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1 • We don't have time for distros that don't work without trouble. (by figglenorph on 2015-04-06 01:36:29 GMT from North America) |
This is becoming epidemic. I tried the 4MLinux, which booted to a command line after promising easy installation. Maybe it is for experts but not casual users. Fine, "startx". That got me directly into more configuration than I was willing to invest just to see what it does. If they clearly outlined it on the web-site, maybe... Anyway, erased the CD (R/W, this is why), then deleted all copies.
But don't want to pick on just one distro. It's widespread. Look at the flail an expert had with "Void". Is it too much to ask to put up a few instructions? To expect in 2015 it be so "user friendly" as MS-DOS of twenty years ago?
And don't get me started on the wacky GUIs. Each one is a trial.
2 • don't have time (by erinis on 2015-04-06 02:04:07 GMT from North America)
We don't have time for distros that don't work ? Well that's interesting. Then use Linux Lite. Waiting patiently also for Elementary.
3 • Cinnamon speed (by M.Z. on 2015-04-06 02:15:19 GMT from Planet Mars)
Interesting that they are trying so hard to speed up Cinnamon, especially because one of the main reasons I boot to to Mint Cinnamon on my laptop is the speed. Perhaps it's the SSD that Mint is on, but Cinnamon really flies & loads quick on Mint 17.1 for me. I often use it to do something quick when I don't want to wait the extra seconds for KDE to load. I like KDE better overall, but Cinnamon is very nice & all ready seems very snappy to me. Does anyone with a spinning HDD notice a lag in Cinnamon, & how is it compared to KDE?
4 • don't have time for distros that don't work without trouble (by Alex on 2015-04-06 04:11:46 GMT from Europe)
>And don't get me started on the wacky GUIs. Each one is a trial.<
The newest addition to it is Makulu Unity. We had a problem with Unity desktop for many reasons, one of them being the fixed left panel, another being the fixed top panel. Now this Makulu Unity is adding another fixed panel at the bottom, taking away much needed laptop screen space. It should've added another fixed panel at the right to make a photo frame look for Unity DE (sic!).
The developer had disabled right-click-to-change the desktop background, trying hard to help us more, completely forgetting that this feature (right-click) is the most wanted feature in any desktop environment, Linux or otherwise. So, now we have another highly user unfriendly distro available for us to create some headaches.
>We don't have time for distros that don't work ? Well that's interesting. Then use Linux Lite.<
What you get when you download is Linux Lite 2.2, not 2.4 as said in the release. If you install any other Linux distro after that, Linux Lite would not boot. Its grub.cfg is corrupt.
5 • Void and Grub Customizer (by cykodrone on 2015-04-06 04:31:28 GMT from North America)
Does anybody else see the irony of the distro's name (Void) based on the abysmal review?
Although I have edited grub in the past (manually), Grub Customizer looks like a very welcome GUI tool.
6 • @4 - MakuluLinux Unity (by Jacque on 2015-04-06 06:17:18 GMT from Africa)
The appearance controls wallpapers and themes in unity. However it does not control GTK3 themes and it also does not save custom wallpaper folders. Hence appearance is completely and utter useless. Everyone uses ubuntu tweak or unity tweak for customizing their themes, no one uses appearance except for wallpapers and since makulu does not use the standard location for wallpapers, appearance is useless for that as well.
I removed appearance because in Makulu Unity it serves no purpose, instead if you take 2 seconds to look, you will see wallpapers are controlled via Variety in the top panel ( which has "right click actions" ) and is FAR more efficient in features and options and is rated the best wallpaper manager in the linux world, its features is unmatched by any.
Ubuntu tweak is included as well to handle GTK themes ( of which there is 8 custom made themes included )
It is all in the video that is posted on the release notes page :)
7 • Makulu Unity (by Mark on 2015-04-06 13:19:52 GMT from North America)
I downloaded and installed the new Makulu Unity release. I haven't had it long, of course, but so far I'm very impressed. It works very well and is very user-friendly.
There are some things I'd change, of course, just as is the case with every distro I try. I prefer LibreOffice so I'll install it and remove the default, and although I like the wallpaper choices I have already put on my own. But with any distro I customize things to my liking, and Linux makes it easy to do so.
The bottom panel is a nice feature and I already enjoy it. I'm running Makulu on a laptop and don't find that he bottom panel takes away space at all; rather, I find it convenient and useful. I have more exploring to do, but so far I like this distro quite a lot.
8 • Grub customiser (by Hoos on 2015-04-06 13:58:22 GMT from Asia)
It's certainly a useful tool, but I've noticed that if you use it often to update the grub menu, which would be the case for people who multiboot or who are always trying new distros on different partitions, it picks up lots of repeat entries for os-prober.
