| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 476, 1 October 2012
Welcome to this year's 40th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! openSUSE's latest release may have arrived later than originally scheduled, but, based on early reviews, version 12.2 looks like another rock-solid release. With its superb configuration tools, enormous software repository and large user community, openSUSE 12.2 has everything to become one of the top releases of 2012. Jesse Smith takes it for a spin and reports about his findings in this week's feature article. In the news section, Slackware Linux 14.0 finally arrives after 17 months of development, Fedora increases integration of business features in preparation for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, ZevenOS developers ready to close shop citing lack of community involvement, and Roberto Dohnert outlines plans for the future of the Ubuntu-based OS4 distribution. Also in this release, a Tips and Tricks section which provides a useful step-by-step tutorial on how to connect to your home computer from a remote location. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the September 2012 DistroWatch.com donation is Zim, an open-source graphical text editor based on wiki technologies. Happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Review of openSUSE 12.2
It arrived a little later than originally expected, but the openSUSE project managed to get version 12.2 out the door. This release of the great green distro has an impressive feature list. Some of the highlights in the release notes include improved performance, enhancements to Btrfs and a move to the GRUB2 boot loader as the system's default. Version 12.2 comes with some other interesting features, including improved multi-touch and multi-seat support and a recent Linux kernel, version 3.4. According to openSUSE's release notes, the new kernel is supposed to support capping CPU usage of processes, though at time of writing I haven't found any documentation on this feature on the openSUSE website.
Installation and first impressions
There are four different editions of openSUSE. There is a full 4.7 GB DVD containing a range of software. We find two live CD editions, one featuring KDE and the other featuring GNOME. The forth option is a 180 MB network installation disc for people who just want to download the specific packages they require. Each option is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds and can be acquired via a direct download or through BitTorrent. I opted to try the KDE disc which is approximately 670 MB in size. Booting off the media we are presented with a boot menu which asks if we would like to load the live desktop environment, perform an installation or check the integrity of the media. I opted to dive into the installer.
When we launch the distribution's graphical installer we are first asked for our preferred language and keyboard layout. We are shown the project's license agreement and then asked to select our time zone from a map of the world. We then get into disk partitioning and we can select from either a guided approach or jump straight into a manual configuration. The guided approach will accept a few pieces of input, so one might say we are guiding the guide. The installer supports ext2, ext3, ext4, XFS, Reiserfs and Btrfs file systems. Further, I was pleased to discover openSUSE does a nice job of setting up a default Btrfs system for us with sub volumes and automated snapshots, but we can talk more about Btrfs later. The installer additionally supports LVM and encrypted partitions.
Once we are done dividing up the disk we move on to creating a user account and we have the option of enabling auto-login and we can choose authentication methods and then the installer displays a list of actions it plans to take. From this final screen we can click on any of the actions and that will take us to the appropriate page to change our settings. For instance, I jumped into the boot loader configuration and found openSUSE would allow me to choose between installing GRUB2, GRUB or LILO. Each boot loader can be configured in a good deal of detail and closing the page took me back to the installer's action summary screen. Accepting the list of planned changes kicks off the installation itself and a short time later, once all the required files have been copied to our hard drive, the installer prompts us to reboot the machine.
openSUSE 12.2 - the welcome screen
(full image size: 662kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Booting into openSUSE we are shown a green loading screen while pale dots dance across the display. It looks like a group of fireflies hiding behind green stained glass. The first time we load openSUSE a graphical wizard appears and begins running a series of configuration steps. The steps are completely automated and we merely have to wait for a minute or two for the wizard to finish its tasks. Then we are presented with a graphical login screen. Signing into our account we are shown a welcome screen containing links to the openSUSE forms, the project's news blog and KDE documentation. Closing the welcome screen reveals a collection of icons on the desktop. These icons will bring up system information, open a browser to the openSUSE website, bring up Firefox, let us browse the file system or start LibreOffice. The KDE interface is set up with a classic layout. The application menu, task switcher and system tray sit at the bottom of the screen. By default we find desktop effects and search indexing are enabled, however while these features typically cause my desktop to lag when running other distributions, I found my interface continued to be responsive with these items enabled on openSUSE.
Software and package management
Looking at openSUSE's application menu we find a useful collection of popular software. The Firefox and Konqueror web browsers are present. KMail is included for e-mail, the Choqok micro-blogging software is featured as is KTorrent. Most of the LibreOffice suite is included in the menu, though the Calc spreadsheet application is missing. For multimedia we find the Amarok music player, the KsCD audio CD player and Kaffeine is included for playing videos. We also find an image viewer, text editor, archive manager and a virtual calculator. Some accessibility options are included such as a screen magnifier and a virtual keyboard. To help protect our privacy the KGpg encryption tool is featured.
The powerful YaST control centre is available to us, as is the KDE System Settings panel. These help us configure the operating system as a whole and the desktop environment respectively. The KDE Help Centre is installed for us and Network Manager is available to help us get on-line. I didn't find Java, multimedia codecs or Flash installed by default, but these can be found in the repositories. By default, mail and secure shell services are running in the background and, behind the scenes, openSUSE features version 3.4 of the Linux kernel. One aspect of the application menu I appreciated was when new programs were installed they were added to a category at the top of the menu called Recently Installed. This makes finding new applications easier than if we had to hunt through the menu.
openSUSE 12.2 - reading the release announcement and running LibreOffice
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As previously mentioned, openSUSE does not come with popular media codecs. When we attempt to play a file for which the system doesn't have a codec the media player (typically either Amarok or Kaffeine) will offer to hunt down the required codec. I found that Amarok was able to locate and install codecs for MP3 files in the standard openSUSE repositories, however video codecs required a bit more work. When attempting to play a video file the system will offer to find the proper codec and fail to locate the required packages. The system then offers to open a website containing information on third-party codecs. Opening the offered website we find an explanation as to why multimedia support is missing from the default install and then we are shown two sets of instructions for adding these missing packages. We can either click a link that automates the entire process (and this option works nicely) or we can copy command line instructions into our console. Whichever way we go openSUSE downloads the proper packages providing multimedia support. While not quite as convenient as Ubuntu's method of letting us click a checkbox during the initial install, openSUSE's approach to multimedia is fairly balanced and it isn't hard for users, even fairly inexperienced users, to find the software they want.
However, it was about this time when I ran into my one major gripe with openSUSE 12.2. When I was trying to add codecs (and at another point when I was trying to download security updates) I ran into an error telling me package transactions were locked by PackageKit. Would I like to ask PackageKit to close? I opted yes, I wanted PackageKit to wrap up and let me perform my tasks. A few seconds later I was told that PackageKit refused to respond and would I like to try again? I tried again five times and finally gave up, opting to wait. An hour later PackageKit was still showing as busy. Assuming something had gone wrong I killed the PackageKit process and continued with my tasks. Later, after a reboot, I ran into the same problem while trying to install software, PackageKit had locked the packaging system and refused to let go, even after letting it run for a few hours. Eventually I removed PackageKit and had no further problems with installing software or downloading updates, though the update notification icon, usually located in the system tray, was no longer present with PackageKit removed.
Also on the topic of software management, openSUSE comes with a unique package manager. This application, which can be found within the YaST system panel, is unusually flexible. The package manager allows us to find, sort and filter software packages by name, by software category, by RPM group, by description and by status. The package manager will show us packages in just about any way we could want and maintains a queue of actions to be performed. This means if we are setting up an update or wish to install multiple packages and we get called away from the computer we can close the package manager and it will restore the queue, remembering what we were doing when we launch the manager again. Despite all of these handy features, much of the complexity is lying under the surface. This means new users can go in, click on the items they want and shouldn't have too much of a learning curve. More advanced users will find the package manager quite accommodating.
Hardware and system configuration
Since I mentioned YaST, let's look at some of the other tasks which can be performed through this control centre. YaST has a nice interface that features categories of system management down the left side of the window. Over on the right we see specific modules currently available in the YaST panel. Besides software management, we can also deal with external hardware such as printers, scanners and mouse pointers. There is a module for adjusting kernel settings such as which process scheduler to use. YaST will also let us configure the boot loader, change the system's date & time, perform system-wide backups, configure network connections and change our hostname. We can set up and configure network shares using a variety of protocols and manage the computer's firewall. There is a module dedicated to security settings and it lets us get down into the gritty details of user account settings and password requirements. Something I appreciate about YaST is that we are not limited to the tools provided in the default install. The openSUSE repositories contain additional modules which, when installed via the package manager, automatically appear on the YaST panel. One module I recommend is the OpenSSH configuration tool, as secure shell comes enabled by default in openSUSE 12.2.
YaST is a very powerful, capable system admin tool and it's a great asset, especially for power users. However, I think new users may find it a bit intimidating. Not the panel itself, but rather many of the individual modules. Some of the configuration modules are quite straight forward and simple (the OpenSSH module, for example, is fairly friendly). Other modules are more complex and may turn off novice users. A new user going into the Backup module hoping to find something like Deja Dup is going to be in for an unpleasant surprise when they see all the configuration options. This varied approach used by YaST seems at odds with, for example, the admin controls which come with PCLinuxOS where everything appears to have the goal of being novice friendly.
openSUSE 12.2 - the KDE System Settings panel and YaST
(full image size: 499kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
I ran openSUSE on my laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 4 GB of RAM, Intel video and Intel wireless cards) and I was happy to discover the distribution detected and utilized all of my hardware out of the box. My screen was set to its maximum resolution, sound was set to a medium level and the distro detected wireless networks in my area. Performance was quite good and the system only used approximately 210 MB of memory when sitting idle at the KDE desktop. Boot and shutdown times were about average and the system remained stable for the duration of my trial.
I believe I've stated before that openSUSE is a distribution which does not get the coverage and respect it deserves. While the blogosphere lights up which each new experiment from the Fedora camp and news of every package change in Ubuntu ripples through the open source community, the openSUSE project generally does not attract a lot of attention. Yet the developers have managed, fairly consistently, to put out quality releases over the years. The 12.2 release seems to be another such step in the right direction, with a few possible exceptions...
As mentioned earlier, PackageKit was a complete mess on my installation. The only way I could operate on software packages was to remove the PackageKit daemon. In the past I've complained that PackageKit gets in the way from time to time or slows things down, but I was willing to admit it had a purpose. Perhaps something went wrong during my install, but PackageKit completely blocked any package transactions for me this time around until it was shut down and removed. This was my only serious issue with openSUSE and I suspect it may be one of those one-off errors that won't bother most people, at least that's the impression I've had browsing the forums. A minor concern, and this is a matter of taste, was that YaST is starting to show its age. It is still a very powerful system configuration tool and I'm pleased to have it. Yet, I feel it could do with an overhaul to make it a bit more user friendly. The other week I praised the Control Centre in PCLinuxOS. YaST has similar functionality to that Control Centre, but has a more daunting interface and I'd love to see it touched up and perhaps have the more advanced options put in separate tabs.
openSUSE 12.2 - working with packages and adjusting security settings
(full image size: 416kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Those things aside, I have a lot of positive points to raise about openSUSE's latest release. One such point being the performance. In the past it was often stated SUSE was on the slow side and even recent releases were fairly average when it came to their responsiveness. The 12.2 release was quite snappy on my hardware. It was a pleasant surprise to find that, even with effects and indexing turned on, the KDE desktop was quick to respond. YaST modules seem to be loading faster these days too. On a related note, I usually do not set up Btrfs during my trials and the last time I did, I reverted back to ext3/4 because of the huge performance hit I took with Btrfs. That was about a year ago. This week I tried Btrfs with openSUSE and was pleasantly surprised, both because the distribution's performance was still great, but also because Btrfs is integrated with the operating system and works automatically.
