| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 485, 3 December 2012
Welcome to this year's 49th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Creating new distributions is a popular pastime nowadays and many developers are happy to hack around to build something that would incorporate their unique and interesting ideas. This week's feature story looks at a trio of lesser-known Linux distributions - the Debian-based Snowlinux 3, the Arch-based Manjaro Linux 0.8.2 and the CRUX-based Kwort Linux 3.5. Can they compete on the already highly crowded free operating system market? Read on to find out Jesse Smith's findings. In the news section, Linux Mint releases a set of re-spun DVD images to address critical issues discovered in version 14, Fedora continues to work on the redesigned Anaconda system installer, and Debian fine-tunes the upcoming "Wheezy" release with focus on bug-fixing. Also in this issue, how would you define a "distribution" and how is one different from a re-spin? Finally, don't miss the link to an interview with Canonical's Jane Silber where she talks about the future of Ubuntu. Happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (36MB) and MP3 (37MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Quick looks at Snowlinux 3, Manjaro Linux 0.8.2 and Kwort Linux 3.5
The Snowlinux distribution is an odd sort of project. For one thing, it has multiple bases (Debian and Ubuntu). Further, each base has multiple editions, featuring desktop environments such as MATE or Cinnamon & GNOME. To add to the mix each edition comes in 32-bit and 64-bit builds. This means there are a lot of different options for the user to choose from, depending on their taste and hardware. But what really struck me as unusual about Snowlinux was the relative small amount of documentation. There isn't a whole lot on the website about the purpose of the distribution or what sets it apart (aside from the multitude of builds). Going into my review of Snowlinux I was spoiled for choice and, until I booted from the project's ISO, had very little idea about what was in store for me.
It has been a while since I had last tried the Cinnamon desktop and so I decided to try Snowlinux's 32-bit build of version 3 called "White", "Cinnamon" edition. Or, as I grew to think of it, the "Spicy Snow White" edition. The ISO for this edition was approximately 725 MB in size. Booting into Spicy Snow White brought me to a traditional looking desktop environment. The background is mostly white and there are icons on the desktop for browsing the file system and launching the system installer. At the bottom of the screen we find the application launcher and task switcher. The system installer is borrowed from Ubuntu, as is the underlying system.
Unfortunately my trial with Snow White did not last long. It seems the distribution comes with the same graphics performance issue as the latest Ubuntu release. Specifically, navigating the desktop was painfully slow and my CPU was constantly working hard, just to move windows around the graphical interface. Launching small programs, such as a virtual terminal, could take half a minute and trying to open the system installer took nearly a minute. Faced with this sort of performance penalty I realized I could either switch to a different edition (such as the project's MATE edition) or switch to a different distribution. Given that Snowlinux didn't appear to have any unique characteristics, I decided to move on to another project I had been asked to try: Manjaro.
* * * * *
Manjaro Linux is a distribution based upon the Arch Linux project. It has the goal of maintaining a simple, clean base (like Arch) and includes install scripts and configuration tools to help new users get up and running. The Manjaro project offers both 32-bit and 64-bit builds of their distribution and we find that Manjaro comes in many different flavours. The default edition comes with the Xfce desktop, but there are other builds featuring LXDE, KDE and Cinnamon/GNOME. I opted to try the Xfce edition. The ISO for this build is fairly small, just 520MB in size.
Booting from the Manjaro Linux media brings up a menu asking which language we would like to use and then we can opt to start the live media in the normal graphical mode or in text mode. We can also choose to boot into the graphical mode with the added benefit of non-free video drivers. Regardless of which option I selected I was brought to a text console with a login prompt. Above the prompt is a brief message letting us know the login credentials for both a regular user and the administrator account. I was able to login without any problem, but trying to launch the graphical desktop environment failed and this turned out to be a problem. The Manjaro documentation assumes the user will attempt to launch the installer from the desktop. Starting the system installer from the command prompt isn't covered and searches for combinations of "manjaro", "system" and "install" from the command prompt didn't return any matches. This brought me to a bit of a dead end without a graphical environment and without an installation script. Once again I shifted my focus, this time visiting the Kwort website.
* * * * *
According to the Kwort Linux project's website the distribution "is a modern and fast Linux distribution that combines powerful and useful applications in order to create a simple system for advanced users who finds a strong and effective desktop. Kwort is based on CRUX, so it's robust, clean and easy to extend." The project offers a 32-bit build which can be downloaded as a 340 MB ISO. At the moment there isn't any 64-bit build, but the project's notes suggest the next version will include a 64-bit option.
Booting from the Kwort Linux media brings up a boot loader prompt and we are encouraged to provide any desired kernel parameters and then press Enter. We're then taken directly into the system installer which is a series of text screens and menus. We're asked to provide our desired keyboard layout and then handed over to the cfdisk disk partitioning utility. Next we are asked to confirm which (if any) partition we wish to use for swap space. Then we select our root partition from a list of on-disk partitions and choose which file system to use. File system options are limited to ext2, ext3 and ext4. Next, the installer copies its files to the local hard drive and then walks us through installing and (optionally) configuring the LILO boot loader. The last step in the install process is setting a password for the root account.
With the installation complete we reboot the computer and we are brought to a text console where we can login using the root account. Here is where we find out what the distribution's description meant when it referred to "advanced users". Creating new user accounts, creating directories for those accounts, setting up user groups and setting passwords are separate processes and performed manually from the command line. Trying to launch a graphical environment failed by default and caused the machine to lock up. I ended up configuring X to get the graphical interface working and then spent several minutes more trying to get the graphical environment, Openbox in this case, to launch without locking up the machine. Luckily the project provides a good deal of useful documentation on trouble shooting common problems and most of my issues were covered.
Once I got logged into Openbox I browsed through the distribution's application menu. Included were the Chrome web browser, a text editor, virtual terminals, Pidgin for instant messaging and the Transmission BitTorrent client. The MPlayer multimedia player and the Midnight Commander file manager are also included. In the background I found the GNU Compiler Collection is installed and, underneath it all, Kwort runs on the Linux kernel, version 3.5.4. There were also a handful of menu items which, curiously, didn't link to available software. For example, there are a number of configuration tools and the LibreOffice suite listed in the application menu, but clicking on these items brings up an error indicating these programs are not installed.
Furthering Kwort's do-it-yourself approach, we must manually configure and activate our network connection and, by default, the system's package manager does not work. The package manager, Kpkg, uses APT-like syntax and contains no package or repository information out of the box. This data must be downloaded and enabled manually. Once the default repository was enabled I found I could download updates and install software, however very few packages are available for us. In fact, almost all searches I performed for software, whether for the desktop or command line, returned no matches. With very little software available out of the box and little in the default repository, I eventually had to give up on using Kwort as a desktop distribution.
* * * * *
Usually when I set out to do multiple reviews in a week it is with a particular theme in mind. Either obscure distributions or ones which fill a particular niche. This time around I ended up trying three different projects, not because it was planned, but because the problems I ran into with each distribution caused me to move on to the next project on my list. With Snowlinux the big issue was the same problem I had with Ubuntu 12.10, the desktop performance was far too slow and gobbled up a huge amount of CPU resources. That, combined with an unusual lack of documentation as to what Snowlinux is and what it does, turned me off the project right away. Manjaro Linux, at first glance, was better. The project is quite up front about what it does and why, it fits a clear purpose and has a little documentation to assist users. Unfortunately, in my case, there was not enough documentation to get the system installed when things went off the rails.
Which brought me to Kwort Linux which, out of the box, didn't really do anything. There was no desktop, I experienced regular lock-ups once I got the desktop running and there was no working package manager. The primary difference, in my mind, between Kwort and the other two projects I downloaded this week was documentation. The Kwort team is aware running an CRUX-based distribution can leave people feeling lost, they are aware it's not always intuitive and that things can go wrong and they have taken steps to guide people through these potential setbacks. That is what kept me plugging away with Kwort while the other two distributions were tried and quickly discarded.
What I hope people will take away from this is not that Snowlinux, Manjaro and Kwort should be avoided. These particular distributions not working for me shouldn't discourage other people from trying them. Manjaro certainly looks interesting and I suspect, had it worked, the light base (Arch) and the light desktop (Xfce) would have made for a very rewarding experience. What I would like people to consider this week, especially those working on software projects, is this: all software projects need documentation. This is something a lot of open source projects, Linux distributions in particular, tend to overlook. No software works perfectly and no software is intuitive to all people, things will always go wrong, someone will always get lost. The Kwort team recognizes this, that people will run into problems, and they have done a good job of covering those issues in their Wiki. I think many open source projects could benefit from their example.
* * * * *
Last week I wrote a review of the Superb Mini Server (SMS) Live edition. A short time after the review appeared I received an e-mail from the project and the note clears up some of the questions and concerns I had with the distribution. Since they took the time to form a thorough and helpful reply to the review I felt it only fair to share the message with you, the readers, as the more information you have the easier it is to make informed decisions about which distributions to try. The e-mail I received from the SMS team is copied below with their permission.
