| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 456, 14 May 2012
Welcome to this year's 20th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! "Wheezy" is the code name of the current testing and next stable release of Debian GNU/Linux. Although the world's largest Linux distribution project doesn't offer a roadmap or a release schedule, the first release candidate of the Debian Installer for "Wheezy", announced over the weekend, suggests that the release process is starting to take shape. See the news section below for further information and download links. Other topics from this week's issue include a first-look review of the recently-released OpenBSD 5.1, a follow-up on our earlier review of the Calligra office suite, the release of the English edition of The Debian Administrator's Handbook, and a round-up of news from last week's Ubuntu Developer Summit in Oakland. Finally, two new distributions were added to the DistroWatch database last week - the Arch-based Bridge Linux with a choice of four desktop environments and the Gentoo-based Liberté Linux which offers unparalleled online security and anonymity for use in hostile environments. Happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (30MB) and MP3 (26MB) formats
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
|Feature Story (by Ralph Ellis)
A look at OpenBSD 5.1|
I have always had a fondness for BSD-based systems. Even though my main desktops have usually been based on openSUSE due to its broad hardware support and software choices, I have experimented with PC-BSD, FreeBSD and OpenBSD as alternative desktops and admired their under-the-hood simplicity and strong documentation. I had never stayed long with OpenBSD in the past due to the difficulty in either getting the X Window System to work properly or printer configuration or problems with multimedia files or hardware incompatibility issues. I am pleased to say that the most recent version of OpenBSD addresses most of these issues and deserves serious consideration as a desktop system.
I did not pick an easy test machine for the amd64 edition of OpenBSD 5.1. My Gateway Dx4300 is an AMD Phenom X4 quad-core processor machine with an ATI Radeon HD 3200 on-board graphics chip and an ATI Radeon HD4650 video card. FreeBSD, PC-BSD, NetBSD and earlier versions of OpenBSD would not install on this system and I would experience kernel panics, with video card problems normally being the issue. This time the OpenBSD text-based installer had no problems picking up my hardware and installing to an external USB hard drive. You will want to look at the OpenBSD installation documentation online before you install to have a better knowledge of your choices but the default selections are intuitive.
While the menu selection for which hard drive that I want to install to correctly pulled up all of my various hard drives and partitions, it did not provide me with any information about the drives themselves to identify them. I have more than one USB hard drive so I knew that my installation drive would be either sd6 or sd7 but I could not tell which was which until I started turning off the USB drives in a process of elimination. OpenBSD's install program did not become flustered with this and correctly identified which disks were now available without a reboot. I took the default layout and installed without any issue. The network was properly configured and I booted up into a command line. You can enable XDM as a login manger which I did.
Some video hardware does not require any special configuration for setting up a working video system. With my system though, I needed to run the "X -configure" command as root and edit the file. Because both the on-board and PCI card video chips were enabled, this led to a much more complicated /etc/X11/xorg.conf than necessary. I disabled the on-board video and this resulted in a much more manageable file. The editing consisted of eliminating some extra entries for multiple screens and the listing of both "radeon" and "vesa" cards. There are no proprietary video drivers in OpenBSD so there is no 2D or 3D acceleration. OpenBSD does this for security reasons.
The project's position is that, if the code is not open and available to audit, it will not be allowed into the system. In my case the "radeon" driver provided strong video performance. The only drawback was that if I wanted to play video files via HDMI on my TV, I was limited in my video resolution choices and I couldn't play the audio through the TV, but otherwise it did work just fine with the on-board audio system. The overall video performance was more than adequate. Hard core gamers, though, will prefer a system with proprietary drivers available.
I started to install software with the pkg_add command. You do have to tell OpenBSD where to find the files (see here) and look at a list of the available software on the FTP server. I used a laptop to consult the OpenBSD documentation while I installed software and configured the system. This made life a lot easier. You do need to regularly refer to the documentation on how to setup window managers; the CUPS printing system, etc. Your best window manager choice is probably KDE 3.5.10. Remember to pick up the key KDE programs, CUPS, Ghostscript, Foomatic, and so on.
As a quick side note on printing, I have always had some difficulty in getting printing to work in OpenBSD before. Usually OpenBSD works better with parallel port connections and printing via the LPD system. However, my computer does not have a parallel port and CUPS could not pick up my Brother HL-5170DN via the USB connection. However, once CUPS was enabled and after I connected my printer to the router via an Ethernet port, KDE had no problems finding my printer as a TCP network printer. This was a handy fix to an annoying problem.
OpenBSD 5.1 amd64 does not have Adobe Flash support but the i386 version does. This is less of an issue now that many websites support HTML5. Of the available browsers, SeaMonkey 2.6 handled the HTML5 video content best. There are workarounds though. You can add plugins to redirect the Flash content to an external video player such as VLC which easily handles Flash files or capture and download the Flash content and then play it with a video player. OpenBSD also supports MPlayer and all the necessary codecs to play any video or audio content that you would like to explore.
The range of software available via the packages system covers all of the needed office, multimedia, graphics and development software that you could want. What is not available in the package collections can be build via ports. As a side note, FreeBSD or PC-BSD could never work with my Canon Lide 60 scanner but OpenBSD picked it up immediately once I added my user to the "sane" group. This was a pleasant surprise as this was a consistent graphics issue that I could never resolve in FreeBSD after version 6.1.
The device drivers are cleanly written in OpenBSD and, while not everything works immediately out of the box, all of my desktop requirements were met within two days of reading and configuration. A complete newbie user should not get into OpenBSD without some serious reading of the documentation first. More experienced users will have no problems working with OpenBSD as long as you keep the documentation close at hand. Die-hard tinkerers will have a field day and will be rewarded with a fast, functional desktop with a renowned reputation for software security and quality.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
First alpha of Debian Installer 7.0, The Debian Administrator's Handbook, Ubuntu Studio at UDS, Ubuntu 12.10 features
Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 "Squeeze" was released over 15 months ago, so it shouldn't be too unreasonable to start focusing one's attention on the next stable Debian - version 7.0 "Wheezy". And indeed, it seems that the first tentative building block of the new release was announced over the weekend. It's the initial build of the Debian Installer for "Wheezy". Cyril Brulebois announced the fact on one of the project's mailing lists: "The Debian Installer team is pleased to announce the first alpha release of the installer for Debian 'Wheezy'. Improvements in this release of the installer: Add WPA support to installer; improvements in link detection and DHCP configuration, which should improve reliability for systems with flaky network cards; release DHCP lease at the end of the install to work around problems with non-RFC compliant DHCP servers; the requirements for hostnames have been clarified, and the parser tightened up to avoid letting through some really dodgy names; added Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) support; Linux kernel version has been updated to 3.2.16; default file system changed to ext4; allow Btrfs /boot partition (GRUB 2 and LILO); add support for Network Block Devices (NBD)." A range of CD, DVD and USB images for a number of architectures, featuring the new Debian installer, can be downloaded from this page.
There is more good news for the users and fans of the world's largest Linux distribution project. After a long and hard fund-raising campaign Debian developers Raphaël Hertzog and Roland Mas have generated a sufficient amount of money to enable them to work full-time on an English translation of Cahier de l'admin Debian. The translation has now been completed and The Debian Administrator's Handbook released: "I am so glad that we managed to complete this project. Roland and I have spent countless hours on this book since December, both for the translation itself and also for all the things that we tend to forget: a nice book cover, a great book layout for the print version, coordinating the work of reviewers, registering as an editor to get an ISBN, etc. I think I will come back to this in a future article because some parts of the story are interesting." The book is available for free online viewing and for direct download (in PDF, EPUB, Mobipocket formats), although the authors hope to receive a small contribution for the electronic version. A dead-tree edition is also available, but it costs US$48.86 + shipping. The Debian Administrator's Handbook is presently the most up-to-date English-language book on Debian GNU/Linux.
