| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 608, 4 May 2015
Welcome to this year's 18th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
The Debian project is host to one of the world's largest open source communities. Software packaged for Debian makes its way through over one hundred Linux distributions and is used on millions of computers, ranging from desktops to servers to mobile devices, around the world. This week we begin with a review of Debian's latest release, code named "Jessie". Read on to find out how Debian's new Stable branch performs. In our News section this week we cover a wide range of topics, beginning with Ubuntu's experiment with Snappy packages. We also talk about a new fork of the Enlightenment desktop environment, a release of Debian GNU/Hurd, OpenBSD's new implementation of an old utility and the current status of the FreeBSD project. In our Questions and Answers column we talk about the frequency of distribution releases and then we share the torrents we are seeding in our Torrent Corner. Last week was a busy one with a lot of Linux and BSD releases and we provide a summary of all the exciting new versions. Plus, we welcome a new distribution to our database, Chromixium OS, and you can learn more about this interesting project below. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Fun with Debian 8.0 "Jessie"
The Debian project has a long and rich legacy. Debian is one of the oldest surviving GNU/Linux distributions and, along the way, it has also become one of the largest (over 1,000 developers work on Debian, providing users with over 40,000 packages) and Debian has even branched out, adding GNU/FreeBSD and GNU/Hurd ports to its list of offerings. Debian is sometimes referred to as the "universal operating system" because it runs on a wide array of architectures, offering not only a production branch (Stable), but also multiple development branches (Testing, Unstable and Experimental). Debian, in short, provides a little something for everyone. This "universal" approach, which allows Debian to work just about anywhere while doing almost anything, also attracts developers who wish to build products using Debian's packages and open infrastructure. Many of the world's more popular Linux distributions, including Linux Mint and Ubuntu, have their roots in Debian.
In short, Debian is not merely a distribution of Linux, it is also an unusual phenomenon in that the project is a melting pot, a technology testing ground and the foundation for over 100 actively maintained distributions. It is small wonder releases of Debian, which typically happen about once every two years, draw a great deal of attention. The latest release of Debian Stable, version 8.0, carries the code name "Jessie". Looking through the project's release notes, we find a number of important changes in Debian's latest version. This new version of Debian is the first to use systemd as the project's default init software. Debian 8.0 offers users support for two new architectures (arm64 and ppc64el) while dropping support for the IA-64 and Sparc architectures. Debian "Jessie" offers us several desktop environments and uses GNOME Shell 3.14 as the default desktop environment. A number of security improvements have been added to Debian's configuration and build process, making the operating system more secure. One of the more interesting new features is the Debian project has made live media images a part of the official release, rather than having live discs act as a post-release add-on.
Debian 8.0 -- Running the MATE desktop
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Debian is available in many different editions and builds. People wishing to try out the distribution can download full DVD images, smaller CD-sized images or minimal "net-install" images for installing packages over the network. These are in addition to the live disc images I mentioned above. I opted to download the full DVD image which, for the 64-bit x86 architecture, is 3.7GB in size. Booting from this ISO brings up a menu asking if we would like to run Debian's standard installer, run a graphical installer, run an installer with speech synthesis, launch a rescue mode or dive into more advanced installation options. I decided to proceed with the graphical system installer.
Debian's graphical installer allows for a good deal of customization and walks us through several more screens than most modern installers present. We are asked to select our preferred language from a list and then select our country or region from another list. We then provide the installer with our keyboard's layout and give our computer a hostname. The following screen gets us to create a password for the operating system's root account and then we are asked to create a regular user account for ourselves. The installer then asks us to select our time zone from a list and then choose whether we want to manually partition our hard drive or use a guided partitioning option. The Debian installer will default to using the ext4 file system on its root partition, but we can choose alternative file systems. The installer supports working with ext2/3/4, JFS, XFS and Btrfs. I decided to use Btrfs during my trial. We then wait a few minutes while our disk is formatted and the base components of the operating system are installed. We are then asked if we would like to install additional packages from network mirrors or from local media. Next we are asked if we would like to submit package usage data to the Debian project. The following screen offers to let us install a variety of roles, collections of packages for specific tasks. Available roles include Desktop, Web Server, Print Server, SSH Server and Standard System Utilities. Debian "Jessie" allows us to specify which desktop environment (or environments) we would like to install. GNOME, Xfce, Cinnamon, MATE, KDE and LXDE are supported and I decided to install MATE. With the roles we want selected, the installer once again copies files to our hard drive. When the installer is finished putting packages in place we are asked if we would like to install the GRUB boot loader. Once GRUB is in place we can reboot the computer and experience our brand new copy of Debian.
There are a few aspects of the system installer which stand out. One is that there are quite a few more steps in Debian's installer than in the installers of most other distributions. These days most distributions have streamlined their installers and tucked away advanced configuration options into separate, optional screens. Another thing which stands out is it is now possible to select which desktop environment we want to use from within the installer. In the past, desktop environments were selected from the boot menu prior to launching Debian's installer and I think this approach is more intuitive and more flexible. Finally, installing Debian took a surprisingly long time in my trial, over an hour in total. This is unusual in my test environments when installing such a small collection of software (Debian with the MATE desktop required approximately 3.5GB of packages to be placed on my hard drive).
Debian boots to a graphical login screen. From there we can sign into our account and find ourselves running the desktop environment we selected at install time. In my case, I was presented with MATE. At the top of the screen we find the application menu and system tray while the bottom of the screen is home to a task switching panel. There are icons on the desktop for accessing the file manager. The desktop has a neutral background and the theme is plain, the colours dull. I did not see any notifications or other distractions on the desktop.
Debian 8.0 -- The desktop settings panel
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During my time with Debian I ran the distribution in two test environments, a desktop computer and a VirtualBox virtual machine. In both test environments Debian required between 160MB and 180MB of RAM when logged into MATE. Debian ran very well on my desktop machine. The distribution set my screen to its maximum resolution, networking and sound functioned as expected. The desktop was very responsive and the system quick to boot. When running in the VirtualBox virtual machine Debian booted quickly, the desktop was responsive and everything worked. However, my screen resolution was somewhat limited. Usually this is not a problem as I would simply install VirtualBox's guest add-ons, but this action was not entirely straight forward in Debian. I'll come back to VirtualBox add-ons shortly, but for now I'd like to explore the applications which ship with Debian.
Browsing through the application menu we find the Iceweasel web browser, the LibreOffice productivity suite, a document viewer and a dictionary application. The GNU Image Manipulation Program is installed for us along with the Caja file manager and the Orca screen reader. Network Manager is present to help us get on-line and the MATE desktop ships with a collection of configuration modules to help us customize the user interface. Debian offers users an archive manager, a calculator and a text editor. In the background we find version 3.16 of the Linux kernel. All in all, Debian ships with a fairly small collection of desktop applications. The programs it does provide are useful and worked well for me. Some features the operating system provides, however, did not work as expected. For example, when I would attempt to play a media file a notification would appear, letting me know there was no appropriate program available to open my media. The system then offered to find a suitable application for playing media files. When I accepted the offer to install a media player nothing happened.
Debian 8.0 -- Managing packages with Synaptic
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As we have established, Debian does not offer us multimedia applications, media codecs or Flash by default. As I mentioned earlier, the distribution does not provide VirtualBox support by default either. I wanted to tackle VirtualBox add-on modules early in my trial to get a better experience in my virtual machine and this lead me through some interesting steps. I opened Debian's package manager, Synaptic, and searched for VirtualBox and found no suitable matches. I then went to VirtualBox's website to see if they had a Debian 8.0 repository set up yet and, at the time of writing, they do not. I next tried to install VirtualBox's generic third-party add-ons, but the installation failed as the module could not detect which version of the X display server Debian was running. I then returned to Synaptic and realized I had overlooked something important. Debian "Jessie" automatically enabled Debian's security update repositories, but all other package repositories had not been enabled during the installation. This meant I had access to only 1,386 packages (most of them already installed on my machine). I manually added Debian's main, contrib and non-free repositories and Synaptic then reported it had access to the full range of 42,991 packages Debian currently provides.
At this point I found VirtualBox add-on packages are, in fact, available in Debian's repositories. The repositories also provided me with a Flash player, codecs and multimedia applications. Soon I was able to watch Flash videos and view my desktop at a higher resolution. Playing media files was still a bit of a mixed experience. Audio files played on my test systems without any trouble. However, when I tried to play video files the media player I was using would either lock-up or crash. I tried playing multiple video files in two different video players (VLC and MPlayer). Regardless of which file I was attempting to view, my media players would crash.
Once I enabled the necessary package repositories and found the many various programs I wanted in the repositories, my time with Debian went smoothly. Apart from the video players I tried to use, all the desktop software I installed worked well. Debian's Stable branch lived up to its name. The operating system was solid and fast. It is not often I see a desktop distribution that requires less than 200MB of memory to operate and it is not often I find a desktop as responsive as MATE is when running on Debian. There is a trade-off though. Debian is light and fast partly because it presents us with a small number of features. Debian's application menu is lean and we need to install most of the programs we want from the repositories. Debian does not have a update notification service, we need to check for security updates manually. In short, if a person wants to run Debian "Jessie" as their desktop operating system, there is quite a bit of initial configuration work to do. Once these initial steps have been completed, Debian runs smoothly and does everything quickly, but it is a good idea to set aside more than the usual amount of time to install Debian and acquire all the desired software.
Debian 8.0 -- Filing a bug report
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This past week while I was using Debian "Jessie" the nagging thought which kept crossing my mind was that while I greatly enjoy Debian's flexibility, its power, its vast array of software and its stability the distribution really seems much better suited for use on servers than desktop computers. It's not that Debian cannot be used as a desktop operating system, many people do and projects such as Linux Mint and Ubuntu prove that Debian can be adapted to work very well on desktop and laptop computers. However, I think the Debian project's focus is more geared toward server environments. I think this point was driven home for me when I noticed Debian, by default, runs an e-mail server in the background, but no update notification service.
What I like about Debian is I can take the distribution and use it to serve up content on just about any platform ranging from a super computer to a data centre cloud to a Raspberry Pi. In any of those environments I can expect Debian to run smoothly, to be stable and to run just about any software I want. Maintenance will be minimal and Debian will be supported for three to five years by the many wonderful Debian developers. Debian has all the qualities I look for in a server, it's fast, it's lightweight, it's reliable and it is very conservative. However, what I look for in a desktop system is quite a bit different. On the desktop I want brief initial setup times and lots of useful software pre-installed, I want multimedia support and notification of security updates. I want all my software repositories to be accessible without manual work on my part. I want modern desktop applications and, preferably, no e-mail service running in the background. Debian, vanilla Debian, does not do so well in these areas, but Debian is flexible enough to serve as a base for other projects (like Linux Mint) which do offer these characteristics.
What I'm coming around to is I've been hearing commentary from a number of people this past week or two asking if Debian is still relevant. And I'm happy to say Debian is very relevant and a very important cornerstone of the open source community. However, I think it is important to select the best tool for the job and every tool has its strengths and weaknesses. Debian is a fantastic base for other projects, Debian is a rock solid server operating system and Debian is leading the field in portability. Debian is an amazing social experiment in getting developers to work together and the Debian project is constantly leading the way when it comes to adopting more secure builds and working with upstream developers. Debian, in brief, could not be more important, more relevant, in the Linux ecosystem. With all that being said, I do not think running on desktop and laptop computers is one of Debian's strengths. The operating system can be made to work well on a desktop machine, but it needs to be worked into the role, shaped to fit the desktop. Debian is not an install-and-go desktop distribution. It is not trying to be, it has plenty of children vying to fill that role.
* * * * *
Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
- Processor: Dual-core 2.8GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Ubuntu experiments with Snappy packages, Bodhi forks Enlightenment, a new version of Debian GNU/Hurd released, OpenBSD re-implements file utility and FreeBSD publishes quarterly report
Will Cooke, a Canonical developer, announced recently that future versions of Ubuntu's "Desktop Next" edition will be built using Snappy packages rather than Debian-style .deb packages. "Our plan for 15.10 (which is still being finalized, and will be discussed in more depth at UOS in a couple of weeks) is to have a build based on Snappy Personal and so the current .deb based Desktop Next image will be going away and will be replaced with the new Snappy version. We'll preserve the most recent Desktop Next .deb based ISO on cdimage.ubuntu.com (link to follow as soon as it's available). The future is Snappy and you'll have an image to play with Real Soon Now." Snappy packages will hopefully provide users with more secure applications and more reliable package updates.
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Does the world need another open source desktop environment? Jeff Hoogland, the lead developer of Bodhi Linux, thinks it does and he makes a compelling case. According to Hoogland, the Enlightenment interface, Bodhi's default desktop environment, has been going through rapid development cycles that make the software unstable and sometimes break backward compatibility. To give Bodhi users a more stable, predictable desktop environment, Hoogland intends to fork Enlightenment. "On top of the performance issues, E19 did not allow for me personally to have the same workflow I enjoyed under E17 due to features it no longer had. Because of this I had changed to using the E17 on all of my Bodhi 3 computers -- even my high end ones. This got me to thinking how many of our existing Bodhi users felt the same way, so I opened a discussion about it on our user forums. I found many felt similar to how I did. So that left only one question: What was to be done about it? After much reflection, I came to the same conclusion others had before me that lead to the creation of the MATE and Trinity desktops -- fork it." The new fork of Enlightenment is called "Moksha" and will be featured in the upcoming release of Bodhi Linux 3.1.0. More information on the fork is available on the Bodhi Linux blog.
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The Debian project maintains a number of ports, branches of Debian which use alternative technologies. One such port is Debian GNU/Hurd, an operating system that combines the GNU userland utilities with GNU's Hurd microkernel and Debian's package management tools. The Debian GNU/Hurd team has published an unofficial release of their operating system which uses much of the same source code and technologies as Debian's main GNU/Linux operating system. "Debian GNU/Hurd is currently available for the i386 architecture with more than 80% of the Debian archive, and more to come! Since the last snapshot release coinciding with "Wheezy", the init system has been switched to sysvinit for a more Debian-like experience. Further changes since the last snapshot include: The core GNU Hurd and GNU Mach packages were updated to versions 0.6 and 1.5, respectively. Besides numerous other improvements, they bring vastly improved stability under load and prolonged uptime. The networking drivers were migrated to user-space drivers using the NetDDE framework and a Linux-2.6.32 codebase." Further information, download links and documentation can be found in the port's release announcement.
