| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 587, 1 December 2014
Welcome to this year's 48th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! A core component of the free and open source movement is the ability for each person to be able to use, modify and redistribute the software they install. The right to inspect code for bugs, to be able to add features and share improvements made to software is a key element of the free software movement. This week we examine a distribution which takes software freedom very seriously and attempts to make using and sharing free software as easy as possible. The distribution is Trisquel and our review of the Free Software Foundation endorsed project is our Feature this week. In our News section we share some interesting developments. The FreeBSD operating system is gaining support for 64-bit ARM processors, an architecture that is expected to gain in popularity on servers. We also share FFmpeg's return to Ubuntu and plans to create an inexpensive open hardware laptop. Following Debian's decision to adopt systemd as its default init software there has been talk of forking Debian and we discuss that too. Plus we talk about DragonFly BSD's latest release and their narrowing hardware support. This week we take a sneak peek at Plasma 5, the desktop environment which is expected to replace KDE 4 in next year's launch of Kubuntu 15.04. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the November 2014 DistroWatch.com donation is the Tails distribution. We wish you all a terrific week and happy reading!
- Reviews: Living free with Trisquel GNU/Linux 7.0
- News: Fedora presents RC1, FreeBSD runs on 64-bit ARM, FFmpeg returns to Ubuntu, Bryan Quigley discusses open hardware, the VUA group plans to fork Debian, DragonFly BSD drops support for 32-bit CPUs
- Technology preview: Kubuntu 14.10 with Plasma 5
- Released last week: Linux Mint 17.1, siduction 14.1.0, DragonFly BSD 4.0.1
- Donations: Tails receives US$350.00
- New distributions: Devuan, InvestigateIX, RLSD, UBOS
- Reader comments
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Living free with Trisquel GNU/Linux 7.0
The Trisquel distribution is one of the few operating systems endorsed by the Free Software Foundation (FSF). Trisquel sticks firmly to the FSF's definition of free software and the distribution makes sure to not only strip non-free elements out of its operating system, it also avoids linking to (or otherwise encouraging the use of) non-free software. The Trisquel distribution is based on Ubuntu with Trisquel 7.0 being based on Ubuntu's most recent long term support release, version 14.04.
Booting from the Trisquel media brings up a menu where we have the option of running Trisquel's live desktop, running the project's graphical system installer or running a text-mode system installer. Taking the live desktop option brings us to a GNOME 3 desktop running in fallback mode. The application menu, task switcher and system tray sit at the bottom of the screen. On the desktop we find icons for browsing the file system, exploring the local network and launching Trisquel's installer. After making sure my hardware was working properly with Trisquel I launched the project's graphical installer.
Trisquel GNU/Linux 7.0 - the default GNOME desktop
(full image size: 1,019kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Trisquel's system installer is essentially the same installer Ubuntu uses, but with a few minor changes to the appearance and some of the options. The installer asks us to select our preferred language and provides us with a link to view the distribution's release notes. Next we are given the chance to download software updates while the installer is running. The following screen asks if we would like Trisquel to automatically divide up our hard disk for us or if we would like to manually partition our hard drive. Manual partitioning is quite straight forward and I found it easy to navigate the disk partitioning screen. Trisquel gives us the option of working with Btrfs, ext2/3/4, JFS and XFS file systems. I opted to install Trisquel on a Btrfs partition. While partitioning the disk we can also choose where to install the distribution's boot loader. The following screen gets us to select our time zone from a map of the world. Then we confirm our keyboard's layout and create a user account for ourselves. We can decide to encrypt the contents of our home directory. The installer copies its files to our hard drive and then asks us to reboot the computer.
When we boot into Trisquel the distribution brings us to a graphical login screen. We can sign into the account we made during the installation process or we can sign into a guest account. The guest account is not protected by a password and is wiped clean after each use. Signing into our account brings us back to the GNOME desktop running in a customized fallback mode. I found Trisquel's desktop has a nice default theme with good contrast and a pretty background of swirling blue and green. The GNOME desktop, running in its fallback mode, was responsive and I found the controls easy to navigate. One thing I observed early on was that any notification from the system, whether I was logging in or Tab-completing something in a terminal or getting a pop-up from an application, was accompanied by a loud "plink" water dripping sound. Maybe it is aside-effect of all the rain that has fallen here this week, but I found the sharp dripping noise unpleasant. I soon turned down the volume and disabled all audio notifications. I also found Trisquel's desktop would lock itself frequently, after just five minutes of inactivity, and I ventured into the control panel to increase the screen lock delay.
Trisquel GNU/Linux 7.0 - reading the GNOME user manual
(full image size: 325kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Speaking of the control panel, or as it is called on Trisquel, System Settings, I feel this component is worth mentioning. The System Settings application acts as a central launch point for configuring the Trisquel operating system and adjusting the user interface. Using System Settings we can access configuration modules for changing the appearance of the desktop, adjusting fonts, changing power settings and tweaking notifications. The panel acts as a launch point for system administration tools including the backup manager, the Synaptic package manager, an account manager and the operating system's update manager. We can also configure software repositories through System Settings. I found all of the modules available in the configuration panel worked well and the modules are easy to navigate. Having played with Plasma 5's System Settings panel this past week, I couldn't help but compare Plasma 5's configuration panel with the GNOME panel available on Trisquel. GNOME's settings panel contains fewer options, but has less clutter. Both panels offer the ability to search for items, making them fairly easy to navigate. I think GNOME has nicer artwork and nice, big icons where Plasma features small icons and appears to use more text in its modules. I suspect newcomers will find GNOME's panel to be more friendly while Plasma's settings panel provides a great deal more flexibility and control.
I ran Trisquel in two environments, a VirtualBox virtual machine and on a physical desktop machine. When running on physical hardware the Trisquel distribution performed very well. All my hardware was detected and properly utilized. My screen was set to its maximum resolution, networking and sound both functioned as expected. The GNOME fallback desktop was responsive and all tasks ran quickly. When running in VirtualBox my experience was similar. I did find Trisquel lacked VirtualBox guest support and a search of Trisquel's repositories did not locate VirtualBox add-ons. This kept video resolution low in Trisquel until I had manually installed VirtualBox guest support. In either environment, Trisquel was fairly light on memory, requiring 320 MB of RAM to login to the GNOME 3 desktop.
The distribution also ships with the Rhythmbox audio player, the Brasero disc burning software and the Totem video player. The distribution provides users with a range of multimedia codecs allowing us to play most audio and video files out of the box. Trisquel provides users with a few small games, an archive manager, virtual calculator and a document viewer. I also found the GNOME manual, a text editor and Network Manager is available to help us get on-line. Trisquel doesn't ship with any compiler, but the GNU Compiler Collection is available in the project's software repositories. In the background we find a free-software-only edition of the Linux kernel, version 3.13.
Trisquel GNU/Linux 7.0 - running various desktop applications
(full image size: 362kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
The software which ships with Trisquel worked well for me and I didn't run into any problems. In fact, Trisquel offers a pleasantly smooth and, in my case, bug free experience. I did run into a quirk which I found interesting though. The Trisquel release notes report the distribution offers a custom version of the GNOME 3.12 desktop. However, I found different GNOME packages reported a range of version numbers. For instance, the terminal application reports version 3.6, the GNOME Details module reported I was running GNOME 3.8. Looking through the project's software repository I found the GNOME meta package carried the version number 3.8 while the GNOME Shell package and various libraries were packaged as 3.10. None of the software I queried during my trial reported the 3.12 version number listed in the project's release notes. To be fair, I haven't used GNOME much since the start of the 3.x series, so I'm not sure if this mismatch of version numbers is a reflection of upstream or an indication the packages have been compiled from a variety of GNOME releases.
Speaking of packages, Trisquel ships with two graphical package managers. One is a simple graphical front end, called Add/Remove Applications, where we can search for packages and browse software categories. Adding or removing software is as easy as clicking a check next to a package's name. The main package manager is quite streamlined and offers very few options. Add/Remove Applications, I found, only works with desktop software. To access command line packages or libraries we need to turn to the other software manager. The second package manager is Synaptic, a faster and more flexible package manager. Synaptic offers the user more options, but has a busier interface. Both package managers allowed me to locate and install or remove desktop applications without any problems. I did find the Add/Remove Applications package manager returned strange search results sometimes. Some searches would return packages with completely different names. For example, a search for "firefox" returned results to "uGet" and "gPlanarity".
Trisquel GNU/Linux 7.0 - changing desktop settings and installing packages
(full image size: 273kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Software updates are handled by the Update Manager which can be located in the System Settings panel. The Update Manager shows us a brief list of available software upgrades and allows us to check which items we want to install. The first day I was running Trisquel there were 89 updates available, totalling 37MB in size. At the end of the week there were seven updates waiting to be installed, these totalling 1MB in size. During my experiment with Trisquel all package updates installed cleanly. I found it interesting to note the Update Manager refers to Trisquel as "Ubuntu 7".
When running Trisquel GNU/Linux I find myself considering not just the distribution in front of me, but the capabilities of the free software components that make up the operating system. Free and open source software sometimes gets stigmatized as being incomplete or lacking features available in commercial products. Whenever I boot up Trisquel I find myself wondering whether the free software only distribution will be able to hold its own when it comes to hardware drivers, multimedia support and productivity software. The answer I came to when running Trisquel 7.0 is that, yes, the distribution appears to be nearly as capable as operating systems that do not stick to the FSF's definition of free software.
Some people who use hardware that requires binary blobs or non-free drivers may face problems and Flash support isn't perfect when using the free Gnash player, but otherwise Trisquel appears to be every bit as functional as other mainstream Linux distributions. The software Trisquel ships with appears to be stable, functional and user friendly. The distribution is easy to install, I found it pleasant to use and I didn't encounter any problems. People who value or wish to promote free software should definitely try running Trisquel, it's an excellent example of what can be accomplished with free software.
* * * * *
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 2.8 GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500 GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6 GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar)
Fedora presents RC1, FreeBSD runs on 64-bit ARM, FFmpeg returns to Ubuntu, Bryan Quigley discusses open hardware, the VUA group plans to fork Debian, DragonFly BSD drops support for 32-bit CPUs
With the last month of 2014 finally upon us, all eyes are turning towards the last major distribution release of the year - that of Fedora 21. The unofficial first release candidate was made available on Friday, while the final release is still scheduled for 9 December. So what will the latest incarnation of Red Hat's community project be like? Last week Fedora developer Pádraig Brady published a technical review of Fedora 21: "After a week of use here is my review compared to Fedora 16. In summary, the distro is more polished and stable and I'm glad I upgraded. The good: GNOME 3 status icons are more functional and have a better layout; problematically slow yum and seapplet are much faster; the firewall is better integrated with ports auto opened upon service enablement; package updates are better integrated into the system; notifications have got some design improvement and are persistent; perfect hardware support for my laptop, including extended keys etc; boot-up is cleaner, and a better experience than I noticed with Fedora 18 and 19; Firefox 33.1, Thunderbird 31.2 and LibreOffice 4.3 are included...."
* * * * *
The FreeBSD Foundation reported last week that the 64-bit ARM port of FreeBSD is making rapid progress. While 32-bit ARM processors are popular in embedded devices, 64-bit ARM machines are expected to become increasingly popular in the server market as their reputation for low-energy cost savings make ARM an attractive choice for data centres. According to the FreeBSD Foundation's report, FreeBSD can now boot into single user mode on 64-bit ARM machines and more features are expected to soon follow: "The kernel bring-up portion of the project is nearing completion; FreeBSD/arm64 boots to single-user mode on ARM's reference simulator. Work is underway on the remaining kernel drivers, and on userland support. This project's overall goal is to bring FreeBSD/arm64 to a Tier-1 status, including release media and prebuilt package sets. More information about the arm64 port can be found on the FreeBSD wiki."
* * * * *
A few years ago the FFmpeg suite of multimedia software was forked, giving birth to Libav. Some distributions, including Ubuntu, adopted the new Libav fork and Ubuntu has shipped with Libav exclusively for the past few releases. However, due to improvements in FFmpeg over the past three years, Ubuntu will once again be packaging the popular multimedia software. The Web Upd8 site reports: "Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet currently has FFmpeg 2.4.3 (imported from Debian) and because both Libav and FFmpeg use the same library names, the new FFmpeg package ships with renamed libraries, like "libavdevice-ffmpeg", "libavutil-ffmpeg" and so on."
Bryan Quigley put forward an interesting question last week: would the Linux community crowd-fund a US$500 open-to-the-core laptop? "Since Jolla had success with crowdfunding a tablet, it's a good time to see if we can get some mid-range Ubuntu laptops for sale to consumers in as many places as possible. I'd like to get some ideas about whether there is enough demand for a very open $500 Ubuntu laptop." While there are a number of retailers offering Linux-compatible laptops, they are typically more expensive than $500 or ship with significantly lower specifications than what Quigley is proposing. People who wish to support an open hardware laptop compatible with Linux can fill out Quigley's survey.
