Mint 12 LXDE (by Kevin108 on 2012-03-12 23:20:40 GMT from United States)
LXDE is actually the best desktop for those coming from Windows XP. Performance is similar, there's not a lot of choices as to how it look and the traditional shortcuts (Win+E, Win+R, etc.) are maintained. That said, I need to figure out how to strip down my install - a la nLite. My XP install was booted and online in 90 seconds. I have substantially more bloat to remove to get my Mint install to that level plus I still have to find the utils to "overclock" the screen brightness as I had in XP. All in all, great progress so far.
33 • Restricted Boot (by Chris on 2012-03-12 23:48:24 GMT from Spain)
Just a thought. I was a MS guy in the 90's. I'm a Unix guy, then a Linux guy now. I could be an Apple guy if I had to be, but I will never be a MS guy. If this restricted boot actually happened wouldn't this just make Apple so much bigger and better because MS needs every one else's innovation. When was the last thing it did first and better?
IE uhm nope that was Netscape
GUI, uhm nope that was Apple (Xerox)
Touch screen, uhm nope
Tablet, uhm nope
Online stores, uhm nope
E-reader, uhm nope
MS wish to be the only computer we all use. Be careful what they wish for because then they will get all the blame for the bland slow old fashioned stuff we'd all be forced to use.
Then there is Raspberry Pi. Now HP Dell and the rest what would happen to your sales if people can buy a £25 computer that just needs a TV mouse and keyboard to do everything you want and we don't have to put up with bland bloat on chunky kit.
With a Pi and iPhone what else will we need really. One for travel and the other you can take from home to work in any pocket and just plug it in when you get there.
Sorry Mr Twain but if we don't all put it out there then they win.
34 • Sabayon (by Rick on 2012-03-12 23:58:54 GMT from United States)
Or as the Italians say, zabaglione...
Just want to say thanks to Jesse for the Sabayon review; I've been using it on and off since about v5 or so, there's usually an install on one of my machines. I always thought it was kind of neat and pretty well-mannered (I know, those are very technical terms).
35 • @32Mint 12 LXDE (by mandog on 2012-03-13 01:01:31 GMT from Peru)
You should be looking at Archbang/crunchbang with openbox add lxpanel lxmenu both boot in 15-20 secs and use 65mb/55mb ram respective at boot
36 • No Acceptable Linux Desktop Backup/Restore Solution (by welkiner on 2012-03-13 02:13:07 GMT from United States)
I am not a newcomer to Linux...dabbled since the early 90s....Red Hat Trained in mid 90s...have used Linux Mint as my exclusive OS on all personal laptops and desktops since 2006. I am not a recent Windows refugee who compares everything to Windows.
I make my living pulling Windows users' fat out of the fire. When they've finally had enough or just see the light, I set them up with a nice modern Linux Desktop that just works...better and easier.
Better and easier at everything except Backup/Restore!
An acceptable backup/restore solution for a personal computer should:
Do automatic scheduled full and differential system backups to a local or remote hard drive,
....without shutting down the system being backed up.
Be simple and fast to install and setup!
Allow mounting and browsing of backups for selective file recovery.
Restore from bare metal to full complete boot up in 30 minutes or less, using rescue boot cd or usb.
Most Linux users that I've talked to seem to think the above is impossible in Linux, but I can't believe that Windows does anything that Linux can't do better easier and faster. Macrium, Acronis, or Paragon, all do exactly this and have done it for years. I haven't owned a Windows Desktop since 2006 period...,but I still use Macrium or Acronis rescue media to backup and very rarely restore Linux computers. WHY?
...but Windows has VSS (Shadow Copy)
I have hcp (Linux Hot Copy) which creates a consistent snapshot of my active partition.
So, why can't someone tie this together with the above criteria and create an acceptable Linux desktop backup/restore solution?
I have neither the time, money, nor inclination to setup a server and complicated backup system for every standalone computer, and rebooting to alternate media to do regular system backups is not acceptable.
If anyone has a solution that meets the above criteria, please let me know. I'm getting too old for this and I've been looking for a long long time.
37 • No Acceptable Linux Desktop Backup/Restore Solution (by Bill on 2012-03-13 02:52:55 GMT from United States)
I'll probably get jumped on by the old timers here but since my very first start with Linux Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy, I have been using "TeraByte Image for Linux." I couldn't find a suitable answer either and being somewhat spoiled by Acronis I hunted until I tried Image for Linux. It's pretty inexpensive and has the features I NEED, being able to backup from inside and while using, running Linux, being able to browse the backup with Tbiview and restore individual files or folders. I have been so glad I spend the 29 bucks and change. It has saved my behind dozens of times as I tweak, dual boot, compile a kernel and try everything to break my system. ;-)
That's the Solution that works for me. Not sure if we are allowed to include links but just search for it, Terrabyte Image for Linux.
38 • spelling Oops (by Bill on 2012-03-13 03:06:43 GMT from United States)
Sorry spelled that wrong it's TeraByte one "r".
39 • No Acceptable Linux Desktop Backup/Restore Solution (by Bill on 2012-03-13 03:11:02 GMT from United States)
There are some fakes out there so here is the real link:
40 • 3 subjects (by RollMeAway on 2012-03-13 05:20:18 GMT from United States)
Bootit NG is the solution I settled upon as well (TeraByte).
I have been ridiculed several times, in various forums, when mentioning it. Guess because it isn't free. But, hey, I have 49 linux/bsd distros installed on this computer,
It works for me. Imaging a partition, moving it, and restoring a partition is a breeze.