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The OpenBSD project launched version 5.7 of their famously secure operating system last week. The new release features a number of driver and cryptographic improvements and we provide more information on this new release below. Putting aside the release of OpenBSD 5.7 for a moment, one important aspect of the OpenBSD project is the proactive approach its developers take regarding security. New and improved implementations of commonly used software packages regularly come out of OpenBSD. At the end of April we learned that one developer, Nicholas Marriott, has undertaken the task of rewriting the ageing and insecure file utility. The file program is included in virtually every Linux, BSD and UNIX operating system and is used to determine the format of a file or program. Since file is used on a lot of data, particularly unknown or untrusted data, it is important to have a secure implementation of the command. After Nicholas Marriott announced his new version of file, the open source program's original author, Ian Darwin, posted this encouraging reply, "The Albatross fell off, and sank;
Like lead into the sea."
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The FreeBSD project has released its quarterly status report for the months of January through March 2015. The report explores developments and progress made in all aspects of the FreeBSD project. "The first quarter of 2015 was another productive quarter for the FreeBSD project and community. FreeBSD is being used in research projects, and those projects are making their way back into FreeBSD as new and exciting features, bringing improved network performance and security features to the system. Work continues to improve support for more architectures and architecture features, including progress towards the goal of making ARM (32- and 64-bit) a Tier 1 platform in FreeBSD 11. The toolchain is receiving updates, with new versions of Clang/LLVM in place, migrations to ELF Tool Chain tools, and updates to the LLDB and gdb debuggers. Work by ports teams and kernel developers is maintaining and improving the state of FreeBSD as a desktop operating system. The pkg team is continuing to make binary packages easier to use and upgrade." Some of the highlights in the latest report mention FreeBSD changing from using GNATs to Bugzilla for problem reports, ongoing work being done with FreeBSD's bhyve hypervisor, work being done on the new Lua boot loader and multipath TCP support. The report also mentions efforts to support Secure Boot on UEFI-enabled machines and address space layout randomization (ASLR). Further, the report contains information on the status of third-party software in the FreeBSD ports collection, including WINE, Xfce, KDE and GNOME.
| Questions And Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Distribution release frequency
Whither-the-distros asks: I've been following your news site for many years now and I've noticed recently that the frequency of new distribution releases and updates has been on a pretty significant decline. Looking back even just two years ago, there were often twice as many updates and new releases in a given week. Would you care to share some statistics on this, or comment on the trend? What could be causing it, and is it a sign of trouble for the future of some of our smaller distributions?
DistroWatch answers: I would love to share some statistics with you, dear reader, there are fewer things I enjoy more than researching and finding hidden gems of trivia. I went back through our database and dug up all the release announcements (both final/stable releases and announced development releases) from January 2005 through to March 2015. Here are some bits of information I was able to unearth.
First, in the past ten years DistroWatch covered the release of 3,691 final/stable distribution versions from January 2005 to March 2015. We also covered the release of 2,278 development releases. These were development releases the projects formally announced and where documentation was provided, the statistics do not cover unannounced development releases or routine ISO updates. In total that means 5,969 release announcements have been posted to our front page over the past ten years. That is an average of 49 release announcements (30 stable releases and 19 announced development releases) per month.
The busiest month we have had in the past ten years came about back in March 2005 when we posted a massive 81 release announcements (45 final and 36 development releases). The following month, April 2005, we announced 48 stable releases, plus 22 development releases for a total of 70 announcements. So 2005 was a very busy time for distribution developers and DistroWatch. Our slowest month was January 2012 when we announced a mere 25 releases (20 stable releases and 5 development versions). January 2010 was also a particularly slow month with 14 final releases and 14 development releases for a total of 28 announcements on our front page.
When I first started digging into the database I wondered if, statistically, release announcements really had been dropping off. We have some very busy months, usually around April and October. We also see fewer releases around December and January in most years. So perhaps whether new versions are coming out faster or slower depends on what time of the year we are examining?
As it turns out, there are cycles of releases. As I mentioned above, January is typically a slow month for DistroWatch while other months will suddenly become very busy. However, outside of these small, yearly cycles there was a slight down trend in the frequency of distribution releases from 2005 to 2008. It's not a big shift though. In our busiest month ever in the past ten years we covered an average of just over 2 releases per day. Our slowest month in the past year had us putting out an average of about 1 release per day. These are the extremes and, on average, there has not been much change year-to-year. If we look at a chart of the data we can see a decline in releases from about 2005 through to 2008, but then things stabilize and stay consistent from 2008 to 2015. In five of the past seven years we have averaged more than 10 release announcements per week. What I'm saying is there isn't any draught of distribution releases, nor has there been any significant decline in distribution releases in the past seven years. Plus, let's not forget we are currently tracking 293 actively developed distributions. There are a lot of developers out there producing a lot of interesting work.
Distribution release statistics by month (2005-2015)
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As to what the slight decline in average monthly releases might mean from 2005 to 2008, I think it is difficult to make accurate sweeping statements about a group as populous and diverse as the open source community. However, I am going to go out on a limb and make some guesses as to what might have happened.
First, I suspect fewer release announcements do not mean fewer distributions or less diversity. What I suspect happened was release cycles lengthened, especially for smaller projects. Ten to fifteen years ago a lot of important functionality was coming into the Linux community very quickly. Developers tended to push out releases as soon as possible and end users were often eager to get the latest release of a distribution because it almost certainly had a feature they wanted. Keep in mind, when we look back ten years or more ago we are looking at a time when Fedora and Ubuntu were new projects, Mint did not exist yet, OpenOffice was relatively young, SELinux was just starting to appear in distributions and the Linux kernel had recently moved from a split development/stable model to a unified branch. The open source landscape was quite a bit different and a lot of us were quickly grabbing the latest releases of distributions in order to get new hardware drivers and other features.
Today, the open source landscape is a bit different. Most of the people I know who use Linux are using more stable, long term support releases. They are upgrading every few years rather than every few months. They want longer support cycles rather than rapid updates. Most people today do not care if they are using LibreOffice 4.0 or 4.1, if they are running Linux 3.13 or 3.16. The Linux development cycle has, in my opinion, matured and stabilized. I suspect this is a good thing as it makes Linux a more attractive product for end users, a better choice for server administrators and a better platform for third-party developers.
My best guess is that many distributions do not feel the need to push out new updates as soon as a new feature is introduced. More projects are working on a time-based release cycle rather than pushing out a new ISO with every new feature. I think the Linux ecosystem has matured and settled into a steady pace of development that will be better for everyone involved.
I also think rolling release distributions have become more popular in the past decade. Instead of multiple point releases some projects are choosing to maintain rolling package repositories. These distributions are quietly updating their ISO files without announcing it and therefore several small projects and projects staying on the bleeding edge are often not represented in our statistics.
Bittorrent is a great way to transfer large files, particularly open source operating system images, from one place to another. Most bittorrent clients recover from dropped connections automatically, check the integrity of files and can re-download corrupted bits of data without starting a download over from scratch. These characteristics make bittorrent well suited for distributing open source operating systems, particularly to regions where Internet connections are slow or unstable.
Many Linux and BSD projects offer bittorrent as a download option, partly for the reasons listed above and partly because bittorrent's peer-to-peer nature takes some of the strain off the project's servers. However, some projects do not offer bittorrent as a download option. There can be several reasons for excluding bittorrent as an option. Some projects do not have enough time or volunteers, some may be restricted by their web host provider's terms of service. Whatever the reason, the lack of a bittorrent option puts more strain on a distribution's bandwidth and may prevent some people from downloading their preferred open source operating system.
With this in mind, DistroWatch plans to give back to the open source community by hosting and seeding bittorrent files for distributions that do not offer a bittorrent option themselves. For now, we are hosting a small number of distribution torrents, listed below. The list of torrents offered will be updated each week and we invite readers to e-mail us with suggestions as to which distributions we should be hosting. When you message us, please place the word "Torrent" in the subject line, make sure to include a link to the ISO file you want us to seed and please make sure the project you are recommending does not already host its own torrents. We want to primarily help distributions and users who do not already have a torrent option. To help us maintain and grow this free service, please consider making a donation.
The table below provides a list of torrents we currently host. If you do not currently have a bittorrent client capable of handling the linked files, we suggest installing either the Transmission or KTorrent bittorrent clients.
Archives of our previously seeded torrents may be found here. All torrents we make available here are also listed on the very useful Linux Tracker website. Thanks to Linux Tracker we are able to share the following torrent statistics.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 54
- Total downloads completed: 23,934
- Total data uploaded: 6.2TB
|Released Last Week
BackBox Linux 4.2
Raffaele Forte has announced the release of BackBox Linux 4.2, the latest stable build of the project's Ubuntu-based distribution dedicated to penetration testing and forensic analysis: "The BackBox team is pleased to announce the updated release of BackBox Linux, version 4.2! This release includes features such as Linux Kernel 3.16 and Ruby 2.1. What's new: preinstalled Linux kernel 3.16; new Ubuntu 14.04.2 base; Ruby 2.1; installer with LVM and full disk encryption options; handy Thunar custom actions; RAM wipe at shutdown and reboot; system improvements; upstream components; bug corrections; performance boost; improved anonymous mode; predisposition to ARM architecture (armhf Debian packages); predisposition to BackBox Cloud platform. New and updated hacking tools: beef-project, crunch, fang, galleta, jd-gui, metasploit-framework, pasco, pyew, rifiuti2, setoolkit, theharvester, tor, torsocks, volatility, weevely, whatweb, wpscan, xmount, yara, zaproxy." Read the rest of the release announcement for system requirements and upgrade instructions.
Lucas Holt has announced the release of MidnightBSD 0.6, a new stable version of the project's FreeBSD-derived operating system designed primarily for desktop use: "MidnightBSD 0.6-RELEASE. This release is primarily a security fix and mport package tool release. Security: OpenSSL - the receipt of a specifically crafted DTLS handshake message may cause OpenSSL to consume large amounts of memory; the receipt of a specifically crafted DTLS packet could cause OpenSSL to leak memory; a flaw in OBJ_obj2txt may cause pretty printing functions such as X509_name_oneline, X509_name_print_ex et al. to leak some information from the stack; OpenSSL DTLS clients enabling anonymous (EC)DH ciphersuites are subject to a denial of service attack; TCP SYN - when a segment with the SYN flag for an already existing connection arrives, the TCP stack tears down the connection, bypassing a check that the sequence number in the segment is in the expected window; fix several security vulnerabilities in routed, rtsold, and namei with respect to Capsicum sandboxes looking up nonexistent path names and leaking memory..." Read the rest of the release notes for further details.
The deepin development team has announced the release of deepin 2014.3 which brings new updates to the project's Ubuntu-based desktop Linux distribution, together with a new website domain (deepin.org) and a new product name - now spelt with a lower-case "d". From the release announcement: "deepin 2014.3 is the revised version. This version is the achievement after we comprehensively fixed bugs in the system and applications in the last version and optimized the performance of the last version. Meanwhile, the system features and UI interfaces have been adjusted slightly. In terms of the languages the system supports, deepin 2014.3 has increasingly supported 23 languages. In addition, deepin has relatively complete community documents and nearly 70 mirror sites worldwide, allowing users all around the world to be able to experience the infinite charm of the deepin system. This time, we focused on fixing and optimizing Dock and Control Center to make the experience and stability of deepin 2014.3 greatly improved."
Chromixium OS 1.0
The Chromixium project has announced the release of Chromixium OS 1.0, an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution that attempts to recreate the look and feel of Chrome OS while providing a complete Linux system with the ability to install popular desktop applications: "I am extremely proud to announce that Chromixium 1.0 final, a stable version, is ready for download from Sourceforge right now. Chromixium combines the elegant simplicity of the Chromebook with the flexibility and stability of Ubuntu’s long-term support release. Chromixium puts the web front at the center of the user experience. Web and Chrome applications work straight out of the browser to connect you to all your personal, work and education networks. Sign into Chromium to sync all your applications and bookmarks. When you are offline or when you need more power, you can install any number of applications for work or play, including LibreOffice, Skype, Steam and a whole lot more. Security updates are installed seamlessly and effortlessly in the background and will be supplied until 2019." Read the release announcement for more information and screenshots.
Chromixium OS 1.0 -- The default desktop and application menu
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Simplicity Linux 15.4
David Purse has announced the release of Simplicity Linux 15.4, a set of lightweight Puppy Linux-based distributions for desktops and netbooks - now available in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavours: "Simplicity Linux 15.4 is now available for download in Netbook and Desktop editions, both available in 32-bit and 64-bit variants. It is based on the excellent LXPup and it uses its implementation of LXDE as the desktop environment. The 32-bit kernel is the 3.14.20 kernel and the 64-bit kernel is the 3.17.20 kernel. As usual, our Netbook edition is lighter, with shortcuts to web applications rather than locally installed applications. Desktop is our heavier version, with bigger, locally installed applications, like VLC and LibreOffice. We hope you enjoy using Simplicity Linux as much as we enjoyed working on it. Netbook: Chrome, Tor Browser, shortcuts on the wbar dock for Gmail, Grooveshark, Kindle, Netflix, Rock 181.fm. Desktop: Chrome, TOR Browser, Netflix, full LibreOffice." Here is the brief release announcement.
Stefan Sperling has announced the availability of OpenBSD 5.7. "We are pleased to announce the official release of OpenBSD 5.7. This is our 37th release on CD-ROM (and 38th via FTP/HTTP). We remain proud of OpenBSD's record of more than ten years with only two remote holes in the default install. As in our previous releases, 5.7 provides significant improvements, including new features, in nearly all areas of the system. Improved hardware support includes: new xhci(4) driver for USB 3.0 host controllers; new umcs(4) driver for MosChip Semiconductor 78x0 USB multiport serial adapters; new skgpio(4) driver for Soekris net6501 GPIO and LEDs; new uslhcom(4) driver for Silicon Labs CP2110 USB HID based UART..." The latest release of the security oriented flavour of BSD includes many changes such as the removal of SSLv3 support from base utilities and more strict enforcement of write-exclusive-or-execute (W^X) in the kernel. The release announcement has more details and the project provides a full changelog of the changes between OpenBSD 5.6 and version 5.7. Sperling further linked to the project's errata page which lists potential problems and fixes for the new release.