While on the subject of Ubuntu and crowdfunding, a new effort to develop a modern tablet with a "real" Linux distribution was announced last week. The project behind the UbuTab, as the tablet is called, seeks to raise a rather modest sum of US$36,000 to make the device reality, with the first deliveries expected in March 2015. The interesting part about the UbuTab is its massive storage - up to 2 TB. From the project's page on Indiegogo: "Our primary focus with the UbuTab is to provide a fresh and exciting take on mobile computing. We aim to bring desktop capacity storage to the tablet. Innovative advances in the hard drive market have provided us thin and power efficient hard drives that reach up to 2 TB in capacity. At only 7mm thick, these drives are 25% slimmer than a traditional laptop hard drive. These slim new drives allowed us to engineer a tablet with massive storage without becoming clunky or thick. In addition to the unique and specialized hardware, the UbuTab will come loaded with the Ubuntu OS." At the time of writing UbuTab has raised nearly a quarter of its target (in just four days), so it looks like the world's first Ubuntu tablet is destined to become a reality.
* * * * *
Back in October we talked about a group called Veteran Unix Admins (VUA) who said they would consider forking the Debian distribution if Debian went forward with making systemd the default init software. Since then Debian has moved forward with adopting systemd as the default init technology and voted to allow programs packaged for Debian to depend specifically on systemd. This move prompted the VUA to announce they will go ahead with their fork of Debian: "The default init system in the next Debian "Jessie" release will be systemd, bringing along a deep web of dependencies. We need to individuate those dependencies, clean them from all packages affected and provide an alternative repository where to get them. The stability of our fork is the main priority in this phase." People wishing to support the VUA can donate to the project. More information on the Debian fork, called Devuan, can be found on the new distribution's website.
* * * * *
Last week saw the release of DragonFly BSD 4.0, a new branch that offers support for more CPU cores, Haswell graphics support and concurrent packet filtering with PF. One interesting part of the release announcement is the news DragonFly BSD will no longer support the 32-bit x86 architecture. People wishing to run DragonFly BSD will need a 64-bit x86 CPU. DragonFly BSD is one of a growing number of open-source operating systems, including KaOS, Chakra GNU/Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and PC-BSD, that have dropped support for the ageing 32-bit x86 architecture.
|Technology Preview (by Jesse Smith)
Kubuntu 14.10 with Plasma 5
When Ubuntu 14.10 and its many community editions came out in October I had originally planned to review just the flag ship distribution, Ubuntu with the Unity desktop. However, looking over the release announcement for Kubuntu I noticed one interesting new feature: Plasma 5. According to the Kubuntu website, "Kubuntu Plasma 5 14.10 is a technology preview using the next generation desktop from KDE. We welcome testers but don't offer any reliability guarantee or support."
Up to this point I had only played with KDE's Plasma 5 briefly when it was still very much in its early stages. This seemed like a good opportunity to experiment with Plasma 5 on a distribution which works closely with the upstream developers. Kubuntu 14.10 with Plasma 5 is available in 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds and the ISO we download is 1.2 GB in size.
Kubuntu 14.10 - the default Plasma 5 theme
(full image size: 826kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Booting from the live media gave me different results depending on whether I ran Kubuntu in a virtual machine or on physical hardware. When running on my physical desktop computer, Kubuntu's live disc booted to a text console where I was automatically logged in. Running the command "startx" launched the Plasma desktop environment and I was able to experiment with the distribution from there. Launching Kubuntu in a VirtualBox environment brought me directly to the Plasma 5 desktop. On the desktop we find a folder view widget containing a single icon. Clicking the icon launches the project's system installer. The default wallpaper looks like a pastel kaleidoscope. Along the bottom of the display we find an application menu, task switcher and a system tray. One thing I noticed straight away is the yellow "cashew" icon often associated with the KDE 4 desktop has been removed. In its place is a small, grey ball with tiny lines drawn through it. We can click on this grey ball (I began to think of it as "the dust ball") and drag it around the screen. Whenever we release the dust ball it snaps to the nearest screen edge. Clicking the dust ball brings up a menu where we can work with Plasma widgets and activities. More on those later.
Kubuntu's system installer is friendly and worked quickly for me. It acts a great deal like the Ubuntu installer though Kubuntu's installer features a different colour scheme and slightly different layout. We are walked through selecting our preferred language, optionally installing multimedia support and disk partitioning. I took the guided partitioning option and found the installer set me up with an ext4 root partition and a small swap partition. We then select our time zone from a map of the world, confirm our keyboard layout and create a user account. I found Kubuntu's installer to be very easy to navigate and it quickly finished copying its files to my computer. When the installer is finished we are asked to reboot the computer.
Kubuntu 14.10 - Plasma 5 with a darker theme
(full image size: 585kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Kubuntu boots to a graphical login screen and, when we sign in, we are presented once again with the bright, kaleidoscope style desktop. By default, the theme colours look flat and washed out. The icons have high contrast. One of the first things I did was bring up Plasma's settings so I could change the default background. There weren't any alternative wallpapers on the system, but I could connect to a repository of artwork. Browsing through this repository and attempting to download wallpapers caused the settings panel to frequently lock up or report it had lost its connection to the artwork repository. After several attempts I managed to download a handful of alternative backgrounds and apply them to my desktop.
The distribution ships with a small selection of desktop software, most of it associated with the KDE project. I didn't spend a lot of time working with the various web browsers, image manipulation applications and utilities. I wanted to focus my attention on Plasma and how it worked rather than the underlying operating system. However, I did find the Firefox web browser was installed and LibreOffice was available. There were also tools available for burning optical discs, changing the Plasma desktop's behaviour, sending e-mail and working with BitTorrent. In the background Kubuntu runs on the Linux kernel, version 3.16.
As I mentioned above, I ran Kubuntu in two environments, a VirtualBox virtual machine and on a desktop machine. Apart from the live disc booting to a text console on my desktop machine, I found the distribution ran well in both environments. The system booted quickly, the Plasma desktop responded quickly and my screen was set to its maximum resolution. Networking and sound worked as expected and, while Plasma had a few lock-ups, I didn't run into any crashes from desktop applications or the underlying operating system. Whenever Plasma glitched or my task switcher disappeared, it would usually sort itself out after about five seconds. On the rare instance when Plasma didn't right itself, I found logging out and logging back into my account would restore functionality to the desktop. During my tests Kubuntu used approximately 530 MB of RAM when logged into Plasma.
Kubuntu 14.10 - managing software with Muon Discover
(full image size: 1,129kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
The Kubuntu distribution ships with two graphical applications for manipulating software packages. The first is the Muon Update Manager. This application can be launched to check for software updates in the Kubuntu repositories. Muon Update Manager shows us a list of available upgrades. We can check which items we want to download and click a button to download and install all waiting updates. I found clicking on a new package's name would bring up a brief change log for the package, showing us what has been changed for this upgrade.
The second program provided for working with software is Muon Discover. This application consists of three tabs, one for locating new software packages, another for browsing software already installed on our computer and a third tab enables us to configure software repositories. Using the first two tabs we can browse through categories of software. Packages are represented by large icons and a name. Clicking on a package's icon brings up a screen where we are shown a summary of what the package does along with user ratings and a list of related packages. We can click a button to install the package. When a new package is queued for installation a tab appears at the bottom of the Muon Discover window and we can watch a progress bar grow as the software is downloaded. We can cancel the installation by clicking on a "stop" icon.
Once the new software is installed we can launch it by clicking a "run" icon. Muon Discover lets us continue browsing the software repository while it installs new items. I experimented with adding a handful of packages and removing a few others. These actions all completed without any problems. The only complaint I had with Muon Discover was, when searching for specific packages by name, search results were slow to appear. Browsing categories of software to locate items returned results quickly in comparison to searches for items by name.
Kubuntu 14.10 - power management and window preview
(full image size: 279kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Most of my time with Kubuntu was spent playing with the desktop interface rather than focusing on any specific tasks. I was constantly poking at settings, trying to see what was similar to KDE 4 and what had changed. I found, for the most part, Plasma 5 looks and acts very much like KDE 4, but with subtle differences. The locations of some settings have changed in the System Settings panel. I think a little reorganization was done, but the ability to search for items in System Settings by name makes locating configuration modules straight forward. I got the impression some features had been rearranged to make it possible to fine tune them more easily while others appear to have been removed (or not added yet).
As an example, I didn't find any way to completely enable/disable desktop visual effects. However, there is a screen in System Settings where we can individually select which effects we want enabled. If we un-check all these effects we have essentially disabled visual effects. I couldn't find a way to switch the desktop clock between 12-hour and 24-hour displays. (Admittedly finding this feature wasn't easy under KDE 4 and I am uncertain if the feature was removed or if it just switched hiding places.) Still, the majority of features that were present in KDE 4 appear to be in Plasma 5 and they are typically in the same location. This makes the shift from KDE 4 to Plasma 5 a fairly gentle, evolutionary step. It is much easier to migrate to Plasma 5 from KDE 4 than it was adjusting from KDE 3 to KDE 4.
Another feature which stood out was the way activities and widgets are handled. While welcome features in KDE 4, I found them awkward to use under the old desktop interface. Plasma 5 does a good job of making widget management easy and clear. The way widgets are browsed and enabled feels more natural, smoother. Plasma activities are virtual workspaces set up to feature different backgrounds and different widgets or applications. Accessing activities in Plasma 5 feels about the same. However, creating and removing activities feels more natural to me now. Working with activities is a simple act of clicking the dust ball and then clicking the Activities entry.
Kubuntu 14.10 - browsing available Plasma widgets
(full image size: 1,402kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Finally, there is one Plasma feature I quite like and that is the "alternatives" option. Right-clicking on a widget and selecting "alternatives" brings up a list of widgets which perform approximately the same function as our current widget. For instance, we can right-click on the application menu and select "alternatives" to see a list of all available application menu widgets. Clicking an alternative widget causes the old one to be removed and the new one to be installed in its place. We can also find alternatives to items such as the clock or the task switcher. Each widget carries its own style and particular functionality and these alternative widgets make it easy to customize the desktop to match our preferences.
With regards to Kubuntu, version 14.10 appears to be a solid release. The operating system was stable, installing it was easy and Kubuntu worked well with my hardware. The distribution offers a small, capable collection of software and it is easy to install more software through the Muon Discover utility. Generally speaking, I like what Kubuntu put forward with this release.
That being said, I didn't sit down with Kubuntu to examine the operating system, I installed Kubuntu so I could play with Plasma. Plasma 5 is still in its early stages and that shows a bit. Some of the settings modules, such as the wallpaper switcher, tended to lock up. Sometimes I'd see an error indicating Plasma had crashed and all my widgets (including application menu and task switcher) would disappear for a few seconds. Usually Plasma would simply restart and I could continue where I left off, but a few times I had to logout and then login again to get Plasma working properly.
Plasma 5 does a good job of continuing KDE's legacy of being customizable. Almost everything can be configured, re-themed, moved around. KDE is possibly the most flexible open source desktop available at the moment. More to the point, finding most options and changing them is not only possible but easy. Plasma 5 ran quickly on my system, the desktop was very responsive and I like that, by default, there were not many visual effects enabled.
The Plasma 5 desktop feels less distracting than KDE 4 is. When I run KDE 4 I often see notifications popping up in the corner of the desktop. These notifications tend to be too large and too frequent in my opinion. When using Plasma I rarely saw notifications appear and the ones I observed were less distracting visually. On the subject of visuals, I have to say I am not a fan of the "flat" style of desktop we have been seeing a lot of recently. Plasma, by default, has a very flat look. The icons are simple, high contrast and everything lacks texture. This makes it difficult for me to tell what is a label and what is a button, what is simply a picture in the corner of a window and what is a control I can use. I don't like that Plasma is following this trend of flat design. I do like that almost everything about the desktop, including icons and theme, can be altered easily. Plasma makes it easy to get rid of the eyeball abusing, flat, pastel nightmare and replace it with something much more pleasing to my eyes.
Overall, I think the design of Plasma 5 is good. It is fast, flexible and doesn't appear to require any more resources than KDE 4. There are a few bugs remaining, the occasional crash and a few configuration tools locked up. However, I suspect that by the time Kubuntu 15.04 arrives Plasma 5 will be ready to take the place of default desktop environment.
