| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 612, 1 June 2015
Welcome to this year's 22nd issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
An important aspect of the free and open source community is the liberty each person experiences. Through free and open source software, developers have the right to express themselves in their work and users gain the right to choose what software best suits their needs. Of course, each of us has our own opinions and own points of view and, in such a liberal climate, conflict is bound to happen. This week we tackle some controversial subjects in the open source community and the approaches different people are taking to solve problems. We begin with a topic that gets discussed a lot and continues to raise questions: systemd. This week Robert Storey introduces us to Manjaro OpenRC, a branch of the Manjaro distribution which has replaced the systemd init software with OpenRC. Read on to find out how Manjaro OpenRC performs. In our Questions and Answers column we further discuss systemd, how popular (or unpopular) it is in the Debian community and what happened to the Debian fork named Devuan. In our News section we discuss the Fedora Project's latest release, talk about Linux emulation on FreeBSD and share a status report on Lumina, a cross-platform desktop environment that avoids depending on specific services. We also talk about the recent conflict between the Ubuntu Community Council and the Kubuntu community and say farewell to the Mandriva distribution. In our Torrent Corner we share the torrents we are seeding. Plus we share a list of the distributions released last week. The Opinion Poll in this issue talks about rolling release distributions vs fixed releases and we hope you will share your thoughts on the subject with us. We wish you all a fantastic week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Robert Storey)
Manjaro OpenRC 0.8.13 - reinventing init without systemd
Everything that can be invented has been invented.
- Charles Duell, Commissioner of US Patent Office, 1899
It would be an understatement to say that systemd's introduction as the
dominant init system for modern Linux distros has stirred controversy.
Both opponents and supporters of this new way of doing things have tended to get rather excited - to put it mildly - whenever the topic of systemd comes up on various tech blogs and forums. Defending one's choice of init systems from critics has become a sort of moral obligation, if not a way of life. Take the "wrong" side of the argument on your favourite tech forum, and you can expect a deluge of heated comments, frequently containing accusations of "troll" and even nastier descriptive words not suitable for publication.
I suppose it's natural for geeks to get emotional about their operating
system. In fact, if you've seen the 2013 movie Her,
it's predicted that in the near future not only will we be able to love
our own personal operating system, but also have sex with it. Indeed, I
think we're already there, to judge by the way people have become
attached to their mobile handsets.
Figure 1: Linux users get emotional about systemd
The Great Search Begins
After many months of debate, things are starting to
finally calm down now, and I see no reason to reignite the civil war.
The pros and cons of systemd have been discussed ad
nauseum on this and other forums, and by now most geeks have
already formed their opinion on the issue. So let there be peace. It's
time to bury the hatchet (and by that I
don't mean burying it in your opponent's skull). Vive et
vivat - Latin for "live and let live."
As things currently stand, if you're in the pro-systemd camp, you'll be
spoiled for choice since most of the major distros have made the
move. On the other hand, folks in the non-systemd camp have a
relatively lean menu, but that may be changing. Up until now, the
solution for non-systemd geeks has been to simply stick with what they've got and avoid making any upgrades. That strategy has worked pretty well, but it's got limited shelf life. Increasingly, non-systemd folks still running last year's software are starting to feel like passengers on the Titanic. Unless you're planning to disconnect your computer from the Internet, the need for security updates becomes unavoidable. Ignore all those update warnings for too long, and you risk sinking the whole ship.
Fortunately, the market for up-to-date non-systemd OS's has not gone unnoticed. Among the choices currently available are PCLinuxOS, Slackware, Void and all the BSDs. Gentoo has made systemd optional, offering the OpenRC init system as an alternative.
I have tried all of the above, but for one reason or another found the
experience not totally satisfying. PCLinuxOS came very close to meeting
my everyday needs, but lacked a few packages that I depend on for my work.
Slackware remains my number one choice as a server OS, but its collection of desktop software is rather slim. On the other hand, source-based Gentoo has just about everything I could ever want in life, but the installation requires a great deal of time to compile (and recompile during updates) - I just don't have that much patience. PC-BSD proved to be a very capable desktop OS, but it lacked a few needed drivers for my hardware. Void Linux is very fast and undergoing rapid development, but to me felt unpolished - I will keep an eye on it for the future.
And then there is Manjaro OpenRC, a recent side project of mainstream Manjaro (which is systemd-based). Manjaro OpenRC recognized all my hardware immediately, and contains all the software packages I require. Indeed, the software collection is so large that it rivals Ubuntu's and Debian's. A nice little fringe benefit is fast performance. As a result, it is
now my preferred operating system on both my laptop and desktop machines. Indeed, it works so well that I've considered sending a thank you note to the systemd developers for inspiring me to switch distros.
Manjaro OpenRC is mostly systemd free - it uses ConsoleKit2 instead of
logind, and eudev instead of systemd-udev. However, it bundles some of
the systemd libraries in a eudev-systemdcompat package, mostly due to
how Arch packages systemd
Manjaro Linux is based on Arch, and was already popular even before the
developers started offering an OpenRC edition. It currently ranks
number 10 on the DistroWatch hit list. It is possible to take a systemd
Manjaro installation and covert it to
OpenRC, but most people will just find it easier to download the OpenRC
edition and install it directly. I downloaded Manjaro Xfce
0.8.13-openrc from here. For announcements about future releases, and to receive support, check out this section of the Manjaro forum.
Like its Arch predecessor, Manjaro is a rather geeky distro that
doesn't hold your hand. Manjaro boots up as a live CD, presenting an attractive Xfce interface. However, there is no Install icon on the desktop -
you'll find it under Menu--> System--> Install Manjaro Linux. The
OpenRC installer is text-mode based, running inside a terminal window (systemd-based Manjaro has a GUI installer). The most confusing part of the whole
operation comes in the beginning, when you have to partition your hard
drive. You're actually better off leaving the installation program and
clicking Menu--> System--> GParted. Complete all your
partitioning and formatting in nice user-friendly GParted, and only
then resume with the text-mode installation program.
These days one can choose between either an MBR or GPT partitioning scheme, plus adding more complexity with virtualization, if you're so inclined. I chose to keep things simple: MBR partitions, no virtualization. I won't give a blow-by-blow replay of the whole installation procedure, but Linux veterans should find it straightforward enough. Probably the biggest decision one has to make is where to set up the boot loader/manager. Again, I stuck with tradition and put GRUB2 into the MBR. Fans of the GPT partitioning scheme might want to look into Rod Smith's rEFInd boot
manager - his excellent web site will tell you more than you ever
wanted to know about partitions and booting.
The Morning After
Like everything else in Manjaro, the installer does its job quickly. If
all goes as planned, one reboot later should bring you to a graphical
login screen. Upon logging in, you should be seeing the grey-coloured
(but nonetheless good-looking) Manjaro Xfce desktop.
Figure 2: The Manjaro Desktop
To see which init system you are running, in a terminal type:
The command should respond with "init." If it responds with "systemd,"
you've installed the wrong version of Manjaro.
Once you're through admiring your newly installed desktop, it's time to
perform a few administrative chores. Like its Arch ancestor, Manjaro
the pacman package manager. Coming from the
Debian/Ubuntu universe, I was mainly familiar with
apt-everything, so I had to spend some time learning
the new dispensation. Fortunately, the pacman man page ("man
pacman") provides a decent primer. Even better, check out the Manjaro
wiki. You can also take advantage of the excellent Arch
wiki to familiarize yourself with pacman and other Arch traits,
most of which are highly relevant to Manjaro.
To get online, click Menu--> Internet--> Wicd to get
connected. With that accomplished, your first housekeeping task should
be to update everything. You can accomplish that by typing in a
sudo pacman -Syu
This can take some time. Afterwards, a reboot would be in order.
Manjaro uses a rolling release development model, so updates are
Your next priority should be setting up a firewall. Simplest and
most effective is ufw, so try this:
sudo pacman -S ufw-openrc
sudo ufw enable
sudo rc-update add ufw default
The first command above installs ufw. Next command enables it, and last
ensures that ufw will start on reboot.
Other very useful pacman commands worth memorizing include:
pacman -Ss search-string (search for "search-string" in package
pacman -Si package-name (give info about package "package-name")
sudo pacman -S package-name (install package "package-name")
sudo pacman -R package-name (remove package "package-name")
Hardcore geeks may think that GUIs are for wimps, but most desktop
users will find it useful to install the package octopi. This
provides a nice warm-and-fuzzy graphical interface for
many pacman functions. You may also want to familiarize yourself with
the command-line yaourt (visit
"man yaourt"), another
front-end for pacman.
For more pacman commands, check out the Manjaro
wiki page. For more details on configuring OpenRC services, visit
OpenRC wiki page.
Tips, Tricks and Hints - Printing
Setting up my HP-DeskJet printer/scanner proved to be a little
tricky. One thing I learned: do not install package
manjaro-printer because it includes gutenprint, which messes up
everything. If you accidentally install gutenprint, uninstall it. What
worked for me:
sudo pacman -S cups-openrc
sudo rc-service cupsd start
run "rc-update add cupsd default"
The developers have informed me that in the next release, cupsd will be
pacman -S hplip
pacman -S sane-openrc
If you don't have an HP printer, then Menu-->
System--> Print Settings is your friend.
Tips, Tricks and Hints - Sound
Manjaro OpenRC uses ALSA by default, and my attempt to watch videos
in silent movies. I finally got sound working by installing
Use pavucontrol to set up the output. One bug (still not resolved) is
that in order to use my headphones, I first have to unplug and then
replug them in to "wake up" the headphone port. That problem doesn't
apply to the speakers.
Another bug bit me, but only on my laptop. On that machine I simply had
no sound at all, and pavucontrol reported only "dummy output," which
means that my sound card was not visible. I was finally able to fix
that with this command:
sudo chmod 777 -R /dev/snd
This appears to be a "permissions error," but I'm not sure why it
occurred on only one machine. Fortunately, the fix is easy.
Tips, Tricks and Hints - Automount
By default Manjaro-OpenRC does not automount removable drives (usb,
etc). Thunar (the file manager) requires package
"thunar-volman" to enable automounting.
sudo pacman -S thunar-volman
Open Thunar, click on:
Edit--> Preferences--> Advanced--> Volume_Management-->
check - Mount removable drives when hot-plugged
check - Mount removable media when inserted (optional)
Another note from developers: thunar-volman will be installed by
default in the next release.
Tips, Tricks and Hints - Tweaking BASH
The following is not really necessary, but it's something I do on every
distro I install...
If you work at the command line, it's rather important to know which
directory you are in, lest you accidentally delete, move or copy the
wrong file. This can be done by customizing the command line prompt.
Another good thing to do is to protect a file from being accidentally
overwritten ("clobbered") by a command (you can override this with the
>| redirection operator). Finally, you may want to set
the key map so that ctrl-alt-backspace will break out of X and send you
back to the login prompt.
Best way to set up the above is for individual users to create (or
edit) a hidden .bashrc and .bash_profile file in the user's home
directory. The following content in .bashrc will do the job:
alias rm='rm -i'
alias cp='cp -i'
alias mv='mv -i'
set -o noclobber
/usr/bin/setxkbmap -option terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp
Even root can do this by placing the above .bashrc and .bash_profile
content in /root.