John Martinson has announced the release of Robolinux 7.9.1, the new stable version of the project's Debian-based distribution which comes with an optional virtual machine pack capable of running Windows and Windows applications: "The new Robolinux 7.9.1 release, 'Apex X12 Privacy & Security!', which has two more privacy and security applications added into all eight Robolinux GNOME, KDE Xfce and LXDE 32-bit and 64-bit 7.9.1 variants: the Invisible Internet Project (I2P) and RootKit Check. For the last three months Robolinux has been building an arsenal of privacy and security applications into all eight of its operating systems. These new versions are a direct result of our users asking for more privacy and security applications. Robolinux version 7.9.1 also added rcconf which allows you to remove any unnecessary memory-resident services from running when you boot up Robolinux. The result is Linux will run even faster. In addition, 7.9.1 also has the newest VirtualBox 4.3.26 and Firefox 37.0.1." See the project's SourceForge page to read the release announcement.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Distributions added to the database|
Chromixium is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution that attempts to recreate the look & feel and functionality of Google's Chrome OS on a conventional desktop. It combines the Openbox window manager with the Compton desktop compositor, Plank dock and LXDE's LXPanel to provide the desktop and menus. The Chromium web browser, equipped with the PepperFlash plugin, is the main online application, although the complete array of Ubuntu software can be easily added for offline/desktop use. Ubuntu updates are installed automatically, providing long-term security support.
* * * * *
Distributions added to waiting list
- PrimTux. PrimTux is a distribution designed for use in French elementary schools. The project is built using packages from Debian's "Jessie" repositories.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 11 May 2015. 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)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Debian Jessie 8 (by tuxtest on 2015-05-04 01:37:17 GMT from North America) |
I agree Debian 8 is funny and really soft in daily use. Congrat Dev team ! Big nice work on graphique installer... Easy smooth step by step ! With this version Debian, I can say that any Lamba user now can easily install Debian.
I downloaded Debian 8 version liveDVD gnome amd 64bit. I burned DVD and launch the beast, finally I decided to install on my old T400 to replace OpenSuse Tumbleweed had become unbearable and I must tell you that after five days with is happiness for my old Lenovo. Previously, I was under OpenSuse Tumbleweed my god I have suffered with! Tumbleweed is really not ready for daily use. Many problem and the big one is intolerable long boot least 3 minutes. I enjoyed Gnome 3.18 in Tumbleweed. I know many linux user don't like gnome but I alway like Gnome 3. I hope to install the GNOME 3.18 release shortly on the Debian 8.
I need to install manually 2 packages first one is firware iwifi intel and flashplayer. Unfortunately I hope this is my last years with flash.
Another Congrat dev team Debian !
2 • Debian (by Reaper on 2015-05-04 02:38:00 GMT from North America)
Welcome to Debian Lindows!
I used Debian for a VERY LONG TIME and had issues with it the whole time. I switched to a true UNIX-like Linux (Slackware) when systemdevil was forced in my PC and then finally forced as my init. Debian is no longer GNU/Linux in my eyes. Now it's just another RedHat/poettering distro just like all the rest that have fallen under their control.
3 • Debian (by Reuben on 2015-05-04 03:21:00 GMT from North America)
I had a Debian Sid system until sometime during the fall which I switched away from because the freeze leading up to Jessie left everything stagnant. Once you figure out everything, nothing wrong with using it as a desktop system. Figuring this out might be a problem for less experienced users.
Installing a new desktop system isn't something that most people do that often. A bit of time spent getting stuff setup isn't a very big deal.
4 • Debian 8 (by Bill S on 2015-05-04 03:59:20 GMT from Planet Mars)
You're right it took about 4 hours and a bit of hacking to get Debian 8 and compiz and emerald working together along with flash and gstreamer tools, but it's all working now.
Here is my desktop: https://backup.filesanywhere.com/FS/M.aspx?v=8a696a8c58909f76ad98
5 • Debian, rock solid (by claudecat on 2015-05-04 04:46:23 GMT from North America)
I've used Debian stable for years now as my everyday OS, and have never had a problem. Not with audio or video, not with anything. I even did an in place upgrade of my Wheezy system to Jessie a week or two early, and survived. Had a few minor issues, but with minimal research had everything back to normal within a few days. Wouldn't recommend that for everyone though!
For me, a guy with simple needs (mostly web browsing, some office suite work, heavy media use, minor graphic design and photo editing, older system), Debian gets it done. Rock solid stable, no gigabytes of updates burning up my bandwidth cap, and every package imaginable available, including the latest versions of Mozilla offerings if you know how.
No complaints, no drama, it just works. After years of hopping around, and still doing a little of that (love Manjaro), Debian feels like home, and, most importantly, stays out of the way and lets me get things done. Kudos to the fine folks that make it happen!
6 • @1 gnome 3.18 (by linuxista on 2015-05-04 05:12:26 GMT from North America)
Are you sure you installed gnome 3.18? If you managed that I don't know how you can complain about Tumbleweed not being ready for daily use! I'm assuming you mean 3.16, which I've got running without any issues on Arch except for one bug where gdm won't let you boot into other desktops. I expect it should be fixed pretty soon.
7 • Debian 8 (by Bill on 2015-05-04 05:50:27 GMT from Oceania)
As a long-time Debian user I am so disappointed that this distro has gone the systemd route. If the Debian project had resisted, systemd would probably have eventually disappeared. I believe that the original UNIX principles are worth standing up for; the principle of simplicity leads to stable and secure computer systems. Linux is now heading down the Microsoft path.
So it's back to Slackware (or CRUX or Gentoo) for me, while experimenting with the BSDs in case these last true Linux distros eventually have to use systemd. If that does happen, it will be because Debian capitulated.
8 • No media apps in Debian? Not ready for desktop use? (by Martin on 2015-05-04 05:53:55 GMT from Europe)
Debian's default desktop isn't MATE, but GNOME. Had you installed the GNOME desktop, you would have had Gnome's Music and Videos apllications pre-installed. Indeed, I was pleasantly surprised that Debian 8 did play MP3 and MP4 files out of the box, without me having to manually install any codecs. It is true that Debian doesn't ship with Flash out of the box, but apart from that, the entire GNOME desktop was fully functional. In short: you chose to install Debian 8 with a non-default Desktop environment, and then proceeded to complain about Debian 8 not being suited for Desktop use. I find that quite disappointing.
9 • agreeing with Martin's point (by randall on 2015-05-04 06:10:46 GMT from North America)
You've made a fair point, Martin. I don't know what the stats are. I wonder how many people self-select an alternate desktop environment instead of selecting the "default"? I also wonder whether debian explains/documents, up front, what differences (in terms of pre-installed applications) exist between the various "flavors".
10 • 32-bit versions of Simplicity (by Justiniano on 2015-05-04 06:47:15 GMT from Asia)
Simplicity 15.4 has 32-bit desktop and netbook versions which run very nicely on older machines either live or fully installed.
11 • Debian 8 (by jura321 on 2015-05-04 08:51:15 GMT from Europe)
just one remark - with big regret towards honorable old, stable and always reliable Debian, I have to write down - JUST ANOTHER SYSTEMD parody of LINUX distribution.
GNOME 3 as default WM - WDF? Who uses GNONE 3 today? I bet just really small minority of users - and why? Because by default its useless - put it as default ? = why? Not for users for sure so for whom?
MARTIN@Some could expect that if installer provides
option for choosing other desktops then every option was tested and should work same regardless which one is default.
SYSTEMD - default init system - everyone(big) goes this way but still not sure if it's right way for Linux. God bless distributions like Gentoo, Slackware, PCLinuxOS etc.
12 • Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, BSD but no Android. (by Greg Zeng on 2015-05-04 09:46:15 GMT from Oceania)
Checking Distrowatch just now, there are 129 Debian-based distros. Seventy-one distros (71, 55%, or most of these) are based on Ubuntu. Many other independent authorities and myself are commenting that Distrowatch seems to not understand that Mint five distros (highest ranking according to Distrowatch!) is not the most popular.
Ubuntu's 71 distros, also including Mint, are the most popular. Microsoft full-time staff on Linux distros claim this to also be true (Linux Action Show 362, 27 April, 2015).
Those of who think that know that a Unix-based distribution includes BSD-types & Linux, are also surprized that Apple (a BSD-fork) and Android (a Linux fork) are not considered. CyanogenMod claiming itself as a purist version of Android (Wikipedia), claims that both these operating are open-source and Linux based (CM's website). Many of us have been very confused by this Distrowatch disagreement with practically every other operating system authority and publication - hardcopy & softcopy.
13 • Debian 8 defaults (by ramone515 on 2015-05-04 10:30:24 GMT from Europe)
Debian 8 is rock solid, I have been using the testing version for a while and didn't have a single issue. In my main desktop I use Arch however, and didn't have to reinstall for about 3 years now. (loving rolling release)
I understand that some people don't want to change their habits and resent change, but guess what, there are distros for you out there, like Slackware.
I am managing Linux servers for about 10 years now, and I fail to see how systemd has affected me in both server and desktop. Oh, and I use GNOME 3 and I love it, and I have used literally everything for a period of time, including KDE 2,3,4 GNOME 2 (and MATE), Unity, Cinnamon, XFCE, Windows and Mac. (I like testing things!)
Just because you don't want to change the way you use your desktop, doesn't mean everybody doesn't, I did, and now I can even imaging going back to a "traditional" desktop, like MATE. I just fell more productive with GNOME 3.
Thanks to the diverse Linux/Open source universe, there is something out there for everybody, no need to attack what others like!
14 • Debian "Jessie" (by César on 2015-05-04 10:39:21 GMT from South America)
I install Debian "Jessie" with Mate (i love the old Gnome 2.** style!), and don't have any problems. Everything works fine, the FGLRX driver works very good, Epson XP-201 prints and scan with good quality. All works!!!
The installer is 99% the same of Debian 7, perhaps most complete, because in this version you can select the environment in the install process.
And the switch of the init, i found more faster the boot process, more "light".
Greetings from Santiago de Chile.
15 • @11 (by Martin on 2015-05-04 10:39:25 GMT from Europe)
For the record: I've used Gnome 3 every day for 4 years and though it had some warts in the early days, it's nowadays a beautiful, very polished, and highly usable desktop that is perfectly suited for both work and play. Yes, they have moved away from the "traditional desktop metaphor", and yes, you will have to select some options from a menu button (*gasp*) because they go for a minimalist interface rather than cramming every imaginable option into the toolbar. On top of that, you can use extensions to adapt the shell to your needs almost without limits. With a bit of good will, Gnome 3 should work fine for nearly everyone. If you prefer MATE, fine, whatever floats your boat. But stop the Gnome bashing already.
16 • @1 "...Tumbleweed is really not ready for daily use..." (by Anamezon on 2015-05-04 10:55:08 GMT from Europe)
I happen to disagree strongly with this statement - most of my home machines had been on OpenSUSE Tumbleweed (sprinkled with a bit of Factory here and there) for at least a couple of years, and only one of them had an Intel-firmware-related problem ONCE! Boot times are definitely less than a minute, with the normal assortment of services running for home use ... well, perhaps I should admit I favour light DEs and WMs, not GNOME3 or KDE4-5, but this is not so important - what I am trying to say is that Tumbleweed is absolutely alright to be used on a daily basis!
17 • Debian 8 (by Leonard Ashley on 2015-05-04 10:56:17 GMT from North America)
I have to admit that once I installed Debian two years ago, I have seen vast improvements in the final release. Quicker boot time, shutdown and over-all behavior is flawless. I have been dist-upgrading to Debian Sid, the best of Debian with all the cutting edge development, drivers and newest releases of applications. Personally prefer a core install, no DE, just a compilation of Openbox apps to get me to login. Debian to me is the best there is, have great respect for Arch. I understand that AMD-ATI will be greatly improving support for further development with Linux for 2015, this is great news. I believe this year will be a very good year for Debian. I would like to thank all that have contributed to it's developement.
"When you say, 'I wrote a program that crashed Windows,' people just stare at you blankly and say, 'Hey, I got those with the system, for free.' -- Linus Torvalds
18 • On Resistance (by nobodyspecial on 2015-05-04 12:11:02 GMT from Oceania)
Debian's hypothetical resistance to systemd would not have resulted in in systemd disappearing. It would have more likely resulted in Debian disappearing.
It seems to me that the lion's share of upstream OS plumbing work is being done and pioneered by Red Hat, with the rest following suit.
19 • No Android? (by Jesse on 2015-05-04 12:43:11 GMT from North America)
@12: I'm a bit confused by your statement. DistroWatch tracks Android-x86 (Android for general purpose machines). In fact I posted a review of it. What we usually do not do is track distributions tied to a specific platform. For example, Google's Android with its custom firmware can't be uprooted and simply installed on a general purpose computer. Likewise we don't cover Amazon's Linux because it's used exclusively on Amazon's cloud services. Almost all the software we track is designed to be run on general purpose computers. Plain Android doesn't fit that description, but Android-x86 does.
20 • Arch_Linux_the_razor's_edge_to_freedom (by k on 2015-05-04 12:58:36 GMT from Europe)
"Arise, awake, and learn by approaching the exalted ones, for that path is sharp as a razor's edge, impassable, and hard to go by, say the wise." [Katha Upanishad] Relating to wise perspective (comments 13) shared by ramone515... If you have the minimum recommended hardware and suitable internet connection and open- (Zen) mind to spare, just try Arch Linux. Its developers and community have obviously applied A LOT of quality time, expertise and effort to provide all with a default secure, highly adaptable springboard Arc(h) (of a diver) to freedom.
21 • @13 (by a on 2015-05-04 13:19:42 GMT from Europe)
"I understand that some people don't want to change their habits and resent change"
You don’t understand anything, you’re just trolling.
"no need to attack what others like!"
And yet here you are, assuming arrogantly that other people can’t make informed choices and are against systemd just because they are resistant to change.
22 • Debian 8 (by Mindaugas on 2015-05-04 14:16:54 GMT from Europe)
2015-04-25 i install Debian 8 with ate DE on me x64 bit. machine. What a wonderful experience! Music plays with audacious without any problems, i can watch videos in VLC player, or Smplayer. No need any tweaks. System JUST works.
23 • @6 (by tuxtest on 2015-05-04 14:18:14 GMT from North America)
yes it Gnome 3.16
24 • @21 (by ramone515 on 2015-05-04 14:26:51 GMT from Europe)
I am not assuming anything, my comment was meant not only for systemd, but for GNOME 3 as well. I have seen many attacks on GNOME (check some comments above, about Debian using it as default) and I just don't see the reason to attack something you don't like and don't use. I think you'd agree that Gnome 3 changed the "traditional" desktop most users like and expect. Some like it, some don't. It's not like someone is forcing you to use it!
Nevertheless, in my opinion, systemd is a clear improvement over the init / control system we had until now. That's why everybody starts using it, even Canonical which sponsored and created upstart not long ago. Not because there is some secret consirancy to convert everyone to systemd.