* * * * *
Last week's Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) in Oakland, USA, provided many interesting articles in the Linux media. One of the participants was Scott Lavender, the founder and lead developer of Ubuntu Studio. Those readers interested in low-latency kernels, multimedia development and related activities should find the author's "confessions" from the conference a refreshing read: "One such meeting resulted in the suggestion that I should attempt to get the Ubuntu kernel team to maintain the -lowlatency kernel instead of the Ubuntu Studio team. The main reason is that the patch to make the changes to the configuration files is very small (a purported 'two lines') and could easy be made into a build option which all could be completely automated. Every security patch would happen concurrently as the main kernels are updated and without any additional effort. In contrast, the Ubuntu Studio team needs to manually update the -lowlatency kernel which is not an inappreciable amount of work, for each security update. And these sometimes lag a bit due to scheduling. This would be a major improvement to remove a significant responsibility and time commitment from our small team." There is also a second article which expands on "Desktop JuJu".
* * * * *
For those readers who didn't have a chance to follow the above-mentioned UDS conference, here is a concise summary of possible Ubuntu 12.10 features, courtesy of OMG! Ubuntu!: "Ubuntu GNOME fans will be excited by word of a potential vanilla GNOME Ubuntu spin (i.e. GNOME-Shell Remix). Elsewhere, GNOME 3.6 will be used as the base of Ubuntu 12.10. Ubuntu’s Ubiquity installer will be 'beefed up' to provide all of the features offered by the 'alternate installer', resulting in the latter being dropped as a download option. The installer will also see the Windows settings migration assistant feature removed. The team conclude that it is too untested and buggy to remain in place. LibreOffice will finally ship with AppMenu support out of the box, making it fully HUD accessible. Jockey, Ubuntu’s current 3rd party driver installer, will be replaced with a 'better version integrated with System Settings'. Ubuntu 12.10 will use the 3.5 kernel, with a view to supporting the 3.6 version after its release. Python 3 will ship on the CD by default, meaning that various default applications and utilities will be rewritten to take advantage of this."
|Follow-ups (by Jesse Smith)
Update on Calligra 2.4 Kexi and Krita
A few weeks ago I dedicated a review to the new Calligra office suite, formerly known as KOffice. Most of the experience was a positive one. The few bugs or frustrations I ran into could largely be summed up as either personal preference or a side effect of running a beta version of the suite. At the time I had been running Calligra beta 6 from a Ubuntu PPA repository. One bug which stood out came from trying to use the Kexi application to create databases, specially I was unable to create a new database file and was unable as a result to explore Kexi.
Since the review appeared on DistroWatch I've received a good deal of feedback, all of which I appreciated. There was one e-mail in particular which caught my attention and I'd like to share it here: "I'd like to say thank you for reviewing the Calligra 2.4 release. As a Kexi maintainer, I checked availability of Kexi for Ubuntu since you wrote about issues with even a simple setup. Kexi is available for Ubuntu 12.04 and is used by quite a few people with success, apparently works out of the box for them. Please note that we do not deploy the software -- so maybe Ubuntu had not tested some applications (including Kexi) in their beta versions. So the answer is to test the final 2.4.0. I understand a packaging problem was spotted. Thanks again for your interest in Calligra. Regards, Jaroslaw Staniek."
Since Mr Staniek took the time to track down the problem and confirm that the final release of Kexi was working and was available in the Ubuntu repositories I thought it only fair to give Kexi a second try. Kexi (the final release version) is available in the Ubuntu 12.04 repositories and the Kexi application can be downloaded on its own, without requiring us to download the entire Calligra suite. The package is under 10 MB in size, making for a very small download if we already have the necessary KDE libraries installed.
From the point of view of its interface Kexi is perhaps the odd one out when viewed next to the other Calligra applications. Where the other members of the Calligra suite have mostly stuck to a traditional menu system with a very flexible arrangement of toolbars and toolboxes, Kexi presents something more akin to the ribbon interface. Along the top of the screen we find tabs for handling files, creating various components, managing data, importing & exporting, a tools tab and a help menu. When we're working with a database, components of that database (tables, queries, forms, etc) are displayed down the left side of the screen. Opening any of these components will cause information to display on the right side of the window and further present us with two or more tabs. Typically one tab will deal with design (table layout, constructing queries and forms) and another tab will deal with the raw data available in the table or query results.
Calligra 2.4 Kexi - viewing data tables
(full image size: 61kB, screen resolution 1024x702 pixels)
At first glance it's a lot to take in and the interface, being a bit different than the other Calligra components, may take time to become familiar. However, I did find that the design and function of each component, each tab, was consistent. Once a user becomes accustomed to how Kexi works, I found that Kexi provides a very straightforward point-and-click approach to dealing with databases. As with the other members of the Calligra suite I found Kexi to be focused on basic features, but these core features it does well. Import and export controls worked smoothly and I didn't encounter any problems with this stable release. I haven't used Kexi enough to determine how well it scales, but my experience so far suggests it is a good tool for home and small business use. I especially find the table design screen to be surprisingly easy to use compared to other database front-ends as data types and key options are made as simple as possible for us.
Calligra 2.4 Kexi - designing queries
(full image size: 62kB, screen resolution 1024x702 pixels)
The previous week I also received a few messages from fans of the Krita application asking why it was left out of the Calligra review. It's a fair question and I'm sorry to say my answer is simply that journalism is literature in a hurry and, having already reviewed one drawing program from the Calligra collection, I cut Krita from the review. My apologies to its developers and its fans.
In brief, Krita is a bitmap-drawing and image-editing application which is quite a bit more advanced than most simple image editors. I'm not well versed in high-end graphic editors, but Krita appears to be nearly on par with the GNU Image Manipulation Program in features. Like most of the other members of the Calligra suite, Krita presents a menu bar across the top of the screen and toolboxes down the left and right sides of the window. These widgets can be moved around, making for a flexible interface. Where I felt Krita deviated from other Calligra applications was with regards to the number of features and controls. Most of the Calligra programs appear to be focused on a small core of features, making menus uncluttered and easy to navigate. Krita, in carrying so many features, presents a much busier interface and packed menus. Most controls I was able to find with little difficulty, but a few items sent me digging through the menu structure.
Calligra 2.4 Krita - creating an image
(full image size: 139kB, screen resolution 910x702 pixels)
Again, though I'm not much of a graphic artist, I was able to fumble my way through, make multi-layered images, draw shapes, make use of airbrushing, scaling features, etc. One of the few real problems I ran into was manipulating selected regions, though I'm not sure how much of this is my lack of experience and how much is the behaviour of Krita. The other issue I encountered was that parts of the documentation appear to be missing from the website, resulting in broken links when searching for help. Otherwise Krita, like the other Calligra programs, is functional, flexible and a makes for a capable image editor. It feels heavier than its Calligra siblings, but otherwise nicely rounds out the suite.
|Released Last Week
Ikey Doherty has announced the release of SolusOS 1, an inaugural stable release of the project's desktop Linux distribution based on Debian's "stable" branch featuring the GNOME 2 desktop, but also an updated kernel and applications: "I am pleased to announce the final release of SolusOS 'Eveline' 32-bit edition. All issues have now been corrected and installing from a live USB stick is now possible, via dd or UNetbootin. SolusOS is based on Debian 'stable' and features recent applications, multimedia and will automatically install proprietary graphics drivers if you wish. Brief overview of software versions: Firefox 12.0, Thunderbird 12.0.1, LibreOffice 220.127.116.11, Linux kernel 3.0.0 (with BFS, PAE, preempt), GNOME 2.30, OpenShot 1.4.2, Nautilus Elementary, PlayOnLinux 4.0.18, VLC 2.0.1, FirstRunWizard 0.8. Many new applications are available in the software repository." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information.
SolusOS 1 - the first-ever stable release of the Debian-based desktop distribution
(full image size: 617kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Salix OS 13.37 "MATE"
George Vlahavas has announced the release of Salix OS 13.37 "MATE" edition, a Slackware-based distribution featuring the increasingly popular fork of the GNOME 2 desktop: "Salix MATE 13.37 is now officially released. Available for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, this release introduces the MATE desktop environment. For anyone not familiar with MATE, it's a GNOME 2 fork, that continues development of the GNOME 2.x branch. MATE uses the traditional desktop metaphor that was abandoned for newer GNOME 3.x releases. All of the GNOME parts that have been forked have been renamed, so that they don't conflict with GNOME 3.x applications, but otherwise the functionality and behavior is exactly the same as it was in GNOME 2.32.x. For example, the Nautilus file manager is now named Caja in MATE, the Evince document viewer is now Atril and the File-Roller archive manager is now Engrampa." Read the rest of the release announcement for further details.
