| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 553, 7 April 2014
Welcome to this year's 14th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
One of the great benefits inherent in open source software is the way distributions can be customized. Users of open source operating systems do not need to bow to the idea of "one size fits all". This means people who want lots of features running on powerful hardware can find a matching operating system. Others, who are using older hardware and require efficiency, can find smaller distributions to suits their needs. This week we focus on a wide range of projects filling many different niches. We start with a review of Puppy Linux, a small, user-friendly distribution that targets lower-end hardware. In our News section this week we talk about openSUSE's new KDE software repositories, Ubuntu's future plans for their One file synchronization service and Slax's quest to find a new default desktop environment. DragonflyBSD, a powerful server operating system, may be going through some exciting changes this year. The project is looking at expanding its virtualization support and there are plans to release a new version of the advanced Hammer file system. We also cover an interview with a Gentoo developer and discuss pop-ups recently seen by Android users on this website. In our Tips and Tricks column this week, guest writer Richard White provides a tutorial for working with GNU Privacy Guard, a useful tool for securing private documents. As usual, we cover the distribution releases of the past week and look ahead to fun new developments to come. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First Impressions of Slacko Puppy 5.7
There were concerns last year when Barry Kauler announced he was retiring from the Puppy Linux project. People wondered how the Puppy project would do without the founder at the distribution's helm. Well, the good news for fans of the Puppy distribution is that there is an active community surrounding Puppy and the project is continuing to put out new releases. The most recent release of the distribution is Slacko Puppy 5.7. Slacko Puppy is an edition of Puppy Linux put together using packages from the Slackware distribution. This means Slacko Puppy is binary compatible with Slackware 14.0 and can use packages built for the Slackware and Salix distributions.
The latest version of Slacko Puppy is available in two 32-bit flavours. One build includes PAE support and the other does not, allowing Puppy to run on older hardware. Both download images are approximately 160MB in size. Booting from the Puppy media brings us to a graphical environment running atop Joe's Window Manager (JWM). An initial configuration screen appears, presenting us with a single, compact collection of options. From this window we can make initial adjustments to our preferred language, set our time zone, enable the distribution's firewall, adjust the resolution of our display and set a hostname. Once we look over the options and dismiss the configuration window, the distribution plays a barking sound, confirming the sound system works. Then a welcome screen appears, explaining where we can find local help files, how we can get on-line and we are offered a link to Puppy's control centre. The distribution's graphical user interface is presented in a traditional manner with an application menu, task switcher and system tray placed at the bottom of the screen. Several icons sit on the desktop, presenting us with short-cuts to Puppy's system installer, a web browser, e-mail client, productivity software and more. Sitting in the system tray we find icons for managing the firewall and network configuration.
Slacko Puppy 5.7 -- Accessing Puppy's documentation
(full image size: 487kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Puppy can be installed a few different ways and on a variety of storage media. The distribution recommends installing Puppy using what is called the Frugal method. This essentially allows Puppy to be installed on the partition of another operating system and saves the user from the hassle of rearranging their hard drive partitions. Puppy may also be installed in a more traditional manner with the distribution getting a dedicated hard disk partition. I opted to use the latter method and found the Puppy system installer did a nice job of walking me through the steps. The graphical installer provides a short, quick method of getting Puppy onto the local hard disk. We set up partitions using the GParted partition manager, select whether we want a Full (traditional) or Frugal installation. We select the partition we want to use, the installer copies its files and, at the end, we are advised to manually run the GRUB boot loader setup wizard.
I ran into two problems during the install process. The first was that Puppy's installer claimed there was already an installation of the distribution on my hard drive (there was not). I was offered the choice of upgrading the non-existent installation or wiping it and performing a fresh installation. I took the latter option. The first time through the install process I ran the GRUB setup application in its basic mode. Upon rebooting the GRUB menu came up with three options (Puppy, Ubuntu and Windows), though only the first operating system in the list existed on the drive. None of the options would cause Puppy to boot. I launched Puppy from the live media again and re-ran the GRUB setup script in Expert mode. This time, when I rebooted the machine, selecting "Puppy" from the GRUB menu caused my local copy of Puppy to boot properly.
At least Puppy booted properly when I ran it in a virtual machine powered by VirtualBox. When I tried running Puppy on physical hardware the distribution was unable to boot. Puppy operated smoothly in the virtual environment. Programs opened quickly, the desktop was responsive and Puppy managed to get by with less than 100MB of memory. The only problem I had with Puppy when running in a virtual machine was with the mouse pointer. The Puppy mouse pointer did not integrate well with my host operating system's mouse pointer and this sometimes made clicking on buttons (particularly small ones) difficult.
Slacko Puppy 5.7 -- Managing software packages and system settings
(full image size: 328kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Software management on Puppy is an unusual affair when compared against other Linux distributions. At first things seem similar with Puppy's graphical package manager giving us the ability to browse categories of software and see lists of packages matching our searches. Where Puppy's package management differs from many mainstream distributions is the steps we take once a package has been marked for installation. Puppy will give us the option of resolving dependencies or simply installing software without dependencies (which seems unlikely to be productive). Then we are asked to manually select a repository mirror from a list of servers. Slacko Puppy generally pulls software from Slackware repositories, providing us with a large range of packages. Each package download is then processed one at a time, each package resulting in a new console window opening to display its progress. If we are just downloading one or two packages this approach works well, but if we need twenty packages the steady flood of new console windows popping up prevents us from using the desktop for anything else while packages are downloading. I had mixed results using Puppy's package manager. Most of the time it worked, but I did run into a few instances of package dependencies not downloading or installing with errors. I also found, once new software had been installed, it could be challenging to hunt down the new item in Puppy's very full application menu.
Speaking of applications, Puppy comes with a lot of utilities. In fact, the tiny distribution packs a surprising amount of software into a tiny space. Puppy ships with the Firefox web browser and Sylpheed e-mail client. By default there was no Flash plugin for Firefox, but there is a program in the application menu which downloads and installs Adobe's Flash player. The AbiWord and Gnumeric productivity applications are featured, along with the XChat IRC client. The application menu contains a PDF viewer and a program which converts various document types to PDF files. The GNOME front-end to MPlayer is included and I found Puppy could play all multimedia files I threw at it. The distribution ships with disc burning software, a multimedia file converter, a handful of games, the Transmission bittorrent client and some drawing programs. We are given a calendar app, a calculator and a text editor. There are system administration utilities as well, including a log viewer and programs to display hardware information. There is a program for setting up the distribution's firewall and a task scheduler which appears to be a graphical front-end to the venerable cron daemon. In the background Puppy supplies the Linux kernel, version 3.4.
