| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 613, 8 June 2015
Welcome to this year's 23rd issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
As time marches forward our world changes and our computing needs change with it. This week we turn our attention toward projects which are riding the wave of change and adapting to modern demands. We begin with a review of Fedora 22, the latest release from one of the community's most cutting-edge distributions. Learn what is new in Fedora 22 and how the distribution performs in our Feature Story. In our News section we discuss work the Linux Mint developers are performing on the Cinnamon desktop environment. We also talk about Ubuntu MATE seeking feedback on how best to provide installation media to its users. Plus we take a look back in time at the history of FreeBSD's code and its Unix legacy. In our Questions and Answers column we tackle the difficult subject of Secure Boot and how to find out which distributions support booting on machines with Secure Boot enabled. This week we want to know what sorts of reviews you enjoy the most and ask that you share your thoughts in our Opinion Poll. Plus we share the distribution releases of the past week and list the new distributions added to our waiting list. We wish you all a terrific week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Fedora 22's KDE spin
The Fedora Project recently launched Fedora 22, the latest release of the popular, Red Hat sponsored distribution. The new version of Fedora brings with it a number of new and interesting features. The Workstation edition of the project offers users improved desktop notifications and the latest version of GNOME. The Server edition ships with XFS as the default file system and offers administrators the Cockpit management software. The Cloud edition of Fedora offers a rollback feature that allows administrators to undo changes to the base system as well as services.
The project's three branches (Workstation, Server and Cloud) are each available in 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds. There are also some ARM images available. Since I tried Fedora 21 Workstation fairly recently I decided to explore another aspect of Fedora and looked at the Fedora spins. There are spins for most of the popular desktop environments, one for gaming and another for security. In fact there are lots of spins, but I chose to focus on just one, the KDE spin. The Fedora KDE spin ships with the Plasma 5 desktop and is provided as a 1.1GB ISO file.
Booting from the live media brings up the Plasma 5 desktop environment. The background is decorated with deep blue wallpaper. The wallpaper looks slightly wrinkled and reminds me of the cave walls from classic Star Trek episodes. The application menu, task switcher and system tray can be located at the bottom of the screen. In the upper-left corner there is a button for accessing desktop settings and widget controls. There are no other icons on the desktop.
I found a launcher for the distribution's system installer in the application menu. Fedora uses a graphical system installer which begins by asking us to select our preferred language from a list. We are then brought to a hub screen where we can access various configuration modules. These modules assist us in changing our keyboard's layout, selecting a time zone, setting our computer's hostname and partitioning the hard drive. I find Fedora's manual partitioning screen to be a bit difficult to navigate, but it works and gets the job done. The installer also offers an automated partitioning option. If we take the automated option, Fedora will divide up our disk as it sees fit and does not tell us what actions it plans to take or give us a chance to alter the suggested layout. Once we have completed these configuration modules we are brought to a second hub screen where we are asked to set a password on the root account and create a user account for ourselves. We then wait while the installer finishes copying its files. When the installer is done its work we can close it and return to the Plasma desktop environment. From there we can continue to explore Fedora's live environment until we wish to reboot the computer.
Fedora 22 -- The project's release notes and news
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Booting our local copy of Fedora brings us to a graphical login screen. Signing into our account brings us back to the Plasma 5 desktop. A short time after I logged in an icon appeared in the system tray letting me know there were 133 updates waiting for me. That's an impressive number of updates to encounter on the same day the distribution is launched. Clicking on the update icon brings up a small widget which lists all the available updates. We can click a box next to each update to select whether we wish to install the new package or not (the default, thankfully, is the install all new updates). I'm not sure how much bandwidth the 133 updates required, but my system was busy for several minutes downloading and installing the new software packages. Later in the week the update widget presented me with an additional 30 packages to install. All of the 163 updates installed and my system continued to work well. After the first wave of updates I rebooted my system and found my desktop's wallpaper had disappeared. I'm not sure if its disappearance was related to the software updates or not, but it was easy enough to venture into the desktop settings panel and re-enable the default wallpaper.
I tried running Fedora's KDE spin in two test environments, in a VirtualBox virtual machine and on a desktop machine. On the physical desktop computer, Fedora performed well. The distribution booted quickly, performed most tasks rapidly and offered a smooth, stable experience. My screen was set to its maximum resolution and I found both networking and sound worked out of the box. When running in the VirtualBox environment, performance was good and everything worked. I found Fedora would not make full use of my monitor's resolution when running in VirtualBox and I ended up spending some time trying to get that working and I'll talk more about installing extra software like VirtualBox's guest modules later. I found Fedora generally used around 425MB to 450MB of memory when logged into the Plasma desktop.
Fedora 22 -- System Settings panel and application menu
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Fedora's KDE spin provides users with a collection of useful software with a strong focus on KDE software and applications built using the Qt framework. We are given the Konqueror web browser, the Konservation chat client, the KTorrent bittorrent software and the KMail e-mail software. The distribution offers us the Calligra productivity suite, the KOrganizer personal organizer, the Amarok music player, the Dragon Player multimedia application and the K3b disc burning application. We can also access the Gwenview image viewer, the KolourPaint drawing software, a web cam utility and the Okular document viewer. There are a few small games installed by default along with the Dolphin file manager, the KDE System Settings panel and the Apper software manager. We can also access an account manager, an archive manager, a calculator and a text editor. The Kleopatra and KGpg privacy tools are installed for us. Network Manager is provided to help us get on-line. In the background we find the Linux kernel, version 4.0. I did not find any media codecs, Flash or compilers in Fedora's KDE spin.
Fedora 22 -- The Calligra productivity suite
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When we want to install additional software we can turn to the Apper package manager. Apper shows us categories of software using a grid of colourful icons. There are also icons we can select which will show us items we have already installed along with available updates. In the upper-right corner of Apper's window there is a search box we can use for locating packages by name. I ran into a number of problems when using Apper. While the update screen would properly display and install software upgrades, clicking any of the software categories would cause an error message to appear saying "SearchGroups not supported by backend." This prevents us from browsing through the lists of available software. On the other hand, I found the search box worked and would bring up lists of packages with matching names. Clicking on a package to learn more about it caused Apper to display a description box at the bottom of the window filled with blue lines. No readable description of the selected software was displayed. I was able to click the Install button next to the packages listed in my search results and found Apper would correctly install the desired package. Another problem I encountered while using Apper was that when trying to install third-party items (ie packages not from a Fedora repository), Apper would always report the installation had failed. However, when I checked, I always found the item I had tried to install through Apper had been placed on my system and worked. In other words, Apper is overly pessimistic about whether software packages install cleanly or not.
Fedora 22 -- The Apper package manager
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As I had quickly become disheartened with Apper, I turned my attention to Fedora's new default package manager, DNF. The DNF command line package manager uses the same simple, easy to read syntax YUM previously used. DNF operates the same way, has approximately the same command line options and similar configuration files. Basically DNF appears to be exactly like YUM was, but it works a little faster. Searches especially returned faster, but otherwise DNF came across as being a small evolutionary step forward in package management. Generally speaking, DNF worked well. I did however, run into one problem.
Fedora 22 -- Managing packages and the firewall
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Earlier I mentioned that Fedora does not ship with multimedia codecs, Flash or VirtualBox modules. Fedora has a pretty strict policy when it comes to software licensing and so people who want these extras need to seek out third-party software repositories. Unfortunately, at the time I was using Fedora there was no VirtualBox repository set up for Fedora 22 yet. RPMFusion had repositories enabled for Fedora 22 (though these repositories had not been announced on the RPMFusion front page the first few days I was working with the distribution). RPMFusion makes it fairly easy to add their repositories, we simply click on a few links and Apper sets up the repositories. (Though Apper, of course, claims it was unable to set up the repositories, just like it claimed all other additions from third-parties failed.) The RPMFusion repositories give us access to a wider range of software and we can find most of the extras we want through them. The problem with DNF I alluded to before came about immediately after I had enabled the RPMFusion repositories. Suddenly installations and searches appeared to hang. DNF appeared unable to operate and I saw only "timed out" errors as clues to what was going wrong. Eventually, I reasoned that many users were all contacting the RPMFusion repositories at the same time and waited a few hours before performing any other package management actions. Eventually, DNF was able to get through to the RPMFusion servers and searches and installations began working again.
There were a few other things I noticed during my time with Fedora. One was that it is easy to hide the "toolbox" icon, the Plasma icon used to configure the desktop and access new widgets. I remember several people asking me how to hide the KDE4 version of the "toolbox" or "cashew" icon and I'm glad the KDE developers have made this an easy option to locate and toggle.
Other aspects of Fedora's KDE spin I appreciated were the power management and systemd configuration modules. These are both located in the System Settings panel. The power management module is presented in a friendly manner and easy to navigate. The systemd module is likewise easy to navigate and it makes enabling, disabling, starting and stopping system services quite easy.
My overall impression of Fedora 22, or at least the KDE spin of Fedora 22, is that the distribution is a good desktop system once it has been set up. As is usually the case with Fedora, the problems I encountered happened early on. Fedora's installer and the Apper package manager are not particularly intuitive and, in the case of Apper, the utility is actually quite buggy. The DNF package manager, while a step forward in terms of performance, doesn't handle unresponsive servers all that well. DNF does give us some performance gains though so I have hopes for a smoother, more fault tolerant package manager in the near future. Fedora does not ship with a number of popular items, such as multimedia codecs, and we need third-party repositories in order to acquire these extras.
Once Fedora is set up, once the extra software has been located and installed, then Fedora performs well. The distribution offers good performance and good hardware support. It may take a while to get everything configured the way we want it, but from that point on the day to day operation of the distribution flows smoothly. I wouldn't recommend Fedora to Linux newcomers, but people who are generally familiar with how Linux distributions work will probably enjoy the cutting edge software and performance Fedora offers.
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Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
- Processor: Dual-core 2.8GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Linux Mint developers release Cinnamon 2.6, Ubuntu MATE seeks feedback on installation images and FreeBSD's history
Last week the Linux Mint project launched a new version of the Cinnamon desktop environment. Cinnamon uses GNOME 3 technology to create a classic desktop environment, similar in look and feel to the legacy GNOME 2 environment. The Cinnamon developers have been working hard to make their desktop environment faster and more reliable. "A huge amount of work was done to review the CPU usage in various parts of Cinnamon and many improvements were made. Performance was gained by optimizing how Cinnamon reacts to particular events and reducing the number of tasks or repeated tasks it performs. The menu, for instance, is refreshed about 6 times as less as before... signals resulting from connecting a USB device are grouped together and lead to 1 action, reducing 4 concurrent reactions into a single one." Multiple panel configurations and multiple monitor support have been improved and the file manager now performs operations in sequence rather than in parallel. The new file manager behaviour avoids swamping the computer's processor and disk with file operations. Cinnamon 2.6 is already available to Linux Mint Debian Edition users and will appear in the upcoming release of Linux Mint 17.2. More details on Cinnamon 2.6 can be found on the Linux Mint Segfault blog.
