| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 512, 17 June 2013
Welcome to this year's 24th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The term "free software" is a concept that tends to be ignored by the majority of Linux distributions, and by extension, the majority of users. And yet, without the Free Software Foundation and its software licensing the Linux community would be a lot poorer than it is. Trisquel GNU/Linux is one of the very few exceptions as it strictly adheres to the FSF guidelines when it comes to shipping free software only; Jesse Smith reviews the project's latest version, 6.0, in this week's featured article. In the news section, Red Hat reveals its intention to default to the GNOME "Classic" mode in the upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 release, Debian announces the first security and bug-fix update to "Wheezy", and Mageia releases new installation images to correct an embarrassing bug. Also in this week's issue, a user shares his experiences with migrating from Linux to FreeBSD, a first look at Wayland as shipped by RebeccaBlackOS, and a plethora of new distribution submissions to keep our distro-hoppers busy. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the May 2013 DistroWatch.com donation is the DOSBox project which receives US$250.00 in cash. Happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (21MB) and MP3 (39MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Living free with Trisquel GNU/Linux 6.0
I think most of us can agree open source provides an attractive approach to software development. Letting developers share code, letting security auditors examine application code and letting users see and modify the code behind the software they use has a wide range of benefits. The open source philosophy is one of the many benefits to using GNU/Linux and BSD operating systems and it allows anyone with the appropriate skills to contribute. Some people take this appreciation for free and open source software to an exclusive level, allowing software to run on their computers only if the software is licensed under an open source license. While this open source only approach has the benefit of allowing users and developers to audit and modify every aspect of the operating system it also presents certain restrictions in functionality. Some proprietary applications do not have open source equivalents, or, in other cases, open source solutions have not yet caught up with commercial ventures in terms of features. It goes to show there is a balance to be struck between convenience and philosophical purity.
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) maintains a list of operating systems which conform to a strict free software only policy. It is a short list. One of the more popular entries on this list of completely free operating systems is Trisquel GNU/Linux. The project is dedicated to providing users with a truly free (as in speech) operating system and the developers have taken pains to make their distribution as user friendly as possible. The Trisquel project takes Ubuntu long term support releases, strips out non-free elements and adds in free software alternatives for proprietary components. Trisquel 6.0 is the latest release from the project and is based on the Ubuntu 12.04 software repositories. Trisquel comes in two flavours, the main edition comes with the GNOME 3 desktop environment and there is a Mini edition which comes with the lighter LXDE desktop. Both flavours are available in both 32-bit and 64-bit builds. I opted to download the Mini edition, the installation image for which is 456 MB in size.
Booting from the Trisquel disc brings up a boot menu which asks us to select either English or Spanish as our preferred language. We can also take the opportunity to set other boot options, such as video or driver settings. Plus we can decide whether to load the distribution's live desktop environment or launch Trisquel's graphical installer. I tried the live environment and found it brought up a LXDE desktop. At the bottom of the display we find the application menu and task switcher. I poked around at the applications and found things appeared to be working well enough and so launched the distribution's system installer. Trisquel, being based on the Ubuntu distribution, uses a slightly modified version of the Ubuntu installer. The steps are the same, walking us through partitioning the hard disk, confirming our time zone and keyboard layout and creating a user account. The one difference I noted is that Trisquel does not allow the user to install third-party software which may be restricted by proprietary licenses. The installer worked quickly and I found it was easy and intuitive to use. The disk partitioning screen is especially straight forward and I suspect newcomers will be able to navigate the system installer without any problems.
Trisquel GNU/Linux 6.0 - the default LXDE desktop
(full image size: 1,377kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
Once the installation has completed we are prompted to reboot the computer. Loading the Trisquel distribution quickly brings us to a graphical login screen. Signing in brings us back to the LXDE desktop. The background is a peaceful, star-filled sky. Upon logging in I did not encounter any welcome screen nor notice of available updates. The LXDE interface simply presents us with a clean workspace and gets out of the way. I found the graphical interface to be very responsive and the distribution loaded applications quickly. LXDE comes with a handful of configuration apps which assist us in customizing the interface, allowing us to rearrange the desktop to suit our preferences.
I found hardware support to be a mixed experience with Trisquel. I tried running the distribution on my laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 4GB of RAM, Intel video card, Intel wireless card) and in a virtual machine. I found sound worked out of the box and the distribution was responsive. However, my Intel wireless card was not supported. The Intel card in my laptop requires non-free firmware which is not supplied by Trisquel and not available in the distribution's repositories. At first my screen's resolution was not used to its fullest and I had to play around with X's configuration to make use of my machine's maximum resolution. In the virtual machine Trisquel performed quite well. With hardware virtualized Trisquel didn't have any unsupported components with which to contend and the distribution performed tasks quickly. I found the distribution was quite conservative when it came to resource usage. Logging into the LXDE desktop only required 75 MB of memory.
Given that Trisquel GNU/Linux does not ship non-free drivers, pieces of software which are often required to support 3-D graphical environments, I was surprised to note Trisquel's main edition ships with GNOME 3. The modern GNOME desktop utilizes 3-D technology and not having drivers which support 3-D effects will prevent GNOME Shell from working. On closer inspection I found Trisquel ships with GNOME 3.4 which includes a fallback mode. This means people who use Trisquel and have hardware that is not capable of supplying 3-D effects with free drivers can still use the main edition. I am curious as to the developers' plans for future releases as GNOME has dropped fallback mode from the latest version of GNOME. Perhaps users will be advised to simply use the Mini edition as I did during my trial.
Trisquel GNU/Linux 6.0 - package management with Synaptic
(full image size: 223kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
The Trisquel GNU/Linux distribution comes with two graphical package managers, both of which act as front ends to the APT package handling system. The first front end I tried was labeled "Add/Remove Applications" and the software took an application-centric approach to handling software. The program has a nice, simple layout with categories of software displayed in a column down the left side of the window and specific applications shown on the right. Or at least that is the idea, when I tried to search for packages or filter applications by category the program was not able to show me any results. This caused me to turn to the other package management front end, Synaptic. The Synaptic program is tried and true, fast and reliable. The Synaptic front end takes a package-centric approach and may be a little intimidating to newcomers, but it works well once the user has a feel for it. When I first installed Trisquel I found 97 package updates were waiting to be installed and these upgrades were approximately 50MB in size. This seems quite reasonable and I believe it indicates the Trisquel developers have been rolling updates from the Ubuntu repositories into their download images. It's an extra step I appreciate as it reduces the flow of updates post-install.
The Mini edition of Trisquel GNU/Linux comes with a small collection of software. In the application menu we find the Midori web browser, the Pidgin instant messaging client and the Sylpheed e-mail client. The Transmission BitTorrent software is included along with the AbiWord word processor and a PDF reader. The GNOME PPP dial-up software is included alongside the Network Manager network configuration software. The GNOME MPlayer multimedia player is included and codecs for playing most popular video and audio formats are installed on the system. The small mtPaint drawing program is included in the application menu and we also find disc burning software. I found a virtual calculator, a text editor and archive manager in the application menu. There is no compiler on the system and no Java support. The proprietary version of Flash is not installed, but the open source Gnash player is included for displaying Flash content on web pages. Behind the scenes Trisquel runs on the Linux kernel, version 3.2. Or, perhaps it would be more accurate to say Trisquel uses a custom version of the Linux kernel with the non-free pieces removed.
I think distributions which subscribe to a free software only approach are interesting philosophically, but I see them as a double-edged sword. When a completely free distribution, such as Trisquel, performs well it showcases just how powerful and capable open source operating systems can be. On the other hand, when they run into problems it doesn't reflect well on open source projects in general. Whenever I hear about GNU enthusiasts passing out Trisquel discs at events I feel a knot of conflicting emotions. On the one hand I'm always happy to see open source software presented to the world, but I'm also afraid that people unfamiliar with Linux distributions will try Trisquel and think all Linux distributions are crippled by similar restrictions. Not that Trisquel has a lot of problems, but there were a few which stood out during my time with the distribution.
Trisquel GNU/Linux 6.0 - browsing the web
(full image size: 448kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
The first problem I had with Trisquel GNU/Linux 6.0 was hardware related and entirely expected. I knew going into my experiment that my Intel wireless card required non-free firmware and so it wasn't a surprise when the device didn't work. It was inconvenient, as Trisquel doesn't have any non-free repositories to help me deal with the issue, but it was something I could work around. Not being able to play Flash content on web pages surprised me. A few weeks ago, when I was running Debian, I found Gnash worked fairly well for me, certainly well enough to enjoy YouTube videos. However, while running Trisquel, I was unable to get Gnash to play any Flash content on any website. Perhaps it is a configuration issue, perhaps it was the version of Gnash being used, but in any case Trisquel's alternative to Adobe's Flash player didn't work for me. Finally, the first graphical package manager I tried to use was unable to find any packages, either on the system or in the repositories. Luckily users can fall back to using Synaptic, which worked wonderfully, but the initial introduction to package management was not pleasant.
Despite the issues listed above, I don't want to scare people off from trying Trisquel. Of the distributions to appear on the FSF's list of completely free operating systems Trisquel is probably the most friendly and the most complete. The project offers users a pleasant installer, good performance and a lot of useful open source software via the repositories. I felt the combination of the free software base with LXDE was a good match and I was able to browse the web, work and generally get stuff done. I am happy to report that, for the most part, I was able to get through the week, being productive, with a 100% free software operating system. People who are interested in sticking firmly to the free software philosophy will probably have the best experience possible with Trisquel. The project may not be one I'd recommend to newcomers who just want their computers to work straight out of the box, but Trisquel is doing quite well, especially if your hardware is supported by open source drivers and open firmware.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
RHEL 7 to default to GNOME "Classic", Debian and Mageia release updates, migrating from Linux to FreeBSD
With the upcoming release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7, the attention of many Linux websites has started to turn towards the event that will affect a good deal of enterprise Linux users, not to mention the bottom line of the world's largest Linux company. So when can we expect the final release of RHEL 7? There is no official roadmap, but according to this interview with Denise Dumas, director of software engineering at Red Hat, Inc, RHEL 7 will based on Fedora 19 (due for release on 2 July) and it will incorporate many improvements in the areas of virtualisation and storage: "There's been a ton of work done in virtualization and storage. You'll see a lot of it reflected in the storage road maps. A lot of what we've done you'll see reflected in 6.5 as well. In 6.5, we've done a lot with parallel NFS. We did some performance improvements with the Fuse support -- we've focused a lot on tuning and hardening. We did some work with LVM. There are improvements to the thin provisioning support, upgrade rollback and scalable snapshots. For RHEL 7, we've got multiple file systems. We're looking at more improvements to Btrfs -- we're doing a lot of testing with that. We'll be supporting ext4, XFS and Btrfs in addition to ext2 and ext3, but we're looking to make XFS the new default for boot, for root and for user data predictions."
The same article also talks about GNOME Classic mode as the default desktop user interface. This has created quite a stir in the Linux user community; Red Hat has always been an influential sponsor of the GNOME project, but it now seems that the controversial GNOME 3 desktop is being sidelined even by the project's staunchest supporter! Denise Dumas explains: "We introduced a classic mode to Fedora 19 which, if you're comfortable with GNOME 2, you're going to find a no-brainer. We think that people who are accustomed to GNOME 2 will use the classic mode until they're ready to experiment with modern mode. Classic mode is going to be the default for RHEL 7, and we're in the final stages now. We're tweaking it and having people experiment with it. The last thing we want to do is disrupt our customers' workflows. I think it has been hard for the GNOME guys, because they really, really love the modern mode, because that's where their hearts are. But they've done a great job putting together the classic mode for us, and I think it's going to keep people working on RHEL 5, 6 and 7 who don't want to retrain their fingers each time they switch operating systems -- I think the classic mode is going to be really helpful for them." There is a long and interesting discussion about this topic at Linux Weekly News.
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The Debian project has announced the release of Debian GNU/Linux 7.1. This represents a change in version numbering as the corresponding first update for the Debian 6 series was 6.0.1. Nevertheless, the seemingly more significant number increment makes no difference in terms of what has been updated - Debian 7.1 is still just a security and critical bug-fix update and it does not include any package upgrades or new features. And while new ISO images have been released, the majority of users running Debian GNU/Linux 7 will upgrade using the usual tools - APT or aptitude. From the release announcement: "The Debian project is pleased to announce the first update of its stable distribution Debian 7 (code name 'Wheezy'). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories were already published separately and are referenced where available. Please note that this update does not constitute a new version of Debian 7 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away 7 CDs or DVDs but only to update via an up-to-date Debian mirror after an installation, to cause any out of date packages to be updated." APT, Cyrus, DHCP, LibreOffice, Linux kernel, Octave, PHP and X.Org are among the packages affected by the bug-fix updates.
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Also updated recently were the installation CD and DVD images of Mageia 3. The reason? A bug in the installer that would upgrade the system to "Cauldron" (Mageia's development branch) rather than install updates from the stable repository (that's only if the user chooses to run the optional package upgrade process during installation). Anne Nicolas explains: "Despite the care we take to test ISO images for new versions of Mageia, we missed a potentially huge bug. It concerns the ISO images using the classical installer. If the user chooses to add online media at the beginning of the installation, it will result in the system being updated to 'Cauldron', the development version of Mageia. This was due to the initial ISO images including a partial mis-identification, referring to the development version (and not the official one). The updated media pointed to Mageia 'Cauldron' and not to the Mageia 3 repositories. Please note that users who choose to add online media only at the end of the installation will not be affected by this problem. While the new ISO images were being prepared and tested, a temporary fix was applied on our infrastructure to automatically redirect to the Mageia 3 media. Thus only users of 'Cauldron' were affected and should therefore explicitly install the media for 'Cauldron'."
