| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 468, 6 August 2012
Welcome to this year's 32nd issue of DistroWatch Weekly! CentOS is a community project that not only rebuilds Red Hat's commercial Linux distribution and releases it as a free download, it also offers timely security updates and long-term security support. As such, its distribution has been growing in popularity in recent years as many users find it a perfect match for (not only) their servers. In this week's feature story Jesse Smith takes a look at the project's latest release, version 6.3. In the news section, Debian announces the availability of the first beta build of the system installer for its upcoming stable release and Fedora surprises many users by adding MATE, a GNOME 2 fork, to its development repository. Also in this week's issue - a not-to-be-missed article on Libtrash and its spectacular ability to recover files deleted by slippery fingers or other accidents. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the DistroWatch.com July 2012 donation is BleachBit, a program which can be configured to remove a large chunk of unneeded and unnecessary data, such as browser caches and temporary files, that accumulate on one's hard disk over time. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First look at CentOS 6.3
About a month ago the CentOS team released version 6.3 of its enterprise-focused project. This release, which follows fairly closely after the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3, carries a fairly conservative collection of new features. Two of the features which stand out in the release notes are:
The latest release of CentOS is available in a number of different formats. Live discs in DVD and CD sizes are available as are plain installation DVDs and a net-install CD image. The various ISO images are available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds. I opted to download the 32-bit live DVD which is approximately 1.6GB in size. Booting from this disc lets us verify the media's integrity, boot into a graphical environment, boot into a text console or launch the installer in either graphical or text mode. Should we choose to boot into the live graphical mode we are brought to a GNOME 2 desktop. The background is a deep blue and a menu bar sits at the top of the screen. Down at the bottom of the display we find the task switcher and, on the desktop, there are icons for launching the installer and browsing the file system. There are two additional icons which will launch utilities for adjusting our display settings and configuring the keyboard.
- A move from offering OpenOffice.org to using LibreOffice both in the repositories and installation media.
- The addition of a utility which will migrate virtual machines and bare metal installs to a KVM virtual machine. This will help system administrators move their existing installs to a modern virtual environment.
CentOS 6.3 - getting started with the live DVD
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The CentOS distribution uses the Anaconda system installer, a tool which will probably be familiar to anyone who has installed Fedora or Sabayon. Anaconda is powerful and capable and, though it might not be much to look at, it does provide both graphical and text interfaces. We are walked through selecting our keyboard layout, setting our computer's hostname and confirming our time zone. From there we set a password for the root account and then we move on to partitioning. CentOS supports a wide range of options, including LVM, RAID and encryption. We have the option of setting up partitions manually or getting assistance in dividing the disk for CentOS. Some guided partitioning options include replacing an existing Linux installation, using any available free space on the drive or resizing an existing partition and using the resulting free space. This version of Anaconda has limited file system support, letting us choose between formatting partitions with ext2, ext3 or ext4. Once partitioning is complete we're asked to configure the boot loader and then reboot the machine.
The first time we boot our locally installed copy of CentOS a series of dialogs appear to assist us in configuring the system. We're shown a license agreement and then asked to create a regular user account. We then have the option of setting our machine's clock or making use of network time synchronization. The last screen gives us the option of enabling kdump, a utility which captures data in the event of a kernel crash. The idea behind kdump is that if something goes terribly wrong the data from kdump will help us trouble-shoot the problem. With these steps completed we're turned over to a graphical login screen where we can login to either the KDE or GNOME desktops.
Logging into either of the graphical environments gives us a fairly empty classic desktop interface. The background is a pleasant blue and there are icons on the desktop for navigation. No welcome pop-up or tutorial appears. After a while an icon appears in the system tray letting us know security updates are available, but otherwise the interface appears designed to stay out of the way. Visual effects and gimmicks are not in evidence.
CentOS 6.3 - exploring the distribution
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When a notice appeared informing me that updates were available I brought up the distribution's update manager. This application shows us the names of any available updates along with a brief description of each package. We can check or uncheck each item. When I opted to download all available updates I was prompted for my password a couple of extra times, once to confirm the validity of a new signing key and once more to confirm I wanted to install the downloaded items. After that future updates went smoothly without interaction on my part.
Package management on CentOS is handled by a program labeled Add/Remove Software, though it may be better known as the GTK+ front-end to PackageKit. By any name, the package manager provides us with a fairly simple interface. Categories of software are displayed down the left side of the window and package names, each with a brief description, are shown on the right. I found the package manager to be quite slow and limited in what it would do. For simple add/remove actions it works, but the front-end is sluggish and it refused to process complex batch jobs. I found I preferred managing software using the system's command line manager, YUM.
CentOS 6.3 - managing software packages
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As the CentOS DVD comes with both GNOME and KDE the application menu contains an interesting mix of software and quite a bit of functionality is duplicated. Looking through the menu we find Firefox 10, which is an Extended Support Release, the Evolution e-mail client, the Thunderbird e-mail client, the KMail e-mail client, the Konqueror web browser, the Kopete instant messenger and the Pidgin messenger client. XChat is included for communicating on IRC. LibreOffice is available as are the GNU Image Manipulation Program, Inkscape and the Okular document viewer. The menu contains a program for ripping audio tracks from CDs, two disc burners, the Cheese webcam tool, two video players and the Rhythmbox audio player. Despite these multimedia apps the distribution does not include popular media codecs or Flash. (More on adding those in a moment.)
The application menu includes the KGpg privacy tool, a pair of archive managers, a pair of text editors, a utility for formatting floppy disks and virtual terminals for each desktop environment. To help us get on-line CentOS comes with Network Manager and the KPPP dial-up networking utility. The menu also features system configuration tools for managing user accounts, printers, the firewall, authentication methods and system services. These tools are quite powerful and, I found, fairly straight forward to use. Digging further into the distribution we find Java is installed and a SMTP server is running in the background. Under it all the distribution is powered by the Linux kernel, version 2.6.32.
CentOS 6.3 - configuring the operating system
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As the CentOS install media and repositories do not include certain software packages, such as Flash and popular media codecs, many desktop users will probably want to enable additional repositories. When using the Fedora distribution, which is a close relative to CentOS, we would probably turn to RPMFusion for our software needs. However, when running CentOS, there is an extra step. First we need to enable the Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux repositories and then add the RPMFusion repositories. The steps for adding all the extra repositories are laid out on the RPMFusion website, making the process fairly straight forward. Once repositories are added multimedia players will offer to search and install codecs. To acquire Adobe's Flash plugin I first tried enabling the Adobe YUM repository and, when that failed to work, I found I could download and manually install the Flash RPM package, available on Adobe's website.
I ran CentOS on my laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card, Intel wireless card) and found the distro detected and used all of my hardware without any problems. Nearby wireless networks were picked up, sound was set to a low, yet audible, level and my screen was set to its maximum resolution. The enterprise distribution is fairly light on memory by modern standards, when logged in to either of the desktops available in the default installation the system only used about 160MB of RAM. At all times the system was quick to respond and performance was quite good. It was nice to have such a light-footed interface out of the box without having to disable unwanted services or enable 3D video drivers.
Given that CentOS is typically found on servers, not desktops, and the distribution comes with a conservative collection of software some people might be wondering why I chose to install the free enterprise distro. I had two driving motivations, the first being that people do tend to think of CentOS as strictly a server-oriented project and overlook it when choosing a desktop distribution. I feel this would be a mistake as CentOS is essentially a very long term support release of Fedora. If you like Fedora, but wish it had a longer support cycle, then CentOS is probably your ideal distribution.
The other reason I wanted to take this project for a spin is I, like some others in the open source community, am a little tired of seeing the big desktop environments change rapidly. It feels as though every time I turn around a desktop environment is introducing a change or forking or a feature is added that I, frankly, don't want. It's not that I'm opposed to change, as long as there is some benefit, and I like when change is evolutionary in nature, but it's starting to feel as though I have to relearn where everything is every time I upgrade my OS and that seems counter-productive. The CentOS distribution offers a calm shelter from the storm of updates and forks currently raging in the Linux community. CentOS comes with the simple, efficient GNOME 2 desktop (along with KDE 4.3) and security updates will be available for the next eight years.
For the most part using CentOS 6.3 was a pleasant experience. Installing codecs, Flash and various extras did require that I hunt down and install several additional repositories, which is a bit more work than is required from most other popular distributions. Further, some software isn't available for CentOS, even with the extra repositories (searches for items such as the VLC media player failed to find any matches). However, when we consider CentOS isn't aimed at the desktop crowd I feel the distro can be forgiven for the additional work required. Once the system was set up with the software and repositories I wanted it was smooth sailing from there. CentOS comes with good administrative tools, slightly aged, but still perfectly functional software and it will be supported for a good long time.
One aspect of the default install I really appreciated was the fact that both GNOME 2 and KDE 4 were available. Most distributions these days put just one desktop environment on a disc while CentOS provides two, along with a full office suite and plenty of other popular applications and they still manage to keep their live disc under 2GB. The distribution doesn't provide excitement or new, shiny features, it is pleasantly laid back and mature. The system is fairly light and stays out of the way. It's a good option for people who want to install their OS and forget about it for the next several years.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Debian releases beta installer for "Wheezy", Fedora adds MATE desktop to its repository
As Debian GNU/Linux edges closer to its next stable release, the project's installer team is making sure that the updated Debian system installer is as reliable and trustworthy as always. Last week Cyril Brulebois announced the availability of the Debian Installer 7.0 beta 1: "The Debian Installer team is pleased to announce the first beta release of the installer for Debian 7.0 'Wheezy'. Improvements in this release of the installer: debian-installer - switch the boot backgrounds to the Wheezy joy theme; debian-installer - adjust syslinux boot menu to not overlap with Debian logo; debian-installer - update to 3.2.0-3 linux ABI; apt - fix crashes on s390x; apt - improved behaviour with proxies (redirection handling improved and HTTP/1.1 pipelining disabled by default); brltty - add new braille USB IDs to d-i udev rules; busybox - enable ping applet for udeb build; grub2 - prevent EFI systems from running out of memory due to large disk cache; hw-detect - check-missing-firmware now supports looking into xz-compressed udebs; Linux kernel - updated to 3.2.21...." The announcement includes a long and detailed changelog, but if you aren't too interested in all the technical details, head directly for the installer page to download and test the latest build.