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The Ubuntu MATE distribution is a community project which aims to combine Ubuntu packages with the classic MATE desktop. Many users regard Ubuntu MATE as a return to the way Ubuntu used to work, prior to the launch of the controversial Unity desktop environment. Martin Wimpress, Ubuntu MATE co-founder and project lead, is considering expanding Ubuntu MATE's editions with the possibility of a new, minimal ISO for people who want to run MATE without a lot of applications. Wimpress is running a poll on his Google Plus page where he asks for feedback on Ubuntu MATE's installation image options. "Would you install an Ubuntu MATE alternative image suitable for burning to CD-ROM that contains the base Ubuntu operating system, MATE Desktop, Firefox, Ubuntu MATE settings/tweaks/integrations but none of the applications such as LibreOffice, Pidgin, Rhythmbox, VLC, etc? The meta packages and tasks to support this already exist in what will become Ubuntu MATE 15.10 and it is possible to install Ubuntu MATE 15.10 `basic' edition using the mini.iso and ubuntu-mate-core meta package or task. Question is, do we need an alternative image? Would you use it?"
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Unix has a long and interesting history along with a correspondingly tangled family tree. The original Unix operating system spawned a huge collection of children, cousins and clones which makes navigating the politics of modern Linux/BSD/MINIX/Unix community forums a truly bizarre experience. For those of us interested in operating system history there is help to be found. A document called A Repository with 44 Years of Unix Evolution offers us a written history of Unix complete with diagrams and graphs that outline where modern open source Unix (particularly FreeBSD) came from. "As can be seen in Figure 1, a modern version of Unix (FreeBSD 9) still contains visible chunks of code from BSD 4.3, BSD 4.3 Net/2, and FreeBSD 2.0. Interestingly, the Figure shows that code developed during the frantic dash to create an open source operating system out of the code released by Berkeley (386BSD and FreeBSD 1.0) does not seem to have survived. The oldest code in FreeBSD 9 appears to be an 18-line sequence in the C library file timezone.c, which can also be found in the 7th Edition Unix file with the same name and a time stamp of January 10th, 1979 - 36 years ago." The document contains all sorts of interesting bits of trivia and will make it easier to understand where modern FreeBSD comes from.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Working with or around Secure Boot
Working-with-Secure-Boot asks: Almost all new PC's now have UEFI (along with bootloader locking). It would be a huge help in evaluating distros to know if/how they support UEFI.
I am having a helluva time finding any that will work with some Windows 8 tablets I have been trying to install a Linux distro onto since it seems various how-to's suggest merging the EFI directory from a few distros (some rather exotic) into others' installation structures, and it seems rather haphazard how well that will work, depending on the tablet. Knowing which distros have UEFI support included would be a very useful "check item" for searches, and reviews that include how it actually works would also be very helpful.
Better yet, a FAQ with pointers to tutorials on how to work with/around UEFI and locked boot loaders would also be a huge help. The only extensive one I found a while back was written by someone who was clearly not a native English speaker, and there was a lot of awkward translation that made the article difficult to understand.
DistroWatch answers: Regarding having a way to see which distributions have UEFI support, I agree, and it would be nice if more projects made it clear on their websites whether the distribution is UEFI-friendly and whether it will work in Secure Boot environments. The good news is most Linux distributions (and FreeBSD) now have UEFI support. The Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu and openSUSE distributions (along with their community derivatives) can all work with UEFI. Some members of the Mandriva family have UEFI support, though sometimes their UEFI support is in its initial stages. Slackware has also adopted UEFI support. However, Secure Boot support is a bit more limited. At the time of writing I think members of the Fedora family, Ubuntu family and openSUSE support booting on machines with Secure Boot technology. Other distributions will probably require Secure Boot be disabled in order to work.
Each year DistroWatch updates the list of packages we track in each distribution. It is our intention to make it easier for our readers to discover which distributions support UEFI and which ones support Secure Boot shims by tracking the packages which provide these features. Specifically, we will, from now on, track the efibootmgr and shim packages. The availability of these packages usually indicates a distribution supports booting on UEFI-enabled hardware. Hopefully this will help people make better informed decisions as to which Linux distributions best suit their needs. More information on which packages we are tracking can be found below
The main problem I feel you are facing is tablets with Windows 8 are often designed specifically to prevent running alternative operating systems. Secure Boot has the unfortunate effect (possibly by design) of making it difficult to install alternative operating systems on a device. Trying to run Linux on a Windows 8 tablet is a little like modifying a race car to fly, it's not likely to be easy.
Part of the issue is it is actually illegal in some regions to work around the Secure Boot lock and that is why you're not likely to find many tutorials on installing Linux on Windows 8 tablets. There is an additional problem in that different device makers implement UEFI and Secure Boot differently. This means a tutorial on how to disable Secure Boot on an Acer computer will be different than a tutorial for disabling the feature on a Dell computer. There is no standard and that makes writing general purpose how-to articles very difficult. My first advice would be to sell the Windows 8 tablet and purchase a tablet specifically built with Linux (or at least alternative software) in mind.
That being said, it is possible to install Linux on some tablets that ship with Windows 8. One of our enterprising readers pointed me to a thread on the Ubuntu forums which discusses the steps required to install Ubuntu on the HP Stream 7 tablet. Thank you, Rory, for the link.
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: 67
- Total downloads completed: 40,324
- Total data uploaded: 7.3TB
|Released Last Week
Porteus Kiosk 3.4.0
Tomasz Jokiel has announced the release of Porteus Kiosk 3.4.0, a small Gentoo-based distribution designed for Internet-only web kiosks: "I'm pleased to announce that Porteus Kiosk 3.4.0 is now available for download. Linux kernel has been updated to version 3.18.14 and supports much wider range of the hardware including x86-compatible tablets, and embedded and industrial devices. Default ISO size has been reduced to 36 MB as the browser component is not present in it and must be downloaded from the network during installation. Packages from the userland are upgraded to portage snapshot tagged on 2015-05-30.Here is a short overview of the most notable features introduced in this release: added initial support for Google Chrome as an alternative browser to Mozilla Firefox; updated UEFI component to support PCs equipped with 32-bit EFI firmware; Kiosk Wizard offers a possibility of loading and saving the kiosk configuration on removable devices...." See the complete release announcement and the detailed changelog for more information.
Ryan Finnie has announced the release of Finnix 111, a small Debian-based live Linux distribution for system administrators - now with experimental support for the armhf architecture: "Finnix 111 released. Finnix is a small, self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution for system administrators, based on Debian 'Testing'. Finnix 111 includes support for the ARM architecture, OverlayFS support, as well as other features and bug fixes. Finnix 111 introduces support for the ARM (armhf) architecture, in addition to existing x86 and PowerPC architecture support. Finnix 111 for ARM is currently classified as a 'technology preview', and primarily targets the Versatile Express A9 platform, as emulated by QEMU. This makes it easy to download and test via QEMU on a standard PC without special hardware. Additional platforms are planned for the future. Finnix for ARM has been successfully tested on the Raspberry Pi 2." See the release announcement and release notes for further information.
Calculate Linux 14.16.2
Alexander Tratsevskiy has announced the release of Calculate Linux 14.16.2, an updated version of the Gentoo-based distribution for desktops (with KDE or Xfce), servers and media centres: "We are happy to announce the release of Calculate Linux 14.16.2. Main changes: a lighter and more Gentoo-friendly Splashutils tool is finally preferred to Plymouth; OpenRC bootup comes parallel by default; network interfaces got back their classic names; fewer packages in CLD and CLDX, fewer dependencies in CMC and CLS; Chromium problem fixed in CLDX - feel free to open as many tabs as you need; USB 3G/4G modems now work correctly; the default update checkup interval was set to 24 hours; CLD and CLDX flavors both delivered with SMPlayer YouTube browser; in CLD, the GParted editor was replaced with KDE Partition Manager; Python 3.4 included everywhere..." Here is the full release announcement.
The developers of Sabayon, a Gentoo-based distribution, have announced the availability of Sabayon 15.06. The new release features several package upgrades, including an update to the 4.0 Linux kernel. Sabayon makes proprietary video drivers available for improved graphics performance and ships with a lot of desktop functionality out of the box. "We changed a lot of things under the hood, and with this release we wanted to show them up also on the surface. All the flavors received the deserved love. We moved to 4.0 kernel, gcc 4.9.2, systemd 216, x265 support, primus for high performance graphics on optimus card, prepared Entropy for Plasma 5, libav 11.3, Kodi (the new name of XBMC): the complete ChangeLog files related to this release are available on our mirrors. We have some very exciting improvements in the pipeline. The ChangeLog files related to this release are available on our mirrors." Further information can be found in the project's release announcement.
Sabayon 15.06 -- Running the Xfce desktop
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Diversity of reviews
We receive a lot of requests to do reviews of one open source project or another. Some people ask us to seek out and review lesser known distributions, particularly ones sitting on our waiting list. Other people want us to diversify by reviewing more non-Linux operating systems, such as the BSDs or MINIX. While some readers would like us to focus primarily on mainstream distributions, exploring the options people tend to use most. We already try to strike a balance between these requests, but we would like to get a better feel for the sorts of topics our readers want to see. With that in mind, this week we ask that you chime in with the sorts of reviews you want more of. Do you want more mainstream reviews, looks at lesser known Linux distributions, more non-Linux operating systems, occasional open source application reviews, or a balance of all the above? Feel free to go into detail regarding what you want to see in the comments section.
You can see the results of last week's poll on rolling vs fixed releases here.
I want more reviews on
|Mainstream Linux distros: ||348 (22%)|
| Obscure Linux distros: ||422 (26%)|
| Non-Linux OSes: ||176 (11%)|
| Applications: ||228 (14%)|
| Books: ||44 (3%)|
| All of the above: ||375 (23%)|
| Other: ||16 (1%)|
Changes to our package database
Every year, around this time, we update the list of packages we track in the DistroWatch database. As the open source climate changes some packages fall out of favour or are no longer maintained. Meanwhile, new software arrives on the scene and provides new functionality. Here is a list of new packages we are now tracking:
In an effort to keep our list of tracked software tidy, we have ceased tracking the following packages: bluefish, fetchmail, procmail, Xmas and YUM.
