| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 471, 27 August 2012
Welcome to this year's 35th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The "KDE" edition of Linux Mint 13 arrived exactly two months after the main Mint 13 release, but despite the delay, it's clear that the last of the planned Mint 13 variants represents an important part of the distribution's ecosystem. But how does the "KDE" edition fare in the greater scheme of Mint 13 releases? Read Jesse Smith's first-look review to find out. In the news section, Ubuntu finalises the main feature set for version 12.10, Fedora communicates a one-week delay in the development schedule of "Spherical Cow", and the Slax founder announces the return of the once popular Slackware-based live CD. Also in this issue, a quest for a "perfect distribution", a tip on setting quotas on specific folders, and an introduction to Manjaro Linux, a user-friendly desktop distribution based on Arch Linux. Happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (55MB) and MP3 (46MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First look at Linux Mint 13 "KDE" edition
Before I get into my review this week I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge a good suggestion I received earlier this year. One of our readers pointed out that burning distribution images to CDs and DVDs was wasteful as, eventually, the discs typically end up in the trash. The reader suggested switching to a USB thumb drive in order to be more environmentally friendly. At the time I had been testing most distributions on two machines, one of which was old enough that it did not support booting from a USB device. This situation limited my options and was the main reason behind using optical media. Still, after some consideration I decided that reducing my environmental footprint is more important to me than testing distributions on hardware which I rarely use any more.
With that in mind, I have switched to using a (second hand) USB drive in place of optical media. It is rare these days that I encounter Linux distributions which do not run smoothly on both of my test computers and I feel that the additional testing and use of resources does not provide significant benefit to justify the time and media expended. Going forward I intend to limit hardware testing to one machine and load distributions onto the hardware using a USB drive. Should you have any thoughts on this change one way or the other, please feel free to comment below or e-mail me.
The Linux Mint project will not be a stranger to regular readers, I've covered various editions of their operating system before, including Mint's main edition earlier this year. What prompted me to return for another look, this time at another edition, was the recent history of Mint's KDE branch. There for a while it looked as though Mint KDE would be moved from its Ubuntu base to a Debian base. Then it looked as though the KDE edition was being abandoned. So it was with some surprise that I observed Mint's KDE spin reappear, intact and still based on Ubuntu's package repositories.
Version 13 of Linux Mint KDE is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit builds and its ISO image is approximately 915 MB in size. Looking over the release notes it appears as though that this is a fairly tame release. The distribution comes with five years of support, courtesy of its Ubuntu base, and boots up with a blank screen (which may surprise some users). The KDE 4.8 desktop is included and it sports some minor improvements over previous releases, but otherwise Mint KDE 13 appears to be a evolutionary step as opposed to a revolutionary one.
Linux Mint 13 "KDE" - browsing the project's website
(full image size: 304kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Booting from the live media brings us to a KDE desktop with a silver and blue background. The desktop has a traditional layout with the application menu at the bottom of the display. We also find the task switcher and system tray at the bottom of the screen. On the desktop is a folder view widget containing just one icon, a launcher for the system installer.
The Mint system installer gives us the same experience as we would have installing Ubuntu or other Ubuntu-derived distributions. We are greeted with a welcome screen and then the installer checks to make sure our hardware meets the minimum requirements. We then get into dividing up the disk and the partitioning screen is quite easy to use. The installer is also flexible, allowing us to use any of the ext2/3/4 file systems, Btrfs, XFS, ReiserFS or JFS. We can select our preferred location for the system's boot loader and then we're asked to answer some configuration questions. We confirm our local time zone, select our preferred keyboard layout and then create a user account. While we enter this configuration information the installer copies files in the background and downloads language packs. The install eventually completed and a prompt appeared asking me to reboot the machine.
Booting into the locally installed version of Linux Mint brings us to a graphical login screen. After logging in we once again find ourselves on the KDE desktop. There is an empty folder view widget on the desktop and, shortly after the graphical environment loads, a welcome screen appears. The welcome window provides links to on-line documentation, support forums, an ideas/feedback page, a link to tutorials and a link to Mint's IRC chat room. This is a nice feature and it insures users can get help with most tasks and potential problems.
After I'd been logged in for a few minutes an icon in the system tray caught my attention. The icon provided notification of new package updates and, at the time I installed Linux Mint, there were 411 updates available, totaling 373 MB in size. That may seem like a lot and perhaps that is the reason for the update manager crashing when I tried to launch it. I attempted several times to launch the update manager from its system tray icon and from the application menu, but it always failed to launch. In response I turned to one of the available package managers, Synaptic, which was able to launch and acquire all waiting upgrades. Synaptic has been around for years and is very stable and reliable. Synaptic's interface isn't the most friendly, it's quite plain, but it is a powerful app. Once I had downloaded all the new packages I tried running the update manager again. Sometimes it would open, but most times it crashed at start-up leaving me to use Synaptic or the APT command line package manager to retrieve updates.
Besides Synaptic, Mint comes with a second graphical package manager, this one simply called "Software Manager". This application provides a more modern looking package handling interface with bright icons representing categories of software. Browsing through these categories shows us lists of packages accompanied by their name, description and a user-supplied rating. Selecting a package brings up a full page display with more detailed information and a screen shot of the application. Installation or removal of a package takes a single click of a button and, once an item is queued we can continue to use the Software Manager, browsing and manipulating more packages.
Linux Mint 13 "KDE" - performing updates and backups
(full image size: 173kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
The distribution's application menu presents us with a variety of useful software. We are provided with Firefox for web browsing, the Kopete instant messenger, the Quassel IRC client and KTorrent. The LibreOffice suite is installed, as are the GNU Image Manipulation Program and the Okular document viewer. The K3b disc burner is included and we also find the Amarok music player, the Kaffeine multimedia player and the VLC media player in the menu. There's a custom backup utility which is very easy to use, there is a simple domain blocker and an upload manager to make file transfers straight forward. We're given digiKam for handling photographs, a text editor, calculator and archive manager. The KGpg privacy tool is included for us and the menu includes various accessibility options, such as a virtual keyboard, screen magnifier and a text-to-speech utility.
Network Manager is available to help us get on-line, Flash is included in the default install, as is Java. Adjustments to the look and behaviour of the desktop environment can be handled in KDE's System Settings panel which gives the user a good deal of fine control over the interface. The default install also includes popular multimedia codecs. The GNU Compiler Collection is available for developers and, behind the scenes, we find the Linux kernel, version 3.2. It's an impressive and handy collection of software. The only problem I encountered with the above list was with the text-to-speech app which had trouble interpreting text files I passed to it. Additional software can be pulled from the Ubuntu and Mint repositories which provide a combined collection of over 38,000 packages.
Linux Mint 13 "KDE" - managing desktop settings and software packages
(full image size: 237kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Linux Mint detected and used all of the hardware on my laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 4 GB of RAM, Intel video, Intel wireless). The performance of the installed system was very good. I was pleased to find search indexing was disabled by default and desktop effects, while in evidence, we're limited to the less flashy pieces of eye candy. The operating system was a bit heavy on memory, using about 320 MB of RAM while sitting idle at the desktop. Network Manager automatically detected wireless networks in my area and connecting to these networks took a single click. Audio was set to a medium level and my screen was set to its maximum resolution.