* * * * *
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 2.8 GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500 GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6 GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
|Released Last Week
Ferdinand Thommes has announced the release of siduction 14.1.0, a set of Debian-based desktop Linux distributions with separate Cinnamon, GNOME, KDE, LXDE, LXQt and Xfce editions: "We are very happy to present the final release of siduction 2014.1 'Indian Summer'. siduction is a distribution based on Debian’s unstable branch and we try to release a few new snapshots over the course of each year. For 2014 it will be just this final release. siduction 2014.1 ships with six desktop environments - KDE SC, Xfce, LXDE, LXQt, GNOME and Cinnamon, all in 32-bit and 64-bit variants." Read the informative release notes for further information.
siduction 14.1.0 - the distribution's default KDE desktop
(full image size: 414kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
DragonFly BSD 4.0.1
Justin Sherrill has announced the release of DragonFly BSD 4.0.1, the first stable 4.0 build of the project's UNIX-like operating system created in 2003 by Matthew Dillon as a fork of FreeBSD 4.8: "Version 4.0.1 released 25 November 2014. Version 4 of DragonFly brings Haswell graphics support, 3D acceleration, and improved performance in extremely high-traffic networks. DragonFly now supports up to 256 CPUs, Haswell graphics (i915), concurrent pf operation, and a variety of other devices. As announced during the 3.8 release, DragonFly BSD is 64-bit only. No 32-bit installation images have been generated, and no compatibility work is being done for 32-bit systems. Changes since DragonFly 3.8: new device files /dev/upmap and /dev/kpmap have been added. These memory mappable drivers allow for a per process or common to the kernel shared memory space. The objective is to allow kernel-provided information to be directly read from memory, without having to pay the cost of a traditional system call." Read the detailed release announcement for a full list of changes.
Zbigniew Konojacki has announced the release of 4MLinux 10.1, the new stable build of the project's lightweight desktop Linux distribution running a customised JWM window manager: "4MLinux 10.1 'Allinone' edition final released. The status of the 4MLinux 10.1 series has been changed to stable. Lots of improvements, most of which are my response to various feature requests. Mozilla software (Firefox, SeaMonkey, Thunderbird) use the native Linux build of GTK+ (not via WINE any more). GNOME Parted (aka GParted) is now included, while Dropbox and Opera are available as downloadable extensions. All web browsers (Firefox, Opera, Qupzilla, SeaMonkey) have the Flash Player plugin enabled out of the box. Additionally, support for many printers and scanners has been added (there's a short guide on the 4MLinux Blog)." Here is the brief release announcement with a screenshot of the default desktop.
Linux Mint 17.1
Clement Lefebvre has announced the release of Linux Mint 17.1, un updated build of the popular distribution built on top of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: "The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 17.1 'Rebecca' MATE. Linux Mint 17.1 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2019. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use. Linux Mint 17.1 MATE edition comes with two window managers installed and configured by default: Marco (MATE's very own window manager, simple, fast and very stable); Compiz (an advanced compositing window manager which can do wonders if your hardware supports it). Among the various window managers available for Linux, Compiz is certainly the most impressive when it comes to desktop effects." Read the two release announcements (Cinnamon and MATE) for more details.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
November 2014 DistroWatch.com donation: Tails|
We are pleased to announce that the recipient of the November 2014 DistroWatch.com donation is Tails, a Debian-based live CD project that integrates Tor software with the Iceweasel web browser for unparalleled online anonymity. It receives US$350.00 in cash.
As the project's home page explains, "Tails is a live operating system, that you can start on almost any computer from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card. It aims at preserving your privacy and anonymity, and helps you to: use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship; all connections to the Internet are forced to go through the Tor network; leave no trace on the computer you are using unless you ask it explicitly; use state-of-the-art cryptographic tools to encrypt your files, emails and instant messaging." See the distribution's about page for a more detailed explanation of the tools used.
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Those readers who wish to contribute towards these donations, please use our advertising page to make a payment (PayPal, credit cards, Yandex Money and crypto currencies are accepted). Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$41,975 to various open-source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NDISwrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300), GCompris ($352), Xiph.org ($250), Clonezilla ($250), Debian Multimedia ($280), Geany ($300), Mageia ($470), gtkpod ($300)
- 2011: CGSecurity ($300), OpenShot ($300), Imagination ($250), Calibre ($300), RIPLinuX ($300), Midori ($310), vsftpd ($300), OpenShot ($350), Trinity Desktop Environment ($300), LibreCAD ($300), LiVES ($300), Transmission ($250)
- 2012: GnuPG ($350), ImageMagick ($350), GNU ddrescue ($350), Slackware Linux ($500), MATE ($250), LibreCAD ($250), BleachBit ($350), cherrytree ($260), Zim ($335), nginx ($250), LFTP ($250), Remastersys ($300)
- 2013: MariaDB ($300), Linux From Scratch ($350), GhostBSD ($340), DHCP ($300), DOSBox ($250), awesome ($300), DVDStyler ($280), Tor ($350), Tiny Tiny RSS ($350), FreeType ($300), GNU Octave ($300), Linux Voice ($510)
- 2014: QupZilla ($250), Pitivi ($370), MediaGoblin ($350), TrueCrypt ($300), Krita ($340), SME Server ($350), OpenStreetMap ($350), iTALC ($350), KDE ($400), The Document Foundation ($400), Tails ($350)
* * * * *
Distributions added to waiting list
- Devuan. Devuan is a fork of the Debian distribution which aims to remain free of systemd components.
- InvestigateIX. InvestigateIX is a live-system for search empowering investigative journalists to setup an own open-source search engine on an encrypted external device to search in a large amount of documents, files and data.
- RLSD. RLSD is a small, "live" GNU/Linux-libre distro with retro applications for the x86 and x86_64 architectures. It revives old hardware and the way computing used to be in the late 1990s.
- UBOS. UBOS is a Linux distribution which attempts to make it easier to set up services such as ownCloud and Wordpress on home servers. UBOS runs on x86 computers and the Raspberri Pi Model B.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 8 December 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 • Devuan (by Paraquat on 2014-12-01 10:22:34 GMT from Taiwan) |
Exciting news that Debian has forked and is creating a distro minus systemd.
I wish them luck, but I know it won't be easy. Debian is a huge distro with something like 30,000 packages. They could use about 30,000 volunteers to maintain this.
When they finally get a Devuan version 1.0, I'll definitely give it a look. For now, I'm experimenting with Gentoo, Slackware and PC-BSD. No idea yet which will emerge as my favorite.
I own two web sites, which are currently hosted on CentOS. Since my web hosting company doesn't look likely to change distros, I'm looking for options. I was surprised to see that FreeBSD hosting - which was once very popular - has become very rare. Slackware actually looks like the best bet, but I'd probably have to go with a VPS (virtual private server). It would mean doing all my own management.
Quite a lot of companies are offering this. Search on "Slackware VPS" and you'll find plenty. A huge range in prices.
Anybody out there doing this? Any experiences and pitfalls to report? Running a VPS will be a new experience for me.
2 • Hosting and the choice on operating systems (by Pierre on 2014-12-01 10:37:13 GMT from Germany)
Have a look at http://www.kimsufi.com/us/en/about-ks/
Prices are low for a fully dedicated root server. You have free choice on many open source operating systems including FreeBSD, Slackware, Debian CentOS and some others.
3 • Dark theme of kde5 (by Ulf on 2014-12-01 10:38:46 GMT from Germany)
I really love dark themes, but unfortunately once in a while i get a search box in firefox or in another browser with white text on white background. I hope I can find out a way to get around that without fiddling with every websites css or something like that. I wonder if kde5 features this.
4 • Devuan (by Ian on 2014-12-01 11:17:21 GMT from United Kingdom)
I made a small donation this morning.
I am no coder / developer so it's all I can do to try to avoid systemd in the future.
I have also been trying out PC-BSD and Salix, but how long before Slackware fall into the systemd trap? So that leaves BSD as the only alternative if systemd becomes the default and Linux becomes "it's" add-on.
Failing that, then the computer goes into the dump.
5 • @4Devuan (by mandog on 2014-12-01 12:02:13 GMT from Peru)
You don't need to be a coder/developer to use systemD its very simple commands
sudo systemctl l enable "what ever" reboot ,sudo systemctl disable "what ever" reboot.
sudo systemctl start "what ever" sudo systemctl stop "what ever" for on the fly
its that simple
You need to be more clever to change commands using init as its all over the place and so are the commands.
Its also rumoured that BSD is looking to change from the init system so really that is flogging a dead horse and goes to prove inits day are really numbered.
6 • Debian fork (by Dale Visser on 2014-12-01 12:10:41 GMT from United States)
I *am* a developer, though I don't touch OS kernels or init systems. I don't foresee the presence or absence of systemd making a difference one way or another on my future distro choices. I've been happily using Ubuntu variants with its Upstart init system or 4+ years now.
That said, I think the real concern is projects like Gnome, that sit above the OS, taking dependencies on aspects of systemd. But can't a package using systemd lib dependencies still load on.an OS that uses SysVinit, for example? That's. a real question, by the way. :-)
7 • At least a new Fedora :) (by Frederic Bezies on 2014-12-01 12:23:48 GMT from France)
Even if I'm not a die-hard fan of Fedora, I'm happy to hear that its new version will be released soon.
Only question is : will Fedora 22 be released in 6 months or a year from now ?
8 • @#5 (by Paraquat on 2014-12-01 12:34:32 GMT from Taiwan)
Nobody is saying that systemd is too complicated to use. That is not the issue at all. Either you haven't followed the debate, or you're being deliberately provocative (I hope it's not the latter).
The debate over systemd is very lengthy, and I'm not going to reproduce it here. You can get a good idea by reading through some of the forums, I'll suggest this thread on Gentoo:
Nobody is claiming that sysvinit is perfect. There just happen to be other good alternatives which do not lock you in with dependencies as systemd does. If systemd was simply an init system and nothing else, there would be no debate at all.
The FreeBSD folks are looking at launchd, but if it's ported, you could still uninstall it and go back to init. There is no lock-in.
It is impossible to install systemd on the BSDs, even if the BSD folks wanted it (which they don't). And that is going to become even more true as systemd takes over more and more functions.
If you like systemd/Linux, fine. Enjoy it. Mostly likely it will work fine...until it doesn't. One security hole in that massive opaque Borg will take down 90% of the Linux servers on the Internet. Those of us with Slackware or FreeBSD servers will be standing on the sidelines, watching in amazement, thankful that we didn't drink the systemd Kool-Aid.
9 • Init burnout. Enough already! (by RichJack on 2014-12-01 12:54:07 GMT from United Kingdom)
It's getting near impossible to enjoy Distrowatch weekly as week in week out the comments section is taken over by Systemd debate (that is putting it kindly).
Distrowatch is meant to be about discussing Linux distributions, not the minutiae of every component within Linux distributions. We should be discussing the relative merits of Trisquel or Plasma 5 this week, perhaps paying attention to some new releases, but I can tell already that this week's comments are going the way of last weeks.
The last distro that was seriously discussed here was OpenSUSE a few weeks back but even that was interspersed with Systemd madness.
Take the debate back to the Debian forums, and let Distrowatch readers have a week off. When Devuan finally releases a stable version, then I am sure Jessie will review it and we can discuss it then.
10 • broken records (by Milo on 2014-12-01 13:16:49 GMT from Poland)
"If systemd was simply an init system and nothing else, there would be no debate at all."
Yes – there – would – be. I could say something snarky like either you haven't followed the debate, or you're being deliberately provocative, but instead I will plead for a little variety in the commentary rather than having the same battles rehashed week in, week out.
11 • kubuntu plasma 5 (by Guido on 2014-12-01 13:25:13 GMT from Austria)
I have not used plasma 5 yet, but I have seen some very nice screenshots. The kubuntu variant seems inconsistent and ugly in comparison. I think the menu bar and application menu styles are the same used in the kde 4 / plasma version. I fear we have to wait until next spring to see a nice plasma 5 distribution.
PS: The opensuse variant might look nice. Their standard (kde 4) version already uses the same design principals as plasma 5. Using kde 4 the (oxygen) window decoration somehow looks out of place, but the plasma 5 breeze decoration must look nice.
12 • The never ending systemd debate (by Pierre on 2014-12-01 13:26:04 GMT from Germany)
You are right, the systemd debate is taking over the Distrowatch Weekly week by week. But this only demonstrates how important this topic is to most of the Linux and BSD users.
And as systemd is contantly taking over more and more central parts of a Linux system I can understand the discussion on it.
I was looking forward to testdrive openSUSE 13.2 but I am still on openSUSE 13.1 and am considering my next moves.
Sure, the discussion on systemd got way too heated recently and I am no systemd hater as I am very happy about some of it's features.
Nevertheless I am honestly reconsidering the real use of systemd and it's consequences.
As I pointed out, I am not systemd hater, but no one can really be happy with it taking over so many other parts of the system and as well, we cannot be happy with GNOME having systemd as a hard dependency.
13 • Debian's Religious Dispute Sparks Splinter Sect (by joncr on 2014-12-01 13:37:41 GMT from United States)
Debian is more about religion than about delivering useful software to ordinary people, so it's no surprise when some of the laity decide the priesthood has sinned and go off and start their own little sect.
If any system forces ordinary users to be aware of systemd or any other comparable low-level infrastructure, then it is a system that has failed.
If low-level infrastructure creates capabilities intended for use by ordinary users, then those capabilities should be exposed to users in applications.
Admins are not ordinary users. They are paid to administer systems their employers pay for. If their employer pays them to admin Debian, then they can choose between Debian with systemd or looking for a new job.
Would anyone care if the mechanics who support the FedEx truck fleet through a hissy fit because their employer decided to buy new trucks that they didn't want to work on?
If admins aren't paid, then they're probably hobbyist, so, again, meh...