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Have you ever considered migrating from Linux to FreeBSDi on your servers and even desktops? If so, this article by Nilesh Govindrajan could be of help. Besides describing his experiences with the switch, the author also lists some of the reasons one might consider the move, notably dramatic improvements in terms of system performance: "While playing with my VPS, I found a major difference between Linux and FreeBSD - performance and memory usage. The performance was nearly the same as Linux, only slightly better. Memory usage improvement, however, was drastic. FreeBSD is just too good at managing memory. My server used to consume over 1 GB of memory while running PHP, MySQL and nginx. Now, it doesn't even touch 500 MB! It's always less than 500 MB. Everything is exactly the same, configuration, etc, only the operating system has changed. After the VPS trial, I started moving my stuff from the Gentoo VPS to the new system. I ran it for testing for a few days, and it continued to amaze me. FreeBSD's official slogan is 'The Power to Serve' - so much truth in that! And I ended up with migrating my other VPS systems to FreeBSD as well."
|Technology Previews (by Jesse Smith)
Wayland and RebeccaBlackOS
Over the past year the Wayland project has been gaining steam. The project offers a simplified display protocol which means Wayland has the potential to offer display technology that is smaller, faster and easier to maintain than the existing X software used in most Linux distributions. The Wayland protocol, and the Weston implementation of said protocol, has been slowly gathering momentum. Some toolkits, such as Qt and GTK+, are now committed to supporting Wayland as well as X. This may be good news for Linux users as a mature implementation of Wayland should mean smoother graphics, better multi-display support and faster on-screen drawing.
While a mature version of Wayland may still be a year or more in the future, curious minds can explore the technology now. One developer stepped forward last month and released a live disc called RebeccaBlackOS. This disc contains a version of the Kubuntu distribution that runs the KDE desktop using Wayland technology to display the graphical environment. Applications originally designed to work with X can still be run seamlessly on the Wayland-powered desktop using a compatibility system called XWayland.
RebeccaBlackOS 2013-05-24 - running Firefox and reading usage tips
(full image size: 366kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
The download image for RebeccaBlackOS is approximately 1.7 GB in size. Booting from the disc brings up a boot menu which asks us to either boot Kubuntu with the default settings or with a video frame buffer set to a specific display resolution. From there we are brought to a graphical desktop powered by the Weston implementation of Wayland. The desktop is mostly blank with a row of quick-launch icons arranged at the top of the screen. The icon in the upper-left corner of the screen brings up the KDE application menu and other icons launch virtual terminals, bring up a help screen with short-cut keys, open Network Manager or launch a web browser. Browsing through the application menu we find it populated with the usual collection of KDE programs, Firefox and some demo programs developed specifically for Wayland. I found launching traditional X applications such as Firefox or the KDE System Settings panel worked well, as did the various Wayland demo apps included in the distribution.
In fact, the remarkable thing about this demo disc is that while the interface looks quite a bit different from most Linux desktops, and some components look disjointed or out of place, everything included in the distribution appears to work. We can launch applications from the menu, switch between open programs, move, re-size and rotate windows. Most actions happened quickly and smoothly, though many actions (such as mouse clicks on icons) have a notable lack of visual feedback. I had expected an early demo of Wayland to contain more bugs or unstable programs, but the experience is stable, if alien. Alien in that the desktop appears upside down compared to KDE's normal orientation, alien in that clicking on icons doesn't produce any visual feedback, alien in that the application menu freely floats around the screen and doesn't close when it loses focus. Another example of unexpected behaviour is windows can be maximized, but cannot be minimized as, at this time, there is no task switcher. These characteristics highlight some of the differences between running KDE on Weston verses X.
Another family of differences appear when we go to use the window controls. Often times windows don't have a close button and we need to right-click somewhere within the window (not on the title bar, but within the window proper) to see the option to close the application. Another foreign aspect is that short-cut keys tend to involve the Meta key instead of the Alt key. For example, switching to a different window involves pressing Meta+Tab instead of Alt+Tab. Rotating a window, an interesting visual effect, is accomplished by holding the Meta key and right clicking on a window. These sorts of difference are minor on their own, but it does take a while to unlearn old habits and newcomers should be prepared to spend a few days fumbling around until they get into the flow of the new interface.
RebeccaBlackOS 2013-05-24 - virtual keyboard and application menu
(full image size:560kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
One of the benefits to running on the Wayland protocol instead of the traditional X display server is supposed to be the shedding of legacy code. Wayland offers a fresh start, so running Weston should result in a smaller memory footprint when compared to running X. This appears to be the case. Running KDE on top of Kubuntu and using X typically results in approximately 200-230MB of RAM being consumed. While I was running this modified version of Kubuntu with the Weston display server I found the distribution (while running from the live disc) used about 130 MB of RAM. That's 35% less memory being consumed. Now, perhaps more memory will be required once a task switcher is added and some eye candy is thrown into the mix, but considering the functionality already present I was happy to see how small a footprint KDE on Weston has.
When I first started playing around with the Weston-powered version of KDE I was momentarily taken aback by the many little differences, especially in the appearance and layout of controls. However, an hour into the experience I was starting to feel more or less at home. Adjusting to KDE on Weston really isn't a greater shift in thinking than moving between LXDE and the Haiku desktop or GNOME Shell and Xfce. There is a period of adjustment, a relearning of habits and some windows display slightly different controls depending on whether they represent native Weston programs or traditional X programs.
Still, once we make the mental shift the KDE desktop running on top of Weston is surprisingly functional considering how little beta testing the technology has received. There are certainly months of more work required to smooth things out and integrate existing programs and desktop environments with Weston, but the framework is in place. I wouldn't sit most users down in front of this interface and expect them to work with it, but for people who are curious or who want to ride the cutting edge or who are flexible in their work flow Weston could probably be used on a day to day basis. I wouldn't expect to see Weston become the default yet, not this year, but quite possibly in 2014. By then I wouldn't be surprised to see it pop up in the feature lists of many desktop distributions.
|Released Last Week
Zorin OS 7
Artyom Zorin has announced the release of Zorin OS 7, a major new release of the Ubuntu-derived distribution designed for new Linux converts and featuring a custom desktop user interface based on GNOME Shell: "The Zorin OS team is proud to finally release the Zorin OS 7 Core and Ultimate, the latest version of our operating system designed for Linux newcomers. Zorin OS 7 brings about a plethora of changes and improvements such as a wide array of updated software, the Linux kernel version 3.8, the introduction of new software (Pidgin replacing Empathy and Steam in Zorin OS 7 Ultimate) and an enormous design overhaul. We have given the brand a facelift with our new logo. In addition to this, Zorin OS itself includes a brand new desktop theme. Zorin OS 7 is based on Ubuntu 13.04." Read the rest of the release announcement for a brief overview of the release.
Zorin OS 7 - an Ubuntu-based distribution with a customised GNOME 3 desktop
(full image size: 961kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Stephen Ewen has announced the release of UberStudent 3.0, an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution for learning and teaching academic success at the higher education and advanced secondary levels: "I'm very pleased to announce the release of UberStudent 3.0. 32-bit and 64-bit Xfce editions are ready for download and installation. Version 3.0 is a major leap forward for UberStudent. It is in many ways a dividing line between itself and prior editions in terms of both stability and features. The singular most important reason for this is the UberStudent repository. It represents months and months of work. Updates and any needed fixes will be quick and seamless. You can browse the whole repository, but the better way to get an idea of what they contain is to just install UberStudent and experience it." See the release announcement for more details.
UberStudent 3.0 - an Ubuntu-based distribution for students and teachers
(full image size: 368kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Peppermint OS Four
Kendall Weaver has announced the release of Peppermint OS Four, a lightweight and easy-to-use desktop Linux distribution based on Ubuntu 13.04: "Welcome back to the new and improved Peppermint web site and welcome to the next iteration of our operating system: Peppermint Four. We are seriously excited about this release and we hope you are as ecstatic as all of us on Team Peppermint. Make sure to download a bunch of copies and give them to friends and family; they will thank you, for sure. Peppermint Four is based on the Ubuntu 13.04 code base and uses the LXDE desktop environment, but now with Xfwm4 instead of Openbox as the window manager. Other new features in this release are that we've included some example games by default including Entanglement and First Person Tetris. We've also added some metapackages for popular tasks such as graphic arts and photography to the Featured section of the Software Manager." Read the full release announcement for further information and useful links.
Peppermint OS Four - a lightweight distribution based on Ubuntu 13.04
(full image size: 870kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Window Maker Live 2013-06-05
Window Maker Live is a Debian-based Linux distribution that integrates the Window Maker window manager with well-known open-source components in an attractive graphical user interface. A new version was released and announced earlier today: "Window Maker Live 2013-06-05. What is new since the last release? Both Firefox and Thunderbird are not pre-installed any more into the static Squashfs of the live system. Instead, the upstream archives are now shipped separately on the ISO image within the top level 'custom' folder. These archives are then automatically unpacked at runtime of the live session or during installation to disk. This not only enables users to easily replace the contained English-language Mozilla applications with different language versions, but also allows for updating these release versions with newer ones." Read the rest of the release announcement for more features and known issues.
Window Maker Live 2013-06-05 - a Debian-based live distribution showcasing the Window Maker window manager
(full image size: 112kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Parted Magic 2013_06_14, 2013_06_15
Patrick Verner has announced the release of Parted Magic 2013_06_14, the latest stable version of the project's specialist live CD designed for disk management and data rescue tasks: "Another month of solid development is complete, it's time to release Parted Magic with a new look and a growing number improvements. After what seems like a good part of 5 years, Parted Magic has a new desktop wallpaper! Colin Skees put together the Steampunk/Tron theme for us and I have to say it is really cool. We came up with 2 sizes and probe for screen resolution, so it looks good on most machines. A lot of work went into Parted Magic Mount. It now auto refreshes and supports device mapper, smart phones, cameras, and Kindles. Most of the little quirks have been worked out and we honestly believe it is becoming one of the best GUI mount utilities available. Clonezilla has been updated to 3.3.40, drbl to 2.3.28, and partclone 0.2.61." Visit the project's news page to read the full release announcement.
Parted Magic 2013_06_14 - featuring (among other things) a new desktop wallpaper
(full image size: 781kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
May 2013 DistroWatch.com donation: DOSBox|
We are happy to announce that the recipient of the May 2013 DistroWatch.com donation is DOSBox, a DOS emulator. It receives US$250.00 in cash.
What exactly is DOSBox? The project's information page explains: "DOSBox is a DOS emulator that uses the SDL library which makes DOSBox very easy to port to different platforms. DOSBox has already been ported to many different platforms, such as Windows, BeOS, Linux and OS X. DOSBox also emulates CPU 286/386 real mode and protected mode, XMS and EMS directory file systems, Tandy, Hercules, CGA, EGA, VGA, VESA graphics, Sound Blaster and Gravis Ultra sound cards for excellent sound compatibility with older games. You can 're-live' the good old days with the help of DOSBox, it can run plenty of the old classics that don't run on your new computer." In other words, DOSBox can run old MS-DOS software on modern computers which would not work otherwise, because of incompatibilities between the older software and modern hardware and operating systems. It is especially intended for use with old PC games. The excellent Wiki pages provide further information and tutorials.
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, credit cards and Bitcoins 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$35,525 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), nginx ($250), LFTP ($250), Remastersys ($300)
- 2013: MariaDB ($300), Linux From Scratch ($350), GhostBSD ($340), DHCP ($300), DOSBox ($250)
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New distributions added to waiting list
- KXStudio. KXStudio is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution with a collection of applications, artwork and plugins targeted at audio and video production.
- OpenSXCE. OpenSXCE is an enterprise-class OpenSolaris-based server and desktop-oriented operating system. OpenSXCE runs primarily on Intel CPU-compatible and Sun UltraSPARC sun4u/sun4v-compatible 32-bit and 64-bit computers. Both GNOME and IceWM are provided.
- Piumalinux. Piumalinux is an Italian Ubuntu-based Linux distribution featuring the MATE desktop environment. The project's website is in Italian.
- Raspberry Digital Signage. Raspberry Digital Signage is an operating system designed for digital signage installations on Raspberry Pi microcomputer. It is a "browser operating system" based on Linux Raspbian which features full HTML 5 support (Firefox or Chrome view) - it displays a full-screen view with locked navigation. It also features wired and wireless networking and proxy settings, on-screen keyboard, force reload of pages and scheduled halt.
- SphinUX OS. SphinUX OS, a project of the SphinUX Free Technology Community in Alexandria, Egypt, is a general-purpose desktop operating system based on the Egyptian LSX kernel architecture, using KDE as the default desktop environment, and released under the GPL 3.0.
- Viperr GNU/Linux. Viperr GNU/Linux is a French Linux distribution, a lightweight Fedora remix with Openbox as the default desktop user interface. The project's website is in French.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 24 June 2013. 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 • Debian update (by Jon Wright on 2013-06-17 09:51:06 GMT from Vietnam) |
It's good to see the Debian incremental update appearing among the 'latest distributions' in the left column. It would be good if there was a notification when the live images appeared too.