Rocks Cluster Distribution 5.5, 6.0
Philip Papadopoulos has announced the availability of Rocks Cluster Distribution versions 5.5 and 6.0, two new builds of the project's CentOS-based open-source toolkit for real and virtual clusters: "The latest update of Rocks, code name 'Mamba' is now released. Mamba is available for both CentOS 5.8 (Rocks 5.5) and CentOS 6.2 (Rocks 6.0). The Rocks-supplied OS rolls have all updates applied as of May 7, 2012. Rolls use the same code base but are compiled on the different version of operating systems. Mamba is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. New features: Rocks now supports both CentOS 5 and CentOS 6 from the same source code; Xen is no longer supported...." See the release announcement and release notes for a full list of new features.
Liberté Linux 2012.1
Maxim Kammerer has announced the release of Liberté Linux 2012.1, a Gentoo-based security live CD with the primary purpose of enabling anyone to communicate safely and covertly in hostile environments: "A new release has been published. Summary of important changes since the previous release: hardened Linux kernel 3.2.11; fixed memory wiping in KEXEC kernel - 64-bit kernel is used for wiping memory where possible and 32-bit kernel can wipe 2.9 GB of RAM; better file system security - most file system is read-only, with carefully selected exceptions; CD/SD boot media ejection now triggers shutdown; perfect forward secrecy and repudiability in cables communication; added open virtualization bundle (OVA) for easy virtual machine setup; replaced Midori browser with Epiphany which uses the same WebKit backend; partial migration to GTK+ 3 and dconf (Midori, Audacious, Gucharmap), using light themes...." Read the rest of the release announcement for a complete list of changes and improvements.
François Dupoux has released an updated build of SystemRescueCd, a Gentoo-based live CD with a collection of data rescue, disk management and networking utilities. What's new? "Updated standard kernels to long-term supported Linux kernel 3.2.16 (rescuecd + rescue64); updated alternative kernels to latest stable Linux kernel 3.3.5 (altker32 + altker64); Updated btrfs-progs from Fedora 17 sources; Updated XFS file system tools xfsprogs 3.1.8 and xfsdump 3.1.0; Updated system packages - GCC 4.4.7, OpenRC 0.9.8.4 and Portage 18.104.22.168; Updated OpenSSH to 5.9p1 and Partclone to 0.2.47; added Debian and Red Hat package management tools (dpkg, debootstrap, rpm); updated pkgstats script to avoid warnings; updated list of graphical programs used by cleansys; removed GObject introspection data to save space." Read the full changelog and take a look at this overview of system tools for further information.
IPFire 2.11 Core 58
Arne Fitzenreiter has announced the release of IPFire 2.11 Core 58, an updated version of the project's specialist distribution for firewalls: "It is time for a maintenance update of the IPFire series 2 which is called Core Update 58. This update comes with cryptodev, a bunch of security fixes and minor bug fixes. Cryptodev has been ported from BSD and provides the kernel crypto system to the userspace. The advantages we gain from that is much faster hashing, encryption and decryption of data. On a normal system, the performance will double, on systems that come with crypto processors like VIA Padlock or Marvell CESA, the speed will be significantly higher and the CPU load will be much lower. The update is shipping fixes for security issues in OpenSSL 0.9.8u and libpng 1.2.46." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
Konstantin Kochereshkin has announced the release of ROSA 2012, a Linux distribution forked from Mandriva with the goal of delivering a functional and easy-to-use business desktop using KDE 4.8.2: "The ROSA company is pleased to inform that it has completed the work on ROSA 'Marathon' 2012 operating system - a Linux distribution with an extended 5-year technical support and with a focus on enterprise customers. We have optimized the package base of the officially supported main repository of the distribution by selecting the most stable and important components necessary for the enterprise, though still providing desktop users with possibility to install large variety of applications from our extended repositories. The distribution includes application software sufficient to fulfill most typical tasks." Read the press release and the detailed release notes for further information.
ROSA 2012 - a Mandriva fork for enterprise desktop computing
(full image size: 156kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
- Bridge Linux. Bridge Linux is an Arch Linux derivative that includes a GUI and standard applications. It comes in four separate editions with a choice of GNOME, KDE, LXDE or Xfce desktops.
Bridge Linux 2012.4 - an Arch-based distribution with four desktops
(full image size: 723kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
- Liberté. Liberté Linux is a secure, reliable, lightweight and easy-to-use Gentoo-based live medium with the primary purpose of enabling anyone to communicate safely and covertly in hostile environments.
Liberté Linux 2012.1 - a Gentoo-based security live CD
(full image size: 156kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Xinutop. Xinutop is a Xubuntu-based distribution with a collection of useful marine applications, such as: GeBabbel - data conversion and transfer to and from GPS; Fldigi - reception and display of radio weather; OpenCPN - chart plotter, tides, AIS, grib files, GPS interface and other navigation data; Polarcom - virtual instrumentation; XTide - tides with numerical and graphical display; Zygrib - download and display weather grib files. The distribution is available in the form of USB image files in either French or English.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 21 May 2012. To contact the authors please send email to:
- Ralph Ellis (feedback: the OpenBSD 5.1 review)
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, suggestions and corrections: news, donations, distribution submissions, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (feedback and suggestions: podcast edition)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • BSDs (by Barnabyh on 2012-05-14 08:52:37 GMT from United Kingdom) |
The BSD's are what I have to try next, the ports system always appealed to me, I suppose that's why I'm using Linux distros that are of similar concept and more Unix like.
SolusOS looks very good too, will have to try it next few days.
2 • OpenBSD (by Anonymous Coward on 2012-05-14 09:23:03 GMT from Spain)
It is nice to see the *BSD are getting some love here.
I have tested OpenBSD and found it good, but it has some limitations that can be show stoppers for many. The first one is the short lifecycle of the distribution. If you want to follow stable or release, you will have to upgrade your system very often, as OpenBSD has not resources to maintain old versions, which are discontinued when a new one is released. If you follow Debian, Scientific Linux etc, you´ll have a more extended period of support.
Other problem I find is that filesystem encryption is not as functional as the solutions provided by Linux. On Linux you can encrypt all the partitions except the /boot one. On OpenBSD, encrypting the root filesystem is not yet supported. However, the cipher implementation for AES is said to be better on OpenBSD than on Linux´ dm-crypt.
Application availability can be a problem. It seems to me that OpenBSD takes much more time to port a given piece of software than FreeBSD. I guess that´s the price you pay for extensive testing anr reliability?
Other than that, OpenBSD is clean and nice to work with. I would not use as a domestic desktop, but it could be a good infraestructure server or workstation for simple tasks. There are not much free hardcore Unices like OpenBSD around, so I hope the best for them!
3 • OpenBSD on the Dell Vostro 360 (by Gavin R. Putland on 2012-05-14 09:27:07 GMT from Australia)
What is the OpenBSD/FreeBSD/NetBSD equivalent of the Linux boot parameter "drm_kms_helper.poll=0"? The answer is probably relevant to anyone who wants to run BSD with full HD resolution on a Dell Vostro 360.
4 • openBSD and data encryption (by dopher on 2012-05-14 09:18:38 GMT from Belgium)
I've used openBSD over 2 years for my home server. But that was about 5 years ago. Never had any probl;ems with it, but i always missed full disk encryption. openBSD might be very secure from the outside, but when someone steals your hardware, they have full access to your data.
I've searched a lot, and have posted questions on several BSD forums about this. And never got a good response whether full disk encryption would be possible. It should be, but appearantly not for the normal administrator.
Does anyone here know about full diskencrytion for openBSD, and it can be done?
5 • RE: openBSD and data encryption (by Anonymous Coward on 2012-05-14 10:55:26 GMT from Spain)
Does anyone here know about full diskencrytion for openBSD, and it can be done?
Have you read comment number 2?
6 • Remember the Backdoor Claim? (by Barnabyh on 2012-05-14 11:51:40 GMT from United Kingdom)
Btw, what happened to the claim the FBI had paid somebody to leave a backdoor in OpenBSD?