Slacko Puppy 5.7 -- Various desktop applications
(full image size: 192kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
One topic which tends to come up whenever Puppy is discussed is the project's approach to security, or perhaps its lack of security. The distribution is, by default, effectively a single-user system. When the distribution boots we are automatically logged into the system as the root (administrator) user. As the only user on the system has full control and there is no password to get in the way, Puppy has earned a reputation as either being quite convenient or reckless, depending on one's feelings toward recommended security practices. Personally, while running as the root user all the time makes me uncomfortable (mostly because one false keystroke or mouse click could wipe out a portion of my operating system), I will acknowledge that Puppy appears geared mostly toward being used as a live CD, not as a primary operating system. The distribution appears to be trying very hard to make things as easy for the user as possible. Apart from the lack of passwords or user restrictions, the distribution ships with icons on the desktop for popular end-user applications. These icons are labeled based on a task rather than with an application name. This should make it fairly easy for new users to locate the software they need. It is easier for a new user to find and select "email", "write" or "draw" than to understand the significance of "Thunderbird", "Kate" and "GIMP". Puppy's utilities also come with a lot of built-in documentation. The system installer, for instance, and the initial configuration wizard both give a good deal of on-screen explanation as to what they do and how the user should interact with these tools. I like this approach as it lowers the bar for using Puppy and saves the user from hunting for on-line assistance. In short, while Puppy's approach to user accounts is unusual, it does fit consistently with the project's other characteristics and user-friendly focus.
A few other thoughts stood out in my mind during my time with Slacko Puppy. One is that the organization of the application menu takes some adjustment if we are coming from another Linux distribution. The menu is organized differently and uses different names for categories of software. It is not hard to find most items, but there is a period of adjustment. Everything runs quickly on Puppy, the distribution runs surprisingly fast and most programs open almost instantly. I like Puppy's small memory footprint and I am regularly impressed by the amount of functionality Puppy can squeeze into such a small download image. Many of the default programs which come with Puppy seem to be selected for their small size rather than their popularity or functionality. Luckily, for us, if we need additional software it can usually be found in Puppy's package manager, which pulls from the full range of Slackware packages.
Puppy is an interesting distribution. It contains perhaps the best balance between functionality, friendliness and small size I have seen to date. The distribution appears to be more of a secondary operating system, something I would travel with on a thumb drive in my pocket, rather than a primary operating system that I would install on my desktop. Still, the distribution's small size and friendly nature are impressive and, had I older hardware I wanted to resurrect, Puppy would be on a short list of possible operating systems I would want to use.
* * * * *
Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
- Processor: Dual-core 2.8GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
New KDE packages coming to openSUSE, plans for DragonflyBSD's next release, Ubuntu announces the end of their One service, an interview with a Gentoo developer, an interview with Slax's lead developer and reported pop-up ad on DistroWatch
Good news for openSUSE users and fans of the KDE project! The openSUSE distribution will soon have access to multiple KDE software repositories which will help desktop users keep up to date with the latest developments in the KDE community. Raymond Wooninck announced the new options last week, saying: "With the release of KDE 4.12.4 (expected coming Tuesday), the openSUSE KDE:Release:xy Repositories will be consolidated into a single KDE:Current repository, where you can find the current KDE SC Release. We believe that with this step, it would be easier for people to track the current KDE SC release and stay up-to-date without the need to change repositories." The four repository options will include staying with the stable, traditional repositories which come with openSUSE, using a Current repository that is always up to date with the latest KDE releases and there are two testing repositories for people who like to keep on the cutting edge of desktop software development.
* * * * *
DragonflyBSD originally started as a fork of the FreeBSD operating system, but the project has developed some powerful technologies and a community of its own. Justin Sherrill has some ideas for changes and features that he wants to see in the next release of DragonflyBSD and he posted these concepts last week. Some of Sherrill's plans involve improving virtual machine support, an improved package management experience for the user and PAM support. Sherrill also put forward the idea of dropping 32-bit x86 builds of DragonflyBSD in the future. "I think we're on the edge of where it can be dropped. PC-BSD and FreeNAS are both dropping i386, for example. My instinct -- and this can certainly change -- is to say the earliest we'll drop it is for the 4.0 release, which will hopefully also be the first user-testable version of Hammer 2. That's two releases from now at the soonest."
* * * * *
In a move some suspected was a April Fools joke, Canonical announced last week that it is closing down the Ubuntu One storage service. "As of today, it will no longer be possible to purchase storage or music from the Ubuntu One store. The Ubuntu One file services will not be included in the upcoming Ubuntu 14.04 LTS release, and the Ubuntu One apps in older versions of Ubuntu and in the Ubuntu, Google, and Apple stores will be updated appropriately. The current services will be unavailable from 1 June 2014; user content will remain available for download until 31 July, at which time it will be deleted." Canonical has promised to release the code running Ubuntu One as open source software which would allow further competition and allow people to run their own One storage services.
* * * * *
Each month the Gentoo project publishes a newsletter in which one of the distribution's developers is interviewed. This week we hear from developer Tom Wijsman as he recounts his first experiences with Linux, what path guided him to work on Gentoo, his dream job and his views on Gentoo's strengths and weaknesses. "What I think Gentoo could use more is more manpower; what made Gentoo powerful is its community, and its community is formed by users who contribute. And to this extent the amount of contributions determine how powerful Gentoo becomes."
* * * * *
Czech website root.cz recently ran an interview with the Slax project's founder, Tomas Matejicek. Matejicek republished the interview, translated into English, on his blog. In the interview he talks about Slax's current development challenges, issues with Slax's default KDE desktop, the search for a new desktop environment and what makes for a good desktop interface. "[An] ideal desktop environment starts within few seconds (I mean two) and gives the user a simple way to run programs and switch between them. That's it, it's nothing special at all."
* * * * *
Last week DistroWatch published an article discussing the possibility of migrating our web host to Ubuntu Server from Debian. This article was intended to be light humour and our way of participating in the tradition of April Fools. The truth is we are quite happy with Debian and plan to stick with the venerable operating system. However, what was not a joke was the pop-up some Android users were seeing upon visiting DistroWatch. This pop-up, which suggested the user's mobile device was infected with a virus, caused some of our readers concern last week. Some people worried our website was infected with malware, others thought it was a misguided attempt by DistroWatch to scam our readership. The truth is the ad appears to have come from one of our ad partners and was only displayed to a handful of Android users visiting this site. We have worked to find the source of the malicious pop-up and are trying to get it removed from the advertising network in question. If you see notifications warning of a virus infection on this website, please close the pop-up and do not follow any links provided.
|Tips and Tricks (by Richard White)
File encryption with GNU Privacy Guard
Encryption ensures that files are stored in an encrypted form whether you are transmitting it over the Internet, backing it up on a server, carrying it on USB or on your laptop. Encrypting your data makes it unreadable to anyone but you or intended recipient, thus preventing unwanted access to it.
GPG (GNU Privacy Guard)
GPG stands for GNU Privacy Guard. It is a key-based encryption method which means that a pair of keys is used to encrypt and decrypt a
message so that it arrives securely. Initially, a user receives a public and a private key pair from a certificate authority. Any other user who wants to send an encrypted message can get the intended recipient's public key from the public directory. They use this key to encrypt the message, and then send it to the recipient. When the recipient gets the message, they decrypt it with their private key,
which no one else should have an access to.
GPG gives you the public key and the private key.
A public key is a key that you share with the public. It can be given to anyone you wish to received encrypted messages from. They would encrypt the message with your public key. They cannot decrypt their own message after they encrypt it. Only you, who hold the private key, can decrypt the message. A private key is your own personal password. Your private key will be used to decrypt messages encrypted in your public key, If you give someone your private key he can decrypt and read all your messages written in your public key.
Using GPG from the terminal
Today most Linux distributions include GPG by default. To find out if this is the case, open up a terminal and type:
$ gpg --version
You should get version number. If so, you don't need to do anything, if not you can install GPG from your distribution's repositories.