Then when you are updating one of your other distros and there is a kernel update, you'll find that the update-grub process churns out the grub menu multiple times.
9 • miss spelled distro (by dave brown on 2015-04-06 15:17:59 GMT from North America)
Comment deleted (off-topic).
10 • Void based on Arch (by afonic on 2015-04-06 15:27:52 GMT from Europe)
The docs for the xbps package manager releal that the commands are pretty similar with Arch's pacman, they look like a simple bash aliases.
Also the "XBPS source packages collection" has some template files with the exact same syntax as Arch's ABS.
In their homepage they claim:
"Unlike trillions of other existing distros, this is not a modification of an existing distribution, its package manager and build system have been written from scratch."
Has anyone looked into it?
11 • grub customizer (by dave brown on 2015-04-06 15:30:00 GMT from North America)
I wrote up a nice tutorial a while back on using the Grub Customizer to trick out your grub with custom colored fonts and backgrounds. You can check it out here --> http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=117504
12 • cinnamon speed (by dave brown on 2015-04-06 15:31:49 GMT from North America)
@3, I use Cinnamon on a regular hard drive and I don't find Cinnamon to be slow at all. I like Cinnamon alot!
13 • #10 correction (by afonic on 2015-04-06 15:39:52 GMT from Europe)
"Exact same syntax" is wrong, they looked the same in simple files, in more complecated packages they have many differences.
Maybe it's just "inspired from" and not "based on".
14 • #10 further corrections (by Enno Boland on 2015-04-06 17:07:16 GMT from Europe)
To clarify this: Both, xbps-src templates and arch's PKGBUILDs are inspired from NetBSD pkgsrc. See  for an example. Both had the idea of using shells to define build script instead of makefiles. They may share common sources of inspiration, but evolved completely independant.
15 • Haiku (by claydoh on 2015-04-06 17:07:51 GMT from North America)
It is so nifty to see that the little OS that could........still does ;)
16 • DE load speed (by M.Z. on 2015-04-06 17:18:01 GMT from Planet Mars)
Agreed, I just checked KDE & Cinnamon on the same SSD & KDE takes twice as long to load. Its about 4 seconds for Cinnamon & 9 for KDE. I still like KDE better overall, but the wait is a bit much, especially on a spinning HDD. Cinnamon is easily my second favourite DE, & I wish KDE would try & trim load time like Mint is doing with Cinnamon.
17 • ChaletOS (by Fernando Gracia on 2015-04-06 17:21:22 GMT from North America)
About distros that doesn't work, we can find several ones; however, there are few that always work out of the box. Lately, I discovered PeachOS by January and it's working beautifully since then on a Dell S260 with only 512 of RAM. It's already updated without problems. Only Mint, Point, Lite,Voyager and ChaletOS are friendly with my small box. It's nice to see ChaletOS coming to Distrowatch.
18 • Not a Fork (by bougyman on 2015-04-06 17:24:13 GMT from North America)
the creator of Void Linux did not get the inspiration for xbps nor the void-packages repository from arch, nor any other inspiration. I was an archlinux user and package maintainer on the AUR for 5 years and I, too saw similarities when I entered The Void. However the similarities are only skin deep. There are no template files that are 'identicial syntax' to any PKGBUILD, though both use bash-syntax, the variables and how a package build is created are vastly different (see https://github.com/voidlinux/void-packages/blob/master/Manual.md). First and foremost, as a maintainer, packaging is much easier on Void because of build-styles. These are helpers you can use in a template which takes most (sometimes) all of the work from building and updating a package. Compare https://github.com/voidlinux/void-packages/blob/master/srcpkgs/gmrun/template to https://projects.archlinux.org/svntogit/community.git/tree/trunk/PKGBUILD?h=packages/gmrun. Since I've left Arch, they, too have introduced templates which can be used in PKGBUILDs. Arch taking some inspiration from Void?
19 • Void Documentation (by bougyman on 2015-04-06 17:33:34 GMT from North America)
The author of the review stated that he had a hard time finding documentation on runit. From voidlinux.eu there is a link to http://www.voidlinux.eu/usage/runit which is meant to be a quickstart into runit. As he found, the runit commands have manpages to reveal further functionality. A useful helper for systems with runit is sv-helper, at http://github.com/bougyman/sv-helper, and installable on void with xbps-install sv-helper.
The heart of the reviewers argument about void's sparse documentation has teeth, we are actively working to increase end-user documentation. We also actively support users in #xbps on the freenode irc network.