Sabayon: I've kept an installation active since it was called RR4. I've contributed several times. I'm still waiting for the "rolling release" to work for me. Seems I always end up reinstalling when a new release comes along.
I now prefer the "Core CDX" install, and just select the desktop and packages I prefer.
Much easier than removing 2 GB of languages I cannot use, not to mention games and apps I have no use for.
The following link has little to do with ms:
more to do with the new directions of linux desktops.
Poor guy, finally broke down! Ha!
41 • 10 (by TheBulldog on 2012-03-13 07:37:31 GMT from United States)
I wouldn't discount Ubuntu because of all the bashing. From what I see, it's primarily dissatisfaction with the Unity desktop. I downloaded Desktop Remix and had trouble with the desktop immediately. My problem was apps disappearing when they were minimized. A reinstall of the Unity desktop solved the problem. It's not quite my cup of tea, but if it helps Mark get Ubuntu into the mainstream, great. If he can get it on a marketable tablet, great. Or, if it shows up on a phone that docks to become part of a laptop, even better. It's a well-supported operating system. I downloaded Ubuntu 11.10 a couple of weeks ago and it's running on one of my desktops. If you don't like Unity, you can always install a different desktop manager like I did. Classic Gnome is available in their repository.
42 • About Ubuntu (by Emil on 2012-03-13 11:41:49 GMT from Sweden)
I have been using Ubuntu since 8.04, and I love the underlying system. I even had high hopes about 11.04 before it came out. But when I tried it I realized that Unity was not what I wanted. So I switched to Linux Mint. I don't feel like bashing Ubuntu, because overall I like it. But I have no idea what Canonical's vision is. They don't seem to be listening to criticism that much (on the other hand, they are better listeners than the gnome team). I recommend people who don't like the direction Ubuntu is going in to switch to Mint, where your voices are heard and design decisions are good.
Ubuntu isn't a sinking ship, it's a ship lost on the seas.
43 • KDE Mint (by Elcaset on 2012-03-13 12:16:11 GMT from United States)
The KDE version of Mint is my favorite OS. I've been using it for years, & have converted many Windows & Mac users to it. KDE is faster than GNOME 3, which is also a nice bonus!
44 • @awilliamson - re:amazon cloud (by Reuben on 2012-03-13 13:10:06 GMT from United States)
I don't think he was refering to EC2. Amazon has had various "cloud" services aimed at consumers. The first one was for the Kindle where a user could upload a book and it would appear on all devices. The second is the cloud drive and the cloud player. I've used the cloud player, and it seems nice. I can download music to my computer and my cell phone.
Of course, apple is missing a key piece in their strategy. They for some reason think we want to read books on a screen that is blaringly bright and needs to be recharged every 10 hours or so. So yeah, and ebook reader would be another screen.
And, how many consumers want to buy all of this stuff from a single manufacturer?
45 • No Acceptable Linux Desktop Backup/Restore Solution (by Anonymous Coward on 2012-03-13 13:18:23 GMT from Spain)
So, why can't someone tie this together with the above criteria and create an acceptable Linux desktop backup/restore solution?
My University keeps a super-computer which runs Red Hat Linux. It has a tape recording robot that is proven to be reliable for backups. In oder words: THERE ARE ACCEPTABLE WAYS TO BACKUP.
My personal computer is backed up in a scheduled manner. I have used both dd, Tar, Dar and Rsync for backuping - all of them make for full-system backups if you read the manual carefully. There are many other tools that are up to the task.In oder words: THERE ARE ACCEPTABLE WAYS TO BACKUP.
You may not like them, but they exists and some of them are under mainstream use.
I have wrotten a blog "saga" about reliable backups in Spanish under Linux at esDebian: http://black-rider.esdebian.org/47616/copias-respaldo-i-politica
46 • No Acceptable Linux Desktop Backup/Restore Solution (by Antonio on 2012-03-13 15:39:57 GMT from United States)
I respectfully disagree sir. You have not tried clonezilla:
I have used clonezilla many times and it has saved many computers, windows, linux and even FreeBSD machines. Have you given it a try?
47 • The direction of Linux Desktops (by davemc on 2012-03-13 16:17:40 GMT from United States)
A great read. Really. I agree with every one of his points except he is completely off base about KDE and Debian. Well said. He even threw in a quote from Linus which is just a gem.
He makes the points that I think pretty much every Linux Dev out there that has been working on this stuff for more than a few years espouses. I think we are reaching critical mass in a soon to be movement that the Linux world needed 10 years ago, but the bill has come due now. Yep, its time for revolution. Funny to say in the FOSS world where evolution is the name of the game, but it is here nonetheless. It truly is time for those that wish to see some sanity come to the Linux world to make their statements heard, and no I am NOT talking about trolling Forums. Devs make the software that we all love to use. Make your statement heard by simply developing them in the Industry standard model and tell the kiddies to go pack sand with their epically stupid half arsed ideas about the direction of the Linux Desktop and new fangled software app options. Start developing for stability and usability instead of "ohhhh shiny!!111!!!". Seriously, stand behind your work and actually QA it!!! [gasp!] Release it when it is bug free instead of on some idiotic schedule. Put your code in software freeze weeks before if you have no choice but to release on a schedule. Think about how your code impacts the wider community. Do you understand that all eyes are on you and that your work can and is further fragmenting the Linux world?.. Go ahead and destroy it though. You are doing Microsoft's job better than they ever dared dream and for zero cost. I guess stupid is as stupid does though.