Would be nice to have this fully resolved and a concluding statement re. what went on before I can fully trust it. With something like this in the air there would always remain a worry once installed.
7 • SolusOS 1 (by RobinC on 2012-05-14 11:56:58 GMT from United Kingdom)
Swift move on from 32bit RC4 to final release and with a 64 bit version in the wings this is a really tasty, fast starting mix of Debian Stable Squeeze and selected backports for Firefox, VLC and T'bird plus a nifty kernel. This little newcomer really carries a wallop and deserves a good look by everyone.
8 • Rosa 2012 stable (by TuxTest on 2012-05-14 12:20:05 GMT from Canada)
Yesterday I tested Rosa on 3 different PC and I can say the desktop management is very sharp. All hardware is supported. I think it good for children and Lamba user.
But big problem the installation Crash all the time. I tried to install it on 3 PC with diverse hardware impossible to install this system...
32 bit stable version really?
9 • RE: Remember the Backdoor Claim? (by Anonymous Coward on 2012-05-14 12:32:47 GMT from Spain)
Btw, what happened to the claim the FBI had paid somebody to leave a backdoor in OpenBSD?
It was a claim, but was not proven to be something else.
The supposedly compromised code was heavily audited. Some security bugs were found, but no backdoor was there. There is more information on the net if you want to search.
I am more prone to distrust NSA´s SElinux than OpenBSD´s kernel.
10 • Bridge Linux (by DrSaleemKhanCeannMarwat on 2012-05-14 13:32:41 GMT from Pakistan)
Many Congrats to the Bridge Linux team for joining DW database finally . I am using it eversince its conception both on my desktop and laptop and as an old Arch Linux user I have no complaints whatsoever with this distro.
It offers many DE`s based versions and everyone is upto the mark according to basic needs for daily computing plus the installer adopted from archbang works flawlessly.
Good to see Arch Linux getting user friendly through Bridge Linux .
11 • Kexi, Krita, and how I love Linux (by octathlon on 2012-05-14 13:50:39 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the addendum to the Calligra review! I'll be trying it out.
I got a reminder this weekend of just how great Linux is. Just got a new computer and since I decided to keep the Win7 on it, I had my first experience setting up a new windows computer in many years (at work, they do that for us). What a bunch of crazy stuff to go through! Activating stuff, getting crapware turned off, trying to get the printer working, etc. All these license agreements notifying how they will be tracking me... took a few hours--and that's without even installing any additional software.
But when I put Ubuntu on there, it took just a short time, the printer was detected and installed in a few seconds, favorite programs all installed, nothing to "activate" and I immediately felt at home again. Ahhhh.
12 • @2,4,5 - openbsd encryption (by notsure on 2012-05-14 14:36:42 GMT from United States)
openbsd is currently developing the root partition encryption:
you can get it to work, given a little work
13 • OpenBSD encryption. (by Anonymous Coward on 2012-05-14 15:00:47 GMT from Spain)
Openbsd is currently developing the root partition encryption.
Nice to know they are. Last time I looked for information, results were not good. I might give this method a try someday.
14 • Gotta laugh at Liberte description... (by tek_heretik on 2012-05-14 15:19:13 GMT from Canada)
"primary purpose of enabling anyone to communicate safely and covertly in hostile environments", puh, isn't that pretty much anywhere? Will be when these jerks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Pacific_Strategic_Economic_Partnership get there way, the almighty buck will kill the internet or spawn a 'free' and separate one.
15 • @14 (by Thom on 2012-05-14 15:53:35 GMT from Sweden)
Seems like the Canadians are not lining up to join TPP. Congrats on living in a 'normal' country.
The EU replied 'Thanks but no thanks' to ACTA - another one of those hare-brained schemes thought up by multinational US-based corporations and pushed through the Best Congress Money Can Buy to turn US law into World Law.
Stay Canadian and you'll win. (Ohhh Caaaaa-na-da...)
16 • Krita (by Bob on 2012-05-14 16:07:14 GMT from United Kingdom)
Comment deleted (for personal messages please email them directly to the author).
17 • Krita (by Bob on 2012-05-14 16:08:49 GMT from United Kingdom)
Just for the sake of other readers, I'll mention that Krita is a very mature, very capable, very featureful application that is already being used by many professional artists. This review does not do it justice at all...
18 • Re: Krita (by Johannes on 2012-05-14 16:33:40 GMT from Germany)
@Bob: Do you realize that your comment Nr. 16 is quite agressive? Feel free to write a review of Krita of your own if you can do it better. No need to be gross with DW contributors...
Have a nice day anyway!
19 • Encryption (by Bill on 2012-05-14 17:21:00 GMT from United States)
I have a couple of questions about Encryption. I did a DuckDuckGo search but didn't see much. I have seen when installing certain Distros the question "Encrypt your Home folder?" and I haven't checked yes yet. 1) Does encryption slow down your machine when accessing or copying files? 2) should I use a different method like Truecrypt after install of the OS, or some other software/method? 3) What are the advantages of encrypting and should the entire system be encrypted rather than just the /Home? Sorry if this is inappropriate here, but I just feel you folks will give a knowledgeable response. Thank you.
20 • broken link (by Bill Savoie on 2012-05-14 17:28:23 GMT from United States)
Comment deleted (off-topic).
21 • @16 Bob on Krita (by DavidEF on 2012-05-14 17:54:27 GMT from United States)
I'll have to agree with Johannes (post #18) here. We could have lived without your post #16. Actually, you said everything that needed to be said in post #17, and it was well written. Maybe you meant to hit 'Delete' on post #16 and hit 'Enter' by mistake?
22 • @19 (by notsure on 2012-05-14 17:54:40 GMT from United States)
It depends (and if you really need or just want it),
1) I've never noticed any difference in speed with encrypted filesystems.
2/3) I would recommend encrypting pre-installation rather than post-installation, and for that matter, the entire filesystem, except for the needed OS's /boot or equivalent. If you ever have your system stolen/forgot it somewhere (laptop) any/all of your activity is encrypted --> privacy. This just makes it more difficult for anyone other than you to see your data
Depending on the OS encryption methodology, a passphrase to decrypt vs. a password is, imho, much preferred. The computer can then be used only by the owner of it, or who they may want to use it.
Personally, I feel that all laptops should be fully encrypted, but, hey, maybe that's just me.
23 • BSD (by Jack on 2012-05-14 18:06:52 GMT from United States)
I agree. BSD, special FreeBSD (FreeBSD® is an advanced operating system for modern server, desktop, and embedded computer platforms) is not a system for the MODERN DESKTOP.
They should take those two words out of the "advertisement".
24 • Miscellaneous News (by Roy H Huddleston on 2012-05-14 19:06:47 GMT from United States)
Jockey, Ubuntu’s current 3rd party driver installer, will be replaced with a 'better version integrated with System Settings.
Is this like a different program other than Jockey or just a better Jockey? I have always been curious about Jockey. Curious about 3rd party in the context it was mentioned in the Miscellaneous news.
25 • Review subject matter (by claudecat on 2012-05-14 19:11:05 GMT from United States)
Is it just me or are have the reviews lately (aside from last week) been slanted towards a very specific niche audience? Don't get me wrong, I've nothing against the BSDs or NAS oriented distros, but I'd like to see more coverage of things a linux newcomer might be willing to try (e.g. SoluOS, ROSA, Slackel, even Ultimate). Maybe even a fresh take on Arch or Gentoo, as it's been several years since either has been reviewed here. Seems like the comments here are always more voluminous when a topic of broader interest is at hand.
I'm of the mind that linux (and DW) may be seeing more and more curious former XP users (and frustrated Windows 8 users) in the months to come, and as such, perhaps it would behoove all of us to be as inclusive as possible, hence my desire to see what's mentioned above. Not that I'll stop reading either way... :=}
26 • Krita (by Bob on 2012-05-14 20:12:32 GMT from United Kingdom)
@ #18 and #21
I agree that I should have taken a few deep breaths before #16.
Just colour me disappointed at the very low quality of writing/journalism/whatever you want to call it that Jesse brings to Distrowatch. Even the howto/explanation guides (which are *not* hard to write at all...) are low quality and often have bad or incorrect advice. Forgive me for expecting better from Distrowatch.