When updates or configuration changes are made through YaST the admin tool makes a Btrfs snapshot, allowing us to investigate problems and roll back to previous configurations which are known to work. These snapshots are done transparently for the user. The distro comes with a command line utility for dealing with snapshots, called Snapper, and Snapper's manual page is surprisingly easy to read and the program is fairly straight forward to use. I especially like that users can browse old snapshots, find out which files have changed and compare the old version of a file with the current one. There is a graphical module for Snapper which can be added to the YaST admin tool, however it is a bit limited at this stage. The Snapper module allows us to browse snapshots and restore them, but creating snapshots, scheduling them or deleting them isn't available yet through the graphical interface.
In short, openSUSE has a solid installer, the YaST admin panel is great, the performance is excellent and (with PackageKit gone) software handling went smoothly. The Btrfs implementation is the best I've seen to date and the hardware detection on my laptop was flawless. I've been quite impressed with what openSUSE had to offer this time around and I recommend giving it a try.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Slackware 14.0 features, Fedora for business, ZevenOS disappointments, interview with OS4's Roberto Dohnert
All is well with the world as Patrick Volkerding unleashed a brand-new version of Slackware Linux last week. This was the distribution's first stable release in 17 months, which was the longest development period in the project's 19-year old history. Well-known Slackware developer Eric Hameleers blogged about the new Slack: "I think there has not been such a long series of release candidates, ever before. Thanks to the co-operation of our Slackware user base, there has been a tremendous amount of beta testing during the past few months. Pat could probably have gone on releasing updates and allow further testing for months to come, but essentially, we have a solid and stable Slackware release in our hands. What’s new? We have X11R7.7 (X.Org server 1.12.3), KDE 4.8.5, Xfce 4.10, the Linux 3.2.29 kernel as default, but with lots of sample kernel configurations for newer 3.x kernels included as well. NetworkManager has been added for people who like to be mobile and configure their network connections using a GUI. We still include wicd, and we kept full support for the traditional style of network configuration." As always, installation CD and DVD images are available from public mirrors, but buying the official media (US$49.95) will go a long way in supporting the distribution and its future development.
Slackware Linux 14.0 - the default KDE desktop
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Would you deploy the Fedora distribution on a business desktop? Many would probably reply negatively due to the short shelf life of the Fedora releases, but there are signs that the distro is becoming more business friendly. Christopher Tozzi has spotted a handful of features in the upcoming Fedora 18 which support that view: "While Fedora 18 will introduce a slew of new features, some of the most notable are those that make it a stronger candidate within commercial environments. These include: out-of-the-box integration with Microsoft Active Directory; better support for automatic discovery of printers and other devices via Avahi; support for NFSometer, a tool for measuring the performance of networked file shares based on the open source NFS protocol used in many enterprise environments; packages for Eucalyptus, an open source platform for building private clouds; the open-source data syncing platform ownCloud will also be packaged for Fedora 18, allowing users to create their own infrastructures for sharing data across devices; the latest stable release of OpenStack will be available for Fedora 18." It's worth noting that, according to earlier reports, Fedora 18 will also serve as the base for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, Red Hat's next major update of its enterprise distribution, due for release in 2013.
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Why are there so many Linux distributions, many ask. Perhaps the most obvious answer is that "because they are très facile to create". Or, more precisely, it's trivially easy to remaster one of the big distribution releases to add a personal element or two. But unless you have the business plan of Red Hat, the developer community of Debian or the staying power of Slackware, the odds that your distro will survive for long are rather low. The latest example of a journey that started with great enthusiasm and ended with bitter disappointment is ZevenOS. Leszek Lesner who founded the project in 2008 explains on the distribution's website: The future of ZevenOS looks bad. The community effort to create a free and open-source Linux distribution bringing the BeOS look and feel back has dried out. Currently only I am there as the main developer of ZevenOS. Exactly one week ago I asked for help in the community but there was near-to-nothing feedback on this topic. I know that there are a few people who want to use ZevenOS but none of them are capable or willing to offer time to support ZevenOS in an open and free manner. It should be clear than that even for me working on a project alone is no real fun any more (like it was in the beginning where lots of people got interested and had suggestions and wanted to help) and it is really hard if you are on your own."
On a related note, Dreamlinux, a Debian-based desktop Linux distribution, also closed its doors last week.
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Finally, a link to an interview with Roberto Dohnert, the founder of the Ubuntu-based, semi-commercial OS4 distribution: Q: Where do you want to go with OS4? A: My goals are very simple, to make an easy-to-use desktop and do it based on Linux. Do I see myself as the next Bill Gates? No, if OS4 becomes a niche OS then so be it, but I want to be in as many of those niches as possible. Multimedia creation, air and space, medical, photography, oil and gas, and the automobile market. I'm happy with the pro desktop and I'm happy with the workstation market and I would be very happy to be in the home users desktop. We work from that mindset, we design OS4 to be as user-friendly for the home user and build ourselves up to those pro markets as I described. We are extremely happy with the user friendliness we have achieved and we strive to make our desktop easy to learn, 10 minutes, and so far that has worked out extremely well, our beta testers and users are very happy with what we deliver. Also, we work with all kinds of software, commercial, open source and everything else that people want to use. We are constantly talking to commercial software developers on how we can make their software run on OS4 and get certified to run their software."
|Tips and Tricks (by Jesse Smith)
Hostnames for home
Sometimes it is convenient to be able to access one's home computer remotely. Maybe you're away on business and want to grab a copy of the presentation you had on your hard disk, perhaps you are on vacation and want to send copies of your digital pictures home in case your camera gets lost or maybe you want to run a web server out of your home. Whatever the reason, it is good to be able to access your machine from another location and that's what I want to cover this week.
To enable remote access to our machine there are four basic steps we need to perform:
The first step is usually the easiest. Typically when we install a service on our Linux distro, whether that service is a secure shell or a web server, the distribution will start it for us. For the sake of example let's say I wanted to enable secure shell on my Ubuntu box, to do this I would run:
- Enable a service on our home machine.
- Register a domain name.
- Set the domain to be automatically updated with the proper IP address.
- Open a port in our firewall.
sudo apt-get install openssh-server
The next step is to set up a dynamic hostname, something which is fairly easy to remember for people and will point to our home computer, regardless of its IP address. To do this we will want to visit DynDNS.org, no-ip.com or FreeDNS.afraid.org and register for a free account. This will allow us to set up a free domain name like "jesse.afraid.org" or "jesse.is-a-geek.net".
The third step is to now tell our home machine to automatically update our new name (I'm sticking with jesse.is-a-geek.net), so that when our IP address changes our name will still point to the correct location. There are a number of programs which will perform the required checks and updates for us, I happen to like an app called inadyn as it takes very little effort to configure and is available through the repositories of several distributions. To install inadyn I ran:
sudo apt-get install inadyn
Now that the inadyn software is installed, we need to provide it with our account information. To do this, create a text file in the editor of your choice and enter the following lines:
Alter the text in italics to match the username, password and domain name you selected when you created an account with DynDNS, No-IP or FreeDNS. We then save the text file as inadyn.conf. Next we copy the file into our /etc directory, the default location for most configuration files, and change its permissions so that only our user can access the file's contents:
sudo cp -p inadyn.conf /etc
Next it is time to give the inadyn software a test run. From the command line execute:
chmod 600 /etc/inadyn.conf
Assuming everything is set up properly, inadyn should let us know that our IP address has been updated. Otherwise an error will be displayed letting us know what went wrong. Our IP address could be changed several times a day and to counter that I like to have inadyn update my address once an hour. This can be done by running:
to bring up our user's scheduled tasks. We then want to add a task which will run inadyn for us every hour. The line in my crontab file looks like this:
2 * * * * /usr/sbin/inadyn > /home/jesse/inadyn-status.txt
The above command runs inadyn two minutes after the hour and saves any output from the command in a text file. The text file can be useful if we find out later our address information is no longer being updated correctly.
The last step, making sure our firewall will allow connections, is typically comprised of two parts. We need to make sure our computer itself doesn't block connections. How to approach this will vary a good deal depending on which distribution we are using. However, most distributions have a firewall configuration tool and will allow us to open one specific port. In my case, where I'm running secure shell, I opened port 22:
sudo ufw allow 22/tcp
The final step is perhaps the hardest to describe. People who are behind a router or have another type of device between their computer and the Internet will have to login to that device and enable port forwarding, allowing incoming connections to be forwarded to their computer. The procedure to forward ports will depend on the type of device used. If your router or ISP modem does not come with instructions, try performing a web search for the device's specific model name and the phrase "port forwarding".
With these configuration steps complete I am able to connect to my home computer from anywhere in the world by using the name jesse-is-a-geek.net, as in:
|Released Last Week
Slackware Linux 14.0
After more than two months of testing, Patrick Volkerding has finally announced the release of Slackware Linux 14.0: "The long wait is finally over and a new stable release of Slackware has arrived! Since our last stable release, a lot has changed in the Linux and FOSS world. The kernel has moved on to major version 3 (we're using the long-term supported 3.2.29 kernel for this release), X.Org has released X11R7.7, and Firefox has had a whopping 11 major releases to arrive at version 15.0.1! We've brought together the best of these and other modern components and worked our magic on them. You'll find new compilers (including the LLVM/Clang compiler that's becoming a popular alternative to GCC), development tools, libraries, and applications throughout, all prepared with our careful and rigourous testing. If you've used Slackware before, you'll find the system feels like home." Consult the release announcement and release notes for further details.
Hanthana Linux 17 "LXDE"
Danishka Navin announced the release of Hanthana Linux 17 "LXDE" edition, a lightweight live CD built from Fedora 17 and featuring the LXDE desktop environment: "Hanthana Linux live CD, the newest member of the Hanthana Linux family comes out today. While our regular DVD release is a complete software repository with the latest 3D-accelerated desktop, the live CD will cater the the needs of low-resource requirements, personalized software selection and simplicity. It comes with all the goodness of Hanthana and Fedora version 17, including Mozilla Firefox, LibreOffice Writer, Calc and Impress, and loads of more lightweight applications. LXDE is a lightweight and customizable desktop environment, which is designed to work with older hardware, although it also works perfectly well with modern 3D-accelerated graphics hardware." Here is the full release announcement which includes a screenshot of the default desktop.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
September 2012 DistroWatch.com donation: Zim|
We are happy to announce that the recipient of the September 2012 DistroWatch.com donation is Zim, a desktop wiki application. It receives €250.00 in cash.