48 • @47 • The direction of Linux Desktops (by mandog on 2012-03-13 17:33:32 GMT from Peru)
Please Explain where linux was going before ubuntu now lets see stuck at 1995. Ubuntu/Fedora are pushing and still playing catchup with Ms/Apple. I agree they will need to slow down at some point when they are in front. There seem to be people that are stuck in 1995 and don't want to move on.
49 • The direction of Ubuntu Desktop (by Retekegér on 2012-03-13 18:05:59 GMT from Hungary)
The main problem is Shuttleworth's decision to ignore Gnome-Shell, replaced with a technologically weaker, inconsistent, obsolete based DE, just because Gnome *guys* don't want align to Ubuntu's release cycles...
50 • Stuck in time and stuff.. (by davemc on 2012-03-13 18:15:28 GMT from United States)
#48 - Do you have something against the year 1995?.. Some traumatic event or some such?.. Sorry, if that's the case. So far as the state of software interfaces of the 90's or early 2000's I see nothing wrong with them. They got the job done. In fact, Industry in general is still using software from that era almost exclusively and is not likely to switch to your "ooohhh Shiny!!111!!" crapware anytime soon, if ever. So yea, I will gladly use the 90's era interfaces if it means I can finally get some work done on a day to day basis using a familiar and comfortable DESKTOP PC friendly interface.
For the GNOME3/Unity lovers, well, you can take your "oohh shiny!!11!!" and stick it right up where the sun don't shine. Thanks!
51 • #50 (by buntunub on 2012-03-13 18:22:10 GMT from United States)
A bit harsh but I think Linus just might agree with you, although his words would probably tend even harsher and more direct. Perhaps something along the lines of..
"You all are f*cking up my interfaces. Stop trying to do things that you think people want and start doing things that people want."
52 • Yaawwwwwwwnnn... (by Patrick on 2012-03-13 18:41:32 GMT from United States)
Yay, same pointless whining and complaining week after week after week... Sigh. Alright, some don't like the new GUIs, we get it. Now can you please just use one you do like and get off your soap box?
53 • #52 (by buntunub on 2012-03-13 18:49:41 GMT from United States)
Yay. We get it. You don't like that some people complain about the state of GNOME and Unity. Can we all get back to complaining about other things?.. Afterall, that is what Distrowatch comment section is famous for - people complaining about whatever issue gets their goat that week...
54 • RE: 53 (by Landor on 2012-03-13 19:48:29 GMT from Canada)
It is? That's news to me. I always thought it was for discussing FLOSS/OSS Operating Systems in general, and the current DistroWatch Weekly. It's only been since the Ubuntu crowd's toes were stepped on in regard to what they believe is their (insert religious deitie's name here) given right, have we seen this comment section turn into a whining fest, week in and week out. Hell, even those that couldn't stand what was going on with KDE (which included myself) were nowhere near as big of babies as the majority are here weekly about GNOME.
Oh, and for that matter, what in the hell makes Linux Torvalds' opinion about a user interface so special? He writes code for a kernel, not a DE. His opinion is worth about as much as anyone else when it comes down to it. That's like someone who paints cars for a living being justified as an expert to critique say Van Gogh. What a joke.
Anyway, on average most debates that have started here have been generated from the first two criteria. Not what you're evangelizing.
Keep your stick on the ice...
55 • No Acceptable Linux Desktop Backup/Restore Solution (by welkiner on 2012-03-13 19:50:38 GMT from United States)
@ Bill 37-39 Thanks for the information. I was not aware that Terabyte's Image for Linux could be installed and run from inside an existing Linux OS. I will certainly give it a try. Also, it's good to know that someone else understands exactly what I'm talking about...Thanks.
@ Anonymous Coward 45 I'm not a university and I do not have a super-computer, nor do I have a tape backup, nor do most of my customers. I'm looking for a "simple" solution for a typical personal pc. In the last 20 years I've used all the programs that you listed and many more, but they all fall short on the points that I listed in post 36. I never said that I do not like these programs. They do what they do, and some of them do what they do very well. As stated in post 36 I'm looking for..."beter, easier, and faster".
@ Antonio 46 On the contrary, Sir, I have used Clonezilla for years, but it is not the best backup solution for most of my customers. Clonezilla-SE requires a server and a complicated setup. Clonzilla-Live requires you to shutdown your system to back it up.
All car drivers are not auto enthusiasts or amateur mechanics. All computer users are not computer enthusiasts or computer technicians. One of my jobs is to set up computer systems for people who are simply users, and to make those systems as simple to use and as safe and dependable as I possibly can.
Most Linux enthusiasts seem to be of a mindset that data backup and system backup are by definition two distinctly different issues and must necessarily be handled separately even on the simplest personal computer. In my opinion this complicates the mater. I believe that applications such as "Macrium Reflect" and "Acronis True Image" have proven for years that there is a "better, easier, faster", and simpler way. (even on an inferior operting system)
I thank Bill once again for info on "Image for Linux". I will be trying that tonight, probably in combination with "Linux Hot Copy"...maybe this is my answer for now.
I am not criticising what we already have. I'm just always looking for "better, easier, faster, and simpler"
56 • Diversity (by Koroshiya Itchy on 2012-03-13 23:53:55 GMT from Belgium)
The great thing about FOSS is freedom. With proprietary software you have to take what you are given. If it does fit your needs, great. If it doesn't, well, it is a pity, go and try to find something else or stick to it if you find no better option. There is no one unique way of doing things right. There are as many good systems or applications as there are people with different needs. I, for instance, need a system which is as light and unobtrusive as possible. Other people want something with social networking and cloud capabilities. I use only powerful workstations. For other people, computing means mainly some kind of tablet or "smart phone". I don't even have one. I don't need it and I don't want it. Many people have access only to old computers...