20 • MakuluLinux (by charlieD on 2015-04-06 18:27:24 GMT from North America)
The development of another version of Unity seems strange to me. That could be as I really dislike it so.
I did try Cinnamon but ran into problems after a few days. The community is so small that there really is no way to get any feedback or assistance. Further, the forum has a strange format.
As a result, I moved on. Smaller distros will always have this issue. At least with Antergos, the Arch Wiki helps with most issues.
21 • @4 (by jaws222 on 2015-04-06 18:51:03 GMT from North America)
"If you install any other Linux distro after that, Linux Lite would not boot. Its grub.cfg is corrupt."
I have Linux Lite on a desktop and a laptop and have never had this issue. In fact, I've never had ANY issues with it. When Windows users are curious to try "Ubuntu" I always have them download Linux Lite since Unity is an embarrassment and I do not want their first impression of Linux to be a nightmare. It looks like having Ubuntu Mate back in the picture Unity will be hanging their hopes on the Ubuntu phone.
22 • don't have time (by Leonard Ashley on 2015-04-06 19:06:12 GMT from North America)
I don't think there is a criteria for a distro release being capable of a install, or even a boot to live session. I agree that so many releases are just broken, or have serious issues with stability. I have found it is best to do a Debian net install, choose a DE (desktop environment), and after install, choose a WM (window manager) and be done with it. Never have had a problem with Debian, although the time involved is a little more extended, results are rewarding. I prefer Debian, however Arch, BSD, and others are also worth while. Build it yourself, I am new to Linux, but with a little effort, anyone can build their own installation and not have the headaches of a developers distro.
23 • ChaletOS 14.04 Feb/2015 (by Ari Torres on 2015-04-06 21:43:51 GMT from North America)
looks good but it has few bugs like it or not,wine install by default is a no-no for many linux users,we'll see :)
24 • Void Linux issues? (by Grass on 2015-04-06 21:44:35 GMT from North America)
It's unfortunate to hear about your experience with Void. I've been using it for a week now and never ran in to any of the problems you stated in your article. How odd. I find it to be a nice and simple OS that boots extremely fast.
25 • Void (by Petr on 2015-04-06 22:25:43 GMT from Europe)
Never heard of a distro named Void, but it is nice to see someone trying to build a distro independently, rather than re-branding a ready made distro by adding few wallpapers and themes. Hope the developer of Void would succeed in this venture.
26 • @19 Void Documentaion (by Pearson on 2015-04-06 22:38:30 GMT from North America)
I must say, I'm always impressed when a developer replies to a review with a comment like "The heart of the reviewers argument about void's sparse documentation has teeth". Such willingness to publicly recognize and accept a shortcoming -- and do something about it -- shows a humility that is encouraging.
27 • @26 Development Documentation (by bougyman on 2015-04-06 23:26:49 GMT from North America)
One of the things I found very well documented in Void Linux was the documentation on how to create, contribute, and maintain a new package. I can't speak for the whole community but for me Void has been the easiest-to-package-for distribution I have ever used; from slack, through .rpm distros and .deb distros and archlinux plus a few others. It's very friendly to developers, and still welcoming to new users. Further 'Getting Started' documentation forthcoming.
28 • Void (by Joe on 2015-04-07 00:14:13 GMT from North America)
I tried the Xfce64 version of Void recently and was impressed by its speed and how well everything worked. The only thing lacking was a graphical package manager.
29 • @28 (by kernelKurtz on 2015-04-07 03:28:25 GMT from Europe)
My experience exactly, Joe ... went to the full install and it's living happily on the multiboot machine i'm building as a hedge against the Lennartians.
30 • Void Linux (by rama65 on 2015-04-07 06:30:32 GMT from Europe)
I installed Void from Xfce-live CD without problems. Everything works fine and out of the box. The speed is amazing. The available software is still a little limited, but it is a new distribution and enough for dialy use anyway. Software updates are almost dialy.
Going on this way I wish the distro a good future.
31 • KGB Linux? (by Eddystone on 2015-04-07 10:52:44 GMT from North America)
"Astra Linux is a security oriented Linux distribution developed in Russia. Developed and included in the operating system are software components that extend its functionality and increase the level of security and convenience of use. Built-in security is designed and developed in collaboration with the Academy of the Russian FSB."
That would be the KGB, wouldn't it?
32 • @3 (by kc1di on 2015-04-07 10:58:21 GMT from North America)
They were talking about LMDE2 not 17.1 so that's where the fine tuning needs to take place. :)
33 • Void Linux (by jura321 on 2015-04-07 11:27:04 GMT from Europe)
Jessie, thank you for writing review of Void Linux
but I have to say that during my testing I haven't encountered such issues which are described in your test.
