| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 513, 24 June 2013
Welcome to this year's 25th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! ROSA is a Russian Linux distribution project which purchased many of Mandriva's assets in 2012 and which now develops a Linux distribution, originally forked from Mandriva, under its own brand name. One of its edition is called "Desktop Fresh", a name that indicates a stable base with a regularly renewed top layer, a somewhat experimental variant with shorter support terms than what those of the company's enterprise-class editions. Jesse Smith takes a look at the distribution's latest stable release, version 2012 R1, in today's feature article. In the news section, PC-BSD announces the drop of the i386 architecture from future development, CentOS resurrects the Xen hypervisor in the new Xen4CentOS6 special release, and Mageia's Anne Nicolas looks forward towards Mageia 4 in an interview that covers a wide range of topics. Also in this issue, an interesting comparison of two popular Puppy Linux flavours, a Question and Answers session dealing with command-line shells, and an introduction to OpenMandriva, a new community distribution that attempts to recreate the former glory of Mandriva Linux. Happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First look at ROSA 2012 R1 "Desktop Fresh"
The ROSA distribution is a fork of Mandriva and one of the project's editions is called "Desktop Fresh". This branch of the ROSA project "is targeted at advanced users and enthusiasts who will appreciate rich functionality and freshness of distribution components without serious loss of quality." Or, put another way, ROSA Fresh tries to deliver up to date packages combined with user friendly technology, much of it developed by Mandriva with some new features added by the ROSA team. The new release of Fresh includes a few interesting features, including support for the Steam game portal as well as Azure and Hyper-V support. This version comes with the KDE 4.10 desktop and is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds. The install image for ROSA Desktop Fresh is 1.5 GB in size and does double duty as a live DVD.
Booting from the disc brings up a menu asking if we would like to launch the ROSA live environment or run the distribution's system installer. There is a third option which is to boot from the local hard drive and I was surprised to find booting from the local drive is the default option. This actually makes a good deal of sense as it means if we install the distribution and forget to eject the disc (or USB thumb drive) that we will still boot into the local installation of ROSA. Opting to run the live desktop brings us to a series of screens asking us to read the distribution's license agreement, set our time zone and confirm our keyboard's layout. From there we are brought to the KDE desktop. The theme is bright and the background is a nice, light blue. At the bottom of the display we find the application menu, some quick-launch icons and the task switcher. One of the first things I did was seek out the system installer and attempt to launch it. When I clicked on the system installer icon a pop-up appeared which simply said "password invalid" and the installer closed. Given this reception I decided to reboot the machine and try running the system installer from the live disc's boot menu.
At first the installer walks us through the same configuration screens we saw when running the live environment. We select our preferred language, confirm we've read the license agreement and confirm our time zone. Then we are asked to partition the hard disk. The installer's partition manager is quite friendly and will either automate the partitioning process or allow us to manually divide up the disk. The manual option is pretty straight forward and supports most Linux file systems, plus RAID and LVM setups. The partition manager also supports encryption of file systems, though it doesn't appear to allow the encryption of the root file system. The installer copies the distribution's files to the hard drive and then asks us where the GRUB2 boot loader should be installed. This screen doesn't give us much in the way of choices as the only location I could select for the boot loader was the disk's MBR and it did not appear to be possible to skip the installation of GRUB.
For the most part I quite liked the installer as it is straight forward and fairly intuitive. My only serious complaint came about when I clicked on the installer's Help button. It appears the system installer's documentation is not on the disc and must be downloaded from ROSA's repositories. This is likely to pose problems for people who don't have a network connection or who connect to password-protected networks. At any rate, the help files downloaded and were displayed in the background, behind the installer's window. As there doesn't appear to be any way to switch between windows or minimize the installer's window this means most of the documentation's window is hidden by the installer and, therefore, not very helpful.
After GRUB 2 is installed we are prompted to reboot the system and ROSA launches a first-run wizard. The wizard asks us to set a password for the root account and create a regular user account. We are also asked to give our computer a name and then we are shown a list of network services which may be enabled. The list of services includes OpenSSH, Samba, OpenVPN and the CUPS printing service. Once we have toggled the services on/off the wizard closes and we are presented with a graphical login screen.
ROSA 2012 R1 "Desktop Fresh" - the Application menu
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One of the first aspects of ROSA to catch my eye was the application menu. The standard KDE menu has been replaced with a custom, full screen menu that resembles the Unity Dash or GNOME Shell's menu. The ROSA menu is divided into three sections. On the first screen we see icons for recently used applications and folder locations. The second screen is dedicated to showing us the icons of installed programs. The third screen is called TimeFrame and is disabled by default. Enabling TimeFrame reveals that this third screen shows us indexed files in our home directory. Files can be filtered based on their type and the date they were created. Oddly enough I found that while applications could be searched for by typing a name or description, the same could not be said for documents. If I clicked over to the TimeFrame screen there was no way to locate files based on their name. This minor inconvenience aside I found I liked the ROSA menu, perhaps more so than Unity's Dash or GNOME Shell. I felt ROSA's menu was faster to draw itself and respond to input. I also found the menu worked well whether I was using the mouse or the keyboard which meant, whichever one I was using, I didn't have to switch to get the full benefit of the menu's features.
Another interesting design choice, one which sets ROSA apart from its parent distribution, is the way the developers handled system settings. Mandriva, and many other distributions which ship with the KDE desktop, tend to separate settings into two categories and, in fact, two different control panels. Settings related to a particular user or to the KDE environment are usually handled through the KDE System Settings panel. Utilities relating to the rest of the operating system such as user accounts, package management and the firewall are handled through separate applications or a different control centre. ROSA has merged the two, placing the system administration controls inside the KDE System Settings panel which means users have a one-stop, searchable location for all configuration options.
Some other projects, typically GNOME- or Unity-focused distributions, have made similar attempts and I like having one panel for all settings as opposed to the divided approach used by Mandriva. The system admin tools which come with ROSA are all quite user friendly and easy to navigate. They allow us to manage most aspect of the system, handle services, create user accounts, manage the firewall and manipulate software packages. There are also parental controls and printer management thrown into the mix. Most of these configuration modules worked well for me, the one exception being the distribution's graphical package manager.
ROSA 2012 R1 "Desktop Fresh" - system and desktop settings
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On the surface the ROSA graphical package manager looks promising. It has a clean, simple layout with categories of software down the left side of the window. Over on the right we see lists of software available in the selected category. Near the top of the window we find a drop-down box which lets us filter software. By default we are shown only graphical desktop applications, but we can adjust the filter to show all available packages, all updates or just security updates. Users can click on a checkbox next to a package's name to mark the package for installation or removal.
So far, so good. Where I ran into problems was the distribution's repositories would frequently get out of sync with the package data stored on my system. This meant that if I opened the package manager and selected a program, say the Deja-dup backup utility, the package manager would tell me the package had dependencies which couldn't be resolved. Other times I'd search for all available updates and be told none were available, but upon closing the package manager there would be an icon sitting in the system tray informing me security updates were, in fact, available. Manually refreshing my repository information corrected these problems. Another minor annoyance I ran into with regards to packages was that newly installed programs wouldn't show up in the application menu. Once a program had been installed I had to log out and log in back into my account in order to see the freshly installed program's icon in the application menu.
