| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 615, 22 June 2015
Welcome to this year's 25th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Open source software regularly pushes into new realms, exploring new niches in software and hardware. This week we examine a number of different areas where open source is being tested with regards to hardware, software and design. We begin with a look at Raspbian, a Debian-based distribution, running on the minimal Raspberry Pi computer. Read on to find out how the Pi performs when paired with Debian software. In our News section this week we share tips on how to fix a problem with Intel drivers that has troubled some Fedora users, talk about openSUSE's efforts to adopt a new version of the GNU compiler and celebrate OpenBSD's new power-saving feature. Plus, we discuss one man's first impressions of the Debian project and concerns about a binary extension being silently added to Chromium. Our Questions and Answers column this week explores why a system may lock-up while accessing the hard disk and how to avoid this common problem. In our Torrent Corner we share a list of the distributions we are seeding and then recap the releases of the past week. In our Opinion Poll we ask how often people change operating systems and we hope to hear form our fellow distro-hoppers. Finally, we are pleased to announce our most recent donation goes to the Devuan project, a distribution which is attempting to offer users an init-neutral operating system. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
- Review: The Pi and I
- News: Fedora works around video driver issue, openSUSE builds Tumbleweed with new compiler, OpenBSD reduces power consumption on laptops, first impressions of Debian, Chromium's hidden binary extension
- Questions and answers: System freezing while deleting files
- Torrent corner: LinuxConsole, Mageia
- Released last week: Mageia 5, LinuxConsole 2.4, Black Lab Linux 2015.6 "GNOME", Robolinux 7.9.2
- Upcoming releases: Ubuntu 15.10 Alpha 1
- Opinion poll: Distro-hopping frequency
- May 2015 DistroWatch.com donation: Devuan
- New distributions: HashTag OS, Lightning Linux, Pragmatic Linux
- Reader comments
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
The Pi and I
Some people assume, given my love of computers, alternative desktop environments and distro-hopping, that I collect gadgets and hardware the same way I amass video games, productivity suites and ISO files. However, I am generally conservative when it comes to hardware purchases. Unlike many of my fellow technology geeks, I tend to purchase lower-end equipment and keep a relatively small number of computers in my home. At any given time I usually have a desktop machine for work, a laptop for when I travel, an Android phone (it has a virtual terminal and OpenSSH so I count it as a computer) and a headless box I use for storage. Half of these machines I received for free from people throwing them out. My point is that despite my eclectic approach to accumulating software, my tendency is not to collect extra computer hardware or gadgets, no matter how appealing I find them.
Small, inexpensive hobbyist computers like the Raspberry Pi really challenge my resolve to be frugal. As tiny computers such as the BeagleBone, Raspberry Pi and CHIP came onto the scene I frequently found myself looking at their specifications and considering how much functionality I could squeeze out of the hardware. However, I do not want to simply play with a new toy for a short time and leave it to collect dust on a shelf. So, the question which always froze my mouse pointer before it reached the Buy button was: "What practical use would I actually have for such a device?" Fate eventually gave me an answer.
A few weeks ago I had to move the computer I use at home for backups. My backup machine was an old desktop box I intercepted on its way to a landfill years ago and it had been running Ubuntu Server and storing data on a couple of internal hard drives, managed by ZFS, ever since. Once the machine had been moved, I went to plug it back in. There was a small bang, some sparks and suddenly the lights on my storage system would no longer glow. It was, I realized, time to replace my old network storage box. A Raspberry Pi, I reasoned, would be an ideal replacement. The Pi draws relatively little energy, has no fans (making it silent), runs a number of open source operating systems and (by coincidence) has almost the identical amount of memory, and a processor speed similar to, my old storage box. I'd be in familiar territory, specification-wise, while getting a more efficient and quieter system. Plus, Pis are inexpensive.
I ordered a Raspberry Pi kit from CanaKit. Their kit provides the Raspberry Pi (version 2), a manual, protective case, HDMI video cable, power supply, a microSD card pre-loaded with Raspbian and a USB-powered wireless card. The kit took three business days to arrive.
Raspberry Pi 2 -- With network, USB and power cords attached
(full image size: 1.2MB, resolution: 918x800 pixels)
I had originally hoped the 8GB microSD card would offer a fresh installation of Raspbian and run a secure shell service. This would allow me to simply plug in the Pi, attach a network cable and connect to the device remotely. However, there were a few steps I had to take to get to that point. What I had to do first was attach a keyboard to the Pi and connect the tiny computer to a monitor via an HDMI cable. Booting from the Pi automatically loaded a graphical system installer where I was offered the chance to install Raspbian, along with a few other add-ons for developers. I opted for the minimal installation and basically left the Pi alone for the next ten minutes while my new copy of Raspbian was installed and configured. The installation is quite simple and the system installer can be navigated with either a keyboard or a mouse. When the installation was complete I was able to confirm OpenSSH was running. Afterwards I was able to unplug my Pi from the monitor and run the device as a headless computer.
Though I did not intend to run the Raspberry Pi as a desktop computer, the Raspbian operating system does provide users with the LXDE desktop environment. The Pi does not have a great deal of processor speed or memory, but it does have enough resources to run LXDE and a handful of applications. So long as the user does not wish to do a lot at once, the Pi offers a fairly responsive desktop interface. I probably would not run heavier programs such as LibreOffice or Firefox on the Pi, but Raspbian does provide the Epiphany web browser and a few other desktop programs.
Since my intention was to use the Pi as a storage device, I was content to swap out the monitor and plug in an external hard drive to one of the Pi's four USB ports. I feel it is worth mentioning that the Pi probably does not have the capacity to power most external hard drives over a USB connection and I would not recommend trying to do so. However, a hard drive which includes its own AC power adaptor can be connected to the Pi. Since the Pi does not need to power the external drive, only communicate with it, the independent external drive does not tax the Pi's limited electrical output. The external drive I attached to the Pi has a capacity of 2TB. The drive features the ability to put itself into sleep mode when the storage device is not being accessed. This means most of the time my home office is virtually silent and very little heat is being generated by either the Pi or its storage media.
Earlier I mentioned my previous backup server was running Ubuntu with ZFS managing my data. I knew ZFS support was available for Debian. Both ZFS-FUSE and ZFS on Linux have been packaged for Debian and, since Raspbian is based on Debian "Wheezy", I incorrectly assumed both of these packages would be available in Raspbian. I was mistaken. It appears as though there are no ZFS on Linux packages for the ARM architecture. I had also heard that ZFS would consume too much memory and would not run properly on the Pi, but since the Pi has 1GB of RAM, the same amount my previous Ubuntu server had, I was certain memory would not be a limiting factor. I eventually found a tutorial for adding ZFS support to the Pi using an ARM port of the ZFS-FUSE software. I added the ZFS module to my system, set up a new ZFS storage pool and began copying my files to my new Pi-powered backup server.
At the time of writing, my Raspberry Pi has been running for a little over two weeks. The headless mini-computer is dwarfed by the external hard drive it sits next to. Raspbian has been running smoothly, virtually non-stop, without any glitches or problems of any kind. Though, at this time, I have so far only used the Pi as a backup device, I am considering possible future projects (and alternative operating systems) I could run on the device. I think the Pi would do well in the role of lightweight web server and there are several other open source operating systems (including Arch, Fedora, Ubuntu Snappy and FreeBSD) which have builds for the Raspberry Pi.
For now, I wish to share a few general observations about the Pi. First, the Pi does not have a fan or a heat sink - it does not need either. Even with half of the Pi's four CPU cores running steadily at 100% for hours the device does not feel warm to the touch. The Pi might as well be powered off for all the heat it generates. The external hard drive the Pi is attached to, a Western Digital My Book, sleeps most of the day. The device wakes automatically when the Pi needs to access it and spins down when not used for a few minutes. The external drive, like the Pi itself, produces virtually no heat and, when not in use, no noise either.
With the LXDE desktop running, Raspbian required approximately 250MB of memory and, when including cache, typically consumed most of its 1GB of RAM. However, after I removed the LXDE desktop and the X display server, replacing them with ZFS and DenyHosts, Raspbian's memory footprint dropped to 76MB of memory. Including cached data, my Pi is using a mere 155MB of memory. Most of the time the Pi's processor is idle. Early on I tried to put a heavy load on the device's four CPU cores and found Raspbian continued to work smoothly and the device remained cool to the touch. Once my tests were completed, I found Raspbian usually carried a load average of about 0.01 and the Pi responds faster to remote connections than my old single-core backup box did.
At this time I am happy with my purchase. Though the Pi does have the processing power to act as a low-end desktop, I do think its low memory specification means the Pi will not be a good desktop solution for most people. The Raspberry Pi and external hard drive I purchased, combined, cost under $200USD after shipping and taxes. The Pi and its storage device are quiet, cool and have plenty of computing capacity (and memory) to spare. I think the combination makes for a very suitable backup solution for the home or other NAS or web server projects. I am looking forward to experimenting with the tiny computer more to see what fun projects I can perform with this minimal device. Suggestions for future projects and experiments are welcome.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Fedora works around video driver issue, openSUSE builds Tumbleweed with new compiler, OpenBSD reduces power consumption on laptops, first impressions of Debian, Chromium's hidden binary extension
Last week Fedora Magazine posted an article which talked about problems some Fedora users were experiencing when running the distribution's latest release on computers with Intel video cards. The article explains: "This issue appeared because of a Linux kernel change in version 4. The new Intel graphics driver uses SNA (Sandybridge New Acceleration) architecture for graphics acceleration by default. When coupled with the kernel change, the driver causes this issue. Thanks to Fedora's active community, bugs were filed in Bugzilla (Bug 1226531 and Bug 1226743) and fixes are on their way. An update to Intel driver is already in stable updates, and a kernel update (to v4.0.5) is in updates-testing repository." Instructions for installing the fix and for working around the driver issue are provided in the article.
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The openSUSE developers have been hard at work in recent weeks, adjusting packages to work with version 5 of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC 5). According to the openSUSE blog, the next snapshot of the distribution's rolling release branch (named Tumbleweed) will feature GCC 5. "The newest GNU Compiler Collection was checked in today to openSUSE Factory, which is the rolling development code base for Tumbleweed, as the default compiler, so all packages will be rebuilt against GCC 5 and the next Tumbleweed snapshot will include GCC 5.1.1 The snapshot is expected later in the week, making it one of the first rolling releases to have the compiler as a default within Linux, according to DistroWatch's package tracker." Further details are available in the blog post. The new GNU compiler is expected to offer a number of performance improving optimizations and includes support for the Go language. A list of improvements provided by the new compiler are listed on the compiler's website.