First I want to thank you for taking time to review SMS, even if it was a quick one and left a bad taste to you and to your readers, I really appreciate it.
I feel I should clear your doubts regarding your issues you experienced, as the maintainer of the SMS project...
Permission denied from Webmin: Webmin's modules use start-up scripts to start/stop services from /etc/rc.d, so if a service is disabled (light) it's logical to complain about "permission denied" as it is not executable. During live boot you choose what you want to test with modes and cheat codes During Native installation you choose which services you want to start at boot. You can of course enable/disable services anytime with smsconfig from the terminal which is even easier for a non-Unix user.
Dual boot installation: The wiki has video tutorials and screen shots of native installations, as you can see it includes modified a Slackware installer so in LILO configuration you can switch to Slackware manual installation, to dual or triple boot.
Services don't work one day, next day do: Now that I haven't experienced, not for me on several installations even from the live CD nor any user in the forum, even the newbies, I don't say that it hasn't happened to you, it's just weird. Maybe you played with slapt-get and upgraded a service which had, by default, a start-up script executable, or your installation was corrupt, don't forget that the live CD installation just copies a running system, with "cp -a" actually.
Issues that do exist in SMS-2.0.1: Live CD PXE booting doesn't work due to kmod and missing /lib/modules/3.2.33-lcd/modules.pcimap, I realize two days ago, and fixed it, it will work in SMS-2.0.2. The packages avahi, PyQT and dbus-python were rebuilt against python-2.7, although that didn't affect their functionality.
Last but not least DistroWatch lists two more reviews, in which they didn't have any of your issues.
Once again I really wanna thank you for your time in reviewing SMS, and I wish you could take a second chance to test SMS, not for reviewing it for DistroWatch, but to clear up any doubts you may have about SMS.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Linux Mint releases updated images, Fedora redesigns Anaconda, Debian intensifies "Wheezy" bug fixing, Ubuntu defends Unity
Linux Mint has become a bright star and a graceful winner, especially among users sceptical about the current wave of experimentation that goes into desktop user interfaces. And, based on online articles and community talk, it's clear that the project's insistence on retaining the classic desktop design is hugely successful. The first reviews of the new Linux Mint 14 seem to support this view. MakeTechEasier's Damien Oh clearly prefers Mint to Ubuntu: "One thing that I noticed for both Linux Mint and Ubuntu is that one of them put their users first, while the other focuses on new features development rather than user experience." In a similar fashion, Linux User's Rob Zwetsloot believes that Mint 14 is the best desktop Linux: "An absolute pleasure to use thanks to its Ubuntu base and alternate desktop environments, Linux Mint is one of the great examples of how Linux can be shaped by the community for the better. Perfect for home use on a main PC, and still great in an office or development environment." Also on a positive note, TheVarGuy's Christopher Tozzi explains the reasons behind Mint's growing acceptance: "Offering these alternative interfaces to users unhappy with the default choices in other Linux distributions is a central component of Mint's popularity."
With all this positive talk, let's not forget that Linux Mint is a software project and bugs occasionally find their way into the system. In a rare move, project founder Clement Lefebvre released a new set of Mint 14 re-spins to address some of the critical issues found after the release: "The ISO images for Linux Mint 14 'Nadia' were updated and labelled '14.1'. All the links were updated on the website and in the announcements to point to the new ISOs. If you're already running Linux Mint 14, you don't need to reinstall. The new ISO images provide fixes for the following issues: high CPU usage, low performance on Intel GPU - this was caused by a race condition between Plymouth and X.Org and affected owners of Intel cards in particular; no DNS resolution, Internet not working in virtual machine - Linux Mint now uses OpenDNS as a fallback for DNS resolution; installer fails to install grub-efi - a bug was fixed and the installer now successfully installs the grub-efi packages in EFI installations." Linux Mint 14.1, being just a re-spin that address certain post-release bugs, is not considered a new release, therefore it wasn't announced on the front page of DistroWatch last week.
* * * * *
Anaconda, referring to the system installer developed by Red Hat and used in CentOS, Fedora and many Fedora-based distributions, is a familiar beast, especially among system administrators and power users, many of whom likely go through the installation steps with closed eyes. Things are about to change, however. The upcoming release of Fedora 18 will surprise the unprepared with a completely redesigned system installer, or more precisely, its user interface. Nicu Buculei "guides you through the steps in this visual tutorial": "The most important and most visible feature in Fedora 18 is going to be the new user interface for the installer, Anaconda. It was a major change and it needed a major fixing effort, which was the cause for repeated schedule changes (the final release will come with an over two-month delay). Since the beta version was released earlier this week, anyone can perform an install and experiment with the new look and feel. Below is a series of screenshots (click for large size view) captured during my install of the Xfce spin (the steps should be identical for the other spins). I repeat: this is the beta release."
Fedora 18 Beta - the redesigned Anaconda system installer
(full image size: 43kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
Besides Fedora 18, another much-anticipated release scheduled for 2013 is that of Debian GNU/Linux 7.0, code name "Wheezy". Currently in a state of "freeze", the distribution is being attended to with minute detail in order to remove even the most inconspicuous bugs. Steven Rosenberg looks at the improvements in "Wheezy" and the upgrade process from "Squeeze": "Debian is boring. Releases happen every two years, give or take. Developers spend months and months chasing bugs while other Linux distributions crank out release after release. But Debian gets better as it inches toward release. And if you're running the stable distribution (Squeeze instead of Wheezy, still in testing) you can enjoy the goodness for the next two years — or three if you wish, as Stable gets an extra year of security patches as Old Stable after a new stable version is released. Debian isn't quite as boring as it is conservative. Even though Debian's testing is more stable than many other distributions' actual releases, you can expect some bugs. And if you follow testing, as I am at the moment, you get to see some of those bugs get fixed. One of my problems has been the menu in the Chromium and Google Chrome web browsers. Only in GNOME (and not Xfce), trying to access the menu would freeze the browser and cause a crash."
* * * * *
While there are signs that the GNOME developers are starting to acknowledge the users' dissatisfaction with the GNOME 3 interface (see this mailing list post as an example), Ubuntu stubbornly continues to throw all its weight behind the Unity desktop. In a recent interview with Linux Format, Canonical CEO Jane Silber argues that Unity is the result brought about by extensive testing: "User research and user testing became a core plank in our approach to the design. So, from the beginning of Unity development we've done a variety of different user testing and research. From exploring initial concepts with paper prototypes to actually getting people in and having them use the software - both during development and afterwards. Even after something's been released, we continue to test it and do milestone checks by repeating some of the same testing." Furthermore, many of these tests are opened to public scrutiny: "We absolutely release results of user testing, and will continue to do that. A lot of it comes up first on our design blog, so if you're interested go there first. But we're quite public in those. There are some things we keep private in the early stages of development for competitive or customer reasons, but in general we'll do as much of that design work in the open as possible, and release the user testing results as well."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Defining a distribution
Working-for-Webster's asks: What is the difference between a distro and a re-spin? Are they the same, what goes into each if there is such a distinction to make?
DistroWatch answers: This is one of those subjects where if you ask five different Linux users you will probably receive five different answers. It never ceases to surprise me how many specific and arbitrary rules people can come up with for defining a distribution. Personally, I take a very simple, dictionary approach to defining a Linux distribution. The way I see it, if a project is distributing a GNU/Linux operating system, then they qualify as a GNU/Linux distribution. As for a re-spin, I would say any time a distribution is created using the same set of repositories as another distribution, that would constitute a re-spin. For example, Fedora is a unique project which distributes a GNU/Linux operating system. That makes Fedora a distribution. There are a number of community projects attached to Fedora which pull packages from the same set of repositories to make Fedora-based media. Some Fedora spins include their KDE, Xfce and LXDE spins. These spins draw from the same collection of packages, but result in an operating system with a different style. This makes them re-spins of Fedora.
Even if a person agrees with the above definitions (and many don't), it still raises some questions as to where to draw the line. For example, is Linux Mint a distribution or a spin? Mint's editions are based off either Ubuntu or Debian. It uses their repositories, making it look like a spin. However Mint also has its own unique programs and its own repositories, making Mint a super-set of its bases. The CentOS project always raises some interesting questions when searching for a definition. CentOS tries to stay as close to its upstream base as possible while just changing the branding of the software and a few configuration files. Since it uses the same source packages, that makes it sound like a re-spin. However, in keeping its own project repositories, with its own unique configuration and branding, it acts like a distribution. In such cases I suspect the issue becomes more a philosophical debate than a technical one.