To use GPG to encrypt your communications, you need to create a key pair.
Launch your terminal and run the following command to get started:
$ gpg --gen-key
You will be prompted back with the following:
Please select what kind of key you want:
Select number 1, as it can be used for encryption and decryption, the second and third choices are only allowed to sign messages. To do so, press the number 1, and then press Enter.
(1) DSA and Elgamal (default)
(2) DSA (sign only)
(5) RSA (sign only)
You then will be prompted with the following:
1 DSA key-pair will have 1024 bits.
You will want to enter "2048" here, as recommended by GPG.
If you don't want your key to expire (for the next prompt, select 0).
Answer Yes if the information is correct, when prompted, and then enter your real name, your email address, and a comment (which is optional). If everything is correct, press "o" (for OK) and then Enter.
2 ELG-E keys may be between 1024 and 4096 bits long.
3 What key-size do you want? (2048)
After that, you will be asked to enter a pass-phrase. This process will be repeated. As usual, make a strong password which will be difficult to crack. Do not enter a name/address/birth date or word from a dictionary as your password.
After entering your pass-phrase, follow the instructions in the terminal:
We need to generate a lot of random bytes. It is a good idea to perform some other action (type on the keyboard, move the mouse, utilize the disk) during the prime generation; this gives the random number generator a better chance to gain enough entropy.
When you have successfully finished generating your key, you will see a message similar to the following one:
gpg: key 083C39A4 marked as ultimately trusted.
public and secret key created and signed.
Key servers are used to distribute your public key to other key servers so that other users can easily look up your name (or the e-mail address) in the database and find your public key to send encrypted messages to you. This eliminates the process of physically or insecurely giving your friend your public key, and allows others to be able to find you on the on-line database.
Uploading your public key to the key server:
$ gpg --send-keys --keyserver [keyservers.address.com] [yourpublicid]
You should replace keyservers.address.com with key server of your choice (or use mit.edu which syncs it with other servers) also replace yourpublicid with yours.
In the end it would look as follows:
$ gpg --send-keys --keyserver hkp://pgp.mit.edu 083C39A4
To Encrypt a File
If you wish to encrypt a file for your friend with his public key, run the command in the following format:
$ gpg -o encrypted_file.gpg --encrypt -r key-id original.file
-o encrypted_file.gpg = Output to the following filename.
--encrypt = Encrypting a file
-r = Recipient. KEY-ID would be your friends KEY-ID here.
original.file = The file that you will be encrypting.
To Decrypt a File
If someone has sent you a file that has been encrypted with your public key, you can decrypt it with following command:
$ gpg --decrypt filename.gpg
With GPG you can do a symmetric encryption where you encrypt a file with a pass-phrase. This is not a key based encryption. In symmetric cryptography, the same key is used for both encryption and decryption. This approach is simpler in dealing with each message, but it is less secure since the key must be communicated to recipient.
To encrypt a file with a pass-phrase, use:
$ gpg -c filename.txt
To decrypt this type of file, just use:
$ gpg filename.txt
You will be prompted for the pass-phrase and it will decrypt the file.
Clearsign a Document
Clearsigning is very similar to adding your signature to the bottom of a letter or an important document. It signifies that it actually comes from you. By clearsigning, it generates a SHA1 hash of the entire file's contents and adds the SHA1 sum to the bottom of the signature. If the file has been tampered with, the signature verification will fail, which can be used to spot the forgery.
If the user edits the file after it has been signed, the verification of the signature will also fail, because the SHA1 sum will not match the one of the actual content.
To clearsign a document or file, run the following:
$ gpg --clearsign filename.txt
Generating Revocation Key
A revocation key is used to revoke your public key if your private key has been compromised in any way, or you suspect that it may be compromised. To create a revocation key, run the command:
$ gpg --output revoke.asc --gen-revoke keyid
Keep the revocation key in a safe place, anyone who gets a hold of it can use it to disable your key. (You could use symmetric encryption on your revocation file.)
Tips for using GPG from terminal
To list the Keys you have imported into GPG, you can issue the following command:
$ gpg --list-keys
A list of the keys registered with your e-mail should appear (and since there should be only one, it will only list your key.) Then, you can obtain your KEY-ID and run the command above in order to submit it to the key servers.
To display the private or public keys on your key ring
$ gpg --list-public-keys # will list public keys
$ gpg --list-secret-keys # will lists private keys
$ gpg --import KEYFILE
Keyfile would be the filename of the public key in your home folder. (If it is not in your home folder, use the cd command to go to the proper directory first, and then run the above command.)
Exporting your Public Key
To export your public key in the ASCII Armored fashion, run the following command:
$ gpg --export -a > publickey.asc
* * * * *
About Richard White
Richard is technology enthusiast, on more than one occasion he was called a geek, he is also the author of three books, his most recent, Privacy in Digital Era is forthcoming in hardcover in May 2014. He is also the head editor and the driving force behind Digital Era website. The purpose of Digital Era is to present and give resources and tools to achieve and maintain anonymity, security and privacy. Richard regularly writes about privacy related issues and is hard at work on The Art of CLI, a collection of command line, open-source software. For more information on GNU Privacy Guard works and how to use graphical front-ends to the GPG software, you can find further reading on White's Digital Era website.
|Released Last Week
Michael Prokop has announced the release of Grml 2014.03, a Debian-based live CD with a collection of GNU/Linux software designed for system administrators and suited for administrative tasks including system rescue: "We just released Grml 2014.03 - Ponywagon. This Grml release provides fresh software packages from Debian testing (a.k.a. jessie). As usual it also incorporates up2date hardware support and fixes known bugs from the previous Grml release. New features: new boot option vlan; grml-debootstrap. Important Changes: forensic mode - the readonly boot option was renamed to read-only (caused by change in upstream's live-boot). Bits and bolts: Linux kernel is based on 3.13.6...." See the release announcement and release notes for further information and various links.
Trisquel GNU/Linux 6.0.1
Rubén Rodríguez Pérez has announced Trisquel GNU/Linux 6.0.1, an upgrade release of the Ubuntu-based distribution that uses strictly free software only (as defined by Free Software Foundation's guidelines): "This is an incremental upgrade release which includes all of the maintenance updates and bugfixes since the publication of Trisquel 6.0. Users that already have 6.0 installed don't need to reinstall. Just use the update manager or apt-get dist-upgrade. The 6.0.1 release comes with several new features and updates: Support for UEFI installation (amd64); Abrowser upgraded to v28, with improved Facebook integration; Linux-libre updated to 3.2.0-60, 3.5 and 3.11 branches available in the repositories; Added open-ath9k-htc firmware to the images; Added all free firmware files to the netinstall images so they can be used over wifi. Trisquel can now be installed on UEFI based computers by disabling the security system in the BIOS setup. We do not sign our kernels or boot managers as that would require us to request permission from Microsoft, something that shouldn't be needed in any case." Here is the release announcement.