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The BSDNow podcast mentioned some news last week which should excite OpenBSD users. OpenBSD's "-current" development branch includes the ability to put a computer's processor into a lower C-state, a sort of middle ground between full operation and sleep mode. Using C-states allows the processor to use less power and generate less heat. OpenBSD users who have been testing the new feature, committed to OpenBSD's -current branch by Philip Guenther, on laptop computers have noticed significant changes in the heat generated by their computers. As one tester wrote, "After booting with the new kernel I wondered what the results would be. Keeping track of hw.sensors.acpithinkpad0.temp3 on my older w500 would typically be in the 86 - 92C range and then reboot if I was wasn't
careful. This build the temperature was typically 78 - 80C, with one spike at
82C during the latter part of the xenocara build. My script checked every 17 seconds. I can say from this one test that there is a huge difference -- 10C, at least!"
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The Debian distribution has a well deserved reputation for reliability, performance and efficiency. However, Debian is not designed with newcomers or less technical savvy people in mind. Last week the Everyday Linux User site posted three suggestions on how Debian could make itself more inviting to new users. The author points out difficulties new users are likely to encounter when trying to download installation media, running Debian's live CD and inefficiencies with the project's system installer: "There are at least 5 screens which ask you either where you are from or your language. This is overkill. If I have selected the UK as a timezone it is likely that my nearest mirror would be the UK. Maybe the installer should be more intelligent and set up default options based on previous input with the option of changing them. This would cut down on user input." The full list of suggestions can be found on the Everyday Linux User website.
Chromium is an open source web browser which acts as a testing ground for Google's Chrome web browser. Since Chromium is an open source product and Chrome is not, Chromium is more often included in distribution repositories. Several Chromium users have noticed recently that the web browser silently installs additional, closed-source extensions which it then hides from the user. This behaviour has triggered a good deal of concern, especially in the Debian community where software licensing and security are high priorities. In a Debian bug report one user observes, "After upgrading Chromium to 43, I noticed that when it is running and immediately after the machine is on-line it silently starts downloading `Chrome Hotword Shared Module' extension, which contains a binary without source code. There seems [to be] no opt-out config." A similar bug has been reported to the Chromium team, stating, "I find the new behaviour of hotword (from v43 on) extremely conspicuous: Opt-in default, downloading a binary blob without notification, extension not being shown in extension list, ability to record audio... I almost fell out of my chair when I saw that. Great strategy to erode trust of any user who is even slightly concerned with security." The Chromium developers are making the closed-source module an optional feature which distributions can enable or disable as they see fit.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
System freezing while deleting files
Living-without-swap asks: I run a system without swap space and when I run "rm -rf folder" on folders with many files my computer freezes. Assuming I have understood the situation correctly, it is because my system has no swap space. Is this right and can I work around this limitation?
DistroWatch answers: I suspect one of two things is happening in the situation described. First, it is possible the rm command is using up the remaining available memory on the system, causing the operating system to dump cached data out of memory in order to make room. Alternatively, the operating system is running out of memory and killing off processes which is causing the interface to freeze. If the operating system is, in fact, running out of memory then having swap space probably would not help. Whether the operating system is dumping processes from memory or moving unused memory out to a swap partition, the system will still pause (freeze) for brief periods.
Assuming the operating system is running out of memory during the removal of a large directory tree, my recommendation is to kick a few large programs out of memory before the removal begins. Large applications like mainstream web browsers, productivity software and e-mail clients often use a lot of RAM. If the system is starving for memory, then try closing these applications prior to running the rm command. Having fewer programs in RAM will give the operating system breathing room in which to work.
With that being said, I suspect something different is causing the system to stutter or freeze. Disk access is typically one of the slowest tasks a computer performs and the operating system can appear to hang while waiting for disk operations to complete. This is especially true when creating or removing many files. To keep the operating system running smoothly while the rm command is accessing the hard disk, try running the command with the ionice program. The ionice program reduces the priority of a command, reducing its impact on system resources. For example, I could run
ionice rm -rf MyFolder
The above command removes MyFolder and its contents from the hard drive, but tries to prevent the removal of files from interfering with other tasks accessing the disk. The ionice program can even be used to only allow a process to access the disk when it should not affect other disk reading/writing processes at all. In the following example we remove a folder again, using the -c flag to make sure the removal has a minimal impact on other running processes
ionice -c 3 rm -rf MyFolder
I think the important thing to do is to figure out what is causing the system to freeze while a directory is being removed. The easiest way to do that is to open two terminal windows. In the first window run the rm command to delete a large directory of files and, in the second terminal window, run the top command and pay attention to the "%Cpu(s)" line. Particularly the "wa" field on that line. The "wa" number lets us know how much time the system spends waiting for input/output tasks (like removals) to finish. If this "wa" field gets high, over 25% or so, then that means your system is probably freezing, waiting while the rm command finishes its work. Running the rm command through ionice as shown above should fix the problem.
Be sure to keep an eye on the amount of memory used too. If the "free" memory field gets close to zero then the operating system is running out of RAM. At such times it makes sense to close some unnecessary programs and free up more memory.
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: 75
- Total downloads completed: 43,430
- Total data uploaded: 7.8TB
|Released Last Week
Yann Le Doaré has announced the launch of LinuxConsole 2.4. LinuxConsole is an independent, lightweight distribution which offers easy installation steps and a simple desktop environment, provided by LXDE. The latest release ships with version 4.0.5 of the Linux kernel, the Qupzilla web browser and new Chinese and Russian locales. "This release is easy to try or install. It could be installed on computers used by children or teenagers. You can install many games, educational, Internet and music software. The CD ISO contains all libraries, the LXDE Desktop, drivers and the game SuperTuxKart. The DVD ISO comes with many applications, like LibreOffice or the game 0AD. A new tool is also available to install third-party software, like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Steam and Skype." Further information on this release, along with a screen shot, is available on the project's home page.
Black Lab Linux 2015.6 "GNOME"
The developers of Black Lab Linux, a desktop distribution based on Ubuntu, have announced the launch of Black Lab Linux 2015.6 "GNOME" edition. This new version is a long term support release with security updates being made available until the year 2020. "Today we are releasing the new build of Black Lab Linux GNOME 2015.6. This spin uses the GNOME desktop Environment 3.10 and is based on the LTS technologies that power our distributions. We have set it up with a unique layout which makes it ideal for traditional keyboard and mouse desktop users as well as users with touchscreen systems. This release is 64-bit only although we are considering a 32-bit release if the community requests it. This release is fully supported until the year 2020 as our other releases. You can also order this desktop environment pre-installed on systems and on your USB Keys and SD cards." Further details and a screen shot can be found on in the project's release announcement.
Black Lab Linux 2015.6 -- Running the GNOME Desktop
(full image size: 512kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
John Martinson has announced the release of Robolinux 7.9.2, the latest update of the project's Debian-based distribution featuring an optional (and commercial) virtual machine pack for running Windows seamlessly alongside Robolinux: "Robolinux is pleased to announce version 7.9.2 LTS (until 2018) 'X12+ Privacy & Security' which has many enhancements, plus maintenance and upstream security updates, the newest VirtualBox, Firefox and Thunderbird versions as well as three exceptional new applications. After releasing 'Apex X12 Privacy & Security' in version 7.9.1 May 1st, 2015, we asked our users what enhancements and new applications they would like added to Robolinux. They said: 'We would like the Robolinux 7 series to have long-term support and we want a download manager, a better text editor and a better screen-capture program. The result is version 7.9.2 which will now be supported through 2018 and we added the following applications: Uget downloader manager, Shutter screen capture and Medit." See the project's SourceForge page to read the rest of the release announcement.
Rémi Verschelde has announced the release of Mageia 5. Mageia is a community distribution which started as a fork of the Mandriva project, but which now operates as an independent distribution. "After more than one year of development, the Mageia community is very proud to finally deliver this long-awaited release, Mageia 5. This release announcement is a big sigh of relief, an `At last!' that comes straight from the heart of the weary - tired as one can be after long days of hard but rewarding work. And still, we chose to take our time to fix major issues and have a high quality release, without rushing it. Maybe our best release so far, taking into account the impressive work that was done on the installer, both to add new features and to get rid of old bugs." The new release features UEFI support (though not Secure Boot), version 3.19 of the Linux kernel, KDE 4.14 and GNOME 3.14. Cinnamon, MATE, Plasma, LXQt and Xfce desktop are also available. Installation media, live discs and a network install ISO are offered as download options. More information on the new version of Mageia can be found in the project's release announcement, the release notes and errata.
Mageia 5 -- Running the KDE desktop
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Maycon Schneider has announced the launch of Mangaka Nyu. The new release represents the project's first stable release since the project was revived earlier this year. "After a month of development containing the last 64-bit Linux image, various bug-fix and software implementation, we reached the final stage of our 2GB DVD of LINUX MANGAKA NYU in a focus of a real multimedia Linux distribution with almost needed contents for our Anime & Manga community in customization, tools, beauty, simplicity, free, lightweight. We made some graphical changes as well to look more professional and eye-caring." The release announcement includes a note suggesting new users should disable updating and third-party downloads during the installation process.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
At DistroWatch we talk a lot about different distributions and, in order to review new technologies, we run a different open source operating system every week. We are constantly changing desktops, package managements and configuration tools, swapping out one way of doing things for another. This week we would like to know how often our readers install a new operating system. Do you distro-hop every week or do you tend to stick with one distribution for a long time? Or perhaps you dual-boot, juggling between several operating systems at once? Feel free to share the details of your distro-hopping experiences in the comments section.
You can see the results of last week's poll on niche distributions here.
|Multiple times a week: ||119 (5%)|
| A few times per month: ||290 (13%)|
| More than once a year: ||581 (25%)|
| Less than once a year: ||733 (32%)|
| I dual-boot multiple distros: ||561 (25%)|
May 2015 DistroWatch.com donation: Devuan
We are pleased to announce the recipient of the May 2015 DistroWatch.com donation is Devuan. The project receives US$300.00 in cash.
Devuan is a fork of the Debian distribution with the intended goal of providing an operating system which offers users a choice of init software. The project's website explains: "Have you tried to opt-out of the systemd change in Debian™ and stay with sysvinit, or whatever other init you prefer? You will quickly notice that is not a matter of choosing packages and in fact Debian offers no choice. We want freedom of choice, we want Init Freedom! We are working towards a stable, production ready fork of Debian Jessie, free from the entangling web of dependencies imposed by systemd."