2 • RHEL Gnome2 (by arnold on 2013-06-17 10:26:05 GMT from United States)
I have tried the Fedora Mate 19. If that is an indication of RHEL Gnome2, I am all for it. It worked well for me and I'm looking for to back to the future with the upcoming Fedora release.
3 • New Debian 7.1 (by Tom on 2013-06-17 10:41:50 GMT from Finland)
is nice to see a new stable version of Debian, after so many years. Ubuntu and many other distros update online all the time. but Debian's like to be nice to get a new package. Even though it has become a 3.7GB DVD-sized package. But we're transferred to the USB time.
4 • #3, New Debian 7.1 (by Jon Wright on 2013-06-17 11:04:50 GMT from Vietnam)
^ The 7.1 update is a minor update to v7 released about six weeks ago - under the previous scheme it would have been '7.0.1'. I've never downloaded a DVD - you can install from the netinstall or just download CD1 and install from that - or wait for the live CD which has everything you need in 700MB.
5 • trisquel 6 (by usertux on 2013-06-17 12:15:23 GMT from Canada)
I discovered trisquel with version 5. My overall impression has been mixed. I see the good side and some weakness in regular use. I ended up switching to something else. At exit 6 I read this review http://meshobby.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/test-trisquel-6-0-lts-reviews-trisquel-6-0-lts/ yes it's in french but you can translate easy with google. I'am let me try another test. WoW Trisquel 6.0 is really the best free system I've used. The performance is impressive. Really to discover ... Install on my Desktop with recent hardware amd configuration, Trisquel 6.0 is my main system with PCLinuxOS.
I love the feeling of being totally free as Trisquel brings me! It is considered ...
6 • Trisquel 6 (by LAZA on 2013-06-17 12:34:01 GMT from Germany)
I tried this on an very old computer which where prepared for internet cafe and found it lightweighter than Xubuntu.
The only i missed was an guest account (or exactly: the very easy login screen), where the users can login with without searching around and typing 'guest', Password... - so i discarded it for Xubuntu.
If somebody has an (easy) solution for that it would be much appreciated!
7 • @2, Not Gnome 2 (by LinuxMan on 2013-06-17 12:36:27 GMT from United States)
According to the article it is not Gnome 2 but is called Classic Gnome. It is being put together for Red Hat by the Gnome people. Also future versions of Gnome 3 will have fallback or classic mode that can be selected upon login. As Red Hat said, eventually they will start to "experiment with modern mode." Remember that Classic mode in not Gnome 2.
8 • Trisquel 6 (by Ned on 2013-06-17 12:59:08 GMT from Austria)
Would have liked to try it, but it has a PAE-Kernel which does not work on my old (but still adequate) Thinkpad.
Sadly they don't have a Non-PAE-edition.
9 • Open source: developers only? (by neitsab on 2013-06-17 12:59:56 GMT from France)
I'm pretty surprised by what's written in the first paragraph of the Trisquel review. This description of the open source universe propagates the idea that it is fundamentally developer-centric ("software development", "developers share code", "examine application code", "see and modify the code"...), and that people without development skills are not appreciative of the open source philosophy, nor that they can contribute to it ("The open source philosophy [...] allows anyone with the appropriate skills to contribute").
It puzzles me to see such a narrow stance about what constitutes free software movement and proponents here at DW, which is obviously a user-centric portal. Raphaël Hertzog, famous Debian dev and author of the http://debian-handbook.info/browse/stable/">Debian's Administrator's Handbook, spends quite some time in the beginning of said book saying how much users are central, for example to report bugs, help translating and spread the word (see section 1.2.1 & 1.3.2). To me what really defines F/OSS are the communities it helps to build, which are never exclusively made of coders AFAIK.
It goes one step further in the prejudice when the author opposes "open source solutions" and "commercial ventures". Really, like Red Hat, Novell, Canonical et al. are not commercial ventures? That's a really basic misconception of F/OSS, that I'm uncomfortably surprised to find in a DW article (but to be honest it is the first time in a year since I follow the weekly that I see such mistakes).
Please, don't participate in the propagation of those erroneous views: it is pretty rude to non-devs and adverse to the rightful philosophy of free software.
10 • Weston! (by DavidEF on 2013-06-17 13:00:10 GMT from United States)
I thought RebeccaBlackOS with Weston was old news by now. However, it is good to see some developer actually making it the default in their OS. Also this: "Some toolkits, such as Qt and GTK+, are now committed to supporting Wayland" is very good news. I'm still wondering if Ubuntu's moving to Mir instead of Wayland is just a case of Not Invented Here Syndrome, or if Wayland is architecturally incompatible with Canonical's vision for Ubuntu's future. It would have been nice to see them throw some paid developer's hours into Wayland.
I don't remember if it has been mentioned here or not, but Raspbian is switching to Wayland/Weston as well. There is a short video on Youtube showing what a difference it makes in the smoothness of the desktop experience. I'm not knocking Canonical/Ubuntu for choosing to create their own display server. I believe the more the merrier. But I'm eager to see one get finished (ready for production use). The X Window system is too old and encumbered.
11 • Trisquel 6 (by dragonmouth on 2013-06-17 13:20:54 GMT from United States)
Other than philosophical, are there really any reasons to use a FSF approved free distro?
12 • 11 â€˘ Trisquel 6 (by dragonmouth (by meanpt on 2013-06-17 13:45:03 GMT from Portugal)
Government and corporation spying? Not an answer devised by myself, but I just got it here
and to quote:
"Using open source software
Perhaps the biggest risk to privacy is letting code you canâ€™t verify run on your computer â€“ as some iOS users found out when researchers discovered in 2011 that their devices were silently tracking their movements. Governments have also used proprietary systems to hide tracking abilities.
Also in 2011, The Economist reported that an American company sold Sadam Hussainâ€™s government photocopiers that, as most similar systems do, came bundled with a proprietary system. Hidden away inside this sealed package was a method for transmitting GPS co-ordinates to the US army. When George Bush launched operation Enduring Freedom, these tracking units flicked into life and guided missiles directly to the government departments in Baghdad. The full story is at www.economist.com/node/18527456 .
Richard Stallman restricts his hardware to just those who use entirely free software from the BIOS to all device drivers. Because of this, he uses the Lemote Yeelong with PMON to boot and the gNewSense flavour of Linux (apologies to Mr Stallman, who will be fuming if he reads this, but for reasons of brevity, we omit the GNU/).
While using open source software will help ensure there are no gremlins in the code, itâ€™s essentially impossible for most users to ensure that there are no malicious aspects hidden in their hardware. The only way to protect yourself is to get the hardware from trusted sources."
13 • Trisquel (by Dave Postles on 2013-06-17 13:51:33 GMT from United Kingdom)
I use a variety of Linux OSs on different kit, but Trisquel (Gnome) is on my desktop PC and thus my main OS. I've been with it through several iterations and am an Associate Member (non-techie). If we don't support this sort of project, it will not progress to a faultless distro. As it is, it does everything which I want from my desktop PC. I've added loads of applications software without any issues apart from reloading the package list once; after that I mainly use the cli (sudo apt-get install): gretl, PSPP, R, QGIS, LyX, Saga GIS, SocNetV, and (of course) ClamTK. If we truly wish to develop systems which are free of blobs in the future, then it's necessary to assist projects like Trisquel now, IMHO.
14 • Open source benefits (by Jesse on 2013-06-17 14:35:55 GMT from Canada)
>> "I'm pretty surprised by what's written in the first paragraph of the Trisquel review. This description of the open source universe propagates the idea that it is fundamentally developer-centric"
That wasn't at all the point I was trying to make. I was pointing out the benefits of having access to source code, not making a statement about the focus of the open source community.
>> "It puzzles me to see such a narrow stance about what constitutes free software movement and proponents here at DW,"
No stance was taken and no comment was made about what constitutes the free software movement or its goals in the review.
>> "To me what really defines F/OSS are the communities it helps to build, which are never exclusively made of coders AFAIK."
A point in which we are both entirely in agreement.
>> "It goes one step further in the prejudice when the author opposes "open source solutions" and "commercial ventures"."
They are not opposites nor opposed and I don't believe I have ever claimed otherwise. In fact you will find I frequently point out the symbiotic nature of FOSS and commercial companies, such as Red Hat and Canonical. What I pointed out in the article is there is both a philosophical and a practical balance to be found between proprietary software and free software. Both can be commercial or free of charge.
>> "Please, don't participate in the propagation of those erroneous views: it is pretty rude to non-devs and adverse to the rightful philosophy of free software. "
The view is entirely of your own creation and one which was not expressed in the article.
15 • @ 2 â€˘ RHEL Gnome2 (by Chanath on 2013-06-17 14:50:16 GMT from Sri Lanka)
RHEL 7 will use Gnome 3, and will have only Classic mode or Fallback mode at login, and have Gnome as session deleted in xsessions. That's all, there won't be Gnome 2 any more in RHEL 7. If Red Hat wants to go with Gnome 2, it has only one choice, Mate. Or, go with LXDE, XFCE etc, but that won't be a choice for RHEL 7.
Gnome 3 is here to stay. The next step would be Gnome 4.
16 • Trisquel 6.0 (by Magic Banana on 2013-06-17 14:51:27 GMT from Brazil)
I have been happily using Trisquel GNU/Linux for years. There are some issues in the review that are worth fixing.
The main issue is that Trisquel is described as "open source". The Trisquel project is about "free software" (focus on the freedoms every user deserves) and not about "open source" (secondary practical advantages). You will not find any mention of "open source" on Trisquel's website. If you actually find one, it will certainly be to point out that "open source" misses the point: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html
Now for some secondary technical precisions :
* Trisquel's kernel is not "custom". It is Linux-libre (a GNU sub-project) and every 100% free GNU/Linux distribution uses it: http://linux-libre.fsfla.org
* As for the Wifi support, it is today the most problematic part. Most Atheros chipsets work. However, it is hard to know the Wifi chipset when buying hardware... unless you buy it from the only vendor guaranteeing the support by Linux-libre: ThinkPenguin. When not having a functional Wifi connection, the recommended fix is not to give up one's freedoms and install the proprietary firmware (although Trisquel does not prevent that). It is to spend a few boxes acquiring a replacing card (assuming the laptop vendor does not do "trusted computing") or a dongle. ThinkPenguin gives 25% of its benefits to the Trisquel project if you use this URL (and no, I am not working for ThinkPenguin!): http://libre.thinkpenguin.com
* As for the support of 3D acceleration: Intel graphical chipsets work as well on Trisquel as on any other GNU/Linux distribution (the drivers being free, it is the most recommendable choice for hardware); nVidia graphical cards usually work very well thanks to the reverse engineering work achieved by the "nouveau" project. AMD cards do not provide any 3D acceleration.
* Trisquel main edition actually uses the GNOME 3 fallback by default. Even if 3D acceleration works. If it does work (i.e., if you do not have an AMD card), you can easily have GNOME Shell if you want to (as I do): just install the related package from Synaptic. The next version of Trisquel could (I do not know if it will) use GNOME Shell even if AMD cards remain 2D only. Indeed, thanks to the work achieved by Fedora (and that has already ended up in Ubuntu), GNOME 3D effect can now be rendered with the CPU (which are more than able to do so nowadays): https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/Gnome_shell_software_rendering
* Unless there is a bug in the "Mini" edition, "Add/Remove applications" works. Contrary to Synaptic, it targets non-technical users and only lists graphical applications. No command-line one. No library. I assume it is what you searched.
* Last time I tried, Gnash was playing YouTube videos flawlessly. Now I use GreaseMonkey with the ViewTube script. There are many other alternatives (Linterna Mágica, UnPlug, etc.) and, all in all, it is pretty rare to not be able to play Flash videos on Trisquel:
It would be nice to update the review. Especially regarding the "free software" rather than "open source" objective of the Trisquel project...
17 • FreeDos (by Gee on 2013-06-17 15:07:11 GMT from United States)
You know that GEM is totally outrageous. If they get a windows 9X version going it will be off the hook.
18 • Sphinux os (by Auronandace on 2013-06-17 15:09:51 GMT from United Kingdom)
Did anyone check this out? I honestly think it's a fake. Have you seen the amount of negative comments it has on sourcefourge?
I am no coder but I've looked through their repo and it really looks suspicious. How can a never-before-heard-of "kernel" suddenly have such huge performance claims?
I really hope you research into this.
19 • Trisquel, java (by octathlon on 2013-06-17 15:14:46 GMT from United States)
Does lack of java in Trisquel prevent running LibreOffice? What about IcedTea--isn't that supposed to be a free version of java?
20 • re Trisquel GNU/Linux review (by ahj on 2013-06-17 15:21:44 GMT from Australia)
Nice review, but a few things:
>On the other hand, when they run into problems it doesn't reflect well on open source projects in general.
No Jesse, it doesn't reflect well on the *hardware* manufacturers who want to keep their driver software a secret from the community.
You also appear confused about Trisquel and "open source". Trisquel is not a proponent of open source, and it never was.
It is however, a proponent of free software, because its community believes that having control over your own computing is more important than mere technical convenience.
I have been using Trisquel full time for the past year and it has been nothing but a pleasure to compute with. I can only hope that its community can continue to grow so that the distraction of open source can at least be levelled with the more serious political and social issues that only free software addresses.