Back when Ubuntu 12.04 was released some users were upset by the fact that the distribution no longer included a dial-up program called GnomePPP. This meant that users had to go through some extra steps to get on-line if they relied on older dial-up connections which Network Manager didn't recognize. In Mint KDE's release notes we're told that while GnomePPP is not properly installed, its package is included on the installation media as part of a local package repository. Since the downloadable ISO file is already 915 MB I wondered a bit at why such a small package would be available on the media, but not installed, however I did appreciate the gesture of having it in the local repository (along with some packages for hardware support) and it was nice to see it mentioned in the release notes.
That was, of course, until I tried to install GnomePPP from the local repository and discovered something: GnomePPP is included, but its dependencies are not. This means the user needs to get on-line in order to install the dialer used to get on-line. Or so I thought at first, further digging turned up a menu entry for the KPPP dialer in Mint's menu. I'm not sure why the release notes skipped over the availability of this piece of software, but I decided to launch KPPP to test it instead of continuing to chase GnomePPP. This is where I ran into another problem: KPPP requires admin rights and won't prompt for them, causing the application to fail as soon as it is launched. I had to drop to a command line and run KPPP with sudo in order to get it working.
It may seem like I'm belaboring the dial-up issue more than necessary and perhaps I am. The reason I'm listing out all of these steps and issues is because it indicates layers of problems: untested software, untried documentation and giving users a long-way-around solution. And that's what stood out about my time with the latest version of Linux Mint "KDE", it was largely functional and powerful and the performance was great, but it had a few rough patches that I haven't seen before in Mint. Usually my conclusions at the end of a Mint review include phrases such as "just works" or "close to perfect". This release, with the dial-up issues, the unreliable update manager and a system crash following a large software update... it just didn't feel like the high quality experience I've grown accustomed to with Mint. This release is still mostly good, as I mentioned, the performance was top notch, KDE performed beautifully and the installer is still great. Only it doesn't feel as well tested as its predecessors. I'm sure fans of KDE will be happy to see the KDE spin return to the Mint community and I hope the next release will polish up the edges of this edition.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Ubuntu 12.10 features, Fedora 18 delay, Slax 7 release plan, quest for "a perfect Linux distribution"
Unlike version 12.04, Ubuntu's October release won't have a long-term support tag, which means that the developers should have more freedom to implement interesting new features. TechRepublic's Jack Wallen looks at some of them in "Ubuntu 12.10: New features, new levels of user-friendliness": "Some of the improvements with 12.10 won't be in the way of features. Some will come by way of aesthetic improvements. For example, the default 12.10 theme and login screen will get a bit of an overhaul. But it's not the 'look' of the desktop that will really stand out this time around. It's all about integration -- into the web. That's right, Ubuntu has continued developing toward a highly and tightly integrated solution so the user can find and work with everything they need from within the desktop. What exactly does this entail? Integrated web apps. At first this might seem little more than the ability to open a dedicated web browser window with a web app -- it's much more than that."
One upcoming "feature" not mentioned in the above article is Nautilus 3.4. Even though Ubuntu 12.10 will ship with GNOME 3.6, the venerable file manager will remain at the current stable version due to "removal of features" by the upstream. Joey Sneddon reports for OMG! Ubuntu! in "Ubuntu 12.10 Will Ship With Older Version of Nautilus": "Ubuntu 12.10 will now ship with an older version of Nautilus, an update appears to confirm. GNOME's feature removals in Nautilus 3.5.x - which included the popular 'type-ahead' and 'split-pane' views -- along with a streamlined UI redesign proved controversial with users. Ubuntu developer Sebastien Bacher had earlier put forward the idea of staying with an older, but more featured version of Nautilus for Ubuntu 12.10, with the 'newer' version available in the repositories. Interestingly a reversion to Nautilus 3.4 was the least favoured by in our recent poll asking you what you'd prefer to happen. Ubuntu aren't alone in playing it safe. Linux Mint announced plans to fork Nautilus 3.4 in order to preserve its feature set for their users."
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The initial development release of Fedora 18 was scheduled to arrive tomorrow (Tuesday), but as is often the case with a project of this magnitude, delays are sometimes inevitable. The H Online reports about the reasons behind the Fedora development team's latest "no-go": "At the latest count, there are still 18 open bugs currently classed as blocking the release; these bugs have been deemed important enough that they must be fixed before the alpha can be released. The developers also called attention to the incomplete test matrices for the alpha, which suggest that not enough testing has been done on the code base. The next go/no-go meeting will be held on 30 August and if all the release criteria are satisfied at that point, the first alpha of Fedora 18 will be released on 4 September. The delay will ripple through the Fedora 18 release schedule and would therefore move the final release of Fedora 18 'Spherical Cow' back to 13 November. This date presumes that there are no other delays in the release schedule."
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In last week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly we mentioned the unexpected revival of Damn Small Linux; this week we have the pleasure to report about another popular distribution of the past that is once again getting the attention from its developer. Tomáš Matějíček, the founder of the Slackware-based Slax live CD has announced the good news on his personal blog: "The last Slax version was released many years ago. I didn't have resources to work on Slax any longer. But just yesterday, I've signed a contract with P&P Software GmbH and wisol technologie GmbH. Thanks to these two companies, I'm now funded to work on Slax full time (or, at least, 90% time, since I still keep my ongoing business, which needs some minimal maintenance). The contract states, among others, the following: Slax will be updated to the latest versions of all software components, and final build of Slax 7 will be released within four months. Thus, it should be ready before Christmas. I will post my progress on this blog."
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Finally, a link to an interesting article submitted to DistroWatch by Erwin Van de Velde, a computer science student at the University of Antwerp in Belgium. In a mission to find the perfect KDE-centric Linux distribution for his desktop, the author evaluates the latest versions of Arch Linux, Kubuntu, Mandriva Linux and openSUSE, and summarises the pros and cons of each in "The quest for the perfect Linux distribution": "In the following article I will give an overview of the journey I have already made through the land of Linux distributions. It contains my personal view, colored by my love for KDE and eagerness to try new software. I hope it contains some useful information for you, whether you are a long-time Linux user or are new to the operating system. The beginning of the story. In 2001, I started using Linux at the end of my first year at university, studying Computer Science. For the first (and last) time, I bought a box with a Linux distribution and some manuals in it and installed SUSE Linux 7.2. At that time, it was not really a deliberate choice, it was just the distribution some other students in my year were already using."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Setting quotas on specific folders
Locking-the-filing-cabinet asks: Is there a way I can set quotas on specific folders? I would like to create a series of folders, each with its own quota. Do I have to create a separate partition for each one?
DistroWatch answers: Typically when we set up quotas they are applied to specific partitions. A typical usage scenario would place user quotas on the /home partition to make sure no one takes up more than their fair share of disk space. Jack Wallen has a pretty good tutorial on setting up partition quotas in case you're interested.