Should you be interested in seeing the family tree of a distribution to find out from where it comes, you can visit its DistroWatch page. For example, if we visit the Peppermint page, it tells us the project is based on Lubuntu and, in turn, Debian. Clicking on the Lubuntu link shows us Lubuntu is based on Ubuntu's repositories and, in turn, Debian's. The Debian page let's us know Debian is an independent distribution without parentage.
|Released Last Week
Salix OS 14.0 "Xfce"
George Vlahavas has announced the release of Salix OS 14.0 "Xfce" edition, a Slackware-based distribution featuring the Xfce 4.10 desktop environment: "Salix Xfce 14.0 is ready. With Xfce 4.10 being the centerpiece of this release, CD images for the i686 and x86_64 architectures are available for immediate download. Apart from Xfce 4.10, software that comes installed includes Linux kernel 3.2.29, Midori 0.4.7 as the default web browser, Claws-Mail 3.8.1 as the application to use for accessing your e-mail accounts, LibreOffice 3.6.3 for all your office needs, GIMP 2.8.2 for everything that has to do with image editing and manipulation, Viewnior 1.3 as the default image viewer, Parole 0.3.0.3 as the default movie player, Exaile 3.3.0 as the application to use for managing your music collection and more." Read the rest of the release announcement for additional details and MD5 checksums.
Salix OS 14.0 "Xfce" - a Slackware-based distro with Xfce 4.10
(full image size: 659kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Clonezilla Live 2.0.1-5
Steven Shiau has announced the release of Clonezilla Live 2.0.1-5, a new stable build of the project's live CD with specialist open-source software for disk backup and cloning tasks: "Stable Clonezilla Live (2.0.1-5) released. This release of Clonezilla Live includes minor enhancements and bug fixes: the underlying GNU/Linux operating system was upgraded, this release is based on the Debian 'sid' repository (as of 2012-11-26); Linux kernel was updated to 3.2.32; package drbl was updated to 2.1.34-drbl1, and Clonezilla was updated to 3.1.22; a KMS mode was added in the boot menu; Partclone was updated to 0.2.56; packages tcplay and mpg123 were added; boot parameter 'ocs_lang' is now replaced by 'locales' from live-config; boot parameter 'ocs_live_keymap' is now replaced by 'keyboard-layouts' from live-config...." Read the full release announcement for a detailed changelog.
A new version of Tails, a Debian-based live system with the goal of providing complete Internet anonymity for the user, has been released: "Tails, The Amnesic Incognito Live System, version 0.15, is out. All users must upgrade as soon as possible. Changes: Tor upgrade to 0.2.3.25. Major new features: persistence for browser bookmarks; support for obfsproxy bridges. Minor improvements: add the Hangul (Korean) Input Method Engine for SCIM; preliminary support for some OpenPGP SmartCard readers; support printers that need HPIJS PPD and/or the IJS driver; optimize fonts display for LCD; update TrueCrypt to version 7.1a. Bug fixes: Fix gpgApplet menu display in Windows camouflage mode; fix Tor reaching an inactive state if it's restarted in 'bridge mode', e.g. during the time sync process. Iceweasel update to 10.0.11esr." Read the rest of the release announcement for a full list of new features.
Rocks Cluster Distribution 6.1
Philip Papadopoulos has announced the release of Rocks Cluster Distribution 6.1, a CentOS-based open-source toolkit for real and virtual clusters: "The latest update of Rocks, code name 'Emerald Boa', is now released. Emerald Boa is available for CentOS 6.3 (Rocks 6.1). The Rocks-supplied OS rolls have all updates applied as of November 27, 2012. New features: host-based SSH authentication is now the default, this eliminates the requirement the users have password-less SSH keys and/or mounted home area on remote nodes; two-factor SSH authentication using Google Authenticator Apps for Android and iPhone is supported for all users; New ZFS Linux roll to support the ZFS file system via the ZFS on Linux; new kernel roll to more easily support vanilla Linux kernels." See the release announcement and release notes for further details.
OS4 13.1 "OpenDesktop"
Roberto Dohnert has announced the release of OS4 13.1 "OpenDesktop", an updated build of the project's desktop Linux distribution based on Ubuntu: "Today the OS4 team is pleased to announce the much-anticipated update of OpenDesktop 13 with OS4 OpenDesktop 13.1. With this release we bring new features and bug fixes to OpenDesktop. OS4 OpenDesktop 13.1 still continues to revolutionize the Linux user experience with an excellent interface and easy-to-use applications, and it comes with new options to enhance your OS4 user experience. Superior functionality with some great new options. Some of the new features include: the Xfce workspace has been upgraded to 4.10 with Thunar upgraded to 1.5.3; we are introducing a revolutionary deskbar interface, enhanced icon set and window manager theme users will find familiar from our early days...." Read the rest of the release announcement for additional notes a video presentation.
Stefan Lippers-Hollmann has announced the release of aptosid 2012.1, a new version of the project's desktop Linux distribution based on Debian's unstable branch. From the release notes: "New features in aptosid 2012-01 are Linux kernel 3.6 and numerous integration and stabilisation fixes. Special focus has been cast upon improving system compatibility with new hardware platforms like AMD Bulldozer or Intel Ivy-Bridge and reworking the live system environment. Kernel 3.6 doesn't only improve and stabilise hardware support for newer devices, it also adapts ASPM heuristics for better power-saving and improved battery runtimes. Another topic has been the kernel's entropy gathering framework, both improving its performance and quality for systems providing little entropy by themselves."
aptosid 2012-01 - a Debian-based distribution with KDE 4.8.4
(full image size: 976kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database|
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Cylon Linux. Cylon Linux is an Ubuntu-based desktop Linux distribution with the GNOME Classic user interface and a large selection of software for everyday needs.
- Rebellin. Rebellin is a desktop Linux distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 10 December 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 • Fedora (by musty on 2012-12-03 10:05:16 GMT from France) |
Thank you for this new review.
Fedora is blocked only by the unfinished installer but the rest follows its evolution with normal updates like if version was released in November. So in January, Fedora 18 will be perfect in term of stability, even now I do not encounter any bug. perfect
2 • Distribution vs re-spin (by Alexandru on 2012-12-03 10:20:29 GMT from Romania)
The difference between notions of distribution and re-spin is not only subjective, but also very dynamic in time. The situation is similar to the difference between OS and OS family, or between language and dialect.
It was a time when there were Windows OS and Linux OS (among others). Novadays, Windows is considered an OS family and many of distros name themselves OSes. It is naturally because of growing number of their concretisations.
As of human language, similar question is whether American is a stand-alone language or a dialect of English one. It was borned as dialect, but become (or became) a language. The same way, but earlier, went Portuguese, Spanish, French, Romanian etc languages from Latin family.
3 • @5 Distribution vs re-spin (by Alexandru on 2012-12-03 10:27:37 GMT from Romania)
The botton line is that re-spins often tend to become distributions.
4 • Debian Stable (by Tux Raider on 2012-12-03 11:31:35 GMT from United States)
Debian Stable is what I run, one thing I hate is just after getting a distro installed is just a few months later there is a new release they want you to download and install. but Debian takes the time to pay attention to detail so not only am I not reinstalling a new release every few months when I do finally install a new release of Debian I know I can depend on it to be just like its namesake "Stable"
Kudos to Debian's developers
5 • @4 (by greg on 2012-12-03 11:48:34 GMT from Slovenia)
I think Ubuntu could do better if they were adding new features for 3 months and then spent 9 months only fixing bugs (not 2 or 3 months) - releasing once a year. that way short term support releases would be relatively stable.while LTS could get as solid as Debian on their release.
6 • Basic boot UI (by Somewhat Reticent on 2012-12-03 11:51:19 GMT from United States)
If I have basic issues while checking out a software collection, I look for info on starting "safe" or "basic". No finite compendium is likely to work for all hardware configurations. This is where boot parameters (aka cheatcodes) come in handy, and should be available for display and explanation during startup (aka boot). Like "F1 for Help" ...
7 • Manjaro (by mandog on 2012-12-03 12:12:51 GMT from Peru)
The full size of xfce is 1.2 gb I think you downloaded the net install or just the core it pays to visit the sites 1st and read the documentation. The GUI installer is experimental the CLI installer works fine. There are many happy users of manjaro so its a very easy distro to use.
8 • Manjaro 0.8.2 Review (by Carl Duff on 2012-12-03 12:33:24 GMT from United Kingdom)
You "reviewed" the Net-Edition of Manjaro, which as stated on our wiki (the 'about manjaro' article), does not come with a desktop environment, display manager, or software applications pre-installed. That is why you only booted into a login prompt. In addition, full instructions on how to build on the NET-edition are in fact provided on our wiki, too (the 'installation guides' section).
The manual is for beginners who have downloaded a Manjaro ISO with a pre-installed desktop environment. The names of the DEs are listed in the ISO names themselves.
9 • Re-Spin Distros (by DavidEF on 2012-12-03 12:42:26 GMT from United States)
For me, the question of re-spin vs distro is just as explained above by Jesse. If a project has its own repos, it is a distro, period. It could survive if the parent dies. If it depends on its parent distribution's repositories entirely, it is only a re-spin.
That isn't to say that a re-spin doesn't have any value. Someone may find it useful to have their system configured exactly that way without any extra effort required after install. The best example I can think of is the choice of desktop environment to be installed, with all the default settings and such optimised for that particular desktop environment. That is the most common re-spin from most parent distros.