21 • @octathon: Java is free software (by Magic Banana on 2013-06-17 15:24:43 GMT from Brazil)
Java is free software under the GNU GPLv3. The JRE, the JDK and the IcedTea plugin, in version 6 or 7, are readily available in Trisquel 6.0's repository. LibreOffice actually is part of the default install of Trisquel GNOME edition.
22 • KXStudio (by Zybersun@zybersun.org on 2013-06-17 15:31:18 GMT from United States)
Well not too many distro's that are added to the waiting list catch my eye. KXStudio has. I checked out their website and noticed that they have custom applications which not only sound interesting enough but that shows me they are very much involved and serious with what they are doing. Too bad they didn't base it directly on Debian, (100% I mean,) rather than Ubuntu, but close enough. And yes I know what Ubuntu is based on, that's not what I meant.
I think I will give this one a try.
Trisquel and RebbecaBlackOS are a couple of others I think I want to try soon as well.
23 • @ 22 â€˘ KXStudio (by Chanath on 2013-06-17 15:48:54 GMT from Sri Lanka)
It looks like the developer from Lisbon, Portugal had done lot of work and posted them for anyone to download and install. https://launchpad.net/~kxstudio-team/+archive/ppa
Hope he'd make a Raring distro too.
24 • Trisquel (by Jesse on 2013-06-17 16:09:12 GMT from Canada)
>> "The main issue is that Trisquel is described as "open source". The Trisquel project is about "free software"
Free software is open source software, though open source software is not always free software. Free software is a sub-set of open source. In the case of Trisquel the two terms can be used interchangeably because the license is technically both. I am aware of the philosophical differences, but in this case they do not apply.
>> "Unless there is a bug in the "Mini" edition, "Add/Remove applications" works. Contrary to Synaptic, it targets non-technical users and only lists graphical applications. No command-line one. No library. I assume it is what you searched."
You assume incorrectly. When using the Add/Remove utility all searches (including those for graphical apps) and all filtering based on categories returned zero results. Synaptic and the command line APT tools worked properly.
Regarding Gnash, I'm happy it works for you. It did not for me. I simply shared my observations on how Trisquel worked on my equipment. YMMV.
25 • Open source misses the point (by Magic Banana on 2013-06-17 16:20:46 GMT from Brazil)
The philosophical differences *do* apply. Strongly. The "open source" term was coined to *not* talk about freedoms, whereas the free software movement is all about freedom. Please, read https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html
Pretending that Trisquel is open source is disrespecting the project. Just try to tell quidam (Trisquel's project leader) that he is developing an "open source" distribution and see his reaction: https://trisquel.info/contact
26 • Open source misses the point (by Magic Banana on 2013-06-17 16:22:11 GMT from Brazil)
Sorry: my keyboard played a trick on me and the beginning of my message was erased:
The philosophical differences *do* apply. Strongly. The "open source" term was coined to *not* talk about freedoms, whereas the free software movement is all about freedom. Please, read https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html
Pretending that Trisquel is open source is disrespecting the project. Just try to tell quidam (Trisquel's project leader) that he is developing an "open source" distribution and see his reaction: https://trisquel.info/contact
27 • Lightweight, or conservative? (by gregzeng on 2013-06-17 16:37:22 GMT from Australia)
So many writers here seem to be critical of Dw. I'll try to be constructive, so that we have a common understanding eventually. Jesse described Mint and now this distro to be conservative. Last week other made comments trying to define 'lightweight'.
The source-only compiled Linux distros often claim to be lightweight - no unnecessary parts. Compilation IMO is only for experts to install & maintain, almost on a daily basis, against much of Jesse's expectation in this week's review.
Many lightweight pre-compiled distros exist, but not the generalized derivatives of Debian, nor Redhat (including Fedora and some of the 'buntus, but excluding Trisquel, which seems lightweight).
The extreme pre-compiled lightweights are difficult to upscale IMHO, since they need indexing, etc -- to handle larger memories or large file storage. The old-hardware distros need an old Linux kernel, since the newest kernels have dropped support for some old hardware.
GUI-friendliness is neglected in the lightweight distros: Less or no eye-candy, less flexibility in desktop layout and handling. This GUI-hostility can be so severe that little GUI is provided.
Conservative to me means 'traditional', especially in the areas of religious, politics and academia. Conservative computing is not minimal memory use, as shown by the ARM CPUs in smartphones, or the Samsung Note doing the experiments in the satellite for the last three years.
I would consider conservative computing to be i386, Debian-Stable, Redhat (but not Fedora), Kernel 3.2 or earlier. Some commentators here think that 386-pae is not conservative, since it cannot run on their old 386 CPUs. So could we come to a common understanding of what is lightweight, or conservative computing please?
28 • @ 27 â€˘ Lightweight, or conservative? gregzeng (by Chanath on 2013-06-17 16:52:36 GMT from Sri Lanka)
I you'd like to look at a lightweight Slackware based distro, have a look at Austrumi 2.2.9 from Latvia. http://cyti.latgola.lv/ruuni/ Its a 196 MB iso.
You'd be surprised at its GUI friendliness, eye-candy and flexibility and the amount of apps crammed into it.
29 • @23 (by Zybersun@zybersun.org on 2013-06-17 17:48:31 GMT from United States)
Worth checking out now until I can get KXStudio installed. This distro is new to me so I need to take some more time and read up on things.
30 • Trisquel (by pilotbay on 2013-06-17 18:45:03 GMT from United States)
I have used Trisquel last year, and decided they need to drop the Ubuntu base and go straight up Debian. This will archive their goals much better And there will be less cringing when they hand out free distros. Above all wireless needs to be configured painless and quickly.
A good distro.
31 • @ 29 KXStudio (by Chanath on 2013-06-17 19:00:47 GMT from Sri Lanka)
This distro is based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, so it would be quite stable for a long time. It is a specialized distro somewhat like Ubuntu Studio. Even though, the ppas are not all for Ubuntu Raring, I feel this distro can be upgraded to raring without much trouble.
This is not like Zorin OS 7, where the "main attraction" is the AWN dock, which by any chance gets broken and/or deleted--any one of the applets too--you'd never get it back. For example, if you uninstall anything AWN in the Synaptic, it just vanishes. There are no repos to get them back. The distro dies.
This developer of KXStudio had placed all his apps in Launchpad, so anyone can install them at anytime. The apps don't vanish for a simple user mistake. I am going to download this KXStudio. In his website, the developer gives all kinds of links to his applications, artwork etc, which is very nice.
32 • RHEL and GNOME (by Adam Williamson on 2013-06-17 20:00:27 GMT from Canada)
"but it now seems that the controversial GNOME 3 desktop is being sidelined even by the project's staunchest supporter!"
Classic Mode is a feature of GNOME 3. It is GNOME Shell with a set of extensions that gives it an appearance somewhat like GNOME 2.
It is not GNOME 2. It is not MATE. It is not Cinnamon. It is not 'fallback mode' - the gnome-panel based session from GNOME 3.0 to 3.6, which Ubuntu confusingly branded as 'classic'. It is a new thing from GNOME 3.8. It is described in the 3.8 release notes, https://help.gnome.org/misc/release-notes/3.8/ :
"Classic mode is a new feature for those people who prefer a more traditional desktop experience. Built entirely from GNOME 3 technologies, it adds a number of features such as an application menu, a places menu and a window switcher along the bottom of the screen. Each of these features can be used individually or in combination with other GNOME extensions."
Secondly, for the Nth time, it is rather misleading to describe Red Hat as "its staunchest supporter" with the intent of giving the impression that Red Hat is somehow institutionally the driving force behind the GNOME 3 design. Red Hat as a company funds the GNOME project, because Red Hat as a company is committed to supporting F/OSS development. This means a lot of GNOME developers have @redhat.com in their email addresses. As I have been saying for *months*, this doesn't mean that Red Hat is somehow the central driving force behind GNOME 3's design. It doesn't mean that GNOME 3 was being designed for RHEL, or something. It means that Red Hat writes the paychecks of a lot of GNOME developers, just as we write the paychecks of a lot of kernel developers and a lot of core system developers and a lot of X developers and lord knows what else. That doesn't mean Red Hat as a company decides the design direction of those projects. That's not how F/OSS works and it's not how Red Hat works.
RHEL is a distribution with a specific user base and its own set of design goals, and the folks in charge of RHEL are going to pick the components that best satisfy those goals. Just because they are people @redhat.com and several GNOME developers are people @redhat.com doesn't mean there's some kind of Grand Red Hat Design Committee behind the scenes that makes sure all those @redhat.com people are in cahoots on what to do with major upstream F/OSS projects.
33 • About Gnash (by onpon4 on 2013-06-17 20:14:37 GMT from United States)
You mentioned Gnash not working. This is a problem that's been brought up on the Trisquel forums before; it only seems to happen with Midori and perhaps some other more lightweight web browsers. It works just fine on Abrowser (the modified version of Firefox distributed with Trisquel).
Also, as has been mentioned, Trisquel main edition defaults to GNOME Fallback, not GNOME Shell. It uses GNOME 3.4 at the moment. It's hard to tell if later versions will stick with GNOME (and use that method to run GNOME Shell in software), switch to Consort, or switch to some other DE.
WRT "free software" vs "open source": it's not about what category of software it is. Most open source software is free software and vice versa. It's mainly what values these terms express. "Free software" is the original term, used since the 1980s, while "open source" is a term that was coined in 1998 to talk about free software without expressing the opinion about ethics of the free software movement. Personally, if you don't agree with the free software position, I'm OK with you calling Trisquel "open source", though when talking about, for example, the purpose of a distro, it becomes important to use the term "free software". For example, "Trisquel aims to be completely open source" would be false. Trisquel aims to be free, not open source; being open source is a side effect of "free software" and "open source" being almost identical in practical terms. I don't see cases like that in this review; I don't know if that's because they were never there or because you fixed it. In any case, it seems to me that it's fine now.
34 • KXStudio is new to the list, but not new; also Trisquel review indeed misguided (by Aaron Wolf on 2013-06-17 21:25:56 GMT from United States)
I use KXStudio as my only system for all my computing. It's excellently maintained. There's an active freenode channel #kxstudio and a special section within the Linuxmusicians.com forums.
KXStudio has PPA's available to any Ubuntu-based system alongside the full distro.
Anyway, it is *the* premier audio distro, alongside the also well-regarded AV Linux.
KXStudio has existed for several years although it wasn't really a full distro originally.
At this point, the plan is to release an updated 12.04.2 version this summer and then later an Ubuntu-14.04-based release. Otherwise, due to concerns about Ubuntu's direction, KXStudio recently held a forum discussion in which it was decided that if problems with Ubuntu's directions continue, then KXStudio will move upstream to be directly based on Debian.
Regarding the Trisquel review, it is seriously misguided. The entire point of Trisquel is to NOT have restrictions. The review describes Trisquel as itself being restricted. The only thing it restricts is OTHER restrictions! By making Trisquel about Open Source here, as in Open Source as a development process, it misses the FACT that the vast majority of Trisquel users choose it because they care about the freedoms involved regardless of what the development process is.
35 • @ 15 (by mz on 2013-06-17 21:29:54 GMT from United States)
Wasn't the whole point of that part of the news section an indication that the default version of Gnome 3 wasn't satisfactory to the biggest corporate sponsor of the Gnome project? The only reason for a Gnome 4 would be to correct the mistakes made in Gnome 3, but does it seem like Gnome wants to change? Gnome 3 may be available, but 'here to stay' might be stretching it, especially given how Red Hat piled on the the Gnome 3 exodus, even if they did it in a round about way. The face of desktop Linux to most users had become Ubuntu, who crated their own Unity desktop & shipped it as the default desktop rather than Gnome 3 when the new Gnome shell came out. Linux Mint has become the biggest alternative to Ubuntu for desktop Linux, & they didn't want Gnome 3 either. Now the company that is responsible for 16% of Gnome & does more for Gnome that any other company doesn't really want the default Gnome 3 either, even though it has had some time to mature. This seems to indicate that the trouble in Gnome land is as bad as the critics would have you believe.
36 • @16: Why Not AMD? (by Serge on 2013-06-17 21:51:52 GMT from United States)
Magic Banana, does Trisquel not distribute the FOSS Radeon driver? If so, what is the obstacle?
37 • @36 (by ahj on 2013-06-17 23:23:35 GMT from Australia)
Serge, Trisquel does not distribute the "FOSS" radeon driver as it depends on a non-free binary blob. AMD went 95% of the way to liberating their driver, then they decided it was better they didn't release the most important component of the driver stack. So it was more of a PR stunt to please the "open source" community than anything else.
38 • Open source is not the same thing as free software (by Jared on 2013-06-18 00:06:18 GMT from United States)
Free software and open source are not interchangeable terms. There is a specific meaning to the words 'free software' and the words are frequently missed by people who don't understand or don't value free software.
39 • @35 Stop talking rubbish (by mandog on 2013-06-18 00:07:01 GMT from Peru)
Read before you make assumptions Denise Dumas explains: We think that people who are accustomed to GNOME 2 will use the classic mode until they're ready to experiment with modern mode.
Seeing classic mode is a customised Gnome shell they are not going any where. Anybody that means you and me can do the same.
Classic mode is shipped with Gnome 3.8 as a alternative, its just extensions thats all.
40 • @36 (by onpon4 on 2013-06-18 00:07:41 GMT from United States)
The "FOSS" Radeon driver is included, but not the nonfree firmware which is required for the Radeon driver to work in 3-D. It only works in 2-D without that firmware.