Clonezilla Live 2.2.2-32
Steven Shiau has announced a new stable release of Clonezilla Live, a Debian-based live CD designed primarily for partition and disk imaging/cloning tasks: "This release of Clonezilla live (2.2.2-32) includes major enhancements and bug fixes. The underlying GNU/Linux operating system was upgraded; this release is based on the Debian Sid repository (as of 2014/Mar/31). Linux kernel was updated to 3.13.7-1. Partclone was updated to 0.2.70; an issue about restoring image file to raw format has been fixed; thanks to quaid for reporting this issue. Syslinux was updated to 6.03-pre9. Package drbl was updated to 2.8.6-drbl1, and clonezilla was updated to 3.9.49-drbl1. Two options were added to makeboot.sh: -L and -U; patch provided by Ceasar Sun. A boot parameter 'ocs_prompt_mode' was added so some of the prompt could be shown in TUI or CMD mode." See the entire release announcement for a full changelog.
John Martinson has announced the release of Robolinux 7.4.2, a user-friendly, Debian-based distribution featuring integrated virtualisation software (for running another operating system in an application window as a "guest"). From the distribution's download page on SourceForge: "What's new in Robolinux version 7.4.2? First, we updated our Robolinux Debian based operating system. Second, we are also announcing two new software programs: Robolinux Stealth VM Software for Linux Mint and Ubuntu operating systems! Since Robolinux invented 'Revolutionary Stealth VM' inside our Debian operating system we decided to create specific versions that work on all Linux operating systems so now anyone can run Windows XP or 7 inside Linux Mint or Ubuntu virus free! Please note the Robolinux Stealth VM for openSUSE and all RPM based operating systems will be available in April, 2014...." Check Robolinux web site as well as the project site for further information.
Jim Thompson has announced the release of pfSense 2.1.1, a free network firewall distribution based on FreeBSD with a customized kernel and third party free software packages for additional functionality: "I'm happy to announce the release of pfSense 2.1.1. The largest change is to close the following security issues / CVEs: FreeBSD-SA-14:01.bsnmpd / CVE-2014-1452; FreeBSD-SA-14:02.ntpd / CVE-2013-5211; FreeBSD-SA-14:03.openssl / CVE-2013-4353, CVE-2013-6449, CVE-2013-6450. Other than these, the em/igb/ixgb/ixgbe drivers have been upgraded to add support for i210 and i354 NICs. Some Intel 10Gb Ethernet NICs will also see improved performance." Follow the release announcement and the detailed release notes for further information.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list|
- Wh1t3 C4t. Wh1t3 C4t is a Linux-based desktop operating system which offers GNOME and KDE desktop environments.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 14 April 2014. 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 • Ubuntu 14.04 (by Paraquat on 2014-04-07 11:17:39 GMT from Taiwan) |
Yesterday I downloaded and tried to install Ubuntu 14.04-beta2. It turned into a real fiasco. I accepted the installer's default to install over an existing partition (as opposed to custom partitioning). It immediately (without asking to confirm) created a partition /dev/sda5 (an extended partition) on a hard drive with four existing primary partitions, which is supposedly impossible (since I use mbr partitioning, as opposed to GPT). Result - the Ubuntu installer rendered the entire hard drive geometry unreadable, and of course did not install anything.
I straightened out the mess with a GParted disk, and reinstalled Debian.
I'm not sure if previous versions of Ubuntu had this bug, but I would urge anyone to be very careful when installing Ubuntu 14.04. Do manual partitioning - don't trust the default. And of course, back up any existing data on the hard drive first (always a good idea before installing anything).
2 • Slacko (by Eamonnb on 2014-04-07 11:40:03 GMT from United Kingdom)
I agree with Jesse Smith's view that Puppy Linux seems to fit best in a secondary role...though obviously there is a community of users who use it as their primary OS. I really got to like the versions built from Ubuntu Precise. They felt solid yet snappy and never seemed to blink no matter what the demands. I have never felt the Slacko versions were as impressive. They don't seem as responsive and I've had various problems with dropped wifi connections and some other quirks.
I will give this version a try...but I still wish Puppy Precise was being continued.
3 • Installing Puppy (by Wine Curmudgeon on 2014-04-07 13:46:40 GMT from United States)
One of the distro's grand traditions is having difficulty installing it, which always leads to "spirited" discussion about whether it should be installed.
4 • Ubuntu, Ubuntu One (by Chris on 2014-04-07 14:08:29 GMT from United States)
First, you are installing a BETA. Bugs happen. Did you report this to the team? If not, then you are not doing correctly.
I am bummed that Ubuntu One is being discontinued. I used it for years.
5 • Flash for Puppy (by Glenn Condrey on 2014-04-07 15:03:03 GMT from United States)
I have made a patched version of flashplayer available for Legacy OS....which is in the Puppy family.
We used this patched version in Xandros 4.5 and for the ASUS Xandros for the Eee PC family of computers...and I have found that it works in every distro that I have installed it in. (Debian, Ubuntu, Trisquel, PCLinuxOS, Puppy)
John, the creative force behind Legacy OS has made the file available to all at https://sourceforge.net/projects/legacyoslinux/files/Legacy%20OS%202.1%20LTS%20Extra%20Packages/?
You can read a bit more about it at :
It is important to note that John also has made available an older case of flashplayer just in case the patched flashplayer file does NOT work in your Puppy distro...
6 • Puppy linux and Ubuntu One service (by DavidEF on 2014-04-07 15:21:41 GMT from United States)
I agree with Jesse, and Eamonnb, about Puppy's best use case. I like Puppy Linux, but not for everyday computing. I've tried various forms of Puppy throughout the years, but for things like system rescue or file tasks. I've even used Puppy to format partitions and set up swap for later installations of other Linux operating systems that couldn't even boot a live CD without swap, the RAM being too small. I've used Puppy live CD's to clean up malware off of Windows computers manually. There have been times, though, that I've installed Puppy on other people's computers as their primary OS. So, yes, it can be used that way too!
As for the Ubuntu One service, I am one of those people that relied on U1 to keep files synchronized between computers. I had used Dropbox for years, but U1 is just better in so many ways. I'll miss it and I can't just now fathom a replacement. Once I get over my loss, I suppose I'll start looking around.
7 • Flashplayer for Puppy (by Glenn Condrey on 2014-04-07 15:26:25 GMT from United States)
BTW...flash version is 11.2
8 • Ubuntu One (by Jesse on 2014-04-07 15:42:15 GMT from Canada)
For the past year or two I had been using Ubuntu One. It worked really well for me. However, I wanted more flexibility and most distributions/operating systems do not have support for the One client software. About a month ago I set up an ownCloud server and it has been syncing my files between multiple machines. I've been pretty happy with it. ownCloud may not be quite as seemless as Ubuntu One, but it is good enough and I have more control over the server-side now. I've been offering to rent out space on my ownCloud server to friends/family to help offset the cost of running the server. All in all, it worked out well and the timing was great. I got off One just weeks before they annouced the service was going off-line.
9 • Flash for Puppy (by Kazlu on 2014-04-07 15:55:06 GMT from France)
If you use Puppy to revive an old computer, chances are Flash player won't do any good. So I would like to point a - partial - alternative: Viewtube (https://userscripts.org/scripts/show/87011). It's not a Flash replacement, but it allows you to watch videos on major streaming sites without Flash. Using this I could watch videos without lag on an old Pentium III with 512MB RAM. But of course, this is relevant only if you wanted Flash just for those sites :) Besides, when I started using it there were few videos available in HTML5 on Youtube but it seems that more are available now. HTML5 is the way to go, particularly on old machines.
10 • Puppy Linux (Slacko and other flavours) (by Charlie on 2014-04-07 16:10:23 GMT from Canada)
NICE REVIEW !!!