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Those readers who wish to contribute towards these donations, please use our advertising page to make a payment (PayPal, credit cards, Yandex Money and crypto currencies are accepted). Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$43,825 to various open-source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NDISwrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300), GCompris ($352), Xiph.org ($250), Clonezilla ($250), Debian Multimedia ($280), Geany ($300), Mageia ($470), gtkpod ($300)
- 2011: CGSecurity ($300), OpenShot ($300), Imagination ($250), Calibre ($300), RIPLinuX ($300), Midori ($310), vsftpd ($300), OpenShot ($350), Trinity Desktop Environment ($300), LibreCAD ($300), LiVES ($300), Transmission ($250)
- 2012: GnuPG ($350), ImageMagick ($350), GNU ddrescue ($350), Slackware Linux ($500), MATE ($250), LibreCAD ($250), BleachBit ($350), cherrytree ($260), Zim ($335), nginx ($250), LFTP ($250), Remastersys ($300)
- 2013: MariaDB ($300), Linux From Scratch ($350), GhostBSD ($340), DHCP ($300), DOSBox ($250), awesome ($300), DVDStyler ($280), Tor ($350), Tiny Tiny RSS ($350), FreeType ($300), GNU Octave ($300), Linux Voice ($510)
- 2014: QupZilla ($250), Pitivi ($370), MediaGoblin ($350), TrueCrypt ($300), Krita ($340), SME Server ($350), OpenStreetMap ($350), iTALC ($350), KDE ($400), The Document Foundation ($400), Tails ($350)
- 2015: AWStats ($300), Haiku ($300), Xiph.Org ($300), GIMP ($350), Kodi ($300), Devuan ($300)
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Distributions added to waiting list
- Pragmatic Linux. Pragmatic Linux is an Arch based distribution which strives to offer simplicity, minimalism, and code elegance.
- Lightning Linux. Lightning Linux is a distribution which ships with the GNOME Classic desktop environment.
- HashTag OS. HashTag OS (also called #OS) is a Linux distribution, based on openSUSE, that features the custom ALPHA graphical user interface.
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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, 29 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 • Use for Pi? (by Beep on 2015-06-22 01:08:22 GMT from Europe) |
Maybe a daft question, but why not connect the external hard drive directly to the PC? I don't see what the Pi adds to the backup process?
2 • Distro-hopping frequency (by tuxuser on 2015-06-22 01:16:33 GMT from North America)
since last 2 years, I am on PCLinuxOS 64bit on my main PC at home and on Linux Voyageur lts on my Laptop which I think is the best xubuntu derived in terms of function and design for the desktop environment in dualboot with debian gnome 8 for the fun of having a pure debain on my Laptop.
In my work with the old PC I installed SalixOS Openbox and we transform old PCs into powerful computer.
I also regularly test distributions on a PC dedicated for this purpose. But in the end, I told myself that I made the best choice for my different PCs.
3 • poll Q (by M.Z. on 2015-06-22 01:24:35 GMT from Planet Mars)
I chose dual boot multiple distors from the poll. In fact I just installed Mageia 5 over top my old Mint Cinnamon 17.1 partition on my laptop yesterday. I noticed that Grub customizer was in the repos of Mageia & decided to try it out. It's a lot like PCLOS but with a less fresh version of Firefox (31.7 ESR). It's along side Mint Debian 2 Cinnamon & Mint KDE 17.1 on my laptop's SSD. Grub customizer worked great & everything detected well. Now I feel that I'm getting everything I wanted out of my laptop because I have both RPM & Deb based distros on it. I've also got LMDE MATE & Bodhi dual booting on a junk PC & I've had the same copy of PCLinuxOS on my main PC since 2011. I'm still thinking about installing something else over top of Bohdi because E19 was a lot fatter than expected & my old single core system starts to use swap as soon as I log in, because apparently 1.5 GB of RAM isn't enough.
4 • RaspberryPi (by EarlyBird on 2015-06-22 01:25:01 GMT from North America)
Congratulations on "biting the bullet" and purchasing a RaspberryPi. For project ideas, you can download free issues of The Magpi magazine at magpi.org. There are also a ton of books both on the Pi, and on things you can do with them. In fact, I would guess there are probably more books out there on the pi than on the Arduino by this point.
For anyone interested, the cheapest place to order in the USA would likely be Amazon. Canakit (I think in North Vancouver?) ships Amazon orders for Canada. Farnell (British) and their US affiliate *sorry, memory just went blank trying to remember if that was Allied, or more likely Newark Electronics) also carries Pi releated products. In the Montreal area, Abbra (off Cote de Liesse not only stocks all kinds of electronics, but lots of Pi, arduino, and other embeeded related hardware, books, etc.)
For books, probably the largest selection would be at Amazon.
For a list of other SBC (single board computer products, the EDN site (Electronic Designers News) had a column comparing "20 single board computers for under $100.
BTW, you really don't need ANY desktop space at all for a Pi. You can mount the monitor on the wall; the Pi cases typically have holes in the back to also mount on the wall, and if you don't need terrabyte level storage, you can use a USB key memory stick, freeing up your entire desktop. If you have an LCD TV with an HDMI input, you can throw the Pi on the backside of the TV, and eliminate the need for a seperate monitor. I use a Logitec K400 wireless keyboard with builtin mousepad along with the above (typically $CDN 35 at Best Buy and at Staples.
The only problem I ran into at one point was having to edit a config file to deactivate automatically checking for updates at bootup. All you need is for the thing to take forever at bootup when the first thing it does is detect an update, and do a whole download/update/install thing while you twiddle your thumbs. To make matters worse, it didn't distinguish between a stable and testing update, so things broke. So disable autoupdate, and keep a spare memory card with a backup of the downloadable image handy. Aside from THAT hickup, itg's been trouble free.
For anyone more experienced than me, a question comes up re dropouts and data corruption. When the Pi 512+ came out, they switched from a linear voltage regulator to a switchmode regulator which supplies more current. So they Pi now came with 4 USB ports instead of two, and no more audio dropouts. I THINK (?) the data corruption problem may be a seperate issue related to simultaneous high speed data throughput on the USB port at the same time as the internal memory buss accessing the operating system on the memory card (ie - the card with the OS, as opposed to a memory stick plugged into the USB). If anyone can clear up confusion on the data corruption issue, it would be helpful for all Pi users.
5 • Backup computer (by Jesse on 2015-06-22 01:25:41 GMT from North America)
>> "Maybe a daft question, but why not connect the external hard drive directly to the PC? I don't see what the Pi adds to the backup process?"
Three things: 1. A backup drive should not be connected directly to the computer it is mirroring, because if the main computer gets infected or otherwise compromised then so does the backup. 2. I use my backup server for a variety of things, not just dumb storage. My backup computer is also a test web server, a place to run scripts that might interfere with work on my main PC, etc. 3. When I travel I sometimes want to remotely access files I've got in old snapshots. Having a low energy server at home means I can leave the bulky hard drive safely at home and on-line while I take my laptop on the road.
6 • Poll and Devuan donation (by cykodrone on 2015-06-22 01:37:16 GMT from North America)
My sda SSD is for my 'main' distro (everyday usage OS), sdb SSD is for testing, breaking, whatever, so I guess it's not really "hopping" if your main distro stays the same, you're only testing on the other drive. Now if I really like a tested distro and I install it on sda, then I've actually 'hopped'. Glad I could clear that up, lol.
I am very extraordinarily ecstatically pleased that DW donated to Devuan, that was really nice of you. I'm checking my couch cushions for spare change as I'm typing this, ope, I found an old cheesy (*removes hair strand*), nom nom nom. :D
7 • Distro hopping (by Pumpino on 2015-06-22 01:45:08 GMT from Oceania)
I haven't changed distros since switching to Arch a few years ago. It's perfect. I run Fedora on my machines as a back up. I previously used XFCE, but switched to Mate about 12 months ago.
8 • Backup computer (by Beep on 2015-06-22 01:48:19 GMT from Europe)
@5 Thanks Jesse. I got a Pi ages ago but never really found a use for it, hence my curiosity. I'll try the same set-up.
Keep up the good work!
9 • Distro-hopping frequency (by Terry R. on 2015-06-22 01:49:16 GMT from North America)
I've been constantly vigilant with DistroWatch for all the many distr.'s that are put up and watch daily for them. I've downloaded so many distress that i've lost count. It has provided me with valuable experience and fun along the way and I've have no no regrets! So thank you DistroWatch for providing such great service! :o)
As for what I have and what I am looking for is this: New technology in an OS that differs from all the rest. Stability in a Linux OS and yet have all the bells and whistles.
I have a mulit-boot system that consists of: Windows 7, Hackintosh 10.8.5 (Mountain Lion) and Linux OS ( chaining Linux flavors->lately it has been MakuluLinux, LinuxMint17.1 Cinnamon, ZorinOS9 and PCLinuxOS 2015KDE.
I have a multi-boot system because there always seems to be the need to have each one of them especially at work..most work places use Windows7 or higher and do not use Linux or Mac systems :o( Otherwise, I really don't use it at all and don't want to either!
10 • Chromium and Chrome (by pcninja on 2015-06-22 02:10:10 GMT from North America)
I guess that, like Chrome, Chromium has earned the the title of Malware.
11 • Distro-hopping (by Richard Carlson on 2015-06-22 02:42:49 GMT from North America)
I've been distro hopping for 18 years. It all started with Suse 6.2 then I went to Mepis, PCLinux, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Mandrake (Mageia now), PCbsd, OpenSuse, Fedora, Mint, Puppy, Deepin, Korora, Knoppix, Rosa, Chakra and finally Manjaro/Arch. All in all it's been fun and frustrating to see how they've all slowly developed and improved themselves. I went so far as to tackle Freebsd and that's when I decided to drop the ball. I'm not that accomplished in Computer Science to read a book on how to install and get everything to work. Manjaro is very user friendly and only with the aid of EVO-Lution was I now able to get Arch installed. I like Manjaro and Arch but it's a close tie to see if anyone can fix issues that I continually see in most all distro's (i.e. graphic cards issues, printer drivers and finally software apps that seem to linger indefinitely in space for fixes as it seems everyone to be more focused on changing the OS shell environment and functionality. (I prefer KDE and Xfce ) Gnome comes in 3rd until I see greater user major improvements. Unity is interesting but that's are far as I go with it.
12 • Distro-hopping (by Bushpilot on 2015-06-22 02:51:28 GMT from North America)
Like @11, I have installed many Linux distro's over the past 10+ years. Liked most of them. If something went wrong, it usually something that I have I failed to do rather than it being entirely a distro fault. Lots of learning is required to get some of them installed and working but @ 80 I am enjoying the challenges. Just got Windows XP running in a Virtual box working with Debian 8. This is the first time I have had Windows on my computer in years. Have to admit, that I like XP but not well enough to replace a Linux distro. The toughest challenge for me was getting Manjaro working. Haven't had the patience to tackle Arch Linux but that may change.