14 • RE:13, Nail on the head. (by Eddie on 2014-12-01 14:18:35 GMT from United States)
joncr hit the nail on the head. The “Veteran Unix Admin collective.” That name says it all. They can do all the forks they want to, but if these people have a real job then they will do what their employer tells them to. They may even have to learn something new. The sad thing is they make all of these threats, and they are threats, it's just like spitting in the wind. If they have their own business then it really is irrelevant because they still have to do what their customer tells them to. If they are just hobbiest then why would anyone else care? What everyone will use will be determined by the one paying the bills and not so called software purist, or so called freedom fighters. Some people need to take a walk with reality. These admins. will not be able to show their employers or their customers why they should change their whole system because of init scripts. The monetary cost will not be justifiable.
15 • @12 (by a on 2014-12-01 14:19:02 GMT from France)
I’m not sure what’s worse: systemd, or so many people insisting on writing "it’s" instead of "its". Both are getting on my nerves.
16 • Alternative hosting (by Jesse Smith on 2014-12-01 15:12:32 GMT from Canada)
>> "I own two web sites, which are currently hosted on CentOS. Since my web hosting company doesn't look likely to change distros, I'm looking for options. I was surprised to see that FreeBSD hosting - which was once very popular - has become very rare. "
This is a truly shameless plug, but my company offers shared hosting and VPS solutions on both Linux and FreeBSD, we're all about choice. If you want to talk solutions more you can drop me an e-mail. I'd rather not bog down the discussion here.
17 • THIS...is why so many DO NOT want systemD (by Tux Raider on 2014-12-01 15:34:46 GMT from United States)
systemd is a replacement for the sysvinit daemon used in GNU/Linux and Unix systems, originally authored by Lennart Poettering of Red Hat. It represents a monumental increase in complexity, a slap in the face to the Unix philosophy, and its inherent domineering and viral nature turns it into something akin to a "second kernel" that is spreading all across the Linux ecosystem. This site aims to serve as a rundown and a wake-up call to take a stand against the widespread proliferation of systemd, to detail why it is harmful, and to persuade users to reject its use, and especially its ubiquity.
18 • Trisquel (by Dale Visser on 2014-12-01 15:38:25 GMT from United States)
I don't want to seem ungrateful for the Trisquel review. It looks great! Also, I know there a lot of "haters" on the current trend of "flattening" interfaces. Sometimes I'm even one of them.
Also, great Kubuntu/Plasma review. On the bases of the Kubuntu 14.10 screenshots alone though, I think that KDE is looking beautiful nowadays. I currently use Lubuntu 14.04 (happily) on all my home systems, and tend to stick with *ubuntu LTS releases. I do have an 8 GiB Core i7 laptop waiting for a hard drive (used to a be a work machine running Windows 7), and I think I'm sold on putting Kubuntu 14.04 on it now! Since the machine can handle it easily, I want some eye candy! :-)
19 • 30,000 packages (by bison on 2014-12-01 15:40:20 GMT from United States)
> I wish them luck, but I know it won't be easy. Debian is a huge distro with something like 30,000 packages. They could use about 30,000 volunteers to maintain this.
Most of those packages have no dependencies on systemd, so the job is actually much smaller that it first appears.
20 • Debian vs Devuan (by jaws222 on 2014-12-01 15:45:05 GMT from United States)
Interesting. So I guess it's on!
My question is how will the 'spins" be handled. For instance, will Crunchbang, Point and Sparky for instance have both a Debian and a Devuan to choose from?
21 • @8 (by mandog on 2014-12-01 16:18:53 GMT from Peru)
All I was pointing out that systemD is simple to use, I fact In welcome the successor to SystemD but not using out of date code and rejected code is not the way to go. Linux needs to live in the present to survive look at BSD so far behind the time its all most impossible for it to survive in the server market let alone as a desktop all in the name of what?, even DW ditched it years ago for Linux.
Yes I have had to endure weeks of lies and fud and more lies and fud by people that really do not have a clue of what they are talking about, with the odd comment that does makes sense, All user wants is a start system that is up to date and is unified so the commands are used are constant on all Linux distros, rightly or wrongly that is what systemD achieves. should developers embed the code when not needed no I don't think so,
As far as code goes all these so called evil corporations are involved and contribute to Linux so they have plenty of opportunity from the Kernel up so we need to drop the conspiracy theories until we have real proof?
22 • conspiracy theories (by Pierre on 2014-12-01 16:43:01 GMT from Germany)
I cannot find anything related to conspiracies in post #8.
All I can find is some complaining about the dangers such a critical component that is not restricted to managing the init process but is doing already much more. If it fails it not only the init process that is affected. Additinally such a huge BLOB simply bares the risks of being compromised or containing undiscovered critical bugs.
23 • Trisquel (by Dave Postles on 2014-12-01 17:16:49 GMT from United Kingdom)
Trisquel has made considerable improvement since 6.0 and 6.5. All it needs now is a few more monitor drivers (for wide-screen desktops).
24 • Fedora 22 (by Scott Dowdle on 2014-12-01 17:22:15 GMT from United States)
@7 - Fedora should be back on a 6-ish month development cycle once F21 is released. Between F20 and F21 they did the whole "Fedora.NEXT" thing where they added Server and Cloud products and refined their desktop release to be "Workstation". Luckily the various other Live media and additional spins still exist for those who want to use something other than GNOME3.
25 • @20 Re Debian vs Devuan and Point Linux (by Rev_Don on 2014-12-01 17:51:27 GMT from United States)
Point Linux 3.0 will be using systemd as it is based on Debian 8 Jessie. From what I have been able to gather from posts on the PL forum the developer appears to be in favor of it and doesn't understand why some people have a problem with it if I read his comments correctly.
They are also dropping Compiz which is making me reconsider what my go to distro will be in the future once support for PL 2.x runs out (or the available software becomes too old and outdated).
And for all of the ranting and raving about systemd (which is really getting out of hand here on DW) people should check out http://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/2nsk1h/rcd_is_not_the_bsd_way/ to see hos what is essentially the SAME situation played out with NetBSD 14 years ago.
Now can we get back to discussing something other than rehashing the same old systemd crapolla over and over again ad nauseum?
26 • Trisquel and systemd creep (by cykodrone on 2014-12-01 17:59:54 GMT from Canada)
It basically uses the same libs and components of systemd that Mint 17.x does, it may not be a full blown use of systemd but the creep is definitely there. This is an alarming trend. Does it *really* fit the FSF guidelines? Technically it does since systemd is still GPL...for now.
And let's say you install Trisquel with Gnome 3.x, how long before updates of Gnome require an actual full blown use of systemd? If I were to try Trisquel, it would most likely be the LXDE version since it's probably no where near as beholden to systemd as Gnome is.
I have to admit some *parts* of systemd seem like a good idea technically and are a step forward, but the beta blob as a whole, not cool.
Trisquel 7.0 package list:
MInt 17.1 package list:
@4 I too will be smashing my piggy bank and rooting under the couch cushions for lost change to make a donation to Devuan. I would sell a kidney if it meant not going back to MS or be forced to use Lenndows.
27 • Linux Discussions (by Buntunub on 2014-12-01 18:16:01 GMT from United States)
@13 - Well, if you think Debian is about religion, then I have to assume you never used it because you clearly have no clue about what Debian is. I mean, if it was not delivering useful software to end users, then why the vast number of child distros that spawned from it, like Ubuntu? Things such as apt-get and easy package management delivered on a rock stable base are about religion?.. I think you confuse religion with common sense. It is no wonder then that you go on to spout about Systemd and the Debian fork as if the two things have anything to do with religion.. Please, if you are going to get into the debate over Systemd, at least learn about Linux - what it is, how Distros work, what packages are, etc..
I see some people whining about people talking about Systemd on DistroWatch. And they say stupid is as stupid does. Well, people talk about things related to Linux on this website. I think that falls in the realm of common sense. If you don't want to read comments about Linux, well then, you are in the wrong place.
28 • Devuan (by Andy Prough on 2014-12-01 18:28:32 GMT from )
I am really looking forward to Devuan. Not that I have any dog in the systemd fight - I don't really care much about init systems, as long as it doesn't bork my system.
But I think that Debian has needed a real fork for a long time - a group of people that will think beyond the incredibly slow "Debian technical committee" voting process in order to get something done.
If they come up with a better, alternative init system, all distros should eventually benefit, and maybe even the systemd crew will learn a few tricks.
One thing I don't like is being told I need a specific init system "because Gnome requires it". I don't use Gnome, and have never liked it or enjoyed using it. Why should I be required to use an init system because Gnome is dependent on it?
29 • @27 ew: Linux Distrobutions (by Rev_Don on 2014-12-01 18:34:44 GMT from United States)
I don't think it's so much a Religion as it is a Philosophy or Way of Life. Many people tend to lump those together or don't have the capacity to separate them.
As for the discussions about systemd, that is the problem. It has ceased being a discussion and turned into rants and raves, nonsensical posts, fanboyism, etc. It ceased being a discussion when common sense and intelligent dialogue went out the window a couple of issues ago. I'm all for RATIONALLY DISCUSSING the issues (pro and con) of systemd verses other init systems as long as people post actual facts and do so in a calm and constructive manner. Unfortunately that is no longer the case here which is why many of us have grown tired of it. It's just people spouting the exact same thing over and over, much of which is either conjecture, FUD, personal agendas, and/or downright lies.
30 • Plasma 5 (by Reuben on 2014-12-01 20:10:39 GMT from United States)
I agree with Jesse, I don't like the new breeze theme. Thankfully switching to oxygen is simple.
I tried it on Arch, and it seemed buggy. There where many minor visual glitches, plus the system locked up when I tried to add remove things from the favorites in the application launcher. Plus the fact that KDE Applications hasn't been released yet, so if I wanted to applications like Dolphin, Konsole, or KMix, I had to pull in KDE 4 packages. I thought KDE has learned it's lesson from backlash against the early 4 releases. Clear communicating of what is a beta, and what is ready for wider use would is something that we should take for granted from large software projects.
Also, yes you can do a lot with only free software. I think the FSFs position that a distro can't have repos with proprietary software is a bit silly. Gentoo with ACCEPT_LICENSE set to exclude proprietary software, Fedora, and Debian are all fine choices.
31 • Plasma 5 (by Corbin Rube on 2014-12-01 20:28:52 GMT from United States)
Eh, I'm ok with the Breeze theme, personally. But, that's the good part about themes ... you always have other options to play with.
As for Plasma 5 in general, I wouldn't know about the 'buntu variant, but I've been running it on Manjaro for a good couple of months now, and I feel it's definitely doing better than KDE 4 during the same (rough) frame of time. Although, Reuben's point regarding KDE Applications is solid. I'd love to see where things stand once we get a good chunk of the older stuff ported forward.
32 • systemd & battles over forks (by M.Z. on 2014-12-01 21:03:11 GMT from United States)
I think time will tell what happens with this whole systemd thing. It has certainly proven true that Gnome 3 was very self destructive for Gnome on desktop Linux. The forking of Gnome into MATE & Cinnamon proved very fruitful for Linux Mint & harmful to other distros tracked here at distrowatch. If systemd opponents are right then Devuan is likely to see the same sort of rise in popularity experienced by Linux Mint after the Gnome 3 debacle. It will likely take some time for all the dust to settle, but the GPL is doing its job & allowing users to fork.
From what I can tell there are going to be 3 general purpose Linux distros without systemd as a requirement: Devuan, Gentoo, and Slackware. There will also be PCLinuxOS for desktop users who want an easy to setup alternative, and BSD is also available in various flavors. If these distros increase in popularity here at distrowatch, then people are really seeking alternatives, otherwise it has all been much ado about nothing.
For my part I will continue to use PCLinuxOS & Mint on the desktop & pfSense/BSD as a firewall. I don't anticipate noticing the difference & will keep using what works for me regardless of systemd. I could really tell what happened & what went wrong when I played with Gnome 3 distros, but I don't interact with init systems enough to know the difference. I think this thing will have a lot more effect on Debian & other server systems than on desktops, because admins are more likely to play with init stuff than us PC users.
I think that back handed 'for now' stuff is unhelpful & misleading. No matter where you stand on systemd it is GPL & that is not going to change. Of if it does the last GPL version would be forked anyway, so whats the difference? There seems to be merit in the idea that systemd is spreading as a dependency & becoming harder to avoid for users; however, that is a different issue from the license & confusing the two issues is in bad taste.
At any rate, no matter how you feel on the systemd issue the choice is now there for you to make or ignore as you see fit. If those who don't like systemd are right, then systemd will be a boon to four Linux distros & the BSDs. These distros can win more users over the issue, but how many remains to be seen.