The Calligra/Krita review really touched a nerve. Neither a newcomer to art software, nor a seasoned pro that has just discovered Linux, would find the above review helpful. It basically said: "There's more buttons than other Calligra programs, I pressed some of them, I'm not experienced with this so I don't know what I'm doing."
27 • @24 Jockey...better? (by DavidEF on 2012-05-14 20:33:42 GMT from United States)
The term 3rd party in the context is referring to the drivers (3rd party proprietary drivers). Jockey is the program that checks to see if your system 'needs' those 3rd party drivers to work 'correctly' and gives you the option of downloading and installing them.
I, too, wonder if they meant a "different, better program" or just a "better Jockey". I haven't read the referenced article. Does anyone know?
28 • Reviewed as they come (by Jesse on 2012-05-14 21:00:57 GMT from Canada)
>> "Is it just me or are have the reviews lately (aside from last week) been slanted towards a very specific niche audience? Don't get me wrong, I've nothing against the BSDs or NAS oriented distros, but I'd like to see more coverage of things a linux newcomer might be willing to try (e.g. SoluOS, ROSA, Slackel, even Ultimate). "
We tend to review distributions as they come out. The mass appeal distros (Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE, Mint, etc) tend to come out around now and in October/November. The rest of the year we cover the lesser-knowns. In other words, you've have indeed been seeing more niche projects featured because we're waiting for the big-name stuff (which will appeal to the masses) to come out.
29 • Gnome Shell Remix (by ange on 2012-05-14 21:22:53 GMT from Hungary)
"Ubuntu GNOME fans will be excited by word of a potential vanilla GNOME Ubuntu spin (i.e. GNOME-Shell Remix)."
GNOME-Shell Remix already exists at http://ubuntu-gs-remix.sourceforge.net since last year and it's vanilla.
30 • @23 (by BSD user on 2012-05-14 21:56:42 GMT from United States)
``They should take those two words out of the "advertisement".''
You can use FreeBSD as a desktop or server. Just because the majority of the people use it as a server does not mean that it can't be used as a desktop. I have five BSD machines used as desktop machines and they work perfectly fine thank you very much. You can use it as you like, if you don't like it, then don't use it. Simple!
31 • OpenBSD remains the best distro for security (by Concerned citizen on 2012-05-15 00:23:24 GMT from Sweden)
OpenBSD is hard for beginners but worthwhile if you care about security, there is no other distribution, Linux or BSD that has security as a main goal, they remain the must have distro for secure environments.
I am very happy with OpenBSD in my desktop, even with less available software.
32 • OpenBSD and USB 3.0 and GPT? (by Thomas Mueller on 2012-05-15 02:32:04 GMT from United States)
There was nothing in the review about whether the latest OpenBSD supports USB 3.0 and GPT, the new partitioning scheme for big hard drives. My past limited experience with OpenBSD was that it had an awful hard time reading MBR partitions; I had OliveBSD live CD. I looked really hard on the OpenBSD web site and could fine no references at all to GPT or USB 3.0.
Only open-source OSes that I know to support USB 3.0 are Linux and FreeBSD, and not NetBSD. So I have pretty much dropped OpenBSD from consideration for my own use.
33 • #8: ROSA Desktop Installer (by Caitlyn Martin on 2012-05-15 02:58:45 GMT from United States)
I've done installations of the ROSA Desktop betas, release candidates and now the final, both 32-bit and 64-bit. I've also tried the LXDE version beta. I have yet to see the installer crash and I'm probably up to a dozen installations. I have to wonder if you have a bad burn or a corrupted image download.
34 • @ 28 - Jesse's response to 25 (by claudecat on 2012-05-15 06:08:22 GMT from United States)
Understood Jesse, but I wasn't necessarily referring to the big boys. Most of those I mentioned have been recently released, though many too recently for review fodder until now. I didn't mean to appear critical of the review subject matter per say, just to maybe lobby for reviews that might (admittedly debatable) have wider appeal and to suggest a few that you (or Caitlyn, etc) might be persuaded to look at. My 2 cents and all that.
btw - If I haven't said it before, I always enjoy your reviews - even if I don't have much interest in the product. Keep up the great work :=}
35 • Encryption (by Bill on 2012-05-15 06:25:08 GMT from United States)
@22 notsure: Thanks for the reply. I tested encryption on a new partition and it wasn't hard to do at all. I will try it on my laptop tomorrow as I've been worried about some sensitive information that could be stolen. The installer also suggested that I encrypt the swap area on the drive. Now that's something I wouldn't have thought of. Thanks again.
36 • Distro Ranking (by Alessandro di Roma on 2012-05-15 07:22:23 GMT from Italy)
Xubuntu overtakes Kubuntu in Distrowatch ranking! A side effect of the Unity revolution? Long life to Xubuntu!
37 • @30 (by Jack on 2012-05-15 10:28:45 GMT from United States)
>You can use FreeBSD as a desktop or server...
Yes, I agree but if someone advertising that is OS "modern" for the desktop than potential user expect that it works. Tell me please, how many and graphics cards (the new ones) are full supported? I don't want to watch movies in VESA mode. Thank you very much.
38 • @25, @28, @34 On distro reviews. (by osoloco on 2012-05-15 10:37:11 GMT from Ecuador)
Probably I am not part of the "masses", but i really appreciate the reviews of the so called "niche" distros (NAS, BSDs, etc.) which are hard to find elsewhere, more than the reviews of the popular/corporate distros (Buntus, Fedoras, etc.), that get the attention from tons of reviewers (of different quality) and produce a lot of propaganda. So welcome those reviews of lesser known distros.
39 • Rosa 2012 (by TuxTEST on 2012-05-15 11:21:44 GMT from Canada)
I finally managed install on a old P4 with nvidia graphics card 1go ram
I did a check with mdsun the iso image is OK
Yesterday I download the 64bit version for testing on AMD config...
40 • Distro reviews, large and small (by DavidEF on 2012-05-15 12:25:35 GMT from United States)
If we're taking a vote, I say keep niche distros in the reviews. I agree with post #38 that there are plenty of sites reviewing the big name distros. I'm not saying that DW should only review lesser-knowns, either. I like the variety. Also, I think this statement from Jesse (post #28) should explain clearly what is going through their heads as far as choosing what to review:
"We tend to review distributions as they come out."
41 • @36 Distro Ranking (by DavidEF on 2012-05-15 12:33:26 GMT from United States)
Alessandro di Roma,
Yeah, you're probably right. Those leaving Ubuntu because of Unity are finding solace in mostly Mint and Xubuntu, among others. I'm glad there is still choice in the world of Open Source Software, rumors to the contrary notwithstanding. Long live ALL distros!
42 • Distros reviews (by Jose on 2012-05-15 15:30:53 GMT from United States)
I agree with posts #38 and 40. i am still looking for a good Linux based NAS and was reading Jesse's reviews wth interest. I would like to stay within Linux, so even mini reviews of Linux based NAS would be greatly appreciated!
Keep up the Great work DW!
P.S. Can someone please get Caitlyn Martin to write something! I haven't heard anything from her in a loooong time!
43 • #42: Thank you (by Caitlyn Martin on 2012-05-15 16:45:22 GMT from United States)
Jose, thank you for the nice compliment. I wrote a review of Papug LInux for DistroWatch last month and I continue to write for O'Reilly Broadcast / O'Reilly Linux periodically. One thing I can tell you: some of my writing will appear on DistroWatch Weekly next Monday. I should also have a new O'Reilly article later this week.
44 • @35 (by notsure on 2012-05-15 17:20:47 GMT from United States)
You bet, it's well worth the piece of mind. as an extra dose, since my guess is the drive wasn't filled with random data prior to installing, would be to do the following as root on each partition:
dd if=/dev/zero of=x; rm x;
this will leave encrypted/random data to help mask the key and everything else, because the 0's are encrypted, tee hee.
as an added tidbit, swap should DEFINITELY be encrypted, which OpenBSD does by default. I really don't understand why it isn't encrypted by default in all other OS's.