Ever since support for Windows 98 ended, Puppy Linux became my primary O/S, but not installed. I boot Puppy (as my primary O/S) from CD, and only ever boot Windows (whatever flavour) as my secondary O/S of last resort (at most 4 times over the last year).
Why would I boot my primary O/S off CD? I'm a Puppy Distro hopper, regularly switching between different releases of the main distros and derivatives (including English and French language versions). I enjoy having, at the flip of a CD and a reboot, a whole different computer.
Barry K. has done such terrific work with Puppy, and I am some glad good folk are keeping this distro shining.
11 • Slax's problems (by Barnabyh on 2014-04-07 16:57:10 GMT from Germany)
Hmm, if there's a problem with which desktop to use why not ask the investors? I'm sure they'ld have an opinion on what they expect to be able to do with the project they support and how easy it should be.
Anyways, Xfce4 does not feel outdated to me and is probably the most similar to the old KDE3 now that's out there. If KDE4 is, in a way, too cutting edge because it's unstable and still a moving target after all this time then perhaps a conservative desktop like Xfce would be a good choice.
Apart from that, a customized version of Enlightenment may be good.
[Posting here because the Slax blog now apparently requires registration.]
12 • Puppy base distros, etc (by Somewhat Reticent on 2014-04-07 18:26:32 GMT from United States)
DistroWatch should mention up-front that different Puppies are 'based-on' different base distros - over the years, puppies have been based on Slackware, DebIan, Ubuntu, Arch, even Mageia, in addition to their historical T2 SDE base. It's instructive to put several of these on a USB flash drive for comparison
I see the April Fool variation of Trisquel's announcement still showing
"Abrowser upgraded to v28, with improved Facebook integration"
"Abrowser upgraded to v28, with improved privacy settings"
I recently tried a test version of 'buntu, and soon after found a swap partition flagged as Boot - don't know whether the two are related, but ...
Are we about to see a flood of OpenSuSe-Studio clones, much like recent 'buntu remixes?
13 • Puppy Linux is GREAT for Old Computers (by Charles on 2014-04-07 18:53:05 GMT from United States)
Like Charlie in Comment 10 above, I've been using Puppy Linux and, now, Wary Puppy for many years on a Windows 95 machine, and a Windows Me machine. I always boot from a CD, with the operating system running in RAM, and store applications and files on my hard drive. I've booted these CDs literally thousands of times, with no startup problems at all. Since I never install the software, I've had no "installation" problems over many, many version numbers of these OSs. I use Puppy for around 95% of everything I do on these computers, and use the archaic Windows distributions when I need to use certain specific packages that are no longer available anywhere. The use of Puppy is intuitive as Jesse Smith says, and it interfaces with a wide range of paleolithic hardware.
Does computing on older computers get better than this? Congratulations to Barry Kauler and his team for a job magnificently done.
14 • iwlwifi error during clonezilla startup (by Don on 2014-04-07 19:26:09 GMT from United States)
I have not had any luck posting to Clonezila so I will ask here.
During clonezilla startup I notice 5 error stating that they are unable to load microcode versions 1000,[1 thru 5].ucode. This machine has an I7 processor, and while this doesn't appear to apply to the processor, but instead to the "iwlwifi" chip, does anyone know if this should worry me?
TIA - DON
15 • Ubuntu One Service (by Ron on 2014-04-07 20:10:01 GMT from United States)
Yep, if you want it done right, you have to do it yourself.
This is a perfect example of why the cloud has no clothes!
Any time you depend on someone else or something else, you are always at the mercy of a fate you cannot control.
I know the cloud has many advantages in many circumstances, but from the day I first heard the idea of the cloud, I was repelled by that thought because of the above reasons.
Being a home user and not a commercial user with a bazillion bytes of data, I keep everything on my home machines with of course a couple backup external hard drives. At this time I am perfectly happy to have no need for cloud storage.
16 • @11 - Closest to KDE3 (by Uncle Slacky on 2014-04-07 20:12:17 GMT from France)
Surely Trinity is closest to KDE3? http://www.trinitydesktop.org/
17 • Puppy Slacko (by dhinds on 2014-04-07 20:36:03 GMT from Mexico)
I ran Puppy Slacko 5.6 for a time from a USB flash drive with no problems, meaning it's persistence capability is fully functional so all configuration changes, program additions and data were reliably saved to the USB flash drive and available after rebooting.
But as you suggested, I too considered it an excellent backup or secondary system and ran fuller OS's primarily from the computer's installed hard drives (a Lenovo ThinkPad W520).
18 • Trinity - Closest to KDE3 (by Bob on 2014-04-07 20:40:35 GMT from Austria)
TDE looks close to dormant.
19 • Wh1t3 C4t (by GNUday on 2014-04-07 20:52:40 GMT from Canada)
It's great to see youth involved in Linux, but if you go to their 'site' with NoScript and AdBlock enabled, allow the main site temporarily, you get a blank Wh1t3 page, kind of ironic, lol.
20 • @18 - Trinity status (by Uncle Slacky on 2014-04-07 21:53:55 GMT from France)
Well, there are still nightly builds being produced, though the last release was last July. Hard to improve on perfection, maybe?
21 • Slacko Puppy (by California Bob on 2014-04-07 22:48:45 GMT from United States)
Puppy is great for recovery or making an old PC speedy, but I also use it as my default OS for browsing, editing, etc. on my other PCs. I always load it into RAM from a USB flash with a "frugal (non) install" and it's much faster compared to any other OS, as well as much more secure, even though it defaults to root user. Slacko will run in 1GB of RAM but 2 or 4 GB lets you run WINE and your old Windows apps or even a VM (for any old-school "installed" OS you may still need to resort to from time to time.) Slax and Porteus can also be run from RAM and have a nice modular app scheme similar to Puppy's SFS files.
22 • Puppy Linuxes (by Mark Moon on 2014-04-07 23:02:39 GMT from United States)
Great review on Slacko puppy. I hoped you had tried the optins available for better security, though. The firewall option as well as the ability to run the internet programs as a restricted user were not mentioned. Was this an oversight or just space limitation? These 2 things make a more secure operation possible. I am not naive, however, and realize that these are not bullet proof. Show me something that is. As a hobbiest, I personally like the convenience of running root when I need to do something I can't yet do in my primary Linux (Solydx). Thank you, again for the review.
23 • Ubuntu 14.04 Mate (by fernbap on 2014-04-08 00:25:35 GMT from Portugal)
As the release of the new Ubuntu LTS approaches, i decided to install Xubuntu Beta 2 and add the Mate desktop environment 1.8, Compiz and Emerald, which will give me something close to the performance of the new Mint Mate LTS.
The result so far has been very good.
Many people here evoqued the "good times" of Ubuntu 10.4. Well, it was far from perfect and had a few issues, like a pulseaudio in its infancy.
In spite of being still beta and receiving updates on a daily basis, Ubuntu Mate has been performing very well, with a very good performance, fairly low RAM footprint and none of the issues 10.4 had.
I'm looking forward to the release of the new Ubuntu LTS and the few months after, when many distros nased on Ubuntu LTS will make new releases.
All i can say for now is that Ubuntu LTS and Mate 1.8 looks like a win.