- Bitcoin, an innovative payment network and a new kind of money
- DNF, a new package management library and a fork of YUM
- efibootmgr, a Linux user-space application to modify the Intel EFI boot manager
- kde-workspace, a package containing components that provide the KDE desktop environment.
- Kodi, a media player and entertainment hub for digital media
- LibreSSL, an implementation of SSL and TLS protocols, forked from OpenSSL
- Plasma Desktop, a desktop environment
- shim, a bootloader to chain-load signed boot loaders under Secure Boot
- tmux a terminal multiplexer
- ZFS, an advanced file system and volume manager maintained by the Illumos community
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Distributions added to waiting list
- Chili-OS. Chili-OS is a Mint-based distribution for mid-to-low end computers featuring the Xfce desktop environment.
- CrunchBang Plus Plus. CrunchBang++ is an open source and completely free of cost computer operating system, designed as a continuation of the CrunchBang Linux distribution, based on newer Debian 8 "Jessie" packages and built around the minimal and lightweight Openbox window manager. CrunchBang++ is also known as CBPP or #!++ or CrunchBang Plus Plus.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 15 June 2015. To contact the authors please send email to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, suggestions and corrections: news, donations, distribution submissions, comments)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • F twenty two (by forlin on 2015-06-08 01:01:09 GMT from Europe) |
For everything (less free) one may need, give Fedy a try.
2 • Way too many distributions doing all the same thing, just another name (by Terry Rosinski on 2015-06-08 01:31:49 GMT from North America)
It is in my opinion that there are way too many distros and most if not all of them consist of the same packages and functionality. Seems it's just another name but they all do the same thing. When I see so many new ones coming on DistroWatch I say out loud "Not another one!" Also, most of names for the distros are having "OS" included as part of their name. Names like: Windows, Linux, Android, OSX, ect.. Don't have OS as the last part or end of their name. Again, it seems like lots of creators of linux distros are just making up a silly name and adding OS to it and when you download the .ISO and try it out, it's pretty much the same old thing over and over. It would be better time spent for any linux distribution to take lots of time to make their system very polished, regularly maintenance with updates when they come out, intuitive, and finally no traps that tell you that unless you make a donation you can't try, use or install the distro.
3 • Diversity... sure why not! (by Baltazar on 2015-06-08 01:52:11 GMT from North America)
Well that sounds good... Can I finally see a review on "accessibility" in Linux and perhaps help to get more attention to it from the Linux community?
I bet there are blind users out there that could benefit from free software!
... am waiting... =)
4 • Installation (by Ubuntu Mate on 2015-06-08 02:41:52 GMT from North America)
very easy,very friendly,newbie friendly,my daily ride. love it if one more thing could be added it is HOT CORNERS please!
5 • Unreasonable Expectation (by Omar on 2015-06-08 03:31:44 GMT from North America)
Distrowatch has never been the leader of accessibility news or reviews. There are other sites for that. They can't be all thing to all people, that's an unreasonable expectation.
Do you know who Jonathan Nadeau is ? He is a blind Linux activist. Are you familiar with the distro he's associated with? Sonar GNU/Linux at http://sonargnulinux.com/
Do you know who Spencer Hunley is ? He is an autistic professional, former Vice Chair of the Kansas City Mayor's Committee for People with Disabilities, and current board member of the Autism Society of the Heartland & ASAN's Kansas City chapter. His Google+ page is at https://plus.google.com/communities/115810470149456624693
Are you involved in?
Vinux at http://vinuxproject.org/
Knoppix ADRIANE at http://www.knopper.net/knoppix-adriane/index-en.html
Stop waiting and be proactive. If you have a disability contact the authors of this site Jesse and Ladislaw and ask how to help out. I think its unreasonable to expect someone with no disabilities to do a review from that stand point.
6 • Fedora 22 KDE (by Reuben on 2015-06-08 03:57:29 GMT from North America)
I'm now using Fedora 22 KDE spin. I'm very much liking it.
Using the installer I created a root and home subvolume, on an existing BTRFS partition. AFAIK, anaconda is the only installer that will allow you to install on a BTRFS partition that already contains a Linux installation.
Anyways, KDE Plasma 5 is finally coming around. The wallpaper that Fedora uses is better than the default wallpaper, but that's hardly a compliment.
One problem that I've encountered with dnf is that it won't show updates until I clear out the metadata.
7 • Re too many distros and other annoyances (by salparadise on 2015-06-08 04:47:14 GMT from Europe)
And how!. So much needlessly duplicated effort.
Another concern of mine is how many distros are releasing "ready for reliable day to day use" OS's built on Debian Testing. Has everyone forgotten what the word 'Testing' means?
And whilst I'm moaning - 6 month release cycles are ridiculous for a Desktop OS. Yearly is pushing it. I've even seen 'brand new, just released' distros with less than 12 months of support before they are 'end of lifed'. The wasted hours, the wasted gigabytes of storage - for less than a year's life! Most distros are overwhelming their users with an endless series of pointless upgrades. If you want more people to take up using Linux, then the 6 month release cycle has to die. Find a look, a methodology and a logo and stick to it like glue.
It used to be that the base system was one thing and you could have any desktop you wanted from minute to minute. There was no Gnome version or KDE version. There was the distro and you picked which DE you fancied or were most comfortable with. Last time I tried to add KDE to an xfce install, KDE wouldn't work and xfce ended up in knots.
In 13 years of Linux use I have watched the community make a series of idiotic decisions - most of which have ensured that MS Windows is still king of the PC.
And another thing - KDE 5 - what the tux has happened to designers? Have they all gone collectively insane? I tried KDE 5 - get more than 2 windows open at the same time and my eyes are straining to make out where one window ends and the next begins. Flat is cool. No it's not. There's a reason we had 20 years of drop shadows and vaguely 3d window borders - because it makes seeing the screen easier.
Meh - the PC is no place for trends.
8 • This weeks survey (by EarlyBird on 2015-06-08 05:14:33 GMT from North America)
I voted in the all-of-the-above category. Anything we can learn is useful and informative.
One area that could use more coverage would be embedded devices. For anyone who hasn't noticed, these things are revolutionizing the computing landscape. First came products like LEGO Mindstorm and also Arduino. Also TI Beaglebone and a host of competing products. Raspberry-Pi and Python are changing how computing is taught in schools, and even starting to become an industrial base for some products. Comment 2 above- Terry Rosinski: You think the number of distros is mind-boggling? The number os embedded products is becoming like the number of grains in the sand. In the case of Raspberry-Pi, there is a clone called Banana-Pi! (probably comes with a package of whipped cream?). Oh, in the case of clones, beware. I understand there are starting to be some Chinese clones that don't meet their strict quality controls. The importance of this has not been lost on Microsoft; they have announced a "free" release om MS10 for the PI! Who'd 'a thunk we'd ever see the day? Of course MS lost the embedded market eons ago, are hardly a factor in the mobile market, and with the desktop market "shrinking", they face un uncertain future.
As for the importance of the embedded market, consider that just about any appliance around the house that has an OS, uses Linux. There was just an announcement the other day about "automotive grade linux" (on lwn.net, or maybe edn.com?) With self-driving cars on the horizon, you sure don't want it operating on windoze. Then again, the Google car probably uses Android. How to explain the Navy using Windows on ships? Probably the only exception to universal linux I can come up with.
Anyway, all this to make an argument for the sheer size and importance of the embedded market. Hackers get your hands dirty.... (and just to be clear, I mean to hack/build embedded stuff, not to hackwebsites!) So more coverage of embedded stuff, makerfairs, and links to do-it-yourself projects for people who are hands-on and not afraid to code.
9 • Hot corners (by Maik on 2015-06-08 07:16:19 GMT from Europe)
If Compiz is enabled you can modify it to your liking and enable hot corners through CCSM.
10 • Diversity of reviews (by bobzr on 2015-06-08 09:20:33 GMT from Europe)
I voted 'Mainstream distros' because I think DW is a mature site and it should focus on serious projects, and no I don't care about teenagers who change a wallpaper, add some apps & the like... and here it is the best OS of the century, Seriously, DW has become a reference in order to have the news and latest trends of linux world. Who cares about a distro that will end its life after a few months because its dev was bored and dropped his project? May be DW should improve its distro ranking, why don't have more statistics based on polls, but on selected main distributions. And possibly classify the new projects apart.
11 • Diversity of reviews (by Francesco on 2015-06-08 09:43:17 GMT from Europe)
I think that distrowatch is ok like it is now ;) .
Maybe some less mainstream distro review could be interesting (e.g. i would be interested in Q4os that isn't live, quite different from others distro and not that widespreaded, or some other distro that is somewhat innovative or really different), maybe like the mini reviews we have seen some weeks before.
Thank you and keep up the good work!
12 • Fedora 22 KDE: Inherits Some Upstream Annoyances (by joncr on 2015-06-08 10:46:36 GMT from North America)
Fedora 22 is the smoothest packaging of the new KDE I've used so far. But, it inherits some annoyances from upstream KDE that probably won't be fixed for months.
First, the first time users access anything that wants to use Kwallet, a dialogue will pop up asking three questions about migrating an existing KDE4 wallet to KDE5. This happens because old KDE4 apps can only talk to old KDE Kwallet, so it is installed, and new KDE5 apps can only talk to new (and unfinished) KDE5 KWallet, also installed. On a new install, an empty KDE4 wallet is created. it's this that you are asked about migrating.
The problem -- and this is consistent throughout the presentation of KWallet to users -- is that no effort is made to tell the user what KWallet is, why you might want to use it, how to answer the dialogue, etc. KWallet is packaged and framed entirely from the POV of the developer(s) who wrote it.
Second, KMail and the rest of KDEPim have not been ported to KDE5. As a result, KMail messages are not indexed or found by the desktop search engine. The user is shown nothing to advise of this situation.
Both of these problems result from poor planning and release scheduling by KDE.
13 • Reviews: Don't forget old computers... (by ChiJoan on 2015-06-08 11:16:54 GMT from North America)
I think it is a shame when Intel P3 and other 32-bit computers end up in dumpsters, there are still Distros for them, right? It's also a shame when Open Firmware isn't updated on some servers, so you have to install on USB with Fat32 on a dual-core HP-Xeon in my case, or see them tossed, too.