I am aware I'm belong to a minority, which doesn't mean I am elitist or a nerd (for whatever that means). Things are just how they are. For that very reason, I understand that I'm of no interest for a company trying to commercialise GNU/Linux as a main stream product and to obtain a profit from it. I'm rather bad as a consumer. And, yet, I think I should have the right to have an opinion (even if it is a stupid one) and to explain my own personal needs and preferences to the community. The greatness of FOSS is that even computer-illiterate people such as myself are, to a certain extent, able to build their own tailor-made system. So let's not make of this a religion. There is room for everybody because this is freedom.
The FOSS community is also what it is. I'm not against FOSS proselytism and I appreciate the work of those who want to enlarge the community. They are doing a great job and if they are able to obtain some profit from it, or just make a decent living, that'd be absolutely great. But, in this ever-changing world, my particular needs remain the same. I need full control, versatility, robustness, stability and performance.
57 • @55 • No Acceptable Linux Desktop Backup (by Bill on 2012-03-14 01:02:57 GMT from United States)
@55 Just make sure you take ownership of the entire folder then it will run inside of Linux.
Email me if you need to. Take care.
58 • @55 - about the backup (by greg on 2012-03-14 12:04:28 GMT from Slovenia)
What i don't understand here is if they are simple PC users where do they backup to? To the same disk? For exmaple we have only one disk in our company, but folder can be made to be backed up on server (but this is not "simple PC user").
If they have 2 disk, why not just connect them in RAID and there is your backup?
Maybe it sounds a bit confusing but i (as a simple PC user) too am looking for best bacup solution for OS as well as for data. So far i am on manual backup with redobackup (which is basically a nicer UI for baremetal backup).
59 • RE 56 (by Landor on 2012-03-15 06:17:40 GMT from Canada)
When did this community become a hippie love-in where we all sit around in some circle and have the right to explain personal needs to people who really don't care one bit, and it actually has no bearing on anyone's needs being met because it's not the place for it? Just because someone thinks so?
I don't think I have this right because I exist to ram my needs and wants down the unwashed masses throats, and only because I think so. That's pure crap. That's what drama queens do. That's why this community embarrasses itself over and over, because some individual, or group, thinks they have this right to air all their dirty laundry or personal stuff for the world to see.
So let's see what it's done for people here to do it week in and week out. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. In fact, it's proven that they have no idea what they're talking about and actually don't deserve to have their 'opinions and needs' to be heard. How is that? I'll tell you.
First thing we hear about GNOME Shell is that it stops the individual from being productive. The second thing we usually see right after that, as an example, is that GNOME now needs someone to press ALT to shutdown the computer instead of just suspend, or the logout option. So know what that tells me? These people aren't too smart. They're talking about being productive while shutting down their computer. Not being able to shutdown their computer takes productivity away from their computing experience? They actually don't even realise how stupid they've just made themselves appear, and they're thinking, SEE! SEE! It does!!!!!!
Then they talk about GNOME Shell/Unity Shell taking away their productivity in general and this further proves just how little they know. Anyone who has used a computer and actually knows anything about productivity will tell you that using keyboard shortcuts (which for the desktop these shells are amazing, and actually encourage, hence the ALT shutdown keystroke) is what productivity is all about. Not bouncing your hand from the keyboard to the mouse and back, over and over. That's a joke. But these so called 'expert users' that should have been asked by GNOME and Ubuntu/Canonical (but they didn't care to find out themselves at all) on how to build one will tell you that it's not productive because now they have to move their mouse through menus, and click this, then this, etc, etc. They prove that they know nothing about productivity, and thus should be ignored by the community on the whole Productivity my ass, YouTube videos and clicking 'Like' on some stupid cat picture on facebook. That, or downloading a distribution to 'play' with. That's about the average sum of the normal user's productivity in this community now.
Oh, and someone else asked, what's wrong with the 95 look? I'll tell you what's wrong with it, it was made by another company 17 years ago, that all of you 'supposedly' despise. If you think a product that's 17 years old, by a closed source company. and even they don't support, is worthy of the claim to the most productive desktop environment, then what in the hell are you doing here.
Keep your stick on the ice...
60 • About smart people and Gnome-Shell... (by Retekegér on 2012-03-15 09:02:41 GMT from Hungary)
Some people are enough smart to find extensions.gnome.org to install shutdown extension to show all shutdown menuitems.
I have distaste against Gnome-Shell in Ubuntu 11.10 because it's causing unexpected crashing in Xorg, this instability makes unusable for daily work. - However it's only a problem in Debian line.
Gnome 3.4 beta released yesterday, as we see, the new Epiphany without new tab button is another example for dumbing down interface. Called as minimalism.
61 • GNOME shell/Unity (by Arkanabar on 2012-03-15 10:56:06 GMT from United States)
Landor's right about the mouse decreasing productivity. My first computer job was desktop publishing back in the early 90s on a Mac, and the person who taught me QuarkXPress said, "Learn all the keyboard shortcuts you can, because that's nearly always faster than using the mouse." She was right. If the mouse slows you down doing graphical production work, imagine what it does to you in text-heavy work like coding. This is also why the command line is one of the fastest ways to handle file management, when you know how to use it.
(This, by the way, is my biggest complaint about the Ribbon interface in Office 2007 & 2010 -- it hides the keyboard shortcuts from me.)
I have no complaints wrt Unity, other than that I prefer KDE and Openbox, which are much more flexible in allowing me to set up my key combos. The only launcher combos I've been able to use in Unity are Win+1-0,
No doubt there are similar setups in Gnome-shell, but I haven't found them yet. I just haven't used it enough yet. But I'm not really interested in learning yet another set of keyboard shortcuts when I can put the ones I want into the desktops I'm using.