* * * * *
Some interesting news from a Fedora development meeting hit the news wires last week. MATE, a fork of the GNOME 2 desktop, has been added to the distribution's development repository. This may come as a surprise to many; Fedora, an active contributor to the GNOME desktop for years, is about to make it very easy for users who dislike the controversial GNOME 3 desktop to revert to the good-old GNOME 2-like user interface. The H Open reports: "A Fedora developer has proposed adding the packages for the MATE desktop environment - a fork of the older 2.x branch of GNOME - into the repositories for Fedora 18, which is due for release in early November. The proposal was approved at yesterday's meeting of Fedora's Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo). This is, however, conditional on the developers involved merging the desktop components into Fedora's package repositories on time, otherwise the MATE desktop will have to wait for a future Fedora version. Since Fedora's rules allow new packages to be added to the update repositories, MATE - which has come to the fore primarily through Linux Mint - could find its way into all currently maintained Fedora versions." Other points of discussion at FESCo included Samba 4, Python 3, ownCloud, and other additions.
|Tips and Tricks (by Robert Storey)
Libtrash - data disaster prevention
One man's trash is another man's treasure (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Idioms)
* * * * *
It was a dark and stormy night. I was editing a file in Emacs, the all-purpose text editor that I've been using since my early geek days. I was putting the finishing touches on a book, getting it ready to email to my publisher. The final step was to delete the backup files that Emacs automatically creates. As it happens, Emacs appends a tilde to the end of a file to make a backup - thus, the backup of MyFile.txt becomes MyFile.txt~.
I opened a terminal, used the "cd" command to move into the appropriate directory where my book was stored. I intended to type the following:
Meanwhile, outside my window the storm raged. Suddenly, the room was illuminated by the bright flash of lightening, followed by the loud crack of thunder. Momentarily distracted, my mind briefly disconnected from my slippery fingers... I typed:
rm * ~
And hit Enter.
The horror! The extra space between the asterisk and tilde had the effect of wiping out every file in that directory. My entire book - the one I had just spent six months writing - was instantly vaporized.
A shot rang out! Well actually, it was just the sound of me banging my head against the wall. In despair, I considered jumping from my bedroom window to end it all. However, I live in a one-storey building.
Then the storm intensified. A gust of wind entered through a partially opened window, blowing an old copy of Linux Journal magazine off my desk and onto the floor. It fell open to a critical page - an article about file deleting disasters.
Desperate Measures: Undelete Utilities
Sorry for all the drama, but the above really happened - sort of - and this episode is what led me to Libtrash eventually. However, Libtrash is for prevention - installing it after you've deleted critical files is like closing the barn door after the horses have bolted. Therefore, please allow me a brief digression into just what one should do after the shock/horror of discovering that crucial files have been wiped, because this question is frequently asked on various Linux forums.
It is at least theoretically possible to recover "deleted" files because the data within is not actually deleted from the hard drive, even though the file name has disappeared from the directory listing. In simpler times when MS-DOS ruled the desktop world, undeleting a file was actually very straightforward. MS-DOS itself actually didn't include an undelete command, but it was readily available from third parties such as the Norton Utilities (pre-Windows version). Armed with such tools, one could type del myfile.txt and rescue it immediately by typing undelete, which presents a menu of files available for undeletion. The success rate for recovery in those innocent times was very nearly 100%, provided that you hadn't saved any additional data before attempting rescue.
Alas, progress comes with a price. Undelete worked so well in MS-DOS because that OS used the simple-minded (some would say "brain-dead") FAT16 file system. A modern Linux file system such as ext4 is far more "sophisticated" than FAT16 ever was. Beyond merely saving files, other possible activities for your hard disk include writing a journal, temporary files, log files, as well as defragmenting and running cron jobs. All these things occur without user intervention. Thus, while you calmly sit and stare at your computer screen in disbelief that you just deleted crucial files, the file system is merrily overwriting and destroying whatever data is still left. The point is that you must act quickly before the window of opportunity closes - a few minutes of simply doing nothing will only make your already-dire situation still worse.
The premier tool for undeleting files on an ext4 or ext3 file system is extundelete. If you want to learn more about it, check out its page on SourceForge here. I suggest ignoring their advice about downloading and compiling it - rather, grab a copy of SystemRescueCd, which has extundelete already installed among its other rescue utilities. Properly and promptly used, an undelete utility can recover most of your data, but don't be surprised if some of it is missing, out of order or otherwise flawed. For the really desperate, there are professional data-recovery services, charging outrageous sums of cash to extract any remaining useful (or not) tidbits of data from your hard drive's digital graveyard. A lot more could be said about undelete, but I'll let others say it, because that's not the focus of this article. Onwards...
Put your trash in the cans
The modern concept of a "trash-can" made its debut on the Apple Lisa in 1982, where it was called Wastebasket. It was renamed Trash when the Macintosh was released two years later. Due to the rapidly growing patent and trademark lawsuit market, Microsoft tactfully named its first trash-can Delete Sentry but this morphed into Recycle Bin by the time Windows 95 arrived on the scene. The now-defunct Norton Desktop for Windows avoided potential legal entanglements with Apple by calling their trash-can Smart Eraser.
On Linux the trash-can is just "Trash" and on most distros resides in the hidden directory ~/.local/share/Trash/files/ for each user. Files that you attempt to delete will get moved to this directory, provided that you "delete" them with a GUI file browser such as Dolphin, Gnome-commander, Krusader, Nautilus, Pcmanfm, Thunar or Xfe. That last point is crucial. If you delete files with the non-GUI file browser Midnight Commander (mc), they will be genuinely borked, not merely moved to trash. Ditto for any files you delete with command-line tools such as rm.
Furthermore, there are other programs which can delete files from within: text editors (Emacs), FTP tools (gFTP), BitTorrent applications (KTorrent), image viewers (Geeqie), etc. It doesn't matter if these applications are GUI-based - they are not enabled to put files in the trash-can, so "delete" really means just what it says. In short, a GUI-based file browser is, at best, a half-baked solution. If you want a completely-baked solution, you need something that can override the various iterations of "delete."
Put your cans in the trash
Enter Libtrash. The name is self-explanatory - it's a library that provides a trash-can function. It will work no matter what method you use to delete files. Libtrash is the brainchild of Manuel Arriaga, and has been available to Linux users since 2002. The surprising part of this history is how little interest developers have shown in enabling such a useful tool. I do not know of a single distro which comes with Libtrash installed by default, a scandalous situation in my opinion.
Of course, Linux users are a resourceful lot - where there's a need, there's a market. Thus, a small but determined number of geeks continue to seek out and install Libtrash. However, helpful information on how to accomplish this is rather scarce. After poking around in various online forums, I've found just a handful of posts, many of them by perplexed users who tried to get Libtrash working but failed, and asked for help but found little in the way of answers.
As a Lubuntu user, I was at first encouraged to find that there is a Libtrash package in the Ubuntu repositories. The bad news is that after installing it, I could not get it to work. A search on the Ubuntu forum at least showed that I was in good company, as there were other geeks there scratching their heads and proposing various workarounds. Fortunately, I did find this thread in which the poster named Gasull wrote: I found the solution. The libtrash version included in Ubuntu is quite old. It has been the 2.4.2 since Intrepid. There is an unofficial repository with libtrash 3.2 at https://launchpad.net/~softec/+archive/ppa.
While I give the thumbs-up to Gasull for finding the problem, his solution leaves me just a little unsatisfied because it's very Ubuntu-specific. Furthermore, it also depends on someone maintaining this PPA archive, and I wouldn't count on that, given how amazingly little interest there is in Libtrash.
Install From Source
This is the most bombproof installation method, and should work for every distro. The main requirement is that you're comfortable working on the command line. Visit the Libtrash home page and click the download link to get the latest version. The file to download is called libtrash-latest.tgz and can be unpacked with the command "tar -zxvf libtrash-latest.tgz", creating a directory named libtrash-3.2. If you explore that directory, you'll find a README file which has numerous helpful tips for installation and use, but is missing a couple of important details which I'll try to fill in.
First, cd into the libtrash-3.2 directory. Here you can (optionally) edit file libtrash.conf if you want to customize how Libtrash behaves. The file is fully commented and has clear explanations. Or just accept the default configuration, as I did. Note that libtrash.conf will be installed as a read-only file, /etc/libtrash.conf, but can be redited if you reset permissions with the chmod command). Finally, according to README you install Libtrash by running the following commands:
At this point I ran into a problem, as "make" generated a whole lot of threatening-looking error messages. I decided to run "make" as root, and those error messages just went away. Perhaps the README is wrong, or maybe it has something to do with my distro, or else my bad karma. Your mileage may vary, but if you see those error messages, consider my suggestion to retry "make" as the root user.
- Run "make"
- As root, run "make install"
The README also discusses the need to edit each user's .profile file to make a few customizations to activate Libtrash. I actually found this was insufficient and needed to edit my .bashrc file too. In fact, I'd recommend that you just completely replace each user's .bashrc with the following content:
This does a number of things, but only the last four lines apply to Libtrash. Finally, I also suggest that you create a .bash_profile file with the above identical content - this will override any settings in .profile. Furthermore, it will be beneficial to do this not only for regular users, but do it for root as well. Indeed, a strong argument could be made that root needs Libtrash even more than other users, given root's potential for destruction.
alias rm='rm -i'
alias cp='cp -i'
alias mv='mv -i'
set -o noclobber
alias su="su -l"
alias trashon="export TRASH_OFF=NO"
alias trashoff="export TRASH_OFF=YES"
Just by way of crude explanation, .bashrc customizes how the Bash shell behaves in a terminal window, while .bash_profile customizes its behavior for whatever is going on besides the terminal window. No doubt someone will rake me over the coals for this simplistic explanation, but suffice it to say that if you just create a .bashrc and .bash_profile with the above-mentioned content, all should be well.
Finally, copy /etc/libtrash.conf to ~/.libtrash - that is to say, a hidden file in your user's home directory.
Now just log out and log back in again, and Libtrash should perform its magic. Put it to the test by creating a few files and deleting them, using either the command line or various other programs like Geeqie and Gftp that possess the capability to delete files. After doing this, examine the contents of the newly created ~/Trash directory, and you should find that the deleted files now safely reside there.