45 • @31 (by notsure on 2012-05-15 17:24:15 GMT from United States)
I agree, i only need the software i need, so i don't need all the other software ;^)
Nor do i want it.
46 • Upcoming reviews (by Jesse on 2012-05-15 19:53:17 GMT from Canada)
>> "Understood Jesse, but I wasn't necessarily referring to the big boys. Most of those I mentioned have been recently released, though many too recently for review fodder until now. I didn't mean to appear critical of the review subject matter per say, just to maybe lobby for reviews that might (admittedly debatable) have wider appeal and to suggest a few that you (or Caitlyn, etc) might be persuaded to look at."
As you said, some of the interesting releases have come out very recently, and we haven't got around to them yet. I believe Caitlyn is working on a review of one of the distro's you suggested (so stay tuned) and I hope to visit SolusOS and Mageia soon. I suspect most of our reviews for the next month or so will focus more on the new-comer friendly material that typically comes out this time of year. Including a few novice-friendly, lesser-known distros.
47 • @46 (by claudecat on 2012-05-15 20:23:59 GMT from United States)
Excellent, and thanks for clarifying. I do love the reviews of lesser-known-yet-potentially-useful-for-all distros. One I discovered a few months back is Liquid Lemur - an Arch based XFCE distro with nice aesthetics and aiming for easy install and upkeep. It's not quite there yet, but bears watching.
48 • @26 Krita... (by Vukota on 2012-05-15 21:26:07 GMT from United States)
I tend to agree with the comment that review of Krita and Kexi was of a low quality (its neither helpful to newcomer nor professional). It would be maybe better if next time DWW provide short excerpt from some other credible source and provide link to it, so we can get a solid picture about those applications that are used by professionals or enthusiasts that need them.
49 • OpenBSD Needs Better Installer (by Candide on 2012-05-16 02:41:16 GMT from Taiwan)
OpenBSD really needs to improve their installer. I'm not saying that they need a graphical installer, but something with ncurses (like Slackware) would go a long to making it easier to install:
This would be particularly useful if you want to install OpenBSD in a partitioned hard drive alongside another OS. I found that it wasn't hard to get OpenBSD installed if you could give it the entire hard drive, but the command-line style installation program makes it really difficult to set up without damaging other partitions. It shouldn't be necessary to read extensive documentation to figure out how to merely install.
I've mentioned this on OpenBSD forums, but received a very cool response. Basically, "RTFM." It's a big reason why FreeBSD and PC-BSD are so much more popular. Installation for newbies should be a breeze - otherwise you won't get many newbies.
50 • Bridge Linux (by shady on 2012-05-16 02:44:49 GMT from United States)
Wow, a 64 bit Arch with an installer. I'm going to try that on my backup drive tonight!
51 • #8/#33: Problem replicated (by Caitlyn Martin on 2012-05-16 02:48:37 GMT from United States)
OK, I was curious so I tried and succeeded in replicating an installer crash using the 32-bit version of ROSA Desktop. I did it by installing from a vfat formatted SD card to an SSD. The crash occurred while the installer was loading. It seems the installer is picky about the type of device it is being installed from/to. @TuxTest: Were you using a burned DVD-R when the problem occurred or a USB stick or an SD card or what?
52 • #26/48: For those of you bashing Jesse (by Caitlyn Martin on 2012-05-16 02:52:47 GMT from United States)
Personally, I've always enjoyed Jesse's reviews and generally find them well written. They are of a different style than mine but every writer brings their own style and their own methodology to the review process.
This week's review by Ralph Ellis makes very clear that Ladislav accepts and publishes reviews from guest writers. If you think you can do better than Jesse then have at it. Show Ladislav what you can do. If not, well... throwing stones is easy. Writing a good, detailed review is not easy at all. Oh, and I assure you someone will throw stones at you and hate your reviews too. I know this from personal experience :)
53 • Distro rankings (by Alex on 2012-05-16 03:35:01 GMT from France)
If you add all the numbers in the DWW rankings, it doesn't show much, maybe altogether around 20,000 hits per month. Lot of people check on new distros and these days lot of them check on Gnome 2 or something like that, and XFCE, so the difference in "hits" on Xubuntu than Kubuntu.
I always wondered why Puppy Linux is in the 9th slot and Arch in the 7th slot. Also why #! in the 22nd slot. Users of Arch, Puppy and #! are not the distrohopper type and they have excellent forums.
54 • #53 (by zykoda on 2012-05-16 05:11:00 GMT from United Kingdom)
A recent sum for DW rankings (top 100; yearly) 37805 Hits/Day. Not sure how one gets 20,000 Hits per Month? Your meaning (re- Puppy, Arch, !#) seems obfuscated, at least to me!
55 • @49 OpenBSD installer (by david on 2012-05-16 06:09:26 GMT from Canada)
The simple text installer is a feature, not a bug.
Personally, I find it easier to use than ``user-friendly'' CURSES and GUI installers.
So long as you free up the space beforehand using the tools of your existing operating system (GParted on Linux, diskmgmt.msc on Windows), multiboot and multiple partitions Just Work.
56 • @55 (by greg on 2012-05-16 07:22:25 GMT from Slovenia)
Oh yes doing all that to install OS is so much easier than clicking next 4 or 5 times and input the user name ans password. so... much.... easier. especially for "newbies"
anyway.... It would be good (ok for me personally) if reviews on NAS operating systems and "user friendly" home server options could continue. :-)
57 • Hybryde! (by DavidEF on 2012-05-16 12:04:40 GMT from United States)
Never heard of it, but from the announcement, I gather it is the DE-hopper's delight! Log in once, switch DE's as many times as you like. All are fully installed, configured, and ready to roll at the flip of a switch! Someone will find this amazingly useful, if it works as advertised.
58 • raising the profile of DW, and contributions (by Tom on 2012-05-16 12:04:56 GMT from United Kingdom)
DW used to offer a monthly (or something) prize of about $100-$200 to a carefully chosen project. Often that was just enough for the project to be able to kick-start something or take the edge off financial pressures for small projects so that they could get on with their valuable work.
Once the prize just missed being enough to get a mention of DW on a project's website during a fund-raising campaign.
Does DW still do the prize draw? Is there a good way to link to a list of previous winners?
I would like to see DW become more successful and more widely known so i was wondering if it might be good to ask projects if they would consider making a donation to DW to help cover running costs and give a link to DW to help raise the profile of DW.
Obviously some projects are too small to expect a donation at all but they might be more than willing to link to the DW site, perhaps to their page within DW. It might even be a useful way for some smaller distros to show how to access different parts of their project, for example how to get to documentation or forums or their download page. Other projects would be in danger of appearing to 'own' DW and be able to influence DW's decisions. Hopefully people such as Canonical and RedHat might be able to make regular small donations = just enough without exerting any kind of influence over DW. Also many programs such as LibreOffice run on many different distros and it might be useful to them to show they actively support DW and to hint at what a good range they cover. When working on other projects i have often used DW "back pages" to find out what programs are used by default in various different distros and different versions of those distros.
I am just asking the documentation team in LibreOffice if they would consider giving a small regular donation to DW to help it keep up the fine work. I don't imagine they could give much at the moment but hopefully they might be able to increase that over time.
59 • Encryption (by Anon on 2012-05-16 12:07:52 GMT from Norway)
Those of us considering encrypting our systems one way or another may want to check out a small discussion of some pros and cons, as well as methods, here:
BTW, I second the wish for more reviews of "NAS operating systems and "user friendly" home server options" (#55, Greg). Ideally, I'd like DW to offer 3-4 reviews per issue... :)
60 • @52 Jesse Bashing (by DavidEF on 2012-05-16 12:14:26 GMT from United States)
I have long been wanting to say something like this, but I was not sure if guest writers were accepted for DWW or not, until now! Now that we know, anybody ready to "put your money where your mouth is?" If not, no need to waste time bashing one writer or another, because your words will carry no weight.
Alternatively, we could all just learn to "disagree without being disagreeable!" There really is never a reason to bash anyone. If they are wrong, simply present the truth, and it will "bash" them well enough on its own.
61 • Linux Mint in the new king. (by Nikhil on 2012-05-16 13:15:04 GMT from India)
As on 16-May, Linux Mint has the most users on Distrowatch and LinuxCounter.