This forum post sums it up nicely:
Again, if you don't want to use it, nobody forces you to, plenty of options out there (forks, other distros).
25 • Debian 8 - super solid with Xfce (by Rich D on 2015-05-04 14:41:22 GMT from North America)
I worked with Ubuntu-based distros with Xfce as my main DE for awhile - in the past, my experiences with pure Debian had been mixed, mainly because my Linux skills weren't quite up to the task. They're still not superlative, but much better. That, in combination with what I feel is an improved Debian base has made it a super-solid choice for me, when combined with Xfce, even after switching to a Liquorix kernel and installing some packages from the AntiX / MX14 repos (Xfce 4.12). No problems to speak of. Updates run, I get what I need to do done, put it into suspend, wake it up a few hours later. Great job Debian!
26 • Gnome 3 and Systemd (by Jura321 on 2015-05-04 15:06:10 GMT from Europe)
sorry but I must react on you - what are you talking about? I've just written my opinion on SYSTEMD as well as on GNOME 3. If it's not your cap of tea it's your problem, not mine.I was not attacking I was just writing my feelings.
Of course I'm not using Gnome 3, the last usable GNOME was Gnome 2. Despite of great power and effort from RHEL and others(default settings in some distributions, reviews, tips etc..), GNOME 3 still losing popularity and users. Fortunately there are other DE - more usable from my point of view - KDE, MATE, Cinnamon, xfce etc. This is my opinion, you can use what suits your needs the best, but it's not about the changing habits it's about the usability.
The same is with SYSTEMD. If you like it use it, but stop attacking others who don't.
"I am managing Linux servers for about 10 years now, and I fail to see how systemd has affected me in both server and desktop." - don't get me wrong, but from your statement, I can see that your "MANAGING" is more about "service stop and start" otherwise you would know that SYSTEMD had and still have a lot of issues - mainly regarding compatibility with the old init scripts beside others.
Please use this forum as forum - it means let people write their opinions, feelings and experiences. If you have different ones, write them down as well but stop attacking other as you did before :
"I understand that some people don't want to change their habits and resent change" or "Just because you don't want to change the way you use your desktop, doesn't mean everybody doesn't, I did, and now I can even imaging going back to a "traditional" desktop, like MATE."
27 • @20 (by jaws222 on 2015-05-04 15:06:26 GMT from North America)
I love Antergos and Manjaro. Very fast operating systems and both are reliable.
28 • Farewell Debian, and Ubuntu (by Paraquat on 2015-05-04 15:23:50 GMT from Asia)
I started using Debian sometime around year 2000, then later switched to Ubuntu, then wound up with a Debian/Ubuntu dual-boot system because both had good reasons to recommend them.
Normally, I would get pretty excited whenever there was a new release of either Debian or Ubuntu. But now both have gone systemd, as others have already noted. And I have moved on.
After spending the past half-year or so searching around for another great distro, I finally settled on Manjaro OpenRC. Please note that mainstream Manjaro does use systemd, but the developers of this distro have decided to make an edition for those who prefer OpenRC. Manjaro spun off from Arch, so it's not quite newbie point-and-click friendly, but anyone with moderate geek skills should enjoy it. The package collection is impressive, close to Debian-sized.
Anyone interested in giving Manjaro OpenRC a try, here's a link:
29 • Debian 8 (by Buntunub on 2015-05-04 15:30:46 GMT from North America)
I think some folks are very confused about the systemd schism in Debian. Firstly, Deb fans and long time users do not have a problem with Debians use of systemd. They are upset that it was MADE DEFAULT in Jessie primarily due to systemd's scope creep and dependancy chains. I have never seen anyone in the Debian project complain that systemd is an accepted package, and TBH, I know plenty of folks who would go to the mat to defend keeping systemd in Debian as one of many accepted and supported init systems providing users with choice. So in the end, its about providing users with the choice of init system. If you want to run Debian with SysV as the one and only init system, then that should be fully supported. If you want to run systemd, then that should ALSO be fully supported. That is what all the angst was about and still is a VERY sore and gaping open wound in the Debian community.
Lastly, the systemd debate - its ever creeping arms and constantly changing nature. That is a debate that lies outside of Debian. Systemd is an upstream project and Debian really does not control what Poetering or Red Hat decides to do with systemd. They do have strong input and work hard to integrate it into the Stable, Testing, and Unstable branches.
30 • @29 (by jaws222 on 2015-05-04 15:54:45 GMT from North America)
"Lastly, the systemd debate - its ever creeping arms and constantly changing nature. That is a debate that lies outside of Debian. Systemd is an upstream project and Debian really does not control what Poetering or Red Hat decides to do with systemd. "
Isn't this why the Devuan project started? They want to go back to init but from what I've heard/read Devuan is not too organized.
31 • Debian on the desktop (by SilentSam on 2015-05-04 16:43:11 GMT from North America)
I feel like stating that Debian isn't well suited to Desktop use is akin to saying Arch linux isn't suitable for Desktop use. Maybe the statement could be change to say that it isn't a fully integrated desktop experience OOTB?
I like the fact that a GUI package manager isn't installed unless I specify it, same with an Update manager.
32 • @26 (by ramone515 on 2015-05-04 16:45:12 GMT from Europe)
Again I cannot see how I am attacking you or anyone else. I was just expressing some of my personal views on the main subject of this week's DWW, Debian 8, and some of the default options. I am just stating the diversity of options available and fail to see why leaders or developers of some projects (like again, systemd or GNOME3) receive all that negative comments.
For example you are stating that GNOME 3 is "unusable". How do you support that? Just because you don't like it it doesn't mean it is unusable or that it shouldn't be default in Debian. I am not saying that you should like it or be forced to use it, and of course you are free and welcomed to use GNOME 2 (MATE), but then *again* that doesn't mean that Debian should have as default a desktop that is over 10 years old at 2015.
systemd is perfectly stable, I am mostly managing servers that handle web applications and it has made my life easier, especially with much improved daemon control, better NFS mounting and piece-of-cake docker control. I am sure others had trouble, any update of such a major component often brings unwelcomed breakage, but that's why sysadmins are here, to fix stuff. :)
33 • Distribution Release Frequency Statistics (by wrkerr on 2015-05-04 16:48:40 GMT from North America)
Thanks for addressing my question, Jesse. It seems my perception of decline was not very well founded.
To the many commenters decrying Gnome 3, I personally have found it quite enjoyable to use recently. I agree that it was rough when it was first released, but the most recent releases have been great--just what I look for in a user interface.
34 • Debian8 (by Toran on 2015-05-04 17:01:21 GMT from Europe)
Installing d8 took a long time in comparison with Ubuntu, but it is time well spent. I use the standard Debian Desktop which is Gnome. Really happy with it as I consider the Gnome the best desktop of all desktops. It took me a while to figure out how to install contrib and non-free, but now really happy with Debian 8.
35 • Hey distrowatchers! (by Baltazar on 2015-05-04 17:24:32 GMT from North America)
Am I the only one that would like to see a report or review of Linux accessibility tools and distributions?
Been searching and I feel a bit let down, actually am let down at the minimal attention this gets...
Having known of people who are partially blind I have tried to find a Linux distro that would be adequate to them but have found it difficult to present what I have currently found...
Add to this that some projects, like ORCA seems to have been abandoned... plus I must be missing something...
36 • Accessibility and release frequency (by Jesse on 2015-05-04 17:46:19 GMT from North America)
@33: In geenral, release frequency hasn't changed much in recent years. There up and down points in each year, so short-term statistics can be misleading. On average, year to year, we are seeing fairly steady output from projects.
@35: Perhaps you should try Knoppix? The developer's wife is, if I recall correctly, visiually impaired and so the distribution has an edition set up with accessibility in mind. Debian also claims to have accessiiblity in mind and they have the text-to-speech installer I mentioned above. However, Debian may require more technical know-how than Knoppix.
37 • systemD (by DJ on 2015-05-04 18:01:54 GMT from North America)
I seriously doubt systemD will kill Linux. There needs to be no hate on systemD. I think if you just like at stats alone therfe is more venom spewed at systemD supporters than anti-systemD.
Flash is not needed for me. A combo of gnash and lightspark works quite well. IMO
38 • How Many Years of Pointless Systemd Ranting? (by joncr on 2015-05-04 18:05:09 GMT from North America)
So... how many years, you think, we'll have to put up with threads being hijacked by poseurs ranting about systemd?
I propose that everyone who insists on being faithful to the "One tool for one task" mantra ditch all GUI's, abandon emacs/vi (both do more than one thing, obviously) and, ideally, find the source for 386BSD from the early '90's and build it on an old Compaq.
Not that they'll see this, 'cause they won't be using a browser, either.
39 • Systemd (by Nematoad on 2015-05-04 18:27:04 GMT from Europe)
"Thanks to the diverse Linux/Open source universe, there is something out there for everybody..."
That, unfortunately is what a lot of people both here and elsewhere are worried about. Me included.
Buntunub @29 has summed it up. The mission creep that has been seen in systemd, the apparent inability of systemd devs, i.e. Kay Sievers' falling out with Linus Torvalds, to play nicely with other peoples code and the general attitude that "We are the masters now." has rubbed a lot of people up the wrong way. That and the repudiation of the "Unix mantra" to develop a tightly integrated, Linux only init system offering a single point of failure means that there will be push-back, harsh words will be exchanged and a great deal of worry caused. All this because Poettering and co. seem not to be very good at the social aspect of FOSS. What worries me and others like me is that eventually there *will* be no diversity.
Then it will be just like the Windows or Apple world. "Take it or leave it."
40 • Take a deep breath and have a systemd laugh (by cykodrone on 2015-05-04 18:32:46 GMT from North America)
Some systemd humour...
My personal opinion is I'm not comfortable with a single process controlling my whole system, that's quite a broad attack surface. PID1 makes me nervous too, rebooting after applying patch(es) and a misbehaving child process could possibly bring down the whole system (sound familiar? *cough-MS-cough*). I'm also not comfortable with the ambiguous system logging and binary log files, I see no reason to convert them to binaries and then need a proprietary program or process to read them, what's being left out, what's not? I'm guessing other geeks are control freaks as well, we like to know exactly what our systems are doing and why, no smoke screens.
As for Debian 8's release, not much fanfare from what I've seen, the odd pocket of the faithful, but nothing to really speak of, the lack of enthusiasm speaks volumes.
Somebody else mentioned Debian using upstream proprietary software (it's produced by a corporation, it's still GPL, for now) and lack of choice, that's my sore spot too, I don't like or use Gnome, so if I choose another DE, there should be ZERO systemd related files, packages, processes, whatever, on my system, if I so choose. Gnome shouldn't depend on an init anyway (can we really still call systemd an init?), if Gnome had any hopes of broad adoption, their insane dependency on systemd killed that opportunity (IMO).
We need a new term for systemd, it's NOT just an init anymore, only a small (very tiny) part of it is, it's more like a svcborg.exe. Maybe 'all encompassing total system and service manager' would be more appropriate.
Just my 1.6 cents CAD
41 • systemd (by Leonhard Euler on 2015-05-04 19:31:40 GMT from Europe)
No, I am not worried about systemd. As most of the other guys who talk about it I do not know enough to judge. I just trust the distros that use it.
What I am worried about is the amount of hatred that it, and its opposition, causes. If project and distros loose good programmers because of the flamewar it is a problem. If the kernel and the systemd developers have problems in working together it is a problem. The ego of the developers is the main problem not the software.
42 • friendly fire (by Tim Dowd on 2015-05-04 19:57:04 GMT from North America)
The problem I have with the systemd (and Gnome 3) debate is that it's so nasty and personal. This is a big week for free software with a new Debian stable and possibly big impending changes in Ubuntu and there's probably potential future users reading these threads and it looks like we're all angry, nasty people. Do we think that's going to help advance the free software cause?
I am comfortable with the level of diversity in the free software ecosystem. There are plenty of really good distros out there for people who need or want any possible combination of software. Please stop screaming at each other. Pick a distro that fits your needs and write about why others should use that distro. In that way you keep what you want healthy and vibrant and send the RIGHT message about free software: that it's whatever it's community wants it to be. "I'm switching to Slackware because I'm SO ANGRY at Debian" is a slap at both distros because it implies one is a second choice. How about "I'm switching to Slackware because I like how elegant it is" or something of that nature? Everytime I've distro-hopped I've learned something new and it's been a pleasure, and it's made me really zero in on what matters.
At the end of the day these are all tools that have been given to us for free by people that I'm very grateful for. Use the ones that work the best for you. I have an old iMac G4 that stopped being able to run Debian or it's children when during the wheezy development cycle the xorg nv driver was replaced with the nouveau driver. How could I honestly complain about this when it only affected a few dozen people who still want to run such an old machine with a modern operating system? Instead of getting mad, I went looking and found NetBSD, which it turns out I really enjoy using and fits my needs perfectly. I bet for every person angry about something their distro has done, there's another distro that's perfect for them and maybe needs users to notice them.
43 • @ Tim - NetBSD (by Lutz on 2015-05-04 20:24:44 GMT from Europe)
Hello Tim, yes you are right. Works here too.
44 • systemd - more (by redfeather on 2015-05-04 22:22:26 GMT from North America)
...and who is pushing systemd? Red Hat!?
45 • reboot (by herauthon on 2015-05-04 22:57:55 GMT from Europe)
it's very strange howmuch there is left from the intellectual reasons not to choose for a single-entity core controlling processes - will Linux become the next Windows ?
to refer to mark twain - quoted down below this little voting-cube
here a nice one :
“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
46 • Debian 8 (by Bill on 2015-05-04 23:16:57 GMT from North America)
Truly pleased with Debian 8. I use xfce for my desktop and would like to thank the Debian Community for creating such a solid distro.
47 • Debian and systemd (by Bill on 2015-05-04 23:29:46 GMT from Oceania)
friendly fire and others: I would love to believe that you are correct - that open source gives us choice and so those who do not want systemd can choose other distros. What I and many others are worried about, however, is that the scope creep of systemd will eventually force Slackware and others to adopt it.
We are worried about systemd because we are worried that it will eventually mean no choice.