Tips, Tricks and Hints - Magic keys
An old geeky trick that has been somewhat forgotten is the use of
"magic keys" to safely reboot or shut down a misbehaving machine. Back
in MS-DOS days, ctrl-alt-del did the job, but for Linux you need to
hold down the alt-SysRq keys and then type the sequence "reisub" (to
reboot) or "reisuo" (to shut down).
You can find a good discussion about magic SysRq keys here on
Manjaro and most other distros now disable magic keys by default, but
it's easy (if not intuitive) to reactivate this feature. Add (or edit)
a line in file /etc/sysctl.d/100-manjaro.conf to say:
# Enable the Magic SysRq key
kernel.sysrq = 1
Alternately, you could create a new file in this same directory with
the above content. One suggested name: /etc/sysctl.d/99-sysctl.conf.
Tips, Tricks and Hints - Google Earth
I love Google Earth and use it in my work, but it's really a pain to
install on most Linux distros, especially 64-bit systems. This is not
the fault of Linux, but rather Google, because their developers for
some strange reason seem to think that Linux is still a 32-bit
operating system. And since Google Earth is not open source, Linux developers cannot fix the problem. (Hey Google, if you're reading this, how about coughing up a 64-bit version?)
Fortunately, some distros make it relatively easy to work around this
problem. Manjaro does not have a Google Earth package, but there is one
in the AUR
Repository), and I was able to install it on Manjaro with the yaourt command:
yaourt -a google-earth
You will be prompted to choose either Google Earth 6 or Google Earth
7. I highly suggest you go with version 6, which requires way fewer
packages and is known to be far more stable. Despite a few dire
warnings that flashed on my screen, the installation went well and I
was able to
start the program by typing "google-earth6" at the command line. The
only weird thing is that I had some strange fonts that looked like
was solved with another Arch package, installed thus:
yaourt -a ttf-ms-fonts
After doing that, perform a reboot so that the new fonts will take
Manjaro-OpenRC boots fast, runs fast, is stable as the Rock of
Gibraltar, and boasts an enormous software collection. There are some
usually hard-to-find treasures hidden in
the Manjaro repositories, such as Aegisub,
and Gprename. Indeed, I
even found one great program that is missing
from every other distro's repository (Kompozer,
which I use for web
Furthermore, it's even possible to install additional programs from the
The icing on the cake is the
impressive documentation maintained by both Manjaro and Arch.
Far too much blood has been shed fighting the systemd civil war, and
Manjaro should be lauded for taking a neutral
approach. Offering both a systemd and OpenRC edition, the Manjaro
developers are giving their users a chance to choose for themselves
which init system they would like to run. This mature attitude should
be admired and copied, helping to unite all geeks in a new spirit of
mutual understanding and
respect. No doubt this will lead to enlightenment and world peace, or
at the very least, fewer flame wars.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Fedora 22 released, Ubuntu's Community Council attempts to oust Kubuntu's lead developer, details on the Lumina desktop, FreeBSD gains 64-bit Linux emulation and Mandriva closes its doors
Fedora 22 was released last week and the latest version of the Red Hat sponsored project brought with it a number of new and interesting features. Fedora now uses the DNF package manager by default rather than YUM. Though the two package managers are quite similar users may notice slight differences, hopefully the most significant will be a speed-up in package transactions. The ARM spins of Fedora now have their own home on the Fedora website. In addition, there have been a number of improvements made to GNOME notifications and the Server edition's Cockpit software. Fedora's Project Leader, Matthew Miller, wrote, "Every Fedora release has its own character. If this release had a human analogue, it'd be Fedora 21 after it'd been to college, landed a good job, and kept its New Year's Resolution to go to the gym on a regular basis. What we're saying is that Fedora 22 has built on the foundation we laid with Fedora 21 and the work to create distinct editions of Fedora focused on the desktop, server, and cloud (respectively). It's not radically different, but there are a fair amount of new features coupled with features we've already introduced but have improved for Fedora 22." More information on Fedora 22 can be found in the project's release announcement and release notes.
Shortly after Fedora 22 launched, a post appeared on the GNOME website which explains why a lot of packages available in Fedora's repositories may not show up in Fedora Workstation's software manager. "Quite a few people are going to be installing Fedora 22 in the coming days, searching for things in the software centre and not finding what they want. This is because some applications still don't ship AppData files, which have become compulsory for this release. So far, over 53% of applications shipped in Fedora ship the required software centre metadata, up from the original 12% in Fedora 21. If you don't like this, you can either use dnf to install the package on the command line, or set gsettings set org.gnome.software require-appdata false."
* * * * *
In an unprecedented move, the Ubuntu Community Council has demanded that Kubuntu's lead developer, Jonathan Riddell, vacate all leadership roles, including his position on Kubuntu's Community Council. In an e-mail to Kubuntu's own Council, an Ubuntu Community Council member wrote, "At this time we have sent an email to Jonathan requesting that he step aside from all positions of leadership in the Ubuntu Community for at least 12 months. This request will require him to step aside from leadership in Kubuntu as well." The notice came as a complete surprise to both Riddell and the rest of the Kubuntu Community Council. Scott Kitterman, one of Kubuntu's Council members has posted the back and forth e-mail communications between Ubuntu's representatives and Kubuntu's. The Kubuntu team, so far, has been unable to learn on what grounds Ubuntu has attempted to dismiss their leader and has expressed concern over the future of the Kubuntu project. Since the notice from the Ubuntu Community Council was delivered, the Kubuntu team has met and voted to keep Jonathan Riddell in his leadership positions. Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu's founder, offered his opinion on the matter, writing, "It is therefore not a question of whether or not you accept the CC request to step down. This is a statement from the CC that we no longer recognize [Jonathan Riddell] as the leader of the Kubuntu community." If keeping track of who everyone is and how this fits together seems confusing, this blog gives a good summary of the parties and actions involved.
* * * * *
The developers of the PC-BSD operating system have been working on the new Lumina desktop environment for several months now. The new desktop offers a responsive, lightweight interface that avoids many of the dependencies required to run other, heavier desktop environments. In particular, Lumina is attractive to BSD users as the desktop does not depend on any Linux-specific software. Ken Moore, Lumina's primary developer, recently gave a status update and outline of what Lumina is and what makes it different. "[Lumina is] designed on PC-BSD, specifically for the BSD community at large (although it is easily ported to any OS, including Linux distros) and does not require any of the commonly-used desktop implementation frameworks (DBUS, policykit, consolekit, systemd, HALD, etc..)" Moore reports Lumina has been ported to FreeBSD, Dragonfly BSD, OpenBSD, Debian's GNU/kFreeBSD and Debian GNU/Linux. Further details can be found in Ken Moore's blog post.
* * * * *
The FreeBSD operating system has, for several years, had the ability to run 32-bit x86 executable files that were originally compiled to run on GNU/Linux distributions. Though Linux closed-source executables are rare, this compatibility layer has allowed FreeBSD users to run some Linux software without requiring access to the program's source code. The FreeBSD project is in the process of expanding their emulation capabilities and have introduced 64-bit x86 emulation for Linux binary files. The BSD Now podcast summary offers the following details: "For those who might be unfamiliar, FreeBSD has an emulation layer to run Linux-only binaries (as rare as they may be). The most common use case is for desktop users - enabling them to run proprietary applications like Adobe Flash or Skype. Similar systems can also be found in NetBSD and OpenBSD (though disabled by default on the latter). However, until now, it's only supported binaries compiled for the i386 architecture. This new update, already committed to -CURRENT, will open some new possibilities that weren't previously possible."
* * * * *
Rumours have been circulating for a while now that the Mandriva organization was being liquidated. Unfortunately, it appears that there is truth to these comments that Mandriva is no longer functioning and its assets are being liquidated (document in French). At the time of writing the distribution's website is off-line. Mandriva, formally Mandrake Linux, was one of the early beginner friendly distributions and many Linux users got their first taste of Linux from Mandriva. The silver lining to this story is that Mandriva lives on in various community projects. Distributions such as Mageia and OpenMandriva carry on the tradition of making newcomer friendly operating systems with the same convenient system administration tools.
Following the news that Mandriva had shut its doors, the OpenMandriva team posted a fond farewell message on their blog. "Mandrake was the first distribution to make a free operating system available which could be installed and configured by anyone who could use a keyboard and a mouse. When many of us first came to the Linux world, there were two types of distro, the ones that gave you headaches as soon as you put the CD in the slot, and then there was Mandrake. The vision of its founder, Gael Duval, created an operating system which undoubtedly allowed many, many people access to modern technology and in doing so added greatly to the strength of the free software community. We do and will do our very best to continue to hold and carry their crown - for you."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Debian, Devuan and systemd
Where-are-the-alternatives asks: Leading up to Debian "Jessie" I heard all kinds of comments about forking Debian or making a new distro free from systemd. What happened to those projects? Why didn't Debian fork, did people just give up?
DistroWatch answers: There was talk of forking Debian, or at least creating a separate spin of Debian which would be very similar to vanilla Debian, but with systemd removed in favour of SysV init. The systemd-free fork of Debian is called Devuan and, based on the activity on the project's mailing list, I think people are still working on it. Time will tell whether Devuan will make a stable release and be successful or not.
Though not many people talked about it in this context, the Linux Mint project released a new version of Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) recently. Though LMDE, version 2, is based on Debian 8 "Jessie", it does not use systemd as its default init software. I do not think LMDE should be considered a fork of Debian, but it does offer a desktop solution that is Debian-based without systemd.
What I suspect happened with regards to forking Debian was, roughly, this: people followed the path of least resistance where systemd was concerned. People who wanted to use systemd simply upgraded their operating systems and started running it. People who did not wish to run systemd probably decided to take one of the following paths:
Any of the above options would be a lot less work than forking a distribution and releasing it to the public. The people who decided they did not like systemd probably either learned to live with it, migrate or simply decided to keep their existing operating system.
- Did not upgrade their distribution
- Upgraded and then removed any unwanted software/services
- Switched to a different operating system or distribution
- Learned to adapt to the new software
I was curious as to just how popular systemd is in the Debian community. Are the people who were upset by systemd still there, are they removing systemd and installing something else? Debian has a service the project calls Popularity Contest. The service, which is opt-in, keeps track of what software people install on their Debian computers. While not everyone submits package statistics to the Debian project, the Popularity Contest data can give us a rough idea of what software Debian users are running. Here is what the init software statistics looked like about a month after Debian 8 "Jessie" was released. The sample size is a total of 52,582 Debian "Jessie" installations.
||% of total installs
As the above chart shows, there is some overlap with people installing multiple init packages. However, for people running Debian "Jessie", it appears though most are content to stay with the default configuration. I was also curious to see what portion of the Debian community was using the latest release of Stable and how many were using something else. It's hard to get an exact breakdown of numbers since Debian basically tracks the popularity of packages in Stable and the popularity across all versions, combined. All versions presumably being Old-Stable, Stable, Testing and Unstable.
According to the numbers I found, 186,461 machines had submitted Popularity Contest data on their packages. 52,582 (28%) of those installations were running Debian Stable. All the other branches of Debian combined made up 133,879 (72%) of the installations. There are probably lots more installations that do not submit package statistics, but this is what we have to work with. Of the 133,879 installations running branches of Debian other than Stable, here is the division of init software.
||% of total installs
As you can see in the above chart, SysV init is still widely popular in branches of Debian other than the latest Stable release. Unfortunately, I was not able to find a breakdown of statistics for each branch of Debian, but I did find this chart (see the bottom of the page) which indicates there are approximately 22,000 installations of Debian 6 "Squeeze" submitting Popularity Contest data, another 94,000 installations of Debian 7 "Wheezy" and about 7,000 computers running either Testing or the Unstable branch. Those numbers combined come up just shy of the 133,879 installations of non-Stable Debian mentioned above.