33 • RE #28 (by Tux Raider on 2014-12-01 21:29:02 GMT from United States)
I agree with that comment, i dont want a text editor or an audio or video (multimedia) player dragging in a bunch of unrelated dependencies including systemD when it should not, i already made preparations do abandon debian as Jessie gets rolled out, Slackware is an old friend of a distro so i am leaning towards trusty old Slackware (until Devuon kicks out a stable distro),
I dont hate systemD, but i do hate not having a choice and i do have a preference for the UNIX philosophy, thats what i love about shell scripts, they are human readable and easily edited and rearranged to my preferences
34 • Re #1 Slackware on VPS (by Microlinux on 2014-12-01 21:45:10 GMT from France)
You don't have to search for Virtual Server Providers to have Slackware on offer explicitly. Like Gentoo or LFS, all you need to install Slackware is any Live Rescue session. It's a bit tricky, but it works very nicely. I have two (real) public servers running Slackware, installed from within an Ubuntu Live Rescue session. Here's a little HOWTO on the subject:
35 • systemd, debian,devuan...slackware ! (by Moloch on 2014-12-01 22:07:06 GMT from Germany)
I don't write often.
I don't comment often.
I'm using Linux since 1996, mostly slackware.
Sure, I run RH servers at work, a couple of debian also. Tons of slack ones.
What is the point ?
Someone, at one time, decided that linux should use systemd.
That I should rely on a "big service a la windows" to rely my services upon.
Fair enough. Implemement what you want. I don't care.
As what is good with linux is the CHOICE.
You, users/sysadmins have the ultimate choice.
It doesnt suits you ?
You feel entrapped ?
Move away from it.
You have tons of distributions around. You'll find one that suits you. This is the open source philosophy.
ps : give slack a try.
36 • systemd=object oriented software (by jg on 2014-12-01 22:20:46 GMT from Poland)
I recently read a review on Dedoimedo, where it was pointed out that systemd is object oriented software. I'm no expert, bu this thing I know from the 1990-ties - oos is a great idea, but impossible to fully and securely control it. Systemd means a single point of failure in all systems using it. It means only one possible backdoor could take down any number of servers somebody (your favorite 3 letter initials here) wants to take down for reasons of his own and nobody else's. To a dreamer, systemd is like the Vasa ship - looked beautiful in the docks, but sank minutes into its maiden voyage....
37 • @32 Fair enough (by cykodrone on 2014-12-01 23:21:42 GMT from Canada)
But I have reason to not trust software corps, being screwed over by them many times. How long until MS realizes Lenndows is becoming a major competition threat? Then MS has their code slaves go over systemd with a fine-tooth comb, prepare a patent infringement case, get an immediate cease and desist order from a judge until the trial date, essentially halting the operation of EVERY machine containing the code, or a mad frenzy scramble to remove the code (obviously a nightmare for server and workstation admins). Sometimes lawsuits take years to get to court, then the trial itself could drag on for months. Sorry but I am a realist that lives in the real world.
38 • @26 Trisquel : ubuntu + gnome + linux-libre, not linux mint. (by Frederic Bezies on 2014-12-01 23:27:00 GMT from France)
Well, did you read the article. Let me quote it : " The Trisquel distribution is based on Ubuntu with Trisquel 7.0 being based on Ubuntu's most recent long term support release, version 14.04."
Linux Mint 17.x => Ubuntu 14.04 + Cinnamon.
"Does it *really* fit the FSF guidelines? Technically it does since systemd is still GPL...for now." => Sigh... Again why Black Sabbath sophomore album comes to my mind ?:)
"And let's say you install Trisquel with Gnome 3.x, how long before updates of Gnome require an actual full blown use of systemd?"
Sigh, again. You can read this on funtoo official site, on one of the sliding pictures : "GNOME 3.12 (without systemd, because that's how we roll.) "
Or is Daniel Robbins lying ? Just look at this wiki page : http://www.funtoo.org/GNOME_First_Steps
And a Faq link : http://www.funtoo.org/Funtoo_Linux_FAQ#Do_you_support_systemd.3F
@4 I too will be smashing my piggy bank and rooting under the couch cushions for lost change to make a donation to Devuan. I would sell a kidney if it meant not going back to MS or be forced to use Lenndows."
What to add ? Nothing but sigh...
39 • please move on (by Milo on 2014-12-01 23:28:34 GMT from Poland)
"If you don't want to read comments about Linux, well then, you are in the wrong place."
I don't care to read the same droning week after week with nothing insightful added.
I would LOVE to read more thoughts on one or more of the following:
Trisquel 7.0 findings
Fedora 21 first impressions
Preferences regarding FFmpeg and Libav
Hardware crowdfunding efforts
The importance, or lack thereof, of 32-bit x86 support
KDE Plasma 5 experiences
Or should the site be renamed DevuanWatch or systemdWatch?
40 • Now YOU are making stuff up (by cykodrone on 2014-12-01 23:57:10 GMT from Canada)
@ 38 You are coming accross as either a systemd development team member, or a Redhat shareholder, or a Canonical shareholder, or all of the aforementioned. Do you really think you can bully people in to drinking the systemd kool-aid?
*shakes head* *rolls eyes*
41 • @ #1 (by pauper on 2014-12-02 00:01:42 GMT from Brazil)
I think the same. A sysadmin alone can fix/adapt a traditional init boot system. The init bin is itself plain C. A sysadminin can fix or adapt an init binary or any shell script it has. It can be made in a live system, it is not necessary to boot/reboot the system for testing any shell script. I have made it several times! To fix systemd you need real programmers (plural)! It is not possible to make the job on a live system! You need code compile/link boot/reboot and so on...! With systemd we are exchanging the Unix/Linux paradigm by the Microsoft paradigm: only the big boy can fix! Systemd is about make money! Nothing more, nothting less!
42 • Debian and systemd (by Ian on 2014-12-02 01:22:53 GMT from United States)
I'm not a DD (Debian Developer) but have been a sysadmin for a heterogeneous environment (Unix, Linux, and Windows) for a while now. I like Debian's Social Contract, DFSG, etc., and don't view it as a religion. I view it as freedom from vendor lock-in.
As someone else mentioned, Debian has been around for over 20 years now and is the upstream for a lot of the Linux ecosystem. Off the top of my head, Ted T'so (ext3/4 filesystem), Keith Packard (X.org, Wayland), Ben Hutchings (Linux 3.2 kernel branch maintainer), and a bunch of other people i'm probably forgetting are all Debian Developers.
As far as systemd goes, i'm researching CentOS 7 now as a baseline. I don't like the attitudes of some systemd advocates where someone is a "hater", or "greybeard afraid of change" because maybe they have a different use case and doesn't want to upset a production environment that's been in place for years as well as update local documentation and procedures to jump to something that's been barely around for four years. I also don't like the ad hominem attacks of some of the anti-systemd people.
43 • Systemd and philosohpies (by Davidnotcoulthard on 2014-12-02 04:52:34 GMT from Indonesia)
Systemd may be a slap in the face of the UNIX philosophy but:
1) We're not even dealing with UNIX
2) The philosophy of GNU got shot in the p**1s more than a decade ago - nobody complained about that for some reason.........
44 • @#38 (by Davidnotcoulthard on 2014-12-02 04:56:28 GMT from Indonesia)
Trisquel's got GNOME 3 (Flashback) - along with its systemd dependencies.
45 • Open Hardware, T-7 (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2014-12-02 05:01:41 GMT from United States)
Seems to be a buzz-phrase useful lately for scams ... donor beware?
I consider Freed-Only distros like Trisquel a useful canary for shopping the hardware mine-field.
46 • Why? (by DJ on 2014-12-02 05:41:33 GMT from United States)
I've tried systemd. I'm confused why waste time and resources? I remember the pulseaudio so-called debate. Linux is about choice not a philosophy war.
47 • Endless debate... Again ! What about another subject ? :D (by Frederic Bezies on 2014-12-02 08:52:49 GMT from France)
@39 I think you're right !
@40 "You are coming accross as either a systemd development team member, or a Redhat shareholder, or a Canonical shareholder, or all of the aforementioned. Do you really think you can bully people in to drinking the systemd kool-aid?"
Need to add something ? Here is my CV in french. I'm not a coder, only a linux end-user. And a science fiction novel writer who wants to please people... And maybe make some money :)
So, anything to add ? Just asking. I gave you URLs, showing that Gnome can be used without systemd. You ignore them.
Next move ? Getting a working Gnome in a virtualized Funtoo Linux. And show that one of your argument is... wrong.
48 • GNU/Linux, not about philosophy? (by Davidnotcoulthard on 2014-12-02 10:08:48 GMT from Indonesia)
@#46 "Linux is about choice not a philosophy war"
Says whom? The thing was literally created for the sake of a philosophy!
(That is, if you're referring to the operating system!)
49 • Good point, #39! (by Davidnotcoulthard on 2014-12-02 10:34:31 GMT from Indonesia)
Good point! I'll start:
I think i686 support is still important - my mom's netbook (one with a better-made exterior than my decent-sized laptop believe it or not, from 2008) and desktop and my desktop (not laptop, though) still run on it - and decently fast!
There are still a lot of 32-bit computer out there, and they're still useful (OK, maybe not the 8086 in my house that doesn't support any external media except 5-inch floppies, but you get the idea).
I'll admit to not caring much about FFMpeg or Libav - just relying on whatever my distro uses seems to give me support to more kinds of media than Windows Media Player anyway.
Running a debootstrapped Trisquel 7 with MATE and a a few packages held to their GTK+2 versions when possible (Totem and Synaptic, etc I think) so that they work better with the GTK+2 theme I use (it hasn't got a GTK+3 port so Iput in a replacement instead for apps of which only GTK+3 versions can be installed). It works, very nicely, and nothing here is really different compared to other, more mainstream distros (it's an Ubuntu clone with the non-free bits removed, after all, it ain't that different!), except maybe Flash (and a few other programmes), without which life is still worth living (except when trying to watch live streaming of TV channels).
And I hope GnewSense bases their next version on Devuan 1 (they claim it'll be based on Debian Wheezy but are they going to, again, release a version based on a version of Debian that's a month or 2 away from getting replaced as the newest?)
50 • Plasma 5 & Systemd (by kc1di on 2014-12-02 11:02:07 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the review of Plasma 5 (Kubuntu version) I played with it a bit think it has real promise, but it's not quite ready for prime time yet. Will look forward to seeing the desktop mature. I found it quite buggy at the moment. would lock up several times a day on my hardware which is getting a little aged.
As for the Systemd debate. Think it's gone of far too long now, either throw you support to a non-systemd platform or take the debate elsewhere. it's getting very old very fast. sytemd seems to be the choice of most of the major Distros and there must be a reason for that. They need an updated system init to run future things. I do agree that in this matter Gnome has had a bit too much sway.
how ever it shakes out will learn to just live with it. It I can't will do something else. Suggest you guys who are so vocal about it do the same. Looks like systemd is here to stay for awhile at least with Debian and it's derivatives.
51 • Tails and Trisquel (by J M Ward on 2014-12-02 12:43:51 GMT from United Kingdom)
Congratulations and kudos to Distrowatch for awarding $350 to the Tails group. I can think of no more deserving software project, worldwide, and it's great to see it being supported like this.
I'm an enthusiastic user of both Linux and Windows, but not particularly knowledgeable. I can get around Linux on the command line, install Apache and PHP from source and MySQL from their binaries, set up services, use NetBeans to compile C++ and Java scientific code, understand the basic ideas behind the SystemV/systemd controversy (I think - not that I care very much, so long as I can still use update-rc.d), and so on. But I have a hard time understanding why there are quite so many distributions which apparently differ only in minute detail. I say this having run quite a few of them in VirtualBox to see what all the fuss was about. I have finally settled on Linux Mint MATE as being the most flexible, easy to run, configurable, and generally all-round most useful; this is the one I would recommend to users of Windows XP who are considering moving from Windows, although other flavours of Linux Mint, and PinguyOS, are other contenders.
I can understand people wanting to put together their own idea of what Linux should be; why not, that's part of what Linux is about. But it does seem rather wasteful of effort to have so many that, as I say, seem pretty much the same from the user's point of view. And Trisquel seems to be more the product of a religious ideology than of a rational approach to a new operating system. It's a hobby, a purist experiment to see if you can do without any "non-free" software at all, but most of us out here in the real world are stuck with almost-universal "non-free" software, AMD and nVidia graphics cards and other devices, and to get the best out of them we need to make realistic practical compromises. The idea that (to quote from Trisquel's home page) "the *only* tools that should be used in a school are those that allow and encourage the students to use, study, improve and share them freely" (my emphasis) is both unrealistic and wrong. In a school, you should be given the knowledge of the practically useful tools that exist, irrespective.
I've played with Trisquel 7, and one of my first thoughts was: why won't they use Firefox, instead of creating their own version that doesn't work properly? (I can't connect to Firefox Sync from it - "unexpected error"). Very commendably, the file manager does connect to Windows network shares without having to mess about with Samba, but it's the appalling Nautilus - no dual-panel display or administrator login.
The general GUI is OK, nothing exceptional, like most other distributions, but there's no customisation: you can't change the look or colour of the windows as you can in Linux Mint. About all you can do is change the background, and there isn't much of a selection of those.
As a vaguely-interesting experimental project, it's fine; but I couldn't recommend it to anyone, and I certainly wouldn't donate to it.