True, we may be soon be to the point of coffee tables, bookcases, bed supports, and other DYI uses made of gutted tower cases. Wonder when they'll make a Raspberry-PI insert for making a desktop cluster or something?
Yes, I miss Gnome 2 days when KDE game apps could be run at the same time. I thought LXDE might work here, lately I've tried XFCE for this ability, but the 24-hour clock and sometime bottom font size limitation in some Distros are trying. Remember our old eyes and large monitors need settings to be flexible.
Also, are there any controls for bringing brightness and contrast adjustments to viewing online TV, etc.? So far, all I see are ways to make them darker, for laptops batteries, I suppose.
Thanks for making Distrowatch, have a good week...
14 • UEFI (by brad on 2015-06-08 11:32:19 GMT from North America)
[...]"a tutorial on how to disable Secure Boot on an Acer computer will be different than a tutorial for disabling the feature on a Dell computer."
...as I have learned recently! Still, with the help of a few resources on the web, I goy my Acer laptop to *finally* multI-boot Windows, Kubuntu, and Linux Mint, with room to spare for other distributions to test.
In any case, thanks for the expanded information on UEFI to be found in the distribution descriptions. This will certainly be a big help and time-saver going forward.
15 • @#9 (by Ari Torres on 2015-06-08 11:49:03 GMT from North America)
remember fuduntu? I do
where is Andrew Wyatt when you need him? No Compiz Please!
16 • The reasons why (by jim sadler on 2015-06-08 12:19:46 GMT from North America)
Frankly DW does a fabulous job for all of us. And one reason we see so many distros is that technology is gaining speed these days. A few months time and better software and improvements in distros justify making changes. Right now I'm running a version of Puppy. It boots quickly and has enough features to get me through most days. I do have several Linux versions installed that have more complex features for use when I need them. And the most encouraging thing that I see is that Linux is popping up in more and more places. Maybe we are at the dawn of Linux with much more to come soon.
17 • @3 - accessibility (by Paraquat on 2015-06-08 14:10:14 GMT from Asia)
DistroWatch had an excellent article on accessibility (written by a sight-impaired individual). Admittedly, it was three years ago, but still worth a read:
18 • Non-Linux OSes (by bison on 2015-06-08 14:28:58 GMT from North America)
I'd like to see reviews of DragonFly BSD 4.0.x and AROS. The later has very limited hardware support, but it can be hosted on a Linux-based OS.
19 • Calculate, poll (by a on 2015-06-08 14:29:42 GMT from Europe)
Calculate Linux is theoretically a great simple way to install and use Gentoo (without systemd). Unfortunately when I tried it in Virtualbox it broke pretty quickly (I don’t remember the details, sorry).
About the poll… I’m interested in reviews of distros that don’t use systemd. I voted "obscure" because we already know about the mainstream distros, so what’s the point? Also they all use systemd so they all belong in the same garbage dump.
20 • VirtualBox vs KVM (by Scott Dowdle on 2015-06-08 15:10:52 GMT from North America)
Jesse Smith, as you surely know the Linux kernel has a hypervisor built-in in the form of KVM. You should seriously consider kicking VirtualBox to the curb (except for 32-bit-only systems that can't run KVM).
21 • @7 Distro-versity = Linux marginalization (by Sam on 2015-06-08 15:22:29 GMT from North America)
As someone who has, in day-to-day computing, moved away from Linux to the walled garden of Apple, I have to wonder the degree that so many variations of Linux has reproduced effort, re-re-re-re-re-invented the wheel, and sapped the Linux Movement's desktop energy. I mean, wasn't 2005 supposed to be the Year of Desktop Linux? Or was it 2007... or '09... or... Could you imagine if 1/2 of all the really smart people working on Distro X, Y, or Z turned their attention to application development... Imagine the gaming platform we'd have on Linux? Or the premier video editing? Heck, even a decent competitor to Illustrator/InDesign/Publisher... And certainly then Linux could have been at the forefront of an Internet-of-Things... All that wasted brain power thrown into arcane debates over "SysINIT" processes and forking and forking...
Pretty sure Linus Torvalds screwed it up. A kernel wasn't enough. A Stallman-esque base platform of startup scripts, hardware management, and Kernel ATOP which any old development team could create competing DEs, application packages, etc., would have been far more promising and probably led to more focused energies rather than all this distro-versity dissipation.
Oh well, maybe the next cool, alternative, free-as-in-beer OS will get it right, be more of a GNU/Linux than a Linux/GNU.
22 • @2 - too many distributions (by Vukota on 2015-06-08 15:44:07 GMT from Europe)
I totally agree on that one, and that is why I don't think "spin" kind/"one man" simple distributions should be reviewed here.
From the review standpoint, I like reviews of
1) New releases of the major distributions (I would not go by distrowatch rankings here, since in example FreeBSD is #30),
2) Major different desktop distributions (if not covered by #1),
3) Specialized distributions, for different purposes, like Clonezilla, pfSense, OpenELEC and others I rarely hear of or have time to play with,
4) Weird or innovative distributions/OSes that cover unique spots/architectures/or demo new approaches, like ReactOS, Android-x86, etc.
23 • Blind accessible Linux Distros (by Tim W. on 2015-06-08 16:33:17 GMT from North America)
There are two pretty good ones of which I am aware. The first is Vinux which is based on Ubuntu and the other is Sonar which is based on Manjaro. They offer screen reader, Orca.
You can also find Orca in most repositories to make other distros more accessible.
Hope this helps!!
24 • @20 VirtualBox vs KVM (by Reuben on 2015-06-08 18:18:20 GMT from North America)
KVM/Qemu has a number of problems. First off is that qemu is harder to use. Virt-manager makes things better but still isn't as user friendly and uses an over-complicated security model. Second the lack of video acceleration makes desktop systems extremely sluggish.
25 • ... sure, thanks for the kick... (by Baltazar on 2015-06-08 19:03:56 GMT from North America)
So... you seem to be blind to a little request to a review for susceptibilities in Linux since you, Omar, don't need it?
Omar: "Stop waiting and be proactive. If you have a disability contact the authors of this site Jesse and Ladislaw and ask how to help out. I think its unreasonable to expect someone with no disabilities to do a review from that stand point."
Get of your high horse Omar!
I have been looking and searching for close to 2 years now for something a bit more accessible for a friend who know nothing of computers nor understands English... and haves an junk old PC... Now, am trying to fix a better one so that I may setup some distro or end up building my own if I manage that, but, don't think I have not looked in to this issue...
You see... unlike what you may think, it is not unreasonable to review the tools for accessibility... you just close your eyes or take off your glasses and you will have a better understanding of what a blind user goes thru.
Now, thanks for the link to Spencer Hunley... I will check it out. All the rest I have been aware since I stated with looking for some Linux for my friend... I just find them lacking for several issues that have bug me that I know she will not manage to get true. Reason for me to ask for some reviews and letting know of my interest here... to your disdain...
Look, am not in need for this tools myself but I'll be damn if the only ones are for hardcore geeks only or offered by commercial programs with costly training... lots of people can't type commands in a console without making many mistakes much less when they are noobs and blind!!!
Want my review... ORCA has been left to die by the beach!!! It crashes last i tried... leaving me frustrated that no one cares since some think only disable ones need to worry about that... That's unreasonable!
26 • RE: #25 (by ChiJoan on 2015-06-08 19:34:45 GMT from North America)
Like you I tested Distros for a newly blind person...I settled on Knoppix Adrian for hers and also a tower with Mint with the added tools for the rest of the family. One puzzle I ran into was having a book read in two voices at once, the PDF built-in voice and the reader application, it's been a year or more, since I gave those away, so I forgot some details.
Hang in there, even Puppy was working on a blind version at one time.
27 • DWW Poll (by Chris on 2015-06-08 19:59:58 GMT from North America)
First, I would like to start by saying that Distrowatch is a great resource and DWW is a must read for me each week. Kudos!
While I think 'All of the above' is the ideal answer, I think DWW already tries to do this but unfortunately does not cover enough obscure distros; therefore, I voted 'Obscure Linux distros'.
I think I should define what I think is a distro vs. a respin, each either mainstream or obscure. In my mind, a distro contains one or more of the following attributes (subject to revision based upon future KSAs):
1. It maintains its own repositories (binary or source based) completely independent of its parent(s), if any. Examples: Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Slackware, LFS, Gentoo, Alpine, Salix, etc.
2. It is extremely popular or contains enough unique, useful, unobtainable (from within repos of its parent(s)), different, or highly difficult to setup qualities than its parents, if any. Unfortunately, this can be somewhat subjective. Examples: Mint, Tails, LFS, Salix, etc.
Even if excellently done, and there are many, a respin fails to meet one or both of the above in any meaningful way. I will refrane from providing examples so as to avoid unnecessary conflict.
In a niche OS field, mainstream vs. obscure is also somewhat subjective. However, even if we take the DW list as the complete universe where is the cutoff? Top 5, 10, 25, etc.? Obscure could also be defined as the installation of a mainstream or lower popularity distro in a unique way.
Based upon my above thoughts, I submit for example, a multi-installment article on a Alpine Linux install setting up a unique workstation environment (imagine a #! style Alpine install - call it Snowbang *!). A combined review and guide, to show the obscure distro, show new people that Linux is more than turn-key Ubuntu, and inspire greybeards to think out of the box. Just a thought...
28 • DNF - still a work in progress (by mikef90000 on 2015-06-08 20:01:29 GMT from North America)
Like Jesse, I didn't see much 'above board' improvement with dnf over yum. In fact, the replacement gui dnf-yumex has that cryptic GNOME3 look and feel. With RPM Fusion repo enabled, cache updates seem to take forever before you can even start searching for a package. A big step backwards in usability IMO. Why can't they just clone synaptic instead??
29 • @28 Update (by Chris on 2015-06-08 20:16:14 GMT from North America)
Due to some of the disabled commentary while I was posting my subject comments, I had a new thought. I amend my idea for a future DWW multi-installment article to that of a Debian Netinst minimized custom build for the blind. Again, just another thought...
P.S. - Although a *! build could still be very cool. I may just have to try it one of these days.
30 • ... it would be cool! (by Baltazar on 2015-06-08 20:47:07 GMT from North America)
I am conted with some peope giving advice and showing interest, that's good to start.
I am curently trying Sonar and atleast with the machine I have now it seems nice... though I just don't like the interface that much... I mean, no minimise or maximise buttons... come on! I supose one can add them so no problem I suppose...