AMD does not fully cooperate with their graphics controllers. They only partly cooperate.
41 • @39 (by MZ on 2013-06-18 00:44:29 GMT from United States)
Rubbish? The fact is that the two biggest versions of desktop Linux moved off Gnome & the new shell isn't considered a sane default for enterprise users. How is any of the not factually correct, & doesn't it indicate a problem?
42 • Gnome (by Hugo Masse on 2013-06-18 01:09:02 GMT from Mexico)
Could it be that finally this decision from RHEL makes Gnome developers realise how wrong they've been and Gnome 4 is more Gnome Two-ish than Gnome 3? Will we see the development of Gnome 2 as it should have been done in the first place?
43 • Extremes vs prosperity (by Fairly Reticent on 2013-06-18 02:28:56 GMT from United States)
"open source" refers to source code published for review; not necessarily freed.
"freed software" means anyone is free to use for any purpose in either original or modified form, which removes the usual and customary primary leverage for developers thereof to be compensated to any degree.
Proprietary software is often neither freed nor published. It is often defective by design. Producers thereof are often compensated little more than developers of freed software.
Freed Software is commonly Open Source, Open Source software is often Freed; the two are often deliberately confused for marketing reasons.
Neither Freed nor Proprietary extremes have thus far provided a robust marketplace for development, but experiments are making progress in that direction.
44 • Gnashing (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2013-06-18 02:36:12 GMT from United States)
"Last time I tried, Gnash was playing YouTube videos flawlessly." Right.
When was that, exactly?
On which version of Gnash? Isn't it still developing version 9?
Which version of flash? Hasn't Adobe moved past version 11.2?
(And haven't most YouTube publishers followed?)
Or were you playing webm instead? HTML5?
Is it about playing video, or inserting advertising?
45 • @Fossilizing Dinosaur: Gnash and YouTube (by Magic Banana on 2013-06-18 03:20:03 GMT from Brazil)
I have just deactivated ViewTube so that Gnash handles YouTube (well, old enough and unpopular enough videos to not be HTML 5, which obviously plays without any plugin). Gnash still works flawlessly on Abrowser 21 (Trisquel's rebranded Firefox 21) with Gnash 0.8.10. Both are in Trisquel 6.0's default install.
46 • Trisquel (by forlin on 2013-06-18 03:31:35 GMT from Portugal)
A big thumbs up to Jesse/DistroWatch about the momentum chosen to let us learn more about this specific Distro.
Still... we know that there are some bubbles here and there.
Richard Stallment is very aware about the danger any bubble may pose and everybody else should also care about it.
47 • Really? Adam? (by RollMeAway on 2013-06-18 04:17:29 GMT from United States)
"It doesn't mean that GNOME 3 was being designed for RHEL, or something. It means that Red Hat writes the paychecks of a lot of GNOME developers."
I pay attention to what the guy who signs my paychecks wants.
If I didn't, he likely would quit signing my paychecks.
48 • @47 (by MZ on 2013-06-18 05:10:36 GMT from United States)
One of the linked articles had another link to a blog about Gnome that had the numbers for Gnome contributions. See here:
The blog post says that Gnome is only 16% Red Hat, and that unpaid volunteers actually make around 23% of the contributions to Gnome. I'm sure Red Hat has a good deal of pull, but their 16% doesn't give them total control over the entire Gnome project. Of course in return for their willingness to rely on the open source community, Red Hat gets a desktop for 16% of what it would cost a Microsoft to code a desktop from the ground up. Giving up some, though certainly not all, control over the project seems like a very good deal for Red Hat in financial terms.
49 • Freed, free, reimburshed. Copyright, proprietry, open, opensource (by gregzeng on 2013-06-18 05:45:34 GMT from Australia)
So much confusing fuss this week. Where does Google Chrome, Community Chromium, Mozilla's products, & community products derived from Mozilla fit in? The commentators avoid giving concrete examples.
The youngsters (by age and life-maturation, judging from their websites, where available) seem unaware that the terms used have life outside of their narrow interests. Jesse IMHO gave a clearer explanation in his review of Trisquel. If you disagree with common usage of these terms, perhaps the correct forum is not here, but in Wikipedia, where we all are invited to edit, contribute.
All authored products are copyright, within the limits of the legal definition of that term (it varies, nation to nation). All products may be either freeware or commercial ware. They may also be open or closed source, philosophically. These terms are detailed in Wikipedia (I've just checked).
If there are any discussion, debates, etc on these terms, use a legal process, or the administrative processes of Wikipedia, IMHO. But then, what would I know, since I've retired from Company Board matters decades ago, and my media production positions seemed to cease with my retirement.
50 • @47 (by Adam Williamson on 2013-06-18 07:51:29 GMT from Canada)
If you're an upstream project developer who is hired by RH, what the person who signs your paychecks tells you to do is mostly 'same as before, only more'. Think it through: if RH told the GNOME devs what to do, and RH didn't like Shell, how would Shell have happened?
51 • @43 (by Adam Williamson on 2013-06-18 07:52:55 GMT from Canada)
That's, um, completely wrong.
The Open Source Initiative defines what 'open source' means. Their definition is at http://opensource.org/osd . It is nothing at all like yours.
52 • @51, 43 (by Jon Wright on 2013-06-18 09:12:23 GMT from Vietnam)
> "The Open Source Initiative defines what 'open source' means."
The Open Source Initiative defines what 'Open Source' means. I'll go with #43 I think - 'open source' means you can look at the source code.
53 • Might as well throw my two cents in... (by DavidEF on 2013-06-18 12:29:51 GMT from United States)
Here is my take on "Free Software" and "Open Source Software" as they relate to each other. For some people, there is a huge difference between the two. Not huge in size, but in importance. For most people, there is little to no difference. Richard Stallman is extreme, and he has some followers. There will always be people who believe that extreme is the only way to get the point across. I think we are all better off for having those people around, even if we don't always see eye-to-eye. Passion is what drives a lot of the important work being done in the world.
I use the term "Open Source" in order to emphasize freedom. Yes, you read that correctly. The term "Free Software" is so ambiguous that people have to add either (as in beer) or (as in freedom) to the end of it so others will have a chance of knowing what they're talking about. To me, "Open Source" includes the meaning of freedom intrinsically, and "Free Software" does not. Obviously, to some, the opposite is true, and they may even be offended at me for making this statement.
Instead of depending on something so frail as language to get our point across to others, why don't we take the time to educate people about the principles that we believe to be important? Why does there NEED to be a difference between "Free Software" and "Open Source Software" at all? Let's teach people that freedom is important, no matter WHAT words they use to describe their idea of freedom! If I want to call it "Chocolate Chip Cookie Software" and say that that means freedom to me, why should you care? If you care about freedom, you should be glad that I care about freedom too, and leave it at that.
54 • @43, 51, and others (by Ned on 2013-06-18 12:34:35 GMT from Austria)
As this discussion is about Trisquel, the relevant point is what *their* definition is.
55 • Ante up.. (by DavidEF on 2013-06-18 12:52:00 GMT from United States)
Here's another two cents for you. I just thought of this. The U.S. patent system was designed to encourage "Open Source" APART FROM FREEDOM. The idea was to take away other peoples' freedom, in order to encourage innovation. It is pretty much a failure. Why is that so? I believe it is because you cannot separate open source from freedom. Nowadays, it is the common thing for corporations to seek patent protection in order to keep their stuff in a proprietary fog. If the patent system had been designed with freedom as a core principle, the original hope that it would encourage sharing of ideas to further progress would have been realized.
What does that have to do with us? Well, people seem to be getting in a huff over wording here, and it's been going on for decades. But, there can be no "Open Source" that doesn't include freedom. It cannot happen. To show how this is true, let's start with "Open Source" only meaning that you could look at the code, and take that to the extreme. Well, in the end, it means that ALL software is "Open Source" because with reverse engineering technology, you could look at any code you want. Well, then the word "Proprietary" loses its meaning in every practical way. So, the definition obviously doesn't fit. In the extremes, there are only two mutually exclusive definitions. There is only "Proprietary" and "Free" software. So, "Open Source" is just another way of saying "Free" and "Closed Source" is another way of saying "Proprietary".
56 • Trisquel Mini is like Lubuntu (by icarolongo on 2013-06-18 13:13:29 GMT from Brazil)
One review about Trisquel Mini is the same to do with Lubuntu or any small distribution with LXDE, icewm, etc. The default Trisquel (GNOME 3.4 Panel Fallback "Classic" with Compiz and Intel Graphics is free - as in freedom - driver) probably works fine with your computer, but the Mini is for small resources and doesn't have many things for 3D acceleration and video card.
Please, try the default Trisquel and do another review.
And Trisquel is about freedom for users in practical way and not about the metodology "it works and freedom doesn't matters".
57 • GNOME Shell is easy in Trisquel and works like a charm (by icarolongo on 2013-06-18 13:22:23 GMT from Brazil)
If you want GNOME Shell in your Intel Graphics is easy:
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell - log out and choose "GNOME" in your login screen (probably GDM - GNOME Display Manager) in default Trisquel 6.0 Toutatis.
NVIDIA can work with engineering reverse "noveau" driver (again, free as in freedom driver) and it works on my Macbook.
About wireless card (wi-fi) is good one *respects your freedom* device: http://www.fsf.org/resources/hw/endorsement/respects-your-freedom
58 • 'free software' (by MZ on 2013-06-18 15:22:33 GMT from United States)
I agree with most of what was said in #53, 'free software' is far less meaningful to most computer users than 'open source'. If you say you only want to use free software most people will think your just using pirated stuff or shareware on Windows. If you say you prefer open source, you at least have a shot at conveying your meaning.
59 • Bridge Linux (by Chanath on 2013-06-18 16:08:05 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Have you guys tried Bridge Linux? Its a live iso, but it doesn't have a installer. I tried 64 bit Gnome edition, but I couldn't find install to hard disk anywhere,. Or is there another way?
60 • @ 59 (by MZ on 2013-06-18 18:39:14 GMT from United States)
If you look at the DW page for Bridge it says the distro is a live CD project with available text mode installation. Some projects are designed to only be easy to use as a live CD.
61 • @41 Rubbish (by mandog on 2013-06-18 19:52:43 GMT from Peru)
Ubuntu decided that because Gnome refused to release its updates to suit there release dates they could simply build there own. This left Mint with the decision go with Ubuntu or use a different de, Users were not keen on following Ubuntu so they built what the users wanted it was a gamble that in the short term has paid of. It is very doubtful this is a long term winner though as the market has changed, So has Ubuntus goals the next version is said to be rewritten code that could make Mint fall in a big way remember when at the top there is only one way down. Mint is now trying to go its own way so not to be called a respin?
62 • DavidEF @ #53 (by forlin on 2013-06-18 20:38:36 GMT from Portugal)
Point by point, this whole comment is a full "hit the nail on the head". Not easy, indeed, to say so much in so few sentences.
The final paragraph is priceless about its value as a mean for reflexion:
"Let's teach people that freedom is important, no matter WHAT words they use to describe their idea of freedom! If I want to call it "Chocolate Chip Cookie Software" and say that that means freedom to me, why should you care? If you care about freedom, you should be glad that I care about freedom too, and leave it at that."
63 • @61 (by MZ on 2013-06-18 20:59:22 GMT from United States)
Ubuntu & Canonical likely had several reasons for their decision on the use of Unity over Gnome; however, the fact that the main version of Ubuntu never shipped with Gnome 3 indicates that worry over the the radical redesign was a factor. It's also worth noting that Mint tried to work within Gnome by creating their MGSE shell extensions, but it was decided that Gnome 3 didn't deliver what users wanted & wasn't going to change. Red Hat not shipping default Gnome 3 in RHEL 7 means that both the two biggest desktop distros and the biggest commercial distro all have some sort of problem with Gnome 3. Saying there are problems with Gnome 3 hardly seems like rubbish to me. If it's an opinion you don't like fine, but denying any possibility of a problem is a great way to create more new problems.
64 • @61 & @63 (by Zybersun on 2013-06-18 21:19:51 GMT from United States)
@61 - That is one thing about linux. I have been around the linux community for sometime and change is the probably the one thing that people can take for granted. Not that long ago Mandrake and Suse where pretty popular, as well as Red Hat (before Fedora.) Since than the balance has changed a lot and it will always be like that.
@63 I have to agree. I don't think Gnome 3 itself is the problem. It is more of what people need and want. Gnome 3 did too much too fast with the changes from 2 to 3, especially when it first came out it was a bit buggy or lacking in areas. They since have corrected that or most of it anyways. But I think with that and the release cycles of some distro's it hurt Gnome. Not long before that KDE had the same problem, though imho it wasn't as much and as fast as Gnome 3 did it. I am not really a fan of Gnome any more. It is not what I need or want. But to each their own.
But it is all linux, GNU, open source, etc... So many choices and options. We can all get along, voice our thoughts and let each choose what they want or need. That is what I love about it all the most.
65 • Whose freedom? (by Fairly Reticent on 2013-06-18 21:46:30 GMT from United States)
Will you take your 'freedom' at the expense of another's? Is that really freedom?
What about stealing developer services, demanding they donate to the community? Is that truly equitable, fair? What about their 'freedom'?