Care and Feeding of Libtrash
It won't too long before your ~/Trash directory begins to accumulate too much trash, and at some point you may want to empty it. To accomplish this, you have a couple of options available. If you've installed my above-mentioned customized .bashrc file, then you have a "trashon" and "trashoff" command at your disposal. With this you can turn off Libtrash temporarily and delete the contents of ~/Trash, but try not to forget to turn Libtrash on again immediately after the clean-up operation.
The other and more elegant solution is to use the provided Perl script cleanTrash. This will not necessarily empty the Trash totally. Rather, it deletes the oldest files first when the trash can grows beyond 15 megabytes (this is configurable). You can change the size if you edit cleanTrash (easily done since it's a Perl script). If you want to change the default size, search inside the cleanTrash script for the line:
# maximum-Trash-size in kilo-bytes
The README suggests that cleanTrash is meant to be run by root and can even be set up as a cron job. However, there is no reason why you can't run it as an individual user, in which case it will only clean the trash for that particular user. However, for anyone to run it at all, two things must be done: the script needs to be made "executable" and needs to be placed in the "path" (this is true for any script or program). To make it executable, cd into the libtrash-3.2 directory and type:
$cfgMaxTrashSize = 15000;
chmod 755 cleanTrash
You then need to copy cleanTrash to someplace in the path. On most distros I'd suggest /usr/local/bin. To find out what paths are available, type "echo $PATH" on the command line. On Ubuntu, that gives me this result:
Finally, there may be occasions where there is some file(s) that you want to absolutely delete without a trace (those naughty pictures from last night's party, perhaps?). In that case, try this command:
shred -u FILENAME.TXT
The shred command will overwrite the file and then delete it without depositing it in the trash can. Once you shred a file, consider it gone for good.
If you're not a command-line guru, you might have found the foregoing discussion to be a bit mind-boggling. I sympathize, and genuinely wish that developers would get a clue and make setting up Libtrash a painless exercise - a few GUI dialog boxes is all it would take. Sadly, there does not seem to be much interest in even including a functioning Libtrash package in the repositories of the various distros, thus forcing users to get to earn their geek credentials the old-fashioned way (ie downloading source, compiling and fiddling with text configuration files). In fact, it is not so difficult, but I can see why Linux newbies used to point-and-click simplicity would be blown away by the user-unfriendly command line. The best spin I can put on it is that installing and configuring Libtrash is a great education.
Warts and all, I love Libtrash and I'm very grateful to Mr Arriaga for creating it. Not having it is akin to being a skydiver who leaves the emergency parachute at home...and that can have consequences.
|Released Last Week
Stella 6.3 is a CentOS remix designed specifically for the desktop - with GNOME 2, working multimedia codecs and many popular desktop applications. The project released version 6.3 yesterday: "Following the release of CentOS 6.3 I finally managed to get Stella 6.3 out as well. This is more an issue of incrementing the numbers since people running Stella have already received the updates from CentOS 6.3. So, what's new in your favourite EL-based remix? Updated multimedia stack - new FFmpeg (0.10.4), MPlayer (1.0svn) and VLC (2.0.3); updated in nux-dextop repository - Clipgrab, Minitube, Audacity 2.0; new inclusions in nux-dextop repository -Megamario (SuperMario clone), Geeqie, Mumble suite, Phantomjs, Tarsnap and SCrypt. Also, as a bit of a news, pkgs.org is now indexing my repositories; as such, searching for EL6 RPMs might give you results from li.nux.ro." Here is the brief release announcement.
Stella 6.3 - a CentOS 6.3 remix for the desktop
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IPFire 2.11 Core 61
Michael Tremer has announced the release of IPFire 2.11 Core 61, a specialist Linux distribution for firewalls: "The IPFire development team has just released the 61st core update for IPFire 2.11. This update brings a lot of exciting changes, new features and several bug fixes. Since IPFire 2.11, OpenVPN net2net (N2N) or site2site (S2S) connections are supported. Here are some of the exciting new features: static routes may be defined for OpenVPN clients; connections can now be renamed when importing them; OpenVPN N2N connections are displayed with their status on the index page; optional client-config-dir (CCD) is supported which enables the option to add configuration parameters for a single client connection. On the connections page, you can now see how much traffic has been transfered over a single connection." The release announcement.
ClearOS 6.3.0 "Community"
Peter Baldwin has announced the release of ClearOS 6.3.0, a CentOS-based distribution for servers: "ClearOS Community 6.3.0 has arrived! Along with the usual round of enhancements, this release introduces new applications focused on the mail server stack. Anchored on the Zarafa for ClearOS solution, you can now implement an on-premise or private cloud mail server using ClearOS. This release includes the following new applications: Zarafa Community for ClearOS, Mail Antivirus, Mail Antispam, Antispam Updates, Greylisting, and more. For businesses and organizations, ClearOS Professional 6.3.0 also includes Zarafa Professional for ClearOS, Mail Antimalware Premium powered by Kaspersky and Gateway Antimalware Premium powered by Kaspersky." See the release announcement and release notes for further information.
Toorox 08.2012 "Xfce", "Lite"
Jörn Lindau has announced the release of Toorox 08.2012 "Xfce" and "Lite" editions, a Gentoo-based live DVD. Both editions feature the Xfce desktop environment, but "Lite" includes fewer applications and lighter productivity program (AbiWord instead of LibreOffice). From the release announcement: "Toorox 08.2012 'Xfce' and 'Lite' have been finished and are ready for download. This release is based on Linux kernel 3.3.8-gentoo and contains the latest Xfce desktop environment, version 4.10. Compiz has been built into the Xfce edition for a little bit eye candy. The default applications for web and mail are now Chromium and Claws-Mail. All packages have been updated: X.Org Server 1.12.3, Mesa 8.0.4, Chromium 21.0.1180.55, GIMP 2.8.0, Audacious 3.3, Wine 1.5.9, LibreOffice 188.8.131.52. Toorox 08.2012 'Xfce' and 'Lite' now support 11 languages."
Toorox 08.2012 - a Gentoo-based distribution with Xfce
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Bridge Linux 2012.8 "Xfce"
Dalton Miller has announced the release of Bridge Linux 2012.8 "Xfce" edition, an Arch-based distribution and live CD: "Bridge 2012.8. It was requested a lot, and now it's here: GRUB 2 is the default bootloader in Bridge Linux 2012.8. There are a few notes about this - first, the bootloader install should detect all operating systems on the system, but it will change the root kernel parameter of Arch installs with a vanilla kernel. There are quite a few changes: fixed the /etc/hosts file; fixed the Xfce X respawn error; fixed some mkinitcpio issues; fixed the installer; added French and Turkish language support in the installer; added menu item to run post-install script after first run; added instructions for proprietary GPU drivers...." Read the rest of the release announcement for a complete list of changes.
Arch Linux 2012.08.04
Pierre Schmitz has announced the availability of a new installation CD/USB image for Arch Linux, version 2012.08.04: "The August snapshot of our live and install media comes with updated packages and the following changes on top of the previous iso image: GRUB 2.00 instead of the legacy 0.9 version is available; the installation guide can be found at /root/install.txt; ZSH with Grml's configuration is used as interactive shell to provide a user friendly and more convenient environment, this includes completion support for pacstrap, arch-chroot, pacman and most other tools; the network daemon, which will automatically setup your network if DHCP is available, is started by default. Note that all these changes only affect the live system and not the base system you install using pacstrap." Here is the brief release announcement.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
July 2012 DistroWatch.com donations: BleachBit|
We are happy to announce that the recipient of the July 2012 DistroWatch.com donation is the BleachBit project, a privacy-oriented file removal utility.
The project's main functionality rests in removal of redundant and unnecessary files which tend to accumulate on one's hard disk in the form of browser caches, temporary files, etc: "BleachBit quickly frees disk space and tirelessly guards your privacy. Free cache, delete cookies, clear Internet history, shred temporary files, delete logs, and discard junk you didn't know was there. Designed for Linux and Windows systems, it wipes clean junk from 90 applications including Firefox, Internet Explorer, Adobe Flash, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari and more. Beyond simply deleting files, BleachBit includes advanced features such as shredding files to prevent recovery, wiping free disk space to hide traces of files deleted by other applications, and vacuuming Firefox to make it faster." Visit the project's features page for more information.
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Those readers who wish to contribute towards these donations, please use our advertising page to make a payment (PayPal and credit cards are accepted). Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$32,590 to various open-source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NDISwrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300), GCompris ($352), Xiph.org ($250), Clonezilla ($250), Debian Multimedia ($280), Geany ($300), Mageia ($470), gtkpod ($300)
- 2011: CGSecurity ($300), OpenShot ($300), Imagination ($250), Calibre ($300), RIPLinuX ($300), Midori ($310), vsftpd ($300), OpenShot ($350), Trinity Desktop Environment ($300), LibreCAD ($300), LiVES ($300), Transmission ($250)
- 2012: GnuPG ($350), ImageMagick ($350), GNU ddrescue ($350), Slackware Linux ($500), MATE ($250), LibreCAD ($250), BleachBit ($350)
* * * * *
New distributions added to database
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Bedrock Linux. Bedrock Linux is a Linux distribution created with the aim of making most of the (often seemingly mutually-exclusive) benefits of various other Linux distributions available simultaneously and transparently. If one would like a rock-solid stable base (for example, from Debian or a RHEL clone), yet still have easy access to cutting-edge packages (from, say, Arch Linux), automate compiling packages with Gentoo's Portage, and ensure that software aimed only for the ever popular Ubuntu will run smoothly - all at the same time, in the same distribution - Bedrock Linux will provide a means to achieve this.
- PoliArch. PoliArch is an Italian distribution and live CD featuring a number of system rescue and data recovery tools. It is based on Arch Linux. The project's website is in Italian.
- Zest Linux. Zest Linux is a fast bootable live CD based on Debian's stable branch. The main aim of Zest Linux is to support most (if not all) wireless drivers available so that one can use it on any laptop and connect to the Internet without any further driver installation and configuration.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 13 August 2012. To contact the authors please send email to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Robert Storey (feedback on this week's article on Libtrash)
- 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 • CentOS and Co. (by musty on 2012-08-06 08:26:01 GMT from France) |
Thanks Jesse for this great review. CentOS and Fedora are my favorites distros. I use CentOS for all my servers without GUI. I will give it a try with gnome2 on one of my very old laptop (compaq evo n410c : pentium 3M and 768 Mo of ram).
Codec, flash and other gadgets can be installed with easyfedora i guess.
I will try Stella also.