I also agree with Alexandru (Post #2) above about re-spins eventually becoming distros. But, that can only happen as they are able and willing to create their own repos, even if they are just a direct copy of the parent repos at first. Obviously, if the parent repos went down for any reason, if you don't have your own, you are NOT a distro any longer, no matter what you thought you were before.
10 • Debian (by dragonmouth on 2012-12-03 13:34:21 GMT from United States)
Debian may be conservative, stodgy or boring but when a release goes out in the wild, it has minimum of bugs. Ubuntu and other distros, in their releases, concentrate on new "features", eye-candy and glitz, rather than on eliminating bugs. They let the user community do most of their beta testing. Ubuntu releases every six months whether the product is really ready for prime time or not. I could understand such an emphasis on features, eye candy and glitz if they were developing games, not operating systems which have to be stable from the word go.
11 • *shakes head* @ Ubuntu (by John Dough on 2012-12-03 13:53:52 GMT from Canada)
Simple, release an old school PC GUI and a smartphone-ish monstrostiy GUI (ope, wait, they already do that).
"User research and user testing became a core plank in our approach to the design" - Yeah, who, fired MS workers?
Re: Debian, yep, snail crawl, but hey, a lot of distros would be nowhere without them, including Ubuntu based spins. They are kinda like a quiet, humble cuddly pet, always there, really hard to hate.
12 • Debian vs Ubuntu? Why? (by DavidEF on 2012-12-03 14:12:53 GMT from United States)
Why contrast Ubuntu against Debian? Ubuntu is built off Debian. If Debian does so much work, why should Ubuntu have to duplicate the effort? Six months to transform a (semi-)stable Debian testing into a leading-edge distro is not so bad. Yes, there are bugs, some of which are inherited from the "testing" branch of Debian, and some are Ubuntu's own. But, overall, I think it's more stable compared to the practice of starting from scratch and building bleeding-edge distros which are also released in six months, as some others do.
"They let the user community do most of their beta testing. Ubuntu releases every six months whether the product is really ready for prime time or not." Didn't I read somewhere that "release early, release often" was a UNIX development philosophy? If so, then Canonical are doing EXACTLY as they should, according to you! So why complain? It's not like they're charging you hundreds of dollars for this "beta" software, as one particular proprietary OS company does.
As long as you know what Ubuntu claims to be, and use it for what it is, rather than for what it isn't, you will do well enough. If super-stable (aka boring) is what you're looking for, have at it! There are plenty of distros built for that, and Debian is a really good one, IMHO. But that doesn't mean that Ubuntu is in some way inferior for not taking that path. Different people with different usage patterns have different opinions about "stability" and different tolerances, or intolerances, as the case may be, for "instability". Thusly, we have hundreds of Linux distros to choose from, and each one is useful to somebody, if not you or me. I've said before, and I still believe, that ALL operating systems are a compromise. There is NO single, perfect OS, or distribution thereof. I choose to use linux in general, and Ubuntu in particular, because the things I need, or want, they have, and the things they don't have, I can live without. Others choose a different distro, or another OS, with different compromises, because it's the closest thing to what THEY need or want.
13 • @11 John Dough (by DavidEF on 2012-12-03 14:32:34 GMT from United States)
That "smartphone-ish monstrostiy GUI" may not be for you. Please do neither use it, nor complain about it. There are dozens of alternatives, none of which I use, or complain about. What would be the point of doing so? Why do people feel compelled to "hate" everything? Isn't it enough to just "not use" something? Also, does nobody remember that the Unity Shell started life as the "Ubuntu netbook remix"? I remember when it first came out, I wanted to install it on all my laptops, because I believed it would make using them easier for me, and it did. People did like it and use it. My daughter loved it on her laptop back then, and I still like Unity today. I really don't like Gnome 3 Shell, therefore I don't use it. I've tried LXDE, XFCE, and others. I don't use them. But, I don't see any reason to go about insulting them or their users either. Please, everybody, stop insulting me and other Unity Shell and/or Gnome 3 Shell, and/or "whatever DE" users by your comments. No wonder people accuse the linux community of being rabid and insane! There are better ways to say "I don't like Software X, and I don't use it."
14 • Manjaro (by Jesse on 2012-12-03 14:38:27 GMT from Canada)
>> "Jesse, You "reviewed" the Net-Edition of Manjaro, which as stated on our wiki (the 'about manjaro' article), does not come with a desktop environment, display manager, or software applications pre-installed. That is why you only booted into a login prompt."
Glad you cleared that up. In the future I hope the Manjaro project will consider some changes to make this more apparent. For example, mentioning they have a net install edition on the About or page, notes indicating the default download isn't for Xfce, but for net-install, and labeling the net-install image to indicate what it is. Those details would have made for a better experience.
15 • Unity: why is 3D Mandatory (by Leo on 2012-12-03 14:40:53 GMT from United States)
I really like the direction Ubuntu is taking in many areas. For instance, presenting a light desktop, and trying to embed Ubuntu inside Android, so you can extend something that already gives you a gazillions apps.
But why on earth would they make Unity only run if 3D Compositing is available????
16 • @13 (DavidEF) (by John Dough on 2012-12-03 15:04:50 GMT from Canada)
Comment deleted (disrespectful).
17 • Manjaro (by User on 2012-12-03 15:07:44 GMT from Paraguay)
They seem to have fixed it by now, or you it was just your fault Jesse
18 • Manjaro (by Carl Duff on 2012-12-03 15:13:55 GMT from United Kingdom)
The Manjaro team and I are fine with criticism. It helps us to improve. However, it is clearly evident that you didn't bother to read the documentation properly. If you did, you would've noticed that there is also a Net-installation guide available, for example. And that our 'About Manjaro' page does indeed already provide a detailed list of the available flavours, with an explanation of what the Net-Edition is.
I'm a bit taken aback that you didn't even notice what ISO flavour you were downloading, either (i.e. the xfce edition has the tell-tale "xfce" listed in its name). I don't think it has anything to do with the "default" download for Manjaro, as there isn't one.
19 • Dear Carl (by EZ Buttun on 2012-12-03 15:36:09 GMT from United States)
Do you really expect us to read a manual? We are far too busy ranting about things on the web to know what we are doing.
20 • Quick looks (by :wq on 2012-12-03 15:48:13 GMT from United States)
Manjaro is my favorite preconfigured Arch-based distribution, and I like the Manjaro team's approach (well tested snapshots of Arch). Too bad the review didn't pan out for whatever reasons.
Regarding Kwort, while I agree that package selection is scant, there are also additional packages (Firefox, etc) available on the Kwort ISO, in the "more" folder.
21 • Distro vs Respin (by vw72 on 2012-12-03 16:29:05 GMT from United States)
Using whether or not there is a separately maintained repository as the definition of distro vs respin doesn't go far enough. Kubuntu uses the Ubuntu repositories, but is definitely not a respin and is sponsored by a different company than Canonical.
The best definition of whether something is a respin or a separate distro may be with how the parent treats it. Fedora feels that the xfce based version is just a re-spin of the base Fedora. Ubuntu feels the xfce based version is a separate distro.
It has to do with the internal workings and decision process, not whether or not there are separate repositories (although usually separate repositories would be indicative of a separate distro, just not always).
Put differently, for any given distro/respin, who has control and how is it exercised. That should be the determining factor.
22 • Manjaro confusion (by claudecat on 2012-12-03 16:37:13 GMT from United States)
Wow. It's really not difficult to discover which ISO is preferable for trying out Manjaro. It's obviously a distro that concentrates on Xfce, and it's also obvious that the net-install ISO is what it is. As someone else mentioned, there is no "default" download.
Manjaro is a young but fast growing project with unusually good documentation (easily navigable web site and wiki/forum) which should be taken advantage of when the would-be user is unsure of something. I really hope that someone will do a real review of Manjaro at some point, and that this attempted "first look" won't dissuade users from trying what I have found to be one of the most interesting new distros in quite some time.
23 • Ubuntu testing... (by cflow on 2012-12-03 16:42:09 GMT from United States)
For those who are real skeptics about ubuntu's testing, this might be an interesting read:
Apparenty, they aren't stupid - they put in a lot of objective factors in choosing their testers and subject matter. This compared to mint, who just gives what people want via interpretations of online users- I don't know how they test their interface. Which is the best approach? Who knows... Maybe a little of both?
24 • SnowLinux (by Thom on 2012-12-03 16:48:30 GMT from Sweden)
I was sorry to see the rather aborted Snow Linux review in this edition of DWW and I do feel Jesse took the opportunity to take a chunk out of the To Do list rather than try a less video-demanding interface and go from there.
At the same time, I do wish to express my appreciation for the work the good people at DW do day in day out and the normal high standard I have come to expect in DWW. A round of applause for the team.
25 • As expected... (by DavidEF on 2012-12-03 16:49:49 GMT from United States)
Comment deleted (off-topic).