Thank you DistroWatch for introducing me to so many Linux Distro's and helpful computing tips.
13 • Raspberry-Pi (by EarlyBird on 2015-06-22 02:52:02 GMT from North America)
Further to my post #4, proper links for reviews of single-board-computers:
14 • oops (by EarlyBird on 2015-06-22 03:00:00 GMT from North America)
Sorry, even WITH reading glasses AND proof-reading before pushing "submit", I still got "typos"
correctly spelled links to sbc reviews:
So if you need something more powerful than a Raspberry-Pi, check the above, as well as the Intel, TI, and Cyrus websites. Hope that helps the hardware hackers out there...
15 • Distro-hopping (by dive.ed on 2015-06-22 03:06:20 GMT from North America)
I dual boot multiple distros. I have one partition set aside on ssd for my daily long term use, and another nine partitions for testing. I generally replace one of them on a monthly basis. I also have another older computer for testing distros that do not appear to play nice with multi boot or are designed for stand alone use ( such as NAS boxes).
Nothing will make me give up on a test quicker than an istaller that finds all my other installations and still insists on reformatting the swap partitions! Instant install abort. Since almost every recent Linux distro I've tried uses UUID's in the fstab file. Why would any current installer insist on formating an existing swap partition and breaking my other installations? If I still bother to test, it will be in a vm only or the stand alone box but most of the time I just give the distro a pass.
16 • Distro-hopping (by Bill on 2015-06-22 04:10:32 GMT from North America)
I always have 1 main distro that I use every day as in the case of typing this post right now. My main distro right now is Debian 8 with Mate DE. But I have six Hard Drives and many partitions just for the fun of it. I currently have installed and running nicely: Win7, Debian 8, Ubuntu Mate, Mint 17.1, Cinnamon 17.2, PCLOS Mate, Fedora 22, Kubuntu LTS, Mint 9 Isadora, Lubuntu LTS, and Mint with Xfce. In addition, I have backups and can reinstall at any time, Mageia, Netrunner, RQt, and TDE desktops, and an old Manjaro. Several others I just deleted off my spare HD. In my main distro I have a VM of Windows XP for my kids ipods.
And yes, thank you DistroWatch for making it possible to learn and play with all these distros. ;-)
17 • Failed nerdgasm (by Oko on 2015-06-22 04:35:59 GMT from North America)
I was ready to have my fist DistroWatch nerdgasm before realizing that no serious open hardware will be reviewed. How about some actually useful dirt cheap hardware like MIPS64 based Ubiquiti Networks - EdgeRouter or one of ARM based BeagleBoard computers which don't require tons of proprietary binary blob firmware like Raspberry Pi just to boot?
18 • Booting multiple distributions (by RollMeAway on 2015-06-22 04:37:30 GMT from North America)
Dual-boot seems a misnomer. I do multi-boot 49 distros. I tend to sequentially cycle through them all. Each day I boot the next one. Some (with unity or gnome3) frustrate me, so after upgrading and tinkering a little, I simply reboot and move on to the next one.
I use an extra partition, /backup, where I link to my user directory for common applications like email, web browsing, ssh, documents, music etc. That avoids duplication and redundancy.
Years ago, I installed firefox and thunderbird to that /backup partition. I downloaded directly from mozilla and both are updated directly from mozilla. No waiting for a busy distro packager to get around to updating. In each distro I create a link:
#ln -s /backup/firefox/firefox /usr/bin/firefox , and similar for thunderbired.
Some additional links in the users home directory completes the mission.
A strange hobby, some would say, but I get first hand experience with all the distros that catch my interest, and know which works best for me. That has allowed me to select 4 distros for my desktop at work, where I do a similar thing.
It is always nice to have an alternative when the operating system you are in breaks or cannot perform the current task you ask of it.
Simply reboot into another one!
19 • @10 - Chrome and Chromium (by Chris on 2015-06-22 05:09:27 GMT from North America)
Chrome is non-free and contains DRM; Chromium, per the news herein, now has non-free portions. But Malware?!?
Non-Free, while undesirable to many, does not equal Malware. Maybe I've missed something. Please enlighten me? Legit question, not picking a fight.
P.S. I've never used Chromium, but Chrome is the only easy way to access Netflix under Linux of which I know.
20 • Distro Hopping (by Franklin Alpha on 2015-06-22 05:16:56 GMT from North America)
I've been pretty static with Windows 7 and PC-BSD as a dual boot for about a year now, a little more as a matter of fact. Previously I used Win 7 and Fedora (up until Fedora 21) but I got tired of constantly fighting the OS for things that should just work from the get go and not randomly break for seemingly no reason whatsoever. That might be fun for some people, but I'm far too busy anymore to deal with it. However, I still need to use a UNIXlike for part of my job, and I don't want to buy Apple hardware since they want to make it semi-disposable.
PC-BSD's worked out better for me in that regard, its not quite as polished but its getting there, plus I much prefer ZFS over either of the ext file systems or btrfs.
In case anyone's wondering, it wasn't systemd that pushed me away from Fedora or Linux in general, actually I found systemd worked pretty well with a couple of annoying things like the way logging's done.
21 • Distro-hopping (by KenP on 2015-06-22 05:51:33 GMT from Oceania)
I typically have 3 to 4 distros installed on my laptop - one each of debian, rpm and arch based. Right now I have Kubuntu (Vivid), openSUSE and Manjaro (arch).
I run KDE as the DE on all of them. I find it interesting to compare the differences between the philosophies and management tools.
Off and on I do try distros such as Deepin or Mageia but always find myself running the above most of the time.
22 • Distro Hopping, SuSE et al. (by Frank Lindemann on 2015-06-22 07:03:36 GMT from Planet Mars)
Using SuSE to have an "anchor" (and not having Grub2 Problems like Mageia) and using at least 3 (my laptops)
up to 6 (on my game-video(conversion)-pc).
23 • Debian Linux does not need to be newbie-friendly (by Jason Hsu on 2015-06-22 07:24:29 GMT from North America)
I disagree with the Everday Linux site when it says that Debian needs to make itself more newbie-friendly. That's NOT part of the Debian mission. That's a job for derivatives like Linux Mint Debian Edition and antiX Linux. Debian's job is to provide an infrastructure and choices for users and derivative distros.
Debian already does so many things:
1. Unstable, testing, stable, and oldstable branches: The derivatives don't have to maintain these many versions at once.
2. Support for various types of hardware (amd64, arm64, armel, armhf, i386, mips, mipsel, powerpc, ppc64el, s390x, source, multi-arch)
3. Provide several different levels of features: everything from the netinstall ISO to the ISOs that contain pre-installed desktops like KDE, GNOME, Xfce, or LXDE
4. Provide tens of thousands of software packages
5. And much, much more
When it comes to making itself more newbie-friendly, there isn't anything that Debian can do better than LMDE, antiX Linux, Sparky Linux, or other derivatives. Let Debian do what it does best, and let the downstream distros do what they do best. This is one of the reasons there are so many distros. No one person or team can do it all, not even Clem and his team at Linux Mint. And there are many different opinions on what a desktop distro should be like, and having more distros ensures that every Linux user can find something he/she likes.
24 • Distro Hopping (by speedytux on 2015-06-22 07:47:46 GMT from Europe)
I dual boot multiple distros only in virtualbox
25 • Multiple-booting @18, installer reformatting swap @15 (by Hoos on 2015-06-22 07:57:49 GMT from Asia)
"Nothing will make me give up on a test quicker than an installer that finds all my other installations and still insists on reformatting the swap partitions! Instant install abort. Since almost every recent Linux distro I've tried uses UUID's in the fstab file. Why would any current installer insist on formating an existing swap partition and breaking my other installations?"
I hear you. I just experienced this in Salix, which still uses a text-based installer (nothing wrong per se if it had more options) and their installable iso is separate from their Live iso. I didn't seem to be able to opt NOT to have swap in the installation process, so that messed with my other distros, particularly those with systemd, which takes very long to boot up when the swap UUID recorded in fstab cannot be found. And after all that, the Salix installation wasn't even successful (everything freezes at the log-in screen, the keyboard/mouse all don't work).
Anyway, I have now edited all my distros' fstab file to identify the swap partition using "/dev/sdXY".
I also multiple boot similar to @18, but with nowhere near his numbers. I have about 15 distros, and I use a different one every few days but with no fixed order. I've tried lots more either live or in Virtualbox, but they didn't make it past that initial assessment so didn't get installed in the metal.
My data is in a separate drive that each distro automounts.
26 • RPi (by Sondar on 2015-06-22 08:04:47 GMT from Europe)
A tiny POWERED USB hub will drive an extenal USB hard disc as well as offering extra ports.
27 • @4 RPi and data corruption (by dbrion on 2015-06-22 08:21:28 GMT from Europe)
I believe that the main origin of data corruption is the SD card -limited number of writes; it is amovible, and may jump out of its support, too, but it is unlikely- + people powering off without convenient shutdown. People had issues -broke SD- when compiling huge packages (this is slower than cross compiling on a PC, much slower, any way-. With careful use -or with an external USB drive used for frequent writes-, this is unlikely.
28 • Distro hopping (by far2fish on 2015-06-22 08:24:39 GMT from Europe)
After being a loyal Fedora user for 10 years, I finally abandoned ship when Fedora 22 arrived. The main reason is that I have gotten to old and busy with other things than keeping up with the bi-annual updates or reinstall that Fedora offer. Once I loved (b)leading edge, tinkering and customizing. Now I prefer stability, predictibility and that as much as possible "just works".
Thus I am currently in waiting position on Ubuntu 14 LTS, while evaluating and getting used to Manjaro xfce and kde in VirtualBox.
Will probably switch to Manjaro after the summer holidays.
Void Linux also looks very intriguing despite it being (b)leedign edge and pretty rough around its edges. If I ever get the desire to go back to tinkering and customizing, I guess it will be on Void.
29 • Raspberry Pi (by Patrick on 2015-06-22 08:50:22 GMT from Asia)
Whenever, whoever raise a Pi topic, there's a lot of response, no matter it is good or bad; that's good. The Pi (old B) I played for one year, tried lots of distro, RISC, Plan9 ... no big fun. I settled down to Raspbian and now working as a network storage, by FTP. The second function is web server with Lighttpd, since I am learning PHP.
One commentor asked why not plug the external HD directly -- I have a few old PCs that I am using, so all edited, downloaded documents are centralized at Pi.