2 • Voyager (by achahar on 2012-08-06 09:05:34 GMT from India)
I've been using Voyager for a few weeks now. I have to admit its one of the most elegant and polished distributions available! Give it a shot.
3 • Voyager (by Kogychan on 2012-08-06 09:21:21 GMT from France)
Yes, Voyager is an impressive distro. My favorite LXDE based distro.
Give it a try
4 • CentOS review (by Ariel on 2012-08-06 09:27:02 GMT from Argentina)
Very nice and nostalgic centos review....
5 • Glad to see DSL is back (by Osstorrents on 2012-08-06 09:36:43 GMT from United Kingdom)
I am glad to see that DSL has a new release candidate.... Although I have a funny feeling that it may be short lived and this distro will, once again, produce no more releases.
6 • Reaction to 3 (Kogychan) (by Marc Visscher on 2012-08-06 09:45:43 GMT from Netherlands)
[quote]Yes, Voyager is an impressive distro. My favorite LXDE based distro.[/quote]
I guess you mean: "my favourite Xcfe based distro", since Voyager is based on Xubuntu, and Xfce is the desktop environment. ;-)
7 • Arch Linux 2012.08.04 (by Willie Green on 2012-08-06 10:39:21 GMT from United States)
Did Arch decide to give us a menu installer this time?
8 • VLC *is* available for EL, via the atrpms repo (by David on 2012-08-06 10:43:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
I use a combination of epel, elrepo and atrpms. Please be aware
that you can get library conflicts when combining multiple repos.
RPMfusion - at least when I originally installed an EL clone - actually
had quite a poor selection of software available (but for Fedora is
likely the only additional repo you need); things might have changed
9 • Libtrash 3.2 is readily available in Fedora 17's repositories (by Osqui on 2012-08-06 10:51:32 GMT from Spain)
10 • CentOS 6.3 Review (by kc1di on 2012-08-06 11:27:18 GMT from United States)
Thank you Jesse for a nice review of Centos 6.3.
I've been using Stella 6.3 since it came out and liking it very much.
guess I'm getting a bit lazy in my old age but Stella is a nice choice for those who want to use Centos as a desktop as all codecs come preinstalled along with other desktop features.
11 • BleachBit (by joker on 2012-08-06 11:32:37 GMT from Canada)
Ideal to remove evidence when your wife enter the room :D
12 • CDE coming to a Linux near you! (by corneliu on 2012-08-06 11:39:34 GMT from Canada)
CDE has been open sourced under LGPL. I can't wait to see it in Fedora's repositories.
13 • Desktop churn. (by Troy Banther on 2012-08-06 11:56:44 GMT from United States)
"The other reason I wanted to take this project for a spin is I, like some others in the open source community, am a little tired of seeing the big desktop environments change rapidly. It feels as though every time I turn around a desktop environment is introducing a change or forking or a feature is added that I, frankly, don't want."
I completely agree! Then again, that's the beauty of the open source community in that it goes much further than 'proprietary sausage code' in supporting its users.
14 • DSL - still based on Woody? (by David on 2012-08-06 12:13:24 GMT from Canada)
I have to agree with Osstorrents/UK regarding the longevity of DSL. If DSL is going to make a real go of it, they need repositories that are more up to date than Woody!
I always preferred DSL over Puppy, simply because I could "apt-get" it to my liking.....let's see what happens.
15 • http://wineandwarcraft.blogspot.com (by Zorklat on 2012-08-06 12:52:09 GMT from United States)
Also have to agree w/ Troy and Jesse: I'm tired of desktop code & feature churn. I'm looking forward to trying Stella 6.3, which has all those repos preconfigured to not conflict.
16 • DSL (by greg on 2012-08-06 13:08:19 GMT from Slovenia)
I hope they update the DSL kernel to a maintained one and update the repos a bit. otherwise.as it is now for non connected old maschine this can be a good choice. i mean it run well under 100MB ram.
17 • VLC on el6 (centos, sl, stella...) (by duuuude on 2012-08-06 13:26:05 GMT from United States)
You can add the nux-desktop repos used in Stella, a remix of CentOS, if you want VLC.
18 • donation nomination (by octathlon on 2012-08-06 14:01:16 GMT from United States)
I would like to nominate CherryTree for the next DW donation. It is the best gtk note-taking application I've found! It allows links, codeboxes, tables, images, etc.
19 • @7, Arch Linux (by Pearson on 2012-08-06 14:18:46 GMT from United States)
From what I read on reddit.com/r/ArchLinux/, I infer that there is still no menu installer, but that the on-disk documentation has been updated significantly. I haven't looked yet (I want to, just no time). I haven't even booted into my Arch VM for several weeks :-(
20 • RE: DSL (by Eddie on 2012-08-06 14:42:08 GMT from United States)
It would be great for DSL to be maintained again. It was always one of my favorites for a low powered machine. It's good to see it active again.
21 • CentOS repos (by claudecat on 2012-08-06 14:44:45 GMT from United States)
I highly recommend reading the wiki (http://wiki.centos.org/AdditionalResources/Repositories/) before adding 3rd party repositories. It's all too easy to run into conflicts if you add the wrong ones. I seem to have best luck with rpmforge rather than rpmfusion, but I'm going by memory here.
CentOS can work well as a desktop distro, but be prepared to do some research if you want the usual bells and whistles.
22 • CentOS (by Koroshiya Itchy on 2012-08-06 15:48:42 GMT from Belgium)
CentOS is a great OS, no doubt. But my all-time favourite RHEL re-spin is Scientific Linux.
23 • Simple Libtrash Alternative (by Jesse on 2012-08-06 16:02:08 GMT from United States)
If you just want to override the rm command you can use an alias like this:
alias rm="mv "$1" -t ~/Trash/"
You'll need to run `mkdir ~/Trash`. Then you can type `rm myfile` and it will just be moved to the Trash file in your home directory.
24 • Removing files (by Jesse (a different one) on 2012-08-06 16:12:55 GMT from Canada)
>> "If you just want to override the rm command you can use an alias like this:"
The problem with setting up an alias to rm is that it only works on the command line. If you delete a file from within an application (like Filezilla or gFTP, etc) then the application unlinks the file itself and the alias isn't used. My understanding is libTrash makes sure any unlinked file is moved to the Trash folder, not just ones deleted using a specific program.
25 • Slow Voyager and Super-charged Bodhi (by ShadowJack on 2012-08-06 17:06:49 GMT from United States)
I was going to come here and talk about how elegant Voyager looked and how fast it was. Elegant, yes. Fast, not at all. After installation and a boot time slower than Win7, it was idling at 387MB RAM for an XFCE-based OS! What? It also took several seconds for apps to run after selecting one. I decided to try out Bodhi again and barely finished inputting my info before it was installed and ready to go, idling at 101MB RAM! Elegant and superfast. Who would have thought that Enlightenment could be so much faster and more lightweight than Xfce?
26 • Libtrash / CentOS ... (by Apostrophe on 2012-08-06 17:16:27 GMT from France)
Regarding Libtrash ... a very interesting and useful article. Thanks. Seeing that so many distros these days are bloated with ever more outlandish and toyish desktop gimmicks, one really has to wonder why such basic and important tools are not (at least a de-activated) part of a default installation? Maybe it's because there's no convenient graphical frontend to manage Libtrash. But this shouldn't be an excuse to exclude the Libtrash from a standard installation.
Regarding CentOS ... does anyone know, why CentOS seems so much more popular than Scientific Linux? As I see it, both distributions are de-branded clones of the latest stable RHEL release, both are developed by teams of competent people, both maintain large repositories etc. ... so, what's the difference?
27 • CentOS (by Jesse on 2012-08-06 17:44:56 GMT from Canada)
>> "does anyone know, why CentOS seems so much more popular than Scientific Linux? "
I suspect the main difference is CentOS tries to be almost completely true to upstream. Which means anything certified for the upstream vendor will work on CentOS and will probably behave exactly the same. Scientific Linux uses the same source packages, but they do a bit of customization. Scientific might be better for desktop use, but for a server OS CentOS is a bit more plain, a bit more close to the base line.
28 • Re:26 (by Sam on 2012-08-06 18:11:16 GMT from United States)
I agree on CentOS vs Scientific Linux. CentOS has had a much larger presence in Linuxland than Scientific Linux - I believe due to being the first "major" respin of RHEL. However, didn't CentOS go through some developer turnover and a much delayed release in recent years? I thought for a while online Linux news media were calling CentOS down for the count and pumping Scientific Linux as the next best thing in RHEL-clone land.
29 • "Bedrock Linux" (by cflow on 2012-08-06 18:15:56 GMT from United States)
Looking at the description of this distro, I had to check their webpage. Somehow the idea of splicing packages from many distros and making them work on one that is stable sounds absolutely wild! However, Bedrock's methods of doing this sounds really vague to me when reading them...
But if this distro could make it so that you could make YaST from openSUSE run on top of a Debian/Ubuntu base, that would be pretty cool. Of course, I'll bet that task might cause instability and dependency issues at first. Think of all the crazy possibilities (and "impossibilites") a distro like this might create.
30 • Gnome 2... (by Edna Crabapple on 2012-08-06 18:31:04 GMT from United States)
As much as I still use and love Gnome 2 (Ubuntu 10.04), I have to wonder if going with a distro that is a fork of Gnome 2 is wise?
Isn't Gnome 2 kind of a dead end street?
Aren't there going to be compatibility problems with software written for Gnome 3?
31 • RE:30, Gnome2 (by Eddie on 2012-08-06 18:38:52 GMT from United States)
Well, Mate is, as you said, a fork of Gnome2. Gnome2 isn't going to be maintained anymore and is a dead end street, but Mate is being maintained and improved with every release. Only time will tell how stable Mate will become and how stable and complete it will stay.
32 • Gnome 2... (by Edna Crabapple on 2012-08-06 19:29:51 GMT from United States)
re: #30. I haven't actually tried Mate- yet. I tried Cinnamon, which is Gnome 3, and I was not impressed. It was buggy and extremely unstable for me.
It would be great if these Gnome 2 forks reach the level of stability we used to see with Gnome 2. :-)
Once support ends for Ubuntu 10.04 I'm going to need something to replace it with. I don't know what yet though... :-)
33 • Voyager (by historyb on 2012-08-06 20:33:35 GMT from United States)
Is Voyager installable?