As to the question of whether mapping quotas directly to a partition is necessary, the answer is no, there is a way around the one quota/one partition rule. Linux and BSD allow us to create files and then treat those files as if they were disk partitions. This means we can create a large file, format it as though it were a partition and assign quotas to it. Let's look at an example, feel free to follow along.
The first thing we need to do is create a file big enough to act as a partition. This is just an example so the "partition" is going to be fairly small, just 100MB. To create a larger file change the "count" parameter to reflect the size of the new partition in megabytes:
dd if=/dev/zero of=partition bs=1000000 count=100
Next we need to format our fake partition, in this example I'm using the ext3 file system:
Next, we need to mount our newly formated partition with quota parameters:
The partition is mounted and it knows we want to use quotas. The next set is to set up the quota database on our partition:
mount -o loop,rw,usrquota,grpquota partition Folder
quotacheck -cug Folder
All the pieces are in place, now it is time to set disk usage limits for each user. In the following example we set the quota limits for Susan:
The edquota command will open a text editor for us which will show a number of columns labeled file system, blocks, soft and hard. What we want to do is find our file system in the left-hand column and change its corresponding soft and hard usage limits. Then save the file. To confirm the limits are in place we can run:
One nice aspect of using a file as a partition is it can be easily enlarged should you need more space later and, if you decide to discard the data at some point in the future you can simply delete the "partition" file. Another benefit is that if the quotas don't work quite as expected (I've found working with file system blocks within a file doesn't always go as planned) then it is still possible to restrict the amount of space available to the users by growing or shrinking these faux partitions. It is often easier to create more small partitions for users depending on their needs than trying to manipulate real disk partitions.
|Released Last Week
Manjaro Linux 0.8.0
Philip Müller has announced the release of Manjaro Linux 0.8.0, a user-friendly desktop distribution based on Arch Linux and featuring the latest Xfce desktop: "We are proud to announce our default Manjaro edition featuring Xfce 4.10, Linux kernel 3.4.9, X.Org 7.6 with X.Org Server 1.12.3 and GCC 4.7.1. Manjaro Linux targets beginners and advanced users at the same time. We provide user interface tools and scripts to make life easier. Manjaro supports NVIDIA's Optimus technology out of the box. You can choose between Nouveau/Intel or NVIDIA/Intel drivers combination. Manjaro hardware detection tool will configure your graphic cards automatically and with help of Bumblebee bbswitch it is possible to switch to your desired graphic mode." Here is the release announcement.
PCLinuxOS 2012.08, a new version of the project's easy-to-use Linux-based operating system for x86 desktops or laptops, has been released: "PCLinuxOS KDE and KDE MiniME 2012.08 are now available for download. These are 32-bit quarterly update ISO images which can also be installed on 64-bit computers. Features: Linux kernel 184.108.40.206bfs for maximum desktop performance; full KDE 4.8.3 desktop; NVIDIA and ATI fglrx driver support; multimedia playback support for many popular formats; wireless support for many network devices; printer support for many local and networked printer devices; addlocale allows you to convert PCLinuxOS into over 60 languages; LibreOffice manager can install LibreOffice supporting over 100 languages; MyLiveCD allows you to take a snapshot of your installation and burn it to a live CD/DVD...." See the distribution's download page for more information about this version.
Kate Stewart has announced the release of Ubuntu 12.04.1, the first of the regular updates planned throughout the product's life cycle: "The Ubuntu team is very pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS (Long-Term Support) for desktop, server, cloud and core products. The Ubuntu LTS flavors are also being released today. In the 12.04.1 release, we've added support for the Calxeda ECX-1000 SoC family, so businesses can prepare for a data centre dominated by low-energy, hyperscale servers by testing their workloads on the new hardware now. The Ubuntu Cloud archive also makes its début." Read the rest of the release announcement for further information.
Chakra GNU/Linux 2012.08
Anke Boersma has announced the of Chakra GNU/Linux 2012.08, a major new release incorporating the KDE 4.9.0 desktop: "The Chakra project team is proud to announce the first 'Claire' release; this codename will follow the KDE SC 4.9 series and will be dedicated to the memory of Claire Lotion. Claire 2012.08 is bringing some exciting new features, like the port of the excellent Pardus tool 'Kaptan' to Chakra named 'Kapudan', it will allow the user to easily make all kinds of selections on first boot into their newly installed system. We are also very proud to show the excellent work the Art team has done with the new 'Dharma' theme, which even carries over into the latest GRUB 2, which now has a graphical theme. A Simple Pacman update notifier named 'spun' was also added." Check out the release announcement if you need more details or if you'd like to see the distribution's new default look.
Chakra GNU/Linux 2012.08 - one of the first distribution showcasing the new KDE 4.9.0 desktop
(full image size: 1,512kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Zorin OS 6.1 "Lite"
Artyom Zorin has announced the release of Zorin OS 6.1 "Lite" edition, an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution for featuring the LXDE desktop: "The Zorin OS team has released Zorin OS 6.1 Lite, the latest evolution of the Zorin OS Lite series of operating systems, designed specifically for Windows users using old or low-powered hardware. This release is based on Lubuntu 12.04 and uses the LXDE desktop environment to provide one of the fastest and most feature-packed interfaces for low-specification machines. This new release includes updated software, the newer Linux Kernel version 3.2, as well as other improvements. We also include our innovative Zorin Look Changer, Zorin Internet Browser Manager, Zorin OS Lite Extra Software and other programs from our earlier versions in Zorin OS 6.1 Lite." Here is the brief release announcement.
Biff Baxter has announced the release of wattOS R6, a lightweight and energy-efficient, Ubuntu-based Linux distribution (with LXDE) designed for older computers: "wattOS R6 is based on Ubuntu 12.04.1 and the latest updates from the repositories. It is a simple and fast desktop that will likely bring your old computer back to; updated all packages to latest 12.04.1 version; updated to Linux kernel 3.2; changed to VLC for video player; added Xfburn for simple fast CD-ROM and image creation; updated all power management utilities; updated Jupiter and included the latest powertop and Xfce power manage; changed from Midori browser to Chromium with Flash support; added LXFinder - a simple search utility; added LXScreenshot utility...." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information.
wattOS R6 - a lightweight and energy-efficient distribution based on Ubuntu
(full image size: 818kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Scientific Linux 6.3 "Live"
Urs Beyerle has announced the release of live CD and DVD images for Scientific Linux 6.3: "Scientific Linux 6.3 LiveCD, LiveMiniCD and LiveDVD are officially released. They are available in 32-bit and 64-bit variants and come with following window managers: LiveMiniCD - IceWM; LiveCD - GNOME; LiveDVD - GNOME, KDE, IceWM. Software was added from rpmforge, epel and elrepo (see EXTRA SOFTWARE) to include additional file system support (NTFS, ReiserFS), secure network connection (OpenVPN, VPNC, PPTP), file system tools (dd_rescue, ddrescue, GParted, gDisk), and better multimedia support (FFmpeg, Flash). Changes since 6.2: add boot parameter eject which ejects CD/DVD at shutdown." See the full release announcement for more details.