62 • Keyboard shortcuts and commands (by Patrick on 2012-03-15 14:17:04 GMT from United States)
I'm somewhat ashamed to admit that only recently have I bothered to start learning Vim. It always seemed daunting to learn all those keyboard commands. But even though I'm still rusty and loose some efficiency by falling back to old ways (my brain needs to be rewired), I have already noticed a significant increase in my productivity. It's quite marvelous what a difference it makes. It is very hard to beat the efficiency of a keyboard-driven interface.
It always pains me to see people doing a copy and paste by selecting with the mouse, going to the Edit menu and selecting Copy, going to where they want to paste by using the scrollbar and clicking, going to the Edit menu and selecting Paste. Just learning to do Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V would make a big difference. If you don't want to go keyboard all the way, having one hand on the mouse and the other on the keyboard can be quite efficient.
This type of usage is part of why I like Gnome Shell. Let's say I want to start Eclipse. I could move the mouse to the top left corner, click Applications, scroll through the list of applications, or click the Programming filter, find Eclipse and click on the icon. Very similar to the way the old Gnome menu worked. There aren't any more clicks, but there is more mouse movement than before. On the other hand, my mouse movement doesn't have to be as accurate as with the old Gnome menu, because the targets are bigger. This works, and still provides the "discovery" mode of a normal menu, to find stuff you don't know the name of. What I do instead though when I want to start Eclipse is whip my mouse cursor into the top left corner, start typing "ec..." and by that time, the Eclipse icon is almost sitting right under my mouse cursor, so I click it. Much more efficient than I ever was with the old Gnome.
Now people can keep saying all they want that the new shells are made for tablets and phones, and sure, they are made so they actually can work very nicely for touch screen use, but these shells really shine when you use the keyboard. Personally, Gnome Shell makes me get my work done faster, not slower.
63 • Miscellaneous News Regarding Ubuntu Unity by Ladislav Bodnar (by ChuckMartin on 2012-03-15 16:17:51 GMT from United States)
Bruce Byfield was quoted in Ladislav Bodnar's article regarding Canonical. His comments were "Often, it is a last-ditch strategy of desperation, and I see no reason to think Canonical is an exception, especially since announcements of Canonical's entry into these niches appear to be coming faster and faster. Why is this strategy desperate? Because, in many of the niches being explored by Canonical, major competitors are already established -- for instance, Amazon in the cloud, and Apple TV in smart televisions." If no new competitor ever dared enter a market segment because of existing established competitors, we would all still be using Palm Pilots and Blackberries. Palm and RIM were both "major competitors already established." Today, Palm no longer exists. And the future of RIM? On August 20, 2007, their stock price was at $224.65. Today $13.43. Will they survive? You decide. I would dare say that Mark Shuttleworth simply believes that he has a superior product and is proceeding accordingly. Bravo for your forward thinking and actions, Mr. Shuttleworth! Unfortunately, the naysayers will always be with us!
64 • Old Desktop Environments and Productivity. (by Anonymous Coward on 2012-03-15 22:31:16 GMT from Spain)
Oh, and someone else asked, what's wrong with the 95 look? I'll tell you what's wrong with it, it was made by another company 17 years ago, that all of you 'supposedly' despise.
The fact that the company is despised does not mean that everything they do is despised.
If you think a product that's 17 years old, by a closed source company. and even they don't support, is worthy of the claim to the most productive desktop environment, then what in the hell are you doing here.
The fact that it is old does not mean it is bad. The fact that it is closed source does not mean it is unproductive. Watch it: they are not claiming the "product" is the best, they are just claiming the concept is. There is a difference.
Anyone who has used a computer and actually knows anything about productivity will tell you that using keyboard shortcuts
The first thing I did when I installed my Slackware (with Fluxbox) was to configure a lot of keyboard shortcuts and the root menu. I hardly ever use the latter.
65 • RE: 64 + Addition to #54 (by Landor on 2012-03-16 05:48:34 GMT from Canada)
'The fact that the company is despised does not mean that everything they do is despised.'
That's pure speculation from one viewpoint. I figure if people bash a company, then wave a banner pronouncing something about it wonderful and the greatest thing since sliced bread, then they're a hypocrite. Things really are that black and white in life. :)
'The fact that it is old does not mean it is bad. The fact that it is closed source does not mean it is unproductive. Watch it: they are not claiming the "product" is the best, they are just claiming the concept is. There is a difference.'
Show me where they only talk about the concept of it. Again you're just speculating. The concept..lol They basically state that 95 is, or was amazing. That means 'it', a whole. Not some obscure concept of it's concept. :)
Another point I'd like to make about Torvalds that I forgot to point out in my post #54 is that Torvalds goes on and on about GUIs but more than likely spends the majority of his time in a terminal, or a console. True expert on their design.
Keep your stick on the ice...
66 • @65 (by gre on 2012-03-16 06:58:50 GMT from Slovenia)
Who said windows95 was the pinacle of desktop UI development?
And also why would you browse internet with keyboard? Or why would you try to edit pictures with keyboard ?
and if terminal line is so good why windows (as in windows UI) became so popular?
As i watch sometimes at my wife i can see her keyboard is under the table (on that silly pull out slide), while the mouse is at work buzzing arround the desktop. usually on internet or doing some work with pictures.
i guess if keyboard only was so great at everything and for every use mouse wouldn't even get invented. neither would touch screens.