48 • @35 • Hey distrowatchers! (by mandog on 2015-05-04 23:33:30 GMT from South America)
Orca is very live and well Its at 3.16.1 and belongs to Gnome 3.16.1 desktop maybe others are not interested in the partially sighted but Gnome does cater for then as it always has
49 • SystemD and Sysvinit (by BonkY Ozmond on 2015-05-05 00:05:33 GMT from North America)
did no body read this ..about Debiand shipping both to keep greybeards happy
50 • Re: Jessie Sysvinit (by cykodrone on 2015-05-05 00:37:57 GMT from North America)
It's not a totally clean install, it still drags in a few systemd related files. Not only that, systemd dependencies are just a click or command away, depending on what app or DE you install. So Debian, nice try but no cigar.
Blocking it (see link) will surely and eventually cause errors or package install failures. It's a fake appeasement.
51 • Debian, Gnome & Bohdi (by M.Z. on 2015-05-05 01:06:11 GMT from Planet Mars)
I used Debian 7 on an old PC of mine for quite some time (over a year?) & though it was OK with KDE. I do think the initial setup is fairly cumbersome compared to most any truly desktop/PC oriented distro & most would find LMDE or another desktop focused project based on Debian to be easier to get running. I didn't use Debian that much but it was hassle free after the setup process.
As for defaulting to Gnome, well it's a rather broken DE for a large majority of users who want a real desktop rather than a broken mix of desktop & smart phone style UI. The problems are too numerous to to list completely, but there isn't even basic minimization & maximization functionality that all desktop users expect built into the DE by default. I've also heard numerous complaints about the file manager & I find launching apps to be a rather horrendous affair every time I try do do it the GUI way in Gnome. None of that would matter if Gnome hadn't started out as a general purpose DE & spat in the face of those who wanted to keep using it a a general purpose DE. If the entire project didn't go off the rails & take a bunch of rather indifferent projects like Debian & Fedora with then no one would care that a project in the style of Gnome shell/3 existed. Now after every release people are reminded of the indifference & stupidity of the Gnome 3 developers & their apologists in otherwise reputable projects like Fedora & Debian who insist on using such a broken desktop as the default because they have always used Gnome. I don't think most users care if it video or whatever works well in Gnome 3, because Gnome 3 is about as popular with most Linux users as Windows 8 was for the general public. They were both broken & poorly executed designs that alienated users. I would be more inclined to try straight Debian again if the setup was a bit easier, & they obviously aren't winning any points by sticking with Gnome as an official default.
On a positive note I think the new Moksha desktop release from Bohdi sounds like a good idea. I was surprised at how fat & slow Bohdi 3 seemed with the default E19 desktop on my old Celeron PC with 1.5 GB of RAM. The thing actually started to use swap & felt waay slower that LMDE Mate did on the same hardware. So much for Enlightenment being 'light'. The supposed weight of the desktop was a core factor in putting Bodhi on there after Debian KDE was wiped, but it really didn't seem much faster. Kudos to the Bohdi team for trying to fix more bad decisions from DE designers.
As for systemd, yes there is some questionable stuff going on, but it's not that bad & I doubt many people will noticed the difference, as the guy in that did the review of Debian 8 for Ars Technica points out:
@35 &48 -accessibility
Just though I'd point out that KDE & Cinnamon both have some built in tools to help with accessibility. The real question is how well they work & compare with each other, which I can't answer.
52 • @36 ...K&D (by Baltazar on 2015-05-05 01:17:55 GMT from North America)
I have tried them and thats why am bugging here a bit, they seem lacking to me and even though Knoppix has its ADRIANE and all I just can't see it as an option to my friend... or anyone with little to no computer knowledge.
And this is just part of the problem... The technologies are not been reviewed, they are just forgotten. I mean, just go to orca.org and see how that page is... it seems stuck, the whole project is abandomware now. It works, but having use it I feel it is a shame it is not getting any attention.
Besides, there is more than just speech... zooming helps those with limited vision. But the combinations I have look in to, Vinux, knoppix and the rest, even debian and have not been able to fulfill my expectations for a system for a total noob, they need more understanding than what they have... training and all. Add to that language barriers...
For example... knoppix ADRINE. I could give it away to them and explain hoe to get to use it but... then things start to get complicated and the setup is limited in a way that from experience they will simply not be able to get by with it.
Start ADRIANE... have nice menu options... good... but no easy way to connect to wifi unless you go into the desktop environment.... that has tini tiny text and an alien environment with no nohow on how to zoom (remember limited vision) and things get dicey... I use glasses and I try to get by taking them off and going for the spin... it gets frustrating fast...
Then, there is those that suggest using just command line interface... This is a no go to present to some, even though it is possible. I for one have a horrible time remembering proper spelling... add to that the names of applications and commands one would need to know to get by in such and environment... for a noob who is blind... and happens to know no English to top it off... it becomes impossible.
Then there is this desktop thing... that gets polish and polish... for those of us with no limitations... But for those with limited vision or no vision I see no polish... no care been given, just an afterthought. Vague, incomplete... good for a few but still lacking...
This is not the first time I write about this... been searching for a good wile now... and am just feeling that this is not been properly addressed.
My reasoning been, if I can't get by... they probably can't eider... and I know computers and Linux a bit considering I fix computers and all...
53 • Debian & Systemd (by cflow on 2015-05-05 01:48:14 GMT from North America)
I've noticed so much systemd debate in Distrowatch... What I have not seen is debate here that's actually about the technical aspects of using this init system. This Ars review and it's comments go way more in-depth:
Apperently, the issue is that systemd is trying to make Linux more suitible for a graphical desktop distribution, but in the expence of so many other uses of Linux. Server admins have troubles using it, yet because Systemd is well maintained code and had many needed features, people will use it anyways.
Now that Debian uses systemd, there could be sort of dialogue between users, maintainers and the developers of the init system. After all, Debian has so many technical users, and should be able to pressure the developers to adress their concerns. Otherwise, Debian will see the dissatisfations themselves and do something about it...
54 • friendly fire (by Tim Dowd on 2015-05-05 02:39:02 GMT from Planet Mars)
I'm not saying that your scenario is far-fetched... it could honestly happen. But the problem is that none of this angst and anger accomplishes anything. Every time a new distro comes out that uses systemd there's like ten people waiting in the wings to say how much it sucks because of that reason alone. It turns away users and worse... developers have quit key projects because they're so tired of being abused. We need to keep these people happy- they're who we depend on. And again, this week, in our most public forum, when we should be talking about new technologies and the future to make people realize that open source brings happiness and freedom, we're calling each other morons and questioning each other's sanity and making our movement look like a bunch of fools.
My challenge for everyone that's unhappy with systemd is to be just as vocal in praising some distro that shares their views instead of being so negative about one that doesn't. That's what's going to accomplish something. If people want a developer who might say fork network-manager if it suddenly requires systemd, they need to convince a developer that it's worth the effort. That's done by building up the BSDs, or Slack, or Gentoo, not by screaming at other developers.
55 • Debian (by MoreGee on 2015-05-05 02:58:23 GMT from North America)
I spent way too much time with the New Debian recently and the problems all seem to stem from the WM specific CD versions. The Net install without a WM is fine, so servers and people that like the command line are fine. The XFCE/LXDE specific install CDs use a strange WM that does not drop back to VESA driver and the text is missing or garbled. I have also seen scan lines and lines in the windows boxes with rounded and shaded corners. You can get XFCE working if you install the KDE with XFCE and choose the KDE WM as the default.
On install on some machines the guided partition software only detects one partion on the drive and reports it as FAT32, it will also do it on Ubuntu 15.04 on the same machine.
Jessie, good call on the updater, I could not figure out why it kept asking for the install DVD.
56 • Yet another init system (by backwoodsrevolution on 2015-05-05 03:40:08 GMT from Oceania)
just found this on the net:
'“System Docker,”...is responsible for initiating system services, such as udev, DHCP and the console...it takes the place of the init system, such as sysvinit or systemd... [it] manages all of the system services as Docker containers. RancherOS eliminates the need for complex init systems like systemd...[since it and system docker] both attempt to manage control groups.' http://rancher.com/rancher-os/
WTF? we've only just got used to systemd taking over - and now there's a docker-based init wanting to take even more control. This is bull****! Now we're going to have to create yet another Debian fork to combat this. This fork will be called "devtwuu" (Debian without system docker). It will be developed by even older veteran coders than "devuan" - from even deeper in the Canadian woods than them - and with even longer beards, and holier (& dirtier) singlets, and using even OLDER computers. So these guys really mean business! Please support us and help STOP THE ROT OF THESE ROGUE INIT SYSTEMS TRYING TO BOOT THE HELL OUT OF OUR BELOVED LINUX!!
57 • friendly fire (by Bill on 2015-05-05 06:24:27 GMT from Oceania)
@54 - Tim you make some excellent points!
58 • no 'slippery slope' arguments please (by M.Z. on 2015-05-05 06:52:34 GMT from Planet Mars)
@47 & 54
The thing that seems to be ignored in these arguments is the fact that this core worry of many of the most anti-systemd folks is the fact that arguments like #47s are based on a logical fallacy called the slippery slope argument. It's like saying that because public transportation is government owned it will lead to socialism & the end of private capital. I've heard that before & thought was particularly nuts give how Wall Street is both capitalism central & in public transit central (New York City). I really don't see how this systemd creep is all that different. So a few apps here & there begin to require systemd, if enough people don't like it they'll just fork the apps. I think many of the most important apps are cross platform anyway & I know that Firefox & LibreOffice will continue to ship Windows versions even though MS will never adopt systemd. There is a hard requirement for many of the biggest programs in open source to have some support across multiple platforms, & systemd is only on Linux. I really see no evidence of any sort of giant looming threat, just conspiracy theories & logical fallacies. See wikipedia on the slippery slope:
Is this systemd stuff really anything other than an annoyance for a few vocal users on a certain distros? I seriously doubt it.
59 • Support freedom (by Linux Apocalypsis on 2015-05-05 07:08:00 GMT from Europe)
I think that those who are aware that systemd is a political manoeuvre and a Troy horse to take control of Linux, should start supporting the few free distros that still resist. So, please, start donating, packaging, developing, translating, etc., to make PCLinuxOS, Gentoo, Funtoo, Slackware, CRUX, Devuan, etc., better. The only hope for Linux is that we make any of this distros or a set of them popular enough to be taken into account when it comes to drivers support, etc.
Otherwise, BSD will be our only option... Or GNU Hurd...
60 • debian (by greg on 2015-05-05 07:39:09 GMT from Europe)
what I don't like about Debian is their won't fix attitude.
there was a big that showed partition in number rather than the usual sda1. this affected quite a few other applications that gave out fake errors to logs because of it.
a fix was provided. it's a simple line. doesn't affect stability or anything. it was first confirmed and then rejected as won't fix now will fix in next version. and when next version discussion reached this bug it was again won't fix.
61 • @51 (by ramone515 on 2015-05-05 09:46:34 GMT from Europe)
"The problems are too numerous to to list completely, but there isn't even basic minimization & maximization functionality that all desktop users expect built into the DE by default."
And who tells you that "all desktop users" expect minimize & maximize? All Windows and ex-Windows users maybe, but see other enviroments like OS X or even old GNOME with multiple workspaces support. I hate taskbars and minimizing, especially when I am working and have over 20+ windows open, I can switch focus much easier with GNOME's Overview mode without having to try and read the correct title in half a dozen file manager minimized windows or trying to remember in which workspace that window is.
And the whole think about GNOME having a "smartphone" interface amuses me. Keyboard is a must to use GNOME 3!
62 • 61 • @51 (by mandog on 2015-05-05 17:19:05 GMT from South America)
Gnome 3 does have min/Max funtionability either with buttons or mouse clicks what it does not have installed by default in most distros is Gome-Tweak-tool so you can enable them and other settings.
63 • Maximize and Minimize (by Martin on 2015-05-05 17:32:34 GMT from Europe)
I agree completely with ramone515. I'd just like to add that Gnome does of course support maximization and minimization. Every Gnome distro I ever used shipped Gnome Tweak Tool, which contains the option to restore minimize and maximize buttons to all your windows. Takes one minute at most. The reason those buttons aren't shown by default is because they aren't needed. You can trigger maximization with a simple double click to the title bar, and Gnome's dynamic workspaces offer a very elegant alternative to get windows out of sight easily.
64 • TAILS_anonymity_and_stability...to_Arch_freedom_security_and_entropy (by k on 2015-05-05 19:01:41 GMT from Europe)
This is partly a response to jaws222's much appreciated recommendation of Antergos and Manjaro [comment 27]. I have been wondering, but not expecting. Not sure how secure TAILS is, but for anonymity, usability and stability, it is masterful, really. We'll hang on to this uSD installation with persistence until 'it's done'. Super gift from TAILS developers and supporters. BUT, there are constraints. Debian Jessie offers more freedom and enjoyment without compromising security, Mint's Betsy much more user-friendliness, but perhaps compromises are made, you know. I will not be constrained by/in ANY package. Linus's open (source) gift offers unlimited potential and freedom, that is represented by Arch Linux. With Arch, the user is 'thoroughly' interactively educated in the seeding and growth of a Linux operating system, 'building' all they would use and enjoy on the most minimalist 'bleeding-edge' rolling release. It is highly unstable, a changling of sorts. It comes secure by default, shut-off from the worldwide web, like a fetus, and you are not able to develop (build) or do much without learning. That is the rem acu tetigisti of Arch Linux, you have to learn communicating with your operating system, LOTS of practice and patience, like with a child, BEFORE you realize why you started on this journey. Any other will be as child's play. Have fun.
65 • Gnome stuff (by M.Z. on 2015-05-05 19:48:03 GMT from Planet Mars)
So somehow a UI with giant launcher buttons isn't smartphone inspired? What about click & drag to unlock? The fact that these smartphone touches are integrated into a UI that otherwise requires a keyboard is an excellent example of the problem with Gnome 3. It has been breaking standard desktop functionality since version 3 came out & is a plainly poor choice for a default DE. There is little that Gnome 3 does that couldn't have either been integrated into a more traditional DE, or better yet offered as a 'new shell mode' option at login the same way other DEs are offered when you have other desktops installed. The fact that some dsitros offer the 'un break my lousy DE' hack as a standard add-on does not remove the fact that the thing is designed to be broken & lack sane defaults for the vast majority of users. The way to fix Gnome is to build in & offer sane defaults standard, not to let people hack them on after the fact. If you get something out of it good for you, but that doesn't change the fact that Gnome 3 is still bad for a sizable majority of user & has been from the inception of version 3. If I may quote from an review of Gnome 3 that I think still applies to current versions:
"GNOME 3 forces you to do more in order to accomplish the same thing. This is a problem, period.