52 • Use Sugar in school? (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2014-12-02 13:51:45 GMT from United States)
I suggest it's quite useful to keep non-Freed software on a short (and separate) leash. While I disagree with the FSF's disrespect of user choice (and thus freedom), I equally view DebIan and OpenSUSE as far too cavalier, as they give lip-service to the distinction but (as-far-as-I-know) make it trivial to use the most proprietary code wholesale - and provide practically no tools for keeping such exceptions under control, much less tight control.
(I believe Trisquel has its own version of Mozilla's Firefox to prevent use of proprietary add-ons, and lacks VLC due to ease of adding proprietary codecs. Logically, this distro would refuse to enable a virtual machine ...)
In-My-Opinion, educational institutions should include a full array of direct experiences of worst-case consequences of non-freed licensing. Students normally confuses a tool with application thereof to a task, until forced to use a different tool, after all. Surely they should experience, repeatedly, what it means to depend on others whose interests are not entirely aligned with those of the students?
Of course, that would be teaching wisdom (and real-life survival) instead of merely "job-skills" in a sheltered "utopia", which is not always popular with short-sighted corporate or government funders.
53 • non systemd distros on hpd list (by sam on 2014-12-02 14:54:55 GMT from )
Slackware, salix, gentoo the non systemd distros being suggested are very down on hpd list. Could this suggest that the number of those seeking alternatives away from systemd is very small?
54 • @53 maybe release dates ? (by Frederic Bezies on 2014-12-02 16:32:12 GMT from France)
Well, just look at last news about them.
gentoo ? August 2014 : http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=08587
Slackware ? November 2013 : http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=08146
Salix ? November 2014 : http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=08690
And looking at top 10 ?
Mint (1), Ubuntu (2), elementary (9) and Zorin (10) => upstart
Debian (3) => SysV
openSUSE (4), Mageia (5), Fedora (6), CentOS (7) and Arch (8) => systemd
So, it is 50% for both family of inits.
55 • Anyway.... (by Davidnotcoulthard on 2014-12-02 17:34:05 GMT from Indonesia)
@#52 VLC is present in its repos so I'm pretty sure the reason to opt for Totem is a bit more technical (otherwise it simply wouldn't be in the repos, at all).
@#53 No - I don't see how there are any connection between HPD and Systemd, especially since the reason they're "down there" doesn't seem to have been Systemd.. An #33 or #39 isn't exactly"down low". Ubuntu GNOME is lower than that, is it a failure?
56 • Trisquel 7 and @38 (by tuxtest on 2014-12-02 22:09:27 GMT from Canada)
Excellent review of Trisquel. With each release, there is a lot of improvement compared to the previous version. Congrat Dev Team it not easy work I have used Trisquel 6 for 16 months on an old netboot and the experience was enjoyable. With Trisquel must make some compromises on the graphics hardware and wifi and some inconvenience on the web. It a choice !
@ 38 Funtoo 99.9999% of Linux users will not lose their time to install a system that requires you use a *systemescueLiveCD* for just doing a basic installation. Besides two other weeks just to perhaps managed a functional PC. This is ridiculous ... We are in 2014! The time we need to spend 2 weeks on terminal is gone. Sorry...
Another time a BIG Congrat to Trisquel Team !
57 • @56 two weeks, really ? :) (by Frederic Bezies on 2014-12-02 22:58:11 GMT from France)
"@ 38 Funtoo 99.9999% of Linux users will not lose their time to install a system that requires you use a *systemescueLiveCD* for just doing a basic installation. Besides two other weeks just to perhaps managed a functional PC. This is ridiculous ... We are in 2014! The time we need to spend 2 weeks on terminal is gone. Sorry..."
Ridiculous ? I think all LFS, Gentoo users and Daniel Robbins won't agree with you. Two weeks building your system ? Well, I will see if I can get a working gnome *without systemd* in a VBox computer.
Just to prove that you can run Gnome without systemd. We are in 2014, yes. But 2 weeks to rebuild x11 and gnome ? Wow ! So can you explain me how binary packages distribution are giving full gnome or kde or whatever environment upgrade in less than 2 days ? Hundreds of build servers, maybe ? :)
58 • @56 (by kernelKurtz on 2014-12-02 22:59:34 GMT from United States)
99.9999% of 'buntards, is what you really mean, Mister Tuxtest.
The percentage of us who are interested in source-based distros and building from the ground up is quite a lot higher than 1/10000th of a percent. Maybe by a factor of ten thousand. Or more.
You are welcome to dismiss alternatives that are over your head skillwise. But you're not entitled to dismiss them for those of us who find the hard way interesting and even fun.
59 • Reading and comprehension (by cykodrone on 2014-12-03 01:02:49 GMT from Canada)
@47 It's hard to imagine somebody with difficulty reading can be a writer.
FYI, anybody can be anything on the internet, I can make a fake blog too. Thanks for admitting you are "only a linux end-user", now I understand why you understand very little about systemd, the state of FOSS or anything related to it.
You are obsessed with Gnome free of systemd, FYI, you can not run it completely free of it, there are still some elements needed, you really need to research before you speak. Post a link where somebody is running it with ZERO files related to or part of the systemd family please, we would all love to see it. That means NO 'shims', etc.
FYI, this comment section isn't a chat server 'fight' room (yes, there is such a thing), for somebody with apparently little invested or to loose in the whole systemd debate, you sure are quite zealous about it.
Myself, personally, I was not put on this earth to find bugs in a blob of bloat that controls your machine like the borg for your friend Lennart.
Just say no to Lenndows.
60 • @57 and @58 (by tuxtest on 2014-12-03 01:27:18 GMT from Canada)
The 99.999% and 2 weeks is just a (exaggerated picture) to illustrate the point. I'm not talking gnome/systemd here but just Funtoo.
I don't think Funtoo is to very attractive for Linux users. My point is why put so much energy to build a system for so little real real real user excluding tester like me and you.
just an opinion
61 • Trisquel and VLC (by Somewhat Reticent on 2014-12-03 03:11:35 GMT from United States)
Yes, I read something about it dragging too many KDE dependencies into a Gnome-DE ISO.
62 • Playing with Trisquel (by eco2geek on 2014-12-03 04:56:34 GMT from United States)
Pleasantly surprised by Trisquel.
It plays common video formats like Quicktime (*.mov), AVI, mp4, flash video, and Matroska (*.mkv) out of the box. It also plays MP3s. I wouldn't have thought a free/libre distro would have those formats enabled.
(VLC media player is in the Trisquel repository. I installed it; it doesn't pull in any KDE dependencies.)
Also, Trisquel is not running GNOME Flashback. It's running GNOME panel and Metacity, a compositor named Compton, and its own GTK, window, and icon theme. (You could certainly change the look 'n' feel if you wanted to; GNOME panel is very configurable. It looks pretty good the way it is, though.)
If you absolutely needed a browser with flash enabled, you could head on over to www.google.com/chrome and download/install the *.deb for Chrome.
63 • 32-bit distros disappearing (by RollMeAway on 2014-12-03 05:13:22 GMT from United States)
My home "computer lab" has 5 desktops and 2 laptops. ALL are 32-bit machines.
I maintain 11 at work. All but 2 of those are 32-bit. The 2 64-bit machines run 32-bit software. Should I throw all these is the trash because some distro maintainers "don't have the time or resources" to compile 32-bit systems?
Why not drop the 64-bit support, as 32-bit software runs just fine on 64-bit systems.
I loose a breath or two, every time I read yet another distro is dropping 32-bit support. My biggest disappointment was PC-BSD. It was my favorite BSD. I do run Free-BSD, but is requires much more effort.
My busiest home desktop has 49 distros, and I rotate through all, spending a day or two to update, tweak, and use, each. That gives me a good feel for the strengths and weaknesses of each.
I have the money to afford a new 64-bit machine, I just can't justify spending it, when I already have my needs fulfilled.
A couple of months ago the motherboard on a Dell GX270 desktop quit.
I could have trashed it, but $24 bought a refurbished motherboard, and it runs great. Saved another one from the electronic landfill.
The general mentality today seems to be, "if it breaks, trash it, buy a new one".
64 • The linux philosophy (by RollMeAway on 2014-12-03 05:33:34 GMT from United States)
Below is a link to a well written, brief, article.
It does NOT reference the hated subject of the day.
It points out the major differences in philosophy, of the different operating systems.
65 • Topics going nowhere... How surprising... :D (by Frederic Bezies on 2014-12-03 07:06:27 GMT from France)
"It's hard to imagine somebody with difficulty reading can be a writer."
http://www.atramenta.net/authors/frederic-bezies/33793 => Fake ?
http://livre.fnac.com/a7421205/Frederic-Bezies-Completement-geeks-l-album-de-nos-souvenirs-1-01 => Fake ?
"FYI, anybody can be anything on the internet, I can make a fake blog too. Thanks for admitting you are "only a linux end-user", now I understand why you understand very little about systemd, the state of FOSS or anything related to it."
Fake blog ? Just look at this article date : http://frederic.bezies.free.fr/blog/?p=1 => 2005
And understand very little about FOSS ? Well, you're kidding ? Just look at the number of linux related article : http://frederic.bezies.free.fr/blog/?s=linux
How many hundreds since 2005 ? 6 ? 7 ? 10 ?
"You are obsessed with Gnome free of systemd, FYI, you can not run it completely free of it, there are still some elements needed, you really need to research before you speak. "
So Daniel Robbins is a liar. Just tell him. He will like it.
"Post a link where somebody is running it with ZERO files related to or part of the systemd family please, we would all love to see it. That means NO 'shims', etc."
And I will ask you to tell to Daniel Robbins, father of Gentoo and Funtoo that he is a lier.
"FYI, this comment section isn't a chat server 'fight' room (yes, there is such a thing), for somebody with apparently little invested or to loose in the whole systemd debate, you sure are quite zealous about it."
So, why you keep on posting ? You are only about fighting, FUDing, and so on...
Sorry, but we say in french : "C'est l'hôpital qui se moque de la charité". Don't know the canadian version.
"Myself, personally, I was not put on this earth to find bugs in a blob of bloat that controls your machine like the borg for your friend Lennart."
How surprising... What a technical answer !
"Just say no to Lenndows."
What a technical answer !
Until I'm proven wrong, there is no Lenndows. Only GNU/Linux distributions.
Or any systemd based distributions are not linux distributions anymore ?!
66 • @63 welcome to the "real" world :( (by Frederic Bezies on 2014-12-03 07:34:29 GMT from France)
It is sad to see that distributions are dropping 32 bit supports. But in some ways, it is understandable.
64 bit CPUs are available since 2003-2004. And "pure" 64 bit distros are really usable since 2011-2012.
You can't ask for some distributions or BSDs to keep on building both 32 and 64 bit versions. And there are still LTS distributions with 32 bit versions which will run until 2019 for example.
But, even if it hard to say, besides 32 bits ARMs computers, 32 bit on PC is now a dead-end. And they won't be able to go further 2038 after all ;)
67 • 32 bit Distros (by Davidnotcoulthard on 2014-12-03 07:47:44 GMT from Indonesia)
@#63 Well, if your current refurbed Motherboard dies, say, 10 years from now, I think if distros stopped making 32 bit releases today the software you'd be using then wouldn't be that old, I think.
And when the motherboard needs replacing you'll probably find refurb 64-bit-prcessor motherboards......I think you'll be fine.
68 • Finding peace with a Big Change (by Somewhat Reticent on 2014-12-03 15:29:31 GMT from United States)
The explanation of the DebIan consideration of systemd[process-management] by Russ Allberry helps clarify what so much FUD obstructs. His thoughtful approach put it in perspective - for me, at least - a clear voice among so many rants.
69 • systemd (by JS on 2014-12-03 15:58:38 GMT from United States)
Discussion is tapering off a bit now. When it first came up I was in the dark about it so was just scrolling past those posts. Then began to read and googled it.
Learned what it is and can see why the talk carried on for so long. Thanks for the spark.
70 • Manjaro Gives Init Choice Too (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2014-12-03 19:40:01 GMT from United States)
Adding to the list of Gentoo/Slackware/et al, from Manjaro Release Notes 0.8.11
Although the main installation medias continue to utilise systemd, Manjaro now optionally offers extensive support for the OpenRC init system, giving you the power of choice for your init system, something rarely readily offered in Linux distributions nowadays.
71 • 70 • Manjaro Gives Init Choice Too (by mandog on 2014-12-03 22:25:48 GMT from Peru)
Not quite as you try to put it
The openRC versions are non supported community ISOs be prepared for frequent breakages still includes systemD libs mind you.
For that matter you can swap to init using Arch as well same applies with breakages
The same as you can swap to systemD in Gentoo based systems.
Its just all blown out of proportion on DW as per usual.
72 • systemd & GNOME (by JW on 2014-12-03 22:58:14 GMT from United States)
I honestly don't see so much of a problem with systemd. As long as it continues to boot the system, as an init system will, I don't think there should be too much of a problem with it. Also, since it is GPL, if there ever becomes a problem with too much reliance upon it, systemd could always be forked and changed to something better. I personally run a CentOS 7 server, and my gripes with it are more distro-specific then init-specific (since they were annoyances that I've had with CentOS 6).