Since the Popularity Contest numbers suggest there are more than twice the number of installations of Debian 6 and Debian 7 than there are installations of Debian 8 (and newer), that leads me to believe a large portion of the Debian community sees no need to upgrade their operating system. Put another way, systemd is not a concern for a majority of the community, at least not yet, because they are happy to continue running older versions of Debian. In short, there is little need of a fork since most people are already running systems that work for them.
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: 64
- Total downloads completed: 38,693
- Total data uploaded: 7.1TB
|Released Last Week
Kai Hendry has announced the availability of Webconverger 30.0, a major new update of the specialist Linux distribution made for web kiosks. This is the project's first release that is based on Debian GNU/Linux 8.0. From the release announcement: "Webconverger 30 release. As announced on Twitter earlier this month, we achieved a significant technical accomplishment for Debian-based derivatives doing the dreaded dist-upgrade. A seamless upgrade. No config changes. No hoop jumping. No sweat. If you are running the install version that upgrades itself, you will now be based on Debian 'Jessie'. The new major release of the underlying open Debian platform for Firefox that will be the basis for Webconverger for the next 3 years. So we skipped version 29 and 30 marks the fact that we are on Debian 'Jessie' 8.0. Hopefully the only difference you will notice is that this new release should run a bit better on newer hardware. There is an unfortunate caveat that if you are using an i486 kernel-based Webconverger, your upgrade will not go smoothly. We noticed that most people using the i486 kernel were doing so mistakenly and we've asked the very few people that are affected to please simply re-install with any version since 25."
The Fedora Project has launched a new version of the Fedora distribution. The new release, version 22, offers users three separate product lines, each tailored to a specific environment. These three product branches are called Workstation (for desktop use and developers), Server (for traditional server deployments) and Cloud (a minimal image for quick deployments). "We are proud to announce the official release of Fedora 22, the community-driven and community-built operating system now available in Cloud, Server, and Workstation editions. Fedora 22 has built on the foundation we laid with Fedora 21 and the work to create distinct editions of Fedora focused on the desktop, server and cloud. It's not radically different, but there are a fair amount of new features coupled with features we've already introduced but have improved for Fedora 22." The new Workstation release introduces more flexible firewall technology for developers while the Server edition offers XFS as the default file system and a central management console called Cockpit. Fedora Cloud allows administrators to perform atomic upgrades and rollback package updates for the entire system. See the release announcement and release notes for more details.
Fedora 22 -- Running GNOME Shell
(full image size: 1.2MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
GParted Live 0.22.0-2
Curtis Gedak has announced the availability of GParted Live 0.22.0-2, a Debian-based live disc which provides a graphical environment that facilitates disk management. This release offers an updated Linux kernel (4.0.2), improved UEFI boot support and has been tested (and confirmed to work) on a range of Intel, ATI and NVIDIA video cards. "The GParted team is proud to announce a new stable release of GParted Live. This release has been enhanced to enable booting on UEFI computers when the image is directly copied to boot media using the dd command. Items of note include: Uses "isohybrid --uefi" to make dd iso file work for UEFI computers; Based on the Debian Sid repository(as of 2015-May-22; Linux kernel updated to 4.0.2. This release of GParted Live has been successfully tested on VirtualBox, VMware, BIOS, UEFI, and physical computers with AMD/ATI, NVIDIA, and Intel graphics." The release announcement and changelog contain full details.
Alpine Linux 3.2.0
Natanael Copa has announced the release of Alpine Linux 3.2.0, a security-oriented distribution built from scratch and designed primarily for server deployments (and with some desktop packages available from the project's online repositories): "We are pleased to announce Alpine Linux 3.2.0, the first release in the 3.2 stable series. This release is built with musl libc and is not compatible with 2.x and earlier, so special care needs to be taken when upgrading. Please refer to the documentation for information on how to perform the upgrade. Some of the new features are: Linux kernel 3.18; GCC 4.9.2 / musl 1.1.9 + fortify; MariaDB 5.5 replaces MySQL; Postfix 3.0; Lua 5.3 support; Ruby 2.2; Xen 4.5; Samba 4.2; MATE desktop 1.10; LibreOffice 4.4; Qt 5.4; Kodi (previously known as XBMC) 14.2. Some of the desktop applications that got upgraded and are available for 3.2: Xfce 4.12; X.Org Server 1.17; Firefox 38; Evince 3.16; virt-manager 1.2; VLC 2.2; Inkscape 0.91; Audacity 2.1." Here is the full release announcement with commit statistics.
ALT Linux 7.0.5
Andrey Cherepanov has announced the release of ALT Linux 7.0.5, a set of Linux distributions that include the "Centaurus", "KDesktop" and "Schools Suite" variants, as well as "Simply Linux" (for the home/office desktop). "Centaurus", shipping with the MATE 1.6.0 desktop environment, is the project's default edition. From the release announcement: "ALT Linux Ltd announces the availability of updated Seventh Platform distribution releases. Changes within this release: updated software, closing known vulnerabilities as of 2015-05-22; updated time zones; System Control Center is now able to join Active Directory; live CDs gained RW partition support during UEFI boot as well; online repositories will always be configured, not just when found; Linux kernel 3.14.41, MESA 10.0.5, Firefox 31.6.0." ALT Linux 7.0.5 is available as a set of installation or live DVD images, supporting Russian (default), English and several other languages.
IPFire 2.17 Core Update 90
The IPFire team has announced the release of IPFire 2.17 Core Update 90. The new release offers a number of security enhancements, including the use of GeoIP filtering and the disabling of vulnerable security protocols. The project's kernel and system services have also been updated and patched against known vulnerabilities. "Attackers originate from all sorts of places in the world. Often huge networks of bots scan the entire Internet for services that are publicly accessible and possible to exploit. With GeoIP-based blocking it is possible to mitigate many of those scans to take off the load of the firewall engine and to secure those publicly accessible services. With GeoIP-based firewall rules it is possible to filter incoming and outgoing traffic related on their source or desired destination countries." Further details are available in the project's release announcement.
Tiny Core Linux 6.3
Only three weeks have passed since the 6.2 version, but the developers of Tiny Core Linux have released another update - Tiny Core Linux 6.3, the latest stable build of the minimalist Linux distribution built from scratch: "Team Tiny Core is proud to announce the release of Tiny Core Linux 6.3. Changelog for 6.3: tce-load - exit if fromwhere doesn't exist; tc-config - nfs4 patch from gerald_clark; tce-load - separate the listing and handling loops, patch from aswjh; tce-audit - fix adding missing extensions to tce_lst; tce-setup - move extension loop to tce-load, 4% speedup in CorePlus tce-setup time from aswjh; tce-load - simplification by aswjh; tce-load - simplify app_exists by aswjh; tce-load - the -t TCEDIR patch from aswjh. Note also that Xvesa/Xfbdev included in TinyCore and CorePlus and the Xfbdev in TinyCorePure64 have been updated to the latest repository version." Here is the brief release announcement.
Ronald Ropp has announced the release of a new version of wattOS Linux. The wattOS project develops a lightweight distribution, based on Ubuntu, which attempts to be energy efficient while providing users with a responsive desktop interface. The new version of wattOS, called Release 9, is available in two editions, LXDE and Microwatt. "The wattOS team is pleased to announce the release of the newest version of wattOS - Release 9 - (also known as R9). We have made the switch back to Ubuntu as the upstream distro and built the latest version from 14.04 LTS for long term support and stability. We have simplified things this time around with wattOS and are only releasing two types of desktops. Previously having the extra desktop versions created additional work. This time we are more focused and have released only two desktop versions. The LXDE version will look very familiar to most people who have used wattOS and LXDE, but the Microwatt version is much different in that it is based on i3 window manager. We have added some additional resources and information about this in the forum and the new wiki being built out. Additionally there is a 20 minute video we have put together outlining the basics of working with i3 and wattOS." Details on wattOS R9 can be found on the project's front page and in the release notes.
wattOS R9 -- Running the LXDE interface
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Peppermint OS Six
Mark Greaves, lead developer of the Peppermint OS distribution, has announced a new release of the Ubuntu-based distribution. Peppermint OS Six offers users an updated Linux kernel (version 3.16), the VLC multimedia player and the Nemo file manager. "Peppermint is excited to announce the launch of our latest operating system Peppermint Six in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions. The downloads are live now via our standard download links and are also available for purchase on pre-installed LiveUSB sticks from our shop. Breaking from our usual strategy of annually basing on Ubuntu '.04' releases, Peppermint Six stays with the 14.04 code base but moves to the 3.16 kernel and updated graphics stack via the LTS enablement stack. Other major changes include moving to the Nemo file manager with a new wallpaper manager, VLC as the new `one app to play them all' media player, and changes to the terminal, power-manager, search tool, and screenlock. Amongst a plethora of other smaller changes and additions, you'll find our new gtk/Xfwm4 theme 'Peppermix', and as requested by our users the addition of a brand new dark theme 'Peppermix-Dark'. Again due to user feedback update-manager has been replaced with MintUpdate but with the same settings as update-manager, so the bottom panel update shield makes a comeback. Peppermint continues to be a light, nimble, and very customizable OS that makes minimal software choices for you, using web apps wherever possible out of the box but in no way limiting your ability to install software locally like any other distro." More information is available in the release announcement and in the project's release notes.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Fixed releases vs rolling releases
Some of us like to keep up with the latest open source software available. Often the best way to get a steady flow of new software is by running a rolling release distribution. Rolling releases are designed to be installed once and upgraded perpetually, never becoming obsolete. Other people might prefer to install fresh images every six months or so. Projects such as Ubuntu and Fedora offer users stable, yet modern installation images every six months. However, there are also those of us who like to stick with tried and true software, older, conservative distributions that have earned reputations for stability. In this week's poll we would like to know which approach you prefer? Do you like to ride the cutting edge, update frequently or stick with more conservative update plans? Perhaps you take one approach for your desktop machine and another for your servers? Let us know which type of distribution (rolling, fixed or semi-rolling) you prefer or chime in with your thoughts in the comments section.
You can see the results of last week's poll on desktop environments here.
April 2015 DistroWatch.com donation: Kodi
We are pleased to announce the recipient of the April 2015 DistroWatch.com donation is Kodi (formerly XBMC). The project receives US$300.00 in cash.
The Kodi project provides users with an open source, cross-platform multimedia centre. "Kodi™ (formerly known as XBMC™) is an award-winning free and open source (GPL) software media centre for playing videos, music, pictures, games, and more. Kodi runs on Linux, OS X, Windows, iOS, and Android, featuring a 10-foot user interface for use with televisions and remote controls. It allows users to play and view most videos, music, podcasts, and other digital media files from local and network storage media and the Internet."