Using GNOME Shell is an exercise in supreme frustration. After spending the first month with this interface, I wanted to crawl into a corner and die. That's right. Month. Coming from someone who changes OSes with the same frequency that most people change clothes, the learning curve associated with GNOME 3 is steep."
From these two parts of the same review:
I have felt much the same way every time I've used Gnome 3 & maintain that there are fundamental flaws in the basic design. While such projects & options should exist it was a bad idea to replace Gnome 2 with the new version & I think its a bad idea to roll Gnome 3 as a default UI for any project trying to appeal to general Linux users. Gnome 3 could be good for specialty distros or as an alternative option to real desktops, but for most users it is a bad choice. The way I see it Gnome 2 was a perfectly decent DE & any project that used it by default was probably trying to appeal at least a little to general users. The massive contrast with Gnome 3 makes Gnome 3 a bad default for any dsitro that ran Gnome 2 as a default, & it makes me both sad & disappointed every time I see a big player like Debian or Fedora roll with Gnome 3 as a default. It makes to sense to use this weird new thing just because its still called Gnome, if anything offer it as a prominent alternative to something that is better for the bulk of users.
66 • 65 • Gnome stuff (by mandog on 2015-05-05 21:08:46 GMT from South America)
You must use a different Gnome3 on Planet Mars than we use here on Planet Earth Lol,
Gnome3 is one of the most productive desktops to use If you can use a keyboard and mouse, Does not work with touch screens mind you. Clean not clutter no gimmicks, but then if you just want to play all day I suggest Enlightenment, keeps crashing mind you if you get it wrong
67 • 66 • 65 • Gnome stuff (by Ron on 2015-05-05 22:26:04 GMT from North America)
Have another beer.
Me - I dumped Gnome3 after four minutes. Sorry I waited so long.
68 • Debian 8 Desktop Ready (by Rrc on 2015-05-05 23:03:10 GMT from North America)
I downloaded individual ISOs for gnome and KDE versions of Debian 8 then installed them as dual boot in my old Acer Aspire 4736Z. Both DEs played mp4 and mp3 files out of the box. Perhaps the original reviewer would like to see for himself and update his review? Since I like watching movies and YouTube videos, it was a big deal for me to notice that in Debian 8, all movies and YouTube videos play smoothly, without any kind of tearing whatsoever even in full screen in this very same laptop where other new and previous distros had video tearing of varying degrees.
My only gripe was I needed to correct the fstab file since the swap partition was not properly identified. Other than that, Debian 8 has been super! Thanks for those guys who worked hard to release it.
69 • @67 (by Martin on 2015-05-06 09:59:55 GMT from Europe)
And that's your problem right there. Look, nobody denies that Gnome 3 requires some adaptation on the user's part. The point is that for many people who give it a chance and use it the way it was designed to be used, the shell's design will rapidly grow on them. If you dumped Gnome 3 after 4 minutes, as you said, then I can only conclude that you never gave it that chance. You saw that it was different, had to be used in a different way than what you're used to, and you immediately threw it away. Fair enough, some people just don't want to change their habits. But please don't claim that this is an argument against Gnome 3. If you dumped it after 4 minutes, then the problem is obviously at your end.
70 • Gnome (by jaws222 on 2015-05-06 11:40:39 GMT from North America)
IMO Gnome and Unity are the worst DE's out there, but what Antergos did with Gnome is pretty amazing. It is actually usable and looks pretty good too. Check it out if you can.
71 • @69 (by far2fish on 2015-05-06 12:06:01 GMT from Europe)
Gnome 3 is certainly aquired taste. I was one of those devoted Gnome2 users, and thought Gnome 3 was the worst thing since the plague,
Last year I forced myself to use nothing but Gnome 3 for a couple of months, and now it is my favorite DE.
72 • GNOME and other environments (by Jesse on 2015-05-06 12:16:47 GMT from North America)
While I think four minutes to probably too short a time to evaluate a new technology, I disagree with the implied idea that a person will grow to like a new technology given enough time. With GNOME Shell, for example, the more I use it the more it becomes clear it's designed for a different workflow/setup than what I have. It may work wonderfully for others, but GNOME doesn't line up with what I do or how I do it. More time might give me ways to workaround these problems, but GNOME is never going to be a suitable desktop environment for me.
Which is fine, that is why we have different desktops, they're different tools. Hammers are good for people who need to drive nails, screwdrivers are good for people who turn screws. I wouldn't give a screwdriver to a person who needs to drive nails and tell them to just keep using it and eventually it'll grow on them. They may eventually learn to accurately bash in a nail using the flat of the screwdriver handle, but it's never going to be the right tool for the job.
That's why I welcome a multitude of desktop environments. What suits me may not suit you because we use our computers for different things.
73 • So happy I switched to Funtoo (by SwampRabbit on 2015-05-06 12:36:22 GMT from North America)
The beauty of using GNU/Linux is if you don't like something you can change it, if for some reason you can't change it, then you leave it and find something better for you.
When Ubuntu changed to Unity and started screwing around with desktop search spyware, I chose not to support them anymore. Just went back to using Debian and Linux Mint only.
When Gnome 3 came out, I tried it, didn't like it... moved everything to Xfce.
When I saw the outcome of the Debian alternate init system genocide vote, how certain parties treated senior members, users, etc... I went hopping again.
I landed on Funtoo and after about two months now of it being on multiple servers, desktops, laptops, and HTPCs... I can honestly say I found my new distro. I have real control of my systems, far more than I had with Debian or anything else I used. Plus I am learning many things the proper way now.
Because of this and many other things I made a decent monetary donation to the Funtoo devs, try to get involved on the forums, IRC, and help with the wiki.
I am actually happy to get involved with their community, their distro, etc. I have not felt that from a GNU/Linux distro in a long time.
I never got involved with making a fuss over things like systemd, Gnome 3, Unity, etc, etc. In fact in 10 years of reading comments, this is the first time I posted on Distrowatch.
As others have stated already, there is nothing stopping you from taking your time and money and moving it to another DE, distro, whatever. I did and I put the fun back into computing for myself.
74 • Post #73 (by Carlos on 2015-05-06 13:02:04 GMT from Europe)
^ Great post.
75 • @70 (by ramone515 on 2015-05-06 13:59:13 GMT from Europe)
Can you elaborate on what Antergos did with GNOME 3? Other than their nice Shell and Icon themes it looks pretty much stock to me.
76 • Snappy packages (by Johannes on 2015-05-06 14:56:07 GMT from Europe)
One of the most important announcements this week (apart from Debian 8) was Ubuntu's switch to Snappy packages. However it remained uncommented!
I wonder how much energy Canonical is loosing spreading its energy on so many projects. How great would be Ubuntu today if Canonical had invested money and man hours in improving the existing - instead of spending it on black holes like Mir and other new developments... and now snappy packages!
Nothing against new things, but stability and community support is the key on the long term. In my opinion, Linux Mint is showing the path with a consistent and 'touchable' progress.
All the best to Ubuntu!
77 • Shiny and new doesn't always mean better (by cykodrone on 2015-05-06 15:33:48 GMT from North America)
Gimmicks and gadgets may have a short term novelty effect but in the long run all fluff and little substance apps or DEs will fade away, there will be the appropriate backlash when inadequacies, vulnerabilities or spying, etc are discovered. AFAIC, things like Gnome and systemd will only cause a renaissance of GNU, which can't come soon enough.
People need to be reminded a big customer of the corporation behind a certain controversial init is the US army, who are joined at the hip to the NSA. Ponder that while think about how your system logging and log files are ambiguous and why that 'init' needs to control everything on your system, your network, your webcam, your storage volumes, everything. That's not anti use propaganda, that's fact, you make up your own mind, I have.
78 • Gnome 3 (by Corbin Rune on 2015-05-06 15:49:46 GMT from North America)
I wonder how many of the folk unsatisfied with Gnome 3 have tried Cinnamon at all. IIRC, the two have the same (or at least very similar) tech bases, but different approaches of how to *use* the tech.
My only personal concerns with Gnome 3 are that:
1. Like the early KDE 4, you can argue they changed too much, too fast.
2. It still seems wonky as heck on ATI graphics sets. At least that I've run into personally.
79 • @75 (by jaws222 on 2015-05-06 16:09:54 GMT from North America)
"Can you elaborate on what Antergos did with GNOME 3? Other than their nice Shell and Icon themes it looks pretty much stock to me."
It's a lot more customizable. You can move the dock anywhere you want. Also, they have incorporated more add-ins out-of-the-box as opposed to going to that stupid gnome.org site to load gadgets that eventually crashes the DE. It also moves a lot faster than the Gnome I've tried under Opensuse/Parsix/Pinguy/Ubuntu and some others.
80 • @19 • No Android? @12: (by G. Savage on 2015-05-06 17:05:29 GMT from North America)
Some of us would like DistroWatch to cover mobile OSs also; like Android, Firefox OS, Mer, Tizen, Sailfish OS, and Ubuntu Touch. Windows Phone 10 promises computer-on-a-stick capability, so Apple iOS won't be far behind.
Distrowatches motto is: Put the fun back in computing. Use Linux, BSD. Well, a lot of the fun is now mobile.
I really appreciate the work Jesse and the Gnu-Linux / BSD community do, so I don't want this suggestion perceived as a gripe. I will leave it to them to see if my suggestion is worthwhile to pursue.
81 • Gnome 3 @72 (by Hoos on 2015-05-06 18:35:27 GMT from Asia)
@Jesse, I agree completely.
Sometimes you can give something a fair chance but realise you'll always prefer something else.
I like to try different distros and desktop environments. I have Gnome 3 as part of my Ubuntu Gnome 15.04 and previously Extix 14 installations.
It's ok, but as my comfort zone is more traditional desktop environments and interfaces, it's not my first choice. Yes, I've gotten more used to it, I can add gnome extensions like dash to dock, and I can restore the minimise button with gnome tweak tool. But with my preferences, these are extra steps of work. Further, Files/Nemo is not a file manager I really like. So then PCManFM gets installed and I avoid Files.
I have the beta of OzonOS (Fedora-based) as well, which has a modified Gnome 3 with permanent dock via extensions. Again, it's a little better but that's because it came with the dock already set up. On the other hand, Ozon comes with Gnome-software as the GUI package manager, which is a very puzzling piece of software. When you click on 'check for updates', it downloads all the updates but they are not applied. You have to reboot for the updates to be applied during the verbose part of the boot up. But after the updates are applied, you don't go straight to the login window. No, instead it initiates yet another reboot.
When you multiboot and Ozon isn't the default distro that boots up on reboot (meaning you have to manually select Ozon from the grub menu through 2 reboots every update), it's very annoying.
In the end, I used yum update via terminal instead. No wonder Ubuntu-based Gnome continues using Ubuntu's own software centre and update manager.
If you consider Gnome 3 to include the suite of Gnome applications and tools and not just the desktop interface, then I think there are some strange choices being made by the developers.
I'm still keeping the Ubuntu Gnome partition and trying to get more comfortable with it but it's not my favourite.
82 • Debian v. 8 (by Troy Banther on 2015-05-06 18:37:34 GMT from North America)
I went Microsoft free in October of 2003 and never looked back. After a year or so of trying out various distributions I settled on Debian. I use it every day as a desktop system. No fuss, no muss, no drama. It works on my gear. I also carry around two Debian flash drives. I use these to work on computer systems; mostly repairing Windows machines at my work on campus. Jesse even supported touch screen monitors on the laptops. As always, what works for one person may not work for another.
83 • Debating vs trolling, crediting the people doing the work and freedom of choice (by Not_a_misread on 2015-05-06 22:08:29 GMT from Europe)
Having a debate on wether a UI change in GNOME makes the UI easier to use or harder to use might be constructive, especially if the feedback is given to the GNOME developers or used as ideas for other DEs.
Having a debate of the technical merits of systemd migh supply the systemd project with valuable input. (Though not from less technical users like myself.) The many projects now coming together under the systemd umbrella might also be worth debating from a philosophical and technical viewpoint.
The brilliance of FOSS is that you have a lot of freedom of choice. You could choose for yourself among a myriad of distros and DEs and softwares, and if you don't like any of them, you could fork one that seems good, but not perfect for you or create your own from scratch. As a long time Mac user that has transioned over to Linux in recent years, I appreciate the freedoms of FOSS a lot!
Let's applaud Poettering and team for developing systemd true to their vision and giving it away under a FOSS lisence, but let's also applaud the Devuan team for developing an alternative to Debian for those not convinced of the technical merits of systemd!
Choose whatever you like and state your opinion if you like, but attacking people with other ideas or other tastes is just moronic, adolescent, troll-like behavior. (If Distrowatch imposed a "no comments from users of Windows or OS X"-rule based on browser useragent, you might filter out some FOSS-hating trolls.)
Personally, as a desktop user with limited technical knowledge, I trust the technical committees of the distros I use (Antergos, Ubuntu, Debian) to make sound choices for the underlying technologies and I choose the desktops that I like myself (LXDE and Unity). I get that the systemd debate is more concerned with servers than desktops and that many long time sysadmins are concerned, but personally I haven't even noticed the change.
84 • Freed Open-Source Software is for all… (by Kragle von Schnitzelbank on 2015-05-06 23:06:27 GMT from North America)
… even users of proprietary distros - much to the chagrin of monopolists. Many such users multi-boot, or use virtual machines (and soon, docked v.m.s?), or use more than one device.
85 • Gnome & Debian (by M.Z. on 2015-05-06 23:27:15 GMT from Planet Mars)
I think a lot of folks have pointed out in this thread that they find shortcomings in Gnome 3 & don't find it to be a good choice for them as a general purpose desktop. I find many of the concepts to be very niche, & on the whole I think Gnome has become a very specialized desktop a bit like this ratpoison window manager I read about on wikipedia. The goal of ratpoison is to let you manage all your apps without the 'rat' or mouse. I find that Gnome 3 seems to want to do things to redefine how the desktop should be used, & like ratpoisn it works entirely different from what the bulk of users are familiar with & what most of them want. I know some people have given it a go & like Gnome 3, but I can't really see how they claim that it is easy to use for most PC users or that it makes much sense as a default for Debian or most mainstream distros. It's great that projects like Gnome & ratpoison are trying new & different things, but these things don't fit what typical users want or make sense as a default DE. I have nothing against Gnome users even if the developers have done a fair amount of annoying things, but I claiming that Gnome is a good default for Debian makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
I've found on Mint KDE that kwin also does much to prevent screen tearing found in other desktops when I stream Netflix or Hulu. KDE makes using HDMI going from my laptop to a TV a far better viewing experience.