26 • @23 Ubuntu testing (by DavidEF on 2012-12-03 16:51:57 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the link, cflow.
27 • Thank you for the link. Please review Rebellin Linux. (by UtkarshSevekar on 2012-12-03 16:57:44 GMT from India)
Thank you so much for the link DistroWatch. Guys if you are reading this, can you please review Rebellin Linux? It's awesome and works flawlessly. It won't disappoint you as a user. I need your help to get the word out.
Just a sincere request. Please review Rebellin Linux on your website.
Here's the link: www.therebellin.com
Thank you so much.
28 • Fedora's installer (by Barnabyh on 2012-12-03 17:11:03 GMT from United Kingdom)
The new installer looks more modern now and like a better fit for the default Gnome Shell environment. Dare I say it looks Ubuntu-ish with the flat icons that seem to have become the order of the day with Google and Canonical, almost as if they're trying to confuse you and make online and your desktop seamlessly blend in.
And now MS with Outlook.com and W8 are also going for that new, simplified clean look.
That said I couldn't care less what the installer looks like, as long as it does the job and does what it says on the tin, but it's nice that somebody took the time to bring it into the new age I suppose.
29 • next level linux programing (by venkatesh on 2012-12-03 17:15:42 GMT from India)
space ship, defence ,educational, automation systems, support all processor..
30 • Manjaro (by Pera on 2012-12-03 17:17:53 GMT from Serbia)
Alongside Voyage Linux,Manjaro brought to me the best XFCE experience.It is great distro,worthy trying out.
31 • Rebellin Linux (by DavidEF on 2012-12-03 18:39:39 GMT from United States)
If you really want to get the word out about Rebellin, you might want to consider offering SOME KIND of free download, even if it is just a trial. Charging for a linux download isn't new, but I for one, won't try a new product that I know nothing about, at cost, when I can get a similar product for free that I'm happy with.
To all who don't know, Rebellin is $5.00 US. Not much, but is it worth it? Has anyone here tried it?
32 • Ban fights and arguments. (by Scott on 2012-12-03 18:50:04 GMT from United States)
Comment deleted (off-topic).
33 • Hardware compatibiltiy (by Glenn on 2012-12-03 18:58:30 GMT from United States)
This continues to be an under-emphasized area of all Linux distributions, especially the area of graphics cards. Information about whether or not a distribution will run on my hardware is difficult, if not impossible to ascertain without attempting to install any given distro.
More information about which graphics cards are definitely not supported in a given distro would save everyone a lot of time.
34 • DW's reviews... (by buntunub on 2012-12-03 19:02:46 GMT from United States)
@CarlDuff - I can understand your frustration. Imagine how I felt after reading Jesse's review of Debian Squeeze almost two years ago! :)
35 • Nadia (by colors, colors on 2012-12-03 19:17:45 GMT from Finland)
I'm loving Linux Mint 14 and a big fan of Cinnamon. I also like green and blue. But I still have a little problem. My laptop is red and I'm too lazy to find a good red theme.
36 • Sabayon 10 (by Douglas E Knapp on 2012-12-03 19:45:58 GMT from Germany)
I am a long time Liunx user and I have tried out a lot of distros over the years. They have always fallen short of what I would like to have until now. It seems that Sabayon has finally gotten it right. After giving up on Kubuntu I started distro hopping and thought I would give Sabayon yet another try because the basic idea is so cool. Problem is that it NEVER worked on my systems or crashed a lot. Now as of Sabayon 9 it has been working perfectly and much faster than any other major system I have ever tried! The only problem I have had this year was one time it updated and forgot to install a graphics driver, a big problem. But being a long time user it was easy to see and fix. It took me only a few minutes and problem solved. Not for the newbie but if you know a bit, give it a spin!
PS I have nothing to do with Sabayon other than being a happy user.
PPS some of the default programs are a bit lame but they have everything that you could want in their page management system. Use the CLI to install, the ringo thing is in need of CPR IMOHO.
37 • Flavour? (by Peter on 2012-12-03 20:50:55 GMT from Poland)
Why it can't be re-spin and distribution at the same time? Re-spin distribution sounds quite good and have a lot more sense in projects like Ubuntu than only one of the two. And we could use a word "flavour" to describe projects in form of "Ubuntu with different wallpaper" ;)
38 • Linux Mint DEBIAN EDITION (by 8675309 on 2012-12-03 20:52:13 GMT from United States)
If you think Linux Mint is the way, Linux Mint Debian Edition is, IMHO, a few cuts above regular Mint. Being a rolling release, you can say goodbye forever to having to re-install a 'newer version' of your OS, still have the great stability of a Debian based system, and still have your choice of different desktop environments, should you so please.
39 • @33 Hardware (by DavidEF on 2012-12-03 21:14:59 GMT from United States)
I agree. Hardware is very hard to figure out sometimes. What makes it worse is that sometimes a particular piece of hardware will work with one distro but not another, or even quit working with a distro from one version to the next. I have a mic on my laptop that didn't work in some older versions of Ubuntu, then it did for a couple iterations, now it doesn't again, for the last few releases. That kind of stuff is ridiculous. Graphics cards sometimes have the same up-and-down situation, as internal changes to the OS change the functionality, or lack thereof, of the drivers. It would be great if developers would keep a running list of the hardware their OS supports, and not let it go backward without a REALLY GOOD reason.
40 • STOP (RE)SETTING THE SYSTEM CLOCK! (by Annoyed in America on 2012-12-03 21:26:38 GMT from United States)
I like Linux Mint and will use it. However when it comes to desktop distros...
I HATE THE FACT THAT NO ONE - NOT EVEN MINT - SEEMS TO REALIZE THAT SYSTEM TIME (in the BIOS settings) IS ALMOST ALWAYS SET TO LOCAL TIME!!!
Yes, it is an easy thing to deal with but it shouldn't even be an issue.
Come on people! It's almost 2013 and the "Y2K" scare was over a decade ago. This time fix isn't exactly a "bug" but it's still something no one seems able or even willing to correct. The best I've seen is some sort of configuration process that still messes with the BIOS clock - needlessly!
Dual booting with Windows when the BIOS time has been "adjusted" by a Linux distro - even a Live one - is a HUGE ANNOYANCE! Windows and only a handful of other OS's always correctly assume the system time is set to LOCAL time and NOT some weirdo UTC offset. You might have even noticed that Windows has "time servers" it can sync with too. But those time servers are almost exclusively for atomic clock settings where longitude calculations might be more critical. Those time servers won't help reset the hour or even the date! So when Mint or something resets the BIOS / system time, it just messes things up. SO STOP IT!!! Stop the madness.
SYSTEM TIME IS LOCAL TIME!
41 • end of linux zealot. (by one is enough on 2012-12-03 21:46:22 GMT from Indonesia)
I have five years old laptop, other distro forced me to use fn+left arrow as soon as it boot. the only distro that work without using fn+left arrow was antiX. I use antiX 12 now, I have everything that I need. ceni detected my wlan card, no fn+left arrow, and I don't have to download flash player or multimedia codecs after install. so goodbye opensuse, goodbye ubuntu, don't care with fedora or arch linux I don't need all of you.
42 • Manjaro (by Jesse on 2012-12-03 22:58:40 GMT from Canada)
>> "However, it is clearly evident that you didn't bother to read the documentation properly. If you did, you would've noticed that there is also a Net-installation guide available"
Why would I read the net-install guide when there was no indication the software I had downloaded was for a net-install? The ISO is quite large, it comes with X and the About page doesn't mention a net-install option is available.
>> " I don't think it has anything to do with the "default" download for Manjaro, as there isn't one."
Really, because when I browse to the download page it offers me a ISO, manjaro-0.8.2, without me having to browse through the list of available spins. That certainly seems like a default to me. If the default download link had pointed to the Xfce spin then I would have taken it.
43 • @13 Monstrosity (by Ron on 2012-12-03 23:20:16 GMT from United States)
"Please, everybody, stop insulting me and other Unity Shell and/or Gnome 3 Shell, and/or "whatever DE" users by your comments. No wonder people accuse the linux community of being rabid and insane! There are better ways to say "I don't like Software X, and I don't use it."
Comments? I would call if FEEDBACK. Yes, feedback, one of the most quintessential processes in just about all of nature.
How else is anyone to judge the popularity or usefulness of a nefarious monstrosity than to consider other's valid opinions ?
Are you really asking others to just not speak? Asking someone to not give an opinion on an opinion outlet is, well, (to paraphrase this sort of thinking "deep thinking man that I am"), silly.
44 • My continued Light Distro testing ( #! ) (by Leo on 2012-12-03 23:21:35 GMT from United States)
So, I've created a Crunbang ( #! ) install on a USB, just to see if it could be an option for a homebrew 'chromebook' or 'workstation'
To me , for a techie/scientist workstation, it is awesome as it is. For regular users (like, uhmm, my family), it is a bit hard, in that "icons" are not supported "naturally".