67 • Despised Microsoft. (by Antony on 2012-03-16 10:47:07 GMT from United Kingdom)
I don't like the Microsoft company very much at all. However, that does not mean that certain of their products have no value or merit. Windows 95 was a welcome transition from 3.1x. Also, Microsoft have produced some very worthy input devices.
It is simply absurd to say that because I may not agree with the way an individual or group operates, that if they produce something that has obvious merit - I have to somehow convince myself otherwise? Hypocrisy?
Can I assume, Landor, that you have certain moral standards which would entirely prohibit you from using or having any Microsoft product associated with your computer/s, period? If so, then I guess the Landor which ran Ubuntu 10.10 with VirtualBox guests Win XP & 7 is a different Landor?
68 • mouse vs. keyboard (by Brandon Sniadajewski on 2012-03-16 11:51:18 GMT from United States)
There are certain programs that work better with a keyboard, like developer tools and word processors; and there are some that work just as well, if not better, with a mouse (especially with the scrool wheel, like a web browser e. g.).
69 • 66--68 (by Landor on 2012-03-16 13:25:17 GMT from Canada)
Every application (if the programmer is worth anything) has keyboard shortcuts that outweigh anything done with a mouse.
I find yours, and 66's inclusion of the web browser as funny. My sister has severe carpal tunnel and using the mouse causes her extreme distress. Some years ago, many here may remember, I bought and gave here a Lenovo laptop to help her with her issues. Over at her house one day she wanted some information on something, and asked me about it. I gave her a web address and watched her move her hand to the touchpad. I said, what are you doing? She asked what I meant, and told her that she could (and I used an old term from long ago) use the cursor keys far better instead of moving her hand (inefficiently) off the keyboard, and also causing her more pain.
Keep your stick on the ice...
70 • 95's concept (by Anonymous Coward on 2012-03-16 14:12:15 GMT from Spain)
Show me where they only talk about the concept of it.
Well, I have quickly read the thread again and it seems to me that people is not claiming "Win 95" is the best, but "Wind95's look is damn great!"
Seriously, the classic disposition of taskbar, start menu and desktop with icons is not bad. Sure, I have had computers with graphical environments that didn't have these components and that has not ruined my computer experience. However, for the subject we are talking about (Gnome and Unity against everything else) I think it is understandable that people wants to compare this new desktops to the well known 95's look...
71 • win 95 dead and buried (by mandog on 2012-03-16 14:52:54 GMT from Peru)
why are you all getting uptight about about something long dead and buried, the world has moved on this is 2012.
I remember win 95 it was crap compared to win 98 then in 2001 came the most successful winxp. I use win7 at times much better interface,next is win 8 what do they all have in common with 3.1.
its called a keyboard with short-cuts yes if any of you that complain ever went on a official MS.Office course or Adobe photo-shop course, it would have been drummed into you the importance of the keyboard, for productivity.
72 • Dumbed down desktops (by TheBulldog on 2012-03-17 02:12:25 GMT from United States)
...just don't dumb down the desktops too much. You'll have me waiting for a food pellet when I click the big button in the middle of the screen... ;-)
73 • Gnome 3 (by Barry Schinnerer on 2012-03-17 12:35:52 GMT from United States)
I do not know why people want to torture themselves with Gnome 3. Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is the best Linux system available! I use it for everything and every day it gets better. As far as I am concerned Gnome 3 is a trojan horse used to destroy Linux. Some should check and see if the Gnome developers received payments from Microsoft! I have a modest genealogy website built entirely with Linux - mostly Ubuntu 10.4 LTS. It would take a lot of money and much more aggravation with Windows to do the same. Now with Gnome 3 - you might as well use Windows to get the same thing done. This is my opinionated opinion.!
74 • keyboard shortcuts??? (by fernbap on 2012-03-17 21:06:30 GMT from Portugal)
I just can't believe that the argument to justify DEs that are focused on tablets and smartphones is..... keyboard shortcuts!
How more lame can that be?
75 • Linux Distors (by pfbruce on 2012-03-17 23:23:28 GMT from United States)
I have done some surfing and am getting to point where I am more selective. Let us take the distros from the top.
1. Mint - This is much admired system. Cinnamon is what gnome should be looking at. While not first choice, Mint 12 is right near the top. I also have gnome and kde in Mint 12 for alternatives.
2. Ubuntu - This is a one desktop distro, which disqualifies it for me. It worked on some computers, but Unity was a definite no-go.
3. Fedora - This is my number one system. I use it for everything. I have kde, which I never use, and gnome loaded. Gnome 3 kicks me back to backup mode, (my system is not capable) which is alright. When 17 comes out, I may have to change. But for now it is golden.
4. Opensuse - This is my number 2 system. I run it in kde. yes it is a battleship, but it always does what I want. Almost. There were some speed bumps with samba, but otherwise Suse is a workhorse. Maybe not terrifically fast, but it just works.
5. Debian - I used Debian for over a year. I cannot badmouth it. However, I never seemed to adjust to its needs. Whether it be Ice this,or Ice that, the navigating of the system just seemed a pain. It is not a bad system, just not to my liking.
6. Arch - What a nice operating system. It was a pain to set up, so I loaded ArchBang, and filled in the blanks from there. I have kde and gnome on a laptop. It is a treasure, almost. Updates can be a trip. When I hit a speed bump, the web response was discouraging to say the least. I did not ask a question directly, but found some questions that addressed my problem. After wading through the RTFM responses, I eventually found the answer. If I get a high speed bump, Arch is gone. Civility is cool.