How about getting one more Pi2 ? No way, 2 Pis adding up will cost another old PC.
Have fun, Pi owners.
30 • Distro Hopping ... (by hughetorrance on 2015-06-22 09:00:20 GMT from Europe)
I started out distro hopping all the time and especially always looking at live ones...now I have settled with Slackware and Debian and just look at some of the more interesting live ones. Thanks to Distrowatch for giving me all this fun.
31 • less hopping now (by sam on 2015-06-22 09:05:10 GMT from Africa)
Reduced distro hopping for these reasons: my internet speed is slow I cannot download images fast enough, age has caught up, when i read reviews I do not see new features that will make me feel like trying the reviews distro. This year I have only moved from Slack to Debian and back to Slack. No intention of changing to anything else soon.
32 • re_Chromium_proprietary_code_additions (by gee7 on 2015-06-22 09:09:24 GMT from Europe)
For a view about Google tracking and snooping, see:
For myself, as policy I avoid any Google programs as much as I can and would advise people who value their privacy to do the same.
33 • Chrome (by Patrick on 2015-06-22 09:10:32 GMT from Asia)
So many critizes on Chrome browser, I agree them all. But I stick using Chrome for one peculiar reason -- it is the mouse control and key control.
In Chrome, when I sway mouse pointer to rightmost, I just click it on (the edge) and scroll up-down. With Firefox, I have to move it back (leftward) for few pixels, locate the slide-bar, and click to scroll; that's annoying.
The same reason I stick using LXLE - comfort of control, pressing win-key with arrows up-down-left-right will resize the window to half-screen upward-downward-leftward-rightward.
Other than LXDE, I prefer DWM.
34 • Distro hopping (by kc1di on 2015-06-22 11:27:23 GMT from North America)
I used to distrohop more, but lately have been just too busy, I try new major release live or in VM. but only install the ones that add something I need now. Still haven't found one that will play with my GPS. But am using Mageia right now and like it's kde alot. Have tried all the top 25 or so at one time or other. each one has it list of goods and bads. and they mostly all differ. will keep trying new ones, but have use mint for awhile as my stable release. My be switching to Mageia though just like it.
Have fun and thanks as always to distrowatch for this wonderful resource.
35 • Hmmmmmm Pi(e)! (by Homer J Simpson on 2015-06-22 11:51:37 GMT from Europe)
Sorry, couldnt resist temptation with that. But... I have been running a server on Pi non-stop for 72 hours. Its in the DMZ so has to defend itself from the script kiddies, brute force attacks etc... I have installed ipsec, fail2ban on it, but now am just using iptables to thwart. Its still going and has not been broken into depite lots of attempts, mostly from china. Regarding needing a hdmi lead. I thought that at first and duly got one and an adaptor to dvi. Turns out I did not need it. I now just use ssh to login and control from the main computer. If I need gui I use vnc or some such thing. All the best with your pi.
36 • (Re)Formatting Swap (Etc) (by Somewhat Reticent on 2015-06-22 13:43:54 GMT from North America)
Would alignment justify forcing a (swap) partition (re)format?
Would Debian's website be as impressive to the non-geek without that deliberate obfuscation?
Should keeping more than 2 OSs handy be called multi-booting? (Except for VM, of course)
37 • Chome (by pcninja on 2015-06-22 13:44:37 GMT from North America)
Like I said, Chrome is malware!
38 • Distro-hopping (by seacat on 2015-06-22 14:03:12 GMT from South America)
I began in Linux world with Slackware. It was a hard crash against the wall. For that reason I changed to Corel OS and began the distro-hopping, many of that with some stay, in dual boot with Widows. Next - and until its end - was Mandrake. After that I changed to Zenwalk and Salix. Mageia lived some time and later came Manjaro. Finally I fell in the always resisted world of Debian, but in the form of its derivatives: Semplice, LMDE, SolydXK and Sparkylinux. Period! Interestingly, with SparkyLinux disappeared Widows. In the notebook I have Huayra Linux, a educational Debian-derivative.
39 • Distro Hopping (by wrkerr on 2015-06-22 14:18:25 GMT from North America)
As others have said, I used to switch distributions often. Ubuntu was generally my primary install, and then on separate partitions I would try a few new distros a month. Since finding Arch linux though, I've given up the habit. Arch meets all my needs, so why bother?
40 • Distro Hopping (by Chris on 2015-06-22 14:26:29 GMT from Europe)
Did a lot of hopping but always returned to Arch.
Like @39, since i found Arch, why bother with anything else.
41 • Distro Hopping (by Voncloft on 2015-06-22 14:29:25 GMT from North America)
Starting out in 2005 when I was introduced to Linux...I tended to stick with one OS....until I got tired of dealing with certain things.
For example in 2005 Ubuntu was great until Unity was introduced, then I moved to Kubnutu because it had a better menu system - but then every year I would have to install the newest release from scratch and reset my desktop environment to the way i liked it previously.....so to remedy that I went to Arch rolling release, install once....done (until I realized bleeding edge=unstable), then I moved to Gentoo where it is a roling release, stable, and as an added perk it is built for my system and not a generic binary.
Needless to say I will not be distro hopping very soon.
42 • @32 & @37 - Chrome and Chromium (by Chris on 2015-06-22 14:52:55 GMT from North America)
@32 & @37 - Thank you for the links and educating me; my previous search-fu wasn't strong enough.
Eavesdropping, especially undisclosed opt-out listening, is definitely Malware! I had previously thought the Google browsers only allowed problems via extentions; therefore my previous rule was Google Chrome without extensions only used for Netflix, and Firefox with certain addons for everything else. My new rule is Firefox with certain addons for everything, and dump Google Chrome and by extention Netflix. Actually, due to Linux only setup, when Netflix is cancelled they should be told why and encouraged to find an alternative for Linux. Until such, no $$$!
43 • @3 - slimmer Bodhi (by Uncle Slacky on 2015-06-22 15:45:46 GMT from Europe)
You can revert your install back to E17 if you want, just install "bodhi-desktop-e17" thus:
sudo apt-get install bodhi-desktop-e17
You can then (if you want) replace E17 with Moksha, Bodhi's own fork of E17 (virtually identical at the moment, but takes up less room) by installing "moksha" thus:
sudo apt-get install moksha
44 • One can live without swap partition, but with a swap file, if needed. (by dbrion on 2015-06-22 15:59:36 GMT from Europe)
(I tried it 5 years ago, as I managed to install linuxes on USB sticks and 1 Gb swap partition would be expensive : if needed, a file in an external drive could be used to replace swap partition)
45 • Distro-hopping (by Ken on 2015-06-22 16:06:28 GMT from North America)
Thank you to all Distrowatch staff and supporters for all the hard work and valuable service.
Distro-hopping is my hobby. I do it for enjoyment. I envision myself a cheerleader for Linux distros.
I have been using Linux for over 10 years [about 15 I think]. I have no interest in the techy side of things, strictly end-user view point. It is amazing how far and how fast Linux distros have evolved. I stand in awe of those who create these distros [really works of art].
I have my preferences [as do all others] but this isn't about preferences its about distro hopping. I run one main OS [about 3 years now] and a back up OS [about 5 years now] and I download and run almost every new release on a VM.
Distro hopping has provided me with many hours of entertainment for which I am thankful to all of you out there in Linux land doing your thing. I hope you are enjoying yourselves as much as I am.
Thank you very much!!1
46 • headless RPi from the start... (by dbrion on 2015-06-22 16:27:36 GMT from Europe)
when configuring, one can use the serial pins -GPIO 14 /15 http://elinux.org/RPi_Low-level_peripherals#P1_Header_pinout.2C_top_row, and an USB to serial -3.3v) adapter connected to a PC (via teraterm, under XP, or gtkterm under linux : both worked for me). This USB serial adapter is cheaper -10 E$- than a USB keyboard -15E$-, and much cheaper than a** new** HDMI screen (with laptops,one does not have extra screens...) . The configuration software "raspi-config", seems to be ncurses-based and does not need a graphical terminal; "nano" is meant to use plain text, too - so does apt-get-. Such a configuration has another advantage : if it fails to boot("dmesg" cannot work, then; neither ssh in the worst case), each and every kernel message can be found on the PC -can be captured-. Such USB to serial converters are widely used to -try to - debug and communicate with 8 or 32 bits microcontrollers.
A picture of the connection, on the RPi side, can be found in http://www.blaess.fr/christophe/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/img-01.jpg
47 • System freezing while deleting files (by Anonymous on 2015-06-22 16:57:03 GMT from North America)
One cause of freezing when deleting files is old firmware on a Sandisk SSD and having the "discard" mount option in /etc/fstab. There was a firmware update that improved but didn't eliminate the freezing. I gave up on that mount option and just run the trim command manually once in a while.
48 • Distro Hopping (by CharlieD on 2015-06-22 17:26:35 GMT from North America)
On my old computer, I often had 4 distros (W7, Mint, Antergos/Chakra/Antergos/Arch and an unknown smaller distro). On my new Dell with this UEFI/Secure Boot scheme, I tried to triple boot, which worked except the third distro (Antergos, Opensuse and finally PcLinuxOS) would not use my power saving settings. Do to work, I want my monitor to turn off at the 5 minute mark. Not power down, but have the monitor turn off.
Power Settings worked great with Mint, but not with any other distro. I don't know if it is a Mint Grub issue or something else. After searching high and low, I failed to find an answer, so I just dual boot W8.1 - for work and Mint 17.1. I would really love to install at least one other distro.
I know this isn't a help forum but if anyone has an idea, I would appreciate a shout out. Oh, by the way Distrowatch is the best!
49 • Opinion Poll: or how I learned to stop distro hopping and love Slackware (by datawave on 2015-06-22 19:00:54 GMT from North America)
I, like many others, used to be a chronic distro hopper. I'd be installing a new one practically every week. It was becoming somewhat tiresome... solving the same problems over and over, the endless parade of tedious setup jobs, and the sluggish process of backing up /home over the network. But I couldn't stop. I guess I was looking for The One.
Luckily for me, I guess, external factors narrowed my search parameters *cough*systemd*cough*. Upon perusing this (vastly) reduced distro pool, I returned to Slackware after almost a decade's hiatus. Shortly thereafter, I realized that this is what I've been looking for all along.
I guess what they say is true... once you go Slack, you don't go back!
50 • YADH (Yet Another Distro Hopping) Comment (by Marti Martinson on 2015-06-22 19:08:28 GMT from North America)
Beginning in the late 90s, and until 2004, friends helped me run Red Hat. I won't discuss the Dark Times of 2004 to 2007, but I returned and finally bought a PC pre-installed with Unbuntu 7.10. Hating Unity (10.04), I simply added the LXDE DE. I found an Ubuntu re-mix with the EDE desktop at 12.04; I added the LXDE desktop to it and would switch between them. This Remastersys EDE was the most ass-kicking OS I ever used. That re-mix folded (RIP), so I now have Lubuntu 14.04 on that box.