I added aDeskBar, removed things redundant with the panel, and it seems like the way to go. I still need to edit the "autostart" script to run google chrome and aDeskBar on login (there is a menu entry that opens a text editor as super user for that). It still is a bit annoying, in that you can't simply add an app, because the app menu you see in aDeskBar is not the same as the Debian menu, so only a few apps show up. I needed to configure a custom launcher, and hunt for the chrome logo (to add google chrome), and others for other apps. Not the end of the world, but I guess it would be nice to add support for either launcher or desktop apps, which would make #! accessible to a larger audience.
As it stands, my light Ubuntu install + razor qt is a more familiar, and really fast interface. But it is rather incomplete, though useable, at this point. That's my default bootup on my dell mini, which boots to a full desktop in 15 secs.
45 • #44 (by anticapitalista on 2012-12-04 00:55:20 GMT from Greece)
So Leo, antiX was also suggested to you. Are you going to give it a try?
Poster #41 liked it :)
46 • Manjaro (re:#42) (by Hoos on 2012-12-04 02:10:09 GMT from Singapore)
There was a link directly to the XFCE iso image for 0.8.1 via the distribution release announcement on Distrowatch's own pages. The iso file name had "xfce" on it. It worked brilliantly as a live distro. However I had some problems installing it due to Grub and X issues.
After version 0.8.2 was released, I noticed from Distrowatch's own pages again that they had announcements for both XFCE and LXDE versions. So I visited their site and went to their download page. I had no problems identifying and choosing the DE version I wanted (XFCE). I chose the basic option of using the open source graphics drivers, installed version 0.8.2 onto my 7 year old computer, and it's running very well.
This is my first Arch distro. I'm not a Linux expert, so I can say that I believe it does a good job of making things simple and ticking along. It's worth trying out, IMO.
47 • @40 Re: STOP (RE)SETTING THE SYSTEM CLOCK! (by Predrag Punosevac on 2012-12-04 02:17:45 GMT from United States)
The system time is always Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Converting UTC to a local time based upon the stored information about the time zone of a local user is a job of the operating system. Apparently your favorite operating system has a major bug because it uses local time as a system time.
48 • Manjaro (by JDM on 2012-12-04 02:24:32 GMT from United States)
I was able to easily distinguish between the net install and full ISO when I downloaded and installed Manjaro on my laptop a couple weeks ago. I also burned the LXDE version and checked it out in Live mode before going with XFCE.
Not to add insult to injury, but as a non-IT person, I am not very deep technically. Consequently I tend to scour a distribution's website with extra care. All 5 of my home PCs run Linux of some variety -- mostly Debian/Ubuntu versions.
Before Manjaro I tried Archbang on my oldest box and used it for a while. Although I started getting used to Pacman package management, I still missed Synaptic. Maybe it is because I am not a very good typist.
Anyway, I have often heard that real hacker men (and probably women) think an application like Synaptic "gets in their way" but that's not how it is for me.
Lack of a good graphical package manager is my only knock on Manjaro so far. It feels very light and responsive when I am using it (If you can say that about an OS.).
Hope you find these comments instructive.
49 • Re: #40 STOP (RE)SETTING THE SYSTEM CLOCK! (by Vance on 2012-12-04 02:29:06 GMT from United States)
No, on UNIX systems, the system time is UTC and has been since before Windows ever existed.
Fortunately you can configure your Linux-based system to treat the hardware clock as local time: http://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/52423/different-time-in-windows-and-linux-mint
Some of the downsides of using local time in the hardware clock are described here: http://catless.org/Risks/24.66.html#subj15
50 • Manjaro (by JDM on 2012-12-04 02:32:35 GMT from United States)
"Constructive" not "instructive." That's why I have to be careful. JDM
51 • @28 (by Adam Williamson on 2012-12-04 05:17:55 GMT from Canada)
Despite the name, the 'new UI' isn't really just about making it look nicer - a lot of it is to do with cleaning up and rationalizing the UI code to make the maintenance workload more bearable.
52 • Re: @48 - JDM (by claudecat on 2012-12-04 06:01:59 GMT from United States)
Kudos to you JDM for sharing your experience with linux and Manjaro. I agree that it feels very light and responsive - much more so than, say, Xubuntu. I'd add that it seems (to me) much more polished and complete than other "light" Xfce distros like Zenwalk or Vector.
I too love Synaptic - for me it's the ONLY gui package manager worth using. You may want to try using yaourt-gui in Manjaro (it's in the AUR, hence usable on most Arch based distros). First do pacman -S yaourt, then do yaourt -S yaourt-gui. It's a simple bash wrapper/"gui" for common pacman commands that eliminates a lot of typing (I too am a poor typist).
Hope this helps you or someone. Arch-ish distros don't have to be hard!
53 • @40 Re: STOP (RE)SETTING THE SYSTEM CLOCK! (by one is enough on 2012-12-04 06:18:34 GMT from Indonesia)
For UTC or non dual boot with Windows
# echo -e "0.0 0 0.0\n0\nUTC" > /etc/adjtime
For local or dual boot with Windows
# echo -e "0.0 0 0.0\n0\nLOCAL" > /etc/adjtime
....linux = freedom isn't it??????
54 • @27 what the rebelin?! (by greg on 2012-12-04 07:15:59 GMT from Slovenia)
I see no incentive to try out rebelin as well. not because of the payment (which could be easilly avoided if you put it on server outside India, but because after scouring the site there is no mentioning of any good product support. "the team" is a one man band, that refers to himself in 3rd person. i could not find list of packages at least some basic ones that are installed. all in all it seems like debian with few new icons and a few backports - we already have that in Mepis, Chrunchbang and few other debian spin offs. there are also some strange claims in there that put me off. like going against "fragmentation". there really is no big fragmentation. you can use gnome apps nicely in KDE (which for example i prefer) and i can use KDE and Gnome apps in windows as well. bottom line i see no usability improvement that would stand out.
55 • Last Post on the Manjaro Issue (by Carl Duff on 2012-12-04 12:05:41 GMT from United Kingdom)
Your "review" falsely claims that 'The Manjaro documentation assumes the user will attempt to launch the installer from the desktop. Starting the system installer from the command prompt isn't covered...' Yet anyone can see that the wiki does provide a net-edition installation guide.
Your "review" also states that 'searches for combinations of "manjaro", "system" and "install" from the command prompt didn't return any matches'. Yet upon booting up, there is a message that states you should enter "sudo setup" after logging in to start the installation process. It's displayed right there in front of your eyes along with the login details. This is after not paying attention and/or bothering to check which ISO you had downloaded or were trying to use.
Your responses to my posts also falsely claim that the 'About page doesn't mention a net-install option is available'. Yet there is an entire paragraph about it there. And it's listed in both the stable and testbuild release sections. And throughout the wiki itself.
And of course your responses falsely claim that there is some kind of a 'default' net-edition download. Anyone visiting the sourceforge website can see for themelves a big list of available ISOs in the 0.8.2 folder. ISOs with the names of the DEs listed in them.
I really don't see any point or sense in your responses so far. It seems you feel aggreived by my criticism of your review. How do you think we feel about a trusted reviewer on a popular website publishing a slapdash "review" that glibly misrepresents and rubbishes our hard work to the world? Be as critical as you like - we at least have the humility to take on board fair criticism. However, it would be appreciated if you could show the appropriate level of courtesy, professionalism, and self-respect to put in the effort necessary to properly - and failry - evaluate the work of others.
56 • Manjaro (by kc1di on 2012-12-04 12:20:32 GMT from United States)
I have to say Jesse that I had no problem finding the xfce iso and installing it. I personally don't care for the package management and like debian based distros better. But it is fast and seems stable for what little time I've used it.
One of the problems I have with many distros on this particualar set up is the fonts just look lousy on this video card / monitor out of the box , so either have to spend lots of time fiddling or simple stay with mint/ubuntu which both do a good job on this machine.
In any event manjaro looked pretty good here. Hope next week you fair better :)
57 • @54 Rebellin (by DavidEF on 2012-12-04 14:24:44 GMT from United States)
Yeah, from the looks of things, there is not much, if anything, to be gained by trying it. The claims on the website are too vague to give any real idea of what you're getting. The reason I mentioned the money isn't because it's so much (which it isn't) but because I could easily try hundreds of other distros I may never use, all for free. If the OS is worth it, I don't see $5.00 US being a barrier to adoption, but I'm not looking to PAY to test it out, with NO really specific mention of what there is to gain by it.
58 • The decline of Linux Mint (by Simon on 2012-12-04 15:11:23 GMT from United Kingdom)
I have been using Mint as a desktop OS from the beginning of the LinuxMint project. Mint 9 or 10 were probably the best as far as stability, user-friendliness. and lack of bugs is concerned. It's been on a slide downhill since there.
The latest editions are increasingly buggy and unstable. I don't blame this on the Mint team but on the increasing bloated state of GNU and Linux kernel.