24 • @18 Fedora 20 Trinity live ISO (by GNUday on 2014-04-08 00:59:05 GMT from Canada)
...found here: http://trinity.motivewellbeing.org/trinity/rpm/f20/ISO/
Tip: install the 'easylife' rpm for proprietary and codecs, etc.
25 • @18 and 20 (by Tony on 2014-04-08 01:06:39 GMT from Thailand)
@ 20 The latest nightly builds were from 22 March 2014.
They probably will appear again soon, as the interruption in builds was due to hardware failure of the cooling system
@18 : " TDE looks close to dormant "
Please look again,....on the right place this time :-)
26 • @24 (by Tony on 2014-04-08 01:12:48 GMT from Thailand)
This is 'fairly' old.
Better to look for an iso with " r14 " in the name.
You will find a well working beta on exeGNUlinux website.
note: testing and debugging will probably go on for another 2 to 3 months, for those who want to know.
27 • TDE downloads - beta (by Tony on 2014-04-08 01:35:57 GMT from Thailand)
for your convenience
28 • @27 exe Wheezy = wrong kernel (by GNUday on 2014-04-08 02:33:25 GMT from Canada)
From the exe r14 package list:"linux-image-3.2.0-4-686-pae". Sorry bud, 64 bit or nothing. ;)
Posting this from FC20 Trinity live x86_64. Is it just me or does yumex suck or what? Much prefer the command line for yum, oddly enough I prefer Synaptic in my native Debian based SolydX install. I'm getting an odd error trying to open my NTFS HDD in FC20 Trinny, even though ntfs-3g is installed, "The option 'locale=en_US.UTF-8' is not allowed for uid=1000", hmmph. Kinda liking Trinity, it's a KDE lite blast from the past, complete with the old system sounds, brings back sweet memories, lol. :D
29 • TDE (by Jeff on 2014-04-08 03:24:30 GMT from United States)
Another option for a Debian TDE distro is Sparkylinux
It is at the bottom of the page.
Available in both i386 and amd64.
30 • PCLinuxOS 'unofficial' Trinity (by GNUday on 2014-04-08 05:18:16 GMT from Canada)
More pretty and flashy (nice transparent panel, too wide out-of-the-box tough, good thing it's adjustable) than the FC20 Trinity, 2 downsides, way less available packages compared to FC20 (FC20=40Gs+, PCLin Trin=14Gs+) and like exeGNU, i686. Comes preloaded with tons of software though, it should, it's a 1.7GB download. It didn't correctly set up my HDMI 1920x1080 correctly either but that was quickly fixed.
31 • spam ads (by mr on 2014-04-08 07:38:58 GMT from Portugal)
Not good when ads here are potentially malicious, definetly misleading. On a site which champions on secure free operating systems and pc security.
32 • @4 Bugs happen (by Koroshiya Itchy on 2014-04-08 08:16:08 GMT from Belgium)
"First, you are installing a BETA. Bugs happen."
Yes, bugs happen and, if they do not have the time to fix them before the deadline, they will happen all the way from alpha to LTS release.
And that is the difference between Ubuntu and a serious operating system...
33 • @32 bugs @15 backup? (by greg on 2014-04-08 08:44:31 GMT from Slovenia)
@32 are you implying that on a most used PC system, (MS windows) all bugs are solved before the deadline? are you too young to remember XP bluescreening on a regular basis way after it's release?
@15 backup - for home backup that is really a descnt option. providing your home ("server room") doesn't get flooded, destroyed in a fire or some other smaller accident that owuld destroy the main data as well as backups.
businesses can't afford this so there are some backup guidelines for them. among one of themis that a backup should be kept at elast 50 km away from main data. so either setup your own server center offsite or pay someone to host data. to pay someone (rent space) that is already hosting data is cheaper. for example we still do it in the old paper way. we have two arhives. they are not so far away (about 5km). one is like a normal archive, the other one is a vault with fireproof doors etc. documents have to be kept for 10 years in case of any tax audits.we are now moving into digital backups. so we have one backup on main server and the rest are offsite at a company that specializes in backups.
34 • Ubuntu not up to expectation (by rahulkay on 2014-04-08 08:45:27 GMT from India)
Earlier I used t refrain from "UBUNTU" but after long gap I decided to give it a try.
First it didn't correctly evaluate my hard disk. By default it wanted to create an extended partition instead of 'primary' partition. After some fiddling I were able to create desired partitions(I had to boot from the cd & choose 'INstall Ubuntu' from menu rather installing from live boot didn't work).
After installation, I was confronted with almost 10yrs old bug. Even after giving the time zone 'It' expected my system was set to 'UTC' rather than local time. This resulted in showing time incorrectly. There is no option to correct the problem but only to set my system to 'UTC'! That's ridiculous because I have to boot to 'win7'.
This model of time setting is continued last 10yrs. WHY, when we have other flavors of 'linux' just easily settle with current time system.
Secondly, while playing any 'mp3', 'mpg' or any or any other contemporary media file results in error of no codec found. Here again most of the flavors like 'mint' support all the media types.
Why ubuntu is lagging behind? While other distros are advancing by leap & bounds.
I expected 'UBUNTU' to apt for 'flexibility' instead of 'stubbornness'.
35 • Ubu One (by reg on 2014-04-08 11:28:15 GMT from Brazil)
A pity, a very good service, even bought some MP3 from them.
But that's it, as mentioned above i too have a backup machine and usb drives.
You should always trust yourself after anyone.
36 • Ubu One (by reg on 2014-04-08 11:30:53 GMT from Brazil)
ops: "You should always trust yourself BEFORE anyone."
37 • @34 Ubuntu (by Kazlu on 2014-04-08 11:31:32 GMT from France)
Local time is not better than UTC, it's just the Windows way. And actually your problem is strange since every installation of Ubuntu I've processed set the time to local time. As did openSUSE, for that matter. The first distro I met that was set to UTC by default was Manjaro, which makes sense for a rolling release distro needing accurate timing, in which case UTC is better than local time.
Secondly, about codecs: if you read the instructions of the installer or the precisions from the Linux Mint website, you would know that codecs are non included in most major distributions because that would be illegal in some countries (like USA and Japan), where codecs are covered by patents. So yes, the main Linux Mint version is illegal in the USA and in Japan, that's why they have also compiled a codec free version of Linux Mint. Ubuntu has another method: in the installer, you may check a box to install Fluendo's codecs pulled from the Internet, an installation that will be processed after the distro itself is installed. That way, the *user* decides to install the codecs, which are *not included* in the distro itself, making the process of having the codecs in Ubuntu legal everywhere and still quite easy. If you missed that, either you did not read the text of the installer, or it's not included in the 14.04 installer (which I doubt since it has been for several past versions), but maybe it will when the actual 14.04 release will occur. I can't be sure since I did not try the last Ubuntu ISO, I fail to see why it would have been removed, but you never know.
If you want to test drive, don't use beta ISOs and wait for the actual release. Until then, no testdrive is relevant. And care reading the instructions of the installer, in your case that would solve your second problem.
38 • @34 Ubuntu expectations and reality (by DavidEF on 2014-04-08 13:46:00 GMT from United States)
If you missed the offer in the installer to include codecs for popular media types, then I guess you shouldn't be expected to find a way in the installer to change from UTC to local time either. Perhaps someone near you who is Linux literate can come over and help you get Ubuntu installed properly so you can test it?