LinuxMint has 48,899 registered machines.
Ubuntu has 1,839 registered machines.
Mint has 4258 hits.
Ubuntu has 2209 hits.
So, it seems that Linux Mint has finally become the new king.
62 • Niche operating systems and bash (by Jesse on 2012-05-16 14:50:18 GMT from Canada)
I do hope to get back to looking at more NAS and appliance servers sometime later this year. Typically distro development slows down during July and August (perhaps due to summer vacations in the North). I'm hoping to investigate a few projects that are off the beaten track at that time. But, for now, I'm excited to see what Fedora, Mint, Mageia, etc have to offer.
Caitlyn & Dave. I appreciate your comments and thank you for the support. Still, I don't feel bashed. One can't please everyone all the time. Some people like what I do and some don't, I think that's fine. It's my hope to improve and one of the ways I can do that is through feedback, both positive and negative.
63 • @49,55 (by notsure on 2012-05-16 14:59:20 GMT from United States)
You can always use cfdisk (or maybe other paritioners) to mark the partition type as 'A6' for the openbsd install, which openbsd will recognize, makes it quite easy.
64 • @15 Re:Government spying (by tek_heretik on 2012-05-16 17:18:53 GMT from Canada)
Sorry but you are wrong, we just recently escaped a government internet spying bill, after much outrage and protest, it was put on the back burner, so to speak, I am sure they will try to sneak it in buried in some other obscure legislation, we have a real sleazy government in power right now.
65 • Hybryde! (by Edna Crabapple on 2012-05-16 17:56:20 GMT from United States)
RE: #57, DavidEF:
It sure sounds like an interesting distro to test out. Some brief tests of Bodhi gave me a taste for the Enlightenment DE... but to have all the DE's available like that could really be awesome- if they work properly.
I'm going to give it a whirl. Why not.
Let's see if it passes the acid test of working with my awful Broadcom wifi chip... LOL :-)
66 • @51Rosa (by TuxTEST on 2012-05-16 19:11:22 GMT from Canada)
I burned a DVD-R with the iso mage. After four attempts I managed to install on a P4
hard drive IDE
I also download 64bit but actualy I don't have a time for testing it! My first impression is really good. I like it! The adaptation of kde is a good idea for newbie or children. The design is cute. Good work dev!
Maybe more soft package in a couple month
67 • #69 ROSA (by Caitlyn Martin on 2012-05-16 21:08:37 GMT from United States)
@TuxTest: Glad to hear you succeeded. I could only replicate the problem with the Extended Edition (EE), not Free, and only on the netbook using removable media for the install. Everything else (Free, DVD install, any install of the 64-bit version) worked perfectly. Again, I can only assume it's a very hardware-specific bug. My only advice to someone who has a problem with EE is to try installing Free and then enable the Non-Free and Restricted repositories if they want them after install.
68 • ROSA (by claudecat on 2012-05-16 23:06:29 GMT from United States)
ROSA looks pretty good so far. I installed the 64 bit iso and have seen no bugs or major issues, unlike Mandriva 2011, which it resembles at least on the surface. One oddity is that Klipper can't be easily removed from the system tray... also Firefox has only one search engine by default: Yandex - apparently the Russian equivalent of Google. Overall I like it and will keep it installed for a while at least to see how they handle updates (none so far), etc. Looking forward to the review :=}
69 • Krita review (by Nate on 2012-05-17 01:46:19 GMT from United States)
Everyone is right that the Krita review was bad. Here's a proposed solution: Distrowatch should find a person who frequently works with such editing software, such as a graphics designer, an iconographer, a web designer, or an interface designer; and have them review Krita. They could provide some good insight, and a good review. These are the people who would actually use this program, so they know how to evaluate it based on convenience of access, features, and other criteria.
70 • @69 about Krita review (by meanpt on 2012-05-17 09:33:08 GMT from United States)
I don't agree. If I'm going to try Krita I'll stay with it if the user interface is clear and the functionalities are graphically well laid out. So, the novice the tester, the better. My findings and experience comply with Jess's first experience.
71 • Linux Mint 13 (by Petr on 2012-05-17 11:57:38 GMT from Czech Republic)
Isn't it correct to say that Mint 13 uses the Ubuntu 12.04 base? Mint 13 is ready to give 5 year LTS, but what would happen, if Ubuntu 12.04 won't give 5 year LTS in about 2 years and allows Ubuntu 12.04 to morph into another Ubuntu automatically? Would Mint 13 be able to give that 5 year LTS?
72 • Linux Mint 13 (by Petr on 2012-05-17 12:07:12 GMT from Czech Republic)
Mint 13 uses the Precise repos of Ubuntu,
There is a massive discussion going on as to how Mint had overtaken Ubuntu in the DWW rankings, but isn't it nice to say that Mint is a fork of Ubuntu and would not be, if Ubuntu is not there?
73 • Mint 13 (by Barnabyh on 2012-05-17 12:48:32 GMT from United Kingdom)
Re. comments 71 and 72: I think that is absolutely correct.
Which would reignite the discussion on what exactly needs to be in place to constitute a distribution. Leeching off another project to such an extent (and btw I'm not debating all the work that has gone into Mint and friendly alternatives to Gnome Shell) that it is still their main repository and needed for most packages should disqualify it to be seen as anything else other than a custom spin with extra touch of this or that.
Some come with Chrome(ium), others have cut down on the packages to make the base install lighter etc. but at the end it's still pretty much the same. That could also mean that Ubuntu is just a custom spin of Debian, but they may be putting more in than Mint is adding to Ubuntu, not sure.
We can all sit here and discuss, perhaps on a special DW forum, until the end of days.
74 • 73 • Mint 13 (by mandog on 2012-05-17 15:10:31 GMT from United Kingdom)
You must also acknowledge that Mint does the same with Debian testing using Mint tools, cinnamon and mate. They are working on a graphics driver installer for Debian so I think they contribute a lot to Linux and Debian, if not so much directly to Ubuntu
75 • RE: 71/72/73/74 (by Landor on 2012-05-17 17:52:38 GMT from Canada)
Ubuntu does a lot of their own coding and patching of various packages throughout their development cycle.
While they're working on 'new' things over at Mint (HQ) maybe the should put some focus on tools they've already created that do not function properly, or need more features added to them. One is the backup tool. My understanding is that when you close it (to cancel the operation) tar keeps running in the background forcing the user to have to search out and kill the process. It's also missing help and such. Oh, you can espouse the inclusion of tools all you want, and how such and such a distribution is user friendly, but if they don't work properly they're not very good tools, and if they're missing help functionality they're not only poorly designed, but not user friendly in the slightest.
All in all, that's not contributing a lot back to Debian in my opinion. It just sounds like an individual or a few chasing their tali(s)
I personally believe it's a custom spin of Ubuntu, nothing more.
Keep your stick on the ice...
76 • 75 (by mandog on 2012-05-17 19:43:16 GMT from United Kingdom)
1st i'm not a fan of either Mint or Ubuntu as you seem to be.
Any backup tool should not cancel once started, I would of thought you would already know that.
Instructions for newbies of how to use backup is on site.
Yes Mint is a custom spin as is every debian spin off a very good one, as it adds its own tools.
Ubuntu is a snapshot into the future a testing distro for Debian much like fedora is for Redhat.
Mint is also very good for Ubuntu as it pushes Ubuntu into being a better distro Every Mint download is a Ubuntu download as you very well know.
So if you add both + all the other re-spins you actually see how Popular Ubuntu is.
77 • There is no "i" in team (by fernbap on 2012-05-17 20:18:32 GMT from Portugal)
Each time i read someone saying that Mint is nothing more than a Ubuntu respin, or that Ubuntu is nothing more than a Debian respin, yada yada yada,
that someone is just saying that he doesn't understand what open source is.
It just looks like football fans, asserting that their team is the best, regardless of their teams playing well or not.
Guys, Gnu-Linux is a collective effort by a huge community. that luckily for us produces a lot of stuff we can chose from.
So, everytime a particular distro is popular, the whole community is popular.
Get over your clubism.