66 • Trisquel 6 (by Sean on 2013-06-18 21:48:46 GMT from Canada)
Thanks for the nice Trisquel 6 review. It's good to see a freedom-respecting distro like Trisquel catch the limelight here. I agree with the "open source misses the point" stance on software like this. Trisquel's focus is to provide an operating system that emphasizes freedom over convenience. Hopefully one day, all computing conveniences will be free.
67 • You Tube on Triquel (by Chris on 2013-06-18 23:13:17 GMT from New Zealand)
To view You tube on Trisquel, or any download the program youtube-dl - its command line but works a treat. you simply type in youtube-dl then a paste of the url for the you tube page, a few minutes later following download the file is stored in your home directory, from there open it with whichever program like movie Player, gnome M player for me was the least fussy.
68 • DOS Box (by Bob Hayden on 2013-06-18 23:40:56 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the contribution. Although mainly intended for games, I have Windows 3.1 running in it along with a host of Windows programs from that era. Support is vastly better than is the support of WINE for later Windows software. The main thing lacking is any form of printer support;-( One can install the generic Win3.1 Postscript driver and print to file (*.ps) which you can then print from Unix/Linux.
69 • re #28 - austrumi (by gnomic on 2013-06-18 23:55:14 GMT from New Zealand)
While I have been impressed by the amount the Austrumi people squeeze into their little iso, I continue to be baffled by their failure to include some software for wifi connections that works. While there is an apparently homegrown gui utility for WPA connections it seems oblivious to the fact that the required details have been entered, and on attempting to connect merely asks for the information again. Anyone able to point out where I am going wrong with this?
70 • YouTube on Triquel (by Jon Wright on 2013-06-19 02:15:06 GMT from Vietnam)
> "you simply type in youtube-dl then a paste of the url for the you tube page, a few minutes later following download the file is stored in your home directory ... "
I don't detect any hint of sarcasm there. Linux gets ridiculed for exactly this kind of thing - something Jesse touched on in the review.
71 • Bridge Linux (by Chanath on 2013-06-19 02:20:08 GMT from Sri Lanka)
For those, who want to install Bridge Linux, and cannot find the installation application, here is the answer from the developer.
"If you can't find it under applications, start it from the terminal with sudo mtinstall"
72 • @ 65 /free software (by MZ on 2013-06-19 04:39:37 GMT from United States)
Are you suggesting that because someone volunteered to give away their work that free software is some sort of sweatshop scam? How about people that that volunteer to put up homes at habitat for humanity, are they being exploited too? I'm all against speaking out when someone has their rights violated due to things like unpaid overtime, but what you're saying is really a bad troll.
73 • @ 72 MZ Free Software (by Chanath on 2013-06-19 04:58:59 GMT from Sri Lanka)
"Will you take your 'freedom' at the expense of another's?"
That's not correct. My freedom shouldn't take away someone's freedom. If a developer wants to produce an application/distro whatever and give it away free, that's his/her right. But, we should also think of donating to that developer. You just can't live off air, can you?
In Vancouver, Canada for example, if you want to park your car in the city centre, you need to have at least 8$, and if you want to park your car in front of a polyclinic in the suburbs, you still have to buy a ticket for 2$. Even, in Sri Lanka, you have to pay for parking in the city. So, why not donate for the free distro one gets, if one is going to use it?
We have to buy the computer/laptop. It may have components that need proprietary software, but given free to use or even distribute. In the question of distros like Trisquel, the user is in some sort of trouble, as the computer might not work correctly. So, he/she won't use Trisquel, but go for more tolerant distros.
Whether the application is proprietary or not, but is given free, then it is free software. It is not open source, but free. We simply have to be thankful for that.
74 • "Free software" vs. "Open source" (by Magic Banana on 2013-06-19 05:12:15 GMT from Brazil)
@49: You write "The youngsters (by age and life-maturation, judging from their websites, where available) seem unaware that the terms used have life outside of their narrow interests". Well, it looks like you are not old enough to know that the term "free software" (with more or less the definition the FSF gives today) existed some 15 years before the term "open source" was coined in 1998. Why was it coined? To avoid talking about freedoms and focus on secondary practical advantages (less bugs, faster development cycles, etc.). You just cannot deny that fact and pretend there is no fundamental/philosophical difference between the two terms. Interestingly, one year after he authored the "open source" definition, Bruce Perens understood his mistakes ("Open Source has de-emphasized the importance of the freedoms involved in Free Software. It's time for us to fix that."): http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/1999/02/msg01641.html
@53: Words matter. If you give me what you call a "Chocolate Chip Cookie Software", I will be disappointed when I will try to eat it and I will never realize why I would want such software. On the contrary, calling it "free software because it respects the users' essential freedoms" (notice that no confusion with "gratis" is possible in any language but English) conveys an accurate idea. An interested interlocutor could ask you more details about those essential freedoms or simply search by herself and find the free software definition by the FSF. "Open source", on the contrary, is not about freedoms. As I explained above, it was precisely coined to avoid talking about freedoms.
@54: You are right. And, Trisquel is all about freedoms. You will never find any mention of "open source" on Trisquel's website. That is why I wrote it is disrespecting the Trisquel project to introduce the review of this distribution by glorifying the "open source" movement with the secondary advantages it focuses on. The first sentence on Trisquel's website is: "Trisquel is a fully free GNU/Linux based operating system". Behind the word free, a link to the definition of "free software" by the FSF: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html
Notice that, on this same page, a section is entitled "Open Source?" and ends with the sentence "The word â€śopenâ€ť never refers to freedom." and a link to https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html
@65: "Free software" has always been about the *users'* freedoms. Not developers'. "Open source" focuses on developers (and misses the point). With "software", it is simple: either the user controls the software (free software) or the developers, through their software, control the users ("proprietary software"). The rest of you comment is too confused to comment on: we are talking about "software" and not "service", we are talking about freedoms and not price, I do not see how being in control of your computing could be "at the expense of another"... unless you were so intoxicated by proprietary software that you believe the developers deserve the control of the users' computing!
75 • There is no free lunch (by Fairly Reticent on 2013-06-19 06:15:54 GMT from United States)
There are two common extremes for software licensing - proprietary (developers - or copyright holders - take all, and minimize community benefit), and freed (community takes developers' services) - neither of which provides a robust platform for development. I appreciate freed software. I also propose that developers deserve support, compensation for their services to the community. The convenience used to market proprietary software seldom lasts; beneficiaries of libre software rarely support those who provide it. Neither extreme is healthy.
76 • Free lunches! The law says so, in real terms (by gregzeng on 2013-06-19 07:40:21 GMT from Australia)
google: 2013 june photograph copyright buzzfeed
Much legal discussion now, but summary, as in the heading to this post. Only $$-trolls try to enforce the letter of the law. In some copyright cases, they are doomed to fail. Perhaps Apple is a copyright troll, because of Samsung's actions?
Only the youngsters really have an excuse for being legally stupid. Every word or picture an identifiable person (or legal entity) creates, is legally copyright. In the case googled above, the nonsense-copyright holder claims two types of copyright, without any legal advice. Similar nonsense is seen in some of the comments here.
'Opensource' in a formal sense, as used in these (official, public) forums is a legal word. It is not free of legal obligations, by both coders nor endusers. Idle, private gossip between friendly users may be free of some legal restrictions, particularly if it just word-of-mouth, without legally-proven evidence.
Philosopical, religious, taste, fashion, etc matters - are harder to strictly define, financially & legally. Apple 'won' in the short-term with Korea Inc. as they tried to chase Google. Unfortunately this planet trusts quantifiable date like $$ and laws, rather than the spiritual vapors of the irrationalists IMO.
77 • "Free software" vs. "Open source" (by Magic Banana on 2013-06-19 12:14:59 GMT from Brazil)
@75: The definition of "free software" has *nothing* to do with the way it is developed. Please, read it: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html
An evil activity (developing proprietary software) does not become right because there is money to be made in this way!
Besides, you seem to ignore that:
1) Most IT jobs are not development ones;
2) Most IT jobs in development are about custom software (work on software with one single user: the company the developer is working for) and, in this case, the distinction between free and proprietary makes no sense since the software is not distributed;
3) Free software business (mainly through support) is the most thriving segment of the IT market. Most of the jobs are local and in small companies (what is good in my opinion). If you prefer big numbers, Red Hat employs about 4,500 people made $1.13 billion of revenue last year: http://investors.redhat.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=660156
@76: You are confusing the "copyright law" (as in "free" vs. "proprietary") and the "patent law" (as in Apple vs. Samsung). Those are two completely different laws with two completely different purposes. When you understand something about one of them, that does not help you understand the other. At all. For instance, copyrighting software makes sense, whereas patenting software is an absurdity: http://patentabsurdity.com
I am not aware of an "open source" definition in the law (and I doubt it exists). Anyway, we are not talking about legal issues. We are talking about philosophical ones. Jesse pretends "free software" and "open source" are synonyms and motivates the Trisquel project with "open source" arguments. The fact is: Trisquel only cares about freedoms; not about "open source".
From both the FSF side (that maintains the definition of "free software") and the OSI side (that maintains the definition of "open source"), it is clear that "free software" is all about respecting users' freedoms and "open source" aims at *not* talking about freedom:
* "For the free software movement, free software is an ethical imperative, essential respect for the users' freedom. By contrast, the philosophy of open source considers issues in terms of how to make software â€śbetterâ€ťâ€”in a practical sense only. It says that nonfree software is an inferior solution to the practical problem at hand. For the free software movement, however, nonfree software is a social problem, and the solution is to stop using it and move to free software." - https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html
* "The conferees believed the pragmatic, business-case grounds that had motivated Netscape to release their code illustrated a valuable way to engage with potential software users and developers, and convince them to create and improve source code by participating in an engaged community. The conferees also believed that it would be useful to have a single label that identified this approach and distinguished it from the philosophically- and politically-focused label "free software." Brainstorming for this new label eventually converged on the term "open source"" - http://opensource.org/history (section "Coining â€śOpen Sourceâ€ť")
Pretending that both terms bear the same fundamental values simply is wrong. Labeling Trisquel as "open source" is disrespecting the project's fundamental values.
78 • TRISQUEL Rocks, guys... (by Angel Arce J. on 2013-06-19 12:26:22 GMT from Belgium)
I know Trisquel since the first releases that they made... Remember that Trisquel was, in March 2006, the first Linux Distro in the world integrating/showcasing "Xgl" + "Compiz" technology, and allowing the use of a compositing Window Manager with 3D effects in Linux Distros... So, is a solid Distro created by experienced and committed guys... after that, they got themselves into FULLY Free/Open source software Distro production... Trisquel is really a marvelous GNU/Linux Distribution... It is Solid, and the main thing is that is very easy and user friendly, besides being a "FULLY" Free GNU/Linux Distro; which means, that is, not only Open Source, but fully FREE SOFTWARE... maybe some people can encounter minor inconveniences, due to some Hardware manufacturers not providing the source code of their Drivers for Linux, o facilitating that someone (Firm, Communities) could code and integrate their Hardware fully into a Free/Open Linux Distribution... It is NOT the Guys of Trisquel to Blame, but some of the selfish and unethical IT Manufacturers... Apart from that, the only thing I can say is that "TRISQUEL" is the "MINT" of the FULLY Open/Free software Linux Distributions... With a little bit more of help from the people, communities and some IT companies; it Would/Will be as easy, and user friendly, as the "Mint" Distribution is... It is almost like that today (if not for the chunks of proprietary software that other Distros include); and, I am pretty sure that this will be a full reality in the coming future. So, take it into account, use it, and help for it to become true as quickly as possible...
79 • @77 "Free software" vs "Open source" (by DavidEF on 2013-06-19 15:44:27 GMT from United States)
Thank You, Magic Banana, for that lesson. Through your efforts, I've discovered that I am mostly in the "Open Source" camp. I believe in protecting the users' freedoms, but I have a different definition of freedom than Richard Stallman and the FSF, apparently. The official definition of the term "Open Source" is sufficient to describe most of what I believe software should be. It is actually closer than the term "Free Software" as the FSF defines it. I will still confidently stand on what I said before, that:
>To me, "Open Source" includes the meaning of freedom intrinsically, and "Free Software" does not.
However, I still also believe that language and semantics are a poor foundation to build upon. If you want to teach people about the importance of software freedom, please do. But saying things like this is ridiculous:
>>On the other hand, when they run into problems it doesn't reflect well on open source projects in general.
>No Jesse, it doesn't reflect well on the *hardware* manufacturers who want to keep their driver software a secret from the community.
(from post 20 by ajh) and then:
>An evil activity (developing proprietary software) does not become right because there is money to be made in this way!
(from post 77 by Magic Banana) and:
>It is NOT the Guys of Trisquel to Blame, but some of the selfish and unethical IT Manufacturers
(from post 78 by Angel Arce J.)
These statements show a real lack of common sense, among other things. In the REAL WORLD, people *will* and *do* blame the one or two O/S that don't work with the hardware, not the hardware itself, which happened to have worked just fine before, with the other O/S. And, come on, saying proprietary software is "An evil activity" is pushing the limits. It may be bad in a lot of ways, but it isn't bad like killing someone for-the-fun-of-it would be bad. I would buy Windows eight at full retail price, long before I would allow a murderer in my house!
80 • Oh The Irony Of It All. (by LinuxMan on 2013-06-19 15:44:31 GMT from United States)
Well it seems that this week's discussion has gotten into the religious realm of technology. First off lets get this out of the way. If the developers of the Trisquel project gets offended or feel disrespected by their distro being labeled as "open source" then they need to get a little tougher skin. It is a "fully free" distro but is still open source. Trisquel could not exist without the "open source label". Isn't that a hoot.