Described by Debian as a "graphical text editor based on wiki technologies", the Zim project's about page offers a more detailed explanation about the project's goals: "Zim aims to bring the concept of a wiki to your desktop. Every page is saved as a text file with wiki markup. Pages can contain links to other pages, and are saved automatically. Creating a new page is as easy as linking to a non-existing page. This tool is intended to keep track of to-do lists or to serve as a personal scratch book. But it will also serve you when writing longer and more complicated documents. A 'desktop wiki' means that we try to capture the idea of a wiki, not as a webpage but as a collection of files on your local file system that can be edited with a GUI application. The main focus is a kind of personal wiki that serves for all kind of notes: to-do lists, addresses, brainstorm ideas etc." Zim is a brainchild of Jaap Karssenberg from the Netherlands.
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$33,185 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), cherrytree ($260), Zim ($335)
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New distributions added to waiting list
- Brasillinux. Brasillinux is a Brazilian desktop distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux. It features an up-to-date Linux kernel and other applications, the Mint menu, extra WiFi firmware, and an installation program completely localised into Brazilian Portuguese.
- Galsoft Linux. Galsoft Linux is a Lubuntu-based desktop distribution localised into the Galician language.
- OpenNode OS. OpenNode OS is a open-source server virtualisation solution providing easy-to-use bare-metal system installer. It's based on CentOS and supports both OpenVZ container-based virtualisation and emerging KVM full virtualization technology on the same host.
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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, 8 October 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 • Loopy Pakagekit. (by Antony. on 2012-10-01 08:57:05 GMT from United Kingdom) |
Hi Jesse. I had the same issue with Packagekit. In the end I thought I'd see what results I got from the terminal, where I issued the update command. All was fine after this.
So, Packagekit is still installed and all is behaving. Guess it needed the old 'bang to the side of the TV' trick.
2 • Edit to my previous comment. (by Antony on 2012-10-01 09:04:21 GMT from United Kingdom)
Oh, I also disabled (I always do) update notifications.
Sorry. (Age, you know) :(
3 • Suse12.2 (by arnold on 2012-10-01 09:27:36 GMT from United States)
I've had to disable package kit for 12.2 and 12.1. It is an abomination. The best I've found for updating, after disabling Package Kit, is zypper up as root.
4 • Love openSUSE 12.2 KDE (by Maja on 2012-10-01 10:07:28 GMT from Slovenia)
I love openSUSE 12.2 (with KDE Plasma workspace of course). Realy working fast and stable this time. And yes they realy should do something about the package update notification (Apper) problems. It is the only bad point I could find about this release and just uninstalled Apper and packagekit for now. Otherwise it is a spectacular release.
5 • Linux reviews -- upgrade required (by macias on 2012-10-01 10:21:00 GMT from Poland)
As for update notifier it is a pain for a long time, and I always remove this, because it more as an obstacle than help.
Now, about the review. I think it is really time to add section of upgrade, not only installation. I don't know how many new Linux users install Linux distro for their first time, but many don't install it, just upgrade. And upgrade is way more rough ride than pure install -- because now you have to get the same software but newer, you cannot lose data, you have to get back your drivers for hardware, and so on.
As for openSUSE it is sad to see the regression of hardware support and shaky management of packages (while upgrading).
Because you (Jesse) didn't cover upgrade you didn't write anything about Tumbleweed -- and this is big omission IMHO, because TW was supposed to be essential part of openSUSE. For now -- it is a failure. It only works within limits of given version, after that you have to upgrade in traditional way. So in short rolling release in openSUSE is not a rolling release at all (and I am pretty puzzled of such weird idea). As openSUSE user I can only hope it will mature and become rolling release for real.
6 • DNS for home (by AliasMarlowe on 2012-10-01 10:35:09 GMT from Europe)
Could you expand your tutorial on setting up access to your home PC to include access to a PC on your home LAN?
Foe example, suppose jesse.is-a-geek.net translated to your router's IP address, and you had a few machines on your home LAN (maybe with 192.168.*.* addresses, maybe using IPv6). How would you access different PCs or servers behind the router from the internet?
I tend to use different ports which the router forwards to the appropriate service (typically ssh and/or http and/or https) and machine, but wonder if there's a better way...
7 • opensuse 12.2 (by Nik on 2012-10-01 10:41:18 GMT from Greece)
My experience with opensuse 12.2 was different.
While the live image and initial installation worked fine, when i updated it, i lost access to my wireless network. Networkmanager was able to find all available connections but mine. And many other less severe problems.
Worst linux experience i ever had, and ive been using linux on my home machines for at least a decade.
8 • openSuSE 12.x and Network Manager (by J.A. Watson on 2012-10-01 10:58:46 GMT from Switzerland)
First, regarding the above mentioned problem with Wireless Network connections. There has been a problem with Network Manager and wireless network connections on openSuSE since at least 12.1, and probably earlier than that. All you need to do is open the Network Manager icon, and then disable Wireless Networking and enable it again.
Second, regarding the Package Kit problems mentioned above, add my voice to the chorus. Package Kit has managed to get steadily worse with each new openSuSE release, to the point where it is now actively counterproductive. Not only does it get in the way of other software management utilities, it has now developed a very nasty habit of announcing that updates are available, and then when you click "Accept" it just recycles and announces they are available again. and again. and again. But it never installs them - when this happens I have to fall back to Yast/Online Update.
Third, a problem that I haven't seen mentioned here yet. Because they try to do graphic booting with Grub2 (perhaps they miss the wonderful animated boot screens they have with legacy Grub?), when installing openSuSE 12.2 the Grub2 installation fails on a few of my systems which have AMD/ATI Radeon graphic controllers. When this happens, the only option I have found which works is to revert to selecting legacy Grub in the final Installation overview screen - but the good news is that then you get the fun animated boot screens...
Finally, though, and most importantly, despite these two very irritating problems, I really love openSuSE. Someting about it just feels good.
9 • Zim yeah (by Turbo on 2012-10-01 11:03:00 GMT from Germany)
Thanks for donating to Zim! I use it for over two years now and am very happy with it! Thanks!
10 • opensuse 12.1 and 12.2 (by Jozsef on 2012-10-01 11:07:22 GMT from United Arab Emirates)
Unfortunately I can use OpenSuSE in this country anymore:
Maybe 12.2 would work but nobody knows till when :(
11 • OpenSuSE 12.2 (by Wil Barath on 2012-10-01 11:27:52 GMT from Canada)
I installed this when it appeared on the mirrors. My Linux journey started on Slackware but I moved to SuSE with version 3.2 due to the vastly larger package repo. SuSE was a highly polished pig... it was slow and the package management was a nightmare after Slackware, which lets you do whatever you want. But on the bright side it had ports of everything under the sun, and I had a silly amount of RAM so it was stable and performance was still usable.
Years later I was seduced away by SimplyMepis, which let me to Debian Sid. Again, huge package repo, too many dependencies, but the package manager was just a liiiiitle bit more friendly. Or at least I could fool it into being more friendly. I've lived on one or another Sid-based distro, or Debian-Unstable, ever since. Until OpenSuse 12.2 came out... why?
Well, I bought a new laptop. A Sony SVS15 with Ivy Bridge. Debian Sid, Ubuntu, and Korora all failed to correctly configure the HD4000 graphics, or the touchpad, which made my lovely new laptop into a very shiney doorstop. (Windows 7 worked but trying to be productive on a Redmond "window manager" is ... well... let's face it - Aero gives you less control over your windows than Gnome Shell!) So I turned to the historical master of video drivers - OpenSuSE.
Lo and behold - everything worked perfectly out of the box. A machine with components which were vapourware 2 months before and OpenSuSE has flawless support for every piece of technology under the hood. Resume from suspend in a blink like a Macbook Air. 7 hours of battery life.
BUT - same horrifically crappy package management as with SuSE 3.x, and the installer refused d to let me set up my root on a BTRFS filesystem with LVM2 Encrypted volumes.
Allow me to describe what I mean by horrifically crappy package management:
I installed skype from the wrapped-apps repo. Unfortunately I had to install the version for OpenSUSE 11.2, which linked against older versions of some standard libraries. I had to tell it to 'break' the packages to install them. They run fine. Someone who packaged it should have specified dependencies of package X >= version Y.ZZZ instead of an exact package version.
This is not OpenSuSE's fault. What *IS* their fault though, is that each and every time I open a package management tool, it swears at me about this "broken" package and asks me to take steps to resolve the 2 "broken" dependencies. Each time I do so. Each time it completely forgets what I have told it, as if the instructions I gave it at 11:15pm no longer suffice at 11:17pm.
On the bright side, it doesn't prevent automatic updates from running.
So, apart from the apparent disrespect of the authors of the package management tools for OpenSUSE users in general, this is a great distro for people with bleeding edge hardware.
Zypper feels much faster than the old YaST2 package manager.
YaST gives you enterprise-level GUI-driven control of your computer.
I'm looking forward to a long lazy couple more years of OpenSUSE use, at least on my laptop. On my netbook, Aptosid rules. It's as fast as Vector - and who needs all of YaST on a netbook?! lol.
Happy Distro Hopping!
12 • openSuse 12.2 (by fox on 2012-10-01 11:33:00 GMT from Canada)
What I really like about it are the beautiful graphics, at start-up and the grub menu itself. openSUSE has always been a visually attractive distro, and this version doesn't disappoint. As Jesse noted, it also feels fast; certainly faster than previous versions. Package Kit didn't work for me either, but removal is an easy fix. My biggest gripe with it is the poor readability of text; quite notable in Firefox and kmail. Hard to pinpoint the problem but it seems to be insufficient contrast - either the black isn't sharp enough or it doesn't stand out against the background. The difference is evident against Ubuntu or Mint, all running on the same laptop. I tried changing the font, increasing font size, changing the antialiasing, but none of these made it any better. Unfortunately, my vision isn't that sharp and straining to read text is a deal breaker for me. I still have it on my laptop, if only to enjoy the grub menu and startup effects. Hopefully someone will come up with a way to sharpen that text.
13 • Opensuse is Nice to look at but (by SaltyNoob on 2012-10-01 11:39:23 GMT from United States)
I keep coming back to test it because, visually the KDE versions of Opensuse is outstanding. Battery life is awesome. It has the lowest resource foot print of all the KDE distros. My cooling fan hardly ever comes on. I have to completely disabling wallet, Nepomuk/Strigi, & Akonadi. Reminds me of cell phone bloatware. Why these are on by default, is a flame starter for another day.
My experience with Opensuse is not the best. 11.4, 12.1, and 12.2 all can't keep the clock correct after restarts. 12.1 and 12.2 have the same network timed out issues. A HP printer on a home network with 2 desktops and a laptop is still a major pain with yast since 11.3. Now all these can be fixed but why are they putting out the distro with fixable issues in the first place. Since these issues span over a year, I fail to see what a difference filing a bug would do.