A moment ago I mentioned the user is notified of security updates via an icon in the system tray. Clicking on this icon brings up a window which lists updated packages in the repositories which can be installed. We can select which items we want to download and then let the update app go to work. I found that during my trial the update program worked quickly and I encountered no problems from applying all available updates provided over the course of the week.
While I was using ROSA I noticed an icon in the system tray which looked like a tiny cloud. Clicking this icon brought up a window asking if I would like to sign in to something called ROSA 2Safe or register an account. Clicking the register button opened my web browser and displayed a page which explained some of the features of 2Safe. Apparently 2Safe is a cloud storage service, similar to Dropbox or Ubuntu One. I attempted to create an account, however each time I tried to register an account I was met with error messages and I eventually gave in trying to sign up for 2Safe.
ROSA 2012 R1 "Desktop Fresh" - filtering software packages
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ROSA comes with a collection of popular applications. We're given the Firefox web browser, the Thunderbird e-mail client and LibreOffice. The K3b disc burning software is included along with the Amarok music player, the ROSA Media Player and a document viewer. It ships with popular multimedia codecs and the Adobe Flash player. The Kopete instant messenger client is installed for us as is the KTorrent BitTorrent client. Network Manager is available to help us get us on-line and the KPPP dial-up networking software is provided out of the box. The YouMagic software phone is installed for us along with a system monitor, GParted and a collection of small games. I found an archive manager, text editor and virtual calculator in the application menu and the GNU Compiler Collection is installed for us. The distribution comes with the KDE System Settings panel and a full range of user friendly system configuration tools. Behind the scenes we find the Linux kernel, version 3.8.
I tried running ROSA on my desktop machine (dual-core 2.8 GHz CPU, 6 GB of RAM, Radeon video card, Realtek network card) and in a virtual machine powered by VirtualBox. I found it ran in the virtual environment with no problems. Sound worked out of the box, my desktop was set to its maximum resolution and performance was better than I would usually expect from a distribution running KDE with indexing and visual effects enabled. When I tried to run it on my physical hardware, however, the distribution was not able to boot. This limited my experiment as I was confined to running the distribution in a virtual machine only. I found the distro used slightly more memory than most distributions I've run up to this point and logging into the KDE desktop required approximately 325 MB of memory.
Running ROSA this past week was my first experience with an edition of ROSA and the experience was frequently frustrating. Not because it is a bad distribution, quite the opposite. Rather ROSA has some wonderfully welcome features and great design concepts and it includes several features I am happy to see. The problem is that while this release includes some great utilities and designs they often fall short due to bugs or a lack of polish. Put another way, I was often impressed with the design of ROSA and regularly let down by the implementation. As an example, the system installer used by ROSA is quite easy to use and should be pretty painless, even for novice users. On the other hand, ROSA refused to run on my desktop computer. I'm glad to see other distributions besides Ubuntu get into the cloud storage and services game, it's nice to have competition in this area, but I was unable to register an account.
The application menu felt well designed to me. I found I liked ROSA's full-screen desktop menu and navigating it felt more intuitive to me than using either Unity's Dash or GNOME Shell. As an added bonus ROSA's menu works smoothly without 3-D video support. However, ROSA's application menu didn't update when I installed new applications unless I logged out and then back in and some apps didn't show up at all. In addition I found it odd that users cannot use the TimeFrame screen of the menu to search for files by name, but we can search by type and the time a file was created. I love that ROSA combines the KDE System Settings panel with Mandriva's Control Centre and I think this is a great idea. ... There is no down side here, this approach was well executed and I am happy to see a KDE-focused Linux distribution realize most users will be more comfortable dealing with one control panel rather than two.
The impression I've received from ROSA is that they, like Canonical, are trying to develop a full product line based on Linux. They have a supported desktop offering, an experimental desktop, a server edition and cloud services. ROSA has put together an elegant desktop solution that is attractive and easy to use. Unfortunately this release has several rough edges at the moment, but I am really looking forward to trying ROSA again in about a year. If they can smooth out some of the features and improve upon this design they will have a desktop platform that is hard to beat.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
PC-BSD discards i386 architecture, CentOS resurrects Xen hypervisor, Puppy "Slacko" and "Precise" comparison, interview with Mageia's Anne Nicolas
PC-BSD, a desktop-oriented operating system based on FreeBSD, has been through some interesting changes recently, including a switch to a rolling-release development model. Still, the installation images need to be periodically updated and the good news is that it is likely to happen within a week or two. Kris Moore, the project's founder and lead developer, has published an interesting update that also suggests a drop of the i386 architecture from the future development roadmap: "In addition to re-focusing on solely on ZFS as our default file system, we have had to take a look at the feasibility of continuing with the i386 builds. As many of you know, ZFS is a 21st century operating system that doesn't play nicely with the legacy i386 kernel / versions of FreeBSD. In addition, over the past couple years, more and more of time-consuming issues we've encountered have been only on i386, partly due to the fact that most FreeBSD developers have already moved on to 64-bit systems and also due to the quickly shrinking number of users / systems that still run i386. In order to make PC-BSD and TrueOS secure, stable and timely, we've decided to drop the i386 builds going forward, and instead focus on a single 64-bit architecture. This means that the next editions of rolling-release and 9.2 onward will be 64-bit only."
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Some interesting news regarding Xen, a virtualisation platform that was originally included in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.x series, but replaced in the distribution's current release by KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine). It might come as a surprise to some that CentOS, the most popular of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux clones, is attempting to resurrect Xen in the form of a special Xen4CentOS6 release. Karanbir Singh explains: "The Xen4CentOS6 project is a collaborative effort between the Xen Project, the Citrix Xen development teams, the CentOS Project team, GoDaddy Cloud operations group and RackSpace Hosting to package, deliver and maintain a stable Xen hypervisor and its related tooling for CentOS 6, enabling CentOS 6/x86_64 to be used as a dom0, base platform to host Xen in paravirt and fullvirt deployment roles. We have tried to ensure that existing tooling that users have in production written again xm/xend will continue to work, while also adding support for the newer xenlight (xl) layers. Most libvirt functions also continue to work on Xen4CentOS6 as they did on Xen3 CentOS 5, enabling users to easily migrate their infrastructure over from CentOS 5 to 6. A second primary principle we are working against is to build and deliver a Linux kernel based on the 3.4 LTS release, stabilised via testing, with enhanced Xen support as recommended by the Xen development team."
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The enormous versatility of Puppy Linux has resulted in a variety of editions that are compatible with packages and package repositories of major distributions, such as Ubuntu or Slackware Linux. But it has also created a confusion. Which of the many Puppy editions is best for my needs? Dedoimedo's Igor Ljubuncic attempts an interesting comparison between the Slackware-based "Slacko" and the Ubuntu-based "Precise" editions: "My musical wittiness knows no limits. Anyhow, today, I'd like to review, not one, but two flavors of Puppy Linux, the quintessential live distro of them all. Finding the right version of this fine little beastling can be tricky, especially figuring out the little differences between Precise and Slackware builds, PAE and non-PAE kernels and more than 4 GB thingie, as well as the importance of Quirky, Racy, and Wary, you then reach the finest level of granularity, which only refers to the version numbers, of which there are quite a few. Last but not the least, you are faced with the official site, mirrors and outdated sites, which can further complicate your decision what you are about to do right now. If you ignore all these details, and just follow my link above, then you can find the latest version 5.6 based on Precise kernel, as well as version 5.5 based on Slackware. And this is what we do here. A double review, in one article."