Klaus Knopper has announced the release of KNOPPIX 7.0.4, a Debian-based live distribution with LXDE as the default desktop and a separate edition for visually impaired computer users: "Version 7.0.4 of KNOPPIX is based on the usual picks from Debian 'stable' and newer desktop packages from Debian 'testing' and Debian 'unstable'. It uses Linux kernel 3.4.9 and X.Org 7.7 (core 1.12.3) for supporting current computer hardware. Optional 64-bit Linux kernel via boot option 'knoppix64'; bug-fix update for 7.0.3 - the APT database now contains all necessary data in order to directly install software via Synaptic; LibreOffice 3.5.4, Chromium 21.0.1180.75 and Iceweasel 10.0.6; LXDE (default) with PCManFM 1.0 file manager, KDE 4.7.4, GNOME 3.4." Read the rest of the release announcement for information about the Adriane edition, as well as a complete list of boot options.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database|
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New distributions added to waiting list
- FreezyLinux. FreezyLinux is a lightweight derivative of Ubuntu with GNOME 3 on a classic layout.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 3 September 2012. To contact the authors please send email to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, suggestions and corrections: news, donations, distribution submissions, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (feedback and suggestions: podcast edition)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • DVDs and the environment (by Ralph on 2012-08-27 08:22:38 GMT from Canada) |
What about using rewritable DVDs for testing out distros, at least on the machine that does not support USB booting? Supposedly they are less reliable than DVD+/-Rs, but I have had great luck with them myself....
2 • Trashing optical media (by DeeMee on 2012-08-27 09:21:21 GMT from United States)
You do have the option of using RW media. Both DVD-RW and CD-RW is available. I have been doing that for something like 5 years with various Linux distro's. You can re-burn them many times. Never had one quit burning properly. Had a couple get scratched.
I do use mostly USB now, but keep my main couple distro's also on optical media.
3 • Nautilus forks (by silent on 2012-08-27 09:23:35 GMT from Europe)
So now there are Caja (Mate DE), Nemo (Cinnamon DE) and Nautilus 3.4 (Unity DE) forks instead of a single Nautilus file manager. It is obviously a pleasure for the packagers, but I don't see any other point in it. May be Distrowatch could donate some money to gnome developers to cure their myopia with a pair of eyeglasses. Otherwise ignoring the users may lead to chronic headaches in the long run.
4 • Mint 13 "KDE" (by Chris Whelan on 2012-08-27 09:25:58 GMT from United Kingdom)
I'm puzzled by the reviewer's difficulties with this; I have been running it on both a desktop machine and a laptop since the day of its release without a single issue.
The desktop machine is my main 'everyday' one, and is used for a variety of purposes for perhaps eight hours every day. Performance has been completely fault-free, including using the supplied updater.
I have no need of KPPP, but upon trying it did have the same problem.
5 • @ Erwin Van de Velde`s Article & Disadvantages of Arch Linux (by DrSaleemCeannKhanMarwat on 2012-08-27 09:45:50 GMT from Pakistan)
I wold disagree
1 ) GUI`s are mostly broken and would leave you with unexpected errors e.g I have always encountered errors with Gparted but cfdisk rarely fails , so having no GUI`s on Arch is rather more towards simplicity & stability than lacking something vital .
2 ) Arch Development team makes it sure to iron out all major and apparent bugs and you will only tumble down on unresolved bugs or errors if you are
a) Not doing things the Arch way
b) You are not knowing or trying to know what you are doing and don`t read or follow wiki or their forum
c)You are doing adventures with testing or unstable repositories
d)You are collecting and hoarding lot of AUR packages than standard packages from Arch Linux main repositories.
I have yet to see any unresolved bugs on my Arch Linux in many years till now.
3 ) No matter whatever distribution you are using will require maintenance time initially and later at different stages : Arch Linux does take some extra time after installation but once you are running a fully configured system it does not take than to run a ~ sudo pacman -Syu and ~ sudo pacman -S foo to live an easy and happy computing life than I have seen on any other distros.
6 • USB Boot (by eamonnb on 2012-08-27 10:41:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
Kudos for the environmental concerns. On older hardware I use Plop Boot Manager either on a floppy or a CD which will point the PC/Laptop to boot from USB. I have booted Linux from USB on machines from the last century...well 1998 in fact. One obstacle is that a USB keyboard can prevent Plop working properly so I use one of those USB adaptors to plug the keyboard into a PS/2 port.
7 • Ram usage (by Whitespiral on 2012-08-27 10:47:06 GMT from United States)
Sir, I'm glad you now use a USB drive instead of optical media to test a distro. I keep a bunch of 4gb USB drives with different distros always at hand.
You also need to keep up with the times, however, by realizing that 320mb of ram usage for a modern desktop OS is not "heavy' anymore. And more so if it's KDE, which will always use more ram and disk space than other environments because it's also the most complete and customizable.
8 • GnomePPP (by Candide on 2012-08-27 10:52:44 GMT from Taiwan)
Although dial-up may be (nearly) dead, if you've got one of those 3G USB broadband modems (like I do), it's very handy to have wvdial installed. Many distros do have that (not sure about Linux Mint, but Ubuntu has it).
To use it, from a terminal type: sudo wvdial
But before you can do that, as root create file /etc/wvdial.conf with the following content:
Phone = *99#
APN = internet
Username = username
Password = password
Stupid Mode = 1
Dial Command = ATDT
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0
Baud = 460800
Init2 = ATZ
Init3 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
ISDN = 0
Modem Type = Analog Modem
Of course, you won't need to do this if you can connect using included nm-applet in Ubuntu (and I guess Linux Mint using the same applet, but I'm not sure). However, nm-applet has failed me at times, whereas wvdial always seems to work.
9 • Nautilus 3.4 (by Nikos on 2012-08-27 10:58:35 GMT from Greece)
Its not too late for Ubuntu to switch to KDE, cause eventually the Canonical crowd will have to fork most of GNOME's end user applications..
10 • optical media (by greenpossum on 2012-08-27 11:02:53 GMT from Australia)
While for testing I agree that rewritable media or USB sticks should be used, I always burn a DVD for my workhorse's distro release because I want something I can reinstall from in case the machine gets trashed, and I don't want to tie up USB sticks for something that will hopefully never happen. It will be only once or twice per year anyway. Where readability on aging DVD drives are concerned, pressed media > burnt write-once media > rewritable media so it's a compromise I can live with.
11 • "The Perfect Linux..." (by Jordan on 2012-08-27 11:17:54 GMT from United States)
Cool that the Slax guy, Tomáš Matějíček, is back. I'm hoping that ongoing support and development paths to the future (hardware drivers, etc) are what he considers as the foundation to a "perfect linux distro."