But my main PC usage is on an eMachines AMD with Peppermint 5 and nVIDIA drivers. It will be good for 4 more years!
(My secret dream, if I had any real level of daring, would be to run Frugalware or Sabayon. Alas, I remaineth an eternal noob.)
51 • Distrohopping (by Corbin Rune on 2015-06-22 19:14:03 GMT from North America)
Eh, besides the install of Parrot Security OS I've been sitting on for months now, I generally stick with Arch or its wacky children. VBox handles anything else I might want to play around with.
52 • @33 (by Gustavo on 2015-06-22 19:21:49 GMT from South America)
"With Firefox, I have to move it back (leftward) for few pixels, locate the slide-bar, and click to scroll; that's annoying"
It's a (showstopper) bug with some GTK themes. On LinuxMint Xfce it doesn´t occur. I remember Ubuntu themes to be OK too.
53 • The Pi and I (by Ygis Paans on 2015-06-22 19:22:24 GMT from Europe)
Do you know there is another distro for the Pi? Ubuntu Mate runs smooth on it, and when chromium is used as browser, it is a fairly complete desktop.
I've been testing it and am using it now.
54 • Variety is the spice of life. (by Roy H Huddleston on 2015-06-22 19:26:09 GMT from Planet Mars)
My ideal distro would be Lubuntu Openbox Gnome. However, as far as I know that distro doesn't exist.
55 • Debian (by Toran on 2015-06-22 20:23:10 GMT from Europe)
Debian sticks to bon-commercial software with the option to install if desired. Absd yes, there is a learning curve, but not a difficult one as Debian give enough info. During my start-up I was informed of an error with my videocard, but also how to somve the prob. Synaptic offers a section of recommended additional software an synaptic lets the user aesily add repositories like contrib and non-free. The Debian website is of great help. So saying that Debian asks some work is more correct than stating Debian is difficult. Besides that, Debian Stable means stable and stability is no joke with Debian. I love this distro.
56 • Raspberry Pi2B (by Ron on 2015-06-22 21:06:53 GMT from North America)
For a few months I have been learning (playing, I confess) with the Pi and LInux.
It is a great buy for the money and costs so little, just about anyone can afford one. Just eat at home a few times instead of restaurants and you are paid.
I found out that the USB keyboard was not needed, as you can SSH right into it as a headless machine. The old Nook Color (sitting on a shelf collecting dust) power supply and power cable fit and work perfectly on the Pi. I saved some $$ by mounting the Pi on a piece of plywood, forget the case, anytime you decide to add something the case would not have space in it anyhow.
I have used the Pi with the micro sd card on board as well as used it with a USB hard drive and also a USB key. All work well, but the USB hard drive is much faster as you might expect.
I installed the Raspian OS directly by downloading it with the laptop onto a micro sd card, then moved the card to the Pi and it was up and running. You can also backup the entire system micro sd card using a laptop - sd to *.img file, then *.img file to another micro sd.
Uses for it are limitless. The power draw is so little as to hardly effect your power bill at all. Remember every watt of heat needs two or three times that Air Conditioner power to pump away. I would hesitate leaving a full desktop running unattended because I have heard of computers catching on fire. I would not hesitate to leave the Pi on all the time even when not at home.
57 • I hop therefore I am... (by tom joad on 2015-06-22 21:17:53 GMT from Planet Mars)
I didn't hop. I was pushed into it by Ubuntu and that damn Unity! I hate that sucker with a passion that has grown large over the last few years.
Now I do hop. But mostly I stay in the Debian line. I have run some some slackware and puppy. I like puppy but it is an acquired taste. Other times I have tried something just for kicks or out of curiosity. I tried Netrunner last week. No, not for me. I have not tried any BSD either and it is doubtful I will.
And I have stayed with non KDE distros too.
Now? I have ubuntu Mate on my tower and laptop. I like it. And I Iike Mint, too, a lot. My tower has swappable drives so I can run what I want when I want. I have mint double booted with XP on one drive. I still play DOOM and Sid Meier's stuff! Yes, Doom is still fun.
Mint stayed sane and reasonable while regular Ubuntu went off the deep end to dye its hair purple and add spikes.
BTW I have done searches of desk top managers on Distro-watch. Hardly any one uses Unity or whatever Ubuntu calls it. Maybe Shuttlesworth could take the hint. Nah, I doubt it.
58 • 56 • Raspberry Pi2B Correction (by Ron on 2015-06-22 21:55:36 GMT from North America)
Oops, I just realized I gave some incorrect information about the cable from a Nook Color. Actually the power supply 5.0V at 2.0 amps works well, but the Nook power cable has a connector that is not standard for the Pi. I remember now that I found the cable from an old cell phone that was the one that I used.
59 • @ 54: DIY with Openbox/GNOME (by Marti Martinson on 2015-06-22 23:23:30 GMT from North America)
At the CLI portion, you could download/install those openbox and gnome packages. I certainly hope all dependencies would be resolved. Good luck!! You're far braver than I am.
60 • Distro Hopping (by Platypus on 2015-06-23 01:31:48 GMT from Oceania)
I began with Mandrake then Mepis, Ubuntu, Fedora, Ubuntu, Mint but went back to Ubuntu (ideological difference with Clem) until Unity came along.
Unity turned me into an avid distro hopper.
Current set up is a **triple** boot: Deepin-2014-3 (which can be a little fragile), Linux Lite (stable back up for when Deepin crashes) and Windows 7. This is all GTP formatted on UEFI.
My notebook runs Linux-Lite, my wife's Laptop Linux-Lite and my daughter's old tower runs Ubuntu 14.04 (she is happy to live with Unity - but I have to "work" with my desktop rather than just go on social media).
BTW I really like the article on the Pi
61 • Raspberry-Pi (by EarlyBird on 2015-06-23 02:11:33 GMT from North America)
Re 27) dbrion - Thanks for clearing up that data corruption question. That would also seem to explain why some memory sticks have been mentioned as working better for the purpose than others for this purpose. Also, thanks for tip in post 46; that elinux.org site should be pointed out as a valuable resource for all embedded linux products (Pi, Beagleboard, etc.)
62 • Distro hopping (by jaws222 on 2015-06-23 03:08:37 GMT from North America)
I try just about everything in Virtualbox just to get a taste to see if I'll like it. I have several PC's and laptops at home and have partitions dedicated to the following distros:
63 • new additions (by just_wondering on 2015-06-23 03:21:56 GMT from Oceania)
are these all related some how ?
EBOS SE (submitted on 2015-05-07)
Universal OS Speed Edition (submitted on 2015-05-22)
Lightning Linux (submitted on 2015-06-19)
64 • @52 @33 (by Smellyman on 2015-06-23 03:59:37 GMT from Asia)
The last two people on earth to use scroll bars in browsers
65 • Distro Hopping (by Mike Hill on 2015-06-23 05:08:11 GMT from Oceania)
I used to hop all the time until it dawned on my that only the desktop environment really changes so I've stuck with Mint for about 18 months now.
66 • other thoughts (by M.Z. on 2015-06-23 07:24:17 GMT from Planet Mars)
Indeed there are ways to modify the experience of distros like Bodhi, but I've got an idea what the enlightenment family of DEs are like & have some other reasons to switch. I also might like the opportunity to find a new lightweight distro to hop to ;)
Certainly among the last of the Linux users to ignore the mouse wheel/touch pad scrolling anyway. There are a lot of confused old folks barely stumbling through on other platforms who may never use such features if left to their own devices & a few others on all platforms who just prefer the mouse.
67 • @65 - distrohop only for DE? (by Hoos on 2015-06-23 07:45:30 GMT from Asia)
It's true that some people wonder whether the only differences between the distros, and reasons for distrohopping, are the desktop environment and aesthetics.
I think that's only part of the reason. Here are some of mine:
1. Comparison of different DEs - true enough. Different DE have their own pros and cons. It's also true that you could install different DEs on one distro, but you might end up with some settings issues, a whole hodge podge of different applications doing similar jobs, and certain programs showing up (or not) that you didn't want. Messy.
Then you have new indie distros like Solus that is linked to its own DE, budgie-desktop. I could install budgie in Manjaro, but that doesn't mean I don't want to try out Solus as well, since it's different and uses the Pisi package management system.
2. Different package management systems, e.g Debian, pacman-based, RPM-based, Pisi - I like to try out and learn something about each. I'm most familiar with the Debian apt package management, though.
3. Rolling vs Fixed Release - experiencing a Arch/pacman type rolling distro in Manjaro and seeing how it compares with Debian Stable and Ubuntu-based distros. Using Debian Stable vs Sid - stable but perhaps outdated packages versus the newer but more uncertain Sid repos.
4. Differently-paced rolling releases - PCLinuxOS is a slowish rolling release so using it is very different from Arch/Manjaro. And PCLOS uses Synaptic even though the packages are RPM based.
Lots of differences to explore and enjoy, if you're interested in the distro itself. If however you just want to use the distro, then I agree there is not much point once you find one that suits your usage.
68 • Distro hopping frequency (by Nico Makunyane on 2015-06-23 12:49:16 GMT from Africa)
Since 2004 I hopped to and from Mandrake, Fedora, Debian, Centos, PCLinux, Suse, OpenSuse, Knoppix, Simply Mepis, Slackware, Linux Mint, Ubuntu and FreeBSD.
I spent the shortest time with Gentoo because of the dent it placed on my expensive data bundles. I really liked Simply Mepis when I used it. But now I use Debian exclusively and play around with other distros on my spare computer from time to time.
69 • I hop...therefore I am.... (by tom joad on 2015-06-23 13:06:14 GMT from North America)
I read my earlier comment on here. Sorry.
I was a bit exercised about Unity. Sorry for my 'plain speaking' and rather rambling comment. I will aim for terseness in the future.
Let me say I hop and somewhat frequently but mainly in the Debian branch.
70 • Re - Distro hopping poll. (by Fatmac on 2015-06-23 13:38:58 GMT from Europe)
Whilst I keep a main O/S on my main machines, (OpenBSD & AntiX).
I try out other distro options on other machines.
I don't dual boot, each O/S has its own machine.
Usually, I only test live installable light weight distros, & occasionally FreeBSD.
I would try NetBSD, but it doesn't seem able to set up wifi whilst installing.