34 • re: 32 (by Zorklat on 2012-08-06 21:08:21 GMT from United States)
Edna, there are some other options. RHEL will be maintaining Gnome 2.28 until 2017. As a result, so too will CentOS (Dedoimedo has an excellent series of articles on using CentOS for desktop), Scientific Linux, PUIAS, and Stella (which is the one I intend to try). I'm using cinnamon on my lappy, and I will readily agree that it has a LOT of growing to do.
35 • @29 (by Adam Williamson on 2012-08-06 21:46:27 GMT from Canada)
I agree that the page is kind of vague, but as near as I can tell, essentially Bedrock seems to involve installing a very minimal core system from source and then basically dumping entire distributions into subdirectories of /var, and running things via chroot - so an Arch binary sees an environment that's pure Arch, an Ubuntu binary sees an environment that's all Ubuntu, etc.
It's...well, I guess it's an interesting idea, and I can't fairly criticise it having not tried it. My instinct, though, would be that it'll turn out to be impossible ever to make it really reliable as they'll just keep running into 'little' bugs that happen from running apps in this strange environment they were never really built for. I suspect more complex apps and features might also have intrinsic problems with the architecture; especially modern desktop apps aren't really built to be stateless and portable any more. In theory, sure, you can run a copy of Chrome from Ubuntu and have it show up as a window in your Fedora GNOME desktop, but I'm really not sure how well complex desktop apps are going to interact in such circumstances.
They definitely get points for being reasonably honest on the page, though, in terms of highlighting the drawbacks of the approach as well as the benefits.
36 • Gnome 2... (by Edna Crabapple on 2012-08-07 01:57:36 GMT from United States)
re: 34- I've not strayed out of the 'buntu camp as of yet, except for a very brief fling with Debian a while back.
That is good news that RHEL is supporting Gnome 2 until 2017 though.
For now I'm sticking with Ubuntu 10.04 on my desktop, and Xubuntu 12.04 on my laptop.
I am however, always open to experimenting with new distro's installed on thumb drives. :-)
37 • @36, Gnome 2, Xfce (by Julian on 2012-08-07 02:34:37 GMT from United States)
Is it true that Xfce from Xubuntu 12.04 provides a lot of the same advantages as Gnome 2?
I like Gnome 2 because it's compatible with just about every piece of linux desktop software. It runs way faster than KDE4 or Gnome 3 on my machine. My experience with Xfce was about the same.
I'm currently running Gnome 2 on Debian Squeeze ... when I was running Ubuntu 12.04, sleep mode didn't work on my computer and performance seemed worse than using an older Debian or Ubuntu.
38 • CentOS (by SMK on 2012-08-07 02:54:51 GMT from United States)
I have used CentOS on my laptop for school for the past semester. Thanks for the review. I liked the stability of this fine distribution.
39 • CentOS 6.3 (by Nitori on 2012-08-07 03:15:00 GMT from United States)
I tried Stella 6.3 it potential but is far from a finished product so I recommend steering clear unless you want to do beta testing.
It failed to find the Windows seven partition on sdb and grub boot menu something most distro have gotten right since 2003.
Other outstanding flaws main user is not in sudo groups and the software manager is very slow to load.
Sure I could fix the abortion the installer made for a grub menu and the fubared sudo settings but I really should not have to do this it's not 1999.
40 • I can relate to rm first hand (by Johnny aka Jraz on 2012-08-07 03:45:40 GMT from United States)
I lost a book I was writing in almost the exact same way. But I wasn't so lucky since my first notice of something gone wrong was that Dropbox needed to be re-installed to sync. And without a second thought until the second was over, I clicked yes. RM did what it was told and proceeded to remove everything in ~/home since I had included the -r switch. The writing to disk was my big mistake and recovery was nearly impossible. Anything new was as good as gone or as you also said impossible to decipher.
Nice job with the story.
41 • Popular misconceptions about CentOS, Scientific Linux et al (by Caitlyn Martin on 2012-08-07 05:12:36 GMT from United States)
For the most part this was a good review. I do have some nits to pick...
First, Jesse, you state that CentOS is aimed at servers, not desktops. That isn't true for CentOS anymore that in it is for the upstream Red Hat Enterprise Linux product. It would be more correct to say that CentOS is not aimed at the consumer/home desktop. It is aimed squarely at the enterprise/corporate/business customer, both server and desktop. The usage characteristics and the software most in demand is very different in business than it is for home users, hence the issue of finding VLC.
Next misconception, from a comment, is the claim that CentOS is the oldest clone of Red Hat. Sorry, it isn't even close. WhiteBox (now defunct) was first, followed by PUIAS Linux and then Fermi Linux, which evolved into Scientific Linux. CentOS became very popular in hosting environments and in eCommerce. In scientific and technical environments Scientific Linux is the more popular. Don't confuse mindshare and press coverage with popularity, and please don't rewrite history.
The next misconception is that CentOS is more "pure" or closer to upstream. Again, that just isn't the case. Scientific Linux offers a build that is just what is offered upstream with the branding changed, nothing more, nothing less. They also offer their more popular default build which includes some additional packages and a very short list of modified packages which is well documented on their website. Some of the additional packages do make Scientific Linux slightly easier to get going on the desktop, but only slightly.
Next, I agree with those who warn against using third party repos without knowing what you are doing and reading up on potential issues first. I find the best way to get the additional packages I need while avoiding library and package conflicts is to use yum-priorities to rank my repos. If that is done carefully you can 100% avoid any conflicts or issues. If not, well... ever heard of RPM hell? That's where you end up when you have repository conflicts.
42 • Arch Linux Installer (by Flex on 2012-08-07 07:43:48 GMT from Austria)
Sorry, if I sound elitist, but not having an Installer is probably the best thing that happened to Arch Linux. Users who have problems with it wouldn't really be happy with Arch anyway (no really, there are a lot of other great distros for you out there!). It just prevents them from being disappointed at a later time.
And seriously following the guide is really a very minimal hurdle. If you are afraid of guides, again Arch Linux is not for you and it doesn't mean you are dumb or whatever, just that there are so many Linux distributions out there, because everyone has different needs and don't think Suse, Debian, Fedora or whatever are for newbies. Think about Linus Torvalds. He stated he loves Fedora because of its installer and there are Kernel Hackers use all of these systems. And the reason Mageia is doing so well, is because it has a community of lots of experienced persons, so forget about all these people who think Arch or Gentoo makes you elitist. If that's your reason for using them you don't get the point and artificially cause you to work inefficiently, which isn't very leet. ;)
43 • Why Centos (by bush on 2012-08-07 08:16:09 GMT from United States)
For most of gnome2 users, the newest linux distribution with mate is a good choise. But mate isn't gnome2, it changed all the name of gnome library module and files, like gconf -> mateconf and all of the gnome2 plugin. That make many package use gconftool-2 or includes gnome header files need patch the source code and rebuild. Even it self, if you choose type Application in Terminal in Launcher Properties, mate will launch in xterm not mate-terminal (Mint 13).
In centos, repository conflicts is a very serious problem, for this my practice is just use one of the extra repository (epel, atrpms, ...), then build other packages myself by rpmbuild.
I rebuild few package like ntfs-3g, gtk-murrine-engine and gnome-applet-sensors from fedora rawhide and they work well.
In addition to this, centos is a distribution very easy to use, and a great gnome2 distribution.
About scientific, fermi and cern linux, these distribution isn't a good choise if you don't need the package R or other they provide. The reason is upstream follow are too slow, some package will cost weeks (you can follow their errata mailllist), and centos and oracle just cost half-day.
44 • Stella (by Fewt on 2012-08-07 13:22:12 GMT from United States)
Stella is an interesting project. We considered using RHEL sources for a long term version of Fuduntu early on but quickly realized that it wouldn't fit into our vision because apps change and our users would need new versions of those apps.
Everyone calling GNOME 2 dead doesn't realize that it is NOT dead. Even though the GNOME team is no longer supporting it, that doesn't mean it isn't getting support from distributions that still ship it. :)
45 • #43: Scientific Linux misinformation (by Caitlyn Martin on 2012-08-07 15:11:08 GMT from United States)
Scientific Linux takes weeks to get security updates out? Sorry, no, that's pure FUD. Actually, CentOS used to have that problem but they solved it about 11 months ago when they went to the Continuous Release repository. I actually read an article, it might have been on LWN lately, which tracked the average release times for errata on SL and CentOS. CentOS has been faster recently, but the average for Scientific Linux has been a couple of days.
Please note that bugfix releases do go into errata as well and may not be security issues. Those are sometimes delayed.
Also, R is not a reason to choose a distro. You can install the packages in CentOS pretty darned easily. OTOH, SL does offer the option of installing IceWM as the default desktop, something that makes it easier to get going for people with limited resources and/or legacy hardware where GNOME2 may be a bit too heavy. In addition, they offer a fully functional IceWM based mini iso for people who also have limited bandwidth. Those are advantages that will certainly be of interest to DistroWatch readers.
When it comes to quality in general I really feel you can't go wrong with CentOS, PUIAS Linux or Scientific Linux. They all offer essentially the same thing. It really is down to personal preference now.
46 • @25 (by rick on 2012-08-07 16:05:43 GMT from United States)
Fast or slow, you only have to install an OS once. Bodhi 2.0.1 may install fast, but the performance is terrible compared to previous versions. There's also a lot of interface problems that aren't being addressed. Unfortunately, from reviewing their forum, the attitude of the dev is "If it works on my system, there is no problem."
I just ran the live version of Voyager and it's the first XFCE I've seen that I like. So, I'm going to replace Bodhi 2.0.1 with Voyager. And if that doesn't work out, I'll just have to keep shopping here at DW because I'm not going back to Bodhi.
47 • RE:44, Death of Gnome 2? It depends on who you ask. (by Eddie on 2012-08-07 17:13:04 GMT from United States)
Gnome 2, as far as the developers of Gnome is concerned, is dead without a doubt. There are distro projects that will continue to use Gnome 2 and try their best to support it, much the way Redhat is doing. As far as program incompatibility with newer programs supported by Gnome 3, I really couldn't tell you how that will fair. I would suspect that the distro maintainers would take care of any issues that may arise. Anyway Fewt is correct when he said that it would be getting support from distros that ship it, and that could be for several years.
48 • XFCE... (by Edna Crabapple on 2012-08-07 18:00:23 GMT from United States)
@37- Julian: Yes, I find XFCE to be the closest thing to Gnome 2 that I have found so far.