Did you file a bug? A constant saying on the forums. I say, whats the point with this distro. You have have a little experience to know its a bug in the first place. As I read the forums, sometimes you can just feel the RTFM attitude just dying to come out with some the responses. New users to linux and new users to opensuse will always ask dumb questions. Get over it or get off the forums.
I know many will disagree but, "For me" Opensuse is always the pretty girl with to many issues.
14 • OpenSuSE 12.2 / NetworkManager (by Wil Barath on 2012-10-01 11:42:46 GMT from Canada)
I agree with the complaints about NetworkManager on OpenSuSE.
But then again, I agree with those complaints about NetworkManager on *ALL* distros.
NetworkManager is a very convenient piece of software for configuring a broad array of networking hardware and services such as UMTS modems (usb smartphone) VPN, and of course it was one of the first interfaces to correctly configure WPA2 on the Linux Desktop. But as far as reliability is concerned, well it's not so convenient.
For WIFI my suggestion is to install wpa_gui and use wpa_supplicant to control your WIFI hardware directly. It's not as PNP friendly as NetworkManager, but on the other hand if you are in a sub-optimal WIFI environment (-66dB signal or worse) and have occasional reconnections happening you'll quickly find out how unstable NM really is.
Number one failure of NetworkManager: On sequential failure to connect it will prompt you for your network key. Even though it already knows it. There's no option to prevent this from happening. NM will fail to reconnect until you either kill the client or respond to its requests. Something new: On the version shipping with OpenSuSE, if you click "cancel" it will *REMOVE* your access point from the list of available ones to connect to until you restart the WIFI by disabling and restarting networking. That's abominable.
The other occasionally bad things about NM: on occasion it will spawn window after window after window asking for your WIFI key - until there's hundreds stacked in the same place. Needless to say this brings a compositing desktop to its knees, not to mention it's spectacularly frustrating to close them all. Sometimes in conjunction with that, and other times for no apparent reason, the NM client will start leaking memory. I've had it using in excess of 1.2GB, rivaling the fattest of the fat memory leakers - Firefox. But at least Firefox is usually doing something when it's leaking memory!
So... WiCD or wpa_gui... unless you are in an awesome WIFI environment at all times, or really need all the bells and whistles and are prepared to face the consequences.
15 • Dreamlinux Folding (by Alan Peterson on 2012-10-01 11:50:53 GMT from United States)
Are you sure about Dreamlinux?
Unless I've got my distros crossed, Dreamlinux was a general-purpose desktop live CD. It's Dream Studio from Dick MacInnis that's the multimedia one, and at last look, it was still out there.
16 • openSUSE 12.2 Review and Comments (by Pierre on 2012-10-01 12:30:52 GMT from Germany)
I have changes Linux distributions fairly often in the last few years. I used to have openSUSE installed but after the switch from KDE 3.5.x to KDE 4 the massive problems especially with KDE 4 at that time let me gave up on openSUSE.
I started using Crunchbang, Debian, Ubuntu, Arch, Salix, Fedora and Charka, each for quite some time. And although I really loved especially the Crunchbang-experience, I felt at home completely.
I came back to openSUSE frequently, but the - in my opinion and experience - quite poor quality of the releases made me turn to something other each time.
When the announcement was made, that openSUSE 12.2 will be delayed due to quality and stabily issues I was disappointed because I had planned to try a switch back to openSUSE again.
After some time of rethinking I started to like that they delayed the release instead of delivering poor quality and that they will release it when it's ready.
openSUSE now fits in the gap between Ubuntu which is quite up-to-date but often not as stable as up-to-date and the rock-solid Debian and I like that a lot.
So I gave it a try and have to say that openSUSE 12.2 is the best openSUSE ever released. It is the first to be responsive, solid and stable. I definitly can not agree on comment 7.
Sure, there are some edges, although mine were different ones than Jesse experienced, but I installed it from the 4.7 GB Install DVD.
PackageKit once blocked my package managment activities, but that problem disappeared after the first dist-update.
Another thing is, that the installed systems network is managed by the ifup method and not by networkmanager like everyone would expect. So one has to activate that in YaST's Network Settings. After that one is missing the Network Manager Applet in the panel. One can ad the widget, or better and better looking is to right click into System Tray Settings and selecting the Network Managment Extra Item. If one knows that, it's just one clicks, but if you don't know you are searching a little and getting angry a little about that.
But except that, I had not a single real problem with openSUSE 12.2 until now and I am using it on my laptop since RC2 and on my workstation since release date. :) I only can recommend giving it a real try!
Greatings from Germany
17 • openSUSE 12.2 Review and Comments (2) (by Pierre on 2012-10-01 12:36:25 GMT from Germany)
And I have to apologize for the typos and some poor quality parts in my comment. I should have proofread it before pressing 'Submit comment'.
18 • Fonts in OpenSuSE (by Marco on 2012-10-01 13:23:06 GMT from United States)
I agree that the Ubuntu family seems sharper out of the box, but OpenSuse comes close for me when I:
Go to ‘system settings’ chose ‘application appearance’ select ‘fonts’. Now increase the size as per your suitability. Next at the bottom where use anti-alisaing is written chose ‘enable’, now click on configure, then select in the check box chose ‘use sub-pixel rendering’ to RGB and hinting style to ‘slight’ click apply. Original sources: @Manny and @Kirk.
19 • @hostnames for homes (by mofo on 2012-10-01 13:45:22 GMT from Italy)
many modern routers and modems are able to perform the IP address update by themselves so the user only requires to register the domain and route to the right host ;)
20 • Slackware 14 (by Ryan Southard on 2012-10-01 13:46:06 GMT from United States)
We'd love to see a review of Slackware 14. Any chance you can profile in an upcoming DWW? I've found Slackware 14 to be a rock solid and very snappy release. Also, this time there is a slackbuild for chrome, java and flash in /extra on the iso! The package selection is fantastic. I highly recommend everyone give it a try.
21 • opensuse (by walter_j on 2012-10-01 13:58:17 GMT from Canada)
I moved to KDE opensuse when ubuntu unity was released and have been happy with it. So much so that I don't really care what gnome and ubuntu unity do anymore - although at the time it was upsetting. I haven't had any major issues that would force me to keep looking for another distro, However there have been a few minor issues that could use work:
The time clock should be set up automatically like most other distros I'ver tried. Opensuse is the first distro that required a time server be configured.
It's been awhile since I installed opensuse and my memory is a bit hazy, but getting opensuse to see my home network was a real headache. I think part of the problem was a network card that wasn't supported very well. Linux drivers are still a problem with many network cards so it isn't just openesuse.
I struggled with packagekit too, and ignored updates for a long time.
After the update to 12.2, I have had lots of problems with amarok (2.6.0), where it doesn't work with ipods very well any more. Playlists are messed up badly, where all songs in the ipod are being added to the playlist automatically. After correcting the playlist, it doesn't save to the ipod. The Amarok user interface could also use improvement - especially in regards to ipod use. It isn't all that obvious anymore how to save a playlist to an ipod.
After I installed nvidia drivers and codecs, I really haven't felt a need to distrohop. I'm satisfied with opensuse. I still have ubuntu 10.10 installed (which is no longer supported), and occasionally boot it, and still regret what happened to gnome and ubuntu.
22 • 16 (by Wil Barath on 2012-10-01 14:04:11 GMT from Canada)
I stuck it out with KDE 3.5.12 as long as I could, on Debian Sid. That was a sad day for me, when my dist-upgrade automatically removed it. I went back to stable to reinstall it and used that for another month or so before I realised that I wasn't really using KDE as KDE any more. Konqueror was no longer the center of my desktop experience. Chromium had taken over. I was just using the KDE desktop for Kate and Kicker, and once in a blue moon I was using Konqueror as the fantastic file manager that it still is.
I tried in vain to use KDE 4.2, then 4.3, then 4.4, and gave up from then until now. And it's been a good learning experience. I learned all the things I missed on the KDE 3.5.12 desktop when I was using DE's from the *box family (very functional with no frills) through E17 (which is really really pretty, and really really buggy, with vast holes in usability and inconsistent configuration), the Gnomes (which feel like the higher the version the less usable they are), XFCE4 (which feels like a better Gnome 2.x to me), LXDE (which feels like a very unpolished blackbox to me.) After about 2 years of Desktop Hell I settled on Fluxbox + xcompmgr + cairodock, which gave me a responsive, reasonably pretty, familiar desktop without screen flash or redraws on alt-tab. But as I said - I missed the konqueror-centric desktop where everything was in that browser - from media cards to videos to photo collections to websites... even OpenOffice documents! One desktop to rule them all, seriously. And somewhat painless network transparency, so long as there were no hung IOslaves, lol. Well, KDE 4 is a *Quantum Leap Backwards* in every way imaginable, as a desktop. Maybe the KDE apps have gotten better. Hard to say. I don't use them. Konqueror is now utterly obsolete as a browser. KOffice is too incompatible to dream of using professionally. Krita is so buggy it should be renamed laKooKaracha, and skitter away to a dark corner somewhere. The KDE team, by my estimation, are fools driven by revision numbers. They could have kept making KDE 3.x brilliant but they got sucked in by TrollTech / Nokia's next QT toolkit, spent all their effort re-inventing the wheel very very badly, and the desktop has less than nothing to show for it than a few widgets that don't even look good together and can't even be configured to look good together. Yes, it's finally usable-ish. I've had it running up to 3 days without a serious crash of KWin or the new kicker equivalent, whatever they call it now. But it fails to swallow window icons to the systray and it has some of the most irritating behaviours I've ever experienced.
For example if you have 5 skype windows open it will imitate Aero and stack them on a single taskbar entry. Sometimes when I click it to select one of the sub-entries to access a specific window, it opens a grey box over the entire screen with a tiny list of the window names in the upper left corner. On a 1920x1080 screen, that uses about 2% of the total screen area. Kinda rude overkill if you ask me... however if I middle-click the entry it creates 5 micro-entries in the same space. Aw, cute! I actually like that, but it's not specially intuitive.
However, it's now stable enough to be usable. The one thing I still appreciate strongly about KDE is the configurability of KWin - the setting of window open locations, even the desktop they will open on, their layer, their greediness for focus, these are truly great features... but that's just KWin. I could have that all along with KWin from KDE 3.5.12 and discard the entirety of KDE 4.X, if only there was a stable build for modern distros... and sadly Trinity is not it. :-(
23 • Dreamlinux (by Abhijeet on 2012-10-01 14:15:31 GMT from India)
Wow! I had no idea. I was running it a while ago on my old desktop desktop until i got a new one that could run KDE. But, Dreamlinux was a really solid distro and probably the best looking one out of the box. :Sigh:
24 • Slackware (by Jesse on 2012-10-01 14:23:35 GMT from Canada)
>> "We'd love to see a review of Slackware 14. Any chance you can profile in an upcoming DWW?"