I'll only wish Cononical/Ubuntu well after they stop pushing spyware out & hurting unwitting converts. It's bad for users & bad for the reputation of Linux.
86 • @ 85 - I can't really see (by forlin on 2015-05-07 01:37:42 GMT from Europe)
- Gnome & ratpoison are trying new & different things
No. Gnome 3 is 3 years old now. Not New. New is Plasma.
Though, Plasma is more of the same!!! Like going 3 years back in time.
Life is not a time machine.
87 • @85 (by Martin on 2015-05-07 09:22:07 GMT from Europe)
"claiming that Gnome is a good default for Debian makes absolutely no sense whatsoever."
That is your opinion. I disagree with it, and so does the Debian project.
88 • Gnome 3 works ok with touch screens. re 66 (by tim on 2015-05-07 15:53:00 GMT from Europe)
Gnome 3 works ok on my iconia W500 tablet's touch screen. Or it does with Tumbleweed. Not sure if it's the desktop or the distro though. Or is it the kernel? Can't get plasma to work though.
Like other Tim in post 44 I'm trying to run linux on something obscure so nobody's fault but my own.
89 • Debian Jessie Review (by Abraham Lincoln on 2015-05-07 18:22:55 GMT from Europe)
I respectfully disagree with the reviewer on the point that Debian is not suitable yet for "Desktop" computing. On the other hand beauty of Debian lies in the fact that it can scale from embedded SBCs to HPC clusters seamlessly. I have experimented Ubuntu, Arch, openSuse and Fedora on my Dell Latitude E7440 Ultra-book and none of them even came close to the stability of Debian "Jessie". The peace of mind that "Jessie" has given me since last two weeks is unequivocal. Ubuntu was constantly crashing with "apportresumecheck", Fedora was not resuming WiFi connectivity after the standby mode. OpenSuse was slow as dead in desktop response and Arch kernel 3.19 even refused to recognize my Btrfs partition. Debian MATE is a rock solid extremely stable Linux distro. Excellent documentation, helpful wiki and plenty of forums for quick resolution of the issues. As for the "little" manual work for desktop Linux distro is concerned I would reiterate RMS here: "Its your choice to give up yout freedom and privacy for a little convenience and opt for Windows OR do a "little" extra work and enjoy your unchallenged privacy and unlimited freedom by using GNU/Linux".
90 • Debian 8 DVD sets (by keithpeter on 2015-05-07 20:21:46 GMT from Europe)
Debian 8 Review: As other comments mention installing Gnome results in media codec/players ready to go, MATE needs just a little tweaking (I use the guayadeque music player as it is relatively light and has few dependencies).
One point that might be of interest to some: Debian is the only distribution that I know of where it is possible to download a very large selection of packages in the form of a DVD set (usually DVD1, DVD2 and DVD3). You can 'register' the three DVD images with Synaptic and then use Synaptic or the command line package managers to install packages entirely offline. Update DVDs are issued for each minor update of the release. In this way, you can use a machine without an Internet connection and install a significant variety of software from the Main repository.
Don't underestimate the 'bandwidth' of 3 DVDs in the post!
91 • Happy Middle Ground - trying new tech before deciding (by Pearson on 2015-05-07 20:52:43 GMT from North America)
I also agree that merely working with something for a while doesn't necessarily mean that I'll like it. On the other hand, abandoning something before I've had a *chance* to get over "the learning curve" means that I haven't "really used" it -- all I can honestly say is that the learning curve was so steep that I couldn't see that the potential benefits were worth the time and effort.
I think it's probably like learning a second language (I haven't). It may be terribly difficult/awkward to get accustomed to new idioms, ideas, etc. And, many may say that "no one would reasonably want to do that unless they have to". However, there are also many who have said "it was worth the struggle, to finally realize the beauty of the expressions". Or maybe like learning a musical instrument.
I think it's fair to say that if someone "gave up after 4 minutes", they never really gave the tool a real chance. This isn't necessarily wrong -- maybe it just wasn't a good fit for them. But, I don't think that person has earned the right to say that the tool isn't right for anyone.
92 • more Gnome & DE thoughts (by M.Z. on 2015-05-07 22:19:10 GMT from Planet Mars)
Well KDE 4 which is basically the modern KDE Plasma DE actually came out 7 years ago so it is still older than Gnome 3; however, it has continually evolved & has integrated many features into it that are unseen anywhere else to my knowledge. I have a search & launch mode on my desktop 4 that integrates much of the functionality seen in Gnome 3's launcher mode as well as interfaces seen on smartphones like android. I also have my other 3 desktops set to desktop grid with various launchers & widgets like folder view widgets that show my 'desktop' & /home directory locations, but if I wanted to I could go the traditional route & just show the 'desktop' folder like Windows & Cinnamon do. I could also use activities to create new groups of desktops or set a huge number of keyboard short cuts to let me change how I use the desktop. I honestly can't see how anyone who has given any recent KDE release a real try could say that KDE is somehow moving backward, it merely adds the flexibility to act like traditional DEs into a more powerful modern framework. Can you explain to me how creating the 7+ desktop layouts, Netbook workspace mode, & activities changer is anything other that innovative & new? If you had made the comment about Cinnamon I could see what you mean, but it makes no sense if applied to KDE.
As for how Gnome is trying to change the desktop, well in the past 3 years they haven't offered me anything that seems like a good easy to use desktop out of the box. There are a lot of new ideas for those who seek to wrap their heads around the new Gnome, but I don't think it's all that useful for the rest of us.
Well while we're stating the blatantly obvious, the entire thread is nothing but opinions but I have yet to see anyone give a good reason why Gnome makes sense as a default DE for most desktop users. I've see platitudes from Gnome fans about how things can be tweaked of modified. I've also heard talk of how if you can really dig in you could get something out of Gnome 3, but nothing to convince me that Gnome is a good default for most users. I'm glad that you & others have gotten something good out of the whole paradigm shift that Gnome has presented users with, but I don't see why you think it makes a sensible default.
93 • @92 • more Gnome & DE thoughts (by mandog on 2015-05-08 00:06:35 GMT from South America)
Its not why the Gnome does not make sense as a default DE for most desktop users,
Its why does KDE/XFCE make any more sense as a default desktop, Just accept users are not sheep and can make up there own minds what they feel comfortable using.
I used KDE for years it is no better for my needs than Openbox Unless I want to play for hrs setting up different desktop layouts, but to me what's the point as I don't want to copy Windows or cinnamon, have spinning desktops, I just need to work within seconds of turning my machine on time is money and wasting time deciding which desktop to use today is not on for me. So please explain why KDE is better than any desktop for the average user, Why not just say You prefer KDE as its what you are comfortable using, and leave it as that accept it. Not try to go into detail why YOU think everybody should follow you like sheep because you don't like something.
94 • Debian and GNOME 3. (by Kubelik on 2015-05-08 02:23:12 GMT from Europe)
@ 91. I think you have some good points.
# GNOME 3 is more than the Shell. There is also the fallback mode: Classic. It is, well, more classic. Main problem there is that the extensions are not always up to date.
# Minimize/maximize: Well: rightclick on the titlebar>minimize, or doubleclick on titlebar and you have a maximized window.
# non-free hardware stuff. Years ago, after a long discussion, the Debian project decided not to carry non-free hardware stuff as default. If you need that you have to download, unpack and put it on a USB-key. If you are told, during the installation, that your machine needs a certain non-free package to work properly and that you should insert the USB-key, then you just do that. And all is ok.
# To get the more tainted stuff, codecs etc: Go to "Software and updates" or Synaptic>Settings>Archives and tick the boxes Contrib and Non-free. Or you can go to the lovely, colorful nano: As root: nano /etc/apt/sources.list an add contrib and non-free.
You can also just download the unofficial live-DVD with the unfree stuff included.
In nano you can also switch to the new testing. Just change jessie or stable to testing or stretch.
# Maintaining the deprecated consolekit might be a job for systemd haters. People loving the old days should stay with Unix or BSD. Linux is not BSD and GNU is not Unix. Trying to fork Debian in order to avoid logind is a joke.
# I have 8 distros with different desktops. After a little while getting used to GNOME Shell it just flies and is much more convenient than the rest. Since I have two hands I use both of them.
95 • @ 91 • Happy Middle Ground (by Rev_Don on 2015-05-08 02:23:54 GMT from North America)
The idea that someone who only gave up after only 4 minutes means they never really gave the tool a chance is only partially correct. You can easily know within a few minutes if that tool is worth the effort to invest the necessary time to become familiar and comfortable enough with.
For example, when KDE4 was first released I know within a few minutes that it wasn't something I wanted to invest time with. I don't feel that way now as it has become much better overall, and doesn't overpower and bog down fairly current hardware as it did 7 years ago. While it isn't my preferred DE, newer releases that are properly configured are something that I can fairly easily become comfortable with.
Gnome 3, on the other hand (as well as Unity) are the exact opposite. I haven't seen any positive improvement at all. In fact, once they took the 2D capabilities out of Gnome 3 it became even worse ito me.
That is probably (at least partially) due to preferring a somewhat ready to go out of the box distro instead of a build my own type of person. I don't spend days and days getting it setup just so. I tend to tweak a few things, install the apps I want, and then use the computer. I don't want to spend all of my time installing, configuring, and tweaking it like a lot of Linux users do. I've tried the minimal Net install thing and simply do not have the time, nor the inclination for that. I don't install interim releases either (as far as I'm concerned they are nothing but Betas) because I don't want to have to re-install, reconfigure, and re-tweak every 6 months. I pick LTS releases and use them until support runs out or an application I need won't run on it any longer.
You can call me lazy if you want (you would be wrong though), but I want to use my system, not play around with it. Because of that, if I can't perform fairly simple tasks with a distro or DE right out of the box then I know the learning curve is more than I want to take on. I'll leave that for the tinkerers. Give me XFCE, Mate, Gnome 2, or even LXDE and I'm happy as when they do change something, they normally change it for the better, not the other way around like Gnome 3 and Unity.
That;s how I see it and I resent anyone telling me I'm wrong to feel that way. You are well within your rights to feel differently about it and I'll defend your right to do wo. Just don't trample my right to feel the way I do about it.
96 • Gnome 3 (by Smellyman on 2015-05-08 03:18:30 GMT from Asia)
I try all new releases of Gnome 3 for quite some time, don't want to short change it because of first impressions. It reminds me of what a crippled, inefficient DE it is.
97 • something other than Gnome as default (by M.Z. on 2015-05-08 04:26:05 GMT from Planet Mars)
I've been talking in circles about KDE in part because people brought the topic up, not necessarily because I thought it was the best possible default DE per say. I would really think any other major DE would be a better default than Gnome is on Debian. I think big Linux projects should put their best foot forward with their default choices, & given that Gnome 3 is a niche player I clearly don't think it makes sense as a default. I know that XFCE was brought up as a default for Debian previously & having used it I would think it would serve most potential Debian users better than Gnome 3. I could also say the same thing for Cinnamon or Mate in addition to KDE.
I know a fair amount of users do their homework before trying a new distro/OS, but the default is most likely to be downloaded & spread around in various other ways & I think a desktop as strange as Gnome is likely to leave a bad taste in the mouth of anyone who tries Debian in a more casual/ informal way without doing heavy research & digging though the download mirrors. I never said anyone had to use KDE or any other desktop, I just don't see why Gnome makes sense as a default. Tell me why something that takes as much work to adapt to/fix as Gnome makes sense as a default for a major project like Debian, don't toss around sheeple accusations. If its so controversial shouldn't it be optional rather than default? I've been trying to keep things more toned with most of my posts (sorry if something earlier offended) & converse about why I think its a bad default, but its still caused a bitter divide in the comments thread. I still don't see any good reasons why Gnome is a sensible default for most users, just a mix of dislike & devotion.
98 • Gnome 3 (by imnotrich on 2015-05-08 04:48:58 GMT from North America)
Gnome 3 and Unity are Linux's Windows 8. Only an insane person believes you can have the same GUI experience across multiple devices, I have never seen a more counterintuitive pile of garbage simultaneously thrust upon computer users. Not ever. I don't know anyone using Gnome or Unity, and my friends running WIndows 8 have all rolled back to a "real" GUI, that makes sense to normal humans.
Gnone's "fallback" or classic mode isn't either, it's a hybrid of Gnome 3 and Gnome 2 and more clunky than windows 3.0.
Currently running Mint 17.1 with Cinnamon, because Mint xfce was too buggy. Many of the same Ubuntu bugs followed straight across to Mint, and Mint added a few more in the process.
FSlint in Mint's repos is broken, will not delete files even when run as root. You have to roll back to a previous version.
Streamtuner2 in Mint's repos is also broken, you set your audio player but Streamtuner2 won't open it. You have to download an updated version of Streamtuner2 from the developer's website.
The Mint installer does not respect your language choice, When you select English language and English keyboard, Mint (as Ubuntu also does) assumes you want everything else in the language/format/spellcheck dictionaries based on your time zone or IP address - FAIL. Just because I'm in MX does not mean I speak Spanish.
Another Ubuntu bug that followed into Mint is that cgminer and bfgminer cannot detect usb devices unless run as root. Adding the plugdev group didn't help.
One Ubuntu bug that didn't follow over to mint involves tumblerd, and that's a godsend because when you're copying videos and photos to a usb device tumblerd will hang and corrupt your ntfs file system. Known bug going back 4 years, still not fixed.
A bug introduced by Mint involves Armory, Bitcoin-QT and Bitcoind. The processes start up fine but Armory can't communicate with them. Kill the processes a few times with the command line and somehow they eventually figure out how to speak to one another.
Cinnamon seems snappy enough, but it has some bugs as well - Windows spontaneously resize themselves horizontally or vertically without being asked, a "snap" feature that cannot be disabled. Firefox also goes into fullscreen mode by itself once in a while. I use a desktop with a mouse and keyboard, not a touchpad or other toy so the only thing I can think of it my webcam saw me blink 3 times every 4 seconds and that trigged the windows to resize (sarcasm).
Please developers, your "default" desktop needs to be the most stable ready to go out of the box experience, easily customizable if the user so desires..but not requiring the user to edit config files or get their fingernails dirty just to make it function. Gnome, Unity, KDE, Windows 8, xfce, FAIL in the usabilty/functionality department. Go back to the drawing board please.
99 • @97 (by far2fish on 2015-05-08 08:10:28 GMT from Europe)
Out of curiosity, what is your basis for saying Gnome is a niche player ?
I have often wondered which were the most popular DEs. The only survey I have seen is the yearly distro survey at reddit, and this survey also cover DE. Last year the survey showed Gnome 3 to be the most popular DE, but also the second most hated DE.