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Those readers who wish to contribute towards these donations, please use our advertising page to make a payment (PayPal, credit cards, Yandex Money and crypto currencies are accepted). Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$43,525 to various open-source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NDISwrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300), GCompris ($352), Xiph.org ($250), Clonezilla ($250), Debian Multimedia ($280), Geany ($300), Mageia ($470), gtkpod ($300)
- 2011: CGSecurity ($300), OpenShot ($300), Imagination ($250), Calibre ($300), RIPLinuX ($300), Midori ($310), vsftpd ($300), OpenShot ($350), Trinity Desktop Environment ($300), LibreCAD ($300), LiVES ($300), Transmission ($250)
- 2012: GnuPG ($350), ImageMagick ($350), GNU ddrescue ($350), Slackware Linux ($500), MATE ($250), LibreCAD ($250), BleachBit ($350), cherrytree ($260), Zim ($335), nginx ($250), LFTP ($250), Remastersys ($300)
- 2013: MariaDB ($300), Linux From Scratch ($350), GhostBSD ($340), DHCP ($300), DOSBox ($250), awesome ($300), DVDStyler ($280), Tor ($350), Tiny Tiny RSS ($350), FreeType ($300), GNU Octave ($300), Linux Voice ($510)
- 2014: QupZilla ($250), Pitivi ($370), MediaGoblin ($350), TrueCrypt ($300), Krita ($340), SME Server ($350), OpenStreetMap ($350), iTALC ($350), KDE ($400), The Document Foundation ($400), Tails ($350)
- 2015: AWStats ($300), Haiku ($300), Xiph.Org ($300), GIMP ($350), Kodi ($300)
* * * * *
Distributions added to waiting list
- Beastix. Beastix is a GNU/Linux operating system that is designed to act like a BSD operating system. Beastix ships with its source code installed on the operating system for easy access and modification.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 8 June 2015. To contact the authors please send email to:
- Robert Storey (feature story)
- 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 • WattOS (by Leonard Ashley on 2015-06-01 00:35:25 GMT from North America) |
WattOS has been my long running favorite LXDE. Sorry to see an absolutely one of the best LXDE distros return to ubuntu, but it was easy to remove and replace with something else. I don't do ubuntu. Sad to see an excellent distro disappear.
2 • Dark Themes (by brad on 2015-06-01 00:51:57 GMT from North America)
"[...]and as requested by our users the addition of a brand new dark theme 'Peppermix-Dark'.[...]"
"Dark Themes" seem to be wildly popular; the majority of user-contributed themes in Linux Mint and Kubuntu, for instance, seem to be "dark". Why? Does it have something to do with the after-hours "flavor" of Linux in general?
For my part, I prefer to use brightly-colored "light" themes - perhaps because I'm a "morning person".
3 • How-to install Lumina desktop on Debian (by snowdust on 2015-06-01 01:15:00 GMT from Planet Mars)
The subject line says it all. Can someone point me to links on how to install Lumina on Debian? Thanks.
4 • Arch all the way.. (by Brad on 2015-06-01 01:20:29 GMT from North America)
I've run the gambit all the way through distro hopping. I've tried various distros, philosophies, etc for almost 10 years.. and since using Arch about 5 years ago, I've been using Arch ever since & never looked back.
I've had some issues early on, and went back to the usual suspects; Mint, Ubuntu, PcLinuxOs, etc.. but always found my way to Arch.
I do only wish their community was more welcoming.. but like the song says; "you can't always get what you want.."
That all being typed to say.. if Arch ever disbands, discontinues, etc.. I'd probably go back to Mint/Ubuntu or one of the few others that just "works" out of the box.
5 • Polls (by Teresa e Junior on 2015-06-01 01:26:04 GMT from Planet Mars)
A small tip: show last week Poll's results together with the current!
6 • Last weeks opinion poll (by Bob on 2015-06-01 01:34:06 GMT from North America)
I was expecting to see a final tally of last weeks new Opinion Poll feature on this weeks DW Weekly.
7 • Release poll (by cykodrone on 2015-06-01 01:39:42 GMT from North America)
PCLinuxOS is also a rolling release but was not mentioned beside Arch, for this reason, I did not vote.
8 • Lumina and polls (by Jesse on 2015-06-01 01:45:07 GMT from North America)
@3: This is a question better posted on the Lumina blog post or the PC-BSD forum. However, the short answer is: download the Lumina source code, install all the Debian packages listed in the dependency file in the Lumina source directory, run "qmake" and then run "make install". That's all that should be required to install Lumina on a Debian Jessie box.
@5,6: If you want the results from last week's poll you can go back to last week's issue of DWW and click the "see results" button. All issues are archived in the sidebar with the most recent at the top.
9 • very good DWW issue (by SwampRabbit on 2015-06-01 01:48:34 GMT from North America)
This is one of the best issues of DWW I have seen in a while.
Manjaro OpenRC is a very good project and looked at using it.
But I like a little more control, so I strictly switched my servers, desktops, and HTPCs to Funtoo from Debian and Mint. Funtoo, which also uses OpenRC, is a rolling distro as well. It allows me to compile everything I need without systemd. Had to vote "other" this week.
10 • Release Poll (by Ed on 2015-06-01 01:54:03 GMT from North America)
I like to have a fixed release, that has the option to be full rolling, like Slackware is.
11 • openSUSE? (by Rajesh Ganesan on 2015-06-01 02:42:49 GMT from Asia)
How about openSUSE? You can have Rapid Fixed Release or you may choose Rolling one too? Of course, you can just switch back to either, with few clicks ;)
However, as I understand, future seems uncertain (Rapid or Slow FR) if the same is rebased upon SLE core ... :(
12 • Fixed vs rolling releases (by Thomas Mueller on 2015-06-01 03:32:00 GMT from North America)
I interpret the distros shown in parentheses in this poll are intended as examples, thus voting for rolling release does not mean specifically voting for Arch Linux. I run NetBSD-current and FreeBSD-current which both act as rolling releases; I update from source. Slackware is decidedly binary-oriented, but running the current version and updating from packages turns it effectively into a rolling release.
13 • Dark Theme (by Anna Merikin on 2015-06-01 03:44:46 GMT from Planet Mars)
#3: A dark theme is easier on (my) eyes; the bright window in focus has no other bright distractions on other parts of the desktop. I edit photos and watch videos a lot, but even for web surfing (reading) I find the relative darkness helps me concentrate on the work at hand, rather than on titlebar actions.
Also, with several windows open and some rolled up, white type on a dark titlebar is easier to read than the reverse; the type seems to be washed away by a bright background.
14 • Fixed vs rolling releases (by rey on 2015-06-01 03:51:58 GMT from North America)
I like the idea of a rolling release. Every 6 mos. installing gets tedious after a while (used to use Fedora)
A better film analogy for systemD than "Psycho" is "The Thing" from 1982 ;-)
15 • Fixed vs. rolling release (by Ronald Buckman on 2015-06-01 04:04:19 GMT from North America)
As, someone who has worked with all of the listed kinds, I like the slow fixed release best. I am using Ubuntu 12.04 (Christian Edition). The software is very stable and the user could go months away from the computer without updating and have almost no risk of breakage. It's true I can't run some of the newest software. But the latest, Pale Moon browser, Thunderbird email client and Xiphos runs well.
16 • Assorted (by linuxista on 2015-06-01 05:24:34 GMT from North America)
@12 Thank you for explaining. Maybe Jesse needs to put (e.g. Arch) to break through the distro goggles.
@15 When one installs an ISO of a coummunity release of Manjaro, for example, sometimes it can be 9 months or a year old. Then, obviously, you have to update it. Breakage has never been a problem for me with Arch or Manjaro even waiting for months between upgrades. I don't know where that talking point comes from, but personally I feel far, far safer updating a 6 month old Arch or Manjaro system than doing a release upgrade with Ubuntu or Debian.
@Jesse - You might want to install Pamac instead of Octopi on an Xfce desktop. Pamac is gtk (and just as good if not better) whereas Octopi is Qt. Also you might wish to change the line in /etc/yaourtrc to NOCOFIRM=1 to avoid all the questions when installing from AUR. You can also add a bash alias like: alias autyao='yaourt -Sua --noconfirm' to update all your AUR packages.
17 • This week's review (by EarlyBird on 2015-06-01 05:32:43 GMT from North America)
Outstanding review this week!
In the Systemd discussion, the photograph is very familiar, but just drawing a blank on it. Maybe from a scene in an Alfred Hitchcok movie? (Murphy's law: It will probably magically appear in my memory circuits only AFTER I hit the "Submit comment" button....)
Re systemd and burying the hatchet, but not in someone's skull: After much careful thought (so as not to offend anyone here), I assume this to suggest that the lesson the here is that if another great and overpowering idea like systemd ever rears its ugly head again, we apply the hatchet a little lower down to keep the idea from repeating this sort of fiasco. Before getting upset, consider the "hatchet" scenario as "The Patriot Act" (well intentioned, but overbearing) with some agreed upon oversight.
To be painfully certain not to offend, another analogy would be industrial; in high-tech industry, an industry group like the IEEE accepts and reviews proposals for new standards before they are unleashed on the rest of us. A similar process exits for kernel developers; not sure what process exists to reign in something like systemd that may arise in the future.
The commandline tips was REALLY helpful. Of the 7 line shown in the example, I understand the last 5 lines okay, but the first two lines:
Not clear on that. Does the PS1 refer to the keyboard input and exporting that to the path?
18 • pamac vs. octopi (by linuxista on 2015-06-01 05:46:56 GMT from North America)
This is a youtube video about a year old comparing the GUIs. They've both been improved, but it has some decent tips at the end re the terminal as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qv_xORkHE8M
19 • Rolling releases (by speedytux on 2015-06-01 06:57:27 GMT from Europe)
The full rolling release is the best approach for a desktop oriented distribution only if it is assembled like Arch, keeping things simple. If a distribution add complexity to the whole project, like a lot of personalization, the difficulty to maintain a distribution grow. Manjaro make a good job, like OpenSuse Tumbleweed, but this imply a lot of work to test and refine, to keep the desktop functionality.
20 • @17 - PS1 (by Robert_Storey on 2015-06-01 07:02:24 GMT from Asia)
PS1 is the primary Bash prompt variable. I find it useful to customize the prompt to show me what directory I'm in, as well as informing me of the user name (because you might be root if you used the su command and forgot to exit, setting the stage for accidentally deleting a system file).
You can make the prompt very fancy, but my main interest is being practical. I just want to make sure that I delete or rename the correct file, or move it to the right location. I also want to make sure I don't clobber a file with the cat command, which in the past I've accidentally done.
Here is a good little primer about customizing the prompt variables:
21 • @17 - Hitchcock (by Robert_Storey on 2015-06-01 07:08:13 GMT from Asia)
Sorry Earlybird, I hit the "submit" button too soon. You are right, that's the famous shower scene from Hitchcock's movie "Psycho."
22 • light themes (by any on 2015-06-01 07:49:45 GMT from Europe)
@2 Interesting ... I describe myself as a "early bird" or "morning person" too and I like the light themes too.
23 • " Dark Themes " (by Sondar on 2015-06-01 08:13:33 GMT from Europe)
In the dark (pun) ages, it was a very good idea to have most of the crt pixels switched off as much as possible for three reasons: power saving, gun cathode saving, eyesight saving. All those considerations had solid technical rigour, although the last mentioned was often contentious amongst those not familiar with opthalmy considerations.
For modern times, lcd screens had cold cathode lighting with severely short lifetimes and reliability issues, in many cases; these have/are being phased out. Led lighting, by contrast (pun again) is measured in 10's of thousands of hours lifetime, notwithstanding reductions due to switching - a factor often overlooked by users of electronic devices.