There will be a review, not this coming week as I'm traveling and won't be able to sit down with Slack until next week. But we will have a feature on Slackware soon.
>> "I think it is really time to add section of upgrade, not only installation.... And upgrade is way more rough ride than pure install -- because now you have to get the same software but newer, you cannot lose data, you have to get back your drivers for hardware, and so on."
You've pretty much answered why I don't cover upgrade paths. It's usually a bad idea to perform an in-place upgrade rather than a fresh install. It's really a much better idea to install a fresh version instead of trying to juggle all the problems which can happen with an upgrade.
Plus, in order to cover an upgrade cycle, I would have to install each distribution twice (old version plus new version) and then upgrade the old one to see what happens. Which is effectively three installs, really. And it wouldn't give any practical information because people upgrading their machines would have different software, drivers and settings compared with mine.
25 • Hostnames for home (by Fabio on 2012-10-01 14:29:14 GMT from United States)
Thank you Jesse, exactly what I needed to know. Look forward for the next how-to
26 • @24 Slack and Upgrades (by Wil Barath on 2012-10-01 14:44:03 GMT from Canada)
One relatively small thing you could report on though Jesse, would be what the success rate of using your old home on a new distro were like. In particular going from Gnome X to Gnome Y within the same Distro. So if you have been running DreamLinux and they surprise you with a new release, you could reinstall and then apart from reporting on the next DreamLinux you could also say something about whether KDE 4.8.x broke any of your KDE app configs from KDE 4.7.x or what have you.
I'll be looking forward to a writeup on Slackware. Seems like most of the Distro reviews are about the customizations of various spins of their upstream source, so a review of Slackware promises to be much more meaty...
27 • Zim - sounds a lot like Tomboy notes! (by DavidEF on 2012-10-01 14:44:07 GMT from United States)
I've never heard of Zim, so I know nothing about it. I'm somewhat familiar with wikis, but don't know a whole lot about how they work. But, just from reading the little bit of information given above on Zim, it seems to do just what Tomboy notes does. It can automatically create a new note either from clicking on "New" in the menu, or linking to a title that doesn't exist from within another note. It automatically saves and updates the notes as you type. Notes can be crosslinked in many ways. There is always a list of all notes that can be browsed or searched. And (on Ubuntu anyway), it is integrated with Ubuntu One for synchronizing on multiple computers. What else does Zim do that Tomboy does not?
I know that Tomboy was written with mono, and some people don't like that. If the only difference is that Zim doesn't use mono, many people will consider that to be a good enough reason to use it over Tomboy. I'm just wondering if there is anything else that sets it apart. Or, if Zim is written in mono, what's the point, unless there is some other feature not listed?
28 • Re: 22 (by Andy Axnot on 2012-10-01 14:49:22 GMT from United States)
What he said. :-)
Except I think Trinity works just fine. I was afraid it wouldn't last, but it looks like it's here for the long term.
29 • My quick openSUSE review (by AnklefaceWroughtlandmire on 2012-10-01 15:03:48 GMT from Ecuador)
Thanks so much for a great openSUSE 12.2 release! Here's my take on it. I use it as my main system.
+ Nice boot animation.
+ Fast boot.
+ Thank you, thank you, thank you, for still offering <700 MB CD-size editions with both Gnome and KDE and still managing to include LibreOffice!
+ Still offers an add-on CD with proprietary software, for users that don't have a fast internet connection.
+ YAST is still light years ahead of any other Linux system configuration GUI.
+ Package management is very convenient when switching between different versions in different repos
- No XFCE or LXDE live CD spin (although one can be created on SUSE Studio.
- On KDE live CD edition, LibreOffice Calc isn't included, but Draw is. If I had to choose between the two, I would take Calc over Draw. And really, they should have both fit on the CD. By the time the major LibreOffice base packages are installed, the individual components add very little additional size.
- Very cluttered menu on the KDE version when switching to the classic menu. Duplicate menu items for Kaffeine, and "More programs" sub-menus scattered all over the place at random. Yikes!
- LibreOffice looks dreadfully ugly under KDE. LibreOffice simply is not a KDE program and will never look good with a forced pseudo-Qt theme engine. My personal preference is to force is to use a simple Gnome theme engine like Industrial. It looks a bit out of place under KDE, but it least the menus and scroll bars look nice and clean.
- Pity that Gnome 3.6 didn't make the release.
Thanks again for this update to the best FOSS Linux distro on the planet. Cheers.
30 • Re: #22 - KDE 3.5 on openSuse 12.2 (by burpnrun on 2012-10-01 15:11:56 GMT from Canada)
I've used KDE 3.5 sucessfully, 24/7, as my production system since 10.x. It's very actively maintained, as well as very stable (unlike Trinity). There's a "How-To" at the following link to assist you in a clean install of 3.5:
31 • @10 (by WalterSobchak on 2012-10-01 15:34:00 GMT from Lithuania)
Comment deleted (off-topic).
32 • OpenSUSE (by David McCann on 2012-10-01 15:35:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
The package kit problem can be solved by editing the list of sources. The DVD is left enabled and package kit keeps looking for it.
The problem with installing the media codecs has always been the terrible dependency management at the repository that carries them. With version 11, I got unrar and mailmerge as "dependencies"; this time it was new wallpaper, among other things.
Most of the media players in the new edition seem poor. Kaffeine and Xine were choosy about what they'll play; Totem was jerky; Parole had to have its window shaken; Amarok told me it was configured not to accept my USB speakers. Only VLC and Rhythmbox behaved themselves.
33 • RE: 14 (by Nik on 2012-10-01 16:02:07 GMT from Greece)
"I agree with the complaints about NetworkManager on OpenSuSE.
But then again, I agree with those complaints about NetworkManager on *ALL* distros."
NO i disagree. I never had problems with any distributions NetworkManager implementation. Just OpenSuse's.
34 • SuSe PackageKit (by Jordan on 2012-10-01 16:56:25 GMT from United States)
I thought (like the reviewer) that I was the Lone Ranger wrt that PackageKit strangle hold.. I got the same reported errors and no letup. Unlike the reviewer I did not remove PackageKit but opted to remove SuSe 12.2 because of that issue along with occasional naggy disc errors that I could not fathom or find much talk about in the forums.
35 • @32 by David McCann and @Jesse (by Pierre on 2012-10-01 17:24:13 GMT from Germany)
"The package kit problem can be solved by editing the list of sources. The DVD is left enabled and package kit keeps looking for it."
Ah, now I know why I only had that problem before the first system update via zypper, because I removed the openSUSE 12.2 DVD from repository list via 'sudo zypper rr 1'. The 1 represents the number of the repository in the list, you can display the list of repositories with 'zypper lr' easily. :)
If you want to disable it instead of removing it completely from the list you can do that via 'zypper mr -d 1' and instead of using the number you could use the alias or name, too.
Happy openSUSE-computing. ;)
36 • openSUSE 12.2, etc (by claudecat on 2012-10-01 18:04:00 GMT from United States)
I installed 12.2 KDE 64 live on my amd-graphics laptop and it worked flawlessly - no issues whatsoever aside from the usual packagekit crap. However, on my desktop with nvidia gt240, the install went fine but I was left with a garbled screen upon first boot (I chose auto-login). This apparently is a problem with the transition from plymouth to ksplash that exists when using the nouveau driver. To exit the garbled desktop, I hit ctl-alt-delete, arrowed up twice so as to logout, then logged back in to a normal screen. Another solution is to escape out of plymouth or remove the splash part of the kernel command line. I ultimately solved the problem by installing the proprietary driver via one-click, but I wonder if others have experienced this issue with nouveau?
My only real issue with opnSUSE as a whole is that I find zypper to be rather idiosyncratic with regard to maintaining two machines without downloading all the updates twice. It was necessary for me to set up a local repository and assign it a higher (lower in number) priority to avoid wasted bandwidth. One might think that zypper would use packages already present in the cache folders of the enabled repositories, but such was not my experience. Powerful as zypper is, it is perhaps a bit too arcane for its own good.
Also, I'd love to see a review of Manjaro. It's a nice Arch based distro with xfce as the default desktop. Seems to behave fairly well here, curious to see what Jesse thinks...
37 • Opensuse 12.2 (by Tide on 2012-10-01 18:04:33 GMT from Swaziland)
Absolutely hate opensuse; but would use this release over windows anyday! Doesn't hurt matters either to see it working with nary a glitch on a somewhat low end compaq presario laptop. Almost as fast as CentOS 6, which it replaced, and that's something!!
PS: have no affiliation whatsoever with the guys from Suse. Just a happy user. And yes, packagekit and apper have been unistalled ;-)
38 • Slackware 14 (by John on 2012-10-01 18:27:14 GMT from United States)
Ahhh, a fresh Slackware release, always a happy moment! I have to say, I'm glad Patrick has decided to include NetworkManager with this release. I'm gonna give it go on my Thinkpad currently running Ubuntu 12.04. I've tried all the rest, time to return to the best!
39 • Dreamlinux (by historyb on 2012-10-01 19:35:01 GMT from United States)
Wow that is to bad I really liked that distro
40 • Slackware and #! (by joe f. on 2012-10-01 21:48:20 GMT from United States)
I started using Crunchbang while waiting for Slackware 14, and I must say it's a damn fine distro -- so fine, in fact, that I put Slackware on my second box and kept Crunchbang on my main box until I can put the new Slack through its paces.
I know most people are looking for something a little more fully featured than Openbox and Tint2, but Crunchbang shows that anything can do the trick when it's well done.
41 • At #11 by Wil Barath (by Pierre on 2012-10-01 21:57:27 GMT from Germany)
To fair but honest: Who ever installs Skype on Linux simply does something like beg for such problems.
Though I do not understand why you do not simply blacklist the packages that are making such problems, after that zypper won't check on them and you are fine. Or do I have misunderstood something?
42 • @13 & Network Manager (by Stacy on 2012-10-01 22:16:53 GMT from United States)
@13 Wow, I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels the same about opensuse forums. Pretty girl with issues, that was funny!!!
I'm a mobile broadband user, Network Manager is the only solution for me. So if its doesn't work or its not there, I move on to another distro. Home internet from cable companys is getting expensive. These mobile broadband devices are cheaper and more secure than a coffee shop or library wireless solution. My own self interest, but Network Manager is one the most important linux projects. I will gladly donate and help trouble shot as much as I can. Except KDE, it seems to always struggle with Network Manager. Opensuse seems to struggle with anything other than a line connection. For me the combo fails to many time to be useful.
43 • OpenSuse 12.2 (by Sly on 2012-10-02 01:40:14 GMT from United States)
I installed OpenSuse 12.2 over the weekend. I first upgraded from 12.1 but it didn't work so well. I then wiped the partition and did a new install from the dvd. I experienced two problems but overcame them rather quickly. The 1st problem was a video problem. I resolved it by booting using the recovery option from the boot menu. The second problem was the packagekit problem discribed by Jesse. I again rebooted and the problem went away. I actually think this is the best version of OpenSuse put out by the team.