I have not run into compatibility problems with software. Most of the stuff that works in Gnome 2 works in XFCE.
XFCE is very configurable, like Gnome 2. But it does have a few quirks. Things you can do simply in Gnome 2- like turning off the damned caps lock key- take a bit more fiddling in XFCE.
Also, one of my pet peeves is with Thunar, the XFCE file manager. It doesn't have a dual pane mode like Nautilus does. I miss that.
Also, you can't customize individual desktop icons like in Gnome 2, and the desktop icons are arranged in a "grid" so you can't place them where you want them.
XFCE takes a bit more work to get set up properly, and I've got most of the functionality and customization I have with Gnome 2, but there is still room for improvement.
Even with it's quirks, XFCE beats Gnome 3 any day of the week. :-)
49 • @47 @44 (by Adam Williamson on 2012-08-07 18:21:56 GMT from Canada)
It's obviously worth noting that the question is what's really meant by 'support'. Red Hat will 'support' GNOME 2 in RHEL 6 - but what this means is it'll keep GNOME 2 working with the packages that are in RHEL 6, and fix major security issues. That's fine if you're running RHEL 6, but it's not of much use if you want to run GNOME 2 on any other distro really - it's not like RH is out there releasing updated upstream tarballs of GNOME 2, or updating the source to build with new GCC versions or work with new udev releases or anything like that. The RHEL 'support' for GNOME 2 doesn't help you much if you want to run GNOME 2 on a distro that moves faster than RHEL 6 does...
50 • @49 (by Fewt on 2012-08-07 18:46:56 GMT from United States)
Adam - Major security fixes are important. It absolutely is of value other distros (like mine). RedHat doesn't have to worry about getting GNOME 2 to build with the new glibc or gcc that's absolutely true .. but we can do that. :)
51 • @50 (by Adam Williamson on 2012-08-07 20:45:01 GMT from Canada)
You're right, 'doesn't help you much' was probably putting it a bit strongly. Of course if other distros are committed to trying to keep GNOME 2 workable, it helps you to be able to pull security fixes RH makes.
52 • #45 (by bush on 2012-08-07 21:18:10 GMT from United States)
Yes, weeks are very exaggeration, but it isn't my personal preference.
Scientific Linux is my first rhel base linux I move from ubuntu.
I used SL about haft-year, then turn to Centos because the upstream follow speed.
They offer essentially the same thing but what different of them? The upstream follow speed and the extra packages they provide, so I said "if you don't need the extra packages" like R and IceWM, centos is a better choise.
I think SL's target more tend to the peoples work in fermi or cern.
Not only Centos, Oracle Linux also have the good follow speed.
53 • Stella via Rufus [R.U.F.USB] (by another dabbler on 2012-08-07 23:31:25 GMT from United States)
Boots with either FAT32 or NTFS. (posting from Stella LiveUSB now!)
54 • 48 • XFCE... (by Bill on 2012-08-08 21:55:24 GMT from United States)
I also don't care for Thunar, but I use it only for changing desktop wallpaper. ;-)
I just installed Nautilus and it works fine with Xfce, only the "set as wallpaper" doesn't. Other than that I use Nautilus extensively with Xfce, everything from right click to burn CD, to double panes works great.
55 • laptop video conundrum (by gnomic on 2012-08-09 06:29:51 GMT from New Zealand)
Have been checking out an HP DV4 Pavilion (DV4-1041TX) that was headed for the scrapheap. Problem is it boots with a blank screen. It does output to an external monitor. After trying many Linux live CDs, I have two winners; ie distros that actually manage to find the laptop screen during boot and eventually display X Window on it. And the winners are Toorox 2012.08 LITE version, and PCLinuxOS Lxde 2012.06. Many others will boot the machine using the external monitor, but these are the only two I have found that will run the machine unaided. Initially it's a matter of flying blind, but then the screen comes up.
I am guessing the BIOS is broken, as there seems to be nothing wrong with the components. However my question is, can anybody explain how these two distros are accomplishing this minor miracle where others fail? Presumably it has something to do with the way they configure X Window but what exactly?
56 • @48: Thoughts on Xfce and GNOME (by eco2geek on 2012-08-09 07:56:49 GMT from United States)
You won't have to envy the dual-pane capabilities of Nautilus for long; that's going away, along with other Nautilus functionality:
If you just hate the snap-to-grid functionality of the Xfce desktop, you can replace it. Apparently Thunar is in control of how the desktop is displayed, and you can replace it with the PCMan file manager (which will allow you to put icons anywhere you want on the desktop), or with Nautilus (as mentioned in post #54).
Then again, replacing thunar with pcmanfm brings up its own cascading set of issues, so it may not be worth the effort.
Personally, I just uninstalled GNOME, Unity, and Xfce from *buntu and went back to KDE.
57 • @55 gnomic laptop video conundrum (by LinuxFreak on 2012-08-09 10:49:52 GMT from Germany)
After booting off any of the live cds which do not work for you, can you see the initial boot screen, where you can choose to boot a live session, run the installer, perform memory check, etc? Does the screen go blank after choosing any of these options? In this case, please look very closely at your screen: could it be that the screen is not blank, but very, very dark because the backlight got switched off due to an acpi bug in the chosen live cd? In this case, boot off the live cd again, position the cursor on the option you want to run (e.g., live session), and press the tab key. In the line starting with 'kernel', add 'acpi=off', then press enter to start with these modified settings. The screen will still be too dark - however, you should now be able to turn the backlight on by pressing fn + left arrow. I'm not talking about increasing/decreasing screen brightness with fn+F5/fn+F6; I'm talking about turning the backlight on. Trying to increase screen brightness will fail unless the backlight is turned on first. If you succeed, and the backlight comes on for the live session, please remember to make this adjustment after the install and before the first reboot - otherwise you'll be faced with the same problem again.
Hope this helps.
58 • re #57 that laptop conundrum (by gnomic on 2012-08-09 12:06:19 GMT from New Zealand)
Thanks for your suggestions. The laptop screen is just deep dark black at first in all cases, no sign of life. I see I forgot to mention the video chip is nvidia g98m, aka g105m. I haven't experimented with acpi kernel tweaks. Perhaps can give that a go using an external screen. Wasn't aware of the backlight on procedure. Also should have said that when a live CD includes the gui nvidia linux video utility (nvidia display settings) this has occasionally enabled the laptop LCD aka LVDS-x aka DFP-x via twinview. Just now in the lxde pclinuxos the display is called LVDS-0. All was deep black in this live session until the nvidia splash appeared on screen accompanied by the backlight coming on. On the other hand Toorox doesn't appear to have any nvidia-specific tools. There does seem to be a glitch with the machine which is somehow corrected by the OS during startup.
59 • @58 gnomic that laptop conundrum (by LinuxFreak on 2012-08-09 13:07:31 GMT from Germany)
What happens if you cold boot? Can you see the POST screen on the internal screen, where normally either a logo or some text output (amount of RAM, CPU type, hard disk etc) is displayed? Have you tried to enter the BIOS and restore the default values? If the internal screen stays blank even during POST, it's not an OS problem.
Did you check if the BIOS version is up to date? The updates available on the HP homepage seem to be designed for Windows only, I don't know if you could put the files on a bootable FreeDOS USB stick and run if from there. For running a BIOS update from Linux, you could try flashrom from http://flashrom.org/Flashrom. It was updated yesterday, and I was able to flash most desktop mainboards with it so far. For supported hardware, look here http://flashrom.org/Supported_hardware. It might work, even if you model is not explicitly listed there.
OTH, some distros lately do no longer display any boot splash, could that be the problem? In this case, you would't see anything on the screen until the login screen or desktop are loaded.
If you boot off twice, once using the internal screen, once using the external display, and you can see something on the external display, but not on the internal one, I'd still figure it has something to do with the backlight getting switched off or not turned on. If it was the display driver, you wouldn't see anything on the external display, either.
60 • re #59 that laptop conundrum (by gnomic on 2012-08-09 22:26:18 GMT from New Zealand)
Screen shows nothing, until it turns on during boot with the Linux versions mentioned previously.
Haven't actually restored defaults in BIOS. Will do that. The BIOS is not the most recent but there appears to be no way to update without a Windows OS. (The machine at present has no hard disk). Looking at the notes for later versions of BIOS there is no mention of this specific problem. There is some mention of power-related problems, charging and the like. I did have a skim of various ways to circumvent the Windows only BIOS problem but rapidly found myself losing the will to live . . . . It appeared a PhD would likely be required to navigate the procedures I saw mentioned. Maybe it's not that bad. Haven't looked at flashrom, will do so.
It does seem that the problem stems from the backlight not coming on initially. I had thought this may be due to damaged cabling between motherboard and LCD, or failure of LCD or inverter, but apparently this is not so.
Still intrigued by how the select few distros are making the screen light up. Thanks for your thoughts about this problem.
61 • Thunar... (by Edna Crabapple on 2012-08-09 23:39:46 GMT from United States)
I understand that one can use Nautilus with XFCE, but I've read some complaints about compatibility problems.
I'm trying to keep XFCE as native as possible.
Does Nautilus give you the ability to change the bitmap for each individual desktop icon in XFCE, just like in Gnome 2? How about resizing each icon?
That's one thing I really miss. I've got my Ubuntu Lucid machine set up with customized icons for each folder and they look great. I also like being able to scale up icons for mounted devices so they stand out.
Thunar's dev's have been asked time and again for a dual pane mode, and their attitude is that they're not adding this feature no matter what. Considering most other file managers have it, it's really kind of a backwards attitude. Thunar really leaves a lot to be desired as a file manager...
Maybe I'll look into going with Nautilus since it is working so well for you. :-)
Thanks for the advice!
62 • Nautilus... (by Edna Crabapple on 2012-08-09 23:52:06 GMT from United States)
Nooooooo, say it isn't so! OMG- what are they thinking?
The "new" Nautilus sounds like it's going to be worse than Thunar. Good grief. Split pane is the #1 most useful feature in Nautilus, and it makes no sense to remove it, along with a lot of other useful features.
I've thought about PCmanFM, and also Dolphin, which some people swear can be done in XFCE.
But like you said, changing something so integral to the OS certainly will add a whole dimension of issues to what is a very stable system for me.