Ah ha! So power saving, hardware lifetime extension and eyesight considerations still pertain! Surprise, surprise.
All except the financially overendowed, go-faster kiddies with youthful eyesight might do well to maintain a black wallpaper and a black screensaver.
24 • Mangiamo_Manjaro_a_way_with_words_and_away_with_egos (by k on 2015-06-01 08:20:35 GMT from Europe)
Quite agree with SwampRabbit's comment (#9), very informative and useful issue of weekly, and we that have the opportunity, should at least "taste" Manjaro OpenRC -- thank you for the link to variety of downloads too, Robert --. As for systemd versus the others Jesse reviewed, I am not sure I can tell the difference. I know Arch uses systemd: "Arch Linux only has official support for systemd", and I suppose Tails -- based on Debian stable -- must too. Thing is that many many prospective IT and internet users DO NOT HAVE THE HARDWARE, MUCH LESS THE FREEDOM, to choose and use. Getting Tails on a uSD or USB clip might be the only way for them to survive and thrive, and believe it, we need them (e.g. Edward Joseph Snowden) to thrive. So, please mangia(!) away the egos too.
25 • Multiple (by Chris on 2015-06-01 09:32:48 GMT from North America)
Manjaro Review: Best review I've seen in a long time! Instead of the typical 'here is how the installer worked, here is the default DE and apps (insert subjective opinions), virtual machine/bare metal, etc.', this was a genuine 'here is how I installed it and tweaked it to my liking...' Bravo! (And I'm not even an Arch or Manjaro user.)
Polls: First, I would have liked to have seen a final tally for the previous poll. While I can go back and look, I am sure others will continue to vote thereby causing a moving target.
Second, on this weeks poll, I really want to be able to choose a 'Pure Rolling Release' (install, periodically update, keep working), but I have never found one YET that just isn't too much work to keep updated (research updates for issues, update, fix issues, and then get back to work). I use my PCs to do work, not work on my PCs; therefore, until there is a rock stable rolling release distro, I have to go with 'Slow Fixed Release' distros. 'Fast Fixed Release' are the worst IMO because one spends more time installing and tweaking, only to have to do so again in the near future.
Last, it is obvious that the distro's shown in this weeks poll are examples. Did anyone expect the DW team to list all 280 active distros? BTW, for those who have commented that they do not wish to participate in this weeks poll because their distro of choice is not used as an example, I recommend they send an open source photograph of themself to thesaurus.com for inclusion under 'Fanboi'.
Ubuntu CC/Kubuntu KC Announcement: Is anyone really shocked that Mark Shuttleworth is using his puppet communities to do his bidding behind closed doors?
26 • DW being great, Mandriva (by Johannes on 2015-06-01 09:57:43 GMT from Europe)
I agree with some comments that this DWW issue is outstanding. Well, it (almost) always is :-) - I have been reading DW for many, many years, keep on with the good work!
Sad new to see Mandriva SA (Corporation) disappear. As Mandrake founder says, there were not maintaining a Linux distributions anymore - read Gael Duval's comment here:
OpenMandriva is still alive.
27 • Polls (by Jesse on 2015-06-01 11:56:02 GMT from North America)
@25: >> "Polls: First, I would have liked to have seen a final tally for the previous poll. While I can go back and look, I am sure others will continue to vote thereby causing a moving target."
The poll from last week concerning desktop environments has been closed. No more votes will be coming in to alter the results. I have added a link in this week's poll to the results from last week, making the results easier to access.
28 • @25, Where did you read that? (by Garon on 2015-06-01 12:03:27 GMT from North America)
"Ubuntu CC/Kubuntu KC Announcement: Is anyone really shocked that Mark Shuttleworth is using his puppet communities to do his bidding behind closed doors?"
If you read the blog post and also the comments I don't really see how you can come to that conclusion. There is still a lot we don't know about the whole ordeal. The best and smartest thing to do, if we are interested, is to wait till the facts are out and then have an opinion. If not interested then we go on about our merry way.
29 • Surveys, reviews, comments. Standards, community. (by Greg Zeng on 2015-06-01 13:52:51 GMT from Oceania)
Perhaps not known to many, this discussion area is affected by the industry features. There are isolated individuals & communities, progressing to varying types of integration into larger groups. Awareness of these formal & informal groups depends on seniority education of the observers.
Industry experts know about the IEEE, ISO, & the many commttees creating our shared realities. We senior staff members ("politicians" trying to represent the "target-population") are often claimed to be out of touch with the "rank & file" foot-soldiers, etc. The old-timers in the Linux world continue dreaming of the elite one-per-centers, valueing only the strict alpha-numerics of CLI, instead of the analog-GUI interfaces of the senior managers.
Known to also be required by the seniors however, are the $$$, commercial links, sponsorships, diplomacies, pilot-tests (alpha releases), commercial-in-confidences, etc.
Non-seniors in the many disorganized populations distrust this fuzzy, indecisive, analog world of senior management. Hence the hostilities to System-D, Canonical, closed-source and GUI. In one of my junior roles in an ISO committee, I must apologize for the failures of our committee. Decades later now, we can see the failings of our management "work".
Management failures are due to the management know-how in place, at the time the decisions are being made. This HRM skill is rare and expensive, and obviously lacking. This skill has always been lacking in the life of the species. Like every community, we have individual & grouped saboteurs, protesters, and crazies. It'd be interesting to see a academic thesis on this particular micro-community as well, soon, rather than in 30 years time.
30 • Rolling release (by Bill on 2015-06-01 13:59:54 GMT from North America)
Tried Manjaro 12.8 last week. Thought it was good enough to move to for my every-day computing. However, I couldn't get my HP wireless printer to install, even though it was recognized using HP-setup.I like the idea of rolling release, perhaps Debian will do a distro in this manner?
31 • CoC/KC tension (by Niko Z. on 2015-06-01 14:02:19 GMT from Asia)
As a user of both KDE and Unity based Ubuntu I feel this is a very sad turn of events. Any community will have it's share of conflicts and disagreements but one gets a feeling this could have been handled with greater respect for a number of people contributing to both projects. This way it hurts Ubuntu community just as much as it does Kubuntu, I am not sure if people in charge realize that.
32 • Follow-Up (by Chris on 2015-06-01 14:06:38 GMT from North America)
@27 Jesse, good to know. Thank you. Note: While I prefer what you have done, if left active, it could be funny to view it in a few years and see how any straggling votes impact the results, especially if some new wonder-DE were to emerge and dominate the market, making 'Other' the dominate category. But I have an odd sence of humor...
@28 Not intending to troll, but I knew when I threw that last point in my post someone would call me out on it. After re-reviewing the published communications and CoC, I believe there are ample facts to support my statement. Summarised, Mark Shuttleworth's status and control over the CC and obvious non-transparancy CoC violations by the CC in its demotion of elected KC leader Jonathan Riddell. However, out of respect for DW and its readers, I will drop the subject to promote harmony in this forum.
33 • Desktop or Server (by Nate on 2015-06-01 14:37:40 GMT from North America)
I say desktops should be semi-rolling to full-rolling, for great features and latest software and updates. Who wants to wait for new software? But servers should be more fixed, for customer interruption reasons... as long as security patches are right away.
34 • one systemd-free user (by dogma on 2015-06-01 14:41:23 GMT from North America)
I, for one, have combined 1. staying on debian 7 with 2. trying openbsd. And I've enjoyed openbsd pretty well so far./
35 • Pool (by Black_Codec on 2015-06-01 14:42:54 GMT from Europe)
For personal pc/notebook, i prefer a rolling distribution, i use arch simply because its more stable and updated then others.
For workstation, i prefer a semi LTS solution (like ubuntu, debian and others with some repository, possibily internal, with update applications).
For server, i use a semi rolling release in some solution and LTS in others, for example, the frontend server usually are rolling release, because usually the bug are more frequently in older release then new. In backend server i like the stability so i prefer a very long LTS like rh if possibile or the equivalent centos.
36 • Dark Themes? Nope... (by joncr on 2015-06-01 15:27:01 GMT from North America)
My guess is that we see a lot of dark themes because many people without design experience or expertise are impressed by the initial impact of all that darkness. It looks cool and shiny, at first.
So, people who probably could not turn out a credible theme otherwise can reverse some colors.
Few, if any, I've seen correctly handle theming of individual applications. That's particularly so for browsers and the display of pages, almost all of which look like rubbish in a dark theme.
If white-on-black was preferrable to black-on-white, we would have been using it in print for the last half-millenia.
37 • Was Riddell Really an Elected Leader? (by joncr on 2015-06-01 15:35:52 GMT from North America)
My understanding is that Riddell was not "elected" to lead Kubuntu. He's simply the de facto honcho and spokesperson.
I dunnno what really transpired, I haven't bother ro read all the leaks because they've all been pushed out by one side or another to support their agenda.
As a user, I don't care who is right or wrong, if anyone is. I judge Canonical by the software it delivers to me, not by the social conventions of the people it employs and the people who consider themselves part of the "community". Canonical is a software provider, nogt agent of social change.
That said, it seems to me that the folks who govern Canonical have a perfect right to decide who they will deal with. The entire flap should have been kept private and out of the public eye.
38 • Ubuntu CC/Kubuntu KC Announcement (by 367214 on 2015-06-01 16:20:52 GMT from North America)
Was out of touch for a while, missed this story. Link(s) please?
39 • (K)ubuntu spat (by excollier on 2015-06-01 16:28:22 GMT from Europe)
@38 Here you go:
40 • a (by a on 2015-06-01 18:09:45 GMT from Europe)
Wow, we have a trio of stupid commenters this week. I’m not going to reply to them, so if you’re listed below be sure that I was not talking about you :).
@Robert, thanks for the Manjaro OpenRC review. I’m surprised you did not mention any issue while updating, or how to select the correct packages (like "cups-openrc" instead of "cups"). Last time I checked there was semi-frequent breaking updates and manual fixes to be applied, and you had to check the manjaro-openrc forum to know how to proceed.
@2, I wish dark themes were popular. There are a thousand white themes (that I can’t stand and mostly look the same) and just one or two decent dark Gtk themes (my favourite is a modified version of Drakfire Black). Xubuntu doesn’t even ship a single dark theme out of the box. Dark themes generally look much better than white themes, the colours are more vivid and they don’t hurt the eyes.
@16, in my (limited) experience with Manjaro-OpenRC, I found Pamac to be mostly broken and unusable, while Octopi worked perfectly.
About the poll, I voted "semi-rolling" even though I have little experience with that (and none with Chakra), but I believe that Manjaro and Funtoo both qualify as semi-rolling since they don’t release updated packages as fast as Arch. That should leave a bit more time to make sure the packages are stable and limit the time spent on updates by the user.
41 • CoC / KC conflict (by FrankaMechTLieu on 2015-06-01 18:16:20 GMT from Asia)
Not one who actually involve in the daily running of things I sincerely think we should treat this matter with some due respect. FOA, As stated by CoC the decision was based on ( historical ) interaction between Mr. Riddell and the CoC in large .. so while I can see that officially CoC might have the procedure to it. The way they did it is pretty questionable in the Open Source Community's POV. Their code of conduct require decision to be made but that also require those decision to be made with reasoning lay out in transparency so the community can scrutinize and safeguard against any erroneous doing. Well well what we have is a statement that just state the situation that lead to the decision to remove the person but not THE reason. And then secondly since the other members aka CoC itself is the party involved it raise a question of fairness as clearly they might be biased ( since they were the other side of the stated situation of conflicts ) in short there is a conflict of interest there .. And that lead to a rather in depth problem of this running Council ( be it the CoC or the sub council ) that is while they are tasked with running the project, but who is there to tasked with overseeing these councils from a more wider perspective.