I've tested basic Void Linux and Cinnamon version and both of them were running smoothly on my new laptop.
I see just two big shortcuts regarding this distribution:
1, Luck of official documentation - I mean something like Arch, FreeBSD or Gentoo has. Till now there are just separate manual articles and just for very minimal topics.
It would be great to have complete guide how to build system from the basic iso etc.
2. Not so big repository with applications - it's young project so there is presumption that the number of provided applications will grow in time
But it's distribution built from the scratch, binary management system with dependencies, it's fast, very simple init system (no systemd) etc..
34 • Grub Customizer (by dhinds on 2015-04-07 11:28:29 GMT from North America)
Installing the wrong nvidia driver has given me a distro whose display isn't visible (or won't boot - but it's Plymouth screen will).
Can I either load Grub Customizer from there?
Or run it from another distro but use it to modify the boot parameters of the distro that won't boot?
Thanks in advance for your response.
35 • ChaletOS 14.04 Feb/2015 (by Ari Torres on 2015-04-07 13:42:11 GMT from North America)
disregard my comments on post 23 I shit on my mouth :)
ChaletOS we have a winner here!!!
this is got to be the most user friendly Linux Distro so far and right out of the box with simple clicks will make it look just like windows 7 or 8 and most people won't even know they are on linux. I did the test with family members :) you should've seen their faces :)
look at the pics of ChaletOS here: https://plus.google.com/115875754886467617486/posts/dUgksNej4Hc
36 • ChaletOS / Windows (by Carlos on 2015-04-07 15:35:01 GMT from Europe)
"ChaletOS we have a winner here!!!
this is got to be the most user friendly Linux Distro so far and right out of the box with simple clicks will make it look just like windows 7 or 8 and most people won't even know they are on linux."
It doesn't have to be THAT similar to Windows (jeez, even the menu and wallpaper!) to be useable for a Windows user.
Personally, I'll pass but I understand that some may like it.
37 • Devuan update (by Roland on 2015-04-07 15:53:35 GMT from North America)
I visited the Devuan page mentioned above:
and it is not readable. Dark text on a dark background. What was this guy thinking? Is there a projected release date? What I've heard so far is interesting, but that page makes me wonder if I'm once again going to run into developers make dumb choices.
38 • @15 • Haiku (by Georgia on 2015-04-07 17:00:17 GMT from North America)
It's nice to see Haiku get commercial support. BeOS tried hard to bring multi-media workstation power to PCs. I'm glad to see that work continue as Haiku. Was Haiku the last modern OS developed from scratch?
39 • True enough (by M.Z. on 2015-04-07 18:05:07 GMT from Planet Mars)
@32 - LMDE
I see your point, I might have guessed that LMDE & the main edition were closely related enough that most tweaks would be fairly minor. It seems not to be the case, given the apparent KDE like load times of LMDE Cinnamon. I guess all the fine tuning on LMDE & later the main edition will help Cinnamon be more distro agnostic & more universal to distros with different base systems.
@31 - KGB
Yes it more or less is the current version of that particular organization. The distro still might be more trustworthy that Red Flag from North Korea, though I would personally use something else. No one ever said free & open software would only be used by nice people who don't weaponize polonium.
40 • problems with void review. (by frodopogo on 2015-04-07 19:27:04 GMT from North America)
It seems like void isn't ready for prime time, but I get frustrated with reviews that end badly just because of an apparent hardware conflict. There may have been some really interesting features, and we don't get to read about them, and that seems somehow unfair.... small new projects are probably not at a place where they can test for all possible hardware. So I think that such tests really need to allow the distro a trial on a second quite different computer. I wish there was some way when a review has gotten to that point, that the developer could be given a chance at fixing the problem, and this would be noted in the review. Then we would still know that the initial install on the reviewer's hardware failed, but the adventurous might get to find things out that would lead them to participate in the project. Since a lot of projects are in Europe, shipping one of the project's successful test boxes might be an option. Or at least a video card, since they often seem to be a problem!
I have read complaints in the past about the reviewer's hardware. Perhaps some users could donate components for at least a second test machine for Jessie, with substantially different hardware. There may be some reasons why these suggestions are not workable, but since the early 90s, my main method of troubleshooting has been to swap out hardware, and I find a test with just one set of hardware in a review very unsatisfying.... especially if there was a major failure of the distro to perform.
41 • @37, Devuan (by a on 2015-04-07 20:04:28 GMT from Europe)
Indeed, dark grey text on very dark grey background for me too. The Devuan people are terrible with communication… Remember they wanted donations without even saying who they were?