7.CentOS - I can not believe I still have CentOS on my system. This was a temporary installation, that I fully intended to delete. In fact I have it installed on an external hard drive of dubious integrity. I had expected it to fail many months ago. It keeps chugging on. I nominate CentOS for the bullet proof OS of the decade. It just works, more so than even Opensuse.
8. Mageia - This is the heir apparent to Mandriva. Some things are long in the tooth, but it works. Almost bullet proof. I have it installed on a 16 thumb drive. It is quite responsive. Better than Fedora, which I have installed on a 32 Mb thumb. I can hardly wait for the new version to appear.
9. Puppy - Solid gold. Along with Parted Magic, Porteus, Rescue System CD, and Rescatux. I do not have these installed, but they are solid gold when I need them.
10. PClinuxOS - Not available in 64 bit configuration, and cannot handle dual monitors (although it used to).
11. Lubuntu - A single desktop distro that I used for quite some time. I do not recall why i dropped it, but LXDE only will prevent it from recurring.
12. Sabayon - I have tried different versions of Sabyon Gnome and Xcfe and they were incapable of recognizing my monitors. No dual monitors, no Sabayon.
13.FreeBSD - I have, in the past, used FreeBSD, PC-BSD, and Desktop-BSD. At this point in time, I have not inclination to put up with the hassle to get a BSD operating. Maybe a live CD would help, but I doubt it.
Farther down the DW list I have also explored. I started many years ago with Slackware. But, much as I admire Slackware, I find that multiple desktops help me overcome the fascist concept of "we know what is best for you." If this helps anyone, fine. If not call me a crank.
76 • @75: Crank on! (by RO on 2012-03-18 04:25:29 GMT from United States)
I have to agree with a lot of your sentiments for the same distros I have tried, most recently ArchBang - it sure looked nice to start with, but the update process broke it badly, and when I went to their site to find out what to do, the umpteen steps to fix it, sort of, made me write it off then and there. Y'all can have the bleeding edge thrills - been there/done that too much in the last 20 years or so, and not feeling like this cat has enough of the 9 lives allotment left to waste on more of the same.
I have settled on Mint 9 (based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS) for several home machines over the last year or so, but it does seem to have become somewhat problematic:
* The periodic updates seem to always be missing certain repositories now. I suspect certain maintainers are not on board with the "LTS" concept as Canonical defines it due to limited resources, lack of interest, retired, whatever...
* The periodic fsck runs (after 30 starts or so) never finish up to the point of continuing the startup, and I always have to reboot after they seem to have finished (have gone 30 minutes sometimes while doing other things right after starting up). This happens on about 4 (quite) different PC's with old to recent installations. Seems to have started occurring after an update some months ago.
* That leads me to another issue in general about Mint Update - I cannot recall when it ever had the change logs as I have seen from other Debian-based distros when they have updates, and it always labels the updates as "unverified" as if they are not finding/checking the security keys - that was unsettling at first, but I have just gotten used to (so setting myself up for the inevitable repository servers hack? I do try to ignore the updates for several days to give news of an attack to get out, and/or run them first on one of the more "disposable" PC's that I would not lose too much sleep over a re-install...).
After Fedora 3 or 4 took up a lot of my time some years ago, I have not often dabbled in subsequent versions - my OLPC XO has kept me looking at it little bit, but I think that is stuck on about version 8, and now does not have enough room on the hardwired 1GB SSD for anything but overlaying the base installation.
Recently wanted to get back into a more "mainstream" RH type distro since I use the real RHEL at work a lot, so I tried Scientific Linux 6.x (the CentOS long lapse on security updates a while back made me leery), but I could not get the install process to work on a rather recent (for me) Dell Optiplex 760. So I reconsidered that CentOS 6 seemed to be better maintained for security, gave it a try, and it went right on as an alternate boot that I will dabble with more in the future.
Puppy has indeed been nice for quick-n-dirty testing on some really old PC's (as in 8-12 years old), but not for long-term "serious" use.
PCLinuxOS has generally not liked my mostly Intel GMA video, so has been a non-starter for me the last few years. Indeed, Xorg seems to have gotten progressively worse in that regard over most distros as they "move on' past those older GMA chipsets - what's this nonsense about Linux being great for keeping older PC's in service? Only if you run older distros, and thus miss out on a lot of software updates due to the Linux version of the old Windows "dll Hell" with various common libraries losing backward compatibility and thus breaking all kinds of stuff.
I tried an Android Honeycomb tablet recently, Archos 80 - nice form factor for "bigger" stuff than my Dell Streak 5 without being so cumbersome as the 10-inch "honkers". But the GUI changes from 2.x were annoying in the extreme along with a new file-sharing scheme, MTP, that does NOT "just work" via USB (not even with MTP drivers available to Mint 9). This made me realize I did not need to start playing with another new OS loosely based on Linux, and named "Android", so back to the store it went.
Last night I just downloaded Windows 8 Consumer Preview to play around with in a Virtual Box, and it looks like a mutant combo of Win95/7 interface with Unity - what a freak on a desktop! Reinforces my point in post #22 above that we don't really need to be concerned with Win8 on ARM - just a Zune wannabe (and that was an iPod wannabe...), that will only be a blip on the ARM world.
All this cutting edge tech is bleeding me dry.
Sign me up for the "Crank Club", too.
77 • About the matriux (by Shahid on 2012-03-18 15:14:33 GMT from India)
You see as there is many Distro for this but can you please tell me the actual difference between this and backtrack and auditor,,,,,,~~!!!
78 • RE 74 : DEs for tablets are also meant for desktops (by Major Dôme on 2012-03-18 16:40:06 GMT from France)
"I just can't believe that the argument to justify DEs that are focused on tablets and smartphones is..... keyboard shortcuts!