That is why the transparency part is important .. so far we the wider open source community have no idea what's behind all these and we dearly do not need to know. BUT, and a big but, the Kubuntu community and the Ubuntu community as well as the larger Ubuntu family under CoC need to know and CoC should and need to explain to them why this decision is made and how it come to be made .. as pertain to their guideline of transparency .. which so far they have not been able to maintain in this matter. The stated reason is no more than a polite way of saying " this guy bugs us so we do not want him here " well .. might be good enough a reason, might be not, but they must answer to the Ubuntu/Kubuntu community. Which CoC simply fails to do
42 • Ubuntu CC/Kubuntu KC Announcement (by 367214 on 2015-06-01 18:36:53 GMT from North America)
@excollier - thank you for the link.
So glad I quit using Ubuntu long ago. One of the better decisions in my life.
43 • Poll... (by Vukota on 2015-06-01 18:44:20 GMT from Europe)
Rapid releases are nice thing to have everything up to date, but as many noted, it is too time consuming to fix things when they break, and with rolling releases things HAS to break sooner or later, when the change is too big to go smooth. With fixed releases you delay the inevitable moment until you are ready (have time to deal with it).
It is kind of a life question/preference. Do you like to live a life on an edge? Given that answers percentage is half/half, I would say that people go from living the life on an edge to more quite life at some point.
44 • Mandriva (by Charles Burge on 2015-06-01 19:44:24 GMT from North America)
It's bittersweet to read about the impending death of Mandriva. I got my Linux start with Mandrake 7 right around the turn of the millennium. Later, I kept a http and SMB server running in my home for several years using Mandrake 10.1. Sadly, I became disappointed with their subsequent releases, and moved on to other distros (eventually I settled on Arch as my favorite).
I had read a few years ago that most of the original developers went over to the Mageia project, so I have to say that the death of Mandriva really isn't much of a surprise. In a sense, it seems quite natural. I had tried Mageia, and even though I haven't been using it, I wish the project well.
One thing I'll say about Mandrake/Mandriva/Mageia - their installer is the best I've ever seen, particularly the disk partitioning tool. I wish more distros would model their installer after Mandriva's.
45 • (K)ubuntu Controversy... (by frodopogo on 2015-06-01 20:05:23 GMT from North America)
It's way more than a "spat".
After reading various links and blogs, I've come to the conclusion that the possible implications of this are huge.
There is a fault line running through the Linux World. On one hand you have voluntary communities of like minded people, sharing a common vision, and democratic in nature, with some anarchic tendencies. The unifying factor is a love of knowledge, in this case the science of computing. Leadership is often informal, but it can be abrasive.... Linus Torvalds of course is the prime example. Someone has to point out flaws in the code and the project, and this kind of leader is usually well equipped to do so.... except that they often lack tact and diplomacy skills. Having read his personal blog, Riddell seems to be this kind of leader. He's a "mover and a shaker", who likes to ask hard questions.
On the other hand you have corporations with "top-down" leadership, like Red Hat Enterprises and Canonical. They are for profit of course, but they have deep pockets, and the one-man leadership CAN allow them to make some bold decisions that would be much harder for a community to make.... but those decisions are a gamble... great if the leader is correctly reading the situation, disastrous if he doesn't.
Of course, Mark Shuttleworth is this kind of leader. Unity is this kind of bold gamble.
Both communities and corporations have made contributions to the world of Linux... the communities are centers of creativity, the corporations take the ideas that the communities create, and make them polished and practical. Some things get done better on the whole with deep corporate pockets to fund them. But corporations also have a history of terminating projects when it suits them, but with Linux, those projects don't STAY terminated...they get forked! Yet the corporate contributions live on in the fork.
The challenge is that community editions of corporate software have this cultural fault line running in between the corporation (in this case Ubuntu) and the community (in this case Kubuntu). It was fascinating to me how the Community Committee lined up unanimously behind Shuttleworth, and the Kubuntu Community backed Ridell. Having Shuttleworth and other Ubuntu employees on the CC, they seem to share the corporate culture where the way of dealing with such conflicts is termination aka "firing". In the corporate mindset, there is nothing wrong with the way the problem was dealt with.
The Kubuntu Community seems to share Ridell's mindset, and in their culture, Ridell behaved just the way a community leader is supposed to behave.
The problem is that when you have collaboration between contrasting cultures, you need people with diplomatic skills who understand the ways of both cultures and can show some respect. People with programming skills who also have diplomatic skills seem to be in short supply! The Community Committee, being the interface between a corporation and community projects SHOULD, if it's going to work, be filled with people that have a gift for diplomacy. Having the head of the corporation ON the committee doesn't seem to lend itself to that at all. And Ridell as I said before, seems to be a "mover and a shaker", who likes to "fight city hall". Irresistable force meets immovable object.
Because the Kubuntu Community is made up of volunteers, this greatly imperils the status quo of Kubuntu... since they are volunteers, their morale is EVERYTHING.
They may leave as individuals (Kitterman seems to be heading that way) or the whole community, or at least the creative core of it might split a la Mageia (Karch? Kebian?). But many of those same developers are ALSO Debian developers.... they are upstream from Ubuntu AS WELL as downstream from it. How is that going to work? It should be interesting to find out. It also may affect the morale of other community editions, if they see they would be treated in the same way by Ubuntu.
This also has the potential to affect other downstream projects like Linux Mint. However, since I am a Mint user, I'm REALLY glad Mint has a Debian edition!
It is possible that as time goes on, that Mark Shuttleworth is becoming more of a visionary but autocratic leader on the order of Steve Jobs. I think Jobs was wise in basing Apple's OS on Unix, because then Apple could just take the code and run with it into their walled garden. He certainly didn't have the diplomatic skills to deal with Linux community culture. It probably saved a lot of grief and conflict.
46 • Debian and systemd (by solt87 on 2015-06-01 20:14:43 GMT from Europe)
I'm among those who switched to Debian 8 but got rid of systemd. It took me a while to find a flawless solution (i.e. to get rid of systemd *and* retain desktop functionality), but it worked in the end:
47 • rolling v. not-rolling (by jsmith on 2015-06-01 20:26:42 GMT from North America)
It is incorrect to think that a rolling release is "rapid" or somewhow unstable. PCLinuxOS, for example, is sedate and easy to maintain -- even for a beginner. And, Gentoo is as placid or raucous as you want it to be. I like fixed releases too, but, this old debate about whether fixed is better than rolling can get tiresome.
48 • Dark themes (by Fairly Reticent on 2015-06-01 20:41:40 GMT from North America)
"If white-on-black was preferable to black-on-white, we would have been using it in print for the last half-millenia". Only if it were easier to produce black paper and opaque white ink; difficulty drove cost drove preference. Consider how quickly color became popular.
I have yet to see competitive e-paper; I use a light-emitting device instead, as I suggest most people do, for electronic display.
As we learn more about vision and health, tools like RedShift (and RedShiftGUI) emerge, easing the stress on our nervous systems - but few themes handle the reduction of blue-spectrum (green/blue/purple/white) well.
49 • Different Review Format (by Will B on 2015-06-01 21:14:49 GMT from North America)
I did not like the new format / style of the primary review (Manjaro, in this case). There's funny or witty, and then there's senseless blabber. I like Jesse's type of review better.
As far as the opinion poll, I like 'safe' rolling releases and also partial rolling releases. I don't like using Python 2.6.6 or Thunar 1.2.3 for four years until the next release. :-P
50 • K/Ubuntu controversy (by Antony on 2015-06-01 21:47:02 GMT from Europe)
After spending several hours reading/following this story since this morning, I am just shaking my head in disbelief. I have never been anti-ubuntu - but I have just now formatted my Ubuntu partition and I don't think I would feel comfortable about ever using it again.
Pretty distasteful stuff I think. I feel really sorry for Jonathon and the KCC and Kubuntu itself.
51 • pamac vs. octopi (by linuxista on 2015-06-01 21:54:17 GMT from North America)
@40 re stupid comments
How ironic calling other people's comments "stupid" when by your own admission you "limited experience" on the subject? I've used and currently use Pamac and Octopi *extensively* and neither are buggy. That being said Pamac is a smoother, more attractive and more functional app overall.
52 • @51 (by a on 2015-06-01 22:17:45 GMT from Europe)
Looks like I know what I’m talking about, but you don’t.
53 • witty reviews (by jsmith on 2015-06-01 22:32:07 GMT from North America)
An image of Janet Leigh screaming in the shower is good for clicks but may trivialize some readers' opinions --either for or against -- the adoption of systemd as the prominent init system in use now.
I have no problems with Manjaro -- but why would anyone take a superb distribution like Arch -- which, by the way, underwent its own considerable controveries when it adopted systemd -- and reverse engineer it to OpenRC? Just bail out and use something else to run your machine.
I went through the Arch transition to systemd, and now, I guess, I've been through the Debian transition. Both distributions run well with their new systemd in place.
Having said that, I still have no inclination to use systemd in my Gentoo set ups. I still run Slackware with all kinds of inittab and rc.d edits, and the sun still rises in the east. It's fun and therapeutic to fix up your old car -- but that doesn't make it a new car. Approaches to initializing a Linux system will come and go. No need to get worked up over it.
54 • @52 (by linuxista on 2015-06-01 23:50:38 GMT from North America)
The problem has to do with the new and fringe implementation of OpenRC, not with Pamac, per se. When that gets worked out, Pamac is the superior choice for an Xfce desktop. It works very well with mainstream Arch and Manjaro as I have stated. In any case, thanks, a, for bringing a whole perspective and attitude to the issue. :-)
55 • @40 comments? (by foo2foo on 2015-06-02 00:05:57 GMT from North America)
@40 It wasn't a smart comment to call Funtoo a semi-rolling distro which releases updates slower than Arch. In fact your whole post shows how little you know.
Funtoo is fully rolling, pulls updates from Gentoo portage every 4 hours plus if you want/need a change fast you can ask the creator of Gentoo and now creator of Funtoo or the other devs and sometimes get an update in 5 mins!
56 • @51.... (by Smellyman on 2015-06-02 00:09:45 GMT from Asia)
and that being said I find Octopi smoother, more attracitve and way more functional than Pamac.
57 • Manjaro (by Scrumtime on 2015-06-02 00:16:28 GMT from North America)
I was using Manjaro before Systemd and through the change over and am still using it...I have also tried the RC version which seems to be working well...I have had no issues with Pamac or Octopi though generally i use the Terminal.
Ver Sad to see Mandriva actually close its doors... though it has been there or abouts for some time... Mandrake was one of my very first distros..and got me started on to many years of using linux...