42 • Devuan page black text (by cykodrone on 2015-04-07 20:06:06 GMT from North America)
@37 I found highlighting the text makes it readable. I found the choice of text and background colours very unusual too (I'm being polite here so my comment does not get removed). IMHO, if they want to be credible, they better smarten up.
43 • Void review and hardware (by Jesse on 2015-04-07 20:48:33 GMT from North America)
@40: Whenever people suggest pausing a review to work with developers to fix a problem or swapping out hardware in order to work around a compatibility issue, I get the impression we are not on the same page as to what a review is.
For me a proper review examines how a product works on my hardware for me. No trouble-shooting, no swapping out parts, no excuses. The average computer user is not going to pop open their computer and swap components if their new operating system doesn't work as expected. Giving an OS different hardware so it performs better is, in my mind, cheating. It's changing the test so that the product "passes". It's like dumbing down an exam so more students pass. No one wins in that scenario.
If I were doing PR pieces to promote distributions then I would do more to get them working, but I'm not doing PR, I am writing reviews. There are dozens, maybe hundreds of Linux distributions and BSD flavours that run on this hardware flawlessly. Those that work should be recognized for their good quality. The ones that don't work should be identified as not working so others, who have similar hardware, are not lead into trying a product that will not work for them.
Think of it this way. I live in Canada where it is relatively cold during much of the year. Were I writing reviews about cars and I encounted one car that wouldn't start in below-freezing temperatures while 90% of cars worked perfectly, would you expect me to move to a warmer climate to do my evaluation? Or would you want to know that the car did not start in th cold so people who live where it's cold could learn about the potential problem?
44 • Void , comments 40 and 43 (by Brad on 2015-04-07 21:16:56 GMT from North America)
I was curious, and have Intel hardware, rather than Jesse's AMD test equipment. I downloaded the Cinnamon live edition. Quick to boot (and minimal), but functional. I'm impressed by the lightweight nature of the live version. One caveat - no way that I can see to install from a live version. Until I have sufficient time to consider installing it, I'll use it on occasion as a "burner" environment, and wait to see if the spartan documentation improves.
HW - Acer Aspire V5-561P-6823
CORE i5-4200U Touchscreen
500G Samsung SSD
45 • @43 (by Rev_Don on 2015-04-08 00:11:11 GMT from North America)
Jessie, the point that you continually miss (or ignore) is that you continually have problems with distros during your reviews. That tends to mean that there is a problem with that hardware, either some incompatibility or a component that is failing. With that in mind it does seem that to give a fair review that some sort of harcware revision is in order. Since we know that you have an Intel based laptop it would be a good idea to test on both platforms.
To take your cold weather scenario to it's logical conclusion the only fair and complete review would include both cold and warm weather conditions that way users living in both climates are covered. While a person in a cold weather climate would not be able to test in warm weather during the cold period, it wouldn't be that difficult to have someone else test in those conditions.
Or you could just admit that it isn't a fair representation of the total computer user space doing reviews only on AMD hardware when it covers a considerably smaller amount of users compared to Intel. I know that for the most part I pretty much ignore your reviews of distros as it doesn't provide any useful or pertinent information for the vast majority of users who are using Intel hardware (just look at AMD vs Intel sales to see how lopsided they are towards Intel). Continuing to stick with AMD only reviews benefits only a small fraction of computer users so why continue to do so, especially when you run into problems on such a large amount of them? And when the same problems tend to appear over and over again that point really hits home.
Sorry, but you are wrong about this.
46 • Hardware in reviews (by Jesse on 2015-04-08 00:30:33 GMT from North America)
@Rev_Don: I think your point of view only makes sense if you read reviews solely to find out if your hardware is supported by the distribution being discussed. I suspect that is not the case for the vast number of people reading. Most people check out reviews to learn about features, problems, quirks, new technologies being explored, etc. These features are not hardware dependent. Since very few people have hardware that exactly matches any reviewer's computer, it will be very rare you will be able to tell if a distribution will work on your hardware based on any review.
As I stated before, my reviews are a representation of how a distribution works _for me_, I explore tasks that I perform on a regular basis on hardware I use. I also run distros in virtual machines to level the playing field somewhat (a VM largely takes hardware differences/quirks out of the equation).
I'd also like to point out three other things relating to hardware.
1. Most distributions run on my hardware. The odd few don't and some people are upset by that, but no distro runs perfectly on all hardware, that's just life.