Contrary to what some here may believe, the advocates of "free software" are not the only ones who go to heaven. The followers of Richard Stallman would like people to think otherwise it seems. They label everyone else as evil, unethical, selfish, greedy, not thinking of anyone except themselves. Instead of bashing everyone else maybe they should step down off of their pedestal and stop insulting people at every turn. Jessie gave a good review of Trisquel and look what happened. He was criticized for saying "open source" too much. It takes bold arrogants for someone to criticize because of that when he also made this statement, "The Free Software Foundation (FSF) maintains a list of operating systems which conform to a strict free software only policy. It is a short list. One of the more popular entries on this list of completely free operating systems is Trisquel GNU/Linux.", now is that any reason to give someone such a bad review? Maybe it was because of not mentioning their so called superior ethics. One of the largest problems with free software advocates is they feel they have no problems and that it's always someone elses fault. This is simply not true and until they realize that it will be very hard for for fully free software to be accepted as a viable solution to anything else. This is just my opinion and as such may not sit well with others but it is the way I feel. FYI I do support the FSF.
81 • @ 79 â€˘"Free software" vs "Open source" DavidEF (by Chanath on 2013-06-19 16:02:12 GMT from Sri Lanka)
"I would buy Windows eight at full retail price, long before I would allow a murderer in my house!"
If a murderer enters a home, the home owner at least can fight him. Usually, there is no way to stop them entering. I won't buy a Windows 8 at whatever price. The last Windows that crept in was with the laptop. There are enough "Linux" computers/laptops in the market, so the next laptop would be Linux or OS-less.
When you buy Windows 8, you buy a copy and the right to use it, not to give it to any other--you are buying a license to use. When you are getting a Linux/BSD/Open Indiana distro, you get a absolutely free copy. You can do whatever you want with it. No, I won't buy Windows 8 or any next Windows.
82 • hardware support (by imnotrich on 2013-06-19 18:05:36 GMT from United States)
Explain to me why any distro would be released with incomplete video support?
Or for that matter without wireless networking support?
In that case "free" means "useless."
83 • "Free software" vs. "Open source" (by Magic Banana on 2013-06-19 18:32:51 GMT from Brazil)
@79: Robbing is is not as evil as murdering. It is evil anyway. The same applies for developing proprietary software.
@80: You write: "Trisquel could not exist without the open source label". Of course it could. Free software and its motivation (freedom) precedes open source and its motivation (better development model). It is not the case of the Trisquel project but some successful free software is developed in a "classical way", i.e., with no transparency in the development process. Android is the best example that comes to my mind.
Again my point is: the Trisquel project aims at freeing users, not at promoting a development model. By stating the opposite in the first sentences of the review, Jesse disrespects the values of the Trisquel project. Complaining that "Trisquel doesn't have any non-free repositories" is completely off-topic too. It actually is a positive point w.r.t. what the project's objectives are. A distribution should always be assessed w.r.t. its objectives.
84 • @ 82 & 83 (by Chanath on 2013-06-19 18:45:28 GMT from Sri Lanka)
If Trisquel won't work with my laptop's video and/or wireless, why should I want it? I'd be quite happy with its elder brother, Ubuntu, in which everything works. Just because it has free software doesn't mean it is useful. How many of you guys would ever use gNewsense?
85 • Video support in Trisquel (by Magic Banana on 2013-06-19 18:48:38 GMT from Brazil)
Out of the box, Trisquel has a far better video support than, say, Ubuntu. The gstreamer plugins ("good", "bad" and "ugly") are all installed by default.
Maybe you are actually referring to Flash videos embedded in Web pages. It turns out I am not even aware of a website proposing such videos that I could not play/download with either ViewTube or UnPlug (all free software). Gnash, in Trisquel's default install, plays YouTube videos in Abrowser 21 (Trisquel's rebranded Firefox 21). I tested it yesterday. It probably handles other websites. For more information on this topic, you can read Trisquel's documentation: https://trisquel.info/en/wiki/play-videos-without-using-flash
As for the Wifi, the recommended fix is to acquire a replacing card (or a USB dongle). ThinkPenguin guarantees its hardware works with Linux-libre (hence any 100% free GNU/Linux distributions such as Trisquel): http://libre.thinkpenguin.com
That said, Trisquel does not technically prevent you from installing proprietary firmware. In my opinion, it is sad one would not consider her freedom is worth a few boxes though...
86 • Which freedom are we speaking of? (by LinuxMan on 2013-06-19 19:17:17 GMT from United States)
Not to drag this out any longer but it was stated by Magic Banana that in order to fix Wifi problems you are required to buy a replacement card or a USB dongle. Well to be fair he did not say required to buy, he said to acquire. To me it looks like a person would have to give up some freedom in order to use a totally free distribution. You see that it isn't all cut and dried. It's not as simple as some would have you believe. Freedom cost money. To say that if you install proprietary firmware in Trisquel that you lose your freedom is a bit of a stretch in my opinion. Furthermore I stick to my belief that Trisquel could not exist as a totally free distro without the stigma of open source.
87 • Freedom (by Magic Banana on 2013-06-19 20:59:13 GMT from Brazil)
Let us see how dictionary.com defines freedom ( http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/freedom ) :
1. the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint
2. exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
3. the power to determine action without restraint.
4. political or national independence.
5. personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery.
All in all, we can sum up "freedom" by "controlling one's own life". Software freedom therefore is "controlling one's own computing". The free software movement identified four fundamental freedoms that makes this definition more concrete: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html
In what way spending a few boxes makes you lose control on your life? I do not get it.
88 • @88 (by Sam Graf on 2013-06-19 22:13:33 GMT from United States)
"I do not get it." Predictably. Trisquel's project aims (to which the project is entitled) are more monologue than dialogue. That makes it harder for Trisquel advocates to understand differing points of view, especially (and critically) about the Trisquel project's notions of freedom.
In a technology context, that isn't a fatal clash of ideas for some of us. Trisquel can be (and is) considered a valuable product and project even by some of us who disagree with the intellectual rationale. If Trisquel advocates find that inconsistent, or even sad, so be it. I don't find the Trisquel philosophy either self-evidently true or particularly well-defended, leaving me free to remain, for now, respectfully unconvinced.
89 • open source freedom (by Wolf on 2013-06-19 22:45:42 GMT from Germany)
ItÂ´s the quasi relegious drive of those Â´freedomÂ´ fighters that really makes me wonder. I see why Stallman dissed Ubuntu for publich searches and Amazonlenses but on the other hand I can understand Shuttleworth for trying to put Ubuntu in a self sufficient position. I seem to miss the whole Idea of free (as in speech) software. I am profoundly happy with stuff I can read verify and compile by myself if I feel the need to so. Proprietary Drivers thus are a problem which most certainly can be solved by throwing money at it. But for the time beeing I would prefer we as Linux Freebsd or whatever users try to avoid painful and fruitless discussions and try to convert some Windows Users.
(freedom front of judĂ¤a)
90 • Freedom (by Magic Banana on 2013-06-19 23:33:09 GMT from Brazil)
@89: "Trisquel project's notions of freedom" is that of the FSF (http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html is the first link in the "What is Trisquel?" section of the main page). As I explained, this definition is consistent with the dictionary's definition of "freedom": it aims at making the user in control of her computing.
I am trying to use the dictionary's definition of freedom ("controlling one's own life") to get your point too. However, it looks like people should not follow the dictionary to give a meaning to your writings. I am afraid you will have trouble to be understood. To have a dialogue, you need to follow the dictionary at some point. The Trisquel project does so. It looks like you do not (otherwise, please, explain me in what way spending a few boxes is losing control on your life).
91 • 90 (by Sam Graf on 2013-06-19 23:47:23 GMT from United States)
"However, it looks like people should not follow the dictionary..." That's not what's being argued. At this point in the script I'm thinking two things: 1) trotting out authorities (including the FSF, whom I respect even when I disagree) does not raise the Trisquel project's philosophy above question, and 2) the dictionary definition does not necessarily prove what you think it proves.
There are intelligent, educated people who can read dictionary definitions and have read FSF materials and still remain unconvinced by the Trisquel philosophy. This isn't new news, either.
92 • Freedom (by Magic Banana on 2013-06-20 00:10:22 GMT from Brazil)
*I* am not trying to prove anything. *You* are trying to prove that spending money to get freedom-respecting hardware is giving up some other kind of freedom. Well, "proving" is not the correct term because you actually consider that statement requires no argumentation whatsoever. It does: in what way spending a few boxes is "giving up some freedom" (your words), i.e., control on your life (what the word "freedom" means according to the dictionary)?
93 • Freedom (by Sam Graf on 2013-06-20 00:28:38 GMT from United States)
"*I* am not trying to prove anything." It seems like you've been trying to prove the validity of the Trisquel philosophy throughout your string of posts. I apologize if I'm wrong.
"...you actually consider that statement requires no argumentation whatsoever." Not true. I think you are uninterested in my point of view, my argument. If you are, then my point of view is closer to the open-source hardware perspective than the vendor-picking process that I take it you've described.
94 • @ 92 â€˘ Freedom Magic Banana (by Chanath on 2013-06-20 00:54:05 GMT from Sri Lanka)
We have to buy the hardware, so we can have "free" Trisquel to use in it. We have "freedom" to choose the hardware, depending on how much money we have. But would a free computer come with the free software? You are using a bought computer, don't you Magic Banana? You have a certain video card, certain wireless card etc. Naturally, you didn't buy the hardware to match the software, did you?
You are not going hack the video or wireless drivers, or drivers for the motherboard, and all the other parts of the computer/laptop, are you? Most of those (all of those) are proprietary, aren't they?
Well, we can use lot of Linux or FreeBsd distros, with tha ability to run the video card, wireless etc. Isn't that freedom? Or do we have to be so eccentric about that and use only gNewSense or Trisquel?
95 • Freedom (by Magic Banana on 2013-06-20 01:00:12 GMT from Brazil)
You obviously do not want to admit that "spending money" has nothing to do with "giving up some freedom" (although I am pretty sure you realize it).
As for "open-source hardware", I do not see how it is an alternative to "the vendor-picking process". Is there any "open source Wifi card"? This is the main problem we are facing today (although several Atheros chipsets now work out of the box with free software only). For 3D acceleration, Intel chipsets perfectly work and the "nouveau" driver provide even better performances with some nVidia cards; almost all HP printers/scanners perfectly work (other brands usually work too; sometimes non-optimally though); no issue with Ethernet cards, monitors, etc.
96 • Freedom (by Sam Graf on 2013-06-20 01:32:53 GMT from United States)
"You obviously do not want to admit..." Two things: I didn't say that. LinuxMan said that. You keep harping on my lack of defense for a statement I never made, as if that proved anything.
Second, I did say my perspective is that open-source hardware makes more sense to me than simply choosing vendors on the basis of available libre drivers. That to me is an arbitrary, pragmatic decision based on a faulty view of the freedoms involved. I'm talking about the philosophy, not the immediate availability of open-source hardware.
So again, it seems to me you are far more interested in refutation than in comprehension. I could be wrong, but given that's how I have read this entire week-long series of exchanges, there is very little incentive for me to talk in detail about what I think. Initially I was simply agreeing with LinuxMan's general observations, and I still do.
97 • @ 95 â€˘ Freedom Magic Banana (by Chanath on 2013-06-20 01:52:46 GMT from Sri Lanka)
If you take Trisquel, which is based on Ubuntu 12.04, and look at all the files in it, you'd find some files that you just can't open. These files cannot be "looked into" or "changed." You can check with any other OS, from Arch to Ubuntu, and you'd find some files that you just can't even open, let alone manipulate them. Those are one way or another, proprietary.
98 • @94: Hardware support (by Magic Banana on 2013-06-20 02:15:22 GMT from Brazil)
If you choose a computer with an Intel chipset (most of them are), you will probably have everything working at the perfection minus the Wifi connection (unless you are lucky and got an Atheros chipset). You then only need to replace this card with one bought on http://libre.thinkpenguin.com or a used one whose Atheros chipset was specified by the vendor. I did the latter. You really do not need to be rich!
Notice that some laptop vendors (at least Lenovo, Dell and Toshiba) now force the user to buy replacing hardware from them. To do so, they use "trusted computing" (which should actually be called "treacherous computing"): a white list of peripherals the laptop accept. That is why, when choosing a new laptop, those brands had better been avoided. However, USB dongles remain a solution even in this context.
Another new problem (it starts to become the rule) is trusted computing at the level of the CPU (Intel calls its technology "TXT").
ThinkPenguin is the only vendor I am aware of that guarantees that the hardware it sells optimally works with Linux-libre (hence all 100% free GNU/linux distributions such as Trisquel) and avoids those other issues. It sells pieces and whole (desktop and laptop) computers. The default distribution ThinkPenguin installs is Trisquel 6.0. By using the following URL, 25% of the benefits made on the purchase are donated to the Trisquel project: http://libre.thinkpenguin.com
Controlling our own computing is, in my opinion, an important issue. It even grows in importance as long as we live more and more with computers (in our cell phones, in our cars, etc.). This remains true up to the firmware. Malware can (and have already been implemented) in firmware. Any user deserves the freedom to know what that software is doing on her computer and to modify it to make it do what she wants. Remember that the free software movement actually started with a man that wanted to fix a bug in the driver for his printer but could not because it was proprietary: http://oreilly.com/openbook/freedom/ch01.html
99 • Freedom (by Magic Banana on 2013-06-20 02:22:53 GMT from Brazil)
@96: I am really sorry for the misunderstanding. I actually thought you and LinuxMan were one.