In the past I was trying to get something to run on an old PC... that was limiting... now I mange to get a better machine and hope to set the system better for her...
But I must say it would be nice to see a mention of the subject here every now an then... like once or twice a year... just to race awareness of them tools and distros and their usability improvements for their users...
I tried Adriane and it was not good for my situation...
Lets see how this goes... thanks for the repplies!
31 • Too many distros? (by Jason Hsu on 2015-06-08 21:34:47 GMT from North America)
Some people complain that there are too many distros or too many DEs. Complaining that there are too many distros or DEs is like complaining that there are too many types of cars. In that respect, the Windows world is like East Germany, where the only car one could have was the smoke-belching Trabant.
The controversies over GNOME 3 and over Ubuntu with Unity prove that it's better to have more choices. Many GNOME 2 users switched to KDE, Xfce, LXDE, or Enlightenment. Clem and his team at Linux Mint provided two more choices - MATE and Cinnamon. Ubuntu users who didn't like Unity switched to Linux Mint, Fedora, Xubuntu, PCLinuxOS, or other distros offering a user-friendly interface.
In contrast, when Windows makes a controversial change (such as Windows Vista or 8), anyone who sticks with Windows has to suck it up and accept it sooner or later.
32 • Diversity (by Götz on 2015-06-08 21:59:49 GMT from Europe)
You are doing an excellent job already. No need to change anything. And if there will be a need to change, you'll find out anyway.
33 • Yes too many distros (by Will B on 2015-06-08 23:00:01 GMT from North America)
I'm not trying to be grumpy, but yes, there are *way* too many distros out there. I am happy that there is a great deal of choice out there, but not so happy when a new distro pops up that's based on Ubuntu, Debian, Slackware or Gentoo and the only difference is just a theme change or special icon set. And like was said earlier, I often mutter to myself "Not another one!" when I see these 'me too' distros.
I wish there was a way to filter out some of the 'noise' of copycat distros and just view distros that are truly unique and have some cool features that set them *truly* apart.
Also, I'd love to see more BSD reviews. If some of the lesser-used BSDs got more exposure, they might get more people interested, and more interested (and well-behaved) people can help make a project better.
34 • diversity of distros (by Tim on 2015-06-08 23:02:06 GMT from Planet Mars)
It's interesting... everyone comments on the useless repetitive distros but I've never seen anyone name one specifically. If you look down the list in the 60s-140s you'll see several, but Jesse hasn't really wasted time on them so I think criticism of Distrowatch for them is unwarranted.
Frankly I think DistroWatch is very good right now. It's a must read for me every week. I only have one suggestion, and it's because when you're reviewing Debian with GNOME Shell that's not really reviewing Debian, it's reviewing one possible Debian experience. If I were to do anything differently, it would be to separate reviews of "distros" from reviews of "desktop environments." It would almost be neat to have a page of all the implementations of KDE in common distros, and all the implementations of MATE, and all the implementations of LXDE, etc and limit reviews on desktop environments to comparing the differences on how they're done between the distros comparing Debian LXDE to Lubuntu to openSUSE LXDE, etc.
Then reviews of distros themselves could be focused on what's actually different behind the hood of each and why each is important as a base distro (or not important.) More obscure distros that are radically different from a mainstream one like NixOS or something would be interesting to read about why this different approach is interesting.
Just my 2 cents. But the site as it is is something I look forward to each week, so I don't aim to be critical at all.
35 • too many distros? (by anticapitalista on 2015-06-08 23:17:18 GMT from Europe)
Not enough I say.
So kudos to DW for regularly adding a distro to the database (wallpaper snapshots and all - Cromwell).
36 • Too Many of What (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2015-06-08 23:50:36 GMT from North America)
There are not too many distros. There are too many distros based on Ubuntu. Its only merit is money. Otherwise it's a dog and those experienced with distros know it. Count your choices with 'buntus subtracted out.
What you find next: there are too many distros based on Debian. Its only merit is age and stability FUD. Otherwise it's a dog and most people experienced with many distros know it.
Remove Ubuntu and Debian derivatives. Then look at your choices. That is the true landscape of Linux.
What interests me are novel efforts like SliTaz, Quirky, Void, Porteus, Tails (yah, Debian, OK), based on novel improvements like busybox, musl libc, LibreSSL, etc. and special use cases.
And open hardware/firmware efforts like FOSS-to-the-metal laptop projects, router projects, net card f/w. DE arguments are not the important ones. We need open computers, period. Once Linux has enough fully-open PCs, people will naturally buy them.
I run Arch with all desktops and have no problem switching between them. Usually I just work in Openbox and run whatever KDE, GNOME, GTK, Qt, Enlightenment apps I please. As long as you have the base/core stuff from each DE they work fine.
Before smartphones hit the market, nobody knew they "needed" one. That's what I mean about use cases. Linux has far too many distros focused on bolted-to-the-floor PCs, and almost none focused on portable USB boot sticks able to run ANY stock PC. It's very possible to do these days. It's a neglected use case. Notice that all installers can detect/configure any monitor, but no distro does so when you type 'startx' - so I see a lot of unexplored territory while everyone clusters around Ubuntu and changes wallpaper.
Linux needs no grand consolidation of distros. It needs far fewer 'buntus. But mainly it needs is FOSS (and KISS) philosophy down to the firmware where it counts (LibreBoot, video drivers, etc.). Vendor lock-in tricks are the enemy.
The real wins for Linux have been getting hardware vendors on board with FOSS, willing or no, even to the extent of suing under GPL those trying to hide their copycat plagiarized firmware.
37 • Applications, Applications, Applications (by igor on 2015-06-09 00:12:02 GMT from North America)
There's a crying need for reviews of Linux applications. I mean who really knows half the apps available. Reviews on the Linux OSes are a bore, I mean you read one you read them all. There is no big mystery about the OSes. *buntu or a derivative if you want easy, something else if you want to tinker all day long. Get over it, pick your poison and stick with it. The question is what can we do with Linux once it is installed?
38 • Poll, DEs, & Disro variety (by M.Z. on 2015-06-09 00:33:35 GMT from Planet Mars)
On the poll I answered all of the above, though I think I'd rank non Linux OSs first, followed by obscure distros, especially if those distros do special & different tasks.
I'm enjoying Cinnamon 2.6 on LMDE & think it's a fairly good incremental update. It's snappy like it's always been, but there are a few nice mods to the settings & some improvements in desktop effects. I still get tearing while streaming TV/movies that isn't present in KDE, but otherwise the new Cinnamon is quite excellent.
@4 & 9 -MATE
It sounds like you guys are talking about teaching an old school DE (MATE) some new school tricks. It's all well & good in theory not to mention nifty if it works, though last time I enabled Compiz on an old PC suitable for MATE it killed my desktop & I had to fall back to the command line to manually remove Compiz. I think both Cinnamon & KDE have a lot of good hot corner options built in & fully integrated making them far better for hot corner users with proper hardware. I don't see hot corners as inside the MATE's traditional DE wheelhouse, & doubt they would put that sort of thin in many MATE distros by default.
@too many distro complaints
I've said it before & I'll say it again, playing with Linux & making your own version is every users right under the GPL & it's a beautiful thing. I'm not saying it wouldn't be better to do more work on fewer versions, but there is no way you can tell people not to do their own thing with GPL software. By some measures there are literately thousands of distros out there & I think DW does a good job getting the decent sized & stable projects out there in their listings without going overboard & showing everybody's personal remake of another distro.
39 • Reviews of Distros and Apps (by EarthHawk on 2015-06-09 01:46:12 GMT from North America)
I agree that there tends to be too many spins, however great distros have come out of those spins. I use Manjaro and ChaletOS.
I would like to see more reviews on software applications and alternate distros. We all know software sell consoles and computers not hardware (gameboy and wii).
40 • more apps, and Ubuntu and respin haters.... (by frodopogo on 2015-06-09 04:51:25 GMT from North America)
I definitely want to see more app reviews, and totally agree with the posts to that effect.
An OS isn't an end in itself... it's like a hallway or foyer that leads to the apps, which are where the real work gets done.
I agree that it would be nice if you could filter out respins for some purposes, but they have their place. While they do a very good job overall, sometimes the esthetics of Ubuntu and Mint just aren't everyone's cup of tea- they lean to conservative, if not downright drab. Even if it doesn't get installed, a respin can give a user ideas about how to tweak their main desktop, and also might give them a chance to try different apps than the standard ones that come with the main distros.
One thing both Ubuntu and derivative haters and the respinners don't get is that the OS is only part of the total user experience. And really it's hard for software reviewers not to neglect some of these aspects due to the short time they actually have the distro installed, because except for the first two, these aspects show themselves over a period of time.
These extremely important aspects include:
1. The installer. Ubuntu has a very good installer- this is NOT a trivial thing.
If the installer is a head-scratcher, the OS will not get installed AT ALL for quite a number of people. I tried the MATE version of Fedora, and the installer was really borderline. But the Ubuntu installer really doesn't make it easy to try different distros on different partitions... there needs to be a user-friendly installer that will DO that.
2. "Live" CD, DVD, flash drive experience. This is NOT optional... Linux is neglected enough by hardware manufacturers that the ability to pretest hardware compatibility is absolutely essential. No "live" test experience? You've relegated your distro to lower rankings at best.
3. Software repositories. The software repository has to be as friendly as the desktop,
Friendly desktops, but arcane means of getting software are a MISMATCH.
The repository needs to be filled with a variety of software that will not break the OS.
I'm not mainly an Ubuntu user, but Ubuntu gets this, VERY WELL. Mint's repository is good, but has some flaws. However, they totally get the idea of having software available that will not break the OS.
4. Support. Sooner or later, something will go wrong, and you will need help and advice, for video adaptors and wi-fi, if nothing else. Both Mint and Ubuntu have mostly friendly, mostly helpful user forums.
Arch? The Arch concept appeals to me, and might be a great learning experience, but the reputation of the forum STINKS. So it's a non-starter.
5. Software updates need to be handled well.
Mint's is excellent, a little better than Ubuntu's from what I've seen. I tried one distro that appealed in a lot of ways, but error messages right off the bat with the software updater, coupled with forums that were friendly, but mostly coming up with over-my-head solutions (LONG terminal scripts) meant I wasn't going to get far with it.