63 • @62 -- More Xfce talk (by eco2geek on 2012-08-10 02:22:36 GMT from United States)
Edna - you do know you can change the desktop icons in Xfce, no? Right-click, select "properties" from the context menu, then click on the box containing the icon?
Re: Dolphin - if you've got enough disk space and don't mind installing KDE's dependencies, then Dolphin's a fine choice. It supports both tabbed windows and a split pane. (Dolphin won't control your desktop, though.) You can make Dolphin look like the rest of your GTK-based apps by installing systemsettings (the KDE "control panel") and adjusting the style, fonts, and icons to match Xfce's.
(The ironic thing is that when Dolphin first came out, in the KDE 3.5.x days, it was sort of a "gutless wonder." Konqueror was the file manager of choice. But, much like the rest of KDE 4.x, features have been added to Dolphin over time to the point where it's close to a power tool. You can still use Konqueror as a file manager, but it now uses Dolphin as its file manager engine.)
GNOME and Unity present an
unusual situation for me. I no longer have any interest in using two out of the four most popular Linux desktop DEs, due to their developers' design choices.
64 • Thunar and Nautilus (by corneliu on 2012-08-10 11:35:18 GMT from Canada)
@Edna and eco2geek
I read your discussion and I can't help thinking of that song quote from Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics:
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused
Do you like to be abused by the Gnome and Xfce devs? There is an easy way out. Use Dolphin natively in KDE.
65 • RE:64 (by Anonymous Coward on 2012-08-10 12:05:39 GMT from Spain)
There is an easy way out. Use Dolphin natively in KDE.
I bet they don't want to use KDE.
By the way, I am a happy Thunar user under Fluxbox.
66 • @60 gnomic that laptop conundrum (by LinuxFreak on 2012-08-10 12:11:17 GMT from Germany)
gnomic, I have come up with another few ideas as to the possible causes of the internal screen staying blank during bootup. As this gets a little off-topic, would you mind contacting me by the mail?
67 • File managers (by corneliu on 2012-08-10 12:37:59 GMT from Canada)
Yes, I know, I am just teasing them. They can't use KDE, it's a matter of principle.
So Konqueror uses a Dolphin engine. Interesting... How about Krusader? Does it use the same Dolphin engine?
I used PCManFM a while ago, and I loved it. Probably the fastest file manager on Earth (faster than XFE, IMHO). The only thing I didn't like about PCManFM was that it didn't support the samba protocol.
68 • @62 (by Adam Williamson on 2012-08-10 17:49:41 GMT from Canada)
"OMG- what are they thinking? "
They're thinking 'you can use side-by-side windows instead'.
Open one Nautilus window. Open another. Drag it next to the first. You now have two panes. See https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=676858 for more...
69 • Dual panes... (by Edna Crabapple on 2012-08-10 23:28:47 GMT from United States)
"Open one Nautilus window. Open another. Drag it next to the first."
Or simply press F3 in the current version of Nautilus.
I know which way I prefer.
70 • Desktop icons... (by Edna Crabapple on 2012-08-10 23:38:17 GMT from United States)
Unless there is something I am not aware of thats disabled, the right click trick doesn't work in XFCE.
Yes I can right click and I can go to "properties". However, the folder icon is not selectable like it is in Gnome. When you click on it nothing happens.
The only thing you can change is "emblems" which are sort of an overlaid mini-icon on top of the regular icon, and they're kinda useless AFAIC.
I like Dolphin. But I don't know how problems it would introduce trying to use it in XFCE.
I will investigate each FM and weigh the pro's and con's before I go trying to install one willy nilly onto my currently stable system. :-)
71 • KDE and other thoughts... (by Edna Crabapple on 2012-08-10 23:54:51 GMT from United States)
@64, @65: corneliu and a/c-
Actually, I have this laptop triple booting Win 7, Xubuntu 12.04, and Kubuntu 12.04. I don't use Win 7 at all, it's just there until the warranty's up then it's history.
I use Xubuntu most of the time. I do use Kubuntu too, but keep going back to XFCE because it feels more natural to me. I'm coming from a Gnome 2 environment after all. It's what I'm most used to.
The thing I don't like about KDE is that there is way too much eye candy. Even after turning off everything I could find to turn off, it's still heavier and slower than XFCE. I've read that there is a package called "low-fat-settings" that makes KDE more manageable and faster. I've not tried it yet though.
I like my OS very no frills. I'm not saying KDE is bad, I'm just saying I haven't spent enough time with it to form a valid opinion. With XFCE I use it pretty much every day, so I've gotten used to it, and despite it's quirks and shortcomings I like it. But there is room for improvement, for sure. :-)
72 • @70 (by Bill on 2012-08-11 02:34:18 GMT from United States)
I'm typing this in Xubuntu 12.04. I just clicked "settings Manager" then "Desktop" then "Icons" tab then adjusted size up and down. Works fine for me. But I don't like any icons except in my cairo-dock panel.
73 • re 71 (by corneliu on 2012-08-11 02:43:16 GMT from Canada)
Fair enough. I used to have a not-so-fast computer and I used to use light desktop environments so I know what you are talking about. Have you considered Razor-qt? I have never used it myself, but Dolphin should be comfortable in a qt environment.
Also there are distros that allow you to install a minimal KDE. Mandriva used to do that and I think now Mageia has a meta package called task-kde-minimal or something like that. They basically break KDE into smaller packages so you can choose which parts you want to install.
I don't know if this is possible any more but a few years ago installing kdebase was enough to give you a KDE desktop. And after installing kdebase you can add only the KDE components that you want.
74 • re 68 (by slacker_mike on 2012-08-11 03:39:34 GMT from United States)
Adam doesn't the side by side windows really only work when those windows are completely maximized? I would say that is a regression in functionality compared to splitting a window at whatever size I had it at.
75 • @68: Nautilus (by eco2geek on 2012-08-11 08:04:15 GMT from United States)
> Open one Nautilus window. Open another. Drag it next to the first.
> You now have two panes.
Open one Thunar window. Open another. Drag it next to the first. You now have two panes.
Open one PCManFM window. Open another. Drag it next to the first. You now have two panes.
Open one Gnome Commander win--- wait, that's already got two panes by default.
Now...why do we need Nautilus, again?
By the time the devs finish removing "unnecessary features" from Nautilus, it won't do much -- but by God it'll sure look pretty doing it.
76 • @70 - Desktop icons in Xfce (by eco2geek on 2012-08-11 08:15:22 GMT from United States)
You're right, unlike application launcher icons, folder icons in Xfce are controlled by whatever icon theme you're currently using; you can't change them individually. (Unless you want to go to the trouble of changing out the folder icons to ones of your liking in the icon theme's directories.) I hadn't realized that before.
77 • re #66 yet another messed up hp laptop (by gnomic on 2012-08-11 13:02:09 GMT from New Zealand)
BIOS upgrade to last available via Win7 made no difference to problem with screen not lighting up from start. Good news pclinuxos lxde 2012.06 still starts and gets screen eventually circa 2 minutes into boot process. As does Toorox.
Will be in touch via emmy thanks linuxfreak.
Meanwhile where are those X Window or Linux boot experts who can guess at why this laptop can sometimes light up with selected distros? Just think, maybe if you know the answer you could be rich some day, or at least spread light in the darkness? Maybe somebody out there knows how Linux turns on the backlight - sometimes?
78 • Desktop icons... (by Edna Crabapple on 2012-08-11 18:09:29 GMT from United States)
Bill, yes I realize that I can change the icon size for desktop folder icons.
However, I am talking about changing the sizes of *individual* icons.
You absolutely cannot do that in XFCE. The size settings changes ALL of them, not just the ones you want.
In Gnome 2 you can right click on a desktop folder icon, and there is a "stretch icon" command that lets you scale it to any size you wish.
I like my desktop folders, and I love to have custom icons. I can't do that at all in XFCE.
79 • KDE (by Edna Crabapple on 2012-08-11 18:23:36 GMT from United States)
corneliu, actually no- I've never considered Razor-qt. I actually don't know much about it at all, but I'll check it out.
As for KDE, I just booted up into Kubuntu, and installed the low-fat-settings package. Within 2 minutes I had a crash of something called "nepomukserver". 2 minutes later a whole bunch of other things crashed. That does not bode well for KDE, at least on this machine.
I'm back in XFCE for now... ;-)
I've not tried any of the other distros that have KDE, but this is something I can easily try using thumb drives.
Gnome 2 was pretty near perfection- for me. I don't think I'm going to find that again in any desktop environment. Anything I choose will certainly involve compromises. :-)
80 • Dual panes... (by Edna Crabapple on 2012-08-11 18:27:33 GMT from United States)
"Open one PCManFM window. Open another. Drag it next to the first. You now have two panes."
I believe PCManFM already offers dual pane support...
By the time the dev's finish removing "features" they don't think we need we'll all be back to using a terminal for everything...
81 • Desktop Icons... (by tdockery97 on 2012-08-11 21:52:56 GMT from United States)
@#71 Edna: You might try a distro with the MATE desktop environment, such as Mint. Things like the "resize icon" in the right-click context menu are available in MATE, which of course is a fork of Gnome 2.
82 • Re: #44 (by Bruno Silveira on 2012-08-12 01:10:51 GMT from Brazil)
"Stella is an interesting project. We considered using RHEL sources for a long term version of Fuduntu early on but quickly realized that it wouldn't fit into our vision because apps change and our users would need new versions of those apps.
In fact, Stella is a wonderful project that I'm going to try. It's exactly what the Linux world needs: STABLE desktop-oriented distros. Ever-changing software just sucks!
I have been using a heavily customized IceWM-based Scientific Linux install for quite some time now, and I'd like to say that an XFCE-based LTS version of Fuduntu is a heck of a lot good idea, maybe the best solution for a modern, production-ready desktop OS!
83 • @75 (by Adam Williamson on 2012-08-12 01:13:46 GMT from Canada)
"Now...why do we need Nautilus, again?"
You, er, don't? What's your point, besides that there are other file managers you might prefer? In a world where Nautilus has a two-pane mode, there are also other file managers you might prefer. You don't need Nautilus in the world where it has a two-pane mode. You also don't need Nautilus in the world where it doesn't. In all cases you are perfectly free not to use it if you don't want to. I'm not entirely sure what it is you're trying to say.