58 • release methods & Kubuntu dispute (by M.Z. on 2015-06-02 00:19:26 GMT from Planet Mars)
I put other for my answer to the poll because I run & enjoy both PCLinuxOS, Mint 17.x, and Mint Debian, along with at least one miscellaneous distro. I'm not really sure where any of my main distros fall because I think of PCLOS as rolling but somewhere between Arch & Chakra, while Mint 17.x is based on a stable base but can optionally change to a new DE with every .x release. Also LMDE runs on Debian stable but rolls new DEs as soon as they're ready. I know I count in the other option because I run multiple release methods, but where exactly do PCLOS, Mint 17.x & LMDE actually stand? Are they all other, or are Mint 17.x & LMDE basically a fixed release because only the desktop rolls?
@42, 50 & others - Kubuntu
This certainly seems strange & it sounds a bit like the Kubuntu leader was told to be quite & not talk about the issue of asking Mint & other derivative distros sign a licensing agreement. It does seem like a fairly important thing for those that make a derivative like Kubuntu to know about. Of course there could be a lot of other factors & questions about the request for an agreement with Mint may not have really been involved; however, given the nature of these sorts of community projects it's very strange at any rate. I started off ignoring Ubuntu when I started using Linux, but by the time Unity became spyware I really actively disliked them & this further confirms my poor opinion of the distro. They really need to try to play nice with users & community members & be more transparent.
59 • Escape from Horror (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2015-06-02 00:53:48 GMT from North America)
Great issue of the weekly. The film photo needlessly mocked a real horror.
Manjaro neutrality is a good reason to use it. The devs and forums are friendly no matter your topic.
About AUR helpers, yaourt has too much press. There are others. A very nice one is pacaur. It follows pacman syntax. If you know pacman, you know pacaur. CLI only, works on Manjaro.
Some Arch systemd refugees are going with Void Linux. It's rolling with buildbots for more architectures than Arch, with glibc and musl branches for all. Packages are binary but I believe Void has BSD-esque ports too. And it uses LibreSSL!
60 • @ 59 (by Robert_Storey on 2015-06-02 01:23:41 GMT from Asia)
Arch Watcher said:
> The film photo needlessly mocked a real horror.
Thank you for that link. A fascinating article!
> About AUR helpers, yaourt has too much press. There are others.
> A very nice one is pacaur. It follows pacman syntax. If you know
> pacman, you know pacaur. CLI only, works on Manjaro.
A good tip, I will check it out
> Some Arch systemd refugees are going with Void Linux.
Yes, a skilled developer and good community. I looked at Void, and although it felt rather "unpolished," it's still new and I have high hopes for it. It's definitely one to watch.
61 • @57 Manjaro (by linuxista on 2015-06-02 02:45:50 GMT from North America)
Octopi and Pamac are both fine, and I use them both depending on what desktop environment I'm in gtk or qt based, but I agree that the terminal is still the best with Arch and still use it more than half the time. One of the only real advantages to the GUIs is the daemon running that alerts you to package updates. Other than that a bash alias gets the job at least as well.
62 • Mandriva (by Chris on 2015-06-02 03:36:50 GMT from Planet Mars)
That's sad about Mandriva, but I think the writing has been on the wall for a long time. Too bad, I used to really love that distribution.
63 • Gentoo (by Jagdpanzer on 2015-06-02 09:16:45 GMT from Europe)
Robert Storey said:" ... source-based Gentoo has just about everything I could ever want in life, but the installation requires a great deal of time to compile ..."
Robert, try Calculate Linux ...
64 • antiX 15 beta3-V (by zcatav on 2015-06-02 12:27:32 GMT from Europe)
The distro what I'm looking for!
The antiX development team has announced the availability of the third beta build of antiX 15, a lightweight Debian(testing)-based distribution designed for (not only) older computers. Like the distribution's previous beta releases, this one also uses SysVInit for managing services and is completely free of systemd.
65 • more Gentoo (by jsmith on 2015-06-02 13:31:21 GMT from North America)
I enjoyed Mr. Storey's review of Manjaro. But, I thought that his cursory dismissal of Gentoo was half-hearted -- as though he had a theme and wouldn't let Gentoo's obvious strengths get in the way. Maybe I just need to get a life, but, to me, it doesn't seem to take long to set up Gentoo using its stage 3 tar ball and compiling the things I need and like. And I enjoy it and learn from it each time. I know it's faster to shove a live DVD in a slot -- and I do that too -- but, you can't complain about a lack of control or quality if you're not willing to invest some time in setting up an OS.
66 • Review • Sound (by Kragle von Schnitzelbank on 2015-06-02 16:23:03 GMT from North America)
Interesting that rather than (use the Full Manual to) fix ALSA settings, Rob immediately adds pavucontrol, an additional layer of complexity. Was that necessary? Did the convenience of a GUI out-rank simply adjusting ALSA settings/configuration? Speaking of which, does a straightforward GUI for ALSA exist? Or even a Full Manual?
67 • Manjaro Review (by kc1di on 2015-06-02 20:20:53 GMT from North America)
Thank you Robert for a very good review that drew me back to a great distro. think it's great.
68 • Kubuntu's Riddell (by cykodrone on 2015-06-02 23:26:51 GMT from North America)
I had no idea Ubuntu 'controls' their derivatives and could arbitrarily 'fire' somebody working on those derivatives. Very interesting.
69 • Opinion Poll: Fixed or rolling releases (by behto5 on 2015-06-03 03:59:25 GMT from South America)
I voted "Rapid fixed release" but would like to clarify that I like to stick with Ubuntu and L. Mint LTS versions (thus not changing the system every 9 months).
70 • Rolling vs fixed releases poll (by Kazlu on 2015-06-03 11:21:27 GMT from Europe)
Wow, that is another poll prone to much debate :)
In this subject as well as with desktop environments, I think it's great we have some choice here. And, still as well as with desktop environments, there are different use cases for which rolling or not can be either a good or a bad thing. I like the possibility to use a rolling release, I used one for some time and was quite happy about it. I think rolling release is the ideal way for having software free of bug: you may encounter more bugs than fixed releases but they are often fixed quickly. However, rolling releases demand more investment from the user. And for now, it's not that I don't want to (I like tinkering and I am always happy to learn new things about how my OS works), but I don't have enough spare time. I cannot allow myself to spend some time to check for the solution of an issue provoked by the last update, especially since you don't know when it's gonna happen. And no, delaying the update is not a solution, for security reasons. Therefore, I am willing to sacrifice the freshness of my software against a lesser time demanding strategy. I run Debian Wheezy and intend to keep it for some time.
I would also add that I still use (K|X)ubuntu non-LTS on a recent computer because of the up-to-date drivers that support my hardware better. But this is a machine I don't use often and I did not do much customizing, so if I must reinstall every 6 months, well it takes an hour or two and it's done. No big deal. Yet I could not use my graphics at maximum capacity if I used Debian on this one.
I would like to conclude with this: I am very happy we have choice for update strategies. That suits many use cases. But although I *like* to have these options, the only one I absolutely *need* to have an OS that recieve security updates and allows me to work on important things without requiring too much time is "slow fixed release", that's why I voted for that.
71 • Manjaro (by mandog on 2015-06-03 12:50:30 GMT from South America)
The openRC releases are not official releases they use systemD, they are the excellent work of artoo and aaditya to bring more choice to users, and are very good but not for everybody and have serious drawbacks with some software and hardware situations. Also there is more work involved in maintaining a systemD free system that is based on systemD, it would be better to fork openRC completely from Manjaro that would free up the Manjaro devs to focus on the Manjaro official releases
My view is simple time is like a arrow goes only forward as does linux development forward is the only way to go, But then its nice to have a fallback just in case. Or build a new distribution from the ground up like void use just one init and tailor it to your needs and by the way void is excellent if a bit vague with its documentation and is not based on arch as some people think but very inspired by the arch concept but uses runnit
72 • @71 OpenRC (by foo2foo on 2015-06-03 15:54:26 GMT from North America)
@71. What hardware and software limitations does OpenRC have? It is the default for many distros.
There doesn't need to be a fork of OpenRC from Manjaro because they are not the official maintainers of it.
OpenRC works perfectly fine as my init system on my many Funtoo systems.
73 • "Lightweight" is an over-used cliche (by Ben Myers on 2015-06-03 16:11:44 GMT from North America)
Time and again, I see that this distro or that one is lightweight. Is it lightweight because the ISO file is less than 100MB? Is it lightweight because the desktop is not a resource (processor and memory) hog? Both? Could it be lightweight for some other reason? I do not know, but the word is very much overused because people do not seem to apply the necessary critical thinking to say what they really mean. Folks, you can do better and say what it is that makes your distro really stand apart from all the rest. After all, it is YOUR distro, and you want people to try it, don't you????
74 • Rolling or not? (by green on 2015-06-03 16:24:41 GMT from Europe)
I have used rolling in the past Open Suse and encountered issues, but I am now using Antergos and it is a very pleasurable experience, so I would recommend.
75 • Mandriva (by Dave Postles on 2015-06-03 18:27:19 GMT from Europe)
Mandriva was initially my favourite distro. I even bought (and still have) the original 4Gb Mandriva flash drive. It's sad to see its passing. PCLinuxOS owes a great deal to Mandriva.
76 • Lightweight (by Chris on 2015-06-03 18:51:54 GMT from North America)
@73 - 'Lightweight' certainly is a subjective term, meaning different things to different people; and I have to agree with you it is overused. In my search for my 'perfect' lightweight distro, I just tried to keep in mind that most distros are advertised and reviewed by programmers or techies, not marketing or PR people.
After many years of distro hopping searching for my 'perfect' lightweight distro, I have came to the conclusion: 1. Periodically try what's already out there; 2. Find what I like core, feature, and app wise; 3. Roll my own based upon Nos. 1 and 2; and 4. Regularly repeat Nos. 1 and 2 while making adjustments to my No. 3. YMMV.
77 • 73 • "Lightweight" (by Somewhat Reticent on 2015-06-03 19:45:09 GMT from North America)
Perhaps it applies first to the burden on development and testing, where "minimal" would be clearer? That said, in my admittedly limited experience the LXLE dev currently shows the most respect for users.
78 • OpenRC (by mandog on 2015-06-03 22:21:18 GMT from South America)
So you recompile all software applications for OpenRC I don't think so
But the Manjaro devs have to work to try and make things compatible for OpenRC that takes time and resources away from the main project which is systemD
So forking would be good for both sides as they could both work without any hindrance
79 • @78 OpenRC (by foo2foo on 2015-06-04 00:35:13 GMT from North America)
Do you not understand that Funtoo, Gentoo, Slackware, etc; are source based distros?
You don't recompile anything, you compile the software you want, THE WAY YOU WANT. Just like Arch was before systemd.
In fact many users of other distros are using OpenRC and still compiling much of the functionality for systemd items, and some compile a system that is completely systemd free.
There are always limitations for compiling software no matter what. Your question about compiling all software for OpenRC has no point.
Can I compile just about everything out there when only using OpenRC? Sure can!
Pretty much the only things you can't are pieces of software with hard compile dependencies for systemd. If someone really needed that, they can include it during compiling and still use OpenRC as their actual init system. You can even have Gnome 3 without systemd. Not everyone wants journald, firewalld, etc, etc anyway.
Sure Manjaro devs have to work to try and make things compatible for OpenRC on Manjaro because it is based on Arch which really only concerns itself with systemd.
But any issues with OpenRC for Manjaro or Arch are specific to those distros. These are not OpenRC problems.
When talking about OpenRC you said:
"have serious drawbacks with some software and hardware situations."