71 • RPi (by Todd Dixon on 2015-06-23 14:43:21 GMT from North America)
MCM Electronics also carries them with a pretty complete collection of addons. I use the two I have as a media center and the other runs an OwnCloud instance. I the older 512 MB ones, but the newest iteration can multitask a lot better. I have considered using one of them as an asterisk phone system as well, Nerdvittles.com has a setup for the IncrediblePBX for Raspberry Pi.
72 • on DE, liking KDE Plasma (by Ken on 2015-06-23 16:04:32 GMT from Africa)
After seeing how popular KDE was on the opinion poll here DWW some weeks ago I thought I should try it. My first contact with Linux was Ubuntu CD sent to me by canonical (still very grateful to canonical) and since it had gnome 2 I liked gnome 2 and to me that was the only Desktop I could use. When Gnome 2 got disbanded i migrated to XFCE and again felt at home. Came the opinion poll and KDE was riding higher than XFCE and thought I should give it a try. So far I like it and learning to like some of its applications. One app that I find hard to get used to is Kmail, it looks very complicated compared to claws-mail that I use. Calligra suite could not work for me because I needed a suite compatible with .xlsx in my work. I got myself libreoffice instead. I wanted to install some apps from gnome that I always need. I saw they had many gnome dependencies and thought there could be KDE's equivalents. For sure they were there. I got soundkoverter and skanlite equivalents of gnomes soundconverter and simple scan respectively. Amarok isn't as simple as rhythmbox but it's fine.
Overall I am happy with KDE plasma, feeling OK with it as I felt with gnome 2.
73 • Distro hopping (by Kendee on 2015-06-23 17:00:35 GMT from Europe)
Crunchbang creator also had distro-hopped, but it is to the other camp, the closed source: https://corenominal.org/blog/switching-from-linux-to-windows
74 • @50 Re:YADH Comment about Unity (by Rev_Don on 2015-06-23 17:19:51 GMT from North America)
You said "Hating Unity (10.04)" about Ubuntu.
I hate to tell you this, but Ubuntu 10.04 came with Gnome 2, not Unity, and is considered by a lot of users to be the high water mark of Ubuntu. Unity didn't rear it's ugly head until 10.10 on Netbooks and 11.04 in Desktop Ubuntu.
75 • Poll Suggestion (by Pepe Le Pew on 2015-06-23 17:54:05 GMT from Europe)
If this has not already been asked, I would like to see a poll on the number of people who have gone totally 64bit, still have a mix of active 64bit and 32bit computers or are still 32bit only.
76 • Openelec for the Pi2 (by Matt on 2015-06-23 19:35:01 GMT from North America)
Openelec distro turns the Pi into a silent and inexpensive media server. The Pi2 plays back HD content smoothly, and there are a lot of plugins available for audio and video applications. I have a desktop in my living room that acts as my main media server and runs MythTV, and a Pi in my bedroom that plays content from the desktop. The Pi streams HD content wirelessly with no problems. The only issues I've had is finding the right power supply for the Pi (a typical cell phone charger is insufficient), and the fact that the Pi has no on/off switch. If you shut it down, you have to unplug it and plug it back in to restart.
77 • @73 • Distro hopping - Kendee (by Sector11 on 2015-06-23 19:53:29 GMT from Europe)
A nice guy, this former Crunchbang fellow, to dump Debian and move to Windows.
>And had I been missing out? Well, yes, I believe I had. Both Windows 7 (switched to from Debian at work) and Windows 8.1 (switched to from Debian at home) are both excellent operating systems. Sure, I get a few butterflies in my stomach if I think too hard about the four freedoms when I’m using them, but it’s becoming easier and easier to push those thoughts to the back of my mind. When things “just work”, it definitely helps to make it easy to forget about the things you are trying not to think about.<
That must be why corenominal dumped Crunchbnag
78 • @74: You are correct (by Marti Martinson on 2015-06-23 20:55:20 GMT from North America)
10.10 and later. You are correct. It was at 10.04, I think, they moved the window buttons to the left and a few other things in PREP for Unity. Again, you are right. I did add the LXDE packages at 10.04, that much I do recall.
I still maintain that the Remastersys EDE 12.04 was the best I ever used! :)
79 • I linux...therefore I truly am... (by tom joad on 2015-06-23 22:27:34 GMT from North America)
@75...I like that poll and I too would like to see it happen.
I am only 64 bit now with pretty much everything.
And I would like to see a poll of window managers, if there hasn't been one, just for grins as we say here. I think that would be interesting too.
80 • 32 vs 64bit (by Rev_Don on 2015-06-24 01:27:51 GMT from North America)
I run 64bit on about 90% of my own systems and run 32bit on a couple of older laptops that have 32bit cpus.
Most of the systems I install Linux on for other people tends to be 32bit thou, as most are older 32bit only systems that came with Windows XP.
81 • 32-vs-64-bit (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2015-06-24 02:11:32 GMT from North America)
In the 2000s, many 64-bit CPUs with 4Gb RAM were sold with a 32-bit OS, as hardware development easily outpaced software. That said, if i686 32-bit software can utilize multiple cores (real or virtual) and available RAM, is the 64-bit advantage all that substantial, or is it marginal?
Perhaps power costs will be the main driving force for recycling older hardware, followed by space and mobility.
82 • Hopping Mad (by platform-hopper on 2015-06-24 04:04:02 GMT from Oceania)
1. The first exploration into linux leads to distro-hopping to find an OS to suit your desires.
2. The second linux foray is to go DE-hopping to find the best environment that suits your style
3. The third searching activity is app-hopping to find useful tools to do your work.
It's all a very cumbersome approach to computing - especially the strange names of apps and the habit of listing them in amongst the hundreds of dependent libraries. The fact that linux has only captured a few percent of the desktop market suggests that the constant hopping - which may be fun for the tech-minded - is all too much for average computer users to deal with.
* Weekly donation: to the Canadian vet Devuan devs to basically create a copy of another distro??? At least the money will keep them in singlets for another year ot two. :)
83 • 32-vs-64-bit (by Jimbob on 2015-06-24 05:39:58 GMT from North America)
@81 • 32-vs-64-bit:
In general, 64-bit Ubuntu 14.04 outperforms 32-bit Ubuntu 14.04 marginally faster, with a few exceptions a few programs are faster in 32-bit while several programs run many times faster in 64-bit. Please see the benchmarks here using the Phoronics Test Suite:
84 • Distro hopping for years... finally settled on 3 with LXDE desktop (by Jimbob on 2015-06-24 07:23:01 GMT from North America)
I originally started out with Mandrake Linux and Slackware Linux back in 2001. KDE used to be nice until it got bloated, so I switched to LXDE and Mate. After all these years I have settled on 3 that work ok with older i586/i686 hardware (I get extreme gratification when I can run a modern OS on an old DOS/Win95 computer!!!) as well as running snappy on modern Core i7 CPU's:
1.) Salix OS Mate (Slackware 14.1 derivative), i486 kernel ("huge.s" kernel option), used Synaptic to install LXDE desktop and it works on my 16 year old AMD K6 computer with 256MB of RAM!
2.) Galpon Minino Ártabros 2.1 (Debian Trusty derivative), i386 kernel, comes with LXDE preinstalled and it works on my 16 year old AMD K6-II computer with 256MB of RAM! Remastersys lets me create custom distro DVD-ROM ISO's with my favorite programs for easy re-installation.
3.) Greenie Linux (Ubuntu 14.04 derivative), i686 kernel, comes with LXDE preinstalled and it works on my 17 year old Pentium-II computer with 256MB of RAM!
P.S. I just tried Mageia 5 (replaced Mandrake), but I dislike the new very limited package manager to install extra software. Hopefully the software repository selection will be fixed to my liking in Mageia 6!
85 • Distro hopping (by Ben Myers on 2015-06-24 19:09:25 GMT from North America)
When I see the usual blurb here announcing a new distro, the description sometimes encourages me to download and try it live. If I like what I see in terms of ease of use of desktop and readily available applications, it stays around.
I still prefer Mint and Ubuntu variants for general purpose use. Chromixium is novel and potentially very useful along with an inexpensive SSD to transform an older laptop into an inexpensive and more sturdy equivalent of the flimsy Chromebooks sold at retail.
86 • Distro hopping (by Romany Gypsy on 2015-06-24 20:57:32 GMT from Oceania)
I enjoy trying out different distros that feature on DistroWatch, using VirtualBox.
I have a home file server running 32 bit Linux Mint 17.1, Mate.
My main computer is an iMac running OSX Yosemite, with VirtualBox installed to run various GNU Linux distros, React OS & Windows XP SP3.
87 • Frequency (by Nate on 2015-06-24 21:37:50 GMT from North America)
First post! w00h00. I've been a follower of Distrowatch for years and years, and to my dismay (quasi sometimes) I tend to change distributions at least once a week... unfortunately, I change them more than that just to try out different ones. The longest time I've spent with a single distribution is a few years, CentOS, for my servers and cPanel pleasures. Thanks DW for helping me feel normal at least once a week. LOL
88 • Histro Dopping (by Jordan on 2015-06-24 22:34:20 GMT from North America)
Yeah, me too. All on flash drives now, though. Mint is on my
hard drive. So, Mint is "it," so to speak. The other stuff is
about staying up with them to some degree.
Adding my voice to the collective "thank you Distrowatch" for
being able to do this for so long and so reliably. What an
incredible website, speaks well for linux in general.
89 • a (by a on 2015-06-24 23:46:59 GMT from Europe)
After 5 years of Arch I finally made the switch to Gentoo a few days ago. It hasn’t been easy but I needed to get away from the madness.
The HDD in my second computer broke recently so I’ll also be switching it from Xubuntu to a faster distro without systemd.
I need several months to get my systems to a state that I like so of course I don’t distro-hop.
90 • canakits (by dmacleo on 2015-06-25 01:42:16 GMT from North America)
both my canakits for b+ and the newer pi 2 Model b came with heatsinks.
do yourself a favor and take a small file to the card slot on case itself upper section (when sitting normally) as it makes it a LOT easier to remove sd cards.
91 • Dynamic_and_static_qualities_of_Linux_distro_hopping_MOQ_and_MORC (by k on 2015-06-25 05:50:50 GMT from Europe)
We would not be using computers and the internet if it weren't for the evolution of our intellectual quality, highest level of metaphysics of quality (MOQ). Beyond that, we adapt static (hardware) and dynamic (kernel, installer, init, package management, etc.) qualities of distros and their use according to needs and the conditions of our environment (existence). Freedom seems to be a major dependency of this intellectual activity, with Manjaro OpenRC (MORC) -- as reviewed by Robert Storey in issue 612 of this weekly -- exemplifying the "razor's (cutting, bleeding) edge".