One thing, however, does worry me: GNOME. While I actually like the GNOME 3 desktop interface (granted I don't use it much), reliance upon systemd seems really idiotic. Placing reliance on systemd really puts GNOME 3 down, simply because it makes a desktop nearly distro-specific. It wouldn't surprise me if some distros dropped support of GNOME altogether. Granted it's a popular DE, but you might have to compromise if you want it.
All-in-all, I'm not too worried about the future of GNOME and systemd, because I see that Open Source means the ability to adapt something to better fit your needs, or your users needs. If it works, people will use it; if it doesn't, then it will be dropped or evolve so that it does work.
On a side-note, I am starting to get sick of seeing the debate over whether systemd is terrible or wonderful. If you think it's the worst thing in the entire world, the BSDs can (and will) continue without Linux (if all of Linux goes with systemd), and if you think systemd is the greatest thing to grace Linux (other than it's creator, Linus Torvalds), then there are plenty of distros already using it. No need to bicker angrily about it. If you're like me, and don't really care, then you are (not) going to be fine.
73 • @65 Again, you didn't read right (by cykodrone on 2014-12-04 00:30:52 GMT from Canada)
I said NO systemd related anything, no means NO shims, etc.
Copied and pasted from DW's Funtoo current package list:
You were saying? In Canada we say "if you're not 100% sure of what you're talking about, don't open your mouth".
You don't 'get' proprietary software creep and you never will. Do you even understand the term 'beta'?
FYI, I could flood this comment section with hundreds of links to people having problems with systemd and reasons not to use it, but that would be saving YOU bandwidth, do your OWN research, it's obvious you haven't done much.
74 • The DebIan way and systemd (by Somewhat Reticent on 2014-12-04 05:47:10 GMT from United States)
There's an organized collection of material on DebIan and systemd[process-management] at https://wiki.debian.org/Debate/initsystem/systemd
75 • Holy war going on ! :) (by Frederic Bezies on 2014-12-04 08:41:38 GMT from France)
@73 : and how many are used and built ? Just tell me. Yes, indeed. You have no time to spend building a funtoo based system.
I'm building one right now. And I will do a little emerge --search systemd | more. Far more useful than your paste.
"You were saying? In Canada we say "if you're not 100% sure of what you're talking about, don't open your mouth"."
Anything to add ? :D
"You don't 'get' proprietary software creep and you never will. Do you even understand the term 'beta'?"
Ad-hominem now. Here is the about of my homemade firefox build : Build identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:37.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/37.0 ; 37.0a1 (2014-12-02)
Pre-alpha software. But I don't know anything in computing :)
"FYI, I could flood this comment section with hundreds of links to people having problems with systemd and reasons not to use it, but that would be saving YOU bandwidth, do your OWN research, it's obvious you haven't done much."
You just want to fight and don't care about other people opinion. End of topic for me.
Stay in your "systemd is the black death" world. I just want a working computer with free software. We will both happy.
76 • The DebIan way and systemd (by Somewhat Reticent on 2014-12-04 13:42:40 GMT from United States)
(Sorry, sent before finished) I should note that the debate presentation amounts to a non-credible sales-pitch by an advocacy group, but contains links to discussion material.
For me, Russ's explanation (in https://lists.debian.org/debian-ctte/2013/12/msg00234.html and https://lists.debian.org/debian-ctte/2013/12/msg00277.html ) helps frame the favorable DebIan perspective, and his view of the subsequent General Resolution ( http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/journal/ ) gives hope.
Systemd[process-management] could have been carefully and gently sold as the major re-design it is, but the marketing-hype used instead has generated understandable confusion, insecurity and hostility, leading to a shortage of civility on the internet.
77 • @63 32-bit vs 64-bit distros (by Ben Myers on 2014-12-04 14:55:49 GMT from United States)
A system that will run only a 32-bit distro would now be about 8 years old. In the Intel world, these would be anything earlier than the 945 chipsets, desktop or mobile. Socket 775 CPUs on desktop systems with the 915 chipset were the first to run 64-bit distros, but barely, because they supported no more than 4GB of memory.
Some of the older systems, like IBM Thinkpads, are rock-solid and reliable, and they will probably run for a few more years. Others, like the Dell Optiplex GX270, are failures just waiting to happen. Dell spent hundreds of millions of dollars replacing GX270 motherboards due to wholesale failure of capacitors on the boards. But Dell probably did not replace all of them. The era of the GX270 marked the beginning of way too many poor quality computer components.
So tbe bottom line is that systems that can only run 32-bit distros are diminishing rapidly in number, and the value of one of these systems is small. Yes, newer systems can run 32-bit distros, but why would one want to do so if enough cheap memory can be added to make 64-bit viable. Systems and software run way better with a lot of memory, not just Windows, but almost any distro.
The reduced demand for and the gradual reduction in the number of 32-bit distros is an economic issue. Nobody talks about 16-bit distros any more. Windows 95 and 1995 marked the beginning of the wholesale changeover from 16-bit to 32-bit computing. That's 19 years ago. Because of all of Microsoft's Windows screwups, the 32-to-64-bit transition is more gradual. But it is inevitable in the Intel CPU world.
People with AMD systems, please do your own homework about the 32 vs 64 timeline and the CPUs and chipsets involved.
78 • @ #77 (by Pierre on 2014-12-04 15:24:40 GMT from Germany)
As AMD was first to deliver 64-Bit CPUs as well as Multi-Core-CPUs this was even earlier than the ones of Intel.
It's always sad to see good things go but there is simply no need for 32-Bit anymore as any computer which is not older than 10 years is able to run 64-Bit operating systems and anything which is older than these 10 years is not of much worth anymore.
Time goes by, things change, no one is sad because we do not have any 16-Bit distro out there... And at least Debian will for sure support i386 images for a few more releases, I guess. If not, Squeeze will be supported for a few more years as an LTS version. So even if you are willing to stay with a 32-Bit system you will still have a viable option out there.
79 • @77 and @78 : 2038 :) (by Frederic Bezies on 2014-12-04 16:04:34 GMT from France)
I think all this "what about good old 32 bit distributions" will end in less than 24 years now, on january 19, 2038.
I think in 10-15 years from now all 32 bit computers will be turned off forever. I'm using 64 bits distributions for something like 7 years or so.
Back in 2007, you had to fight with 32 bit flash version, non-free codecs, and some 32 bit only software.
In 2014 ? Flash exists in 64 bit, but will be plugged off in 2017. Only 32 bit software ? Steam ? Wine ? Skype ?
If you don't use them, you can use a "pure" 64 bit distribution without problems.
32 bit distribution will go the way of the dodo anyway, sooner or later.
80 • Don't count out 32 bit entirely (by M.Z. on 2014-12-04 20:39:10 GMT from United States)
I think the end of 32 bit is over ten years off at a minimum. I for one have 32 bit hardware running 24/7 providing added security as a BSD based firewall. The PC is nearly worthless, but if it falls over & dies I have another old 32 bit system to replace it. I can occasionally get 32 bit systems for free & use them for specialized tasks like a firewall, & it is because people don't know how useful they can be. Few 32 bit systems are worth putting a full KDE desktop on, but many can serve as backup PCs with a lightweight distro on them.
In short recycling those old system to do other tasks is still very useful, & I for one am glad that so many 32 bit distros are still available.
81 • Forgot one task servers ! :( (by Frederic Bezies on 2014-12-04 20:44:48 GMT from France)
@80 : indeed. 2025 will be a good year to say "Thanks all the good work" to old 32 bit hardware. Besides these special uses, who will need 32 bit distributions in 5 years ? Not a lot of people.
The only 32 bit computer I have in my home ? A raspberry pi. Everything else is 64 bit based and use 64 bit OS.
82 • Continued use-case for 32-Bit images (by Marco on 2014-12-04 20:49:44 GMT from United States)
I believe the no-cost version of VMware Player for Windows, which allows me to run Linux in a VM at work only supports 32-bit.
83 • #81 - 32 bit computer (by anticapitalista on 2014-12-04 21:35:12 GMT from Greece)
Well lucky you! Not everyone can afford to replace their old P3/4 boxes with a new model. Heard about poverty and economic crisis?
84 • 32-bit and systemd (by cykodrone on 2014-12-04 22:04:51 GMT from Canada)
@75 I'll be the first to laugh when all your systemd laden devices get taken down by some pimply faced 12 year old kid's exploit.
@ 83 I guess France hasn't been hit economically as hard as Greece...yet, let's hope when that happens a certain zealot with everything and knows everything loses his/her internet connection. I just coined a new term in his/her honour, 'shill rant pollution', lol.
85 • @77 32bits systems (by SilentTibo on 2014-12-05 01:40:25 GMT from Netherlands)
There were a lot of netbooks and nettops sold in 2008-2010 with Intel Atom N270 and N280 processors. Those are all 32-bits systems.
86 • @85 - Atom systems (by Ben Myers on 2014-12-05 02:36:06 GMT from United States)
Yes, netbooks were sold with 32-bit versions of Windows Vista-puke or Windows 7, but the processors themselves are capable of running a 64-bit OS. I have also built a number of power-saving desktop systems with Intel Atom motherboards for a local public library. Not only are they just fine with 64-bits, but the low-powered like-the-Intel-945 chipset also supports 8GB of memory, contrary to Intel's published specs.
It is simply that the manufacturers (actually, they are marketing companies) of these netbooks chose to cripple them with a 32-bit OS and, worse yet, not enough memory.
87 • Another use case (by M.Z. on 2014-12-05 03:09:53 GMT from United States)
Which of course means there is yet another use case for 32 bit - systems without much memory. The old 32 bit processors can do more with less memory, which could be useful for a lot of people with low end & older systems. I do think RAM is often a good & inexpensive investment most of the time, but why push people to a higher end system if they don't need it?
Well Distrowatch says there are over 240 distros being actively developed that ship 32 bit systems, & only about 40 distros in between have dropped 32 bit. I'd say 32 bit will be useful to many for a lot more than 5 years given the apparent popularity of the option. If you don't need it much don't worry about 32 bit, but don't act like it needs to be gotten rid of.
88 • Why 64-bit? (by RollMeAway on 2014-12-05 04:58:05 GMT from United States)
What exactly could I do with a 64-bit machine, that I cannot do now, with 32-bits?
Load a web page 100ms faster? Maybe.
There is no task I have tried to do, that says "you can only do this on 64-bit machines".
Why should I fill up the dumpsters, and empty my wallet?
I suspect that in 10 years the population at large will be using eight core ARM tablets and smartphones, laughing at anyone that still has a desktop or laptop.
Quite possibly, they will simply talk to their gadgets, and laugh at antiquated keyboards and say "What is a mouse?".
89 • @88 @87 Yes, why 64-bit? (by Ben Myers on 2014-12-05 05:20:04 GMT from United States)
Yes, you can do a lot with a 32-bit system, but the 32-bit Intel (and AMD, folks) architecture is constrained to address ~3.5GB of memory.
There ARE memory intensive applications that run much faster on 64-bit systems with 8GB, 16GB or more. Examples: Adobe Creative Suite, especially Photoshop, as with one of my clients. System builds. A small software house has all 8GB Intel i7 systems to do software development. I also have a client who runs her life with Microsoft Outlook, and the Outlook PST file was 6GB in size last time I looked. As it was, on a system with 8GB, it took forever to start Outlook, and she would boot up the computer, eat breakfast, then come back to see the system booted and Outlook running. Now her system has a 500GB SSD and everything runs very nicely. For these people, their valuable time is worth the money to invest in systems that get the job done faster. Large personal data bases, not on a server, but on ones own computer, respond lots better with the larger 64-bit memory model. If you are doing really heavy-duty computing, a 64-bit system with a lot of memory is the answer.
On the other hand, for lighter work like browsing the net (not too many open browser tabs, please!), writing a letter or two, doing a spreadsheet, and simple photo editing with a lean-and-mean tool like Irfanview (Windows only), a 32-bit operating system and as little as 2GB of memory works just fine. I just upgraded two members of my family from older 2GB IBM Thinkpads to newer 8GB ones, and they are way more happy running a 64-bit operating system then the pretty limited 32-bit one with even more limited hardware (couldn't watch a movie, for example). But they did just fine for a few years with the older Thinkpads until the limitations became too much to overcome.
As a side comment, computer manufacturers (there I go again, attributing to them something they are not), er, computer marketing companies have forever been absolutely chronic in selling systems with not enough memory for a computer to work well. I sell a lot of memory upgrades and have done so for a long time.
90 • Mostly correct (by M.Z. on 2014-12-05 05:39:20 GMT from United States)
Yes 64 bit is better in most cases & will replace 32 bit for a large majority of users; however, RAM limits aren't an issue for casual users. Not only that, but there are a great many PAE enabled systems that can easily handle more than 4GB of RAM, & as long as no single program needs that much RAM the PAE systems work fine. I'm fairly certain that there will be plenty of good uses for old 32 bit systems for a long time to come, even if they are a bit antiquated.