Those things still don't guarantee perfection of course, that being in the eye of the beholder. ;)
12 • @6 USB Boot (by PCBSDuser on 2012-08-27 12:14:26 GMT from Canada)
Just wanted to second this recommendation. Plop is excellent for booting a USB drive on a computer whose BIOS does not support this. Here's a tutorial I came across:
13 • rewriteable media, Manjaro, and Chakra (by wilsonn on 2012-08-27 12:33:23 GMT from Canada)
Flash drives are great. Dvd rw seems very robust for repeated use but I have had several cdrw fail over the years. They may have been bad brands.
I was really impressed with Manjaro but did not want to venture into arch on a permanent basis. If I had more time, this is the Arch spin I would play with.
Chakra does a lovely job with kde but why did they break with Arch? Is it not a lot more work to maintain their own repositories and packages?
14 • CD Recycling (by vw72 on 2012-08-27 13:02:17 GMT from United States)
CDs and DVDs can be recycled, but because the are #7 plastic, they won't be if you use curb side recycling like many places in the US do. However, you can send the CDs to a recycling center such as
CD Recycling Services in the US
420 Ashwood Road
Darlington, PA 16115
Digital Audio Disk Corporation
Attention: Disc Recycling Program
1800 Fruitridge Avenue
Terre Haute, IN 47804-1788
And in the UK
The Laundry CD Recycling
4d North Crescent
They won't necessarily pay you for your old CDs, but for a under $10 shipping, I've sent off a big box of CDs (maybe 300). I know that a USB key is ecologically friendlier at the landfill, I'm not sure it is from the perspective of manufacturing and obtaining raw materials. Recycling the CDs eliminates the landfill problem, however.
15 • Wonder what the GNOME devs are thinking (by DavidEF on 2012-08-27 13:08:25 GMT from United States)
""GNOME's feature removals in Nautilus 3.5.x - which included the popular 'type-ahead' and 'split-pane' views""
Do the GNOME devs not know that those features are popular? What is their justification for removing features that the users actually use? Seems to me that if you take away things that your users use, they won't have a reason to be users anymore. Didn't they learn that lesson from the backlash over GNOME 3?
P.S. If anyone is reading this who knows how to get a fully functional Screensaver/ Screen Lock system back into Gnome 3 (or Unity), please help me out. I miss my screensavers! Yeah, sure, they're not technically needed, nor are they a great way to conserve power. But I WANT THEM! And the hack that came out forever ago, about using xscreensaver and changing a bunch of configurations, is not what I'm looking for. I've done that, but there is still missing functionality.
""...ignoring the users may lead to chronic headaches in the long run.""
I already have headaches from this junk, the sooner they do too, the better. Maybe then, they'll fix it. I don't believe in wishing problems on people, but I do believe in people getting a taste of their own medicine at times.
16 • Re #9 Ubuntu switch to KDE (by vw72 on 2012-08-27 13:10:13 GMT from United States)
No, please don't. KDE works really well and I would hate to see Ubuntu carve it all up like they have done with Gnome 3.
17 • Nautilus 3.4 (by vw72 on 2012-08-27 13:12:01 GMT from United States)
According to Canonical, the reason they chose to stay with Nautilus 3.4 is that the new changes came to late in the development cycle for 12.10 to be adequately tested. Nautilus 3.6 should be included in 13.04. It was not about dropping features.
18 • boot media (by octathlon on 2012-08-27 13:22:16 GMT from United States)
My only comment is, if you are reviewing a distro geared toward older computers, that you do go ahead and test it on your old one. That one CD burned could save a lot of others being wasted if people find out from the review that they wouldn't like to try it on their old machine.
19 • #7 Ram Usage (by vw72 on 2012-08-27 13:24:01 GMT from United States)
On the systems that I have set up, KDE uses less RAM than Gnome 3's gnome-shell or Ubuntu's Unity interface. It does use more than XFCE and LXDE.
The problem, though, with comparing base RAM usage is that a computer sitting just at the desktop do nothing isn't really useful. It is the applications we run that make a computer useful.
If you start LibreOffice, the amount of RAM used by the desktop won't be the issue any more. Same with Firefox, Thunderbird and any number of applications.
I can install openbox and a 256MB computer and it is responsive. If I open up much more than a terminal, though, that changes, let alone if I try and open up LibreOffice or any other resource heavy application.
That said, there are still a lot of resource constrain computers out there and testing a distro on them is still a good idea. If it runs decently in 320MB of RAM, it usually means it will fly on a more modern spec'd machine.
20 • Memory usage is relative (by Jesse on 2012-08-27 13:50:54 GMT from Canada)
>> "You also need to keep up with the times, however, by realizing that 320mb of ram usage for a modern desktop OS is not "heavy' anymore. And more so if it's KDE, "
320MB is still quite high for a desktop environment. Typically KDE distributions use around 230MB of memory on my machines (90MB less than Mint's KDE edition). GNOME 2 usually uses less than 160MB, Xfce usually uses around 125MB and LXDE around 90-100MB. Relatively speaking 320MB is pretty high for a desktop OS, even for KDE.
21 • Old & CD/DVD (by Sammi on 2012-08-27 13:52:04 GMT from United Kingdom)
CD-RWs have served me well, just a couple of obsolete Traxdata 650s let me down and one of responded to a CLI clean up. However, few CD-RW will work on really old CD drives, ~<36x according to my experiences, so there is still a role for plain old write-once CDs which seem to run on anything. DVD-RWs have been less reliable; several have failed to rewrite by any persuasion. Notwithstanding, glad to note [No.6] the FDD isn't dead and still offering us solutions with Plop!
22 • Re. Linux Mint 13 KDE and USB Drive instead of CD-R/DVD (by Mech T.L. on 2012-08-27 13:58:07 GMT from Hong Kong)
FOA, I fully approve the reviewer's responsible way to switch to the USB thumb drive for testing. I too feel the need and the responsibility to do our own part in all of this. That said I would suggest for contingency there is still a live DVD / CD-R for your main working environment as a 2nd backup, but only for that single working environment only.
As for the Mint 13 KDE, I too been using it for a while and have not had any problem with it as stated. And similalrly many Mint using Peers had no problem with it either. So I wagre it can be a case of specifics that the reviewer encounter that made all this
23 • @14 CD Recycling (by Rick on 2012-08-27 14:30:01 GMT from United States)
EXCELLENT post! Too often I read about how plastic is such an environmental problem when in reality, PEOPLE are the problem - NOT plastic. If people would take the time and dispose of plastic products and by-products properly, there would be no issue of plastic and the environment.
24 • DVDs vs. USB Thumb Drives (by Chris M on 2012-08-27 14:39:54 GMT from United States)
Under most circumstances, there's no question that using a thumb drive is a better (faster/more efficient) and more Eco-friendly way to install Linux.
But my latest dual boot install attempt on a new-ish ASUS desktop with UEFI was the exception (GRUB 2). Even without the secure boot mess to worry about, my USB install of Linux wanted to install GPT. That messed up the partition (confused it, for lack of a better phrase) after an MBR install of Windows 7. Maybe if I has formatted MBR prior to with GParted, it would have worked, but I thought I had done that. Trying to get GRUB to work correctly (for dual booting) via UEFI and GPT was tough to the point where I threw in the towel.