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Finally, a link to an interview with Anne Nicolas, a former Director of Engineering at Mandriva and current Mageia board member: "Q: Mageia 3 is now out. Do you feel relieved? A: Well releasing a new version is always a big stress for everybody. This time the list of release-critical bugs was huge due to the big moves we made. When we speak about release-critical bugs we speak about bugs that cannot be fixed through further updates. It deals mainly with install media and all their components but also with all the upgrade process. While we knew it could happen, we just faced a bottleneck in our development and packaging process for all the Mageia specific tools like installer, MCC, rescue system... Very few people do have a global knowledge for it as it's a huge piece of software. About 317,000 code lines for all these tools in 2 or 3 brains only :). We are working at the moment to find a solution and have a development team focused on it." The interview also covers the improvements in Mageia 3, marketing issues, planning for the next version, and a number of other topics.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
All about shells
In-search-of-a-new-way asks: Is there a benefit to using one command line shell over another? Why might someone want to change their default shell?
DistroWatch answers: There are reasons to choose one shell over another, though I suspect to a lot of people it will not matter which shell they are using. People who use the command line to simply move files or launch simple programs won't notice much difference between shells. Usually the differences come to light when writing scripts or making use of more exotic shell functions. At that point choosing a shell largely comes down to personal preference.
As an example, when I first started using Linux I already had experience with the C programming language. Two of the commonly used shells, csh and tcsh, use a somewhat C-like syntax in scripts. This made tcsh a good match for me when I first started working with Linux. Over time I noticed most distributions defaulted to the bash shell and, since many other administrators were writing scripts using bash, it made sense for me to put effort into learning how to use bash too. Personally I can't say I currently have a preference for one or the other.
I've seen some people post benchmarks on forums demonstrating that one command line shell is faster than others at performing certain tasks. This is an interesting academic exercise, but since people rarely use shell scripts where performance is a serious factor I don't recommend choosing one's shell based on performance benchmarks. In the end, the shell is going to spend 99.9% of its time waiting for the user to type something, so syntax and style will carry greater weight than raw speed.
When in doubt, I would stick with the default shell provided by your operating system. That makes life easier when you need help or when you want to swap command line tips with other users or members of your distribution's community. I've also run into a few cases were an application assumed the user's shell was the system's default and produced unexpected behaviour when the default shell wasn't in use. If you're feeling experimental, then by all means, install a few shells and try them. Chances are you will find one that acts in a manner which feel intuitive or which has a syntax you find easier to read compared with the others.
A word of warning with regards to changing the default shell. It is not a good idea to change the root user's (or primary user's) shell. Some utilities may make assumptions about which shell the root account will use. In addition, if something goes serious wrong on the system you may find your custom shell is not on the same partition as your root file system. This is why the default shell is traditionally stored in the /bin directory as opposed to another location, such as /usr/bin, which might be mounted from a different location. If your system can't mount the partition where your shell's executable is stored then it becomes more difficult to begin repairs. Long story short: don't change the root user's shell.
|Released Last Week
Bridge Linux 2013.06
Dalton Miller has announced the availability of Bridge Linux 2013.06, an Arch-based Linux distribution available in four separate flavours (with Xfce, GNOME, KDE and LXDE desktops) and now also featuring Pacaur, a simple and powerful package management wrapper for Arch Linux packages: "Announcing Bridge Linux 2013.06. This update was mostly just a re-package, but there were a few changes still. Update overview: switched from Packer to Pacaur (don't worry, it's aliased in ~/.bashrc for a while); removed LXMed due to Java dependency; switched to official font packages, no more recompiling the AUR version." Here is the brief release announcement.
Bridge Linux 2013.06 - the default Xfce desktop
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Arjen Balfoort has announced the release of SolydXK 201306, an updated version of the project's desktop Linux distribution with Xfce (SolydX) or KDE (SolydK) based on Debian's "testing" branch: "The new SolydXK ISO images include the latest updates from June's Update Pack. Changes: thanks to forum users the following applications are now localized into Spanish, Catalán, German and Dutch - Device Driver Manager (DDM), Debian Plymouth Manager, LightDM Manager, Software Manager, Welcome Screen; the Steam installer has been removed, and Steam installed, thus leaving out a step to install Steam before you can start playing; Blueman has been removed, it showed in the system stray even if you didn't have Bluetooth running; Java has been upgraded to the latest version...." Read the rest of the release announcement for more changes.
Kai Hendry has announced the release of Webconverger 20.0, a new version of the Debian-based distribution designed solely for Internet browsing and for using web-based applications (e.g. Google Docs): "Please download Webconverger 20, our stable update release, featuring: Firefox 21 updates and Flash security updates; a dist-upgrade, based on Progress Linux 2.0; an a bit of a diet, 441 MB to 357 MB, saving about 60 MB by removing files you won't need; wide scrollbars options for touch screen deployments; tweaks to force viewing PDFs inline; customer configurations are now fetched over SSL. If you are using the recommended Install version of Webconverger, you should seamlessly upgrade incrementally day by day as Webconverger is updated. In other words, an installed Webconverger is maintenance free." Read the full release announcement for further information and screenshots.
Linux Deepin 12.12
Li Hong Wu has announced the release of Linux Deepin 12.12, an Ubuntu-based desktop distribution featuring the Deepin desktop environment (based on GNOME Shell) and available in English and Chinese (simplified and traditional) variants: "Yes, the long wait is finally over and a new stable and awesome release of Linux Deepin, version 12.12, is ready for you. After a year of hard work, we are happy to bring you a free operating system with the unique Deepin touch - stable, easy and elegant. Linux Deepin 12.12 features a brand-new desktop environment, called DDE or Deepin Desktop Environment, an enhanced Deepin Software Center, as well as DMusic, DPlayer and DSnapshot." Read the full release announcement to find out more about the Deepin desktop environment and other features, and to view screenshots.
Linux Deepin 12.12 - an Ubuntu-based distribution from China
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Caixa Mágica 20
Flavio Moringa has announced the release of Linux Caixa Mágica 12.12, a new version of the Portuguese project's Ubuntu-based distribution with GNOME 3 optimised for home and office deployment and enhanced with various tweaks and extra software for use in Portugal: "Linux Caixa Mágica 20 is now available for download. You can get it from our Linux Caixa Mágica download page by selecting the version from the drop-down menu. This new version brings updates to all packages, new installation options (like LVM support), latest hardware support, and global performance improvements among many other things. For the main software packages you have Linux kernel 3.8, GNOME 3.6.3, LibreOffice 4.0.2, Firefox 21, Chromium 25.0.1364.160, LibreOffice full manual (Portuguese only) and much more...." Read the release announcement (the Portuguese version is available here) for more information.