2. The majority of each of my reviews does not focus on hardware. I talk a mostly about software provided, installers, configuration tools, how one distro relates to another. If you are not interested in how a distro performs on my hardware you can skip that one paragraph and read the other four pages of my review.
3. You said in comment 45 that I "continually have problems with distros" refering to hardware problems. That is a bit of a stretch. I experiment with around hafl a dozen different distros each week and might only run into a few each month that have hardware related issues. That's a problem occurring less than 10% of the time. Considering the wide variety of distros I experiment with I'd say that's pretty good.
47 • Linux in general (by erinis on 2015-04-08 01:30:35 GMT from North America)
It never senses to amaze me how some comments on here complain about an OS or that OS or that comment that Jesse said. It's your choice to in life to waste your time and waste a cdrw. The bonus gratuitous is that it is Free and after 16 years of linux the answer is clear but some do not see it. Thanks
48 • Void Linux (by Will B on 2015-04-08 05:56:29 GMT from North America)
Well, after a couple of hours of messing around, finally got Void Linux (Xfce version) installed in a VM.
There should really be a link to the void-installer program on the desktop or in the menu.
The included terminal font is really bad (and is not Monospace at all), so it makes text difficult to read, at least until you can install a font that includes a monospace variety.
I didn't have as hard a time finding information about runit as Jesse did, but maybe I wasn't looking in the same places as he did. It's a decent system, and isn't overly complicated, nor do you need to fiddle with units, targets and what-not.
Overall it's a very rough and unpolished distro, but because it boots super-fast and it doesn't have systemd, I'll tinker with it a bit and see if I like it.
Thanks Jesse for the review, and thanks Void Linux folks for the distro. :-)
49 • No OS is perfect (by Dion on 2015-04-08 06:07:46 GMT from North America)
I agree with Jesse. No operating system or platform is perfect. It is a simple matter of what limitations and faults you are willing to deal with.
I have been fixing computers and working in IT for 20+ years.
The two OSes I use are Windows 8.1 and ChaletOS. On my hardware, they are unremarkable and boring. I am rarely going under the hood to fix issues. That is what I am looking for.
50 • @43 (by @43 on 2015-04-08 10:39:48 GMT from South America)
So what you are saying is everybody should only use Intel. Sounds like you need to only use a MAC as that is Intel only. I for one don't touch the overpriced Intel CPU the extortionate prices can not be justified. As they almost give them away to the industry then rip of the general public that is called unfair competition.
Jesse Is quite right using everyday hardware as that is what helps to make distros more compatible, AMD is more than capable hardware and he should not have to tinker just to make a review that is compatible to you that would not be a fair review now would it to other users. All my motherboards apart from a notebook have AMD processors I have no problems apart from Linux is a bit slow with GPU drivers for both Nvidia/AMD Intel on the other hand Intel openly admits there GPU drivers are less than adequate performance wise and very outdated, performance wise check the performance ratings for the top ten GPUs you will get a big surprise as AMD is at the top of the game performance and price wise.
51 • Devuan (by Linux Apocalypsis on 2015-04-08 11:33:31 GMT from Europe)
Yes, the Devuan site is hardly readable. I needed to do "Edit -> Select All" (or "Ctrl + A") in Firefox in order to be able to read it. And it was interesting.
52 • @36 (ChaletOS) (by Peter on 2015-04-08 14:47:24 GMT from Europe)
Carlos, I understand what you feel about it being just a bit too "windowish", but if you consider it as a substitution system for Windows refugees ( quite a few from uncertain Win XP installations) then it isn't so bad. Mind you, I'm a KDE fan, but I have witnessed a few cases of casual/novice users who seem lost if they don't recognize their shapes, colours or icons.
When even explaining to a newbie that there is no "C:/" is a "do or die" situation in some cases, all the similarities I can obtain in all the rest are welcome.
Funny enough, if it's a smartphone (Android or iOS), even though it's a much bigger change in attitude for them, they well end up coping.
ChaletOS works well and has sensible choices. I've remastered copies for specific users, depending on what they new best: Win XP or Win 8 style, Office 2003 or 2007 (or the default WPS), adding some recovery software and file managers. I may not convince many users of switching to Linux, but they will have safe and reliable emergency CD's, and later on, who knows. :)
53 • @44 • Void (by mandog on 2015-04-08 15:54:57 GMT from South America)
open the terminal type void-install the installer will open I would do the partitioning 1st before using the void live disc as it can fail you can use minimal partitioning in VB
/ make sure its marked "bootable" and swap
54 • @51 (Devuan) (by György on 2015-04-08 16:12:20 GMT from Europe)
And Devuanists surely read DW comments...