78 • RE: 76 (by Landor on 2012-05-18 02:57:41 GMT from Canada)
Wow, you really believe there's absolutely no reason to cancel a backup? That's funny. I gotta hear why you think a backup should never be stopped once started.
So a new user who doesn't know much about Linux, websites, etc, but understands the help system from using other operating systems are supposed to know that some obscure page has the help they need while doing a backup? I guess everyone also has unlimited internet access that uses Mint? Since it's user friendly, is there a shortcut that reads, 'click here to get help for the backup tool'? It seems to me you are a fan, you're making quite a few leaps to make as big of an allowance for Mint's failures as you can. Personally, I'm a Libre fanbois. I pretty well only use gNewSense now, and fool around with my own Libre build of Gentoo, and still have Debian Testing as well that I update ever 500+ packages hoping something will break so I can find a reason why the LMDE users need so much coddling. So far I haven't had any breakage, with multiple DEs, WMS, and all kinds of applications installed. That's another topic though.
So you agree Mint is just a custom spin. That means it's not really its own distribution.
Could you elaborate more on Ubuntu being a snapshot of Debian much like Fedora is to Redhat? You lost me with that analogy. We're also talking about Mint here, and it being its own distribution.
How does Mint push Ubuntu into being a better distribution? What does popularity have to do with any of this?
Keep your stick on the ice...
79 • SolusOS (by Glenn Howard on 2012-05-18 03:39:36 GMT from United States)
Since hearing Door-to-Door-Geek's itemizing of the excellences of SolusOS on the LinuxBasix podcast, I have dived from Ubuntu into SolusOS and the water is fine! Everything I wanted in Ubuntu and, for a while, almost had, is there in SolusOS. First and foremost, it works out of the box! Setup is as easy as Ubuntu, except that you must partition for yourself. For the first time ever, my DVD player plays every kind of DVD, not just the ones from the $1 bin! I guess I only thought ubuntu-restricted-extras had resolved all my codec problems. So my DVD issues weren't hardware-based after all! Furthermore, VLC is included in the install and I was able to install Opera directly from the repositories right off the bat, not only being able to update it from the repositories after having first downloaded it from the Opera website. Thank you, SolusOS! Thank you, Ikey and team! Now I am on really solid footing to enjoy the full use of my computer as a utility, while I trek up the learning curve to get further and further into the nitty-gritty of Linux. I expect to move on eventually, to distributions with fewer, and ultimately, with no guardrails, as I become more and more knowledgeable about Linux, but for where I am now, SolusOS is a godsend, and a tremendous relief!
80 • @78 (by mandog on 2012-05-18 06:47:09 GMT from United Kingdom)
Landor If you can't work it out for your self. "But then you need to go on websites to do that". or you don't want to There is no point in trying to explain.
I use Arch Linux, and Slackware, I do install yes install no vbox here other distros for a month at a time to check out progress,
Its all Linux and your constant putting every things down you personally don't like does no good what so ever apart from make us laugh.
81 • RE: 80 (by Landor on 2012-05-18 13:59:51 GMT from Canada)
Thanks for clearing everything up for me. I completely understand. Your whole reply avoided pretty well every other part. I notice that's a problem with a lot of people in the community. Once asked to elaborate in some manner, they can't.
I have justification for my comments about Mint as there's an actual basis for them. I'll use the backup tool as an example, there's a bug report for it, and a few people who have had the problem with it.
I'll give you a reason why you'd cancel a backup, selecting a drive/partition to backup to with data on it. Another one is backing up the files to a drive/partition of inadequate size. There's a ton of reasons, especially with new users who do not have the kind of expertise you're taking for granted in your comments. Which is another reason why help should be built-in. You could work it out for yourself if you wanted to.
I constantly put everything down? Hell, I thought I was actually on the new user's side advocating a more user friendly system for them? That's not helpful? You and I live in completely different worlds it seems.
Facts are though, they're off trying to impress the world with all these 'cool tools' they're making and they're lacking help files which is a HUGE faux pas in this day in age of creating applications, and it's broken because closing the application only closes the GUI and it continues to run in the background. They should actually make their tools work properly first.
Keep your stick on the ice...
82 • @81 (by mandog on 2012-05-19 08:45:38 GMT from United Kingdom)
Perhaps people feel intimidated by you and your forcefulness towards them I don't know I can't answer for others.
I personally don't feel I need to answer to anyone I'm to old to have tit for tat pointless arguments. I state my opinions on my own experiences using installed OS and use the net for answers if I can't get things to work. As far as forums go mint is excellent most answers are there for you.
AS I stated before I'm not a Mint/Ubuntu dedicated user I don't patronise them they are both floored by using patched Debs but that is my opinion. I quietly use my distro's of choice and use them 18 hrs a day for my professional work.
83 • Wow. ExTiX sucks. (by uz64 on 2012-05-19 09:45:25 GMT from United States)
From its own Web page:
"Previous versions of ExTiX were based on KNOPPIX/Debian. Version 7.0 of ExTiX was based on the Swiss Linux system Paldo. Version 8 of ExTiX was based on Debian Sid. Version 9 of ExTiX was based on Ubuntu 11.10."
While once interesting, this now seems like a Linux distro that's lost its way.
84 • RE: 82 (by Landor on 2012-05-19 15:40:20 GMT from Canada)
You really like to make discussions personal don't you? My forcefulness? Intimidated? Your previous comment was about people laughing at me, now I intimidate them and I'm very forceful. You should pick one, you're grasping at straws here. (Note: I bet this gets deleted because I'm making it personal..lol!)
Tit for tat arguments? Whose arguing? I'm only discussing the fact that A) Mint is not its own distribution and would disappear if its parent did, or at least it's popularity. And B) that what supposedly makes them so great is broken, and they're ignoring the broken parts and making more tools which are probably missing integral parts too.
I wouldn't know about Mint's forums. I won't use applications that won't respect me, or my freedoms, so I won't use Mint. But who cares what the forums are like. You seem to stuck on one track. You think the only way people obtain or use this OS is via online. I'll let you in a secret, there's two advertisers for this site that cell CDs/DVDS/USB sticks with the distribution of the buyer'ss choice on the respective media. A lot of people who obtain their distribution this way (and through magazines) do so because it's far cheaper, and for some, don't even have a connection to the internet other a period/temporary one through school, friends, work, organizations, cafes when they can save enough money. They don't care what's on a forum, or some page on a website for help when they'd pose a question and 'might' (a big might) be able to read the answers in a month or so.
After explaining that, I find it funny that you think I'm the one that is detrimental to this community. :)
Oh, and I noticed you yet again couldn't reply to one point. I'll let it drop now for obvious reasons.
Keep your stick on the ice...
85 • linux (by colin on 2012-05-19 18:23:02 GMT from United Kingdom)
aaarrrgggg!!! every new distro/addition looks exactly like every other!!!! theres just to much for people to choose from and alot of linux is rubish distros! who cares about wallpaper eyecandy!? what about hardwarde support! specially intlel! enogh with nvidia & ati! get intel working! .. with opencl!
86 • RE: 85 (by Landor on 2012-05-19 19:12:31 GMT from Canada)
It would be a lot easier to get hardware working if everything was Libre. The sad thing is that even some of the drivers that are considered free for graphics rely on firmware blobs. That's not free, that's just another way to lock into crap that can't be relied upon.
But there's the big reason why hardware just doesn't function, that and the fact that the companies (for the most part) don't build drivers for the Linux kernel.
About distributions looking the same. I'd say every distribution has always looked like every other distribution. If they were new and innovating, it didn't take long for someone to copy them, which there's nothing wrong with. CrunchBang and ArchBang come to mind as an example.
Being different is one reason I like Gentoo. It can't even be considered a framework for your own build. It's more like the materials to create the framework, then your own build after that.
Keep your stick on the ice...
Number of Comments: 86
Display mode: DWW Only • Comments Only • Both DWW and Comments
|• Issue 837 (2019-10-21): CentOS 8.0-1905, Trident finds a new base, Debian plans firewall changes, 15 years of Fedora, how to merge directories|
|• Issue 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using the find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
h3knix was a small desktop distribution. It provides a custom package management system called "capsules". Capsules can install source or binary packages, and/or configure certain aspects of the system. h3knix offers great performance and good system stability.