I envy those who have only recently discovered Linux Mint. They can enjoy possibly the best Linux-based OS currently available without being shadowed by the 'good old days' memory :)
59 • Rebellin's not bad! Why hate it?! (by Utkarsh on 2012-12-04 15:25:58 GMT from India)
@54 (Greg): Greg, I know Rebellin's short of what other distros are out there. But c'mon! What was Mint when it started? We have to start at least somewhere! And I do have a vision. Just cos the first step was a baby step doesn't mean it's a crappy product or it won't get any momentum!
Secondly, I haven't referred to myself in 3rd person anywhere. Don't know how you read.
But anyway, I expect some constructive criticism from you. Help me grow. Download Rebellin and tell me how I can improve. No seriously. Please download Rebellin! :)
60 • @58, Decline of Linux Mint (by TobiSGD on 2012-12-04 17:28:33 GMT from Germany)
"The latest editions are increasingly buggy and unstable. I don't blame this on the Mint team but on the increasing bloated state of GNU and Linux kernel."
If the kernel or the GNU tools were to blame for Mint's bugginess (which I can't say anything about, I am not using it) then any other distro using the Linux kernel and the GNU tools would have the same problems. I can assure you that this is not the case, so you should seek the cause for instability somewhere else.
61 • Decline of Linux Mint (by marti on 2012-12-04 18:11:18 GMT from Spain)
I do not think that Linux Mint is getting worse, actually I think it is the best distro for newbies. It is a bit buggy, and it has always been basically because ot two reasons:
First because it is based on Ubuntu (and so it is based on Debian sid), or on Debian testing (the Liinux Mint Debian edition). Neither Debian sid nor Debian testing are bug free (nevertheless, Debian testing is a pretty stable distro at the moment because it is frozen, but in 3-4 months will start rolling and become a bit tricky)
Second: Because the Linux Mint team is a small team, and they are working on lots of projects at the same time (they develop Cinnamon desktop, they release the Linux MInt main edition Cinnamon, LM main edition MATE, KDE, Xfce, Linux Mint Debian edition -this last one is a distro I will never understand, neither it is a rolling distro nor it is a secure distro-). They should choose one release (ie Linux Mint Cinnamon) and focus on it, they will get a bug free distro, and if someone wanted another desktop environment, they could always get it from the repos
62 • Manjaro (by Bill on 2012-12-04 20:02:48 GMT from United States)
I tried Manjaro Xfce version when 0.8.1 came out here on Distrowatch. Just downloaded the iso, and ran the CLI installer. It was very very easy and I had some fun with Arch as I had never run that distro before. Once I figured out Pacman and then AUR stuff, I had everything I ever wanted running, including cairo dock, emerald themes, and compiz. The forum was very helpful answering questions in a timely fashion. I still have an image file of the system which I can put back on a partition whenever I want to. The reason I'm not running it now is because no matter what I tried I couldn't get CUPS and printer to recognize my cannon and print. Also in AUR the "ace-of-penguins" solitaire game wouldn't work. But other than that it was easy, fast, stable and the help on the forums was great.
63 • @58 Decline of Linux Mint (by Chanath on 2012-12-05 03:35:20 GMT from Sri Lanka)
"The latest editions are increasingly buggy and unstable."
Well, that's true, and since they started playing with libmutter, things get slower. If you want, have a look here; http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2090907
You might be surprised at the memory usage.
64 • 59 ? Rebellin's not bad! Why hate it?! (by Utkarsh (by Chanath on 2012-12-05 04:14:18 GMT from Sri Lanka)
"But anyway, I expect some constructive criticism from you. Help me grow."
To get that constructive criticism, you have to let the people download your Rebellin free. No one is going to test a distro, which had to be paid to download. If you remember Elive, where to find it today, and that person at least allowed it to be downloaded, but blocked it from being installed.
Bodhi, on the other hand, made a superb distro, got more than enough "constructive" and "destructive" criticism, where is Bodhi now? On the very top! And, how he tried to make it better and better!
65 • Zentayal review (by Robert Strickler on 2012-12-05 05:08:56 GMT from United States)
Since webmin is deprecated by ubuntu and no longer in the official repositories. Zentayal (nee ebox) has been given the nod in its stead. While it has a full install t Its features are also supposed to be available via an apt-get install package. I would like to see a review of this package and how well it handles SAMBA4, DHCP, DNS configuration and administration.
66 • Saving on distribution costs [Rebellin, Elive, etc] (by SkepticalEncourager on 2012-12-05 06:15:41 GMT from United States)
If it costs $5 to upload 1.5Gb, you're paying way too much for bandwidth. Consider distribution via torrent instead.
67 • #(58,60,61,63) MintX (by zykoda on 2012-12-05 15:46:21 GMT from United Kingdom)
IMHO the basis has become more problematic for Mint 11-14. Everyday still on 9 myself until another distro switch is called for! Backed off from 10 for LTS reasons. Future may be a tailored Debian 7? I have many other distros trialling, but none yet match the OOBE of Mint 9. So little to install and configure for me. YMMV.
68 • XFCE (by Peter Besenbruch on 2012-12-06 04:41:55 GMT from United States)
I use XFCE on Debian. Whether its Squeeze (the stable version) or Wheezy (testing, and soon to be stable), the version of XFCE I run is 4.8. I run it on Ubuntu Lucid (10.04) and Mint Isadora (9), too. Debian is faster, and takes less RAM. No distro has XFCE configured the way I like, so I tend to roll my own with Debian.
You install until you get to the point when you get asked what sorts of tasks I want to do. I always leave the Desktop environment blank. After I reboot, I install mc, xfce4, xorg, lightdm, and synaptic. I remove exim4-config, exim4-base, and rpcbind. Then I reboot again, and I have a very fast and light desktop. From there I can add what I need, and I have nothing extra.
It's a little more work to set up, but for the expected two years of use, Debian is worth it.
69 • Mint (by Franz on 2012-12-06 17:42:47 GMT from United States)
I give a try to Mint and it is so good (live dvd). Everything works faster than on my FreeBSD, applications are newer than on FB and I am ready to change OS. It looks like FreeBSD for desktop user is history...
70 • My testing of light distros: MacPup (by Leo on 2012-12-06 21:40:17 GMT from United States)
One of you suggested McPup, I loved it. It isn't just light but ultralight, inherited from Puppy. And it looks TONS better and more professional to my taste. Also, more intuitive to be used, so it's a better Puppy in my opinion.
My only gripe is that it doesn't have a volume control gadget in the panel, and clicking on the WIFI signal opens a slightly confusing PUP configuration window, which is a bit confusing. Finding where to adjust the volume is a challenge, the only way I found was by running some generic "wizard wizard" which I accidentally found. In that sense, #! is a lot easier, but then again, it isn't nearly as light.
My verdict: MacPup rocks, and it's a better Puppy
71 • @52 (by JDM on 2012-12-07 04:11:24 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the tip claudecat.
Pacman says yaourt is already installed. When I tried to install yaourt-gui, I got an error message saying the package is corrupted. Hmmm.
Manjaro has its own repositories but allow downloads from AUR. Looks like I have many learning opportunities with this distro.
72 • Games (by Rajesh on 2012-12-07 13:01:17 GMT from Qatar)
I would like a feature to be implemented in all linux distributions by default.
Whenener we play a game on linux the resolution changes from my default 1280 x 800 to 800 x 600 or what ever is set in the game.
After quiting the game the resolution does not return to my previous default of 1280 x 800.
i have to manually do it.
Cannot this be done automatically ?
Appreciate a reply soon.
73 • Re: 72 • Games (by Leo on 2012-12-07 14:32:58 GMT from United States)
I've seen this happen, Rajesh, but it is not a universal problem. It happens for certain combinations of games and graphics drivers. And it has gotten a lot better in recent years ... what's your software/hardware? HTH!
74 • @71 (by mandog on 2012-12-07 20:42:59 GMT from Peru)
I don't know what you are doing wrong but the package installs fine. I you have a problem go to Manjaro forums and ask that is where you will get help.
75 • Ubuntu spyware: the new RMS article (by Caitlyn Martin on 2012-12-07 22:26:30 GMT from United States)
In case you haven't seen it yet: http://www.fsf.org/blogs/rms/ubuntu-spyware-what-to-do
76 • 68 XFCE (by Peter Besenbruch (by Chanath on 2012-12-08 01:00:59 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Well, Xfce is good, Lxde too. If you install from the Ubuntu mini.iso, Precise, Quantal etc, and then add xinit, and install Xfce (or Lxde), you'd get a faster installation. I am not saying Lubuntu desktop or Xubuntu desktop, but Xfce or Lxde. Once, you rebooted and logged in, you can install all the apps you want, without being hitched to a given desktop. What you'd run is a pure Xfce (or LXde) with the Ubuntu base.
The speed is the more or less the same, whether you install Debian or Ubuntu base. There is one plus too--you can install ppas in a Ubuntu based installation, and an easy way to remaster it. Being with Ubuntu, you are in a much modern installation than in a Debian one.