55 • void-install (by brad on 2015-04-08 16:26:34 GMT from North America)
@53 - thanks! If I ever get around to installing it, I will use parted/Gparted first - I've noticed that some distros (Gentoo-derived and BSD-derived) seem to prefer having the disk partitioned beforehand. I know I can do the partitions during the install, but I feel more comfortable setting up the partitions ahead of time.
I appreciate the fact that the distro is not dependent on systemd, and that I (possibly) have a go-to distro if systemd takes over the planet; however, I feel that with enough push-back from the user community, that the systemd folks will reconsider the scale/scope of the project.
: - )
56 • @55 Void install (by mandog on 2015-04-08 19:50:37 GMT from South America)
Sorry made a typo error its void-installer this is a link to step by step ish install guide.
57 • Review hardware gripes (by cykodrone on 2015-04-08 20:42:13 GMT from North America)
I have to chime in. No offence Jesse but your hardware has been around for quite some time now, so it *should* be well supported, that being said, for a distro that professes to be lite and simple, older hardware owners should be a big part of their audience. Jesse's hardware is not that exotic, a lot of proprietary PC makers base their models on AMD (lower production costs = bigger profits), the person I live with has such a PC, a Compaq made by HP, which I tech from time to time (even if it is Windows 7).
Why should distros get an easy pass on the most common hardware (stuff made by a certain overpriced monopoly)? I want the underdog to be supported, if they're not, they get pushed to the fringe of the hardware market and eventually disappear. If and when that happens, have fun paying $1G for a mid-level CPU.
Now on to my machine, I just built an AMD machine last fall containing their 990FX chipset, I didn't know about the IOMMU problem with the Linux kernel (this affects ALL distros based on Linux and most 900 series chipset based boards with IOMMU, my board also has VIA chip controlled USB 3.0), I did not cry, I found the solution (add iommu=soft to the kernel boot parameter line, live or installed) and used it, but if others (noobs) aren't aware of this, they'll throw their hands in the air and go back to Windows (my tinfoil hat says this scenario sounds a bit like the 'secure boot' sham). I shouldn't have had to hunt this solution down, by the time my machine was built, it was a 2 year old 'bug'. This is rather sad because AMD is pro Linux and try to improve things with new innovations here and there but always seem to wind up under the bus for some reason or another. AAMOF, the 'other guy' can thank AMD for some of the features they are now using in their products (popularizing 64-bit in the consumer desktop market), they may wear the crown for single thread performance but when it comes to new features and Linux friendly support, AMD kicks their rear.
I purposely left Wintel (CPU unique ID really cheesed me off, never forgot it) and that other huge GPU maker (green eye logo), I don't want to go back, over my computer's dead body, so if any distro is overly fussy about which hardware it MIGHT like, then it's NOT really a mainstream distro, it's a fringe distro, and it will stay in the fringes, and probably die a sad and quiet death there.
58 • Grub Customizer (by M.Z. on 2015-04-08 20:58:23 GMT from Planet Mars)
So I played with Grub Customizer on my laptop & had the exact same problem as Jesse, that Appearance tab does nothing for me either. Otherwise it does some nice stuff to make changing Grub easier, & it auto detects newer kernels & sets them to boot by default while leaving options to boot to old kernels.
Always check your distro forums first, those are there for tech support rather than to make general comments. As for your question I ran into a similar issue recently where I tried to run compiz on an old system that couldn't handle it. If you can't get in through recovery mode, you can probably use the key combo Ctrl + Alt + F2 to drop you to command line. From there you login with your name & password, then just look up what the forums say & keep typing until it works again. I've also been bitten by that urge to play with Linux in a way that breaks things, but after you pull your hair out & do enough searching you usually realize its been a learning experience. Good luck :)
59 • review hardware (by frodopogo on 2015-04-10 21:27:26 GMT from North America)
Thank you for the response, and thank you for all your reviews.
And sorry if I've opened a can of worms for you!
"2. The majority of each of my reviews does not focus on hardware. I talk a mostly about software provided, installers, configuration tools, how one distro relates to another. If you are not interested in how a distro performs on my hardware you can skip that one paragraph and read the other four pages of my review."
And this is precisely what I'm interested in reading in your reviews... and you cover those things well. That's why I'm so disappointed when there's a hardware incompatibility and you never get the opportunity to get to that "good stuff"! It's really the key factor in me deciding whether I want to even bother.