Caixa Mágica 20 - an Ubuntu-based distribution from Portugal
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And updated build of antiX, a lightweight Debian-based distribution designed for older and low-specification computers, has been released: "The antiX team is pleased to announce the first update of antiX 13 (code name 'Luddite'), based on Debian 'Wheezy'. This update includes those made upstream in Debian 'Wheezy' and various bug fixes specific to antiX: 64-bit kernel recompiled so non-free drivers will build in 'Wheezy'; 64-bit alert message when booting 32-bit ISO image fixed; 'ghost' window fix in IceWM; GUI installer should write correct GRUB entries for any other installed OS; GUI installer should set correct keyboard; more options to enable and disable services at boot; added cdw and Calcurse to IceWM menu; fixed missing icons from IceWM menu; Gufw firewall configuration fixed...." See the project's news page to read the rest of the changelog.
Slackel KDE-4.10.4 "Live"
Dimitris Tzemos has announced the release of Slackel KDE-4.10.4 "Live" edition, a Slackware-based live DVD featuring the latest KDE desktop: "Slackel KDE-4.10.4 Live has been released. A collection of two KDE live ISO images that can be burned to a DVD or used with a USB drive are immediately available. The Slackel live DVD images include the Linux kernel. Slackel KDE-4.10.4 Live includes the 'Current' tree of Slackware and KDE 4.10.4 accompanied by a very rich collection of KDE-centric software. Firefox 21.0, KMail, KTorrent, Akregator, Kopete... In the multimedia section VLC 2.0.6, Clementine 1.1.1, K3b 2.0.2 are included. The Salix codecs installer application can be used to quickly and easily install patent-encumbered codecs to your system. Calligra Words, Calligra Stage, Calligra Tables are the main office applications present." Here is the full release announcement.
ROSA 2012 R1 "Desktop Fresh LXDE"
Ekaterina Lopukhova has announced the release of ROSA 2012 R1 "Desktop Fresh LXDE" edition, a lightweight Linux distribution for the desktop: "ROSA is glad to announce a further expansion of ROSA Desktop Fresh R1 distribution series - an update of its distribution based on lightweight desktop environment, LXDE. This distribution uses the same code base as the recently-released ROSA Desktop Fresh R1. The main difference is a tendency to be minimalistic while preserving flexibility and usability. The new version includes only really necessary software and is built with the 'the easier the faster' principle in mind - high work speed is achieved at the expense of simple interface and absence of effects. The release is based on the time-proved GTK+ 2 framework, though some components are using the latest developments from GTK+ 3 and GNOME 3." Read the rest of the release announcement for further details.
IPFire 2.13 Core 69
Michael Tremer has announced the release of IPFire 2.13 Core 69, a new stable version of the project's specialist Linux distribution for firewalls and routers: "Today, the IPFire development team released the 69th Core update for IPFire 2. This update comes with a new kernel and some minor enhancements. The Linux kernel has been updated to address several security issues and other bugs. The kernel is based on Linux 3.2.46 and comes with a newer wireless stack from kernel 3.8.3. Some wireless hardware has got better support in term of stability and we have added some more drivers for several networking hardware like USB Ethernet adaptors and so on. The install disk has got a new bootloader where you now can install other versions of IPFire as well. There are also some diagnostic tools and other installation options available." Here is the full release announcement.
PCLinuxOS 2013.06 "LXDE", "Full Monty"
Bill Reynolds has announced the release of PCLinuxOS 2013.06 "LXDE" edition: "PCLinuxOS LXDE 2013.06 is now available for 64-bit, as well as 32-bit systems. Features: Linux kernel 3.4.49 for maximum desktop performance; full LXDE desktop; NVIDIA and ATI fglrx driver support; multimedia playback support for many popular formats; wireless support for many network devices; printer support for many local and networked printer devices; addlocale allows you to convert PCLinuxOS into over 60 languages; LibreOfficeManager can install LibreOffice supporting over 100 languages; MyLiveCD allows you to take a snapshot of your installation and burn it to a live CD or DVD...." Read the rest of the release notes for highlighted applications, hardware requirements and screenshots.
Calculate Linux 13.6
Alexander Tratsevskiy has announced the release of Calculate Linux 13.6, an updated release of the Gentoo-based distribution for desktops (with KDE or Xfce), servers and media centres: "Calculate Linux 13.6 has been released to celebrate the 6th anniversary of the project. Main changes and fixes: desktop systems now boot up several times faster, thanks to scheduling optimization for start-up services and parallel boot-up; encryption of home directories is now supported; in CLDX, multiple users can login to one client; LightDM now comes as the default display manager in CLDX; Xarchiver was replaced with File Roller; better support of multimedia keyboards; software update - Linux kernel 3.9.6, KDE 4.10.4, LibreOffice 4.0.4, Chromium 28.0.1500.45." The release announcement.
Zorin OS 7 "Educational"
Artyom Zorin has announced the release of Zorin OS 7 "Educational" edition, a 32-bit only, Ubuntu-based distribution focusing on the needs of educational institutions: "The Zorin OS team has released the Educational, Business, Multimedia and Gaming editions of Zorin OS 7. 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 and an enormous design overhaul. The Zorin Look Changer is integrated into Zorin OS 7, which allows users to choose between the Windows 7, XP and GNOME 2 graphical interfaces in the Educational edition. As always, Zorin OS 7 uses the Zorin Desktop environment with Zorin Menu for unparalleled customization and ease-of-use. Zorin OS 7 is based on Ubuntu 13.04." Here is the brief release announcement.
Linux Lite 1.0.6
Jerry Bezencon has announced the release of Linux Lite 1.0.6, a lightweight desktop Linux distribution with Xfce, based on Ubuntu 12.04: "Linux Lite 1.0.6 final released. This is our most feature-packed release to date. We've relied heavily on feedback from the community to help guide the development of Linux Lite 1.0.6. New features include easier networking setup between Linux Lite and Windows or other Linux operating systems, a system report tool to help troubleshoot problems, support for scanners, Bluetooth and a brand-new login screen. The Help and Support Manual is our most comprehensive to date and is available both offline and online. Changelog: Firefox 21.0, Linux kernel 3.2-pae; added 'Drives' shortcut to home folder; added Show Desktop button; added support for iDevices; added right click 'Open as Administrator' to Thunar; replaced wicd with NetworkManager...." Here is the brief release announcement.
Linux Lite 1.0.6 - an Ubuntu-based distribution with Xfce
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database|
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New distributions added to waiting list
- Rogue Class Linux. Rogue Class Linux is a Slackware-based toy Linux distribution for playing games and reading books. It has a streamlined installer and it supports joystick controls in most of the programs. The distribution favours turn-based games, such as puzzles and rogue-like games.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 1 July 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 • OpenMandriva (by Zybersun on 2013-06-24 09:58:43 GMT from United States) |
So Mandriva now has OpenMadriva, which is not based on Mandriva itself but based on a Mandriva fork, ROSA. I would like to say huh? Has Mandriva gotten that bad they won't even base anything on it or am I missing something here?