77 • Same old same o', but is there hope? (by SkepticalReticent on 2012-12-08 05:51:48 GMT from United States)
Canonical Corporation says they send no "personally identifying data" (only "hashed IP" and maybe geoIP) to Amazon Corporation, and offers opt-out. Many downstreamers offer opt-in instead, of course. When you have the Source, you get Choice.
Of course, socialista RMS of FSF screeches "Spying! Boycott!" anyway. Really? Just how much software has he personally worked on and donated lately? Why should we throw out the baby with the bath-water?
Notwithstanding extremists from both poles, I suggest more robust solutions than patent or copyright are needed, and more likely to come from the Freed Software community than from corporations - provided cooler heads prevail. After all, developers need to eat too.
78 • bummer (by Windows is a bummer on 2012-12-08 8:33:16 GMT from Sweden)
"Dual booting with Windows when the BIOS time has been "adjusted" by a Linux distro - even a Live one - is a HUGE ANNOYANCE!"
Even worse, when you install/reinstall Windows, it wants to overwrite the MBR and if you're not Linux savvy, you'll have to dig around for how to restore your MBR for dual boots!
Windows should bend towards ease of use, Linux is easier to use once it's installed for that matter and upon install usually gives you the option of leaving any Windows partitions alone.
79 • Unity (by Ex-ubuntu user on 2012-12-08 11:54:00 GMT from United Kingdom)
As a long time Ubuntu user, now ex-Ubuntu user, Unity is has been a huge turn-off.
Perhaps I'm just an old-fashioned conservative luddite.
I use Debian/gnome now, which I have used before.
Ubuntu, please drop Unity - it is simply pants.
80 • @Ubuntu spyware (by Koroshiya Itchy on 2012-12-08 13:03:55 GMT from Luxembourg)
Stallman is right: Spyware is spyware no matter who it comes from. Period. Shame on Ubuntu.
81 • Manjaro (by Jeff on 2012-12-08 15:28:46 GMT from United States)
I have Manjaro-Xfce installed on my Macbook and it runs great. The review written on here is really an injustice. It has an easy installer, and stays updated just a touch behind the regular Arch distro. I love it.
82 • @77 (by John Dough on 2012-12-08 18:01:55 GMT from Canada)
Ubuntu is backed by a corp, eventually corps like to see return on their investment(s), I'm not surprised in the least. There are a plethora of distros based on Ubuntu (actually better too) with no spyware to choose from, all this will do is drive faithful users to those distros, oh well.
83 • Ububu (by Skeptical on 2012-12-08 22:43:04 GMT from United States)
I haven't seen incompetence as bad as Canonical's first Amazon Lens search results since ... another corporation published alpha-quality software. Even for those who like the idea, refusal to address blatantly obvious bugs resulted in negative PR. It wasn't the concept, but the initially underhanded, and then arrogantly high-handed refusal to fix, that put so many potential customers off. Clearly Shuttleworth is no Jobs.
But will the Freed Software community pioneer better methods for supporting development, or just kick its feet in the air and whine, and leave it all to corporations by default?
84 • Ubuntu spyware: Canonical is the evil (by Claudio on 2012-12-09 01:20:33 GMT from Brazil)
Some years ago I knew a man (Mr. Katsuyoshi) who posted here
using the pseudonym NippoNoob. He made a lecture in my school
showcasing the superiority of Linux over Windows. I remember
he said: "Unhappilly, the desktop is dominated by Microsoft.
But there is an even worse company in the Linux world. It's
name is Canonical."
Then he started such a harsh criticism of both Windows and Ubuntu,
and such a big propaganda of other distros (if I still remember,
PCLinuxOS, Vector, and Dreamlinux), that I got very confuse, not
knowing what to try. But one thing I understood perfectly: There
are "good" and "bad" distros, depending on their code bases and
some other factors.
Since that day, as recommended by Mr. Katsuyoshi, distrowatch.com
became one of my favorite tech sites. Many months later, I decided
to choose antiX as my main distro and abandon Windows. (Oh glory!)
Today, after reading the article suggested by Ms. Caitlyn Martin,
I finally realize why Mr. Katsuyoshi said this in an old e-mail:
"Ubuntu must die. Period. Android is another Linux we can't
rely on because it's baked by another evil company."
Well, I now clearly see that the guy was right. And I thought he
was being paranoid... Silly me! No wonder why he used to say that
Red Hat is the only decent Linux company, and that all Linuxers
should love Scientific IceWM (the distro he runs in a laptop).
The funny thing is that Mr. Katsuyoshi, who is an architect, runs
Windows XP at work. The guy is a heavy user of Autodesk's AutoCAD
(another closed-source software) and NVIDIA's Quadro videocards
(hardware devices that need proprietary drivers).
Yes, proprietary software still rules the world. Maybe this is the
number one reason why some Linuxers hate it so much. And If the
open-source Ubuntu was contaminated with malware, what to say
about the closed-source ("blackbox") Android?
I'm biased to thing that EVERY software company sucks, one way or
another. Thus, could we blindly trust Red Hat? What would make it
better than Canonical (besides the quality of RHEL, of course)?
85 • Live testing ArchBang! 2012.12 (by John Dough on 2012-12-09 02:50:28 GMT from Canada)
on a P4 1.7GHz junk pile. I have been toying with several 'lite' distros for about 3 weeks now, oddly enough, most Ubuntu based lag like crazy, wattOS is ok but still a bit laggy and buggy (the desktop icons have a mind of their own, lol). ArchBang 2012.12 is a very pleasant surprise, considering other distros with a 'newer' kernel did not like my D-Link DL10050 PCI network adaptor, this one has the 3.6.8 kernel and the card works just fine. I like this slick, fast and clean distro so much, I will be wiping wattOS and installing ArchBang. Coming from Debian/*buntu, I will have to learn a few new command line tricks but hey, ArchBang has an excellent wiki, the Rosetta section is fantastic. I have 8 years distro hopping/testing experience, I am REALLY impressed by ArchBang!
86 • re: XFCE (by Peter Besenbruch on 2012-12-09 07:59:40 GMT from United States)
I just switched my last machine off of Ubuntu today. I am familiar with PPAs and have used them quite a bit. The problem with running them with Ubuntu Lucid, is none of them kept up to date. You basically got one round of updates to the next Ubuntu release, but nothing beyond that.
Debian works a bit differently. It has a more extensive Backports repository, and then there are Backports for Debian Desktop and Iceweasel. Supported software works better from Debian Backports. Eventually Squeeze Backports had more complete and more advanced versions of GNUCash, XFCE, Audacious, GIMP, and the Linux kernel.
Installing from a mini-ISO, as you describe, and building up makes more sense that ripping out a bunch of stuff. I ran a fairly lean Lucid with XFCE, and I can tell you that Debian is a tad quicker, but not enough to matter. Phoronix ran tests on Ubuntu vs. Debian in a similar configuration, and found Debian faster, but again, not by much.
What I like is Debian's stability, when added to the mix. Ubuntu can't match it. LXDE was fairly unstable on Lucid. XFCE was a lot better, but every two weeks, or so, the X server would freeze. That simply doesn't happen with Debian, at least not on my machines (they're all Intel based).
Finally, the closest thing Debian has to spyware is the Popularity Contest, which is disabled by default. Now Ubuntu has added search lenses, and plans to add more in 2013. I don't like Ubuntu's direction. That's why I took my last machine off of Ubuntu, today.
87 • Re: 84 . Ubuntu spyware: Canonical is the evil (by Celso (son of Katsuyoshi) on 2012-12-09 13:56:46 GMT from Brazil)
I'm biased to thing that EVERY software company sucks, one way or
another. Thus, could we blindly trust Red Hat? What would make it
better than Canonical (besides the quality of RHEL, of course)?
I guess you meant "I'm biased to THINK that..."
Anyway, I was also influenced by my dad's propaganda of Red Hat, a company we simply love. Although I use VectorLinux, which has nothing to do with RHEL...
As you must know, Claudio, he is no more a warrior fighting the "evil empire" (Microsoft). After starting his own business, he works about 12 hours a day and has almost no time for breathing. And I will go to the university next year, so I also don't have much time to waste here in DistroWatch or in any other Linux site. BTW, this is my only post at DWW's opinion column.
I have never said a single word against Microsoft just because I'm too different from my tempestuous dad, who defines himself as "The Microsoft Enemy Number One". In reality, I think Google is much worse than Microsoft for the single reason of being a Linux company. Well, Chrome OS is nothing else than a cloudy inferno, isn't it?!
Red Hat's RHEL is probably the best distro ever created. It's not a frightening "blackbox" like Google's Android or Apple's Mac OS or Microsoft's Windows, and I'm pretty sure it will never get either a spyware or a backdoor.
Long live all devs committed to excellence!!!
88 • Re: Rebellin (by silent on 2012-12-09 17:53:11 GMT from Hungary)
You created a very nice desktop distro. Using Debian as its base is a good idea. As proposed here earlier, you could make it freely available for initial testing by torrent. I wish you lots of success! And keep ... an eye on the market :)
Number of Comments: 88
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