This is your opinion and very far from a fact.
I use everything I used with Debian and Linux Mint when I switched to Funtoo and using OpenRC as my init. My servers, desktops, and HTPCs have EVERYTHING (Xfce, Steam, Kodi, Apache, Firefox, Libreoffice, blah, blah, blah), that really matters from when I used Debian and Linux Mint.
But even better I don't have all the extra bloat and services starting or running; ones that if you tried to remove from Debian, Linux Mint, or many others; would break the system because of dependency hell.
My Funtoo OpenRC systems are fully usable like when using any mainstream distro, but without tons of KDE, Gnome, Avahi, bluetooth, evolution, fonts, etc, etc packages that other distros force you to keep. Less packages, less running services, less vulnerabilities.... fast as lighting parallel boot and smooth as butter performance.
artoo and aaditya are working on the OpenRC release because they want to, to suggest that they fork OpenRC for the reason you gave makes no sense. They are not hurting the main Manjaro project, they are only strengthening it, and their community. Will someone fork Manjaro or Arch in the future just to use OpenRC... the open source world can only hope.
80 • @79 OpenRC (by mandog on 2015-06-04 19:46:19 GMT from South America)
No disrespect to you I use arch a binary based Distro and have for 10 years SystemD suits my needs with its systemctl commands which are far easier to use than Arch init system was if you did not get the services in the correct order the system did not boot and the cry from users was init needs a manager, now its got one a minority complain. If Gentoo/slackware had invented SystemD it might of been hailed as the best thing since sliced bread but they did not. Remember manjaro went SystemD before arch.
So your saying there is no extra work when there is no support from arch to build a Systemd free system so how do the necessary packages get compiled or do they compile them selves like magic. So I repeat Artoo and aadita do a excellent job I wish them the best but i believe they could do a lot better without the restrictions from Manjaro its not they are not hurting Manjaro. Manjaro could be constricting there own talents from blossoming.
But that's my opinion if you don't agree that's your right but that does not mean I can't voice my opinion
81 • @80 OpenRC (by foo2foo on 2015-06-04 21:37:16 GMT from North America)
Arch is not strictly a binary distro, you can use Arch Build System (ABS).
Gentoo or Slackware devs never would have created anything like systemd. If they did, it wouldn't be like it is, even if they did users would leave like they are from other distros. It has nothing to do with who created it, well for systemd's sake it sorta does.
Actually there really isn't any extra work when compiling when using OpenRC. When you install stuff with a source based distro, it sorta is like magic. Don't have to do anything fancy. For Arch or Manjaro the issues are more than likely specific to the builds of certain packages requiring systemd now and the fact that support for others has been thrown out. The source code either requires one specific init or it doesn't.
Having a opinion is not an issue, saying OpenRC causes issues with certain software and hardware like its a fact is. Killing opinions is half of what users don't like about systemd. I never said don't voice your opinion, just don't state it like a fact.
You probably meant "fork Manjaro" not "fork OpenRC".
The beauty of the source based distros is you can actually use OpenRC OR systemd.
82 • @81 OpenRC (by mandog on 2015-06-05 00:04:15 GMT from South America)
Now you have that sorted out It was not my intention to imply any thing about source based distros. as I was talking about Manjaro and openRC and of course any distro can be built from source but never mind.
yes you are correct on the last point fork Manjaro, as those guys do work hard I believe if you are prepared to put that much work its better to do it for your benefit as I learned a few years ago with E17 and one of the top distros in the distrowatch charts.
I also use void with runnit I choose void because its new independent is very minimal and ultra fast but then so is arch with systemD,
In the past I used Gentoo from a stage 3 tarball, slackware, for a while and of course FreeBSD, but always go back to Arch its simple to setup 20mins with openbox pretty maintenance free and the core is stable but this is my experience after nearly 10 years using Arch.
Ps sorry for the bad comprehension I'm dyslexic and things don't always come out as in think them in my head. till I read things back after 1hr or two but then it to late.
83 • Manjaro OpenRC is a Good Thing (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2015-06-05 01:31:21 GMT from North America)
@mandog Everyone knew old-school init stuff had to go. That is a very worn-out straw-man. The argument was about choice.
I knew systemd was bone-headed when I saw it using Windows INI file formats, hardly an improvement in technology. An improvement would have been a graphical GUI for laying down dependency graphs and sequence flows.
While I boost systemd-free distros too, your claim on OpenRC Manjaro is nuts. It is not THAT dramatic to swap inits. Haven't you read the Manjaro Experiments?
Just as you can run any recent kernel on any recent filesystem, you can run any recent init library....
...unless it does more than init. Perhaps what you actually meant is that systemd intends conquest of more turf, but Manjaro can't go along with OpenRC in tow. Well, if Pottering et al had claimed all this turf at the very start, people would have told THEM to fork.
If Manjaro OpenRC restrains Manjaro's systemd to "just init," then it helps the whole project. Pottering/RedHat have fingers not just on systemd, but PulseAudio, Avahi, GTK/GNOME ... too much turf for one person/company. Here's hoping Linux doesn't evolve into RedHat OS.
84 • systemd [init or process-control] (by Kragle von Schnitzelbank on 2015-06-05 11:35:51 GMT from North America)
I suggest the greatest hostility seems to have been from bullying. The puttering designer may have a typical geek's deficiency of social skills; other developers with more tact could have softened and clarified presentation. The implementation could have used readable plain-text first, then considered XML if efficiency testing demonstrated a clear need. The community could have been given proper time to debug, adapt, and appreciate.
Perhaps the putsch came from fear that cyberwar would moot Linux or the wwweb, or racing against competition to the "convergence" fantasy, or just to sweeten an IPO before cashing out. Whatever the motivation, time (and perhaps a plain-text implementation of the XML code) may heal the wound, and dull the (memory of the) pain.
(Naming both the same - deliberate obfuscation?)
85 • @83 • Manjaro OpenRC (by mandog on 2015-06-05 11:46:03 GMT from South America)
You are going over old ground my friend.
This is a quote from the Manjaro openRC team.https://forum.manjaro.org/index.php?topic=23309.msg204481;topicseen#msg204481
When asked if the openbox version of Manjaro is still maintained and yes I'm a active member of the Manjaro forums and follow the development closely and was the 1st to reply.
The goal of the OpenRC edition is not Openbox but rather OpenRC and eudev, so it might not be as feature full or user friendly as the Openbox edition.#########
I don't know what that implies but when was openbox user friendly apart from the useless dynamic menu that lags and stutters to me its true old school and with init it is in its element.
SystemD is for the new generation not the old, I did state in a earlier post. The cry from users was init needs a manager.
Now its got one The cry from the minority is lets tread time why should I learn something new. All this pottering crap is doing no good, if SystemD fails its not that it was a bad idea or it does not do what it says on the box its because a minority of users want linux to stay in the 1990s. as a hobby to turn on when they are bored.
On the other hand if a init system was based on upto date and new ideas that would be great. not going back to to the worn out old technology of the dawn of linux I'd be holding street parties and inviting you all.
I really don't care or participate in so called politics of Linux.
I care for Linux and want linux to be for everyday joe not self elected users that think they are trying to live in the last century and keep Linux just a hobby for when they are bored while waiting for Ms to update.
I'm sorry if this sounds hard or it upsets certain anti SystemD users but we have to bury the hatched and move on.
I happily use both And find they both have there good and bad points and both have failings we all know the failings of the old init bring new ideas and a manager they did systemD.
86 • Antergos (@74) (by Jordan on 2015-06-05 13:34:53 GMT from North America)
"Antergos is a rolling release distribution. Your entire system, from the base OS components to the applications that you install, will receive updates as they are released upstream—with only a minimal delay to ensure stability."
They're addressing the big issue we see posted in here wrt rollers.
It's about the individual apps, for me. Time spent updating a list..
..either me or the distro's system wide updater has to do it.
87 • @ 45 • (K)ubuntu Controversy... (by frodopogo..) (by Az4x4 on 2015-06-05 17:27:55 GMT from Europe)
A well considered, well expressed look at possible implications of the CC v KC issue. Thanks for your post Frodopogo..
88 • 45•58•87•K'bu Putsch Ponderable (by Kragle on 2015-06-06 20:59:17 GMT from North America)
If trademark protection isn’t enough, would the (secret) licensing issue be preparation for revenue-stream setup, to sweeten an IPO/selloff?
89 • Viva Choice - Read the Whole Menu (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2015-06-07 04:12:48 GMT from North America)
@mandog (#85), I didn't even say what you put in my mouth. I said everyone knew OLD INIT STUFF HAD TO GO. Must I repeat myself in all caps for you.
Old ground is a PR move loved by politicians: "That's old news" is a classic. It is also typical to claim your pet program is "The only way forward" and "progress."
Old news? I addressed your specific claim that Manjaro OpenRC holds Manjaro and/or itself back in some way related to systemd. You said that Manjaro OpenRC would be better off on its own. I refuted your claim, saying it holds if and only if systemd is more than an init.
Learn something...right...I learned and used systemd. I even did exotic techniques with it. For the record I did not involve myself in debates and this edition of Distrowatch Weekly is, from memory, the only time I've done so.
What I did was work with systemd and give it a chance. In all I found it a step backwards. And I gave you a specific fact while you waved your hands around about old news. If you think Windows INI is a forward leap, then you have homework from the 1990s. I would also suggest, if a "hacker's distro" like Arch can love systemd, that ought to tell you something about it.
I am not interested in politics either: just facts from experience. My experience debugging systemd units and services showed them as much work and study time as scripts. My boot time is just as slow, even slower. Conclusion: drop it for something modern, simpler, and better.
Many MODERN init systems you can read about at the link for Manjaro Experiments. The only choice you see is systemd or ancient history? Widen your horizons. The limited false-choice fallacy is one of many thrown around by systemd. What it means by burying hatchets is not puncturing the same inflated fallacies that it floats, over and over.
A significant percentage of users and developers have gone their own ways in spite of the political maneuverings of RedHat. Viva choice.
90 • 89 • Viva Choice (by mandog on 2015-06-07 12:53:35 GMT from South America)
Can you please get it in your head you are arguing for the sake of it its pointless
I use any init system that is used by the distro that I install they all boot in a similar time as they basically start the same services
Shouting claiming you are not political quoting politics and basic insults
is not a polite way to conduct a discussion.
Please get it in your head I use any init available by any distro I use
So please end this lets agree to agree its "user choice"
And keep RedHat and gutter politics out of it
91 • 89 • 71•78•80•82•85•90 • systemd (by Kragle on 2015-06-07 17:21:19 GMT from North America)
A user of Void, Gentoo, Slackware, FreeBSD, and (for 10 years) Arch, who clearly likes the systemd vision shouldn't twist anyone else's suspected opposition beyond recognition into mere "gutter politics" like his own. If systemd brings better process-management, and not simply spaghetti-coded dependency/mission-creep, surely with quality documentation, clearly-written code, and improved performance, Better Process-Management will speak for itself? At least to anyone willing to get under the hood, and look at how a system works, as a troubleshooter obviously must. (Isn't that "The Arch Way"? Or was that only for LFS?) There should be no need for a FUD barrage, User Choice is not reduced by Coder Choice, a good Process-Management system won't care what init is swapped in.
In the end, it's all binary, not rocket science.
Freedom isn't free, but it is Freed.
Number of Comments: 91
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