2 • PC-BSD (by Fencemeister717 on 2013-06-24 11:30:42 GMT from United States)
The decision to drop 386 from future builds certainly is a sad event. Particularly in light of the snooping by the powers that be and the need for a superior OS as far as safety goes. As a blogger, I find my peace of mind a bit jilted. I suppose I'll be seeking out another option for that particular desktop. I already use GhostBSD on my other 386 desktop so I suppose I'll put it on this one too. At least until Erik can no longer tweak it to work for us. Besides, Ghost has a CD sized version for those of us "po' folk" who can't afford upgraded machines. Anyways, thanks for all your efforts PC-BSD
3 • Rosa Application Menu (by DavidEF on 2013-06-24 11:51:07 GMT from United States)
Interesting to see that Rosa, while using KDE, has changed the appearance of the Application Menu so that it "resembles the Unity Dash or GNOME Shell's menu." It seems the Gnome folks and Canonical aren't the only ones who think it's a better way to present menu choices. I know for myself, I always have had a tendency toward well-spaced, large icons for my application menus, even in Windows XP and Seven. I do think the Dash still needs to be polished up a bit. It still takes more effort than it should to get the menu entry I'm looking for sometimes, using the search function.
4 • Open Mandriva (by Dave Postles on 2013-06-24 12:08:41 GMT from United Kingdom)
@ #1 I think you are missing something. Mandriva already had the Rosa features before OpenMandriva, I believe, as they collaborated closely.
5 • @4 OpenMandriva (by DavidEF on 2013-06-24 13:38:56 GMT from United States)
Dave, I think post #1 was talking from the standpoint of the anouncement above about OpenMandriva as a new distribution added to waiting list. The second sentence says "It is based on ROSA, a Russian Linux distribution project which forked Mandriva Linux in 2012, incorporating many of Mandriva's original tools and utilities and adding in-house enhancements." which actually makes both of you right, sorta.
6 • Farewell 32 bit architecture (by BAM on 2013-06-24 14:02:32 GMT from United States)
The 32 bit architecture is obsolete. New builds of Win7 and Ubuntu, where I work are 64bit. Any laptop with 2 cpus are being upgraded to 64bit. The i386 has been obsolete for at least three years. For those who need 32bit. download a copy of your favorite O/S and burn to CD or DVD, for future use. Update your current system and use Remastersys.
@4-you are correct.
7 • PC-BSD (by silent on 2013-06-24 14:18:19 GMT from France)
I tried a recent rolling release snapshot of PC-BSD. It didn't work with my integrated Intel video card, only with the vesa driver or after some tweaking. Otherwise the monitor just lost the video signal during booting. Switching to rolling release may require a new approach to testing. On the other hand, I think that building a desktop from stable vanilla FreeBSD is easy and transparent. I hope that they are not going to switch to systemd anytime soon;).
8 • ROSA and Zorin (by Shashi Warrier on 2013-06-24 14:31:59 GMT from India)
For the past few months I've been trying out distros on a Toshiba C850 Satellite laptop. I've tried out both ROSA and Zorin in the last few days - live and installed versions in both cases - and find your review of ROSA spot-on. Some of the ideas are great but implementation is spotty. For instance, I tried to install FBReader using urpmi and failed, getting different sets of error messages each time. Calibre came on fine, though.
Zorin, for all its claims of being configurable, isn't. The dock options aren't anywhere near as good as the gnome-2 panel options. For all its failings, though, it has a solid feel to it.
Both distros are a little slow on underpowered computers (like mine). I don't mind because I'm a writer and like to fiddle with software while thinking out a story in the back of my mind, but anyone impatient to get on with the job would do well to put these distros on a fast machine with plenty of RAM and a good quick hard disk.
9 • ROSA and OpenMandriva (by Carlos Felipe on 2013-06-24 14:36:36 GMT from Brazil)
What's the difference between ROSA and OpenMandriva?
10 • Puppy (by Hugo Masse on 2013-06-24 15:09:33 GMT from Mexico)
So, Dedoimedo set out to find out differences between Puppy editions and only found that he liked one set of icons better than the other (which can be changed in a few clicks)? he he he, c'mon!
He's right about one thing, though: Puppy Linux is phenomenal, no wonder why it's always near the top ten in DW's list and in my son's usb thumbdrive... he loves playing around with it while he's unadvertedly learning Linux! Kudos to Barry!!
11 • Re: Zorin OS 7 (by eco2geek on 2013-06-24 15:13:45 GMT from United States)
I really like Zorin 7's default desktop, as well as its GNOME panel mode. (The distro is based on Ubuntu 13.04, so it's not actually GNOME 2 at all, it's GNOME 3.6's "fallback mode" with Compiz for effects.) It's fast, and it looks good, as did Zorin 6.
There are two problems with it, though, which have been brought up by other people in prior DWW comment threads. First of all, it uses AWN (Avant Window Navigator), which hasn't seen an update since 2010 and, AFAICT, isn't even in Ubuntu 13.04's repositories. Second, fallback mode no longer exists in GNOME 3.8.
It would be interesting to hear from the distro's developers how they plan on overcoming those two potential obstacles to Zorin OS's future.
12 • Webconverger (by Ismail Arslangiray on 2013-06-24 15:58:18 GMT from United States)
I downloaded and installed it. You can not even test it without making payments
13 • @ #7 (by Pierre on 2013-06-24 17:08:19 GMT from Germany)
I think that systemd is not such a bad thing. It's not difficult to edit a config file to deal with daemons. To deal with every deamon the same way, and being able to handle every single aspect via one utility with simple commands like systemctl start unit / systemctl stop unit / systemctl restart unit etc. nevertheless is a very nice and elegant way.
So maybe sometimes such things are only rejected because it is simply new and differnt to the way people got used to deal with deamons and services.
But this does not mean it's a bad thing or idea and I personally like systemd for delivering a unified way of handling services and deamons.
14 • @4 (by Zybersun on 2013-06-24 17:31:28 GMT from United States)
My point was why didn't they base it just on Mandriva then? I mean if they had the tools, or at least most of them, that ROSA now has, why base it on a fork rather than the "original?" So in reality this is not a fork from Mandriva but a fork from ROSA, which of course is forked from Mandriva. It is a bit misleading to call it OpenMandriva. Maybe calling it ROSA 2.0 would be more appropriate.
15 • Mandriva/Rosa (by Dave Postles on 2013-06-24 20:29:14 GMT from United Kingdom)
Mandriva used the Rosa modified-KDE desktop and panel in its last iterations. Mandriva and Rosa collaborated. It's called OpenMandriva presumably because it is being developed by the remaining people at Mandriva who didn't form Mageia. I suspect that all they mean is that they use the Rosa desktop and panel which was already in use in Mandriva.
16 • @15 (by Zybersun on 2013-06-24 21:12:39 GMT from United States)
I guess that makes sense. Mandriva always had a weird way of doing things. While I am more of a fan of Mageia I hope this works out for OpenMandriva.
17 • PC-BSD (by Franklin Adams on 2013-06-24 23:01:57 GMT from United States)
Good for them, I'm glad they're facing the future without having the anchor of i386 and other legacy architectures around their neck, given the size of their development community, its an unnecessary burden that they don't need. The Linux world can generally stand to learn a thing or two from the various BSDs and this is no exception.