What I did was to format MBR, install Windows via DVD, and then install Linux via DVD - bypassing UEFI - relying on the traditional BIOS. No question that that slows the boot process, but I finally got it to work in good old GRUB fashion.
The bottom line was that the DVD install of Linux gave me no issues - it installed on an MBR partition without issue.
The whole UEFI thing is a real PITA. Part of the reason for buying the new-ish computer was a desire to "understand" UEFI. Now I understand.
And at first, I did install Windows via thumb drive GPT, followed by Linux. But Grub was not doing its thing.
25 • linux (by colin on 2012-08-27 15:26:10 GMT from United Kingdom)
why so many distros, linux is linux at the end of the day and to the untrained eye all the distros are exactly the same as each other with maybe a few tweaks here and there.
26 • @25 (by Jordan on 2012-08-27 16:25:40 GMT from United States)
"why so many cars, motorcycles, cigars, TVs, drape/curtains, trees, cats/dogs, etc.....life is life at the end of the day and to the untrained eye we all are exactly the same as each other with maybe a few tweaks here and there."
27 • Use Plop Boot Manager to boot USB drives on older computers (by David on 2012-08-27 16:26:30 GMT from United States)
You can use the Plop Boot Manager to boot USB flash drives on older computers that won't do so from the BIOS.
Just install Plop on a CD or floppy, set the BIOS to boot from that drive, and you'll get a menu that includes your USB drive. (It's not wasteful to put it on a CD, because you can use the same disc over and over again for every distro you test.)
28 • @25 (by Pearson on 2012-08-27 17:49:49 GMT from United States)
"to the untrained eye" is, IMO, a critical point.
Sure, there are a lot of distributions that are merely "tweaks" (many Ubuntu derivatives appear to me merely themes and a couple of default application changes ). However, there are philosophical differences between many of the distributions. Just a few off of the top of my head:
1. Which package manager? There are pros/cons between them
2. How many packages are being maintained? More packages = more time required
3. How often are upstream (individual package developers - think LIbreOffice, firefox, etc.) updates applied?
4. How stable vs. cutting edge is the software?
5. How user-friendly (vs. hiding powerful options) will the distribution be?
6. How security-focused?
7. What kind of non-English (or even English) languages are supported?
8. Is it for a niche user (e.g. Parted Magic)?
29 • Mint 13 KDE review 32 or 64 bit? (by claudecat on 2012-08-27 18:14:44 GMT from United States)
Jesse - which version did you install? I ask because I always use 64 bit and there is a difference when it comes to memory usage. In fact, I've noticed differences even with the same distro and bit version on machines with 1gb and 4 gb ram. The more ram, the more is used at boot (or at idle). For me 320mb is fairly low for a 64 bit KDE distro on 4gb ram. Average seems to be around 350-450mb. Gentoo does best here - using only 210mb.
Overall I find Mint 13 KDE pretty nice, but not appreciably better than Kubuntu with some added stuff (which is after all what it is). It's great for the linux newcomer that may not know how to add the things that Mint does to the initial install.
30 • USB Flash Drive Boot (by Bruce Fowler on 2012-08-27 18:25:38 GMT from United States)
"Should you have any thoughts on this change one way or the other, please feel free to comment below or e-mail me."
I run a monthly Linux workshop for a local user's group, so I download, burn and run a lot of distros. Flash drives are the way to go, they are quite cheap nowadays and, of course, reusable. One minor quibble:
Some distros seem to require the use of "UNETBOOTIN" or similar to set up the .iso file on a flash drive, others work only by using a "DD" copy. It would be nice if distro developers would explicitly state the steps necessary to produce a bootable flash drive for their particular distro. I know the information is usually there in the release notes or documentation somewhere, but often it is not easy to find. Thanks.
31 • which flavour (by Jesse on 2012-08-27 18:38:58 GMT from Canada)
>> "Jesse - which version did you install? I ask because I always use 64 bit and there is a difference when it comes to memory usage."
I used Mint 13 KDE 32-bit build. Unless otherwise stated all of my reviews use the 32-bit build for consistency and (hopefully) lower memory usage.
32 • @31 (by claudecat on 2012-08-27 18:47:23 GMT from United States)
Duly noted Jesse, and thanks. You may have to make some exceptions to your 32bit rule as Chakra has just announced the discontinuation of support for that architecture. Will others follow? Probably not many (if any) for now, but the future does seem to be 64.
33 • Issue with Mint 13 KDE's installer... (by eco2geek on 2012-08-27 18:50:40 GMT from United States)
Since Mint 13 "KDE" uses Kubuntu 12.04's installer, this isn't a criticism of Mint 13 KDE directly. The same thing is true of Kubuntu 12.04 and Netrunner 4 "Dryland" 2nd Ed. (another Kubuntu 12.04-based distro I tried that also uses Kubuntu's installer).
I have over 10 partitions on my hard drive (since it's 1.5TB, why not install several different distros?). If I tell the installer that my hard drive's already partitioned, I'm lucky if I can tell the installer to mount four or five of them (i.e. root, swap, and 2 or 3 other existing ones) without it crashing. After installation, I have to add the other partitions to /etc/fstab manually.
This consistently happens with all three distros, Kubuntu 12.04, Mint 13 "KDE", and Netrunner. (Curiously, this has never happened with Ubuntu or an Ubuntu-based distro.) I haven't yet checked to see if a bug's been filed.
34 • Linux Desktops and RAM wars (by M. Edward (Ed) Borasky on 2012-08-27 18:53:32 GMT from United States)
Yeah, I've been there / done that. My current project is a collection of tools that I intend to run on LXDE or better across all the popular community distros. I started on openSUSE but have everything running on Fedora 17 LXDE, Lubuntu and Linux Mint 13 MATE with LXDE added. Mageia was almost working but I had too many problems and dropped it.
RAM size may not be important for a bare metal install, but I'm running these tools as virtual appliances - guests in VirtualBox. There it absolutely matters how much RAM your desktop takes up. The only reason I'm using LXDE instead of IceWM is that IceWM doesn't play well with VirtualBox in seamless mode.
35 • Amen to @30 (by Reticent on 2012-08-27 19:53:20 GMT from United States)
Yes, it's a PITA when forced to hunt for working boot methods.
Will it play from Rufus? or UUI? or multiboot for YUMI? Lili?
Or just unetbootin, or only dd or mandriva-seed?
Does it play nicely with Grub4dOS, Syslinux, Burg?
Will it boot from Ext2, ext3, ext4, zfs, Fat32, ntfs, bfs, ...?
Can it boot from flash? or just from disc? floppy? ...?
Documentation (hyper-wiki vs "go fish") is (still) a common challenge.
36 • @33 (by claudecat on 2012-08-27 20:54:33 GMT from United States)
I may be misunderstanding your issue, but why is it necessary to setup additional partitions in the installer? Simply opening dolphin and clicking on a partition will open it as needed - and without the need for a password like most other distros. Alternatively, you could play with the Removable Devices section under KDE System Settings...