@97: With root privileges, you can read/write anything anywhere. Now, reading a binary is not very interesting! With free software (in particular with all software in Trisquel's repositories) you can have the source code corresponding to anything you install.
100 • Movements are not context-free (by Sam Graf on 2013-06-20 13:16:17 GMT from United States)
"Remember that the free software movement actually started with a man that wanted to fix a bug..." At the same time, remember that for anybody old enough to remember the early days of hobbyist microcomputers (meaning the general public versus people working in academic settings), the defining moment was the first copy-protected floppy disk, not a printer driver.
Atari published a nearly complete memory map for it's very proprietary 8-bit OS, for example, allowing us to profitably PEEK and POKE our way into pretty much any memory location. It was possible to completely clone the simple, early IBM demo programs on an Atari computer (which was done to rebut IBM snobbery about introducing the first serious business computer)--both legally and technically. The point of the example is that for early computer hobbyists and activists, free software was a way of life. Whole magazines were devoted to spreading free software written by ordinary people not as a movement but as the status quo, as the norm. It was the copy-protected floppy disk that unhappily changed our world. Almost all the freedoms I had known in the early days were gone long before I ever even heard of the FSF.
Which is just to say (again), there is more to the history of open source software and the conversation surrounding it than is generally allowed, adding to the disincentives to argue the case today. By constraining everything to official definitions and formal movements, a lot of the nuance that shapes a healthy, robust dialogue is, in this case, lost.
101 • Copy-protected floppy disks (by Magic Banana on 2013-06-20 14:32:17 GMT from Brazil)
That is interesting. I searched a little: Apple (for the Apple II computer), Tandy (for the TRS-80 Model I computer) started to propose floppy disk drives in 1978. It looks like it took one more year for Commodore (and its PET computer) and Atari (and its Atari 400 and 800) to do the same (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_8-bit_computer_peripherals#400.2F800_era_.281979-1982.29 for Atari). I doubt anti-copy measures were enforced since the beginning. Stallman's printer story dates from 1979.
Anyway, whatever the chronology, the story of the Xerox printer lead to GNU that had significant consequence: still today, most of the software in your GNU/Linux distribution comes from GNU: gnome, gcc, gdb, grub, gtk, gimp, glibc, coreutils, grep, tar, gzip, parted, gnupg, etc. I doubt people breaking copy-protections on floppy had had such a great impact (just by comparison; I do not intent not to diminish their achievements).
102 • Answers and Opinions (by LinuxMan on 2013-06-20 14:51:49 GMT from United States)
This will be my last comment on this subject.
In response to 87:
I know you don't get it or maybe you don't want to get it. This is the way I see it.
Does Trisquel require special hardware in order to be fully functional?
Yes it does. This is a fact and as such is not up for debate and this conflicts with two of your meanings of freedom.
2. exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
3. the power to determine action without restraint.
To use Trisquel fully you are REQUIRED to use certain hardware. It's ironic. In order to use a fully free distribution to the fullest you have to use special hardware. One way or another you are under restraint.
103 • Missing the point (by Sam Graf on 2013-06-20 15:04:01 GMT from United States)
I'm not talking about who is the hero here or when or about what. I'm talking about the history of software and simply pointing out that the notion of free software as a norm predates 1979 (as anyone from an academic setting knows). I'm talking about the psychological "shock" that copy protection introduced into early microcomputing, and most importantly, why.
That doesn't slight FSF achievements (I've already expressed my respect). It says only that significant numbers of people who were using microcomputers from the early days had never worked with UNIX (CP/M was the early commercial microcomputer OS of choice) had no reason even to know about RMS yet had still worked with free software, understood the concept pretty well, and were troubled when that was threatened in various ways. And all that without even getting to the idea of breaking copy protection--which has nothing to do with the point.
104 • Oh, freedom, freedom ... (by meanpt on 2013-06-20 16:46:07 GMT from Portugal)
I'm wondering why everyone hasn't touched the hardware manufacturers as equally important in safeguarding the real freedom of things, when governments are increasingly using cyber spying. No one seemed truly amazed by the recent disclosures related to PRISM, meaning no one would be amazed to find that their owned hardware carries some chip to provide all the info a security agency needs to know about the owners. Even from a corporate perspective, this is a potential threat, in a world where lobbies control governments. Civil Rights' activists are not paranoid: governments are.
105 • Freedom (by Magic Banana on 2013-06-20 16:55:41 GMT from Brazil)
@102: "requiring special hardware" (which is an overstatement, but whatever) does not mean suffering from an "external control, interference, regulation, etc.". Neither it represents a "restraint to determine action". Nobody has control on you if you cannot get a particular device. On the contrary, using a proprietary driver/firmware to control one of your device represents a control of the developer on the user: in the end, the device does what the developer (and not the user) wants it to do what may include malware, buggy functionalities, etc. The user is powerless.
@103: I am not arguing. I know software was born free. I know that, independently from rms, other users understood, in the late 70s, that proprietary software is a social problem. The sad thing is: many users still do not understand it or, when they do, they often prefer small practical conveniences (such as paying a few less dollars) over freedom.
106 • RE:104, Very True (by LinuxMan on 2013-06-20 18:56:15 GMT from United States)
Seems the hardware manufacturers have their own interest. So sad really. God I miss the CP/M days when 8 bit ruled.
Good discussion everyone. Have a great weekend.
107 • @63 MORE RUBBISH (by mandog on 2013-06-21 00:24:46 GMT from Peru)
@63>Ubuntu & Canonical likely had several reasons for their decision on the use of Unity over Gnome; however, the fact that the main version of Ubuntu never shipped with Gnome 3 indicates that worry over the the radical redesign was a factor. It's also worth noting that Mint tried to work within Gnome by creating their MGSE shell extensions, but it was decided that Gnome 3 didn't deliver what users wanted & wasn't going to change. Red Hat not shipping default Gnome 3 in RHEL 7 means that both the two biggest desktop distros and the biggest commercial distro all have some sort of problem with Gnome 3. Saying there are problems with Gnome 3 hardly seems like rubbish to me. If it's an opinion you don't like fine, but denying any possibility of a problem is a great way to create more new problems.<
So if Ubuntu ditched Gnome3 why is Unity at this moment built on it. Unity is a shell built on top off Gnome3 and why have they just released a Gnome edition?
MINTS Cinnamon a shell built on Gnome3.
Agreed they may not be in the future as Ubuntu is moving away from GTK as its running out of options in its search not to be compatible with other distros.
Unity is already incompatible with other Distros.
So Mint has to follow or switch to debian? or become a Distro in its own right.
RHEL7 will also be a shell built on Gnome3 note a SHELL, thats a few extentions, to ease the change to Gnome shell and will be fazed out
108 • @9 developers only (by buntunub on 2013-06-21 00:57:13 GMT from United States)
"I'm pretty surprised by what's written in the first paragraph of the Trisquel review. This description of the open source universe propagates the idea that it is fundamentally developer-centric ("software development", "developers share code", "examine application code", "see and modify the code"...), and that people without development skills are not appreciative of the open source philosophy, nor that they can contribute to it ("The open source philosophy [...] allows anyone with the appropriate skills to contribute")."
This is correct. Name one thing a non developer user has contributed to the F/OSS world other than griping and whining and complaining about his or her app of choice not working?.. I bet you cant. Think again if you think Developers can't test their own code. Not to say that non developer users are not important to the overall community, their views hold little to absolutely no value in terms of a projects direction or focus. What does matter, and I would argue, the ONLY thing that does matter, is the $$$ contributed to a given project and when a lot of it is coming from one source, that will drive things.
However, the generic non developer "user" that simply uses some F/OSS apps or Distro, well, zero control. None. Bitch and whine all you like, if your not willing to roll up your sleeves and contribute at least a commit of code to a project, I don't see how that person has any relevance whatsoever. That person is in face, just a "user" and should be grateful for what's been freely given.
109 • Users vs. developers (by Magic Banana on 2013-06-21 02:39:54 GMT from Brazil)
@108: What about advocacy? What about translation? Etc. Just to answer more specifically your question: what about Eben Moglen: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eben_Moglen
Would you say chairing Software Freedom Law Center is no contribution to the free software world? That defending in court the right to encryption is no contribution to the free software world? That enforcing free software licenses is no contribution to the free software world? That inspiring the FreedomBox project through advocacy is no contribution to the free software world? Etc.
That said, I agree $$$ matter... and users (individuals or companies) have them! They matter! And, in the free software world, they are not captive, divided and powerless. If the program does not evolve in the way they want, they can pay another developer to start a fork.
110 • 108, 'developers' (by Jon Wright on 2013-06-21 05:29:09 GMT from Vietnam)
> "Name one thing a non-developer user has contributed to the F/OSS world"
I thought you were launching into the Monty Python gag there, however ...
> "the ONLY thing that does matter, is the $$$ contributed to a given project and when a lot of it is coming from one source, that will drive things"
Funny, Firefox were getting obscene amounts of money, but they were doing an Internet Explorer on us - before Chrome arrived.
> "if your not willing to roll up your sleeves and contribute at least a commit of code to a project, I don't see how that person has any relevance whatsoever"
Oh deary dear. Even if your definition of 'code' was to include everything that can be committed to version control system (sound like it doesn't) you still need to be enlightened. Yes programmers are wonderful and you could argue the 'Open Source' ethos has relegated them to the status of mere code-jockeys but we'd have to save that argument for another day. You seem to be grudgingly on the point of accepting that testing (but no pesky testers thank-you-very-much) has some peripheral role to play in the development process - so you have some way to go before you get to grips with the general software-development landscape in the 21st century.
111 • 109, $$$ (by Jon Wright on 2013-06-21 05:40:11 GMT from Vietnam)
> "If the program does not evolve in the way they want, they can pay another developer to start a fork."
That word 'pay': you'll find there are quite a few substitutes that don't involve $$$.
112 • $$$ (by Magic Banana on 2013-06-21 12:06:09 GMT from Brazil)
@111: We were taking the case of users with no software development skill. If they want to have another developer start a fork, they will need to convince her. If she is not a user of that program herself (the premise would turn wrong), she will probably not work on it without a retribution.
113 • Hope this will not happen to any Linux distribution (by meanpt on 2013-06-21 12:08:32 GMT from Portugal)
.. but would not be amazed to see if something also happened, at least, with that NSA distribution which from time to time pops up in the main page section. Not to mention that BSD story that was around sometime ago. While the code is open, many things may be privately added before compilation and distribution. And we still rely on the reliance itself.
"The US Uses Vulnerability Data for Offensive Purposes"
"Companies allow US intelligence to exploit vulnerabilities before it patches them: Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the world's largest software company, provides intelligence agencies with information about bugs in its popular software before it publicly releases a fix, according to two people familiar with the process. That information can be used to protect government computers and to access the computers of terrorists or military foes"
The complete article is here:
114 • LPS (by Dave Postles on 2013-06-21 18:13:09 GMT from United Kingdom)
Re-113. Yes, who would trust Lightweight Portable Security? When Snowden released the PowerPoint (vomit) presentations, some people responded that they looked too amateurish to be authentic. Well, LPS looks like shit and it might be suspected that it is deliberately made to look rudimentary to convey an idea of functionalism. What's inside it?
115 • so...how many wifi cards do I need to buy for my laptop? (by firstname.lastname@example.org on 2013-06-21 22:53:28 GMT from Mexico)
Because the first two I bought do not work with Linux.
And can anybody explain how to replace the integrated video card on my laptop, to have one that is Linux Compatible?
Buying new cards or a new laptop is a bogus suggestion anyway. If the card is not supported the question should be why, not "oh just go buy some other hardware."
You'd think video and wifi to be basic functionality? Not so with the latest kernels.
Adding firmware isn't the solution, first the kernel claims to support both cards but it does not and secondly even if the proprietary firmware is installed it doesn't work.
Now maybe it's a WPA supplicant or networkmanager/wicd issue but the point is Trisquel, Debian or Ubunut need to do some testing for basic functionality before releasing their iso's to the world.
As for flash, java and other web plug ins that make a system actually usable for regular work (instead of hobby time experimentation) it's not as difficult as it used to be to get the real thing working, which is good. Gnash was so named because you'll gnash your teeth trying to get it to function. I wouldn't bother with Gnash or ice tea.
Meanwhile instead of focusing on functionality, as of late developers seem to be busy pulling a Microsoft - focus on pretty looking desktops that don't have half the capabilities of those before. Very frustrating.
116 • @115 - testing (by greg on 2013-06-24 06:54:51 GMT from Slovenia)
Testing is done by community. did you test the chips and report they do not work so someone can fix them?
furthermore why should the OS be responsible for the bad drivers when it is clearly the manufacturer's job to provide good drivers for their devices.
Number of Comments: 116
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|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): AdĂ©lie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Full list of all issues|
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MidnightBSD is a FreeBSD-derived operating system. A critical goal of the project is to create an easy-to-use desktop environment with graphical ports management, and system configuration using GNUstep. The vast majority of the operating system will maintain a BSD license. MidnightBSD was forked from FreeBSD 6.1 beta.