91 • They ARE comming! (by RollMeAway on 2014-12-05 05:46:23 GMT from United States)
Above was off the cuff, but a few minutes later I stumbled across this:
" Huawei’s latest processor is a 64-bit, 8-core chip called the Kirin 620. The octa-core chip is based on ARM’s CortexA-53 architecture and it’s aimed at mid-range phones, tablets, and other devices."
92 • 32-bit systems still useful (by Thomas Mueller on 2014-12-05 06:04:46 GMT from United States)
There are still some reasons why a computer user might want or need to run a 32-bit OS even on a 64-bit CPU. One reason is wine, a compatibility layer for running MS-Windows applications: needs a 32-bit environment with FreeBSD and NetBSD, am not sure about Linux but believe Linux can run 64-bit wine better than the BSDs, however FreeBSD may catch up in several years. But Linux and FreeBSD still need to run some applications through a 32-bit compatibility layer.
ReactOS is 32-bit, though they are slowly trying to develop something for 64-bit.
Haiku is 32-bit, though they are working on 64-bit builds; they know where the future is.
93 • Some 4 years old computers are also 64 bit CPU based :) (by Frederic Bezies on 2014-12-05 07:48:16 GMT from France)
@81 : I heard about Greece. I'm not that idiot. I bought my desktop computer back in 2010. Won't change it until 2 years from now. And I will pay no more than 300€ for it. My old computer will be given to a friend. I will not dump it.
@84 : Anything to add ? You're pathetic as some projects can be. And you're more pathetic on each comments here.
@85 : eeePCs and clones ? The one killed by pads ? I had to fix some of them by removing installed crapware. Never again.
@87 : anyway, both 32 and 64 bit distributions will live together. But for how long ?
@89 : PAE ? Just ask Linus about it : http://www.realworldtech.com/forum/?threadid=76912&curpostid=76973 (2007)
@92 : most of times, 32 bit only software are non-free ones like Skype, or am I wrong ?
ReactOS ? I'm waiting to see its first beta release (0.4 ?)
HaikuOS ? I remember buying BeOS 4.5 CD back in 1997 or 1998... Wow :)
94 • @75 (by sense-common on 2014-12-05 10:12:41 GMT from United Kingdom)
"I'm building one right now. And I will do a little emerge --search systemd | more."
I'd ask you for the output on that one as I'm a bit curious, however I don't think you'd actually let anyone know if it wasn't in your favour. Hence, I won't ask. :-)
I might build one myself over the weekend, if I can be bothered. I will post the output, too, if I can be bothered.
Also, I can appreciate how you Frenchies enjoy putting blank spaces in front of question marks and other punctuation, but this isn't correct in English.
95 • @94 sorry for blank spaces... (by Frederic Bezies on 2014-12-05 12:00:15 GMT from France)
For funtoo, I had to give up, webkit package crashes twice my virtual machine.
I'll try with gentoo. I noticed something funny. In profiles, you have both gnome/systemd and gnome profile when typing eselect profiles list.
See this screenshot taken from my virtualbox test :
Anyway, I don't know why but I think Daniel Robbins can be trust more than some peoples here :
I hope gentoo won't crash while build webkit. Keeping fingers crossed :)
96 • @94 it is still building :) (by FredBezies on 2014-12-05 12:04:45 GMT from France)
It is long work. Even if I had to restart from scratch with gentoo. webkit building crashed twice :(
I looked at gentoo profile list, and it is interesting : both with and without systemd for gnome and kde.
See this thread on gentoo forum : http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-999814.html?sid=cebcd971d0bc30543f7dfd91e204446c
pasting list :
# eselect profile list
 default/linux/amd64/13.0/desktop *
I hope this time webkit package won't crash my vbox test machine.
97 • 32-bit and money (by Jesse on 2014-12-05 14:53:18 GMT from Canada)
>> "There is no task I have tried to do, that says "you can only do this on 64-bit machines". Why should I fill up the dumpsters, and empty my wallet?"
From a technical point of view not many people _need_ 64-bit machines. While 64-bit is useful for some tasks, especially those involving a lot of data/memory, most people are just fine with 32-bit machines.
That being said, if you are paying the electric bill then you're not doing yourself any favours running old 32-bit machines. The power savings you'd probably gain from using a modern, 64-bit machine would pay for replacing the 10+ year old CPUs/boards you currently use after a few years.
Depending on how you use your machines and how much you pay for power, you could save from $50-$100 per year per computer. So after four or five years each new computer pays for itself.
Plus, old computers don't need to go to the dumpster. If they still run, give them to someone who doesn't have a computer. Schools, non-profits and unemployeed people can all use spare computers. You could, in the long run, save yourself money and help those less fortunate if you give away your old 32-bit machines and upgrade.
98 • @97 @93 32-bit, money and electrical power (by Ben Myers on 2014-12-05 17:58:41 GMT from United States)
@97 Right on target. Ever since the debut of Intel's first-generation i3/i5/i7 processors, the biggest innovation has been to compute more with less power. The processors themselves have not gotten that much faster, but they run at lower voltages, turn cores on and off, reduce processor speeds, all to meet the goal of consuming less electrical power, whether on the desktop or in a tablet. Put a Kill-A-Watt meter on the line where the computer is plugged in and see the wattage consumed. The Atom desktops I built 4-5 years ago consume no more than 30 watts, a decent saving in cost of electricity for a public library. The newer Thinkpads have built-in power measurement, and occasionally flash the message that they are using 25w of power, and that is without an SSD to reduce power consumption even more.
There is a reason why older quad-core Socket 771 Xeon processors are worthless despite their blinding speed, and why they have been phased out of serious use. Fire up an older system with a quad Socket 771, and you don't need to heat the room. The top-end 771s are rated at 150 watts all alone. Add the higher-voltage memory and other bits and pieces, and it is easy to understand why a server room full of these processors needed serious work on cooling and ventilation. The same can be said about older Socket 478 Pentium 4 CPUs, only to a lesser extent.
So, yes, a Pentium III may be free these days, but one pays the high electric bill to use it over the long haul.
As far as the dumpster is concerned, DON'T! I tear down old computers and recycle all the components, getting a small amount of money per pound for the circuit boards, memory, CPUs, hard drives, power supplies. Or, if teardown is too time-consuming, they go to a recycler who does the same with lower wage employees. Finally, in the United States, several retailers (Best Buy, Staples) accept items for recycling at no cost to the person dropping them off. Almost all of my Socket 478 desktops and Socket 479 laptops have gone to recycling. It only creates ill will if I give them away to someone who is in need, and it costs far too much to ship them.
@93 I really like Linus' comments about what an abomination PAE is. He comes off as arrogant at times, but he has earned the right to be arrogant. In other words, he is one smart dude who knows a lot.
99 • RAM and Memory Lane(s) (by Somewhat Reticent on 2014-12-05 18:34:38 GMT from United States)
If you dig beyond the rant, the discussion (at Ben's link - Thanks, Ben!) is intriguing:
64-bit becomes a requirement when you need over ~920Mb RAM
Since the i386 has a 32-bit total limit on virtual address space ..., and since user space needs to be mapped in that area too, you effectively have the requirement that:
. user space virtual memory + kernel virtual memory = 4GB .
PAE (remember HIGHMEM.SYS ?):
PAE doesn't quite allow the use of more then 4GB of linear or virtual address space; it does allow the use of more then 4GB of physical address space by multiple separate applications.
... virtual space needs to be bigger than physical space ... by a factor of at least two... you're much better off having a factor of ten or more.
Explains why so many 64-bit CPUs were sold with 2Gb RAM, but did better with 4Gb.
Doesn't match current "how much Swap" memes.
Shows (once again) why software drives silicon (or You need to know which Apps drive how much RAM)
Eventually, perhaps 32-bit support will (only) be provided by/for Virtual Machines, and libraries for stubborn legacy proprietary jewels?
Used 64-bit hardware is quite reasonably priced these days ...
Ben's comment could also imply one other point: once you're up to 4Gb RAM, adding SSD may be more efficient and effective than adding RAM.
100 • still useful (by M.Z. on 2014-12-05 18:41:52 GMT from United States)
So PAE is a far worse solution than 64 bit? Not really much of a surprise, but it could still be useful even if it is a bit of a bad workaround. I think a lot of people just use their PC to surf the web & write letters & resumes anyway, so PAE or no PAE, old 32 bit can be good to have around for some people. At any rate, #89 is still a bit off on max RAM, even if the PAE solution is not nearly as good as 64 bit.
101 • @99 PAE and more than ~3.5GB of memory (by Ben Myers on 2014-12-05 20:27:11 GMT from United States)
I may be missing something important published somewhere by somebody, but I do not think there is any operating system anywhere that makes use of PAE with a 32-bit-only CPU or just a 32-bit OS to allocate memory space above that mystical ~3.5GB boundary to multiple separate applications. Windows and Mac OS X sure don't, and I have not ever seen any Linux distro that advertises this capability. But given that the movers and shakers behind the distros consider advertising to be akin to bubonic plague, I am not surprised.
Can somebody, anybody, point to clear and succinct documentation or documented experience showing that PAE is actually used by ANY OS(!) to take advantage of the memory up there? If this capability does not exist because it is so darned hard to implement, we might as well be talking about poltergeists and the Loch Ness monster.
Also @99: "64-bit becomes a requirement when you need over ~920Mb RAM"???? Huh? Please explain. Makes no sense to me.
102 • Mo'RAM? (by Somewhat Reticent on 2014-12-06 07:31:50 GMT from United States)
Sorry, Ben, I assumed when you gave us a link you'd read more of the thread, to gain context/perspective. (I recommend you do it ASAP.)
I would cheer if requirements exposure was required for all apps!
The most common example I've seen mentioned is obsessively opening browser tabs...
103 • @101 (by M.Z. on 2014-12-07 01:35:06 GMT from United States)
Truth be told the only RAM limit I've run into on a 32 bit machine was a 2GB limit on a free laptop I got. Of course being such a low limit, this was entirely related to the internal design of the chipset rather than the processor architecture. I would guess most old 32 bit PC hardware would have similar limits that are lower than their maximum potential. Hell I checked into upgrading the RAM on my desktop & found the 64 bit machine could only take 8 GB of RAM max, again because of the chipset rather than the processor. I really don't know how common it is to find 32 bit PCs that can make use of PAE RAM limits, but I'd guess it would be more used on servers. You may well be right & most 32 bit PC users face RAM limitations other than 32 bit or PAE.
That being said, I use a 32 bit Linux distro every day that fully detects, & presumably can utilize, a full 6GB of RAM. I installed PCLinuxOS on main desktop PC a few years back, before the distro started shipping a 64 bit version, & can detect all my RAM thanks to a PAE kernel. I just had to install the PAE kernel via the repos & my RAM number went up to 5.8 GB in my KSysGuard system monitor. I don't think that I ever really hit my RAM limit on any applications, & don't really even know if I have ever used over 4 GB or RAM, but I know my system detects all my RAM. My current kernel is 3.17.4-pclos1.pae, & I've been rolling onto new PAE kernels in my 32 bit distro for years now. All of them have detected all my RAM except for non PAE kernels, but I don't have any of those on my system anymore.
Long story short, I know PAE woks in 32 bit Linux OSs when the motherboard can handle over 4 GB of RAM, but I don't know how many old 32 bit motherboards have both PAE ready processors & chipsets that can use the extra RAM.
104 • @103 PAE, memory and those crippled chipsets (by Ben Myers on 2014-12-08 04:54:54 GMT from United States)
Good observations. And I stand corrected as to whether or not OSes can use PAE to use more memory. Even Windows releases do, with some tweaking, as explained in a deep dark corner of the Microsoft web sites, accessible only by Google and speelunking.
I've worked a lot with systems, both desktop and laptop, with Intel chipsets and CPUs, little with AMD. The most important limits on memory addressability are generally imposed by the Intel chipsets, So in some cases it becomes entirely academic whether or not a processor with PAE can even use higher memory. And, as I think about it, that's probably why PAE is a somewhat obscure and confusing topic.
To the best of my memory, here are some of the memory limitations of Intel chipsets. Memory limit is first. Intel chipset families are second.
2GB - 845, 850 (RAMBUS!), 855, 852 mobile, 915 mobile, some 945 mobile
4GB - 865, 875, 915 desktop, 925, 945 mobile
8GB - 955, 965, 975
After these, it gets more complicated, albeit with more memory supported, because Intel has produced a blizzard of chipsets to support quad core Socket 775, the i3/i5/i7 series and related processors. And then there are the Atom CPUs and their chipsets, which were derived from the mainstream ones.
To address 4GB of memory with the 865 and 875 desktop chipsets, one needs to have a Socket 478 CPU with 64-bit support, so the CPU has to be a Prescott 90nm stepping. None of the earlier CPUs handled 64-bit addressing.
Fun, like a root canal.
Number of Comments: 104
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 |
Mutagenix was a Linux live CD based on Slackware Linux and Linux-Live live CD build scripts.