6. Since I'm using older hardware, I don't understand this from experience, but from what I've read, due to Microsoft's sneakiness and anticompetitive behavior with UEFI and Secure Boot, it seems to me that computers with Linux pre-installed may be a way forward for Linux. But which ones are getting the attention from hardware manufacturers or clone assemblers? Ubuntu, Fedora, and Mint, maybe one or two others. People making and selling hardware want to install OS's that give their buyers a good experience, including in those aspects apart from the OS itself. Of course in that case the live trial and the installer become non-issues. So in this scenario, Fedora's unfriendly installer isn't a problem. I guess you'd have to include Chromebooks in hardware available for Linux.
You put all of these together, and they might actually outweigh the desktop experience itself. Perhaps other distros do better than Ubuntu and it's major derivatives like Mint and Zorin on some things, but if they don't do these five things well, they aren't going to last very long on a Linux neophyte's computer, if they even manage to install them at all.
And even with an experienced Linux user, there may be a limit to how much their patience can be tested.
41 • EFI (by Platypus on 2015-06-09 05:32:54 GMT from Oceania)
Deepin 2014 handles EFI booting. In fact I triple boot with Windows 7, Linux-Lite and Deepin. Installing Deepin was the only way I could get Deepin into the boot loader. It's crude but it worked.
42 • Chrome OS (by Chuck Moore on 2015-06-09 06:06:54 GMT from North America)
I don't know if Chrome OS is a linux distro or a non-linux distro, but I would like to hear reviews about Google's Chrome OS or Chromium OS (where Chrome OS is derived from).
43 • @36 - what's so bad about Debian? (by Hoos on 2015-06-09 06:34:56 GMT from Asia)
"What you find next: there are too many distros based on Debian. Its only merit is age and stability FUD. Otherwise it's a dog and most people experienced with many distros know it...."
A good Debian derivative/offshoot is a useful thing for me, with the codecs and various other configurations/settings (including aesthetics) all set up nicely already.
MX14 (Wheezy), Solydxk (Jessie) - they are far from being "a dog". My computer usage is quite standard. I don't necessarily need the latest versions of the applications I use. Your usage is probably different from mine, but these distros sure work for me. So long as security updates are still pushed through, I'm OK.
If I want the latest packages, I have Manjaro coupled with AUR (as opposed to pure Arch, for the same reason as for Debian). And I do have Porteus on flash drive. MX/antiX is also a good portable distro.
I'm happy to straddle both the rolling release and long term release ends of the distro spectrum.
Obviously there will be Ubuntu and perhaps Debian derivatives where one wonders, "what's the point?", but not every derivative should be tarred with the same brush.
44 • @15 - fuduntu (by Carlos on 2015-06-09 07:22:31 GMT from Europe)
That was the best distro ever.
45 • Arch (by Charles on 2015-06-09 07:48:29 GMT from Europe)
"Arch? The Arch concept appeals to me, and might be a great learning experience, but the reputation of the forum STINKS. So it's a non-starter."
What's the problem with the Arch forums?
46 • DWW Poll & Ubuntu MATE (by NeverAgainIsNow on 2015-06-09 08:10:05 GMT from North America)
DWW Poll: All of the above, but more Open Source Application reviews, for sure, please.
Ubuntu MATE: I like UM very much. A basic ISO edition, is my preference. I can add my own choices of applications. Now, if there was an option during the operating system install to add things, such as a browser type, email, music player, gimp, other terminals, etc. this would be great, too.
47 • Needed in distro devs: management skills & people technologies. (by Greg Zeng on 2015-06-09 12:58:01 GMT from Oceania)
Seemingly unknown to most comments here, there are far more Linux distributions released than is handled by Distrowatch & other internet sites.
Most new distros are ego-publishers, or vanity publishers. Some one-person distros do highlight the Linux upstream failings, of which there are very many. The authors, such as Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora-spins, Mandriva-spins, Arch-spins, etc try to repair or bypass the limitations of there upsteam parents. Often these are just legal, or other purist limitations.
Linux kernel is doing things that Windows, Apple, Android & BSD are too frightened to do: trying to adjust to the rapidly created hardware & software environments; 2K, 4K, 8K OLED displays (single & multiple), USB 3.1, SSD drives, etc.
Android & its spins are frozen to an old Linux kernel, so Waylan, Plasma & Canonical's Unity-MIR -- are still trying to devise universal display software of some kind, independent of HTML5, but fast, light & flexible.
Android apps seem to be working well for medically impaired ("disabled") people like myself, but until universal display software software arrives, we will continue being impaired.
The hardware is ready, but the software developers are missing. Unfortunately the distro-coders are generally lacking in people skills, so the massive voluntary effort for software development (operating systems & applications) is still not being done.
The commercial mind-think of Microsoft, IBM, Apple, ... and the limited public-minded organizations like ISO, NSA, NASA, etc have yet to develop the people management skills & technologies to get software development to coordinate at all. As a full-time human-change agent, these impasses in C20 & C21 humans is the subject of my work. White racism of white Australia is however holding back people like myself.
48 • opinion poll (by kraut on 2015-06-09 16:45:08 GMT from Europe)
+1 for reviews of obscure distros with lesser known lightweight desktops
LiquidLemur with WindowMaker
4MLinux with JWM
AntiX with IceWM
Salix or VSIDO with FLuxbox
Madbox or SalentOS with Openbox
Salix with Ratpoison
Or reviews of specialised distros like OpenMediaVault.
IMO OpenMediaVault (the only NAS-distro based on Debian) is a good candidate for the DWW-donation-program.
Or application reviews:
Comparison of PDF-documentviewer
Comparison of archive-manager
Or configuration tips like 'How to get sound over HDMI'
Thank you for making distrowatch & greetings from Germany.
49 • Void_Tails_and_also_Linux_Mint_Debian_Edition_2_systemd-free (by k on 2015-06-09 17:05:15 GMT from Europe)
To little 'a' :), comment #19, understanding your interest. Robert Storey's tip -- last issue (612) of DWW --, typing in terminal: cat /proc/1/comm to display init or systemd or whatever, very useful. Perhaps not "mainstream" but, as Jesse Smith noted -- also issue 612 DWW -- Linux Mint Debian Edition 2 (LMDE2) is systemd-free, as is Tails, also based on Debian. LMDE2 is very full-featured, fast and secure, but not sure about stability. Tails, as you probably know, is extremely stable, fully anonymous and portable, but restricted apps (e.g internet radio player) for security and usablity. Void -- uses Runit -- is very interesting, but package manager(?) obscure, or most probably am not using it 'correctly', so I would very much appreciate review. :) Robert Storey also stated PCLinuxOS, Slackware and Gentoo offer systemd-freedom.
50 • @42 Chrome OS (by foo2foo on 2015-06-09 19:26:54 GMT from North America)
@42 Chuck Moore... Chrome OS is a fork of Gentoo Linux.
51 • Poll 2 cents (by Gee on 2015-06-10 05:00:28 GMT from North America)
More coverage on Distros that...
Run on VIA C7 with 1gb ram.
Will run with ram that some is allocated to shared graphics (on the mother board)
Will properly fall back and switch video modes automatically ie. when switched to a projector or TV (Fall back to Vesa mode).
Will video recover when holding the power button for 5 seconds.
Update without leaving a blank screen.
Don't crash while going to sleep/screensaver on update/install.
Will show all partitions automatically on install and automatically detect other OSes including multiple puppies on fat32 (or update/convert Grub4DOS).
Roll between LTS ubuntu releases.
Just my top 10. I can't even get Debian to work right with the VIA C7, I usually can get just about anything to run it.
52 • HDMI , LMDE & Chrome OS (by M.Z. on 2015-06-10 07:04:10 GMT from Planet Mars)
@48 - HDMI sound
I play video all the time on my laptop to a TV via HDMI & have very few sound issues in either Mint KDE or LMDE Cinnamon. Just goto system settings & adjust your audio output in KDE it's System Settings > Multimedia > Audio and Video Settings (on the left) > Audio Hardware Setup (tab). Then set profile to HDMI output. It's similar in Cinnamon, but I think there are fewer sub menus. My biggest problem with audio is usually that I have to kick myself for unnecessarily playing with the HDMI/sound settings when I accidentally leave the TV on mute ;)
@49 - LMDE
Well the base is Debian stable so I don't think that there should be too many issues with LMDE stability overall, though the desktop components do roll after they have been tested & released by the Mint team. The most annoying crashes I've noticed since installing LMDE 2 on my laptop were in a game that's a scorched earth clone, but I remember no problems with the distro proper. Of course I'm leaving off non security related level 4 & 5 updates in the Mint update manager, which may just increase the stability to something approaching straight Debian. In short I don't see stability as a big issue on LMDE 2.
@50 - Chrome OS
I thought the same thing when I saw the question & wikipedia agrees. I doubt that there is much in the guts of Chrome OS to distinguish it from regular Linux distros, though they keep the UI & other surface bits fairly different. Of course there may be some other deeper level stuff going on behind the scenes that I'm not aware of, but if it still has the GNU bits along with the kernel I'd call it a regular Linux distro with a different interface & a few other modifications.
53 • Review suggestions (by dbrion on 2015-06-10 08:38:07 GMT from Europe)
a) Some non x86 distributions, like Rapsbian :can be qemulated in a classical way (a screen, a keyboard ): this hides some hardware discrespancies (RPi can work headless, without keyboard and screen, and control logicl levels : this configuration is not qemu supporyted), but RPi is meant to adapt itself to exotic hardware : package presence, avalaibility, package manager ease of use remain interesting and might lead hardware oriented people , knowing software is easy to manage, to try one of them.
b) each and every PC has a USB port; can a given distribution run (via unetebootin or specific USB key "formatter") a live image. Can it be installed (i.e: package manager works : it cannot on a live image) on a USB stick/rotating disk?
54 • Too many distros? (by ErikWestre on 2015-06-10 12:40:21 GMT from Europe)
I see that some of you are making complaints about what is a good thing, the fact that there are a lot of distros and derivatives to choose from.....
No such thing. If someone who is doing a derivative or personal distro share it with others, it doesn't meant that their effort would have been used in the "mother-distro". It only means that they would do nothing at all. It wouldn't benefit any other distro, and the fact that there are many distros out there, sharpens the competition and forces the "big ones" to be creative, as the small ones often has better solutions to some aspects, as far as user friendliness and functionality goes.
These types of developers are "end users" themselves, and much more suited to understand what other end users actually require and demand, while the big ones often has a tendency to neglect such demands and wants with their elitism.