The argument is perfectly simple: two-pane mode was essentially Nautilus acting as its own window manager, badly. Therefore the appropriate thing to do is to make the GNOME window management function do what Nautilus needs and remove the code duplication. I am not endorsing or opposing said argument, I'm merely repeating it. Someone asked 'what they were thinking', I explained. I don't know why you're yelling at me about it.
84 • @69 @74 (by Adam Williamson on 2012-08-12 01:18:01 GMT from Canada)
Don't ask me about the details. I don't know. I'm not a GNOME developer. I merely answered a question someone asked, in all good faith: they asked about the basis for the decision, I provided a summary and a reference. Go read the reference. If you disagree with the rationale as explained there, then communicate that constructively to the person who made the decision. Who, once more, is not me.
85 • Slackware A Commeth!! (by RobertD on 2012-08-12 04:11:34 GMT from United States)
Is anyone else as excited as me about the immenent release of Slackware 14?
86 • upcoming Slackware release (by linuxuser on 2012-08-12 07:40:37 GMT from Greece)
I like the "release when ready" point of view of Patrick. It seems to me that OpenSuse is adopting a similar point of view lately, postponing the upcoming release due to several existing bugs. For me the strict six months relese model is a too short period of time for a quality release.
87 • Re. A few of Edna's points (by Barnabyh on 2012-08-12 09:08:39 GMT from United Kingdom)
To find the process that controls the backlight use top or htop, unfortunately I can't tell you because I'm on W7 right now, but I saw it just yesterday when reading through my running processes.
AFAIK only Gnome 2 had this ability to stretch individual icons, so it's either that or MATE for you I guess. Seeing that there are still so many new releases out there using it you should be able to stick with it?
@80 There is already a file browser like that, mc the Midnight Commander. Very efficient if you ask me, but Gnome Commander may be better suited.
@85 And last not least, I'm happy about Slackware 14 arriving as well, but my 13.37 install is so good and includes all up to date applications that I personally don't need it. But if you need the latest glibc and gcc for some reason then this is good news.
@86 Let's hope that more will subscribe to this and the 'release every 6-months and on the day we arbitrarily set' madness ends.
88 • Booting a hard disk copy of CentOS-6.3-x86_64-bin-DVD1.iso from GRUB2 (by zykoda on 2012-08-12 10:38:20 GMT from United Kingdom)
I seem to have failed to boot this install media from it's hard disk copy. Maybe someone can correct my command prompt attempt! The CentOS iso is on (hd0,1) in directory /iso.
loopback loop (hd0,1)/iso/CentOS-6.3-x86_64-bin-DVD1.iso
linux (loop)/isolinux/vmlinuz boot=isolinux iso-scan/filename=CentOS-6.3-x86_64-bin-DVD1.iso
and then GRUB2 takes off and fails to boot. I was expecting to follow with the initrd line!!
There is an install image under /images should I be using that?
89 • About a CentOS-based Fuduntu with XFCE (Post # 82) (by Pedrinho on 2012-08-12 11:39:04 GMT from Brazil)
I would prefer a Debian-based Fuduntu with XFCE... But I agree with you about XFCE being a nice choice for a "modern, production-ready desktop OS".
By the way, the upcoming Debian Stable (Wheezy) will default to XFCE instead of GNOME or MATE (I wish CentOS and Scientific do the same to RHEL):
The king of distros with the king of desktops. Great!
It will certainly skyrocket the ever-growing popularity of XFCE, the natural replacement for GNOME 2 without the bloat and sluggishness of MATE.
90 • KDE (by Mac on 2012-08-12 15:46:04 GMT from United States)
@79 - Have used kubuntu for 2yrs now and have put it on about 25 are more different computers, mostly Dell. I like a more debian based kde for myself but helps get others going and not a big jump form windows. Have not had a crash of kde. O and I nearly always use low-fat.
Sorry you had so much trouble with it.
91 • @83 - Nautilus (by eco2geek on 2012-08-12 17:33:32 GMT from United States)
> The argument is perfectly simple: two-pane mode was essentially
> Nautilus acting as its own window manager, badly. Therefore the
> appropriate thing to do is to make the GNOME window management
> function do what Nautilus needs and remove the code duplication.
> I am not endorsing or opposing said argument, I'm merely repeating it.
That's absurd. Two-pane mode was a popular function, easily accessible by pressing a function key. With that functionality removed, the end user has to open two instances of the same program and snap each one against opposite sides of the workspace. All of which is a bit more cumbersome than pressing a key.
> I don't know why you're yelling at me about it.
I wasn't yelling at you. I was expressing my opinion.
92 • Mate (by Edna Crabapple on 2012-08-12 19:57:28 GMT from United States)
The last (recent) version of Mint I tried was the Cinnamon version, which is Gnome 3. I didn't much care for that one and found it very unstable.
I have not tried the Mate version though.
I still use Mint 11 on my other notebook, but support ends in October so I will be installing some other distro on that machine, I just haven't decided which one.
Since my husband uses that laptop a lot, Mint with Mate might be a good choice. :-)
93 • Mate... (by Edna Crabapple on 2012-08-12 20:07:00 GMT from United States)
I'm still using Ubuntu 10.04 on my desktop, which is my main system.
My laptops are my "experiment with distro's" machines. ;-)
I'm inclined to just stick with Lucid until support ends. However, Mint with Mate might make an acceptable substitute for Lucid when the time comes for the desktop system.
I'm not really familiar with either Gnome Commander or Midnight Commander, but I certainly will check into them, thanks for the suggestion. :-)
94 • KDE (by Edna Crabapple on 2012-08-12 20:23:16 GMT from United States)
It might be that Kubuntu/KDE is just not terribly compatible with this laptop.
There is a lot to like about KDE. :-)
Then again- perhaps it's Kubuntu itself that is having hissy fits and not necessarily KDE.
I haven't really tried KDE on my desktop system yet, but I will. It might run a lot better as that machine has a much faster cpu and a lot more ram. I may try Kubuntu, or perhaps another KDE based distro? Mint maybe?
I also intend to try one of the Gnome 2 based distros like Mint with Mate.
I am *always* open to experimentation, that's part of the fun of using Linux. There's no one *right* distro, or DE, or way of doing things, but there is enough variety for each of us to find which one is the right one for us. :-)
95 • @94 - Mix 'n' match (by eco2geek on 2012-08-12 23:34:43 GMT from United States)
Edna - Maybe you don't want to do this on your finely-tuned older laptop, but, if you haven't already, try mixing and matching. For example, there are a lot of good KDE apps that you can install on your Xfce system, without installing all of KDE. For example, K3b is an excellent CD/DVD burner. There's no reason you can't use Dolphin on Xfce.
Likewise, there are also a bunch of good Gnome 3-based apps that you can install on your Xfce desktop, without installing all of Gnome shell.
The same is true if you mainly run Gnome shell, KDE, or another DE. It's especially easy with Debian, or a Debian-based distro like *buntu, since they're modular. The Synaptic package manager makes this easy.
96 • KDE (by Mac on 2012-08-12 23:41:50 GMT from United States)
Edna I like Kanotix, Siduction, Mepis and Aptosid all kde debian based. You might say I am a kde fanboy. Every since I heard gonme2 was going away I have been using it and like it. I have even used it kde-full. I like some of the apps for it real well. Knemo for one but I always use synaptic package manager.
97 • antiX (by Landor on 2012-08-13 01:03:34 GMT from Canada)
I think it's amazing that antiX now has a libre install, even though it's the core install. It's a great base for those of us that would prefer to keep their system(s) libre.
Hopefully this is only the first step towards seeing more libre options from antiX.
I may even eventually base all my builds off of this. Thanks anti, it's greatly appreciated from one at least, though I'm sure others are appreciative as well.
Keep your stick on the ice...
98 • Using Bridgelinux w/xfce + kde is a good gateway into Arch (by brad on 2012-08-13 04:19:15 GMT from United States)
I Miss the arch installer.. I don't see the problem.. I'm not elitist, I like arch, I've cut my teeth with all the others over 10 years time. I think I go into win7 (my dual boot system) maybe 1x a month.. (only thing I have on it worth mentioning is casino games, hoyle games, photoshop cs5, office 2k10, chessmaster, and teamviewer to help others.. win 7 is 64bit ult/ arch 64bit also, dont want to mix any 32bit libraries in it.. so I reboot to help others w/ teamviewer.
I installed Bridge linux because 1. archbang has too many errors when installing specially updating.. (read arch's webpage for the pacman stuff) 2. i'm on wireless and I could not for the life of me, figure out from the wiki how to set up wireless during install (let alone now w/o an installer) I tried asking for help, but I got the usual answers.. "read the wiki", "try windoze" and "arch isnt for you".. so when I found bridge, it was flawless, xfce, added kde cause I love kde.. and voila, arch based distro.. and before the arch/pacman issues started, i'll never look back.. but IF i ever go away from an Arch based distro/arch , I'll use mint 13 kde.. just my .02, now i'm broke.. but your mileage may vary
99 • @42 (by brad on 2012-08-13 04:35:24 GMT from United States)
I don't see the problem, i used to, with someone, or a community putting an "easy install" spin on any distro... I like what Sabayon did with Gentoo, what Mint did with Ubuntu, What Salix/Zenwalk did with Slackware, and what Archbang, and now Bridge did with Arch.
I don't need bragging rights because I configured every little detail of my install.. that's for forums, irc and signatures. I just want a linux that works..
don't get me wrong, hand holding distros aren't a bad introduction into linux at all in my opinion, but like I said in an earlier comment I'm not elitist nor care to brag.. I enjoy not having to worry bout so many other "things" just to get my computer to "work" and instead working on actually using my computer..
I say use what you can figure out, creatively acquire or afford..
but to say in regards to the Arch installer (may it rest in peace)" Users who have problems with it wouldn't really be happy with Arch anyway..." thats just not even close to true..
I'm sure some day when there's 1,000+ distros.. some of them, maybe the top 10-20 will get together and make a KILLER distro with a KILLER app fo reach category.. with a slick installer, a great package manager, a killer email app, photo N graphics app, office app, great multimedia apps for music, streaming, movies, cd burning, dvd burning, video editing et'al.. and no one will ever tell someone on a forum to "read the wiki", RTFM, demean them with comments regarding their intelligence etc.. ever again..
And that will be finally the YEAR of the LINUX Desktop.. I'm 42, hopefully it'll happen in my grandchildrens lifetime!!
Number of Comments: 99
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