Even though we disagree on the usefulness of Gnome E I guess we can agree it is controversial ? :)
100 • The best DE (by Linux Apocalypsis on 2015-05-08 13:37:04 GMT from Europe)
The best DE is or will be LXQt. Still at version 0.9 but as soon as it reaches 1.0 all the other will be ashamed ;)
It has everything to succeed:
1.- Classic layout.
3.- No-nonsense defaults.
4.- Qt's broad developer base, reliability, versatility and portability.
5.- Qt was conceived with mobile devices in mind from inception.
I am pretty sure its developers will be smart enough to provide two separate versions: one for the desktop (the one we already have) and one for touch-screen devices.
I profited from some major issues with LXDE in Lubuntu LTS to try LXQt and I am keeping it in all my computers (except the one running PCLinuxOS).
101 • @100 • The best DE (by G. Savage on 2015-05-08 14:15:29 GMT from North America)
I really like XFCE, it's my no 2 after Cinnamon; but I have to say, I am quite eager to try LXLE with LXQt when it arrives.
102 • niche DEs (by M.Z. on 2015-05-08 19:55:23 GMT from Planet Mars)
Well let's be honest here, all versions of Linux & BSD are niche players in the desktop market. I'd say prior to version 8 Windows more or less defined the mainstream DE while Mac offered an alternative that most consumers were aware of. The desktops for Linux have mostly followed the general outlines of what Win & Mac did while offering a few different enhancements & features along the way. They generally all used to offer things like better theme options & new functionality with virtual desktops, window shading etc. that were useful features not seen in Windows. They offered they same basic mainstream desktop functionality other users were used to with improvements, making the switch over very easy for potential converts. Then along came Gnome 3 & out went all the conventional thinking & the general purpose DE that users of Gnome 2 & other desktops were familiar with. From the last poll on Linux DEs I can remember I think KDE/Plasma retook the lead among all Linux desktops recently, which was in part because Gnome split in 4 separate directions after version 3 came out. Mint created Cinnamon for traditional desktop users because Gnome 3 failed to deliver the sort of easy to transition to DE that it's users wanted, the Mate team began reworking old versions of Gnome, & Ubuntu adopted Unity.
I really can't make any definitive comments on market share & I don't know how reliable any polls on the subject are, but we all know that Linux is inherently a bit of a niche desktop product. Now add to that the fact that Gnome tossed out the traditional desktop & tried to create a new way of interacting & you have an inherently niche DE. The four way split proved that not everyone liked how Gnome was acting & surely pulled some users away, especially give the market share of Mint & Ubuntu. The split provides further evidence that Gnome was becoming ever more niche after version 3 was released. Following the release of Gnome 3 Windows 8 came out with a hybrid of desktop & smartphone elements that was similar in spirit to the design of Gnome 3, & from what I can tell it was the most spectacular flop in the history of Windows. I know the failure of Win 8 doesn't say anything definitive about Gnome, but I find the Gnome design to look like the more radical of the two & both share ideas like pop up menus in hot corners & a full screen launcher mode for a main menu. There are differences to be sure, the hot corner in Win 8 hides settings while in Gnome 3 it has both the menu & window switcher; however, they share a smartphone like design philosophy & the failure of Win 8 shows a general consumer dislike of such designs.
I think the change in design philosophy alone might well have been enough to call Gnome 3 niche given the market share of Linux, but add to that the split in the Gnome user base & the failure of the the stylistically similar Win 8, Gnome is almost certainly a niche player. I think there has been a very rough & controversy ridden transition for Gnome between version 2 & 3, & that marks the line between major mainstream DE in the niche Linux market, to a niche player in that niche Linux market. I really can't see how Gnome can be anything other than niche give the max potential market share of any Linux DE, the radical new design philosophy & the reaction against similar sweeping changes in Win 8, & the 4 way split in caused by Gnome 3. Given all these factors & all the controversy surrounding such sweeping changes to the desktop I see Gnome 3 as the very definition of a niche desktop. Whether you love or hate Gnome 3 they way it tried to redefine the desktop & the factors surrounding that redefinition both put it solidly in the camp of a niche DE. This niche status is a core reason I can't see how anything like Gnome 3 would make a sensible default for most users of Debian or similar big Linux projects. I know Gnome 3 has grown on some people, but I don't see why they can't step back & see it from that overarching perspective, or perhaps provide a good argument to the contrary. Actually I really can't see how any good argument to the contrary could be made, though some very smart people in the Gnome project sure were able to rationalize some very odd & sweeping design changes.
103 • Desktop Environments (by JT on 2015-05-08 22:17:21 GMT from North America)
@102 You said it best, Linux on the Desktop is inherently a niche desktop product. That being said, I don't think there would be a DE that would adequately cover everything a user could want in a DE. Especially in the FOSS world.
KDE and it's endless customization would be too over-the-top for a large portion of general users, and XFCE/MATE/LXDE aren't considered 'beautiful' enough for general users. GNOME doesn't offer enough customization for some users, and would require them to change their workflow (and quite dramatically, depending on what you're used to and where you're going). Cinnamon/Unity (and maybe Pantheon) are the only ones that would appeal to vast amounts of users. Although, Unity has issues in being tied to Ubuntu (there are efforts to get it to other mainstream distros, that failed, and Makulu now has a Unity port). Pantheon is really the same, being tied to elementaryOS. The only distro I've used that offered Cinnamon, other than Linux Mint, was Korora. I know Arch has it, but I don't like to use Arch (their idea of simplicity isn't the same as mine).
And I don't really think it's fair to compare GNOME to Windows 8. After the release of Win8.1, the desktop experience on Windows was much more polished, without changing the core design. GNOME v3 took a few extra releases to get things right from a design perspective. Both were jarring changes, but Windows 8(.1) was less so. It kept the 'desktop' piece mostly the same. GNOME changed everything altogether, leaving very little things the same.
The issue with GNOME v3 is that most users expect some sort of bottom panel with open windows. Windows, Mac, GNOME v2, KDE, etc. all have that feature, and its much different* to work without it.
I could also argue that mobile-OS look/feel isn't a necessarily negative thing for some users. A lot of those users, however, are much younger (like myself) and are used to the mobile-OS interface. Using Win95 as a child, then WinXP, then Win7 in High School, now Linux(KDE/GNOME/XFCE) & Win8, the quick progression of UI design really doesn't bother me one bit. Going from MATE/GNOME v2 to GNOME v3 to KDE to XFCE isn't really jarring to me (however I know a lot of people find it very jarring); then again, I do it almost daily for the sake of amusement (along with multi-booting 5 different OSs).
Personally, I'm a KDE user, so the usage I get out of GNOME/MATE/etc only lasts a few days, maybe a week at most, before I go back to wanting to redesign the entire interface. While I usually install GNOME and XFCE beside KDE (because I like to fiddle with things and often break things), they don't get all that much use.
People are different, and want different things. GNOME and Unity have large user bases (of mostly general users, who don't know, or care, one way or another) for a reason. Some people prefer GNOME or Unity, and they simply work better with it.
*I say different instead of difficult, because I find that things are rarely difficult once you learn what to do. Tedious might be a better word, and it can be.
104 • Hardware and DE (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2015-05-09 00:19:46 GMT from North America)
A great many computers were sold with Windows 8.0, without touchscreens, or even touchpads. This omission should be laid at the feet of the hardware vendors, where it belongs - just like any refusal to give the customer control over which software to use.
105 • Debian 8 (by kc1di on 2015-05-09 09:10:50 GMT from North America)
Just want to say the comments have been interesting to read this week. I've been using Debian 8 since it was released as stable. And have to say it makes a great desktop once you get it configured the way you want it. That can be a challenge, but took only a couple hours. And has been working fine ever since. I use the XFCE desktop and like it's workflow and culpability just fine. never been a fan of Gnome 3, Mate is fine also, but just am use to XFCE. Have used KDE many times and always seem to look for something else after a bit. I have not problem with any of the desktops really, just seem to always come back to XFCE eventually. There will never be an end to the DE wars, People tend to get passionate for what they personally like. All I can say is Chill a bit. each DE has it's positive and negative points. The question is which ones are you willing to live with :)
As for systemd Seems there is a lot of resistance to it. but much of that is based upon fictions not fact. my opinion is a wait and see attitude and use what works for now.
Thanks Debian for a great release by the way !
106 • Debian (by Jordan on 2015-05-09 18:29:07 GMT from North America)
Yes, Debian, the tried and true foundation of so many Linux distros. What a history (even its name!).
I have the 8 on my old Toshiba and tweaked away for a few days here and there and ended up with Mate as my default environment. I like to brag about doing the work myself, but it is not work at all when you think back to so much that had to be done in the cli days!
I have Mint on an HP and Windows 8.1 on this HP at home. Debian is the one I look forward to using each day.
107 • changing software (by happy motherPC day on 2015-05-10 02:48:42 GMT from Oceania)
There are many init systems: sysvinit, mudur, runit, openrc, upstart, systemd, system docker, etc. Just like DE's and packaging systems they are changing since nothing in software stays the same for long. Systemd will eventually morph into something else - so need to get upset over it.
Maybe Jessie could give a review of some init systems - pros and cons. Since virtual containers are popular now, system docker sounds the most interesting.
108 • @104 - Drinking Windows 8 Koolaid? (by Ben Myers on 2015-05-10 07:08:24 GMT from North America)
Please, let's not blame the hardware manufacturers for unpopularity of Windows 8. Microsoft continues to struggle to this day with the two decidedly different markets for the Windows OS: business and consumer. Microsoft foolishly pushed Windows 8 upgrades. People bought the cheap (was it $40?) upgrades. I still have mine. Never used it. Then people installed the upgrade only to be confronted by the Metro interface, something never seen on a Windows desktop or laptop before. People rightly criticized its tiled desktop design as being counter-productive for doing real work. Microsoft tried to bring the tablet operational metaphor to a computing environment and users long since used to the File-Edit-etc drop-down menu interface and a Start button. The tablet operational metaphor is fine for a highly portable device, but not for the business office. So businesses threw rotten eggs at Windows 8, rather than falling in love with it.
If one blames the hardware manufacturers for not having adequate hardware for Windows 8, then one needs to blame Microsoft all the more for releasing a product for which there was inadequate hardware support and for insufficiently evangelizing (that's what they call it) the need for touch hardware to run Metro.
But let's back off and look at this from a broader perspective. Do you think people just walk right in and begin using a drastically different desktop environment without any training? Sure, early adopters and people who want to live on the bleeding edge will jump right in and eventually become productive. But those people are even more scarce than America's famous 1%. How about they are 0.1% of all computer users? 0.01% percent? No matter. 99% of the people who use a computer for workaday tasks need serious training on how to use the damnable Windows 8 (or 8.1). I am in the 1%, but it is a serious waste of my productivity to use Windows 8. I am not masochistic.
Even after several years of use, Windows 8 has at least one serious conflict with Microsoft's very own Office. One of my clients uses Office 2010 on a Windows 8.1 system. He clicked by mistake on the brain-dead Mail APP. Oops! His Outlook file was no longer accessible to Outlook, locked out. Solution? Uninstall the Mail APP.
Suffice it to say that Microsoft failed with Windows 8 due to poor design, poor implementation and poor integration with mainstream Windows applications (not the toy apps).
109 • The nich and the 1% (by forlin on 2015-05-10 08:58:52 GMT from Europe)
Market share cannot be a measure of it all. Maserati is supposedly a very good car, yet its market share is way far of that of Toyota's. Even that both were free (as in beer, of course), Maserati would have running overhead costs not affordable to all. Like Linux: not installed by default in shops, lack of some drivers, applications, a.s.o. Still, Linux is a Maserati!
Regarding Gnome3 vs others: it's a matter of personal taste. But Shall it's far from being a niche DE. Last year Linuxquestions survey (557 votes), Plasma won by far. Lifehacker survay(11.239 votes), Shell won by far.
Up to Gnome3 I used the "classic": bottom bar with menu, windows, tray. First feeling with Gnome3 was almost as bad as Kde4 was to KDE3. So, I diverted for a while, but kept an eye on it. Then, it improved I returned and got used to it. For me it's OK, today. So much good that trying to go back to "classic" is a failed adapt effort. May be not with others, sure. Each case is a case.
110 • Debian as my desktop OS (by Plamen on 2015-05-10 14:25:01 GMT from Europe)
I use it since 2010 and love it, GNOME2. On my Thinkpads and 2 desktops. I set up Jessie Stable from netinstall with MATE (it was a pleasant surprise to find MATE as a DE option in the installer). Thank you so much to all.
A screenshot http://postimg.org/image/elp3w46g5/
p.s.: GNOME3 - I tried it several times with different versions, it's not for me (I love MATE) and it's too heavy (hdd's were on fire, desktop and mouse became irresponsive several times a day and the time needed to recover and do anything was about 15minutes)
111 • 108 • @104 - Heap all blame on favorite scapegoat? (by Kragle von Schnitzelbank on 2015-05-10 15:09:33 GMT from North America)
Don't blame hardware vendors for putting a touchscreen-dependent OS on hardware without touch? Really? When alternatives were clearly available, supported for years? When OS vendors clearly noted (even "evangelized"), up-front, the need for touch-enabled hardware?
Check your own beverage…
112 • @111 - More to the story (by Ben Myers on 2015-05-10 22:38:18 GMT from North America)
Microsoft's history with software releases is that as soon as the new release hits the street, the old one vanishes from store shelves (on-line or brick-and-mortar). With Windows 8, it was a little bit different, because the general public, trade press pundits and businesses all were taken aback by the very different appearance and how-to-use of Windows 8. So Windows 7 remained available for some time, sometimes as a Microsoft-sanctioned downgrade, sometimes due to contracts between Microsoft and name-brand vendor.
In particular, Lenovo moved to the top of the pack with the largest market share. How did they do that? By continuing to sell, sell, sell Windows 7 systems.
Touch screens on desktop systems have a long way to go to achieve more general purpose use, because people are accustomed to using keyboards and mice for typical business (or home) office tasks. If one accepts this premise, the only way Windows 8 can be usable as a desktop system is if one deep-sixes all the counter-productive Metro tiles.
To put it all differently, Microsoft's timing for widespread use of a touch-screen enabled OS was abysmal. Hence its reversion back to the start button with Windows 8.1 (earlier with 3rd party Classic Shell) and betaware Windows 10. Is this not Microsoft itself (not openly) admitting to a serious strategic error?
Number of Comments: 112
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