92 • Try it all (by Willliam Mozdzierz on 2015-06-25 15:08:27 GMT from North America)
I wipe my disk and put on a different distro about every 3 or 4 weeks. I always end up coming back to Linux Mint, but there are several others that I enjoy for a while.
93 • Poll & Distro Hopping (by JT on 2015-06-25 17:07:34 GMT from North America)
I typically have no less than 2-3 OSs on my PC at once. I keep Windows 8.1 for Steam/MS-Office/iTunes and OpenSUSE for mostly everything else to ensure that I have something I can use. I have a UEFI-enabled laptop, so having so many different OSs isn't much of a problem (in fact, I love having the ability to have 2 permanent OS, along with insane distro-hopping). There is the problem of finding distros that work with UEFI. I keep having trouble with smaller distros, like KaOS and elementaryOS, that either don't boot properly with UEFI, or don't want to install properly under UEFI.
I have future plans to install Arch, Manjaro, or Netrunner (Rolling), but I'm currently playing with (or trying to break) Fedora 22 with Wayland. I also have Xubuntu installed, but I hardly touch it (I'm not sure why I installed XFCE, I've never been big on low-powered DEs like LXDE/XFCE/MATE/etc).
94 • Distro Hopping (by Scott Jarvis on 2015-06-25 21:08:24 GMT from North America)
I run Ubuntu (14.10) and Mint (17.2) (Dual boot) on my desktop machine and Windows 7 (soon to be 10) and Mint on my media machine. I stay with these distros but do update when it's available. I have tried other distros, and Raspbian but these work best for my AMD Kaveri machines. Mainly, the setup on these distros is easy, flexible and fast. There is no reason to change with the exception of disabling Unity on Ubuntu and opting for Cinnamon desktop instead. I have fun loading Cairo Dock, and configuring my desktop to look like Apple, they are virtually indistinguishable from Apple OS. The flexibility and breadth of software (for free) on Linux has spoiled Windows for me and now I only use Windows for email and watching TV. I have been using this dual boot system for 5 years now and may eliminate Windows completely if Windows 10 is a bust.
Power to the cord cutters! I eliminated cable TV 3 years ago and have not missed it even once. My cable company even doubled my speed to 30Mb/sec for free. Now thats cool, I watch TV on my 60 inch and Youtube on my desktop at the same time as well as scan the net. Wow, it's just too much fun. Too be fair both Windows 7 and Mint 17.x can do that with the edge in speed going to Mint. I use Chrome on both systems, the linux version from Google works on Linux and I can Chrome Cast both files and Netflix to my TV. I use the same approach on my home system with dual screens and a stereo system.
PS I tried Ubuntu 15.10 but it didn't work with my system, maybe I'll update after the next release.
95 • Shredded_and_surfed_distros_to_MORC (by k on 2015-06-26 07:49:03 GMT from North America)
@92 (William) Thank you for sharing your practice and experience. After acquiring enough bad sectors on a 200 Gb desktop hard drive, trying numerous Arch installs and desktops, I shredded all the data on it -- took weeks :) -- and then repeated trials, first numerous attempts with Void and LMDE2 -- using 'dd command' for MUCH 'faster' zeroing -- before finally succeeding with MORC (Manjaro OpenRC) on XFS. The MORC/XFS distro's speed seems to be orders of magnitude faster than Arch, Debian, LMDE2, and Void.
96 • Distro hopping (by zykoda on 2015-06-26 08:36:46 GMT from Europe)
With 15 desktop machines with ages from 3 to 20 years, distro hopping was necessary to find required functional operation for programming, web, television and instrumental applications in a mixed Mac, Windows and Linux network. For me, Linux Mint (7 to 17.1) has proved to most suitable and versatile option with, now, a mate DE. Cinnamon DE on the mid-aged machines is either too tardy, or just non-functional. For the very oldest machines, antiX has proved most successful but Slitaz and Puppy were sometimes good contenders. The flexibility. stability and Long Term Support of Linux Mint speaks loads about why Mint is clearly the current top spot in the Distrowatch HPD. I continually try to choose from the glut of current distro offerings a better and more simple option to provide what I want, but in the last five years there has been nothing to match the ease of setup and versatility of my current operational compass. All machines are multiboot with as many as 20 distros as bare metal installs, dating over the last15 years.
97 • Other uses or projects por PI(s) - How about clustering? (by meanpt on 2015-06-26 08:45:23 GMT from Europe)
May I sugest, as a Pi project, some sort of clustering of 2 or 3 PI(s), to cope with the meager resources of one device alone?
98 • Meager Pi resources (97) (by dbrion on 2015-06-26 09:36:20 GMT from Europe)
Some people managed to cluster RPI-B+s (rPi-B2 do not have meager ressources ). However, I see a draw back: one needs an IT connection for clustering, and, on the RPi, IT connection are in series with the ... USB : this would make an awful bottleneck if , say, a USB disk / screen ias used...
99 • Distro Hopping (by Richard Postlewait on 2015-06-26 11:36:38 GMT from North America)
I'm always trying out different live distros but, I run Manjaro Linux on a daily basis and have been for years since switching over from archbang.
100 • Distro Hopping (by Joe on 2015-06-26 14:52:42 GMT from North America)
I've bounced from Ubuntu to Linux Mint to PCLinuxOS, to Zorin OS (just to name a few). Lately I've pretty much settled on Ubuntu MATE and Chromixium. Both distros just seem to get the job done without any major problems. Parted Magic is my rescue distro of choice.
101 • Raspberry Pi suggestions and RAM occupation (by Kazlu on 2015-06-26 16:36:10 GMT from Europe)
"Suggestions for future projects and experiments are welcome."
I would like to see how easy or not it can get to build a home personal server on a Raspberry Pi. Typical usage would include for example owncloud, file server, web server, print server, mail server, etc. running at the same time. Management via Webmin would be nice.
And a special addition: whatever project you choose to try on a Raspberry Pi, I would like to see if one can run an instance of BOINC in order to make use of the remaining processing power, whatever small it may be.
"With the LXDE desktop running, Raspbian required approximately 250MB of memory"
Isn't that really a lot? Or should I avoid comparing an ARM port with a 32-bit x86 port, in which category even Lubuntu sits at 90MB?
102 • Distrowatch (by penguinx64 on 2015-06-27 05:01:37 GMT from Europe)
I'm a big fan of Distrowatch. I used to look every day for new distros. But then, I realized that most of them were just Ubuntu or Debian remixes. Many of the distros I've tested do not support my laptop wifi adapters or do not support multimedia playback. Some distros have graphical interfaces that I just don't like, KDE and XFCE for example. After trying dozens of distros, I've stuck with Linux Mint for 3 years now. I still look at new distros all the time, but haven't found anything that just works 'out of the box' like Linux Mint. Thank you Clem for such a great distro!
103 • BOINC on Rpi (by Glen on 2015-06-27 14:58:04 GMT from North America)
104 • Dual boot setup and TRY to distrohop.... (by frodopogo on 2015-06-28 06:26:29 GMT from North America)
but it just doesn't work.
I can't find anything that works better than Linux Mint for my purposes. I've used it since version 5- "Elyssa".
Everything else I try, there is always a dealbreaker in there somewhere, so Linux Mint, (either MATE or Cinnamon) remains my "daily driver".
Dealbreakers have included:
install programs (Fedora), update flaws (Manjaro MATE), Whiskers menu (SolydX), strange browser and word processor choices (prefer Firefox and LibreOffice), or just not successfully running on my computer. Or not recognizing external USB sound modules.
One thing I find absolutely DAFT.... a couple distros put the logout/off button in the lower right hand corner.... well suppose you've maximized a browser window to see as much as possible, but you're scrolling.... but you're barely looking at the mouse pointer... you're reading, scrolling, and the mouse pointer is heading right down to the logout/off button!!!
Some of these innovations don't seem like they've been thoroughly thought through.
Honorable mention goes to Cubuntu- very elegant take on a Cinnamon desktop... they almost got me liking the orange and purple color combination, which is TOUGH to do.
Now if I only trusted Canonical... and Cubuntu doesn't make it easy for English speakers!
I was also favorably impressed with Trisquel- amazing amount of functionality for a FOSS project. I gave a disk to a Spanish-speaking friend, and he's still using it years later!
I may try Manjaro again in spite of the problems.... I think it shows a lot of promise.
I'm trying Salix. I wanted to try a non-systemd distro that was off the beaten path. It's a bit geeky (lots of programs with obscure names and no descriptions) but it DOES work.
But I'll be surprised if it dethrones Mint. I think it boils down to the fact that I WANT to be adventurous, but at 63, I'm really set in my ways. That's probably why Mint still works for me.... "if it ain't broke"... they "don't fix it!", unlike Ubuntu and Gnome!
105 • Manjaro the Retardo! (by Jimbob on 2015-06-28 13:53:23 GMT from North America)
I just tried Manjaro 0.8.12 LXQT and the Octopi package updater is an epic failure! I have 336 packages to update but these errors are a real show stopper:
Total Installed Size: 1778.66 MiB
Net Upgrade Size: 198.33 MiB
checking keys in keyring
downloading required keys...
error: key "37E0AF1FDA48F373" could not be looked up remotely
key "A6234074498E9CEE" could not be looked up remotely
error: required key missing from keyring
error: failed to commit transaction (unexpected error)
Errors occurred, no packages were upgraded.
Command finished with errors!
Time to throw away this crappy distro CD!!!
106 • on_Manjaro_LXQt_and_trying_MORC_instead (by k on 2015-06-28 15:35:15 GMT from Europe)
Hi Jimbob (comment 105), check out thread at https://forum.manjaro.org/index.php?topic=8061.0 for possible solution. Then, if you are still 'blocked', you might toss that combo, and 'clear' that disk or partition with dd (terminal) command for fast erase http://www.noah.org/wiki/Dd_-_Destroyer_of_Disks, being very careful about specification of the output file (of=/dev/sdX (/path_to/target)) drive or device, and you can monitor progress with answer provided by guntbert (3rd entry on page) at https://askubuntu.com/questions/215505/how-do-you-monitor-the-progress-of-dd. Finally, try MORC (on XFS), according to Robert Storey's review in issue 612 of DWW. Do try to keep to Robert's excellent instructions and tips.
107 • Thanks (by Jimbob on 2015-06-28 22:39:27 GMT from North America)
K, Thanks for the information. I am sorry if I sounded too harsh in my earlier post. Sometimes these distros really test my patience getting them to work properly while I am on my "man period". Thanks and have a good week. :)
Number of Comments: 107
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