Also, I hope you're not trying the 14.04 beta. Try a previous release, or wait until the 14.04 final release in a couple weeks, for the best results.
39 • #38 (by jaws222 on 2014-04-08 15:43:18 GMT from United States)
I put the 14.04 final beta in a virtualbox a week ago. I had an initial problem with the guest additions where it stubbornly wanted to keep my resolution at 640x480. After a few uninstall/reinstalls of the guest additions I finally got it to work and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I went away from Ubuntu in favor of Debian mostly because of Unity, but Unity has definitely improved. I still like Debian better, but the new Ubuntu is pretty damn good IMO.
40 • GnuPG key formats shown in Tips & Tricks are obsolete/deprecated (by Gort on 2014-04-08 22:59:51 GMT from Romania)
Gnu Privacy Guard
To use GPG to encrypt your communications, you need to create a key pair.
Launch your terminal and run the following command to get started:
$ gpg --gen-key
You will be prompted back with the following:
Please select what kind of key you want:
(1) DSA and Elgamal (default)
(2) DSA (sign only)
(5) RSA (sign only)
Select number 1, as it can be used for encryption and decryption, the second
and third choices are only allowed to sign messages. To do so, press the
number 1, and then press Enter.
You then will be prompted with the following:
1 DSA key-pair will have 1024 bits.
2 ELG-E keys may be between 1024 and 4096 bits long.
3 What key-size do you want? (2048)
Reading this, I am forced to wonder what version of GnuPG Mr. White is using. The key generation options listed above in the Tips and Tricks article do not conform with current standards, nor with currently available software (i.e. GnuPG 2.0.20 / 1.4.16)
If I recall correctly, the last version of GnuPG to feature DSS/Elgamal as default was 1.4.9, which dates from Spring 2008, some six years ago now. In the fall of 2009, the DSS/Elgamal key format was deprecated, being replaced with a dual-RSA key format. Furthermore, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) ordered that 1024-bit keys NOT be used after December 31st, 2010.
As the Digital Signature Standard (DSS) relies on 1024-bit keys as part of the standard, the DSS/DSA/Elgamal key format was also deprecated by NIST.
The current default key format is RSA/RSA, with a default size of 2048-bits each. The primary key is used solely for signing/certification, while the encryption sub-key is used solely for encryption.
41 • Wh1t3 C4t distro (by LinuxMint user on 2014-04-08 23:02:49 GMT from Poland)
I've just gone to the Wh1t3 C4t web site because I was intrigued by its name. The creators of the distro and the web page are only 14 years old! These boys are amazing. I'm definitely going to check that distro out if only for the fact that these boys need more support for the work they do.
42 • Puppy (by computergeek97308 on 2014-04-08 23:55:23 GMT from Mexico)
Puppy is my primary OS on a desktop that once ran Windows ME. I use it primarily for data recovery off old floppies and other menial tasks. Sadly Puppy stopped supporting wireless/wpa2 after version 4.3.1, so my quest for a linux version/distro compatible with my laptop's integrated video (and two different internal pci wifi cards) continues.
What really irritates me is that I had working wifi on 4.3.1 for several years in a dual boot 7/pup situation. After I upgraded the hard drive, upon reinstall the same version of Puppy was no longer compatible with wireless because some of the developer's as well as third party repositories had disappeared and I couldn't find the patches I needed.
:-( sad face.
43 • Puppy install (by David Poole on 2014-04-09 02:26:46 GMT from Australia)
75 year old, always looking for the easy way. From Puppy CD, make your new partition using the partitioner on disc.Do the install but don't do anything about a boot loader. Just reboot to your usual Linux,(usually Grub 2 loader) Open terminal. Type sudo update-grub .Press enter. close terminal, Reboot, choose to boot from list that now includes Puppy. DP
44 • @16 re. TDE (by Barnabyh on 2014-04-09 12:11:33 GMT from United Kingdom)
Hi Uncle, TDE is buggy on Slackware and Red Hat EL, not an option for the main desktop in Slax. It's better in EXE GNU/linux which is a nice distribution but I do not think the Slax man would want to go back or he would have already done so.
45 • @33 bugs (by Koroshiya Itchy on 2014-04-09 14:07:17 GMT from Belgium)
All software, as any man-made product, has bugs. That is not the point. When a professional-grade OS is released it is not bug-free and the developers are typically aware of the existence of several bugs. But, typically, these are just minor bugs. If a major bug is detected prior to the release date and it cannot be fixed on time, the release is postponed. Only hobbyist OS such as Ubuntu are released in spite of having known major bugs. "Known" is the key word.
46 • Puppy (by Woof Fan on 2014-04-09 17:25:27 GMT from United States)
I have used puppy over 4 years now. My office laptop is audited all the time. So I got an old 1 gig thumbdrive and installed puppy on it. After office work is over, Just reboot from the thumbdrive, have automount off and I'm free to browse, play and whatever without worries and like the article said at lighting speed. I'm glad puppy is still alive and barking !!!!!
47 • Linux Mint Rules! (by Penguinx64 on 2014-04-09 21:59:12 GMT from Netherlands)
I used to look at the Distrowatch website every day. I tried dozens of distros and burned even more CDs and DVDs. But, I always came back to Linux Mint. Linux Mint just works with no hassle 'out of the box'. Ubuntu and Fedora still need lots of tweaking after you install them. Other distros have problems with wifi and video drivers. No thanks! I still look at Distrowatch every now and then, but I haven't found any distro better than Linux Mint. The only other Distro I'd even consider is Lubuntu, because it still supports non-PAE kernels for older 32 bit hardware. Keep up the good work Clem and the Linux Mint Team!
48 • #47 (by zykoda on 2014-04-10 06:49:29 GMT from United Kingdom)
So many HPD can't be wrong. Easy install, good OOTB experience, maybe not the best overall performer with the lowest footprint, but with so little else to do , there is plenty of time to try competing distros. Still have mint 9 running alongside13 and 16.
as boot options with many other distros. I agree totally with you at present. Would be my choice to replace obsolescent XP. which I inherited on "scrap" machines.
49 • @47 Lubuntu non-PAE support (by Kazlu on 2014-04-10 07:27:07 GMT from France)
Just a note: Lubuntu 12.04 is the last release that ships with a non-PAE kernel. Good to know if you ever need that. After that it will be necessary to look for specific distros of something like Ubuntu minimal CD.
50 • @45 insects (by greg on 2014-04-10 09:40:09 GMT from Slovenia)
are you talking about LTS releases or other intermitent ones? LTS bug crushing basically starts a lot earlier and it doesn't seem like they have too many bugs left for this LTS.
what would be an example of a much less buggy system (that has all critical/major bugs patched) that is also up-to-date? LTS when they ocme out give you 2 years before you need to move to them. in two years even those major bugs that were left there after introduction will likely not be present anymore. probably a lot sooner.
MS just issued a patch fixing plenty of things in win8. for some those issues could be major (as in i am not buying that OS kind of thing) - for others - they didn't care about them. even the payed for OS get either get out with big bugs in them the difference is they are not known to general public before release (usually). or sometimes they are since MS now offers beta versions to get user feedback.
51 • Ultimate Edition (by Leo on 2014-04-10 12:23:35 GMT from United States)
Anybody else noticed the release notes of UE 3.9?
Basically, the mantainer is saying "I don't really have much time for this, let me get it out". Who could possibly use a distro like that? Interesting!