How more lame can that be?"
It is an argument to justify DEs on desktops and laptops (as they have no touchscreens).
The idea of testing on desktops things that are meant for tablets is a bad idea, and keyboard shortcuts are the only way to bring some smartness into a regressing world.....
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|• Issue 1014 (2023-04-10): Quick looks at carbonOS, LibreELEC, and Kodi, Mint polishes themes, Fedora rolls out more encryption plans, elementary OS improves sideloading experience|
|• Issue 1013 (2023-04-03): Alpine Linux 3.17.2, printing manual pages, Ubuntu Cinnamon becomes official flavour, Endeavour OS plans for new installer, HardenedBSD plans for outage|
|• Issue 1012 (2023-03-27): siduction 22.1.1, protecting privacy from proprietary applications, GNOME team shares new features, Canonical updates Ubuntu 20.04, politics and the Linux kernel|
|• Issue 1011 (2023-03-20): Serpent OS, Security Onion 2.3, Gentoo Live, replacing the scp utility, openSUSE sees surge in downloads, Debian runs elction with one candidate|
|• Issue 1010 (2023-03-13): blendOS 2023.01.26, keeping track of which files a package installs, improved network widget coming to elementary OS, Vanilla OS changes its base distro|
|• Issue 1009 (2023-03-06): Nemo Mobile and the PinePhone, matching the performance of one distro on another, Linux Mint adds performance boosts and security, custom Ubuntu and Debian builds through Cubic|
|• Issue 1008 (2023-02-27): elementary OS 7.0, the benefits of boot environments, Purism offers lapdock for Librem 5, Ubuntu community flavours directed to drop Flatpak support for Snap|
|• Issue 1007 (2023-02-20): helloSystem 0.8.0, underrated distributions, Solus team working to repair their website, SUSE testing Micro edition, Canonical publishes real-time edition of Ubuntu 22.04|
|• Issue 1006 (2023-02-13): Playing music with UBports on a PinePhone, quick command line and shell scripting questions, Fedora expands third-party software support, Vanilla OS adds Nix package support|
|• Issue 1005 (2023-02-06): NuTyX 22.12.0 running CDE, user identification numbers, Pop!_OS shares COSMIC progress, Mint makes keyboard and mouse options more accessible|
|• Issue 1004 (2023-01-30): OpenMandriva ROME, checking the health of a disk, Debian adopting OpenSnitch, FreeBSD publishes status report|
|• Issue 1003 (2023-01-23): risiOS 37, mixing package types, Fedora seeks installer feedback, Sparky offers easier persistence with USB writer|
|• Issue 1002 (2023-01-16): Vanilla OS 22.10, Nobara Project 37, verifying torrent downloads, Haiku improvements, HAMMER2 being ports to NetBSD|
|• Issue 1001 (2023-01-09): Arch Linux, Ubuntu tests new system installer, porting KDE software to OpenBSD, verifying files copied properly|
|• Issue 1000 (2023-01-02): Our favourite projects of all time, Fedora trying out unified kernel images and trying to speed up shutdowns, Slackware tests new kernel, detecting what is taking up disk space|
|• Issue 999 (2022-12-19): Favourite distributions of 2022, Fedora plans Budgie spin, UBports releasing security patches for 16.04, Haiku working on new ports|
|• Issue 998 (2022-12-12): OpenBSD 7.2, Asahi Linux enages video hardware acceleration on Apple ARM computers, Manjaro drops proprietary codecs from Mesa package|
|• Issue 997 (2022-12-05): CachyOS 221023 and AgarimOS, working with filenames which contain special characters, elementary OS team fixes delta updates, new features coming to Xfce|
|• Issue 996 (2022-11-28): Void 20221001, remotely shutting down a machine, complex aliases, Fedora tests new web-based installer, Refox OS running on real hardware|
|• Issue 995 (2022-11-21): Fedora 37, swap files vs swap partitions, Unity running on Arch, UBports seeks testers, Murena adds support for more devices|
|• Issue 994 (2022-11-14): Redcore Linux 2201, changing the terminal font size, Fedora plans Phosh spin, openSUSE publishes on-line manual pages, disabling Snap auto-updates|
|• Issue 993 (2022-11-07): Static Linux, working with just a kernel, Mint streamlines Flatpak management, updates coming to elementary OS|
|• Issue 992 (2022-10-31): Lubuntu 22.10, setting permissions on home directories, Linux may drop i486, Fedora delays next version for OpenSSL bug|
|• Issue 991 (2022-10-24): XeroLinux 2022.09, learning who ran sudo, exploring firewall tools, Rolling Rhino Remix gets a fresh start, Fedora plans to revamp live media|
|• Issue 990 (2022-10-17): ravynOS 0.4.0, Lion Linux 3.0, accessing low numbered network ports, Pop!_OS makes progress on COSMIC, Murena launches new phone|
|• Issue 989 (2022-10-10): Ubuntu Unity, kernel bug causes issues with Intel cards, Canonical offers free Ubuntu Pro subscriptions, customizing the command line prompt|
|• Issue 988 (2022-10-03): SpiralLinux 11.220628, finding distros for older equipment and other purposes, SUSE begins releasing ALP prototypes, Debian votes on non-free firmware in installer|
|• Issue 987 (2022-09-26): openSUSE's MicroOS, converting people to using Linux, pfSense updates base system and PHP, Python 2 dropped from Arch|
|• Issue 986 (2022-09-19): Porteus 5.0, remotely wiping a hard drive, a new software centre for Ubuntu, Proxmox offers offline updates|
|• Full list of all issues|
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