The former CrunchBang is the only reason why I use Linux, and the only reason why I have become a somewhat skilled user, able to do things for myself. If those kinds of derivatives hadn't existed, I wouldn't be using..., as all the big ones turns me off by their default choices, appearance, and of course, their elitism.
The only linus distros I have ever liked, are derivatives. CrunchBang, WattOS and PeppermintOS. Together with Siduction, Aptosid and a few others. Sure they are needed, all of them. The more the merrier. So what if you are thinking "oh no, not yet another one"... Who are forcing you to try them?
55 • Duplicate distros (by Charles on 2015-06-10 12:47:44 GMT from Europe)
@54 Some derivative distros can add something on top of the efforts of the original or can fill a special niche (GParted Live for instance). I think what people are mainly complaining about are the 'tweaked default distros' as I like to think of them. New colour schemes and some GSettings overrides do not a distro make.
56 • Duplicate distros (by EW on 2015-06-10 16:48:40 GMT from Europe)
Sure, I see your point, and I feel that releasing a lxde or xfce4 version of Ubuntu or Debian are kind of redundant. Or with any of the other major DE's. But when you get into the world of NO DE, which is where I find myself, then the major linux distributions has nothing to offer at all...
Personally I feel that more people would use Debian itself, instead of it's derivatives, if only Debian had the common sense to stop hiding away the non-free images. A newbie is most likely scared away by the first attempt with a non-free netinstall iso...., and that's what you meet at the Debian website. Even if they manage to find the netinstall image that contains non-free firmware, a netinstall is just to advanced for most people.
That's where many of the duplicate distros has their value. They make it more accessible to common people by easing the installation and configuration process. Not everyone wants to learn linux, they just want something free and ready to use... Maybe they cant afford Windows, maybe they have an old laptop that doesn't run well on it. Who knows, there are many reasons to run linux, besides being interested in linux...
Anyway, it doesn't bother me if there are many duplicate or redundant distros. At least it is engaging people that otherwise wouldn't be doing anything else in linux, and they are learning linux while they are developing their own "distros". Nothing is ever wasted.
People seem to think that it's easy to get to participate and influence the big distros. But it isn't. If people are spending lots of time duplicating Debian, it doesn't mean that they otherwise would have been able to put that effort into Debian itself...
So that's why I think that while there may be many duplicate distros, and duplicate efforts, it is time and effort that otherwise would be used to nothing....
57 • Too many Distros (by scrummy on 2015-06-10 18:00:52 GMT from North America)
I think there are too many that are too alike.
I love it when i see a new name appear trying something different sadly even some of those tend to drift away back to the norm after a while
Linux in many ways has lost its variations everyone is using mainly the same software in very similar distros, maybe there isn't people developing new software anymore..
58 • Browser Jump (by PFB on 2015-06-10 21:17:37 GMT from North America)
Is there a remedy for web pages that are basically unusable for 10-60 seconds. They load and then advertisements (I assume) start yanking the focus around rendering the page useless. I look at these pages mostly in the morning when I am also working out. So bringing up a web page, and then doing a set of bench presses while the ads f**k around, usually allows me to browse the page. But there are times I would like a little better response. Distrowatch/comments, Wunderground, and Yahoo are particularly egregious in this regard.
I hate to block ads. They pay the bills. Is there setting I am missing? A different browser perhaps?
59 • @55, Yes it does. Who would have the right to say any different? (by Garon on 2015-06-10 23:16:56 GMT from North America)
"New colour schemes and some GSettings overrides do not a distro make."
I don't really think that someone is going to produce a new distro in that way and if they did, so what? When all the new respins come out, most of the time it is produced by someone who is doing it just for the fun of it. It is after all their right to do so and when people do a remix they are making something their own. Let's not preach about the GPL and then in the same breath, to try, or even suggest that a person should not use the rights giving to them by the GPL. The people who are elitist or even just regular linux users are in the minority and not always correct. Many people may not believe that the Arch way is the best way, or even all simple, or that Unity, or the Gnome shell sucks, or that init systems makes much of a difference. Furthermore, unless you are heavily involved in an IT department then a lot of the stuff preached by the elitist isn't going to mean a thing to an average user. A lot of the complaints coming from the linux community are irrelevant in the end use of a computer. When people stop taking the GPL serious and try to take the FUN out of using linux, that is when linux will start drying on the desktop and there will be a snowball effect and then the end will come. It won't be the fault of Apple or Microsoft or Google or anyone else. It will be our fault.
60 • potential fixes for adds (by M.Z. on 2015-06-11 06:24:03 GMT from Planet Mars)
I block ads quite a lot, with exceptions for sites that 1) I like & want to support & 2) aren't too egregious in their ads. I generally use Firefox with NoScript & other privacy add-ons installed by default & for sites I like that aren't offending me I switch over to Opera without ad blockers. Just use one browser for the sites you generally like & trust, then switch back to Firefox with full blockers if they misbehave. If they want to offend me to the point of switching back to Firefox with full blockers it's their own fault for not getting potential ad views from me by being too distracting. I put Ars Technica in the 'foxhouse' for a week last time they did something really annoying & when I went back to using Opera the annoying stuff was gone. I know it wasn't a response to just me, but I think if enough users boycott bad ads through blockers the folks in the ad department will notice & tone things down a little. On the other hand it may just alleviate the problem for a while for a few power users, but that's okay with me too.
61 • Me and Debian (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2015-06-11 09:16:17 GMT from North America)
@Hoos #43 I used Debian and offshoots of it for years before Arch. What is wrong with Debian is that it's slow and crashes a lot compared to Arch. Debian crashed on me about 20x more than Arch. What Debian calls stability means not incorporating upstream bug fixes in a timely fashion. Debian expedites security fixes, but could expedite all fixes (like Arch). Debian also rewrites upstream code, which Arch leaves alone. Rewrites introduce their own bugs.
Debian pretends the only reason to upgrade is a new feature (per "If I want the latest packages...") In reality maybe 10% of app upgrades are for features. Most are bug fixes. Having expatriated from Debian I laugh at stability FUD. I cannot tell you how many months I sat waiting for this or that Debian package to upgrade over some silly bug fix that was ready upstream but not in Debian. It's not that I wanted the latest package; I just wanted Debian to stop crashing.
And sometimes a "feature" means driver support for hardware you need to use. If I did not need drivers I would use BSD.
Looking back, I think Debian users (not to say you) fear rolling based on bad analogy. They think an Arch roll risks the same horrors as a typical nine-month Debian or Ubuntu upgrade. The truth is that rolling is easy, hardly noticeable by comparison. People in Debianverse and Ubuntuland generally do not know this fact.
I am glad that I got out. However these days, I would use Manjaro OpenRC or Void, maybe BSD; not Arch, nor anything with systemd in it.
There should be Debian derivatives. There are just far too many. Note how some use sid. So offshoots do the work Debian should do, getting upstream stuff out to users in a timely fashion (like Arch). The sids would be better off as Arch derivatives. They would save work. For running code from a prior epoch, I would rather see more Slackware derivatives than more Debians.
I like derivatives serving a niche like medicine, science, lit, or education. They compile packages you will not find elsewhere. Their app selections are unique and hard to duplicate without the background their devs have.
I like distros that try hard for Windows compat via WINE, if only some should do it. I wish a few more would just for the sake of Linux adoption among unwashed masses. It seems gamers pay good attention to it.
I am fond of novel package managers. The package manager is a big distinction between distro families. I have a soft spot for nixOS, but it only offers systemd, sadly. I had hopes for PiSi, but am not sure what ever came of it.
62 • Debian crashes? (by Barnabyh on 2015-06-11 11:21:29 GMT from Europe)
That's odd, I am unable to remember Debian crashing on me, at least not stable branch and that seems to be what you're referring to.
I've had problems upgrading in the past from one major version to another but application crashes is not something I would associate with Debian. Don't think I had one since at least 2007. Could have been a hardware problem for you.
63 • Reviews poll (by MiRa on 2015-06-11 13:03:14 GMT from Europe)
I appreciate DWW is trying to keep a balance with respect to the reviewe distributions. But...
IMHO, DWW is trolling itself with *buntu, the same system with different DEs. Yes, it is the same distro as all spins have to obey the same chief and rules. Just another environment, that's all.
And, when not reviewed, it is always reminded somehow in the "News" (LOL!) section.. Boring... Passing away these weeks to other sites. Really good news would be the announcement of eliminating every bit of spyware from it (including sudo and systemd ;D).
While major ones (like Slackware, Gentoo...) are left away...
OTOH, I don't really agree (in fact I don't agree at all) with the term "Obscure" as this has rather bad connotations and should be used as such only when/if talking about some compromised distribution - having some kind of malware, spyware (huh!... have mentioned one already?...). A better and more proper term would be "Less known" or something alike.
64 • Browser Focus Jump (58) • PiSi (62) • etc (by Somewhat Reticent on 2015-06-11 14:15:36 GMT from North America)
Browser Focus Jump
Your browser shouldn't be causing focus to jump - multiple pop-up windows, perhaps? This should be easily suppressed with a standard setting tweak. Unless some malware is involved, of course.
PiSiLinux and Solus
Even after being abandoned by government/corporate support, a small fierce band of Turks, several internationals and at least one German keep PiSiLinux alive [ forums at http://forum.pisilinux.org/index.php ]; meanwhile, the energetic developer of Solus and the independent DesktopEnvironment 'budgie' is blazing a new trail (still in beta) [ https://solus-project.com/ ].
Too Many Distros
1. Constant churn in a foundation prevents robust development. An OS or library shouldn't be frequently re-designed. Thankfully, some distros are migrating to LTS bases, but this only addresses the tip of the iceberg.
2. Some developers put out a distro simply because they want to develop one thing, and can't get support or cooperation from the base, which traces back to the common lack of people skills among (most) geeks.
3. While we're at it, aren't there too many "Desktop Environments"? Many of these are attempts to supply an API that base OS's allegedly lack; some, sadly, are simply creeping control-through-dependency fronts.
4. Isn't it curious we rarely hear of "Too Many GUIs"?
Ideally an owner should be able to choose which OS(s) to start, with SecureBoot fully enabled. It's a security "feature", after all, not a vendor-lock device. A pity so many hardware makers prank their customers instead; such short-sighted suicidal folly is far too typical.
65 • Must we be assaulted? (by Onederer on 2015-06-12 08:13:38 GMT from North America)
Out of the hospital with open chest surgery recovery. I thought that I would settle in and read the new happenings with Distrowatch.
However, I found that to be an impossibility, since my view was being blocked, and constatnly assaulted with pop-ups, videos, things that I can't read.