And Bam, its the same situation with me. At work everything in Windows, BSD (including Darwin/MacOS) and Linux has gone to x86_64, including the servers. And when I think about it I haven't had a personal machine that wasn't x86_64 since the Athlon 64 came out in 2003. It just makes sense to move with the technology, and considering it is fairly mature technology, its about time.
18 • OpenMandriva (by uz64 on 2013-06-25 00:18:16 GMT from United States)
And there I was, thinking (hoping) that with a new name and project, OpenMandriva would return to its roots and ditch the retarded "Rosa" desktop and bring back its complete lack of flexibility that Mandriva put out. Oh well... there's always Mageia, which runs laps around it these days.
19 • Jesse Rosa (by mandog on 2013-06-25 00:48:28 GMT from Peru)
I downloaded Rosa Fresh at the weekend no problems installing on my 1212 amd6 core based system with nvidia GPU. In fact I was quite surprised, it found both my sound cards
HDMI and anolog. the sound card setup let me choice which card I want to use. The video card setup let me choose free or non free then offered to download the latest nvidia driver and set it up. I had a few updates. then installed a bunch of new aplications with no problem after I realized if you want to install the latest you need to click on the latest, A bit confusing but not hard to figure out. My biggest gripe is the settings menu great idea fully functional when it decides to give you the text up to a couple of mins? I found it fast but a bit heavy on memory if you don't have much but not excessive. The other gripe is RPM dependencies take VLC install It won't play much as you have to install every codec individually. Now take Arch Linux. pacman tells you if there are any extra codecs etc and lets you choose which ones to download, thats a advanced package manager.
20 • Deepin Linux (by Chanath on 2013-06-25 02:44:33 GMT from Sri Lanka)
I think you guys should look into Deepin Linux 12.12. It has an interesting menu shell, which feels much better than Gnome 3 or Unity shell. Its in one page, which you can scroll down, but the most interesting fact is when you bring your cursor to any category, it comes up without clicking. In all such shell type menus - Gnome shell, Rosa shell, Slingshot, Unity - I had seen yet, one has to click on a category to bring the contents up.
It has a user maunal, which is different fom any I've seen yet. It has some little bugs, just like any distro, but when you ask about it, the forum and the developers react very fast. A developer/foum memeber would say, he'd monitor the progress of correcting the bug and the user would get it asap.
Deepin's default colour scheme is softer, but you can choose any amount of wallpapers fom the links, its System Settings have. Deepin has quite a lot of new apps, Deepin Software center, Dplayer, Dmusic, Deepin System Settings etc
Its been a long time since I downloaded, say, a "cute" distro, which is really snappy. I wish the Deepin developers all the best.
21 • PC-BSD and i386 (by Thomas Mueller on 2013-06-25 03:29:26 GMT from United States)
One great downside of PC-BSD dropping i386 is losing the ability to run MS-Windows applications with wine. Currently, wine for 32-bit is much more developed than 64-bit wine, and building wine on FreeBSD amd64 requires building a 32-bit i386 system to run from /compat/i386 . I built wine just a day or two ago, haven't yet had time to run it. I never installed or ran PC-BSD, first because it was too heavy for my old computer with 256 MB RAM, also because I prefer to decide what applications I want to build from the FreeBSD ports system rather than let PC-BSD decide for me.
22 • 64bit Q (by Toran Korshnah on 2013-06-25 04:16:26 GMT from Belgium)
I suppose on 64bit Firefox is replaced by Waterfox or Pale Moon? Planning to return to Linux or BSD soon again. Just want to know, as Firefox is 32bit.
23 • Compiz... (by Chanath on 2013-06-25 04:43:23 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Ubuntu Unity is based on Compiz, and some other Ubuntu based distros are too, but Compiz is a dead project. So, it looks like that the Ubuntu devs ar emaintaining it for the time to keep Ubuntu Unity going. Deepin Linux also had forked Compiz, and changed the plugin behaviour for their disro. Would Wayland development catch up quickly?
24 • ROSA 2012 (by RollMeAway on 2013-06-25 05:04:33 GMT from United States)
Shouldn't that be 2013.6? Sounds like last years release.
I'm sure the ROSA menu filling the screen with large icons, satisfies the smart phone/tablet addicts. Choice is good.
Fortunately, the traditional kde menu can be easily added to the panel.
Having the mandriva control panel merged into the kde panel is nice, IF you run kde!
Should you choose LXDE, XFCE, e17, etc, NO control panel.
Tried to install "drakconf-legacy". It failed due to dependencies.
25 • Mandriva and OpenMandriva (by Vivek on 2013-06-25 05:27:17 GMT from India)
Mandriva doesn't have a free download today, only their SOHO edition. They based on in Mageia, but because of a breakdown of relations with Mageia, this is only a stop gap arrangement. They don't have the manpower to continue development themselves parallelly, so that's why they set up OpenMandriva, a fully community distro.
They could've simply based on ROSA directly, but having OpenMandriva as an intermediate allows ROSA to benefit as well. For example urmpi is planned to be replaced in OpenMandriva, something that won't happen first in ROSA. Plus patches from Mageia and PCLOS get passed on to ROSA.
So best to look at OpenMandriva as the Fedora of the Mandriva world. A complicated arrangement, but looking forward to seeing it work well. ROSA editions are complicated enough already, look at this link:
26 • @ 22 / 64 bit (by MZ on 2013-06-25 06:04:28 GMT from United States)
Firefox has been available in official 64bit builds for Linux for some time now:
Some versions of Linux don't see 32 bit as a priority, but I for one think it's good that many still have the option. I use old 32 bit hardware 24/7 for a firewall box between me & the internet, & I use it on an old 2.5 Ghz backup computer as well. There is loads of useful old hardware out there that still has lots of potential life left in it. I for one am glad that there are so many good Linux options around for those old machines.
27 • Deepin Desktop Environment (by Marcus on 2013-06-25 08:47:44 GMT from Switzerland)
The new Deepin Desktop Environment that has been introduced in 12.12 is not based on GNOME Shell but Compiz
28 • PC-BSD (by Pierre on 2013-06-25 11:19:59 GMT from Germany)
I highly appreciate the work done by the PC-BSD project. It makes for a good BSD alternative to most common Linux distributions. And it's nice to see that BSD has a good and easier to use alternative to most of the BSDs that are aimed at more advanced users.
Nevertheless I think I would prefer to dig into FreeBSD instead of let PC-BSD do most of this for me. Additionally the pbi packages are maybe a good idea but I cannot understand why they don't make use of pkg-ng, the next generation package manager that is delivered with FreeBSD and is as comfortable to use as the apt delivered with Debian.
Nevertheless, back to main topic: The focus on 64bit is a good choice for PC-BSD because it is quite heavy anyway and not really suitable for older hardware than 64bit computers. And since 32bit PCs are becoming rare it's no big loss either.
Just my two cents. :)
29 • 32 bit vs 64 bit (by dragonmouth on 2013-06-25 11:41:38 GMT from United States)
Oh, how quickly we dismiss older technology. Just because YOU happen to be using bleeding edge 64 bit system does not mean that everybody else in the world also has 64 bit system available to them. While not blazing fast PC-BSD and most Linux distros run quite well on 32 bit systems. There is no need just yet to consign 32 bit systems to running only Slitaz, DSL or Puppy.