44 • @41, OpenSuSE package management (by Wil Barath on 2012-10-02 02:09:44 GMT from Canada)
You are right - installing foreign binary blob software is asking for trouble. However sometimes we need to do things which come highly unrecommended in this life. Which is why I am prepared to bitch about it instead of just uninstalling it. ;-)
I've followed suggestions and disabled the DVD repo as well as 'protecting' wrapped-skype (I couldn't find 'blacklist' in YaST.)
And I've restarted YaST.
And clicked 3 times to signal PackageKit to exit.
And run sudo killall -HUP packagekit.
And behold: "Nothing provides libgcc44-32bit needed by wrapped-skype[...]"l
So no, it is still trying to resolve the issue and still suggesting that I remove it as the way to deal with it, despite it being 'protected'.
Now, as an aside, I am far and away from an OSS purist. I think Stallman behaves like a bully - he was pushed around and now he wants to push others around. Bear in mind that he was able to produce GNU using proprietary software tools, and yet once he started to achieve his regal software aims, did he show any magnanimity? Nope, he has been far harder on the proprietary world than the proprietary world was ever on him. If he had his way, it would be impossible to even run binary packages on a GNU platform. He's gotten the Linux kernel devs to force certain subsystems not to link with kernel modules which don't have an OSS license signature. Imagine if the unix tools he wrote EMACS on refused to execute it because it wasn't under a Closed License?!
The man is a tyrant, not a king. I love what has come from his labour, but I fear those who worship him and his ways too closely.
45 • @33 NetworkManager (by Wil Barath on 2012-10-02 02:31:44 GMT from Canada)
I did mention that there's a problem unique to OpenSuSE's implementation. Feel free to elaborate more specifically on your own problems and contrast them with other distros which actually work with the same hardware under the same conditions.
For example, I found that NM with Debian Etch 4.0 on Acer AspireOne with Ath5k was pretty solid, but fell down after applying a few dist-upgrades, so I rolled it back to the 4.0 release version. Later I found it was unreliable with Lenny, and now it's unreliable with Squeeze and it's still unreliable in Sid.
It's been unreliable in every iteration of Linux Mint, but it was more reliable in 12.0 than 13.0. No surprise it behaved the same in Mint's parent, Ubuntu.
In all of them I have the same exact issues. Memory leaks of major or drastic proportion (ie resulting in consuming 1G of ram in under 24 hours) constant 'disconnect for local reason' before it's even managed to obtain a DHCP lease, the idiotic popping of MODAL dialogs (from a system running a daemon designed to keep the network up as long as possible?! MODAL?!?!?!) asking for credentials it already has and no option to prevent it, or even worse - the popping of SIMULTANEOUS dialogs asking for the credentials AND the kwallet keys, both of which it already has, and popping multiple overlapping dialogs asking for the same thing. And to add braindamage to the mix, these modal dialogs block ALT-TAB, kmenu, etc so if focus somehow gets switched the entire X becomes locked out (example is when playing a fullscreen 3D game with cursor grab)
NM is great when you have a strong network connection - when it doesn't have to do the job it was designed for - to keep the network connected. Its developers have to stop working under ideal conditions all the time. Operate at -66 to -72dB signal levels, where your WIFI card complains about excessive retries, and then you'll find out the true nature of the beast.
46 • OpenSuse 12.x (by bastafidli on 2012-10-02 03:00:39 GMT from United States)
The last time I tried OpenSuse 12.x it was a complete disappointment. I encrypt all my disks to prevent misuse of information in case they are stolen and OpenSuse supports whole disk encryption only under LVM. As I have learned when I filed bug/rfe, the raw luks volumes are not supported. Every single distro I used supports it just fine, except OpenSuse.
47 • @30 KDE 3.5 / Trinity (by Wil Barath on 2012-10-02 03:01:33 GMT from Canada)
Bless you. If you'd told me that a year ago, LOL. Fortunately I have moved on now. Well... maybe I will be tempted to install it on another partition and see how easily I slip back into old habits. :-)
The problems for me with 3.5.12 are: (in a work environment)
KMail no longer has good support for Exchange.
Konqueror has gone from one of the fastest and most W3C compliant browsers, to one of the most anachronistic... which is a shame since the (ostensibly) best browser in the market is a fork of KHTML. To me that says something pretty clear about the focus of KDE developers and their openness to outside improvement.
The KIO dialogs used to drive me crazy. I open a project in Kate and it instantly opens 40 simultaneous connections to my server, which sometimes causes my router to reset. The 40 dialogs wallpapering my desktop aren't disruptive at all... no... that's just an excuse for an RSI prevention break. I guess it's nice that it lets me know when the project has finished loading by letting me see my work environment again. ;-)
KDE 4.8.5 does let me quash those transfer dialogs. It still tries to DOS my router but meh... unlike with 3.5.12 when one of those transfer fails due to timeouts I can restart it instead of canceling.
However, Kate may still drive me back to 3.5.12: Kate 3.8.5 (as part of KDevelop 4.8.5). has taken 3 steps forward and 2 steps back. It's now as functional as it was in 3.5.12 but it has some annoying bugs which come from the scintilla library. Its syntax highlighting has taken several steps backward because of that. Its cut&paste is a mess if you are pasting comments or anything starting with *. It's code completion now sees an _ as a word separator, yet its spellchecking does not - the exact opposite behaviours one would desire. Its word dynamic wrapping leaves a lot to be desired. It's performance is at least an order of magnitude slower. I say that because on a machine that's an order of magnitude faster than my netbook (20x) it's still as slow or slower for simple things like scrolling a large source file. I don't even know how that can be possible. Even Jedit, a java-based editor, running all kinds of byte-code plugins, is faster than Kate on 4.8.5. :-(
48 • Zim and @27 (by Maruel on 2012-10-02 03:12:55 GMT from Argentina)
Great to see you're donating to Zim!
It's an excellent but sadly not very popular program.
@27 Zim may sound similar to Tomboy, but actually I find it A LOT better, as it has many more functions and you can use it for lots of purposes. It even supports adding LaTeX code! :D
You should actually try it and test it before trying to compare it to Tomboy. It may even fit your needs in a better way!
And remember, Zim is (mainly) a "personal wiki" (which works way better than Tomboy for storing information), though you can use it for note-taking, task management, etc., etc.
Thank you a lot for donating to Zim, hope that helps them to keep up such excellent software.
49 • Dreamlinux (by maconulaff on 2012-10-02 04:06:59 GMT from United States)
Shame this one falls by the wayside. It was one of the nicest looking distros I had used over the years. It had a very clean accessible desktop and it ran well on a variety of hardware. Thank you to all who did work to develop and support Dreamlinux. I will miss your distro.
50 • Open suse DOES not see wireless (by tzontag on 2012-10-02 05:07:29 GMT from United States)
This is the second version of open suse that I have sh*tcanned right after install. I have both a wireless card and a wireless USB antenna that is seen by all other distros I have tried...but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO not open suse and you have to jump through hoops just to even TRY to get em to work...
sorry folks...I have better things to do with my time like install a distro that works right out of the box. FAIL
51 • @50 Wireless; find-utils with BTRFS (by Wil Barath on 2012-10-02 06:30:03 GMT from Canada)
Well... it's easy to blame the distro when something doesn't work, but take a couple steps to verify that it's really the distro's fault.
Whenever your kernel changes there's a good chance your WIFI, Sound, Video, or Webcam drivers will break. I'm not sure why, but it always seems to be these three things for me. Rarely across the hundreds of distros I've surfed have I had issues with storage drivers, tuners, pointers, keyboards, or wired network cards. Filesystems seems to stay stable. There's been one or two exceptions. I remember big problems with Reiser 4 and Ext3 and a relatively minor problem with Ext4, but these have always been quickly documented and fixed, so if you don't run a bleeding edge kernel you're unlikely ever to see those kinds of failures.
Anyhow, I'm digressing, but not far. SuSE is running a relatively bleeding-edge kernel. The WIFI drivers for my Intel WIFI card needed a newer firmware than was in my /lib/firmware folder on my old installation. Distros (I'm looking at YOU Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora) frequently upgrade the kernel without adding a dependency for newer firmware for WIFI hardware. If you are reliant on WIFI to use your computer, for example you are in a dorm using wifi down the hall, and don't have easy access to a hard line then running a dist-upgrade can easily sever your link to the outside world. Luckily you can often reboot with your older kernel. I hate the attitude that such an option is acceptable. Okay, at least we don't have to wait 20 minutes for System Restore to give us back our old kernel like some poor sods running the platform that made serial rebooting so famous, lol, but still... the maintainers should try to be a little more responsible.
Now if you are installing from scratch, and you're installing a distro which tries to respect the wishes of the GPL contributors to their product by not including binary blobs on their media (grey line these days since we're not burning physical ISOs any more - we can put multiple ISOs onto a single thumbdrive now!) then of course your hardware with not-so-free needs is going to get left out to dry.
I don't blame the distro for that. They make a choice for themselves, and you choose to agree with their choices when you download and install it. If you don't like agreeing with their choices, then yeah shizzlecan it as you have, but be honest with yourself about it.
Of course, if you've researched it and it's just a daft configuration problem with OpenSuSE's networking stack then swear at them 'til you're blue in the face, or better, submit a bug fix. ;-)
Speaking of that, anyone running find-utils with BTRFS on / will probably appreciate this:
You've probably noticed that your drive is thrashing a lot for a long time and your fan is screaming more than you'd like. You run top and you see 'find' 'updatedb' and 'sort' taking turns playing "pin the PID at the top of the usage graph". The solution is simple:
$ sudo vi /etc/sysconfig/locate
then change the following config option like so:
UPDATEDB_PRUNEPATHS="/mnt /cdrom /tmp /usr/tmp /var/tmp /var/spool /proc /media /sys /.snapshots /run/user"
That last entry is to prevent it from trying to index your GVFS mounts. It woudln't have succeeded regardless, but it would hang for a long time trying and complain about it to stderr. This makes updatedb finish a lot faster, which can be handy at times, ie. if you're working on a large source tree.
52 • @22 - Agree 100% (by Gnobuddy on 2012-10-02 06:55:00 GMT from United States)
In post #22 Wil Barath wrote:
I tried in vain to use KDE 4.2, then 4.3, then 4.4, and gave up from then until now.
Pretty much the same experience here. My desktop Linux experience got a little better every year from the year 2000 and my first experience with KDE 1.x right up until KDE 4 first arrived, then it went crashing back a decade into the past, and has never come back to anywhere close to the quality of the last KDE 3.5 releases.
It seems as though I've tried every Linux desktop environment out there today. Gnome 3: yuck! Unity: double yuck! KDE 4.x: slow, unstable, resource hog, much worse than KDE 3.5.12, what's the point? XFCE, LXDE: great if you don't mind a Linux desktop as ugly and as functional as a Unix desktop circa 1988.