37 • Setting Quota on specific folders (by Demosthenese on 2012-08-27 22:01:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
Another strategy would be to:
create a group for each folder
change group ownership of folders
add users to the groups that need access to each group
set a group quota
38 • @36 - Re: setting up mountpoints in the installer (by eco2geek on 2012-08-28 00:36:46 GMT from United States)
You're right, one could do it that way instead of using the installer to write the mountpoints permanently into /etc/fstab. I may try that the next time I install a KDE-based distro.
39 • #30 When dd works (and when it doesn't) (by Caitlyn Maritn on 2012-08-28 05:45:32 GMT from United States)
If a distro's iso is made using hybrid iso technology then dd will work well for copying to a USB stick, micro SD card, etc... If not then you need a tool that will make the iso bootable on USB. In most (but not all) cases Unetbootin does that correctly.
40 • RAM Usage Etc (by Rob Bateman on 2012-08-28 20:12:05 GMT from United Kingdom)
Even if RAM is cheap and plentiful, it is still good practice to write good code. The Linux world has always so far done a good job of this. My main problem as i am still using single core CPU's (AMD Athlon 2000+ and 2500-3200 Barton) is Flash. This has maxed out my cpu's on most distros, but not all. I cannot see a common link in the ones that play acceptable and the ones where it is at about 3 flames a second. anyone any thoughts. will not miss flash when it finally put out to grass.
41 • re 40 (by corneliu on 2012-08-28 21:03:29 GMT from Canada)
64 bit memory addresses require more memory than 32 bit memory addresses. That's why 64 bit software needs more memory than 32 bit. Good code or bad code doesn't matter in this case. The advantage with 64 bit addresses is that you can map way more memory, more than the 4 GB that the 32 bit systems can handle.
Because of the diversity of the Linux world, it is impossible for Adobe to provide hardware acceleration (graphics card rendering) all the time. If hardware acceleration is not available (that's most cases) then the CPU is used to to the rendering. CPU is in general less efficient that GPU. So, if your graphics driver can work with flash, you are good. If not, then you kill your poor CPU.
42 • Testing of 11 small distros (by Phi Kappa on 2012-08-29 02:44:56 GMT from Canada)
I picked a few distros from DistroWatch for the purpose of trying them out on my laptop (an HP TouchSmart TX2). Here are some findings from my rather informal testing: http://pjk.scripts.mit.edu/pkj
43 • Setting quotas on specific folders (by Anonymous Coward on 2012-08-29 10:36:33 GMT from Spain)
I has been told that the loop device system is flawed and can bring the file hosted filesystem to deadlock under some circumstances, particularly when using journaling filesystems or, worse yet, journaling filesystems under block level encryption.
Not that I have had a problem with these configurations, but it is good to keep them in mind.
44 • @38 Alternative to USB boot (by Jon Homan on 2012-08-29 13:15:19 GMT from United Kingdom)
I've had mixed success booting from USB. There seem to be so many variables that involves too much trial and error: hardware, hybrid iso, dd, unetbootln, syslinux, grub.
Now I use a Zalman ZM-VE200 external drive which simulates a USB dvdrom drive. You just copy the iso to the first disk partition, select which you want and boot. Very simple, no waste, and as many distros as you want.
45 • More RAM better? (by Somewhat Reticent on 2012-08-29 13:29:51 GMT from United States)
RAM is getting cheaper to acquire and install. Does more RAM use more electric power, even when not in use? Power's not getting cheaper.
46 • Mint 13 and boot-install (by Boris on 2012-08-29 13:53:48 GMT from Russian Federation)
I did not try Mint 13, but if the handling of PulseAudio is unchanged from Mint 12, then there is no sense even to try. I could not make the system connect the webcam mic as the input device, so all my attempts to install Skype ended in a fiasco. There is a program "pavucontrol" which is supposed to help with proper device mapping, but it doesn't. I cannot assign the webcam mic to the Skype input - there is no such item in the menu. Three other distros - OpenSuse, Vector, Mepis and PCLinuxOS - handle this situation correctly.
About CD/DVD or USB-key install there is another option which remains largely unexplored. VectorLinux distro comes with a certain script which can handle the .iso file of the distribution as if it comes from a CD-ROM drive. Due to this script no further tricks are needed - you download the .iso file, start the script (from console, NO GUI, please!), and it installs the new system inti a partition of your choice. It is for another distros to follow suit, the example is excellent!
47 • [@35] Try-it-out methods (by Kibitzer on 2012-08-29 14:04:07 GMT from United States)
Also consider storing an ISO on a hard drive and using a disc emulator like QEMU (if you have enough RAM?) ; or "frugal-install" a system as an SFS file in a partition already in use.
48 • Zalman ZM-VE200 external drive sucks maybe help with teensy sd cdrom emu (by charles on 2012-08-29 17:41:51 GMT from United States)
I have a couple of bios mobos where the zalman wont boot.
maybe help teensy sd cdrom emu opensource project instead:
49 • USB drives are not envirnmentally friendly (by ezsit on 2012-08-29 18:39:02 GMT from United States)
The main component in your USB drives is an integrated circuit chip. These chips require highly toxic chemicals to manufacture and the manufacturing process has a large carbon footprint. Relatively speaking, the IC chips used in USB drives produce more waste during manufacture than optical media. Go ahead and fool yourselves into thinking you are "green" by using USB drives. I will continue to not care either way and use whatever is convenient at the moment.
50 • #49 you're too funny (by DavidEF on 2012-08-30 15:13:57 GMT from United States)
One time manufacture versus how many uses for usb flash drives? Then disposal. I'd like to see your chart showing the toxicity from creation to disposal of a usb flash drive versus the equivalent number of cd-r or dvd-r discs. Oh yeah, don't forget to include the dvd burner drive, you won't get many successful burns without one! And they also have integrated circuits built into them, just like usb drives (well, not JUST LIKE).
I personally don't worry too much either way, as you said, I use whatever is convenient. But, I do think you should use facts to support any argument you wish to make. A chart should suffice. And remember Mark Twain (below).
51 • RE: 50 (by Landor on 2012-08-30 17:48:57 GMT from Canada)
I've actually read a few pieces done on this subject and it would 'seem' that a flash drive is barely ahead, but all of those studies were based on single write optical media. Hands down RW optical media blows away flash drives for being eco-friendly. I would even hazard a guess that in some cases (there's a lot of poorly manufactured flash drives out there, even fraudulent ones, gurus will know what I mean by that) RW media can outlast a flash drive.
Oh, and what I've read took into account any drives need for the optical media, and exactly the cost to the environment in production and waste.
Oh II, the only reason they based the information on single write optical media in the first place was because RW media never really caught on so it would be an unfair comparison.
Keep your stick on the ice...
52 • CD/DVD v Flashdrive and/or hard drive v SSD (by zykoda on 2012-08-31 09:01:41 GMT from United Kingdom)
Like comparing the Nipkow disk with its electronic equivalent. Slow, power hungry, unreliable, and severely limited.