30 • @29 (by Smellyman on 2013-06-25 12:06:23 GMT from United States)
64 bit is far from bleeding edge.
Deepin looks great, going to check it out now...
31 • "Fedora 19" RC2 is excellent (by Jeffersonian on 2013-06-25 14:55:31 GMT from United States)
Upgraded to Fedora 19 Beta, this was easy, seamless: everything still worked after the upgrade, this was easy, seamless: everything still worked after the upgrade. This is probably the first time I had a successful Linux distro major version upgrade, with any Linux distro (I used many) and hope that Fedora will keep this valuable feature working.
Tried several windows managers, including razor-qt.
Decided to stick with the most functional windows manager (for the moment, in my view), "MATE", XFCE is also very good but has limited functionality.
The MATE "Caja" file manager (a port of Nautilus), is superb in functionality and integrate dual pane feature among others.
Razor-qt for Fedora is very promising: clean, neat, but it is still a work in progress, and a few useful features are not yet implemented. There documentation on how to develop a razor-qt application seems elusive.
KDE works, largely, but I admit not liking it: too bloated, and complicated.
I had the pleasant surprise to observe that the extended range wireless adapter Alfa AWU036NHR which did not work with F18, now works well with F19, the new kernel has better drivers!
"texlive" install (the Latex environment) still could use a meta-package for proper install, nothing new there..
After update, Fedora 19 (X64) is now at RC2 and works just as well as Fedora 18 did: probably the best "Linux distro" for software development on Linux. This is why upcoming RedHat RHLE7, based on F19 shall be be excellent. It may even include larger mouse pointers?
That's all folks.
32 • @ 30 Deepin Linux 12.12 (by Chanath on 2013-06-25 15:19:42 GMT from Sri Lanka)
I even installed Gnome-shell and Gnome-classic additionally in Deepin 12.12. In both environments I could call the Deepin shell. Its interesting to see how the Gnome-shell moves away and the Deepin shell come over in the Gnome session, whenever I want it. And, in the Gnome-classic environment, all actions of Deepin session is there in addition to the Gnome-classic session, hot corners etc. Right now, I am using the Gnome-session and either the Gnome-shell or the Deepin-shell, whichever convenient for the moment, and move from one shell to another with one click. Interestingly, the Deepin shell is much more efficient than the Gnome-shell. Kudos to Deepin developers!
I must've missed a lot by not downloading Deepin 12.06
33 • I stand corrected... (by Zybersun on 2013-06-25 17:05:49 GMT from United States)
I always admit when I am either wrong or missed something. With that, I missed something that was said early on in this issue. ROSA is a Russian distribution, of course. The Russian company bought assets from Mandriva and have the controlling interest in Mandriva. This now makes sense with why OpenMandriva is based on ROSA rather than Mandriva itself. I wonder if ROSA will survive or eventually be absorbed by OpenMandriva. I need to research this some more. Please correct me if I am wrong with any of this. I haven't followed Mandriva that much for a few years or so and I am playing catch up right now.
34 • @ #33 (by Pierre on 2013-06-25 18:19:42 GMT from Germany)
Expecially with Mandriva it's hard to understand the whole relations between all the forks if you had not kept up with the development.
Mageia is the free project that followed the Mandriva breakdown and is the new home of many former Mandriva developers.
Mandriva (as a company) itself got taken over by ROSA and therefore now is something like the 'true Mandriva' without much left of Mandriva except it's tools.
OpenMandriva now tries to take the 'true base' and form it into a more free and open project than it has been during the original Mandriva years and more than it's now under the ROSA flag.
So, hope I understood all the little details right, because I did follow the news, but have never been really interested in Mandriva itself. Might be that I forgot a few things or missed even more. So my short overview might be not fully correct. Nevertheless it maybe helped to see the big deal about it all little better now.
35 • @ 33 & 34 Rosa (by Chanath on 2013-06-25 22:59:11 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Rosa is a Russian company, and not a small one. It is a highly stable business entity. It had resources to take over the failing Mandriva and it is not going to fail as a business in Russia. Mageia was the first organisation to start the first Mandriva fork, then the some broke away and made OpenMandriva. The "true base" of Mandriva is with the Rosa company. Its excellent to have 3 organisations keeping Mandriva alive. I hope the 3 of them keep in friendly contact with each other for the Mandriva legacy.
36 • Mandriva+ (by Zybersun on 2013-06-25 23:28:02 GMT from United States)
I am glad to hear that Mandriva still lives on. It seems at one point they where making all the wrong choices and really killing the Mandrake spirit. While I am more into a few other distro's at this time. I will be watching this more closely and seeing how this turns out. Who knows. Maybe Mageia, OpenMandriva or Rosa will take over the number one spot here at Distrowatch. Thanks for all the info people shared about this. I have a much better understanding now, as I am sure others do to.
37 • @ 31 / bloat? (by MZ on 2013-06-26 05:23:24 GMT from United States)
What is 'bloated'? I think several recent versions of KDE have been lighter than the Ubuntu Unity desktop. I also understand that many distros turn off the extraneous bits of KDE by default. I'd also say that given how most new desktops & laptops have had at least 4GB of RAM for the past couple of years, KDE is actually somewhat light. This is especially true if you compare KDE to something like Windows Vista, which uses about 3 to 5 times the amount of RAM that KDE does on the same hardware in my experience. I'd also say that the only complications presented by KDE are as a result of how it gives you choices in the desktop configuration department. The best ways to use KDE are to either leave the defaults & not worry about it, or familiarize yourself with it to the point where it doesn't really seem complicated at all. Personally I think KDE is the best all around desktop for any semi-recent hardware, but other stuff can be good as well. I just don't really get the complaint of KDE being 'bloated', at least not when you compare it to similar modern desktops.
38 • Unity & other DEs (by Chanath on 2013-06-26 06:55:40 GMT from Sri Lanka)
I really wanted to like Unity, so kept on working with it last few weeks. I put it on max autohide, but kept on hitting the left side of the screen to get at the launcher. It was quite frustrating. I have tried Gnome shell too, which didn't make me work too much to get at the applications. I used the old Slingshot launcher, which was the best of all. Its icon resided on a panel/dock, which came up from hiding as soon as the cursor came nearby. Then came Rosa shell, which is quite nice, but works only with KDE Plasma. Finally found the Deepin shell in Deepin 12.12.
The competition was between the Old Slingshot and the Deepin shell. Both are equally helpful, with Deepin DE being bit quicker for my fingers. I installed Deepin shell in Ubuntu too, so Unity, Old Slingshot and Deepin shell was there to be used.
The loser is Unity. And, that's because of its launcher. If the Unity devs make that launcher appear from hiding as soon as the cursor goes near, it would be nice.
Earlier in Ubuntu 12.04, I got rid of that launcher, but left the dash, which came up on clicking on an icon residing on the panel, or even on the desktop. They took out Unity 2D and that ability vanished from 12.10 upwards.