For now I still run the Trinity Desktop Environment (KDE 3.5 fork) on Kubuntu 10.04 at home. At work and on the laptop I have a minimal install of Lubuntu 12.04. LXDE and its native applications are awkward and ugly, but at least they're (barely) functional. I particularly miss Konqueror, that incredible piece of software that flawlessly did everything from display PDF's to transfer files securely over ssh to remotely edit html documents on a web server far away.
I agree with Wil Barath. KDE 3.5.12 was the pinnacle of the desktop Linux experience as far as I'm concerned, and it's been rapidly downhill from there. We have more bling, flash, and bugs now, but less usability, less efficiency, and fewer really good tools. Such an incredible waste.
53 • Packagekit errors OpenSuse (by Somebody on 2012-10-02 08:52:25 GMT from Netherlands)
About the packagekit errors this has something to do by being not ROOT.
Change your user name variable in packagekit.conf
see for details:
54 • Network Manager Versions (by Paul on 2012-10-02 09:59:05 GMT from Australia)
@14 Wil Barath SuSE (Network Manager)
You have raised a lot of interesting and valid points in all your comments.
The point you have raised about Network Manager has been a problem for me for years and was finally resolved when I found a Distro had a Network Manager that actually worked to the Internet via 3G and it just happened to be the latest Zorin which I have since learned was a derivative of the Latest Ubuntu 12.04 thanks to Distrowatch Readers support.
I had been trying to link a 3G USB Modem Dongle (Sierra Wireless Air Card 880U) in Australia with Linux for the past 3years and with varying success. I have tried just about every Distro from Distrowatch and now have a spare bedroom full of failed Distro's from Arch (which was useless to try to access it's packages via scripts written on WVDIAL) down to Zorin and have finally found a winner.(Zorin and Descent OS)
The frustration of having to test all those Distro's to sort out if they would work to the real world has taken it's toll on me. It was possible to use WVDIAL on some after writing the appropriate script information but kppp was useless and as for Network manager up to version 0.8.0 they were useless for a 3G umts/hspa usb modem dongle (Sierra 880U) on the Australian Telstra 3g (WCDMA) Mobile Broadband IP Network.
In your case with SUSE check what verson of Network Manager or Network Applet is being used as anything less than the following is useless for usb umts 3G
Network Manager Version is ( 0.9.4.1-0ubuntu2 released about june 2012 )
see Reader Comments for Last week
I am now trialling OzUnity which was suggested to me as it is an Ubuntu 12.04 Derivative and I have found that the Network Manager works and the Desktop has some nice eye candy effects although I tend to Like E17 but as you say it appears to have a few lock up bugs.
The question is what Distro's have the Latest Network Manager 0.9.4.1-0ubuntu2 and it works with that distro.
All the best from Australia
55 • openSUSE package manager (by uz64 on 2012-10-02 10:54:35 GMT from United States)
I've had the same problem with the package manager locking up and refusing to release the package management system for another program, several times on the machine and with both the 64-bit and 32-bit versions in fact. Unlike you though, I didn't waste time giving it the chance to start responding and allow me to install stuff. If I tell it to exit when it asks and the package manager is still locked half a minute or more later, then I think it's safe to assume that something's no right there.
In both versions, it happened after the initial installation of the system after I installed the first batch of system updates and was trying to install a few packages, both third-party (Opera, Chrome) and from the repositories (Geany, Stellarium).
I also ran into another problem where if you run YaST and go to the firewall settings, clicking the "stop firewall" button does nothing. I didn't want to dick around with it, so I just completely disabled the firewall. No major problems since. Certainly a much better release than what came before it... 12.1 was trash.
56 • @54 UMTS with NetworkManager (by Wil Barath on 2012-10-02 12:53:42 GMT from Canada)
I had reasonable luck starting UMTS support with the NM which shipped with Linux Mint 12 Lisa, which is network-manager 0.9.1.90-0ubuntu5.2. This was with an Android LGP500 via USB cable. I had plugged in my phone and my ISP had gone down, tried to select my AP and noticed my mobile service provider as an option, then it asked me a couple more questions and BAM, I was on 3G burning $.10 per meg! Needless to say I used it sparingly until my normal ISP came back up.
If you have problems on 9.x you may be missing the 'modem-manager' package. That made it work for me, over a year ago.
57 • Open SUSE 12 (by Bdhact1 on 2012-10-02 13:58:03 GMT from United States)
I tried Open SUSE 12. live, everything works great. no hiccups. Excellent OS. There's only one major issue, I had the same issue with Linux Mint: I can't stomach GREEN!
58 • Pink (by Wil Barath on 2012-10-02 14:23:56 GMT from Canada)
@57 ROFL! It's true too, this green is just too green for a desktop. It's like someone put Ireland into a blender with some Prestone. Suddenly I am thinking of a Sourpuss Martini...
Yeah I think pink suits SuSE much better, being the traditional resource Hog...
...not that I want a Pink desktop either. My favourite is a smokey titanium with gold highlights... E17 did it very well. But for a work environment it seems to always end up with a pastel framed landscape for the wallpaper and either grey or pale blue widget sets with yellow highlights. Somehow that ends up feeling more productive.
59 • OpenSUSE and things.. (by buntunub on 2012-10-02 18:47:33 GMT from United States)
I have tried SUSE many times and always have major issues with the package management and with networking. Other than that, its a mediocre distro.
60 • Konqueror (by gee7 on 2012-10-02 21:23:43 GMT from United Kingdom)
52 Gnobuddy on 2012-10-02 06:55:00 GMT from United States
I particularly miss Konqueror, that incredible piece of software that flawlessly did everything from display PDF's to transfer files securely over ssh to remotely edit html documents on a web server far away.
Have you tried aptosid, now at number 99 in DistroWatch? Konqueror is the web browser and Dolphin is the default file manager but in the Control Centre you can quickly change that to Konqueror just by ticking another box. I saw this distro mentoned last week in a post by Claudecat as a rolling Release (thanks Claudecat) and decided to test it out, although I'm just learning to find my way in KDE, tentative steps, having been more used to Gnome until they got in teenage developers.
61 • KDE3 (by Harald on 2012-10-02 21:53:36 GMT from United States)
Suse still maintains a repository for KDE3, for those of us who will have none of this KDE4 eye-candy nonsense.
62 • A new version of Absolute was announced (by jeff on 2012-10-02 21:55:46 GMT from Peru)
If you like speed you will like Absolute !
Give it a try and you will see the power of Slackware in motion.
63 • @62 Absolute Linux (by Jordan on 2012-10-03 00:39:02 GMT from United States)
The java install script does not work; just loops right back to the oracle website.
64 • Sorry, should explain: (by Jordan on 2012-10-03 00:41:03 GMT from United States)
The "install java" item in the menu brings up an applet that instructs the user to download the jre at Oracle's website. It says to "rerun this script once the file is downloaded to /usr/src/java."
But doing that and rerunning the scrip only takes you back to the Oracle download site and does nothing else.
65 • Which Distros are here to stay? (by ScottS on 2012-10-03 01:20:30 GMT from United States)
With DreamLinux closing its doors, you have to wonder which distro is next? Can a distro just close its doors when it wants to, leaving everyone in the dark? While I think LInux Mint is safe for years to come, what about Hanthana? These people are really good at enhancing Fedora, but can they too just close up shop overnight, leaving its users in the dark? After answering this question, if wish, please provide a list of distros that you feel are here to stay for years to come. Here is my list of the distros from Distrowatch.com top 25 (6 months) that I feel are here to stay.
1, Linux Mint
66 • Distros "here to stay" (by Jordan on 2012-10-03 01:55:10 GMT from United States)
LOL.. well, many of those that "close their doors" are maintainable by the user via the parent distro repositories.
67 • AT 65 Your list (by Tony on 2012-10-03 04:29:47 GMT from United States)
1, Linux Mint = respin of Ubuntu - I hope so
2. Ubuntu = respin of Debian testing. distro will last, but the company I'm not sure.
11. Zorin = respin of Ubuntu - not sure
12. Lubuntu = desktop respin - desktop respins will always be popular.
14. ROSA = respin of Ubuntu - not sure
4. Opensuse ???? To many negative experiences to objective.
Red Hat is here for a very long time. Proven business with staying power.
3. Fedora = red hat testing- here to stay
9. Centos = respin of Red Hat without branding- as long as Red Hat is around so will centos.
The Veteran's that will never die.
15 Gentoo <-my favorite
68 • @67 (by Antony on 2012-10-03 08:57:12 GMT from United Kingdom)
"14. ROSA = respin of Ubuntu.."
I think you probably meant to say that ROSA is a derivative of Mandriva?
69 • Here to Stay list (by Wil Barath on 2012-10-03 10:52:15 GMT from Canada)
No disrespect to many of the one-man-band distros, but here's what I believe is here to stay, in the order of how unlikely they are to implode:
1) Debian - will continue to exot even if Linux dies
2) FreeBSD - will continue to exist even if the kernel requires a complete redesign
3) LFS - will continue as long as Linux kernel does
4) Fedora - will continue to exist even if Red Hat goes belly up
5) OpenSuSE - may rebrand or fork if Novell goes belly up
6) Ubuntu - will continue even if Canonical dies but may lose traction with its userbase in that case, such as has ocurred with Mandriva, Mandriva isn't dead yet, but it's shown an obvious product lifecycle pattern.
7) Gentoo - may have a shaky road ahead but it has a life of its own similar to LFS.
8) REACTOS - will eventually become a popular firmware for old Windows emulations, to avoid Windows license problems
9) OpenIndiana - will probably become an alternative kernel for Debian eventually.
10) ROCS - maybe, but the maintainers are a bit of a closed cabinet.
Everything else is either maintained by too small, or too closed, of a group for me to believe it has a long-term future. I'll be particularly sad to see Slackware go, when PV drops the reins. Slackware is essentially a one-man LFS binary release.
If you can think of another strongly socially-driven distro which isn't just a fancy respin, please add it to this list. :-)
70 • Here to Stay List (by Wil Barath on 2012-10-03 11:05:23 GMT from Canada)
Ah what the hell...
11) Minix - will continue to evolve as a learning tool for sytems development learning courses. Also in recent years it has picked up an increasingly *BSD-like community which bodes well for it possibly staying relevant on mainstream architectures.
71 • Here to Stay list (by Wil Barath on 2012-10-03 11:17:59 GMT from Canada)
and while I'm in What the Hell mode...
12) Java - it has been moving closer to becoming a native platform, and it is in fact an OS Distro which effectively runs in JVM virutal platform emulators. If it had a mainstream native hardware architecture, it would be much more obvious that it is an OS. With the direction GPUS, FPGAs and OpenCL are going, I wouldn't be surprised if Java became every bit as native as X86, since I'm expecting that in 20 years' time the majority of processing activity will be centered in massively parallel generic stream processors, and fast linear processors like X86 will be used mostly for specialist crypto, science, and engineering work (a complete flip of the current state of affairs!)