52 • @45, Impossible! (by Garon on 2014-04-10 12:25:39 GMT from United States)
The fact of the matter is when you put out an OS the performance of that OS will lots of times be determined by the hardware that it is installed on. Only an OS that is made for specific hardware can ALMOST be bug free, but even then some bugs will creep in. You're not an Apple man are you? :O
53 • Wh1t3 C4t (by RollMeAway on 2014-04-10 18:10:15 GMT from United States)
Wh1t3 C4t ... kind of rolls off the tongue and falls flat on the floor?
What distro do you use?
Oh, I love
it is the best.
What IS in a name?
Think about it !
54 • A Wh1t3 C4t by any other name... (by DavidEF on 2014-04-11 13:57:31 GMT from United States)
I'm sure the Wh1t3 C4t name is a lot harder to type than it is to say - seeing as how it's probably pronounced "White Cat" by most people. And as such, it seems to also a be a play off of "Red Hat" Linux, which makes people think happy thoughts of enterprise grade Linux O/S. I think it's a little goofy, but not any more so than some of the others around here.
55 • Point Linux (by rwk on 2014-04-11 14:30:45 GMT from United States)
Try Point Linux.
After distro hopping for a few years I have found several distros that work pretty well for me with a minimum of issues such as Mint(s), Linux Lite. Lubuntu, Puppy, Bodhi, Antix & ....
But for several weeks now I have been using Point Linux and it is performing better for me than any other distro. I don't understand why it is not high up on the Distrowatch list.
56 • @55 Point Linux (by Kazlu on 2014-04-11 15:28:35 GMT from France)
Point Linux is fairly new in the distro landscape. It's community is still small and it has yet to be known by more GNU/Linux enthusiasts. You've got to give it time. The Point Linux team is composed of only 1 guy according to its website, maybe that's scaring some people. Although in practice, since it is basically Debian with MATE, the Debian and MATE teams could count as contributors to Point Linux... Another reason can be the documentation that is not so large and only in English, but again it is linked to the age and the size of the community of this project.
I don't use it personnally but I've only heard/read good from it. It seems to be of very high quality and I suppose it will rise in popularity as more and more people cross its way while distro hopping and find themselves comfortable with it, like you did. Out of curiosity, what makes you prefer Point Linux over Linux Lite for example, since the two seem to have similar objectives? Or over Linux Mint?
57 • @55 @56 (by jaws222 on 2014-04-11 16:26:12 GMT from United States)
"It's community is still small and it has yet to be known by more GNU/Linux enthusiasts. You've got to give it time. The Point Linux team is composed of only 1 guy according to its website, maybe that's scaring some people"
That could be it. I'm running Point (stable) on a partition and Point (Jessie) in a vbox and they are both rock solid. I'm a big Debian fan so I may be biased, but if you're looking for a good solid Debian distro that has a track record you could go with Crunchbang. Solydxk is another, but again it's fairly new.
58 • @51 yep... (by Jordan on 2014-04-11 19:28:49 GMT from United States)
I do recall trying out "Ultimate" a time or two when distro
hopping. Big ole heavy thing it was. Slow and goofy menus.
Dev over his head? Heck I don't know, but he seems to
be saying something like that.
59 • torrent links (by John Cherry on 2014-04-12 05:50:02 GMT from Australia)
It seems to me that links to torrents for ISO files are becoming less common in Distrowatch
Is that right, or just my imagination?
60 • Linux torrents (by Somewhat Reticent on 2014-04-12 07:08:43 GMT from United States)
... are not always given by the distro devs; you might check http://LinuxTracker.org (or your favorite torrent site)
61 • @1 , Paraquat (by Fools Hunter on 2014-04-13 07:06:07 GMT from Mexico)
The epic fiasco is yours, NOT Ubuntu.
First, Installing any Operating System is a serious task, the very first step is reading the MANUAL/GUIDE.
In this case, you was tried to install a BETA, there is NOT a MANUAL, but you should have resorted to the previous manual:
ALL installation Steps are described, inclusive the default's partitions scheming.
"I'm not sure if previous versions of Ubuntu had this bug"
Is not a BUG, and you can't compare BETAS with RELEASES, read, read, read the DOCS, please.
"but I would urge anyone to be very careful when installing Ubuntu 14.04."
Missing the term BETA, again, READ the DOCS.
62 • @57 -solid Debian distro (by Hoos on 2014-04-13 09:26:35 GMT from Singapore)
" I'm a big Debian fan so I may be biased, but if you're looking for a good solid Debian distro that has a track record you could go with Crunchbang. Solydxk is another, but again it's fairly new."
You can try MX-14 as well. It's a special edition of antiX with some Mepis influence, using Debian Stable and XFCE but with antiX and Mepis tools/utilities.
Fast, stable, efficient use of RAM (see this review for comparative RAM consumption of various XFCE distros, where MX14 does really well - http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.sg/2014/04/antix-mx-14-symbiosis-review-truly.html ).
In terms of track record, MX14 has the antiX developers and antiX/Mepis community behind it, the helpful and friendly Mepis forum, and the Mepis Community Repo for updated and requested packages.
63 • Betas and Solyd, etc. (by GNUday on 2014-04-13 11:27:24 GMT from Canada)
I agree with what you suggested, although, I had to switch back to Debian Jessie from SolydX because I have a dual SSD Raid 0, sadly, and like LMDE, it doesn't support Raid 0, which is weird because the SolydXK home editions are based on Jessie, the biz editions are based on Wheezy (just a general info tid bit for other people).
Ironically, Jessie, aka Debian testing, is beta, so I guess I'm a beta-head in a constant state of beta, lol. ;D
I did run SolydX for a while, I dismantled the Raid and had one SSD host root and the other host home, but sooner than later I got 'itchy feet', my machine should run the way I built it. I'm currently trying to find a way of layering SolydX on top of my current Debian Jessie Xfce, keep grub and the kernel intact.
64 • RTFM? Really? (by Fairly Reticent on 2014-04-13 12:20:57 GMT from United States)
Breaking a partition table is far too serious for a beta release; reminds me of the antics of corporate trolls.
Perhaps a link to the Full Manual should be obligatory?
65 • Torrents (by Landor on 2014-04-13 16:02:38 GMT from Canada)
I personally won't test or use a distribution that doesn't have a torrent option. A distribution I was a fan of stopped using them some time ago and I stopped using it.
Oh, and btw, it's good to see that Oracle's still producing their distribution regardless of Red Hat's attempts to block them.
Keep your stick on the ice...
66 • Re: 64 always use custom install (by hobbitland on 2014-04-14 08:33:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
You should always use custom install for any OS. Whether its Linux or Window.
I use gparted by hand to partition a ne PC and never re-partition ever again. I use Three partitions for OS. Also never upgrade a production OS as you cannot go back if its screwed up.
Best to test new distros in a VirtualBox. If it fails testing in VM it does not deserves to touch the physical hardware. Only production OS gets to touch my hard disks on my PCs.
Number of Comments: 66
Display mode: DWW Only • Comments Only • Both DWW and Comments
|• Issue 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using the find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
EasyPeasy (formerly Ubuntu Eee) was an Ubuntu-based distribution for netbooks. It uses Ubuntu Netbook Remix graphical user interface and includes open source as well as proprietary software.