53 • KDE RAM usage (by Peter on 2012-08-31 11:41:30 GMT from Spain)
As others have mentioned, a typical 32 bit KDE idles at nearly 300 Mb when you it's using the infamous Nepomuk-Akadoni-Strigi trio, full 3D effects on binary blob graphic drivers, Krunner complements, etc.
It can be reduced greatly using opensource drivers, no 3D eye-candy (specially transparency), eliminating (where possible) the mentioned Nepomuk-Akanodi-Strigo gang as well as Virtuoso (remember to uncheck the clock's "display events" or it will recall Akadoni again) and lightening Krunner. Most can be achieved easily using the Kubuntu_low_fat package.
On my 1.86 Mhz DualCore 2 Gb RAM laptop, using internal intel graphics, it idles at 180 Mb but runs very smoothly...while only producing 22ºC of heat using Jupiter applet on "onDemand". Actually, the fan stops when idling and hardly ever goes over 30ºC (while on Vista the fan NEVER stops and idles at near 30ºC).
I completely dropped the idea of installing a "lighter" DE (E17 or LXDE) because it now runs very well and with all (most) of the beauty a KDE desktop can show. Do give KDE a chance to prove itself, specially the latest versions (4.8 and 4.9).
54 • @51 Flash drive versus CD burner with media (by DavidEF on 2012-08-31 12:05:43 GMT from United States)
So, you're saying the electronics in the cd burner drive are less toxic than those in the flash drive? Or, there is a much smaller physical amount of toxic electronics in a burner drive? Anyway, thanks for the info. I'd still like to see it for myself. Not that I don't believe you, I'm just a highly visual learner. Maybe I will do a search for it, now that I know it exists.
And about RW media, I have my own personal experience to go on. I tried RW media. It does (or did) work in fewer devices than write-once media (that may no longer be the case). But my personal reason for not using it was that it was re-writable. I felt like I was wasting the resource because I only ever used a disc once.
I've burned countless linux distros to cd or dvd. I never know ahead of time whether it will be one I want to keep around, or write over, so I assume I will be keeping it around, and re-writable media doesn't make sense. Although I know I could burn a new one if needed, I don't always have the time to burn a new one. And sometimes I don't have access to the iso to burn it. So, I use write-once media, and keep it around until I'm sure I don't need it any more. I've used flash drives to boot before, but not all the computers in my house can boot from usb. I'll therefore continue to NOT be green, for the most part, using write-once media.
Fortunately, the post #14 above made me curious, and I checked on recycling in my area. We have curb-side recycling, which I already take advantage of, and the card they gave me lists "plastics 1-7" as being acceptable. So, I CAN recycle old write-once media with curb-side! I wish I'd known that a year ago, when I was cleaning out my desk drawers. Sorry, landfill people!
55 • #51 and to a lesser degree #49 (by DavidEF on 2012-08-31 15:30:01 GMT from United States)
Can anyone point me to an online resource for eco-friendliness (or conversely toxicity) comparison of usb flash drives vs optical media? My searches have turned up nothing.
56 • @ 54 -- RWs again (by Ralph on 2012-08-31 17:44:35 GMT from Canada)
Regarding the following comment:
"I've burned countless linux distros to cd or dvd. I never know ahead of time whether it will be one I want to keep around, or write over, so I assume I will be keeping it around, and re-writable media doesn't make sense. Although I know I could burn a new one if needed, I don't always have the time to burn a new one. And sometimes I don't have access to the iso to burn it. So, I use write-once media, and keep it around until I'm sure I don't need it any more."
I recognize the problem you are talking about, but I have to a great degree solved it while continuing to use rewritable media, at least in my own case, simply by storing the downloaded iso(s) that I'm not sure I should get rid of (just yet) in a separate folder on one of my harddrives. I have a lot of different distros installed on one of my computers at any given time. Normally what I do is re-install a distro every time a new version of it comes out, so one DVD+RW will be devoted to distro x, and will have seen umpteen rewritings of distro x, one for every version ("distribution release") that comes out. When version y of distro x comes out, I retain version y - 1 on my harddrive until I'm satisfied that y is working well, then I nuke it.
I also have a few DVD+RWs set aside for lesser known, newer, and experimental distros and OSs that typically don't see a permanent installation on one of my harddrive partitions, but whose iso(s) typically do get retained for long periods of time on my harddrive (if not permanently), so they are readily available should I wish to have another look at them. Time is not much of an issue for me in the case of re-burning (something I rarely have to do), as there are always others things I can do on my computer while burning is taking place.
I do not say this procedure will work well for everyone, but it certainly works well for me.
57 • Disc-RW's (by Diminishing Returns on 2012-09-01 02:09:28 GMT from United States)
Somehow I never have as much storage space available on a RW disc after a burn ... it just keeps shrinking.
58 • usb flash drives vs. cd and dvd r's/rw's (by imnotrich on 2012-09-01 02:11:36 GMT from Mexico)
USB flash drives are susceptible to EMP and ESD damage.
Optical media are not impacted by EMP or ESD. Although they can be damaged by exposure to uv's or sunlight. Or you could get a bad batch of dye and not know it. Try explaining to the IRS why you can't provide returns from tax year whatever.
I wouldn't trust either media with archival stuff that you want to save forever. Barring any malfunction , quality control problem, or physical damage USB drives have a finite number of read/write cycles until they die. Typically without warning.
But if you do a lot of distro hopping, or like to use live cd's (like puppy or similar distros) that let you write/re-write/re-master) and your computer supports usb boots the flash drives win every time.
One thing though all media have some impact on the environment...I've found optical drives are harder to securely destroy whereas a flash drive can be erased with data destruction software then run through a standard shredder.
I don't think we'll ever have computer components that are built green or green when it's time to discard them unless some aliens come to earth and share their technology with us (not likely).
59 • Discs, pendrives, paper, staples, clips (by Shreddables Separateble on 2012-09-01 16:54:32 GMT from United States)
Several recycling techs have assured me shredded discs & pendrives are easily separated from paper, just like staples, paper clips, etc.
Number of Comments: 59
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|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
Stampede Linux was an innovative new approach to Linux distributions. We wanted a distribution that was fast and easy to use for the new user, yet versatile for the power user. So, we decided to create Stampede. Consumers: Those who demand a fast, stable and secure environment for any reason. Goals: There are 4 major goals for Stampede Linux: High Performance and Quality; Stability and Compatibility; Expandability and Very Updated; Security. Stampede Linux was created on December 4th 1997. This date was special because it's the birthdate of Matt Wood, the founder of Stampede Linux. The distribution was named after Matt's personal domain, which he created 6 months before he began work on Stampede Linux. The creation of Stampede Linux was out of his frustration with the present distributions as none of them could fulfill his needs.
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|Tips and tricks: Command line weather, ionice, rename files, video preview snapshot, calednar, ls colour settings|
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|Questions and answers: Mounting network shares at boot|
|Tips and tricks: Play nicely, drop secure shell sessions cleanly, check init's name|
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|Tips and tricks: Managing multimedia files|
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