72 • It was a great run. (by PhantomTramp on 2012-10-03 12:51:53 GMT from United States)
Still have the minimal running on my netbook and I love it.
Keep on rockin' in the free world!
73 • ZevenOS (by PhantomTramp on 2012-10-03 12:53:54 GMT from United States)
That's the minimal I was talking about...
74 • Slackware too close or One Man Show (by Anonymous Coward on 2012-10-03 13:14:24 GMT from Spain)
While I understand the reasons to disregard Slackware's long term viability, I would want to ask: if it's so weak, why is it the oldest of them all? :-D
If you ask me, I have never had the interaction capabilities of the Slackware community in other distributions. Bug reporting is an informal and flexible process, while other super-stiff distributions have strict rules of protocol to have fixes applied or suggestions considered (for example). That's why I think that Slackware is not so closed as many seem to think.
As for Slackware after Volkerding, I think it is reasonable to have doubts, but given that there is a full team behind the system instead of only one head, I am not so worried. There is people enough willing to support Slackware to have a sense of Impending Death or something.
75 • @74 and 69 (by Wil Barath on 2012-10-03 15:16:23 GMT from Canada)
First, a typo correction at #10: not ROCS. Rock Linux, which has become T2SDE, which is again like LFS and Gentoo but with a much different philosophy than either.
You aren't arguing with me, lol.
I don't consider Slackware weak. I just think that its lifetime will be limited by two key factors: Patrick's involvement and the future market demand for a pure vanilla binary Linux release.
There are dozens of others I could list which I expect will be around longer than Slackware. For example, Red Hat. It's a semi-closed distro which is bound to the lifetime of a commercial entity - one which could be swallowed, like OpenSolaris was, by Oracle, and could similarly result in Red Hat ceasing to be. I'm sure the Fedora community would keep chugging along because it has its own goals and needs.
By comparison, even to Slackware, LFS is a small project with a small and unofficial community of contributors. But it will never die out because the contributors (base package developers, distro developers, students) and the market (base package developers, distro developers, students) will never go away, small though it may remain.
Those are the kind of things I look at when I say 'Long Term', and again, no offense to the One-Man-Bands and Suite-Me-Now Spins... but they don't have the same staying power as the Cult of Debian.
76 • Eye-candy nonsense (by ange on 2012-10-03 16:24:30 GMT from Hungary)
@61 E17 is eye-candy nonsense too. Sad to not be continued the E16.
77 • Distro survival (by Somewhat Reticent on 2012-10-03 19:05:28 GMT from United States)
Go to the Source; Keep to the Code. If we don't own it, is it free?
Can we really expect the Internet Archive to keep all history? (Perhaps we should Keep The Code!)
For many, DebIan, RedHat, and SLS cast long shadows; Enoch/Ututo, Arch and Puppy nearly so; others have community vitality in their niche.
Benevolent dictators often counter self-destructive urges, even look to future generations - how many sponsors do?
Without challenges from giants like Apple and Microsoft, Sony and RIAA, Google and Facebook, would so many geeks have collaborated?
78 • Eye candy (by Somewhat Reticent on 2012-10-03 19:09:09 GMT from United States)
Visuals communicate. Eye candy can be quite useful. Of course, it has its proper place, and should never have priority over system productivity. Perhaps this is where Enlightenment can shine?
79 • here to stay @69 (by forlin on 2012-10-04 01:13:22 GMT from Portugal)
One more: Paldo
80 • The distros we want to stay, vs those ... others ... (by Jordan on 2012-10-04 02:29:37 GMT from United States)
Well no, they can all stay.. (wondering what "stay" means; on the DW top 100 list?).
Anyway, Sabayon stays. I remember when it was up pretty high on the list, though. It seems to be steadily drifting down, along with several others.
Mint replaced Ubuntu at the top. One of the distros that seems to hang in there despite remaining 32 bit only is PCLinuxOS.
And then there's Arch (or as I call it, "AAARRRGGHH!" ;)). That distro, my linux loving friends, sill be here when all others have sold out to Novel or MS or Apple or just drifted off to bit-entropy land. :oD
81 • It's not distro popularity, exactly (by Reminder on 2012-10-04 04:17:22 GMT from United States)
At least not directly. More like current interest generated - part PR, part what seekers are looking at.
82 • DreamLinux users not being left in the dark (by Anthony Bragga on 2012-10-04 07:50:33 GMT from United States)
Roberto J. Dohnert over at OS4 has posted this to DreamLinux users and developers.
I say bravo to him and his guys. It takes a good person to take on the users of another distro but to offer to support their installations for 12 months and give them a new home, I dont think I have seen many people do that.
83 • RE: 82 (by Anonymous Coward on 2012-10-04 09:53:35 GMT from Spain)
Anthony Bragga wrote:
It takes a good person to take on the users of another distro [...]
I would say it takes the desire to do bussiness and gain more customers in an unsuspected way.
84 • OpenSuSE NetworkManager, OSS router (by Wil Barath on 2012-10-04 11:19:39 GMT from Canada)
There's a system update for OpenSuSE 12.2's NetworkManager:
"- bnc#768564: This fix avoids APs from being removed on disconnect."
I also got a new TP-Link TL-WR740N v4 (was only $20) and installed DD-WRT V24sp2 on it. So far so great. I have been actively DOSing it from the LAN and it's quality of service has remained remarkably good for my WIFI devices. Its range exceeds both my venerable WRT54G and even my more recent Belkin 5xxN model (+6dB S/N at same range.)
85 • @82, OS4 and DreamLinux (by TobiSGD on 2012-10-04 15:45:34 GMT from Germany)
"but to offer to support their installations for 12 months and give them a new home"
You should read that announcement more carefully: "If you subscribe to support" means that you have to sign up a support contract. OS4 is still a commercial distro.
86 • Support from OS4 team (by Fairly on 2012-10-04 18:09:46 GMT from United States)
They do provide paid support, yes - and that's a good thing! Hard work costs. But that same announcement also offers Forum help for free customers. They do both.
87 • Here to stay (by Craig on 2012-10-04 18:41:34 GMT from United Kingdom)
There is no way that Slackware is going to die!
It is too good for that
88 • @86, support for DreamLinux (by TobiSGD on 2012-10-04 20:47:22 GMT from Germany)
"But that same announcement also offers Forum help for free customers."
Of course they do. That is called marketing. They hope to get future customers.
Don't get me wrong, that is of course a good thing for users of DreamLinux, but it has nothing at all to do with being a good person, It has to do with seeing an opportunity to get more customers and to use that opportunity.
89 • Support - options are good (by NitPicker on 2012-10-05 01:09:18 GMT from United States)
"... it has nothing at all to do with ..."
it does not guarantee, nor does it prevent
in this economy, one should not neglect a marketing opportunity
including cultivating a good relationship by investing in blue sky
perhaps by demonstrating competence and capability freely in a public forum
payment is neither evil or good
90 • Here to Stay list (by Pierre on 2012-10-05 14:31:04 GMT from Germany)
Well, it is near to pure speculation to say what distro might/should survive and I would not count on the factors like how big is the project etc but on the overall impression of strength of the projects.
Taking this I would presume that
are projects that are able to survive a long time.
Not absolutly sure to stay but nevertheless solid are projects like Chakra, Puppy, PCLinuxOS, SolusOS, Sabayon, Salix, CrunchBang, Bodhi, Snowlinux, Frugalware, PC-BSD, Scientific, Vector, Hanthana, and Zorin because they all are well supported and have a quite strong following.
I left out the giant mass of simple respins of Ubuntu and Debian because they in some points have a solid following but lack special features that would make them unique in any point and this way able to satisfy more than short time tastes.
I too left out the whole mass of special purpose distros like PartedMagic, Caine, Yunohost and all the others. I guess that they will stay and survive because they are unique tools, but they stand out by not being general purpose distros - which are the topic, I would say.
Have fun with your favorite distro anyway, no matter if listed or not. ;)
Greetings from Germany!
91 • Here to stay (by David L on 2012-10-06 12:45:17 GMT from United States)
What about NetBSD, OpenBSD, and Solaris. These projects are equally supported and have a large userbase.
92 • @90, about the stay here list (by borion on 2012-10-07 01:36:43 GMT from United States)
Very balanced list. Only thing that sticks out is Mageia. Like most here, I don't understand what's the fuss is all about this distro. When Mint first came along, it added lot of value in terms of customizations including apps like MintMenu, MintUpdate etc. Sorry, I don't see that added value in Mageia. I certainly don't understand its meteoric rise on DW page hist list. Everything else on your list, I agree. I personally use CrunchBang. Its just the right thing for me. Beautifully put together, works just right for me.
93 • @86, OS4 support for DreamLinux (by Warren White on 2012-10-07 04:14:01 GMT from United States)
I bought a few copies of OS4 and its a strong distro. Its really, really nice. So for Dreamlinux users its a good choice. OS4 is a commercial distro and there is nothing wrong with being commercial. I have tried the free versions, 12.5 and 13 and from the help I have gotten from those guys I would buy a support subscription. They are knowledgeable, quick to get back to you on topics and quick shipping. I think the way OS4 works it is great. You can download it for free, you can use it free but if you want things like on site service and support and phone support you have to subscribe. Sounds pretty reasonable to me. Now, when my bosses give me permission to get the extended support if it turns out not to be good, I'll be the first to come back and say it. So far though, OS4 is where I'll stay.
94 • mageia (by David L on 2012-10-07 15:35:48 GMT from United States)
On the contrary I completely undestand the rise of Mageia. Great hardware support and oustanding configuration tools built around/from its parent Mandrake make it a great solution for many.
95 • openSUSE 12.2 and btrfs (by Rainbow Tux on 2012-10-07 18:14:43 GMT from Belgium)
I have been testing btrfs on my laptop running openSUSE 12.2. The first week I came across a nasty error, but apart from that all is fine till now. You can find more here: http://rainbowtux.blogspot.be/2012/09/btrfs-good-bad-and-ugly.html#.UHHGOHm5D2k
96 • #41 ...why would people install Skype, anyway? (by imnotrich on 2012-10-08 02:02:44 GMT from Mexico)
Well let's see, there are NO Linux equivalents for Skype.
So if your job or personal life requires Skype, you're stuck. Install Skype on Linux, or go back to Windows.
Ekiga, Twinkle, other wanna-bes have poor audio quality, are difficult to configure, and cannot communicate with anyone on the Skype network unless you happen to be calling someone's Skype out phone number.
Regarding getting work done with Linux, people install Skype on Linux the same reason they need wifi drivers (often neglected by distros) or run Microsoft Office in WINE. It's so they can get actual work done.
41 • At #11 by Wil Barath (by Pierre on 2012-10-01 21:57:27 GMT from Germany)
To fair but honest: Who ever installs Skype on Linux simply does something like beg for such problems.
Though I do not understand why you do not simply blacklist the packages that are making such problems, after that zypper won't check on them and you are fine. Or do I have misunderstood something?
Number of Comments: 96
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