Is this what I have to expect from now on? That ain't quality reading!
66 • Must we be assaulted? (by zcatav on 2015-06-12 09:47:53 GMT from Europe)
No, you can use this (http://someonewhocares.org/hosts) hosts file with a mozilla (Firefox, Iceweasel etc..) clone and NoScript.
67 • @65 Must we be assaulted? (by far2fish on 2015-06-12 12:26:56 GMT from Europe)
I wish you a speedy recovery from your surgery.
As a frequent reader of DW, I can't recognize the issues you experience with ads. None of the ads I see at DW are neither pop-ups or auto-play videoes. And I am not using any ad blockers.
I have used Chrome and Firefox on both Windows,Chrome and Firefox on Fedora Linux 21 and finally Chrome on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. None of them has displayed over intrusive ads on DW: Hope you figure out why it is happening on your OS+browser.
68 • @21 too many distros (by Kazlu on 2015-06-12 12:57:59 GMT from Europe)
Really? Your logic would be valid if the open source community was a company with leaders that can reallocate swappable resources. It's not the case. People do whant they want... and what they are qualified for, nothing more. A LOT of the distros that are popping here and there are remixes, distros based on another one where some applications have been added/removed and the theme has been changed. Good or bad thing, that's not my point. The point is the people who built these distros often have no skill (and no will) to work on drivers or gaming platforms. So no, less distros would not mean more applications or more hardware support. Less distros would just mean less distros, period. Personnally, I don't really care. If a given distro finds its public, that means people are interested in it and want some of its features, so the distro was a good idea. If not, the distro will rapidly rot and disappear and will no longer bother anyone. Survival of the fittest. That does not mean only one must remain, since different people have different needs. But only the ones that are useful to some people will remain. And being useful is what's important isn't it?
69 • @63 "spyware" (by Kazlu on 2015-06-12 12:58:45 GMT from Europe)
"every bit of spyware from it (including sudo and systemd ;D)."
Well, let's say you just used "spyware" as a term for meaning "despicable piece of software": although I don't like systemd that much either, it has nothing - yet? - of a spyware. But ok I get it. But what's wrong with sudo?
70 • @64 "too many desktop environments"? (by Kazlu on 2015-06-12 13:00:11 GMT from Europe)
"the energetic developer of Solus and the independent DesktopEnvironment 'budgie' is blazing a new trail (still in beta).
While we're at it, aren't there too many "Desktop Environments"?"
Can't you see the contradiction here?
71 • @63 - MiRa Review Polls (by foo2foo on 2015-06-12 20:40:02 GMT from North America)
@63 - MiRa
Jesse said a few weeks ago he isn't all that interested in doing reviews of source based distros. Can't blame him since it takes his time and resources and its his choice.
That said though, he did say he would publish other's reviews on source based distros, which is very fair.
I think distro news or interviews on source based distros would be a good start.
Fedora and Ubuntu aren't the only ones doing new cool things.
72 • Poll, etc. (by Corbin Rune on 2015-06-13 01:58:31 GMT from North America)
I went for "obscure." For example, I never mind finding about a distro which might not get a lot of press. Who knows, they might do things in an interesting way, or have a really stylish package manager. /shrug
I also don't have an issue with the number of DEs or distros. Fact is, it takes all kinds, and it's a good thing to have various options for how your specific box looks and/or runs. Also, the amount of distros caters to all ranges of user skill; from "hand-holder" setups like Ubuntu/Mint, on up to the "holy frack, can I REALLY get this to work" stuff like pure source-based distributions.
73 • Linux distros and KDE (by Bobbie Sellers on 2015-06-13 03:50:25 GMT from North America)
Well I have been running Mageia 5 RC with KDE for the past month or so.
There have been problems in getting out the final version of Mageia 5
but RC seems as solid as Mageia 4.1 and I have been using it for over
I have been using by choice KDE since before version 4.x.
I have tried KDE 5 in several distributions and one important item
to me is a digital clock from which date and time can be copied.
It is not in KDE 5.x yet and that is a flaw for the end user.
This is the same problem that we saw in 4.x a few years back.
I am sorry to see it being pushed to developers before KDE 5 is
ready for the users like myself who actually use the features.
I am also waiting for PCLinux OS to come out with the UEFI
compatibility features. I like Mageia but PCLOS had some good
choices in software.
I started with Mandriva about 2006 and currently have a triple
boot system with Windows 8.1, Mageia 4.1 and Mageia 5 RC.
But whatever version I am using it lets me do my work downloading
Iso files and burning boot disks for SF-LUG.
74 • Start of a new Epoch, init? (by Somewhat Reticent on 2015-06-13 05:00:43 GMT from North America)
I'd like to see a review of any distro using the shiny new Epoch process-management …
(Yes, Kazlu, I did; I was chuckling at the irony while noting the energy)
75 • DEs (by PFB on 2015-06-13 12:04:30 GMT from North America)
Hurrah for DW. My jumping ads disappeared. AND, I learned something new. It has been a long time since I tried xfce. but I was amazed at how much it does for me.
I always used KDE in Fedora, because I could make it work my way. But even then, I had to import some gnomish stuff to get some programs (gnome type) to work. Yeah, I know Mr. Torvalds wants programs to work independently of DEs, but...
So rather than digging out the necessary support files, I just loaded Cinnamon (Gnome is a historical happening as far as I am concerned) which is a nice DE that I use in Mint. When Fedora's KDE 5 crashed, I switched to Cinnamon. Then realizing that Fedora is a leader at trying new stuff, I thought I might need a back up for Cinnamon. So according to the DE poll, I picked xfce, which I have not tried in some time. I was amazed. It has changed significantly. It does almost everything I would want. The more I use it, the more I think I have a new favorite DE.
Thanks DW for the DE poll.
76 • @59, @68 Bulls eye (by ErikWestre on 2015-06-13 12:09:29 GMT from Europe)
Spot on target. The ones that should survive will survive, and the ones that doesn't, well the dev probably had fun doing it and learned something. There probably are aspiring "devs" that are happy by having 3 people using his/her distro. What's wrong with that?
Personally I'm in Linux for the fun of it. More people should try to see the fun and stop being so grumpy and newbie-unfriendly. Everyone has to start somewhere, and even if someone makes a distro that pretty much is like many others, greater things can come out of it at a later stage. And if not, no foul or harm done. Have fun, lighten up, and let people play. The worst thing that could happen to Linux, is if we stopped thinking it was fun to do it.
77 • Systemd Kaos (by Kragle von Schnitzelbank on 2015-06-13 16:40:01 GMT from North America)
Subsume bootloader, auto-update microcode - any tinfoil-hat response?
78 • New distro criteria (by cykodrone on 2015-06-14 19:23:29 GMT from North America)
I said a long time ago they should have some kind of in-house written app or tool, or installer, etc, to set them apart. Like others have said, a different icon set and theme does not make a distro *new*, same pig, different lipstick. I'ma gunna paint a moustache on the Mona Lisa and call it my own. ;D
79 • Manjaro 8.13 distro (by bushpilot on 2015-06-15 00:03:28 GMT from North America)
Love manjaro but as I am unable to install my HP Lasejer pro p1102w printer I have to pass on this distro. All the arch linux distro's I tried, I was not able to install my printer.Bleeding edge is not for ME!!! Too problematic Will stay with Debian 8. Still love Linux over Windows and have not been using windows for the past 5 years.
80 • Manjaro OpenRC (by 2damncommon on 2015-06-15 00:42:44 GMT from Planet Mars)
I guess I'm slow responding to this, but thanks for that article. I have that systemd alternative running on my old laptop now.
Number of Comments: 80
Display mode: DWW Only • Comments Only • Both DWW and Comments
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Issue 783 (2018-10-01): Quirky 8.6, setting up dual booting with Ubuntu and FreeBSD, Lubuntu switching to LXQt, Mint works on performance improvements|
|• Issue 782 (2018-09-24): Bodhi Linux 5.0.0, Elive 3.0.0, Solus publishes ISO refresh, UBports invites feedback, Linux Torvalds plans temporary vacation|
|• Issue 781 (2018-09-17): Linux Mint 3 "Debian Edition", file systems for SSDs, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, Arch team answers questions, Mageia reaches EOL|
|• Issue 780 (2018-09-10): Netrunner 2018.08 Rolling, Fedora improves language support, how to customize Kali Linux, finding the right video drivers|
|• Issue 779 (2018-09-03): Redcore 1806, keeping ISO downloads safe from tampering, Lubuntu makes Calamares more flexible, Ubuntu improves GNOME performance|
|• Issue 778 (2018-08-27): GuixSD 0.15.0, ReactOS 0.4.9, Steam supports Windows games on Linux, Haiku plans for beta, merging disk partitions|
|• Issue 777 (2018-08-20): YunoHost 18.104.22.168, limiting process resource usage, converting file systems on Fedora, Debian turns 25, Lubuntu migrating to Wayland|
|• Issue 776 (2018-08-13): NomadBSD 1.1, Maximum storage limits on Linux, openSUSE extends life for 42.3, updates to the Librem 5 phone interface|
|• Issue 775 (2018-08-06): Secure-K OS 18.5, Linux is about choice, Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots on Btrfs|
|• Issue 774 (2018-07-30): Ubuntu MATE & Ubuntu Budgie 18.04, upgrading software from source, Lubuntu shifts focus, NetBSD changes support policy|
|• Issue 773 (2018-07-23): Peppermint OS 9, types of security used by different projects, Mint reacts to bugs in core packages, Slackware turns 25|
|• Issue 772 (2018-07-16): Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4, UBports running desktop applications, OpenBSD auto-joins wi-fi networks, boot environments and zedenv|
|• Issue 771 (2018-07-09): Linux Lite 4.0, checking CPUs for bugs, configuring GRUB, Mint upgrade instructions, SUSE acquired by EQT|
|• Issue 770 (2018-07-02): Linux Mint 19, Solus polishes desktop experience, MintBox Mini 2, changes to Fedora's installer|
|• Issue 769 (2018-06-25): BunsenLabs Helium, counting Ubuntu users, UBports upgrading to 16.04, Fedora CoreOS, FreeBSD turns 25|
|• Issue 768 (2018-06-18): Devuan 2.0.0, using pkgsrc to manage software, the NOVA filesystem, OpenBSD handles successful cron output|
|• Full list of all issues|
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LinEspa was a Spanish Linux distribution based on Knoppix and optimised for Spanish and Latin American users.