As erinnis said, I can make a decision to waste a CD-R or DVD-R. Ultimately the acid test is whether it runs on MY hardware. But it's your reviews in #2 that make me willing to go through the trouble of downloading and burning a bootable disk or USB stick. If you have problems with the distro regarding the stuff listed in item 2 above, I won't waste my time OR the DVD-R. If there is a hardware failure, as there was this week, it leaves a VOID (pardon the pun!) in my knowledge of that distro.... MAYBE it would have passed the items in #2 with flying colors and the descriptions made it sound like it would be my ideal distro- maybe it has a key feature I would love, and since I have an Intel machine in the living room, and an AMD machine in the bedroom, it would still be worth it for me to download.
Rather than being a make or break hardware test, I see the reviews as being a source of information about a distro. If there were a hardware failure on one machine, but not the hypothetical other, it would put a caution light in my mind about compatibility, but if the features were REALLY good, I might still be willing to take the gamble on the compatibility. Of course, if there were hardware failures on BOTH, that would be a massive RED LIGHT.
Eh.... I only got four hours of sleep last night, and I think I'm rambling.
I don't want you to think I don't appreciate your reviews- I DO, a lot. You alone can decide whether it's worth your while to add a second machine to your reviews.... and it sounds like you HAVE decided "NO", and I accept that- thank you!
60 • When version and vintage rule (by Kragle von Schnitzelbank on 2015-04-11 05:14:11 GMT from North America)
Many reviews of Linux distros illustrate the roll-the-dice nature of finding a compatible mix of software for a particular computer. Some distro communities have a (very hard-fought) reputation for finding ways to get things to work together.
When a test ISO even fails on a virtual machine, I wonder would be a reasonable baseline VM. Perhaps the trend toward app-centric VMs will tell.
I do find the assumption that all "old" or "low-spec" hardware is 32-bit a 'bit' grating: 64-bit has been around since before Y2K, and mass-production thereof hit its stride thereafter; it often had 32-bit software simply because there was so much available, and so little new. Even then, running concurrent processes on multiple cores allowed some productivity gains, IF used.
61 • Enter the Void despite all odds (by far2fish on 2015-04-11 10:03:42 GMT from Europe)
I really enjoy Jessie's reviews, and on several occasions his reviews has either prompted me to try a distro, or cancel plans to try a distro.
Despite this, I found the review of Void Linux to be very inspiring. Despite all the HW issues Jessie met, I don't think I have been more eager to try a distro, and I will download Void right away. Will be interesting to try runit and xbps.
62 • LMDE 2 & Grub Customizer (by M.Z. on 2015-04-11 18:56:23 GMT from Planet Mars)
So I've been playing with LMDE 2 & Grub Customizer, & noticed a few things.
The bad parts of Grub Customizer are 1) it didn't detect my old Mageia install that hasn't played nice with Mint in the past, so no help there. 2) there seem to be a lot of extra LMDE entries on the boot list by default after I installed LMDE. 3) I still don't think it does much to theme Grub.
On the upside Grub Customizer made getting LMDE into Grub very easy, and it changes the layout of the entries quick & easy.
As for LMDE 2, well at least the installer noticed that old copy of Mageia that Grub Customizer never saw, & LMDE got put in Mageia's place fairly quickly. I've also noticed that LMDE 2 Cinnamon seems to be using about 180 Mb less RAM after the desktop loads than Mint 17.1 Cinnamon. It also seems to load the desktop about a second quicker than 17.1 Cinnamon, so the Mint team more than fixed any load time issues. There are also a few minor differences in the Cinnamon theme like thinner progress bars, & a switch to a newer version of Gnome system monitor. Sadly Gnome system monitor 3.14 has trouble working with Cinnamon themes & only displays a jarring combination of the Mint-X/default theme & the new Adwaita/Gnome 3 style. Traditional menus have been replaced by a popup on the left side of the oversized titlebar/tab strip in the app. I know the Mint team have no control over what goes on at Gnome, but it is a somewhat jarring effect to see a default app so poorly integrated with Cinnamon themes. I also noticed that the splash screen isn't displayed while LMDE is booting & I get a string of text whizzing by instead. I actually prefer that sort of raw unthemed look, so I'm not complaining, but it is different from the icon in the middle of the screen when Mint 17.1 boots. Everything else about LMDE2 is great so far.
63 • "Splash", especially Boot (by Kragle von Schnitzelbank on 2015-04-12 01:38:32 GMT from North America)
As a resident of Planet Dust\\\\Earth, I second the opinion from our esteemed colleague Planet Mars: instead of showing (parallel/concurrent?) %/stepwise progress, an utterly worse-than-worthless Mickey-Mouse/dumb-down/thumb-twiddle stalling animation. "a string of text whizzing by" is eminently preferable thereto.
Number of Comments: 63
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