39 • @38 Unity (by greg on 2013-06-26 08:50:44 GMT from Slovenia)
"If the Unity devs make that launcher appear from hiding as soon as the cursor goes near, it would be nice. "
Suppose you had to draw something (or edit) almost up to the edge of screen or close to the edge and then the launcher would keep popping out preventing you to do that. how is that a good solution?
furthermore i think a key on keyboard can also make the launcher appear.
40 • @38 - lauchers (by meanpt on 2013-06-26 10:15:45 GMT from Portugal)
If nice launchers is what you're after, give the KDE's HomeRun launcher a try.
41 • Unity Launcher (by LinuxMan on 2013-06-26 11:40:39 GMT from United States)
@38, The sensitivity can be adjusted for the launcher in Unity. Using applications like the Unity Tweak Tool along with Appearance in the system settings and other utilities available can give a person a lot of control over the Unity desktop. Most of my monitors are wide screen so I don't really have a problem now with the launcher being present at all times. In the past I've use things like the window dodge utility to make things easier for a standard monitor. It's all up to what a person wants to do.
42 • @ 41 39, 40 (by Chanath on 2013-06-26 12:26:56 GMT from Sri Lanka)
I am after nice and easy working menu. Earlier, the best was the GnoMenu, where everything was inside the same window. Later came Dash etc, fullscreen and all. Not everyone useas widescreen monitors, most of us use laptops and netbooks, so we want to use all the area we can get. I said I put the sensitivity to the max, but still has to knock on the left side all the time to get at the launcher. Just because Ubuntu wants a left bar for the mobiles, doesn't mean its that good on desktops. Its not the launcher that the main thing there, but the dash. I separated the Dash from the launcher in Ubuntu 12.04 and got rid of the launcher. The dash became connected to an icon, either on the panel/dock or on the desktop.
The most important part of Ubuntu's Unity is the Dash, not the launcher. The Dash is the menu. I want the Dash, but not the launcher. Now, that Deepin menu shell is there, and also the old Slingshot, I really don't need the Unity's Dash, or try to separate the Dash from the launcher. There is also the new Singshot launcher from eOS.Mean
Meanpt, KDE has good launchers, even the standard Kickoff is very good. Getting at the apps an dfiles is the most important thing, and the Kickoff, Lancelot menus give full service to the user. The menu & the panel/dock is very important for desktops/laptops/netbooks.
43 • Categorizing distros & users into markets (by gregzeng on 2013-06-28 01:38:26 GMT from Australia)
@39 • @38 Unity ... where @38b is a distro-taster, rather than an operating system user IMHO.
Common theme so far: user's not declaring their user types. The bloated-KDE comment came from a self-labelled "software developer" (@31), who also thought that XFCE was not functional enough (?). He obviously has not tried Compiz, Cairo, Docky, AWN, etc ... with XFCE, to get more desired functionality.
XFCE, LXDE & Enlightenment seem favored by light Linux desktop systems, avoiding eye-candy.
The Gnome-refugees (Unity, Mate, Cinnamon) are in the midst of incompatible, confusing and irreversible changes, with no clear future ahead of them, including which coding bases to use. These refugees seem to need Compiz and other third party enhancements, to try to reach the functionality of KDE. KDE offers mixed popularity: love it or hate it. My opinion is they all need to go further to reach the functions we already need and have with the planet's favored desktop still, Windows, with quick, easy Configuration-migration, configuration-restore-backup.
E17 seems neglected in the desktop environments mentioned so far, because it's marketing department is unaware of some user-classifications (children, disabled-users, teenagers, parents, pet-lovers).
When Linux ever acquires a marketing department, it might try to categorize distros, users, administrators, columnists, politicians, etc ... into clear market sectors - where an organization or person clearly owes loyalty to mainly one sector, at the low regard of other sectors.
Ubuntu 13.04 Desktop Gaming Performance Comparison
"The slowest desktops with the Ivy Bridge graphics on Linux was KDE Plasma while the default Unity desktop was also receded compared to the other desktop alternatives." (E17 neglected).
8-Way Desktop Comparison On Ubuntu 13.10
A remarkable comment by Phoronix in the above url's is the clear labelling of "Ubuntu Desktop", since the main "Ubuntu" product is no longer the desktop.
44 • @ 43 • Categorizing distros & users into markets - gregzeng (by Chanath on 2013-06-28 02:25:12 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Distro taster? Hmmm..that's nice. That tasting comes with operating system using too. I like new DEs and shells, and menus. I really don't mind being a distro taster. I experiment with them. I am mainly a Ubuntu user, and I usually have few menus working for me. Like I said before, I am sorry that I didn't download Deepin 12.06. I'd have enjoyed it!
KDE is nice, but its sort of childish, meaning the looks, but KDE has everything in it. You don't really have to look for Compiz etc. Compiz is 3rd party? Well, everything is 3rd party. Ubuntu needs Compiz to keep Unity alive.
I try all DEs/WMs. I don't like E17--personal choice, okay? I don't mind XFCE, but if I need something to remind me Win95 days, I'd choose LXDE to XFCE, even the Rox DE. The best panel is still the Tint2. Everything is tried. I have my own tweaked AWN dock too.
If you are using Ubuntu 12.10 and above, you'd notice that Unity 2D is not available. But, if you look in the software sources, you'd find few "dummy packages" of Unity 2D in them. As soon as you dist-upgrade your Ubuntu 12.04, you lose Unity 2D. Ask yourself, why Ubuntu is keeping these "dummy packages" in their repos, and you'd find the answer. If they take those dummy packges out, I'd be very happy. But, they won't do that!
45 • @43 hmmm (by greg on 2013-06-28 07:32:37 GMT from Slovenia)
"Ubuntu 13.04 Desktop Gaming Performance Comparison
"The slowest desktops with the Ivy Bridge graphics on Linux was KDE Plasma while the default Unity desktop was also receded compared to the other desktop alternatives." (E17 neglected)."
tests were done in a lousy way.
1. it is not explained wheather the game was in windowed mode or full screen.
2. it doesn't say which desktop effects were turned on and which were off.
3. why were desktop effects turned on. we know that for exmaple to get good performance in KDE you set it to turn off desktop effects when playing full screen games. makes sense to me.
makes sense that compositing desktops with effects on are slower by default which is why one should turn off effect when playing games.
also strangley some games show all desktops have same rate and well since mostly old games were tested (all before i7 was made) it doesn't relaly tell much. they should make some more tests with 2011 and 2012 games. but those are hard to find in Linux ;-)
46 • @43 (by jadecat09 on 2013-06-28 08:26:47 GMT from United Kingdom)
It is well known that anything written on phoronix.com should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Have a great weekend.
47 • Gaming Performance (by LinuxMan on 2013-06-28 13:09:44 GMT from United States)
Well it seems that the one's who did the test really didn't know how to do a comparative study. There's too many unanswered questions.
48 • @6 32 bit Architecture (by Polymorph on 2013-07-01 03:33:44 GMT from Australia)
There's always Puppy Linux - with a bit of professional spit n polish (mostly with the installer) it could become the "Ubuntu" for Win refugees who's old gear doesn't cut it anymore...
btw: Meaning of "Ubuntu" - back when Ubuntu made Linux accessible to people, and the distro of choice, for new entry users.
Number of Comments: 48
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